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Radiohead, NIN to Top Lollapalooza 2008 Bill?

Lollapalooza 2008 hits Chicago's Grant Park August 1-3, and it's looking like this year's fest has gone to the gloomy and the angry. A report on Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot's blog Turn It Up indicates that frequently unnerved Radiohead and perennially angsty Nine Inch Nails will be the guests of honor at Perry Farrell's next party.

According to Kot, "industry sources have confirmed that Radiohead has been booked as the centerpiece of the festival," not terribly surprising given all of Thom Yorke and company's other planned festival activity. Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails will occupy two of the fest's three nightly headlining spots, and it's doubtful anyone will bat an eyelash if Jack Johnson winds up with the third one.

Representatives for Radiohead
and Lollapalooza have not yet responded to requests for confirmation. UPDATE: Both bands and Lollapalooza say that nothing can be confirmed at this time.

Foals Add Dates, Open for R.E.M.

Photo by Nilina Mason-Campbell

Though they hail from Oxford, England, pretty young things Foals haven't been shy about their overtures toward North American audiences. They're dropping their Antidotes on this side of the pond April 8 via Sub Pop (March 24 on Transgressive in the UK, lest you thought they'd forgotten their home completely), and despite a total lack of citizenship on their part, they've already endorsed a candidate for the presidency of the United States.

Soon, they'll do a little campaigning of their own, heading to North America in late April after some six weeks on the road in Europe. There are plenty of newly-added dates around the globe besides, including some in Japan, even more U.S. and Canadian gigs later in May, and a coveted slot opening for R.E.M. in London on March 24. Citizens of the world, these Foals. [MORE...]

Shellac Announce Rare Tour

The typical "record, release, tour, repeat" schedule has never played too well with the dudes in Shellac, but if their willingness to busy up their schedules for the first half of 2008 holds through the second half, Steve, Bob and Todd are gonna have an uncharacteristically productive year.

Shellac's next move is to South America, where they'll head later this month for a weeklong tour. The infrequent travelers must've grown some sealegs over the winter holiday, as they'll follow a month-long break after the South American dates with a trip to Europe in May and a lone French date in June.

After that, who knows? Another record, perhaps-- a follow-up to 2007's excellent Excellent Italian Greyhound? Holding one's breath is inadvisable in this matter.

Also, this is so awesome (Via Chicagoist / The Rich Girls Are Weeping):



Epic Hugeness of a Muse Show, Coming to CD/DVD
Subscription to Harp magazine, AARP membership not included with purchase

London's Wembley Stadium is a big-ass place, and it takes an awfully big-ass band to fill it. On two consecutive evenings last June, a big-ass (some more delicate writers might opt for "epic") band by the name of Muse sold out the 75,000-capacity Wembley. And now, those two big-ass concerts have become one big-ass CD/DVD set. They're calling it HAARP, and it's due March 17 in the UK and April 1 in the U.S. on Warner Brothers Records.

The CD was lifted from their gig June 16 of 2007, while the DVD documents the following night's work. In another fine big-ass band tradition, the setlists don't seem to change too much from one night to the next, and the set favors more recent material over their pre-Absolution days. Still, it's a whole lotta Muse, without the annoying half-hour queue for a pee.

And, hey, it would only be appropriate to line up some high profile live dates to coincide with the concert release, eh, gents? Indeed. Muse will head to the United Arab Emirates and South Africa in March before their set at a Teenage Cancer Trust benefit gig in London come April. They'll also headline both days of England's V Festival in August.

They plan to craft their fifth proper LP, the follow up to 2006's Black Holes and Revelations, for a 2008 release. Do it big, Muse. [MORE...]


Merge Launches Digital Music Store
Kicks off with exclusive/out-of-print releases from Superchunk, the Rosebuds

One of the most reliable names in quality indie rock has taken the plunge into the 00s. Merge Records-- home of releases from Arcade Fire, Spoon, Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel, M. Ward, Caribou, the Clientele, Camera Obscura, Destroyer, and label founders Superchunk, among so many others-- launched its very own digital music store this week.

Releases available from the Merge digital store will come in high quality MP3 and CD-quality FLAC file formats, and soon, the label will offer full album art and liner notes as well.

In addition to its recent, classic, and readily available physical releases in digital form, Merge will be littering the store with new, exclusive, and out-of-print material.

The first such goodie is Superchunk's out-of-print 2002 live compilation The Clambakes Series Vol. 1: Acoustic In-Stores East & West, which hit the store this week. Then in April, the store will play exclusive host to a free Rosebuds remix album, featuring remixes of every tune on last year's Night of the Furies.

RTX Hit the Road
Jennifer Herrema to appear in Alia Raza film with Kim Gordon

OMG, RTX! WTF? I hear you had to cancel a bunch of dates after guitarist Brian McKinley broke his hand! Ah, but the bones are mended, and you're ready to rock anew? Splendid. And you're already doing so! Man, even better.

Former Royal Truxer Jennifer Herrema's long-running jamfest set off on a little March tour earlier this week, with plans to cover quite a bit of ground before the month is up. Like a lot of bands, they'll be bakin' in the heat at South by Southwest, and like a lot of rockers, Herrema herself will appear (alongside Kim Gordon, Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark, and others) in Alia Raza's short film Pure White Light.

And now, RTX, CYA. [MORE...]


The Moondoggies Sign to Hardly Art

Photo by Nate Pits

Sub Pop spawn Hardly Art has welcomed Seattle quintet the Moondoggies into the fold. That makes four signings for the label this year alone, which begs the question: Does Hardly Art know something we don't? Is music going out of style?!

Right, so...probably not. But either way, the Moondoggies will release their debut full-length on the label later this year, and they have a handful of hometown and Portland dates scheduled for the next two months, starting with a Seattle show tonight, March 6. [MORE...]


Lindstrom Announces Debut Solo Album

Photo by Tyler Grisham

As an intimate acquaintance of Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's oeuvre, you may have seen this story's headline and thought to yourself, "Wait a minute, you jokers are forgetting 2006's It's a Feedelity Affair. Didn't you already report that as his solo debut?" But no, you haven't caught us in a web of lies.

Though it was indeed of LP length, Feedelity Affair was a collection of previously released Lindstrøm 12"s. The Norwegian soundscape architect won't make his official solo full-length debut until the June 2 release of Where You Go I Go To on Feedelity/Smalltown Supersound. The LP consists of all previously unreleased material, and Lindstrøm's Smalltown Supersound labelmate Kim Hiorthøy designed the album's artwork.

(We're also not forgetting about 2005's Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, because that wasn't a Lindstrøm solo album, now was it?)

This news comes mere days after we reported the formation of Strømland Records, Lindstrøm's new label with Smalltown Supersound founder Joakim Haugland.

Lindstrøm will give a one-off preview of Where You Go I Go To with his single SXSW performance at the Smalltown Supersound showcase. The show takes place at Austin's Thirsty Nickel on March 12, and Lindstrøm's set will consist of Where You Go from start to finish in its entirety. Then, in the next couple of months, Lindstrøm has a few others shows scattered throughout Europe. [MORE...]


Jenny Lewis Pals the Watson Twins Sign to Vanguard

Perhaps you know the Watson Twins as those two ladies just behind Jenny Lewis on their collaborative Rabbit Fur Coat LP. Or maybe you know Chandra and Leigh Watson from their 2006 EP Southern Manners. Perhaps you even heard one of their tunes on the popular doctor-based soap opera "Grey's Anatomy". But whether they're familiar faces to you or just a couple of girls who look a lot alike, allow me to introduce you to a new Watson Twins: recent Vanguard Records signees the Watson Twins, that is.

Indeed, the Kentucky-raised, L.A.-based Watson Twins will issue their debut full length, Fire Songs, for their new label June 24. The disc, produced by Russell Pollard (Sebadoh, Alaska!) and J. Soda, will find the Twins in fine folkie company, with new labelmates like Doc Watson and the Band's Levon Helm. Their more immediate next move, however, finds them joining up with the ironic moustache set down at SXSW. (That almost makes them CocoRosie! Ba dum dum.) They will be only be performing new material at SXSW.

In other Watson Twins news, their take on Neil Young's "Powderfinger" was recently released on the (almost) all-female Cinnamon Girl tribute LP. [MORE...]


Danger Mouse Producing New Beck Album

You'd think a resume that includes collaborations with Cee-Lo, the Rapture, MF Doom, the Black Keys, Sparklehorse, the Good, the Bad & the Queen, and the late Ike Turner would be enough for Danger Mouse. But nooooo! He has to go and blow all of those projects out of the water with his highest profile partner* yet: Beck.

That's right, according to a HARP report (via confirmed by Danger Mouse's management, the two weirdos are working together on Beck's follow-up to 2006's The Information.

This is in addition to all that recent Gnarls Barkley video craziness, not to mention their new album. You know, Mr. Mouse, it's okay to take a break once in a while. You're making everyone this side of Madlib look bad.

* not counting Jay-Z and the Beatles


Old Time Relijun Preach to the Choir on Tour

Photo by Michael Elvin

The weather's getting a little warmer, and the spirits have started to reawaken after a long winter's hibernation. That can only mean one thing: Time for a big ol' tent revival!

And who brings more reverent excitement in service of the Lord or whoever than Washington State's Old Time Relijun? Arrington de Dionyso and friends, still fresh off last year's completion of their Lost Light trilogy (my, how these relijius nuts love their trinities) with Catharsis in Crisis-- which featured Pitchfork's 98th favorite song of 2007, "Indestructible Life!"-- are headed out on quite an evangelizing mission this spring, which will span continents and openers and hopefully at least one instance of speaking in tongues. It's crazy when that happens! Catch your share of the fervor at the following spots. [MORE...]


Death Cab, Decemberists, Breeders Hit Oregon
Update: Modest Mouse, the National not yet confirmed

It's not a festival per se, as it's got no fancy name to call its own (well, okay, at least part of it is the "Wells Fargo Concert Series", but that's not really a festival, and is definitely not a stellar name), and there's no particular financial incentive to not pick and choose which days you'd like to attend and which you'd rather sit out.

Still, over Memorial Day weekend at Bend, Oregon's Les Schwab Theater, some fine fine bands are coming to the very same spot, and if you'd like, a single ticket will give you access to all of 'em. You know, like a festival!

And just who is playing this nifty non-fest, you query? Well, there's Michael Franti & Spearhead on Friday night, May 23, with a special guest still waiting in the wings to be revealed. The next evening, May 24, sees Death Cab for Cutie headlining a bill that also features the Decemberists and Rogue Wave. The thing wraps up Sunday evening, May 25, with the Breeders opening (opening?!) for soon-to-be R.E.M. tourmates the National and the evening's headliners Modest Mouse.

UPDATE: The event promoters sent out a premature press release. Modest Mouse and the National have not been confirmed for the May 25 show yet. 

Whatever you want to call it, that's a pretty sweet lineup. According to a press release, these performances feature the bands "in their only Oregon shows," but since Death Cab are already scheduled to play Eugene on April 19, and Rogue Wave are playing in St. Helens on August 20 with Jack Johnson, we'll take that with a grain of salt.

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