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Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

You Are The Light (By Which I Travel Into This And That)

Another wave of news from Scandanvia. Funny how these things seem to happen in bunches?

We should all be so lucky as to have a Valentine like Jens Lekman, who has made available a trio of tour-only EPs available for download right here, as his special gift to you (via For The Records). If you’re not familiar with Mr Lekman’s wry, dry and lyrically spry brand of folk music, these EPs are a perfect place to start. And if you like them, which you surely will, then his recent compilation Oh You’re So Silent Jens should be your next stop (Metacritic agrees). Even though it’s a collection of odds and sods, I actually like it more than his proper full length When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog. Also check out his Dept Of Forgotten Songs page, which while it hasn’t been updated in a while, is still brimming with musical goodness.

MP3: Jens Lekman – “I Don’t Know If She’s Worth 900 kr”
MP3: Jens Lekman – “Black Cab”
Video: Jens Lekman – “You Are The Light (By Which I Travel Into This And That)” (MPG)

And in a stroke of peculiar synchronicity, Pitchfork has an interview Mr Lekman, where he confesses his retirement from music, announced last year, was short-lived when he realized that being a musician was a better job than working in a bingo hall. I also note with some interest that Mr Lekman will be visitng the Netherlands at the same time as I, but I will have to find a map and determine just how feasible a trip to Utrecht on the 17th is. I don’t have a map yet, you see. Something else I should look into. He’s also playing in Rotterdam on the 19th, but that’s when I’m planning on seeing Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who are going to be in Amsterdam.

Labrador Records has confirmed titles and release dates for new material from The Radio Dept – they will release The Worst Taste In Music as a single on March 15 and follow that up with their second full-length, Pet Grief, on April 12. Their official/unofficial MySpace page has been redesigned, but is still pretty freaking ugly.

And the new Cardigans record, Super Extra Gravity, finally gets a domestic release today. Get it, it’s good. The witch-y/goth-y video for the second single, “Don’t Blame Your Daughter”, is also now available in RealVideo and Quicktime formats. And Malaysia’s The Star Online talks to guitarist Peter Svensson about the making of the record.

And there’s been some shuffling in Norwegian singer-songwriter Magnet’s Canadian itinerary – while his March 1 show with Stars at The Docks still appears to be on, his March 2 showcase at the El Mocambo has vanished from the official CMW schedule. Instead, he’ll be playing NeXT, a sort of anti-CMW mini festival, with a show at the Comfort Zone that evening along with The Adam Brown, Frontier Index and Basia Bulat. More details at Stille Post.

Scots (not Scands, but still northern Europeans!) Camera Obscura have completed work on their newest album and will be putting it out this Summer under the name of Let’s Get Out Of This Century. They have a small smattering of US tour dates scheduled for this Spring, including a SxSW showcase (details still forthcoming). And, like all good bands, they have a blog.

Some shows – The UK’s White Rose Movement are at the El Mocambo on March 25 while Sub Pop’s Kelley Stoltz will be at The Drake on March 31 to push his new album Below The Branches, which came out February 7. An interesting double bill with Margot And The Nuclear So And Sos and South will be at Lee’s on April 3 and the Centro-Matic/Great Lake Swimmers show has been confirmed for April 5 at the Horseshoe. And finally, Pinback are at Lee’s Palace on May 4.

PostSecret has a special Valentine’s Day edition up this week. Equal parts heartening and excruciating to read.

24: The thing that stood out the most to me was the grooving soundtrack music playing as Jack went to his parking garage rendezvous with the terrorists. It was positively funky! And I’m trying to remember here – have ANY of Jack’s undercover excursions ever gone as planned? CTY probably works his being taken hostage into every mission scenario now. Definitely a step up from last week’s ep, with a rather formulaic though still suspenseful moral dilemma to keep things interesting. And Jack rescued a small child! Next week – Jack gets a kitten down from a tree.

np – Young & Sexy / Life Through One Speaker

By : Frank Yang at 9:00 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. JJ says:

    Utrecht is a very feasible trip from Amsterdam, about 40 mins on the train. Nice little town too. But then the train system there is so good that most places are pretty close.

  2. Torr says:

    Still no u.s. release in sight for that new Cardigans album.

  3. Erik says:

    The Radio Dept. myspace page is unofficial. It’s run by some 21 year old Canadian guy named Alex who I have seen in a shoegaze chatroom on the web. Not the brightest bulb in the world…

  4. ovenking says:

    utrecht is a really really nice city…actually one of my favourite places to visit in western europe. there’s a great laid back vibe (student town, ya see) with plenty of canal-side drinking and dining.

  5. Frank says:

    torr – that’s too bad. I saw about four used copies in one store today…

  6. Karl says:

    Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

    (Just in case you’ve missed the Jack Bauer Random Fact Generator)

    http://www.notrly.com/jackb

  7. shmedd says:

    I thought 24 was great last night. The scariest thing for me was Jack stomping through the food court with a gun in one hand and the gas mask on his face. Sheer terror!

  8. Carla says:

    Are you coming out to the Adam Brown/Frontier Index/etc etc show? Hope to see you there!

    And THANK YOU so much for the tip on the Pinback show, though there’s nary of sign of it anywhere on line. What’s your source on this one, just curious?

  9. mike says:

    Frank, go see Jens…I know you’ve seen him before, but 40 minute train ride only? I’d be there in a second. (I saw him at The Music Gallery and it was my FAVOURITE show of 2005!)

    BTW, I picked up the new Cardigans album today. Too bad for the Americans, not getting a domestic release yet.

  10. Paul says:

    It’s not like the Cardigans album is impossible to get in the US. I got it from CD Universe a few months ago for less than $15.