RIP: Vinnie Johnson of Stark Reality, Natural Food, Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism

RIP: Vinnie Johnson of Stark Reality, Natural Food, Stanton Davis' Ghetto Mysticism

From Now-Again:

Phil Morrison, bassist of our favorite, impossible-to-describe jazz group Stark Reality, told us today that Vinnie Johnson, the band’s drummer, had passed away. We don’t have any further details at this time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Vinnie’s family. He was one helluva drummer, and a cheerful, super guy. He will be missed.

• Stark Reality:
• Stanton Davis’ Ghetto Mysticism:

Samsung music download service debuts, challenges iTunes with big ol’ catalog

OH SNAP! (Yes, this is an “oh snap” level story.) iTunes, girl, I hope you got your Air Jordans laced tight, because Samsung is about to give you a run for your money. But hey, it’s cool — take a breather, my American friends — because for the moment, the aptly-named Samsung Music Hub will only be available via the company’s new Samsung Galaxy S III phone in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. As of today, you can only peep the new service via the Galaxy S III, although expansion to other Samsung devices will soon be added. “But!” you’re saying, “My Apple! My iPod! My Steeeeeve Jooooooobs!!!!! Why would I ever even consider this silly upstart service when I have these time-tested name brand products I get to upgrade every few years?” (Except for Jobs obviously, you can never replace that dude.)

Because, as a great man — a man many once considered the Steve Jobs of Yacht Rock — once said, “The heat is on / It’s on the streets.” (That man was Glenn Frey.) Case in point: the venerable iTunes boasts a solid 20 million + tracks. Samsung Music Hub has over 19 million tracks. If you do your algebra correctly, you’ll find that the answer to this formula is “Not too shabby.” So what does it all mean? Well, the new Samsung service lets users stream tracks through a cloud, as well as letting users download those tracks for their offline pleasure. Users who want to go “Premium” can also shell out €9.99/month to upload their own entire personal music catalogs to the cloud (up to 100GB), stream the entire Hub catalog, and get Spotify/Pandora-esque artist-based radio stations. Glenn Frey, man. The dude was a prophet. “Inside your head, on every beat / And the beat’s so loud, deep inside / The pressure’s high, just to stay alive / ‘Cause the heat is on.” IS IT EVER.

• Samsung:
• Apple:

Jens Lekman announces new album I Know What Love Isn’t (hint: “sexually transmittable”)

As the classic song goes: “You broke Jens Lekman’s heart [sometime between 2007’s Night Falls Over Kortedala (upbeat TMT Review) and last year’s An Argument with Myself EP (slightly less-enthusiastic TMT Review)] / Cuz he couldn’t dance /You didn’t even want him around / But now he’s back [with a new album titled I Know What Love Isn’t, coming September 4 via Secretly Canadian (and September 3 in the UK and Europe)] to let you know / He can really [moan and mope and still make money off of that situation!]”

Shit, okay, maybe that’s not how the song goes, but that’s probably how Lekman’s version would go! And this is his news story, afterall; not whoeverthefuck’s nobody-ass that wrote that original song. Heck, I’m not even going to look it up because I’m so jazzed about this new thing that his handlers are describing as “the story of the grey areas of love that you have to excavate and explore, using the method of exclusion, to find out what love is.” In other words, we’ve got a Forrest Gump concept album on our hands, people! It’s about goddamn time, too. I was getting tired of syncing up Metallica’s “One” with the Vietnam scenes over and over again.

But wait, there’s more: “I Know What Love Isn’t has strings but not a string section, an upright piano not grand, a single saxophone, gracenotes from a flute, a lot of tambourine. Combined in exact proportions with Lekman’s melancholy abstract lyrics.” In other words, the new album also promises to be very economical, which is totally fitting when you consider the difficult financial climate all around the world. Oh you’re so responsible, Jens! But let’s hear a single, already. Take it away, awful-sounding YouTube:

I Know What Love Isn’t tracklisting:

01. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
02. Erica America
03. Become Someone Else’s
04. Some Dandruff on Your Shoulder
05. She Just Don’t Want to Be With You Anymore
06. I Want a Pair of Cowboy Boots
07. The World Moves On
08. The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love
09. I Know What Love Isn’t
10. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name


07.28.12 - Castelbasso, Italy - Soundlabs Festival
09.10.12 - Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia
09.11.12 - Århus, Denmark - Train
09.12.12 - Copenhagen, Denmakr - Vega
09.13.12 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
09.14.12 - Malmö, Sweden - KB
09.15.12 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Pustervik
09.17.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Dramaten
09.19.12 - Manchester, UK - Ruby Lounge
09.20.12 - London, UK - Hackney Empire
09.21.12 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt
09.23.12 - Paris, France - Gaité Lyrique
09.24.12 - Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
09.25.12 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Tivoli de Helling
09.26.12 - Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof

• Jens Lekman:
• Secretly Canadian:

[Photo: Kristin Lidell]

Zammuto adds a string of North American dates supporting Gotye, who I have never heard of; who is this Gotye?

First, Zammuto decides to go on tour with Explosions in the Sky. Fair enough. Now, he’s going on tour with Gotye (pronounced Goat-yeah), who I have never heard of. Who I will never hear of. For I will never get the internet. Right now, I’m writing this story in my blood and sending it to the Tiny Mix Tapes Doom Fortress. I’m so lightheaded.

Now that I have gotten a transfusion of new, more powerful blood, I can finish this story. What I was saying was that Zammuto, a.k.a. Nick Zammuto of The Books, is going on tour with Gotye (pronounced Go To Yay). As you may know, Zammuto put out a debut record earlier this year, which some people (hello, it is me) thought was rather good. So, he’ll be hitting up a string of American dates in September with Gotye (pronounced Gout Years), a few months after going on a totally different string of dates with those Explosions in the Sky boys. By the way, I’ve never even heard of Gotye (pronounced Growl Yield), because I’m a thousand-year-old man who sits forever on a rocking chair on top of a mountain. Would that rocking chair not fall? Nah, it’s held up by the force of me never hearing of Gotye (pronounced Growth Yeaaaargh).

Zammuto dates:

06.17.12 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live *
06.18.12 - Mobile, AL - Soul Kitchen Music Hall *
06.19.12 - Tampa, FL - The Ritz Ybor *
06.20.12 - Miami, FL - Grand Central *
06.21.12 - Athens, GA - The Georgia Theatre *
06.22.12 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater *
09.14.12 - Kansas City, MO - Richard Berkley Riverfront Park &
09.16.12 - Cleveland, OH - Jacobs Pavilion &
09.17.12 - Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion &
09.18.12 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre &
09.20.12 - Toronto, ON - Molson Amphitheatre &
09.21.12 - Montreal, QC - Jacques Cartier Pier &
09.27.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Williamsburg Park &

* Explosions in the Sky
& Gotye

• Zammuto:
• Gotye:

Supersonic Fest’s 10th Anniversary gathers lineup that should leave many attendees at least partially deaf

Looking to have your ear holes assaulted this fall? If you’re going to be in the UK from October 19-21, then you’re in luck, as the Supersonic Festival is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in Birmingham. To commemorate this milestone, the fest’s organizers are bringing out the big guns in a serious way. Bonnaroo this ain’t. Supersonic leans toward the noisy end of the musical spectrum, and the lineup this year is a gorgeous compendium of the old and new guard of noise, psychedelia, and experimental music in general. Just to rattle off a few of the must-be-seen-in-your-lifetime acts: Merzbow, Kevin Drumm, Tim Hecker, Hype Williams, Jarboe, Ruins Alone, Dylan Carlson (of Earth), Flower/Corsano Duo, and Kim Gordon are all set to perform. Certain deafness is assured if you fail to bring some industrial strength earplugs with you.

In addition to that stellar lineup (with more acts yet to be announced), the festival will feature a wide array of art, video, and non-musical performances representing other mediums within the same community. No doubt there will lots of interesting things to stare at silently as conversation should be next to impossible at this event. Between the crazy volumes of the acts and the resulting ringing you’ll be hearing between sets, expect a lot of people asking what you said in a way-too-loud voice.

For the uninitiated, the fest has set up a Supersonic mixtape on Soundcloud with 17 cuts from attending acts. Even if you can’t make it to the festival this fall, give it a spin — it’ll certainly help blast the rest of your day away in loud, psychedelic fashion.

• Supersonic Festival:

RIP: Bob Welch, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist

From USA Today:

Bob Welch, the influential guitarist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac in the band’s early days, took his life today at his Nashville-area home, WKRN-TV reports.

Welch, 65, died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest. His wife found him about 12:15 p.m. at their home in Antioch. He had recently suffered undisclosed health issues, a Metro police spokesperson said.

Welch played with Fleetwood Mac in the early to mid-1970s, before the group achieved superstar status with Fleetwood Mac (1975) and Rumours (1977).

He joined the band in 1971 when it was an English blues band and helped shape its future sound and attract an American audience. He played on five records – Future Games, Bare Trees, Penguin, Mystery to Me and Heroes Are Hard to Find, the band’s first to crack the U.S. Top 40. He was also responsible for two early hits, Sentimental Lady and Hypnotized.

Welch left the band in late 1974, replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who helped catapult the group to stardom.

• Bob Welch: