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

RIP: Chico Hamilton, jazz drummer and bandleader

From the Los Angeles Times:

Bandleader, drummer and NEA jazz master Chico Hamilton has died. He was 92 years old.

Born Foreststorn Hamilton in Los Angeles in 1921, Hamilton’s music career began with some notable high school classmates including future legends in their own right, Dexter Gordon and Charles Mingus. He eventually went on to perform and tour with Lester Young, Lena Horne and Gerry Mulligan before putting together his first quintet in 1955.

A landmark group that forged the sound of West Coast jazz while featuring the reeds of Buddy Collette, guitarist Jim Hall, Carson Smith on bass and cellist Fred Katz, the group evolved through a wealth of jazz talent, including Eric Dolphy, Gabor Szabo and Charles Lloyd, who joined the band in 1961.

Hamilton’s profile was such that he eventually felt the pull of Hollywood, and his group made a notable cameo in “Sweet Smell of Success” in 1957, which starred Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster and also featured Hamilton’s music. He later wrote the soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s thriller “Repulsion” in 1965.

Hamilton continued leading a number of ensembles, including a soul-jazz album featuring Larry Coryell, “The Dealer,” in 1966 and later the group Euphoria in the ’80s and ’90s. He also moved into education, teaching at the Parsons New School of Jazz in New York City and the Mannes College of Music at the New School University. He was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2004 and continued to record up to his 90th birthday in 2011.

• Chico Hamilton: http://www.joyousshout.com

Polyvinyl plans 7-inch subscription series with Cloud Nothings, Mikal Cronin, more; all songs recorded onto the same Tascam 4-track

Hey, buddy, do you still have a mailbox and know what a four-track is? If not you can stop reading RIGHT THE FUCK NOW, because the news in this post is not for you.

Cool. Well, for those of you who actually do meet the criteria to read this post, I’ve got an exciting news-nugget from the folks at Polyvinyl for you. Turns out they’re kicking off a brand spanking new 7-inch subscription series. Starting in January of 2014, every month you can get a neato little 7-inch record thing delivered right to that mailbox you contractually promised you own before reading this paragraph. Each release will feature different artists like Cloud Nothings, John Vanderslice, and Mikal Cronin, as well as approximately nine others, since that adds up to 12 and that is how many months there are in a year.

I can tell from the smug look that I’m imagining on your face you’re not sure that this whole thing is sufficiently neat or gimmicky enough for you. Well hold the phone, buster, because I haven’t told you the best part. Basically, the foundational element in this thing is that all the songs were recorded on a Tascam 4-track that the artists mailed around the world to each other. The device has reportedly traveled over 20,000 miles at this point, making it just about due for an oil change and tire rotation. The artists were given free reign over what they recorded, with the only restriction being that that they couldn’t just record their own farts, so the resultant exclusive tracks will range from covers to new songs to re-workings of existing recordings.

In addition to the records themselves, the series also comes with a special box to house all the records in, and artwork designed by Jason Munn. And! If you subscribe before December 31 you get some other goodies, including a special turntable slipmat and t-shirt to wear on parts of your body that include your arms and chest. Also, I guess I probably should have told you sooner that the series is limited to 500 subscribers, since time is probably of the essence if you want to get in there and order before it sells out. My bad. Well, I’m telling you now. Oh, and here’s a link to more info and a full list of contributors where you can also subscribe by clicking some additional links and paying money.

• Polyvinyl: http://www.polyvinylrecords.com

Outkast set to reunite in 2014, play Coachella, hopefully not crush any dreams

Here at Tiny Mix Tapes, we like to take a realistic stance on the issues of the day. As reported by sources like Stereogum, Outkast are reuniting next year. If all goes as planned, they’ll be playing Coachella, as well as doing a full tour. This is very exciting. However, let’s all remember, everything can always go terribly wrong. For convenience’s sake, here is a quick list of ways this potentially amazing reunion could go straight down the toilet.

• Andre 3000 playing Sixteen-level guitar while Big Boi tries to freestyle through the worst of it.
Idlewild full-album shows, complete with screening of the film.
• Outkast Tour 2014: Just The Skits! Featuring guest appearances from that one cold lady and the shady bootleg dealer.
• Big Boi replacing his verse on “Spottieotiedopalicious” with a numerical ranking of the Kate Bush discography.
• Reunion just flat-out not happening, a somewhat likely prospect considering that Outkast are basically The Smiths when it comes to people’s imaginations running wild regarding reunions.

Outkast last released Idlewild in 2006. Since then, Big Boi has put two solo albums, 2010’s Sir Lucious Left Foot the Son of Chico Dusty and 2012’s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. Andre 3000 has been in a Will Ferrell basketball movie.

• Outkast: http://www.outkast.com

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