Not to generalize or be one of those people, but it seems to be a recognizable motif of popular music that — absent a genuine desire to find talented musicians — producers and engineers have no choice but to resort to musical overdressing, designed to obfuscate what would otherwise be an all-too-apparent vapidity. Compress this, compress that. Add a backup vocal track from someone who can actually sing here. ALERT: hackneyed song about heterosexual relationships coming down the pipeline. Quick, Steve, muster all the synthesized strings you can find! No, you can’t have too many, you son of a bitch!
It’s the musical equivalent of orcs at a masquerade ball, but luckily, the world’s been blessed with its opposite: orcs playing tackle football? No, wait.
The opposite is music stripped to its essence, and Ghil, the newest solo release from Korean cellist/composer Okkyung Lee, reportedly takes that very approach. Out June 24 on Ideologic Organ, the album was produced and recorded by Norwegian artist Lasse Marhaug using a secondhand portable cassette recorder. And that’s it. There were no effects added before, during, or after the fact, and there was no overdubbing. Excepting what was some presumably minor editing and minimal mastering, Ghil takes Lee’s experimental cello work and offers it bare, raw, and appropriate for the parent label, noisy. Contrast the track below with her earlier, more jazzy work, and it barely sounds like she’s playing the same instrument.
Who’s up for some soul-staring? Pre-order the LP here.
1.1. The Crow Flew After Yi Sang
1.2. Two To Your Right, Five To Your Left
1.3. Strictly Vertical
1.4. The Space Beneath My Grey Heart
2.2. Hollow Water
2.3. Two Perfectly Shaped Stones
2.4. Meolly Ganeun
2.5. Over The Oak, Under The Elm
Hospital Ships is a band that conjures so much in my mind, including the idea of a Grey’s Anatomy-style hospital drama on the high seas, but they also make me think of good music. Like my conception, the band started as a bedroom-recording project of Lawrence, Kansas’s Jordan Geiger, and like my birth they’ve prematurely evolved into a full-fledged four-piece. According to their Facebook, they even have a manager named Marshmallow the Cat!
If you like hearing music then you’ll want to check out Hospital Ships’ new album, With Destruction in Yr Soul, out June 18 on the Graveface Records and Curiousities imprint. This third album features fuzzy, gospel-like sounds that will make you feel safe and warm, unlike scary movie Ghost Ship, or depressing Chris Hardwick reality series Shipmates. Hear album track “Come Back to Life” here:
Yr gonna see da Ships on tour:
05.13.13 - Chico, CA - Cafe Coda
05.14.13 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
05.15.13 - Santa Cruz, CA - TBA
05.16.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Undertow Music
05.17.13 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
05.18.13 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
05.19.13 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
05.20.13 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
Death Grips to soundtrack original Zach Hill film; breaking things to receive its most comprehensive guide since the 1970s
Stopping just short of causing permanent blindness, the collective overdose of adrenaline that crowds in Europe are currently experiencing as a result of the Death Grips tour hasn’t been enough to stop people from noticing the absence of Zach Hill. After all, during those lapses in time when MC Ride isn’t implicitly motivating you to punch babies in a rage or sort of, kind of, making you fear for your own safety, the inclination is to look in the direction of the trio’s superlatively skilled drummer.
Zach is currently writing, directing and soundtracking an original feature film. The movie is of his own creation, fictionally based and not related to the group. The film will be soundtracked with all new Death Grips music. He is also working on and recording the new Death Grips album at the moment. Death Grips is Stefan. Zach. Andy. Zach is very much still in Death Grips.
Points for concision, but for the sake of getting you all riled up: Zach Hill is off working on an original feature-length film, which will be soundtracked by all new Death Grips material, and in addition to that, a new Death Grips LP is in the works. Given Hill’s concurrent interest in the visual arts, it’s not surprising he’s working on a feature-length film, but there remains a curiosity about the film’s content. People throwing stuff? People setting things on fire? Yelling? Explosions? Think of the destructive possibilities…
• Death Grips: http://thirdworlds.net
Stellar OM Source announces existence of new album, single, and civilization of intelligent aliens who use space rocks as currency
In space no one can hear your skin slowly melt off the bones because you touched the wrong space rock. Space is infinite, buddy, everybody’s got other shit to do, and they definitely do not have time to sit around and figure out whether your skin is sloughing off or not. Here’s my advice: leave the space rock-touching to the professionals. They’ve got years of experience on you. They know exactly where to put their fingers.
Case in point, Christelle Gualdi a.k.a. Stellar OM Source, who is both a master of the analog synth and of space rock-handling protocols. She’s got a new full-length called Joy One Mile coming out June 11 on RVNG Intl. which is the next in a long and getting longer line of full-lengths, singles, and CD-Rs over the past several years. The album reportedly follows the more beat-driven sound that she first started to develop on last year’s Image Over Image 12-inch. This sound is a bit of a shift from the likes of 2010’s Exises and is no doubt a result of the recent extra-terrestrial influence on Gualdi’s process. Preceding the full-length’s release, RVNG will also drop a 12-inch single, “Elite Excel” (listen below), on May 14 that features a remix from the space rock Padawan Kassem Mosse. Keep sharp, Kassem! Those rocks are treacherous!
Joy One Mile tracklist:
02. Par Amour
03. The Range
05. Elite Excel
07. Natives / Most Answers Never Unveiled
01. Elite Excel
02. Elite Excel (Kassem Mosse Remix)
[Photo: De Cinq a Sept]
The human box of mentally deranged black market firecrackers that is King Khan has signed to Merge, with a new album on the way later this year. The man of a 1,000 “King Khan and the —” projects is going as the standard King Khan and the Shrines on this one. The future record that is currently floating around in Khan’s voodoo-streaked neon future consciousness will be the first Shrines release since 2007, and globe-spanning tourdates are sure to ensue. Which is great news for Khan’s dick, which he can finally womp out on stage under the Shrines moniker once again. How we’ve missed you, naked King Khan.
For those of you who can’t POSSIBLY STAND THE TENSION of waiting that long for another sighting of the garage rocker’s glorious manhood, well read on! King Khan released an awesomely bizarre statement on the occasion of his signing to Merge, which really just speaks for itself. I want to get married solely so this man will give my wedding speech. Hey, Cat Sitting On My Computer… will you marry me? Anyway, here it is, direct from the King’s mouth:
Rumors have been flying about me being taped to three swans and traveling the world. Well, it was a rough ride but someone had to do it. After being called the “Beetlejuice of rock ‘n roll,” I have decided to join forces with the underworld and in doing so have reached a new all time low. Hell hath no fury as a swan taped to a fat Indian man.
I have finally found my new family in Merge records and as always I would much rather work with southern folk than city slickers (fuck Bill Crystal and his plastic face). It is a pleasure working with folks who eat ribs while they cure buffalo meat and sell rekkids. If I get a fair shot on the plantation of Merge maybe i will save Brunhilda and show my Indian penis to the world. Tell Quentin Tarantino that he should have let DiCaprio show the world his junk too to make the movie
As always, he brings up some good points.
• King Khan: http://kingkhanmusic.com
Josephine Foster brings carnival magic, happy cartoon bluebirds to venues across the East Coast, reissues Little Life
When Josephine Foster sings, the world turns black and white, except for the little bluebirds that dart around her shoulders and whistle along to her wistful tunes. When Josephine Foster sings, carnivals appear along dusty roads, with friendly non-meth-addicted carnies and naughty (but basically PG-rated) dancing girls with pretty feathers and tinny records. When Josephine Foster sings, it’s like the Great Depression never ended, except this time around it’s a FUN Great Depression with nothing sadder than a lonely song and the fact that ya gotta go home when the crumpets are gone and the Tea Bazaar closes (this is a place Ms. Foster is playing in Charlottesville, not something I made up.) No dust storms! No casual bigotry! No people jumping out of skyscrapers because all their money is gone! None of that Grapes of Wrath shit.
So it’s a lucky thing for America that Josephine Foster is striking up a spring East Coast tour. And golly gee, if she isn’t reissuing the Record Store Day “exclusive” 10-inch vinyl re-release of her lovely 2001 EP Little Life on June 11 via Fire Records! Bees’ knees! Cat’s pajamas! 1920s slang! Little Life, released initially as a CD-R, was recorded by Foster when she was home alone with her ukelele. Josephine Foster, who is also one of those opera-trained fancy women, had worked as a children’s music teacher, and she wrote the album specifically to get the creative juices churning in the kiddies she devised it for. It works for adults, too, as well as tiny bluebirds and little people.
05.10.13 - Lafayette, IN - TBA
05.25.13 - Nashville, TN - The Stone Fox
05.30.13 - Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light
05.31.13 - Asheville, NC - The Apothecary
06.01.13 - Charlottesville, VA - Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
06.06.13 - Pawtucket, RI - Machines With Magnets
06.07.13 - Turner Falls, MA - Rendezvous
06.13.13 - Brooklyn, NY - ISSUE Project Room
Little Life tracklisting:
01. Shay Shay
02. Stones in My Heavy Bag
03. Charles in the Park
04. Francie’s Song
05. Run Maroona
06. Three Day Days
07. Tom Peck, Neighbor Friend
10. Hell’s Bells Are Ringing
11. Little Life
Guys! Oh my god! Do you know about these things called “quotation marks”? This is a little embarrassing I guess, but I am JUST NOW getting into them! They totally rule. I had no idea! Dude, it’s like, just so fun to use them to stress things or imply sarcasm or attribute some words to another person other than myself or whatever. It’s like:
Toro Y Moi is a “thing.” A “musical” thing that some people are “into.” “Legend” has it that if enough people are “into something,” it tends to sooner-or-later get labeled “pop.” And once something gets to be “pop,” the idea of its own popularity kinda tends to becomes “popular,” and it just becomes easier to keep it “going,” even if certain “web zines” claim that the thing’s most recent thing shouldn’t be as popular as its last thing. It’s sorta like what Shakespeare said, though: “If music be the food of love, play on.” Or how about Plato, who said “music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”? That totally “backs-up” my argument about Toro Y Moi! When you make “popular music,” you just keep touring on it. Don’t believe me? Ask Billy Joel (this one’s a nice, pullquote-y long one, too!):
I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.
See? “Everyone loves music.” Iron clad! And even moreso when I put it in quotes, right? Oh, and speaking of everyone loving music; as far as I can tell, that’s the reason why all this shit is happening:
05.27.13 - George, WA - Sasquatch! Music Festival
05.30.13 - Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia
05.31.13 - Vilnius, Lithuania - Loftas Festival
06.02.13 - Dublin, Ireland - Forbidden Fruit Festival
06.03.13 - Paris, France - Cabaret Sauvage
06.04.13 - London, UK - KOKO *
06.05.13 - Brighton, UK - Concorde 2
06.06.13 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
06.07.13 - Birmingham, UK - Academy 2
06.08.13 - Glasgow, UK - The Arches
06.09.13 - Manchester, UK - Parklife Weekender
07.11-13.13 - Mariaville, NY - Camp Bisco
07.12-14.13 - Louisville, KY - Forecastle Festival
07.15.13 - Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre †
07.16.13 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop †
07.17.13 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick †
07.19-21.13 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival
07.23.13 - Honolulu, HI - The Republik
08.03.13 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre ‡
09.07-08.13 - St. Louis, MO - LouFest
10.08.13 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom §
10.15.13 - Nashville, TN - Exit In §
10.16.13 - Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theatre §
10.17.13 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club §
10.18.13 - Columbia, SC - Columbia Museum of Art §
10.19.13 - Charleston, SC - Music Farm §
10. 25.13 - Boston, MA - House of Blues **
10.26.13 - Montreal, QC - SAT **
10.27.13 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre **
11.01.13 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom §
11.02.13 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
11.04.13 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room §
11.07.13 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up §
11.10.13 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre §
* Ryan Hemsworth
‡ Thievery Corporation
§ Classixx (live)
** The Sea and Cake
[Photo: Candice Eley]
“Hey Eric, what’s up?”
“You hear that the guy from White Fence doesn’t have to drink water?”
What? Tim Presley? That can’t be right. He’s a person, he’s gotta be drinking water.
“Nah, bro. Hung out with him for, like, two hours last night. Didn’t drink a single drop of water. I think he’s like, a reverse fish. Or like a slug but with water instead of salt? A water slug.”
Not a thing. And, no, that just really cannot be right. You are a crazy person.
“Whatever, bro. Must be tough in the summer. No water to cool you down. You hear he’s going on tour this summer?”
I did hear that. In fact, I’ve got the dates right here. Some of them are with Mac DeMarco, some of them are with Jessica Pratt, some of them are with Father John Misty.
“I love Mac DeMarco.”
White Fence dates:
06.13.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl (Panache Northside Festival Showcase) *
06.14.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory (Northside Festival)
06.21.13 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore ^
07.30.13 - Las Vegas, NV - The Bunkhouse +
07.31.13 - Reno, NV - Holland Project +
08.02.13 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon Festival
08.03.13 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon Festival
08.04.13 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s +
08.05.13 - Vancouver, WA - Biltmore Cabaret +
08.10.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour +
08.11.13 - San Diego, CA - Casbah +
* Mac DeMarco
^ Father John Misty
+ Jessica Pratt
• White Fence: https://www.facebook.com/pages/White-Fence/109125289153214
• Castle Face: http://www.castlefacerecords.com
Mike Paradinas’ label, Planet Mu, to release Mike Paradinas’ new µ-Ziq album, Chewed Corners, on June 25 (Mike Paradinas Day?)
As seen previously, I can wax pseudo-intellectual on µ-Ziq (Mike Paradinas) all day. There’s a strange attraction in his music that makes me susceptible to extended bouts of wanking off at the mouth. Don’t worry though, on this occasion I’ll spare us both the embarrassment and just get straight to the point: a new µ-Ziq record is being released by Planet Mu on June 25.
Chewed Corners will be Paradinas’ first proper album since 2007, and will be preceded by an EP, XTEP, on May 21. Both sets introduce an approach that is radically more accessible and melodious than the shadow-tinged probings of µ-Ziq’s back catalogue. Angular rigidity has taken backseat to lush structures, and the resulting songs are less cerebral, more corporeal, retro-futuristic, and acutely cinematic (seriously, how much Vangelis did this guy listen to?). But “how did it all turn out?” you ask; I’ll leave it to our reviewers to answer that one, so tune back in soon.
You can preview XTEP here.
Chewed Corners tracklisting:
02. Christ Dust
05. Twangle Melkas
06. Melting Bas
07. Houzz 10
08. Feeble Minded
10. Mountain Island Boner
11. Tickly Flanks
14. Weakling Paradinas
05. New Bimple
• Planet Mu: http: http://www.planet.mu
Some say there is a terrible secret hiding within Mount Moriah. While the mountain stands sullen and stoic, there are many who believe that the mountain is no mountain at all. Though the naked eye sees only stone, many of the area mystics believe that the stone is but a thin barrier protecting the world from the great bird that lay within the mountain. The bird was, in ancient times, petrified by a wizard, so that it could not bring upon the end days with its mighty screech. If the bird was to awaken, all would be lost.
Well, maybe that’s true and maybe it’s not. Who can really be sure? In the absence of any terrible apocalypse birds, there exists Merge-signed folk trio Mount Moriah, who are on a tour of the United States at this very moment. Will they set the land ablaze and squelch out any life that dare cross their path? Eh, no. They’ll just play some music, much of which will likely derive from their recently-released sophomore record, Miracle Temple.
Mount Moriah dates:
05.18.13 - Jarvisburg, NC - BURG Festival @ Sanctuary Vineyards
06.13.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe
06.14.13 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
06.15.13 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
06.16.13 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop
06.17.13 - St. Louis, MO - Old Rock House
06.18.13 - Lawrence, KS - Replay Lounge
06.20.13 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
06.21.13 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
o6.22.13 - Dubuque, IA - Eronel
06.23.13. - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
06.24.13 - Madison, WI - The Frequency
06.25.13 - Columbia, MO - Mojo’s
06.26.13 - Nashville, TN - The High Watt