First things first: yep, Roxy Music — a.k.a. the one kind-of-halfway-cool band that your dad likes — is apparently still a thing (and, for that matter, it seems that they were even “still a thing” during that huge gap from 1983 to 2001 when they did pretty much absolutely nothing for 18 years!). Or rather, I should say — Roxy Music WAS still a thing until guitarist Phil Manzanera talked to Rolling Stone for like two seconds a minute or two ago. Oh well. Easy come, easy go?
Given the premise I’ve already pre-assumed on your behalf in the paragraph above, you probably don’t remember that Roxy Music singer and main-dude Bryan Ferry, along with Manzanera and other non-Brian Eno band members Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson, have managed to remain kinda, sorta, more or less active since they met back up in 2001 with occasional tours and releases and whatnot. I mean, sure, whatever, right? But yeah, NO MORE, I guess? Here’s what Manzanera said to that magazine I mentioned:
I don’t think we’re going to do any more shows. I think our job is done. When we stopped touring in 2011, Andy [Mackay] and I looked at each other and said, ‘Our job is done here.’
I know, I know; at this point, you’re all like: “say it ain’t SO, Phil Manzanas, or whatever your name is! WHYYYY?” Well, OBVIOUSLY it’s because “musicians like to do new things,” man. See, it’s “unfortunate for the fans, really, because they would like you to play the same old stuff forever and ever. And they go see it and they feel, like, ‘Man, they aren’t as good as they used to be.’” Yeah… well, either way, I think these “new things” mostly refer to Phil Manzanera’s recent co-producing of Pink Floyd’s sure-to-be-great reunion album. Roxy Music still have “some fantastic box sets of the first two albums out next year,” though. And Brian Ferry — you know, the ACTUAL GUY IN ROXY MUSIC PEOPLE CARE ABOUT, PHIL MANZANERA, YOU DICK — still regularly includes “more than a dozen Roxy Music songs a night” on his solo tours. So all is definitely not lost. Uh, not that it ever really was to you, since you didn’t care one way or another. Or me either. But… our poor dads, yeah?
Whatever. Here’s cool footage of Brian Eno shrinking into his boa behind Ferry’s ghastly on-stage glam persona.
• Roxy Music: http://www.roxymusic.co.uk
Dean Blunt, ever the lovable hellion, has done it again. As you already know, Black Metal is out tomorrow via Rough Trade, his first label-backed release since last year’s The Redeemer (one of our favorite albums of 2013). But as if that weren’t enough, he has now put out a statement to tease the LP — a hallucinatory piece he uploaded to archive.org, which basically amounts to this in written form:
I’m not even going to try to sum up what the text file touches upon, but “I’m not here to put smiles on peoples faces, I’m here to SPEND, and blaze all races” is a pretty representative quote. Add a rogue Daniel Lopatin reference (“How to break a brick? Point Never”), a list of (not-so)-tongue-in-cheek “excuses” in case his album flops — the album’s already befuddled a few critics with its abundance of Sarah Records-esque guitar riffs — a whole lot of sentimental evisceration (?!¿), and a couple of Beyoncé and Wu-Tang Clan verses, and you still haven’t got a clue. So why don’t you just go read the whole thing yourself?
And as if all that weren’t enough either, Blunt will be playing two shows this weekend, in what is nothing short of a bi-coastal marathon: he’ll be in New York on Friday and Los Angeles on Saturday. I saw him in Barcelona last Friday; he still had the (infamous) Redeemer tour bodyguard in tow, but was also joined by a sax player and (presumably) Joanne Robertson. He did the usual bit of stepping down the stage to play 15 minutes of noise, but also dropped a couple of tracks from The Redeemer among a whole lot of Black Metal songs, and finished it all with a lights-out stare down with the audience that went on for what felt like some very angry five minutes. Trust me, this something you do not want to miss. Check the dates below:
11.06.14 - New York, NY - The Studio at Webster Hall
11.07.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Jewel’s Catch One
Black Metal is out tomorrow on Rough Trade.
Great news: life will still exist in three months time! Phew! It was touch and go there for a while. Like always, life’s impending existence or lack thereof has been determined by whether a drone-metal band is going on tour. As my grandfather always said, “Drone band on tour, life goes on some more; drone band at home, blood to your dome.” My grandfather was a great man.
This time around, the drone band in question is Pacific Northwest legends Earth. Fresh off their newest Southern Lord-released record, Primitive and Deadly, the group is headed to Europe for an extensive run of dates in January and February. Although Earth, much like their namesake planet, have shifted in many iterations, this tour finds them existing as guitarist (and Earth mastermind) Dylan Carlson, bassist Don McGreevy, and drummer Adrienne Davies. McGreavy is actually pulling double duty on the tour, as Don McGreevy & Rogier Smal Duo will be opening nearly every date, along with Oakland’s Black Spirituals.
In celebration of life’s continued perseverance, Ninja Tune is releasing a 12-inch called The Bug vs. Earth in December, as we recently reported. It is exactly what it sounds like: Earth’s Dylan Carlson fighting English electronic musician Kevin Parker (a.k.a. The Bug) to the death. Finally, we can hear the simultaneous deaths of two great musicians in warm analog audio. Barring that, the 12-inch may well contain two tracks by the titles “Boa” and “Cold” that find the two musicians collaborating with each other.
Earth dates (all with Black Spirituals and Don McGreevy & Rogier Smal Duo):
01.22.15 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - OCCII
01.23.15 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
01.24.15 - Lyon, France - L’Epicerie Moderne
01.25.15 - Bern, Switzerland - Dachstock Reitschule
01.27.15 - Geneva, Switzerland - Antigel Festival (Earth only)
01.28.15 - Milan, Italy - Lo Fi Club
01.29.15 - Rome, Italy - Init Club
01.30.15 - Bologna, ITaly - Freakout Club
01.31.15 - Graz, Austria - Orpheum Club
02.01.15 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Kino Siska
02.02.15 - Vienna, Austria - Arena
02.03.15 - Zagreb, Croatia - Mochvara Klub
02.04.15 - Budapest, Hungary - A38
02.06.15 - Nurnberg, Germany - K4
02.07.15 - Schorndorf, Germany - Club Manufaktur
02.08.15 - Berlin, Germany - Volksbuhne
02.09.15 - Moscow, Russia - PIPL (w/ Nadja)
02.10.15 - Helsinki, Finland - Kuudes Linja (w/ Janne Westerlund)
02.11.15 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser Strand
02.12.15 - Oslo, Norway - Vulkan Arena
02.13.15 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Truckstop Alaska
02.14.15 - Aarhus, Denmark - Voxhall
02.15.15 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Jazzhouse
02.17.15 - Dortmund, Denmark - FZW
02.18.15 - Groningen, Netherlands - Vera
02.20.15 - London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall
02.21.15 - Birmingham, UK - The Oobleck
02.22.15 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
02.23.15 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny
02.24.15 - Brighton, UK - The Komedia
02.25.15 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kreun
02.27.15 - Athens, Greece - Kyttaro Club (Earth only)
02.28.15 - Istanbul, Turkey - Borusan Müzik Evi (Earth only)
• Earth: http://www.thronesanddominions.com
It is morning in America, democracy has fallen, and we are in need of a new king. There are several pretenders to the throne out there, but none seem possessed with quite the ability to write lonesome guitar songs that we, as a newly monarchic nation, require. A man stands in the shadows; it is Joseph O’Connell, otherwise known as Elephant Micah. Whether he knows it just yet, he will be our king. Where In Our Woods is a new transmission from this future king, notable in part for its minimalism — a simple drum kit, a few stringed instruments, O’Connell’s indisputable voice. Will Oldham contributes vocal harmonies on a few songs. It’s out January 20 from the kindly record label Western Vinyl. It will find its way into our homes.
Over the course of nearly 14 years, O’Connell’s immutable future as grand overlord has been firmly established. One need only to consult 2010’s double release of Echoer’s Intent and Plays the Songs of the Bible Birds, or 2013’s release of Globe Rush Progressions to be firmly convinced of this. O’Connell’s facility with the acoustic guitar, with melody, with the surprising twist on a familiar arrangement is unparalleled in our modern era. Those who seek it may find it at this pre-order link. Those with pointer fingers to click might find company at the below-embedded SoundCloud player. Those with eyes to see might see O’Connell fully embodied at one of his few upcoming tour dates on the East Coast or gaze upon the preview video for the album, also embedded below.
Where In Our Woods tracklist:
01. By the Canal
02. No Underground
03. Albino Animals
04. Slow Time Vultures
05. Demise of the Bible Birds
06. Monarch Gardeners
07. Light Side
08. Rare Beliefs
12.06.14 - Raleigh, NC - King’s*
12.07.14 - Washington, DC - DC9*
12.09.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot and Saddle*
12.11.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade*
Guys like Ethan Miller have badass beards that make me want to inject hormones to boost my own bum fluff. Guys like Ethan Miller don’t get down when they have no record label or when the group that they’ve been playing with for years — in the case of Miller, under the Howlin Rain moniker — has dispersed. No, when times get tough for guys like Ethan Miller, they wake up the next day, pour some whiskey on their Corn Flakes, and get on with things by turning the dark times into art. I wish I was Ethan Miller.
All of which is a roundabout way to say that the latest incarnation of Howlin Rain have a new album called Mansion Songs coming out January 27 via Easy Sound Records. After rising out of the ashes of Comets on Fire and a nine-year run of amazing fortune and killer tunes, Howlin Rain had seemingly ran the end of some sort of course, and instead of putting the band behind him, Ethan Miller has pressed on with a record that ropes in a revolving cast of musicians, raising all sorts of down-home hell around Miller’s glorious creations.
Apparently, Mansion Songs is the first in a trilogy of records Miller laid down during the aforementioned “dark times,” and by the strength of the lead single “Big Red Moon,” we’re all set to benefit from Miller’s depths of depression.
01. Big Red Moon
02. Meet Me In The Wheat
04. The New Age
05. Wild Bush
07. Lucy Fairchild
08. Ceiling Fan
Hey. What’s up?
Stereogum reports that Bob Dylan has a new album titled Shadows in the Night coming out in 2015. Pretty neat, I suppose. How was your day?
Evidently, the record will consist entirely of Frank Sinatra covers. Earlier in the year, Dylan released a cover of Sinatra’s “Full Moon And Empty Arms.” So, hey, I guess this move makes a lot of sense, now that I think about it. But anyway. Any big plans this weekend?
There’s no release date or further details on Shadows in the Night. Dylan last put out Tempest, the one with the romance novel cover art, in 2012. So, yeah, nice talking to you.
• Bob Dylan: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/home
Sometimes you read something that makes you question whether this is a world you really want to live in. Case in point: while in the middle of a tour of America, O’Death had their touring van stolen in Los Angeles outside of The Echo, the venue they were playing at that night. To make things worse, the van was at the time fully loaded with all of the band’s equipment, merchandise, and personal belongings. Without that van, O’Death have also lost their ability to work for their livelihoods.
Sometimes, however, you see something that restores your faith in humanity. Case in point: O’Death launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $26,000 to replace everything that was stolen, and at the time of publishing, more than $19,300 has already been raised from 372 kind souls in just 2 days. The people donating aren’t getting anything but good karma in return, which really shows how much O’Death mean to their fans.
The target hasn’t been reached yet, so get along to the fundraising portal and show your support. Or if you have any information about the scumbags who stole the gear, please report it to the Karma Police or the actual Police.
O’Death were touring in support of their fourth album, Out of Hands We Go, which was released by Northern Spy in October.
In their early days as a band, Guerilla Toss met with some push back from the dreaded Gentle Handling of Gorillas and Apes Lobby, and so they changed their name (swapping out the animal for the activist), knowing full well that the Pun and Small Jokes We Make Quietly to Ourselves Lobby has been weak and getting weaker in recent years due to the rise of the internet (#twitter). All was well, but even so, Guerilla Toss held on to a little bit of bitterness. As such, they started making violent no-wave funk-mosh music and, bringing us up into the present, they have just announced a new EP called Smack the Brick, which may very well be (or not be) about how lobbyists make them want to smack bricks. The vinyl release from Feeding Tube and the digital version from the band’s own Bandcamp page are out this week, with a cassette release coming November 18 via NNA Tapes.
Although Smack the Brick finds the band no less embittered about the state of the American political system and the ways in which money really does buy influence when it comes to gorilla legislation, with the addition of two new band members (Toby Aronson of NNA tapes and Pat Keuhn), their sound has evolved into something a bit funkier, something that could sleep in the same bed as the likes of Talking Heads if both of them were into it. If you, dear reader, are into the idea of dancing about gorilla legislation (also known as writing music criticism, am I right?!), you can peep the entire release below via Soundcloud. If the internet is less your speed, though, you better log off right now you hypocrite. Or maybe not right now, first check that whole slew of dates I’ve listed below to see when and how close Guerilla Toss are coming to your house.
Smack the Brick tracklist:
01. Smack the Brick
02. Be the Breeder
04.Billy Blood Idol
11.06.14 - Hudson NY - Bard College
11.07.14 - Boston MA - Hassle Festival 6
11.19.14 - New York, NY - Death By Audio
11.22.14 - Budweis, Czech Republic - Naab
11.23.14 - Strasbourg, France - Stimultania
11.24.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - TBA
11.25.14 - London, UK - Old Blue Last
11.26.14 - Paris, France - Instantschavires
11.27.14 - Bilbao, Spain - Mem Festival
11.28.14 - Valencia, Spain - Bar Cure Antidisco
11.29.14 - Alicante, Spain - Sala Magazine
11.30.14 - Benicarlo, Spain - Lion Cafe
12.01.14 - Porto, Portugal - Maus Habitos
12.02.14 - Lisbon, Portugal - Musicbox
12.03.14 - Madrid, Spain - El Perro De La Parte De Atras
12.04.14 - Barcelona, Spain - TBA
12.05.14 - Marseille, France - L’embobineuse
12.06.14 - Lyon, France - Grrrnd Zero
12.07.14 - Geneva, Switzerland - Cave
12.08.14 - Berlin, Germay - Schokoladen
12.09.14 -Munich, Germany - Cafe Kult
12.10.14 - Hamburg, Germany - Astra Stube
12.11.14 - Köln - Gold+Beton
12.12.14 - Brussels, Belgium - TBA
12.13.14 - Den Hague, The Netherlands - State X New Forms
12.14.14 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Poortgebouw
12.15.14 - Halle, Germany – HÜHNERMANHATTAN
12.16.14 - Pilzen, Czech Republic - Pohoda
J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Office of Future Plans) takes acoustic shows across the northeastern US, takes his first name to the grave
It’s been the great mystery of punk rock for over 20 years now: what does the “J.” in “J. Robbins” stand for? Wikipedia claims it’s “James,” but come on now. Would Wikipedia really have the answer to the great mystery of punk rock, 1990-2014? Not on your life, pal.
Here’s your best chance to get an answer: J. Robbins is going on an acoustic tour of the northeastern United States this November. Confront him there. To be honest, he’s not going to tell you. But you will get to hear acoustic versions of tracks from J. Robbins projects like Jawbox, Burning Airlines, and his current band Office of Future Plans. In that way, it’s much like Abandoned Mansions, the EP Robbins put out earlier this year. In fact, it’ll be exactly like that, except live and not recorded.
Accompanying Robbins on these dates will be Jonah Mantraga of Onelinedrawing, New End Original, Far, and others. Oh my god. What if the “J.” stands for “Jonahmantraga”? Are these two men one man? Excuse me. I have a rambling theory to write.
J. Robbins dates:
11.13.14 - Philadelphia, PA - The Boot and Saddle
11.14.14 - New Haven, CT - Cafe Nine
11.15.14 - Providence, RI - The Parlour
11.16.14 - Cambridge, MA - Green Street Studios
11.17.14 - Washington, DC - DC9
11.18.14 - Baltimore, MD - The Metro Gallery
11.23.14 - New York, NY - The Mercury Lounge
When the two members of a musical duo have the same last name, can they ever actually break up?
Orbital tried this once before. About a decade after their initial colorful contributions to the pioneering wave of early-90s techno, they (unintentionally) used Blue Album as the melancholic swan song signaling their imminent separation. But then! After the nostalgic reminder of seeing each other at consecutive Queen’s Birthday soirées, Paul and Phil Hartnoll felt compelled to reignite their most popular and chart-topping of acts, subsequently performing at several festivals and eventually releasing the “with it” titled Wonky LP just two years ago. It wasn’t received badly. But it also wasn’t the musical equivalent of an engagement ring.
So they’ve broken up again! For good! Or so they tell us. A statement posted to their website attests to Phil’s DJ aspirations, while Paul intends to use his newfound solo status to improve his newfound solo project, called 8:58. “We’ve had our ups and downs, and it’s not always been easy, but I’ve loved my time with Orbital,” says Paul. “But nothing lasts forever and it’s time to stop.”
Here’s a trip down soul-releasing memory lane:
• Orbital: http://www.orbitalofficial.com