Reggie Watts to kick audiences in the brain on Conan O’Brien tour, release new CD/DVD

Reggie Watts to kick audiences in the brain on Conan O'Brien tour, release new CD/DVD

I believe the first words of my gasping reaction to Reggie Watts’ appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon were, “I didn’t know you were allowed to do that on television!” Watts had somehow managed to achieve the psychedelic intensity of his live performances in spite of the natural reductions caused by broadcast television and proximity to Jimmy Fallon. Months later, in an event that retroactively rendered my reeling exclamation prophetic, comedy hero Conan O’Brien asked Watts to join him on the Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour, elevating the tour from pre-legendary to pre-traumatic.

For those unfamiliar with the bear-shaped mouth-music maestro, Reggie Watts is the lead singer of patchwork-genre band Maktub. In recent years, Watts has branched out on his own with an act that combines live-sampled singing and beatboxing with absurd, impression-based, stream-of-consciousness rambling. His live performances are often spontaneous, the tech setup worked into the act, as he performs in several shows per night. Regardless, Watts frequently achieves a level of transcendence otherwise uncommon to the New York City comedy scene that has come to adore and support him.

If you need more convincing to pre-order Reggie Watts’ new CD/DVD, Why $#!+ So Crazy? (due May 18 in Europe and July 6 in the US), turn off your lights and watch the video for “Fuck Shit Stack” in HD. Don’t have any eyeballs? Listen to some tracks on his Muxtape page, using ears.

Reggie’s still on tour with Conan O’Brien. Check out the remaining dates:

05.05-07.10 - Brighton, UK - Brighton Festival
05.09.10 - Boulder, CO - Mackey Auditorium *
05.10.10 - Denver, CO - Ellie Caulkins Opera House *
05.13.10 - Dallas, TX - McFarlin Memorial Auditorium *
05.14.10 - Austin TX - Austin Music Hall *
05.15.10 - Tulsa, OK - The Brady Theater *
05.16.10 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theater *
05.18.10 - Minneapolis, MN - Orpheum Theater *
05.19.10 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theater *
05.20.10 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theater *
05.22.10 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall *
05.30.10 - Atlantic City, NJ - The Borgata, 7:00 & 10:30 shows *
06.01.10 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall *
06.02.10 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall *
06.04.10 - Boston, MA - Wang Center *
06.05.10 - Boston, MA - Wang Center *
06.06.10 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun *
06.07.10 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theater *
06.08.10 - Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall *
06.14.10 - Atlanta, GA - Fox Theater *

* Conan O’Brien

Why $#!+ So Crazy? tracklist:

01. Fuck Shit Stack
02. Thanks for Coming
03. A Future in the Future
04. Squirrel Joke
05. Get Your Shoes On
06. Muffins
07. Social Construct Intro
08. Social Construct
09. 7 Xanax, Glass of Wine
10. Rainbows
11. Gnome Sayin’?
12. Tuck Tuck Squirrel
13. My History Thus Far
14. Fields of Donegal
15. Butter + Toast

• Reggie Watts:
• Comedy Central:

Titus Andronicus add more summer tourdates, prudently stay north of the Mason-Dixon

Last night, Titus Andronicus leader Patrick Stickles had a dream in which Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and Eddie Van Halen came down to earth from planet Vulcan and told him that if he didn’t keep Titus Andronicus on the road this summer, they’d melt his brain.

Not surprisingly, today we dutifully find a new listing of summer tourdates for Stickles and his crew in support of this past spring’s XL Recordings release of The Monitor (TMT Review). And just to keep the ghosts of both of those great men happy, Titus Andronicus will also increase in size for this next leg and perform as an eight-piece ensemble. Currently consisting of Stickles (vocals, guitar), Ian Graetzer (bass), Amy Klein (guitar, violin), David Robbins (keyboard, guitar), and Eric Harm (drums), the band will also welcome several of their tourmates from Hallelujah The Hills into the fold for most of these dates, including David Bentley (cello), Elio Deluca (keyboards), and Brian Rutledge (trumpet and trombone), all three of whom played said respective instruments on The Monitor. That little bonus oughta keep General Sherman’s spaceship out of Stickles’ hair for a while. And maybe now Eddie will finally rest in peace.

(Hey, shit, wait a minute… are they supposed to be ghosts or aliens? Aw, whatever… I’ll just distract everyone with some impeccably formatted tourdates!)

Titus Andronicus Summer Tour-stravaganza 2K10:

06.03.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands (Neighbors Allied for Good Growth benefit)
06.26.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Barge Park / Northside Festival
07.10.10 - New Haven, CT - Lily’s Pad / Toad’s Upstairs
07.11.10 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street
07.13.10 - Buffalo, NY - Ninth Ward
07.14.10 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
07.15.10 - Grand Rapids, MI - Intersection Lounge
07.17.10 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
08.28.10 - St. Louis, MO - LouFest

• Titus Andronicus:
• XL:
• Hallelujah The Hills:

Ariel Pink to makes his sci-fi debut

When certain indie musicians decide to switch from the audio to visual medium, it’s usually at the very least surprising. Yo La Tengo as The Velvet Underground in I Shot Andy Warhol is an oft-cited one that comes to mind, and I also can’t help to think of the recent appearance of Teeth Mountain members on Judge Judy giving quite the convincing and hilarious performance. Oh, and who can forget JP from The Locust on Jerry Springer (although that one tends to slide a little under the radar, The Locust being who they are).

Nonetheless, when I was exposed to those performances, I found it slightly surprising that the given artists would go that route, but when news that lo-fi overlord Ariel Pink would be guest staring in an up-and-coming sci-fi series, my reaction was “well, of course he is!” Honestly, if I were told the dude came from another planet, I would hardly shrug.

So on May 1 that is precisely what happened at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles during the midnight screening of the brand new series The Multinauts. From what I’ve gathered, The Multinauts appears to be taking a bit of a throwback approach to the sci-fi series by using time-consuming analog and early digital techniques to show a more warm and hand-crafted touch. Here’s a quote from the show’s production house Telefantasy that sums it up better than I can: “The Multinauts involves time travel, holographic spaceships, and a rescue mission that sets up the story’s heroes to wage a battle against “a powerful mega-corporation and its mutant empire.”

There is no word on air dates or as to where Pink fits into the plot line, but shit, it sounds so ridiculous it’s worth a watch regardless. Godspeed Ariel and crew.

• Ariel Pink:

Apple shutting down Lala after months of ownership, and you can’t do anything about it

This past December, popular cloud-based music service Lala was purchased by computer conglomerate Apple for an undisclosed sum. For the following months, not much changed for either company; Apple still sold beta versions of products to the public for free product testing (here’s looking at you, iPad), and Lala quietly remained one of the internet’s best cloud-based music subscription services.

Today, though, Lala posted an announcement on its front page that it would be shutting down, effective May 31. This follows a month that found the site no longer accepting uploads via their Music Mover application, closing beta testing for its iPhone application, and now no longer accepting new members to the service. Users with web purchases from Lala will get credit to the iTunes store, as well as remaining money and gift card balances with the site, and any downloaded songs from Lala will work with iTunes.

Apple has not released a statement in regard to what will happen after Lala closes. There have been rumors swirling since the company’s purchase of Lala that Apple will be building their own cloud-based music subscription service into iTunes using Lala’s technology, but nothing definitive has been announced. For now, there’s nothing to do but await the fallout of all those dead links that’ll soon be cropping up on Pitchfork.

• Lala:

[Photo: SoraZG]

Report claims the global Recording Industry is worth $17 billion today (I know that sounds like a lot, but this is actually bad news)

If I had $17 billion, I’d be the happiest ex-newswriter on earth (unless I was given the comedically-expectant stipulation that I had to spend it all in some unfortunately short period of time, I guess). But then again, I’m just one simple man. I’m not the Recording Industry, and I don’t routinely eat bowls of of emeralds for breakfast with diamond tooth implants.

As Digital Music News reported recently, the Recording Industry’s pockets continued to leak in 2009, according to the latest data from the, uh, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (yes, this is a real thing). The global trade group reported a 7.2% decline in trade revenues last year, down to just over $17 billion. But that ain’t all. Physical assets also plummeted another 12.7% to $11.93 billion. Goodbye precious stones for breakfast; hello limestone quarry.

The IFPI shows that the US and Japan were the nations doing the most damage, with the United States slipping 10.7% and Japan tanking 10.8%. Collectively, the pair accounted for roughly 80% of the decline. Among nations whose contribution to the whole picture is a bit smaller, the scene was not quite as drastic. Smaller markets like Spain and Italy suffered far sharper percentage drops than the US and Japan, and digital sales actually offset the declines in physical sales in places like the UK, India, South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, and Australia.

But wait, don’t not turn that anti-frown upside down just yet. In almost all territories, digital formats are failing to recover what physical once commanded. And besides, The Big Picture still raises questions aplenty about the future of recording-specific revenues. In 2000, total industry revenues topped $36.9 billion. That means that the past decade has witnessed a 53.8% decline. So yeah, don’t worry; everything’s pretty terrible still. Anyone know where you can pawn some diamond teeth?

RIP: Walter Sear, synth pioneer

From Synthopia (via The Daily Swarm):

Walter Sear […] died yesterday, April 29, 2010 at the age of 79.

Sear was a composer, tuba and theremin player that ran the respected Sear Sound recording studio in New York for over three decades.

In the early days of the Moog synthesizer, Walter Sear represented Moog in New York city. He also introduced Moog to Walter Carlos, who was working at the time as a recording engineer in New York. Carlos went on to arrange Switched On Bach, one of the most influential albums of all time.

Sear released an album of switched on Moog music in 1969, The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit – Plugged In Pop. The same year, he scored Jim Hensen’s experimental TV drama, The Cube.

Sear also played, produced and scored a variety of soundtracks, ranging from Midnight Cowboy to Disco Beaver from Outer Space and Zombi Holocaust.

In later years, Sear’s studio worked with David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones and others.

• Sear Sound:
• Walter Sear:


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