John Fahey’s Revenant label starting up production again; expect a bitter turf war with Dust-to-Digital

John Fahey's Revenant label starting up production again; expect a bitter turf war with Dust-to-Digital

After five years of deep sleep, reflection, and alternative facial soaps, the curatorial spirits behind John Fahey’s post-Takoma label, Revenant Records, are cleansed and ready to send recordings screaming from the grave and into Grammy-nominating ears once again. Revenant has been responsible for some of the most raw and beautiful folk/blues reissues/compilations around since forming in 1996, and they’ve also managed to tie in some contemporary records by No-Neck Blues Band, Jim O’Rourke, and Sir Richard Bishop, along with the 9-disc Albert Ayler Holy Ghost box set — which gets an award from me right now for Best Packaging. Shit, there’s even a Bassholes CD out there. Glad to have you back Revenant!!

There will be “a more complete slate of forthcoming releases in a month or so,” says they, but for now we know they’re well into at least one project: a two-volume chronicle of Paramount — “an early American record label operating in Wisconsin that from 1922-32 produced a catalog comprising arguably the greatest cavalcade of artists ever housed under one roof.” Which means that, yes, Jelly Roll Morton, Son House, William Moore, Ma Rainey, Bo Weavil Jackson, Charley Patton, Blind Blake, Skip James, Blind Willie Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, and Blind Lemon Jefferson all recorded for Paramount. Along with the unearthed music itself, Revenant will be spritzing record-collector catnip all over the place: “handcrafted packaging with inlaid materials, large format hardcover books, 200g vinyl records plus digital downloads of all materials, a complete narrative history of the label, and a visual centerpiece featuring many of the striking original line-drawn ads.” Oh Dust, don’t hurt ‘em…

• Revenant:

Circle Jerks caught on film circle jerking, documentary to be released in September

The best band to come out of the L.A. hardcore scene of the 1980s, The Circle Jerks, are the subject of a new documentary, set for release on September 24. On the flipside of the coin, the documentary about my circle jerking habit, Hands Across My Body, is set for a private viewing with my swinger group, also on September 24.

The documentary, My Career As a Jerk, was made my David Markey (who also did 1991: The Year Punk Broke and The Slog Movie) and features the standard documentary reagents of in-depth interviews (with luminaries such as: Keith Morris, Greg Hetson, Lucky Leher, Earl Liberty, Zander Schloss, J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Brian Baker (Minor Threat); live footage (mostly rare); and “historical perspective to illustrate the story,” so that it isn’t just clip after clip of old dudes talking about their days as rebels, reminiscing about days spent skateboarding and nights spent pogoing, but instead a historically important document of youth culture.

“I was at many of these shows, and let me tell you, there wasn’t a tighter band in Los Angeles at the time,” mused Markey wistfully. “Making this film reminded me just how truly great they were.”

• Circle Jerks:
• MVD Entertainment:

Gang Wizard return with free LP, limited 7-inch, teenage sons

Cherish your time with the Gang Wizard, for you know not when the Gang Wizard comes and goes. Though once prolific, noise act Gang Wizard have remained mostly quiet since 2008, the only exception being an EXTREMELY limited release from earlier this year. Well, stop living in the past! Gang Wizard are back! They’re back with two new releases through Deathbomb Arc, in fact. One of these releases is a new digital LP called So Excited, which you can download right here. So free, so new, so wizard-like. If you love this new album and need to buy something from Gang Wizard, then look toward their Hood Rip 7-inch. If you do feel that way, though, hope that 20 other people don’t feel exactly the same. Hood Rip is limited to 20 copies, so you should probably order it from here right now. Besides, it’s square-shaped!

Incidentally, Gang Wizard’s lineup has changed somewhat since last hearing from them. Original member Mike Landucci remains, but the rest of the band consists of his teenage sons. Due to this, Gang Wizard may technically be the first dad-rock band mostly populated by teens. God bless you, Gang Wizard, for breaking new ground in this world.

• Gang Wizard:
• Deathbomb Arc:

Gatekeeper give King’s Quest VI a run for its money with Exo computer game

Gatekeeper have released the first-person gaming experience that accompanies their recent debut LP on Hippos in Tanks, Exo. Designed by digital artist Tabor Rybak, the game pairs each of the album’s tracks with an immersive, interactive visual experience to be played as an independent level.

When discussing the album with Noisey last month, Gatekeeper’s Aaron David Ross and Matthew Arkell noted that the origin of the record’s sound came from “playing around with sound library effects from commercial trailer sound effect packs.” With this approach in place, Gatekeeper defined the project as an ‘HD’ audio experience, and thus it needed an appropriately over-the-top visual experience to accompany it.

Since their last project was a set of 3D videos created in collaboration with Thunderhorse for their EP Giza, Gatekeeper really had to push boundaries to feel like they were doing something new. After watching a good portion of the playthrough video for the Exo game, I think they’ve accomplished what they set out to do. The game starts out in space, moves into what appears to be a futuristic spaceship, then settles into exploring various naturalistic environments on an Earth-like planet. The crisp (yet clearly digitally rendered) visual paired with Exo’s action-movie brand of IDM makes for a nice combination — the peanut butter and jelly of the video game-electronic music hybrid, if you will.

Tourdates (all w/ Teengirl Fantasy and Thunder Horse):

08.10.12 - San Francisco, CA - DNA Lounge
08.11.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Los Globos
08.12.12 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
08.17.12 - Vancouver, BC - Waldorf Hotel
08.18.12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
08.24.12 - New York, NY - Rocks Off Cruise *
08.31.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
09.01.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall

* Lemonade (no Thunder Horse)

• Gatekeeper:
• Hippos in Tanks:

RIP: Marvin Hamlisch, prolific composer for film and theater

From Bloomberg:

Marvin Hamlisch, the classically trained pianist who composed the music for shows including “A Chorus Line” and movies including “The Way We Were,” winning show business’s most sought-after awards by the armloads, has died. He was 68.

Hamlisch died yesterday in Los Angeles after a brief illness, the Associated Press reported, citing a family spokesman, Jason Lee.

The recipient of three Academy Awards, four Grammys, four Emmys, two Golden Globes and one Tony, Hamlisch provided the music for Barbra Streisand’s 1994 concert tour, the Neil Simon show “The Goodbye Girl” and more than 40 movies that also included “Sophie’s Choice,” “Ordinary People,” and Woody Allen’s “Bananas.”

Only Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers, the American composer who died in 1979, won at least one Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony and a Pulitzer Prize. Hamlisch shared in the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for “A Chorus Line”; Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II shared a piece of the 1950 award for “South Pacific.”

“From the time I could play the piano, I remember trying to write tunes,” Hamlisch wrote in “The Way I Was,” his 1992 memoir, written with Gerald Gardner. “They were in my head, and I would just sit down and start noodling. Next thing I knew, I had written a melody.”

• Marvin Hamlisch:

Pinback exclaim, “We’re pin-BACK!” with announcement of first studio album in five years

Pinback! You didn’t think that one of the most qualitatively consistent bands in the universe was suddenly going to disappear from the music world altogether, did you? On the contrary, when the sun finally explodes, and the Earth is showered upon with mile-wide pieces of flaming meteorites, I fully expect expect Pinback to continue releasing reliably good albums. Even their latest hiatus, if that’s what you want to call it, wasn’t even totally one. They did a bit of touring, and last year, they released a couple of limited-edition singles, in honor of Record Store Day. Little did we know, those singles were the precursor to Information Retrieved, their first full-length album in five years, and their first as signatories to Temporary Residence Limited. The album is due out October 16.

Also, in case you need a memory-jog with regard to what Pinback were up to five years ago, check out our review of Autumn of the Seraphs, their last studio album.

• Pinback:
• Temporary Residence Ltd.: