120 Minutes, Matt Pinfield, and music videos return to television; see, America? MTV does care about music

120 Minutes, Matt Pinfield, and music videos return to television; see, America? MTV does care about music http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-03-120-minutes.jpg

MTV is returning to its roots, sort of, by announcing that they will be reintroducing fan-favorite show 120 Minutes, and that the show will once again be hosted by Matt Pinfield. The network also announced that they would be bringing back Liquid Television and Remote Control, but then immediately cancelled that news when the Jersey Shore folks woke up from their hangovers and remembered to sign their Season Five contracts.

For those not ‘in the know,’ let MTV’s Executive Vice President of Music and Talent, Amy Doyle, explain 120 Minutes’ place in history: “The signature of MTV’s 120 Minutes was the unparalleled passion for and perspective on the latest music and artists that were off the mainstream media’s radar.”

The respected show will return as an on-air monthly show on MTV2 and as a renamed (120 Seconds) weekly online show. The monthly TV show will begin airing later this year and the online “newsblast” starts airing… today! So start checking MTV2 and head over to the recently launched website MTV Hive. Let the Viacom Corporation start telling you what music to listen to!

Before we go, let’s let Matt Pinfield remind us why he should be back on the air: “Everywhere I go, people from all over the world talk about how much 120 Minutes shaped their musical tastes and how much they missed it. The show helped expose, and ultimately, break new artists. MTV’s historical role in breaking artists of all genres can never be underestimated. I’m looking forward to the exciting present and future of 120 Minutes and 120 Seconds!”

Ah, memories:

120 Minutes: http://www.mtvhive.com/watch/120_minutes
• MTV2: http://www.mtv.com/mtv2

Still Corners and Memoryhouse sign to Sub Pop for the sole purpose of invading your dreams. You know, like Inception! Or at least like Dreamscape.

Thanks to Hollywood blockbuster Inception, the world now lives in fear of their dreams being invaded. In simpler times, I could sleep confident in the notion that the dream where I’m sailing a dragon-shaped paddleboat to Jay-Z’s house in order to retrieve some video games I let him borrow (an honest-to-god real dream) was not going to be compromised by Leonardo DiCaprio-esque dream thieves. I can’t trust anyone in my dreams now and I certainly don’t trust anyone claiming to purvey pop specifically for dreams. Thus, I’m pretty skeptical about Still Corners and Memoryhouse, Sub Pop’s two latest signings.

Let’s start with Still Corners; don’t you worry, Memoryhouse, I will get to you. These Londoners deal in a hazy, cavernous brand of dream-pop, as exemplified on their 2008 debut Remember Pepper and their pair of 2010 7-inches “Endless Summer” and “Don’t Fall in Love.” At the moment, they’re working on stealing precious memories from our dreams, as well as finishing up their Sub Pop debut, which the label hopes to have out in the summer.

As for Memoryhouse, their type of dream-pop skews a little more subtle, coming close to purely ambient music at times. All the better to slyly purloin our thoughts! The Toronto-based duo has been kicking it on a few labels, having put out digital-only EP The Years on Arcade Sound, the “Lately (Deuxième)” single on Inflated Records, and the “Caregiver” single on Suicide Squeeze. Their Sub Pop debut should be out sometime by the end of the year.

While Memoryhouse is staying at home planning their latest heist, Still Corners will be taking their dream sabotage on the road. To show solidarity to their new family, they’re opening for fellow Sub Pop act The Papercuts. Those dates can be seen below, though, for all I know, the band has already inserted them into your brain via that dream in which you use a penguin to surf atop a sea of caramel.

Still Corners dates:

03.18.11 - Austin, TX - Home Slice Pizza (2:20 PM)
03.18.11 - Austin, TX - Club Deville NXNE (9:00 PM)
03.19.11 - Austin, TX - Red House Pizzeria (7:00 PM)
03.21.11 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway *
03.22.11 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop *
03.23.11 - Chicago, IL - Schubas *
03.24.11 - Columbus, OH - Wexner Center for the Arts *
03.25.11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox *
03.26.11 - New York, NY - Mercury *
03.27.11 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall *

* Papercuts

• Still Corners: http://www.myspace.com/stillcorners
• Memoryhouse: http://www.myspace.com/wearememoryhouse
• Sub Pop: http://www.subpop.com

Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake forms Jonny with Euros Childs; they sign to Merge and immediately become biggest British indie supergroup of two

Teenage Fanclub have been a semi-hot topic again this last year, joining the ranks of the many-decades-old (one, two, or more) bands that recorded new material or announced special tourdates in 2010. While you may have been surprised at Teenage Fanclub’s refreshed activity (before Shadows, their last album was 2005’s very-typically-Fanclub Man-Made), singer Norman Blake didn’t stop there. The latest news from the UK is that Blake has teamed up with Euros Childs, frontman of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci (a band almost as big and as great as Teenage Fanclub… in Wales), to be collectively known as Jonny.

Merge Records will release their debut full-length together (also called Jonny) on April 12, but as of now, you can stream the entire album for free at Merge’s website (UK release date was January 31). It’s not quite Bandwagonesque, or even Shadows (TMT Review), but it’s a nicely familiar album of British pop for a warm spring afternoon. Check out this free download of their EP, too (included on the physical CD, but not the stream available now)!

A June tour has also been announced:

06.03.11 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel
06.04.11 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel
06.07.11 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
06.08.11 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
06.09.11 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
06.10.11 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House
06.11.11 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live Upstairs
06.12.11 - Vienna, VA - Jammin’ Java
06.14.11 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
06.15.11 - Decatur, GA - Eddie’s Attic
06.16.11 - Nashville, TN - The Bluebird Cafe
06.17.11 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
06.18.11 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music (Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall)

• Jonny: http://www.mergerecords.com/artists/jonny
• Merge: http://www.mergerecords.com

Lotus Eaters, feat. Stephen O’Malley, Aaron Turner, & James Plotkin, get vinyl treatment (and stain barrier for added protection)

Lotus Eaters — featuring the all-star cast of Aaron Turner (Hydra Head, Isis), Stephen O’Malley (sunn 0)))), Khanate, Burning Witch), and James Plotkin (Atomsmasher, O.L.D.) — haven’t released a new album for a few years, but thanks to Minneapolis’ Taiga label, their music’s still ‘out there’ in more ways than one. The label, which issued 2002’s Mind Control for Infants on vinyl a couple years back, will start shipping around March 22 a sexy vinyl version of 2007’s Wurmwulv (originally released on Troubleman Unlimited). That’s next week, readers!

The album, rearranged/remixed/remastered by Plotkin, will also include music from the group’s eponymous Drone Records 7-inch. According to the label: “Wurmwulv was direct metal mastered onto 3 sides & pressed on 200g virgin vinyl with a D-side etching by Aaron Turner. More Turner drawings are included within the Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket designed by Stephen O’Malley featuring spot varnish, flooded pockets and gorgeous Stephen Kasner cover paintings printed on linen-textured paper.”

Now if these aren’t good enough reasons to drop some cash for the album pronto, then perhaps this shall inspire ye: the green vinyl version is already SOLD OUT and the rest probably ain’t sticking around for much longer. In other words: DON’T THINK. ORDER NOW.

Check out the first track from the album (i.e., Side A) over at Marcel Duchamp’s Chocolate Grinder.

• Taiga: http://www.taigarecords.com

RIP: Ferlin Husky, country music entertainer

From The Los Angeles Times:

Ferlin Husky, a pioneering country music entertainer in the 1950s and early 1960s who helped open the door for performers specializing in a distinctively twangy California strain of country, died Thursday. He was 85.

Husky, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year, died at a Nashville-area hospital, according to a statement on his website. He had a history of heart trouble.

“In the mid-’50s, Ferlin would create the template for the famed Nashville Sound, a sound that gave rock ‘n’ roll a run for its money and forever put Music City on the map,” Kyle Young, director of the Hall of Fame, said upon Husky’s induction.

• Ferlin Husky: http://www.ferlinhusky.com

Barn Owl tour Europe with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, levitate entire snarky audiences

So I recently watched this documentary about the Norwegian black metal scene, focusing specifically on the late-80s/early-90s period when the phenomenon was at its cultural and social pinnacle. Bands like Mayhem, Burzum, and Darkthrone were making their most technically pure albums, while at the same time were at the forefront of a marginalized social movement that wished to “cleanse” the Norwegian “race” through means of some atrocious maneuvers. Now, I’m not much a fan of black metal nor have I claimed to be. I’m more of a wannabe fan, even a poseur, perhaps. I’ll watch the documentaries, I’ll read the books, I’ll dig on the imagery, shit, I would probably even get a black metal-themed tattoo, but as far as the music goes? I could take it or leave it.

There’s a similar aesthetic going on with (and which draws me to) the music of San Fran’s Barn Owl, for example on their latest album (and Thrill Jockey debut) Ancestral Star (TMT Review). Their expansive guitar meditations evoke a distinct imagery that brings to mind the barren American West while also suggesting the frigid Scandinavian North, rife with burning churches and dank cellars. It’s metal, but it’s not. Barn Owl allows me to pretend I’m metal without actually being it or acting out on it, and that’s half the reason I listen to them or any other band that conjures up those feelings of strange, dark wonder. If I wasn’t such a pretty boy, I’d probably be listening to real metal.

Oh, and Barn Owl are touring Europe with fellow West Coast minimalist crony Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, whose Love Is a Stream (TMT Review) was released last year on Type.

04.23.11 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Dudefest
04.24.11 - Darmstadt, Germany - Oetinger Villa *
04.26.11 - London, UK - CAMP Basement *
04.27.11 - Bristol, UK - The Cube *
04.28.11 - Dublin, Ireland - The Joinery *
04.29.11 - Belfast, UK - The Barge *
04.30.11 - Glasgow, UK - Captain’s Rest *
05.01.11 - Manchester, UK - Sounds from the Other City Festival *
05.02.11 - Brighton, UK - The Hope *
05.03.11 - Antwerpen, Belgium - Scheldapen *
05.04.11 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kreun *
05.05.11 - Tilburg, The Netherlands - Incubated *
05.06.11 - Nuernberg, Germany - K4
05.07.11 - Krems, Austria - Donaufestival
05.09.11 - Prague, Czech Republic - K4 *
05.10.11 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang *
05.11.11 - Aarhus, Denmark - Atlas *
05.12.11 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Huset i Magstrade *
05.13.11 - Berlin, Germany - Levee *
05.14.11 - Bielefeld, Germany - AJZ *
05.15.11 - Dordrecht, The Netherlands - [F]luister @ CBK *
05.16.11 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - OT301 *
05.17.11 - Bochum, Germany - Christuskirche *
05.18.11 - Paris, France - Mains D’oeuvres *
05.19.11 - Cholet, France - Espace St. Louis *
05.20.11 - Toulouse, France - Mix’Art Myrys *
05.21.11 - Lyon, France - Sonic *
05.22.11 - Pisa, Italy - Caracol *
05.23.11 - Bologna, Italy - XM24 *
05.24.11 - Trieste, Italy - Tetris *
05.26.11 - Torino, Italy - Blah Blah *
05.27.11 - Düdingen, Switzerland - Kilbi Festival
08.06.11 - Katowice, Poland - Off Festival

* Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

• Barn Owl: http://www.myspace.com/barnowlband
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thriljockey.com
• Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: http://www.shiningskull.org
• Type: http://typerecords.com