D.I.Y. garage-pop nerds, rejoice! Beat Happening are doing the third greatest thing on the list of things for Beat Happening to do (after  reform and  release a new album, both of which haven’t happened yet): the iconic Olympia, Washington band are releasing a greatest hits compilation.
Said compilation is called Look Around and will be a 23-track, chronological jaunt through the band’s best tunes and will be released November 20 via Domino. The label also promises that 2016 will be graced with a more comprehensive reissue series of all the Beat Happening records.
You can also get in the mood for some Beat Happening worship by picking up the recently released 33 1/3 book on the band’s debut album, Beat Happening.
If you have been pretending that you know Beat Happening for years, now is the time to confess, repent, and enter the Beat Happening wormhole. You can start with their best-known “hit” “Indian Summer” below.
Look Around tracklist:
01. Our Secret
02. Foggy Eyes
03. Bad Seeds
04. What’s Important
05. Look Around
07. In Between
08. Indian Summer
09. Other Side
10. Black Candy
11. Cast A Shadow
12. Nancy Sin
13. Knock On Any Door
14. Left Behind
15. Red Head Walking
16. Fortune Cookie Prize
17. Hot Chocolate Boy
18. Pinebox Derby
19. Tiger Trap
21. Teenage Caveman
23. Angel Gone
Late this summer, Tamaryn released her latest full-length, Cranekiss, which just recently made our Third Quarter Favorites feature. Produced by Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink/Violens), the album saw her moving from her usual haunting shoegaze vibes to a slightly more upbeat, slightly more insistent dark pop sound. (Like, “pop” if pop were made by a cool seventh-generation witch who lives in a downtown loft but who still has, like, magic potions and a grimoire and shit.)
After playing a few teaser shows on the coasts, Tamaryn is heading out on the road for a few stops across the US, kicking off in Washington, DC at the 9:30 Club. She’ll be supporting Neon Indian on a few dates before hooking up with Froth to take over California.
10.13.15 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club*
10.14.15 - New York, NY - Webster Hall*
10.16.15 - Detroit, MI - Populux*
10.17.15 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall*
11.10.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel**
11.12.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex**
11.14.15 - San Diego, CA - San Diego Music Thing**
• Tamaryn: http://tamarynmusic.com
“Excuse me Siri, how does one get to Tokyo?” That’s what every joker out there who doesn’t know about airplanes is asking right this second, because according to a post on the Drag City website, Jim O’Rourke is about to put that little, unassuming burb on the freaking map. Maybe you’ve been living under a rock this year, or maybe the flaps on your bucket hat have been covering up your ears, but you’ve otherwise probably heard about O’Rourke’s triumphant return to “pop” music on Simple Songs this year. Well you might wanna get the ol’ rose gold, husky-sized iPhone 6s armed and ready for a question about Japanese travel accommodations, because Mr. O’Rourke is planning to play that sucker live in its entirety in Tokyo on October 24. Wow! You’re gonna want to be there, you nerd! Next paragraph!
As if a full performance of Simple Songs, featuring a string quartet no less, weren’t enough, the Honorable Sir O’Rourke is also plotting a full performance of 1997’s Bad Timing the very next day, October 25. And that performance will feature a jazz trio and big band! Exclamation points! Both performances will go down at Sogetsu Hall. I won’t be at either because I don’t have an iPhone, and as dictated by the logic of this post, there’s no way I’m going to figure out how to get there otherwise.
10.24.2015 - Tokyo, Japan - Sogetsu Hall
10.25.2015 - Tokyo, Japan - Sogetsu Hall
The papal craze was palpable across huge swaths of the United States last week, and is it any wonder why? Organized religion is awesome, especially when particular denominations are characterized by hierarchies and one person at the top who’s conceivably a Batman nemesis, according to his contrastingly bright and exposed “mobile.” Obviously, you don’t achieve that type of cultural status without a significant history, and it’s a Christian history that British renaissance man (and notable composer) Philip Jeck is at least mildly acknowledging with the release of Cardinal, his newest album for Touch. The “Saint Pancras” tracks are in reference to the Roman lad who converted to Christianity and was promptly beheaded for his beliefs in the year 304 AD. So there’s that.
Listen to the latter “Saint Pancras” track below, and feel free to be immediately struck by the ancient drone reminiscent of Xela’s similarly-themed In Bocca Al Lupo. It’s too early for comparisons to Jeck’s prior An Ark for the Listener, but what we expect is ambiguous ambience, inspired further by the writings of American author Marilynne Robinson. Among other things, she wrote about the importance of imagination to communal progress.
Cardinal is out October 23.
02. Saint Pancras
03. Barrow in Furness (open thy hand wide)
04. Reverse Jersey
05. …bends the knee 1
06. Called in
08. Broke Up
09. …bends the knee 5
10. Called Again
11. And Over Again
12. The Station View
13. Saint Pancras (the one that holds everything)
It’s 2015, and I don’t want to talk about genres anymore. They’re just marketing, man. Case in point: Sunn O))) just announced a new full-length coming out December 4 on Southern Lord. Now, I could spend all day trying to explain to you how, no, they’re not a pop-punk band anymore, how they put that behind them back in 2009 with Monoliths & Dimensions and how ever since their collaboration with Ulver back in 2014 on Terrestrials, they’ve been leaning in a decidedly more skate-punk direction, but I’m just not going to do that. Especially since I know that this is the internet and that the second I do anything like that, some yokel on Twitter is going to blow up my DMs claiming that their collaboration with Scott Walker signaled a full shift into rap metal, even though, as we all know, rap metal has been dead as a door nail since Linkin Park dropped The Hunting Party last year.
Whatever. The new Sunn O))) album, whether it’s weak thrash or party shred or mall punk, is called Kannon. Composed in the time since the release of their happy hardcore masterpiece with Scott Walker Soused, the album finds the duo of Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson working with an array of old music partners, including co-producer Randall Dunn, Oren Ambarchi, Attila Csihar, Rex Ritter, and Steve Moore. Weirdly, the press release describes the album as the group’s “most outright ‘metal’ in years.” Named for the Buddhist “goddess of mercy,” the group commissioned critical theorist Aliza Shvartz to contribute text for liner notes exploring and expanding on themes present in the music. Though it will be out officially on December 4, a limited clear-vinyl edition will be available on Black Friday Record Store Day, November 27.
01. Kannon 1
02. Kannon 2
03. Kannon 3
[Photo: Peter Beste]
It’s starting to look like the only financially feasible way of indulging in a merry-go-round of music-playing is to literally hijack a merry-go-round, disconnect the automatic carousel organ, and invite friends and acquaintances alike to bob on mutant animals to sounds recently deemed “happening” by the roundabout DJ of the moment. The seminal Turntable.fm shuttered a couple of years ago to the expressed serious disappointment of our own Jared Micah (and for reasons that reportedly stemmed from the company’s inability to actually pay artists and survive), and now, a clever and marginally well-received follow-up named plug.dj has shuttered due to financial difficulties. Apparently, the circumvention of royalty-doling-out by requiring users to play songs uploaded to YouTube or SoundCloud still wasn’t enough to keep things in the black…
Sadly, a last-ditch call for donations didn’t do the job either. That was made in a blog post on September 14, and two weeks later, the plug.dj team expressed their appreciation and bid their farewell via identical medium:
In 2012, we set out to make a product for music fans that we knew people would love to connect through. Since its birth, plug.dj has grown into a community of millions that have been on the forefront of musical discovery, with 20,000 new users trying out the service every day. We can’t begin to explain how much fun we’ve had on this adventure with everyone. We’ve made new friends with a worldwide audience, we’ve been introduced to genres we didn’t even know existed, and we’ve wooted more songs than we can count, but sadly it’s time to say goodbye.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough support through our subscribers to keep the site running month to month. We’re truly thankful for the donations we received that helped keep the site up until now. If it wasn’t for you, the site would have shut down 3 weeks ago. For the people who are currently subscribed, all active subscriptions will be cancelled today. At 3PM PDT we’ll be shutting our doors.
Thanks again for plugging in. It was a wild party!
Here’s a song I’ve chosen to fit the moment:
• plug.dj: http://blog.plug.dj
Hey detritus fans! Here’s a big, box set-ish slab of news for ya. It seems that big, box set-ish, rock & roll band The Flaming Lips have recently announced the release of Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994-1997, which comprises — as you might guess if you’re good at navigating their increasingly goofy strings of rhetoric — a “deluxe 20th Anniversary Box Set edition of [their] globally influential and essential” Clouds Taste Metallic album from 1995.
This hefty thing is coming at us November 27 via Warner Bros. on the typically absurd variety of formats that one would expect of these kinds of hefty things, including 3CD (plus “digital equivalents”) and “numbered, limited edition,” 5LP versions. Disc 1 of the CD version of the set (which is OBVIOUSLY the best way to re-live 1995) will include the original Clouds Taste Metallic album. Disc 2 contains the promo-only compilation Due To High Expectations The Flaming Lips Are Providing Needles For Your Balloons, plus the rarities collection The King Bug Laughs (Oddities and Rarities) (a collection of previously unreleased, promo-only, and compilation-only tracks gathered together and available for the first time ever in one place). And Disc 3 is “a previously unreleased live recording of the band’s club show at Moe’s captured in Seattle on May 10th, 1996.” In addition to all this dang content, the band is also throwing in all sorts of out-of-print t-shirts and posters and other big, box-set-ish rock & roll gewgaws.
Naturally, all these heady nuggs and more are currently available for pre-order right now on the band’s heady, nuggy website. And of course, those intrepid pre-orderers will also receive “a series of instant downloadable tracks at various dates leading up to the release, each a previously unreleased rarity from this collection.” …And possibly some other stuff, too? This is maximalism at its harried, jewel-cased finest, folks. Start massaging your wallets now. You’ll want them good and warmed-up for this.
Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994-1997 CD Box set tracklisting:
Disc 1: Clouds Taste Metallic
01. The Abandoned Hospital Ship
02. Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus With Needles
03. Placebo Headwound
04. This Here Giraffe
06. Guy Who Got a Headache and Accidentally Saves the World
07. When You Smile
08. Kim’s Watermelon Gun
09. They Punctured My Yolk
10. Lightning Strikes the Postman
11. Christmas At the Zoo
12. Evil Will Prevail
13. Bad Days (aurally excited version)
Disc 2: Due To High Expectations The Flaming Lips Are Providing Needles For Your Balloons / The King Bug Laughs (Oddities and Rarities)
01. Bad Days
02. Jets Part 2 (My Two Days As An Ambulance Driver)
03. Ice Drummer
04. Put the Waterbug in the Policeman’s Ear
05. Chewin’ the Apple of Yer Eye
06. Chosen One
07. Little Drummer Boy
08. Slow Nerve Action
09. It Was a Very Good Year
10. Sun Arise
11. Life on Mars
12. Ballrooms of Mars
13. Hot Day
14. Nobody Told Me
15. Magician Vs The Headache
16. She Don’t Use Jelly (Live @KJ103)
Disc 3: Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles (Live in Seattle 1996)
01. The Abandoned Hospital Ship
02. Unconsciously Screamin’
03. Take Meta Mars
04. Moth in the Incubator
05. Put the Waterbug in the Policeman’s Ear
06. Lightning Strikes the Postman
07. Bad Days
08. She Don’t Use Jelly
09. Chewin’ the Apple of Yer Eye
10. When You Smile
11. Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus With Needles
12. Love Yer Brain
13. Placebo Headwound
Flaming Lips upcoming tour dates:
10.10.15 - San Diego, CA - CRSSD Festival
10.17.15 - Nashville, TN - SoundHarvest Music Festival
11.07.15 - Dallas, TX - Untapped Festival
01.11.16 - Tauranga, New Zealand - McLaren Valley Music & Arts Festival
I don’t know about you, but for me, after the initial feel-good buzz of the late-summer news that Deerhunter would indeed be releasing their next album Fading Frontier on October 16 wore off, I somehow felt even MORE DEPRESSED than usual. I’m talking serious withdrawal symptoms. I reeeeeally needed another hit. I didn’t care how innocuous. I NEEDED me some Deerhunter hype.
But AHHH, THANK goddamned GOD; no more! Because here comes some now. Sweet relief.
In an interview with Vulture Magazine, head honcho Bradford Cox shared more details concerning the upcoming mindfucking record in the form of a nifty little handdrawn (by the man himself) interactive concept map. The map explores the various influences on the record and such, and in the accompanying interview, Cox also discusses some of those influences in greater detail, as well as some classy opinions on the state of the record industry at-large:
The music industry is a giant shrieking ghost. It means nothing. It never meant much. It’s just an appalling apparition. It has no vitality. How can you expect much from someone who thinks only of profit? They’re simple creatures. I might sound so arrogant. I’m not a socialist in any dogmatic way. I don’t believe that I have the answer. I think [indie-film pioneer] John Cassavetes had the best answer for the creation and distribution of art: Pay for it yourself, do it yourself.
If you pre-order Fading Frontier from the 4AD store, you can get yourself a “free, limited edition screenprint of Bradford’s map.” Sweet! I can feel that nice little buzz rolling over me again already!
Oh, and you can scope out the map down below too. Bam. AND, there’s also a video for another song, “Breaker” down below, too. BAM. AAAND, there’s some tour dates coming up! SHA-ZAM! AH, I’m HIGH AS BALLS on these pinch-doses of Deerhunter news!
Deerhunter fall tour dates:
10.29.15 - Paris, France - Pitchfork Festival
10.30.15 - Brighton, UK - All Saints Church
10.31.15 - Liverpool, UK - Liverpool Music Week
11.01.15 - Dublin, Ireland - Button Factory
11.03.15 - Glasgow, UK - SWG3
11.04.15 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
11.06.15 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla
11.07.15 - London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
11.09.15 - Tourcoing, France - Le Grand Mix
11.10.15 - Reims, France - La Cartonerrie
11.11.15 - Nimes, France - Paloma
11.12.15 - Milan, Italy - Magnolia
11.13.15 - Ravenna, Italy - Bronson
11.14.15 - Geneva, Switzerland - L’usine
11.15.15 - Zurich, Switzerland - Rote Fabrik
11.16.15 - Heidelberg, Germany - Kulturhaus Karlstorbahnhof
11.18.15 - Berlin, Germany - Lido
11.19.15 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
11.21.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique Orangerie
11.22.15 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Le Guess Who Festival
Yesterday, we caught wind of SOPHIE’s new forthcoming release, Product, which features four previously-released tracks and four new ones. (To clarify, it’s NOT an album, but a series of singles.) Today, we can reveal that Product launches with a store featuring some incredible-looking products. In addition to the usual music formats — CD, digital, vinyl (including beautiful pink and black silicon bubble cases) — the shop includes:
• SILICON PRODUCT (“skin-safe odourless and tastless platinium silicon prodcut” [sex toy])
• JACKET (“liqui-UV transparent plastic soapy puffa jacket”)
• SUNGLASSES (“plastic lenticular sunglasses with graphic lenses”)
• SHOES (“A/B side rubber leather embroidered hard platform shoes with foam bounce”)
Go to SOPHIE’s shop for more information on the products, and pre-order something that you can show off in the club and/or in the bedroom. (Though, it looks like the jacket, sunglasses, and shoes might be sold out already, leading me to wonder if they ever existed in the first place.) Most everything’s out November 27. Order the “silicon product” bundle, and you’ll also get an exclusive “audio track.”
The Berlin-based Argentine duo Mueran Humanos has announced a new album, Miseress, their first since 2011. Famous for their noisy mixture of minimal beats and dark wave-leaning synthwork, here Mueran Humanos hone their industrial inclinations by introducing guitars to their bass-synths-sampler setup for the first time, played by no less than Einstürzende Neubauten’s own guitar-manipulator Jochen Arbeit. Miseress, just their second long-format release, roughly follows the story of a woman going through pretty serious turmoil. Stream the album’s first cut below, which deals precisely with the struggles and redemption of the titular character.
Mueran Humanos was founded in 2006 by Carmen Burguess and Tomás Nochteff, conceived as a multiplatform project involving sound art, video, and installations. Both of them had spent several years heading post-punk acts in Buenos Aires: Mujercitas Terror, in Burguess’ case, and Dios in Nochteff’s, the latter being arguably the most original Argentine band of the 2000s. The dark eccentricity of the two groups merged in Mueran Humanos’ stark-but-heavy industrial sound. Their acclaimed self-titled debut quickly positioned the duo at the forefront of Latin American avant-garde music, thanks to a carefully developed aesthetic, gloomy lyrics, and a highly distinctive sound.
Mueran Humanos are currently signed to ATP’s record label and will play the festival’s Nightmare Before Christmas in the UK this year.
Miseress is out November 27 via ATP Recordings.