The Wrens sign “recording contract,” still no word on the “record releasing contract” though!

Dude, remember when YOUR band was all critically acclaimed and revered by fans and respected by other bands and all that cool shit that guys-in-bands want out of their rock bands pretty much solely and deliciously ironically on the basis of your chronic nigh-total inertia? Yeah, me neither! What the hell are we doing wrong? I mean, my band hasn’t done SHIT in like 15 months, and I don’t see any increased Facebook likes or Bandcamp digital sales at all! Seriously. What GIVES, The Wrens???

Sigh. Well, anyway; maybe it’s a moot point either way, since the band recently took to both the Twitter-sphere” AND their website-cube to share a little news about the progress they’ve been steadily not-making since the triumphant release of The Meadowlands back in 2003. The complete posting reads a little something like this:

…for the first time in I don’t even know how long (years at this point!), we all four got together. The occasion? Well, I realize it’s not big news in any sense except to us, but after 25 years as a band and for the first time in 20, we, as they say, have inked a deal. Pens were handed out presidentially. Morning beers were clinked together. The devil wrung his hands in delight & vanished in a smoke puff, laughing.

Honestly not being coy but promised not to reveal details, pending a more official announcement from both parties. But wanted to say at least something, partially ‘cause we’re all super happy about it.

And partially because pretending to do this for a job (or whatever this is), there are none of the usual office trappings or career mile-markers along the way. No promotions; no HR; no office holiday party or company phone; heck, no office or company; no paid vacation; well, no ‘pay’ really…actually the more I write, the more I’m clearly describing a hobby. Anyway, so partially for myself (I signed a binding legal document! On letterhead!).

And partially to have something even a little more concrete than my usual “work continues nightly” to show that…this record is actually happening. And nearly done.

So, there you have it. Endearing pessimism! I LOVE THEIR BAND EVEN MORE NOW. HOW THE HECK DO THEY DO THAT!?! Oh well. As for the direction and/or progress of the new album in question? Basically the last thing we know is that they had agreed that 56 seconds of homophonic, diatonic, guitar-based, steady-beat-based vocal music comprised a reasonable enough guess as to what new directions their music ought to be taking here in this post-Bush era.

Stay tuned, I’m sure.

• The Wrens: http://wrens.com
• The Wrens’ Equanimous Record Label: ___________

Big Ears Festival announces 2015 lineup, featuring Max Richter, Grouper, Laurie Anderson, Swans, and more forcing a pull on your lobes

Thankfully, this year’s edition of the Big Ears Festival wasn’t just a one-off appeasement following a three-year hiatus, because Knoxville truly deserves an annual event to rival the 1982 “Wod Fir” and its fabulous collection of wigs.

We gave you the initial-initial skinny on next year’s edition (set to take place March 27-29) about a month ago, when it was announced that Kronos Quartet would be the Artists-in-Residence, succeeding the musical heavyweights of previous editions, Steve Reich and Terry Riley. Now it’s time to provide some meat to Kronos’ bun overlordship, as Big Ears has just revealed the 2015 edition’s fantastic initial lineup. It includes: Swans, Grouper, Ben Frost, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, tUnE-yArDs, Amen Dunes, Holly Herndon, Clark, Laurie Anderson performing her collaboration with Kronos, “Landfall,” and more that you can check out in full on the Big Ears website.

But to mitigate the risk of you projectile spewing food out of sheer delight and surprise, let’s eaaasse into the fact of Max Richter… a performance from the Max Richter Chamber Ensemble, plus a performance of Richter’s recomposition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Then there’s Demdike Stare re-scoring Häxan, a Scandinavian silent film about witchcraft from 1922, and it’s hard to imagine an increase in the festival’s overall intrigue.

Weekend passes go on sale this Friday, November 14 at 12 PM EST. Prices will subsequently increase as punishment for you taking more than five minutes to confirm your interest in going. It really should be impulsive at this point.

• Big Ears Festival: http://bigearsfestival.com

YG recuses himself of all liabilities, telling the world to Blame It on the Streets with new project

YG is having a big year thanks to the absolute banger that is his DJ Mustard-produced debut album My Krazy Life, but he’s not ready to rest on his laurels just yet. Yesterday the 24-year-old Compton rapper announced a new project set to be released on December 15: a short film with an accompanying soundtrack, both entitled Blame It on the Streets. YG co-wrote and stars in the film, which is said to explore the world he conveys in his music, and it will be screened in Los Angeles, New York City, and Atlanta prior to its official release. The accompanying soundtrack features nine tracks in total — six new, two remixes, and one live performance of “BPT.”

Now, at this point you’re probably asking yourself, “What exactly is YG telling me to blame on the streets?” Well, your guess is as good as mine, but that’s not going to keep me from guessing right here and now:

— Blame the fact that you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of your music library to listen to My Krazy Life on the streets
— Blame the fact that your neighbors called the cops on your raucous, Mustard-fueled party on the streets
— Blame the fact that the café you work at won’t let you bump My Krazy Life in the establishment during your shift because it’s not really the “vibe” they want on the streets
— Blame the fact that your dog keeps crying but you can’t figure out what exactly she wants, I mean, you just took her for a walk, like, 10 minutes ago on the streets on the streets.

I may have said that your guess is as good as mine a moment ago, but I can say pretty confidently that it’s probably one of those.

In related news, YG is about to hit the road for a handful of dates with A$AP Ferg on the Best Coast Connection Tour. Check out those shows below, as well as the tracklist for Blame It on the Streets.

Blame It on the Streets tracklist:

01. BPT Live
02. Bicken Back Being Bool Remix (feat. Big Wy, Mack 10 & DJ Quik)
03. Blame It on the Streets (feat. Jay 305)
04. Ride With Me (feat. RJ & Nipsey Hussle)
05. Me & My Bitch (The Neighbourhood Remix)
06. If I Ever (feat. TeeCee 4800 & Charlie Hood)
07. G$FB (feat. Slim 400, D Lo & RJ)
08. OMMIO Freestyle (feat. RJ)
09. 2015 Flow (prod. by DJ Mustard)

The Best Coast Connection tour dates:

11.13.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
11.14.14 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s
11.16.14 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore
11.18.14 - Detroit, MI - Royal Oak
11.19.14 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
11.22.14 - New Haven, CT - Toad’s Place
11.25.14 - Boston, MA - House of Blues

• YG: https://www.facebook.com/defjamyg
• Def Jam: http://www.defjam.com

Gobby shares new mixtape about getting a quickie from a “gnargoyle”

Just coming off an executive production credit for rapper Mykki Blanco’s new mixtape Gay Dog Food, Boston-born producer and comic book artist Gobby has shared a free mix of his own via the UNO NYC label. It’s called Beats by Gobby, and it sounds even more blown out and bassy when paired with Beats by Dre. True to the name, it’s a beat tape that fashions hip-hop from techno, noise, and even a little K-pop. Hyuna, to be more specific. The track titles are also what you’d expect from a Gobby joint, including “Gnargoyle,” “Slasher Bitch,” and “Sort of Big T**s.” Not too sure why he had to bleep the last one out.

Currently, Gobby and Mykki Blanco are on tour together in Poland, Austria, and Russia, keeping strong and eating plenty of borscht. While they’re in that part of the world, they also hope to reenact the montage where Rocky Balboa climbs up an absurdly tall mountain in Siberia. For those who are too far from Russia to do the same, you can listen to “Erk” below, or just download Beats by Gobby here and relive the montage of your dreams.

Beats by Gobby tracklist:

01. Psyk
02. Erk
03. Advice Column
04. Sortof Big T**s
05. Hyuna
06. Bickyround
07. China Jones
08. Softsilicone
09. Mon Tempy
10. Slasher Bitch
11. Tonedef
12. Immortality
13. Ginger Bounce
14. Demmen Flage
15. Greenhat Chill
16. My2weeks
17. White Camo
18. Gnargoyle
19. Correction Pen
20. Quickie

• Gobby: http://www.gobbygobby.com
• UNO NYC: http://unonyc.bigcartel.com

Disappears announce new LP for Kranky, play a beautiful mountain town in Switzerland

Chicago four-piece Disappears make brooding rock that can unsettle you and zone you out at the same time. Since 2010’s Lux, they’ve been releasing music on the experimental Kranky label, which continues with their forthcoming LP, Irreal. For real, these guys are the real deal. So far at TMT, we’ve gotten a chance to hear the new song “Another Thought,” and it rides a sinister krautrock rhythm into oblivion.

Produced by John Congleton at the iconic Chicago studio Electric Audio, Irreal “sits in the negative space where art-rock and post-punk collapse onto each other,” according to their press release. Sounds pretty scientific to me, so I’ll take their word for it. As if that weren’t enough, the band will also be performing David Bowie’s classic record Low at the MCA in Chicago this month. Wish I could be there to see that. Glancing at their 2015 tour dates, it looks like their upcoming Eurotrip will be very refined. They’re playing in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, for God’s sake, which I had to look up on Wikipedia before even knowing what country that was in. With a population nearing 30,000, they apparently have a venue with quality acts coming through. In any case, Irreal is out on January 19; the full tracklist and upcoming dates can be found below.

Irreal tracklist:

01. Interpretation
02. I _ O
03. Another Thought
04. Irreal
05. OUD
06. Halcyon Days
07. Mist Rites
08. Navigating the Void

Tour dates:

11.22.14 - Chicago, IL - MCA (performing David Bowie’s Low)
01.22.15 - Metz, France - Les Trinitaires
01.23.15 - Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland - L’Amalgame
01.28.15 - Lyon, France - Marche Gare
01.29.15 - Grenoble, France - La Bobine
01.30.15 - Paris, France - Maroquinerie
01.31.15 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Eko
02.01.15 - Hamburg, Germany - Hafenkland *
02.02.15 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain Kantine *
02.03.15 - Cologne, Germany - King Georg
02.04.15 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Rotown
02.05.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Beursschouwburg #
02.06.15 - London, UK - Lexington #

* Dope Body
# The Oscillation

• Disappears: https://soundcloud.com/disappears
• Kranky: http://www.kranky.net

Swans to tour North America in 2015, giving you another chance to snap an angry picture of Michael Gira

Over four years into their reunion, despite the massively acclaimed couple of albums they’ve released, if there is one place where Swans truly realize their power, it is on stage. Fully able to convey the physical potency of their music, it is a testament to the might of the band’s live show that not even their oldest fans seem to miss Swans’ industrial abjection days. On the contrary, the group takes their shows as an opportunity to develop new material for future records, while further mutating their already released cuts. Having witnessed the evolution of To Be Kind’s “Bring the Sun/Toussaint L’Ouverture,” I can assure you the live version easily trumps its recorded counterpart; and that is not an exception. I saw Swans live little over a month ago, and they are now opening their shows with a new song, apparently titled “Frankie M,” which goes on for over 45 minutes and quite probably is the most transfixing piece of music the reincarnated Swans have so far created.

All that longwinded introduction intended to highlight the joyful nature of the news I hereby bring you: Swans have announced their tour dates for the first part of 2015, and they will be traversing most of North America, with plenty of dates in the US and Canada, and will perform what, to the best of my knowledge, is their first-ever show in Mexico City. You can check the slate below:

02.17.15 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall
02.18.15 - Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre
02.19.15 - Montreal, QC - Theatre National
02.20.15 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theater
02.21.15 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
02.23.15 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Pyramid Scheme
02.24.15 - Cincinnati, OH - Woodward Theater
02.25.15 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
03.01.15 - Mexico City, DF - Nrmal Festival
03.23.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
03.25.15 - Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Soundstage
03.26.15 - Richmond, VA - The Broadberry
03.27.15 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle
03.28.15 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
03.29.15 - Knoxville, TN - BIG EARS Festival
03.31.15 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbit’s
04.01.15 - Saint Petersburg, FL - State Theater
04.02.15 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall
04.03.15 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
04.04.15 - Dallas, TX - Trees
04.06.15 - Austin, TX - The Parish
04.09.15 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater

Is your city not included on the list? Sure, you won’t be able to take an angry photo of Michael Gira — which is apparently a thing now — but you can still hear a live version of “Oxygen” in the EP Swans will release on November 25, including a remix of the titular song as well as an acoustic demo and a live take. Do you somehow prefer the band when they had two un-trained bass players, two drummers, a tape operator, and banging on a metal table was their percussion instrument of choice? Then you can get your hands on the recently reissued Filth, Swans’ 1982 debut LP. See how Gira and his boys always deliver?

• Swans: https://www.facebook.com/SwansOfficial
• Young God: http://younggodrecords.com

OSR Tapes quits the Internet, releases 13 new albums before going offline

Zach Phillips, ideologue and prime mover behind experimental haven OSR Tapes, has announced via a Facebook statement, that his record label will be going offline starting Jan. 1. Thus, from the new year onward, all orders, new batches, and interactions with the label will have to be carried out through physical mail and/or telephone. Phillips insists this is not a luddite gesture, but the consequence of an artistic vision/life philosophy that has proven to him that building a creative community today stands at odds with the cultural consumption/discursive environment fostered by the internet. He was already known for preferring to conduct all his music collaborations/production work in person rather than online, using 4-reel tapes and old consoles for the actual recording process. So, while not entirely unexpected, the decision is no less radical/commendable/brave/suicidal. You can read the whole statement here, including detailed instructions to keep in touch with OSR Tapes.

The batch of vinyl/tape releases the label is spreading at the moment is as follows:

On vinyl:
Hartley C. White — This Is Not What You Expect
Blanche Blanche Blanche — Hints to Pilgrims
Chris Weisman — Monet in the 90s
Ruth Garbus — Joule (a 7-inch EP)

On cassette:
CE Schneider Topical — Look Who Showed Up Out Here
Jimmie Packard — A Time to Look Back
Palberta — Shitheads in the Ditch
The Dream Scene — New Emotion
Ed Askew — Rainbow Bridge
Moth Eggs — Recursive Surfing
V/A — Music on a Tape : Songs by Chris Weisman
Ian Kovac Jr Jr — You’ll Know It When You Feel It
Kateboard — That’s Not a Helicopter

As you can see, that’s a damn fine list to go offline with, including several artists you may know already (Ed Askew, Chris Weisman, The Dream Scene, Blanche Blanche Blanche) and plenty of new music to discover while you find your way to the post office.

The cassettes are out now; the vinyl releases will be out on Nov. 17. See you offline, OSR!

• OSR Tapes: http://osr-tapes.com

Egyptrixx leaves hieroglyphs to announce new label and new album

Not to deny the friendly and welcoming environment that Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990 have created via their Night Slugs label, but there comes a time, in every person’s life, when he or she has to figuratively bite off their umbilical cord and wear it around their neck as a triumphant sign of one’s passage into adulthood and one’s embrace of independence.

The Toronto-based Egyptrixx a.k.a. David Psutka certainly crafted his musical persona through Night Slugs, but after releasing his worthwhile debut and sophomore LPs via the label, as well as delivering some astounding chunage via the memorable “Liberation Front,” he’s apparently felt both the need and the ability to branch away from his label godparent. Egyptrixx’s next album will be Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power], and it’s set for release in early 2015 via his just-announced label, Halocline Trance. The connotations are so intense!

Reportedly, Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power] is somewhat of an extension of his previous LP, which would explain the reappearance of Berlin-based visual artist A N F (Andreas Nicolas Fischer). Let’s recall, since there’s no other info to share:

• Egyptrixx: https://www.facebook.com/egyptrixx

Mac Miller signs to Warner Bros., wooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

What’s up! It’s your man on the street, back with some HOT SPANKIN’ new Mac Miller news! Ya-ow!

Sha! Mac Miller has signed, along with his Remember Music imprint, to Warner Bros.! That is some Mac Miller news right there! Future Mac Miller releases will be put out on Warner Bros.! Yah! In addition, future releases on Mac Miller’s label, Remember Music, will also be released and distributed through Warner Bros.! Cha yeah!

Woo! When SOME PERSON asked Miller why he was signing to Warner Bros., he told ‘em that it was because Prince was signed to Warner Bros.! Dang! You tell ‘em, Mac!

Whoa-oh! In celebration of his recent signing, Mac Miller has DROPPED A SONG BOMB on y’all! KAPOW. That song has a title and, baby, that title is “Just Some Raps, Nothing To See Here, Move Along” and, BABY BABY, you can hear it right now! Wham!

Okay, CHUMS, that’s all the Mac Miller news I got for you.

• Mac Miller: https://twitter.com/MacMiller
• Warner Bros.: http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com

David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti-produced Julee Cruise album Floating into the Night to get reissued on vinyl next week. LET’S ROCK?

Considering the facts that, A) David Lynch’s SMASH HIT TV SHOW Twin Peaks is set to rise again in 2016 like so much fish-flavored coffee being shuttled upward in a percolator, and B) the clothes we’re apparently supposed to be wearing in 2014 all look like this; it’s no real surprise to hear that anything and everything late-80s/early-90s that has anything to do with that series has some serious cache right now.

We already told you with great wit and alacrity a little while ago about how composer Angelo Badalamenti’s spooky hazy sexy cool soundtracks to the show and subsequent film were being reissued on vinyl this coming January. And now, the trifecta! According to FACT, Julee Cruise — the singer/songwriter whose 1989 album Floating into the Night was featured prominently in the series (the narcotic yoga-session vamp known as “Falling” was repurposed as the main theme of the show) is ALSO getting in on the reissue act. Hell. Yes. Both my arms are bending back in anticipation!

The album — which, by the way, was written and produced by Badalamenti and Lynch — is getting reissued on heavy-duty 180 gram vinyl NEXT FRIGGIN’ TUESDAY (November 18) and will come equipped with a “double-sided insert” by Plain Recordings. To pre-order, head to Boomkat
or Runt for more info. Or, failing that, make an audio cassette-recorder note to have Dianne run to the record store next week to pick one up for you and drop it in the mail after your next transcendental meditation session. Up to you.

.

Floating into the Night tracklisting:

01. Floating
02. Falling
03. I Remember
04. Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart
05. Mysteries of Love
06. Into the Night
07. I Float Alone
08. The Nightingale
09. The Swan
10. The World Spins

• Julee Cruise: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julee_Cruise
• Plain: http://www.forcedexposure.com/Label/PLAIN.RECORDINGS.html