Sonic Youth Drummer Forms New Band, The High Confessions; Generates Subsequent News Coverage that Causes People to Put on Sonic Youth Records

Sonic Youth Drummer Forms New Band, The High Confessions; Generates Subsequent News Coverage that Causes People to Put on Sonic Youth Records

Steve Shelley has really gotten the short shrift, don’t you think? I mean, for example: WAIT, WHO IS STEVE SHELLEY?

Exactly. So pay attention, now. Steve Shelley is the sure handed, rock-solid, badass-and-don’t-you-forget-it time keeper in Sonic Youth, who makes it possible for Moore and Gordon and Ranaldo to walk all of those crazy guitar-centric tightropes that they walk. And now he’s stepping out for little walking of his own with a new band, The High Confessions, which features Shelley alongside industrial legend Chris Connelly (Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Pigface), Chicago metal mainstay Sanford Parker (Minsk, Nachtmystium, Buried at Sea), and engineer Jeremy Lemos of the band White/Light.

And if the whole thing sounds a little… well, metal to you, I guess it should. Metal label Relapse Records is releasing the band’s debut album this summer. And that album’s title, Turning Lead Into Gold With the High Confessions, even goes so far as to reference two distinct kinds of metal. Relapse is describing the High Confessions’ sound as “a real heavy, psychedelic rock.” Duh.

And while there are no live dates to post as of yet for the new supergroup, Shelley is performing with Lemos’ band White/Light at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art as part of an interactive music installation. So maybe that’ll shed a little bit of light on the prospect of awesomeness to come. Man, I sure hope these guys have come to take out the hacky, metal-tinged supergroup trash that is Them Crooked Vultures, don’t you?

• The High Confessions:
• Relapse Records:

[Photo: Anna Cerniglia]

Xiu Xiu Tour, Fundraise for San Francisco Nonprofit

San Francisco noise-pop specialists Xiu Xiu are experts at fan interactivity. They’ve conducted contests on their “band hotline” phone number, taken portraits of every individual in attendance on Jamie Stewart’s solo tour, and posted fan responses to online questionnaires on their blog. Now the band is using their PR wizardry to help out a local cause. While on tour, the band will be collecting donations in-person and online for At The Crossroads, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps street youth through counseling, outreach, and other services. Like those PBS fundraisers, the band will offer a special gift for every level of donation, and the band’s prizes are way more badass than any public television swag (except for maybe a Joy of Painting with Bob Ross canvas tote).

• $1 (show only): Everyone who donates a dollar or more at the show will get together at the end of the show for a big group picture. The band will then post these pictures online.
• $5: The band will mail you a postcard, probably made by Xiu Xiu, sent while on the road.
• $10: Xiu Xiu will email a one-of-a-kind picture of the band on the road and a description of what’s going on before and after, not during.
• $30: The band will mail you any random thing bought at a gas station, thrift store, or anywhere from the road.
• $50: The band will mail you a special David Horvitz collection of Xiu Xiu photos.

If Xiu Xiu receives $5000 in donations, they will release a free download of a song: a previously unreleased collaboration with Mary Pearson from High Places. But wait, there’s more! At the end of the fundraiser, the band will read the name of every donor on camera and post the video online.

To review: help out struggling youth, get a neat prize, and have your deed recognized publicly on the internets. Oh, and see Xiu Xiu play in your town.

03.05.10 - Greensboro, NC - Guilford College
03.06.10 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn * ^
03.07.10 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree * ^
03.09.10 - Little Rock, AR - Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack * ^
03.10.10 - Norman, OK - Opolis Productions * ^
03.11.10 - Dallas, TX - The Cavern * ^
03.12.10 - Houston, TX - The Studio at Warehouse Live *
03.13.10 - Austin, TX - Red 7 * ~
03.15.10 - Tempe, AZ - Sail Inn *
03.16.10 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture * #
03.17.10 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah * %
03.18.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo * %
03.19.10 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place * %
03.20.10 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill * %
03.23.10 - Olympia, WA - Northern %
03.24.10 - Portland, OR - Holocene %
03.25.10 - Boise, ID - Neurolux % !
03.26.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge % $
03.27.10 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive % $
03.29.10 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon % $
03.30.10 - St. Louis, MO - Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center % $ +
03.31.10 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador % $
04.01.10 - Northfield, MN - The Cave at Carleton College % $
04.02.10 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry % $
04.03.10 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall % $ &
04.05.10 - Oberlin, OH - The Dionysus Discotheque % $
04.07.10 - Cleveland, OH - The Spot % $
04.08.10 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place %
04.09.10 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom % &
04.10.10 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Downstairs %
04.12.10 - Amherst, MA - Hampshire College Red Barn
04.13.10 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church %
04.14.10 - Washington, DC - DC9 %
04.15.10 - Richmond, VA - The Canal Club Downstairs Lounge %
04.16.10 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 %
04.17.10 - Detroit, MI - Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
04.29.10 - Krems, Austria - Donaufestival @

* Noveller
^ Girl in a Coma
~ Jonathan Mieberg (Shearwater)
# Extra Life
% tUnE-YarDs
! Scout Niblett
$ Talk Normal
+ Br’er
& Zola Jesus
@ with Deerhoof (performing Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures)

Xiu Xiu’s latest album, Dear God, I Hate Myself, comes out today via Kill Rock Stars. Check out the video of “Gray Death” at the Chocolate Grinder.

• Xiu Xiu:
• At The Crossroads:

[Photo: Shiver Shi]

Leaked ACTA Draft Implements DMCA Rules Instead of Three Strikes, Still Kinda Sucks

At our year-end festivus a couple months ago (still can’t believe it’s a new decade), we (wait, I) reported on movements of The Pirate Bay (TMT Feature). Of particular note, we mentioned that Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations will likely continue in January in Stockholm, HQ of the rising Pirate Party. And since January was just last month, it was only a matter of time before someone leaked a memo or a draft or something…

Oh, hey look! A leaked draft of ACTA (PDF)!

While you can read all the juicy legal and political details there, we can summarize the important information in two sentences:

• Good News: Graduated response (a.k.a., three-strikes) is off the table, at least on a mandatory legal level (it is still “encouraged”).
• Bad News: The treaty will basically implement the rules from the US’s Digital Millenium Copyright Act on an international scale.

While this basically means that Americans like you and I will barely notice any significant changes to the law on a national level, our brethren across both ponds will start to feel the effects of the draconian DMCA, with all the good (ISP safe harbor rules, fair use exemptions) and bad (takedown notices, DRM everywhere) features. It’s like a Toyota Corrolla: it’s great, if you get past the fact that two key components can hurt you. Canadians will also take concern, as the takedown model runs against their model of notice-and-notice, which has been successful.

You may wonder why the DMCA’s in play. Turns out the majority of proposals in play were proposed by the US delegation, with backing from Vice President Biden and Attorney General Holder, as well as the RIAA. That said, it will be hard to impose what is essentially a US treaty on other nations, and the EU has already begun to push back. Further, with graduated response — the savior of both the RIAA and the IFPI (its international counterpart) — being mostly pushed aside, their position has been weakened significantly, as we will be reporting later this week. (Stop by, there’ll be pancakes.) Still, the industry is in a promising position, with new rounds of talks happening in March and June, signifying an attempt at completion by the end of the year.

Perhaps, worse comes to worse, we could always call Ron Paul.

(Porn) Actress Sasha Grey to Release Two Industrial Albums with her Band aTelecine

Is there anything worse than the it-actress vanity album? At best, overly precious efforts from the likes of Zooey Deschanel and Scarlet Johansson teeter on the brink of tolerability, but at their lowest points these sacchariny records can feel like Michael Cera dropping a train car full of (500) Days of Summer (TMT Review) DVDs on your head.

Thank Gaia, then, for Sasha Grey: pornographic actress, star of Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience (TMT Review), Current 93 collaborator, and eerie industrial musician to boot (She took her stage name from KMFDM’s Sascha Konietzko, after all). In 2008, Grey formed aTelecine, an industrial/noise band featuring Grey on guitar as well as sharing vocal and tape loop duties with bandmates Pablo St. Francis and Anthony Djuan. aTelecine’s debut And 6 Dark Hours Pass is due in early April via Dais Records (thanks for the tip, Ryan!), and not even before the month ends, another release, A Cassette Tape Culture, is slated for April 27 on Pendu Sound Recordings (Talibam!, Ghost Moth, Mialessot). Judging from the tracks available on the band’s MySpace, they will most likely be unavailable for purchase at your local Starbucks.

• aTelecine:
• Dais Records:
• Pendu Sound Recordings:

Animal Collective and Danny Perez Collaborate on Piece For Guggenheim

Animal Collective, your favorite band of all time ever, and filmmaker Danny Perez are collaborating on a piece to be performed March 4 at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. If the name Danny Perez sounds familiar, it’s because your favorite band of all time ever collaborated with him previously on the recently released ODDSAC film (TMT Review). Their latest team-up, Transverse Temporal Gyrus, is a multimedia piece featuring video projections, costumes, and props, along with an original recorded score composed by Animal Collective. All of the aforementioned will be used to create a psychedelic environment that the audience can freely explore throughout the performance. It will be like entering Animal Collective’s mind! A dream come true for 92.43% (statistic estimated/made up) of this site’s readership!

Gain a little more insight into Animal Collective’s headspace with this quote describing their inspiration for the piece:

One of the things that you notice almost immediately in the jungle are the birds; so many different sounds coming from so many different directions. Are they communicating to each other? What are they saying? Does each variation serve a purpose? Why are there repetitions? Is there a pattern or is that just your imagination? If you don’t know the first thing about bird songs, these questions can rack a brain for days. The jungle seems louder than most New York apartments but its symbiosis makes it subtler if not more pleasing to foreign ears. The longer you sit awake in bed listening at night, the more you hear. It brings to mind Jane Goodall hanging out with chimpanzees in Tanzania and how she noticed them reacting to distant or inaudible sounds that at first she couldn’t hear, but as her ears adapted to the environment after months she began to hear them too.

But as the environments around us change quickly, as people encroach more and more on land where only select symbioses occur, we wonder how this will change the sounds around us and how this alters the way we hear things and react to them. As New Yorkers we are all familiar with the everyday noise around us—the car alarms, the subway trains braking, the music in bars—so familiar that sometimes we drown them out. But then do we not realize how these sounds are affecting us? How they make us feel or act? With this in mind we wanted to create an environment where people could take some time to listen to other kinds of sounds and get away from those familiar sounds of the city. Keeping in mind the birds of the jungle, we’ve created an array of sounds with Animal Collective’s music that is seemingly random… or is it? We invite you to come take some time out and sit with us. As time passes it is our hope that you will wonder if you are hearing songs or patterns or maybe simply hearing more. The visual work of Danny Perez has been incorporated to turn the environment of an empty museum into a more mysterious hideaway. The core elements and colors are worked into the piece in order to unite this room of sound with the inside of your brain. We hope you enjoy.

Animal Collective taking inspiration from animals? Nothing has ever made more sense! Tickets for the performance can be purchased from the Guggenheim’s website; however, they appear to be completely sold out. Here’s hoping someone got you a great birthday present. Otherwise, work on your cat burglar skills. If they can steal priceless jewels and paintings, surely they can sneak into a simple Animal Collective performance.

• Animal Collective:
• Danny Perez:

Bang on a Can and Dirty Projector Dave Longstreth Cut The Ribbon On New Pieces

On February 24, two generations of the musical vanguard are collaborating on an effort that is sure to be as entertaining as it will be unpredictable. Evergreen new music pioneers Bang on a Can All-Stars are performing a handful of new compositions by Dirty Projectors’ uniquely talented Dave Longstreth. Both parties have well-earned reputations for making and breaking music, so expect the unexpected. It’s a match made in… well, New York (where else?).

The ambiguously evocative titles of Longstreth’s pieces (“Instructional Video,” “Breakfast at J&M,” and “Matt Damon”) hint at the zany adventure that’s in store. The All-Stars will also perform pieces by Oscar Bettison, Christine Southworth, and the Swedish ambient-funk composer Nik Bärtsch. For those of you who have the opportunity to bear witness, it’s all going down at exactly 7:29 PM at Merkin Concert Hall.

[Full disclosure: Deno once interned for Cantaloupe, the label owned by Ban on a Can.]

• Dirty Projectors:
• Bang on a Can All-Stars:


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