Important Records announces upcoming LPs by Ashley Paul, Zurich, Aidan Baker, and Mugstar + Damo Suzuki

Important Records just won’t quit, just can’t quit, just don’t wanna. Who else would deal with all these fringe musicians on such an astonishingly prolific basis? Probably plenty of people, but the Massachusetts-based Important army get the job done. Thanks! Let’s see what they’re doing this month!

First up (and already available) is an album of Satie-influenced compositions from Nadja mastermind Aidan Baker. Triptychs: Variations on a Melody contains five main pieces, each given a variety of interpretations by Baker and a host of homies, including Peter Broderick and Felicia Atkinson (Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier).

On October 14, audiences will get the chance to hear a long-lost collaboration between Tony Wilson (Knives ov Resistance), Neil Halstead (Slowdive/Mojave 3), and Sarah Peacock (Seafeel). The minimal ambient-dub-techno tracks on Zurich’s self-titled album were recorded as long as two decades ago. They surfaced recently when Touch artist Mark Van Hoen found the tracks on a CD-R he was handing off to Wilson. LUCKY.

Two more releases are slanted for exposure on October 27. Ashley Paul’s Heat Source, which follows up her recent cassette on Important-imprint Cassauna, is a document of locationally turbulent time, recorded while Paul was moving between New York and London; hear a track from that below. Released simultaneously will be a collaboration between Can singer and all-around superstar shaman Damo Suzuki and British krautrock-enthusiasts Mugstar. Their LP, Start From Zero, will probably seriously go deep into the zone, so bring a headlamp.

Aidan Baker - Triptychs: Variations on a Melody tracklisting:

01. Triptych One (Version 1) // Aidan Baker - Electric Guitar
02. Triptych One (Version 2) // Aidan Baker - Acoustic 12-String Guitar
03. Triptych Two (Version 1) // Leah Buckareff - Electric Bass Guitar
04. Triptych Two (Version 2) // David Nesselhauf - Double Bass
05. Triptych Three (Version 1) // Aidan Baker - Melodica
06. Triptych Three (Version 2) // Katie English - Flute
07. Triptych Four (Version 1) // Rose Bolton - Violin
08. Triptych Four (Version 2) // Peter Broderick - Violin
09. Triptych Four (Version 3) // Angela Chan - Viola
10. Triptych Four (Version 4) // Julia Kent - Cello
11. Triptych Five (Version 1) // Felicia Atkinson - Organ
12. Triptych Five (Version 2) // Peter Broderick - Piano
13. Triptych Five (Version 3) // Aki Yakamoto - Piano

Zurich - Zurich tracklisting:

01. Mastmaker
02. Tzarist
03. A Harsh Truth Pt. I + II
04. Too Scared to Breathe
05. Militia Dynamic Warfare
06. Balem Daz
07. Odessa

Ashley Paul - Heat Source tracklisting:

01. sound and soft
02. rain, away
03. i’m in you
04. heat source
05. embers
06. feet on legs
07. london february 16
08. drop me
09. clarineterlude
10. lie awake

Damo Suzuki + Mugstar - Start From Zero tracklisting:

01. Waken to the Night
02. Subway Sound
03. Innanewah
04. Zero Coda

• Important:

Nils Frahm announces North American tour, releases Resident Advisor session

Berlin-based piano virtuoso Nils Frahm released Spaces last year — an album that collected some arresting live performances of the artist’s newest material. This November, the young pianist is setting out on his second North American tour for Spaces, which will take him to major cities across the US and Canada. Plenty of opportunities for you guys to see a wizard who can play a piano and a synth at the same time, not to mention the guy has a killer stand-up routine. That German sense of humor, man, it just slays crowds.

In advance of his North American jaunt, Frahm visited the Resident Advisor studio to perform two new pieces for their excellent Sessions video series. The first, “All Melody,” is a lovesick, swelling synth-and-Rhodes composition with a lilting kick drum that holds it all together. “#2” is more of an arpeggiated journey in tape delay and Juno sonics that recalls early OPN, but still has Frahm’s idiosyncrasies and flair for drawn-out builds. Definitely worth a watch, and make sure to wait until the ending credits for Frahm’s famous knock-knock jokes.

Nils Frahm North American tour dates:

11.06.14 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox *
11.07.14 - Vancouver, BC - The Imperial *
11.09.14 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios *
11.11.14 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall *
11.13.14 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre *
11.15.14 - Saint Paul, MN - Amsterdam Hall *
11.16.14 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall *
11.17.14 - Cincinnati, OH - Contemporary Art Centre *
11.18.14 - Columbus, OH - Wexner Center for the Arts *
11.19.14 - Toronto, ON - Adelaide Hall *
11.21.14 - New York, NY - St. Paul & St. Andrew Church *
11.22.14 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis *
11.23.14 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall *

* Dawn of Midi

• Nils Frahm:
• Erased Tapes:

[Photo: Alexander Schneider]

Apple to maybe shut down Beats Music… or maybe not… but probably? It’s really up to Bono.

Okay. Bad news first: if you’re a NERD, you’ve probably already heard and reacted nerdily to the (relatively-speaking) TERRIBLE news that Apple (the computer company, not the Beatles thing) plans on shutting down the streaming-music, all-you-can-stand-for-$10-a-month-style subscription service founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, Beats Music, which it gobbled-up like just one in a stream of unending Pac-Man pellets back in May.

The good news, however, is that, if you’re an EVEN BIGGER NERD than I thought, you probably also subsequently read on Techcrunch that Apple has responded to these rumors by issuing a sleek, clean-lined, pure-white statement that the report of Beats being shut down “is not true.”

“Whew, close one,” right? Case closed.

Oh wait, there’s more stuff: Sources familiar with the situation apparently told this other website you probably read all the time called Re/code that Apple “may, however, modify [Beats Music] over time, and one of those changes could involved changing the Beats Music brand.”

So, wait: Apple isn’t “shutting down” this cool little music service that they bought and don’t want to compete with as they move forward with whatever iTunes plans they have… so much as just, you know: taking it over, shuttering it for a bit, completely overhauling and retooling the brand, and re-rolling it out as something new and Apple-y? Huh. I’m no super-smart NERD like you are or anything, but if that doesn’t constitute “shutting down” Beats Music, then foisting a shitty new U2 album on me and expecting me not to just be annoyed doesn’t constitute “douche-baggery” either.

Case closed for-real.

• Apple:
• Beats Music:

Medicine share second single from their upcoming album Home Everywhere

A few weeks ago, shoegaze underdogs Medicine announced a new album, Home Everywhere, their second release since the band’s reunion last year. In August 2013, the L.A. quartet ended over 18 years of silence with the great To the Happy Few; barely a year later, they strike again, putting Kevin Shields’ geologically slow work rate to shame. Still featuring the (reunited) original line-up, Medicine have now shared the forthcoming LP’s second single, “Move Along - Down the Road,” which picks up where To the Happy Few’s “Long as the Sun” left off, but with even clearer industrial underpinnings — Brad Laner, the group’s leader, has proclaimed Throbbing Gristle and Cocteau Twins as main influences with a good reason.

Not long ago, the band shared Home Everywhere’s first single, “Turning”. While their second cut seems to pursue Medicine’s noisier side, with abrasive guitars, a blunt rhythmic base, and heavily processed vocals, “Turning” stands as a swirly sibling to the warped bubblegum pop of “It’s Not Enough”, their 2013 album’s lead single. With a quasi-DFA beat, the track actually recalls the rock dalliances of late-90s electronic artists like The Chemical Brothers or Death in Vegas.

Medicine’s career reactivation could not come at a better time, with their music undergoing a long-due reappraisal. Saddled early on with reductionist MBV comparisons, which overlooked the psychedelic and noise pop tangents of Medicine’s work, they are now being rehabilitated thanks to a series of reissues and the love of younger fans like M83’s Anthony Gonzalez. The same applies to the band’s leader, Brad Laner, who is finally being recognized as a visionary noise sculptor, alt-guitar journeyman, and psychedelic pop purveyor, three facets which sublimely merge in Medicine’s tracks.

Home Everywhere is out on October 28, via Captured Tracks.

Home Everywhere tracklisting:

01. The Reclaimed Girl
02. Turning
03. Move Along - Down the Road
04. Don’t Be Slow
05. Cold Life
06. They Will Not Die
07. It’s All About You
08. The People
09. Home Everywhere

• Medicine:
• Captured Tracks:

Andy Stott kisses humanity’s collective forehead, announces Faith in Strangers LP on Modern Love

Good thing Andy Stott is on close and familiar terms with his brain. Otherwise, who’s to say his departure from the minimal intricacies of Unknown Exception would’ve actually happened? Who’s to say those impulsive midnight cravings for Rocky Road would’ve spurned the consistent flow of creative juices that led to the decidedly heavy compilation Passed Me By/We Stayed Together, as well as Luxury Problems a year later? Listen closely; you can almost hear the fat of that delicious ice cream churning its way through Stott’s digestive system. Thank God he listened. Thank God the history between he and his frontal lobes has led to an unbreakable trust!

So now Stott’s espousing the virtues of trustworthiness between you and your fellow rider of public transportation. Have faith that the fellow salivating over your new vinyl purchase won’t resort to thievery; Faith in Strangers comes out November 17 on Modern Love. The album was recorded between January 2013 and June 2014, was finalized a month later, and I’m left assuming a mild evolutionary take on what’s earned the man a following: an amplified and altered heartbeat, with vocal contributions from Alison Skidmore appearing once again (she was on Luxury Problems). The theory is that it’s his “most memorable” LP.

A track:

Faith in Strangers tracklisting:

01. Time Away
02. Violence
03. On Oath
04. Science & Industry
05. No Surrender
06. How It Was
07. Damage
o8. Faith in Strangers
09. Missing


09.23.14 - Austin, TX - The North Door
09.24.14 - Gambier, OH - Kenyon College
09.25.14 - Seattle, WA - Decibel Festival
09.26.14 - San Francisco, CA - 1015 Folsom
09.27.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Forever Cemetery

• Andy Stott:
• Modern Love:

[Photo: Samantha Marble]

Lee Bannon announces new EP for Babygrande, full of RMFs and MFSs

Jungle enthusiast and hip-hop producer Lee Bannon released the solid Alternate/Endings record earlier this year for Ninja Tune, which was a breakthrough for an artist in the midst of redefining his sound. Bannon didn’t waste any time, starting work on his latest EP, Main/Flex, which will be released via Babygrande later this year. Mastered by L.A.’s Low End Theory and Alpha Pup founder Daddy Kev (whose handiwork can be found all over seminal albums from Flying Lotus, Teebs, Daedalus, and countless other artists), the new EP “combines traditional drum & bass elements with ambient passages and hypnotizing melodies.”

Featuring contributions from Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, Teklife’s DJ Earl, and Hak from Ratking, Main/Flex may have too much street cred for the EP format, but Bannon is serious about this drum & bass sound. So far, he’s elected to share the Hak-guesting track, “MFS-1,” which has a warehouse jungle crunch and plenty of disembodied samples, along with Hak’s filter-warped vocals. It’s a continuation of Bannon’s recent work, but a little more bizarre and city-bred. Before Main/Flex drops on November 4, a stream of “MFS-1” and the full tracklist can be found below. It’s a whole lot of RMFs and MFSs, if you know what I mean.

Main/Flex tracklist:

01. RMF - 1
02. RMF - 2
03. RMF - 3 (feat. Charlie Benante of Anthrax)
04. RMF - 4
05. RMF - 5
06. MFS - 1 (feat. Hak of Ratking)
07. MFS - 2 (feat. DJ Earl)
08. MFS - 3
09. MFS - 4

• Lee Bannon:
• Babygrande:

Dream Police (featuring founding members of The Men) share “Hypnotized” off upcoming full-length, announce US tour

Dream Police are looking through your folders. Dream Police are talking to your niece. Dream police have got their final orders. Dreamer, drop your axe, it’s Dream Police.

Dream Police are a new band featuring founding members of The Men — Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi — in collaboration with Kyle Keays-Hagerman. Dream Police have announced a debut full-length album. Dream Police will release it November 11. Hypnotized, out on Sacred Bones, it’s Dream Police.

Dream Police have shared a track on SoundCloud. Dream Police are streaming “Hypnotized.” Dream Police use drum machines, psyched-out guitars. Streamer, click that button, it’s Dream Police.

Dream Police grew from a creative overflow after the conclusion after a long tour with The Men. Dream Police are “borne from The Men but free of it.” Dream Police completed Hypnotized soon after The Men’s Tomorrow’s Hits sessions. Understand, they’re “not a side project,” it’s Dream Police.

Dream Police are gearing up to tour. Dream Police will travel cross the land. Dream Police are tired of your Cheap Trick jokes. Reader, peep those dates, it’s Dream Police. And, reader, pre-order the album, it’s Dream Police.

Hypnotized tracklist:

01. Hypnotized
02. My Mama’s Dead
03. Iris
04. Pouring Rain
05. All We Are
06. John
07. Let It Be
08. Sandy


09.25.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Saint Vitus Bar @
10.24.14 - Ridgewood, NY - Trans Pecos #
11.08.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Saint Vitus Bar
11.11.14 - Philadelphia, PA – Black Box in Underground !
11.12.14 - Washington, DC – Black Cat !
11.13.14 - Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups !
11.14.14 - St. Louis, MO – The Demo !
11.15.14 - Iowa, City, IA – The Mill !
11.16.14 - Indianapolis, IN – White Rabbit !
11.17.14 - Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle !
11.19.14 - Toronto, ON – Smiling Buddha !
11.20.14 - Montreal, QB – Casa del Popolo !
11.21.14 - Boston, MA – Church of Boston !
12.03.14 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
12.05.14 - Los Angeles, CA – Jewels Catch One
12.06.14 - San Francisco, CA – Brick & Mortar Music Hall
12.07.14 - Oakland, CA – Leo’s
12.08.14 - Sacramento, CA – Witch Room
12.10.14 - Portland, OR - Holocene
12.11.14 - Vancouver, BC – The Fox Cabaret
12.12.14 - Seattle, WA – Blue Moon

@ Earth, Cult of Youth
# Moon Duo, Amen Dunes, Marissa Nadler
! Honey

• Dream Police:
• Sacred Bones:

The Head and The Heart add December dates; the blood is everywhere

It’s America’s favorite variety show, The Head and The Heart Show!

The curtain rises. A disembodied head is rolled onto the stage. A teamster walks to the stage’s middle and places a wet, still-beating heart an arm’s distance from the head. The teamster exits.

THE HEAD: [Separated from its host body and perhaps more importantly, life-giving oxygen, the head stares out into the crowd, forever frozen in its final expression.]

THE HEART: [Perversely, the heart continues to beat on, pumping blood onto the stage. Somehow, it continues on, a loyal production automaton without a vessel for its output. Blood continues spraying onto the wooden stage, a select amount splashing the unfeeling face of The Head. It really is a lot of blood.]

The curtain drops. The crowd applauds wildly.

The Head and The Heart are going on tour. In addition to previously announced dates, they have added a number of shows in December. The group put out Let’s Be Still last year through Sub Pop.

The Head and The Heart dates:

09.22.14 - Des Moines, IA - Hoyt Sherman Place
09.24.14 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theater
09.25.14 - Louisville, KY - Iroquois Amphitheater
09.26.14 - Charlottesville, VA - Telos Wireless Pavilion
09.27.14 - Raleigh, NC - North Carolina Museum of Art
09.28.14 - Atlanta, GA - Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center
09.30.14 - Tallahassee, FL - The Moon
10.01.14 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre
10.03.14 - Austin, TX - ACL After Show at Emo’s
10.04.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits
10.05.14 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom
10.06.14 - Memphis, TN - Minglewood Hall
10.08.14 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City
10.09.14 - Mobile, AL - Soul Kitchen
10.10.14 - Jackson, MS - Hal & Mals
10.11.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits
10.24.14 - Las Vegas, NV - Life is Beautiful Festival
10.25.14 - Park City, UT - Park City Live
10.26.14 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
12.02.14 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
12.03.14 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
12.05.14 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
12.06.14 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
12.07.14 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theatre
12.08.14 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s
12.09.14 - Washington, DC - DAR Constitutional Hall
12.11.14 - Columbus, OH - The LC Pavilion
12.12.14 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre
12.13.14 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
12.14.14 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium

• The Head and The Heart:
• Sub Pop:

The Dismemberment Plan to reissue Change, an album about changing

Hey! Fair-to-middling news, 30-something caucasian-ish males! The Dismemberment Plan — band of your heady young-manhood whom you may offhand recall reuniting last year for a bunch of shows and a new album that was, y’know, a thing — have just announced (in those strained, high-toned voices of theirs) plans to reissue their then-swansong from 2001, Change! Sweet, right?? Mother fuckin’ Change! You know: the album that ISN’T this one! The album that you didn’t know you liked as much as you did until everyone around you in college kinda told you you ought to! The album that perhaps you never bothered to buy the first time around! THAT ALBUM.

It’s all happening on November 4, courtesy of Partisan Records, my friends; after which the band will also play exactly three shows in celebration around the East Coast. And it’s being packaged-up something fierce, because Travis Morrison and his pals KNOW you’re a 30-something now and can afford a 180-gram vinyl LP edition of this almost-seminal album, complete with “12-page booklet with art, photography, and lyrics to all 11 songs-including the lyrics to ‘Ellen And Ben,’ which was omitted from the original CD version.” I mean, you can afford it… can’t you??? Pretty emasculating if not, that’s all.

Change tracklisting:

01. Sentimental Man
02. The Face of the Earth
03. Superpowers
04. Pay for the Piano
05. Come Home
06. Secret Curse
07. Automatic
08. Following Through
09. Time Bomb
10. The Other Side
11. Ellen and Ben

D-plan tour plans:

11.07.14 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
11.08.14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11.28.14 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club

• The Dismemberment Plan:
• Partisan:

Placebo announce first American tour since 2007, burning with the passion of a thousand LiveJournals

As a young man in the early-to-mid aughts, I had, as many young men and women did, a LiveJournal. Primarily, I used this as an outlet to express my opinions on video games, Bad Religion records, and calculus. That and quizzes. Oh, the quizzes! In the year of 2003, I took a quiz to determine which alt-rocker I most closely identified with. Deep in my heart, I hoped for Rivers Cuomo. Instead, I got Brian Molko. Who I had never heard of prior to that moment. A friend quickly informed me that he was from the band Placebo and assured that Placebo was a “pretty good band.” Now me and Brian Molko’s lives are forever intertwined, bringing us to this moment where I inform you that Placebo are going on a North American tour next month.

Placebo have not embarked on a North American tour since 2007, four years after I took that fateful quiz. Perhaps this is because they’ve always been more popular in their native UK. Perhaps this is due to the resignation they felt knowing they may never cross paths with Eric Nagurney, who front man Brian Molko was once told he was similar to in a “Which Mississippi-based teenager are you?” quiz. We may never know. Placebo last released Loud Like Love in 2013, a full decade after that quiz.

Placebo dates:

10.08.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
10.09.14 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore
10.11.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Escape Music Festival
10.12.14 - Boston, MA - Paradise
10.13.14 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
10.15.14 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
10.16.14 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues
10.17.14 - Minneapolis, MN - Mill City Nights
10.20.14 - Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
10.23.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Masonic
10.24.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia

• Placebo:

[Photo: Heiko Laschitzki]