Pure Ground gettin’ all analog up in Europe on first-ever overseas tour, celebrating Chondritic Sound LP

Los Angeles-based minimal synth dudes Pure Ground are about to bring some good old-fashioned American analog creepiness to Europe. With tracks referencing 20th-century science fiction and horror, lyrics about wars/other dystopian shit, and classic analog musical equipment, it’s bound to be fun for everyone! The duo’s recent Daylight & Protection LP compiles both their previous cassette EPs on Chondritic Sound, and will itself be released on Chondritic Sound! Continuing with the analog theme, they also have a limited-edition (60 copies!) VHS called Tenebrous Passages, which features five works of crazy video art paired with exclusive songs:

In May, Pure Ground will be touching down in Gothenburg, Sweden for a month-long jaunt through the Old World that concludes in Prague. They’re playing a couple dates with similar-minded L.A. synth-lovers Soft Metals. Check the dates below and see more details at the Facebook event page.

Daylight & Protection tracklisting:

01. After the Fall
02. Sharp Collapse
03. Obfuscate
04. Going Under the Wire
05. Atlantic Wall
06. From Outside
07. With the Old Ways
08. Sacrificed to Purpose


05.13.14 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Skjul Fyra Sex *
05.15.14 - Stockholm, Sweden - Kollaps Records
05.16.14 - Växjö, Sweden - TBD #
05.17.14 - Berlin, Germany - Marie-Antoinette $
05.22.14 - Antwerp, Belgium - Stadslimiet
05.23.14 - Paris, France - TBD
05.24.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Fantastique Nights %
05.28.14 - Barcelona, Spain - Niu
05.30.14 - Madrid, Spain - El Perro de la Parte de Atras del Coche
06.03.14 - Vienna, Austria - Rhiz Vienna
06.05.14 - Budapest, Hungary - TBD
06.06.14 - Prague, Czech Republic - Basement Bar ^

* Trepaneringsritualen
# Soft Metals
$ Echo West
% Soft Metals & Sally Dige
^ Animal Bodies

• Pure Ground: https://www.facebook.com/puregroundpureground
• Chondritic Sound: http://www.chondriticsound.com

Polyvinyl to reissue American Football’s lone album with tons of rare material on May 20

I first heard American Football in English class, played as inspiration for a creative writing exercise. Junior year of high school, maybe senior year. The band’s self-titled album soon became the soundtrack for every Friday night I spent holed up in my bedroom wishing I had something cooler to do.

Now I’m listening to that album for the first time in forever and reliving that adolescent despondency, which I promise isn’t as depressing as it sounds. I love American Football, and on May 20, Polyvinyl will be reissuing the band’s self-titled album as a deluxe edition. American Football was originally released in 1999, and the deluxe edition will include live recordings, demos, and practice sessions that document songs the band never ended up recording elsewhere, as well as photographs by Chris Strong, lyrics sheets, liner notes written by the band, and band pictures that no one’s ever seen before.

American Football (Deluxe Edition) will be available as a double LP, double CD, and cassette tape, as well as plain old digital files. When Polyvinyl first announced pre-orders, the label’s website crashed for the first time ever due to such high demand, a testament to how much this album means to so many people. Snag a copy here, and check out “The 7’s,” a previously unreleased track that guitarist Steve Holmes says was one of the first songs American Football ever wrote and one that they typically played as a closer until they wrote “Stay Home”:

• American Football: http://americanfootball.bandcamp.com
• Polyvinyl: https://www.polyvinylrecords.com

Gardland releasing 12-inch of improvisations ripped from live radio performances! (you gotta pay money for ‘em now)

Hey kids! Remember last year when your goofy experimental-electrotastic buddies Mark and Alex from the band Gardland totally invented twerking with the release of their double-LP Syndrome Syndrome?

Well, forget all that shit, because now they only want you to focus on the fact that they’re releasing a brand-new EP on April 29 via RVNG Intl.! Yup, it’s called Improvisations and consists of “three live performances ripped from local Australian radio in early 2012.”

“What? Ripped from the radio?” you say? “How am I supposed to know if that sounds cool or terrible?” you say?

Well, Magic Mark and Magic Alex are a step or two ahead of you, reader. Because today ALSO happens to mark the official release of this-here official music video for the track “0214 Pt.2.” Check it out below. The press release calls it a “desiccated, teleological frenzy.” But I dunno. Sounds a little more “decimated” than desiccated to my ears? Or maybe “decapitated”? Either way, definitely totally teleological. I’m feeling that.

Improvisations EP tracklisting:

01. 0214
02. 0315
03. 0214 Pt.2

• Gardland: http://soundcloud.com/gardland
• RVNG Intl: http://igetrvng.com

Russell Haswell and Pain Jerk remove the need for this descriptive article with upcoming 2CD Electroacoustic Sludge Dither Transformation Smear Grind Decomposition nO!se File Exchange Mega Edit

When I think of musical collaborations, silly me, I tend to have my head naively stuck in an age prior to the popularization of personal computers; as in, I often think artists necessarily have to be within close proximity to one another in order to actually collaborate. Obviously, presently, that’s not at all the case, and it’s easy to imagine (and probably recall) albums being crafted in unison thousands of miles apart, as well as rappers choking their producers via a creative series of emoticons. Still, it’s probably more common for collaborations to at least start out in person.

The Tokyo venue 20000 Volts was the initial meeting place for British multidisciplinary artist Russell Haswell (who’s previously collaborated with the likes of Aphex Twin, Peter Rehberg, and Florian Hecker) and Pain Jerk a.k.a. Gomi Kōhei, whose prolificacy in the genre of dynamic Japanese noise has been more or less ongoing since the early 90s. They met there in 1997, swooned over their mutual ability to remove frequencies from the human auditory system, and vowed to collaborate at some point in the future. It wasn’t until 2012, when they performed together at the Rammel Club in Nottingham, UK, that things started progressing toward something special.

The other kind of special. No, the other kind of special. No, the psychopathic kind of special. Two years in the making, Electroacoustic Sludge Dither Transformation Smear Grind Decomposition nO!se File Exchange Mega Edit (due out June 9 on Editions Mego) is the result of their Nottingham performance + solo recordings, subjected to an obscene amount of edits and re-edits that were sent back and forth between the two. Thank the heavens for our evolved inbox storage capacities! And leave purity to the devout. Have a listen to one perennially fucked-with excerpt off the double album below. I’m not sure how much more convincing you need:

Electroacoustic Sludge Dither Transformation Smear Grind Decomposition nO!se File Exchange Mega Edit tracklisting:

01. Russell Haswell’s Mega Edit
02. PAIN JERK’s Mega Edit

• Russell Haswell: http://haswellstudio.com
• Pain Jerk: http://painjerk.blogspot.com
• Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com

King Dude releasing new album in May, joining Ghost for tour of every House of Blues in America

Seattle’s King Dude is the fire-and-brimstone preacher nursing whiskey in the back of a strip club in hell, spewing vitriol and God’s saving grace at anyone who happens to come near him. Or at least that seems to be the concept of the new video for “Fear Is All You Know,” the lead track off the goth-folk singer’s new album Fear. Strip club in hell, Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs… it’s really hard to say what this joint is, but it looks pretty damn cool. (And sorta NSFW, unless you want your H&R department head to think you’re a damn weirdo.)

Fear is King Dude’s first release for his new Not Just Religious Music label, following up 2012’s Burning Daylight (TMT Review). Produced by Bill Rieflin, who has also worked with Ministry, Swans, and Pigface, its sonic themes include — you guessed it — fear. Plus telephones and mirrors! Those are also the themes. And to get King Dude’s take on those matters, you can see him live and in effect when he joins Ghost on a tour itinerary that asks the burning question now on so many minds, “How many damn House of Blues venues ARE there, really?” King Dude’s new album drops May 6.

Fear tracklisting:

01. Open the Door
02. Fear Is All You Know
03. Maria
04. Devil Eyes
05. Cloven Hooves (of Fear)
06. Demon Caller Number 9
07. Bloody Mirror
08. Lay Down in Bedlam
09. Bottomless Pit
10. Never Run
11. Miss September
12. Empty House
13. Watching Over You

Ghost/King Dude tour dates:

04.17.14 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Theatre
04.18.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
04.19.14 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
04.20.14 - St. Louis, MO - Pageant
04.22.14 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater
04.23.14 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
04.25.14 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
04.26.14 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
04.27.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda
04.28.14 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
05.01.14 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East
05.02.14 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
05.03.14 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
05.04.14 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre
05.06.14 - Orlando, FL - The Beacham Theater
05.07.14 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Revolution Live
05.09.14 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage
05.10.14 - Chattanooga, TN - Track 29
05.11.14 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theater
05.12.14 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
05.14.14 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore
05.15.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theatre
05.16.14 - Poughkeepsie, NY - The Chance
05.17.14 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater

• King Dude: https://www.facebook.com/kingdudemusic
• Not Just Religious Music: http://notjustreligiousmusic.com

Billy Corgan climbs the turnbuckle to release experimental album AEGEA

In the midst of putting the concept of avant-garde music in a headlock, Zwan’s Billy Corgan has announced an experimental double LP known as AEGEA, to be released sometime in the next few weeks. Before tangling with the musical concept, Corgan descended from the rafters, as smoke billowed in from the ceiling and, appropriately enough, Smashing Pumpkins’ “Zero” played through the arena’s sound system. As Consequence of Sound reports, Corgan mentioned that the record was comprised of recordings dating back to the spring of 2007, which some know as the Zeitgeist era. Corgan then put his opponent in the dreaded Scorpion Death Lock.

Upon landing a series of devastating body blows, the Zwan frontman revealed that the record would be limited to 250 vinyl copies, most of which would be available online. As his opponent stood dazed, Corgan said that a few copies would be available at his Madame Zuzu’s Teahouse establishment in Highland Park, Illinois. The creator of 2005’s TheFutureEmbrace then executed a perfect DDT on avant-garde music, while announcing that AEGEA would be available at the very reasonable price of $59.95.

In addition to this experimental record, Corgan has kept busy working on a pair of new Smashing Pumpkins albums. He also recently did two very ambitious, very long performances based around modular synth, at least one of which Daniel Lopatin watched. One. Two. Three. Billy Corgan has pinned avant-garde music. Billy Corgan is your new heavyweight champion.

• Billy Corgan: http://www.smashingpumpkinsnexus.com

[Photo: Michael Tercha]

WIFE to release debut LP on Tri Angle; listen to the lead single and float far away from here

Once upon a time, James Kelly played a whole bunch of different instruments in a metal band called Altar of Plagues. They raised hell for a good seven years and played their last show ever at Unsound Festival in Poland back in October. Now James Kelly works under the moniker WIFE and makes atmospheric, subtly emotional pop, a far cry from his metal past.

Back in 2012, WIFE released an EP called Stoic via left_blank, and according to our pals over at XLR8R, WIFE will drop his first solo LP, What’s Between, on June 10. This one will be out on Tri Angle, and it’s co-produced by The Haxan Cloak. Stream the album’s lead single, “Heart Is a Far Light,” below. It’s music for floating inside a cloud.

What’s Between tracklist:

01. Like Chrome
02. Tongue
03. Heart Is a Far Light
04. Salvage
05. Dans Ce
06. A Nature (Shards)
07. Living Joy
08. Fruit Tree
09. Further Not Better

• WIFE: https://www.facebook.com/wifesounds
• Tri Angle: http://tri-anglerecords.com

[Photo: Fiona Garden]

RIP: Fred Ho, saxophonist, composer, and bandleader

From The New York Times:

Fred Ho, a composer, saxophonist, writer and radical activist who wrote politically charged operas, suites, oratorios and ballets that mixed jazz with popular and traditional elements of what he called Afro-Asian culture, died on Saturday at his home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He was 56.

The cause was complications of colorectal cancer, his student and friend Benjamin Barson said. In books, essays, speeches and interviews, Mr. Ho said he had been at war with the disease, his preferred metaphor, since 2006.

Mr. Ho, who was of Chinese descent, called himself a “popular avant-gardist.” He was inspired by the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and by the ambitious, powerful music of African-American bandleaders, including Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Sun Ra and especially Charles Mingus. But he rejected the word jazz, which he considered a pejorative term imposed by Europeans. […]

• Fred Ho: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Ho

Alvarius B. plans another archival release for May 13; I think he might be breaking up with me

I think maybe Alan Bishop might be planning to break up with me. No, listen, I’m not just being a narcissist. I think I might’ve done something to make him think I’m some kinda asshole. I mean, just three years ago things were great. He was covering The Beach Boys at me, we’d laugh, we’d go putt-putting together, the whole deal. But then last year he got super pissed at my horse for some reason (which, I mean, what did Walter Matthau The Horse ever do to him?), and after that everything went to shit. And now, now he’s threatening to strangle me? Where has our love gone, Alan? Wherefore art thou dearest Alvarius?

The choke threat comes by way of an album press release, as it always does these days (the phone works both ways, Alan). He’s got a new archival release planned: What One Man Can Do with an Acoustic Guitar, Surely Another Can Do with His Hands Around the Neck of God. Where last year’s archival release, Fuck You and the Horse You Rode in On collected pre-Sun City Girls tracks from Bishop during the early 80s, What One Man Can Do… consists of instrumental guitar recordings made straight to tape during the 90s. It’s out May 13, which, get this, is the anniversary of the first time Alan beat me at Monopoly. So yeah, this is definitely a personal attack.

You want a description of the album that doubles as all the convincing I need to go shopping for off-season turtlenecks later? How about: “You could simply imagine that these are songs about strangling people like you with a low E steel guitar string.” What, Alan!? The whole deal, which “has more of a resemblance to a performance on power tools than it does to strumming or picking a Martin flat top,” is limited to a single pressing of 400 copies, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the Abduction web store for when the thing becomes available.

What One Man Can Do with an Acoustic Guitar, Surely Another Can Do with His Hands Around the Neck of God tracklisting:

01. Twister
02. Mantra Days
03. Attic Memory
04. Dead Metal Forever
05. Lateral Paradigms
06. Wyoming Twilight
07. Harsh Shadows
08. The Delta Stinger
09. Drunken Patriot
10. Mean Crossover
11. Old Orange and His Cousin
12. Wildcat Regulations
13. Cedar Point
14. Where the Murk Flows
15. Funky Natchez
16. Nasty Plumage (For Jack Rose)

• Alvarius B.: https://myspace.com/alvariusb
• Abduction: http://www.suncitygirls.com/abduction

Outside Lands brings Kanye, The Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tom Petty, and copious amounts of local cheese together at last

Another day, another festival announces its summer 2014 lineup. Except… this festival’s got Kanye, y’all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And not just Yeezus himself, but also the Yeezus of what Wikipedia is calling “heartland rock,” Mr. Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers! Plus Warpaint, Dum Dum Girls, Big Freedia, Mikal Cronin, The Killers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Tiesto, Artic Monkeys, Death Cab, Disclosure, Atmosphere, The Flaming Lips, Spoon, Kacey Musgraves, Cut Copy, Tegan and Sarah, Haim, Chromeo, Tycho, Chvrches, Lykke Li — and that’s not even the half of it.

So that’s what’s going on in San Francisco this summer, friends. Kanye and Tom Petty playing racquetball together in Golden Gate Park. Possibly visiting the Japanese tea garden. Looking through Warhol books together at the art museum gift shop. Because, verily, Outside Lands is a wonderful place, where anything can happen, including comedy, art, music (duh), and a glorious, life-affirming food and drink EXPERIENCE called “A Taste of the Bay Area.” This spectacular food court from heaven includes different “lands,” including Wine Lands, Beer Lands, Choco Lands, and now, in its second year, a bigger and better Cheese Land. The festival takes place from August 8-10, and the full lineup plus ticket-purchasing can be found here.

• Outside Lands: http://www.sfoutsidelands.com


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