So, perhaps this is not what was expected when seeing the headline, but Neutral Milk Hotel are making news again! Why? Apparently, the group wants “the people” to help them save a carousel.
Located in Hull, Massachusetts, The Paragon Carousel is an 81-year-old machine in need of some help. Julian Koster (also of The Music Tapes), speaking on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel, has put out a plea on Merge’s site to help win this historic carousel a $100,000 preservation grant from Massachusetts. According to Koster:
I spoke with Jeff and Scott and Jeremy about this and they agreed that I should, on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel, make an appeal to the good people who might have enjoyed the music made over the years, because we think you'd understand especially, and want to help.
All you have to do is visit this site and vote once a day until May 16, and then Neutral Milk Hotel’s cup will be spilling over with happiness.
I get skittish leaving my car on while I sigh at our local Redbox machine. But The Dears -- the poor Dears -- had their tour bus stolen while their driver slumbered in a Montreal Comfort Inn the morning before their tour was to start. The nerve!
Since the band was packing at home, luckily no equipmment was actually stowed on the van. And guess what: The Dears gave the whole situation the middle finger and are touring with Great Northern and Eulogies right now anyway.
If you see the vehicle, contact your local authorities. Here's some info: Bus model: Prevost, Series 60. Accuride Alcoa; License plate: V957YW.
05.01.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Bell House *
05.02.09 - Albany, NY - Valentines *
05.04.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
05.05.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's *
05.07.09 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *
05.08.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Diesel *
05.09.09 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop *
05.10.09 - Columbus, OH - Skully's *
05.11.09 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick *
05.13.09 - Chicago, IL - Lakeshore Theater *
05.14.09 - Columbia, MO - Mojo's *
05.16.09 - Denton, TX - Hailey's *
05.17.09 - Houston, TX - Warehouse *
05.18.09 - Austin, TX - Parish *
05.21.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room *
05.22.09 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah *
05.23.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex *
05.24.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
05.26.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge *
05.27.09 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Lounge *
05.29.09 - Victoria, BC - Sugar #
05.30.09 - Vancouver, BC - Richards on Richards #
05.31.09 - Kelowna, BC - Habitat #
06.02.09 - Calgary, AB - Theatre Junction Grand #
06.03.09 - Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room #
06.04.09 - Saskatoon, SK - Amigos #
06.05.09 - Regina, SK - Distrikt #
06.06.09 - Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Center #
* Great Northern and Eulogies
# Jets Overhead and Black Diamond Bay
Future of the Left: May Tour, New Album; Future of the Right: Glenn Beck and Miss California’s Demon Lovechild
When I was at SXSW a couple months ago, I saw Future of the Left's (and formerly mcclusky’s) guitarist Andrew “Falco” Falkous outside the Radio Room just straight up raging on this slice of pepperoni pizza. I mean, the man was more than a few Stalins short of ballsout merciless on the thing, but I’ll be damned if that dude wasn’t rocking one sick pair of prison eyes while he was scarfing that sucker down. Dude had the sandbox-full-of-coke irises of Charles Manson coupled with the ineffable grace of a Kennedy before 5 o’clock. “You may approach me if you wish,” rhapsodized his body, “But you know full well that if you take one more lumbering step I can positively ruin your existence, fatty,” whispered his eyes. It was a pretty neat experience.
Anyway, for the sake of completing this metaphor, I guess the way Falco eats pizza is akin to the way Future of the Left take on the well-tested power trio format: as serial killers with political ambitions. So now that you and Future of the Left are practically related, let’s break it on down with the infos. Two years after their 2007 debut Curses, Cardiff’s finest will at least release their follow-up full-length Travels with Myself and Another June 23 on 4AD. Before that, FotL will head out on a May tour of the UK, and let me tell you, they are certainly a treat to see. Even if the siren songs of their hulking flesh lure you into a potentially fatal predicament, I nevertheless guarantee you will have a frighteningly significant experience.
05.02.09 – Leeds, UK – Cockpit
05.08.09 – Minehead, UK – All Tomorrow’s Parties
05.13.09 – Portsmouth, UK – Wedgewood Rooms
05.14.09 – Brighton, UK – Sallis Benney Theatre
05.16.09 – Belfast, UK – Stiff Kitten
05.17.09 – Dublin, Ireland – Academy 2
05.18.09 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
05.20.09 – Hereford, UK – Jailhouse
05.21.09 – Manchester, UK – Academy 3
05.23.09 – Bristol, UK – Dot to Dot Festival
05.24.09 – Nottingham, UK – Dot to Dot Festival
05.25.09 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
05.26.09 – London, UK – University of London Union
When I saw a Ben Folds deluxe vinyl on the shelves of Best Buy, I have to admit, I scoffed. “Who does Best Buy think it is?” I thought aimlessly as I went to look at a few vacuums.
But the New York Post reports that Best Buy, after recently experimenting with records in select stores, is thinking of expanding its vinyl section to all 1,020 locations, marking off eight square feet exclusively for records. And eight square feet is about 200 albums, which brings up another pressing (sorry) issue: Which artists are going to leap onto the 180-gram bandwagon? Because if I see a Lady Gaga vinyl on display, I will personally pry every game console off display and hurl it at someone’s face.
The reasoning behind the consideration is that while CD sales shrivel, vinyl sales -- surprise, surprise -- are actually doing a-okay and are profitable enough to outweigh their more expensive production costs. Quite frankly, I get the appeal, being somewhat of an audiophile and recently purchasing albums without even owning a proper player.
Anyway, the Post also disclosed that all the major record labels are flipping through their catalogs to remaster or re-release the good stuff. Just last year, EMI reached into its vaults and released albums like Radiohead’s OK Computer and The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Meanwhile, Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over the Sea has been consistently selling well (TMT News). With enough time, Best Buy could become your main go-to for all those Prurient 7-inches you couldn't even find on GEMM.
I’ve Noticed You Have Several Reissued and Remastered Wolfgang Buld Punk/Post-Punk/Reggage Documentaries in Your Collection. What Exquisite Taste You Have!
So. It's 3 AM on a Friday, you're kinda sloshed, and you just invited that special someone over. You want to seem casual yet cool, interesting yet not totally creepy. What do you do? Watch a DVD, of course! But how to navigate the treacherous waters of post-concert hangout sessions without making a selection that will completely bore your friend/"friend" to tears or make it seem as if you're a pretentious asshole who routinely goes home for a little Pinot and an I Am Curious marathon? Fortunately, with the upcoming release of three seminal Wolfgang Buld flicks about British punk, post-punk, and reggae, you need worry no more.
On June 16, MVD Visual will release remastered special editions of German filmmaker Buld's Punk in London (1977), Punk in England (1978), and Reggae in Babylon (1978). Here's the breakdown:
- Punk in London features live performances and interviews from The Clash, The Jam, X-Ray Spex, Boomtown Rats, The Adverts, The Lurkers, and more. Extras include previously unreleased footage of The Clash live in Munich, a retrospective interview with Buld, and (ooh!) trailers for other documentaries.
- Punk in England focuses on the post-punk bands that sprung up as the original punk explosion's effect reached into the suburbs. Groups inspired by the sounds of mod, rude boy, ska, and new wave music figure prominently in this follow-up documentary, and performances and interviews with The Specials, The Jam, The Adverts, Madness, The Clash, Secret Affair, and Ian Dury abound. It also features an unreleased set by The Adverts, as well as a pretty bitchin'-sounding "women in rock" doc with interviews and performances from The Slits, Girlschool, and my sweet beloved Siouxsie Sioux.
- Reggae in Babylon -- as you can probably guess -- is concerned with the late-1970s British music scene, this time concerning the riddim.
With these three films in your collection, you'll never have to "just check to see if there's something on cable" again!
Robert Pollard, I Have Taken All I Can Stand! I Can’t Stands No More! Bob Back with New Richard Davies-Assisted Project Called Cosmos
“I only know that he who forms a tie is lost. The germ of corruption has entered into his soul.”
Don’t let the words of boring dead fart Joseph "Heart of Darkness" Conrad get you down. Some of your favorite artists thrive on magical collaboration without any soul-destroying aftermath. For Robert Pollard, forming musical unions is essential to his craft, even if the finished product bears only his solo name. Over the years, Pollard has joined forces with too many likeminded collaborators to mention. Of course, the success of these partnerships may be in their corruptness, but no one ever said rock ‘n’ roll was pure. The important thing is that he and we are having fun; everyone wins when Pollard holes up in the studio, no matter the company.
For Jar of Jam Ton of Bricks, out June 9 on Happy Jack Rock Records, Pollard has formed Cosmos with former member of Cardinal and Moles (and venerable solo performer in his own right), Richard Davies. Davies is also Australian which may or may excite you, depending on if you are pro- or anti-antipodean. If you are an anti-, why? How can you be against a country that gave the world Yahoo Serious?
As for the tracklisting… what the #%$&!? Pollard must have been wearing his creative cock ring while recording Jar of Jam Ton of Bricks because, unbelievably, there are only 14 money shots on the record -- unheard of for any Pollard release! Oh, I see: Davies guided this dozen-plus-two set with his music, then sent it over to Pollard to finish it up with words. With that explanation provided, it's time to bring on the collaborative "germ of corruption!"
For the jizz kids:
1. Stoke Newington Blitzkrieg
2. Don't Be a Shy Nurse
3. Nude Metropolis
4. You Had to Be There
5. Grapes of Wrath
6. Sudden Storms Are Normal
7. Zepplin Commander
8. Enter Moonlight
9. For the Whiz Kid
10. The Neighborhood Trapeze
11. Just by Pushing a Button
12. Early Chill Early Crow
13. Westward Ho
14. Hail Mary
The band that made football seem palatable to artists is turning 10 this year, and it's celebrating with some very special guests. No Age and Eluvium in L.A. Constantines in New York. Grandaddy's Jason Lytle in Chicago. The Octopus Project and The Wooden Birds (Andrew Kenny from American Analog Set's new project on Barsuk featuring Ola Podrida) in Austin. Oh. And they're also playing Sasquatch.
After that, they're joining Broken Social Scene for their Olympic Island Summer Festival near Toronto, joining Beach House, Apostle of Hustle, Thunderheist, and Rattlesnake Choir. Then off to Europe.
Sounds like a pretty rad summer to me
05.25.09 - George, WA - The Gorge (Sasquatch fest)
06.27.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium *
06.30.09 - New York City, NY - Central Park Summer Stage $
07.02.09 - Chicago, IL - Congress Theatre #
07.04.09 - Austin, TX - Stubb's Waller Creek %
07.11.09 - Toronto, ON - Toronto Olympic Island ^
09.09.09 - Antwerp, Belgium - Amphitheatre Rivierenhof
09.11.09 - Dorset, UK - End of the Road Festival
* No Age, Eluvium
# Jason Lytle
% The Octopus Project, The Wooden Birds
^ Broken Social Scene, et. al.
Anti-Pop Consortium Sign to Big Dada, Return from Hiatus with European Tour and New LP; Meanwhile, Anti-Poop Consortium Bottoms-Out Due to Crippling Irregularity, Beans Blamed
It’s been a spell since the world heard from legendary glitch-hoppers Anti-Pop Consortium. Following the group’s last meeting on 2003’s Anti-Pop vs. Matthew Shipp (TMT Review), creative differences and side projects caused the boys to be fairly anti-Anti-Pop over the following years. After ostensibly reforming in 2007, little was heard from the brothers Anti, aside from Beans’ badass ’08 solo tip Thorns -- until today! Not only is Anti-Pop legitimately back in the rappin’ saddle, they’ve found a home at Big Dada Recordings for their first record in seven years, Fluorescent Black. Already well under way, the album will hit stores on 9/9/09, a day that will more than likely be overshadowed by September’s inevitable 99 Boadrum.
In the meantime, Anti-Pop earned a choice spot at the fan-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties fest in Minehead, UK, followed by a short European jaunt in May and June. Anti-Pop will eventually end back up at ATP for the fest’s September NYC entry. Good to have you back, fellows.
05.08.09 - Minehead, UK - ATP Festival
05.09.09 - London, UK - Cargo
05.13.09 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
05.14.09 - Manchester, UK - Futuresonic Festival
05.15.09 - Galway, Ireland - Roison Dubh
05.16.09 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
06.04.09 - Saint Etienne, France - Le Fil
06.05.09 - Ramonville Toulouse, France - Bikini
06.06.09 - Marseille, France - Cabaret Aléatoire
06.07.09 - Chateauneuf de Gadagne, France - Akwaba
06.10.09 - Segrate, Italy - Circolo Magnolia
06.11.09 - Bologna, Italy - Kindergarten
06.12.09 - Rome, Italy - Electrode Festival
06.13.09 - Luzern, Switzerland - TBA
09.12.09 - Monticello, NY - ATP Festival
No Fun Fest Presents Film Showcase with Jim O’Rourke, Makino Takashi, C. Spencer Yeh, Robert Beatty, and More
Carlos Giffoni's No Fun Fest is now in its sixth year and is still one of the most anticipated experimental music fests around. This year's fest includes such big names as Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Bastard Noise, Skullflower, Bardo Pond, Thrones, and so on (TMT News).
In addition to the audio extravaganza, you might want to catch this year's film showcase. The showcase, taking place on May 16, will feature artists who are also performing as part of No Fun Fest, including Jim O'Rourke and Makino Takashi; Robert Beatty (Hair Police, Three Legged Race) and Takeshi Murata; Sarah Lipstate (Noveller); Dominick Fernow (Prurient); C Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core); and Megan Ellis and Carlos Giffoni.
No Fun 2009: Infinite Sound and Image:
Saturday, May 16th, 3pm at
the New Museum
New York, NY
$6 Members, $8 General Public
Phosphorescent Gets Totally Baked with Willie in His Tour Bus and Gets Asked to Play His 76th Birthday Party
This past February, you may recall that folkie Phosphorescent released a heart-felt tribute album of Willie Nelson's more obscure songs, simply called To Willie (TMT Review) on Dead Oceans. Well, it got his muse's attention, as well as an invitation to play the red-braided stoner's birthday bash on Thursday, April 30 at 9 PM EST on his Sirius XM Channel, Willie's Place (Sirius 64, and XM 13).