Tokyo: home of 39 cat cafes, and now the 2014 Red Bull Music Academy

Tokyo: home of 39 cat cafes, and now the 2014 Red Bull Music Academy

Neon. All-night karaoke. Cat cafes! (Thirty-nine of them, to be exact, if Wikipedia is to be trusted. THIRTY-NINE!!!!) If any world capital seems like it would be a natural conduit for the sugary magic of Red Bull, it’s Tokyo. And so it’s only logical that the sorta corporate-seeming but usually pretty awesome Red Bull Music Academy should be making Tokyo the site of its 2014 mega art/music shindigs.

Over the past decade-and-a-half, such dream locales as London, New York City, Toronto, Cape Town, Melbourne, and Madrid have played host to this genre-defying showcase where the finest purveyors of forward-thinking music and art, together with literally THOUSANDS of those 20-year-old girls who shill Red Bull on college campuses across America, descend upon a designated city to give it wings and a totally next-level hangover. Tokyo’s Red Bull Music Academy Weekender gave residents a scintillating taste of what’s to come this past month when the city played host to Damo Suzuki’s Network, Gilles Peterson, Daedelus, DJ Krush, Yann Tomita, Diamond Version, Young Symphony Orchestra, Henrik Schwarz’s WalkMusic performance, and a Harajuku-based music/art/records fair. Would-be initiates of Red Bull’s special brand of wizardry can watch Red Bull Music Academy’s website. Red Bull Red Bull Red Bull!!!! This post brought to you by new zero calorie Red Bull Overdose.

• Red Bull Music Academy:

Wandering carnival ghost/songwriter Marissa Nadler releasing new album on Sacred Bones next year

When I was eight years old, a haunting and magical book appeared at the library and changed my life forever. That book was The Carnival Ghost, an early entry into the Sweet Valley Twins Super Chillers (imagine creepy, “bloody” red letters here) series of YA “twins gettin’ scared” novels. Unshockingly, this book was about a creeeepy carnival haunted by a fetching dark-haired young ghost woman with a super-pretty long white dress with a blue ribbon sash. Apart from the fact that she was totally evil, she was PRETTY AWESOME. I mean, she got to haunt a carnival forever, while wearing fly threads, and so basically this fictional ghost person became my life role model the first day I ever read that book.

Marissa Nadler’s new album is effectively this concept brought to life. The Boston-based chanteuse’s sixth album, July, is set for a February 4 release on Sacred Bones in the US, and a February 10 release on Bella Union in the UK. Recorded at Avast Studio in Seattle with Randall Dunn (Earth, sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room) and featuring Eyvand Kang (strings), Steve Moore (synths), and Phil Wandscher (guitar), July has that same haunting, ethereal, dusty Depression-era carnival quality that characterizes Nadler’s best work, but the lyrics on the new album set her firmly on the modern highways and fluorescent-lit hotels of the modern carnival ghost, er, touring musician. You can preview new track “Dead City Emily” online. No dates yet, apart from a late November stop at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.

July tracklisting:

01. Drive
02. 1923
03. Firecrackers
04. We Are Coming Back
05. Dead City Emily
06. Was It a Dream
07. I’ve Got Your Name
08. Desire
09. Anyone Else
10. Holiday In
11. Nothing in My Heart


11.30.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade

• Marissa Nadler:
• Sacred Bones:
• Bella Union:

DJ Rashad, now the only cyborg footwork/juke musician, returns to the road following car crash-related hip injury

No no, put that pill bottle down, I say! DJ Rashad missing a slew of North American (and European) tour dates as a result of a car accident was not a case of divine (albeit malevolent) intervention, and the end of all life on Earth isn’t, in fact, a reasonable prediction henceforth! Though I certainly do appreciate the impulse, considering how previously rare stateside performances were, and the fact that the accident itself occurred pretty near the front end of what dates he had scheduled. Rashad’s amicable companion DJ Spinn ably filled in where necessary as the former recovered from a broken hip and weeks of physical therapy, but… you’ll notice my use of the past-tense there. Fed up with being hospital bed-ridden, Rashad ultimately turned to the mystical power of the Senzu Bean, and now he’s about to go Super-Saiyan all over North America’s ass. All over it. You may as well not even wear pants. I’m not.

Starting with the show in Oxford, Ohio last week, Rashad will be fulfilling all subsequent November dates in the US, and he’s just added a bunch of shows for December as well. As was preordained and not left to chance, Chance the Rapper maintains his support role all the way through the show at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Insert month-long hiatus, Rashad making a New Year’s resolution to circumvent traffic by investing in a jet pack manufacturer, and then comes the trip to Japan as part of the Ten Years of Hyperdub tour. Don’t forget Double Cup (TMT Review), by the way. Came out just a few weeks ago, still hot.


11.08.13 - Oxford, OH - Brick St Bar
11.10.13 - Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall *

11.12.13 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theater *
11.14.13 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater *
11.17.13 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey *
11.18.13 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory *
11.19.13 - Tempe, AZ - Club Red *
11.20.13 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater *
11.22.13 - Dallas, TX - Trees’ *
11.23.13 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live *
11.25.13 - Atlanta, GA - The Loft @ Center Stage *
11.26.13 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom *
11.27.13 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre *
11.29.13 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre *
11.30.13 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave *
12.03.13 - Oberlin, OH - Dionysus Disco *
12.08.13 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant *
12.10.13 - Fargo, ND - The Venue *
12.12.13 - Missoula, MT - The Wilma Theatre *
12.14.13 - Garden City, ID - Revolution Center *
12.15.13 - Seattle, WA - Showbox @ The Market *
12.16.13 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom *
12.18.13 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom *
12.20.13 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Cultural Center
01.31.13 - Tokyo, Japan - Unit #@!
02.01.13 - Chubu, Japan - Mago #@!
02.02.13 - Kanazawa, Japan - Manier #@!
02.03.13 - Osaka, Japan - Conpass #@!
02.07.13 - Middletown, CT - Eclectic House

* Chance the Rapper
@ Laurel Halo
# Kode9
! Ikonika

• DJ Rashad:
• Hyperdub:

Hubble (Ben Greenberg of The Men) holds his own against alluring nebulae, releases Hubble Eagle LP

Marvel at the wonders of the Universe courtesy of the fantastic, high-resolution images captured and distributed though NASA’s Space Hubble Telescope! Then realize, absent a miraculous progression in technology that allows for the manager of your local convenience mart to travel affordably through space, those images will remain, for the foreseeable future, just that: IMAGES, and perhaps representations of dreams that will never be fulfilled. Sorry for the downer. Here, have some popcorn.

Though, when you think about it, who really needs space exploration or even photos of space to be astounded and mesmerized? The human Hubble (a.k.a. Ben Greenberg of The Men, formerly of ZS, Little Women, etc.) has been specializing in guitar hypnotization for at least a few years now, and really, upon listening to his new LP Hubble Eagle, the desire to star-touch goes away completely — partly due to the realization that stars aren’t capable of being touched without reciprocal vaporization, but also because… the music keeps the mind totally preoccupied. It’s continuous to the point where human responsibility is almost unbelievable. Have we checked Greenberg for internal circuits?

Although most of the album is instrumental, you’ll notice on the track below the audible formation of words, also known as vocals. You may notice those same words on the track of the same name by The Kinks. It’s a notable, if mostly different-sounding, cover, inspired by Greenberg’s “rigorous touring schedule on the open road.” You can purchase the LP here, if you’d like.

Hubble Eagle tracklisting:

01. A Star or Two Beside
02. A Long Way From Home
03. Hubble Eagle

• Hubble:
• NNA Tapes:

The Books’ videos released on DVD. But I really wanted to watch that church procession from 1989 on Blu-ray!

You know the cliché when you’ve just finished a thoroughly engaging piece of literature and you’re remarking to your friends or peers about how engaging it was? “I couldn’t put it down!” one might be inclined to say, ignoring the fact that you’ve very obviously put it down to socialize and provided zero useful information to anyone who might be interested. “So, uh, what’s it about?” “I just seriously couldn’t put it down!” “Oh, okay.”

By contrast, the musical The Books aren’t letting you put them down, despite formally breaking up some time ago (in the midst of the 1960s counterculture movement, but prior to LBJ’s promotion of the Great Society). About two months ago, The Books (or an intermediary thereof) announced the separation-for-sale of Music for a French Elevator and Other Oddities from their total and gargantuan artistic compendium A Dot in Time., released last year. A reasonable decision, considering the price of the latter, so now, Temporary Residence Ltd have decided to do the same for Freedom of Expression, a DVD of all the quirky videos that The Books utilized during their live shows and elsewhere. Experiencing one of those shows quickly revealed how complementary the “surreal mix of bizarre found footage, home movies, and psychedelic animated imagery” was to the music, so it’s certainly worthy of consideration.

Here’s where you can buy. Below: what’s in store. Oh those humans!

Freedom of Expression (2 hours long, btw) tracklisting:

01. That Right Ain’t Shit
02. Be Good to Them Always
03. Smells Like Content
04. Take Time
05. Meditation
06. It Never Changes to Stop
07. Tokyo
08. All A’s
09. If Now, Whenever
10. Classy Penguin
11. 8 Frame
12. An Owl with Knees
13. Twelve Fold Chain
14. Cello Song (feat. Jose Gonzales)
15. Handfart Man
16. Group Autogenics I
17. I Didn’t Know That
18. A Cold Freezin’ Night
19. Chain of Missing Links
20. We Bought the Flood
21. Mommy Daddy

• The Books:
• Temporary Residence Ltd:

Thrill Jockey brings the future of the past to the present today with first-ever cassette-only release, Jan St. Werner’s Transcendental Animal Numbers

Hey there, colleagues. Taylor Peters here, reporting from my wi-fi-enabled plane en route to the Social Media Leveraging and Positioning 2K13 conference/bacchanal in the Maldives. I just wanted to holler at you re: a new disruption in the brand-o-sphere vis a vis the globality of tech/musical interchange. At the end of the day, all things considered, and with all the cards on the surprisingly heavy imported marble table, it’s probably going to substantially re-configure how we generate actionable concepts of release-oriented solutions within a substantial chunk of extant sub-genres, so listen up.

I trust you’re familiar with Thrill Jockey, the innovative Chicago firm who last year celebrated their 20th anniversary. Well they’re at it again. It, of course, is “a headlong drive toward a tactical uptick in modular synergy.” By way of innovative and hands-on solutions to real human problems, they’re planning their first-ever cassette-only release in just a few short days. It’s from Jan St. Werner, one-half of Mouse on Mars, who also occasionally records under the solo name Lithops. Now, though, he’s leveraging his birth name with a solution-oriented approach to “carefully edited sounds derived from computer algorithms” on Transcendental Animal Numbers. Over two 20-minute tracks, the release stitches together constant sonic and tonal shifts into a coherent whole that still manages to be disruptive at both the technological and genre level. You can listen to Experimedia’s album preview below.

Scheduled for release on November 12, Transcendental Animal Numbers will be limited to 150 copies worldwide (each cassette comes with a download coupon), a fact that ensures a substantial ROI for anyone interested in shoring up their Google Dollars (preorder it here). The release is the second in St. Werner’s Fiepblatter Catalogue, the first of which, Blaze Colour Burn, arrived earlier this year. What I’m saying is this: if one of your KPIs is a steady release schedule, this Fiepblatter Catalogue might be as good a place as any to invest — especially with Thrill Jockey innovating release formats like they are here. Though details have yet to emerge, there have been some pretty clear indications that there’s more planned for this Fiepblatter Catalogue down the line, so keep your phone device close to your face, friend, and I’ll inform you as the data drips down the pike.

Transcendental Animal Numbers tracklisting:

01. Transcendental Animal Music
02. Parrodisia

• Jan St. Werner:
• Thrill Jockey:



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