Ben Chasny and Donovan Quinn form New Bums, plan debut album for Drag City, learn the value of drunken friendship

Ben Chasny and Donovan Quinn form New Bums, plan debut album for Drag City, learn the value of drunken friendship

When Donovan Quinn, the streetwise rule-breaker from the California psych-folk group Skygreen Leopards, joined the force, Ben Chasny wasn’t too sure about him. Chasny, a desk-jockey with a checkered past, was just six months away from his pension, and all he wanted to do was fly under the radar, fill out his reports, and retire down in Florida. When the chief assigned them as partners, neither of them had any idea they were about to embark on the greatest adventure of their lives, an adventure where they’d learn just as much about South American horse racing as they would about each other — and about friendship itself. Sure, there were speed bumps along the way. Chasny wasn’t too happy when he had Quinn over for dinner with the family and Quinn brought his energetic ferret friend. Quinn wasn’t pleased either when Chasny got all stodgy about the rules and refused reimbursement forms that time they got Wendy’s on the way back from New Mexico. And when the chief took their badges and guns away three-quarters of the way through the movie, the two decided that, instead of going rogue and making sure justice was served, it’d actually be a better use of time to hammer out some songs about police friendship.

What’s that? You’re wondering what police friendship songs sound like? Well, you’re in luck, because Chasny and Quinn decided to record their friendship sounds, and they’ll be out on an album from Drag City on February 18 of next year. The band is called New Bums in honor of the fact that they were recently fired from the police force and are too unmotivated to complete any programs in the workforce education program down at the local community college. The album is called Voices in a Rented Room, mostly because they’re such good friends that they now share a one-bedroom apartment. Inspired by the “Old Drunk America” (because laid-off cop buddies looooovvee the sauce), the record is going to be pretty spare, mostly consisting of Quinn and Chasny’s acoustic guitars and voices. Check out the album’s first track, “Black Bough,” below, and preorder the album here.

Voices in a Rented Room tracklisting:

01. Black Bough
02. Pigeon Town
03. Your Girlfriend Might Be a Cop
04. Sometimes You Crash
05. The Killers and Me
06. Your Bullsh*t
07. It’s the Way
08. Welcome to the Navy
09. Burned
10. Town on the Water
11. Mother’s Favorite Hated Son
12. Cool Daughter

• New Bums:
• Drag City:

Lana Del Rey gives big money to Daniel Johnston short film and becomes an Executive Producer. That’s nice!

Lana Del Rey writes catchy, moody pop songs. She has pretty hair and accessories and a really great lip job that kinda makes you reconsider lip jobs. She’s also an executive producer on the forthcoming Daniel Johnston short film, Hi, How Are You, written up previously in this here Tiny Mix Tapes article. So basically Lana Del Rey is sitting by the pool at her modernist Hollywood Hills dream home, stroking a hairless cat and cackling to herself. “Heh heh heh and you snotty music weirdos thought I wasn’t INDIE enough, suck on THIS.” Then closing credits in cursive appear with the words “Lana’s Revenge” flickering across the screen, and Lana hops on a vintage Harley Davidson with a Hot Tattoo Guy and the Hairless Cat in the passenger car and they all drive off as the sun sets over the ocean. Ladies and gentlemen, Lana Del Rey!

In reality, the straight facts are as follows. Del Rey, along with rapper Mac Miller, each contributed $10,000 to the Kickstarter fund to make filmmaker Gabriel Sunday’s vision come to life. And thusly they each became Executive Producers. According to the Kickstarter page, “it’s a musical tale of an aging artist encountering psychedelic dreams, nightmares, and characters from his past. We began shooting with a simple outline: an intimate interview between Daniel and his younger self addressing his most prolific and maddening era. Our hope was to bring his stories, memories and art to life.” And now, thanks to Lana, Mac, the Hairless Cat, and people just like you and me, SHIT IS ON.

• Daniel Johnston:
Hi, How Are You:
• Lana Del Rey:

Glenn Branca’s 1980 solo album Lesson No. 1 to receive fancy vinyl reissue with bonus composition involving Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore

Somewhere out there in this crazy world of ours, there’s a teenage kid who’s freakin’ his mom out, not by playing Marilyn Manson or My Dying Screamo Wizard or the new (I can’t even say it, I can’t) Eminem record, but by cranking up Glenn Branca’s weirdo guitar works and makin’ the walls of his post-war duplex in suburban Illinois shake. And that kid — let’s call him “Hunter,” because isn’t every teenage boy named Hunter now? — that kid Hunter is really, really fucking jazzed about this 1980 solo Branca album Lesson No. 1 getting a fancy vinyl reissue.

Originally released on 99 Records after Branca left Theoretical Girls, Lesson No. 1 was reissued on CD back in 2004 but is only now seeing a vinyl reissue. Complete with the original 1980 tracklisting, the 2LP reissue also comes with a one-sided 12-inch of the contemporaneous Branca track “Bad Smells,” which features Hunter’s idols Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore. The pimped-out Lesson No. 1 will be released by Superior Viaduct on January 21, and you can preorder it today.

• Glenn Branca:
• Superior Viaduct:

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is making a dance record with a Black Eyed Peas producer

If anything, Megaupload mastermind and possessor of the best/worst legal name change in recent history Kim Dotcom has taught us all the importance of believing in your dreams. Not only did he make the dreams of people who longed to wallow in a frenzied orgy of illegal music and film file-hosting come true, but now he’s also making his OWN musical dreams come true. Plus probably the dreams of every single writer over at Gawker.

See, Dotcom has been a busy fella. He’s got a new site launching in January called Baboom, described to Wired as an “iTunes-Spotify hybrid competitor,” where artists can sell directly to fans. He’s working on a cloud storage site called Mega. Plus he’s battling the US government’s charges of running an “international organised criminal enterprise allegedly responsible for massive worldwide piracy.” Naturally he’s also starting a new political party in his native New Zealand and… and… wait for it… recording an album with Black Eyed Peas producer Printz Board, who has allegedly been in New Zealand for six months working on this thing. WHAT.

Dotcom told Wired, “It’s called Good Times and it’s electronic dance music — not techno. It’s basically like what the Black Eyed Peas do. It’s poppy dance music that you would listen to in the clubs.” Recent Cher collaborator/producer JD Walker is also giving his time to this thing. Kim Dotcom’s artist page will be the featured page on Baboom to introduce users to the site once it launches. Let’s just stop the production of all other music now, because really, what other album/music news topic story can the world ever need?

• Kim Dotcom:
• Printz Board:

Burial plans new Hyperdub EP release for December 16, just like last year, because time is circular and everything that has happened will continue to happen for all of time

Burial, everyone’s favorite guy with the kind of mysterious identity, just announced another EP, planned for release on December 16. Or at least that’s what Consequence of Sound says. Or rather, that’s what Alex Young the CEO and publisher of Consequence of Sound says in a news post that he typed up and posted on Consequence of Sound because he is a human with an identity, unlike Burial, who, for all we know, could just be a weird computer glitch on the AOL mainframe or something. I mean what do we really know about Burial? He’s maybe a fellah from London, I guess? So he probably lives in a flat and eats chips and uses a torch to find the quid that he dropped down the lift shaft, right? We also know he’s definitely (probably) not Four Tet, but that he has collaborated with Four Tet. He also put out another EP, Truant/Rough Sleeper, last year right around this time, so I guess we also know that he’s pretty good with calendars and keeping a schedule.

There’s also, of course, the fact that he’s got a new EP coming out on December 16 (because NPR told Alex Young and then Alex Young told us! thanks, you guys!), but the info is a little scant even there. I guess the EP is supposed to be 28 minutes long, and it’ll have three tracks, and it’ll be on Hyperdub, and… that’s it. We don’t even know the title yet. Alex Young, on the other hand? We know loads about that guy. Did you know some of his favorite musicians are Kanye West, The White Stripes, and Bruce Springsteen? He also went to Fordham University, and now he lives in Chicago! What else? Oh, he founded Consequence of Sound in 2007, and he sometimes wears striped shirts and smiles! What a guy.

• Burial:
• Hyperdub:

PAN preps end-of-year releases from Jar Moff and NHK’Koyxen, rubs it in your face

Short of offering a nauseating definition of the culinary “pan” straight out of Webster’s (which would be equally irrelevant), it’s worth considering the prefix as it relates to the label’s diversified catalog. In a recent feature hosted by an exciting new website, PAN founder Bill Kouligas offered some insight into the context by which music earns his formal support: “Well, as you know, there are so many things going on with PAN. There is always a starting point, but I like all of this music so much, and the reason it all fits in my head is because I can find a common ground with it.” An artistic depiction, thus, might have a two-button remote control wired to Kouligas’s skull, and only artists with the proper “stuff” will be authorized to press the OPEN button and crawl inside. I’m imagining an opening mechanism similar to that of Darth Vader’s meditation chamber.

The connection, though personally bordering on indescribable, exists, and it perpetuates through the final two releases of the year for the label, both of which are due out December 15: Financial Glam from fellow (in relation to Kouligas) Greek and long-time acquaintance Jar Moff, who released the wonderfully intricate Commercial Mouth earlier this year (followed by a Guest Mix on that new website); and Dance Classics Vol. III from NHK’Koyxen a.k.a. Kouhei Matsunaga, the earlier installments of which certainly allude to a paradox: can a tune be a “classic” if the year most fitting to its playback is 2047?

Both releases were mastered and cut by Rashad Becker (who himself had a release on PAN back in July) at Dubplates & Mastering, and both records feature artwork from Kouligas and Kathryn Politis, the latter of whom has contributed to PAN’s visual trademark since its inception. Obviously, tab-keeping is recommended for the foreseeable future.

Jar Moff — Financial Glam tracklisting:

01. Financial Glam
02. Kresentosiagona

NHK’Koyxen — Dance Classics Vol. III tracklisting:

01. 629
02. 501
03. 341
04. 768
05. 675
06. 811
07. 766
08. 762

• Jar Moff:
• NHK’Koyxen:
• PAN:


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