The Music Tapes to release Mary’s Voice in September, tour in circus tent, end worldwide suffering with singing saw

The Music Tapes to release Mary's Voice in September, tour in circus tent, end worldwide suffering with singing saw

A lot of us over here at TMT are pretty nuts about Julian Koster, head dude of The Music Tapes, integral member of Neutral Milk Hotel, and full-time magician/myth-maker. His music is great, sure, but we’re also into him because of the performance art-y pillow fights, lullabies, and caroling. But hey, we’ll settle for new music too!

On September 4, Merge will release The Music Tapes’ third “official” album, Mary’s Voice, a 14-track follow-up to last year’s EP Purim’s Shadows (The Dark Tours the World) and 2008’s Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, full of the banjos, organs, and singing saws that we’ve been forced by gunpoint to love. Recorded once again with new and antique recording devices (we’re talking ribbon mics, wire recorders, Dictaphones, etc.), the album was reportedly inspired by Nobodaddy, as well as the many caroling and lullaby trips he’s taken over the years. According to Koster:

The magic was in the people who would welcome us into each house. We would literally go from a huge mansion on a hill overlooking the Hollywood sign, to squats with a bunch of punk kids who’d made a geodesic dome covered in moldy carpet for us to do the show in and forgot to make a hole big enough for the equipment to fit in through. We played for children of all ages — from teenagers to great-grandparents. We would visit the first house at nightfall and the last sometimes not until dawn. The fun and the warmth of each stop — how absolutely unique each was while still being so deeply familiar — was amazing and taught me how much like dreaming living can be.

Mary’s Voice is part one of a two-album series that we think is titled Imaginary Symphony No. 3. Also planned for this year: an NPR radio serial and a tour that will see Koster lugging around a circus tent. Love it. And while I’m in the mood, love you too!

Mary’s Voice tracklisting:

01. The Dark Is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South)
02. Saw and Calliope Organ on Wire
03. S’ Alive (Pt. 1)
04. The Big Beautiful Shops (It’s Said That It Could Be Anyone)
05. Spare the Dark Streets
06. To All Who Say Goodnight
07. Kolyada #3
08. Playing “Evening”
09. Go Home Again
10. S’ Alive to Be Known (May We Starve)
11. Untitled
12. Takeshi and Elijah

• The Music Tapes:
• Merge:

[Photo: Nusper Kek]

Menomena announce new album Moms on Barsuk. Dads are all like “WTF?”

Doing things in the name of moms is always a good idea. It’s a pretty sure-fire way to get people interested in whatever cockamamie thing you’re doing, because after all, even the most heartless bastard on Earth (that’d be this guy) has a mom. Walking marathons in support of moms? Awesome, how can I pledge? Selling store-bought pickles door-to-door to raise greater awareness of moms? Sure, I’ll take 12. Writing, recording, and releasing a new album on Barsuk Records and embarking on a subsequent headlining tour of North America in tribute to your own moms? Sweet, you must be Menomena, whose new album, Moms (instead of the better Momania) coming out on September 18, which henceforth shall be known as “Mothers’ Day”. Or… something else. Let me work on it. Either way, it’s back-story time!

Since releasing 2010’s Mines, Justin Harris and Danny Seim parted ways with co-founder Brent Knopf, who went off to go live in Ramona Falls or something, leaving the duo to write and record by themselves for the first time. And like any decent, recently-abandoned adult males in western society, the abandonment got them thinking about their good-old supportive moms!! On his tunes, Seim explored “the death of his mother when he was but a teenager,” while Harris focused on his youth as the child of a single mother and the “indelible impressions [left by that situation] on everything he’s done since” for his. Fun, poppy choices! You can watch a characteristically shoestring teaser trailer for the new album below, and a list of NO-DADS-ALLOWED tourdates after the tracklisting. Fuckin’ dads.

Moms tracklisting:

01. Plumage
02. Capsule
03. Pique
04. Baton
05. Heavy Is As Heavy Does
06. Giftshoppe
07. Skintercourse
08. Tantalus
09. Don’t Mess With Latexas
10. One Horse

Menomena tourdates:

09.07.12 - Portland, OR - Musicfest NW
09.25.12 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst
09.26.12 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo’s 365 Club
09.27.12 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
09.28.12 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
09.29.12 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
10.02.12 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
10.03.12 - Austin, TX - Parish
10.04.12 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s
10.05.12 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
10.06.12 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
10.09.12 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
10.10.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
10.11.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
10.13.12 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
10.16.12 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
10.17.12 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
10.18.12 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
10.19.12 - Chicago, IL - Metro
10.20.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
10.23.12 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
10.25.12 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore
10.26.12 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market
12.07-09.12 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties

• Menomena:
• Barsuk:

MFNW announces 150-band lineup and makes acronyms more mysterious than ever

I thought MFNW might stand for Moon Fairies Never Wait or Mountains Falling, Now What? or Maybe Fish Need Wheels. And PDX? That could be Patient Dragon X-Ray.

Really though, neither are that tricky or weird. MFNW stands for MusicFestNW, a festival happening from September 5-9 and hosted by Willamette Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Portland. As for PDX, that’s Portland Digital eXperience, a tech conference coinciding with the festival from September 6-8, a first in the event’s 12-year history. The third-largest indoor music festival in the nation meets a brand-spankin’ new set of panels focused on cool technology and Portland’s rad start-up scene. It’ll be a good ol’ fashioned creative extravaganza. You could hear speakers such as Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co., Evan Doll of Flipboard, James Keller of Walmart Labs, and Chris Teso of Chirpify, then head over to one of 17 participating venues to catch as many of the festival’s 150 shows as you can. Headliners include Silversun Pickups, Passion Pit, Girl Talk, and Beirut, plus Arrington De Dionyso, Ceremony, Future Islands, Hot Snakes, Julia Holter, John Maus, Mirroring, Moonface, Swans, The Men, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Tallest Man on Earth, Xiu Xiu, and tons of others.

Wristbands and tickets and such are on sale now — 125 bones will get you an all-inclusive wristband, which means admission to all three outdoor shows (Silversun Pickups, Girl Talk, Beirut), and 75 will get you a ticket to one outdoor show and admission to the rest of the festival. Scuttle over here to check out other prices and combinations.

Willamette Weekly:
• Maybe Fish Need Wheels:

Unsound 2012 hints at its initial awesomeness: Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin, Julia Holter with the Sinfonietta Cracovia, Leyland Kirby as V/Vm

It’s not too late to make jokes at the expense of former President George W. Bush, is it? Well, I don’t care if it is! Potentially lame joke incoming… I haven’t forgotten Poland, and that’s due, in large part, to the annual Unsound Festival held in Kraków, which I’ve unfortunately never been to, but hear whispers about fairly often. Here in North America, we have comparable music events — Seattle’s Decibel Festival, Montreal’s MUTEK — but perusing the line-up from last year’s Unsound seems to suggest that as fantastic as those two festivals are, the latter seems to be tailored exactly to my tastes. That’s all that matters, right? Free plane ticket please!

Putting the “advanced” in their self-description as a “festival for advanced music,” Unsound has announced the first details of its 2012 event, which will take place October 14-21 at various venues (including, reportedly, at a 16th century church and a dilapidated synagogue) around Kraków. On the people-who-didn’t-previously-engage-in-anal-sex-for-money front, Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never) and Tim Hecker will be performing their first-ever live collaboration, presumably highlighting material from their upcoming (as yet untitled) joint release on Mexican Summer’s Software imprint (which is run by Lopatin and Joel Ford, of Ford & Lopatin). Also collaboration-wise, Biosphere and Lustmord will be performing together, and Julia Holter will be complemented on stage by the Sinfonietta Cracovia, an orchestra which has an established history at Unsound. Lastly, Leyland Kirby will be temporarily reviving his V/Vm moniker for a performance of his own.

Or, maybe not-so-lastly, since I suppose I can’t end this without mentioning that the industrial/ambient outfit aTelecine, featuring the once absurdly-hardcore porn actress Sasha Grey, will be also be making their live debut at Unsound. Their music seems like a reasonable addition to the festival, so for now, I guess I’ll resist the urge to complain about Grey’s seemingly rampant pseudo-intellectualism.

On a related note, check out our overview of this year’s Unsound New York here.

• Unsound Festival:

Sic Alps announce new album for September; it’s called Sic Alps because they’ve already titled too much stuff recently

In less than a year’s time, Sic Alps have released four 7-inches, a live CD-R (download at the second link here), and a Daytrotter session. If you count the 23 separate fragments making up the Vedley 7-inch, there have been 40 tracks pumped out since Napa Asylum (TMT Review), and they’re pretty much uniformly excellent.

So let’s make it a nice round 50 today, shall we? Sic Alps have just announced a new 10-track album for September 11 release through Drag City, with leadoff song “Glyphs” available to stream/download here. Yep, the analog equipment is still well-heated, the guitar solos still busted, and the melodies still snaking/not immediately catchy until you find yourself humming it on BART tomorrow. But changes are afoot as well! “Glyphs” has string arrangements from Joanna Newsom’s own arranger Ryan Francesconi (!). Only one song on the album is less than two minutes (!!). One track is called “Polka Vat” (!!!).

Mikey Kinks Donovan and ______ will be touring as Sic Alps around the September release date with SF pals in productivity Thee Oh Sees, though in my “H.O.” I truly don’t see any other connection between those two bands. Check out an extended live version of “Wake Up, It’s Over” below, which will be getting a sequel on the new record!

Sic Alps tracklisting:

01. Glyphs
02. God Bless Her, I Miss Her
03. Lazee Son
04. Polka Vat
05. Wake Up, It’s Over II
06. Drink Up!
07. Tylacine Man
08. Moviehead
09. Rock Races
10. See You on the Slopes

Dates (all w/ Thee Oh Sees):

09.09.12 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
09.10.12 - San Diego, CA - Bar Pink
10.02.12 - Missoula, MT - VFW
10.03.12 - Calgary, AB - Broken City
10.04.12 - Calgary, AB - Broken City
10.06.12 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theater

• Sic Alps:
• Drag City:

Daughn Gibson playing five shows in June, though surprisingly not in truck stops

Driving down lonely highways in the dead of night. Forgetting yourself in the dark glow of a neon sign as you wait for last call. Wistfully dreaming of better days. These are all activities that one should engage in before checking out crooner Daughn (pronounced “Don”) Gibson and his dubbified brand of old timey country. Or just listen to his fantastic new album on White Denim, All Hell (TMT Review).

Gibson is set to play a small number of shows around the Northeast starting tomorrow, including two gigs in Toronto as part of the NXNE festival, the great white North’s answer to Austin’s SXSW. I’m assuming Gibson will be personally driving a big rig to each of these shows and the lack of destinations is just a reflection of high gas prices. Let’s hope Daughn expands his itinerary if and when the economy gets out of the shitter.


06.14.12 - Brooklyn, NY - The Cameo Gallery
06.15.12 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison (NXNE)
06.16.12 - Toronto, ON
 - Wrongbar (NXNE)
06.23.12 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West
06.27.12 - New Haven, CT - BAR

• Daughn Gibson:
• White Denim:



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