Steve Reich readies new album WTC 9/11, takes off hat to reveal second hat underneath

Steve Reich readies new album WTC 9/11, takes off hat to reveal second hat underneath

Steve Reich is 74 years old, man. He’s seen some shit, heard some shit, lived through some wars, won some Grammy awards and Polar Prizes, and even earned himself a little trifle of a thing called the Pulitzer Prize for Music. So what if the kids are coming up from behind with their free downloads and interactive 3D webstreams and albums-as-iPad-apps and name-your-price fish n’ chips wrapped in limited-edition newspapers and whatever the hell else? Reich is gonna do what he always does, dammit: gather some stellar ensembles and put out an album’s worth of his recent compositions on Nonesuch. Suck it, Björk.

WTC 9/11 is the title of the newest collection from the experimental composer and minimalist (chillwaver) who brought us such washed-out classics as It’s Gonna Rain, Different Trains, Piano Phase, and Double Sextet. The new album’s title track (“WTC 9/11”) was commissioned for and recorded by the world’s resident group of chamber-music-badasses, the Kronos Quartet, and uses live instrumentation and tape to present a reflection on the meanings of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City from the perspective of 10 years later. The 15-minute piece first premiered this past March at Duke University and was co-commissioned by Barbican Centre, Carnegie Hall, Duke University, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Damn, that’s a badass list of backers.

In true punk rock fashion, the album will also include a couple of scrappy, off-the-cuff B-sides, including the 2009 piece Mallet Quartet performed by So Percussion and 2002’s Dance Patterns, performed by members of Steve Reich and Musicians. When asked if any of the tracks would possibly be available for streaming on Bandcamp, Reich simply shook his head, gave his baseball cap a quick tug, and disappeared into the ether while strains of Electric Counterpoint rang out, seeming to emanate from both everywhere and nowhere at all.

• Steve Reich:
• Nonesuch:

Beirut unleashes The Rip Tide on new album and tours in hopes of seeing Rip Torn in the front row

Zach Condon, the rock world’s most famous living ukulele player (R.I.P. Tiny Tim), has been summoned by the siren call of the road from the absinthe-scented, swingin’ 1930s gypsy jazz club in Paris’ Montmartre neighborhood where he lives while he’s not making records or playing every summer festival ever. The man behind Beirut has a new album in the works, so it’s goodbye to nights spent exchanging witty repartees with the gin-sozzled ghosts of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Louise Brooks and HELLOOOOO to a four-month-long bus tour through every single city in Europe and America. This is Beirut’s first US tour in over four years, however, so dust off your hat box, Ghost Louise Brooks, and get on the bus! A show like this hasn’t traversed America since the golden days of vaudeville!

Because not only is Condon bringing his usual ukulele, trumpet, and pianey on the road, he’s also bringing some musically inclined friends. Accordion/piano dude Perrin Cloutier, Paul Collins (electric bass, upright bass), Ben Lanz (trombone, piano, tuba), Kelly Pratt (trumpet, euphonium), and Nick Petree (drums) are also coming along for the ride. (ACCORDION! EUPHONIUM!) And it’s all in support of the new Beirut album The Rip Tide, coming out August 30 on his own Pompeii Records. The new album is being described as more of an “inward journey,” with less Jacques Brel-eqsue songs about lost love in dark Parisian ghost cafes and more songs about “impressions of life at a quarter century of age,” presumably in this year of our Lord 2011 instead of sweet, faded 1931.


07.09.11 - Trencin, Slovakia - Pohoda
07.12.11 - Arles, France - Arles Fest
07.14.11 - Meco, Portugal - Super Bock Super Rock
07.16.11 - Valencia, Spain - Benicassim Festival
07.18.11 - Lyon, France - Les Nuits de Fourviere
07.20.11 - Nyon, Switzerland - Paleo Festival
07.29.11 - Portland, ME - State Theater
07.31.11 - Montreal, QC - Osheaga
08.02.11 - Toronto, ON - The Phoenix
08.04.11 - Toronto, ON - The Phoenix *
08.05-07.11 – Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08.10.11 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore
08.12.11 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
08.14.11 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands
09.02.11 - Dorset, UK - End of Road Festival
09.04.11 - Stradbally, Ireland - Electric Picnic
09.06.11 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Academy
09.08.11 - Amsterdamn, Netherlands - Paradiso
09.12.11 - Paris, France - Olympia
09.14.11 - Brussels, Belgium - AB
09.16.11 - London, UK - Brixton Academy
09.21.11 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
09.22.11 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
09.28.11 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
10.04.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
10.09.11 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
10.11.11 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Hall
10.25.11 - Richmond, VA - The National
10.27.11 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
10.29.11 - Austin, TX - Stubbs Waller Creek
11.11.11 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogarts
11.13.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory

* Owen Pallett

• Beirut:

The Avalanches to reissue Since I Left You with bonus material and glossier digipak

In the not-so-long-but-pretty-well-storied history of electronic music, 10+ years really isn’t that long to wait for a follow-up album. Portishead perfected the art of the hiatus, occasionally releasing teaser tracks, changing up the band’s website interface to make it seem as if OH GOD MAYBE SOMETHING IS ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN, and just plain being awesome enough that fans and bootleggers around the world are inspired to ceaselessly gossip about the possibility of new tours/albums/collaborations/ANYTHING.

Well, if Portishead laid the mold, The Avalanches ran it through and posted it all over your Facebook wall. Over the past few years, every little bleep, hint, or lovely rumor has been taken by fans to be a harbinger of things to come from the vacationing Australians. But this time, THIS TIME, maybe it’s true. After all, this marks the 10th anniversary of the band’s album Since I Left You (which made #40 on our Favorite 100 Albums of 2000-2009 list), and to celebrate, Modular Records is doing the deluxe packaging, reissue dance!

Not only do you get the original album, but you’ll get a bonus disc chock full of remixes from the likes of El Guincho, MF DOOM, Black Dice, Canyons, and Jackson and His Computer Band, plus B-sides! demo tracks! rarities! and remixes The Avalanches have done of other bands! Tracklist and other info are still forthcoming, but like that follow-up album, they’re said to be on their way. Until that time, here’s a 2002 remix by Stereolab for you to salute by holding up your lighter.

• The Avalanches:
• Modular:

Spotify finally announces US launch; bring on the trumpets!!

So some of you, having pockets filled with money (or just sheer luck), may have gone hopping on the old continent we call Europe in recent years and discovered a certain service called Spotify. Your friends in Sweden and the Home Islands and France are all buzzing about how awesome the service is. Unlike, say, that slothy grouch they call Pandora, Spotify allows you to listen to whatever track you want, free of charge. Furthermore, finding new music was made easy and quick, and there were a boatload of other features that kept Eurofans (and Zucks Marquise) swooning.

However, an American launch always seemed far away. There would be a mention here or there, and then someone would get fired for mentioning a launch date that passed with not a word. The hang up had always been that cantankerous lot known as the major labels, with licensing deals and all that cal.

But no more. Today, while Zucks was announcing the merger of Facebook chat with Skype (another brilliant European invention… where have we been? Oh right, jets) Spotify announced the imminent US launch of the service. No official date has been set, but the site offers invites, and the fact that they announced on their site means it’s likely to be soon-ish. CNET reports that the service will remain similar to the European version.

What remains to be seen is whether the labels we at TMT champion (Social Registry, Merge, etc.) will get a fair share of the Spotify cake, or will get screwed over by the majors like in the EU. But surely you don’t care about that… right?

• Spotify:

Matador Records sign Ceremony, still working on deals for Ritual and Celebratory Observation

Perpetuating their image as a record label, Matador have announced their signing Bay-area based hardcore band Ceremony to a record deal with an astounding 19-album minimum.* Ceremony (not to be confused with Chastity Bono’s band of the same name) have already released three non-Matador issued albums, but it was the band’s most recent album, 2010’s Rohnert Park,that truly caught Matador’s attention; the label claims that after hearing it, they sat in dark rooms and asked themselves: “Can you imagine what these guys will do next?”

Head honchos at Matador quickly decided that what the band should do next is release an album on their label. After news of the signing was made public, the band had this to say in my head: “The new album, slated for release in 2012, is surely going to be our best album, we really believe in forward progress, you know? Plus, it’ll be the best album that Matador has EVER released, we promise. Sorry to dethrone you, past champion Planet of the Wolves by Guitar Wolf.”

If you can’t wait ‘til 2012, then pick up the band’s last release for former label, Bridge 9, a six-song 12-inch EP/CD called Covers where the band make like Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and cover some of their favorite tunes, then go see them in concert!

* not really

Ceremony 2011 tourdates:

07.22.11 - Santa Barbara, CA - Sound And Fury Festival
07.24.11 - Rokycany, Czech Republic - Fluff Fest
07.25.11 - Vienna, Austria - Arena
07.26.11 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
07.27.11 - Stuttgart, Germany - Juha West
07.28.11 - Zurich, Switzerland - Dynamo Werk 21
07.29.11 - Koln, Germany - Underground
07.30.11 - Mol, Belgium - Breakout Fest
08.01.11 - Hannover, Germany - Bei Chez Heinz
08.02.11 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang
08.03.11 - Berlin, Germany - Hafenklang
08.04.11 - Fredericia, Denmark - Fredericia Hardcore Festival
08.05.11 - Leisnig, Denmark - Sucks’n’Summer
08.06.11 - Brugge, Belgium - JH Comma
08.08.11 - Port Lympne, UK - Hevy Fest

• Ceremony:
• Matador:
• Bridge 9:

Pitchfork makes sure Paris has a bon hiver with a new festival curated in part by Bon Iver

Things I learned today:

1) Do not accidentally click on instead of ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE AT WORK.
2) Paris just got a little bit more awesome.
3) Pitchfork just got a little bit more awesome.

And it’s all because Pitchfork announced on Friday their PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL PARIS!!!!

After six magical years in Chicago, the Pitchfork Music Festival is ready to conquer Europe. Chicago will still remain the proud base of the US festival, but come autumn our European friends will be able to experience the joy, the fun, the Twitter frenzy that is the Pitchfork Music Festival. Now, those of you in the know (or like, in Spain or the UK) may already be aware of the venerable music blog’s concert collabos with Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival and England’s All Tomorrow’s Parties. But this new festival is a whole new ballgame.

Pitchfork has teamed up with French agency SUPER! to make sure the festival is 100% fantastique. Pitchfork Paris will go down at La Grande Halle de la Villette, a fancy schmancy venue in the city’s largest cultural park. Over October 28-29, La Grande Halle will play host to over 20 bands and DJs, including the appropriately Frenchish-monikered Bon Iver, who will curate a stage on October 29.

The full lineup will be unveiled in the coming weeks, but so far Cut Copy, Jens Lekman, Wild Beasts, Kathleen Edwards, and Pantha du Prince have been confirmed, in addition to Bon Iver.

Fest dates:

10.28-29.11 - Paris, France - La Grande Halle de la Villette

• Pitchfork:
• Paris: