NEWS

SORRY SHARE VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE 'SHOWGIRL'

Sorry | 16/05/18

Image: Sorry press shot

Sorry today shared their new single ‘Showgirl’ on Domino. The track and its accompanying video was unveiled as part of Sorry’s latest feature, with i-D Magazine here. The video, shot by Johnny Goddard, splices footage of the band performing the ferocious ‘Showgirl’, which was produced by Frank Ocean and James Blake collaborator Sean Oakley - who also helmed the band’s 2017 debut single, ‘Wished’. Watch the video below.

The band have already aired ‘2 Down 2 Dance’ and Home Demo/ns Vol II -the second release from their visual mixtape series - in 2018. This year, the band also landed a spot in the ‘Dazed 100’ in April; Dazed magazine’s annual list of new and emerging young creative figures with the potential to influence culture this year and beyond.

Following a string of U.K. tour dates with New Yorkers Sunflower Bean, Sorry have now announced their next hometown headline show at the Courtyard Theatre on 26 June - tickets are on sale now here.

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Centred around Asha Lorenz & Louis O'Bryen, two 20 and 21-year-old childhood best friends, Sorry were signed by revered indie Domino after developing a reputation as the most visceral new band on London’s underground circuit. Joined by Lincoln Barrett (drums) and Campbell Baum (bass) the band have already won fans in Dazed (‘100’), The FADER (‘U.K. artists you need to listen to in 2018’), NME (‘The NME 100’), DIY (‘Class Of 2018’), Dork (‘New bands of 2018’), i-D, Loud And Quiet, Noisey, Another Man, The Line Of Best Fit, and more.

Watch the video for ‘Showgirl’ here:

smarturl.it/ShowgirlVid

Preorder ‘Showgirl’ 7” here:

smarturl.it/ShowgirlMart

See Sorry at the following live dates:

17 June | Coalition, Brighton (The Great Escape w/ i-D)

18 June | The Haunt, Brighton (The Great Escape w/ So Young)

26 June | Courtyard Theatre, London

2 June | All Points East Festival, London
13 - 15 July | Latitude Festival, Southwold
21 July | Truck Festival
4 August | Visions Festival, London
17 - 19 August | Green Man Festival, Brecon

 

1999, STREAMING NOW

14/05/18

Image: 1999

The Marquis de Tren & Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Get On Jolly - Streaming Now

GUARAPERO session success notwithstanding, Will Oldham’s connections with the Dirty Three’s Mick Turner and Jim White continued to strengthen.  All three participated in the European tour by the Boxhead Ensemble in support of the documentary film DUTCH HARBOR.  Later, Turner sent Oldham some recordings he’d been working on.  These were solo recordings done on guitar and organ, using loops in an organic fashion still pretty much unique to Mick Turner.  The pieces were meditative, organic, and inspiring.  Turner asked Oldham if there was anything he could contribute to the pieces.  Oldham took the challenge, even as he was daunted by the task of potentially marring these transcendent musical creations.  Eventually, Oldham thought it best to triangulate, finding a third, passive, collaborator in the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.  Using Tagore’s GITANJALI collection of poems and meditative mini-stories as a lyric basis, Oldham built lyrics and melodies to complement what Turner had brought to the table.  Oldham’s voice parts were recorded by Paul Oldham at Rove Studios in Shelbyville, KY, and the results were became the EP GET ON JOLLY, credited to the Marquis de Tren (Mick Turner) and Bonny Billy.   Bonny and the Anomoanon were still operating outside of the Drag City system (though still within the Domino system for Europe), so the artwork was laid out by Louisvillian-cum-Baltimoron Jeremy Devine and featured a painting by Turner. A tour was undertaken and Jim White (drums) and Paul Oldham (bass) joined Oldham and Turner.  A couple of new pieces were created to flesh out the set; all eight pieces were recorded live in the studio in Baltimore and released as a CD-only called GETTHEFUCKONJOLLYTurner and White, around this same time, began recording and performing as the Tren Brothers

 

TIRZAH ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM, DEVOTION, OUT 10TH AUGUST

Tirzah | 03/05/18

Image: Tirzah

Domino are honoured to introduce Devotion; the hugely anticipated debut album from one of London's most exciting underground talents, Tirzah. Arriving on the back of a lauded run of releases on Greco Roman, Devotion shines a brilliant new light on Tirzah's unique experimental pop, exquisitely soulful voice and potent contemporary lyricism.

Written and produced in collaboration with long-time friend and collaborator Micachu, Devotion's hallmarks are rooted in a fresh, raw emotion and feeling. The first track taken from Devotion comes in the form of ‘Gladly’, along with new video directed by Hannah Perry which is ready to watch below.

The Essex-born performer has been at the centre of the vital post-grime and UK garage sound of London for the better half of a decade but it’s only now that her work has come to full fruition, delivering what feels like a landmark debut LP.

Recorded mostly in the shared houses and makeshift studios of her South London crew of artists and friends, all while life – and love – happened in the meantime, Devotion is written and produced with musician, composer and childhood friend, Micachu, and it’s a downbeat excursion into the moody inner life of an unusually talented lyricist.

Songs about the complexity and conflict of a very human, very confusing feeling come through in listless lines like “I thought that I would call you but I never could do it, while a faltering bass line carries it through a tumbledown assemblage of samples and vocal cutups. Track titles like ‘Gladly,’ ‘Guilty’ and ‘Reach’ reveal their emotional tone with a single word, while the deconstructed beats underscore the brittle nature of desire and romance. It is on tracks such as ‘Go Now’ where you can really hear the soul and gospel influences of Tirzah’s surprising inspirations in Al Green, Barry White and D'Angelo. There’s an understatement, though, a vulnerability that is unique to her own songwriting, where a simple four syllables, like “I want your arms, can speak volumes on loss and longing.

 

Devotion is very much a journey, positioning Tirzah as a unique contemporary soul voice. It’s a deeply personal hallucination of British RnB at its best, very much its own peculiar construction, built on the sad streets and gloomy days of a forever breaking heart.

Devotion tracklist

Fine Again

Do You Know

Gladly

Holding On

Affection

Basic Need

Guilty

Devotion (feat. Coby Sey)

Go Now

Say When

Reach

Devotion (WIG394) will be released on deluxe LP, standard LP, CD and digitally.

 

Pre-order Devotion now:

Deluxe LP / LP / CD / Digitally

Tirzah Live Dates

3rd May – London – Bermondsey Social Club [SOLD OUT]

19th May – Brighton – Bau Wow, The Great Escape

 

PROTOMARTYR ANNOUNCE NEW 'CONSOLATION' EP FEATURING KELLEY DEAL OF THE BREEDERS

Protomartyr | 03/05/18

Image: Protomartyr charcoal sketch press shot

Today Protomartyr announce a new release called Consolation E.P., which they recorded in part with friend Kelley Deal and will be released June 15th via Domino. Two of the four songs feature Deal on vocals alongside singer Joe Casey, including ‘Wheel of Fortune’, which receives a video today directed by Yoonha Park (who directed the band's video for ‘Don't Go To Anacita’).  The EP was recorded by Deal's R.Ring bandmate Mike Montgomery.

Joe Casey and Kelley Deal had this to say of the collaboration and EP:

“Early 2017 proved to be a productive time for the band. We were writing songs right up to recording Relatives In Descent and wanted to keep that momentum going right after. Making 2015's split single "A Half Of Seven" with R. Ring was one of our favorite recording experiences, so the decision to head down to Dayton, Kentucky and spend a weekend in May recording the four songs that became the Consolation E.P. was an easy one.” Joe Casey

“For Mike and I, working on this EP with Protomartyr was a re-kindling of the tender spark that was struck upon our first encounter with them years ago in Texas. They were graciously tolerant and receptive to my production ideas on the songs and the project quickly grew beyond our private orb. We have cello from Lori Goldston, viola from Jocelyn Hach and even bass clarinet from Evan Ziporyn, and I do some singing with Joe. There's a lot of trust involved when an artist places their songs in your hands, and we were very mindful of that while intentionally trying to take the songs in new directions. Candyland in Dayton, KY is home-base for R.Ring recording, and it's close enough that the Proto-men could make it down to lay the tracks down. This is the second project like this we've done with them, so we're ready to flip the tables and have them produce and record some of our songs!Kelley Deal 

Watch the video for ‘Wheel of Fortune’ here.

Stream ‘Wheel of Fortune’ here.

 

Tracklisting:

1. Wait

2. Same Face In A Different Mirror

3. Wheel of Fortune (feat. Kelley Deal)

4. You Always Win (feat. Kelley Deal)

 

Consolation E.P. is available to pre-order now on limited pressing yellow/white starburst vinyl via Domino, and limited pressing gold vinyl via your local independent record store. Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital

 

Protomartyr kick off their UK tour tomorrow before a summer of European festivals and live dates including China, South Korea, Hong Kong and North America. Additionally, Ana da Silva, Gina Birch and Vicki Aspinall of seminal post-punk band The Raincoats will be joining Protomartyr at London’s Rough Trade East for a Q&A on May 10th before Protomartyr’s Scala show that evening.

 

Upcoming tour dates

Thurs 3rd May – Kortrijk, Belgium @ Wilde Westen Tickets

Fri 4th May – Bristol, UK @ Thekla Tickets

Sat 5th May – Leicester, UK @ Handmade Festival

Sun 6th May – Glasgow, UK @ Stag & Dagger Festival

Tues 8th May – Hull, UK @ Fruit Tickets

Wed 9th May – Birmingham, UK @ Mama Roux's Tickets

Thurs 10th May – London, UK @ Rough Trade East – In Conversation with The Raincoats Info

Thurs 10th May – London, UK @ Scala Tickets

Sun 3rd June - Seattle, WA @ Upstream Music Festival

Sat 9th June - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere (Brooklyn Vegan Northside Party)

Wed 13th June - Hong Kong, HK @ MOM Livehouse

Fri 15th June - Beijing, CN @ Yue Space

Sat 16th June - Shanghai, CN @ YYT

Sun 17th June - Seoul, KR @ V-Hall

Wed 20th June - Kuala Lumpur, MY @ Live Fact

Thurs 21st June - Jakarta, ID @ Rossi Musik

Sat 23rd June – Athens, Greece @ Ejekt Festival

Fri 6th July – Modena, Italy @ Arti Vive Festival

Sat 7th July – Chiusi, Italy @ Lars Rock Festival

Sat 21st July - Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest

9-11th August - Haldern, Germany @ Haldern Pop Festival

Sun 12th August - Luxembourg, LU @ Rotondes

Mon 13th August - Dusseldorf, DE @ Zakk

Tues 14th August - Bremen, DE @ Tower Musikclub

Thurs 16th August – Nijmegen, Netherlands @ Doornroosje Tickets

Fri 17th August – Biddinghuizen, Netherlands @ Lowlands

Sat 18th August – Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop

Sun 19th August – St. Malo, France @ La Route du Rock

Tues 21st August - Dudingen, CH @ Bad Bonn

22nd August – Zurich, Switzerland @ Mascotte Tickets

Fri 24th August - Schorndorf, DE @ Club Manufaktur

Sat 25th August – Charleville-Mézières, France @ Cabaret Vert

Sun 26th August – Ramsgate, UK @ Ramsgate Music Hall Tickets

Tues 28th August – Sheffield, UK @ Picture House Social Club Tickets

Wed 29th August – Hebden Bridge, UK @ The Trades Club Tickets

Thurs 30th August – Liverpool, UK @ O2 Academy 2 Tickets

31st Aug – 2nd Sept – Wiltshire, UK @ End of the Road Festival

31st Aug – 2nd Sept - Vlieland, NL @ Into the Great Wide Open

 

Protomartyr Online:

Website | Facebook

 

STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS SHARE NEW SONG FEAT. KIM GORDON

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks | 25/04/18

Image: Malkmus Jicks announcement pic

 

With the release of their new album, Sparkle Hard, heading our way on May 18th on Domino, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have shared another taste of what’s to come with their new single ‘Refute,’ a country-tinged reflection on marriage and infidelity, featuring guest vocals by Kim Gordon.  Per Malkmus, the idea was to “queer the duet”, by messing with “Nashville tropes in light of current trends in evolutionary psychology” and reversing “the classic He Said/She Said narrative, where in this case the ‘wife’ is the cheater, and the omniscient narrator enters at the end to offer cold comfort.”

 

Stream ‘Refute’ here.

 

Stream the previously shared ‘Shiggy’ and ‘Middle America’.

Watch an acoustic version of ‘Middle America’ here.

 

Additionally, you can calculate your “sparkle level” by taking the Buzzfeed-style Sparkle Hard rejected album art and playlist generator quiz with absurdist questions penned by the band and with corresponding playlists featuring rejected album art that didn’t make it past legal www.howharddoyousparkle.com

Modesty and plain good manners might prevent them from saying so themselves, but the fact that Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have thrived, rather than simply endured over 17 years and delivered six albums of buzzy, sub-cultural significance, constitutes an impressive legacy. The challenge with album number seven is one that any successful band with integrity faces: how to safeguard that legacy and hold on to their identity without rehashing old ground (unthinkable), and also say something meaningful while (crucially) having fun doing it?

Meeting that issue head on in the run up to The Jicks’ seventh record involved some “navel gazing”, according to singer, songwriter, and guitarist Malkmus and not only in terms of what it means to be releasing music in 2018. If, like him, you’re a voracious consumer of all kinds of culture and feel the need to interact with it, rather than just react, then inevitably “there’s a world that prompts you to put your best foot forward”. With Sparkle Hard Malkmus, Mike Clark (keyboards), Joanna Bolme (bass) and Jake Morris (drums) do exactly that. And they hit the ground running – on air treads.

It’s light ’n’ breezy, head-down heavy, audacious, melancholic and reflective, goodtime and bodacious, and it pulls off the smartest trick: it’s both unmistakeably The Jicks and – due to the streamlining of their trademark tics and turns, plus the introduction of some unexpected flourishes (Auto-Tune, a fiddle, one seven-minute song with an acoustic folk intro) – The Jicks refashioned. If 2014’s Wig Out At Jag Bags balanced the lengthy prog workouts of Pig Lib with Mirror Traffic’s sparky pop moments, then Sparkle Hard bears less obvious direct relation to what’s come before. It also has turbocharged energy and enthusiasm by the truckload.

Self-indulgent escapism has never been The Jicks’ bag, but on Sparkle Hard, the reality of modern life sits closer to the surface, communication cutting to the chase whether it’s a proto-punk grind or a back-porch country duet doing the talking. A cleaner burn for dark and complex times.

Sparkle Hard is available to pre-order on LP (heavyweight vinyl with insert), indie-exclusive deluxe LP (heavyweight coloured vinyl with insert), Dom Mart-exclusive deluxe LP (heavyweight coloured vinyl, insert and 12x12” sticker sheet with 12 individual die cut designs for each of the songs on the album by the creative genius Turbo Island), CD and digital.

Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital

UK & European Tour Dates:

Wed 17th October – Albert Hall, Manchester Tickets

Thurs 18th October – SWG3, Glasgow Tickets

Fri 19th October – Vicar Street, Dublin Tickets

Sun 21st October – SWX, Bristol Tickets

Mon 22nd October – The Asylum, Birmingham Tickets

Wed 24th October – Hackney Arts Centre, London Tickets

Thurs 25th October – Concorde 2, Brighton Tickets

Mon 29th October – Lido, Berlin Tickets

Tues 30th October – Stadtgarten, Cologne Tickets

Wed 31st October – Melkweg, Amsterdam Tickets

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

FRANZ FERDINAND SHARE VIDEO FOR 'GLIMPSE OF LOVE (VERSION)'

Franz Ferdinand | 23/04/18

Image: franz glimpse of love version video still

Franz Ferdinand have shared the amazing video to Glimpse Of Love (Version), a re-working of the track from Always Ascending, their much-acclaimed fifth album which was released on Domino in February of this year.

The brilliantly entertaining video was shot just outside Paris and directed by acclaimed film maker / artist Alice Kunisue (https://alicekunisue.com)

Using the album original as a foundation the band returned to the studio, adding the kick and punch of their live arrangement, before handing the trackto master mixer Serban Ghenea (Rihanna, Lorde) building upon it to give an even more urgent & thrilling sound.

The album was recorded at RAK Studios, London and Motorbass in Paris, with the help of French producer extraordinaire Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys). Nothing short of a rebirth, the album’s 10 songs are a triumphant recasting of the group, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation.

Watch the video for 'Glimpse Of Love (Version)' here

You can stream ‘Glimpse Of Love (Version) here and download the track here.  Additionally, having recently completed a sold-out U.K. tour, including a performance at London’s Brixton Academy, Franz Ferdinand have announced details of a headline show at London’s Roundhouse on Wednesday 26th September 2018.


Tickets for the show are on and general sale now via www.seetickets.com


Having just completed their European tour, the full worldwide dates are as follows:

24.04 – Mexico City – Pepsi City

27.04 – Minneapolis – First Avenue

28.04 – Kansas City – The Truman

30.04 – Milwaukee – The Rave

 

02.05 – St Louis – The Pageant

07.05 – Dallas – House of Blues

08.05 – Houston – White Ok Music Hall

11.05 – Phoenix – The Van Buren

12.05 – Santa Ana – The Observatory

13.05 – San Diego – North Park @ The Observatory

15.05 – Los Angeles – The Wiltern

17.05 – Oakland – The Fox Theatre

 

09.06 – Moscow – Stadium Live

11.06 – St. Petersburg – Stereoleto 2018

13.06 – Kiev – Art Platforma

22.06 – Schessel – Hurricane Festival

22.06 – Neuhausen – Southside Festival

26.06 – Dublin – RDS Arena

28.06 – Santiago Compestela – O Son Do Camino

29.06 – Vilanova – Vida Festival

 

01.07 – Beuingen – Down The Rabbit Hole

04.07 – Tallinn – Ollesummer Festival

06.07 – Werchter – Rock Werchter

08.07 – Glasgow – TRNSMT Festival

10.07 – Rome – Roma Summer Festival

11.07 – Gardone Riviera – Tener A Mente Festival

13.07 – Madrid – Mad Cool

14.07 – Alges – NOS Alive

15.07 – Aix-Les-Bains – Musilac

 

19.08 – Landerneau – Fete du Bruit

28.08 – Bergen – USF – Rokeriet

29.08 – Oslo – Sentrum Scene

 

01.09 – Copenhagen – Store Vega

07.09 – Milan – Milan Rocks

09.09 – Portmeirion – Festival No.6

22.09 – Manchester – British Sound Project

26.09 – London- The Roundhouse

 

Tickets for all shows in Ireland, UK and Europe are available to purchase now. More information can be found on the band’s website: http://franzferdinand.com

The band also recently performed Feel The Love Go from the album with special guest James Chance on sax on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Watch the performance here.

Franz Ferdinand are Alex Kapranos, Bob Hardy, Paul Thomson, Julian Corrie and Dino Bardot.

 

1996 - 1998, STREAMING NOW

23/04/18

Image: 1998

Palace Music – Every Mother’s Son – Streaming Now

Every Mother’s Son” is a Lynyrd Skynyrd song.  Brett Ralph had made a Skynard mix tape for Oldham, and for some reason this particular song made an impression.  Oldham changed a lyric in the song from “winning horse” to “winning pig”.  Michael Udris recorded the performance in a dark living room in Providence, Rhode IslandColin Gagon played the piano and Bob Arellano the guitar.  The group also recorded “No More Rides”, a song that Oldham had written for a Sally Timms recording session.  These two recordings were released as a 7” single.  The cover art was an engraving by Diane Radford; a limited edition of the sleeves were letter-pressed by hand by Radford. 

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Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Arise Therefore – Streaming Now

ARISE THEREFORE was the beginning of a new thing.  All of the Palace adventures were about discovery, maybe? And here with ARISE exploration begins.  Will Oldham once again asked Steve Albini to record the songs, this time in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.  It was to be an ensemble of Oldham’s mentor/hero/friends, with Ned Oldham playing bass, and David Grubbs playing piano.  Once again, Britt Walford was invited in but he demurred.  In Walford’s stead, Oldham invited a small dusty electronic box called a Maya-tone to play drums (it belonged to brother Paul Oldham).  And once again, Albini spent significant time pulling apart the tape machine at the studio and bringing it up to snuff.  There was rehearsal/prep built into the process; Ned and Will ran through all of the songs in Birmingham while Grubbs had a cassette of all of the songs with Maya’s beats in place.  A good time was had by all out there in the woods, in the winter.  Gene Booth made the drawing for the cover of the record.  The songs were all Oldham originals except for “You Have Cum in Your Hair and Your Dick is Hanging Out”, which was written by Bryan Rich with OldhamRich had no title for the song, and during the recording sessions Albini told a joke with “You have cum...” as its punchline.

ARISE THEREFORE was released without an over-arching “artist credit”.  It’s necessary to have a recording attributed to an individual or group so that record stores (and now streaming services) have a way to organize their inventory.  All of the records that Will Oldham has overseen prior to and following ARISE have an ‘artist’ attribution attached for the sake of easing the record’s way through the systems and into the ears of listeners.  Though ARISE remains physically unattributed (there is no single artist given credit for the record on the artwork), it has been successively superficially (with a cover sticker) credited to “Palace Music”, then “Will Oldham”, and more recently “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy”.

At times, Drag City/Oldham/Palace would augment a new release with extra goodies for initial distribution to direct accounts.  A direct account is when a record store buys from the label rather than a distributor.  The catalog price for a store is slightly higher than for a distributor and the store has, ideally, a more intimate relationship with the eventual record-buying audience. Oldham had recorded songs and incidental music for an independent film called THE BROKEN GIANT (directed by Estep Nagy), and a CD of this music was included with the first shipments of ARISE to direct accounts.  Later this release was repackaged and retitled BLACK RICH MUSIC (the original title for the film had been THIS BLACK RICH COUNTRY; and one of the songs was written by Bryan Rich under the nom de guerre Roy Black).

As well, when licensing records to Japan in the 1990’s, it was not uncommon to add bonus tracks or otherwise to augment a release in order to make a record more attractive to Japanese buyers, since it was usually more expensive for Japanese music fans to buy Japanese release than it was for them to purchase imported CDs.  With this in mind, a bonus track was added to the ARISE CD, “Black Rich Tune”.

Fun Fact #1: the Arise design team of Osborn/Oldham/Booth was honored when the title sequence in the Shane Black comedy-thriller KISS KISS BANG BANG paid visual tribute to the ARISE cover.

Fun fact #2: The lead actor in THE BROKEN GIANT was a young Will Arnett.  He plays a conflicted man of God in the film.  At one point in the film, his character makes fire come from the palms of his hands (pictured in the artwork for the CD); at another point, he preaches at length from the Book of Job (text from which is printed on the CD face).  Both were signs of things to come when Arnett embodied, wonderfully, Gob Bluth in the television series ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.

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Palace Music – Little Blue Eyes – Streaming Now

John Peel, you may know, was a brilliant music curator under the employ of the BBC for many many years.  As part of his duties, he commissioned recording sessions from musicians traveling through London.  On the first Palace Brothers trip through the UK and Europe, they were invited by Peel to record four songs at he BBC’s Maida Vale studios to be broadcast later on Peel’s show.  In 1996, Drag City released two of these four songs on a 7” single, “Little Blue Eyes” and “The Spider’s Dude Was Often There”.  Will Oldham was deeply inspired by cassettes of Peel sessions recorded by Pavement and Royal Trux, and prepared the four songs especially for the occasion. The ensemble was made up of Rian Murphy (drums), David Pajo (electric guitar), Paul Oldham (bass), and Henrique Prince (violin).  At the time, Sasha Jansen was a graphic artist renting office space in the same building as Drag City’s space.  Dan Koretzky was aware that she was of a different ilk than other artists DC had previously worked with and suggested to Oldham that a collaboration might prove interesting.  Hence the distinct visuals of the “Little Blue Eyes” sleeve.

Palace Music - For The Mekons, Et Al - Streaming Now

The go-to venue in Chicago in the mid-1990s was Lounge Ax.  It was there that the first Drag City Invitational occurred, where all active DC artists performed sets over multiple nights; the running order was determined by drawn lot.  It was easily Will Oldham’s favorite venue at the time.  It was decided that a 7” single containing two songs from a 1994 Palace Show would be released, in support of the venue that was now facing threats of having to close doors for permanent.  The band included Charlie Snell (drums), Pooh Johnston (keys), and Jason Stith (bass).  The recording was made by Steve Good.  The songs chosen were “For the Mekons, et al” (the ‘studio’ version of this song is on the compilation HEY DRAG CITY) and “Stable Will”.  The record came in a plain white sleeve and with a paper ID slip included in case a jukebox owner wanted to throw the single onto a machine.

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Palace Music - Lost Blues And Other Songs - Streaming Now

The 1990s were a time of transition in the music business; but then, what decade isn’t?  Vinyl was on its way out and compact discs were embraced by most buyers.  The 7” single already had a limited audience: a potential buyer needed to have access to a store that carried singles; the buyer had to have a functioning record player; the buyer needed the energy and dedication required to perform the act of putting a single onto her record player (possibly having t insert a wide-hole-to-small-hole vinyl adapter into the record or onto the player), changing the speed to 45 rpm, and then flipping the record 3-6 minutes later in order to the B-side.  Many folks were just giving up altogether, going with the flow and neglecting the vinyl format in favor of CDs.  It was with this in mind that Will Oldham and Drag City decided it might be time to assemble most of the Palace music that had been released over the previous years in one compiled album, LOST BLUES AND OTHER SONGS.  Audiences had responded strongly to the material hitherto only available on 7” vinyl records, with “Ohio River Boat Song”, “Horses”, and “West Palm Beach” among the most-loved in the live repertoires of Oldham-assembled ensembles.  It wasn’t an all-inclusive compilation, as it was deemed to be more essential that the record work as a record rather than just as a document or collection.  It ought to reward the listener.  So songs (“Drinking Woman”) were left off, and unreleased material (“Valentine’s Day” and an early recording of “Riding”) were brought in.  The cover featured a big black rectangle that Oldham intended as a mershed Rothko reference.  The font was lifted from Madonna’s BEDTIME STORIES (which contained the Bjork composition “Travelling”, inspiring Oldham’s “(End of) Travelling”).  Oldham dedicated the comp to the Royal Trux and to Paul Greenlaw for their powerful inspiration.  Supplementary artwork was commissioned from the great Steve Keene.  Keene was asked to make full-color and monochromatic paintings that could be used in print ads and posters.  Keene, in exchange for a big box of Drag City records, painted over 50 amazing pieces, all coincidentally executed on (and dated) Oldham’s birthday.

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Will Oldham - Patience - Streaming Now

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Joya - Streaming Now

It was a twisted road that led to the record called JOYA.  Someone played a sweet trick on Will Oldham and on the Dirty Three: each was told that the other artist had expressed an interest in meeting and collaborating.  It was a nice gambit.  Oldham met Mick Turner in London and they hit it off right away.  Oldham suggested that the Dirty Three meet him in Cotati, California to make a record.  The Dirty Three agreed.  After the (artistic) success of ARISE THEREFOREOldham didn’t want to mess too much with a formula and so he invited Ned Oldham and David Grubbs back for the Cotati session, as well as Tiffany White from the Memphis “Lost Blues” recording session.  At the last minute, the Dirty Three’s Warren Ellis got separated from his passport and couldn’t make the beginning of the session.  That’s when the heavy lifting tends to get done.  Oldham mini-panicked and called in Colin Gagon to bring his accordion skills to the session.  Steve Albini was the recordist.  Once again, as had happened in Hueytown and Cannon Falls, Albini had to expend some serious effort getting the 2” tape machines up to acceptable working order.  Ellis was able to get a new passport in time to arrive during the overdub/mix part of the process.  Overall, there was a lack of an emotional center to the whole affair due to the scheduling chaos, and when Oldham played the finished record for Drag City, back in Chicago, he realized that the record wasn’t something that should be released.  He went back to the studio in North Liberty, Iowa where he had recorded BLACK RICH MUSIC and re-recorded all of the songs from the Cotati sessions, this time alone with a guitar.  It was from this recording that the songs “Patience” and “Take However Long You Want” were pulled for a 7” single release.

Over the following months, the rest of the songs from the Cotati session were worked and reworked.  All was not lost; about half of the recordings ended up on singles and an EP, and friendships were struck between Oldham and Jim White and Mick Turner that would bear fruit in years to come.  The rest of the songs were rebuilt and a further handful of songs came into being in the hope that Oldham could make a full-length record.  Oldham invited David Pajo to Birmingham, Alabama.  The idea was that the two of them would make a record, with Pajo engineering, at Ned Oldham’s house while Ned and his wife were out of town.  Things didn’t click.  Oldham felt like he was forcing the issue and decided to give the whole thing a rest, fooling himself into thinking that he was through with making music altogether.  Dan Koretzky from Drag City suggested that they give the record one more try, with Koretzky and Rian Murphy acting as producers.  Oldham again asked Pajo (drums), Gagon (bass and piano), and Bob Arellano (guitar) to join him at the Chicago Recording Company with the CRC house engineer at the board.  It was exciting to be on those premises; R Kelly had worked extensively there on his R record, and Slint’s SPIDERLAND was also made there. The session was booked last-minute over the 4th of July holiday weekend.  Tracking and mixing were completed in four days.  A good time was had by all.  The front cover of the record features a photo by Bryan Rich of his pet goat “Chevre” in Bujumbura, Burundi.  Oldham visited Rich in Burundi and they ate the goat.  The back cover features a photo by Joe Oldham.  The LP sleeve was plain brown cardboard with the name of the record printed in black; the sleeve was die-cut to reveal the label artwork which was the above-mentioned photographs.  The CDs themselves were gold in color rather than the standard silver (inspired by early entries in Smithsonian-Folkways Music of Indonesia series), and the CD trays were made of a smooth shiny black plastic instead of the standard textured charcoal gray plastic.  The record was named JOYA and given the artist credit “Will Oldham” so that the stores and distributors would be able to find a place to put it.

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Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Little Joya - Streaming Now

There was a song left out of the sessions for JOYA, called “Joya”.  The idea for the title of the song and the record was to pay tribute to the Minutemen’s 7” Ep “Joy” as well as to, well, just JOY, and then to augment both and all with an extra vowel.  After the JOYA recording, Will Oldham and Bob Arellano went to Mexico.  They landed in Monterrey and discovered that there was a soft drink factory there which mainly made and bottled a drink called “Joya”.  So they toured the factory.  They went to cockfights, to bullfights, and to the desert to feast on nature and her cactile offerings.  Upon the return to the USA, Oldham was very sick, struck by some long-dead phantom’s revenge in the form of amoeba or microbe broadcasting evil from the gut outwards.  A session had been booked in Chicago, with Rian Murphy overseeing and Liam Hayes and David Pajo playing.  Oldham was able to make it through the completion of just the one song, “Joya” before fading out all together.  Other songs were begun but left hanging on the line, never to be reclaimed.  To flesh out a CD-only release, Oldham recorded some electronic onanism on a digital sequencer. “Little Joya” became a three-track wonder.

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Bonnie "Prince" Billy - I See A Darkness - Streaming Now

In the wee world of Palace/Oldham doings, a seismic shift occurred in 1998.  The previous years of action and reaction had helped identify, for Will Oldham, what it was to be a worker in song.  There was a tour in Australia, with an ensemble featuring Mick Turner, Liam Hayes, and Jim White.  How was it billed? We don’t know; you’d have to look up fliers or other show info to say.  On the return flight, home to America, Oldham came up with the idea of “being” someone, of embodying, officially, a singer upon whom both audience and creator could project character and intention.  He thought to name the singing thing “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy”, after R.L.Stevenson’s fictionalized Bonnie Prince Charlie vitamixed with Nat “King” Cole and William “Billy the Kid” Bonny.  He started work immediately, on the plane, on the first three Bonny jammers: “One With the Birds”, “Southside of the World”, and “Banana Blood”.  The songs were songs, with verses and choruses and middle-eights, and were intended to span the chasms between devastation and melodrama, horror and humor, honesty and constructed pretense; as authentic as any vaudevillian or thug crooner ever aspired to be.

Oldham had begun to grasp what it was to be an identified and identifiable recording and performing voice.  Rather than hide under the table, he opted to crawl furiously into the bull-ring and own the newly-created musical being.  There was a burst of singles: “I Am Drinking Again”/“Dreaming My Dreams”(a cover of the song by Ireland’s Cranberries), “Black Dissimulation”/“No Such As What I Want”, “One With the Birds”/“Southside of the World”, and “I Confess”/“Sun Shines Down”(these last two are covers of songs from Kevin Coyne’s BABBLE record, which was later covered in full by the Babblers, a band made up of Ben Boye, Van Campbell, Emmett Kelly, Danny Kiely, Will Oldham and Angel Olsen).  Rather than confuse his community, Oldham struck out with the Anomoanon (Ned Oldham, Jack Carneal, Aram Stith, Jason Stith, Willie McLean) to create an (even more) independent Palace Records.

Paul Oldham had gone to university to study audio engineering, working towards the same recording degree at Indiana University that Todd Brashear and Grant Barger had earned years before.  Paul and Will moved into an old farmhouse in Shelbyville, KY and Paul set up his Rove Studio there. 

The sessions for I SEE A DARKNESS were longer than any previously undertaken by Will.  He blocked out a month to make the record, first doing basic tracking with Pete Townsend (drums) and Paul Oldham (bass).  Lead voice and rhythm guitar were tracked live with bass and drums.  Paul was the engineer.  After basics, Colin Gagon came for a few days and played the piano, and Bob Arellano came for a few days and played lead guitar.  David Pajo played guitar on “Song for the New Breed”, the lyrics for which were written by Dianne Bellino.

The front cover was made by Joanne Oldham.  She had developed a practice of making self-referential symbolic collages, and one in particular resonated with Will as a potential cover for this record.  He asked Joanne to make a new version of the piece, extricating the personal references and leaving only the drawn skull layered over by tissue paper.  Sammy Harkham illustrated the lyric sheets and painted the back cover.  Joe Oldham took the photograph of Will wearing a leather hat.

I SEE A DARKNESS was the beginning of Bonnie Prince Billy.  The credits call the record “a Will Oldham record”.  It’s a singular piece of work masquerading as a collection of songs by an individual recording artist.  After a few years of super-independence, the Palace Records releases were brought back under the Drag City manufacture/distribution umbrella and none was the worse for the journey.


 

ANNA CALVI ANNOUNCES FIRST SHOWS IN FOUR YEARS IN JUNE 2018

Anna Calvi | 23/04/18

Image: Anna Live Dates press image

Anna Calvi will be playing her first live shows in four years this June 2018 with three special performances in Berlin (Berghain), Paris (La Gaîté Lyrique) and London (Heaven). This will be the first time to hear new material and to also witness the captivating brand new live show from the BRIT award and double Mercury Music Prize-nominated artist.

Anna Calvi last released music in 2014, Strange Weather, a collaborative EP with David Byrne, which followed her album One Breath and her eponymous debut.  

Tickets for the June shows are on general sale from Wednesday 25th April at 11am and will sell out fast. Dates with ticket links are as follows:

12th June - Berlin, Germany: Berghain

15th June - Paris, France: La Gaîté Lyrique

19th June - London, UK: Heaven

 

BONNIE 'PRINCE' BILLY SHARES NEW SONG 'WILD IS THE WILL'

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | 20/04/18

Image: Bonnie Prince Billy Wild Is The Will packshot

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy recently released Wolf Of The Cosmos, a cover version of Susanna’s Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos album in full. During the making of the record, Oldham was immersed in Susanna’s music. 

Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales asked Oldham if he was down for another collaboration (the previous one got Bonny and Louisville jammers Watter together for a demonic dirge ‘The Devil is People’).  They started talking Norway, and fortitude, and mysticism; then they retreated to their respective corners to roll up their sleeves and do their own dirty worx. 

Oldham found Susanna’s original for ‘Wild is the Will’ on her Flower Of Evil record.  The ensemble from Wolf Of The Cosmos (Emmett Kelly, Cheyenne Mize and Chris Rodahaffer) was reassembled.  Joining them were two proper Norsemen, Frode Haltli and Vegar Vårdal.

Stillwater will be releasing a beer of the same name.  The beer is a rustic sour ale aged on cedar; it pairs excellently with horse meat.

The artwork is a watercolour by close Bonny compatriot Oscar Lee Riley Parsons.

There is a wonderful video clip to accompany the music made by Amin Eshraghi-Yazdi called “A Baby Listens to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy”.

Watch the video for ‘Wild Is The Will’ here.

Stream ‘Wild Is The Will’ here.

Buy Wolf Of The Cosmos on vinyl and CD here.

 

FLASHER ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM 'CONSTANT IMAGE'

Flasher | 19/04/18

Image: Flasher press photo

Today, Washington, DC trio Flasher announce their debut album, Constant Image, which will be released June 8th via Domino.  They've also shared a new single and video, ‘Pressure’. Recorded in 2017 at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY, Constant Image was produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, War On Drugs) and crackles with invention. This isn’t the sound of a band finding their feet, it’s the rare sound of three people – Taylor Mulitz on guitar, bassist Daniel Saperstein and drummer Emma Baker - who know exactly what they want to achieve from the start.

 

From their hometown of Washington, DC, with its rich history of idiosyncratic underground music, Flasher has emerged at the forefront of a vibrant musical present. The Sister Polygon label (which Mulitz helps run with former bandmates Priests) is a vital element in this moment of local cultivation and political confrontation. With their new LP, Flasher is helping to define a new generation of music in the city set apart from Dischord or any other storied DC past.

First single ‘Pressure’ gives you a perfect example of what to expect. It’s a song that zeroes in on feelings of mania and alienation but is buoyed by a darting B-52s swagger. There’s weight and lightness here. It’s not often a debut album arrives in so complete a form but when it does you know you’ve got something special on your hands.

Says the band on ‘Pressure’ and its’ video:

“’Pressure’ is a song that treads the line between queer delight and delirium, and crushing isolation and survival. The video for ‘Pressure’, made in collaboration with Weird Life films and featuring designer and Chicago based artist An Authentic Skidmark, is a compliment to the paradox of the song itself and an invitation to that world in between.”

Watch the video for ‘Pressure’ here.

Stream ‘Pressure’ here.

 

Tracklisting

1. Go

2. Pressure

3. Sun Come And Golden

4. Material

5. XYZ

6. Who’s Got Time?

7. Skim Milk

8. Harsh Light

9. Punching Up

10. Business Unusual

 

Head here to pre-order the deluxe edition LP available exclusively through the Domino Mart. The deluxe features the album on 150g starburst pink and yellow vinyl. Constant Image is also available as a standard LP, CD, and digitally. Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital 

 

Flasher North America tour dates

Thu. Apr. 19 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater w/ The Breeders

Fri. Apr. 20 - Norman, OK @ The Opolis
Wed. Apr. 25 - Birmingham, AL @ Iron City w/ The Breeders
Mon. Apr. 30 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel w/ The Breeders

Wed. June 6 - Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits w/ Dehd

Fri. June 8 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere w/ Dehd, Public Practice

Sat. June 9 - Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre w/ Dehd

Sun. June 10 - Allston, MA @ Great Scott w/ Dehd

Mon. June 11 – Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House w/ Dehd

Tue. June 12 - Montreal, QC @ Brasserie Beaubien w/ Dehd

Wed. June 13 - Toronto, ON @ The Baby G w/ Dehd

Thu. June 14 - Detroit, MI @ El Club w/ Dehd

Fri. June 15 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas w/ Dehd

Sat. June 16 - June 16 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry w/ Dehd

Mon. June 18 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon w/ Dehd

Tue. June 19 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop w/ Dehd

Thu. June 21 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl w/ Dehd

Fri. June 22 - Durham, NC @ The Pinhook w/ Dehd

Sat. June 23 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat w/ Dehd
Fri. July 20 - Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party


Flasher Online:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

 
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