S undertakes series of cool choices, culminating in signing with Hardly Art and releasing new record in September called Cool Choices
Cool Choice #1: Jenn Ghetto, who already had a totally kick-ass name and also co-fronted Carissa’s Wierd, has a solo project that is so awesome it goes by the cryptic-yet-effective moniker of S.
Cool Choice #2: S had been chugging along for a few years post-Carissa’s Wierd until in 2004 Jenn Ghetto decided to put her sweet, harmonic bedroom rock songwriting tendencies on hold (not a cool choice). The cool choice emerged in 2010 when Ghetto changed her mind and started playing and recording again.
Cool Choice #3: Instead of the usual insular approach that Ghetto had adopted for her three prior S records, she decided to rope in some band members and road-test her songs for what would become S’s fourth album.
Cool Choice #4: Seattle label Hardly Art heard one of these road tests and offered to release the album that S had written.
Cool Choice #5: Ghetto roped in Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie to record a bunch of songs with S at his studio in Seattle.
Cool Choice #6: Given the series of cool choices made to reach the finished product of S’s new record, they decided to call the album Cool Choices. Which in itself is a cool choice and will be available September 23 via Hardly Art.
Cool Choice #7: This is where you come in: check out the lead single “Vampires,” or catch S live at one of the dates listed below.
Cool Choices tracklist:
02. Like Gangbusters!
04. (guitar solo)
05. White House
07. Remember Love
08. Tell Me
12. Let the Light In
10.10.14 - Oakland, CA - 1-2-3-4-Go! Records
10.11.14 - Claremont, CA - KSPC at Claremont College
10.13.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
10.14.14 - San Louis Obispo, CA - Xroads
10.15.14 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
10.18.14 - Eugene, OR - The Boreal
[Photo: Adrien Leavitt]
Merge Records turns 25 this year and is celebrating it with a year-long series of “classic albums” re-releases. Nothing unusual there, until we realize that the latest announcement in the series involves a couple of albums by Teenage Fanclub, Man-Made and Shadows, which are certainly respectable additions to the Scottish quartet’s output, but not exactly held in as high regards as Bandwagonesque (1991), Grandprix (1995), or even the already divisive Songs from Northern Britain (1997). But it sorta makes sense here, because (and here’s the catch) Teenage Fanclub’s tenure on Merge only comprises these two albums.
So, there you go: Man-Made and Shadows are coming out on vinyl for the first time in the US, on August 5. And they’re actually pretty good, even if Man-Made involves the typical late-career move of seeking out a star producer (Tortoise’s John McEntire) to shake things up creatively and Shadows pulls the oxymoronic feat of making power pop sound at peace with middle age’s mellow stability. This is not necessarily a bad thing; if we consider that Big Star — most power pop bands’ template — never had to deal with growing too old to play this kind of music, it’s certainly interesting to see some of Chilton and co.’s heirs try and solve the dilemma.
Both albums will be available on 180-gram vinyl, individually or as a bundle deal, and the reissues will include a couple of bonus tracks. Also: Teenage Fanclub will be playing the Merge 25 festival later this month.
01. It’s All in My Mind
02. Time Stops
05. Slow Fade
06. Only with You
09. Fallen Leaves
11. Born under a Good Sign
12. Don’t Hide
13. Please Stay *
14. Falling Leaf *
* bonus tracks
01. Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything
02. Baby Lee
03. The Fall
04. Into the City
05. Dark Clouds
06. The Past
07. Shock and Awe
08. When I Still Have Thee
09. Live with the Seasons
10. Sweet Days Waiting
11. The Back of My Mind
12. Today Never Ends
13. Secret Heart *
14. Dark and Lonely *
* bonus tracks
Korg has just announced the release of a new “soft synth” geared up specifically for the Nintendo 3DS. The DSN-12 was designed with app-builders Detune and features 12 monophonic synths based on the classic Korg MS-10. According to Resident Advisor, “You can add up to three effects to each of them—with modules ranging from delay and flanger to compression—and sequence them individually. Then, you can combine them into larger patterns and up to 99 ‘scenes.’” Sounds like this puppy also comes with a 3D oscillator that lets you visualize your voyage through arpeggiated insanity.
If you are totally feeling this handheld soon-to-be-vintage synth madness, you can complete your sweet rig with the Korg iMS-20, an app (also designed with Detune) for the iPad that functions similarly to the DSN-12. Put both of those right on top of Korg’s recent re-creation of the ARP Odyssey and you could be lost in space for days.
Check out a preview of the DSN-12 below:
From Wondering Sound:
Chris Grier, a member of avant-garde noise-rock group To Live and Shave in L.A. from 2003 to 2007, died last night. The Miami-born experimental collective’s co-founder Tom Smith, formerly of Pussy Galore, announced the news on Facebook, calling Grier “a brother in arms.”
“He suffered a cardiac arrest, had the presence of mind to call 911, but when paramedics arrived they found him unresponsive,” Smith wrote. “Chris was pronounced dead at Brooklyn Hospital. Damn, damn.”
Grier is credited with guitar and treatments in the band and played on such albums as 2006′s Noon and Eternity, when To Live and Shave in L.A.’s lineup included Andrew W.K. and Thurston Moore. Grier also was in the rotating avant-rock collective Scarcity of Tanks with Minutemen’s Mike Watt and others, and he was one half of the drums-and-guitars Ultimate Vag with Scott Verrastro of psych-improv outfit Kohoutek.
During Grier’s career, the Washington, D.C.-based musician and journalist also played with the likes of Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, Little Wings, Little Howlin’ Wolf and more. In D.C., he organized 2005′s Noise Against Fascism concert on the day of George W. Bush’s second inauguration. Whether solo or in groups, Grier shared bills with Faust, Bob Pollard, Dan Higgs, Max Ochs, Grey Daturas, Flower Travellin’ Band, Ya Ho Wha 13, Wolf Eyes’ Nate Young, Sightings, Magik Markers, Wooden Wand, Religious Knives, Six Organs of Admittance, MV+EE and others.
• To Live and Shave in L.A.: http://www.toliveandshaveinla.com
Drag City and Yoga Records unearth lost synth gem with reissue of Matthew Young’s debut album Recurring Dreams
It’s often tempting to scorn 80s synth music wholesale; at times it feels like those cheesy tones and plinky-plonky drum beats were used simply because the technology was there. Then the good folks at Drag City and Yoga Records come along and prove you’re a twat who hasn’t even begun to plumb the depths of private-press synth music, just by pushing a slab of mind-melting vinyl across the table and whispering, “Have you ever heard Matthew Young’s debut album, man?”
Come July 22 you will have a chance to atone for your hitherto-ignorant lack of appreciation for home-recorded synth records when the aforementioned Drag City/Yoga reissue cult icon Matthew Young’s debut album Recurring Dreams.
Recurring Dreams is the ultra-obscure precursor to Young’s classic (yet still pretty obscure in its own right) Traveler’s Advisory album, which together make up the entirety of this synth-wizard’s oeuvre.
Far from ham-fisted slabs of available technology, Matthew Young proves with Recurring Dreams that there were early proponents of synth music who applied light touches and subtle twiddles of the knobs to create far-out meditative jams bordering on the aural equivalent of religious sermons. Listeners, repent!
Recurring Dreams tracklist:
02. First Blood
03. No Reason
04. Recurring Dream
05. Version Inversion
06. Late Poets
07. The Forest of Lilacs
08. Night Music
GOAT, the Swedish collective making swirly psychedelic sounds heavily influenced by the trippy decades of yore, have announced their second album, Commune, to be released via Sub Pop on September 23 in North America.
From the sounds of lead single “Hide from the Sun,” the four-piece are expanding on that dazed-out, hazy, mellow, worldly vibe that they executed in the most sophisticated-not-pretentious way on their 2012 debut World Music:
The masked globetrotters will take you on a space-trek across the astral plane this fall if you’re lucky enough to be in select European countries. Check the dates below and Sub Pop’s site for details about the groovy goodies included with your North American-purchased pre-order. Did someone say colored vinyl?
01. Talk to God
03. The Light Within
04. To Travel the Path Unknown
07. Hide from the Sun
09. Gathering of Ancient Tribes
07.18.14 - Suffolk, UK - Latitude Festival
07.20.14 - Ostrava, Czech Republic - Colours of Ostrava
08.03.14 - Stockholm, Sweden - Stockholm Music & Arts
08.23.14 - Paredes de Coura, Portugal - Paredes de Coura Festival
09.19.14 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
09.20.14 - Tilburg, Netherlands - Incubate
09.21.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
09.23.14 - Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof
09.24.14 - Munich, Germany - Ampere
09.25.14 - Paris, France - Trabendo
09.27.14 - Liverpool, UK - Liverpool Psych Festival
09.28.14 - Glasgow, UK - SWG3
09.29.14 - Newcastle, UK - Northumbria University
10.01.14 - Brighton, UK - Concorde 2
10.02.14 - Bristol, UK - Trinity Centre
10.03.14 - London, UK - Roundhouse
Fremen nomads unearth long-forgotten Dune-based synth album by Bernard Szajner inside fossilized Shai-Hulud carcass
A barely-known recording of Dune-based synth compositions has been found inside the fossilized carcass of a massive sandworm. The album was discovered accidentally by a group of Fremen led by Andy Votel who were harvesting Shai Hulud teeth for the production of sacred knives known as crysknives. Upon discovery, Votel, a wandering desert nomad with a keen interest in early and forgotten music, quickly proclaimed the artifact to be a “conceptual synth-pop classic” created by one Bernard Szajner under his alias Z. Votel brought the spice-crusted album back to civilization in order to summon more information from the mysterious documents contained therein.
Most shunned Votel for his discovery — “We do not want to hear the tapes, they were not meant to be heard,” some would say, while others physically assaulted him in an attempt to subjugate the tape loop-based compositions. It seemed like Andy had nowhere to turn. With nothing but a box full of sandy tape spools, he turned to the last friend he had on Arrakis: Rashad Becker, master of master conglomerate Dubplates and Mastering. Master Becker was so impressed by Votel’s dedication to the project of making Szajner’s Visions of Dune a well-known synth classic that he decided to help his friend by doing what he did best — (re)mastering Visions.
Votel suddenly found himself with another stroke of good fortune. InFiné, a label distributed by the ever-progressive Warp Records, had taken a keen interest in his project. With a massive journey behind him and a bright future ahead, Votel handed the re-mastered tapes over to InFiné, and, in the course of one short meeting, made the decision to publicize the work through a beautifully packaged vinyl edition on August 26. Thankfully, the powers that be even decided to include two previously unheard tracks on the album, “The Duke” and “Spice.”
Votel, in a move probably more political than informative, has granted listeners a “minimix” to sway their opinion on Visions’ importance. Because, you know, he who controls the back catalog of Bernard Szajner controls the universe.
Visions of Dune tracklist:
03. Thufir Hawat
05. Bene Gesserit
06. Shai Hulud
07. The Duke *
11. Gom Jabbar
13. Kwizatz Haderach
14. Spice *
* bonus track
What are you doing right now? Are you getting your affairs in order? Have you called your grandma lately? Unless your answers to those questions in order were: “preparing myself for the new Young Thug mixtape,” “yes,” and “of course,” then you had better drop literally whatever’s in your hands right now (yes, even if it’s a delicious club sandwich!) and BUCKLE UP. Young Thug, he of the voice that I find myself vainly trying to imitate whenever I’m alone, he of the straight-up killer 2013 mixtape 1017 Thug, of the 4/20 masterpiece Young Thugga Mane La Flare with Gucci Mane, and of the certifiably and mercifully non-Fred-Armisen-related-at-all Black Portland mixtape with Bloody Jay is back again with one of those sequels Hollyweird is so crazy about: 1017 Thug 2: The Thuggening. The “Thuggening” bit is a sequel joke on my end and not actually part of the title.
And — surprise! — this whole deal is popping off way faster than anyone had any right to expect. I mean, you’re reading about it now, so I’ll bet you’re thinking “oh, I’ve got a month to prepare at minimum.” That’s where you’re wrong, dummy. According to Gucci Mane, 1017 Thug 2 will arrive tomorrow! Less than 24 hours from now! Okay, I’m gonna catch my breath from all this yelling. You should scope the predictably great “Lifestyle” from the mixtape below.
Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Metro Thuggin, Young Thug’s collaboration with producer Metro Boomin. The two released the first track from the album earlier this month. Check it out here:
UPDATE: 1017 Thug 2 is already available to stream:
• Young Thug: https://twitter.com/youngthug
Emil Amos (Grails, Om, Lilacs & Champagne) is the distant, crackling voice reaching out across the AM radio waves as you’re driving down a dusty country backroad somewhere in the desert West (or in the sweltering South). The Brooklyn musician’s musical project Holy Sons is the sort of sparse, haunting American music that ghost hitchhikers, philosophical long haul truckers, and the Sebadoh- and Big Star-lovin’ giant concrete dinosaurs from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure listen to while they’re waiting for the next road movie crew to come on by and pick up their narratives. (Yes, those Jurassic Guardians of the Highway do love college rock. Little-known fact.)
And so Thrill Jockey has welcomed Holy Sons into their loving arms, from out of which Amos shall release a new album, The Fact Facer, on September 23. The album was recorded in Amos’ home, and is available for pre-order now. (Hot tip: it’s available on limited-edition purple vinyl, ooooooh.) On August 25, Holy Sons will open for Sleep at NYC’s Stage 48 venue, but unfortunately for you, it’s already sold out.
The Fact Facer tracklisting:
01. Doomed Myself
02. Line Me Back Up
03. Transparent Powers
04. Selfish Thoughts
05. All Too Free
06. Wax Gets in Your Eyes
07. Life Could Be a Dream
08. Long Days
09. No Self Respect
10. Back Down to the Tombs
11. The Fact Facer
King Tuff sells his kingdom to evil wizards, forsakes lowly serfs to the grips of a Black Moon Spell
For centuries now we have all been aware of the strange supernatural forces that linger at the margins of our society. I would prefer not to mince words here, as we all know what it is I am referring to: the evil wizards. In days past we have found different means to address the issue when things got out of hand. Setting a wizard’s lair ablaze managed to keep them at bay. A good stake burning here and there never hurt when a message needed to be sent. Really, just fire in general always seemed a safe bet.
But alas, now it seems the evil wizards may prevail in toppling our gloriously dreary and chaste puritanical society, and no amount of fire will thwart their efforts. Our once-noble King Tuff has sold away our kingdom to these hexing heathens in exchange for some kind of dark magic-enchanted lute (he calls it a “guitar”) and an eternal record contract. Though he claims only good can come from his future musical output thanks to his “bitchin’ new ax,” I fear he has become a slave of the wizards’ deceitful magic and is now being forced to do their bidding, for you see, his upcoming album is entitled Black Moon Spell. As described in a recent decree written by the former King himself and proliferated by the evil wizard conglomerate of Sub Pop, this spell causes “euphoria, demented visions, wet dreams, bouts of laughter, and dazed confusion resulting in primordial dancing.” If you still have any doubts that our fair King is no longer of sound mind, just listen to the first single, “Eyes of the Muse,” below and try and tell me that this is the same man who once had his court jester drawn and quartered for telling a bawdy joke that involved a donkey. Surely he cannot be that majestic hero any longer. Oh curse the day of September 23, when this spell shall be cast upon the land!
The bright side to all of this, if it can be said that there is one, is that once our minds are no longer our own and we are slaves to our gyrating hips, base desires, and the undeserved joy that this accursed “music” will surely bring about, we can all take our god-affronting bodies to a King Tuff concert, because, well, fuck it. We’re already doomed anyway.
Black Moon Spell tracklist:
01. Black Moon Spell
02. Sick Mind
03. Rainbow’s Run
05. Beautiful Thing
06. I Love You Ugly
07. Magic Mirror
09. Demon From Hell
10. Black Holes in Stereo
12. Eyes of the Muse
13. Staircase of Diamonds
14. Eddie’s Song
09.25.14 - San Diego, CA - Irenic
09.26.14 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
09.27.14 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
09.29.14 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
09.30.14 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s
10.01.14 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
10.02.14 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
10.03.14 - Raleigh, NC - Kings Barricade
10.04.14 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
10.07.14 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
10.08.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
10.09.14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
10.10.14 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
10.11.14 - Easthampton, MA - Flywheel
10.12.14 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
10.14.14 - Toronto, ON - Horeshoe Tavern
10.15.14 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick Lounge
10.16.14 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
10.17.14 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
10.18.14 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
10.20.14 - Missoula, MT - Stage 112
10.22.14 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s
10.23.14 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club
10.25.14 - Portland, OR - Lola’s
10.28.14 - Sacramento, CA - Witch Room
10.29.14 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
11.06.14 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
11.08.14 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest