Devendra Banhart perks up his fluttery voice, announces new full-length album Mala

Devendra Banhart perks up his fluttery voice, announces new full-length album Mala

Devendra Banhart’s foray into the soul-crushing world of major record labels must’ve left him a bit shell-shocked, because since the release of What Will Be (TMT Review) in 2009, courtesy of Warner Bros, he’s been mostly, but not entirely, missing in action — popping up now and again for both short-lived collaborations and abbreviated (in my personal experience) live performances. He opened for Swans in Los Angeles about a year-and-a-half ago, and if I recall correctly, illness prevented him from exceeding the 20-minute mark. Or maybe, just maybe… he was symbolically expressing how sick he was of all the suits representing him! I’ve been reading too many novels lately.

2013 will see the formal return of that Spanish-speaking folk musician. On an as-yet unspecified date, Banhart will be releasing Mala on Nonesuch. He and bandmate Noah Georgeson produced the album, and that’s about it as far as details go at the moment. Stay tuned!

• Devendra Banhart:
• Nonesuch:

Das Racist break up, dissipating into mist and then transforming into a box of pizza and a sack of tacos

My heart has been chopped up and sprinkled on a pizza. That pizza has been stuck inside a taco. Now that taco has been consumed and, as you may recall, my heart was inside that taco. What I’m trying to say here is that, as reported by Stereogum, Das Racist have broken up. Before splitting, the group put out two mixtapes and one album, along with a song you love/hate.

Eschewing any sort of formal press release, the announcement of Das Racist’s split came during Munich’s On3 Festival, where the group was scheduled to perform. Instead, Das Racist member Heems did a solo set, in which he prefaced his performance of Das Racist songs by saying the group had broken up. Which, based on the group’s history, could have easily been a joke. Except that the group’s other primary MC Kool A.D. later tweeted that he had quit the group months ago, though was instructed not to talk about it. So it’s probably not a joke. In an interview with Spin, Das Racist’s hypeman Dapwell spoke about their break-up. So it’s definitely not a joke. According to Dapwell, the group had plans for a second full-length, a farewell tour, and a TV show, but those plans have all been scrapped.

Though Das Racist is no more, it’s unlikely that any of its members will disappear any time soon. Both Heems and Kool A.D. have each put out two solo mixtapes this year. Furthermore, Heems runs the Greedhead labels, which seems to be doing just fine for itself. As for Dapwell, I’m sure he’ll pop up again, just like Batman.

• Das Racist:

2013 Grammy Awards nominees list revealed: dearly departed LMFAO honored among other indie groups

The pageantry! The Ke$ha! The music, maaaaan! That’s right, America’s annual experiment in musical soul-searching — the Grammy Awards — is just around the corner. And this year, America’s got a lot to answer for! Like, come on, seriously, THIS is what you came up with for electronica nominees? And wow, why do so many of these songs have such idiotic names? But there are also many things to be excited about. For example, who will the good boys and girls of Grammy High nominate to be this year’s King of the Grammys? Coldplay or Frank Ocean? The nerd with a heart of gold or the douchey football captain? (Not saying either one corresponds with either high school stereotype; don’t sue me, Chris Martin. Love ya, Frank.)

This year’s list of nominees skews a little bit younger and a smidgen cooler. Nearly all the “Best Album” nominees could be considered “indie” under the right light; you’ve got yer Mumford & Sons vs. Jack White vs. fun. vs. The Black Keys vs. Frank Ocean. You’ve got Björk and Gotye going head to head for Best Alternative Album. You’ve got the haunting realization that Drake actually named a song “HYFR (Hell Ya F***ing Right).” Oh, and did I mention party rockers from hell LMFAO are up for an award? Award as in “being rewarded for something positive”? But that’s the magic of the Grammys, see! Just when you sink into your comfortable “Ooh, let’s see if M83 wins” awards show hole, they throw a “Sexy and I Know It” in there. Keepin’ ya on your toes, like. Check out the full list of nominations over at Billboard.

• Grammy:

RIP: Dave Brubeck, jazz pianist

From the Chicago Tribune:

Dave Brubeck, a jazz musician who attained pop-star acclaim with recordings such as “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” died Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Conn., said his longtime manager-producer-conductor Russell Gloyd.

Brubeck was one day short of his 92nd birthday. He died of heart failure, en route to “a regular treatment with his cardiologist,” said Gloyd.

Throughout his career, Brubeck defied conventions long imposed on jazz musicians. The tricky meters he played in “Take Five” and other works transcended standard conceptions of swing rhythm.

The extended choral/symphonic works he penned and performed around the world took him well outside the accepted boundaries of jazz. And the concerts he brought to colleges across the country in the 1950s shattered the then-long-held notion that jazz had no place in academia.

• Dave Brubeck:

Passion Pit and Matt & Kim announce tour through fits of giggles

Like two beings of pure energy colliding into each other, causing a blinding flash of white light, Passion Pit and Matt & Kim have gotten together to go on a North American tour this coming February. Which is good, because the sheer amount of energy produced by the two giddy-but-in-kind-of-a-nervous-way groups should be able to heat thousands of homes during this cold winter. All citizens benefit from this tour. Even if, you know, you’re not really into Passion Pit or Matt & Kim.

Passion Pit will be headlining the dates, making this the band’s largest headlining tour yet. Matt & Kim will open every date, while probably also being on-hand to pep talk Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos. Both bands released a new record earlier in the year, with Passion Pit having put out Gossamer (TMT Review) in the summer and Matt & Kim having released Lightning just last month.

Passion Pit and Matt & Kim dates:

02.05.13 - Norfolk, VA - NorVa
02.08.13 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
02.09.13 - Boston, MA - Agganis Arena
02.12.13 - Portland, ME - State Theater
02.15.13 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
02.16.13 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
02.18.13 - Rochester, NY - Main Street Armory
02.23.13 - Madison, WI - Orpheum
02.25.13 - Columbia, MO - Jesse Auditorium
02.28.13 - Ames, IA - Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State
03.01.13 - Denver, CO - First Bank Center
03.02.13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Complex

• Passion Pit:
• Matt & Kim:

Ducktails unveils new track with guests abound, announces The Flower Lane release party, European tour

2012 was a quiet year for Ducktails, relatively speaking. Perhaps he just flew south last winter and decided to extend his vacation for the duration of the year, or perhaps he appreciates the fact that silence breeds anticipation, and he’s simply preparing for an eventful reemergence at the beginning of 2013. All evidence (such as the fact that Ducktails a.k.a. Matthew Mondanile isn’t actually a duck and therefore doesn’t have the behavioral impulse to fly south) points to the latter.

About two months ago we reported on the announcement of The Flower Lane, Ducktails’ newest full-length album, due out January 29 on Domino. This time around, he shares with the world a new track, “Letter of Intent,” featuring Oneohtrix Point Never on synth, Joel Ford on bass, and vocals from Future Shuttle’s Jessa Farkas. He also offers some exciting news for people within the vicinity of NYC, as well as inhabitants of that soooo generally not-tropical continent, Europe.

January 23 coincides with The Flower Lane’s record release party at New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge, and the event will feature every guest musician, along with Ducktails himself, of course, performing the album in full. The following month, in mid-February, Ducktails will embark on a short European tour, bringing his carefree vibes all up in Germany’s collectively stoic face (though I’m sure they’ll appreciate it, deep inside). Check out the dates and listen to “Letter of Intent” below.


01.23.13 - New York, NY - (Le) Poisson Rouge
02.15.13 - Paris, France - Maroquinerie
02.16.13 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
02.17.13 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
02.18.13 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Merleyn
02.19.13 - Hamburg, Germany - Prinzenbar
02.20.13 - Berlin, Germany - Haus Ungarn (EX.-HBC)
02.22.13 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Frost
02.24.13 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store
02.25.13 - London, UK - The Lexington

• Ducktails:
• Domino:

[Photo: Robert Altman]