Pitchfork: New Dinosaur Jr. LP Details Announced

Tuesday, March 24

New Dinosaur Jr. LP Details Announced

There will be fuzz.

New Dinosaur Jr. LP Details Announced

If you are somehow not convinced that Dinosaur Jr. have still got it after 2007's better-than-anyone-expected comeback LP, Beyond, I implore you to watch this in-studio take on the new song "I Don't Wanna Go There" recently recorded for Pitchfork TV. Everything's there-- the Mascis solo, the Barlow mud-fuzz bass, Murph's uncannily perfect crash cymbal work. The song, along with 11 others, will make up the trio's new record, entitled Farm and due out June 23 on new label Jagjaguwar.

It will feature long songs, big guitar, and a few quiet moments, according to the press release. It's another Dinosaur Jr. record. But since nobody else can do what they do, there's nothing wrong with "another Dinosaur Jr. record."

The album was produced by Mascis at his Bisquiteen studio-- watch our behind-the-scenes look at the band making Farm here. They head out on a U.S. tour April 1. Bring your earplugs. Album tracklist post-jump:


Jimmy Chamberlin Speaks on Pumpkins Exit

"I can't just, 'Cash the check' so to speak."

Jimmy Chamberlin Speaks on Pumpkins Exit

In a post on his blog, former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin explained his recent decision to leave the group: "I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I don’t fully possess. I won't pretend I'm into something I'm not. I can't just, 'Cash the check' so to speak. Music is my life. It is sacred."

(Read the generally high-road exit message in its entirety here.)

Sounds a lot more promising than the time Chamberlin was dismissed from the group amid substance abuse charges back in 1996.

The stick man will continue with his prog-rock outfit the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex. As previously reported, Billy Corgan is planning to record a new Chamberlin-less Pumpkins LP this spring.

Posted by Ryan Dombal on March 24, 2009 at 11:05 a.m.

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News in Brief: The Whitest Boy Alive, The Beatles, Joker's Daughter, AR Rahman

News in Brief: The Whitest Boy Alive, The Beatles, Joker's Daughter, AR Rahman

-- The Whitest Boy Alive, the dance-pop project featuring Erlend Ă˜ye from Kings of Convenience, are a remixer's dream; their fussily smooth glide just begs for a distorted synth-bass to roll in and fuck things up. And indeed, we at Pitchfork named Fred Falke's reworking of their song "Golden Cage" our #64 track of 2008. But the band's chilly funk also works just fine on its own. Bubbles Music will release Rules, their second album, on March 30 in Europe and April 7 in the U.S. The band will tour Europe this spring, and in late summer, they'll bring their live show to America.

-- Both surviving Beatles will come together on April 4 for, of all things, a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation, the freakazoid director's transcendental meditation education initiative. The show goes down at New York's Radio City Music Hall, and the bill goes deeper than just McCartney and Starr. Bettye Lavette, Moby, Ben Harper, Eddie Vedder, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and a whole mess of others are also scheduled to perform.

-- On April 7, Conor Oberst's Team Love label will release The Last Laugh, the Danger Mouse-produced debut album from British freak-folker Joker's Daughter. Say what you will about Danger Mouse, but the man knows his way around an eerily patched-in retro-psych string section. Domino will release the album in the UK on June 15.

-- Now that he's won two Oscars for Slumdog Millionaire and sung "Jai Ho" on "The Tonight Show", it's time for Indian composer and songwriter AR Rahman to be introduced to English-speaking latecomers. Today, March 24, Sony Legacy will do countless clueless Westerners a favor by releasing The Best of AR Rahman, a compilation of Rahman's songs from movies iike Lagaan and Guru.

Posted by Tom Breihan on March 24, 2009 at 11 a.m.

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Dead Oceans Band the Donkeys in "Lost" Mystery

You think "Dead Oceans" means anything?!

Dead Oceans Band the Donkeys in "Lost" Mystery

Here's a curious one. On the TV show "Lost", ever since the second season there's been a running thread about a mysterious 1970s band called Geronimo Jackson. In the past few years, the band's name has turned up on the show over and over, in conversation, on T-shirts, and on posters. Lostpedia has an obsessive list of references to the band on the show. In a few podcasts, the show's producers apparently suggested that Geronimo Jackson was a real but obscure California band who only released one album in the late 1970s.

Well, all of this might not actually be the case (as things tend to go with "Lost"). On a recent episode, the character Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) is heard listening to a Geronimo Jackson song called "Dharma Lady", and last week, the song appeared as a free download on iTunes. Over on the "Lost" message board Dark UFO, someone noticed that "Dharma Lady" is almost the exact same song as "Excelsior Lady" by the Donkeys. The Donkeys are a San Diego retro-rock band on Dead Oceans; they are not a mysterious 1970s band. Confusing!

So: Are the Donkeys Geronimo Jackson? A Dead Oceans publicist could neither confirm nor deny: "It seems as though it's possible that the Donkeys also existed as Geronimo Jackson in 1977. It might be possible that they were part of a Dharma Initiative experiment on time travel." Right. She also had this to say: "Geronimo Jackson is likely to appear on extras of the season five 'Lost' DVD, where they will feature the band recording 'Dharma Lady'."

If the Donkeys are, in fact, Geronimo Jackson (which sure seems pretty likely), that's a pretty big break for them, even if it does greatly increase their chances of death by smoke monster. Seems like a worthy trade-off.

Posted by Tom Breihan on March 24, 2009 at 10:20 a.m.

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Camera Obscura Line Up North American Tour

Camera Obscura Line Up North American Tour

Glasgow twee sextet Camera Obscura seem one movie trailer away from making the leap from kinda-indie-big to actually-indie-big. Put either of their great new tracks "French Navy" or "My Maudlin Career" behind a sweet and salty Zooey Deschanel rom-com teaser and they're set. Make it happen, Hollywood.

In the meantime, the band is prepping a kinda-indie-big tour all over North America as the spring turns into summer. It's in support of their upcoming LP, My Maudlin Career, out April 20 in the UK (April 21 in the U.S.) on 4AD. After a couple sold-out warm-up dates in New York City this week, they'll head back to their native UK before starting the N.A. trek in Nashville on May 27.


Elvis Costello to Release Americana Album

Elvis Costello to Release Americana Album

Front page photo by James O'Mara

When Elvis Costello decides to go country, he goes all-in. Yesterday, Costello announced the details of his forthcoming album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, due June 2 on the Starbucks imprint Hear Music. (That cover, above, comes from "Maakies" cartoonist Tony Millionaire.) Costello is going full-on Americana with this one, and he is not playing.

For this album, Costello recruited a murderers' row of trad-country and bluegrass session players, including dobro master Jerry Douglas. All of them play acoustic instruments on the album, and when Costello tours this summer, that band, now named the Sugarcanes, will back him up. One song, "The Crooked Line", features backing vocals from Emmylou Harris, while Loretta Lynn co-wrote "I Felt the Chill". If you're making a country record, these are good people to have helping you out.

Costello also worked with a producer, T-Bone Burnett, who specializes in just this sort of traditional music toe-dip. In fact, Burnett's done exactly this sort of thing with Costello before, on Costello's 1986 classic King of America, as well as his 1989 not-classic Spike. Besides producing, Burnett co-wrote two of songs on Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, and he also played guitar on a few. His guitar is the only electric instrument on the record.

The album includes new versions of two older songs that Costello wrote for Johnny Cash. Cash released one of them, "Hidden Shame", on his 1990 album Boom Chicka Boom. A few other songs, weirdly enough, concern the 19th century relationship between the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and the Swedish singer Jenny Lind. P.T. Barnum also shows up. Apparently, Costello wrote an unfinished opera about Andersen for the Danish Opera Company, so that explains that, I guess. The album also includes "Changing Partners", a song that Bing Crosby made famous.

The double-vinyl version of the album will include two bonus tracks: A cover of the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale", and "What Lewis Did Last", Costello's "sequel" to the Appalachian murder ballad "Omie Wise".

Costello will release two songs from the album, "Complicated Shadows" and "Dirty Rotten Shame", as a 7" on Record Store Day, April 18.

Read Costello's thoughts about the making of the album here.

"Spectacle", Costello's music-and-talk show, continues to air on the Sundance Channel. This week's episode features James Taylor. Your mom will totally watch that.


Conor Oberst Bros Down

Conor Oberst Bros Down

Yep, just hanging out with my dudes in the living room, wearing my blindfold and my pink sweater. Yep. That's it.

(Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band's Outer South is out May 5 on Merge in the U.S. and May 4 on Wichita in the UK)

Posted by Amy Phillips on March 24, 2009 at 1:05 a.m.

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Monday, March 23

New Film Documents 2004 Devendra Banhart/Joanna Newsom Tour

This is totally the freak-folk Decline of Western Civilization

New Film Documents 2004 Devendra Banhart/Joanna Newsom Tour

The freak-folk explosion of the mid-00s was the sort of thing that demanded documentation. For one thing, there was the rare sensation that a whole mess of major artists were emerging right around the same time, hanging out and collaborating with one another, not minding if their styles overlapped. And for another, the whole thing was photogenic as all hell: Pretty people frolicking outside, staring thoughtfully through tour van windows for hours on end, smoking pipes, lighting candles.

All that stuff will be on display in The Family Jams, a new documentary by Currituck Co. frontman Kevin Barker. Barker, also a sometime member of Vetiver, brought his camera along when Vetiver toured with Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom in the summer of 2004. The movie is made up of footage that Barker shot during that tour. It features performances from all three principals, as well as guests like Antony and the Johnsons and Espers. Judging by this trailer, it looks like a really good movie.

The Sarasota Film Festival will host the first public screenings of The Family Jams on April 2 and 3.

Posted by Tom Breihan on March 23, 2009 at 4:55 p.m.

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Antony Plans Herbert Collaboration, Symphony Tour

Antony Plans Herbert Collaboration, Symphony Tour

Photo by Chico de Luigi

Based on his sweeping songs, it's easy to see that Antony Hegarty has a thing for grand statements. In a recent episode of Pitchfork Live, the singer brought his band to Washington, DC, and they had no problem filling out the cavernous Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. And now he's getting even bigger. This summer, Antony and the Johnsons will travel across Europe and team up with various orchestras to present new arrangements of their songs developed by the man himself and composer Nico Muhly.

And when he says "orchestra" he doesn't mean three violins and a cello-- each gig will feature between 36 and 52 players toiling to live up to Antony's vision.

The Manchester International Festival will host a couple of these blown-out shows in July, and it will also be the place to catch the world premiere of "a stage environment for The Crying Light inspired by Bauhaus stage lighting design and considering the dreams of crystals inside mountains," according to a press release. I honestly have no idea what that means but I get the feeling outrĂŠ theater nerds are geeking the fuck out right now.

And that's not the only major live collaboration Antony has in the works. Coachella attendees will get to see an exclusive electronic-tinged Antony performance when he joins forces with whimsical composer/beat guru Matthew Herbert at the California festival on April 19.

Meanwhile, Antony is prepping a new single for "Epilepsy Is Dancing"-- with live staple "Where Is My Power?" on the flip-- out on Secretly Canadian/Rough Trade April 6 (April 7 in the US). Hegarty's a budding visual artist, too-- after making his debut at a gallery in London earlier this year he's set to curate an art show at Paris's Gallery Du Jour April 11. It's called "Six Eyes" and will feature art by Peter Hujar, Kiki Smith, Alice O'Mally, William Basinski and James Elaine, and Antony and Barbara Cummard.

Consider your daily dose of highbrow Pitchfork news more than fulfilled. Antony and the Johnsons spring and summer dates below:


Stone Roses Reunion Rumors Are Utter Bullshit

Both John Squire and Ian Brown deny the comeback talk.

Stone Roses Reunion Rumors Are Utter Bullshit

Remember those Stone Roses reunion rumors we were more than a little skeptical about last week? Turns out our leeriness was totally justified, as both guitarist John Squire and singer Ian Brown have denied the news of a summer tour in separate statements.

Squire gets bonus points for dismissing the rumors and promoting his current endeavors all at once: The guitarist-turned-artist seems to have broke out the Microsoft Paint and graffitied one of his own pieces. Check it out:

Banksy would be proud. Squire's artwork takes center stage at an upcoming exhibition near his native Manchester at Gallery Oldham starting July 7. He also designed the candy-colored guns cover for War Child's recent Heroes charity CD and is auctioning the original piece on eBay.

Meanwhile, Brown's publicist told The Daily Mail, "We know nothing about a reunion. Ian is working on his new studio album which is due out later this year." And, according to a rollicking set I just caught at SXSW, former Stones Roses bassist Mani is still having a grand time as Primal Scream's bassist.

So consider this reunion rumor officially debunked. Who's next?

Posted by Ryan Dombal on March 23, 2009 at 3:10 p.m.

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