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Polaris Prize Goes to Arcad-- WTF? Patrick Watson?!
We're as surprised as you are

The votes are in, and the winner of this year's Polaris Music Prize-- along with $20,000 big ones and the respect and adulation of his Canadian countrypeople-- Patrick Watson's album Close to Paradise. Yeah.

Paradise beat Arcade Fire's Neon Bible, Feist's The Reminder, The Besnard Lakes' The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse, Junior Boys' So This Is Goodbye, Julie Doiron's Woke Myself Up, Chad VanGaalen's Skelliconnection, Miracle Fortress' Five Roses, The Dears' Gang of Losers, and Joel Plaskett Emergency's Ashtray Rock to claim the title of "BEST CANADIAN MUSIC OF 2007 EVER." Guess Canadians like this guy?

Mr. Watson follows in the fleet footsteps of Mr. Owen Pallett, whose He Poos Clouds record under the Final Fantasy guise took the top honor last year.


Photos: Bunny Meets Les Savy Fav

About a month ago, a little girl entered Les Savy Fav's video contest for "The Equestrian" and showed us all how an awesome video could be made with little more than a bottle of peroxide, a heavy dose of pep, and a room full of stuffed animals.

Well, her "in the key of Bunny" entry (it seems Bunny is the girl's name) won that contest, and for her troubles, she and director B.A. Miale (the redheaded woman in the pictures) got a trophy, one thousand bucks, and the chance to appear on stage with LSF.

Jamie Goodridge, Bunny's mother, documented the whole extravaganza with some excellent photographs on her MySpace blog, and they are below for your viewing pleasure.

For LSF tour dates, check out our photos of the band from earlier today.



White Magic Thank Their Lucky Dark Stars on EP
Satan says, "You're welcome."

Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg

Like their music, White Magic's sorcery is a low-key affair. We're talking Level 1 Wicca stuff, Level 2 at the most. So for the follow-up to their 2006 debut full-length, Dat Rosa Mel Apibus, instead of gathering all the ingredients for a new LP (eye of newt is so expensive nowadays!), they've crafted a little EP they call Dark Stars.

Chicago's trusty Drag City will release the EP in both CD and 12" formats on October 23. But White Magic will cross paths with the City of Broad Shoulders even sooner through their September 26 performance at the Empty Bottle, as part of The Wire's previously reported Adventures in Modern Music festival.

The arrival of October will also bring two other new White Magic tracks. The first is "New Egypt", which is featured on a limited edition Southern Records Latitudes compilation that comes out in the UK on October 8. UPDATE: "New Egypt" is not coming out out on a compilation. Rather, it is going to be released as a single in Southern's Latitudes series.

The other is a cover of Bob Dylan's "As I Went Out One Morning", member Mira Billotte's contribution to the soundtrack of Dylan biopic I'm Not There. That soundtrack comes out on October 30 via Columbia. [MORE...]


James Blackshaw Tours With Jose Gonzalez

Perhaps you overlooked James Blackshaw's fantastic fingerpick-and-feedback opus The Cloud of Unknowing when it emerged in early June. Shucks, you wouldn't be alone: even we put it on our Overlooked Records 2007 list. But if you're planning to step out in style for an earful of subdued Swedish sighs on José González's forthcoming U.S. tour, you may become immediately ingratiated to young Mr. Blackshaw doing his thing.

Nah, James is no crazed González groupie: he's opening for José on a good bit of the songster's forthcoming solo dates, both in the States and the UK. James'll really let the white noise roll on a few gigs of his own he's got lined up in between stops on the González express. It all begins September 27 in NYC. [MORE...]

Akron/Family Robbed
Pictured: Akron/Family, Megafaun, Greg Davis, and the van in happier times

Ripping off one dude is pretty cold-blooded, but jacking a whole family? That's all kinds of lame. Folkie fam Akron/Family, Megafaun and Greg Davis-- presently touring in tandem-- returned to their vans following last night's gig in Toronto to find they'd been relieved of these items:

1 Deering Siera Banjo with Hard Case, Dark and a Pick-up
1 Reverend 6-String (Olive Green, Semi-Hollow) in TKL Case
1 Fender Jaguar Baritone 6 String Sun Burst
1 Minidisc recorder in grey bag

According to Pitchfork contributor Grayson Currin (currently on tour with Akron/Family), the equipment was stolen from the bands' vans in Toronto, near the Spadina roundabout. Anyone with any information about the stolen goods can call (715) 864-1972 or e-mail either or

All shows will go on as planned, although expect a stern lecture on the value of personal property to precede each one. Full dates after the jump. [MORE...]

T.V. Eye: September 24-30, 2007

Live music on TV this week:

Monday, September 24:

NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Rilo Kiley
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Kanye West (rerun)

Tuesday, September 25:

NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Jamie T
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Sea Wolf

Wednesday, September 26:

NBC: The Tonight Show With Jay Leno: Bright Eyes
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: the National
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Patton Oswalt, Devendra Banhart
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Chamillionaire with Slick Rick

Thursday, September 27:

NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Bjork

Friday, September 28:

FUEL: The Daily Habit: Earlimart
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Jose Gonzalez

Saturday, September 29:

PBS: Austin City Limits: Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley (rerun)
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Kanye West

Highwheel Records Drops A Place to Bury Strangers

Just three weeks ago, we reported that NYC noize dreamers A Place to Bury Strangers had signed a deal with Chicago label Highwheel Records. Congratulations all around. The band planned to record a follow-up to their new self-titled LP this December.

But this weekend, Highwheel sent out a press release stating that they had dropped the band. "We wish them luck" was all they had to say.

What happened? According to APTBS manager Steven Matrick, it was a timing issue. Highwheel wanted the band to hit the studio in December and have a new album ready as quickly as possible. The band wanted to spend six to eight months touring and promoting A Place to Bury Strangers, and then begin recording a new record. "[Highwheel owner Julius Moriarty] wasn't willing to wait," Matrick said. "Then he sent out a press release saying he dropped us. So we didn't know that he dropped us; we found that out through the press release."

Moriarty said, "That's a very simplified version of everything. It was way more complicated than that. We don't mind bands promoting things that will make them successful; it wasn't an issue. I just don't think that the band and the label were quite seeing eye to eye on some things."

He confirmed that APTBS will be released from their contract with Highwheel. "They are free for the market," he said.

Moriarty added, "We all love each other, we're all still really good friends." [MORE...]

Photos: White Williams Tour Diary Part 2

Welcome to the second dispatch from the Girl Talk/Dan Deacon/White Williams tour photo diary extravaganza, covering days 6-8 and spanning Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C.

As with the last one, these photos and captions come straight from the eye and pen of Williams. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this installment is brought to you by the word "colorful".

Still more pretty pictures to come, stay tuned!

Day 6: Philadelphia, September 17, 2007

Joe smiles at the color bars projected for testing on the White Williams visuals.

Joe basks in the insanity of artwork made by our friend Chelsea.

Chelsea's mother presents us with her suspicions of the tour.

Chelsea's mother had a 180lb Bullmastiff named Sullivan.

Sex Tape "Definitely Not" Meg White

As you might have read on other websites, over the weekend, a video surfaced on the internet featuring a woman having sex. SHOCKA! This woman happened to have black hair and look a tad like White Stripes drummer Meg White. Lucky for her-- Meg is a very beautiful woman.

However, the woman in the video is not Meg White.

Hear that? IT'S NOT MEG WHITE.

Here's a statement from the White Stripes' publicist: "Some people have a very twisted sense of humor and this prank is in particularly bad taste. The tape circulating on the internet as featuring Meg White is fake. It’s definitely not Meg."

Get on with your lives, people.

Photos: Rufus Wainwright [Los Angeles, CA; 09/23/07]

Photos by Akmal Naim

Rufus Wainwright wrapped up his Judy Garland tribute tour this weekend at Los Angeles' famed Hollywood Bowl, performing a whole set of the late diva's hits. Wainwright was joined for a number of songs by his sister Martha, their mother Kate McGarrigle, and Garland's daughter Lorna Luft (sadly, no Lizas to be found).

After breezing through a set of Broadway tunes and Wizard of Oz soundtrack selections, Rufus channeled Garland's spirit more directly, strolling out for the encore in stiletto heels, stockings, and lipstick. (Alas, photographers had been ushered out of the photo pit long before that.)

For the rest of the show, the campy crooner slipped into a tiger-stripe bathrobe and slippers, then popped a couple Benzedrine and passed out under the arches of the outdoor amphitheatre.

Okay, just kidding about the drugs, but he seriously did wear a bathrobe.

More photos and tour dates below.



Jesus & Mary Chain Record New Song, Add More Dates

Photo by Eirik Lande

Baby steps, guys, baby steps. First, do a little side project quasi-reunion thing to generate some pre-reunion rumor buzz. Then make your big comeback at Coachella, toss in a little Scarlett Johansson, play "Letterman" and a few more scattered reunion gigs, tease us about a possible new album, confirm a studio rendezvous, and then, then, you guessed it, release a brand new song. On a soundtrack. For a TV show.

On their slow, steady path to becoming a bona fide active band again, the Jesus and Mary Chain have announced another stepping stone: the release of their first recording together in some 10 years. Titled (ironically?) "All Things Must Pass", this is the new JAMC jam they played on "Late Show With David Letterman" back in May. Now it's set to appear on the upcoming soundtrack to the NBC television program "Heroes", due in mid-January 2008 with, one hopes, a new JAMC album soon after.

The brothers Reid have added a couple dates to their all-too-brief fall itinerary. Soulsavers/Mark Lanegan fans should take note, however, as their beloved are no longer opening. Appropriately, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have stepped to the plate for one of the gigs, with more support acts to be announced soon. [MORE...]

Photos: The Mountain Goats / Bowerbirds [Baltimore, MD; 09/21/07]

Photos by Kyle Gustafson

Ever in need of greener musical pastures upon which to graze, the Mountain Goats began yet another migration across North America recently, one that brought them to Baltimore's Sonar this past Friday.

Another of Earth's gentle beasts, North Carolina's Bowerbirds, warmed the stage for a spirited John Darnielle and Peter Hughes with tunes off their debut, Hymns for a Dark Horse (out now on Pitchfork contributor Grayson Currin's Burly Time imprint). Perhaps they should have named this tour Creature Comforts 2007?

The pairing roams into Buffalo (ha!) tonight. Dates and more photos a mere scroll and click away.



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Do you have a news tip for us? Anything crazy happen at a show you attended recently? Do you have inside info on the bands we cover? Is one of your favorite artists (that's not somebody you know personally) releasing a new record you'd like to see covered? You will remain completely anonymous, unless we are given your express permission to reveal your identity. (Please note that publicists, managers, booking agents, and other artist representatives are generally exempt from this rule, but will also be granted anonymity if requested.)


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