Grails tour the United States for the first time in nearly 14 dog years

Grails tour the United States for the first time in nearly 14 dog years

What is time? Is it made of anything? Is it just a human construct, or something more fundamental? These are probably some of the many questions you found yourself pondering over the last two human years/14 dog years/25 cat years since Grails last toured the United States. Well, I’m here today to tell you to cut that shit out! No more pondering! You’re probably thinking, “Why should I listen to you, you big dumb failure of a music writer?” and while your point is fair, I actually have two pretty convincing reasons:

1. Deep pondering like this will get you absolutely nowhere at parties. Honestly, it’s because of pondering like this that you haven’t been in a fulfilling romantic relationship for the last three-and-a-half human years/24.5 dog years/31 cat years. Ponder on that one, you big joker!

2. Grails are actually touring again, rendering all of your pondering straight-up redundant anyway (I for one am willing to guess that the guys in Grails do enough pondering for all of us, what with the instrumental space rock vibe they’re usually sporting).

And what’s more (if that’s seriously not enough for you), Grails are touring with fellow deep thinkers Wrekmeister Harmonies and Lilacs & Champagne. Wrekmeister Harmonies have got a new full-length of their own, You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me, out now on Thrill Jockey Records. Lilacs & Champagne, the Grails side project fronted by Emil Amos and Alex Hall, also just put out a new full-length this year on Mexican Summer entitled Danish & Blue (you can let your eyes feast upon a video for the Lilacs & Champagne track “Sensations” below. Warning: there’s a bit of “nudity” in it, so maybe try to “accidentally” turn it on while everybody’s in your office, just for a laugh).

Grails themselves are a little sparse in the whole “putting out full-lengths in 2013” department, but that doesn’t mean you can’t revisit 2011’s Deep Politics (TMT Review) or 2012’s Black Tar Prophecies Vol. 5. You could also maybe go see them live, since, in case you forgot while you were doing all that “deep-thinking,” that’s pretty much the point of tours.

09.10.13 - Nashville, TN - The End *
09.11.13 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl *
09.12.13 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
09.13.13 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery *
09.14.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot and Saddle *
09.15.13 - New York, NY - St. Vitus *
09.16.13 - Boston, MA - Great Scott *
09.17.13 - Montreal, Quebec - Il Motore *
09.18.13 - Toronto, Ontario - The Drake *
09.19.13 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick Lounge *
09.20.13 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen *
09.21.13 - Lexington, KY - Boomslang Festival

* Lilacs & Champagne, Wrekmeister Harmonies

• Grails:

[Photo: mhx]

Barsuk Records announce dates for 15th anniversary shows, set mood on LiveJournal to “excited”

Your mid-teens are the hardest. Even though you’ve made it through the initial confusion, you’re still confronted with having to live with your inner whirlpool of emotions. Also, high school sucks and you’re not getting out for a few more years. Ugh, it’s the worst. With that in mind, let’s all show a lot of support for our good friend Barsuk Records, who is turning 15 this very year. You’re growing into a very nice boy/girl/genderless record label, Barsuk.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Barsuk is throwing themselves a 15th anniversary party. From November 7-10, the label will take over four iconic Seattle venues: Showbox at the Market, Neptune Theatre, Neumos/Barboza, and The Tractor Tavern. The label intends to pack these nights with as many Barsuk acts as possible, even if they don’t totally know which acts will be playing yet. That information is still to come, but here’s some info of the more solid variety: all proceeds from the shows will benefit cancer support organization Gilda’s Club Seattle.

Before the label celebrates their big anniversary, the September 1 date of Bumbershoot will feature an event called 15 Years of Barsuk Records. This event consists of a conversation with label co-founder Josh Rosenfeld and others associated with the label throughout the years. Following that talk will be performances by Barsuk acts Death Cab For Cutie (playing 2003’s Transatlanticism), Ra Ra Riot, David Bazan, Ramona Falls, and Mates of State.

• Barsuk:
• Gilda’s Club Seattle:

A 24-hour radio broadcast of unheard music is happening in Scotland’s Galloway Forest, Magna Carta Holy Grail’s Samsung domination plan to remain unaffected

I’ve got your garden variety, ornery, stubborn asshole of a grandfather who keeps saying to me, “music should be seen and not heard!!!” And every time he starts to get all worked up I have to be like, “Grandpa Riboflavin, that makes NO SENSE at all.” But on and on he keeps at it, “blah blah blah romanticism, blah blah art blah, drone blah meaning blah blah access is just not that great blah blah.” And then usually we have to go get him a Dilly Bar or something so he shuts the hell up.

Needless to say, Grandpa Riboflavin is really into this thing that’s going down in Scotland where, according to Wired, “At the end of August, an FM transmitter will be set up in the middle of the Galloway Forest to broadcast music from dozens of artists over the course of 24 hours. Those who want to hear it will have to head to the forest. There will be no repeats and the files will be deleted after they are played.” Now Grandpa is all sorts of telling the family that we need to fly over to this weird remote place so we can “maybe” hear music, and then I return to the article and point out that curator Stuart McLean (known also by the name of Frenchbloke) says, “There are certain parts where if you get stranded, good luck.” Then Grandpa’s all like, “where’s your sense of adventure? What kid your age wouldn’t want to listen, if he or she worked hard enough, to Mogwai or that there Electronic Research Council in the forest?” It’s at this point I usually just turn up Yeezus in the speakers so I can’t hear him anymore.

But hey, if you’re the kind of person who loves thrill-seeking FM radio in the wilderness, but aren’t into that whole Rainbow Gathering thing, this might be your chance! Also, they’re currently accepting submissions for “unheard music” to fill the (whatever 24 minus 8 is) hours of space left. Apply now and you might have your name next to the great Scarfolk Council, something anyone’s grandparents could really get behind!

• The Dark Outside:
• Frenchbloke:

RIP: Alan Myers, Devo drummer

From the Los Angeles Times:

Chances are in coming days when you’re reading about percussionist Alan Myers, who died Monday after a battle with brain cancer, the words “human metronome” will be used. Myers’ drumming for punk band Devo came to define the band’s off-kilter sound.

Musician Ralph Carney, who was friends with Myers, announced the death of the Devo drummer on his Facebook page: “Alan Myers passed yesterday from cancer. he was Devo’s best drummer and one of the first people to teach me about jazz. i cry…”

To call Myers a human metronome, though, is to suggest a drummer focused on keeping a steady, consistent beat. Myers could do that and more, but his internal metronome contained secret compartments, switches that could drive odd time signatures, weird breakbeats, perfectly timed chaotic bursts.

Like one of his admitted inspirations, John “Drumbo” French of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, Myers understood rhythm so well that he worked as much silence and absence into his sound as he did crazy fills.

Myers was Devo’s third drummer, joining in 1976 before the band released its Brian Eno-produced debut, “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” and remained in the band until the mid-’80s. He played on all the Akron, Ohio-born, Los Angeles-based Devo’s most mind-bending material, including the deconstructed version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” that first propelled them onto the national stage, “Whip It” and “Girl U Want.”

• Devo:

Hudson Mohawke, rejuvenated after working with the Almighty, announces North American live dates

Given the opportunity, I like to punish artists for their behavioral negatives by (if they’re an artist I’m already not interested in) becoming even more adamant about not listening to their output, or (if they are an artist I’m interested in) delaying listening to their output for as long as I feel necessary.

Actually, full disclosure, I really only apply this philosophy to Kanye West, whose tremendous dickheadishness presents a dilemma when placed alongside his not-terrible music. Yeezus (TMT Review) probably won’t reach my ears until later this summer, by personal choice, but god knows there are some worthwhile credits coaxing its hastened attention: the first being, well, God, of course. How nice of Him to drop and/or glide by the recording studio. The second being Hudson Mohawke a.k.a. Ross Birchard, who’s come a long way since the certifiably wonky Butter, and who assisted with the production duties on the tracks “I Am a God” and “Blood on the Leaves,” though he probably had a greater role than that. The relevant news here is that Hudson Mohawke, compelled as he might’ve been by his temporary freedom from the clutches of extra-egotism, is going on a short tour of North America beginning July 16. He and Montreal-based producer Lunice will also be harnessing their collaborative TNGHT moniker for a few festival performances. Dates below.

Hudson Mohawke DJ Set… dates:

07.16.13 - Washington, D.C. - U Street Music Hall
07.17.13 - Boston, MA - Middle East
07.18.13 - Miami, FL - Bardot
07.19.13 - Toronto, ON - Moskito
08.01.13 - Vancouver, BC - The Shine
08.02.13 - San Francisco, CA - 1015 Folsom

TNGHT dates:

07.21.13 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
08.03.13 - Los Angeles, CA - HARD Summer Music Festival
08.06.13 - New York, NY - Central Park Summer Stage (with Disclosure)

• Hudson Mohawke:

The Dismemberment Plan announce new album; TMT news writer arrested in ignominy

TMT news writer Taylor Peters was arrested today after an incident in downtown Indianapolis. According to local sources, after being repeatedly foiled by Microsoft Word’s spell check correcting the name of the new Dismemberment Plan album, Peters took to the streets shouting the information at the top of his lungs, all the while smacking business men in their “business” (his words) and shooting off toy pistols like an excited cowboy. In lieu of a traditional news post, what follows will be a transcript of the since-removed YouTube footage of Peters’ outburst.

Well boy howdy, tighten your knickers and smack your son on the mouth because I’ve got a doozy of a news post for you my beautiful babies! Oh wowzers, what a nice suit you’ve got there, sir. [He attempts to smack the business man’s behind, however the middle-aged man proves substantially more agile than predicted.] Anyway, those charming fellahs behind Emergency & I (TMT Review), Change (TMT Review), and that mysterious list of steps for how to cut off your limbs without totally bleeding out in the process, The Dismemberment Plan, have announced a brand-spanking-new album due out October 15 by way of Partisan Records.

[For a moment here Peters stops speaking in order to wave his toy guns above his head and make surprisingly convincing gunshot noises with his mouth.]

The album’s called Uncanney Valley and it’s their first full-length since 2001’s Change. That’s right mister sunglasses, you heard me correctly, the album’s got an extra “e” wedged in there all messed up-like, and I’ll tell ya it really fudged up my attempts to text my mom about it this morning, what with autocorrect and all. Y’all remember how The Dismemberment Plan played a whole slew of new songs last summer? Don’t shake your head at me like that ma’am. Well, surprise surprise, a whole buncha those songs made it on to the new record, and if this wasn’t real life I’d totally embed a video or two of them below. They’re also… no these are toy guns [he points them at an oncoming policeman and makes another surprisingly convincing gunshot noise with his mouth]… the band is also playing a few dates in September which, again I’d totally… ouch! you’re hurting me, man! … I’d totally post them below if this was the internet…

As he was carried away by several frustrated policemen, he reportedly tried to replace “Backstreet” with “The Dismemberment Plan” in the Backstreet Boys classic “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and we can only imagine that the joke did not work at all because of the irreconcilable syllabic differences.

Uncanney Valley tracklist:

01 No One’s Saying Nothing
02 Waiting
03 Invisible
04 White Collar White Trash
05 Living in Song
06 Lookin’
07 Daddy Was a Real Good Dancer
08 Mexico City Christmas
09 Go and Get It
10 Let’s Just Go to the Dogs Tonight

The Dismemberment Plan dates:

09.13-15.13 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest
09.14.13 - Detroit, MI - St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
09.21-22.13 - Denver, CO - Riot Fest

• The Dismemberment Plan:
• Partisan: