Seattle’s Debacle Fest 2012 announced, with Mark McGuire, Rene Hell, Sean McCann, and others performing at… hey, you know that indistinguishable building/house?

Seattle's Debacle Fest 2012 announced, with Mark McGuire, Rene Hell, Sean McCann, and others performing at... hey, you know that indistinguishable building/house? http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-03-debacle-fest.jpg

It’s nearly the official beginning of spring, and you know what that means; it’s time to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the opening of Legoland California! Now, everyone grab your lego collections and let’s rendezvous at the parking lot in Carlsbad. I’m convinced that, given a large enough turnout, we can independently expand the acreage of Legoland so that Lego hospitals, Lego public libraries, Lego beggars, and Lego strip clubs inhabit every inch of the state, creating a virtual replica. We. Can. Do. This!

Beyond that, however, spring also corresponds with the beginning of festival season, and in Seattle, that basically means one event in particular, to local appreciators of independent music: Sasquatch. Forget Sasquatch for a moment though; what about those clamoring for a dose of experimental aural immersion, who would otherwise be left unfulfilled by an event where Jack White and Beck are two of the headliners? Months prior to Seattle’s more extensive dedication to electronic/experimental music, Decibel Festival, and preceding even Sasquatch itself, Debacle Records have announced their fifth annual festival, Debacle Fest 2012, to take place in Seattle at the Black Lodge and the Josephine on May 4, 5, and 6. The line-up features the following artists, with more set to be announced in the near future: Mark McGuire, Rene Hell, Eternal Tapestry, Sean McCann, Operative, Pulse Emitter, Brain Fruit, and Dull Knife.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that Debacle Fest satisfies a festival’s most basic requirement — having a bunch of artists perform — it’s tough to consider this an event designed to attract large swathes of the coffee-drinking, trail-hiking public at large. For one, there’s probably a ceiling on the number of people who are actually willing to explore this type of music, and two, the Black Lodge doesn’t even have an advertised address. Seriously. That’s one way to dissuade the lukewarm.

• Debacle Fest: http://debaclerecords.com/debacle-fest
• Debacle Records: http://debaclerecords.com

KTL (Stephen O’Malley and Peter Rehberg) to unleash V on the (acronym for Earth)

Peter Rehberg, prolific collaborator and owner of the Austria-based experimental label Editions Mego, has decided to temporarily renounce his second life as a Middle Eastern bread with a pocket in the middle, in order to resuscitate (or, maybe they’ve just been working very very gradually for the past three years) his project with sunn 0)))’s Stephen O’Malley, otherwise known as KTL. Whereas their most recent album, IV, was, as a press release describes, “recorded and made in a [relatively] short period in a more traditional rock environment,” their upcoming LP, V, due out May 8, has all the hallmarks of, well, basically any album released on Editions Mego (in terms of having an avant-garde or improvisational feel to it), but with a departure in style reminiscent of… you know, I really can’t think of an unoffensive example where a band or musician has successfully altered their style for the better. Someone help me out here.

In any case, V shouldn’t be anything as drastic as, say, RJD2 exploring his more sensitive side, so we need not be worried. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to be utterly smitten with the prospect of this release — not the least of which is the implication that comes with Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson orchestrating the track “Phill 2.” It’s time to don your tuxedos, Mr. Rehberg and Mr. O’Malley; you may have just entered an entirely new realm of musical sophistication. Click here for the official release page.

V tracklisting:

01. Phill 1
02. Study A
03. Tony
04. Phill 2
05. Last Spring: A Prequel

• KTL: http://editionsmego.com/artist/ktl
• Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com

Death Grips, the tUnE-YarDs of aggressive rap, shout “WE MAJOR,” as in label… strap in NPR!

Death Grips bucked and snarled to life with last year’s “Full Moon (Death Classic),” a debut single that grasped the dayglo backpackers by their meaty cheeks and spewed venom all over their dopest ironic tees. Stefan Burnett, Zach Hill, and Andy Morin instantly capitalized on their initial outburst with both a well-oiled publicity campaign and a debut LP — April’s Exmilitary that blew most of us sideways and confirmed that hip-hop had stepped back another few paces from ringing that heavy death knell. Exmilitary was so good and so genuinely bonkers it wound up on countless best of 2011 lists and allowed for the trio to emerge with one of the more important debuts of last year and as one of the better live acts currently gracing your local watering hole.

Now news comes that Death Grips has inked a sweet deal with Columbia/Epic to release two new LPs in 2012. The Money Store is due April 24 and will include the songs “Blackjack” (see below) and “Get Got.” No Love is due later this fall. The video for the “Get Got” single (now screening at the Chocolate Grinder) features what appears to be homemade special effects and Stefan Burnett roaming the city and performing live. The move to a major label has already divided the group’s devoted fan base (if the snide, snarky comments on YouTube for the new single are any indication) but its always interesting to see how groups react to both a little major label shoving and the almighty dollar; here’s hoping they don’t fuck it all up.

• Death Grips: http://thirdworlds.net
• Epic/Columbia: http://www.sonymusic.com

Memoryhouse embark on tour; OH IF THESE MEMORYWALLS COULD MEMORYTALK

“If these walls could talk.” Okay, let me pull up a stool and lay some truth on you. Or if you have a chair, I’ll turn it around and rest my arms on its back. That phrase, the one about the talking walls, is disgusting. If the walls of your house could talk, they would yell at you about the horrific things they have seen. At the bare minimum, those walls have watched you and anyone you live with and any of your houseguests poop over and over again. Being a sentient house is to live in an endless nightmare.

But the memories! Bah, if I wanted memories, I’d listen to dreamy Sub Pop outfit Memoryhouse. All the memory, all the house, none of the icky implications. The band released their debut album The Slideshow Effect on Tuesday, complete with all the gauzy haze you’d expect from a group + album combo with the words “memory” and “slideshow.” Now, it’s time to create new memories. Memories can be made from anything, as long as those things happened. If you go see Memoryhouse on their tour, whether it be in North America or the UK, you’ll one day have memories of that time you saw Memoryhouse on their tour. Eventually, Memoryhouse will turn your memories into a new album and that is how the sausage is made.

Memoryhouse dates:

03.01.12 - Iowa City, IA - The Mill
03.02.12 - Ames, IA - Maintenance Shop at Iowa State University
03.03.12 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
03.05.12 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
03.07.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
03.08.12 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
03.09.12 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
03.10.12 - Vancouver, BC - Waldorf Hotel
03.11.12 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar
03.13.12 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Shop
03.15.12 - Santa Barbara, CA - Soho
03.16.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
03.17.12 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
03.23.12 - Glasgow, UK - School of Art
03.24.12 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelan’s
03.26.12 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
03.27.12 - Bristol, UK - Louisiana
03.28.12 - London, UK - Cargo

• Memoryhouse: http://www.memoryhou.se
• Sub Pop: http://www.subpop.com

Pitchfork Festival 2012 initial line-up announced. I give it a 7.7 (which really means 5)

Get your big sunglasses and small regular glasses ready, America. The next-best thing to Pitchfork Music Festival Paris is finally crossing the pond and coming to a dusty and way-too-small baseball field near you. Finally, the youth of U.S.A. will get a taste of what it must have been like to see a killer weekend of pre-approved-as-good bands in their parents’ day (a.k.a. Intonation Festival) when The Pitchfork Music Festival comes to Chicago’s Union Park July 13-15.

Yesterday, they announced their initial crop of acts for the thing, which includes most of the lynchpins, like Vampire Weekend, Feist, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hot Chip, AraabMUZIK, A$AP Rocky, and more. But with an additional 30 or so additional acts TBA, that leaves plenty of room for them to ask my band, your band, and Nicolas Cage’s band. Fingers crossed! Tickets are on sale Friday, March 9 at noon (CST) over at the festival’s Angelfire page, and, notably, are still just $45 for a one-day pass and $110 for a weekender. Which is good, because as soon as we finish this hitter and get back to work on getting our festival together, it’s gonna be a thousand dollars a head and Jay-Z is gonna be there.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2012:

Vampire Weekend
Feist
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Hot Chip
AraabMUZIK
A$AP Rocky
The Field
Liturgy
Kendrick Lamar
Grimes
Cloud Nothings
Tim Hecker
Willis Earl Beal

• Pitchfork: http://www.pitchforkchicago.com

[Photo: Jim Kopeny]

Erykah Badu banned from performing in Malaysia over, of all things, a promotional photo

Erykah Badu, well known for doing some pretty risque stunts, has been banned in Malaysia over a promotional photo with the arabic word for Allah temporarily tattooed on her chest. A local paper unknowingly published the photo to promote the concert and has since publicly apologized following complaints from politicians and religious groups. The Information Ministry subsequently banned Badu, who was already in the country, from performing at an upcoming jazz festival in an attempt to prevent “various situations that may lead to social excitement…”

Badu has said that image was inspired by the 1973 film, The Holy Mountain, a surrealist film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, and was clearly not produced as an insult to the Muslim world, which includes Muslim-majority Malaysia.

Badu has responded to the ban in a pretty classy way, though, stating that, “It’s sad, because we traveled a long way, but I’m totally understanding of (the minister’s) protection of the laws and its people. He doesn’t want anything to happen. I’m good with that.” Malaysian media seem to be taking that as an apology, which is probably stretching it, but the daughter of Ms. Jackson herself is definitely taking the high road here, going so far as to explain her understanding of the way art is often misinterpreted in religious countries:

“I think art is often misunderstood in the realm of religion, and it’s OK,” she said. “In America, it’s a lot different. Art is also misunderstood but it is not such a harsh gesture to promote the names of God. I am learning and understanding about Islam in other countries more as we travel.

While we could go on and on about how awesome Ms. Badu is, her handling of this unfortunate situation is probably example enough for now.

• Erykah Badu: http://www.erykahbadu.com

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