James Blake signs to Universal Republic, co-headlining tour with Enrique Iglesias and Hinder forthcoming

James Blake signs to Universal Republic, co-headlining tour with Enrique Iglesias and Hinder forthcoming http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-02-james-blake.png

So far, the biggest moment of electronic hype-conduit James Blake’s year was when Tiny Mix Tapes, the Zeus of the music criticism world, awarded his self-titled debut (TMT Review) a perfect score. It was a big moment for Blake, and, sadly, he’s probably now numb to all other human experiences. But here’s another pretty important Blake moment: he has signed to Universal Republic for the US release of his debut. Yes, James Blake is a major label artist in the US, which is about twenty times less odd than it sounds, since he’s already a major label artist in the UK. Atlas/A&M is handling the UK release of James Blake, and they’re owned by Polydor, which just happens to be owned by Universal Music Group. In a way, James Blake is basically on the same label in the UK and the US, or, at least, on labels that report to the same boss.

No news on the US release date for James Blake, but the UK version is still coming out on February 7. Also, no news on whether James Blake will be joining his new labelmates Hinder and Enrique Iglesias on the road, but, man, I hope he will.

• James Blake: http://www.myspace.com/jamesblakeproduction
• Universal Republic: http://www.universalrepublic.com

Mayday, mayday: The White Stripes are no more

There’s no other way to say this: The White Stripes have broken up. Well, I guess you can say it all cool-like, the way Jack and Meg White did:

The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.

Don’t worry, though: it doesn’t mean that Jack White will be any less active. Hell, it doesn’t even mean that you won’t be able to find more music under the The White Stripes moniker, as Third Man Records already plans to release live and studio recordings as part of their Vault program. But yes, new recordings are obviously out of the picture in the near future.

But why the breakup anyway? For anyone wondering about rocky roads in the White relationship, the couple has been divorced since 2000 (where have you been?), so it’s probably not as simple as when moms and dads decide not to live together anymore. But it is a little bewildering that, while they give no definitive explanation, they claim that the breakup is not due to “artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue.”

Readers: We need to get to the bottom of this.

• The White Stripes: http://www.whitestripes.com
• Third Man: http://www.thirdmanrecords.com

RIP: Brendan Mahoney, Tiny Mix Tapes writer

It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to fellow TMT writer Brendan Mahoney, who passed away early Sunday morning in a train accident in Brooklyn, New York. He was 24.

Brendan, a graduate of Boston University, had been writing for TMT since 2008. While his tastes were steeped in Bob Dylan, The Fall, Werner Herzog, and Michelangelo Antonioni, Brendan’s critical reach was broad, revealing an intellectual complexity yet emotional palatability that in fact mirrored the very kinds of artists he admired. From his reviews of Glenn Branca’s The Ascension and Q-Tip’s Kammal The Abstract, to his mix of “darkwave” music and interview with Gang Gang Dance, Brendan’s writing gave us insight into the tensions (such as those between the body and the brain, the electronic and the organic, chaos and order, the imaginary and the real, content and form) that not only piqued his interest, but also were his critical targets.

But an analysis of his writing isn’t enough to get a full picture of the kind of person Brendan was. Affable, creative, and eager to try new things, Brendan proved in just a short time how passionate he was, always willing to take time out of his personal life to help TMT through tough times. Sure, his writing may leave the most visible mark on TMT, but it was our personal relationship with Brendan that deepens our appreciation for him. We will miss him tremendously.

Please check out Brendan’s writing here, including his last review for us — a blurb about our #5 album of 2010, Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Left Foothere.

Tiny Mix Tapes will suspend posting new content today in remembrance of Brendan. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Will Oldham interviews R. Kelly, and it’s AWESOME

Yep, that’s right. Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, interviews R. Kelly for Interview magazine. Here’s the first question and answer:

WILL OLDHAM: Do you watch 30 Rock?

R. KELLY: No. What’s that?

Don’t be fooled though. This interview is amazing. As Drag City says, “The two singers sit together and muse philosophically about playing characters in song, conceptual parties, the influence of theatre on R.’s music, time-travel, the unknowability of the Id, and where it all began.”

My favorite part is when Kelly talks about some “white lady” on a boat who reminded him of the “lady from Titanic.” Check the interview here.

• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

Nobunny is a misunderstood Vietnam vet, and now he’s going on tour

John Nobunny (as portrayed by Nobunny, as portrayed by Justin Champlin) is a former member of a Special Forces unit that served in the Vietnam War. After learning that the only other living member of his unit has passed away, he enters the town of Hope, British Columbia. There, the overzealous sheriff (played by the scene-stealing Goner Records founder Eric Friedl) urges Nobunny to leave town, stating that he “hates drifters, especially ones wearing creepy bunny masks and lacking pants.” With that, Nobunny does the only things he knows how to do: he writes a record called First Blood (TMT Review) and tours every other city or, at least, all of the ones located on the Western half of North America.

On his next tour, Nobunny just kills everybody. He shoots every single person with a machine gun. And things blow up. Like, a lot of things blow up.

Nobunny tour:

02.02.11 - Olympia, WA - The Northern
02.03.11 - Vancouver, BC - The Railway Club
02.04.11 - Seattle, WA - Funhouse
02.05.11 - Portland, OR - Slabtown Bar
02.09.11 - San Francisco, CA - The Knock-Out
02.10.11 - Sacramento, CA - The Hub
02.11.11 - Los Angeles, CA - 6th Street Warehouse
02.12.11 - San Diego, CA - Til-Two Club
02.13.11 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
02.15.11 - Austin, TX - Emo’s
02.16.11 - Houston, TX - Rudyard’s
02.17.11 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves
02.18.11 - Tulsa, OK - The Eclipse
02.20.11 - Santa Fe, NM - Corazon
02.22.11 - Phoenix, AZ - Sound Kontrol
02.23.11 - Chino, CA - Warehouse @ 12th & G
02.25.11 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill (Noise Pop)

• Nobunny: http://www.myspace.com/nobunnylovesyou

Yoink! Citigroup plucks EMI from Guy Hands’ buttery fingers

Whoa. As The New York Times reported like 20 damn minutes ago, giant banking company-thing Citigroup has just wrestled EMI (you know, that big old music company that was home to the Beatles and the Stones and Coldplay and Radiohead, etc. that has been crashing and burning spectacularly for some time now?) from the grip of Guy Hands, the awesomely quixotic leader of British private equity firm Terra Firma, who bought the debt-laden company back in 2007. See, Citigroup had lent Terra Firma some £2.7 billion (about $5.5 billion in 2007) to finance their acquisition of EMI. But, um, yeah. Then all that financial stuff that your dad’s always talking about happened, leaving Terra Firma unable to make debt payments on that loan.

Wasting no time after taking 100% ownership, Citi has promptly rolled-up its sleeves and reduced EMI’s debt by 65%, from £3.4 billion ($5.4 billion) down to an adorable little £1.2 billion (about $1.9 billion). The turnover will likely lead to a quick flip of EMI at Citi’s next yard sale, with rival music companies like the Warner Music Group and the new BMG Rights Management expected to be among the possible bidders. But EMI actually consists of several small parts (e.g., its recorded music division and its publishing division), and it’s currently unclear whether Citi will try to pass the company off as one unit or chop it into pieces first. For now, Citigroup is denying that it has been soliciting buyers, but don’t be surprised when you see Citigroup show up on the next episode of Pawn Stars.

And now, this:

• EMI: http://www.emimusic.com
• Citigroup: http://www.citigroup.com