Drag City reissuing Royal Trux’s 3-Song EP in June, could not be convinced to rename it

Drag City reissuing Royal Trux's 3-Song EP in June, could not be convinced to rename it http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1305/news-13-05-royal-trux.jpg

There seem to be two schools of thought concerning Royal Trux. One sees Accelerator (Drag City, 1998) as RT’s magnum opus, the long-awaited distillation of the heroin-damaged chaos that marked their earlier work; the other sees it as an album eight years past their prime, a perversely muted affair in comparison to the monomaniacal purity of 1990’s Twin Infinitives.

Regardless of the poison you pick — and don’t be fooled, it’s exactly that — you’re guaranteed a generous helping of hydrochloric substance. Royal Trux could always be counted on to provide an essence of something altogether broken, whole, dead, and alive all at once. Their sound? A nocturnal, Stooges-like mess of broken glass, smog, motor-oil, and frayed nerves. If Twin Infinitives was an exquisite corpse of shattered parts — the result of a monstrous structure collapsed from unbearable perversity — Accelerator was the sound of putting the Humpty Dumpty back together again. In the two records one can find both poles of the Royal Trux spectrum, a sort of diptych of their delightfully grotesque legacy.

Hanging somewhere in the void is everything else the band recorded, which includes 98’s 3-Song EP. After Accelerator’s unexpectedly warm reception, a tour was soon scheduled. This entailed assembling a full-fledged band, one made up of many Drag City players, most notably bassist David Pajo. After arriving at Royal Trux’s Virginia ranch for rehearsal, the newly formed band was hurriedly prepared for the recording of a new EP. The end result was the 3-Song EP, a relatively straightforward, proggy, and low-end heavy set of songs; which didn’t make them any less intoxicating, mind you. After all, it was still Royal Trux, for fuck’s sake.

The 3-Song EP has been rather difficult to track down as of late, being out of print for almost a decade. But! Drag City (swooping in to save the day) has been unearthing the Royal Trux archive piece by piece, and the next step will be reissuing the 3-Song EP on June 18.

And if you don’t already own the first few albums (as well as Accelerator) don’t worry, everything is going to be okay; you can still rectify your impoverished situation by picking them up at the Drag City store.

• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

Flying Lotus releases his newsworthy bowels: a jazz album, Brainfeeder compilation, and Captain Murphy tape are all in the works

So clear is the influence that when Flying Lotus says he’s on his “jazz shit,” and that he’s currently “doing a lot of jazz stuff,” the inclination is to sarcastically respond, “Well nooooooooooooooooo kidding,” acknowledging that his previous three albums were noticeably tinged by the genre, and of course, that he’s a relation of the Coltrane family. For a filmic analogy, it’d be like if director Michael Bay elucidated as to his “explosion” plans, and talked about how he’s currently “doing a lot of explosions.” Bay would then release his personal, feature-length version of the Robot Chicken parody, and everyone would be slightly relieved at this final and total indulgence of what is so clearly his obsession.

On a much more refined note, and expanding on now-confirmed rumors of working in the studio with jazz legend Herbie Hancock, Flying Lotus does appear to be working on a bonafide… something — possibly a jazz album. Here’s the relevant quotation from Steven Ellison himself:

Right now, I’m on my jazz shit, man. I’m doing a lot of jazz stuff. We’re trying to make something that’s kind of a geek album. There are crazy time signatures and really intense playing, just because we want to go there. We want to play really fast. It’s gonna be fun, man… At the moment, there’s a lot of people involved.

No, please, elevate my interest even further, Mr. Ellison.

There’s also a Brainfeeder compilation in the works, celebrating five years since the label’s inception, and a tape from Captain Murphy (Ellison’s rapping persona), featuring beats from Madlib, Hudson Mohawke, and Jeremiah Jae. Additionally, Apocalypse from Thundercat, which was produced by Flying Lotus, will be released on July 9. All of this looking forward can’t be good for the neck…

• Flying Lotus: http://flying-lotus.com
• Brainfeeder: http://www.brainfeedersite.com

Jim Jarmusch starts his own music project SQÜRL, readies debut EP for ATP, because suck it David Lynch!

I guess I don’t really know from firsthand experience, but if I had to smoke a bunch of weed and start monologue-ing about it at the top of a news story in order to pad it out a little (stop twsting my arm, readers!), I’d guess that one probably don’t end up being a film director/actor/writer/editor/etc. for 30+ years without getting the itch to score a film project or two with some sounds that you’re already hearing in your genius-y, grey-haired head. Besides: video takes up a LOT more space on a computer than audio does… so SOLID ASS LOGIC would dictate that making music must be like, 70% easier than making movies. Eh? Right? Right!

Anyway, so yeah, let’s all assume that what I’ve outlined above comprises the reasons why Jim Jarmusch — along with Carter Logan and Shane Stoneback — is starting a new project called SQÜRL and releasing a debut EP on May 20 courtesy of ATP (a festival for whom he’s already totally coincidentally also making an appearance at this summer) on “deluxe limited edition 12-inch Picture Disc vinyl with download (limited to 1000 hand-numbered copies), and digital download,” according to the band’s press release. Because heck, the only other motivations I could think of for the project would be to try and get in a crazier-names-for-things-contest with David Lynch. And I don’t really want that to be the reason. Do you?

Heck, I’m sure that press release will back me up here, won’t it? Let’s see… ah, here we go:

SQÜRL began in 2009 when Jim and Carter teamed with producer/engineer Shane to record some original music for the film THE LIMITS OF CONTROL. Echoing the varied Spanish landscapes captured in the film, the three emerged with a set of slow-motion psychedelic rock’n’roll songs (releasing them as Bad Rabbit).

Following these scoring sessions Jim, Shane, and Carter continued to record new originals while also exploring the back-alleys of American country, noise, and psychedelia. Now having changed their name to SQÜRL the group has readied a series of EPs of these songs, recorded over a 3 year period by Shane at Treefort Recording in Brooklyn, NY.

Ha, see? Makes perfect sense. Check out the first track below, and for god’s sake, stop making all this harder than it needs to be!

SQÜRL EP tracklisting:

01. Pink Dust
02. Dead Naked Hippies
03. Little Sister
04. Some Feedback For Jozef Van Wissem

• SQÜRL: https://www.facebook.com/squrlband
• Jim Jarmusch: http://www.jimjarmusch.com
• ATP: http://www.atpfestival.com/recordings.php

RIP: Chris Kelly a.k.a. Mac Daddy of Kriss Kross

From Mercury News:

Authorities in Georgia say Chris Kelly, a member of the 90s rap duo Kriss Cross, has died in Atlanta.

Investigator Betty Honey of the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office said the 34-year-old Kelley was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. Wednesday at the south campus of the Atlanta Medical Center.

Honey said authorities are unsure of Kelly’s cause of death and that an autopsy has yet to be performed.

Kelly, known as “Mac Daddy” performed alongside Chris Smith, known as “Daddy Mac,” in the early and mid-90s. The duo might be best remembered for the song “Jump” from their 1992 debut album, “Totally Krossed Out.”

• Kriss Kross: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Kross

Your town will get weirder when Pere Ubu come through this fall, fair warning

Pere Ubu’s weirdness is seemingly eternal. I mean, David Thomas’ monster has been a continuous presence in music since the mid-70s. Every time I see that they’ve come out with something new, like this year’s Lady From Shanghai on Fire Records (TMT Review), it’s a bit like the sun rising again each morning; comforting and expected.

I would say it’s surprising to hear that they’re touring again, but with their massive back catalogue and their previously stated hyper-activity it’s more like an expected present that is exactly what you wanted. At the very least, Pere Ubu is never boring, so seeing them live is a pretty safe bet. Maybe it won’t just be a “normal” show and they’ll do something like their soundtrack to It Came from Outer Space. Not terribly likely, as this is one band that tends not to do repeat performances, but something equally cool may be just around the corner. I mean, their first show of this run is at the same festival as Pharmakon, Spiritualized, and John Cale; anything can happen. The Ubu Projex “corporate slogan” is, after all, “Art is forever, the audience comes and goes.”

Pere Ubu fall tour:

09.06.13 - Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Music Festival
09.07.13 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
09.08.13 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
09.10.13 - Washington, DC - Rock And Roll Hotel
09.11.13 - Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
09.12.13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09.13.13 - Providence, RI - Fete Lounge
09.14.13 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
09.15.13 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Lounge
09.16.13 - Ottawa, ON - Maverick’s
09.17.13 - Montreal, QC - Le Cabaret du Mile End
09.18.13 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
09.19.13 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
09.20.13 - Detroit, MI - Trinosophes
09.21.13 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle

• Pere Ubu: http://ubuprojex.net
• Fire: http://www.firerecords.com

Beck to tease new album with a handful of acoustic shows this summer, just in case we need reminding that he’s folk sometimes

Let’s get something straight, guys. Beck hasn’t released an album since 2008’s good-ish-for-Beck-ish Modern Guilt (TMT Review). And no, whatever dumb bullshit like video game soundtracks and song books you have to play yourself don’t count. So yeah. It’s been five years. End of discussion! And while he dropped a few hints last year about kinda sorta working on a new one in his spare time, there’s been no real activity in his camp since. Until NOW!

See, he’s just announced a small smattering of solo acoustic shows this July — including one with Bob Dylan and Wilco for Dylan’s not-stupidly-titled-but-only-because-he’s-Dylan “AmericanaramA” tour — followed by two full-band sets in Boston and Brooklyn in August. And for all you cynical jerks out there (hi, mom!) who may be sardonically thinking “psssht, this little string of solo acoustic dates probably just is the new Beck album,” congratulations! You may not be far off! Upon perusing his most recent press release on the subject (tucked without fanfare in between the usual crap about him being a stylistic chameleon and his Song Reader thingy being genius or whatever), I found this shit:

In addition to acoustic renditions of some of Beck’s best loved classics, these very special performances will feature never before heard material from an upcoming acoustic record. The record can best be described as a self-contained work, one that came in the form of a burst of inspiration following the completion of last year’s groundbreaking Song Reader sheet music album.

Huh. So there you go. Go see him play some intimate, inspired new material this July on acoustic guitar, or watch him dance around to “Sexx Laws” this August. No easy choice.

Beck’s New Album Better Not Be a Tour 2013:

05.19.13 - Santa Cruz, CA - Rio Theatre
05.20.13 - San Francisco, CA - Davies Symphony Hall
07.02.13 - Paris, France - Days Off Festival
07.27.13 - Wantagh, NY - Americanarama Festival *
07.28.13 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival
07.30.13 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
08.02.13 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion ^
08.04.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Prospect Park Bandshell (Celebrate Brooklyn) ^

* Bob Dylan, Wilco, Ryan Bingham
^ Electric-as-fuck

• Beck: http://www.beck.com