Bonnaroo 2009; Also, Girl Talk “Experimenting” with Actual Song Structures for Next Record; Will The New Album be as “Experimental” as the Latest Fountains of Wayne, Then? Hey, Stay Tuned!
"I'm experimenting with different structures and different ideas," Gillis told Billboard.com, seemingly oblivious to his complete “novelty act” status. "I'm interested in working on individual songs -- kind of in the style I've been doing, but with actual repetition as opposed to linear structure and stuff like that, some elements with a verse-and-chorus sort of structure as opposed to going through 50 minutes of change-ups the entire time. I want to evolve and keep refining." Watch out, Richard D. James.
"I'm constantly working on material," Gillis added, noting that there’s no set time table for LP #3 as of now. "Every day I cut up music. I try not to be concerned with what will be on an album. I just try to come up with small ideas I introduce into the (live) set, and I'll eventually get to the point where I say, ‘OK, here's this slightly new sound. I feel like there's some evolution.’ I'm interested in putting out music, and it's always nice to give people music." Watch out, DJ/rupture.
Gillis said there's a possibility he'd also consider some live releases from his shows, and after appearing at last weekend's Coachella Music & Arts Festival, he's starting to plot out what he wants to do this year’s upcoming Bonnaroo Festival, which may well include music from other artists on the bill. But "I won't go out of my way to sample an artist because I'm playing (at the same festival) with them," Gillis carefully noted. “There's lots of ideas floating around...I want to be as diverse as possible." Watch out... er, Phish?
Anyway, in actual news, tix for this year's Bonnaroo are on sale now, and the complete lineup (yes, featuring tons of highly-experimental artists that will also play some of those extremely forward-looking verse-chorus-type song structure things) is viewable here. Oh, and it takes place June 11-14 in jolly old Manchester, England. I mean... Tennessee.
No, Matt and Kim are not taking up prostitution as a means to make more money; they actually shot their new music video for “Lessons Learned” in the buff in Times Square. Out of all the potential indie bands to shoot a music video in the nude… really, Matt and Kim? Don’t get me wrong, they’re both attractive in their own right, but I would have preferred any of the following:
...Yeah, I have a predictable taste in indie rock men and women -- deal with it. In the meantime, if you’re curious, have a peek at “Lessons Learned,” if you dare:
Loney Dear is Emil Svanängen, the most lovable Swede to come along since the chef on The Muppets. Instead of offering us jibber jabbing epicurean lingo, as the latter did, Loney Dear has cooked up some sweet-sounding, confessional pop. This Swede likes to ruminate! Dear John, his latest album, was released in late January (TMT News) on Polyvinyl. Since the album release, he's been traveling with the likes of the equally talented, whistling, and fiddle-playing Andrew Bird. Having recently finished playing at SXSW, Loney Dear will begin touring again in May. Here's something to hold you over until then: the video for "Airport Surroundings." Amuse bouche, anyone?
Loney Dear tourdates:
05.04.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
05.05.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
05.06.09 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
05.07.09 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
05.08.09 - Toronto, ON - Rivoli
05.09.09 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's
05.10.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
05.13.09 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile
05.14.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
05.15.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of The Hill
05.16.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
05.17.09 - San Diego, CA - UC San Diego
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