RIP: Michael Dunford of prog rock group Renaissance

RIP: Michael Dunford of prog rock group Renaissance http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1211/news-12-11-michael-dunford.jpg

From Renaissance’s website:

Michael Dunford, musical composer and guitarist of the progressive rock band Renaissance passed away on Tuesday, November 20, 2012. He had just returned home from the first leg of the band’s North American tour and suffered a massive Instantaneous Cerebral Hemorrhage while dining at his home in Surrey, England Monday night. He was rushed to hospital where doctors declared his condition irreversible and terminal. He passed away at 11:06 pm GMT, surrounded by his family without having regained consciousness.

The reclusive and soft-spoken composer, a mainstay in the world of progressive rock, was born, raised and educated in Surrey. His first job was selling clothing in a local shop followed by a stint as an airside driver at Heathrow Airport which enabled him to form a “skiffle” group which lead to his first rock band called Nashville Teens in the early 1960s. Nashville Teens reached #6 on U.K. singles charts with their version of Tobacco Road. On leaving them, he formed several other bands including The Pentad and The Plebes. One night he went to see the original band Renaissance perform locally and ended up joining them in the early 1970s. The original band members were Jim McCarty, Louis Cennamo, John Hawken, Keith Relf and Jane Relf.

Dunford and vocalist Annie Haslam took over Renaissance’s reins in 1971 and soon had established the group as a world class recording and touring act, selling out venues like New York’s Carnegie Hall and The Royal Albert Hall in London. They would go on to release over a dozen albums before eventually parting ways in the mid-1980s. However, they would continue to write new material together and in 2001 reunited the band to record a new studio album, tour the following year, and release a live album. After another sabbatical, the refreshed line-up was introduced to the world and captured for posterity on Turn of the Cards and Scheherazade and Other Stories Live 2011.

• Michael Dunford: http://renaissancetouring.com

RIP: Austin Peralta, composer, pianist, Brainfeeder recording artist

From the Los Angeles Times:

Austin Peralta, the 22-year-old jazz piano prodigy, composer and son of professional skater Stacy Peralta, has died. Flying Lotus, the beat producer and labelhead who released Peralta’s music, confirmed the news Thursday morning via Twitter, writing: “it kills me to type that we lost a member of our family, Austin Peralta. I don’t really have the right words right now.” Peralta’s cause of death has not been announced.

Peralta’s recent output has ranged from collaborations on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder Records imprint, including the pianist’s 2011 album “Endless Planets,” and session work for artists including Erykah Badu and the Cinematic Orchestra. But Peralta first made his international mark at age 15 at the Tokyo Jazz Festival, where he and his trio performed a set that confirmed a pianist with prodigious talent.

• Austin Peralta: http://www.austinperalta.com

The Music Tapes announce The Traveling Imaginary tour in locations both stationary and real

If you’re looking to cast your vote for President of Whimsy, then stop. That is not a real thing. Even if it was, they wouldn’t even bother having elections. Julian Koster would win every single time. Master of the singing saw? Check. Creator of otherworldly records as The Music Tapes, like this year’s Mary’s Voice (TMT Review) on Merge? Check. Organizer of holiday singalong shows in fan’s home? Check again. The man is joyful whimsy personified.

To lock his position as President of Whimsy in place forever, Koster has announced the first run of dates for The Music Tapes’ upcoming Traveling Imaginary Tour. What makes it different from a traveling realism tour? Well, for every date, the band will pitch a circus tent built specifically for the tour. Contained inside will be a night of songs, games, movies, amusements, stories, magic, and many other fantastic attractions. Check out the typically wonderful trailer for the tour here, or embedded below.

Undertakings like this aren’t easy, even if you are THE PRESIDENT OF WHIMSY. The Music Tapes have already received help from their fanbase, in the form of a very successful Kickstarter campaign, but they still need your assistance to make this thing run smoothly. If you are interested in being part of the band’s tent pitching crew, shoot them an e-mail at imaginarytentcrew@gmail.com. Beyond that, the group needs help booking the rest of their tour for February and March. Do you have a clear interior space that is at least as big as 26’ x 38’ and features ceilings 10-feet tall or higher? Then send the band an e-mail at travelingimaginary@gmail.com and invite them to your town.

Music Tapes dates:

01.23.13 - Winston-Salem, NC - Krankies Coffee
01.25.13 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club (two shows)
01.28.13 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle (two shows)
01.29.13 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
01.31.13 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
02.02.13 - New York, NY - Church for All Nations (two shows)
02.04.13 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church Basement

• The Music Tapes: http://www.orbitinghumancircus.com
• Merge: http://www.mergerecords.com

[Photo: Albert Birney]

Inc. announce new album on 4AD, induce Zomby-witnessed sexual catharsis in Brooklyn

Following last year’s exquisite 3 EP, brotherly-lovin’ Los Angeles duo Inc. have recently completed their debut album No World and plan to release it on February 19 via 4AD. Daniel and Andrew Aged are celebrating with the record’s empyrean second single “5 Days,” a further refinement of their unusually compelling brand of retrofuturist soul and R&B. Grime specialist/labelmate Zomby reports the song caused a happy tragedy at Inc.’s sold out gig in Brooklyn this past weekend, while cutting-edge tech enthusiast and modern composer James Ferraro implores you to STOPSLEEPING and take a listen.

Tracklist, tourdates, and the meditative video for lead single “The Place” follow below.

No World tracklist:

01. The Place
02. Black Wings
03. Lifetime
04. 5 Days
05. Trust (Hell Below)
06. Your Tears
07. Angel
08. Seventeen
09. Desert Rose (War Prayer)
10. Careful
11. Nariah’s Song

Inc. dates:

11.21.12 - Victoria Vaults, London
11.22.12 - L’International, Paris
11.25.12 - Deviation @ Birthdays, London (w/ Benji B, Acyde)

• Inc.: http://www.official-inc.com
• 4AD: http://4ad.com

Mates of State announce intimate East Coast tour, promise lots of eye contact

What with being a married couple and all, Mates of State have a more intimate connection than most bands. Fleet Foxes might be best buds or whatever, but do they whisper secrets into each other’s beards at night? Well, they might, but they probably don’t. The point is, an important quality of Mates of State is their intimacy. In December, they’re hoping to convey this intimacy to their fans in a series of concerts along the East Coast.

For this string of dates, the band will be touring as their “original” lineup, i.e. the duo of Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner. This brings up certain questions. First of all, Mates of State had more than two members at some point? There is no other question. Anyway, the tour contains two shows at New York’s Mercury Lounge and a show with Ra Ra Riot in Hartford, Connecticut. Last year, the band released Mountaintops, which may well have featured more than two people on it. Really, I’m dumbstruck by this revelation!

Mates of State dates:

12.05.12 - New Haven, CT - Bar
12.06.12 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge (early show)
12.06.12 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge (late show)
12.07.12 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
12.09.12 - Hartford, CT - Arch Street Tavern (w/ Ra Ra Riot)
12.10.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
12.13.12 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
12.16.12 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s

• Mates of State: http://www.matesofstate.com

Stars of the Lid awake from their conjoined slumber, announce The Ballasted Orchestra reissue, UK live dates

Adam Wiltzie may have spent 2011 scoring winged victories alongside Dustin O’Halloran, and Brian McBride may have spent 2010 achieving… well, buzzworthy success, but 2012 will be known, at least among ambient aficionados, as (hopefully) the beginning of a full-scale revival. Stars of the Lid haven’t released an album in five years, and they haven’t performed for an audience in over three years. All of that changes now.

Some of that changes now. Word of an entirely new, full-length album hasn’t yet been released (or really, even alluded to), but on January 7, Kranky will be reissuing the long out-of-print vinyl version of SOTL’s third studio album The Ballasted Orchestra, which, according to a press release, was remastered by Wiltzie earlier this year, and reportedly sounds “better than ever,” as though that were possible.

Additionally, next month, SOTL are scheduled to perform two shows in the UK — the first taking place on December 9 at ATP (curated by The National, and quite sold out), and the second occurring one day later at the Church of St John-at-Hackney in London, where they’ll be headlining. As if their mere presence wasn’t enough of a draw, the duo will be accompanied at both shows by a nine-piece string section, and presumably, visuals immersive enough to make you question your solid form.

How I long to be liquified with new material! Let’s hope they’re not just teasing us.

• Stars of the Lid: https://www.facebook.com/starsofthelid
• Kranky: http://www.kranky.net

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