Fremen nomads unearth long-forgotten Dune-based synth album by Bernard Szajner inside fossilized Shai-Hulud carcass
A barely-known recording of Dune-based synth compositions has been found inside the fossilized carcass of a massive sandworm. The album was discovered accidentally by a group of Fremen led by Andy Votel who were harvesting Shai Hulud teeth for the production of sacred knives known as crysknives. Upon discovery, Votel, a wandering desert nomad with a keen interest in early and forgotten music, quickly proclaimed the artifact to be a “conceptual synth-pop classic” created by one Bernard Szajner under his alias Z. Votel brought the spice-crusted album back to civilization in order to summon more information from the mysterious documents contained therein.
Most shunned Votel for his discovery — “We do not want to hear the tapes, they were not meant to be heard,” some would say, while others physically assaulted him in an attempt to subjugate the tape loop-based compositions. It seemed like Andy had nowhere to turn. With nothing but a box full of sandy tape spools, he turned to the last friend he had on Arrakis: Rashad Becker, master of master conglomerate Dubplates and Mastering. Master Becker was so impressed by Votel’s dedication to the project of making Szajner’s Visions of Dune a well-known synth classic that he decided to help his friend by doing what he did best — (re)mastering Visions.
Votel suddenly found himself with another stroke of good fortune. InFiné, a label distributed by the ever-progressive Warp Records, had taken a keen interest in his project. With a massive journey behind him and a bright future ahead, Votel handed the re-mastered tapes over to InFiné, and, in the course of one short meeting, made the decision to publicize the work through a beautifully packaged vinyl edition on August 26. Thankfully, the powers that be even decided to include two previously unheard tracks on the album, “The Duke” and “Spice.”
Votel, in a move probably more political than informative, has granted listeners a “minimix” to sway their opinion on Visions’ importance. Because, you know, he who controls the back catalog of Bernard Szajner controls the universe.
Visions of Dune tracklist:
03. Thufir Hawat
05. Bene Gesserit
06. Shai Hulud
07. The Duke *
11. Gom Jabbar
13. Kwizatz Haderach
14. Spice *
* bonus track
What are you doing right now? Are you getting your affairs in order? Have you called your grandma lately? Unless your answers to those questions in order were: “preparing myself for the new Young Thug mixtape,” “yes,” and “of course,” then you had better drop literally whatever’s in your hands right now (yes, even if it’s a delicious club sandwich!) and BUCKLE UP. Young Thug, he of the voice that I find myself vainly trying to imitate whenever I’m alone, he of the straight-up killer 2013 mixtape 1017 Thug, of the 4/20 masterpiece Young Thugga Mane La Flare with Gucci Mane, and of the certifiably and mercifully non-Fred-Armisen-related-at-all Black Portland mixtape with Bloody Jay is back again with one of those sequels Hollyweird is so crazy about: 1017 Thug 2: The Thuggening. The “Thuggening” bit is a sequel joke on my end and not actually part of the title.
And — surprise! — this whole deal is popping off way faster than anyone had any right to expect. I mean, you’re reading about it now, so I’ll bet you’re thinking “oh, I’ve got a month to prepare at minimum.” That’s where you’re wrong, dummy. According to Gucci Mane, 1017 Thug 2 will arrive tomorrow! Less than 24 hours from now! Okay, I’m gonna catch my breath from all this yelling. You should scope the predictably great “Lifestyle” from the mixtape below.
Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Metro Thuggin, Young Thug’s collaboration with producer Metro Boomin. The two released the first track from the album earlier this month. Check it out here:
UPDATE: 1017 Thug 2 is already available to stream:
• Young Thug: https://twitter.com/youngthug
Emil Amos (Grails, Om, Lilacs & Champagne) is the distant, crackling voice reaching out across the AM radio waves as you’re driving down a dusty country backroad somewhere in the desert West (or in the sweltering South). The Brooklyn musician’s musical project Holy Sons is the sort of sparse, haunting American music that ghost hitchhikers, philosophical long haul truckers, and the Sebadoh- and Big Star-lovin’ giant concrete dinosaurs from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure listen to while they’re waiting for the next road movie crew to come on by and pick up their narratives. (Yes, those Jurassic Guardians of the Highway do love college rock. Little-known fact.)
And so Thrill Jockey has welcomed Holy Sons into their loving arms, from out of which Amos shall release a new album, The Fact Facer, on September 23. The album was recorded in Amos’ home, and is available for pre-order now. (Hot tip: it’s available on limited-edition purple vinyl, ooooooh.) On August 25, Holy Sons will open for Sleep at NYC’s Stage 48 venue, but unfortunately for you, it’s already sold out.
The Fact Facer tracklisting:
01. Doomed Myself
02. Line Me Back Up
03. Transparent Powers
04. Selfish Thoughts
05. All Too Free
06. Wax Gets in Your Eyes
07. Life Could Be a Dream
08. Long Days
09. No Self Respect
10. Back Down to the Tombs
11. The Fact Facer
King Tuff sells his kingdom to evil wizards, forsakes lowly serfs to the grips of a Black Moon Spell
For centuries now we have all been aware of the strange supernatural forces that linger at the margins of our society. I would prefer not to mince words here, as we all know what it is I am referring to: the evil wizards. In days past we have found different means to address the issue when things got out of hand. Setting a wizard’s lair ablaze managed to keep them at bay. A good stake burning here and there never hurt when a message needed to be sent. Really, just fire in general always seemed a safe bet.
But alas, now it seems the evil wizards may prevail in toppling our gloriously dreary and chaste puritanical society, and no amount of fire will thwart their efforts. Our once-noble King Tuff has sold away our kingdom to these hexing heathens in exchange for some kind of dark magic-enchanted lute (he calls it a “guitar”) and an eternal record contract. Though he claims only good can come from his future musical output thanks to his “bitchin’ new ax,” I fear he has become a slave of the wizards’ deceitful magic and is now being forced to do their bidding, for you see, his upcoming album is entitled Black Moon Spell. As described in a recent decree written by the former King himself and proliferated by the evil wizard conglomerate of Sub Pop, this spell causes “euphoria, demented visions, wet dreams, bouts of laughter, and dazed confusion resulting in primordial dancing.” If you still have any doubts that our fair King is no longer of sound mind, just listen to the first single, “Eyes of the Muse,” below and try and tell me that this is the same man who once had his court jester drawn and quartered for telling a bawdy joke that involved a donkey. Surely he cannot be that majestic hero any longer. Oh curse the day of September 23, when this spell shall be cast upon the land!
The bright side to all of this, if it can be said that there is one, is that once our minds are no longer our own and we are slaves to our gyrating hips, base desires, and the undeserved joy that this accursed “music” will surely bring about, we can all take our god-affronting bodies to a King Tuff concert, because, well, fuck it. We’re already doomed anyway.
Black Moon Spell tracklist:
01. Black Moon Spell
02. Sick Mind
03. Rainbow’s Run
05. Beautiful Thing
06. I Love You Ugly
07. Magic Mirror
09. Demon From Hell
10. Black Holes in Stereo
12. Eyes of the Muse
13. Staircase of Diamonds
14. Eddie’s Song
09.25.14 - San Diego, CA - Irenic
09.26.14 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
09.27.14 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
09.29.14 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
09.30.14 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s
10.01.14 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
10.02.14 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
10.03.14 - Raleigh, NC - Kings Barricade
10.04.14 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
10.07.14 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
10.08.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
10.09.14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
10.10.14 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
10.11.14 - Easthampton, MA - Flywheel
10.12.14 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
10.14.14 - Toronto, ON - Horeshoe Tavern
10.15.14 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick Lounge
10.16.14 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
10.17.14 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
10.18.14 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
10.20.14 - Missoula, MT - Stage 112
10.22.14 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s
10.23.14 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club
10.25.14 - Portland, OR - Lola’s
10.28.14 - Sacramento, CA - Witch Room
10.29.14 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
11.06.14 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
11.08.14 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
Anonymous hacks the website for Warner Music Argentina, forcing workers to endure… an unscheduled beach day?
Out of concern for the stability of my very unique and popular Tumblr, which I’ve dedicated to the posting of GIFs of me viewing re-blogged images from other Tumblrs, I don’t want to disparage the cult of Anonymous, but I can’t help but be continuously underwhelmed by their efforts at web-based, generally corporate subversion. You won’t hear any protests from me that they decided to take down Warner Music Group’s Argentina site last Wednesday, but c’mon, the site was literally rebooted the next day! Maybe this secretly cost the company millions of dollars, but really, I think we’d all prefer a systematic melting of the computers inside WMG headquarters. Hacking allows for that, right?
In any case, the Anonymous hack was in protest to Argentina’s recent blocking of access to The Pirate Bay. The country was the first in Latin America to do so, joining other supposedly enlightened — to the ever so morally pressing issue of copyright infringement — nations as Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany. It’s all fruitless, of course. No need to bring “that pain,” Anons; the slow realization of their own futile efforts is more than enough, I’d say.
Well, hopefully futile, lest we forget.
Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto posted some sad news to his website earlier today: he’s been diagnosed with throat cancer, and he’s taking time away from his work in order to focus on his health.
The 62-year-old Sakamoto, one of the founding members of Yellow Magic Orchestra, has collaborated with everyone from David Byrne to Fennesz (the two released three albums between 2005 and 2011), and in 1987 received an Academy Award for his score to The Last Emperor. He’s also participated in protests against the Japanese government’s decisions regarding nuclear power. “Keeping silent after Fukushima is barbaric,” he said in an article for a Japanese newspaper.
Sakamoto has canceled all of his upcoming performances and appearances, noting that he will not be able to attend the first-ever Sapporo International Art Festival in his role as guest director, a project that he has spent “the past two painstaking years in preparation for.” Sakamoto worked on an art exhibition called “Forest Symphony in Moerenuma” for the festival, which will also feature works by Anselm Kiefer and performance artist Fuyuki Yamakawa. Sakamoto was also scheduled to perform live.
Sakamoto promises that the festival’s programming will still be of the “highest quality” and asks for everyone to “enjoy the festival in [his] place.”
“Please bare with me while I regain my health,” he writes. “I promise to return after a full recovery. Thank you very much.”
Get well soon, Ryuichi!
• Ryuichi Sakamoto: http://sitesakamoto.com
Alvarius B, one of the mighty Bishop brothers of Sun City Girls, just announced a slew of August tour dates with Montreal guitar player Sam Shalabi, plus two Brooklyn dates with everyone’s favorite music critic, Byron Coley.
The first 75 people to turn up at each show will get a super-limited-edition 7-inch featuring two previously unreleased recordings by the acoustic axe-wielding superman, with artwork by Coley. It’s a tour-only release out on Poon Village Records. Cool… if you live in Brooklyn, Montreal, or Pawtucket, Rhode Island. If you happen to reside pretty much anywhere else, you’re probably out of luck or will have to scour the crevices of the internet to get the release. No West Coast or Midwest dates have been announced, and Alvarius is barely even hitting the East. Nothing in D.C. or Boston, no Baltimore or Philadelphia shows. Alas!
08.14.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool *
08.15.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool *
08.16.14 - Pawtucket, RI - Machines With Magnets
08.17.14 - Somerville, MA - Johnny D’s
08.18.14 - Portland, ME - Portland Empire
08.20.14 - Northampton, MA - Feeding Tube
08.22.14 - Montreal, QC - La Vitrola
08.23.14 - Montreal, QC - La Plante
• Alvarius B: http://www.suncitygirls.com/discography/alan.php
Before Thee Oh Sees, before The Ohsees, and before OCS, big man John Dwyer had a band called Coachwhips, and they were notorious for insanely loud garage punk. After a day-long hiatus when Coachwhips broke up, I remember seeing Dwyer perform at The Smell with his other, folkier band OCS. All of 17 years old, I walked up to him at the merch table and introduced myself, asking why he’d ended the Coachwhips like that. He shrugged and said that it just got boring. Boring, playing the same powerchords with the same squalid distortion in two-minute bursts.
But Dwyer was in denial, because he’ll never be able to escape that heavy sound. And over the past eight years, Thee Oh Sees has morphed into a heavier beast, sounding more and more like his former project. Now, to make things even more confusing, Dwyer has announced a “loogie-shined” reissue of seminal Coachwhips LP Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine via his label Castle Face. According to the label, these mixes have been tweaked “with the scuzz and squall crackling ever so slightly and revealing a coffee-can of earworms underneath.” Less scuzz and more fuzz, it seems. The revised Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine drops on August 19 and, like Goldilocks, we’ll find out if Dwyer’s optimal amount of heaviness has finally been reached.
Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine tracklist:
01. I Put It In, Way Down South
02. 1000 Years
03. Like Food, It Feeds
04. Tonights the Night
05. Just One Time
06. Manner in Which the Girl Was Treated
07. UFO, Please Take Her Home
08. Hey Stiffie
09. Couldn’t Find Love
10. Nife Fight
11. My Baby, I Killed Her
12. Yes, I’m Down
13. Other Man
14. Get Yer Body Next Ta Mine
Planes Mistaken for Stars announce tour, new material, all of which is sponsored by Friendster and Deadjournal
Influential 2000s post-hardcore act Planes Mistaken for Stars have been gone for a while. How long of a while? Long enough for their most recent relevant website to be a Myspace page. Admittedly, they have not been completely gone since their 2008 break-up, having done a reunion tour in 2012. But since then, they’ve been fairly quiet, playing no shows and releasing no music. Let those habits be reversed, though, as Planes Mistaken for Stars are returning next month for a tour spanning the West Coast and Midwest. If you’d like to familiarize yourself with the band’s work before these shows, check out their Myspace page. Look, I can’t get over this Myspace thing.
Though Planes Mistaken for Stars haven’t put out any music since a slightly different set of social networks were popular (their last record was 2006’s Mercy, from a time when Friendster was a recent memory), they should be entering the world of Twitter and Instagram soon. The group is in the early stages of writing a new LP. Who knows when that new LP will be released, though maybe Planes Mistaken for Stars can finally announce an album through a Vine video. If, you know, Vine is still a thing by then. Time is merciless.
Planes Mistaken for Stars dates:
07.12.14 - Salt Lake City, UT - Burts Tiki-Lounge
07.13.14 - Reno, NV - The Holland Project
07.14.14 - San Francisco, CA - Elbo Room
07.15.14 - Ventura, CA - Gigis Cocktail Lounge
07.16.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
07.17.14 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
07.18.14 - Las Vegas, NV - The Backstage Bar & Billiards
07.20.14 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theatre
07.21.14 - Omaha, NE - O’Leaver’s
07.22.14 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen
07.23.14 - Normal, IL - Firehouse Pizza
• Planes Mistaken for Stars: https://myspace.com/pmfs
Prestige Records celebrates its 65th anniversary with a catalog-wide reissue, including Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, and others
With the so-called Jazz age nearly a century away, it can’t surprise anyone that most album announcements coming from that field take an archival spin. Thus, centennials or golden anniversaries are in order, cueing the commemoration of a legacy with more gravitas than the sheer nostalgia-peddling behind most reissues. With the recording industry mining its back catalog to the point of exhaustion, jazz has (fortunately) shown a proclivity for offering non-banal re-releases, with alternate takes and live registers providing much more than the mere dumping of beloved albums’ leftovers. For instance, think about the impressive, mostly revealing reissues Miles Davis has been the subject of in recent years. Appropriately, Prestige Records turns 65 this year and has announced a massive reissue plan in celebration, falling somewhere between awestruck didacticism and an adventurous exploration of its archives.
Perhaps lacking the clout of Blue Note or Impulse!, Prestige evolved from a small record shop into a powerhouse in the 50s and 60s, to finally flutter through blues, soul, folk, and fusion by the turn of the 70s — though it had previously ventured into heterodox terrain through its New Jazz off-shoot. Very few labels can brag about a roster as brilliant as Prestige’s: John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, Yusef Lateef, Coleman Hawkins, and many others released stone-cold classics with it. Most importantly, Prestige’s house engineer was the celebrated/infamous (depends on who you ask) Rudy Van Gelder, whose 90th anniversary is also being commemorated with this reissue campaign, comprising some of Van Gelder’s work highlights. With this in mind, Prestige is undertaking a massive re-release plan both on vinyl and digital, running through the whole year and including John Coltrane’s Soultrane, Eric Dolphy’s Outward Bound, Sonny Rollins’ Saxophone Colossus, and Oliver Nelson’s Screamin the Blues, among many others. You can check their herculean reissues program, including dates, here.
Not content with putting out enough music to keep us busy until their next anniversary, Prestige are launching a new video series, “Prestige Minutes,” showcasing the finest moments from the label history. Cynicism aside, this anniversary is as good an opportunity as any other to become familiar with a handful of 20th-century music masterpieces. Of course, you can always wait until Sonny Rollins passes away, or for Thelonious Monk’s centennial to arrive, to catch up with them. It’s not like anyone is force-feeding you these, is it? Oh no, no pressure at all. We’ve got all the time in the world. At least until the recording industry finally collapses, and these gems are either lost forever or freely accessible to anyone interested. Guess which is the most likely scenario. You can ponder that while you go back to enjoying your sweet, “new,” freely-streamable music.