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Aereogramme Call It Quits

Photo by Jayne Duncan

After nearly 10 years together, Scottish rockers Aereogramme are finishing the last of their currently scheduled tour dates and disbanding.

In a statement on their MySpace blog, they explain that their reasons for breaking up "are multiple and complex. It is however fair to say that the never-ending financial struggle coupled with an almost superhuman ability to dodge the zeitgeist have taken their toll, ensuring that we just don't have any fight left in us. We are immensely proud of the four albums that we made over the past seven years [including 2007's My Heart Has a Wish That You Would Not Go]. We hope that they continue to grow in your hearts. We plan to honor and celebrate the beautiful friendships we have made along the way with these final shows over the summer."

The band's final club dates begin May 30 in Aberdeen, Scotland, and though they have four festival dates afterward (including one in Scotland), they wish for fans to consider their June 16 show in their hometown of Glasgow as their farewell UK show.

The quartet's statement ends with fond sentiments: "Finally, we want to thank you all for listening to our music and coming to our shows over the years. You have given us a glimpse of something truly special."

Thanks to reader Martin Allen for the tip.

A casual browse through Aereogramme's other MySpace blog entries uncovers evidence that the split is hardly the result of a spontaneous decision. In an April entry documenting the band's thwarted North American tour with the Twilight Sad and A Northern Chorus, bassist Campbell McNeil wrote the following in a rant about depressingly vulgar dressing room graffiti, raising a good question:

"If I was in that type of band [to write on dressing room walls] and I was the designated scribe, my repertoire would consist of just one phrase. And I would write it on every dressing room wall in every venue in text a foot high as one man's cry for sanity. It would simply read WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF? It's a basic enough question but one that I feel too few musicians ask themselves.

"You see, being in a band is like being in prison. You start to become institutionalized, you start to accept the unacceptable and you stop thinking about how and why you got there in the first place. We once toured with a German band called Kate Mosh. The Question was rearing its ugly head within me for the first time and I shared the thought with the band's drummer, a nice chap whose name now eludes me, he had no answer and looked confused and worried. He quit the band and music 2 months later. It is a wise man who knows his own mind and has the courage to act upon it.

"As you can probably guess things haven't been going too well on our first foray into the U.S. in almost 4 years. A string of bad luck so prolonged and so ugly that it would shake the conviction of even the most confirmed atheist. Surely someone up or down there has taken a personal interest in our endeavor, thereby ensuring that I find myself asking The Question on an almost hourly basis. Botched visa applications, a 7 hour visa interview hell, canceled shows, canceled flights, delayed flights, no backline, no vehicle, broken vehicle, broken promises and a level of financial uncertainty that has seen the tour dubbed Aereogramme: Live Without A Net 2007. Combine this with a market appeal that appears to have become shall we say, "selective" and you're probably starting to see where we're at." [MORE...]
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Ted Leo, Tapes 'n Tapes Help Human Giant Invade MTV
If this disrupts Adventures in Hollyhood in my TiVo to-do list, I am gonna bug out

Like us, the suits up there on the top floor of MTV must have taken a shine to Aziz, Paul and Rob, aka the boys of Human Giant. (Perhaps they thought "Shutterbugs" was some sort of homage to corporate tastemaking?) The errantly-named network will hand over both MTV and its bohemian, chain-smoking cousin MTV2 to the boys for 24 hours starting at noon on Friday, May 18. According to Aziz Ansari's blog, they're letting the boys' wildest fantasies come alive:

"Last week, MTV told us we could get 24 hours on MTV and MTV2 to do whatever we want. So this Friday at noon - we'll take over both channels for a full day and will host live from MTV's Times Square studio. They're literally letting us do whatever we want - we can program whatever shows we want, have guests, bands, music videos, anything! We just have to stay up for 24 hours and get a million hits on our website."

So it's like a telethon in support of nothing, then? Cool with us.

The trio's got a rowdy roundup of guests in the works, primarily from the comedy side of things, with more to be announced: Will Arnett and Michael Cera of Arrested Development, Eugene Mirman, Zach Galifianakis, the Daily Show's Rob Riggle, Andy Blitz, Jon Glaser, Slovin and Allen, and Jon Benjamin. On the musical tip, they're no slouches, either: Ted Leo, Tapes 'n Tapes, Tegan and Sara, and, yikes, Morningwood.

One presumes there'll be plenty of pop-ins, too, and a block of MC Skat Kat videos come 4 AM. A boy can dream, right?

Those looking to get in on the action and be in the audience (for free!) can e-mail their name, age and phone number to battleofthebands@mtv.com.

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Elliott Smith Remembered With Photo Book, Live CD

Elliott Smith will be remembered with a photo book titled Elliott Smith and compiled by Autumn De Wilde, who famously captured the late singer-songwriter in front of the blue-and-red swirl of a Sunset Boulevard locale for the cover of 2000's Figure 8, Billboard reports.

According to Billboard, Elliott Smith is tentatively scheduled for a November release by Chronicle Books. The book gathers over 200 pages of De Wilde's many photos of Elliott, as well as handwritten lyrics and interviews with Smith's sister Ashley Welch and friends Ben Gibbard, Sam Coomes (of Quasi and Smith's old band Heatmiser), Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), and Jon Brion. Proceeds from the book will be donated to the SIMS Foundation, which provides affordable mental health care to musicians, and Portland-based homeless youth advocacy group Outside In.

The book will also include a five-song CD featuring previously unreleased live acoustic tracks recorded by Smith at L.A.'s Largo club. The CD features a trio of Smith fan favorites-- Either/Or's "Angeles" and "Between the Bars", and "Clementine" from his self-titled LP-- as well as covers of Quasi's "Clouds" and Hank Williams Jr.'s "All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down".

In other Elliott Smith news, New Moon, a double-disc collection of Smith rarities, was released May 8 on Kill Rock Stars.

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For Carnation EPs Reissued by Touch and Go

If the name of Louisville post-rockers the For Carnation doesn't strike a chord, it could be cuz they've largely rested on their laurels since the release of their debut self-titled LP at the turn of the century. Heck, this is a band whose old label still links to a defunct Geocities page as their official website, to give you some idea of how long it's been.

Or it could be because the For Carnation were always doomed to be overshadowed by main man Brian McMahan's other band, Slint. (McMahan was also in Squirrel Bait and played with Will Oldham in the Palace days.)

But this summer, just as Slint themselves re-emerge from the shadows, the For Carnation will bloom again. On July 10, Touch and Go will reissue two For Carnation EPs, 1995's Fight Songs and 1996's Marshmallows (both originally on Matador), compiled together into a set titled Promised Works. On these tracks, McMahan was joined by members of Tortoise as well as Slint-mate David Pajo.

Don't forget, Slint are on tour this summer, playing their classic Spiderland album in full. Thanks to the fine folks at All Tomorrow's Parties/Don't Look Back, their first stop in North America will be July 13 at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago's Union Park! [MORE...]

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Photos: The Thermals / Menomena Invade High School [Portland, OR; 05/11/07]

Photos by Nilina Mason-Campbell

The first of two homegrown headline bands to take the stage Friday night at Portland's Cleveland High School auditorium-- as a part of a benefit to raise funds for music programs in Portland public schools (which, to maximize the geographical confusion, was organized by student government at PDX's Lincoln High School)-- Menomena played a rousing set, alternating between laptops and live instrumentation-- including that signature saxophone.

The Thermals closed out the evening, entering with a "Good evening, Cleveland!"-- the irony seemingly lost on the majority of the predominantly teenage crowd. Keeping things PC, they performed tracks from a set list that stretched over two taped together sheets of paper and spanned much of their catalog.

The bands then mingled with students, faculty, and other concert-goers in the hallways of the high school to cap off a unique, slightly surreal, one-off charity night.

The Thermals hit up ATP vs. the Fans this weekend to kick off a hefty overseas trek, while Menomena's summer escapades have them romping across the U.S. and Canada, destination: the Pitchfork Music Festival.

THE THERMALS




MENOMENA

[MORE...]
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T.V. Eye: May 14-20, 2007

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

Tuesday, May 15:

CBS: "Late Show With David Letterman": Wilco
ABC: "Jimmy Kimmel Live": Feist

Wednesday, May 16:

PBS: "Tavis Smiley": Lily Allen
NBC: "Late Night With Conan O'Brien": Silversun Pickups
CBS: "Late Show With David Letterman": Mavis Staples
CBS: "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson": Modest Mouse

Thursday, May 17:

CBS: "Late Show With David Letterman": Rufus Wainwright
NBC: "Late Night With Conan O'Brien": M. Ward
Fuel: "The Daily Habit": Cursive

Friday, May 18:

CBS: "Late Show With David Letterman": Elvis Costello
NBC: "Late Night With Conan O'Brien": Blonde Redhead
NBC: "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno": Peter Bjorn & John
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Exclusive: Lindstrom Preps LateNightTales Mix
Plus: Reinterpretations collection with Prins Thomas, remix EP, 12"s

Front page photo by Lin Stensrud

Mom and dad, meet Hans-Peter Lindstrøm. Hans-Peter, the folks. Now mom and dad, I know you may not care much for Mr. Lindstrøm's otherworldly space disco, nor his killer remixes for the likes of Franz Ferdi-whosit?, LCD Sound-something-or-other, and Annie, but chew on this: Hans likes a lot of the same music you like, the music you grew up listening to.

Just take a gander at the tracklist for Lindstrøm's forthcoming entry into the LateNightTales mix series, out this July on Azuli Records: Carly Simon. The Lovin' Spoonful. Dusty Springfield. Sly and the Family Stone. I mean, Todd Rundgren, for crissakes. Mr. Lindstrøm clearly cares about your musical needs.

Thankfully, he doesn't neglect the present while doing so, interweaving these classics with contemporary tunes-- now pardon me a moment while I talk to the kids, ma-- from the likes of Terje & Thomas, Anja Garbarek, and Pitchfork's own Dominique Leone. And in curating the latest LateNightTales compilation, Lindstrøm joins the esteemed ranks of kid-tested, mother-approved faves like the Flaming Lips, Belle & Sebastian, Air, Four Tet, and more.

Lindstrøm wouldn't be Lindstrøm without a bevy of other material in the works, too. On June 5, he and BFF Prins Thomas release Reinterpretations on Eskimo in the U.S., which collects reinter-- er, alternate versions of tracks from the pair's self-titled 2005 LP, alongside B-sides and a pair of unreleased jams. Those unreleased jams will in fact also appear on the forthcoming Nummer Fire EP 12"-- out via Eskimo the same day as Reinterpretations-- thereby making them, perhaps paradoxically, actually released.

What's more, the previously mentioned Contemporary Fix EP (which features remixes of Lindstrøm by Boredoms' eYe and Bjorn Torske) will finally see release via Smalltown Supersound on August 6, in CD, 12", and digital formats. Finally, Lindstrøm and Smalltown will also hit us with a 12" of "Breakfast in Heaven" (backed with "Blast of Loser") this summer. [MORE...]
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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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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 Tue: 05-15-07: 10:07 AM CDT
Ted Leo, Tapes 'n Tapes Help Human Giant Invade MTV

File-icon Tue: 05-15-07: 09:00 AM CDT
Elliott Smith Remembered With Photo Book, Live CD

File-icon Tue: 05-15-07: 07:00 AM CDT
For Carnation EPs Reissued by Touch and Go

File-icon Mon: 05-14-07: 05:30 PM CDT
Photos: The Thermals / Menomena Invade High School [Portland, OR; 05/11/07]

File-icon Mon: 05-14-07: 04:30 PM CDT
Exclusive: Lindstrom Preps LateNightTales Mix

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