It’s a testament to the strength of Jason Molina’s songwriting that you could probably ask three different people what his best album was and you’d get three different answers. Ask me on a Tuesday night when it never quite stormed and I’d probably say 2000’s Ghost Tropic. Ask me on a Wednesday morning when my air conditioning’s broken and I’m playing quiet records loud because my house is empty and I’ll say 2002’s Didn’t It Rain. Both records expertly mine an intense strain of folk sound that “sparse,” as Gabe Vodicka noted in his Delorean of Ghost Tropic, doesn’t quite cover.
With the loose, recorded-live vibe that a big chunk of Molina’s work has, I’ve always thought it would be interesting to take a look at where those songs came from, to see how the improvisatory process of putting the songs to tape contract and expanded those original ideas. On November 11, Secretly Canadian will give us the chance to do just that by reissuing Didn’t It Rain as a deluxe two-disc edition. In addition to the original album, the reissue will include a selection of never-before-released demos and early working versions, some of which went on to appear on the album proper, others of which popped up elsewhere throughout Molina’s discography. You can pre-order the release via Secretly Canadian here. It’s available as a CD or LP, and there’s also a bundle option that includes both versions and a large poster. Listen below to a demo version of “Ring the Bell” under the working title “Depression No. 42.”
Didn’t It Rain: Deluxe Edition tracklist:
Disc 1 (Original Record):
01. Didn’t It Rain
02. Steve Albini’s Blues
03. Ring the Bell
04. Cross the Road, Molina
05. Blue Factory Flame
06. Two Blue Lights
07. Blue Chicago Moon
Disc 2 (Demos):
1. Didn’t It Rain
2. Ring the Bell, Working Title: Depression No. 42
3. Cross the Road, Molina, Working Title: Chicago City Moon
4. Blue Factory Flame
5. Two Blue Lights
6. Blue Chicago Moon
7. The Gray Tour, Working Title: Waiting It’s Whole Life
8. Spectral Alphabet
Hieroglyphic Being announces The Seer of Cosmic Visions compilation to be released through Planet Mu
Have you been in search of that perfect space-jazz/techno blend? When you listen to Sun Ra’s most wack-o Moog solos, do you just yearn like some techno-sadist for a distorted, four-four kick to play on top, working manically, futilely toward a groove like some poor man trying to stop a blazing train from derailing? Well don’t we all.
But don’t worry, because Jamal Moss a.k.a. Hieroglyphic Being knows exactly what you want. The Chicago native and current linchpin of the city’s astounding techno/house legacy has been generously supplying “Rhythmic Cubism” and “Cosmic Be-Bop” to needy DJs, dancers, and enlightened listeners for over a decade now. His label, Mathematics, has been working to quell the shortage as well.
Now he’s signed on to Planet Mu, where he’ll be releasing an album with “The Configurative or Modular Me Trio” (which may just be him) titled The Seer of Cosmic Visions on October 7 in 2xLP, CD, and digital formats. It consists of selected tracks from Moss’s back catalog and runs the gamut from raw drum machine workouts to swirling, gamelan-infused beatscapes.
The tracklist is below, as well as video of a Boiler Room set he did last year, with mixing characteristically rough and ready.
The Seer of Cosmic Visions tracklist:
01. The Seer of Cosmic Visions
02. How Wet Is Ur Box
03. Space Is the Place
04. Letters from the Edge
05. A Genre Sonique
06. The Human Experience
07. 134340 Pluto
08. Calling Planet Earth
09. Strange Signs in the Sky
• Hieroglyphic Being: https://www.facebook.com/pages/JAMAL-MOSS-AKA-HIEROGLYPHIC-BEING/5578303…
• Planet Mu: http://www.planet.mu
The German duo Mouse on Mars, a.k.a. Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma, have been around since 1993. That means that Mouse on Mars turn 21 this year! Don’t overdo it on the shots, guys (although I guess the legal drinking age in Germany is 18, not 21, but shhh).
Embracing a better way to celebrate than beer funnels, the industrial-electronic duo has announced 21 Again, a compilation that will feature various collaborations that the group has worked on in the past two decades. Guests include Helado Negro, Tortoise, Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, Oval, and Yoshimi. Listen to a collab with Cavern of Anti-Matter (a.k.a. Tim Gane, ex-Stereolab) for a taste:
The double CD will be released by Monkeytown Records (who released Mouse on Mars’ most recent album, Spezmodia, in January) on October 31, so you can celebrate Halloween with some sweet, sweet IDM tunes. Pre-order here. The duo also will be holding a 21 Again Festival in Berlin on the same date.
21 Again tracklist:
01. 21 Again (Eli and Mark E. Smith)
02. Fertilized (Mouse on Mars and Cavern of Anti-Matter)
03. Shoe Fly (Mouse on Mars and Tortoise)
04. Celebration Song (A Hawk and A Hacksaw and Balàzs Unger)
05. Lost and Found (Mouse on Mars and Eric D Clark)
06. Purple Frog (Mouse on Mars and Modeselektor feat. Mr. Maloke)
07. Immer Kurz Davor (Mouse on Mars and Siriusmo)
08. Splymogym (Mouse on Mars and Scratch Pet Land)
09. Queen Für Erschein (Mouse on Mars and Dodo NKishi)
10. Key My Brain (Mouse on Mars and Atom TM)
11. 21 Momstars (AGF/Delay Team)
12. Carca Jadas (Mouse on Mars and Helado Negro)
13. My Toe Is On Fire (Mouse on Mars and Laetitia Sadier)
01. Wir möchten auch drauf sein (Ingrid and Oswald Wiener)
02. Ein Leben Wie Heu (Mouse on Mars and Schlammpeitziger)
03. Putty Tart (Mouse on Mars and Junior Boys)
04. Metaloona Swamp (Mouse on Mars and Candie Hank)
05. We’re Glad You Are Born Today, Unless You Weren’t Born Today (David Michael DiGregorio and Sung Huang Kim)
06. Juice Clr 9 (Mouse on Mars and Machinedrum)
07. Somiak (Mouse on Mars and Mesak and Claws Costeau)
08. Fromm (Mouse on Mars and F.X. Randomiz)
09. 90s (Prefuse 73)
10. Bon Djerry (Mouse on Mars and Funkstörung)
11. NKANKA (Mouse on Mars and Yoshimi)
12. Double Gum (Mouse on Mars and Matthew Herbert, a.k.a. DJ Collapse)
13. Pterion (Mouse on Mars and Olivia Block)
14. Gitto Ski (Mouse on Mars and Oval)
15. Off Sea (Mouse on Mars and Tyondai Braxton)
16. Mouse 0n Egg (Happy Birthday!) (DJ Scotch Egg)
Cass McCombs and Meat Puppets announce limited-edition split 7-inch to celebrate the tour story we just posted
These days, singer/songwriter Cass McCombs is pretty well reputed as a witty, recondite, and cutting-edge Americana artist who is usually doing tons and tons of cool shit constantly. By contrast, country-punk old-but-goodsters Meat Puppets are known for… well, not that.
So, but what would happen if you mixed the two up in some kind of ungodly and diabolical human-being-sized blender? Well, that’s what the sadistic, bloodthirsty, and gruesomely murderous head honchos at Domino wanted to know too! But, because of certain pesky legal considerations, they were forced to have McCombs and the Puppets simply record a limited edition 7-inch and go on a US tour together instead.
True to their usual work ethics as crudely described by me two paragraphs above this one, the resulting piece of wax, which is apparently titled simply Cass McCombs vs Meat Puppets, will feature two brand-spanking-new songs by McCombs (entitled “Night of The World” and “Evangeline”)… and two, ya know, sort of novelty-sounding cover songs recorded by the Meat Puppets: “(Hey Baby), Que Paso” by Texas Tornados and “Cathy’s Clown” by The Everly Brothers. (At least they’re not Nirvana covers or some bullshit, right?)
And just to heighten the contrast between entities a little more, the release will also sport two different cover designs; one by frequent McCombs collaborator Albert Herter, and the other by Puppet Cris Kirkwood himself. The whole shebang will be available October 28 via Domino, but you’d better not sleep on your mouse-clickin’ finger, because I heard tell they’re only pressing 500 copies of the thing. If you’re a McCombs fan, you need this thing in your collection. If you’re a Meat Puppets fan, well… hey dude, that’s so awesome for you!
Cass McCombs vs Meat Puppets tracklisting:
01. Cass McCombs: “Night of the World”
02. Cass McCombs: “Evangeline”
03. Meat Puppets: “(Hey Baby), Que Paso”
04. Meat Puppets: “Cathy’s Clown”
Cass McCombs announces co-headlining tour with Meat Puppets, while a cassette tape melts in the back of my parents’ car
In the summer of 2010, the only music I had in my car was a handful of cassette tapes, including Meat Puppets’ II and a mixtape my friend made me that was labeled John Mayer/More John Mayer and contained no John Mayer. In 2010, Cass McCombs was in between his albums Catacombs and Wit’s End, neither of which came out on cassette. Now here we are in 2014 and these two unrelated factors have now become… related. Here is how: Cass McCombs is going on tour with the Meat Puppets this October. The two have become still two but a closer two and the past edges closer to the future.
In other cases, the future just meets more future. McCombs, who most recently released Big Wheel and Others on Domino last year, will spend the pre-Meat Puppets portion of October touring with The War on Drugs. For personal detail, I have never had a cassette of a War on Drugs album, nor am I sure that such a thing even exists. That said, I did have a Tom Petty cassette, so same thing, you know?
Cass McCombs dates:
10.01.14 - Pomona, CA - The Glass House ^
10.02.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre ^
10.03.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre ^
10.05.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore ^
10.06.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore ^
10.21.14 - St. Louis, MO - Duck Room at Blueberry Hill *
10.22.14 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon *
10.23.14 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle *
10.24.14 - Columbus, OH - The A&R Music Bar *
10.25.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe *
10.27.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts *
10.28.14 - Pawtucket, RI - The Met Cafe *
10.29.14 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair *
10.30.14 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Showcase Lounge *
10.31.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade *
11.01.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade *
11.02.14 - Washington, DC - The Black Cat *
11.04.14 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
11.05.14 - Atlanta, GA - Vinyl *
11.07.14 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s Downstairs *
11.28.14 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom *
11.29.14 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah *
12.02.14 - West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour *
12.03.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
11.05.14 - Seattle, WA - Neumos *
11.06.14 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge *
^ The War on Drugs
* Meat Puppets
Michael Gira assembles excellent festival lineup for Le Guess Who?: Swans, Ben Frost, Xiu Xiu, Jenny Hval, Prurient, Sir Richard Bishop
Imagine that you were in the courtship phase of a relationship with Swans main man Michael Gira and he made you a mixtape to, you know, express his feelings and stuff. Can you imagine how dark and heavy that mixtape would be? In my mind it would be the musical equivalent of a Rubens painting.
You don’t even need to guess what kind of artists would be on that tape, because Gira has just been announced as the curator of the Mouth to Mouth stage at Le Guess Who? Festival, which will take place in Utrecht, Netherlands from November 20-23. As you’d expect, Gira has collected an awe-inspiring lineup of your more avant-garde artists kicking around, including Ben Frost, Carla Bozulich, Jenny Hval, Prurient, a collaboration between Savages and Bo Ningen, Wire, and of course, Swans.
The regular section of the festival will have performances from acts like Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Dr John, St. Vincent, Son Lux, and Einsturzende Neubauten. There’s also a 24-hour drone tent, but that’s big enough news for a separate story (coming soon).
Early bird tickets are on sale now and a mere 90 Euros will get your four days worth of Gira-approved mayhem and drone. You can check out the full Le Guess Who? Festival lineup and order tickets here.
Mouth to Mouth lineup:
Thursday, November 20:
Friday, November 21:
Sir Richard Bishop
Saturday, November 22:
Savages/Bo Ningen perform “Words to the Blind”
Jeff Witscher, also known as Rene Hell, plans to raise hell on September 16. How so? By reissuing a double LP of extremely beautiful ambient music from his late-oughts project Marble Sky, of course! Out next month via Students of Decay, the self-titled LP compiles two of the project’s previous cassettes, 2007’s The Sad Return and 2008’s Low God (both of which were released on Witscher’s own Callow God label) into one waxy, foot-long, remastered package. The LP is streaming in its entirety over at Students of Decay’s SoundCloud, and quite frankly it’s the perfect album to welcome autumn’s cold, dead hands and six months of seasonal affective disorder-induced dormancy. But #thatsjustme.
Moving forward in Jeff Witscher news, there was recently a rumor that Rene Hell was added to the lineup of the upcoming Tiny Mix Tapes Hopscotch Music Festival day party (which currently features Lee Noble, Secret Boyfriend, Giant Claw, and loads more) on September 4. As part of my journalistic duty, I completely fabricated this conversation between TMT editor-in-chief Mr. P and myself to confirm the news:
Me: We got Rene Hell, yeah?
P: Hell? Yeah.
Me: Hell yeah.
See you there!
Method Man and Redman announced as headliners of “The Smokers Club Tour,” cuz that’s a club that really exists!
Oh, but really, come on: stop pretending like you’re not totally interested. Don’t try to play the hipster-irony card here. NSFW or otherwise, you clicked on this headline for a reason, buddy. Let’s go.
Yes, there’s a thing called The Smoker’s Club. And yes, among other things, they have an annual festival thing that they do. This is actually the fifth one. Yeah. And HELL YES, this year’s headlining guests of honor are none other than multi-platinum motherfucking recording artists and international super-emblems of all things dank and chill and green and mellow, Method Man and Redman. Hell yes.
The tour gets underway October 14 in Providence, RI, after which it will, ya know, billow and curlicue its way through 37(!) cities in the U.S., ultimately wrapping up in November in New York City. Aside from your boys Method and Red, the tour will feature the likes of Cypress Hill’s B-Real, Taylor Gang’s Berner, and “cinematic artist” Mick Jenkins.
“Method Man and Redman have been staples in my playlists since I can remember,” says Smokers Club founder Jonny Shipes. “I have probably smoked 5 lbs of weed listening to their music & watching How High on repeat during my life, LOL. It was a no brainer & honor to have them headline this year’s tour.” Yes, LOL is really part of the quote. Come on, now, don’t be an asshole. In fact, be the opposite of one of those and go get yourself some tickets to this thing that they go specifically out of their way to call “the world’s largest traveling hotbox” right over here. You know you’ve got your credit card ready. Also, holy shit, REMEMBER THAT MOVIE?!
Smokers Club Tour 2014:
10.14.14 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
10.15.14 - Boston, MA - Paradise
10.17.14 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon Club
10.18.14 - Stroudsberg, PA - Sherman Theater
10.19.14 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
10.21.14 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart’s
10.22.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
10.23.14 - Chicago, IL - Concord
10.24.14 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
10.25.14 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
10.26.14 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
10.28.14 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater
10.29.14 - Des Moines, IA - Wooly’s
10.31.14 - Englewood, CO - Gothic Theater
11.01.14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
11.02.14 - Garden City, ID - Revolution Center
11.03.14 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox at the Market
11.04.14 - Bend, OR - Midtown Ballroom
11.05.14 - Arcata, CA - Arcata Community Center
11.07.14 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst
11.08.14 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
11.09.14 - Los Angeles, CA - House of Blues
11.10.14 - Las Vegas, NV - Brooklyn Bowl
11. 11.14 - Santa Ana, CA - Observatory – Constellation Room
11.12.14 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
11.15.14 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East
11.16.14 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
11.17.14 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
11.18.14 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
11.19.14 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City
11.21.14 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
11.22.14 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
11.23.14 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore
11.25.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
11.26.14 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
Anyone who has ever dealt drugs (or, in my case, has watched The Wire) knows that a good strategy for building a customer base is free samples. Everyone loves free samples. You know it, I know it, drug dealers know it, Costco knows it. You get customers in, you get them hooked on your product, then you jack up the price. It’s textbook stuff. So it was no great shock when Lil Bibby, one of Chicago rap’s recent luminaries, dropped his excellent Free Crack mixtape late last year. He was looking to get us hooked, and against our better judgment we played right into his hand. Ever since we’ve anxiously waited with a stack of bills in our trembling hand for the moment when we can get some new Bibby.
But now, with the announcement of a second mixtape, it seems the 20-year-old rapper may not be out to manipulate us like so many skeevy dudes in knock-off Peruvian sweaters. Free Crack 2 is set to drop on August 29 (this Friday!) and features guest appearances by Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Lil Herb, T.I., and Kevin Gates, as well as production from Bangledesh, DJ L, C Note, and more. Could it be that Lil Bibby is in fact just a generous guy looking to spread his product to anyone who would be so inclined as to take it? Or is he trying to instill an even more severe need for it, setting us up for when he drops his $1,000 album? Only time will tell. Until then let’s all just keep quiet and enjoy it. Listen to “For the Low Pt. 2” and check the tracklist below.
Free Crack 2 tracklist:
01. Birdman Intro
02. Can I Have Your Attention
03. For the Low Pt. 2 (feat. Wiz Khalifa & Juicy J)
04. Game Over (feat. Lil Herb)
05. I Love to Hustle
06. Dead or in Prison
07. Montana (feat. Juicy J)
08. Can I Get
09. Ace and Lulu
10. Boy (feat. T.I.)
11. I Be On It
12. What You Live For
13. Ace, Rico, & Calvin
14. We Are Strong (feat. Kevin Gates)
16. Bonus Track
17. Bonus Track
• Lil Bibby: http://lilbibby.com
A whistling approaches. Ladies: for once, this isn’t a case where you’re being harassed by some of the less-evolved and profoundly hopeless members of the male gender. Geeks, far and wide: despite the effort put in, the nonexistent deity of the Mario world hasn’t taken mercy and provided you with a real magic whistle to whisk yourself away to any turtle-infested land you like. Nope, instead, the whistling comes via that most alluring flute of Bardo Pond’s, who use it as a regular feature in their psychedelic escapades, which, impressively, have been going on for 20+ years now — and we’re still not lulled to satisfaction.
Supposedly, as quality as their recent Peace on Venus LP was, the Philly band’s live show is a considerably different — and some would say even more worthwhile — experience. I don’t know personally, but let’s take it for granted the otherwise outlandish assumption of flotation. Audiences in Europe this September should expect to put the Blaines of the world to shame, courtesy of Isobel Sollenberger’s vocals, and pretty much everything else. Not lacking in the telekinetic abilities, these guys. Dates after the case-in-point cover of Brian Eno’s “Here Come the Warm Jets,” unveiled back on Record Store Day:
09.13.14 - Valada, Portugal - Reverence Festival
09.14.14 - Madrid, Spain - Charada
09.15.14 - Bologna, Italy - Freakout
09.16.14 - Geneva, Switzerland - Cave 12
09.17.14 - Dudigen, Switzerland - Bad Bonn
09.08.14 - Rouen, France - Le 106
09.19.14 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
09.20.14 - Tilburg, The Netherlands - Incubate
09.21.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Magasin 4
09.22.14 - London, UK - Corsica Studios