Antony Hegarty, Blixa Bargeld, Gaspar Noé to appear on Throbbing Gristle’s final album Desertshore; TG insist on discipline among those waiting for its release

Antony Hegarty, Blixa Bargeld, Gaspar Noé to appear on Throbbing Gristle's final album Desertshore; TG insist on discipline among those waiting for its release

The unfortunate passing of member Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson back in November 2010 all but solidified the permanent demise of Throbbing Gristle itself. Genesis P-Orridge had already sworn off touring with the band just weeks prior, and Desertshore, an interpretation of Nico’s album by the same name, was a project buoyed principally by Sleazy himself, as Chris Carter notes in an interview with The Quietus: “When we started it, the three of us [Chris, Cosey Fanni Tutti, and Sleazy] were working on it together, but it was his concept and he came up with a lot of the tracks… It was Sleazy’s project, then Cosey and Sleazy’s, then I came in on it.” It wasn’t until roughly March of last year that Chris and Cosey decided to officially revive Desertshore, and as the likely period to TG’s deeply influential history, the album is filled with an impressive list of guest vocalists.

Among those contributing their oral talents on Desertshore are Antony Hegarty (appearing on the track “Janitor of Lunacy”), Blixa Bargeld (on “Abschied”), and Argentine director Gasper Noé (on “Le Petit Chevalier”). Given Bargeld’s own three-decade long involvement in the German industrial scene, his presence is perhaps not entirely eyebrow-raising, but any fan of Throbbing Gristle (or Nico, for that matter) should be duly excited not only to hear what these guest vocalists have to offer, but also a clue to what the end result will be of a project regarded initially by Chris as “quite odd,” and bearing little resemblance to anything that TG or Coil have released before. Almost certainly, this will be one of the most provocative, noteworthy albums of the year.

• Throbbing Gristle:
• Industrial:

RIP: Earl Scruggs, bluegrass legend

From Billboard:

Country legend Earl Scruggs died in a Nashville hospital on Wednesday. He was 88.

According to The Associated Press, his son Gary said the musician died of natural causes. The banjo player was a bluegrass icon who brought his distinct three-finger style from its ’50s and ’60s heyday to a new generation of folk musicians, performing with artists such as Bob Dylan and the Byrds as well as his sons in the Earl Scruggs Revue.

His performances with Joan Baez, Dylan and others were captured in the documentary “The Complete Earl Scruggs Story,” which showcased his efforts to establish the banjo as a vibrant piece of the Woodstock-era scene.

Born in Shelby, North Carolina, Scruggs got his start with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in 1945. Three years later, he partnered with guitarist Lester Flatt to form the Foggy Mountain Boys, a musical team that lasted until 1969.

Scruggs is perhaps best known for the instrumental “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” as well as “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” the theme song of ’60s television show “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

In 2008, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; he is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

• Earl Scruggs:

[Photo: Paul Butterfield]

Tompkins Square announces series of 78 rpm 10-inch records, because that newfangled digital stuff is overrated anyway

Did you know that there was an internationally-celebrated Record Store Day held on the third Saturday of April each year (which would be April 21 this year)? I simultaneously hang my head in shame when I acknowledge that, while the holiday did previously ring a bell, I couldn’t have been sure on what day it takes place. I’ve never done anything for it, except bask in the convenience that online music retailers afford me. It’s probably not a coincidence that the holiday has only been a thing since 2007 either; celebrating Record Store Day during the mid-90s would sort of be like having a VHS Rental Day during the same period — what other choice did we have? Despite the general rarity of my doing so, Record Store Day is a reminder that, acquiring music, for the time being, doesn’t have to be an impersonal activity facilitated by computer cursors and Shopping Carts.

Sure to be just one of many specials coordinated specifically around that day, the San Francisco-based label Tompkins Square has announced a series of 78 rpm, 10-inch vinyl releases, beginning with two previously unreleased recordings from bluegrass living legend Ralph Stanley, and Luther Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars. Both records will be released as limited editions of 500 copies on April 21, and given the nature of 10-inch 78s, both include roughly three minutes of music per side. Here’s what Tompkins Square owner Josh Rosenthal has to say about the project: “A lot of new turntables play 78’s, and many 78 collectors listen to their records on modern equipment. Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe have all recently released 78’s. So I thought it would be fun to start a line of them.” Considering that the heyday of the 78 was close to 100 years ago, this seems like a splendid opportunity for vinyl (and folk/country/blues) enthusiasts to grab a piece of history.

• Tompkins Square:

The Smashing Pumpkins set June release date for album-within-an-album-within-a-decade-long-joke Oceania

Billy Corgan: Thanks again for an amazing night out, Guy Fieri. Chicago is my hometown but I feel like tonight you showed me what the city’s been keeping under wraps all these years. And I don’t say that just because you treated us to wraps!

Mancow Muller: Hahaha, Billy. I knew I should have booked you at Q101’s Twisted 6 concert in 1999 instead of Fiona Apple. It was the perfect lineup of Blink-182, Bush, Moby, Filter, Foo Fighters, and The Chemical Brothers… too bad that bitch wouldn’t even suck my dick backstage. What a WOT (waste of tail). Like you said at SXSW this year, Billy, you were part of a generation that changed the world, and then it got taken over by posers.

Guy Fieri: That’s partly why I took you out on the town tonight, Billy. When you’re as successful as all three of us are, it’s hard to find a place to speak freely without fag journalists taking what we say to some fag extreme. Our buddy Mancow learned the hard way when the (fag) press got on him for saying waterboarding was no big deal and then acted faggy when he pretended to endure it! So Billy, you’re among your friends and your peers, all of us completely hetero-straight. Can I ask you about the status of Oceania, the full-length album that is itself a part of the ongoing song cycle Teargarden by Kaleidyscope?

Billy Corgan: You know Guy, normally I’d say “get a job” and direct you to a preorder page, but for people who just “get me” like you — the official spokeschef of T.G.I. Friday’s — and you — an unemployed conservative shock jock — I’ll let you in on some exciting developments. EMI and I have reached a great new partnership that allows me to release Oceania — true, Guy, only 13 pieces of my full 44-song Teargarden opus — through EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution on June 19. It’s a rousing hour-long journey into the darkest parts of my psyche and I ask all my fans to listen to it in one sitting on proper stereo equipment.

Mancow Muller: You’re a legend, Billy, and you’re crazy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You would have brought the whole Rosemont Horizon down back in 1999. Well, it’s time to get our fuck on, fellas. Let’s roll.

Guy Fieri: Roger that, Colonel Cootch.

Oceania tracklisting:

01. Quasar/Stella Polaris and the People Mover
02. Panopticon
03. The Celestials
04. Violet Rays
05. My Love Is Winter
06. One Diamond, One Heart
07. Pinwheels
08. Oceania
09. Pale Horse
10. The Chimera
11. Glissandra
12. Inkless
13. Wildflower

• The Smashing Pumpkins:
• EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution:

[Photo: Chicago Tribune]

The Tallest Man on Earth announces new album, admits to using stilts in press photos

Kristian Matsson, the tall, dark, and handsome son-of-a-bitch behind The Tallest Man on Earth, is smart enough to know that there’s only three rules to Folk Music:

I. Don’t plug-in (just don’t do it, son).
II. Don’t be too precious and maudlin about it (sorry M. Ward; you can shove as many cotton balls in your mouth as you want to, but I’m still not buying it).
And III. Unless you’re Arlo Guthrie, do NOT try to be too funny (e.g. Devandra WHO?).

That’s why, like all the best mysterious, renegade, dark horse, clandestine-deal-with-the-devil-y musicians in history, he’s hedging his bets and following all the laws to the letter on his forthcoming album There’s No Leaving Now, which follows up 2010’s The Wild Hunt (TMT Review), is coming out on June 11 in the UK and June 12 in the US via Dead Oceans. Broody title? Check. Acoustic guitar? Check. Lyrics that keep the grad students interested and contain numerous and frequently deployed bird analogies? Check. Ahhh, that’s some good rule-abidin’!

Actually, come to think of it, i really don’t know what I’m talking about, as I have no actual idea of what his new record will sound like because I haven’t heard it. It might be a thrash metal song cycle about the lead characters of a daytime Soap Opera. Or it might have been produced by Jonathan Wolff and be hilarious and full of electric slap bass. Although, if the latter is the case, the dude’s probably right on-trend.

There’s No Leaving Now tracklisting:

01. To Just Grow Away
02. Revelation Blues
03. Leading Me Now
04. 1904
05. Bright Lanterns
06. There’s No Leaving Now
07. Wind and Walls
08. Little Brother
09. Criminals
10. On Every Page


05.31.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Sodra Teatern
06.01.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Sodra Teatern
06.20.12 - New York, NY - Town Hall
07.03.12 - London, UK - Hackney Empire
07.04.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
07.06.12 - Berlin, Germany - Lido
07.29.12 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival
08.17.12 - Hasselt, Belgium - Pukkelpop

• The Tallest Man on Earth:
• Dead Oceans:

Air France break up, because they were never going to make dad happy

After 2008’s pretty great No Way Down EP, all eyes were on Sweden’s Air France. Eventually, they had to put out a full-length and, based on their past work, that full-length was going to be a doozy. If there’s one record I can’t wait for, it’s Air France’s record. What will it be like? I bet it’ll be good! I just can’t wait for this Air France record.

Well. About that.

Pitchfork reports that Air France have broken up, presumably due to the pressure from their dads, who would really like to know when they’re going to grow up and get a real job. The band’s announcement states that they’re breaking up because they were never able to make a record that they felt lived up to No Way Down. Evidently, the group produced approximately seven records, but none of their efforts measured up to their expectations. But I know the truth! It was definitely their dads. It’s always their dads. Last year, the group put out the “It Feels Good To Be Around You” single, which now serves as their final release. If you really need an Air France full-length, maybe just listen to that 10 times in a row?

• Air France: