At age 15 I loved punk music, but given that I weighed about 90 pounds at the time, I didn’t have a strong connection to the “You Have the Right to Remain Violent” mentality of bands like Slapshot. One day I downloaded Pissed Jeans’ Shallow (illegally, because I was a wild 90-pound iconoclast), an album that situates lyrics like “I’ve got a stuffed head/ I’ve got boogies” next to otherwise caustic sounding noise-rock. “Hey!” I thought, “I’ve got the immune system of an octogenarian too! Finally, an album for me!”
For better or worse, as my body continues to deteriorate, the lyrical and musical stagnancy of Shallow only continues to resonate. I’m assuming most of our readers are familiar with Pissed Jeans, which is great, because I realize I’m not exactly selling the hell out of this album. But for those of you that missed out on this great slice of aural despondence back in 2005, great news! Sub Pop is remastering and reissuing the LP on October 7, and they’re adding both songs from the band’s debut 7-inch Throbbing Organ to the tracklist. For those of you that think I’m embellishing the spiritlessness of this release, early buyers can pre-order the “Loser Edition” of the album, which includes the LP on colored vinyl. A great addition to any estate sale!
01. I’m Sick
02. Boring Girls
03. Ugly Twin (I’ve Got)
04. Ashamed of My Cum
05. Closet Marine
06. I Broke My Own heart
07. Little Sorrell
09. Throbbing Organ
10. Night Minutes
Pissed Jeans dates:
08.13.14 - Brighton, UK - Haunt
08.14.14 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla
08.15.14 - Birmingham, UK - Institute
08.16.14 - London, UK - ExCeL London
11.01.14 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
11.02.14 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
11.04.14 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
11.05.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Los Globos
11.06.14 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
11.07.14 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Park
11.09.14 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
M83 will be reissuing their/his first three albums on dreamy vinyl (and CD and digitally) along with a couple of digital EPs containing remixes and B-sides from said releases. M83, Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts, and Before the Dawn Heals Us will drop for a second time on August 25. Additionally, Before the Dawn Heals Us Remixes and B-Sides will see the light of day on September 9.
All three of the early full-lengths have been out of print since 2009, so grab them before the rest of your hip, record-hungry neighborhood does! Anthony Gonzalez has been busy scoring and sharing music in all your favorite films (22 Jump Street, what up!), so he hasn’t had a chance to provide a follow-up release to 2011’s much-loved Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, but all these reissue goodies are a sure sign that something brand-new-new should be right around the corner.
Much like the Greek god of the same name, PAN (the record label) is fucking slammin’. Unlike the Hellenic deity, label boss Bill Kouligas isn’t half-goat, but instead has a predilection for putting out killer electronic records. You do you, Bill.
Come September 12, PAN continues its streak of greatness with the release of KOCH, a new double LP from Lee Gamble (though if I personally had a name like Lee Gamble I would call the album Roll the Dice — feel free to use it for the B-sides and rarities, Lee). Some of you may remember Gamble as the guy behind the hollowed-out jungle music of 2012’s Diversions 1994-1996 and the wandering techno of last year’s Dutch Tvashar Plumes; KOCH meets halfway in between, with lush textures and thunderous beats taking turns consuming each other like some kind of aural ouroborus. And as I (a seasoned music blogger and the furthest thing from a pharmaceutical technician you could possibly imagine) just read that description, I gotta say, you should pull a Richard D. James Album and simultaneously ingest an Adderall and an Ambien before listening to this. Just kidding, I would hate for something to happen to you and have us lose the page views. Whoa — I even surprised myself with that ending!
I’m going to step up and extend an apology: as a peace offering, peep album opener “Untitled Reversion” here, courtesy of the kind folks at The Wire.
01. Untitled Reversion
02. Motor System
03. You Concrete
05. Oneiric Contur
06. Head Model
08. Frame Drag
09. Voxel City Spirals
10. Yehudi Lights Over Tottenham
11. Jove Layup
Unsound has always given me a fair amount of festival jealousy. Their booking seems designed only for me — I’m sure they’ve read everything I’ve written and hacked my iTunes all in an attempt to make the ideal, unreachable musical experience. Unreachable only because of location: Unsound takes place October 12-19 in Krakow, Poland.
We announced the first wave of performers back in January (which included Swans, Ben Frost, and Container) as well as the festival focus on “The Dream” as critical reflection. Now, we have a second batch of artist announcements to tempt your autumn plans with. I’ll save most of the drool for the list below, but some TMT favorites include M.E.S.H., Powell, Russell Haswell, Jam City, Lotic, Amnesia Scanner, Wanda Group, and Pharmakon. Other notable performances include Craig Leon doing his recently reissued Nommos live with Poland’s Sinfonietta Cracovia as well as a newly commissioned work from ATOM™ and laser-artist Robin Fox.
Check the full list of Unsound 2014 performers right here. Week-long passes are already sold out, but you can pick up individual show tickets at the end of August. If you go, promise you won’t tell me how fun it was.
• Unsound: http://www.unsound.pl
Legendary Belgian label R&S has announced its latest signing in British hip-hop producer Paul White. The South London artist is known for collaborating with Danny Brown on XXX and Old, as well as being the direct lineage of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Romantic poet who also made the beat for “Kubla Khan.” That was a maaassive tune.
White’s fourth record, Shaker Notes, will drop via R&S next month and “charts the intoxication, heartbreak, and ultimate triumph of a grand love affair.” Sounds pretty romantic Paul… have you been reading Pappy Coleridge’s journal entries again? Regardless, White’s latest sees him putting the sampler on the backburner and picking up drums, bass, guitar, synths, and maybe castanets, judging by the sensual vibe. He also sings on much of the album, sharing the stage with collaborators like UK folk singer Nancy Elizabeth on the title track and “a talented visiting American uncle,” who lends his electric violin to “Sitting in Circles.” After this, every rapper’s gonna want Talented Visiting American Uncle on their shit.
Before Shaker Notes is released on September 30, White has shared the full tracklist and a stream of “Honey Cats,” which sounds like a noirish drug dirge and can be heard below. Paulie White a.k.a. Kubla Khan the Don, you’ve made Pappy Coleridge very proud.
Shaker Notes tracklist:
02. All We Know
03. Where You Gonna Go?
04. Honey Cats
05. Wait & See
06. Running on a Rainy Day
07. Fighting to Dance
08. Is It Up to Us?
09. Sitting in Circles
10. Numbers of Change
11. Shaker Notes
Lykke Li announces US tour this fall, effectively silencing all those critics who swore she’d never tour the US this fall
I have to ask upfront: are you sure you’re even ready to be rocked by this scandalous and sensational news, dear reader? Okay then; you asked for it, but don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Turns out that earlier this week, probably under the cover of darkness, Swedish songstress Lykke Li, who recently released her, you know, most-recently-released album I Never Learn on LL Recordings/Atlantic, has gone and done the unthinkable. She’s announced a North American tour dates scheduled for this fall! Gasp! Shudder! Isn’t that just insidious and nauseating? I mean, I’m totally fighting back chunks of puke right now.
But it’s true. Following a presumably-debaucherous handful of sold-out gigs at such seedy NYC joints as the Apollo Theater and MOMA, Lykke plans on slumming all around the US to, according to her totally unapologetic press release, “perform new material off of her latest album for many audiences across the U.S. for the first time.” Yuk! Maybe that sort of thing is more acceptable in Europe or something? But here in the States where I live, this orgiastic plan of post-album-release-touring breaks just about every musician-related taboo in the book. Below is a list of places you’ll probably want to avoid in the coming months if you’re a decent American.
Lykke Li tour dates:
08.01.14 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08.03.14 - Montreal, QC - Osheaga Festival
08.08.14 - Vancouver, BC - Squamish Festival
08.10.14 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands
09.17.14 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
09.19.14 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
09.22.14 - San Diego, CA - North Park Theatre
09.23.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
09.27.14 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre
09.28.14 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
09.30.14 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
10.01.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
10.03.14 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
10.04.14 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
10.06.14 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10.08.14 - Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle
10.09.14 - Orlando, FL - House of Blues
10.10-12.14 - Miami, FL - MANA Wynwood
Brian Eno’s ambient soundscapes not just for uncomfortable airports anymore, could be used in the emergency room
Brian Eno previously brought us Music for Airports, composed specifically to help us all go easy on the Valium-and-Dramamine cocktails at the terminals.
Now he’s set to expand on this theme — providing the soundtracks for traditionally uncomfortable spaces — by joining the redevelopment project of a London Accident & Emergency room.
Eno’s ambient music, along with other tweaks designed to help soothe patients such as replacing the bare white walls with a warmer color, could provide “distraction therapy” at Chelsea and Westminster hospital. The technique is already being put to use in the hospital’s pediatric burns unit, where visual projections are employed sometimes in place of administering morphine.
The Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity, the organization backing the project, says it needs to raise £600,000 to “help create a state of the art A&E department for 140,000 patients.” The program is backed by the UK’s culture ministry and already has the support of celebrities like Hugh Grant.
“Music can be designed to help improve the atmosphere and environment for people going through difficult times,” Eno said in a statement. “I am very happy that this wonderful organization has approached me to do something at Chelsea and Westminster, which I have to say is the nicest hospital I’ve ever been in.”
Third Man Records announces new physical publishing wing, Third Man Books, resists doing so via telegraph
Okay, Jack. I’ve got to hand it to you. Bravo, man; if anything sounds like a more antiquated and foolhardy business decision than stubbornly using analog recording equipment to indiscriminately pump out limited-edition 7-inches and 45s from a brick and mortar store in downtown Nashville USA, it’s publishing giant freaking clunky tree-murderous books. But damned if you don’t nearly always make these ventures work, somehow, someway.
Yup, Third Man Records just announced their intentions to release their very first… book. And it’s a doozy. It’s called Language Lessons: Volume 1, and is being thrust out into the world’s unsuspecting stores on August 5 as a “box set,” featuring “a 321-page hardbound book, two vinyl LP’s, and more.” (Yeah, yeah, there’s vinyl too. It’s Third Man.) But, so, first things first: the book was “co-edited by Chet Weise and Third Man’s own Ben Swank” and is, according to the curiously digital press release I’m now reading, “full of contemporary poetry and prose including over 20 award winning and / or nominated contemporary poets and authors such as Dale Ray Phillips, a Pulitzer Prize nominee in fiction, C.D. Wright, a National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle winner in poetry, and Adrian Matejka, a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry.” Well, okay. Gotta admit that does sound pretty tasty. My Lit Nerd bone is tingling.
As for the vinyl and other bonus stuff, there’s also “two vinyl LPs of jazz, psychedelic-punk, poetry, blues and pop from artists such as William Tyler, Destruction Unit, Ken Vandermark, Sampson Starkweather, and more.” And if you know who more than like two of those people are, god bless you. Oh, and there’s also “5 pieces of frameable broadsides of poems by C.D. Wright, Frank Stanford, Brian Barker, Jake Adam York, and Chet Weise, with original art from former Big Boys guitartist Tim Kerr, one-time Hate illustrator Jim Blanchard, intertwangle-ist folk artist Butch Anthony, and more.”
Overwhelmed by the sheer physicality of all this yet? No? Well, in that case, you’ll be happy to know that the whole thing ALSO comes at you “housed in a hard-case clothbound sleeve.” And you can pre-order the whole shebang now over at the (also curiously-digital) Third Man Books site right the fuck now. Which… you’d probably better do, because it’ll take the pack of mules that’s delivering it at least until around August 5 to get it to your place. Especially with those “framable broadside” things. I don’t know what those are, but they sound heavy.
The only people who strive for unity among humanity are free-loving hippies (we secretly acknowledge), which is why it’s such a relief to come across someone who strips the notion of togetherness from its commonly social and uplifting connotations. “Saman,” the title of Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir’s new album on Touch, means “together” in English, but that doesn’t mean we should expect guest appearances as though this were the LP-reuniting of a novice rapper with all of his/her extended family. Instead, the “together” references Saman’s melding of voice and cello, in the process”resolving a tension between light and dark,” as the official commentary notes. Somehow the prophecy just completely overlooked this.
We could’ve predicted it, however. Guðnadóttir’s preceding Leyfðu Ljósinu has a similar joining of instruments, with her fluid vocals artfully flowing toward an intense stringed culmination. I don’t know if there was much in the way of simultaneous voice and cello action on that album, and neither on the one that’s just been released (haven’t listened in full yet), but to forgo the nitpicking, it probably doesn’t matter. Saman was recorded, mixed, and mastered in Berlin, and I’m sure it’s a thoroughly engaging listen. Back with Hildur once more. Together at last. 5evr.
04. Heyr Himnasmiður
07. Í hring
08. Rennur upp
09. Til baka
As the movements of our Lord in heaven are verily opaque to us mere humans here on Earth, so too are those legal troubles of the almighty Guwop God Gucci Mane, otherwise known as the prophet Radric Davis. Yea though we may visit his Wikipedia page many a time, and though we may Google his name repeatedly, we shall arrive no nearer to fully comprehending the variety of illegal shit the all-powerful Gucci Vincent Gigante may or may not have perpetrated, in addition to the variety of albums and mixtapes he has managed to release in such a short period of time. Our feeble human minds are capable of containing only but a few of his works, such as the Felix Brothers collaboration with Young Dolph and PeeWee Longway, or his upcoming collaboration with Chief Keef; all will be be made clear to us in this life.
Sometimes, the Trap moves in mysterious ways, and other times Gucci Mane comes to us via the humble mechanism of Twitter to announce yet another album. This time a solo release entitled The Oddfather produced by C4. The Oddfather will be released on July 28, a date chosen purposefully, as it is the day that the prophet Davis will visit court to be sentenced for his gun possession conviction back in May. It is predicted that Mane will be in jail through 2016, though surely no prison wall will prevent him from astrally projecting into the hearts, minds, and mixtapes of his followers.
• Gucci Mane: http://www.guccimaneonline.com