Fear of Men cower to the mythical male telling them to release more music, announce Loom LP, North American tour dates
No, Jessica, quit being so accusatory! I haven’t said I’m a seer, and just because I, along with my brethren in the Oracular Order, gather every Tuesday night for a cloaked consumption of Grand Slamwiches at the local Denny’s doesn’t mean I seriously think I can predict the future — no matter what you suggest in that relevant track off the new (and as it turns out, old) Fear of Men album! And now you’re strangling me for some reason. Society hasn’t known such an aversion to foresight since elementary school kids when they’re alerted of a snow-turned-rain storm. Meteorologists: the secret players of youthful emotion.
In reality, even if we hadn’t been afforded a press release on the subject, it wouldn’t have been hard to predict the release of Fear of Men’s new album Loom, which comes out via Kanine on April 22 (or April 19 if you want the Record Store Day-approved super-limited two-colored deluxe vinyl edition of stupendousness). The endearingly impassive lyrical delivery on Early Fragments (TMT Review; among our favorites of last year), along with the album’s unembellished pop melodies, might’ve inspired recollection of a litany of bands preceding them, but just as that wasn’t a hindrance to getting started in the first place, neither is that a reason to keep from moving forward.
Early Fragments is a collection of previously released singles. That essentially makes Loom their debut LP, and it’s an oddly refreshing thing to listen to in 2014. Who said emotional honesty needs to come with a performance fit for an Oscar nomination? Points for referencing recent pop culture happenings? Listen to a track below. Also, peruse these still-warm North American tour dates.
03. Green Sea
Hamilton Leithauser announces debut album Black Hours, having shrugged off all that Walkmen dead weight
Let me say what we’ve all been thinking: 4 out of 5 members of The Walkmen were totally worthless. Complete piles of garbage! Look, we all know frontman Hamilton Leithauser was great. But those other four guys? Pee-yew! Take those tight, inventive arrangements and shove ‘em. So, boy is it great to hear that Leithauser is shaking off all that Walkmen dead weight with his debut solo album Black Hours, out May 6 through Ribbon Music. Hamilton, my boy, I’m telling you: this Walkmen hiatus is the best thing to ever happen to you.
Replacing those Walkmen good-for-nothings as Leithauser’s Black Hours accompaniment is an all-star list of collaborators. Participants include Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, Morgan Henderson of Fleet Foxes, Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, Richard Swift of The Shins, and Paul Maroon of… The Walkmen!? Sheesh, you just can’t shake those guys. Later this year, Leithauser will hit the road with Henderson and Swift, though no dates have been announced yet. That said, the singer does have four dates scheduled at New York’s Joe’s Pub on April 15 and 16. Five bucks say the rest of The Walkmen show up at that show, all like “Hey Hamilton let’s play ‘The Rat’” and “Hey Hamilton let’s make another great Walkmen album wah wah wah” and et cetera. Whatever, dudes.
Watch a video for Black Hours’ first single “Alexandra” below. The track will be available as a limited 7-inch on Record Store Day (which falls on April 19 this year) with exclusive B-side “In The Shallows.” While you’re there, maybe pick up one of The Walkmen’s past records, because I’m sure the rest of those jokers will need the money. Ahhhh, I’m just yanking your chain: those guys are alright by me.
Black Hours tracklist:
01. 5 AM
02. The Silent Orchestra
04. 11 O’Clock Friday Night
05. St Mary’s County
06. Self Pity
07. I Retired
08. I Don’t Need Anyone
09. Bless Your Heart
10. The Smallest Splinter
11. Waltz *
12. In Our Time (I’ll Always Love You) *
13. Utrecht *
14. I’ll Never Love Again *
* deluxe edition only
Jeez. Even by his own insan-o standards, the illimitable entity known as “Robert Pollard-and-whoever-the-other-guys-in-Guided-by-Voices-happen-to-be-today” sure seems to be getting guided by a whole fuckton of a lot of voices right about now. I mean, we pretty much, like, just told you about this other album the other day, practically. And now, here’s old-boy again with another new record! Yup. I know. Insane. But luckily, there’s a few easy ways to tell it apart from the other one. And hey, I’m such a good dude that I’m going to take time out of my busy schedule of cursing-unnecessarily-in-print and hyphenating-things-for-slightly-exaggerated-comic-effect to share them with you right now!
For starters, unlike that other record, this one’s called Cool Planet. Also unlike that other record, this one is coming out on Fire Records. ALSO unlike that other record, this one has a release date of May 19. Still with me? Great! Let’s keep going. It was recorded at Cyberteknics in Dayton, Ohio “during the sub-freezing Polar Vortex of 2014” and features a lineup of Pollard on vocals and guitar (duh), Tobin Sprout on guitar and vocals, Mitch Mitchell on guitar, Greg Demos on bass, and former “ex-late-version” GBV member Kevin March on drums. This is all unique information, people!
There’s also a special release party thing being held solely for this one specific record. It’s being thrown by Fire Records on Sunday, May 18 at London’s The Lexington, and you can get yourself some tickets for it right over here.
And finally, one of the tracks, “Bad Love Is Easy To Do,” is streaming now at the band’s soundcloud page and at the below-embedded thingy and appears to be unique to this specific album. Although… yeah, admittedly, sometimes it’s kinda hard to know that for sure with a compulsive album-dropper like Pollard. Let’s take his word for it though, yeah?
Cool Planet tracklisting:
01. Authoritarian Zoo
02. Fast Crawl
03. Psychotic Crush
04. Costume Makes the Man
05. Hat of Flames
06. These Dooms
07. Table at Fool’s Tooth
08. All American Boy
09. You Get Every Game
10. Pan Swimmer
11. The Bone Church
12. Bad Love is Easy to Do
13. The No Doubters
14. Narrated by Paul
15. Cream of Lung
16. Males of Wormwood Mars
17. Ticket to Hide
18. Cool Planet
This Heat plan vinyl reissues of This Heat, Deceit, and the Health and Efficiency 12-inch; basically no other details yet!
And now for this week’s edition of news for which there is actually pretty much no detail available at this point but that still made news-writer Taylor do that little thing he does where he claps with glee: This Heat are re-issuing themselves on vinyl! That’s right, the self-titled blue-and-yellow guy, Deceit, and the Health and Efficiency 12-inch will be remastered “to the highest spec” and “with all the attention to detail that [This Heat] have maintained throughout [their] history.” “When am I going to be able to grip these fine, high spec reissues, Taylor?” Well, that’s the question on the tip of everybody’s tongue isn’t it? “Very Soon,” the band says on their Twitter and Facebook, which is just vague enough to let me hold onto the irrational belief that it’ll probably be tomorrow (it won’t be tomorrow). Also on their Twitter page they warn against purchasing any extant versions of the albums on vinyl because many of them are poorly mastered bootlegs. “Wait, This Heat have a Twitter account?” They do now, man. And a SoundCloud. It’s the future.
Okay, so let’s back up a minute and answer the question that’s probably nagging at a least a couple of you: “This heat? Which heat?” Alright, guy, quit trying to be cute. They’re called This Heat, and if you don’t mind I’m going to go ahead use the adjective “seminal” to describe them. Originally active between 1976 and 1982, over two full-lengths and one EP (all of which are getting reissued, see above) This Heat went totally bananas with that whole post-punk thing, incorporating elements of noise, prog, kraut rock, African rhythms, and industrial into “a sound all their own.” Quotes there because I’m 100% sure without even checking that somebody’s used that phrase before to describe some band they were really excited about, but listen, these guys were/are the real deal. You want to hear about them from a better writer than me? Strap yourself in and scope Miles Bowe’s really excellent Delorean on Deceit for this very website. Listen, Danny Brown is all up on that This Heat tip, so it’s high time you hopped on this train with Danny, me, and probably a bunch of other cool people I’d be too nervous to actually talk to in person. I’m pretty shy actually.
• This Heat: https://www.facebook.com/thisheat.official
Okay, okay; what’s rattling around in the TMT news queue this morning? Hmm.
New album news or something?
Boy, why the heck do you talk to yourself so much? Yeah. Monday, May 19 (probably May 20 in the US, I’d think?), via Parlophone/Atlantic.
Eh. Well, okay, skim the press release, at least… skimming, skimming… looks to be called Ghost Stories. Says they’re trying to sell hard-copy CD versions of the thing at Target with some “Deluxe CD edition” of the album that has “three bonus tracks” (weird, right? But… you know, Coldplay).
Wow, yeah, looks like there’s only nine tracks on the regular version. Maybe that means its kinda… artsy? Eh, who cares.
Oh, but it’s also up for pre-order on iTunes right now, and the pre-order comes with a download of the first single, “Magic.”
There’s probably a clip of that song somewhere, then, yeah?
Yeah, yeah. Found one. Okay. Anything else?
Hmm, they’re headlining the opening night of “the first US iTunes Festival” at SXSW on March 11, streaming live and on-demand from the iTunes Store? Could mention that.
Okay, okay. Well, whatever. Not much else in the queue right now. Seems like you could write this one up pretty easily. Just get it done.
Should I maybe listen to the single first or something?
Naw. Just think of Chris Martin crooning and some watery, delay-ed out piano and a dull drum machine and stuff. You got this. Ooh, let’s put some Radiohead on, though.
K. King of Limbs, maybe?
Ghost Stories tracklisting:
01. Always in My Head
04. True Love
06. Another’s Arms
08. A Sky Full of Stars
Oneohtrix Point Never compiles (sick) commissioned work for Record Store Day 12-inch, plots more tour dates
Weep no more, children. Record Store Day is coming soon, so your tears are understandable, but I bring good news. Your options have expanded. 180 gram Toys in the Attic is not the only way to show your support for independent retailers. You don’t need to buy that Built to Spill one-sided picture disc 7-inch again this year. Oneohtrix Point Never is here. He’s got a 12-inch. It’s pretty. Let me tell you about it.
Commissions I compiles three OPN compositions originally commissioned for artwork, film, and/or performance. The most recent, “Music for Steamed Rocks,” is an interpretation of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski’s Preludes and was part of a Polish Icons series at Sacrum Profanum:
Track 2 is “Meet Your Creator,” the 2012 quadrotor flying robot dance for Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors’ Showcase, and the B-side is Lopatin’s stunning rework of “I Only Have Eyes For You,” originally part of Doug Aitken’s “SONG1 Happening” installation event at the Hirshhorn Museum, and re-engineered by R Plus Seven (TMT Review) collaborator Paul Corley/mastered by Bedroom Community’s Valgeir Sigurðsson. The 12-inch comes in a fancy foil jacket with some die-cut peek-a-boo going on, the cover was designed by Robert Beatty, and it’s out on Warp. I’m in.
Commissions I tracklist:
01. Music for Steamed Rocks
02. Meet Your Creator
03. I Only Have Eyes for You
Lopatin has also added another slate of tour dates so Mr P can go see him in Minneapolis:
03.21.14 - Tokyo, Japan - Unit
03.22.14 - Osaka, Japan - Circus
03.27.14 - Miami, FL - Perez Art Museum
03.29.14 - Knoxville, TN - Big Ears Festival
04.02.14 - Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College
04.03.14 - Iowa City, IA - Mission Creek Festival
04.04.14 - St. Louis, MO - Kranzberg Art Center
04.05.14 - Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College
04.06.14 - Detroit, MI - Museum of Contemporary Art
04.18.14 - Istanbul, Turkey - Club2Club
04.19.14 - Brussels, Belgium - AB
04.23.14 - Zurich, Switzerland - Exil
04.24.14 - Turin, Italy - Hiroshima Mon Amour
04.25.14 - Krems, Austria - Donau Festival
04.26.14 - Berlin, Germany - Radialsystem V
04.29.14 - Milan, Italy - Teatro San Fedele
04.30.14 - Rome, Italy - Parco della Musica Auditorium
05.02.14 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Festival
05.02.14 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Festival
05.08.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Andy Warhol Museum
05.16.14 - Brooklyn, NY - MHOW
05.27.14 - Montreal, QC - MUTEK
05.30.14 - Lyon, France - Nuits Sonores
06.04.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Holland Festival
06.07.14 - London, UK - Field Day
06.08.14 - Bristol, UK - Arnolfini
06.13.14 - Barcelona, Spain - Sonar Festival
06.18.14 - Winnipeg, MB - Union Sound Hall
06.19.14 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
06.20.14 - Toronto, ON - NXNE BLKBOX
06.21.14 - Toronto, ON - NXNE Geary St. Warehouse
07.06.14 - George, WA - Sasquatch Festival
Islaja plans new album SUU with Monika Enterprise, read all about it in Tiny Mix Tapes’ proprietary Hilarious News Post© format
Have you ever thought about how weird mouths are? I mean, they’re just big holes on your face where you put food. And sometimes words come out of them? Personally, I hate my mouth. It gives me nothing but trouble, and I think it’s kind of a visual blight on my otherwise smooth face skin. Alright, well now that I’ve gotten the Introductory Non-Sequitur© out of the way, I can tell you all about the new album from Finnish avant-folk/electronic artist Islaja. It’s called SUU, which as it turns out is Finnish for “mouth,” making that Introductory Non-Sequitur© somewhat more of a Tangentially Relevant Introductory Personal Revelation©, I guess. Either way, though, I can already tell we’re becoming better friends.
To go ahead and dive right in to the Second Paragraph Inclusion of Actual Detail About the Topic at Hand©, SUU is Islaja’s first solo release since 2010’s Keraaminen pää, and it’s also her first for Gudrun Gut’s Berlin-based Monika Enterprise. Over the course of several releases for Finnish label Fonal, such as 2007’s Ulual YYY (TMT Review), Islaja has developed a pretty free-form back catalog of avant-singer-songwriter and psychedelic pop type music (how’s that for a Very Briefy and Only Kind of Helpful Genre Description©?). In addition to performing as a solo artist, however, Islaja also contributes to the Finnish experimental folk group Hertta Lussu Ässä, as well as the more free-improv-oriented groups Kemialliset Ystävät and Avarus.
As for Additional Clarification Regarding How the Release Under Discussion Fits Within the Artist’s Discography©, SUU will reportedly find Islaja venturing into a significantly more electronically influenced sound. You know, with synthesizers? And robot drums? Anyhow, the album is out on March 24, which, not to go too far down the rabbit hole of another Tangentially Relevant Personal Revelation©, is right around when I go in for some pretty major dental surgery (#nervous). Check out the video for “Skeleton Walk” from the album below.
01. Skeleton Walk
02. See No Sun
03. Chaos Pilot
04. Temporary Haven
05. Travel Light
06. Siren Call
07. Shit Hit the Fan
08. Music Is Mine
09. Dust from Heaven
10. Sandals of Alice
11. Lay by My Side
YYU espouses multitasking, announces Kiss As We Walk 12-inch while whittling a statuette; new album in September
My venerable colleague and metronome enthusiast James Parker expounded in great detail upon the significance of repetition on YYU’s 2012 album TIMETIMETIME&TIME (TMT Review), our #9 favorite album of that year, but with the announcement of a new 12-inch single, Kiss As We Walk, as well as the “announcement” of a proper full-length scheduled for release later this year (around September), we have the chance to see if the 21-year-old Kansan with a penchant for vowels and semi-vowels alike really has what it takes… to repeat things. To repeat things. To repeat things. To repeat things. Just look at my amateur skills vis-à-vis repeating things! If YYU deigned to impress, his next long-player would not only contain the same tracks as his last, but it would be his last! Add to cart, get to the confirmation page, and suddenly [insert name of new album] would become &TIME. A massive conspiracy necessitating the collusion of many online retailers. Awesome.
And awesomely unlikely, I’m afraid, especially considering I’ve listened to the new 12-inch single and can thus confirm that it so consists of all new material. Furthermore, flip to the B-side (in a few weeks, on March 24) and notice the relative linearity of “When We Are Old,” which was recorded in an “old bathroom” and contains little more than the man’s beautifully solemn vocals, a guitar, and birds — surely unharmed. It signifies a mild fade from the abstractness that we were previously so bowled over by, but it may or may not double as foreshadowing. Equally disruptive of pattern is YYU’s switch from the vaporwaving Beer On The Rug to the UK-based RAMP Recordings.
There’s nothing new that I can actually share. Here’s an oldie:
Kiss As We Walk tracklisting:
01. Kiss As We Walk
02. When We Are Old
Once, there was a band called The Notwist. Great news: there’s still a band called The Notwist! It’s just been a little while since we’ve heard from them, what with their last album, The Devil, You + Me, having been released in 2008. But the long-running German electronic-but-formerly-metal band recently broke their silence with a new record titled Close to the Glass (TMT Review), out now through Sub Pop. Now, any good businessperson knows you don’t release a new album and not tour. By that measure, The Notwist are fantastic businessmen, as they’re got a quite extensive itinerary of both European and North American dates in the pipeline.
All this talk about touring and new records has got me thinking about gigantic apes. Sorry, my brain works in strange ways. That said, it’s all working out in a logical fashion, since The Notwist have released a new video for Close to the Glass track “Kong.” Watch that right here or below:
The Notwist dates:
03.10.14 - Stuttgart, Germany - Wagenhallen
03.11.14 - Lyon, France - Epicerie Moderne
03.12.14 - Nantes, France - Stereolux
03.13.14 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie (SOLD OUT)
03.14.14 - Lille, France - Le Grand Mix
03.15.14 - Manchester, UK - The Deaf Institute
03.16.14 - Glasgow, UK - Mono
03.17.14 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece
03.18.14 - London, UK - Village Underground
03.19.14 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
03.20.14 - Cologne, Germany - E-Werk
04.05.14 - Milano, Italy - Magnolia
04.06.14 - Foligno, Italy - Serendipity
04.07.14 - Roma, Italy - Auditorium Parco della Musica
04.08.14 - Bologna, Italy - Estragon
04.09.14 - Padova, Germany - Mame
04.10.14 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - TBA
04.11.14 - Zagreb, Croatia - Mochvara
04.12.14 - Linz, Austria - Posthof
04.13.14 - Munich, Germany - Circus Krone
05.26.14 - Berlin, Germany - C-Club
05.27.14 - Hamburg, Germany - Laeiszhalle
05.28.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
06.09.14 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
06.10.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
06.11.14 - Montreal, QC - Société Des Arts Technologiques
06.12.14 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
06.13.14 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge @ House of Blues
06.14.14 - San Francisco, CA - The Regency Ballroom
06.15.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre
06.28.14 - St. Gallen, CH - Open Air St. Gallen
07.04-06.14 - George, WA - Sasquatch Festival
07.19.14 - Gräfenhainichen, Germany - Melt! Festival
Composer, producer, and love of my life Ben Frost had us all in a choke-hold with 2009’s By the Throat, but he slowly relaxed his grip and drifted off into collaborative ventures, leaving me surfing OkCupid for a new partner who was into strangling. But as of a recent announcement, I can already feel the neck burns reforming about my vulnerable nape as Mr. Frost will indeed release his first solo follow-up on May 27, entitled A U R O R A!
This will be Frost’s fifth solo record, performed by himself with Greg Fox, Shahzad Ismaily, and Thor Harris of SWANS. Whew, buddy, I can barely breathe, may start hallucinating some auroras right now. Such strong hands, Ben.
The release will also be preceded by a series of live dates, including a London performance at the Village Underground on April 26:
04.26.14 - London, UK - Convergence Festival
05.15.14 - Dublin, Ireland - The Button Factory
05.16.14 - Cork, Ireland - Triskel Arts Centre
05.17.14 - Elsinore, Denmark - CLICK Festival
05.18.14 - Leuven, Belgium - STUK
05.20.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Muziekgebouw at Trouw
05.21.14 - Leipzig, Germany - UT Connewitz
05.22.14 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain
05.23.14 - Prague, Czech Republic - MeetFactory
05.24.14 - Zagreb, Croatia - Žedno Uho Festival
05.29.14 - Montreal, QC - MUTEK Festival
06.12.14 - Barcelona, Spain - Sonar Festival
07.11.14 - Keflavík, Iceland - ATP Festival
• Ben Frost: http://ethermachines.com