RIP: Howard Tate, soul singer

RIP: Howard Tate, soul singer

From The New York Times:

Howard Tate, a soul singer who got a second chance at a career three decades after being derailed by disputes with industry executives, personal tragedy and drug addiction, died on Friday at his apartment in Burlington, N.J. He was 72.

His death was confirmed by a spokesman for the Burlington County medical examiner. No specific cause was given.

• Howard Tate:

Dirty Three emerge from odorous hole after seven-year slumber to record new album for Drag City

Dirty Three last gifted us with an album of regal instrumental post-rock in 2005, with the epic Cinder (TMT Review) on long-time label Touch and Go. Since then, the threesome has stayed active in the music world but always separated, denying their fans any new life-enriching material for the remainder of Bush’s term and most of Obama’s. Why should they care, after all? They’re Aussies… dirty Aussies leaving us all out to dry. The closest thing to a reunion was 2007’s Blue Trees by Tren Brothers — Mick Turner and Jim White (apparently Warren Ellis was too busy complaining about vaginas) — though even that was nearly five years ago.

But NOW, as you’ve gleaned from the headline, the boys is back with a new full-length, Toward the Low Sun, arriving February 28, 2012! Interestingly, this new album is not being released on Touch and Go — their home since 1995 — but instead Drag City, who have released the aforementioned Blue Trees and most of Mick Turner’s solo stuff. Not much is known yet about the contents of the album, but you can do some Christmas window shopping here and imagine that album art blown up to LP size, cradled in your lumpy arms.

Toward the Low Sun tracklisting:

01. Furnace skies
02. Sometimes I forget you’ve gone
03. Moon on the land
04. Rising below
05. the pier
06. Rain song
07. That was was
08. Ashen snow
09. You greet her ghost

Oh and here is one of my favorite Dirty Three songs, from their 2000 album Whatever You Love, You Are. Lend an ear, swoon, sway:

• Dirty Three:
• Drag City:

Sir Richard Bishop to release three new CD-Rs, his guitar apparently still hemorrhaging

It’s been two-and-a-half years since Sir Richard Bishop released the underrated-to-the-point-of-being-offensive album The Freak of Araby, and the void left by the apparent dearth in guitar-centered improvisational releases is starting to make me feel oddly anxious. Fortunately, through whatever spiritual channeling he undoubtedly engages in, Mr. Bishop has become fully aware of my waxing anxiety, and has announced the release of three brand-new CD-Rs due out December 12, but which are available for pre-order now. (Also planned for release next year is full-length collaboration with David Oliphant of Maybe Mental!)

Intermezzo fulfills expectations as a “collection of various pieces for electric and acoustic guitar.” On Outermezzo, Bishop ditches the guitar entirely and experiments with ambient noise. Spontaneous Collaborations seems to be the most appealing of the three releases, compiling previous live recordings and featuring a variety of artists, including Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins) and Climax Golden Twins. Each CD-R is limited to 200 copies signed by Bishop himself, and each is essentially the same length as your standard LP, though one should probably expect a bit more grit in terms of the production. Grit and guitar? Certain artists by the name of Fahey and Orcutt have already proselytized me.

• Sir Richard Bishop:

RIP: Dobie Gray, soul singer and songwriter

From The Los Angeles Times:

Dobie Gray, a smooth balladeer and soul singer who scored his biggest hit in the early 1970s with “Drift Away,” has died. He was 71.

Gray, who had cancer, died Tuesday at his Nashville home, said Charlie Andrews, his attorney.

Before he adopted the name of Dobie Gray — a nod to sitcom character Dobie Gillis — the singer recorded under other names before breaking through with 1965’s “The ‘In’ Crowd,” which became a top 20 hit. He also had success that year with “See You at the Go-Go.”

The silky-voiced tenor was best known for his progressive rock and soul version of “Drift Away,” a 1973 top 5 hit penned by Mentor Williams that includes the lyric, “I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away.” It remains a staple of oldies radio.

• Dobie Gray:

Memoryhouse fulfill your dreams, announce February release date for debut dream-pop LP

Face it. Your brain can’t take anymore reality-based anything. What, with the reality television, the all-too-real 3D movies, and the fact that you find yourself (against your will or not) firmly planted in this here disintegrating world, it’s high time for something more… ethereal, more out-there, more dreamy, and at the same time poppy. ‘Cause it’s hard to ignore, dude, we could all use a lot more chill-out time.

Stepping in from the Ontario frost comes Memoryhouse to offer relief that feels like a warm bubble bath (minus the wrinkly raisin skin). After the home-recorded release of their EP The Years, followed by the much-talked-about 2011 version, many were left shivering, surrounded only by the harshness of real life, as word of a full-length was yet to come. Finally, you’ll get what you all wanted. The band signed to Sub Pop and has their debut album slated for February 28. Something inside you just tingled, didn’t it?

Entitled The Slideshow Effect the title refers back to their utter dreaminess, err, by that I mean it harkens back to their roots. The duo of composer Evan Abeele and photographer Denise Nouvion started out as a multimedia art project and just grew into something that will force itself upon you without you even realizing it. After all, it’s addictive and addictions are sneaky little buggers. Go on and get yer fix below by watching Memoryhouse perform live.

• Memoryhouse:
• Sub Pop:

Bowerbirds announce new album and spring tour, pray to Petey Pablo for good fortune

A bloody war is being waged on our land. Where the Atlantic Ocean meets the land, in a state north of South Carolina, an endless battle is being waged between a number of musical entities. Who shall be the alpha Carolinian? Before there was Bowerbirds, there was Archers of Loaf. Before the Archers of Loaf, there was Superchunk. Somewhere between all these folks was rap phenomenon Petey Pablo. In fact, this whole first paragraph was an excuse to remind you that Petey Pablo was a guy who put out music and encouraged folks to take their shirts off, twist them ‘round their heads, spin them like a helicopter. I am nearly positive that he had little to do with Bowerbirds’ third album The Clearing, out on March 6 through Dead Oceans. Could be wrong about that one, though. Petey Pab!

Regardless of the influence of the patron saint of North Carolina rap guys from about ten years ago, that album is coming out. And Bowerbirds have weathered some pretty serious stuff since putting out 2009’s Upper Air (TMT Review). For one, the band’s central couple, Philip Moore and Beth Tacular, broke up and subsequently got back together. Serious stuff. Tacular also almost died after being sent to the hospital by a mysterious illness. Even more serious stuff! The two also adopted a dog and lived in a cabin, which are less serious and more just kind of adorable. Hear how all that stuff comes out in The Clearing’s opening track “Tuck the Darkness In.” Beyond that, they’re going on tour this spring, starting on my birthday. Shucks, Bowerbirds, I didn’t know how much you cared, considering that you’ve never met me or have had any contact with me whatsoever.

The Clearing tracklist:

01. Tuck the Darkness In
02. In the Yard
03. Walk the Furrows
04. Stitch the Hem
05. This Year
06. Brave World
07. Hush
08. Overcome with Light
09. Sweet Moment
10. Death Wish
11. Now We Hurry On

Bowerbirds dates:

03.17.12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
03.21.12 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
03.22.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
03.23.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
03.24.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise
03.26.12 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
03.27.12 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison
03.29.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln
03.31.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural
04.03.12 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
04.04.12 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
04.06.12 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
04.07.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
04.08.12 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
04.11.12 - Austin, TX - The Parish
04.12.12 - Dallas, TX - The Loft
04.14.12 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree
04.15.12 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl

• Bowerbirds:
• Dead Oceans: