Loren Connors and Bill Orcutt smack each other with sound on new NATCH 8 collaboration

Loren Connors and Bill Orcutt smack each other with sound on new NATCH 8 collaboration http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1211/news-12-11-bill-orcutt-loren-connors.jpg

In Internet parlance, allow me to present you with some breaking news: prolific collaborator gon’ continue prolifically collaborating. Said prolific collaborator — experimental/blues guitarist Loren Connors — has released more than 50 albums over 30+ years, and a good portion of those releases have been joint efforts, with accomplished musicians like Jim O’Rourke, Thurston Moore, John Fahey, Keijii Haino, and Alan Licht each taking their turn standing (or possibly sitting) alongside — in fact, we just posted a story about his latest collab (with life partner Suzanne Langille) two days ago. Obviously, the only question now is, who’s next? No, not “who’s next?” in the horror movie, psycho-killer sense of the question, but what’s the next Connors collaboration that our ears have to, er… hear forward to?

The obvious choice, in this case, has the luxury of also being the correct one. The orgasmically noisy improvisational guitarist Bill Orcutt has been building his solo chops over the past few years, but on August 30, he and Connors got together at Georgia — a multimedia studio in NYC — and recorded NATCH 8, an edition (all signs point to the last) of the collaborative series presented by the now unfortunately closed Black Dirt Studio. At the time of writing, NATCH 8 hasn’t been uploaded yet, but that should happen any day now. Keep an eye on this site, where you’ll be able to download/stream it, as well all previous NATCH editions, free of charge. And for the color-appreciative, check out the preview video below.

• Loren Connors: http://www.fvrec.com/lorenconnors
• Bill Orcutt: http://palilalia.com
• Black Dirt Studio: http://www.blackdirtstudio.com

Pandora spooked as Apple looks to enter the digital radio market

Pandora sure was relieved last week when the major announcement Apple made to the public was about the new iPad mini, and not about their rumored entrance into the realm of digital radio. Apple has apparently been in talks with the major labels to sort out revenue deals in preparation for rolling out a new radio service in the vein of Pandora sometime early in 2013. Bloomberg is reporting that the new Apple radio service will be uniquely Apple-like in the following ways:

• App-based, vs. web-based
• License holders will get a share of advertising revenues in addition to an up-front fee for usage, and will be able to insert their own artist-promoting ads into Apple radio ad spaces (similar to what you see on Spotify)
• Advertising will direct users to iTunes for music purchases
• Songs heard on Apple commercials will be played once an hour on all stations and playlists, regardless of if they are genre-relevant

Even though the service is still on the horizon, things aren’t looking great for Pandora. Their share price fell 17% after initial news of the Apple-radio venture broke (also by Bloomberg News), and only increased a tiny bit after the lackluster October 23 announcements from Apple. Even though Apple is making the move into radio primarily to increase advertising revenues on mobile platforms — a tricky spot on the current marketing landscape — this could still be the kind of seismic event that leaves lesser players devastated in its wake. Everyone knows a slew of people who are Apple fanatics, but you’d probably be hard-pressed to find anyone who is as in love with their Pandora subscription as they are with their iPhone.

• Pandora: http://www.pandora.com

RIP: Joel Burrows of The Thermals and The Minders

From The Portland Mercury (via Pitchfork):

Following the report of Portland musician Blake Mackey’s death, I have more unfortunate news to report. Today seems to be an unspeakably sad day for Portland music.

Joel Burrows, longtime local musician and fixture of the Portland music scene, has passed away. Burrows performed with many Portland bands and was a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing drums for the Minders and guitar in the Thermals, among his contributions for many other bands. In early 2011, Burrows was struck by a van as he crossed the street and suffered a serious head injury. He spent following months in the ICU and fought valiantly for his life. Burrows made substantial progress and was able to leave the hospital to live in an assisted living facility for people with brain injuries. […] I learned today that Burrows has passed away; he fought bravely for his life for many months and made unforgettable contributions to Portland music. Condolences to his family and friends. He will be dearly missed.

• The Thermals: http://www.thethermals.com

YACHT turn 10, blow out candles, throw celebratory concert, sell TV show to Amazon

Happy birthday, YACHT! You are 10. Soon you will be going to middle school. Before you go and do that, though, you might as well have a birthday party. As is customary in your family, you will have your birthday party in Los Angeles at The Echoplex on December 8. Your party will feature material from all eras and lineups of YACHT, as well as special guests, party favors, prizes, and surprises. Or so I’m told.

Not only are you turning 10, YACHT, you can also celebrate the creation of your first comedy television program. I know, it’s hard to believe; it feels like just yesterday that you didn’t have a comedy television program. Your program is called Support and you have developed it as a web series for Amazon Studios. In fact, you didn’t just develop it, you’re also writing it. All four members of YACHT are writers on the show.

Support focuses on a band’s life on the road, giving some people the idea that maybe, just maybe, this show is loosely based on your experiences, YACHT. In fact, the members of YACHT gave the following statement about the show: “For the past three years, we’ve imagined our lives on the road as a TV show. In many ways, a tour is a perfect analogue to an episodic series: there’s a central cast of characters, recurring locations, absurd scenarios, and new conflicts to resolve every day.” Why did I just tell you what you yourself said, YACHT? Why am I telling you any of this?

YACHT date:

12.08.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex (10th Anniversary Show)

• YACHT: http://teamYACHT.com

Three Legged Race announces first full-length LP Persuasive Barrier; two legged race continues its lazy, bipedal existence

Album art doesn’t usually sway my musical expectations one way or the other, but when the creative mind behind so many downright amazing covers announces the release of a full-length solo LP, it’s difficult not to raise the bar a little higher than its default setting. The two art forms are basically unrelated, but you know, whatever. Appreciate my unreasonable assumptions, damn you!

In an interview with TMT earlier this year, Robert Beatty remarked on his general artistic philosophy: “I’m trying to just take everything I like and mix it together to create something new and exciting. Confusion is sex, and I will continue to hide behind the curtain so people never quite know what’s happening.” The alluringly obscure nature of Beatty’s visual work should be self-evident, but what about the auditory side of things? His band Hair Police fits neatly into the “noise” category. By contrast, and in keeping with his promise to elude expectations, his solo Three Legged Race project represents something much more subdued and melodic, but captivating nonetheless.

On December 3, Three Legged Race will release his debut full-length LP (though certainly not first release) Persuasive Barrier, courtesy of Spectrum Spools. The album was recorded over a period of five years, and was driven by (according to Pitchfork, and like the rest of Beatty’s work under the moniker) the use of a Realistic Concertmate MG-1 — the synthesizer built by Moog for Radio Shack in the early 1980s. Relatively cheap equipment aside, the title track (which you can listen to at the Pitchfork link above) sounds both thoroughly promising and appropriately mysterious. Dare I say, it might just be the musical equivalent of an egg oozing telephone-shaped pink goo. Pre-order the LP here.

Persuasive Barrier tracklisting:

01. Traces of a Wet Crowd
02. Permethrin I
03. Persuasive Barrier
04. Magnetic Bride
05. Butter Colored Hallway
06. Locked Eyes
07. Budgeting Air
08. Permethrin II

• Robert Beatty: http://www.remainsstreet.com
• Spectrum Spools: http://editionsmego.com/releases/spectrum-spools

EMI and Universal announce layoffs. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m starting to suspect that the music industry is maybe in a little trouble.

As Jerry Lee Lewis would probably put it if he worked for Tiny Mix Tapes as a shiftless and unpaid news intern in late 2012 but was still simultaneously a 1950s entertainer-par-excellence: “there’s a whole lot of layoffs goin’ on!” LOL, doesn’t that sound like a great song? I wonder where I can download it for free on the internet!

But seriously though: Lewis had better keep his crappy newswriting dayjob, because Billboard recently announced that Universal Music Group is currently hard at work consolidating its music distribution companies and its Nashville country music labels. After Universal’s merger with EMI got approved last month by a joint committee of Satan, John D. Rockefeller’s ghost, and that smog-villain guy from the movie Ferngully, Billboard’s sources said that nearly 60 employees were shrewdly unit-shifted to unemploymentville, including nearly 50 from EMI distribution and almost 10 from EMI’s Nashville office (a few Universal Music employees were jettisoned at the time as well). Even bigger wigs like EMI senior VP of sales John Nicholas and EMI East Coast field sales chief Joan Kane were re-shuffled by UMG into a senior catalog guy and Capitol Records label liaison, respectively, which confusingly combines the stress of being fired with the elation of being hired and probably resulted in some pretty interesting bowel movements. Meanwhile, EMI’s head of distribution and best bocce ball player Dominic Pandiscia has migrated to head of sales for Capitol Records, where he will reportedly have on his staff Blue Note’s Saul Shapiro and Astralwerks/Capitol’s David Miller. I know — I was worried about those guys too!

Unfortunately, those who escaped the firing squad for now aren’t even totally in the clear yet. Some members of the EMI distributions staff were told they would only have their jobs “for another 30 to 120 days,” according to sources in both the EMI and UMG sources. Obviously, those staff members will work as hard as they can for the company in the meantime.

“Following our acquisition of EMI Recorded Music, UMG will be expanding key creative areas as part of our ongoing integration,” read a Jack Donaghy-esque statement from UMG. “While this restructuring will unfortunately result in some redundancies, it is essential to UMG becoming an even more agile and efficient company, not just for this year or the next, but for years to come. Our goal is to maximize the resources available for reinvestment in our labels so they can do what they do best: develop and promote artists, increase the output of new music and expand opportunities for digital innovation.” I think that was Ebeneezer Scrooge’s goal, too, wasn’t it?

• EMI: http://www.emimusic.com
• Universal Music Group: http://www.universalmusic.com

[Photo: Joy Kennelly]