Veteran indie rock trio Trans Am will release its eighth studio album, "Sex Change," Feb. 20 via longtime label Thrill Jockey. The 11-track set was primarily recorded in Auckland and Brooklyn, N.Y., a

Veteran indie rock trio Trans Am will release its eighth studio album, "Sex Change," Feb. 20 via longtime label Thrill Jockey. The 11-track set was primarily recorded in Auckland and Brooklyn, N.Y., and is the follow-up to 2004's "Liberation," a musical response to the Bush administration's post-9/11 policies.

"Sex Change" finds the group reveling in straightforward grooves augmented by its signature blend of retro electronics and live instrumentation. Highlights include the propulsive "North East Rising Sun" and the instrumental "Conspiracy of the Gods," the wistful "4,738 Regrets" and the closing epic "Triangular Pyramid," which hearkens back to the anthem-like "Motr" from the group's 1997 album "Surrender to the Night."

Trans Am will support "Sex Change" with an extensive spring tour, beginning April 11 in Charlottesville, Va. Beforehand, the group will also play Dec. 30 in San Francisco and Feb. 24 in New York.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







U.K. rock act Bloc Party has canceled appearances tonight (Nov. 10) in Charlotte, N.C., tomorrow in Fairfax, Va., and Nov. 13-14 in New York while drummer Matt Tong recovers from a collapsed lung. Tong was hospitalized last night in Atlanta following a show with Panic! At The Disco and will remain under observation through the weekend.

Additional shows may be affected; for now, it is not knowh when Tong will be able to resume playing live.

As previously reported, Bloc Party's sophomore album, "A Weekend in the City," is due Feb. 6 via Vice/Atlantic.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







The Decemberists are hosting a contest for fans to try their hand at crafting a video for the track "O Valencia!". A video of the band performing the song in front of a green screen has been posted on the mtvU Web site for entrants to use.

The band will accept submissions from Nov. 10 to Dec. 15, with the winner earning a new Apple iMac, plus the privilege of their video being added to regular rotation on the college network along with other video outlets.

The Decemberists originally commissioned the animated video for "O Valencia!" -- a track from their most recent album, "The Crane Wife" -- from an outside production company, but were dissatisfied with the results.


-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.

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