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November 20, 2015

photo: Mac at BV-SXSW 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Mac McCaughan

Earlier this year, Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan released his first solo album, Non Believers. Now he's released a one-track instrumental remix version of it called Staring At Your Hologram. Here's how Mac puts it:

Staring At Your Hologram is an album-length instrumental deconstruction / revision & remix of my Non-Believers record which came out in May 2015. The songs are sometimes still recognizable in their new shapes but have been sewn together into one long track.

For the most part I took away the drums and the vocals, rearranged some parts and brought instruments to the fore that in the original album were more of a bed for the guitars and vocals. Tape echo and reverb have been judiciously applied. If the most obvious influences on Non-Believers are bands like New Order or the Cocteau Twins, then for this version of the album i was drawing on a different part of the 80s landscape and trying to imagine what it would sound like if Arthur Russell or Cluster made an album by remixing the basic tracks. Unlike a record with singing and words and super-linear songs this is meant more as something you can put on and either pay attention to, or not.

Listen below.

Mac has a few solo dates coming up, but first Superchunk play two NYC shows (both sold out). The first is the stacked Ground Control 15th anniversary show at Webster Hall on 12/2 (with Titus Andronicus, Rainer Maria, Kurt Vile, Parquet Courts and many more) and the second is an intimate headlining show on 12/3 at Baby's All Right. Since we last spoke, All Dogs were added to that show which is a good fit for Superchunk. If you have tickets, it's worth showing up for them.

Meanwhile, All Dogs are on tour now with Frankie Cosmos, and that tour hits NYC this weekend at The Marlin Room at Webster Hall on Sunday (11/22). That show also has Epoch bands Eskimeaux and Florist, and tickets are still available. Updated dates are listed below.

All Dogs singer Maryn Jones is also a member of Saintseneca, who just announced a tour with Thao & the Get Down Stay Down and Little Scream.

Continue reading "Mac McCaughan streaming a remixed instrumental version of his solo album; All Dogs opening for Superchunk"


In the past week we got news of Beats Music and Rdio shutting down (the latter because Pandora acquired "key parts" of it), and now comes the news that file sharing and storage site WeTransfer is launching a streaming player and a video streaming platform next week. They've already premiered music from Prince, Disclosure and Big Grams, and they're hoping to get more exclusive premieres along the lines of something like Tidal. The new service is an attempt to set them apart from sites like Dropbox and move them into competition with Souncloud, Spotify, Bandcamp and such. WeTransfer marketing executive Maarten Kadiks tells Bloomberg:

We're using music to put us on the map. Six years ago we started out in Europe, and that is where we see the biggest amount of users. The U.S. is taking over in terms of growth. The service can become one of the most popular, alternative digital distribution channels for music content. Musicians we're having conversations with understand the value of connecting with our audience of creative tastemakers.
UPDATE: Kadiks clarifies in a new statement:
WeTransfer's new music streaming-solution is not a direct competitor of Soundcloud, Spotify or other music-streaming platforms. Those are dedicated players. The WeTransfer streaming solution is very different and is primarily a marketing channel for the creator. With this player, artists get a focused campaign to deliver their content to our massive audience. It is more of a complement to their activities on Spotify or Soundcloud.
Meanwhile, Zune officially ended earlier this week.


Lush aren't just reuniting for live shows and reissues. They're making new music too. Consequence of Sound points out that in the description on their recently-added show for April 30 in Manchester, the band reveals a new EP and eventually an album are in the works:

While there are plans further down the road to record an album, for now the new EP (as yet untitled, but it will be self-released) will feature four tracks, jointly written by the band's co-founders Emma Anderson and Miki Berenyi. Production is being shared between Jim Abbiss and Daniel Hunt of Ladytron.

"I'm a bit anxious," Emma admits, "wondering if people will think the new record will be as good as the old." But Phil King, Lush's bassist between 1992 and 1996, has some reassuring words for her: "I know I'm biased, but I work [in picture research] for a music magazine, and I heard music all day and so much sounds non-descript or derivative. But Emma just has this way of writing unusual chord changes that manage to weave lovely melodies over the top, and it immediately sounds like Lush."
Well there's something to look forward to. In the meantime, watch an old Lush video and check out the list of all upcoming tour dates below...

Continue reading "Lush releasing an EP before their reunion tour, then an album"

by Rob Sperry-Fromm

Cop Metal

In weird news out of Sanford, Florida, a cop named Andrew Ricks was recently fired for joining the death metal band Vital Remains on stage at a recent show for a rendition of "Let the Killing Begin." The cop was on duty, presumably doing security for the show, and was obviously a fan of the band. The fact that he was fired for this is, well, you know, let's just say it seems like cops have been known to keep their jobs after doing far worse (it is also worth noting that this is the same police department that failed to arrest George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin back in 2013). Maybe the Sanford police commissioner has been spending too much time watching videos of Pastor Steven Anderson. Anyway, perhaps he shouldn't have gotten on stage, but this still seems like a pretty cool cop, pulling off the near-impossible task of making cops seem cool in a room full of metalheads.

You can see the video of officer Andrew Ricks rocking out below...

Continue reading "Florida cop fired for joining a death metal band on stage"

by Rob Sperry-Fromm

Eight Bells

Portland experimental doom trio Eight Bells are preparing a new album called Landless which is out February 12 on Battleground and was produced by the legendary Billy Anderson. They're now streaming the first song from Landless, which is called "Hating." The song plays like a refinement of what Eight Bells did more long-windedly on their last album The Captain's Daughter. There's a classical doom feel to this that's wedded to a modern sense of progressiveness, with reverb-y harmonies and organ melding creating a vivid contrast with the driving, powerful drumming of new member Rae Amitay. It's good stuff, and you can stream it below.

Eight Bells will soon be heading out on that previously-mentioned tour with Voivod and Vektor that hits NYC for a show at Gramercy Theatre on 2/7 (tickets) and then NJ at the Stone Pony on 2/11 (tickets). All dates are listed below.

Rae, the new drummer, is the Chicago-based musician who also drums for Thrawsunblat and fronts the excellent death/grind band Immortal Bird. Immortal Bird released their debut LP Empress/Abcess this year which, if you missed it, is an absolutely vicious series of catchy, grindy rippers. The band wears its influences (as IO notes, Converge and Pig Destroyer come most quickly to mind) proudly, but executes at such a high level that you're too busy headbanging to notice.

Stream the new Eight Bells song (via Noisey) and the Immortal Bird album below...

Continue reading "Eight Bells (now with Immortal Bird singer on drums) share new song, "Hating" (listen)"

photos by Greg Cristman

King Diamond / Exodus
King Diamond

King Diamond and Exodus are in the midst of a three-night run at NYC's Playstation Theater this week (Nov 19-21), where King Diamond is playing their classic album Abigail in full. BV was at the show last night (12/19) and there are pictures of the show in this post.

King Diamond played Abigail as the second half of their set, opening with a mix of songs from other albums, including a couple Mercyful Fate songs and classics like "Halloween" and "Eye of the Witch." Exodus also played a lot of songs from their classic albums like "Blood In Blood Out" and "Bonded By Blood."

The bands will be back tonight and Saturday for two more sold-out shows in Times Square. Check out more pictures from the show and the setlists below...

Continue reading "King Diamond & Exodus began their 3-night run at Playstation Theater (pics & setlists)"

by Bill Pearis

Jazz Cartier @ M for Montreal 11/19/2015
Jazz Cartier
Jazz Cartier

A lot of Montreal feels like it was frozen in amber in 1981, when the autumnal earth tone palette of the '70s was beginning to give way to the shiny new decade ahead. The sign for Café Cléopâtre, an "adult entertainment" venue on Saint Laurent, with oddly drawn nude caricatures, definitely feels lost in time...or forgotten. A strip club on the lower floor, the upstairs is a cabaret venue that usually hosts drag revues. As far as places like this go, this is what you want: leather banquets, red lighting, with seamy details like an ancient (but still in use) change machine by the bathrooms. A very tall man in a tux, who seemed like he'd been at Café Cléopâtre as long as everything else in there, stood silent by the coat check which was also run by someone who also seemed like a fixture of the place.

Thursday night (11/19) this was host to M for Montreal's hip hop showcase, featuring a bill of Canadian rappers and its regular clientele by mainly industry folk. This was one of the two "official selection" shows happening that night. The main attraction was Toronto's Jazz Cartier who is getting a lot of attention lately and even if you know almost nothing about current hip hop (that would be me), you have probably heard him called "the new Drake." I cannot speak to whether that is the case or not, but Cartier was definitely the best act of the night, with an undeniable charisma and confidence. He was also the only rapper to have an actual DJ, and there was a large cluster of very excited fans up front who knew every word.

Jazz Cartier's mixtape Marauding in Paradise dropped back in April, he just released new track "I Know," this week, and will be touring the West Coast before the end of the year. He also plays again at M for Montreal tonight (11/20) at the large-scale Metropolis. All dates are listed, along with streams of the mixtape and new track, below.

The actual headliners for the night were Montreal's six-strong Dead Obies who call themselves "post rap" and rhyme in "Franglais" meaning I caught the occasional shouted word. I actually think the French language lends itself very well to hip hop, and sounds good even if I don't understand what they are actually saying. They are fun, if bro-ish, and definitely have a big following in Montreal.

The other acts on the bill were Montreal's Wasiu, who released the MTLiens mixtape a few months ago, and multi-cultural Saskatchewan crew Queen City Stoopkids who were a little green had endless enthusiasm.

The other M for Montreal official selection was at Club Soda, which is directly across the street from Café Cléopâtre, and hosted three Montreal indie bands: Foreign Diplomats (dancepunk, which seems to be eternally popular in MTL, here with a trombonist); established folk-pop act Plants & Animals (accomplished if overly smooth for my taste); and Francophone artist Louis Jean-Cormier.

For the weekend, M for Montreal becomes more of a traditional multi-venue festival with shows all over the city, including The Dears, Montreal vets We Are Wolves, Moon King, Hudson Mohawke, Night Beats, Foxxtrott and more.

You can read about M for Montreal day 1 here and stay tuned for more coverage.

Continue reading "M for Montreal 2015 day 2 review: Jazz Cartier, Dead Obies, Plants & Animals, Foreign Diplomats and more"

by Bill Pearis


Italian band Giuda are back with their third album, titled Speaks Evil, which is out today (11/20). This one is a little less Oi!-style punk than 2013's Let's Do it Again, and more in pure '70s glam/glitter mode, it's more of their fun brand of rock n' roll. You can check out the video for "Roll the Balls" and stream the whole album via Spotify, below...

Continue reading "Italy's glammy Giuda are back with 3rd LP 'Speaks Evil' (listen)"

Indie Holidays

It's about that time when musicians of all styles start putting out their versions of Christmas/holiday classics (or are writing their own). On the indie tip, we've already got a Cassie Ramone Christmas album coming, and today Amazon Prime released Indie for the Holidays which features Robert Pollard, YACHT, Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff, Fruit Bats, Rogue Wave, Reverend Horton Heat, Amason, Langhorne Slim, Anna Von Hausswolf and more.

The only way to hear the full thing as of now is on Amazon, but you can stream the YACHT, Langhorne Slim, Robert Pollard and Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff songs below...

Continue reading "YACHT, Robert Pollard, Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff and more on Amazon's 'Indie for the Holidays' compilation (listen)"

photo: Iggy Pop in Austin in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
Iggy Pop

The 26th annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert happens February 22, 2016 at Carnegie Hall, and the initial lineup has just been announced. As usual, it includes artistic director Philip Glass, and it includes the return of Iggy Pop, plus Basia Bulat, Sharon Jones, FKA twigs and Dechen Shak-Dagsay & Helge van Dyk. Tickets are on sale now.

Basia Bulat, who has a new band with Arcade Fire members and a Jim James-produced album on the way, also has tour dates of her own, including SXSW and NYC in April.