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My Brightest Diamond Kicks Off Tour Tonight
Plus cool bonus demo mp3!

When she's not splashing about in fountains, celebrating the music of Huey Lewis, getting her cast signed, or singing about a highway, Shara Worden is traversing the known world as My Brightest Diamond. One of the brightest gems in the Asthmatic Kitty crown, Worden and her Diamond kick off their brief fall tour this evening in Montreal, joined at every turn by Tim "Shaniqua" Fite. She's also got those plans to head to Australia and Japan with her dogg 4 life Sufjan Stevens, but that is so next year.

It also seems Worden's been crafting a new MBD LP since the last time we checked in with her. Oh so many dispatches from the studio have been posted on the band's website, from the somewhat banal to the downright wacky. A mouse infestation? Beatboxing? Oboes? Expect all that and more from the disc, tentatively titled A Thousand Shark's Teeth.

In the meantime, how about a reminder of the first My Brightest Diamond album, Bring Me the Workhorse? Check out the raw demo version of that LP's "Freak Out" below! [MORE...]

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Wu-Tang: A Beatles Interpolation, Not a Sample; Download the Song Now!

Photo by William Kirk

Remember the big to-do the Wu-Tang Clan made yesterday about how they'd secured the first Beatles sample in history? Turns out, they didn't.

This evening, they posted the following message on their MySpace page, under the headline "**We didn't Sample the Beatles, it was a replay, pardon**":

"The statement that we made yesterday was incorrect and we apologize for any confusion it may have caused. We DID NOT sample the Beatles, I repeat, we DID NOT sample the Beatles, rather we did an INTERPOLATION of the classic George Harrison composition 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.' In a historic collaboration, Dhani Harrison, son of George, through his friendship with the RZA, played guitar on the song and he himself helped secure the REUSE LICENSE. Also appearing on the song are John Frusciante, guitar player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Erykah Badu singing the chorus.

'To satisfy everyone's curiosity, the song will be streamed exclusively on loud.com tonight. It will be the first single and video from the forthcoming album '8 Diagrams' in stores December 4.

'Thanks again to Dhani Harrison and the Harrison Estate for helping us make history."

And it's true-- the song is available on loud.com right now-- as an mp3! Check out the link below. Not quite as historic, but still pretty cool. Try to ignore the creepy loud.com whispers though.

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Subtle Reveal LP With TVOTR, Wolf Parade Members
MP3: "Deathful" ft. Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio

Subtle's had a bad run. As we've reported in these pages, in the last two years, the genre-bending Oaklend sextet survived a tour van crash that left keyboardist Dax Pierson a quadriplegic, were robbed in Europe, and their major label debut, last year's For Hero: For Fool, received raves from the critics but less-than-breakthrough sales. Subtle's magnetic, magnanimous frontman, Adam Drucker, aka Doseone, has been a cult phenomenon in avant-hip-hop circles for years, but his intricate lyrics and jawd-ropping live performances have yet to find a wider audience.

So what do they do? Keep working. Yell & Ice, a remakes and remixes collection based on For Hero: For Fool, comes out on Lex Records October 23. It features contributions from members of TV on the Radio, Wolf Parade and the Notwist, as well as Anticon associates Why? and Chris Adams of Bracken and Hood. Check out "Deathful", featuring Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, by clicking on the link below. (The full tracklist for Yell & Ice and Subtle's upcoming tour dates cam also be found below.)

Doseone describes Yell & Ice as a labor of love. "Like fuck it, make it fun for these artists that we're cold-calling, that we love," he said. "We're not paying, there's no money turned around on this record-- which I love-- and so it's like, I send this to you, you should take what inspires you and fuck it up a little bit, ruin it, make it pretty, send that to us, we will do the same, and just keep remaking things. What I like is that it expresses, quietly and in a mature way, how committed we are to the depths in our music. That we can go in and remake all these songs because we made a bunch of rights, and we could've made lefts. And they're just as valid."

We recently spoke with Dose about his upcoming albums and projects, Dax Pierson's recovery, and how a cover of Shellac's "Prayer to God" wound up on Subtle's setlist this year. We also talked at length about the storyline behind the three Subtle LPs, A New White, For Hero: For Fool, and the upcoming conclusion, ExitingARM, which will come out as both an album and a website. And much, much more. Stay tuned to the Features section of Pitchfork, where the full interview will be published within the coming weeks. [MORE...]

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Tiny Masters of Today Pal Around With YYYs, Liars, CSS

Surely it's been said before, but it bears repeating: Tiny Masters of Today are exactly that. Tiny. Barely-teenaged bro Ivan and sis Ada-- two years Ivan's junior-- threw a few tracks on MySpace some months back, which caught the attention of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion/Jena Malone drummer Russell Simins. (Simins would end up drumming for TMT both in concert and on Bang Bang Boom Cake, their debut album.)

Eventually, other oldsters caught on. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, CSS, and Liars became friends, and none other than David Bowie compared them to Suicide and (flatteringly, we'll assume) gloriously terrible amateur rock legends the Shaggs. They truly are tiny masters of today...but do they pack their own lunches?

Bang Bang Boom Cake
, already out in the UK from Mute, is coming to the U.S. and Canada from World's Fair imprint Great Society. The disc features guest appearances from Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches, Fred Schneider of the B-52s, and Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes.

In addition to touring the globe and releasing an album long before they discover the healing power of Clearasil, the band is also trying its hand at knob-twiddling. The Tiny Masters of Today remix of Liars' "Clear Island" will appear on a forthcoming single plucked from the Liars LP, and Liars have returned the favor with a remix of the Tiny Masters' "Hey, Mr. DJ", which will appear on the single for that song, due September 17 on Mute.

CSS also remixed "Hey, Mr. DJ", which can be downloaded below. Of TMT, Adriano Cintra from CSS said, "I first heard Tiny Masters on MySpace. I got really crazy about them, I wanted to have younger brother and sister like them. Kinda of, hey, let's make party songs for when we get older...now I am older and I'm glad I got Tiny Masters as friends!"

Makes you wish you played a lot less Earthworm Jim when you were 13, don't it? [MORE...]

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Tony Wilson Talks In the City; Happy Mondays Cancel
"When I saw Enter Shikari in front of 200 15-year-old kids who were going nuts, it really was the most exciting thing I've seen since the Sex Pistols in 1976."

Pitctured: Yvette Livesey and Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson is pretty much unstoppable. As the founder of the legendary Factory Records, he weathered the suicide of Joy Division's Ian Curtis, the rise and fall (and rebirth) of the Happy Mondays, and the fabulous disaster that was the Hacienda club. More recently, he's been fighting cancer.

Wilson's latest project is the In the City of New York conference, taking place June 13 and 14 at the W Hotel in Manhattan. Wilson and partner Yvette Livesey have collaborated with AEG Live to bring their In the City music industry summit-- which has taken place in Manchester, England since 1992-- to the United States for the first time. In the City of New York will feature panels about new media, DRM, branding, festivals, social networking, and much, much more. Speakers include members of the Rapture, Tommy Boy Records head honcho Tom Silverman, "My Boyfriend's Back" / "I Want Candy" songwriter (and Sire Records co-founder) Richard Gottehrer, and r&b superproducer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins.

The Happy Mondays were supposed to headline two shows during In the City of New York, to celebrate their upcoming album Unkle Dysfunktional, to be released on Sanctuary in the UK later this year (The band is looking for a label in the U.S., since Sanctuary is no longer putting out new albums in the U.S.) Unfortunately, their performances were canceled today, "due to temporary visa issues", according to a press release. (We're assured that they'll be back to play America sometime soon.)

The Manchester In the City is known for breaking new bands; past acts that have vaulted to stardom after playing it include Radiohead, Oasis, Elastica, and Muse. The New York edition hopes to do the same with the five up-and-coming British bands they're importing for this week's fest. The best-known in America is the Rakes, who charmed U.S. audiences with their wirey (and Wire-y) 2005 debut album Capture/Release. Their second album, Ten New Messages, has yet to be released on our shores. The Rakes will perform at the Knitting Factory on June 13, supported by the Pigeon Detectives, the Leeds band currently celebrating the number three UK chart debut of their first album, Wait for Me.

On June 14, Scottish alternarock band Biffy Clyro will headline the High Line Ballroom, having just been signed to Roadrunner Records for the Stateside release of their latest album, Puzzle. Opening for Biffy Clyro will be Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes and dance-metal DIY stars Enter Shikari, making their American debut. They also happen to be Tony Wilson's current favorite band.

We chatted with Tony Wilson about Enter Shikari, In the City of New York, his health, and the new Joy Division film, Control. Along the way, he outed himself as a Fall Out Boy fan, and called the Killers' Brandon Flowers "a fucking idiot." Read the interview after checking out these streams from all of the bands playing the conference.

The Rakes: "Dangerous" [B-side from the "We Danced Together" 7" on V2]



The Pigeon Detectives: "I'm Not Sorry" [from the Wait for Me LP on Dance to the Radio]



Biffy Clyro: "Semi-Mental" [from the Puzzle LP forthcoming on Roadrunner]



Enter Shikari: "Mothership" [from Take to the Skies LP on Ambush Reality]



Blood Red Shoes: "It's Getting Boring by the Sea" [from the "It's Getting Boring by the Sea" single on V2]



Bonus: Happy Mondays: "Jelly Bean" [from the Unkle Dysfunktional LP]

[MORE...]

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Monster Bobby, Smoosh Join Pipettes Tour

As U.S. citizens prepare to fall into the Gaps, Pipettes impresario Monster Bobby will stir up further support for his debut-- out July 17 Stateside and July 16 UK-ways via Hypnote-- by pulling double duty at a bunch of the Pipettes' upcoming North American engagements.

Bobby will open all of Rosay, Gwenno, and Riot Becki's U.S. and Canada gigs before donning his fuzzy sweater vest and stepping behind the self-described prettiest girls you've ever met as part of the Cassettes, the Pipettes' trusty backing band. He'll have plenty of time to change, as rather young duo Smoosh also assume opening duties.

As a special treat, check out an mp3 below of a noisy pop jam from Monster Bobby's debut, Gaps. It's called "The Closest Experience to That of Being With You Is the Experience of Taking Drugs"-- now really Bobby, are these the sort of ideas we should be putting into the heads of Smoosh? [MORE...]
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Exclusive: Shearwater Sign to Matador, Expand Palo

With more raucous rawkers like the Ponys, Times New Viking, and Love of Diagrams now under their wing, seems the good eggs at Matador Records needed something to appeal to label fans' sensitive sides. Alight Shearwater, songwriting vessel for Okkervil River's Jonathan Meiburg and pals, who've signed to the near-impeccable Olé imprint.

While the avian quartet have a new LP tentatively slated for early 2008 release, Matador will reissue last year's excellent Palo Santo in a deluxe, two-disc/double-LP edition, on April 10. The first disc boasts completely re-recorded versions of "La Dame et la Licorne", "Red Sea, Black Sea", "Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five", "Johnny Viola", and "Hail, Mary"-- all apparently more in line with the band's vision than the original recordings.

Disc two, meanwhile, collects a handful of Shearwater's Palo demos, along with several unreleased jams and covers of Skip James' "Special Rider Blues" and Baby Dee's "Lilacs". The latter cover is exclusive to the vinyl version of this release.

Check out the clearer, richer new version of "Red Sea, Black Sea"-- with sparkling chimes, upright bass thick as sap, Jonathan's "fucking disaster!" lash-out quite intact, and a riotous finale-- in mp3 format below.

In directly related news, Austin's Misra Records-- who released the original Palo Santo last May-- have drastically reduced webshop prices on the album for a limited time. This potential future eBay scorcher-- which, as mentioned, features different recordings of almost half the songs on the forthcoming Matador release-- can be yours for a mere four dollars! A fine album in its own right, score a copy here while supplies last.

As previously reported, Shearwater hit the road with Xiu Xiu in late March, with a few SXSW engagements to warm them up. [MORE...]
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Dios (Malos) Hit the Road, Share Exclusive New MP3

In a bid for better days ahead, the men of Hawthorne, Califoria's Dios (Malos) embark on a U.S. tour next week with pals the Changes (Chicago reprazent!!) and the Spinto Band (Delaware u at??).

While litigation may have turned the band's neutral Dios into grim Dios (Malos), they aren't the least bit down about it. Instead the upbeat troupe is hard at work on the follow-up to 2005's Dios (Malos), tentatively titled Life Between the Tides.

As a special post-Valentine's Day love-hangover treat, Dios (Malos) have graciously shared an unmastered version of new jam "In Control of the OJ" with you, the loyal reader! Rejoice! "In Control" boasts some sunny surface melodies, but its the chaos brewing beneath that intrigues us most and befits that parenthetical aside haunting their name. [MORE...]
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Rabbit Factory Unleashes Soul of Neal Hemphill
Plus exclusive MP3s from Ralph "Soul" Jackson

Tomorrow, February 6, Chicago label Rabbit Factory will release Birmingham Sound: The Soul of Neal Hemphill Vol. 1. (It's available on eMusic now.) It's a compilation of soul from Birmingham, Alabama in the 60s and 70s named for plumber-turned-studio owner Neal Hemphill. Hemphill was responsible for a great deal of the music produced in the city during that time, and the 23-track compilation includes tracks by Frederick Knight (who wrote "Ring My Bell", a hit for Anita Ward), the Blue Notes, and Ralph "Soul" Jackson.

Rabbit Factory will also use the two Jackson tracks on a 45 release in conjunction with the compilation, with "Set Me Free" on the A-side and "Take Me Back" on the B. The label has offered both tracks for download at the links below. "Set Me Free" is an uptempo plea backed by a female chorus, while "Take Me Back" is a little more wistful. [MORE...]
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Exclusive: Dean & Britta Announce Tour, Share MP3

After cooping up all winter awaiting the release of their second LP, Back Numbers (out February 27 via Zoë/Rounder), Dean & Britta are ready for a little Avventura on the open road.

The couple-- Dean, surname Wareham, best known for his work in Luna and Galaxie 500, and Britta, surname Phillips, known for playing in Luna and the Belltower, providing cartoon voice-overs, and whipping up a mean water filter-- take to the the tour trail this March, beginning in Philadelphia. Along the way they'll hit up most major cosmopolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada, closing things out with a NYC homecoming gig. Joining these lovebirds onstage: drummer Matt Johnson and keyboardist/melodica player Lara Meyerratken.

To get the kids stoked for the forthcoming jaunt and record release, Dean & Britta have kindly shared an exclusive mp3 of Back Numbers opener "Singer Sing". As Dean told Pitchfork last fall, said tune "was the last thing we finished...it was something we were creeping around with at home." Appropriately, it has that gauzy, homespun feel, and will likely make you wish you were back at your place cuddling up with a loved one, instead of staring at this cold, dispassionate computer screen. [MORE...]

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Exclusive: Page France Reveal LP, MP3, Headlights Tour

Baltimore is supposedly one of the most depressing cities in America, full of drugs, crime, and failing schools. Well, that's what "The Wire" tells us anyway.

But somehow, that (allegedly) festering shithole has produced Page France, who are responsible for "Hat and Rabbit", one of the happiest, bounciest, and all-around peppiest songs of 2007 so far. The glockenspiel (or xylophone? I can't tell the difference) alone provides enough mirth to light a seedy back alleyway for a month.

"Hat and Rabbit" is available as an exclusive download by clicking on the link below. Or wait to hear it in context when it appears on Page France's forthcoming album ...and the Family Telephone, due out May 8 on Suicide Squeeze.

Or hop along with the tune in a live setting, as Page France hit the road with Polyvinyl band Headlights for a cross-country tour in March and April. Page France have a string of dates with the now label-less Margot & the Nuclear So and So's before that tour starts, and Headlights head to Europe with the Album Leaf in February.

Headlights are also prepping a limited edition tour EP featuring live sets recorded at XM Radio, WOXY, Daytrotter, and Indie 103.1 in the fall of 2006. The songs will be culled from the band's debut album Kill Them With Kindness as well as a brand new tune called "This One". [MORE...]

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Marnie Stern Melts Your Face With KRS LP, Tour, MP3

For a solo artist, Marnie Stern seriously stirs up a lot of noise. Layering frenetic, in-your-face guitar over half-sung/half-spoken vocals and spastic drumming, the New York-based guitar virtuoso-- who amazed audiences last fall at CMJ-- makes it immediately apparent why she's described by her label as "The DIY Lady Shredder."

Until recently, Stern was an unsigned, make-demos-in-her-bedroom kind of solo act (another epithet-- this one designated by her booking agency-- is "The Upper East Side Recluse"). Then Kill Rock Stars discovered her via one of those demos and signed her to its 5RC imprint almost immediately.

5RC folded following Slim Moon's departure from Kill Rock Stars, which means Marnie's much-anticipated, slightly-delayed debut full length, In Advance of the Broken Arm, will arrive February 20 on KRS. Collecting songs Marnie's written over the past two years, and produced by Hella's Zach Hill (who also drums on the album), the LP comes armed with 13 blistering tracks. We're priveleged to share one of them with you.

Get your click on with our exclusive download of "Every Single Line Means Something", a slash-and-burn attack of Stern's shredding and Hill's epic pounding. This shit is bananas.

Not to be missed, Stern brings her sonic assault to the road in February with 5RC graduate BARR, hits up SXSW, and will later join Hill for a TBA summertime rampage/romp. [MORE...]

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