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Secret Chiefs 3 – the long-awaited Book of Souls

3rd Apr 13 (Wed) Leave a comment
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
Trey Spruance - Secret Chiefs 3 at WOW Hall, Eugene Oregon 2012
Secret Chiefs 3 announce the release of two full-length installments of their long awaited Book of Souls album, and two USA/Canada tours in support of them. The first [Book of Souls: Folio A] comes out in late May, and the second [Book of Souls: Folio B] comes out in September. BOOK OF SOULS: FOLIO A (CD), RELEASED IN MAY

Listeners have come to expect a lot from Secret Chiefs 3, and for Book of Souls, second in the band’s mega-trilogy (first being Book of Horizons, 2004), they expect nothing less than a vertigo-inducing follow up. True to expectation, Book of Souls: Folio A is a full-length album densely-packed with musical skyscrapers. Over a decade in the making along with Folio B, Book of Souls is Secret Chiefs 3’s most elaborate work yet. Following the 7-band schemata laid out in Book of Horizons, both Folios of Book of Souls thoroughly establish the depth of SC3’s journey into otherwise lost musical possibilities. With productions based in studios in the SF Bay Area, NY, LA, Seattle, UK and France over the last 11 years, the band’s leader Trey Spruance enlisted a small army of musicians — or actually not so small, since the orchestral tasks demanded by the music seem effectively unlimited in number.

But familiar names in the SC3 canon form the backbone of the recording-band: Timb Harris, Ches Smith, Shahzad Ismaily, Anonymous 13, Danny Heifetz, William Winant, with live-band initiates Matt Lebofsky, Kenny Grohowski and Toby Driver adding extra life among the zillions of enlisted musical enablers.

On Book of Souls: Folio A, it is evident that Secret Chiefs 3 continues to operate in blissful ignorance of current musical fashions, remaining enchanted only by what can be unlocked in modern mediums by applying a specific recipe of pre-modern (often ancient) processes to them.

While it’s true that the album represents the kind of titanic, almost Faustian undertaking that one would expect as being uniquely appropriate to Secret Chiefs 3, for all the pomp it’s easy to forget that everything having to do with the recording is DIY to the core. Book of Souls: Folio A is a fully organic production. Everything is honed with love in one of the last hermetically-sealed laboratories. Some may snort at the notion that there even could exist such a cauldron of limitless fascination extending so rigorously beyond the time/space boundaries of modern occidental groupthink; a place in-between, suspended, where the simplest motifs have the freedom either to radiate upward into geometric complexities that are beyond description, or to refine downward to a state of simple musical essence. But it’s the usual thing at the SC3 lab.

This press-release is offered as a summons to the impartial jury of all earthly ears. All snorts and scoffs will be answered with a supra-sensory choir. Coming in May and September.

MAY RESIDENCY TOUR – more details here

Two USA/Canada tours are happening in 2013 (May and October), one in support of each Book of Souls release. The first has already been booked: Secret Chiefs 3 will play multiple-night ‘residencies’ in select USA/Canada cities in May, in support of “Book of Souls: Folio A”. These residiencies will involve multiple sets per night. The music of SC3 “Heptad” bands FORMS, Ishraqiyun, UR, as well as other Secret Chiefs 3 material will be performed, including works arranged for John Zorn’s Masada. Check listings soon to see which configurations SC3 will be in on which night.

Seattle, WA
Tue May 7, 2013 @ The Sunset – tickets
Wed May 8, 2013 @ The Crocodile – tickets

San Francisco, CA
Fri May 10, 2013 @ Cafe Du Nord – tickets
Sat May 11, 2013 @ Cafe Du Nord – tickets

Los Angeles, CA
Sun May 12, 2013 @ Bootleg Bar – tickets
Tue May 14, 2013 @ Bootleg Bar – tickets

New York, NY
Fri May 17, 2013 @ Mercury Lounge – tickets

Brooklyn, NY
Sat May 18, 2013 @ Union Pool
Sun May 19, 2013 @ Union Pool

Chicago, IL
Tue May 21, 2013 @ Schubas Tavern – tickets
Wed May 22, 2013 @ Beat Kitchen – tickets

Toronto, ON
Fri May 24, 2013 @ The Drake – tickets
Sat May 25, 2013 @ The Drake – tickets

For a band that has been busy playing over 300 shows in over 30 countries in the last few years, one could imagine how well-seasoned a unit it might’ve become. And yes, the lineup has stabilized over the last few tours into the following elite team, who can handle everything and then some for both tours in 2013:

Trey Spruance, Timb Harris, Matt Lebofsky, Toby Driver, Kenny Grohowski

Timb Harris - Secret Chiefs 3 at WOW Hall Eugene Oregon 2012OCTOBER NATIONAL TOUR, SUPPORTING “BOOK OF SOULS: FOLIO B” (CD) RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER

After a brief pause to digest Folio A, listeners will hear the second installment, Book of Souls: Folio B in  September. Intimately thematically-intertwined with the previously-released Folio, Book of Souls: Folio B has more Autumnal sheen. Darker, in some ways more ballistic, but also intoxicated with Beauty and high on diabolical humours, Book of Souls: Folio B remains unquestionably secure at SC3’s well-established fulcrum between rationalistic chaos and anarchistic elegance.

* NOTE  A deluxe vinyl edition of the complete Book of Souls corpus, with expanded artwork and comprehensive conceptual material will be released in October.

** artwork and preview mp3s forthcoming

Sigur Rós album Kveikur (news) and “Brennisteinn” (video)

23rd Mar 13 (Sat) Leave a comment

4/25 Update: There are now no plans for a deluxe edition per sigur rós’ official website.  It is available on CD and LPx2 from Amazon NOW.

I’ve been lax in posting as of late… sorry… what to get me out of the funk? News about the new Sigur Rós album Kveikur, album art, tracklist, and a new video…

Brennisteinn

sigur ros - kveikurGorgeous use of limited colors, and a little more loud (maybe Kjartan was keeping the rockiness at bay) – this video bodes well for the what is to come in the new album.  They begin their North American tour tomorrow (I get to see them in Bend, OR in May), including their biggest headline show to date at NYC’s Madison Square Garden.

Kveikur comes out June 18, 2013, and pre-order is live over on sigur-ros.co.uk for both CD & vinyl versions.  The limited edition pre-order should be live soon.

Kveikur Tracklist:

1 Brennisteinn
2 Hrafntinna
3 Isjaki
4 Yfirbord
5 Stormur
6 Kveikur
7 Rafstraumur
8 Bláprádur
9 Var

Prince in PortlandOh, and this was also announced yesterdayPRINCE is playing two shows in one night at small rock club Roseland Theater in downtown Portland, Oregon.

And guess who snagged tickets to see the 8pm show on April 21st? Me! Whoa!

~Dan – np: Garage A TroisAlways Be Happy, But Stay Evil
Garage A Trois - Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil

Fol Chen – 200 Words

5th Mar 13 (Tue) Leave a comment

Definitely a different vibe than their “Cable TV” or “In Ruins” videos, but Fol Chen is still making some excellent electronic-pop.  Here’s “200 Words” from their upcoming album, The False Alarms:

The False Alarms comes out on March 19th on Asthmatic Kitty… CD and vinyl:

Fol Chen - The False Alarms

~Dan – np: Ben GoldbergSubatomic Particle Homesick Blues
Ben Goldberg - Subatomic Particle Homesick Blues

New music coming from Jude!

26th Jan 13 (Sat) Leave a comment

Jude ChristodalCall it intuition, call it luck, call it the power of the letter “J” – but I haven’t thought of Jude (Christodal) in forever.  After spinning some Jurassic 5 on my iPod yesterday afternoon and flipped on over to Jude’s lovely No One Is Really Beautiful shortly after that.

Then I thought… what the hell has Jude been up to lately?

Time to hop on over to www.judemusic.com, and what do you know… he had posted this bit of news only a day before…

Thurs, Jan 24th, 2012: (bold by me)

I’ve decided to cobble together some unfinished records and make some new recordings as well. I’m past the point of pain from the writing, past the preciousness that keeps me from finishing songs, and past the point of thinking each track can change my life. So, with that remarkably confident build-up, in case anyone is still out there reading this, I love you for listening, and I hope to please you with this next work.

All I can do is try to be truthful in the songs. My instrument (vox) ain’t exactly what it used to be, but I’ll try to hide that from you with magical over-tracking, just like all the cool kids do now :)

Peace be with you. I expect to take a month, and then maybe get it out this Spring or something, no need to wait, right?

Now be patient and kind or I’ll crawl back into my hole! Oh, and Happy 2012. Peace be with us all.

His last post prior to Thursday’s post was March 17th… 2010.  Yay!  New Jude music on the very near horizon!

In other news… sorry for my own lack of posts lately.  Crazy busy time for me lately.  I still plan to have my “Best of 2012” post out soon, too.  WTF is wrong with me?!

~Dan – np: JudeNo One Is Really Beautiful
Jude - No One Is Really Beautiful

*FREE DOWNLOAD* Wussy’s Berneice Huff and son, Bill sings… Popular Favorites

4th Jan 13 (Fri) Leave a comment

Cincinnati rock quartet Wussy just released this collection of rarities, bsides and live tracks FOR FREE

Berneice Huff and son, Bill sings… Popular Favorites

Wussy - Berneice HuffAs a thank-you to our fans’ support and generosity in 2012, we are happy to present a free download album of rarities, B-sides and demos.

  1. Terry Gross Intro
  2. Nomenclature
  3. Maglite (remix)
  4. First Concert
  5. Bought It Again (demo)
  6. Blood & Guts
  7. WOXY Intro
  8. Rigor Mortis (live)
  9. Retarded
  10. Bedroom Posters
  11. Jonah (demo)
  12. Airborne (acoustic)
  13. Musical Style
  14. Linda Linda/Sweetie Sweetie (live)
  15. All the Bugs Are Growing (demo)
  16. Run Away
  17. What Band Would You Erase…
  18. Soak It Up (demo)

~Dan – np: O.S.I.Fire Make Thunder
OSI - Fire Make Thunder

Pinnick Gales Pridgen!

3rd Jan 13 (Thu) Leave a comment

Pinnick Gales Pridgen is a new 3-piece “super group” featuring King’s X bassist Dug Pinnick, blues rock guitarist Eric Gales, and former The Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen.  Their self-titled debut album will come out on Magna Carta Records on February 12th.

Pinnick Gales Pridgen

The album has been described as a mix of psychedelic blues, hard rock and progressive Soul/R&B. Bassist and vocalist Dug Pinnick:  “This record is three guys, with music in us, who said, ‘Let’s go for it’. It was built upon raw energy.”

Audio sample:

Album trailer is here:

Pre-order now via Magna Carta Records.

~Dan – np: Pinnick Gales PridgenPinnick Gales Pridgen
Pinnick Gales Pridgen

Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace – AMOK

6th Dec 12 (Thu) Leave a comment

Yesterday Radiohead’s Thom Yorke announced the official release date for his side project, Atoms For Peace. Thom Yorke on vocals, Nigel Godrich producing, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea on bass, Joey Waronker on drums and Mauro Refosco on percussion, the debut album Amok will hit Feb 26, 2013.

To tide fans over until February, Yorke advises fans to visit Atoms For Peace’s official site for something to “stare at.”

“We formed to learn to play The Eraser record, if you don’t know that, and discovered a really good energy doing that… and it fell into this record,” Yorke said in a press release.

“I’m still reeling from being on tour for much of the year but we are planning to get together and play etc next year ! We’re figuring all that out right now.

“Atoms is a ongoing and open ended project, where it leads i know not for certain… which is what is nice about it.”

Thom Yorke Atoms for Peace AmokThe album can be pre-ordered now here.  It will be released as a CD, limited edition CD, double gatefold vinyl LP, and limited edition double gatefold vinyl LP.

Amok Tracklist
1 – Before Your Very Eyes
2 – Default
3 – Ingenue
4 – Dropped
5 – Unless
6 – Stuck Together Pieces
7 – Judge Jury and Executioner
8 – Reverse Running
9 – Amok

~Dan – np: John ZornThe Gnostic Preludes
John Zorn - The Gnostic Preludes

Chali 2Na – “Against the Current” & future PledgeMusic (12/12/12)

5th Dec 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Chali 2Na - Against the Current

Jurassic 5 baritone Chali 2Na has a few solo albums to his name, but this next project, as hinted back last winter, is about to see the light of day.  We finally have a video for “Against the Current“…

And a week from now (on 12/12/12), his PledgeMusic drive will go into effect.

As excited as I am to tell you about it, I admit humbly that it’s going to take me some time (and some help) to get this thing assembled the way I intend it for you. So as a snack before the meal, I came up with a way to reward y’all for getting involved and being a part of it from the jump. Starting 12.12.12 (next Wednesday to be exact) I’m going to begin releasing a series of EPs along the way until the book is ready to ship. The first installment of the series, from this project I labeled, “Against The Current” will be a sample of the four that will follow. The most enjoyable thing about my music career for me personally, has been collaborating with Artists from many different walks of life, and even places of the World. And I’ve been influenced by so many different types of music, that with this project I’m actually going in on a couple of them. The 2nd EP will be heavily influenced by Electronic and Dub-Step music. I’m also finishing up one that’s Caribbean influenced and another one I’m going to record exclusively with my live band. And the last one will be a true vintage Hip Hop record, even-though I know that’s not exactly what Hip Hop sounds like in current day. Hence the name of the Project.

Keep in the loop on his PledgeMusic page:
http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/chali2na

~Dan – np: Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold (Songs For Christmas) Vol. IX: Let It Snow!

Tomahawk “Stone Letter” video & West Coast Tour

2nd Dec 12 (Sun) Leave a comment

Tomahawk’s fourth album, Oddfellows, comes out Jan 29, 2013.  They released a 7″ single for “Stone Letter” on RSD 2012 Black Friday, and now we have a video and some Feb 2013 West Coast tour dates… I already got my Portland ticket!

Tomahawk w/ Retox West Coast Tour

  • Feb. 12, 2013 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox
  • Feb. 13, 2013 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
  • Feb. 15, 2013 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
  • Feb. 16, 2013 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
  • Feb. 17, 2013 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
  • Feb. 19, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA @ Mayan Theater

Tomahawk - Oddfellows (1/29/13)

Tomahawk is Mike Patton (vocals, keys & effects), Duane Denison (guitars), John Stanier (drums) and Trevor Dunn (bass).  Oddfellows can be pre-ordered now in both CD & vinyl.

~Dan – np: Hasidic New WaveKabalogy
Hasidic New Wave - Complete Recordings

Puscifer “Donkey Punch The Night” EP in Feb 2013

19th Nov 12 (Mon) Leave a comment

Just posted on Puscifer’s facebook page

Puscifer’s Donkey Punch The Night coming Feb 19, 2013. The 8-song release track listing:

1. Bohemian Rhapsody “O.G. Mix”
2. Breathe
3. Dear Brother
4. Balls To The Wall “Pillow Fight Mix”
5. Breathe “Drumcell rework”
6. Dear Brother “Denton rework” (Big Black Delta)
7. Balls To The Wall “Silent Servant El Guapo Mix”
8. Bohemian Rhapsody “Sonoio rework”

Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) about the collection:
While continuing our tradition of releasing a few new songs at a time. I also had an itch that needed scratching, and that itch was ‘Balls To The Wall.’ Which was followed by an even harder to reach itch known as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ And scratch them we did.

~Dan – np: Paul Motian Trio + TwoLive at the Village Vanguard

Ashley Peacock… help him make a new solo record in 2013!

16th Nov 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

My good-good friend from the Cincinnati area, Ashley Peacock, is breaking his 9 year silence as a solo musical artist.  His last solo album was 2003’s Precursor EP, which led into his brit-pop band The Times’ 2005 album Begin (link w/ audio samples).  His last album with a group was 2012’s Growing Concern (link w/ audio samples) under the Chance Brothers moniker.

He is long overdue for a solo album, and he’s trying to raise $1,750 via Kickstarter to put the finishing touches on the record.

Ashley Peacock Kickstarter

I’m not sure where he’ll go with his new record.  I love a lot of music, but I know when he’s working on something I need to support it.  I hope you’ll listen to some of his past stuff and give him your attention for what’s to come.

Odds weigh heavily that you’ll like it!  Go to the Kickstarter HERE.

~Dan – np: Over the RhineThe Long Surrender

Help Over the Rhine make a record… or two!

13th Nov 12 (Tue) 1 comment

In late 2010, Over the Rhine asked their fans to help them pre-fund a record.  It wasn’t through Kickstarter or PledgeMusic, but it worked very similarly.  Different levels, different perks.  They got enough funds together and made The Long Surrender, an amazing record produced by Grammy-winning Joe Henry.  That record was one of my favorite albums of 2011.

Over the Rhine’s Linford Detweiler & Karin Bergquist

Well, they’re doing it again, and this time it’s not just for an upcoming album, it’s for TWO upcoming albums…

The Farm

Advance copy a month ahead of release, extra digital demos each month, a 180-gram double-gatefold vinyl, a signed poster, a special concert at their farm in the Cincinnati area in May 2013 (Memorial Day weekend), executive producer credits, plating a tree on their farm with your name on it, passes to all their shows (except for Cayamo or the train tours) through 2014, and a private concert.

Blood Oranges in the Snow

Their third holiday / Christmas album, Blood Oranges in the Snow, has options such as additional digital bonus tracks, a boxset with their previous stellar Christmas albums (Darkest Night of the Year & Snow Angels), a gift-giving set of extra copies, planting a tree on their farm with your name on it, and a private Christmas concert.  The expected release is holiday season 2013 (Nov/Dec?).  I hate Christmas music, but OTR’s Darkest Night of the Year is one of my favorite albums, period. So, they convert a bah-humbug like me into a lover of this season’s music.

To find out more about BOTH albums, go to overtherhine.com/lets-make-a-record/

~Dan – np: Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold (Songs For Christmas) Vol. VII: I Am Santa’s Helper

Sufjan Stevens – Nov/Dec 2012 Tour

10th Oct 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

As reported last week, Sufjan Stevens is releasing a new Christmas boxset this winter – and now, he just announced a tour in the U.S….

Sufjan Stevens’ 2012 Tour Dates with Sheila Saputo

aka The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long
Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant
Variety Show Distaster

  • Fri Nov 23, 2012 – Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
  • Sat Nov 24, 2012 – Washington DC 9:30 Club
  • Sun Nov 25, 2012 – Saxapahaw NC The Haw River Ballroom 
  • Mon Nov 26, 2012 – Athens GA The Georgia Theatre
  • Tue Nov 27, 2012 – Chattanooga TN Track 29
  • Wed Nov 28, 2012 – Oxford MS The Lyric Oxford
  • Fri Nov 30, 2012 – Dallas TX Granada Theater
  • Sat Dec 01, 2012 – Austin TX Emo’s East
  • Mon Dec 03, 2012 – Tucson AZ Rialto Theatre
  • Tue Dec 04, 2012 – Los Angeles CA The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box)
  • Wed Dec 05, 2012 – San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
  • Thu Dec 06, 2012 – Portland OR Aladdin Theater
  • Sat Dec 08, 2012 – Seattle WA Neptune Theatre
  • Sun Dec 09, 2012 – Missoula MT Wilma Theatre
  • Wed Dec 12, 2012 – Minneapolis MN Mill City Nights (Formerly The Brick)
  • Thu Dec 13, 2012 – Milwaukee WI Turner Hall
  • Fri Dec 14, 2012 – Indianapolis IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre
  • Sat Dec 15, 2012 – Chicago IL Metro
  • Sun Dec 16, 2012 – Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom
  • Tue Dec 18, 2012 – Buffalo NY Asbury Hall @ Babeville
  • Wed Dec 19, 2012 – Providence RI Fete
  • Thu Dec 20, 2012 – Boston MA Royale
  • Fri Dec 21, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom
  • Sat Dec 22, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom

Sufjan Stevens will jingle-jangle his way across America, bringing yuletide cheer to your local music club, sharing reverent hymns and pop carols from his upcoming Christmas album Silver & Gold. “The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant Variety Show Distaster” will be a tragic-comedic feast for the ears and eyes.

Sufjan will be joined by a 5-piece band (including Rosie Thomas, Nedelle Torissi, Casey Foubert, James McAlister, and Ben Lanz) playing all the hits from both Christmas box sets. Send us your song requests!

All Grinches be forewarned: the show will consist entirely of Christmas music, inviting audience participation.

Extra-special guest Sheila Saputo—the hottest ticket from Gary, Indiana—will be opening all dates with her indelible ice-breaking pizzazz.

General admission goes on sale on Friday (10/12). Check your local venue for ticket links and availability times.  A very limited number of presale tickets will go on sale Wednesday October 10th at 10am (in whatever timezone the venue is in). Don’t worry if you don’t get a ticket on Wednesday – general admission goes on sale on Friday.  Click here to buy presale tickets (available at 10am on October 10th in the venue’s timezone).

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter & Scott AmendolaNot Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead

Sufjan Stevens’ Silver & Gold (Xmas EP #’s 6-10)

2nd Oct 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Update: the stop-motion Lego video is at the bottom.

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

“Happy Holidays! On November 13, 2012, Asthmatic Kitty Records will release (another!) Christmas box-set extravaganza by the implacable singer/songwriter Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10, a compilation of 5 EPs recorded between 2006 and 2010.

Expanding on the tradition of the first box-set (Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5 from 2006), Silver & Gold is a generous document of five more years of holly-jolly jubilee — Christmas caroling, sleigh-bell-ringing, collaborative songwriting — undertaken by Sufjan and his various musical cohorts. Originally intended as gifts for family and friends, these musical snapshots have been re-mixed and re-assembled for the public in an exquisitely-designed gift box containing all the Yuletide pleasures money can buy: Christmas stickers, temporary tattoos, lyric sheets and chord charts, a paper ornament, an apocalyptic pull-out poster, photos, illustrations, and extensive liner notes—a veritable Christmas feast for the eyes and ears.

The album features collaborations with a running line-up of friends and musical peers, including Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Cat Martino (Sufjan’s right-hand woman on all things Age of Adz), Sebastian Krueger (Inlets), Gabriel Kahane, Vesper Stamper, and members of Danielson (Daniel, Elin, Lilly, and Ida). Sufjan’s own indelible aesthetic and his tireless oblique strategies (in vain pursuit of the perfect Christmas song) maintain the album’s center of gravity, resulting in an abundant compilation (nearly 60 tracks) that investigates the canon of devotional hymns and holiday pop songs with reckless abandon (totaling nearly three hours of music).

Silver & Gold surpasses its predecessor both in style and scope by taking a wider stance and embracing a more liberal ethos. The box-set sails through musical fashions as various as ornaments on a Christmas tree (covering songs from John Dowland to Johnny Marks). The folksy old-world renaissance of Gloria (Vol. 6) gives way to bi-polar impertinence on I Am Santa’s Helper (Vol. 7). Christmas Infinity Voyage (Vol. 8) looks to the cosmos (and the drum machine) for inspiration, while Let It Snow (Vol. 9) and Christmas Unicorn (Vol.10) show a giddy return to form, unselfconsciously reveling in all the bubble-gum show tunes from the 1950s and 60s (“A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” to name a few).

There are also 18 original songs intermixed throughout (some of them co-written or wholly composed by guest collaborators). Sufjan’s contribution to the Christmas canon exhibits an ever-expanding canopy of approaches: there’s the moody and affectionate Christmas ballad (“Happy Karma Christmas”), an ecclesiastical take on the Burl Ives classic “Silver & Gold” (re-titled here as “Justice Delivers Its Gift”), the rowdy, garage-rock, rumble-in-the-snow-bank (“Mr. Frosty Man”) and the psychedelic pop-anthem (“Christmas Unicorn”) that attempts to reconcile new age magic, fantasy fiction, and the commodification of Christmas with expository deftness.

Silver & Gold is more than just another Christmas album, but an ongoing exercise in theme and variation, an annual tradition that offers this songwriter a chance to experiment with fashion and technique without taking himself too seriously. Sufjan’s playful (yet purposeful) expedition through the superficial landscape of sugar plum fairies and marshmallow fluff has produced an exuberant musical account of “all things Christmas” in the pursuit of the sublime. What distinguishes this project from the glut of Christmas albums saturating the market today are Sufjan’s unguarded enthusiasm for the genre itself (the sense of freedom he shows in celebrating with reverence and rebellion) and the belief that Christmas music contains a multiplicity of sacred and secular significance (from Baby Jesus to Babes in Toyland) that is ultimately ours for the taking. It’s safe to say that no one has taken it further than Sufjan, for better and for worse.

Thanks for listening and may all your Christmas dreams come true.

Silver & Gold will be available in digital download, a CD box-set available November 13th, with a limited edition of 2000 vinyl box-sets available later this year or early 2013.

A special edition of the vinyl boxset, which will include some extra surprises, is available to US/Canada/EU for pre-order:

http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/album/silver-gold

The CD Boxset includes: (price not listed yet)

1. Five CD EPs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos  (non-toxic & safe for children)

4. A paper ornament (self-assembly with directions)

5. An apocalyptic pull-out poster

6. Song lyrics and chord charts (sing along with your friends and enemies)

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design (by Sufjan Stevens, drug-free since 1975)

8. Extensive liner notes (introductory salutations and an essay on the Christmas tree by Sufjan Stevens, and a few theological words on the End Times by Pastor Vito Aiuto)

The vinyl boxset includes: ($120 + S/H)

1. Five EPs on 6 vinyl discs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos

4. A paper ornament

5. A 40-page Christmas songbook with vocal and piano reductions

6. A Christmas coloring book

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design

8. Extensive liner notes

Whoa!

Sufjan Stevens Lego Movie

~Dan – np: Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias BossiNiagara Falling: Tales for the Stage, III

Aimee Mann’s “Labrador” {remake of “Voices Carry”}

20th Sep 12 (Thu) 1 comment

Wow… the new Aimee Mann video for “Labrador” is a shot-for-shot remake of her video in ‘Til Tuesday for “Voices Carry“… clever, silly.

Labrador (2012)

Voices Carry (1985)

Boy, how she’s changed.  I much prefer newer Aimee Mann to ’80s Aimee Mann.  Her new album, Charmer, just came out this week… and she heads out on tour next week (click here for dates & the “Charmer” music video).  I’ll be at the Portland, Oregon, date on October 2nd.

~Dan – np: Aimee MannCharmer

Glen Phillips – Coyote Sessions

19th Sep 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Just uploaded to bandcamp by Glen Phillips (the voice of Toad the Wet Sprocket) is Coyote Sessions.

Go here to buy it (only $7 for the full album):

http://glenphillips.bandcamp.com/releases

Here’s the 411…

This album is a collection of beloved orphans – songs I’ve played live but never put on a record, or co-writes that other artists have cut but I hadn’t gotten around to recording.

Coyote Sessions is also an experiment in recording. My friend Sean McCue lost his previous studio in the Tea Fire a couple years ago, and recently finished building a new workspace, Coyote Road Studio. It’s a big open room, with a distinctive sound. We wanted to see how truly we could capture a real performance – no electronic mixing, no overdubs, just a single microphone a couple feet away from me and players moved around the room to balance the sound. We hope you like the results.

**** Full album includes a video for Greer Zoller ****

Musicians:
Glen Phillips – Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
Sean McCue – Electric and High Strung Guitars, Percussion
Jim Connolly – Acoustic Bass, Piano
Alastair Greene – Electric and Steel Guitars
Tariqh Akoni – Electric Guitar
Bill Flores – Pedal Steel, Weissenborn, Mandolin
Anna Abbey – Piano
Tom Lackner – Drums

~Dan – np: Derek WebbStockholm Syndrome

Mike Patton scores ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’

19th Sep 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

This just in from Ipecac…

We wanted to let you know, that Mike Patton just wrapped up his score for the much buzzed about film, The Place Beyond the Pines. This is the new film by acclaimed director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), who chose Patton to provide the music.

The film stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Rose Byrne. It got rave reviews at the recent Toronto International Film Festival and is slated for a 2013 release.

The Place Beyond the Pines is the multi-generational story of a motorcycle stunt rider (Gosling), who considers committing a crime in order to provide for his newborn child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician (Cooper).

~Dan – np: Ben Folds FiveThe Sound of the Life of the Mind

Levi Weaver “Rogue Boat” (video)

22nd Aug 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

It seems like just weeks ago that singer-songwriter Levi Weaver was playing my living room… oh wait, it was (Eugene house show review here).  His latest music video just came out.  Check out “Rogue Boat” here:

“Rogue Boat” is from his latest EP, I Am Only A Tiny Noise.  Listen and buy that one over at Bandcamp or over at the Amazons!

~Dan – np: Levi WeaverI Am Only A Tiny Noise

Aimee Mann’s new “Charmer” (video)

17th Aug 12 (Fri) 1 comment

What a better double for Aimee Mann than Laura Linney?

Charmer” is from her upcoming album, also called Charmer, due out September 18, 2012.

She’s hitting the road, whether as herself or as a robot, this Fall…

AIMEE MANN – 2012 TOUR DATES

  • 27 SEPTEMBER 2012 The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA^^
  • 28 SEPTEMBER 2012 Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA^^
  • 29 SEPTEMBER 2012 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA^^
  • 30 SEPTEMBER 2012 Uptown Theatre, Napa, CA^^
  • 02 OCTOBER 2012 Aladdin Theatre, Portland, OR^^
  • 03 OCTOBER 2012 Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA^^
  • 04 OCTOBER 2012 Egyptian Theatre, Boise, ID^^
  • 06 OCTOBER 2012 The State Room, Salt Lake City, UT^^
  • 09 OCTOBER 2012 Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO^^
  • 10 OCTOBER 2012 Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, CO^^
  • 11 OCTOBER 2012 The Lensic, Santa Fe^^
  • 12 OCTOBER 2012 Rialto Theatre, Tuscon, AZ^^
  • 13 OCTOBER 2012 Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles, CA^^
  • 24 OCTOBER 2012 The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA^
  • 25 OCTOBER 2012 The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA^
  • 26 OCTOBER 2012 Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA^
  • 27 OCTOBER 2012 Town Hall, New York, NY^
  • 03 NOVEMBER 2012 Berklee Performance Center, Boston MA^
  • 04 NOVEMBER 2012 Higher Ground, S. Burlington, VT^
  • 06 NOVEMBER 2012 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON^
  • 08 NOVEMBER 2012 Capitol Theatre, Columbus, OH^
  • 09 NOVEMBER 2012 20th Century Theater, Cincinnati, OH^
  • 10 NOVEMBER 2012 Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI^
  • 11 NOVEMBER 2012 Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI^
  • 13 NOVEMBER 2012 The Pageant, St. Louis, MO^
  • 14 NOVEMBER 2012 Park West, Chicago, IL^
  • 15 NOVEMBER 2012 Park West, Chicago, IL^
  • 16 NOVEMBER 2012 Stoughton Opera House, Stoughton, WI^
  • 17 NOVEMBER 2012 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN^
    ^ w/ Ted Leo
    ^^ w/ Field Report

~Dan – np: TristezaPaisajes

Tomahawk – mini-tour & 7″ Waratorium

31st Jul 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Tomahawk are hitting the road briefly this fall to warm us up for their mid-winter release.

Fall 2012 Tour dates:

October 27    Nashville, TN    Exit/In
October 28    New Orleans, LA    Voodoo Music Experience
October 29    Memphis, TN    New Daisy Theatre
October 31    Dallas, TX    Granada Theatre
November 1    Houston, TX    Fitzgerald’s
November 2-4    Austin, TX    Fun Fun Fun Fest

Tomahawk will preview music from their new album Oddfellows (due out Jan 2013 on Ipecac Recordings) with the release of a 7″ vinyl single titled Waratorium on 11/23/2012 (Record Store Day/Black Friday).  The b-side will be an original etching by famed cartoonist and comics scholar Ivan Brunetti.  A digital release for the single follows a week later.

Tomahawk is Duane Dennison (The Jesus Lizard/Unsemble), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle/Fantômas/Melvins Lite), Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle/Faith No More/Mondo Cane/etc) and John Stanier (Battles/Helmet).  The teaser for the upcoming album is here:

~Dan – np: Fear FactoryThe Industrialist

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