North American tour dates begin November 7th in Vancouver, BC.
On November 9th, J Mascis will release Elastic Days,
his third solo album for Sub Pop. “See You At The Movies,” the first
song to be released from the album, has a fully evolved sense of
identity and loss hanging over it, and features the classic couplet, “I
don’t peak too early/I don’t peak at all.” You can listen to the debut
offering here now, and also on Apple Music or Spotify.
Shortly before the release of Elastic Days, Mascis will embark
on a 23-date North American run, with Sub Pop labelmates Luluc opening a
number of shows. The tour will kick off in Vancouver on November 7th
with shows in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto,
Philadelphia, and New York, among others, before ending December 15th in
Nov. 07 - Vancouver, BC - Imperial
Nov. 08 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater
Nov. 09 - Seattle, WA - Tractor
Nov. 10 - Bellingham, WA - Wild Buffalo
Nov. 14 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s
Nov. 15 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room
Nov. 17 - Denver, CO - Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
Nov. 18 - Fort Collins, CO - Washington’s
Nov. 20 - Chicago, IL - City Winery
Nov. 21 - Chicago, IL - City Winery
Nov. 27 - Atlanta, GA - City Winery
Nov. 28 - Nashville, TN - City Winery
Nov. 29 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
Nov. 30 - Detroit, MI - El Club
Dec. 01 - Toronto, ON - Great Hall
Dec. 04 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe
Dec. 05 - Washington, DC - City Winery
Dec. 07 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade
Dec. 08 - New York, NY - Public Arts
Dec. 09 - Hamden, CT - Space Ballroom
Dec. 12 - Providence, RI - The Met
Dec. 13 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair
Dec. 14 - Northampton, MA - The Academy of Music
Dec. 15 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall
Tracklisting: 1. See You At The Movies
2. Web So Dense
3. I Went Dust
4. Sky Is All We Had
5. Picking Out the Seeds
6. Give It Off
7. Drop Me
8. Cut Stranger
9. Elastic Days
11. Wanted You Around
12. Everything She Said
About Elastic Days:
Near the end of Reagan’s first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore
scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of
WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude
and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. The contours of their
sound ebbed and flowed and mutated for 13 years before the name was
retired. And in the course of that time, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur
Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based
responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the
scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.
A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called Martin + Me.
Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J’s songs
to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear
how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed
interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have
sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr
lineup in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then, when he had
songs that were suited to acoustic (or at least relatively toned-down)
performance. And those album, Sings + Chant for AMMA (2005), Several Shades of Why (2011) and Tied to a Star(2014) all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool.
Like its predecessors, Elastic Dayswas recorded at J’s own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star)
plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include
old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy
(Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly-added voice of Zoë Randell
(Luluc), among others. But the show is mostly J’s and J’s alone.
He laughs when I tell him I’m surprised by how melodic his vocals seem
to have gotten. Asked if that was intentional, he says, “No. I took some
singing lessons and do vocal warm-ups now, but that was mostly just to
keep from blowing out my vocal cords when Dino started touring again.
The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums.
I’d just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don’t have
too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than
I’d originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I’d play the
acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”
There is plenty of drumming on the dozen songs on Elastic Days.
But for those expecting the hallucinatory overload of Dinosaur Jr’s
live attack, the gentleness of the approach here will draw easy
comparisons to Neil Young’s binary approach to working solo versus
working with Crazy Horse. This is a lazy man’s shorthand, but it still
J’s vocals have always leaned in a direction acknowledging the Bard of
Toronto, but as early as Dinosaur Jr’s third single, the epoch-defining
“Freak Scene,” J’s off-hand vocal delivery was instantly recognizable.
On a track like “Sky Is All We Had,” the same dynamism is at work, but
the evolution of technique is so massive as to lift the proceedings to a
new level. The album is chock-full of similar nuggets. Built around
acoustic guitar figures, often holding off electric flights of guitar
backdrop until the third act, the tunes are massively seductive and
satisfying. J’s fave track is “See You At The Movies,” which has a fully
evolved sense of loss hanging over it, and features the classic
couplet, “I don’t peak too early/I don’t peak at all.” My own choice is
“Picking Out the Seeds,” on which J pulls out his falsetto voice to
great effect, and maintains a middlin’ pace that makes the tune one of
the great Beard Rock readymades of the era.
But Elastic Daysbrims with great moments: Epic hooks that snare
you in surprisingly subtle ways, guitar textures that slide against
each other like old lovers, and structures that range from a
neo-power-ballad (“Web So Dense”) to jazzily-canted West Coasty
post-psych (“Give It Off”) to a track that subliminally recalls the
keyboard approach of Scott Thurston-era Stooges (“Drop Me”). The album
plays out with a combination of holism and variety that is certain to
set many brains ablaze.
J says he’ll be taking this album on the road later in the year. He’ll
be playing by himself, but unlike other solo tours he says he’ll be
standing up this time. “I used to just sit down and build a little fort
around myself – amps, music stands, drinks stands, all that stuff. But I
just realized it sounds better if the amps are higher up because I’m so
used to playing with stacks. So I’ll stand this time.”
I ask if it’s not pretty weird to stand alone on a big stage. “Yeah,” he
says. “But it’s weird sitting down too.” Ha. Good point. One needs to
be elastic. In all things.
The band celebrates the album’s 10th anniversary with North American tour dates in November and December; Keep Your Eyes Ahead: Deluxe Edition features the remastered original album, plus demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the same era
On October 12th, 2018, Sub Pop will reissue The Helio Sequence’s landmark album Keep Your Eyes Ahead for its 10th anniversary as a deluxe edition.The newly remastered set will be available on CD/2xLP/DL and includes the original 10-song effort along with a second album of demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the same era. Keep Your Eyes Ahead: Deluxe Edition was mastered by The Helio Sequence at Helio Sound studio in their hometown of Portland, Oregon. You can listen to “Lately” and an acoustic version of “No Regrets” and pre-order the record today.
Upon its release in 2008, the record was warmly received from critics and fans alike. MAGNET named it one of the “Top 25 Albums of 2008,” and raved, “Keep Your Eyes Ahead is a shining example of how to go retro while still moving forward.” Washington Post offered this, “Trading its former album’s dense keyboard compositions for a more expansive and organic sound, Keep Your Eyes Ahead is the work of a band commanding its audience’s attention. Stand out tracks like “Hallelujah” and “Can’t Say No” show the band flexing its melodic muscles, branching out into grandiose guitar rock territory without sacrificing the nuance and keyboard flourishes of its early work.” And Drowned in Sound, in its 8/10 review of the album, had this to say, “And now, at last, the protracted silence is broken by the surging scream of Keep Your Eyes Ahead, an album that feels as vital as the first, gulping breath of the near drowned. What this record means to Summers and partner Benjamin Weikel is apparent in the intense force of feeling.”
Keep Your Eyes Ahead: Deluxe Edition is now available for pre-order through Sub Pop and will be available in the following formats:
2xLP housed in a double-wide embossed jacket with custom dust sleeves
LP preorders of Keep Your Eyes Ahead: Deluxe Edition through Sub Pop and select independent retailers will receive the Loser edition on blue vinyl. There will also be a new t-shirt available at this time.
The Helio Sequence will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Keep Your Eyes Ahead playing the album in its entirety on tour, beginning November 14th in San Francisco at the Chapel and ending December 14th in Portland at the Doug Fir. Tickets for these dates are on sale now. Preceding the tour, the band will appear at McMinnville, Oregon’s Walnut City Music Festival on September 1st, and Rainier Day along Airport Way in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood on October 6th.
Sep. 01 - McMinnville, OR - Walnut City Music Festival Oct. 06 - Seattle, WA - Rainier Day / Airport Way (Georgetown) Nov. 14 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel Nov. 15 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room Nov. 16 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar Nov. 17 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah Nov. 18 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow’s Nov. 28 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle Nov. 30 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s Dec. 01- Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere Dec. 02 - Allston, MA - Great Scott Dec. 04 - Washington, DC - Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House Dec. 05 - Atlanta, GA - The Drunken Unicorn Dec. 07 - Austin, TX - Barracuda Dec. 08 - Plano, TX - Legacy Hall Dec. 11 - Denver, CO - Globe Hall Dec. 12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge Dec. 13 - Boise, ID - Neurolux Dec. 14 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
Watch KEXP live performances of 1 Time Mirage tracks “Seven Wheel Motion,” “Give You Game,” and “My Dreams Never Sleep”
Knife Knights have shared “Seven Wheel Motion,” a new offering from 1 Time Mirage,
their forthcoming debut album for Sub Pop. Colossal drums puncture
walls of labyrinthine noise sculpted from deranged synthesizers and
mutated guitars throughout and is an absolute powerhouse of a song.
Ishmael Butler seems to rap in dialogue with himself, detailing a
threatening streetscape and shaping the experience into personal
realizations. “Smooth landings, queens in tandems, cash in grand sums,”
he declares at one point. “Life is random/I roll the dice and bet on me.”
Knife Knights recently premiered the aforementioned “Seven Wheel Motion” with additional 1 Time Mirage standouts “Give You Game,” and “My Dreams Never Sleep” live for KEXP. [see July 19th session.]
1 Time Mirage will be available worldwide September 14th from
Sub Pop. The otherworldly long-player features guest appearances from
labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas THEE Boss, OCnotes, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Marquetta Miller, Gerald Turner, and
Darrius Willrich. The album was produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik
Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.
Band to perform ’Furr’ in its entirety on tour this fall.
You may now feast those ears on the Blitzen Trapper rarity “Booksmart Baby” from the forthcoming Deluxe Edition of Furr. The song was the B-side of the limited edition “War Is Placebo” Record Store Day single, originally released in 2009.
Eric Early says of the song, “One of those weird haunting songs I wrote in the middle of the night in the telegraph building on the poppy couch, those lyrics are some kind of riddle I think.
Blitzen Trapper released Furr its breakthrough and label debut for Sub Pop in 2008. The album was met with universal acclaim, earning praise from the likes of The Guardian, Pitchfork, Paste, AV Club, and Rolling Stone, who in it’s 4 star review called it “an engaging album full of rootsy beauty.” The album would go on to earn the no. 13 spot on Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Albums of 2008,” later that year.
For the newly expanded deluxe edition of Furr, Blitzen Trapper have compiled two LPs worth of material: The original album and twelve rare and previously unreleased tunes. All of these songs were from the same recordings that became Furr, with the exception of the “Live at KCRW “ tracks, which were recorded during the Furr tour.
The reissue features updated cover art, and a new liner note from Earley reflecting on the album and what it means now, as well as a track by track description of the bonus songs, and a Q&A with the stage & screen actor, and Blitzen Trapper fan, Rainn Wilson (of The Office, Six Feet Under and The Blitzen Trapper Massacre fame).
Furr: Deluxe Edition will be available on 2xLP/CD/DL/CS (Furr only) on September 14th through Sub Pop and is available for preorder now here. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on clear vinyl with gold swirl (while supplies last).
[Photo Credit: Tyler Kohlhoff]
Blitzen Trapper Tour Dates + Ticket Links
Blitzen Trapper will support the release of Furr: Deluxe Edition with a massive fall North American tour, beginning September 14th at Victoria’s Rifflandia Festival and ending November 17th-18th with a two-night stand at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge. These fall shows will find the band playing Furr in its entirety, followed by a set of fan favorites from throughout the band’s discography. Sub Pop labelmates Luluc will also join Blitzen Trapper as direct support November 8th-18th (select dates). For up-to-date information on tickets, please visit the band’s official website.
Furr Fall 2018 Tour Dates Sep. 14 - Victoria, BC - Rifflandia Festival Sep. 15 - Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Sep. 16 - Nelson, BC - Spiritbar at the Hume Hotel Sep. 17 - Calgary, AB - Festival Hall Sep. 18 - Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room Sep. 19 - Saskatoon, SK - Amigos Sep. 20 - Toronto, ON - RBC Echo Beach** Sep. 21 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe Sep. 22 - Indianapolis, IN - Holler On The Hill at Garfield Park Sep. 24 - 25 - Chicago, IL - Schubas Sep. 27 - Hamilton, ON - Mills Hardware Sep. 28 - Ottawa, ON - The 27 Club Sep. 29 - Montreal, QC - Le Ministère Oct. 01 - Allston, MA - Great Scott Oct. 02 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg Oct. 04 - Philadelphia, PA - The Foundry at The Fillmore Oct. 05 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel Oct. 06 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle Oct. 07 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl Oct. 08 - Nashville, TN - The Basement East Oct. 10 - St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill Duck Room Oct. 11 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar Oct. 12 - Lincoln, NE - The Royal Grove Oct. 13 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre Nov. 08 - Chico, CA- Sierra Nevada Brewing Company * Nov. 09 - Reno, NV - Offbeat Music Festival Nov. 10 - Novato, CA - Hopmonk Tavern* Nov. 11 - Sebastopol, CA - Hopmonk Tavern* Nov. 12 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern Nov. 13 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room* Nov. 14 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent* Nov. 16 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile* Nov. 17 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge* Nov. 18 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge* ** w/ Shaky Graves, The Sheepdogs
On September 14th, Low will release Double Negative, their acclaimed new album. Today the band are offering a new preview via the album’s closing cut, “Disarray.”
Double Negative will
be out worldwide on Sept 14th, 2018 and the world tour in support of
the new album begins with a three-night stand September 19th-21st at
National Sawdust in New York City.
Uncut, in its album of the month review (9/10), offers this of Double Negative: “Low have never made a record quite so jarring and jagged, but Double Negative pushes
beyond their own catalogue. Low have made what might be their most
relevant album, one that holds a mirror up to the world.”
As previously mentioned, Low will embark on a world tour in support of
their new album, with a three-night stand at National Sawdust in New
York City on September 19th-21st with a European run following on Sep.
29th in Lisbon. These dates will find the band performing in Madrid,
Milan, Zurich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, and Brussels, before returning
to the states on November 2nd, to kick off a 12-date North American run
starting in their home state of Minnesota. See below for a full list of
tour dates, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.
Sep. 19 - New York, NY - National Sawdust
Sep. 20 - New York, NY - National Sawdust
Sep. 21 - New York, NY - National Sawdust
Sep. 29 - Lisbon, PT - Lisboa ao Vivo
Oct. 01 - De Compostela Santiago, ES - Sala Capitol
Oct. 02 - Madrid, ES - Sala But
Oct. 03 - Barcelona, ES- Fabra i Coats
Oct. 05 - Milan, IT - Teatro Dal Verme
Oct. 06 - Zurich, CH - Bogen F
Oct. 08 - Leipzig, DE- Conne Island
Oct.0 9 - Berlin, DE - Festsaal Kreuzberg
Oct. 10- Bochum, DE - Christuskirche Bochum
Oct. 11 - Brussels, BE - Orangerie (at Botanique)
Oct. 12 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
Oct. 13 - Paris, FR - La Gaîté Lyrique
Oct. 15 - Bristol, UK - Trinity
Oct. 16 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Cathedral
Oct. 17 - Dublin, IE - Vicar Street
Nov. 02 - St. Paul, MN - The Fitz
Nov. 05 - Detroit, MI - El Club
Nov. 06 - Toronto, ON - Great Hall
Nov. 08 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rosa
Nov. 09 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
Nov. 10 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts
Nov. 12 - Washington, DCU Street Music Hall
Nov. 13 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Funhouse
Nov. 14 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
Nov. 16 - Chicago, IL - Rockefeller Chapel
I’ve Tortured You Long Enough features “Keep On Dying,” “How I Love You,” “J.Z.O.K.” [watch here], and “Dark Window”[watch here], and is available on CD/LP/DL/CS worldwide through Sub Pop [buy here]. Purchases of the album through megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on marbled black and white vinyl (while supplies last).
And next week, Mass Gothic have scheduled a headlining release show at Brooklyn’s Zone One at Elsewhere on September 5th. On September 8th the band heads overseas for their live debut in Tel Aviv, followed by two UK shows on September 12th (London) and September 13th (Manchester).
Sep. 05 - Brooklyn, NY - Zone One at Elsewhere Sep. 08 - Tel Aviv, IS - Barby Sep. 12 - London, UK - Sebright Arms Sep. 13 - Manchester, UK - The Castle
[Photo Credit: Shawn Brackbill]
Even when you’re married and you’re best friends and you’ve spent a lifetime collaborating with each other, it’s not often obvious what’s staring you right in the face. I’ve Tortured You Long Enough is the tongue-in-cheek title of Mass Gothic’s second album for this reason, among several others. Husband/Wife duo Heroux and Zambri have always dipped in and out of each other’s creative spaces, advising on their respective outputs and supporting one another. But never had they before completely committed to doing an entire album as a duo, sharing an equal load. The time had come. And thank goodness. They have dreamed up a record packed with the tension, chaos and beauty of a fluid and cathartic two-way conversation. In a universe increasingly threatening our abilities to work hard on communication and coexistence, their creative union isn’t just inspired but important. “Why did it take us so long?” laughs Heroux.
Live, Mass Gothic expands to a four-piece with multi-instrumentalist Cristi Jo Zambri and drummer Joe Stickney, who also play on the album. ITYLE was co-produced by the band and Josh Ascalon, mixed by Chris Coady and mastered by Heba Kadry.
What The People are saying about Mass Gothic:
“Backed by luminous synths and chugging momentum, the intimacy of the hook is blown up to thrilling proportions, and their love is scattered large across the soundscape.”[J.Z.O.K.] - The 405
“Essential…Their earworm-ready songs are made to fight for their right to party.” - Loud and Quiet
“Mass Gothic’s identity is nearly undefinable, with the pair blasting through genres and ideals with a sort of unsettled energy. Whether losing yourself to the starry synths and complimentary vocals found in the spacey fuzz of “J.Z.O.K.” or floating off in the dazzling airiness, throbbing rhythms and vast instrumental expanse of the album’s title track, the release is one sure to keep you enraptured.” - The Grey Estates
“A compelling listen…a record worthy of your time.” - Bristol Live