Western Vinyl signs Lushlife, not to be confused with jazz standard “Lush Life”

Western Vinyl signs Lushlife, not to be confused with jazz standard "Lush Life" http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-01-lushlife.jpg

East Coast bedroom emcee Lushlife has signed to Western Vinyl! The label features a veritable dreamcoat of outsiders and should provide a nice comfortable home for Lush. Nothing extravagant, but a good, cozy fit nonetheless. So what’s this Lushlife all about, anyway?

Well, he’s based in South Philly and in 2009 he put out an album called Cassette City that featured Greg Saunier of Deerhoof on a track. Pretty lush, indeed. In 2011 he brought us his self-released mixtape, No More Golden Days, a fun mix of J Dilla-style samples and indie-darling contemplativeness underneath some pretty smooth emceeing by Lush and friends. It’s well-produced, low-key hip-hop that in one verse features a Zola Jesus shout-out. What else do you need to know? Go on, download it, get to know the guy, it’s free. Take your time, we’ll be right here.

Interest piqued? If so, you’re in luck, as Western Vinyl is promising a new Lush LP, Plateau Vision, for April 27. Expect more enjoyable, sample-heavy tracks with rhymes that include references you might actually relate to! The album will presumably be released in digital formats in addition to the label’s namesake gramophone discs, not that you have anything to worry about seeing as you already own a fancy vintage record player. Oh, the lush life.

• Lushlife: http://www.myspace.com/lushlifemedia
• Western Vinyl: http://westernvinyl.com

Chicago Underground Duo sign with Northern Spy, provide sneak peek of Age of Energy

Chicago Underground Duo founding members Rob Mazurek and Chad Taylor have apparently decided the “thrill” is gone. Celebrating their 15th year of existence, Mazurek and Taylor have decided to make the jump from their long-standing relationship with Chicago’s Thrill Jockey for Brooklyn’s Northern Spy. The label, ably run by Tom Abbs, Adam Downey, and crew, is home to such luminaries as Bird Names, Extra Life, the Charles Gayle Trio, Haunted House, and ZS.

The Duo’s debut for Northern Spy, their sixth LP overall, is titled Age of Energy and is due March 13. Northern Spy tattles that the new LP, “recorded live in the studio with very few overdubs,” was conceived during live shows a couple years ago. Mazurek and Taylor, who are certainly no slouches, play everything you’ll hear on the new LP, which features both nods to traditional Zimbabwean music and “overdriven electronics.” Tasty.

The Duo’s only announced tourdate so far is a record release party on March 15 at Union Pool in Brooklyn, NY. Check out the LP’s final track, “Moon Debris,” here:

Age of Energy tracklist:

01. Wind Sweeping Pines
02. It’s Alright
03. Castle In Your Heart
04. My Wife
05. Moon Debris

• Chicago Underground Duo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Underground_Duo
• Northern Spy: http://northern-spy.com

The Raincoats announce more US tourdates, but like in a really cool, down-to-earth way, you know?

See, young bands? The Raincoats know what’s up. They know that the secret to rock ‘n’ roll is hanging back and being cool. Never mind whatever bullshit Arcade Fire or whoever is telling you. All you gotta do is put out a nice little run of unassuming records, lay low for a while, wait for your body of work to pass into ye old Canon of Remember-That-One-Time-When? And boom. Don’t stress about the “timelessness” or lame-o stuff like “purity of vision” or “appeal.” Naw. Just… try not to keel over dead or hate one another during the intervening years.

Take the recently reissued Odyshape, released just last fall on The Raincoats’ own label, We ThRee. The thing was originally released on Rough Trade back in 1981, but it wasn’t the biggest deal in the world. But did the band wig out and rethink everything? Nope. Loosey goosey. They released a few more records, played some shows, talked on the phone with Kurt Cobain a few times, saw Kim Gordon at church some Sundays, and basically barbecued a lot until they got tapped for Matt Groening’s ATP in 2010 and freakin’ Jeff Mangum’s ATP in 2012. Speaking of “some shows,” they’re also playing some shows this March. And when I say “some shows,” I don’t mean like 90 shows in 65 cities in 82 days. I mean, like 4 or 5 shows jaunting up the West Coast of the US in the beautiful springtime. Ahhhh. Now that’s the way to win at rock ‘n’ roll, kids.


03.09-11.12 - Minehead, UK - ATP
03.11.12 - Denton, Texas - 35 Denton
03.13.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
03.14.12 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
03.16.12 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
03.17.12 - Portland, OR - Star Theater

• The Raincoats: http://www.theraincoats.net
• The Executive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raincoats_%28Seinfeld%29

Oren Ambarchi has a new solo album out! Buy/frame the LP, then take an Instagram pic of yourself holding it

Like you, I spend the majority of my waking life battering my ears and brain in an infinite loop of music discovering, buying, downloading, categorizing, processing, and excreting, and at some point long ago the loop started accelerating beyond the threshold speed of a healthy, functioning brain. Following a thread from one album to the next, carefully tying together disparate musics, feeling out commonalities that moved in step with my own experiences — all that went out the window some years back and now all I’m able to do is endlessly refresh Asmus Tietchens’ Discogs page, considering what to download next but too scared to move. Is this indie-leaning rock album lo-fi or hi-fi? Does that fidelity make the band sound shitty, or awesome? How does that compare to the 10 other similar bands on their label? What about compared to this noise 7-inch? Is the noise 7-inch hi-fi for its genre? Is it even playing at the right speed? Why does the Mp3 rip of that noise 7-inch sound better than the actual 7-inch?? Are the speakers working right? Is the subwoofer drowning everything else out, or is it supposed to sound that way?? O COME APOCALYPSE SAVE ME FROM THE HELL INSIDE

So it’s always refreshing to hear a new album by Oren Ambarchi, whose solo albums immediately do away with spiraling questions of intent/comparison by the shocking clarity and presence of his sounds — when Ambarchi makes a shift in guitar tone, it sounds like he’s literally tweaking your stereo system in real-time, even sounding like the record player’s tone arm is being picked up and dropped back down. It makes sense that sunn 0))) recruited him a while back, as they feel sonically aligned in a way that’s unrelated to genre. Now the dude has finally released a follow-up to 2007’s stunning In the Pendulum’s Embrace (TMT Review) called Audience of One (that’s you!) and it’s been available via Touch since Tuesday.

Though presented as a solo album, Audience of One (that’s you!) relies on a fairly large cast of auxiliary players, including Paul Duncan (who sings sans effects on opening track “Salt”), Joe Talia on drums, Crys Cole, Jessika Kenney, and Eyvind Kang (plus his own chamber arrangement). The album weaves all over the place but is unified as a four-part suite, with ambient textures, regular ol’ singing, chugging psych-rock abandon, Ambarchi’s aforementioned tone arm tappings, and… an Ace Frehley cover. Nice.

Audience of One tracklisting:

01. Salt
02. Knots
03. Passage
04. Fractured Mirror

• Oren Ambarchi: http://www.orenambarchi.com
• Touch: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

[Photo: David Gallagher]

RIP: Mike Kelley, artist and founding member of Destroy All Monsters

From Artinfo:

Artist Mike Kelley has passed away at his home in Los Angeles, having apparently taken his own life. The tragic news was confirmed to BLOUIN ARTINFO by Helene Winer, of New York’s Metro Pictures gallery, a long-time associate of the artist.

“It is totally shocking that someone would decide to do this, someone who has success and renown and has options,” said Winer. “It’s extremely sad.” She added that the artist had been depressed.

Kelley was born in 1954 in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He became involved in the city’s music scene as a teen, and while a student at the University of Michigan, formed the influential proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters with fellow artists Jim Shaw, Niagara, and Cary Loren (a retrospective devoted to Destroy All Monsters was held at L.A.’s Prism gallery last year). Together, the band hatched a style of performance that skirted the edge of performance art.

After graduating college in 1976, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the California Institute of the Arts, studying alongside teachers like John Baldessari and Laurie Anderson. Music continued to be a constant passion: he formed another band, “Poetics,” with fellow CalArts students John Miller and Tony Oursler.

Kelley’s career took off in the early 1990s, with solo shows at the Whitney, LACMA, and other international venues. He and Oursler organized a well-recived installation — a kind of monument to punk — at Documenta X in 1997. In the early 2000s, he began exhibiting with Gagosian Gallery after 20 years with Metro Pictures. For his 2005 exhibition “Day is Done,” Kelley filled Gagosian with found yearbook photos, video footage, and automated furniture, prompting New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz to describe the show as an example of “clusterfuck aesthetics.”

• Mike Kelley: http://www.mikekelley.com

[Photo: Cameron Wittig]

Diamond Terrifier readies Shrine Flu tape for March, the latest in ZS’ ongoing 1000-piece puzzle

How about you take a break from listening to your sappy heartbreak love songs and get fucking CEREBRAL by checking out my main squeeze <>T’s hot new tape, Shrine Flu. That’s right, close that tab with NPR streaming the new Sharon Van Etten record and head over to Noisey, where you can hear Sam Hilmer, ZS main man and Diamond Terrifier himself, layout on his sax “the part of the Venn diagram representing our collective psyche where spiritual paranoia & materialism overlap with political and economic paranoia & materialism.” Then make your way to the Chocolate Grinder, because we’re streaming the B-side of Shrine Flu exclusively. And once all that shit blows your mind, get out your calendar and circle March 9, because that’s when Shrine Flu will officially be released on Words+Dreams Records (their eighth cassette!).

The 22-minute “sax-and-reverb meditation” is a precursor to DT’s upcoming LP due out in September on Northern Spy. The tape will prepare you to not be too overwhelmed by the LP’s attack on your senses, you sensitive little fuck.

• Diamond Terrifier: http://northern-spy.com/diamondterrifier
• Words+Dreams: http://www.wordsplusdrea.ms
• Northern Spy: http://northern-spy.com