Guerilla Toss announce new EP Smack the Brick, stream the whole dang thing

In their early days as a band, Guerilla Toss met with some push back from the dreaded Gentle Handling of Gorillas and Apes Lobby, and so they changed their name (swapping out the animal for the activist), knowing full well that the Pun and Small Jokes We Make Quietly to Ourselves Lobby has been weak and getting weaker in recent years due to the rise of the internet (#twitter). All was well, but even so, Guerilla Toss held on to a little bit of bitterness. As such, they started making violent no-wave funk-mosh music and, bringing us up into the present, they have just announced a new EP called Smack the Brick, which may very well be (or not be) about how lobbyists make them want to smack bricks. The vinyl release from Feeding Tube and the digital version from the band’s own Bandcamp page are out this week, with a cassette release coming November 18 via NNA Tapes.

Although Smack the Brick finds the band no less embittered about the state of the American political system and the ways in which money really does buy influence when it comes to gorilla legislation, with the addition of two new band members (Toby Aronson of NNA tapes and Pat Keuhn), their sound has evolved into something a bit funkier, something that could sleep in the same bed as the likes of Talking Heads if both of them were into it. If you, dear reader, are into the idea of dancing about gorilla legislation (also known as writing music criticism, am I right?!), you can peep the entire release below via Soundcloud. If the internet is less your speed, though, you better log off right now you hypocrite. Or maybe not right now, first check that whole slew of dates I’ve listed below to see when and how close Guerilla Toss are coming to your house.

Smack the Brick tracklist:

01. Smack the Brick
02. Be the Breeder
03. Etqueeny
04.Billy Blood Idol

Dates:

11.06.14 - Hudson NY - Bard College
11.07.14 - Boston MA - Hassle Festival 6
11.19.14 - New York, NY - Death By Audio
11.22.14 - Budweis, Czech Republic - Naab
11.23.14 - Strasbourg, France - Stimultania
11.24.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - TBA
11.25.14 - London, UK - Old Blue Last
11.26.14 - Paris, France - Instantschavires
11.27.14 - Bilbao, Spain - Mem Festival
11.28.14 - Valencia, Spain - Bar Cure Antidisco
11.29.14 - Alicante, Spain - Sala Magazine
11.30.14 - Benicarlo, Spain - Lion Cafe
12.01.14 - Porto, Portugal - Maus Habitos
12.02.14 - Lisbon, Portugal - Musicbox
12.03.14 - Madrid, Spain - El Perro De La Parte De Atras
12.04.14 - Barcelona, Spain - TBA
12.05.14 - Marseille, France - L’embobineuse
12.06.14 - Lyon, France - Grrrnd Zero
12.07.14 - Geneva, Switzerland - Cave
12.08.14 - Berlin, Germay - Schokoladen
12.09.14 -Munich, Germany - Cafe Kult
12.10.14 - Hamburg, Germany - Astra Stube
12.11.14 - Köln - Gold+Beton
12.12.14 - Brussels, Belgium - TBA
12.13.14 - Den Hague, The Netherlands - State X New Forms
12.14.14 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Poortgebouw
12.15.14 - Halle, Germany – HÜHNERMANHATTAN
12.16.14 - Pilzen, Czech Republic - Pohoda

• Guerilla Toss: https://guerillatoss.bandcamp.com
• NNA Tapes: http://nnatapes.com
• Feeding Tube Records: http://feedingtuberecords.com

J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Office of Future Plans) takes acoustic shows across the northeastern US, takes his first name to the grave

It’s been the great mystery of punk rock for over 20 years now: what does the “J.” in “J. Robbins” stand for? Wikipedia claims it’s “James,” but come on now. Would Wikipedia really have the answer to the great mystery of punk rock, 1990-2014? Not on your life, pal.

Here’s your best chance to get an answer: J. Robbins is going on an acoustic tour of the northeastern United States this November. Confront him there. To be honest, he’s not going to tell you. But you will get to hear acoustic versions of tracks from J. Robbins projects like Jawbox, Burning Airlines, and his current band Office of Future Plans. In that way, it’s much like Abandoned Mansions, the EP Robbins put out earlier this year. In fact, it’ll be exactly like that, except live and not recorded.

Accompanying Robbins on these dates will be Jonah Mantraga of Onelinedrawing, New End Original, Far, and others. Oh my god. What if the “J.” stands for “Jonahmantraga”? Are these two men one man? Excuse me. I have a rambling theory to write.

J. Robbins dates:

11.13.14 - Philadelphia, PA - The Boot and Saddle
11.14.14 - New Haven, CT - Cafe Nine
11.15.14 - Providence, RI - The Parlour
11.16.14 - Cambridge, MA - Green Street Studios
11.17.14 - Washington, DC - DC9
11.18.14 - Baltimore, MD - The Metro Gallery
11.23.14 - New York, NY - The Mercury Lounge

• J. Robbins: http://www.jrobbins.net
• Office of Future Plans: http://officeoffutureplans.com

Orbital call it quits after 25 years

When the two members of a musical duo have the same last name, can they ever actually break up?

Orbital tried this once before. About a decade after their initial colorful contributions to the pioneering wave of early-90s techno, they (unintentionally) used Blue Album as the melancholic swan song signaling their imminent separation. But then! After the nostalgic reminder of seeing each other at consecutive Queen’s Birthday soirées, Paul and Phil Hartnoll felt compelled to reignite their most popular and chart-topping of acts, subsequently performing at several festivals and eventually releasing the “with it” titled Wonky LP just two years ago. It wasn’t received badly. But it also wasn’t the musical equivalent of an engagement ring.

So they’ve broken up again! For good! Or so they tell us. A statement posted to their website attests to Phil’s DJ aspirations, while Paul intends to use his newfound solo status to improve his newfound solo project, called 8:58. “We’ve had our ups and downs, and it’s not always been easy, but I’ve loved my time with Orbital,” says Paul. “But nothing lasts forever and it’s time to stop.”

Here’s a trip down soul-releasing memory lane:

• Orbital: http://www.orbitalofficial.com

José González announces new record Vestiges & Claws after seven years in a log cabin

First off, I need to confess that I’m a bad José González fan, because I didn’t even know the guy was Swedish. I guess that’s my own prejudice at work, but he’s Argentinian-Swedish and was born in Gothenburg. Now, the folk-singing, songwriting Swede is back with his first album in seven years, Vestiges & Claws. González self-produced the record at home and in the Svenska Grammofonstudion nearby. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that grammafonstudion is Swedish for “recording studio.”

Describing his creative intentions for the new record, González says, “I didn’t want this to be too polished, or too ‘in your face.’ Most of all, it’s fun to be in complete control of the artistic aspect.” Even though a seven-year lull between solo albums might seem like a serious gap, he wasn’t pulling a Bon Iver in a snowy log cabin somewhere. Instead, he kept plenty busy with two Junip records, lots of touring, and a job helping Ben Stiller pick poignant music for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. That’s a good one for the resume. Vestiges & Claws, though, centers on “ideas of civilization, humanism, and solidarity,” and brings in more guitar layers, percussion, and vocal harmonies to fill in the González sound.

Until the album drops via Mute on February 17, enjoy the teaser trailer below and dream of gonzo in your future.

Vestiges & Claws tracklist:

01. With the Ink of a Ghost
02. Let it Carry You
03. Stories We Build, Stories We Tell
04. The Forest
05. Leaf Off / The Cave
06. Every Age
07. What Will
08. Vissel
09. Afterglow
10. Open Book

• José González: http://jose-gonzalez.com
• Mute: http://mute.com

Clarence Clarity’s forthcoming debut EP is way more confusing than his name suggests

I’m not sure if we’re still officially dwelling in the postmodern age or not. But whatever — it doesn’t really matter what labels and meanings academics want to ascribe to culture, because when an artist like Clarence Clarity bursts out of nowhere with an agenda to grab bits and bobs from all over the place and smoosh them together while in the process inverting all sorts of paradigms, it just makes me happy. No questions asked.

Information at the moment is pretty thin. He’s a London dude with a wonky mouth and a penchant for pop, soul, glitch, Eastern scales, and noisy squalls. His debut EP is called Who Am Eye and is coming out December 2 via Bella Union. Stream the first track right now in the box below.

We can confirm that a full-length record will be out some time in 2015. We can also confirm that Clarity likes to pepper his press releases with missives such as “this checkerboard landscape is an auto-refreshing infinity pool” and “eye write a press release as a youtube commenting parasite,” which suggests he’s an artist truly of this time, whatever it may be.

Who Am Eye

01. Those Who Can’t, Cheat
02. Golden Gate
03. Off My Grid
04. Exaltations

• Clarence Clarity: http://clarenceclarity.com
• Bella Union: http://bellaunion.com

SOPHIE tours the world, the Universe… is that SOPHIE in my Frosted Flakes?

See, that’s the problem with being an enigma. When people aren’t sure who you are or where you come from, they tend to assume omnipresent qualities, or superhuman endurance, or ownership of a unique aircraft that allows you to travel pretty much anywhere on Earth within a split-second. SOPHIE — who dropped quite the one-two punch earlier this year — is only human, people; exclamatory requests for him to visit your respective cities will only harbor ill-will, until the time comes when penguins in the Arctic Circle are sipping in-person lemonade before you ever do! Haha. I mean, probably not. I’m sure SOPHIE appreciates your enthusiasm.

Check below for SOPHIE’s tour dates, which begin on Halloween. Be particularly envious of the Aussies, who will be the only ones on this particular tour to witness direct QT (SOPHIE + A. G. Cook) cat-calling in the weeks before the new year. They do dress minimally down there for the summer. Feminism is officially on hold!

Dates:

10.31.14 - Paris, France - Trabendo (Pitchfork Festival After Party)
11.02.14 - Pomona, CA - Hard Fest Day of the Dead
11.05.14 - Seattle, WA - Q Nightclub
11.06.14 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club
11.07.14 - Oberlin, OH - Dionysus Club, Oberlin College
11.08.14 - Austin, TX - Vulcan Gas Company
11.15.14 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Perron (Rotterdam Beats Festival)
11.28.14 - Bratislava, Slovakia - Klub Dole
12.12.14 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Fuse De Helling
12.17.14 - Perth, Australia - Shape Bar *
12.19.14 - Melbourne, Australia - 170 Russell *
12.20.14 - Sydney, Australia - The Metro Theatre *

* QT

• SOPHIE: http://msmsmsm.com
• Numbers: http://nmbrs.net

The Bug collaborates with Earth on new single, out November 28, because they are both adults and can do what they want

In the grand 2014 tradition of metal-ish-sounding bands collaborating with people who are less metal-ish (Exhibit A, Exhibit B), Kevin Martin’s The Bug project has announced a new collaborative single with Earth called The Bug vs. Earth featuring the tracks “Boa” and “Cold,” which I’ll admit, my news-addled brain originally interpreted as having something to do with Ebola. I will now list a few ways in which this collaboration makes a whole lot of sense.

1. Both The Bug and Earth released albums this year whose titles are made up in part by popular symbol the ampersand, namely Angels & Devils and Primitive & Deadly, respectively.
2. Bugs often come out of dirt. A synonym for the word “dirt” is “earth,” or “Earth,” if you prefer.
3. Martin has been feeling hella collaborative lately anyway (as per the list of collaborators on Angels & Devils, which included Liz Harris, Death Grips, copeland, and several others), and this particular collaboration was actually originally planned to make it on to Angels & Devils.
4. Both of them are adults and they can do what they want, Dad.
5. I’m tired of making this list.

As you can see, there are a great many reasons why this collaboration was perfectly natural, and indeed this small news post couldn’t even contain the full litany. All you need to know now is that the single is out November 28 via Ninja Tune, and it’ll be part of a Black Friday Record Store Exclusive series. You might also be interested in knowing that you can listen to the track “Boa” below via the embed, and that The Bug is currently in the midst of a tour, whose dates I will also list below. That is the end of the things I think you might want to know and is therefore also the end of this news post.

The Bug vs. Earth tracklist:

01. Boa
02. Cold

The Bug Dates:

10.29.14 - St. Louis, MO - 2720 Cherokee ^
10.30.14 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel ^
10.31.14 - Houston, TX - Gritsy ^
11.01.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent ^#
11.03.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex ^#
11.05.14 - Montreal - Underworld Cabaret *
11.06.14 - Toronto, ON - Coda *
11.07.14 - Calgary, AB - Ten Nightclub *
11.09.14 - Vancouver, BC - Electric Owl *
11.13.14 - Seattle, WA - Nectars ^
11.14.14 - Portland, OR - Rotture ^
11.15.14 - Chicago, IL - Evil Olive ^

* Flowdan
^ Manga
# Wolf Eyes

• Earth: http://www.thronesanddominions.com
• The Bug: https://atwarwithtime.com
• Ninja Tune: http://ninjatune.net

Brian Eno readies four albums of rare and unreleased material for All Saints

This year, studio wizard Brian Eno already dropped two albums of original material with Karl Hyde, curated a Fela Kuti box set, and wrote a few angry letters about Israel. It’s been a busy one for this guy. Now, the iconic English producer is diving back into the vaults to reissue four solo albums from the 90s that have long been out of print. Founded in 1992 as an offshoot of Eno’s Opal Records, All Saints will release CD and vinyl editions of Nerve Net, The Shutov Assembly, Neroli (CD only), and The Drop.

Each album comes complete with a bonus disc of unheard material, including the lost album My Squelchy Life, recordings from 1985-1990, an hour-long ambient piece from 1992 called “New Space Music,” and an alternate version of an LP that was sold in limited quantities during Eno’s “77 Million” installation at Tokyo’s Laforet Museum. These are some ultra-deep cuts for the Eno completist, so if you’ve got an aspiring mad scientist in your family, this might be the perfect stocking stuffer. They’ll even get a 16-page booklet with each album, containing photos and writing from Eno himself. All four records are available on December 4, and the full tracklists can be found here; personally, I’m still waiting on Music for People.

• Brian Eno: http://brian-eno.net
• All Saints: http://www.allsaintsrecords.com

Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V split into two parts, part one coming in December

Weezy F Baby, a.k.a. Lil Wayne, has some bad news for the heads out there: Tunechi’s alleged final album, Tha Carter V, won’t be coming out this week. Like a Japanese RPG that also uses Roman numerals, Lil Wayne’s forthcoming record has been plagued with delays. Originally set for a May 2014 release date, the album was pushed back to October, despite the fact that Wayne said “I’m finished” and “I’m done” back in June. Since then, he’s given us three singles from the album — “Believe Me,” “Grindin,” and “Krazy” — and even jumped on a T.I. remix of “About the Money” for a guest spot last week. All signs point to this being a business issue with the label.

Now, in a new PSA, Wayne explains that he simply recorded too many songs to fit onto one album, so Young Money is gonna pull a Hunger Games and release the LP in two parts. The first part will drop December 9, and it sounds like Weezy is sticking firm to that date. The next part, however, is up in the air. It’s funny, because the original plan for Tha Carter V was for the main record to drop in October, followed by another LP called Da Other Album with all the leftovers. Why couldn’t Wayne just keep his last Carter pure, pick 14 of his best tracks, and call it a day? Or just put out a double album if he really wanted to? It’s a funny thing, money.

Let’s just wait and see if we have a Weezy Christmas after all. As Wayne said in his message, “You’re gonna love it, cause I fucking love it; if you don’t fucking love it then you don’t fucking love love. That made sense? I hope so.”

• Lil Wayne: http://www.youngmoney.com

Alex Zhang Hungtai retires Dirty Beaches alias, possibly after increasing pressures from Greenpeace

Aw, man. And I was just starting to get used to the idea that every beach I ever go to should rightly resemble a filthy abrasive pile of vomit-y dogshit! Oh well. What can you do?

Well, actually, I guess the most reasonable human thing would be to quickly look around for a scapegoat. Hmm. Personally, I blame Exclaim for cluing me into the fact that Canadian mastermind Alex Zhang Hungtai — erstwhile creator of such VH1 classic albums as 2011’s Badlands and 2013’s Drifters/Love is the Devil — has “decided to end the project.” And while he hasn’t really cited a specific reason for doing so, fans can rest assured that the man’s musicmaking will continue one way or another after Dirty Beaches gets buried in the syringe-littered sand, as he has duly assured everyone who counts in this world via Twitter that “its sad to say goodbye to DB, but rest assured NEW PROJECTS NEW MUSIC COMING SOON 2015.” Bam! See? Not just assurance… but CAPSLOCK assurance! That’s the best kind. I ASSURE YOU.

Luckily, he’s not ending DB prior to the release of his instrumental LP Stateless that’s due out next week, because we already deftly reported on that shit, and that would be SO CONFUSING for the internet when the contradiction ripped a giant hole in the spacetime continuum and whatnot.

• Dirty Beaches: http://www.myspace.com/dirtybeaches
• Zoo Music: http://www.killzoomusic.com