Laurel Halo, C. Spencer Yeh, ZS, Amen Dunes, Noveller to play in life-size maze for You Are Here 2012

Laurel Halo, C. Spencer Yeh, ZS, Amen Dunes, Noveller to play in life-size maze for You Are Here 2012

You hear about a show, buy tickets, go to the venue, and then enact the ritual of modern-day musical performance, where the line between artist and audience is clearly delineated and everything is dictated by schedules. This ritual is more than just a convenient way of catching a performance; it’s a reflection of capitalist ideology, where time itself is a commodity and the resulting expectations of musical performance are reduced to bullet points on a show-goer’s valuation checklist. The You Are Here festival, created by conceptual installation art duo Trouble (Sam Hillmer of ZS and Laura Paris), is an attempt to subvert this ritual. Rather than setting up multiple stages over the span of a weekend, the third-annual You Are Here fest is set up in Brooklyn’s Secret Project Robot Gallery, from Thursday through Saturday each week for four weeks starting July 12.

The kicker? There is no stage. In fact, there is no center, no focal point, no defined Spectacle to fetishize. Instead, musicians are embedded in an actual life-size maze, an installation designed and built by Trouble, with lights, projections, sculpture, sound, and more. According to the fest, “Audience members arrive at ‘You Are Here’ with the intention of catching a particular presentation, but intentions are frustrated and transformed by the labyrinthine construction the festival provides. Artists and audiences alike are invited to question the expectations that arise around performance in the context of community.” Having troubles picturing it? Check out this slick digital simulation of this year’s maze design:

Past artists have included Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth, Thee Oh Sees, Calvin Johnson, and Excepter (click here to view images/videos/etc. of past mazes), and this year’s lineup is just as a-maze-ing, with TMT favorites like C. Spencer Yeh, Laurel Halo, ZS, Dustin Wong, Noveller, Extra Life, Mick Barr, Amen Dunes, and Diamond Terrifier, as well as Miho Hatori’s New Optimism, Ann Liv Young, Win Win, Fuckton, Jack Quartet, Nymph, MV Carbon, Driphouse, Psychic Reality, and many more announced and to be announced.

In addition to the New York event, Trouble are attempting to bring the maze installation to Berlin at the West Germany Gallery and Show Space in Kreuzberg. They’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to make this happen. Check it out and pledge all of the money in your bank account.

For more information on You Are Here, visit the fest’s website.

• You Are Here Festival:
• Trouble:
• Secret Project Robot Gallery:

Northern Spy throws another music fest: Rhys Chatham, Arthur Doyle, Eugene Chadbourne, Magik Markers, 40+ others

In 2011, Northern Spy Records celebrated their first year as a label that is likely better than yours with a small festival in New York. This year, they’re not only celebrating another anniversary, they’re practically flexing their nuts at us with one of the biggest festivals of jazz, improv, noise, and psych in the history of people and things.

This year’s Spy Music Festival has announced their official lineup, which includes 46 bands over the course of 16 days in NYC, sponsored by The Village Voice, Jump Arts, Six Points Brewery (who will be presenting their signature Northern Spy brew), and yours truly, Tiny Mix Tapes. That’s right, we sponsor shit! Got a fuckin’ race car and everything. Northern Spy has provided a 22-track preview mix below, highlighting some of the bands stopping through this summer:

This “music marathon” is running from June 29 through July 15 and features 46 sets of music at seven venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Featured artists include Rhys Chatham, Matthew Shipp, Arthur Doyle, Eugene Chadbourne, P.G. Six, Guardian Alien, Decimus, Magik Markers, Lana Del Ray, and many more. Head to the festival page for all the details.

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• Northern Spy:

EMI drains the financial life out of MP3tunes like a bloodthirsty vampire

Even though came out mostly on top back in August when a judge ruled that the services the site provides (personal storage locker for your music, pooling streams of music available for free online) did not directly violate EMI’s copyrights, the drawn-out battle between the major label and the small company has taken its toll and has officially filed for bankruptcy. EMI originally sued the site back in 2007, and after seven years of protracted legal quarrels, MP3tunes is reported to be left with only $7,754 in assets and almost $2.2 million in liabilities. I’m no accountant, but that doesn’t seem like a good position to be in.

While the site looks to be up and running and accepting new users, no official word has been released regarding the actual fate of the service. Founder Michael Robertson has come out to publicly decry the practices of EMI and its major label brethren, though, saying, “This is what they do. The labels engage in multiyear legal battles and put small companies through hell for years.” Given this outcome, it’s hard to argue with that assessment, especially since a federal court has yet to find fault with anything that the site has done directly.

Following the August decision, though, EMI continued to sue MP3tunes over the fact that the site didn’t immediately take down any stored music acquired via available online streams that the label deemed illegal. Even though MP3tunes had nothing to do with the original posting of the supposedly illegal material, and that the material would have disappeared from its users storage lockers if the label would have gotten the actual violator to take it down, MP3tunes is taking the bullet in this whole mess.

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• EMI:

Joanna Newsom and Philip Glass join forces to save Neverland, also known as the Henry Miller Memorial Library

One of my first college experiences many years ago was a College Night at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. A few peeps and I decided to chill out in the courtyard, because every damn college student in Boston was trying to check out an exhibit or something. Or drink booze. Then, magically, Joanna Newsom showed up with her harp, and played a set. It was the ideal setting for her: a grassy area filled with flowers and perhaps birds, her sitting on a platform no more than a few inches off the ground, her audience sitting and lounging, the stars out, the moon full. It was so magical that I doubt I could see her play again unless that setting could be matched.

There does exist another such setting, and now Ms. Newsom is working to save it. Working with minimalist institution Philip Glass as part of his Days and Nights Festival, she and Mr. Glass, along with violinist Tim Fain, will perform one night of solo and collaborative performances at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. Now, the Warfield is not a magical place (face it, San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood is kind of sketchtacular, and the venue next door is a strip club where porn stars sometimes dance), but the concert this venue is holding doubles as a fundraiser to save the real magical venue: the Henry Miller Memorial Library.

Located right on the majestic and mystical California Highway 1 in Big Sur, the Henry Miller Memorial Library (HMML) was built initially as a museum and tribute to the great American author, whose ashes were scattered somewhere in the trees. It has, through folkYEAH! and other organizations, been host to many a concert, from Neil Young and Bill Callahan to Dungen and Gang Gang Dance. However, due to federal mandates of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other safety regulations (especially because of its location within a National Park), the HMML must upgrade its facility, something it cannot afford, or face closure. Ticket sales from this event will go directly to funding this upgrade, assuring future magical concerts can occur at any given time.

• Joanna Newsom:
• Philip Glass:

Hudson Mohawke and Lunice cross geographical barriers to release TNGHT EP, JUST LIKE THE POSTAL SERVICE, EXACTLY LIKE THE POSTAL SERVICE

Man, remember when everyone was so blown away by The Postal Service? Maybe not for their music, though SOME OF US were jamming Give Up pretty hard in their high school years, but at least for their CRAAAAZY idea of sending each other tracks over the mail. So crazy-ish! Nowadays, this is the least crazy thing that’s ever happened, considering a little thing called email and the internet and et cetera et cetera. I bet Ben Gibbard feels real dumb now, using the mail like a five-hundred-year-old man. But the point is, people send each other tracks to collaborate on through all sorts of mail.

Here’s an example of that thing I was talking about: Glasgow-based producer Hudson Mohawke and Montreal-based producer Lunice have gotten together for a project called TNGHT. By the laws of logic, they’re releasing an EP and calling it TNGHT. See, you know that that’s an EP title and not me just telling you the band name again, because of italics. I love them! That very EP will be coming out through Warp on July 24. Boy, I bet that’ll be good. But don’t take my word for it, ask somebody who saw the two debut this project at this past SXSW. Don’t ask me, though, because I did not see them. Sorry!

Or, hey, if you can’t find someone who saw them, listen to their first single, “Bugg’n.” “HEY WHERE CAN I HEAR THIS, MAYBE THROUGH THE MAIL?” Who are you, Ben Gibbard? You can listen to “Bugg’n” at this very YouTube link. That is where you can hear that.

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• Lunice:
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Not even Adele’s golden pipes could help Sony last year as parent company reports record $5.7 billion loss

Let’s start with some good news: of $5.5 billion in sales, Sony Music Entertainment posted a profit of $463 million last year. With perennial head scratching favorites like Chris Brown and The Fray, along with some of the biggest selling artists of our day like Adele and Beyoncé, Sony has some strong ponies in their stable of potential chart toppers who keep the proverbial stable boys up to their necks in horse shit (a.k.a. money).

Now, the bad news: Sony can’t seem to do anything else right. The larger parent company that includes Sony Music Entertainment posted a record loss of $5.7 billion last year. Sony has been losing ground to competitors creating cheaper and/or cooler electronics in other parts of Asia and in the US for some time now. While just about everyone has or wants an iDevice courtesy of Apple, no one really uses a Walkman anymore. Combine that with the crap that their underwhelming movie division puts out (The Smurfs, Jack and Jill, Zookeeper, to name but three from 2011), and it’s not hard to see why the highly fragmented company isn’t doing so well across all categories.

Add to that the flooding in Thailand that fucked up their supply chain and the earthquake in Japan that crippled production and, well, Sony just couldn’t get a break last year. With featured artists on its music page like American Idol Season 5 sixth place runner-up Kellie Pickler, and universally reviled YouTube ‘sensation’ Karmin, the future of the music division isn’t looking so hot either.

But don’t worry too much — Sony executives are certain that things will turn around by 2013. They’re confident people will want to pay for the more expensive version of the same TV they can get from a Taiwanese competitor for half the price at Costco. And goodness knows the general public has just been desperate for a Spider-Man reboot. Keep chasing the dream, Sony.

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