Mike Watt, Deerhoof’s John Dietrich, some other fellows start Hand to Man Band, which is like a group of superheroes or something, I don’t know, I only scanned the press release

Mike Watt, Deerhoof's John Dietrich, some other fellows start Hand to Man Band, which is like a group of superheroes or something, I don't know, I only scanned the press release http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-04-mike-watt-john-dietrich-hand-to-man-band.jpg

Mike Watt’s doing something, I guess. I don’t know what, I can hardly be bothered to find out. That guy’s always doing stuff, like being in the Minutemen years ago and then being in fIREHOSE years ago and then being in The Stooges for a while and recording a Kelly Clarkson song, I think? Not that I’ll ever check up on this stuff. I’m kind of the Mike Watt of not doing things, which means I’m kind of the Mike Watt of not being like Mike Watt.

Right now, Exclaim! (or somebody, who knows) is reporting that Watt is teaming up with Deerhoof guitarist John Dietrich, Silver Jews drummer Tim Barnes, and Tsigoti pianist Thollem McDonas to form some kind of group called The Hand to Man Band. Guess it’s probably a band. This new group of super guys has a debut called You Are Always On Our Minds coming out May 22 through Post-Consumer Records. The band’s members describe it as “psychotropic jazz to konked-out funk to skronked-out dirges to alien transmissions to plaintive nocturnal pleas,” but I’d probably describe it as, um, rock, maybe? Whatever. Listen to a track from it (“First Shallows”) below. As it turns out, the album was recorded in Austin back in 2010, but I guess they just couldn’t be bothered to release it until now. And now, they can’t even be bothered to release a full track list. Hey, these guys are more like me than I thought. I’m lazy.

• The Hand to Man Band: http://www.thollem.com/THTMB.html
• Post-Consumer Records: http://www.post-consumer.com

Santigold is releasing a new album, announcing a US tour, and then retiring forever or until the tour starts

Ever since sorta clubby, not really hip-hoppy, vaguely indie-poppish songwriter/producer/performer Santigold (formerly Santogold, formerly Santa Claus, formerly Shantytown, and, rumor has it, formerly White Town!) blew up in 2008 because of our taste-making year-end album covers list, she’s been a little too overconfident that we’re all going to love the new music she’s been making. I mean, granted she put on a few shows at SXSW that her PR people assure me “exploded into dance parties,” but honestly, I don’t know; explosions just sound a little dangerous to me.

And what’s with the fact that she already went ahead and booked some two dozen-plus tourdates (around what most cartographers refer to as “North America”) predicated entirely on the fact that we’re all just going to love her new album (Master of My Make-Believe, due May 1 via Atlantic/Downtown)? What if everyone just gives it two thumbs, like, way down? Granted, it sounds from the new album’s first single, “Disparate Youth,” like she still knows how to puke up pure gold glitter and whatnot, but still… it all feels a little presumptuous. Besides, I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t really get excited about any new songs until I hear them in Bud Light Lime commercials and shit first. Just sayin’.

Santigold tourdates:

04.30.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
05.08.12 - Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero
05.09.12 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
05.11.12 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
05.12.12 - Clifton Park, NY - Northern Lights
05.15.12 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
05.16.12 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
05.25.12 - George, WA - Gorge Amphitheatre (Sasquatch Festival)
05.26.12 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
05.28.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue
05.29.12 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
06.04.12 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
06.06.12 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
06.07.12 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
06.09.12 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.10.12 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room
06.12.12 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
06.13.12 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
06.15.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart’s
06.16.12 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
06.18.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
06.19.12 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live!
06.22.12 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
06.23.12 - New York, NY - Governors Ball Music Festival
06.29.12 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
06.30.12 - Rothbury, MI - Electric Forest

• Santigold: http://www.santigold.com
• Downtown: http://www.downtownrecords.com
• Atlantic: http://www.atlanticrecords.com

Grandaddy are back! Bow bow bow! Reunion shows at Outside Lands, other places! Daddy squaaaaaaaaad!

AWWWWW YEAH, get ready for this one readers of news stories! Grandaddy are back! Bow bow bow Grandaaaaady! Pitchfork reports that the California party-starting indie rockers are doing a string of festival dates this summer. What are they going to do? WHAT THEY DO BEST: start parties. If you’re in the United States, you only have one chance to see Grandaddy and that’s at San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Also playing that festival are Beck and other acts.

BUT! If you’re in Europe or the UK, then get ready for a full-blown Grandaddy party! Nothing like a Grandaddy party because a Grandaddy party is a party featuring Grandaddy, the band and not people’s actual grandfathers! They’ll be playing more festivals in that part of the world. Country roll call! Switzerland! France! Scotland! England! No other countries! Bow bow bow Grandaddy.

Grandaddy dates:

08.10-12.12 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands
08.25.12 - Pully, Switzerland - For Noise Festival
08.26.12 - Paris, France - Rock En Seine
08.29.12 - Manchester, England - Ritz
08.30.12 - Glasgow, Scotland - ABC
09.02.12 - Salisbury, England - End of the Road Festival
09.04.12 - London, England - Shepherd’s Bush Empire

• Grandaddy: http://grandaddymusic.com

RIP: Art Jenkins, Sun Ra Arkestra vocalist

From Weirdo Music:

Art (Arnold) Jenkins, a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra for 36 years, left the planet on April 13, 2012, a mere five days before his 79th birthday. He was a vocalist, lyricist, composer, poet, percussionist, and a deeply valued and respected member of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Art’s vocals ranged from the classic big band variety to the avant-garde outer space offerings that he did using a space megaphone, which Art referred to as his “secret weapon”.

Art Jenkins first joined the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1960 and his first recording as a member of the Arkestra was “Secrets of the Sun” in 1962. He was on 7 more recordings with the Arkestra through 1971. Art then took a break from the rigors of rehearsing and touring with Sun Ra, but he returned to the Arkestra again in 1988 and never looked away again from the creative and omniversal challenges of being an active Sun Ra Arkestra member. He recorded 7 more times with the Arkestra during his second stint, the last two being “A Song for the Sun” and “Music for the 21st Century” (both on the El Ra Records label).

Beyond the Arkestra, Art Jenkins self-produced the “Under the Sun” CD showcasing the quartet that he led between Arkestra engagements. He also demonstrated his lyrical skills with his moving composition on the “King” chart dedicated to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, which was recorded by the Brooklyn Repretory Ensemble on the “Pragmatic Optimism” CD (on the 360 Music label).

During a lifetime devoted to jazz, Art Jenkins performed at jazz festivals, concert halls, dance halls, night clubs, and on radio and TV shows. His energy and creativity will not be forgotten, but his presence will surely be missed by the legions of Sun Ra Arkestra fans and by the remaining members of the Sun Ra Arkestra.

• Art Jenkins: http://www.elrarecords.com/art.html

[Photo: Gerald Jenkins]

Joel Ford takes to the sonic skies as Airbird, the newest chillwave superhero, announces upcoming debut EP

We all know what the Lopatin half of Ford & Lopatin has been up to since the release of their 2011 album, Channel Pressure (TMT Review), but what about Ford? Making reliable American vehicles fit for the every man? No, definitely not. Ford (first name Joel) has been working on a new solo project, Airbird, that’s set to release its debut EP on Software (the label, not the computer program) on May 19!

Titled Trust, and following a limited tape from early last year, the EP will feature the groovier side of the F&L sound and is said to be inspired by Ford’s move from NYC to North Carolina. Based on “Goodnight,” the first track released, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to worry that Ford has taken a sharp left turn from his exploration of dramatic 80s pop mixed with a gloss of contemporary echoed chillwave for Appalachian folk, as much of the tone of Channel Pressure seems intact. For fans of the 2011 release, this is a very good thing indeed, not that there’s anything wrong with North Carolina hill music.

Ford has “Goodnight” streaming over at the Chocolate Grinder, and check his SoundCloud for a number of other catchy Aibird tunes posted over the last nine months. Grab those headphones and get to listening!

• Airbird: http://soundcloud.com/airbird
• Software: http://www.softwarelabel.net

Japandroids announce Celebration Rock, shocking the world by enjoying celebration, rock, going on tour

Japandroids have a new album coming out on June 5 through Polyvinyl. It is called Celebration Rock. I am being straight-forward with you, because Japandroids are being straight-forward with you. By titling their record Celebration Rock, they are performing the greatest act of self-appraisal ever accomplished by a musical act. Never mind, Xiu Xiu put out Dear God, I Hate Myself a few years ago. You’re always the bridesmaid, Japandroids.

Don’t look so down, guys. You do have a new single, one by the name of “The House That Heaven Built,” coming out on May 15. While that song will appear on Celebration Rock, it also counts as the fourth entry in their 7-inch singles series. You remember that one, right? Back in 2010, when we were all blasting “Younger Us” out of our junky old cars and drinking soda pops. Like usual with that series, the single features a cover for its B-side, namely “Jack the Ripper” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Listen to that single (but not the Nick Cave cover, sorry nerds) over at Japandroids’ website.

In about a month, Japandroids will head out on a pretty lengthy tour, because that’s what Japandroids do. I mean, these guys tour more than a robot built to only go on tours, but not really do anything, just go places to go there and waste some time on stage. Why did somebody build that robot?

Celebration Rock tracklist:

01. The Nights of Wine and Roses
02. Fire’s Highway
03. Evil’s Sway
04. For the Love of Ivy
05. Adrenaline Nightshift
06. Younger Us
07. The House that Heaven Built
08. Continuous Thunder

Japandroids dates:

05.17.12 - Cardiff, UK - Club Ifor Bach
05.18.12 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store
05.19.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
05.21.12 - Bristol, UK - Cooler
05.22.12 - London, UK - CAMP (basement)
05.23.12 - Manchester, UK - Soup Kitchen
05.24.12 - Glasgow, UK - King Tuts
05.25.12 - Leeds, UK - Cockpit 2
05.26.12 - Nottingham, UK - Bodega
05.31.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Pac del Forum (Primavera Sound)
06.11.12 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
06.12.12 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
06.14.12 - San Francisco, CA - Independent
06.15.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
06.16.12 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
06.19.12 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
06.21.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
06.22.12 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
06.23.12 - Toronto, ON - Horseh
06.25.12 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
06.26.12 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
06.27.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
06.29.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
06.30.12 - Washington, DC - Rock & Rock Hotel
07.03.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
07.07.12 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore

• Japandroids: http://www.japandroids.com
• Polyvinyl: http://www.polyvinylrecords.com