RIP: Ferlin Husky, country music entertainer

RIP: Ferlin Husky, country music entertainer

From The Los Angeles Times:

Ferlin Husky, a pioneering country music entertainer in the 1950s and early 1960s who helped open the door for performers specializing in a distinctively twangy California strain of country, died Thursday. He was 85.

Husky, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year, died at a Nashville-area hospital, according to a statement on his website. He had a history of heart trouble.

“In the mid-’50s, Ferlin would create the template for the famed Nashville Sound, a sound that gave rock ‘n’ roll a run for its money and forever put Music City on the map,” Kyle Young, director of the Hall of Fame, said upon Husky’s induction.

• Ferlin Husky:

Barn Owl tour Europe with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, levitate entire snarky audiences

So I recently watched this documentary about the Norwegian black metal scene, focusing specifically on the late-80s/early-90s period when the phenomenon was at its cultural and social pinnacle. Bands like Mayhem, Burzum, and Darkthrone were making their most technically pure albums, while at the same time were at the forefront of a marginalized social movement that wished to “cleanse” the Norwegian “race” through means of some atrocious maneuvers. Now, I’m not much a fan of black metal nor have I claimed to be. I’m more of a wannabe fan, even a poseur, perhaps. I’ll watch the documentaries, I’ll read the books, I’ll dig on the imagery, shit, I would probably even get a black metal-themed tattoo, but as far as the music goes? I could take it or leave it.

There’s a similar aesthetic going on with (and which draws me to) the music of San Fran’s Barn Owl, for example on their latest album (and Thrill Jockey debut) Ancestral Star (TMT Review). Their expansive guitar meditations evoke a distinct imagery that brings to mind the barren American West while also suggesting the frigid Scandinavian North, rife with burning churches and dank cellars. It’s metal, but it’s not. Barn Owl allows me to pretend I’m metal without actually being it or acting out on it, and that’s half the reason I listen to them or any other band that conjures up those feelings of strange, dark wonder. If I wasn’t such a pretty boy, I’d probably be listening to real metal.

Oh, and Barn Owl are touring Europe with fellow West Coast minimalist crony Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, whose Love Is a Stream (TMT Review) was released last year on Type.

04.23.11 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Dudefest
04.24.11 - Darmstadt, Germany - Oetinger Villa *
04.26.11 - London, UK - CAMP Basement *
04.27.11 - Bristol, UK - The Cube *
04.28.11 - Dublin, Ireland - The Joinery *
04.29.11 - Belfast, UK - The Barge *
04.30.11 - Glasgow, UK - Captain’s Rest *
05.01.11 - Manchester, UK - Sounds from the Other City Festival *
05.02.11 - Brighton, UK - The Hope *
05.03.11 - Antwerpen, Belgium - Scheldapen *
05.04.11 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kreun *
05.05.11 - Tilburg, The Netherlands - Incubated *
05.06.11 - Nuernberg, Germany - K4
05.07.11 - Krems, Austria - Donaufestival
05.09.11 - Prague, Czech Republic - K4 *
05.10.11 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang *
05.11.11 - Aarhus, Denmark - Atlas *
05.12.11 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Huset i Magstrade *
05.13.11 - Berlin, Germany - Levee *
05.14.11 - Bielefeld, Germany - AJZ *
05.15.11 - Dordrecht, The Netherlands - [F]luister @ CBK *
05.16.11 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - OT301 *
05.17.11 - Bochum, Germany - Christuskirche *
05.18.11 - Paris, France - Mains D’oeuvres *
05.19.11 - Cholet, France - Espace St. Louis *
05.20.11 - Toulouse, France - Mix’Art Myrys *
05.21.11 - Lyon, France - Sonic *
05.22.11 - Pisa, Italy - Caracol *
05.23.11 - Bologna, Italy - XM24 *
05.24.11 - Trieste, Italy - Tetris *
05.26.11 - Torino, Italy - Blah Blah *
05.27.11 - Düdingen, Switzerland - Kilbi Festival
08.06.11 - Katowice, Poland - Off Festival

* Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

• Barn Owl:
• Thrill Jockey:
• Jefre Cantu-Ledesma:
• Type:

Björk announces a smart, evocative, layered, delicate, sinewy string of UK multimedia shows to preview her similarly adjective-laden new album

It’s been a while since Björk learned a new instrument. Sure, she’s made some great strides in the biz up to this point, but truth be told, she’s also been a bit bored lately doing the same old three-chord power pop over and over again. To that end, Björk has decided that it’s high time she shakes things up by learning how to play… (drum roll, please!)… the internet. How hard can it be, right?

You might recall back in January when we reported that a new iPad app titled Solar System featured a new Björk track. Um, yeah, to be honest, we were just kinda padding out the story with that tidbit at the time… but hey, it turns out that we had our finger on the pulse and we didn’t even know it, man. According to NME, Björk has used the iPad to partially record a new album, entitled Biophilia, which she plans to release… (second drum roll, please!)… as a “series of apps” for the damn thing. Oooh, your move, Radiohead!

To get fans juiced for the release (sorry, no official word on that yet), Björk is also planning a six-show, three-week residency at the Campfield Market Hall in merry old Manchester this summer as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival, with subsequent performances in other cities to follow. However, it should be noted that a press release describing Biophilia claims that it’s not JUST an album, but rather a “multi-media project encompassing music, apps, internet, installations and live shows.” So, you know, I guess maybe this is the release? (Go ahead, take a minute.) The press release also goes on to outline much of the gear to be used on stage for this whole thing, including… (okay, drummer dude, this is the last snare roll, I swear)… “a bespoke digitally-controlled pipe organ; a 30 foot pendulum that harnesses the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns — creating a unique bridge between the ancient and the modern; a bespoke gamelan-celeste hybrid; and a one-off extraordinary pin barrel harp.” Sorry, sound guy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go settle up with my snare drum player. Damn union musicians….

Björk stuff:

06.30.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.03.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.07.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.10.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.13.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.16.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall

• Björk:

My little brother just discovered that Art Brut have a new album coming out in May

Art Brut haven’t exactly been “outsider art” for a while now, ever since the shift that came after the group issued a split with Jandek and were highlighted on the first volume of Songs in the Key of Z (…just kidding). In addition to unabashed false advertising, frontman Eddie Argos has been subject to some raised eyebrows since our lukewarm review of Art Brut vs. Satan, not to mention Argos’ 2010 side project under the preposterously verbose moniker, Everybody Was in the French Resistance…Now. As if to combat these doubts about Art Brut’s supposed genius, the newly announced album is entitled Brilliant! Tragic! — and they really want you to believe it.

Their fourth studio album Brilliant! Tragic! is out May 24 from Cooking Vinyl and will hopefully quell all talk of the French resistance outside of Le Chagrin et la pitié. Like 2009’s Art Brut vs. Satan, the new record was produced by Pixies’ Black Francis, though — according to Argos — it won’t be as ceaselessly punk rock as the last one. “This time there are a few songs to let you catch your breath so when we do rock the fuck out again it hits home harder,” he says. Whew… we were really afraid of Art Brut going the 80s hardcore route, but I guess that answers that.

Until the album comes out, you can get your fill of Art Brut via a free download from PledgeMusic, who will also sell the album and contribute part of the proceeds to Shelter, a charity benefiting the homeless (to clarify, PledgeMusic is not the exclusive distributor of the album, but just one of the many ways you can purchase it). PledgeMusic is also offering the chance to purchase t-shirts, a karaoke extravaganza with Eddie Argos, signed album art, and at £1,500 (about $2,411), a house party where Art Brut perform for your friends (plus more for a lot cheaper; check ‘em out here). Brilliant!

Brilliant! Tragic! tracklisting:

01. Clever Clever Jazz
02. Lost Weekend
03. Bad Comedian
04. Sexy Sometimes
05. Is Dog Eared
06. Martin Kemp Welch Five A-Side Football Rules!
07. Axel Rose
08. I Am the Psychic
09. Ice Hockey
10. Sealand

• Art Brut:
• Cooking Vinyl:

DOOM working with Thom Yorke on possible full-length album, says he’s “cool”

DOOM, a.k.a. MF DOOM, has been reportedly working on albums with Ghostface, Madlib (as Madvillain), KMD, and Danger Mouse (as Danger Doom), as well as under both his Viktor Vaughn and King Geedorah monikers. But when Thom Yorke wants to collaborate, he wants to collaborate NOW (just ask Flea). So it’s no surprise that, rather than surfacing to provide an update on these various projects, America’s Most Blunted recently told 3D World magazine (via NME) that he is “doing some stuff with Thom Yorke.”

But what kind of stuff? Says DOOM: “We’re working on some duets, some duet songs and shit. Just like preliminary shit but we’ll probably end up doing a whole record together. He’s cool — he got a lot of ill ass ideas and shit, you know.”

Catch DOOM at the Portishead-curated ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror event in July, and Thom Yorke, who btw remixed DOOM’s “Gazillion Ear” back in 2009, collaborating with another acclaimed artist near you.

And in case you missed it, DJ Yorke:

• Thom Yorke:

Let’s Wrestle announce Albini-produced sophomore album Nursing Home, with guitar tones thick enough for grandpa

The irreverent London lads behind Let’s Wrestle are at it again! The relentlessly catchy lo-fi trio of Wesley Patrick Gonzalez (vocals/guitar), Sam Pillay (bass), and Darkus Bishop (drums) released their first full-length for Merge Records back in 2009, entitled In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s. The band originally intended to release a punk rock record, but over the course of songwriting and recording, their debut became a more diverse mix of jangly, eccentric indie rock with a sliver of psych and yes, some of that bratty punk flava thrown in for good measure.

Now, in 2011, that punk edge is making its way into Let’s Wrestle’s sophomore effort via the loudest, most abrasive, noise-rock-lovingest force in indie production, the legendary Steve Albini. The group recorded Nursing Home in Chicago last year with Mr. Albini, crafting songs about a) the suburbs, b) dancing boys, and c) drugs, but with their own particular Let’s Wrestle lyricism, which tends to skew more toward “I Wish I Was in Hüsker Dü” (the band’s first song) and less toward “Stay with me, my five-year-old” (choice lyric from Big Black’s “Jordan, Minnesota”). The boys promise that despite the darker terrain, their offbeat, fun-lovin’ view on life will still come through on the new tracks. Sounds like a match made in heaven… or Chicago. Nursing Home hits stores on May 17 thanks to Merge.

Nursing Home tracklisting:

01. In Dreams (Part 2)
02. If I Keep on Loving You
03. In the Suburbs
04. Bad Mamories
05. Dear John
06. For My Mother
07. You’re So Lazy
08. There’s a Rockstar in My Room
09. I Forgot
10. I Am Useful
11. I Will Not Give In
12. Getting Rest

• Let’s Wrestle:
• Merge: