The Music Tapes announce The Traveling Imaginary tour in locations both stationary and real

The Music Tapes announce The Traveling Imaginary tour in locations both stationary and real

If you’re looking to cast your vote for President of Whimsy, then stop. That is not a real thing. Even if it was, they wouldn’t even bother having elections. Julian Koster would win every single time. Master of the singing saw? Check. Creator of otherworldly records as The Music Tapes, like this year’s Mary’s Voice (TMT Review) on Merge? Check. Organizer of holiday singalong shows in fan’s home? Check again. The man is joyful whimsy personified.

To lock his position as President of Whimsy in place forever, Koster has announced the first run of dates for The Music Tapes’ upcoming Traveling Imaginary Tour. What makes it different from a traveling realism tour? Well, for every date, the band will pitch a circus tent built specifically for the tour. Contained inside will be a night of songs, games, movies, amusements, stories, magic, and many other fantastic attractions. Check out the typically wonderful trailer for the tour here, or embedded below.

Undertakings like this aren’t easy, even if you are THE PRESIDENT OF WHIMSY. The Music Tapes have already received help from their fanbase, in the form of a very successful Kickstarter campaign, but they still need your assistance to make this thing run smoothly. If you are interested in being part of the band’s tent pitching crew, shoot them an e-mail at Beyond that, the group needs help booking the rest of their tour for February and March. Do you have a clear interior space that is at least as big as 26’ x 38’ and features ceilings 10-feet tall or higher? Then send the band an e-mail at and invite them to your town.

Music Tapes dates:

01.23.13 - Winston-Salem, NC - Krankies Coffee
01.25.13 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club (two shows)
01.28.13 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle (two shows)
01.29.13 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
01.31.13 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
02.02.13 - New York, NY - Church for All Nations (two shows)
02.04.13 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church Basement

• The Music Tapes:
• Merge:

[Photo: Albert Birney]

Inc. announce new album on 4AD, induce Zomby-witnessed sexual catharsis in Brooklyn

Following last year’s exquisite 3 EP, brotherly-lovin’ Los Angeles duo Inc. have recently completed their debut album No World and plan to release it on February 19 via 4AD. Daniel and Andrew Aged are celebrating with the record’s empyrean second single “5 Days,” a further refinement of their unusually compelling brand of retrofuturist soul and R&B. Grime specialist/labelmate Zomby reports the song caused a happy tragedy at Inc.’s sold out gig in Brooklyn this past weekend, while cutting-edge tech enthusiast and modern composer James Ferraro implores you to STOPSLEEPING and take a listen.

Tracklist, tourdates, and the meditative video for lead single “The Place” follow below.

No World tracklist:

01. The Place
02. Black Wings
03. Lifetime
04. 5 Days
05. Trust (Hell Below)
06. Your Tears
07. Angel
08. Seventeen
09. Desert Rose (War Prayer)
10. Careful
11. Nariah’s Song

Inc. dates:

11.21.12 - Victoria Vaults, London
11.22.12 - L’International, Paris
11.25.12 - Deviation @ Birthdays, London (w/ Benji B, Acyde)

• Inc.:
• 4AD:

Mates of State announce intimate East Coast tour, promise lots of eye contact

What with being a married couple and all, Mates of State have a more intimate connection than most bands. Fleet Foxes might be best buds or whatever, but do they whisper secrets into each other’s beards at night? Well, they might, but they probably don’t. The point is, an important quality of Mates of State is their intimacy. In December, they’re hoping to convey this intimacy to their fans in a series of concerts along the East Coast.

For this string of dates, the band will be touring as their “original” lineup, i.e. the duo of Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner. This brings up certain questions. First of all, Mates of State had more than two members at some point? There is no other question. Anyway, the tour contains two shows at New York’s Mercury Lounge and a show with Ra Ra Riot in Hartford, Connecticut. Last year, the band released Mountaintops, which may well have featured more than two people on it. Really, I’m dumbstruck by this revelation!

Mates of State dates:

12.05.12 - New Haven, CT - Bar
12.06.12 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge (early show)
12.06.12 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge (late show)
12.07.12 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
12.09.12 - Hartford, CT - Arch Street Tavern (w/ Ra Ra Riot)
12.10.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
12.13.12 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
12.16.12 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s

• Mates of State:

Stars of the Lid awake from their conjoined slumber, announce The Ballasted Orchestra reissue, UK live dates

Adam Wiltzie may have spent 2011 scoring winged victories alongside Dustin O’Halloran, and Brian McBride may have spent 2010 achieving… well, buzzworthy success, but 2012 will be known, at least among ambient aficionados, as (hopefully) the beginning of a full-scale revival. Stars of the Lid haven’t released an album in five years, and they haven’t performed for an audience in over three years. All of that changes now.

Some of that changes now. Word of an entirely new, full-length album hasn’t yet been released (or really, even alluded to), but on January 7, Kranky will be reissuing the long out-of-print vinyl version of SOTL’s third studio album The Ballasted Orchestra, which, according to a press release, was remastered by Wiltzie earlier this year, and reportedly sounds “better than ever,” as though that were possible.

Additionally, next month, SOTL are scheduled to perform two shows in the UK — the first taking place on December 9 at ATP (curated by The National, and quite sold out), and the second occurring one day later at the Church of St John-at-Hackney in London, where they’ll be headlining. As if their mere presence wasn’t enough of a draw, the duo will be accompanied at both shows by a nine-piece string section, and presumably, visuals immersive enough to make you question your solid form.

How I long to be liquified with new material! Let’s hope they’re not just teasing us.

• Stars of the Lid:
• Kranky:

Pissed Jeans announce new album, new track, astronomic dry cleaning bill

By the time another dreadful holiday season (with all of its bullshit mirth and soul-sucking pseudo-cheer) drags its sorry, overweight, wheezing, bedraggled ass across the finish line sometime around mid-January, most folks are about ready to scream. Luckily, so are Pennsylvania-based sludge-fuckers Pissed Jeans! And according to the ‘Fork, they’ll have a new album out in February of next year for you to shred your lungs along to. Hey, neat; maybe whatever god you believe in really exists after all!

This new one, entitled Honeys, follows up 2009’s King of Jeans (TMT Review), which IMO was a great record to throw on after work for a good session of what I like to call ‘yelling at your own reflection in a full-length mirror in disgust!’ And on a less personal (and therefore less interesting) note, it also marks their third album for Sub Pop. While no specific February 2013 date seems to have been established just yet, you can get yourself an MP3 of the first taste of the new album, “Bathroom Laughter,” right now by surrendering your old college email address that you still use for things like this to the widget below. Which might be worth doing if you’re feeling me on the whole “frantic scream therapy” thing. After all, there’s a whole lot of bullshit to yell about, and we’re only at Thanksgiving, people.

• Pissed Jeans:
• Sub Pop:

[Photo: Jack Jeffries]

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James does the solo album cha cha, swerves into steampunk territory?

My Morning Jacket main man Jim James is releasing his first-ever solo album under his own name, called Regions of Light and Sound of God. “Oh ho,” you may be saying, because you are a steampunk. “But,” you may be saying because you are a My Morning Jacket superfan who just KNOWS TOO MUCH, “didn’t our merry bandleader release a debut solo EP back in 2009?” And to this I say, “No, dear friend, that EP was released under the cleverly disguised moniker Yim Yames and was therefore TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Totally different, people. In the anachronistic steampunk future, kids at record stores will be like, “Wow, bro, this Yim Yames fella sure does sound a lot like this Jim James fella.” And then their friends will be like, “Nah man, they’re TOTALLY DIFFERENT. You better get your monocle checked.”

Anyway, James’ debut solo LP under his own non Y-ed up name comes out February 5 via ATO and is based largely on Lynd Ward’s 1929 graphic novel God’s Man, a book about an artist dealing with corruption, temptation, and all that good stuff whilst discovering — ahhhhhhh — love. Says Jim James via the press release, “I wanted the album to sound like it came from a different place in time. Perhaps sounding as if it were the past of the future, if that makes any sense—like a hazy dream that a fully-realized android or humanoid capable of thought might have when it reminisces about the good old days of just being a simple robot.” After speaking these words, James donned a cape, doffed his top hat and hopped into his steam-powered brougham carriage, and disappeared off into the night. Fans were left to whisper among themselves, “Golly that does sound kinda steampunk, oof,” and post GIFs from that touchstone of the steampunk movement, Will Smith vehicle Wild Wild West (also starring Salma Hayek, in a career-defining role). Just kidding, fans. James’ record doesn’t actually sound like it was recorded by a sexy saloon girl robot in a dainty corset or whatever those people are into. It just sounds good.

Regions of Light and Sound of God will be available on CD, vinyl, tinny sounding 78 (just kidding! another joke!), digital download, and as a limited-edition package that includes a t-shirt, autographed print, keychain, and of course, a tote bag. Jim James also has some year-end shows with My Morning Jacket lined up on the East Coast, including one to ring in the New Year in Boston.

Regions of Light and Sound of God tracklisting:

01. State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)
02. Know Til Now
03. Dear One
04. A New Life
05. Exploding
06. Of the Mother Again
07. Actress
08. All Is Forgiven
09. God’s Love to Deliver


12.27.12 - Port Chester, NY - Capitol Theatre
12.28.12 - Port Chester, NY - Capitol Theatre
12.29.12 - Port Chester, NY - Capitol Theatre
12.31.12 - Boston, MA - Agganis Arena *

* Preservation Hall Jazz Band

• Jim James:
• My Morning Jacket:
• ATO: