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Wilco to Rock "A Prairie Home Companion"
Garrison Keillor to spend entire broadcast murmuring "Yankee … Hotel … Foxtrot…"

Party people of Lake Wobegon! Whoot whoot! Throw your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care, 'cause Wilco's coming to town.

On May 12, Jeff Tweedy and his band of dirty, dangerous Chicago rock n rollers will invade Garrison Keillor's beloved down-home radio show "A Prairie Home Companion", blasting small-town eardrums from here to Fargo. The show airs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Central -- check your local listings for which station carries it, or listen on one of them newfangled computing machines.

Thanks to reader Josh Dibley for the heads up.

While Wilco will probably play a charming set of feel-good favorites and end with a "California Stars" sing-along, part of me really, really wants them to just get up there and play the noize part of "Less Than You Think" for a half hour.

The show will be broadcast from the State Theater in big, bad Minneapolis, but rest assured, it will probably sound like a barn dance to all of you out there in radioland.

Since this is not the movie version of "Prairie Home Companion", Lindsay Lohan will not be there. (Sorry, Dad.) Nor will Meryl Streep. (Sorry, Mom.)

Wilco's new album, Sky Blue Sky, is out on Nonesuch on May 15, but you can hear it right now, streaming from the band's website or on Rhapsody. The band will appear on "Letterman" on May 15, and will spend most of the summer on the road.

And check out Pitchfork's interview with Jeff Tweedy here! [MORE...]


Photos: YACHT on Yacht [Portland, OR; 05/05/07]

Photos by Nilina Mason-Campbell

With 120 people onboard, the Crystal Dolphin set sail down Portland's Willamette River Saturday night for a unique CD release show for YACHT's I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real. (out tomorrow on Marriage Records).

Following a DJ set, L.A.'s Bobby Birdman's live performance came to an abrupt halt as the unpleasant smell of smoke entered the space-- the P.A. had spontaneously caught fire! The overheated device was unplugged to cool down, and the question of whether the show would go on arose for a moment. Cue audience participation at its finest! Bobby used his hand as a conductor's baton and led everyone assembled into making a beat with our voices that he then sang over.

After the near-disaster, YACHT appeared onstage to play a three song set of "See a Penny (Pick It Up)", "We're Always Waiting", and "It's Coming to Get You". He soon transcended the band/crowd divide, performing mostly from inside the audience, and then launching himself on top of it-- barely squeezing between audience hands and the low yacht ceiling.

Having docked, the party continued on dry land where YACHT played a longer set at Disjecta (his original plans to play Portland's Oregon Museum of Science & Industry were dashed when the museum took objection to the name of opener Adrian Orange's backing band: the Child Slave Rebellion. Um, okay then.)

YACHT's Jona Bechtolt performed half his Disjecta set from his laptop-- with Bobby Birdman joining him onstage for "Platinum"-- and again crowd-surfed. A brief Q&A session with the audience had Jona roaring like a lion and barking like a dog. To see this whole hysterical mess home, Bechtolt then invited some of Portland's scene-- including musicians and record label personnel-- to join him onstage. Together, this impromptu PDX supergroup reinterpreted the rest of YACHT's songs as a one-off grunge band that they assured would never happen again.

YACHT's dry-land tour with LCD Soundsystem continues this week, followed by a slew of his own dates.



T.V. Eye: May 07-13, 2007

Pitchfork's T.V. Picks for This Week:

Monday, May 7:

NBC: "Last Call With Carson Daly": Paul Wall

Tuesday, May 8:

CBS: "Late Show With David Letterman": Kelly Clarkson
NBC: "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno": Feist
NBC: "Last Call With Carson Daly": Bloc Party

Wednesday, May 9:

NBC: "Late Night With Conan O'Brien": Patrick Wolf
CBS: "Late Show With David Letterman": The Kooks
NBC: "Last Call With Carson Daly": Joseph Arthur and the Lonely Astronauts
CBS: "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson": Dinosaur Jr.

Thursday, May 10:

Syndicated: "The Ellen Degeneres Show": Kanye West and his mom, Dr. Donda West
NBC: "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno": Nelly Furtado
NBC: "Late Night With Conan O'Brien": Stephen Marley
NBC: "Last Call With Carson Daly": Henry Rollins, the bird and the bee

Friday, May 11:

ABC: "Jimmy Kimmel Live": Kelly Clarkson
NBC: "Last Call With Carson Daly": Ying Yang Twins

Photos: Air [Chicago, IL; 05/04/07]

A lot of Air's music is as light as their moniker, so it was a pair of unexpectedly souped-up selections off 10,000 Hz Legend-- "People in the City" and "Don't Be Light"-- that may have won the day at the French electronic standard-bearers' Friday gig at Chicago's Riviera.

Well-placed in a set that also included several crowd-pleasers off Moon Safari, do-no-wrong Talkie Walkie tunes "Cherry Blossom Girl" and "Run", and some more soporific material off this year's Pocket Symphony (which often felt more like interludes in this setting), both Legend cuts culminated in full-blown rock-outs that demonstrated the arena-shaking power of Air's live band.

Might have been nice to see opener Kate Havnevik back onstage to do "All I Need" or "You Make It Easy", but between a stellar setlist, a dazzling light show, and ship-shape professionalism, Air gave the fans exactly what they wanted. The duo's tour with full band continues tomorrow night in Philly; in June, they hit Europe.


Ian Mackaye Aids Kent State Shootings Investigation

The infamous Kent State shootings may have happened over 37 years ago, but for those who were present during this grim chapter in American history-- or indeed any who seek truth above all-- justice has not yet been served. The question remains why National Guardsmen fired upon student protesters-- and by-standers-- that fateful May 4, whether they had any good reason to do so, and who made the order that left four dead in Ohio.

To help answer these questions and more, a Kent State survivor dedicated to the ongoing investigation has called upon the expertise of an indie superman: Ian Mackaye of Fugazi/Minor Threat/Embrace/Evens/Dischord/etc. fame.

As noted on today and originally reported by the Akron Beacon Journal on May 2, Mackaye recently "analyzed [a] recording" taken on reel-to-reel by Kent State student Terry Strubbe the day of the shootings.

On this recording-- the only one known to exist that includes the complete 13 seconds of gunfire-- one can allegedly hear a National Guard officer giving the order: "Right here. Get set. Point. Fire."

The muffled recording was presented to Mackaye by Alan Canfora, who was wounded in the shootings and now runs the richly informative Kent May 4 Center, a "non-profit educational charity" that "seek[s] to provide information for students, scholars, researchers and news media."

Mackaye and Canfora met when Fugazi played a May 4 Center benefit back in the 1990s, according to a representative from Dischord. While confirming Mackaye's involvement, he downplayed the label co-founder's "analysis."

"Ian is not a forensic audio expert," the Dischord rep wrote in an e-mail to Pitchfork, "but has access to professional audio equipment. From my understanding, Ian's role was simply to boost the volume of the tape so Canfora could decide whether or not to look into further analysis."

While "Ian Mackaye: Forensic Audio Expert" has a slightly cooler ring to it than "Ian Mackaye: Dude with Audio Equipment", we're thrilled all the same that Mr. Mackaye is lending his talents to yet another worthy enterprise.

CocoRosie Arrested, Shows Cancelled

Ghosthorse & Stillborn seem to have gotten a little too adventurous, as freak-hop band CocoRosie have been arrested, necessitating the cancellation of the rest of their U.S. North American tour. In a MySpace bulletin posted today, the Touch and Go sister act wrote, "We are so sorry to announce that we cannot play the rest of the U.S. tour dates. The band got arrested, that's all I can say." The full text can be read below.

Thanks to reader Dave Madden for alerting us.

The Casady's Canadian and European shows will take place as planned, as will a May 19 free gig at the World Financial Center in New York City.

No other information about the arrest is available, but we hope it involves smuggling unicorns. [MORE...]


Modest Mouse's Eric Judy MIA, But "Fine"

Photo by William Kirk

According to numerous reader reports, Eric Judy, probably the cutest member of Modest Mouse, has been absent from the stage of late. Judy, who co-founded and plays bass for the chart-topping Ship-sinkers, first missed an April 21 gig in Minneapolis-- which the band had to cancel-- after falling "ill," according to Modest Mouse's publicist.

While it's unclear how many shows on Modest Mouse's present tour Judy has missed since then-- or whether he's still battling the aforementioned illness-- he did not appear on the band's May 1 performance on "Late Night with David Letterman". One reader states Judy missed the May 6 show in Birmingham; another indicates Judy's bass duties at multiple recent gigs have fallen to Modest Mouse multi-instrumentalist Tom Peloso and a member of opening act Love as Laughter.

This of course raises the questions 1.) Is Eric Judy okay?, and 2.) Is Eric Judy still in Modest Mouse?

The word on Judy's health from Modest Mouse's publicist? "He's fine."

As for Judy's status with the band, it's not entirely clear, but as of an article published April 23 on, he was still very much in Modest Mouse and speculating on the act's future. He's also still listed on the MM MySpace as a band member, for what that's worth. [MORE...]

Photos: Mastodon / Cursive [Seattle, WA; 05/05/07]

photos by Michael Alan Goldberg

Atlanta's Mastodon celebrated Cinco de Mayo this weekend with a face-melting set at Seattle's Fenix Underground. The Aqua Teen soundtrack heroes were supported by Saddle Creek's Cursive, still riding high on their 2006 album Happy Hollow.

The Grammy-nominated metalheads will continue stomping across the continent this month, tapping Seattle's own These Arms are Snakes to open through most of the rest of May. After that, they're off to Norway where, as previously reported, they'll join Interpol and Arcade Fire and just about everybody else at the Hove Festival. More tour dates and photos after the jump.

Cursive join Mastodon for all of the rest of their North American dates. Better catch 'em now before we lose Tim Kasher to Hollywood.




Beirut's Condon Talks New LP, Obsession, Exhaustion
Plus: Photos from Beirut's May 6 show at New York City's Bowery Ballroom

Photos by Kathryn Yu

Forget the 1,000 words. For Beirut wunderkind Zach Condon, a picture can contain an entire album.

Take the yellowed snapshot that graces the cover of Beirut's 2006 breakout debut, Gulag Orkestar, in which a pair of young women recline, perhaps mid-roadtrip, on the hood of a car parked on the side of a rural byway. (It was taken, as Condon later learned, by Russian photographer Sergey Chilikov.)

"I found that photo, and I took it home with me," Zach told Pitchfork recently. "It was hanging on the wall the entire time [I wrote and recorded Gulag], and I always kind of felt like, 'It's got to sound like that. It's got to sound the way that looks.'"

As Condon prepares to put the finishing touches on the Gulag follow-up-- which is about to receive string treatment in Montreal from arranger-of-the-moment Owen Pallett (of Final Fantasy and Arcade Fire) and mixing/mastering in Chicago from Griffin Rodriguez (aka Blue Hawaii of Icy Demons and Bablicon)-- it turns out a visual from a bygone era once again provided inspiration.

"I'm thinking about calling [the new album] The Flying Club Cup," Zach revealed. "Back in the early 1900s, like the 1910s or 1920s, there used to be this hot air balloon festival in Paris-- it's titled after that and after this very bizarre 1910 photo I found [by Leon Gimpel]. It's one of the first color photos ever made, at the World's Fair, and it...shows all these ancient hot air balloons about to take off in the middle of Paris. I just thought it was the most surreal image I'd seen in a long time.

"Immediately it was like, 'this needs to be the album cover for the next album,' Zach continued. "So it's been hanging on my wall in front of the computer for the whole record. There's a lot you can take from a weird image like that."

Appropriately, the Gimpel photograph helped conjure musical ideas that are decidedly less Balkan than Beirut's previous output. Indeed, The Flying Club Cup-- which Zach hopes to have out in September via Ba Da Bing in the U.S. and 4AD overseas-- doesn't sound Balkan at all. "I think [people]'ll laugh if anyone says that about this album," said Condon.

For the new album, Zach has gravitated to the sound of lushly-orchestrated baroque pop. "It's a new obsession every year, a new obsession overcomes me and that's all I can do. " [MORE...]

Bonde do Role's "Office Boy" Remixed by CSS, Architecture in Helsinki
Universe of interns looking for the perfect beat

Bonde do Role-- co-presidents of the Brazil chapter of the Afrika Bambaataa fan club-- have quite a proposition for you: they're going to drop four different singles for the same song, and you're going to want all of them. Seriously.

"Office Boy," a spurt of relative normalcy amidst the trunk-rattlin' hotness Bonde do Role With Lasers, will be a Domino Records-issued UK single four times over May 21. Like any good "Office Boy," the single's versatile: there's a CD, a digital download, and two different 7" incarnations. Take heed, though, as the two seven-inchers feature different tracks, the CD version carries bonus remixes from CSS, Architecture in Helsinki, and Shir Khan, and the digital download is a remix by Brodinski. Clever marketing scheme, or simply a funk onslaught from the up-and-comers? We're leaning towards the latter.

Bonde do Role With Lasers is out June 5 in the U.S. and June 4 in Europe, though it's on iTunes now. Details of the physical singles (and some tour dates to boot) after the jump. [MORE...]


Photos: M.I.A.'s Jamaican Vacation

M.I.A. went to Jamaica last week to make the video for "Boyz", the first single from her forthcoming album Kala, and she was kind enough to share some photos from the shoot. We didn't think we could get any more excited about the follow-up to Arular after hearing "Bird Flu" and "Hit That", (UPDATE: "HIT THAT" IS NOT ON THE NEW M.I.A. ALBUM) but oh paraphrase a certain former M.I.A. tourmate, this shit looks B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Check out that bathing suit!

Kala is out August 21 on Interscope (not June 26, as previously reported), and M.I.A. is busy lining up festival dates to promote it, starting in May at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Preston, England.



Devendra, Jana Hunter Help Matteah Baim's Sun Shine

No, we're not just posting random photographs for the heck of it now; that waving figure to the left of these words is actually folk chanteuse Matteah Baim, casting her electric guitar into the briny deep. That kind of unfiltered spirit is on display all over Baim's Death of the Sun, out June 12 on DiCristina Stair Builders.

Death of the Sun is the first solo album from the former Metallic Falcons axewoman. Baim and CocoRosie's Sierra Cassady disbanded the Falcons a little while back, but Death of the Sun finds Baim in the equally good company of Jana Hunter, Devendra Banhart, Rob Lowe (Lichens, 90 Day Men), and more.

Baim has a pair of live dates remaining in May and June. [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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