William Basinski curates Arcadia performance series in the UK starting in March 2014, finally comes clean about his wizarding ways

William Basinski curates Arcadia performance series in the UK starting in March 2014, finally comes clean about his wizarding ways http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1311/news-13-11-william-basinski.jpg

It’s sort of an open secret in ambient/drone circles that William Basinski is a wizard, and in a recent interview with TMT’s Jakob Dorof, he sorta obliquely referenced that fact by way of a description of his legendary Arcadia studio/performance space/wizard coven. He said it was…

[…] just a beautiful, magical place. It was a place where everyone went, a home for all of my friends… crazy children. We did a lot of concerts there, over the years, records there, for different people. Antony’s first demo, we did there — Diamanda Galás performed there one Halloween, an amazing show. A lot of great memories.

Emphasis on the “magical,” am I right? Unfortunately, as a result of changes in zoning, not to mention the tanking economy, when the lease for the space ended back in 2008, Basinski left Arcadia, a process he describes as “a bitch.” However, not content to let his wizarding ways fall entirely to the wayside, Basinski has announced that he’ll be curating a new Arcadia-inspired performance series in the United Kingdom, which many of you may know as the place where Harry Potter lives, i.e. an obviously really great location for wizards like Basinski to hang out and talk about wizard stuff with like-minded folks. The series will be put on through Basinski’s partnership with the organizations Sound and Music and Art Assembly, both of which are committed to fostering new music and helping out young artists. This seems like a pretty swell idea as long as Voldemort doesn’t attack or that hairy giant fellah who tells Harry that he’s a wizard doesn’t set, like, a dragon or a horny goblin loose someplace stupid again.

Because one of the main points of this series is to nurture young artists (sorta like a Hogwarts-type deal) Basinski will work with Art Assembly and Sound and Music to put together an “artist call out” in order to recruit up-and-coming performers. These artists will have the opportunity to perform in support slots at the slew of concerts that the series will hold over the next year. As of right now, only two such concerts have been announced, both of which will be at St. John in Hackney in London. The first is a solo performance from Swans’ Michael Gira on March 12, and the second is a collaborative performance between Rhys Chatham and Charlemagne Palestine on March 20. The Chatham/Palestine collaboration will be the first time the two have shared a stage in nearly 30 years. Both shows will feature Basinski gallivanting around, probably casting music spells and futzing with tape loops, as is the fashion. You can grab tickets for the Gira performance here, and the Chatham/Palestine performance here.

• William Basinski: http://www.mmlxii.com
• Art Assembly: http://www.artassembly.org.uk
• Sound and Music: http://www.soundandmusic.org

Winamp to be shuttered next month after 15 years of occasional llama abuse

Harken back, if your hippocampus will allow you to, to the days when Napster revolutionized the acquisition of digital music (and served as an early indication of the internet’s collective obsession with cats). Obviously both the need and the desire for a low-resource media player increased dramatically in concurrence, and for the true music geek of the late 1990s/early 2000s, this overwhelmingly meant turning to Nullsoft’s Winamp, known for its plethora of user-made skins, the ease of its playlist-creating, and its general superiority (in my opinion) to the unspectacular Windows Media Player. Oh, and don’t forget the visualizer! My newly teenage self would scoff at offers of hallucinogens, as MMD3 plus the visualizer plus “Midnight in a Perfect World” more than sufficed at satiating my trip proclivities.

Sadly, as ArsTechnica documents pretty extensively here, the acquisition of Nullsoft by AOL in 1999 led to the gradual marginalization of the media player, certainly at a time when they should’ve taken serious strides to appreciate their market and how not only they, but the human race in general just doesn’t like your shitty browser or otherwise software, especially when it’s forcibly bundled. Likewise, but more overarching, the above article talks about a pattern of micromanagement on the part of AOL against Nullsoft, to the point where competition with the likes of a burgeoning iTunes became secondary to internal politics.

Winamp’s existence over the last decade has been mostly casual and unnoteworthy. True to form, a lowly red-shaded banner on their website relays the news without elaboration: Winamp and its associated services will cease to be come December 20. No doubt, some people are wondering what could’ve been. Also, Microsoft may or may not be considering a purchase, but who knows how much truth there is to that at the moment.

Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release. Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years.

• Winamp: http://www.winamp.com

Numero Group unleashes wizard rock collection Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles on a dorky populace

Oops, they’ve done it again! The good people over at Numero Group are taking another departure from the usual (stellar comps of forgotten soul, funky gospel, and such) to unleash upon the world a dark compilation of dragon-obsessed underground hard rock, the likes of which the world has never before known, in the form of Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles.

Due for a February 2014 release, Strangers features 16 tracks from 70s basement bands that were really, really into wizards, the devil, and rockin’ out. Complete with Dungeons and Dragons-themed artwork and packaging so fancy only Lucifer himself could be behind the design, the compilation will be released on vinyl and CD. You get songs like “Slave of Fear,” “Black Death,” “Wizzard King,” and my personal favorite, “Sealed in a Grave.” The songs come from bands with names like Stonehenge, Stoned Mace, Medusa, and the slightly fancier/more terrifying Gorgon Medusa. A plague upon all your houses! But like, a fun plague, where you can’t stop head-banging.

Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles tracklisting:

01. Air, “Twelve O’Clock Satanial”
02. Wrath, “Warlord”
03. Stonehenge, “King of the Golden Hall”
04. Triton Warrior, “Sealed in a Grave”
05. Junction, “Sorcerer”
06. Stone Axe, “Slave of Fear”
07. Wizard, “Seance”
08. Stoned Mace, “Tasmania”
09. Arrogance, “Black Death”
10. Sonaura, “Song of Sauron”
11. Dark Star, “Spectre”
12. Inside, “Wizzard King”
13. Space Rock, “Dark Days”
14. Medusa, “Black Wizard”
15. Gorgon Medusa, “Sweet Child”
16. Hellstorm, “Cry for the Newborn”

• Numero Group: http://www.numerogroup.com

Turntable.fm shutting down because online avatar DJ parties are kind of sad

So if you’re cool and have sex often, you’re probably wondering what the fuck Turntable.fm is. It’s an internet thingie where you enter a virtual dance floor as a virtual douchebag and have the option to virtually DJ for other virtual attendees, or just virtually hang out and listen to the other virtual DJs. If virtual attendees don’t enjoy your virtual DJing, their virtual douchebags will stand still and you will be voted off your virtual turntable, virtually.

Personal anecdote: I signed on once a while back, hopped on a turntable, and started spinning Merzbow for the kids; everybody gave me a bad rating, and my song was skipped to let some asshat have his turn playing Foster the People or some horseshit like that. Fat Worm of Error and Anal Cunt also got vetoed. Finally I wrote an email to Turntable.fm suggesting that they just take down the site because people are stupid and have bad taste. It took them a while to come around, but they have now responded by announcing that they will be shutting down permanently.

“We thought bad music was being played in stores and on radios because of the major label machine,” Team Turntable should have announced, “but it turned out only a small percentage of the online population has the aptitude and innate intelligence to come up with a playlist that doesn’t include mainstream shopping mall hip-hop.”

December 2 will be the official last day online for Turntable.fm, and they’ll be having an all-day farewell party. Virtually, I mean, because nerds don’t throw real parties. And while I’m certain that it was the users’ terrible taste that ruined the site, the founders have also noted that royalty expenses are too high to keep the site going. In other words, turntable.fm is following a steady trend of no longer being willing to pay artists for their music. They instead want to focus on Turntable Live, “an interactive way to hold concerts online,” so that you can make the music on the site at no expense to them. Watch this painful video about it if you hate yourself and want to see a white folk singer try to rap Salt ‘N’ Pepa.

• Turntable.fm: https://turntable.fm

Olivia Tremor Control’s 1997 Peel Session unearthed by Chunklet, discovery is printed onto vinyl for good of science


In 1997, Olivia Tremor Control recorded a BBC session with legendary DJ John Peel. For one reason or another, the results have been lost to history. Many top scholars believed the music recorded would never be recovered. Until now!


It is now 2013. Pitchfork reports that Chunklet has acquired the long-lost sessions. Men and women of science and progress, the folks at Chunklet are releasing this music on vinyl for the masses. This discovery is particularly exciting in that it contains previously unreleased music by the band, in addition to Olivia Tremor Control classics like “Green Typewriters.”


The first 200 to order these recordings will receive their copies on clear vinyl. Others, those busy with thumb-twiddling, will receive theirs on red vinyl. All copies come with a download code, evening the field for all involved. Orders are expected to ship in early/mid January. Science marches on.

John Peel Session tracklist:

01. I’m Not Feeling Human
02. Suite One: Memories of Jacqueline 1906 / The Giant Day / Outer Themes / Green Typewriters

03. Suite Two: Frosted Ambassdor / Green Typewriters / The Princess Turns the Key to Cubist Castle / Looking for Meaning

• Olivia Tremor Control: http://www.oliviatremorcontrol.com
• Chunklet: http://www.chunklet.com

Merge reissues Lambchop’s Nixon as part of their 25th anniversary celebration; we are all but dust mites in the sands of time

Well hey, whaddaya know? More news about Merge’s 25th anniversary! Since I know your eyeballs are glued to this news section like they’re wood, and the news section is also wood, and together you form the corner of a well-crafted analogy bird house built by someone’s dad, I’m not gonna bother re-explaining any of the hoary details of the 7-inch subscription series they’ve got planned, especially since my original post on the matter was so expertly hilarious. I’m also not going to spend too much time on the 25K the label is putting on in conjunction with Bull City Running Company in Chapel Hill-Durham in March, since, to be honest, talking about running makes me feel guilty and slovenly.

What I am going to spend approximately a paragraph, maybe two, describing is the fact that the label recently announced plans to reissue Lambchop’s Nixon. Throughout 2014, Merge plans to reissue records from their back catalog each month, and Nixon is the first one in line. Marking the end of the band’s “let’s see how big and unreasonable of a band we can have in order to play pranks on sound guys around the country” phase, the album features the girth of a 14-person iteration of Lambchop, giving it all the shimmering R&B inflected folk flourish they can muster. Merge’s reissue comes as either a double-CD or an LP with CD, featuring both the original album and a remastered live session entitled White Sessions 1998: How I Met Cat Power, notable in large part for Wagner’s long-winded description of the time he bumped into Chan Marshall at a Limp Bizkit concert in 1997 on the band’s Three Dollar Bill, Yall tour. Pre-order the reissue here; it’s scheduled for release on January 28.

Nixon tracklisting:

01. The Old Gold Shoe
02. Grumpus
03. You Masculine You
04. Up with People
05. Nashville Parent
06. What Else Could It Be?
07. The Distance from Her to There
08. The Book I Haven’t Read
09. The Petrified Florist
10. The Butcher Boy

• Lambchop: http://www.lambchop.net
• Merge: http://www.mergerecords.com