Freedom From cassette/LP label resurrected, plans releases by Brian Chippendale, Mark Morgan (Sightings), Aaron Dilloway, Weasel Walter, Chris Corsano, and more

Freedom From cassette/LP label resurrected, plans releases by Brian Chippendale, Mark Morgan (Sightings), Aaron Dilloway, Weasel Walter, Chris Corsano, and more

I’m no fucking pantheist, but it seems that the energies of all the dying record labels have reformed themselves into a reincarnated Freedom From. Yes, thanks goes out to all of you for not buying music so that the ghosts of these deceased businesses could spiritually charge up the formerly on-hiatus experimental LP and cassette label Freedom From.

The Minneapolis label began in 1996 under the leadership of founder Matthew St-Germain and released some of the first releases of many great artists, such as Hair Police, Noxagt, Reynols, Sightings, and Cock E.S.P., as well as the infamous Thurston Moore/Beck/Tom Surgal cassette. The label also held a scorching multi-day fest in 2003 with De Stijl, bringing together vets like Tony Conrad, Borbetomagus, and Arthur Doyle with fresh-faced noise makers like Aaron Dilloway, Chris Corsano, Burning Star Core, and nmperign, and serving as a template for the first No Fun Fest the following year.

Freedom From went on somewhat of a hiatus after 2006, with only an occasional cassette or CD here and there, but 2012 will see the full return of the label in a revamped format, releasing only cassettes, lathes, and vinyl in limited numbers. The label has set up a Soundcloud page and a Bandcamp site, which already features music for sale. Look for plenty of releases coming soon by LaDonna Smith, Forced into Femininity, and Rusted Shut, as well as planned releases by Mark Morgan (Sightings), Aaron Dilloway, Chris Corsano, Weasel Walter, Bhob Rainey (nmperign), and Oneida.

• Freedom From (Bandcamp):
• Freedom From (Soundcloud):
• Freedom From (Facebook):

Neil Young & Crazy Horse shake off all the live rust and announce tourdates

Okay, people, we’re here. Ground zero. There’s no time to spare, so I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Americana, Neil Young’s recycling, re-imagining, re-appropriating, re-diculous album of American folk songs as slammed-through by the original members of Crazy Horse, is out this week. There’s really just nothing we can do about it. These things happen. And in fact, in order for our officially “pro-Neil Young” society to save as much face as possible, I’d advise everyone here to take the following actions as swiftly and calmly as possible: Find a stream of the new album somewhere, listen to that minor key, hard-rock version of “Oh Susannah” in which Neil and a choir of young children spit the lines “Cuz I come from Al-a-bama with a B-A-N-J-O on my knee” in successive monosyllables (you know, to better fit the song’s bewildering use of Latin groove), and get your laughs, derision, eye-rolls, criticisms, and ironic social media shares out right the fuck now. Because Neil Young seems serious about this thing being a thing.

How serious? “A whole fall tour’s worth of dates” serious. And if we as a continent of Neil Young supporters want to get through these shows and enjoy all the thoroughly ass-kicking badassery that could very well be involved when Neil Young and Crazy Horse get together to play some of our favorite old tunes on giant stages across the US and Canada with Los Lobos and Patti Smith opening, we’re going to have to pay the price. So let’s just drop whatever it is we were going to do with our summers and start putting in the time conditioning ourselves not to boo or laugh in their faces when they punctuate that badassery with liberal doses of this new record. Get listening, North America. We’ve got work to do.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse dates:

07.05.12 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater
07.06.12 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater
07.10-12.12 - San Francisco, CA - Golden Gate Park/Outside Lands Fest
10.03.12 - Windsor, ON - WFCU Centre
10.05.12 - Kingston, ON - K ROCK Centre
10.06.12 - London, ON - John Labatt Centre
10.08.12 - Cleveland, OH - Wolstein Center
10.09.12 - Pittsburgh, PA -Petersen Events Center
10.11.12 - Chicago, IL - United Center
10.13.12 - Austin, TX - Zilker Park / Austin City Limits Fest.
10.14.12 - Tulsa, OK - Tulsa Convention Center Arena
10.17.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
11.10.12 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena
11.11.12 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
11.13.12 - Calgary, AB - Scotiabank Saddledome
11.14.12 - Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre
11.16.12 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
11.19.12 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
11.23.12 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
11.24.12 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
11.26.12 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
11.27.12 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
11.29.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
11.30.12 - Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center
12.04.12 - Bridgeport, CT - Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard

• Neil Young:
• Reprise:

Matthew Dear psych case files released, includes mention of new album in August on Ghostly International

Remember back in January when Matthew Dear released the pretty nifty four-song EP, Headcage? Well, if you enjoyed that tasty morsel of dance-art-pop, you’ll be excited to learn that the follow-up full-length has finally been announced. To be released August 27 on Ghostly International, Beams continues the progression found on Headcage away from the dark brooding of Dear’s 2010 album, Black City (TMT Review), toward a brighter, almost tropical bent on Dear’s brand of abstracted popscaping.

On the first single, “Her Fantasy,” Dear’s vocals take on the tone of Bowie at his froggiest, crooning about love in some Brazilian discotheque at dawn, all filtered through the gauzy light of morning and sleepiness. It’s a fun track that continues to surge ever forward for a floor-stomping 6+ minutes, and in classic Matthew Dear style, it takes about 600 turns that all somehow work within the structure of the larger piece.

Some insight into Dear’s schizophrenic yet cohesive style? “I’m about 4 to 5 different people at any given time,” Dear says. “By allowing all of those different personalities to exist - the most pure and direct self can come through in the music.” So that explains it! Dear’s multiple personalities (all charmingly tall, dark, and handsome) are wrestling it out in every track to produce these golden nuggets of off-kilter dance epic. Keep this man off meds at all costs.

Beams tracklisting:

01. Her Fantasy
02. Earthforms
03. Headcage
04. Fighting Is Futile
05. Up & Out
06. Overtime
07. Get The Rhyme Right
08. Ahead of Myself
09. Do The Right Thing
10. Shake Me
11. Temptation

• Matthew Dear:
• Ghostly International:

Decibel Festival announces line-up, celebrates ninth year by having a lazer tag party

It’s that time of year again! It’s the time when Seattle, WA’s premier “international festival of electronic music performance, visual art and new media” a.k.a. The Decibel Festival, takes to the world wide webbing and starts to announce its line-up for this year’s show! Coincidentally, it is also that time of year when The Decibel Festival starts preparing for its annual birthday party, commemorating and celebrating their first festival, all the way back in 2003. Finally, it’s also that time of year when I celebrate my cat’s birthday, but that’s really more of a topic for my cat fancier blog.

This year, The Decibel Festival will take place over five days (September 26 - 30) and 14 venues spread across Seattle. In addition to “educational speakers,” The Decibel will showcase 120 bands/artists/musicians with the highlights (as in, the ones I like) being: Kimbra, Carl Craig, Matthew Dear, Fennesz, John Talabot, Ariel Pink, Actress, Nina Kraviz, Baths, Dragonette, Emancipator, and Yppah. All in all, 60 of the 120 acts have been announced with the other 60 acts getting revealed one by one, day by day, until June 27; the entire program, including “educational programs, film festival, after-parties and boat-parties announced on July 11.”

Information about The Decibel Festival’s Ninth Annual Birthday Party has already been sent out to everyone invited and, for those who didn’t already know, the party will be held at Uncle Luke’s Lazer Emporium and Video Arcadery on September 19, starting at noon. Cake, pizza, and soda will be provided, gifts will be expected, and two games of “Extreme Lazer Tag” will be paid for. Please R.S.V.P. A.S.A.P.; B.Y.O.B.

• The Decibel Festival:

Outer Space (Emeralds’ John Elliott) releasing LP #??? on Spectrum Spools in June

If you’re anything like me (and I doubt that you are), then you love when a band member from a band you enjoy has their own side project. Like Emeralds, for example! I was ecstatic when guitarist Mark McGrath became the co-host of Extra. But sometimes side projects can be something even more — like John Elliott’s long-running Outer Space solo venture — that ends up being just as full and satisfying as their band of origin.

Even more surprising in this case is that Elliott’s newest Outer Space album, Akashic Record (Events 1986-1990), sounds like space! Yep. It’s experimental space sounds. And the album is perfect for pre-gaming before seeing Prometheus or just enjoying an evening cooking pasta with gram grams. Akashic Record (Events 1986-1990) will be released July 17 on Elliott’s own Spectrum Spools (not to be confused with my amateur label, Sphincter Pools). Listen to album track “October 27th, 1989 - Bay Village, Ohio” NOW:

Akashic Record (Events 1986-1990) tracklist:

01. Ellipse
02. 11:38
03. The Fifth Column
04. October 27th, 1989 - Bay Village, Ohio
05. February 8th, 1990 - Ashland, Ohio

• Spectrum Spools:

James Plotkin and Jon Mueller to release double-LP Terminal Velocity, and no, formulas will not be provided

I’m not so much into fine art, but I’m going to attempt to draw a relevant analogy here. Jon Mueller, both philosophically and in practice, is like the percussionist version of impressionist painter Claude Monet, but without the (as far as I know) lengthy facial hair, and without the unenviable quality of being French. Even if they wouldn’t or haven’t described their respective artistic endeavors using exactly these words, the inclination, at least on my part, is to point to one phrase in particular: “organized chaos.” In an interview, Mueller explains how his initial interest in drums and percussion was inspired by this creative approach: “Hitting the drums and cymbals sounded good, no matter the combination. There were no major or minor keys to complicate things. My brain instantly shifted to this perspective: just hit them and listen, then hit them some more. Find interesting combinations of sounds. Try to get a feel for the coordination, but don’t worry too much about it if you can’t. Focus on the fun of playing. I was sold.”

Mueller’s distaste for compositional formalities is partly why he gave up on the guitar at an early age. He gave up, but folks like the perpetually doom-minded guitarist/bassist James Plotkin have shown that unorthodox playing (obviously) isn’t just limited to percussion instruments. For instance, as a member of Lotus Eaters and Khanate, he transformed what would otherwise be a wholesome little string instrument into a non-verbal call for demon gatherings. Surely that’s not something you can do without venturing off the beaten path a bit.

On June 19, Mueller and Plotkin will be releasing Terminal Velocity, a 2xLP limited to 500 copies, via the Minneapolis-based Taiga Records. The release is a formal and more dedicated follow-up to their collaboration on the leading side of Mueller’s Physical Changes LP, which was released in 2009. Unsurprisingly, I have no idea what to expect, and you shouldn’t either. Feel free to pre-order it here though, and act fast because there’s only one cool colored vinyl option left.

Terminal Velocity tracklisting:

A1. Vestibular Apparatus
A2: Hypnagogia
B1. Eigenlicht
B2. Anthypnic
B3. Praedormitium
C1. Subvocal
D1. Microsleep

• James Plotkin:
• Jon Mueller:
• Taiga: