RIP: Kim Fowley, record producer and musician

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

• Mexican Summer: http://www.mexicansummer.com
• Ballroom Marfa: https://ballroommarfa.org

Good news, everyone! The King Khan & BBQ Show release Bad News Boys

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
02. Illuminations
03. Kiss My Sister’s Fist
04. Buy Bye Bhai
05. D.F.O.
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

• King Khan: https://www.facebook.com/thekingkhanbbqshow
• In The Red: http://intheredrecords.com

Universal Music Group wants $150,000 for tracks on mixtapes made for prisoners

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.

Anthony Naples announces debut full-length Body Pill on Four Tet’s Text Records

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:

01. Ris
02. Abrazo
03. Changes
04. Way Stone
05. Refugio
06. Pales
07. Used to Be
08. Miles

• Anthony Naples: https://twitter.com/_anthonynaples
• Text: https://soundcloud.com/textrecords
• Proibito: http://proibitorecs.biz

Mumdance and Logos emerge from an electronic crevasse, announce Proto LP

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.

Proto tracklisting:

01. Border Drone
02. Dance Energy (89 Mix)
03. Chaos Engine
04. Legion
05. Hall Of Mirrors
06. Bagleys
07. Proto
08. Room 2 Lazer
09. Move Your Body
10. Cold

• Logos: https://twitter.com/Logos262
• Mumdance: http://mumdance.com/
• Tectonic: http://tectonicrecordings.com

Saint Pepsi will now be known as Skylar Spence for exactly the reason you think

Saint Pepsi’s star shone so brightly in 2014 that it was bound to catch the Sauron’s eye of a certain soft drink organization in the process. Indeed, with the legal hammer about to come down on his previous persona, the disco maestro announced today that he shall henceforth be known as Skylar Spence. You fans of mid-90s Woody Allen musical comedies will recognize the new moniker as a nod to Drew Barrymore’s character from Everyone Says I Love You, while others will know it as the title to a 2013 Saint Pepsi track off Hit Vibes. If you don’t know all that much about the former, Skylar Spence (a.k.a. Ryan DeRobertis a.k.a. The Artist Formerly Known as Saint Pepsi) has provided plenty of dreamy visuals from the film in the YouTube announcement embedded below. While the track remains conspicuously unnamed, it’s just a sampling from his forthcoming LP for Carpark Records. Along with a record release, 2015 will also see Skylar Spence hold down some DJ gigs as well as some live performances featuring a full band! In fact, the man says that’s the only way he’ll be playing live from now on, so get ready to get with the gettin’ down, y’all.

Skylar Spence dates:

01.19.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Silent Barn (DJ Set) #
05.15.15-17 - Gulf Shores, AL - Hangout Fest

# Phantom Posse

• Skylar Spence/Saint Pepsi: https://soundcloud.com/saintpepsi
• Carpark: http://carparkrecords.com

Mike Simonetti (Troubleman Unlimited, Italians Do It Better) launches 2MR with Captured Tracks founder Mike Sniper

Back in 2005, a decision was made to create a record label based on love for electronic pop and European disco; thus, Italians Do It Better was born. Home to many projects like Chromatics, Glass Candy, Symmetry, et al., the label grew into a synthpop/Italo disco revival powerhouse. Last December, Mike Simonetti from the label announced he was leaving and has now confirmed his next step. He’ll be co-directing a new label with Mike Sniper, Captured Tracks founder: 2MR, short for 2 Mikes Records.

Ostensibly a dance music branch for Captured Tracks, 2MR will debut with a release by Simonetti’s new band, Pale Blue, out April 14. The group’s first single, the titular “The Past We Leave Behind,” is not dissimilar to Simonetti’s Thief-like contribution to The Guest’s soundtrack (previously heard in 2013’s Italians Do It Better showcase After Dark 2); the track possesses a grand-scale pop finesse that nevertheless avoids relinquishing the populist beats. So, yeah, Mike Simonetti had to leave Italians Do It Better in order to find a Chromatics of his own. You can stream the track below.

Simonetti, who will also take care of A&R duties for 2MR, is no newbie to the label-running game. Over a decade-and-a-half ago, he was the man behind the iconic noise rock outlet Troubleman Unlimited (Black Dice, Wolf Eyes, Harvey Milk, Boris, Unwound). Actually, though it sounds nothing like the label’s flagship acts, Pale Blue is somewhat of a throwback to those years for Simonetti. Mike Sniper’s band Blank Dogs put an album out with Troubleman Unlimited a few years ago. Similarly, former collaborator Jana Hunter, whose 2005 split with Devendra Banhart came out via Troubleman Unlimited, will appear in Pale Blue’s debut as a guest vocalist. Silver Hand’s Elizabeth Wight will handle Pale Blue’s vocals throughout the record.

The Past We Leave Behind tracklist:

01. The Past We Leave Behind
02. The Scars
03. Distance to the Waves
04. Mia
05. Tougher
06. Myself
07. The Scars (Reprise)
08. Dusk in Parts
09. The Math
10. Rain
11. The Eye
12. Embrace
13. One Last Thing

• Pale Blue: https://www.facebook.com/PaleBlueOfficial
• Captured Tracks: http://www.capturedtracks.com

Belle and Sebastian announce US dates supporting Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, though touring is war and war is hell

They say war is hell. For some, touring is war. Ergo, touring is hell. Soon to enter hell: Belle and Sebastian. To support their upcoming record Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, out January 20 on Matador, the longstanding Scottish indie-pop act are heading back into the war zone that is America. Their campaign will find them hitting major battlefields like Coachella, as well as bouncing all over North America for a few handfuls of shows.

Supporting Belle and Sebastian on certain dates of this heroic venture will be the war-scarred likes of Perfume Genius and Real Estate. Some theorize that Real Estate’s smooth songs are simply a means to block out the horrors of war. Similarly, the crack in the voice of Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadras is caused by the memory of the terror of the battlefield. If only, like the aforementioned girls, they could find the peacetime dancing they so long for. If only.

Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is currently streaming through NPR. Listen before you, too, are consumed by hell. Which, as previously discussed, is touring. So I guess listen before you go on tour. By the way, you’re going on tour? Cool!

Belle and Sebastian dates:

03.30.14 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
04.01.14 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
04.02.14 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre
04.03.14 - Chicago, IL - Riviera
04.04.14 - Madison, WI - Overture Hall
04.07.14 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Ballroom *
04.08.14 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre *
04.09.14 - Portland, OR - Roseland *
04.11.14 - Indio, CA - Coachella
04.12.14 - Berkely, CA - Greek Theatre &
04.14.14 - Davis, CA - Mondavi Center *
04.17.14 - San Diego, CA - The North Park Theatre
04.18.14 - Indio, CA - Coachella
06.09.14 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
06.10.14 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall &
06.11.14 - Washington, DC - Echostage
06.14.14 - Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
06.17.14 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
06.18.14 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre

* Perfume Genius
& Real Estate

• Belle and Sebastian: http://www.belleandsebastian.com
• Matador: http://www.matadorrecords.com

Björk announces new album Vulnicura

Björk, who everyone used to call an “Icelandic pixie,” has JUST announced the follow-up to 2011’s Biophilia in a letter obtained un-exclusively by TMT. The album’s titled Vulnicura, and it features nine tracks that we assume to be pretty great, especially since Björk has tapped Arca and The Haxan Cloak to help out, and we LOVE them around these parts! Björk, too!

Vulnicura is set for release in March.

Here’s the letter:

Here’s the production info:

6 songs written by björk, 2 songs co-written with arca, 1 with john flynn
string arrangements by björk
6 songs produced by björk & arca, 1 by björk & arca & the haxan cloak, 2 by björk
mixed by the haxan cloak except 2 songs mixed by the haxan cloak and chris elms
mastered by mandy parnell

And here’s the appropriate first response to the FB post:

OH MY FUCKING GOD

• Björk: http://bjork.com