Blur to release new album The Magic Whip, their first since the last Year of the Goat

Blur, who do not follow TMT on Twitter, have a new album called The Magic Whip, their first since 2003’s Think Tank. Here’s my review: The album starts with “Lonesome Street,” a fantastic song that kicks off the album on the right track. It’s followed by “New World Towers,” which is great, then leads right into the album’s first single, “Go Out.” After that, “Ice Cream Man” comes in, just before the awesome “Thought I Was a Spaceman” hits. Soon after, “I Broadcast” busts through the gates, then suddenly dives right into one of my favorite Blur songs ever: “My Terracotta Heart.” I love the vocals on the next track, “There are Too Many of Us,” but the real winner is the guitar on track #9: “Ghost Ship.” Wow. Seriously! “Pyongyang,” “Ong Ong,” and “Mirror Ball” put a nice cap on this amazing album.

Pumped now? Great. Look for The Magic Whip April 28.

Tracklisting:

01. Lonesome Street
02. New World Towers
03. Go Out
04. Ice Cream Man
05. Thought I Was a Spaceman
06. I Broadcast
07. My Terracotta Heart
08. There are Too Many of Us
09. Ghost Ship
10. Pyongyang
11. Ong Ong
12. Mirror Ball

• Blur: http://www.blur.co.uk

Sun Kil Moon announces new album Universal Themes in case you have any tears left

Mark Kozelek’s Benji was an unflinching and painfully honest memoir of an album that was arguably last year’s heaviest release (sorry The Body and Mr. Krlic). Despite (or perhaps because of) the hyper-specificity of its songs, it was a visceral listening experience that, even when it wasn’t relatable, set the listener up for their own journey of deeply personal self-reflection that no one was really ready for because who needs that shit in the age of PC Music, right? And all this from a guy who once released an entire album of Modest Mouse covers (no disrespect, but who really saw this coming)?

Now Kozelek has announced his follow-up to that album under his usual Sun Kil Moon moniker. It’s called Universal Themes and will be released on June 2 via Caldo Verde in CD and digital formats; limited vinyl will be released later in the year. It features percussion from Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and has a mundane, middle-of-America cover photo similar to Benji’s. It also features a track titled “With a Sort of Grace I Walked to the Bathroom to Cry.” Oh boy, here we go again. Previously released track “The Possum,” which you can stream below, shows up on the album’s tracklist. “War on Drugs: Suck My Cock,” on the other hand, does not.

Universal Themes tracklist:

01. The Possum
02. Birds of Flims
03. With a Sort of Grace I Walked to the Bathroom to Cry
04. Garden of Lavender
05. Cry Me a River Williamsburg Sleeve Tattoo Blues
06. Ali/Spinks 2
07. Little Rascals
08. This Is My First Day and I’m Indian and I Work at a Gas Station

• Sun Kil Moon: http://sunkilmoon.com
• Caldo Verde: http://www.caldoverderecords.com

METZ announce new album II, continuing the adventures of the characters introduced on the previoius record

Rodney, Wompo, Melissa, Big Ted, and Leslie Fire are back! This beloved cast of characters, introduced back on the first album by METZ in 2012, have returned for a new set of adventures. Did Wompo get into college? Did Melissa find her true father? Is Big Ted going to prison? All this and more will be revealed on May 4 (May 5 in Europe), when Sub Pop puts out II, the second album by METZ.

Though it doesn’t feature any of the crazy cast of characters we know and love, METZ has released a Travis Millard-directed video for “Acetate,” the opening track off II. It’s a track that could be described as “tough” and “hecka tough.” To achieve that tuff sound, the band recorded their new album in various studios in Ontario, having self-produced and mixed with some assistance from engineer Graham Walsh. Watch the video:

Perhaps in order to avoid responding to correspondence concerning fan theories, METZ are doing quite a bit of touring the coming months. Because they are a band that exists in this world, they will be playing SXSW. But they’ll also be doing extensive touring in both North America and Europe, sharing stages with Lightning Bolt, FIDLAR, and Protomartyr. Now, let’s talk about those theories. Rodney and Leslie Fire: siblings? Or warlocks?

II tracklist:

01. Acetate
02. The Swimmer
03. Spit You Out
04. Zzyzx
05. IOU
06. Landfill
07. Nervous System
08. Wait in Line
09. Eyes Peeled
10. Kicking a Can of Worms

METZ dates:

02.21.15 - Pasadena, CA - Air & Style Los Angeles @ Rose Bowl
02.28.15 - Mexico City, Mexico - NRMAL Festival
03.03.15 - London, UK - 100 Club
03.05.15 - Paris, France - Point Emphemere
03.16-20.15 - Austin, TX - SXSW
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 *
05.01-02.15 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace ^
05.08.15 - Austin, TX - Levitation 2015
05.09.15 - Atlanta, GA - Shaky Knees Festival
05.11.15 - St. Petersburg, FL - State Theatre &
05.12.15 - Orlando, FL - The Social &
05.13.15 - Birmingham, AL - Work Play &
05.14.15 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge &
05.19.15 - St. Louis, MO - The Firebird &
05.20.15 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
05.21.15 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry &
05.22.15 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry &
05.23.15 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon &
05.26.15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom &
05.27.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg &
05.28.15 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club &
05.29.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
05.30.15 - Boston, MA - Paradise &
06.16.15 - London, UK - Underworld
06.17.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique (Rotonde)
06.19.15 - Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands - Best Kept Secret Festival
06.20.15 - Scheesel, Germany - Hurricane Festival
06.21.15 - Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany - Southside Festival
06.22.15 - Leipzig, Germany - Taubchenthal
06.24.15 - Berlin, Germany - Cassiopeia
06.25.15 - Cologne, Germany - MTC
07.24-26.15 - Oro-Medonte, Ontario - Wayhome Music & Arts Festival

* Lightning Bolt
& FIDLAR
^ Protomartyr

• METZ: http://www.metzztem.com
• Sub Pop: https://www.subpop.com

A. G. Cook drops new single, massive PC Music SXSW showcase announced, Hannah Diamond and GFOTY full-lengths on the way

Big news from the world of PC Music y’all. To the point:

• A. G. Cook has released a new single featuring Hannah Diamond, “Drop FM.”

• Essentially everyone from the PC Music roster will be performing at a SXSW showcase on March 19, 8 PM to 2 AM at Empire Garage. The lineup includes PC affiliates SOPHIE and Felicita and thought-to-never-return easyFun.

• The showcase will include the debut of new material from Kane West, SOPHIE, and Felicita, and a new stage show from QT.

• Full-lengths from Hannah Diamond and GFOTY are expected later this year.

• A. G. Cook is 24 years old.

SXSW lineup:

Hannah Diamond
GFOTY
QT
SOPHIE
A. G. Cook
Danny L Harle
felicita
Spinee
Kane West
easyFun

• A. G. Cook: https://soundcloud.com/agcook
• Hannah Diamond: http://hannahdiamond.com
• PC Music: http://pcmusic.info

Blanck Mass announces Dumb Flesh on Sacred Bones for your Dainty Ears

Humans are remarkably complex on a biological level. Conversely, I really wish I could tear away a hangnail without bleeding enough to make strangers think that I had just crushed a small rodent. Where Agent Smith was all about critiquing our fragile physical form through the “eyes” of a maniacal computer program, Benjamin Power a.k.a. Blanck Mass is all about paying arguable tribute through the figurative melting of our senses. It’s not as easy as my lead-up suggests, but given his self-titled effort from 2011, as well as his noisy (yet accessible) work with Fuck Buttons, he might have a particular knack for it.

Enter Dumb Flesh, Power’s sophomore solo LP set for release May 12 on Sacred Bones. Supposedly the creative process behind the album served as an additional reflection of the limitations of the human body, as Power recalls “at least three occasions” where he engaged in total revision, until he was happy with “where the evolution of the project had arrived.” I don’t personally know any humans capable of wholesale change in form, but maybe your best friend’s a blue lady.

The awesome lead single suggests something quite different from the debut:

Dumb Flesh tracklisting:

01. Loam
02. Dead Format
03. No Lite
04. Atrophies
05. Cruel Sport
06. Double Cross
07. Lung
08. Detritus
09. Life Science [vinyl only]

• Blanck Mass: https://blanckmass.bandcamp.com
• Sacred Bones: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld announce collaborative LP on Constellation, out April 28

Can a violin fit inside a saxophone if you jam it in there just right? Maybe! I don’t know! What if the violin’s like a child size one, and the saxophone’s a joke saxophone that’s the size of two full-grown adults? I bet in that case you could slide that ole violin in there easy-peasy. With all this talk of jamming instruments inside other instruments, I feel like you and I are really on track to write up a post about the freshly announced collaborative full-length between saxophonist Colin “Ole Fake Lungs” Stetson and violinist Sarah “Her Fingers Might Be Invisible” Neufeld. So let’s dive in! The album’s called Never were the way she was and it’s due out April 28 from Canadian starmongers Constellation.

As an avid reader of this site/imaginer of instruments stuffed inside other instruments, I’m willing to bet you’re already familiar with the work of both Ole Fake Lungs and Her Fingers Might be Invisible, but, because I like embedding links, lets do a refresher anyway. Stetson’s most recent solo work was bringing his New History Warfare trilogy to a close back in 2013 with To See More Light. Neufeld is a current touring member of a little tiny indie rock band you might’ve heard of once or twice called the Arcade Fire, and she’s also worked with Bell Orchestre. In 2013 she released her debut solo record Hero Brother. The duo started working together back in 2012 when they toured together, and have ever since been road testing their collaborative compositions. Peep the album’s opening track “The sun roars into view” below, and pre-order the album here.

Never were the way she was tracklist:

01. The sun roars into view
02. Won’t be a thing to become
03. In the vespers
04. And still they move
05. With the dark hug of time
06. The rest of us
07. Never were the way she was
08. Flight

• Sarah Neufeld: http://sarahneufeldmusic.com
• Colin Stetson: http://colinstetson.com
• Constellation: http://cstrecords.com

Anthology Recordings kick off 2015 with Michael Angelo self-titled reissue

If, like most of us, you’ve ever had a boss, when things are slow they’ve probably told you “You should never just be sitting, there’s always something you could be doing…” “Sitting” for you might be surfing the internet, calling a friend, writing a poem, or playing a game — one should always start “sitting” the moment the boss steps out the door. For Michael Angelo (née Michael Angelo Nigro), this meant recording an unassuming set of mellow psychedelic gems.

As the story goes, Michael Angelo worked by day as a session musician in a small Kansas City studio and recorded these tracks in his down time. Lush, naive, colorful, angelic, the songs have none of the punk aggression sweeping music when this was recorded in 1977, but rather than behind the times, the songs feel timeless. Short by “psych” standards, most of the tracks clock in at three minutes or less. At times they do indeed sound like they were recorded in short, spare moments, but not the spare moments that are forgotten, rather the moments filled with the small joys of quotidian life, love letters delivered anonymously, or secrets hastily whispered into the listener’s ear.

Rumors and name-drops about this album have always existed in greater quantity than actual opportunities to listen. Perhaps you downloaded the album years ago, but also downloaded several dozen other super-rare psych masterpieces at the same time, and in the end just found yourself listening to Drake all day.

Fortunately, Anthology Recordings has Michael Angelo’s self-titled album lined up as their next reissue, their first of a 2015 that looks to build on the solid foundation they laid for themselves in 2014. I’m always reluctant to buy Anthology Recordings releases, because the content is often so smokin’ hot that my smoke alarm is triggered by what comes out of my speakers, and it’s more than mere paranoia when I express a concern that this Michael Angelo reissue may literally set my record needle on fire. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Scope the track below, and you’ll see what I mean:

The reissue drops on vinyl, CD, and digitally on April 28. Check Anthology HQ for pre-order information.

• Anthology Recordings: http://www.anthologyrecordings.com

Pop music’s Beck “Beck” Hansen leverages his newfound international acclaim and celebrity in order to promote several shows

Fellow music listeners, I can feel it. this Beck Hansen dude is gonna be big. I mean, like, Hanson big. I don’t know if you know this or not from the internet sites you visit, but his last album was very well received by everyone in the world — by which I mean America — and it even earned him an award at this year’s Awards Show. In order to further reinforce that point I just made and thing I just referenced, please find a word-for-word quotation from The Entertainment Weekly Magazine about Beck Hansen below this colon:

As he blew through some of the biggest songs of his career, he seemed to be in excellent spirits… Beck has built his entire career on boldly mixing styles together and constantly reinventing his sound… it’s a testament to his confidence as a performer and his sheer undefinable cool that it all makes perfect sense. That’s logic in the Beck Dimension, and we should all be lucky enough to visit once in a while.

Yes indeed. So now, according to his latest solid gold press release, by way of celebration, Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence award-winner Beck Hansen “has added three headline dates to his run of shows this May.” Tickets for these shows will go on sale this Friday, February 20 at 10 AM, regardless of which American time zone you live in. Here is that intensive list of concerts. To help ameliorate any confusion, the new shows are in bold face. Thanks music fans, and in closing, may God Bless and Save Beck Hansen.

Beck Victory Lap Mega-tour 2K15:

05.15-17.14 - Gulf Shores, AL - Hangout Music Fest
05.16.14 - Memphis, TN - Mud Island Amphitheater
05.19.14 - North Charleston, SC - North Charleston Performing Arts Center
05.20.14 - Charlottesville, VA - nTelos Wireless Pavilion

05.22.14 - Boston, MA - Boston Calling Festival

• Beck: http://www.beck.com
• Capitol: http://www.capitolrecords.com

Software to re-release Suicideyear’s debut mixtape Japan

On March 10, Software will release a reworked version of Suicideyear’s 2013 debut mixtape Japan on vinyl and digital formats. The tape, originally released as a limited-run cassette on Helsinki label Anti-Party Music, preceded Suicideyear’s excellent Remembrance EP, an experience TMT reviewer Gage Taylor called “pointillist vapors almost entirely divorced from any existing scene.” In addition to the vinyl and digital releases, Japan will be issued on CD alongside Remembrance, together titled DREAM 727. Yes, the boy is hot!

It’s totally understandable that the thirst for physical copies of the mixtape is heavy: he’s wrapping up a tour through Western Europe and coming hard with a string of productions for underground kings like Rome Fortune, Antwon, Yung Lean, Bones, and Prada Mane. And who knows, maybe Software saw the itch on Discogs, where Japan holds a 16-to-71 have-to-want ratio, and wanted to reach out to the parched. Either way, the drought is almost over, y’all.

Check out the video for “Interest,” created by Serena Forghieri:

Did you have, lose, and recoup your cottonmouth? Then find Suicideyear at Marfa Myths or catch him in his hometown at Buku Music Festival, and PLEASE also keep your ear to the street for Suicideyear at SXSW.

[Photo: Thomas Cristiani & Adrien Toubiana]

• Suicideyear: https://suicideyear.bandcamp.com
• Software: http://www.softwarelabel.net

Woodsist Fest announces lineup, boasts the biggest “sur” of any festival

“Wow! That’s one hell of a sur!” — explorers in 1452, after spotting the largest sur they had ever seen, shortly before naming the area Big Sur.

It is with that spirit of exploration that Woodsist Festival is powered, the event held by the titular record label in Big Sur for the past six years. Some venture to the event in hoping to find a secret map, left by fifteenth-century explorers, detailing the whereabouts of an even larger sur. Others know that is pure folly and simply come to experience modern sounds of psych and folk. Both sets of people are set to attend Woodsist Festival 2015, taking place May 18 at Big Sur’s Loma Vista Gardens.

Amidst all that incredible sur, this year’s headliners will be Real Estate and, fittingly enough, Woods. Currently, White Fence, Little Wings, and Simon Joyner & The Ghosts are booked for the single-day event, though more acts are expected to be announced. Like in the past few years, the event is presented by (((folkYeah!))). Tickets go on sale today at noon, but sur goes on sale never, for sur should be available to all.

• Woodsist: http://www.woodsist.com
• (((folkYeah!))): http://folkyeah.com