Lambchop have announced details of their new studio album, FLOTUS.
The album is due on November 4 on City Slang.
The album is called For Love Often Turns Us Still – FLOTUS – and the band have shared the first track from the album, “The Hustle”, which you can hear below.
“My wife and I attended this wedding of one her college friends in the countryside outside of Nashville,” says Kurt Wagner. “Weddings are a heady mix of emotions, memories, and events that can be quite rich in imagery. With this being a Quaker wedding, there was a lack of “officiating” in that the bride and groom addressed each other directly the entire time. This was something that I found to be most touching. Beyond that, as with much of my writing, I tend to describe experiences in an almost journalistic fashion and then strip things down till there is barely a thread to hold them together—in this case, starting with the vows and then moving on from there. The entire wedding party was doing this great synchronized dance step that I hadn’t seen before. I asked my wife what dance it was, and she told me it was the Hustle. She suggested I join them. I respectfully declined.”
The band have also released a trailer for the album.
FLOTUS is available for pre-order now on CD, 2LP and also as a special limited edition Wine Box in collaboration with Austrian winery Gut Oggau in the City Slang store.
Kurt Wagner will visit Rough Trade East on November 8 for a FLOTUS Q&A and a solo acoustic performance. Information can be found by clicking here.
The tracklisting for FLOTUS is:
In Care of 8675309
Directions to the Can
Jimi Hendrix first show with the Band Of Gypsys is to be released on September 30 by Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings.
Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 has been newly mixed from the original 1” 8 track master tapes by Eddie Kramer, Hendrix’ primary recording engineer.
Band Of Gypsys comprised of Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. The group made their debut at New York’s Fillmore East on New Year’s Eve, 1969. They played two sets that night and two the next, with the January 1 sets serving as the basis for the Band Of Gypsys album.
Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 will be released on CD, a 180 gram double-vinyl set, Super Audio CD as well as digitally.
Tracklisting Power Of Soul
Hear My Train A Comin’
In his recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, behind the “I voted for Brexit” headline, Ringo Starr had some interesting things to say about the afterlife of The Beatles. “When we started with vinyl, and then CDs came out, that was good for us financially, because it wasn’t in the contract. We had to go to CDs in the end. We were pretty late there. We were late to iTunes, too, but went there so you could buy the tracks. Streaming is huge now, so we’re moving on. Who knows what’s going to be next?” During their lifetime, The Beatles were ahead of the curve – but curating their legacy seems to be a more circumspect affair.
By these standards, the latest Beatles project seems almost radical. Ron Howard’s documentary film The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years (which covers June, 1962 to their last concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in August, 1966) is scheduled to play in cinemas for one night only on September 15 before launching on the American streaming service, Hulu. It is an unlikely piece of ‘event’ cinema from a band that historically has shied away from such unconventional practices. Additionally, the band’s sole official live album, The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl, is being reissued after being out of print for over 30 years; though this feels marginally less consequential than Howard’s film, which comes with a swish red carpet premier and rumoured Beatle attendance.
The official reason given for Eight Days A Week’s one-off cinema booking is that it is intended to reflect the unique experience of a Beatles gig: a one-of-a-kind experience, never repeated. But there are several other one-of-a-kind, never to be repeated experiences clustered around the release of The Beatles film. The Rolling Stones are also debuting Havana Moon, the film of the their outdoor concert in Cuba in March this year, in a similar one-off global cinema event on September 23, a little over a week after The Beatles’ film. Meanwhile, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds release One More Time With Feeling – a companion film to their new studio album, Skeleton Tree – in cinemas for one night on September 8.
The Stones have form in this department, of course. They have been experimenting with event models since 1981, when they broadcast the December 18 date of their American tour on pay-per-view and in closed circuit cinemas (no doubt, you’ll have seen the clip of Keith whacking a stage invader round the head with his guitar). Most recently, the premier of the band’s documentary Crossfire Hurricane was simultaneously broadcast in cinemas around the UK and Ireland ahead of its official release. Havana Moon is the band’s 20th concert film. The Stones have always understood the purpose of grand gestures – free concerts a speciality, playing to 1.5 million people on Copacabana beach in 2006 among them – and the show in Cuba was another historic first for Mick and co. Presumably, they hope to recoup the administrative costs of such a landmark event – free to the good people of Cuba, £17.50 not including popcorn and a fizzy drink to the rest of us.
Cave’s film, though, comes from a different place. The trailer for the monochrome One More Time With Feeling finds Cave in voiceover ruminating on a catastrophic event – the death of his son, Arthur, in July 2015, midway through the album’s making. The film partly functions as a means for Cave to address the tragedy from an artistic perspective, and at a distance, through the silent lens of filmmaker Andrew Dominik. Understandably, Cave has decided not to support either the film or the album with press interviews; the film will be all he has to say on a very difficult subject, presented entirely within the context of the album. Cave himself is no stranger to having a version of his life committed to celluloid – the wry 20,000 Days On Earth purported to chronicle a day in the musician’s life – but here you can expect Dominik will deliver a less knowing piece. Curiously, One More Time With Feeling is also being released in 3D – traditionally, the format of choice for blockbusting superhero movies.
Generally, event cinema is a useful tool for organizations like the Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera and Bolshoi Ballet; the V&A rolled out their David Bowie Is… exhibition as a one-off cinema event. It is less common to find rock bands streaming gigs to multiplexes round the country – though MusicScreen, the company who are distributing the Stones film, have previously broadcast live performances from Keane, Laura Mvula and KISS. As a useful comparison, Andre Rieu’s latest Maastricht summer concert played in 534 UK cinemas on Saturday, July 23 with encores the following day. The Beatles film will play on 450 – 500 screens in this country, with that figure dropping to 50 – 100 for encore screenings, while so far 150 UK cinemas will play the Cave film, with more screens being added.
It is coincidence that The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have all opted to debut new projects this way and within weeks of one another. Whether any of them will diverge from conventional promotion and release cycles again remains to be seen. Could the Stones do a Radiohead and release their mooted new blues-inspired album with a pay-what-you-want pricing model? Perhaps The Beatles could project a 3D version of Let It Be – the holy grail of unreleased Fab gear – onto the roof of 3 Savile Row before finally releasing it on DVD or Blu-ray? Maybe one day Cave could post tantalising photos of himself sniffing fruit on his Instagram account, much the same way as Beyoncé teased her Lemonade album? All of these are fanciful outcomes, of course, and shouldn’t detract from the key message here: which is of great music, historic moments and swinging shows.
In the past year or so, Ryley Walker has faced a peculiarly modern dilemma: how can he be a confessional singer-songwriter, in the tradition of his old heroes like Tim Buckley, when he finds it easier to reveal his true self on social media? Thus far, Walker has seemed more of an impulsive than a reflective character, both in his ravishing guitar improvisations and in his indiscreet Twitter binges. 2015’s Primrose Green was recorded in a mere couple of days. Like most of us, Walker’s Twitter epigrams rarely appear to have been contemplated for anything longer than the time required to type them.
Until now, there has been a striking disconnect between his songwriting voice and his online persona. Here he is on Primrose Green, singing, “Hide in the roses, fragrant and wild… Love me honey, all through the night.” And here he is on tour and on Twitter, a couple of weeks after that album was released: “When I’m in Scandinavia and see all the beautiful people I feel I’m made of farts.”
How, then, to resolve these two distinct Ryley Walkers? As Primrose Green gathered momentum and acclaim last summer, and he and his band zigzagged across the Atlantic, Walker evidently stumbled upon a kind of reconciliation. The bucolic troubadour pose would be trashed in favour of songs with titles like “The Halfwit In Me”, and his quicksilver musical energies channelled into a sound that moved beyond the touchstones of Buckley, Jansch and John Martyn. Contrarily, this new music would be more composed and less jammed than before: on “A Choir Apart”, orchestrated flurries would answer his proclamation, “I control the weather”. But the unpredictability of Walker would be apparent in the text of every song. Nights would be long, drink taken, and vainglorious boasts – “I can take any motherfucker home who loves me” – casually made. Many evenings would begin with no money; many others would climax at 4.30, as the speed is kicking in. Some way into the beatific odyssey of “Age Old Tale” he would urge, “Go on, take my advice brother/Skip out on the bill, and piss on the rest.” The halfwit in Ryley Walker would rise, triumphant, to the surface of his songs.
This is the basic plot of Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, the wonderful, self-deprecating new album from this most productive and compelling of artists. Walker is 26, and already has a strong catalogue of releases behind him: Primrose Green and its folkier 2014 predecessor, All Kinds Of You; probing instrumental duo records with Daniel Bachman, Bill Mackay and Charles Rumback; a rewarding hinterland of juvenilia, experimentation and live downloads.
Walker has always been a charismatic figure, whose work has mostly been defined by its multitudinous influences. An open-hearted love of music means he never tries too hard to cover his tracks, and a matrix of reference is still evident on Golden Sings… But where previous records nestled comfortably in a woody recreation of late ’60s and early ’70s jazz-folk, Walker has skipped forward by 20 or so years. This time, his key role models come from the 1990s: the ornate, methodically groovy end of the post-rock that once proliferated in his Chicago hometown; the unstinting revelations of Mark Kozelek and Mark Eitzel.
When these elegant manoeuvres – arranged and produced by LeRoy Bach, a key Wilco member on Summer Teeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born – combine with the wild vigour of Walker and his band, there’s a sense of something newer being plotted. “Funny Thing She Said” and “I Will Ask You Twice” initially follow the same sort of measured trajectories as American Music Club or Sun Kil Moon, and seem to carry a similar, verbose burden: “Funny thing she said to me/I could see you giving me a child,” begins the former, with a keen grasp of how to make the most quoteworthy entrance. But Walker is much too idiosyncratic to be a mere imitator of those angsty raconteurs.
In the interview that accompanies this review, Walker claims the album is a kind of statement of maturity, in which he looks indulgently on his wayward younger self from the lofty vantage point of 26 years. “Wise ass wisdom,” he asserts in “A Choir Apart”, is “wasted on the young.” It’s worth noting that Walker’s new grown-up perspective is not always apparent on his ongoing Twitter feed, revolving as it still does around excess, dubious hygiene and wry takedowns of himself: “My style,” he decided on May 29 this year, “is the kid who laughed at the birth video in health class.”
Part of Walker’s appeal is that engaging self-knowledge, and he admits that, “in five years’ time I’ll look back and say when I was 26 I was a real dumbass.” On Golden Sings… he has moved far beyond fey generalities, and found a way to fold his rambunctious personality into the warp and weft of the songs, without ever detracting from their integral beauty. It’s a document of how his character and music are evolving in raw and nuanced ways, in directions which are rewardingly creative, if not always particularly linear.
This unpredictability, perhaps, pushes Walker to the forefront of an uncommonly gifted current crop of guitarists – Steve Gunn, William Tyler, Cian Nugent, many more – finding different paths out of the avant-folk underground. Walker is blessed with a sort of unfettered virtuosity which shines through even the compositional strictures of Golden Sings…: listen to the brackish, rapturous tangles that he steers himself into on “Sullen Mind”, one of the first songs written for the album and originally envisaged as filling an entire side (it eventually clocks in at 6:32).
Out of all this, Golden Sings… eventually looks something like the beautifully-upholstered diary of a talent in flux; the testament of a singer-songwriter prone to digressive energies, to potent shape-shifting and a generous appetite for trying everything. At the moment, Walker is on a prodigious run, where every tangent he takes pays off. It would be rash to assume that all his future moves might be quite so successful: a halfwit wouldn’t be a halfwit, without the odd pratfall. But it would be just as rash to assume that this profound, funny, intricate album will end up being seen as his masterpiece.
One morning in late June, at 10am local time, I called Walker at his girlfriend’s house in Chicago. He sounded groggy, but was preoccupied with the smoothie he had just made. “It’s mango and banana, man, a little yogurt, a little ice,” he said ruefully. “I’m trying to live a long time.”
The Muppets house band, Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem, made their live debut at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music and Arts festival over the weekend.
Dr. Teeth, Animal, Floyd Pepper, Janice and Zoot played a 5-song set of covers and one original – “Can You Picture That?” from 1979’s The Muppet Movie.
They covered The Mowgli’s “San Francisco”, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ “Home”, The Band’s “Ophelia” and – accompanied by the Oakland Tabernacle Choir – The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”.
You can watch their set below.
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem recently recorded a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” with Jack White.
Otis Redding – Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings is due on October 21 through Stax Records, an imprint of Concord Bicycle Music.
The comprehensive six-disc set collects in chronological order Redding’s seven sets recorded between Friday, April 8 – Sunday, April 10,1966.
His sets included “Respect” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” alongside his version of The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and covers of The Beatles‘ “A Hard Day’s Night” and James Brown‘s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”.
The box set features newly remixed and remastered recordings from the April 1966 concerts. Some of the performances had previously appeared on the 1968 album, In Person At The Whisky A Go Go, the new collection includes previously unreleased tracks and all of Redding’s between song banter.
In 1969, the filmmaker Philip Trevelyan was introduced to the Page family. The father – a widower known locally as “Oily Page” – had worked in aircraft engineering but at the time Trevelyan met him, lived with his four grown-up children in a wood in Sussex, without electricity or running water.
The Pages became the subject of Trevelyan’s documentary, The Moon And The Sledgehammer, released in 1971, and has since quietly assumed cult status. An influence on filmmakers ranging from Nick Broomfield and Andrew Kotting, Trevelyan’s film has finally been restored and given a full release on DVD, overseen by Katy MacMillan, former wife of producer Jimmy Vaughn.
This new edition of The Moon And The Sledgehammer coincides with the BFI’s release of Alan Clarke’s Penda’s Fen and Peter Hall’s Akenfield (1973). Although in many respects markedly different films, they are all connected – however loosely – to a broader seam in literature, TV and film running through the Sixties and Seventies, knotted around the edgelands of Britain: places saturated in folk memory, Arthurian magic, Gaia myths and the occult history of Britain. To this list you could also add films including The Wicker Man, Blood On Satan’s Claw, Winstanley and Requiem For A Village, assorted Earth-set Doctor Who stories (The Daemons, particularly), The Changes, Children Of The Stones and books ranging from Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen and Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series to Richard Mabey’s The Unofficial Countryside.
Penda’s Fen is essentially a quasi-pagan fiction invoking the spirits of dead kings and composers to present a vision of an alternative England, first broadcast as part of the BBC’s Play For Today series. A layered, radical piece, it incorporates teenage sexuality and folk horror alongside complex theological and political concepts. Based on Ronald Blythe’s oral history, Akenfield chronicled the changing character and rhythms of a Suffolk village, with Hall using non-professional actors drawn from nearby communities. Many of these people are struggling to cope with the most dramatic changes to face agricultural communities for generations; and it is at this same transitional moment that Trevelyan finds the Pages.
But while the residents of Akenfield make do and mend, to the best of their abilities, the septuagenarian Page and his children have chosen to adopt a self-sufficient life isolated from the perils of the modern age in their ramshackle home in the woods. There are occasional forays into the modern world – in one scene, Trevelyan’s camera follows the slow passage of the family’s traction engine past Hayward’s Heath train station. “Steam will come back in,” says Peter, the eldest son. His younger brother, Jim, meanwhile, views evolutionary theories with suspicion and – in one of the film’s most uncomfortable scenes – appears to court his sister, Kath, with a bunch of flowers. “You are my garden of roses, kissed by the morning dew,” he tells her.
Old man Page himself is quite the thesp, emerging from the woods like an arthritic Pan to dispense twinkly-eyed hedgerow wisdom: “I never go where the cock never crows and I wouldn’t advise any of you to go where the cock don’t crow.” But although Page and his family are at least in charge of their own destinies, unburdened by deadlines or the 9 – 5 grind – contented amid the rusty iron carcasses that litter their yard – you might wonder whether their values and eccentricities have greater of less resonance in today’s world.
Eric Clapton has announced details of a new live album.
Live In San Diego With Special Guest JJ Cale will be released as a 2 CD set or 3 LP vinyl set and digital album on September 30 on Reprise/Bushbranch Records.
Recorded at Clapton’s March 15, 2007 performance at the iPayOne Center in San Diego, CA, this concert included guitarists Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II and featured JJ Cale as a special guest on five tracks (including “After Midnight” and “Cocaine”) as well as Robert Cray on the final song of the record, “Crossroads”.
Pre-orders from Ericclapton.com will receive the track “Anyway The Wind Blows” instantly and 2 additional songs ahead of the album’s release date. The 180gram version of the vinyl is exclusively available at Ericclapton.com, as well as a T-shirt and album bundle.
The tracklisting is: Tell The Truth
Key To The Highway
Got To Get Better In A Little While
Anyway The Wind Blows
Who Am I Telling You?
Don’t Cry Sister
Little Queen Of Spades
Further On Up The Road
The Beatles’ minds are expanding, as work progresses on the next LP – ‘Magic Circles’? ‘Beatles On Safari’? ‘Revolver’? – and Paul immerses himself in Stockhausen and the Tibetan Book Of The Dead. First, though, there’s a return to Hamburg, and an emotional reunion with Astrid Kirchherr…
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Taken from NME 11/3/1966
John Lennon and I tried something unusual last week – we went to lunch. Unusual for him because he never lunches out and unusual for me because I normally eat before 3.30pm! But then journalists have to get up earlier than Beatles do.
John arrived (on time) to test the new experience and we moved away in style in the luxury of his Rolls-Royce Phantom V, surveying Mayfair from behind darkened windows that allow you to see out but no-one to see in. It’s something like travelling in an ambulance, but ambulances are rarely fitted with a TV and fridge! The phone in the back of the car hummed: “Can’t be for me,” said John, “no-one’s got the number.”
We arrived at the restaurant in Regent Street and John sent the car away, asking the driver to return in 90 minutes. Only when it had gone did we discover that the restaurant, where our table was booked for 3.15, closes at 3… “Ere, it’s John Lennon,” said a woman to her friend, but before her friend had turned round we were in the back of a taxi. The driver said he knew a nice little caff in Soho, and that sounded better than sandwiches and tea at NEMS (the Epstein Emporium), so off we went. The place was empty and the food smelt good, though sherry in the soup was the closest we could get to alcohol at that time, much to the regret of our waiter. John removed his PVC mac (“Bought it in Tahiti for 15 bob”) and the Lennon interview began…
You have often said you don’t want to be playing in a pop group when you reach 30; you are now in your 26th year. The only firm date in The Beatles’ diary seems to be the NME Poll Winners Concert on May 1. Is this the start of the retirement process?
No, we’re going to Germany, America and Japan this year. It’s an accident that we’re not working now; we should have had two weeks’ holiday after Christmas and then started on the next film, but it isn’t ready. We want to work and we’ve got plenty to do, writing songs, taping things and so on. Paul and I ought to get down to writing some songs for the new LP next week. I hope he and Jane aren’t going away or God knows when we’ll be ready to record. George thought we’d written them and were all ready – that’s why he came dashing back from his honeymoon and we hadn’t got a thing ready. We’ll have to get started, there’s been too much messing round. But I feel we’ve only just finished Rubber Soul, then I realise we did it months ago. We’re obviously not going to work harder than we want to now, but you get a bit fed up of doing nothing.
Now that you’ve got all the money you need and plenty of time on your hands, don’t you ever get the urge to do something different?
I’ve had one or two things up my sleeve, I was going to make recordings of some of my poetry. But I’m not high-powered. I just sort of stand there and let things happen to me. I should have finished a new book – it’s supposed to be out this month but I’ve only done one page! I thought, ‘Why should I break me back getting books out like records?’
Do you ever worry that the money you have won’t be enough to last your lifetime?
Yes! I get fits of worrying about that. I get visions of being one of those fools who do it all in by the time they’re 30. Then I imagine writing a series for The People saying “I was going to spend, spend, spend…” I thought about this a while back, so I put the Ferrari and the Mini up for sale. Then one of the accountants said I was all right, so I got the cars back. It’s the old story of never knowing how much money we’ve got. I’ve tried to find out, but with income tax to be deducted and the money coming in from all over the place, the sums get too complicated for me, I can’t even do my times table. If I’m spending £10,000 I say to myself: “You’ve had to earn £30,000 before tax to get that.”
What sort of people are your guests at home in Weybridge?
We entertain very few. Proby was there one night, Martin another, those are the only two we’ve specifically said, ‘Come to dinner’ to and made preparations. Normally I like people to drop round on the off chance. It cuts out all that formal entertaining business. We’ve just had Ivan and Jean down for a weekend – old friends from Liverpool – and Pete Short, the fellow who runs my supermarket, came round on Saturday.
Is the Weybridge house a permanent home?
No, it’s not. I’m dying to move into town but I’m waiting to see how Paul gets on when he goes into his townhouse. If he gets by all right, then I’ll sell the place at Weybridge. I was thinking the other night, though, it might not be easy to find a buyer. How do you sell somebody a pink, green and purple house? We’ve had purple velvet put up on the dining room walls – it sets off the old, scrubbed table we eat on. Then there’s the “funny” room upstairs. I painted that all colours, changing from one to another as I emptied each can of paint. And there’s the plants in the bath… I suppose I could have a flat in town but I don’t want to spend another £20,000 just to have somewhere to stay overnight when I’ve had too much bevvy to drive home.
What kind of TV programmes do you watch?
The Power Game is my favourite. I love that. And next to it Danger Man and The Rat Catchers – did you see that episode when that spy, the clever one, shot a nun by mistake? I love that and I was so glad it happened to the clever one.
What’s going to come out of the next recording sessions?
Literally, anything. Electronic music, jokes – the next LP is going to be very different. We wanted it so there was no space between the tracks – just continuous. But they wouldn’t wear it. Paul and I are very keen on this electronic music. You make it clinking glasses together or with bleeps from the radio, then you loop the tape to repeat the noises at intervals. Some people build up whole symphonies from it. It would have been better than the background music we had for the last film. All those silly bands. Never again! CHRIS HUTCHINS
Wild Beasts discuss their new album, Boy King, in the new issue of Uncut, revealing that they wanted to get away from being seen as a “clever band”.
The group’s fifth album, produced by John Congleton, is out today (August 5th), and sees the Kendal quartet take a guitar-based look at sex and masculinity.
“Generally we wanted to get away from being typecast as a ‘clever band’,” explains Tom Fleming. “We wanted the lyrics to be self-explanatory.
“Our last LP, Present Tense, was almost all synths. This one is actually our most guitar-heavy album! John [Congleton] had a trove of weird fuzz pedals and we used them to weaponise the guitars. We wanted to use the tropes of rock’n’roll in a more interesting way, to ‘shred’ without making it sound like a Van Halen record. Not that there’s anything wrong with a Van Halen record…”
Boy King is the first album Wild Beasts have worked on with the Texan producer Congleton, and Fleming explains that heading to Dallas to record brought a new approach.
“We loved a lot of [John Congleton’s] recent work, with St Vincent, Swans, John Grant, Blondie et al, and we were surprised when he approached us. He wanted us to sound more spontaneous, to leave mistakes in, to sound like a band making a mess. He had a very Texan, no-bullshit approach. English feyness and intellectualism don’t count for much in Texas.”
Pick up the current issue of Uncut, out now, to read the full Q&A and an extensive review of Wild Beasts’ new album.
Todd Solondz last film, Dark Horse, posed the question: is it possible to make an engaging film about an imbecilic under-achiever? Here, the director hopes that viewers will invest their goodwill in this yarn about a dachshund as it passes through several owners. These include a middle-age suburban couple (Tracy Letts and Julie Delpy), a veterinarian assistant and her former school bully (Greta Gerwig and Keiran Culkin), a New York film professor (Danny DeVito) and a dyspeptic elderly woman (Ellen Burstyn).
Followers of Solondz career will be pleased to learn that these include returning characters from his breakthrough film, Welcome To The Dollhouse; and that Weiner-Dog circles all Solondz usual filmmaking tropes. The suburbs are hell, all yoga mats and granola bars and manners. In the first sequence, Delpy delivers an exquisitely written monologue about her own childhood pet, a poodle named Croissant, that was repeatedly “raped” by a stray dog named Mohammad. In the second, Greta Gerwig plays Greta Gerwig doing her kookiest Greta Gerwig – here cast as a grown-up version of Heather Matarazzo’s awkward adolescent student in Solondz’ breakthrough film, Welcome To The Dollhouse. The passages with Gerwig and Culkin are – by Solondz’s standards, at least – the most emotionally satisfying in the film.
In a film of long takes and uncomfortable silences, Danny DeVito’s permanent frown perfectly captures the neurotic anxiety at the heart of Solondz’s films. His Dave Schmerz is a not just a discontented teacher, he’s a failed screenwriter, too. Double win! “I have big news,” he’s told at one point by an elusive agent. “It’s going to sound like bad news at first, but I promise you it’s good news in the end.” His attempts to sell his script allow Solondz to dig into Hollywood – elsewhere, his fellow Sundance alumni Richard Linklater and Quentin Tarantino are skewered. Burstyn, meanwhile, gets to deliver the film’s best line. As the infirm Nina, she informs her visiting daughter that she has named the dachshund Cancer. “It felt right,” she says. “Everyone’s dying.”
Jonny Greenwood has revealed details of Radiohead‘s recording processes on their latest album, A Moon Shaped Pool.
In an interview with NPR, Greenwood discussed the band’s relationship with Thom Yorke during recording, likening their contribution to “arrangers”.
“It’s not really about can I do my guitar part now, it’s more … how do we not mess up this really good song? Part of the problem is Thom will sit at the piano and play a song like ‘Pyramid Song’ and we’re going to record it and how do we not make it worse, how do we make it better than him just playing it by himself, which is already usually quite great. We’re arrangers, really,” he said.
Of lead single “Burn The Witch“, Greenwood said: “This song was one of the rare chances of getting our hands on an unfinished song, so we could put strings on right at the beginning. Usually strings are an afterthought, decoration on the end of a song. I’ve been saying for years, wouldn’t it be great to start with strings.”
He continues: “So this song was just Thom singing in a drum machine and nothing else. And then I wrote strings to that. So you’re hearing an orchestra play—they’re strumming their violins with guitar plectrums, that’s the rhythm.”
Greenwood goes on to talk about the recording of “Daydreaming” and “Glass Eyes”. Listen to the full 25-minute interview below.
The Rolling Stones have released the trailer for their forthcoming concert film, Havana Moon.
The film documents the band’s historic concert in the Cuban capital in March this year.
The concert film will premiere on cinema screens across the globe for one night only on Friday, September 23.
“The Cuba show was simply amazing,” says Mick Jagger. “It was an incredible moment; a huge sea of people for as far as the eye could see. You could feel the buzz of the enthusiasm from the crowd and that was for me the stand out moment.”
“There’s the sun the moon the stars and The Rolling Stones,” adds Keith Richards. “Seeing Cuba finally get the chance to rock out was special… A night to remember in Havana.”
The Stones were the first rock band to play an open-air, free concert in the country. Their show attracted a million people in Havana, which took place in the same week as President Obama became the first serving US President to visit Cuba in 88 years.
Recorded in 2015 at and co-produced by Josh Kaufman, Blue Mountain features The National’s Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner and Scott Devendorf. Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter collaborated with Weir on select tracks.
Other musicians who’ve played on the album include Ray Rizzo (drums, harmonium, harmonica, backup vocals), Joe Russo (drums), Jon Shaw (upright bass, piano), Rob Burger (keyboard, accordion, tuned percussion), Sam Cohen (electric guitar and pedal steel), Nate Martinez (guitars, harmonium, backup vocals), Jay Lane (drums, vocals), Robin Sylvester (upright bass, vocals, hammond organ) and Steve Kimock (lapsteel). The Bandana Splits – comprising Annie Nero, Lauren Balthrop and Dawn Landes – sing backup on the album.
The tracklisting for Blue Mountain is:
Only A River
Lay My Lily Down
Gallop On The Run
Whatever Happened To Rose
What The Ghost Towns Know
One More River To Cross
Weir will also support the album with some shows on his Campfire Tour. Pre-sale tickets will be available on August 9 at 10:00am local time and public on-sale on August 12 at 10:00am local time from his website. Every online ticket order comes with one physical CD of Blue Mountain.
October 7 — Marin County Civic Center—San Rafael, CA
October 8 — Fox Theater¬—Oakland, CA
October 10 — The Wiltern—Los Angeles, CA
October 12 — Tower Theatre—Upper Darby, PA
October 14 & 15 — Kings Theatre—Brooklyn, NY
October 16 — The Capitol Theatre—Port Chester, NY
October 19 — Ryman Auditorium—Nashville, TN
Ringo Starr has revealed he voted for Brexit in the recent Referendum vote in the UK.
In a new interview in Bloomberg Businessweek, Starr has admitted “I voted for Brexit, because I thought the European Union was a great idea, but I didn’t see it going anywhere lately. It’s in shambles, and we’re all stuck with people who want to make arrangements for their own country and don’t think for the other countries. Britain should be out and get back on its own feet.”
“And now Scotland wants to leave and Wales wants to leave,” he continued. “Then it will be Devon. God knows where it will end.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Starr talks about The Beatles coming late to digital: “We’re just moving with the times. When we started with vinyl, and then CDs came out, that was good for us financially, because it wasn’t in the contract. We had to go to CDs in the end. We were pretty late there. We were late to iTunes, too, but went there so you could buy the tracks. Streaming is huge now, so we’re moving on. Who knows what’s going to be next? What’s Kanye West going to think of?”
The interview appears in Bloomberg Businessweek’s Interview Issue, onlineonline today and on newsstands worldwide tomorrow.
OK, heads up for this lot: Dalthom, who make pretty out, aqueous jams and consist of Rob Thomas from Sunburned Hand Of The Man and Gary War… primo choogle from Nashville’s Natural Child… Acid Arab… Kurt Vile guesting with Luke Roberts… PURLING HISS… the NYC desert trance of 75 Dollar Bill (ace, and also packaged in maybe my favourite sleeve of 2016)… The Karen Daltonish Lisa/Liza… and a deep astral clip of Natural Information Society playing with Evan Parker at Café Oto, which is clearly the gig I most regret missing this year. Enjoy.
Band Of Horses’ Ben Bridwell has muttered elsewhere his dissatisfaction that Why Are You OK will be heard for the first time largely in spring and summer. It is, he insists, a record for autumn, and he’s right. Measured against Band Of Horses’ previous records, it finds the group’s essential melancholy getting the upper hand in the long-ongoing struggle with their baser rock instincts: it is a record for darkness drawing in, for falling mercury, for “all the trees are turning gold”, as Bridwell has it on “Throw My Mess”.
Why Are You OK begins with the seven-minute suite-in-two-parts “Dull Times/The Moon”. The first portion is a stately procession that feels like it’s about to erupt into a carnival, but never quite does: spectral harmonies sigh over a gradually escalating backdrop, while Bridwell exudes fretful ennui (“Feel like I’m going insane/Why bother?”). When the shift in tempo comes, about five minutes in, it’s with guitars like a motorcycle being kick-started, and it revs quickly into something raucous, almost Jane’s Addiction-y, although Bridwell still sounds plagued by whatever it was (“Blank state and maudlin/In need of something to say” – an audacious tone to take in an opening statement, but one which suits the ensuing album.)
Not everything here is existential disquiet set to counter-intuitively expansive alterna-rock, but quite a lot of it is (no bad thing, obviously: it is possible to situate Band Of Horses in a parallelogram cornered by Radiohead, The National, The Decemberists and Okkervil River). “Solemn Oath”, which builds from a back porch strumalong, decorated by electric guitars sounding as much like banjos as electric guitars are ever likely to, into a(nother) tumult of widescreen rock, includes the telling line “But I’m lucky as fuck/It still ain’t enough”. Still other songs plumb depths sufficiently dark that one can only hope they’re not autobiographical. “Throw My Mess”, superficially a breezy country stomper, secretes the bruising appreciation “Getting me arrested was the strangest way/Of showing me that you’re mine/But it saved my life”.
This isn’t quite a record of two halves – there is a brief instrumental interlude, “Hold On Gimme A Sec”, about halfway through, but this doesn’t obviously cleave Why Are You OK into discrete Acts. There are, however, some (well, relatively) playful moments. “Casual Party”, sounds something like Radiohead playing FM radio rock, and (not incongruently) chronicles the narrator’s overwhelming horror of the suburban minutiae under discussion at the titular soiree (“Awful conversation at the casual party/The job, babble on/the recreational hobbies/No it never stops”). “In A Drawer” is a sumptuous, shape-shifting symphony that fades in and out of a dazed singalong chorus, furnished by a choir comprising guests J Mascis, Sera Cahoone and Jenn Champion (nee Ghetto).
In the interests of creative freedom, Band Of Horses financed the recording of Why Are You OK themselves, but recouped their investment thanks to Rick Rubin – who, not for the first time in Band Of Horses’ history, served as a mentor, editor and facilitator of a new record deal (it was Rubin who got them signed to Columbia for 2010’s Infinite Arms and 2012’s Mirage Rock). Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, producing, approaches the task as a sympathetic conductor, rather than overbearing auteur. The Grandaddy-est track is “Hag”, a downbeat epic haunted by keyboards which manage that signature Lytle trick of sounding somehow gloomy yet whimsical, and Bridwell’s tendency towards doubt and self-abasement (“Why spend half the time indifferent/And the other half alone?”). Lytle’s touch is also discernible on “Lying Under Oak”, synthesisers whispering behind one of those Band Of Horses ballads on which they demonstrate that one can abandon the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-etc convention without descending into obtuseness.
For all that, the two best moments of Why Are You OK are its least complicated and adorned. “Country Teen” is a wilfully lo-fi country ballad, recorded in a modern facsimile of old-school mono, acoustic rhythm guitar in the left speaker, Bridwell’s voice in the right. And the closing track, “Even Still”, is just exquisite, a lament of loneliness that resembles the unfettered internal monologue of someone hopelessly awake at four in the morning, accompanied by knelling piano chords before being lifted from of its murk by flourishes of psychedelia.
If there’s much complaint to be made about Why Are You OK, it’s only the same objection that might be lodged against Band Of Horses generally. More than once, it is difficult not to drift into wistful contemplation of the splendid, unreconstructed rock’n’roll racket of which they might be capable if they tried underthinking things for a change.
U2 have revealed details of their plans for next year.
Reporters behind the 2013 book U2 En España spoke to the band in Valencia recently, where Bono brought them up to speed on the follow-up to 2014’s Songs Of Innocence, reportedly titled Songs Of Experience.
“It’s not finished yet but you will like it,” he said. “In terms of lyrics it is stronger than [1983 album] War, it has more clarity”.
Bono also clarified when fans can expect the next leg of the band’s world tour. “The second part of the tour is for 2017… You might see a few things in September or October though.”
U2s Innocence + Experience tour concluded in Paris on December 7, 2015.
Adam Clayton, meanwhile, said that the album and tour would be coming “soon… in the next six months”.
Peter Hook has announced details of his latest book.
Following on from his previous books The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club and Joy Division memoir Unknown Pleasures, Hook’s new book will focus on New Order.
Substance is published in hardback by Simon & Schuster UK on October 6, 2016.
Substance begins where Unknown Pleasures left off: “We didn’t really think about it afterwards, it just sort of happened. One day we were Joy Division and the next time we got together, we were a new band,” Hook writes.
Hook promises to address the band’s break-up in 2008 while the book will include every New Order set list and tour itinerary, along with “geek facts” of every piece of electronic equipment used by the band.
Drive-By Truckers have shared a new song, “What It Means”, from their forthcoming album, American Band.
The album was recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium with longtime producer/engineer David Barbe. The band have already previewed one new song “Surrender Under Protest” on NPR.
Talking about “What It Means”, Patterson Hood said that it’s “a song I wrote a couple of years ago protesting the Ferguson decision and the Trayvon Martin killing. Unfortunately, the song is still timely today. I hope and pray that one day it won’t be.”
The tracklisting for American Band is:
Darkened Flags on the Cusp of Dawn
Surrender Under Protest
Guns of Umpqua
Filthy and Fried
When the Sun Don’t Shine
What It Means
Once They Banned Imagine