Ben Chasny announces Hermit Hut Records, plans Tashi Dorji’s debut LP

Ben Chasny announces Hermit Hut Records, plans Tashi Dorji's debut LP

Since I was a little boy I’ve always wanted to be someone’s personal lifestyle reporter. Ted Gioia be damned; it’s my dream! Over the course of a few news posts about Ben Chasny and his projects I’ve sent out feelers, trying to subtly make it clear that if he wants me, I’m right here, just itching to cover his makeup-free trips to the local grocery store, in addition to whatever “music stuff” he decides to do in his free time. Well, I finally got tired of waiting for Ben to pick up on my signals, so I’m going to come right out and be the squeaky wheel, hoping for some good-old patent-pending Chasny-grease: Mr. Chasny, I, Taylor Peters, would like to report on your lifestyle.

In between dating a string of heiresses and making an appearance at Kimye’s wedding, Chasny has also managed to find time to start a new record label — Hermit Hut Records. The label’s first release, planned for August 19, will be the proper LP debut of the Asheville-based Bhutanese guitarist Tashi Dorji. If I was going to do a lifestyle report on Dorji, the thing would mostly consist of Dorji coming to terms with the fact that he is far too good at making the acoustic guitar sound like it’s about 30 different instruments at once. Dorji wakes up in the morning and is all like, “Shit, I guess today I should really put some work into coming to terms with how good I am at the guitar. Also, that was a pretty weird sentence that probably no human would say. A good lifestyle reporter should be better at dialogue.”

Over a series of mostly-sold-out-now tapes (my personal favorite is last year’s self-titled one on Asheville’s Headway Recordings) has gone full-tilt, unearthing as many sounds as he possibly can from his instrument, all while, as established above, failing to really come to terms with how good he is at what he’s been doing. It’s really effected his lifestyle, which is why I’m telling you about it here. Anyhow, Chasny decided he ought to divert a bit of his Chasny grease in Dorji’s direction, which, again, is why we’re here. The self-titled album, which is Dorji’s first proper LP release, is a compilation, collecting tracks from his numerous tape releases. Neither Chasny nor Dorji could be reached for comment on how this particular release has impacted their lifestyles, but I suspect they would both use the word “whirlwind” at least twice in their descriptions. Listen to the opening track below, and pre-order the album here (hop on it quick, the first 50 pre-orders get an extra-special cassette single with even more music from Dorji).

Tashi Dorji tracklist:

01. Improvisation I
02. April
03. Few Thousand Words Without Any
04. Improvisation II
05. Still III
06. Sunder

• Tashi Dorji:
• Hermit Hut:

Real Estate expand tour, share Live at SXSW session like total gentlemen

New Jersey’s sleepy indie favorites Real Estate have been steadily touring on the back of their solid third LP on Domino, Atlas, and now they’ve announced a new string of UK dates for October. Highlights on the upcoming trek include a show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on October 29, which will be the band’s largest UK performance yet. 2,000 people — that’s some nice real estate right there, boys. Proud of ya.

Additionally, Real Estate have teamed up with Spotify to premiere a six-song live release, titled Spotify Session: Live at SXSW 2014. Recorded in March, the session offers a clean representation of the group’s current live sound, and features standouts from Atlas like “Had to Hear,” “Talking Backwards,” and “Crime.” Listen to the Spotify Session here; the full list of upcoming tour dates can be found below. Just some genuine news from some genuine dudes.

Tour dates:

06.12.14 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
06.19.14 - Mexico City, Mexico - #AniversarioSpotify (Foro Indie Rocks)
06.21.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Solstice in the City (Kimmel Center)
06.22.14 - Montauk, NY - Surf Lodge
07.20.14 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
07.26.14 - Denver, CO - The UMS
08.01.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
08.02.14 - Sonoma, CA - Gundlach-Bundschu Winery
08.03.14 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Atrium
08.04.14 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow’s *
08.05.14 - Big Sur, CA - Woodsist Festival
08.06.14 - Big Sur, CA - Woodsist Festival
08.09.14 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West
08.10.14 - Helsinki, Finland - Flow Festival
08.12.14 - Lecce, Italy - Contronatura Festival
08.14.14 - St Malo, France - La Route du Rock Festival
08.16.14 - Biddinghuizen, Netherlands - Lowlands
08.17.14 - Brecon Beacons, UK - Green Man Festival
08.23.14 - Los Angeles, CA - FYF Festival
09.01.14 - Seattle, WA - Bumpershoot Festival
09.06.14 - Richmond, VA - Fall Line Festival
09.18.14 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
09.19.14 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
09.20.14 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt
09.21.14 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
09.22.14 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
09.24.14 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
09.25.14 - Champaign, IL - Pygmalion Festival
09.26.14 - Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Music Festival
09.27.14 - Frederick, MD - Flying Dog Brewery
10.01.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar
10.02.14 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
10.05.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
10.11.14 - Mexico City, Mexico - Corona Capital Festival
10.12.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
10.20.14 - Cambridge, UK - Junction 2
10.21.14 - Liverpool, UK - Kazimier
10.22.14 - Dublin, Ireland - O2 Academy
10.24.14 - Birmingham, UK - The Institute
10.25.14 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
10.26.14 - Newcastle, UK - Riverside
10.28.14 - Brighton, UK - Komedia
10.29.14 - London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
11.22.14 - Santiago, Chile - Primavera Fauna Festival

• Real Estate:
• Domino:

Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd prep new album as Electric Würms that thankfully will be hard to twerk to

Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, 1/2 of The Flaming Lips, have joined forces with four members of the Nashville band Linear Downfall to release a new album as Electric Würms. The album, called Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk, is set to come out on August 18, featuring Coyne on bass and Drozd on guitar, keys, and vocals.

Roughly translated, the title means “music that is hard to twerk to,” which is probably good, because the last thing this world needs is Wayne Coyne twerking maniacally inside of an oversized hamster ball. Or maybe we do need that! Sounds slightly better than watching Miley Cyrus do just about anything.

The six-song, limited-edition, purple vinyl album will be released on the Lips’ current label, Warner Bros., and includes a track supposedly inspired by Miles Davis’ “Sivad” called “Transform!!!” The first single is already available for download — it’s a wistful cover of Yes’ “Heart of the Sunrise,” which you can watch below.

Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk tracklisting:

01. I Could Only See Clouds
02. Futuristic Hallucination
03. The Bat
04. Living
05. Transform!!!
06. Heart of the Sunrise

• The Flaming Lips:
• Warner Bros.:

Mad scientists resurrect The Unicorns and take them on tour as a side attraction to be jeered at and prodded

Carnival barkers in Brooklyn and Inglewood, CA are clearing their throats.

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, just when you thought Arcade Fire’s circus was all washed up, they go and pull the biggest publicity stunt since Topsy. That’s right, that cadre of Canadian carnies have somehow managed to wrangle a handful of mythical beasts for all you laymen out there to gawk and throw peanuts at. The Unicorns have been resurrected and will be present at five of Arcade Fire’s upcoming shows (two in Inglewood, three in Brooklyn) along with Dan Deacon, who will be performing his famous trapeze routine.

The Unicorns have been extinct since 2004 when they released their final EP, The Unicorns: 2014, a sign that perhaps these horned horses knew all along that they would be back. Though the beasts have stated they have no plans to tour beyond these dates, they have started up Twitter and SoundCloud accounts. They adapt so fast.


08.01.14 - Inglewood, CA - The Forum *
08.02.14 - Inglewood, CA - The Forum *
08.22.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center *
08.23.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center *
08.24.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center *

* supporting Arcade Fire, with Dan Deacon

• The Unicorns:

Crystal Stilts release delirious, tremendous new single “Delirium Tremendous,” go on tour

Crystal Stilts have evolved from being merely mysterious and stupendous to the next-level status of delirious and tremendous! This is a big deal for them and everyone that loves guitars and drums and singing. Congratulate these fine folks by picking up their latest single, “Delirium Tremendous.” The Huxley-referencing track is out now through Sacred Bones on iTunes. Guitarist JB Townsend claims the band used actual garbage can percussion and remarks that the song’s bridge is a “near death taking you half way into heaven or hell.” Sounds fun!

If that recording isn’t enough of a party for ya, and you happen to live on the East Coast of the USA, then scope out the dates below and catch the Stilts on tour this month. They will be sharing various stages with Juan Wauters, Craft Spells, and Christines. How tremendous!

Crystal Stilts dates:

06.14.14 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel * @
06.15.14 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar *
06.16.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Cattivo *
06.17.14 - Cleveland, OH - Mahall’s *
06.18.14 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle *
06.19.14 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Warehouse *
06.20.14 - Toronto, ON - NXNE - The Garrison
06.21.14 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
06.22.14 - Portland, ME - Space Gallery
06.27.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right #

* Juan Wauters
@ Craft Spells
# Christines

• Crystal Stilts:
• Sacred Bones:

[Photo: Erika Spring]

Can’s Holger Czukay to reissue solo albums, one featuring a “collaboration” with (then Pope, current Roman Catholic Saint) John Paul II

Are you looking to pad out the chapter on sampling in that History of Rock book of yours? Do you want to explore the complete genealogy going from musique concrète to The Avalanches? Is the odd overlap between the Sanctoral and avant-garde music your cup of tea? Then you’re in luck! Groenland Records has announced the reissue of Holger Czukay’s Der Osten Ist Rot (1984) and Rome Remains Rome (1987), two seminal works of appropriative music. The latter is of particular interest, standing as a missing link between late-70s tape manipulation experiments and early digital sampling.

Czukay is usually remembered as Can’s bass player, but he possesses equally remarkable credentials as a sample-based composer. Before joining Can, he studied under Stockhausen, and by the end of his tenure with the Cologne group he had switched to shortwave radio recordings, which he used as raw sound sources. Moreover, including the talent of fellow Can alumni Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit, Rome Remains Rome offers a peek into where the band’s post-E.F.S. output could have headed. Jah Wobble and the omnipresent Conny Plank also play on the record, but the most famous guest ought to be Pope John Paul II himself — with the track “Blessed Easter” built around a sample of His Holiness at prayer. On a similar note, in Der Osten Ist Rot Czukay assembles a mish-mash of samples (AM stations, Eastern music, street noise) atop exuberant orchestral sounds, surprisingly coming up with lean and melodic structures.

Both albums will be combined in a single release, including three previously unreleased remixes, packaged as a double 10-inch vinyl. The LP is out on July 8.

Der Osten Ist Rot / Rome Remains Rome tracklisting:

01. Music in the Air *
02. Sudetenland *
03. Der Osten Ist Rot *
04. Traum mal wieder
05. Blessed Easter
06. Esperanto Socialiste
07. Das Massenmedium
08. Schaue vertrauensvoll in die Zukunft
09. Rhoenrad
10. Michi

* new remixed version

• Holger Czukay:
• Groenland: