Remove the following supposition from your brain: only well-known artists and/or labels can get away with announcing things in haiku. The Western world has taken an unusually rampant liking to this ancient form of Japanese poetry, but that doesn’t mean that its practicality is limited to the possible expanding of minds/brainwashing of K-12 students. A whopping three haiku (and barely anything more), in this case, were used to announce a new EP from prior PAN affiliate and Berlin-based producer James Whipple a.k.a. M.E.S.H. If you’re curious, the haiku read as follows:
stealth pilots speaking
in the upper atmosphere
I am being DAW
guiding a rogue missile
a cold black ocean
island with a landing strip
paint on ground says M.E.S.H
So, you know, resist the temptation to go to war, even if M.E.S.H’s prior Scythians EP did subtly motivate you to sharpen your bayonet. Infra-Dusk/Infra Dawn is out on Black Ocean February 9, and you can assume the presence of a club-inspired mindset, but not a club-inspired copying. Probably outside the norm, and probably a proper addition to the virginal label.
An old track from Scythians:
• M.E.S.H.: https://www.facebook.com/MXEXSXH
Seeing an “x” in this band’s name and assuming I’d be spending my day in the TMT newsroom listening to sweet, sweet hardcore, I hastily volunteered to write about Waxahatchee’s new album, Ivy Tripp (out April 7 via Merge/Wichita Recordings and following 2013’s savory-sounding Cerulean Salt) when the boss man was doling out assignments in our usual morning meeting/paper football game.
Turns out, though, that I’m an idiot. Waxahatchee is actually the more-or-less “solo project” (yeah, you know how it is with these noncommittal indie rock weiners…) of Katie Crutchfield, who plays, well, indie rock. You know: it’s all breezy, but also kinda aggressive… sort of like a day at the beach, but an annoyingly windy day at the beach?
I mean, I don’t know. Sorry. I’m just a little bummed right now. But I’m trying my best to picture Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye sort of digging a few of these songs, which, by the way, were all “recorded and engineered by Kyle Gilbride of Wherever Audio at Crutchfield’s home on New York’s Long Island,” with “drums recorded in the gym of a local elementary school” — which is actually kinda hardcore. You know what, it’s actually kinda working! My Black Flag-tattooed toes are tapping! Let’s hear from Crutchfield herself about this album. Why not!
My life has changed a lot in the last two years, and it’s been hard for me to process my feelings other than by writing songs. I think a running theme [of Ivy Tripp] is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming, or just being cognizant in moments of deep confusion or sadness, and learning to really feel emotions and to grow from that.
Oh, fuck, forget all I said about the hardcore. You can pre-order it now on “limited-edition colored vinyl” (complete with autographed poster) at the Merge webstore and super un-hardcore digital philistine-style via iTunes dot com, and there’s also a song below and some spring tour dates in the works. Other than that, you’re on your own. Later, guys.
01.26.15 - London, UK - St. Pancras Church
01.28.15 - Paris, France - L’espace B
01.31.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
02.01.15 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
02.04.15 - Berlin, Germany - Monarch
04.07.15 - Washington, DC - The Black Cat ^
04.08.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer ^%
04.09.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg ^%
04.10.15 - Harrisonburg, VA - Clementine ^
04.11.15 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle Backroom ^
04.12.15 - Asheville, NC - The Mothlight ^
04.13.15 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn ^
04.15.15 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree ^
04.16.15 - Gainesville, FL - The Wooly ^
04.17.15 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Down Under ^
04.18.15 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall ^
04.19.15 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa ^
04.20.15 - Houston, TX - Walters Downtown ^
04.21.15 - Austin, TX - Red 7 ^
04.22.15 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves ^
04.24.15 - Albuquerque, NM - Sister %
04.25.15 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar %
04.26.15 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah %
04.28.15 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy %
04.29.15 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall %
05.01.15 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir %
05.03.15 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile %
05.06.15 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club %
05.07.15 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle %
05.08.15 - Chicago, IL - The Beat Kitchen %
05.09.15 - Detroit, MI - UFO %
05.10.15 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison %
05.11.15 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB %
05.12.15 - Burlington, VT - The Monkey House %
05.13.15 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair %
05.14.15 - East Greenwich, RI - Greenwich Odeum %
06.08.15 - Koln, Germany - Blue Shell
06.10.15 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom
06.11.15 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece
06.12.15 - Manchester, UK - The Ruby Lounge
06.13.15 - Dublin, Ireland - Button Factory
06.14.15 - Belfast, Northern Ireland - McHughs
06.15.15 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
06.16.15 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny
06.17.15 - Leeds, UK - The Brudenell Social Club
06.18.15 - Sheffield, UK - The Harley
06.19.15 - Southampton, UK - Joiners
06.20.15 - Brighton, UK - Bleach
^ The Goodbye Party
And on the third wave of artist announcements, SXSW released what now amounts to 965 bands booked to play the annual Austin, TX industry drunkfest. And lo, the industry saw that it was good. Bands from around the world! Bands you’ve never heard of! Bands with names so terrible, you WISH you’d never heard of them! Bands you HAVE heard of and are totally freaking out about! Together, in America’s Modern Garden of Eden — the swirling mass of humanity, loud music, and late night pizza places known as 6th Street — the pop-punk band would grab tacos next to the ethereal noisewave quintet, and behold, it was all totally, totally good.
So yeah, obviously they’re adding other bands EVERY DAY! But for the moment, you can revel in the wonder of seeing Best Coast, Douglas Dare, Frog Eyes, Jaill, Jorma Kaukonen, Kelela, Morgan Heritage, Palma Violets, Prince Rama, The Shrine, Son Lux, Yo Gotti, and a whole host of other bands presented in alphabetical order. You can get the whole list here.
• SXSW: http://sxsw.com
“The thunder clouds broke up,” the sweet news writer said, quoting The Microphones for no discernible reason. “The rain dried up,” he continued, burying the lead even further. “But the lightning, it did not let up. It drew itself back as if by Zeus’ brawny forearms and it flew downward in a colossal Lightning Bolt.” Oh geez, I get it now, based on context clues, I’m going to guess there’s a new Lightning Bolt album coming out from Thrill Jockey? Is that right, Mr. News Writer? “There’s no black or white, no change of the light.” Okay, let’s leave the news writer up here in paragraph one and go deep on the details in paragraphs two and three.
The album’s called Fantasy Empire, and it’s a follow-up to 2012’s Oblivion Hunter, and proof that Brian Chippendale doesn’t just hang out with his buddies in Deerhoof these days. And yes, in case you had forgotten, a little-known online music publication that you are, coincidentally, reading right now did name Lightning Bolt’s 2003 cosmic flamebeast of an album Wonderful Rainbow as their number three album of the 2000s. That definitely happened.
But that’s all the past, let’s talk about the future, specifically March 24, which is the date that Fantasy Empire is coming out. The songs on the album have been kicking around for some time now, morphing through the band’s live sets, and even being recorded on more lo-fi equipment, before being scrapped and ultimately replaced with the versions that made it to the record. These versions are reportedly marked by a “more accurate translation of their live experience.” It’ll be just like all those amps and drums and mountains of sound are hanging out with you in your living room and your roommates will LOVE IT. The album is available for pre-order right now on CD and deluxe double LP, a limited 300 of which will be pressed on black-and-white-swirl vinyl (there will be more of the swirl vinyl available from the band on their as-yet-unannounced tour dates later this year). And there’s even a Thrill Jockey mailorder-exclusive t-shirt floating around in there if you’re looking to boost your apparel game. We really have come a long way from that unnecessary Microphones reference at the top, haven’t we?
Fantasy Empire tracklist:
01. The Metal East
02. Over the River and Through the Woods
04. King of My World
06. Runaway Train
07. Leave the Lantern Lit
08. Dream Genie
09. Snow White (& the 7 Dwarves Fans)
From Rolling Stone:
Runaways producer and notorious L.A. music legend Kim Fowley has died. In recent months, he had been undergoing cancer treatments, though no cause of death has been announced. He was 75.
Charismatic and eccentric, Fowley is best remembered as the record producer for the all-female rock group the Runaways. He introduced Joan Jett, who was 15 at the time, to teenage drummer Sandy West and helped them find frontwoman Cherie Currie, lead guitarist Lita Ford and bassist Jackie Fox. He produced the band’s 1976 self-titled debut and co-wrote the band’s biggest hit, the punkish “Cherry Bomb,” with Jett. He also co-produced the following year’s Queens of Noise and helmed the same year’s Waitin’ for the Night.
Fowley was born in 1939 to Singin’ in the Rain actor Douglas Fowley and actress Shelby Payne and grew up in Los Angeles and around southern California. After a bout with polio in 1957, he began a career in the music industry, producing his first single – the Renegades’ “Charge” – in 1959. In the Sixties, worked with Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Seeds and Saint Vincent, among others, as well as launching his own solo career; his 1968 LP Outrageous, Fowley’s third, was the only one to chart in the U.S. Fowley closed out the Sixties by MCing John Lennon’s performance at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, where he asked the audience to hold up its cigarette lighters, arguably starting the concert fad.
The Seventies found Fowley working with the Modern Lovers, Blue Cheer and Helen Reddy. He also co-wrote songs on Kiss’ hit Destroyer and a “Escape” on Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare. Fowley and the Runaways severed their ties in 1977, after which he set out to find another group he could market as a novelty. Although he worked with a few groups over the ensuing decades and continued to put out his own solo LPs, none reached the success or notoriety of the Runaways.
• Kim Fowley: http://www.kimfowley.net
Grouper, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Bitchin Bajas, Suicideyear, and more featured at New Myths on March 13-15 in Marfa, Texas
What do Grouper, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, minimalist artist Donald Judd, and straight-up aliens from outer space all have in common? If you guessed, “They all have in the past or will in the future party in Marfa, Texas,” then you, my friend probably don’t even need to read this news post and are hereby excused. The rest of you, though, you should stick around, you might learn a thing or two about the New Myths cultural program going down in Marfa, Texas. Like, for instance that it’s curated by Mexican Summer and co-presented with Ballroom Marfa. I’ll bet you didn’t even know that until just now when you learned it. In the next paragraph, I will use numbers and letters to teach you even more.
New Myths is planned for March 13-15, and it’ll feature performances from the likes of Steve Gunn, Bitchin Bajas, Weyes Blood, Thug Entrancer, Suicideyear, and more. Beyond that, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma will create a “sound bath,” Liz Harris (a.k.a. Grouper) will present a “semi-permanent outdoor mural” (though it looks like she won’t be performing music [update: she will be! on Saturday!), there’ll be a live installation of Gregg Kowalsky’s “Tape Chants,” and several short film screenings. Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin will also post up in a recording residency that will result in a limited 12-inch documenting the collaboration. Basically, there’s a lot of things going on all at once while everybody keeps on not talking about the very real aliens chilling just outside city limits. It’s like it’s a conspiracy or something.
Anyway, this is the second year for the event that kicked off last year, and if you’d like to see it happen more, and more expansively, consider reaching your bony arm deep into the event organizers’ collective pockets and depositing some money there for tickets to Saturday (Friday and Sunday are both free). There’s even a special “weekend bundle” price that gets you entrance all weekend in addition to a copy of that limited 12-inch I was talking about up top, a tote bag, and a journal featuring work from both some of the performers and a variety of Marfa-based artists. Grip them via Mexican Summer, and peep the full events rundown below.
Friday, March 13
• Sam Falls solo exhibition - Ballroom Marfa
• Software Recording Co. presents: GABI, Thug Entrancer, Co La - Ballroom Marfa
• Liz Harris’ painting available for viewing at 201 E. Dallas Street all weekend and beyond
Saturday, March 14
• Sound Bath with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - The Well
• “Tape Chants” with Gregg Kowalsky - Building 98
• Mexican Summer presents: Iceage, Grouper, Tamaryn, Steve Gunn, Weyes Blood - The Capri
• Bitchin Bajas’, Suicideyear, LBS. - Foodsharkland
Sunday, March 15
• CineMarfa & Anthology Recordings film program - Crowley Theater
When I think bad news boys, I think of Wolf Blitzer, Peter Jennings, Walter Cronkite, and my cronies here at TMT, because we’re all real trailblazers for badass journalism. The King Khan & BBQ Show think they’re now the new bad boys of news since their new album is called Bad News Boys, out on February 24 from In The Red Records. It’s been over five years since their first full-length, and in that time, according to their press release and press releases never lie, “(their) rare 16mm master print of their fabled 2009 art-house masterpiece, ‘Shaved Anus’,” was destroyed in a recent flooding in Serbia.
To get the Hype Williams train rolling, the two goofs released a new track called, “Alone Again,” on something called SoundCloud:
This all sounds great, but I don’t see any “bad news” here. This leads me to challenge King Khan and Mark Sultan (BBQ) in a challenge more challenging than being in the Challenger space shuttle with a mentally challenged person while watching Changeling:
“I, Emceegreg, challenge you (one goof or both) to write a music-based news article that is worse than this article. It can be as vile as necessary, and if the judges gives the award to The King Khan & BBQ Show, then I will officially change my name to Emcee Dickfart.”
Bad News Boys tracklist:
01. Alone Again
03. Kiss My Sister’s Fist
04. Buy Bye Bhai
06. We Are the Champion
07. When Will I Be Tamed?
08. Ocean of Love
09. Snackin’ After Midnight
10. Killing the Wolfman
11. Never Felt Like This
12. Zen Machines
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to file the lawsuit making access to music for incarcerated persons more difficult? Your days of wondering might soon come at an end — all you need to do is ask Universal Music Group.
Several companies (Centric Group, Keefe Group, and others) are in the business of selling pre-made care packages to prisoners, packages which Universal, in a lawsuit filed last Tuesday, claims contains copyrighted material. Universal announced they’ll be seeking “maximum statutory damages in the amount of $150,000 to each copyrighted work infringed.” The defendants (who have yet to comment publicly on the suit) at this point are all for-profit companies selling mixtapes along with any number of other items, and no individuals have been targeted.
Interestingly, Universal’s statement specifically targets mixtapes themselves: “Such so-called ‘mixtapes,’ unless authorized by the copyright owner or owner of corresponding state law rights, are nothing more than collections of infringing, piratical compilations of copyrighted or otherwise legally protected sound recordings and copyrighted musical composition.”
While this lawsuit appears to pit a gazillionaire music company against a company profiting off of incarceration via enthusiastic cooperation with the prison-industrial complex, the result of the verdict could have ripple effects eventually reaching the practice of DJing or even making mixtapes generally, which remains under fire from the major music companies as strongly today as it ever has been.
Universal will be represented by Jeffery Goldman of the firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell. Goldman has previously worked for the Recording Industry Association of America in their landmark lawsuit against Napster, and was awarded an Honorary Gold Record by the RIAA for his efforts.
New York producer Anthony Naples has had an unstoppable run since 2012, when his city’s Mister Saturday Night party series bestowed upon him the honor of making his Mad Disrespect EP the inaugural release of their imprint. That EP, the young producer’s first, and its titular track established Naples as a major figure in New York’s burgeoning underground electronic scene. His stunning talent for blending that sweet, sleepy soul of New York deep house with rough, churning techno rhythms has been bolstered with each subsequent 12-inch. In the last few years, he’s racked up a handful of singles and EPs for labels such as Rubadub, Trilogy Tapes, and his own imprint Proibito, which he founded in 2013.
Now he’s set to release his debut album on Text Records, the label run by Kieran Hebden (a.k.a. Four Tet), an early proponent of Naples work. It’s called Body Pill and will be out on February 17 — vinyl through Text and digital through Proibito. Check out the single, “Refugio,” embedded below. In a press release, Naples describes the album as “a small dose of synthetic noises and rhythms,” going on to say, “I wanted to make a streetwise record that was also solid and simple, like a brick or those weird fluorescent light tubes in the subway. They give off this weird hum that you hear only when you’re alone in the station between trains late at night. I wanted to make a record that evoked that experience.” Risk of mugging (hopefully) not included.
Body Pill tracklist:
04. Way Stone
07. Used to Be
Inspecting the cracks, I usually only ever find crumbs and miscellaneous hair strands that make me wonder if Gandalf has confused my apartment with a Baggins residence. UK producers Logos and Mumdance, however, have found the allure in the musical equivalent of my couch cushions, as their new collaborative release Proto is said to focus on “the very brief sparks of innovation where new scenes were just forming and genre rules were still grey areas.” Many of us can recall on a general level examples of these genre intermissions, but I imagine it takes true awareness to create an entire album based around being in between. Who knows what to expect!
Well, the prior Legion / Proto single might be a good indication. Otherwise, the upcoming LP follows a short history of collaboration between the two grime and jungle aficionados, as in addition to frequenting some of the same label circles (including, despite the name, their own), the two also have more than a few songs under their belt. I’m especially fond of bad English when it accompanies lovely tunes like the one featured on Logos’ most recent LP.
Proto is out February 16 on Tectonic.
01. Border Drone
02. Dance Energy (89 Mix)
03. Chaos Engine
05. Hall Of Mirrors
08. Room 2 Lazer
09. Move Your Body