Sublime Frequencies DVD/CD/book showcases Olivia Wilde’s Wyatt’s ethnomusical journey across Ethiopia

Sublime Frequencies DVD/CD/book showcases Olivia Wilde's Wyatt's ethnomusical journey across Ethiopia

There comes a time in every music fan’s life — usually around 3 AM after a night of heavy drinking or just, say, a really dull Sunday afternoon — where he or she must blow the minds of his/her friends through a fascinating, unfamiliar, or just plain bizarre DVD selection. Fortunately for the curious cineastes and headphone junkies among us, we have Sublime Frequencies to fulfill our collective need to catch glimpses into the little-known musical histories of other cultures. And now the Seattle-based purveyors of all things obscure, international, and mindblowing have announced the release of Staring into the Sun, a DVD/CD/book by photographer/filmmaker Olivia Wyatt that’s just chock-full of field recordings and Polaroid photographs of Ethopian tribes.

This limited-edition release is limited to 1,000 copies and is already being touted as “the latest ethno-film cinema classic.” (Well, at least Sublime Frequencies is touting it as such.) Ms. Wyatt’s work follows the goings-on of 13 different tribes out of Ethopia’s 80+ ethnic groups, so you’ll get to experience spirit possession, hyena feedings, Ethiopian TV segments, tribal wedding ceremonies, and a hell of a lot more. You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll want to stick your hand in a hyena’s mouth and feed it delicious, bloody raw meat! Check out the trailer below. Staring into the Sun brings the sights and sounds of Ethiopia to a DVD/CD player near you come July 5.

CD tracklisting:

01. Konso Tribe, “Konso Lyre Song”
02. Habesha 2000 Band, “Habesha Traditional Song”
03. Azmari (Masinko Player), “Masinko Song”
04. Dirashe Tribe, “Dirashe Syncopated Panpipes”
05. Gedeo Tribe, “Gedeo Vocals”
06. Dirashe Tribe, “Dirashe Drum Song”
07. Dorze Tribe, “Dorze Song”
08. Mursi Tribe, “Mursi Song”
09. Habesha 2000 Band, “Habesha Traditional Song 2”
10. Dirashe Tribe, “Dirashe Lyre Song”
11. Konso Tribe, “Konso Lyre and Percussion Song”
12. Gedeo Tribe, “Gedeo Percussion, Lyre, and Vocal Song”
13. Dirashe Tribe, “Dirashe Lyre Dance”
14. Tsemay Tribe, “Tsemay Song”
15. Borana Tribe, “Borana Singing Wells”
16. Habesha 2000 Band, “Habesha Traditional Song 3”

DVD chapter listing:

01. Intro
02. Borana Singing Wells
03. Addis Ababa Traditional Night Club
04. Harari Wild Hyena Feeding
05. Tsemay Tribe
06. Afar Tribe
07. Konso Tribe
08. Arbore Tribe
09. Amhara Tribe
10. Dirashe Tribe
11. Hookah Night Scenes
12. Zar Spirit Possession Ceremony
13. Mursi Tribe
14. Day Dreams
15. Masinko Player
16. Banna Tribe
17. Gedeo Tribe
18. Hamar Wedding

• Sublime Frequencies:

[Photos: Olivia Wyatt]

Sleepy Sun don’t go on tour with The Black Angels. PSYCH! Sleepy Sun do go on tour with The Black Angels

On the psych-o-meter, going on tour with Austin-based psych rockers The Black Angels is at least a 7. It’s definitely more than splitting a footlong sub with a member of Comets on Fire, but it’s a lot less than eating mushrooms out of Roky Erickson’s beard. Still, it’s a pretty good reading for San Francisco’s Sleepy Sun, who will join The Black Angels — their brothers in psych — on a May-time jaunt through (primarily) the West Coast. Do people that are into psychedelics go on jaunts? I wouldn’t know, sadly. My psych-o-meter reading is a 2 at best.

Sleepy Sun + Black Angels dates:

04.30.11 - Austin, TX - East Side Drive-In (Austin Psych Fest)
05.05.11 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theater
05.06.11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
05.07.11 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
05.09.11 - Vancouver, BC - Venue
05.10.11 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market Lounge
05.11.11 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
05.13.11 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
05.15.11 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
05.16.11 - Solano Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern
05.18.11 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
05.20.11 - Oklahoma City, OK - ACM Performance Lab
05.21.11 - Dallas, TX - The Loft

• Sleepy Sun:
• Black Angels:

Times New Viking give out free tattoos with preorders of new album Dancer Equired

Finally you can give your baby that tattoo she’s been dreaming of! Or your hairless cat! Or your sleeping grandfather! Well, as long as that dream tattoo is a promotional item for the new Times New Viking album. And it’s a temporary tattoo. In the shape of Ohio.

You see, Merge Records is so jazzed to have the newly-acquired Times New Viking on their roster that they’ve produced temporary tattoos in honor of Dancer Equired, the new album from the lo-fi Midwestern rockers. If you preorder either the CD or vinyl version of the album through Merge’s online store, these temporary tattoos (and a poster of the album art!) will be delivered to your very own home, where your hairless cat will be waiting patiently to temporarily rebel through ‘body art’ against ‘the man.’ Dancer comes out April 26, so have that talk with your cat now before making this temporary commitment. Some questions to ask: does your cat/baby/catbaby really love Ohio that much? Can they commit to showing the world their appreciation for the music of Times New Viking, even in a school/work/church setting?

If not, maybe you could just gather around the baldies in the family and this NPR-crafted video about the band dealing with winter in Ohio. Either way, the magic you share will outlast the temporality of the medium.

European dates:

04.21.11 - Nantes, France - Pole Etudiant
04.22.11 - Groningen, Netherlands - Vera
04.23.11 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - OCCII
04.25.11 - Norwich, UK - Fuzz (Project Norwich)
04.27.11 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute
04.28.11 - York, UK - The Duchess
04.29.11 - Wrexham, UK - Rope (Central Station)
04.30.11 - Glasgow, UK - Nice n’ Sleazys
05.01.11 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell (for Live in Leeds)
05.02.11 - Liverpool, UK - Club Lazy Genius (Mojo)
05.03.11 - London, UK - Upset the Rhythm (XOYO)
05.04.11 - Paris, France - Fleche D’Or
05.06.11 - Salzburg, Austria - Yeah!Club/ME (Rockhouse)
05.07.11 - Celje, Slovenia - Kino Metropol
05.09.11 - Vienna, Austria - B72

• Times New Viking:
• Merge:

Pontiak to release new EP Comecrudos, inspired by Texas’s Big Bend and/or croutons

In 2009, the brothers Van, Jennings, and Lain Carney, a.k.a. Pontiak, took a trip out to Texas’s Big Bend, a national park located in the Southwest corner of the state. After taking in the park’s massive landscapes and varied geology, they were left with memories to last… a lifetime. Or at least long enough to inspire the writing of new EP Comecrudos, out in June through Thrill Jockey.

The conception of this new EP came about in late summer 2010, when the Carney brothers came together in Northeastern Tennessee for a band meeting. They discussed their memorable trip, had a few brews (maybe?), watched The Big Lebowski twice (probably not, but again, maybe?), and came to the decision that they wanted to soundtrack the trip from Marathon, Texas to Big Bend via Route 385 South. With this settled, they hit their Virginia studio and the new EP was born. Somewhere along the line they decided that distortion and overdrive pedals were stupid and lame and that they weren’t going to use them — at least not this time around.

At the moment, Pontiak are in the studio recording their next full-length, tentatively set for an early 2012 release. That one’s for you, Pontiak fans who hate EPs or Big Bend or music designed to soundtrack car trips on Route 385. They are also currently planning on touring North America and Europe during the fall. For now, just a couple dates in the South at the end of the month.

Comecrudos tracklisting:

01. Part I
02. Part II
03. Part III
04. Part IV


04.27.11 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
04.28.11 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia
04.29.11 - Houston, TX - TBA
04.30.11 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Festival

• Pontiak:
• Thrill Jockey:

Musicians continue to rally for Japan relief with benefit concerts, compilations, and other incentives

Musicians, labels, and venues have been coming out of the woodwork these past few weeks to do what they can for the ongoing relief efforts in post-earthquake Japan, so we thought we’d end the news week by pointing our readers to a number of relevant shows and releases that are donating their proceeds to worthy relief organizations. If you don’t see anything of interest in this article, check your local concert listings — there’s certain to be a lower-profile benefit show or two going on near you pretty soon. You can also, of course, donate directly to organizations like the Japanese Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Civic Force, and Peace Winds.

Benefit Shows

• April 2: Brooklyn, NY’s Le Poisson Rouge hosts a benefit concert featuring contemporary classical pianist Taka Kigawa.

• April 2: Los Angeles, CA’s Stones Throw Records teams up with some local businesses for a relief event and raffle at Space 15 Twenty, with live DJ sets from various Stones Throw artists and event-exclusive merchandise.

• April 2-3: Tokyo’s SonarSound Japan festival goes on as planned, featuring sets from Flying Lotus, DJ Krush, Ryoji Ikeda, Kode9, Nisennenmondai, Battles, and many more. Sonar’s other planned festivals in Barcelona and Galicia will also be donating a portion of those ticket sales to Japan relief.

• April 3: London’s O2 Brixton Academy holds a Red Cross benefit with performances from Primal Scream, Richard Ashcroft, Graham Coxon, Paul Weller, Beady Eye, and The Coral.

• April 5: Brooklyn’s The Bell House hosts the first of two BROOKLYN <3 JAPAN nights benefitting GlobalGiving), with headliner Ra Ra Riot, and comedy from Eugene Mirman and Todd Barry.

• April 8: NYC’s Abrons Art Center hosts a John Zorn-curated benefit concert featuring Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori & Zorn, and Norah Jones.

• April 9: NYC’s Japan Society hosts a 12-hour concert — also curated by John Zorn — featuring Philip Glass, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Bill Laswell.

• April 15: Brooklyn’s second BROOKLYN <3 JAPAN night, with music from Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington and Mike Doughty, and comedy from Kristen Schaal and Wyatt Cenac.

• April 15: Olympia, WA’s K-related acts D+, Calvin Johnson, and The Maxines perform a benefit show at The Northern in support of 7ep.

• April, 21: London’s The Forum hosts the ATP-curated “Made in Japan” benefit show, featuring Squarepusher, Fuck Buttons, and LFO, plus a raffle and DJ sets.

Benefit Compilations, Releases, etc.

• Thrill Jockey and Antiopic are still selling their mega-compilation Benefit for the Recovery in Japan for $15, featuring music by Akron/Family, Fennesz, Tim Hecker, Oneohtrix Point Never, Tunde Adebimpe, C. Spencer Yeh, and Rhys Chatham among its 64 tracks.

• Max Richter, Alva Noto, Jonsi & Alex, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Taylor Deupree, Robin Guthrie, Balmorhea, and others have exclusive tracks on the For Nihon compilation, available soon from digital music outlets like iTunes, eMusic, etc.

• Electronic artists like Kode9, Onra, Paper Tiger, Paul White, and folks on labels like Ninja Tune and All City have contributed over 40 tracks to the Nihon Kizuna compilation, available on Bandcamp for $15.

• Chad VanGaalen has made available the Your Tan Looks Supernatural EP on Bandcamp for $5, which is made up of outtakes from his upcoming album Diaper Island.

• The Morning Benders are giving away the Japan Echo EP on their website to people donating at least $5. The EP has remixes from Wild Nothing, Twin Sister, and Star Slinger, among other tracks.

• Drag City is donating all proceeds from the purchase of August Born in any format (the [awesome] 2005 collaboration between Six Organs’ Ben Chasny and Fushitsusha’s Hiroyuki Usui), as well as a charity download of proto-Newsom harpist Carol Kleyn’s “Return of the Silkie.”

• Shinji Masuko (of DMBQ/Boredoms) has started a relief fund and is on the ground himself, helping to deliver food and supplies directly to areas that most need it. Donations should be sent via PayPal to

• Cold Cave have re-released their New Morale Leadership cassette on the Japanese Big Love label in an edition of 100 for charity.

Big Love is also offering a number of other charity items, including key rings and tote bags, Nite Jewel t-shirts, a 12-inch by The xx, and an auctioned 7-inch test pressing of an OOP split from Male Bonding and Pens.

• Shugo Tokumaru is offering a lovely little song on Bandcamp for 100 yen (~$1.22).

• tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus is donating $1 for each fan picture posted to this Flickr account where they have painted themselves in tUnE-yArDs-like face paint. Whoever posts the most creative photo will be given a special painted boombox.

• Warp Records is selling a special-edition benefit t-shirt, available until April 4.

• Lullatone, sleepy-pop purveyors, are offering their entire 13 album/EP catalog at a pay-what-you-want level, with all proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross.

• Fake Four Records is offering the J-A-P-A-N: A Fake Four, Inc. Japan Relief Benefit EP for $8, with contributions from Moka Only, Myka 9, Factor, sole, and others.

Hear Japan, a DRM-free Mp3 store that features Japanese artists of all genres, is donating 50% of all their sales to Japan Platform.

• iTunes is offering a 38-track Universal Music Songs for Japan compilation, with contributions from all the major label folks like U2, Lady GaGa, Cee-Lo, etc. There is also a Serena-Maneesh remix of Lindstrøm & Christabelle’s “High and Low” being offered as a charity single. Finally, you can donate directly to the Red Cross via the iTunes store.

[Photo: Ed Hawkesworth/DFID]

RIP: Mel McDaniel, country musician

From NME:

Mel McDaniel — the country singer who was a member of the legendary Grand Ole Opry — has died at the age of 68.

The singer died from cancer on yesterday (March 31), reports

Born in Checotah, Oklahoma, McDaniel moved to Nashville and signed a deal with Capitol Records in 1976.

His 1985 hit ‘Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On’ went to Number One in the Billboard Hot Country singles chart and was nominated for a Grammy and a Country Music Award.

In 1996 McDaniel almost died after he fell off stage into the orchestra pit at a show in Lafayette, Louisiana.

• Mel McDaniel:

[Photo: Sister Photography]