It's that time of year again. When we in the New World begin reading press releases about totally amazing festivals in the Old one and start really, really wishing that these glittering, unattainable festival lineups could somehow be replicated over here, in our land. Alas! Of course, they cannot be. For how could we here, in say, St. Louis, or, um, Winnipeg, ever hope to replicate the delicate salt breezes of the Mediterranean coast and the vibrant architecture of the Catalan capital of Barcelona? Or, apart from that, to cobble together such a totally bitchin' lineup? Because this year's Estrella Damm Primavera Sound looks to be even better than last year, when I proclaimed it to be even better than the year before (but probably couldn't really remember what exactly that previous year's lineup was. Our secret.)
From May 28-30, Barcelona's Parc del Fòrum will be alive with the sounds of My Bloody Valentine (performing twice), Aphex Twin, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Bloc Party, Jarvis Cocker, The Jayhawks, and (WHOA!) A Certain Ratio. Plus The Jesus Lizard! And Shellac! And Joe Henry and The Black Lips! And pretty much like every band ever! There's a lot more, so check out the complete (so far) listing for the festival below.
A-Trak, A Certain Ratio, Alela Diane, Andrew Bird, Angelo Spencer, Aphex Twin, Ariel Pink, Art Brut, The Bad Plus, Bat For Lashes, Black Lips, Bloc Party, Bowerbirds, The Bug, Carsick Cars, Crystal Antlers, Crystal Stilts, Cuzo, Chad VanGaalen, Damien Jurado, Dan Deacon Ensemble, Deerhunter, Dj Mehdi, The Drones, Ebony Bones, El-P, Extra Life, The Extraordinaires, Extraperlo, Fucked Up, Gang Gang Dance, Ghostface Killah, Girl Talk, Girls, Jarvis Cocker, Jason Lytle from Grandaddy, Jay Reatard, The Jayhawks, The Jesus Lizard, Joe Crepüsculo y Los Destructores, Joe Henry, John Maus, Karl Blau, Kimya Dawson, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Lemonade, Lightning Bolt, The Lions Constellation, The Mae Shi, Magik Markers, Magnolia Electric Co., Mahjongg, Marnie Stern, Michael Mayer, Michael Nyman, My Bloody Valentine, The New Year, Oneida, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Phoenix, Plants & Animals, Ponytail, Rosvita, The Secret Society, Shearwater, Shellac, Simian Mobile Disco, SkatebÃ…rd, Sleepy Sun, The Soft Pack, Sonic Youth, Spectrum, Spiritualized, Squarepusher, Sunn O))) performing "The Grimmerobe Demos", The Tallest Man On Earth, Throwing Muses, Uffie, The Vaselines, Veracruz, Vivian Girls, Wavves, Women, Wooden Shjips, Yo La Tengo and Zombie Zombie.
The score for "In C” is comprised of 53 short musical phrases that can be repeated ad infinitum, leading to performances as long as four hours.
Terry Riley's landmark minimalist composition "In C" will be reissued March 24 on Sony Classical.
The musicians arbitrarily choose which phrase to play and for how long before moving on to the next, making each performance unique.
New liner notes feature interviews with Riley and the supporting musicians.
“In C” was a huge influence on the future work of composers such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich.
This edition, which is remastered from the original session tapes, is part of a new branded series through Sony Classical, called “Carnegie Hall Presents.”
In addition, the piece will be performed April 24 at New York's Carnegie Hall.
This reissue commemorates the 45th anniversary of its premiere.
Performers are Carnegie Hall will include Riley himself, as well several of the participants from the original 1964 recording.
Some editions of the score indicate that it is customary for one musician ("traditionally played by a beautiful girl," Riley notes) to play the note C in repeated, octave eighth notes on a piano. This functions as a metronome and is referred to as "The Pulse."
The piece was named for its constant pulse of C notes on the piano.
Steve Reich even participated in its first performance, possibly keeping the C “metronome” pulse on the piano?
Players are also encouraged to play the phrases starting at different times, even if they are playing the same phrase.
The phrases are supposed to be played in order, but I’m pretty sure that you could mix them up however you’d like, if you were so inclined.
Steve Reich is not a beautiful girl.
As we reported pre-show on Friday (TMT News), Times New Viking played a Velvet Underground tribute set at the Mershon Auditorium in Columbus' Wexner Center for the closing party of the "Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms" exhibition. Thanks to reader Pat Leonard, those of you who didn't happen to be in Ohio Saturday night (and let's hope that was most of you — just kidding, we love you Ohio!) can hear the show in MP3 form on Leonard's website. C. Spencer Yeh and Mike Hummel join TNV on violin and guitar/vocals, respectively. The MP3 also includes openers Psychedelic Horseshit's set, which featured two VU classics, "Sister Ray" and "Stephanie Says."
Here's the full setlist:
Times New Viking:
Run Run Run
I'll Be You're Mirror
I'm Waiting for My Man
All Tomorrow's Parties
Venus in Furs
I Can't Stand It Anymore
Pale Blue Eyes
Here She Comes Now
YACHT, DFA's newest addition, have amazing merchandise. I mean, wow. They come into town with anchors emblazoned, full bleed and metallic, and the next day everyone you know and their uncle is showing off their new ironic threads. I mean, check this shit out:
Does Andrew Lloyd Webber know about that that shirt? And that album of Nirvana covers with Bob Marley on the cover -- Courtney is gonna crap her panties. Get there early and come with $50 to blow on new clothing and accessories, and leave as soon as you're bored with the jams (it's alway been around song two or three for me). But seriously. Their merchandise is AWESOME.
Oh, and longtime collaborator Adam Forkner, of Portland's psychotropic White Rainbow, will be joining YACHT on tour this time, too. Check it:
02.22.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy
02.27.09 - Melbourne, Australia - Prince Bandroom (w/CSS)
02.28.09 - Sydney, Australia - Future Music Festival at Randwick Racecourse
03.01.09 - Perth, Australia - Future Music Festival at Wellington Park
03.05.09 - Sydney, Australia - The Metro (w/CSS)
03.07.09 - Brisbane, Australia - Future Music Festival at Doomben Racecourse
03.08.09 - Melbourne, Australia - Future Music Festival at Flemington Racecourse
03.09.09 - Adelaide, Australia - Future Music Festival at Rundle Park
03.12.09 - Las Vegas, NV - NEON REVERB Music Festival at Beauty Bar
03.13.09 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop *
03.14.09 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's
03.16.09 - St. Louis, MO - Gargoyle Club*
03.17.09 - Lawrence, KS - The Jackpot Saloon*
03.18.09 - Norman, OK - Opolis*
03.19.09 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.22.09 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues Pontiac Garage*
03.23.09 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live*
03.24.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon*
03.25.09 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues Parish*
03.26.09 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder*
03.27.09 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club*
04.10.09 - New York, NY - The New Museum
05.01.09 - Copenhagen, Denmark - VEGA
05.02.09 - Krems, Austria - Donaufestival @
05.07.09 - Marseille, France - L'Espace Sextius
05.08.09 - Luxembourg - Exit07
* Playing with Chairlift
@ Antony and the Johnsons, Cocorosie, Stereolab, Aphex Twin DJ Set
Comprised of James Iha, Cheap Trick Members, and Taylor Hanson, Tinted Windows Already Gives Supergroups a Bad Name
Much like Communism, credit cards, and Calvin Coolidge, supergroups have always sounded great in theory but in practice leave much to be desired. Bringing musicians from big bands together may appear to be a stroke of genius, but it too often descends into money-grabbing conventionalism.
Nevertheless, despite their existence as mammoth cash-cows, supergroups have always oozed "coolness," whether it’s Velvet Revolver’s licks and lovers or A Perfect Circle’s passion and power. The latest group to acquire the ‘super’ prefix is Tinted Windows, which features James Iha and former members of Cheap Trick (Bun E. Carlos), Fountains of Wayne (Adam Schlesinger), and err Hanson (Taylor Hanson). Apparently, the band seems to have decided to forget the music, drop the “cool” pretense, and focus their efforts entirely on making as much money as possible.
At least previous supergroups were made up of musicians who were in vaguely respectable bands. But Hanson? Guys, come on -- when making a supergroup, you need to at least have consumers thinking “Damn that’s cool” (like Slash and Scott Weiland in a band together, for example). People are just going to see ‘Tinted Windows’ and think “Hmmm, where are my Smashing Pumpkins CDs?”
Anyway, the "supergroup" has already recorded an album and will be playing at SXSW -- although, if they value their dignity it would probably be best to avoid Austin completely. I doubt they’ll have too many people rocking out to “MMMBop” with chugging guitar lines.
From the LA Times:
Louie Bellson, a jazz drummer and bandleader who combined remarkable instrumental virtuosity with far-ranging compositional skills, has died. He was 84.
According to his wife, Francine, Bellson died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications of Parkinson's disease following a broken hip in November.
Bellson's long, productive career stretched from his teens -- when, in competition with 40,000 other young players, he won the Slingerland National Gene Krupa drumming contest -- to the tours and seminars he continued until 2008.
Indie Band Pays YOU to Download Their Record, Core Temperature of Hell Currently Unstably Hovering at 33 Degrees Fahrenheit
At TMT, we’re all about the jokes. And yes, here in 2009, both the economy and the state of the old-school Record Industry model are ripe for ceremonious and symbolic cage-rattling, irreverent flouting, and semi-satirical marketing exploitation. But come on, people. A band paying the consumer to download their album digitally? Well, that’s just the kind of ridiculous thing that those VH1 I Love Nostalgia shows will devote an entire segment to when the 2009 show comes along (in 2010).
As part of a marketing campaign motivated by, among other things, a seeming desire to finally “get famous,” Philly-based indie rock band Officer Roseland is paying fans $1 to download their new, unfortunately titled, and woefully graphic-designed album, Stimulus Package, from their website MyStimulusPackage.org.
In case you were wondering, the album is being called “satirical” and supposedly skewers the commercialism of the recording industry -- and of American society at large -- “with a warped sense of humor that is the band's signature.” Blah blah blah. Anyway, upon visiting the site, the band offers fans two options: The first, labeled "TAKE," pays YOU $1 to download the album. The second, labeled "GIVE," donates that $1.00 to the charity Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, an organization that donates instruments to music programs that are already in place but lack the funding to maintain their equipment.
Okay, okay... I admit it. That whole donations thing is actually a really reputable thing to do. But come on, do we really have to resort to using the crippled state of the economy as a publicity scheme to sell our new products? And isn’t “giving things away” actually just harmful to the economy’s capitalism-based progress in the long run?? And, hey wait a minute; aren’t we just feeding this marketability anyway by posting a story about it and name-checking the band??? Aww, man. My head hurts; I think I’m going to go lie down for a minute and watch I Love the 90’s for the 16th time.
Remember that first roommate you had in college? You know, that guy who liked theater, but ended up majoring in philosophy? The one who hadn't slept with anyone who hadn't read at least one Faulkner book? You remember him, right? You liked him, but there'd be no way in hell you'd be rooming with him next year. Why? Because he was safe.
I hope you see the parallel I'm trying to draw here. The Decemberists, although they do mean well, too, are oh so terribly safe. If temperance societies were all the rage again, you bet your precious undergarments they'd be jumping onto that bandwagon.
Case in point: The Decemberists have a new album coming out March 24 (safe) on Capitol Records. Their newest concept album, The Hazards of Love, is a collection of 17 songs telling the story of a woman named Margaret and her various misadventures, much in the same fashion as, say, an Edward Gorey cartoon or perhaps Lemony Snicket (safe). In support of Hazards, The Decemberists are also launching a large tour/performance of the album in its entirety, and they are planning to debut this at NPR Music's SXSW showcase (seriously, these guys are safer than betting that white hipsters are going to love Portland or that your aunt's going to buy you another Thomas Kincaid painting this Christmas at the mall because she thinks you're artsy).
Joining them for the tour will be Lavender Diamond's lovely Becky Stark, as well as Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond; they will be playing the part of the female leads.
Their confirmed tourdates are as follows:
05.19.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
05.20.09 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre
05.21.09 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater
05.24.09 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theatre
05.26.09 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
05.27.09 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
05.29.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
05.31.09 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
06.01.09 - Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
06.03.09 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
06.04.09 - Raleigh, NC - Memorial Auditorium
06.05.09 - Richmond, VA - The National
06.06.09 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
06.09.09 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavillion
06.10.09 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
06.11.09 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
The rumors of Touch and Go Records going out of business is untrue, but the future still looks pretty grim for the seminal Chicago label. Today, Corey Rusk, Touch and Go's founder, announced that the label is cutting manufacturing and distribution services for over 20 independent labels, including Merge, Kill Rock Stars, Drag City, and Atavistic. Not only would this decision affect Touch and Go's ability to maneuver in a troubling economic environment, but this will also certainly affect the labels that might have been dependent on Touch and Go to get their music in stores. On top of this, Rusk states that he will have to trim down his staff of roughly 25.
Sigh. This is truly a sad day for independent music. Here's Rusk's statement in full:
It is with great sadness that we are reporting some major changes here at Touch and Go Records. Many of you may not be aware, but for nearly 2 decades, Touch and Go has provided manufacturing and distribution services for a select yet diverse group of other important independent record labels. Titles from these other labels populate the shelves of our warehouse alongside the titles on our own two labels, Touch and Go Records, and Quarterstick Records.
Unfortunately, as much as we love all of these labels, the current state of the economy has reached the point where we can no longer afford to continue this lesser known, yet important part of Touch and Go’s operations. Over the years, these labels have become part of our family, and it pains us to see them go. We wish them all the very best and we will be doing everything we can to help make the transition as easy as possible.
Touch and Go will be returning to its roots and focusing solely on being an independent record label. We’ll be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure. It is the end of a grand chapter in Touch and Go’s history, but we also know that good things can come from new beginnings.
Definitive Jux to Reissue Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus, Send a Big Middle-Finger Back at Mainstream Hip-Hop
Mark your calendars, TMT readers, because now you got something to do. Well, okay, not “something to do” but “something to buy,” and in today’s world, is there a difference? No. So mark that fucking calendar already and save some money, because now you got “something to buy” on May 5.
Definitive Jux has recently announced to me, by way of Tele-Type device, that they will be reissuing Company Flow’s (genius, genre-shattering, status-quo-altering) full-length debut Funcrusher Plus. The album was the first great hip-hop album I bought because I wanted to, not just because my older brother told me to. Originally released in that wonderful year, 1997, to widespread critical acclaim, admiration, and respect from the hip-hop community, Funcrusher Plus is “widely recognized as one of the most influential hip-hop albums EVER, shattering conventions with its musical complexity and uncompromising lyricism.” That’s a fancy way of saying that hip-hop today wouldn’t be nearly the same (or as good) if the album didn’t exist.
Company Flow, consisting of producer/MC El-P, MC Bigg Jus, and DJ Mr. Len, created a musical statement that stood in direct opposition to the hip-hop/rap stylings of the time. Company Flow did away with the last dying embers of the G-Funk era and rejected the new glitzy world that Puffy Dad was building -- instead, they opted for lo-fi, stark, minimalist beats and highly literate lyrics with intense rhyme structures. They also infused the hip-hop culture that followed in the wake of the album with a DIY aesthetic that lives on to this day. As far as I’m concerned, this album started everything that we know now as “Indie Hip-Hop” or “Backpacker Hip-Hop.”
Out of print since 2006, the newly remastered album will be available May 5 on digital, vinyl, and CD formats. The digital release will also feature rare pre-1995 tracks “Juvenile Techniques” and “Corners 94,” as well as post-Funcrusher tracks “Simple,” “DPA,” and “Simian Drugs.” The album will also be repackaged with its original artwork as done by Matt Do and graffiti legend EWOK.
Take it away, press release:
Beyond amassing legions of fans across the globe, few independent releases in recent memory have received the level of accolades and kudos from journalists, critics, and artists of all strata as this landmark album. Now a new generation of music fans will have a chance to hear what the fuss was all about.