Free Weed comes through with his debut LP Introducing via Bad Diet; let’s be honest, that moniker sells itself

Real talk: cellar doors are cool and all, but I’d personally wager that “free weed” is one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language. I mean, phonoaesthetically speaking, it’s got some nice sounding assonance going for it, but if it’s meaning we’re talkin’ about, “free weed” is mostly synonymous with “a real good time.” It figures, then, that Gnar Tapes head honcho Rikky Gage would adopt Free Weed as the nom-de-plume for his solo project, ushering in the good times and pressing them to cassette for a sadly limited few to savor. But for no longer, ‘cos the upstarts over at Bad Diet are doing everyone a solid and putting out Introducing, the so-called “debut” album from the Free Weed brand. Now THAT is how to make an entrance!

Following a sizable chunk of material for the likes of Beer on the Rug and Exo Tapes, Introducing promises to maintain Gage’s MO: straightforward pop bliss, catchy-as-fuck and suitably smoked out. Hit after hit, all killer no filler; if you’ve ever experienced Free Weed before, you’ll know exactly what the deal is here. Of course, it’s coming out on 4/20 — PSYCH! It’s actually out February 24, because the world simply could not wait until that most fated day on the stoner’s calendar for this thing to drop. Need further convincing? Perhaps the vid for lead single “Later” will sway you:

• Free Weed: http://erikgage.bandcamp.com
• Bad Diet: http://www.bad-diet.com

The Replacements reunite (again, yeah) for first full-on tour since 1991

According to HISTORY, “Rock n’ roll” band The Replacements officially called it quits after their illustrious final show in Chicago’s Grant Park on the fourth of July of 1991 because they were officially too cool for school. And after that moment, the world was forever changed. And the band never ever talked or put out recordings or made money or played live music together ever again. Ever.

Except for ONE GLORIOUS TIME in fall of 2013 when Paul Westerberg and whoever-the-hell-else-is-in-the-Replacements reunited for Riot Fest.

Wait. THREE GLORIOUS TIMES. They played three Riot Fests. Toronto, Chicago, and Denver. Okay. THREE TIMES. And that’s it.

…I mean, that’s IT… for 2013. Because in 2014, they kinda played a huge set at Coachella (… umm, and also Shaky Knees… and Forecastle… and Bumbershoot). But like, I think they made it pretty clear that they were THROUGH with one another (if not through with music forever) after that last show?

But just in case they didn’t make it clear, they DEFINITELY made it WAY-CRYSTAL when they played The Tonight Show.

Oh, but then I guess there was that big “homecoming” show at Midway Stadium in St. Paul this past September 13, for 14,000 fans… but that doesn’t really count since it was in their hometown, does it? Or, fuck, am I getting that show confused with the one they played a week later for 12,000 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY???

Okay, you know what? Never mind. Fuck it. Just send the damn band out on a goddamn CLUB TOUR, already. We all KNOW it’s happenin’! Call it the “Back By Unpopular Demand” tour or some crass shit like that for all I care. Let’s just get it over with. Bring on the classic music video and some parade of numbers and cities. I’m done. FOR REAL.

The Replacements “Back by Unpopular Demand” tour 2015:

04.09.15 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
04.10.15 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
04.13.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Masonic
04.16.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
04.19.15 - Denver, CO - The Fillmore
04.29.15 - Chicago, IL - The Riviera Theatre
04.30.15 - Chicago, IL - The Riviera Theatre
05.02.15 - Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom
05.03.15 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore
05.05.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
05.06.15 - Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
05.08.15 - Washington, DC - Echostage
05.09.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Festival Pier
05.28.15 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
05.30.15 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Paradiso
06.02.15 - London, UK - Roundhouse

• The Replacements: http://www.TheReplacementsOfficial.com

[Photo: Steven Cohen]

Obey City’s second EP Merlot Sounds gets release date; stream the lead single

Brooklyn producer Obey City (Sam Obey) will drop his second EP with Glasgow label LuckyMe on February 23. This was actually announced along with his 2013 debut EP Champagne Sounds, but now we have that release date and a lead single to show for it, with “Waterbed” featuring Anthony Flammia on vocals, a Yonkers-based singer-songwriter (hold your horses till the end). In addition to Flammia, Obey brings on Oakland vocalist 1OAK, Erick Arc Elliott, a.k.a. Erick the Architect, from Flatbush Zombies, and Kelela, for whom Obey did a killer remix of “Send Me Out” as part of LuckyMe’s 2014/15 Advent album, released over the course of December. He’s going to sing a bit himself, too.

All in all, Merlot Sounds looks to be more an old-school producer’s songwriting EP than a collection of “tracks,” something in the vein of a Quincy Jones (noted as one of Obey’s influences), or Flying Lotus record — a gathering of artists around the producer’s vision, and both a facilitation and utilization of their talents in a broader scheme.

You can pre-order the EP in digital and/or vinyl format here. Now, as a fine crescendo, I give you “Waterbed”! And, as a gentle coda, the tracklist.

Merlot Sounds tracklist:

10. With Grace We Go
02. Waterbed (feat. Anthony Flammia)
03. The Motion Blurs
04. Chante (feat. 1OAK & Erick Arc Elliot)
05. Cloud Lust
06. Airy (feat. Kelela)

• Obey City: https://soundcloud.com/obey-city
• LuckyMe: http://thisisluckyme.com

[Photo: Clair Bourgeois]

Spoon announce tour, plans to scour North America for additional details to bolster vague album title

One morning, Britt Daniel, woke up, threw the covers off of his lanky body and stared himself in the mirror. “But who are ‘they’?” he asked himself, gesturing wildly, making a wide-ranging toothpastey mess around the bathroom. You see, last year, Daniel and his buddies in Spoon, Jim Eno, Rob Pope, Eric Harvey, and Alex Fischel, had the audacity to assert that They Want[ed] [His] Soul, but this morning, insight came like the flash of fame’s camera: who exactly is “they?”

Daniel knew what had to happen. He rushed downstairs to call his bandmates, but not before struggling through his morning bowl of cereal (he tends to eat it with a fork you see, for he hates it when things are too on the nose). Cheerios dispatched, Daniel laid a slew of dates for his buddies and they assented. Spoon would soon tour the country through May and June, overturning rocks, trees, and welcome mats looking for the mysterious “they.” The band would not rest until every single co-headlining date with either Future Islands or The Decemberists was put to bed. After hanging up the phone, the tour plotted in what people who actually books tours would describe as an “entirely unrealistically short period of time,” Daniel sat back, steeple-fingered and grinning — it had only just begun.

Dates:

05.09.15 - Dallas, TX - Homegrown Festival
05.15-17.15 - Gulf Shores, AL - Hangout Music Festival
05.17.15 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom
05.18.15 - Kansas City, MO - Midland
05.19.15 - Fargo, ND - Fargo Theatre
05.21.15 - Missoula, MT - The Wilma Theater
05.22.15 - Bend, OR - Les Schwab Amphitheater +
05.22-25.15 - Quincy, WA - Sasquatch Festival
05.24.15 - Vancouver, BC - Malkin Bowl ^
05.25.15 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
05.27.15 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks *
05.29.15 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
05.30.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theater
06.01.15 - San Diego, CA - North Park Theatre
06.12.15 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
06.13.15 - Covington, KY - Madison Theater
06.11-14.15 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.16.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Kings Theatre
06.18.15 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
06.19.15 - Portland, ME - State Theater
06.18-21.15 - Dover, DE - Firefly

^ Future Islands
* The Decemberists, Courtney Barnett
+ The Decemberists, The Districts

• Spoon: http://www.spoontheband.com
• Loma Vista: http://www.lomavistarecordings.com

Tairiq & Garfield make their conjoined debut with Childhood Swing on Software

A Google search for their Discogs page may be an indication: I’m told instead that I should be searching for the duo of Tairiq & Garfunkel, which I can only imagine is the unpublicized result of the original folk legends finally having enough of one another, post-1000th split. Don’t hold your breath for release developments on that front; instead, Tairiq and twin brother Garfield aren’t showing any hesitation getting their musical feet formally wet. A debut in the form of Childhood Swing is out February 24 on Software, and I can hardly think of a more fitting outlet. Self-releasing on playgrounds across America? That would be creepy.

T&G come from a musical family, with their parents being solidly involved in R&B and rap scenes as the former were growing up. The upcoming EP, however, is the defiant departure for which so many children strive, as its inspirations are said to based around science fiction and “computational funk.” Napolian, the third to T&G’s membership in the production outfit Renaissance Music Group, has already released an LP on Software, but that one seems quite hip-hop-ish.

Does the following sound hip-hop-ish? Clearly the the group is diversifying their musics, even if they do share the interest of Daniel Lopatin’s:

Childhood Swing tracklisting:

01. HOOD LOW
02. The Treatment
03. Talking II
04. Swept Over The Rug
05. By The Bay
06. Childhood Swing

• Tairiq & Garfield: https://soundcloud.com/twintowers-d-b
• Software: http://www.softwarelabel.net

Primal Scream announce tour for all the Screamheads out there

What’s up, all y’all Scream-a-maniacs? Got some big news about your Primal Scream boys. The long-running Glaswegian rock/dance/blues/electronica/etc. group have announced a rare US tour. It’s as if a rare comet has flown over our great nation, except instead of being from the depths of space, it’s from Scotland. Also, the comet isn’t a comet, it’s a bunch of dudes.

Back in 2013, Primal Scream put out More Light. Those were good days, albeit ones that could have used additional light. Now we have all the light we need. Thanks a bunch, Screambos.

Dates:

05.09.15 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest
05.11.15 - New Orleans, LA - NOLA Civic
05.12.15 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
05.14.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls
05.15.15 - Toronto, ON - DanForth
05.17.15 - Boston, MA - Royale
05.19.15 - Philadelphia, PA - The TLA
05.20.15 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
05.21.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw

• Primal Scream: http://www.primalscream.net

[Photo: Niall O’Brian]

Panda Bear and Ducktails announce joint tour, plot a copyright-infringement-skirting version of The Disney Afternoon

If you were born at some point between 1985 and 1990, that was an easy joke for you to get. Otherwise, thanks for making me feel old by not catching my Gummi Bears and DuckTales reference. Anyway, Noah Lennox and Matt Mondanile’s upcoming tour won’t be the first time a bear and a duck have come together to entertain you with their trippy adventures; for the two musicians, best known as Panda Bear and Ducktails, have announced a bunch of joint US tour dates.

The shows find Mondanile well into the finishing stages of a new album, which may drop later this year. Lennox, in turn, is out promoting fresh music of his own; the disappointing-not-disappointing Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, released early this year. The upcoming US shows will not be the first time Lennox and Mondanile have collaborated, with Panda Bear appearing on 2011’s “Killin’ the Vibe” — a track off Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics — and Mondanile opening some of Lennox’s Tomboy tour shows.

Once his US dates are done, Ducktails will hit the European circuit as a headlining act. Not exactly a TaleSpin, if you ask me…

Ducktails dates:

04.10.15 - Las Vegas, NZ - The Bunkhouse Saloon #
04.11.15 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom #
04.14.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent #
04.15.15 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Cocoanut Grove Ballroom #
04.16.15 - Sonoma, CA - Gundlach-Bundschu Winery #
04.17.15 - West Hollywood, CA - The Roxy Theatre #
05.26.15 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
05.28.15 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Ekko
05.29.15 - Berlin, Germany - Marie Antoinette
05.30.15 - Neustreiltz, Germany - Immergut Festival
05.31.15 - Aarhus, Denmark - Radar
06.01.15 - Goteborg, Sweden - Pustervik
06.02.15 - Oslo, Norway - Bla
06.03.15 - Stockholm, Sweden - Lilla Hotellbaren
06.04.15 - Lund, Sweden - Mejeriet
06.06.15 - Gent, Belgium - DOK
06.07.15 - London, UK - Field Day
06.08.15 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club

# w/ Panda Bear

• Panda Bear: http://www.pbvsgr.com
• Ducktails: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ducktails/78029223987
• Domino: http://www.dominorecordco.com

DJ Roc to release Back to the Tracks v. 1 EP on DJ Clent’s Beatdown House label

DJ Roc, a.k.a. The Crack Capone, a.k.a. Clarence Johnson, a.k.a. the man who released one of Planet Mu’s best footwork albums way back in 2010 (seriously, listen to this shit), is set to drop an EP called Back to the Tracks v.1. The EP, which follows last year’s Take Em Out the Circle LP on Shinkaron, is being released with the blessing of Beatdown House, an imprint founded by seminal footwork/juke producer DJ Clent.

Beatdown House has been picking up steam as of late. In addition to releases by Traxman, T-Rell, and Clent himself, the label dropped Beatdown Compilation Vol 1 just last month, featuring affiliated artists like DJ T-Rell, Majik Myke, and DJ C-Bit. Roc has a couple on there too, including an ice-cold take on “U Guessed It” by TMT favorite OG Maco.

Check out “Give Em Hell” below, his flip of another OG Maco track, and look for Back to the Tracks v.1 on February 10.

• DJ Roc: https://soundcloud.com/djroc-1
• Beatdown House: https://soundcloud.com/beatdown-house-1

OFWGKTA’s Hodgy Beats shares mixtape, reminds the world of his existence

Damn. Did Hodgy Beats fall off? A perennially underrated member of Odd Future, Hodgy could always be counted on to string together a bar or two for a wide variety of scenarios: he’s proven to be adept at riding the horrorcore gauze of Left Brain (as Mellowhype), Alchemist’s classicist boom-bap, and Flying Lotus’ hip-hop futurism with the same laid-back, smoked-out flow. It’s not that he’s been any less prolific of late, but his releases have mostly flown under the radar, with Mellowhype’s INSA project receiving modest attention, and his own Untitled 2 EP going practically unnoticed in most circles.

Perhaps, then, he’s ready to reach out once again with his latest mixtape, Dena Tape 2. The intent is there, enlisting DJ-to-the-stars Don Cannon to host the thing, and Hodgy’s sounding noticeably sharp throughout, killing beats from the likes of Hit-Boy, Sap, Marvel Alexander, and, of course, his old sparring partner Left Brain. Hell, he’s even flipped Kendrick’s “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” and Lupe’s “Coulda Been,” because we’re SO worth it! According to the press release, Dena Tape 2 “offers Hodgy’s most personal and concise artistic statement to date,” so if you’ve been itching for some depth and introspection from the OF crew, this could well be your calling. Stream/download below:

Dena Tape 2 tracklisting:

01. Self Titled
02. Hodgy x Doms (feat. Domo Genesis)
03. Cudda Been
04. Wild Boy
05. Miyagi’s Prime
06. Moneyball!
07. New Balance (feat. Domo Genesis)
08. If I Say So (feat. Hit-Boy)
09. Da Man
10. HakuemeniB
11. Freeallmyniggaz

• Hodgy Beats: http://blakkarmblakkfisthb.tumblr.com
• Don Cannon: http://djdoncannon.com
• Odd Future: http://www.oddfuture.com

Föllakzoid release III on March 31 via Sacred Bones; writer grows up and chills out

Föllakzoid are releasing III on Sacred Bones Records on March 31. That’s right, I’m coming out swinging with this news article. It’s in the title and it’s in the first sentence. There’s no beating around the bush, no comical fourplay, no stories about my friend Dunny, and simply no bullshit. Yeah, I’ve grown up. I’m just here to tell you about a cool album coming out next month.

Sure, you got your Modest Mouses, Death Cabs, and Sufjans coming out in March, but why not treat yourself to something unexpected? Föllakzoid are Diego Lorca, Juan Pablo Rodriguez, and Domingo Garcia-Huidobro from Santiago, Chile, and they’ll give you a respectable take on the psych-rock genre with their culturally significant influences, which include ancient harmonic and rhythm patterns used for ceremonial music across the Andes mountains.

If you think that shit sounds pretty grown-up and cool, then try this — Föllakzoid partnered with German electronics master Atom™ after recording their new album. See we’re all growing up here. You didn’t scream, “Fuck you, dick!” while reading this article, and I didn’t try to reference Freakazoid. We can finally chill and just listen to this new Föllakzoid album without trying too hard.

III tracklisting:

01. Electric
02. Earth
03. Piure
04. Feuerzeug

• Föllakzoid: http://follakzoid.bandcamp.com
• Sacred Bones: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com