Jeff Mangum Performs Three Songs at New York’s E6 Holiday Surprise Gig

Last week, we wrote a li'l report about Jeff Mangum possibly joining the E6 Holiday Surprise Tour for a couple shows (TMT News). Well, the possibility turned into reality earlier than expected at last night's Knitting Factory gig in New York, as Jeff Mangum unexpectedly hopped on stage and performed three songs -- "The Arrow Flies Close" by Elf Power and both "The Opera House" and "I Have Been Floated" by Olivia Tremor Control.

Not sure if I should be surprised or not, but there are already a couple YouTube videos documenting the show:

- "The Arrow Flies Close" by Elf Power:

- "The Opera House" by Olivia Tremor Control (watch as Mangum and Scott Spillane engage in some friendly shoving!):

Here's a late-night e-mail from TMT writer/editor Judy Berman (who was exhausted, sore-footed, and who "had a drink or two") detailing what happened:

Thought you'd want to know that I was at the Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour tonight at the Knitting Factory... and Jeff Mangum was there. He came on stage and sang on part of Olivia Tremor Control's "I Have Been Floated" and Elf Power's "The Arrow Flies Close," as well as the entirety of Olivia Tremor Control's "The Opera House" with the whole E6 crew at the end of the night. It seemed like he was making a truly heroic effort just to get out there -- he looked anxious, uncertain, and gleeful at the same time. During "The Opera House," he was roughhousing with Scott Spillane. I think he was loosening up. Spillane and Julian Koster even played "The Fool" from Aeroplane (which is, of course, instrumental) and dedicated it to "a friend." What was really unnerving was that both of them were staring offstage as they were playing it, as though they thought it was possible Mangum would be inspired to come on and do some NMH songs. He didn't, but for a second it seemed possible. Also, some douchebag was screaming "Two-Headed Boy" and "King of Carrot Flowers"-- probably the quickest way to dash any chance of those songs actually being performed. I wasn't disappointed, though. I'm grateful that Mangum is trying so hard to come back, and I wouldn't want him to push himself to do something he isn't ready to do.

Anyway, it was an awesome night. Besides the Jeff Mangum parts, they screened the Major Organ movie, which was fantastic, Koster was a gracious and exuberant host, and it was mostly just a treat to see people who enjoyed making music together so much. There is a lot of love in the E6 universe, and it was nice to spend a night submerged in it.

The pressure on Mangum must be tremendous. It's cool to show our excitement and exhibit friendly encouragement, but hopefully we can refrain from getting too carried away and demanding he perform the entirety of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

Remaining dates:

Jolie Holland Kicks Off Fall Tour, Still Probably Gets Pissed When Mistaken for Neko Case

Wistful Americana torch singer and former Be Good Tanya, Jolie Holland takes to the road next week in support of her latest, electrified effort, The
Living and the Dead
(via ANTI-), which features cameos from M Ward and Marc Ribot. It's too bad that so many venues have gone smoke-free, as smoke-filled rooms accent perfectly the intimately dark, roots-tinged western folk that radiates through most of her catalog.

If you haven't seen her before, Holland jumps through multiple genre hoops on stage, combining musky vocal jazz with sparse remnants of blues, gospel, and, of course, folk, serving as equal parts Nina Nastasia, Tom Waits, and Andrew Bird. More than anything else, she's an excellent orator and narrator in the fabled troubadour style. Oh look at that, she's even playing the Troubadour, lol, etc.

Mates of State Combat Failing Economy By Touring Non-Stop

In these hard economic times, parents have to do anything in their power to make sure they can provide for their children. Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, better known to you and I as Mates of State, are doing just that — except, unlike normal parents who are working longer hours or cutting expenses, the parental unit of Mates of State is heading out on a newly confirmed tour for the rest of the fall, including a show at the Barking Tuna Festival in Kalamazoo, MI. But who can blame them? How else are little Magnolia and June Elizabeth (aww cute children names, guys!) going to be able to afford Hannah Montana concerts?

Tourin’ hard for the money:

& Santogold, Low vs Diamond

% Santogold, The Ting Tings, Low vs Diamond

** Barking Tuna Festival: School of Seven Bells, Daestro, and more (Thanks Brendan!)

Mammatus Obviously Care About the West Coast, But What About the East Coast? Or Middle America? Our Next President Needs to Care About All of America, Not Just the West Coast

Psychedelic rockers Mammatus are planning to hit the road in October for a 12-date West Coast tour, "playing all new BRAIN songs that you've never heard before," according to the band. The Santa Cruz, CA three-piece have released two albums since their 2005 inception -- 2006’s Mammatus and 2007’s The Coast Explodes -- to much praise and acclaim. And it's no surprise. Mammatus have a singular sound.

They'll be going on tour with WILDILDLIFE. Don't know them? Perhaps Mammatus can convince you:

If you haven't heard them please enlighten yourself, these guys are not only pushing the boundaries of heavy music into the outer dimensions of human comprehension, they also write wicked catchy pop hooks that'll get stuck in yer head for centuries! So come out and experience an evening of insane electric wankery, eXtreme headbangin, drum destruction, and DUDEAGE!

Try and see them if you can.

Mammatus Obviously Care About the West Coast, But What About the East Coast? Or Middle America? Our Next President Needs to Care About All of America, Not Just the West Coast

Psychedelic rockers Mammatus are planning to hit the road in October for a 12-date West Coast tour, "playing all new BRAIN songs that you've never heard before," according to the band. The Santa Cruz, CA three-piece have released two albums since their 2005 inception -- 2006’s Mammatus and 2007’s The Coast Explodes -- to much praise and acclaim. And it's no surprise. Mammatus have a singular sound.

They'll be going on tour with WILDILDLIFE. Don't know them? Perhaps Mammatus can convince you:

If you haven't heard them please enlighten yourself, these guys are not only pushing the boundaries of heavy music into the outer dimensions of human comprehension, they also write wicked catchy pop hooks that'll get stuck in yer head for centuries! So come out and experience an evening of insane electric wankery, eXtreme headbangin, drum destruction, and DUDEAGE!

Try and see them if you can.

Thanks to Studio One Media, you can now make a totally professional quality music video during your 15-minute break from the Cinnabon!

Have you ever seen the movie Badlands? You know how the Martin Sheen character hangs out in these Voice-O-Graph personal recording studio booths and makes these records detailing how he met his teenage girlfriend and embarked on a killing spree? Or, say, have you ever been subjected to crappy mall-recorded tapes of your girlfriend and her middle school pals doing lame dance moves and lip-syncing to a Paula Abdul song? Well, if you ever felt envious of these brushes with fame, these recordings for posterity, these kind-of-self-produced shots at the big time, well now you're in luck! (Except for hopefully without the statutory girlfriend or the swath of murdered South Dakotans.)

That is, now that the greatest of American dreams -- to be able to walk into a shopping mall and cut your demo -- will once again be available to a diverse cross section of humanity! Thanks to Studio One Media, you don't have to be Britney Spears or Boyz II Men to walk into, say, the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall in Phoenix (where the service is debuting) to lay down some smooth vocal grooves. Hell no! As long as you got money, you got access to 3,000-5,000 songs from EMI Music Publishing's roster and the chance to make music videos, audition reels, or any kind of personal message, which can then be uploaded to the web. It's called mystudio.net, and it's how I plan on auditioning for the next season of Paris Hilton's My New BFF... assuming there is a next season. I think they're only on episode three right now, NOT THAT I KNOW. If you are a lucky resident of California, New York, Nevada, or Florida, keep an eye out for your very own Studio One Media outlet to make an appearance, with possible other locations in the works.

Mirah Mirah on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

Next Wednesday, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will debate for the third and final time before Election Day. Also next Wednesday is Blog Action Day 2008, started by a non-profit, grassroots movement of bloggers with over 6,500 participating blogs. But the same day, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will hold the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church. And who could forget National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD)? Or what about the first CC Salon, a global event to raise awareness about Creative Commons, in Paris?

Frankly, I could care less about Blog Action Day or CC Salon. And I say screw the debate, to hell with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and FUCK National Latino AIDS Awareness Day -- I've got Mirah on the mind! She'll be starting her 10-date tour that very same day, supporting her latest album, The Old Days Feeling (Modern Radio). Sweetening the tour will be No Kids, who released Come Into My House earlier this year on Tomlab.

Now, get your tickets, chubby!

Mirah and No Kids tourdates:

& Katie Eastburn

Jeff Mangum Might Make Appearances on the E6 Holiday Surprise Tour, As If It Weren’t Already Full of Surprises! Oh, You Guys!

This is your lucky day. Maybe. Speaking to Billboard, William Cullen Hart (Circulatory System, Olivia Tremor Control) brought up the possibility of Jeff Mangum, the ever reclusive, deified artist, participating in the upcoming Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise tour (TMT News). "Jeff told me he wants to make it to the Chicago show and maybe the Kentucky show, so we'll see," says Cullen Hart. "I know he hasn't played out much in the past few years, but he seemed very excited about this tour when I talked to him."

The tour, headed by Music Tapes frontman Julian Koster, made its debut October 7 in Athens, GA. The show ended up being three-and-a-half hours long, so the artists -- ranging from Koster, Cullen Hart, and Laura Carter (Elf Power) to Eric Harris (OTC), Nesey Gallons, Scott Spillane (NMH, The Gerbils), and many more -- are planning to "trim it down a little bit," says Cullen Hart. And, as we've reported earlier, the tour also includes screenings of the much-anticipated short film Major Organ & The Adding Machine, tentatively set for DVD release via Orange Twin next year.

In related news, Circulatory System have reportedly three albums' worth of material and are currently looking for a label, while Koster is loosely planning yet another concept tour, currently being touted as "The Music Tapes Caroling Tour." Can't. Fucking. Wait. In the meantime, buy Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes (TMT Review), out now on Merge.

Brian Eno Collaborates with Peter Chilvers on iPhone Ambient Music Application, Gets Atomic Wedgie From Bryan Ferry

Brian Eno has always been more of an AV dork than a rock star. He began his career as “technical advisor” to Roxy Music, he created all those wonderful system sounds for Windows 95, and recently he collaborated with fellow musician/dweeb Peter Chilvers for the soundtrack to the evolutionary escapades of the video game Spore . Don’t let all of his sexy-glammy photos from the ’70s fool you; the dude’s a Nerd with a capital Nerfherder.

The latest dorky addition to Eno’s extensive résumé is Bloom, a music making application for the iPhone created with Spore collaborator Chilvers. According to Wired, the app has two fairly self-explanatory modes, Listen and Create. Listen employs a generative music algorithm to play an off-the-cuff composition, while Create lets the user, you guessed it, create the sounds themselves. When the user taps the screen, a reverb-riddled note sounds and a bluish orb expands then eventually dissipates on the point of contact. The same spot will produce the same note if pressed again, so the program isn’t just a randomly placed series of tones. As with most instruments, the higher up the screen, the higher the note, and vice versa.

The program is also polyphonic and can either generate set tonal patterns or freeze user-generated patterns for easy riffing. It even employs state-of-the-art Etch-a-Sketch technology that lets the user delete their work by giving their iPhone a good shake. Compositions cannot be saved on Bloom, but that’s just as well. I don’t need my already irritating iPhone-having friends shoving their mobile in my face every time they make a minimalist masterpiece. Then again, I’m probably just jealous of them because this application looks really cool. Stupid friends and their stupid expensive phones...

In other Eno news, don’t forget to check out his latest collalbum with David Byrne Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (TMT Review). And here’s one last bizarre Spore video to cap this thing off. God bless us, everyone.

Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy Confirmed for November 23; Chinese Edition to Include Tainted Milk

According to Billboard, Chinese Democracy, the long-awaited sixth GNR album, finally has a firm release date: November 23. Odd, though, because that falls on a Sunday. Even more odd -- well, actually, not odd, but shitty -- is that the album will be released exclusively through Best Buy. Incidentally, November 23 does share significance with China, as the date marks the first time representatives from the People's Republic of China attended the United Nations, but I'm pretty sure Axl don't give a sheeeeit.

Of course, Guns N' Roses are wasting no time licensing their music, as track "Shackler's Revenge" will debut in Rock Band 2, while "If the World" is expected to play during the end credits of director Ridley Scott's latest film, Body of Lies, which opens tomorrow. Meanwhile, Dr. Pepper is gearing up to give you some free drinks. So, thank Axl, Dizzy Reed, Robin Finck, Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman, Bryan Mantia, Richard Fortus, Bumblefoot, Frank Ferrer, and Geffen for that!

I still think it's really funny that most of the album has been leaked.

  

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