Zola Jesus to seduce the darkness in our souls once again, announces 2012 tour

Zola Jesus to seduce the darkness in our souls once again, announces 2012 tour http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-12-zola-jesus.jpg

It’s simultaneously exhilarating and frustrating when you come across an artist who evinces obvious talent, but who has yet to harness that talent in a way that allows for the creation of a truly memorable album. From my perspective, Stridulum (TMT Review) is the closest thing that Zola Jesus has come to greatness, but that’s unfortunate, considering that, despite being an EP, it has so far exceeded the quality of her full-length releases, including her most recent on Sacred Bones, Conatus (TMT Review). Ah well, practice makes perfect, as they say, and Zola Jesus appears to be taking the mantra to heart by seemingly neglecting the importance of a permanent residence and touring as much as she possibly can. Beginning in February, she’ll embark on her first — but likely not her only — American tour of the year.

Of course, when you’re analyzing the quality of an artist’s discography, the age of the artist in question often goes unconsidered. At 22, Zola Jesus has already accomplished more than many musicians her age, and it’s important to note that it wasn’t until she was 24 that the vocally-comparable Siouxsie Sioux and her Banshees released their hallmark album Juju. So I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the lady Jesus comes up with something masterful; if not, I will inevitably die a little inside, as I’m apt to do whenever a talented artist doesn’t reach what I perceive to be his or her full potential. Just consider me the music critic version of Heathcliff Huxtable.


02.01.12 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent
02.03.12 - Austin, TX - Parish
02.04.12 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
02.06.12 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar
02.08.12 - Orlando, FL - The Social
02.09.12 - Miami, FL - Bardot
02.10.12 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
02.11.12 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
02.16.12 - Washington DC - U Street Music Hall
02.17.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
02.18.12 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
02.20.12 - Columbus, OH - Skully’s
02.21.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
02.22.12 - Grinnell, IA - Herrick Chapelat Grinnell College
02.23.12 - St. Louis, MO - Luminary Arts
02.24.12 - Lawrence, KS - Granada
02.25.12 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
02.27.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
03.01.12 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
03.02.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
03.03.12 - San Diego, CA - Casbah

• Zola Jesus: http://zolajesus.com
• Sacred Bones: http://sacredbonesrecords.com

Julia Holter’s new album Ekstasis on RVNG Intl. will give you dry mouth but you won’t care cuz you’ll be sooo in love with people and just living life

Julia Holter and I go way back. We first crossed paths in the early days of high school, seated across from each other in Ms. Klein’s A-level English class, where we bonded over our mutual love of Greek tragedy (we also worked together to create a very thorough PowerPoint presentation on The Good Earth, garnering praise from Ms. Klein and scorn from our less-driven classmates). I’ll never forget the look in Julia’s eye after the final bell of our Senior year, when we both knew our friendship might soon fade away from prolonged distance (she was headed for CalArts, I for Brown, majoring in Astronautical Engineering). I pulled a worn copy of Euripides’ Hippolytus from my JanSport backpack, sharing my most treasured tragedy with the truest companion I’d ever known. She trembled as she held the slim paperback with both hands, and I embraced her with all the feeling a boy — not yet a man — could withstand. As we all know, Julia would go on to create the critically revered, Hippolytus-inspired Tragedy album for Leaving Records, and I would drop out of Brown in my first year and end up editing Tiny Mix Tapes news stories.

To be fair, a few of the facts from this history are embellished. I said my copy of Hippolytus was worn; in truth, I had stolen it from Barnes & Noble the night before. I said I attended Brown University; in truth, I followed Julia Holter across the country to attend the very same Electronic Music courses at CalArts as she. I quickly became known around campus for leading the majority of the early morning drum circles on the main quad, and for adding my own flourishes on the theremin. Julia excelled in all her classes, and though I had memorized a number of Karlheinz Stockhausen quotes to offer up in discussions as my own thoughts, I never managed to win the favor of my professors, classmates, or even my dearest Julia — she claimed we had never met before, that she had never heard of the town I was from, and that she felt bothered by my staring at her all the time. Eventually I was forcibly removed from CalArts for reasons never fully explained, and Julia apparently gained enough “peace of mind” to create a follow-up to Tragedy, called Ekstasis, which is set for release March 8 of 2012 on CD, digital, and double-LP via RVNG Intl.

I could describe the album as a melding of Tragedy and Eating the Stars and mention the album’s mixing by Haunted Graffiti member Cole M. Greif-Neill, but there’s a preview track you can hear below, and anyway I feel too downtrodden by circumstance and the sting of knowing yet another successful composer-musician refuses to acknowledge our mutual history.

Julia Holter - Marienbad by RVNG Intl.

Ekstasis tracklisting:

01. Marienbad
02. Our Sorrows
03. In the Same Room
04. Boy in the Moon
05. Fur Felix
06. Goddess Eyes II
07. Moni Mon Amie
08. Four Gardens
09. Goddess Eyes I
10. This Is Ekstasis

• Julia Holter: http://juliashammasholter.com
• RVNG Intl.: http://www.igetrvng.com

Cass McCombs schedules 2012 tour but still wants you to know that he could give a fuck if you like him on Facebook

Huh. You know, given that the man put out two full-length(ish) albums in 2011 (the hilariously tragic WITS END, followed by the tragically hilarious Humor Risk) and managed to condescend his way through a record-high three or four cagey interviews, I’d have thought that Cass McCombs would be spending most of 2012 detoxing from all the fools he feels he’s had to suffer this year by donning a bear-proof suit and locking himself inside a sensory deprivation tank built into the middle of an anechoic chamber housed in a 100% germ-free, underground building.

But, apparently I’d be wrong (especially on some of those details, yikes), because the suddenly gregarious McCombs is going to be starting parties all over North America and Europe in January of 2012, presumably in further support of those albums. Either that or he’s got a bunch of funeral luncheon gigs lined up in advance… but that’d be kind of weird, wouldn’t it? And even though everyone in his family, his touring band, and his label urged him to take it easy and fade gracefully into the background in the new year like a good folk artist, he stubbornly refused, telling each of them to “slag off”. You just can’t reason with this guy anymore. I think he may have an addiction. To success.

Winter tourdates:

12.08.11 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir ^
12.09.11 - Eugene, OR - Cozmic ^
01.12.12 - Marfa, TX - Padre’s *
01.14.12 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s BBQ (Indoor Stage) *
01.15.12 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s *
01.16.12 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks *
01.18.12 - Nashville, TN - Foobar *
01.19.12 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl *
01.20.12 - Saxaphaw, NC - Haw River Ballroom *
01.21.12 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar *
01.22.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie *
01.25.12 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
01.26.12 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore *
01.27.12 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison *
01.28.12 - Detroit, MI - Pike Room *
01.29.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall *
01.30.12 - Madison, WI - High Noon *
02.01.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry *
02.02.12 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room *
02.03.12 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive *
02.04.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court *
03.05.12 - Manchester, UK - Band on the Wall
03.07.12 - Liverpool, UK - Leaf Cafe Bold St.
03.09.12 - London, UK - Union Chapel

^ White Magic
* Frank Fairfield

• Cass McCombs: http://cassmccombs.com
• Domino: http://www.dominorecordco.us

RIP: Howard Tate, soul singer

From The New York Times:

Howard Tate, a soul singer who got a second chance at a career three decades after being derailed by disputes with industry executives, personal tragedy and drug addiction, died on Friday at his apartment in Burlington, N.J. He was 72.

His death was confirmed by a spokesman for the Burlington County medical examiner. No specific cause was given.

• Howard Tate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Tate

Dirty Three emerge from odorous hole after seven-year slumber to record new album for Drag City

Dirty Three last gifted us with an album of regal instrumental post-rock in 2005, with the epic Cinder (TMT Review) on long-time label Touch and Go. Since then, the threesome has stayed active in the music world but always separated, denying their fans any new life-enriching material for the remainder of Bush’s term and most of Obama’s. Why should they care, after all? They’re Aussies… dirty Aussies leaving us all out to dry. The closest thing to a reunion was 2007’s Blue Trees by Tren Brothers — Mick Turner and Jim White (apparently Warren Ellis was too busy complaining about vaginas) — though even that was nearly five years ago.

But NOW, as you’ve gleaned from the headline, the boys is back with a new full-length, Toward the Low Sun, arriving February 28, 2012! Interestingly, this new album is not being released on Touch and Go — their home since 1995 — but instead Drag City, who have released the aforementioned Blue Trees and most of Mick Turner’s solo stuff. Not much is known yet about the contents of the album, but you can do some Christmas window shopping here and imagine that album art blown up to LP size, cradled in your lumpy arms.

Toward the Low Sun tracklisting:

01. Furnace skies
02. Sometimes I forget you’ve gone
03. Moon on the land
04. Rising below
05. the pier
06. Rain song
07. That was was
08. Ashen snow
09. You greet her ghost

Oh and here is one of my favorite Dirty Three songs, from their 2000 album Whatever You Love, You Are. Lend an ear, swoon, sway:

• Dirty Three: http://anchorandhope.com/dc
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

Sir Richard Bishop to release three new CD-Rs, his guitar apparently still hemorrhaging

It’s been two-and-a-half years since Sir Richard Bishop released the underrated-to-the-point-of-being-offensive album The Freak of Araby, and the void left by the apparent dearth in guitar-centered improvisational releases is starting to make me feel oddly anxious. Fortunately, through whatever spiritual channeling he undoubtedly engages in, Mr. Bishop has become fully aware of my waxing anxiety, and has announced the release of three brand-new CD-Rs due out December 12, but which are available for pre-order now. (Also planned for release next year is full-length collaboration with David Oliphant of Maybe Mental!)

Intermezzo fulfills expectations as a “collection of various pieces for electric and acoustic guitar.” On Outermezzo, Bishop ditches the guitar entirely and experiments with ambient noise. Spontaneous Collaborations seems to be the most appealing of the three releases, compiling previous live recordings and featuring a variety of artists, including Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins) and Climax Golden Twins. Each CD-R is limited to 200 copies signed by Bishop himself, and each is essentially the same length as your standard LP, though one should probably expect a bit more grit in terms of the production. Grit and guitar? Certain artists by the name of Fahey and Orcutt have already proselytized me.

• Sir Richard Bishop: http://www.sirrichardbishop.net