Sullen the Gorilla takes a solitary hike through “Nowheresville,” the official video and new single from Quasi’s Breaking the Balls of History, the duo’s tenth-album and label debut for Sub Pop.
Breaking the Balls of History will be available on CD/LP/CS/DSPs on February 10th, 2023. The album features twelve-tracks and was produced by Quasi and John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Unwound, Treepeople, Team Dresch) at Rob Lang Studios in Seattle, engineered and mixed by Goodmanson, and mastered by Bill Skibbe at Third Man Mastering.
Quasi is supporting Breaking the Balls of History with a headlining U.S. tour hat begins on the album’s release day, Friday, February 10th in Boise, ID at Neurolux and ends Tuesday, March 28th in Pittsburgh, PA at Club Cafe. The tour will feature support (select dates) from the likes of Yuvees (Feb. 10th-20th), No. 2 (Mar. 2nd-4th), Shaylee (Mar. 4th), and Bat Fangs (Mar. 14th-28th). Tickets for these shows are on sale now.
Fri. Feb. 10 - Boise, ID - Neurolux ^ Sat. Feb. 11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court ^ Mon. Feb. 13 - Albuquerque, NM - Sister ^ Wed. Feb. 15 - San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger ^ Thu. Feb. 16 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall ^ Fri. Feb. 17 - Austin, TX - The Parish ^ Sat. Feb. 18 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada ^ Mon. Feb. 20 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace ^ Wed. Feb. 22 - Phoenix, AZ - Rebel Lounge Thu. Feb. 23 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy and Harriet’s Fri. Feb. 24 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon Sat. Feb. 25 - Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club Sun. Feb. 26 - Sacramento, CA - Starlet Room Thu. Mar. 02 - Vancouver, BC - Fox Cabaret # Fri. Mar. 03 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern # Sat. Mar. 04 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge # ! Tue. Mar. 14 -Boston, MA - The Sinclair % Wed. Mar. 15 - Kingston, NY - Tubby’s % Thu. Mar. 16 - Ridgewood, NY - TV Eye % Fri. Mar. 17 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s % Sun. Mar. 19 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook % Tue. Mar. 21 - Atlanta, GA - 529 % Wed. Mar. 22 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn % Thu. Mar. 23 - Nashville, TN - Blue Room at Third Man Records % Fri. Mar. 24 - St. Louis, MO - Off-Broadway % Sat. Mar. 25 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle % Sun. Mar. 26 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups % Mon. Mar. 27 - Detroit, MI - Third Man Records % Tue. Mar. 28 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe %
Quasi’s Breaking the Balls of History, featuring the aforementioned “Nowheresville,” along with the official videos for “Doomscrollers” and “Queen of Ears,” is seeing early praise from the likes of Brooklyn Vegan, who say, “[Queen Of Ears] Has all the Quasi earmarks: pointed lyrics, jagged melodies, skronky organ, bashing drums, and Sam & Janet’s distinctive harmonies.” Stereogum says “Lead single “Queen Of Ears” finds Coomes and Weiss bashing away on their keyboard and drums, respectively, lending a raw edge to an otherwise bright and poppy song. The backing vocals are clutch on this one.” Meanwhile, of “Doomscrollers,” MOJO offers this “Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes here switch on all their chaotic McCartney/Malkmus energy for a state-of-the-planet address.” Finally, Shindig! calls “Doomscrollers” “A punchy blend of state-of-things stream of consciousness and melodic brightness signals the much-awaited return of Pacific Northwest legends Quasi.” Breaking the Balls of History, was included in Pitchfork’s “The 34 Most Anticipated Releases for 2023” (see January 9th story).
Breaking the Balls of History can be preordered now from Sub Pop. LP preorders from megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, the UK, and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on pink vinyl.
Tracklisting: 1. Last Long Laugh 2. Back in Your Tree 3. Queen of Ears 4. Gravity 5. Shitty Is Pretty 6. Riots & Jokes 7. Breaking the Balls of History 8. Doomscrollers 9. Inbetweenness 10. Nowheresville 11. Rotten Wrock 12. The Losers Win
DEBBY FRIDAY will release GOOD LUCK, her supernovic, full-length debut on CD/LP/Digitally worldwide (ex. Canada) on March 24th 2023 through Sub Pop. The album, which features “SO HARD TO TELL,” “I GOT IT,” “SAFE,” and the title track, was co-produced and mixed by DEBBY FRIDAY and Graham Walsh (METZ, Holy Fuck) at Candle Recording Studio in Toronto, and mastered by Heba Kadry in New York.
Of the cosmically sublime lead single “SO HARD TO TELL,” FRIDAY offers this, “I have a lower register and speak with vocal fry so I don’t know what came over me when I made this track. I have never in my life sung like this before and I had no idea I could even make these kinds of sounds with my voice. There’s no pitch effects on ‘SO HARD TO TELL,’ it’s all me.”
The video, co-directed by Kevan Funk and DEBBY FRIDAY, sees FRIDAY in prismatic view. Roaming through rocky hillsides, psychedelic forests, ancient stone temples and more, FRIDAY is luminescent and multitudinous - the many versions of herself synthesizing into the shape of a burgeoning star.
DEBBY FRIDAY’s international headlining tour dates and festival appearances in support of GOOD LUCK begin January 21st and currently run through May 6th, 2023. Highlights include SXSW (March 15th - 18th), and shows in the US, Canada, and UK. Additional live performances for 2023 to be announced soon.
Sat. Jan. 21 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa w/ Pelada Fri. Feb. 17 - Toronto, ON - Boiler Room Wed. Mar. 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW Thu. Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW Fri. Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW Sat. Mar. 18 - Austin, TX - SXSW Fri. Mar. 24 - Montreal, QC - Phi Centre Sat. Mar. 25 - Toronto, ON - Garrison Wed. Apr. 12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios Thu. Apr. 13 - Seattle, WA - Barboza Fri. Apr. 14 - Los Angeles - Zebulon Sat. Apr. 15 - Vancouver, BC - Cobalt Wed. Apr. 19 - Brooklyn, NY - Babys Alright Thu. Apr. 20 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle Wed. May 03 - London, UK - Corsica Studios w/ Grove
GOOD LUCK is available now to preorder from Sub Pop. LP pre orders from megamart.subpop.com, select independent stores in North America, the U.K., and E.U., will receive the limited Loser edition on metallic silver vinyl (while supplies last).
About DEBBY FRIDAY’S GOOD LUCK: The usual boom-and-bust cycles of growing up – breaking down, gathering the strength to get up, fumbling hard, doing it all over again - can feel unmooring, to say the least, but, and according to DEBBY FRIDAY, its tragedies and glories need savoring. Losing illusions, gaining expectations; getting deep into the private, soupy kaleidoscope of what’s possible and what’s futile – GOOD LUCK, her debut, and supernovic, full-length album, is built on welcoming the journey’s complicated drops and mountain highs with something more like grace.
Nigerian-born, then an emigré to bits of Canada - from Montreal to Vancouver to Toronto - DEBBY FRIDAY’s roamings through space and time really began when the sun fell. Nightlife was her emancipation from the toughness of home life, and she fell into it, body and soul, totally seduced. Raves til sunrise; house music in unknown basements and warehouses – the lure of the party was the perfect escape. “I was like a little club rat,” she laughs. Her adoration of the world that it opened for her came in “almost in a sensual way.”
Things that feel good sometimes do fall apart, though. In 2017, after DJing for less than a year, her life just sort of imploded. Parties started getting less functional. Nothing was going the way that she wanted it to go. So she gathered her things and embarked on what would turn out to be the first of a few of her coming-of-age stories – a wave of bildungsromans. “Personal issues: mental health stuff, substance abuse stuff, stupid love;” she lists, but the way FRIDAY says it, it seems as if she’s grateful for the valleys she had to walk through in order to see the version of herself we get today. After making the decision to stop herself in her tracks, she pulverized new paths for herself forward. Late-night YouTube tutorials on music production led to an EP, BITCHPUNK, and BITCHPUNK led to her first public performances, and all that gave way to a second EP, DEATH DRIVE. Her art endowed her with the strength she needed to move on. “This is what I was born to do,” she goes. “It came to me so naturally and instinctively. I felt just so clear, focused, and in my power in a way that I’d never felt before up until that point.”
So what does it take to hone that power? Discipline - routines, rituals; an MFA, practices of writing and filmmaking, and music-making that guide a person from one day to the next - but something close to mysticism, too. FRIDAY’s serious, long-term relationships to the study of astrology, psychology, and philosophy allow her to move through the world, relate to others, and get closer to what’s inside her. She believes in what emerges. She believes in making the unconscious, conscious. She wants to be in dialogue with the darkness.
It’s why GOOD LUCK works like such a study in entropy. On the surface, you’ll hear hints of Santigold’s dub dazzle, the MIDI-crush of Death Grips, but less obviously the plaintiveness of directors like Eric Rohmer, or the grotesque decadence of later-era Sylvia Plath. (Juno Award and Polaris Prize-nominated composer Graham Walsh adds a sort of heft and pull to the genre-flexibility on parade here: think of it a little like Sevdaliza meets FKA Twigs.)
Few do it like her, though. If lucid, acid housey, high-BPM tracks like “I GOT IT” - accompanied by Chris Vargas of Pelada / Uñas - has her cocksure and vainglorious about her “big ol ego” and “red blood libido,” a crushing track like “LET U DOWN” (“I been your Brutus, your Judas / I’ve been so wrecked and so ruthless”) doesn’t hesitate to explore the lower ends of the emotional register. She’s drawn to certain keys and moods (the brooding D and F minors, for instance, are all over this album) to suggest melancholia and darkness. However, the lead single, “SO HARD TO TELL,” sees FRIDAY totally shed all of her signature industrial tropes, to deliver a completely out-of-pocket, totally assured, falsetto pop song. Sounding like little that has come before in her catalog, this track is a crucial signifier in FRIDAY’s development.
The album GOOD LUCKwill be co-released with a short film of the same name, co-directed by FRIDAY and Nathan De Paz Habib (past work includes Eroica, based on Chino Amobi’s novel of the same name). It’s a story of individuation. It’s a love story about a woman and her masked beloved, but outside of the accompanying-but-stand-alone visual, it’s all a willing, yearning investigation into what goes on behind the veil of sadness, of cruelty. Because knowing the darkness is the only way to understand the light, but also the greys and the blues and the in-between states. FRIDAY’s explorations in GOOD LUCK – delving down into the muck of nuance - are a kind of courage.
DEBBY FRIDAY GOOD LUCK
Tracklisting: 1. GOOD LUCK 2. SO HARD TO TELL 3. I GOT IT 4. HOT LOVE 5. HEARTBREAKERRR 6. WHAT A MAN 7. SAFE 8. LET U DOWN 9. PLUTO BABY 10. WAKE UP
Bret McKenzie has delivered a live performance of “Dave’s Place,” a highlight from Songs Without Jokes, his full-length debut, out now Sub Pop. The performance was captured on September 2022 at the Auckland Town Hall in Auckland, New Zealand.
Bret and his eight-piece band, an all-star lineup of Wellington musicians, wowed audiences across the globe with a hilarious and boundless live show in support of the album. Each night, fans were treated to a selection of material from the new album, as well as his previous musical adventures with The Muppets, The Simpsons, The Black Seeds, his comedy, and more.
Bret recently visited CBS Saturday Morning for performances of “Dave’s Place,” and additional Songs Without Jokes highlights “A Little Tune” and “If You Wanna Go.”
Songs Without Jokes features the aforementioned “Dave’s Place,” along with “If You Wanna Go,” “Tomorrow Today,” and “A Little Tune,” was produced by Mickey Petralia and McKenzie, mixed by Darrell Thorpe, with songs recorded at East West Studios and United Recordings, and mastered by Dave Ives at 101 Mastering in Los Angeles. Songs Without Jokes is available everywhere from Sub Pop.
What people are saying about Songs Without Jokes:
“Baroque-pop delight. Evocative of Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman at their most extroverted. McKenzie’s songs provide great warmth (8/10).” Uncut
“Its tracks carry notes of Steely Dan, Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman, its contributors include some of Los Angeles’ most-revered session musicians, and while there is unquestionably great wit at play, there is also sincerity and real tenderness.” - The Guardian
“Surely he must see at least the fun in earnestly singing lyrics like “Look around, the planet is bleeding / A child is crying, the parents are weeping / The air is filthy, they don’t recommend breathing” atop the orchestral pop stylings of Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman, right? The songs grapple with today’s problems, but they’re every bit as charming, silly and heartfelt as one would expect from the motherflippin’ Rhymenoceros.” - Exclaim
“Unlike a lot of modern records, there is nothing bedroom-bound about this production, and you can feel the felicity of its live fanfare in a way that can rig up lighting rigs on its own. With this in mind, Songs Without Jokes is a titillating tour de force that we can’t wait to catch on the road.” [Album of the Week] - Far Out Magazine
“Although this is far from a comedy album, McKenzie’s wry sense of humour is still all over songs like ‘If You Wanna Go’ (“if you wanna go, baby, you should go,” shrugs the deadpan lyric), the sardonic ‘That’s LA’ (“drive down Sunset and the tears roll down my face”) and his breakup song with the US, America Goodbye. Musically, the album is drenched in an aviators-tinted nostalgia, ‘This World’ channelling Randy Newman and first single ‘A Little Tune’ a convincing and fun Harry Nilsson pastiche.” - The
Indie rock titans The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie have today announced plans for a landmark 20th anniversary co-headline North American tour. The extraordinary live run will see both iconic groups performing their seminal 2003 albums in full – The Postal Service’s RIAA Platinum-certified Give Up and Death Cab for Cutie’s RIAA Gold-certified breakthrough fourth studio LP Transatlanticism – two classics released within a mere eight months of one another that year.
Benjamin Gibbard, the co-founder of both bands, will pull double duty throughout the tour, performing with The Postal Service – comprised of Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello, and Jenny Lewis – as well as with Death Cab for Cutie (alongside Nick Harmer, Dave Depper, Zac Rae, and Jason McGerr).
“I know for a fact I will never have a year again like 2003. The Postal Service record came out, Transatlanticism came out. These two records will be on my tombstone, and I’m totally fine with that. I’ve never had a more creatively inspired year.” – Gibbard
The tour was announced this morning via an exclusive trailer on the band’s socials (watch HERE).
The sure to be highly-anticipated run will kick off September 8, 2023 at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, ME and continue through mid-October, with highlights including shows at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden, Berkeley, CA’s Greek Theatre, and Los Angeles, CA’s Hollywood Bowl.
Pre-sales begin Wednesday, December 14 at 10 am (local) and continue through Thursday, December 15 at 10 pm (local). Sign-up for early access to tickets here. For the Hollywood Bowl show, American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Tuesday, December 13 at 10am PT through Thursday, December 15 at 10pm PT.
All remaining tickets will be released to the general public on Friday, December 16 at 10 am (local). For complete details and ticket information, please visit giveuptransatlanticismtour.com.
The upcoming tour will mark the first live performances from The Postal Service in over a decade, following 2013’s hugely successful 10-year anniversary reunion tour for Give Up – an album which still stands today as Sub Pop’s second highest-selling album in the label’s history, second only to Nirvana’s Bleach. The reunion tour was captured for posterity on a live concert film, Everything Will Change, released in 2014 and subsequently on a live audio album released in 2020 to digital streaming platforms.
Also in 2020, the trio joined forces to support HeadCount’s “Make Your Vote Count” campaign via a star-studded video of “Zoom Auditions” for new band members which featured appearances from fans including Anne Hathaway, Kenny G, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Slash, Huey Lewis, Caroline Polachek, Michelle Zauner, Big Freedia, and J Mascis, to name a few.
Meanwhile, 8x GRAMMY® Award-nominees Death Cab for Cutie are currently celebrating the release of their critically acclaimed 10th studio album, Asphalt Meadows. Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, Wallows), the new LP includes the explosive “Roman Candles” and chart-topping “Here to Forever,” the latter of which reached #1 at Alternative radio in October, after spending a record-setting nine weeks atop the AAA airplay chart this summer. The album received tremendous praise from outlets including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vulture, SPIN, Stereogum, and Pitchfork, who lauded the record as “a late career masterwork… a restoration of their creative momentum when a mere ‘return to form’ would have sufficed.”
Ahead of the dates with The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie will continue their Asphalt Meadows world tour in January 2023, traversing North America, Europe, and the UK through June, with support from Momma, Slow Pulp, and Lomelda on select dates. This follows their much-celebrated headline tour this past Fall at venues including Forest Hills (NYC) and The Greek Theatre (LA). For remaining tickets and complete details, please visit www.deathcabforcutie.com.
THE POSTAL SERVICE // DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
8 – Portland, ME – Cross Insurance Arena
9 – Kingston, RI – The Ryan Center
10 – New Haven, CT – Westville Music Bowl
12 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall
13 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall
14 – Washington, DC – Merriweather Post Pavilion
17 – Detroit, MI – Meadow Brook Amphitheater
20 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
21 – Philadelphia, PA – The Mann Center
24 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory
26 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
27 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
3 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre
4 – Las Vegas, NV – The Chelsea Ballroom at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
7 – Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena
10 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre – UC Berkeley
13 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
# # #
Formed in Bellingham, WA in 1997, Death Cab for Cutie immediately entered the ranks of the era’s most definitive bands, thanks in large part to the remarkable power of co-founder, vocalist, guitarist, and lead songwriter Ben Gibbard’s complex, often bittersweet songcraft. The band made their worldwide popular breakthrough with 2003’s RIAA gold certified Transatlanticism, later named by NPR as one of “The Decade’s 50 Most Important Recordings.” Fueled by critical acclaim, an array of high profile soundtrack placements, and such hit singles as “The Sound of Settling” and “Title and Registration,” the album debuted among the upper half of the Billboard 200 – Death Cab for Cutie’s first ever entry on the overall chart. A 10th anniversary edition of Transatlanticism containing previously unheard demos and outtakes arrived in 2013, prompting NPR to write, “For all its ubiquity and imitators, Transatlanticism holds up as an exquisitely produced, largely flawless record in which every song is bound to serve as someone’s favorite.”
2003 also saw Gibbard and Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel, Figurine) unite as The Postal Service, a long distance collaboration named for their working method of exchanging tracks via the US Mail. The duo – joined by a number of friends including singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis – proved a phenomenon with the February 2003 release of their one and only studio LP, Give Up, earning worldwide applause and eventual RIAA platinum certification thanks to infectious electro-pop smashes like “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” (a top 3 sensation on Billboard’s “Hot Dance Singles” chart), “We Will Become Silhouettes (which reached the top 3 on the Canadian Singles Chart), and of course, the magical RIAA gold certified “Such Great Heights.” The album’s stature continued to grow in the years following its original release, ultimately spending 19 non-consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s “Top Electronic Albums” chart. In 2013, The Postal Service reunited to mark the 10th anniversary of Give Up with their biggest headline tour ever, along with top-billed performances at such international festivals as Coachella, Primavera Sound, Lollapalooza, and Sasquatch. In addition, a commemorative 10th anniversary edition of Give Up saw the singular collection expanded with 15 bonus tracks, including two brand new songs, “A Tattered Line of String” and “Turn Around.”
In 2016 Toronto noise-rock behemoths METZ teamed up with Boston post-punk legends Mission of Burma on a split single for Record Store Day. METZ contributed a cover of “Good, Not Great,” a track from Mission of Burma’s 2006 album The Obliterati, while Mission of Burma covered METZ’s 2012 anthem, “Get Off,” from their self-titled debut. The split 7” was limited to 4,000 copies worldwide. Now for the first time ever these songs are available digitally; for Bandcamp Friday starting today, December 2nd, and in all other DSPs on December 20th.
METZ celebrate ten years of their massively acclaimed self-titled debut this year and will embark on a “10 Years Anniversary Tour” where they’ll be playing the album in full. Dates begin on December 7th in Phoenix with stops in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Portland, St. Paul, and Chicago. Please find a full list of dates below. Tickets for all shows are on sale now.
To further celebrate the 10th anniversary of METZ, in October Sub Pop released a deluxe edition of the album on all streaming services. This updated, thirteen-track album features the original ten songs along with new versions of “Wet Blanket,” “Wasted,” and “Get Off” from a 2013 BBC Radio 1 session at Maida Vale Studios with host Huw Stephens.
10 Years Anniversary Tour Wed. Dec. 07 - Phoenix, AZ- Valley Bar + Thu. Dec. 08 - Los Angeles, CA - Teragram Ballroom + Fri. Dec. 09 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish + Sun. Dec. 11 - Seattle, WA - Neumos + Mon. Dec. 12 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge * Thu. Dec. 15 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club * Fri. Dec. 16 - Chicago, IL - Metro *