Guardian Alien and Pontiak go on tour together, play Look Alive Festival together, release records in January together, all in string of improbable coincidences

Guardian Alien and Pontiak go on tour together, play Look Alive Festival together, release records in January together, all in string of improbable coincidences

Hey, Tiny Mix Tapes audience. I was just looking over my papers and noticed something odd. Pontiak are going on tour this December. This is not odd. Guardian Alien are going on tour this December. Again, not odd. But when I really give these tour dates a long, hard look, I’ve noticed that most of these dates are exactly the same. Some of them aren’t, some include Pontiak and not Guardian Alien, others vice versa. Most of these dates are, in fact, at the same place on the same night at the same time. They’re even both playing Miami’s Look Alive festival! It is as if the two are touring together.

Now that I’ve provided a plausible explanation, let me blow it to bits. It would be enough if the two were only playing the same tour dates. As it turns out, this case goes deeper, down through multiple layers of story sediment. Both bands are actually releasing new albums this coming January. Little information about these upcoming albums exists yet, except for one bit that will destroy your entire brain. Both albums are being released by Thrill Jockey. With that in mind, we can chalk up all these intersections in the fates of these two bands to one thing: mostly coincidence. There, I have answered everything.

Pontiak and Guardien Alien dates:

11.20.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie #
11.29.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Night Bazaar #%
12.01.13 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery
12.02.13 - Richmond, VA - Gallery 5
12.03.13 - Raleigh, NC - Kings
12.04.13 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern
12.05.13 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
12.06.13 - Tampa, FL - New World Brewery #
12.06.13 - Miami, FL - Churchills ^@
12.07.13 - Miami, FL - Gramps #!
12.08.13 - Orlando, FL - Will’s Pub
12.09.13 - Gainesville, FL - The Atlantic
12.10.13 - Atlanta, GA - 529
12.13.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie ^

# Pontiak only
^ Guardian Alien only
% A Place to Bury Stangers, Dawn of Midi
@ Wolf Eyes, Rubber O Cement, Chronic Youth, Teepee
! Indian Jewelry, White Mystery, Lil Daggers, Nerve City

• Pontiak:
• Guardian Alien:
• Thrill Jockey:

YouTube reminds us that they’re still planning a music subscription service; pretty please, won’t you pay attention?

One thing noticeably lacking from the Breaking news, courtesy of Billboard, concerning the upcoming (though perpetually rumored) launch of YouTube’s music subscription service is… anything to make people give a shit! Also, news. Imagine my surprise when, upon my initiation into this role, it was made clear by deliberate repetition that news is supposed to involve news at some point. “Wait, so relaying the script of the puntastic Batman & Robin (1997) on multiple occasions is out of the question, irrelevance to TMT aside?” I complained. “So be it. I understand. No dice when it comes to my request, I guess.” Reluctantly then, let’s move this article forward. Come hither, marginal points of note!

And they are basically marginal. Supplementing earlier murmurs about the possibly imminent launch of a YouTube-based paid music subscription service, it’s been revealed that such a paid, or “premium,” service could go for a measly 10 bucks a month, and… the advantage? No advertisements, which rightfully takes advantage of a condemnable ignorance of AdBlock, and the ability to listen to cached music offline. “Soft sell” would appear to be an understatement then, especially when you consider that the paid service will come paired with a free component that offers “unlimited access” to the same exact library of music. Supposedly the overarching conspiracy here is to increase mobile app usage, thereby enhancing YouTube’s ability to sell ads on the platform. Feh.

One potential worthwhile (though obviously unconfirmed) feature of the service is the ability to stream entire albums. I’ve noticed an increase in these types of uploads anyway, but who knows how extensive YouTube’s contributions will/might be. Guess we’ll just see, possibly by the end of the year. With bated breath…

• YouTube:

Beck plans new album for February 2014, fortunately you don’t have to get all your asshole friends together in order to hear this one

I swear to god, put your goddamn kazoos away. Beck’s got a new album coming out in February of next year — it’s going to be called Morning Phase — and the guy sure as shit doesn’t need any of you jokers making “valuable contributions” on certified non-instruments like the kazoo or the guitar. Sure, sure, the guy may well have put out a “song book album” last year, and sure that maybe blew your mind like I’ll bet everything Dave Eggers puts his grubby paws on does, you McSweeney’s loving communist, but listen: Beck is a professional. He was throwing you a bone! If the fact that he tried to defriend you earlier this year did not make that totally clear, I would’ve thought you would’ve gotten something of a hint from the begrudging manner in which he brought together some actual, you know, musicians to play it back in July.

Okay, since I’m apparently the only around here that actually knows his place, I’m going to do what I was hired to do and not fuck everything up with my tuneless warbling. Like I said, the new album’s called Morning Phase. It’s his first full-length of totally new recordings since 2008’s pretty-okay-but-also-I-kind-of-forgot-about-it Modern Guilt (TMT Review). It’s been described as a companion piece to 2002’s Sea Change. No, I don’t know who did that describing. I do know it features a lot of the same musicians as Sea Change, e.g. Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner. They’re also accompanying him in the current iteration of his live show, for which I’ll post the dates below. I won’t post the tracklisting or the specific release date, because, to be totally honest, I’m kind of pissed at you right now (also it hasn’t been released yet). Because I’m already substantially less pissed, I’ll post “Gimme” below, which is from one-third of the slew of 12 inches that Beck has released over the last year.


11.07.13 - Santiago, Chile - Planeta Terra Festival
11.09.13 - São Paulo, Brazil - Planeta Terra Festival
11.14.13 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Planeta Terra Festival

• Beck:
• Capitol:

Gatekeeper allow a couple padlocks to sub in for a few hours so they can announce new EP Young Chronos

The last time these Chicagoan inspirers of mixed reactions released an EP, the subsequently well-received Giza beckoned the hype train even more than a specially designed locomotive meant to appear at times of increased conversation. Well, to be sure, there wasn’t so much hype, but doubtless was the positive effect on their name recognition, which, two years later (a.k.a. last year) led to the release of their debut full-length Exo (TMT Review), sponsored by Hippos in Tanks. Chalk it up to human subjectivity that I haven’t heard and don’t really hear a meaningful divergence in quality between the two releases. The rumored “cheese” of Giza, which inspired my hesitancy prior to listening, limits excessiveness (in my opinion) to the chorus on “Encarta,” while Giza’s much-heralded horror-tone is too subdued to mark an out-and-out contrast. That’s just a preliminary judgment, however.

And however! Postpone the ultimate judgement, because Gatekeeper have Young Chronos, their next EP, prepped for release on November 11. The relevant press release apparently went for complete alienation through its relentless use of words(?) like “corpoferric” and “paleo-psaltery,” so the track below will be perhaps your best preparation. Yeah, still not a fan of the operatic addition (as a general rule), but the duo’s shameless embrace of it and other possibly parodying qualities may turn out to have an endearing role.

Young Chronos, by the way, will be released in the form of an official Pirate Bay torrent, and through the use of 300 USB tokens on Lorenzo Senni’s Presto!? label. Hey, don’t ask me.

01. Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven
02. Harvest
03. Flame of Displeasure
04. Imperatrix
05. The Soil has Soured
06. Hanseatic

• Gatekeeper:
• Presto!?:

Neil Hamburger launches North American/Australian tour; each show guarantees $1 in comedy gold

Neil Hamburger isn’t just a Funnyman. He’s a kind man. A caring man. A generous man. One who brings laughs to his audience for a low, low (seriously low) price and gives lazy journalists all the dollar menu/hamburger/etc. jokes anyone with a computer and a strong desire to stop typing and just watch last week’s episode of Homeland could ever want. That’s right, America AND Australia! Neil Hamburger, $1 comedian, is launching a tour, and he’s coming to you!

And he’s bringing such comedic delights as reverse-aging blonde wunderkind Tim Heidecker, guy-with-too-many-names Major Entertainer Mike H, handsome olde-tyme traveling peddler of smooth-yet-probably-unsafe-and-not-clinically-effective medical remedies Dr. El Suavo, and the Texas-loving Alvarius B. And all with a guarantee of $1 belly laughs! Imagine! College kids, street people, and actual children can all afford that! Fair warning, though: be careful who you hit on at this event, it could be a six-year-old standing on another six-year-old’s shoulders.


11.08.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s *
11.09.13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
11.14.13 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place #
11.15.13 - Sacramento, CA - Sacramento Comedy Spot #
11.24.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite
12.01.13 - Melbourne, Australia - The Toff in Town $
12.06.13 - Sydney, Australia - Marrickville Bowling Club $
12.13.13 - Hobart, Australia - Brisbane Hotel $
12.15.13 - Melbourne, Australia - Northcote Social Club $
12.29.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite
01.09.14 - Dallas, TX - Sons of Hermann Hall %
01.10.14 - Austin, TX - The North Door %
01.11.14 - Houston, TX - Walter’s %

* Tim Heidecker
# Major Entertainer Mike H
$ Dr. El Suavo
% Alvarius B.

• Neil Hamburger:

[Photo: Chad Pelton]

Mastodon plan Live at Brixton, out December 10, which is pretty neat for those of us afraid of the outside

There’s this two-inch spot on my right forearm that’s super sensitive to being touched by other humans and it’s kept me from going to rock shows my whole life. Like, I’ve seen some soft stuff where you just kinda mill around and nod your head, but anything more aggressive keeps me at home, bundled up in a blanket, dreaming of a doctor willing to do under-the-table amputations. As you can imagine, I’ve often invited friends over to jostle the left side of my body in an effort to simulate the rough grasp of the mosh pit, and as you can further imagine, I’m pretty into live albums.

Keeping all that unnecessary personal information in mind, there’s probably not going to be a whole lot of space left in this post for me to quote the press release about how Mastodon are “really super duper good” and “you should listen to them, bucko” here, but I’ll summarize the basics. Live at Brixton was recorded on February 11 in 2012 at London’s O2 Academy. It was a sold-out show and it was a big ol’ highpoint for Mastodon’s tour supporting 2011’s The Hunter (TMT Review). In addition to the audio-only version of the concert’s 96-minute girth, a live video version directed by Ryan Mackfall will be available. It looks like the show is a digital-only release, and will be available from all the digital retailers you know (e.g. iTunes and Amazon), and probably many you don’t know (e.g. those ones that are in Russian that try to trick you into accidentally clicking ads for weird sex toys).

Anyway, back to me. Can you guess my plans for December 10? What if I told you that’s the the release date for this Mastodon live album? What if I also told you that I pretty regularly write the word “mastodon” in all caps on receipts instead of my signature, and that the one time I tried to take the subway in New York City left me screaming for weeks? You have guessed correctly! My friends are coming over, I’m going to numb my senses with alcohol, and we’re going to have the grandest time jostling approximately 50% of my body!

Live at Brixton tracklisting:

01. Dry Bone Valley
02. Black Tongue
03. Crystal Skull
04. I Am Ahab
05. Capillarian Crest
06.Colony of Birchmen
07. Megalodon
08. Thickening
09. Blasteroid
10. Sleeping Giant
11. Ghost of Karelia
12. All The Heavy Lifting
13. Spectrelight
14. Curl of the Burl
15. Bedazzled Fingernails
16. Circle of Cysquatch
17. Aqua Dementia
18. Crack The Skye
19. Where Strides The Behemoth
20. Iron Tusk
21. March of the Fireants
22. Blood and Thunder
23. Creature Lives

• Mastodon:
• Warner Bros.: