Matmos announce Plastic Anniversary, which is, OF COURSE, an album made entirely out of plastic

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As it wont to happen when you’re a couple, M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel — the inseparable-forever (hopefully!) duo known as Matmos — like DOING STUFF together.

But of course, they don’t just like doing ANY OLD stuff together; they like doing rather absurdly high-concept stuff together — e.g. 2016’s Ultimate Care II album, which consisted entirely of sounds sourced from a rather specific (and damned dependable!) Whirlpool-brand washing machine.

Well, as luck would have it, the multitudinous bangs, pops, rattles, hums, and hiccups of a gruff electrical appliance aren’t the ONLY sources of incessant noise around the Schmidt/Daniel household, because the Baltimore duo (who NOT-un-coincidentally are also celebrating their own anniversary as a couple) have just announced the March 15 release of their newest full-length flight of sonic fancy: Plastic Anniversary: an eleven-track album consisting soley “from a single sound source: plastic.” From the press release:

The album was crafted as a celebration of Matmos’ Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt’s own anniversary as a couple and explores the world’s relationship to plastic — a material whose durability, portability and longevity, while heralded by its makers, are the very qualities that make it a force of environmental devastation. Through its reliance on discarded plastic, the album shows at once the boundless creativity of Matmos and pervasive nature of the material, and therefore the urgency for solutions.

True to form, the band have assembled a promiscuous array of examples of this sturdy-yet-ersatz family of materials to create the sounds on the record: Bakelite dominos, Styrofoam coolers, police riot shields, polyethylene waste containers, PVC panpipes, pinpricks of bubble wrap, silicone gel breast implants and synthetic human fat. The bounce and snap of the duo’s programmed rhythms are supplemented by a sweatier and more unruly human element than on previous releases, provided by a surprising cast of guest musicians including Members of the horn and drumline sections of the Whitefish Highschool Bulldogs from Whitefish, Montana and drummer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof.

Aww. Adorable! And I know it sounds far off, but March 15 is right around the corner! So knock off whatever the hell else you’re doing this time of year and check out the album trailer down below — followed by its cover art and full tracklisting — and pre-order Plastic Anniversary for that special sweetheart (real or imagined) in YOUR life right over here. Love (and bubble wrap…and silicone breast implants…and synthetic human fat!) really does conquer all. <3

Plastic trax:

01. Breaking Bread
02. The Crying Pill
03. Interior With Billiard Balls & Synthetic Fat
04. Extending The Plastisphere To GJ237b
05. Silicone Gel Implant
06. Plastic Anniversary
07. Thermoplastic Riot Shield
08. Fanfare For Polyethylene Waste Containers
09. The Singing Tube
10. Collapse Of The Fourth Kingdom
11. Plastisphere

Koen Holtkamp finds a reason to continue wearing his Halloween mask, releases new album as BEAST on Thrill Jockey

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Subsequent to the birth of his first album, musician/visual artist Koen Holtkamp is releasing a brand new child named BEAST, who, despite his/her name, almost certainly looks like a normal human.

Wait…switch that up a bit.

Koen Holtkamp is releasing a new ALBUM…AS BEAST…called Ens. And the story of it occurs more or less conjunction with Holtkamp’s newfound fatherly experiences. Thrill Jockey tells us of how Holtkamp recorded the release during the off-hours invariably associated with the post and possibly pre-birth timelines; and as a result, there’s a sense of “blissful grandeur” that emanates from the music therein, which wouldn’t be a far cry from the other work that Holtkamp has recorded both solo (under his own name) and as a member of Mountains.

Check out the Koen-produced video for the track “Paprika Shorts” down below to get an actual sense of how this sounds. The minimal notes of prickly synth remind one of a simpler time, when nothing beat a heated pacifier and Big Bird laying down the recently imposed avian law (civil liberties be damned).

Ens is out TODAY — November 9. Grab it on LP or CD here, and be prepared for the very opposite of cacophony. I mean…to the extent that you need to be.

Ens tracklisting:

01. Paprika Shorts
02. Color Feel
03. Boketto
04. Edb
05. Staren
06. Miniature
07. For Otto

SUMAC announce existence of an American West Coast, plan exploratory tour there

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Seeing as how the extensive hair-conditioning and intensive collaboration regimens of Keiji Haino likely inhibit his schedule for large periods of time, it’s probably a good thing SUMAC has another 2018 album on which they can base a semi-imminent tour.

Love in Shadow came out on Thrill Jockey a little more than a month ago; and this January, folks in the western half of the US will have the opportunity to hear Aaron Turner’s latest guttural narrative at a time when “people speaking intelligibly” seems to be increasingly viewed as a net-negative for society overall! (Hell, it’s probably only a matter of time before governments around the globe start requiring everyone to speak in ancestral grunts instead of “fam” for at least a temporary amount of time. Oh well; at least sex in dorms and apartment buildings will suddenly become a lot less conspicuous!)

Anyway: so yes, SUMAC’s upcoming West Coast tour begins after the new year — and joining the PNW trio as they unintentionally dissolve your irrational optimism for 2019 are experimental guitarist Tashi Dorji (of Tashi Dorji fame) and Aussie metal duo Divide and Dissolve. Talk about a lineup worthy or your attention! (Don’t actually “talk” about it, though; it’s probably best to start practicing your grunts early.)

Love In Shadow by SUMAC

SUMAC dates (w/ Tashi Dorji and Divide and Dissolve):

01.11.19 – Vancouver, BC – The Astoria
01.12.19 – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern
01.13.19 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
01.15.19 – Chico, CA – Naked Lounge Coffee
01.16.19 – Sacramento, CA – Harlow’s
01.17.19 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
01.18.19 – Los Angeles, CA – Zebulon
01.19.19 – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
01.20.19 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
01.22.19- El Paso, TX – Rockhouse Bar & Grill
01.23.19 – Austin, TX – Barracuda
01.23.19 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada
01.26.19 – Albuquerque, NM – Sister
01.27.19 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge

Black To Comm preps 2019 album with his brand new label/number one bachelor, Thrill Jockey

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Sound artist Marc Richter’s self-titled release as Black to Comm certainly earned a spot on my personal best-of list for 2014, and what I find most appealing about that album is the fact that weirdness and calm act in concert, which is a difficult feat to pull off if you’re occupying a sub-genre that excels at keeping things pretty much aurally-static. The track “Is Nowhere” stands out as probably the most typical of the eight; but even there, electric pulses intersperse, and what sounds like a person’s inability to play oboe ends things on an intriguingly off-key note. Keeping things interesting is more than just a cliché! Black To Comm lives to dull-ify fireworks and volcanic eruptions!

Fortunately, his musical appeal isn’t all that niche, because otherwise, Thrill Jockey wouldn’t have recently seen it fit to sign the Hamburg-based artist and order at least one new album scheduled for release…in “early 2019.” (His former home, Type Records, previously seemed like a natural fit; perhaps Thrill Jockey is trying to beef up their non-rock reputation? Ohhhhhh man, what have you crazy Chicagoans done!?)

We don’t know much info as of yet beyond the announcement of the signing, but if you (like me) can’t wait to hear the totally chill-yet-somehow-exciting fruits of this budding relationship, here’s a full-album throwback in the meantime:

Watch: Brother JT – “Zabriskie”

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You guys out there might be asking, “Ryan, what is up with your bizarre infatuation with Brother JT?,” to which I’d reply, “Hey, none of your business, you nosy person.” Of course, come to think of it, it actually and literally IS your business, because you’re here, reading this right now. Taking time out of your day to pay attention to me.

So I guess I owe you guys an explanation, and probably an apology.

Apology first: I’m sorry I upset you. Let’s move past it, if we can.

Now, the explanation: You saw the “Hey boppa re boppa” video, right, the other video from Tornado Juice (Thrill SUPERFLY Jockey)? All that acid-head stuff, all the trippin’ balls? You know Brother JT did a song once called “Sweatpants” and another one called “Muffintop” (among thousands of other things, give or take)? You know he’s from eastern PA, just like me? Do you know what comes out of eastern PA besides acid-head garage popsters and transcendent music writers and, like, crayons?

Nothing good, probably.

So when something worthwhile does come out of there, you take notice. Take “Zabriskie,” a NEW video, in which the good brother portrays Count Orlovsky (Russian émigré) in an Ouija-enhanced encounter with Diamona Lil (clairvoyance). Spoiler alert, he gets William Tell’d. But not quite. Figure that one out for yourself — which is surprisingly easy to do if you just WATCH THE VIDEO.

“Zabriskie,” also a prime Tornado Juice cut, is another slab of Bro JT’s patented blend of leery lysergic rock, fit to slime its way into your earholes like an unbusted, hot-dog-eating poltergeist.

Yes, you read that right.

Dan Friel (ex-Parts and Labor)-fronted Upper Wilds to explore life on Mars in October

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In a world riddled and ruled by the stark raving average, we need the likes of Upper Wilds now more than ever. Straight ain’t cutting it, so we need to be thrown mismatched combinations to shake shit up. Where fact and imagination overlap, where the real meets the staged, where the scientific sorta hesitantly networks with the abstract at a mandatory-attendance work soirée; that’s where Upper Wilds live — and that’s where it’s at!

The sophomore album of fine friction-pop by Upper Wilds is out October 19 on Thrill Jockey, and the first sign of life from the album Mars can be heard below. “Perfect Eyesight” features Katie Eastburn (Young People, KATIEE) and is about William Bates, an ophthalmologist of questionable reputation who “instructed his patients to stare at the sun, thought glasses were a scam, and occasionally disappeared for years at a time with no memory.”

The trio — Dan Friel (guitar, vocals, ex-Parts and Labor), Zach Lehrhoff (bass, Ex Models), and Jeff Ottenbacher (thumper extraordinaire) — not only procured Eastman for Mars but can boast having the considerable vocal talents of Jason Binnick, Jeff Rosenstock, Aaron Siegel, and Mark Shue contributing as well. Embrace Upper Wilds’ adverse blend of the artistic and the unhinged and pre-order Mars here.

Mars by Upper Wilds

Songs on Mars:

01. Dead Mall
02. Hellcoder
03. Skylab
04. Wine Flies
05. Perfect Eyesight
06. Mars
07. Deimos
08. Caveman
09. Ex-Frontiers

Shows on Earth:

09.29.18 – Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville #
10.31.18 – Chapel Hill, NC – Nightlight $
11.01.18 – Washington, DC – Comet Ping Pong %
11.02.18 – Philadelphia, PA – Ortlieb’s %
11.03.18 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool ^

# Eaters, War Bubble
$ Solar Halos
% Mock Identity
^ with Mock Identity, KATIEE

Thrill Jockey’s premiere post-doom-sludge-metal POWER trio SUMAC return with Love In Shadow in September, announce fall tour

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The customary reaction to hearing SUMAC for the first time comes in two phases. The first is a slight trembling of stomach muscles coupled with a tingling in the extremities. The second is an involuntary mass wetting of the pants. Hey, I’m just stating the facts, people! Even if you’re a SUMAC vet and can compose yourself appropriately, there is never NOT an overwhelming urge by the body and mind to start some sort of convulsion or evacuation upon hearing the metallists’ trademark poundfest.

The trio of Aaron Turner (ISIS, Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer), Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion) and Brian Cook (Russian Circles) will release the follow-up to the wonderful What One Becomes, entitled Love In Shadow on September 21 via Thrill Jockey.

Produced and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge) and inspired by their recent collaboration with Keiji Haino, Love In Shadow sees SUMAC locked in a four-part series of brain-frying orgiastic rushes culled from a new appreciation for improvised songwriting and the insignificance of life’s complexities and alienating motives when life’s intention becomes love.

“Since many of the surface level aspects of our being are often used as divisive tools to separate and alienate us from one another,” Turner explains, “the intent with Love In Shadow is to reveal that all humans desire and need to be loved and accepted for who they are, for just being.”

Love In Shadow can be pre-ordered on CD, DL and double LP here. Peep the tracklisting, the trio’s upcoming fall tour dates, and an in-studio album trailer below. Choose love, it does the body good.

Love In Shadow tracklisting:

01. The Task
02. Attis’ Blade
03. Arcing Silver
04. Ecstasy of Unbecoming

SUMAC live:

09.01.18 – Chicago, IL – Scorched Tundra X at The Empty Bottle #
09.02.18 – Rock Island, IL – Rock Island Brewing Company %
09.03.18 – Detroit, MI – El Club ^
09.04.18 – Toronto, ON – The Garrison ^
09.05.18 – Montréal, QC – Bar Le “Ritz” P.D.B. ^
09.06.18 – Allston, MA – Great Scott ^
09.07.18 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus ^
09.08.18 – Brooklyn, NY – National Sawdust ^
09.09.18 – Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA ^
09.11.18 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel ^
09.12.18 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter ^
09.14.18 – Durham, NC – The Pinhook ^
09.15.18 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl ^
09.16.18 – Nashville, TN – The End ^

# Yakuza, In the Company of Serpents, Couch Slut
% John Mueller, Infernal Coil
^ Dalek, Infernal Coil

Interview: Everything and Nothing

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The hysterical pace of development in north Brooklyn led to chronic conditions for DIY art spaces like Glasslands and Death By Audio, where a fair amount of the zeitgeist that fueled said development was forged. But, absorbing the environs of Elsewhere on a damp May evening, the destruction of those haunts at least pangs with creativity.

Elsewhere is an immaculate new multi-story club complex located in the Bushwickian outer banks of Williamsburg. Combined with the similarly impressive Brooklyn Steel in Greenpoint, the complex cements the fact that Brooklyn has traded its punchy underdog industrial pioneering for genuine cultural power, fueled by money and an ever metastasizing narrative of “cool,” whatever is left of that concept.

At Elsewhere, the performance spaces are weightless, the sound system is enlightened, stage lights scare away so much as a speck of dust, and a 12-ounce can of Miller High Life will set you back $7. PBR isn’t even offered at the venue bar. Imagine.

In the spotless Green Room, Archer Prewitt and Doug McCombs, The Sea and Cake’s founding guitarist and new bassist (Eric Claridge left the band after the 2012 album Runner due to carpal tunnel syndrome) are lounging, lost in relaxed conversation. The room is appointed with moody colored lights and high ceilings. The furniture is crisp, unsullied by debauchery.

“This is my chair,” Doug bellows and points, unprompted, after standing up. He disappears from the room. The chair in question is one of those leather loungers that one expects to see cracked and ass-fitted in the accomplished dens of aged professionals — this one hasn’t a wrinkle.

Sam Prekop, chief songwriter for The Sea and Cake, wearing an inconspicuous jacket over a light hoodie and with fading sand-colored hair, enters the room. He immediately moves for the chair in question and plops down.

“No — get out of my chair,” Doug orders, kidding around and not, when he reappears moments later.

“Oh,” Prekop drawls quietly. “Sorry.”

He politely stands and Doug, cased in denim and displaying an ornately manicured Santa Claus beard, retakes his throne. The new bass player clearly is not plagued by any Jason Newsted-esque new-member alienations.

In another spotless backstage room in the shell of novelty that is Elsewhere, Prekop explains his cover photograph for his band’s 10th studio LP, Any Day.

“It said, ‘You should use me as an album cover.’ So it was a rare instance where I selected the image as the album cover before it was done. A weird signpost in a way, or a marker.”

Any Day by The Sea and Cake

The image suggests a certain against-stream dignity and beauty in obsolescence: a pile of would-be clutter is set amidst a context of control; spotless and effusive white walls contain a pile of, well, crap; an old tube television with faux-wood paneling sets the foundation for a rumpled cardboard box and errant mid-apartment-move items (a coffee mug, a dusty end-table); a bright orange thrift store couch runs out of the frame, stinging the rest of the palate with springlike frequencies, mid-flower. The stark and pristine framing levitates above diminutive sans serif lettering drowning in white space, an aesthetic as familiar to longtime fans as Prekop’s wispy coo.

“I was initially drawn to [the photo] probably based on — I love that orange next to that kind of weird… that kind of green can only exist on a blank TV from the 70s — that combination. In retrospect, somehow it gained a certain resonance,” he says. “There is a sort of weird fragile nostalgia quality to it. I think it is an odd portrait of The Sea and Cake, in a way.”

The band originated as its own mess of bright, spare parts in need of proper framing.

After leading the critically acclaimed Shrimp Boat in Chicago, Prekop was offered funding to develop a solo project. One-by-one, local bassist Eric Claridge, guitarist Archer Prewitt, and renowned drummer and producer John McEntire joined in the recording. The Sea and Cake’s self-titled debut was released in 1994 by the venerable Thrill Jockey Records. Other than the loss of Claridge, the lineup has otherwise been a constant, despite McEntire’s recent relocation to California and the birth of Prekop’s twins nearly a decade ago.

With so much personal history between the members after an improbable 24 years of recording and performing, what could possibly feel different for them this time around, with the release of a new album and a new tour?

“I never have a good answer for that,” Prekop says. “Everything and nothing.”

Around a decade ago, I lent a few of the band’s seminal albums to a friend, expecting thanks and some level of taste-validation in return for the benevolence.

“It’s all very… placid,” he said, handing back the cardboard sleeves for Oui and The Fawn along with Nassau’s plastic case.

Disappointed, I tried hedging him over to positivity. “Yeah, it’s very subtle, sure. But also pretty soulful and evocative, I think.”

He stared back. “Not subtle. Placid.”



Did I mention that part of this band’s appeal, as a college student, was the promise of enjoying the music well into middle age? The malnourished 21 year-old could definitely see himself chilling to Oui at 55. The original insight appears to be holding water.

Subtlety is lost on the disinterested. In the streaming era, the band’s discography must all simmer together for a new listener, into one “lovely” and “gentle” risotto. Even for a longtime fan listening to much of the post-One Bedroom discography, the familiarity and distinction of Prekop’s vocals can turn monotonous. One anticipates many of the chord progressions and bridge-to-chorus drum fills on first listen.

While certain production elements have calcified over time, such as embossed vocals and increasingly precise guitar takes, every Sea and Cake album carries its charms. Everybody (2007) presents an impeccably tight collection of stately pop rock, with the slow burning “Coconut” heaping wistful yearning upon the listener, narrator making peace with commitment, confessing, “You set me free.” Car Alarm draws out crashing rock (“Aerial,” “Car Alarm”), glittering electro-pop (“Weekend”), effusive jazzy rhythmics (“A Fuller Moon,” “New Schools”), and even a steel drum outro (“Mirrors”) for good measure. The surprising EP The Moonlight Butterfly offers one of the uncanny modular synthesizer compositions (“The Moonlight Butterfly”) that have come to dominate Prekop’s solo career, along with the small miracle of “Lyric,” another plaintive confessional that floats above a melancholy Eric Claridge bass groove, punctuated with decaying electronics before transforming into a spindly jam. Runner (2012) pares an M83-esque towering synth flirtation (“The Invitations”) with the achingly beautiful acoustic “Harbor Bridges.”

Should The Sea and Cake be punished for being so good and so consistent? If this were baseball, they’d be posting a damn 2.5 WAR, at least. But music is qualitative, undervalued, and in the end we want our rock & roll to channel dionysian impulses that are intrinsically unsustainable.

Shatter our neural pathways with bliss one day.
Haughtily cursing you the next.
No love lost.

“Occasionally,” Prekop says, “I feel apologetic that we’re still making records and someone might have to listen to them. But then again, it doesn’t really matter.”

Indeed, Any Day carries much of “the same.” It will be heard as antiquated, beautiful, or both. There are the quiet and catchy moments (“Into Rain,” “Too Strong”) that the band deals out with a flip of the wrist, eyes askance. But the title track calls out with something else, its easy groove lifted by Prekop’s light melodies, McEntire’s understated rhythm and Prewitt’s self-possessed riffs and accents that drop like dewdrops on the edge of a glassy pond. The song is all fresh and effortless and calls back to the band’s loose and transformational early catalogue.

The gift for melody was always present, but from 1994 to the mid-2000s, The Sea and Cake moved from dynamic and jammy discursions (The Sea and Cake, Nassau, The Biz) abruptly to programmed beats and synths (The Fawn), then to lush and ineffable bossa nova (Oui) and bright electro-pop (One Bedroom). The band flirted with aggression (“Escort”) and un-harshable mellow rumination (“The Leaf”), yet always returned to its ever-flowering gift for head-nodding pop and effusive romance. The classic “Parasol” and “There You Are” enter into slow trances that reward the patient. Call it Dreamcatcher Pop — this is some of the best nap music you’ll ever find (don’t miss Prekop’s genius self-titled solo album for the pinnacle of this transitory gift).

The loose naiveté of the early work kept a chair open at the table for evolution, and it’s the natural selfishness of a fan to want a return to the freshness, to once more harness those old feelings. We’re all addicts for novelty. Prekop understands the nature of the beast, but does not care to cater.

“There is a definite natural march to the life of any band,” he says. “When you’re starting, that’s a different kind of excitement compared to five years in. And I think, at this point, we reflect on our history more as a friendship and camaraderie than the music. We don’t like to dissect it too much. We’re sort of the antithesis of analysis.”

The Sea and Cake were never for “everyone.” If you were a stereotypical graphic designer in the 1990s and early 2000s, though, you were probably down. And those very graphic designers, solid dudes them all, filled The Hall at Evermore as twin disco balls flitted tiny spotlights across their greying hair while industrial electro pounded for a Trump-era rave called, Let Them Have Their Phones.

The band takes the stage to moderate applause and a few yelps, which quickly die away. Prekop is in no hurry to collect himself for the opening number and flashes a familiar wry grin as the public silence elongates. Notable for this patient crowd, the silence is not particularly awkward. Eventually, the steady beats, rumbling bass, and swelling (sequenced) synths of “Four Corners” (One Bedroom) fill the room.

Any Day’s insistent opener “Cover the Mountain” is surprisingly raw, softened edges from the long recording process obliterated by McIntire’s crashing percussion.

With the exception of a jumpy, chronic vaper hovering stage right, the full room of bought-in fans nod along, mirroring the minor movements of Prekop and Prewitt. Drummer John McIntyre shows, throughout the performance, why he became a force of gravity all his own in the 90s, via his additional work with Tortoise and as a respected Indie producer with his own Chicago studio (Soma). He demands attention, preening above the snare, chin up to the back of the room. He winces and snarls through perfect time, dominating the stage with dead set serial killer eyes and facial twitches, as a ring of sweat expands around his collar.

Meanwhile, Prewitt anchors center stage, keeping watch on his shifting, exotic chord patterns, altering them up and down the neck like a clinician. He ends a riff by throwing his head back in a rare moment of exuberance, but is otherwise as measured as his own delicate and embroidered guitar work. With rising applause after a final note, he nods in shy thanks.

The love from fans may not find expression in screaming, drug dancing, or tumbling flanks of drunk friends pushing their way to the front of the stage — this is not much of a “scene” — but this serene affection runs deep. Among these focused eyes and swaying bodies, there is no room for the casual follower. Kind appreciation is offered to the new songs, while the “oldies,” as Prekop calls them from the stage, elicit sighs and hard-earned affirmations. For those who have followed The Sea and Cake for two decades, these songs are vessels of memory. Immediate presence cracks them open for catharsis of the self-posessed.

Per the graphic designers, The Sea and Cake might be seen as pretentious and aloof. Perhaps they are, but backstage Prekop never sounds like someone who takes himself too seriously.

“I just think, if it feels right and positive to make a record it’d be a shame not to,” he says of the continuation of the band. “I’m quite certain that it doesn’t sound like much else.”

Appropriate to his longevity as a creator, with both The Sea and Cake and other projects, he offers a take-it-in-stride model for art making.

Do as much as you can.
Don’t be precious.
Pay attention.
Your failures are venerable.

“People ask, ‘How do you make sense of being an artist as both a musician and a photographer’?

“It’s all work, and I’m trying to be as expressive as possible. So, it all counts. And one thing doesn’t necessarily have to make the other thing happen. I think all of the work is important at different times — on different levels.

“I’m hoping to recognize good stuff that’s happening. But, it’s sort of out of my control. I equate it to photography. It’s all already there, and you have to just find it… frame it.”

New albums by Glenn Jones and Alexander Tucker coming from Thrill Jockey in August

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During times of great excess, self-indulgence and immorality, it is often the simplest things that satisfy the most. Luckily, the folks at Thrill Jockey know how to inflame that infinite listening joy by doing nothing more than releasing good music, time and time again. And inflame it they shall this August when the label issues a two-fer of that goodness from sound seers Glenn Jones and Alexander Tucker!

First up is a new record from old-time finger-picking virtuoso, Glenn Jones. Jones is a master at many things, guitar-speaking, but is unparalleled at the American Primitive style, pioneered by his friend and mentor John Fahey. As with his previous plates, The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works for 6 & 12 String Guitar pays tribute to the AP style and to Fahey (the album’s title itself is a tribute) while showing Jones’ penchant for exploring new vistas in the 6- and 12-string guitar worlds.

The latest disc from Alexander Tucker, meanwhile, marks his solo set since 2012’s Third Mouth and sees the artist and songwriter getting better and better with every release. With guests Nik Void (NPVR, Carter Tutti Void) and his Grumbling Fur bandmate Daniel O’ Sullivan, Don’t Look Away is a beguiling next step in his simmering psych brew.

The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works for 6 & 12 String Guitar is available to pre-order on CD, DL, LP and limited “frog green” colored vinyl here and Don’t Look Away can be had on CD, DL, LP and limited “Coke bottle clear” colored LP here. Listen to Jones’ “The Sunken Amusement Park” studio recording (rare, for him) and Tucker’s first-rate album opener “Objects” below. Both releases are due August 24.

Glenn Jones The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works for 6 & 12 String Guitar tracklisting:

01. The Giant Who Ate Himself
02. Everything Ends
03. The Last Passenger Pigeon
04. The Was and the Is
05. A Different Kind of Christmas Carol
06. River in the Sky
07. From Frederick to Fredericksburg
08. Even the Snout and the Tail
09. Elliot Audrey, Born Today
10. The Sunken Amusement Park

Alexander Tucker Don’t Look Away tracklisting:

01. Objects
02. Sisters and Me
03. Visiting Again
04. Boys Names
05. The Saddest Summer 2
06. Ghost on the Ledge
07. Gloops Void (Give It Up)
08. Behind the Shoulder
09. A to Z
10. Citadel
11. Yesterday’s Honey

Glenn Jones live:

07.27.18 – Thetford, VT – Thetfest
09.06-8.18 – Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Festival (date TBA)

Real life Guitar Hero Marisa Anderson announces full North American tour ahead of upcoming album release

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Watching someone who’s really, really talented do something that you’re intimately familiar with is kind of catch-22ish in nature. Like, think of an amateur basketball player watching Lebron James play in person. On the one hand, they’re probably in awe of and blown away by his supernatural abilities, but on the other hand they’re probably like, “damn… I suck at life.”

That’s kind of how I feel whenever I watch Marisa Anderson play guitar. Like, 90% of me is drawn to emotion through her sheer ability and the spirit with which she plays, but the other 10% of me just wants to go off myself with the realization that I’ll probably never be more than average at anything I do.

And that’s some heavy shit to shoulder.

Even still, I always get excited when I have the chance to see her play. I mean, I may have my cynical and (mildly) depressive tendencies (as we all do), but I’m not that much of a fucking misanthrope.

So it brings me plenty of joy to know that I’ll be having plenty of chances to go watch her up-close and in-person this summer, as Marisa has just announced a boatload of headlining North American tour dates. She’ll be kicking things off tomorrow (May 19) at Denver’s Ogden Theatre, and then playing a (very) healthy dose of West Coast shows before wrapping things up on the other side of the U.S. around the middle of July (not including a tour finale at Oregon’s Pickathon Festival August 3-5).

Godspeed You! Black Emperor will be tagging along with her for the majority of the tour (see full dates and venue locations below), but she’ll also be sharing the limelight with Joan Shelley and Sarah Louise for a few of the West Coast shows.

Announcement of the tour comes ahead of the release of Cloud Corner, which is Marisa’s debut LP on Thrill Jockey (out June 15). You can preorder the record right here and check out all the dates and locations below. Just don’t get too down on yourself when you’re standing there in the crowd this summer, moping in your own banality, okay?

Marisa Anderson tour dates:

05.19.18 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre *
05.21.18 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren *
05.22.18 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park *
05.23.18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern *
05.24.18 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory *
05.25.18 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s *
05.26.18 – North Folk, CA – Bandit Town *
05.28.18 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre *
05.29.18 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre *
06.02.18 – Garden City, ID – Visual Arts Collective *
06.03.18 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune Theatre *
06.04.18 4 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre *
06.05.18 – Victoria, BC – Capitol Ballroom *
06.09.18 – Marquette, WI – Marquette Waterfront Festival
06.19.18 – Seattle, WA – Fremont Abbey Art Center ^
06.21.18 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios ^*
06.25.18 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry w/ Circuit des Yeux
06.27.18 – Chicago, IL – Constellation #
06.28.18 – Cleveland, OH – Happy Dog #
06.29.18 – Detroit, MI – Trinosophes #
06.30.18 – Toronto, ON – Tranzac #
07.01.18 – Montreal, QC – Casa Del Popolo #
07.02.18 – Greenfield, MA – The Root Cellar
07.03.18 – Cambridge, MA – Atwood w/ Glenn Jones
07.05.18 – Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA
07.08.18 – Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool w/ Tara Jane O’Neil
07.10.18 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd
07.11.18 – Raleigh, NC – Neptunes
07.12.18 – Athens, GA – Flicker Theatre
07.13.18 – Nashville, TN – Fond Object
07.14.18 – St. Louis, MO – FOAM
07.16.18 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake*
08.03.18 – 08.05.18 – Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon Festival

* Godspeed You! Black Emperor
^ Joan Shelley
# Sarah Louise