Billboard Bits: Malkmus, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, Twist

News on Stephen Malkmus, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, Twist

Stephen Malkmus made a rare foray into his ex-band's catalog last night (Jan. 10) during a solo acoustic opening set for former Spinanes member Rebecca Gates at New York's Knitting Factory Tap Bar.

Taking requests from the audience and occasionally asking for help with melodies or lyrics, Malkmus' 11-song performance featured six Pavement tunes, including the group's very first release, "Box Elder," and the classic "Gold Soundz." He also played five song from throughout his solo work with the Jicks, including "Church on White," "Freeze the Saints" and "Vanessa From Queens."

According to a Matador spokesperson, Malkmus has no concrete upcoming musical plans, but some live dates are in the works for later this year.

-- Mark Groeschner, N.Y.

Austin, Texas-based rock act I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness will release its debut full-length, "Fear Is on Our Side," March 7 via Secretly Canadian. The 12-track set was produced by Ministry bassist Paul Barker and is the follow-up to a 2003 self-titled EP, which was produced by Spoon frontman Britt Daniel.

More musically accomplished than its predecessor and imbued with the influence of '80s rock outfits like the Chameleons, Talk Talk and Echo & the Bunnymen, "Fear Is on Our Side" is highlighted by tracks like "Last Ride Together," "We Choose Faces" and the bass-driven "According to Plan," which can be downloaded from Secretly Canadian's
Web site.

ILYBICD will tour in support of the new album, but for now the lone date on its schedule is a Feb. 2 bill with Spoon at Austin's La Zona Rosa.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Sony Music Label Group and Wilderness Media & Entertainment are planning to launch the first major music label dedicated to identifying and developing lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans gendered (LGBT) artists.

The label, dubbed Music With A Twist, is planning a roster that will feature LGBT artists who have mass appeal and hit potential across all musical genres. Also planned for the Twist imprint is a series of branded compilations geared toward the LGBT audience, as well as to a broader music fans. The compilations are to include songs by established artists that have been embraced by LGBT audiences, as well as tracks from emerging gay acts.

The first of these compilations will be released in June during National Gay Pride Month. As part of its focus on identifying and developing new artists, Twist is in the process of assembling a nationwide network of A&R talent scouts to identify gay talent with a local buzz.