Björk announces a smart, evocative, layered, delicate, sinewy string of UK multimedia shows to preview her similarly adjective-laden new album

Björk announces a smart, evocative, layered, delicate, sinewy string of UK multimedia shows to preview her similarly adjective-laden new album

It’s been a while since Björk learned a new instrument. Sure, she’s made some great strides in the biz up to this point, but truth be told, she’s also been a bit bored lately doing the same old three-chord power pop over and over again. To that end, Björk has decided that it’s high time she shakes things up by learning how to play… (drum roll, please!)… the internet. How hard can it be, right?

You might recall back in January when we reported that a new iPad app titled Solar System featured a new Björk track. Um, yeah, to be honest, we were just kinda padding out the story with that tidbit at the time… but hey, it turns out that we had our finger on the pulse and we didn’t even know it, man. According to NME, Björk has used the iPad to partially record a new album, entitled Biophilia, which she plans to release… (second drum roll, please!)… as a “series of apps” for the damn thing. Oooh, your move, Radiohead!

To get fans juiced for the release (sorry, no official word on that yet), Björk is also planning a six-show, three-week residency at the Campfield Market Hall in merry old Manchester this summer as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival, with subsequent performances in other cities to follow. However, it should be noted that a press release describing Biophilia claims that it’s not JUST an album, but rather a “multi-media project encompassing music, apps, internet, installations and live shows.” So, you know, I guess maybe this is the release? (Go ahead, take a minute.) The press release also goes on to outline much of the gear to be used on stage for this whole thing, including… (okay, drummer dude, this is the last snare roll, I swear)… “a bespoke digitally-controlled pipe organ; a 30 foot pendulum that harnesses the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns — creating a unique bridge between the ancient and the modern; a bespoke gamelan-celeste hybrid; and a one-off extraordinary pin barrel harp.” Sorry, sound guy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go settle up with my snare drum player. Damn union musicians….

Björk stuff:

06.30.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.03.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.07.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.10.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.13.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.16.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall

• Björk:

My little brother just discovered that Art Brut have a new album coming out in May

Art Brut haven’t exactly been “outsider art” for a while now, ever since the shift that came after the group issued a split with Jandek and were highlighted on the first volume of Songs in the Key of Z (…just kidding). In addition to unabashed false advertising, frontman Eddie Argos has been subject to some raised eyebrows since our lukewarm review of Art Brut vs. Satan, not to mention Argos’ 2010 side project under the preposterously verbose moniker, Everybody Was in the French Resistance…Now. As if to combat these doubts about Art Brut’s supposed genius, the newly announced album is entitled Brilliant! Tragic! — and they really want you to believe it.

Their fourth studio album Brilliant! Tragic! is out May 24 from Cooking Vinyl and will hopefully quell all talk of the French resistance outside of Le Chagrin et la pitié. Like 2009’s Art Brut vs. Satan, the new record was produced by Pixies’ Black Francis, though — according to Argos — it won’t be as ceaselessly punk rock as the last one. “This time there are a few songs to let you catch your breath so when we do rock the fuck out again it hits home harder,” he says. Whew… we were really afraid of Art Brut going the 80s hardcore route, but I guess that answers that.

Until the album comes out, you can get your fill of Art Brut via a free download from PledgeMusic, who will also sell the album and contribute part of the proceeds to Shelter, a charity benefiting the homeless (to clarify, PledgeMusic is not the exclusive distributor of the album, but just one of the many ways you can purchase it). PledgeMusic is also offering the chance to purchase t-shirts, a karaoke extravaganza with Eddie Argos, signed album art, and at £1,500 (about $2,411), a house party where Art Brut perform for your friends (plus more for a lot cheaper; check ‘em out here). Brilliant!

Brilliant! Tragic! tracklisting:

01. Clever Clever Jazz
02. Lost Weekend
03. Bad Comedian
04. Sexy Sometimes
05. Is Dog Eared
06. Martin Kemp Welch Five A-Side Football Rules!
07. Axel Rose
08. I Am the Psychic
09. Ice Hockey
10. Sealand

• Art Brut:
• Cooking Vinyl:

DOOM working with Thom Yorke on possible full-length album, says he’s “cool”

DOOM, a.k.a. MF DOOM, has been reportedly working on albums with Ghostface, Madlib (as Madvillain), KMD, and Danger Mouse (as Danger Doom), as well as under both his Viktor Vaughn and King Geedorah monikers. But when Thom Yorke wants to collaborate, he wants to collaborate NOW (just ask Flea). So it’s no surprise that, rather than surfacing to provide an update on these various projects, America’s Most Blunted recently told 3D World magazine (via NME) that he is “doing some stuff with Thom Yorke.”

But what kind of stuff? Says DOOM: “We’re working on some duets, some duet songs and shit. Just like preliminary shit but we’ll probably end up doing a whole record together. He’s cool — he got a lot of ill ass ideas and shit, you know.”

Catch DOOM at the Portishead-curated ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror event in July, and Thom Yorke, who btw remixed DOOM’s “Gazillion Ear” back in 2009, collaborating with another acclaimed artist near you.

And in case you missed it, DJ Yorke:

• Thom Yorke:

Let’s Wrestle announce Albini-produced sophomore album Nursing Home, with guitar tones thick enough for grandpa

The irreverent London lads behind Let’s Wrestle are at it again! The relentlessly catchy lo-fi trio of Wesley Patrick Gonzalez (vocals/guitar), Sam Pillay (bass), and Darkus Bishop (drums) released their first full-length for Merge Records back in 2009, entitled In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s. The band originally intended to release a punk rock record, but over the course of songwriting and recording, their debut became a more diverse mix of jangly, eccentric indie rock with a sliver of psych and yes, some of that bratty punk flava thrown in for good measure.

Now, in 2011, that punk edge is making its way into Let’s Wrestle’s sophomore effort via the loudest, most abrasive, noise-rock-lovingest force in indie production, the legendary Steve Albini. The group recorded Nursing Home in Chicago last year with Mr. Albini, crafting songs about a) the suburbs, b) dancing boys, and c) drugs, but with their own particular Let’s Wrestle lyricism, which tends to skew more toward “I Wish I Was in Hüsker Dü” (the band’s first song) and less toward “Stay with me, my five-year-old” (choice lyric from Big Black’s “Jordan, Minnesota”). The boys promise that despite the darker terrain, their offbeat, fun-lovin’ view on life will still come through on the new tracks. Sounds like a match made in heaven… or Chicago. Nursing Home hits stores on May 17 thanks to Merge.

Nursing Home tracklisting:

01. In Dreams (Part 2)
02. If I Keep on Loving You
03. In the Suburbs
04. Bad Mamories
05. Dear John
06. For My Mother
07. You’re So Lazy
08. There’s a Rockstar in My Room
09. I Forgot
10. I Am Useful
11. I Will Not Give In
12. Getting Rest

• Let’s Wrestle:
• Merge:

Clinic will never rest and they will never die, but they will tour the UK this spring

Let’s give a hand for Clinic. They will never die, for this is scientific fact. After a decade, they’re still at it, cranking out new records of distinctive post-punk every few years. Do they still wear those surgical masks? Who cares, it’s about as relevant in 2010 as whether or not Thom Yorke likes them. And, yes, I sort of want to know if he still does, too.

An issue more relevant than surgical masks or the musical tastes of Radiohead members might be the fact that Clinic released Bubblegum, their sixth record, last year on Domino. Even more relevant than that is the news that Clinic will be playing a handful of UK dates this spring. There you shall hear material from the aforementioned Bubblegum, along with the sound of men who will outlive you and laugh over your grave when they day is done. You will also probably hear “Distortions.”

Clinic UK tour:

04.22.11 - London, UK - Barfly (Time Out London Sessions)
05.14.11 - Nottingham, UK - The Bodega
05.20.11 - Liverpool, UK - The Bombed Out Church
05.21.11 - Glasgow, UK - Stag and Dagger Festival
05.27.11 - Manchester, UK - The Deaf Institute
05.28.11 - Leeds, UK - The Cockpit

• Clinic:
• Domino:

[Photo: Leslie Kalohi]

TV on the Radio bass/keys man Gerard Smith diagnosed with lung cancer

In a recent post on their website, Brooklyn art-funk mainstays TV on the Radio announced that bassist and keyboardist Gerard Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer following the completion of their upcoming album Nine Types of Light. Smith has been a member since 2005, contributing to 2006’s primal, wrenching, holy-shit-fuck, TMT-approved masterstroke Return to Cookie Mountain, as well as 2008’s slightly more funky-with-the-Cheez Whiz Dear Science.

“As a result [of the diagnosis, Gerard] has been undergoing treatment and will be unable to participate in the upcoming tour,” the band’s statement reads. Light is still due out on April 12 via Interscope (check out the new track “Caffeinated Consciousness” over at the Chocolate Grinder), and the band will still be hitting SXSW (which I believe is some sort of airport somewhere?) this week in preparation for a fairly large-scale tour of North America and Europe. “Gerard is fortunate enough to have health insurance and is receiving excellent medical care. Already we have seen dramatic results. Combine that with Gerard’s legendarily willful disposition and it might just be cancer that has the problem. We appreciate your concern and support for Gerard and his family.” Hang tough, Gerard!

TV on the Radio dates:

03.17-19.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW
04.08.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
04.09.11 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theatre
04.10.11 - Baltimore, MD - Ram’s Head Live
04.13.11 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
04.15.11 - Providence, RI - Brown University
04.16.11 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
04.17.11 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
04.18.11 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
04.20.11 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew’s Hall
04.22.11 - Chicago, IL - Metro
04.23-24.11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
04.26.11 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
05.02.11 - San Diego, CA - 4th and B
06.22.11 - Zagreb, Croatia - T-Mobile Inmusic Festival
06.23.11 - Munich, Germany - Muffathalle
06.24.11 - Berlin, Germany - Astra
06.30.11 - Werchter, Belgium - Rock Werchter
07.01.11 - St. Gallen, Switzerland - St. Gallen Festival
07.03.11 - London, UK - Wireless Festival
07.04.11 - Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
07.05.11 - Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
07.08.11 - Bilbao, Spain - BBK Live Festival
07.09.11 - Lisbon, Portugal - Alive Festival
07.17.11 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival

• TV on the Radio:
• Interscope:

[Photo: Pooneh Ghana]