It's official: The Schoolyard Heroes have a new boss, and it's Jay-to-the-"Jigga What?"-Z. After releasing two records on local indie the Control Group, the zombiephilic quartet have signed to the New York–based Stolen Transmission, which is a subsidiary of Island Records (and owned by Mr. Z). They're excited so I'm excited, but I have just one complaint.

Stolen Transmission was founded by Sarah Lewitinn, aka Ultragrrrl. She's that annoying columnist who used to write in Spin about the parties she went to and the rock stars she wants to make out with, aka that annoying "journalist" who claimed My Chemical Romance was this generation's Nirvana, aka that annoying "author" who wrote the book Pocket DJ: Ultragrrrl's Guide to Building the Best Music Library, actually just a half-assed and fairly shallow list of "must-have songs" that will supposedly make you, like, the best DJ ever, aka the pseudo-celeb I once described as "rock music's Paris Hilton," which is a comment I stand by today.


But still, congratulations go out to the Heroes. Just because Lewitinn likes you doesn't mean I won't, especially because I've heard some of the band's new material, and it's great. Ryann Donnelly's voice is leaps beyond what she was doing on Fantastic Wounds, and the band's still musically tight, dark, and wicked hot.

The record won't be released until later this year (late summer or early fall, supposedly), but later next month (June 22, precisely), Schoolyard has a show at El Corazón, which will be a homecoming of sorts, as they'll be fresh off their East Coast/Canada tour with new labelmates the Horrors. Tell Jay-Z I said hi, guys.

Speaking of reasons to celebrate (how's that for a professional segue), the Vera Project is celebrating the impending end of yet another school year with their "Anti-Prom" on Thursday, May 24, starring NY's Japanther (Eric Grandy loves them—read his column on page 25 for proof) and Seattle's own Little Party and the Bad Business.

It's an anti-prom, yes, but still a prom, so Vera encourages you to go all out with fantastically terrible prom attire—dresses from the '80s, tuxes from the '70s, etc. Have fun with it, and be prepared to dance because the duo Little Party and the Bad Business play sloppy dance beats via a CasioTone and microKORG. The vocals are bratty and urgent, and the choruses are catchy—fans of Natalie Portman's Shaved Head and the Pharmacy will dig it, no doubt, and everyone will dance.

In fact, given the soundtrack and the suggested wardrobe, I picture it being a lot like the final scene in Valley Girl where Nicholas Cage and his crazy punk-rock friend crash the rich kids' prom while Josie Cotton is singing "Johnny Are You Queer?" and "He Could Be the One." If all proms were that cool, I would have gone to mine.