Steve Albini mutters some facts about the new Shellac record from the comfort of his coveralls

Steve Albini mutters some facts about the new Shellac record from the comfort of his coveralls http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1305/news-13-05-shellac.jpg

So, I think I’m on the right side of history when I say, “I want more albums to be announced in the form of awkward video interviews.” Boy howdy do I want more albums to be announced in the form of awkward video interviews!! I mean, for one, since they’re more visual than blog posts and press releases (duh!) it’ll let us all get a good look at our favorite artists, coveralls, unidentified beverages, and all. What’s more, since there’s not much to be done with videos aside from posts saying, “Here look at this,” it’ll free up some time in my schedule for things like sleeping and learning to love myself more honestly. Awkward video interviews are the goddamn future.

Since we all know Steve Albini is so invested in the future, it should come as no surprise that he’s on the avant garde as far as awkward video album release announcements go (omg! do you think the video camera that the interviewer used was digital??). As you can see below, you’ve got eight whole minutes of uncomfortable silences, odd misunderstandings, and vague responses from the man himself to look forward to. And that all comes after what I imagine was a protracted period in which Albini insisted on setting up several room mics to capture the “natural sound of [his] voice” for the video.

For being eight minutes long, though, the video actually announces very little (I can’t help but wonder: is this a sign of things to come? I look forward to a 30-minute extravaganza in which a band like, I don’t know, Vampire Weekend announces little more than the existence of an announcement). As of yet, the album has no title, and no release date, though it will likely be put out by the zombie of Touch & Go. No artwork yet either, but when the artwork comes, it will almost definitely be better than anything Uriah Heep ever made. There will be nine, or maybe eight, possibly 10, no probably just nine songs on it, and one of them will be a song about how humans are monkeys called “Dude, Incredible” (could also be “Dude Incredible” sans comma. The one downside to videos is the clues you get re: comma placement are pretty scant; it could be “,,,Dude,, Incredible,,,,,” for all I know). Shellac’s also doing a few dates in Europe right around now. If you’re nearby, I recommend catching the shows so you too can have the chance to argue with Mr. Albini regarding whether or not he’s played at certain venues if you ever interview run in to him at Whole Foods.

Tourdates:

05.19.13 - Vienna, Austria - Arena Wien Open Air
05.22-26.13 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
05.26.13 - Frankfurt, Germany - Batschkapp
05.27.13 - Leipzig, Germany - Conne Island
05.28.13 - Hamburg, Germany - Übel & Gefährlich
05.29.13 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain/Panorama Bar
05.30.13-06.01.13 - Porto, Portugal - Primavera Sound Festival

• Shellac: http://www.touchandgorecords.com/bands/band.php?id=22
• Touch & Go: http://www.touchandgorecords.com

Neutral Milk Hotel add more reunion shows, boost online traffic

Get this: Neutral Milk Hotel reunite for a small world tour. I report this. A week passes — they announce 11 more shows, from Baltimore to Chattanooga to Melbourne. I’m on it again. So far so good.

But now I get word of another batch of shows in the East and Midwest being announced sometime in the near future. This I can’t report on. I really want to, but it’s impossible. The details just haven’t been released yet. It’s actually kind of bullshit. These new shows are fine, but what about the shows we don’t know anything about? Why don’t we know what they are? I’d like to know. These new dates are old now and I want the newer ones. I want them. Give me the newer dates. What are they.

10.11.13 - Baltimore, MD - 2640 Space (St. John’s Church) *
10.12.13 - Richmond, MA - The National *
10.14.13 - Covington, KY - Madison Theater *
10.15.13 - Urbana, IL - The Canopy Club *
10.18.13 - Memphis, TN - Minglewood Hall *
10.19.13 - Chattanooga, TN - Track 29 *
10.20.13 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City *
10.22.13 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club *
10.23.13 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club #
10.25.13 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium (Mountain Oasis Festival) $%
10.26.13 - Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle $
11.10.13 - Melbourne, Australia - Harvest
11.16.13 - Sydney, Australia - Harvest
11.17.13 - Brisbane, Australia - Harvest
11.28.13 - Taipei, Taiwan - Hostess Club Taipei
12.01.13 - Tokyo, Japan - Hostess Club Weekender

* Elf Power
$ Half Japanese
% Daniel Johnston

• Neutral Milk Hotel: http://walkingwallofwords.com

Chromatics and Symmetry among the upcoming artists demonstrating how Italians (still) Do It Better

The bedazzled disco witches over at Italians Do It Better are stirring up a few new releases/reissues/whatever-ya-wanna-call-‘em at some undisclosed, mysterious point in the near future. Disco witches never reveal their secrets… until their magic ear potions are almost up in stores, of course. Witches are capitalists, too, y’all! Anyway, the tripped-out Candyland world that brought you Chromatics and Symmetry is bringing you some more of what you like, with a virtual cornucopia of releases from said artists.

Conjured up from some seriously magickal spellwork comes the vinyl version of Chromatics’ Running from the Sun release, which includes a bunch of gems from the Kill for Love (TMT Review) sessions that didn’t make it onto that album. These include an alternate take on the track “Kill for Love” and a cover of the Rodgers and Hart song that made yer grandma squeal, “Blue Moon.” The disco witches have also stewed up a couple 12-inch releases of previously released tracks “Cherry” and “Tick of the Clock.” Plus: The Messenger, an album by label wizard Johnny Jewel’s Symmetry project that only got a promo release back in 2011 but is now getting a proper vinyl release. Look for these in stores on a date that is not today.

Chromatics’ Running From the Sun tracklisting:

01. Dreaming in Color
02. Red Car
03. Kill for Love
04. Last Wish
05. Running From the Sun
06. Disintegration
07. These Streets Will Never Look the Same
08. Blue Moon

Chromatics’ Tick of the Clock 12-inch tracklisting:

01. Tick of the Clock (Film Edit)
02. Tick of the Clock (Visione’s The Stroke of Midnight Remix)
03. Tick of the Clock (Extended Overdrive)

Chromatics’ Cherry 12-inch tracklisting:

01. Cherry
02. Candy (Original Version)
03. Headlight’s Glare
04. Ceremony (ft. Ida No)
05. At Your Door
06. Cherry (I Can’t Keep Running)
07. Vertigo
08. Cherry (Instrumental)

Symmetry’s The Messenger tracklisting:

01. Recurring Dream
02. The Messenger
03. Vanishing Point
04. Carousel
05. Waiting Room
06. Uptown Rain
07. Thicker Than Blood
08. Roulette
09. Lost In Time
10. Tunnel Vision
11. Surface Control
12. The Dancer
13. The Hunt

• Chromatics: http://www.facebook.com/CHROMATICSBAND
• Symmetry/Johnny Jewel: https://soundcloud.com/johnnyjewel
• Italians Do It Better: http://vivaitalians.blogspot.com

Raster Noton expands their catalogue of minimalist, computer-based rhythms with Aoki Takamasa’s RV8

I used to lay my head next to my computer at work and pretend that the little noises coming from inside of it were the sounds of a muffled, itty-bitty club playing electronic music. Often my boss would come over, place a hand on my shoulder and quietly ask if I was alright. My response, always without lifting my head or moving, was “shhhh, I can’t hear the miniature dance party in my computer while you’re talking.”

Thank heavens I found out about Raster Noton and their brand of groovy computer minimalism; those visits to the in-house psychologist were beginning to wear on me. And with their impending release of Aoki Takamasa’s album RV8 I will, in the event that I get sent back there, have something to play the psychologist whilst I say “see SEE, this is what the tiny disco in my computer sounds like.” It will probably be a longer session, but totally worth it to make her understand the joy of beeping computers.

Humble reader, I implore you: watch the newly-released video for “Rhythm Variation 06” below, directed by Hisaki Ito, and then place you ear next to your computer and be still. Are the sounds not similar? Does the fun-size fiesta move through you? If you have been converted, consider gripping a copy of RV8 when it lands on June 11 and playing it for your office. Let the diminutive RAM rave breathe in them as well.

RV8 tracklisting:

01. Rhythm Variation 01
02. Rhythm Variation 02
03. Rhythm Variation 03
04. Rhythm Variation 04
05. Rhythm Variation 05
06. Rhythm Variation 06
07. Rhythm Variation 07
08. Rhythm Variation 08

• Aoki Takamasa: http://www.aokitakamasa.com
• Raster Noton: http://www.raster-noton.net

Rivers Cuomo announces Japanese-language album made with guy from Allister, evidently is in possession of my high school journal

When I was 17, I listened to Weezer’s 1996 record Pinkerton, the record that made public Rivers Cuomo’s fascination with Japan, every day. If I wasn’t listening to Pinkerton, I was probably listening to Alkaline Trio or the 2003 Warped Tour compilation CD. That compilation contained a song by the pop-punk group Allister called “Somewhere on Fullerton.” While I enjoyed that song at the time, I have never thought of Allister outside of that particular context.

As Pitchfork reports, Rivers Cuomo and Scott Murphy, formerly of Allister, have made a self-titled Japanese-language record under the name Scott & Rivers, released by Delicious Deli (a Universal Music Japan imprint). Clearly, Rivers Cuomo has gained possession of my high school diary. How did he get it? Actually, my high school diary was just a LiveJournal page. How does Rivers Cuomo know about my high school LiveJournal?

Anyway, the record is out now in digital format through Delicious Deli and Universal Music Japan. You can watch the video for the record’s first single “Homely Girl” below. It sounds basically about how you might expect, while also probably being better than every Weezer song of the past five years. There’s also a tracklist, which you can see below. You might note that “Butterfly” is on that tracklist and, also, that “Butterfly” is the name of the last song on Pinkerton. Is it the same song, but in Japanese? I have no idea.

Scott & Rivers tracklist:

01. Break Free
02. Homely Girl
03. Freakin’ Love My Life
04. おかしいやつ
05. 朝は近い
06. 終わりのないこの詩
07. 遠く離れても
08. I Need Somebody
09. はじける
10. ほどけていたんだ
11. Butterfly
12. 君と二人で

• Scott & Rivers: https://www.facebook.com/scottandrivers
• Rivers Cuomo: http://riverscuomo.com
• Delicious Deli: http://www.universal-music.co.jp/delideli

Sled Island: a place where Swans, Mount Eerie, and The Jesus and Mary Chain share tunes and cheery mugs of cocoa

Sled Island! It sounds like a magical winter playground where it’s never uncomfortably cold, snowmen dance and sing with you, and everyone’s skis are made of candy canes. Sled Island! Yes, that’s right: for seven years, Calgary, Alberta has kept the plains rockin’ with its wondrously-named festival, and this year over 250 bands will converge upon good old Stampede City, which is, according to Wikipedia, a nickname for this fair town situated “in an area of foothills and prairie.” Sounds bucolic!

From June 19-22, the likes of OFF!, The Thermals, The Besnard Lakes, and Suuns will descend upon this hard rockin’ prairie city, taking over 30 or so downtown Calgary venues. Art! Film! Comedy! It’s all there at Sled Island, where Swans wander into gumdrop forests to build snowmen that sing Mac DeMarco songs and everyone toasts each other with a cheery mug of hot cocoa spiked with heavy quantities of cheap whiskey. The lineup also includes The Jesus and Mary Chain, Explosions in the Sky, Divine Fits, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Iceage, Superchunk, Colin Stetson, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Torche, Metz, Tim Hecker, Thee Oh Sees, The Night Marchers, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, John K. Samson, Mount Eerie, BadBadNotGood, Ryan Hemsworth, White Lung, Javelin, The Ghostlamp Killer, Jerusalem Is My Heart, Keys N’ Krates, Ken Mode, THEESatisfaction, Samantha Savage Smith, Renny Wilson, Cousins, and Pete Swanson.

And, of course, like 200+ more bands. Tickets are available online, so nab ‘em.

• Sled Island: http://www.sledisland.com

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