Sir Richard Bishop and W. David Oliphant announce collaborative album inspired by Buddhism, so, yeah, they probably know a thing or two about infinity

Sir Richard Bishop and W. David Oliphant announce collaborative album inspired by Buddhism, so, yeah, they probably know a thing or two about infinity

Sir Richard Bishop (of Sun City Girls and a ton of solo work) and W. David Oliphant (of Life Garden, Maybe Mental, and a ton of solo work) have been friends forever. This is assuming that you live in a reality that began in 1981, the year the two met through Phoenix, AZ’s experimental music scene. Though the two have worked together before, they have never collaborated directly as a duo. UNTIL NOW. Feign surprise as if you have not read the headline of this story.

On August 21, the duo will release their first collaborative album Beyond All Defects through their own ChodpaMedia label. The set was recorded last December in Phoenix, with Bishop playing acoustic guitar and Oliphant producing sounds through computer software and a MIDI controller. Bishop’s guitar on the record was frequently detuned, bowed, and beaten, as “treated” by Oliphant. Though no specific plans for future releases have been announced (because let’s not get ahead of ourselves here), the album is meant to be the first in a series of records from the duo.

The songs on Beyond Defects were inspired by the concepts of Tibetan Buddhism, in particular the Dzogchen body of teachings. Additionally, many of the musical ideas presented on the record derived from dreams the duo had the night before recording. If this all sounds a little too high-minded for you, keep in mind that the impetus behind the collaboration was Bishop’s desire for “big-ass Tibetan horn sounds.”

Interested parties may pre-order the record here. The first 200 pre-ordered copies of the album will be packaged with a limited edition set of 4” x 6” cards inside a stamped cloth bag. Eight of the nine cards feature images that influenced the duo in creating the album, while the remaining card features hand-signed signatures from Bishop and Oliphant. If you’ve been looking to complete your “Arizona Experimental Musicians Autograph Collection,” then your day has come.

• Sir Richard Bishop:
• W. David Oliphant:
• ChodpaMedia:

Providence DIY venue Fort Thunder, early home to Lightning Bolt and Mindflayer, releases photo archive; meanwhile, my Doctor Thunder photo collection goes criminally underappreciated

Every day for seven years, I drank a whole case of the off-brand Doctor Pepper rip-off Doctor Thunder. Before going to bed every night, I built a new sculpture out of the defeated cans. And every night, I took a picture of that statue. And every morning, I put that picture on the internet. And every afternoon, my on-site counter reported zero views. And every evening, I shed some tears and began the process anew. This is my life. This is real.

But enough of my sob story! As Ad Hoc reports, there’s a new thunder-centric online gallery out there and, hey, maybe you’ll actually want to look at this one. Between 1995 and 2001, there existed a Providence, RI-based art space called Fort Thunder. Local noise-rock acts such as Lightning Bolt and Mindflayer lived, worked, and played at this space, which was housed in the second-floor warehouse of an abandoned textile factory. During Fort Thunder’s heyday, a number of photos of the venue were taken and, now, those photos are available in an online gallery. Not to spoil anything, but the defunct venue does look like it really was a pretty awesome art haven. Apparently, it is now a Staples parking lot. That is nearly as depressing as my life as a Doctor Thunder artist.

• Fort Thunder Gallery:

Beck soundtracks new PlayStation 3 game. Deadmau5 too. Anyone care?

Welcome to the future, where our music stars must participate in as many media forums as possible in order to try and stay afloat in the sea of perceived relevancy. Yes, FACT reports that Beck, the once-great folk rapper, will be contributing three songs to the upcoming Playstation 3 release Sound Shapes. At least the game appears to be music-related.

Coming to consoles on August 7, the Pyramid Attack-developed game will feature levels where players can ‘play’ the new Beck tunes. The new tracks are titled “Cities,” “Spiral Staircase,” and “Touch People.” Based on the promotional video that shows two dudes playing the game on a PSP (never a dull moment in the 3+ minute running time), the songs will create the physical levels that players will traverse, unlocking parts of the track as they interact with various surfaces. Additionally, players can create their own levels from instruments and samples that the game provides, including samples from America’s giant mouse head-wearing sweetheart, Deadmau5.

Just like watching other people play video games, the experience is sure to leave you wanting more. Actually, it kind of looks like Angry Birds for music geeks, so maybe Beck’s on to something…

• Beck:
• Pyramid Attack:

Thurston Moore joins Twilight; pre-teen girls around the world say “What?”

There are so many lame jokes to be made about Thurston Moore joining Twilight. Like, for example, I could talk about vampires. Or plasticine non-threatening teen heartthrob werewolves. Or The Greatest News Story of Our Time, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s custody dispute over their dog. (Yes, this is an actual thing that’s happening. It showed up when I googled Pattinson because I wasn’t sure how to spell his name.) But who needs lame jokes and sexy Mormon vampires when the truth is so much more glittering, more exciting, and straight up more… METAL? Because, you see, Moore is joining black metal supergroup Twilight, along with singer/guitarist Blake Judd (Nachtmystium), Stavros Giannopoulos (The Atlas Moth), Jef Whitehead a.k.a. Wrest (Leviathan), Imperial (Neil Jameson from Krieg), and producer Sanford Parker. Your new metal overlords will be taking to the studio in August to work on this fall’s forthcoming album for Century Media.

Judd is very excited about the addition of Moore to the lineup. Like, OMG!!!!! excited. As he told 1st Five, “I had Sonic Youth records when I was 12. And to now know that, not only am I having a dialogue with this person about anything, but dude’s gonna join a band I started, and it’s like… whoah. Fucking amazing, amazing feeling.” The two are acquainted through Sanford, who ran a studio with Sonic Youth’s soundman Jeremy Lemos, and spent a lot of time shopping for black woolen capes with one another. In other Thurston Moore related news, dude is now playing with Chelsea Light Moving, his new band that’s signed to Matador. And fans can expect a September 25 release from YOKOKIMTHURSTON, the collaboration between Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon, and Thurston Moore before Sonic Youth called Time Out. Additionally, Lee Ranaldo has told reporters that Sonic Youth is prepping a live album and tour film, despite the fact that they’re still on hiatus.

• Twilight:
• Thurston Moore:
• Century Media:

BEAK> release special edition box set, chart fall European TOUR>>

Remember the late-90s/early-00s? A dark time. A time full of trucker hats, Sugar Ray, and national hysteria. A time when Portishead didn’t tour, and in fact, many people thought we had heard the last of the merry lads (and lady) from Bristol. And now look at things! It’s 2012! Trucker hats are once again the exclusive province of truckers, Sugar Ray is… back on tour, and national hysteria is um… moving in new directions. It’s branching out. Hey, growth is important, am I right? And Portishead have not only toured extensively and released a stellar third album, but also spawned an exciting side project or two, one of which is Geoff Barrow’s critically acclaimed BEAK>.

BEAK>, the noirish krautrock project of Barrow, Matt Williams, and Billy Fuller just released their second album, known simply as >>. (Pronounce it how you want, I prefer to refer to is as “Robot Boobs, the new album by BEAK>.”) England’s venerable The Independent says that the band’s “second album sounds like Kraftwerk’s Autobahn driven by tractor,” which is — I assume — pretty much the English journalist equivalent of saying that Barrow & co. made a chopped ‘n’ screwed version of an already chopped ‘n’ screwed record. And for our lucky European friends, the perfect opportunity to bust out the syzzurp and get BEAK>ed (I’m sorry) is just around the bend! BEAK> are taking the show on the road this fall, playing several dates in the UK before venturing over to the continent for a few special dates. US fans, take note; the band is planning on making the trip stateside in early 2013.

>>/Robot Boobs is out now on Invada Records in the UK, and Ipecac in the US. If that’s not enough BEAK> for you, however, Invada is releasing a special-edition fabric box set version of the album, complete with bonus disc of 10 glistening previously unreleased tracks from the album sessions. This limited-edition box set will be available exclusively on the band’s November tourdates, and online via BEAK>’s website NOW. You can check out “0898,” one of the previously unreleased tracks, right here.

>> tracklisting:

01. The Gaol
02. Yatton
03. Spinning Top
04. Eggdog
05. Liar
06. Ladies’ Mile
07. Wulfstan II
08. Elevator
09. Deserters
10. Kidney


09.09.12 - Isle of Wight, UK - Bestival
09.14.12 - Lisbon, Portugal - Teatro Maria Matos
11.15.12 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
11.16.12 - Manchester, UK – Deaf Institute
11.17.12 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
11.18.12 - Dublin, Ireland – Whelan’s
11.21.12 - London, UK – Lexington
11.24.12 - Tours, France – Le Temps Machine
11.25.12 - Paris, France – Bbmix festival at Carré Bellefeuille de Boulogne-Billancourt
12.02.12 - Kortrijk, Belgium – Sonic City Festival

• BEAK>:
• Invada:
• Ipecac:

The Magnetic Fields hit the road this fall to spread some healthy disdain for Magnetic Fields fans

“Okay, okay,” you’re thinking to yourself, “I’ve been to a Magnetic Fields show before, and so Stephin Merritt’s always just a jerk. So what? Old News.” Well, you’d be half right about that. Yes, the guy has made a reputation (and possible marketing gimmick) out of being all blasé, drone-voiced, contradictory, and curmudgeonly on stage. But think about it here: this is your chance to see Stephin Merritt be a jerk… in THE FALL! Yes, he and his band of slightly less-jerks, the Magnetic Fields, have announced that they’ll be playing some US dates this fall in support of this year’s slightly-less-awesome Love at the Bottom of the Sea (TMT Review), and Merritt will probably be his droll-but-jerky self all over again in the crisp, blithe air of an exciting new meteorological season of tantalizing possibilities! That means that you can be made to feel like a fool for applauding while beautiful, multi-colored leaves gracefully slip from their branches just outside the auditorium, or listen to the melancholy strains of “The Dolls’ Tea Party” in the wake of the recent US presidential elections! It’ll be like a brand new experience!

Still not convinced? Well hows about if I were to tell you that, according the band’s website, select performances will also be treated to “a special opening reading by novelist Emma Straub, also known as The Mag Fields’ merch gal extraordinaire!”? You don’t get that kind of treat every time, now do you? And if one-on-one crowd-abuse is more your thing, the band has announced that more dates for September and October are fixing to announce themselves soon, including a few Stephin Merritt solo gigs, so you can really switch it up this time and get the full brunt of an annoyed Merritt who can’t stand the sight of you! There’s really something for everyone here.

Magnetic Fields Tour Fall 2012: Get Yelled at …in the Fall!

10.25.12 - Hudson, NY - Helsinki Hudson
11.14.12 - St. Louis, MO - Sheldon Concert Hall
11.15.12 - Detroit, MI - The Redford Theatre *
11.16.12 - Pittsburgh, PA - Carnegie Lecture Hall *
11.17-18.12 - Washington, DC - Sixth & I Synagogue *

* Emma Straub

• Magnetic Fields:
&bull: Merge:
• Emma Straub: