Last day to apply to get schooled by Genesis P-Orridge at MoMA’s PS1

Last day to apply to get schooled by Genesis P-Orridge at MoMA's PS1

Ahh the first day of school. New crayons, new pens (black or blue? oh the decisions of childhood), new Lisa Frank folders with bunny ballerinas or frolicking unicorns. The excitement! The anticipation! The chance for new friends and new adventures! The changing leaves and the fall sweaters and the art projects made out of macaroni, toothpicks, and rapidly developing suburban ennui! For those of us past the fifth grade, it’s hard to capture that early autumn, back-to-school excitement. So, perhaps, it’s time for Summer School.

But not just any summer school! We’re talking about New York’s MoMA PS1: Summer School. For the second time around, the Museum of Modern Art’s summer school series returns for more art education in August. The program, based in MoMA’s PS1 — an actual former public school — is modeled after European summer academies, and allows students to interact with authors, artists, musicians, scholars, theorists, and curators in an intriguing series of workshops, discussions, and lectures. This sh*t is for real, potential scholars; you gotta apply before attending. (Information about the program and admissions is available right here.) So which preeminent artistes can your brain suck the learnin’ juices out of next month? Well, Throbbing Gristle’s own Genesis P-Orridge, for one. According to FACT, P-Orridge’s class is “expected to look with great honesty and openness at the emotional journeys of their life to date and explore the creation of an intimate, personal, magical language.” Famed performance artist Marina Abramović and innovative choreographer Steve Paxton will also teach as part of the series. But take note! The deadline for applications is TODAY, July 20. If you miss out on the chance to apply, don’t cry. The participants of each workshop will give a public presentation on September 9.

• Genesis P-Orridge:
• MoMA PS1:

Thrill Jockey announces 20th Anniversary shows, and Tortoise aren’t playing at any of them!? Just kidding, they totally are.

What were you doing 20 years ago? As a precursor to my rebellious (not really) teenage years, I shrugged off the necessity of daycare by hiring my own personal bus driver. It was the first day of morning Kindergarten, and my sister, four years my senior, was supposed to assure my transition to afternoon daycare (which was held in the same elementary school), as both of my parents were working at the time.

Instead of acquiescing, my prepubescent mind saw everyone else heading out to where the school buses were lined up, and I followed suit. Not knowing which bus to take, I selected one randomly. Somehow the driver figured out where I live (I’m not entirely sure that I was capable of repeating my own address at that age), and my mom, who was luckily home for lunch, greeted me with surprise and confusion.

To apply my own anecdote to the subject of this article, it takes a willingness to jump on random buses (in other words, take risks) in order to start a record label. The Chicago-based independent label Thrill Jockey did just that 20 years ago, and now they’re celebrating their success with a series of “special concerts, a comedy record of sorts, a very special poster series,” a short film series, and ongoing album reissues.

All of that begins in September. The “special concerts,” in particular, look to be fantastic overviews of Thrill Jockey’s history, as they feature, depending on the show, such label mainstays as Tortoise (of course), Trans Am, Barn Owl, and Future Islands. The electronic duo Matmos, who recently just signed with the label, will also be performing at the Baltimore and New York (Webster Hall) shows.

You think that’s it? Alongside even more posters and videos, Thrill Jockey assures us of additional concerts to be announced. Check out the varying lineups of their currently scheduled shows here and below.

09.13.12 - Baltimore, MD - Ram’s Head Live
Future Islands
Dan Friel
Special Guest Host: Ed Schrader

09.14.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Death by Audio

White Hills

Guardian Alien
Man Forever

Dan Friel


09.15.12 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
Future Islands
D. Charles Speer
Special Guests: The Black Twig Pickers

11.09.12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
Trans Am
Eternal Tapestry
Barn Owl
Golden Retreiver
Mike Scheidt
Jason Urick

• Thrill Jockey:

Sharon Van Etten has the results of your blood test: you’re fine and she’s going on tour

Sharon Van Etten is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, we know this. But would you believe me if I told you she was also a doctor? You would? Really? Well, cool, Sharon Van Etten is totally a doctor! In fact, she’s got the results of your blood test right now. As it turns out, your blood has transformed into a bloody mary constantly coursing through your veins, so you’re drunk all the time now. Bummer/awesome? Results of the test pointed to signs that Sharon Van Etten is doing a ton of touring this year behind her Jagjaguwar debut, Tramp (TMT Review), released earlier this year. What? Why would there be information relating to Sharon Van Etten in your blood? Shut up, you’ll believe whatever I tell you.

In fact, believe this information, because this information is true. Throughout most of the year’s remainder, Van Etten will be on a tour of one variety or another. This summer, she’ll be off on a North American tour. Following that, she’ll head to Europe for a while. Once that’s done, she’ll be back to North America once again for another tour, daaaaang. Within all this touring, there will be dates with such noted folks as Conor Oberst, Damien Jurado, Andrew Bird, and Tennis. In addition to all that, she’ll be sharing the stage with dozens of noted acts at Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. Go to that, I will be there, we can hug.

Sharon van Etten dates:

07.25.12 - Albany, NY - Swyer Theatre at the Egg $
07.28.12 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival
07.29.12 - Hudson, NY - Helsinki Hudson
07.30.12 - Ottawa, ON - Mavericks
07.31.12 - Toronto, ON - The Phoenix *
08.02.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Ballroom *
08.03.12 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08.04.12 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *
08.07.12 - Seattle, WA - Neptune *
08.08.12 - Portland, OR - Aladdin *
08.10.12 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Festival
08.10.12 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop (Outside Lands Aftershow)
08.12.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre #
08.14.12 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern *
08.15.12 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom *
08.18.12 - Jackson, WY - Caldera Festival #
08.19.12 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
08.20.12 - Kansas City, MO - Riot Room
08.22.12 - Cleveland, OH - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
09.26.12 - Lisbon, Portugal - Lux Club
09.27.12 - Madrid, Spain - Teatro Lara
09.28.12 - Valencia, Spain - El Loco
09.29.12 - Barcelona, Spain - La del Apolo
10.01.12 - Paris, France - Cafe de la Danse
10.03.12 - Tourcoin, France - Grand Mix
10.04.12 - Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
10.05.12 - Rouen, France - Le 106
10.07.12 - Cambridge, UK - Junction 2
10.08.12 - London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
10.09.12 - Cardiff, UK - Glee Club
10.10.12 - Sheffield, UK - Queens Social Club
10.25.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %
10.26.12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle %
10.27.12 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West ^
10.28.12 - Orlando, FL - The Social %
10.30.12 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder at FSU %
11.01.12 - Houston, TX - Fitzgeralds %
11.02.12 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Festival
11.03.12 - Dallas, TX - Trees %
11.04.12 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone %
11.05.12 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird %
11.07.12 - Chicago, Il - Metro %
11.08.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Ballroom %
11.09.12 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom %
11.10.12 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground %
11.11.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise %
11.15.12 - New York, NY - Town Hall

$ Conor Oberst
* Tennis
# Andrew Bird
% Damien Jurado
^ Damien Jurado, Crooked Fingers, John Vanderslice

• Sharon van Etten:
• Jagjaguwar:

[Photo: SF Critic]

Crystal Stilts go West on vision quest/summer tour, release acid-tinged new live video

Like Jack Kerouac, the sad, sad family in The Grapes of Wrath, and generations and generations of burnt-out lovers, Brooklyn post-punks Crystal Stilts are heading West on a vision quest. Crystal Stilts — one of the newest additions to the Sacred Bones family — will be chasing their spirit animal (a rabid bat with a fuzz pedal for a mouth, whose wings are made of tight black jeans; trust me on this one) from Vancouver to Los Angeles this July, teaming up with labelmate Wymond Miles and Mexican Summer artists The Mantles for a couple of dates. Then it’s back to New York, where Crystal Stilts will help preside over the black celebration that will be the Peter Murphy/Small Black show at Brooklyn’s The Well.

If you’re skulking around the flying buttresses of your SoCal gothic cathedral, just cringing in anguish at the thought of waiting several more days to see Crystal Stilts live, well, perhaps the band’s new video for “Dark Eyes” will help tide you over (see below). The video was shot in December 2011 at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, with cinematic magic/acid flashbacks summoned by the divine Jacqueline Castel. (Castel has worked with Zola Jesus, Blank Dogs, Moon Duo and a whole host of Sacred Bones type people.) “Dark Eyes” comes off the band’s recent Radiant Door EP.


07.20.12 - Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party
07.21.12 - Vancouver, BC - Electric Owl
07.22.12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
07.24.12 - Sacramento, CA - Luigi’s Fungarden
07.25.12 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall *
07.28.12 - San Diego, CA - Casbah **
07.29.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Part Time Punks at The Echo
08.26.12 - Brooklyn, NY - The Well ***

* The Mantles, Wymond Miles
** The Mantles
*** Peter Murphy & Small Black

• Crystal Stilts:
• Sacred Bones:

RIP: Bob Babbitt, Motown bassist

From Detroit Free Press:

Motown bass player Bob Babbitt, whose work lit up a host of hits in the ’60s and ’70s, died [Monday, July 16] in Nashville, friends said. He was 74.

Babbitt had been diagnosed in early 2011 with an inoperable brain tumor. He was recently readmitted to the hospital after a year of home hospice care.

“Bob was a teddy bear of a guy,” said former Motown engineer Ed Wolfrum. “And he was an extraordinary musician — a player’s player.”

At Motown Records in the late ’60s, Babbitt’s thick, fluid bass lines drove the groove on songs by the Temptations (“Ball of Confusion”), Stevie Wonder (“Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours),” Rare Earth (“Losing You”), Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (“The Tears of a Clown”) and many others.

• Bob Babbitt:

Samara Lubelski’s releasing an album called Wavelength on July 24 via De Stijl, and don’t you dare call it psych-folk

Samara Lubelski hasn’t released a solo album since Future Slip in 2009, so what’s she been up to since then? Playing violin in a field of giant aluminum flowers? Strumming her guitar on a meteor near Saturn? Collecting rocks? Harvesting stars?

Lubelski has definitely played in Thurston Moore’s band, Chelsea Light Moving, and released a Eureka!-worthy album with Marcia Bassett called Sunday Night, Sunday Afternoon (TMT Review). She’s definitely played in a trio called Metal Mountains and contributed to Unrock’s 2010 series of live CDs. She’s definitely worked on a variety of engineering projects. She’s possibly taught dragonflies to swim, too.

On July 24, Lubelski will release her sixth album, Wavelength, on De Stijl, and it shows the multi-instrumentalist and singer still skirting the inevitable psych-folk label with electric soundscapes (check out the title track below). The album features appearances by many of Lubelski’s friends — P.G. Six on guitars, Helen Rush on Casio, Steve Shelley on drums, Moritz Finkbeiner on keyboards, Thilo Kuhn on Mellotron and vibraphone, Werner Notzel on organ guitar, Willie Lane on guitar, and Mouthus’ Brian Sullivan on guitar — and they all play strictly cosmic-psych or space folk or dream noise.

Wavelength tracklist:

01. Nice Price
02. Jammage Cruiser
03. Merch Girls
04. Hang of Summer
05. Switch Up
06. Breaker Lights
07. Astral House, The Jokers Scene
08. Run Out Arcade
09. Group Exchanges
10. Drifter vs. The Believers
11. Age of Decay
12. Wavelength

• Samara Lubelski:
• De Stijl: