Elliott Smith Friends and Family organize benefit concerts (featuring Jon Brion, Gus Van Sant, Grandaddy, and more) across four U.S. cities… but which ones?!? Damn, you’ll have to keep reading.

Elliott Smith Friends and Family organize benefit concerts (featuring Jon Brion, Gus Van Sant, Grandaddy, and more) across four U.S. cities. . . but which ones?!?  Damn, you'll have to keep reading. http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1306/news-13-06-elliott-smith.jpg

Bad news, man: it’s officially been 10 years since Elliott Smith’s passing. Yup; let that sink in. That’s a while. And what have you gotten done in the intervening years? Not a whole lot? That’s what I thought; me neither. Shit, right? Yeah… but not to worry! After all, heck, we’re still here, right? And don’t look now, but here comes our chance to get out there and DO SOMETHING.

A little group that calls itself the Friends and Family of Elliott Smith (comprised, believe it or not, of friends and family of the late singer/songwriter) have recently taken to the internet to announce a series of commemorative benefit concerts across four major US cities this August, collectively entitled No Name #1: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Elliott Smith. According to the press release, the event is being billed as a “four-city celebration for charity of Elliott’s incredible music, performed live in concert by his biggest fans and closest friends and collaborators.” The celebrations are going down August 4 through August 10 and correspond with what would have been Smith’s 44th birthday.

Kinda awesome and inspiring, right? And not only that, but this is going to be big, man. I’m talking over 100 musicians and artists gathering in Portland (August 4), Los Angeles (August 6), Austin (August 9), and New York City (August 10) to “play the songs that thrilled, comforted, inspired, and made the pre-smartphone generation feel a little less alone.” And on top of that, each event will benefit a specific local charity in that City and will feature the illustrious likes of Grandaddy, Gus Van Sant, Jon Brion, Rhett Miller, Chris Thile, and “dozens of other very special guests.” Sounds like a triple-win to me, right? Tickets are on sale now. For more info, click here. Come on, we can do this, friend! We’re gonna make it! Give me a huuuuuug! Okay; not really. But still. Yay!

No Name #1: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Elliott Smith dates:

08.04.13 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge (benefiting Outside In) *
08.06.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Largo (benefiting Free Arts for Abused Children) #
08.09.13 - Austin, TX - Scottish Rite Theater (benefiting the SIMS Foundation) %
08.10.13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (benefiting New Alternatives for LBGT Homeless Youth) $

* Gus Van Sant, members of Grandaddy, special guests
# Jon Brion, special guests
% Jody Denberg, members of Grandaddy, Lil’ Cap’n Travis, David Garza, special guests
$ Rhett Miller, Chris Thile, Mary Lou Lord, special guests

• Elliott Smith: http://www.sweetadeline.net
• Friends and Family of Elliott Smith: https://www.facebook.com/nonamenumberone

Suuns take over Europe, announce short but sweet US tour

Ahh the romance of the open road! The midnight truck stop dinners, the socks washed in motel room sinks, the bleary, drunk pleas after a show for a floor in a nice, non-murdery household for the band to crash in, you know, just for the night, we’ll buy you a six-pack blah blah blah. The babes! The booze! That scene in that one movie where the guy declares himself a “golden god” and falls into the pool or whatever (who even remembers anyway, that movie wasn’t that good, DEAL WITH IT). Such is the life of the touring indie rock band: a whirlwind of stank-ass vans, Cheeto crumbs, and DREAMS.

You know, a lot of bands go on tour for a couple weeks. A month maybe. Maybe they go to St. Louis. Maybe they go to Pennsylvania. If it’s 2013, they go to North Carolina to play Hopscotch. (Every band is playing Hopscotch this year.) But not Suuns. They’re not just playing Hopscotch, people. They’re playing the sexy parts of Canada. They’re playing a few East Coast dates. And they’re playing every single country in Europe — almost — including some that may or may not be only located in fairy tales. They’ve got a stop at Glastonbury! A stop at Montreal Jazz Fest! A stop at the seductively named Nuits Secretes fest in France. Ooooh secretes. Then it’s back to North America for a few tour dates… and maybe some new socks.


06.20.13 - Calgary, AB - Sled Island
06.23.13 - Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands - Best Kept Secret
06.27.13 - Norrkoping, Sweden - Bravalla Festival
06.28.13 - Marmande, France - Garorock
06.30.13 - Glastonbury, UK - Glastonbury Festival
07.02.13 - Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Rockhal
07.03.13 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Doornroosje
07.04.13 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang
07.05.13 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07.07.13 - Montreal, QC - Montreal Jazz Festival @ Soda Club
07.12.13 - Frankfurt, Germany - Phonopop
07.13.13 - Herk-De-Stadt, Belgium - Rock Herk
07.14.13 - Luzern, Switzerland - Schuur
07.15.13 - Ancona, Italy - Spilla Festival
07.16.13 - Ravenna, Italy - Hana-Bi
07.17.13 - Padova, Italy - Radar Festival
07.19.13 - Carhaix-Ploguer, France - Vieilles Charrues Festival
07.20.13 - Dour, Belgium - Dour Festival
07.21.13 - Salacgriva, Latvia - Positivus Festival
08.01.13 - Berlin, Germany - Puschen Festival
08.03.13 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Rotown
08.04.13 - Aulnoye-Aymeries, France - Nuits Secretes Festival
08.06.13 - Dresden, Germany - Beatpol
08.07.13 - Oberhausen, Germany - Druckluft
08.08.13 - Haldern-Rees, Germany - Hadern Pop
08.09.13 - Dudingen, Switzerland - Bad Bonn
08.10.13 - Castelbuono, Italy - Ypsigrock
08.13.13 - Kamnik, Slovenia - Kamfest @ The Kamnik Castle
08.14.13 - Vienna, Austria - Chelsea
08.15.13 - Innsbruck, Austria - Treibhaus
08.17.13 - Saint-Malo, France - La Route Du Rock
09.03.13 - New Haven, CT - Cafe Nine
09.04.13 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
09.05.13 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery
09.06-07.13 - Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Festival
09.08.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
09.09.13 - Allston, MA - Great Scott

• Suuns: http://suunsband.tumblr.com
• Secretly Canadian: http://www.secretlycanadian.com

Iron & Wine plan fall tour, nap aggressively in support of worthy causes

Iron & Wine a.k.a. Sam Beam and whichever group of his friends are not currently napping, have announced plans for a fall tour. After snacking on a hearty meal of rare steak (a great source of iron) and boxed zinfandel (which is a wine for all of you non-aficionados), the band will hit the road in support of Ghost on Ghost. Ghost on Ghost is of course the band’s daring concept album from earlier this year about the pleasures and pitfalls of ghost sex and the ghost porn industry. Ever the committed storyteller, Beam apparently spent almost two full years researching for the album by interviewing all the ghosts that he met. He says, “Most ghosts are actually friendly, though some can be real dicks. In the end, ghosts are just like people, honestly,” demonstrating the true depth of his scholarly investment in the album’s content.

But enough about the prurient appeal of the album. The Ghosts Are Honestly Just Like People Except for Maybe a Little Kinkier tour, which kicks off later this month, is about more than just ghosts repeatedly penetrating other ghosts. Iron & Wine’s upcoming tour will also lend a helping hand to two very worthy causes. The first is the Midwives Alliance of North America, for which the band will play a benefit concert in Austin in July. Next, The Alliance of Beleaguered Music News Writers In Favor of Everyone Just Picking One God Damn Way to Spell The Word Theat(re)(er), or TABMNWIFEJPOGDWSWT, will feel the weighty support of Iron & Wine throughout the month of September, as profits from those shows will support the alliance’s efforts. All my journalism instincts are raging against what I’m about to do, they’re telling me, “Taylor, you’ve got to stay objective and just tell people the facts,” but you know what? Screw it! TABMNWIFEJPOGDWSWT, you have my full support! After writing up the dates for this upcoming Iron & Wine tour, I just can’t take it anymore. Mr. Beam, I’ll see you in September!

Iron & Wine Dates:

06.23.13 - Los Angeles, CA - First Unitarian Church
06.24.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Jimmy Kimmel Live Mini-Concert
07.27.13 - Austin, TX - The Paramount Theatre(er) (Midwives Alliance of North America Benefit Concert)
09.18.13 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
09.19.13 - Winnipeg, MB - Pantages Playhouse Theater(re)
09.20.13 - Saskatoon, SK - The Odeon
09.21.13 - Calgary, AB - MacEwan Hall
09.22.13 - Edmonton, AB - Francis Winspear Centre
09.23.13 - Regina, SK - Orr Centre
09.24.13 - Fargo, ND - Fargo Theatre(er)
09.25.13 - Des Moines, IA - Hoyt-Sherman Theatre(er)
09.26.13 - Madison, WI - Capitol Theatre(er)
09.27.13 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre(er)
09.28.13 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
10.31.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre(er)
11.01.13 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater(re)
11.02.13 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
11.03.13 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
11.04.13 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre(er)
11.05.13 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theatre(er)
11.06.13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Saltair
11.07.13 - Denver, CO - Paramount Theatre(er)
11.09.13 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theatre(er)

• Iron & Wine: http://www.ironandwine.com

A match made in either heaven or hell: Sub Pop and TOMS release special Sub Pop Silver Jubilee shoes

Somewhere up in Hipster Heaven, the gentle strains of harp feedback pulse through the clouds, as too-cool angels in Ray-Bans spin chillwave tracks on their laptops and everything is painted with the nostalgic hues of a Wes Anderson film. This is the place where storks pick up the babies who will start their first noise rock bands at age five, where dreams of gourmet foodie donut shops and alcoholic milkshakes are sent out to those most worthy trendsetters and visionaries here on Earth. A place where Cool God himself (herself?) is literally putting together a match made in hipster heaven.

“Yeah, dude,” said Cool God, “I’m TOTALLY gonna get Sub Pop to partner up with TOMS shoes for a limited edition shoe collection to celebrate the label’s Silver Jubilee.” And yea! So it was. But what does this divinely inspired footwear look like? Well, come July 1, fans will be able to cop men’s gray lace-up Paseos, men’s classic navy slip-ons, and red classic slip-ons just for the ladies, all with a special Sub Pop design incorporated into the shoe. Each pair of shoes also comes with a nifty download card for an exclusive Sub Pop sampler, with new and hard-to-find tracks from people like Mudhoney, Shabazz Palaces, Father John Misty, Pissed Jeans, METZ, Shearwater, King Tuff, and much much more. (You also get that good TOMS brand feeling since for every pair of Fancy Guy TOMS Sub Pop shoes you buy, a needy child will also get a pair of some TOMS shoes.)

As Belinda Carlisle once sang, “Heaven is a place on Earth.” And on July 1, that place on Earth will be the TOMS flagship store in Venice, CA and Nordstrom’s flagship store in Seattle, WA. Heaven will also be online at the TOMS website. For those lucky enough to be attending Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee Fest in Seattle, the anniversary shoes will be on sale at the Nordstrom’s tent on July 13. The Fest goes from July 12-13 and benefits non-profit radio 90.3 KEXP FM, Northwest Harvest, and the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.

• Sub Pop: http://www.subpop.com
• TOMS: http://www.toms.com

Tsembla denies rumors of a cold, readies Nouskaa Henget LP on Matt Mondanile’s New Images label

What, you didn’t think that the laid-back musical evocations of his Ducktails moniker were an indication of some deeper and actual tendency toward being a lazy bastard, did you? Putting aside the ease with which artists seem to be setting up labels these days, Matthew Mondanile’s New Images imprint, two years on, already has some wonderful releases added to its New Jersey-based namesake. Of particular note, Madalyn Merkey’s Scent (TMT Review) enters your cognition not through your earholes, but fittingly through your nostrils, making your nose hairs waft in unison to the minimal oscillations. Yes… dance you little nose hairs, just like you were a true component of the inner ear. Ooh, it tickles!

Moseying in lock-step to the generally innocuous vibe of label, and expanding upon the Nordic acquaintance that beckoned its premiere, Swedish-Finnish artist Tsembla a.k.a. Marja Johansson will be releasing Nouskaa Henget on June 24. “Nouskaa henget” apparently means “Spirits, rise” in English, and what an appropriate title it is, because after sampling her work via SoundCloud, the inclination is to venture into the forest on a sunny afternoon, gather all the woodland creatures you can find, and summon some sort of deity for a playful rendezvous on the clouds — hippie attire advised. Warped electronics and abstract melodies assist in creating a tone of fantastic contentedness. What concerns, I say? Listen to a track below.

• Tsembla: https://www.facebook.com/tsembla
• New Images Ltd.: http://newimageslimited.com

[Photo: Pauli Laasonen]

Van Dyke Parks curates anthology of piano wizardry by New Orleans legend Tom McDermott

Once upon a time (NOW), in a hot and sticky land called New Orleans, there lived a man with magical hands. This guy was a piano wizard, a guy who could play anything from ragtime to funk to the works of 1850s piano guy Louis Moreau Gottschalk. He wrote for film, TV, and theater, eventually winning a prestigious Obie award for his work in the off-Broadway production Nita and Zita. He even plays himself on HBO’s Treme. THE DUDE PLAYS HIMSELF ON AN HBO SERIES. The dude’s name, boys and girls, is Tom McDermott, and Van Dyke Parks is curating a collection of his piano stylings and compositions.

Bamboula they’re calling this collection, and it comes out September 24 on Minky Records. Parks is writing the liner notes, and he describes the album as “flexibly fluent, somehow of one cloth. As a composer, Tom’s compositions each read like a good short story, filled with motifs, anecdotes and suspended sub-plots that all resolve in conclusion. Take it as an ample sampler to the world that lies beyond, in the hands of a master.” McDermott the Master performed as a Duke of Dixieland, circumnavigating the globe, and founded the New Orleans Nightcrawlers brass band. He has recorded 10 albums. So show some respect.

• Tom McDermott: http://mcdermottmusic.com
• Van Dyke Parks: http://bananastan.com
• Minky: http://www.midheaven.com/label/minky-records