Plaid to rhythmically sway the masses on upcoming North American tour

Plaid to rhythmically sway the masses on upcoming North American tour

The notion of Plaid (Andy Turner and Ed Handley) touring North America inspires the same degree of bewildered excitement as one would likely feel if any number of genre-pioneering electronic musicians decided to tour the same region. I’ve still partially resigned myself to the idea that if I ever want to fully experience IDM (my apologies to opponents of this particular label) live, that it’ll require a trip to Europe, but the fact that Plaid are venturing past the Atlantic this November in support of their latest album on Warp, Scintilli, makes me enormously grateful and giddy. Except for the fact that I can’t actually make it to any of their shows. Shit. Well, I’m grateful at least.

With the release of Mbuki Mvuki in 1991, Plaid have remained steadily active in the two decades since then, honing a relentlessly organic sound which has yet to be replicated to any considerable degree. According to the associated press release, the Latin “scintilli” roughly translates to “I am many sparks” — a phrase which the duo “claim to chant for two hours every morning, before starting work in their newly built studio in North London.” I don’t find this spiritual routine of theirs particularly surprising. If the Earth and nature itself had the potential to give birth to electronic musicians, they would sound like Plaid. You know when you’re hearing a song of theirs, and you’ll surely remember it if you catch them this November.


11.09.11 - Montreal, QC - SAT
11.10.11 - Toronto, ON - Wrongbar
11.11.11 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
11.12.11 - Boston, MA - Paradise
11.13.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
11.15.11 - Houston, TX - Stereo Live
11.16.11 - Austin, TX - ND Studios
11.18.11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
11.19.11 - Denver, CO - Bluebird
11.21.11 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore
11.22.11 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
11.23.11 - Portland, OR - Holocene
11.25.11 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine
11.26.11 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey

• Plaid:
• Warp:

Sleep ∞ Over to tour Europe with Pure X and put everyone there to sleep until recession is over

If you were once a sensitive little boy like I was, can you even imagine how horrendous the concept of an “infinite sleepover” would be? How much shitty microwave popcorn and greasy pizza can a kid eat? How long do you have to fend off sleep before you’re labeled (figuratively) a pussy and (literally) with Sharpie penises all over your arms and face? How many times can you and your friends watch Terminator 2, endlessly rewinding and replaying that nuclear explosion nightmare scene where Sara Conner has all her skin burned off her bones in a flash of white light while nearby playground horsies poignantly burn?? How long do you have to look at shitty, outdated porn and think to yourself, a) “does so-and-so’s mom know that his dad has all this pornography?” and b) “man, I guess these boobs are pretty cool, but I still don’t really understand the appeal of the vagina.” Fuck, I’m getting the urge to suck my thumb just thinking about this….

I’m guessing that Stefanie Franciotti, the woman behind the ambient dreampop project Sleep ∞ Over (who released Forever on Hippos in Tanks recently) doesn’t give a fuck about my fear of sleepovers, though. Maybe being a girl, she had slightly less horrific experiences sleeping over at her friends’ houses as a kid? I don’t know if that’s really true, but you can ask her yourself in Europe this November when she tours there with Austin, TX drone outfit Pure X. Just to be on the safe side, though, maybe don’t offer to put her up for the night after one of these shows, lest you fall asleep in Stockholm only to wake up in Sharpie Penisville. Sigh….

Sleep ∞ Over tourdates (w/ Pure X):

11.01.11 - London, UK - Shacklewell Arms
11.02.11 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store
11.03.11 - Leeds, UK - ANOTS
11.04.11 - Glasgow, UK - Captain’s Rest
11.05.11 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
11.07.11 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
11.09.11 - Aarhus, Denmark - Musikcafeen
11.10.11 - Oslo, Norway - Blaa
11.11.11 - Stockholm, Sweden - Slakthuset
11.12.11 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Huset I Magstraede
11.15.11 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain Kantine
11.17.11 - Brussels, Belgium - AB Club
11.18.11 - Utrecht, Holland - Ekko
11.19.11 - Amsterdam, Holland - OCCII
11.22.11 - Paris, France - Point Ephemere
11.23.11 - Angers, France - Chabada
11.24.11 - Madrid/Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Club
11.25.11 - Madrid/Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Club

• Sleep ∞ Over:
• Hippos in Tanks:
• Pure X:

Noah and the Whale touring the US in November, the UK in 2012, and the UN in due time

The early bird catches the… whale: October is not even halfway over yet, and already Noah and the Whale have announced their tourdates for 2012. The band, who hail from London, will return to their home turf to play 11 more shows in March 2012 in support of their third album, Last Night on Earth.

However; if you haven’t bought your trapper keeper (or whatever it is you call your fancy date planner) for next year yet, you can still catch the band in 2011 when they come to play Stateside in November. And for those among us who have their shit together enough to plan that far in advance, tickets for the 2012 dates are can currently be bought through the band’s website and go on sale to the general public this Friday, October 14.

11.05.11 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
11.06.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
11.08.11 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Theatre
11.09.11 - Grand Rapids, MI - Ladies Literary Club
11.11.11 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
11.12.11 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
11.13.11 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
11.14.11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
11.17.11 - Seattle, WA - Neptune
11.18.11 - Vancouver, BC - Venue
11.19.11 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
11.21.11 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
11.22.11 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
03.17.12 - Dublin, Ireland - Olympia
03.20.12 - Edinburgh, UK - Picture House
03.21.12 - Newcastle upon Tyne, UK - O2 Academy
03.22.12 - Sheffield, UK - O2 Academy
03.24.12 - York, UK - Barbican
03.25.12 - Portsmouth, UK - Guildhall
03.26.12 - Southend-on-Sea, UK - Cliffs Pavilion
03.29.12 - Wolverhampton, UK - Civic Hall
04.16.12 - London, UK - Royal Albert Hall
04.20.12 - Manchester, UK - O2 Apollo

• Noah and the Whale:
• Mercury:

Locrian to release new LP on November 1, Halloween likely to suck until then

In case Halloween closes this year leaving you unsatisfied with its overall lack of pure evil, and you find yourself feeling regret over having wasted $150 on that date at the Jekyll and Hyde theme restaurant, then perhaps that can be compensated the following day with the release of Locrian’s newest LP, The Clearing, coming to you November 1 via Fan Death Records (Homostupids, To Live and Shave in LA).

The ambient/cerebral/black metal/experimental/noise/drone/prog/kraut duo’s follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed The Crystal World LP (TMT Review) was recorded by Jeremy Lemos (Stereolab, Jim O’Rourke, Wilco, Smog) and features a diversity of atmospheric sounds that come closer to their live performances than any of their many releases so far (about 24 in their six years as a band), according to the press release. The LP will also feature cover art by Brian Ulrich and is available for pre-order from Fan Death now.

The Clearing tracklisting:

01. Chalk Point
02. Augury in an Evaporating Tower
03. Coprolite
04. The Clearing

• Locrian:
• Fan Death:

Google dances real pretty-like for labels, hoping to open legit music store before iTunes Match debuts

The New York Times reports that Google is preparing to release a new music store that will work in conjunction with its recently launched Google Music Beta cloud service and will compete head to head with iTunes and Amazon’s music store. Google launched its Music Beta service as an unlicensed storage “locker” system after negotiations with license holders broke down over piracy concerns. Google had hoped to be able to allow users to upload their music via a central database, effectively finding matches across other users’ libraries and preventing users from having to wait for individual uploads unless their files were completely new to the system, but without special licenses from labels, that plan fell to the wayside.

Google is presumably promising a more rigorous file vetting system for its cloud service to prevent piracy in a bid to get labels on board with the music store. Conversely, Apple already has the leading music store and is prepping for the release of its own cloud service, iTunes Match. Google is probably regretting publicly deriding labels for not getting on board with its original cloud service approach now that they’re trying to get deals in place for their store before the iTunes Match service rolls out, possibly by the end of this month. Because of the license agreements in place between labels and Apple to sell music, they already have the special licensing agreements needed to allow for the type of cloud service Google originally envisioned for itself.

What does this all mean for users? Well, if you’ve only bought music from the safe and sanitized environs of the iTunes music store, you’ll probably still stick with the Apple services, but if you collect music from a broad range of places (free downloads from the internet, directly from small labels, by converting LPs and cassettes to a digital format, etc.) a service that values its users privacy and doesn’t judge them on the source of their content (after making them agree that none of it was illegally acquired, of course) is still probably the best way to go, regardless of how that makes the labels feel or how long it takes to get it all up in the cloud. If Google is successful in striking a deal with license holders to sell music, it may ultimately and regrettably water down the openness of their cloud service. To the Cloud Drive!

• Google Music:

Hubble (ZS guitarist) saves souls, announces Northeast tourdates in support of upcoming LP on Northern Spy

Five-handed arpeggio engineer and ZS guitarist Ben Greenberg has been stirring up a lot of buzz with his solo project, Hubble, especially after the religiously moving performance at the Northern Spy Festival this month (after the performance, a few kids came forward and made some life-changing decisions). Greenberg has now felt led by the spirit to take Hubble on the road and spread the good news of his forthcoming LP Hubble Drums, out November 8 on Northern Spy as part of ZS’ extremely prolific release schedule. The dates take the band to Toronto, Montreal, Burlington, and Purchase, where they’ll perform alongside the likes of Golden Retriever, Harmonizer, Memoryhouse, and more.

Hubble’s “Hubble’s Hubble” (also from the new LP and fun to write like that) will also be featured in conjunction with a new video created by Tiffany Borders of NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team. The NASA-sanctioned video will feature cosmic imagery captured by the actual Hubble Telescope and will get you that much closer to the heavens. God bless Ben Greenberg. Bless him.

Hubble tourdates:

10.15.11 - Toronto, ON - The Music Gallery’s “X AVANT New Music Festival”
10.16.11 - Toronto, ON - Double Double Land
10.17.11 - Montreal, QC - La Brique *
10.18.11 - Burlington, VT - BCA Center *
10.19.11 - Purchase, NY - Whitson’s

* Golden Retriever, Harmonizer

• Hubble:
• Northern Spy: