Steve Reich Wins Pulitzer Prize for Music, Nobodaddy Writes Pulitzer-worthy News Article in Affirmating Solidarityness

There’s never been any question: New York-based composer and minimalist pioneer Steve Reich is cooler than all of us. Always has been, always will be. I mean, think about it: who among us could get away with wearing that beat-up baseball cap around throughout the entirety of our professional lives and have it be attributed not to our unwillingness to cooperate with workplace standards, but rather to some eccentric outward symbol of our staggering/precocious/whimsical (at times) inward genius? Yeah, exactly. No one. (Face it, not even Ashton Kutcher is doing a good job wearing hats for a living anymore!)

But now, just in case there was any lingering doubt whatsoever, he’s gone and won the Pulitzer Prize for music this week, for his 2008 piece Double Sextet. A good deal (though not necessarily entirely) less sexual than it sounds, the work calls for two identical sextets of instruments -- each made up of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone, and piano -- and can be performed in one of two ways: with 12 musicians, or, as in the case of its world premiere last May with the Eighth Blackbird ensemble, with six musicians playing against a recording of themselves. Mixing live music with recordings (or, heck, “sampling” in general) is nothing new to Reich though, who has spent his life plumbing the depths of the beauty that can be created with tape machines, loops, phasing, texture, and polyrhythms (sound familiar, Animal Collective fans?)

"It's the idea of writing basically unison canons," a much-smarter-than-you-and-me Reich says of Double Sextet. "The same timbre playing against itself, so that when they intertwine, you don't hear the individual voice; you hear the composite. Now, if you have several composites going on at the same time, you really get to an interesting situation, and that's what's going on in Double Sextet... I'm very glad that this particular piece got it, because I do think it's one of the better pieces I've done in the past few years." Notice the “in the past few years” part. Yeah, ol' boy could have won a dozen or so Pulitzers for a myriad of earlier badass and highly influential works, such as Music for 18 Musicians, Electric Counterpoint, Different Trains, Violin Phase, Clapping Music, and of course the loop-phase-masterworks It’s Gonna Rain and Come Out. Not familiar with these pieces yet? Well you’d best check them out before you go around issuing any declarations about how “groundbreaking” Merriweather Post Pavillion is.

Regina Spektor’s New Album Set for Summer Release; Your Mom Is So Fucking Stoked Right Now

There was a brief period of time before she climbed all over the Billboard charts and let Grey’s Anatomy use her songs when Regina Spektor was actually an undiscovered artist. But those days are long gone now and about to be even further away, as Spektor is set to release her new album, Far, June 23 on Sire Records. Far is the follow-up to Spektor’s hugely successful major-label debut, Begin to Hope, which is currently wedged between Feist and Tracy Chapman in your mom’s CD collection. FAR was produced by Jeff Lynne (ELO, The Traveling Wilburys), Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem), David Kahne (Paul McCartney, The Strokes), and Garret “Jacknife” Lee (Weezer, REM).*

Spektor will also tour the world beginning in June. Stay tuned for dates.

* Yes, Mom, Dr. Dre is the gentleman responsible for songs such as this and this. Um, holla?

Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle and John Vanderslice Release Vinyl-Only EP Titled Moon Colony Bloodbath, in Which the Latter John “Vanderslices” the Mountain Goats

With vinyl sales on the rise and records trumping CDs in coolness, it seems like increasingly more artists are opting to release their stuff in LP form. I mean, there’s no Compact Disc Day, right?

Which is why it’s not surprising that John Vanderslice and John Darnielle have released a vinyl-only EP entitled Moon Colony Bloodbath. If anything, it pisses me off that I still haven’t a proper output for my dust-collecting record player.

Darnielle tells Pitchfork: “Some of the songs have something to do with a loose rock opera/'concept album' idea about organ harvesting colonies on the moon and the employees thereof, who spent their off months living in secluded opulence in remote American locations.”

The EP was recorded for the Johns’ most recent tour. You can buy some of the remaining copies via mail order after they’re shipped to Beggars Group and 3 Beads of Sweat. Vanderslice will reportedly lug a few to his solo shows, while Darnielle will sell some at Bull City in Durham, NC.

The tracklist:

A1 Surrounded

A2 Lucifer Rising

A3 Satori in Denver

B1 Scorpio Rising

B2 Sudden Oak Death

B3 Columns Pillars Steps

B4 Emerging

May is going to be a busy month for drone doom band Sunn O))). Not only will they be releasing their seventh studio album Monolithis and Dimensions on May 18 via Southern Lord, but they're also hitting the road through half of May and June. The dates will be in support of the new album, which features guest appearances by Dylan Carlson (Earth), Oren Ambarchi, Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar, composer Eyvind Kang, and a slew of upright bass players, horn players, harpists and flutists, pianists, string ensembles, and even a Viennese women's choir led by Persian vocalist Jessika Kenney.

Before hitting Europe, they will do a few dates in Tokyo and Osaka. The group recently placed Japan's Leave Them All Behind Festival. Here are the rest of the dates:
04.21.09 - Tokyo, Japan - Earthdom !
04.22.09 - Tokyo, Japan - Earthdom +
04.23.09 - Osaka, Japan - Sunsui *
04.24.09 - Osaka, Japan - Sunsui #
05.15.09 - Oslo, Norway - Blå (Stephen O'Malley solo)
05.22.09 - Riga, Latvia - Skanu Mezs Festival
05.24.09 - Berlin, Germany - Volksbühne/Prater
05.25.09 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Worm/Arminius Church
05.26.09 - Leuven, Belgium - Stuk/Predikheren Church
05.27.09 - Paris, France - Sonique Villette
05.29.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
05.31.09 - Düdingen, Switzerland - Kilbi Festival
06.01.09 - Bologna, Italy - Locomotiv
06.03.09 - Vienna, Austria - Wien Arena - Vienna
06.04.09 - Prague, Czech Republic, Sacre Coeur Church (Stimul Festival)

! Coffins

+ Jim O' Rourke

* Black Ganion

# Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock

Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Kills Reissue Debut Album with Fancy Bonus Tracks

Do you ever look at your old albums and think, "Wow, I really wish this had some bonus tracks on it! This album would be so much better with bonus tracks."? If you are a Kills fan, and you often finding yourself thinking that, well, you're in luck! Because on May 5 Domino is reissuing their 2003 full-length debut, Keep on Your Mean Side, with a few dandy tracks thrown in from the Black Rooster and Fried My Little Brains EPs. Sure, you probably already know that Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince collaborated via tapes sent between her place in Florida and his in London. But did you also know that they recorded Keep on Your Mean Side in London's all-analogue Toe Rag studio, or that they drove around the States in a convertible while on tour? Rock ‘n’ roll! Possibly even more rock ‘n’ roll than dating Kate Moss. POSSIBLY. Q Magazine, at least, seems to agree. I'm not usually one for including magazine quotes in a story, but this one's pretty rad. Behold! the quote:

"Once upon a time rock ‘n’ roll was all about the sex you really shouldn't have. The Kills haven't forgotten."

Tracklisting:

1. Superstition
2. Cat Claw
3. Pull a U
4. Kissy Kissy
5. Fried My Little Brains
6. Hand
7. Hitched
8. Black Rooster
9. Wait
10. Fuck the People
11. Monkey23
12. Gypsy Death & You
13. Gum (Black Rooster EP)
14. Jewel Thief (Fried My Little Brains EP)
15. Sugar Baby (Fried My Little Brains EP)
16. The Search for Cherry Red ("Pull a U" single)
17. Dropout Boogie (Black Rooster EP)

Pixies Release Minotaur Box Set for $175 and $450

Don't know who the Pixies are? Neither do I! That's why we should consider shelling out big monies in these hard economic times: if we ain't gettin' dough, we better be compensating culturally. To this end, every Pixies studio release -- Come on Pilgrim EP (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), Trompe Le Monde (1991) -- is getting ye olde reissue treatment, according to Rolling Stone. Yes, readers, now's the time to INVEST. The reissues are coming June 15 as a set titled Minotaur, in two different editions: deluxe and limited.

So what's in it for those of you who already own these albums? Not sure really. Apparently there will be no live versions packaged with the set (yay!), and they haven't finalized any decisions about bonus track (boo!). What's more: the albums won't be remastered in any way, as they wanted to release the albums as they were originally released. But we can confirm this: THERE WILL BE NEW ARTWORK!!

Here are the details:

- Deluxe Edition ($175): Five discs (on 24k layered CDs and a Blu-ray) + DVD of the band's 1991 Brixton Academy gig and all their music videos. Also included is a 54-page book and new artwork. It comes in a "custom clamshell."

- Limited Edition ($450): Same deal as above, BUT: you get five albums on 180 gram vinyl, a 72-page hardcover book, and a print. This version comes with a slipcase.

Pre-order the set at the ArtistsInResidence website.

Meanwhile, the Pixies are working on a dream -- I mean, tour. The only announced date thus far is the Isle of Wight Festival on June 14.

  

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