RIP: Kevin Ayers

RIP: Kevin Ayers

From Clash:

English songwriter and bastion of the Canterbury scene Kevin Ayers has passed away at the age of 68.

In many ways, Kevin Ayers bore all the hallmarks of the psychedelic era. Hopelessly middle class and utterly radical, the songwriter has complete disregard for the trappings of what Western, capitalist civilisation could offer him.

Born in Herne Bay, Kent, in 1944, Ayers was brought up in Malaysia before returning to England. Educated at Simon Langton Grammar School For Boys, it was here that the aspiring musician formed his first group with two school friends.

As the psychedelic era dawned, The Wilde Flowers would shift into The Soft Machine as Kevin Ayers - together with band mates Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge and Daevid Allen - gently melted away the barriers placed on pop music.

Songs became longer, structures became distorted and free expression was encouraged via their myriad of modern jazz influences. A staggering live experience, The Soft Machine would often spar with The Pink Floyd - indeed, the two groups often shared a stage at vital London hotspot the UFO Club.

[…]Kevin Ayers again grew restless and moved to Ibiza. The White Island proved to be conducive to his creative faculties, and the artist began sketching out whimsical, Barrett-inspired acoustic sketches on the beach.

Released as ‘Joy Of A Toy’ these recordings are most closely associated with his name. In reality, though, Kevin Ayers career is much too broad to be defined by one album: a psychedelic visionary, a prog pioneer and an acoustic troubadour, the songwriter seemed to wear each mask the counter culture offered.

• Kevin Ayers:

Ghostface Killah gives you Twelve Reasons to Die in case you needed any more

Did you sleep alright last night? Any scary white eyes, mouths, and ears floating over your bed, moaning unintelligibly? No? You say there weren’t? You say you slept just fine? Do you think that was an accident? Of course it wasn’t an accident! Reader, there are ghost faces everywhere, and they would love nothing more than to hover over your bed and make screeching noises while you try to sleep. Some estimates say there are as many as 11 ghost faces per household in America. Only one man stands between us and a literal onslaught.

That man, of course, is Tony Starks a.k.a. Ghostface Killah a.k.a. the killah of ghost faces of all sizes, shapes, and political affiliations. When he’s not slaying translucent disembodied heads, he’s usually making some pretty sick hip-hop. Recently he clarified some details about an upcoming full-length, and really, it’s the least you can do to listen up.

The album, originally planned for release back in November, is called Twelve Reasons to Die, and is now scheduled to drop on April 16, released by Soul Temple Music. It’s a collaboration with Adrian Younge, executive produced by RZA. Coming with a six-issue comic book series that will be collected in the form of a graphic novel, Twelve Reasons to Die is a “crime/horror concept album.” The first single, “The Rise of Ghostface Killah,” which chronicles Ghost’s early days as our nighttime defender, is available now for free. Listen to it here:

Additionally, because Ghostface Killah is as tireless as we mortals are tired, he will be touring this spring with Younge, starting with a date at SXSW in March and ending in June (dates are TBD). Even more, he’s offered a video update on the seriously-forever-in-the-works DOOM collaboration DOOMSTARKS, in which he says that all things happen in “God’s time” (as you probably know, God is notoriously slow at putting beats together). Watch it below:

• Ghostface Killah:
• Soul Temple:

Clinic tour America, release video possibly inspired by Windows 95 screensavers

Liverpudlian organ grinder troupe Clinic have clothed their dancing monkeys in the finest frippery and are all set for a big ol’ North American tour. After a few dates in England and Scotland, the quartet will venture over to that mecca of mustachios and vintage analog whatchagots, Brooklyn, New York, for a tour kickoff show at Glasslands. Then it’s on, on across the winding roads of America, up into the cosmopolitan reaches of Toronto, Ontario, and then back down into the Southern half of these here United States. The lads will be making a stop at Austin’s always epic Psych Fest at the end of April, too.

Clinic are back in the wilds of North America to regale US and Toronto fans with the musical delights of their most recent album, last fall’s Free Reign (TMT Review). Domino Records is also doing the remix thang with this album, by releasing a “digital alternate version” of the album, consisting entirely of unreleased Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) mixes of all the tracks (but in backwards order WHOOOOOA). This venture will be known as Free Reign II, and shall include a previously unreleased track from the Free Reign recording sessions called “Done and Dusted.” Free Reign II will be available as a digital download in North America come March 5. Until then, here’s the video for “Seamless Boogie Woogie BBC 10pm (rpt) II,” a Windows 95 screensaver-style music video for one of the Lopatin remix tracks.


02.28.13 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny
03.01.13 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
03.02.13 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
03.07.13 - London, UK - Corsica Studios
04.19.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
04.20.13 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
04.21.13 - Boston, MA - Sinclair
04.23.13 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison
04.24.13 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
04.25.13 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
04.26.13 - Denton, TX - Dan’s Silverleaf
04.27.13 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s Downstairs
04.28.13 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest
04.30.13 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
05.01.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
05.02.13 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
05.18.13 - London, UK - Barbican Club Stage

• Clinic:
• Domino:

Parenthetical Girls go on US tour, fit themselves in nation’s crevasses, like a piece of gristle between your teeth

Earlier today, I had some beef gristle stuck between my teeth. It was as uncomfortable physically as the phrase “beef gristle stuck between my teeth” is aurally. While I eventually was able to remove the offending meat, the plucky beef reminded me of Portland’s Parenthetical Girls. How so? Well, um, the food had found itself in the crevasse between my teeth, just like Parenthetical Girls will find themselves in the United States’ crevasses on their upcoming spring tour. That said, I don’t want to get rid of Parenthetical Girls, as I, in fact, like them a great deal. The comparison crumbles here.

While we’re talking stray beef, Parenthetical Girls have a new record coming out very, very soon. February 19 soon, in fact (that’s today). The record is called Privilege and will be released through Marriage Records and the band’s own Slender Means Society label. Though I have yet to hear the record, let me offer this early review: “Parenthetical Girls’ Privilege is perfect music for picking food out of your teeth! Five stars out of four!”

Parenthetical Girls dates:

03.06.13 - San Francisco, CA - TBA
03.07.13 - Berkeley, CA - Starry Plough
03.08.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
03.09.13 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space
03.10.13 - Albuquerque, NM - Low Spirits
03.12.13 - San Antonio, TX - Korova
03.13-16.13 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.17.13 - Dallas, TX - Spillover Music Festival
03.19.13 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
03.20.13 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
03.21.13 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
03.22.13 - Washington, DC - TBA
03.23.13 - Philadelphia, PA - PhilaMOCA
03.24.13 - Hamden, CT - Outer Space
03.25.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
03.26.13 - New York City, NY - Bowery Electric
03.27.13 - Montreal, QB - Divan Orange
03.28.13 - Toronto, ON - Double Double Land
03.29.13 - Ann Arbor, MI - Arbor Vitae
03.30.13 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
03.31.13 - Minneapolis, MN - TBA
04.02.13 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
04.03.13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
04.04.13 - Boise, ID - Flying M
04.07.13 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey

• Parenthetical Girls:
• Marriage:
• Slender Means Society:

Four Tet celebrates circular objects, the 10th anniversary of Rounds with a reissue on Domino

Christmas and New Year’s have long since passed, but apparently it’s the season for… Kieran Hebden metaphorically scrounging around in his basement and selling some rare and/or expensive antiques?

Back in January we reported on the release of Four Tet’s 0181, an album of previously unreleased material, composed prior to the groundbreaking Pause, released in 2001. Place Pause next to the equally earth-disrupting Rounds, released two years later, and force me to choose between the two, or the adorable kitten “GETS IT!,” and I’m almost certain that we’d end up with some new crimson-stained feline orifices, because it’s just so hard. Both albums are great, and there’s no shortage of cute kittens in the world.

Here’s one thing that Rounds has that Pause doesn’t: a reissue from Domino on May 14, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its release. And this reissue isn’t without its bells and xylophones; in addition to the original album, there’s also a bonus disc of a live set that Four Tet performed in Copenhagen around the time of Rounds’ novelty. May’s a ways away, so feel free to pre-order the album here. People do that, right?

Rounds (reissue) tracklisting:

Disc 1:

01. Hands
02. She Moves She
03. First Thing
04. My Angel Rocks Back And Forth
05. Spirit Fingers
06. Unspoken
07. Chia
08. As Serious As Your Life
09. And They All Looked Broken Hearted
10. Slow jam

Disc 2 (Live in Copenhagen):

01. She Moves She
02. Everything Is Alright
03. Spirit Fingers
04. Glue Of The World
05. My Angel Rocks Back And Forth
06. As Serious As Your Life
07. Hands, No More Mosquitos, Calamine, Tangle

• Four Tet:
• Domino:

Natural Snow Buildings and Ba Da Bing combine forces to revive 2008’s The Snowbringer Cult on vinyl

Continuing their campaign to become less elusive, Natural Snow Buildings are re-releasing The Snowbringer Cult via Ba Da Bing. The album is split into appropriately irregular sections with Solange Gularte’s Isengrind and Mehdi Ameziane’s Twinsistermoon making up the first two-thirds of the album and the pair regrouping for the final third. Ba Da Bing previously reissued a drool-inducing 4LP version of Natural Snow Buildings’ 2008 monolithic work Night Coercion into the Company of Wolves (TMT Review), and are giving The Snowbringer Cult a similar loving treatment.

The album will be issued in its original two-CD format alongside each group’s section being released for the first time on vinyl, with the added bonus of interconnecting artwork. Winter comes late when The Snowbringer Cult returns in March.

The Snowbringer Cult tracklist:


01. From Icy Lands
02. To Ride With Hölle
03. Skull Ornaments
04. His Winter Bed
05. Cat’s Cradles
06. Wooden False Face
07. Sun Disk Wand
08. Anima Sola


01. Amantsokan
02. The Spears of the Wolf
03. Order of the Dreamt
04. Spells
05. Water Barrier
06. Bones Memories
07. Kingdom of the Sea
08. Understars

Natural Snow Buildings:

01. Resurrect the Dead on Planet Six
02. Bear Hunting
03. Ongon’s Rattle
04. Inuk’s Song
05. Snowbringer Cult
06. Nieve Sacra
07. Gone
08. Salt Signs
09. The Desert has Eyes
10. They Do Not Come Knocking There Anymore

• Ba Da Bing: