Death Grips planning two full-lengths for 2012; first album set for April release! Mmm… grips.

Death Grips planning two full-lengths for 2012; first album set for April release! Mmm... grips.

Death Grips found an open spot in our armor last year and “plunged their knife deep into our appendix, twisting the knife twice as we howled in agony” by way of a freely distributed mixtape called Exmilitary. That album was loved in secret around the TMT offices and only in December was the public informed of what we’d known all along: that Exmilitary deserved no more and no less than the #22 spot on our year-end list.

Now, Death Grips have announced their intentions to “take advantage of our agonized screams following last year’s knifing to cleave our heads off our necks” by way of TWO full-length, world-distributed albums before the year is through. To prove that these threats weren’t idle, a song/video was debuted on their site called “Blackjack” and a general first-album release date of April was tossed out to “ensure paralysis.”

You can check out “Blackjack” below, and don’t forget to grab Black Google while you’re waiting, which lays out the instrumentals/acapellas/stems of Exmilitary for free. No word yet on a nine-vinyl series of remixes, so there’s still time to make the cut.

• Death Grips:

[Photo: Ryan Pollock]

Metallica announce their own two-day festival in Atlantic City and put Liturgy on the bill just to see how mad real metal dudes get

James Hetfield and his raw-as-hell gang of metal miscreants are proving that they’re as TROO as TROO METAL gets with the announcement of a two-day festival on June 23-24 featuring such brutal acts as Best Coast, Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys, and other aesthetically disciplined hard-asses. Metallica will headline both nights in Atlantic City, naturally, and they’re planning on playing The Black Album and Ride the Lightning in their entirety during it. The festival is called Orion Music + More, as you can see by the metal-as-shit logo above that shows off some bitchin’ sound wave visualization (the same visualization you might be looking at to see exactly how brick-wall fucked the frequency range is on Metallica’s latest album).

Along with being a truly “metal only” music event, the Orion Music + More festival will “feature a lifestyle element showcasing the band’s individual interests” — I’m no expert, but having watched Some Kind of Monster I think this means there’ll be horseback riding for Kirk Hammett’s fans and anger management personal psychiatrists for everyone else. Head to the official festival site to see the various ticket deals depending on how big you want your VIP status to be displayed on your Metallica lanyard.

Lineup so far:

Arctic Monkeys
Avenged Sevenfold
Modest Mouse
The Gaslight Anthem
Cage the Elephant
Fucked Up
Best Coast
Hot Snakes
Titus Andronicus
Gary Clark Jr.
Roky Erickson
The Black Angels
The Sword
A Place to Bury Strangers

• Metallica:
• Orion Music + More:

Islands work real hard to get back into your pants with a Valentine’s Day surprise: new album and sexxxy, intimate tour

It’s been a good three years since we last heard from that old flame, Islands. Their 2009 record Vapours was another solid outing of frenetic pop, but then they just stopped calling and we thought things had run their course. Sure, we were upset, but there are other fish in the sea. And then just when we’re really, truly over it, they come waltzing back into our lives. At least they’re certainly trying this time.

Here’s what they have planned for Valentine’s Day: their new album, A Sleep & A Forgetting, will be released on ANTI-, then they’re embarking on an extensive North American Tour. How do we know it’ll be different this time? Well, lead man Nick Thorburn moved to the sunny environs of Los Angeles from New York, and the change in scenery has altered Islands’ tone. Prefix recently talked to Thorburn, who noted that “[t]he record deals with loss, with memory and forgetting and with dreaming.” I think he’s talking about our time together.

Let’s not get our hopes up, but it really seems like this is the real deal! heck out Islands when they roll through your town this unseasonably warm winter to be sure.

02.14.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theatre
02.15.12 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
02.17.12 - Austin, TX - St David’s Episcopal Church
02.18.12 - Dallas, TX - Sons of Herman Hall
02.20.12 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
02.21.12 - Chapel Hill, NC - TBA
02.22.12 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
02.23.12 - Baltimore, MD - TBA
02.24.12 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Chapel
02.25.12 - New York, NY - TBA
02.26.12 - Hamden, CT - The Space
02.27.12 - Montreal, QC - Cabaret du Mile End
02.28.12 - Toronto, ON - Music Gallery
02.29.12 - Pontiac, MI - Magnetic Recording
03.01.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
03.02.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St Entry
03.03.12 - Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
03.05.12 - Edmonton, AB - The Haven Social Club
03.06.12 - Calgary, AB - The Ironwood
03.08.12 - Vancouver, BC - Rio Theatre
03.10.12 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project
03.11.12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
03.13.12 - San Francisco, CA - Hotel Utah
03.14.12 - San Diego, CA - TBA

• Islands:
• ANTI-:

Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi continue their endless traverse of the frequency range with Imikuzushi

Wouldn’t the United Nations be so much more worthwhile of an organization if each country, instead of electing the most diplomatic and politically aware citizens to serve as ambassador, altered their criteria in order to place a completely irrelevant emphasis on one’s ability to musically improvise? Additionally, in order to overcome those pesky language barriers, each representative would be required to “speak” through the positive or negative tones of their respective instruments. Here’s how that would hypothetically play out: “In response to the continued human rights abuses by the leader of Hullabalooistan, the gentleman from neighboring Republic of Gibberishtania is recognized.” *BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BRRRRRRRRRR*

For the purpose of a coherent segway, the yearly collaboration between Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi represents something of a mini-UN in its own respect, with the three patriots of experimentation hailing from Japan, the US, and Australia, respectively. When it comes to how these three individuals came to work together, your guess is as good as mine, but speaking on behalf of free improv enthusiasts everywhere (is that okay?), it’s most definitely a welcome meeting of minds — one which continues with the release of Imikuzushi on February 28 via Black Truffle Records, who previously released the trio’s Tima Formosa (TMT Review and In a flash everything comes together as one there is no need for a subject.

In addition to using all of the appropriate adjectives — “hypnotic,” “pounding,” “intense,” “transcendent” — Melbourne-based songwriter and musician Francis Plagne describes the album as “four unedited excerpts salvaged from an epic show that lasted well over three hours, the sometimes raw nature of the recording only adds to its directness and harshly emotive quality.” Personally, I’d like to see the trio take a subtle cue from Boris and make a pop-inspired album. I realize how implausible that sounds.

• Jim O’Rourke:
• Oren Ambarchi:
• Keiji Haino:
• Black Truffle:

Spanish Prisoners haven’t announced all their tourdates yet; they need a van first!

Back in October, Spanish Prisoners released their album, Gold Fools, exclusively via Bandcamp, an album bursting with kaleidoscopic dream pop and psychedelic charm. They’re beyond jazzed about hitting the road for a very first tour, which will include an appearance at SXSW; however, they’re in the market for some good ol’ fashioned transportation. Nothing too wild like an ice cream truck or a school bus, just a reliable tour van.

Here’s where you come in: the band has started a Kickstarter project to raise money for this van. Maybe they’ll bake you cookies or knit you a scarf if you donate, but I know for sure that supporters will receive access to Spanish Prisoners’ Van Song Project. They plan to record a new song inside the van every day while on tour, and they’ll post photos, videos, and journal entries too, so it’ll almost be like you’re on tour too. Sort of.


02.24.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory
03.09.12 - Asheville, NC - Warehouse #10 &

% Snowmine
& Alligator Indian

• Spanish Prisoners:

Archers of Loaf continue reunion tour, empowered by the mystical energy of the ancient pumping fist

It’s an open secret in the world of indie rock that legendary North Carolina outfit Archers of Loaf are members of The Order of the Ancient Pumping Fist, a shadowy religion centered around the titular fist. All hail the fist! Pumping the fist is good! Crossing your arms is bad! Last year, the high priest of the fist told Archers of Loaf that the fist demanded a reunion tour. Fist, thy will be done! The tour happened and the fist was sated.

But truly, the fist was sated only briefly. It needed more energy. So, Archers of Loaf are going on tour again. That’s how it gets energy, duhhhhhh. How else would a magical, constantly psyched fist get its energy? There’s no other way! As such, Archers of Loaf have a smattering of dates throughout the next few months. These dates are bookended by the festivals Noise Pop and Primavera Sound, a.k.a. the two holiest places in the Pumping Fist religion.

Merge will reissue the band’s 1995 record Vee Vee on February 21, following up the reissue last year of their debut Icky Mettle. Reissues of the band’s last two records, All The Nation’s Airports and White Trash Heroes, will follow later in the year. None of these reissues have anything to do with The Fist. The Fist cares not for such things.

Archers of Loaf dates:

02.25.12 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall (Noise Pop) *
02.26.12 - West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour *
04.26.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
04.27.12 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
04.28.12 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
04.29.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
05.10.12 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
05.11.12 - Saxapahaw, NC - Haw River Ballroom
05.12.12 - Raleigh, NC - King’s Royal Barcade
05.30.12-06.03.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound

* Hospitality

• Archers of Loaf:
• Merge:



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