Themselves Return With New Mix Tape, New LP and Some Festival Dates

The duo of Doseone and Jel, who, after conquering the world of post-postmodern conceptualized art-rock as crucial members of Subtle, are returning to their more hip-hop flavored roots by bringing Themselves back after a six-year hiatus. Yes, it probably does have something to do with the recent 10-year anniversary of anticon., as Themselves have long been a flagship act for the label.

First off, the duo will be releasing a free mix tape, titled FREEhoudini, which will be dropping “in various places around the internets” in early March. Whoops! Am I too late?? The mix tape features a bevy of guests, including Slug, Aesop Rock, Busdriver, WHY?, Buck 65, Passage, DJ Baku, Alias, Pedestrian, Sole, Serengeti, D Styles, and The Lionesque. Doesone describes the music on FREEhoudini as “an inspired Themselves rendition of the classic mix-tape medium, housing a medley of original music, it features every rapper we have ever shared a cause with in the past decade. It is also a gift, for these curious times in the consumption of music."

In August, Themselves plan to release their third (official) full-length album, titled CrownsDown. When pressed for more information, Doseone only offered a cryptic tease: "CrownsDown is our statue -- to rap as it reared us -- and the arch and arrow, of what it is to be us, in a decade of music made and the temperature of these two thousands." Trippy stuff, dudes!

Finally, Themselves have recently completed a handful of shows at SXSW and are about to embark on a North American tour that'll lead them to Coachella

03.25.09 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird
03.26.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
03.27.09 - Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom
03.28.09 - Toronto, ON - Sneaky Dee’s
03.29.09 - Montreal, Quebec - Club Lambi
04.01.09 - Allston, MA - Great Scott
04.02.09 - Princeton, NJ - Terrace F. Club at Princeton University
04.03.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
04.04.09 - New York, NY - The Studio at Webster Hall
04.06.09 - Philadelphia, PA - The Barbary w/ Pattern Is Movement
04.07.09 - Washington DC - DC9
04.08.09 - Blackburg, VA - The Lantern
04.09.09 - Atlanta, GA - 529
04.10.09 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree Cafe
04.11.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
04.13.09 - Denton, TX - Hailey’s
04.14.09 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
04.19.09 - Indio, CA - Coachella
05.05.09 - Brussels, Brussels-capital - Ancienne Belgique

One of the things any true Bob Dylan fan loves about the man is his ability to change. To shift shapes abruptly and drastically and not to give one iota what you think. And for every single reissue, rehash, best of, essential collection, and bootleg series, there's an album out there that the majority of fans probably hate (Infidels, Street Legal, and Shot of Love to name a few). Which really shows some balls, if you ask me. When was the last time The Rolling Stones attempted change? 1982? It would be so easy for him to rest on his 1966 laurels. Hell, a lot of his fans really wish he would numerous times throughout his career.

All I'm saying is that I hope you weren't getting too attached to the way things were going, because there's word that this new album, {Together Through Life, promises to drop his newest incarnation (from 1997's Time Out of Mind, through 2001's Love and Theft, onto 2006's Modern Times) in favor a new one. Well, a new old one. From what I gather, it's to be a kind of self-aware nod to old Chess Records of the 1950s. When asked about that comparison, he didn't really flinch that much: "...the old Chess records, the Sun records... I think that’s my favorite sound for a record," Dylan said in a recent interview with Bill Flanagan. "I like the mood of those records -- the intensity. The sound is uncluttered. There’s power and suspense. The whole vibration feels like it could be coming from inside your mind. It’s alive. It’s right there. Kind of sticks in your head like a toothache."

I think that describes most of this guy's music, but hey, he could be talking about Chuck Berry and Memphis Slim, too. Just as long as he doesn't get all Blueshammer on this shit, I think we'll be just fine.

Dylan's European tour:
03.23.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Globe Arena
03.25.09 - Oslo, Norway - Spektrum
03.27.09 - Jönköping , Sweden - Kinnarps Arena
03.28.09 - Malmö , Sweden - Malmö Arena
03.29.09 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Forum
03.31.09 - Hanover, Germany - AWD Arena
04.01.09 - Berlin, Germany - Max- Schmeling - Halle
04.02.09 - Erfurt , Germany - Messehalle
04.04.09 - Munich, Germany - Zenith
04.05.09 - Saarbrücken , Germany - Saarlandhalle
04.07.09 - Paris, France - Palais des Congres
04.08.09 - Paris, France - Palais des Congres
04.10.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Heineken Music Hall
04.12.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Heineken Music Hall
04.14.09 - Basel, Switzerland - St. Jakobshalle
04.15.09 - Milan, Italy - MediolanumForum
04.17.09 - Rome, Italy - PalaLottomatica
04.18.09 - Florence, Italy - MandelaForum
04.20.09 - Geneva, Switzerland - Geneva Arena
04.21.09 - Strasbourg, France - Zenith
04.22.09 - Brussels, Belgium - Forest National
04.24.09 - Sheffield, England - Sheffield Arena
04.25.09 - London, England - O2 Arena
04.28.09 - Cardiff, Wales - CIA
04.29.09 - Birmingham, England - NIA
05.01.09 - Liverpool, England - Echo Arena
05.02.09 - Glasgow, Scotland - SECC
05.03.09 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh Playhouse
05.05.09 - Dublin, Ireland - O2 Arena
05.06.09 - Dublin, Ireland - O2 Arena

From The New York Times:

Israel Cachao López, the Cuban bassist and composer who was a pioneer of the mambo, died on Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla. He was 89 and lived in Coral Gables.

The cause was complications resulting from kidney failure, said Nelson Albareda, whose company, Eventus, was his manager.
From The New York Times:

Israel Cachao López, the Cuban bassist and composer who was a pioneer of the mambo, died on Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla. He was 89 and lived in Coral Gables.

The cause was complications resulting from kidney failure, said Nelson Albareda, whose company, Eventus, was his manager.

Cachao, as he was universally known, transformed the rhythm of Cuban music when he and his brother, the pianist and cellist Orestes López, extended and accelerated the final section of the stately Cuban danzón into the mambo. “My brother and I would say to each other, ‘Mambea, mambea ahí,’ which meant to add swing to that part,” he said in a 2006 interview with The Miami Herald. The springy mambo bass lines Cachao created in the late 1930’s — simultaneously driving and playful — became a foundation of modern Cuban music, of the salsa that grew out of it, and also of Latin-influenced rock ’n’ roll and rhythm-and-blues. For much of the 20th century, Cachao’s innovations set the world dancing.

- Cachao López Wikipedia entry

Jimmy Chamberlin Leaves Smashing Pumpkins; Billy Corgan Continues Alone

Q: What do you get when you take The Smashing Pumpkins, remove all the original members except for Billy "John Locke" Corgan, and record an album in the ’00s?

A: Zwan?

Wrong! Trick question. You call it The Smashing Pumpkins. Yes, that's right. America's favorite megalomaniacal has-been front man has either finally kicked Jimmy Chamberlin, his last original bandmate/foothold on legitimacy, out of the band or annoyed him enough to get him to leave the group. According to a post on SP's website, Corgan will retain the Smashing Pumpkins name and record a new album this spring.

This isn't very surprising, though. This is, after all, the man who, five years after breaking up his band, took out a full-page ad in The Chicago Tribune to announce to the world (and his uninformed ex-bandmates) of his intentions to reunite. This is the man who last November berated a fan in mid-set, telling him "By the way, I like that song that you wrote. I believe it was number one. ‘Take Your Dick Out of My Ass and Stick It in My Mouth’? That was a big hit in Europe." This is the man who tricked a poor defenseless Dorothy into killing the Wicked Witch of the West.

So, really. How can we possibly be surprised?

Tiny Mix Tapes @ SXSW 2009!

A bunch of us incorrigible TMTers are at SXSW 2009, so regular ol' news will take a backseat for a bit. In its place, we'll be posting a ton of showcase/band reviews direct from the "Live Music Capital of the World" (ahem -- Austin, TX).

Check out our coverage below, updated in real-time -- sorta kinda.

- Bitch Magazine / Kill Rock Stars Day Party @ Club De Ville
- Akron/Family, Endless Boogie, The Week That Was @ various venues
- Austin Music Awards @ Austin Music Hall
- 4AD Showcase @ Central Presbyterian Church
- Fat Fox, My Old Kentucky Blog, Austin Rock Camp for Girls Showcases
- Spaceland Throw Down Party @ Maggie Mae's
- Austinist Party / Austin Music Awards / Dananananakroyd

- Found Magazine and Quackmedia Party Pt. I, Thee Oh Sees
- Primal Scream (Sponsored by BlackBerry!) @ Cedar Street Courtyard
- Found Magazine and Quackmedia Party Pt. II
- The Carrots, Eat Skull, Brimstone Howl, Psychedelic Horseshit
- Flower Love Traveling Band, Wavves, Max Tundra
- The Henry Clay People, Vetiver, Nite Jewel, Crystal Stilts, Let’s Wrestle
- Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans & YouTube @ Mohawk

- Todd P. Presents Ground Control Party
- Insound Day Party @ Club DeVille
- Touch & Go/Quarterstick Showcase @ Flamingo Cantina
- Hungarian Indie Rock/Islamic Metal and Rap @ Club 115
- Beach House, Mi Ami, P.O.S., Silver Apples
- Parenthetical Girls, Future of the Left, Trail of Dead, Third Eye Blind
- Manhattan Love Suicides, Peter Bjorn and John, Grizzly Bear, Dinosaur Jr

- caUSE co-MOTION!, The Knux, The Bird and the Bee
- Mess With Texas Party @ Waterloo Park; AIDS Wolf, Clipd Beaks, HEALTH
- Daniel Johnston, Grupo Fantasma @ Emo's


Visit SXSW by going here or here.

OM New LP to Drop in the Fall, Tentatively Titled Nom Nom Nom

OM began as a duo with bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Hakius -- both founders of the ‘90s stoner-metal band Sleep. But after Hakius left the project last year, Emil Amos stepped in on percussion, making a pretty hefty shift in the OM lineup.

The last we heard from the new partnership was on the Sub Pop 7-inch for “Gebel Barkal,” so this will be the first OM studio full-length with Amos. No title has been announced yet, but Drag City will release the album September 8. The press release promises new instrumentation and a “surprise.”

According to OM's website, it looks like they just completed recording with Shellac’s Steve Albini and will be wrapping it all up in the upcoming weeks, meaning the boys will be dragging me to a show any day now. If I don’t get beat up for that headline, that is.

Animal Collective’s Much-Anticipated 3LP Box Set Auctioned for Charity, Official Release Imminent

Catsup Plate, responsible for early Animal Collective releases like Danse Manatee and Campfire Songs, is auctioning off the much-anticipated Animal Collective 3LP box set, Animal Crack Box, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists. The LP-only set, which hasn't been officially released yet, is comprised of live and unreleased material from AC's early career, limited to only 1,000 copies.

The eBay LPs are actually approved test pressings, not "official" versions, but they come housed in the same retail box, designed by Rob Carmichael, illustrated by Jon Vermilyea, and silkscreened by VGKids. Plus, it's for a good cause -- so don't sweat it, you benevolent philanthropist! Check the eBay auction here.

Catsup Plate will be selling the set shortly -- "within the next 4-6 weeks if all goes well" -- but you won't find it at your local independent or big box record store or on Amazon, Etsy, Catsup Plate's website, Paw Tracks, CD Universe, BuyMusic, Insound, Bleep, Home Depot, MoMA's online store, Wal-Mart, American Apparel, Gemm, or Barnes & Noble. The set will be sold exclusively through Fusetron. Get on Fusetron's mailing list, if you know what's good for you. Actually, I know what's good for you, so get on that list, READER.

Animal Crack Box tracklisting:

A1. Jimmy Raven

A2. Ahhh Good Country

A3. Iko Ovo

B1. Pumpkin Gets a Snakebite

B2. Pumpkin's Hallucination

B3. Pumpkin's Funeral

C1. Jungle Heat

C2. Hey Friend

C3. De Soto De Son

D1. Oh Sweet

D2. Young Prayer #2

D3. Do the Nurse

E1. Ice Cream Factory

E2. Hey Light

E3. Two Sails

F1. Don't Believe the Pilot

F2. Who Could Win a Rabbit

F3. Mouth Wooed Her

F4. Covered in Frogs

F5. We Tigers

- A1 and A2 recorded live to MiniDisc 18 September 2000 at the Cooler, NYC by Avey/Panda. A3 recorded live to MiniDisc fall 2000 at N. 4th Practice Space, Brooklyn by Avey/Panda.
- B1 and B3 recorded live to MiniDisc February 2001 at N. 4th Practice Space, Brooklyn by Avey/Panda/Geologist. B2 recorded live to MiniDisc 25 February 2001 at Mercury Lounge, NYC by Avey/Panda/Geologist.
- C1 and C2 recorded live to MiniDisc winter early 2001 at 67 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn by Avey/Panda. C3 recorded live to MiniDisc August 2000 at Mercury Lounge, NYC by Avey/Panda.
- D1 partly recorded live to MiniDisc summer 2002 at N. 4th Practice Space, Brooklyn by Avey/Deakin and partly recorded live to MiniDisc 18 October 2002 at Warsaw, Brooklyn by Avey. D2 recorded live to MiniDisc fall 2002 at Bard College, NYC by Avey/Panda. D3 recorded live to MiniDisc 18 October 2002 at Warsaw, Brooklyn by Avey.
- E1 and E3 recorded live to MiniDisc March 2002 at Tonic, NYC by Avey/Panda/Geologist/Deakin. E2 recorded live to MiniDisc winter early 2002 at N. 4th Practice Space, Brooklyn by Avey/Panda/Geologist/Deakin.
- F1 and F2 recorded live to MiniDisc July 2003 at New World Brewery, Tampa, FL by Avey/Panda. F3 recorded live to MiniDisc June 2003 at a house party in Brooklyn by Avey/Panda. F4 recorded live to MiniDisc sometime and somewhere in 2003 (recording details are lost) by Avey/Panda. F5 recorded live to MiniDisc October 2003 at Concorde 2,
Brighton, UK by Avey/Panda.

Ach, the Sun! It Burns! Avert Your Eyes and Gaze at Your Shoes! Sonic Cathedral Compilation to Feature M83, Dean & Britta, School of Seven Bells

What comes around, goes around. Or so they say. After recent years spent herky jerkin’ around the dancefloor like hopped-up hyenas, the time has come for the sloth dancers of the world to have their day out of the sun. While persuading DJs to pump out lush swathes of layered atmos is as difficult as getting them to play Reveen, you will soon be able to stay at home instead and shimmy very slow while eyeing the floorboards of your apartment. Sonic Cathedral will release on April 20 a compilation entitled Cathedral Classics Volume One, which collects a good number of songs from the boutique label’s first 11 7-inch singles released between 2006 and 2008.

Dedicated to all things opaque and shoegazey, Sonic Cathedral is not just a label, but also a promoter of live shows throughout England (but mostly in London). For this compilation, they have gathered together the past, present, and future of the genre as both performers and remixers. Vets like Mark Gardener (Ride), Sonic Boom (Spaceman 3), Neil Halstead (Slowdive/Mojave 3), Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), and Dean & Britta (Luna) all appear on Cathedral Classics Volume One, as well as like-minded disciples like M83 and School of Seven Bells. Furthermore, two Japancakes My Bloody Valentine covers, “Soon” and “Touched,” are mixed by James Rutledge and Ricardo Tobar respectively. Needless to say, with 17 ethereal sounds, you will be floating on air. Well, let’s hope it’s air and not air biscuits.

1. The Tamborines - “Sally O’ Gannon”
2. The Tamborines - “Be Around”
3. Mark Gardener - “The Story of the Eye (Ulrich Schnauss Mix)”
4. Sarabeth Tucek - “Something for You (Contino Mix)”
5. School of Seven Bells - “My Cabal (Robin Guthrie Mix)”
6. Kyte - “Planet”
7. Kyte - “Secular Ventures (Maps Mix)”
8. Dean & Britta - “White Horses (Sonic Boom Mix)”
9. Miranda Lee Richards - “Life Boat (Neil Halstead Mix)”
10. Maps - “To the Sky (M83 Mix)”
11. M83 - “We Own the Sky (Maps Mix)”
12. Japancakes - “Soon (James Rutledge Mix)”
13. Japancakes - “Touched (Ricardo Tobar Mix)”
14. The Early Years - “Like a Suicide”
15. The Early Years - “The Computer Voice”
16. Daniel Land & The Modern Painters - “Within the Boundaries”
17. Daniel Land & The Modern Painters - “Benjamin’s Room”

Ray LaMontagne (Pronounced /lɑːmɒnˈteɪːn/) To Sing from Gut on April Tour

Guitar-play. A soulful, smoky voice. Good looks. Add these things together, and it's Ray LaMontagne. The total package is enough to make a lot of women swoon (TMT News) and say some inappropriate things. It's no wonder, really, when he has an entire horn section trumpeting: "You are the best thing to ever happen to me" in his latest, 2008 release Gossip In The Grain (TMT Review). The album is the highest debut (a solid opening at #3 on the Billboard Chart) for the Stephen Stills-inspired singer-songwriter. While adding heartthrob to his own list of life skills, LaMontagne has even cracked some of TMT's Best Of 2008 individual lists.

LaMontagne will be bringing his charm back from Europe to a city near you starting in April. And get this: in true Bono-like philanthropic form, front row seats purchased here will have a portion of the proceeds donated to The National Children's Cancer Society. It's just one of many charitable foundations he's made contributions to.

Is it me, or is this guy getting dreamier by the minute?

Tourdates* for you swooning types:
04.02.09 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theatre
04.03.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Palace Theater
04.04.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theater
04.06.09 - Albany, NY - The Egg
04.07.09 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theatre
04.08.09 - New Haven, CT - Schubert Theater
04.11.09 - Portland, ME - Merrill Auditorium
04.12.09 - Burlington, VT Flynn Center For The Performing Arts
04.14.09 - Montreal, QUE Metropolis
04.15.09 - Toronto, ONT Massey Hall
04.17.09 - Cleveland, OH State Theatre
04.18.09 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre
04.19.09 - Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theatre
04.21.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
04.22.09 - St. Louis, MO - Pageant Theater
04.24.09 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
04.25.09 - Louisville, KY - Brown Theater
04.27.09 - Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theatre
04.28.09 - Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theatre
04.29.09 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Theatre
04.30.09 - Miami, FL - Fillmore @ Jackie Gleason

* Opening acts: Low Anthem, April 2-15; Jessica Lea Mayfield, April 17-30

Meanwhile, catch LaMontagne on SNL this Saturday.

Magik Markers Fall Out of Their Box, Find New Home on Drag City With Balf Quarry, Tour with Ghost

A lot has changed for Magik Markers over these past few years. Leah Quimby left the band in May of 2006, turning the Markers into a duo of Elisa Ambrogio and Pete Nolan. The duo then continued on with a much more focused, song-oriented record with the Lee Renaldo-produced Boss (TMT Review). Meanwhile, Ambrogio moved to San Francisco and then later Seattle, while Nolan moved to Brooklyn. Still unsettled, Magik Markers are now making a label change, jumping from Ecstatic Peace! to Drag City with their new record Balf Quarry.

Despite these changes, Balf Quarry ironically sees the two taking a jump back, with references to the city that used to be their ground turf: Hartford, Connecticut. Indeed, the title Balf Quarry is a reference to "an old stone pit just outside of Hartford, Connecticut."

Produced by Scott Colburn (Sun City Girls, Animal Collective, Sir Richard Bishop), Balf Quarry sees the Markers in a much darker setting. According to Drag City, the new album "is like immersing yourself in a great horror film, complete with mental dissipation, catharsis for the ears, and the most satisfying psychotic listening experience you'll have this year."

Look out for Balf Quarry May 5. Here's the tracklist:

1. Risperdal
2. Don't Take in Your Sleep
3. Jerks
4. Psychosomatic
5. 7/23
6. State Numbers
7. The Ricecar of Dr. Clara Haber
8. The Lighter Side of... Hippies
9. Ohio R./Live/Hoosier
10. Shells
05.09.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
05.10.09 - Washington, DC - Velvet Lounge *
05.11.09 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
05.12.09 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle Tavern & Music *
05.13.09 - Athens, GA - Tasty World *
06.26.09 - Ithaca, NY - Lost Dog Lounge
06.28.09 - Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo

* Ghost

[Photo: John Ruscher]