SoundCloud adding ads and artist payments; I break down the changes as an extended Gossip Girl metaphor

SoundCloud’s makin’ it rain, y’all! Well, a little bit of rain at least, for a select few. But hey, musical artists, like the great state of California, are always at least sort of in the middle of a drought. Here’s the deal: SoundCloud recently launched an exciting, exclusive new Premier Partner Program. It’s by invite only, which makes it easier to understand how the new SoundCloud membership system, called On SoundCloud, will work according to a ratings system based off the mid-2000s CW network teen drama Gossip Girl.

The first level, Partner, is basic. Like, BASIC basic. So this is the Vanessa level. It’s free and it allows new users to join the “community,” post a song, and then get feedback and basic stats on it. It works in a coffee shop and goes to public school, where it hates on the kids who got invites to the Premier Partner Program. As time goes on and the series runs out of plotlines, the Partner Level will run around Manhattan trying to sneak into gala events to “teach people a lesson” yet somehow drunkenly hook up with the hottest cast member on the show for a regrettable 2-3 episode mini arc.

Next comes the Pro level. After a lengthy debate (20 seconds) I have concluded that this is the Dan Humphrey level. The Pro level gets more upload time and more detailed stats, which it will spout out at you in a whimsical and awkward fashion so that you get it — really get it — that this level is the smart, ambitious kid from Brooklyn. You’re well off in comparison to most of America because you live in an insane loft/art gallery with your sensitive rocker dad, but you, like, don’t have a yacht or checkerboard flooring in your foyer, so you’re forever looking in, tapping on the frozen window like that orphan in A Christmas Carol. “Daaaaaaaad where’s my lunch kombucha daaaaaaaaad!!!!!! I like the works of George Saunders.” That’s this level.

Finally, the almighty Premier Partner level. The invite-only level. The Skull and Crossbones Society level of SoundCloud. You have to murder an underling and bathe in his or her blood to get into this one. (Just kidding, we’re sure it’s a complicated algorithm that’s very scientific and shit.) This level gets exclusive features, promotional opps, and the chance to make $$$ on the new advertising platform. You might say this is the Serena van der Woodsen of levels, but then you would be wrong. You watched Gossip Girl all wrong. You wasted your life. Because no, this is the Blair Waldorf of levels.

According to an actual SoundCloud statement, “In addition to supporting creators, ads will keep the service free and open for people to listen to SoundCloud. Audio ads will only be served on the content of Premier Partners with their explicit consent. If you have a Free, Pro or Pro Unlimited account, you will not have any audio ads placed on your tracks.” The statement did not reveal whether specific details of the ritual sacrifice one must enter into in order to join Premier, or whether the company swings more toward Team Blair or Team Serena. XOXO.

• SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com

Aphex Twin’s new album SYRO confirmed for September 23 release

Richard D. James is wasting no time.

Last week we got rumblings of something Aphex Twin-related happening via a blimp over London and some stencil art, then two days later the news of an album called SYRO and a tracklist embedded in the Deep Web (still not quite sure what that is). Now, full details have been confirmed with finalized tracklist and album art (which in James’ warped genius style includes the budget details for the album promo). That’s the album artwork above.

More exciting than all of this: after years of hoping and waiting for something new, SYRO will have a very short lead time and be available on September 23 via Warp. Yesssssssss.

The press release to accompany this news was so brilliant (in an Aphex sort of way) it must be excerpted in full below:

Whenever one of the most celebrated and influential electronic fartist,
Richard D. James can compete with the music flip to influence built. The
better part of a decagon, James Polygon Window, Caustic Window, GAK and
maintain, including `Aphex Twin has unreleased music under several thousand
monikers great pace.

Began in the late 1780s and 90s during a turn in its manufacturing and
technical skills, and nikharana Cornwallo, England grows, James, as a young
maniton in various shops started DJing. Area of various musical score,
James Analogue Booblebath EP was released in 1891, the results of the first
series, he decided to record his gown music. Another influential London
radio station piss FM’s attention, and then label immediately signed him to
their rooster, then post & poplieereRS. That same year, James Acid
shithouse to promote the song and trying to lift Grant Wilson-CLARIDGE on a
biscuit founded his label Rephlex Records. Selekted Flambient Works moving
to London and Release 85-92: After a while, the two main points to be made,
round the bend

More immediate and critical success of his debut internationally. Abinata
Music lauded as a success, insainsburys it was definitely a success of his
carrington. Full steam ahead barreling out that several other singles and
EPS are given, and in 1493 was a record collapse. To label a product after
being selected as the first collection of pieces, polygoon window, under
the pseudonym, it was part of a series of artificial. 2, released in 1994.

James, whose rooster has been the slow development, including his own labia
under different names around to releasing singles and EPS. Her next
full-length record together since 1995 … I think it she will be issued.
Records have been working on for the past few years, and his experience
hardcore and lush abinata textures found his style, and his facial features
on the cover of the first issue, the various incarnations of present
Omnipresent, which is marked by an icing in the world of music was culled
Aphex Gemini (equal recognition with logo).

1896 under the name Aphex Twin record his fourth eponymous EP Girl / boy.
This collection of 90s ‘nTV era is the result of the video, in which he
praised the music video director Crease Cunningham saw: Teaming in a way
that my Daddy (1997) and Windowlickie (1999), EPS, was followed.

Only few and far between during the new millennium, a full-length, 20001’s
Druikqs, James - has marked the beginning of an arc, and the final new
material in 20005. A lot of the music in any way is often a lack of
communication and leadership to be fallacious rumors of new material for
his fannies and his enthusiasm has not diminished hope. However ambitious
this year, 9014, they uncovered new mats in almost a decade distribution
crowdfund rallied together his army of fans: A precious gift that can not
be the same as the new

Phex Twinnipicks material is still unquenched thirst.

Syria, September 23, 2014, along with records of Aphex Twin’s new album to
be released. For the owner of Triple vinyl, CD and digital formats will be
available. Bleep a very limited vinyl version you can register your
interest in buying.

SYRO tracklist:

01. minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix] [aka the manchester track]
02. XMAS_EVET10 [120][thanaton3 mix]
03. produk 29 [101]
04. 4 bit 9d api+e+6 [126.26]
05. 180db_ [130]
06. CIRCLONT6A [141.98][syrobonkus mix]
07. fz pseudotimestretch+e+3 [138.85]
08. CIRCLONT14 [152.97][shrymoming mix]
09. syro u473t8+e [141.98][piezoluminescence mix]
10. PAPAT4 [155][pineal mix]
11. s950tx16wasr10 [163.97][earth portal mix]
12. aisatsana [102]

• Aphex Twin: https://twitter.com/AphexTwin
• Warp: http://warp.net

Cropped Out announces 2014 lineup: Sun Ra Arkestra, Urinals, Three Legged Race, Ma Turner, more… but not a trace of Lil B

Two years can certainly fly by, huh? One day you’re writing a story about Cropped Out 2012 and the next thing you know, you’re writing a story about Cropped Out 2014. One could get down about the seemingly-infinite cycles we get stuck into, but, you know, we’ve got a pretty good thing going. So I’m happy to tell you that the fifth annual Cropped Out festival is occurring in Louisville, Kentucky on September 26-28. This year’s lineup features the Sun Ra Arkestra led by Louisville-native Marshall Allen, Three Legged Race, Dan’l Boone, Ma Turner, Protomartyr, Obnox, Spider Bags, Urinals, and many others. Buy early bird passes here and acquire a victory for yourself.

Previous years of Cropped Out have boasted performances from the likes of R. Stevie Moore, Jandek, Sun Araw, Bill Orcutt, Angel Olsen, The Men, Scratch Acid, Julianna Barwick, Pissed Jeans, and Lil B. Perhaps you remember reading a news piece a few years back that made a big deal about that Lil B performance. Perhaps you do not. But I remember it well.

• Cropped Out: http://www.croppedoutmusic.com

The Twilight Sad announce little new album and some tour dates, and ALREADY I’m bawling my eyes out!

Dear reader, are you… happy? I mean, really. Not like: “oh, sweet, a 24-hour White Castle!” But I mean, are you real-deal, H-A-P-P-Y happy?

Yeah… don’t feel bad. Neither am I. Personally, I blame Scottish trio The Twilight Sad. Ever since their personal brand of glum-bummer indie rock entered my life some five years back, everything seems to have just kinda… lost its luster. And yet, I can’t seem to turn them off! Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment or whatever, but I can’t quite seem to get enough!

And if you’re like me, then hang onto your homemade Prozac, because I just heard that the band is getting set to release their fourth record, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, via Fat Cat on October 28. Bummer City! But wait, maybe I’m selling the band short? Maybe this time around, things will be totally, totally 180-degrees different? Let’s see here. Looks like they recorded in Glasgow at Mogwai’s Castle of Doom studio… the record was engineered by their live sound guy Andrew Bush, mixed by the guy who mixed their last record (Peter Katis), and their touring bassist Johnny Docherty played bass on it. Huh. Nope. Oh well. Guess we’ll just have to keep moping around listening to The Twilight Sad a little longer, reader.

Speaking of which, you can stream the first single, “There’s a Girl in the Corner,” down below. Might wanna hide all the knives first, though.

Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave tracklisting:

01. There’s a Girl in the Corner
02. Last January
03. I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want
04. It Never Was the Same
05. Drown So I Can Watch
06. In Nowheres
07. Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave
08. Pills I Swallow
09. Leave the House
10. Sometimes I Wished I Could Fall Asleep

Tour dates:

08.30.14 - Glasgow, UK - Richmond Park
09.11.14 - Aberdeen, UK - Lemon Tree
09.12.14 - Birnam, UK - Arts Centre
09.13.14 - Strathpeffer, UK - Pavillion
10.05.14 - Manchester, UK - Soup Kitchen
10.06.14 - London, UK - Boston Music Rooms
10.07.14 - Nottingham, UK - Bodega
10.09.14 - Edinburgh, UK - Pleasance
10.16.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC
10.17.14 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall +
10.18.14 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore +
10.19.14 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre +
10.20.14 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick +
10.22.14 - Columbus, OH - Skully’s Music Diner +
10.23.14 - Cincinnati, OH - The Woodward Theater +
10.24.14 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre +
10.25.14 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theater +
10.26.14 - St Louis, MO - The Old Rock House +
10.28.14 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater +
10.29.14 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge +
10.30.14 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory Concert House +
11.01.14 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading +
11.02.14 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom +
11.04.14 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo’s 365 Club +
11.07.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre +
11.08.14 - San Diego, CA - Irenic +
11.09.14 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom +
11.11.14 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk +
11.12.14 - Dallas, TX - Trees +
11.13.14 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s +
11.14.14 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks +
11.15.14 - Birmingham, AL - WorkPlay Theatre +
11.16.14 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West +
11.18.14 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle +
11.19.14 - Washington, DC - 930 Club +
11.20.14 - Boston, MA - Paradise +
11.21.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer +
11.22.14 - New York, NY - Webster Hall +

+ We Were Promised Jetpacks

• The Twilight Sad: http://www.thetwilightsad.com
• Fat Cat: http://www.fat-cat.co.uk

Boys Noize and Chilly Gonzales team up for Octave Minds album and other octa-themed activities

Super-producer is a term which seems to be bandied around a little too often at the moment, so I’m not going to describe Chilly Gonzales or Boys Noize as super-producers. Even though Chilly Gonzales is the bloke who put Feist on the map (producing Let It Die) and recently twinkled some keys for Daft Punk (on Random Access Memories) and Boys Noize has collaborated with some pretty well-known electro dudes (have you heard of that guy Skrillex? No? What about Erol Alkan?). Let’s just agree that they are really, really good at what they do and pretty damn popular, and then let’s say no more about it.

What I will say is that the two have combined their respective talents to create a project called Octave Minds. They say it combines 88 keys and 808 kicks. An octave has eight notes and an octopus has eight legs. So you might be right in thinking their name has something to do with the number of keys and the type of drum machine they used in making this album, which is also called Octave Minds.

The record is due September 15 via Boysnoize Records; the lead single “Symmetry Slice” can be heard below and confirms the album to likely be a pretty good cross section of both artist’s talents. Chilly’s twinkly piano flourishes gently morph into some freaky backwards effect and then explode into a hummable electro suite that is highly likely to become the motivational accompaniment to some television advertisement campaign in the coming months. In other words, it’s pretty damn good. Chance the Rapper also features on one of the album’s 12 tracks.

Octave Minds is available for pre-order on the Octave Minds website, though unfortunately not for $8. I’m beginning to question their dedication to this whole series of eights thing.

Octave Minds tracklist:

01. Symmetry Slice
02. Anthem
03. Initials KK
04. Tap Dance (feat. Chance the Rapper)
05. Royalty
06. Om
07. Together
08. Projectionist
09. Done Deal
10. In Silence
11. Symmetry Slice, Pt. 2
12. Rave Face (bonus track)

• Octave Minds: http://www.octaveminds.com
• Boysnoize: http://boysnoize.com

The Knife breaking up after last batch of shows

If you’re a fan of The Knife, hopefully you got to catch them on their Shaking the Habitual tour — or saw them perform at least once in your lifetime — because after this fall, The Knife will conclude all operations.

Karin Dreijer and Olof Dreijer let the news slip in an interview with Dazed today. “We will close down, it’s our last tour,” they said. “We don’t have any obligations to continue.” The band’s PR people confirmed the announcement, according to Dazed.

The Knife’s website now proclaims, “We are doing our last tour!”

The duo has put out four albums since forming in 1999: their self-titled LP, 2003’s Deep Cuts, 2006’s Silent Shout, and last year’s Shaking the Habitual. They’ll finish up their current tour with a string of late October and early November dates in Europe.

The Dreijers’ message about their last tour concludes, “See you on the dance floor.” Amen.

Final dates:

10.31.14 - Stockholm, Sweden - Annexet
11.01.14 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Film Studios
11.03.14 - Berlin, Germany - Arena
11.05.14 - Manchester, UK - Academy
11.06.14 - London, UK - Brixton Academy
11.08.14 - Reykjavík, Iceland - Iceland Airwaves Festival

• The Knife: http://theknife.net

Rustie releases 8-bit-style video game to accompany Green Language stream, achieves flawless descent to the nose’s surface

The music of Rustie invites comparison to video game soundtracks. It’s electronic, loud, hyperactive, and filled with blown-out synths that sound not entirely dissimilar to something blaring from a Sega Genesis game. Some would also suggest that it lacks subtlety.

And, thus, there is now a Rustie video game.

Admittedly, the execution is not as obvious as the idea itself. The game, made by Warp and Hunter Loftis in promotion for the release next week of Rustie’s Green Language, isn’t the visceral, psychedelic experience you might expect, but instead a mid-90s-style PC first-person game. (Alternately: looks like Minecraft.) Those things tended to feature moody ambient music (sometimes by Trent Reznor), very different from the Green Language tracks that soundtrack this game. In fact, the game serves as a stream for the record, with each level featuring a different song from the record. At the game’s completion, you will receive a more, well, formal stream of the album. You must hear the album to hear the album, you feel me? No?

Green Language tracklist:

01. Workship
02. A Glimpse
03. Raptor
04. Paradise Stone
05. Up Down (feat. D Double E)
06. Attak (feat. Danny Brown)
07. Tempest
08. He Hate Me (feat. Gorgeous Children)
09. Velcro
10. Lost (feat. Redinho)
11. Dream On
12. Lets Spiral
13. Green Language

• Rustie: http://greenlanguage.rustie.net
• Warp: http://warp.net

Scott Walker and sunn O))) move Soused release date to October; peep a new album trailer

Whoa hey, what’s up? What time is it? I… I think I passed out or something… last thing I remember is writing up that Scott Walker/sunn O))) album in all caps… I couldn’t believe they were collaborating, and… just… I don’t know, then I’m on the floor here. Is it still Wednesday?

Ah, Thursday… oh it’s seven Thursdays from then? Damn… sorry, I would’ve written… about more of… ok still dizzy, think I need some water. I’m sitting down again. OK. So the details came out, it’s five tracks, 50 minutes, that’s what, eight minutes per track? Something like that, nice… out on 4AD, release date just moved to October 21, pre-order is up for America and Europe revealing the album cover (photography by Gast Bouschet), and now a trailer’s up for the album commissioned by Scott & sunn? Cool, cool.

No really, I’m excited, I just… I thought it was still July, and… I don’t know, I think I’m gonna run to Dunkin and get some food in my stomach, can you watch the trailer for me and post about it? Thanks man.

Soused tracklist:

01. Brando
02. Herod 2014
03. Bull
04. Fetish
05. Lullaby

• Scott Walker + sunn O))): http://scott-o.com
• 4AD: http://4ad.com

Thurston Moore announces details of new album The Best Day, just in time for a new batch of college freshmen to discover him!

If I was Thurston Moore (a man can dream, can’t he?), I’d be making all of my various hints, announcements, prognostications, and declarations about my new guitar-band projects through one of those wah-wah guitar talk-box thingies. I mean, pretty much just seems like an obviously-awesome way to do things, if you ask me: obnoxious, pretentious, high-tech; kind of a no-brainer for a guitar legend, right?

As it stands, however, Moore has chosen the far, FAR more banal, conventional, and played-out medium of the Standard Written English prose to keep us updated on his latest “Sonic-Youth-but-with-some-sort-of-inconsequential-twist”-type projects. This newest one is, like I mentioned before a new album called The Best Day, which features Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, as well as My Bloody Valentine’s Debbie Googe and London-based musician James Sedwards.

But yeah. Basically: we didn’t know a release date before. Boom. Now we do (October 24). We didn’t know the tracklisting before. Now we do (see below). We didn’t know a few of the late October live dates before. Now we’ve got them (yup, see below!). And — assuming that we’d never heard Sonic Youth before in our entire lives — we had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what the title track could possibly sound like! Boom. Now we do (again, yeah, right down there). Are we good, then? Allons-y, readers! Bring on the pertinent information! Even if it is written out in boring old milquetoast English words and numbers. Thanks for the update, Thursty. <3

The Best Day tracklisting:

01. Speak to the Wild
02. Forevermore
03. Tape
04. The Best Day
05. Detonation
06. Vocabularies
07. Grace Lake
08. Germs Burn

Thurston Moore Band tourdates:

08.21.14 - Paredes De Coura, Portugal - Paredes De Coura Festival
08.23.14 - Lausanne, Switzerland - For Noise Festival
08.24.14 - Paris, France - Rock en Seine
08.29.14 - Mirminham, UK - Moseley Folk Fest
09.05.14 - Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Music Festival
09.07.14 - Toronto, ON - Riot Fest Toronto
09.12.14 - Victoria, BC - Rifflandia Festival
09.14.14 - Chicago, IL - Riot Fest Chicago
10.03.14 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret *
10.04.14 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s *
10.07.14 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall *
10.08.14 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Atrium *
10.10.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex *
10.11.14 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room *
10.21.14 - Brooklyn, NY - St. Vitus
10.22.14 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
10.23.14 - Hamden, CT - The Ballroom at the Outer Space
10.24.14 - Pawtucket, RI - The Met
10.25.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
10.26.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC

* Sebadoh

• Thurston Moore: https://www.facebook.com/ThurstonMooreOfficial
• Matador: http://www.matadorrecords.com

[Photo: Phil Sharp]

Deerhoof announce new album La Isla Bonita, and all is right in the world again

Deerhoof — the greatest and most underrated band of our time, in my estimation — is usually pretty quick when putting out one of their bizarro rock records. Now the Runners Four are back with their 12th album, La Isla Bonita, which was produced by former Pitchfork writer and Godmode label founder Nick Sylvester and follows up 2012’s Breakup Song.

According to drummer virtuoso Greg Saunier, “This is the latest volley in an ongoing conversation we’ve been honored to hold for 20 years.” 20 years?! Most marriages don’t last that long, but founding members Saunier and Satomi Matsuzaki have stuck it out, with a few lineup changes along the journey. Allegedly, the new album will pay tribute to David Bowie, Lou Reed, David Byrne, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, the Flaming Lips, Beck, and other music luminaries. Unsurprisingly, Deerhunter was not included in the list. Until La Isla Bonita drops on November 4 via Polyvinyl, enjoy the garage outbursts of lead single “Exit Only” below, along with the full tracklist.

La Isla Bonita tracklist:

01. Paradise Girls
02. Mirror Monster
03. Doom
04. Last Fad
05. Tiny Bubbles
06. Exit Only
07. Big House Waltz
08. God 2
09. Black Pitch
10. Oh Bummer

• Deerhoof: http://deerhoof.net
• Polyvinyl: https://www.polyvinylrecords.com

[Photo: Chad Kamenshine]