Julianna Barwick and Helado Negro create summer madness with new group OMBRE

Julianna Barwick and Helado Negro create summer madness with new group OMBRE http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-06-julianna-barwick-ombre.jpg

For as long as there have been victrolas and hi-fi receivers and strolling minstrels, there have been summer songs. You got your Ella Fitzgerald’s “Summertime” on one end of the spectrum, and your DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” on your other end. After all, it’s a more complicated season than you’d first think: it’s a time when the living is easy, but it’s also a time when you just straight up need a new definition of summer madness. And those songs are great, really — both of them. But sometimes you need something different… something with a more celestial, ephemeral quality, for those late summer nights under the stars with your friends, whether you’re BBQing, skinny dipping, or just plain hangin’ out on the yacht drinking gin and tonics before planning your revenge on whichever wealthy character you want to get revenge against on your vengeance-filled rich people TV show. (There are so many of them, really, take your pick.) Sometimes you need something that combines Ella’s “easy” with Jazzy and the Prince’s “madness.” And for those times, there’s a new project from Asthmatic Kitty labelmates Julianna Barwick and Helado Negro called OMBRE.

OMBRE marries Barwick’s unearthly vocals with Helado Negro’s blissed out dance vibes and births one hell of a summer jam, baby. OMBRE’s debut album, Believe You Me, comes out August 21 via Asthmatic Kitty, and it’s the perfect end-of-summer soundtrack for watching the sweatiest season slip away. But OMBRE is about more than giving you something to blast whilst attractive teens frolic around your boat, pouring champagne down each other’s J. Crew lobster print shorts — the project also gives Ms. Barwick the chance to show off some of her previously-unseen stuff. For, whereas the ambient songstress’ previous work relied mainly on her voice and effects, in OMBRE she rocks out on synths, guitar, electric piano, and my personal favorite… the vibraphone. The definition of summer madness doesn’t get any newer than this.

Believe You Me tracklisting:

01. Noche Brilla
02. Weight Those Words
03. Vistate
04. Dawning
05. Sense
06. Tormentas
07. Cara Falsa
08. The Nod
09. Pausa Primera
10. Noche Brilla pt. 2

• Julianna Barwick: http://www.juliannabarwick.com
• Helado Negro: http://www.heladonegro.com
• Asthmatic Kitty: http://asthmatickitty.com

Evan Caminiti (Barn Owl) to release album with appropriately introspective title Dreamless Sleep on Thrill Jockey

Ignore, for a moment, the fact that Texas and Arizona are two of the most politically backward states in the country right now. Just consider the landscape — the geography — of the Southwestern region of the United States. Oppressive desert conditions give way to some of the most poisonous species in the country. When it isn’t unbearably hot and dry, severe thunderstorms reinforce the notion of an unforgiving climate. In between the distantly placed cities, desolation runs rampant over the taupe and barely traversable surface. Also, “cowboys.” The image of the American Southwest isn’t an inherently attractive one, but that doesn’t mean that it’s without a story worth telling.

Guitarist Evan Caminiti, both solo and as one-half of Barn Owl, has made a career out of communicating, intentionally or not, the region’s less pleasant side. His reverberant strumming and content, synth-based ambience stands in the same tonal arena as a Cormac McCarthy novel — which is to say, somewhere between ominous and hopeful. Night Dust follow-up Dreamless Sleep, due August 21 on Thrill Jockey, reportedly continues that trend, but with a particular thematic emphasis on “the way our memory changes events in the past and how our surroundings define us.”

According to Caminiti himself, he completed a “a kind of rough draft” of the album in the spring of 2011, only to promptly forget about it for 10 months, preoccupied as he was with touring. When he finally did return home to San Francisco, he “approached the material in a completely different way, changed by a year of travel and new challenges. It was deconstructed and reformed into a different album than what it had once been…” The end result is an album that is in “constant flux between light and dark, from dirge like crawls to uplifting choral harmonies, creating a narrative unlike anything Caminiti has offered before.” Forget August. I’ll take my emotional whiplash now, please.

Dreamless Sleep tracklisting:

01. Leaving the Island
02. Bright Midnight
03. Symmetry
04. Fading Dawn
05. Absteigend
06. Veiled Prayers
07. Becoming Pure Light

• Evan Caminiti: http://www.electrictotem.com
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

RIP: Herb Reed of The Platters

From Rolling Stone:

Herb Reed of the Platters has died in a Boston area hospice, reports the Associated Press. He was 83. Reed helped found the Platters in Los Angeles in 1952, and the group found success with hits like “The Great Pretender” and “Only You.” Reed, who sang bass on many of group’s Number One hits, was the only member of the band to appear on all of their recordings.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted the Platters in 1990.

• The Platters: http://www.herbreedandtheplatters.com

Another reason to never leave the NPR station: Clear Channel to share ad revenues with Big Machine label

Billboard reports that America’s biggest purveyor of FM crap, Clear Channel, has struck an agreement with a single label, Big Machine, to set up the first sound-recording performance royalty program for terrestrial (as opposed to digital) radio play. Currently, songwriters are compensated when their songs are played on the radio on a pay-per-play basis. Radio stations pay ASCAP and BMI annually, then those organizations distribute the money back out to the songwriters. Artists (when they differ from the songwriter) apparently don’t get directly compensated as part of this agreement, and broadcasters have long resisted such a setup, justifiably noting that the mere fact that FM radio shoves major label music down the throats of America’s youth nonstop should be compensation enough, given that an artist’s popularity at least partially requires heavy radio play to instill.

Scott Borchetta (rhymes with porchetta, a delicious roast pork dish; considering I imagine all major label execs to resemble the porcine Lou Perlman, that seems oddly relevant) of Big Machine came up with a new idea. Instead of a pay-per-play model, why not pay the record labels a percentage of ad revenues? If ad revenues suck, then the labels get less money. The percentage of ad revenues Borchetta brokered with Clear Channel hasn’t been disclosed, but once that money comes into Big Machine, they’ll keep half and then half will be distributed back to artists.

Why only Big Machine, though? While Clear Channel is open to this new idea, they’re not about to open the flood gates to all labels who want sound-recording performance royalties (something they need to come up with a better name for, stat). Once the waters are tested, this new compensation format may be extended to other labels. The bottom line is that this seems like a fishy way to circumvent the agencies that regulate compensation (ASCAP, BMI), and will only encourage radio stations to play more commercials, thus making it an even more insufferable experience than it already is. Yay mainstream radio!

• Big Machine: http://www.bigmachinemusic.com
• Clear Channel: http://www.clearchannel.com

The Walkmen announce a US tour (did you know they played on an episode of The O.C. in 2004?)

Last month, The Walkmen rolled through my town, and I missed their show. I can’t even remember what I did instead. Something cool, I hope. Something more than just making grilled cheese and watching Twin Peaks. In any case, I probably thought something along the lines of “Ah well, they’re putting out another album soon, so there’s a 95% chance they’ll come around again.”

And I was right!!! The Walkmen will hit the road for a North American tour to support their latest album, Heaven. We told you about it just a little while ago. I’m currently listening to it. In case you were wondering.

Before the band makes their appearance at festivals such as Osheaga, Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands, they’ll be playing a special hometown show at the Bowery Ballroom on June 6. Tonight. The first 150 lucky ducks who bought Heaven at Other Music in New York City received a ticket with their purchase, and all the others were snapped up real quick once they were made available to the public on June 1. If you couldn’t snag a ticket or if you weren’t down for a trip to New York, Spotify will provide a worldwide stream of the concert, filmed by La Blogothèque.

Presale tickets are available at the band’s website.


06.06.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
06.27.12 - Louisville, KY - WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays
06.28.12 - St. Louis, MO - Plush
06.29.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest
06.30.12 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
07.05.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Pioneer Park
07.20.12 - Burnaby, BC - Deer Lake Park %
07.21.12 - Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre %
07.22.12 - Troutdale, OR - Edgefield %
07.25.12 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre %
07.29.12 - Indianapolis, IN - The Lawn at White River State Park
07.30.12 - Cleveland, OH - Jacobs Pavilion %
07.31.12 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre %
08.02.12 - Toronto, ON - Molson Canadian Amphitheatre %
08.03.12 - Montreal, QC - Osheaga Festival
08.05.12 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08.10-12.12 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands
09.12.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Anson Ford Amphitheater
09.14.12 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
09.15.12 - Santa Ana, CA - The Conservatory
09.16.12 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
09.18.12 - Norman, OK - University of Oklahoma
09.19.12 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
09.20.12 - Austin, TX - Stubbs
09.21.12 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
09.22.12 - New Orleans, LA - Tipitinas
09.26.12 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
09.27.12 - Nashville, TN - Cannery
09.28.12 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
09.29.12 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
09.30.12 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls
10.04.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club #
10.06.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory #
10.18.12 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
10.19.12 - Boston, MA - Royale

% Florence & The Machine
# The War on Drugs

• The Walkmen: http://thewalkmen.com
• Fat Possum: http://www.fatpossum.com

Freedom From cassette/LP label resurrected, plans releases by Brian Chippendale, Mark Morgan (Sightings), Aaron Dilloway, Weasel Walter, Chris Corsano, and more

I’m no fucking pantheist, but it seems that the energies of all the dying record labels have reformed themselves into a reincarnated Freedom From. Yes, thanks goes out to all of you for not buying music so that the ghosts of these deceased businesses could spiritually charge up the formerly on-hiatus experimental LP and cassette label Freedom From.

The Minneapolis label began in 1996 under the leadership of founder Matthew St-Germain and released some of the first releases of many great artists, such as Hair Police, Noxagt, Reynols, Sightings, and Cock E.S.P., as well as the infamous Thurston Moore/Beck/Tom Surgal cassette. The label also held a scorching multi-day fest in 2003 with De Stijl, bringing together vets like Tony Conrad, Borbetomagus, and Arthur Doyle with fresh-faced noise makers like Aaron Dilloway, Chris Corsano, Burning Star Core, and nmperign, and serving as a template for the first No Fun Fest the following year.

Freedom From went on somewhat of a hiatus after 2006, with only an occasional cassette or CD here and there, but 2012 will see the full return of the label in a revamped format, releasing only cassettes, lathes, and vinyl in limited numbers. The label has set up a Soundcloud page and a Bandcamp site, which already features music for sale. Look for plenty of releases coming soon by LaDonna Smith, Forced into Femininity, and Rusted Shut, as well as planned releases by Mark Morgan (Sightings), Aaron Dilloway, Chris Corsano, Weasel Walter, Bhob Rainey (nmperign), and Oneida.

• Freedom From (Bandcamp): http://freedomfrom.bandcamp.com
• Freedom From (Soundcloud): http://soundcloud.com/freedom-from
• Freedom From (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/groups/350865658293493