The Replacements reunite for new EP!

The Replacements reunite for new EP!

The Replacements have reunited.

For the first time since recording a couple new songs for the 2006 compilation Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was?, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson have gotten back together to record some new material.

Unfortunately, this mini-reunion is not under the best of circumstances. Slim Dunlap — the guitarist on the last few Replacements albums — suffered a massive, debilitating stroke this past February. The product of this reunion, a four-song EP of covers, has no specific release date, but is due out later this year. The 10-inch EP will be limited to a pressing of 250 with all proceeds benefiting Dunlap. The EP will include a cover of Dunlap’s solo tune “Busted Up,” the 1965 Gordon Lightfoot song “I’m not Sayin’,” Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway,” and from the Broadway musical Gypsy, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”

While original drummer Chris Mars chose not to participate in the recording, Westerberg has not ruled out a new album or reunion tour. He told Rolling Stone “it’s possible,” adding, “I’m closer to it now than I was two years ago, let’s say that.”

So, there you have it, there’s a chance it could happen. If it does, it will mark the first official Replacements show since July 4, 1991.

• The Replacements:

RIP: John Tchicai, Danish jazz saxophonist and composer, played with John Coltrane and Albert Ayler

From the Washington Post:

Danish saxophonist and pioneer of free jazz in Europe, John Tchicai, has died. He was 76.

Tchicai moved to New York in 1963 and co-founded The New York Contemporary Five with Archie Shepp. He later became a leading figure of the jazz avant-garde movement in Europe. He also played with John Coltrane, Milford Graves, Carla Bley and Steve Swallow.

Tchicai was born to a Danish mother and a Congolese father in Denmark. He returned to Europe in 2001 and eventually settled in southern France.

His former wife, Margriet Naber, said Monday that he had died in the hospital earlier that day. No cause of death was given but Tchicai has been in a coma since suffering a brain hemorrhage in June.

• John Tchicai:

Hecker (the one without the “Tim”) explores the nuances of language on upcoming 3LP Chimerization, via Editions Mego

I’m sure you know the feeling. You’re listening to an album, and you’re so caught up in how weird, crazy, and new it all sounds that you can barely form a coherent opinion about it — positive or negative. As my auditory palate has improved over the years, this has become a rarer and rarer occurrence, but I can say without hesitation that one of the last albums to have that effect on me wasn’t released all that long ago; it was 2009’s Acid in the Style of David Tudor (TMT Review) from German computer musician Hecker (first name: Florian). It’s difficult. It’s inaccessible. And at the time, the only reaction that I could muster was a scrunched face and shifting eyes.

Innovation, regardless of where it takes place, sometimes has that effect on people, which is why you should have your face pre-scrunched in preparation for Hecker’s newest release Chimerization, due out November 27 on Editions Mego, in a 3LP bundle.

Why three LPs, you ask? Well, each LP is in a different language — English, German, and Farsi. What’s in a different language, you ask? Well, the album is centered around an “experimental libretto” written by Iranian writer and philosopher Reza Negarestani, specifically at the request of Hecker himself. I had to google it, so I may as well give you the definition here: a “libretto” is the “text of an opera or other long vocal work.” For Chimerization, a group of speakers recited the libretto in “anechoic and sound-attenuated chambers,” which are rooms designed to eliminate reflections of sound — perfect for “psychoacoustic investigations on difficult-to-define areas between language and non-language,” the underlying concept of this release.

Download and/or listen to the entire thing ahead of its release date here. For those struggling to form an opinion, let me assure you, it sounds pretty awesome.

• Hecker:
• Editions Mego:

Times New Viking to release new EP on Siltbreeze

Columbus, OH’s Times New Viking are back with a new EP due out on Siltbreeze on October 16. Given their origins in a key swing state, it’s possible these six packed parcels of lo-fi noise pop, cleverly titled Over & Over, could mean the difference between winning and losing out on the opportunity to own a new EP. Taking a break from releasing stuff on Merge (most recently 2011’s Dancer Equired), TNV have instead opted for a strategy that returns them to their roots, reuniting the band with Siltbreeze for the first time since 2007’s Present the Paisley Reich.

Will this change in focus help secure another victory for the group? We’ll have to wait until October 16 when the results are in, but early purchasing is underway now for 12-inch vinyl, and early polling suggests these tracks are indeed jangly.

Stay tuned to TMT News for all the latest updates as the campaign continues.

Over & Over tracklisting:

01. Sleep-in
02. Telephone Wires
03. Y2K2
04. Future with Girls
05. Middle Class Drags
06. At the Bars

• Times New Viking:
• Siltbreeze:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tries to be just a smidgen more hip: Public Enemy, N.W.A., and Kraftwerk among the nominees for the Class of 2013

As any dutiful reader of TMT will attest to, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t exactly an authoritative look at rock’s (or for that matter, music’s) greatest or most influential artists. Personally, when I peruse its list of inductees, I’m not so much impressed by its thoroughness as I am utterly bored by how generic and expected it all seems. Go ahead, naysayers, call me an elitist, but I challenge you to explain how U2 earn an induction, while Sonic Youth and Joy Division/New Order remain shunned. The hall has been accused of classic rock favoritism in the past, but the good news is, they’ve just unveiled their list of nominees for the Class of 2013, and it includes a few noteworthy deviations from the norm.

Continuing the trend set by the induction of Grandmaster Flash in 2007, Run D.M.C. in 2009, and Beastie Boys this past April, pioneering rap groups N.W.A. and Public Enemy have both received nominations (this also being the first year that they were eligible). Additionally, in a surprising (though not unappreciated) nod to fans of electronic music, Kraftwerk were also named as potentials. The board is kind of stretching the definition of “rock” here, in my opinion, but Kraft’s earliest werk is definitely in that arena, so they probably took that into consideration. No complaints here.

The other nominees include progressive rock legends Rush, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Deep Purple, funk outfit The Meters, Heart, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Marvelettes, Procol Harum, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and blues guitarist/singer Albert King. The top five receiving the most votes from the board (which is supposedly comprised of artists, historians, and members of the music industry) will go on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on April 18, 2013, at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live, in Los Angeles.

Also! For the first time, fans will have some (minimal) input on who actually gets inducted. Surf on over to Rolling Stone and vote in the online poll. The top five vote-getters will comprise a “fan’s ballot” that will then be included among the more than 600 ballots used to determine the Class of 2013. Currently, Rush unsurprisingly have the most votes, followed by four other acts that aren’t Kraftwerk. Shenanigans!

• Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

BREAKING NEWS: Album sales are down! Adele and Glee have not saved the music industry

In what is apparently supposed to be surprising news, physical album sales are down, again, in 2012. According to Nielsen SoundScan (via Billboard), CD sales are down 4.4% from 151.6 million units at this time last year to a paltry 129.7 million units. Industry darling Adele, with an album that came out nearly two years ago, still holds the number one spot for the year with roughly four million copies of her album 21 sold during the 2012 calendar year. Your new favorite boy band, One Direction, and Nicole Richie’s dad round out the top three with 1.25 million and 1.02 million CDs sold, respectively, of their latest efforts.

In other news surprising to no one under the age of 50, digital album sales continue to increase and rose 15.3% to 85.5 million units sold. Our corporate overlords also managed to move over a billion (with a “b”) digital track sales this year. Vinyl LP sales are up too — about 16.7% to 3.2 million albums scanned over the past nine months (you can thank the 19-year-old chatting your ear off about how awesome his brand new Kid A 2 x 10-inch sounds for that).

So what does this mean? Apparently, people still buy music from major retailers. There aren’t a lot of them (music buyers or major retailers for that matter) but they still exist. It should be noted that many independent labels and record stores do not participate in the Nielsen SoundScan service, and as it is a subscription service, you sort of have to take theirs and Billboard’s word on these figures.

I guess it also reinforces the notion that the days where an album with a butt joke for a title could sell over a million copies in a week are long gone.

Also, the sky is still blue.