It’s been three years since we heard any new music from tUnE-yArDs, the hard-to-type-but-fun-to-listen-to musical project of Merrill Garbus. After conquering the indie rock world and landing on pretty much every critic’s “Best of 2011″ list, Garbus went to Haiti to study Haitian drumming and dance and hand out some free food and clothing to earthquake victims. Then she came home to make a “wild mess” of a new record called Nikki Nack, which is now scheduled for release on May 6th (May 5th, if you live anywhere except the U.S.) on 4AD Records.
No tracks from Nikki Nack are out yet, but last week, Garbus released a “megamix” of the whole album, which you can check out below. She’s also announced a handful of North American and European tour dates, including an already-sold-out stop here in L.A. that we’re going to try to get into anyway. We’ve actually still never been to a tUnE-yArDs show and we really need to fill the Merrill Garbus-sized void in our lives pronto.
Tour dates after the megamix clip.
May 5th – Masonic Lodge @ Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles, CA
May 7th – Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY
May 12th – Village Underground, London
May 14th – Berghain, Berlin
May 15th – Nochtspeicher, Hamburg
May 16th – Les Nuits-Cirque Royal, Brussels
May 18th – Bitterzoet, Amsterdam
May 19th – Café de La Danse, Paris
May 23rd – Les Schwab Ampitheater, Bend, OR (w/ The National)
May 23rd – 25th – Sasquatch Festival, George, WA
May 31st – June 1st – Free Press Summerfest, Houston, TX
June 18th – 22nd – NXNE, Massey Hall, Toronto, ON
June 19th – 22nd – Firefly Festival, Dover, DE
July 19th – Pitchfork Festival, Chicago, IL
Listen up, weirdos: Our favorite Australians-with-disabilities power-pop act Rudely Interrupted need your help. They’ve only got about 48 hours left on a Pozible campaign (the Down Under version of Kickstarter) to raise another A$2,000 to finance the release of their latest EP, plus send them out on a promotional tour. So do the kids a solid, as we Americans like to say, and go pledge your support. A mere $9 gets you a copy of the EP and a warm, fuzzy feeling.
For those of y’all not familiar: Rudely Interrupted is a band made up mostly of folks born a bit different than the rest of us. Lead singer Rory Burnside, for example, has Asperger’s and epilepsy and was born without eyes. Hype man/sampler/occasional bassist Sam Beke—he of the trademark sparkly cape—has Down syndrome. But as you’ll see in the video below, none of that matters once they start playing.
Here’s that link to pledge again. Help ‘em out, people!
If you left any Flaming Lips fans off your Christmas list, there’s still time to get them a cool stocking stuffer: a blue seven-inch vinyl release of the band’s second demo from way back in 1983, when they were just another scruffy post-punk college-rock band with a shouty lead singer (Wayne Coyne’s brother Mark, who left the group in 1985). The untitled four-song demo was originally recorded on cassette tape and has never been previously released to the public. Only 2,000 copies of the blue vinyl were released, all on Dec. 24th to independent record stores. Our friends over at The Future Heart have diligently assembled a list, via Twitter, of which stores still had copies left as of yesterday. There are also apparently still some copies of the Lips’ first EP floating around green vinyl, as well.
Wanna listen before you buy? Of course you do. It’s an on-demand world. So here, feast your ears on what the press release aptly describes as the Lips’ early “primitive shambolic drug-damaged punk-pop.” These first two tracks are called “The Flaming Lips Theme Song 1983″ and “The Future Is Gone”:
And here’s “Underground Pharmacist” and “Real Fast Words.” Dig that walking bassline from Michael Ivins.
Well, we sat out Comic-Con again this year. I haven’t been too heavily into nerd culture since the ’80s and Jake’s afraid of crowds (although when he heard there was a Breaking Bad panel, he almost downed half a bottle of Xanax and went anyway). But it turns out we missed out on more than just a chance to conquer Jake’s agoraphobia and ogle cute nerd girls in Catwoman suits. We also missed out on a chance to buy Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne’s first-ever comic book! (Except we didn’t, because it’s still available online. But it debuted at Comic-Con, so anyone who bought it there definitely has nerd bragging rights over the rest of us.)
Wayne’s been on a bit of a naked kick lately, so it should come as no surprise that The Sun Is Sick gets the nudity (and giant eyeballs, another running theme of his of late) rolling right on the cover. Inside, readers can expect to find 40 psychedelic pages illustrated by Coyne himself, telling the trippy tale of a blind princess who gives birth to, well, a giant eyeball. Hilarity ensues!
Lest the cover art and Coyne’s boundary-pushing reputation not be enough to clue you in, the press release helpfully notes: “WARNING!! The Sun Is Sick may be a comic book but make no mistake; this is not suitable for children and depending on what sort of person you are, it may not be suitable for some of you non-children either. If you have doubts at this moment then The Sun Is Sick is not for you.” Okay, press release writer person, you’ve convinced us. We’ll go back to our Nancy Drew mags.
If you want to learn more about The Sun Is Sick, may we direct your attention to this interview Coyne recently gave with The Huffington Post, which also includes a peek at some of Coyne’s child-like yet evocative drawings, which feature aliens tripping balls on some kind of blue goo called Virgo 2151. (Now sure to be the nickname of at least some of the LSD circulating at Bonnaroo 2014.)
That Wayne Coyne’s a busy guy; in addition to releasing comic books, he’s still on an extended tour with the Lips, promoting their latest album, The Terror. Dates after the jump; meanwhile, here’s the latest video from The Terror, for the harrowing (or patience-testing, depending on your point of view) track, “Turning Violent,” on which Coyne takes a much-deserved breather and hands over most of the vocal duties to Steven Drozd.
Flaming Lips summer/fall tour dates:
07/25 Salt Lake City, UT – Twilight Concert Series, Pioneer Park
07/27 Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield
07/28 Seattle, WA – Capitol Hill Block Party
07/30 Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
07/31 Costa Mesa, CA – The Pacific Amphitheatre
08/01 Las Vegas, NV – Bud Light Music First, House of Blues
08/17 Omaha, NE – Maha Maha Festival
09/06 Isle Of Wight, UK – Bestival
09/07 Stekene, Belgium – Crammerock Festival
09/30 Boston, MA – Agganis Arena (w/ Tame Impala)
10/01 New York, NY – Terminal 5 (w/ Tame Impala)
10/02 New York, NY – Terminal 5 (w/ Tame Impala)
10/03 Philadelphia, PA – Penn’s Landing, Festival Pier (w/ Tame Impala)
10/04 Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion (w/ Tame Impala)
10/21 Tokyo, Japan – Blitz
10/22 Tokyo, Japan – Blitz
10/23 Osaka, Japan – Hatch
10/24 Nagoya, Japan – Club Diamond Hall
OK, this time it’s true (no, really): Polyphonic Spree album coming in August, not May. Also, tour dates!
Hey, remember how we told you awhile back that The Polyphonic Spree would be releasing their new album, Yes, It’s True, in May? And hey, notice how it’s not May anymore? Well, turns out Spree frontman Tim DeLaughter may have been a little overly optimistic about when he could deliver his chamber-pop army’s next opus. But hey, “overly optimistic” sort of describes DeLaughter’s entire M.O., so we’ll let it slide.
Anyway, the new no-really-we-mean-it-this-time release date for Yes, It’s True is August 6th, so look for a review of it in these virtual pages sometime around that date—or as soon as Jake and I can tear ourselves away from the blissful euphoria of the Spree’s latest superhappyawesometime sound bath.
In other Spree news, the band is on tour as we speak, and we highly recommend checking them out. Revisit our review of their holiday show (complete with lots of shaky Instagram pics) for a sample of positive-vibe onslaught that awaits you at a Spree concert. They might not have Santa Claus with them this time around, but you never know.
The Polyphonic Spree 2013 Tour Dates:
6/28 — Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
6/29 — Kansas City, KS @ Kanrocksas
7/01 — Chicago, IL @ Park West
7/02 — Muskegon, MI @ Coast West Music Festival
7/05 — Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of The Living Arts
7/06 — Washington, DC @ Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
7/08 — Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
7/09 — Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
7/10 — New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom
7/26 — Ansan, South Korea @ Ansan Valley Rock Festival in South Korea
7/27 — Byron Bay, Australia @ Splendour In The Grass
8/04 — Dorset, UK @ Camp Bestival
8/09 — Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
8/11 — Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
8/12 — Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
8/15 — Seattle, WA @ Neumos
8/16 — Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub
8/17 — Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
8/19 — San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
8/20 — Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory
8/22 — Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey
8/23 — San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
8/26 — Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
8/27 — Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
8/29 — Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
9/07 — Isle of Wight, UK @ Bestival
You know how the last Flaming Lips video, for “Ashes in the Air,” featured an alien with an eyeball for a head and lots of dead naked people? Well, their latest clip features no aliens or death, but it’s pretty much just one big ol’ nakedfest. It’s for “You Lust,” a 13-minute epic of their latest album, The Terror. Thankfully it’s been edited down to more like four minutes for the video, because four minutes is about as much flaccid penis close-ups as I can stand. Watch and you’ll see what I mean. (Heads-up: NSFW on account of it being a nakedfest and all.)
Holy swampballs: Quintron and Miss Pussycat are gonna play the fucking Kennedy Center. Plus a few other places.
If you’re like me, you probably get sucked every year around Christmas into watching the Kennedy Center Honors, because your aging parents have pumped you so full of leftover turkey and Pinot Grigio that you can’t get off the couch and so you’re stuck watching that boring-ass parade of old actors and ballerinas and cellists and ohmygodisthatLedfuckingZeppelin? OK, so the Kennedy Center Honors aren’t all bad. Especially when you’re on your third bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Hosting the Zep was pretty cool…even though they got that talentless douchebag Kid Rock to massacre “Ramble On”…but the Kennedy Center is about to get even cooler. Because on April 13th, they will play host to none other than Quintron & Miss Pussycat. Yes, the New Orleans ambassadors of down ‘n’ dirty “swamp tech” are on the bill for something called the New Orleans Bingo! Show, which also features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a jazz cellist, and this guy. Your tax dollars at work, people!
We ran most of these Q & Miss P tour dates back in January, but we’ll run them again here because there have been a few updates…also because they made this awesome “tour commercial” video and we need an excuse to post it. Full dates after the clip.
Here are the dates. Oh and I should’ve mentioned: “The Mystery in Old Bathbath” is a new Miss Pussycat puppet movie. So bring your popcorn.
4-8 – Jacksonville, FL @ Sun Ray Cinema – live show and screening of THE MYSTERY IN OLD BATHBATH
4-9 – TALLAHASSEE, FL @ Downunder Club
4-10 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
4-12 – Purchase, NY @ SUNNY Purchase Culture Shock festival
4-13 – Washington DC @ Kennedy Center (Yes the real Kennedy Center) – more info TBA
4-17 – NEW HAVEN, CT @ Cafe 9
4-18 – NY, NY @ Anthology Film Archive – NYC premier of THE MYSTERY IN OLD BATHBATH – Q and A to follow film
4-20 (dude) – BROOKLYN, NY @ Secret Project Robot with K-Holes, Black Dice – Spring Fever / smoke lots of weed festival
4-21 – Richmond, VA @ STrange Matter with Bermuda Triangles
4-25 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s downstairs
4-26 Dallas, TX @ Doublewide with Darktown Strutters!
4-27 Austin, TX @ Psych Fest – Q and P, King Kahn and Bar-B-Que, Acid Mothers Temple, more trippy bands than ever
4-28 Waxahachie, TX @ Webb Gallery
Even though it features an alien with a giant eyeball for a head, a baby with a man’s face, and lots of blood-soaked naked people huddled around mutilated corpses, the most perverse thing about the new Flaming Lips video might be that it’s for a song that isn’t even on their latest album, The Terror, which comes out this month. Instead, it’s a fan favorite from last year’s collaborative album, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, featuring folkie falsetto hero Bon Iver on vocals. Has no one explained promotion to these people? (I’m kidding, of course: head Lip Wayne Coyne might be the shrewdest self-promoter of any artist we’ve ever covered.)
In another perverse move, the Lips’ label, Warner Bros., has decided to release The Terror in the U.K. on April 1st but delay its Stateside arrival until April 16th. Why, Warner Bros., why? It’s like you’re daring us to illegally download it. (I’m kidding, of course: We here at TWBITW do not condone online piracy or illegal sharing of copyrighted material in any form. Stay in school, kids!)
Anyway, here’s “Ashes in the Air” in all its bizarro glory. I’ll resist the urge to give away the surprise ending, but I will say this: If you’re easily grossed out, you should totally post a video of yourself watching it.
Remember, kids: All good things come to those who Kickstart. Because we kicked down 15 bones to the Polyphonic Spree for their Kickstarter campaign, we get to hear the album we helped to fund before the general public does. They even just sent us an advance download of two tracks! Really, they’re giving more to us than we ever did to them. We feel all warm and fuzzy about it.
We’re not sure when exactly we’ll receive our very own CD copy (old school!) of Yes, It’s True, but the masses get to hear it on May 28. Sometime after that, we’ll all finally get to see the Polyphonic Spree concert film Kickstarter helped fund, too. Basically, 2013 is gonna be The Year of the Spree.
The Yes, It’s True tracklist is below. They sent us a copy of album opener “You Don’t Know Me” and while we can’t share it here (cuz that would be cheating*), we can tell you it’s trippy and anthemic and a shade or two darker than we’ve come to expect from the Spree. In other words, it’s awesome. They also sent us a non-album track called “You Plus Me” that we’re sorely tempted to post so we can put to rest once and for all any lingering debate over whether Tim DeLaughter’s merry band of Texas hippies is really all that “weird.” But we’ll resist. Put it this way: It’s basically nine minutes of abstract whooshes and reverb-soaked horns and kind of sounds like this one time at band camp when I tried to simultaneously huff nitrous and play “When the Saints Go Marching In.” (Kidding! I was never in band camp.)
1) You Don’t Know Me
2) Popular By Design
3) Hold Yourself Up
4) Carefully Try
5) You’re Golden
6) Heart Talk
7) Blurry Up The Lines
8) Let Them Be
9) Raise Your Head
10) What Would You Do?
*Turns out you can listen to it on Consequence of Sound. No cheating required!
Sorry, the Flaming Lips Anatomically Correct Chocolate Heart is sold out. Your Valentine will hate you now.
If you’re like us, you probably have a tendency to procrastinate before Valentine’s Day, then freak the fuck out on Feb. 11th when you realize that every restaurant in town is booked up and you’ll be taking your wife to In-N-Out Burger (again). So it’s no surprise that we totally missed the boat last week on telling you about this crazy anatomically correct, limited-edition chocolate heart the Flaming Lips released via Oklahoma-based gift shop Dwelling Spaces. We’re a little slow sometimes.
Made by a chocolatier from Texas called Dude, Sweet Chocolate, the “Flaming Lips Chocolate Human Heart” is made from “72% South American dark chocolate studded with hazelnut mini whoppers and waffle cone crunch” and contains a USB drive featuring various Flaming Lips love songs, including such baby-making classics as “Love Is Mind Control” and “Moth in the Incubator” (and yes, clearly they’re defining the term “love songs” a bit loosely here).
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, apparently it was so awesome that it sold out almost instantly. Sorry, kids. How about some In-N-Out instead? You have to admit, it’s a pretty romantic name for a burger joint.
In other Lips news, their new album The Terror arrives April 2nd. No word yet on what Wayne Coyne will encase it in, but you can bet it will be something delicious and/or disgusting.