Farewell, sweet Stills: the Montreal five-piece calls it a day

Farewell, sweet Stills: the Montreal five-piece calls it a day http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-04-stills.jpg

Ah, The Stills, we hardly knew ye.

After a decade of rock ‘n’ roll, the Montreal five-piece has called it quits. The band recently posted on their website explaining their decision to stop performing together under the name The Stills. Prior to the announcement, the website had been relatively update-free, and the group hadn’t released an album since 2008’s Oceans Will Rise. The album received mixed reviews, but also picked up Canada’s Juno award for “Alternative Album of the Year.”

Fortunately, the split appears to be amicable, so, dear Stills fan, please don’t go to bed tonight thinking that if you had made your bed more often or eaten your vegetables when bass player Olivier Corbeil asked you to the band might still be together. It’s okay. The Stills still love you. In the words of the band, the breakup was motivated by the members’ desire to “live fully, creatively, and freely.” Here’s the full statement:

Dearest Friends of The Stills,

How does one go about writing a message like this? I don’t know, but I will do my best.

We have been silent for many months now, discussing amongst ourselves how and when to announce this news, as we’ve needed some time to think it over and let the dust settle, so we hope you can understand our silence.

After the better part of a decade together, several months ago we sat down and decided to disband The Stills and part ways. Simply put, The Stills have broken up.

We love each other, we have taught each other, and we’ve grown up together, through all kinds of madness and years and twists and turns, and we spent the better part of the last year trying to keep it going for each other, out of love for one another and out of respect for our long past together. But ultimately, the best decision for each one of us, and in order for each of us to live fully, creatively, and freely, being true to our hearts, this had to happen.

Perhaps the most difficult part of all this is announcing it to you — I hesitate to say ‘fans’ — Our Friends. We’ve been extremely lucky to have shared this time with you, and for the love you’ve shown us, we are humbled, moved and thankful beyond words. You held us up, you encouraged us, and you made this a profound and deeply meaningful journey for each of us. Please know in your hearts that we felt your love and will always keep it with us in our own hearts as we move on through life.

To all who helped us through the years, encouraged us, supported us, worked with us, put up with us, put our records out, toured with us, loved us, and beyond - we are forever touched by you.

We were creating our own story as we went. It’s not easy to know when the best ending is, but we found ours, and it’s one that allows us to look back on all we’ve achieved with great pride and a sense of real accomplishment. Now that the book closes, we can look on the journey and see it as one trip, from beginning to end; one complete and perfectly imperfect universe.

And now our music and what it means rests in your hands. It belongs fully to the world out there, and especially to you. Make it all you wish it to be, in whichever way you most want to.

May your lives be filled with joy and happiness,

The Stills

• The Stills: http://www.arts-crafts.ca/thestills/index.php

The Rentals to donate all profits from new album Resilience to Japan relief. Who loves Japan? The Rentals love Japan.

As part of the continuing aid and help that American musical artists have been sending toward Japan, The Rentals have announced that they will be releasing a new album, Resilience, with all profits going directly to Red Cross disaster relief efforts throughout Japan.

As we all know, Japan has had some really shitty luck lately but when it seemed hopeless for the country, musicians and artists from around the world began doing everything they could to raise awareness and help the earthquake-struck nation. The Rentals, as the compassionate humans they are, are throwing in their lot and have made Resilence available for immediate digital download on iTunes.

The album, featuring 18 orchestral compositions originally created for Songs About Time (“a photography, film, and music project that brought together a large group of accomplished artists who devoted themselves for 365 continuous days to create what the Germans call ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ — a total work of art”), will also be available May 3 through other digital music providers, in stores on both CD and 180-gram vinyl, and can be preordered at the band’s website.

A statement on the site say this of the album: “The music collected has a touch of melancholy but ultimately, when one listens attentively, it expresses hope and a quiet countenance. With its orchestral gestures, delicate piano and poetic interludes, the music paints a fitting tribute to the character and resilience of the Japanese people.”

Resilience tracklisting:

01. October Thirteen
02. February Twenty Four
03. March Ten | Part Two
04. November Twenty Four
05. September Eight
06. December One
07. November Ten
08. June Two
09. February Ten
10. January Twenty
11. March Ten | Part One
12. March Three
13. December Thirty One
14. July Twenty Eight
15. July Twenty One
16. May Twelve
17. February Three
18. October Twenty Seven

• The Rentals: http://www.therentals.com
• Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org

RIP: Billy Bang, free jazz violinist and composer

From The New York Times:

Billy Bang, a violinist whose gritty, expressive and spirited playing earned admiration in contemporary jazz circles, died on Monday at his home in Harlem. He was 63.

The cause was complications of lung cancer, said Jean-Pierre Leduc, his friend and agent.

Prominent as a bandleader and a sideman throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Mr. Bang achieved his most substantial success with the 2001 album “Vietnam: The Aftermath,” which featured music inspired by his time serving in the Army during the Vietnam War, played with peers who had also served. The album — and a 2005 sequel, “Vietnam: Reflections,” which included Vietnamese musicians — in turn inspired “Redemption Song,” a 2008 documentary film about him.

• Billy Bang: http://www.myspace.com/billybangartist

Flying Lotus unites with Erykah Badu to create a double rainbow of musical collaboration

Once in a lifetime, forces combine to create devastatingly awesome displays of nature’s wonder, power, and beauty. Double rainbows. Unicorns. That YouTube video of a slow loris getting tickled. All of these things are amazing, but perhaps none so exemplify the concept of the divine as much as a Flying Lotus/Erykah Badu collaboration. The world got a sneak peak of what such a union might yield when electronic guru Flying Lotus co-directed Ms. Badu’s video for “Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long” back in February, but now the runes have aligned, the sage has spoken, and Flying Lotus has announced that he’s been working on production for Erykah Badu.

Flying Lotus is acclaimed amongst electro/experimental fans for his work on Warp and collaborations with Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block. But he also knows his way around a guest star, as evidenced by his work with Thom Yorke. After all, music is in his BLOOD — dude is related to the illustrious Alice Coltrane. So I think it’s safe to rip off Casablanca and say that I think we are about to witness the beginning of a be-auuuuu-tiful friendship.

• Erykah Badu: http://www.erykah-badu.com
• Flying Lotus: http://www.flying-lotus.com

Glastonbury announces 2011 headliner: Omar Souleyman! And I guess U2 and Coldplay and Beyoncé will be there too.

England’s Glastonbury Festival is the biggest music festival in the world. And when you’re a headliner for the biggest festival in the world, it’s a pretty huge deal. In the past, headliner positions have been held by such musical giants as Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, The Cure, Jay-Z, and Skunk Anansie (a band I just learned existed, thanks to Wikipedia). So it’s with great honor to tell you, our wonderful readers, that Glastonbury is teaming up with Tiny Mix Tapes to announce this year’s headliner. We’ve got the exclusive on this enormous scoop, so without further ado, the 2011 Glastonbury headliner is… Omar Souleyman!!

Yes, the Syrian techno master and biggest pop star in the entire world is king of Glastonbury this time around. What a coup! Now, I know everybody’s really just going to be pumped for Souleyman all weekend, but you can pass the time by watching some of these other notable acts: James Blake, Fleet Foxes, Big Boi, The Walkmen, Caribou, Battles, Robyn, Janelle Monae, Hercules and Love Affair, TV on the Radio, Morrissey, DJ Shadow, and Nick Lowe. Oh and some young up-and-comers named U2, Coldplay, and Beyoncé will be there, too. The aforementioned names probably make up, say, one-fifth of the ridiculously enormous full lineup, which you can view over at the festival’s website. But remember, the only name that really matters… is Souleyman.

• Glastonbury Festival: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

Godspeed You! Black Emperor take their own hiatus on the road with string of UK shows

Hey kids! Grab a snack and turn up the TV, because your lovable cartoon pals in Godspeed You! Black Emperor are at it again! Just like last season, when the the lovably buffoonish ATP managed to bring GY!BE’s wacky cast of goofballs (well, most of the cast) out of a long hiatus with some hilarious sacks with dollar signs on them, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have announced that they will once again return to the UK this summer to play ATP’s I’ll Be Your Mirror festival.

Longtime fans can expect to see the band’s critically acclaimed display of cartoonish physical violence and hi-speed hi-jinx on full display. The festival, taking place July 23-24 at London’s Alexandra Palace, will also feature live performances from Portishead, PJ Harvey, and Caribou, as well as banana creme pie-throwing contests, mallet & anvil tents, a face-painting and disguise emporium, and a Rube Goldberg Machine contest sponsored by Acme.

But that’s not all! GY!BE will also extend the summertime fun by headlining a few shows in Glasgow, Norwich, and Leeds! Laughs are always on tap when these characters are around. You don’t want to miss a minute! (Always ask your parents’ permission before going online for tickets.)

GY!BE dates:

07.22.11 - Glasgow, UK - Barrowlands
07.23.11 - Norwich, UK - UEA
07.24.11 - London, UK - Alexandra Palace (I’ll Be Your Mirror festival)
07.25.11 - Leeds, UK - Met University

• Godspeed You! Black Emperor: http://brainwashed.com/godspeed
• ATP: http://www.atpfestival.com/events/ibymportishead.php

[Photo: Valerio Berdini]