Okkyung Lee prepares a coarse, ungarnished dish of Ghil, out June 24 on Ideologic Organ

Okkyung Lee prepares a coarse, ungarnished dish of Ghil, out June 24 on Ideologic Organ http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1305/news-13-05-okkyung-lee.jpg

Not to generalize or be one of those people, but it seems to be a recognizable motif of popular music that — absent a genuine desire to find talented musicians — producers and engineers have no choice but to resort to musical overdressing, designed to obfuscate what would otherwise be an all-too-apparent vapidity. Compress this, compress that. Add a backup vocal track from someone who can actually sing here. ALERT: hackneyed song about heterosexual relationships coming down the pipeline. Quick, Steve, muster all the synthesized strings you can find! No, you can’t have too many, you son of a bitch!

It’s the musical equivalent of orcs at a masquerade ball, but luckily, the world’s been blessed with its opposite: orcs playing tackle football? No, wait.

The opposite is music stripped to its essence, and Ghil, the newest solo release from Korean cellist/composer Okkyung Lee, reportedly takes that very approach. Out June 24 on Ideologic Organ, the album was produced and recorded by Norwegian artist Lasse Marhaug using a secondhand portable cassette recorder. And that’s it. There were no effects added before, during, or after the fact, and there was no overdubbing. Excepting what was some presumably minor editing and minimal mastering, Ghil takes Lee’s experimental cello work and offers it bare, raw, and appropriate for the parent label, noisy. Contrast the track below with her earlier, more jazzy work, and it barely sounds like she’s playing the same instrument.

Who’s up for some soul-staring? Pre-order the LP here.

Ghil tracklisting:

1.1. The Crow Flew After Yi Sang
1.2. Two To Your Right, Five To Your Left
1.3. Strictly Vertical
1.4. The Space Beneath My Grey Heart
2.1. Cheol-kkot
2.2. Hollow Water
2.3. Two Perfectly Shaped Stones
2.4. Meolly Ganeun
2.5. Over The Oak, Under The Elm

• Okkyung Lee: http://okkyung.wordpress.com
• Ideologic Organ: http://editionsmego.com/releases/ideologic-organ

Hospital Ships’ June 18 album release makes ships friendly again

Hospital Ships is a band that conjures so much in my mind, including the idea of a Grey’s Anatomy-style hospital drama on the high seas, but they also make me think of good music. Like my conception, the band started as a bedroom-recording project of Lawrence, Kansas’s Jordan Geiger, and like my birth they’ve prematurely evolved into a full-fledged four-piece. According to their Facebook, they even have a manager named Marshmallow the Cat!

If you like hearing music then you’ll want to check out Hospital Ships’ new album, With Destruction in Yr Soul, out June 18 on the Graveface Records and Curiousities imprint. This third album features fuzzy, gospel-like sounds that will make you feel safe and warm, unlike scary movie Ghost Ship, or depressing Chris Hardwick reality series Shipmates. Hear album track “Come Back to Life” here:

Yr gonna see da Ships on tour:

05.13.13 - Chico, CA - Cafe Coda
05.14.13 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
05.15.13 - Santa Cruz, CA - TBA
05.16.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Undertow Music
05.17.13 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
05.18.13 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
05.19.13 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
05.20.13 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad

• Hospital Ships: http://hospitalshipsmusic.com
• Graveface: http://www.graveface.com

Death Grips to soundtrack original Zach Hill film; breaking things to receive its most comprehensive guide since the 1970s

Stopping just short of causing permanent blindness, the collective overdose of adrenaline that crowds in Europe are currently experiencing as a result of the Death Grips tour hasn’t been enough to stop people from noticing the absence of Zach Hill. After all, during those lapses in time when MC Ride isn’t implicitly motivating you to punch babies in a rage or sort of, kind of, making you fear for your own safety, the inclination is to look in the direction of the trio’s superlatively skilled drummer.

Case in point: here’s a statement released last Friday explaining Hill’s whereabouts and preoccupations, now that certain corners of the music world have begun to ask questions. Via Pitchfork:

Zach is currently writing, directing and soundtracking an original feature film. The movie is of his own creation, fictionally based and not related to the group. The film will be soundtracked with all new Death Grips music. He is also working on and recording the new Death Grips album at the moment. Death Grips is Stefan. Zach. Andy. Zach is very much still in Death Grips.

Points for concision, but for the sake of getting you all riled up: Zach Hill is off working on an original feature-length film, which will be soundtracked by all new Death Grips material, and in addition to that, a new Death Grips LP is in the works. Given Hill’s concurrent interest in the visual arts, it’s not surprising he’s working on a feature-length film, but there remains a curiosity about the film’s content. People throwing stuff? People setting things on fire? Yelling? Explosions? Think of the destructive possibilities…

• Death Grips: http://thirdworlds.net

[Photo: Libertinus]

Stellar OM Source announces existence of new album, single, and civilization of intelligent aliens who use space rocks as currency

In space no one can hear your skin slowly melt off the bones because you touched the wrong space rock. Space is infinite, buddy, everybody’s got other shit to do, and they definitely do not have time to sit around and figure out whether your skin is sloughing off or not. Here’s my advice: leave the space rock-touching to the professionals. They’ve got years of experience on you. They know exactly where to put their fingers.

Case in point, Christelle Gualdi a.k.a. Stellar OM Source, who is both a master of the analog synth and of space rock-handling protocols. She’s got a new full-length called Joy One Mile coming out June 11 on RVNG Intl. which is the next in a long and getting longer line of full-lengths, singles, and CD-Rs over the past several years. The album reportedly follows the more beat-driven sound that she first started to develop on last year’s Image Over Image 12-inch. This sound is a bit of a shift from the likes of 2010’s Exises and is no doubt a result of the recent extra-terrestrial influence on Gualdi’s process. Preceding the full-length’s release, RVNG will also drop a 12-inch single, “Elite Excel” (listen below), on May 14 that features a remix from the space rock Padawan Kassem Mosse. Keep sharp, Kassem! Those rocks are treacherous!

Joy One Mile tracklist:

01. Polarity
02. Par Amour
03. The Range
04. Trackers
05. Elite Excel
06. Fascination
07. Natives / Most Answers Never Unveiled

12-inch tracklist:

01. Elite Excel
02. Elite Excel (Kassem Mosse Remix)

• Stellar OM Source: https://www.facebook.com/stellaromsource
• RVNG Intl.: http://igetrvng.com

[Photo: De Cinq a Sept]

King Khan and the Shrines sign to Merge, but really, let’s just talk about dicks

The human box of mentally deranged black market firecrackers that is King Khan has signed to Merge, with a new album on the way later this year. The man of a 1,000 “King Khan and the —” projects is going as the standard King Khan and the Shrines on this one. The future record that is currently floating around in Khan’s voodoo-streaked neon future consciousness will be the first Shrines release since 2007, and globe-spanning tourdates are sure to ensue. Which is great news for Khan’s dick, which he can finally womp out on stage under the Shrines moniker once again. How we’ve missed you, naked King Khan.

For those of you who can’t POSSIBLY STAND THE TENSION of waiting that long for another sighting of the garage rocker’s glorious manhood, well read on! King Khan released an awesomely bizarre statement on the occasion of his signing to Merge, which really just speaks for itself. I want to get married solely so this man will give my wedding speech. Hey, Cat Sitting On My Computer… will you marry me? Anyway, here it is, direct from the King’s mouth:

Rumors have been flying about me being taped to three swans and traveling the world. Well, it was a rough ride but someone had to do it. After being called the “Beetlejuice of rock ‘n roll,” I have decided to join forces with the underworld and in doing so have reached a new all time low. Hell hath no fury as a swan taped to a fat Indian man.

I have finally found my new family in Merge records and as always I would much rather work with southern folk than city slickers (fuck Bill Crystal and his plastic face). It is a pleasure working with folks who eat ribs while they cure buffalo meat and sell rekkids. If I get a fair shot on the plantation of Merge maybe i will save Brunhilda and show my Indian penis to the world. Tell Quentin Tarantino that he should have let DiCaprio show the world his junk too to make the movie
balanced.

As always, he brings up some good points.

• King Khan: http://kingkhanmusic.com

Josephine Foster brings carnival magic, happy cartoon bluebirds to venues across the East Coast, reissues Little Life

When Josephine Foster sings, the world turns black and white, except for the little bluebirds that dart around her shoulders and whistle along to her wistful tunes. When Josephine Foster sings, carnivals appear along dusty roads, with friendly non-meth-addicted carnies and naughty (but basically PG-rated) dancing girls with pretty feathers and tinny records. When Josephine Foster sings, it’s like the Great Depression never ended, except this time around it’s a FUN Great Depression with nothing sadder than a lonely song and the fact that ya gotta go home when the crumpets are gone and the Tea Bazaar closes (this is a place Ms. Foster is playing in Charlottesville, not something I made up.) No dust storms! No casual bigotry! No people jumping out of skyscrapers because all their money is gone! None of that Grapes of Wrath shit.

So it’s a lucky thing for America that Josephine Foster is striking up a spring East Coast tour. And golly gee, if she isn’t reissuing the Record Store Day “exclusive” 10-inch vinyl re-release of her lovely 2001 EP Little Life on June 11 via Fire Records! Bees’ knees! Cat’s pajamas! 1920s slang! Little Life, released initially as a CD-R, was recorded by Foster when she was home alone with her ukelele. Josephine Foster, who is also one of those opera-trained fancy women, had worked as a children’s music teacher, and she wrote the album specifically to get the creative juices churning in the kiddies she devised it for. It works for adults, too, as well as tiny bluebirds and little people.

Dates:

05.10.13 - Lafayette, IN - TBA
05.25.13 - Nashville, TN - The Stone Fox
05.30.13 - Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light
05.31.13 - Asheville, NC - The Apothecary
06.01.13 - Charlottesville, VA - Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
06.06.13 - Pawtucket, RI - Machines With Magnets
06.07.13 - Turner Falls, MA - Rendezvous
06.13.13 - Brooklyn, NY - ISSUE Project Room

Little Life tracklisting:

01. Shay Shay
02. Stones in My Heavy Bag
03. Charles in the Park
04. Francie’s Song
05. Run Maroona
06. Three Day Days
07. Tom Peck, Neighbor Friend
08. Birdo
09. Warsong
10. Hell’s Bells Are Ringing
11. Little Life

• Josephine Foster: http://www.josephinefoster.info
• Fire: http://www.firerecords.com