From The Guardian:
The experimental composer Robert Ashley has died, aged 83.
Kyle Gann, who recently wrote a biography on the composer, wrote on his website that he had received confirmation of the composer’s death. Ashley had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver last June. He died on 3 March at approximately 1:30pm.
“Bob was one of the most amazing composers of the 20th century, and the greatest genius of 20th-century opera,” Gann writes. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take the world to recognize that.”
As well as being known for his radical reinvention of the operatic form, fusing electronic music into his operas and theatre works, Ashley also co-founded the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music in 1958 alongside Gordon Mumma, before creating the performing arts event ONCE Festival in the 60s. He won the John Cage Award for Music from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in 2002.
According to Gann’s blogpost, Ashley completed a piece before he died entitled Mixed Blessings, Indiana.
• Robert Ashley: http://www.robertashley.org
Stephen O’Malley, Oren Ambarchi, and Randall Dunn advise watch synchronization so you don’t miss the release of their 2xLP Shade Themes from Kairos
Oh lord, here we go again with another convoluted and plot hole-ridden cinematic foray into the concept of time manipulation. At least Looper (TMT Review) had the chutzpah to work in actual dialogue attesting to the subject’s possibly inherent paradoxes, but is it too much to ask for some Bishop cameos, even in stories supposedly outside the X-Men universe? I feel as though time travelers with jheri curls lend a degree of credence. All that grease just has to play a role in the slipping of humans into different historical periods.
Kairos, the short film from Belgian filmmaker Alexis Destoop, unveiled in 2009 and serving as a fictional tale of time-turned-commodity, sadly lacked a spontaneous comic book crossover, but fulfilling the “badass” adjective nonetheless, the feature contained a score recorded and co-produced by Randall Dunn (Master Musicians of Bukkake), and composed by Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley. The ancient Greeks apparently had two words for time, neither of which accurately capture its seeming elongation that one time I found myself making direct eye contact with a urinating homeless man: “chronos,” which refers to chronological time, and “kairos,” which refers to an opportune moment.
With respect to the latter, the trio clearly appreciated something in their initial temporal collaboration. Shade Themes from Kairos, set for release May 19 via Drag City, is an extension of the aforementioned score, with further recording and mixing done at Dunn’s (now closed) Aleph studio in Seattle, and further “emanations evoked” (eh?) through the utilization of drums, analog synths, vibraphones, crotales, the requisite guitars, a shruti box, and a mellotron.
Shade Themes from Kairos tracklisting:
01. That Space Between
02. Temporal, Eponymous
03. Circumstances of Faith
05. Ebony Pagoda
NXNE wants you to come to a sexy Canadian pool party with Spoon, Swans, Sleigh Bells, Spiritualized and some other bands that don’t start with “S”
While music industry hearts across America dream of warmer climes, of margaritas consumed outdoors, and of hotel pools, our friends to the North in Toronto are all like, “Hey! Don’t make it all about Austin, guys! We’ve got fun, too! We’ve got NXNE!” And it’s true, they do. And summer will come, if only for the week of June 13-22, when Toronto gears up for its 20th NXNE.
The festival recently made its second round of artist announcements, so now you can prepare to get your Canadian pool party on with the likes of Spoon, Sleigh Bells, Spiritualized, tUnE-YaRdS, A$AP Ferg, Metz, Ryan Hemsworth, Swans, Goat, The Barr Brothers, Oneohtrix Point Never, Low, Fuck Buttons, Tim Hecker, Eagulls, Glasser, Kelela, Ratking, Perfect Pussy, Small Black, Le1f, The Pizza Underground, Swearin’, Dan Croll, DJ Jonathan Toubin, Astro, Juan Wauters, Mutual Benefit, Guerilla Toss, Laurel, Calvin Love, Alvvays, Hunters, Saint Rich, Death Hymn Number 9, Criminal Hygiene, Elektrisk Gønner, Krazy Drazy, and the always intriguing “more.” You can check out the full lineup at the official NXNE website.
• NXNE: http://nxne.com
tUnE-yArDs announces details of Nikki Nack coming in May. Personally, I can’t wait to hear what Chuck Klosterman thinks of it.
Did you know that Merrill Garbus, the lovable tUnE-yArDs lady who manages to keep all of her looping pedals in perfect working order but somehow has a bUsTeD cApS-lOcK kEy, just celebrated her birthday? Go write an impersonal ironic emoji-laden message on her Facebook wall before it’s too late! My advice? Make liberal use of the “:putnam:” guy if you want it to be extra funny. Oh, and you know what, if you actually want to make it a little more personal, consider mentioning her rEcEnTlY aNnOuNcEd NeW aLbUm!! It’s called Nikki Nack.
Nikki Nack is Garbus’ first full-length since 2011’s marvel of spacebar technology w h o k i l l (T M T R e v i e w), and it’s out May 6 in the United States. Garbus says to listeners, “Thanks for all your support and patience while we cooked this chicken!” That’s either a joke, or in the short break she took between albums, she got totally confused about what albums are and how they’re different from chickens. Jokes: I love to make them, but I’m terrible at interpreting them when others make them. Anyhow, Garbus has put together what she’s calling a “Megamix” of the album, which you can hear in the YouTube embed below. She’s also going on an international and festival-heavy tour starting in; scope those dates below and see if any of them are near your house! Really, the only thing left for us to do is to wait for Chuck Klosterman to follow up his oH sO vErY InSiGhTfUl and t o t a l l y c o h e r e n t think-piece on w h o k i l l with something similar for Nikki Nack. Get stoked!
05.05.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Masonic Lodge @ Hollywood Forever
05.07.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade
05.12.14 - London, UK - Village Underground
05.14.14 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain
05.15.14 - Hamburg, Germany - Nochtspeicher
05.16.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Les Nuits-Cirque Royal
05.18.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Bitterzoet
05.19.14 - Paris, France - Café de La Danse
05.23.14 - Bend, OR - Les Schwab Ampitheater*
05.23-25.14 - George, WA - Sasquatch Festival
05.31.14-06.01.14 - Houston, TX - Free Press Summerfest
06.18-22.14 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
06.19-22.14 - Dover, DE - Firefly Festival
07.19.14 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Festival
* The National
Dean Blunt records a video single, Mersh 12-inch imminent, Black Metal full-length TBC on Rough Trade
The increasingly prolific Dean Blunt returned over the weekend in Hype mode on new pollyjacobsen video “Mersh,” a familiar sedentary YouTube scene chopped into twitching slices of white light and dark red, Friday night hyper-reel in place of slo-mo Sunday surreal, though perhaps not by choice: room-tone shit-speaker treble fills the air (“I Am Smoking In A Room”) and a nearly hidden sub-bass line rattles the floor, a head-nodder but only at Blunt’s slumped level. He sits up twice, addresses the camera, and freestyles, haltingly, about the maybe-importance of knowing your limits when feeling anxious or confused and also where dat w33d at. “It’s a problem,” but it’s also the new single.
And it’s a physical single, mate. Mersh as a 12-inch is “imminent” and then, believe it or not, date TBC, there’s a full-length album coming on Rough Trade Records called Black Metal. Not sure if “Mersh” is on both releases but the word on this comes straight from Jah.
William Basinski to reissue 2003 record Melancholia, news item unrelated to Kirsten Dunst film Melancholia
As we all know, Melancholia is a 2011 film starring Kirsten Dunst. This story is not about that. This story is about William Basinski’s 2003 album Melancholia. On April 15, Temporary Residence will reissue the record, making it available on vinyl for the first time. Copies are limited to 2000 items, so interested parties may want to pre-order through Temporary Residence in the near future. To reiterate: Kirsten Dunst is uninvolved with this record.
Melancholia, which does not feature actress Kirsten Dunst or, for that matter, co-star Charlotte Gainsbourg, was Basinski’s first record after releasing his career-defining Disintegration Loops. For the fancy reissue accoutrements, Temporary Residence Ltd. has printed the record on black, pure virgin vinyl packaged in a gatefold with new artwork by James Elaine. There will also be an MP3 download coupon, because we live in the year 2014.
Once again, Kirsten Dunst is in no way, shape, or form involved with the William Basinski record Melancholia. However, rumor has it you can hear the faint sound of Keifer Sutherland breathing on track four.
01. Melancholia I
02. Melancholia II
03. Melancholia III
04. Melancholia IV
05. Melancholia V
06. Melancholia VI
07. Melancholia VII
08. Melancholia VIII
09. Melancholia IX
10. Melancholia X
11. Melancholia XI
12. Melancholia XII
13. Melancholia XIII
14. Melancholia XIV
P.W. Elverum & Sun re-issue Wyrd Visions’ 2006 album Half-Eaten Guitar, go buckwild with a firehose on a bog monster
Back in those most ancient and heady days of 2006, Toronto’s Colin Bergh (a.k.a. Wyrd Visions) recorded Half-Eaten Guitar, but after just one quickly-sold-out pressing on Toronto’s Blue Fog Recordings, the record crawled off and got all long-lost in some bog somewhere. The whole crawling off deal makes a lot of sense when you think about it, because the album was straight-up eerie. It sounded like, oh, I don’t know, “the music of a pagan Nordic culture, surrounded by stone and birch, taking cues from a broad grey sky, building a boat by candlelight, creating ceremonies from scratch.” The whole bog-bound deal was built up from simple parts, mostly just Bergh’s voice, a single drum, an organ, and a guitar. Now, naturally Bergh was bummed when the thing crawled off, but I mean, worst-case scenario, even if the album never emerged again all covered in goop, he still had a whole 50% of a guitar left to eat, and that’s still more wood than most of you could eat in a single sitting.
Fortunately, when the beasty did finally emerge after eight long years, Phil Elverum was there with his P.W. Elverum & Sun-brand fire hose at the ready. Dude went straight ham on the thing, spraying off all that goop, remastering it, redesigning the artwork with new embossed jackets and printed sleeves, and including a free download with every purchase. Because Elverum actually went maybe a little too ham, you can’t actually grip it right this very moment because it needs a little time to dry off. You gotta wait until April 15 to scope this thing in the store. But! If you wanna pre-order like a good little boy or girl, it’ll crawl up your front steps even earlier, as pre-orders go out March 17.
Half-Eaten Guitar tracklisting:
03. Freezing Moon
04. Bog Lord
Thanks to their new 5xLP live release The Long Goodbye, you’ll never be able to get LCD Soundsytem out of your life!
As Boyz II Men once said, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.” It’s a tenet that holds true especially for LCD Soundsystem, who just keep releasing stuff despite having played their last show ever on April 2, 2011 at Madison Square Garden. And now, you too can relive those wondrous final hours of one of America’s smartest dance bands, when you purchase the James Murphy-produced digital or 5xLP live recording of that very show, entitled The Long Goodbye: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden. Imagine! Replaying those final songs on an endless, 5xLP loop, just switching back and forth for all eternity. You can actually LIVE the concept of “time is a flat circle” from your favorite TV show True Detective!
And what better day to start this endless loop than on Record Store Day, the day everyone (except record store employees) wishes they could live inside forever? For that’s when Warner Bros. will unleash the 5xLP live volume onto the world, with a digital and wider vinyl release to follow on May 20. You’ll get four straight hours of James Murphy with LCD amigos Pat Mahoney, Nancy Whang, Al Doyle, Gavin Russom, Tyler Pope, and Matt Thornley, plus a choir, string and horn sections, and special guests! Special guests like Reggie Watts, who guests on “Someone Great,” but sorry, no McConaughey.
The Long Goodbye tracklisting:
01. Dance Yrself Clean
02. Drunk Girls
03. I Can Change
04. Time to Get Away
05. Get Innocuous!
06. Daft Punk Is Playing at My House
07. Too Much Love
08. All My Friends
09. Tired / Heart of the Sunrise
10. 45:33 Intro
11. You Can’t Hide (Shame on You)
12. Sound of Silver
13. Out in Space
14. Ships Talking
15. Freak Out / Starry Eyes
16. Us v Them
17. North American Scum
18. Bye Bye Bayou
19. You Wanted a Hit
23. Someone Great
24. Losing My Edge
26. All I Want
27. Jump Into the Fire
28. New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down
Fennesz flexes his conceptual follow-up muscle with new Editions Mego full-length Bécs a.k.a. the Endless Summer killer
You know what I love? I love conceptual follow-ups. Somebody establishes some concept, and then some years later follows that concept up? Mmmm, that shit is like catnip for me, which is why I broke two computer mice, a keyboard, and the spirit of a beleaguered IT guy this morning trying to type this post up. You see, Christian Fennesz just announced the conceptual follow-uppiest of conceptual follow-ups you can imagine — a new full-length called Bécs (pronounced “baeetch”). He’s described it as a conceptual follow-up to 2001’s Endless Summer, an album which has been thoroughly noted for its highly conceptual concepts. Out April 28, this is Fennesz’s first album with Editions Mego since Endless Summer, and it’s his first album period since 2008’s Black Sea (TMT Review). You can pre-order it right here.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I haven’t even quoted from the press release or made a list of adjectives and descriptive phrases about the album yet! So, um, “Bécs is not just an album or a series of songs, it’s a world to inhabit, a landscape ripe with sounds, songs and that esteemed Fennesz signature.” It’s also all of the following: less droney than Black Sea, “epic, evocative, beautiful, impossible,” musical, redolent, alluring, pulchritudinous, resplendent, visionary, consisting of music songs, available on CD and LP, mastered by Rashad Becker, expressive, resonant, emotional, assured, and disruptive. Now how’s that for a list? Really gets your mind going doesn’t it? Hows about I just embed “The Liar” below and we call this news post a day? After all, the IT guy I bummed out earlier this morning isn’t going to apologize to himself.
01. Static Kings
02. The Liar
04. Pallas Athene
Jessy Lanza announces newfound addiction to touring, tour beginning next month (including shows at SXSW)
Let’s take a moment to recognize Jessy Lanza for her humility. There she was in Hamilton, Ontario, contented with her decision to forgo an all-too-academic pursuit of a masters in musicology, and laying on a literal, extremely uncomfortable bed of hand-me-down, kick-ass vintage synths and drum machines, when… whooooop-haaaaa, an acquaintance by the name of Jeremy Greenspan (one-half of Junior Boys) recruited Lanza for vocals on an unspecified track. I may not have the timeline exactly correct, but shortly following that vocal contribution, a form of astrology was confirmed: the planets were set in motion by the emanation of Lanza’s unique talent, and acting as a sort celestial radio tower, they beamed the complimentary signal back down to Earth and directly into the consciousness of Steve Goodman a.k.a. Kode9 a.k.a. the head of Hyperdub. “Jessy… album… release, must… release. Oh hey, is that half-off mint chocolate chip ice cream?”
A tub consumed and months later, Pull My Hair Back came out, seemingly out of nowhere. What an immense power! And yet Lanza maintains an unpretentious lifestyle as a music teacher in her hometown. Sabbaticals were surely allowed for the sold-out shows she recently found herself headlining, and likewise for her upcoming tour, partially in support of Cut Copy, partially as the headliner again at a few venues in the Midwest, and partially at SXSW. Check the dates below. In-person entrancement seems a given.
03.05.14 - Hamilton, ON - Spice Factory
03.08.14 - Madison, WI - Der Rathskeller
03.09.14 - St. Louis, MN - Off Broadway
03.13.14 - Austin, TX - Elysium (Resident Advisor Showcase) *
03.13-15.14 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.19.14 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works #
03.20.14 - Washington, DC - Echostage #
03.21.14 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 [Sold Out] #
03.22.14 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 [Sold Out] #
03.24.14 - Montreal, QC - Corona Theater #
03.25.14 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom #
03.26.14 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall #
03.31.14 - San Diego, CA - House Of Blues #
04.01.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium #
* Machinedrum, DJ Spinn, Future Brown, SETH, Rabit, Kaytranada
# Cut Copy