Jenks Miller (Mount Moriah, Horseback) announces solo record on Northern Spy, befriends a wild fox

Jenks Miller (Mount Moriah, Horseback) announces solo record on Northern Spy, befriends a wild fox

The fine folks at Northern Spy thought they knew what they were getting into with Jenks Miller. All they wanted was to put out a solo record from the guitarist, he of country-folk act Mount Moriah and art-metal outfit Horseback. Here was a guy they could get behind and, in fact, they did get behind him. They’re releasing his new solo record Spirit Signal later this year. But they did find it weird when he brought the fox.

“This fox is my friend,” Jenks Miller said.

To the surprise of the Northern Spy crew, Miller had brought a live fox to the meeting, who appeared to be his constant traveling companion. “Oh, that’s cool,” they had to respond, admittedly a little weirded out by the fact that he was constantly feeding the fox tiny little peppermints. Afterwards, the fox went to sleep and he told them of his plan to conceive, track, and mix each song in one day. And that’s exactly what he did.

Mount Moriah will be playing Hopscotch Festival on September 5. The fox will not be playing.

• Mount Moriah:
• Northern Spy:

[Photo: Elysse Thebner]

Disappears use their mysterious, magical musical powers to conjure up new album Era, use plain old ordinary SoundCloud to share track from it

Contrary to whatever their band name might suggest, Chicago space-jammers Disappears seem pretty determined to hang around this whole “music industry scene” for a while. Let’s get reflective for a moment here, shall we? Why, it seems like only yesterday that I was telling you all about their latest KONE EP in all of its reverby, experimental rock glory. But it wasn’t yesterday, readers! It was like five months ago. Jesus, what the hell have I been doing??

Anyway, KONE also marked the, ahem, “disappearance” of Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums and the arrival of his definitely-not-Steve-Shelley replacement, Noah Leger. But now that Leger is fully integrated into the line-up and people like me have finally shut up about their Sonic Youth connection, the band is throwing down hard with their fourth full-length album. It’s called Era and was recorded this past winter at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago with John Congleton. Those are cool people and place names, so you know this thing is good and serious.

How good and serious? Well, the press release calls the new album, which is due August 26 via Kranky, “insular and dark,” and talks about the band’s “love of dub, minimalism and repetition” really coming into play in a classic, 80s post-punky way. I don’t know, though. Does that sound like a thing to you? I can’t even tell anymore. But hey, luckily, you don’t have to rely on some shitty prose description that I’m totally not confident in; because you can just stream a new track from the album below and make up your own to suit your personal taste, expectations, vocabulary, and background experience. Isn’t life easy in 2013? Cheers, reader.

Era tracklisting:

01. Girl
02. Power
03. Ultra
04. Era
05. Weird House
06. Elite Typical
07. New House

UK tour dates:

11.24.13 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store
11.25.13 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
11.26.13 - London, UK - Lexington

• Disappears:
• Kranky:

King Khan & The Shrines will overwhelm you with all their upcoming stuff

It’s been quite a while since King Khan & The Shrines got together to record a new album; six years since 2007’s What Is?, to be precise. Now that the band is with Merge Records, the album drought is about to end, because on September 3, you can get your grubby mitts on a copy of Idle No More. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, they’re notorious for blending genres: King Khan’s sound is something akin to a rockabilly Sly Stone with stacks of well-worn garage records at home backed by a punk jazz band. Judging by the song below, Idle No More is a bit more refined than their previous efforts. Check out Idle No More’s opening track, “Born to Die” here:

In addition to the new album, King Khan is taking his eight-man strong Shrines unit to not one, but two continents. They’re making a trek around Europe late this summer before coming to the US and Canada this fall. King Khan & The Shrines tend to put on a raucous, sweat-filled spectacle each night, so I expect any Philadelphia area garage rock fans to be at Union Transfer on Halloween. Given King Khan’s penchant for costumes and mischief, the show on Halloween in Philly will be bonkers. The Mischief Night show in New York will certainly be unpredictable as well. Even if the new record is a bit more polished than their older stuff, the live show is still sure to be grimy as hell. Side note: Does knowing something will be unpredictable make it predictable?

On top of the tour, there’s even more coming up for King Khan. Here’s the music video for “Bite My Tongue,” a track that was released on a split single with Mikal Cronin. The video’s been floating around for a while, but “Bite My Tongue” is going to be on the new album, too. You can watch as Super KK flies around causing (relatively minor) mayhem, ultimately leading to a showdown with prankster Jesus.


08.28.13 - Luxembourg - Exit07
08.29.13 - Haarlem, Netherlands - Patronaat
08.30.13 - Salisbury, UK - End of the Road Festival
09.01.13 - London, UK - XOYO
09.03.13 - Brighton, UK - The Blind Tiger Cluv
09.04.13 - Paris, France - Trabendo
09.05.13 - Brussels, Belgium - Magasin 4
09.06.13 - Vineland, Netherlands - Great Wide Open Festival
10.11.13 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
10.13.13 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
10.14.13 - Portland, OR - Dante’s
10.15.13 - Vancouver, BC - The Rickshaw Theatre
10.16.13 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
10.17.13 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
10.18.13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10.19.13 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
10.20.13 - Kansas City, KS - The Record Bar
10.21.13 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
10.22.13 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
10.23.13 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
10.24.13 - Cleavland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
10.25.13 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
10.26.13 - Toronto, ON - Legendary Horshoe Tavern
10.27.13 - Montreal, QC - La Tulipe
10.29.13 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
10.30.13 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
10.31.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11.01.13 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
11.02.13 - Durgam, NC - Motorco Music Hall
11.04.13 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
11.05.13 - Birmingham, AL - Nottletree
11.06.13 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia
11.12.13 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls
11.13.13 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom

• King Khan and the Shrines:
• Merge Records:

Jay-Z’s new album changes the rules of music (in a dumb way that should annoy you)

For those of you who have elected to fritter away your precious days on this planet with two baby carrots jammed in your ears and a replica of Agamemnon’s death mask permanently affixed to your face, allow me to brief you on two pertinent pieces of information: (A) Jay-Z is releasing an album on God’s Own July the 4th and (B) IT IS ALREADY CHANGING THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.

According to long-established RIAA custom, artists must wait 30 days before their latest record is eligible for sales certification, i.e. gold/platinum/cadmium status. Although this might have been acceptable policy in the pre-www days of oxcarts and hardtack, the RIAA recently altered its requirements to allow digital album sales to become eligible on their release date. Physical album sales will continue to abide by the current certification policy. Administrators of the powerful recording industry lobby changed their ways once a certain erstwhile Brooklyn Nets owner pre-sold 1 million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail Danse Manatee to Samsung, who are offering the album early to those who download a special fucking app. Just to reiterate: because the RIAA finagled with their rules and Samsung made an app, Jay-Z’s new album has already gone platinum. Technically.

“It is a novel and creative marketing move and it has rightly stimulated a healthy conversation about the sale’s meaning and implications for the modern music business,” says RIAA spokesperson and possible iTunes-denier Liz Kennedy. While the RIAA is pleased as a picnic to be so forward-thinking, the chartmakers at Billboard are having none of this shit: the magazine is standing by its longstanding policy of rejecting bulk sales from official tallies. Meanwhile, be sure to catch Thursday’s emotional award ceremony when the CEO of Samsung presents Jay-Z with a platinum jump drive and an American flag with his face embossed on it.

• Jay-Z:
• Samsung:

Cellular Chaos, containing a wild Weasel Walter and a slight risk of irradiation, announces debut LP set for release this month

If Weasel Walter’s involvement in a ridiculous number of sonically challenging projects wasn’t welcomed by the musicians with whom he was working, you could totally throw out a pun about his tendency to weasel (guffaw) his way from band to band, and from collaboration to collaboration. Of course, he’s principally recognized as the founder and eventually sole member of the genre-evading (but certainly experimental!) Flying Luttenbachers, but that flight became permanently grounded in 2007, after 15 years of Walter first aiming to upend prevailing notions about music, and then, ultimately, focusing exclusively on the intricacies of his own compositions. He expounded on all of this in an interview with TMT a heavy seven years ago. Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly enlightening:

Call it maturity or whatever you want. I’m not mellowing out a bit, but I don’t really see any more point in making purely chaotic music for its own sake. I’ve done plenty of it and I don’t know that it proves much other than “look at me! I’ve got a lot of energy! I can make noise for a long time!” I did that… now it’s time to do something else. You know, like, be intense and energetic and dissonant in a deliberate framework, with more detail and accuracy and variation.

You might glean from the entire feature an integrity and personal security on par with Captain America, for lack of a better, less spangly example that I can think of at the moment. And speaking of controlled intensity, Cellular Chaos, the band in which Weasel plays guitar and undoubtedly does more than that, has just announced their debut LP set for release on July 15 — a bookend to the tour that’s currently underway. That’s Admiral Grey yelping enthrallingly on the single that’s just been released, and that’s her falling in an adrenaline-induced heap in the video below. Yes yes. More, please.


07.02.13 - Rochester, NY - Venue TBA
07.03.13 - Toronto, ON - The Shop
07.04.13 - Cleveland, OH - “house next to now that’s class”
07.05.13 - Ann Arbor, MI - Arbor Vitae
07.06.13 - Chicago, IL - The Burlington (Early Show)
07.07.13 - St. Louis, MO - Apop Records
07.08.13 - Lexington, KY - Al’s Bar
07.09.13 - Columbus, OH - Cafe Bourbon St.
07.10.13 - Morgantown, WV - 123 Pleasant St.
07.11.13 - Pittsburg, PA - Howlers
07.12.13 - Allentown, PA - Venue TBA
07.13.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Death By Audio

• Cellular Chaos:

[Photo: Justina Villanueva]

Janelle Monae, the electric lady, releases second single from new album due out in September

Been waiting too long for another full-length intergalactic odyssey from Janelle Monae? Well, the wait to take another ride on her new genre-spanning musical whirligig is almost over. Since her 2010 album The ArchAndroid, Janelle has done a lot of touring, opening for the likes of Of Montreal and Prince, and serving as a guest on a slew of tracks (for Estelle, fun., and Big Boi to name just a few), but until the Erykah Badu-guesting single “Q.U.E.E.N.” that came out back in April, we’d all been without any truly original Monae for a long, long time.

Thankfully, Monae’s new album The Electric Lady will be released September 10 on Atlantic Records, and in anticipation of the album, a second single has been released. Titled “Dance Apocalyptic,” it’s a lot less funky that the riffy “Q.U.E.E.N.,” but that’s not too surprising considering Monae rarely frequents the same sonic galaxy from track to track. Instead, “Apocalyptic” is a jaunty summer jam meant to get you dancing on the tips of your toe, though the lyrics and the outro hint at a darker tone for Janelle’s new concept of The Electric Lady.

Based on this video where Janelle talks about the inspiration for the new album, Monae definitely wants to explore her political and philosophical ponderings through the lens of her increased stardom. With her past success at myth-building and world-creating, this slow roll-out leading up to the new album makes me excited to see what we end up with come fall. Should have something new to dance to if nothing else!

• Janelle Monae:
• Atlantic: