RIP: Ian McLagan of Faces and Small Faces

From Ian McLagan’s official website:

It is with great sadness and eternal admiration that we report the passing of rock and roll icon Ian McLagan. Ian was a member of the “Small Faces” and “Faces” and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He died today, December 3, 2014, surrounded by family and friends in his adopted hometown of Austin, TX, due to complications from a stroke suffered the previous day. He was 69 years old. His manager Ken Kushnick says, “He was a beloved friend to so many people and a true rock n roll spirit. His persona and gift of song impacted the music across oceans and generations.”

Ian’s artistry, generosity and warmth of spirit touched countless other musicians and music fans around the world. His loss will be felt by so many.

Ian was scheduled to begin a North American tour today, opening for labelmate Nick Lowe.

• Ian McLagan:

Eric Chenaux announces Skullsplitter, does with skulls what normal folks only do with checks, atoms

Constellation is going hard in the 2015 paint and it’s not even 2015 yet. Not content with the two new records they’ve already announced — Matana Roberts’ COIN COIN Chapter Three and Siskiyou’s Nervous — they have now officially sung the song of their third release for next year. It’s their hat trick, if you will. I know I certainly will, because Constellation is a Canadian label and if there’s one thing I know about Canada it’s that everyone up there is a socialist hockey player.

That third record, though. It’s a new LP from singer-songwriter Eric Chenaux called Skullsplitter, a follow-up to 2012’s Guitar & Voice, an album that consisted of, in large part, just Chenaux’s often heavily effected guitar and plaintive voice stretching ballads out like gauze. Skullsplitter seems poised to extend this approach. On the record’s first single and title track (embedded below), Chenaux builds up this constantly confounding guitar backing track, one that sounds like an always shifting, always slipping slightly out of tune organ that never hits quite the same timbre twice, all the while held together by his smooth-as-ice croon. The production on the album reportedly made use of a number of extended techniques that include “physically swinging speakers and radical gating and panning” assisted by Chenaux’s longtime engineer, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh. And with that in mind, the album’s title suddenly makes way more sense; with all those speakers flying around, someone’s gonna get brained eventually.

The album is out February 17; you can pre-order it here.

Skullsplitter tracklist:

01. Have I Lost My Eyes?
02. The Pouget
03. Skullsplitter
04. My Romance
05. Spring Has Been a Long Time Coming
06. The Henri Favourite
07. Poor Time
08. La Vieux Favori
09. Summer & Time

• Eric Chenaux:
• Constellation:

King Tuff plots 2015 tour dates and shares Sirius XMU session, “It’s Tuff to Be Sirius”

Vermont cheddar shredder Kyle Thomas a.k.a. King Tuff released his newest LP for Sub Pop, Black Moon Spell, back in September on my brother’s birthday. Now, he’s announced a delicious string of tour dates that’ll take him well into 2015. Thomas is currently finishing up a Euro tour and then will cruise across the southern US with Ex Hex in January. In March, they’ll continue their stateside trek with Father John Misty and end their journey in Omaha on April 8.

To add to the excitement, Sirius recently aired a live King Tuff session last week. We’re not sure what the title of the session ended up being, but we seriously hope they received our suggestion of “It’s Tuff to Be Sirius.” Finally, King Tuff will have the pleasure of playing “Eyes of the Muse” on Conan Wednesday, December 17. A little taste of the King before the holidays. The three kings may have brought Baby Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but King Tuff brought him a tiny axe to shred on.

King Tuff tour dates:

12.03.14 - Paris, France - Point FMR
12.04.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Madame Moustache
12.05.14 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix $
12.07.14 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room
01.08.15 - Tucson, Az - The Flycatcher
01.09.15 - El Paso, TX - The Lowbrow
01.10.15 - Marfa, TX - Padres
01.12.15 - McAllen, TX - Cine El Rey *
01.13.15 - Houston, TX - Walters Downtown *
01.13.15 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks *
01.15.15 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder *
01.16.15 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar *
01.17.15 - Miami, FL - Churchill’s * ^
01.19.15 - Gainesville, FL - High Dive *
01.20.15 - Savannah, GA - Hang Fire Bar *
01.21.15 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theater *
01.22.15 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt *
01.23.15 - Birmingham, Al - The Bottletree *
01.24.15 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone Cafe *
01.27.15 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
01.30.15 - Las Vegas, NV - Bunkhouse Saloon
03.25.15 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works #
03.26.15 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse #
03.27.15 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel #
03.28.15 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club #
03.31.15 - Boston, MA - Paradise #
04.01.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer #
04.03.15 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre #
04.04.15 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue #
04.07.15 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater #
04.08.15 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room #

$ J Mascis
* Ex Hex
^ Jacuzzi Boys
# Father John Misty

• King Tuff:
• Sub Pop:

Technics returns with new hardware and a download service, but no 1200s! :(

Since the 60s, Technics has been a quality name for hi-fi equipment such as amplifiers, receivers, speakers, and of course, turntables. Japanese megacorporation Panasonic discontinued the brand in 2010, but it seems they’re starting to recognize the error of their ways. I say “starting” because DJs around the world have dreamt of this day, where Technics would announce an updated version of its iconic SL-1200 turntable. Sadly, this isn’t the case. Instead, the brand is heralding its return with two stereo systems — the Reference Class R1 and Premium Class C700 — along with a digital music service called Technics Tracks. The Reference Class will include an amplifier, speakers, and a control player; the Premium Class takes the setup further with a network audio player, amp, CD player, and speakers.

However, Technics Tracks seems to be the most intriguing part of the announcement. Launching in Germany and the UK next year, it’ll cater to the audiophile set with both 24-bit FLAC and CD-quality downloads. It’ll also provide news about the hi-fi audio world, so if you’re one of those people who always needs the sexiest pair of tweeters on the market, then this might replace Spotify as your digital service of choice. Technics Tracks will be available on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android; no word yet on when it’ll launch in North America. In the meantime, pray to Afrika Bambaataa that they announce a new 1200 someday.

• Technics:

Matrixxman signs with Dekmantel label, announces Nubian Metropolis EP, piques keen interest among the keenly interested

Take it from a goddamn legend in his own field (“Word Inventor”) like me, guys: the problem with being a shit-hot producer of heavy, squelchy, dubby, hip-hop-troniclatastic ubermusic is — frankly — that it can be downright difficult to turn that talent faucet OFF.

Or heck. DON’T take it from me, for all I care. Just look at San Francisco meaty-beat-megamaker Matrixxman. He’s spent most of 2014 making other people’s tunes bounce from behind the boards, but now that the year is quickly wrapping itself up and no one (and I mean NO ONE) is reading the news columns of all these bullshitty internet music sites as they explode with hype-y, list-y, year-end fluffernutter sandwich pieces; he’s just getting warmed up!

Luckily for him, the Amsterdam-based Dekmantel record label doesn’t care what time of year it is! On December 16, they’ll be fearlessly releasing Matrixxman’s Nubian Metropolic EP into the holiday black hole. And, luckily for YOU if you’re one of the proud few who’s itching to know what a brand new four-track stack of tracks “hewn from choking synth sounds, itchy bleeps, and meaty drum programming” feels like as a soundtrack all your fiendish last-minute online holiday shopping and such, you’ll be sitting pretty while tracks with names like “Cybernetic Implant” and “System Blackout” jingle all the way in the background, pitting “bulky percussion and robust low end against brittle robot chatter.” Alleluia! It’s a (most-assuredly nondenominational) Christmas Miracle!

Nubian Metropolis EP tracklisting:

01. Sermons
02. Cybernetic Implant
03. Siamese Twins
04. System Blackout

• Matrixxman:
• Dekmantel:

Scottish music fans rejoice! Alasdair Roberts’ new album out January 27 on Drag City

I know the readers well, and I know they enjoy all things Scottish, like Scrooge McDuck, The Proclaimers, and the fabulous impressions of Mike Myers. Now get ready for Alasdair Roberts! The world’s greatest Scottish singer/songwriter plans to swoon your ovaries with his eighth solo release on Drag City. And, just to show you how confident he’s grown as a musician this one is self-titled, which means the album name is just Alasdair Roberts.

See? It’s not that complicated. Preview tracks from the album from the Drag City website, or stream it below. Since the album doesn’t come out until January 27, you’re going to have to pre-order it. Click the red pre-order button next to the type of album you’d like to receive. Careful. Don’t select Long Play unless you’re certain you have a Long Play Player.

Alasdair Roberts tracklist:

01. The Way Unfavoured
02. Honour Song
03. The Problem of Freedom
04. Artless One
05. Hurricane Brown
06. The Final Diviner
07. In Dispraise of Hunger
08. The Mossy Shrine
09. This Uneven Thing
10. Roomful of Relics

Tour dates:

12.18.14 - Dublin, Ireland - The Workman’s Club
12.20.14 - Turku, Finland - Dynamo
12.22.14 - Pori, Finland - Pori Public Library
02.27.15 - London, UK - Cecil Sharp House

• Alasdair Roberts:
• Drag City:

Lake People announces debut LP on Permanent Vacation, and don’t even get me started on river people

German house producer Martin Enke a.k.a. Lake People got some attention back in 2012 with his Point in Time EP, which touring DJs like Dixon & Ame gave substantial play. Enke kept releasing EPs and remixing artists like Lusine and Atavism, getting him more bookings and allowing him to hone his live show. Now, he’s finally dropped details of the first Lake People LP, Purposely Uncertain Field, which will see a release via Permanent Vacation early next year.

According to the press release, “Above his straighter dancefloor aspects Martin elaborates his approaches to a certain mid-90’s electronica vibe and ambient-like soundscapes with a very cinematic feel to it.” Did I just hear electronica? Sign this trip-hop honey up. And while we’re signing up, can I just say that I’ve always found lake people to be pleasant, but that I really can’t stand river people? You guys know what I’m talking about, and Martin Enke definitely does. River people: they sit alongside a river, drink shitty beer, laze in the sun like they’re at a beach, and occasionally hop into an inflatable tube to slowly drift to an unknown destination. It just makes me sick. Lake people, on the other hand, are respectable. Purposely Uncertain Field is out February 6, so if you’re not a river person, you should check it out.

Purposely Uncertain Field tracklist:

01. Escape Velocity
02. Drifting Red
03. Entangled
04. Lamb Shift
05. Cooping
06. Orb
07. Illuminated
08. Blackpoint
09. Bora
10. Glease 29
11. Distance

• Lake People:
• Permanent Vacation:

Spank Rock announces new EP The Upside for church and prayer activity

What’s up, youth pastors? Looking to get through to the younger members of the Lord’s flock? Well, try Spank Rock. While other rappers talk about guns and sex, Mr. Spank Rock is the perfect MC to soundtrack your next group prayer session. Following up his last missive from God, 2011’s Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar (the implication being, trust no word but the word of God), the rapper is back with a new EP called The Upside out December 9 through worship label Boysnoize Records.

Praise him! For this new EP, the pure and God-fearing rapper has assembled a team of good Christian collaborators including New Orleans’ Kid Kamillion, Philadelphia producer Noah Breakfast, Passion Pit’s Don Leomax, former Major Lazer member Switch, and Boys Noize. And, not unlike the story of the prodigal son, The Upside features a beautiful reunion between Spank Rock and rapper/nun Amanda Blank. Listen to “Assassin,” their joining of Godly forces, over at SoundCloud. Now, turn to Jeremiah 19:9.

• Spank Rock:
• Boys Noize Records:

Lana Del Rey plunges the Earth into a neverending heatwave with recently announced Endless Summer Tour

Nowadays, the heat hangs thick like a moist curtain and we soak deep in sweat. Early on, we were naive. “A summer that never ends,” we thought, our hearts still pumping adequately oxygenated blood, “surely there are no downsides.” Of course now we know that we were wrong. And the sun beats ever onward like some awful drum. Slurpees long ago lost their flavor, and so too has the pleasure of a quick trip to the pool dissipated. Indeed, with the water shortages, swimming pools have, in recent years, become the domain of only the unimaginably wealthy. They swim smug laps from their air-conditioned mountain bunkers while we plot impotent Ultraviolence, awaking every morning more thoroughly convinced that we were Born to Die in this infernal heat.

Through it all, our most exalted queen of the perpetual heatwave Lana Del Rey treads through her Endless Summer Tour. Joined intermittently by guests such as Courtney Love and others as yet unannounced, and stopping sometimes to contribute a stray song or two to the latest Tim Burton project, which, in these parched and dire times, has become our only entertainment. Reader: the sun may be bright, but the world is dark.

Tickets go on sale via Live Nation this Saturday, December 6, but you already knew this. You already bought them in your dreams.


05.07.15 - The Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion *
05.09.15 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion *
05.12.15 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre *
05.14.15 - Phoenix, AZ - Ak-Chin Pavilion *
05.16.15 - Chula Vista, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheater *
05.18.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl *
05.20.15 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre *
05.22.15 - Ridgefield, WA - Sleep Country Amphitheater *
05.28.15 - Noblesville, IN - Klipsch Music Center %
05.30.15 - Tinley Park, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre %
05.31.15 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre %
06.03.15 - Toronto, ON - Molson Canadian Amphitheatre %
06.04.15 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre %
06.11.15 - Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live %
06.13.15 - Charlotte, NC - PNC Music Pavilion %
06.14.15 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood %
06.16.15 - West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheater %

* Courtney Love
% TBA special guest

• Lana Del Rey:
• Universal Music Group:

Four Tet, Jamie xx, John Talabot, and Koreless contribute two-minute scores for acrobatic short film

This is the type of project that I might’ve been tasked with as an undergrad, except in my emerging years as an amateur harnesser of phat-ass beats, the best that I could pull off at the time was something a little more digital and coherent than your average gutter-based, trash lid tune. Luckily for artist and director Sofia Mattioli, she’s recruited some personnel a bit more experienced in music composition and, more crucially, a bit more capable when it comes to memorable compositions for film. Forgive the implication of full-length scores; instead, what’s been offered to the musicians in question is a two-minute silent short, recorded on an iPhone, designed to remind us all how physically inflexible we are. Yeah, so what if you can flip and twirl and stuff, Mattioli?! How is that important in life?

The complete project is called “Continuum,” and part one features Jamie xx, Four Tet, Koreless, and John Talabot each crafting a two-minute musical piece to accompany the recorded human barrel rolls. Listen in full below, but it’s strongly advised (by me) that you watch over yonder to get the full effect. The results are “Kubrick-ian,” perhaps, but they’re also a true demonstration of artistic complement. How enthralling…

• Sofia Mattioli: