Friday, October 3

Bruce Springsteen Adds Acoustic Obama Shows

Also plays "Stand Up for Heroes" benefit for American soldiers Bruce Springsteen Adds Acoustic Obama Shows

Citizens of the United States of America, make way for a true maverick. We're talking, of course, about Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen, probably the best performer of live rock music the world has known, doggoneit.

Bruce doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk too. And of late that walk has taken the form of a couple special gigs in support of the Obama-Biden campaign.

Since we last checked in with him, Bruce has added two more such shows, and they're coming up fast [via]. Following his previously reported acoustic set in Philadelphia tomorrow (October 4), the Boss will lay down the acoustic law for the Democratic presidential hopeful at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, on October 5. He'll then pack up and head off to Ypsilanti, Michigan's Eastern Michigan University for one more acoustic Obama show on October 6.

Bruce sure never won "Miss Congeniality" on the live circuit, and I betcha these events will showcase the man's passion for a bipartisan fanbase and determination to lead an ebullient "Born to Run" sing-along.

Mr. Springsteen's good deeds don't stop there, though. As notes, he'll also join his wife and bandmate Patti Scialfa for the upcoming benefit concert "Stand Up for Heroes". The event takes place at New York City's Town Hall on November 5 as part of the New York Comedy Festival, and will raise money for the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation, which works to ensure America's soldiers "return home to the assistance they need to successfully integrate back into society."

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Thursday, October 2

Air, Hot Chip Members Rework Au Revoir Simone

As do Air France, the Teenagers Air, Hot Chip Members Rework Au Revoir Simone

Most Au Revoir Simone songs sound so delicate they might break if you did anything to them, but that hasn't stopped a whole bunch of folks from covering and remixing material from the NYC synth-pop trio's first proper full-length, The Bird of Music.

The Au Revoir Simone ladies have been kind enough to compile 13 of these remixes and covers on a new disc, charmingly entitled Reverse Migration and due November 11 via the band's own Our Secret Recording Company. They've even arranged the reworkings to match the sequencing on the original record, leaving a little additional room for a pair of extra tracks.

Those giving The Bird a makeover include Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, Jean-Benoît Dunckel of Air (under his Darkel guise), the Teenagers, Montag, Best Fwends, and Keith Murray (alas, not the rapper, but rather the dude from We Are Scientists). Folks who snatch up the record via's digital store will get an additional remix of "Sad Song" by Air France, while iTunes shoppers can look forward to a ReRunner reworking of "The Way to There" as a bonus track.

Speaking of Au Revoir Simone and covers, the gals recently teamed with Sisko of NYC dance act and Reverse Migration contributors Disco Pusher to record a take on Rod Stewart's "Young Turks". Check that out here.

Finally, according to bandmember Heather D'Angelo's blog, Au Revoir Simone shacked up with producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Brightblack Morning Light, Vetiver, Tussle) late last month to begin work on their Bird of Music follow-up. Heather writes of "an arsenal of vintage keyboards," so I'd say there's a pretty good chance we'll be getting more of what we love from this crew on the new disc.

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Meghan McCain and Stereolab: What Is Going on Here?

Meghan McCain and Stereolab: What Is Going on Here?

Hey, it's been awhile . Let's check in with Meghan McCain's blog . What has Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain 's daughter been listening to lately?

Let's see. She's been rocking some Tokyo Police Club, some Klaxons, some Au Revoir Simone. A Hot Chip remix of the Pharcyde . All right. And... what's this ?

OK, let me get this straight. For a blog post about her father's debate with Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama on Friday night-- a debate that centered a whole lot around our country's recent economic catastrophe-- the "Song of the Day" was Stereolab 's "Ping Pong"?! Really?!

Here are the lyrics to "Ping Pong" (according to various lyrics websites, and verified by going back and listening to the song again):

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Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne Talks Christmas on Mars

"I wanted it to feel like some kind of drug-damaged foreign film." Flaming Lips'  Wayne Coyne Talks <i>Christmas on Mars</i>

Photo by Nilina Mason-Campbell

Wayne Coyne sure is a talker. It doesn't take much to get the Flaming Lips frontman going, and over the course of our interview last week, I got very thorough answers to roughly one-fifth of the questions I'd been meaning to ask before our time was up. It's that very same willingness to see his ideas through to the end that makes the Lips' music so complex and compelling-- and also the reason why it sometimes takes them so long to release it.

Of course, there's the movie Christmas on Mars, a project the Flaming Lips have been plotting ever since Coyne and his wife Michelle took a drive from Chicago down to Oklahoma City on New Year's Day, 2001. Seven years later, the film was finally finished.

During our chat, Wayne explained why the Christmas On Mars that will screen all over the place this fall and hit DVD November 11 from Warner Bros. would kick the ass of any of its previous incarnations. He also discussed the understandably unorthodox way one shoots a movie over an seven-year span largely in the backyard, and just how a nice gentleman like himself came into possession of a "Crack Shack".

So, tell me about this movie you guys are finally putting out. I guess the big question is, what took you so long?

WC: [Laughing] Probably a combination of things. But I think the worst thing that delayed it was really not anything that was bad. I call it "being interrupted by success." You know, we had done The Soft Bulletin, which came out in 1999, and we knew we that were gonna make another record before too long. But in between this, we were still in this mode of kind of just-- not re-creating what we could be, but kind of doing different things. For the longest time in the Flaming Lips we were like, "Make a record, go on tour. Come back, make another record," and you know, I think, frankly, we were kind of like, "There's more to life than just recording records and going on tour." And we thought that if we wanted to do different stuff, we would. So, I think I thought, "Well, why don't we make a movie."

We had already done a lot of music videos with [director] Brad Beesley. By then we'd almost done 20 videos with him or something, and we'd always talked about how the Flaming Lips should have a movie, like the Ramones have a movie, or the Beatles. Not in a pretentious way, just like, "Yeah! We should have a movie!" We thought, "Well, why not? We'll just sort of make one and see what happens."

And I think it would not be too much of a leap of anybody's imagination that knows us at all to think, "Oh, well they'll have a Christmas movie in outer space. Sure." I think anybody could think, "Of course, they could do that." I'm not saying there wouldn't be other themes that we could explore, but for me to say that we're making a movie called Christmas on Mars, people are like, "Of course! Of course you'll make that!"

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Sunn O))) Put Church Gig on LP, Do Anniversary Shows

Sunn O))) Put Church Gig on LP, Do Anniversary Shows

YACHT on a yacht, Bloc Party at a Block Party, and now, yes, Sunn O))) live in an ancient cathedral way the hell up in Norway. The revered doom duo set up shop in the historic house of worship in Bergen for a special show back in March of 2007, and pretty soon a recording of that show can be yours on glorious 180 gram vinyl.

Following a delay at the pressing plant, Dømkirke is expected to start shipping today (October 2) from Southern Lord. Comprised of four long tracks spread across two LPs, the release captures Sunn O)))'s performance at the Dømkirke cathedral, erected sometime around 1150. For the gig, Sunn's Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson were joined by onetime Earth member Steve Moore on the church pipe organ, Jazkamer's Lasse Marhaug on electronics, and Mayhem's Attila Csihar on totally freaking you the fuck out.

Speaking of all things ancient, Southern Lord plans to offer Dømkirke on vinyl and vinyl only, insisting there will be no CD or digital release. Folks can choose one of three versions of the limited edition offering: black vinyl (5,000 copies), transparent blue vinyl (1,000 copies), or clear vinyl with black streaks...OF DOOM!! (900 copies).

In other news, Sunn O))) turn 10 this year-- excuse me, 10)))-- and to celebrate, they're planning a few special anniversary gigs. The shows begin October 10 in Los Angeles, and will be devoted exclusively to material from the band's inaugural recording, The GrimmRobe Demos.

Don't expect any special guests at these events, but do expect O'Malley and Anderson to be performing in the spirit of shoshin, a Zen Buddhist concept which-- uh, let's just let them explain: "The beginner's mind, the yet undyed pure wool, the clarity in initiation upon the untraveled. The attitude of embodying the basics precisely, point by point, line by line, with an immovable faith in the teaching, experience, and of beyond the possibility. Of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when approaching, even with much experience, just as a beginner would upon the initial impetus and thirst to seek the path."

So, basically, all that stuff + slow motion + fog machines + really loud = these Sunn O))) anniversary gigs.

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Feist Turns Fall Tour Into Charity Extravaganza

Concerts become canned food drives! Merchandise becomes cash for good causes! Feist Turns Fall Tour Into Charity Extravaganza

Photo by Jason Bergman

You'll want to bring three things along with you when you hit up Feist 's forthcoming tour of Canada : a hot date, a sign reading "PLAY 'ONE EVENING' PLZ", and a non-perishable food item of your choosing.

Feist will team with the local affiliates of the Canadian Association of Food Banks at every stop on her recently expanded fall jaunt, helping to bring an end to hunger one can of pumpkin pie stuffing at a time. One lucky donor at each show will receive a custom made bit of Feist memorabilia. What's more, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières , War Child Canada , and poverty relief fund Care Canada will receive all the proceeds from the merchandise sales at the gigs. Now seems like as good a time as any for a "canned mushaboom" joke, you know? Here, you go first.

Though it may seem that Feist's mind is squarely on Canada at the moment, that just isn't so: she, and a mess of other musician types, are presently aboard a science research vessel , investigating climate change in Disko Bay, Greenland. Apart from all the important sciencey stuff they're up to, it looks like they found a little time to let loose. Here's a photo of Feist, presumably getting down to the strains of DJ Jarvis Cocker, who-- cheekily enough, given the mission-- threw on Nelly's "Hot in Herre" at some point in the evening (photo by Nathan Gallagher):

Feist also appears on that amazing-looking Stephen Colbert Christmas DVD , due November 25 from Comedy Central Home Entertainment/ Paramount .

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Deerhoof Launch Tour With Magnets, LP Out Digitally

Deerhoof Launch Tour With Magnets, LP Out Digitally

Tonight in the City of Angels, a crew of weirdos from San Francisco will make sure every Margaret in the joint comes away appalled. Indeed, tonight Deerhoof kick off their fall tour in support of their latest disc Offend Maggie . Deerhoof fans who like it digital, note that the set made its way to iTunes a little earlier this week. It's due in stores October 6 in the UK from ATP Recordings , in Australia on Spunk , and in Japan on P-Vine , and October 7 in the U.S. and Europe from Kill Rock Stars .

Speaking of which, Deerhoof had promised to donate a portion of the proceeds from the digital sales of the album to a charity of their fans' choosing. The votes are in, and Doctors Without Borders will be the ones receiving your dough.

And then, um, there's this. For whatever reason, Deerhoof thought it might be nifty to give away a magnet along with the purchase of Offend Maggie . But perhaps because magnets and stores that sell electronic doodads don't always mix, you'll either have to pick up your magnet along with your copy of Offend Maggie at the upcoming shows, or yank the UPC from the disc and bring it along with you. The magnet looks like this:

Kind of can't believe I just wrote a whole paragraph about that.

The band's new line of t-shirts, designed by Offend Maggie cover artist Tomoo Gokita , fare a little better in the "visually interesting" department, as you can see here:

And if you wanna get your fix in, you'll need to Hoof it to these shows down below, as we're told there will be no spring Deerhoof tour.

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Tim Hecker/Aidan Baker (Nadja) Collab LP Revealed

New Tim Hecker album due in early 2009 Tim Hecker/Aidan Baker (Nadja) Collab LP Revealed

Hooray, hallelujah, and cock-a-doodle-doo, people: we've finally got ourselves a bonafide Tim Hecker/Aidan Baker of Nadja collaborative LP. The joint offering, first mentioned way back in June, bears the title Fantasma Parastasie and collects eight movements spread across seven tracks and recorded by Baker and Hecker in tandem at Hecker's Montreal studio.

All this glorious heavy buzzing and droning and bass-y warmth comes to us October 14, courtesy of Alien8 Recordings. Fans can opt for a CD version of Fantasma, a limited edition (500 copies) LP version on white vinyl, or one of several digital versions in various formats. And what do you know, this also marks Mr. Hecker's very first collaborative release.

If you just can't stand the wait, you'll be thrilled to know that Alien8 is streaming the album in full as you read this. Check the link below.

Both Hecker and Baker's Nadja have a number of dates on the way, with the former mostly sticking close to his native Canada, and the latter venturing off to Europe in November and again in the new year.

Baker, naturally, has some other releases in the pipeline with Nadja. Deep breaths, everybody: October will see the Trinitarian 12" on Important, followed by a CD/12" split with A Storm of Light on Robotic Empire. November has Nadja hitting us with a U.S. tour 12" called Belles Betes via Beta-Lactam Ring, and a UK tour split CD (with Atavist and Satori) called Triptych via Cold Spring. December should find a double CD collecting Nadja's Thaumogenesis and Thaumoradiance hitting shelves thanks to Daymare, with a double-LP edition of Thaumogenesis due sometime this fall on Level Plane.

Better listen to all those records quickly, because the new year holds a CD called Autopergamene (Essence Music), vinyl editions of Nadja's two previous Atavist collaborations (Kreation and Invada), a double vinyl edition of Skin Turns to Glass (The End), a double-disc edition of previous CD-R release Bodycage (Profound Lore), a collaboration with Pyramids (!) (Hydrahead), a full-length collaboration with Black Boned Angel (20 Buck Spin), a DVD entitled White Nights/Drone Fields (Beta-Lactam Ring), and, why not, a CD of covers called When I See the Sun Always Shines on TV (The End). And exhaaaaaaale.

As for that slacker Tim (JK), we can expect a full-length follow-up to Harmony in Ultraviolet, entitled An Imaginary Country, to arrive early next year from Kranky. Woo!

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CSS Add North American Dates in December

"Move" single, with Cut Copy remix, due out in America in November CSS Add North American Dates in December

Photo by Nilina Mason-Campbell

Do they know its Christmas? Following their dates in the UK (which kick off over the weekend in Sheffield), mainland Europe, and Japan, the ladies and gentlemen of CSS will make their way back to North America for a fortnight or so smack dab in the middle of December. Sure, the dates may very well conflict with your final exams, your Hanukkah shopping, or your office holiday party, but if you time it just right, that annual visit to Nana's house up in Toronto just got a heck of a lot more interesting.

In other CSS news, the single for "Move", from their latest album Donkey, is due out in the U.S. via Sub Pop on November 4. It's the one that features a Cut Copy remix, remember? "Move" was also recently remixed by JD Samson, formerly of Le Tigre and currently of MEN. It isn't on the single, but you can hear it on JD's MySpace page.

Also, the band recently lent "Rat Is Dead (Rage)" from Donkey to that Give. Listen. Help. charity compilation. Oh, and they also launched a band blog because they "all kind of don't really like our website." You're right, this is better.

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Spoon to Play Benefit for Texas Democrats

Spoon to Play Benefit for Texas Democrats

Photo by Marty Perez

"Please vote in this year's election. It's not too late to register," a note on Spoon's website urges you, gently reminding slackers one and all. In the most polite, unassuming way, the band are encouraging civic engagement this election cycle, and it doesn't stop with the pop-up advert.

On October 13, Spoon would like to request your presence at Austin, Texas' the Parish, where they and Texan axe-slinger Gary Clark, Jr. will take the stage to raise some cash for Texas Democrats in general and Mark Thompson, Democratic candidate for Railroad Commissioner, specifically. The benefit gig's not only a chance to get behind the donkey, but one of the last opportunities you'll have to see Spoon live in the flesh before they hit the studio to craft their follow-up to least year's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

Spoon's good works, however, don't stop there. As we mentioned yesterday, they'll lend a tune to the Dandy Warhols' Breathe Easy conservation initiative and they made signs for Under the Radar's charity auction.

Posted by Paul Thompson on October 2, 2008 at 10:06 a.m.



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