Thrill Jockey announces 20th Anniversary shows, and Tortoise aren’t playing at any of them!? Just kidding, they totally are.

Thrill Jockey announces 20th Anniversary shows, and Tortoise aren't playing at any of them!? Just kidding, they totally are.

What were you doing 20 years ago? As a precursor to my rebellious (not really) teenage years, I shrugged off the necessity of daycare by hiring my own personal bus driver. It was the first day of morning Kindergarten, and my sister, four years my senior, was supposed to assure my transition to afternoon daycare (which was held in the same elementary school), as both of my parents were working at the time.

Instead of acquiescing, my prepubescent mind saw everyone else heading out to where the school buses were lined up, and I followed suit. Not knowing which bus to take, I selected one randomly. Somehow the driver figured out where I live (I’m not entirely sure that I was capable of repeating my own address at that age), and my mom, who was luckily home for lunch, greeted me with surprise and confusion.

To apply my own anecdote to the subject of this article, it takes a willingness to jump on random buses (in other words, take risks) in order to start a record label. The Chicago-based independent label Thrill Jockey did just that 20 years ago, and now they’re celebrating their success with a series of “special concerts, a comedy record of sorts, a very special poster series,” a short film series, and ongoing album reissues.

All of that begins in September. The “special concerts,” in particular, look to be fantastic overviews of Thrill Jockey’s history, as they feature, depending on the show, such label mainstays as Tortoise (of course), Trans Am, Barn Owl, and Future Islands. The electronic duo Matmos, who recently just signed with the label, will also be performing at the Baltimore and New York (Webster Hall) shows.

You think that’s it? Alongside even more posters and videos, Thrill Jockey assures us of additional concerts to be announced. Check out the varying lineups of their currently scheduled shows here and below.

09.13.12 - Baltimore, MD - Ram’s Head Live
Future Islands
Dan Friel
Special Guest Host: Ed Schrader

09.14.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Death by Audio

White Hills

Guardian Alien
Man Forever

Dan Friel


09.15.12 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
Future Islands
D. Charles Speer
Special Guests: The Black Twig Pickers

11.09.12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
Trans Am
Eternal Tapestry
Barn Owl
Golden Retreiver
Mike Scheidt
Jason Urick

• Thrill Jockey:

RIP: Bob Babbitt, Motown bassist

From Detroit Free Press:

Motown bass player Bob Babbitt, whose work lit up a host of hits in the ’60s and ’70s, died [Monday, July 16] in Nashville, friends said. He was 74.

Babbitt had been diagnosed in early 2011 with an inoperable brain tumor. He was recently readmitted to the hospital after a year of home hospice care.

“Bob was a teddy bear of a guy,” said former Motown engineer Ed Wolfrum. “And he was an extraordinary musician — a player’s player.”

At Motown Records in the late ’60s, Babbitt’s thick, fluid bass lines drove the groove on songs by the Temptations (“Ball of Confusion”), Stevie Wonder (“Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours),” Rare Earth (“Losing You”), Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (“The Tears of a Clown”) and many others.

• Bob Babbitt:

Samara Lubelski’s releasing an album called Wavelength on July 24 via De Stijl, and don’t you dare call it psych-folk

Samara Lubelski hasn’t released a solo album since Future Slip in 2009, so what’s she been up to since then? Playing violin in a field of giant aluminum flowers? Strumming her guitar on a meteor near Saturn? Collecting rocks? Harvesting stars?

Lubelski has definitely played in Thurston Moore’s band, Chelsea Light Moving, and released a Eureka!-worthy album with Marcia Bassett called Sunday Night, Sunday Afternoon (TMT Review). She’s definitely played in a trio called Metal Mountains and contributed to Unrock’s 2010 series of live CDs. She’s definitely worked on a variety of engineering projects. She’s possibly taught dragonflies to swim, too.

On July 24, Lubelski will release her sixth album, Wavelength, on De Stijl, and it shows the multi-instrumentalist and singer still skirting the inevitable psych-folk label with electric soundscapes (check out the title track below). The album features appearances by many of Lubelski’s friends — P.G. Six on guitars, Helen Rush on Casio, Steve Shelley on drums, Moritz Finkbeiner on keyboards, Thilo Kuhn on Mellotron and vibraphone, Werner Notzel on organ guitar, Willie Lane on guitar, and Mouthus’ Brian Sullivan on guitar — and they all play strictly cosmic-psych or space folk or dream noise.

Wavelength tracklist:

01. Nice Price
02. Jammage Cruiser
03. Merch Girls
04. Hang of Summer
05. Switch Up
06. Breaker Lights
07. Astral House, The Jokers Scene
08. Run Out Arcade
09. Group Exchanges
10. Drifter vs. The Believers
11. Age of Decay
12. Wavelength

• Samara Lubelski:
• De Stijl:

Jandek, Bradford Cox, Elephant 6 members to play a show together, plant some sunflowers

Jandek sits in a broken chair, strumming a guitar he’s never tuned and singing about midnight telephone calls and wind. No one can hear him. No one can see him.

Bradford Cox smears sunscreen across his face and tells ghost stories to a group of kids wearing printed button-downs and fedoras.

On July 28, Jandek will leave his room and Bradford Cox will put on a hat, maybe a pair of sunglasses. According to Pitchfork, Cox will play guitar in Jandek’s backing band at an Athens, GA show held at the Orange Twin Conservation Community. Cox will play along with various Elephant 6 figures — John Fernandes of Olivia Tremor Control and Circulatory System on bass clarinet and violin, Eric Harris of Elf Power and Olivia Tremor Control on drums, and Heather McIntosh of The Instruments and Gnarls Barkley on cello. Check the details here.

Date (yup, just one):

07.28.12 - Athens, GA - Orange Twin Conservation Community Amphitheater

• Jandek:
• Bradford Cox:
• Orange Twin:

RIP: Ms. Melodie of Boogie Down Productions

From MTV:

Ms. Melodie, member of the legendary Boogie Down Productions crew and ex-wife of BDP founder KRS-ONE has reportedly passed away.

The Brooklyn native born Ramona Parker was signed to Jive Records where she released her debut album Diva back in 1989. Ms Melodie carved a name for herself in the hip-hop circuit thanks to memorable songs such as “Hype According To Ms. Melodie” and “Live On Stage.” One of Melodie’s latter appearances took place in the classic BDP led “Stop The Violence” video for the song “Self Destruction.” “I’m Ms. Melodie and aim a born again rebel” the raptress spit over the funky tune.

According to reports no cause of death has been revealed.

• Ms. Melodie:
• Boogie Down Productions:

The Power of the Riff Festival (West Coast Division) adds more power, a little sunn 0))) to lineup

The Power of the Riff festival — West Coast division — has announced that six new acts have been added to the lineup for the “event that honors extreme music fans and musicians of all ages,” and gives a place for metal fans to congregate and not get laughed at.

In addition to previously announced bands OFF!, Dr. Know, Repulsion, Noothgrush, Xibalba, Eagle Twin, Power Trip, Ancestors, Alpha & Omega, Gaza, DNF, Retox, The Love Below, Avon Ladies, Cops, and Hordes, the one-day festival emanating from Los Angeles’ Echo/Echoplex on August 11 and co-curated by Southern Lord Records will now also include sunn 0))) (making their first West Coast appearance in three years), Nausea, Despise You, Hoax, Bio-Crisis, and Xaphan.

This year’s event marks the third anniversary of the festival and will also include a record swap/meet of local stores and pop-up stores by indie record labels, DJ sets, and a food-truck food-court featuring plenty of fried food, at least a couple versions of hamburgers, and for the more adventurous type, fish tacos.

• The Power of the Riff:
• Southern Lord:


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