Bad News from Houston (John Dieterich of Deerhoof, Thollem McDonas) release In the Valley of the Cloud Builder

Bad News from Houston (John Dieterich of Deerhoof, Thollem McDonas) release In the Valley of the Cloud Builder

No news is good news. Wait, scratch that. No news is actually bad news, and bad news is actually good news. Good news is over there, being its relentlessly positive self, while slow news has yet to make its appearance.

If amazingly detailed abstract compositions of guitar, amplified piano, and miscellaneous electronics tickle your brain fancy, then the release of In the Valley of the Cloud Builder by Bad News from Houston is undoubtedly good news for you — go ahead and ignore the recent drop in American unemployment. John Dieterich (Deerhoof) and Thollem McDonas (Tsigoti) apparently have a history as collaborators, but only recently have they jointly decided on the Bad News moniker, presumably as a reference to the Townes Van Zandt song? Makes sense to me.

As I mentioned, the album is one hell of a sonically-detailed release, to the point where I’m wondering why I can’t hear the gaseous expulsions of the members themselves. Emotional tones vary from track to track, but instrumental consistency prevents an overwhelming sense of disparate directions. The album’s out now via Post-Consumer.

In the Valley of the Cloud Builder tracklisting:

01. Red Dirt Meet
02. Make It Fall
03. They War
04. Changery
05. Middle Man Problems
06. Confuse the Ghosts
07. Invisible River
08. Stone Juice
09. Inverted Mountain

• Bad News from Houston:
• Post-Consumer:

Ghostface Killah and Killah Priest to tour together, KILL EVERYBODY

Ancient Shaolin riddle. What’s the only thing worse than dying by the sword of a killah? Dying by the sword of two killahs. Such a predicament could only occur on a particularly dark night, but that very night will soon engulf America. As reported by FACT, Ghostface Killah will be touring the United States this spring and he’s bringing along long-time Wu affiliate Killah Priest. With two Killahs on one tour, there is only one possible outcome: EVERYBODY DIES. Or Ghostface and Killah Priest play a bunch of shows and nobody dies. There are at least two possible outcomes.

While on the subject of dying, Ghostface has a new record coming out soon, following last month’s release of Killah Priest’s new album. It’s called Twelve Reasons to Die and it’ll be out April 16 through Soul Temple Music. Perhaps one of these twelve reasons to die will resonate with you, giving you peace and acceptance before GHOSTFACE KILLAH AND KILLAH PRIEST END YOUR LIFE. Just kidding. They’re not killing anybody, they’re still just playing shows. But death’s a crazy thing to think about, right?

Ghostface Kilah and Killah Priest dates:

03.28.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Mayan Theatre
03.31.13 - San Luis Obispo, CA - SLO Brewery
04.03.13 - Fresno, CA - Fulton 55
04.04.13 - San Francisco, CA - 1015 Folsom
04.05.13 - Orangevale, CA - 1015 Folsom
04.06.13 - Redway, CA - Mateel Community Center
04.09.13 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
04.10.13 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
04.11.13 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
04.12.13 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
04.13.13 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
04.16.13 - Park City, UT - Park City Live
04.19.13 - Denver, CO - Summit Music Hall
04.20.13 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up
04.25.13 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater
04.26.13 - Chicago, IL - The Abbey Pub
04.27.13 - St. Louis, MO - Cherokee Performing Arts Center
04.28.13 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
04.30.13 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews
05.01.13 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Pyramid Scheme
05.02.13 - Bloomington, IN - The Bluebird
05.03.13 - Columbus, OH - A&R Room
05.04.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre
05.05.13 - Syracuse, NY - The Westcott Theatre
05.07.13 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Music
05.08.13 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall
05.09.13 - Boston, MA - The Wilbur
05.10.13 - New Haven, CT - Toads Place
05.11.13 - Providence, RI - The Met
05.12.13 - Philadelphia, PA - The Blockley
05.13.13 - New York, NY - Gramercy Theatre
05.14.13 - Baltimore, MD - Soundstage
05.16.13 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle
05.17.13 - Asheville, NC - Asheville Music Hall
05.18.13 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
05.19.13 - Tampa Bay, FL - The Orpheum
05.20.13 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
05.22.13 - Austin, TX - Emo’s

• Ghostface Killah:
• Killah Priest:

Baroness part ways with drummer and bassist, retain nobility status as a formal nicety

The shitty thing about a bad car (or bus, or whatever) accident is that it doesn’t just happen once. It kinda keeps happening to you, over and over again, for a while. Which means that, after a while, you’re mired in an awful big pile of SHIT (and, even if you’re a metal guy, this is somewhat undesirable!). The other thing about getting messed up in a crash is that it also makes you — for reasons both physical and emotional — rethink a thing or two about your life; and when your life is centered around, you know, schlepping a mountain of gear around night after night in a nine-piece art-metal band that performs at a high level of intensity for an hour a night, sometimes that means a career change is in the cards.

As metal forum Lambgoat reports, Baroness, who wrecked their shit pretty bad in the UK last summer, has announced the departure of both drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni from the band, citing “external and internal, physical and mental, you name it” injuries as the reason. Seems like kind of a long time after-the-fact, you say? Well then, to you, the band says “shut the fuck up and read this unassailable statement that we just posted on our website, you heartless piece of shit:

Nothing can truly prepare you for a brush with death. The event is unique one, singular to the observer. Trust me, you don’t want to invite the experience. Our bus accident left indelible marks, external and internal, physical and mental, you name it. Each of the nine of us went through and continues to go through an entirely different, yet common experience. We are tied to each other by a trauma, which, despite its damage, has been made individually easier through our shared ordeal. While I would never wish the incident on anyone, I cannot imagine going through that wreck alone.

Thankfully, injury was not dealt out evenly; unfortunately it was dealt in great supply. Each of the nine of us now finds our self in a drastically different circumstance, and we each move forward accordingly. There are two important things to note. First, we are all healthy. We are recovering at different rates, and we’ll all be fine in the end. Second, Baroness has made a commitment to pick up where we left off, and get back out on tour, where we belong. In fact, I am personally staking my recovery on this principle; it gives me direction and something to look forward to (finally).

However, for some of us, the accident necessitated a change that would prevent them from performing music or touring. It is with sadness that we must announce that Matt Maggioni and Allen Blickle will not continue touring with Baroness. The details of their departure are not sensational; they do not come with hard feelings. Nor are the details going to be public; suffice it to say we’d like to keep to ourselves the finer points of this situation, to respect the privacy of all involved.

While the nine of us must respect the significance of the bus accident in Bath, we must also move away from it and get back to our lives. Simply put, some of the effects and injuries were severe enough to prohibit further activity in Baroness. While we would never have asked them to leave; we have the utmost sympathy for this situation, and in earnest, we wish Matt and Allen the best in the future. In their stead, we have found two musicians who can approach our music with passion and vitality and help get us back out on tour to finish what was seemingly cut short last August.

There you have it. If you were hoping that the silver lining to all of this was going to be that you could audition for Baroness on drums, you’re both out of luck and an asshole.

• Baroness:
• Relapse:

Sigur Rós experiment with feeling angry, bring that anger to a new record and a town near you

It seems Sigur Rós have been trying out some new feelings recently: anger, fear, paranoia, and possibly some violent urges. I’d imagine their therapist said it’s positive to expand beyond the “melancholy-with-a-thin-patina-of-hope” we have all come to know and love. Previously, being told that humans normally have a range of emotions brought about forays into happiness like “Gobbledigook”. But even with all that neat-o “la la la”ing and bouncy acoustic strumming, it gets wishy-washy and their therapist (I assume they get a group rate) just sits there and shakes her head. Sigur Rós are sadness-junkies returning to their sadness-drug because it sadness-fuels them. For a prime example of how they can’t stop pumping disconsolate-but-hopeful vibes into our collective ears, check the video for their new song “Brennisteinn.”

Sure, it’s got scrunched-up industrial feedback, sure it looks like it could have been filmed backstage at Nine Inch Nails’ 1994 Woodstock performance, but it’s still clearly got that heavy heart that’s just so Sigur Rós. Obviously they are trying desperately to move away from that and failing, so if you happen to be a souless, steel-hearted monolith of a person they need to talk to you. And make it soon, because their new album, Kveikur, is supposed to come out June 18 on XL Recordings, meaning they have to stop being sad and start being angry quick.

Oh, also, they are bringing their new-found attempts at anger everywhere that has a dot on the map. Seriously, if a city has a population of more than 1000 they are probably playing a show there. Please tell their therapist if they come onto stage covered in mud and smash their instruments at the end of the set; it means they are making progress.


03.26.13 - Boston, MA - Agganis Arena
03.27.13 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
03.29.13 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
03.30.13 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Theatre Bowl
04.01.13 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
04.02.13 - Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion
04.03.13 - Saint Paul, MN - Roy Wilkins Auditorium
04.04.13 - Kansas City, MO - Starlight Theatre
04.06.13 - Denver, CO - 1st Bank
04.08.13 - Dallas, TX - Verizon Theatre
04.09.13 - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center
04.10.13 - Austin, TX - Cedar Park Center
04.12.13 - Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Theatre
04.13.13 - Indio, CA - Coachella
04.16.13 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
04.17.13 - San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic
04.19.13 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
04.20.13 - Indio, CA - Coachella
05.10.13 - Jakarta, Indonesia - Istora Senayan
05.14.13 - Toyko, Japan - Nippon Budokan
05.15.13 - Nagoya, Japan - Zepp, Nagoya
05.16.13 - Fukuoka, Japan - Zepp, Fukuoka
05.17.13 - Osaka, Japan - Kobe World Hall, Osaka
05.19.13 - Seoul, South Korea - Olympic Gymnastics Arena
05.21.13 - Hong Kong, China - Asia World Arena
05.25.13 - George, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival
05.26.13 - Bend, OR - Les Schwab Amphitheater
05.27.13 - Burnaby, BC - Deer Lake Park
06.19.13 - Dresden, Germany - Junge Garde
06.21-23.13 - Scheessel, Germany - Hurricane Festival (One performance, Date TBA)
06.21-23.13 - Neuhausen, Germany - Southside Festival (One performance, date TBA)
06.23.13 - Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands - Best Kept Secret Festival
06.25.13 - Warsaw, Poland - Sowinskiego Amphitheatre
06.28.13 - St. Gallen, Switzerland - Openair
06.30.13 - Cornwall, UK - Eden Project
07.04.13 - Werchter, Belgium - Rock Werchter
07.06.13 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07.14.13 - Joensuu, Finland - Ilosaarirock Festival
07.18.13 - Ostrava, Czech Republic - Colours of Ostrava
07.20.13 - Salacgriva, Latvia - Positivus Festival
07.26.13 - Ferrara, Italy - Piazza Castello
07.27.13 - Lucca, Italy - City Square
07.28.13 - Rome, Italy - Ippodromo Delle Capennelle
08.30.13 - Cheshire, UK - Jodrell Bank
08.31.13 - North Dorset, UK - End of the Road Festival
11.16.13 - Dublin, Ireland - O2 Arena
11.19.13 - Nottingham, UK - Nottingham Arena
11.20.13 - Brighton, UK - Brighton Centre
11.21.13 - London, UK - Wembley Arena
11.23.13 - Luxembourg - Rockhal
11.24.13 - Frankfurt, Germany - Jahrhunderthalle
11.25.13 - Dusseldorf, Germany - Mitsubishi Electric Hall
11.27.13 - Malmo, Sweden - Balgiska Hallen
11.28.13 - Oslo, Norway - Spektrum

• Sigur Rós:
• XL:

James Chance, Andrew W.K., ?uestlove, Kim Gordon, and many others walk into a bar to participate in “Improvised Round Robin Duets”

Red Bull can do anything. That’s the theme of this 100% totally insane performance NY’s Red Bull Music Academy is putting on called “A Night of Improvised Round Robin Duets.” You want to hear James Chance blow out a wacked saxophone riff to an Andrew W.K. party jam? You got it! You wanna see Julia Holter get down with ?uestlove? It ain’t no thang! You wanna stay up for 37 straight hours just by drinking tiny cans of weird soda? No problem! RED BULL CAN DO IT.

See, the wise scholarly owls over at the Red Bull Music Academy, in conjunction with Search and Restore, Boom Collective, and the Undead Music Series have assembled a dream team of musical innovators for an evening of once-in-a-lifetime sonic border demolishing. The format is simple. The first musician gets onstage, does a solo improv thing for five minutes. Then, up comes musician #2 for five minutes of making sweet music together. At which point, musician #1 says good night and musician #3 comes up to party with musician #2. And so on and so on. It’s a Fibonacci sequence of improvised ART MUSIC. The magic happens on May 1 and Brooklyn’s Masonic Temple, where luminaries like the aforementioned ?uestlove, Andrew W.K., James Chance, and Julia Holter boogie down with Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Kim Gordon, Bernie Worrell (Parliament), DJ Spinna, Dosh, jazz clarinetist Don Byron, avant garde cellist Erik Friedlander, grammy-winning sax dude Joe Lovano, jazz guitarist Mary Halvorson, saxophonist Matana Roberts, and bassist/Flying Lotus associate Thundercat. AND THERE’S MORE TO COME. Whaaaaaat? People say America is a melting pot. NO. This Red Bull improvised music night is a melting pot AND THE BREAD OR LITTLE POTATO WEDGES OR WHATEVER STUFF YOU STICK IN THE FONDUE IS OUR HEARTS. (Because obviously the music is fondue. Or the skewers? What would be the fondue then — Red Bull? Ugh. Metaphor = too complicated, too stupid.)

Anyway, in sum, Red Bull is taking all the musicians ever and sticking them all into this one night spectacular at the beginning of the energy drank’s frankly pretty kickass Music Academy series of events. Taking place from April 28-May 31, the entire fest features performances and talks from the likes of Brian Eno, Laurel Halo, Erykah Badu and Giorgio Moroder.

• Red Bull Music Academy:

Deerhunter announce new album through a really, really shoegaze-y delay effects processor that makes the news not break until 4 days later!

Hey sis. Sorry, I’ve been a little busy with work and some frustrating relationship stuff with Kirsten lately (will go into it more over Easter) and haven’t been able to read all the music blogs for you and tell you what you should be up on. Hopefully it’s not too late for you to be the first one to tell the rest of the squad about the new Deerhunter album that’s coming out soon. That’s “Deerhunter,” one word. Not The Deerhunter, either. That’s a different band (yeah, I know; it’s confusing, right? Believe me, my housemates and I have totally listened to The Deerhunter by mistake and been hella confused about this new “ambient punk” shit that we were supposed to like! LOL!).

Anyway, yeah, pay attention, cuz here’s come the facts. It’s their first one since 2010’s Halcyon Digest (TMT Review). It’s called Monomania, and it’s out May 7 on 4AD. Monomania is a thing that means, like, being excessively focused on one single idea or object or thing or something (kinda like mom is with making us all go to church when we’re home, right?). Yeah, I guess that the singer (his name is Bradford Cox, BTW) told Rolling Stone a few years ago that:

I guess my time as a musician has gone by so fast that I realized that I have no personal life. The other guys in Deerhunter, they all found things. And I just have monomania. I always will. I’m obsessive about one thing, that there’s one thing that’s going to make me happy and it’s making music, or there’s one thing that’s going to make me happy and it’s this person.

Ooh, but also, sometimes records — CDs are called records, remember — are recorded “in mono,” which means that sounds aren’t split over the two left and right speakers. That might be a cool thing to know and throw out.

Speaking of cool things to throw out, you can say that Josh Fauver, the guy who played bass guitar for them, has left the band and has been replaced by Josh McKay. Oh, and if you really need to dazzle them, tell them that they “tracked the album” at this cool New York studio called Rare Book Room with this dude Nicolas Vernhes. Trust me; they won’t know what the frig any of that that means, but it’ll sound legit. Works on my friends all the time, actually. Oh, and if you really, REALLY need to dazzle them, you could always cite Pitchfork at some point. That’s usually what I do when I write stuff for that website that I do music news for.

Okay, sorry I can’t give you any more right now, but this is a pretty hip band, so you should be good to go for a while on this. I’ll put some links and stuff at the bottom too that you can follow up on. See ya Sunday. Try to stay out of freakin’ trouble until then!

Monomania tracklisting:

01. Neon Junkyard
02. Leather Jacket II
03. The Missing
04. Pensacola
05. Dream Captain
06. Blue Agent
07. T.H.M.
08. Sleepwalking
09. Back to the Middle
10. Monomania
11. Nitebike
12. Punk (La Vie Antérieure)

• Deerhunter:
• 4AD: