Cassette Store Day expands to the US for its second year, but people still can’t find cassette stores

Cassette Store Day expands to the US for its second year, but people still can't find cassette stores

Originally conceived in the UK, last year’s inaugural Cassette Store Day obviously didn’t have the same financial or cultural impact as its big brother, Record Store Day. Still, more than 28 shops — including Rough Trade in London — got involved by carrying around 50 limited-edition tape releases. Now, you’re probably wondering what a “cassette store” is, and how that might be different from your typical record store. But tape stores are spreading faster than froyo parlors, baby, and this year’s Cassette Store Day promises to be bigger than ever.

This September 27 — also my brother Andrew’s birthday, who is indifferent to cassettes, so please don’t buy him any — both the UK and US will have stores participating in the event, with Fullerton, California label and shop Burger Records handling the US festivities. Speaking on behalf of the holiday, Burger stated, “We’ve built our foundation on the forgotten format and have been preaching the merits of warm analog cassette culture for years. We’re honored to be ambassadors of Cassette Store Day 2014 in the good ol USA!” Burger, the honor is ours. And if there’s anything more American than a record label called Burger expressing their love for a niche media format, then God bless ‘em. Plus, tapes are so much easier to ship after you sell them on eBay, right? Everyone wins.

• Cassette Store Day:
• Burger:

The New Pornographers announce new album Brill Bruisers for August, commit to more Google Hangouts together in the future

Sigh. You know how it is when you’re in a SUPERGROUP like The New Pornographers: you make a thing, then you tour it a bit (maybe!), then you disband for several years because all of the individual members have shit going on and cool urban children to neglectfully raise and spiritual goals to pursue and various drugs to do… then you shamble back together (mostly via Gmail at first) and kick a few demo ideas around on the internet, eventually culminating some four years later with a new album that you tell yourself is full of “the best artistic compromises possible,” and the whole crazy cycle just starts again from there!

Oh wait, you don’t know how that is at all??? Er. Right. Me neither. In that case: The New Pornographers’ (a supergroup) newest album, Brill Bruisers, will be released August 26 via Matador. It is indeed the first new album in four years from songwriter A.C. Newman… and Neko Case and Dan Bejar… er, and Blaine Thurier and John Collins and Kathryn Calder and Kurt Dahle and Todd Fancey… a truly SUPER group of people! You can check out the art above and title track below. Super!

But in case you’d rather listen to people talk about what the album sounds like than simply listen to what the album sounds like: “This is a celebration record,” Newman says. “After periods of difficulty, I am at a place where nothing in my life is dragging me down and the music reflects that.” How nice! The thing was produced by Collins and Newman and was recorded “primarily at Little Blue in Woodstock, NY and at JC/DC Studios in Vancouver B.C. with additional recording in Austin, Brooklyn and Vermont,” which sounds pretty fittingly all-over-the-map (literally) and supergroupy.

ALSO: in addition to all of the usual rigmarole, the album will also see release as a super-duper “limited edition multi-colored ‘paint splattered’ vinyl” (which you can pre-order at their site) and some accompanying 3D artwork and glasses. ALSO, ALSO: there’s gonna be a supernice supersized tour once the thing drops. The cycle perpetuates.

Brill Bruisers tracklisting:

01. Brill Bruisers
02. Champions of Red Wine
03. Fantasy Fools
04. War on the East Coast
05. Backstairs
06. Marching Orders
07. Another Drug Deal of the Heart
08. Born with a Sound
09. Wide Eyes
10. Dancehall Domine
11. Spidyr
12. Hi-Rise
13. You Tell Me Where

Tour dates:

07.18-20.14 - Pemberton, BC - Pemberton Music Festival
08.29-31.14 - Edmonton, AB - Sonic Boom Festival
09.06.14 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre
09.06-07.14 - Toronto, ON - Riot Fest
10.05-06.14 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox *
10.08.14 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom *
10.09.14 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory *
10.10.14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot *
10.11.14 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre *
10.13.14 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom *
10.14.14 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre *
10.15.14 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace *
10.17.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern *
10.18.14 - San Diego, CA - North Park Theatre *
11.04.14 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom *
11.05.14 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel *
11.06.14 - Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theatre *
11.07.14 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre *
11.07-09.14 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
11.10.14 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant *
11.11.14 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown *
11.13.14 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater *
11.14.14 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre *
11.15.14 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues *
11.17.14 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom *
11.19.14 - Boston, MA - House of Blues *
11.20.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *
11.21.14 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
11.23.14 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle *

* The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

• The New Pornographers:
• Matador:

A nominal legal victory over our corporate ticketing overlords Ticketmaster returns about $2 to your pocket

People say miracles don’t happen anymore. But that’s not true. This is some Moses parting the Red Sea shit here. This is some Jesus feeding 10,000 people from an ever-multiplying few rolls of bread and fish or whatever. This is like that movie where a maaaaagical reindeer gets lost from the North Pole and mends a broken family again. (That’s how that movie went, right? I mean, one assumes.) This is… the TRUE STORY of Ticketmaster reaching a settlement in the 2009 class action lawsuit filed against the money-sucking behemoth by a few customers who were like, “stop charging me $19 in ticket fees on a ticket that cost $32 originally.” (In other words, the plaintiffs rightly claimed that Ticketmaster inflated online fees exclusively to make some mad dough.)

Okay, so it’s not quite a reindeer/Moses/Jesus-level miracle. It’s more of an “I found a parking spot at Whole Foods without circling the f**king parking lot for 15 minutes” kind of miracle. A “yessssss, the cashier at Chipotle forgot to charge me for guacamole” kind of miracle. But it’s something, innit? So now Ticketmaster is going to pay out $400 million to customers who bought tickets online between 1999-2013… but it’s like this. The company is willing to issue 161 million $2.25 credits and up to 4.9 million $5 credits, but people have to spend money to redeem these credits and OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. If less than $10.5 million is redeemed within a year, Ticketmaster will throw a pizza party for users or something. (Actually they will make some events free for lawsuit participants. USA! USA!)

The Afghan Whigs go on tour in support of Do to the Beast, THEY GONNA DO IT TO THAT BEAST YA HEARD

Watch out, the beast! You’re going get it done to you! What does that mean? Hell if I know, but The Afghan Whigs probably do. One would hope, considering they just put out a new record, their first since reuniting, called Do to the Beast. Hopefully, they didn’t name it that because they’re “just being random.” Cut that out, Afghan Whigs. That’s what Hot Topic teenagers do. You’re grown men.

With Do to the Beast (WHICH I’M SURE HAS A VERY MEANINGFUL EXPLANATION) out, it’s time for Afghan Whigs to tour on it. And, boy oh boy, they are touring on it! Seriously, The Afghan Whigs are playing a pretty enormous amount of dates. They’re going to Europe! They’re going to the UK! And they’re going to America, which isn’t that impressive what with them being from America, but they are going to a lot of America! Lots of states. Not most of the states. But a lot of them. Do to the beast, guys.

The Afghan Whigs dates:

06.28.14 - Norrkoping, Sweden - Bravalla Festival
06.29.14 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
06.30.14 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Amager Bio
07.02.14 - Berlin, Germany - C-Club
07.03.14 - Gdynia, Poland - Open’er Festival
07.04.14 - Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic - Rock For People
07.05.14 - Sopron, Hungary - Volt Festival
07.07.14 - Milan, Italy - Magnolia
07.10.14 - Novi Sad, Serbia - Exit Festival
07.11.14 - Trencin, Slovakia - Pohoda Festival
07.12.14 - Russelsheim, Germany - Phono Pop Festival
07.13.14 - Bruges, Belgium - Cactus Festival
07.14.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
07.15.14 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom
07.17.14 - Manchester, UK - Cathedral
07.18.14 - Glasgow, UK - O2 ABC
07.19.14 - Suffolk, UK - Latitude Festival
07.20.14 - Dublin, Ireland - Longitude Festival
08.26-27.14 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
08.29.14 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
08.30.14 - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
09.03.14 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
09.05.14 - Montreal, QC - Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre
09.06.14 - Toronto, ON - Riot Fest Toronto
09.09.14 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
09.10.14 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
09.12.14 - St. Louis, MO - Ready Room
09.16.14 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom
09.18.14 - Orlando, FL - The Beacham
09.19.14 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage
09.20.14 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre
09.26.14 - Cincinnati, OH - Mid Point Music Festival
09.27.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Small’s Theatre
10.01.14 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10.03.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
10.04.14 - New York, NY - Beacon Theater
10.07.14 - Chapel Hill, NC - Cats Cradle
10.08.14 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
10.22.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
10.24.14 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
10.25.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Fonda Theatre
10.28.14 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10.29.14 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
10.31.14 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk

• The Afghan Whigs:
• Sub Pop:

[Photo: Nación Rock]

New Media Art and Sound Summit 2014: Noveller, Gary Wilson, Xander Harris, and more gather for Austin’s sixth annual brain reshaping

Casper-inspired though the organization may be, Austin’s Church of the Friendly Ghost specializes in something much less pure than the nature of that ghost’s character: “counter culture expression,” which is appreciated in a society where channels like TLC exist and have subsisting ratings, and where irrelevant celebrity weddings garner the attention of even the so-called 24/7 “news” networks. Enough about Kim and Kanye and whatever absurd but also really fascinating (as a case-study) conversations they be must having; what are the real artists/bohemians/sound experimenters doing?

The non-profit Church hosts a number of “future-minded” events throughout the year, but their most purposeful is the annual New Media Art & Sound Summit (NMASS), which will enjoy its sixth iteration like… now, essentially — June 12-14 at the Salvage Vanguard Theater (and in partnership with the Austin Museum of Digital Art). Attention is promised to directors and workshop-organizers alike, but on the (principal) aural side of things, check out the full line-up here. For the lazy: Noveller will be there, in addition to J.G. Thirlwell, spacey quartet S U R V I V E, and the nigh-unclassifiable Gary Wilson, among more than a dozen others.

Tickets and passes are available here, here, here, and here. Seems like a no-brainer for Austinites with a penchant for media-enhanced mind-expansion.

• New Media Art & Sound Summit:
• Church of the Friendly Ghost:
• Austin Museum of Digital Art:

Interpol announce 2014 US tour, team up with famous people for typical Illuminati new album BS

Comin’ atcha straight outta one of those “These Early-2000s-Era Things Will Make You Feel Old!!!!” lists, it’s Interpol! Which is great, because Interpol keep releasing great new albums that build on yet never seem stuck in that turbulent era and almost never make us feel like imminent death is only moments away after opening our politico boss’s mail from a shipper aligned with… oh God, what? Not even Ahhhhh the anthrax years. It’s really great to not be in the early-2000s anymore, isn’t it.

Anyway, this may seem like a crazier coincidence than Iraq not actually having weapons of mass destruction (I’m still on the early-00s thing, stay with me), but the band has just embarked on a super-ultra-lengthy tour to festivals and lovely cities all around the globe. And wouldn’t you know, they’ve got a new album, El Pintor, coming out on September 9 via Matador. It’s just crazy! First the tour, then this new, fifth studio album! Get this: the Spanish words “el pintor” (meaning “the painter”) are an anagram for Interpol! So many coincidences, it can only be further proof that the music industry, like politics, really IS controlled by the Illuminati (which is an anagram for “exercise logic, Beyoncé does not worship an owl god”!) I mean, there IS a song called “Ancient Ways.” And like all good albums, this one has a lot of SPECIAL PEOPLE on it (read: Illuminati), so here’s your list: producer James Brown (Arctic Monkeys), mixed by Alan Moulder (Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain), Mr. Paul Banks on bass, plus guests Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines), Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. (Jellyfish, Imperial Drag), and Rob Moose (Bon Iver). Here’s more on all that:

El Pintor tracklisting:

01. All the Rage Back Home
02. My Desire
03. Anywhere
04. Same Town, New Story
05. My Blue Supreme
06. Everything Is Wrong
07. Breaker 1
08. Ancient Ways
09. Tidal Wave
10. Twice as Hard


06.20.14 - Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands - The Best Kept Secret Festival
06.21.14 - Scheessel, Germany - Hurricane Festival
06.23.14 - Neuhausen, Germany - Southside Festival
06.24.14 - Paris, France - Alhambra
06.25.14 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom
06.27.14 - Pilton, UK - Glastonbury Music Festival
06.28.14 - Evreux, France - Rock Dans Tour Ses Etats
06.29.14 - Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Rock-A-Field
07.01.14 - Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof
07.02.14 - Gdynia, Poland - Open’er Festival
07.03.14 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07.06.14 - Werchter, Belgium - Rock Werchter
0708.14 - Nimes, France - Nimes Festival
07.10.14 - Lisbon, Portugal - Optimus Alive
07.12.14 - Keflavík, Iceland - All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland
07.25.14 - Byron Bay, Australia - Splendour in the Grass
08.01.14 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08.20.14 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
08.21.14 - Las Vegas, NV - The Pool at The Cosmopolitan
08.23.14 - Los Angeles, CA - FYF Fest
10.03.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits
10.10.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits

• Interpol:
• Matador:



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