Locrian sign to Relapse, reissue expanded The Clearing, work on new material. Hardcore, man.

Locrian sign to Relapse, reissue expanded The Clearing, work on new material. Hardcore, man. http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-03-locrian.jpg

I sort of knew one kid in high school who was really into metal. I remember how he’d roll into the parking lot every morning with his windows down, blaring something frenetic and fast and a little bit scary. I wasn’t sure what to think, because at that point, I just wanted to listen to The Shins and Death Cab for Cutie and Stars.

I don’t listen to much of that same music from high school, but one thing’s definitely still the same: I don’t know shit about metal. I really wanted to crack a clever joke or two about Locrian signing to Relapse, contributing their dark drone-metal to a roster that includes bands with names such as Toxic Holocaust, Dying Fetus, and Agoraphobic Nosebleed, but it looks like I’ll just be spittin’ out the facts, straight up. According to the Chicago Reader, Relapse will reissue Locrian’s vinyl-only The Clearing (TMT Review) as an expanded, two-disc set called The Clearing/The Final Epoch, and before long they’ll be recording new material with producer Greg Norman. Oh, and they recently released a spilt 7-inch with fellow Relapse-ers, Horseback. I’ll just go listen to Chutes Too Narrow now…

• Locrian: www.myspace.com/thelocrian
• Relapse: http://www.relapse.com

Warhol Foundation peels away at Velvet Underground lawsuit, moves to get it dismissed

What’s that you hear? Is it the sound of Nico rolling over in her grave, groaning (beautifully, of course) over the recent scuffle between the remaining members of The Velvet Underground (VU) and The Andy Warhol Foundation (AWF) over the licensure of a picture of a banana? Why, yes it is.

Sure, it’s not just any old banana, it’s the Velvet Underground banana! And Apple, with their slick marketing and their scrubbing clean of today’s youth culture, want it! No one ever said to eat a banana a day to keep the doctor away! One might even go so far as to say that the VU banana is one bad apple.

Unfortunately for the VU, their claim to the banana in question is not looking so good. With the filing of their original lawsuit, VU claimed that the banana image comes from the public domain, and now the AWF, the organization trying to license the image to Apple, is claiming that because of this, and because the VU is not actively using their claimed copyright of the image, they should be allowed to do what they want with it. The VU have revised their lawsuit to remove most references to the public domain, but the basis for the AWF’s request that the case be thrown out has been established.

Furthermore, Billboard reports that the AWF’s case states that “‘trademark rights exist only in relation to specific goods and/or services’ and that a word, symbol or design can function as a valid trademark only if the mark is part of an ongoing business.” The last time VU officially licensed the banana was way 11 years ago when they got on the Absolut ad bandwagon (not to mention the fact that they haven’t actually been a band for 40 years). It seems mid-priced vodka is good enough for the likes of John Cale and Lou Reed, but Apple, heavens no!

The question still remains: would the group of consumers that Apple is realistically marketing to even get the reference?

• The Velvet Underground: http://www.thevelvetunderground.co.uk
• The Andy Warhol Foundation: http://www.warholfoundation.org
• Apple: http://www.apple.com

Blues Control bequeathing new Valley Tangents album unto Drag City in June, touring Europe w/ Laraaji

Russ Waterhouse and Lea Cho are making up for lost time after a quiet period following the release of Local Flavor (TMT Review) in 2009 (which made the top 20 of our year-end list). In November they released a full-length collaboration with spiritual comedian Laraaji as an entry in RVNG Intl.’s FRKWYS series, which itself contained a near-full-length of bonus jams, and now they’re all finished with a solo album proper, which will be released on Drag City on June 19 as per their contract to release at least one thing on every great label that is currently active.

The new album is called Valley Tangents and was recorded in part at Black Dirt Studios (like the last few releases) and in another part at their peaceful new home in East Pennsylvania. Their new environs and recent ambient work with Laraaji have moved them in the direction of more peaceful sound exploration, in some ways recalling the moody minimal environments of their Watersports alter ego. But don’t even start to entertain the notion that the duo might be abandoning their “signature Debussy via Guaraldi qua Bley qua Hornsby pianisms,” because that’s on the album in spades; Russ Waterhouse told our own Elliott Sharp over at Philadelphia Weekly that the album would be “an expansion on the things we’ve already done.” An East Village Radio interview also reveals that drummer Tatsuya Nakatani will be playing percussion on two tracks. Eventually you’ll be able to preorder the album here — even on cassette if you choose!

In the meantime, Blues Control are bringing ol’ Laraaji on the road with them to spread the belly laughs all over Europe (with one test drive Brooklyn date on March 28). See those dates below, join the thingie on Facebook, and have a truly inspiring day. You are beautiful and you will stay beautiful.

Valley Tangents tracklisting:

01. Love’s a Rondo
02. Iron Pigs
03. Opium Den/Fade to Blue
04. Walking Robin
05. Open Air
06. Gypsum

Blues Control & Laraaji dates:

03.28.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Roulette
04.12.12 - Lisbon, Portugal - Kolovrat 79
04.13.12 - Madrid, Spain - Electrónica en Abril $ #
04.14.12 - Guimarães, Portugal - Centro Cultural Vila Flor
04.15.12 - Vigo, Spain - Club Sinsal
04.18.12 - Bordeaux, France - I.Boat
04.19.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Electrónica en Abril %
04.21.12 - Hasselt, Belgium - KC Belgie ^
04.22.12 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Worm @
04.25.12 - Paris, France - Le Batofar
04.26.12 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Impetus Fest
04.27.12 - Bologna, Italy - Live Arts Week

$ Hype Williams
# Thomas Köner
% Keith Fullerton Whitman
^ Michael Chapman
@ AU

• Blues Control: http://www.facebook.com/bluescontrol
• Laraaji: http://laraaji.blogspot.com
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

Gorman Bechard directs Grant Hart documentary while everyone else was out acting like Bob Mould was the only dude in Hüsker Dü

Here’s a little history lesson. Hüsker Dü were a massively influential Minneapolis punk rock band comprised of three members: Bob Mould, Bob Mould, and Bob Mould. Well, that’s not true, but doesn’t it seem that way some times? Admittedly, Bob Mould does keep a higher profile, what with Sugar and a million solo albums. And Greg Norton is too busy running restaurants and maintaining that fantastic mustache. What of Grant Hart, though? While not as prolific or mustachioed as his Hüsker Dü compatriots, he’s still put out a fair share of solo material, not to mention his career as a visual artist. If only somebody would make a documentary shedding more light on this unsung punk rock hero.

Well, somebody did. I mean, of course somebody did. Why would I have mentioned it otherwise? That would be insufferable. The alluded documentary is Every Everything by Gorman Bechard, director of Color Me Impressed: A Film About The Replacements and the soon-to-premiere Archers of Loaf concert documentary What Did You Expect?. Every Everything aims to track Hart’s life through one very special interview subject: Grant Hart!!!!?!!! Subjects in Hart’s life that the documentary touches on include Hüsker Dü (duhhhhh), the musician’s early life, his post-Dü music, his art, collaborations with William S. Burroughs and Patti Smith, obsessions with Groucho Marx and Marcel Duchamp, and his love of Studebakers. You know, the cars.

Like Bechard’s other films under his What Were We Thinking Films banner, Every Everything will be partially funded by Kickstarter. Check out the film’s website to donate to the project. If you give more than $10,000, you’ll get (along with a whole lot of other stuff) to have dinner with Grant Hart. Finally, a chance to ask him uncomfortably detailed, annoying questions about “The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill”!

Every Everything: http://www.everyeverything.com
• Gorman Bechard: http://www.gormanbechard.com
• Grant Hart: http://www.granthart.com

Kurt Vile rediscovers the magic of AIM and announces more tourdates

<3tmtnewzzz: hey
xkViLeEeex: hey
<3tmtnewzzz: sup
xkViLeEeex: nm playin sims
xkViLeEeex: u
<3tmtnewzzz: same. chillin
xkViLeEeex: kool
<3tmtnewzzz: heard u added a buncha tour dates!!11!!!
xkViLeEeex: yeah i guess
<3tmtnewzzz: omg can’t wait
<3tmtnewzzz: rly wanna c u and t moore but idk if i can make it!!!1!
<3tmtnewzzz: might c u at roo or something tho!!
xkViLeEeex: g2g


03.22.12 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live # 

03.23.12 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter #

03.24.12 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse ^

03.25.12 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle #

04.07.12 - Mexico City, Mexico - Indie O Fest 2012
04.09.12 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Niceto Club $

04.10.12 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Niceto Club $

04.11.12 - Porto Alergre, Brazil - Opiniao Bar $

04.12.12 - Sao Paolo, Brazil - Cine Joia $

04.13.12 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Circo Voador $

04.15.12 - Santiago, Chile - Teatro Oriente $
05.17.12 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon Club %

05.18.12 - Nelsonville, OH - Nelsonville Music Festival

05.19.12 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig %

05.20.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall %

05.21.12 - Madison, WI - High Noon %

05.22.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar %

05.23.12 - Fargo, ND - Aquarium %

05.25.12 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore 
05.26.12 - Gorge, WA - Sasquatch Festival 

05.27.12 - Portland, OR - Star Theater %

05.30.12 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore %
06.10.12 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
06.22.12 - Scheessel, Germany - Hurricane Festival

06.23.12 - Neuhausen Ob Eck, Germany - Southside Festival

06.26.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - WWDIS Summer Festival

06.27.12 - Borlange, Sweden - Peace And Love Festival
07.08.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg

07.12.12 - Benicàssim, Spain - Benicàssim Festival
08.03.12 - Katowice, Poland - OFF Festival

# Supreme Dicks and Sore Ero
^ Supreme Dicks
$ Thurston Moore
% Black Bananas

• Kurt Vile: http://www.kurtvile.com
• Matador: http://www.matadorrecords.com

Laurel Halo to make you feel anything but sickly with debut album Quarantine on Hyperdub

Readers of TMT: it behooves you to jump on the Laurel Halo bandwagon now, because a year from now, after everyone’s compiled their end-of-the-year lists for 2012, you’re bound to feel a bit like I did listening to James Blake (TMT Review) for the first time this past January — which is to say, woefully disconnected from the buzz-worthy chatter surrounding up-and-coming electronic (kind of) pop (sort of) artists. For the record, I was tremendously disappointed by that James Blake LP, which I suppose is commentary enough on my own mental irregularities, but I doubt that I’m alone in thinking/saying that Laurel Halo has a serious future doing what she’s doing — namely, reminding me, as I close my eyes and drift away into a vocal-induced fantasy, of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser, though with more intelligibility. If the musical similarities between Halo and Fraser extended beyond their respective singing styles, I might question the former’s choice of record label, but as of now, it’s completely appropriate that Halo’s signed with Hyperdub and has plans to release her debut album Quarantine on June 5 in the US, and on May 28 in Europe.

You need only look to labelmates King Midas Sound and Darkstar to get an immediate sense of how Halo’s music fits in. The incorporation of original vocals alongside a backdrop of contemporary electronic yet genre-defying melodies is at the forefront of Quarantine, as a press release notes: “This is an album of transporting songs, various altitude shifts via effecting pop-concrete, built on a rich synthesis of intuitive but exacting electronic abstraction, bass pulse and heartfelt songwriting.” I’ve been horribly wrong before, but I’d definitely make of note of this album for future acquisition. Pay for it, you bastards.

Likewise, it’s also worth noting that, under the moniker King Felix, Laurel Halo will also be releasing her Spring EP sometime… soon? Originally set to be released on March 19, the EP has been pushed back to an unspecified date.

Quarantine tracklisting:

01. Airsick
02. Years
03. Thaw
04. Joy
05. MK Ultra
06. Wow
07. Carcass
08. Holoday
09. Tumor
10. Morcom
11. Nerve
12. Light + Space

• Laurel Halo: http://www.laurelhalo.com
• Hyperdub: http://www.hyperdub.net

[Photo: Salad Fork]