Thursday, August 30, 2012

Neil Halstead Talks Slowdive Reunion

via Stereogum

What was the point at which band reunions ceased to be utter embarrassments and started to yield viable, attention-worthy results? The Pixies, maybe? Off the top of my head I can name at least half a dozen recent-ish reunions that have been genuinely excellent: Blur, Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Slint, Afghan Whigs, Pulp, At The Gates, Archers Of Loaf … Sure, all these dudes are probably back stage ignoring one another and humming under their breath, “We got the money …,” but when they’re on stage, at least, the products have been excellent.

There aren’t too many un-reunited bands who’d benefit more from a reunion than ’90s shoegaze gods Slowdive, whose trio of albums — ’91′s Just For A Day, ’93′s Souvlaki, and ’95′s Pygmalion — are literally flawless and absolutely essential across the board. The band were kind of considered second-tier MBV during their time on this Earth, but history has shown that the two bands were much closer to artistic equals. (Some of us might even prefer Slowdive. Just sayin’!)

Slowdive frontman Neil Halstead has brushed off the possibilities of a reunion in the past, but now? He’s into it! Halstead told MTV Hive: “There’s a chance that we’ll get back together … It’s definitely possible at some point.” He also said “No one [in Slowdive] has ever really said, ‘I never want to do it.’” (Well, maybe not in those exact words, but back in 2008, Halstead himself said, “I just can’t really see the point. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t think it’s something I would want to do.”)

When asked what it would take to get the band back together, Halstead replied, “Just shitloads of money.” (Your move, Billy Corgan!) Halstead continues: “It’s crazy how in vogue it is for bands to get back together these days. It’s almost like you’re not allowed not to get back together. So, I’m sure that we will get back together — because we won’t be allowed not to.”

Cut through the subterfuge and disclaimers and misdirects, and what are you left with? Neil Halstead saying of Slowdive, “We will get back together.” There’s your takeaway. I’ll be there.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crowd Sourcing: Dan Deacon Style

via Pitchfork

In concert, Dan Deacon has become known for dismantling the barrier between performer and audience, often performing in the crowd rather than on stage, and conducting huge, synchronized dance circles. Now, Deacon further democratizes his shows with an interactive iPhone/Android app, which allows crowds to participate in the performance.

The free app, available at the iTunes App Store and through Google Play, "turns each phone into a source of synchronized light and sound depending on your location within each venue," according to a press release. (Wi-Fi not required.) Check out a preview, below. The app was developed/programmed by Deacon with assistance from Keith Lea, Patrick McMinn, Alan Resnick, and Robert O'Brien.
Deacon's tour starts tonight, in support of his just-released Domino debut, America.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan sign to Paper Bag Records

via Noisography

Debut album YT//ST included on the short list for this year's Polaris Music Prize.

Paper Bag Records is excited to announce the signing of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan to their already stellar roster.  The label will issue the band's Polaris Music Prize short listed debut album digitally now with a physical release following on September 11th.  Earlier this week, Pitchfork shared a new track from Yamantaka // Sonic Titan as part of the 2012 Adult Swim Singles Program. 'Lamia' is currently available for download here.

YT//ST was founded in late 2007 by performance artists alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood, born from the ashes of the late Lesbian Fight Club. Armed with mixed-race identities, mad illustration skills and a whole pile of home-brew junk electronics, alaska and Ruby wrote and performed the first mini 'Noh-Wave' Opera, 'YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN I' in April 2008. YT//ST continued to perform short operas, eventually forming a network of Asian and Indigenous artists through collaboration and formed the current YT//ST collective. Montrealers had come to know YT//ST by their dazzling musical theatre performances in giant monochrome paper sets, sometimes in far out places, like the Montreal Eaton Centre Food Court at 2AM. Aesthetically, they blend the poorly appropriated styles of Noh, Chinese Opera, Chinese, Japanese and First Nations Mythology, Black & White Television, Psychedelia & Rock Operatics into a sensory feast of nigh-monochromatic costuming, unique hand-built musical instruments and their own mangaesque cardboard 'NEVERFLAT' style of 2.5D set design. YT//ST continues based in both Montreal & Toronto.
The collective functions as a mutating and constantly evolving art cult that brings together individuals of Asian, Indigenous & Diasporic identity to perform/create as a collective. Working in multiple mediums including installation, theatre, music, video, animation, illustration and design, YT//ST negotiate cultural clashes between dominant cultures and those whose traditions are oppressed, erased or being eclipsed. They retell the mythologies, customs and stereotypes of their ancestors with cartoon bodies as their vessels.\

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Ladyhawk album in October

via The Fader


I can’t even count the number of times I’ve written about Ladyhawk. Too many. Definitely too many. No one devotes this much time to another band, unless that band happens to be fronted by Bruce Springsteen or Neil Young or something—but the thing about Ladyhawk is that what they mean to me personally has pretty much transcended anything they will ever do as a band. It makes for a weird position as a writer, knowing that they could release an instrumental album made up of pure feedback, and I’d probably still find a way to hear it as a meditation on growing up and how it actually turns out that, hey, adult life isn’t so much easier than teenage life—you just have more control over your own bad decisions. So here’s “You Read My Mind,” the first new Ladyhawk song in a bunch of years. Lead singer Duffy Driediger put out what was basically a power pop album under the name Duffy and the Doubters not too long ago, though. You can its influence in this track. “You Read My Mind” is a more compact Ladyhawk, a dense couple minutes of malaise and sadness that, if you listen to it enough times, starts to feel comforting. Maybe that’s why Driediger has made such a career out of singing the word “alright.” It showed up in “Teenage Love Song” years ago as a desperate plea—singing I’ll be alright in a voice so strained that it was clear that he or the teenage version of him would actually not be alright at all. It shows up here again—calmer, smoother, dragged across the guitar and then swooped up, assuring us that anything fucked up we could possibly do in our adult lives is okay. Driediger sings about the same things as always: getting high, getting drunk, being alone, being frustrated. But what he doesn’t sing is lying there in his voice, an implicit understanding. In Ladyhawk’s world, sadness is what you make it, and they make the hugest bummers seem worthwhile. No Can Do, Ladyhawk’s third LP, will be out October 9th on Triple Crown Audio.