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.
Cullen Omori’s The Dietis now available worldwide on Sub Pop. The new album, led by the singles ”Four Years,” ”A Real You“ and ”Happiness Reigns,” is
buoyed by warped, analog pedals/transistors, tailor-made guitar tones
that crisscross ‘70s art rock vocals and classic songwriting all within
the span of 40 minutes. You can now stream The Diet in its entirety via Spotify and Apple Music.
The Line of Best Fit had this to say of the album, “It’s all so
hopeful and luminous, a reflection of the headspace the singer’s now
in, worlds apart from a couple years ago. Omori’s rediscovered life’s
good side, and found more of himself in the process; ultimately, that’s
led to him being able to pour a whole lot more of his heart and soul
into his songs, and it’s a beautiful thing (8/10).”
this, “The former Smith Westerns member’s second album represents a
return to his core strengths: crystalline, cosmically ornate melodies
and wryly clear-eyed lyrics.” And PopMatters raves, “The resulting sound is inventive, fun, fresh, and perhaps Omori’s best release to-date (8/10).”
The Diet is available now through Sub Pop.
LP purchases through megamart.subpop.com and select independent
retailers will receive the limited Loser edition on lavender swirl vinyl
(while supplies last). A new t-shirt design is also available.
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
On September 28th, iconoclastic, PNW rock and roll quartet Mudhoney will release Digital Garbage, the
10th album from the band in 30 years. Their latest offering “Kill
Yourself Live,” segues from a revved-up organ solo into a bleak look at
the way notoriety goes viral.
[Photo Credit: Jim Bennett. Live at SPF30]
Mudhoney have a string of dates in the Pacific Northwest starting Sep.
15th in Vancouver, with shows in Portland and Seattle before heading to
Europe on Nov. 11th. See below for a full list of shows.
Sep. 15 - Vancouver, Canada - Rickshaw Theater (Westward Music Festival)
Sep. 28 - Portland, OR - Dante’s @
Sep. 29 - Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre %
Oct. 13 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw ^
Nov. 11 - Utrecht, NL - Le Guess Who Festival
Nov. 12 - Groningen, NL - Vera *
Nov. 13 - Berlin, DE- Festaal Kreuzberg &
Nov. 14 - Hamburg, DE - Fabrik &
Nov. 15 - Koln, DE - Gebaude 9 &
Nov. 16 - Luzern, CH - Schuur &
Nov. 17 - Vevey, CH - Rocking Chair &
Nov. 19 - Frankfurt, DE - Zoom Club &
Nov. 20 - Munchen, DE - Strom &
Nov. 21 - Bologna, IT - Locomotiv &
Nov. 22 - Roma, IT - Largo (IT) &
Nov. 23 - Milan, IT - Santeria Social Club &
Nov. 24 - Zagreb, HR - Mochvara &
Nov. 25 - Vienna , AT - Arena Big Hall *
Nov. 27 - Paris, FR - Le Trabendo &
Nov. 28 - Brighton, UK - Concorde 2 #
Nov. 29 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom #
Nov. 30 - Leeds, UK - Leeds Beckett University !
Dec. 1St - Glasgow, UK - Lukes Church !
@ The Scientists and Eat Skull
% The Scientists and Tom Price Desert Classic
^ Pissed Jeans and Art Gray Noizz Quintet
* w/Zeke and Please the Trees
& Please the Trees
# Masonics and Thee Hypnotics
! Wildebeests and Thee Hypnotics
On August 31st, Iron & Wine will releaseWeed Garden, a six-song collection of all new material rooted in the writing process that brought us the Grammy nominated,Beast Epic. Recorded earlier this year at The Loft in Chicago, the EP joins the ranks of previous releases -The Sea and Rhythm,Woman KingandIn the Reinswhich contain some of Iron & Wine’s most beloved material.
The second song shared fromWeed Gardenis “Waves of Galveston”. This fan favorite first appeared as part ofThe Onion’s AV Club“State Songs” and is finally making its official release. A short trip from Austin where Sam Beam lived for a number years, Galveston and its coastal beauty is brought to life in this late summer breezy acoustic number that harkens back to some of Iron & Wine’s earliest material. You can now listen to “Waves of Galveston”.
Weed Gardenwhich serves as the perfect companion piece to last years full length,Beast Epicis now available for preorder on CD/LP/DL/CS through Sub Pop over here. LP preorders of throughmegamart.subpop.comandselect independent retailerswill receive the limited Loser edition on Amber colored vinyl (while supplies last).
Iron & Wine’s previously announced fall tour schedule in support ofWeed GardenandBeast Epicresumes on September 21st in Kansas City, MO at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland and runs through November 17th in Memphis, TX at the Orpheum Theatre.
Sep. 21 - Kansas City, MO - Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland* Sep. 22 - Denver, CO - Paramount Theatre* Sep. 23 - Salt Lake City, UT - Capitol Theatre* Sep. 24 - Boise, ID - Revolution Center* Sep. 26 - Eureka, CA - Arkley Center for the Performing Arts* Sep. 27 - Sacramento, CA - Crest Theatre* Sep. 28 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues* Sep. 29 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre* Sep. 30 - Sante Fe, NM - Lensic Performing Arts Center* Oct. 2 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom* Oct. 3 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant^ Oct. 4 - Milwaukee, WI - The Pabst Theater* Oct. 5 - Bloomington, IL - Castle Theatre* Oct. 6 - Columbus, OH - Southern Theatre* Nov. 2 - Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theater** Nov. 3 - Toronto, ON - Queen Elizabeth Theatre** Nov. 4 - Montreal, QC - Corona Theatre** Nov. 6 - Portland, ME - State Theatre** Nov. 7 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount** Nov. 8 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theatre** Nov. 9 - Norfolk, VA - NorVa** Nov. 10 - Raleigh, NC - Meymandi Concert Hall** Nov. 12 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium** Nov. 14 - Augusta, GA - Miller Theater** Nov. 15 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Theatre** Nov. 16 - Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theatre** Nov. 17 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre** *w/ Erin Rae ** w/ Ohmme ^ w/ Carl Broemel
Beast Epic, the deeply personal sixth proper full-length album from Iron & Wine, received universal praise upon its release in the fall of 2017 [link here].Rolling Stonesaid it was “Beam’s most dynamic and convincing record in years”, whilePitchforknoted that it was reminiscent of “the warm acoustic instrumentation of his early work”. The AV Clubperhaps summed it up best with its A grade when they wrote “Beam has written his most affecting, impressive set of songs in a long time—maybe ever…scaling back the lavish orchestration while maintaining a sense of brightness and verve.”