RIP: Jon Cook of Crain, Cerebellum, and Rodan

RIP: Jon Cook of Crain, Cerebellum, and Rodan

Tiny Mix Tapes is sad to report the passing of Louisville musician/fulcrum Jon Cook on February 9, 2013 after a long illness. He was 40.

Cook was a consummate musician, a multi-instrumentalist (bass, guitar, drums) and founding member of storied post-hardcore bands Crain, Cerebellum, and Experimental Pollen, as well as holding the drum chair at the outset of Rodan’s existence. Cook also had a memorable supporting role as part of the cast for the Southern underground rock saga Half-Cocked (1994), the first act of which took place in his “Rocket House” crash-pad/punk mansion. Known for his forthrightness, Cook was instrumental in booking out-of-town bands as a teenager and had already exerted an influence on the city’s punk scene by the time he finished high school.

Working through a number of interrelated ensembles throughout the late 1980s, Cook, guitarist Tim Furnish, and drummer Will Chatham formed Crain in 1989, though the lineup would change (and expand) several times. Drawing from equal parts DC post-hardcore and a distinct, regional drawl of art-sludge, their crackling debut album Speed was recorded by Steve Albini and released in 1992 on Automatic Wreckcords (reissued in 2005 by Temporary Residence). As a trio with bassist Jason Hayden, they released the more sprawling effort Heater in 1994 (Restless) and disbanded two years later.

Cook continued to be active in Louisville’s music scene, including such outfits as Spider Crutches and Weapons.

The final Crain lineup (JC - vox/gtr, TF - gtr, Todd Cook - b, Tony Bailey - d), in all their glory, is featured in this video.

Angel Olsen will sail across the pond on an enchanted boat to tour Ireland and the UK this spring

I can’t remember why I didn’t see Angel Olsen when I had the chance back in November, but I regret it every time I listen to Half Way Home (TMT Review), which came in at #23 on our Favorite 50 Albums of 2012. Olsen’s voice seems to emanate from a cosmos that no one else will ever see, yet simultaneously blooms from the familiarity of old-school country songs. Watch the video for “Tiniest Seed” below, and if you’ll be taking a jaunt through Ireland or the UK this May, check out her tourdates as well. (And if you’re in Western North America, you might be seeing her before she leaves!)


04.06.13 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop *
04.07.13 - Santa Cruz, CA - Crepe Place *
04.08.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo *
04.09.13 - San Diego, CA - Casbah *
04.10.13 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space *
04.12.13 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture *
04.14.13 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive *
04.15.13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court *
04.16.13 - Boise, ID - Neurolux *
04.18.13 - Portland, OR - Bunk *
04.19.13 - Seattle, WA - Barboza *
04.21.13 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club *
04.24.13 - Sacramento, CA - Bows & Arrows
05.02.13 - Dublin, Ireland - The Joinery
05.03.13 - Cork, Ireland - Half Moon Theatre
05.04-05.13 - Kilkenny, Ireland - Kilkenny Roots Festival
05.06.13 - Belfast, Ireland - The Black Box (Cathedral Quarter Festival)
05.08.13 - London, UK - The Cinema Museum
08.30.13-09.01.13 - Dorset, UK - End of the Road Festival

* Villages

• Angel Olsen:
• Bathetic:

Wanna hear a secret about Twin Shadow’s George Lewis, Jr? Too bad, you’ll have to wait until you go see his “True Story” tour this spring

Pop the collar on your jean jacket and slide into your 511’s because Twin Shadow is going back on tour! No word of new music on the horizon, as the tour is once again in support of George Lewis Jr.’s 2012 album Confess (TMT Review), but the tour does have a theme. Like previous Twin Shadow tours, such as the “Haircut” tour (where George got a new haircut for every single show) and the “Ton Up” tour (which featured Man vs. Food-like eating competitions on stage), this new tour is aptly titled “True Stories” and will feature either Lewis Jr. or Lewis Sr. telling the audience a unique, true story from their familial past.

I’ve seen Twin Shadow a couple of times and while I can’t recall any audience interaction beyond the usual between-song chatter, I do remember the performances always being very solid. For die-hard fans, getting a little piece of the Lewis family backstory definitely makes up for the fact that you probably just saw them live with the same tracks a couple of months ago. For the TRUE die-hard, bordering-on-stalker Twin Shadow fans (we know you’re out there), you’ll need to take a month-long sabbatical in order to hear every single one of the juicy tales from the Lewis family, as each city will experience a totally different true story. You gotta have a gimmick.


05.22.13 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern *
05.24.13 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall *
05.27.13 - George, WA - Sasquatch Festival
05.28.13 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom *
05.31.13 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *
06.01.13 - Chicago, IL - Metro *
06.03.13 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom *
06.05.13 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick *
06.06.13 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop *
06.07.13 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre *
06.09.13 - New York, NY - The Governors Ball Music Festival
06.12.13 - Boston, MA - Paradise *
06.15.13 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *
06.16.13 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle *
06.18.13 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West *
06.20.13 - New Orleans, LA - The Maison *
06.21.13 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s *
06.22.13 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East *
06.24.13 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater *
06.26.13 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls *
06.27.13 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom *
06.28.13 - Pomona, CA - The Glass House *
06.29.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre *

• Twin Shadow:
• 4AD:

Kurt Vile erodes the fuck out of some present participles on new LP, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, because he’s just that chill!

I don’t picture Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile “announcing” stuff so much as I picture him just kind of… yawning stuff out… over a shitty connection on speaker phone… from his seat on the toilet. So, I guess just picture all of that when I tell you (that Pitchfork told me) that Vile is ever-so-passively “back on the scene” with a new album due April 9 for Matador. The new one, which follows up the full-length yawn of 2011’s Smoke Ring for my Halo (TMT Review), is titled Wakin on a Pretty Daze.

Below, you can check out the new album’s opening track, “Wakin on a Pretty Day” (yeah), as well as some visuals from a short documentary that was made about the album’s cover art. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I bet there’s some guitar noodling on it, if you’re into noodles. Oh, and he’s also hitting the road this spring (with stops at big-ass fests like Primavera and Coachella) with the likes of The Fresh & Onlys and Angel Olsen. Damn, is it just me, or does this guy get more done from the toilet than I do in an entire year?

Wakin on a Pretty Daze tracklisting:

01. Wakin on a Pretty Day
02. KV Crimes
03. Was All Talk
04. Girl Called Alex
05. Never Run Away
06. Pure Pain
07. Too Hard
08. Shame Chamber
09. Snowflakes Are Dancing
10. Air Bud
11. Goldtone

Tourin on some pretty days:

04.14.13 - Indio, CA - Coachella
04.21.13 - Indio, CA - Coachella
05.04-05.13 - Atlanta, GA - Shaky Knees Festival
05.07.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex *!
05.08.13 - San Francisco, CA - Independent *!
05.10.13 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir *!
05.11.13 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore *!
05.12.13 - Seattle, WA - Neumos *!
05.14.13 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall !
05.16.13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom !#
05.17.13 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair !#
05.18.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer !#
05.24.13 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
05.25.13 - London, UK - Field Day
05.26.13 - Brussels, Belgium - AB
05.27.13 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
05.28.13 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust
05.29.13 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Amager Bio

* The Fresh & Onlys
! Steve Gunn
# Angel Olsen

• Kurt Vile:
• Matador:

The Thermals announce new record Desperate Ground, sign to Saddle Creek, pledge allegiance to Omaha

Call me old-fashioned, but when I think Saddle Creek Records, I think of Cursive and other bands that are friends with Cursive. Really, call me old-fashioned for that view, as it’s woefully out-of-date. For years now, Saddle Creek’s been operating outside of their original Omaha-centric wheelhouse. I mean, they signed The Rural Alberta Advantage, a band from a country that doesn’t even have an Omaha! Portland’s The Thermals are also not from Omaha, mostly because they’re from Portland. They’ve also got a new record, Desperate Ground, coming out April 16 through Saddle Creek.

While, as we have established, The Thermals are not from Omaha, they do share a long relationship of friendship with Saddle Creek. The Faint have been known to sleep on Thermals frontman Hutch Harris’s floor. Way back in 1999, Harris and bassist Kathy Foster organized the first Bright Eyes show in Portland.

Desperate Ground was produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Kurt Vile, dozens and dozens of others) in Hoboken, New Jersey, a job which was completed mere hours before Hurricane Sandy hit the state. According to the band, lyrically the record is “a brash and irresponsible ode to human violence, a black celebration of the inevitability of war and death.” Sounds fun! And, since it’s a Thermals record, it probably will be fun.

Desperate Ground tracklist:

01. Born to Kill
02. You Will Be Free
03. The Sunset
04. I Go Alone
05. The Sword by My Side
06. You Will Find Me
07. Faces Stay with Me
08. The Howl of the Winds
09. Where I Stand
10. Our Love Survives


03.01.13 - San Francisco, CA - Noise Pop @ Rickshaw Stop
03.02.13 - Cupertino, CA - Homestead Lanes Bowling Alley
03.07.13 - Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent
03.08.13 - Clinton, NY - Beinekie Events Barn @ Hamilton College
03.09.13 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s
03.13-16.13 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.18.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex (Check Yo Ponytail)

• The Thermals:
• Saddle Creek:

The Dead C and Rangda to release split on Ba Da Bing Records; gymnasts around the world nod in approval

“You’ve got to give credit where it’s due,” nine out of 10 gymnasts agreed in response to the upcoming split full-length from legendary New-Zealand noise rock trio The Dead C and psych-rock supergroup Rangda. “Splits are tough to pull off,” the gymnasts said, “it takes a lot of flexibility, training, and commitment. This one looks totally awesome.” Several gymnasts went on to offer stories of hilarious mishaps in which some of their less-flexible friends tried to do the splits at parties.

Though neither The Dead C nor Rangda are typically lauded as great gymnasts, the members of each of these groups are notable for their longstanding contributions to experimental rock music, which is sort of similar if you think about it. Here’s what Ba Da Bing Records has to say about them:

Each member’s name carries its own legendary status. Richard Bishop. Ben Chasny. Chris Corsano. Michael Morley. Bruce Russell. Robbie Yeats. Fabricated empires have been built and destroyed by the vast output of any one of these guys.

The Dead C’s half of the split comes in the form of nearly forgotten tracks from the band’s archive, released here for the first time. The songs were previously under consideration for 1989’s Eusa Kills. Rangda’s compositions were recorded in Bloomington, Indiana at Russian Recording. The split is available for pre-order now from Ba Da Bing Records, and is set for release on March 5.

In addition, Rangda are about to start a quick tour of the American West Coast that will lead them up into Canada by the end of February.

02.22.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Center for the Arts Eagle Rock *
02.23.13 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel *
02.24.13 - Davis, CA - Luigi’s Fungarden
02.25.13 - Eureka, CA - The Shanty
02.26.13 - Portland, OR - Star Theater
02.27.13 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
02.28.13 - Vancouver, BC- Rickshaw Theatre
03.01.13 - Nanaimo, BC - Royal Canadian Legion Hall #10

* Blues Control

• Rangda:
• The Dead C:
• Ba Da Bing: