AMPLIFY 11 festival lineup announced: Graham Lambkin, Keith Rowe, Jason Lescalleet, Michael Pisaro, and other solemn gentlemen

AMPLIFY 11 festival lineup announced: Graham Lambkin, Keith Rowe, Jason Lescalleet, Michael Pisaro, and other solemn gentlemen

AMPLIFY 11: stones was fast approaching and I was determined not to miss out this year. I had long ago worn out my 7xCD/DVD set of recordings from AMPLIFY 2002: balance, and the thought of having so many of my favorite EAI artists under one roof in New York City was too unlikely and momentous to ignore. Yes, the festival was running for over two weeks and cost $10 per set, but this wasn’t going to deter me; as soon as I had seen the lineup announcement on Tiny Mix Tapes back in April, I began setting aside substantial portions of my paycheck for the event. I even made hotel reservations near The Stone for September 1-16 to avoid transportation costs. My only remaining concern was deciding who would attend the festival with me. As luck would have it, my old friend Lionel was planning a New York visit for the month of September, and he too had great interest in the possibilities of free improvisation.

I met Lionel outside The Stone on September 1, a chilly Thursday evening. A crowd had begun to form outside, anticipating the kick-off performance for AMPLIFY 11 — two sets by the trio of Barry Chabala, Dominic Lash, and Ben Owen, premiering new works written by Antoine Beuger and Michael Pisaro. I hadn’t seen Lionel in nearly six years, and was thrilled to have him by my side as we entered the venue. Lionel told me that this year’s AMPLIFY was the most ambitious yet, and what he most looked forward to was the final three days, which would be taken up by the Gravity Wave subfestival curated by Michael Pisaro. He also explained that — as he understood it — ‘stones’ referred not only to the festival’s fantastic venue, but also to Christian Wolff’s fascinating Stones prose score, the program notes of which provided an apt description of AMPLIFY 11 itself. Lionel quoted: “Stones is for me an extreme instance of combining maximum transparency, flexibility and freedom for performers with at the same time an unmistakable irreducible identity.” I agreed that such a quote was fitting for what we were about to experience over the next two weeks, and I put my arm around Lionel with pride as the musicians began their set.

Twenty minutes later, Lionel was dead. He had stepped outside for a cigarette break, and the tow rope on a passing truck came loose, tossing a 55-gallon oil drum onto the sidewalk and crushing Lionel instantly. I’ll never forget the times we shared.

AMPLIFY 11: stones schedule:

September 1:
8 PM and 10 PM (two sets): Barry Chabala/Dominic Lash/Ben Owen perform Wandelweiser (featuring premieres of pieces written specifically for this night by Antoine Beuger and Michael Pisaro)

September 2:
8 PM: Bonnie Jones/Maria Chavez
10 PM: David Kirby (solo)

September 3:
8 PM: Graham Lambkin/Vanessa Rossetto
10 PM: Olivia Block (solo)

September 4:
8 PM: Jason Lescalleet (solo)
10 PM: Keith Rowe (solo)

September 6:
8 PM: David Barnes/Richard Kamerman/Graham Stephenson (three duo sets)
10 PM: Taku Unami (solo)

September 7:
8 PM: Keith Rowe/Taku Unami
10 PM: Joe Foster/Kevin Parks

September 8:
8 PM: Toshi Nakamura/English (Joe Foster/Bonnie Jones)
10 PM: Keith Rowe/Toshi Nakamura

September 9:
8 PM: Radu Malfatti/Keith Rowe (composition)
10 PM: Toshi Nakamura/Taku Unami

September 10:
8 PM: Radu Malfatti/Keith Rowe (improvisation)
10 PM: Toshi Nakamura (solo)

September 11:
8 PM: Keith Rowe (solo)
10 PM: Radu Malfatti/Taku Unami (improvisation)

September 13:
Radu Malfatti/Michael Pisaro duo (2 sets)
8 PM: Claude Lorrain 2 (Malfatti)
10 PM: Ascending Series (6) (Pisaro)

September 14 (Gravity Wave festival):
8 PM: A cloud drifting over the plain (Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart, Barry Chabala, Dominic Lash)
10 PM: Mind is moving (I and IV) (Michael Pisaro, Dominic Lash)

September 15 (Gravity Wave festival):
8 PM: ricefall (2) (with melodic extensions) (Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart)
10 PM: fields have ears (6) (Barry Chabala, Michael Pisaro)

September 16 (Gravity Wave festival):
8 PM: Reliefs series (Greg Stuart solo)
10 PM: asleep, street, pipes, tones (Michael Pisaro, Katie Porter)

• Erstwhile:
• The Stone:

[Photo: Yuko Zama]

RIP: Randy Wood, Dot Records founder

From The Los Angeles Times:

Dot Records founder Randy Wood was looking for a song for a young Pat Boone to record in 1955 and found it in the Fats Domino hit “Ain’t That a Shame?” Except Boone, then an English major, wanted to sing “Isn’t That a Shame?” After a few run-throughs, Wood insisted, “It’s got to be ‘ain’t’,” and Boone soon had his first No. 1 single.

Wood’s practice of having white singers such as Boone cover rhythm and blues hits by black artists is credited by some with helping black musicians — and early rock music — break into the commercial mainstream. Pop stations that had limited airplay mainly to white artists found room for the remakes, which helped introduce the black R&B sound to a white audience.

Wood died Saturday at his La Jolla home of complications from injuries suffered in a fall down stairs in his house, said his son John Wood. He was 94.

• Dot Records:

Beirut plans lengthy summer world tour; is that kid 18 yet or what?

Wandering troubadour Zach Condon is taking once more to the open road, purveying the lilting melodies of his band Beirut to the glittering youth of Paris, London, and Montclair, New Jersey. Over the past couple years, Beirut has been a bit under the radar lately, which is not to say that Condon and Co. have been anything but busy. In fact, Condon appeared as a guest on albums from the likes of The New Pornographers and contributed a Caetano Veloso cover to the AIDS-fighting organization Red Hot’s Red Hot & Rio 2 compilation. And now he is about to break Beirut fans’ musical drought with the announcement of a lengthy tour, possibly road-testing some songs from an in-the-works follow-up to 2007’s The Flying Club Cup (TMT Review).

Beirut is charting a course across the United States before leaving Brooklyn behind for the fair shores of merry England. While on tour, the band will appear at a smattering of summer festivals, including Bonnaroo, Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Fest, Spain’s Benicassim, and many more. Along the way, Beirut will share the stage with Arcade Fire and The National. Long Island buzz band Twin Sister will open for the band on several US dates.


05.09.11 - Norfolk, VA - The Norva
05.11.11 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
05.13.11 - Montclair, NJ - The Wellmont Theater
06.04-05.11 - Houston, TX - Free Press Summer Fest
06.06.11 - Dallas, TX - South Side Music Hall ^
06.08.11 - Austin, TX - ACL Live ^
06.10.11 - New Orleans, LA - Republic ^
06.12.11 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.14.11 - Washington, DC - Black Cat ^
06.17.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Northside Fest at McCarren Park
06.30.11 - London, UK - Hyde Park &
07.03.11 - St. Gallen, Switzerland - Montreux Jazz Fest
07.05.11 - Ferrara, Italy - Castello Piazza #
07.07.11 - Novisad, Serbia - EXIT Festival
07.09.11 - Trencin, Slovakia - Pohoda Festival
07.12.11 - Arles, France - Festival Les Suds
07.14.11 - Meco, Portugal - Super Bock Super Rock Festival
07.16.11 - Benicassim, Spain - Benicassim Festival
07.18.11 - Lyon, France - Festival Nuits De Fourviere
07.20.11 - Nyon, Switzerland - Paleo Festival
07.29.11 - Portland, ME - State Theater
09.02.11 - Dorset, UK - End of the Road
09.04.11 - Stradbally, Ireland - Electric Picnic
09.06.11 - Manchester, UK - Academy
09.08.11 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Pardiso
09.12.11 - Paris, France - Olympia
09.14.11 - Brussels, Belgium - AB
09.16.11 - London, UK - Brixton Academy
09.20.11 - Stradbelly, Ireland - Electronic Picnic

^ Twin Sister
& Arcade Fire
# The National

• Beirut:

[Photo: Rahav Segev]

Jim O'Rourke announces vinyl series for Editions Mego, sings Enka on Japanese TV

Jim O’Rourke, best known as the guy without his own official website, has announced a “nearly regular” series of vinyl releases for Editions Mego. The first installment, titled Old News No. 5, is a double LP featuring four lengthy tracks that document live and recorded material as old as 1992 and as new as 2010. eMego says the series will highlight O’Rourke’s “analog synth and tape works,” and if the title of the first installment is any indication (and it is), the series will pick up after his first four, extremely limited Old News releases. Not many people have heard #3 and #4, but the first two installments — sold on Japanese tours with Diskaholics Anonymous Trio and Mirror, respectively — are “totally rad.”

Look for Old News No. 5 June 10. You can pre-order at eMego here.

Meanwhile, no word yet on O’Rourke’s many-years-in-the-making orchestral pop album, but hey, what’s stopping you from listening to 2009’s Drag City release, The Visitor (TMT Review)?

Now that I’ve got you all worked up, check out O’Rourke singing Enka on Japanese TV:


Old News No. 5 tracklist:

01. Pedal & Pedal #
02. Detain The Man To Whom $
03. It’s Not His Room Anymore ^
04. Mother and Who *

# recorded live at Super Deluxe, Tokyo, 2010
$ recorded at Steamroom, Chicago, 1992
^ recorded at Steamroom, Tokyo, 2010
* recorded at Steamroom Mobile, London, 2003

• Jim O’Rourke:
• Editions Mego:

Damon & Naomi ready new album & announce tourdates & release super-limited 7-inch on April 16

You’d almost forgotten about Damon & Naomi after you listened to all those Galaxie 500 reissues last year, hadn’t you? True, as a duo they haven’t released an official full-length since 2007’s Within These Walls (TMT Review), and even the Sub Pop compilation was two years ago by now. They have heard your plaintive cries, however, and on May 17 a new album, False Beats and True Hearts, is coming out on 20/20/20 Records. Even better, they jumped on the Record Store Day bandwagon: on April 16, they’re releasing an extremely limited 7-inch featuring “Walking Backwards” with a Scott Walker cover on the B-side (“The World’s Strongest Man”). Only 400 copies will be available, and given that it comes courtesy of Great Pop Supplement, it’s more than likely UK-only.

Of course, this all just leads to one thing, and we all know what that is. Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang are going on tour, starting in the UK just before the album drops. On May 18, they move stateside, joined by guitarist Michio Kurihara in the East and Midwest and Bhob Rainey on sax in the West (both of whom contributed to False Beats). Kurihara, of Ghost and Boris, is a familiar name when it comes to these guys, and though you may not recognize Bhob Rainey quite as fast, you should: he played with Kurihara (and did some arranging) on Within These Walls — not to mention that he’s a formidable figure in avant-garde jazz and one-half of TMT-beloved nmperign. As if that weren’t adequate company, Damon & Naomi are co-headlining the American part of the tour with Amor de Dias (featuring Alasdair MacLean of The Clientele and Pipas’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández).

If you are among the 99% of us who will not see the RSD Damon & Naomi single, check out this free download of “Shadow Boxing” off the new album. Then, if you want to impress your cinema friends, listen to this D&N track, approved of and with a visual by none other than Chris Marker. When it rains for Damon & Naomi, it certainly pours. Whew.

False Beats and True Hearts tracklisting:

01. Walking Backwards
02. How Do I Say Goodbye
03. Shadow Boxing
04. Ophelia
05. Nettles and Ivy
06. What She Brings
07. Embers
08. And You Are There
09. Helsinki


05.09.11 - Glasgow, UK - Captain’s REST @ *
05.11.11 - London, UK - Cafe Oto @ *
05.13.11 - Cornwall, UK - The Kings Arms Penryn @ *
05.14.11 - Bristol, UK - Cube Cinema @ *
05.18.11 - Washington, DC - Red Palace @ %
05.19.11 - Carrboro, NC - The ArtCenter @ %
05.20.11 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery @ %
05.21.11 - Philadelphia, PA - 1st Unitarian Church Chapel @ %
05.22.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory @ %
05.23.11 - Boston, MA - Great Scott @ %
05.25.11 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe @ %
05.26.11 - Pontiac, MI - Pike Room @ %
05.27.11 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall @ %
05.28.11 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock @ %
05.31.11 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern # %
06.01.11 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar # %
06.03.11 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill # %
06.04.11 - Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite # %
06.05.11 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar # %

* Richard Youngs
% Amor de Dias
@ performing with Michio Kurihara
# performing with Bhob Rainey

• Damon & Naomi:
• 20/20/20:

Charlotte Gainsbourg announces double album. Okay, someone else probably announced it for her, but you know what I’m sayin’.

Hey, everyone. My computer broke down the other day, so please bear with me. I’m currently getting my entire news feed by peering though my neighbor’s window with binoculars so I can read his screen when he’s on Pitchfork, composing my own stories based on whatever glimpses I catch on my mom’s old Underwood 5 typewriter, and then submitting those stories to TMT HQ via homing pigeon. It’s crazy.

But anyway, according to something I think I saw today, either the talented actress and songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg or the 115-year-old Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg — not quite sure which — will be releasing a new 7-inch single on Record Store Day (this Saturday, April 16! I think! What day is it today?). The single is a split with Dublin-based folk-rock outfit Villagers, who contribute a track called “Set the Tigers Free.” For her part, Gainsbourg (Luxembourg?) sings a new track called “Memoir,” which was written by this Villagers guy. His name is either Conor O’Brien or Conan O’Brien, and whichever O’Brien it was also co-produced the track for whichever Charlotte is singing it.

“Memoir” is apparently significant in that it will also appear on a new double album that Charlotte Whomever is planning to release this fall on the Because label. Uh, the new album is either called Live and Unreleased or Lithe and Unrehearsed. I’ve been trying to determine which one makes more sense from the context, but honestly, they both sound about right (especially if that undead Grand Duchess theory pans out). I didn’t see a release date because my neighbor went back to his homepage too fast, but I did happen to notice that it’ll include previously unreleased songs and a DVD documentary of a road trip.

Oh, and Charlotte will also release “Memoir” as a digital single on April 25 because, you know, fuck Record Store Day.

• Charlotte Gainsbourg:
• Beacause:
• Villagers: