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Serena-Maneesh Compile Early Tracks, Rarities

Photo by Andreas Frøland

It's been a hot minute since we last heard much from Serena-Maneesh, who wowed the Pitchfork fold with their self-titled offering back in 2005. And those looking to this piece for news of fresh new jams from the Norwegian psych-gaze troupe may not find what they seek in these pages. Still, just as the television folks justify their endless parade of reruns, if you haven't heard it, it's new to you. And chances are you haven't heard much of SM Backwards, the band's upcoming release.

Come May 5, Smalltown Supersound will issue SM Backwards, a double CD/LP featuring a glut of rare tracks that predate the eponymous debut. Though much of this material has been released in Norway (on the Fixxations and Zurück EPs), none of it has made it past the border in any non-import form. And "Death Parade, Slow" has never been heard outside of the band! The set also includes video clips for "Drive Me Home the Lonely Nights" and "Degenerate".

The band has a single gig in the works, scheduled for February 23 at Oslo's SubScene. [MORE...]
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Xiu Xiu Announce Spring Dates
Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down open

Fleshing out your lineup with extra band members is fine, but what good is a, um, fleshier lineup without a full-fledged tour to prove things like your "on-stage chemistry" and "chops"? Well, the newly fleshy Xiu Xiu have solved the problem by scheduling their first big tour as a foursome. It's a jaunt across North America in the spring with fellow Kill Rock Stars signees Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down opening.

The tour comes in support of Women as Lovers, Xiu Xiu's sixth album, which comes out in all its bolstered glory on January 29. However, you can hear the whole album on the band's MySpace page now. [MORE...]
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Bodies of Water, Sons & Daughters Announce Joint Tour

Sons & Daughters photo by Joe Dilworth

"When we arrive, sons and daughters/ We'll make our homes on the water." It's like Colin Meloy was seeing the future when he sang those lyrics on The Crane Wife's closing track, or maybe Glasgow's Sons & Daughters and L.A.'s Bodies of Water heard the song and were just so inspired that they had to tour together. Or, fine, maybe coincidence.

However it went, the bands will team up for a joint tour of North America in the spring, a couple months after their respective newest albums are released later this month. Secretly Canadian will give international distribution to Bodies of Water's Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink on January 22, and Sons & Daughters will release their Bernard Butler-produced This Gift one week later via Domino.

In other Bodies/Daughters news, both have dates outside of the joint tour, including S&D's UK shows with Black Kids. And Bodies of Water are currently preparing their second full-length for a summer release. [MORE...]
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Autechre Offer Up Quaristice Tracklist, Tour

British electronic duo Autechre have announced the tracklist for their forthcoming LP, Quaristice, and, surprise surprise, it's as oblique as the album title itself (which, after all, is a word they made up). From "Altibzz" to "Outh9X", each of its 20 titles could very well be the name of a prescription drug, a failed search engine, or an early prototype of beloved talking robot Johnny 5. Sounds like Autechre to us!

Quaristice emerges March 3 from Warp on CD and double-LP. And, while they were making with the details, Autechre let us in on another juicy tidbit: a world tour! From the end of February through mid-April, Rob Brown and Sean Booth will bring the 'tech to the UK, Eastern and Western Europe, and North America. [MORE...]

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Fogarino/Franklin's Setting Suns Forced to Nix Name
Band to be henceforth referred to as Magnetic Morning

Photo by Christy Bush

Band nomenclature: it ain't what it used to be. Pretty much every second nowadays a perfectly serviceable bandname gets snapped up, forcing musical types to resort to atrocities like Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Does It Offend You, Yeah? (A: It does), and P4k HQ's current LOL of choice, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong.

For Interpol's Sam Fogarino and Swerverdriver's Adam Franklin, a blah name like the Setting Suns was just blah enough to have been used before (well, almost) for a musical undertaking. And now, under pressure from a fellow NYC act called Setting Sun, Sam and Adam have obligingly retired their blah moniker and opted instead to be forever known as-- wait for it-- Magnetic Morning. Expect a cease-and-desist any day now from my seven-year-old sister, who once used that name for a tweegazer outfit she started with a Rainbow Brite doll and two My Little Ponies.

Under their former name, Magnetic Morning played a gig and dropped their debut EP digitally late last year. The Setting Suns EP-- no word yet whether it will retain that title-- has been bumped from its original February 5 physical release date and will emerge in CD form this March via DH Records.

Between the Swervedriver reunion, Interpol's next round of live dates, and plans to record the Magnetic Morning full-length debut this year, these guys are in for a busy 2008. Ooh, and Adam Franklin has a few solo dates in queue too. Check those and the Interpol dates below. [MORE...]
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Kim Gordon, Lavender Diamond's Stark Appear in Film

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Lights, camera, teenage riot! The inimitable Kim Gordon-- who's shown silver screen promise since back in the days of "Death Valley '69" and has since lent her thespian talents to Kurt Cobain semi-biopic Last Days, "Gilmore Girls", and more-- is set to appear in a forthcoming short film from Los Angeles-based producer/director Alia Raza.

Precious little is known about the short-form moving picture at this time, as apparently it's still in the planning stages. According to a post on Variety's Stylephile, other musical types partaking in the as-yet-untitled project include Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark (all over the movies these days) and OK Go's Damian Kulash, and the film is based on a short story by Miranda July.

Shooting is expected to begin later this month, and the film will also feature costumes designed by Magda Berliner and Jasmine Shokrian.

Thanks to Jeb Allured for the tip.
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Rare Disco, Electro Gems on Disco Not Disco Comp

Is it disco? Is it something else? Disco Not Disco, the forthcoming Strut collection, ought to come with a disclaimer. Oh, wait, here we are: Post Punk, Electro & Leftfield Disco Classics 1974-1986. So it is disco, then?

Sort of. Disco Not Disco collects fourteen rarely-heard but totally slammin', bottom-heavy bodymovers with strong appeal for fans of, say, the collected works of James Murphy. It's disco-like in its steady rhythms and pulsing bass, but it's not exactly the Hues Corporation.

Compiled by Last Night a DJ Saved My Life author Bill Brewster, the disc runs the gamut from New York's underground club scene to Detroit's then-burgeoning techno pioneers, and even hops the pond for a handful of tracks that lit up the British Isles. The collection, a follow-up of sorts to Strut's 2000 Disco Not Disco comp, emerges January 14 on the recently rejuvenated imprint. [MORE...]
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Polly Jean Harvey, John Parish Meet Again for New LP
PJ Harvey Adds Dates in New Zealand, Australia, Italy

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Make way for a new addition to that list of most anticipated records of 2008. Polly Jean Harvey's next musical endeavor will be a proper follow-up to 1996's Dance Hall at Louse Point, her unduly underappreciated meet-up with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist John Parish.

According to a MySpace post, Harvey and Parish are set to enter the studio this month, joined by Harvey's frequent collaborator Eric Drew Feldman (also a member of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band), Autolux's Carla Azar, and Giovanni Ferrario. If it works anything like Louse Point, Parish will handle the music, while Harvey will tackle the words.

The disc can be expected before the end of 2008, and sessions should wrap just in time for PJ Harvey's mid-February tour of Australia and New Zealand. Harvey has also scheduled a lone date in Rome on March 9. [MORE...]

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Arbouretum, Lungfish Dudes Ready Human Bell Album

When most of us hang with our friends, we... do what? Crack open a few beers? Play some video games? Talk philosophy, if we're feeling ambitious/high?

But when Baltimore bros Dave Heumann and Nathan Bell pal around, they make sweet instrumental guitar duets together and record them. This might have something to do with the fact that Heumann is the leader of Arbouretum and Bell was a member of Lungfish from 1996 to 2003. Call it creative restlessness or something.

Going under the name Human Bell (get it?), Heumann and Bell will release their self-titled debut LP via Thrill Jockey on January 29. The album features contributions from Matt Riley (The Moss Collector), Michael Turner (Warmer Milks, Speed to Roam), Peter Townshend (Speed to Roam, Bonnie "Prince" Billy), and Ryan Rapsys (Euphone, Ambulette) on various instruments, including "quartz singing bowl" and "orbital spirit guitar," according to a press release. Production on Human Bell comes from Paul Oldham and Antony West, with Tortoise's John McEntire handling the mixing.

Human Bell also have a pair of dates coming up this month to celebrate the album's release. [MORE...]
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Broken Social Scene Head Out on World Tour
BSS Presents Brendan Canning LP due May 27

None of that "Presents..." business here! Broken Social Scene-- or as many as they can stuff in a suitcase, anyhow-- are headed Down Under for a proper band tour next month. From New Zealand they'll head to Australia, where they'll make all stops at the traveling Laneway Festival. Then it's off to Japan for a pair of dates and, eventually, a stopover in Singapore before the scene is (temporarily) Broken anew.

Attendees at these gigs can expect a heady mix of BSS classics, material from spiritual leader Kevin Drew's recent solo joint, and quite possibly at least one tune from the forthcoming Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning LP.

But not for long, as May will bring a flurry of new BSS goings-on. Broken Social Scene proper will perform at the Explosions in the Sky-curated ATP festival. The Brendan Canning album will arrive May 27 on Arts & Crafts, as reported by Billboard and confirmed by the band's publicist.

In other news from the Scenesters, Jason Collett's new disc, Here's to Being Here, is out February 5 from Arts & Crafts. And for those of you who prefer your rock'n'roll silent and readable, there's a book in the works as well. [MORE...]

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Hukkelberg's Rykestrasse Leads to North America

March 4, noted Norwegian singer-songwriter Hanne Hukkelberg's Rykestrasse 68 heads to North American thanks to the Nettwerk label, following a 2006 release (to much international aplomb) in her native Norway.

The disc, "a tribute to the six months she spent living in Berlin," is a darker, more somber affair than its well-regarded predecessor, Little Things. 68 features members of Jaga Jazzist and Shining, and sports a rather bizarre (but extremely effective) cover of the Pixies' "Break My Body". A video for "A Cheater's Armoury" drawn up by MTV animator Andreas Palegolas is included with the disc.

Hukkelberg will make her way to this year's South by Southwest festival, and a brief U.S. tour is being plotted around the trip. Those dates have yet to emerge, but Hukkelberg's got a pair of Scandanavian dates set in stone over the next couple months. [MORE...]
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No Age Come up With a Few Good Nouns for Sub Pop
This is the noisiest game of Mad Libs ever!

Photo by Daniel Cantó

Verb may be what's happening, but for the very-happening Los Angeles noise punks of No Age, this spring is all about Nouns. That's what Dean Spunt and Randy Randall have dubbed their first proper full length (and follow up to Weirdo Rippers, last year's stellar singles collection and-then-some/Pitchfork's #12 album of 2007).

It's due May 6 on their new label Sub Pop. We're without a tracklist for Nouns at the moment, but there's a good chance the recently-Forkcasted "Sleeper Hold" will make an appearance. Get familiar!

The lads of No Age always seem to find themselves in good company, be it the folks who kick around their L.A. homebase the Smell, their soon-to-be tourmates in Liars, or the plethora of bands they'll join at this May's ATP vs Pitchfork festival. And you, too, could be among good company, if you show up at one of the places right after this thing here. [MORE...]

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