Zammuto’s new album, “Anchor,” now streaming on NPR’s First Listen

Zammuto
Photo from zammutosound.com

Anchor, the second album from Zammuto, comes out next Tuesday, Sept. 2nd. But you can hear the whole thing streaming now via NPR’s First Listen series. It’s like your traveling into the future! But with fewer contrived plot twists.

We’re cranking it now and loving it. As good as the first Zammuto album was, it definitely felt like former Books collage artist Nick Zammuto was still trying to figure out what he wanted to sound like working in a more conventional rock band format. Anchor is more sonically consistent—and, at first blush, less weird, although most of these songs still percolate with interesting little electronic filigrees, quirky rhythms and unexpected lyrical turns—even on a song like “Henry Lee,” which is based on a traditional folk ballad but features the startling image, “Now the crabs crawl out of your skull.”

We’ll leave you with this video for one of Anchor‘s more uptempo tracks, the sorta-New Wave-ish “Io,” which also features tons of action shots of the massive trebuchet (sort of a cross between a slingshot and a catapult) Nick and his buddies built on the Zammuto farm in Vermont. I’ve heard of album “launch parties” but this is ridiculous! Am I right, people?

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Hear a track Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s new album, “Spellcaster II: Death in Space”

Quintron, Spellcaster II: Death in Space

More details regarding the forthcoming Quintron and Miss Pussycat album, courtesy of Vice’s music site, Noisey: It’s called Spellcaster II: Death in Space and it will arrive Oct. 28th via the excellently named Pizza Burglar Records. Like most Q & Miss P efforts, judging from the just-released album art, it’s being billed as a Quintron solo joint. Which makes sense, since aside from the occasional lead vocal, all Miss Pussycat does musically is play the maracas. She’s more responsible for the visual side of things.

Spellcaster II is the New Orleans duo’s first full-length album since 2011’s Sucre du Sauvage, but they’ve been keeping busy in the three years since, releasing a steady stream of singles, touring, scoring a Grammy nomination (for their song “Chatterbox,” which was covered on the Grammy-nominated album Grand Isle by Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys), and playing a show at the fucking Kennedy Center. You know, the usual, run-of-the-mill stuff for your average Big Easy swamp-tech band.

Noisey also premiered the title track off Spellcaster II, “Death in Space,” an ominous, buzzy instrumental that sounds a bit like the soundtrack to a low-budget Bayou zombie flick. After you’ve given it a spin, stick around for the full Spellcaster II tracklist and a link to pre-order the album. Oh, and if you live in North America east of the Rockies, check out their fall tour dates.

Spellcaster II: Death in Space tracklist:

1. Wonder MT
2. Death In Space
3. Carnival
4. Do The Raid
5. Home Invastion
6. Mirza’s Marsh
7. Somethings Wrong With Jim
8. Steve
9. Fatal Harmonic
10. Death In Space (reprise)
11. Mirza’s Marsh (extended)

Pre-order Spellcaster II on vinyl from Pizza Burglar Records here.

Weird of the Day: Tera Melos, “Bite”

Tera Melos

We don’t post much math rock on this blog, for the very simple reason that most of it isn’t actually that weird. Technically impressive, sure, but weird? Not so much. Go to any large band practice space in any big college town and you will hear the cacophony of a dozen math rock bands all trying to shred around a diminished seventh chord in alternating 3/2 and 7/8 tempos and I actually nodded off three times while trying to finish this sentence. The sound of music geeks geeking out can go to some pretty weird places—but as with most genres of music, the vast majority of it is pretty by-the-book.

This is why I find Tera Melos so refreshing. Yes, they’re clearly big-time music geeks, but they a.) don’t take themselves too seriously and b.) make songs that, while still full jerky start-stop rhythms and odd, slightly dissonant chord progressions, also have melody and—dare I say it?—a sense of groove. They remind me a lot of Pinback and Minus the Bear, two bands I really like that sometimes get labeled as math rock even though I’m sure the hardcore math rockers think their time signatures are too basic.

But what really puts them over the top into weirdo territory are their music videos, which are nearly always amazing. Here’s a recent one for the track “Bite” that is pretty much exactly how I always imagined it would look if Primus made a J-pop video. And yes, I imagine that sort of thing a lot.

“Bite” is from Tera Melos’ latest album, X’ed Out, which you can buy from Amazon.com or their label, Sargent House.

P.S. Thanks to reader matp662 for submitting Tera Melos. Matp662 suggested another video, “The Skin Surf,” and that one’s pretty weird, too.

Zammuto gets microscopic in new “Great Equator” video

Zammuto

Nick Zammuto is quite the renaissance man. When the Ex-Books multi-instrumentalist isn’t making music or tinkering on the house he and his wife built, he’s designing 36-foot-tall trebuchets or laser projectors that respond to bass frequency. I think it’s fair to say that after the Apocalypse hits, the best parties in what was once the state of Vermont are gonna be at the Zammutos’ place.

Nick’s latest accomplishment that makes us feel like total slackers is a video for “Great Equator,” a track his band Zammuto‘s forthcoming sophomore album, Anchor. Shot on two microscopes, one that uses visible light and one that reads electrons, the video reveals a beautiful world of intricate patterns hidden within LP vinyl, USB electronics, coins, insects and other stuff you’d probably never think to stick under a microscope.

If you want to pre-order a limited-edition, splattered-vinyl copy of Anchor direct from Nick himself, go here. If you just want the boring old CD or digital version, try Amazon. Anchor is due out Sept. 2 on Temporary Residence.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat are hitting the road with their inflatable puppet theater

Quintron and Miss Pussycat

It’s been two years since Andy and I got to see Quintron and Miss Pussycat do their swamp-tech-and-puppets thing here in L.A. and I can still see the headlights of Quintron’s Oldsmobile organ every time I close my eyes. But it was totally worth the hearing loss and retinal damage. They put on one helluva show.

So it is with great sadness that I must inform you that Quintron and Miss Pussycat have announced some fall tour dates. Why sadness? Because they’re not playing L.A. and I am a selfish prick. Fuck you, Winooski, Vermont! I hope the top of Quintron’s Drum Buddy flies off and smacks you right in the ol’ syrup sucker.

Word is that Mr. Q and Miss P will also have a new album out this fall, but we don’t have the details on that just yet. Word is also that Miss Pussycat has invented a brand-new inflatable puppet theater that fits in her purse. The press release didn’t specifically say that she’s bringing the blow-up puppets on this tour…but I mean, if they fit in your purse, why wouldn’t you?

The press release also mentions that Quintron spent some time earlier this year completing his latest homemade musical gadget, a drone synthesizer called the Weather Warlock that’s controlled by the weather. Maybe that’s why they’re not playing L.A….we don’t really have weather here. He needs to invent a smog-controlled synth next time. That thing would sing like a canary in our neck of the woods.

Anyway, here are those L.A.-skipping tour dates. Enjoy the show, ya bastards.

Sep 4 – Knoxville, TN- Pilot Light
Sep 6 – Lafayette, GA- Cherokee Farm
Nov 2 – New Orleans, LA- Voodoo Festival at City Park
Nov 7 – Memphis, TN- Hi Tone !
Nov 8 – St. Louis, MI – Firebird *
Nov 9 – Lawrence, KS- Replay Lounge *
Nov 10 – Iowa City, IA- The Mill *
Nov 11 – St. Paul, MN- Turf Club *
Nov 12 – Milwaukee, WI- Cactus Club *
Nov 14 – Chicago, IL- Hideout *
Nov 15 – Ann Arbor, MI- Blind Pig
Nov 16 – Cleveland, OH- Beachland Tavern
Nov 18 – Buffalo, NY- Buffalo Iron Works
Nov 19 – Toronto, ON- Horseshoe Tavern
Nov 20 – Ottawa, ON- House of Targ
Nov 21 – Montreal, qc – Il Motore
Nov 22 – Winooski, VT – Monkey House
Nov 23 – Portland, ME-The Space Gallery
Nov 25 – Allston, MA- Great Scott
Nov 29 – Brooklyn, NY- Baby’s All Right
Dec 1 – Asheville, NC- Double Crown
Dec 2 – Durham, NC- The Pinhook
Dec 3- Savannah, GA- Dollhouse Studios & Productions
Dec 4 – Tallahassee, FL- Club Downunder (FSU)
Dec 8 – Orlando, FL- Will’s Pub #
Dec 9 – Jacksonville, FL- Underbelly #

* w/ Babes
! w/ Manatees
# w/ White Mystery

Oh, and here’s a demo video of an earlier version of the Weather Warlock. Back then it was called the Singing House. Weather Warlock definitely makes it sound way cooler.

Weird of the Day: Bloody Death Skull, “Girls Like You”

Bloody Death Skull

When we saw Bob Log III on Friday night (review coming soon), there was a local band opening for him called Bloody Death Skull who gave him a run for his money on the weird-o-meter. With no fewer than 10 people onstage, half of them sitting down and playing toy instruments, they played a chaotic but catchy mix of ’60s-style girl-group pop, garage-rock and ukulele-led freak-folk. They wore an assortment of costumes that were alternately adorable and menacing: a guitar player in a gas mask, a backup singer in a burqa, a wolf, a frog, a forest nymph with green hair and a fake bird perched on her shoulder. It was sorta like watching The Raveonettes play at a daycare center on Halloween.

We couldn’t find any videos that do justice to their charmingly odd live show, but we did run across this video for their song “Girls Like You,” which sums up their cutely dark (or maybe it’s darkly cute) style quite nicely. It stars a bunch of Barbie dolls who can really work that pole. Enjoy.

For more Bloody Death Skull, check out their Bandcamp page.

Zammuto announce tour and new album, “Anchor”

Zammuto

It’s been over two years since ex-Books multi-instrumentalist Nick Zammuto released the eponymous debut album from his new band, Zammuto. For those of you who, like us, have been eagerly waiting for a follow-up, we now have a date to look forward to: Sept. 2nd. That’s when Zammuto will drop Anchor, their sophomore effort. (Also, get used to hearing that “drop Anchor” pun, because I guarantee you every blog from here to My Old Kentucky won’t be able to resist it.)

To celebrate Anchor‘s droppage, Zammuto will embark on a 21-city North American tour, starting Aug. 28th. Tracklist and tour dates are below, right after this here little embed featuring the groovy, melodic “Need Some Sun,” one of three Anchor tracks currently available on Zammuto’s SoundCloud page. (The others are “Great Equator” and “Sinker.”)

Anchor tracklist:

o1 Good Graces
02 Great Equator
03 Hegemony
04 Henry Lee (Trad.)
o5 Need Some Sun
06 Don’t Be a Tool
07 Electric Ant
08 IO
09 Stop Counting
10 Sinker
11 Your Time

Zammuto North American tour dates:

8/28 New Haven, CT The Outer Space
8/29 Burlington, VT Signal Kitchen
8/30 Portland, ME SPACE Gallery
9/6 Montreal, QC Il Motore
9/7 Toronto, ON The Garrison
9/9 Chicago, IL Schubas
9/10 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
9/11 Omaha, NE Waiting Room
9/12 Denver, CO Lost Lake
9/13 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
9/15 Seattle, WA Barboza
9/16 Vancouver, BC Media Club
9/17 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
9/19 Santa Cruz, CA Crepe Place
9/20 San Francisco, CA Brick & Mortar
9/21 Los Angeles, CA The Satellite
9/23 San Diego, CA Casbah
9/24 Phoenix, AZ Last Exit
9/25 Tucson, AZ Flycatcher
9/27 Austin, TX Holy Mountain
9/28 Dallas, TX Index Fest