Even as fans mourn the demise of sound collage pop duo The Books, they seem to have taken a real shine to Zammuto, the new band/solo project from former Bookster Nick Zammuto. The band’s self-titled debut album has earned high marks from everyone from Pitchfork to Paste, and they’ve been on the road for most of 2012, most recently opening for instrumental rockers Explosions in the Sky. Now they’ve got a whole slew of new fall tour dates, including their first headlining shows and a stint opening for Gotye. Yes, that Gotye, the dude behind the ginormous hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Are the Top 40 masses ready for bent prog-rock epics like “F U C-3PO“? Guess we’ll find out.
To give fans a taste of their live set, they’ve also released a free five-song live EP, recorded in Athens, Georgia during their tour with Explosions. You can preview it after the complete tour dates below, or go to Soundcloud to grab the free download.
09-05 Charlottesville, VA – The Southern
09-06 Richmond, VA – The Camel
09-07 Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Music Festival
09-08 Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle
09-09 Knoxville, TN – Pilot Light
09-10 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
09-11 Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
09-12 Birmingham, AL – The Bottletree
09-14 Kansas City, MO – Richard Berkley Riverfront Park *
09-15 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
09-16 Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion *
09-17 Columbus, OH – LC Pavilion *
09-18 Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre *
09-19 Hamilton, Ontario – Casbah Lounge
09-20 Toronto, Ontario – Molson Amphitheatre *
09-21 Montreal, Quebec – Jacques Cartier Pier *
09-22 Burlington, VT – Signal Kitchen
09-26 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
09-27 Brooklyn, NY – Williamsburg Park *
09-28 Boston, MA – Museum of Fine Arts
09-29 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
10-01 Nashville, TN – The Basement
10-02 Little Rock, AR – Stickyz Rock’n'Roll Chicken Shack
10-03 Denton, TX – Dan’s Silverleaf
10-04 Austin, TX – The Mohawk
10-05 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
10-06 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
10-08 St Louis, MO – Luminary Center for the Arts
10-09 Chicago, IL – Schubas
10-10 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
10-11 Pittsburgh, PA – Andy Warhol Museum
10-12 Ithaca, NY – The Haunt
10-13 Northampton, MA – Iron Horse
10-29 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
10-30 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
11-01 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
11-02 Santa Cruz, CA – The Crepe Place
11-03 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
11-05 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
11-06 Seattle, WA – Barboza
11-07 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Biltmore Cabaret
11-10 Minneapolis, MN – Walker Art Center !
* with Gotye
! with Eluvium
Well, it’s apparently official: bent pop sound collage artists The Books are no more. Their label, Temporary Residence, is billing a new Books box set as a “perfectly fitting conclusion to one of underground music’s most vital players.” We’ll miss you, guys! Although Nick Zammuto’s first post-Books project has definitely taken some of the sting out of your demise.
Now about that box set: It features The Books’ entire recorded output on seven vinyl records, including a double album’s worth of previously unreleased material; a two-hour DVD of all their videos; a 56-page picture book; and their entire catalog on a cassette-shaped USB flash drive. Oh and there will only be 1,000 copies made. You can pre-order it now from The Books’ label, Temporary Residence, for a mere $150. It’s due to ship “on or around July 15.” You know indie labels, they’re casual like that.
Let’s play this post out with The Books’ take on two of our favorite things: golf and guns. (Although despite watching this video like 59 times, my backswing is still a mess.)
The Books‘ Nick Zammuto released the debut album from his solo project, Zammuto, back on April 3rd on Temporary Residence and we were highly negligent in calling out how freaking awesome it is. Called Zammuto, the album definitely bears more than a passing resemblance to The Books’ cheeky sound collage pop, but it’s also got quasi-prog-rock workouts (“F U C-3PO”), Auto-Tuned electro-soul (“Too Late to Topologize”), spacey post-rock (“Idiom Wind”) and more stuff I’m currently enjoying too much to describe. So I’ll just shut up about it and instead leave you with this link to Zammuto’s Soundcloud page, where the album is currently streaming in its entirety.
Nick has assembled a three-piece backing band to help him recreate these songs live, and by all accounts they’re pretty awesome, too. They just wrapped up a handful of dates, but they’ll be back on the road this June opening for Explosions in the Sky. No love for L.A. on this tour (or the last one, even though they played San Francisco and San Diego), but hey, that’s cool. We’ll just be over here feeling sorry for ourselves if you change your mind, Nick.
6/17 Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
6/18 Mobile, AL – Soul Kitchen Music Hall
6/19 Tampa, FL – The Ritz Ybor
6/20 Miami, FL – Grand Central
6/21 Athens, GA – The Georgia Theatre
6/22 Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater
6/25 Morgantown, WV – 123 Pleasant St.
6/26 Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
6/27 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
We’ll leave you with a video of the band rehearsing the track “The Shape of Things to Come” in Nick’s Vermont studio. Anyone know where I can get one of those little fisheye cameras? Those things are rad.
(Photo swiped from BoingBoing.net)
Anticipation really seems to be building for the debut album from Zammuto, the new band/solo project from Nick Zammuto, one-half of sound collage mavericks The Books. Just today, Pitchfork gave a “Best New Track” shout-out to “F U C-3PO,” an almost proggy jam with robot vocals and distortion pedals set to stun. And last week, director Matthew Day debuted a short documentary called “A Day With Nick Zammuto” that shows the musician hard at work on his new music and chilling in his amazing self-built house with his wife and ridiculously cute children. We’ve embedded the YouTube version of the film below, or you can watch the original on Day’s website, Naked Musicians.
Zammuto will be making their live debut on Feb. 3 at Mass Moca in North Adams, Massachusetts. If anyone goes, give us a report!
Greetings, weirdlings! Welcome to our second Weirdify playlist, live now on Spotify for your listening delectation. This time around, we got inspired by our Weird Band of the Week, Twink (the Toy Piano Band!), and decided to make a playlist full of songs that evoke childhood in various ways. You’ll hear toy instruments, sampled children’s songs and stories, 8-bit, chiptune and videogame references, and the ravings of a paranoid schizophrenic or two. (What can I say? I had some weird babysitters.)
To hear the full playlist, cruise on over to ShareMyPlaylists.com. Here’s what you’ll get:
1. Twink, “Rocket Pop”
2. The Books, “The Story of Hip Hop”
3. Powerglove, “Inspector Gadget”
4. Gangpol & Mit, “The 1000 People Band (Part 1)”
5. Vegetable Orchestra, “Scoville”
6. Gidropony, “We Are Sex Toys”
7. Quintron & Miss Pussycat, “Swamp Buggy Badass”
8. Wesley Willis, “I Whipped Spiderman’s Ass”
9. Max Tundra, “Will Get Fooled Again”
10. Ponytail, “Flabbermouse”
11. Dead Man’s Bones, “Pa Pa Power”
12. Psapp, “Tricycle”
13. Kid Koala, “Fender Bender”
14. Lemon Jelly, “Nice Weather for Ducks”
If at any point you get bored, feel free to skip to the last track, because it’s truly one of the greatest things you’ll ever hear. Trust us on this one.
Here’s the link again. Enjoy!
There’s certainly no shortage of artists known for building their music around found sounds, field recordings, manipulated bits of conversation and the like. But something about the way The Books do it is definitely unique and, we think, weird enough to deserve a shout-out.
Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong have been making their special flavor of sound collage music for nearly a decade, but they still manage to fly pretty far under the radar—maybe because they didn’t start touring until 2005, maybe because their name is virtually un-Google-able, or maybe because their music lacks the beats and synthesizers of more hipster-friendly sample-happy acts like Lemon Jelly and Boards of Canada. That might change, however, with the release of the duo’s fourth full-length album, The Way Out, later this year (2010). Early tracks “Beautiful People” and “A Cold Freezin’ Night” are as good or better than anything they’ve ever done, and “Freezin’ Night” has what Zammuto himself calls a “pseudo-techno-dance” beat to it. By Books standards, it’s a jam for the ladies!
The even cooler part of “A Cold Freezin’ Night” is how Zammuto and de Jong assembled the sampled children’s voices that, more than the pseudo-techno beat, are the track’s main attraction. Always on the lookout for new sources of obscure recordings to add to their vast library, The Books have been scouring the thrift stores in search of Talkboys, an oddball recording device introduced in the early ’90s as a tie-in with Home Alone 2. (Macaulay Culkin used one in the movie apparently, although we’re not sure how—we’ve never been able to sit through more than five minutes of that celluloid turkey.) And, well—just check out the video for “Freezin’ Night” below, which was spliced together from old home movie clips also collected by the Books boys. Kids are dark.
By the way, in case you need any further proof that The Books are in fact Weirdest Band material, consider the following: They once created music specifically to be played inside an elevator for the French Ministry of Culture, and one of them plays the cello. We rest our case!