Indiana University announces festival dedicated to author Kurt Vonnegut, feat. Thee Oh Sees, Father John Misty, Shabazz Palaces, and more

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The world undoubtedly needs more author-themed music festivals — and since a festival dedicated to George Orwell would necessarily involve the booked artists violating our personal liberties, we should all be more than enamored/supportive of the following Granfalloon-come-true : A Kurt Vonnegut Convergence, a new hybrid “conference and festival” which the Indiana University Arts & Humanities Council (and TMT writer Ed Comentale, full disclosure) are hosting this May 10-12.

Vonnegut passed away in 2007, and there’s little debate as to his ridiculously awesome legacy of writing ridiculous/absurd novels that simultaneously hold mass appeal. He was also a notable non-basketball product of The Hoosier State, so it obviously makes sense that the IU vicinity in Bloomington would be the site to honor the iconic, curly-haired satirist. I’m told via press release that IU’s Lilly Library is “home to the largest collection of Vonnegut books and manuscripts in the world.”

That library will be the site of an archival exhibit set up for the “convergence,” while a two-day “academic conference of panels and keynote speakers” essentially rounds out the non-musical homages.

Musically, however, we’re looking at performances from Father John Misty, Damien Jurado, Oh Sees, Noname, Shabazz Palaces, Baths, Waxahatchee, Amy O, Voces Novae, and Rodeola at various Bloomington venues. FJM in particular is recognized in press as a noted Vonnegut fan. (Though TBH, I can’t imagine any non-fans accepting this particular gig. It seems too risky to basically vouch for an unfamiliar author.)

Anyway, check out the FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS HERE. And don’t forget, my dear prospective attendees: “If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.”

Damaged Bug – “Pilot’s Pipe”

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John Dwyer, the ever-prolific mind behind psych-rock institution Thee Oh Sees, released three diverse studio albums last year under three different names. Orc marked Oh Sees’ name-change from Thee Oh Sees, Memory Of A Cut Off Head was released under the moniker OCS, and More »

Oh Sees – “Dead Medic” & “A Few Days Of Reflection”

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John Dwyer’s ever-morphing rock project released two new albums last year, one as Oh Sees (Orc) and another as OCS (Memory of A Cut Off Head), and they wrapped up 2017 by releasing a limited edition 12″ featuring two outtakes from the Orc sessions. On Side A is a sprawling, groovy … More »

Oh Sees – “Drowned Beast” Video

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John Dwyer’s frequently-name-changing project Oh Sees (or Thee Oh Sees, or OCS, or whatever) put out a new album called Orc a few months ago, and today the San Francisco band has shared a video for “Drowned Beast.” It’s a colorful, eye-popping clip created by Dr D Foothead. “I wrote this song mostly in the … More »

Hear Marc Maron Interview Oh Sees’ John Dwyer On WTF

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The comedian and podcaster Marc Maron is one of our great interviewers, and he never sound more excited than when he gets to sit down and chop it up with a rock dude. And on he most recent episode of his WTF podcast, Maron goes in deep with one of our great rock dudes. John … More »

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

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We got a good Halloween album this year, but we didn’t get enough good Halloween video. There were plenty of good music videos this past week; they just weren’t Halloween-specific. I was looking forward to seeing more bands eaten by zombies or whatever. Try harder next year, music video directors! This week’s picks are … More »

Oh Sees – “Nite Expo” Video

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Thee Oh Sees, or Oh Sees, or OCS, or whatever John Dwyer is calling his band these days, have a new album coming out next month. But today, they’re looking back to this summer’s LP Orc with a colorful animated video for “Nite Expo” from director Alex Theodoropulos. “Animation and role-playing games were … More »

Oh Sees announce new album Memory of a Cut Off Head as OCS, should really seek help for their deep-seated phobia of going three months without new music

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John Dwyer’s ever-shifting jolly band of Bay Area garage rock mainstays, Oh Sees (fka Thee Oh Sees, The Oh Sees, The Ohsees, The Jay-Zs, The Puff Diddys, etc.), only just released their latest album — and their first with that shiny new moniker — titled Orc, like, literally four days ago. But temporal proximity has never stopped the Dwy-dog from the allure of a new project, and it appears nothing has changed even 20 years into the band’s tenure, because he’s already got another new album on the way.

This time, however, he’s going back to that musty old shed in the backyard of his San Francisco apartment and reintroducing himself to one of his dusty favorites, OCS — the name under which he released a handful of albums from 2003–2005 — for a new record oh-so-fittingly called Memory of a Cut Off Head. Luckily, you’ll still have some time to sink into that new Oh Sees joint, because Memory of a Cut Off Head is out via Castle Face (duh) on November 17.

Not only is the new record set to be the 20th release in the 20th year for the Oh Sees project, but it’s also the 100th release on Dwyer’s Castle Face label; and as such, the album is meant to take listeners back to “the quieter roots of it all in particularly baroque and homesteadly fashion.” It was also co-written by former Oh Sees treasurer (read: vocalist and keyboardist) and longtime Dwyer collaborator Brigid Dawson, which really coheres that whole nostalgic theme we were just talking about. (Gee, remember that? Good times.)

If you’re already sick of Orc (damn millennials and their short attention spans), you can jam to the country twang, fluid fiddles, and motorik rhythms of Memory of a Cut Off Head’s title track down below. Otherwise, just read the tracklisting (oooh, fun!), and don’t forget to pray for Dwyer to overcome his pernicious “compulsive-composition” addiction.

Memory of a Cut Off Head tracklisting:

01. Memory of a Cut Off Head
02. Cannibal Planet
03. The Baron Sleeps and Dreams
04. The Remote Viewer
05. On & On Corridor
06. Neighbor To None
07. The Fool
08. The Chopping Block
09. Time Tuner
10. Lift A Finger

Thee Oh Sees die and get reinarnated as “Oh Sees,” announce new album Orc, share new track, are virgins again

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Admit it: although you’ve wholeheartedly looooourved the scuzzy garage punk/folk/psych/whatever-the-hell he and his cronies have been dutifully cranking out for the past 20 years now, some niggling little part of you was never quite “sold” on that weird, antiquated word “Thee” dangling from the beginning of California-based songwriter, singer, guitarist, and Castle Face Records chief John Dwyer’s band’s name!

Or…actually? Wait, maybe don’t admit it! Because it’s gone. Poof. Boom. Blammo. On the eve of their 19th (!) album (which I totally TOLD YOU was coming, BTW!), Dwyer has just re-branded his main musical vehicle. Boys and girls, FUCK Thee Oh Sees. Say hellooooo to: Oh Sees.

And while you’re at it, say hello to the new(est) OH SEES album. It’s charmingly entitled Orc, will feature the current lineup of Tim Hellman on bass, Dan Rincon, and Paul Quattrone on drums, and is out on August 25 via Capital Records. Just kidding, just kidding; it’s on Castle Face (it’s still John Dwyer, people).

Of course, it’d be natural to assume that this (secretly somewhat relieving) banishment of the band’s infamous definite article reflects some sort of “radical lateral move in aesthetics.” right?

Um…yeah, in answer to that ridiculous question, check out album opener “The Static God” down below. (Also, don’t forget that even though they’re called something slightly different now, the band fka Thee Oh Sees is still committed to touring the hell out of the known-universe for the next 3,000,000 years…in fact, they’ll probably be calling themselves “O Seas” or something by the time they get back home.)

Orc tracklisting:

01. The Static God
02. Nite Expo
03. Animated Violence
04. Keys To The Castle
05. Jettison
06. Cadaver Dog
07. Paranoise
08. Cooling Tower
09. Drowned Beast
10. Raw Optics

Oh Sees on tour:

06.08.17 – Ravenna, Italy – Beaches Brew
06.09.17 – Dudingen, Switzerland – Bad Bonn
06.10.17 – Nimes, France – This Is Not A Love Song
06.11.17 – Bordeaux, France – Le Block
06.12.17 – Tours, France – Le Temps Machine
06.14.17 – Manchester, England – Transformers
06.17.17 – San Francisco, CA – Phono Del Sol Festival
06.22-23.17 – Los Angeles, CA – FYF
08.06.17 – Katowice, Poland – OFF Festival
08.08.17 – Hamburg, Germany – Molotow
08.10.17 – Oslo, Norway – Oya Festival
08.11.17 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Way Out West Festival
08.12.17 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Pumpehuset
08.18.17 – Saint Malo, France – La Route du Rock
08.19.17 – Brecon Beacons, England – Green Man Festival
09.01.17 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
09.02.17 – Albuquerque, NM – Sister Bar
09.04.17 – Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas Outside
09.05.17 – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s
09.06.17 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
09.08.17 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero Theater
09.10.17 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
09.13.17 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
09.14.17 – Montreal, Quebec – La Tulip I Le National
09.15.17 – Toronto, Ontario – Danforth Theater
09.16.17 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
09.17.17 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
09.19.17 – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall
09.22.17 – Missoula, MT – Monk’s
09.24.17 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Commodore Ballroom
09.25.17 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom