Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
The Way It Is
Nicole Atkins changes labels, band names, salutes Jacko
Lucia HolmIt’s been not quite two years since the release of Nicole Atkins’ debut album Neptune City and even taking into account the relentless touring that followed, you’d think she’s about due for a new record soon, right? As she tells Spinner, work on the follow-up is well underway with 38 songs written set to be pared down to a baker’s dozen for the record. But whenever it does come out, don’t look for it on Columbia Records; according to the New Jersey singer, she and the storied label “got divorced” and while she hasn’t settled on a new home, she’s looking to the indie route this time around. Also on the topic of change, her band The Sea has decided to adopt and adjective and they’ll now be known as Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea.
But until the new album is done and has a new home, Atkins is keeping busy – she was an integral part of AC Newman’s last studio and touring bands, she’s been playing gigs at JFK Airport, keeping a blog, rocking the Twitter and taking the time to record a little tribute to the late Michael Jackson. It would have been interesting to hear her try one of the funkier numbers, but a torch song to a rat works as well.
Also about due for a new record is Lightspeed Champion. He’s got a shiny new website and therein, says “The album is in the hands of the label for whenever they want to release it..but they’re good with that kind a thing, it’s their job! No idea when that will be though.” Which at least implies that it’s completed though it doesn’t give much hope that the October 2009 release date I had written down is still a go. But in the meanwhile, he’s offered a new song to those who register on his site entitled “Heavy Purple”, which is of a decidedly different flavour from anything found on Falling Off The Lavender Bridge.
Jarvis Cocker is also giving away the tunes – you can grab a different edit of Futher Complications’ “You’re In My Eyes (Discosong)” from his website. Hey Jarv, don’t think I haven’t noticed you didn’t add any more North American tour dates. ‘Cause I totally did.
Spin has excerpted a portion of this month’s Wilco cover story online and NewsOK has a conversation with Jeff Tweedy about how the band’s five-night stand at the Riviera in Chicago in December 2007 was a defining moment for the current lineup.
As the September 8 release of Yo La Tengo’s new album Popular Songs draws nearer, they’ve released information about the bonuses tied into the Buy Early Get Now pre-order promotion, the full Fall tour itinerary surrounding the previously-announced October 3 date at the Opera House in Toronto has been unveiled and there’s a second MP3 from the album now available for grabs.
The Soulsavers, the latest project fronted by Screaming Tree/Gutter Twin/general man about town Mark Lanegan have slated a Fall North American tour including a September 25 date at the Mod Club in support of their new album Broken, out August 18.
Here’s a guy who hasn’t been sighted in these pages lately – Sufjan Stevens. Some are waiting for part the third in his albums saluting the fifty states; they can keep waiting, because he’s turned his sights on a geographical topic a bit more micro than that – the Brookyln-Queens Expressway. He staged the musical/cinematic/whatever production live in November of 2007 and come October 20, he’ll release a multimedia package consisting of a CD of the show, a DVD of the film portions and a ViewMaster slide of… well, unless you have a ViewMaster you’ll never know. He’s also re-releasing an old electronic album dedicated to the best (read: mine) year of the Chinese Zodiac entitled Enjoy Your Rabbit on October 6, so either of these could be the filling out his set when he hits the road this Fall, and yes, there should be a Toronto date. Probably right around the time he plays Pop Montreal. Keep an eye out.
There’s a new video from the new Hidden Cameras record Origin:Orphan, due out September 22.
Julian Plenti is the solo pseudonym of Paul Banks, lead singer of Interpol. The record is called Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper and is out August 4. Whether or not a solo record from the lead singer of Interpol is necessary is unclear.
Chart has details on the second Flight Of The Conchords album, due out October 20 and bearing the title of I Told You I Was Freaky. It’ll contain all the songs featured in season two of the HBO show and while the second series got off to an alarmingly slow start, both comedically and musically, it took a serious upswing about midway through – right around the time that Michel Gondry sat in the director’s chair and gave us this bit of brilliance.