Omar Souleyman to release formerly cassette-only Syrian wedding jams this November

Omar Souleyman to release formerly cassette-only Syrian wedding jams this November

Ain’t no party like an Omar Souleyman Party ‘cuz an Omar Souleyman Party don’t stop. Literally! Cult Syrian musician Souleyman is a star in the Middle East, thanks to the fascinating melodies and wild grooves he’s been laying down in both Arabic and Kurdish since 1994. This is a man with over FIVE HUNDRED recordings. Damn. And you thought Miles Davis was prolific. Now, about 80% of these releases are live recordings made at the weddings where Souleyman performs, which are then given to the happy couple. These recordings are later copied and sold at local kiosks in the area. So, if you’re gonna be an Omar Souleyman completist, it’s probably pretty likely that you also live with like 3,000 cats.

The wonderful Sublime Frequencies label introduced Souleyman’s music to Western audiences in 2007 with the release of Highway to Hassake: Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria. Since then Souleyman has released three more records on the label — 2009’s Dabke 2020, 2010’s Jazeera Nights, and this year’s Haflat Gharbia (The Western Concerts) — and appeared in enviable slots at Glastonbury and Austin’s Chaos en Tejas. Caribou invited him to perform at ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas festival this winter in England, and Björk asked him to do some remixes of her upcoming Biophilia. So he’s a busy man.

And now Sublime Frequencies’ friend/collaborator Mark Gergis’ vinyl-only label Sham Palaces is releasing Souleyman’s legendary Leh Jani on November 22. Back in 1998, Leh Jani was released as a cassette in Syria as a 30-minute track with two additional tracks. It was recorded by producer Zuhir Maksi to emphasize the feeling of his live wedding performances à la the hundreds of releases mentioned above. “Leh Jani” appeared in shorter form on Souleyman’s Highway release in 2007, and will soon be available for the first time in the US in its original full-length Syrian cassette version, thanks to Sham Palace.

• Omar Souleyman:

Emo’s Austin closes their doors after 20 years of making Texas cool

Now, while most Texans will disagree, there isn’t much in Texas to make it “cool” (as in hip, trendy, chic, or approved by hipsters) outside of the hot and humid city of Austin, so, in a bit of sadder news, Austin is losing one of its coolest places, as Emo’s Austin has announced that they will be closing their doors for the final time in December.

“We were going the way of CBGB’s. When Moody Theatre moved downtown, it raised the bar for everybody,” said owner Frank Hendrix in a report on Billboard. The property has already been bought by Sixth Red River LC, who will probably turn the famed venue into something not nearly as cool, such as a House of Blues or another high-priced boutique hotel. Probably just some shitty condominiums.

“What makes a venue a venue is not four walls, it’s the people and the community that support it. We haven’t lost our spirit. We’re still Emo’s,” affirms Hendrix, who will continue to maintain Emo’s legacy by selling branded products like hats and shirts, continuing to maintain sister-venue Emo’s East, and promising that a new venue will be opened “within walking distance” from the original location.

Emo’s Austin will continue to play host to bands and musicians until Christmas Eve of this year. “We’re hoping for a proper send-off, with bands who’ve played Emo’s in the last 14 or 15 years to say good-bye to the downtown location.”

• Emo’s Austin:

RIP: Sylvia Robinson, “The Mother of Hip-Hop”

From The New York Times:

Sylvia Robinson, the singer, songwriter and record producer who formed the Sugar Hill Gang and made the first commercially successful rap recording, died early Thursday morning at a hospital in New Jersey. She was 75.

Ms. Robinson had a notable career as a rhythm and blues singer long before she and her husband, Joe Robinson, formed Sugar Hill Records in 1979 and served as the midwives for a musical genre that came to dominate pop music.

• Sylvia Robinson:

Way Through to release Arrow Shower on Upset the Rhythm. Also, what exactly is pastoral punk?

“Way Through are a pastoral punk duo from Shropshire.” Wait… pastoral punk? That sounds like some bizarre fusion of Fleet Foxes and The Clash — lumberjack poets on a mission to shock, a mission to shake the foundations of urban establishment with acoustic anthems. I just can’t imagine anyone pulling that off.

However, Way Through’s debut LP Arrow Shower offers a better definition of pastoral punk than my weirdo imagination can. Their sound has a definite garage rock vibe, drifting from raucous to reflective and back again, and they draw on elements of English history as well as modern discontent for inspiration. The album’s title comes from a junk shop copy of Philip Larkin’s poetry collection, Whitsun Weddings, one filled with a teenage boy’s scrawled commentary. Here’s what Chris Tipton of Upset the Rhythm Records had to say:

Way Through walk through ruins, trace the lost domain of the neo-romantics and hang out with hillside chalk figures, connecting with the spirit of place still deeply lodged in our consciousness. Broken fences, disused science parks and overgrown cemeteries hold as much spiritual vision for them as standing stones. With Arrow Shower, Way Through have explored a language that can help re-enchant the land and lives of all of us today.

The album is currently available for streaming through SoundCloud, and it’ll get a physical release on October 3.

Arrow Shower tracklisting:

01. Ruined Acre
02. Sad Twin
03. W. B.
04. Arro
05. Rural Fringe
06. Gallant Show
07. Widowhood
08. Handsome Knave
09. Wsh
10. Salmon Patch
11. Brother’s Rapid
12. Ower
13. Denton Welch

• Way Through:
• Upset the Rhythm:

sunn 0))) and Nurse with Wound collaborative album coming soon 0))) via Editions Mego imprint

Diehard doomy drone fans shall rejoice in deep, prolonged growls for a newly announced release on Ideologic Organ via Editions Mego. So robe up and kick on the fog machine, ‘cause shit’s about to get grim! If you recall, while the weaker of listeners were preoccupied with Kid A, sunn 0))) recorded their second ass-splitting album, ØØ Void, 11 years ago on Hydra Head. Then in 2008, Daymare Recordings re-released the record in Japan with a bonus disc titled The Iron Soul of Nothing, which featured a collaboration between sunn 0))) and Nurse with Wound. This extra material was said to be a new collaborative take on the original concept of Void.

The upcoming ØØ Void reissue on Southern Lord won’t feature those tracks, but now all that bonus material is getting its first stand-alone domestic release in the American third-world on double vinyl through the Stephen O’Malley-curated Ideologic Organ, an imprint of Editions Mego. The Iron Soul of Nothing will be available on November 29, and can be preordered here.

The Iron Soul of Nothing tracklisting (differs from original, likely due to vinyl disc space):

A. Dysnystaxis
B. Ra at Dawn Part One
C. Ash on the Tress
D. Ra at Dawn Part Two

• sunn 0))):
• Nurse with Wound:
• Ideologic Organ:

The Flaming Lips releasing 24-hour song on Halloween, encased in the skulls of those too weak to endure their six-hour song

The Flaming Lips don’t give a shit about your qualms with “I Found a Star on the Ground,” the six-hour psych-rock/attendance-taking jam that dropped a few days ago and is the audio equivalent of taking everyone shirtless from Bonnaroo and putting them into a particle accelerator. Because by the time you’re done listening to it (in three-minute installments during The Big Bang Theory commercial breaks), there’ll be a new Lips song waiting on your Megaupload doorstep that makes “Found a Star” seem like a teaser trailer.

“Giant Fucking Mp3,” as I’m calling the untitled song for the time being, will introduce the realities of “death,” “fucking,” and “life” for the first few minutes, and will then explore those themes in greater detail for the rest of the day — literally. In total, the song will be 24 hours in length, and since it drops at midnight on Halloween, this either means that the holiday is cancelled this year or every haunted house will have the option of an alternate “spooky noises” soundtrack.

The less-than-succinct song will be available in very limited physical quantities (five!) in the form of an external hard drive tucked inside an actual human skull, provided by the Oklahoma City mom-and-pop store Skulls Unlimited. Unfortunately, the skull will be neither marijuana-flavored nor edible, and considering their gummy skull was $150 it might not be a feasible purchase for most. But maybe if you ask your parents nicely enough and promise to keep your shirt tucked in at church they’ll buy you human remains that house a song about fucking.

[Update: all five skulls have already been sold for $5,000 each. Sorry, little Timmy.]

• The Flaming Lips:


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