The Pastels emerge from 16 years of semi-hibernation to release Slow Summits later this year on Domino

The Pastels emerge from 16 years of semi-hibernation to release Slow Summits later this year on Domino

Remember The Pastels? The indie pop group from Glasgow who influenced the likes of Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub, and The Aislers Set? It’s okay if you’d forgotten, considering that they haven’t released a proper LP since Illumination back in 1997. But hey, The Pastels haven’t wasted the past 16 years. Not only did they make paper-mâché unicorns and build a snow castle or two, they also wrote a soundtrack for a 2003 film called The Last Great Wilderness and collaborated with Japanese experimental psych-folk duo Tenniscoats on an album called Two Sunsets, which they released in 2009.

Recently though, according to the good folks at Consequence of Sound, The Pastels scuttled out of their mint-green igloo (or wherever else they might’ve been hibernating) and recorded Slow Summits, an LP they’ll release later this year on Domino Records. At the moment, there isn’t much to say about the album, but there is a charming teaser trailer for a song that The Pastels recorded with Blair Young of The Forest of Black, and you can mosey your eyes on down and check it out below:

• The Pastels:
• Domino:

Swans announce UK tourdates with Xiu Xiu for April (or possibly play elaborate April Fools’ prank)

[Update: many more tourdates have been announced; see the updated list below.]

UK Swans fans, you’re in luck. Michael Gira and company are stopping in the United Kingdom for a string of shows as part of a larger European tour in April. The band will be hitting four cities with Xiu Xiu in tow, as well as headlining the Gira-curated Mouth to Mouth mini-festival with Xiu Xiu, Mercury Rev’s Cinematic Silent Sound Tettix Wave Ensemble, Ben Frost, and more to be announced.

A busy 2012 is turning into a busy 2013 as Swans are still touring in support of their acclaimed 2012 album The Seer (TMT Review) which was pretty high up on our Favorite 50 Albums list. We dug it.

Here are the UK WORLD tourdates (written with the month first because this is America, damn it) and again, all dates include Xiu Xiu:

02.06.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Williamsburg Music Hall
02.07.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Williamsburg Music Hall
02.13.13 - Sydney, Australia - Manning Bar
02.15.13 - Melbourne, Australia - Corner Hotel
02.16.13 - Melbourne, Australia - ATP Festival
02.19.13 - Tokyo, Japan - UNIT
03.12.13 - Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia
03.14.13 - Brno, Czech Republic - Fleda Club
03.15.13 - Krakow, Poland - Kwadrat
03.16.13 - Warsaw, Poland - Stodola
03.18.13 - Moscow, Russia - Moscow Hall
03.19.13 - Budapest, Hungary - Akvarium Klub
03.21.13 - Milan, Italy - Magazzini Generali
03.22.13 - Rome, Italy - Circolo Degli Artisti
03.23.13 - Verona, Italy - Interzona
03.25.13 - Basel, Switzerland - Kaserne
03.26.13 - Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland - L’Amalgame Club
03.27.13 - Feyzin, France - L’Epicerie Moderne
03.28.13 - Dijon, France - Le Consortium
03.29.13 - Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg - Central Cultrel Kulturfabrik
03.30.13 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix Venue
04.01.13 - Birmingham, UK - HMV Institute
04.02.13 - Brighton, UK - Concorde 2
04.04.13 - London, UK - KOKO (Mouth To Mouth)
04.05.13 - Leeds, UK - Stylus
04.06.13 - Bristol, UK - Arnolfini
04.07.13 - Istanbul, Turkey - Salon IKSV

• Swans:
• Xiu Xiu:

Iceage announce RUDE new album You’re Nothing for February, continue streak of unstoppable rudeness

Do you like punk? Do you like rudeness? Well well well, do I have a band for you. Denmark’s Iceage are well-known for being a great punk band, but they’re even better known for being RUDE DUDES. They spit at children, they slam doors, they don’t even tip. That last one might be a cultural difference, but it also might not be a cultural difference. For their latest act of rudeness, they’ve announced a new album coming out February 19 through Matador Records. That doesn’t sound particularly rude in and of itself, but get a load of what it’s titled: You’re Nothing. UGH! That is a very rude thing to name your record, Iceage! I’m not nothing, you’re nothing! A rude nothing at that.

Presumably because no producer would stand for such a rude bunch, the album was produced and recorded by Iceage themselves in Copenhagen and Møn, Denmark. If you pre-order the record from Matador’s store, you’ll receive a free limited-edition poster designed by the band. WARNING/INCENTIVE: considering the band’s well-documented rudeness, the poster may well just be a picture of their butts. If you are in any way offended by the band or their antics, please take it up with them at their January 25 show at Brooklyn’s 285 Kent. Currently, that’s the band’s only forthcoming date, but I’m sure they’ll be doing rudeness in your city soon enough.

You’re Nothing tracklist:

01. Ecstasy
02. Coalition
03. Interlude
04. Burning Hand
05. In Haze
06. Morals
07. Everything Drifts
08. Wounded Hearts
09. It Might Hit First
10. Rodfæstet
11. Awake
12. You’re Nothing

• Iceage:
• Matador:

Extremely popular record labels not so extremely popular; YouTube removes billions of fake views from their videos

Inevitably, the advent of social media has coincided with a perpetual, if not always explicit, popularity contest. How many people are you friends with on Facebook? How many Twitter followers do you have? How many strangers on YouTube have subscribed to your channel, despite the complete and utter vapidity of your uploads? For some reason, there’s even a “service” that quantifies your combined popularity on these sites, which brings with it a new, though not entirely different, question… just what is your Klout score, anyway?

E-recognition isn’t just a goal for the individual. To say nothing of media and advertising companies in general, record labels have also recognized an avenue for marketing through the posting of videos on YouTube. Color me unsurprised when it was revealed a couple of weeks ago that YouTube had to significantly reduce the view count for these videos, because the record labels had, to a large extent, been faking them.

According to the Daily Dot, on December 19, YouTube removed over 2 billion views from three of the largest record labels: 1 billion from Universal Music Group, more than 850 million from Sony Music Entertainment, and 159 million from RCA Records, separately. Each label allegedly used the website Fiverr to buy views for their respective videos, affecting channels belonging to Michael Jackson, Avril Lavigne, Beyoncé, and Chris Brown. (A more mundane explanation is offered here.)

In response to related user complaints on the Google forums (as well as actions against individual users), a Google representative wrote, “This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewpoint policy.” One might also dub it an ego-deflating policy.

• YouTube:

Tame Impala announce US headlining tour, because they’re ready for some foooootbaaaaaaalll

Tame Impala are a psychedelic rock band from Australia who recently put out their acclaimed second record, Lonerism (TMT Review), on Modular Recordings. It made #37 on our Favorite 50 Albums of 2012 list. More importantly, though, they’re ready for some foooooooootbaaaaaaallllll! That’s why they’re coming to North America for a headlining tour. While I’m sure they’ll enjoy the shows, you know they’re more interested in watching some of that good old fashioned American pigskin.

Unfortunately, they are not coming here at the right time. The football season concludes at the beginning of February, while Tame Impala will start their tour in the middle of that same month. Very sad, very bad timing if they wanted to watch some football. Go to one of their shows if you would like to see some sad Australian guys. Also, go there if you want to hear some pretty great neo-psychedelic songs. Now, come on, let’s go throw the football.

Tame Impala dates:

02.19.13 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
02.20.13 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
02.21.13 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
02.22.13 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
02.23.13 - Athens, GA - The Georgia Theater
02.25.13 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s
02.26.13 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
02.27.13 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
02.28.13 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom
03.02.13 - Louisville, KY - Headliner’s Music Hall
03.03.13 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom
03.04.13 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
03.06.13 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theater
03.07.13 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
03.08.13 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
03.09.13 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
03.11.13 - Montreal, QC - Corona Theater
03.12.13 - Boston, MA - House of Blues

• Tame Impala:
• Modular:

Sublime Frequencies unearths more rare music from Asia this very month

Good news for fans of the obscure, unheard, and obtuse, as Alan Bishop’s Sublime Frequencies label has a few new albums due out later this month. Three new releases are coming January 22, 2013 and focus on Korea, Burma, Singapore, and Malaysia.

The first is Scattered Melodies: Korean Kayagum Sanjo compiled by 78 rpm record enthusiast, Sublime Frequencies contributor, and Climax Golden Twins co-founder Robert Millis. The collection focuses on Korean kayagum sanjo, a form of improvised music somewhere between folk and classical, developed in the 1890s for the kayagum (kayagum, or gayageum, being a stringed instrument similar to a zither or a Japanese koto). The music features slowly building tempos, elastic rhythms, and improvised melodies. The songs on the album are pulled from Korean 78 rpm records dated between 1925 and 1959 that have survived Japanese and Red Army occupation, a full scale war fought by the United States, and almost 70 years of a divided people. Scattered Melodies will arrive in a tip-on jacket including a two-sided insert and extensive liner notes by Millis.

The second collection for early next year focuses on Burma. The Crying Princess: 78 RPM Records from Burma is a collection compiled from the 78s purchased by Millis and label head (and former Sun City Girl) Bishop from various trips to Burma (Myanmar) over the years. The songs are pulled from records dating between 1909 (!) and 1960. This record features early tracks from early giant of the Burmese music scene Po Sein, vocal and harp music from the 1920s, “modern” songs with electric guitar, and unique Burmese pop songs with piano. The Crying Princess and Scattered Melodies are Sublime Frequencies’ first-ever collections of 78s.

Finally, the third release for January is Pop Yeh Yeh – Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970: Volume 1. Compiled after eight years of research by Carl Hamm, the compilation features 26 songs on CD of Pop Yeh Yeh, a style unique to Singapore and Malaysia that’s a cross-pollination of Beatles-influenced Western rock as well as homegrown sounds. The first compilation released in the United States to focus primarily on Malay rock group, Pop Yeh Yeh should be accessible to Western ears while retaining its foreign allure.

For anyone looking to expand their musical horizons, or if you’re just burnt out on vaporwave, make sure to keep an eye out this upcoming January, as Sublime Frequencies only does limited runs of their albums and does not repress anything.

Scattered Melodies: Korean Kayagum Sanjo tracklisting:

A1. Kim Hae Sun - Chinyangjo
A2. Kim Hae Sun - Chungmori
A3. Jung Nam Hee - Chinyangjo
A4. Jung Nam Hee - Chungmori
A5. Jung Nam Hee - Chungchungmori (Utmori)
A6. Jung Nam Hee - Chajinmori
B1. An Ki-ok - Chinyangjo
B2. Shim Sang-gun - Daseureum
B3. Shim Sang-gun - Chungchungmori
B4. Shim Sang-gun - Eonmori
B5. Kim Chong-ki - Chinyangjo
B6. Kim Chong-ki - Chungmori (1)
B7. Kim Chong-ki - Chungmori (2)

The Crying Princess: 78 RPM Records from Burma tracklisting:

A1. Po Sein - Maung Sein Mida part 1
A2. Aung Bala - Maung Sein Mida part 2
A3. Ma Sein Myine - Beneath Meza Mountain
A4. Ma Kyin U, Ma Gyee, Duck Oh - The Crying Princess
A5. Po Sein and Ma Kyin U. - Romantic Duet
A6. Ma Kyaw Bala, Ma Sein Myine, Ma Chin Yone - Untitled Trio part 1
A7. Ma Kyaw Bala, Ma Sein Myine, Ma Chin Yone - Untitled Trio part 2
B1. Yadana Myit - Perfumed Forest part 1
B2. Yadana Myit - Perfumed Forest part 2
B3. Thein Zaw and Myint Myint San - Ma Sawa
B4. May - Mya Mya Hay Wan
B5. May - Hla Mying Mae Nav
B6. St. Gun Khin May - Shan Village part 1
B7. St. Gun Khin May - Shan Village part 2

Pop Yeh Yeh - Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970: Vol. 1 tracklisting:

01. Adnan Othman & The Rhythmn Boys - Budi Bahasa
02. M. Osman & Orkes Nirwana - Kisah Disampang
03. Roziah Latiff And The Jayhawkers - Aku Kechewa
04. Fatimah Amin & The Clans - Oh Teruna
05. Afida Es & The Siglap Boys - Jangan Goda
06. Rajah Ahmad & Dengan Dendang Irama - Oh Ya Ya
07. M. Said & Les Remaja - Temasah Ria
08. Fabians Boys (feat. Halipah) - Bersiar Siar
09. M. Osman & Les Fentones - Dara
10. A. Rahman Hassan & Orkes Nirwana - Syurga Idaman
11. Halim “Janda-Ku” Yatim & The Sangam Boys - Jauh Pandangan
12. Zaleha Hamid & The Black Cats - Nelayan Bersampan
13. A Ramlie & the Rhythmn Boys - Kasih Tak Sudah
14. Salim I & The Wisma - Bersiar di Taman Hiboran
15. A. Rahman Hassan & Orkes Nirwana - Bimban
16. M. Rahmat & The Teruna - Mula Bertemu
17. Adnan Othman & The Wanderers - Revolusi
18. Nur Azilah & Desa Bersaudara - Ayah… Kini ku Bercinta
19. A. Halim & De’Fictions - Kembali Lagi
20. Siti Zaiton & The Twilite - Rindu
21. Zaleha Hamid & Orkes Zindegi - Bertemasha
22. Noor Hamza & Band Mesra - Sidia Siapa
23. J. Sham & The Wanderers - Surat Ku Untuk Mu
24. A. Halim & De’Fictions - Kan Hilang Nanti
25. A. Rahman Hassan & Orkes Nirwana - Tak Mengapa
26. Hasnah Haron & The Spiritual 70s - Bintang Pujaan

• Sublime Frequencies: