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

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:
• Earth:

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:

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

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:


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:…
• Dubious New York Post Coverage:…

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:
• Fire:

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:

[Photo: Heidrun Havran]