RIP: Norio Ohga, CD pioneer, former Sony president/chairman

RIP: Norio Ohga, CD pioneer, former Sony president/chairman

From CNN:

Norio Ohga, the former president and chairman of Sony Corporation who helped to develop the compact disc, died Saturday of multiple organ failure, the company said. He was 81.

Ohga worked for what is now Sony as a consultant and adviser while still a music student in Tokyo, before joining the company full time in 1959.

He rose to the ranks of chairman and president and is credited with driving the company’s growth in movies, video games and music.

Ohga saw the potential of the compact disc early and spearheaded Sony’s efforts in that area, the company said.

• Norio Ohga:

Fiery Furnaces’ Eleanor Friedberger to release solo LP on Merge, arranged by a special commission of Navajo basketball coaches and blonde ladies

You’ve been a Fiery Furnaces fan for a long time now, and in the process you’ve endured a lot of criticism and burned through a good chunk of change. You were there at their genesis, falling in love with the Friedberger siblings the moment Gallowsbird’s Bark arrived, dodging a hail of insults from friends that compared them to The White Stripes. Now The White Stripes are dead, your friends are buying glow-in-the-dark records from Third Man without owning turntables, and The Fiery Furnaces live/rock on. You remember with bittersweet joy the day that the Pitchfork hive mind praised Blueberry Boat, and you try to forget the day they lashed out against the brilliant Rehearsing My Choir.

Many fans ended their journey here, spooked by a lack of critical consensus, but you soldiered on, wading through the noisy, difficult, frenzied-yet-melancholy Bitter Tea, and for this you were rewarded with a trip to the gilded gates of Classic Rawk in Widow City. You’re still on the fence about the slightly lackadaisical I’m Going Away, but you haven’t had a lot of time to let it sink in since there were the two Matthew Friedberger solo albums to digest, then the self-covering Take Me Round Again, then eight more albums from Matthew… even you, superfan, are starting to fall behind.

But that’s just too bad, buddy, because here comes another one: Last Summer, the debut solo album from Eleanor Friedberger, hits store shelves (that are already buckling under the weight of Furnaces product) on July 12 via Merge. Merge is best known as the label that puts out albums by Butterglory. Apparently, after Eleanor recorded her renditions for Take Me Round Again, she enjoyed the time away from Matthew so much that she went ahead and fleshed out a group of songs written over the years that had never made it on a Furnaces album. You can listen to the lead single off Last Summer, “My Mistakes,” over at the Chocolate Grinder, where you may notice that the backing music only sounds like one overclocked carnival ride rather than several, which suits her singing approach quite nicely. Eleanor has plans to tour in support of Last Summer, but we’re too busy catching up on Matthew’s last two albums to get those confirmed yet.

Start saving your money, superfan, because along with the “rock album” the band’s been working on, I’ve heard rumors that the Furnaces’ session drummer has a bi-weekly subscription series planned for 2012. (Just kidding, people who get angry at jokes.)

• The Fiery Furnaces:
• Merge:

Swans working on new album, plotting tour, replacing gear that isn’t loud enough

In medieval days, troubadours sang of virgins that — if they were pure enough of heart and um, loin — could wander into the forest and sit beneath the embracing arms of a great oak and call forth a mystical unicorn by virtue of their hope, devotion, and love. The unicorn would emerge, a living symbol of beauty, belief, and eagerness for virgins. Now, in our modern world, we live blissfully free of many of the strange relics of those bygone days — lute players, bubonic plague, virgins, and forests, for example — but one thing does remain. The unicorn. Swans are our metaphorical unicorn.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “What? Shut up! You just ruined an article about Swans with your stupid intro paragraph!” I know this because I’m thinking it, too. But bear with me. After 1998’s live Swans album announced that Swans Are Dead, a period of darkness began for fans. Yes, Angels of Light were around, but fans — like that fabled virgin — still yearned for the lovely aggression of a good old-fashioned Swans song. Years went by. And then, in 2010, as if summoned by a higher power, Swans/Young Gods Records founder Michael Gira announced that Swans would return.

In the past year, they’ve been busy recording new material, releasing an album, and playing shows. And now this has just been revealed via their official Facebook page:

swans will be recording material for new album in berlin first 2 weeks of july…

Yes!! But that’s not all! Swans’ triumphant return continues with a lengthy European (and elsewhere) tour. The band was hand-selected by Portishead to perform as part of ATP’s I’ll Be Your Mirror Festival at Alexandria Palace in London at the end of July. Gira and Co. are also taking part in Roskilde, Primavera Sound, and in what sounds like a premise for a classic Swansian tale of self-hate, drudgery, and general down-and-outness, at a shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.


05.02.11 - Copenhagen, Demark - Vega
05.03.11 - Aarhus, Denmark - VoxHall
05.04.11 - Malmö, Sweden - Babel
05.06.11 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
05.07.11 - Drammen, Norway - Union Scene
05.08.11 - Stockholm, Sweden - Strand
05.10.11 - Tampere, Finland - Klubi
05.11.11 - Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia
05.12.11 - Tallinn, Estonia - Von Krahl Theatre Bar
05.13.11 - Riga, Latvia - VEF Culture Palace
05.14.11 - St. Petersburg, Russia - SKIF Festival at Sergey Kuryokhin Modern Art Center
05.15.11 - Moscow, Russia - Avant Club
05.17.11 - Gdansk, Poland - Dockyards of Gdansk Shipyard
05.18.11 - Leipzig, Germany - Central Theater
05.19.11 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
05.21.11 - Budapest, Hungary - Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
05.22.11 - Brataslava, Slovakia - Majestic Teater
05.23.11 - Zagreb, Croatia - Teatar Itd
05.24.11 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Kino Kiska Centre for Urban Culture
05.25.11 - Salzburg, Austria - Rockhouse
05.26.11 - Düdingen, Switzerland - Café Bad Bonn - Bad Bonn Kilbi Festival
05.28.11 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
07.01.11 - Rosklide, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07.15.11 - Berlin, Germany - Melt Festival
07.16.11 - Herk, Belgium - Rock Herk Festival
07.17.11 - Ostrava, Czech Republic - Ostrava Open Air Festival
07.20.11 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
07.21.11 - Cologne, Germany - Gebaede Neun
07.22.11 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
07.24.11 - London, UK - ATP “I’ll Be Your Mirror” Festival

• Swans:
• Young God:

TV Ghost released a new album called Mass Dream, but you’ll pretend you already knew that, won’t you?

TV Ghost (the rotting cyber post-punk band from Lafayette, Indiana, not the spirit of Bob Hope) just released a new record on In the Red called Mass Dream. It’s the follow-up to their last record, 2009’s Cold Fish, which was also released by In the Red. But you already knew that, didn’t you? You tweet, you read the blogs, you don’t need me telling you this shit. You’re in the scene, right? You saw TV Ghost open up for Lightning Bolt in Brooklyn last year and you talked to the bassist after the show and he told you all about this record, when it would be released and by whom. You guys also discussed a shared interest in the philosophy of Sartre and the pros and cons of cut-off jean shorts.

Well guess what, kid, here’s a little somethin’ ya didn’t know but can pretend that you did. Them Indiana boys are heading out on a tour of the pure, just, and bountiful United States of America come the end of May. Speaking of places of bounty, the band kick things off in Detroit, Michigan and then slowly work their way South, taking in all that the glorious Midwest has to offer, from the gracious scenic plains to the out-in-the-open gay bashing. Ah, what more could you ask for?

Mass Dream tracklisting:

01. Wired Trap
02. Sleep Composite
03. The Winding Stair
04. Cancor
05. An Absurd Laceration
06. The Inheritors
07. Doppleganger
08. Subterfuge
09. The Degradation of Film
10. Tropes
11. Mass Dream

TV dates:

05.22.11 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
05.26.11 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
05.27.11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
05.29.11 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
05.31.11 - Tulsa, OK - The Reverb
06.02.11 - Austin, TX - Red 7 (Chaos in Tejas Festival)
06.03.11 - Houston, TX - Rudyards
06.04.11 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia
06.05.11 - Mobile, AL - Alabama Music Box
06.08.11 - Tallahassee, FL - The Engine Room
06.12.11 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl

• TV Ghost:
• In the Red:

Neon Indian posts teaser clip of new album to prove to us how sunny it isn’t going to be

Ah, updates. Where would we be without them? How else would be know when our friends are proud of some piece of frozen chicken they managed to fry (update: sauté) if they didn’t take an adulation-ready photo of their plate and post it to their Facebook? Or how would I know to take an umbrella to the TMT Offices if ye olde weatherman (update: meteorologist) wasn’t on my TV (update: on the internet) to tell me that I “probably won’t need an umbrella”? Or what about Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo, from whom we’ve all been anxiously awaiting an update on the progress of the follow-up album to 2009’s smash album I Do Believe We’re Naked (update: Psychic Chasms)?

Well, thanks to the miracle of updates, we shall wonder no more! After a long winter that involved traveling to Helsinki to begin work on new stuff and coming home into the arms of Lil’ Wayne Coyne to collaborate on the Flaming Lips with Neon Indian (TMT Review) thing, dude finally shared a teaser video yesterday that offers a first listen at a pretty banging little track from the new album, part one of a three-part instrumental called “Heart: Attack.” (You get the subjective/objective word jokes, I hope?) The clip itself, shot and edited by Austin, TX filmmaker Sean Lopez, shows Palomo doing all kinds of awesome indie rock stuff like sighing in sunglasses, getting inspired by old architecture, staring disaffectedly out boat windows, hanging out in a church, and just generally not recording.

As for the fate of the new LP, it has no confirmed title or label at the moment. Palomo is currently in New York tweaking the thing, and the band has a whole summer’s worth of North American dates starting next month. Nevertheless, the band has vowed that it will be released in the fall of 2011, and I feel like musicians are generally known best for their dependability (update: John Lennon sunglasses).


05.14.11 - Dallas, TX - HomeGrown Music and Arts Festival
05.16.11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox
05.17.11 - Indianapolis, IN - Radio Radio
05.18.11 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom
05.19.11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *^
05.20.11 - Winnipeg, MB - Pyramid Cabaret #
05.22.11 - Calgary, AB - The Republik *
05.23.11 - Edmonton, AB - The Starlite Room *
05.25.11 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre *
05.26.11 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater *
05.29.11 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish @
05.30.11 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
05.31.11 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
06.02.11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge @
06.03.11 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen *
06.04.11 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre *
06.05.11 - Houston, TX - Free Press Summer Fest
06.06.11 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theatre *
06.07.11 - Tulsa, OK - Cains Ballroom *
06.08.11 - Saint Louis, MO - Firebird @
06.09.11 - Columbus, OH - Outland Live @
06.10.11 - Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Music Fest Indie Summer Series
06.11.11 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
06.12.11 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar #
06.18.11 - Governors Island, NY - The Governors Ball
07.09.11 - Mariaville, NY - Camp Bisco 10
07.10.11 - Ottawa, ON - Lebron Flats

* Sleigh Bells
@ Asobi Seksu

• Neon Indian:

Ariel Pink to milk this whole “meltdown” thing for all it’s worth on European tour

By now, I’m sure we’ve all heard about Ariel Pink’s Coachella meltdown. And… okay? I guess that’s news, sort of? I always figured that with Ariel Pink, you’re probably going to get an onstage freak-out of one variety or another. There’s no reason for him to shape up and fly straight, even if nowadays he does have fans whose favorite Animal Collective record came out after Here Comes the Indian.

But, look, we rather like Pink here at Tiny Mix Tapes. Since this kind of sensational hubbub gets people to come out to his shows, we’re just going to have to roll up our sleeves and milk this “controversy” for all it’s worth. Come one, come all, see the amazing, meltdown-ey Ariel Pink and his fabulous Haunted Graffiti on their spring jaunt through Europe! Perhaps you, too, could bear witness to one of his famous meltdowns? Maybe he’ll scream antiquated profanity at the entire audience! Maybe he’ll lick your eyeball! If we dream hard enough, he may even stop the entire show to whip out a Talkboy and force the audience to listen to a version of Shalamar’s “Make That Move” that he recorded off a department store television! Anything is possible when you live in a world of Ariel Pink onstage meltdowns!

Ariel Pink dates:

04.29.11 - Mexico City, Mexico - Bleu Club
05.13.11 - London, UK - Koko
05.14.11 - Minehead, UK - Butlins Holiday Centre
05.17.11 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
05.18.11 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Academy 3
05.20.11 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
05.21.11 - Porto, Portugal - Casa da Musica
05.22.11 - Paris, France - La Machine
05.23.11 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kreun
05.24.11 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Rotown
05.27.11 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
05.28.11 - Milan, Italy - Palazzode
06.02.11 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
06.04.11 - Philadelphia, PA - 4th Annual Roots Picnic at Festival Pier
06.15.11 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
08.05.11 - Eastnor Castle, UK - Big Chill Festival
08.06.11 - London, UK - Field Day
08.07.11 - Katowice, Poland - Off Festival
08.11.11 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West Festival
08.12.11 - Helsinki, Finland - Flow Festival

• Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti: