James Blake cancels previously postponed tour dates… or maybe postpones previously canceled ones; whichever one is more subversive and cool
Earlier this fall, we stopped the motherfucking presses to tell you all about how James Blake had to postpone a few US dates in order to go win himself a Mercury Prize real quick (which he did win, by the way) for Overgrown (TMT Review). Initially, he took to his Facebook page to assure all the poor losers in the Southern United States that those dates would be rescheduled for 2014.
But wouldn’t you know it? In typical “I Just Won a Mercury Prize” rockstar fashion, Blake (or actually, probably his butler!) has logged onto his Facebook once again, and, after posting a few Instagram photos of food and his high score in Candy Crush Saga, he confirmed that those southern US dates — in Nashville, Houston, Austin, and Dallas, specifically — have been called off all-together! Oh cruel world. Check it:
It’s with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the four postponed US shows in March 2014. A number of events have conspired against us leading to it becoming impossible to fulfill the dates. Sincere apologies to those who bought tickets. Refund info to follow asap. HQ
Sorry, Southern US. :( If it’s any consolation, it’s NOT gonna be BALLS-COLD FOR THE NEXT EIGHT MONTHS where you live.
James Blake tourdates:
11.19.13 - Vancouver, BC- Vogue Theatre
11.20.13 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Sodo
11.21.13 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
11.24.13 - Guadalajara, Mexico - Teatro Estudio Cavaret
11.25.13 - Mexico City, Mexico - El Plaza Condesa
11.29.13 - Tokyo, Japan - Electraglide
01.17.13 - Taipei, Taiwan - Legacy
01.19.14 - Seoul, Korea - Uniqlo Ax Hall
01.21.14 - Shanghai, China - QSW
03.20.14 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works
03.23.14 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
03.24.14 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East
03.25.14 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
R. Stevie Moore releases new cassette on new label Oma333, premieres video for “I’m Dancing,” answers our questions!
I hope your stick-shaking arm is good and rested, because R. Stevie Moore’s got a brand new tape of even more songs coming out pretty soon. You heard me right, a tape. Turns out the dude actually hasn’t released a cassette in 25 whole years, but this fellah who lives in Sweden finally talked him into it, which makes me wonder how resistant to peer pressure our pal R. Stevie really is. If everybody else jumped off a bridge and into a swirling sea that consisted only of watered-down peanut butter, would you just follow along, Mr. Moore? Think hard on that one because it’s a serious question and not in the least an attempt at absurd humor.
Anyway, the tape is called In the History of Ever and it collects 18 songs spanning all the way from 1969 to 2013. It’s out November 29 on a brand-spanking new tape label out of Sweden called Oma333, and it’ll only be available in a limited run of 333. You can buy it here. Also, get this: because it turns out that we, Tiny Mix Tapes, actually are the prettiest girl at the prom, we get the unique little privilege of being the first folks to embed the video for the track “I’m Dancing” on our website! Whaaaaatt??? The track features Moore whispering vocal-fried come-ons straight into your ear, and the Kevin Luna-directed video has a little dog in a sweater and a kid making some questionable questions vis-à-vis lung health. If you’re into that (and, honestly, who isn’t?) check it out below:
But wait, because if you let capitalism run wild for long enough, the world starts to imitate infomercials, THERE’S MORE! In addition to the R. Stevie Moore tape, Oma333 has two additional releases slated as a way of inaugurating itself into existence, both of which will be limited to 99 copies. The first is from Gabo and the Wartels, a group who describes themselves as “a marching band somewhere between Suicide and LA Law,” which I think is an oblique way of saying they use saxophones, trumpets, and even a bass clarinet. Their release is called In a Very Small Boat, and you can purchase it here, and watch the video for “Sleepy Head” below (directed yet again by Kevin “the busiest man in the Making Music Videos for Fledgling Tape Labels market” Luna). The third inaugural release is from Blood Music. Entitled Bits and Pieces for Aunts n Nieces, the release collects actual bits and pieces the band put created between 2002 and 2012. Bits and pieces include but are not limited to: demos, alternate versions of songs, bits of dead skin, candy bar wrappers, candid pictures of someone’s dad. Buy it here, and check out the also-directed-by-Kevin-Luna-video for “Problematique” below.
Aaaaannnnddddd, in the interest of making this the longest news post ever, there’s EVEN MORE!! Below you can scope a cute lil’ Q&A with R. Stevie Moore in which he maybe calls you a hipster? Don’t take it personal though. If you’re a hipster, then I definitely am too. I mean I was the guy gumming up his inbox with the dorky “Q’s” that demanded these “A’s” in the first place anyway.
Since this is the first cassette release you’ve done in 25 years, I was wondering if you felt any resistance to returning to the format. The way the press materials describe it, it seems like you might have required a little talking in to it.
I currently have very little interest myself in using the tape format any longer, and I’m amused at its new hipster resurgence. Of all the many audio options, cassette seems the least appealing, on so many levels. So, I’m not really “returning” to it, just allowing someone else to issue my music this way. But I’ll never be doing that again for myself. I suppose this modern romance with cassettes is for young people who missed out on the original K7 revolution of the early 80’s. I don’t even have a deck anymore, just a cheap boombox.
How did you get connected with Oma333?
Met and befriended Gavin when I played Stockholm in 2012. He started his label and asked if I’d like to issue something. Voila!
What lead you to stop releasing on cassette in the first place? Was it just expediency — with the rise of CDs and all that — or was it something else?
Many reasons. Tape remains inferior, in sound quality, fragility and severe inconvenience accessing individual tracks quickly. I always loved the upgrade to CDR’s, which easily solves those 3 problems. Being able to record, compile & index homemade discs is like having your own record pressing plant in your own little makeshift studio. What could be better than that! They say CD’s are over, but I beg to differ. I do dig vinyl (again), but spindles of blank compact discs are my bag. And digital files are also very beneficial for me, both as artist and listener. I adored cassette’s appeal when it first exploded (again, one could now make and distribute their own music, in real time), but by now it’s an ancient annoyance, like antique tape reels or 8-track cartridges.
This release pulls together tracks from over 40 years. What was the selection process like on your end?
Selection was quick and quite easy; we didn’t belabor over what to include and what not to. It simply fell into place. There usually isn’t one given method of choosing tracks for an RSM compilation. I often have a big hand in deciding, but it varies, release to release. Much of the time there’s a reliance on picking material which has yet to be heavily anthologized already (if at all). There’s so much back catalogue available on demand, such a deep deep reservoir of still unheard classics. I am quite easy to please in the long run, without restrictions.
Did you attempt to do any sort of thematic shaping for the songs on this collection? If not, looking at them now as a final product, does any theme emerge from your perspective?
Not at all, no connective theme “shaped” here. It’s just random songs. Gavin [Maycroft, of Oma333] liked the old tracks I suggested, so they became the final listing (with a few minor changes and shifts in sequence). Not really as complicated as it seems. Far too much emphasis is always placed on over-analytical inquiries about “which came first? the words or music?” or “were you attempting to express any specific theme or concept?” or “what vibe are you truly trying to convey here?” I think you’ll find most albums are merely a hodge-podge bag of unrelated tracks, which can however unintentionally take on a whole unified statement to listeners.
I dig both extremes, but random shuffle can be delightful.
Some musicians don’t like to look back at their back catalog because they’ve got hang ups about how they sounded when they were less experienced. From interviews and the fact that you seem to be so comfortable with archival releases like these, it would seem that you aren’t quite as bothered by that. Is that the case? And if so, why do you think you’re more comfortable looking back over your discography?
I differ greatly from most who do hide and protect their embarrassing “baby pictures.” I openly accept and validate equally ALL of what I have ever recorded for 45 years, so there’s not a problem whatsoever. The early, elementary music works are fascinating, and as relevant to my oeuvre as my latest highest-fidelity fully-developed sessions. I never differentiate between the old and new, the good and bad, the worthy or discarded. I offer a complete lifetime of my diary of sound, and THAT’S what I favor… not the insistence of ranking my best all-time favorite songs, etc. blah blah blah…
William Basinski curates Arcadia performance series in the UK starting in March 2014, finally comes clean about his wizarding ways
It’s sort of an open secret in ambient/drone circles that William Basinski is a wizard, and in a recent interview with TMT’s Jakob Dorof, he sorta obliquely referenced that fact by way of a description of his legendary Arcadia studio/performance space/wizard coven. He said it was…
[…] just a beautiful, magical place. It was a place where everyone went, a home for all of my friends… crazy children. We did a lot of concerts there, over the years, records there, for different people. Antony’s first demo, we did there — Diamanda Galás performed there one Halloween, an amazing show. A lot of great memories.
Emphasis on the “magical,” am I right? Unfortunately, as a result of changes in zoning, not to mention the tanking economy, when the lease for the space ended back in 2008, Basinski left Arcadia, a process he describes as “a bitch.” However, not content to let his wizarding ways fall entirely to the wayside, Basinski has announced that he’ll be curating a new Arcadia-inspired performance series in the United Kingdom, which many of you may know as the place where Harry Potter lives, i.e. an obviously really great location for wizards like Basinski to hang out and talk about wizard stuff with like-minded folks. The series will be put on through Basinski’s partnership with the organizations Sound and Music and Art Assembly, both of which are committed to fostering new music and helping out young artists. This seems like a pretty swell idea as long as Voldemort doesn’t attack or that hairy giant fellah who tells Harry that he’s a wizard doesn’t set, like, a dragon or a horny goblin loose someplace stupid again.
Because one of the main points of this series is to nurture young artists (sorta like a Hogwarts-type deal) Basinski will work with Art Assembly and Sound and Music to put together an “artist call out” in order to recruit up-and-coming performers. These artists will have the opportunity to perform in support slots at the slew of concerts that the series will hold over the next year. As of right now, only two such concerts have been announced, both of which will be at St. John in Hackney in London. The first is a solo performance from Swans’ Michael Gira on March 12, and the second is a collaborative performance between Rhys Chatham and Charlemagne Palestine on March 20. The Chatham/Palestine collaboration will be the first time the two have shared a stage in nearly 30 years. Both shows will feature Basinski gallivanting around, probably casting music spells and futzing with tape loops, as is the fashion. You can grab tickets for the Gira performance here, and the Chatham/Palestine performance here.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Bandleader, drummer and NEA jazz master Chico Hamilton has died. He was 92 years old.
Born Foreststorn Hamilton in Los Angeles in 1921, Hamilton’s music career began with some notable high school classmates including future legends in their own right, Dexter Gordon and Charles Mingus. He eventually went on to perform and tour with Lester Young, Lena Horne and Gerry Mulligan before putting together his first quintet in 1955.
A landmark group that forged the sound of West Coast jazz while featuring the reeds of Buddy Collette, guitarist Jim Hall, Carson Smith on bass and cellist Fred Katz, the group evolved through a wealth of jazz talent, including Eric Dolphy, Gabor Szabo and Charles Lloyd, who joined the band in 1961.
Hamilton’s profile was such that he eventually felt the pull of Hollywood, and his group made a notable cameo in “Sweet Smell of Success” in 1957, which starred Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster and also featured Hamilton’s music. He later wrote the soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s thriller “Repulsion” in 1965.
Hamilton continued leading a number of ensembles, including a soul-jazz album featuring Larry Coryell, “The Dealer,” in 1966 and later the group Euphoria in the ’80s and ’90s. He also moved into education, teaching at the Parsons New School of Jazz in New York City and the Mannes College of Music at the New School University. He was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2004 and continued to record up to his 90th birthday in 2011.
• Chico Hamilton: http://www.joyousshout.com
Polyvinyl plans 7-inch subscription series with Cloud Nothings, Mikal Cronin, more; all songs recorded onto the same Tascam 4-track
Hey, buddy, do you still have a mailbox and know what a four-track is? If not you can stop reading RIGHT THE FUCK NOW, because the news in this post is not for you.
Cool. Well, for those of you who actually do meet the criteria to read this post, I’ve got an exciting news-nugget from the folks at Polyvinyl for you. Turns out they’re kicking off a brand spanking new 7-inch subscription series. Starting in January of 2014, every month you can get a neato little 7-inch record thing delivered right to that mailbox you contractually promised you own before reading this paragraph. Each release will feature different artists like Cloud Nothings, John Vanderslice, and Mikal Cronin, as well as approximately nine others, since that adds up to 12 and that is how many months there are in a year.
I can tell from the smug look that I’m imagining on your face you’re not sure that this whole thing is sufficiently neat or gimmicky enough for you. Well hold the phone, buster, because I haven’t told you the best part. Basically, the foundational element in this thing is that all the songs were recorded on a Tascam 4-track that the artists mailed around the world to each other. The device has reportedly traveled over 20,000 miles at this point, making it just about due for an oil change and tire rotation. The artists were given free reign over what they recorded, with the only restriction being that that they couldn’t just record their own farts, so the resultant exclusive tracks will range from covers to new songs to re-workings of existing recordings.
In addition to the records themselves, the series also comes with a special box to house all the records in, and artwork designed by Jason Munn. And! If you subscribe before December 31 you get some other goodies, including a special turntable slipmat and t-shirt to wear on parts of your body that include your arms and chest. Also, I guess I probably should have told you sooner that the series is limited to 500 subscribers, since time is probably of the essence if you want to get in there and order before it sells out. My bad. Well, I’m telling you now. Oh, and here’s a link to more info and a full list of contributors where you can also subscribe by clicking some additional links and paying money.
• Polyvinyl: http://www.polyvinylrecords.com
Here at Tiny Mix Tapes, we like to take a realistic stance on the issues of the day. As reported by sources like Stereogum, Outkast are reuniting next year. If all goes as planned, they’ll be playing Coachella, as well as doing a full tour. This is very exciting. However, let’s all remember, everything can always go terribly wrong. For convenience’s sake, here is a quick list of ways this potentially amazing reunion could go straight down the toilet.
• Andre 3000 playing Sixteen-level guitar while Big Boi tries to freestyle through the worst of it.
• Idlewild full-album shows, complete with screening of the film.
• Outkast Tour 2014: Just The Skits! Featuring guest appearances from that one cold lady and the shady bootleg dealer.
• Big Boi replacing his verse on “Spottieotiedopalicious” with a numerical ranking of the Kate Bush discography.
• Reunion just flat-out not happening, a somewhat likely prospect considering that Outkast are basically The Smiths when it comes to people’s imaginations running wild regarding reunions.
Outkast last released Idlewild in 2006. Since then, Big Boi has put two solo albums, 2010’s Sir Lucious Left Foot the Son of Chico Dusty and 2012’s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. Andre 3000 has been in a Will Ferrell basketball movie.
• Outkast: http://www.outkast.com
Harken back, if your hippocampus will allow you to, to the days when Napster revolutionized the acquisition of digital music (and served as an early indication of the internet’s collective obsession with cats). Obviously both the need and the desire for a low-resource media player increased dramatically in concurrence, and for the true music geek of the late 1990s/early 2000s, this overwhelmingly meant turning to Nullsoft’s Winamp, known for its plethora of user-made skins, the ease of its playlist-creating, and its general superiority (in my opinion) to the unspectacular Windows Media Player. Oh, and don’t forget the visualizer! My newly teenage self would scoff at offers of hallucinogens, as MMD3 plus the visualizer plus “Midnight in a Perfect World” more than sufficed at satiating my trip proclivities.
Sadly, as ArsTechnica documents pretty extensively here, the acquisition of Nullsoft by AOL in 1999 led to the gradual marginalization of the media player, certainly at a time when they should’ve taken serious strides to appreciate their market and how not only they, but the human race in general just doesn’t like your shitty browser or otherwise software, especially when it’s forcibly bundled. Likewise, but more overarching, the above article talks about a pattern of micromanagement on the part of AOL against Nullsoft, to the point where competition with the likes of a burgeoning iTunes became secondary to internal politics.
Winamp’s existence over the last decade has been mostly casual and unnoteworthy. True to form, a lowly red-shaded banner on their website relays the news without elaboration: Winamp and its associated services will cease to be come December 20. No doubt, some people are wondering what could’ve been. Also, Microsoft may or may not be considering a purchase, but who knows how much truth there is to that at the moment.
Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release. Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years.
• Winamp: http://www.winamp.com
Numero Group unleashes wizard rock collection Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles on a dorky populace
Oops, they’ve done it again! The good people over at Numero Group are taking another departure from the usual (stellar comps of forgotten soul, funky gospel, and such) to unleash upon the world a dark compilation of dragon-obsessed underground hard rock, the likes of which the world has never before known, in the form of Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles.
Due for a February 2014 release, Strangers features 16 tracks from 70s basement bands that were really, really into wizards, the devil, and rockin’ out. Complete with Dungeons and Dragons-themed artwork and packaging so fancy only Lucifer himself could be behind the design, the compilation will be released on vinyl and CD. You get songs like “Slave of Fear,” “Black Death,” “Wizzard King,” and my personal favorite, “Sealed in a Grave.” The songs come from bands with names like Stonehenge, Stoned Mace, Medusa, and the slightly fancier/more terrifying Gorgon Medusa. A plague upon all your houses! But like, a fun plague, where you can’t stop head-banging.
Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles tracklisting:
01. Air, “Twelve O’Clock Satanial”
02. Wrath, “Warlord”
03. Stonehenge, “King of the Golden Hall”
04. Triton Warrior, “Sealed in a Grave”
05. Junction, “Sorcerer”
06. Stone Axe, “Slave of Fear”
07. Wizard, “Seance”
08. Stoned Mace, “Tasmania”
09. Arrogance, “Black Death”
10. Sonaura, “Song of Sauron”
11. Dark Star, “Spectre”
12. Inside, “Wizzard King”
13. Space Rock, “Dark Days”
14. Medusa, “Black Wizard”
15. Gorgon Medusa, “Sweet Child”
16. Hellstorm, “Cry for the Newborn”
• Numero Group: http://www.numerogroup.com
So if you’re cool and have sex often, you’re probably wondering what the fuck Turntable.fm is. It’s an internet thingie where you enter a virtual dance floor as a virtual douchebag and have the option to virtually DJ for other virtual attendees, or just virtually hang out and listen to the other virtual DJs. If virtual attendees don’t enjoy your virtual DJing, their virtual douchebags will stand still and you will be voted off your virtual turntable, virtually.
Personal anecdote: I signed on once a while back, hopped on a turntable, and started spinning Merzbow for the kids; everybody gave me a bad rating, and my song was skipped to let some asshat have his turn playing Foster the People or some horseshit like that. Fat Worm of Error and Anal Cunt also got vetoed. Finally I wrote an email to Turntable.fm suggesting that they just take down the site because people are stupid and have bad taste. It took them a while to come around, but they have now responded by announcing that they will be shutting down permanently.
“We thought bad music was being played in stores and on radios because of the major label machine,” Team Turntable should have announced, “but it turned out only a small percentage of the online population has the aptitude and innate intelligence to come up with a playlist that doesn’t include mainstream shopping mall hip-hop.”
December 2 will be the official last day online for Turntable.fm, and they’ll be having an all-day farewell party. Virtually, I mean, because nerds don’t throw real parties. And while I’m certain that it was the users’ terrible taste that ruined the site, the founders have also noted that royalty expenses are too high to keep the site going. In other words, turntable.fm is following a steady trend of no longer being willing to pay artists for their music. They instead want to focus on Turntable Live, “an interactive way to hold concerts online,” so that you can make the music on the site at no expense to them. Watch this painful video about it if you hate yourself and want to see a white folk singer try to rap Salt ‘N’ Pepa.
• Turntable.fm: https://turntable.fm
Olivia Tremor Control’s 1997 Peel Session unearthed by Chunklet, discovery is printed onto vinyl for good of science
In 1997, Olivia Tremor Control recorded a BBC session with legendary DJ John Peel. For one reason or another, the results have been lost to history. Many top scholars believed the music recorded would never be recovered. Until now!
It is now 2013. Pitchfork reports that Chunklet has acquired the long-lost sessions. Men and women of science and progress, the folks at Chunklet are releasing this music on vinyl for the masses. This discovery is particularly exciting in that it contains previously unreleased music by the band, in addition to Olivia Tremor Control classics like “Green Typewriters.”
The first 200 to order these recordings will receive their copies on clear vinyl. Others, those busy with thumb-twiddling, will receive theirs on red vinyl. All copies come with a download code, evening the field for all involved. Orders are expected to ship in early/mid January. Science marches on.
John Peel Session tracklist:
01. I’m Not Feeling Human
02. Suite One: Memories of Jacqueline 1906 / The Giant Day / Outer Themes / Green Typewriters
03. Suite Two: Frosted Ambassdor / Green Typewriters / The Princess Turns the Key to Cubist Castle / Looking for Meaning