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The Mars Volta Reveal Dates, Puzzling Download

As if their music weren't enough of a brainteaser, now the Mars Volta have made a puzzle of the cover art for their forthcoming fourth album, The Bedlam in Goliath (January 28 in the UK, January 29 in the U.S., via Universal). Anyone who solves the puzzle, which they have placed online here, also gets a free mp3 from the band.

The mp3, however, is not a track from Bedlam. It's a cover of the Circle Jerks' "Back Against the Wall" (the Mars Volta call it "Back Up Against the Wall"). Even weirder than an album cover puzzle: a minute-and-a-half-long Mars Volta track.

The puzzle took me 304 moves to complete (it's one of those annoying bastards where you can only move one piece at a time within a fixed square), so it doesn't seem like there's an upper limit at which point the download suddenly becomes unavailable. Never let it be said that the Mars Volta weren't plenty generous to the doofus population.

The band has also gone and supplemented its New Year's Eve show in San Francisco with a bunch of European shows in February and March.

Voltage:

12-31 San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
02-17 Hamburg, Germany - Docks
02-19 Oslo, Norway - Sentrum
02-20 Stockholm, Sweden - Cirkus
02-22 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
02-24 Berlin, Germany - Huxley's
02-26 Zurich, Switzerland - Volkshaus
02-27 Milan, Italy - Alcatraz
02-29 Madrid, Spain - La Riviera
03-01 Barcelona, Spain - Razzmatazz
03-03 Munich, Germany - Elser Halle
03-05 Paris, France - Olympia
03-06 Tilburg, Netherlands - 013 Music Hall
03-08 Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
03-09 Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
03-11 Glasgow, Scotland - Academy
03-13 Manchester, England - Apollo
03-14 London, England - Brixton Academy

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