Thanks to TMT’s machinations, former MVP Nat Baldwin has a new dirty project, yet must tour alone

Thanks to TMT’s machinations, former MVP Nat Baldwin has a new dirty project, yet must tour alone

When we at TMT awarded the Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca the #2 spot on our illustrious “Favorite 50 Albums of 2009” list, the band was instantly catapulted into a Madonna-level realm of fame. As Zs — who earned the #1 spot in 2010 — are learning right now, the TMT prize brings with it endless swarms of camera-clicking paparazzi and rabid, autograph-hungry fans. We knew, however, that if we forced the band to “hit the mattresses,” DP bassist Nat Baldwin would finally get some time to work on a follow-up to 2008’s Most Valuable Player (TMT Review). It worked.

People Changes, out May 24 on Western Vinyl, features five new Baldwin compositions and two covers: Arthur Russell’s “A Little Lost” and Kurt Weisman’s “Let My Spirit Rise.” If the instrumentation is any sign — double bass, clarinet, violin, trumpet, alto saxophone, guitar, drums — People Changes might show Baldwin returning to his avant-garde jazz-coated roots: he’s a former student of first-generation Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) member Anthony Braxton. Either way, we’re glad we could help.

People Changes tracklisting:

01. A Little Lost
02. Weights
03. Real Fakes
04. The Same Thing
05. Lifted
06. What Is There
07. Let My Spirit Rise

Despite the album’s multiple collaborators — including saxophonist Matt Bauder and violinist Caley Monahon-Ward — Baldwin will lead up to the release date with a solo tour. You see, the killer whale-like stalker-fans TMT has created are still hungry for Dirty Projector blood, so Baldwin doesn’t want to put an ensemble at risk.

Nat Baldwin solo tour:

03.31.11 - Portland, ME - Apohadion Theater
04.02.11 - Winooski, VT - The Monkey House
04.03.11 - Palmer, MA - Diamond Junction Bowling Lanes
04.05.11 - Buffalo, NY - The Vault
04.06.11 - Toronto, ON - Double Double Land
04.07.11 - Ypsilanti, MI - Woodruff’s
04.08.11 - Gambier, OH - Kenyon College
04.09.11 - North Manchester, IN - the Firehouse
04.10.11 - Bloomington, IN - House Bar
04.11.11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
04.15.11 - Minneapolis, MN - Mistory Theater
04.16.11 - Iowa City, IA - The Mill
04.18.11 - St. Louis, MO - LEMP
04.19.11 - Little Rock, AR - Dreamland Ballroom
04.20.11 - Dallas, TX - TBA
04.21.11 - Austin, TX - Club 1808
04.22.11 - Houston, TX - Avant Garden
04.23.11 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
04.24.11 - Lafayette, LA - Blue Moon
04.25.11 - New Orleans, LA - Mudlark Public Theater
04.27.11 - Tallahassee, FL - Charles Mansion
04.28.11 - Athens, GA - Farm255
04.29.11 - Columbia, SC - Beys
04.30.11 - Charlotte, NC - Evening Muse
05.01.11 - Greensboro, NC - The Green Bean
05.06.11 - Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church Chapel
05.07.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Zebulon
05.08.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Zebulon
05.09.11 - Hudson, NY - The Spotty Dog
05.11.11 - Boston, MA - Whitehaus
05.12.11 - Kittery, ME - Buoy Gallery
05.13.11 - Bar Harbor, ME - Lompoc

• Nat Baldwin:
• Western Vinyl:

Wyclef Jean shot in Haiti, not seriously injured, will write a song about it

Breaking news: Singer and activist Wyclef Jean was shot Saturday night while hanging out in Haiti with Busta Rhymes. The shooting happened just hours before the country’s presidential elections, a race that Jean was campaigning in as a candidate last year, before he was determined to be ineligible. Reports claim that the singer has already been released from a hospital outside of Port-au-Prince after being treated for his injuries.

Soon after being shot, the singer’s Twitter page chirped out this bit of good news: “We have spoken to Wyclef, he is ok. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers — Management.” Former Fugees bandmate Pras Michel later chimed in and spread the good word to Blackberrys the world over: “Yes they shot Wyclef and he’s in the hospital and he’ll be fine. They just shot his hand.”

Despite the injured hand, Wyclef Jean was soon reported to be writing a new song, entitled “Elections (Right Hand Man)” while resting in his hospital bed. Additionally, unverified reports (courtesy of Billboard) are claiming that former-actor Busta Rhymes was on the scene at the time of the shooting, but is luckily uninjured (as were all bystanders), and is back in the studio phoning in his next verse.

• Wyclef Jean:

[Photo: Joe Raedle]

RIP: Jet Harris, bassist of The Shadows

From the BBC:

Jet Harris, the original bass player with The Shadows, has died of cancer aged 71.

The guitarist, who played on number one hits including Apache, died at his partner’s home in Winchester, his agent Peter Stockton said.

Sir Cliff Richard paid tribute to his former bandmate, saying: “Jet was exactly what The Shadows and I needed - a backbone holding our sound together.”

Earlier this month, Harris cancelled all his appearances due to ill health.

“Jet, the bass player, will always be an integral part of British rock ‘n’ roll history,” Sir Cliff added. “Losing him is sad - but the great memories will stay with me. Rock on, Jet.”

• The Shadows:

120 Minutes, Matt Pinfield, and music videos return to television; see, America? MTV does care about music

MTV is returning to its roots, sort of, by announcing that they will be reintroducing fan-favorite show 120 Minutes, and that the show will once again be hosted by Matt Pinfield. The network also announced that they would be bringing back Liquid Television and Remote Control, but then immediately cancelled that news when the Jersey Shore folks woke up from their hangovers and remembered to sign their Season Five contracts.

For those not ‘in the know,’ let MTV’s Executive Vice President of Music and Talent, Amy Doyle, explain 120 Minutes’ place in history: “The signature of MTV’s 120 Minutes was the unparalleled passion for and perspective on the latest music and artists that were off the mainstream media’s radar.”

The respected show will return as an on-air monthly show on MTV2 and as a renamed (120 Seconds) weekly online show. The monthly TV show will begin airing later this year and the online “newsblast” starts airing… today! So start checking MTV2 and head over to the recently launched website MTV Hive. Let the Viacom Corporation start telling you what music to listen to!

Before we go, let’s let Matt Pinfield remind us why he should be back on the air: “Everywhere I go, people from all over the world talk about how much 120 Minutes shaped their musical tastes and how much they missed it. The show helped expose, and ultimately, break new artists. MTV’s historical role in breaking artists of all genres can never be underestimated. I’m looking forward to the exciting present and future of 120 Minutes and 120 Seconds!”

Ah, memories:

120 Minutes:
• MTV2:

Still Corners and Memoryhouse sign to Sub Pop for the sole purpose of invading your dreams. You know, like Inception! Or at least like Dreamscape.

Thanks to Hollywood blockbuster Inception, the world now lives in fear of their dreams being invaded. In simpler times, I could sleep confident in the notion that the dream where I’m sailing a dragon-shaped paddleboat to Jay-Z’s house in order to retrieve some video games I let him borrow (an honest-to-god real dream) was not going to be compromised by Leonardo DiCaprio-esque dream thieves. I can’t trust anyone in my dreams now and I certainly don’t trust anyone claiming to purvey pop specifically for dreams. Thus, I’m pretty skeptical about Still Corners and Memoryhouse, Sub Pop’s two latest signings.

Let’s start with Still Corners; don’t you worry, Memoryhouse, I will get to you. These Londoners deal in a hazy, cavernous brand of dream-pop, as exemplified on their 2008 debut Remember Pepper and their pair of 2010 7-inches “Endless Summer” and “Don’t Fall in Love.” At the moment, they’re working on stealing precious memories from our dreams, as well as finishing up their Sub Pop debut, which the label hopes to have out in the summer.

As for Memoryhouse, their type of dream-pop skews a little more subtle, coming close to purely ambient music at times. All the better to slyly purloin our thoughts! The Toronto-based duo has been kicking it on a few labels, having put out digital-only EP The Years on Arcade Sound, the “Lately (Deuxième)” single on Inflated Records, and the “Caregiver” single on Suicide Squeeze. Their Sub Pop debut should be out sometime by the end of the year.

While Memoryhouse is staying at home planning their latest heist, Still Corners will be taking their dream sabotage on the road. To show solidarity to their new family, they’re opening for fellow Sub Pop act The Papercuts. Those dates can be seen below, though, for all I know, the band has already inserted them into your brain via that dream in which you use a penguin to surf atop a sea of caramel.

Still Corners dates:

03.18.11 - Austin, TX - Home Slice Pizza (2:20 PM)
03.18.11 - Austin, TX - Club Deville NXNE (9:00 PM)
03.19.11 - Austin, TX - Red House Pizzeria (7:00 PM)
03.21.11 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway *
03.22.11 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop *
03.23.11 - Chicago, IL - Schubas *
03.24.11 - Columbus, OH - Wexner Center for the Arts *
03.25.11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox *
03.26.11 - New York, NY - Mercury *
03.27.11 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall *

* Papercuts

• Still Corners:
• Memoryhouse:
• Sub Pop:

Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake forms Jonny with Euros Childs; they sign to Merge and immediately become biggest British indie supergroup of two

Teenage Fanclub have been a semi-hot topic again this last year, joining the ranks of the many-decades-old (one, two, or more) bands that recorded new material or announced special tourdates in 2010. While you may have been surprised at Teenage Fanclub’s refreshed activity (before Shadows, their last album was 2005’s very-typically-Fanclub Man-Made), singer Norman Blake didn’t stop there. The latest news from the UK is that Blake has teamed up with Euros Childs, frontman of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci (a band almost as big and as great as Teenage Fanclub… in Wales), to be collectively known as Jonny.

Merge Records will release their debut full-length together (also called Jonny) on April 12, but as of now, you can stream the entire album for free at Merge’s website (UK release date was January 31). It’s not quite Bandwagonesque, or even Shadows (TMT Review), but it’s a nicely familiar album of British pop for a warm spring afternoon. Check out this free download of their EP, too (included on the physical CD, but not the stream available now)!

A June tour has also been announced:

06.03.11 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel
06.04.11 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel
06.07.11 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
06.08.11 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
06.09.11 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
06.10.11 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House
06.11.11 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live Upstairs
06.12.11 - Vienna, VA - Jammin’ Java
06.14.11 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
06.15.11 - Decatur, GA - Eddie’s Attic
06.16.11 - Nashville, TN - The Bluebird Cafe
06.17.11 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
06.18.11 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music (Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall)

• Jonny:
• Merge:


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