mardi, février 21, 2006

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:

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