RIP: Shizuo

RIP: Shizuo http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-06-shizuo.png

From Foxy Digitalis:

According to posts made on Facebook by Cobra Killer and Hanin Elias, David Hammer (a.k.a. Shizuo) has died, presumably of an overdose. Shizuo only released one album (1997′s Shizuo Vs. Shizor) and a handful of singles, but his music had a junky, lo-fi aesthetic that truly sounded like nothing else at the time, and barely anything that’s happened since. Unlike the music of Digital Hardcore labelmates such as Atari Teenage Riot, there was no political sloganeering; this was a truly warped short-attention-span trip that sounded like it was made on a barely-functioning sampler, featuring some of the most blown-out distorted breakbeats ever recorded.

• Shizuo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shizuo

Balam Acab announces debut LP just in time for you to pull out your old 2010 witch house gear

The written word is amazing, but it can only do so much. While it can form itself into a poem or a novel or a news story on an experimental-leaning music site, it cannot make everyday words sound ghostly. Unless perhaps you use italics, but I would never. Similarly, the written word cannot take on the form of gorgeous witchy beats. That leaves the score at zero for the written word, two for Pennyslvania-based producer Balam Acab. No, I didn’t know we were keeping score either.

Chalk one more up for Balam Acab (a.k.a. Alec Koone), since he’s due to release his debut record WANDER / WONDER on August 29 through Tri Angle. The record will follow up See Birds, Koone’s acclaimed EP from the previous year. From the sound of first Mp3 “Oh, Why”, the producer is sticking fairly closely to his established style, though the track’s tranquil first half suggests some stretching into new ground.

Koone, in fact, has some ambitious intentions for the record, which he mixed in New York with Sam Haar of Blondes. Describing the album, Koone had the following to say: “It’s not classical music, but in the tradition of a classical work like a Bach Cello Suite, I see it as more of a whole musical piece with themes/motifs/ideas reoccurring throughout, connecting the tracks together as opposed to simply being a collection of songs that sit next to each other in isolation.” He also suggests that you play the record very loud. In essence, it will be kind of like listening to a Bach piece at full volume, except replace all the instruments with muffled vocals, fluid samples, and downtempo beats.

WANDER / WONDER tracklist:

01. Welcome
02. Apart
03. Motion
04. Expect
05. Now Time
06. Oh, Why
07. Await
08. Fragile Hope

• Balam Acab: http://www.myspace.com/thebalamacab
• Tri Angle: http://tri-anglerecords.com

Anti-piracy groups send mass file-sharing cash demands, transfer “breaking someone’s knee to settle debts” into an easier-to-use, much more profitable letter form

Let’s hope you don’t live in Germany and, if you do, let’s hope you don’t download illegally. In a new report released by internet industry association ECO (in it’s natural Germanic tongue here and explained here), it seems that German ISPs are giving away data about their subscribers and what they use the internet for, with at least 300,000 people affected each month (3.2 million a year). The report goes on to say that content-owners and rights-holders, who are, of course, getting their products illegally downloaded, are requesting the information from the ISPs so that they can turn around and use that info to find, contact, and send threatening letters to subscribers who illegally download media.

The threatening letters, which sound like a much meaner and more Teutonic version of “Give us the money for your download or you’re dead,” also demand cash payments ranging from $430 to $1720 USD that must be paid for the legal issues to end. As you might imagine, most people end up paying the demand for cash as opposed to going to court or being reprimanded goons (which is why the Mafia works) and, as some people have pointed out, the letters have started bringing in a veritable buttload for share-holders and content-owners. However, because people are generally nice, a litany of people have begun speaking out against the letters, such as ECO’s boardmember Oliver Sume who had this to say: “A stern warning letter would be enough in most cases, you don’t always have to demand several hundred Euros.”

The big story here, though, is — drum-roll please — US companies are starting to do it too! Yay! That’s right, two US content-owners and rights-holders, Voltage Pictures and Nu Images (who content-own The Hurt Locker and The Expendables, respectively) have had mass lawsuits filed on their behalf by the US Copyright Group; the lawsuits affect a combined total of 47,905 defendants. Good luck, illegal downloaders!

The Jayhawks announce release date for new album — yes, with new material! And yes, as The Jayhawks!

While 2010 and 2011 have been replete with remastered, collector-edition, gold-plated, diamond-encrusted reissues with bonus tracks and Steve Albini’s seal of approval (or Kevin Shields’, Bob Mould’s, Bob Weston’s, etc.), it’s nice every once in a while for an older band — enjoying their renewed fame and a tidy income — to actually release some new material. Alt-country rockers The Jayhawks enjoyed re-recognition last year when, following a reunion, Lost Highway reissued their debut self-titled album (“The Bunkhouse Record”), not to mention Legacy’s “expanded edition” releases of Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass in January. Don’t worry, all these retrospective musings are going somewhere: now that we remember who The Jayhawks were, we can hear what they still are in September, when they release their new studio album, Mockingbird Time, on Rounder Records.

That’s not that big of a deal, you might say; Mark Olson and Gary Louris are always coming together and going their separate ways again. You can cite Ready for the Flood all you want, but this new album is full-ledged Jayhawks like we haven’t seen in a long time. Their work together as “Mark Olson and Gary Louris” aside, Mockingbird Time is The Jayhawks’ first studio album featuring both Louris and Olson since Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995). Produced by Louris himself, he told Rolling Stone that their goal “is to make the best Jayhawks album that’s ever been done.” Bring it on, fellers! We get to decide for ourselves September 20, but as always, there are some tourdates to keep us interested amidst the summer festivals and panoply of Radiohead 12-inch remixes.

Mockingbird Time tracklisting:

01. Hide Your Clothes
02. Closer to Your Side
03. Tiny Arrows
04. She Walks in So Many Ways
05. High Water Blues
06. Mockingbird Time
07. Stand Out in the Rain
08. Cinnamon Love
09. Guilder Annie
10. Black Eyed Susan
11. Pouring Rain at Dawn
12. Hey Mr. Man

Tourdates (with more TBA):

07.02.11 - Chicago, IL - Taste of Chicago
07.03.11 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest
07.06.11 - Winnipeg, MB - Winnipeg Folk Festival
07.08.11 - Minneapolis, MN - Basilica Block Party
07.10.11 - Chicago, IL - DMB Caravan Chicago
07.16.11 - Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Folk Festival
07.29.11 - Sos Del Rey Católico, Spain - Luna Lunera Festival
07.30.11 - Santander, Spain - Infest
07.31.11 - Alicante, Spain - Auditorium
08.02.11 - Birmingham, UK - HMV Institute
08.03.11 - Glasgow, UK - ABC
08.04.11 - Manchester, UK - Academy 2
08.05.11 - London, UK - Forum
08.09.11 - Hengelo, Holland - Metropool
08.10.11 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Amanger Bio
08.12.11 - Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
08.13.11 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West
08.14-15.11 - Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia
09.17.11 - Mankato, MN - Riverfront Park

• The Jayhawks: http://www.jayhawksofficial.com
• Rounder: http://www.rounder.com

Cass McCombs to tour North America this July, playing shows and identifying its infrastructure problems

On his new record Wit’s End (TMT Review), singer/songwriter Cass McCombs is all about putting an end to things that are witty. Not that he was ever funny or clever or snappy enough to work here or anything (and believe me, he applied more than once), but everything on this new one seems to be saying “no bullshit, man; these songs are heavy.” And hey, who the hell am I to stand in the way of the man’s artistic vision?

Here, then, is a very decidedly serious list of tourdates at which Mr. McCombs, presumably bolstered by some well-trained and highly professional supporting musicians — not to mention a litany of attentive sound-men, hospitality coordinators, lighting technicians, and production managers — will perform accurate renditions of select songs from Wit’s End and albums prior, to the respectful applause and occasional participatory gesture of a grateful and responsibly sober audience. Mr. McCombs thanks you for your time and careful attention to this highly important matter and looks forward to this exciting opportunity to perform for you in the very near future. Thank you.

“County Line” promotional music video:

Cass McCombs tourdates (official):

07.07.11 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
07.08.11 - Marfa, TX - Crowley Theater
07.09.11 - Austin, TX - Lambert’s
07.11.11 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree *
07.12.11 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn *
07.13.11 - Nashville, TN - The Basement *
07.15.11 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *
07.16.11 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West Café *
07.17.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brendas *
07.18.11 - Cambridge, MA - TT the Bears *
07.19.11 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse *
07.21.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
07.22.11 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore *
07.23.11 - Toronto, ON - Rivoli *
07.25.11 - Chicago, IL - Schubas *
07.27.11 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry *
07.29.11 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge

* Lower Dens

• Cass McCombs: http://cassmccombs.com
• Domino: http://www.dominorecordco.us

Wu-Tang Clan dropping Legendary Weapons next month, the most hotly-anticipated project since U-God’s Mr. Xcitement

Here’s a little tip for the discerning Wu-Tang fan who wants to know whether to get excited about a brand-new collection of Clan songs: if the tracklist to the new collection lists Wu-Tang members as featured guests, a red flag should go up. This likely means that one or two of the core members were not feeling the project and couldn’t give it the “word is bond” stamp of approval. This red flag might have gone up for you when you saw the new Wu-Tang single “featuring RZA,” and if not it should definitely be flying into the air when you take a peek at the full tracklisting below. Looks like someone is nowhere to be found (too busy getting into wacky situations that get resolved in 30 minutes?).

Whatever it turns out to be, Legendary Weapons is headed into stores with the “Wu-Tang Clan” name via E1 Music on July 26, E1 being the label that put out the equally dubious Wu-Tang-featuring-Wu-Tang-members-album-not-album-where’s-GZA-let’s-call-it-compilation-wait-but-the-tracks-are-all-new-too-late-it’s-at-the-record-plant Chamber Music in 2009. Actual featured guests include M.O.P., Killa Sin, AZ, Trife Diesel, Sean Price, and Termanology, and the beats are apparently c/o The Revelations, a Brooklyn-based R&B group that can make themselves sound a little like RZA.

The “compilation” could be decent (Chamber Music wasn’t exactly a throwaway), but its less-than-official status means that Wu-Tang fans are going to have to keep waiting for that long-awaited official Wu album that redeems 8 Diagrams that redeems Iron Flag that redeems The W.

Legendary Weapons tracklisting:

01. Start the Show (feat. Raekwon and RZA)
02. Laced Cheeba (feat. Ghostface, Sean Price, and Trife Diesel)
03. Diesel Fluid (feat. Method Man, Trife Diesel, and Cappadonna)
04. Played by the Game
05. The Black Diamonds (feat. Ghostface, Roc Marciano, and Killa Sin)
06. Legendary Weapons (feat. Ghostface, AZ, and M.O.P.)
07. Never Feel This Pain (feat. Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Tre Williams)
08. Angels Got Wings
09. Drunk Tongue (feat. Killa Sin)
10. 225 Rounds (feat. U-God, Cappadonna, Bronze Nazareth, and RZA)
11. Meteor Hammer (feat. Ghostface, Action Bronson, and Termanology)
12. Live through Death
13. Only the Rugged Survive (feat. RZA)
14. Outro

• Wu-Tang Clan: http://www.wutang-corp.com
• E1: http://www.eonemusic.com

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