Mute to embark on Cabaret Voltaire reissue campaign. Worship at the Red Mecca!

Mute to embark on Cabaret Voltaire reissue campaign. Worship at the Red Mecca!

There is so much beauty mixed in with the ugliness, rivers of awe and solace swirled in with all the angular features of hell. There is grace in industrial rigidity, elegance in these roughened, blackened edges. There is beauty in the music of Cabaret Voltaire.

Music can be dangerous. When you open up an album, you also (unavoidably) open up yourself to the contents that lurk inside, exposed to anything and everything that crawls out of those speakers. There’s no way to map out the chasm without willingly falling in head first. If you continuously subject yourself to to an artistic artifact that is by some measure perverse, and enjoy doing so, you will eventually alter yourself in ways that are not entirely un-perverse in their own right. This is the gamble. his is the price of being an aesthete. This is why the music of Cabaret Voltaire is one big grim joke. You have to let them screw with you if you want to reap the pleasure cooked up in their post-punk experiments. But, fuck, it is so worth it.

As FACT report, seminal electronic label Mute is set to reissue a bulk of Cabaret Voltaire material, beginning with arguably their greatest achievement, Red Mecca, on July 22. Red Mecca’s re-release will be followed by #8385 (Collected Works 1983-1985), a collection that will include The Crackdown, Micro-Phonies, Drinking Gasoline, and The Covenant, The Sword, And The Arm Of The Lord. An even larger collection, #7885 (Electro Punk to Techno Pop 1978-1985), is scheduled for a 2014 release.

Don’t forget… in fact, go ahead and set your PalmPilot’s calender now for a July 22 alarm, as you don’t want to miss out on a chance to snag a fresh, minty, tasty, sexually arousing copy of the Red Mecca reissue. Better yet, lock that shit down now and preorder it here.

• Cabaret Voltaire:
• Mute:

Dent May announces new album Warm Blanket to help keep us all nice and toasty this summer

Dent May’s last album was called Do Things. Which is why I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s actually really, really hip and cool that we never got around to reviewing it. It was “sweet” though. Take it from me, a weird internet stranger.

Anyway, shut up; because the point IS, dear reader, that Dent May is now (much like the rest of us) SICK AND TIRED of doing things. Who wants to do things, anyway? Not me. Not when there’s so many beds to lie around in and warm blankets to cocoon myself up in. And not ol’ Dent either, apparently, because Warm Blanket just happens to be the name of his forthcoming album for Paw Tracks! Whoa! Yeah! I know, I didn’t even plan that at all! But regardless, it’s due August 27 and available on both formats that make money and that one that doesn’t! Swanky.

According to the press release, the album was recorded by Dent all on his lonesome self “in a reportedly haunted Victorian house by the bay in St. Augustine, Florida.” He played “almost all of the instruments” on the album (I’m guessing the ghost played the rest) and made liberal use of the house’s “antique grand piano.” It says here that he even recruited a few Florida locals to fill in on horns, strings, and pedal steel guitar, but that sounds a lot like the old “doing things” Dent May to me, so I don’t believe a word of it.

But I tell you what; we’ll all find out together at the end of August. In the meantime, here’s a teaser video that explains everything I just went over… only, in a much more pleasant, succinct, and polite manner… all while letting you actually hear some of the music! Jeez, I should really be fired. Good thing no one at TMT likes to do things.

Warm Blanket tracklisting:

01. Turn Up the Speakers
02. Let Them Talk
03. Born Too Late
04. Yazoo
05. Corner Piece
06. Do I Cross Your Mind?
07. It Takes a Long Time
08. I’m Ready to Be Old
09. Endlessly
10. Found a Friend
11. Summer Is Over

• Dent May:
• Paw Tracks:

Grails tour the United States for the first time in nearly 14 dog years

What is time? Is it made of anything? Is it just a human construct, or something more fundamental? These are probably some of the many questions you found yourself pondering over the last two human years/14 dog years/25 cat years since Grails last toured the United States. Well, I’m here today to tell you to cut that shit out! No more pondering! You’re probably thinking, “Why should I listen to you, you big dumb failure of a music writer?” and while your point is fair, I actually have two pretty convincing reasons:

1. Deep pondering like this will get you absolutely nowhere at parties. Honestly, it’s because of pondering like this that you haven’t been in a fulfilling romantic relationship for the last three-and-a-half human years/24.5 dog years/31 cat years. Ponder on that one, you big joker!

2. Grails are actually touring again, rendering all of your pondering straight-up redundant anyway (I for one am willing to guess that the guys in Grails do enough pondering for all of us, what with the instrumental space rock vibe they’re usually sporting).

And what’s more (if that’s seriously not enough for you), Grails are touring with fellow deep thinkers Wrekmeister Harmonies and Lilacs & Champagne. Wrekmeister Harmonies have got a new full-length of their own, You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me, out now on Thrill Jockey Records. Lilacs & Champagne, the Grails side project fronted by Emil Amos and Alex Hall, also just put out a new full-length this year on Mexican Summer entitled Danish & Blue (you can let your eyes feast upon a video for the Lilacs & Champagne track “Sensations” below. Warning: there’s a bit of “nudity” in it, so maybe try to “accidentally” turn it on while everybody’s in your office, just for a laugh).

Grails themselves are a little sparse in the whole “putting out full-lengths in 2013” department, but that doesn’t mean you can’t revisit 2011’s Deep Politics (TMT Review) or 2012’s Black Tar Prophecies Vol. 5. You could also maybe go see them live, since, in case you forgot while you were doing all that “deep-thinking,” that’s pretty much the point of tours.

09.10.13 - Nashville, TN - The End *
09.11.13 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl *
09.12.13 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
09.13.13 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery *
09.14.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot and Saddle *
09.15.13 - New York, NY - St. Vitus *
09.16.13 - Boston, MA - Great Scott *
09.17.13 - Montreal, Quebec - Il Motore *
09.18.13 - Toronto, Ontario - The Drake *
09.19.13 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick Lounge *
09.20.13 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen *
09.21.13 - Lexington, KY - Boomslang Festival

* Lilacs & Champagne, Wrekmeister Harmonies

• Grails:

[Photo: mhx]

Barsuk Records announce dates for 15th anniversary shows, set mood on LiveJournal to “excited”

Your mid-teens are the hardest. Even though you’ve made it through the initial confusion, you’re still confronted with having to live with your inner whirlpool of emotions. Also, high school sucks and you’re not getting out for a few more years. Ugh, it’s the worst. With that in mind, let’s all show a lot of support for our good friend Barsuk Records, who is turning 15 this very year. You’re growing into a very nice boy/girl/genderless record label, Barsuk.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Barsuk is throwing themselves a 15th anniversary party. From November 7-10, the label will take over four iconic Seattle venues: Showbox at the Market, Neptune Theatre, Neumos/Barboza, and The Tractor Tavern. The label intends to pack these nights with as many Barsuk acts as possible, even if they don’t totally know which acts will be playing yet. That information is still to come, but here’s some info of the more solid variety: all proceeds from the shows will benefit cancer support organization Gilda’s Club Seattle.

Before the label celebrates their big anniversary, the September 1 date of Bumbershoot will feature an event called 15 Years of Barsuk Records. This event consists of a conversation with label co-founder Josh Rosenfeld and others associated with the label throughout the years. Following that talk will be performances by Barsuk acts Death Cab For Cutie (playing 2003’s Transatlanticism), Ra Ra Riot, David Bazan, Ramona Falls, and Mates of State.

• Barsuk:
• Gilda’s Club Seattle:

A 24-hour radio broadcast of unheard music is happening in Scotland’s Galloway Forest, Magna Carta Holy Grail’s Samsung domination plan to remain unaffected

I’ve got your garden variety, ornery, stubborn asshole of a grandfather who keeps saying to me, “music should be seen and not heard!!!” And every time he starts to get all worked up I have to be like, “Grandpa Riboflavin, that makes NO SENSE at all.” But on and on he keeps at it, “blah blah blah romanticism, blah blah art blah, drone blah meaning blah blah access is just not that great blah blah.” And then usually we have to go get him a Dilly Bar or something so he shuts the hell up.

Needless to say, Grandpa Riboflavin is really into this thing that’s going down in Scotland where, according to Wired, “At the end of August, an FM transmitter will be set up in the middle of the Galloway Forest to broadcast music from dozens of artists over the course of 24 hours. Those who want to hear it will have to head to the forest. There will be no repeats and the files will be deleted after they are played.” Now Grandpa is all sorts of telling the family that we need to fly over to this weird remote place so we can “maybe” hear music, and then I return to the article and point out that curator Stuart McLean (known also by the name of Frenchbloke) says, “There are certain parts where if you get stranded, good luck.” Then Grandpa’s all like, “where’s your sense of adventure? What kid your age wouldn’t want to listen, if he or she worked hard enough, to Mogwai or that there Electronic Research Council in the forest?” It’s at this point I usually just turn up Yeezus in the speakers so I can’t hear him anymore.

But hey, if you’re the kind of person who loves thrill-seeking FM radio in the wilderness, but aren’t into that whole Rainbow Gathering thing, this might be your chance! Also, they’re currently accepting submissions for “unheard music” to fill the (whatever 24 minus 8 is) hours of space left. Apply now and you might have your name next to the great Scarfolk Council, something anyone’s grandparents could really get behind!

• The Dark Outside:
• Frenchbloke:

RIP: Alan Myers, Devo drummer

From the Los Angeles Times:

Chances are in coming days when you’re reading about percussionist Alan Myers, who died Monday after a battle with brain cancer, the words “human metronome” will be used. Myers’ drumming for punk band Devo came to define the band’s off-kilter sound.

Musician Ralph Carney, who was friends with Myers, announced the death of the Devo drummer on his Facebook page: “Alan Myers passed yesterday from cancer. he was Devo’s best drummer and one of the first people to teach me about jazz. i cry…”

To call Myers a human metronome, though, is to suggest a drummer focused on keeping a steady, consistent beat. Myers could do that and more, but his internal metronome contained secret compartments, switches that could drive odd time signatures, weird breakbeats, perfectly timed chaotic bursts.

Like one of his admitted inspirations, John “Drumbo” French of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, Myers understood rhythm so well that he worked as much silence and absence into his sound as he did crazy fills.

Myers was Devo’s third drummer, joining in 1976 before the band released its Brian Eno-produced debut, “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” and remained in the band until the mid-’80s. He played on all the Akron, Ohio-born, Los Angeles-based Devo’s most mind-bending material, including the deconstructed version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” that first propelled them onto the national stage, “Whip It” and “Girl U Want.”

• Devo: