April 24, 2009
From: Mike McHugh
To: Austin, TX
Re: Just catchin’ up + the staggering amount of good bands that play in your city.
Hey, Austin. How’re things? Good? Shit, that’s great, dude. I’m so glad to hear things are kicking so much ass for you… So hey, how’ve you been since SXSW? Oh, shit’s been fantastic? Damn man, that’s great, I’m happy that you’re so happy, and– wait, shit is really going that well? Things have been so kickass in fact that Spoon is coming back to their native Austin in July to play three shows at Stubbs in the inaugural SPOONX3 festival?! That’s insane, son! I mean, the highlight of my live-show life this year was when I broke my glasses at a Lee Ving show last month but… shit, this… this… um, it’s real cool, man! Spoon is a great band. Good for you! You’re so special, dude! I’m sure things will keep ruling Charlemagne style, and I’ll just catch you later and — wait, what? Atlas Sound is playing, too? AND Low? AANNDD Trail of Dead? On separate nights? In the same city? Well dog-shitting Christ in an Elvis diaper, Austin, that action is too goddamn much to keep this player from being polite about it. I have to fucking speak out on the behalf of the rest of Middle America. Excuse me.
07.09.09 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s (Trail of Dead)
07.10.09 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s (Low)
07.11.09 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s (Atlas Sound)
April 24, 2009
From: Mike McHugh
To: Middle America (Mainly Eastern Missouri)
CC: Good Bands
Re: BOOK GOOD BANDS, YOU FUCKS
Dear Middle America/Good Bands,
Hello. We are the Midwest, besides Detroit, of course. And Chicago. And Kansas City. Okay, basically we are just St. Louis, MO, and we want you to play here. And by “we,” I mean only me, but still, I am certain reasonable humans within the St. Louis City/Country metro area and myself would love it if you (the few, the proud, the good bands of America) would come to our fair city. Or even Columbia, MO, or O’Fallon, or Wright City, or anywhere within a two-hour radius so I could actually see you! I love Austin, but I don’t want to waste 200 clams on a steel bird or 20 hours + silly-ass gasoline every time I want to see a good show, goddammit! I got things to do, bills to pay, and people to smile at and want things from! So just point your rusty-ass doody van towards the Arch and go go go until you reach my stinky town. We desperately need quality entertainment. Do you know how many Jimmy Buffett cover bands I’ve seen in the last five years? At least half a dozen, and we ain’t even 50 miles away from any decent beaches. And Sammy Hagar-itude has become so prevalent in Gateway culture that he even has his own restaurant in one of the city’s classier casinos! So save us, dammit! Please, good bands like Spoon, come back to our city, too. We really need your patronage. PLEASE.
One of the many unnoticed, unread, unloved 2009 SXSW reports that I posted a month ago (TMT Review) had a small write-up on a show by one John Joseph McCauley III, solo showboat and leader of the Deer Tick group. Sitting side-stage on a stool in front of a chain-link fence, McCauley delivered an impressive, impassioned (but too short) set honest as the day is long (and that day was loooooong). Deer Tick will be playing in its quartet guise starting June 8 in Philadelphia, with McCauley joined by Christopher Dale Ryan, Dennis Michael Ryan, and Andrew Grant Tobiassen.
The shows are important for a couple of reasons: most of them are supporting lovely songbird Jenny Lewis and, more importantly, the dates will undoubtedly highlight many of the tracks found on the forthcoming Deer Tick album Born on Flag Day, which is as good a day to be born as any. The second full-length Deer Tick record will be released officially June 23 through Partisan Records and will certainly be one of the most talked about records of 2009.
Prior to the June tour, Deer Tick will play in Boston April 23 and in Providence April 24 with the hot Elvis Perkins. McCauley will also perform solo-ly in Baltimore on May 8 but without the chain fence and this drunken ogling TMT writer nearby.
Born on Flag Day tracklisting:
2. Little White Lies
3. Smith Hill
4. Song About a Man
5. Houston, TX
6. Straight Into a Storm
7. Friday XIII
8. The Ghost
9. Hell on Earth
Catch them live in the headlights:
04.23.09 - Boston, MA - Harpers Ferry
04.24.09 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel #
05.08.09 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West *
06.08.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero $
06.09.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg $
06.10.09 - Boston, MA - House of Blues $
06.11.09 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club $
06.12.09 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle $
06.14.09 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant $
06.15.09 - Lawrence, KS - Granada $
06.17.09 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown $
* Caleb Stine (John McCauley solo show)
# Elvis Perkins in Dearland
$ Jenny Lewis
Dude from Unicorns and Dude from Arcade Fire form Clues, Give Everyone a Hankering to Accuse Ms. Scarlet with a Wrench in the Library
The word's been around since last fall, but now it's official in a press release kind of way: Ex-Unicorn Alden Penner, ex-Arcade Fire guy Brendan Reed, and some Montreal pals have formed a band and will release a self-titled debut album as Clues, due May 19 on Canadian label Constellation Records. Reed also recently started VillaVillaNola, a digital music store that has some scant info on the collaboration.
Here are some audio files to “tide you over” until then.
2. Remember Severed Head
3. Approach the Throne
4. In the Dream
5. You Have My Eyes Now
6. Perfect Fit
8. Cave Mouth
11. Let's Get Strong
05.16.09 - Montreal, QC - Ukranian Federation Hall *
05.21.09 - Toronto, ON - Sneaky Dee's
05.22.09 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
05.23.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
05.25.09 - Winnipeg, MB - Pyramid Cabaret
05.26.09 - Saskatoon, SK - Amigos
05.27.09 - Calgary, AB - Marquee
05.28.09 - Edmonton AB - Brixx
05.30.09 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
05.31.09 - Victoria, BC - Lucky Bar
06.01.09 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
06.02.09 - Portland, OR - Backspace
06.04.09 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Shop
06.05.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo
06.06.09 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit
06.09.09 - Dallas, TX - The Loft
06.10.09 - Austin, TX - The Independent
06.11.09 - New Orleans, LA - One-Eyed Jacks
06.12.09 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
06.15.09 - Washington, DC - Rock N Roll Hotel
06.16.09 - Philadelphia, PA - The Barbary
06.17.09 - New York, NY - Santos Playhouse
06.18.09 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa #
* Elfin Saddle
# The Dead Science
Steve Reich Wins Pulitzer Prize for Music, Nobodaddy Writes Pulitzer-worthy News Article in Affirmating Solidarityness
There’s never been any question: New York-based composer and minimalist pioneer Steve Reich is cooler than all of us. Always has been, always will be. I mean, think about it: who among us could get away with wearing that beat-up baseball cap around throughout the entirety of our professional lives and have it be attributed not to our unwillingness to cooperate with workplace standards, but rather to some eccentric outward symbol of our staggering/precocious/whimsical (at times) inward genius? Yeah, exactly. No one. (Face it, not even Ashton Kutcher is doing a good job wearing hats for a living anymore!)
But now, just in case there was any lingering doubt whatsoever, he’s gone and won the Pulitzer Prize for music this week, for his 2008 piece Double Sextet. A good deal (though not necessarily entirely) less sexual than it sounds, the work calls for two identical sextets of instruments -- each made up of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone, and piano -- and can be performed in one of two ways: with 12 musicians, or, as in the case of its world premiere last May with the Eighth Blackbird ensemble, with six musicians playing against a recording of themselves. Mixing live music with recordings (or, heck, “sampling” in general) is nothing new to Reich though, who has spent his life plumbing the depths of the beauty that can be created with tape machines, loops, phasing, texture, and polyrhythms (sound familiar, Animal Collective fans?)
"It's the idea of writing basically unison canons," a much-smarter-than-you-and-me Reich says of Double Sextet. "The same timbre playing against itself, so that when they intertwine, you don't hear the individual voice; you hear the composite. Now, if you have several composites going on at the same time, you really get to an interesting situation, and that's what's going on in Double Sextet... I'm very glad that this particular piece got it, because I do think it's one of the better pieces I've done in the past few years." Notice the “in the past few years” part. Yeah, ol' boy could have won a dozen or so Pulitzers for a myriad of earlier badass and highly influential works, such as Music for 18 Musicians, Electric Counterpoint, Different Trains, Violin Phase, Clapping Music, and of course the loop-phase-masterworks It’s Gonna Rain and Come Out. Not familiar with these pieces yet? Well you’d best check them out before you go around issuing any declarations about how “groundbreaking” Merriweather Post Pavillion is.
There was a brief period of time before she climbed all over the Billboard charts and let Grey’s Anatomy use her songs when Regina Spektor was actually an undiscovered artist. But those days are long gone now and about to be even further away, as Spektor is set to release her new album, Far, June 23 on Sire Records. Far is the follow-up to Spektor’s hugely successful major-label debut, Begin to Hope, which is currently wedged between Feist and Tracy Chapman in your mom’s CD collection. FAR was produced by Jeff Lynne (ELO, The Traveling Wilburys), Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem), David Kahne (Paul McCartney, The Strokes), and Garret “Jacknife” Lee (Weezer, REM).*
Spektor will also tour the world beginning in June. Stay tuned for dates.
Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle and John Vanderslice Release Vinyl-Only EP Titled Moon Colony Bloodbath, in Which the Latter John “Vanderslices” the Mountain Goats
With vinyl sales on the rise and records trumping CDs in coolness, it seems like increasingly more artists are opting to release their stuff in LP form. I mean, there’s no Compact Disc Day, right?
Which is why it’s not surprising that John Vanderslice and John Darnielle have released a vinyl-only EP entitled Moon Colony Bloodbath. If anything, it pisses me off that I still haven’t a proper output for my dust-collecting record player.
Darnielle tells Pitchfork: “Some of the songs have something to do with a loose rock opera/'concept album' idea about organ harvesting colonies on the moon and the employees thereof, who spent their off months living in secluded opulence in remote American locations.”
The EP was recorded for the Johns’ most recent tour. You can buy some of the remaining copies via mail order after they’re shipped to Beggars Group and 3 Beads of Sweat. Vanderslice will reportedly lug a few to his solo shows, while Darnielle will sell some at Bull City in Durham, NC.
A2 Lucifer Rising
A3 Satori in Denver
B1 Scorpio Rising
B2 Sudden Oak Death
B3 Columns Pillars Steps
May is going to be a busy month for drone doom band Sunn O))). Not only will they be releasing their seventh studio album Monolithis and Dimensions on May 18 via Southern Lord, but they're also hitting the road through half of May and June. The dates will be in support of the new album, which features guest appearances by Dylan Carlson (Earth), Oren Ambarchi, Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar, composer Eyvind Kang, and a slew of upright bass players, horn players, harpists and flutists, pianists, string ensembles, and even a Viennese women's choir led by Persian vocalist Jessika Kenney.
Before hitting Europe, they will do a few dates in Tokyo and Osaka. The group recently placed Japan's Leave Them All Behind Festival. Here are the rest of the dates:
04.21.09 - Tokyo, Japan - Earthdom !
04.22.09 - Tokyo, Japan - Earthdom +
04.23.09 - Osaka, Japan - Sunsui *
04.24.09 - Osaka, Japan - Sunsui #
05.15.09 - Oslo, Norway - Blå (Stephen O'Malley solo)
05.22.09 - Riga, Latvia - Skanu Mezs Festival
05.24.09 - Berlin, Germany - Volksbühne/Prater
05.25.09 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Worm/Arminius Church
05.26.09 - Leuven, Belgium - Stuk/Predikheren Church
05.27.09 - Paris, France - Sonique Villette
05.29.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
05.31.09 - Düdingen, Switzerland - Kilbi Festival
06.01.09 - Bologna, Italy - Locomotiv
06.03.09 - Vienna, Austria - Wien Arena - Vienna
06.04.09 - Prague, Czech Republic, Sacre Coeur Church (Stimul Festival)
+ Jim O' Rourke
* Black Ganion
# Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock
Do you ever look at your old albums and think, "Wow, I really wish this had some bonus tracks on it! This album would be so much better with bonus tracks."? If you are a Kills fan, and you often finding yourself thinking that, well, you're in luck! Because on May 5 Domino is reissuing their 2003 full-length debut, Keep on Your Mean Side, with a few dandy tracks thrown in from the Black Rooster and Fried My Little Brains EPs. Sure, you probably already know that Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince collaborated via tapes sent between her place in Florida and his in London. But did you also know that they recorded Keep on Your Mean Side in London's all-analogue Toe Rag studio, or that they drove around the States in a convertible while on tour? Rock ‘n’ roll! Possibly even more rock ‘n’ roll than dating Kate Moss. POSSIBLY. Q Magazine, at least, seems to agree. I'm not usually one for including magazine quotes in a story, but this one's pretty rad. Behold! the quote:
"Once upon a time rock ‘n’ roll was all about the sex you really shouldn't have. The Kills haven't forgotten."
2. Cat Claw
3. Pull a U
4. Kissy Kissy
5. Fried My Little Brains
8. Black Rooster
10. Fuck the People
12. Gypsy Death & You
13. Gum (Black Rooster EP)
14. Jewel Thief (Fried My Little Brains EP)
15. Sugar Baby (Fried My Little Brains EP)
16. The Search for Cherry Red ("Pull a U" single)
17. Dropout Boogie (Black Rooster EP)
Don't know who the Pixies are? Neither do I! That's why we should consider shelling out big monies in these hard economic times: if we ain't gettin' dough, we better be compensating culturally. To this end, every Pixies studio release -- Come on Pilgrim EP (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), Trompe Le Monde (1991) -- is getting ye olde reissue treatment, according to Rolling Stone. Yes, readers, now's the time to INVEST. The reissues are coming June 15 as a set titled Minotaur, in two different editions: deluxe and limited.
So what's in it for those of you who already own these albums? Not sure really. Apparently there will be no live versions packaged with the set (yay!), and they haven't finalized any decisions about bonus track (boo!). What's more: the albums won't be remastered in any way, as they wanted to release the albums as they were originally released. But we can confirm this: THERE WILL BE NEW ARTWORK!!
Here are the details:
- Deluxe Edition ($175): Five discs (on 24k layered CDs and a Blu-ray) + DVD of the band's 1991 Brixton Academy gig and all their music videos. Also included is a 54-page book and new artwork. It comes in a "custom clamshell."
- Limited Edition ($450): Same deal as above, BUT: you get five albums on 180 gram vinyl, a 72-page hardcover book, and a print. This version comes with a slipcase.
Pre-order the set at the ArtistsInResidence website.
Meanwhile, the Pixies are working on a dream -- I mean, tour. The only announced date thus far is the Isle of Wight Festival on June 14.
If you live within driving distance of San Francisco, you'll want to pack up your car with plenty of rainbows and glitter, because indie pop is invading your city very soon. From May 21-24, an army of unabashedly gleeful and wonderfully talented musicians will converge on several local venues for the San Francisco Pop Festival. Highlights include Oh No Oh My, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, The Hidden Cameras, Northern Portrait, Pelle Carlberg and, in their last appearance before going on indefinite hiatus, Seattle twee heroes Tullycraft.
For the full lineup, venue listings, and tickets, visit the PopFest website. In addition to shows, there will be a picnic on Sunday afternoon in Golden Gate park featuring acoustic sets from some of the festival’s performers. It doesn’t get much cuter or awesome than that.
Oh, also - DID YOU UNDERSTAND THE FIRST TIME I MENTIONED IT THAT THIS IS PRESUMABLY TULLYCRAFT’S LAST SHOW EVER? If you don’t come, you might actually be stuck listening exclusively to punk rock, ska, rap beats, and house, since you’ll no longer be able to fuck Sean Tollefson (with your eyes) because he’s twee. You don’t want that. All the kittens will die and you can’t bring them back to life no matter how many of them you draw on your homemade t-shirt. You’ve been warned.
Lineup: Suburban Kids With Biblical Names / Oh No! Oh My! / The Hidden Cameras / Tullycraft / Pelle Carlberg / Bailboy / Dear Nora / The Hot Toddies / The Smittens / Eux Autres / My Teenage Stride / Bunnygrunt / Northern Portrait / Magic Bullets / The Tartans / Antarctica Takes It! / The Orange Peels / Apple Orchard / Springfactory / Still Flyin' / Let's Whisper / Champagne Riot / Land of Ill Earthquakes / Gregory Webster / Brilliant Colors / ChEAP RED / Sourpatch / Birds of California / Pocketbooks