Megafaun announce tours of Europe and the US; ask them what their favorite board games are!

Megafaun announce tours of Europe and the US; ask them what their favorite board games are! http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-01-megafaun.jpg

I’m not going to mention a certain indie-folk artist who’s recently dabbled in electro-orchestral 80s kitsch, because you probably already know that he chilled with Megafaun back in the day (before they were actually Megafaun, but that’s another story). It’s a damn good thing I came across an A.V. Club interview with Phil Cook, because now I can now rattle off a couple of slightly more obscure Megafaun fun facts:

1. Brad Cook sort of digs Top 40 country.
2. Joe Westerlund happens to be a bit of an expert on French minimalism and musique concrète.

I know that’s not much, so I’ll hazard a guess and say they all like mint chocolate chip ice cream and sometimes spend Saturday afternoons playing The Sims. However, I do know for sure that Megafaun has just announced a tour in support of their self-titled LP, which they released back in September on Hometapes. Don’t fret if they’re not playing anywhere close to you, because they’ll be announcing more dates soon. If you get a chance, ask them about their favorite colors and whether or not they like cats.

Tourdates:

02.01.12 - Groningen, Netherlands - Vera
02.02.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique Club
02.03.12 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Doornroosje
02.04.12 - Charloi, Belgium - L’ Eden
02.05.12 - Gent, Belgium - Kunstencentrum Vooruit
02.06.12 - Luxembourg - Rock Hall Cafe
02.07.12 - Schorndorf, Germany - Club Manufaktur
02.08.12 - Munich, Germany - Das Provisum
02.09.12 - Madonna, Italy - Bronson
02.11.12 - Senigalliano, Italy - Gratis
02.12.12 - Roma, Italy - Angelo Mai
02.14.12 - Zurich, Switzerland - El Lokal
02.15.12 - Paris, France - Cafe de la Danse
02.16.12 - Nantes, France - Maison de l’Entudiantes
02.17.12 - Rennes, France - Ubu
02.18.12 - Bordeaux, France - Le Rocher de Palmer
02.19.12 - Santander, Spain - Cafe de las Artasz
02.20.12 - Zaragoza, Spain - Lata de Bombilla
02.21.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Sidecar
02.22.12 - Valencia, Spain - Sala Loco
02.23.12 - Madrid, Spain - Club Moby Dick
02.24.12 - Lisbon, Portugal - Music Box

(deep breath)

03.15.12 - Washington, DC - Black Cat #
03.16.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s #
03.17.12 - New York City, NY - Highline Ballroom #
03.18.12 - Boston, MA - Great Scott #
03.21.12 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
03.22.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
03.23.12 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
03.24.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club
03.27.12 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
03.28.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
03.30.12 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
03.31.12 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
04.03.12 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord
04.04.12 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
04.05.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
04.06.12 - Tempe, AZ - The Sail Inn
04.07.12 - Santa Fe, NM - Sol Santa Fe
04.10.12 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
04.13.12 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
04.14.12 - Saxapahaw, NC - Haw River Ballroom

# William Tyler

• Megafaun: http://megafaun.com
• Hometapes: http://hometapes.tumblr.com

Grooveshark continues to prove it has largest balls of any music service by launching an iOS-compatible mobile site

Before we start, let’s recap Grooveshark’s recent stories of note. First, Apple deleted Grooveshark’s app from the iTunes store, then Google followed suit in the Android Marketplace. Next, Grooveshark was sued by all of the major labels except for EMI, the only group that it had an actual licensing agreement with. Finally, EMI decided to sue as well, claiming Grooveshark owed them $150,000 in royalties. Grooveshark chalked the complaint up as a minor contract dispute, downplaying the ordeal, as it has done with with all of its current setbacks.

With all of that on its plate, what does Grooveshark do? They serve up a big FUCK YOU sandwich to all of the above by releasing what essentially boils down to a mobile app that will work across all phone platforms that include a web browser, but circumvents the need to house the app in an App Store. Previously, you could navigate to grooveshark.com using your phone’s browser and see the HTML-built site, but because the actual streaming service used Flash, you couldn’t access and listen to content. The new mobile site, html5.grooveshark.com, is built completely using HTML5, meaning that it will work on the iPhone’s native browser, Safari, as well as in Google’s Chrome.

Who knew sharks had balls? The site should have been long gone by now, but they keep on plowing ahead with nary a care as to what some of the largest players in the music biz throw at them. Their ultimate extinction is still most likely on the horizon, but good for Grooveshark for not giving a shit. Enjoy free streaming on your phone while it lasts!

• Grooveshark Mobile: http://html5.grooveshark.com

Lower Dens announce new album, drop first single “Brains,” possibly a veiled endorsement of Newt Gingrich

Lower Dens — you know, the newish rock band led by Jana Hunter, former lead singer for the influential band Jana Hunter — are proving once again that they’re the hardest working indie-leaning group with initials LD (sit down, Lavender Diamond and Lucky Dragons) by announcing only 17 days into the new year that they have a new album coming out May 1 AND a first single from said album. The single is called “Brains,” and by leap of faith I’m going to say that the album is called Nootropics, based on what’s written in the “Album” field of the Mp3 once you’ve downloaded it. Hey, the Mp3! Go get it! Click on the big picture here to download, or click here to make less of a commitment and just stream it.

After releasing Twin-Hand Movement (TMT Review) in 2010 on Hunter’s long-time label Gnomonsong, the band was later spotted releasing a 7-inch via Sub Pop on the most recent Record Store Day, and somewhere along the way they lost both their drummer and a guitarist — go here to read about all that, but to summarize: they couldn’t handle the punishing schedule nor the future plans to sell Lower Dens-emblazoned Mike’s Hard Lemonade coozies. The good news is that apparently their replacement drummer is effin’ Nate Nelson of Mouthus and Crazy Dreams Band!

If you’ll allow me to make one last conjecture, given that “Brains” is streaming on Ribbon Music’s SoundCloud page and available for preorder on 10-inch vinyl, plus Ribbon put out that last John Maus record and are going to put out that next Black Dice record, it sure seems like Nootropics is going to be on Ribbon. It’s the way these labels work, man… put your ear to the ground and suck in the fumes. You’re not young anymore. Get wise.

Nootropics tracklisting:

01. Alphabet Song
02. Brains
03. Stem
04. Propagation
05. Lamb
06. Candy
07. Lion in Winter Pt. 1
08. Lion in Winter Pt. 2
09. Nova Anthem
10. In the End is the Beginning

• Lower Dens: http://lowerdens.com
• Ribbon: http://www.ribbonmusic.com

Lil Wayne is his own Boswell, dutifully chronicling his eight-month prison stay in upcoming memoir

In spite of the fact that you can’t autotune great literature, Lil Wayne is getting into the memoir game. The Grammy award winner signed a deal with Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette, to publish the rapper’s forthcoming book about his stint at Rikers, Gone Till November, which frankly has an uphill climb toward achieving the greatness of the Wyclef Jean song. What can fans expect from Weezy’s first foray into the literary arena? “An internal monologue,” according to Billboard, all based on the soul-searching diaries he kept while serving eight months on gun possession charges. “We are thrilled to be publishing Wayne’s prison memoir,” Grand Central Publishing executive editor Ben Greenberg said. “He kept detailed journals of his inner and outer life while he was on Rikers Island, and they certainly tell a story. They are revealing.”

The book is scheduled to hit stores on November 28, just in time for the holiday season, when Americans traditionally gather to share stories about what they did to survive maximum security prisons. So mark your calendars now, Weezy fans. You’ve got a long wait — even longer than Mr. Wayne’s time in the big house. Lil Wayne is represented by Matthew Guma, the literary agent who worked with Jay-Z on his hit book Decoded.

• Lil Wayne: http://www.lilwayne-online.com
• Grand Central Publishing: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/publishing_grand-central-publishing.aspx

Mount Eerie and Earth celebrate their geographical proximity by touring as far away from the Pacific Northwest as possible (but together)

If two bands or artists were respectively named “Peanut Butter” and “Jelly,” and they happened to live close by to one another, I would expect them to eventually tour together, by obligation. Similarly, if two bands or artists were for some reason respectively named “Paris” and “Lohan” (no relation to the Hollywood figures), I would expect both to garner an unexplainably large fan base, tour together, probably snort cocaine out of marble fountains backstage, have anonymous sex with members of the stage crew, and then fade into oblivion just as quickly as they had achieved notoriety. The names “Mount Eerie” and “Earth” aren’t quite as complementary as peanut butter and jelly, or earth and fire, or wind and water, or water and heart (by your powers combined…), but the bands represented by these individual monikers have at least two things in common: they both hail from the endearingly gloomy region of Northwest Washington, and they both make music fit for the endearingly gloomy region of Northwest Washington, though clearly, with certain stylistic differences and departures. Oh, and beginning March 3, they’ll be touring Europe together. So, at least three things.

Lest anyone falsely (but reasonably) assume that this is the first time that these two bands have toured together, I need only refer back to last September, when they enjoyed a brief stint in the Southeastern US. Accompanying Earth and Mount Eerie on this upcoming tour will be Canadian musician Ô PAON a.k.a. Geneviève Castrée, who, alongside Phil Elverum, now resides in Anacortes, Washington. Isn’t it nice making new friends?

Mount Eerie, Earth, and Ô PAON dates:

03.03.12 - Bristol, UK- Arnolfini Gallery
03.05.12 - Dublin, Ireland - Button Factory
03.07.12 - Manchester, UK - Ruby Lounge
03.08.12 - Edinburgh, UK - The Caves
03.09.12 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
03.10.12 - Minehead, UK - Butlins Holiday Centre, ATP curated by Jeff Mangum
03.11.12 - London, UK - Union Chapel
03.12.12 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt
03.13.12 - Haarlem, Netherlands - Patronaat
03.14.12 - Leuven, Belgium - Het Depot
03.15.12 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
03.16.12 - Bordeaux, France - Iboat
03.17.12 - Bilbao, Spain - Askena
03.18.12 - Madrid, Spain - El Sol
03.19.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Musichall
03.21.12 - Lyon, France - Epicerie Moderne
03.22.12 - Torino, Italy - Spazio 211
03.23.12 - Firenze, Italy - The Box
03.24.12 - Parma, Italy - Auditorium Del Carmine
03.25.12 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Romandie
03.26.12 - Wiesbaden, Germany - Schlachthof
03.28.12 - Vienna, Austria - Arena
03.29.12 - Leipzig, Germany - UT Connewitz
03.30.12 - Prague, Czech Republic - Dobeska Theatre
03.31.12 - Berlin, Germany - Festsaal Kreuzberg
04.02.12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
04.03.12 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Truckstop Alaska
04.04.12 - Oslo, Norway - Inferno Festival
04.05.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Strand
04.06.12 - Helsinki, Finland - Nosturi

• Mount Eerie: http://www.pwelverumandsun.com
• Earth: http://www.thronesanddominions.com
• Ô PAON: http://www.opaon.ca

RIP: Jimmy Castor, influential (and oft-sampled) funk musician

From the Amoeblog:

For the past few hours word that the beloved American funk musician Jimmy Castor had died has been flying round the Interweb - albeit without final confirmation from any reliable source. Unfortunately though that sad confirmation of the passing of Jimmy Castor has just arrived through his good friend Cliff Perkins. Castor was 64 years of age and so far cause of death is not confirmed. Castor will be remembered by for songs like his oft-sampled 1972 million selling hit single “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” but more importantly his influence on hip-hop music - the song “It’s Just Begun” is among those select records that is a key part of the foundation of hip-hop itself - long being a staple of hip-hop DJs and B-boys to break to.

The saxophonist, singer, band leader began his career as a doo-wop singer in the fifties replacing Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers in 1957. By 1960 he had switched to playing saxophone. Sixties hits for the artist included his own 1966 Smash Records single “Hey Leroy, Your Mama’s Callin’ You” and Dave “Baby” Cortez’s “Rinky Dink” on which he played sax.

Castor’s real success came in the 70’s as leader of The Jimmy Castor Bunch whose 1972 album, It’s Just Begun, was popular back then and - thanks to hip-hop endlessly sampling his music - ever since. The album’s two hits - the title track and the aforementioned “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” - have been sampled a lot as have much of Castor’s other funk releases. The spoken intro of “Troglodyte” - “What we’re gonna do right here is go back…” - is one of the most sampled soundbites in hip-hop history.

• Jimmy Castor: http://www.jimmycastor.com