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Nick Lowe Reissues, Expands Jesus of Cool

Nick Lowe was all about embracing his elder statesman status this year, releasing an album called At My Age and rocking his distinguished white mane on tour. But next year marks the 30th anniversary of the man's debut, Jesus of Cool, and on February 19, he'll get a little nostalgic with a reissue of the record on Yep Roc.

Jesus of Cool has been out of print for some time, and it was originally issued in the U.S. under the name Pure Pop for Now People with a tweaked tracklist. The reissue restores the original title and tracklist on CD, double vinyl, and download. It comes with 10 rare bonus tracks as extras, and the package also features a booklet with memorabilia (hopefully more things like the ridiculous vintage pic at left) and an essay by Will Birch.

Lowe has no immediate plans to return to the road just yet. [MORE...]
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The Futureheads Reunite With the Road

The Futureheads really are all about the future recently. Exhibit A: They leaked "Broke Up the Time", with all those forget-about-the-past lyrics, as a taste of their forthcoming follow-up to News and Tributes.

Exhibit B: Still label-less in the UK, the Futureheads are gearing up to release the record themselves, and that means promotion, which means tour dates. So the band has gone ahead and scheduled a tour of the UK for January. It begins in London on the 16th.

In the more immediate future, they have a pair of dates in their hometown of Sunderland just around the corner. [MORE...]
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The Moldy Peaches Reunite for Juno Premiere

Few things bring people together like the miracle of teen pregnancy. And nothing, at least in this particular story, brings broken up bands back together like a movie about the miracle in question soundtracked by the band in question. For those who somehow missed the headline, we're talking, of course, about the Moldy Peaches and forthcoming flick Juno.

The Peaches-- fronted by Kimya Dawson and Adam Green-- reconvened last night (December 3) in Los Angeles at the premiere of Juno for their second show since more of less parting ways a few years back. Juno's PR department passed along a couple photos from the gig.

That "second" up there is no typo, as Dawson and Green also dusted off some old Peaches jams at L.A.'s the Smell the night before.

Juno, as you may have read, features many a Moldy Peach and Kimya Dawson solo tune on its soundtrack and in the film itself. Those tunes were selected in large part by Juno star Ellen Page, who portrays the titular character and who talked to Pitchfork late last month. "The Moldy Peaches' music...is full of so much heart and so much simplicity and it's so genuine," Page explained then. "It's really unique and it's quirky and all of those things, but it has heart to balance that. And that's one of the reasons why I always loved their music."

A review of the December 2 show that appeared on blog The Rawking Refuses to Stop! notes that Green and Dawson did not make mention of a tour or permanent reunion during their show, but that Dawson has altered her website to state she is a member of the Moldy Peaches, rather than was. That's hope enough to chew on for now.

Kimya will continue trolling California on tour, while Adam, perhaps suspiciously, has nothing planned at the moment. Makes you wonder...

The aforementioned Juno soundtrack, meanwhile, hits digital shops December 11 and physical ones January 15 via Rhino.


[MORE...]
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The Breeders Return With Mountain Battles

Mountain Battles, the first LP from those Deal sisters and their Breeders since 2002's Title TK, will be released on 4AD April 7 in the UK and the following day in the U.S. Recorded off and on over several years and as many locales, with recording assistance from the likes of Steve Albini, Erika Larson, and Manny Nieto, the disc sports a baker's dozen of Daytonian pop blasts, including the recently Forkcasted "We're Gonna Rise". Drummer Jose Medeles and bassist Mando Lopez, who played on Title TK, also appear on Mountain Battles.

Kim recently spoke with Rolling Stone about the album, on which she claims to have done "a little more with overdubs" than on the band's sparser back catalog (we're gonna assume Albini wasn't involved with that sordid business). Generally balking at that sort of unnatural adornment, Deal says she threw caution to the wind with Mountain Battles, occasionally deciding, "let's have a guitar part that obviously nobody in the band can be playing right now." Kelly apparently sings a passable cover of the Spanish-language song "Regalame Esta Noche" despite a complete lack of fluency in said tongue, while Kim takes her linguistic passport to Germany on "German Studies".

As if a new Breeders album wasn't enough, full U.S., UK, and European tours are in the works for next year, including a spate of shows at this spring's South by Southwest festival, Toronto's Canadian Music Week and, yes, an appearance at Coachella. All those dates have yet to be firmed up, but you folks just got a Coachella confirmation, so I'm sure you've got plenty to talk about in the meantime.

The Deals do have one date on the way, though you'd better hurry: Kim and Kelley will make an appearance tonight (12/4) in Chicago at the Second City's "Letters to Santa" benefit for needy children. [MORE...]

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Destroyer Brings Trouble in Dreams on New Album

It's time to break out the Destroyer handbooks again, as Dan Bejar will release the eighth full-length under the name on March 18 via Merge in the U.S. (Rough Trade will release it in the UK and Europe.)

Called Trouble in Dreams, the Destroyer's Rubies follow-up is sure to feature plenty of references to geography, the natural world, and Bejar's own songs. Bottoms up!

Destroyer will stir up Trouble on tour next spring and summer.

In other Bejar band news, that Hello, Blue Roses/Frog Eyes split single came out today, December 4, via Absolutely Kosher. As previously reported, Hello, Blue Roses' debut album is due out on Locust January 22. [MORE...]
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Blue Note Collects Classic Hip-Hop Sample Material

As the 80s turned into the 90s, the sharp, sparse, clattering electro of hip-hop pioneers like Eric B & Rakim and Run-D.M.C. gave way to a smoother sound lifted largely from the jazz-funk of roughly two decades previous.

That horn-and-organ soaked boom bap largely made up the sound of the groovy Native Tongues hip-hop that flourished in the period: A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and others. The source material for classic tracks from these formidable acts and a mess of others is collected on Droppin' Science: Greatest Samples From the Blue Note Lab, due February 12 on veteran jazz label Blue Note.

The disc includes ten classic cuts (with three bonus tracks on the LP/downloadable version) from the likes of Grant Green, Donald Byrd, Lonnie Smith, and others. In addition to the compilation, a series of ringtones based on the looped samples will also be issued. So now there's no excuse to keep that friggin' "Sex and the City" song. [MORE...]
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Mike Ladd Sends Nostalgialator Stateside via Def Jux

To our European friends, this may be a bit of a Nostalgialator in and of itself: academically accomplished rapper Mike Ladd's latest LP, Nostalgialator, is due from Def Jux January 15. The disc, co-produced by Brooklyn's Scotty Hard (Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers), has been out for a minute now in Europe on !K7, but this will be its first time on North American shores in an unimported fashion. [MORE...]
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R.I.P. UGK's Pimp C

Pimp C, legendary rapper/producer of Houston-based rap duo UGK, was found dead in a Hollywood hotel room this morning, according to TMZ.com. Born Chad Butler, the unmistakable, charismatic wordsmith was 33. TMZ reports that L.A. firefighters responded to a 911 call at the Sunset Strip's Mondrian Hotel, where they found the rapper dead in his bed. No information on cause of death has been given at this time.

Formed some 20 years ago by longtime friends Butler and Bernard "Bun B" Freeman, UGK are largely responsible for the deliberate, loping Houston sound further pioneered by the duo's good friend, the late Robert "DJ Screw" Davis. Pimp C spent from 2002 to 2005 incarcerated in a Texas prison on an aggravated assault charge, leading to the ubiquitous "Free Pimp C" rallying cry throughout the hip-hop industry.

UGK spent much of the '00s away from the studio, but were enjoying a banner 2007 with the release of the stellar, sprawling Underground Kingz LP and its triumphant, Outkast-boosted single "International Player's Anthem".

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Hersh, Donelly on All-Female Neil Young Tribute CD
Along with the Watson Twins, Britta Phillips, Elk City, Veruca Salt

The title of the forthcoming Cinnamon Girl - Women Artists Cover Neil Young for Charity pretty much hits all the bullet points: over two discs and 21 tracks, female artists and lady-fronted acts like Tanya Donelly, Britta Phillips, the Watson Twins, Elk City, and Kristin Hersh tackle classic tunes from Neil Young's 1969-1979 recordings.

It bears mentioning that tribute contributor Jill Sobule (who, with this piece, somehow makes her second appearance in Pitchfork News today) cheats a bit by joining John Doe of X/Knitters fame for a take on "Down by the River". (Phillips, however, appears sans frequent partner in crime Dean Wareham.)

The disc will be available worldwide from American Laundromat Recordings starting February 12, though for a limited time, it can be purchased on the ALR website; U.S. fans can also grab the set on iTunes right now. Proceeds from the disc go to Casting for Recovery, a program for women afflicted with breast cancer that offers support, education, and fly fishing retreats (no joke!).

American Laundromat are all about the tribute these days, with last month's release of Dig for Fire, their Pixies set. In other dispatches from the weird world of Neil, he's currently out on tour in support of his new LP, Chrome Dreams II. [MORE...]
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New Autechre Album Due in March

Pioneering British electronic duo Autechre will release Quaristice, their ninth LP together, March 3 on Warp. The disc is Rob Brown and Sean Booth's first since 2005's Untilted, and, though we haven't heard the disc yet, we're pretty sure one gander at their gloriously fucked MySpace oughta give first time Autechre listeners some visual cues as to what they've been missing. That's just about all we're getting from Autechre for now, who have nothing in the way of live engagements at the moment. Just relax your eyes, gaze into the void and await further instruction...
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Merge Bundles Big Dipper Albums Into Remastered Set

It seems like the late 80s and early 90s are littered with great indie/college rock bands awaiting rediscovery in the aughts.

Just last year, Matador rescued Chavez from semi-obscurity by reissuing the band's entire catalog with a few bonus tracks and videos. Next year, Merge will do much the same for Big Dipper, the Boston band that released two albums (Heavens and Craps) and an EP (Boo-Boo) on the respected Homestead label.

The Merge release is a three-CD set of remastered tunes called called Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology, and it comes out on March 18. It includes all three of the band's Homestead releases, nine bonus tracks, a video, and an entire previously unreleased album of recordings from Big Dipper's latter days titled A Very Loud Array.

All of the songs on Supercluster were remastered from the original tapes, and the set also includes liner notes with historical/biographical info from the members of Big Dipper themselves. In fact, just about the only thing that the anthology doesn't cover is the band's 1990 Epic/CBS album Slam.

To celebrate their re-entry into the indie public's consciousness, Big Dipper's original lineup will reunite for some East Coast shows in April (exact dates TBA), with the potential for Midwest gigs to follow. [MORE...]
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Morrissey Brings the Pain to NME Via Blog
"I had no reason whatsoever to assume that they could be anything other than devious, truculent and unreliable. In the event, they have proven to be all three."

Photo by Alissa Anderson

Last week, an interview with Morrissey appeared in the British music magazine NME. In it, a quote was printed that suggested that Morrissey believed that England had lost some of its national character due to the influx of non-English-speaking immigrants. But according to the mope-rock legend, his words were twisted and presented out of context by the publication. Moz demanded a printed apology, but wasn't given one. So he and his lawyers are suing the NME and its editor, Conor McNicholas, for defamation.

Today, Morrissey released a rather lengthy statement to the UK's Guardian, the full text of which is available here (via True to You.) To begin, Morrissey offers this denouncement: "I believe they have deliberately tried to characterise me as a racist in a recent interview I gave them in order to boost their dwindling circulation. Racism is beyond common sense and I believe it has no place in our society." He then offers his take on the events surrounding the interview and the fallout, castigating the NME for their journalistic practices. And oh man, can he bring it.

On interviewer Tim Jonze: "I do not mean to be rude to Tim Jonze, but when I first caught sight of him I assumed that someone had brought their child along to the interview. The runny nose told the whole story. Conor had assured that Tim was their best writer. Talking behind his hands and in endless fidget, Tim accepted every answer I gave him with a schoolgirl giggle, and repeatedly asked me if I was shocked at how little he actually knew about music. I told him that, yes, I was shocked."

On NME: "I had no reason whatsoever to assume that they could be anything other than devious, truculent and unreliable. In the event, they have proven to be all three... Readers have been driven away by a magazine with no insides. The narrow cast of repeated subjects sets off the agony, a mesmerizing mess of very brief and dispassionate articles unable to make thought evolve...

On McNicholas: "A marooned editor who holds the divine right to censor any views that clash with his own... It is true that the magazine is ailing badly in the marketplace, but Conor doesn't understand how the relentless stream of 'cheers mate, got pissed last night, ha ha' interviews that clutter every single issue of the 'new' NME are simply not interesting to those of us who have no trouble standing upright... Conor has accidentally exposed himself as deceitful, malicious, intolerant and Morrissey-ist - all the ists and isms that he claims to oppose... The magazine's publishers, IPC have appointed Conor as the editor of the 'new' NME, and there he remains, ready to drag them into expensive legal battles such as the one they now face with me due to Conor's personal need to mis-state, misreport, misquote, misinterpret, falsify, and incite the bloodthirsty. Here is proof that the 'new' NME will twist and pervert the views of any singer or musician who'd dare step into the interview ring. To such artists, I wish them well, but I would advise you to bring your lawyer along to the interview."

Morrissey also reveals that he has partnered with the Love Music Hate Racism campaign for his forthcoming tour.

In slightly less tumultuous Morrissey news, he recently signed a deal with Polydor/Decca for his forthcoming album and greatest hits collection, and he'll step out for a handful of tour stops early next year. A few new dates have been added to the itinerary since we reported them last, thanks to True to You. [MORE...]

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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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File-icon Fri: 01-18-08: 07:00 AM CST
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YACHT Designs Clever Sleeves for New MacBook Air

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Thurston Moore Soundtracks Adult DVD (Possibly NSFW)

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