It seems like a no-brainer to me. If you are going to buy music (rather than steal it) you might as well do so physically; that is, you ought to have at least some material gain to show for after a thorough pocket scraping. Furthermore — and I’m going to break some spirits here — size matters. As every bleeding-heart white-lying female won’t tell you: bigger is better. It’s simply much more satisfying to have the larger artwork of a vinyl LP in your hand than it is to wrestle the mini-booklet from that somehow already cracked, pathetically smaller jewel case (are those the lyrics or just really tiny pictures?). Plus one of those damn teeth on the inside always breaks off, so have fun living with that tic-tac rattle sound for at least another five years.

Well anyway, it seems some of you clods out there are wising up, because, as the IFPI’s (International Federations of the Phonographic Industry) annual “Recording Industry in Numbers” and FACT report, vinyl sales are up, at their highest level since 1997. Oh and, surprise surprise, CD and tape revenues are down, while digital downloads and streaming services have continued to grow.

Now before you get too excited, let’s remember what 1997 was like: Blockbuster Music was still bustling, and CDs (the top earner) were regularly bought for $17.99. This was a bleak consumer environment still dominated by the painfully overpriced CD — vinyl records weren’t exactly flying off the shelves.

So, while things are looking up for our old, old friend the vinyl record, this is hardly a victory worth celebrating. But, I for one, will continue to throw wads of cash at my compulsion to extend my fetish collection by a few more units, cuz’ after all, bigger is better.

• International Federation of the Phonographic Industry:

Keith Fullerton Whitman adds 12-hour collection of pop deformations to SoundCloud; corporate America grinds to a halt as thousands of workers call in sick

Who knew all it would take to bring capitalism to its knees was 12 hours of new music from Keith Fullerton Whitman all at once? I don’t know about your neighborhood, but outside my window I can see two abandoned semi-trucks, several small fires, and an Arby’s in the process of being looted. All of this happened because apparently everyone called in sick today so they could listen to all 12 hours of Whitman’s Greatest Hits. With everyone at home faking coughs, industry just kind of… stopped.

Whitman, as opposed to literally every other human in the country, never calls in sick and is also possibly a machine (maybe a Voight-Kampff one, eh? eh?). He says he started working on these tracks back around 2003 when he began taking bits and pieces of pop songs from his youth and running them through a variety of processes and effects, making what he calls “automatic enhancements,” which sounds both awesome and an awful lot like a CSI: Miami joke. You can find the first 100 tracks on Whitman’s SoundCloud now. He says making them was a sort of therapy over the years, and that he feels the end results shine “a flashlight into the dark corners of each selection, revealing the ghosts lurking within,” the ghost part of which sounds pretty scary to me given the fact the electrical grid is clearly on its way out here and it’s getting dark now. Check out some of the songs over at the Chocolate Grinder.

Hopefully your experience of hearing these tracks in our new era is pleasant and not at all post-apocalyptic. For what it’s worth, though the tracks seem to sound uniformly excellent and the Arby’s near my house is still closed, so this whole “post-capitalist” thing has been kind of a mixed bag for me so far.

• Keith Fullerton Whitman:

Dirty Projectors to release 12-inch-long remix of “The Socialites.” Are they compensating for something?

If you’ve ever sat around idly listening to Dirty Projectors at some point and thought “Gee, this is cool stuff and all, but I’d really be sold if this band somehow sounded a little more like Hot Chip” (and I think it’s safe to say that we all have), I’ve got some sweet news for you! Dirty-Dave Longstreth and co. are finally giving us all what we really want: simpler, longer, more autotuned, and more repetitive versions of their songs without all that “compositionally adventurous” bullshit gumming up the works. Thank GOD!

Yup, the band has announced a collection of remixes of the track “The Socialites,” a track from from last year’s critically-acclaimed-by-someone-somewhere-but-not-by-us-that’s-for-goddamn-sure-motherfuckers Swing Lo Magellan LP. Three versions of the jam in question will be kicked out on May 13 by Domino, in both digital and “white label 12” vinyl” formats that will feature remixes from Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, AlunaGeorge, and FaltyDL. But if, like me, you just cannot wait to be rocked, you can pre-order the thing now at the Domino site while you check out Goddard’s remix below. Ahhh, finally: now these are some drum beats you can set your watch to!

The Socialites (Remixes) 12-inch tracklist:

A. The Socialites (Joe Goddard Remix)
B1. The Socialites (AlunaGeorge Remix)
B2. The Socialites (Falty DL Remix)

Upcoming DP dates:

04.17.13 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall ^
04.18.13 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground ^
041.9.13 - Portsmouth, NY - Portsmouth Singer-Songwriter Festival
04.20.13 - Providence, RI - Brown University
05.10.13 - Napa, CA - Bottle Rock Festival
05.17-19.13 - Gulf Shores, AL - Hangout Festival
05.24-27.13 - George, WA - Sasquatch Festival
005.26.13 - Boston, MA - Boston Calling
06.06.13 - Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion #
06.07.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center for the Performing Arts #
06.08-09.13 - New York, NY - Governors Ball
06.10.13 - Raleigh, NC - Red Hat Amphitheatre #
06.11.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE #
06.12.13 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
06.13.13 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall (Early Show)
06.14.13 - Chicago, IL L-incoln Hall (Late Show)
06.14-6.16.13 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo

^ Delicate Steve
# The National

• Dirty Projectors:
• Domino:

The Music Tapes announce a Traveling Imaginary tour through magic and carnivals and dreams everywhere

You’ve just walked into a circus tent. Maybe it’s painted with cerulean and mint stripes, or maybe it’s stitched with tiny crescent moons. You wander between old-fashioned carnival games, then you notice cartoons projected onto a fabric screen. Rabbits wearing top hats picking flowers from clouds. Garden gnomes riding a ferris wheel. Reindeer ice skating between mountains made of candy. You hear the wobble of a singing saw, and when you follow the sound, you notice a smiling television. And the tallest metronome you’ve ever seen. And the tallest snowman you’ve ever seen.

Is this some dream from a surreal picture book?


Just a Music Tapes show.

Last year, The Music Tapes released Mary’s Voice (TMT Review) and launched a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund their most elaborate tour yet. They’ve lined up their first string of nationwide dates as The Traveling Imaginary, and they’ll hop across the pond to tour Europe on June 24. Watch the trailer below to see what beautiful and fantastic surprises Julian Koster has in store for you:


04.22.13 - Purchase, NY - The Stood Center at SUNY Purchase
04.25.13 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church (early show)
04.25.13 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church (late show)
05.01.13 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge (2 shows)
05.07.13 - Portland, OR - Mission Theatre (2 shows)
05.09.13 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project (2 shows)
05.12.13 - San Francisco, CA - TBA
05.14.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theatre (2 shows)

• The Music Tapes:
• Merge:

More Speck Mountain, please: Chicago space rock outfit tours, inspires horrible hot chocolate metaphors

Chicago-based foursome Speck Mountain make music that Wikipedia says “can be described as space rock.” Sure, you could call it that, but that’s like saying the Dos Equis guy is a cool dude who sometimes drinks some kind of beer. NO. He is SO much more than that. (I refuse to hear that he is not real. Don’t even try to go there with me.) And this BAND is so much more than that. Space rock HA! Maybe if space rock was a giant, sweet, melancholy marshmallow floating in an endless sea of the warm, toasty Ovaltine of longing. Maybe THEN we could start talking about what it’s like to swaddle oneself in the music of Speck Mountain.

But why talk about music when you can listen to it, eh? That’s what the stereotypical Canadian version of the Dos Equis guy says. That guy’s fun; he knows how to party. And he owns even more flannel shirts than you. So take his wisdom. Absorb it. Listen to Speck Mountain’s new album Badwater in full via SoundCloud, soon to be released on Carrot Top Records. And whilst Speck Mountain are out, dallying along the country roads between say, charming rural hamlets Chicago and Brooklyn, why not venture into their spacey/psychy/ambienty world? They’re ringing in America’s Favorite Holiday (Record Store Day, duh) at Reckless Records in Chicago, venturing to all those cities people talk about moving to one day, and then wrapping their spring tour at a concert with Sharon Van Etten in Chicago’s Millennium Park.


04.20.13 - Chicago, IL - Reckless Records
04.27.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Cameo Gallery *
05.15.13 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
05.17.13 - Olympia, WA - Le Voyeur
05.22.13 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
05.23.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Bar
05.25.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Permanent Records
05.29.13 - Denver, CO - Merchants Mile High
06.03.13 - Chicago, IL - Millennium Park **

* Lazy Eyes & Modern Rivals
** Sharon Van Etten

• Speck Mountain:
• Carrot Top:

[Photo: Julia Stotz]

Chrissy Murderbot releases Greatest Hits ★★★★★, including America’s greatest Waffle House tribute

Somewhere in America (Chicago), lives a man unafraid to take chances, a man unafraid to make you sweat till you bleed, a man unafraid to write a tribute to the time “after the party,” during which one goes to the Waffle House. (It’s called “Waffle House,” the song.) That man is dance music DJ/producer Chrissy Murderbot, self-declared “purveyor of stupid party music.” He runs 17 labels (okay, maybe more like three: aptly named sleaze house label Sleazetone Records, juke label Loose Squares, and jungle label Dead Homies Recordings) and is on the verge of releasing a new album on Murder Channel Records.

That album, Greatest Hits ★★★★★, drops — when else — April 20. Don’t groan on me, gentle reader! It’s so perfect. This thing comes out as both a CD and digital release and features a bunch of REMIXES at the end. So basically, it’s like your EARS are going to an EAR Waffle House, and they just ordered up some kinda obscene Cap’n Crunch and Skittles EAR milkshake for dessert. It’s that sweet. Listen to previews of a bunch of the tracks below:

Greatest Hits ★★★★★ tracklisting:

01. Get Wet Baby
02. Slang It
03. Waffle House
04. What Should I Do
05. What You Are to Me
06. Pew Pew
07. Why
08. Pew Pew (Star Slinger RMX)
09. What Should I Do (Slick Shoota RMX)
10. Why (Cardopusher & Pacheko RMX)
11. What Should I Do (Pixelord RMX)
12. Get Wet Baby (DJ Fulltono RMX)
13. Slang It (Sidney Looper RMX)
14. Pew Pew (Makumba Sound RMX)

• Chrissy Murderbot:
• Murder Channel: