Converse creates community recording studio in — where else? — Brooklyn

Converse creates community recording studio in — where else? — Brooklyn

There’s been a lot of talk in the last few years about age in music. These days, your parents haven’t heard of most of the artists you like, not because they’re particularly uncool (admit it — you pilfered all the Beatles and Velvet Underground records from your dad’s collection, and you’re not sorry), but because these new artists are 20 years old. Why this sudden influx of near-babies on college radio? Now that you can release an album without ever touching a guitar, we’re all superstars.

So maybe that was all a tad unfair. But things are definitely easier for kids — in Brooklyn, anyway. Converse recently announced the grand opening of a recording studio, Converse Rubber Tracks, for fledgling musicians in Brooklyn, scheduled for sometime before the end of 2010. Upon applying, bands and musicians can leave the garage and receive free studio time in a space on par with professional recording studios, equipped with local engineers to boot.

Do you want to buy a new pair of Chucks yet? Well, maybe this will help make hand meet wallet: the bands that earn the privilege of recording in Rubber Tracks won’t just be recording in a Garage Band vacuum. Converse will feature both confessional and rehearsal videos (Real World style: “Dude. Practicing today was hard.” and VH1 style: “We’re the Pomo Promotors — take two, ‘The World Is a Vampire from True Blood’!”), as well as “track-of-the-week features” and “behind-the-scenes footage.”

First Converse brought together Best Coast, Kid Cudi, and Vampire Weekend’s producer/guitarist, and now they’re offering free studio time to future Vampire Weekends in Williamsburg. Converse may be corporate, but I guess you can’t fault ‘em for at least trying to be cool.

So move to Brooklyn like you always said you would, apply for studio time, and make that Half Japanese tribute band a recorded reality!

• Converse:

The Flaming Lips’ “March of 1,000 Skeletons” rises from the dead for another Halloween

It’s that time of year again, when Oklahoma City is flooded with thousands of skeletons all carrying torches and marching down Main Street. That’s right, it’s time for The Flaming Lips’ “March of 1,000 Skeletons,” the annual tradition where the Lips lead a large group of fans, who are all dressed in pre-approved skeleton costumes and carrying flaming torches, through downtown Oklahoma City’s Bricktown district. The event, now in its fourth year, is scheduled for October 23 and is open to any fan over 18 years of age and willing to sign a waiver.

Do you want to march in the parade? Well, just head over to The Flaming Lips’ website and you’ll find everything you need to know about ordering your costume, where to show up, and all the rules and regulations for being a skeleton with a torch.

Be safe this Halloween, friends, and always remember: “Every skeleton will be carrying a torch with real fire. Anyone in the parade must be 18. Anyone in the parade must sign a waiver.”

• The Flaming Lips:

[Photo: Bryan Terry]

RIP: Solomon Burke, the King of Rock & Soul

From the the BBC:

US soul singer Solomon Burke, who wrote the classic song Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, has died at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport aged 70.

The former preacher turned singer had been due to perform at a well-known club in the city on Tuesday.

The self-proclaimed King of Rock & Soul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and won a Grammy in 2003.

Burke leaves behind 21 children and 90 grandchildren.

Dutch national broadcaster NOS said he died on a plane early on Sunday after arriving on a flight from Los Angeles.

The cause of death has not yet been announced.

• Solomon Burke:

Deerhoof announce new album, sign to Polyvinyl Records, and promise to help Headlights and Owen grow some balls

In a somewhat shocking move, Deerhoof announced today that they have left longtime label Kill Rock Stars for the peppy indie-pop pastures of Polyvinyl, who will release their new album, Deerhoof vs. Evil, on January 25, 2011. According to Polyvinyl’s website, Deerhoof recorded, mixed, and mastered the album in “practice spaces and basements with no engineers or outside input.” Way to keep it DIY, dudes! You can listen to their first single, “The Merry Barracks,” over at the Chocolate Grinder. Deerhoof foreshadowed the label jump when they announced last month a collaborative 7-inch with Busdriver on Polyvinyl.

Deerhoof vs. Evil is available for pre-order now from Polyvinyl, where you can purchase it on CD if you still live in 1996 or pressed on black or pink 180-gram vinyl, with a gatefold jacket for all you vinyl nerds. Keep in mind that the pink version is limited to 2000 copies! Meanwhile, Joyful Noise is releasing a tiny mix tape version, which is limited to only 500.

Deerhoof vs. Evil tracklist:

01. Qui Dorm, Només Somia
02. Behold a Marvel in the Darkness
03. The Merry Barracks
04. No One Asked to Dance
05. Let’s Dance the Jet
06. Super Duper Rescue Heads!
07. Must Fight Current
08. Secret Mobilization
09. Hey I Can
10. C’Moon
11. I Did Crimes for You
12. Almost Everyone, Almost Always

Remaining tourdates:

10.08.10 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place #
10.09.10 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street #
10.10.10 - Boston, MA - Paramount #
10.11.10 - Portland, ME - Space Gallery #
10.12.10 - Milford, CT - Daniel Street #
10.13.10 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
12.03-05.10 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties

# Xiu Xiu

• Deerhoof:
• Polyvinyl:

Black Francis unleashes The Golem rock album (and DVD) on the masses

16th century: Legend has it (or an expressionist German film, if you wanna get into particulars) that a rabbi in Prague created a golem to protect the Jewish people from persecution. This being the era before the publication of Frankenstein, before malevolent sentient computers were even a twinkle in unborn sci-fi nerds’ unborn eyes, the rabbi was, of course, toooootally not expecting his creation to go all wacko punk rock and try to DESTROY EVERYTHING.

1920: The aforementioned film comes out in Germany, with cinematography by Metropolis mastermind, Karl Freund.

1921-2007: Film forgotten. Golem sad. It’s hard out there for a mud man.

2008: The San Francisco International Film Festival revives (ugh, sorry: total dad joke) the film and recruits Black Francis to create a live score, which he later records at Hyde Street Studios.

2010: The Golem “rock album” is released onto an unsuspecting populace! (Dad jokes and golems just go hand in mud-hand, don’t they? Sorry.) The album features a one-hour ‘rock opera’ assembled from material from an earlier, limited-edition version of the album that was sold exclusively through the Black Francis web store, as well as a DVD. This new version will be available November 16 from Amazon and… the Black Francis web store.

The Golem tracklisting:

01. Miriam and Florian theme (version 2)
02. Makanujo
03. Bad News
04. The Flower Song
05. (Oh How I Wish I Could) Stay
06. The Word
07. Astaroth
08. The Obedient Servant
09. The Maharal
10. Little Stars Theme
11. Miriam and Florian
12. The Conjuring
13. Meet Me at the Ghetto Gates
14. Stars
15. Custom All the Way
16. You’re Gonna Pay
17. The Word (reprise)
18. The Maharal (reprise)

• Black Francis:

Broken Social Scene & The Sea and Cake make beautiful music together on new 7-inch — at least we hope it’ll be beautiful

Every once in a while, an intrepid duo comes together to make history. What would penguins be without seals? Nothing more than lonely tuxedoed Antarctic dwellers, without a cuddly (and possibly salivating… seals kinda eat penguins in the real, non-adorable world) swimming buddy to toss back a cold one and laugh it up over Bazooka Joe gum jokes. And in turn, where would Broken Social Scene be without The Sea and Cake? Without a brand-new split 7-inch, I’ll tell ya that much.

The two bands have been touring together, and The Sea and Cake’s John McEntire produced BSS’ latest album, Forgiveness Rock Record (TMT Review). Now, The Sea and Cake (whose Sam Prekop just released the Eureka!-worthy Old Punch Card [TMT Review]) are contributing a little number called “Skies” to go along with Broken Social Scene’s “Curse Your Fail.” You and your BFF (penguin/human/otherwise) can become the proud owners of both brand-spankin’-new tracks when Arts&Crafts releases the 7-inch on October 26. Preorder it here.

• Broken Social Scene:
• The Sea and Cake:
• Arts&Crafts: