Waxahatchee announces 2019 tour way out west with Bonny Doon as opener and backing band

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The grind of touring is compared to many things: grand opera, poetry, war. But the truth is often less dramatic and more boring than you would think; interacting with venue-loads of strangers and backstage acquaintances and a lot of waiting around killing time are the main names of the game while on the road. The latter is mostly unavoidable and can twist your melon into unhealthy shapes if you let it. Tour tedium can be lessened greatly by the former, fortunately.

Soon, Katie Crutchfield won’t have much time on tour to sit idly and watch the walls. She’ll be too busy mingling with admiring strangers that multiply exponentially for each new tour and stage mates that will be increasingly familiar with each new date. Detroit’s heart-on-sleeve melodists Bonny Doon have been announced as the opening act AND as Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee backing band for some North American west coast dates in February and March.

And why not? There are few things better than playing your music for happy, enthusiastic fans with happy, enthusiastic musicians you admire. And the fit between Boony Doon and Crutchfield is an ideal one, considering Waxahatchee’s recent rootsier approach. Crutchfield is rightfully jazzed about the dates:

I’m so excited to announce this west coast tour with Bonny Doon. They are, and have long been, one of my favorite bands making music right now. For this tour they will join me on stage as my backing band which will be a really cool re-imagining of songs new and old. I’ll be taking a little time off the road to write so this tour will be a great last round of shows for a while.

Waxahatchee’s latest release is September’s stripped-down, much-lauded Great Thunder EP (Merge). And Bonny Doon’s most recent is their sophomore album Longwave (Woodsist). All future North American and current Australian dates are listed down below, right after a couple of choice musical tasters that’ll never bore your earbuds.

Waxahatchee Australia tour:

11.22.18 – Brisbane, Australia – The Fundry #
11.24.18 – The Range, Australia – Porchland #
11.27.18 – Melbourne, Australia – Corner Hotel #
11.28.18 – Melbourne, Australia – Northcote Social Club #
11.29.18 – Melbourne, Australia – Northcote Social Club #
12.01.18 – Berry, Australia – Fairgrounds Festival
12.02.18 – Sydney, Australia – Sydney Opera House #

# Kevin Morby

Waxahatchee west coast tour:

02.21.18 – Tacoma, WA – Fawcett Hall at Alma Mater ^
02.23.18 – Seattle, WA – St. Mark’s Cathedral ^
02.24.18 – Vancouver, BC – Wise Hall ^
02.25.18 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater ^
02.27.18 – San Rafael, CA – Terrapin Crossroads ^
02.28.18 – Visalia, CA – Cellar Door ^
03.01.18 – Los Angeles, CA – Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever ^
03.02.18 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace ^
03.03.18 – San Diego, CA – Irenic ^

^ Bonny Doon

Fucked Up move to Merge Records for new album Dose Your Dreams

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Listen up! Cuz i’m only gonna say this once. The perpetually yelling Canadian hardcore punk studio rats in Fucked Up have a new album coming out on a new label — the benevolent North Carolina indie deity Merge.

The album’s called Dose Your Dreams. It’s out October 5, and its announcement brings with it the lyric video for the album’s first single, “Raise Your Voice Joyce,” which possesses a very funny title for a Fucked Up song. You can watch said lyric video below.

Dose Your Dreams is Fucked Up’s first album since 2014’s Glass Boys. The news of its impending release comes with a message from Fucked Up’s string arranger of choice, Owen Pallett, who explains that the album, in contrast to Glass Boys’ concision, is Fucked Up’s second ginormous 18-track inscrutable concept record, after 2011’s David Comes to Life, which garnered the group immense acclaim and is in fact their second best album overall.

Pallett’s message also explains that Dose Your Dreams is a sort-of sequel to David Comes to Life that finds David “indentured to a desk job,” sometime after whatever went down during that record’s runtime. (I do not listen to punk rock operas for plot, folks.) David is later shaken from his Office Space-like existence by an elderly woman named Joyce who sends him “on a spiritual journey.”

To get yourself better acclimated to the whole plot, watch/listen-to/read-carefully the “Raise Your Voice Joyce” lyric video, and head over to Merge to pre-dose those dreams of yours now.

Dose Your Dreams tracklisting:

01. None of Your Business Man
02. Raise Your Voice Joyce
03. Tell Me What You See
04. Normal People
05. Torch to Light
06. Talking Pictures
07. House of Keys
08. Dose Your Dreams
09. Living in a Simulation
10. I Don’t Wanna Live in This World Anymore
11. How to Die Happy
12. Two I’s Closed
13. The One I Want Will Come for Me
14. Mechanical Bull
15. Accelerate
16. Came Down Wrong
17. Love Is an Island in the Sea
18. Joy Stops Time

And now a good joke about Waxahatchee making a “booming statement” with the announcement of their new EP Great Thunder

This post was originally published on this site

Following the release of Out in the Storm a little over a year ago, Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee is poised to take the next step forward… by taking a step back? Well, sort of. Let me explain.

On September 7, Waxahatchee will return to the world of recorded music with their Great Thunder EP, a collection of songs whose origins date back to the project’s Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp eras. Crutchfield originally wrote what is now Great Thunder for a different project of hers — the now-dormant, also-named “Great Thunder” Great Thunder — revisiting and reimagining things at Justin Vernon’s studio in Eau Claire, WI with the help of producer Brad Cook.

As opposed the “rock-oriented” Out in the Storm, Great Thunder leans towards a more folk- and country-inspired sound, harkening back to how Waxahatchee originally started: Crutchfield performing solo, quiet, stripped-down songs. Commenting on the whole experience, Crutchfield called the process of making the EP “cathartic” and says the result is “a warm, kind of vibey recording.”

Get your first taste of Great Thunder below by watching the video for “Chapel of Pines.” The clip stars Crutchfield, Kevin Morby’s Kevin Morby, and a few people dressed up in rat costumes (?). You can also check out Great Thunder’s album art (you already saw it up top, but we’re gonna give it to you again no questions asked!) and full tracklisting, as well as an upcoming slate of solo Waxahatchee shows that get going in September.

Remember what else happens in September? …Seriously? Umm, Waxahatchee’s Great Thunder EP comes out! Jesus, have you even been paying attention? September 7 via Merge Records.. Just pre-order it here and get out of my face.

Great Thunder tracklist:

01. Singer’s No Star
02. You’re Welcome
03. Chapel of Pines
04. You Left Me with an Ocean
05. Slow You Down
06. Takes So Much

Waxahatchee tour dates

08.04.18 – Missoula, MT – Travelers’ Rest Festival
09.05.18 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre*
09.06.18 – Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Music Fest
09.08.18 – Washington, DC – Miracle Theatre*
09.09.18 – Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House*
09.10.18 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge*
09.12.18 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Warhol*
09.13.18 – Nelsonville, OH – Stuart’s Opera House*
09.14.18 – Cleveland, OH – Survival Kit Gallery*
09.15.18 – Toronto, ON – Bloor Street United Church*
09.16.18 – Grand Rapids, MI – Wealthy Theatre*
09.17-22.18 – Lincoln, NE – Lincoln Calling
09.18.18 – Madison, WI – Mineral Point Opera House*
09.21.18 – Lawrence, KS – The White Schoolhouse*
09.28.18 – Philadelphia, PA – Philly Music Fest @ World Cafe Live
09.29.18 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre^
09.30.18 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre^
10.02.18 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren^
10.03.18 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park^
10.05.18 –Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre^
10.06.18 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
10.08.18 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre^
10.09.18 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre^
10.10.18 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre^
10.11.18 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom^
10.12.18 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom^
10.17.18 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theatre^
10.21.18 – Boston, MA – House of Blues^
10.23.18 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore^
10.25.18 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works^
10.27.18 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s^
11.17.18 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theatre (The Complete Last Waltz)

* Night Shop, Anna St. Louis
^ Courtney Barnett

Watch: Superchunk – “Cloud of Hate”

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Alright you slack motherfuckers, you snot-nosed bachelor’s degree-wielding punks, you Simpsons-quoting meme machines, you couch-riding stoners, you unconcerned and underused masses — Superchunk has a message for you:

Get off your asses.

Yeah, yeah: “Superchunk’s old now,” “Superchunk doesn’t get the kids,” “Superchunk yelled at me from their porch” — I’ve heard it all. But they’re still plugging away at this music thing, even though they were pretty clear on the whole I Hate Music angle back in 2013. But then something happened in the past year and a half or so, something in November 2016 that just made Mac and co. go, “Y’know, maybe we still have something relevant to say.”

What that something was, we may never know, but that’s the price of aging: your mind wanders, you forget things, your hair falls out (well, Jim Wilbur lost his hair a while ago), you break your hip pogoing or hopping off a Marshall stack with your knock-off Fender Strat. You get really angry at stuff, but you don’t know why.1

But somebody dunked Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon in the Fountain of Youth or something, because “Cloud of Hate” sounds like it was tailor-made for the On the Mouth era. They’re pissed-off kids again, and they absolutely sound like it. They mean it. And thank god for it.

Oh! I know what it was: last year’s presidential election, etc. That’s why we were mobilizing all of you up there in paragraph one. Yeah, so, Superchunk wants you to be as angry as them, and they want you to fight back against the toxic sludge of current policy. That’s why there’s this blistering minute-thirteen video directed by Taiyo Kimura. It’s all-out rallying cry, a total blast. “Cloud of Hate” float me away indeed.

What a Time to Be Alive is out right now on Merge. Read our review of it here.

1. Look, we’re not above making old-age jokes here. I’m not as old as the Superchunkers, but I’m not that far behind.

Music Review: Superchunk – What A Time To Be Alive

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What A Time To Be Alive

[Merge; 2018]

Rating: 3.5/5

If it rips, it was written. The yelp that splits an urgent word and the mouth that feels punched is hoarse and hard to stomach. The whole biology gets involved; hairs split, eyes pop, hearts break. A musicology of bruises point to our ability to repair after trauma, “but to be clear, darkness was all you wanted.”

There are smiles in sneers. The same skin that bruises holds us together; skin, like punk and poetry, starts elastic. If the world lurches underfoot, at least we have bruises to remind ourselves what hurt us and how we heal. We sing, off-key, all the while: “what a time to be alive.” An earnest resolution to celebrate life’s precious matter and a barbed reminder that everything’s more absurd than it ever was don’t have to be separate sentences when they live in the same chorus. Our bruises show how we were slapped and shoved under. “And now, just floating to the surface/ Hoping to find some kind of light.”

If it couldn’t survive, it wouldn’t bruise. Superchunk have always been a Chapel Hill DIY project most comfortable cutting pop exuberance with the sharp hook of a town’s darkness. What a Time to Be Alive, the group’s 11th album, arrives in this sprained year that feels simultaneously the best and worst one to be living in. Maybe that’s all the times; maybe living’s enough.

Because if it doesn’t survive, it dies. That’s a simple truth we all learn early on from a lost dog or a missed grandpa or worse, but it’s a hard simple truth. The last time we heard the roil roll of Superchunk’s gospel, in 2014, in what feels like 40,000 epochs ago, the band was reviewing the contract between our bodies and brains, between our living and dying. I Hate Music stared down the fragility of life while eyeing the futility of art-making to preserve that life. We grip lovers’ hands and shake our friends to not despair the truck ton of shit in our days, but we can’t argue the truth of our bodies. “I hate music: what is it worth?/ It can’t bring you back to this earth.”

What a Time to Be Alive, then, exists after impossible resolutions, in the thrall of picking up guitar after laying wood and skeleton and tears in earth. If the world already and always feels like an impossible fit for humans to be in, then punk was the thing boldly, stupidly committed to (re)imagining that space. If death and despondence feel like natural conclusions to being alive, then What a Time to Be Alive is the thrill of churning the natural into the transcendent.

The fade-in vamp that starts the title track is the smallest moment on record here. At the 11-second mark, What a Time to Be Alive hurls all its limbs at the pit and doesn’t look back. “I don’t know/ And I can’t explain,” Mac breaks, over squeal and squall, “Lost my heart/ And I lost my brain.” Bodies and bruises are all over these songs, as if by singing and re-singing stories of their breakage, Mac and Laura and Jim and Jon can conjure our repair. “Break the glass, don’t use the door/ This is what our hands are for,” goes “Break the Glass,” a shouted affirmative, a drum’s head spring. “I could break every bone in my foot kicking down at your dumb door,” goes “Bad Choices,” eyes peeled with a groove. “I got a lifetime of shit decisions/ I might never learn from them,” Mac sings, “but all your bad choices are gonna cause suffering.” Simple hard truths. Make sure to sing them loud.

Cadavers lie alone. Bodies live together. Superchunk’s joyous and unrelenting punk, sounding as urgent as it ever has, draws its strengths from its community. “You gotta get out, out and about/ Meet your weird neighbors once in awhile,” Mac reminds us, and What a Time to Be Alive, already an LP-length tribute to being in a band, spots collaborators and guests that only grow the sound’s scene. There’s Sabrina Ellis in the edges of “Break the Glass” and Katie Crutchfield and Stephen Merritt standing ground on “Erasure.” Community, “our empathy weaponized,” is how cells heal bodies. Merge means we need everyone to make the sound. Chelsea Manning shows up in the text of “I Got Cut” to remind the makers and the listeners of the merits of making bad people angry. Remember: “I’m working/ But I’m not working for you!”

What a Time to Be Alive, the yawp and the yeah and the yowl, is the perfect thesis and pinched nail. It’s the resolution to remain unhampered by despair while excising and atomizing all the moments we have to despair in. It’s the stuff in bones and the smile shared with someone else. The narrative of What a Time to Be Alive as a line-by-line reaction to the political turmoil of our present moment isn’t strictly wrong, but that view of politics (as a force to overtake art as opposed to the opposite) locks art up more than it lets it transform us. Reading punk via headlines impedes the whole scene and reduces the whole sound. This is the slam and sound of the many flowers growing in our skulls, all our bruised resiliencies. If it rocks, it moves a body. If it bruises, it survives. Superchunk means fighting for now and a whole universe of next.

“Fight me/ I’m not a violent person, but fight me.” Life is fragile and mortality is catching, but time is precious and eyes-down silence is untenable. “Fight me/ I don’t like to get hit, but fight me.” The belief that punk will save the world is stupid, maybe, but the confidence that it never will is tantamount to walking death. Superchunk, breaking unbroken, shout songs for us singing. “Fight me/ There’s a million more just like me.”

Superchunk maintain post-reunion album title hot streak with forthcoming album What a Time to Be Alive

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Heads up, all you musical cosmopolitans out there: Superchunk (a.k.a. good ol’ Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon — a.k.a. “the most credible power pop band in music”) have announced a new album called What a Time to Be Alive, and it’s due out February 16, 2018. And if the title sounds familiar to you, that’s likely because What a Time to Be Alive is also the title of Drake and Future’s surprise-released collaborative from 2015.

Superchunk’s What a Time to Be Alive will be the indie rock mainstays’ first full-length in four years, following 2014’s I Hate Music. It will also mark the band’s second full-length since returning from a lengthy hiatus with 2010’s Majesty Shredding.

How comparable is Superchunk biting a Drake and Future title in 2017 to The Replacements biting Let It Be from the Beatles in ’84? Just what is Superchunk implying here? Well, according to main-man Mac McCaughan, “the album is about a lot of things of course but mainly dealing with anxiety and worse in the face of incipient authoritarianism.” It’s a record, he says, “about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to.”

Anyway, while there’s as yet no word on whether the record’s B-sides will include a cover of “Jumpman,” the first single from Superchunk’s What a Time to Be Alive is also titled “What a Time to Be Alive.” You can listen to it right now below and pre-order the album in all kinds of formats from about a zillion different retailers with the click of a few buttons! Oh man (yup, here it comes!), What a time to be alive!

What a Time to provide a tracklisting:

01. What a Time to Be Alive
02. Lost My Brain
03. Break the Glass
04. Bad Choices
05. Dead Photographers
06. Erasure
07. I Got Cut
08. Reagan Youth
09. Cloud of Hate
10. All for You
11. Black Thread

Superchunk on tour:

02.15.17 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar ^
02.17.17 – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry ^
02.21.17 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah ^
02.22.17 – Los Angeles, CA – The Moroccan Lounge ^
02.23.17 – Los Angeles, CA – The Teragram Ballroom ^
02.24.17 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall at Noise Pop Festival ^
02.26.17 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios^
02.27.17 – Seattle, WA – Neumos ^
02.28.17 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Rickshaw Theatre ^
04.03.17 – Washington, DC – Black Cat ~
04.04.17 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer ~
04.06.17 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair ~
04.07.17 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom ~
04.08.17 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom ~
04.26.17 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
04.27.17 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
04.28.17 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle

^ Bat Fangs
~ Swearin’

Ought figured they really ought to formally announce their new album, Room Inside the World, on Merge (so they did)

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Not to “twist your arm” or whatever, but: Montreal’s current most-awesome post-punk foursome Ought have announced their new album, Room Inside the World, and you kinda really ought to know about it.

See, it’s the band’s third album and their first since signing to Merge. It was written in Ought’s sock sock factory rehearsal space with the help of a “digital moodboard” featuring artists from Brian Eno to Kenneth Anger. It was recorded with the help of less-digital moodboard Nicolas Vernhes at Brooklyn’s Rare Book Room.

You also really ought to make yourself aware that the first single from the new album, “These 3 Things,” is accompanied by a video directed by Scottie Cameron and Johnny Look, who has also worked with Grizzly Bear, Cloud Nothings and Cass McCombs.

Finally, Ought are currently in the middle of a tour with Waxahatchee, but they figured they really ought to plot a headlining tour of their own next year, so they’ve announced those dates as well. You might wanna check them out down below.

Pre-order Room Inside the World here and watch the video for “These 3 Things,” also down below. (Not that you “have to,” or anything…)

Room Inside the World tracklisting:

01. Into the Sea
02. Disgraced in America
03. Disaffectation
04. These 3 Things
05. Desire
06. Brief Shield
07. Take Everything
08. Pieces Wasted
09. Alice

Ought to hit the road:

11.08.17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Spirit*
11.09.17 – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop*
11.10.17 – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar*
11.11.17 – Chattanooga, TN – Sluggo’s*
11.12.17 – Tallahassee, FL – The Wilbury*
11.13.17 – Gainesville, FL – The Wooly*
11.14.17 – Miami, FL – Gramps*
11.16.17 – Orlando, FL – The Social*
11.17.17 – St. Petersburg, FL – Et Cultura Festival*
11.18.17 – Charleston, SC – The Royal American*
11.19.17 – Richmond, VA – Capital Ale House*
11.20.17 – Arden, DE – Arden Gild Hall#
03.06.18 – Montreal, QC – Théâtre Fairmount^
03.07.18 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
03.09.18 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
03.10.18 – St Louis, MO – Off Broadway^
03.11.18 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room^
03.17.18 – Mesa, AZ – Underground%
03.18.18 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room%
03.19.18 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom%
03.20.18 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent%
03.22.18 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios%
03.23.18 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey%
03.24.18 – Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt%
03.26.18 – Calgary, AB – The Palomino%
03.27.18 – Saskatoon, SK – Amigo’s Cantina%
03.29.18 – Winnipeg, MB – The Good Will Social Club%
03.30.18 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry%
03.31.18 – Madison, WI – High Noon%
04.02.18 – Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups%
04.04.18 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat
04.05.18 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
04.06.18 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
04.07.18 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
04.20.18 – Bristol, UK – The Exchange
04.21.18 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
04.22.18 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
04.23.18 – Birmingham, UK – Hare & Hounds
04.24.18 – London, UK – Garage
04.26.18 – Paris, FR – Maroquinerie
04.27.18 – Nantes, FR – Stereolux
04.28.18 – Bordeaux, FR – Iboat
04.30.18 – Lausanne, CH – Le Romandie
05.01.18 – Winterthur, CH – Albani
05.02.18 – Brussels, BE – Botanique
05.03.18 – Cologne, DE – Bumann & Sohn
05.04.18 – Berlin, DE – Kantine am Berghain
05.05.18 – Copenhagen, DK – Loppen
05.07.18 – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso Noord

* Waxahatchee
^ Snail Mail
% Flasher
$ Trace Mountains and Boys Online
# Shame and Grace Vonderkuhn

Music Review: Destroyer – ken

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[Merge; 2017]

Rating: 2.5/5

When you listen to ken, you’ll think of “the 80s.” While it’s easy to evoke that period with instrumentation, it’s more difficult to do so with what you might call “a sensibility.” Sure, ken has a lot of synths, but so did Your Blues. There’s a way in which things all sorta come together — irrespective of the instruments on which they’re being played — that recalls the type of songwriting practiced by a certain strand of mid-to-late-80s British rock outfits — for instance, in the jangly bombast of “Cover From the Sun.” But allusions to styles and genres aren’t new for Destroyer, and here they’re mostly oblique, as they have been on past records.

ken retains a similar spirit to Poison Season and Kaputt, with its mostly glossy, foggy presence, punctuated by the occasional brash guitar lick or uncanny horns, but there’s an almost gothic bleakness here that feels like a new preoccupation. From the opening lines of “Sky’s Grey,” we’re introduced to the barbiturate-laced, droning vocal delivery, ebbing in and out of the distance, that permeates much of the record. There’s a flatness throughout, a plodding malaise with the seeming intention of lulling or softly bludgeoning the listener with its persistence. This is matched musically with what is mostly mid-tempo, structurally unassuming progressions, which is distinct from the jarring turns of, say, City of Daughters or Streethawk: A Seduction.

It’s difficult, of course, to talk about Destroyer without talking about Dan Bejar’s lyrics. In a 2006 interview with CBC, he had this to say about the lyrics in Destroyer’s Rubies:

I can say that if it was like a Destroyer 101 class, it’d be like, something epic, and fatalist, followed by an aside that you mumble to your friend who’s non-existent. And then something really material and maybe banal, and then another aside commenting on that which just came before it, the material or banal thing.

I think about this quote a lot when listening to Destroyer records, because it’s so accurate. There’s a humor in these juxtapositions, in saying things like, “Vancouver’s got a new Caligula/ Hey, that’s cool” (“Sometimes in the World”). While plenty of other little traits can make a Destroyer lyric a Destroyer lyric, there’s something evocative about a truly successful Destroyer lyric, even if it’s formulaic or mundane; a successfully mundane Destroyer lyric manages also to be vague enough to cause your mind to rush to fill in the blanks, as in “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood”: “I was a dreamer/ Watch me leave” (repeated six times, to really drive the point home).

Playing with tense and person in that way, indicating some larger story than is actually being conveyed, makes for the seemingly effortless poetry present in Bejar’s best work, but most of the lyrics on ken accomplish next to nothing. Although a superficial reading of Bejar’s lyrics might conclude that they’re composed largely of rambling non-sequiturs, ken helps demonstrate just how difficult or serendipitous it is to work out a lyric like those in his earlier work (or the lines that make up the best parts of ken). At the risk of oversimplifying things, I’m tempted to describe these lyrics as placeholders that were never revisited.

On the other hand, there are lines like “Tinseltown swimming in blood” that are simply too gratuitous in their reach, demonstrating how precarious it can be to go in the opposite direction. The brilliance of a good Destroyer lyric is its ability to toe the line between these two extremes, and the failure of ken is that this doesn’t happen often enough.

Put together, this spells out the album’s main problem: the lyrics can’t support the music, and vice-versa. That’s not to say there aren’t some great moments for people who’ve been following Bejar’s work — “Ivory Coast” and much of the second half of the record have a lot of noteworthy moments, in both their musical adventurousness and lyrical successes. But the interplay between flatness and richness that Bejar describes as integral to his lyrics — and that can be extended to its interplay with his music — isn’t here a lot of the time. Rather than doing a lot with a little, ken is just… little.

Considered as a whole, ken sets a dark, overcast mood that’s been hinted at in recent work but is mostly rare for Destroyer, so it’ll be interesting to see where things go in the future if this thread is followed. I suspect, however, that this might be the end of the Kaputt sound, described by Bejar at the time as “ambient disco;” notably, it’s a sound that’s been settled into and explored for three records straight, all of which have black-and-white covers, and Bejar has been historically restless. A hunch tells me this might be an intentional “trilogy,” which would be characteristically melodramatic — but with Destroyer, you never know.

Destroyer toots on his MIDI sax and out pops a shiny new music video and a sopping wet string of North American tour dates!

This post was originally published on this site

You guys are never gonna believe this, but: in advance of his newest and 12th-est album under the Destroyer moniker — which, last time I checked, was still entitled Ken and was still due October 20 on Merge (and could still be pre-ordered thusly) — Dan “Curly” Bejar has just un-the-fuck-leashed a new video for the album’s second single “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood.” What a totally kooky and impetuous thing to do, right?

I said: “RIGHT?!?”

Seriously though: the clip for this groovy, new wave-inspired jam was directed by “KC” (a.k.a. Karen Zolo) and configured as “an adaptation of the much-revered classic film La Jetée, which addresses contemporary issues of identity, borders, and race.” Or, in slightly more words than that:

I’d just had a conversation about artist Chris Marker with a friend when I was approached to make a music video for the upcoming Destroyer album. “You have a month.” Okay… I had no idea what the song even sounded like, but the only idea I had was to remake Chris Marker’s La Jetée as faithfully as possible. It’s not just an homage to the great cine-poet; it’s also about the medium of film, about still photography. It would have been a billion times easier and less stressful to shoot it digitally, but it was worth it.

COMPLETELY COINCIDENTALLY, the unveiling of this latest audio/visual gesamptkuntzwerk also coincides seamlessly with Bejar’s announcement of a whole slew-y slew of North American tour dates (and this is on top of the equally slew-y slew of European dates he’d already conjured up for this fall) which are scheduled for early 2018 — provided this crumby continent makes it that far into the future. But don’t take my word for it; check out the insane string of numbers and place names for yourself down below…after you watch the video, of course.

Are you watching it?

Are you??

Dan Bejar’s Path of Ultimate Destroyction:

11.12.17 – Hamburg, DE – Kampnagel
11.13.17 – Aarhus, DK – Voxhall
11.14.17 – Oslo, NO – John Dee
11.15.17 – Stockholm, SE – Fasching
11.16.17 – Copenhagen, DN – Vega
11.16.17 – Berlin, DE – Festsaal Kreuzberg
11.19.17 – Dusseldorf, DE – New Fall Festival
11.21.17 – Zurich, CH – Rote Fabrik
11.22.17 – Montpellier, FR – Le Rockstore
11.23.17 – San Sebastian, ES – Teatro Victoria Eugenia
11.24.17 – Lisbon, PR – Mexefest
11.25.17 – Madrid, ES – Teatro Barcelo
11.26.17 – Valencia, ES – La Rambleta
11.27.17 – Barcelona, ES – Sala Bikini
11.29.17 – Lille, FR – L’ Aeronef
11.30.17 – Brighton, UK – Patterns
12.01.17 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
12.03.17 – Dublin, IE – Button Factory
12.05.17 – Glasgow, UK – CCA (270)
12.06.17 – Newcastle, UK – The Cluny
12.07.17 – London, UK – Scala
12.08.17 – Paris, FR – Petit Bain
12.09.17 – Amsterdam, NE – Paradiso Noord
12.10.17 – Brussels, BE – Botanique Brussels

01.10.18 – Portland, OR – The Wonder Ballroom
01.11.18 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
01.12.18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater
01.13.18 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
01.15.18 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk
01.16.18 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada
01.17.18 – Kansas City, MO – Record Bar
01.18.18 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Cafe
01.19.18 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
01.20.18 – Chicago, IL – Metro
01.21.18 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
01.22.18 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre
01.23.18 – Montreal, QC – Theatre Fairmount
01.24.18 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
01.26.18 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
01.27.18 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
01.28.18 – Washington, DC – Black Cat
01.29.18 – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle
01.30.18 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
01. 31.18 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
02.01.18 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
02.02.18 – St. Louis, MO -Blueberry Hill
02.03.18 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
02.05.18 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
02.06.18 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
02.07.18 – Boise, ID – Olympic Venue
02.08.18 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre
02.09.18 – Vancouver, BC – The Commodore Ballroom

Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 10th Anniversary Reissue set for October 20 release

This post was originally published on this site

Hey. LISTEN UP, all you glue-sniffing vaporware punks and delinquent footwork upstarts! Much like James Hurley, Spoon is still cool…in fact, SPOON has ALWAYS BEEN COOL.

And, lest some errant “hot thought” makes you forget that stone-cold FACT here in 2017, the stalwart defenders of capital-I Indie Rock over at Merge Records will fucking PROVE IT to you with the announcement of a snazzy, deluxe, 2-LP, 10th anniversary edition of the album that cemented the Austin-based “rock” band’s COOLNESS once-and-for-all back in the day: the inimitable motherfucking “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

I mean, seriously; WHO THE HELL ARE YOU not to appreciate this landmark record…made with real instruments…on magnetic tape machines…by Britt Daniel, Jim Eno, and…uh, you know, some other guys??? Nobody; that’s who. Keep reading.

In addition to the complete studio album — fully remastered by Howie Weinberg — the new 10th anniversary package features the rare-AF, 12-track Get Nice! EP— and both albums have been lovingly, painstakingly hand carved, ONE GROOVE AT A TIME, onto 180-gram vinyl mined from an asteroid in outer space by super-intelligent robots and packaged “in a gatefold jacket with updated art.” It’s just crazy.

Also, if you pre-order the reissue from Merge’s webstore, you can get this sweet t-shirt thrown in “at a $5 bundle discount.” (See, back in 2007, people used to walk around wearing t-shirts with band names printed on them and jeans instead of yoga pants and Under Amour “athleisure-ware” like they do here in “the future.”)

So, get those orders in today, ya little punks. Also, please check out this amazing smattering of Spoon-related info-tainment that I gathered up for you. IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME.

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga tracklisting:

01. Don’t Make Me a Target
02. The Ghost of You Lingers
03. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
04. Don’t You Evah
05. Rhthm & Soul
06. Eddie’s Ragga
07. The Underdog
08. My Little Japanese Cigarette Case
09. Finer Feelings
10. Black Like Me

Get Nice tracklisting:

01. I Got Mine
02. Be Still My Servant
03. Leave Your Effects Where They’re Easily Seen
04. I Summon You (Cool)
05. Mean Mad Margaret
06. Love Makes You Feel
07. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
08. Tasty Fish
09. Dracula’s Cigarette
10. 1975
11. I Can Feel It Fade Like An AM Single
12. Curfew Tolls