Amon Tobin explores life outside the cube, preps new Two Fingers album Stunt Rhythms

Amon Tobin explores life outside the cube, preps new Two Fingers album Stunt Rhythms http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-09-amon-tobin.jpg

If you’ve been keeping up with Amon Tobin’s activities over the past year-and-a-half or so, you’d know that he’s essentially taken up residence inside a mammoth cube structure, otherwise known as the centerpiece of his spectacular and groundbreaking ISAM Live performance. It takes a keen eye to notice it, but if you look closely, either during the performance itself, or at images online, you’ll see not only a toilet, but also a bed covered with, apparently, Spiderman bedsheets, in one of the cubes towards the back. I’ve always known that Mr. Tobin was dedicated to his work, but I think he might be taking things a bit far here…

I’m only kidding, of course. Amon Tobin is indeed dedicated to his work, but fortunately for his psychological well-being, he continues to embrace activities in the non-cube world. His hip-hop-tinged Two Fingers project began in 2009, and on October 8, the release of Stunt Rhythms via the Ninja Tune imprint Big Dada, will mark the project’s revival — well, mostly.

Whereas Two Fingers began as a collaboration between Tobin and British producer Joe “Doubleclick” Chapman, Stunt Rhythms is wholly the result of the former’s work. A press release describes the album as Amon Tobin’s “love letter to hip-hop,” with (as you might expect) powerful beats and heavy bass.

Also keeping with expectations, the release comes with some truly exceptional packaging options — first, there’s a limited edition “heavyweight, triple yellow vinyl” available only on the ISAM Live 2.0 tour, currently underway. Then there’s the “main run” of the 3LP release, available now, which comes in a beautiful baby blue. Both vinyl editions are held in a “triptych dye cut sleeve,” which doesn’t really mean anything to me, but it sounds fancy. October 8 marks the date of the 2CD release, which you can pre-order here.

Finally, the track “Fools Rhythm” is cited as the “model” for the album. Go here to listen to it. No bling required.

Stunt Rhythms tracklisting:

1.1. Stripe Rhythm
1.2. Snap
1.3. Defender Rhythm
1.4. Fools Rhythm
1.5. Magoo
1.6. Sweden
1.7. Lock86
1.8. 101 South
1.9. Razorback
1.10. Elmer Rhythm
1.11. Little Brat
1.12. Crunch Rhythm
1.13. Deep Jinx
2.1. Stude (feat. Peedi Crack and Chinko da Great)
2.2. Smurf (Instrumental)
2.3. Problem (feat. Lady Pharroh)
2.4. Crunch (feat. Peedi Crack and Chinko Da Great)
2.5. Form One
2.6. Rock Scissors
2.7. Smurf (feat. Brefontaine)
2.8. Stude (Instrumental)

• Amon Tobin: http://www.amontobin.com
• Big Dada: http://www.bigdada.com

Crystal Castles announce new album, tourdates, ongoing depression

Toronto screamers Crystal Castles are back with a fun new record full of party rock anthems and catchy lil’ tunes about girls ‘n’ cars! Just kidding, it’s an album about oppression. Says Alice Glass, “Oppression is a theme, in general… A lot of bad things have happened to people close to me since II and it’s profoundly influenced my writing as I’ve realized there will never be justice for them. I didn’t think I could lose faith in humanity any more than I already had, but after witnessing some things, it feels like the world is a dystopia where victims don’t get justice and corruption prevails.” Heavy stuff, but then, it’s been a heavy decade. The album cover art features Samuel Aranda’s award-winning photograph of Yemeni mother Fatima al-Qaws cradling her son Zayed, who’s suffering from the effects of tear gas after a street protest.

The new album, appropriately entitled (III) is the first to be produced entirely by Crystal Castles’ Ethan Kath, and was recorded in Berlin and Warsaw. The duo were like “sorry synths and keyboards” and enacted a “no computers” rule this time around. Everything on (III) was recorded straight onto tape, in one take to get that raw “one take” energy. The new album drops November 6 in the US, and the band is planning a cross-Canadian/American jaunt to introduce the new tracks to fans. In the meantime, here’s a link to a website devoted entirely to pictures of cats in sinks. Don’t be sad, everybody. For every Yemeni protestor getting teargassed, there’s a kitten spooning a bigger cat in a OH GOD THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH KITTENS SPOONING BIGGER CATS :-( Also the band is touring with HEALTH and Kontravoid. Yay?

Dates:

09.27.12 - Charlotte, NC - Fillmore Charlotte *
09.28.12 - Atlanta, GA - Counterpoint Music Festival *
09.29.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
09.30.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
10.02.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory *
10.03.12 - New York, NY - Roseland *
10.06.12 - Boston, MA - House of Blues *
10.07.12 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis **
10.09.12 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre **
10.10.12 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall **
10.11.12 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Art Works **
10.13.12 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East **
10.14.12 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits **
10.16.12 - Kansas City, MO - Liberty Theater **
10.17.12 - Denver, CO - Ogden **
10.18.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue **
10.20.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium **
10.21.12 - San Diego, CA - Soma **
10.22.12 - San Francisco, CA - Fox Theater **
10.24.12 - Portland, OR - Roseland **
10.25.12 - Seattle, WA- Showbox Sodo **
10.26.12 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore **
10.28.12 - Calgary, AB - Mac Ewan Hall **
10.29.12 - Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Events Centre **
10.31.12 - Winnipeg, MB - Garrick Center **
11.01.12 - Minneapolis, MN - First Ave **
11.02.12 - Chicago, IL - Congress Theater **
11.03.12 - Toronto, OH - Kool Haus **

* HEALTH
** HEALTH, Kontravoid

• Crystal Castles: http://crystalcastles.com
• Fiction: http://www.fictionrecords.co.uk
• Casablanca: http://www.casablanca-music.com
• Universal Republic: http://www.universalrepublic.com

Brian Eno announces new solo album LUX. I hope nothing on it SUX.

Day-yum! Just when you thought it was safe to stop pretending to like ambient music, here comes Brian “The Bald Bull” Eno, charging hard to the house with a new solo album for the Warp label! This shit’s called LUX, because, say it with me, now: this man is All. About. The. Razzle. Dazzle! Woooo, you know that it’s true! LUX is the Bald Bull’s first solo album for the Warp team and his first solo album since 2005’s Another Day on Earth, and yo, if I can holler out to his press release for a minute, y’all, this shit finds him “expanding upon the types of themes and sonic textures that were present on such classic albums as Music For Films, Music For Airports and Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.” You just can’t make this stuff up! And folks, this thing will be comin’ at you IN EYE-POPPING 3D on vinyl (Double 180g LP in gatefold sleeve with 4 x 300x300mm prints and download redemption code card) November 11 and CD (in gatefold sleeve with 4 x 120x120mm prints) and download on November 13. Now that’s what I call skills to pay the BILLS, kids. Oh, how sweet it is!

But that ain’t all, folks! Not by a long shot. This. Man. Is. Re. Lent. Less. Unlike his first two joints with Warp, (Small Craft on a Milk Sea with Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams and Drums Between the Bells with Rick Holland), my man also sees the new album “as a continuation of his “Music for Thinking” project that includes Discreet Music (1975) and Neroli (1993).” Specifically, it’s a “76 minute composition in twelve sections that evolved from a work currently housed in the Great Gallery of the Palace of Venaria in Turin, Italy.” Hell yeah, what’d I tell ya? The Bald Bull is RELENTLESS! Maybe that’s why any time this powerhouse of a man does anything out there on the court, I’m all up here in the press box going “Sonic BOOOOOOM!”

Sonic BOOOOOOOM (LUX tracklist):

01. LUX 1 (19:22)
02. LUX 2 (18:14)
03. LUX 3 (19:19)
04. LUX 4 (18:28)

• Brian Eno: http://www.brian-eno.net
• Warp: http://www.warp.net

X mark some spots for a fall tour, including Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest

Spring arrives. Baby birds are born. Lambs frolic. College dudes on Midwestern college campuses start wearing shorts even though it’s like 50 degrees out. Summer comes. The beach explodes in a riot of teens and hormones. Ice cream is born. It’s America’s birthday and all of her children celebrate by getting capital-W Wasted. Fall arrives. Election ads get all up in your television. Leaves turn (somewhere in America that is not stupid Los Angeles). X goes on tour. Such is the circle of life in America these days, and in the case of seminal L.A. punk band X’s annual cross-country migration, it is a beautiful thing.

X have been going strong for 35 hard-rockin’ years, and making regular jaunts across the US for the past several or so. And this year’s no different. John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, and D.J. Bonebrake are kicking things off this November with an appearance at Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest, before heading out to Dallas and then descending upon the historic and whale-filled East Coast. X will be joined from New York on by the Reverend Horton Heat and Austin’s Not in the Face.

Dates:

11.02.12 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
11.03.12 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
11.30.12 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza *
12.01.12 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza *
12.02.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise *
12.04.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
12.05.12 - Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Soundstage *
12.06.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts *
12.07.12 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom *

* Reverend Horton Heat, Not in the Face

• X: http://xtheband.com

[Photo: Irfan Khan]

US Congress to spin magic ‘wheel of destiny’ to determine the future of internet radio royalty schemes

Does anyone actually know how royalties are awarded to rights holders when their copyrighted material is played online and through other non-traditional (a.k.a. non-AM/FM radio) channels? Slate sure does, and it’s a lot more complicated than you probably thought. While AM and FM stations don’t pay royalties thanks to a sweet deal they got before computers ruled our waking existence, the exciting world of the 1990s brought us the reality artists, labels, publishers, and songwriters deal with today when their content is streamed online or through satellite radio.

Because services like Sirius and XM (now Sirius XM) were up and running when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed in 1998, their royalties scheme was set up under something known as the 801(b) standard. This royalties provision requires services like Sirius XM to pay a portion of their gross revenues as royalties. In 2008 it was 6% and is expected to hit the mid-teens in the coming years. That actually doesn’t seem like a bad deal given that the people they’re paying royalties to are providing the subscription services with their bread and butter, the actual music they provide to customers.

What we know today as internet radio wasn’t so lucky. Services like Pandora have to pay royalties based on something called ‘willing user/willing seller.’ This has resulted in Pandora reporting a royalty payout of nearly 50% of gross income in 2012, with those rates continuing to rise. The problem with this scheme is that it arbitrarily sets rates based on what the industry determines is fair market value, without an actual fair market in existence from which to draw its conclusions. Being a self-serving and -destructing scheme could lead to bankruptcy for streaming services in the coming years, ultimately removing a huge source of exposure that rights holders need in order to keep collecting the royalties they need to make money in the first place. The vicious cycle.

So, what’s to be done? Having two separate and definitely not equal schemes for providers who are essentially doing the same thing, delivering music to consumers, doesn’t make any sense. In an attempt to reform the schemes, two congressmen and a senator have proposed a bill (the Internet Radio Fairness Act) that would streamline the royalty scheme to reflect the 801(b) standard for all satellite and internet music providers. And right on cue, another senator has stepped in to fill the US government’s apparent contrarian requirement by submitting a bill — the Interim Fairness in Radio Starts Today (FIRST) Act — that would impose the unsustainable willing user/willing seller model on to all of the players in the game.

Reform is needed, and if you like the cheap or even free services you get through Last.fm, Pandora, etc., TMT would recommend you contact your lawmakers and ask them to support the Internet Radio Fairness Act, even if it doesn’t have a catchy acronym like the FIRST Act. Do it for the internet.

• Internet Radio Fairness Act: http://www.pandora.com/static/ads/irfa/irfa.html

RIP: Andy Williams, multi-platinum recording artist, “Moon River” singer

From CNN:

Legendary singer Andy Williams lost his year-long battle with bladder cancer on Tuesday night, his family confirmed in a statement. He died at home in Branson, Missouri. He was 84.

Williams was well-known for his Oscar-winning song “Moon River,” which was featured in the iconic 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” but that’s far from his only hit.

The crooner, who got his professional start in the business at the age of 8, also saw success with songs like “Canadian Sunset,” “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” and “The Hawaiian Wedding Song,” for which he received his first of five Grammy nods.

Williams is survived by his wife, Debbie (pictured with Williams above in 2009), and his three kids, Robert, Noelle and Christian.

Instead of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.

• Andy Williams: http://www.andywilliamstheatre.com

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