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A Place to Bury Strangers Recording Live LP

A Place to Bury Strangers have added a show to the tour itinerary we laid out last week. Big whoop. But wait! This isn't just any old show. The band is recording its January 16 gig at its Brooklyn home studio/venue Death by Audio for a live album. Important Records will release the vinyl-only LP sometime this spring. We don't know when exactly, or what they're calling it, or even what's gonna show up on the disc, but one thing is fairly certain: it ain't gonna show no mercy to your earholes.

Let's not forget that A Place to Bury Strangers pop up on another spring release, the environmentally friendly Green Owl compilation. [MORE...]


The Kills Return With a Boom on New LP
Band works with Armani XXXchange on album's production

Grimy little duo the Kills have returned from the garage rock ether to deliver their third album, Midnight Boom, due March 18 via Domino Records.

Partially inspired by the playground songs in a documentary about inner-city school children in the 1960s called Pizza Pizza Daddio, the follow-up to 2005's No Wow hews close to the guitar'n'beats sound found on previous Kills records. This time, however, they had a little help in the beats department, as Spank Rock producer Armani XXXchange lent his hand to some of the production.

The Kills plan to tour the U.S. in support of Midnight Boom; for now they have only a handful of dates, beginning tomorrow night (January 15) at London's Soho Revue Bar. [MORE...]

Goldfrapp Shake Tree for Box Set, Vinyl, "A&E;" Single
Is that an Olson twin on the album cover?

Plucked like a ripe fruit from the sturdy limbs of Goldfrapp's forthcoming Seventh Tree comes "A & E", the first single from the synthy sensations' forthcoming LP. The single emerges digitally February 3, with a physical release to follow February 11, both via Mute. It features remixes from the likes of Gui Boratto, Maps, and Hercules and Love Affair. I trust A&E's delightful Criss Angel pops up somewhere in the mix, too. That dude is a real mindfreak!

Seventh Tree drops on Mute February 25 in the UK and the following day in the States. And there are many ways you can take this Tree home with you: on CD, vinyl, or in a hoity-toity box set. The deluxe "mottled finished" box contains four art cards, a big old foldout poster, and a lyric book featuring recreations of Alison Goldfrapp's original handwritten verse. There's a DVD in the box as well, with a short film examining the growth of Seventh Tree and the recently Forkcasted video for “A & E”. The vinyl version is a gatefold, and, like the box, comes with a poster.

Al and Will have scheduled themselves a couple live engagements over the next few months, both in London. They did, however, throw a little tidbit in a recent MySpace blog post regarding "more exciting news to come." [MORE...]

Clinic Do It on New Album, Tour
Big Things Poppin'

Back with "an energized and increasingly psych-rock influenced sound" (sez a press release), the spookily surgical garage-rocking Liverpudlians of Clinic will issue Do It, their fifth LP, April 8 on Domino Records.

The disc will be preceded by the single for "Free Not Free" (wait, which is it?), which, along with B-side "Thor", will be available for free download-- complete with artwork-- through the band's website starting February 1. And here you thought the only cool schwag at the free Clinic were those glow-in-the-dark jimmy hats!

Clinic will begin accepting appointments for their bizarre brand of house calls beginning on Do It's release date, with a handful of UK dates preceding a hop over the pond for a North American trek in May. They'll preview their well-honed surgical skills over the radio a couple times before that, with a live session January 24 on Marc Riley's show on BBC Radio 6, and invite winners of a contest on their website to join them in Liverpool February 1 for a similar gig on Radio Merseyside.

Want the cold, sterile, cut-and-dry facts? They're all here, behind this thing. [MORE...]


Carla Bozulich's Evangelista Says Hello
Featuring Silver Mt. Zion members

Photo by Nicolas Amato

Carla Bozulich, onetime Geraldine Fibber and Ethyl Meatplow-er and half of Scarnella (with Wilco guitarist Nels Cline) has forged yet another path for herself and whoever she sees fit to join her. Evangelista, her latest musical endeavor, was christened after her 2006 solo LP of the same name.

Evangelista will issue Hello Voyager, its first full-length missive, March 11 on Constellation, with nine of Bozulich's tunes dressed up in beautiful noise courtesy of bandmates Tara Barnes and Shahzad Ismaily and members of A Silver Mt. Zion. The disc will arrive on CD and 180 gram LP, packaged in custom cardstock with a lyric sheet and paintings by Evangelista contributor Nadia Moss. [MORE...]


M. Ward/Zooey Deschanel Album Details Surface

Some nine months ago we made mention of a little bit of collaboration between gruff troubadour M. Ward and the silk to his sandpaper, actress/musician Zooey Deschanel.

Now it seems the unlikely get-together may come full circle as soon as March. According to an interview Deschanel gave January 6 with KCRW (via The Playlist), she and Ward have christened their act She and Him, and together they'll deliver a full-length titled Volume One at some point during the month of lions and lambs.

KCRW also mentions that Ward's label Merge will deliver the album, but that has not been confirmed by the label yet. And unless Matt and Zooey are pulling some Throbbing Gristle-esque fuckery on us, one can only assume the Volume One title means She and Him will be an ongoing project.

During the interview, KCRW played the She and Him songs "Sentimental Heart" and "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here", both lovely little ditties featuring Deschanel's vocals (but none of Ward's).

Deschanel also addressed the possibility of touring in the interview, saying, "I don't know if I will tour exactly, right when [the record] comes out, but I'm sure I will be doing that... to be cryptic about it." Part of the uncertainty may stem from the actress's rigorous filmmaking schedule; among other projects, she's reportedly playing Janis Joplin in the forthcoming feature Gospel According to Janis.

The two halves of She and Him performed together at this past Tuesday's "Songs of the City" event in Los Angeles (video here and here).

Ward has otherwise been quiet thus far in 2008, though he does have that Boston Pops gig to make up. No word just yet when that will happen, so those fixin' for that finger-pickin' will have to sate themselves with the man's contribution to the Natalie Portman-curated Big Change: Songs for FINCA charity compilation for now.

Meanwhile, the film that first brought Ward and Deschanel together, Martin Hynes' The Go-Getter, will play at the Sundance Film Festival next week.


Aluminum Group Wrap Happyness Trio With Little LP

With Little Happyness, a lengthy chapter in the tale of Chicago's chamber-poppy Aluminum Group comes to a close. The album is the third in the band's Happyness series, which began with 2002's Happyness and continued a couple years later on Morehappyness.

But don't let the title of this latest and last installment throw you: Little Happyness might be the heftiest offering from the Group yet. The set was co-produced by Tortoise's John McEntire and Prada designer Fabio Zambernardi. Guests include Dave Rothblatt from the Changes, Geri Soriano-Lightwood of Supreme Beings of Leisure, and "Biker Mice From Mars" voice actress Lisa Zane. No foolin'!

The disc emerges January 15 from Minty Fresh Records. [MORE...]

Why? Reveal New Album Details

Photo by Jacob Hand

Anticon genre-skippers (and aren't they all?) Why? have unveiled the tracklist of Alopecia, their third album and also the source of recent single "The Hollows".

Alopecia apparently showcases a pretty wide range of influences, and its songs were recorded mostly sampler-free as a live band. In addition to songwriter Yoni Wolf, Josiah Wolf, and Doug McDiarmid, that band has expanded to include Fog members Andrew Broder and Mark "Bear" Erickson.

Anticon will release Alopecia on March 11, with a European release on Tomlab to follow.

Why? have two shows scheduled soon, one in San Francisco on January 12 and another in L.A. three days later. [MORE...]

HEALTH, Crystal Castles Tour Dates Revealed

HEALTH photo by Kathryn Yu / Crystal Castles photo by Daniel Cantó

Mind those ears! Los Angeles squall-makers HEALTH and Toronto's madcap Crystal Castles are forging an international alliance of sonic assault on a long-promised North American tour, which kicks off February 21 at a "secret location" in the Ontarian capital. Perplexing!

The tour makes its way over a good chunk of the continent before landing back where it started at the end of the month. The following night, another gig in a city unbeknownst to us at yet another "secret location" will, again, take place. Now they're just messing with our heads.

Both bands have dates aplenty independent of the other, with HEALTH sticking to North American shores (with the likes of White Williams and Dan Deacon) and Crystal Castles sneaking over to Europe. Crystal Castles have promised UK dates for early February, but those have yet to be firmed up. And HEALTH plan to hit Europe once their North American plans wrap, though, again, that's a ways off.

Set in shiny stone (pun intended): Crystal Castles' forthcoming self-titled debut LP, which hits February 19 March 18 thanks to Last Gang Records . [MORE...]


British Sea Power Tour All Over

If you're still on the fence about this whole rock music business, British Sea Power are coming to help convince you to forge some new allegiances. The jaunty band plans to serve as ambassadors of all things rock on a lengthy international tour that kicks off in earnest in Belfast January 17.

The lads will hit the UK and Europe proper before making their way to North America for a little over a month, with planned pit stops at SXSW and San Francisco's Noise Pop festival. If you haven't grown fond of rock music by the time it's all over, it's probably not gonna happen. But don't give up hope: the band plans to announce a second leg of North American dates, perhaps as a way to make sure they haven't missed anybody with their rock'n'roll missionary work.

But this alone may be all the primer you'll need: Do You Like Rock Music? drops January 14 in the UK from Rough Trade and February 12 in the States from Rough Trade/World's Fair. [MORE...]

Low Tour, Retribution Gospel Choir Prep Debut LP

Photo by Tim Soter

The beat of Drums and Guns marches on, and it will carry Duluth's beloved digital grindcore trio Low around the world in the coming months.

In addition to previously squawked about stints at the Sydney Festival and a pair of ATP/Don't Look Back-sponsored events (where they'll melt face to the tune of 2001 scorcher Things We Lost in the Fire), Alan, Mimi, and Matt will bring their distinctive musical offerings to all corners of Australia this January.

Then, after a two-month nap, it's off to Northern Europe and the UK for another round of mind obliteration.

Perhaps not coincidentally, said two-month nap occurs around the release of Retribution Gospel Choir, the debut LP from, you guessed it, Retribution Gospel Choir. Hard to believe the Alan Sparhawk-led side project is only now serving up a proper release (after a couple tour EPs), but we swear it's the truth and nothing but.

Retribution Gospel Choir arrives March 18 on Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon man Mark Kozelek's Caldo Verde imprint, and was in fact produced by Mr. Kozelek himself. Joining Sparhawk on the release are drummer/back-up vocalist Eric Pollard and bassist Matt Livingston (also of Low). Low's Mimi Parker lends back-up vocals to a tune called "Breaker", and if that and "Take Your Time" sound familiar, it's because these RGC originals were also performed by Low on Drums and Guns. Share and share alike, we always say. [MORE...]

Annie Returns With New Single, Preps Album

Annie! Where the heck have you been, girl? Aw shucks, who even cares. What matters is you're back, and 2008 is quickly shaping up to be quite a year for you.

The gal who once jacked Pitchfork's collective "Heartbeat" up to dangerously high BPMs (before gnashing us up and spitting us out like so much "Chewing Gum") will herald her return to the dancefloor fore with a new single produced by long-time associate Richard X. According to X's "international production empire" website, Black Melody, Annie will tackle Stacey Q's 1986 dance hit "Two of Hearts" on the A-side, while the B will boast an original tune called "Songs Remind Me of You".

No word yet on a release date for the single, but Island Records UK will be responsible for making sure it gets to our turntables and iPods in a timely fashion. Don't let us down, you guys.

And where there's a single, can an album be far behind? A recent story on Bergen, Norway newspaper Tidende's website suggests Annie may have her Anniemal follow-up out as soon as April. (Thanks to contributing photographer Eirik Lande for the heads up and translation.) And an Annie rep has confirmed that the album is indeed being wrapped up pretty much as you read this. We won't hold our breaths, but we may have to see a cardiologist about those BPMs.
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