ZS announce new LP Xe for January release via Northern Spy

Hudson, New York’s Future-Past Studios is like a sauna for musicians. Brooklyn-based ZS occupied the studio earlier this year, and in addition to the normal perspiration going on, a new album came surfing through their pores — Xe, recorded in a single take and set for release January 27 on Northern Spy.

I’m gleaning pure expressions of creativity from the press release, and in addition to the single take, arguable frontman Sam Hillmer had this to say regarding any production frills: “No effects, no editing, nothing done in post, just a snapshot of three guys in a room who worked really hard on some music for a long time.” Something about New Slaves did seem like an evocative catharsis, but I think we’re all curious to hear what this different lineup, featuring Patrick Higgins (also a producer on the album) and Greg Fox (Guardian Alien), has in store from an unadulterated LP perspective. An 18-minute title track? Shit yeah, we’re getting a sense.

Additional credits include Henry Hirsch, who went for interesting contrast by following up his producer work with Lenny Kravitz, and Tauba Auerbach, who reportedly went to painstaking lengths to design the cover art. No tracks to share, unfortunately, but in due time.

Xe tracklisting:

01. Future of Royalty
02. Wolf Government
03. Weakling
04. Corps
05. Xe


12.20.14 - Ridgewood, NY - Trans-Pecos *
01.15.14 - Philadelphia, PA - TBA
01.16.14 - Boston, MA - TBA
01.17.14 - Hudson, NY - Half Moon ^
01.21.14 - New York, NY - le Poisson Rouge (Xe release party)

* Blazer Sound System
^ ZS solo projects (Sam Hillmer, Patrick Higgins, Greg Fox)

• ZS: http://www.zzzsss.com
• Northern Spy: http://northernspyrecords.com

Chief Keef plans Nobody: The Album to drop on December 2, featuring Kanye West, Tadoe

In light of hisrecent drop from Interscope, Chief “The Grand Sosa” Keef is free to do what he wants, and what he wants, apparently, is to fill every last server on Earth up to the brim with his own mixtapes. In addition to the thoroughly excellent Back from the Dead 2 (which made my own Halloween night a sloppy, terrifying mess), and his recent collaboration with Gucci Mane on Big Gucci Sosa, he’s pumped several full mixtapes up on his YouTube channel in the last month or so. And now, as Hot New Hip Hop reports, since with the help of that Nifty Nabber Plus he just ordered from Bed, Bath & Beyond he feels confident he’ll be able to hold his liquor after all, Keef has announced Nobody: The Album, featuring contributions from Kanye West and Tadoe.

Nobody: The Album is out on December 2 and will (predictably) be the home for the “Nobody” track that Keef teased via Instagram back in August. In addition to featuring on the album, West contributed production help alongside the executive production from Glo Gang’s 12 Million. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head out to the computer store to buy a portable hard drive that I can paint gold and dedicate specifically to the music of Chief Keef. It’ll sit on the shelf next to my Mountain Goats live recording hard drive inside my Lil B mixtape data center.

• Chief Keef: http://www.chiefkeef.com

Matador to reissue both Chavez records on vinyl; you slowly realize Matt Sweeney has played on every single album you own

It sneaks up on you. You’re going about your business, living your life, slowly amassing a record collection. Then, one day, it hits you. You’re perusing vinyl sleeves, scanning through liner notes. “Huh, I didn’t realize Matt Sweeney played on this,” you say. Then you pull another record. Matt Sweeney played on that one, too. Then another. And another. Until you realize that guitarist Matt Sweeney has played on every single record you have ever owned.

“Well, at least I don’t have the Chavez albums,” you say. “They’ve been out of print in vinyl format since 2003,” as if to reassure yourself.

On January 20, things change. Matador reissues both Chavez LPs, 1995’s Gone Glimmering and 1996’s Ride the Fade, and they appear in your collection. They just show up there. You didn’t even buy them. You’re glad to have them, but you’re also scared. You clasp your hand over your mouth. You slowly back away, until you bump into something, feels like someone, behind. You turn around and it’s Matt Sweeney.

“Hey,” Matt says. “Thanks for your support.”

• Chavez: http://www.matadorrecords.com/chavez
• Matador: http://www.matadorrecords.com

[Photo: Jesse Peretz]

Grooms announce Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair on Western Vinyl

What with Vice teaming up with LiveNation to turn Brooklyn (followed by America as a whole, one imagines) into one giant concert stadium where their writers and only their writers, by dint of an exclusive press pass agreement, can afford to take acid and go see Coldplay and/or monster truck rallies and/or the Arcade Fire without having to travel too far from the central office, a lot of other places throughout the borough have felt the very real pain of a spike in rent prices a.k.a. “housing service fees.” Since, as scientists have estimated that approximately 60% of all content on the web relates to the goings-on in Brooklyn, you’ve likely heard already that one of the spaces in Brooklyn already gobbled up a variety of economic realities like so many MDMA-laced candy corns was the long-running and certified very cool space Death By Audio.

All of this relates to the content at hand — namely a new Grooms full-length entitled Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair — by virtue of the fact that Grooms were a group closely associated with Death By Audio, who released albums such as 2009’s Rejoicer on the space’s label and practiced there for nearly seven years and who are now in search of another Exclusive Joint Physical Content Venture a.k.a. a new practice space. Pair this with the fact that the band’s lineup itself was thrown into turmoil by the hiatus of bassist and co-writer Emily Ambruso for personal financial reasons (leaving singer and guitarist Travis Johnson as the only original member) and you’ve got yourself a musical stew, one that you’d probably guess might end up resulting in a musical shift for the next album.

Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair is described as a “clear aesthetic and thematic departure from the group’s previous efforts,” on releases such as last year’s Infinity Caller and 2011’s Prom. The shift brings the rhythm section (which now features Jay Heiselmann on bass and Steve Levine on drums) more to the fore and finds the group working more with detailed electronic and sampled elements. The album is out on February 17 from Western Vinyl, and you can pre-order it from the Western Vinyl shop here, and listen to the album’s first single “Doctor M” below.

Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair tracklist:

01. Bed Version
02. Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair
03. Cross Off
04. Something Wild
05. Doctor M
06. Half Cloud
07. Will The Boys?
08. Savage Seminar
09. Grenadine Scene from Inside
10. Foster Sister
11. Later a Dream

• Grooms: http://groomsgrooms.com
• Western Vinyl: http://westernvinyl.com

Stream Thaiboy Digital’s Tiger mixtape on your ThaiPad and see him on tour

If you’re like me, you came across rapper Thaiboy Digital when Googling “how do I download a digital Thai boy” on Bing. To my surprise Thaiboy beautifully crafts minimal hip-hop as part of the Gravity Boys from Stockholm, Sweden. Thaiboy Digital’s new mixtape Tiger was recently released, and it’s available to stream on YouTube (or SoundCloud below), download for free on Mediafire, and purchase on iTunes.

I tried to get the album from ThaiTunes on the new ThaiPad I just got. Unfortunately, the ThaiPad has only one app featuring three Pad Thai recipes. That’s it! That’s the last time I pay $500 at the Crapple Store. Luckily, I can still catch the Thaivoy Digital tunes live when he goes on tour with Gravity Boys starting in December, and, hey, maybe you can try some Pad Thai I’ll be making to share with the real fans.

ThaiBoy tour dates:

12.01.14 - New York, NY - Webster Hall *^
12.02.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *^
12.03.14 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *^
12.04.14 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade *
12.06.14 - Miami, FL - The Basel Castle
12.08.14 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit *
12.09.14 - Dallas, TX - Trees *
12.10.14 - Austin, TX - Empire Control Room *
12.12.14 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom *
12.13.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent *
12.14.14 - San Diego, CA - Porters Pub *
12.15.14 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory *
12.16.14 – San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom *
12.18.14 - Seattle, WA - Neumos *
12.19.14 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre *
12.20.14 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre *

* Gravity Boys (Thaiboy Goon, Ecco2K, Bladee, Whitearmor)
^ Gravity Boys & Goth Money

• Thaiboy Digital: http://www.thaiboydigital.net
• Gravity Boys: http://gtbsg.tumblr.com

Gang of Four announce new album What Happens Next, 2015 tour dates

Remember that band every early-2000s indie act with angular guitars™, playing skeletal funk™ right in the middle of the post-punk revival™ stole from? Well, the Gang of Four are back! The legendary Leeds quartet, which had reunited in 2004 after several years of inactivity, has announced a new album: What Happens Next. The LP, to come out next February, follows 2011’s Content and is the first of the group’s records since their original vocalist Jon King’s departure. Guitarist Andy Gill, Gang of Four’s sole original member, inducted John ‘Gaoler’ Terry to replace King on vocal duties, but also made sure to invite a few younger, famous singers who happen to be fans of the band: The Kill’s Alison Mosshart, Herbert Grönemeyer, and The Big Pink’s Robbie Furze appear as guest vocalists. You can hear the album’s first cut “Broken Talk,” featuring Mosshart, below.

Though Gang of Four’s profile is a little less salient than fellow post-punk icons’ Joy Division, they easily register among the best-known acts from the era, and never stopped being an influential force in alternative music circles, despite their diminishing creative returns. Their repertoire stretches over half a dozen albums and three decades, but their legacy was cemented very early, thanks to the epochal LP Entertainment!, Gang of Four’s 1979 debut album. Through the 90s, the band’s traces were audible across a strikingly vast spectrum of heirs, encompassing alt-rock staples like R.E.M., Rage Against the Machine, or The Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as more outré acts like post-rock originators Disco Inferno; not to mention how much bands like Franz Ferdinand, The Rapture, Liars, Radio 4, Bloc Party, and many others the NME lumped under the silly post-punk revival tag, borrowed from them.

Gang of Four will support their new album with a world tour; you can check the dates they’ve confirmed so far below. What Happens Next is out on February 24 via Metropolis Records.

Tour dates:

11.27.14 - Huddersfield, UK - Holmfirth Picturedome
11.28.14 - London, UK - Hammersmith Apollo
12.17.14 - Lille, France - L’Aeronef
12.18.14 - Fontenay Sous Bois, France - Festival Les Aventuriers
03.03.15 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
03.04.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
03.06.15 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
03.07.15 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
03.09.15 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
03.10.15 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
03.12.15 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
03.13.15 - Chicago, IL - Park West
03.14.15 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
03.15.15 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
03.17.15 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live Studio
03.18.15 - Dallas, TX - Trees
03.23.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
03.24.15 - Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
03.25.15 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern
03.28.15 - Santa Ana, CA - Burgerama

• Gang of Four: http://www.gangoffour.co.uk
• Metropolis: http://www.metropolis-records.com

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds reissue first four albums, promise further horrors and reissues of seven more albums

You can never have too much Nick Cave” — Nick Cave

You said it, fabricated quote from Nick Cave! No matter how much Nick Cave (usually a lot) is in the world, it always feels good to have more Nick Cave. On December 16, the world will get a little Nick Cave-ier with the reissue of the following classic Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album: From Her to Eternity, The Firstborn Is Dead, Kicking Against the Pricks, and Your Funeral…My Trial. These reissues follow BMG’s recent acquisition of the Mute Records catalog.

If you’re some kind of Nick Cave superfan (a Cavehead, as they are often known) and this isn’t enough Nick Cave for your world, there are seven more reissues planned for 2015. By the end of the following year, the band’s discography up to their 2001 record No More Shall We Part will have been reissued on 180 gram vinyl for the first time. Each album will also be remastered by former Bad Seed (and founding member) Mick Harvey with artwork reflecting their original releases. Now, is that enough Nick Cave for you, you absolute monster?

• Nick Cave: http://www.nickcave.com
• Mute: http://mute.com

Black to Comm has the gall to improve the alphabet with new self-titled 2xLP

Self-titled albums tend to come with an air of significance, don’t they? Well, actually, I’m seeing two possibilities. The first is the case of the debut self-titled album, where artists are possibly trying to play it safe by not using a title that tragically uses the letter “z” to pluralize (as an example). The second is the case of the subsequent self-titled album, where connotations of “I’m not fucking around” attach themselves to the more obvious fact that the artists are putting their name on their work TWICE, so you know they mean business.

Dekorder head Marc Richter a.k.a. Black to Comm is dressed in a suit, holding a clipboard, and looking past his reading glasses at us with the announcement of Black to Comm, a massive double-album out on Type December 8, but streamable in its entirety after my verbal glowing. Those waiting for a genuine sequel to Alphabet 1968 may not have felt it with the vocally inclusive EARTH, but while the latter album was meant for the cinema, Black to Comm was apparently meant for engrossment in any location. The janitor’s closet at the local sperm bank? You just found a reason.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard ambient (I use the term loosely) music this innovative, or vocal samples this not-cliché. Behold the Hamburger:

• Black to Comm: http://blacktocomm.bandcamp.com
• Type: http://www.typerecords.com

Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt) share tales of hitting things, announce collaborative LP

Microwave popcorn sure is delicious, but if manufacturers don’t make some noticeable changes, I’m going to announce an official revolt against kernels (plus a mild contempt for colonels for being willfully submissive to the satanic art of homonyms). The popping set about just prior to my movie-watching has my taste buds anticipating, while at the same time, my ears are hoping for a memorable fulfillment of the chaotic rhythms that the ballooning, buttery package only hints at for its minute-and-a-half duration. What’s the alternative? Can I really trust that Orville Redenbacher, Inc. will satisfy my/our desires for post-pop… corn?

Luckily, here’s an unambiguously superior option: drummers Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt, Black Pus) have just revealed a collaborative LP, recorded live at Brooklyn venue Death By Audio (RIP) back in June 2013. You can imagine what the two improvising together must sound like, and it’s almost as if the mental relief offered by punching a punching bag is deemed unnecessary by their respective forcefulness. Haven’t heard the entire thing yet, though.

It’s out December 15 in an edition of 500 “electric blue vinyl with white splatter,” and the release accompanies an intriguing documentary called Checking in at 20 (from Death By Audio Films), which you can watch in full below. Popcorn and I are done, btw.

Brian Chippendale and Greg Saunier LP tracklisting:

01. Side A
02. Side B

• Black Pus: http://blackpusone.blogspot.com
• Deerhoof: http://deerhoof.net
• Famous Class: http://famousclass.com

Harry Bertoia’s centennial celebrated by Important Records with a big ol’ box set

Harry Bertoia, who passed in 1978, would be celebrating his 100th birthday on March 10th, 2015. In lieu of an invite from beyond the grave, Important Records has decided to teach us all a thing or too about this birthday boy by selling us a box set of his work!

Bertoia might be best known for his iconic furniture, but his work extended through the arts, including painting and sculpture. These developments evolved naturally into an obsession with the aural nature of his material creations. From 1959-1978 Bertoia built up a massive collection of gongs and sound sculptures in his home, a barn in Pennsylvania. Many of the sculptures that he made were used to create the 11 Sonambient LPs that populated Bertoia’s final creative output.

Important has taken it upon themselves (honorably) to put out a box set that collects 100% of these recordings. The set will include a deeply archival book and be released to coincide with Bertoia’s centennial.

Check out a trailer for the set below, featuring some of Bertoia’s sculptures in action:

• Harry Bertoia Foundation: http://www.harrybertoia.org
• Important: http://www.importantrecords.com