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
Kanye West extends “Yeezus” tour, though fair warning, Yeezus is still kinda hung over from “Chrystmaz”
Damn, no time off to rest and recuperate after his recent birthday bash, apparently! This Yeezus character seems like kind of a workaholic, doesn’t he? (Sorry. I shouldn’t blaspheme like that, actually. I don’t wanna get smite-ed or whatever.)
Anyway, after a snafu or two (that he totally coulda controlled but chose not to, I’m sure) delayed the proceedings waaaay back in the halcyon fall of 2013, the divinity's tour of North America rolled on. And now, despite reports of hecklers and half-empty arenas and whatnot up to this point, the thing is rolling on SOME MORE. So, if you’ve got a problem with that, get out of his holy-ass-motherfuckin’ way!
According to FACT, Yeezus will be processing his ass through the East Coast and Canada this February to make up for some of the dates that he canceled last year, and guess what? He expects your blasphemous ass to be in attendance. “Or else what?” you say? Or else he might not boogie down that chimney of yours this year with a boatload of obnoxious and divisive gifts for you and your dumb-ass family, that’s what! Did I mention that Yeezus is better than you in every way? Now shut up and look at the following numbers and letters. You bitch.
02.13.14 - University Park, PA - Bryce Jordan Center
02.14.14 - Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Arena
02.15.14 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
02.17.14 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
02.18.14 - Hamilton, ON - Copps Coliseum
02.19.14 - Albany, NY - Times Union Center
02.21.14 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
02.22.14 - Atlantic City, NJ - Boardwalk Hall
02.23.14 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum
Buzz bands are a dime a dozen these days. Sometimes, as a music listener, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. When the blogs get a-titter about a new group, how does one know if said group is in it for the long haul? What separates the Arcade Fires of the world from the [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE WHIPPING BOY BUZZ BAND FROM PAST YEARS BUT REMEMBER THAT ONE PERSON’S CULTURAL FOOTNOTE WAS ANOTHER’S MULTIPLE-YEAR CREATIVE COMMITMENT]? Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe music is simply an infinite number of niches, capable of fulfilling each individual’s hyper-specific needs. What everyone in music can agree on, though, is that this new Pixies band is really something else. Where were you when they released EP1? I don’t know where I was, but I know what I was doing: getting my life changed.
Not all the buzz has been positive, however. The frightening buzz of worry hangs over Pixies, what with the departure of short-lived original bassist Kim Deal and the firing of second bassist Kim Shattuck. But remember, friends, Black Flag had 28 singers before the iconic Hank Rollins era. So, it does my fragile heart good to know that the Pixies are powering on with a new release: EP2, surely a reference to their iconic EP1. This new four-song release is out now and, befitting a band that believes in the power of the consumer, available here in formats ranging from a $4 audio download to a $60 vinyl/MP3/hoodie combo.
“Cool Pixies hoodie.”
—everybody who sees you in your new Pixies hoodie
Proving that Pixies are also masters of the art of having a music video, one exists for EP2 opener “Blue Eyed Hexe.” In an interview I had with Pixies singer Frank Black (real name: Black Francis) over twin cups of English Breakfast tea, he told me that he thinks “people will love this song the way they love ‘Where Is My Mind’.” To which I asked, what is “Where Is My Mind”? Frank’s response: “Oh right, I forgot I destroyed the fabric of the past with my chronosword.” Then he disappeared in a flash of brilliant light.
01. Blue Eyed Hexe
03. Greens and Blues
• Pixies: http://www.pixiesmusic.com
In a shocking turn of events, the new prog band Captured Tracks has signed issssssn’t actually a prog band. Or even a minimal glitchtronica band. The band’s name, Axxa/Abraxas, just sounds like one! But it’s not. It’s some real lovely jangle pop, the sort of thing right at home on the Captured Tracks roster. No wizards and sexy space maidens to be found there. That’ll show you (me) about how assuming things makes an ass out of u and i.
In reality, Axxa/Abraxas is the nom de musique/art of 23-year-old Atlanta native Ben Asbury. The tracks that make up the band’s output were written whilst Asbury was in college studying psychology/religion/sociology, during which time he also founded the RTA Collective to release his cassettes along with his own visual art. Asbury sent in a demo to Captured Tracks the old-fashioned way, and the label brought in Jarvis Taveniere (Woods, Rear House Recording) to record and produce. The self-titled album is due March 4; listen to album track “I Almost Fell” below:
01. Ryan Michalak (Is Coming to Town)
02. Going Forth
03. I Almost Fell
04. Beyond the Wind
05. Same Signs
06. So Far Away
07. Ride Into the Night
08. Painted Blue
09. On the Run
10. All That’s Passed
• Axxa/Abraxas: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AxxaAbraxas/147167078735967
• Captured Tracks: http://capturedtracks.com
Kevin Drumm dramatically re-invents “the cassette” as you know it by releasing a new cassette on Editions Mego!
Hey, happy 2014, dear TMT readers! If you’re anything like me, you’re probably barricaded inside your shitty apartment right now, using your oven to stay warm, listening to the music from Twin Peaks on repeat, and trying not to think about how you don’t have any coffee or cigarettes on-hand while the full polar fury of the Norse gods of old rages outside, prohibiting you from leaving the goddamn premises. Sound about right? Yeah… what we need right now is a HOT slice of cherry pie-style news before we all start hallucinating…
But oh shit, what’s THIS? I think it’s… it’s… Kevin Drumm! It’s all a little hazy, but I think he’s walking into the room in reverse and backwards-talk-announcing the release of a new cassette on Editions Mego! His words are a little hard to make out, but here’s the gist: appropriately titled Shut In, the thing is coming our way on February 18 and is described on the Editions Mego site as, simply, a “beautiful piece of Easy Listening for Cabin Fever courtesy of Kevin Drumm.” The cassette edition is limited to 250 (you can pre-order it now), but it comes with some sweet “archival artwork from the artist himself.” And don’t worry; there’s also a digital version if you can’t get your hands on the physical thing. Also, more good news! He says they’re going to start making that gum you like again.
Somethin’ tells me we’re gonna be alllll-right, readers!
From the Los Angeles Times:
Phil Everly, who with his brother, Don, made up the most revered vocal duo of the rock-music era, their exquisite harmonies profoundly influencing the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and countless younger-generation rock, folk and country singers, died Friday in Burbank of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife, Patti Everly, told The Times. He was 74.
“We are absolutely heartbroken,” she said, noting that the disease was the result of a lifetime of cigarette smoking. “He fought long and hard.”
During the height of their popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s, they charted nearly three dozen hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, among them “Cathy’s Clown,” “Wake Up Little Suzie,” “Bye Bye Love,” “When Will I Be Loved” and “All I Have to Do is Dream.” The Everly Brothers were among the first 10 performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when it got off the ground in 1986.
“They had that sibling sound,” said Linda Ronstadt, who scored one of the biggest hits of her career in 1975 with her recording of “When Will I Be Loved,” which Phil Everly wrote. “The information of your DNA is carried in your voice, and you can get a sound [with family] that you never get with someone who’s not blood related to you. And they were both such good singers–they were one of the foundations, one of the cornerstones of the new rock ‘n’ roll sound.”
• The Everly Brothers: http://everlybrothers.net
Crouching Tiger Hidden Mykki (Blanco) continues Illuminati Prince/ss reign on new track, announces upcoming mixtape and debut full-length
What’s that rustle behind you? It’s probably nothing, right? Just the wind. WRONG. So wrong. So wrong that you’re deader than dead now. Laid low at the hands of CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN MYKKI. You probably thought to yourself, “Surely I’m safe from any run-ins during this winter holiday. I’ll just relax a little, have a drink, take some time off work…” and BAM. Now you spend your time not exactly thinking, more like floating endlessly in the cosmic void of time. What’s it like getting slain by The Illuminati Prince/ss? Wait, don’t tell me. I want it to be a surprise.
Dummy’s got the cold hard details on just how Queen Mykki took you out if you want or need a refresher. She came out booming one new track, “Booty Bamboo,” featuring some production help from Amnesia Scanner (a first time slammer with the Blanco crew). For a second you were all like, “Cool, yeah, I think I can handle this,” when CTHM kicked it up another notch and your head basically popped right off. There’s a new mixtape and debut album both scheduled for 2014. The mixtape’s a sequel, Cosmic Angel II: Let Big Sister Teach You, and the full length’s called Michael. That’s right, 2014 just got upgraded from “mostly acceptable” to “potential candidate for best year ever.”
And, in case you were unsure whether or not Blanco gave any sum of fucks about anything other than crouching, hiding, and blasting unsuspecting folks right up the sides of their heads, you should scope the note that originally accompanied “Booty Bamboo” on SoundCloud (it’s since been deleted):
Will hip hop ever accept me? Who gives a fuck. Will the gay community turn their back on me if I stop dressing in drag? Who gives a fuck. Will I get signed? Who gives a fuck. I did a world tour off the strength of soundcloud singles, a lo-fi mixtape and my first EP. I was out there, I saw the power of music and saw the power of love and now I just want to develop my music and have fun. People who fuck with Mykki Blanco fuck with Mykki Blanco no image or politics needed.
• Mykki Blanco: http://www.mykkiblancoworld.com
sunn O))) to release new 12-inch LA REH 012, in case the engines of holiday travel just weren’t the same
And so the winged creature, a biological cousin of the malevolent species inhabiting Oz, flew with intent and an air of rightful ownership as it carried a dejected-looking, massive stone head to a place of relative security. But was that the whole story? Why, no! Revealed through the cover art of the seeming sequel to Rehearsal Demo Nov 11 2011, the head was stolen through elaborate deception, as its former possessor was casually directed by its imminent thief, “Whoa, Bob! Looks like someone lost a penny!” / “What? Where? I really don’t see… ohhhhhh, that son of a bitch.” What soundtrack could possibly serve as the rightful accompaniment to such premeditated deceit?
LA REH 012 from the reliably ominous sunn O))) sees the (blinding!) light of day January 20 in a limited edition of 1500 copies — just over 100 of which are still available for preorder at the time of writing — on 180g rainbow-colored… I mean, black vinyl. Supplementing the similarities of visual artistry, both LA REH 012 and Rehearsal Demo Nov 11 2011 were recorded in Los Angeles and mixed in Paris, while the former’s audible creation succeeds the other by about a year. Rehearsals both, if we take a stab at the unabbreviated “REH,” so if drone regardless of how honed is your thing, head on over here. Or possibly here at some point. Or to the associated Bandcamp page for a digital version when the time comes.
Separate but related, the collaboration between sunn O))) and Ulver, Terrestrials, will come out February 4. Here’s a track excerpt that’s been released in the interim since we last reported on the subject: