Michael Gira brings his solo show to the historic dungeons of Europe in April (and to the US in March!)

Michael Gira brings his solo show to the historic dungeons of Europe in April (and to the US in March!) http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-01-michael-gira.jpg

This spring, Stetson-wearing noisemonger Michael Gira is returning to the land of Bergman, Genet, and a freakin’ ton of dungeons. That’s right: America’s favorite vacation destination, Europe! Gira’s going the solo route this time, bringing little more than his trusty guitar, a Chinese lacquered box full of self-loathing, and Cool Ranch-flavored Doritos, plus Swans’ Christoph Hahn as an opening act. Together they’ll all navigate the roads of the Olde World, charting a magical course from familiar destinations like Paris to those more off the beaten path, such as the beautiful Norwegian town of Stavanger, which is fondly referred to by locals as “the town of a thousand creepy basements.”*

So what can European music fans expect from the tour being billed as Cool Ranch Tostitos Presents Michael Gira’s Totally Crunchtacular European Summer Vacation 2012?** This is a solo tour, so lots of great Gira classics with perhaps an Angels of Light or Swans jam thrown into the mix to spice things up, much like how Cool Ranch Doritos spice up any party!! Try ‘em today! In Original Cool Ranch and New Cool Ranch. Anyway, the tour will serve as a taster for the newly revived Swans’ upcoming live album, coming soon via Gira’s Young God Records. Crunchtacular.

* No, it’s not. My apologies to the people of Stavanger.
** Again, just kidding. My apologies to Michael Gira, summer, and Europe. But not Cool Ranch. Yuck.

UPDATE: Gira also has a handful of US dates with Sir Richard Bishop and one with Wovenhand starting mid-March. YES. Check the dates below!

03.15.12 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall #
03.16.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo #
03.22.12 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door #
03.23.12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios #
03.24.12 - Denver, CO - Oriental Theater %
04.04.12 - Dublin, Ireland - Button Factory
04.05.12 - Belfast, Ireland - Black Box
04.06.12 - Glasgow, UK - St. Andrew’s Church in the Square
04.07.12 - London, UK - Cafe Oto
04.09.12 - Paris, France - Le Point Ephemere
04.10.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso Upstairs
04.11.12 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kreun
04.12.12 - Tilburg, Netherlands - Roadburn Festival/Midi Theatre
04.14.12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
04.15.12 - Aalborn, Denmark - Studenterhuset
04.17.12 - Oslo, Norway - John Dee Club inside Rockafeller
04.18.12- Stavanger, Norway - Cementen
04.19.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser Slussen
04.21.12 - Helsinki, Finland - Korjaamo Culture Factory
04.22.12 - Berlin, Germany - Roter Saloon inside Volksbuhne
04.23.12 - Vienna, Austria - Chelsea Club
04.25.12 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Bourg
04.26.12 - Dudingen, Switzerland - Cafe Bad Bonn
04.27.12 - Ravenna, Italy - Bronson Club
04.28.12 - Florence, Italy - Sala Vanni
04.29.12 - Rome, Italy - Chiesa Evangelica Metodista
05.01.12 - Zurich, Switzerland - Exil

# Sir Richard Bishop
% Wovenhand

• Michael Gira: http://younggodrecords.com

EXTRA: VELVET UNDERGROUND SUES ANDY WARHOL OVER IPAD SHOULDERBAGS

Founding Velvet Underground members Lou Reed and John Cale have filed a lawsuit against the Andy Warhol Foundation, claiming trademark infringement over the usage of their iconic banana. The foundation recently licensed the recognizable The Velvet Underground and Nico cover image for use on iPad accessories, such as cases, sleeves, covers, shells, wraps, dust jackets, shoulder bags, and skins.

According to the suit, “[The Velvet Underground]’s use and application of the design to symbolize the group and its whole body of work has been exclusive, continuous and uninterrupted for more than 25 years.” In 2001, Reed and Cale upheld this exclusivity streak by licensing the image for use in an Absolut Vodka ad.

Consider this: The original The Velvet Underground and Nico cover was designed by Warhol, reproducing a public-domain image of a banana. Could the usage of this image on iPad skins be, in fact, a great work of reappropriation art? That is to say, perhaps the image appearing on various consumer products is not a copy of the iconic album cover, but a new work in and of itself. Perhaps the designers are truly great, progressive artists in the vein of Sherrie Levine or even Andy Warhol himself. The “Warhol Book Jacket” for iPad 2 is available from Incase for $79.95.

• Dubious Rolling Stone Coverage: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/velvet-underground-sue-andy-warho…
• Dubious New York Post Coverage: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/the_velvet_underground_file…

Robert Pollard surprises great-grandchildren with new Mouseman Cloud album due in March

Guided by Voices recently released Let’s Go Eat the Factory (TMT Review), but what is a GBV album without 20 or 30 solo records from frontman Robert Pollard, released around the same time to form a padding of drunken lullaby anthems? And, just imagine — Pollard going on tour at preschools across the world with a child on one knee and a bottle of tequila on the other.

Yes, this one’s for the kids (not really). As playful as alcoholics get, Pollard is releasing the cute-sounding Mouseman Cloud March 12 via Fire Records on CD, LP, and download, and, actually, it’s probably too much rock for kids and adults to handle. I tried calling Pollard to get his thoughts, but he never answers my calls and, frankly, I just find his ringback tone of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” annoying and distasteful.

So, I asked Marty Friedman, assistant manager at Arby’s, what he thought of Pollard’s new album: “I think it’s great. It reminds me of The Wiggles, and my grandchildren love The Wiggles. I could definitely see me playing this in the car when taking them to the handicap playground on Saturdays.” Marty then handed me my featured Reuben sandwich and winked, indicating extra turkey was added at no additional charge.

Mouseman Cloud tracklisting:

01. Obvious #1
02. Picnic Drums
03. Mouseman Cloud
04. Dr. Time
05. Lizard Ladder
06. Human Zoo
07. Bats Flew Up
08. Mother’s Milk and Magnets
09. Continue to Break
10. I Was Silence
11. Smacks of Euphoria
12. Science Magazine
13. No Tools
14. Aspirin Moon
15. Half-Strained
16. Zen Mother Hen
17. Chief Meteorologist

• Robert Pollard: http://robertpollard.net
• Fire: http://www.firerecords.com

RIP: Stefano Scodanibbio, contrabass soloist, worked with Xenakis, Nono

From ArtsJournal:

Stefano Scodanibbio has died in Mexico at 57 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

A close friend of Luigi Nono’s, he also worked with many other modernists — Bussotti, Donatoni, Estrada, Ferneyhough, Frith, Globokar, Sciarrino, Xenakis — and composed much of his own. His website is here. A longer Italian report here.

• Stefano Scodanibbio: http://www.stefanoscodanibbio.com

[Photo: Heidrun Havran]

The Decemberists to release live album, crossover into extra-dimensional listener demographics

Since The Decemberists are now pretty sure that they’ve always been an indie/alt-country/college-radio/jangle pop combo and have no idea what you’re talking about when you bring up things like proto-metal, Tolkien, and rock operas, it’s only fitting that they do things that successful alternative bands do. And upon noticing that Wilco had already put out their live double album like six years earlier, frontman Colin Meloy figured he’d better step on it.

Accordingly, on March 13, The Decemberists are releasing a double-disc (and triple-vinyl) live album on Capitol. The album is called We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11) and includes 20 live tracks culled exclusively from the band’s 2011 North American tour supporting The King Is Dead (if you’ll remember, that album sold whatever couple handfuls of copies are required to “top the charts” these days and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Something-or-other). Luckily though, the album seems to include a pretty even spread of songs from each of the band’s records (there’s even that one from that opera album that Kanye liked!), featuring performances at 12 different shows. Who knows what listener demographic these guys might crossover into next??? Ahhh! Decemberists! #1! USA!

We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11) tracklisting:

Disc 1:

01. The Infanta
02. Calamity Song
03. Rise to Me
04. The Soldiering Life
05. We Both Go Down Together
06. The Bagman’s Gambit
07. Down by the Water
08. Leslie Ann Levine
09. The Rake’s Song
10. The Crane Wife 1, 2, and 3

Disc 2:

01. Oceanside
02. Billy Liar
03. Grace Cathedral Hill
04. All Arise!
05. Rox in the Box
06. June Hymn
07. Dracula’s Daughter > O Valencia!
08. This Is Why We Fight
09. The Mariner’s Revenge Song
10. I Was Meant for the Stage

• The Decemberists: http://www.decemberists.com
• Capitol: http://www.capitolrecords.com

Thrill Jockey to reissue Tortoise’s entire full-length catalog (sans one), to be played in only the coolest of elevators

I’m not entirely sure how the members of Tortoise decided on their name, but as far as animal representations go, it seems surprisingly congruous with the type of music that they create. Stop for a moment and think about your general perception of tortoises and their behavior; without referencing National Geographic or some other knowledgeable organization, I imagine tortoises spend their days moseying along at their usual pace, not giving a shit, but completely focused on the task at hand. Whether the task is munching on some delish greenery or circumnavigating a giant boulder unfortunately placed in middle of the desert, tortoises do what they need to, and they do so with subtle, but obvious precision. The point being… wouldn’t it be totally awesome to be a tortoise!?

An alternative point: the human members of Tortoise deserve some recognition for their decidedly consistent, precise, and influential take on the post-rock genre. And as it turns out, the Chicago-based record label with which they’ve had a long-standing relationship, Thrill Jockey, is in total agreement on this point, as they’ve just announced that they’ll be reissuing on vinyl all of Tortoise’s major releases, with the exception of a remix album, which I honestly didn’t even know existed. Here’s a list of the relevant albums: Tortoise (1994), Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996), TNT (1998), Standards (2001), It’s All Around You (2004), and Beacons of Ancestorship (2009). According to The Wire, the six vinyl reissues are a part of Thrill Jockey’s upcoming 20th anniversary plans, and each edition will come with free digital download codes. There aren’t any release dates at the moment, so keep your bulging reptile eyes on the Thrill Jockey website for any updates.

• Tortoise: http://www.trts.com
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com