Arts & Crafts signs Eight and a Half, the result of a dark Broken Social Scene wizard raising The Stills from their grave

Arts & Crafts signs Eight and a Half, the result of a dark Broken Social Scene wizard raising The Stills from their grave

Earlier this year, gloom-rock underdogs The Stills broke up. Simple enough story, bands break up all the time. Open and shut case. Or was it? Somewhere in the background, dark forces were lurking. The league of wizards known as Broken Social Scene were watching The Stills’ every move, a feat made easy by the fact that bands were both signed to Arts & Crafts. Even as The Stills breathed their last, Broken Social Scene were hatching shadowy plans. Those plans are just now coming to fruition, in the form of a new band called Eight and a Half, formed by Broken Social Scene’s Justin Peroff and The Stills’ Dave Hamelin and Liam O’Neil.

To complete Broken Social Scene’s evil ceremony, they need only the heart of a centaur princess and to sign the group to Arts & Crafts. Consider the latter completed! Arts & Crafts will be putting out the group’s debut in early 2012. Until then, the group has their debut single, “Scissors,” to offer. That single can be found at the band’s Soundcloud page, as well as their official website. Along with the untouched single, there’s also a more touched remix from LA beat-making fellow TOKiMONSTA, available for download at RCRD LBL and for streaming at the aforementioned Soundcloud page.

Finally, to prove that Broken Social Scene’s shadow fingers touch every corner of the world of music, the single and remix combination are coming out as a 10-inch single through Arts & Crafts by the year’s end, in addition to currently being available in digital forms through the label’s digital store and iTunes. Now, I can finally feel the Broken Social Scene hex lifting from my soul.

• Eight and a Half:
• Arts & Crafts:

Touch (the label) releases new iPhone/iPad app controlled by touch (the sense)

Have you ever been out and about, engaged in your daily routine, and thought to yourself, “Wow, I don’t know what it is, but I suddenly have the overwhelming urge to listen to wasps emerging from and returning to their nest in the English countryside.” Well, now you can, thanks to British audio-visual organization Touch, who, as you might’ve guessed, also operate the Touch label and have just created a free app for the iPhone and iPad. In addition to streaming every single Touch Radio episode, the new app keeps you up-to-date with Touch news, allows you to read about and listen to tracks from the Touch catalogue, allows you to save graphic designer and Touch co-founder Jon Wozencroft’s Touch cover art as wallpaper, and gives you access to the Touch Recipe Book — for all those introspective evenings when you want a meal to complement your total immersion into analog sound and field recordings.

It’s a wonder why the folks at Touch didn’t jump on this sooner. It’d be like if Apple developed a technology that allowed you to teleport at “warp” speed. Are you telling me Warp Records wouldn’t be all over that, with Autechre being contracted to score the momentary journey? Oh, they so would be.

• Touch:

Sufjan Stevens to perform Beyond This Place documentary soundtrack live. Wait, wasn’t Sufjan going to release a documentary too?

What happened to Crooked River, the documentary about Sufjan Stevens and his brother Marzuki traveling back home to Michigan to reconnect with their father? There’s no information on the film’s Facebook page, and I can’t find the trailer anywhere. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed.

Even if that documentary never emerges, Stevens hasn’t totally abandoned tales of reconciliation between fathers and sons. He provided the soundtrack for his pal Kaleo La Belle’s documentary Beyond This Place, which chronicles La Belle’s 500-mile bike trip through the Pacific Northwest with his father, Cloud Rock. According to Consequence of Sound, Stevens will be performing the soundtrack during film screenings throughout the next few weeks, and he’s released the title track, which is performed by Raymond Raposa of Castanets and features Stevens as well as Vesper of Ben + Vesper. It’s nice and folky, and there’re even hints of orchestral funk — just what you need to fill that Sufjan-sized void in your day.


10.30.11 - New York, NY - BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
11.03.11 - Portland, OR - Hollywood Theater
11.06.11 - San Francisco, CA - Castro Theater
11.08.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Vista Theater

• Sufjan Stevens:
Beyond This Place:

Billy Corgan wants you to join the Resistance, announces his new project Resistance Pro Wrestling

I’ll give myself a warning. The following may incite Billy Corgan to call me a hater on his Twitter. But Billy, I kid.

The king of banal controversy and bloggers’ favorite whipping boy, Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman (and yeah, only original member) appeared on Fox Chicago’s Good Day Live (watch video here) to discuss the buzz around his new endeavor — his very own pro wrestling company in Chicago, Resistance Pro Wrestling. This is maybe not much of a shock to people who follow Corgan, be they fans or (more likely) otherwise; he’s been into wrestling for years (big question: how’s his Macho Man impression?). Of course, Billy scoffs at wrestling as entertainment; for his own company, he wants to go back to an “old school feel,” with extra attention to concussion awareness.

For those of you that are now imagining Billy shining up his bald head and strapping on spandex, feel free to continue, but the truth is that he won’t be appearing in the ring (though think about the possibilities: “The Pumpkin Smasher” is just the beginning). As usual, Billy’s situated himself as the brains of the outfit, and he is making the media circuit to announce Resistance’s first event, at Chicago’s Excalibur. Oh, and Smashing Pumpkins have a new album coming out sometime this winter. But with Resistance Pro Wrestling to contend with, who cares? You can’t smear on face paint to celebrate a new album.

Resistance Pro Wrestling:

11.25.11 - Chicago, IL - Excalibur (The Sheikh, El Generico, Harry Smith, “and more”)

• Resistance Pro Wrestling:

Hipster Runoff hosts Bleepy Bloop Fest with Neon Indian, Carles risks beating of a lifetime

Oh, Carles. You are like the Power Glove: people love you, you’re so bad. As Hipster Runoff, you remain the only blogger outside of Andrew Sullivan who possesses the most haters among your readership by percentage. Perhaps it’s the bad grammar and spelling that would make an angsty teenager look at your trainwreck and think, “man, I can’t read this, this is embarrassing!” Maybe it’s your attempts at music criticism that seem more like an ego trip filled with animated GIFs than making an honest case or rational argument. Maybe it’s the fact you sold your sorry ass off faster than even Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, who can actually pull the whole “I don’t give a shit for the lulz” satire routine with pizazz.

I must say, though, you make for a quite a bounty. Surely the disputed king of Brooklyn, Pitchfork wants your head on a platter for creating chillwave, thus robbing them of relevance and forcing them to make up that joke of a genre called witch-house. Lana Del Rey (who we honestly never cared about to begin with) and James Blake (who we really do care about) want to punch you in the face for being a prick and trying to undermine their aspirations with your attempts at mockery. Graphic designers have baseball bats with your name on it for ruining Helvetica for everyone. Dov Charney wants his women back. The list goes on.

So why risk your sorry ass by hosting a “festival” in the middle of CMJ, at the Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn? (And why host it during CMJ, come to think?) Sure, you managed to get hype beast Neon Indian to play your Bleepy Bloop Fest on October 21, along with upcoming heroes Beach Fossils, plus Dent May and Teengirl Fantasy. But you already got a bad start by calling it “Bleepy Bloop.” How many synth pop and chip tune players have you pissed off by calling their work bleepy bloop, your generic term? Also, you brought in Tao Lin to DJ? I understand he’s your buddy (I even heard claims that he’s you, but I doubt that), but I suspect that kid would not let a song last 20 seconds before punching the crossfade because it looks artsy.

Finally… you, DJing? Psh. You are probably too big a coward to show, in case your enemies try to go after you. Though, you might make a lucky escape if you play last. By then, around 4 AM, everyone will be as drunk as Matt LeMay at a Destroyer show and will prolly fight amongst themselves before they realize you’re on stage. Still, with it being free and no RSVP required, I doubt you will be safe. You might just want to stay in the Williamsburg cellar you call your apartment. I do suggest moving, though… I hear Mr. Mangum and his wife are really annoyed with your squatting.

• Hipster Runoff:
• Cameo Gallery:

Nate Young of Wolf Eyes to release new solo album “Stay Asleep” Regression Vol. 2 on NNA Tapes, harshly reminding us of his own consciousness

In accordance with traditional and societal guidelines for the development of the archetypal American male, some boys get involved in sports as they grow up. Others play with action figures. A small, overlooked minority are forced by their older sisters to join them in their Barbie-related activities, without any disclaimer on the part of said siblings, warning of anatomical inaccuracies. “Wait, are you telling me that your head doesn’t rotate a full 360 degrees? Please, don’t even waste my time.” So was my general attitude toward dating until at least my freshman year of high school.

The childhood of Nate Young (Wolf Eyes, Stare Case, Moon Pool & Dead Band) was far from archetypal. In our interview with TMT’s own John Crowell, Young remarks, “My mother used to get furious with me because I would take apart all my electronic toys. When I got interested in electronics, I had no idea what I was doing. It was a means to an end. At 17, I had broken my guitar by strapping a huge spring to it. All I had was a crappy toy keyboard to jam. I thought it looked better with the guts hanging out.” Thankfully, Young’s affinity for turning equipment inside-out, both literally and figuratively, is what has propelled him to the forefront of the ever-boundary-pushing noise scene. On October 31, his new solo LP Nate Young “Stay Asleep” Regression Volume Two will premiere on Altered Zones. Two weeks later (November 15), the album will receive a vinyl release courtesy of NNA Tapes.

On Stay Asleep, Young utilizes analog synthesizers, digital piano, handmade electronics, and tape loops to convey what he describes as a confluence of negative energy. The death of a friend’s family member had coincided with the initial recording of this album, as well as his acclimation to a new residence. As a result, one might be inclined to expect even more emotional experimentation on this LP than the already deeply forceful and affecting nature of Young’s previous work. In any case, it’s sure to be a trip. And don’t forget to check out Nate’s website, which will be updated in the near future with information on his West Coast tour, slated to last from November 17 until December 5.

Nate Young “Stay Asleep” Regression Vol. 2 tracklisting:

A1. Comes Unbidden
A2. Dress a Chair
A3. Cast a Circle
B1. Stygian Faces
B2. Collapse

• Nate Young:
• NNA Tapes: