Stars of the Lid awake from their conjoined slumber, announce The Ballasted Orchestra reissue, UK live dates

Stars of the Lid awake from their conjoined slumber, announce The Ballasted Orchestra reissue, UK live dates

Adam Wiltzie may have spent 2011 scoring winged victories alongside Dustin O’Halloran, and Brian McBride may have spent 2010 achieving… well, buzzworthy success, but 2012 will be known, at least among ambient aficionados, as (hopefully) the beginning of a full-scale revival. Stars of the Lid haven’t released an album in five years, and they haven’t performed for an audience in over three years. All of that changes now.

Some of that changes now. Word of an entirely new, full-length album hasn’t yet been released (or really, even alluded to), but on January 7, Kranky will be reissuing the long out-of-print vinyl version of SOTL’s third studio album The Ballasted Orchestra, which, according to a press release, was remastered by Wiltzie earlier this year, and reportedly sounds “better than ever,” as though that were possible.

Additionally, next month, SOTL are scheduled to perform two shows in the UK — the first taking place on December 9 at ATP (curated by The National, and quite sold out), and the second occurring one day later at the Church of St John-at-Hackney in London, where they’ll be headlining. As if their mere presence wasn’t enough of a draw, the duo will be accompanied at both shows by a nine-piece string section, and presumably, visuals immersive enough to make you question your solid form.

How I long to be liquified with new material! Let’s hope they’re not just teasing us.

• Stars of the Lid:
• Kranky:

Pissed Jeans announce new album, new track, astronomic dry cleaning bill

By the time another dreadful holiday season (with all of its bullshit mirth and soul-sucking pseudo-cheer) drags its sorry, overweight, wheezing, bedraggled ass across the finish line sometime around mid-January, most folks are about ready to scream. Luckily, so are Pennsylvania-based sludge-fuckers Pissed Jeans! And according to the ‘Fork, they’ll have a new album out in February of next year for you to shred your lungs along to. Hey, neat; maybe whatever god you believe in really exists after all!

This new one, entitled Honeys, follows up 2009’s King of Jeans (TMT Review), which IMO was a great record to throw on after work for a good session of what I like to call ‘yelling at your own reflection in a full-length mirror in disgust!’ And on a less personal (and therefore less interesting) note, it also marks their third album for Sub Pop. While no specific February 2013 date seems to have been established just yet, you can get yourself an MP3 of the first taste of the new album, “Bathroom Laughter,” right now by surrendering your old college email address that you still use for things like this to the widget below. Which might be worth doing if you’re feeling me on the whole “frantic scream therapy” thing. After all, there’s a whole lot of bullshit to yell about, and we’re only at Thanksgiving, people.

• Pissed Jeans:
• Sub Pop:

[Photo: Jack Jeffries]

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James does the solo album cha cha, swerves into steampunk territory?

My Morning Jacket main man Jim James is releasing his first-ever solo album under his own name, called Regions of Light and Sound of God. “Oh ho,” you may be saying, because you are a steampunk. “But,” you may be saying because you are a My Morning Jacket superfan who just KNOWS TOO MUCH, “didn’t our merry bandleader release a debut solo EP back in 2009?” And to this I say, “No, dear friend, that EP was released under the cleverly disguised moniker Yim Yames and was therefore TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Totally different, people. In the anachronistic steampunk future, kids at record stores will be like, “Wow, bro, this Yim Yames fella sure does sound a lot like this Jim James fella.” And then their friends will be like, “Nah man, they’re TOTALLY DIFFERENT. You better get your monocle checked.”

Anyway, James’ debut solo LP under his own non Y-ed up name comes out February 5 via ATO and is based largely on Lynd Ward’s 1929 graphic novel God’s Man, a book about an artist dealing with corruption, temptation, and all that good stuff whilst discovering — ahhhhhhh — love. Says Jim James via the press release, “I wanted the album to sound like it came from a different place in time. Perhaps sounding as if it were the past of the future, if that makes any sense—like a hazy dream that a fully-realized android or humanoid capable of thought might have when it reminisces about the good old days of just being a simple robot.” After speaking these words, James donned a cape, doffed his top hat and hopped into his steam-powered brougham carriage, and disappeared off into the night. Fans were left to whisper among themselves, “Golly that does sound kinda steampunk, oof,” and post GIFs from that touchstone of the steampunk movement, Will Smith vehicle Wild Wild West (also starring Salma Hayek, in a career-defining role). Just kidding, fans. James’ record doesn’t actually sound like it was recorded by a sexy saloon girl robot in a dainty corset or whatever those people are into. It just sounds good.

Regions of Light and Sound of God will be available on CD, vinyl, tinny sounding 78 (just kidding! another joke!), digital download, and as a limited-edition package that includes a t-shirt, autographed print, keychain, and of course, a tote bag. Jim James also has some year-end shows with My Morning Jacket lined up on the East Coast, including one to ring in the New Year in Boston.

Regions of Light and Sound of God tracklisting:

01. State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)
02. Know Til Now
03. Dear One
04. A New Life
05. Exploding
06. Of the Mother Again
07. Actress
08. All Is Forgiven
09. God’s Love to Deliver


12.27.12 - Port Chester, NY - Capitol Theatre
12.28.12 - Port Chester, NY - Capitol Theatre
12.29.12 - Port Chester, NY - Capitol Theatre
12.31.12 - Boston, MA - Agganis Arena *

* Preservation Hall Jazz Band

• Jim James:
• My Morning Jacket:
• ATO:

Madlib to score Stones Throw Records documentary, assuming the documentary actually happens, and assuming you make it happen!

Non-vegan ladies and gentlemen, go into your refrigerators and gather some eggs; my face may require some yolk-smearing in the very near future.

About a month ago, I wrote about director/producer Jeff Broadway’s launching of a Kickstarter campaign to fund Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records), a documentary about the innovative Los Angeles-based hip-hop label. At the time, the campaign had raised about $11,000 in six days, so I naturally assumed that it would easily reach its $35,000 goal at some point in the remaining 39 days. Well, now, with less than 10 days left, the campaign is still an unhealthy (though not insurmountable) $13,000 short, and the documentary will unquestionably be scrapped, or at least delayed for an indefinite period of time, if the difference isn’t made up. I’ll also have to question, on my part, the existence of supernatural jinxing powers, but that’s a separate issue.

The individuals behind Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton are undoubtedly aware that time is running out, which is why they’ve released news of a phat incentive to keep the money flowing: dedicated Stones Throw partner and legendary DJ/producer Madlib will be writing and recording the original score for the film. His original work will appear alongside Stones Throw material, both new and old, on the original soundtrack, set to be released with the film as a part of a 2-disc DVD/CD Collector’s Edition Box Set. You’ll receive the package automatically if you pledge $50 to the project’s Kickstarter campaign.

Meanwhile, if you don’t pledge $50, you’re basically increasing the documentary’s chances of never coming to full fruition. Do you really want that on your conscience?

• Stones Throw:

The Flaming Lips to host upcoming McSweeney’s radio special with Eleanor Friedberger, Bill Callahan, Oneida, and rising pop chanteuse Dave Eggers

Finally! Didn’t those printed-word chauvinists over at McSweeney’s know that everyone’s been waiting for a one-hour radio special centered around the hair-brained, brain-haired, gravel-voiced antics of fearless Flaming Lips frontman Wayne “Huge Hands” Coyne and a goofball supporting cast of contributors such as Eleanor Friedberger, Bill Callahan, Nico Muhly, Okkervil River, Oneida, and several others way too TBD to even name for, like… EVER?!?

Well, even if they didn’t before, they sure has heck know now, because Pitchfork told them so. The special, which was commissioned by McSwz (that’s the iPhone shortcut that my friends and I have for “McScweeney’s,” bt-dubs) and created by writer Richard “Radio Show Commissionee” Parks, is going down at 5 PM Hippie Time (PST) on November 24 and 25 in L.A. (and on everywhere else on the planet). In typical Wayne Coyne fashion, it’ll consist of a “continuous-play radio drama in the style of Mercury Theatre’s War of the Worlds” that concerns (however loosely) an imaginary, head-shaped tumor growing inside of Wayne Coyne’s otherwise seersucker-clad leg. Meanwhile, relief from that main plot will come in the form of new compositions from the likes of the Lips themselves, as well as all those people I just mentioned a second ago up in the hilarious first paragraph of this epic news bulletin.

But what I totally didn’t tell you up there in that now-famous first paragraph everyone keeps talking about, even though I fucking knew it all along, is that in addition to those folks, Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste, Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd, “This American Life“‘s Jack Hitt, comedian Paul F. Tomkins, Coyne’s wife Michelle Martin-Coyne, and The Flaming Lips’ manager Scott Booker will also appear! Out of thin air! I know what you’re thinking already, though; and the answer is this: YES, someone is actually out there conspicuously managing the increasingly batshit career of The Flaming Lips.

• McSweeney’s:
• The Flaming Lips:

Austin Psych Fest shares 2013 lineup: Deerhunter, Boris, Quintron, and others who are not Hugh Laurie

As if Austin, TX didn’t have enough live music to offer the world — what with SXSW in March, Austin City Limits in the summer, and all of the normal activity in support of the area’s claim as the live music capital of the world — we bring you news of another stellar looking festival. The 6th annual Austin Psych Fest will take place at Carson Creek Ranch over the weekend of April 26-28 and will feature a who’s who of the world’s greatest Korean pop cover bands. Oh, my bad — that’s the Austin Psy Festival, which only takes place in my head.

The initial lineup of artists lives up to the festival’s name, offering up a plethora of local and international acts who fit somewhere along the ever-expanding swathe of sounds that comprise the term ‘psych’ (with its many prefixes, suffixes, and sub-genres). Highlights include Deerhunter, Acid Mothers Temple, Boris, and Goat, with the full initial lineup below. More acts will be announced in January along with the release of a retrospective DVD of the 2012 event, but festival passes are available now for $120. Get your weird on this spring without the hassle of waiting in a million lines to see mostly untested acts (à la SXSW).

Austin Psych Festival initial lineup:

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The Black Angels
Black Mountain
Man Or Astroman?
The King Khan & Bbq Show
The Growlers
Acid Mothers Temple
Quintron & Miss Pussycat
The Soft Moon
White Fence
Dead Skeletons
The Warlocks
Black Bananas
The Black Ryder
Elephant Stone
The Laurels
Gary War
The Cult Of Dom Keller
Golden Animals
Holydrug Couple
Vinyl Williams

• Austin Psych Fest: