With the ultimate cancellation of Sasquatch’s inaugural second weekend last year (originally set to take place about a month after the first, during the weekend of July 4), there was an infinitesimal risk of artist backlash following the abrupt denial of scheduled performances. Kraftwerk could’ve used their rejection as a legitimate excuse to unveil their actual machine-men army, who would’ve henceforth barricaded the Gorge in order to prevent any future Sasquatches/scenic overlooks. But instead, they and a few other acts opted to book replacement shows in Seattle, where fans made barely a whisper about the supplemental musical excursion that never was.
Passes are already on sale for the indelible single weekend of Sasquatch! 2015, which will feature the following artists performing during the typical Memorial Day Weekend: Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant, Modest Mouse, Tame Impala, St. Vincent, The Decemberists, James Blake, Gogol Bordello, The New Pornographers, Lana Del Rey, Jenny Lewis, Spoon, and many others brandishing (not too) widespread appeal. See the full lineup here. I like the spacey poster design.
• Sasquatch! Music Festival: http://www.sasquatchfestival.com
Shrimper becomes a 25-year-old record label, shares retrospective sampler including The Mountain Goats, Sentridoh, announces new Refrigerator LP
Okay, good news: Shrimper is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a record label and I’m here to tell you about it. Maybe you’re all like “wait, what’s a Shrimper,” and well, besides literally being someone who collects shrimp from the ocean, it’s also a small label run by Dennis Callaci run out of California, which found its start back in 1990 because Callaci was “in a band that was never going to put out any kind of music otherwise.” That was Callaci’s band with his brother Allen and few other collaborators. They were called Refrigerator. They are as good as they are difficult to Google.
Like a lot of people who are only two years older than the label itself, I came to Shrimper’s back catalog by way of my boy John Darnielle in The Mountain Goats. I was probably scouring the liner notes to Bitter Melon Farm, or listening to “The Rain Song” in particular or something and I noticed a seafood-related trend and so I set out in search of comps and tapes various digital castoffs from the likes of Franklin Bruno, Nothing Painted Blue, Refrigerator, WCKR SPGT, Furniture Huschle, and Sentridoh — Abridged Perversion in particular was a pretty thoroughly clutch intro. Not gonna lie and say “I was there when it all started,” because I obviously wasn’t, but I can tell you for certain that I got there once everything was underway and that this shit continues to hold up. Case in point, the celebratory sampler up on SoundCloud right now that collects tracks from throughout the label’s run, including The Babies, Dump, Woods/Amps for Christ, and “Certain Dance-Circumstance” from Sentridoh which is maybe my all time favorite Lou Barlow-sourced track in existence. You can listen to the whole thing below — it’s great.
That’s not all, either. There’s a new Refrigerator album coming out February 17 — order it here. It’s called Temple City and it follows 2011’s demos collection Dangerous. Dennis Callaci says he wrote the song “This Woman Here” (also embedded below) for a “false started R&B project,” and you can heart that just a little in the lilt of the structure, though overall it’s Refrigerator’s shambolically sparse textures that creep out to the fore. The band plans to tour a bit behind the album in conjunction with vocalist Allen Callaci’s book tour behind his Heart Like Starfish.
Temple City tracklist:
01. Your Hometown
02. As Advertised Please Don’t Touch
03. The Real Thing
04. This Woman Here
05. Pocket Thousandaire
06. Cul De Sac
08. Secret Knock
10. Thinking Man’s Fool
11. Rest of the Lonesome
12. Run Down Rings
13. Percy Sledge
14. As I Was Before
15. No Fun
16. Sophia Loren
17. Smile Kid
Yo yo yo, to all my friends around the world, I’d ask that you pour one out for all the collections of humans and/or puppets with ampersands in their names. This goes out to you Statler & Waldorf, and you Iron & Wine, and you Simon & Garfunkel. And yeah, to you Wreck & Reference. Actually, I wanna spend a little extra time thinking about Wreck & Reference right now, and not just because y’all just announced a tour that I’m supposed to be writing about. Without you, everyone would probably think that an ampersand means you’re either an insult puppet or a couple of dudes with acoustic guitars. Without you, no one would know the true range of the ampersand vis a vis the naming of musical groups, and for that we are grateful.
Ahead of last year’s excellent Want, a lot of folks were prepared for a band called Wreck & Reference, what with their ampersand and all, to turn on, folk in, and puppet out. But as we all know, that’s pretty much the opposite of what happened. It was more like Want was an immersion blender and our collective guts were the substance into which the blender got immersed, and after that, everyone thought just a little bit differently about a certain punctuation mark. And so now, with all that behind us, I’m sure you’re just itching to know their tour dates. Well, that’s why I’ve listed them below! I am very considerate! All the dates are with California’s So Stressed, and a few of the dates have additional support slated, which I’ve indicated with punctuation marks other than the ampersand, because I’m not only considerate, I’m also playful, dammit.
03.13.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Jewel’s Catch One @
03.20.15 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Sweet Springs Saloon
03.21.15 - Oakland, CA - The Golden Bull #
03.22.15 - Eugene, OR - Wandering Goat
03.23.15 - Portland, OR - High Water Mark
03.24.15 - Seattle, WA - The Highline
03.26.15 - Salt Lake City, UT - Bar Deluxe
03.27.15 - Denver, CO - Mutiny Info Cafe
03.28.15 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon
03.29.15 - Ames, IA - The Pentagon
03.30.15 - Chicago, IL - The Burlington
03.31.15 - Lafayette, IN - The Spot Tavern
04.01.15 - Cleveland, OH - Now That’s Class
04.02.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
04.03.15 - New Paltz, NY - The Alter
@ Naomi Punk, PC Worship
# Bosse-de-Nage, Beast Nest
Mac McCaughan, the most believable man in indie rock, announces new album, Non-Believers! Unbelievable!
Believe it, professional-grade music listeners. And mark your calendars. On May 5, 2015, the history of rock is going to change forever. Because that’s when Superchunk frontman and Merge Records’ own Mac “Barack O’Brien W. Bush Trump Gates” McCaughan will release Non-Believers, his VERY FIRST EVER solo record under his VERY OWN and VERY COOL name (no Portastatic bullshit to hide behind here). Prior to that red-letter date, Mac “McCartney” McCaughan will also pull a “Penny Lane”/”Strawberry Fields Forever”-type thing on us and release a limited-edition, hand-numbered 7-inch of the titanic mega-song “Box Batteries” backed with the Earth-shattering “Whatever Light”! I know how unbelievable this all sounds, but it’s all true. SHOCKINGLY TRUE.
In a rare interview with the press, the god-like McCaughan fired off a beautiful and completely unrehearsed speech about how his intention was to “use the album to explore his attraction to that early-’80s era of music when punk evolved into something more introspective, focusing on themes of isolation and eventually turning into post-punk and new wave.” In other words: the best, most authentic, and ONLY kind of important music ever. Bar none. Period. The record “is about a fascination with art that could only be made by someone far from where you are, but who maybe shares the frustrations and awkwardness of youth” and “the irony that comes with being 16 and having a car but not knowing where to go in it, or having a keyboard or a guitar and not knowing how to play it.” A lot of the attendees fainted when they heard these words… but somehow I scribbled it down for you guys.
But that’s not even the most mind-blowing OR authentic part. The real killer is that you can actually pre-order this high watermark of the twenty-first century humanities now on CD and LP in the Merge store, as well as digitally via iTunes. And not only that, but the first 250 LP orders will receive Non-Believers on light gragy vinyl. LIGHT. FUCKING. GRAY. Unbelievable! Oh yeah, and the “Box Batteries” 7-inch is also available for pre-order as of right this authentic second, todays-ville, USA. What a time to be alive, music fans! We really can have it all. This truly is the best of times.
Authentic, hand-drawn Mac McCaughan tour dates:
04.17-19.15 - Winston-Salem, NC - Phuzz Phest
05.07.15 - Washington, DC - Black Cat Backstage
05.08.15 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
05.09.15 - Wilmington, NC - Bourgie Nights
05.15.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts
05.16.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
05.21.15 - Atlanta, GA - 529 Club
05.22.15 - Asheville, NC - The Mothlight
05.23.15 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle Backroom
Pitchfork Music Festival announces lineup: Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, Chance the Rapper to headline, but A. G. Cook to headline in our hearts
Pitchfork’s yearly Chicago festival is circling back around on its prey (your ears) and will sink its teeth into your ears’ neck on July 17-19. Does that metaphor make sense? Tickets have been on sale for a couple weeks but without any artists announced; today Pitchfork has rectified that situation. This year’s Bacchanalia will feature the likes of
Chvrches, Panda Bear, Mac DeMarco, iLoveMakonnen, Iceage, Ought, Steve Gunn, Tobias Jesso Jr., Jessica Pratt, Natalie Prass, Ryley Walker (Friday);
Future Islands, The New Pornographers, Todd Terje & The Olsens, Kurt Vile, Parquet Courts, Ariel Pink, Vic Mensa, A$AP Ferg, Ex Hex, Vince Staples, Future Brown, Shamir, Mr. Twin Sister, Protomartyr, Jimmy Whispers, Bully (Saturday);
and Run the Jewels, Caribou, Jamie xx, Madlib & Freddie Gibbs, Courtney Barnett, Perfume Genius, Waxahatchee, SOPHIE, The Julie, Ruin, Clark, How to Dress Well, A. G. Cook, Viet Cong, Mourn, Bitchin Bajas, and Single Mothers (Sunday);
PLUS HEADLINERS: Wilco (Friday) – Sleater-Kinney (Saturday) – Chance the Rapper (Sunday) a.k.a. the bizarro Beck – Neutral Milk Hotel – Kendrick Lamar.
• Pitchfork Music Festival: http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com
The Iraq War. The recession. Twilight fan fiction. Much of the new millennium has been totally insane, yet Coachwhips has only been responsible for some of that madness. This band played some of the craziest shows I’ve ever seen. I saw them in Austin, TX in the early 00s and someone in the band threw a metal trashcan, just ruining everything. Ruin, glorious ruin! It was wonderful, heavy, depraved abandon and I was honestly kinda surprised that the cops didn’t come. And now that legacy lives on into our new, more boring, (questionably) less tumultuous times, with the impending release of the reissued and remastered Bangers vs. Fuckers.
Weasel Walter mastered it. It got recut onto frantic 45 RPM. It comes out on 4/20. What else do you need, a 40 oz and some dirty denim? This comes out on Mr. Coachwhips himself, John Dwyer’s record label Castle Face Records. (Gather round, young ‘uns, this is what Thee Oh Sees sounded like when George W. was president.) You wanna hear this ish? Stream the magic over at The FADER.
Bangers vs. Fuckers tracklisting:
01. You Gonna Get It
02. Extinguish Me
03. I Knew Her, She Knew Me
04. Purse Peeking
05. Dancefloor, Bathroom
06. I Drank What?
07. Evil Son
08. Thee Alarm
09. Recline, Recline
10. Harlow’s Muscle of Love
11. Goodnight, Goodbuy
• Castle Face: http://www.castlefacerecords.com
Drake surprise-drops new album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, is somewhere eating a fondue plate
“I like sweaters. I have a sweater obsession, I guess.”
Ka-boom. Like Beyoncé, Drake has surprise-dropped a new album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Like Björk’s new one, the album is currently only available on iTunes. Like Dean Blunt’s The Redeemer, the cover art features some praying hands.
Meanwhile, Drake’s somewhere eating a fondue plate.
• Cash Money: http://www.cashmoney-records.com
The Books’ Paul de Jong announces debut solo album IF, hopefully composed solely from samples of Malcolm McDowell being pithy
The Books formed in 1999 and officially split up in 2012. Over the course of that 13-year span they released four incredible albums of delicate experimentation and sample manipulation. Playful, meditative, mournful, absurd, hilarious, surreal, profound, and heart-breaking are all apt descriptions of their one-of-a-kind style, and yet none of them quite captures the full picture. And hey, bonus, their first album was our 22nd favorite of the last decade, despite the fact that Nick Zammuto (one half of the duo) admits they may not have known exactly what they were doing before or after its completion, and that, perhaps, speaks to their music’s power more than any of those aforementioned descriptors. It’s the indefinable quality, the unexpectedness. It’s the samples. Those bizarre, out of context, out of nowhere bits of dialogue from some forgotten film or unlabeled cassette found at a garage sale that give the music so much power. Yes, of course, they’d be nothing without the gorgeous, innovative music that surrounds them, but admit it, you can’t separate the word “aleatoric” from “Read, Eat, Sleep.” You have to admit it. You’re lying if you don’t.
Since the duo’s dissolution, Nick Zammuto has put out two charming albums under his surname, but The Books’ other half, cellist and sample guru Paul de Jong, has been quiet. But all that’s about to change, praise be to the great self-conscious dead fish. On April 28, de Jong will release IF via Temporary Residence. And despite the fact that I want to be surprised and delighted by an array of strange and unheard samples, and despite the fact that the album is missing the ellipses found in the title of Lindsay Anderson’s 1968 film of (sort of) the same name, it would still be kind of great if the album consisted only of Malcolm McDowell being all pithy and anti-authoritarian. Of course, you can listen to the album’s first single, “Auction Block,” below, and hear that, sadly, this is not the case. Still a great track, though. You can also check out a frisky little mildly NSFW album trailer right here, you know, if you’re feeling a bit like a tiger.
01. Auction Block
03. This Is Who I Am
05. Golden Gate
06. Debt Free
07. Baxter @ 73
09. Age of the Sea
11. The Art of What
Who has enough piss, enough vinegar to be America’s grumpiest band? It’s a pity, but I don’t have the answer. Here’s a contender, though: Detroit’s Protomartyr. With all the mope of the post-punk revival replaced with a mountain of dissatisfied grumbling, the band grumps with the best of them.
Now they’ve got a score to settle with this country called the United States, so they’re taking their grievances to the road. On the way, they’ll join forces with the likes of The Gotobeds, Perfect Pussy, and Priests, all tremendous grumps in their own ways.
Through clenched teeth and spit, the group has released a video for “Want Remover” from last year’s Under Color of Official Right. Incidentally, the video features an awful lot of serene dancing. It is, somehow, some way, one of the least grumpy videos in recent memory.
02.28.15 - Chicago, IL - Music Frozen Dancing @ The Empty Bottle *
04.08.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Gooski’s !
04.09.15 - Ithaca, NY - Cornell University ! +
04.11.15 - Providence, RI - AS220 !
04.12.15 - Cambridge, MA - Club Bohemia !
04.14.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s !
04.15.15 - Brooklyn, NY - The Wick !
04.16.15 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall ! % +
04.17.15 - Winston-Salem, NC - The Garage !
04.18.15 - Athens, GA - Caledonia ! #
04.20.15 - Atlanta, GA - 529 #
04.21.15 - Cincinnati, OH - Northside Tavern
* Perfect Pussy, Oozing Wound, NE-HI
! The Gotobeds
# Wymyns Prysyn
Listen, I don’t like to rest on my laurels. They’re stiff and scratchy and I’ve got a way better recliner in my living room for when I’m in the mood to rest thank you very much. But you know what, sometimes you just gotta pull ‘em out, put your feet up, and crack open a cold one. Like, for example, right now in this very news post about the recently released details on the new Faith No More album called Sol Invictus. You see, back in September of last year, I made a Certified Great little joke about even though we all thought Faith No More was No More it turns out that, yes, there is More Faith No More on the way, ergo Faith Yes More! I, like the fellas in the band, say “yes,” to more Faith No More but, in this case, say “no” to more jokes about the band because, honestly the Faith Yes More thing seems like the best I’m gonna do.
So, Sol Invictus is out May 19 on the band’s own imprint Reclamation in conjunction with Ipecac Recordings. It’s their first album since 1997’s Album of the Year, so who knows what it will sound like. Probably like Faith No More though, right? Well, I can confirm that in a statement, bassist Bill Gould said, “…it’s always going to sound like us,” so there you go. How’s that for Faith Yes More, ya sucker. Among the 10 tracks will be included “Motherfucker,” which the band already released back in November as a part of Record Store Day’s Black Friday thing, so perhaps, Faith Not As Much More as You Originally Thought? The band’s also going on a big tour, but the North American leg is already sold out, so if you’re in North America and want to go, you’re out of luck, buddy. That’s on you.
Sol Invictus tracklist:
01. Sol Invictus
03. Sunny Side Up
04. Separation Anxiety
05. Cone of Shame
06. Rise of the Fall
07. Black Friday
10. From the Dead
02.17.2015 - Tokyo, Japan - Studio Coast
02.18.2015 - Tokyo, Japan - Studio Coast
02.21.2015 - Adelaide, Australia - Soundwave Festival
02.22.2015 - Melbourne, Australia - Soundwave Festival
02.28.2015 - Sydney, Australia - Soundwave Festival
03.01.2015 - Brisbane, Australia - Soundwave Festival
03.03.2015 - Auckland, New Zealand - WestFest
04.15.2015 - Vancouver, BC - PNE Forum
04.16.2015 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theater
04.17.2015 - Portland, OR - Keller Auditorium
04.19.2015 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield
04.20.2015 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield
04.23.2015 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
04.24.2015 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
04.25.2015 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
05.07.2015 - Chicago, IL - Concord Music Hall
05.08.2015 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore
05.09.2015 - Toronto, ON - Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
05.11.2015 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
05.13.2015 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
05.14.2015 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
05.15.2015 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
05.29.2015 - Nurburgring, Germany - Grune Holle Festival
05.31.2015 - Munich, Germany - Rockavaria Festival
06.02.2015 - Milan, Italy - Sonisphere
06.04.2015 - Vienna, Austria - Vienna Rocks Festival
06.05.2015 - Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic - Rock For People Festival
06.12.2015 - Landgraaf, Netherlands - Pinkpop Festival
06.13.2015 - Donington, United Kingdom - Download Festival
06.20.2015 - Clisson, France - Hellfest
06.21.2015 - Dessel, Belgium - Graspop Festival
06.24-27.2015 - Seinajoki, Finland - Provinssi
08.07-09.2015 - Montreal, QC - Heavy Montreal
[Photo: Dustin Rabin]