Van Dyke Parks gives Songs Cycled a US release date, reduces several bald eagles to tears

Van Dyke Parks gives Songs Cycled a US release date, reduces several bald eagles to tears

What’s up, Mr. Parks? Since I know you’re reading this as you gear up for the release of your new album Songs Cycled, I thought I’d shoot a couple questions your way. Vanny D., do you remember which country raised you? Do you remember which country instilled in you the belief that the only way to make yourself truly valuable was to amass as much property and capital as possible? Do you remember which country taught you that there should be no taxation without representation, and that apple pie and baseball are the only pure pleasures in this world? Have you forgotten???

Dear readers, it would appear as if Mr. Parks has turned his back on the great nation of America! Though, of course, Songs Cycled will be available, eventually, in the US, it won’t be released until July 23. That’s over two months after the UK release date of May 6! This is an OUTRAGE!! A travesty! And, okay, maybe you’re sitting at home saying to yourself, “Chill out a little bit, Taylor. I mean, yes, America is the greatest country in the world and all, but come on, at least we can stream the album ahead of time online, let’s take solace in that!” Well, if you are indeed saying this to your computer, I would first remind you that I cannot hear you, and second, I would suggest that you, as the saying goes, “check yourself before you wreck yourself,” because, dear friends, the online stream of Songs Cycled hosted by The Guardian is NOT AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES! Don’t believe me? Check for yourself right here. (There are rumors, unconfirmed on my end though they may be, that if you can fake a British accent well enough while on the page, it will let you listen to the tracks. I say give it a shot).

So yes, of course Songs Cycled will still feature a probably delightful array of tunes, both covers and originals, with guest vocal spots from the likes of Gaby Moreno and Irana George. And yes, Vanny D. is still very much the king of American songwriters (er… I mean the president), and it’d take a whole lot more than a little British favoritism on his part for us to be able to quit him. We Americans are nothing if not forgiving and possessed of short memories! Even so, it’s stuff like this that wounds the square-jawed and barrel-chested patriot in me, ya know? If you can get over the pain of your wounded patriotism, maybe catch him at a few dates throughout May, listed below.

Songs Cycled tracklist:

01. Dreaming of Paris (original)
02. Hold Back Time (re-recording of song from Orange Crate Art)
03. Sassafras (new recording, originally by Billy Edd Wheeler)
04. Black Gold (a fantasy on the sinking of The Prestige, off the coast of the Bay of Biscay, recorded in 2002)
05. Aquarium (cover of Saint-Saëns piece, recorded in 1971 with the Esso Trinidad Steel Band)
06. Money Is King (picks up where “Wall Street” ends, written with Growling Tiger, a.k.a. Trinidadian Calypso musician Neville Marcano)
07. Wall Street (original)
08. The Parting Hand (version of a Sacred Harp hymn from the 1800s)
09. The All Golden (a re-recording from Song Cycle)
10. Wedding in Madagascar (version of traditional folk song)
11. Missin’ Mississippi (original)
12. Amazing Graces (ft. The Van Dyke Parks Orchestra)

Upcoming Van Dyke Parks dates:

05.05.13 - London, UK - ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror
05.19.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge
05.23.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (Speaking on a panel as part of the Red Bull Music Academy)

• Van Dyke Parks:
• Bella Union:

sunn 0))) entire discography up for free streaming on Bandcamp; this will forever be newsworthy

Do you ever come home from a hard day at work with an urge to unwind by a sea of sludgy monochromatic nihilism? Yeah, me too. Well, that sharp thirst just a got a little easier to slake now that the interweb has gotten a lot doomier; as The Quietus report, sunn 0)))’s ENTIRE discography can now be streamed FOR FREE via their Bandcamp page (and purchased for ~$8 per release if you’re so inclined).

Is there anything more comforting than drone? It’s the wombadelic sound of pre-ego existence, the sonic warmth of a life free from the burdens of the world, music awash in the primal need to express our thoughts through sound. sunn 0))) helped renew popular interest in this musical form, producing albums that act as metallic reflections of Tony Conrad’s seminal drone visions. There’s a certain unplaceable gratification in confronting oblivion head on, facing an aural void of absurd existential derangement with a welcome sense of masochism.

In light of our many debts to sunn 0))), go on, get comfortable, and gratify yourself already; and while you’re at it, you might as well digitally purchase a masterwork or four for good measure. I know I will.

• sunn 0))) Bandcamp:


Recently, I was at a wishing well. You know, hanging out at a wishing well, just like people do on a Saturday or Sunday. Since it was a, you know, wishing well, I threw a quarter in and made a wish. The same wish I always make: that Big Freedia would go on tour with The Postal Service.


As absolutely insane and amazing as it sounds, bounce MC Big Freedia is going on tour with the recently-reunited Postal Service this July. This means that thousands of misty-eyed, sweater-wearing (yes, even in the summer) folk will face a phalanx of shaking butts and the mighty cry of “ASS EVERYWHERE ASS EVERYWHERE ASS EVERYWHERE” this summer. I doubt anything better is happening all year.

Here’s how Freedia herself puts it: “I’m so excited to open shows with The Postal Service. I love being put with artists that people wouldn’t expect — and they are raw as hell.” When I die, put that on my tombstone. “Eric Nagurney 1987-2052 ‘[The Postal Service] are raw as hell’ - Big Freedia”

Big Freedia + The Postal Service dates:

07.16.13 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
07.17.13 - Portland, OR - Rose Garden Arena
07.18.13 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena
07.20.13 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
07.21.13 - San Diego, CA - SDSU Open Air Theatre
07.23.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
07.26.13 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre Berkeley

• Big Freedia:
• Postal Service:

RIP: Jeff Hanneman, Slayer guitarist

From Billboard:

Slayer guitarist and founding member Jeff Hanneman died earlier today of liver failure. He was 49.

The band’s longtime publicist issued the following statement today:

“Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. He was 49. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.”

Hanneman co-founded the thrash metal greats with Kerry King in 1981; their breakthrough came in 1986 with the landmark album “Reign in Blood.” Hanneman wrote or co-wrote the set’s standout tracks, “Angel of Death” and “Raining Blood.”

• Slayer:

Ende Tymes doing fundraiser for May festival: Aaron Dilloway, Macronympha, Crank Sturgeon, Pulse Emitter, Bhob Rainey, Andy Ortmann, more

As John spake it in the holy book of Revelation, chapter one, verse seven, “Look, it is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see it; and all peoples on earth will mourn because of the Ende Tymes Festival. So shall it be! Amen.” And so this prophecy shall be fulfilled, once again, for the third time, May 24-26.

But the miraculous advent of Aaron Dilloway, Crank Sturgeon, Work/Death, and countless other noisemakers will require much prayer, conviction, and tithing into the festival’s crowdsourcing fundraiser at IndieGoGo. Thou hast only four days left to contribute and reap the precious swag and benefits of timely responders! Make haste! So that these apostles of harsh sound may be compensated fairly!

Doth thou readers tire of our Biblical humor at every mention of this festival? Then thou art a stick in the mud! Haters doth hate.

• Ende Tymes:
• Ende Tymes Fundraiser:…

Drag City reissuing Royal Trux’s 3-Song EP in June, could not be convinced to rename it

There seem to be two schools of thought concerning Royal Trux. One sees Accelerator (Drag City, 1998) as RT’s magnum opus, the long-awaited distillation of the heroin-damaged chaos that marked their earlier work; the other sees it as an album eight years past their prime, a perversely muted affair in comparison to the monomaniacal purity of 1990’s Twin Infinitives.

Regardless of the poison you pick — and don’t be fooled, it’s exactly that — you’re guaranteed a generous helping of hydrochloric substance. Royal Trux could always be counted on to provide an essence of something altogether broken, whole, dead, and alive all at once. Their sound? A nocturnal, Stooges-like mess of broken glass, smog, motor-oil, and frayed nerves. If Twin Infinitives was an exquisite corpse of shattered parts — the result of a monstrous structure collapsed from unbearable perversity — Accelerator was the sound of putting the Humpty Dumpty back together again. In the two records one can find both poles of the Royal Trux spectrum, a sort of diptych of their delightfully grotesque legacy.

Hanging somewhere in the void is everything else the band recorded, which includes 98’s 3-Song EP. After Accelerator’s unexpectedly warm reception, a tour was soon scheduled. This entailed assembling a full-fledged band, one made up of many Drag City players, most notably bassist David Pajo. After arriving at Royal Trux’s Virginia ranch for rehearsal, the newly formed band was hurriedly prepared for the recording of a new EP. The end result was the 3-Song EP, a relatively straightforward, proggy, and low-end heavy set of songs; which didn’t make them any less intoxicating, mind you. After all, it was still Royal Trux, for fuck’s sake.

The 3-Song EP has been rather difficult to track down as of late, being out of print for almost a decade. But! Drag City (swooping in to save the day) has been unearthing the Royal Trux archive piece by piece, and the next step will be reissuing the 3-Song EP on June 18.

And if you don’t already own the first few albums (as well as Accelerator) don’t worry, everything is going to be okay; you can still rectify your impoverished situation by picking them up at the Drag City store.

• Drag City: