Seminal 90s electronica group returns: Plaid edition

Seminal 90s electronica group returns: Plaid edition

Add British duo Plaid to the list of seminal 90s-era electronic artists who are getting back into the game after ridiculously long hiatuses. Although Mssrs. Andy Turner and Ed Handley’s eight-year break clocks in on the shorter end of that spectrum, the return of the Warp Records recording artists is being met with no less fanfare, because it’s not every day you get a new album from these two. Nor do you get a tour every day from the jolly lads — although you’ll get at least 14 such days if you’re living in North America this fall.

The duo’s latest, Scintilli, drops September 27 via their old pals Warp. But lest you think Plaid were buried deep in their electronica cave, hibernating the past near-decade away, take note. Because Handley and Turner have been very, very busy. They’ve collaborated with Björk, Mara Carylyle, and Nicolette. They’ve done remixes aplenty. They’ve created scores for a couple Michael Arias films. They’ve put together a music + art DVD with video artist Bob Jaroc entitled Greedy Baby, which came out in 2006. So you see, it’s not like we’ve all been living in a deplorably dystopian, Plaid-less world these past few years, but after eight years with no full-length? You don’t write, Plaid, you don’t call? Eight years? EIGHT YEARS? Well… ahh hell, come give us a hug. It’s good to see you, old chums.


11.09.11 - Montreal, QC - Societe Des Artes Technologiques
11.10.11 - Toronto, ON - Wrongbar
11.11.11 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
11.12.11 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
11.13.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
11.15.11 - Houston, TX - Stereo Live
11.16.11 - Austin, TX - ND at 501 Studios
11.18.11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
11.19.11 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
11.21.11 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
11.22.11 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
11.23.11 - Portland, OR - Holocene
11.25.11 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine

• Plaid:
• Warp:

RIP: Marshall Grant, bassist and manager for Johnny Cash

From The New York Times:

Marshall Grant, a bass player who, as an original member of Johnny Cash’s band, the Tennessee Two, helped create the group’s pulsing “boom-chicka-boom” sound, died on Sunday in Jonesboro, Ark. He was 83.

His death was confirmed by the Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery in Memphis. Mr. Grant, who lived in Hernando, Miss., was in Jonesboro for the Johnny Cash Festival, an event to raise money to restore Cash’s childhood home in Dyess, Ark.

Mr. Grant, who played acoustic and electric bass with Cash from 1954 to 1980 and was the road manager for the group, provided the thumping foundation on “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire,” “The Man in Black” and many other songs and on the live albums that Cash recorded at Folsom prison and San Quentin.

• Marshall Grant:

Mekons announce release date for their 1,234,977th album, schedule smattering of “An Evening with The Mekons” tourdates

Quick! Name your favorite Mekons record! One… two… three. Quick! Name five Mekons records! Name 10 Mekons records! Now name 15 Mekons records! (We’re talking full-length studios, too.) The Mekons are one of those bands that, in the course of their 30-odd-year history, have recorded something for everybody — post-punk to country tribute, anyway — and this year, they’re releasing yet another album!

Their (wait for it) 26th album, perhaps self-conciously entitled Ancient & Modern, comes out September 27 on Sin Records. Listen to featured track, “Space In Your Face,” here. For all you young kids, if you’re feeling too overwhelmed to try to get into The Mekons now, don’t worry: you’re not the only person who feels like looking through a 10-page beer list and only knowing Stella Artois. A new documentary, Revenge of The Mekons, is currently in production and is vaguely slated to be released later this year, so even if you don’t entirely bone up by September, you’ll know what you’re talking about come next spring, when you see the film/finish the discography.

Check out the as-of-yet finalized tourdates after the tracklist, which come with your choice of beer or liquor, and The Mekons acoustic or electrified.

Ancient & Modern tracklisting:

01. Warm Summer Sun
02. Space in Your Face
03. Geeshie
04. I Fall Asleep
05. Calling All Demons
06. Ugly Bethesda
07. Ancient & Modern
08. Afar & Forlorn
09. Honey Bear
10. The Devil at Rest
11. Arthur’s Angel


09.30.11 - San Francisco, CA - Swedish American Hall *
10.04.11 - Evanston, IL - Space ^
10.05.11 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall @
10.08.11 - New York, NY - City Winery *

* “A quiet night in with the acoustic Mekons”
^ “Meekakucha: An evening of Pechakucha and Mekons acoustic music”
@ “A wild night out with the electrified Mekons”

• The Mekons:!/mekons?sk=info

Treasure Island Festival announces lineup, including DFA 1979, Flying Lotus, and Explosions in the Sky; Robert Louis Stevenson curates his own stage

For Treasure Island Festival’s fifth anniversary, they’re pulling out all the stops this fall. Not only have they just announced a sweet lineup (see below), but they also figured out a way to bring festival namesake, author Robert Louis Stevenson, back from the dead. Zombie R. L. Stevey will be curating his own side-stage too, sponsored by Long John Silver’s. The lineup for the side stage has yet to be revealed, but something tells me that Captain Flint and The Pirates are a shoo-in for a headlining spot.

The whole shindig will go down on October 15 and 16 on Treasure Island, which is off the coast of Yerba Buena Island in the San Francisco Bay. Tickets go on sale this week via the Treasure Island website.

Saturday, October 15:

Empire of the Sun
Cut Copy
Death From Above 1979
Dizzee Rascal
Flying Lotus
Buraka Som Sistema
The Naked & Famous
Shabazz Palaces
Aloe Blacc

Sunday, October 16:

Death Cab For Cutie
Explosions in the Sky
Beach House
The Hold Steady
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Friendly Fires
St. Vincent
The Head and The Heart
Wild Beasts
The Antlers
Thee Oh Sees

• Treasure Island Festival:

Raster-Noton label celebrates 15 years with shows around the world; attendance to be higher than Texas Instruments anniversary shows

Hey, hey, hey, all you German electro-nerds and fans of digital minimalism, I know it’s only been five years since Raster-Noton’s last anniversary concert but they’ve just announced that they’ll be celebrating their 15th anniversary with live shows in Berlin, Rome, and Japan. Jawohl!

While details are pretty scarce at the moment (which is how those artsy types like it), the shows will feature lineups that include (but are not limited to) Alva Noto, Atom™, Anne James Chaton, Byetone, and Vladislav Delay, plus screenings of Nicolai’s Future Past Perfect, and with plenty more artists to be announced whenever Raster-Noton feels like announcing them.

If you’re already as excited as a pig in shit and want to start making arrangements with your local airline, then I guess I can at least let you in on the dates of each show, but that’s just because keeping you informed is why they pay me (with love) even though I do highly enjoy keeping cards close to my chest. Rome is set for September 9 at Villa Massimo, Tokyoans can see the show at the Tokyo Womb on October 9, and those crazy Berliners will be going crazy on Novermber 4 at Berlin Berghain. Berlin!

Please, keep checking back for updates!


09.09.11 - Rome, Italy - Villa Massimo
10.09.11 - Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo Womb
11.04.11 - Berlin, Germany - Berlin Berghain

• Raster-Noton:

Fanboy Jeff Tweedy sucks up to Deerhoof on new collaborative 7-inch with The Raccoonists

A few weeks ago, we reported on new developments with dad-rock heroes Wilco in the classic TMT Style™ (Yes, it’s so classic, we trademarked it). Jeff Tweedy responded in bombast to us, the short-yet-terse message you may have seen at the bottom of this very page’s random quote generator. Yet he did so not because he was hurt, but because he realized that deep down in the cockles of his heart, he might not be cool anymore. And placating the Schreibster and his droogs can only get a man so far before he just looks ridiculous.

But Mr. Tweedy realized that merely lashing out at a music website that does not accept bribes (except from Nigerian generals and Chinese counterfeit manufacturers) would not be enough to ease his worried heart. As I have stated to Less… err, Ms. Feist at one point, output matters. And when it comes to maintaining the good graces of the critical echo chamber that this website bounces off of while wearing an unbound straitjacket, making something interesting counts. So Mr. Tweedy mumbled and grumbled around the backyard of his suburban Chicagoland home with his pet duck, trying to figure out some way to keep things interesting, disregarding his upcoming album with Wilco, The Whole Love, completely in the process.

He sought out inspiration from his favorite band, Deerhoof, which he squees over every time they go on tour. Then he saw his sons Spencer and Sam jamming along to Deerhoof’s new album, Deerhoof vs. Evil (TMT Review), an advance copy he got personally from Greg Saunier. And just as he was about to raise his voice to remind them not to steal his “special” records, it dawned on him.

“Why don’t I just create an experimental band with my boys? They’re good, I think…”

Thus, The Raccoonists were born. Inspired by the very album that his sons stole from him, Mr. Tweedy gave Mr. Saunier a call to collaborate. Mr. Saunier, too nervous/scared to ask Mr. Tweedy how he got his number the third time, accepted the invite. Consequently, Deerhoof sans Satomi Matsuzaki (sending her to see her folks after talking to Jay Ferrar one too many times) joined The Raccoonists in the studio for a session or two, mostly filled with Mr. Tweedy gushing about their style for absolutely no reason and Saunier. The result was Behold a Raccoon in the Darkness, a split 7-inch now available for preorder for an October 11 release on Polyvinyl. On one side, Mr. Tweedy takes over Matsuzaki on vox for his take of “Behold a Marvel in the Darkness” from the aforementioned Deerhoof album, which the band begrudgingly admits was inspired by the man himself. On the other, he and his sons perform a new song, “Own It.”

Of course, this being Jeff Tweedy, he saw the great potential in expanding the Wilco Empire with The Raccoonists, perhaps as a vehicle to still look cool to the music critics after two decades in the music business, perhaps as a means for his sons to become the late greats that his father once tried to be. Probably both in a fusion resembling a metastatic tumor.

• The Raccoonists:
• Deerhoof: