‘Tis the season to get groovy with Drag City’s reissues of the Groovy Records catalog

'Tis the season to get groovy with Drag City's reissues of the Groovy Records catalog http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-12-groovy-records.jpg

Pass on the eggnog this year, and get yourself something that won’t put extra fat pockets on your hips: Drag City has brought back the full catalog of Groovy Records, the early-80s label that barely started when Pete Shelley was a preemie Buzzcock interested in releasing minimal electronic and general experimental weirdness. It’s been a good 30 years and original copies of the albums are insanely rare, so the saints at Drag City said, “Now’s as good a time as ever. Why the fuck not?!” and here we are. Vinyl fans, take note. The goodies are coming at you via four separate vinyl reissues (just released), along with digital downloads and a 4-CD box set of all the Groovy Records catalog shipping in January. Free Agents, Shelley’s own Sky Yen (Buzzcocks fans are in for an ear-beating), Sally Smmit and Her Musicians, and a full disc of unreleased stuff ALL deserve a jovial slap on the back and a celebratory “welcome to the digital age, baby!”

Much more info regarding the box set can be found on the Drag City online shop, while more pleasurable reading about each entry in the catalog can be found in full detail over in the label’s latest newsletter.

• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

Afghan Whigs reunite for ATP festival, would like to know if your sister’s single

Hey! I have a thing that’s been rattling around my head about The Afghan Whigs for a while and, since this is a story about The Afghan Whigs reuniting (which I’ll get to soon enough, thank you), I’m using this as a chance to spout off about it. Did they carve a path for hazy R&B folks like The Weeknd and, to a lesser extent, Drake? Because those guys’ damaged lothario personas seem an awful lot like Greg Dulli’s damaged lothario persona. But maybe Dulli got his persona through R&B influences and everything has just come full circle. By the way, Afghan Whigs are reuniting for some ATP festivals!

The band’s 13-year break from live shows will end somewhere between May 25 and May 27, as they will be playing the I’ll Be Your Mirror Festival at London’s Alexandra Palace then. After that, they’ll spend the summer hitting on your sister, much to your consternation. Once the summer ends and The Afghan Whigs are either dating or have moved on from your sister, Greg Dulli will curate the I’ll Be Your Mirror iteration in Asbury Park, New Jersey from September 21-23. He even booked his favorite band, The Afghan Whigs, to play on September 22. Some bands that are not The Afghan Whigs will also play.

• The Afghan Whigs: http://theafghanwhigs.com

Charles Mingus’s grandson urgently crowd funds for documentary; only a few days left!

Despite my initial unfamiliarity with the term, the concept of crowd funding is pretty self-explanatory, and chances are that if you use the internet (how exactly are you browsing TMT, anyway!?), you’ve probably come across it in some form or another. I’ll go ahead and trust Wikipedia’s definition for this: crowd funding “describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.” It can be used to gather support for virtually any cause under the sun, but has traditionally been used primarily as a means to fund creative works, such as independent films and music. The relevant news here is that, according to The Wire, Kevin Ellington Mingus is currently crowd funding for a documentary featuring his late grandfather and legendary jazz musician, Charles Mingus.

The documentary, presumptively titled Mingus on Mingus, is being marketed as a feature-length “journey of a grandson searching for the truth behind the legend of the grandfather he never knew.” Presently, the project has raised around $26,000 out of their $45,000 goal, but if it hasn’t reached that goal by Sunday, December 18 at 6 PM, then the entire thing will be CANCELED. It’s also worth pointing out that pledges are only billed once the goal is met and the campaign ends, so it’s not like there’s any risk of the younger Mingus making away with your dough if things don’t work out. Relatively few films have been done documenting Charles Mingus’s influential and accomplished life, so if you fancy yourself something of a jazz fiend, or if you’re just feeling overly generous this holiday season, head on over to the Kickstarter page and pledge a few bucks.

Mingus on Mingus: http://orangethenblue.com
• Charles Mingus: http://mingusmingusmingus.com

Hospital Productions retail store closed; go occupy something to stop this

Manhattan’s one and only noise/black metal/free jazz record store seemed to simply up and vanish last week. The physical retail presence of noise label Hospital Productions provided locals with rare and obscure noise on cassette, vinyl, or CD, and was operated by Hospital founder and Prurient noise-god Dominick Fernow, with several other metal-buff employees. Now, not long after Hospital’s announcement of their 300th release compilation double-cassette, customers and fans arriving to the shop on 3rd Street will stop in shock and horror to an empty, locked room and a “for rent” sign.

Although no official statement regarding the closing has been issued, rumor (as in one guy’s Tumblr) has it that the plan is for Hospital to maintain itself as a label and online retailer while relocating to L.A. Hospital Productions themselves are at this time unavailable for comment (at least by means we actually know of).

The good news is that Hospital Productions will indeed continue as a label, no doubt, and there is perhaps hope for another relocation of their physical store, I guess. But the real tragedy is that the store was my last reason left to stay in NYC. Now I’m packing up to move to Massachusetts, where at least I can buy a noise tape at RRRecords. You fucking kids will be sorry for downloading everything when all that’s left is the internet.

[Update: According to Apop Records, a majority of Hospital’s retail store stock was sold over to them right before the closing. Apop is currently sorting through the vast inventory and slowly adding new titles each day.]

• Hospital Productions: http://hospitalproductions.net

RIP: John C. Atterberry, former vice president of Death Row Records

From the Los Angeles Times:

A music executive critically wounded by a gunman who opened fire Friday in Hollywood died Monday, Los Angeles police said.

John C. Atterberry, 40, of Hollywood Hills was driving near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street when he was shot three times in the face and neck by the gunman, later identified by authorities as Tyler Brehm, 26, of Los Angeles.

Brehm repeatedly fired a .40-caliber handgun at motorists, police said. Atterberry’s silver Mercedes-Benz coupe was one of several cars Brehm shot at from close range. He refused to surrender to a plainclothes detective and an officer who were first on the scene. Brehm screamed that he wanted to die and pointed his weapon at the officers, who shot him.

[…]

Atterberry, a Los Angeles native, got his start working in artists and repertoire for Tabu Records, according to a biography on the Facebook page for the GridLock Group, where he served as senior partner and chief financial officer.

Early in his career he served as a vice president of Death Row Records, which at the time was home to Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. He later worked on albums for Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Brandy, the Spice Girls and Jessica Simpson.

The Magnetic Fields plot US tour, return to Merge Records for new album about love/how stupid you are

Stephin Merritt, in the last few years, really seems to have found the perfect newsboy cap to help channel lyrical/musical/conceptual genius, with the linked albums Distortion (TMT Review) and Realism (TMT Review) released in 2008 and 2010, respectively, followed by a just-announced, brand new Magnetic Fields album arriving early next year! This prolificacy is in stark contrast to the five-year gap between 69 Love Songs and i, a dark period when Mr. Merritt’s newsboy cap became misaligned, leaving him alone with simple romantic thoughts unsullied by grim reality or bone-dry wit… horribly earnest times. Thankfully his old cap was swapped for a more aerodynamic model, and the humorously pathetic thought processes of infatuated humans came rushing back into Stephin’s head in a beautiful torrent of misanthropy.

Thus, on March 6, we all must endure 15 new barbs aimed at our dumb lovey-dovey hearts, collectively entitled Love at the Bottom of the Sea. The last three or so Magnetic Fields albums have been released through Nonesuch, but this new album finds them returning to Merge, their never-really-forgotten ex-boyfriend of the 90s. Also making a return is the long-spurned use of synthesizers that were last heard on 69 Love Songs, though Merritt notes: “Most of the synthesizers on the record didn’t exist when we were last using synthesizers.” All the songs are under the three-minute mark, feature the usual rotating cast of musicians, and were recorded in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. If you pre-order the album fast enough, you could be one of the lucky 300 owners of the album on eggshell vinyl, and the first 100 orders of either the LP or the CD will have their included poster ironically signed by Stephin Merritt.

Just like the budding spring brings new lovers together, only to be torn apart by the realization of their true selves in the following seasons, a new batch of Magnetic Fields songs brings a new tour across the United States, only to be ruined by rude audiences and endless chanting for songs they recorded a decade ago. See the tourdates below the tracklisting, and go ahead and buy two tickets to the nearest venue if you really think your delusional, self-serving relationship is going to last until March.

Love at the Bottom of the Sea tracklisting:

01. God Wants Us to Wait
02. Andrew in Drag
03. Your Girlfriend’s Face
04. Born For Love
05. I’d Go Anywhere with Hugh
06. Infatuation (With Your Gyration)
07. The Only Boy in Town
08. The Machine in Your Hand
09. Goin’ Back to the Country
10. I’ve Run Away to Join the Fairies
11. The Horrible Party
12. My Husband’s Pied-a-Terre
13. I Don’t Like Your Tone
14. Quick!
15. All She Cares About Is Mariachi

2012 tourdates:

03.06.12 - Hudson, NY - Helsinki Hudson
03.07.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
03.08.12 - New York, NY - Barnes and Noble
03.11.12 - Minehead, UK - ATP
03.14.12 - Austin, TX - South by Southwest
03.15.12 - Austin, TX - South by Southwest
03.16.12 - Austin, TX - South by Southwest
03.18.12 - Vancouver, BC - The Vogue
03.19.12 - Seattle, WA - Neptune
03.20.12 - Seattle, WA - Neptune
03.21.12 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
03.23.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theater
03.24.12 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
03.26.12 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theater
03.27.12 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theater
03.28.12 - Iowa City, IA - Englert Theater
03.30.12 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
03.31.12 - Montreal, QC - Le National
04.03.12 - New York, NY - Beacon Theater
04.04.12 - New York, NY - Beacon Theater
04.06.12 - Boston, MA - Berklee Performance Center
04.07.12 - Boston, MA - Berklee Performance Center
04.09.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
04.11.12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
04.12.12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
04.13.12 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse

• The Magnetic Fields: http://www.houseoftomorrow.com
• Merge: http://www.mergerecords.com