Saturday, February 13, 2010

Music News & Notes


The 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary this year at Chicago’s Union Park, on Friday, July 16 - Sunday, July 18. This three-day event will once again showcase a variety of cutting-edge, global performers on three stages in one of the most comfortable and positive festival environments in the country, all brought to fans at a fraction of the price of any other nationally renowned music festival.

In previous years, the Pitchfork Music Festival has provided attendees the opportunity to see performances by some of the world’s most innovative and flourishing young acts, often acting as a barometer for what will be popular in the coming years. Over the years artists including Animal Collective, Girl Talk, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Andrew Bird, Owen Pallett, The National, The Antlers, Yeasayer, amongst many others, have been invitedto perform at burgeoning moments in their careers. The festival has also presented a diverse mix of internationally renowned and beloved acts, such as The Flaming Lips, The Jesus Lizard, Spoon, Yoko Ono, Public Enemy, Sonic Youth, Tortoise, Dinosaur Jr., Cat Power, Silver Jews, Yo La Tengo, Slint, Os Mutantes and Iron & Wine.

An independently run, consistently sold-out event, the Pitchfork Music Festival attracts 50,000 fans of all ages from 45 states and 11 countries. In addition to presenting an outstanding musical line-up at a reasonable price, the festival also offers a vast array of other activities for attendees to enjoy. With 50 individual vendors, as well as specialty fairs, the fest not only supports local businesses and the local economy, but also promotes the Chicago arts community as a whole.

Tickets for the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival will be on sale Friday, February 5th, with single-day tickets for $40 and three-day passes for $90. The first round of bands will be announced on Friday, February 5th as well. Two-day passes will not be available for purchase. This year, Friday’s performances will begin earlier to present fans with a longer first day of music. Tickets can be purchased at

Pitchfork Media is the premier destination for music criticism, news, features, and audio/video content. With more than 2 million unique readers per month and over 25 million page views, Pitchfork has earned one of the internet’s most loyal followings and a reputation as the music world’s primary tastemaker.


Luther Russell Releasing New EP in March

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Luther Russell will release the six-track "Motorbike" EP on March 15, 2010 on Wool Recordings/Ungawa.

The songs on the EP are taken from Russell's upcoming fifth solo album a double entitled "The Invisible Audience" and were selected and sequenced by Sarabeth Tucek, who also sings on "Somehow Or Another."

Musically the EP takes in the psychedelic Americana of the title track, which is reminiscent of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club circa "Howl," the stripped-down blues of "A World Unknown," the power-pop of "Tomorrow's Paper," and the short, but sweet "Dead Sun Blues" and "Et Al," which sound like outtakes from "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" and "Third/Sister Lovers," respectively. What keeps these seemingly disparate influences together is Russell's effortless way with a melody and the warm, analogue sound.

"It was recorded to eight-track one-inch tape with most instruments played by yours truly," says Russell, who has produced records by Richmond Fontaine and the aforementioned Sarabeth Tucek. "People have really responded to the song "Motorbike," so I thought an EP built around it would be a nice way of calling attention to the new album."

He's not wrong, especially as the EP looks so good. As well as a digital release it will be available on an extremely limited-edition white vinyl 12-inch, which comes with a postcard shot by underground filmmaker Cam Archer. Archer, who has previously worked with Gus Van Sant and made videos for the likes of Xiu Xiu and Six Organs Of Admittance, is currently working on a video for "Motorbike."


Dire Straits Frontman Mark Knopfler Announces Solo Tour

Legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler will hit the road for a North American tour in support of his current solo album, Get Lucky, this spring.

The tour — during which Knopfler will also dip into his illustrious back catalog — begins April 8th in Seattle and criss-crosses the continent before finishing up in Albany, NY, on May 9th.

Released on September 15th, 2009, Get Lucky is the Dire Straits' lead singer and songwriter's sixth studio album and follow-up to 2007's highly successful Kill To Get Crimson.

The album was recorded at Knopfler's award-winning British Grove Studios in West London, and co-produced with longtime collaborators, engineer Chuck Ainlay and keyboardist Guy Fletcher. It also features Richard Bennett, Danny Cummings, John McCusker, Matt Rollings, and Glenn Worf.


Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Vetiver, Brendan Benson and Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold Team Up for Graham Nash Tribute

In 1971, Graham Nash was on a temporary break from Crosby, Stills and Nash, and had just broken up with long-time girlfriend Joni Mitchell. The emotional state he was in resulted in Songs for Beginners, which is now considered one of his greatest accomplishments.

Nearly 30 years later, Nash's daughter, Nile Nash, has teamed up with a team of indie folk icons to pay tribute to the classic album. The compilation is called Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners, and features appearances from Port O'Brien, Brendan Benson, Vetiver, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold and many others.

On top of the Songs for Beginners tribute, a handful of artists, including Johnathan Rice and Two Gallants' Tyson Vogel, took on selections from Nash's second solo album, Wild Tales. Those songs will be pressed on a limited seven-inch that will ship with the first 1,000 orders through the Grass Roots Records website.

Be Yourself will be released on May 25. Pre-orders for the album, along with the bonus seven-inch, begin on February 15.

Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners:

1. Port O'Brien and the Papercuts “Military Madness”
2. Brendan Benson “Better Days”
3. Nile Nash “Wounded Bird”
4. Vetiver “Used to be a King” 5. Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) “Be Yourself”
6. Bonnie “Prince” Billy “Simple Man (Hombre Sencillo)”
7. Moore Brothers “Man in the Mirror”
8. Alela Diane “There's Only One”
9. Mariee Sioux with Greg Weeks (Espers) “Sleep Song”
10. Sleepy Sun “Chicago”
11. Nile Nash with guests “We Can Change the World (reprise)”

Bonus EP:

1. Tyson Vogel (Two Gallants) “Hey You (Looking at the Moon)”
2. Johnathan Rice “On the Line”
3. Jonathan Wilson “And So It Goes (Music Gets You High)”
4. Bart Davenport “Better Days”
5. Citay “Military Madness”