Help pay off Steve Albini’s studio mortgage!

Help pay off Steve Albini's studio mortgage!

Steve Albini — the hunky dreamboat behind such top-40 balladeers as Shellac and Big Black and proprietor of the famed Electrical Audio recording studio on Chicago’s northwest side — is seemingly always down to help struggling bands make records on the cheap… apparently, even to the detriment of his own finances. He’s a regular Jimmy Stewart from It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s not that his studio is in any immediate danger of closing like Stewart’s character’s bank was in the movie; it’s just that the man has reportedly racked up an outstanding mortgage balance of $230,000 (er, and I guess there’s also the Stewart parallel that he might jump off a bridge at any moment, too). But thankfully, Tim Midgett (of Silkworm and Bottomless Pit) is kinda like Jimmy Stewart’s hot-ass 1940s wife from that movie, because he has single-handedly launched a campaign to pay off Electrical Audio’s mortgage!

As A.V. Club Chicago points out, Midgett has launched the “Pay Off Electrical Audio” online campaign. The idea is beautiful in its commie simplicity: if 2000 people donate $115 a piece, the total will cover the rest of the mortgage, thus freeing Electrical Audio from the shackles of The Man for good, allowing Albini to focus more on “making art,” yadda yadda yadda. As Midgett wrote on the donation page, “I think the place should be paid off by now, and I think we have the ability to do it.”

The campaign, which just launched today, has already raised almost $15,000 in donations. And to answer your annoying questions, no, no one has to pay unless the goal is met, and no, there’s no minimum donation amount. So throw in a couple bucks if you’ve got it. Who knows, maybe Albini will give you naming rights. I can see it now: Tiny Mix Tapes Presents Electrical Audio. Nice.

• Electrical Audio:
• Steve Albini:
• Shellac:
• Silkworm:
• Bottomless Pit:

Horse Feathers played cover of Nirvana, thought it was a good idea to record it; go on tour

Time for you to drop everything and slowly shake your head in embarrassed silence. You may remember the recent folksy offering from Kill Rock Stars, Horse Feather’s third full-length, Thistled Spring (TMT Review), from — well, this spring. Apparently, way back when, they played a release show in Portland, and ended their set with a cover of Old Crow Medicine Show. Just kidding! It was actually a decent cover of Iron and Wine. Not! Even that would make sense. The truth is that Horse Feathers closed the show by plucking their strings and pulling out a cover of none other than Nirvana’s “Drain You.” What?

I’ve got news for you, guys. Much as Cobain liked lo-fi indie with a quirky side (Fleet Foxes wouldn’t count, either), I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have covered you. Grunge covers of The Vaselines were okay in its day, but the whole “let’s slow it down and make it folk-acoustic” thing (should we decide to equate it with the reverse of Cobain’s fondness for Daniel Johnston) died when Jeffrey Lewis covered Crass for 12 songs straight. But maybe I’m wrong. If Kill Rock Stars are any judge, the cover from that infamous night in Portland was pretty outstanding. Hence a forthcoming 7-inch with “Drain You” on one side and a new track, “Bonnet of Briars,” on the other.

The single isn’t due until November 2, when Horse Feathers begin their tour of the US. I guess that means we’ve got time to get used to the idea of Horse Feathers covering Nirvana. Maybe by Thanksgiving we’ll want Mudhoney covers?


11.03.10 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
11.04.10 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
11.08.10 - Toronto, ON - The Drake
11.09.10 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
11.10.10 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
11.11.10 - Boston, MA - Middle East
11.13.10 - New York City, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11.15.10 - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern
11.16.10 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
11.17.10 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
11.18.10 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
11.20.10 - Nashville, TN - 3rd & Lindsley
11.21.10 - Charleston, WV - Mountain Stage
12.01.10 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club
12.02.10 - Seattle, WA - Tractor
12.03.10 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
12.04.10 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir

• Horse Feathers:
• Kill Rock Stars:

RIP: Aaron-Carl Regland, founder of Wall Shaker Music and Detroit house DJ

From Resident Advisor (via The Daily Swarm):

Wallshaker Music founder Aaron-Carl Ragland, best known simply as Aaron-Carl, died earlier today of cancer.

The acclaimed Detroit house producer had been very candid about his health over the past few weeks, using various social media channels to keep fans informed. After canceling his European tour, he wrote an entry on his MySpace blog explaining his trials in and out of the hospital. Earlier this week, he posted a video on his homepage discussing his official diagnosis. All the while, he let out a steady stream of Twitter messages and Facebook updates, the last of which read “Finished the bone marrow biopsy. Ouch! Now I’m preparing for the lymph node removal. Surgery, here I come!” The first notice of his death came earlier today when his friend and like-minded artist Piarahna Head wrote on his on Facebook page “Just lost one of his best friends, Aaron-Carl, and my arms are far too short to box with GOD. One of the best Human beings in the WORLD is gone. I have no words. Music is Silence.”

Over the course of his nearly two-decade career, Ragland’s music saw release on some of house and techno’s most respected labels, including Ovum and the Underground Resistance sub-label Soul City. In 2002 he launched his own imprint, Wallshaker Music, which served mainly as a platform for his own soulful house records. Our thoughts are with Ragland’s friends and family at this time.

• Aaron-Carl Ragland:

Les Savy Fav announce new tourdates; meanwhile, guitarist Seth Jabour has the cutest wedding ever

When you have a best friend that works for a women’s magazine like I do, it’s safe to say that 98% of the links she sends your way are related to weddings, even if you’re not engaged or married yourself. Sometimes, it pays off, though, like when I stumbled upon a link featuring Seth Jabour from Les Savy Fav, who managed to have the coolest wedding ever, documented over at Brooklyn Bride. With a wedding party featuring Tim Harrington (along with the rest of Les Savy Fav), you have to wonder if Harrington had to resist the urge to rip off his tux and take over the dancefloor in a neon spandex ensemble. Luckily, it appears from the wedding pictures that he decided to keep it classy. Anyway, after he gets back from his honeymoon, Jabour will join his bandmates on the road this fall in Europe and the US, probably playing tracks from their spankin’-new album on Frenchkiss, Root For Ruin (TMT Review).

Les dates:

10.01.10 - Outremont, QC - Espace Reunion
10.02.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
11.05.10 - Boston, MA - Royale
11.13.10 - Glasgow, UK - ABC2
11.14.10 - Leeds, UK - Constellations Festival
11.15.10 - Brighton, UK - Komedia
11.17.10 - Cologne, Germany - Gebäude 9
11.18.10 - Berlin, Germany - Festsaal Kreuzberg
11.19.10 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Trouw
11.20.10 - Paris, France - Nouveau
11.21.10 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
11.22.10 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom

• Les Savy Fav:
• Frenchkiss:

Weezer reveal Pinkerton reissue details, even though most of us are too annoyed with Rivers to even finish reading this headline

I can hear my friends from high school now: Blah, blah, blah, “90s Weezer is still the jam”… something, something “seminal first two albums”… blah, blah, “made me want to embrace being a band-geek”… something, something, “Pinkerton changed my life”…

Phooey, I say! I still chuckle at my “If it’s too loud, turn it down” t-shirt as much as the next 90s Weezer fan, but those first two records are retroactively ruined, and you know it. “Impossible!” you say? Bosh, I say! Totally possible. I can’t listen to “Tired of Sex” without thinking that I’d been had all those years ago by some kind of hyper-self-aware, “all art is shit,” pop-as-irony, hip-to-be-square hit machine named Rivers Cuomo. And I’m betting I’m not the only one.

But I’m also betting that many of you are still on the fence. So, here comes your chance to get pushed off that fence one way or the other for good, as Weezer prepare to roll out the two-disc (4LP) Pinkerton - Deluxe Edition reissue on November 2, via DGC (or “Interscope,” in the parlance of our times). The reissue includes, natch, a remaster of the original Weezer-produced album and a whopping 25 Pinkerton-era bonus tracks, including all of the official B-sides (Angus fans, rejoice!) and 16 previously unreleased recordings. And what do you know? A few of those previously unreleased records are actually unreleased songs (e.g. “Tragic Girl” and “I Swear It’s True”) and not just unreleased live recordings of songs I already have a 14-year history with. Okay, that’s mildly interesting… but still.

And speaking of live tracks, the live tracks I was speaking of when I last spoke of live tracks were taken from their 1996 Reading Festival slot, radio sessions in Philadelphia and Salt Lake City, and a lunchtime performance won by a Seattle high school (a chilling omen of the shillery to come). Oh, and there’s also a booklet with photos and the obligatory Karl Koch essay, and blah-blah-blah-bling-blah. Look, just buy it already. I’m over it. I’m too into Deerhunter to even care. This news story is over.

Disc 1:
01. Tired Of Sex
02. Getchoo
03. No Other One
04. Why Bother?
05. Across The Sea
06. The Good Life
07. El Scorcho
08. Pink Triangle
09. Falling For You
10. Butterfly
11. You Gave Your Love To Me Softly
12. Devotion
13. The Good Life (Radio Remix)
14. Waiting On You
15. I Just Threw Out The Love Of My Dreams
16. The Good Life (Live and Acoustic)
17. Pink Triangle (Radio Remix)
18. I Swear It’s True*
19. Pink Triangle (Live and Acoustic)

Disc 2:
01. You Won’t Get With Me Tonight*
02. The Good Life (Live at Y100 Sonic Session)*
03. El Scorcho (Live at Y100 Sonic Session)*
04. Pink Triangle (Live at Y100 Sonic Session)*
05. Why Bother? (Live at Reading Festival 1996)*
06. El Scorcho (Live at Reading Festival 1996)*
07. Pink Triangle (Live at Reading Festival 1996)*
08. The Good Life (Live at X96)
09. El Scorcho (Live and Acoustic)*
10. Across The Sea Piano Noodles*
11. Butterfly (Alternate Take)*
12. Long Time Sunshine*
13. Getting Up And Leaving*
14. Tired Of Sex (Tracking Rough)*
15. Getchoo (Tracking Rough)*
16. Tragic Girl*

*Previously unreleased

• Weezer:
• Interscope:

RIP: John Hansen of The Slickee Boys

From the Washington City Paper (via The Daily Swarm):

John Hansen, a longtime fixture of D.C.’s punk scene known for his pranksterish joie de vivre, who spent much of the ’80s as the roadie, soundman, and then the guitarist of The Slickee Boys, died last Friday [September 17]. Hansen took his own life, according to his sister, Christine Hansen Martin. He was 47.

Hansen was 16 when he began working for The Slickee Boys around 1979—he had dropped out of high school along with his friend and future brother-in-law Seth Martin, who was then working sound for the early punk and new wave act. Hansen toured with The Slickee Boys throughout the ’80s, and when rhythm guitarist Kim Kane left the group in 1988, Hansen took his place until the band broke up in 1991.

“He was kind of like the embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll,” says Marshall Keith, The Slickee Boys’ guitarist. “He was the powerful person in the club who always got things going.”

• The Slickee Boys: