Gang of Four reform, dates to be announced

Every time you hear a band like The Rapture, Bloc Party, or the Futureheads described as having a post-punk angular sound, remember who did it best; Gang of Four:
From ManchesterAcademy.Net
“For years promoters and fans have begged them. Now Gang of Four, the definitive punk-funk, post-punk agitators, have finally acquiesced to public demand. They have reformed in their original line-up, and will play a limited number of shows around the UK in the New Year.
The band, icons and inspiration for many of the world’s biggest acts (REM, U2, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and who perhaps more than any other, serve as direct stylistic antecedents of today’s guitar heroes (step forward Franz Ferdinand, Futureheads, The Rapture, Radio 4, Liars et al), have not been seen in this formation since 1981. Jon King (vocals), Andy Gill (guitar and vocals), Dave Allen (bass) and Hugo Burnham (drums) had by then been responsible for 1978’s epochal “Damaged Goods” debut EP, as well as the genre-defining “Entertainment” album (1979) and its follow-up “Solid Gold”.

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Pixies on Letterman

If you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to one of the Pixies’ shows this week at the Hammerstein Ballroom, check them out tonight on David Letterman. We frankly don’t know where they found the time to stop by and say hello to Dave. The band is slotted to play eight sold-out shows this week already.
Letterman airs 11:30PM EST on CBS.
Here’s Jason Bell’s review of their show last night (with set list):
The Pixies, Hammerstein Ballroom, 12.13.04
With eight nights of shows, plenty will be said about the Pixies residency at the Hammerstein Ballroom, so I’ll keep this brief. Last night was hands down the best show I’ve seen all year. Charles was in fine form, his voice an amazing instrument of humor and sheer madness. “Tame” was epic; the highlight of the set for me.

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Outkast kast themselves in new movie, new records coming soon

From Pitchfork:
“After a relatively quiet 2004, the world-conquering duo Outkast will once again be ubiquitous in 2005, with both an HBO film and a pair of albums on the way. The duo’s HBO film– which co-stars Ving Rhames, Paula Jai Parker, and Terrence Howard– is titled My Life in Idlewild, and is set in the Prohibition-era South, where speakeasy performer Big Boi and his piano-playing pal Andre 3000 are forced to protect their illegal club from gangsters. Co-written and directed by Bryan Barber– who also crafted the “Hey Ya!” and “Roses” videos– the film cost $15 million.”
Click here to continue onto Pitchfork

Rudy gets spanked and sent to bed early with no cabinet nomination

Strain Is Seen in Giuliani Ties With President

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 – Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani had a Christmas dinner at the White House on Sunday night, and he attended with an important goal in mind: to apologize to his host for pushing Bernard B. Kerik as homeland security secretary and then watching as Mr. Kerik’s nomination collapsed in legal problems and embarrassed the president of the United States.
That embarrassment has put a new strain on a mutually beneficial relationship that has always been more complicated than mere friendship.
“I feel very bad,” Mr. Giuliani said in a telephone interview on Sunday afternoon, adding that he felt somewhat responsible for the nomination of Mr. Kerik, who withdrew his name on Friday because he had failed to pay taxes for a nanny who was in the country illegally.
“Even though there was never a conversation about it, I realize that one of the reasons they did it was because of my confidence in Bernie over the years,” he said. “And I feel like maybe I should have involved myself more in it.”

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Tainted Lady Lounge

Bar & Restaurant
388 Grand Street @ Havemeyer
Brooklyn, New York
We checked out this newish Williamsburg bar recently and were pleasantly surprised at how much fun we had.
From City Rag:
“Tainted Lady Lounge is off to a howling start! the newest project from NY bar legend Deb Parker (NoTell Motel, Babyland, Beauty Bar, Barmacy) opened at Grand and Havemeyer … Deb’s artistry is in bringing together unusual, amazing collections; surrounding them with sexy and comfortable design, lighting and music; and topping it off by filling the bar with cool people (staff and patrons.) the result is a bar that’s funky, dark, intimate, detailed and crazy fun, with a fantastic collection of naked lady paintings.”
Click here for more

Sagan vs. the Dead Texan

Dinner and art in a cool setting
Friday December 10 (8 & 10pm)
at Monkey Town (222 Leonard St, Williamsburg, 718.384.1369)
From Flavorpill:
“Monkey Town, an immersive environment in which guests are surrounded by four screens, is the perfect venue in which to get lost in Sagan’s Unseen Forces. This audiovisual project begins with a mesmerizing portrayal (incorporating flashlights) of the big bang theory, set to an otherworldly score that combines synths and glitchy trip-hop, followed by a trio of black-and-white shorts that slyly put late, great cosmic thinkers in compromising fictional situations. With a name derived from astronomy wonder Carl Sagan, the multimedia collective — comprised of Blevin Blectum, J Lesser, Jon Leidecker, and Ryan Junell — does its namesake proud. Also playing tonight are a collection of music videos from the Dead Texan, a collaboration between Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid) and video artist Christina Vantzos.”
Tonight’s Menu:
Shaved Fennel & Pomegranate Salad ($6)
w/ mint & habanero vinaigrette
Baccala Squash Chowder ($8)
Thyme Pesto Polenta ($10)
w/ smoked tofu & herbs
Braised Beef Short Ribs ($14)
w/ spiced oatmeal cake & Chinese long beans
Click here for more

Presidential Memo:

From President Bush to whoever is in charge of Iraq these days
To Whom It May Concern:

I bet this is you, Rummy, but I don’t want to say it outright, for the sake of what is called “Plausible Deniability.”
All right. We’ve got this election in Iraq coming on January 30. The problem, as I see it, is that most of the country is exploding. Exploding countries don’t have the best elections. I remember when I was running against Senator Atheist Tax-a-Lot Flip-Flopper (I’m talking about John Kerry, here. You might recall how that election turned out. I won. With a mandate.), I recall thinking, Well, I hope the country doesn’t explode, because that would be bad.

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Yo La Tengo's Annual Hanukkah Shows

The one event worth going to Hoboken for:
Yo La Tengo’s Annual Hanukkah Shows at Maxwell’s
Pick up your tickets while they last. These shows are always among the best of the year.
Tues. 12/7
Yo La Tengo/Laura Cantrell
8:30 p.m. – $20
Wed. 12/8
Yo La Tengo/special guests
8:30 p.m. – $20
Thurs. 12/9
Yo La Tengo/The Shams
8:30 p.m. – $20
Fri. 12/10
Yo La Tengo/The A Bones
9 p.m. – Sold Out
Sat. 12/11
Yo La Tengo/Eleventh Dream Day
9:30 p.m. – Sold Out
Sun. 12/12
Yo La Tengo/The Coctails
8:30 p.m. – Sold Out
Mon. 12/13
Yo La Tengo/special guests
8:30 p.m. – $20
Tues. 12/14
Yo La Tengo/Calvin Johnson
8:30 p.m. – $20