La Monte Young inspiration Dennis Johnson’s early minimalist composition can now be heard for the first time

La Monte Young inspiration Dennis Johnson's early minimalist composition can now be heard for the first time

Little is known about Dennis Johnson apart from his college friendship with “the father of minimalism,” La Monte Young. However, in light of recent research it seems that Johnson may have all but created the minimalism movement himself; and it appears that he did so all in the space of a single composition: November. Indeed, on several occasions La Monte Young suggested that his colossal masterwork The Well Tuned Piano was directly inspired by the very same Dennis Johnson piece. Now we know the breadth of its influence is likely even larger than this.

As the musicologist/composer Kyle Gann points out, November (1959) anticipated, if not initially introduced, nearly all the features we now associate with minimalism: diatonic tonality, additive process, phrase repetition, and overextended duration. Which, if correct, means that “one of the more influential moments in music history” went unstudied and unheard for over 50 years. Luckily, due to the tireless efforts of Kyle Gann in (re)constructing November’s score, and performer R. Andrew Lee’s enthusiasm to tackle the six-hour feat, we now have the opportunity to hear a recording of Johnson’s November for the very first time.

As The Wire reports, R Andrew Lee’s performance of November is being released by Penultimate Press and Irritable Hedgehog on March 16 as a 4CD box set. Now if only the works of La Monte Young would also receive the reissue treatment… ahem (hint to every record label owner, everywhere). Listen to a portion of November below:

• Kyle Gann:
• Irritable Hedgehog:

Atoms for Peace to headline Melt! Festival. Flea will be there!

“I’m Flea from the popular band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers” — Flea

You said it, Flea! Now I know all y’all Fleaheads (fact: a flea’s head is roughly 1/3 the size of its body) already know this, but our main man Flea’s got a new gig while RHCP are between albums. It’s called Atoms for Peace (featuring Radiohead singer Thom Yorke) and they just put out a new record called AMOK (TMT Review). Pick it up now at your favorite music store!

That ain’t all, though! Not only do Atoms for Peace (with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke) have that new record out, they’re also headlining this year’s Melt! Festival! That’s in Germany! And it’s during July 19-21! While I know you’re all buying some tix now to see our main man Flea, there are also some acts playing the festival that don’t have Flea. They’ve got The Knife, they’ve got Flying Lotus, they’ve got James Blake, they’ve got Azealia Banks, but most of all, they’ve got Flea!

Throw your fleas up, y’all.

• Flea:
• Atoms for Peace:
• Melt! Festival:

Prostitutes putting out a new album on Digitalis, because their regular clients have been cheap as hell lately

There is a certain amount of difficulty in researching the band Prostitutes. Plugging the name into Google brings up a number of undesired results: “prostitutes in Colorado,” “prostitutes numbers,” “prostitutes for sale.” None of these help anyone looking into the group do anything but sheepishly clear their browser history. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not judging you. Much.)

After scrolling through the swath of available (and local!) services, you’ll discover that Prostitutes is a sexy little electro outfit specializing in morsels of industrial-tinged dance music, who happen to have a new album called Crushed Interior coming out on Digitalis. Unlike actual prostitutes, you can sample these goods before you buy; check out the track “Dial Tone Degradation” below. If you dig it, be sure to pick up the whole lovely, clanging, stomping mess when it comes out on March 29. If enough of us get our hands on it, perhaps the next time someone seeks a companion for hire, they’ll get an earful of industrial rhythm instead.

• Digitalis:

Spirit they’re sick, spirit they’ve rescheduled: Animal Collective re-schedule tourdates

The “Morrissey is secretly all four members of Animal Collective” hashtag on Twitter is spreading like wildfire. Certain pockets of Tumblr are literally convulsing, choked with conspiratorial tags. Bespectacled digital strategy interns at Fortune 500 companies everywhere are giddy with excitement because they can finally combine their two loves: hashtag surfing and indie rock.

As you surely know, there have long been whispers that through some occult witchery, Morrissey is secretly all four members of Animal Collective at once. You’ll also recall that Merriweather Post Pavillion (TMT Review), with its exclusion of Deakin, did rather tellingly come out right after Morrissey had suffered a rather severe haircut. And of course you’re aware of the fact that both Morrissey and AnCo have long-documented aversions to meat (you don’t see Duck Sauce, Ham Sandwich Jam, or Merriweather Meat Pavillion anywhere in AnCo’s discography do you?). The rumors have always been difficult to dismiss, but now, like the New York Times crossword does every week, it’s gotten even harder.

Citing an unfortunate band illness, and following their postponement of a Toronto date, Animal Collective have rescheduled tourdates up through March 15, pushing them back to mid-July (this, of course, suspiciously coincides with Morrissey’s own recent postponement of shows). Already purchased tickets will be honored at the postponed dates, and will also be refundable at their original places of purchase. Here’s hoping AnCo/Morrissey start feeling better, and that the truth eventually outs. (#thetruthisoutthere, anyone?) Until the day that everything is revealed, I’m off to Tumblr- these gifs of grainy security camera footage showing Morrissey entering a cloud of smoke only to emerge as four separate human men aren’t going to re-blog themselves.


03.11.13 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues *
03.12.13 - Covington, KY - The Madison Theater *
03.13.13 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works *
03.15.13 Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Hall *
03.16.13 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre *
03.17.13 - Madison, WI - Orpheum Theatre *
03.18.13 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *
03.20.13 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant *
03.21.13 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theater *
03.22.13 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre *
03.23.13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Depot *
03.24.13 - Boise, ID - Treefort Music Fest
05.22.13 - Nimes, France - Paloma
05.23.13 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
05.25.13 - London, England - Field Day
05.27.13 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Holland Melkweg
05.28.13 - Brussels, Belgium - AB
05.29.13 - Paris, France - Trianon
06.07-09.13 - Randall’s Island, NY - Governor’s Ball
06.10.13 - Washington, DC - 930 Club
06.11.13 - Washington, DC - 930 Club
06.13-16.13 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
07.02.13 - Helsinki, Finland - The Circus
07.04.13 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07.06.13 - Gdynia, Poland - Open’er Festival
07.09.13 - Toronto, Ontario - Danforth Music Hall
07.11-13.13 - Albany, NY - Camp Bisco
07.13-15.13 - Louisville, KY - Forecastle
07.15.13 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Hall (Rescheduled)
07.16.13 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues (Rescheduled)
07.18.13 - Covington, KY - The Madison Theater (Rescheduled)
07.19.13 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works (Rescheduled)

* Dan Deacon

• Animal Collective:

Daniel Menche putting out a new album on Editions Mego, determined to keep experimental music cool

Daniel Menche’s Bandcamp describes him as a “sound adventurer.” Even if the label is slightly egotistical and possibly too cool for “experimental music” it is also totally fitting; Menche’s output ranges from field recordings to an extended sampling and remixing of the one of the earliest examples of recorded human vocals. In a time when increasingly well-known artists like Dominick Fernow are decrying the growing rigidity of the noise genre, it’s nice to see that some of the old guard still have some tricks up their sleeves.

Daniel Menche’s new album on Editions Mego, entitled Marrige of Metals, looks like it will continue his tradition of experimentation, novelty, and downright cooolness; the album samples exclusively from a gamelan ensemble, specifically focusing on a range of traditional Indonesian gongs. The result is two extended pieces of twisted and distorted metal resonance, designed for those with extended attention spans and open minds. Menche’s use of a gong “[that] contains the deepest of deep of acoustic bass” sounds like something particularly promising to look forward to when the album drops on April 29.

For those of you with a shorter attention span: seriously cool experimentation coming late April; be there or be square.

Marriage of Metals tracklisting:

01. Marriage of Metals 1
02. Marriage of Metals 2

• Daniel Menche:
• Editions Mego:

Weezer announce Weezer Cruise II. Wait, is Jerry Bruckheimer producing real life now???

Because everyone knows that epic high-seas sequels are always better than their original-version counterparts, the scurvy land-lubbers in Weezer (that band that both your niece and your aunt like more than you do) have announced that they are once again hoping that some water and an expensive change of context will make their music more interesting.

In accordance with what I read today on Pitchfork, Rivers “Oceans” Cuomo and his nameless, faceless bandmates have announced the second seemingly-biannual Weezer Cruise (they already did one of these in 2012), which is a thing where you go on a cruise with Weezer and some other bands and they play shows for you, sell merch to you, help you put sunscreen on your back, and just generally show you how to properly enjoy a rock-music-themed-vacation. The thing is going down (oops, sorry; no pun intended!) February 13-17 2014 and will embark from Jacksonville, Florida before crashing hungover into the Bahamas five days later. Along the way, Weezer will perform three shows, including a special “beach concert with Weezer” that will take place on a private island. There will also be some photo sessions, a “fan Q&A,” an “interactive Weezer Game Show,” and more.

Other acts and more info are promised to be announced soon, and pre-sale starts on March 20 at noon. In the meantime, here’s a trailer for you to watch that I hope will at least temporarily distract you from wondering why we’re even reporting this story to such a smart, savvy, music expert as yourself. You look nice today, by the way.

• Weezer Cruise:
• Weezer:
• Epitaph: