Sam Beam (of Iron & Wine) and Jesca Hoop present the story behind Love Letter For Fire via this short film. The two discuss the process of how their collaborative album came to fruition and how two people not in love wrote an entire album of love songs. The clip also features exclusive performances of the two in a stripped down and intimate setting [link here].
Love Letter for Fire features Beam and Hoop on vocals and guitar along with Robert Burger (keys), Eyvind Kang (violin, viola), Glenn Kotche (drums, percussion), Sebastian Steinberg (bass) and Edward Rankin-Parker (cello). The thirteen-track album features the single “Every Songbird Says” and was produced, recorded and mixed by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, Decemberists, Neko Case) at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, and mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville.
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop have scheduled a North American tour in support Love Letter for Fire, which begins Tuesday, May 17th in Ann Arbor, MI at The Ark and ends Saturday, June 11th in Chicago, IL at Thalia Hall. (complete tour dates below.)
More on Love Letter for Fire: The inspiration behind Love Letter for Fire was Sam’s love of classic duets, most of which are ones he grew up hearing on the radio. “Some of my favorite songs are duets, because the narrative is expanded. It’s not just a monologue. It’s a conversation, and so it gets complicated. I had melodies over the years that I’d been compiling that I thought, this sounds like a classic Kenny and Dolly, ‘Islands in the Stream’ kind of thing, or George and Tammy”. While the record itself is not Countrypolitan in nature, the two have carved out something that feels wholly original and should have no trouble appealing to fans of their previous work.
Over the course of thirteen songs Love Letter for Fire brims with a joyful energy, contrasting Beam and Hoop’s songwriting styles yet never feeling forced, nor pandering. Veering from disparate pop (“Every Songbird Says” / “Chalk It Up To Chi”) to introspective folk (“One Way to Pray” / “Soft Place to Land”) to a few things in between (“Welcome to Feeling” / “Midas Tongue”), the record never rests solely on just the two voices but rather showcases the new chapter of songwriting each found in the collaboration. Beam notes: “(Jesca) brought a lot of energy and a lot of heart in places where I would be cerebral, she would bring heart. In places where I would be steady, she would add an exclamation point.”
Recorded in Portland, Oregon with the steady hand of Tucker Martine, the album features a collection of handpicked musicians. The band includes Rob Burger, a frequent Iron & Wine contributor, Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple), Teddy Rankin-Parker (Primus), Eyvind Kang (Decemberists/Tzadik and Ipecac labels) and Glenn Kotche (Wilco). This particular set of musicians had never worked together, but quickly found themselves on equal footing. For Beam it was a bit of a dream team: “It was a really funband, and a lot less guitar than I usually have on my [Iron & Wine] records. Tucker and the band were able to help bring out what’s inside of you that you might not know is there (read more at Sub Pop).”
Tour Dates May 17 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark* May 18 - Toronto, ON - The Danforth Music Hall* May 20 - New York, NY - The Town Hall* May 21 - Washington, DC - The Lincoln Theatre* May 22 - Boston, MA - The Wilbur Theatre* May 24 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer* May 26 - Atlanta, GA - The Buckhead Theatre* May 27 - New Orleans, LA - The Civic Theatre* May 28 - Dallas, TX - The Kessler Theater* May 30 - Tucson, AZ - The Rialto Theatre* May 31 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre* Jun. 02 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall* Jun. 03 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater* Jun. 04 - Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre* Jun. 05 - Boise, ID - The Egyptian Theatre* Jun. 07 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater* Jun. 08 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown* Jun. 09 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater* Jun. 10 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom* Jun. 11 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall* * w/ Marlon Williams
Dangerous Minds had this to say of the track: “Completely badass…If you’re in for this sort of thing (and since you’re still reading, I think it’s fair to assume that skillet-meets-face sludge rock is more or less your zone), the album was worth the wait (see premiere February 25th)”
Mike and The Melvins is a collaboration between Mike Kunka (godheadSilo, Enemymine) and the Melvins.
The group will release Three Men and a Baby on CD/LP/DL/CASS on April 1, 2016 worldwide through Sub Pop. The 12-song album features the highlights “Chicken ‘n’ Dump” and “Limited Teeth.” Most of Three Men and a Baby was recorded in 1999 at Louder Studios by Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), and it was finished in 2015 at Sound of Sirens by Toshi Kasai.
Three Men and a Baby is now available for preorder through the Sub Pop Mega Mart, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited Loser edition, housed in a custom dust sleeve and on white vinyl (while supplies last), AND there’s a new T-shirt available for your bundling pleasure.
About Mike and The Melvins:
Three Men and a Baby is the new album by Mike and the Melvins. It was supposed to come out sixteen years ago.
These are the facts we can be sure of: in 1998, around the time his band godheadSilo went on hiatus, bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka busied himself by tagging along on a tour with his friends the Melvins. Somewhere along the way, Mike and the Melvins – King Buzzo (guitar/bass/vocals), Dale Crover (drums/vocals), and Kevin Rutmanis (bass/vocals), at the time – decided to make a record together, and gave the project the imaginative moniker Mike and the Melvins. Sub Pop, ever on the hunt for music’s Next Big Thing, enthusiastically agreed to fund and release the super-group’s debut, and recording commenced sometime in 1999.
It’s at this point that things get hazy. Apparently, one or more of the following happened:
Some “junior-high level bullshit.”
A house was built, a barn was raised, children were born.
Typical record-label skullduggery.
A scorching case of whooping cough.
Surgery. Lots of surgery.
Shocking and poorly-timed gear theft.
Some other stuff, probably, or maybe not.
Whatever the reasons, the incomplete recording languished on a shelf from 1999 until 2015, when, much to everyone’s surprise, the involved parties reconvened, finished the damn thing, and delivered it post-haste to Sub Pop International Headquarters, where it was promptly scheduled for the coveted April 1st, 2016 release date. What a story, right?
So, about the record: It’s real good! Mike’s signature bass crunch and vocals are all over it, and the Melvins are in fine form. It has everything from hefty noise-rock churn to a Public Image Ltd. song to cough-syrup blues to deconstructed black metal. Neither Melvins nor godheadSilo fans will be disappointed, nor will detractors of either; to paraphrase Mike, if you don’t like it, it probably wasn’t meant for you (read more at Sub Pop).
Three Men and a Baby
1. Chicken ‘n’ Dump 2. Limited Teeth 3. Bummer Conversation 4. Annalisa 5. A Dead Pile of Worthless Junk 6. Read the Label (It’s Chili) 7. Dead Canaries 8. Pound the Giants 9. A Friend in Need is a Friend You Don’t Need 10. Lifestyle Hammer 11. Gravel 12. Art School Fight Song
These performances will be held in art spaces, galleries, community centers, and various alternative venues in the following cities: Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. Venues will be announced 24-48 hours before each show for those who have purchased tickets.
Each show will have Beach House performing in their original formation (as a duo), within a special installation the band created for this tour. A majority of the material will focus on tracks from Thank Your Lucky Stars, Devotion, and their self-titled debut.
For more details on the Installation tour, see below.
Beach House’s 2016 North American and European tour schedule resumes Monday, February 29th in Cleveland at House of Blues and has been extended through August 12th-13th at Eaux Claires Music Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. New highlights include:London’s Field Day June 12th; Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago July 15th-17th; Pickathon in Happy Valley, Oregon August 5th-7th.
Depression Cherry(released Aug. 28, 2015) is the second consecutive top 10 album for Beach House, coming in at #8 on theBillboard Top 200 chart, and spent 5 weeks at #1 on the CMJ Top 200.
Thank Your Lucky Stars (released October 16th, 2015) entered at #38 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and peaked at #5 on the CMJTop 200 chart.
Beach House’s Thank Your Lucky Stars and Depression Cherrywere recorded during the same two-month span, and produced by the band and Chris Coady at Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Both albums are available now in North America from Sub Pop, in Europe from Bella Union and in Australia from Mistletone.
MORE FROM BEACH HOUSE ON THE INSTALLATION SHOWS:
PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASING A TICKET We are very excited to announce a series of performances interspersed throughout our North American spring tours. They will be taking place in galleries, art spaces, community centers, and various other alternative venues. Here are the cities and dates:
March 2nd - Chicago April 10th - Austin March 4th - Toronto April 21st - Los Angeles March 8th - Montreal April 26th - San Francisco March 12th - Boston April 29th - Portland March 20th - Philadelphia May 1st - Vancouver March 22nd - New York May 3rd - Seattle March 23rd - New York March 24th - Baltimore
WHAT TO EXPECT We are going to install a design we have created and play as a two-piece within this “installation.” The performance will be continuous without breaks. Due to the lack of stages, the audience will be expected to sit on the floor (bring a pillow!). The show will feature songs mostly from Thank Your Lucky Stars, Devotion and our self titled record (songs we can play as a two piece). This is by no means a “stripped down” or intentionally intimate performance. The design requires a maximum audience of 200, so that all can see the performance space.
THE CONCEPT It has always been difficult to carry the initial moments of creativity that inspire our music through the process of making and releasing a record. There are many chances along the way for the feeling to get lost. A lot of “bedroom” bands experience this when they get to the studio or the stage. This installation performance is an attempt to elicit this pure, embryonic state of mind for ourselves and our audience.
A NOTE ON TICKET PRICES The ticket costs for these alternative-space performances are much higher than our normal shows. This is due to the very high production costs and low ticket number. The ticket price is set as low as possible in order to cover our costs and not lose money on the show. We sincerely apologize if it’s unaffordable for any fans who may want to attend.
2016 Tour Dates Installation Shows (All venues TBA) Tickets on sale: February 26th at 11am ET. Mar. 02 - Chicago, IL Mar. 04 - Toronto, ON Mar. 08 - Montreal, QC Mar. 12 - Boston, MA Mar. 20 - Philadelphia, PA Mar. 22 - Brooklyn, NY Mar. 23 - Brooklyn, NY Mar. 24 - Baltimore, MD
Ticket on sale TBA: Apr. 10 - Austin, TX Apr. 21 - Los Angeles, CA Apr. 26 - San Francisco, CA Apr. 29 - Portland, OR May 03 - Seattle, WA
Theatre / Club Performances Feb. 29 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues [Sold Out] Mar. 01 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre [Sold Out] Mar. 05 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall [Sold Out] Mar. 06 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall [Sold Out] Mar. 09 - Montreal, QC - Rialto Theatre [Sold Out] Mar. 11 - Boston, MA - House of Blues [Sold Out] Mar. 14 - New York, NY - Webster Hall [Sold Out] Mar. 15 - New York, NY - Webster Hall [Sold Out] Mar. 16 - New York, NY - Webster Hall [Sold Out] Mar. 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer [Sold Out] Mar. 19 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer [Sold Out] Apr. 09 - Dallas, TX - Bomb Factory Apr. 11 - Austin, TX - ACL Live at Moody Theatre [Sold Out] Apr. 13 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls Apr. 14 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre [Sold Out] Apr. 17 - Indio, CA - Coachella Apr. 19 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy & Hariett’s [Sold Out]* Apr. 20 - San Pedro, CA - Warner Grand Theatre Apr. 24 - Indio, CA - Coachella Apr. 28 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom [Sold Out] Apr. 30 - Vancouver, BC - The Vogue [Sold Out] May 04 - Seattle, WA - The Paramount Jun. 01 - Bordeaux, FR - Theatre Barbey Jun. 03 - Barcelona, ES - Primavera Sound Jun. 05 - Nimes, FR This Is Not a Love Song Jun. 06 - Nantes, FR - Stereolux Jun. 07 - Toulouse, FR - Bikini Jun. 10 - Porto, PT - Primavera Sound Jun. 12 - London, UK - Victoria Park Jun. 13 - Bexhill, UK - De La Warr Pavillion Jun. 14 - Paris, FR - Casino de Paris Jun. 17 - Hilvarenbeek, NL - Best Kept Secret Jun. 18 - Aarhus, DK - Northside Jul. 15 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival Jul. 16 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival Jul. 17 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival Aug. 05 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon Aug. 06 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon Aug. 07 - Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon Aug. 12 - Eau Claire, WI - Eaux Claires Music Festival Aug. 13 - Eau Claire, WI - Eaux Claires Music Festival * w/ J. Mascis
Arbor Labor Union (fka Pinecones) will release I Hear Youworldwide on May 13th through Sub Pop. The album featuring highlights “Radiant Mountain Road” and “Volume Peaks,” was produced and recorded by Randall Dunn and Arbor Labor Union in the fall of 2015 at Avast Studio in Seattle, WA and mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering. (Tracklisting below.) Noisey had this to say about “Radiant Mountain Road”: “It’s a chugging, ballsy rock squall, with a pinch of psych and a smidge of QOTSA, that’ll stomp its way straight into your heart. The bass and drums at the top may make you want to break stuff. This can be a good thing. Elsewhere singer Bo Orr’s tone is simultaneously powerful and sexily insouciant.” (see track premiere February 23rd).”
Arbor Labor Union have scheduled performances from March 16th-20th in Austin, TX for SXSW. Preceding the festival, the band have scheduled a show on March 15th in Birmingham, AL at the Syndicate (with Lazyeyes). Additional tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
1. Mr. Birdsong 2. Hello Transmission 3. Radiant Mountain Road 4. I Am You 5. Volume Peaks 6. Babel 7. Belief’d 8. Silent Oath 9. IHU
Arbor Labor Union on I Hear You:
“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““ Hello & Welcome to the Thousand Eyed Present. H E L L O T R A N S M I S S I O N STARSHIP IHU MYTH DEVELOPMENT (FOR NEW USERS AND LISTENERS)
4 years ago, in the Peach state of Georgia, there was a mighty green conifer tree whose limbs were wider than the smile on the sun. From this tree hung many a seed. The tree was home to so many creatures big and small. The most fun of them all was perhaps MR. BIRDSONG. Mr. Birdsong was a single white dove known for his beautiful voice and powerful wings. Sometimes, Mr. Birdsong would be so lost in song and dancing that his wings would knock loose one of the Pinecones! The armored seed would then whoosh toward the ground and sometimes break open on the forest floor below. But you see, it’s very dangerous when this happens. For inside each pine cone on the mighty green tree lies all of the possible decisions a living person can make! And, luckily, in these seeds on that particular day was the possibility that 4 lifelong friends would decide to form an eternal union founded in sound.Arbor Labor Union was born! Their roots immediately began to burrow deep into the earth (some say towards the ear of Pythagoras!). Most trees in the forest try to grow fast. Many trees’s desire is to race one another to the clouds and back. These four trees, however, are growing slowly together. They know beyond every cloud is a radiant, true blue sky and they aim for no less than the cosmos! No one knows which one of the four spoke first. Mr. Birdsong was there and he swears that they all spoke in unison. He sings about it like this:
“Listen now! O! dear listener For what I sing is True Out from the sound of song forest 4 trees sang “I AM YOU”
The trees are still singing in unison today. Most recently the song they could be heard singing has been said to sound like this: “IHer Yu! Ihear u! Iher YOU!”
New Initiate, you must be ready to find these young trees! For those of you who have received this message in full I have included a map below:
In the case that your map gets stolen, I am sorry. It looks as though you will have to hear your way there. Remember these instructions- if you press your ear to the ground you will find that it too has a sound… and it sings:
“Past the VOLUME PEAKS And down the RADIANT MTN ROAD Past the Palace of Sleeping Songs And the meditating toad It is there that you might find Four trees singing so divine I HEAR YOU I AM YOU And together we shall shine!”
The bond of music is resounding. And to add more lava to the volcano of song should be sin. For it is known the world could use some silence. But the Arbor Labor Union is still growing in agreeable song. Toward the planets. Toward the Polestars. And toward the People. We are adding bricks to our Tower of BABEL. We are building our song up to Heaven. For belief in an honest sound is BELIEF’d among us. Take the SILENT OATH. Look no further. You have arrived for you have been here all along.
We are your banner men. The image on your flag is written in our hearts. It shall be done, for it is already accomplished.
JOY OR DIE
Together we are: Captain Brain Atoms Starship IHU Mind Leader/Omega Kindess One Captain Ryan Evers Starship IHU Extratonal Grin Generator Captain Bo Orr Starship IHU Jester Shaman/ Headless Guru Captain Ben Salie Starship IHU Weathervane Mystic/ Love Ambassador
We are filled with pride and happy to report that So Pitted’s neo is now available worldwide from Sub Pop. The album, featuring the highlights “rot in hell”, “holding the void”, and “feed me”, was co-produced & mixed by So Pitted & Dylan Wall and recorded at The Old Fire House, Media Lab, Spruce Haus, the band’s practice space and Tastefully Loud in Seattle. neo was also engineered by Wall at Tastefully Loud and mastered by Eric Boulanger at The Bakery in Los Angeles.
So Pitted’s neo has garnered praise from the likes of Pitchfork, FLOOD, Consequence of Sound, The Stranger, Seattle Weekly,Seattle Times, The Guardian, Uncut, Drowned in Sound, Brooklyn Vegan, Impose, Loud & Quiet, The Skinny, CLASH and more.
Seattle Weekly had this to say of the band: “So Pitted is a very difficult band to pin down, and that’s part of why they are so interesting. The triad has haunted Seattle’s DIY underground since 2010, sometimes playing three shows a week (seemingly re-dying their hair a different color for each), honing an incredibly loud, atonal style of neo-grunge, equal parts confusing and enthralling. Koewler plays her guitar through a bass amp to achieve the band’s defining metallic low-end scuzz. Rodriguez, plucking out chaotic leads on his heavily effected guitar, barks unintelligibly feral screeds into a microphone so hard that his veins often look as though they’ll pop. Downey usually performs with self-fashioned pipe-cleaner antennae sticking out from his head. He occasionally switches places with Rodriguez to mumble his own strange songs, a left-field take on ’80s New Wave filtered through a filthy meat grinder (see feature February 16th).”
So Pitted’s previously announced tour schedule for 2016 spans February 19th in Seattle at Everyday Music and currently ends March 27th in Spokane, WA at The Bartlett. Tour highlights include: February 25th in San Francisco at Noise Pop (supporting The Thermals); March 15th-20th in Austin for SXSW; March 23rd -27th in Boise at Treefort Fest; And March 26th-27th supporting Diarrhea Planet. (complete dates below.)
What have “They” been saying about So Pitted? Let us share the words:
“Minimalist force is what Seattle punk band So Pitted does. They excel at it. On neo, their debut, the trio sound like the proverbial (mechanical) bull in a china shop—except that bull is intentionally there to fuck up some fine dinnerware and is determined to have a hell of a time doing it.” - Pitchfork
“Catharsis and candor are embedded in these explosive tracks. So Pitted tap into the void that the likes of Black Flag and Nirvana looked into and saw themselves in.” - Consequence of Sound
“It’s grimy and tormented all right, but intent on subverting the many adolescent cliches and connotations that come with grunge.” - The Guardian
“Maddeningly loud, loosely formed, disgusting like a romantic weekend trip down the local sewers.” - DIY
“Their primal, scrappy rock and roll scrapes all optimism from your soul until you just don’t care about anything anymore.” [8/10] -Drowned In Sound
“…A barbed tarpit of sound.” - Loud & Quiet
“Snotty, snarling and belligerent.” - Uncut
“neo is part debut-album, part audio assault.” [4/5] - Upset
“It’s early in the year to make this sort of claim, but we can say with confidence that in ten months’ time you’ll be looking back on neoas one of 2016’s best debuts, by some distance.” - The Skinny
“…A raucous, inspiring noise, the buzzsaw melody is matched to wailing feedback - imagine Bikini Kill set against early Mary Chain and you’d probably be in the same ballpark.” - Clash
“Quite simply, neo is noise rock like nothing else.” - London In Stereo
“…making a name for themselves with a sneery, warped, post-apocalyptic punk sound and wild stage show.” - Brooklyn Vegan
“…Buzzing with nausea and excitement. [rot in hell] burns with the urgency of the music you need to make or you’ll crumple, music you’d be making whether other people heard it or not.” - Impose
“So Pitted are poised to start a riot that’s very much their own.” -Record Collector
Tour Dates Feb. 19 - Seattle, WA - Everyday Music Feb. 20 - Vancouver, BC - Alf House Feb. 25 - San Francisco, CA - Noise Pop / Brick & Mortar Music Hall* Feb. 26 - Oakland, CA - The Hole http://on.fb.me/1ovT7qH Mar. 04 - Paris, FR - La Mecanique Ondulatoire Mar. 05 - Amsterdam, NL - Butcher’s Tears Mar. 07 - London, UK - Shacklewell Arms Mar. 08 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Games Room Mar. 09 - Brighton, UK - Green Door Store Mar. 10 - Lille, UK - La Peniche Mar. 11 - Brussels, BE - Homeplugged Mar. 12 - Berlin, DE - West Germany Mar. 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 17 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 18 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 19 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 20 - Austin, TX - SXSW Mar. 23 - 27 - Boise, ID - Treefort Music Fest Mar. 26 - Missoula, MT - The Palace** Mar. 27 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett** * w/ The Thermals ** w/ Diarrhea Planet