Zappa Plays Zappa on tour this summer! Vendedores de zapatos, lock up your zapaterias!

Zappa Plays Zappa on tour this summer! Vendedores de zapatos, lock up your zapaterias!

You know, it occurs to me — and probably to lots of you — that you’re either a Zappa person, or you’re not. And if you happen to be one of the multitudinous folks out there who has never managed to muster up a callused appreciation for the man’s uncanny brand of adventurous, eclectic, provocative, and groin-grabbingly virtuosic music before, then you’re probably not going to be turned on to it now, no matter how ridiculously effective our patent-pending, advertizer-engendered “TMT FANBOY SELLOUT PROSELYTIZATION BULLSHIT” business model has become (and believe me, it pays for our maple syrup-filled pools) or, to a letter extent, no matter how much you like grabbing your own groin.

SO, unless Dweezil Zappa’s infinitely better looks than his dad’s are a deciding factor for you (a remote possibility, I suppose), I feel as though I’ve got absolutely no reason to go around hawking this list of summer tourdates on which Dweezil Zappa will perform works from Frank Zappa’s imposing canon to the adoration of the many many folks out there who were into Frank’s bag in the first place. That is, “no reason” other than the need to fill the “space quota for news blurbs” as outlined in in our patent-pending, advertizer-engendered “TMT FANBOY SELLOUT PROSELYTIZATION BULLSHIT” business model. Which I believe I’ve just about gone ahead and done. Almost. Right about… Yes.

Zappa Plays Zappa:

06.26.12 - Rochester, NY - Kodak Hall @ Eastman Theatre
06.28.12 - Wilkes Barre, PA - FM Kirby Center
06.29.12 - Englewood, NJ - Bergen PAC
06.30.12 - Westbury, NY - Capitol One Bank Theatre
07.01.12 - New Bedford, MA - Zeiterion PAC
07.06.12 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino
07.07.12 - Tarrytown, NY - Tarrytown Music Hall
07.08.12 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere
07.10.12 - Norfolk, VA - The Norva
07.11.12 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
07.12.12 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre
07.13.12 - Nashville, TN - The Cannery Ballroom
07.14.12 - Bloomington, IL - The Castle Theatre
07.15.12 - Merrillville, IL - Star Plaza Theater
07.17.12 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Intersection
07.18.12 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues G
07.19.12 - Morristown, NJ - Mayo Center for the PAC
07.20.12 - Albany, NY - The Egg

• Dweezil Zappa:
• Zappa Plays Zappa:

The Flaming Lips reveal 2LP Record Store Day comp of collabs with Nick Cave, Bon Iver, Erykah Badu, Ke$ha, Chris Martin; still no Susan Boyle

As we all know from skimming, re-reading, ingesting, and re-releasing into the air in a poisonous vapor, Coldplay’s Chris Martin is “a charming guy. Like, very charming.” But an even more charming major label artist is Wayne Coyne, who tweets pictures of naked things and uses really enthusiastic language. It was only a matter of time before charms collided, and that moment came/will be on April 21 a.k.a. Record Store Day, when shelf space is cleared for a double LP of Flaming Lips collabs, some old but most new and prime cuts of BUZZworthy flesh.

Chris Martin’s contribution sits at the very end of The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, a record featuring a Cecil B. DeMille-indebted cast of thousands, including Bon Iver, Nick Cave, Erykah Badu, Jim James, Tame Impala, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Ke$ha, and Biz Markie. We’ll have to wait til (closer to) Record Store Day to discover what became of these “meatings of the mind,” but based on the older material that fills in some gaps in the content, a psychedelic freakout of some sort is in order regardless of how straight edge the guests. The double album will be on swirly vinyl (pictured above) with no two copies looking the same, and there are no plans for repressing after the initial batch.

Also available on the same day will be a split 7-inch with Mastodon, who cover “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton” on the B-side. The A-side is the Lips’ version from The Soft Bulletin, which really comes alive on 45 rpm.

The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends tracklisting:

A1. 2012 (ft. Ke$ha and Biz Markie)
A2. Ashes in the Air (ft. Bon Iver)
A3. Helping the Retarded to Know God (ft. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)
B1. Supermoon Made Me Want to Pee (ft. Prefuse 73)
B2. Children of the Moon (ft. Tame Impala)
B3. That Ain’t My Trip (ft. Jim James of My Morning Jacket)
B4. You, Man? Human? (ft. Nick Cave)
C1. I’m Working at NASA on Acid (ft. Lightning Bolt)
C2. Do It! (ft. Yoko Ono)
C3. Is David Bowie Dying? (ft. Neon Indian)
D1. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (ft. Erykah Badu)
D2. Thunder Drops (ft. New Fumes)
D3. I Don’t Want You to Die (ft. Chris Martin of Coldplay)

• The Flaming Lips:

Deathbomb Arc reissues 3LP discography of 90s Bay Area avant-rock outfit rRope

San Francisco’s noisy avant-rockers rRope are getting their entire discography, including EPs and whatnot, reissued in a 3xLP volume titled We Are You There on Deathbomb Arc Records. The elusive group released only two stunning full-length records in the 90s before disappearing into uncertainty, right at about the time the music scene was a ripe venue for their stylings, of which had not gone unnoticed by the likes of esoteric archivist Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.

Now the complete collection is finally available in an edition of 300 for your mouth-foaming consumption. Pre-order now; records should ship around May 15.

• Deathbomb Arc:

Chilly Gonzales emerges from the burning building, kittens in hand, to tell you about his tour, as well as vague details on Solo Piano II

Oh my god, the old glue factory is awash in flames! That old building has been unoccupied for years, but we all know that’s where the town’s stray kittens live! Who will save the kittens? They may not be in the family of man, but they make up for it in sheer adorableness. Will none among us sacrifice to save these defenseless creatures? Wait! A shadowy figure is running into the blaze. It’s that mysterious drifter, the one we’ve all looked upon with scowls and suspicious eyes. Look! He’s emerging from the inferno, arms full of fuzzy kittens! The fire has burned off his shadowy hood, revealing his face and it’s…

Chilly Gonzales! Who knew this figure of intrigue was none other than the Renaissance man who plays piano for Guiness-winning lengths of time, collaborates with the likes of Andrew W.K. and Jamie Lidell, and produces records of the stars, i.e. Feist and Peaches? How could we have known? But, oh, if only we could have known! Now, this heroic man is addressing the crowd. Come, let’s get closer, find out what he has to say.

“Hi, folks. It’s me, Chilly Gonzales. Check out these kittens, they’re pretty cute. Bummer about the building, though. Anyhoo, I’m going on a North American tour this spring. Please check me out. By the way, I also just put out a Minimix for Annie Mac’s show on BBC Radio 1. Get out a notepad and write down this web address:”

Moving words from a true poet. In tribute to this man and his great deeds, I shall surely go to these shows. Wait! He’s speaking again. What shall he impart to us now?

“Oh, yeah, forgot to mention. I’ll be putting out Solo Piano II later this year. Don’t know when, but Arts & Crafts will put it out. See ya later!”

Beautiful. I may cry.

Chilly Gonzales:

04.06.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Forever Cemetery
04.07.12 - San Francisco, CA - Hotel Utah (2 Shows)
04.09.12 - Portland, OR - Alberta Rose Theater
04.10.12 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door
04.11.12 - Vancouver, BC - Rio Theatre
04.16.12 - Montreal, QC - Rialto Theater
04.17.12 - Toronto, ON - Glenn Gould Studio
04.18.12 - Cambridge, MA - Regatta Bar at Charles Hotel
04.20.12 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House
04.21.12 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge

• Chilly Gonzales:
• Arts & Crafts:

The Black Twig Pickers pack their bags and hit the road. Other band names they considered: The River Parade Gentlemen, The Lonely Gulch String Band, and The Cider Train Cats.

The Black Twig Pickers play lots of shows just a stone’s throw from my neck of the woods, and even though my aunt plays the banjo, a friend of mine plays the fiddle, and an old high school teacher writes songs about people he met during the year he lived on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I really don’t know this sort of classic folk music as well as I could. I’d like to say I grew up surrounded by it, that my parents played dueling banjos in a bluegrass band and that I’ve been playing harmonica since before I could spell, but really, I spent my childhood listening to The Monkees and The Ramones and wishing I could play electric guitar.

But this isn’t about me, it’s about The Black Twig Pickers — Mike Gangloff, Isak Howell, and Nathan Bowles — a trio who don’t seem terribly interested in the perhaps ubiquitous sounds of psych-punk fuzz or ambient drone. They’re busy studying field recordings and old-time pieces by Appalachian musicians and playing the hell out of not only the guitar, fiddle, and banjo, but also the bones, fiddlesticks, jaw and mouth harps, and washboards. They can shake up a crowd with lightning-fast strumming or hush them with slow, sad blues, but always playing to preserve the tumbledown spark of local music. They like to record on front porches and in woodsheds — often in only one take — and they’ve collaborated with the likes of Charlie Parr and Jack Rose. They’ve put out a handful of albums on VHF, Klang, and The Great Pop Supplement, and in 2010 they released their Thrill Jockey debut, Ironto Special. Later this spring, they’ll release 7-inch of “Yellow Cat” b/w “You’ll Never Miss Your Mama,” and they’re hitting the highway for a slew of shows too — a few in Europe, and lots close to home.


03.24.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Cellar
03.24.12 - Shawsville, VA - Meadowbrook Dance
03.25.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Swoop House Gallery ^
03.30.12 - Floyd, VA - Floyd Country Store dance
04.06.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Pie Contest & Crooked Dance
04.07.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Blacksburg Square Dance
04.19.12 - Brighton, UK - The Prince Albert
04.20.12 - Antwerp, Belgium - TBA
04.21.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Le Viaduc
04.22.12 - London, UK - The Slaughtered Lamb
04.23.12 - Edinburgh, Scotland - The Banshee Labyringth $
04.24.12 - Newcastle, UK - Morden Tower
04.25.12 - TBA - TBA
04.26.12 - Paris, France - Batofar %
04.28.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Cellar
05.11.12 - Birmingham, AL - Secret Stages Festival
05.12.12 - Birmingham, AL - Secret Stages Festival
05.18.12 - Ripplemead, VA - Giles Fiddlers Convention
05.19.12 - Ripplemead, VA - Giles Fiddlers Convention
05.19.12 - Mount Airy, NC - WPAQ 740 AM Merry-go-round
05.25.12 - Floyd, VA - Floyd Country Store dance
05.26.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Cellar
06.01.12 - Mount Airy, NC - Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention
06.02.12 - Mount Airy, NC - Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention
06.10.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Beliveau Estate
06.14.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Gillies
06.15.12 - Williamsburg, WV - Badlands Bluegrass Festival
06.16.12 - Newport, VA - Newport Jamboree
07.26.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Gillies
07.27.12 - Floyd, VA - Floyd Country Store dance
08.03.12 - Clifftop, WV - Appalachian String Band Festival
08.04.12 - Clifftop, WV - Appalachian String Band Festival
08.09.12 - St. Cloud, MN - Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival
08.10.12 - St. Cloud, MN - Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival
09.01.12 - Catawba, VA - Catawba Farm Fest
09.28.12 - Floyd, VA - Floyd Country Store dance
09.29.12 - Blacksburg, VA - Blacksburg Farmers Market apple tasting
11.16.12 - Floyd, VA - Floyd Country Store dance

^ Steve Gunn
$ Sir Richard Bishop
% Cath & Phil Tyler, Awesome Tapes From Africa

• Black Twig Pickers:
• Thrill Jockey:

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire signs to Universal Republic which is like getting “favorited” by @aplusk

In the most eX-rated news of the week, it’s come to our attention that Brooklyn’s (perhaps) finest (living) rapper, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, has been moving up in the world. For he has signed his life away to those bigwigs otherwise known as Universal. The “Huzzah” rapper made the announcement at the only spot for announcements in the month of March: #SXSW.

During the Austin festival he found the most choice opportunity during his panel, entitled “The Importance of Online Video & Social Media,” to reveal his huge news. As Billboard pointed out, the BK lyricist revealed via his blog:

What a ill fuckin journey this year has been for me, when that New Years Ball dropped I would have never thought i’d be on TV, Magazine’s, Websites, and all this shit man 9 months ago I was in a fucking small ass booth checking parking tickets now i’m a starving artist shit fuck’s my head up. I just be wanting to stop right here cuz i never thought i’d make it this far. Too late now tho, I told my nigga Trax once “We gotta make money now, cause we can’t get no broker!

Ya see, rappers are just like us, mang: in hopes of making himself much more than “broker,” Mr. MFN eXquire hustled the shit outta his valet job and now, here he is, another success story. If only our own mothers could be as proud as his own must feel right now.

• Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire:
• Universal Music: