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Jason Isbell (ex-Drive-By Truckers) Does Big Tour

It's been a mighty strange 2007 for country rocker Jason Isbell, following his April exit from Drive-By Truckers and the release of his solo debut Sirens of the Ditch in July.

And after a year of big moves and bigger shakeups, Isbell's probably looking for a little consistency as he heads into 2008. What better way to do that than with a truly massive U.S. tour? After all, nothing lends a quality of stability to a feller like driving around in a van for three months straight.

Take special note of Isbell's January 12 date, as he'll perform at the opening night of the New York Guitar Festival's "Royal Albert Hall" event honoring Bob Dylan. [MORE...]
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Photos: Kevin Drew with Metric's Jimmy Shaw and Chikita Violenta [Mexico City, Mexico; 12/03/07]

Photos by © Toni Francois

Canada, meet Mexico. Mexico, Canada. Now how about a little jam?

Bridging the continent-spanning void that is the United States of America, Canada's Kevin Drew and Jimmy Shaw (Metric) linked up with Mexico's Chikita Violenta for a collaboration-heavy and supremely intimate gig this past Monday night at Mexico City's tiny Pata Negra.

A capacity crowd of perhaps 200 was treated to short sets from Drew/Shaw-- balancing Spirit If... songs and Broken Social Scene bangers proper-- and the Mexico City-based combo (if this collab and Chikita Violenta's music don't clue you in to these guys' BSS fanhood, know that they recorded their latest album with Dave Newfeld and named it The Stars and Suns Sessions).

To close out the evening, both acts united to premiere five all-new Kevin Drew compositions.

Drew returns to his native Canada tonight. He'll end 2007 with a run of gigs up north, then it's off to Japan for a spell in the new year.

KEVIN DREW and JIMMY SHAW








KEVIN DREW and JIMMY SHAW with CHIKITA VIOLENTA

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Antony Announces New Album Title, Bjork Video

Photo by Chico De Luigi

The December issue of HARP magazine features an interview with Antony Hegarty about the forthcoming third Antony and the Johnsons album. According to a post today on Antony's website, the album is called The Crying Light, and it'll come out on Secretly Canadian in the spring. Exciting!

In the interview, which can be viewed on Antony's site, he said that "a lot" of the 25 songs he tracked for the record "are just piano songs." He also explained the album is "a little more experimental structurally. But some of [the songs] are really normal... I'm hoping to weave things together so it will be a little more of a collage of songs."

Antony expanded the I Am a Bird Now follow-up's previously reported "ghosts and nature" theme to something a little broader: "It's about landscape and the future. I guess I'm thinking about those things a lot-- about the natural landscape of the world and the landscape inside each person. On my last record, everything was sort of sad and redemptive. And this one, it's more extreme in both directions. Some of the songs are much more joyful, and some of the songs are much less redemptive. And then some of the songs are more thoughtful-- more philosophical. I think this record is just about sitting with things."

HARP reports three of The Crying Light's song titles as "Her Eyes Underneath the Ground", "Give My Name", and "Everglade".

In other Antony news, it turns out he guests on not one but four songs on the forthcoming Hercules and Love Affair album. He also joined Björk in the studio recently to film a music video for their Volta duet "Dull Flame of Desire". And in the December 1 issue of England's The Guardian newspaper, Antony wrote an article appreciating the work of late photographer Peter Hujar, who is the subject of a retrospective currently on view at London's Institute of Contemporary Art. Hujer's photograph "Candy Darling on Her Death Bed" was the image on the cover of I Am a Bird Now.

Thanks to reader Paul Gabrielli for the tip.
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Silver Jews Reveal Lookout Tracklist, 2008 Live Plans

From a tentative rundown of song names to a definite (if rulebreaking) title to now a full tracklist, a slightly firmer release date, and some talk of live plans: information about the Silver Jews' forthcoming album Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea just keeps flowing forth, like bon mots from David Berman's brain. Berman recently spoke to Billboard.com about the Drag City release, and now we're all a little closer to getting a good read on Lookout Mountain.

Indeed, some (but not all) of those tracks Berman listed back in July made the cut, supplemented with other tunes written over a seven month period earlier this year. The album was recorded both at Nashville's Lake Fever Productions and Lexington, Virginia's Marble Valley. The Silver Jews touring band, including bassist (and Berman's wife) Cassie, appears on the record, as do Jews alums Peyton Pinkerton, William Tyler, Tony Crow, and Brian Kotzur.

The disc now not only drops in April, but late April at that. (No definite release date yet, though.) And, as Berman told Billboard, Lookout Mountain is "really different" from previous Silver Jews LPs "in that the songs have more epic settings. They are faux-heroic. Or rather foe-heroic." Joker. Berman added, "the music is never hard rock. Every song has a function or meaning that you could sum up in a few words."

Berman also alluded to some concert plans for the once tour-shy band, including stops at All Tomorrow's Parties events in England and Spain. First up is the Explosions in the Sky-curated ATP taking place May 16-18 at Butlins Holiday Centre in Minehead, England.

As reported by Billboard, Berman himself will appear sans Jews at Washington, D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery of Art on February 28 to speak at an exhibition of the work of late visual artist Jeremy Blake. And, lest you forgot, Berman's contribution to the Rare Book Room compilation emerges February 26. [MORE...]

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Earth Return With New Album, Live Dates

Sounds as if drone-metal pioneers Earth will take "a harder, more rock and American Gospel-oriented, and improvisational direction" on The Bee Made Honey in the Lion's Skull, their forthcoming LP, due February 26 from Southern Lord.

Joined by guitarist Bill Frisell on three tracks and new bassist Don McGreevy throughout, the band follows up this year's Hibernaculum with a disc that reportedly sports "truly psychedelic production and blazing guitar sounds."

Earth have a smattering of shows through the month of December, highlighted by a stop at Portishead's forthcoming ATP-sponsored Nightmare Before Christmas and a punishing New Year's Eve with Neurosis. [MORE...]
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M.A.N.D.Y. Craft Fabric 38 With Boratto, Booka Shade

When they met as German teenagers with a shared affinity for Chicago house, could electronic duo and Get Physical label co-chiefs M.A.N.D.Y. (Patrick Bodmer and Philipp Jung) have dreamed they'd be asked to craft their own mix for London's Fabric club and record concern?

Probably not, since those things weren't around back then. But the London club's famed compilation series has quite a storied history of its own, to which M.A.N.D.Y. are proud to offer the 38th chapter.

The M.A.N.D.Y.-crafted Fabric 38 mix gathers a couple dozen of the group's fave raves, including tracks from Gui Boratto and fellow Get Physical chief Booka Shade, plus a remix from Matthew Dear's Audion and so much more. Keeping with Fabric tradition, the guys slide a new track of their own in the mix, titled "Don't Stop".

The group describes the disc as "subtle" and in posession of a "really nice flow" between its tracks, which should, says M.A.N.D.Y., "make you move your butt." That remains to be seen until the disc emerges in the UK and the rest of the world January 14, though it won't hit the U.S. until February 12.

If these M.A.N.D.Y. mixes seem right up your alley, don't forget about the career-spanning one we reported on late in August. Or, if you're seeking a little facetime with the two gentlemen of M.A.N.D.Y., they have a handful of live dates to close out 2007, both together and apart. First up, fittingly enough: a stop at London's Fabric. [MORE...]
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Photos: Deerhoof with Ken Kagami [Miami, FL; 12/04/07]

With their herky-jerky, topsy-turvy take on pop, Deerhoof have been known to make mashed potatoes of listeners' ears. And last night, thanks to artist Ken Kagami, they made gravy of our eyes too.

As previously reported, Deerhoof and Kagami teamed at Miami's Ice Palace Film Studios to present a unique and fruit-ful multimedia collaborative piece based on Kagami's character Milk Man-- cover star of the Deerhoof album of the same name-- to patrons of the NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) Art Fair. Japan-based Gallery Sora, which arranged this meeting of warped minds, shared these photos from the hyperactive happening. And yes, that's Kagami himself clowning around in the all-white Milk Man getup.

Deerhoof continue their aural assault through two more December gigs, while guitarist John Dieterich joins members of Xiu Xiu and others for an improvised set in Oakland tomorrow night.






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Radiohead Freeloading to End December 10
Philosophical proposition: doesn't everything they do count as "doing a Radiohead"?

It seems all good things really must come to an end, even potentially free downloads of albums that change the face of everything everywhere forever and ever, amen. That is, Radiohead will turn the lights out on the pay-what-you-will download option for In Rainbows on December 10, according to a post made on their Dead Air Space blog today. The band has also ended production of In Rainbows discboxes; they will only be available via the band's w.a.s.t.e. online store until the current supply is exhausted.

But don't worry, we can all still get our hands on the physical release of In Rainbows on New Year's Eve (via XL everywhere but the U.S.) or New Year's Day (via TBD/ATO in the U.S.).

And finally (yeah right), according to a report from Radiohead fan site Ateaseweb (and confirmed by the label), it turns out that the Parlophone/EMI-spearheaded box set of the band's first seven records will come with access to a stream of Radiohead's performance at Eurockéennes in Belfort, France from July 4, 2003. Perhaps not coincidentally, the set comes out December 10, the day the downloads die. [MORE...]

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Art Brut Line Up 2008 Dates

Photo by Joseph Mohan

If Eddie Argos were a more persuasive fellow, there would be no stages left for his Art Brut; all the bands who formed at his urging would clog the live music scene of the world in his wake, making things like scheduling an Art Brut tour darn near impossible. Nice, then, that Eddie's powers of persuasion appear limited to causing others to rock the heck out.

And nicer still that there are stages aplenty upon which Art Brut can step and proceed to give the kids the goods. Art Brut's world tour will make its way to Australia for a few days later this month before kicking off anew late in January in the UK. Spain and Italy will get their shots at the meta-rock right as the tour grinds to a halt in early March.

And, lest you forget to check yr list twice, the Christmas single Argos and Black Box Recorder cut under the name the Black Arts is due December 10 in a limited edition. Heck, if you're not gonna form these bands, Eddie's just gonna have to do it for you. [MORE...]
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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.


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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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