Category Archives: News

Grandaddy Announce Tour In Support of New Album, Last Place

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By Hollister Dixon

It has been 11 years since we got Grandaddy‘s last album, Just Like the Fambly Cat. The band announced their breakup shortly before the album’s release, and though they’ve been in action again since their return to the stage in 2012, they’ve still been relatively quiet over the years. That’s all about to change with Last Place, due out March 3rd on 30th Century Records. The album has been described as “a symphonic swirl of lo-fi sonics and mile-high harmonies, found sounds and electronics-gone-awry mingling with perfect, power pop guitar tones.” For anyone who knows and loves Grandaddy, this an incredibly enticing thing.

The band will also be embarking on a neat little world tour starting in late February, taking them all the way until the summer, with European festival sets at Primavera SoundMotel Mozaique Festival, and This Is Not A Love Song Festival.

After the jump, you can check out “Evermore” from Last Place and see where the band will be stopping this spring. This includes two shows at Portland’s Revolution Hall – one all ages, and one 21+. Word to the wise: just see both! Tickets for these two are here and here.

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Clipping. Announce 2017 World Tour

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By Hollister Dixon

Los Angeles experimental hip-hop collective Clipping. have been steadily warming their engines since their triumphant return following frontman Daveed Diggs’ exit from his role in the smash hit Broadway musical HamiltonThis year saw the release of the Wriggle EP, and their first LP since 2014’s CLPPNG, called Splendor & Misery – a densely packed story of distant future space slavery and digital love (as only Clipping. could tell it). Today, the band have announced a lengthy world tour to support Splendor & Misery, which is slated to start in early December and go straight on ’til April. For all of you in the Northwest, you can get tickets to their Holocene (Portland) show right here, and their Crocodile (Seattle) here.

The band also stopped by Conan to perform Splendor cut “Air ‘Em Out”, which you can check out over on the Team Coco site. After the jump, have a look at their tour dates and check out the videos for “Air ‘Em Out” and Wriggle‘s “Shooter.” Both Splendor & Misery and Wriggle are out now on Sub Pop Records and Deathbomb Arc.

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The Wrens Return With a New Song, “An Irish Exit”

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By Hollister Dixon

It’s been so long since we’ve heard from New Jersey’s The Wrens. They’ve been teasing their long-awaited followup to 2003’s The Meadowlands since 2014, but we’ve only gotten occasional bits of music from them. Why the album has taken so long to be finished is something we may never know, but we do have our first big bite of the album.

On Wednesday, on the Wrens’ Twitter account, frontman Charles Bissell responded to someone asking about a surprise release of their new record by saying, “thinking about it, though I can’t drop album (much as I’d love to be done w/ it all), fuck it, I’ll post a song later today.” It took a couple extra days, but he made good on this promise on Friday by dropping a mostly instrumental demo of a song called “An Irish Exit”, as well as a nice long note about the song, his motivation for releasing it, and updating everyone on the status of their fourth LP. You can check that out below.

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Just As Was Told: Lift To Experience Detail Definitive Reissue of The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads

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By Hollister Dixon

This is the story of three Texas boys: in 2001, the Denton, TX band Lift To Experience – comprised of guitarist Josh T. Pearson, drummer Andy “The Boy” Young, and bassist Josh “The Bear” Browning released their stunning, singular statement, the double album The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, wall-of-sound tale of Jesus Christ coming back to earth and finding himself in Texas. The band didn’t last more than a few years, but in the 15 years since Crossroads was released, the album has become one of the great unheard records of the 21st century. Earlier this year, the band reunited for just a moment to play a handful of shows, including the Meltdown Festival in London, at the behest of Elbow frontman (and Pearson bandmate in Western Arms) Guy Garvey.

In honor of their own personal Second Coming, as well as to mark the 15th anniversary of the release of Crossroads, the band have detailed a mammoth, definitive reissue of the album. Crossroads was originally recorded live to tape, but the band have gone back into the studio to give the album the mix it deserves. Josh T. Pearson explains, “We went back to the studio, neck deep in the heart of Texas, where Lift recorded The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads – remixing the album the way it should have be mixed originally. It’s good to have our balls back after years spent being castrated.”

The reissue of Crossroads will be out February 3rd, 2017 on Mute Records in three forms: CD, LP, and a beautifully expansive vinyl box set, which will feature Lift To Experience’s classic 04/15/2001 Peel session as well as their demo EP from 1997.

After the jump, you can listen to the remastered “Just As Was Told”, check out the brand new artwork for the reissue, an homage to the Texas-based graphics design studio Pen & Pixel famed for their 90’s Southern gangsta rap album covers, and see the tracklists for each of the three reissues. In addition, you can check out their new interview with The Quietus right here. Continue reading

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Los Campesinos! Announce New Album, Sick Scenes, Announce Tour

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By Hollister Dixon

Los Campesinos!, the best band in Wales (yes, the best, sorry Super Furry Animals) got somewhat quiet in the wake of their fifth album, No Blues. After rumblings of new recordings, this is set to change with their newly-announced 6th LP, entitled Sick Scenes. On the album, frontman Gareth Campesinos! had this to say:

We recorded the album, co-produced by long-time collaborator John Goodmanson and band member Tom Bromley, during Euro 2016 in Fridao, Portugal. The album exists as an expression of the pent-up aggression we felt due to being inactive for so long, but it’s also a celebration of just getting to be a band, of getting to play music with our friends. Thematically the record is concerned with fumbling for personal relevance while trying to be a better person. Repressing anxiety and attempting to function while constantly maintaining the perfect two-beer buzz. It is set upon a backdrop of non-league football, prescribed medication, and crumbling hometowns. These truly are the Sickest Scenes.

The album will be released on February 24th, 2017 worldwide courtesy of the always-lovely Wichita Records, and it’s available for pre-order right here. On top of that, they’ve released the first taste of the album with “I Broke Up In Amarante”, a song which hearkens back to their pop-punk infused roots. They’ve also announced a three-week North American tour, which will include (as Gareth Campesinos! points out, and as this writer is more than aware of) their first west coast dates in five years – This will include a date at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge, if you, dear reader, are interested in seeing your writer in a state of joyful apoplexy. Tickets for all of these shows will go onsale at 9pm local time on Friday, November 11th. All North American dates will feature support from New York chiptune rockers Crying.

After the jump, you can have a listen to “I Broke Up In Amarante”, gander at the tracklist, and check out when they’ll be stopping by your town.

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Feelies Complete Recording New Album, In Between

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By Hollister Dixon

In the midst of the band’s 40th anniversary, legendary New Jersey Band The Feelies have announced that they have completed the recording of In Between, their first album since 2011’s Here Before, to be released on Bar/None Records on February 24th.

Feelies Founders Glenn Mercer and Bill Million recently sat down with Impose Magazine to talk about the exciting new direction of In Between:

“On the new record we did a lot of it at my house in my home studio with extra equipment, explains Glenn Mercer. “It’s the same room where we rehearsed. We’ve been here since we reformed and a little bit prior to taking the hiatus in the 90’s. So it’s a room we’re really familiar with and feel comfortable in. We also did some recording at an engineer’s studio, so it was all done very low key. We refer to it as “off the clock” when you’re not paying an hourly rate, so in that sense it was a lot more relaxed. I don’t think anyone would notice a drastic change in the sound or the vibe of the record. I think it sounds a lot more relaxed and laid back.”

“I think all of our albums reflect a certain degree of reaction to the work that we previously did and In Between is no exception,” continues Bill Million. “We liked the sounds and the feel of the demos for this album and we thought it would be difficult to capture that in a recording studio. So that was our starting point and it evolved in a much more relaxed way that loaned itself to more creative interplay. Time wasn’t a component. If you let it, music can take on a life of its own and we wanted to allow the songs to develop with that idea in mind.”

Further details about the album’s release are still unknown, but you can expect that more will be announced in the coming months. In Between also helps mark the band’s 40th(!) anniversary, though they disbanded in 1992, only to reunite in 2008 with drummer Stan Demeski, bassist Brenda Sauter, and percussionist Dave Weckerman.

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The Album Leaf Announce Between Waves, North American Tour

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I don’t remember who first sent me “The Outer Banks” by San Francisco ambient all-stars The Album Leaf, but I remember the fact that the song – and, over time, the entirety of In a Safe Place – felt like the soundtrack to being outside of time. Jimmy LaValle’s particular brand of patient, glitchy post rock is the kind of music that does so much to evoke a particular set of emotions wordlessly, to the point of almost making you feel a swell of nostalgia without knowing what you’re nostalgic for.

The Album Leaf have done well to maintain this aesthetic over the years with 2006’s Into the Blue Again and 2010’s A Chorus of Storytellers, and this sound bled over onto Perils of the Sea, a collaboration LaValle made with Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek, but six years after Storytellers, we’re finally getting a brand new, proper Album Leaf record. On August 26th, the band will release Between Waves from their new home on Relapse Records, and they’ll be embarking on a tour of North America later this year to promote the record, with support by Rituals of Mine (formerly Sister Crayon).

You can find their tour dates after the jump – which includes a date at the Doug Fir Lounge – as well as a new video for the title track from the new record.

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Polyphonic Spree Celebrate 15th Anniversary With Beginning Stages Of… Tour

 

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Back at the very beginning of the last decade, The Polyphonic Spree, Tim DeLaughter’s charming (and vaguely but endearingly cult-like) Texas-based choir-rock monolith, released their debut record, The Beginning Stages Of…. If you heard the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack, or watched Scrubs, or saw a Volkswagen ad, you were undoubtedly aware of their infectious, ELO-esque single “Light & Day”, which helped to launch the band into the hearts and iPods of just about everybody who heard it. In the years since, they’ve put out a handful of equally poppy (though admittedly less psychedelic) records, the most recent of which being 2013’s Yes, It’s True.

Now, just in time for the band’s 15th anniversary, the band are embarking on a neat little tour: Every night, they’ll play through The Beginning Stages Of… in its entirety, plus a bunch of other “deep cuts and choice covers”, in the band’s words. You can expect this one to be a gloriously upbeat evening, and it’ll be worth the price of admission just to see how they handle the album’s slow-burning finale, “A Long Day”

You can check out the upcoming tour dates after the jump, and watch them covering Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” for The AV Club. For tickets to see the band’s Star Theater performance, head on over here!

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Refused Confirm That They Aren’t Dead, Return To Portland

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By Hollister Dixon

We all have that friend who says they’re going to leave, but then always finds a reason to come back. I’ll freely admit that I’m that friend, a lot of the time. As it turns out, it’s not always a bad thing: sometimes, that friend is someone you didn’t want to leave in the first place, because what they add to the party is just too good to do without.

Refused, one of Sweden’s greatest exports and creators of the still-amazing The Shape of Punk to Come, appear to be that friend. They broke up in 1998 and wrote a letter stating, without hesitation, that “Refused Are Fucking Dead“, and that “we will never play together again and we will never try to glorify or celebrate what was.” Which is why, in 2012, it was an immensely satisfying surprise to learn that the band had reunited, and were going to go on a massive tour (which stopped by the Roseland that year), before breaking up again. So, it came as a surprise to learn that the band were reuniting again, and touring again, and are potentially working on a new album.

I caught the band’s 2012 Roseland performance, so I can tell you that it’s extremely worth your time to make sure you catch this tour. Portland gets an incredibly lucky shot here: they’ll be performing at the Doug Fir Lounge on May 29th with Vancouver, BC’s White Lung. Tickets for that date go on sale on April 3rd, and can be picked up right here.

After the jump, check out the still-amazing video for “New Noise” and their 2012 Hellfest performance (highly recommended), as well as all of the band’s upcoming dates.

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Liturgy To Play Dante’s With Lightning Bolt

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By Hollister Dixon // Photo by Erez Avissar

Brooklyn’s own Liturgy, a band described by frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix as “transcendental black metal”, is a tough band to crack open for a lot of people. On the band’s first two albums, 2009’s Renihilation and 2011’s Aesthethica, the band made a conscious effort to work within the confines of black metal, while subtly trying to make it their own. This can be polarizing, and off-putting for some people, but for others, it’s truly exhilarating.

Three years after Aesthetica – as well as the near-implosion of the band following the departure of drummer Greg Fox and bassist Tyler Dusenbury, both now back with the band – Liturgy are back with The Ark Work (out now on Thrill Jockey), the band’s most expansive and genre-bending effort yet. To support the record, the band are about to embark on a massive tour of North America and Europe, which includes dates with fellow Brooklynites Sannhet and Baltimore’s Horse Lords, and, for a fantastic string of dates on the west coast, noise rock giants Lightning Bolt. You can catch Liturgy and Lightning Bolt at Dante’s on April 29th, and find tickets right here. Don’t sleep on this one, dear reader.

After the jump, you can listen to “Quetzalcoatl” from The Ark Work, and check out all of Liturgy’s upcoming dates.

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