Björk and David Attenborough team up for world’s most exciting music documentary (narration)

Björk and David Attenborough team up for world's most exciting music documentary (narration)

King of natural history documentaries David Attenborough has teamed up with alien high priestess Björk to create a totally unoriginal boring ol’ music documentary. Just kidding! Obviously I am just kidding. This thing is gonna have more pixie dust, magic, and heart-string-plucking ethereal strains than a powdered sugar donut made by coke-addled Keebler elves at an all night rave inside an elephant-shaped topiary bush at Disneyland. JUST IMAGINE. And the best thing is that UK residents can just catch Attenborough and Björk: The Nature of Music on broadcaster Channel 4 like it’s just some ordinary old episode of Gossip Girl. (Although no air dates have been announced just yet.)

The Nature of Music features Björk and Attenborough getting into the Big Questions, like why and how music evolved. The dynamic duo delve into humankind’s relationship to hot jams, and how technology could play into our future enjoyment of music. Integral to the documentary is Björk’s recent release, Biophilia (TMT Review), which celebrates the intersection of music/technology/nature. (Fun fact: Attenborough provided the narration on Biophilia’s multimedia apps.) So viewers will get to bask in the thrilling strains of Björk tunes whilst the Icelandic legend and Mr. Attenborough break it down for y’all over footage of reed warblers, lyre birds, and blue whales. It’s like attending a really awesome college, sans the binge drinking, plus a bunch of birds and a couple of legends.

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• David Attenborough:
• Channel 4:

M83 pull massive prank by going on tour, telling everybody they’ve got a prank planned, but actually just going on tour

Music fans across the globe know M83 as fine purveyors of cinematic synth-pop. Depending on who you are, they’re My Bloody Valentine with synthesizers or U2 with synthesizers or The Cure with synthesizers. No matter who you are, you probably know they have synthesizers. But did you know they’re also Andy Kaufman with synthesizers? It’s true. M83 king Anthony Gonzalez is rather fond of large-scale pranks and hoaxes, many times unbeknownst to his fanbase. For instance, 2003’s Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts is actually called Red Seas, Dead Cities & Lost Ghosts. Whoa, who knew? Nobody, except for those truly in-the-know.

For M83’s latest and greatest prank, Gonzalez has invited his fans to unravel the puzzle behind his band’s forthcoming tour. What could it mean when M83 goes on a series of trips through North America throughout August, September, and October? Only the most hard-nosed fans will know in the end. As it turns out, there’s no puzzle. M83 is just going on tour in support of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (TMT Review). But they’ll drive plenty of their fans insane in the process.

M83 dates:

08.02.12 - Munhall, PA - Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
08.03.12 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08.04.12 - Toronto, ON - Historic Fort York
08.07.12 - Portland, ME - State Theater
08.08.12 - New York, NY - Central Park Summerstage
08.31.12 - San Diego, CA - SOMA
09.01.12 - Los Angeles, CA - FYF Fest
09.03.12 - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot 2012
09.05.12 - Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Event Centre
09.06.12 - Calgary, AB - Mac Ewan Ballroom
09.26.12 - Miami Beach, FL - The Fillmore at Jackie Gleason
09.27.12 - Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues Orlando
09.29.12 - Richmond, VA - The National
09.30.12 - Norfolk, VA - NorVA
10.02.12 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
10.03.12 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
10.04.12 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theater
10.07.12 - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore
10.09.12 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
10.10.12 - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center
10.11.12 - Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom
10.12.12 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
10.14.12 - San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Music Festival

• M83:
• Mute:

Sir Richard Bishop and W. David Oliphant announce collaborative album inspired by Buddhism, so, yeah, they probably know a thing or two about infinity

Sir Richard Bishop (of Sun City Girls and a ton of solo work) and W. David Oliphant (of Life Garden, Maybe Mental, and a ton of solo work) have been friends forever. This is assuming that you live in a reality that began in 1981, the year the two met through Phoenix, AZ’s experimental music scene. Though the two have worked together before, they have never collaborated directly as a duo. UNTIL NOW. Feign surprise as if you have not read the headline of this story.

On August 21, the duo will release their first collaborative album Beyond All Defects through their own ChodpaMedia label. The set was recorded last December in Phoenix, with Bishop playing acoustic guitar and Oliphant producing sounds through computer software and a MIDI controller. Bishop’s guitar on the record was frequently detuned, bowed, and beaten, as “treated” by Oliphant. Though no specific plans for future releases have been announced (because let’s not get ahead of ourselves here), the album is meant to be the first in a series of records from the duo.

The songs on Beyond Defects were inspired by the concepts of Tibetan Buddhism, in particular the Dzogchen body of teachings. Additionally, many of the musical ideas presented on the record derived from dreams the duo had the night before recording. If this all sounds a little too high-minded for you, keep in mind that the impetus behind the collaboration was Bishop’s desire for “big-ass Tibetan horn sounds.”

Interested parties may pre-order the record here. The first 200 pre-ordered copies of the album will be packaged with a limited edition set of 4” x 6” cards inside a stamped cloth bag. Eight of the nine cards feature images that influenced the duo in creating the album, while the remaining card features hand-signed signatures from Bishop and Oliphant. If you’ve been looking to complete your “Arizona Experimental Musicians Autograph Collection,” then your day has come.

• Sir Richard Bishop:
• W. David Oliphant:
• ChodpaMedia:

Providence DIY venue Fort Thunder, early home to Lightning Bolt and Mindflayer, releases photo archive; meanwhile, my Doctor Thunder photo collection goes criminally underappreciated

Every day for seven years, I drank a whole case of the off-brand Doctor Pepper rip-off Doctor Thunder. Before going to bed every night, I built a new sculpture out of the defeated cans. And every night, I took a picture of that statue. And every morning, I put that picture on the internet. And every afternoon, my on-site counter reported zero views. And every evening, I shed some tears and began the process anew. This is my life. This is real.

But enough of my sob story! As Ad Hoc reports, there’s a new thunder-centric online gallery out there and, hey, maybe you’ll actually want to look at this one. Between 1995 and 2001, there existed a Providence, RI-based art space called Fort Thunder. Local noise-rock acts such as Lightning Bolt and Mindflayer lived, worked, and played at this space, which was housed in the second-floor warehouse of an abandoned textile factory. During Fort Thunder’s heyday, a number of photos of the venue were taken and, now, those photos are available in an online gallery. Not to spoil anything, but the defunct venue does look like it really was a pretty awesome art haven. Apparently, it is now a Staples parking lot. That is nearly as depressing as my life as a Doctor Thunder artist.

• Fort Thunder Gallery:

Beck soundtracks new PlayStation 3 game. Deadmau5 too. Anyone care?

Welcome to the future, where our music stars must participate in as many media forums as possible in order to try and stay afloat in the sea of perceived relevancy. Yes, FACT reports that Beck, the once-great folk rapper, will be contributing three songs to the upcoming Playstation 3 release Sound Shapes. At least the game appears to be music-related.

Coming to consoles on August 7, the Pyramid Attack-developed game will feature levels where players can ‘play’ the new Beck tunes. The new tracks are titled “Cities,” “Spiral Staircase,” and “Touch People.” Based on the promotional video that shows two dudes playing the game on a PSP (never a dull moment in the 3+ minute running time), the songs will create the physical levels that players will traverse, unlocking parts of the track as they interact with various surfaces. Additionally, players can create their own levels from instruments and samples that the game provides, including samples from America’s giant mouse head-wearing sweetheart, Deadmau5.

Just like watching other people play video games, the experience is sure to leave you wanting more. Actually, it kind of looks like Angry Birds for music geeks, so maybe Beck’s on to something…

• Beck:
• Pyramid Attack:

Thurston Moore joins Twilight; pre-teen girls around the world say “What?”

There are so many lame jokes to be made about Thurston Moore joining Twilight. Like, for example, I could talk about vampires. Or plasticine non-threatening teen heartthrob werewolves. Or The Greatest News Story of Our Time, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s custody dispute over their dog. (Yes, this is an actual thing that’s happening. It showed up when I googled Pattinson because I wasn’t sure how to spell his name.) But who needs lame jokes and sexy Mormon vampires when the truth is so much more glittering, more exciting, and straight up more… METAL? Because, you see, Moore is joining black metal supergroup Twilight, along with singer/guitarist Blake Judd (Nachtmystium), Stavros Giannopoulos (The Atlas Moth), Jef Whitehead a.k.a. Wrest (Leviathan), Imperial (Neil Jameson from Krieg), and producer Sanford Parker. Your new metal overlords will be taking to the studio in August to work on this fall’s forthcoming album for Century Media.

Judd is very excited about the addition of Moore to the lineup. Like, OMG!!!!! excited. As he told 1st Five, “I had Sonic Youth records when I was 12. And to now know that, not only am I having a dialogue with this person about anything, but dude’s gonna join a band I started, and it’s like… whoah. Fucking amazing, amazing feeling.” The two are acquainted through Sanford, who ran a studio with Sonic Youth’s soundman Jeremy Lemos, and spent a lot of time shopping for black woolen capes with one another. In other Thurston Moore related news, dude is now playing with Chelsea Light Moving, his new band that’s signed to Matador. And fans can expect a September 25 release from YOKOKIMTHURSTON, the collaboration between Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon, and Thurston Moore before Sonic Youth called Time Out. Additionally, Lee Ranaldo has told reporters that Sonic Youth is prepping a live album and tour film, despite the fact that they’re still on hiatus.

• Twilight:
• Thurston Moore:
• Century Media: