So, you know White Suns, who hastily bowled over the TMT collective with their second full-length album and adequate annoyer of neighbors Sinews (TMT Review) back in 2012? Remember how that album epitomized relentlessness, save a pause on the first track? Forget all that. In the intervening two years since that album’s release, the Brooklyn-based trio have allegedly softened their approach, affected as they were by the mental tranquilizers induced by a series of marathon hot yoga sessions. It’s more like Rainbow Twinkles now. The vocal similarities of Kevin Barry and Art Garfunkel now exist to the point of being easily pointed out.
A press release does mention a “tempering” on their upcoming album Totem, but context reveals the ends and offers relief to enthusiasts of White Suns’ previous work: tempered by “deadened stares” and “slow-burn instrumentals.” That sounds like a more apparent interspersion of drone to me, but a lack of samples only leaves us to speculate. Totem comes out March 11 via The Flenser, and a noteworthy credit applies to Martin Bisi as the recording engineer, who has previously worked with the likes of Sonic Youth, Boredoms, and Swans. A fitting recruit, then. Might want to preemptively raise the volume for this one. Yes, raise.
01. Priest in the Laboratory
03. Disjecta Membra
05. Fossil Record
07. Line of Smoke
From The New York Times:
Pete Seeger, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died Monday. He was 94 and lived in Beacon, N.Y.
Mr. Seeger was a prime mover in the folk revival that transformed popular music in the 1950s. As a member of the Weavers, he sang hits including Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene” — which reached No. 1 — and “If I Had a Hammer,” which he wrote with the group’s Lee Hays. Another of Mr. Seeger’s songs, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” became an antiwar standard. And in 1965, the Byrds had a No. 1 hit with a folk-rock version of “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” Mr. Seeger’s setting of a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Mr. Seeger was a mentor to younger folk and topical singers in the ‘50s and ‘60s, among them Bob Dylan, Don McLean and Bernice Johnson Reagon, who founded Sweet Honey in the Rock. Decades later, Bruce Springsteen drew the songs on his 2006 album, “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions,” from Mr. Seeger’s repertoire of traditional music about a turbulent American experience, and in 2009 he performed Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” with Mr. Seeger at the Obama inaugural. At a Madison Square Garden concert celebrating Mr. Seeger’s 90th birthday, Mr. Springsteen introduced him as “a living archive of America’s music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along.”
Although he recorded more than 100 albums, Mr. Seeger distrusted commercialism and was never comfortable with the idea of stardom. He invariably tried to use his celebrity to bring attention and contributions to the causes that moved him, or to the traditional songs he wanted to preserve.
Mr. Seeger saw himself as part of a continuing folk tradition, constantly recycling and revising music that had been honed by time.
• Pete Seeger: http://peteseeger.net
Koen Holtkamp specifies his favorite aspect of physics class, announces new full-length Motion + Connected Works compilation
I don’t care if your geographical position doesn’t allow for a clear view of the nearest mountain range; hit up your friend with the super-ultra-high-powered telescope, or better yet, steal one in an elaborate display of cunning and acrobatics, and point it to the peak of your choice! Resist the allure of the stars and… holy shit, is that a fucking cougar going to town on that missing family reported on the local news relentlessly for the past week? No. Focus. A void of relatively flat landscape has somehow interrupted the symmetry of the formerly uniform Earth protrusion. Half the mountain is gone. Half of all mountains are gone. Christ, Koen, outdoorsy types everywhere would do well with some forewarning the next time you want to bugger off and attend to your solo work.
Koen Holtkamp, otherwise member of Mountains alongside Brendon Anderegg, will be releasing a new LP, Motion, on March 25 courtesy of Thrill Jockey. An option to extend that particular release comes with the CD version, which contains Connected Works, a compilation of Holtkamp’s previous vinyl-only releases Liquid Light Forms (2013), Gravity/Bees (2010), and Make Haste (2008). That would make the non-limited Field Rituals (2008) the likely point of familiarity, and speaking for myself, I have yet to get a complete handle on that one. Ambient tropes of sampled public transit and children playing mingle curiously with a genuine mix of acoustic (or acoustic-sounding) and digital sources. Motion apparently saw little straying from method, but there was a bit more composition directly in the studio this time around, making for a particularly intense listen on the home stereo.
01. Between Visible Things
Connected Works tracklisting:
03. Hudson Static (Live at Shea Stadium)
04. In The Absence of Gravity Please Note the Position of the Sun
05. Loosely Based on Bees
06. Make Haste
07. Free Birds
• Koen Holtkamp: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Koen-Holtkamp/142996465783687
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com
Pop-punk superstars The Swans announce new album for this spring, frontman Mikey Swan (Gira) plans European solo tour
Are you ready to get jacked? Well you better be, because everybody’s favorite pop-punk rascals, The Swans, have been making some news-shaped waves in the internet today. First off, and maybe you already knew this, but the frontman of The Swans, the always dapper and charming Mikey Swan (neé Michael Gira) will be heading out on a month-long tour of the great state of Europe this March. If you’ve somehow stumbled your way into Europe, I’d recommend heading out to take a gander at these shows (dates below).
That’s not all though. Not to be outdone by their prolific pop-punk peers, Green Day, The Swans have announced that they’ve just finished tracking their follow up to 2012’s The Seer (TMT Review) and that they’ll be releasing the new full-length, titled To Be Kind, this spring (May 13 to be exact) on Mikey Swans’ own Young God Records. It’ll be their third since re-activating in 2010, and their 13th overall (that’s of course not counting live albums, such as last year’s sold-out-in-four-days Not Here/Not Now). Though The Swans have been talking about this new full-length for a hot minute and today we found out that St. Vincent and Little Annie are contributing vocals, we still don’t know a ton about it. You can bet, however, that Mikey Swan will be joined by his spunky pals Thor Swan, Christoph Swan, Chris Swan, Phil Swan, and Norman Swan, and that the album will chock-full of the soaring hooks, passionate gang-vocals, and palm-muted guitar breakdowns you’ve come to expect from The Swans.
And, because even the poppiest of punks have a sensitive side, you can also pick up a collection of Mikey’s solo recordings, entitled The Milk of M. Gira: Collected Solo Home Recordings 2001-2010 from the Young God store right now. Collected from limited-release handmade CDs, of these songs Mikey says:
The recordings have been done with one stereo mic on my desk, no overdubs, just a casual performance in my office at home. Most of the songs presented are versions I recorded immediately after writing the song - they’ve also served as demos I can give to the musicians with whom I’m working to develop the material.
The topics covered in these songs include finding a date to the prom, being upset at your friends because they were acting all mature the other night and it was totally not fun, and trying to meet college kids who will buy you beer. You can pick it up here.
Mikey Swan solo dates:
03.06.14 - Madrid, Spain - El Sol
03.07.14 - San Sebastian, Spain - Andia Kuxta
03.08.14 - Barcelona, Spain - Sala Apolo
03.10.14 - Paris, France - TBA
03.11.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - MC Theater
03.12.14 - London, UK - Church of St John-at-Hackney
03.14.14 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Hofteatret
03.15.14 - Oslo, Norway - Blå
03.16.14 - Oslo, Norway - Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum Museum
03.18.14 - Warsaw, Poland - Pardon, To Tu
03.19.14 - Warsaw, Poland - Pardon, To Tu
03.21.14 - St. Petersburg, Russia - Dada
03.22.14 - Moscow, Russia - Teatr Club
03.24.14 - Odessa, Ukraine - Bernardazzi Wine Club
03.26.14 - Bucharest, Romania - Control Club
03.27.14 - Bologna, Italy - Locomotiv
03.28.14 - Milan, Italy - Teatro Dal Verme
03.29.14 - Berlin, Germany - Kantine @ Berghain
To: [All Employees]
Subject: Hopscotch’s Birthday
As you may or may not be aware, the Hopscotch Festival’s fifth birthday is coming up. We will be celebrating from September 4 to September 6. Last year, nobody remembered Hopscotch’s birthday. Of course, if you caught the Raleigh, North Carolina-based festival crying in the bathroom, trying to hide its tears from the rest of us, you already know this. Let’s not have a repeat of last year. Hopscotch is a very nice musical festival that books a lot of great artists, examples being Merzbow, John Cale, Spiritualized, Public Enemy, Guided By Voices, The Mountain Goats, Big Daddy Kane, and Sleep. It deserves better than last year’s shabby treatment.
If you are interested in celebrating Hopscotch’s birthday, there’s a card going around. Additionally, you may purchase tickets on March 1 at the Hopscotch website. Those on the festival’s mailing list, i.e. its real friends, may participate in a pre-sale February 27 and 28. The entertainment (or lineup) will be released to the public in April, though you can follow Hopscotch on Twitter for updates.
We are now taking volunteers for picking up the cookie cake.
• Hopscotch Festival: http://www.hopscotchmusicfest.com
Kassel Jaeger plans Toxic Cosmopolitanism for Editions Mego, should be kept under close supervision at cocktail parties
If your headline-reading skills are up to snuff, you already know that Kassel Jaeger, the Paris-based solo and collaborative artist and member of Pierre Schaefer’s legendary Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) has a new album coming out on Editions Mego. But the headline wasn’t enough for you, was it? You’re such a ravenous consumer of music news that a mere headline won’t sate you. You need more! You need cold hard details. Like a release date (March 17) , and a pre-order link (here), the title (Toxic Cosmopolitanism), and maybe even a joke or two about that album title (it’s a concept record about how easy it would have been to poison all the Sex and the City ladies when they were out on the town drinking Cosmos)!!
Reader, it’s people like you that make me proud to do what I do. I’m not just a headline machine. No, I’m more than that. I’m a human being, with feelings, and an ego so large that I’ve got to turn every news post into a joke about myself. And you need me to tell you things like the fact that this album consists of two side-length tracks, both of which are based on the same source material. Side A, “Toxic Cosmopolitanism,” takes an array of sounds from around the world, including “the balafon, tremolo, gnbri, gee, tibetan gongs,” and pan flutes, and swirls them all up into a milkshake of creativity. Side B, “Exposure Scales,” which is divided up into four sub-pieces, uses the same sounds found on “Toxic Cosmopolitanism” to build a more static composition. Hear “Sunlight,” part two of “Exposure Scales,” below.
Toxic Cosmopolitanism tracklisting:
01. Toxic Cosmopolitanism
02. Exposure Scales
Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium members form Inventions after prolonged argument regarding ambience and crescendo
Listen up, y’all. The top two party-rock acts out there, Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium, are teaming up, you heard? Explosions guitarist Mark T. Smith and Eluvium everything guy Matthew Cooper are teaming up to bring y’all the party-rock super group we’ve longed for: Inventions. “Sorry for party rocking” is something these two guys will never say, because they are not sorry for party rocking. They have no remorse for their party rocking. Party rock or die, et cetera. As proof of their party rocking, they’ll be putting out their party-rock manifesto in the form of a self-titled debut album. Your party-rock headquarters, Temporary Residence Ltd., will be putting out that record on April 1.
Check out a trailer for the album right here or below. You guys into the slamming beats and anthemic lyrics about having a good time, hell yeah? Nah, I’m just kidding. It’s ambient music. In fact, that whole first paragraph was a joke. But, as a reader, were you fooled? Maybe you weren’t that aware of either Explosions in the Sky or Eluvium and you were like, “Huh, those guys are party bands? I thought they did post-rock and ambient stuff.” You were really fooled then, but you were, in actuality, on the right path. Point is, watch your back.
01. Echo Tropism
02. Flood Poems
04. Luminous Insects
05. Peaceable Child
06. Sun Locations / Sun Coda
08. Psychic Automation
Hey all of my fellow hot-blooded, letterman jacket-wearing MEN out there. I think we can all agree that, along with sports cars that are unapologetically red in color and a good, giant, phallic cigar from some poor third-world country; there is just nothin’ like being teased by sexy teen girls, is there? I mean, Yowza! Am I right?
Well, check this little peep show out! Following 2012’s Tracer (TMT Review) and last year’s Nun EP, the electronic duo known to online chatrooms around the world as Teengirl Fantasy are coming back with a new album later this year, and they just can’t (or just plain WON’T!) resist hocking up their skirts little-by-little by offering a free download of one of its tracks, “TonBase,” right now over on their SoundCloud page. According to some people, “TonBase” is “a super bass heavy club track featuring choppy machine drum loops and jungle rhythms.” Mmm, mmm, mmm. Am I right?
And just in case you aren’t yet satisfied after listening to this jam, you can always catch these red hot teens as they run amok around Europe (mmm, how European!) and New York City this winter. Probably with too-few clothes on, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, RIGHT?!?!? HI-FIVE!!!!!
02.09.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Cameo
02.13.14 - Dublin, Ireland - Workmans Club
02.14.14 - Glasgow, UK - Broadcast,
02.15.14 - Edinburgh, UK - Sneaky Petes
02.18.14 - London, UK - Oslo
02.19.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - OT301
02.20.14 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Tivoli
02.21.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Vk
02.22.14 - Paris, France - TBD
02.27.14 - Berlin, Germany - Prince Charles
02.28.14 - Belgrade, Serbia - Drugstore
03.01.14 - Budapest, Hungary - Toldi
People like to compare singers’ voices to birds. Nightingales and shit. Well fuck birds. Birds are so 2012. Psych-folk artist Josephine Foster’s voice ain’t the voice of a red-bellied warbler or whatever; it’s the sound of a Victrola getting all cranked up on a summer’s day. Oh yeah, and also it’s 1920 or something. There’s wheat. Fields of wheat. And uh, mint juleps. It’s like what William Faulkner closed his eyes and dreamed about when shit was just getting a little too heavy.
And whaddaya know? Josephine Foster’s I’m a Dreamer is getting released as a North American edition on April 8 via Fire Records. Recorded in Nashville by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), the album comes with two bonus tracks and includes a cover of the Burt Bacharach-penned, Engelbert Humperdinck-performed “Love Was Here Before the Stars.” Foster is playing a couple shows in New York and Rhode Island in the coming weeks, and will embark on a full on tour this fall.
01.30.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Trans-Pecos
02.08.14 - Providence, RI - Columbus Theater
Post-rockers Mogwai may be “good” or “decent” or “okay” or whatever-you-think at being musicians, but there’s absolutely no denying that they’re phenomenally great at being Scottish.
Case in point? The Quietus pointed out that the band is celebrating the release of their new album, Rave Tapes (TMT Review), by making their own special blend of limited-edition Scotch Whisky! Seriously. There’s a website for it and everything! The stuff is called “ROCKACT81W,” and its press release describes it as “a single cask whisky […] limited to 324 numbered bottles, which were distilled in September 2004 at Glenallachie Distillery, Speyside, and bottled this month by the Creative Whisky Company.” If you’re all sophisticated and whatnot, those words probably mean stuff to you!
And just in case you’re a stouthearted Scotsman yourself (or a really huge Mogwai fan with a lot of frequent flier miles), you should know that the band will be signing bottles of the stuff at the Good Spirits Co. in Glasgow just before their show at the Glasgow Concert Hall on Tuesday, January 28 (which is also when the stuff officially goes on sale). Sure, you’ve been DRUNK at a rock show before; but when’s the last time you were SCOTCH-DRUNK??? Exactly.
Speaking of which, as far as I know, they’re still playing these billion-or-so shows this year. Hopefully there’s a designated driver involved:
01.24.14 - London, UK - Royal Festival Hall
01.25.14 - London, UK - Royal Festival Hall
01.27.14 - Manchester, UK - Bridgewater Hall
01.28.14 - Glasgow, UK - Royal Concert Hall
01.30.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
02.01.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
02.02.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
02.03.14 - Paris, France - Olympia
02.04.14 - Frankfurt, Germany - Batschkapp
02.05.14 - Munich, Germany - Backstage Werk
02.06.14 - Berlin, Germany - Temperdrome
03.23.14 - Gotherburgh, Sweden - Konserthuset
03.24.14 - Stockholm, Sweden - Cirkus
03.25.14 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Koncertsalen
03.26.14 - Hamburg, Germany - Grosse Freiheit
03.27.14 - Zurich, Germany - Volkshaus
03.29.14 - Nimes, Italy - Paloma
03.30.14 - Bologna, Italy - Estragon
03.31.14 - Milan, Italy - Alcatraz
04.01.14 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Substage
04.02.14 - Cologne, Germany - E-Werk
04.03.14 - Lille, France - Aeronef
04.21.14 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theatre
04.22.14 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls
04.23.14 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
04.24.14 - Austin, TX - Emo’s
04.25.14 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s
04.26.14 - Raton Rouge, LA - Varsity Theatre
04.27.14 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre
04.29.14 - Miami, FL - Grand Central
04.30.14 - Tampa, FL - The Ritz Ybor
05.01.14 - Orlando, FL - The Beacham Theatre
05.03.14 - Nashville, TN - Exit In
05.06.14 - Charlotte, NC - Amos’ Southend
05.07.14 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
05.08.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
05.09.14 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
05.10.14 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
05.11.14 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
05.13.14 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
05.14.14 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
05.15.14 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
05.16.14 - Chicago, IL - The Vic Theatre
05.17.14 - Des Moines, IA - Wooly’s
05.18.14 - Minneapolis, MN - First Ave
05.20.14 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
05.21.14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
05.24.14 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
05.25.14 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre