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Photos: Black Kids [Athens, GA; 11/16/07]

Photos by Mike White

"It's great to be back in Athens," exclaimed Black Kids' frontman Reggie Youngblood at the Flicker Theatre and Bar this Friday, "the scene of the crime." Youngblood was of course referring to the young band's performance at this year's Athens Popfest, which drew them lots of buzz from websites such as this one.

Well, now the DIY rockers are touring this year's Best New Music'd EP, The Wizard of Ahhhs, through their native Florida before heading off to the UK. More photos and tour dates below.








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Blood Meridian Seek to Liquidate Paris on New Disc

A handy refresher course: Blood Meridian is the Black Mountain side project featuring the latter's Josh Wells and Matt Camirand. They've already got a pair of fine releases to their name, sure, but why stop there? Blood Meridian have crafted Liquidate Paris-- either a hefty EP or a fit'n'trim LP depending on who you ask-- which they'll release on CD and LP November 20 via Elevation Recordings. Actually, funny story about that label...

Anywho, Liquidate Paris. The disc began its life "in a moldy basement beneath a crack infested street in Vancouver," not unlike Nardwuar. Following Blood Meridian's tradition of naming stuff after books, the disc's title was lifted from the WWII novel of the same name by Danish author Sven Hassel. Both the CD and the vinyl (Elevation's first foray into analog) are limited to 1,000 copies apiece, so you'll want to get on that one.

Wells and Camirand are over in Europe for a mess of Black Mountain dates, which run up to the release of that band's In the Future LP. Those dates-- and the Liquidate Paris tracklist-- after the jump. [MORE...]
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Interpol / Kosheen Artwork: More Than Coincidence?

There's just something about stuffed dead wild animals on display at natural history museums that inspires album artwork. In June, we noticed an eerie similarity between images adorning Interpol's latest, Our Love to Admire, and Ola Podrida's self-titled debut. Then on Thursday, we pointed out another disc that shared Interpol's affinity for dramatically posed buck: Resist, the 2001 debut album from British dance music trio Kosheen.

A chat with Ola Podrida's label revealed that the Ola Podrida/Our Love to Admire connection was merely coincidence, as we reported. But a reader tip suggested that the Kosheen similarities may have been more than that.

The artwork for Kosheen's Resist and its accompanying singles was created by the London design company Blue Source, based on photographs taken at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

According to a representative from Blue Source, Interpol's management contacted them about creating artwork for Our Love to Admire when the album was still in the planning stages. A series of conversations took place, but after Blue Source sent management a portfolio, the design studio never heard from them again, despite many attempts. When the album was released, Blue Source noticed the striking resemblance to Resist and again made an effort to contact Interpol's management, this time in search of some sort of explanation. Once again, they heard nothing. The representative said that though legal action is not being taken, Blue Source would appreciate some sort of acknowledgement.

Interpol and their management did not respond to Pitchfork's questions about the matter.

For now, you be the judge:

Interpol:

Kosheen:

[MORE...]

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Yo La Tengo to Play "Saturday Night Live" Stage Show

You may be experiencing a lot of déjà vu flipping through the channels of late. Yep, that Writers Guild of America strike is still on, and your favorite television shows are stuck in re-run mode for now. But that doesn't mean the folks behind those shows aren't fixin' to do their thing. Some of them, in fact, will do that thing this weekend.

The cast of "Saturday Night Live" will perform a special "On Strike!" edition of that program this coming (you guessed it) Saturday night, live on stage at New York City's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. A Hollywood Reporter piece quotes "SNL" cast member Amy Poehler as saying, "We are doing this to raise spirits, raise awareness, and raise money for our hardworking production crews who will be having a hard holiday season if this strike continues."

That's all well and good, but this being a music publication, we'd be shirking our duties if we didn't tell you about "Saturday Night Live"'s musical guest for the occasion: none other than Hoboken's finest, Yo La Tengo.

Ira, Georgia, and James join the "SNL" gang and guest host Michael Cera November 17. Proceeds from the gig, as Poehler suggested above, go to the show's production staff.

Beyond that, Yo La Tengo have all eyes on Hanukkah. [MORE...]
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Jack White, Bob Dylan Rework Hank Williams Lyrics

If Steppin' in It bassist Dominic Suchyta is to be believed, he's right in the middle of quite a bit of music history. Speaking with Paste Magazine, Suchyta explained that that Mr. Bob Dylan is spearheading an initiative to set some of country legend Hank Williams' "lost" lyrics to music. (By "lost" he means "essentially, the lyric sheets Hank died with in his briefcase.") And Jack White of the White Stripes is involved.

So how does Suchyta know all this? Apparently, Jack is his "oldest friend", and asked him to play upright bass on his contribution to the project, a take on the unheard Williams tune "You Know That I Know". Suchyta told Paste that "no one has heard" the song, "as it was a Hank Williams lyric sheet that Jack put to music and edited a bit. Jack was sent most of or all of the unfinished tunes and picked this one to finish. We listened to quite a bit of Hank while I was down there and sat around the two of us playing our favorite Hank tunes, but the song was done when I got there. I think Jack just ingested a bunch of Hank Williams and this is what came out of him." Figuratively, he means.

White and Suchyta were joined in the studio by engineer Joe Chiccarelli (Stars, the Shins), Raconteur Dean Fertita and Dylan band member Donny Herron on guitar and Autolux's Carla Azar on drums. "We did the session in one long day, live in a circle with some mics around-much like Hank would have," Suchyta said. Mr. Robert Zimmerman didn't take part in the session, though Suchyta "wouldn't put it past" Dylan and White to be cooking up something together. He added that Dylan and White "seem to be cut from the same cloth, sort of misplaced Midwestern brothers."

Deep in blabbin' mood, Suchyta hinted that Willie Nelson and Norah Jones may very well also contribute songs, and that Dylan "no doubt" recorded a tune for the project during the sessions for last year's excellent Modern Times. No word on just what the end result of all this will look like, but it's probably safe to assume it'll be wearing a bolo tie.

In other White Stripes news, they took time away from hanging out with Bob friggin' Dylan to go palling around with Beck and some bull fighters. You know, no big thing. The Stripes posted a couple photos from the forthcoming "Conquest" video on their website today, taken by photographer Erik Ian Schaetzke. And here they are:

Yes, Jack White is slowly turning into Johnny Depp.

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Deerhoof, Milk Man Artist Team for Artsy Gig
Deerhoof play New Year's Eve show with Super Furry Animals

If the cover of Deerhoof's 2004 LP Milk Man still gives you nightmares, you may want to steer clear of Miami's New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) Art Fair next month. The event will play host to an extra special collaborative performance featuring Deerhoof and the man behind the Milk Man (and myriad other childlike creations, pretty much all of them disturbing), Japanese artist Ken Kagami.

Organized by Japan's Gallery Sora, the unique happening pops off December 4 at Miami's Ice Palace Studios and marks the first live marriage of Deerhoof and Kagami's respective trademark steez. You probably have a good idea what Satomi and the guys will bring to the table, but what about Ken? In addition to video projections, the Kill Rock Stars website promises "12 foot strawberry and banana soft sculptures, a massive Milk Man head sculpture behind Deerhoof as they perform, [and] Kagami dancing in a Milk Man costume of his own design." Holy bleedin' bananas, we are so there. (Discounted tickets are available by emailing info@gallerysora.com.)

Speaking of teaming with costume-bedecked crazies, Deerhoof will ring in the new year alongside Super Furry Animals in London.

And speaking of things you shouldn't miss, catch Deerhoof's Satomi Matsuzaki spinning alongside Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart and Why's Yoni Wolf at the previously reported AIDS orphanage benefit at San Francisco's LoBot Gallery tonight (November 16). [MORE...]
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Asobi Seksu, White Rabbits on Gigantic Singles Series
Plus: Dragons of Zynth, O'Death

Oh sure, you could just download the latest entries in Gigantic Music's singles series. In fact, if you were so inclined, you could do so right this instant. But, for the patient, Gigantic is rewarding vinylphiles with a trio of intriguing 7" releases November 20.

The single-mad Asobi Seksu's "Stay Awake" is backed with their take on the Crystals classic "Then He Kissed Me", wrapped in a deluxe gatefold designed by Sean McCabe (Spoon, Interpol). "Xerathyn" arrives courtesy of Dragons of Zynth, and will be backed by "Harlot Blues", produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek (who also helmed the Dragons' Coronation Thieves). As for My Best Fiend, "Acid Happy" finds "Mary's Fits" stuck to its bottom parts. Each is limited to 500 copies apiece, so you'll have to use that cunning of yours to nab one.

If that's not Gigantic enough, get a load of this: February 5, the next installments in the series-- from the likes of White Rabbits, O'Death, and Maison Blanche, no less-- will emerge. Remember, patience pays. [MORE...]
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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Add 2008 Gigs

BRUUUUUUUUCE IS BAAAAAACK, again. Smack in the middle of a generous fall run through North America and, soon, Europe, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have plotted another U.S. trek for next year. True, it's only half a dozen dates in two months at this point, but that's just sparse enough to fill in ten-night stretches in each city. Right, Boss?

In other Springsteen news, the National's cover of "Mansion on the Hill" is in stores now, as is the pretty darn good Magic LP. And those songs with the Arcade Fire are still awesome. [MORE...]
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Spoon Close Out 2007 With More Dates

Spoon, meet Spain. (Writes itself, don't it?) Spoon-- the ones with the pop-rock the kids go Ga Ga over (and then some!)-- have added a handful of Spanish dates to their tour itinerary as part of the traveling Wintercase Festival. Looks as though they'll be joined by their fellow Texans in Explosions in the Sky on those dates.

What's more, Spoon have added a spate of Stateside gigs upon their return, including one to close out the year in Chicago. Along the way they'll butt heads with Modest Mouse, the Shins, Feist, Pinback, and more. [MORE...]
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Ramones, Big Star, Mary Weiss on Norton Singles Comp
Also: Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Link Wray, ? and the Mysterians, Sonics, 5.6.7.8's

In my book, vinyl's not portable enough, and MP3s are barely there, so the CD is a perfect middle-ground medium. Obviously, a fair portion of the music consuming and producing public doesn't agree, including the folks at 21-year-old label Norton Records, who will release I Hate CDs: Norton Records 45 RPM Singles Collection Vol. 1 on December 4.

I Hate CDs is a digital compilation of 45 45s from Norton's history, including tracks by the Ramones, Big Star, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Link Wray, ? and the Mysterians, Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las, the 5.6.7.8's, the Sonics, and the Dictators. Okay, I'm convinced! [MORE...]
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Gibbard, Decemberists, McKay Play Aimee Mann Xmas
Nellie McKay plans other dates too, cuts "charity" Xmas single

For the second year in a row, songwriter Aimee Mann has gathered a few of her closest friends for a traveling Christmas variety show. Joining Mann on the musical side will be Ben Gibbard, several indeterminate Decemberists members, Nellie McKay, Josh Ritter, Grant Lee Phillips, Ben Lee, Joe Henry, Chuck Prophet, Patrick Park, Sean Hayes, and the Honeydogs' Adam Levy.

But not all at once. Comedians Paul F. Tompkins and Morgan Murphy will join Mann at every stop on the tour, but the musical lineup changes from night to night, so we've done that thing with all the symbols down there below the cut to help (that's our hope, anyway) sort through the confusion. More guests are expected to be added soon, but we're running dangerously low on punctuation over here.

Thanks to reader Ben Hasler for the tip.

Speaking of Nellie McKay, you gotta admit, gal's got a sense of humor. And now McKay, whose knack for snicker-worthy songwriting is ably demonstrated across her three collections of tunes thus far (including this year's Obligatory Villagers), is taking the laughs all the way to the bank.

McKay recently issued a "charity" Christmas single via her website, the charity in question being "The Nellie McKay Disaster Fund". Ha, say what? "All proceeds," writes the songstress, "will go directly into Nellie McKay's bank account." LOLz.

Before you cry foul, however, know that donations are purely voluntary, and you may download the one-song mp3 single for free if you so choose. The tune's subject matter, however, is no laughing matter. Titled "A Christmas Dirge", it addresses the dark underside of the Yuletide log, including cruelty to plants and animals during this season of supposed merriment.

McKay will also appear on the November 21 episode of NPR's "Fresh Air With Terry Gross" and make her feature film debut in the previously discussed P.S. I Love You, which hits theaters December 21. She's got a few dates sans Mann too, and those are below. [MORE...]
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Band of Horses Turn Down Wal-Mart TV Ad
Ben Bridwell: "Once I saw our fans were let down by it, I nixed the TV commercial, and said, 'You know what, this isn't for me. Keep your money.'"

Band of Horses took a bit of flak a couple months back-- on the interwebs, anyway-- for licensing a song to Wal-Mart (and another to Ford) for a net-based ad campaign. "My personal stance," Band-leader Ben Bridwell wrote in response to the haters, "is that once that music is recorded and released to the world then I don't really care where it goes."

But despite this apparent nonchalance, Bridwell has drawn a line. Speaking to Fargo, North Dakota publication The Forum this week (linked via Brooklyn Vegan), Bridwell confirmed that while it could have taken quite a leap forward, Band of Horses' dalliance with the mega department store chain with the questionable ethics has come to an end.

"I called my family, talked to my girlfriend about it, talked to the guys in the band and decided it's no big deal," Bridwell said of the initial decision to license the song. "We tested it with that Web site thing that I figured nobody would really even see. But in the Internet age, you can't do anything without someone catching wind of it.

"Some fans, they don't even give a crap," he continued. "They're like, 'Whatever, bands got to get paid.' But at the same time, I was reluctant to do it in the back of my mind, and some fans reminded me there is a reason to feel that way about it.

"So once I saw our fans were let down by it, I nixed the TV commercial, and said, 'You know what, this isn't for me. Keep your money.'"

The TV commercial Bridwell mentions was an option Wal-Mart put before the band following the success of the web campaign (which has since ended), according to Band of Horses' label, Sub Pop.

So, in summary: Band of Horses could have gone all the way with Wal-Mart, but they didn't. Yay for them. Meanwhile, life goes on, Cease to Begin is out now, and Band of Horses continue their recently upsized tour in Montana this weekend. Go see them, and please people, leave the cameras at home. [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 Wed: 12-12-07: 11:00 AM CST
Morrissey Reveals New Single Details

File-icon Wed: 12-12-07: 10:15 AM CST
Black Lips Add Tour Dates (Yep) Again

File-icon Wed: 12-12-07: 09:00 AM CST
Explosions to "Drop off the Face of the Earth" After Tour

File-icon Wed: 12-12-07: 07:00 AM CST
Yeasayer Announce Big 2008 Tour

File-icon Tue: 12-11-07: 03:45 PM CST
Final Fantasy Song Jacked for Ad Leads to Anger Lawsuit Totally Sweet Music Festival

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