Joan of Arc morph into simplified quartet, prep Life Like, tour in May; still haven’t achieved sainthood

Joan of Arc morph into simplified quartet, prep Life Like, tour in May; still haven't achieved sainthood

Chicago-based, newly-Christened quartet Joan of Arc have gone ahead and made things a little easier on everyone. Gone are the days of extensive contributors, noisy interruptions, and foolhardy electronic meandering. Joan of Arc are a new beast, one that craves unique simplicity. The first step toward this new day is the recent announcement from Polyvinyl that Joan of Arc have quietly added guitarist/BFF Victor Villarreal (Cap’n Jazz, Ghosts and Vodka, Owls) to the fold for the band’s new LP, Life Like, due May 10 in the usual formats (and very limited blue cassettes!). Villarreal will join life-long Joan of Arc frontman Tim Kinsella, bassist Bobby Burg, and drummer Theo Katsaounis as the newly downsized functioning unit.

The new nine-track LP was recorded in five days following a rigorous 20-date European tour, and was produced by Windy City buddy Steve Albini at his famed Electrical Audio studios in Chicago. You can listen to a single from the album, “Love Life,” over at the album’s pre-order page (conveniently). Joan of Arc are set to play three days at this year’s SXSW Festival in mid-March, and then will begin a proper tour of the States in May.

Life Like tracklist:

01. I Saw the Messed Blinds of My Generation
02. Love Life
03. Like Minded
04. Life Force
05. Night Life Style
06. Howdy Pardoner
07. Still Life
08. Deep State
09. After Life


03.16.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.17.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.18.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW
05.04.11 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon
05.05.11 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
05.06.11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
05.07.11 - Bozeman, MT - Zebra Cocktail Lounge
05.09.11 - Seattle, WA - The Vera Project
05.10.11 - Portland, OR - Holocene
05.12.11 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord
05.14.11 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
05.16.11 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
05.17.11 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
05.19.11 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
05.20.11 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
05.21.11 - Fayetteville, AR - JR’s Lightbulb Club

• Joan of Arc:
• Polyvinyl:

All Pigs Must Die ink deal with Southern Lord… in fucking BLOOOOOD, yeah! Woo! Right?! Naw!

Sometimes metal just isn’t metal enough, you know? Take, for example, those Vietnam War scenes in Forest Gump. Instead of sticking to the movie’s strict heretofore use of Top 40 period music to echo and augment the mood of the specific socio-historical times under consideration at any given point in the film, I probably would have, you know, tastelessly blasted Metallica’s “One” through the entire thing. I mean, what’s more “HORRORS OF WAR” than that? Well, damned if those music directors didn’t answer that question decisively with highly charged snippets of Hendrix’s manic “All Along the Watchtower,” The Doors’ funky-ass “Soul Kitchen,” and the icy Buffalo Springfield jam “For What It’s Worth.” Touché, movie guys. I guess some things really are more metal than metal.

Want to know another thing that’s more metal than metal? Hardcore. Just ask All Pigs Must Die, the Massachusetts-based, balls-to-the-wall thrash band that recently signed a deal with Southern Lord for their upcoming full-length, which is due out this summer. After releasing their self-titled debut EP on their own label in 2010, the band (comprised of members of Converge, The Hope Conspiracy, and Bloodhorse) have toured regionally over recent months, making many a local pig nervous, causing general ambivalence in police officers, and amassing a diehard legion of followers along the way.

There’s not a lot of info available on the new record at the moment, but I can tell you that its warm and fuzzy title is God Is War and that it was recorded at Kurt Ballou’s Godcity Studios in delightful Salem, Massachusetts. So I guess what I’m saying is that it’s probably religious music. Anyway, ask them for more details yourself at one of their upcoming spring shows. I hear they pull off a mean Buffalo Springfield cover.


03.16.11 - Austin, TX - Scoot Inn (SXSW)
03.17.11 - Austin, TX - Emo’s (SXSW)
03.18.11 - Austin, TX - 501 Studios (SXSW)
03.31.11 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
04.01.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
04.02.11 - Philadelphia, PA - The Barbary

• All Pigs Must Die:
• Southern Lord:

[Photo: Chris Becker]

The Black Angels get psyched (eh??) for lengthy spring US tour

This spring, The Black Angels are taking wing (SOREY!) and setting forth on a lengthy tour to rep their latest release, last fall’s Phosphene Dream. Produced by Dave Sardy (Oasis, Wolfmother), the album was the group’s first for Blue Horizon and the object of much critical acclaim. Since its release, the neo-psych rockers have been going strong: touring in the fall with Black Mountain, headlining this month in venues across Europe — and now they’ll be bringing the show back over to the ol’ US of A, with their third performance at the annual Austin Psych Fest and a virtual cornucopia of tourdates. This could be the most psychedelic spring since 1967, the year international experts believe Ken Kesey dropped acid with a bunch of unicorns and went to the Wisconsin Dells for the first time.


03.31.11 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks *
04.01.11 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade *
04.02.11 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle *
04.03.11 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
04.05.11 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church *
04.06.11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre *
04.08.11 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
04.09.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
04.10.11 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street *
04.11.11 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club *
04.12.11 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa *
04.14.11 - Toronto, ONT - Lee’s Palace *
04.15.11 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop *
04.16.11 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick *
04.17.11 - Newport, KY - Southgate House *
04.18.11 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall *
04.20.11 - Madison, WI - The High Noon Saloon*
04.21.11 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom *
04.22.11 - St. Louis, MO - Old Rock House *
04.23.11 - Lawrence, KS - The Bottleneck*
04.29.11-05.01.11 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest
05.05.11 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre #
05.06.11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge #
05.07.11 - Boise, ID - Neurolux #
05.09.11 - Vancouver, BC - Venue #
05.10.11 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market #
05.11.11 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom#
05.13.11 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s #
05.14.11 - Pomona, CA - The Fox Theater (Supporting The Kills)
05.15.11 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre #
05.16.11 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern #
05.18.11 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room #
05.20.11 - Oklahoma City, OK - ACM Performance Lab#
05.21.11 - Dallas, TX - The Loft #

* Suuns
# Sleepy Sun

• The Black Angels:
• Blue Horizon:

The Watson Twins announce all-covers EP, and no, they are not covering Jenny Lewis!

The Watson Twins are still BFF’s with Jenny Lewis (or J-Le, as I have affectionately dubbed her), but you can’t blame the two gals for wanting to branch out on their own. They will continue to do so with Night Covers, their new all-covers EP, which is due April 18 from Vanguard Records. The EP includes covers of The Black Keys, Bill Withers, PJ Harvey, Sade, The Turtles, and The Eurythmics. You can hear some of these covers on the road (cross your fingers for a “Sweet Dreams” cover!) when The Watson Twins open for Alexi Murdoch and Amos Lee this spring.


03.03.11 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar &
03.05.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater &
04.22.11 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theater ^
04.23.11 - Charlotte, NC - Knight Center ^
04.24.11 - Asheville, NC - Forsythia Hall (headlining show) ^
04.25.11 - Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theater ^
04.26.11 - Atlanta, GA - Smith’s Olde Bar ^
04.27.11 - Athens, GA - Melting Point ^
04.28.11 - Charleston, SC - NCPAC ^
04.29.11 - Birmingham, AL - WorkPlay Soundstage ^

& Alexi Murdoch
^ Amos Lee

• The Watson Twins:
• Vanguard:

Zomes (ex-Lungfish) wills second LP Earth Grid into existence for Thrill Jockey

Before we get to Zomes, we have to tell the story of Daniel Higgs. Most of you know it by now, of course. Obsessively poetic singer/lyricist for the legendary emo band Lungfish (and one-half of side-project The Pupils in the early 00s), upon going solo, trades in Dischord and punk rock (an ambiguous label already, considering the sometimes mind-numbing repetition that defined Lungfish’s latter years) for Holy Mountain and banjo. In a further shift to lo-fi folk and, of all things, gospel, Higgs turns to Thrill Jockey and releases dense tomes like last year’s Say God (TMT Review).

I’m sure Asa Osborne, former Lungfish guitarist, other half of The Pupils, and the man behind Zomes, hates the comparison to Higgs. Unfortunately, if the shoe fits…. In 2008, Osborne released his first album as Zomes on Holy Mountain, and since then has announced that Thrill Jockey will release his second full-length, Earth Grid, on April 12. (Anybody see a pattern?) Instead of turning to finger-picking and a mountain-man persona, Asa has turned to minimalist drone with tape loops and no shortage of effects pedals — which sort of makes sense if you think about it (or just listen to Feral Hymns). Before releasing Earth Grid, Zomes will hype it up with a tour alongside The Skull Defekts from Sweden. Let’s hear it for the death of emo!

Tourdates (all w/ The Skull Defekts):

03.27.11 - Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club
03.28.11 - Madison, WI - TBA
03.29.11 - Iowa City, IA - Mission Creek Festival
03.30.11 - St. Louis, MO - Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center
03.31.11 - Chicago, IL - The Hideout *
04.01.11 - Pittsburgh, PA - 31st Street Pub
04.02.11 - Buffalo, NY - Soundlab *
04.03.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Littlefield
04.04.11 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
04.05.11 - Providence, RI - Machine with Magnets
04.06.11 - Scranton, PA - Embassy Vinyl
04.07.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Danger Danger Gallery
04.08.11 - Baltimore, MD - Floristree
04.09.11 - Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight
04.10.11 - Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light
04.11.11 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
04.12.11 - Asheville, NC - Harvest Records

* Mountains

• Zomes:
• Thrill Jockey:

Yoni Wolf of WHY? fame announces solo dates for you and you and you and you. But not you. You stay home.

Life ain’t fair, kids. Sometimes you get excluded, you know… left out. Maybe everybody else on the P.E. field is playing kickball, but you can’t join the game because “your kick is dumb.” Maybe you got passed up for that big promotion, even though you work twice as hard as Phillips, that jerk. Or maybe Yoni Wolf, creative force behind avant hip-hop/indie rock/whatever project WHY?, doesn’t play your town.

On his upcoming solo tour, there’s a pretty good chance Yoni Wolf won’t play your town; he’s only doing a select few dates. But if he does play your town, that’s going to be pretty awesome for you! The man has everything you could possibly dream up planned for these intimate solo dates, assuming you can only dream up WHY? classics, new material, and covers. “New material????” you say, with way more question marks than could possibly be necessary. Yes, the kind of new material that may well end up on WHY?’s fifth album, the follow-up to 2009’s Eskimo Snow (TMT Review), which Wolf plans on recording this May. Right after he’s done disappointing you by not playing your town.

Yoni Wolf dates:

04.08.11 - Gambier, OH - Horn Gallery @ Kenyon College
04.09.11 - Cincinnati, OH - The Monestary
04.15.11 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
04.16.11 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church Chapel (early + late shows)
04.21.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theatre
04.23.11 - San Francisco, CA - Swedish American Hall

• WHY?:
• Anticon: