- Is retirement the new version of fading away (burning out is so clichéd)? According to his website , former Dismemberment Plan frontman Travis Morrison is calling it day -- with large, blackened letters spelling RETIRED! slowing scrolling and morphing at the top of his page. From the looks of it, he’s more concerned with making Facebook friends -- maybe he’ll convince them his first solo album was better than some said it was.
- Speaking of retirees, David Berman may have laid Silver Jews down to sleep last year in an effort to stoke his non-music creative flames, but he hasn’t disappeared into the social networking abyss. Rather, Berman just released The Portable February, a book of sketches, drawings, and cartoons.
- Over the past five years or so, Sigur Ros vocalist Jonsi (Birgisson) has teamed up with his partner, Alex Somers, the artist behind much of the band’s graphic arts, under the guise Riceboy Sleeps to create visual art and now ambient music. The collaborators are about to release their self-titled debut album on XL and have made a song available for download:
Riceboy Sleeps - Boy 1904 (MP3)
- The indie supergroup has become a staple of the current musical climate, and while a successful collaboration between the supposed best and brightest is often an uneven affair at best, the minds behind Risil hope to win you over with their blend of R&B, jazz, ambient, and drone. Formed by Scott Guillermo Herren, Zach Hill, Tyondai Braxton, John McEntire, Alejandra Deheza, and Eva Puyuelo Muns -- the MEGAgroup has released its debut album, Non Meters Volume One via Important.
- Have you ever wanted to know the ins and outs of touring? The Art of Touring, a book and DVD featuring the likes of Thurston Moore, Devendra Banhart, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs will document the tiring, blue collar affair in pictures, art, words, and live and backstage footage of a host of indie acts. The tome, out now through Yeti Publishing, will donate one-third of its proceeds to benefit Jazz Foundation of America.
- While EELS may not be touring, at least fans can now content themselves with a brand new video, for “In My Dreams” from their latest, Hombre Lobo:
- With the summer heat setting in, new releases are beginning to trickle down like beads of sweat through the cracks of the lawn chair. Danish phenomena Slaraffenland will release We’re On Your Side September 15th through Hometapes. The Black Heart Procession readies Six, for an October 6th unveiling -- the band’s Temporary Residence debut. Arts & Crafts will be releasing the fourth album from The Hidden Cameras, titled Origin: Orphan which drops September 22nd.
- The talkshow circuit is still a bit slow this week, but a few performances are sure to top your DVR viewing list: Conor Oberst, Death Cab for Cutie, Andrew Bird, and Ray LaMontagne. If you didn’t see Delta Spirit’s performance on Last Call a few months ago, you’ve got to catch it this time around. Also, Playing For Change is a fascinating project that records artists all around the world singing the same songs. Don’t miss them on Conan Thursday night. Here are the highlights:
Monday, July 6
David Letterman: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Conan O’Brien: Death Cab for Cutie
Jimmy Fallon: The Lonely Island (R 5/12/09)
Tuesday, July 7
Conan O’Brien: Andrew Bird
Last Call: Patton Oswalt, M83 (R 3/11/09)
Jimmy Kimmel: Ben Harper (R 6/18/09)
Wednesday, July 8
Jimmy Fallon: Amadou & Mariam (R 6/8/09)
Last Call: Delta Spirit (R 3/12/09)
Thursday, July 9
David Letterman: Levon Helm
Conan O’Brien: Playing For Change
Friday, July 10
Conan O’Brien: Ray LaMontagne
Jimmy Fallon: Mos Def (R 6/9/09)