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Method Man, Rhymefest, De La's Posdnuos Guest on Jazzy Jeff's Return

There is a Fresh Prince-shaped hole in the guest list of DJ Jazzy Jeff's new album, The Return of the Magnificent, but the void is almost filled by the appearances of Method Man, Rhymefest, De La Soul's Posdnuos, Big Daddy Kane, CL Smooth, Peedi Crakk (or is it Peedi Peedi?), Jean Grae, J Live, and more.

Jeff returns with Return today (May 14) in the UK and May 29 in the U.S. via Rapster/BBE. The aptly titled follow-up to 2001's The Magnificent is only his second solo album.

The DJ is planning a U.S. tour for the summer, but he currently has four dates in England and France scheduled for this month, including a couple of May 27 sets at a BBE anniversary party. [MORE...]
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Sea and Cake Launch Tour, Add Euro Dates

Photo by Jim Newberry

Fresh off the release of their newest full-length, Everybody, the Sea and Cake are hitting the road on their previously reported tour, which kicks off tonight (May 14) in Vancouver.

The Chicago quartet have also added quite a few European dates to the tour. Those take place in the last half of June before the band return to the U.S. for their previously reported appearance at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 15. [MORE...]
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Animal Collective Kick Off Tour Tonight

Put furry costumes, delay pedals, and a whole lotta cooing together, and what do you get? No, not the shameful revelation you had about your roommate Saturday night; you get Animal Collective, the fuzzy, freaky woodland warblers who invade the U.S. on a string of dates kicking off tonight in Columbus, Ohio.

They'll be joined by Sir Richard Bishop for most of the run before a free one-off in NYC with Danielson and then a hop over the pond for a date with Marnie Stern. (Yeah, you wish you had a date with Marnie Stern.)

Panda Bear has a whopping four shows scheduled in June, but you knew that. [MORE...]

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Sly Stone Schedules Rare Live Performance

Sly Stone-- he of the musical innovation, the recent catalog reissuing, and the one-time blonde mohawk-- doesn't get out much. If you were so inclined, you could probably count his live performances from the past 20 years on two hands with fingers to spare.

So it's a treat that Mr. Stone will add one more performance to that short list with a July 28 appearance at the Opera House in Bournemouth, England.

In addition to Stone himself, the show will also feature original members of the Family Stone in his band. It will be their first performance in the UK in more than two decades. Hardly a reunion, but we'll take what we can get.

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Vladislav Delay Is the Whistleblower
Maculay Culkin is the Pagemaster

His momma calls him Sasu Ripatti, but you can call him anything you'd like. Whether he's Luomo, Uusitalo, or Vladislav Delay, the Finnish electron-wizard's been at it for a decade now; in fact, it was 1997 when the Kind of Blue EP, Ripatti's first recording under the Vladislav name, came to light.

Delay is set to release Whistleblower May 15, and though the music has deepened, the song largely remains the same: like most of Ripatti's projects these days, Whistleblower will bear the name of his own Huume imprint.

Delay, or Ripatti, or whatever, will hit the road for a few North American dates later this month, in between shows around the globe. Just to make things tricky, Ripatti will perform some of the dates as Vladislav Delay and some as Luomo. A bit of disambiguation is yours for the taking down below. [MORE...]

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Arthur Reborn!
Arthur the aardvark still getting into mischief, moralizing

Just a few months after a tragic retirement from newsstands, it seems Arthur magazine is getting primed for a triumphant return. As reported in Los Angeles weekly CityBeat, editor and co-founder Jay Babcock (as Arthur Publishing Company) recently bought out publisher Laris Kreslins' 50% share in the bi-monthly rag, which Babcock has designs on resurrecting.

"I have now gained 100 percent control of Arthur," Babcock told CityBeat, "and I intend to resume publishing the magazine as soon as all the financing is in order."

To secure funds for the buy-out, Babcock turned to those he knew best. "When I reached out, it was to a close circle of family and...longtime friends," he told CityBeat, adding, "We probably will do a benefit or two or auction off one-of-a-kind items to help me pay back all the people who loaned me money."

Since establishing the periodical in 2002, the folks behind Arthur have published 25 issues devoted to music, art, and cultural and political criticism, and distributed them free of charge. The 26th issue, in process at the time of Arthur's premature demise in February 2007, will not see print, most of its content having already appeared in other publications or on the Arthur website.

Babcock hasn't forecasted precisely when Arthur will return to the press. "It's not time yet," he told CityBeat. "All the ducks are getting in order, and then we'll go for a swim."

It's also not clear at this time what this means for Arthur-sponsored festivals, nor the Arthur-spawned imprint Bastet.

Kreslins, meanwhile, confirmed the business transaction in a recent e-mail to Pitchfork. He also sought to clear up some of the confusion regarding his break with Arthur: "There's no 'one' version of what happened...There's a full scope and it's complicated and emotional. I had been openly planning my departure from the magazine for a long time and marked issue 25 as my last issue as publisher more than a year before it went to print," he wrote, adding, "I really am looking forward to the next issue of Arthur."

Kreslins will continue work "developing a concept for a Philadelphia-centric magazine and focusing my attention on projects I have going on locally." What's more, "I just found a litter of kittens who don't have a momma, so that's taking up a chunk of time, too."
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Ted Leo Adds U.S. Dates to Neverending Tour
Tour.Repeat.Tour.

Whatever Ted Leo's on, I want some: the stalwart punk synergist never seems to run out of gas (insert "vegan cheese" gag here).

Ted and his Pharmacists cap their previously announced string of European shows with Lollapalooza, a hightail around the American South, and a date in Cleveland (which, I'm told, rocks). Of special note is a stop at suburban Atlanta's WhirlyBall bumper-car arena, which should top your "venues to attend before I die" list.

In other Leo lowdown, he's got a track on the soundtrack to the Clash documentary Let Fury Have the Hour, and a recipe in the indie cookbook I Like Food, Food Tastes Good. [MORE...]

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Photos: The Mountain Goats / The Extra Glenns [Brooklyn, NY; 05/11/07]

Photos by Kathryn Yu

Cram some 150 people into a room meant for maybe 100-- with the overflow clamoring around the outside windows for a peak-- and sweat is bound to pour forth in earnest. Luckily, the folks who turned out to see John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats play a special solo set at Brooklyn's Sound Fix record store-- with a rare bonus appearance by Darnielle and Franklin Bruno's the Extra Glenns-- didn't seem to mind all that much. Instead, they rejoiced in watching a gleeful Darnielle play "old and obscure stuff," in his words.

John also played "Palmcorder Yajna", first referencing Ben Gibbard's cover and declaring, "I spent all day trying to learn how to play 'Transatlanticism', but I have a very short term memory. Instead, I'll play the one he played." With Bruno, Darnielle debuted a new Glenns tune, "Programmed Cell Death", calling upon an audience member to hold up the lyrics sheet. And when John forgot the first line of another, unreleased Glenns jam, "Carmen Cicero"-- one he claimed "only the hardest of the hardcore" would know-- the audience once again came to the rescue, with one super fan (in a Captain America t-shirt, no less) dialing up a live bootleg of the song on his iTunes so John could have a listen and jog his memory. Hardcore indeed.








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Exclusive: Polyphonic Spree Announce Summer Tour
Band gets smashed, becomes Polyphonic Pixy Stix

Been moving through life like a slug? Are you letting it live you, rather than living it yourself? Are you looking for someone who really understands? The Polyphonic Spree can help. Their potent blend of happy-go-culty Kool-Aid has inspired devotees with wills stronger than yours, brother. They're just looking to show you a better way.

The spectacular (and only slightly creepy) Polyphonic Spree wish to welcome you to the fold this summer on a bunch of North American happenings and be-ins. You can find out firsthand whether or not those new black get-ups have any end-of-days significance, and maybe pick up a copy of the TVT-issued, tracklist-flux The Fragile Army, due June 19. Just make sure not to eat anything you didn't personally unwrap. [MORE...]
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Photos: Morrissey [Omaha, NE; 05/11/07]

Photos by Paparazzi by Appointment

Morrissey-- he of the electric eyebrows and the lovable tuft-- swung through Omaha's Orpheum this past Friday on a quest to make Midwestern boys and girls swoon. Quite the endurance test, that quest continues through late July, with blue-eyed Moz melting hearts from the East to West coasts and everywhere in between.








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Smashing Pumpkins Announce U.S. Residencies

In anticipation of the July release of their long-awaited new album, Zeitgeist, the partially reformed Smashing Pumpkins have announced live residencies in Asheville, North Carolina and San Francisco surrounding their appearance at Live Earth.

The Asheville residency comes first and will feature the band at the city's Orange Peel club, playing nine shows between June 23 and July 5. The San Francisco residency will consist of eight shows at the Fillmore between July 22 and August 1.

At the residencies, Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, and co. will vary their set lists nightly as they play material from Zeitgeist as well as their extensive back catalog. They also plan to rework songs from the cutting room floor of the Zeitgeist sessions and perform songs written the day of each show.

The Pumpkins have also changed Zeitgeist's release date to a Tuesday in alignment with industry standards. The record will now come out July 10 instead of July 7, but don't let those three extra days convince you to go stealing anything.

As for who, exactly, is in the Smashing Pumpkins right now, rumors are swirling that bassist Ginger Reyes from the Halo Friendlies is playing the D'Arcy/Melissa Auf Der Maur role, while guitarist Jeff Schroeder from the Lassie Foundation is the new James Iha.

The rest of the band's tour dates are still mostly at European festivals, but they begin with a non-festival date in Paris on May 22. [MORE...]

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Kanye, Madlib, Hi-Tek Produce Kweli's Ear Drum
Album also features Jean Grae, UGK, um, Norah Jones

Talib Kweli will release his fourth official solo album, Ear Drum, on July 24 via Warner Bros. and his own Blacksmith Music. The album features production contributions from Kanye West, Madlib, frequent Kweli collaborator Hi-Tek, and will.i.am., and there are vocal guest spots from UGK, Norah Jones, and semi-recent Blacksmith signee Jean Grae.

In typical rap-release style, Ear Drum does not yet have a tracklist, though a few song titles include first single "Hot Thing", "Soon the New Day" (the Norah Jones collaboration), and the will.i.am-produced, Jean Grae-featuring "Say Something". Eager ears may stream the latter track below.

We sincerely hope that Ear Drum does not go the way of Kweli's buddy Mos Def's most recent album.

Kweli also guests on the recently released Sa-Ra album The Hollywood Recordings, out now on Babygrande. And he will perform at NYC's Highline Ballroom on May 18.
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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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File-icon Mon: 05-14-07: 02:53 PM CDT
Sea and Cake Launch Tour, Add Euro Dates

File-icon Mon: 05-14-07: 02:23 PM CDT
Animal Collective Kick Off Tour Tonight

File-icon Mon: 05-14-07: 01:37 PM CDT
Sly Stone Schedules Rare Live Performance

File-icon Mon: 05-14-07: 12:30 PM CDT
Arthur Reborn!

File-icon Mon: 05-14-07: 12:00 PM CDT
Ted Leo Adds U.S. Dates to Neverending Tour

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