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

Do Make Say Think’s Justin Small to record 52 new songs (1 track/week for $1/week for 1 full year); DMST album forthcoming

So, it’s been a decent while since the release of the last Do Make Say Think album — 2009’s Other Truths on Constellation — and the lapse of time actually dawned on me just a couple weeks ago, since everything DMST has done has been fantastic and apparently my subconscious wanted to know when I would send my brain some pleasurable post-rock sounds again. Fortunately, member and guitarist Justin Small (also of Lullabye Arkestra) has just given word about a new DMST album currently being mixed, which would put the potential release date at about the time we’re inclined to demonstrate the verbs “punch” and “kick” to our home furniture. We mustn’t let the wait frustrate us too much.

In the meantime, though, Small has simultaneously announced something that will fulfill our needs for years to come — well, actually just a single year. Today, June 1, marks the beginning of a “concept piece,” in which he’ll release a brand new, “fully realized” track, including original artwork, every week for 52 straight weeks. The cost for aspiring listeners is just $1 per week, and subscribers can choose to leave or enter the weekly musical venture at any time.

It’s a super cool idea, and it’s even more impressive since Small is composing these songs as the weeks progress. As he put it: “These are not out takes, b-sides, or demos. They are compositions specifically written for this project within a week.”

Check out the first track from the project below, and prepare to be reminded weekly of your own musical laziness.

• Justin Small: http://justinsmallmusic.com
• Do Make Say Think: http://www.domakesaythink.com

Godflesh and Prurient announce North American tour, sunflowers, lemonade, dandelions, rainbows, a big fat smiling kitten

Here comes the good-time brigade. If you’re looking for a little bit of post-summer fun, head over to your local live music venue to see industrial metal legends Godflesh and dark noise maestro Prurient touring together this September. Kick off autumn without losing that summer spirit. Bring the kids. Heck, bring the dog, too.

Having reunited in 2010, Godflesh put out A World Lit Only By Fire last year, their first since 2001’s Hymns. Just last month, Prurient released his Frozen Niagara Falls double album. Until you can go see these twin saints of sunshine live, check those two records out. Collectively, it’s over two hours of pure lemonade-sipping pleasure music.

Godflesh and Prurient dates:

09.11.15 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West At King Plow
09.12.15 - Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Music Festival
09.13.15 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
09.15.15 - Brooklyn, NY - warsawconcerts
09.16.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts
09.17.15 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
09.18.15 - Montreal, QC - POP Montreal
09.19.15 - Toronto, ON - The Opera House
09.21.15 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues Cleveland
09.22.15 - Buffalo, NY - Tralf Music Hall
09.23.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - ALTAR BAR
09.24.15 - Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot
09.25.15 - Chicago, IL - Cold Waves Music Festival
09.27.15 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
09.28.15 - Vancouver, BC - VENUE
09.29.15 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
10.01.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
10.02.15 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
10.03.15 - Pomona, CA - The Glass House Concert Hall

• Godflesh: http://www.godflesh.com
• Prurient: https://prurient.bandcamp.com

Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Lucrecia Dalt, Rashad Becker and more record “telepathic” collaboration for Jaar’s Other People

Remember when The Postal Service was really big and everyone was all aflutter because they wrote songs by sending each other recordings through the mail? It was, like, so romantic and old school and quirky/arty. People like that shit. Well, now it’s 2015, and sending stuff through your friendly mail carrier is sooooo over. It’s been done. Plus, if you’re a newly formed supergroup of experimental artists, you just gotta think up something weirder, something more forward-/beyond-thinking, something more… occult.

And so, now, to fill the void in our lives left by not having enough gimmicky collaboration stories, there comes Terepa. Except for Terepa’s story isn’t really gimmicky; it’s just freakin’ awesome. This thing consists of Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, artist and mastering engineer Rashad Becker, Lucrecia Dalt, sound wizard NHK’Koyxen, violinist Grégoire Simon, and Charlotte Collin, all of whom recorded two sessions in L.A., Berlin, Osaka, and Paris that would make up the compositions on their forthcoming white vinyl EP on Nicolas Jaar’s label Other People. As part of the collaboration, they all began recording simultaneously for 20 minutes without communicating with each other “outside of their own telepathic capacities.” The resulting recordings were then layered and mixed into two compositions — in the same way they created the artwork, which you’ll find printed right onto the surface of the EP.

The vinyl/digital release will be available on July 13.

Tracklisting:
A. 28th October 2014
B. 8th August 2014

• Other People: https://other-people.net

The Sandwitches play off rumours of being burnt out and return with Our Toast

San Francisco garage-folk lifers The Sandwitches have been awfully quiet since their album Mrs Jones’ Cookies and single “The Pearl” were released way back in 2011, which when held up against compatriots like Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees is practically three lifetimes.

The gap might lead some pun-prone reporters to suggest that the band were burnt out.

Well, just to prove that they aren’t burnt, The Sandwitches have returned with toast. Well, not toast, but an album called Our Toast, which will be released June 9 via Empty Cellar Records.

Produced by Kelley Stoltz and mastered by Mikey Young (of Total Control and Eddy Current Suppression Ring stardom), the album is described by Emily Rose from Ty Segall Band as a collection of “songs born of universal anguish to create a record blooming with whimsical notes on a life that’s changing chapters.”

If you don’t think Rose is suitably qualified to make such a statement, you can check out the track “Wickerman Mambo” via No Fear of Pop here.

Our Toast

01. Sunny Side
02. Play It Again Dick
03. Sleeping Practice
04. Dead Prudence
05. Miggy
06. Island Jam
07. Personal Hell
08. Wickerman Mambo
09. Nothing But Love

• The Sandwitches: https://www.facebook.com/TheSandwitches
• Empty Cellar Records: http://www.emptycellarrecords.com