Islands work real hard to get back into your pants with a Valentine’s Day surprise: new album and sexxxy, intimate tour

Islands work real hard to get back into your pants with a Valentine’s Day surprise: new album and sexxxy, intimate tour

It’s been a good three years since we last heard from that old flame, Islands. Their 2009 record Vapours was another solid outing of frenetic pop, but then they just stopped calling and we thought things had run their course. Sure, we were upset, but there are other fish in the sea. And then just when we’re really, truly over it, they come waltzing back into our lives. At least they’re certainly trying this time.

Here’s what they have planned for Valentine’s Day: their new album, A Sleep & A Forgetting, will be released on ANTI-, then they’re embarking on an extensive North American Tour. How do we know it’ll be different this time? Well, lead man Nick Thorburn moved to the sunny environs of Los Angeles from New York, and the change in scenery has altered Islands’ tone. Prefix recently talked to Thorburn, who noted that “[t]he record deals with loss, with memory and forgetting and with dreaming.” I think he’s talking about our time together.

Let’s not get our hopes up, but it really seems like this is the real deal! heck out Islands when they roll through your town this unseasonably warm winter to be sure.

02.14.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theatre
02.15.12 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
02.17.12 - Austin, TX - St David’s Episcopal Church
02.18.12 - Dallas, TX - Sons of Herman Hall
02.20.12 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
02.21.12 - Chapel Hill, NC - TBA
02.22.12 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
02.23.12 - Baltimore, MD - TBA
02.24.12 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Chapel
02.25.12 - New York, NY - TBA
02.26.12 - Hamden, CT - The Space
02.27.12 - Montreal, QC - Cabaret du Mile End
02.28.12 - Toronto, ON - Music Gallery
02.29.12 - Pontiac, MI - Magnetic Recording
03.01.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
03.02.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St Entry
03.03.12 - Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
03.05.12 - Edmonton, AB - The Haven Social Club
03.06.12 - Calgary, AB - The Ironwood
03.08.12 - Vancouver, BC - Rio Theatre
03.10.12 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project
03.11.12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
03.13.12 - San Francisco, CA - Hotel Utah
03.14.12 - San Diego, CA - TBA

• Islands:
• ANTI-:

Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi continue their endless traverse of the frequency range with Imikuzushi

Wouldn’t the United Nations be so much more worthwhile of an organization if each country, instead of electing the most diplomatic and politically aware citizens to serve as ambassador, altered their criteria in order to place a completely irrelevant emphasis on one’s ability to musically improvise? Additionally, in order to overcome those pesky language barriers, each representative would be required to “speak” through the positive or negative tones of their respective instruments. Here’s how that would hypothetically play out: “In response to the continued human rights abuses by the leader of Hullabalooistan, the gentleman from neighboring Republic of Gibberishtania is recognized.” *BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BRRRRRRRRRR*

For the purpose of a coherent segway, the yearly collaboration between Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi represents something of a mini-UN in its own respect, with the three patriots of experimentation hailing from Japan, the US, and Australia, respectively. When it comes to how these three individuals came to work together, your guess is as good as mine, but speaking on behalf of free improv enthusiasts everywhere (is that okay?), it’s most definitely a welcome meeting of minds — one which continues with the release of Imikuzushi on February 28 via Black Truffle Records, who previously released the trio’s Tima Formosa (TMT Review and In a flash everything comes together as one there is no need for a subject.

In addition to using all of the appropriate adjectives — “hypnotic,” “pounding,” “intense,” “transcendent” — Melbourne-based songwriter and musician Francis Plagne describes the album as “four unedited excerpts salvaged from an epic show that lasted well over three hours, the sometimes raw nature of the recording only adds to its directness and harshly emotive quality.” Personally, I’d like to see the trio take a subtle cue from Boris and make a pop-inspired album. I realize how implausible that sounds.

• Jim O’Rourke:
• Oren Ambarchi:
• Keiji Haino:
• Black Truffle:

Spanish Prisoners haven’t announced all their tourdates yet; they need a van first!

Back in October, Spanish Prisoners released their album, Gold Fools, exclusively via Bandcamp, an album bursting with kaleidoscopic dream pop and psychedelic charm. They’re beyond jazzed about hitting the road for a very first tour, which will include an appearance at SXSW; however, they’re in the market for some good ol’ fashioned transportation. Nothing too wild like an ice cream truck or a school bus, just a reliable tour van.

Here’s where you come in: the band has started a Kickstarter project to raise money for this van. Maybe they’ll bake you cookies or knit you a scarf if you donate, but I know for sure that supporters will receive access to Spanish Prisoners’ Van Song Project. They plan to record a new song inside the van every day while on tour, and they’ll post photos, videos, and journal entries too, so it’ll almost be like you’re on tour too. Sort of.


02.24.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory
03.09.12 - Asheville, NC - Warehouse #10 &

% Snowmine
& Alligator Indian

• Spanish Prisoners:

Archers of Loaf continue reunion tour, empowered by the mystical energy of the ancient pumping fist

It’s an open secret in the world of indie rock that legendary North Carolina outfit Archers of Loaf are members of The Order of the Ancient Pumping Fist, a shadowy religion centered around the titular fist. All hail the fist! Pumping the fist is good! Crossing your arms is bad! Last year, the high priest of the fist told Archers of Loaf that the fist demanded a reunion tour. Fist, thy will be done! The tour happened and the fist was sated.

But truly, the fist was sated only briefly. It needed more energy. So, Archers of Loaf are going on tour again. That’s how it gets energy, duhhhhhh. How else would a magical, constantly psyched fist get its energy? There’s no other way! As such, Archers of Loaf have a smattering of dates throughout the next few months. These dates are bookended by the festivals Noise Pop and Primavera Sound, a.k.a. the two holiest places in the Pumping Fist religion.

Merge will reissue the band’s 1995 record Vee Vee on February 21, following up the reissue last year of their debut Icky Mettle. Reissues of the band’s last two records, All The Nation’s Airports and White Trash Heroes, will follow later in the year. None of these reissues have anything to do with The Fist. The Fist cares not for such things.

Archers of Loaf dates:

02.25.12 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall (Noise Pop) *
02.26.12 - West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour *
04.26.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
04.27.12 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
04.28.12 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
04.29.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
05.10.12 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
05.11.12 - Saxapahaw, NC - Haw River Ballroom
05.12.12 - Raleigh, NC - King’s Royal Barcade
05.30.12-06.03.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound

* Hospitality

• Archers of Loaf:
• Merge:

Steve Reich composing Radiohead-inspired piece — first person to use the word “remix” gets injured

Last week we reported on the undoubtedly ominous news that Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and Polish avant-garde composer Krzysztof Penderecki are releasing a collaborative album in March. What we didn’t report is that the reciprocal love between Radiohead/Jonny Greenwood and experimental composers apparently extends far beyond Eastern Europe, and is likely more enduring than many of the relationships set to be celebrated on that most contrived of holidays next week. Giving further credence to this, the venerable maestro of minimal Steve Reich is working on a piece based on the Radiohead songs “Everything in Its Right Place” and “Jigsaw Falling into Place.” If you’re traditional enough to still buy physical calendars, it’s probably best that you mark it, because you likely won’t remember this article when the time comes: the piece isn’t set to be revealed until March 5, 2013, and will be performed by 13 musicians from the London Sinfonietta.

According to The Guardian, Reich and the members of Radiohead reportedly met and spoke at length during a festival in Poland last September. Commenting on their mutual appreciation for one another, Andrew Burke, chief executive of the London Sinfonietta, says this, referring to Reich: “It was the first time he’d met them as musicians and spoken to them at length. Jonny Greenwood played [Reich composition] Electric Counterpoint – Steve saw this guy was seriously interested in his music and Steve became seriously interested in theirs.” And the rest, as they say, is history. Well, not really. We’ve still got about a year to go. Then it’s history.

• Steve Reich:
• London Sinfonietta:

Bon Iver announces West Coast tour, hooks up with Alicia Keys for baby-making music

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, a.k.a. the romancer of the new millennium, is a lot like his past collaboration buddy Kanye West: ‘Ye is all about fashion, while Vernon is no stranger to sexifying a fitted flannel that pairs nicely with his lumberjack beard; they both had Midwestern upbringings; and they both LOVE LOVE LOVE the lady folk! Case in point: Vernon is stealing away Swizzy’s girl Alicia Keys for a female-focused project. “I have a big idea to do an American songbook of the greatest women singers,” Vernon told USA Today. “There are so many: Casey [Dienel] from White Hinterland, Bonnie Raitt, Alicia.”

And just like his boy Kanye would do, he hit up Alicia Keys first to get the ball rolling. Although no release date or recording has yet been announced, he and Mrs. Swizz Beatz have already written some songs for the project. Hopefully Bon Iver fans think it’s worth it too, as Bon Iver is put on hold until the project is done: “I’m guessing three years. But it could be five. It could be only one more. It just depends when the songs come about. I sort of have to wait till they reveal themselves.” Right, but maybe winning a Grammy or two on February 12 might change his mind.

Meanwhile, Bon Iver has just announced a West Coast tour. Check out the dates below, as well as a recent performance of “Holocene” on SNL.


04.12.12 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint @ Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas #
04.14.12 - Indio, CA - Coachella Music and Arts Festival
04.17.12 - Davis, CA - Freeborn Hall @ UC Davis #
04.19.12 - San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium #
04.21.12 - Indio, CA - Coachella Music and Arts Festival
04.22.12 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl #
04.23.12 - Tucson, AZ - AVA Ampitheater
04.27.12 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
05.27.12 - George, WA- Sasquatch Music Festival

# All Tiny Creatures

• Bon Iver:
• Jagjaguwar: