Method Man cashes in on popularity of meth with new album due August 21

The TMT Tip Line just got word that Method Man, founding member of The Wu-Tang Clan and “good dad” of rap, has a new album titled The Meth Lab coming out August 21 on Tommy Boy. With this being his first release since 2006’s 4:21…The Day After, I took it to the streets to get the scoop (and I don’t mean ice cream, hahaha… tehehe)

In Sanndyc, New Jersey, I met Kenny Lavitz, a pre-school teacher and super-fan of the 2004 film, Garden State. After getting him to stop talking about that fucking movie, he told me he didn’t know much about Method Man, except for his memorable portrayal as Diego in Garden State. When I asked what he thought Method Man had been up to all these years, Kenny said, “Probably waiting to film Garden State 2.”

I told Kenny that the new album is called The Meth Lab, and it’s sort of a precursor to the long-awaited Crystal Meth, featuring guest spots from Raekwon, Redman, Inspectah Deck, and more. All Kenny must’ve heard was “meth,” because before I knew it, we were in his cousin’s garage smoking glass. Being the good music reporter that I am, I kept things topical by showing Kenny and his cousin Method Man’s Breaking Bad-inspired promo video for the new album on my Microsoft Surface. Once again, I got the scoop (not ice cream, hahaha… tehehe) for TMT, and getting addicted to meth is just another perk of the job!

• Wu-Tang Clan: http://wutangclan.com
• Tommy Boy: http://www.tommyboy.com

Ornette Coleman commences lawsuit against Antibalas member over release of New Vocabulary

Free-jazz pioneer and all-around awesome saxophonist Ornette Coleman has filed a lawsuit against Jordan McLean of Antibalas and drummer Amir Ziv for allegedly releasing the tapes of what is described, in a Rolling Stone article, as a session in which Coleman intended to “share his knowledge” with the musicians.

The lawsuit claims that McLean and Ziv pulled a move akin to car manufacturer Opel in their attempts to collaborate with Tom Waits; Coleman was approached about the idea of commercially releasing the tapes of their session, and when consent was refused, they proceeded regardless, albeit with some additional parts and players included under the title New Vocabulary. It’s not quite on the blatant level of the Opel/Waits lawsuit, where they sought a sound-a-like after consent was refused, but the lawsuit does get complicated, because it hinges on whether the commercial release of a jam session requires consent of all the players and whether the aforementioned additional parts added to New Vocabulary would render it a new artistic work.

The defendants issued a statement in response, which denies any wrongdoing and states that “the album is the end result of multiple deliberate and dedicated recording sessions done with the willing participation and consent of Mr. Coleman and the other performers. Any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded.”

There can be only one winner in all of this, and that will be the lawyers.

In the meantime, you should revisit a recording that Coleman most definitely does approve of, The Shape of Jazz to Come which was placed in The Recording Academy Hall of Fame earlier this year.

• Ornette Coleman: http://www.ornettecoleman.com

OG Maco teams with Rocksmith to release OGG Everlasting, a mixtape of OGG artists (NOT “Ogg” audio files, thank god)

God’s honest truth: nothing properly augments our understanding of this abstract concept called “music” like COOL CLOTHES do. Right? I mean, granted, I THOUGHT I was certainly all about OG Maco before… but you know what? I wasn’t. I was lying to myself. I was only halfway all-about him, I think. Because I just didn’t know which jean shorts I was supposed to be wearing while listening. Until just now, anyway.

See, I just got word that Maco has teamed up with “renown NYC clothing brand” Rocksmith for the release of a brand new mixtape called OGG Everlasting, which features “frequent collaborators and producers under the OGG umbrella.” What’s an OGG umbrella? you ask? I don’t know, but I bet you Rocksmith will sell me one! THEN I’ll be able to listen and appreciate OG Maco not ONLY when it’s sunny out… but also IN THE FRIGGIN’ RAIN. Ahh, I sense an entire new dimension opening up in my life, readers. Are you with me?

Check out the lead track “Movies” from the mixtape down below, and then check out the whole thing down below that. And after you’re done doing that, do a little shopping with spokesmodel OG Maco and watch your appreciation of his music deepen! And then… just watch how his music and those clothes are suddenly worth a whole lot more of your attention and money! It’s a magical thing, readers. Glad my musical hero OG and I could help turn you onto it.

• OG Maco: https://soundcloud.com/og-maco
• Rocksmith: http://www.rocksmithnyc.com
• Motown: http://www.motownrecords.com

Yo La Tengo’s sort-of-new album Stuff Like That There reinforces their reputation as “still great at coming up with titles for things”

I know what you’re thinking. “Yo La Tengo?!? Aren’t they like a hundred years old??? How can they keep putting out new records like this all the time?”

First of all: you’re totally right. They are at least a hundred years old. Second of all, that’s why their newest album, the follow-up to 2013’s Fade, isn’t ACTUALLY a new album at all! Rather, it’s a crazy grab bag of re-interpreted and re-recorded versions of a handful of their own classic songs, as well as a selection of beloved covers from the likes of Hank Williams, The Parliaments, The Cure, Sun Ra, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and more. The album is called Stuff Like That There, and it’s out August 28 via Matador. If you pre-order it from them, you’ll apparently get yourself a neat little tote bag, as well as a “cassingle” featuring unreleased songs and… uh, “MYSTERY STUFF.”

Since they’re a bunch of senile and kooky senior citizens now, the band probably doesn’t even remember that they kinda already did this “covers album” thing before with 1990’s Fakebook, which also featured covers and mulligans and such. But hey, we can’t fault them for forgetting something that happened like 60 years ago (or however long-ago 1990 was), can we? Just humor the poor bastards and check out the new version of “Deeper Into Movies” from I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One down below, as well as a list of upcoming tour dates and the album’s official bio, penned by none other than Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner.

Stuff Like That There tracklisting:

01. My Heart’s Not in It (Darlene McCrea)
02. Rickety
03. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)
04. All Your Secrets (remake of track from Popular Songs)
05. The Ballad of Red Buckets (remake of track from Electr-o-pura)
06. Friday I’m in Love (The Cure)
07. Before We Stopped to Think (Great Plains)
08. Butchie’s Tune (The Lovin’ Spoonful)
09. Automatic Doom (Special Pillow)
10. Awhileaway
11. I Can Feel the Ice Melting (The Parliaments)
12. Naples (Antietam)
13. Deeper Into Movies (remake of track from I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One)
14. Somebody’s in Love (The Cosmic Rays with Le Sun Ra and Arkestra)

Yo La Tengo tour dates:

06.26.15 - Calgary, Alberta - Sled Island Music & Arts Festival
09.05.15 - San Sebastian, Spain - Kutxa Kultur Festibla
09.23.15 - Troy, NY - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
09.24.15 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theatre
09.25.15 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
09.26.15 - Durham, NC - The Carolina Theatre of Durham
09.27.15 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
09.29.15 - Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre
09.30.15 - Toronto, Ontario - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
10.02.15 - Montreal, Quebec - Corona Theatre
10.03.15 - Boston, MA - The Wilbur Theatre
10.15.15 - Dublin, Ireland - National Concert Hall
10.16.15 - Glasgow, Scotland - The Garage
10.18.15 - Bristol, England - Colston Hall
10.19.15 - Coventry, England - Warwick Arts Center
10.20.15 - London, England - O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
10.23.15 - Paris, France - La Cigale
10.24.15 - Holland, Amserdam - Paradiso
10.25.15 - Leuven, Belgium - Het Depot
10.27.15 - Berlin, Germany - Heimathafen
10.28.15 - Koln, Germany - Kulturkirche
11.05.15 - Chicago, IL - The Vic Theatre
11.06.15 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theatre
11.07.15 - Minneapolis, MN - Pantages Theatre
11.09.15 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
11.13.15 - Los Angeles, CA - The Theatre at Ace Hotel
11.14.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Masonic
11.17.15 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
11.18.15 - Portland, OR - Revolution Hall
11.20.15 - Seattle - Neptune Theatre
11.21.15 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Vogue Theatre

Bio by Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner:

“There is power in knowledge learned and perceived jointly then presented as an original sin” (1)
It seems like almost every other spring one of the robins in our front yard builds a nest on our front porch. It’s always in the same spot above a column in a corner. This is one of those years. A nest appeared as it always has and in time three baby robins poked their heads above the lip of the nest with their beaks pointed to the sky, open wide and requiring. I took to calling those chicks Georgia, Ira, and James. They are in my eyes.
Like the nest, the arrival of a new Yo La Tengo record is a wonder of nature indeed. Constructing in their own fashion a nest for the making of recordings in a comfortable, familiar setting. Assembled from a variety of materials both natural and synthetic, their nest is a strong one. Yet unlike the bird’s nest held together by poop, theirs is a nest that rarely needs such an adhesive to some relief. With occasion, the splendid nature of both endeavors requires the new and its relations.

Between us I honestly wondered if either would in fact return at all following Fade and a tough winter. But I’m a dumbass. The robins showed up again this year and the trio has returned to a concept from which in nineteen ninety they made another F-word-titled record: Fakebook. It was the first record by them I ever heard.
That was nineteen ninety three or four.
It’s now twenty fifteen and I’ll be damned.
Stuff Like That There.

Time has an unfunny way of moving pretty fast as we move with it. As artists we benefit from the accumulation of experience. A professor once told me “most artists only have maybe two or three ideas through the course of their lives. Try as they might they are doomed to repeat and refine those ideas. Sometimes they turn out to be good ideas.” That guy was full of beans but the notion of it gives me pause from time to time. What if he’s right?

Stuff Like That There may well be a 25th anniversary sequel to the idea of Fakebook but to my ears it makes a case for simply returning to what moved Yo La Tengo to make things in the first place: embracing the people who they still hold close and making a spirited noise about it.

Does it not sound like fun to work with old friends like guitarist Dave Schramm and engineer Gene Holder? It also seems like a good way to try something “McNew,” like James McNew on upright bass, an elemental contribution whose significance cannot be overstated. With Fakebook as template, Stuff Like That There is a record with ties to the past which contribute to the sound they make furthered by an affinity for the sounds they love. Somehow they compose the already composed by return. It’s clear-eyed. It’s clever and concealed.
Rare is the band that can cover themselves. Rarer is the band that would even think of it and rarer still is a band that would return to the conception and re-imagine its first breakthrough record. Someone may have read recently that old quote about how “in not knowing history one is doomed to repeat it.” There’s not another band that I know that is less doomed than Yo La Tengo.

I thought it would be a good idea to listen to this record while writing the bio for it. It’s not. It is distracting. I drift away from the virtual page and fall deep into the virtual sound. Suddenly all sounds are amplified all around me, my dogs are barking and I’m in love all over again. “All Your Secrets” is playing and I hallucinate that the intro is from one of my old songs. I searched “Automatic Doom” to see what “cover” it was and it appears to be a song by either @mistersparrow or Special Pillow. My money is on the pillow though both are in the same key.

“Awhileaway” has got to be an original, I wrote one recently with the same title. Lucky for me I abandoned it. “I Can Feel The Ice Melting” turns out to be a Parliaments song. And “Naples” seems pretty dang original to me and it was originally by Antietam. “Somebody’s in Love” is a Sun Ra song. Darlene McCrea’s “My Heart’s Not In It” kicks things off and The Lovin’ Spoonful gets a nod with “Butchie’s Tune” (I still wonder who Butchie was). For me, my favorite track on the record is “Before We Stop To Think,” a cover of the great Great Plains. In a way it is the one that sums up their approach at its best. One thing I’ve noticed is that once you learn who these songs are by originally it some how makes you seem much smarter when you can reveal its origin to another listener. Imagine yourself saying, “yes, it’s a great song and it’s by Great Plains!” It makes you the wiser. Yo La Tengo choose sources that make you enriched if not empowered. There’s a word I swore I’d never use. Power up, people, this is stuff like that there.

Cordially,
(1)Kurt Wagner

• Yo La Tengo: https://www.facebook.com/TheRealYLT
• Matador: http://www.matadorrecords.com

Laurel Halo readies double EP on Honest Jon’s

If photos weren’t a revelation as to Laurel Halo’s actual appearance, you might expect a wardrobe consisting of only red overcoats and matching wide-brimmed hats that double as improvised parachutes. We aren’t necessarily wondering “where in the world” the native Michigander is, since that information is made plenty public, but we do have to be concerned with regular attempts at spy misdirection, since Halo’s recent releases have taught us that expectations are mostly meaningless. Everything you know is a lie. Chance Of Rain was more a return to King Felix (the moniker, not the EP) than a continuance of the unorthodox Quarantine. Giraffes don’t actually have long necks. What’s the advantage of label loyalty these days?

So here’s the the deceptive gift, in all its wonderfulness: per FACT, Laurel Halo’s imminent plans are to release an eight-track double EP on Honest Jon’s, her newfound label affiliation following two releases on Hyperdub and more on Hippos In Tanks prior to that. Collaborations aside, she hasn’t released a full-length since 2013’s Chance Of Rain, so we might’ve expected an LP instead. Do two EPs count? Someone abate my confusion!

The double EP is slated for September. Stay tuned for more details sent via encoded message.

• Laurel Halo: http://www.laurelhalo.com
• Honest Jon’s: http://honestjons.com

Beirut announce new album No No No; Beirut fans are all like: yes yes yes!

It’s a fact: whenever you say stuff three times, that stuff becomes totally legit and exciting-sounding. Like, for instance: “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!” when you want to hang out with Michael Keaton. Or like: “shit, shit, shit!” when you step on a rusty nail. Or maybe: “location, location, location!” when you’re watching HGTV all day instead of getting your laundry and Marketing portfolio finished like you promised yourself you would. It just works. Period.

And hey! Now, by complete coincidence, the airtight logic I just espoused the shit-out-of up above can also be applied to the newest album by Zach Condon’s ever-adventurous Beirut project. Yes, it’s titled No No No, and it’s due out September 11 on the 4AD label in all of its triplicate goodness! According to the press release, the follow-up to 2011’s The Rip Tide was “recorded over a two-week period during one of the coldest New York winters — with blizzard after blizzard raging outside.” Joined by bassist Paul Collins and drummer Nick Petree, Condon apparently created the album in the wake of a physical/mental collapse and gnarly divorce in 2013. “I had completely broken down and my body was making me pay for it,” Condon said. “For the first time in my life, I was facing extreme self doubt. I had hit rock bottom.”

Hey great! So, you’re interested in hearing what THAT shit sounds like on wax, right? Well, good! Cuz here’s more happy-go-lucky Beirut-themed news: You can, at this very moment, pre-order the vinyl or CD version of No No No from the 4AD store or digitally via both iTunes with instant download of the title track “No No No” or Amazon with nothing whatsoever except for the satisfaction of hanging out on Amazon for a while… which is always kind of a nice feeling, I guess? Either way: in addition, you can listen to the title track and peep the band’s upcoming 2015 tour plans down below. Which is, in the preferred lingo of anthropomorphic teenage turtles everywhere: radical, radical, radical!

No No No tracklisting:

01. Gibraltar
02. No No No
03. At Once
04. August Holland
05. As Needed
06. Perth
07. Pacheco
08. Fener
09. So Allowed

Beirut dates:

06.19.15- Woodstock, NY - Bearsville Theatre
06.26.15- Montreal, Québec - Festival International de Jazz de Montreal
06.28.15- Ottawa, Ontario - Ottawa Jazz Festival
07.16.15- Pemberton, British Columbia - Pemberton Music Festival
08.22.15- Portland, OR - Musicfest NW
09.14.15- Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
09.17.15- Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
09.20.15- Berlin, Germany - Columbiahalle
09.22.15- Paris, France - Zenith
09.24.15- London, England - Brixton Academy
10.01.15- New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
10.04.15- Santa Fe, NM - Santa Fe National Historic Landmark
10.06.15- San Diego, CA - Open Air Theatre
10.07-08.15- Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
10.10.15- Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre
10.13.15- Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
11.03.15- Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
11.06.15- Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre
11.07.15- Boston, MA - House of Blues
11.10.15- Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre
10.13-14.15- Toronto, Ontario - Danforth Music Hall

• Beirut: http://beirutband.com
• 4AD: http://www.4ad.com

Amara Touré gets retrospective treatment from Analog Africa featuring all 10 songs ever released by the musician

In the post-internet age we currently bathe in, music fans are spoiled for both quality and quantity. You can dig the debut EP from a garage band in Utrecht and then flip over your browser to find Lil B has scraped out a hard drive and placed a couple of GBs worth of tracks in a cloud for your listening pleasure(?).

As such, the forthcoming career retrospective album of the once great and now missing Amara Touré is a complete outlier. Initially known for cutting his teeth with Le Star Band de Dakar (between 1958 - 1968), Touré then turned African dance music on its head with what became his signature blend of African folk music with Cuban Salsa.

Now African Analogue has assembled his entire recorded output over 30 years for your listening pleasure — and it’s a 10-song album.

If you’ve been on the fence about the virtues of either Afro-Cuban music or the adage “quality not quantity,” then come June 23, Amara Touré 1973 - 1980 is likely to tip you in favor of both.

Amara Touré 1973 - 1980

01. N’Nijo
02. Temedy
03. Lamento Cubano
04. Cuando Llegare
05. Fatou
06. N’ga Digne M’be
07. Salamouti
08. Afalago
09. Tela
10. Africa

• Analogue Africa: https://analogafrica.bandcamp.com

33 1/3 book series calling for proposals

33 1/3 — the unique, album-per-book criticism series — is once again open for proposals. Anyone with the ability to turn in a 30,000-page book within 6-12 months is invited to submit, though there is a special 22-and-under call for “especially (though not exclusively) those enrolled in creative writing programs at the undergraduate level.” Proposals are due by midnight July 27. Check this link for all the application deets.

For those who aren’t too familiar with 33 1/3, the series — founded by David Barker and now edited by Ally Jane Grossan — invites writers, musicians, and writer/musicians to excavate, extrapolate, and perhaps exonerate a loved album in compact, pithy, collectible form. There are 106 volumes so far, one of which comes from our very own Mr P wrote on Kid A. Bow down.

But hey, I don’t want to influence you too much. Go write the book (proposal) of your dreams, kid!

• 33 1/3: http://333sound.com
• Bloomsbury Publishing: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us

Bitchin Bajas and Natural Information Society plan collaborative LP on Drag City

Hi! Is your baja feeling limpid, lackluster, and insufficiently blasted lately? How about your information? Feeling man-made and stodgy? Of course they are! We’re all living in 2015, and our earth is choked and dying on chemicals. Do not fret, however, for the lovely folks at Drag City will arrive with an antidote come August 28 in the form of the debut collaboration between Bitchin Bajas and Natural Information Society. It’s called Automaginary, and it’s literally magic!

It’s not literally magic — just kidding. It is, however, a collaborative album between the two Chicago-based groups, and that’s pretty cool. This is especially so given the sort of cosmic overlap between them, both of which grew out of solo endeavors back around 2010 (Bitchin Baja’s from Cooper Crain of CAVE, and Natural Information Society from Joshua Abrams). And both, in their own ways, drive at a sort of suspension of musical consciousness, looping, charging, and piling sounds, such as on Abrams’s Represcencing from 2013 and Bitchin Bajas’ self-titled from last year. Automaginary pops up as “a multitude of influences swam amoebically,” pulling in kraut grooves, disco, jazz, and beyond.

Pre-order the album here.

Autoimaginary tracklist:

01. Anemometer
02. Tricks Me My Mind
03. Sign Spinners
04. Automaginary
05. On No Fade

• Bitchin Bajas: http://bitchinbajas.tumblr.com
• Natural Information Society: http://www.dragcity.com/artists/natural-information-society
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

Weezer announce festival dates, fulfilling their continued position as our nation’s Weezer

The democratic process works. In 1994, we voted Weezer in to hold position as this nation’s Weezer. They have held the position ever since. Other bands have run for the position of Weezer, but these campaigns, valiant and sometimes-convincing as they may be, were all foolhardy. We the people have spoken: Weezer is our Weezer.

In accordance with their duties as America’s Weezer, Weezer will be playing a number of festival dates this summer and beyond. As our Weezer, they will play Weezer songs. They will play some of the the good ones. They will play some of the bad ones. They will probably play the one really, really bad one (you know the one). They will play at least one really great one. Through it all, they will be the Weezer we elected.

Last year, Weezer put out Everything Will Be Alright In The End. Critical consensus and public surveys have found that album to be “their best since Pinkerton,” a phrase I will have etched onto my tombstone.

Weezer dates:

06.06.15 - Thackerville, OK - Winstar World Casino
06.07.15 - Houston, TX - Free Press Summer Festival
06.13.15 - Burlington, Canada - Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival
06.26.15 - Grand Junction, CO - Loudwire Music Festival
06.27.15 - El Paso, TX - KLAQ Street Fest
07.08.15 - Chicago, IL - Taste of Chicago
07.10.15 - Minneapolis, MN - Basilica Block Party
07.11.15 - Des Moines, IA - 80/35 Festival
07.19.15 - Portland, OR - Project Pabst
07.22.15 - Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena (APMA’s)
07.23.15 - Cincinnati, OH - The Shoe at Horseshoe Casino
07.31.15 - Portland, ME - The Maine State Pier
08.02.15 - Bridgeport, CT - Gathering of the Vibes
09.25.15 - Las Vegas, NV - Life is Beautiful Festival
09.26-27.15 - Franklin, TN - Pilgrimage Music Festival

• Weezer: http://www.weezer.com