1. They’ve toured with Minus The Bear, a Suicide Squeeze band.
2. They’ve toured with fellow Chicagoans, Chin Up Chin Up, another Suicide Squeeze band.
3. They’re recording their follow-up to 2006’s Enter with producer, Matt Bayles (Minus The Bear).
4. Suicide Squeeze convinced the long-haired Russian Circles that they would fit in well against the grunge history of Seattle.
5. No, just kidding, I think.
Look for Russian Circles’ new album, Station, to be released in the spring or summer of next year. But, in the meantime, get your sprawling, instrumental fix on at the remaining Circles tour dates for 2007:
The Wire Magazine Now Legally Old Enough to Rent a Car Anywhere in The World, Holds Massive Month-Long Birthday Fiesta
Are you one of those people who stresses about their birthday? It comes once a year; you want it to be super fun and amazing, but there are so many things that could go wrong! Like, what if you pick an inconvenient time for the birthday dinner, and nobody comes except for your annoyingly perfect sister and her fiancé Kevin, the amateur inventor? What if your birthday coincides with a fun national holiday and everybody would rather be trick-or-treating/watching football/decking the halls? What if you show up at the bar thinking it’s punk rock karaoke night, but instead it turns out to be a Best of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movie retrospective? These are all valid concerns.
But not for much longer! Experimental music magazine The Wire has found a solution to those once-a-year birthday blues. You see, the clever people over at The Wire have decided that the best way to celebrate the magazine’s 25th birthday is not to try and squeeze everything into one short night, but to keep the party going through a month-long series of special events. Over the next few weeks, a variety of venues throughout London will host concerts, workshops, exhibitions, and films related to avant-garde music. You could attend a gig in an art gallery, a church, or even a town hall! It’s that experimental!!!
Last weekend, former Swans frontman Michael Gira and Boredoms got the party started with a special performance at Shoreditch Town Hall. Soon after, The Wire received a healthy round of birthday spankings from Matmos and the Soft Pink Truth. So who else is scheduled to help blow out the birthday candles?
All events are in London, UK:
11.01.07 – Lydia Lunch - St Giles-in-the-Fields Church
11.03.07 - Charles Linehan Dance Company and Harlassen + John Wall and L Gamble + Unknown Devices – Finsbury Town Hall
11.04.07 - Pymathon + Tomutonttu + Lau Nau + Kuupuu – Bush Hall
11.05.07 – Resonance Radio Orchestra – London Theatre Arts Basement
11.09.07-11.11.07 – Atlantic Waves – Institute of Contemporary Arts
11.12.07 - Sunny Murray + John Tchicai + Han Bennink + Spring Heel Jack + John Edwards + Orphy Robinson – Conway Hall
11.13.07 – The Road to Who Knows Where (film night) – Roxy Bar and Screen
11.15.07 - Metadub Special: Kode9 and Spaceape + The Bug with Flow Dan, Warrior Queen and Ricky Ranking + Shackleton + Appleblim – Plastic People
11.17.07 - Rafael Toral's Space Project with Roger Turner + Trapist + Klangstaub + Bo Wiget and Luigi Archetti – Bush Hall
11.18.07 - Jackie-O Motherfucker + Polly Shang Kuan Band + Axolotl + The Sound Of The Exquisite Corpse + Pumajaw + Birds Of Delay + Weyes Bluhd - Cargo
11.19.07 - Sonny Simmons with Tight Meat + Jooklo Duo – Red Rose
11.20.07 – Extraordinary Lives (film night) – Roxy Bar and Screen
11.22.07 – Christian Marclay (pictured) – Bush Hall
11.04.07 - 11.18.07 (Sundays)–Drop-in workshop: the Sound of the Exquisite Corpse - Toynbee Studios
11.10.07- 12.09.07 – Savage Pencil: New drawings, sculpture, primer illustrations (art exhibition) – 96 Gillespie Gallery
Forgiving the lofty concept nonsense, Deloused In the Comatorium had its moments. The debut LP from The Mars Volta was the first in the line of bilingual prog-rock records, including the subsequent Frances the Mute and Amputechture, each featuring a fair share of spacey six-minute outros, keyless guitar "soloing," and glass-shattering high-notes courtesy of vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala. And so the afro-ed portion of At The Drive-In keep on keepin' on with a brand new album, titled The Bedlam In Goliath (produced by the band's guitarist, Omar Rodriguez Lopez), to be released January 29, 2008.
To celebrate, the band has planned a New Year's Eve show/extravaganza at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. For a taste of the record and what you might be hearing as the clock strikes midnight to bring in '08, check here for a new webisode from the band, which features a new track called "Wax Simulacra."
The Bedlam In Goliath tracklist:
The five best things about celebrating All Hallows Eve this year:
5. The remote chance of a Meat Loaf sighting.
4. Those delicious UNICEF pennies people give out!
3. Seeing asinine costumes like this. And this. And this. And this. Oh, and this. Sorry, one more.
2. Silber Records’ Halloween compilation, Silber Sounds of Halloween. We like to give some love to this Raleigh, NC label when we can, because we like the cut of their jib, we like their moxie, and we like their free downloadable compilations full of noise pop, tone drones, and sound massages. With 30 artists and 130 minutes of music, it beats the hell out of a mini Snickers any day. The following songs are yours for the downloading here.
1. Lycia - The Dreaming Body
2. Peter Aldrich featuring Jon Harman & David Williams - Dawn of the Dead
3. Bryce Eiman - Itaint
4. Glissade - Flares
5. The Undermasks - Have You Seen the Ghost of John?
6. Planet Cock - Haunted House Song
7. Rachel Goldstar - Amsterdam
8. Miss Massive Snowflake - Magic at the Beach
9. The Wades - Sídhe
10. Robin Crutchfield - WitchingAndWalking
11. Attrition - what shall i sing?
12. Sorry Welcome - (Holy Is) The Lamb Who Was Slain
13. Arbus - I Was a Cyborg from Outer Space
14. Tara Vanflower - The Three Witches
15. Remora - A Few Notes from a Grave
16. Paolo Messere/Kiddycar - You Save Me From Understanding More
17. The Elysium Facade - Insanitarium
18. Promute - Rise Up
19. Lauri des Marais - Halloween Ball
20. The Zanzibar Snails - spectres gaping maw
21. Ocean City Defender - Low Tide
22. Cam Butler - Does Your River Run Deep
23. Not Them - Halloween
24. Gorgons - November Eve
25. Small Life Form - What's Your Real Name?
26. Drats!!! - Experiment
27. Mars Field - Fear is a Man's Best Friend
28. Thisquietarmy - As the Creatures Unravel from Within/Vampyr
29. Port City Music - Night Terrors
30. Electric Bird Noise - Moments Like Last Night Make Me Wanna Believe
1. This year and every year... Vincent Price’s “rap” in M.J.’s “Thriller”:
Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’awl’s neighborhood
And whosever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the Thriller!
When the fourth Google hit for your name is an article on how destroyed your solo career is (on account of near universally bad reviews for 2004’s Travistan), it might be kind of a downer. I mean, does Toni Morrison have to endure such scrutiny? Far from it.
But then, a comical barrage of poor reviews was probably the quickest way to turn a smug critical wunderkind into a scrappy industry underdog. A rebranding of the "former Dismemberment Plan lead singer" to an "uncertain, possible, sort of eccentric genius," who, after writing most of the just-released All Y’All in "early 2005," went through "some unsatisfactory attempts to record them" then "stopped working on it" to sing in church choirs and volunteer around D.C.
America loves an underdog. And it’s a great day when you can cast the critics as the bad guys and keep going. "Morrison fights against evil indie empire establishment" in big marquee lights. Great stuff. I don’t even care how the new record sounds; I’ve already bought the hype. Plus, his band’s called the ‘Hellfighters.’
Looks like the only part of the music industry that's really going the way of the dinosaur is CDs.
Well, like, duh.
Some duder named Chris Anderson compiled this fine little list of stats:
- Concerts and merchandise: UP (+4%)
- Digital tracks: UP (+46%)
- Ringtones: UP (+86% last year, but probably just single-digit percent this year)
- Licensing for commercials, TV shows, movies, and videogames: UP (Warner Music saw licensing grow by about $20 million over the past year)
- Even vinyl singles: UP (more than doubled in the UK)
I've decided that soon the world will completely exist on the internet, and cities will become ghost towns. Vinyl will live on, but only through mail-order, and those vinyl people already never leave their houses anyway.
I guess the fact that concert sales are up kind of contradicts that ghost-towns-with-rebel-vinyl-collectors idea.
But then again, they could just do that "playing a show" thing on a sound stage and stream it. It'll happen.
I also predict the continuing increase of music being written only for ads and various products, to the point that bands cease to write songs that lack some kind of product placement or marketing potential. Cuz you know, people just really want to buy stuff.
The Rolling Stones to Release Album on USB (Not Through Victoria’s Secret), Parents Call You to Help Them Figure Out How to Use “This USB gizmo”
You finally taught them how to send an e-mail. You got them to stop saying "YourTube." Thanks to you, they know not to trust anyone who claims to be the heir to a small nation's fortune. You thought they were setup and ready to happily live out their years Googling squash recipes and online shopping for L.L. Bean vests that you'll never wear. But that would be too easy.
Just in time for a confusing Christmas morning, The Rolling Stones come along and release another greatest hits compilation on a damn USB memory stick.
Rolled Gold+, a re-release of the 1975 hits package Rolled Gold with 12 extra songs tacked on, will be released November 15. The USB release is already listed on Amazon.com UK with a November 5 release date, but has yet to appear for pre-order stateside.
So, if you don't have Forty Licks, Hot Rocks, More Hot Rocks, Singles Collection: The London Years, or any other Stones collection of any sort, and you want an album that you have to plug into your computer and download to an MP3 player to play, then the Rolled Gold+ USB release is exactly what you've been waiting for.
The 40-track album will also be released on CD, which may be a better gift idea for moms and dads who have just recently been weened off the hi-fi.
Has anyone heard these songs before?
No, that sound you're hearing isn't overproduced metal riffs segueing into light tropicalia led by a snarling wolverine. It's the sound of a man with a very important mission, a free-world-affecting mission: to destroy the Badds using only his wits, his brute strength, and his extendable bionic arm that could potentially be used in inappropriate ways. Originally released for NES, Bionic Commando is now in development for all the next-gen systems (N-Gage, Amiga CD-32, Atari Lynx), and the game's developers felt that the only person qualified to voice a man-machine hybrid was a real-life freak of nature: Mike Patton.
Patton is no stranger to the world of videogames (some say he hosts the best LAN parties), as his voice has been used this year alone in both The Darkness and Portal, the latter of which would be in our Eureka! section if only it were an album. Patton was available for further elaboration on his role in Bionic Commando, but there was too much mustard on my sandwich this afternoon, and I have instead opted to lie down for a few minutes. More details to come, as soon as I take a shower.
D is for Dylan, of course. Remember a few years back when Sir Zimmerman's Viagra really kicked in, and he did a not-so-hot TV advert with the busty babes from Victoria's Secret? There was standard outcry from those who thought an Original Outlaw like ol' Bob shouldn't be Robert Johnson-ing his soul for corporate conglomerates, but Dylan prevailed with a payday and even won back some former disciples with 2006's pretty-good-for-a-has-been Modern Times. But, to be sure, there's something inherently different between Bob selling bras and The Shins taking a tiny dicking from Mickey D's, letting them use a song in the background so dude can put a down payment on a house. If Dylan needs a paycheck, then I'm Heidi Klum.
Regardless, Bob Dylan is at it again, this time taking cues from rapper Rich Boy and getting himself a Cadillac. In what the press release calls an "innovative multi-platform marketing campaign," a new series of TV spots will double up, hawking both the 2008 Cadillac Escalade and Dylan's own "critically acclaimed" XM Radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour. Isn't one old rocker with a satellite radio show enough? Does the world really need another Little Steven's Underground Garage? In association with the beginning of the campaign, the Radio Hour even ran a Cadillac-themed episode last week, undoubtedly featuring tons of radio rap circa-2005.
In a curious twist, one of the spots even features music from everyone's favorite neo-troubadour and Joanna Newsom's arm candy Bill Callahan, formerly known as Smog and/or (smog). The song "Held," from 1999's Knock Knock, scores one version of the commercial which also features Dylan admittedly looking pretty dapper in a desert setting, hugging curves (professional driver on closed course) in none other than a blinged-out, eco-friendly Escalade. Dylan, though, might as well be speaking Mandarin, because he sounds like he did on MTV Unplugged. Oh, and there's no hot women. Win: Victoria's Secret.
Two of the ads can be seen here.
First Nation have changed their name to Rings. No, seriously! Since Melissa Livaudais left the band, Nina Mehta and Kate Rosko wanted a fresh start with newly added member Abby Portner, the probably super awesome sister of Animal Collective's Dave Portner (Avey Tare). So voilà: name change. Or is it "new band"? Crap, why does indie rock have to be so difficult??
Oh wait, shh... looks like the band is about to speak up!
We changed our name because we are a new kind of band. We thought the name First Nation would produce positive dialog, but it didn't. It's so loaded with identity politics, which is fine, cuz we actually do support other people's ways of self-representing. But, the name never opened up that space for talking about names and identity and social and political structures. It never translated like that... and even if it did, that's not what this new incarnation of our band is. For now, we're like a pop band for teenage girls. and for now, Rings makes sense. It's a name for our circular compositions, the bonds between us, our decision making processes, our mystic beliefs, the circular shapes around us, interlocking, connected, feminine, whole, continuous...
Rings' new album, Black Habit, will be released January 15, 2008 on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks. The album was self-produced with help from Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, forever known as the ex-müm girl, but in my heart as Kria Brekkan, who released Pullhair Rubeye (TMT Review) earlier this year with Home Depot CEO Avey Tare.
According to the press release, Rings' style now is "a loose tribal pop sound that thrives on vocal harmonies and pulsating drum rhythms." Well, shit, half our review is written already.