John Zorn hosts benefit concerts for earthquake relief, “always felt a strong personal connection to Japan”

John Zorn hosts benefit concerts for earthquake relief, "always felt a strong personal connection to Japan"

Disasters tend to bring out the best in people, and — in terms of musicians — collaborations, compilations, and shows both interesting and inspiring (while sometimes maybe not the most cohesive works). John Zorn, for one, has stepped up to offer support to Japan by organizing an outstanding concert to benefit relief efforts in the wake of the earthquake earlier this month. On Sunday, March 27, experimental greats will gather to perform at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, from Yoko Ono and Sonic Youth to Cibo Matto and John Zorn’s own Aleph Trio. All of the proceeds go to Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund — and tickets are already sold out!

Don’t worry though, the Japan Society recently announced additional concerts for Japan on April 8 and 9, also organized by Zorn. The former includes performances from Thurston Moore and Norah Jones, and the latter — lasting a whopping 12 hours — features Philip Glass, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Ryuichi Sakamoto! Zorn is behind a total of five anticipated concerts in NYC, all benefiting Japan 100%.

Go here for information on the concert at Miller Theatre, or here for the April dates now finalized. Finally, to really warm your heart, check out this interview with Zorn about the events over at The Awl.

Too bad you never moved to Brooklyn, huh?

Official lineup (Miller Theatre, March 27):

Sonic Youth
Yoko Ono
Mike Patton
Sean Lennon
Cibo Matto
Marc Ribot
Uri Caine
Aleph Trio
John Zorn, host

• John Zorn:
• Japan Society:

Broken Bells release new EP Meyrin Fields, bumping up the total number of Broken Bells releases in the world

Step one on the road to indie pop success: put out a popular debut. Step two: follow up that popular debut with a quickie EP of extra material. Broken Bells, the collaboration between Shins frontman James Mercer and ubiquitous producer Danger Mouse, can scratch that first step off. Last year’s self-titled debut ended up very popular, selling over 300,000 copies and landing near the top of NPR’s year-end readers’ poll.

As for step two, they’ve got that on the way. On March 29, the band will put out a classic example of the unreleased/B-side/bonus material stopgap EP in the form of Meyrin Fields. Half of the release’s tracks are unreleased, along with one previously released B-side and one album bonus track. Maybe it’s not a lot of new material, but if you need the sweet, delicious nectar that is new Broken Bells, you will survive for another day.

Meyrin Fields tracklist:

01. Meyrin Fields
02. Win­dows
03. An Easy Life
04. Heart­less Empire

• Broken Bells:
• Columbia:

What’s black and white and goes on national tours? The Thermals!

The Thermals have been very busy bees, buzzing back and forth across the world to promote their newest album on Kill Rock Stars, Personal Life (TMT Review), and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

The Portland natives have now announced an upcoming US tour with Matt and Kim where they will visit almost every state (sorry Montana, Idaho, and all the others) and continue bearing their personal lives to all of their devoted, bespectacled fans. This newest tour is in addition to the already announced dates in Europe with The Coathangers and the handful of gigs in May, including a set at Washington’s Sasquatch! Festival.

Besides the massive amount of touring, the band recently shot a video for their song “Not Like Any Other Feeling.” The video, which includes stop-motion chalk animation, rotoscoping, Super-8 film, 50 volunteers, and a recreation of the moon landing, was shot in Washington and was a joint project between The Thermals, Kill Rock Stars, Seattle Sound Transit, and the Seattle Experimental Animation Team. Go ahead and view that sucker here.

Thermals dates:

03.30.11 - Manchester, UK - Roadhouse *
03.31.11 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece *
04.01.11 - London, UK - XOYO *
04.02.11 - Brussels, Belgium - BeursKafee *
04.03.11 - Cologne, Germany - Gebaeude 9 *
04.05.11 - Evreux, France - L’Abordage *
04.06.11 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie *
04.07.11 - Lyon-Oullins, France - Le Clacson *
04.08.11 - Barcelona, Spain - Sala Be Cool *
04.09.11 - Marmande, France - Garorock Festival
04.11.11 - Aarau, Switzerland - Kiff *
04.12.11 - Munich, Germany - Hansa 39 *
04.13.11 - Wien, Austria - Flex *
04.14.11 - Nuernberg, Germany - K4 Festival *
04.15.11 - Frankfurt, Germany - Sinkkasten *
04.16.11 - Dresden, Germany - Beatpol *
04.17.11 - Berlin, Germany - Lido *
04.19.11 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust *
04.20.11 - Groningen, The Netherlands - Vera *
04.21.11 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Trouw *
04.22.11 - Eindhoven, The Netherlands - Effenaar *
04.30.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia Int Festival of the Arts
05.20.11 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
05.28.11 - George, WA - Sasquatch Fest
05.31.11 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
06.01.11 - Columbia, MO - Mojo’s
06.02.11 - Nashville, TN - The End
06.03.11 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade #
06.04.11 - Orlando, FL - Firestone #
06.05.11 - Ft Lauderdale, FL - The Culture Room #
06.07.11 - Tampa, FL - Czar Imperial Ballroom #
06.08.11 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues #
06.10.11 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
06.11.11 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s #
06.12.11 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues #
06.14.11 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theater #
06.15.11 - Hollywood, CA - The Music Box #
06.16.11 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues #
06.17.11 - Hollywood, CA - The Music Box #
06.18.11 - Oakland, CA - The Fox #
06.20.11 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue #
06.21.11 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theater #
06.22.11 - Kansas City, MO - Beaumont #
06.23.11 - St Louis, MO - Pageant #
06.24.11 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theater #
06.25.11 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theater #
06.28.11 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club #
06.29 .11- New York, NY - Terminal 5 #
06.30.11 - Boston, MA - House of Blues #

* The Coathangers
# Matt and Kim

• The Thermals:
• Kill Rock Stars:

RIP: Pinetop Perkins, Delta blues musician, boogie-woogie master

From The New York Times:

Pinetop Perkins, the boogie-woogie piano player who worked in Muddy Waters’s last great band and was among the last surviving members of the first generation of Delta bluesmen, died on Monday at his home in Austin, Tex. He was 97.

His death was confirmed by Hugh Southard, his agent for the last 15 years.

From his days in the groups of Waters and the slide guitarist Robert Nighthawk to the vigorous solo career he fashioned over the last 20 years, Mr. Perkins’s accomplishments were numerous and considerable. His longevity as a performer was remarkable — all the more so considering his fondness for cigarettes and alcohol; by his own account he began smoking at age 9 and didn’t quit drinking until he was 82. Few people working in any popular art form have been as prolific in the ninth and tenth decades of their lives.


• Pinetop Perkins:

[Photo: Carl Lender]

Zs tour Europe this spring as a retreat from the fan-swarming aftermath of New Slaves’ album-of-the-year status

When you bestow upon a band the honor of having album of the year, you put yourself in a position that, well, requires you to keep them in a sort of limelight. That is, until TMT decides to piggyback the next experimental up-and-comer out of Brooklyn!! Which will likely be in a matter of days. Until that time, we here at TMT keep our allegiances and proudly report on the goings on of any and all music that hasn’t fallen out of obscure popularity. That’s why we’re proud to announce that Zs will be riding the crest of their TMT stardom through a spring European tour, hot on the heels of their new remix LP that just dropped.

New Slaves II: Essence Implosion! (TMT Review) features remixes of the original document from the star-studded likes of Genesis P-Orridge, Jim Thirlwell, Gabe Andruzzi of The Rapture, Cex, Zebrablood of Excepter, and others. In stores now, limited-edition, don’t wait, etc.


04.16.11 - Katowice, Poland - OFF Festival Club (Kino Capitol)
04.17.11 - Zilina, Slovakia - Stanica
04.18.11 - Vienna, Austria - Rhiz
04.19.11 - Graz, Austria - Forum Stadtpark
04.20.11 - Nuernberg, Germany - K4
04.21.11 - Berlin, Germany - Westgermany
04.22.11 - Aarhus, Denmark - Sunship (V58)
04.23.11 - Muenster, Germany - Black Box (Cuba)
04.24.11 - Rotterdam, the Netherlands - Worm (Grounds) *
04.25.11 - Koeln, Germany - Stadtgarten %
04.26.11 - Paris, France - Espace B
04.27.11 - Brussels, Belgium - Weirdofest #5 (Belle Vue Cafe)
04.28.11 - Geneva, Switzerland - Le Kab de l’Usine
04.29.11 - Delemont, Switzerland - SAS
04.30.11 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Czirp Czirp (Café DOM)

* Hype Williams
% Tannhäuser Sterben & Das Tod

• Zs:
• The Social Registry:

RIP: Aashid Himons of reggae group Afrikan Dreamland

From Nashville Scene:

Aashid Himons, the iconic dreadlocked giant of a man who earned a place as one of the most colorful figures in the history of Nashville’s club scene, died today after a long illness. He was 68.

Himons was perhaps best known for his reggae group Afrikan Dreamland, a fixture on the Rock Block during the 1980s boom years of college radio. But his music career dated back at least to the late 1950s, when he made his way to New York and then Washington, D.C., as a teenage R&B and doo-wop singer.

• Aashid Himons:
• Afrikan Dreamland:


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