Sparks announce first-ever live album (after taking their precious time)

Sparks announce first-ever live album (after taking their precious time) http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1303/news-13-03-sparks.jpg

You would think a tenured institution like Sparks would have put out a live album by this point right? I mean, it’s been over 40 years since the Mael brothers released Halfnelson (later renamed Sparks) and they have over 20 albums under their belt, but never a live record? Well, that won’t be true for much longer, as Sparks have announced Two Hands One Mouth: Live in Europe.

Two Hands One Mouth, a two-disc set, chronicles the band’s 2012 tour that featured the brothers playing without a backing band (or a computerized facsimile of one), hence the title. As it was something the band had never really tried before on a major tour, they wanted to “celebrate the event with a souvenir for all Sparks fans,” the brothers write on their website, “that captures this tour and the unique format.” An interesting idea from a band that is known for their criss-crossing of genres and styles.

Two Hands One Mouth tracklisting:

CD 1:
01. Sparks Overture
02. Hospitality on Parade
03. Metaphor
04. Propaganda
05. At Home, At Work, At Play
06. Sherlock Holmes
07. Good Morning
08. Under The Table With Her
09. My Baby’s Taking Me Home
10. Singing In The Shower
11. The Wedding of Jacqueline Kennedy To Russell Mael
12. Excerpts from THE SEDUCTION OF INGMAR BERGMAN (“I Am Ingmar Bergman,” “Mr. Bergman How Are You?,” “We’ve Got To Turn Him ‘Round,” “He’s Home”)
13. Dick Around
14. Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth
15. This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us
16. The Rhythm Thief
17. Suburban Homeboy
18. When Do I Get To Sing ‘My Way’

CD2 (The Encore):
01. The Number One Song In Heaven
02. Beat The Clock
03. Two Hands One Mouth

The band is still taking this new live format on the road for a handful of dates in California next month too. If you’re a fan and you waited to buy tickets, you’re shit out of luck as most of the shows have sold out:

04.09.13 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
04.10.13 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel (sold out)
04.12.13 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
04.16.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Forever Cemetery (sold out)
04.17.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Forever Cemetery (sold out)
04.19.13 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

• Sparks: http://www.allsparks.com

RIP: Peter Banks, original Yes guitarist

From The New York Times:

Peter Banks, one of the founders of the popular British rock band Yes, died on March 7 at his home in London. He was 65.

The cause was heart failure, according to an announcement on the Web site of Flash, the band he formed after leaving Yes in the early 1970s.

Mr. Banks, a guitarist influenced as much by jazz as by rock, formed Yes in 1968 with the bassist Chris Squire, the singer Jon Anderson, the keyboardist Tony Kaye and the drummer Bill Bruford. The band’s name was Mr. Banks’s idea.

Yes was one of the first and most successful purveyors of what came to be called prog (short for progressive) rock, an adventurous style far removed from the simplicity of early rock ’n’ roll, with complex melody lines and unusual time signatures that required considerable virtuosity to master.

[…]

Mr. Banks played on the band’s first two albums, “Yes” and “Time and a Word,” before leaving to form Flash. He was replaced by Steve Howe, who remained with Yes for 11 years and has reunited with the band several times since then.

• Peter Banks: http://www.peterbanks.net

Thurston Moore and Loren Connors offer advice to those lost in hedge mazes in the form of a Record Store Day Exclusive on Northern Spy

My house is entirely surrounded by a hedge maze with 10-foot high walls. Usually it’s no problem at all. I mean, I’ve seen The Shining and read that one Harry Potter book; I am totally down with hedge maze strategy; and, as friends and lovers will attest, I love a good brain teaser now and then. Sometimes, though, a guy wants to get up a little later in the morning, he wants to not have to include a “hedge maze buffer” in his travel schedule (what the phrase “hedge maze buffer” lacks in creativity it makes up for in being exactly descriptive). Sometimes a guy wants to not have to constantly be looking over his shoulder wondering if that sound was the huff of a minotaur or just wind in the leaves.

Imagine my glee, then, when lateral problem-solving guitar kings Thurston Moore and Loren Connors announced their thinking-without-a-box solution to my morning complaints in the form of a Record Store Day-exclusive release: The Only Way to Go Is Straight Through. Straight through!!! What will my landlord think when I charge straight through his hedge maze?? I don’t care!! I’m not even sure my landlord exists!!! The collaboration comes in the form of two long-form live performances recorded on separate occasions last year, and it’ll be out on Northern Spy Records. The release date is set for Record Store Day a.k.a. April 20 (“Record Store Day Exclusive,” while also not terribly creative, pretty much sums it up exactly). Record Store Day, in case you were wondering, is kind of like Black Friday for people who like to buy records from people who also live in their neighborhood (and can therefore relate to their hedge maze issues). And it’s usually on a Saturday, I guess. It’s pretty cool if you’re into that sort of thing.

Thurston Moore is also on tour right now with his band Chelsea Light Moving. You can check out those dates below, or just simplify things and catch Thurston today at 4 PM, performing with Sunburned’s John Moloney as Caught On Tape!

The Only Way to Go Is Straight Through tracklisting:

01. Manhattan, NY - The Stone - July 14th, 2012
02. Brooklyn, NY - Public Assembly - October 17th, 2012

Chelsea Light Moving tourdates:

03.15.13 - Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
03.15.13 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
03.19.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex @
03.20.13 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall @
03.22.13 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir @
03.23.13 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s @
03.27.13 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock %
03.29.13 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle %
03.30.13 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick %
03.31.13 - Toronto, Ontario - Lee’s Palace
04.02.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls
04.03.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
04.04.13 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
04.05.13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
04.07.13 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair

@ Grass Widow
% Cave

• Loren Connors: http://www.fvrec.com/lorenconnors
• Thurston Moore: http://www.matadorrecords.com/thurston_moore
• Northern Spy: http://northernspyrecords.com

Demdike Stare’s Miles Whittaker announces solo debut, and probably like 90 other records while he’s at it

Man, I must be one impatient motherfucker. Because when I first read the news (via FACT) that Demdike Stare’s Miles Whittaker was releasing his first “proper solo LP” on Modern Love, my knee-jerk reaction was just kinda… “Shit what took this dude so damn long?” In case you were wondering, my second thought was that I seem to casually swear a lot, even in internal monologues. And my third thought was that I’m one cool son-of-a-bitch.

But enough about ME for a few sentences, let’s get back to Whittaker. Of course, the reason I was faintly shocked to realize that the dude hasn’t released a literal, honest-to-goodness, under-his-own-name solo-record yet is because of the sheer tonnage of shit that he has released for Modern Love to date, including his epic techno work with Gary Howell in Pendle Coven and the pair’s jungle jams as HATE, his batshit breakbeat adventures with Andy Stott as Millie and Andrea, his Suum Cuique noise project, and his perpetually badass Demdike Stare project (with Sean Canty), whose dark, dubby records we’re perpetually falling all over ourselves about.

But yo, forget about all those records. They’re CRAP. Because he’s dropping Faint Hearted next month under his own name (Miles), and it promises to be bigger, better, louder, quieter, harder, softer, cooler, hotter, phatter, leaner, hungier, and hornier than all of those other records put together! Seriously! That’s from the press release! Okay, no its not; but he does claim that it reflects the full range of his musical interests, from “robust and stripped Techno to washed-out Jungle and Ambient mutations” (Modern Love drops Mika Vainio, Plastikman, and Move D as points of reference). So yeah, April 8, man. Throw out all your other Modern Love records and buy this one. You bastard!

Faint Hearted tracklisting:

01. Lebensform
02. Irreligious
03. Status Narcissism
04. Sense Data
05. Rejoice
06. Archaic Thought Pattern 1
07. Queuing
08. Loran Dreams

• Miles Whittaker: https://soundcloud.com/miles-whittaker
• Modern Love: http://www.modern-love.co.uk

One of John Coltrane’s saxophones is up for auction; eventual owner needs to look into viability of cloning from saliva

The Wire reports that one of John Coltrane’s saxophones is being sold on eBay — add to your cart today for only $115,000!

This got me thinking; what’s the point of owning memorabilia? Sure, it’s cool to have an art book signed by Trent Reznor, or one of Steven Tyler’s scarves, or a pair of Genesis P-Orridge’s rubber underwear (I’m sure somebody would love those), but they only have as much value as an individual puts on them. Coltrane’s saxophone is valuable to the whole world, and here’s why: cloning. I am perfectly willing to admit my own ignorance in this realm but in my mind’s eye (through the lens of a Sci-Fi-addled brain) I see someone taking a sample of the hardened saliva residue no doubt located inside this saxophone, filling in the holes with the DNA of Bruno Mars (or a frog, whatever), and creating an army of Johns Coltrane that could conquer the world with Jazz.

Now, it’s possible this DNA is no longer viable; the saxophone was primarily used when Coltrane toured Japan in 1966. You can even hear it on some of the live recordings from that period. Whatever the case, the eventual owner of this massively important cultural artifact should get in touch; I may not have the resources (or knowhow) to clone a human, but with our combined intellects, I’m sure we could puzzle it out. Also, being able to touch a saxophone owned by Coltrane would be rad.

• John Coltrane: http://www.johncoltrane.com

Brokeback go on tour, easily escape the grasp of Tortoise

Though perhaps not by design, Chicago post-rock fixtures Tortoise have become the most appropriately named group in music. They put out records roughly twice a decade, they don’t tour a ton, they basically take things very slowly these days. As such, this leaves the members of Tortoise the freedom to pursue other ventures. Here is one of those such ventures: Brokeback, the instrumental group led by Tortoise bassist/guitarist Douglas McCombs. That very venture is going on tour later this month for a handful of dates through the Midwest and the East Coast. Not too may dates, because, hey, once a Tortoise member, always a Tortoise member. Furthermore, McCombs is still a member of Tortoise, so still a Tortoise member!

Earlier this year, Brokeback put out a new record, Brokeback and the Black Rock (see a video from that at the Chocolate Grinder). To continue with the inter-band relations, the record was produced by Tortoise member John McEntire. One would suppose that, between takes, the two sat sipping delicious gin and tonics and talking about days gone by. There’s always time to reminisce.

Brokeback dates:

03.23.13 - Hamtrammck, MI - New Dodge Lounge
03.24.13 - Toronto, ON - The Drake
03.25.13 - Boston, MA - TT the Bear’s #
03.26.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool #
03.27.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie #
03.28.13 - Baltimore, MD - Current Gallery %
03.29.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Smiling Moose
03.30.13 - Cincinnati, OH - Motr Pub @

# Thalia Zedek
% Peals, Nest, Bamboo, Napalm Def
@ Jim Greer

• Brokeback: http://www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Brokeback
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com