A breath of air under the door frame. The sound of boots on creaking floorboards. Afternoon sunlight cutting the dust that hangs softly. A piece of paper rustling. The sound of a long cape brushing the walls, as a figure hurries through the corridor. The whinny of a horse in the distance. The soft sent of musty, Moroccan secrets kept under lock and key for many an age finally finding their way through the muck and the mire. Dirt turning under the hands of a middle-aged woman whose left eye wobbles when she speaks. The paper slipping under door. Black ink scratched onto the blank white space. Words. Numbers. The twang of a guitar beset by furious fingers. The whinny becomes a voice, horse-like and human in equal measure: “Sir Richard Bishop is going on tour again, ya bozos!”
04.24.15 - Tuscon, AZ - Exploded View *
04.25.15 - San Diego, CA - Whistle Stop
04.27.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Cinefamily &
04.28.15 - San Francisco, CA - Brick and Mortar Music Hall *
04.29.15 - Sacramento, CA - Shine *
05.01.15 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar *
05.06.15 - Geneva, Switzerland - Cave 12
05.08.15 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Bourg
05.09.15 - Bologna, Italy - Freakout Club
05.10.15 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Klub Gromka
05.12.15 - Vienna, Austria - Aux Gazelles
05.13.15 - Bucharest, Romania - Control Club
05.15.15 - Rome, Italy - Dal Verme
05.16.15 - Milan, Italy - O’artoteca
05.19.15 - Poitiers, France - Carre Bleu
05.21.15 - Marseille, France - Sons de Plateaux Festival
05.22.15 - London, United Kingdom - The Tin Tabernacle
05.23.15 - Bradford, United Kingdom - Threadfest
05.25.15 - Antwerp, Belgium - Het Bos
05.26.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Huis 23
05.27.15 - Cologne, Germany - Stadtgarten
05.28.15 - Paris, France - Les Instants Chavirés
05.29.15 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Global Copenhagen
05.30.15 - Stockholm, Sweden - Ronnells
* Robert Mills
& Robert Mills, Neil Hamburger
As much as I’d love to make this article all about the nigh-unrivaled brilliance of Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival, we already covered that a couple of weeks ago, when a nigh-unrivaled lineup of demigod artists was semi-finalized for the 2015 edition, set to take place June 11-14 at venues The Crossing and Boxxed. It would’ve been tough to outdo a combination of performances from Holly Herndon, Gazelle Twin, Circuit Des Yeux, Liturgy, Six Organs of Admittance, and more, but festival sponsors Capsule are apparently pretty keen on upping the ante through their own version of a musical boxing match (in which nobody gets hurt). Announcing… The Bug vs. Earth!
No, Kevin Martin (The Bug) won’t use this summer opportunity to begin his attempts at earthly domination; instead, he and Dylan Carlson from the band Earth will have a shared performance at Supersonic, where they’ll presumably be expanding upon the two-track collaboration that was unearthed last November, much to the vibration of everyone’s internal organs.
That release was sort of what you expected, given Martin’s prior appearances on various dubstep compilations and Carlson’s consistently drone-y spearheading, but something tells me the in-person showing will be quite a different experience. Here’s a tasty reminder, nonetheless:
Chain and the Gang announce May tour, while Ian Svenonius inadvertently makes you feel bad about yourself
Ian Svenonius makes me feel bad about myself. It’s not his fault. He’s not trying to. He’s just got great hair. I have pretty crappy hair. He wears great suits. I try my best. He makes music and books and speaks in public. I live in a trash can, where I belong. So, it is with a great sense of inadequacy that I tell you that Svenonius’s current band, Chain and the Gang, are doing a tour of the East Coast and Midwest, lasting roughly a week and a half.
As I seethe with the dull burn of my failures, I am letting you know that the group’s tour begins on May 14 in Baltimore, with the group hitting a handful of major cities before ending up in Pittsburgh on the 23rd. Last year, they put out Minimum Rock ‘n’ Roll, as the first release on Svenonius’s Radical Elite imprint through Dischord. See that? Not only does he put out a record, he starts a whole new label (well, imprint, but who’s counting?) while he’s at it. If anyone needs me, I’ll be fiddling around with a ship-in-a-bottle and cursing.
Chain and the Gang dates:
05.14.15 - Baltimore, MD - The Crown
05.15.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
05.16.15 - Providence, RI - Aurora
05.19.15 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison
05.20.15 - Detroit, MI - UFO Factory
05.21.15 - Chicago, IL - The Owl
05.22.15 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups
05.23.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Gooski’s
• Chain and the Gang: http://on.fb.me/1uNDASp
The latest student attending Jay Z’s charm school for ultra-cool musical young people is Chicago rapper Vic Mensa. Which is basically to say that the lad behind last year’s catchy, smart single “Down On My Luck” has signed with Roc Nation, home of Jay Electronica, Ri Ri, J. Cole, Rita Ora, and more.
As you’ll recall, Mensa appeared on Kanye West’s new track “Wolves,” while in turn his own new single “U Mad” (below) featured Yeezus himself. Wake up, sheeple! The
Illuminati Roc Nation connection has been right in front of our eyes the WHOLE DAMN TIME. Congrats, Mr. Mensa! It’s all sacrificing goats to a musical owl god and playing Connect Four with Bey from here on out.
Like all those times when I was younger and my mom was around to tell me that the prehensile tail my younger brother had was totally normal, I am now here to tell you how absolutely and completely natural it is that White Poppy, a.k.a., Vancouver’s Crystal Dorval, has a new album coming out June 23. Fittingly (given my hilarious intro), it’s called Natural Phenomena, and as with her previous self-titled LP, it’ll be out via Not Not Fun.
Like a plant, or an egg, or my brother’s tail right up until his fifth birthday when a group of masked men came to take him away, Natural Phenomena developed bit by bit over a long period of time. In the album’s case, it was a nine-month retreat to a farm on Vancouver Island, where Dorval worked slowly and painstakingly, crafting the tiniest details into 10 tracks of softly dreamlike and loping tracks. Meanwhile, my brother’s tail was rough like the skin of a crocodile, and it grew from the day he was born. It was three-feet long when they took him away. I never saw him again.
Check out opening track “Confusion” over at the Chocolate Grinder right here.
Natural Phenomena tracklist:
02. Wild Mind
04. Exotic Realms
05. Midnight Sun
07. Telepathic Love
08. Ebb and Flow
10. Arctic Rose
It was an unusual phenomenon subjected to a concerted media blackout: during the spring of 2013, an enormously long (but not quite as wide) shadow stretched from east to west across the United States, and maritime experts talking forcibly off-the-record confirmed that the darkness extended across the entire Pacific Ocean as well. Web theories abound as to the source of the shadow and whether humans would soon face the wrath of a giant alien breadstick, but no… eventually the shadow could be seen receding. Five tendrils descended from the upper atmosphere, and it immediately came to our attention: we don’t have nearly enough manicurists for this. Clean your own nails, Many Arms!
The stretch, as it turns out, was all for the sake of retrieving Japanese improv musician Toshimaru Nakamura from his home country and bringing him back to Philly, where his famed no-input mixing board (output connected directly to input) would join the noisy punk-inspired trio for something resembling an abstract painting that comes alive and scratches chalkboards at you. A record of their collaboration at Rose Recital Hall will be released May 15, but I imagine the video below, which took place at an alternate venue, will suffice for an impression:
Nakumura isn’t a stranger to international collaborations. Let’s hope Johnny Deblase, Nick Millevoi, and Ricardo Lagomasino see reason to keep it up.
Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura tracklisting:
Spoon really want you to know about this song they wrote called “Inside Out.” It was included in their genuinely fantastic album from last year They Want My Soul, but we didn’t even give that track a mention in our otherwise gushing review. So I’ll do it here: “Inside Out” is a sonic sidestep with crunchy drum beats, lyrics contemplating metaphysics, and a harp solo, a track whose greatness was probably obscured by a late-end career defined by other great sonic sidesteps.
Instead of getting all despondent and writing a song about it, Spoon have grabbed a metaphorical highlighter and plan to emphasize the song with a remix EP featuring reworkings by Operators, Tycho, Brian Reitzell, and Fab Moretti of The Strokes. You can check out the retro reworking by Moretti here and the Tycho version below:
The full remix EP will be available 28 April via the usual digital channels, but Spoon still reckon that the song needs more attention. So you can check out Spoon’s demo version of the track and Justin Vernon’s cover of it below, and then download the recent Song Exploder podcast, where the band deconstruct the song here.
Oh, and get along to one of their American tour dates where we’ll all be sorely disappointed if they don’t play “Inside Out.”
05.09.15 – Dallas, TX, Homegrown Festival
05.15.15 – Gulf Shores, AL, Hangout Music Festival
05.17.15 – Oklahoma City, OK, Diamond Ballroom #
05.18.15 – Kansas City, MO, Midland #
05.19.15 – Fargo, ND, Fargo Theatre #
05.21.15 – Missoula, MT, The Wilma Theater #
05.22.15 – Bend, OR, Les Schwab Amphitheater +
05.23.15 – Quincy, WA, Sasquatch Festival
05.24.15 – Vancouver, BC, Malkin Bowl ^ #
05.25.15 – Spokane, WA, Knitting Factory #
05.27.15 – Morrison, CO, Red Rocks =
05.29.15 – Oakland, CA, Fox Theater #
05.30.15 – Los Angeles, CA, Wiltern Theater #
06.01.15 – San Diego, CA, North Park Theatre #
06.02.15 – San Diego, CA, North Park Theatre #
06.12.15 – Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall *
06.13.15 – Covington, KY, Madison Theater
06.14.15 – Manchester, TN, Bonnaroo
06.16.15 – Brooklyn, NY, Kings Theatre *
06.18.15 – Boston, MA, House of Blues %
06.19.15 – Portland, ME, State Theater %
06.20.15 – Dover, DE, Firefly Festival
06.22.15 – Montreal, QC, Virgin Corona Theatre *
06.23.15 – Toronto, ON, Phoenix Concert Theatre *
06.24.15 – Toronto, ON, Phoenix Concert Theatre *
07.17-18.15 – Eau Claire, WI, Eaux Claires
09.18-19.15 – Del Mar, CA, KAABOO Festival
09.25.15 – Tempe, AZ, Summer Ends
# Sweet Spirit
* The Antlers
% Viva Viva
^ co-headline with Future Islands
= co-headline with The Decemberists, Courtney Barnett supporting
+ co-headline with The Decemberists, The Districts supporting
Enter Paul Lynch a.k.a. Slackk: mastermind behind the iconic, painstakingly curated Grimetapes site (which still exists in Tumblr form), member of London’s Boxed crew alongside the likes of Mr. Mitch and Logos, and a tireless producer in his own right, with a fine back-catalog to show for it. He really does it all, doesn’t he?
Alright, maybe he doesn’t exactly do it all, but what he does do is pump out the tunes with impressive efficiency, and as long as he keeps that up, he’s gonna be worth sticking around for. Having popped off his debut full-length Palm Tree Fire last year, R&S has taken heed and snapped him up for an EP called Backwards Light. It’s out on June 1, and all signs point toward a continuation of the sonic themes touched on by Palm Tree Fire; the heady influence of grime still looms large, albeit flecked with the futuristic, synth-heavy sheen that Slackk and his collaborators are associated with. In other words, it should be pretty tight, especially if you’ve been enjoying the new wave of grime emitting from LDN and beyond.
Backwards Light tracklisting:
04. Sleeper Carriage
05. Backwards Light
Red House Painters albums to be reissued individually in August, right after you cracked the cellophane on the RSD boxed set!
A few months back, TMT shocked and awed the music world with its epic announcement that guitar strumming balladeer-extraordinaire Mark Kozelek’s Red House Painters project was gettin’ all its SHIT re-released as a vinyl box set for this year’s Record Store Day. The music press was rocked to its very foundations, and fans everywhere thronged to our site, which unfortunately caused it to temporarily crash and leak coolness onto the rest of the internet. It was kind of a mess. But pretty awesome, too.
But let’s face it: now that Record Store Day 2015 is in the freakin’ rearview and all the people who cared about that boxed set already bought it, that news is dumb. We need NEW news about Red House Painters. We deserve it. Don’t we? Oh, look! Here’s some: On August 14, each of those albums collected in the set — Down Colorful Hill, Red House Painters (Rollercoaster), Red House Painters (Bridge), and Ocean Beach (which has been reformatted as a double 12-inch LP to also include the Shock Me EP) — is being “reissued on individual black vinyl” by 4AD… after being out of print for the last 20 years! Hot damn. What a scoop! Also, shit, here’s hoping you didn’t buy the whole box last weekend just for one record!
But even if you did, here’s some motivation to spend more money collecting things you can’t take with you to your grave: the new reissues will include new liner notes by label biographer Martin Aston, exploring “the legacy of Red House Painters,” as well as some “unseen band photos, original press releases, and images of the demo cassette where Kozelek’s relationship with [4AD] began.” Whoa! More details can be found in more detail-oriented detail at the 4AD site, and interested parties can also pre-order them shits over there as well. Now, go forth and consume! Thanks Mark!
Down Colorful Hill tracklisting:
02. Medicine Bottle
03. Japanese To English
04. Down Colorful Hill
05. Lord Kill The Pain
Red House Painters (Rollercoaster) tracklisting:
01. Grace Cathedral Park
02. Down Through
03. Katy Song
05. Things Mean A Lot
07. Take Me Out
09. New Jersey
11. Mistress (Piano Version)
13. Strawberry Hill
14. Brown Eyes
Red House Painters (Bridge) tracklisting:
03. I Am A Rock
05. New Jersey
06. Uncle Joe
08. Star Spangled Banner
Ocean Beach tracklisting:
02. Summer Dress
03. San Geronimo
05. Over My Head
06. Red Carpet
07. Brockwell Park
09. Long Distance Runaround
11. Brockwell Park (Part Two)
12. Shock Me
13. Sundays And Holidays
14. Three Legged Cat
15. Shock Me (Acoustic)
Come May, the flowers will not bloom, as the April rain will have been acid and the earth will have been revealed as cold steel. Our robot bodies will be carried up into the middle atmosphere — drawing to a close our short-lived capacity for biological Movement — our mechanized voices and steely breath will be wrought into Holly Herndon’s Platform in the sky.
Although these facts have been extant for some time, they have not yet been brought to completion. As such, Herndon will take to the metallic skyways and byways of our once-verdant planet throughout the summer in both Europe and the US to spread her message (including a German date with album collaborators Amnesia Scanner and Claire Tolan). Herndon understands what many of us do not: that “apocalypse” does not mean “ending,” but rather quite literally “revealing.” As such, the coming robot apocalypse will not bring about our demise, but merely the cool facts that we have all been robots all along. Amen.
Platform is out May 19 via RVNG Intl./4AD.
05.01.15 - Den Haag, NL - Rewire
05.02.15 - Krems, Austria - Donau Festival
05.23.15 - Arcosanti, AZ - FORM Festival
06.01.15 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
06.02.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
06.03.15 - Washington, DC - DC9
06.04.15 - Brooklyn, NY - The Wick
06.10.15 - London, UK - XOYO
06.11.15 - Berlin, DE - Berghain #
06.13.15 - Birmingham, UK - Supersonic
06.20.15 - Barcelona, ES - Sonar
06.26.15 - Milan, IT - S/V/N @ Fabbrica del Vapore
06.27.15 - Paris, FR - Badaboum
06.28.15 - Toulouse, FR - Les Siestes Electronique
07.03.15 - Fribourg, CH - Bellouard Festival
07.04.15 - Foligno, IT - Dancity Festival
07.11.15 - Viseu, PT - Jardins Efemeros
08.14.15 - Oslo, NO - Øya Festival
08.20.15 - Hamburg, DE - International Summer Fest @ Kampnagel
# AGF, Amnesia Scanner, Claire Tolan
03. Unequal (feat. Colin Self)
04. Morning Sun
05. Locker Leak (feat. Spencer Longo)
06. An Exit (feat. Amnesia Scanner)
07. Lonely at the Top (feat. Claire Tolan)
10. New Ways to Love