Brogan Bentley set to release snake-obsessed debut called The Snake on Leaving Records

Have you ever loved something so much that it goes beyond passion and into obsession? You know, like that time you got heaps into numerology and you changed your name slightly by giving it a weird spelling like Brrad or Jaaninee and would only leave the house if the numbers aligned? Well Brogan Bentley is obsessive about snakes. How obsessed? Well…

1. He has named his debut album The Snake;

2. He recorded the album during the Year of the Snake in the Chinese Zodiac;

3. The Snake is filled with smooth yet menacing minimalist electro sounds and Brogan’s breathy, serpentine vocals; and

4. Brogan has set the release date for 11/11, because it’s a palindrome which apparently mimics the serpent (I’m not that steeped in snake facts to know exactly how or why this bears relevance).

Brogan continues the snake comparisons in his own words, describing The Snake as “a sonic documentation of coming into new skin, living in it and shedding it.”

If that’s not enough to get you totally pumped about this album, check out the lead single “The Difference” and picture yourself in a tank of snakes. The Snake will be available via Leaving Records and Stones Throw on November 11.

The Snake tracklisting:

01. The Difference
02. Dawn
03. No Less
04. Heal
05. Last Light
06. What If I Fall
07. Secret Strength
08. The Wolf
09. Smoke
10. Give Myself to You
11. St. John
12. Goodbye

• Brogan Bentley: https://soundcloud.com/brogan-bentley
• Leaving Records: http://leavingrecords.com
• Stones Throw: http://www.stonesthrow.com

Jenny Lewis apparently doesn’t care how sick I am, adds more US tour dates for me to write up ASAP

Super-obscure, super-independent, super-reclusive, super-DIY, and super-controversial audiovisual artist Jenny Lewis is probably best known for all of the orgiastic and outrageously sexual, boundary-pushing, questionably-tasted, shock-and-awe audio/visual art that she’s been accosting the ears and eyes of her tiny group of in-the-know followers.

It naturally came as some surprise, then, back in May when she surfaced to announce that her latest “experiment” was going to be a new album of straight-laced and generally catchy roots-rock music called The Voyager and released all over the world in July on the well-known Warner Bros. record label. Hangers-on debated the obvious questions for weeks and months: what was Lewis’ angle here? Clearly the work was meant as some sort of seething critique of popular culture… but what exactly was the critique?

Well, damned if I can shed any new light on the subject. But I think it’s pretty obvious that one of the keys to this mystery probably lies in the slew of new US tour dates that Lewis has slyly added to her agenda this fall. Something tells me that the other shoe is sure to drop at one of these shows, and her grand Gesamtkuntzwerk will finally be revealed to the faithful few whom are lucky enough to be gathered there. Here’s hoping you, reader.

Jenny Lewis does America:

10.04.14 - Dallas, TX - Southside Music Hall
10.05.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10.07.14 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre
10.11.14 - Mexico City - Corona Capital Music Festival
10.12.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10.24-26.14 - Las Vegas, NV - Life is Beautiful Festival
10.25.14 - San Diego, CA - House of Blue
11.05.14 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
11.08.14 - Ithaca, NY- State Theater
11.11.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11.12.14 - Richmond, VA - The National
11.14.14 - Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theatre
11.15.14 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works

• Jenny Lewis: http://www.jennylewis.com
• Warner Bros: http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com

Tashi Wada debuts new label Saltern with a duets record featuring Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann

The Los Angeles-based composer Tashi Wada has announced he will launch a new label, Saltern, to be distributed by Important Records, home to historical reissues (Eliane Radigue, Pauline Oliveros, C.C. Hennix) as well as interesting contemporary artists (Eleh, Total Life, Steve Gunn, Master Musicians of Bukkake). Wada will inaugurate the label with a release of his own, Duets, an LP that finds him playing alongside two cellists: Charles Curtis, who has previously collaborated with Wada, and Judith Hamann. The album includes four tracks recorded by Wada and co. between 2006 and 2008. Duets is Tashi Wada’s third album, following 2010’s Alignment and 2012’s Gradient.

Born in Japan, Tashi Wada is perhaps best known for his collaborations with his father, Yoshi Wada, a pioneer of drone exploration in electroacoustic music. Not too far from his father’s work, Tashi Wada also tackles sustained tones, usually performed on stringed instruments, probing experimental modes of listening à la Fluxus. However, where Yoshi Wada would use the most unusual artifacts to craft drones (water pipes, air horns, abandoned buildings’ rooms, and even some bagpipe-like instruments of his own creation), his progeny has relied on fellow musicians to build complex structures through repetition, microtonal architecture, and clever interplay.

Saltern has also announced a string of (very interesting) upcoming releases: a performance of Morton Feldman’s “Clarinet and String Quartet” by clarinetist Anthony Burr, an album by dancer/artist Simone Forti, a collaboration between Tashi Wada and Stephan Mathieu, and several archival pieces from Yoshi Wada, who has spent the last few years cultivating his recorded legacy through carefully curated reissues.

Duets is out on September 30 via Saltern.

Duets tracklisting:

01. September 2006
02. March 2007
03. April 2007
04. February 2008

• Saltern: http://importantrecords.com/saltern
• Important: http://importantrecords.com

Damien Rice, Irish crooner who didn’t piss off all Apple users this week, to tour US

Does anybody listen to Damien Rice anymore? I admit that I have a personal soft spot for the warbling Irish singer-songwriter, because when I was in sixth grade I listened to his debut album O on repeat while my friends listened to normal tween-age music like blink-182. By the time his next album, 9 came out, I had totally lost interest (and moved on to other obsessions, like Interpol).

But I guess Rice is still around and still doing stuff, and he, unlike another Irish act that partnered with a big company to surreptitiously put their album into everybody’s music library, hasn’t pissed anyone off lately. He’s got a new album coming out November 11, called My Favourite Faded Fantasy (produced by Rick Rubin, if that still means anything to you), and he’ll tour the US throughout October. Fans of that movie Closer and 11-year-old me can barely contain our excitement!

Dates:

10.07.14 - San Francisco, CA - Sherith Israel
10.09.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Cathedral Immanuel
10.13.14 - Chicago, IL - Athenaeum
10.14.14 - Toronto - Danforth
10.16.14 - New York, NY - The Box
10.17.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw
10.18.14 - New York, NY - The Box

• Damien Rice: http://www.damienrice.com

Old Man Gloom announce The Ape of God, out November 11, the oldest, gloomiest date of all

Emerging Maine-Hermit-like from the vast desert wastelands of the American Southwest, the anthropomorphized musical group/beast that is Old Man Gloom has announced its plans to unleash on the world: not a decades-long reign of stolen candy and baked goods, but a new album called The Ape of God on Profound Lore, out November 11. Those massive thuds you hear in the distance? They are but footsteps, harbingers of the coming storm. The man, old and gloomy though he may be, is possessed of perseverance. The Ape of God is a follow-up to 2012’s NO which was itself an end to nearly a decade of silence from the gloomy man, beset, no-doubt by arthritis, whose career began in 1999 on debut Meditations in B.

Thought it is expedient to speak of Old Man Gloom as if he is one individual, capable of crushing cities under his heel, it is not purely accurate. Indeed, not unlike our Lord in heaven, he is a multi-partite entity, consisting of the strengths of four men: Aaron Turner (Isis/Mamiffer/Hydra Head Records), Nate Newton (Converge/Doomriders), Caleb Scofield (Cave In), and Santos Montano. Many might argue that a fifth man, Kurt Ballou of Converge, constitutes a fifth axis of existence for the malaise-ridden senior citizen, as he has long provided production for the band. Those that desire a preemptive glimpse into their auditory reckoning, might do well to gaze upon the below-embedded SoundCloud player containing the track “The Lash.”

The Ape of God tracklist:

01. Fist of Fury
02. The Lash
03. Predators
04. Shoulder Meat
05. Simia Die
06. Never Enter
07. Promise
08. Aarows to Our Hearts

• Old Man Gloom: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Old-Man-Gloom/41173493966
• Profound Lore: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com

Teengirl Fantasy announce new EP (and Snuggie alternative) Thermal, stream a track

We might’ve ran into some trouble if Teengirl Fantasy weren’t creating music to match the moniker, but as it stands, the grown-male duo of Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss have been inspiring dreams of what would it be like to eliminate the pain of menstruation since at least 2010’s quite worthwhile 7AM (interpretations may vary). They followed up that album, not by writing a dissertation on how infidelity leads to infinite losses in basketball games, but by releasing more music: the collaborator-heavy Tracer in 2012, and the vocal-less EP Nun last year, trying to draw convents away from their otherwise strict preference for, I don’t know… let’s say Petey Pablo & co.

Turns out, the ventures without invites was only temporary, as TGF’s new EP Thermal (out November 18) is set to feature Korean R&B singer Hoody (후디) on one track, and Dynamite-inspired NYC artist Lafawndah on another. Listen to the latter below, which was literally just unveiled! I dare say Lafawndah’s name in the title needs to be a little closer to TGF’s in this case, which would give due respect to her vocal prominence on the track. I wish I wielded that kind of power.

Thermal tracklisting:

01. Cavescape
02. Lung (feat. Lafawnda)
03. 7:30 AM
04. U Touch Me (feat. Hoody)

• Teengirl Fantasy: http://www.teengirlfantasy.com
• Break World Records: http://www.breakworldrecs.com

Holly Herndon releases video for new single “Home” on RVNG Intl.

Just a week ago, Holly Herndon shared a mysterious microsite out of nowhere, featuring snippets of new Herndon music and some snazzy GIFs. Now, H.H. has released a paranoia-inducing video for her latest single, “Home,” directed by Amsterdam design studio Metahaven and filmed by frequent collaborator Matthew Dryhurst.

With overt nods to NSA surveillance scandals and our privacy in the digital age, “Home” pairs techno experimentation over the artist’s sullen, multi-layered harmonies. Dated security logos rain down the screen as Herndon mimes her words directly into a static camera, which seems to be voyeuristically capturing her every move. At the start, a black censor bar in the bottom-right-hand corner displays subtitled lyrics, but they go fully black at certain points of the song, along with the logos and Herndon herself.

Brooklyn label RVNG Intl. has released “Home” today — actually, right… now — in everyone’s Windows Media Player and Winamp library. For free! Just kidding, but that would’ve been great. In all seriousness, “Home” is available now as a digital download, and the video can be watched below. NSA, it looks like Holly Herndon’s about to go Zero Dark Thirty on your ass.

• Holly Herndon: http://www.hollyherndon.com
• RVNG Intl.: http://igetrvng.com

Neel (Voices from the Lake) listens to Martian whispers instead, announces debut solo LP Phobos on Spectrum Spools

Maybe it’s the tragic underfunding of NASA. Maybe George Clooney’s performance was just that affecting, as his body language perfectly captured that of a man floating helplessly deeper into the great Universal abyss. Maybe that cruise (real or imagined, I’m not judging) with your newfound alien buddies really deepened your appreciation! Whatever the reason, a general fascination with space has led to some truly stellar albums over the past few years. Synth Sense and Roly Porter both deserve mentions for their respective immersive captures, but this year… this year we have a veritable specimen of evolution, as Giuseppe Tillieci a.k.a. Neel emerges from the ocean, skips that whole land business, and drifts straight upward with zero hesitation.

Neel, one half of maritime techno duo Voices from the Lake (alongside Donato Dozzy), will be releasing his debut LP Phobos on Spectrum Spools November 10. Reports indicate that it’s mostly an ambient undertaking, but to limit descriptions to a word would be to ignore the intriguing story of the moon in question, as well as the tremendous mood conveyed on the self-titled VftL. Neel takes to further evocations within the context of a (really) eventual collision. The Phobos orbit of Mars is the closest of any known moon against a “primary.” How exactly does one not wax artistic about something like that?

It’s a heavy and magnificent subject. Pulling it off doesn’t seem unlikely:

Phobos tracklisting:

01. Post Landing
02. Storm in Stickney
03. Crater Chain Observations
04. The Gravity of Limtoc
05. Travelling on Kepler Dorsum
06. Life on Laputa Regio
07. The Secret Revealed

• Spectrum Spools: http://editionsmego.com/releases/spectrum-spools

Tera Melos tour US with Pinback, release video of a living breathing hotdog man journeying to a cosmic soda can

Tera Melos have hit the road supporting Pinback as they take a victory lap around America to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their excellent Summer in Abaddon album.

To mark this news, Tera Melos have released a video clip for their track “Sunburn” of their latest record X’d Out. The synopsis is pretty straightforward, as the band explains: “a living breathing hotdog man journeys to a cosmic soda can and dances with a hologram of himself, only to find that the soda can was far more important than he’d ever imagined.” It’s an age-old plot line that I find never grows old. Check the remaining dates and aforementioned hotdog man video below.

Tera Melos tour dates:

09.15.14 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair *
09.16.14 - Buffalo, NY - Buffalo Iron Works *
09.17.14 - Columbus, OH - Skully’s Music Diner *
09.18.14 - Akron, OH - Musica *
09.19.14 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge *
09.20.14 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center *
09.21.14 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
09.22.14 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room *
09.23.14 - Englewood, CO - Gothic Theatre *
09.24.14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot *
09.25.14 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory *
09.26.14 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett
09.27.14 - Vancouver, BC - The Imperial *
09.28.14 - Seattle, WA - Showbox *
09.29.14 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge *
10.01.14 - Santa Cruz, CA - Rio Theatre *
10.02.14 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo’s 365 Club *
10.03.14 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre *
10.04.14 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues *
10.28.14 - Tucson, AZ - Flycatcher
10.29.14 - Albuquerque, NM - Sister
10.31.14 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s
11.01.14 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
11.02.14 - Nashville, TN - Exit In

* Pinback

• Tera Melos: http://teramelos.net
• Pinback: http://www.pinback.com

Magik Markers to tour Europe, where they’re likely considered a “twee-pop” band

It was only a matter of time. The noise-rocking Magik (pronounced “magic”) Markers have always struck me as way too cosmopolitan for the dimwitted, chili-dog-scarfing, North American continent. Besides, let’s face it: they’ve already criss-crossed the whole corn-fed place a zillion times already. No intelligent signs of life. Not even in Seattle… where Frasier lives!

So while it’s certainly a major bummer to North American bumpkins like me, it’s probably only fitting and natural that the band is setting sail for the old country this fall to tour their most recent album, Surrender to the Fantasy, and presumably soaking in all of the erudition they possibly can by touring the world’s oldest (and likely smelliest) libraries and cafe-bar haunts of all of their favorite modernist writers, poets, painters, critics, and architects. But at this point, if you’re one of those hip, “cigarello” smoking European Magik Markers aficionados yourself, you may well be asking, “hey, wait, which old country are they visiting? And when?”

The answer to the first question is: all of them. And the answer to the second thing will have to wait until after this obligatory related embedded video content that we’ve shoehorned-in down there in advance of the tour dates. Suck it, European brainiacs.

Magik Markers European tour:

09.18.14 - Tilburg, Netherlands - Incubate Festival
09.19.14 - Ghent, Belgium - Vooruit
09.21.14 - Paris, France - La Gaîté Lyrique
09.22.14 - Bristol, UK - Club Cavern
09.23.14 - London, UK - Cafe OTO
09.24.14 - York, UK - The Basement (York)
09.25.14 - Edinburgh, UK - Sneaky Pete’s
09.26.14 - Glasgow, UK - The Old Hairdresser
09.27.14 - Reading, UK - South Street Arts Centre
09.30.14 - Barcelona, Spain - Almo2Bar
10.02.14 - Alicante, Spain - Stereo
10.03.14 - Madrid, Spain - Villa Manuela Festival
10.04.14 - Barreiro, Portugal - Out Fest

• Magik Markers: http://magikmarkers.tumblr.com
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

[Photo: Joachim Zimmermann]