Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra release Hang On To Each Other EP to keep us folks with shorter attention spans interested

Fuck! How do you effectively promote your rock band when its name is too long for Twitter??? (#2014problems!) Hmm. I guess you just have to do things the old fashioned way and keep putting out new records instead? Or, well — sorta.

See, after things on the internet kinda cooled following the January release of their catchy Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (TMT Review), our savvy heroes in Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra have decided to drum up some more biz by announcing a new “vinyl and digital-only” EP coming this spring via the Constellation label, entitled Hang On To Each Other!

Only, well — it’s kinda new. See, if you’re a fan of the band, you’ll recognize that title as a tune off their 2005 effort Horses in the Sky, which they often close sets with. And the new EP features a bunch of “remixes” of that tune.

Only, well — sorta kinda. The tracks aren’t really remixes-remixes. Rather, the EP will feature “brand new recordings that use set-closing live favorite “Hang On To Each Other” as a launching point for some rather glorious dancefloor excursions” on behalf of the band. In other words, they reworked, retracked, reinterpreted, and repackaged that song in some presumably arty-crazy ways. In MORE OTHER WORDS, here’s the band’s take on it:

We let the machines yell at each other until they were hoarse and wheezing. With a baby in her belly, Ariel Engle of AroarA did the kind of singing that we can’t, and we are thankful. Outside of the studio, the city was frozen, and thin tendrils of fine snow whisped across the ice like dragons. We made this thing like a for-real disco 12-inch, to give to d.j.’s to play because we live in the kind of town where some d.j.’s maybe will. Much respect and much love to thee sweaty dancers, and the lost ones, and the ones who fell away.

Yup! Okay! Either way! One FOR SURE thing is that it’ll be available on April 28 in Europe and the UK, as well as at all of the band’s North American shows this year. Sweet! Also, yeah, you can listen to one of the tracks, “Birds Toss Precious Flowers,” down below. Then… you can tweet about it! Please and thank you.

#SMZ #NorthAmericanDatez:

04.07.14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
04.08.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
04.09.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
04.10.14 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
04.11.14 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
04.12.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
04.13.14 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle
04.15.14 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
04.17.14 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall
04.18.14 - Nashville, TN - Exit In
04.19.14 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
04.20.14 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa
04.22.14 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
04.24.14 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
04.25.14 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
04.27.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
04.28.14 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
04.30.14 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
05.01.14 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
05.02.14 - Vancouver, BC - The Rio Theatre
05.04.14 - Calgary, AC - The Republik
05.05.14 - Saskatoon, SK - Vangelis Tavern
05.06.14 - Winnipeg, MB - Union Sound Hall
05.07.14 - Saint Paul, MN - Turf Club
05.08.14 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
05.09.14 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom (Pike Room)
05.10.14 - Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre

• Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra: http://www.tra-la-la-band.com
• Constellation: http://cstrecords.com

Arc Light Editions proves that second is the best with reissue choice number two: Ingram Marshall’s Fog Tropes/Gradual Requiem!

In 1979, a performance artist named Grace Ferguson asked composer Ingram Marshall to prepare sounds for a piece she was working on. Marshall decided to walk around San Francisco and ended up recording fog horns, along with the sea and other sounds. After a bit of manipulation and expansion, including the eventual addition of a brass section for performance, Marshall came up with “Fog Tropes.” He says, “A lot of people are reminded of San Francisco when they hear this piece, but not I. To me it is just about fog, and being lost in the fog. The brass players should sound as if they were off in a raft floating in the middle of a mist-enshrouded bay.”

Marshall wrote “Gradual Requiem” for his father, Harry Marshall. It’s a five-part piece marked by spare electronics as well as the fragile acoustics of mandolin, piano, and gambuh (a type of Balinese flute). Marshall said that he used to play an early version of “Fog Tropes” as a tape piece before “Gradual Requiem,” and he didn’t consider adding brass until John Adams invited him to perform in San Francisco Symphony’s “New and Unusual” concert series and made the suggestion. In 1982, Marshall composed a new version, and in 1984, New Albion released Fog Tropes/Gradual Requiem on vinyl.

So remember last year when Arc Light Editions released a vinyl reissue of Arthur Russell’s Another Thought? Now they’re reissuing Ingram Marshall’s Fog Tropes/Gradual Requiem. It features John Adams as conductor as well as Foster Reed (who heads New Albion) on mandolin. This is the first time since 1984 that this album has been made available on vinyl, and if you want it, you should probably run over here and pre-order a copy.

• Ingram Marshall: http://www.ingrammarshall.com
• Arc Light: http://www.arclighteditions.co.uk

The Haxan Cloak emerges from the murkiest depths of London for assorted US tour dates

The Haxan Cloak is the sound of Bob from Twin Peaks creepin’ up on ya as you absentmindedly laugh at Saturday morning cartoons. It’s the sound your cat is hearing when his eyes get big and he’s staring into a corner — you know, THAT corner. It’s the sound of… well, HAXAN. Plus CLOAK. Come on, people, the name really says it all.

Or, as The New York Times put it, “This could be the sound of looking into the abyss and having the abyss look back.” And now you, too, can look into the abyss with a beer (or in one case, a Red Bull) in hand when the man behind the cloak, Bobby Krlic, leaves behind jolly London Town for his debut US tour behind last year’s Excavation LP (TMT Review) on Tri Angle. He’s playing Pitchfork! The Red Bull Music Academy Fest in New York! And assorted other Major American Cities! The show will feature visuals by Robert Henke of Monolake. As Missy Elliot once said, “Go, get ya cloak on.”

05.09.14 - Washington DC - U Street Music Hall
05.10.14 - New York, NY - Masonic Temple (Red Bull Music Academy Festival)
05.14.14 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
05.15.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Church on York
07.18.14 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival

[Photo: Sam Huddleston]

• The Haxan Cloak: http://haxancloak.tumblr.com
• Tri Angle: http://tri-anglerecords.com

Noxagt return bearing merciless gifts, release new LP Brutage and new compilation Collection 1

The brutality of Norwegian trio Noxagt (pronounced “nox-act”) has, along with their previous relationship with US-based Load Records, allowed for easy comparisons with Lightning Bolt. But if you dissociate the electrostatic moniker from the latter band and you revive your childhood fascination with meteorology (don’t try and deny it), you’ll realize that Noxagt actually have way more in common with tornadoes! Intense as their music is, we’re not talking short bursts that earn a mild disapproval at having to throw away bunches of unintentionally thawed food. We’re talking destruction with fucking rhythm, as they sway insensitively across the open landscape and offer zero hints as to their upcoming path. It’s coming right for us!! Phew, it’s heading for the local, fortunately evacuated, Wal-Mart instead!! Shortly thereafter, the sky swallows them up, and we’re forced to anticipate their inevitable reappearance.

It’s been seven years since Noxagt’s last US tour, and had been slightly longer since the release of their last true LP. There’s no time to hastily gather your somehow largely intact collection of adult manga that’s been strewn about the neighborhood; a new album Brutage has just been released, in addition to Collection 1, a compilation of unreleased material recorded between 2001 and 2004.

Brutage contains four tracks of extended heaviness and is the first Noxagt album to feature John Hegre (of the not-so-bop-like Jazzkammer) on guitar. Collection 1 recalls the early presence of Nils Erga on viola and includes tracks from the very first Noxagt album that was recorded in 2001 but never officially released.

A track from the former is below, but again, both albums are out now.

Brutage tracklisting:

01. …
02. You Were Followed By A Man From The Station To Your House.
03. Someone Calls You Every Night But Says Nothing. You Can’t Sleep.
04. A Colleague Came To Your House And Punched You. Your Room Became Very Messy.
05. A Drunken Person Kicked You At The Station And You Had To Go To The Hospital.

Collection 1 tracklisting:

01. Love Transfusion
02. Thurmaston (Live)
03. Karsk My Bitch Up (Live)
04. Powerchild (Live)
05. Titanic
06. Mek It Burn (Live)
07. Abdel-Wahab
08. Gravy & Blood (Live)
09. Piranha
10. Acasta Gneiss (Live)

• Noxagt: https://www.facebook.com/NOXAGT
• Drid Machine: http://dridmachine.com

The Body share new short film At the Mercy of It All inspired by and including music from their latest full-length I Shall Die Here

So I was hanging out with the guys from The Body the other day (we were having a picnic if you must know), and they were talking about how glad they were that I wrote about their recently released collaborative LP with The Haxan Cloak, I Shall Die Here (TMT Review), in this here news section, which then resulted in it getting EUREKA! status today… and it really made for some great date small talk if I do say so myself. After a bit more light chitchat and some wine, they asked me if I might want to tell the world about the new short film At the Mercy of It All, inspired by and featuring music from I Shall Die Here. And boy do I ever! But I’m nervous too, because me and The Body are supposed to go on a second date next week (we’re gonna get froyo and see the new Wes Anderson movie), and I don’t want to make it awkward!

Me and my big mouth! That first paragraph probably already did plenty to make things awkward, didn’t it? With all that feelings talk and whatnot? Cutting to the chase: starting today you can watch the new film, directed by Jason Evans and starring Todd Schrock, entitled At the Mercy of It All (it’s embedded below). It’s about a guy who lives in a cabin in the woods, but who decides that instead of making music for people to play over the ending of NBC’s Parenthood he’s going to go ahead and try “desperately to hold onto his memory while forced to confront a raging storm.” Uplifting! Evans says the “emotional content of the film” grew out of his very visual experience of The Body’s I Shall Die Here. He says the music kept him returning to “this image of a man, his face covered in dirt, but his arms still moving and his eyes open. Body and soil.” Life-affirming! Also very similar to what I thought the movie Mud was going to be about! To get serious for half a minute: if you’ve ever thought to yourself “I wonder what a movie version of a Brian Evenson short story would be like,” you might want to seriously consider watching At the Mercy of It All.

To go back to being not-serious: tune in next week to see if The Body give me a rose and we go on a third date, or if they decide to send me packing. Fingers crossed!

• The Body: https://www.facebook.com/pages/the-body/334047229514
• RVNG Intl.: http://igetrvng.com

Blackest Ever Black plans release for long-unreleased full-length Dead Unique from Mick Hobbs’ Officer! project

You ever misplace a sandwich right in the middle of eating it? You know, like, “Oh, tasty! Mayonnaise!” and then all of a sudden it’s like, “Hey, what the heck, that sammy was just here!” Happens to the best of us, that’s for sure. Anyway, that sandwich thing is tangentially relevant because today we’re going to be talking about a new release on Blackest Ever Black from Officer! entitled Dead Unique. Dead Unique is a lot like that sandwich you just misplaced because way back in 1995 Mick Hobbs (the brains behind the Officer! operation) went to all that trouble to record an album but then he just up and never released it. What a goof! Also like that sandwich you just can’t find, the press release about it says it runs the gamut from “ragged-raw rock ‘n roll, sumptuous chamber music, pastoral folk, blowsy prog-jazz, and paranoid dub-space” and that it’s “a lost classic of English art-rock” even though I bet they say that to all the girls/sandwiches.

Anyhow, back in 2012 the folks at Blackest Ever Black were scoping the Officer! archive and they discovered Dead Unique and thought to themselves, “The lettuce may be a little wilted from sitting on the shelf for almost 20 years, but this is still one damn fine sandwich of an album!” so now they’re going to release the thing as a glorious double LP (also CD and digital), between which you can put any number of things, including ham, mustard, or corn to make your very own vinyl sandwich.

Mick Hobbs, of course, is not just a solo sandwich-losing joker. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Hobbs worked with all manner of UK-based experimental and post-punk groups, including initially The Work, and later groups such as Flaming Tunes and Family Fodder. He was also quite closely associated with This Heat’s Brixton-based Cold Storage studio, recording his 1984 LP Ossification there. In the early 90s he moved to the US to work alongside Jad Fair’s Half Japanese project. His Officer! project, though a solo endeavor, gave him the opportunity to collaborate with all his pals, including on Dead Unique everyone from Patrick Q of The Legendary Pink Dots, the animator and illustrator Marsha Colburn, and Jad Fair. The release, which Blackest Ever Black emphasizes is not a reissue, since, you know, as we’ve already established, the thing never came out in the first place, is out May 24, and you can pre-order it now, and listen to “V.I.M.” off the album below.

Dead Unique tracklisting:

01. Nest
02. Elephant Flowers
03. It Goes Up / Revenge
04. Go Back
05. Cows Hum in the Fields
06. Shrug / Good
07. Biteman
08. Nardis
09. Someone at the Door
10. Stewed Fruit
11. All I Got
12. V.I.M.
13. Bugs in Amber
14. Guess
15. The Pony Was Contented
16. Lilac and Orange
17. Clint

• Officer!: http://www.discogs.com/artist/722910-Officer!
• Blackest Ever Black: http://blackesteverblack.blogspot.com

Built to Spill announce May dates! Of course, that plan won’t accomplish anything if it’s not implemented

Built to Spill???

More like: Built to RETAIN! Am I right?

Doug Martsch and-whoever-else have been steadily and unwaveringly (on an evolutionary time scale, of course) keeping people-who-like-the-way-guitars-look-and-sound entertained with the sights and sounds of guitars since just after the fucking dawn (evolutionary time scale again) of those crazy-beautiful-awesome instruments’ invention.

And this May? Well, they’re gonna do that same thing some more. For a couple of days at least. Even though they don’t have anything specific to promote. Still, though — GUITARS.

Tourdates to-be-implemented:

05.16.14 - Wilmington, DE - World Café Live
05.17.14 - Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony *
05.18.14 - Baltimore, MD - The Ottobar *
05.19.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl *
05.20.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
05.21.14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
05.23.14 - Canandaigua, NY - Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center ^
05.24.14 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground *
05.25.14 - Boston, MA - City Hall Plaza (Boston Calling Music Festival)
06.20.14 - Seattle, WA - Fremont Fair

* The Warm Hair
^ Death Cab For Cutie, The Head and The Heart

• Built to Spill: http://www.builttospill.com

[Photo: Stephen Gere]

Circuit des Yeux goes on a Fool’s Errand, draws giant eye circles over North America and Europe this summer

In Circuit des Yeux, everything is about seeing… things. Yes, things. The types of things you would go around in a loop for. It’s all in the name: Circuit des Yeux is French for “Loop of Eyes.” Then again, it could be referencing some delicacy involving frog eyes for all we know. But in all seriousness, Circuit des Yeux (a.k.a. Haley Fohr) has made a number of soundscapes now that are different from our standards, putting out an album last year that was worth our time and attention, and is pretty dang cool.

Now she’s showing peeps that even psychedelic rock can be a source of mixtapes, dropping the Fool’s Errand mixtape on SoundCloud today. Haley leaves us a vague description about the mixtape, saying the songs on Fool’s Errand “influenced her at various points in her life.” True to the mixtape spirit, the tracklisting is written on a notepad.

To celebrate such a mixtape, Circuit des Yeux is going on a tour — a big one at that. Starting tonight in Iowa City as part of the Mission Creek Festival (with Earth), Ms. Fohr is going around North America and Europe as part of the annual “summer tour” ritual. Backing her up are buddies John Dawson of Thee Open Sex and Cooper Crain of Bitchin’ Bajas, both of whom were involved in the creation of Overdue last year. Their intentions are to not only fill out the space with Fohr’s works of recent years, but also to create a chain of eyes that stretches across each continent, even if it doesn’t end up as a complete loop. If you have some eyes to donate, please bring them in a bag to your local show, and don’t bother to explain how you got them.

Some day, you will find her:

04.02.14 - Iowa City, IA - Gabe’s Oasis (Mission Creek Festival) *
04.25.14 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop
04.28.14 - Chicago, IL - The Hideout
04.29.14 - St. Louis, MO - Apop Records
04.30.14 - Columbia, MO - Cafe Berlin
05.01.14 - Dallas, TX - Three Links **
05.03.14 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest
05.10.14 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Rumor Festival
05.12.14 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans Upstars
05.13.14 - Cork, Ireland - Gulpd Cafe
05.14.14 - London, England - Cafe Oto
05.16.14 - Guimarães, Portugal - CCVF
05.17.14 - Lisboa, Portugal - ZBD ***
05.19.14 - Paris, France - Espace B ****
05.22.14 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain
05.24.14 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Jazz House *****
05.25.14 - Krakow, Poland - Green Zoo Festival
05.27.14 - Hamburg, Germany - Kampnagel *****
06.13.14 - Columbus, OH - Double Happiness
06.14.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Issue Project Room
06.15.14 - Portland, ME - Space Gallery
06.16.14 - Boston, MA - TBD
06.17.14 - Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo (Suoni Fest)
06.18.14 - Toronto, ON - NXNE
06.19.14 - Detroit, MI - MOCAD

* Earth
** Steve Gunn
*** Sir Richard Bishop
**** Dean Wareham
***** Xiu Xiu

• Circuit des Yeux: http://www.circuitdesyeux.net
• Ba Da Bing: http://www.badabingrecords.com

Mexican Summer reviving reissue imprint Anthology Recordings, and it’s about to get physical, physical

Everybody loves reissues! They’re like friends with beer, or cat pictures on the internet. NO ONE CAN RESIST THEM. What wondrous, long-forgotten artist will you unearth while listening to a REISSUE? What life-changing auditory delight will haunt your soul after you listen to a REISSUE? That’s the magick of reissues! You just don’t know what’s been hiding up in some drunken stranger’s private press LP collection for the last 30 years, just waiting for you to pick it up at your local record buying emporium!

That sense of wonder and delight is what Mexican Summer hopes to bring YOU, dear friends, via its newly relaunched reissue imprint, Anthology Recordings. The imprint was originally launched in 2007 to make digital versions of out-of-print albums available, and after a three-year hiatus, Anthology is back with not only digital downloads but PHYSICAL vinyl and CD releases. First on deck is the April 29 re-release of Linda Perhacs’ Parallelograms and Threat to Creation, a project by Adrian Sherwood’s Creation Rebel/New Age Steppers that features guest appearances from Ari Up of The Slits and Keith Levene of Public Image Ltd. Also on deck are reissues from German (duh) synth dude Rüdiger Lorenz and The Stroke Band, which featured people from The Unknowns, Gumball, and Half Japanese.

• Anthology Recordings: http://anthologyrecordings.com

Jack White announces new album Lazaretto, totally sells out and uses computers to help get the word out!

Whoa, man. What is with this harsh, ugly, cold, digital, online announcement I just read regarding the release of Jack White’s newest solo album (and follow-up to 2012’s pretty cool Blunderbuss) that’s coming out in June for his Third Man Records label? I don’t know about y’all, but when an analog purist like White announces a new record, I expect to find out about it via a beautifully hand-silkscreened and individually numbered print that gets hand-delivered to my mailbox by a uniformed employee of Third Man, if not White himself. But alas, apparently that’s a little too much to ask? Am I missing something here?

Anyway, the album is called Lazaretto (which I think is either some sort of car or a shoe), and it’s due on June 9/10 in all of its analog glory. Of course, since June is still a long way off, White will also be releasing the title track “later this month” as the first official single.

Speaking of analog glory, there’s also a pretty insanely ambitious Vault package available that includes all kinds of exclusive stuff, such as split-color vinyl, exclusive artwork, several 7-inches of album demos, a “lavish 40-page hard bound companion piece book full of lyrics, exclusive musical notations, photos and art” and even a “linen, letter-pressed postcard with the same eye-popping color separations as evidenced in classic chromatic postcards popular in the first half of the 20th century.” Honestly, it’s kind of a lot of stuff. You can read all of the crisp, warm, high-end details over at White’s website if you want. Just know that subscriptions are only open through April 30 and that, again, you’re kinda being encouraged to use a computer, which is bullshit.

And finally, if even “later this month” sounds interminably far off to you to hear a new Jack White single, you can also “experience a first taste of new music from the album and watch the video for new instrumental track ‘High Ball Stepper’” in all its crude… digital-iousness down below. Yick. No thank you.

• Jack White: http://jackwhiteiii.com
• Third Man: http://thirdmanrecords.com

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