Oren Ambarchi and PAN release Live Knots, featuring the bonus “pops” of audience member heads

Oren Ambarchi releases music about as frequently as I brush my teeth (just look at those pearly whites), so you might be forgiven for quickly moving on following the release of his 2012, underrated-now-that-I-think-about-it LP Audience of One.

An alternative explanation is that you took the name of the LP a little too seriously, and each listen was a guilt-inducing reminder that you probably weren’t the only one listening to that album. No no, don’t try and blame Touch for the possible goading by way of releasing more than one copy; what you should’ve done, on the assumption that you also have the power of precognition, is waited for the release of Live Knots, available on PAN right this instant. Consider the release the approval you need to re-live that 33-minute exercise in gradually chaotic bliss (the original “Knots” is the principal piece on Audience of One).

And so Live Knots is exactly what you’d expect: two versions of “Knots,” performed in two separate venues, with different musicians offering a supportive touch. Fellow Aussie and percussionist Joe Talia joined Ambarchi for the first version, performed at Tokyo’s Superdeluxe in March 2013. The second version comes from the 2013 edition of Unsound, where Oren was joined by both Talia and the inimitable (so I’m told) Sinfonietta Cracovia.

Here’s the original for reference, and here’s an excerpt:

Live Knots tracklisting:

01. Tokyo Knots
02. Krakow Knots I
03. Krakow Knots II

• Oren Ambarchi: http://www.orenambarchi.com
• PAN: http://p-a-n.org

Unknown Mortal Orchestra play our conveniently specific synth quiz, then announce new album

Multiple-Choice Question: what would you do if you found a synth in a garage sale for the ridiculously low price of, say, $1, but the owner sells it to you with the warning that “it doesn’t work, man, it’s just for parts.” Then you take this thing home and tinker with it for a few days, soldering here, reassembling there, then you go plug it in and — lo and behold — it’s working again. Shooting beams of psychedelic lightning all over the place.

Would you:

(a) Fist pump the air and then play “Chopsticks” to your little brother.
(b) Preemptively say, “I probably wouldn’t have been able to get it working because I suck at that stuff, therefore I can’t even fathom this hypothetical situation.”
(c) View it is a subversive treatise and commencing honing new sounds for a new album.

We can confirm that Ruben Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra has responded to our conveniently specific quiz and answered a most definite (c). Going one better, he’s now announced the album to prove it. It’s called Multi-Love, it will be released by Jagjaguwar on May 26, and it will feature synths, not necessarily salvaged from garage sales, but reconditioned by the band nonetheless.

Promising more than just Frankensteined synths, we are told to expect the unexpected to be thrown into Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s already multifaceted guitar pop gems. The lead + title track is below. Additionally, US and UK tour dates have been announced and are on sale; purchase tickets here.

Multi-Love tracklisting:

01. Multi-Love
02. Like Acid Rain
03. Ur Life One Night
04. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
05. Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty
06. The World Is Crowded
07. Stage or Screen
08. Necessary Evil
09. Puzzles

Dates:

05.07.15 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
05.09.15 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
05.10.15 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett
05.20.15 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
05.21.15 - London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall
05.22.15 - Coventry, UK - Warwick University
05.23.15 - Liverpool, UK - Liverpool Sound City
05.25.15 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Bitterzoet
05.26.15 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain Kantine
05.27.15 - Brussels, Belgium - AB Club
05.28.15 - Paris, France - La Flèche d’Or
05.29-31.15 - Nîmes, France - This is Not a Love Song Festival
05.30.15 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
06.02.15 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
06.03.15 - Montreal, QC - Theatre Fairmount
06.04.15 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
06.05.15 - Pontiac, MI - Pike Room
06.06.15 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
06.08.15 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
06.09.15 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
06.10.15 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird
06.11-14.15 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.13.15 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
06.14.15 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
06.15.15 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall
06.16.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
06.17.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
06.19.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw

• Unknown Mortal Orchestra: http://unknownmortalorchestra.com
• Jagjaguwar: http://www.jagjaguwar.com

[Photo: Dusdin Condren]

Lightning Bolt announce tour promoting their Empire; new track makes imperialism seem not so bad

Personally, my notion of “selling out” involves living my entire life in a hippie commune, only to have a winning lottery ticket come floating into my grass hut thanks to an especially powerful gust of wind. Do I burn the ticket for the sake of preserving a green lifestyle and an uncorrupted society? Uh… no! I accept my winnings with the grace of a Satanist and turn over half of it to the CEO of Goldman Sachs in exchange for his wingman services whenever we hit the town.

Lightning Bolt facetiously talk about “selling out” when referring to their transition from in-pit to on-stage, but I think the real measure comes from the music itself (+ whether or not they’re actively doing commercials for Sprite). Given that I can still see crowds risking mild injury by moshing to the track below (premiered via Rolling Stone, who also interviewed the duo), I’d say fans new and old can rest pretty easy. I can tell Lightning Bolt’s presence in a dedicated recording studio, but I still want to flail limbs and violently rearrange my couch cushions.

Look up when attending one of the dates below. Fantasy Empire, as previously indicated, is out March 24.

Dates:

04.15.15 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place *
04.16.15 - Columbus, OH - Double Happiness *
04.17.15 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom *
04.18.15 - Ferndale, MI - The Loving Touch *
04.19.15 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle
04.20.15 - Saint Paul, MN - Turf Club
04.21.15 - St. Louis, MO - The Luminary Center for the Arts
04.22.15 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Music Hall
04.24.15 - Denver, CO - GLOB
04.25.15 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
04.27.15 - Boise, ID - The Shredder
04.28.15 - Seattle, WA - Neumos #
04.29.15 - Portland, OR - Dantes #
05.01.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel #
05.02.15 - Oakland, CA - Leo’s #
05.03.15 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echoplex #
05.04.15 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room #
05.05.15 - San Diego, CA - Casbah #
05.06.15 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
05.08.15 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest
05.09.15 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia
05.10.15 - Atlanta, GA - Mammal Gallery
05.11.15 - Raleigh, NC - Kings
05.12.15 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
05.13.15 - Baltimore, MD - Floristree
05.14.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
05.15.15 - Brooklyn, NY - The Wick
05.16.15 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge

* METZ
# Liturgy

• Lightning Bolt: http://laserbeast.com
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

Drones for donations: Jason Lescalleet and Justin Meyers release album to benefit Minneapolis art space The White Page

If you’re a regular reader of this website, chances are you’ve spent time loitering around an independent art space or two. And while these oases of expression provide precious respite from an increasingly monocultural world, they’re not exactly big-time money-making enterprises. Matters are even more difficult for places looking to expand their arty operations, such as Minneapolis’s The White Page. Having outgrown their current digs, the four women who run the space are gathering donations through an Indiegogo campaign to fund a move into larger facilities. Along with an expanded gallery and workshop, The White Page also hopes to add on a darkroom, printshop and ceramic studio.

And like all worthwhile crowdfunding efforts, you’ll get something pretty cool in return for your cash, namely in the form of an album — aptly titled The White Page — created by two friends of TMT: Minneapolis’s own Justin Meyers (of Sympathy Limited) and drone mastermind Jason Lescalleet. A $12 donation gets you a digital download, while $25 nets a CD copy of this willowy collaboration, with all proceeds going to the aforementioned art space.

Check out all the ambient excellence for yourself in the stream below, and if you’re of the means, do the right thing and drop some ducats in The White Page’s coffers.

• Jason Lescalleet: https://lescalleet.wordpress.com
• Justin Meyers: https://justinmeyers.bandcamp.com
• The White Page: http://the-white-page.com

Stone Jack Jones brings us Love & Torture from almost beyond the grave

Stone Jack Jones takes the image of a world-weary wandering folksmith to new levels. While everyone from Woody Guthrie to Justin Townes Earl can wander the ol’ dusty plains slinging an acoustic guitar and a notepad of observations, only Stone Jack Jones can claim to have wandered both the astral as well as the dusty plains.

Jones, you see, suffers from a blood disease so rare that doctors can’t even figure out what it is, so serious it’s taken him to death’s door twice, so close he’s even received the last rites, which is pretty badass and handy to have. It’s a unique experience from which an artist can craft their art, and there’s no doubting the gravelly haunted voice with which Jones punctuates his sparse folk creations are a new approach to an old formula.

Western Vinyl will be releasing Jones’ latest missive called Love & Torture on March 17, which will feature 10 of Jones’ gut-wrenching folk warblings along with contributions from fellow Nashville stalwarts Patty Griffin and Kurt Wagner (Lambchop).

Throw out your ouija board and get an insight to the afterlife via the lead single “Shine” below:

Love & Torture tracklist:

01. Shine
02.Thrill Thrill
03. Q and K
04. Circumstance
05. Ships
06. Disappear
07. Russia
08. Song
09. Who
10. Say Amen

• Stone Jack Jones: http://stonejackjones.com
• Western Vinyl: http://westernvinyl.com

Built to Spill announce new album Untethered Moon; yep, guitars are still out there

Guys. I think the thing is: things just take a long time to happen in Boise, Idaho. There’s no giant urban sprawl to cause stress, no legit sports teams to get amped about, and potatoes are plentiful, making most meals you can order in any of the myriad fast food joints and budget diners cheap as balls. So basically, I think everyone’s just kinda chillaxing at Denny’s most nights of the week sipping bottomless cups of coffee, dipping huge baskets of waffle fries into absurd vats of ranch dressing and marinara sauce, and “catching up” on that “new show” Dexter while waiting out yet another carbohydrate coma.

SO YEAH. That’s why it’s taken Boise’s Built to Spill approximately six years to follow-up 2009’s There Is No Enemy… which, YEAH, according to Consequence of Sound, they’re finally getting around to doing this April. The new album is called Untethered Moon, which… is a title that ALSO sounds like it probably took six years to think-up. (Ba-ziiiiiiing!)

Anyway, again, kinda like Idaho: there’s kinda not that much else fit to report other than that. The band still likes guitars a lot and is playing some shows that feature guitars as the main instruments this coming spring — in a presumably calm and unhurried manner — oh, and there’s a live version of one of the new album songs floating around the internet that you can watch down below. If you feel like it. Take your time. Whenever, really. No rush. Have some waffle fries first.

Untethered Moon tracklisting:

01. All Our Songs
02. Living Zoo
03. On The Way
04. Some Other Song
05. Never Be the Same
06. C.R.E.B.
07. Another Day
08. Horizon to Cliff
09. So
10. When I’m Blind

Built to Spill shows:

03.27.15 - Boise, ID - Treefort Music Festival
04.10.15 - Visalia, CA - Cellar Door
04.11.15 - San Luis Obispo, CA - SLO Brew
04.12.15 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
04.13.15 - Santa Barbera, CA - SoHo
04.14.15 - San Diego, CA - Irenic
04.15.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Shrine Auditorium
04.16.15 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
04.17.15 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
04.18.15 - Flagstaff, AZ - The Orpheum Theater
04.20.15 - Las Vegas, NV - The Bunkhouse Saloon
05.09.15 - Atlanta, GA - Shaky Knees Music Festival

• Built to Spill: http://www.builttospill.com
• Warner Bros.: http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com

Free Weed comes through with his debut LP Introducing via Bad Diet; let’s be honest, that moniker sells itself

Real talk: cellar doors are cool and all, but I’d personally wager that “free weed” is one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language. I mean, phonoaesthetically speaking, it’s got some nice sounding assonance going for it, but if it’s meaning we’re talkin’ about, “free weed” is mostly synonymous with “a real good time.” It figures, then, that Gnar Tapes head honcho Rikky Gage would adopt Free Weed as the nom-de-plume for his solo project, ushering in the good times and pressing them to cassette for a sadly limited few to savor. But for no longer, ‘cos the upstarts over at Bad Diet are doing everyone a solid and putting out Introducing, the so-called “debut” album from the Free Weed brand. Now THAT is how to make an entrance!

Following a sizable chunk of material for the likes of Beer on the Rug and Exo Tapes, Introducing promises to maintain Gage’s MO: straightforward pop bliss, catchy-as-fuck and suitably smoked out. Hit after hit, all killer no filler; if you’ve ever experienced Free Weed before, you’ll know exactly what the deal is here. Of course, it’s coming out on 4/20 — PSYCH! It’s actually out February 24, because the world simply could not wait until that most fated day on the stoner’s calendar for this thing to drop. Need further convincing? Perhaps the vid for lead single “Later” will sway you:

• Free Weed: http://erikgage.bandcamp.com
• Bad Diet: http://www.bad-diet.com

The Replacements reunite (again, yeah) for first full-on tour since 1991

According to HISTORY, “Rock n’ roll” band The Replacements officially called it quits after their illustrious final show in Chicago’s Grant Park on the fourth of July of 1991 because they were officially too cool for school. And after that moment, the world was forever changed. And the band never ever talked or put out recordings or made money or played live music together ever again. Ever.

Except for ONE GLORIOUS TIME in fall of 2013 when Paul Westerberg and whoever-the-hell-else-is-in-the-Replacements reunited for Riot Fest.

Wait. THREE GLORIOUS TIMES. They played three Riot Fests. Toronto, Chicago, and Denver. Okay. THREE TIMES. And that’s it.

…I mean, that’s IT… for 2013. Because in 2014, they kinda played a huge set at Coachella (… umm, and also Shaky Knees… and Forecastle… and Bumbershoot). But like, I think they made it pretty clear that they were THROUGH with one another (if not through with music forever) after that last show?

But just in case they didn’t make it clear, they DEFINITELY made it WAY-CRYSTAL when they played The Tonight Show.

Oh, but then I guess there was that big “homecoming” show at Midway Stadium in St. Paul this past September 13, for 14,000 fans… but that doesn’t really count since it was in their hometown, does it? Or, fuck, am I getting that show confused with the one they played a week later for 12,000 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY???

Okay, you know what? Never mind. Fuck it. Just send the damn band out on a goddamn CLUB TOUR, already. We all KNOW it’s happenin’! Call it the “Back By Unpopular Demand” tour or some crass shit like that for all I care. Let’s just get it over with. Bring on the classic music video and some parade of numbers and cities. I’m done. FOR REAL.

The Replacements “Back by Unpopular Demand” tour 2015:

04.09.15 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
04.10.15 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
04.13.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Masonic
04.16.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
04.19.15 - Denver, CO - The Fillmore
04.29.15 - Chicago, IL - The Riviera Theatre
04.30.15 - Chicago, IL - The Riviera Theatre
05.02.15 - Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom
05.03.15 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore
05.05.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
05.06.15 - Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
05.08.15 - Washington, DC - Echostage
05.09.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Festival Pier
05.28.15 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
05.30.15 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Paradiso
06.02.15 - London, UK - Roundhouse

• The Replacements: http://www.TheReplacementsOfficial.com

[Photo: Steven Cohen]

Obey City’s second EP Merlot Sounds gets release date; stream the lead single

Brooklyn producer Obey City (Sam Obey) will drop his second EP with Glasgow label LuckyMe on February 23. This was actually announced along with his 2013 debut EP Champagne Sounds, but now we have that release date and a lead single to show for it, with “Waterbed” featuring Anthony Flammia on vocals, a Yonkers-based singer-songwriter (hold your horses till the end). In addition to Flammia, Obey brings on Oakland vocalist 1OAK, Erick Arc Elliott, a.k.a. Erick the Architect, from Flatbush Zombies, and Kelela, for whom Obey did a killer remix of “Send Me Out” as part of LuckyMe’s 2014/15 Advent album, released over the course of December. He’s going to sing a bit himself, too.

All in all, Merlot Sounds looks to be more an old-school producer’s songwriting EP than a collection of “tracks,” something in the vein of a Quincy Jones (noted as one of Obey’s influences), or Flying Lotus record — a gathering of artists around the producer’s vision, and both a facilitation and utilization of their talents in a broader scheme.

You can pre-order the EP in digital and/or vinyl format here. Now, as a fine crescendo, I give you “Waterbed”! And, as a gentle coda, the tracklist.

Merlot Sounds tracklist:

10. With Grace We Go
02. Waterbed (feat. Anthony Flammia)
03. The Motion Blurs
04. Chante (feat. 1OAK & Erick Arc Elliot)
05. Cloud Lust
06. Airy (feat. Kelela)

• Obey City: https://soundcloud.com/obey-city
• LuckyMe: http://thisisluckyme.com

[Photo: Clair Bourgeois]

Spoon announce tour, plans to scour North America for additional details to bolster vague album title

One morning, Britt Daniel, woke up, threw the covers off of his lanky body and stared himself in the mirror. “But who are ‘they’?” he asked himself, gesturing wildly, making a wide-ranging toothpastey mess around the bathroom. You see, last year, Daniel and his buddies in Spoon, Jim Eno, Rob Pope, Eric Harvey, and Alex Fischel, had the audacity to assert that They Want[ed] [His] Soul, but this morning, insight came like the flash of fame’s camera: who exactly is “they?”

Daniel knew what had to happen. He rushed downstairs to call his bandmates, but not before struggling through his morning bowl of cereal (he tends to eat it with a fork you see, for he hates it when things are too on the nose). Cheerios dispatched, Daniel laid a slew of dates for his buddies and they assented. Spoon would soon tour the country through May and June, overturning rocks, trees, and welcome mats looking for the mysterious “they.” The band would not rest until every single co-headlining date with either Future Islands or The Decemberists was put to bed. After hanging up the phone, the tour plotted in what people who actually books tours would describe as an “entirely unrealistically short period of time,” Daniel sat back, steeple-fingered and grinning — it had only just begun.

Dates:

05.09.15 - Dallas, TX - Homegrown Festival
05.15-17.15 - Gulf Shores, AL - Hangout Music Festival
05.17.15 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom
05.18.15 - Kansas City, MO - Midland
05.19.15 - Fargo, ND - Fargo Theatre
05.21.15 - Missoula, MT - The Wilma Theater
05.22.15 - Bend, OR - Les Schwab Amphitheater +
05.22-25.15 - Quincy, WA - Sasquatch Festival
05.24.15 - Vancouver, BC - Malkin Bowl ^
05.25.15 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
05.27.15 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks *
05.29.15 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
05.30.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theater
06.01.15 - San Diego, CA - North Park Theatre
06.12.15 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
06.13.15 - Covington, KY - Madison Theater
06.11-14.15 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.16.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Kings Theatre
06.18.15 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
06.19.15 - Portland, ME - State Theater
06.18-21.15 - Dover, DE - Firefly

^ Future Islands
* The Decemberists, Courtney Barnett
+ The Decemberists, The Districts

• Spoon: http://www.spoontheband.com
• Loma Vista: http://www.lomavistarecordings.com