mardi, février 28, 2006

Maximo Park ill

Maximo Park Temporarily Out of Action

Maximo Park

by Eve Jenkin @ Undercover

February 28 2006

British indie rockers Maximo Park have been forced to cancel their upcoming appearance at the Royal Albert Hall on March 30th because their guitarist Duncan Lloyd broke his arm.

Following a big night out at the NME Awards the band announced on their website: “Dunc broke his right arm. We hope he gets better soon, obviously, but it looks like we won’t be playing at the Albert Hall, since he is the guitar player! More news will follow, but at least we won’t have to cancel a whole tour. Small Mercies.”

Maximo Park have since confirmed after an operation on Lloyd’s arm that they will be unable to play the March 30 show, and are offering refunds to all who purchased tickets via SeeTickets. The performance was intended to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and feature not only Maximo Park but co-headliners Razorlight. The tough search for a replacement band begun immediately following Lloyd’s injury, but the Teenage Cancer Trust are no doubt going to have some trouble finding a band at such short notice.

lundi, février 27, 2006

Zappa in 1986

Frank Zappa and His Digital Orchestra

by John Diliberto

Mar 2, 2004 12:00 PM

The present-day composer refuses to die . . . and his life support system is a Synclavier.

This article originally appeared in the September 1986 issue of Electronic Musician.

While waiting to interview Frank Zappa, I overheard a phone conversation with drummer Chad Wackerman. Zappa had just returned from filming an episode of TV's Miami Vice and was denigrating the script--"It is so putrid"--his clothes--"It was like Ronald MacDonald"--his role--"What do you get to be on there? A cocaine dealer. That's all that show's about"--and the "pastel policeman."

After all was said and done, however, Zappa waxed philosophical. "I'm really glad I did it though," he admitted, "because it was so sick. It's really one of the sicker things that a human being can do."

If anyone knows about the sick things a human being can do, it's Frank Zappa. For over 20 years he's been garroting American culture, sub-culture, counter-culture, and culture clash in a string of recordings that began in 1966 with Freak Out! Hippies, punks, Valley girls, and Congress fall equally before his venomous pen.

For those who love to hate Zappa, he presents an easy target, but laced between Zappa's satirical acid is an acute social consciousness, reflected in his longstanding voter registration pleas and his recent crusade against the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC).

Also buried in there are Zappa's serious music aspirations. While singing the praises of "Dinah Mo Hum," he's also sung the praises of Edgar Varese, Anton Webern, and others serious 20th-century composers and pioneers. In recent years, he accomplished the goal of realizing his orchestral works with recordings by the London Symphony Orchestra and Pierre Boulez' Ensemble Intercontemporain. But these were only temporary and expensive fixes for Zappa, who has found a more permanent solution to his addiction, the Synclavier II.

In 1982, Zappa released Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar,a three-record set of guitar solos compiled in answer to his fans' demands. A similar refrain may soon be heard, not because Zappa's talking too much, but because he recently put down his guitar in favor of the Synclavier II computer music system. Not just any Synclavier, but the $200,000 deluxe model.

The first releases of this music were heard in 1984 and 1985 on The Perfect Stranger, Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention and Francesco Zappa, His First Digital Recording in over 200 Years. He calls his Synclavier the Barking Pumpkin Digital Gratification Consort, replacing the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of Lumpy Gravy, and as you'll read, Zappa believes he's found the answer to his deepest desires--recording orchestral music--even if the orchestra is digital.

I spoke with Zappa at his home in Los Angeles, ushered into the sanctum sanctorum of his 24-track digital studio by Dweezil, with a sullen, "Frank wants you to set up in here. "

As I neared the studio, the sounds of a crazed metallic mallet orchestra lashed out, silenced by Zappa as I entered. He took the only arm chair in the room, with a microphone sticking mysteriously out of the wall overhead, lit up his everpresent Winston, took the phone call from Wackerman, and with the snide exuberance that only Zappa can muster, proceeded to talk about his latest sonic assault.

EM: You said that you haven't played the guitar in two years.

FZ: Well, I pretty much haven't touched it for the last two years 'cause the last tour was '84, and after the tour I went to work right away on mixing the live tapes. I had to deliver a CD to EMI for this live stuff (Does Humor Belong in Music), and finish the video editing on a television show. Then I got the extra components for this machinery here (the Synclavier) and I just got into working with that.

EM: You've said that when you play the guitar, you like to make it talk. Can you do that with the Synclavier?

FZ: Oh yeah! Sure can.

EM: For the Francesco Zappa project, how did you put the performance together?

FZ: I had an assistant at that time named David Acker. There are two ways of entering material into the Synclavier. One way is with the Script language, which is all letters and numbers and stuff. Or you can do it by playing, then editing what you played by a couple of different means. Anyway, I never learned how to type their Script entry and he knew how to do it. So he took the original manuscripts that we'd gotten from the Berkeley library and the Library of Congress and typed them in. We also researched the ornamentation of the period and whenever there was a little "chingus" over the note, we put in the right twirls . . .

So I just experimented around with orchestration to make it as colorful as I could. That was all done with synthesized sounds. It wasn't done with any samples. I didn't have any sampling stuff working then.

EM: You've spoken often about your frustrations working with studio musicians, particularly string sections. Are you using the Synclavier as a way around them?

FZ: Oh, it's better than a way around it. Because this allows you to make sounds that, although they can be very orchestral, surpass the wildest possibilities of any kind of instrumental ensemble. It's more than just alleviating the tension; it's opening up a whole new dimension.

EM: Do you think you can exist, or co-exist, in this acoustic dimension with this instrument if you chose to?

FZ: Well, obviously you haven't heard what the machine can do or you wouldn't ask that question. Yeah, it does it. What it sounds like in polyphonic sampling is determined by the quality of the samples you put into it. We do a lot of sampling right here under really laboratory conditions. So I've got one of the finest collections of samples anywhere, most of them in stereo.

For example, we have a big concert marimba. You set up two microphones over it and as you sample each note on the marimba and lay them onto the key, you automatically get the same kind of panning that the stereo microphones hear. When it plays back your sequence, you really get the sensation that you are hearing a musician who is playing something utterly impossible.

EM: You've always used electronics in your music, one way or another, but until recently you've never played much synthesizer on your records.

FZ: Right, although I've always had other keyboard players. I'm not a keyboard player -although I've dabbled in it for little cheezoid parts and stuff- and you usually have to be one to "play" the synthesizer. That's not what I'm doing now, though, because you can enter data into this system by playing at a slow rate, and it's velocity and pressure sensitive so you can put a lot of expression into what you play. Then you can crank the speed back up to where you want it, and edit what you've played by several different means.

EM: So you played the Synclavier pieces on The Perfect Stranger on the keyboard.

FZ: Yeah!

EM: Did you alter the parts once they were in?

FZ: Yeah, with the editing. You can also enter notes just from the typewriter. You can play something in and if you feel something's missing some place, you just type a few things and you have notes there. The only drawback is that if you've played something with keyboard pressure and velocity sensitivity, the notes you type in are always at 100 percent so they will pop out.

EM: You seem to prefer very metallic percussive sounds and timbres in the Synclavier music of yours that I've heard on records.

FZ: Well, that's not true of the recent stuff (Mothers of Prevention), and even that doesn't bear any resemblance to what the stuff sounds like now since I bought extra memory for it that allows me to have instrumental ensembles that I couldn't have before. For the Mothers of Prevention album, I had only six megabytes of RAM and a 20 megabyte Winchester (hard disk drive). How I have two 80 megabyte Winchesters, plus 20 megs of RAM. I can store quite a bit of stuff in there and have more elaborate ensembles playing the material back.

EM: So if this is your way around or beyond and orchestra . . .

FZ: Forget about the orchestra. It's beyond the orchestra. Because what this enables me to do is the same thing a painter gets to do. You get to deal with the material in a real and instantaneous way. You go boop and it's there. You don't sit down and write it out painstakingly over a period of years and have the part copied and hope that some orchestra will have enough time to devote to a rehearsal so they come within the vicinity of what your original idea is. There is no doubt about it that if you can play on this thing and hear what you're playing, you have total control of your idea. Good, bad, or indifferent, you get to take the rap for it without having to share any blame with some malfeasance on the performance level when you write it out in a normal way.

The economics of the time being what they are, I see nothing but bleakness ahead for people who still have to write it on a piece of paper and give it to a human being to play it, because there's not enough money to pay for rehearsals. The tendency in most modern music concerts is, since they know there's no money for rehearsal, they write increasingly easier or more minimalist pieces requiring less and less skill. That's what's getting funded. The economics took its toll on the cultural life of America for sure.

EM: You've had a few of your orchestral works performed by the London Symphony Orchestra . . .

FZ: Yeah! Right! And those pieces cost a fortune. I could've bought two of these machines for what the LSO album cost me.

EM: And what about the pieces commissioned by Pierre Boulez?

FZ: Well, that wasn't really orchestral. That was only a chamber orchestra with only 27 pieces and there's a slight difference.

EM: Are you doing outboard processing on the Synclavier?

FZ: You mean when it goes to tape? Sure! We add digital echo to it and there's some equalization that's done, especially on some of the synthesizer sounds that come out of it since there's no tracking filter in there. It's digital synthesis; the synthesizer sounds in that machine are subject to aliasing noise and that often has to be filtered off.

EM: On the track "Outside Now Again," was the solo on that improvised?

FZ: Yes. It came from the Joe's Garage album on a song called "Outside Now." That's why it's called "Outside Now Again" on the Boulez album.

EM: So this wasn't improvised on the Synclavier.

FZ: No, it was played on the guitar. Then it was transcribed by Steve Vai. Then the transcription was entered into the Synclavier.

EM: How does your current use of the Synclavier relate to some of the musique concrete things you did on early Mothers' albums?

FZ: Well, I can do concrete there too, because of the way the system operates. They have these things called patches. A patch is list of what sound lives under each key. You can have a different sound under each key and they can be any sound. It can be thunder under middle C and a frog on C# and a car crash on D and anything you want. If you play a normal piano part on there, you get very unusual things coming out. Or you could have the whole keyboard by the voices of people from the Congress.

EM: Edgar Varese was an early influence on you and he was an early pioneer of musique concrete with "Poeme Electronique" and "Deserts." I recall when we spoke before that you didn't think very highly of those works.

FZ: That could possibly be due to the timing of when I heard it. Since I had more or less grown up with the pieces on EMS-401 (the first recording of Varese's works) and none of them were electronic, when I finally heard "Poeme Electronique" on the Columbia album they did when he was around 80 years old, I had heard other types of electronic music. His may have come first (it didn't) and it may have been the pioneering thing (it was), but my ear had already been exposed to other albums. So it wasn't as shocking or extreme as hearing "Octandre" or "Ionizations" for the first time.

EM: What were some of those other electronic works?

FZ: "Vale of Orpheus." There was an album out of early French music and I believe it was Pierre Schaeffer. Also there was a guy (Tod Dockstader) who was a disc jockey out of Denver, Colorado. He wasn't a composer in the normal sense of the word. He had a number of releases on an obscure label called Owl. One of them was called Quatermass, and I think I have three of those. He was more of an engineer than a composer, but to me some of those compositions work better than the supposedly serious big shots from Europe.

I remember reading about a thing called the Mixtur-Trautonium. All the things that this musicology book said about it the Synclavier now does. One of the things mentioned was chordal glissandos of kettle drums. You can have that if you want it on here.

EM: What's the difference in your compositions between music and sound effects?

FZ: It depends on the function. If I had my way, I'd orchestrate the sound effects on everything and the only thing that keeps me from doing that right now is the amount of digital storage in the machine. If I extracted some examples from my sound effects library and loaded them in and wanted to build a composition out of them, I wouldn't have enough memory storage for the samples of the other instruments.

EM: They also have a guitar interface for the Synclavier . . .

FZ: I don't speak highly of it.

EM: Why?

FZ: Because of the way it works. The problem with making a guitar trigger a synthesizer is that it can't start doing the calculation to determine what the pitch of the string is until after the burst of white noise that the pick produces has died off. So they have a variable delay that keeps the computer from listening to the pitch until after the white noise is gone. That means that if you're playing fast on it, nothing comes out. So it makes it a little bit awkward to play it as if it was a guitar. You have to baby it along. Some people can get around on it, I can't. It's just too awkward to me.

EM: It seems like the people I've heard using it don't get the feel or flexibility of sound of a guitar in terms of expression, attacks . . .

FZ: Well, I hear a guitar a different way than most other people hear it. Unless you can get the feeling of the instrument and use it like an instrument, it seems like a waste of time. And their instrument is not a good-feeling instrument.

EM: In the early days of the Mothers, almost all of your effects were tape effects.

FZ: Yeah, razor blade edits. I still do razor blade edits.

EM: Even with the Synclavier?

FZ: Sure! If you've got 16 tracks and you have a complicated orchestration in there and you suddenly want to make a drastic change from one section of the music to another, the only way to do it, unless you have more channels or more RAM, is to print the two sections onto the tape and cut them together.

EM: You're in a position where you can have anyone you want playing on your records. Yet you've been working solo recently with the Synclavier. Do you think that cuts you off from . . .

FZ: From humanity?

EM: No, but other musicians' inputs, the sort of feelings that other people can bring to your music and the collaborative aspect of music.

FZ: Well, my music has never been very collaborative. It's been accommodative, because when you hire a musician you can't always get that musician to play what you thought up because musicians are not uniformly expert in different fields. You put together a band, you have to average out the assets and liabilities of each musician and then find what the style of that band is going to be. So you have to compromise the pieces because you might have a drummer who can play anything, but a rhythm guitar player who might sing great but can't count and couldn't play any parts. Or a piano player who has a certain amount of technical expertise but doesn't know what it means to play a whole note rest and leave some space in the music. So everything gets adjusted for the personnel. But with this, the only thing I have to adjust for is how much RAM I've got in the machine.

EM: What about live performances? Would you go out with the Synclavier?

FZ: I've been trying to figure out whether it's practical. I've talked to an agent about it and discussed the possibility of a tour in the fall, but without a major advertising campaign to create an interest for what the machine can do or what I'm doing with it, I doubt whether a tour like that would attract much attention. I'm certainly not going out and playing "Dinah Mo Hum " or the rest of that stuff anymore because that's like--what?--that's a million years ago.

EM: You don't think your audience would come out for it?

FZ: A certain number of them would and the rest of them would be disappointed because I wasn't playing songs off the Sheik Yerbouti album. The thing about live performances is that people don't come to hear what you played on the record. So everybody's got a different idea of what their favorite record is and an audience for my show thinks, "I want to hear songs off that one, I want to hear songs off that one."

That's one of the reasons why, when we do a tour, the pieces that are familiar pieces are all rearranged because they have to accommodate the instrumentation and the playing techniquies of the guys on the road at that time.

EM: Does this mean you'll have two separate musical directions now or are you saying you're not touring with the band anymore?

FZ: Well, if I take this thing out, there's two ways to do it. One is me and a technician and this machine and that's it. The other way is to take a rhythm section and have a few musicians playing along with it. I've done some experiments with that. I've got a bass player and a drummer who can keep up with it, but then you ask yourself, does that make it better or what? Because the machine can do it all by itself.

EM: But what about the idea of a live performance being people playing live . . . Wouldn't that eliminate any spontaneity you might have in a live performance?

FZ: Well, what can I say? I'm doing this kind of music these days. If somebody wants to see this kind of music manifested live, there's no other way to do it. Human beings cannot play this music. It can only be played by a machine.

EM: This means you'll be going towards the instrumental music of The Perfect Stranger instead of something like Thingfish?

FZ: Thingfish is done, it's history.

EM: Did you play with the 4X Real Time Synthesizer at IRCAM?

FZ: Sure did. I'm disappointed that they didn't make it available commercially because the 4X, magnificent as it is, is actually cheaper than this machine by at least half. At the time I was there, the price that was quoted for a full-bore 4X system was about $100,000. What's sitting behind you there is about $200,000.

But it does some things that the 4X won't do. At the time I saw the 4X, it had no music printing or music editing program that came close to what the Synclavier has. However, now that it has MIDI ports on it and can be interfaced with other devices, if they ever do make the 4X available commercially and there was a way to MIDI the two together, that would be an incredibly frightening piece of machinery.

EM: What can the 4X do differently?

FZ: The 4X has the equivalent of a thousand oscillators in it. It has a little fader panel that controls different parameters and you can operate it like a mix and you can control the nuances of tempo and dynamics after your sequence is loaded into the thing. For the demonstration they gave me of the musique concrete possibilities, a guy played this strange garbling weird sound and said "Do you recognize that?"

I said "No!"

He pulled the fader back down to take it out of its process and it was playing "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?" from the Joe's Garage album. Another thing it did was take a speaking voice and make it sound drunk, pitched it, made it whisper and a lot of neat things like that.

EM: Are you MIDIing the Synclavier to other synthesizers?

FZ: Yeah, you can go in and out on this machine. You can do interesting things with this Roland device called an Octapad, which is just this little set of plastic squares that you hit with a stick and it has a MIDI output on it. So if you have any percussion technique at all, you can do rolls on the pad, and roll a percussion sample in the machine; or if you have a mandolin sample, you can trill the mandolin. This keyboard doesn't speak very well for fast repeated notes, but one buzz roll with sticks on an Octapad will let you enter that kind of data into the sequencer.

EM: I understand you've redone some of Lumpy Gravy with the Synclavier.

FZ: I digitally remastered all the early Verve albums. They've been released in a box called The Old Masters.

EM: But I understand that you replaced some of that parts on Lumpy Gravy with the Synclavier.

FZ: The version that went out on The Old Masters didn't have any of the new souped-up stuff because I figured that the audience for that probably wouldn't enjoy it. They would probably rather have a cleaned up digital remaster of the original. But I did do a bunch of work on it and I don't know whether it will come out.

EM: You record digitally and you're reissuing old Mothers' records on CD. What differences have you discovered with the digital process?

FZ: With digital, you find out how noisy your microphones actually are. You find out how much noise actually lives in the board. In order to clean that stuff up, you have to be more careful about the way you record things. Everything shows. We gate audio as much as possible and for sounds that don't gate well, we use either Burwens or Dynafex to minimize any kind of unwanted stuff. You can't make it go away, but you can disguise it to the point where it's not offensive.

EM: Do you sample just for kicks or do you go into a project and decide you need certain sounds you don't have?

FZ: We have sampling sessions, like I hired a saxophone player to come up here because as far as I know, none of the sample libraries that Synclavier puts out has a stereo tenor sax playing subtone notes. I've got that and I've got all the tenor saxophone honking notes, squealing notes and special effects tenor saxophone noises. Then we did the clarinet: short notes, long notes, the whole range of the instrument, closed-miked, distant miked.

Then we did a session with all the different components of the drum set. Ordinarily when a drum kit is sampled, you have the drum kit set up with the ordinary miking and the guy goes, okay, here's the tom-tom and boom, he hits the tom-tom. He hits the snare, the kick, and so forth. But along with that, you have all the resonant noise of all the rest of the components of the drum set, all the metal, all the unwanted stuff that's in there.

We sampled all the components of the set isolated from everything else. So I've got pure roto-toms, pure snare drum, pure tom-toms, pure kick, pure high-hat, pure cymbal crashes. It's a very startling sound when you hear real drums in real stereo with none of the reflected sound, none of the sound you'd get if you just turned the mikes on a drum set. It's surrealistic, totally surrealistic.

EM: Have you gotten involved with resynthesis?

FZ: Yeah! The difference between resynthesis and ordinary synthesizer sound is in normal synthesizer sound you build a waveform and that's your sound and it remains static over time. With resynthesis, the computer will look at a sound and divide it up into things called frames that go by in time, and each frame is a totally different waveform. So the effect, when you hear it, is different from an ordinary synthesized sound.

It's not quite as realistic as a sample, but it avoids some of the bad features of a sample. With a sample, as you move it to the extremes of the keyboard, it goes Mickey Mouse at the top and gets aliasing noise at the bottom. You can avoid some of those nasty effects by resynthesis for certain types of sounds which translate well, like brass, for instance. It resynthesizes very nicely. Clarinet is fair, bassoons are shady, and flutes are fair. We've done vocal resynthesis.

EM: You talk about solving musical problems. Why do you have different problems than a composer did 200 years ago?

FZ: It's the same problem. It's the blank page problem. It's the same problem a painter has with a blank canvas: what are you going to do with it and why?

EM: Why do you need all this technology to solve the problem and back then they just needed a few musicians?

FZ: Because back there they didn't have the musician's union. It was a different world. Maybe they had more rehearsal time and they could write things that would get played.

EM: So you think that the musician's union is holding back you and other artists?

FZ: No! I think all unions are. I don't mind saying that I am anti-union. The union mentality has affected the arts drastically in the United States. The worst example would be the stage hands union, which in many instances earns more than the musicians who are playing.

EM: The music that you've done on the Synclavier has been outside and avant-garde. It's tonal, but it's jagged, disruptive, with odd rhythms. Where do you think the audience is for that?

FZ: I don't know. The first audience is right here in this chair. If I don't like to listen to it, I'm certainly not going to share it with anybody else. If somebody else happens to like it, it's terrific. I'm prepared to have everybody on the planet hate what I do. I simply don't care.

Some people like it, the same way I liked Varese when I heard Varese, and other people hate it the same way many people hated his music when it first came out. I used to bring friends over to the house and say "Listen to this," and they'd say "Are you crazy" What is that?"

EM: They used to do the same thing to me when I played Freak Out!

FZ: It's a vicious cycle. [Laughs.]

John Diliberto is the producer of Totally Wired: Artists in Electronic Sound, a weekly program on electronic music produced for Pennsylvania Public Radio Associates and broadcast on public radio stations across the United State

dimanche, février 26, 2006

My Morning Jacket Lead Jammys

Ryan Adams, Phil Lesh, Allmans and more also tapped for performance awards

My Morning Jacket Photo

4:20 brawl!

The Sixth annual Jammys, the awards show honoring live improvisational music, will take place April 20th (both the stoner holiday "4/20" and Earth Day) at New York's Theater at Madison Square Garden. The Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Ryan Adams, My Morning Jacket, Benevento/Russo Duo, former Phish bassist Mike Gordon and moe. are among the leading nominees in the event's categories.

Up for Live Album of the Year are Wilco (Kicking Television), the Mars Volta (Scab Dates), Matisyahu (Live at Stubbs), Gomez (Out West), New Monsoon (Live at Telluride Bluegrass Festival) and Widespread Panic (Live at Myrtle Beach).

Nominated for Live Performance of the Year are Kentucky rockers My Morning Jacket, for their November 11th, 2005, concert at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium; moe.'s Tsunami Relief Benefit concert last February in New York; the Phil Lesh and Friends' set from the inugural Vegoose festival in Las Vegas; the Word's 2005 Bonnaroo performance; and last September's Jerry Garcia tribute, Comes a Time: A Celebration of the Music and Spirit of Jerry Garcia, in Berkeley, California.

Bob Dylan, Traffic, Frank Zappa, Umphrey's McGee and Les Claypool are all up for their DVD releases.

Frank Zappa will be posthumously honored with this year's Lifetime Achievement Award, which his son Dweezil will accept in his honor.

With only nine awards to give out, the Jammys are mostly highlighted for their performances -- which tend be leftfield of the jam-band stereotype. Past years have matched new blues acolyte John Mayer with Buddy Guy, and new reggae acolyte Sinead O'Connor with Burning Spear. This year, Blues Traveler, Peter Frampton, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Guster, Joe Satriani and Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins lead the list of performers, with more artists to be announced.

The 2006 Jammys will also kick off the first-ever Green Apple Music and Arts festival, a four-day event slated for April 20th through 23rd at more than twenty-five New York venues.


samedi, février 25, 2006

Punk not dead

Sex Pistols Flip Off Hall of Fame

Invited in after five snubs, the original Brit-punks snub back.

What public image?

Photo by Barry Brecheisen

In closing the Sex Pistols' final pre-reunion performance, Johnny Rotten called out, "Ever get the feeling that you've been cheated?" It's a sentiment he and his surviving bandmates shared with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Friday: The punk provocateurs issued a terse, sneering statement avowing that they would not attend the ceremony inducting them into the Hall next month.

The scrawled note, posted at, states in Pistol-ian fashion (sic): "Next to the Sex Pistols, rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. We're not coming. We're not your monkeys. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges but your still music industry people. We're not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stream is a real Sex Pistol."

The Pistols, who played their first gigs in 1975, took a decidedly more self-destructive approach to music than punk predecessors like the New York-based Ramones. For a little more than two years, they pummeled their way through four-letter-word-laced TV appearances, bodily-fluid-spilling airport adventures and songs, like the anthem "Anarchy in the U.K.," that walked the walk so many of their peers merely talked.

Frontman Johnny Rotten (now known by his birth name John Lydon), guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook were ultimately joined by bassist Sid Vicious -- who replaced the overly music-conscious Glen Matlock and hastened the band's implosion before dying of a heroin overdose in 1979. Vicious' end also marked the end of the Pistols era. But it was not the final act for any of the participants, most notably Lydon, who went on to front Public Image Ltd. and carve out a niche as a professional curmudgeon.

After being denied entry five times, the Pistols were ushered in as part of a Class of 2006 that also includes Black Sabbath, Blondie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the late Miles Davis. The twent-first annual induction ceremony will take place on March 13th at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

David Sprague @ Rolling Stone

vendredi, février 24, 2006

Hitsville UK...

Art Brut, the Cribs, and Brakes spearhead Britain’s new underground

By: MIKAEL WOOD @ The Phoenix


Despite their name, Art Brut make devilishly funny rock music about rock music.

Of the many, many excellent jokes singer Eddie Argos makes on the crackerjack debut by his London-based band Art Brut, the best might be the band’s name itself. “Art brut” is a term coined by the French Pop artist Jean Dubuffet, who used it to describe works made by individuals existing outside the ritualized world of professional art. We call the stuff outsider art, and in its musical form it’s received attention lately through material like the Langley Schools Music Project, in which a group of 1970s elementary-school kids, under the direction of their mad-genius music teacher, recorded elaborately arranged choral versions of such tunes as Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” and the Eagles’ “Desperado.”

The joke of Art Brut’s name is that Argos and his mates don’t make outsider art — they make insider art, devilishly funny rock music about rock music. On Bang Bang Rock & Roll (Fierce Panda), Art Brut (who will stop in at the Middle East on April 3) parody the ritualized world of professional music even as they enjoy the payoffs that world has to offer. In this way — and in the way Argos speaks as much as he sings — Art Brut could be considered an English equivalent of the Hold Steady, the Brooklyn indie group whose frontman, Craig Finn, seems determined to become the underground’s self-aware Bruce Springsteen.

Bang Bang opens with “Formed a Band,” which on first hearing seems to mock the chest-beating self-promotion of young rock acts. “Formed a band, we formed a band,” Argos shouts over a choppy guitar riff. “Look at us! We formed a band!” As the song progresses, the claims to greatness keep piling up, from “We’re gonna write a song as universal as ‘Happy Birthday’ ” to “We’re gonna be the band that writes the song that makes Israel and Palestine get along.” Yet for all the joy Argos takes in skewering the kind of self-aggrandizement encouraged by the British music press (which anoints new rock saviors every other week), he’s also seduced by the romance of it. In “My Little Brother,” he describes his sibling’s discovery of rock and roll in language that revisits his own awakening: “He made me a tape of bootlegs and B-sides, and every song — every single song on that tape — said exactly the same thing: ‘Why don’t our parents worry about us?’ ”

In “Emily Kane,” Argos describes in excruciating detail the flame he tends for an old girlfriend. “If memory serves, we’re still on a break,” he admits without a shred of embarrassment. Yet the music is overwhelmingly jubilant, with another one of guitarist Ian Catskilkin’s jagged riffs laid atop a beat that drummer Mikey B can’t seem to play fast enough. Near the end, Argos transcends self-obsession and gives himself over to the music’s emotion. “I hope this song finds you fame,” he sings as a choir of gutter punks pipes up behind him. “I want school kids on buses singing your name!” “Emily Kane” is the definition of meta-rock: Argos solves the problem he’s describing in the song by performing the song.

He’s not alone in his self-awareness. Bang Bang Rock & Roll — which despite critical buzz and healthy import sales has yet to receive an American release — is one of a recent spate of insider-art rock records to surface from the British indie scene. Another that’s almost as good is The New Fellas (Wichita), the second album from the Cribs, three brothers from Wakefield with a big chip on their collective shoulder about the careerism they think is devouring the English rock scene. The Cribs play jangly guitar pop that recalls Pavement in its sloppy charm. In “I’m Alright Me,” a pumping disco beat moves the song forward but the proceedings still threaten to fall apart. “Martell” imagines what a glam-rock band composed of kids who’ve just learned to play their instruments might sound like.

On the album cover the trio strike the familiar poses of rockers in their element: a bottle to the lips, hair obscuring the eyes, a blank stare from behind a microphone. Yet the songs reveal a kind of disgust with those poses. The opening “Hey Scenesters!” is a brutal takedown of rockist poseurs. “Everybody loves you now,” singer/guitarist Ryan Jarman seethes over a cantankerous dance-rock groove, “just don’t go and let us down.” In “Martell,” Jarman questions the success the Cribs have had among those scenesters, asking, “How hard can it be to get a slap on the back from a roomful of morons?”

“We just write about what’s going on,” Ryan’s bassist brother Gary says over the phone from Wakefield, audibly exhausted after a lengthy return trip from Australia and Japan. “Our first record was about the usual kind of stuff, but we made our second after we’d been on tour and seen this totally different side of life we’d never seen before. And a lot of it rubbed us the wrong way — I was really surprised at how fake people are.”

Gary says he never thought The New Fellas had “any sort of theme” when the Cribs were recording it with Edwyn Collins, the former leader of Orange Juice, a Scottish indie group who navigated a world similar to the Jarmans’ back in the early ’80s. “Now I look at it and I can kind of see this obvious thread running through it — this string of what was pissing us off.”

CAREER The Cribs play jangly guitar pop that recalls Pavement in its charming sloppiness.If buzz is what produces that frustration, he and his brothers might soon be in for a lot more: the Cribs just scored the opening slot on this spring’s Franz Ferdinand/Death Cab for Cutie tour, which comes to the Agganis Arena for a sold-out show on April 12. Gary admits that the past year’s goings-on “have definitely changed our perspective. I’m hoping the next record can be more personal in a positive way. It’ll still be pissed off, but I want it to be more honest, rather than hiding behind some of the sarcasm. I mean, our feelings haven’t changed, but we’ve kind of learned to be less sensitive about it.”

One chap who seems somewhat less interested in toning down the sarcasm is Eamon Hamilton, whose day job is playing keyboards in the well-regarded English indie combo British Sea Power. Hamilton also leads Brakes, whose Give Blood Rough Trade released on both sides of the Atlantic last September, and in that capacity he seems even more dedicated to taking scenesters to task than the Cribs. In “Heard About Your Band,” the singer/guitarist has the misfortune of standing next to a loudmouth at a show — a “coked-up asshole waiting for Liars” — who can’t resist bragging that he “shared a cab with Karen O,” “met Electrelane,” and knows “the girl from Sleater-Kinney.” After the track’s proudly shabby folk-punk beat has gradually wound to its climax, Hamilton turns to the asshole and sneers, “I heard about your band. Whatever, dude.” It’s the sound of English rock caving in on itself.

Art Brut | Middle East, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | April 3 | 617.497.EAST | The Cribs + Franz Ferdinand + Death Cab for Cutie | Agganis Arena, 925 Comm Ave, Boston | April 12 | Sold Out

On the Web:

Art Brut:
The Cribs:

That's it...

jeudi, février 23, 2006

Bloc Party Get Experimental

Brit rockers look to Radiohead for inspiration on second album.

Raring to play properly

London's favorite post-punk revivalists Bloc Party will head into the studio to record the follow-up to their 2005 debut, Silent Alarm, next month.

The fourpiece, fronted by mop-topped singer-guitarist Kele Okereke, began writing for the record during soundchecks while on tour last year and brought demos to the band's East London rehearsal space in January. Fleshing their ideas out to twenty tracks, the group's new cuts take a direction expected to surprise their faithful.

"There's always a danger that you can disappoint people when you do something different," bassist Gordon Moakes says. "With us, we've retained some of that jerkiness [from Silent Alarm] but we didn't want to do anything that we've already done. There's a lot of gentle stuff, but we don't want to have a gentle record."

Moakes says some of the cuts the group have come up with sound not far from the edgy, dream-rock of New York outfit TV on the Radio, while others employ electronic, "processed beats." He expects the track "Uniform" to be a people-pleaser, "Atonement" to be the record's "centerpiece" and "Wet" to get feet moving. "If all goes well with that one, it will be quite a brooding dancefloor-type thing, and quite druggy," he says. "We're hoping to maybe have some strings in that."

Bloc Party have been trying out producers in London, the city they will record in. Moakes says they are hoping to click with someone who is as interested in experimenting as his outfit is. Though current candidates have backgrounds heavy in the dance world -- including Steve Dub (an engineer for the Chemical Brothers) and Jacknife Lee (a remixer for U2) -- Moakes says it is another experimental rock band's template that they hope to follow.

"[We're looking to expand] more along the lines of Radiohead, but it's obviously a bit early to kind of imagine yourself in that mold," Moakes says. "[We're working toward] not being afraid to make music out of quite difficult sounds and have things quite processed. We want to get more texture into what we do, and not have it just like a rock record."

Those looking to get a taste of the new material before its expected August release can catch Bloc Party when they return to the U.S. in April for a series of dates. The trip -- during which the band will be playing "mostly new songs," according to Moakes -- will culminate with a return to Coachella, where they packed a side stage last year.

"The timing is really good for us because it's almost like there's a deadline for at least getting the lion's share of the record done," Moakes says of the festival performance, which will see them headline the second stage. "We'll be raring to play properly by the end of April."

Bloc Party tour dates:

4/25: Ft. Lauderdale, Revolution
4/27: Tempe, AZ, Marquee Theatre
4/28: Las Vegas, The Joint
4/30: Indio, CA, Coachella Festival

JOLIE LASH @ Rolling Stone

Sixpence Nash Goes Solo

After more than a decade, Nashville pop singer finds her own voice.

It's been nearly eight years since Sixpence None the Richer singer Leigh Nash's winsome vocals invaded radios with the band's summer staple and teen-flick fave "Kiss Me." In that time, Nash has garnered a wealth of material from which to draw inspiration: She and her mates amicably called it quits in 2004, and Nash gave birth to her first and only child, Henry, the same year. These radical shifts fueled the singer's solo debut, due this summer.

"It's definitely been the period of the most change of my life," says Nash. "It's a really rich, emotional time for me. Plenty of inspiration with my first child. And my husband and I have been married for ten years now, so of course there's a lot of relationship stuff to write about. [The album] was good timing."

Produced by Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan) and currently in the mixing stage, the as-yet-untitled album was recorded throughout the fall in Canada, and is suffused with the mature pop in the vein of Sixpence. Among the new tracks are "Between the Lines," "Nervous in the Light of Dawn" and the delicate ballad "Along the Wall," which Nash says is her favorite.

"That's the first song that [Pierre and I] wrote together when we first met," she says. "I like just the mood of it. It's very beautiful, piano-based, and I tend to like songs like that."

Nash entered the music business in her teens after meeting guitarist Matt Slocum at a church retreat in Austin. The two, initially rounded out by bassist T.J. Behling, formed the Christian rock outfit Sixpence None the Richer (the name taken from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity) and released four albums. But following the release of 2002's Divine Discontent, which suffered lengthy label tangles before hitting shelves, both Slocum and Nash decided to disband.

"Matt and I had basically been thinking the same thing during the months leading up to the breakup," she says. "I had heard that he didn't want to make another record, so I called him and said, 'If you don't want to make the record, and I don't, then what are we doing?' It was a pretty easy conversation to have. We were both just so tired. We are still friends."

In spite of her thirteen years with Sixpence, Nash isn't a stranger to solo outings. She recorded the song "Need to Be Next to You" for the soundtrack to the 2000 romantic film Bounce, and she made guest appearances on albums by surf-guitar rockers Los Straightjackets and electro-dance outfit Delerium. But Nash is thrilled to finally be releasing her first solo effort. "I'm already excited about making another record," she says. "Just the exploration of me as a writer has been an unbelievable experience, and I think it's just the beginning."

In the meantime, Nash is also throwing her weight behind Movement Nashville, a small group of musicians -- including AutoVaughn, Jeremy Lister and Bang Bang Bang -- dedicated to promoting the diversity of the city's music scene. "Of course, most people think of country music," she says of Nashville, where she also resides. "But there is a really vibrant, thriving rock scene. It's unbelievable, but it really gets underrated. And it's nice to be around musicians who are kind of brand-new."

Though she's currently playing sporadic gigs to support Movement Nashville's efforts, Nash plans to launch a full tour following her album's release. And should the whole "music thing" not pan out, the singer's got a backup plan: "Working at Wal-Mart," Nash deadpans. "That's where I'm headed after this."

Jessica Robertson @ Rolling Stone

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Bust Out "Bones"

Arty pop-rockers hit the road behind second album.

Ready to roar

Photo by David Atlas

Yeah Yeah Yeahs fans who weren't able to score tickets to the band's initial eight-club run this February and March can breathe a sigh of relief. Following the March 28th release of their long-awaited sophomore album, Show Your Bones, the Brooklyn trio will embark on a nineteen-date spring tour.

The theater dates kick off April 4th in Washington, D.C., and continue through the band's April 30th slot at the Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, California. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs will then return to their hometown to play New York's Roseland Ballroom on May 2nd, before jetting off to the U.K. for the All Tomorrow's Parties festival and more headlining gigs overseas.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' last major tour was in support of its 2003 debut Fever to Tell, which spawned the single "Maps," and the band is definitely ready to get back on the road. "Now that the songs are finished," drummer Brian Chase told Rolling Stone last month, "we still don't know what they sound like. It's been said that music makes audible what gradually becomes visible."

The first single off Show Your Bones, "Gold Lion," is currently available at iTunes.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs tour dates:

2/23: Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's
2/24: New York, Bowery Ballroom
2/25: New York, Bowery Ballroom
2/27: Chicago, Logan Square Auditorium
3/1: San Francisco, Bimbo's 365 Club
3/2: San Francisco, Bimbo's 365 Club
3/4: Hollywood, Troubadour West
3/5: Hollywood, Troubadour West
4/3: Washington, DC, 9:30 Club
4/5: Philadelphia, Trocadero
4/7: Boston, Orpheum Theatre
4/10: Toronto, Kool Haus
4/11: Royal Oak, MI, Royal Oak Music Theatre
4/12: Cleveland, Agora Theatre
4/14: Chicago, Riviera
4/15: Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theatre
4/16: Minneapolis, First Avenue
4/18: Omaha, NE, Sokol Auditorium
4/19: St. Louis, the Pageant
4/21: Denver, Fillmore Auditorium
4/22: Salt Lake City, University of Utah
4/24: Vancouver, Orpheum Theatre
4/25: Seattle, Paramount Ballroom
4/26: Portland, OR, Roseland Ballroom
4/28: San Francisco, The Warfield
4/30: Indio, CA, Coachella Music and Arts Festival
5/2: New York, Roseland


mardi, février 21, 2006

Arctic Monkeys Tell Fans To F-Off

Arctic Monkeys

by Eve Jenkin @ Undercover
February 10 2006

Don’t you hate it when bands ignore the song demands of their fans to play their own live favourites? Well it seems like audience members at the Arctic Monkeys’ recent performance at Sheffield Octagon might be asking each other that question right about now.

As Arctic Monkeys took the stage at the landmark “homecoming” show, they were greeted with an onslaught of heckles from fans requesting they play their cover of “Love Machine” by Girls Aloud. The band’s response? “Is that all you like us for? F**k off, we can’t remember how to play it.” Following this rather tactless retort from singer Alex Turner fans were not quite so amiable towards the band, and when the Monkeys debuted newie “Leave Before The Lights Come On” the applause was less than rapturous. “F**king hell,” exclaimed Turner. “Don’t sound so enthusiastic, we’ll get back to the classics afterwards.” Such an impatient audience…

The Arctic Monkeys’ phenomenal rise to the top was done without a record company – such was the hype surrounding this band that they were able to fill 2000+ capacity venues before even being signed. One hopes they haven’t forgotten that a decent slab of their success can be attributed to that home crowd they told to “F**k off”…

Old New Radiohead

(photo by Ros O'Gorman)

by Paul Cashmere @ Undercover
February 21 2006

Radiohead look like including a long lost unused song on their next album.

According to a post at their official website, lead singer Thom Yorke has announced the song ‘Nude’ looks like finally being released.

The song was originally written but not used on the 1997 album ‘OK Computer’.

Yorke says “Right now we are working on ‘Nude’. It sounds beautiful, as far as i can tell”.

The song may also feature a string section. “Jonny (Greenwood) is hastily writing out scores for a string quartet who are coming tomorrow” Yorke says.

There are no confirmed dates for the album release although it is expected towards the end of this year although a download could be ready as early as April.

The producer for the new record is Mark 'Spike' Stent.

Rock news 02 2006

Pretty Girls Make Graves, Dead Meadow, Th' Faith Healers, The Streets, Mudhoney, Modest Mouse and Johnny Marr, Dinosaur Jr., The Sugarcubes, and the Sadies.

Pretty Girls Make Graves Reveal LP Details, Tour Dates

Mairead Case reports:

And thus we make our promise: to write an entire Pretty Girls Make Graves blurb without once mentioning How Lead Singer/Whistle Blower Andrea Zollo Is A Girl. There are more important things at hand. Also: being A Girl Who Sings Punk Songs does not mean everyone should compare you to Debbie Harry. Indeed, you are not Blondie, you are Pretty Girls Make Graves. And you've been busy.

PGMG's third full-length rekkid, Élan Vital, hits the corner store on April 11, thanks to Matador Records. As Derek Fudesco (bass/vox) told Tiny Mix Tapes recently, Élan Vital is just as different from its power-chorded predecessor, The New Romance, as The New Romance was from their punkier debut Good Health. By which he means: it's a lot different.

For one, guitarist Nathan Thelen left the band just after the New Romance tour. For two, Élan Vital features guitarless songs and songs with double drums, plus accordion, saxophone and melodica. The biggest difference, however, is their new keyboardist Leona Marrs, formerly of Hint Hint.

"We had written an entire record before Leona joined," Fudesco told TMT, "but when we started playing with her it made more sense to write with her, rather than her writing to the songs that were already written. So yeah, she brought a whole new style to our music." Marrs' style, by the way, involves a lot of black dresses. And no, she's not Stevie Nicks.

Speakers Push the Air:

1. The Nocturnal House
2. Pyrite Pedestal
3. The Number
4. Parade
5. Domino
6. Interlude
7. The Magic Hour
8. Selling the Wind
9. Pearls on a Plate
10. Pictures of a Night Scene
11. Wildcat
12. Bullet Charm

* Pretty Girls Make Graves:
* Matador:

Dead Meadow Re-releases:

In ...Dead Meadow news, the band's website hints that a series of re-releases might be in the works, specifically of their previously unreleased self-titled debut and 2001's Howls from the Hills. The site also seems hopeful about Dead Meadow's historic 2002 Peel Session getting a proper CD release in the near future. It was recorded in a Fugazi practice space, and was the first time the BBC recorded a Peel Session outside their own studios. Excellent.

* Dead Meadow:
* Matador:

Th' Faith Healers Reunite

Matthew Solarski reports:

Never say die for a band that calls itself Th' Faith Healers. The UK noisemakers, legendary in certain circles, called it quits following a U.S. tour wayyy back in 1994. Now, fresh off the November release of Peel Sessions, Th' Faith Healers have regrouped to share their Krautrock-informed noise-pop with the slightly-more-sympathetic audiences of the twenty-first century. A right soddin' miracle, it is!

The original Healers lineup of guitarist Tom Cullinan, drummer Joe Dilworth, bassist Ben Hopkin, and vocalist Roxanne Stephan... According to Th' Faith Healers' U.S. label, Ba Da Bing!, the band have no immediate plans to record new material. But who knows?

Receive them warmly enough, fair audiences, and the Healers might just be inspired to resurrect their supernal craft. And while we're talking about early-nineties reunions: My Bloody Valentine, just bloody reunite already. Goddamn.

* Th' Faith Healers (fan site):
* Ba Da Bing!:

The Streets' Third Album Due in April

James Gregory reports:

This just in from Pitchfork's woefully underworked white-guy-rapper news desk: Resident UK pub poet Mike Skinner will return this spring with his third Streets LP, which has just been nailed down for an April 25 U.S. release on Vice Recordings-- two weeks after its April 11 UK street (ha) date.

Titled The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living, the disc will follow up Skinner's 2004 sophomore effort (and Pitchfork's third-favorite album of that year), A Grand Don't Come For Free. While the tracklist is yet to be issued, we predict "geezer" will show up in at least one title.

As far as what fans can expect, it seems the overall mood of the disc will split the difference between the Streets' tight 2002 debut Original Pirate Material, and the rap opera of Grand. As a press release informs us:

"The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living is a completely autobiographical record that covers various things that have happened to Mike over the past few years since he's become a well known figure in the UK - there's love, loss, scandal, violence, sex, drugs and a whole load of bad behavior and regret. It's a true story. It's not a 'story' record like his last LP, but the thread of Mike's reality runs through every song."

Skinner recently told NME, "After A Grand Don't Come For Free, I was like, 'What am I going to write about?' I can't moan I've got no money any more, but then it gradually dawned on me that my life is so crazy! You'd never believe some of the stuff that's happened to me along the way in countries far away."

He added, "This album is going to be a bit more polished and bit faster, hopefully exciting." Yes, hopefully!

* The Streets:

Mudhoney Announce New Album Details

Zach Vowell reports:

Gather 'round kids, for the godfathers of grunge have something to say. Sure, Thomas Friedman and Noam Chomsky can get you riled up at the current state of things, but can they swill beer like Mudhoney? Thought not.

So, on March 7, don't be surprised when the Seattle veterans' next Sub Pop LP, Under a Billion Suns, carries songs like "Hard-On for War" and "Where Is the Future". The record will be Mudhoney's first album since 2002's Since We've Become Translucent. The only question left is whether we'll all still be able to rock our garage while the boys kick out some serious thoughts.

Here's to everyone keeping their sense of humor:

01 Where Is the Future
02 It Is Us
03 I Saw the Light
04 Endless Yesterday
05 Empty Shells
06 Hard-On for War
07 A Brief Celebration of Indifference
08 Let's Drop in
09 On the Move
10 In Search of
11 Blindspots


Modest Mouse Working With The Smiths' Johnny Marr

Kati Llewellyn and Amy Phillips report:

If we were to tell you that, according to The Onion's A.V. Club website, the new Modest Mouse record is "coming along" and that Isaac Brock is "really happy with it so far", it would probably come as pretty good news for people who thought that the band had been resting on their laurels since 2004's Good News for People Who Love Bad News, right?

Now, if we were to tell you that the A.V. Club also reported that Johnny Marr, the former Smiths guitarist, has "been flying to Portland from Manchester to write songs" with Brock, well, that would be pretty orgasmic news for people who love Modest Mouse. And the Smiths.

Good thing it's true!

That's all we know about that right now, but hey, isn't that enough? Johnny Marr is working with Modest Mouse! Get excited!

Marr has been awfully busy lately. He's working with Lisa Germano on her forthcoming album on Young God. He also recently recorded five songs with French New Wave queen Jane Birkin for her forthcoming album, which also features Rufus Wainwright, Beth Gibbons, Neil Hannon, Tom Waits, and Kate Bush, and is being produced by Gonzales. Yes, the Peaches Gonzales.

Marr is also cooking up the second album from his band the Healers. According to his website, the record is due out in the Spring, and will potentially include the songs "The Sparks of Life", "Run in the Dust", "Reign Down The New Days", "I've Seen More", "Save Ourselves Again", and "Denial Denial".

Given the 3.7 rating we slapped on the last Healers album, don't get excited.

* Modest Mouse:
* Johnny Marr:

Dinosaur Jr. Recording New Material

Caroline Bermudez reports:

Few stranger things have happened than Dinosaur Jr. reuniting and touring. Like President Bush getting reelected or that snake in Florida that combusted after attempting to swallow an alligator whole.

Last year, the notoriously embattled duo of J. Mascis and Lou Barlow performed together under the Dinosaur Jr. name for the first time in 15 years. Incredibly enough, they're still together. And recording new material! Riding the success of last year's reissues of their first three albums (Dinosaur, You're Living All Over Me, and Bug), the band recently revealed that they are currently ensconced in Mascis' home studio, hard at work on a new record. Woo!

In other Dinosaur Jr. news, the band will release its first DVD this summer. Filmed at New York's Irving Plaza this past December and at other shows on that same tour, the DVD features backstage footage from the reunion tour, one-on-one interviews with band members, and a full set of performances.

* Dinosaur Jr.:

The Sugarcubes Coming to DVD

Timothy Najmolhoda and Amy Phillips report:

Back when "college rock" was still considered a valid genre title, there was a popular Icelandic college rock band called the Sugarcubes. Their lead singer was a spunky woman named Björk. You may have heard of her.

On February 7 Rhino/Elektra will release two DVDs chronicling the Sugarcubes' late 80s/early 90s existence. By Mjolnir's fury, what are the details?! Live Zabor contains fifteen live performances filmed between 1988 and 1989, as well as interviews with all of the band members. Sugarcubes: The DVD, collects nine of the band's most popular videos, with three "exclusive bonus videos" thrown in for good measure. If you were to purchase both of them, they would keep you busy for more than 104 minutes. Even longer if you decided to watch them twice.

Gimme gimme some:

Sugarcubes: Live Zabor:

01 Einar Interview
02 Planet
03 Cowboy
04 Magga Interview
05 Mamma
06 Siggi Interview
07 Cold Sweat
08 Bragi Interview
09 Cat
10 Birthday
11 Björk Interview
12 Delicious Demon
13 Thor Interview
14 Motorcrash
15 Plastic
16 Eat the Menu
17 Speed Is the Key
18 Deus
19 Luftgitar

Sugarcubes: The DVD:

01 Birthday - Icelandic
02 Cold Sweat
03 Deus
04 Motorcrash
05 Luftgitar
06 Regina
07 Planet
08 Eat the Menu
09 Birthday - English
10 Hit
11 Walkabout
12 Vitamin

While Björk has been keeping quiet lately, her former `cube-mate Einar Örn has been quite busy. His band Ghostigital appeared alongside Antony, Devendra Banhart, Thurston Moore, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Current 93 and others on the recent Jnana Records benefit compilation for Doctors Without Borders, Not Alone, and they have a brand new album coming out March 7 on Ipecac (Honest Jon's in the UK). It features contributions from the Fall's Mark E. Smith, as well as Icelandic superstar Mugison, post-punk/avant garde legend Steve Beresford, and post-rap hotshots Dälek and Sensational.


01 Good Morning
02 Not Clean
03 Northern Lights
04 Totally Confused
05 The Heart
06 Green Lounge
07 Crackers
08 Black Sand
09 Strange As It Might Seem
10 Dream of Sleep
11 Sense of Reason

* Björk:
* Ghostigital:

Sadies to Record Live LP With Neko Case, Jon Langford

David Nadelle reports:

Frequent Neko Case collaborators the Sadies will bring their Nudie suits and timeless Can-Americana to their hometown of Toronto for two shows this weekend, with recording equipment in tow. According to, songs from the gigs will be released via the classic "double live" format this summer by Yep Roc.

Joining the Sadies on the Lee's Palace stage on February 3 and 4 will be Case, Jon Spencer, Jon Langford (the Mekons, Waco Brothers), Gary Louris (ex-Jayhawks), Kelly Hogan, Rick White (the Unintended, Elevator) and friends from the Good Brothers, Blue Rodeo and the Deadly Snakes. What a hoedown! also reports that Sadies are trying to add past collaborator Andre Williams to the puzzle, but have had no success getting a hold of the raunchy R&B hustler. Said the band's Dallas Good, "If anyone knows where Andre Williams is, please let us know. We've got a million different phone numbers for him, and we've tried every one. He's one of the people that we've just been absolutely unable to find. We've sent word with every mutual friend."

So if you see a guy doing a suspiciously spot-on version of "Bacon Fat" at your local karaoke bar today, book him a ticket to Toronto ASAP.

The Sadies lent a helping hand to Case's forthcoming album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood and provided the soundtrack to Ron Mann's forthcoming film Tales of the Rat Fink, a documentary on custom car sculptor and hot rod artist Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. The film is scheduled to have its world premiere at SXSW on March 11. Also in the cards for this year are recording a new studio album (produced by Louris) and chronic touring, as is the Sadies way. Here are the dates they have scheduled for now:

02-03 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace *
02-04 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace *
02-16 Kingston, Ontario - Queen's University Grad Club
02-23 Oshawa, Ontario - Catch 22 #

* with the Good Brothers, Blue Rodeo, Neko Case, Jon Spencer, Gary Louris, Kelly Hogan, Jon Langford, more # with Poor Kelly & the Kent Boys, Kat Burns

* The Sadies:
* Yep Roc:
* Bloodshot:

Sing-Sing, Sonic Youth, Lacuna Coil, Goldfrapp, Kevin shields, Ash, and Guns 'n' Roses.

Sing-Sing to Release Second Album in U.S.

Matthew Solarski reports:

Still vexed over that perfect Valentine's Day present for your honeybuns? Ex-Lush guitarist Emma Anderson and occasional Locust vocalist Lisa O'Neill might have just the thing for you.

As Sing-Sing, the duo have followed up 2001's The Joy of Sing-Sing and 2004's Madame Sing-Sing EP with another quasi-eponymous offering of chic cosmopolitan pop, Sing-Sing and I. Originally released last fall on the act's own Aerial Records, Sing-Sing and I will finally grace U.S. shores on February 14-Cupid's Day--via Reincarnate Music.

Upping the indie-pop ante, Emma and Lisa enlisted studio guru Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails) to mix the single "Lover", Mark Van Hoen (Mojave 3, Scala) to produce Sing-Sing and I, and an African spiritual healer named Mr. Kadali to talk over track three. The result is a silver platter of danceable sophisti-pop that should have fans of Saint Etienne, Goldfrapp, Cinerama, and Lush swooning.

Funny thing is, Sing-Sing and I almost never was. Facing something of a financial crisis after the release of their debut, Emma and Lisa took a gamble and recorded the Madame Sing-Sing EP, beseeching fans to pick up the disc to help fund the Camden gals' future recording endeavors. And help they did: Sing-Sing's website reports that some folks ponied up as much as 200 pounds (nearly $400 US) to aid their favourite pop act's cause. How's that for some sweet lovin'?

Be mine:

01 Lover
02 Come, Sing Me a Song
03 Mister Kadali
04 A Modern Girl
05 Ruby
06 I Do
07 Going out Tonight
08 Unseen
09 The Time Has Come
10 When I Was Made
11 A Kind of Love

Sing-Sing have no present touring plans, as someone's getting the greatest Valentine's Day gift of all: O'Neill is due to have a baby February 13. Sing-Sing fans are encouraged to donate nappies, and you know they will.

* Sing-Sing:

More Sonic Youth Reissues, New LP Details Emerge

Matthew Solarski reports:

Like your mom mining the attic for your childhood photos, Geffen/UMe Records have plumbed the depths of Sonic Youth's back catalogue to bring a slew of reissues to light in recent years. And it looks like mum's finally reached the bottom o' the bin.

Come March 14, a certain portrait of a fledgling Sonic Youth goes back up on the mantle, as the band's self-titled debut mini-album is available again at last, in a snazzy remastered frame.

In the process it looks like Mama Geffen's also drudged up a relic of SY's riotous teenage days, as well as a shot of Thurston Moore alone in the wilderness wearing a magic-markered t-shirt that reads "Psychic Hearts." Those two gems, respectively: The Whitey Album, a deconstructionist pop mélange released under the guise of Ciccone Youth in 1989, and Psychic Hearts, Moore's out-of-print 1995 solo trek. Each will also get the remastered treatment March 14.

While only containing five tracks and clocking in at well under the thirty-minute mark, the band consider Sonic Youth their first proper album. For the reissue, Geffen has dolled it up with seven live tracks recorded in September 1981 and a pre-album demo recording of "Where the Red Fern Grows", which later became "I Dreamed I Dream".

Sonic Youth:

01 The Burning Spear
02 I Dreamed I Dream
03 She Is Not Alone
04 I Don't Want to Push It
05 The Good and the Bad
06 Hard Work [Live]
07 Where the Red Fern Grows [Live]
08 The Burning Spear [Live]
09 Cosmopolitan Girl [Live]
10 Loud and Soft [Live]
11 Destroyer [Live]
12 She Is Not Alone [Live]
13 Where The Red Fern Grows [Demo]

Sonic Youth went all out to record The Whitey Album, adopting the Ciccone pseudonym and bestowing wack-ass carnival names upon the players. For all intents and purposes, the disc was created by The Royal Tuff Titty (Moore), SS Beat Control (drummer Steve Shelley), The Sigh (guitarist Lee Ranaldo), and Fly Fly Away (Kim Gordon), and features contributions from Mike Watt (of the Minutemen and fIREHOSE) and J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.).

Definitely the weirdest chapter in SY's history, The Whitey Album includes two Madonna covers, a Robert Palmer cover, a track of complete silence, Thurston Moore rapping, Lee Ranaldo reciting poetry (which you might recognize from that Chicken Lips remix), Kim Gordon chatting with a friend, and all sorts of other experiments.

The Whitey Album:

01 Needle-Gun
02 (silence)
03 G-Force
04 Platoon II
05 Macbeth
06 Me & Jill/Hendrix Crosby
07 Burnin' Up
08 Hi! Everybody!
09 Children of Satan/Third Fig
10 Two Cool Rock Chicks Listening to Neu
11 Addicted to Love
12 Moby-Dik
13 March of the Ciccone Robots
14 Making the Nature Scene
15 Tuff Titty Rap
16 Into the Groovey

And finally, there's Psychic Hearts, which Moore recorded with Shelley and guitarist Tim Foljahn, with some input from Ranaldo. Cat Power covered the title track once. Check it:

Psychic Hearts:

01 Queen Bee and Her Pals
02 Ono Soul
03 Psychic Hearts
04 Pretty Bad
05 Patti Smith Math Scratch
06 Blues From Beyond the Grave
07 See-Through Play/Mate
08 Hang Out
09 Feathers
10 Tranquilizer
11 Staring Statues
12 Cindy (Rotten Tanx)
13 Cherry's Blues
14 Female Cop
15 Elegy for All the Dead Rock Stars

As previously reported, SY are presently hard at work on the follow-up to 2004's Sonic Nurse. Moore disclosed to recently that the band have settled on the title Do You Believe in Rapture?, with a tentative June release date.

"This record is just a far more straight up rock and roll album for us," he said. "I think the last few albums we've done, especially with Jim O'Rourke in the band, were much more complex just because there was another musical element into the band. The music [had] sort of a darker, twisted, complex quality to it."

Moore continued, "Kim is back to rocking the bass, I'm singing like six songs, she's singing on five, Lee is singing on one, which is sort of a classic kind of set up for us. The songs are real straight up. I wanted to write songs that were going to be straight forward enough for everybody to plug into immediately."

"[Rapture is] definitely a super song record. It's rockers and ballads."

* Sonic Youth:


Hotly tipped to break through this year, Italian gothic rockers Lacuna Coil return with their highly anticipated full length album 'Karmacode', to be released April 3rd, 2006 on Century Media/EMI. The first single Our Truth which appeared on the Soundtrack 'Underworld:Evolution' is to be released on March 13th.

The song offers a perfect mixture of the bands best elements: stunning vocals, dreamy melodies and powerful yet groovy guitars. The new album 'Karmacode' begins where the critically acclaimed 'Comalies' album left off, and the record will further solidify Lacuna Coil's spot as one of the genres most dynamic and exhilarating artists. The album closing track is a cover of Depeche Mode's classic Enjoy The Silence. The band will embark on a massive six-week U.S. tour this March direct support to Rob Zombie. This trek, which kicks off in mid-March and runs through early May, will be the group's first stateside run in support of their highly anticipated new album.


01. Fragile
02. To The Edge
03. Our Truth
04. Within Me
05. Devoted
06. You Create
07. What I See
08. Fragments Of Faith
09. Closer
10. In Visible Light
11. The Game
12. Without Fear
13. Enjoy The Silence



Goldfrapp's highly anticipated third full-length release 'Supernature' will finally be in stores stateside on March 7th, 2006. Through pioneering electronics, crystalline vocals, visual theatrics and glam-sex decadence, Goldfrapp has all the hallmarks of classic British pop music. As a British duo who writes and produces everything together, the new album, Supernature is the sound of Goldfrapp breaking through their own crash barrier, an uncompromising creative force at the top of their very own game. As the buzz continues to build for the March 7 North American release of Goldfrapp's 'Supernature' - already hailed as "the best pop album of 2005" by NME in England where it entered the chart at #2 and quickly attained gold status - the U.K.'s hottest act descended on New York City December 5th with a sold-out show at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square.


1.Ooh La La
2. Lovely 2 C U
3. Ride a White Horse
4. U Never Know
5.Let It Take U
6.Fly Me Away
7. Slide In
8. Koko
9. Satin Chic
10. Time Out From the World
11. Number One

Order: Supernature

My Bloody Valentine man plays rare gig

Kevin Shields joins Gemma Hayes on stage My Bloody Valentine main man Kevin Shields made a rare live appearance in London last night (February 9).

The reclusive musician joined Gemma Hayes during her gig at the Enterprise pub in Camden.

Introducing Shields during the encore Hayes explained: "There are two people I've always wanted to play with, Bob Dylan and Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine and he's here!"

Inviting Shields - who had watched the gig largely unnoticed by fans in the audience - to join her on guitar, Hayes added: "If we get this right he's going to come up here and play with us, I'm shaking in my boots."

Sheilds played guitar with Hayes on a new song 'Nowhere Man And Whisky Girl'.

The Irish singer-songwriter meanwhile played a full set drawing on songs from her debut album 'Night On My Side' and her recent record 'Roads Don't Love You'

Ash singer to release solo single

It's a collaboration with a dance music legend.

'Glow' is a collaboration with legendary dance music producer Arthur Baker who has previously worked with the likes of New Order and Bob Dylan.

The single's release follows the announcement that Ash guitarist, Charlotte Hatherly, would be leaving the band after 9 years to concentrate on her solo work.

'Glow' is set to be released on March 20.

Guns 'n' Roses album 'out next month'

Slash reveals all about 'Chinese Democracy'. Guns 'n' Roses' long awaited album 'Chinese Democracy' is finally set to be released in March, according to former guitarist Slash.

The news comes just weeks after reclusive singer Axl Rose revealed that the band's first material in 10 years was nearing completion.

Speaking about the release on Christian O'Connell's Virgin breakfast show, Slash confirmed that the record is done and he said a "very official source" had already heard it.

He added: "Yeah its going to happen, I've been made aware it's been heard.

"I'm really excited, it's been a long time waiting to see what the next step around the corner was going to be for him (Axl), we know where everybody else is, but we were wondering what he was going to be doing. It's coming out in March and apparently it sounds great."

Tracks slated to appear on the 13 track album include 'Better', 'There Was A Time' and 'The Blues'.

Although Axl and Slash have not spoken in the last 10 years, the velvet revolver guitarist said he was pleased that the record is finally going to see the light of day.

He added: "I've always been supportive over that thing, even though it's been turned in to a big controversial blah blah blah thing.

"When I left I was pretty pissed off for having to leave in the first place. After a while all the boo-haha that was stirred and all the negative press, sort of went in his direction, so I'm just waiting for the record to come out, so I'm glad where it's got to the point that that's happening."

Joh Homme & UNKLE, Massive Attack, Fiery Furnaces, The Pretenders, Arab Strap, and Boyracer.

Josh Homme, Ian Astbury to Appear on Next UNKLE LP

Matt Amis reports:

Since its inception, James Lavelle's trip-hoppin', breakbeatin', merch-hawkin' UNKLE project has garnered mixed reactions from fans and critics, but really, anyone who uses samples from "Jacob's Ladder" is OK in our book.

According to, Lavelle is hard at work on a third UNKLE studio album, the follow-up to his 2003 (non-Michael Jackson-related) Never Never Land.

It would appear Lavelle is dusting off UNKLE's gloomy, apocalyptic facade in favor of some down-home rawk, as the album will feature appearances from everybody's favorite prehistoric royalty, Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme (who also appeared on Never, Never, Land), his tattooed sweetheart Brody Dalle, the Cult frontman Ian Astbury, and the L.A. band Autolux. The disc is currently being mixed in London and is on track for a summer release.

Astbury, who recorded vocals for three songs, told Billboard, "I have a great admiration for James Lavelle as an artist." He added that the track with Autolux is "amazing". Gee, that's helpful.

Specifics like, oh, a title, a tracklist, and a release date are forthcoming. We hope.

* Mo'Wax:

Massive Attack Ready Anthology, New LP

Greg James and Amy Phillips report:

Feeling overwhelmed by all the potentially great records coming out in 2006? Massive Attack anticipated your anxiety, and dutifully will NOT release a new album until 2007.

Founding member Robert "3-D" Del Naja and producer/collaborator Neil Davidge have been holed up in the studio laying down tracks for their next album, Weather Underground, the first "real" Massive Attack album since 2003's lackluster 100th Window. (We say "real" because we're not counting the 2004 soundtrack to the Jet Li film Danny the Dog, or as we Americans lovingly know it, Unleashed.).

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Weather Underground sessions is the meeting of the minds between the trip-hop pioneers and TV on the Radio. This collaboration has forced Del Naja and co. to leave gloomy, old England for less-gloomy and less-old New York City in search of new sounds, or possibly just new weed.

According to posts by Del Naja on the official Massive Attack website forum, ex-Cocteau Twin and past Massive Attack vocalist Liz Fraser has spent time in the studio for the upcoming release, most likely contributing her signature ethereal vocals to a song destined to be the soundtrack to the conception of hipster babies worldwide in 2007.

For more immediate gratification, Massive Attack will release the "greatest hits" compilation Collected on March 27 in the UK and April 4 in America, via Virgin Records. The two-disc set features one CD containing the group's most famous songs, as well as a brand new track, "Live With Me", featuring Terry Callier (see: the 70s, Beth Orton), and one CD/DVD including rare and unreleased songs on one side, and all of the band's videos on the other. Legendary director Jonathan Glazer has come out of his six-year music video retirement to helm the "Live With Me" video, which is included on the DVD.

Collected tracklist:

Disc 1:

01 Safe From Harm
02 Karmacoma
03 Angel
04 Teardrop
05 Inertia Creeps
06 Protection
07 Butterfly Caught
08 Unfinished Sympathy
09 Risingson
10 Future Proof
11 Five Man Army
12 What Your Soul Sings
13 Sly
14 Live With Me

Disc 2 (CD side):

01 False Flags
02 Incantations
03 Silent Spring
04 Bullet Boy
05 Black Melt
06 Joy Luck Club
07 Small Time Shoot Em Up
08 I Against I
09 I Want You
10 Danny the Dog

Disc 2 (DVD side):

01 Daydreaming
02 Unfinished Sympathy
03 Safe From Harm
04 Be Thankful for What You've Got
05 Sly
06 Protection
07 Karmacoma
08 Risingson
09 Teardrop
10 Angel
11 Interia Creeps
12 Special Cases
13 Butterfly Caught
14 Live With Me
15 Live With Me (Terry Version)
16 False Flags

Massive Attack:

Fiery Furnaces Reveal LP Details, Begin Tour

Matthew Solarski, Greg James and Amy Phillips report:

The Fiery Furnaces' new album, Bitter Tea, finally has a release date: April 18. No surprise there.

What is surprising is that the record isn't coming out on Rough Trade, which has been responsible for every Furnaces release so far. Bitter Tea will instead be put out by Fat Possum, the Mississippi imprint that built its name on resurrected blues folks like R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, but has recently been strengthening the young'un portion of its roster with such bands as the Black Keys, We Are Wolves, and Gil Mantera's Party Dream.

Before you ask: no, the Furnaces weren't dropped by Rough Trade. (What ever would make you think that? The fact that their last record was unlistenable?) Rough Trade assures us that this is simply a one-off deal.

Matthew Friedberger, the half of the Fiery Furnaces that isn't Eleanor Friedberger, revealed to this week that Bitter Tea is all about The Rock. (Alas, not the wrestler, but who knows with these kids?) "This record, if you have it too loud, you'll hurt yourself," he said. Had we been talking to him, we would have pointed out that any record, played too loud, can be hurtful. Even Enya.

He continued, "Bitter Tea is a very girly record: bouncy and full of candy-colored sounds." Awesome! "There's backwards stuff on every song. A lot of backwards singing, a lot of backwards everything in the texture of the music." Things are looking good for those of us who judge the quality of music by the quantity of backwards stuff.

In a recent P-fork interview, Matt Friedberger revealed that he's presently recording not one, but two solo records, to see release later this year on 859 Records. Prove the intensity of your Furnace fanhood by shouting requests for such new Matt solo tunes as "Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company Resignation Letter", "The English English Teacher", "I Love You Cedric", and, inevitably, "Freebird".

* The Fiery Furnaces:
* Rough Trade:
* Fat Possum:

Pretenders Plan Box Set, Tour

James Gregory reports:

Props to Iggy and Lou Reed, but isn't it about time people started ripping off the Pretenders? The 80s' most dignified post-punk crossover had grittier hooks, sharper lyrics, and sweeter choruses than most of their contemporaries (yes, even Blondie). And shit, Chrissie Hynde even managed to score the ultimate rock n roll status symbol-- a kid with Ray Davies!

That being said, the March 14 release of a career-spanning Pretenders box set might be just the inspiration the Strokes need. Titled Pirate Radio, the Rhino anthology will feature 81 tracks across four CDs, as well as a DVD. Most notable for fans are the 15 previously unreleased songs scattered throughout the discs, including demos, alternate takes, and live cuts from the Pretenders' quarter-century career. Covers of songs by Radiohead, Morrissey, Neil Young, and Jimi Hendrix, among others, also appear.

The DVD features 19 video clips shot between 1979 and 1995, with a number of never-before-released performances thrown in for good measure. A "specially commissioned" poster by S. Clay Wilson will round out the package, perfect for proudly displaying front and center in your James Honeyman-Scott shrine.


>>Disc 1:

01 Precious (Regent Park Demo) *
02 Stop Your Sobbing
03 The Wait (Single Version)
04 Kid
05 Tattooed Love Boys
06 Mystery Achievement
07 Brass in Pocket
08 Porcelain
09 Talk of the Town (UK single version)
10 Message of Love
11 Cuban Slide
12 What You Gonna Do About It
13 The Adultress
14 Bad Boys Get Spanked
15 I Go to Sleep
16 Day After Day
17 Birds of Paradise
18 The English Roses
19 Time the Avenger
20 Watching the Clothes (Denmark Street Demo) *
21 Show Me

>>Disc 2:

01 Back on the Chain Gang
02 Thumbelina
03 Thin Line Between Love and Hate
04 My City Was Gone
05 Middle of the Road
06 Tequila *
07 2000 Miles
08 When I Change My Life (Alternate Version) *
09 My Baby
10 Worlds Within Worlds *
11 Don't Get Me Wrong
12 Hymn to Her
13 Tradition of Love
14 Room Full of Mirrors
15 Reconsider Me (Monitor mix)*
16 Hold a Candle to This (Alternate Version) *
17 Windows of the World (Original mix)
18 Never Do That
19 No Guarantee
20 Not a Second Time

>>Disc 3:

01 Sense of Purpose
02 Downtown (Akron)
03 How Do I Miss You
04 Bold As Love
05 When Will I See You
06 Hollywood Perfume
07 Night in My Veins
08 977
09 All My Dreams
10 Angel of the Morning (Original Version) *
11 Money Talk
12 Rebel Rock Me
13 I'll Stand by You
14 Every Mothers' Son (Demo) *
15 Love Colours
16 Private Life (Live)
17 Lovers of Today (Live)
18 Creep (Live)
19 Criminal (Live)
20 Revolution (Live)

>>Disc 4:

01 Everyday Is Like Sunday
02 Human (Class Mix)
06 The Needle and the Damage Done
07 From the Heart Down (Alternate Version) *
08 Who's Who
09 Biker
10 Nails in the Road
11 Legalize Me
12 The Homecoming (Live) *
13 Up the Neck (Live) *
14 Fools Must Die (Live) *
15 Nothing Breaks Like a Heart
16 Lie to Me
17 Complex Person
18 You Know Who Your Friends Are
19 I Should Of
20 The Losing


01 Talk of the Town ("Top of the Pops")
02 The Adultress ("Fridays")
03 The Wait ("All Right Now")
04 Hollywood Perfume ("Later With Jools Holland")
05 Brass in Pocket ("Top of the Pops")
06 977 ("Later With Jools Holland")
07 Never Do That ("Terry Wogan Show")
08 Thumbelina ("The New Show", 1984)
09 2000 Miles ("Pebble Mill")
10 Night in My Veins ("Top of the Pops")
11 My City Was Gone (live in Phoenix, AZ, 1994)
12 Tattooed Love Boys ("All Right Now")
13 Middle of the Road (MTV)
14 Don't Get Me Wrong ("Top of the Pops")
15 Criminal ("Pebble Mill")
16 Room Full of Mirrors (live at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, 2003)
17 Louie Louie ("Fridays")
18 Stop Your Sobbing ("Top of the Pops")
19 Tattooed Love Boys/Up the Neck ("The Old Grey Whistle Test")

* Previously Unreleased

* The Pretenders:

Arab Strap's Last Romance Coming to America

Zach Vowell reports:

After almost a decade of North American releases through Matador and Jetset, Scotland's perennially cynical serenaders Arab Strap have switched gears. Their latest album The Last Romance, will come out on February 21 in the U.S. through Transdreamer Records, also home to Dressy Bessy. Originally released last October by the venerable Glasgow-based Chemikal Underground, Last Romance will get gussied up with two bonus tracks, "El Paso Song" and "Go Back to the Sea", for its American coming-out.

That's what you get for stealing (or, um, buying imports):

01 Stink
02 (If There's) No Hope for Us
03 Chat in Amsterdam, Winter 2003
04 Don't Ask Me to Dance
05 Confessions of a Big Brother
06 Come Round and Love Me
07 Speed-Date
08 Dream Sequence
09 Fine Tuning
10 There Is No Ending
11 El Paso Song
12 Go Back to the Sea

According to the band's website, Arab Strap also plan to release a second 7" single from The Last Romance on February 20, a "slightly different version" of "Speed-Date". The B-sides will be the album's original opener, "Preface: Set the Scene", and a song with a quintessential AS title (if there ever was one), "The Girl I Loved Before I Fucked". The songs will also become available on iTunes for those without a turntable. Richard Jobson, former frontman for the Skids, is slated to direct a video for "Speed-Date", which, according to the band, will be released on a Chemikal Underground DVD in the near future.

* Arab Strap:
* Transdreamer:

Boyracer Back With Anthology, New LP

David Nadelle reports:

Despite churning out indie pop gems with manic intensity for over a decade, Stewart Anderson and his Boyracer vehicle (You're fired -- ed.) have always found themselves at the lower end of the popularity ladder, even among indie rockers. As Pitchfork's own Nitsuh Abebe once observed, they're kinda the DIY indie-pop version of Guided by Voices.

But who needs all that fame and beer when you can refuse to lose and win on your own terms? Stewart and perma-partner Jen Turrell are back in the driver's seat with a distribution deal for their 555 Recordings label through Darla, and two Boyracer new releases. The first, a brand-new album titled A Punch Up the Bracket, comes out tomorrow, February 14, and contains 21 songs in 45 minutes, which is positively epic for these guys. Guests on the LP include Ara Hacopian from Saturday People, Chuck Reutter from the Bright Lights and Martin Cannert from Javelins.

Are they trying to pick a fight with the Libertines?:

01 A Punch Up the Bracket
02 The Man The Myth
03 Second Hand Youth
04 Secret Jokes
05 The Toilets of Northern Europe
06 Insect Boy
07 A Happy Accident
08 No Tears
09 Geordie Lout
10 The Desperate Hours
11 Yr Love It Lies to You
12 Contradictions
13 Normal
14 Perennial Underdog
15 Louise (New Version)
16 Stand By Your Words
17 Yr Silent Years
18 Kids Don't follow
19 More Than Most
20 Pleasantries
21 Tactile

Tomorrow was also scheduled to bring the 555 release of the double-disc Boyracer compendium Punker Than You Since '92, but due to copyright issues, it has been pushed back to March 20. The two discs contain 75 tracks of fuzz-punk goodness, from the band's debut 7" through a 10" issued last year in a limited edition of 75 copies. (They sure like that number, don't they?)

Punker Than You is heavier on the rare stuff than the 2001 "greatest hits" collection Boyfuckingracer. And with this band, it's all about the rare stuff.

Disc One: 2001-2006:

01 A History of Snakes
02 They're Making Money Off You
03 Who Pissed on Yr Bonfire?
04 2nd Hand Youth
05 9 to 5 Style
06 Lou and Ged
07 90s Are Thru
08 On Bleached Grass
09 Sarah and Sarah
10 (It Just Fell Down the) Back of the Fridge
11 Absence Makes the Heart Grow Harder
12 Everyday Is Saturday Night
13 Pop Holiday
14 You've Squandered Yr Talents
15 Billy Three
16 Concede
17 Ghosts in Japan
18 Words Are Yr Currency
19 Warmest Hours
20 Tell Me Where My Hands Should Go
21 Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
22 Thought Even More of You When You Told Me You Wanted Me Dead
23 Louise
24 Where to Place Yr Trust
25 Yr Static Flame
26 It's a Long Way to Go to Loose More Than Loose Change
27 Fool Around
28 We Have Such Gifts
29 Temper
30 The Sadness in You
31 That Boy Yr With Is a Dick
32 Stars and Car Parks
33 Wholly Generic
34 A Chipped Tooth and Greasy Fingers
35 Secret Jokes
36 We Are Pure Chrome
37 The Man The Myth
38 Temp
39 Vinegar Evenings
40 How Many Cars Can You Fit in Yr Garage?
41 Toilets of Northen Europe
42 A Punch Up the Bracket
43 Carefull What You Wish For
44 When I Was a Blonde and You Were a Brunette
45 Now I Have Everything

Disc Two: 1991-1996:

01 Doorframe
02 Turquoise Mood
03 Yr Breaking His Heart
04 Black Fantastic Splitting
05 Yr Unspoken Desires
06 Beautiful Lines
07 I've Got It and It's Not Worth Having
08 West Riding House
09 Twisted Love
10 Tested
11 Re-Run
12 Buffalo
13 Boyracer
14 He Gets Me So Hard
15 Talk of Aching
16 Goblin
17 Meadowhall
18 Patric Walker
19 Untouched by Conversation
20 E.J.K
21 Passionflower
22 Denatured
23 Naked
24 Two
25 Blazing Fruit
26 Boxing Day
27 Wanting for All the Wrong Reasons
28 Snowly
29 Michael
30 Railway

* Boyracer:
* 555 Recordings:
* Darla: