Not to deliberately ignore the doubtless litany of bands lending their palates toward the production of personalized alcoholic beverages, but it seems Mastodon and Hanson have more in common than just a mutual aptitude for creating instrumentally challenging, musically fierce tunes. (I mean, what is “MMMBop” if not an onomatopoeic call for violence? Luckily the brothers have so far repressed their desire to “da ba doo wop” and potentially send someone to the hospital.)
Yes, no one need doubt Mastodon’s musical bonafides given their discography over the last decade-plus, but little did we know that behind all of that tattooed intensity lies a rather elegant appreciation for the IPA. They give the contents of their glass a swirl. On stage, they spew at the crowd the most uniform stream possible, in the process, resembling fountain sculptures of antiquity. And in a notable step forward as beer connoisseurs, last week it was revealed that the band, in collaboration with British craft beer makers Signature Brew, have come up with their very own, Mastodon-approved beverage: a Double Black IPA called Black Tongue. It’s filled with hops and such; excuse my ignorance. I’m also fairly certain no giraffes were harmed in its creation.
Not much to add beyond that. Check out the short doc below, and look forward to the release of Mastodon’s sixth studio album sometime this year.
• Mastodon: http://www.mastodonrocks.com
285 Kent is closing, but at least we get a few more performances from Laurel Halo, Autre Ne Veut, Dan Deacon, etc.
People in Brooklyn all sad because their favorite DIY venue 285 Kent is closing down. Don’t be sad, people in Brooklyn! Like this hand-painted plaque in my aunt’s bathroom says, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” —Dr. Seuss. (There is really a hand-painted plaque in my aunt’s bathroom saying this. Just FYI.) And although there will be weeping, there will also be much joy, so very wow, for the final four shows at the venue.
The cool kids at Pitchfork and Ad Hoc + Todd P have assembled lineups for these final events that will have you writhing in your seat with the agony of knowing you’ll never again experience such a level of amazingness. (Remember the Dr. Seuss quote. SMILE, friends in Brooklyn, SMILE.) On January 11, you got a Maxmillion Dunbar, a Laurel Halo, a little bit of Autre Ne Veut, some Ital, some Bookworms, and that magickal thing, a Special Guest! Will it be the reanimated corpse of Aleister Crowley? You never know!!! This is BROOKLYN, people, and that witch shit is big again! Go DYE your hair pastel.
The lineup for January 17 includes people like DUST, Dan Deacon, DJ Dog Dick (!!!!!!), Ava Luna, Tonstartssbandht, Uumans, and once again, that mysteeeeeerious Special Guest. (Might it be a DRUID? I think it’s a druid.) January 18 has a special guest headliner (come on, we’re all kidding ourselves if we pretend like it’s anything other than Macaulay Culkin’s pizza band), plus Wolf Eyes, Noveller, Alberich, MV Carbon, Lussuria and Sugarm. Finally, January 19 sees Fucked Up, DIIV, White Lung, Guardian Alien, and Lodro taking the stage. There is no Special Guest listed because the Special Guest is all of you ahhhhhhhhhhh don’t cry, Brooklyn.
• 285 Kent: http://285kentave.com
Unassuming college burb Murfreesboro, Tennessee has great hot wings and once hosted a major Civil War massacre, but its real claim to fame is the stable of excellent bands it reared in the 90s. Perhaps the best and most overlooked of the lot is Self, the brilliant pop solitaire of Matt Mahaffey. Now, in a postscript twist that seems all too deserved, the project will be joining a new set of peers — including T. Rex, Townes Van Zandt, and Al Green (!) — when Fat Possum Records reissues 1995’s Subliminal Plastic Motives on January 14.
The precocious debut sounds a bit like Bellybutton-era Jellyfish, albeit kneeled at Prince’s altar instead of Queen’s. Though most of Self’s output has been seamlessly performed, produced, and mixed by Mahaffey himself, Plastic Motives crucially benefits from the heavy guitar work of his late brother Mike, whose grungier tones helped make regional hits of “Cannon” and “So Low.” Fat Possum’s edition will mark the first time the album is available on vinyl.
Self will celebrate TONIGHT in New York with a full-band performance of the album (and, we hope, an encore or two of other Mahaffey gems), followed by a Nashville stop two days later. Tour dates and a VHS rip of the “Cannon” music video are below; you can purchase the album from Fat Possum here.
01.10.14 - New York, NY - Gramercy Theater *
01.12.14 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In #
* i fight dragons, Montessori Dads
# Glossary, Montessori Dads
Carla Bozulich (Evangelista) preps new album under her Christian name, I guess because she’s just more REAL than you
Hey! Good to see you! Come in! How about some hot cocoa? Here ya go, friend. Say, you’ve met Carla Bozulich, right? You know, leader of our favorite art-punk band that starts with the letters E and V, Evangelista? No? Well that’s cool; you’re about to! Come with me!
Hi, Carla! This here is [SAVVY TMT READER X]. [SAVVY TMT READER X], this is Carla. She’s a cool singer and songwriter and artist and stuff. In fact, she’ll be releasing her first proper solo album of original material (in 2003, she released an album-length cover of Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger, can you believe that?) on March 4 via the Constellation label. It’s called Boy and will see release as a vinyl, a CD, and a formless, shapeless digital download… thing, right Carla?
Don’t be modest! See, Carla won’t tell you this herself I’m sure, but she played the majority of the instruments and made the album artwork herself! Although; yeah, she also worked with this dude John Eichenseer (a.k.a. JHNO). What did your press release say about John, again, Carla? Didn’t he provide “musical and technical input throughout the two-plus years of the making of the album,” during which you guys totally traveled “all over North America, Europe, South America and India — with a particularly fruitful burst of writing on a tiny island off the coast of Istanbul”? Damn, that seems like interesting stuff! Oh, and tell [SAVVY TMT READER X] about how you also subsequently joined up with Italian drummer Andrea Belfi in Berlin to record the record! Amazing stories! You’re the coolest, Carla. Can’t wait for the album.
Ooh, speaking of which, remind me again, isn’t one of the songs on it called “Deeper Than the Well”? Maybe we three could all sit down and listen to it together, if it’s embedded online somewhere? Awww, I’m just so glad you two got to know each other a little bit. This is making me so happy! More hot cocoa anyone?
01. Ain’t No Grave
02. One Hard Man
03. Drowned to the Light
04. Don’t Follow Me
05. Gonna Stop Killing
06. Deeper Than the Well
08. Lazy Crossbones
09. What Is It Baby?
10. Number X
I think it’s safe to say now that the files were fuckin’ FLYING in 2013 and not one person on Earth could have kept up with it all, leaving all sorts of solid albums lost in the crossfire (until their reissues in 2023). And yet all Venezuelan producer/goo-squisher Arca needed to turn heads 360° was a single SoundCloud upload in July. &&&&& (TMT Review) shocked, dazzled, and melted the “reasoning skills” portion of the brain for all who listened, and in spite of its low-key existence as a free instrumental beat tape, it ended up at #9 on our Favorite 50 Albums list. WOW!!!!!!!!!!
Perhaps realizing (or acknowledging) that he’s got a hot little item on his hands, Arca has just announced — and released! — a limited-to-500 single-sided 12-inch of &&&&&, with new, grosser artwork, and a pretty intense B-side etching. Originally £1,000,000 each, Arca has knocked down the price to £9 (~$15) for his 500 closest friends. Peep the page here to order, or save yourself £9 and just click the play button below like before.
• Arca: http://arca1000000.com
Bibio is BACK, with his most literal release ever! It’s an EP called The Green EP and it comes out January 28 on what Warp Records describes as “bottle green” vinyl. The EP is the follow-up to last spring’s Silver Wilkinson album; both releases share the track “Dye the Water Green” (a personal favorite of Bibio himself) in common. But the thing that really makes The Green EP special is that most of the tracks have really cool Bibio life stories behind them.
Like “Dinghy,” for example. Back in 2006, Bibio and his musician buddy Richard Roberts (Letherette) worked together in an old Victorian pub with an enchanted garden in the backyard where they could time travel into the past and steal music from wandering minstrels! Just kidding, that didn’t happen. Nobody stole anything. But the two pals DID spend a lot of time kicking out the jams together after closing time, crafting songs in the pub, and then recording them on old cassette recorders and cheap mics in such picturesque locations as gardens! homes! and… a “stream in the woods,” where a merry satyr would join them to jam along on his pan pipes. There’s also a track called “The Spinney View of Hinkley Point,” which is Bibio’s first-ever released track with live drums, and which also features guitar and bass parts recorded in a friend’s (the satyr, obviously) shed in the Somerset countryside. Such magic! Such stories! Such BIBIO:
The Green EP tracklisting:
01. Dye the Water Green
03. Down to the Sound
04. Carbon Wulf
05. A Thousand Syllables
06. The Spinney View of Hinkley Point
In retrospect, it’s like stumbling upon a trove of precious rubies whenever some newly released massive compilation serves as my initiation to an amazing artist. Reasons probably vary but my favorite, probably-not-realistic one to think about is characterized by frustration. Half a dozen minimally received limited-edition cassettes or EPs or CD-Rs lend to a buildup of emotion, or an indifference, until finally, the artist figuratively shouts “fuck it!” and we’re allowed to take it all (or a lot of it) in, courtesy of one single release. Listener enlightenment! And relief on the part of the artist as he/she gains a more notable following. Rifts did come to mind initially.
Remember those rubies in the simile above? Orphan Fairytale a.k.a. Eva Van Dueuren from Antwerp, Belgium, has those splayed out in the visual manifestation of her music, alongside a plethora of other glimmering objects. The music itself, or at least its production, shirks forceful intrusion in favor of lo-fi wonder, which may feel ominous or innocent, depending on the track and your impression. At Orphan Fairytale’s physical side lies an extension of her musical minimalism, as toy instruments, customized electronics, and keyboards not much larger than a petite abdomen comprise her tools for dream immersion.
The 2xLP My Favorite Fairytale, set for release February 1 on Aguirre, collects recordings made between 2008 and 2011. No need to stumble now. Here’s your preparation:
My Favorite Fairytale tracklisting:
01. Neverending Waves
02. Dragons of the Deep
IT’S JANUARY 8TH TWO THOUSAND AND FOURTEEN! PLAYTIME IS OVER! BOW BOW BOW! MACHINE GUN NOISES! FUTURE ISLANDS ARE BAAAAAAAACK!
It’s the biggest music event of the year, provided that you are me or someone like me who just LOVES FUTURE ISLANDS SO MUCH. Future Islands are putting out a new album called Singles on March 25 through their new label 4AD. Despite the kind-of-just-a-little-bit-confusing title, it is not a collection of singles (SIDEBAR: a collection of Future Islands non-album singles would rule, though) but is, in fact, a completely new full-length record. The album was produced by Chris Coady, who has worked on all of your favorite records. Here, I am operating under the assumption that your favorite records are Beach House’s Teen Dream, Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Fever to Tell, and damn near everything TV on the Radio has put out.
Don’t like Future Islands? Guess you like being alone with nobody else, dummy! Fact is, everybody likes Future Islands, hence why their four dates in New York, L.A., and Baltimore at the beginning of February are all sold out. Hence why Wye Oak chose them to open a run of dates in March. Hence why after those Wye Oak dates, they’re embarking on a 25-date headlining tour. It’s because everybody loves Future Islands, so get on the train, loser.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Watch this Future Islands performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert from a few years back. It’s a great performance, but what’s really special is what’s off-camera, what you can’t see, what you can only feel. And that, my friends, is everybody loving it.
01. Seasons (Waiting on You)
03. Sun in the Morning
05. Back in the Tall Grass
06. A Song for Our Grandfathers
07. Light House
08. Like the Moon
09. Fall from Grace
10. A Dream of You and Me
Future Islands dates:
02.03.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
02.06.14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
02.08.14 - Baltimore, MD - Floristree
02.11.14 - London, UK - Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
02.13.14 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
02.14.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Beurschouwburg
o2.16.14 - Hamburg, Germany - Ubel & Gefährlich
02.17.14 - Berlin, Germany - C-Club
03.03.14 - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern *
03.04.14 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel *
03.05.14 - Saxapahaw, NC - The Haw River Ballroom *
03.07.14 - Chattanooga, TN - JJ’s Bohemia *
03.08.14 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s *
03.09.14 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon *
03.16.14 - Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone Cafe *
03.24.14 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
03.25.14 - Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme
03.26.14 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
03.27.14 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
03.28.14 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
03.29.14 - Fargo, ND - The Aquarium
03.31.14 - Billings, MT - The Railyard
04.01.14 - Bozeman, MT - The Filling Station
04.02.14 - Spokmane, WA - The Bartlett
04.03.14 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
04.04.14 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
04.05.14 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
04.06.14 - Eugene, OR - Cozmic Pizza
04.07.14 - Arcata, CA - Humboldt Brews
04.08.14 - Reno, NV - The Holland Project
04.09.14 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst
04.10.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
04.21.14 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace
04.22.14 - Marfa, TX - Padre’s
04.23.14 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
04.24.14 - Dallas, TX - Three Links
04.25.14 - Little Rock, Ar - Stickyz Rock’n’Roll Chicken Shack
04.26.14 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree
04.29.14 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
04.30.14 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
05.01.14 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
* Wye Oak
“Baby, I want a bengal tiger for Christmas!” No, unfortunately significant others rarely ask for such badass and inevitably human-mauling gifts; instead, the stereotype (at least for the affluent) usually entails a sports car if you’re a male entering middle-agedom, and diamond jewelry if you’re a gender-role-acquiescing female ignorant of, or perhaps apathetic about, the tragic costs inflicted by the associated mining. Don’t tell me it’s too early in the year to beckon your cynicism by bringing up transnational conflict! Give me the benefit of the doubt! Here’s a diamond-related Christmas gift that didn’t serve as an inspiration to the 2006 DiCaprio mull-fest…
Grimes, not an individual easily pinned down on the level of character, signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation label over the break. Additionally, that’s a label overseen by Sony Music Entertainment, as well as the one that M.I.A. recently departed from for who knows whatever contentious reason. Certainly, when you consider their respective catalogs, 4AD seems a bit more congruous with Grimes’ musical style, but who knows? 2014 may bring a fourth studio album that sees a convergence between that style and her new management home — hopefully for the better or not at all. Don’t let the bling corrupt your creative soul, Claire!
Here’s where she announced things. I do not get the X-Men reference.
Jessy Lanza does the “tour thing” because everyone else is doing it and no one ever taught her about peer pressure
Jessy Lanza! A tour! Playing live dates! Concerts! Shows! Bars! Other people probably! Leaving your house! Buying expensive beer! Dancing a little but not too much! R&B! Drinking too much after an awkward interaction with your ex because of course he’d show up to this show of all shows when you were hoping to have a nice night out! Pop music! This has been a series of phrases or words followed by exclamation points that are all in some way associated with the recently announced Jessy Lanza. I’m hoping that that the exclamation points are extra convincing to those of you on the fence about attending one, two, or even maybe several of the dates. Or maybe a lil’ video embed will get you off of that there fence?
Boom. That’s her playing “Strange Emotion” off last year’s super-delightful Pull My Hair Back at a Yours Truly Session. “Wow, Taylor, that’s pretty close to convincing me to see Jessy Lanza live, but if you had a link to one of her songs in a big ole year-end mix type thing, that would really be super.” If that is somehow exactly what you’re thinking, reader, then you’re in luck, because Lanza’s track “Pull My Hair Back” made it onto side B of Tiny Mix Tapes’ own year-end Exquisite Corpse Mix in the capable hands of Rowan Savage. She’s in a DJ Rashad/Kanye West sandwich, two fellahs who I’m sure you’ll find very sufficient as musical bread.
01.15.14 - Montreal, QC - Divan Orange
01.17.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
01.18.14 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
01.23.14 - Chicago, IL - Smart Bar
01.24.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
01.25.14 - San Francisco, CA - Amnesia