B-Sides in the Bins #50 – Weekend in Chicago 3/27 – 3/29

Last weekend Sherry attended America’s Beauty Show for the third year running and I got the opportunity to have some quality time with Chicago’s record stores. Friday night we went down to a bar called This Must Be The Place in Lemont, IL to see Chicago R&B phenom The Right Now. We got into town late, so we needed to scoot to try and get there in time to get something to eat. Thankfully the folks there were very accommodating and the food was excellent!

The Right Now Live at This Must Be The Place

The show was a lot of fun– it was the first time I’d seen the band since they played Mahoney’s in Cedar Rapids in 2008 as Eli Jones. The band has come a long way in their stage show. Now the guys in the band all wear matching suits and Steph looked great in a sequined dress and heels. This was the first time the band had played This Must Be The Place and there was a pretty low turnout. Some of the dinner crowd stuck around through the first set but by the second set the audience was made up of Sherry and I and the employees of the bar. The band followed a setlist for the first set, but after the break they decided to loosen up a bit and played some older songs like “Candlelight and Satin Sheets” and “Disco Smooth” and a couple of newly-written songs.

I talked to the soundguy at the break a bit, and he said that the owner of the bar is trying to establish This Must Be The Place as a place for musicians to meet– sort of like The Green Mill or the Empty Bottle downtown. It is a lofty goal for sure as Lemont is about 45 minutes south of the Loop on I-55, and I think that getting the bands to come out of the Loop is a tough proposition. That said, the Metra runs down there so it isn’t an impossibility. It is a really nice venue with a great soundsystem and stage and the food and drinks are good. I’d come back if there was a good band there.

We got to hang out and talk to the band after the show– I was happy that Sherry got to meet them, and we talked a bit about the upcoming Iowa shows the weekend of 4/16 (Iowa City, Davenport and Cedar Rapids).

On Saturday, Sherry attended the first day of the conference at McCormick which started around Noon and I parked in the first floor lobby and worked on blog stuff. On Sunday she went to the second day of the conference and I decided I wanted to hit a Half-Price Books as I had the 50% Off One Item coupon. There are a few Half-Price Books in the Chicagoland area, but all of them are way out in the burbs. The closest one to McCormick Place was down in Countryside, IL off I-55 (pretty close to Lemont, really). So, I dropped Sherry off and hit I-55– it’s exit is right near McCormick Place.

The Countryside HPB has a pretty substantial collection of vinyl as it turns out– and a decent selection of obscure and Chicago-local bands. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a lot of stuff I was looking for. They had a Japanese pressing of the Blind Faithalbum for $30 that I was really interested in. It had the alternate cover featuring the band instead of the topless underaged-girl photo. It had a pretty deep scratch on it otherwise I would have bought it with my 50% coupon. They had two copies of Dave Brubeck’s Time Out— both appeared to be original pressings and one of them was a very worn Mono. I almost bought the Mono, but the wear and the seam-split cover had me passing on it. Plus, I have a very mint Stereo Columbia 6-eye I cherish, so I don’t need another copy, really. They also had Marti Jones’s second album Match Game on LP. Match Game was produced by Marti’s husband Don “Praying Mantis” Dixon. I have this on cassette, and would have liked to have this on vinyl, but it was missing an inner sleeve and was pretty worn. Here’s what I picked up:

Men At Work – Business As Usual (LP, CBS Records, FC 37978, 1982)($0.50) This was clearance-priced, and has a VG cover and vinyl. Fairly quiet on the turntable after I cleaned it. I listened to this and Cargoa lot in junior high school. Three pretty big singles in “Who Can It Be Now?”, “Down Under,” and “Be Good Johnny.” It was their appearance at the US Festival on “New Wave Day” that really helped establish the band and make them the MTV darlings. This album is strong all the way through– the singles are scattered throughout the record and serve as familiar landmarks through the rest of the songs. Men at Work were often considered a band that copied The Police– and quite a bit of this album with it’s bouncy ska rhythms and jazz influences certainly supports that idea. One of my favorite non-single tracks is “Helpless Automation” which recalls a new-wavy Devo. I included this song in a mixtape that I played all the time in High School. I need to get Cargo, next.

The Time – Ice Cream Castles (LP, Warner Bros. Records, 25109-1, 1984)($2.98) This is a title I don’t see very often (though, coincidentally would see again on Monday…). The story goes that Prince was trying to transition from the pop-funk sound that he established leading up to Controversyand apparently had a lot of music he still wanted to release in that vein. He puts his childhood friend Morris Day in front of a Minneapolis funk band called Flyte Time and creates The Time– on record, at least was mostly Prince and Day. By the time Ice Cream Castles is released in 1984, Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam had been fired by Prince for missing a show and Morris Day quit to pursue an acting career propelled by his appearance in Purple Rain. Although the album cover shows the post-Lewis and Jam version of the band– which has a shockingly-young St. Paul Peterson on the cover. If his birthdate in October of 1964 is correct, St. Paul was 18 when he played in the Time. He wasn’t on the album, however and only apparently played two live gigs in the Twin Cities and he appears in the movie Purple Rain. After Morris Day leaves The Time, Prince gathers the remaining members and his then-girlfriend Susannah Melvoin and creates The Family. The Family are re-united as F Deluxe (Prince denies them the use of the name The Family– apparently still bitter about St. Paul leaving the group). Ice Cream Castles has what amounts to the biggest songs from The Time– “The Bird” and “Jungleland” which are both featured prominently in the Purple Rain movie. The production is credited to “The Starr Company” which is effectively Prince, who sometimes used the alias “Jamie Starr.” The original album inner sleeve is black plastic, interestingly.

Record Dugout, Chicago IL

My plan was to hit another Half Price Books and spend my 50% coupon, but the next closest one was another 35 miles away. I did a quick Google Maps search for nearby record stores and found one called The Record Dugout(6055 West 63rd Street, Chicago, IL 60638-4317). The Record Dugout is technically in Chicago– although really far south in Chicago. It’s a moderately-sized store that specializes in vinyl LP’s dating up to the 80’s, comic books and sports cards. The day I was there, the guy who handles the vinyl part of the store was working. His name is Bob Miner and he hosts an acapella radio show on The University of Chicago radio station WHPK which airs on Sunday evenings and is called “From the Subway to the Streetcorner.” The store was literally packed with vinyl. There was one row of sorted Rock in record bins, another shorter row for Jazz and folk/country, another “discount bin” with $1-$2 records, and a meticulously-organized bin with 7″ records– the majority of which was R&B from the 50’s/60’s/70’s. Other areas included a “Wall of Shame” as Bob called it, which showcased the more expensive records– rare 7″es with sleeves, etc., a table which had unsorted piles of cheap records in varying degrees of shape– most of which had damaged sleeves, but had serviceable records in them, and two areas on the floor which had $1 and $2 records piled up.

I found most of the haul below in the sorted bins, but the ones for $1 and $2 I found by digging. Bob buys whole collections of records from people looking to get rid of them, so if he hasn’t gotten through them, the good stuff might not be in the bins. Everything seemed to have prices, however. It’s important to note that The Record Dugout only takes cash and the nearest ATMs charge fees, so bring cash. Also, if you buy a lot of stuff, Bob will work with you on price. I spent about three hours here, and probably could have spent more time. I’ll certainly come back!

R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant(LP, IRS Records, IRS-5783, 1986) ($4.00) I might have paid a bit too much for this one. The sleeve was not split, but kind of rough on the corners and the paper sleeve was replaced with another sleeve. The record is pretty clean, and after I gave it a thorough wipe with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to get it cleaned, it sounds really good– the surface is a bit hazy, however. R.E.M. is tough to find in the bins, so I’ll pick these up when I find them. Lifes Rich Pageant was the follow-up to Fables of the Reconstruction, which was the album that pretty much changed my music listening. R.E.M. called this their “John Cougar Mellencamp album” because it was produced by Don Gehman at Mellencamp’s studio in Indiana. Classic R.E.M. sound on this one– “Begin the Begin,” “Hyena,” “Fall on Me,” “Superman,” “I Believe” are all strong tracks in the R.E.M. canon. The song “Just a Touch” was a song resurrected from the early days of the band and a number of bootleg recordings from the early 80’s have this song.

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band – Nine Tonight(2 LP, Capitol Records, STBK-12182, 1981)($2.00) I found this one in one of the piles on the floor– hence its $2 price. Fabulously clean cover and LP’s! My dad bought this cassette when it was new and we used to listen to this a lot riding around in the car. A live album comprised of songs recorded in Detroit and Boston in 1980. All of his classic tracks are here– “Hollywood Nights,” “Tryin’ to Live My Life Without You,” “Night Moves,” “You’ll Accomp’ny Me,” “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Mainstreet,” “Fire Lake,” “Fire Down Below.” Probably the only album of Bob’s I would care to own, although I’d need Live Bullet to get “Turn the Page.”

Various – The Breakfast Club – The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack(LP, A&M Records, SP 5045, 1985)($2.00) Another one from the floor. Cover is in good condition and the record looks decent, but there seems to be a lot of groove wear on this one– particularly on “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” by Simple Minds. This was a soundtrack that my brother Steve and I listened to a lot– in fact, I think the cassette was actually his. My band in high school with Steve used to cover “(Don’t You) Forget About Me.” Fantastic drum beat in that song, which is why it is so timeless. It’s a kind of well-known story that Simple Minds didn’t write the song– it was penned by Keith Forsey who also wrote “Flashdance… What a Feeling” for Irene Kara. After being turned down by Billy Idol, Bryan Ferry and Simple Minds– it was encouraged by A&M that Simple Minds record the song. It becomes their biggest hit which help propel their career for a couple of albums. This soundtrack always struck me in how different it was to other John Hughes soundtracks in that while it had a huge single in “(Don’t You) Forget About Me,” it was really lacking in every other respect. I became familiar with the other songs by Wang Chung, E.G. Daily, Jesse Johnson, and Karla DeVito but aside from “Fire in the Twilight” from Wang Chung, which frankly sounds like an outtake from Points on the Curve, everything else seems like bargain-basement licensing– particularly if you compare it to the powerhouse soundtrack to Pretty in Pink, for example. The instrumentals by Forsey, while largely forgettable, work really well in the context of the movie.

In the 80’s it really seemed like you couldn’t have a soundtrack to a teen movie that didn’t include songs by E.G. Daily. She contributed her unique vocals to movies like Better off Dead — where she performs her two songs in the movie, Summer School, Thief of Hearts as well as The Breakfast Club. She’s a pretty talented lady, and is a regular for voiceovers. It is she who voices Tommy Pickles in Rugrats, for example.

Talking Heads – Speaking In Tongues (LP, Sire Records, 23883-1, 1983) ($2.00) Another one from the floor piles. The cover and inner sleeve are in tact, if a bit beat up. I have no Talking Heads on vinyl– well except for a bootleg called humorously enough Gimme Heads which has some studio outtakes and live tracks on it and a 12″ to “Blind.” After cleaning this one up, it plays pretty well, but I’ll be on the lookout for better copies. Last year’s Record Store Day had a Rhino reissue for 77— so I was hoping for some other reissues on vinyl. The Dugout also had True Stories on vinyl, but it was in pretty rough shape so I passed on it. Speaking In Tongues is pretty much the Talking Heads pinnacle release with the massive “Burning Down The House” single as well as secondary hits of “Girlfriend is Better,” and “Naive Melody.” Of course, these songs would show up in a bunch of movie soundtracks. I remember “Naive Melody” standing out in the soundtrack to Wall Street, and “Swamp” shows up in Risky Business. These tracks are featured prominently in the Talking Heads concert movie Stop Making Sensewhich was directed by Jonathan Demme.

Fleetwood Mac – Mirage (LP, Warner Bros. Records, W1 23607, 1982)($3.00) Very clean vinyl– cover has a suspicious wear spot, like someone used water to take adhesive off the cover. Also a Columbia House pressing. Clearly I didn’t look very closely at this one. I don’t like to take Columbia House pressings normally due to the uncertain nature of what they used for masters. That said, it is very clean and plays well, and is one of the better copies of Mirage I’ve seen, even with those flaws. The Mac tries to come back from the Titanic expensive failure that was Tusk (still my favorite, however). I really like Mirage— the band comes back to the style and sound of Rumours. The album had six singles released worldwide, but the biggest singles were “Hold Me” and “Gypsy.” The album makes it to #1 on the US charts, so it is clear that their audience wanted another album, but in the canon of Fleetwood Mac, Mirage is not one that people remember.

My first Fleetwood Mac concert was for the Miragetour in 1982. My family saw them in Cedar Falls with Glenn Frey of the Eagles opening on his first solo tour. I’ve seen Fleetwood Mac three more times since then– once during the very sad Time tour with Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett on guitars and vocals in Dubuque, once for The Dance tour and once for the Say You Will Tour.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Live/1975-85(5 LP, Columbia Records 40558 LP, 1986)($15.00) This one was a cool find. I bought this new on cassette back in 1986– and still have it. I’ve seen it on CD over the years used, but never on LP. A great collection of Bruce live goodness from what most people would consider the high-point of his career. I think that they should do an official release of the legendary Winterland 1978 show. The version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” heard at Christmas time is from that show. This box set does, however, include the version of “Fire” from that show. The Winterland 1978 show had been bootlegged many times over the years– since it was aired live on the radio, lots of folks taped it. Wolfgang’s Vault helpfully has the show in their archives, but it is not one that is purchasable. Listen here.

The vinyl on this box is pretty much pristine, even if the box itself isn’t. One I’ll want to kick back and listen to with a glass of wine some night.

Booker T. & The MG’s – “Hip Hug-Her” b/w “Summertime”(7″ Stax 45-211, 1965)($4.00) I hadn’t really planned to pick up any 45’s, but they had a dedicated section just for Stax! So, I flipped through it and they had a few Booker T. & The MG’s singles. I picked this one because it was on the massively cool light blue Stax label. The record is in great shape for being 45 years old!

Wilson Pickett – “Funky  Broadway” b/w “I’m Sorry About That” (7″, Atlantic Records, 45-2430, 1967)($3.00) This one is one of the singles I really dig from Wilson Pickett– on the red Atlantic label. Super-clean and in an Atlantic paper sleeve.

The Dangtrippers – “The Masquerade” b/w “Lover’s Again”(7″, Dog Gone Records, DOG 0005-7″, 1989)($3.50) Why is it that if I want to find rare Iowa bands in the bins I need to leave Iowa? The Dangtrippers were Doug Roberson of The Diplomats of Solid Sound’s 90’s band. I still remember seeing The Dangtrippers playing the Loras College gym when I went to school there. The band got signed to Dog Gone records which was the record label started by Jefferson Holt who was the manager for R.E.M. This is the single to the only album released for The Dangtrippers on Dog Gone before it went under (see below). “Lover’s Again” is a non-album b-side!

Prince and the Revolution – Around the World in a Day(LP, Paisley Park W1-25286, 1985)($3.00) A Columbia House pressing, but in superb shape! I’ve never seen this on LP before! I have this in this crazy longbox trifold CD I picked up at a Discount Records in the early 90’s in Chicago. The LP cover is sort of a trifold with a short flap that folds over. The cover art is a painted scene which has in it representations of each of the songs– a tambourine, a ladder, an American flag, a raspberry beret– the ones I found anyway… A pretty progressive album– lots of psychedelica and strangeness– Prince at his most experimental. “Pop Life” and “Raspberry Beret” were the big singles off this album, but I think that most people ignore this album. I liked it back when it came out, but admittedly haven’t listened to it much since the 80’s. Giving it a spin the other night, I’m struck by some of the songs. In fact, I like all of the album other than the track “Temptation.”

The next day I dropped Sherry off at the conference again and I headed up to Lincoln Square to hit Laurie’s Planet of Sound, which I had hit back in October of 2007. The store was pretty quiet when I got there. They changed the parking meters to be able to take credit cards, which is convenient, but still really expensive. I blew $3 to get a couple of hours of parking. Laurie’s has a new arrivals section for their CD’s and LP’s and has a section dedicated to new vinyl as well. Their vinyl prices are higher than places like the dugout, but comparable to places like HPB which is attempting to charge market prices for some.

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals – Burn to Shine(2 LP, Virgin Records America, 7243 8 48151 1 0, 1999)($9.99) This was in the new arrivals section and appears to be a cutout of sorts as the barcode is crossed out. Probably a promo or a giveaway, but is in great shape. I hadn’t really paid much attention to Ben Harper until I saw him as part of that 3D concert movie “Larger Than Life” back in December. I was impressed enough to pick up Harper’s new record White Lies for Dark Times on vinyl. Burn to Shine is considered to be one of his good releases so I thought it might be a good gamble. I gave it a spin when I got home, and it’s a good one for the collection.

Bumps (2 LP, Stones Throw Records, STH2157, 2007)($12.99) This was a new purchase. Bumps is the side project of the Tortoise rhythm section of Bitney, McEntire & Herndon. This is a record of beats, essentially. This is a really cool 2 LP version that was price cut from $15.99 to $12.99. This is mostly as a completion for my Tortoise vinyl collection, I don’t see myself playing this often.

Cougar – Law (LP, Layered Music/Play It Again Sam, LR013, 2007/2008)($4.99) Although it isn’t really listed anywhere on the artwork and the LP itself only lists 4 tracks, this appears to be the full Lawalbum that was released in 2007 in the UK by Layered Music. Madison, WI band Cougar is classified as “emergency” music although I think they fit under the “post rock” area. Having your debut album mixed by John McEntire of Tortoise doesn’t hurt this classification either.

The Dangtrippers – Days Between Stations (LP, Dog Gone, DOG 0005, 1989)($2.99) Wow! Another Dangtrippers find? The cover is a bit trashed on this one, but I didn’t know that this was even available on LP! I see on eBay there are a couple of LPs– one for $14.99 and one for $19.99, so $2.99 is a good deal. The vinyl is very clean. As I stated above, The Dangtrippers were a band from Iowa City from the 80’s and early 90’s that got signed to Dog Gone Records. They had this album out on Dog Gone before the label went under. Their second album Transparent Blue Illusionwhich came out in 1991 was only available on the Australian label Zero Hour. The Dangtrippers had a 60’s jangly rock sound that owed a lot to bands like The dB’s. In fact, the song “Talk About Love” on Days Between Stations sounds a lot like The dB’s and it’s pretty much my favorite track on the album.

That song reminds me of a very bad trip to Florida in the early 90’s with my then-girlfriend to visit some friends of hers. The trip started out okay– it was Florida in late December and her friends had a gorgeous house with a pool and a Porsche 928 that was ours for the borrowing. We visited a mall that had a discount book store or something and I found Days Between Stations on CD there in the bins!

The trip took a turn for the worst as she started giving me the silent treatment and wouldn’t talk about why she was upset. So, I was stuck in Florida with someone who clearly didn’t want to be there with me. We had a painful trip to Disney World followed by a really uncomfortable New Year’s Eve get together. By the time we flew back to Chicago to drive back to Dubuque I had enough of this ridiculous situation where she wasn’t talking to me about why she was upset. So, she was rewarded with four hours of “Talk About Love” on repeat in full volume. The relationship didn’t last much longer– she didn’t like not being the center of attention with her friends and I apparently drew some attention from her. I still dig the frustrated energy of that song.

Click Here to hear “Talk About Love” from Days Between Stationsby The Dangtrippers.

Love Tractor – Around the Bend (LP, DB Recs, DB67, 1983)($4.99) This was another very cool find! Of course, this is where I’ll alienate some of the readers. I found out about Love Tractor due to the documentary Athens, GA Inside/Out about the music scene in Athens leading up to 1987– R.E.M. is just getting to be a big deal in college rock– it was released before Document with “The One I Love” on it– so the movie happens at an opportune time. Included in the movie is Love Tractor who perform a live version of “Pretty” from Around the Bend. The album is largely instrumental with some sparse vocals. I had Around the Bend on a double-cassette which included their debut self-titled album and the follow-up Until the Cows Come Home. I find their unique style to be pretty similar to Athens contemporaries Pylon.

I actually owned the soundtrack for Athens, GA Inside/Outfor a long time before I ever saw the movie. The soundtrack included two acoustic tracks from R.E.M. “Swan Swan H” and a cover of the Everly Brothers song “All I Have To Do is Dream” so I had to get it. By the time the movie came out on VHS, I was very familiar with a lot of the songs in it, including “Pretty.”

Click Here to listen to “Pretty” from Around the Bend by Love Tractor.

I also bought a bag of 100 mylar LP bags for $20. I never seem to have enough of those. I could get these cheaper online from Bags Unlimited, but since I was thinking of it, I thought I’d buy them.

As I was walking back to my car I happened to catch someone out of the corner of my eye– it was Chris Corsale from The Right Now sitting in a window of a sandwich shop playing acoustic guitar and singing! He was suprised to see me as well! So, I moved my car to a side street– which is free and doesn’t require a permit after 11AM. Then I came back to the restaurant and ate lunch hanging out with him in between sets. It was pretty cool– Chris has a pretty wide selection of covers he does and made for good lunchtime entertainment. A great coincidence that sort of made for a good wrap-up of the weekend.

After lunch I made my way back to McCormick Place to pick Sherry up and head home.

Thrill Jockey Announces 12″ Subscription Club!

Thrill Jockey Records has always been very accommodating to it’s collector fans by providing exclusive limited-edition releases– usually in the form of some vinyl pressing. Releases that come to mind are the super-cool Records Toreism release for Record Store Day 2009, The limited-edition Plum boxset of 7″es, well and every vinyl pressing of their albums are limited to 1000 for the first run!

Thrill Jockey has announced a 12″ Subscription Club! The first series (optimistically keeping my fingers crossed for future ones!) will be for 7 very rare 12″es– some of these you can only get in the subscription, some of them guarantee you to get one before they are generally available. The lineup of acts providing releases is great– a mixture of long-time acts on the label and some new and future acts!

Already the demand has been so great that they have had to substitute a release that ran out. Although this isn’t too surprising because some of these releases are less than 500 pressings! In the case of the Pit Er Pat 12″ there was only 300!

The subscription ships in three packages.

Package #1 (Ships immediately)

Pit er Pat – “High Time Remix(thrill 12.31) Early subscribers got in on the remainder of the 300 hand-numbered pressings of this release which included remixes of tracks off the band’s new album High Time. Cool hand-assembled sleeve with art cards glued to each side.

The Fiery Furnaces – “The End is Near” (thrill 12.32) The rest of the orders will be filled with the remainder of this release– so now this is OOP! One album track, one “radio” edit, an alternate version and an unreleased track make this a great replacement for the Pit er Pat 12.

Tortoise – “Beacons of Ancestorship Remixes – Eye / Mark Ernestus (thrill 12.34) Tortoise’s first new remix 12″ since 1998’s T.N.T. pair of 12″es. This one has a gorgeous cover done by Andrew Paynter who did the cover of Beacons as well as the video for “Prepare Your Coffin.” The Eye remix is the same remix that is available on the Japanese version of Beacons. “Gigantes” remixed by Mark Ernestus. This is a 45 RPM pressing! 1500 copies, so I’m sure this will be available on tour and on the Thrill Jockey store.

Package #2 ( Ships in October)

Thank You – “Pathetic Magic” (thrill 12.35) Limited edition pressing of 300. Two new studio track and three remixes.

Pontiak – “Sea Voids” (thrill 12.33) Limited press of 500 with hand-printed covers. New material recorded before they went on tour with Earthless.

White Hills – “Dead” (thrill 12.36) 1000 copies. Three brand-new songs and a remix of “Oceans of Sound.”

Package #3 (Ships in November)

Javelin – TBA (thrill 12.37) Limited edition of 500. Just found out about Javelin through this club. A pair of guys from NYC who craft J Dilla-influenced electronica (my opinion). Their self-released CD was raved about by Pitchfork. Cool stuff I wouldn’t have expected from Thrill Jockey. 5 song release with covers that are recycled from vintage album jackets they found at thrift stores (hopefully they don’t smell musty!!).

Mi Ami – TBA (thrill 12.38) One of the casualties of the stop of new releases from Quarterstick/Touch and Go was Mi Ami. Their newest album and debut on Quarterstick was released the same day the label announced layoffs and ceasing new releases. It appears that Mi Ami just took their business across town to Thrill Jockey and will have a new release next year.

The price of the subscription is $84 (U.S.–$98 Canadian, $122 International) for the seven 12″es which includes shipping! In addition club member will get one of the Thrill Jockey 15th Anniversary record bags that were sold at the shows in December 2007.

Click Here to Read More about the Thrill Jockey 12″ Subscription Series.

Tortoise Returns to Morning Becomes Eclectic Make Appearance at Amoeba Records

Tortoise is in L.A. and they are busy. They play a sold out show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, but they are doing a couple promotional appearances ahead of the show.  Yesterday Tortoise returned to the KCRW show “Morning Becomes Eclectic” to perform a 43 minute set and interview. The show included three songs from Beacons of Ancestorship, but also included two earlier songs that I haven’t heard on tour in a while!

Tortoise kicked things off with “High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In” followed by “Prepare Your Coffin” from Beacons, and then did “The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls” from T.N.T. and “Djed” from Millions Now Living Will Never Die. The band wrapped things up with “Minors” from Beacons, which was unfortunately cut short. The interview with the band mostly surrounded how the band works together collaboratively on their music, which was cool.

Today (July 9th) Tortoise makes an in-store appearance at the Hollywood Amoeba Music location, which they will stream from their website. The show should start at 6PM Pacific Time (8 PM Central, 9 PM Eastern, etc.). Tortoise is also featured on Amoeba’s “Music We Like – Handpicked Titles for $10.98 or less” sale.

Click Here for the Amoeba.com information on the Tortoise In-Store Live Stream (At this point the stream has been taken down, but there are pictures from the session).

Click Here to visit Tortoise’s Website

Click Here for Tortoise’s 2006 appearance on Morning Becomes Eclectic

Tortoise Announce Fall Dates in Support of Beacons of Ancestorship

Tortoise
Tortoise’s Beacons of Ancestorship— their sixth official studio album– arrives in stores and online on Tuesday, June 23rd.  The release was available online for pre-order as CD, LP and mp3 and a special set of packages of the CD and LP release that included a folded poster of Beacons and a very limited brass belt buckle with the “TRTS” logo with the eye that was used on the hoodies. Apparently the buckles were only available to the first 75 preorders. The LP’s– which are 180g virgin vinyl which was mastered by Ray Janos at Stirling Sound— are sold out online, but thre should be copies available at your favorite indie record stores. It sounds like there will be a future re-repressing, too. At this moment there are still some CD+buckle packages left on the site.  See the “artist’s rendering” below. I’m going to need to run to WalMart and get a belt with the snaps so I can rock this thing!

The Tortoise touring machine is getting ready to jam econo in support of the new album. They’ve been playing some sporadic shows already and are hitting some festivals, but the fall tour is already starting to shape up with some Midwestern dates starting in September and October.

Notably (for me anyway) Iowa is getting its first tour date in a very long time. The show is going to take place at the very cool Voices Warehouse Gallery in Dubuque, IA. It has a similar artsy space feel as CSPS in Cedar Rapids.  I saw Bo Ramsey there in October of 2006. I called Tim McNamara who handles setting the shows up and there will be more information coming soon about tickets and the possibility of other opening acts. 10/3 ends up being the end of the season for the gallery and last year they had a number of acts playing. I’ll post an upcoming show article when I get more details.

Tortoise Tour Dates:
Sat. July 11 — Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
Mon. July 13 — San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
Wed. July 15 — Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Fri. July 17 — Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival
Sun. July 19 — Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Mon. July 20 — Philadelphia, PA @ Sanctuary at First Unitarian Church
Tue. July 21 — New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
Fri. July 24 — Tokyo, Japan @ Fuji Rock Festival
Fri. Aug. 14 — St. Malo, France @ La Route Du Rock
Sat. Aug. 22 — Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop
Tue. Sep. 29 — St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
Wed. Sep. 30 — Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
Thu. Oct. 1 — Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
Fri. Oct. 2 — Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
Sat. Oct. 3 — Dubuque, IA @ Voices Warehouse Gallery

Other articles at playbsides.com about Tortoise

Tortoise Picks Favorite Instrumental Tracks for Time Out New York

From a twitter by Thrill Jockey, I found out about this article at the New York Edition of Time Out where John McEntire, Jeff Parker and Doug McCombs of Tortoise provide a playlist of their all-time favorite instrumental tracks. The five tracks picked as you might expect provide a peek into the influences of the band. While it’s cool that Time Out collected these tracks and provide a streaming player for us to sample the tracks, it doesn’t explain who the artists are or maybe the significance of the tracks.

1. Sonny Sharrock – “Who Does She Hope to Be” from 1991’s Ask The Ages album on Axiom Records. This was picked by McEntire, and I’d never heard of Sharrock before this. The track ends up being a mini-class on post-bop jazz. The beautiful and meloncholy track is a short and sweet track featuring the guitar work of Sharrock, which at times sounds a lot like Santana. We also get some amazing horn work from Pharoah Sanders whom Sonny worked with early in his career. Charnett Moffett provides some beautiful double bass as well. Also in the combo is noted Coltrane sideman drummer Elvin Jones. The song at 4:42 is the most direct and concise track on the album, and frankly one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I’ve heard. Sharrock died in 1994 at a young 53 years old, but established himself as an influential guitarist in the free jazz space. As a side note, Sharrock was the composer for the Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast TV show. I keep playing this song over-and-over. Amazing song.

2.  Latin Playboys – “Viva la Raza” from 1994’s self-titled release on Slash/Warner. Chosen by McCombs, this is the opening track from the Los Lobos side-project Latin Playboys. An interesting choice. Latin Playboys is made up of Los Lobos members David Hidalgo and Louis Perez along with noted producer and engineer combo Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake. Froom and Blake are responsible for a bunch of amazing albums over the years, but in the context of the Latin Playboys, they produced the “experimental trilogy” of Los Lobos albums Kiko (1992), Colossal Head (1998) and This Time (1999).  So, it isn’t surprising that during this very fruitful period in the band’s history that Latin Playboys– itself a bit experimental– would form. The second and last Latin Playboys release Dose was released in 1999– also during this period. In my opinon if you listen to the Latin Playboys along with the trilogy, it doesn’t sound like anything other than part of the Los Lobos catalog. According to the Wikipedia article on Latin Playboys, Hidalgo brought some demos he recorded at home to Froom who suggested that they be used in a new band rather than their intended recipient Los Lobos.

3.  Art Ensemble of Chicago – “Rock Out” from the 1969 album Message To Our Folks. Chosen by Jeff Parker. Not really very surprising, since he spends nearly all of his non-Tortoise time gigging constantly in jazz combos. I suspect that he is very influenced by the long-standing tradition that the Art Ensemble has become in its 42-year existence in all of its variations. Early pioneers in the avante-garde jazz arena. This band’s history alone could keep me tied up for weeks digging into their catalog.

4. Link Wray – “Rumble” – Chosen by Doug McCombs, Link Wray and the Ray Men’s 1958 hit “Rumble” originally on the Cadence label is the precursor to a number of music genres– surf, punk, metal. According to the allmusic article on Link Wray, he single-handedly invented the power chord. “Rumble” continues to be a familar tune as it was used pretty prominently in Pulp Fiction. Paved the way for every instrumental band since, and I guess that would include Tortoise!

5. Ennio Morricone“A Fist Full of Dollars” Morricone more than anyone else I think influenced the Tortoise sound the most. Even on the upcoming Beacons of Ancestorship, there is a track called “The Fall of Seven Diamonds Plus One” with its arpeggiated guitar (likely the Bass VI played by Doug who picked this song) as well as the bag full of metal percussion is certainly recalls a spaghetti western soundtrack. Instead of trying to hire Morricone to score his upcoming movie Inglorious Basterds maybe Tarantino should have called up Tortoise.

An entertaining mix– I just wish it had more songs on it. A comment I made on the article with the mix was that I was surprised that Doug hadn’t picked “The Lonely Surfer” by Jack Nitzsche. When I saw Tortoise in Madison last year I had a chance to talk to Doug about his favorite topic, the Fender Bass VI. He told me the greatest example of a Bass VI song was “The Lonely Surfer,” and that he’d tried to convince Tortoise to cover this song.

Click Here to visit the Time Out New York Exclusive Playlist from Tortoise. Update: The player doesn’t work anymore, sadly, so I’ve updated the above list to include YouTube Links.

Get Your Tortoise On… Beacons of Ancestorship is coming

Tortoise - Photo by Jim Newberry

Tortoise - Photo by Jim Newberry

As previously mentioned, Chicago Post Rock stalwarts Tortoise’s first new album since 2004’s It’s All Around You will be released on June 23rd on Thrill Jockey. Titled Beacons of Ancestorship, it is, in my opinion certainly very distinctively Tortoise but compared to Around You, it seems to be more straightforward and pared back from some of the layered sound of that effort.

Thrill Jockey has started the promotion of Beacons early by allowing blogs to host a couple of mp3’s for download. The entire album is currently streaming from the Tortoise website on a splash page as well. I recommend you give it a listen!

If all of that weren’t enough, there is a video for “Prepare Your Coffin” that seems rather Tortoise-like. Matching the high-tempo (for Tortoise, anyway) pace of the song we see a guy running around taking interesting pictures of architecture that seem to echo the cover art for the album.

Click Here to visit the Beacons of Ancestorship album page at Thrill Jockey which is where you will be able to pre-order the album (no date, yet).

Click Here to download “High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In”

Click Here to download “Prepare Your Coffin”

Click Here to visit the trts.com page with the stream of Beacons of Ancestorship

Click Here to visit Tortoise’s MySpace page

Watch the video for “Prepare Your Coffin”

Tortoise – Prepare Your Coffin from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

B-Sides in the Bins #43 – Record Store Day 4/18/2009

Record Store Day Crawl #1 for Record Store Day 2009 went mostly without a hitch and certainly I look forward to next year! My friends Erik and Alex were my companions for the trip which made for a pretty great day.

The plan was to hit the two record stores in Dubuque and the one in Iowa City since those were the closest to Cedar Rapids. I had originally hoped to hit Zzz Records in Des Moines, but that would have made for a very long day. I had called the three stores last week to see which of the special release items they were planning to get. Only Mike at Moondog Music was able to give the the full list as he had gotten most of his ordered inventoried already, the other two stores hadn’t gotten theirs, yet. Based on the reported opening times of the stores, I decided to hit CD’s 4 Change in Dubuque first since they were going to open at 10AM, followed by Moondog Music at 11AM and then we’d beat it to Iowa City to hit Real Records and hopefully be wrapped up before 4PM.

I got up early and picked up Erik and Alex. We hit Croissant du Jour to get coffees and French pastries for the road. We made it to CD’s 4 Change at 9:30AM and hung around for a bit to see if they’d open. 10AM rolled around and no sign of anyone opening. So, we walked over to Uncle Ike’s Music which was kitty-corner from the record store. When I lived in Dubuque in the 90’s I spent a lot of time at Uncle Ike’s when they were downtown. The store was pretty busy for early on Saturday morning and they had a very impressive collection of guitars at great prices. Erik picked up some patch cables and Alex bought a neat Oscar Schmidt OU2 ukulele while we waited. Ike’s had a pretty interesting collection of used Stratocasters including A white ’85 MIJ with black head and locking nut for $369, and this pristine ’94 40th Anniversary for $899, complete with 40th badging.

We headed back over to CD’s 4 Change and at that time someone pulled up and opened the store. I asked about the special orders for today, and they had a very small collection of items. The owner stated that he didn’t order any of the major label releases and didn’t order any of the Sub Pop either. He didn’t get any of the Thrill Jockey Records Toreism 12″s. He had the Pavement Live LP as well as the Touch and Go Jesus Lizard Inch 7″ box set, and had both of the Sonic Youth split singles. Not a great showing of those releases, but he was having a $2-off of all new vinyl, which was great, and Erik bought a slug of records as they have an impressive new vinyl release selection. Erik was able to pick up The Sea and Cake Everybody album, which was cool as it has been out-of-print for a couple of years. I would have picked up the SY singles, but I knew that Mike at Moondog had them for $1 cheaper.

Flipping through the new and used LP’s I found a bunch of interesting pieces, and if I wasn’t trying to stay under a budget that needed to include the exclusive releases I would have picked up some of these: a still sealed Ventures Walk Don’t Run on United Artists! ($50, even with the $2 off, it was a bit too pricey for me), R.E.M. Reckoning and Life’s Rich Pageant for $8 and $10. I don’t have these on vinyl today, but I’m holding out for ones with better covers, The Moody Blues Days of Future Past for $2– Minty cover and LP with plastic inner sleeve. It’s a later pressing under PolyGram. I just about bought it, but do I need a fourth copy of this? They also had the Beastie Boys 2 LP reissue of Check Your Head, which I’d like to pick up at some point. They also had Pink Floyd The Wall and The Final Cut for over $10 apiece. I have neither of these, and would have snagged The Wall if it weren’t for the scratch on one of the LP’s. I had briefly considered picking up some Ryan Adams vinyl– they had Demolition and Gold which would have been $10.99 during their sale.
Moondog Music
We departed for Moondog Music while the sky started spitting. We never did get the real rain that was predicted– just enough to piss you off and make it muggy. We stopped in around 11:30ish and although Mike wasn’t in yet, he had a bag prepared with “MIKE (CEDAR RAPIDS)” written on it with all of the pieces that we discussed on the phone as well as a bunch of really cool freebies! Talk about service! We flipped through the used and new vinyl in the store, Moondog has a great selection of new vinyl as well. I’m beginning to think I need to make some runs to Dubuque just to go record shopping. In the bins: The new crazy reissue of Beck’s Odelay in a box set with 4 LP’s for $99. I’d love to have this piece in my collection but it didn’t fit in my budget. Here is what I picked up at Moondog Music:

Various Artists – Records Toreism (12″, Thrill Jockey 12.30, 2009) ($12.99) Gorgeous hand-screened cover, four tracks from TJ artists old and new. Brand new Tortoise track “High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In” from the upcoming Beacons of Ancestorship album, “Window” by Mountains is unreleased as well as the Double Dagger track “Stagger Lee” and the Trans Am track “Wounded Monkey.” This is the first Thrill Jockey appearance of recent signings White Hills with “Eye to Eye” which was previously on a tour-only CD-R called Abstractions and Mutations. Included in the sleeve with the record are two photocopied booklets. The first little booklet is a manifesto of sorts called “Recordstoreism” on visiting your record store frequently and is apparently an anti-iPod perspective as well with iPod-and-crossbones logos and “..knock down to the Pod Peddlers!! Zombies tethered to headphones. Wandering Wastrels whose auditory corridors are clogged with wax.” The second booklet called “Whatisinstore” is emblazoned with a bunch of indie record store names inside of which are essays by artists and store workers alike about record stores. I think I found most of the stores I’ve been to: Jazz Record Mart, Cheapo’s, Electric Fetus, Moondog Records (s.i.c.),  Hard Boiled, Laurie’s Planet of Sound, Reckless Records, The Record Collector, Mad City Music Exchange, Treehouse Records, Zzz Records, Newbury Comics… They included Rolling Stones, but I didn’t see any Thrill Jockey at their store when I was there last month. I didn’t see Real or CD’s 4 Change on there. Maybe you can special order TJ there. A very cool piece very much in the spirit of the day.

Tom Waits – Live Glitter & Doom Tour 2008 (7″, Anti- Records 87018-7, 2009) ($5.98) I don’t really collect Tom Waits, but this was a pretty neat release. “Lucinda / Ain’t Going Down To The Well” from Atlanta, backed by “Bottom of the World” from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Bob Dylan – “Dreamin’ Of You” / “Down Along the Cove” (7″ Columbia 8697-50225-7, 2009)($6.98) “Dreamin’ of You” is from last year’s great Tell-Tale Signs – Bootleg Series Volume 8 release. It was the lead off track that was sort of a single. Produced by Lanois as part of the Time Out of Mind sessions. “Down Along the Cove” is a John Wesley Harding track that Dylan did for his 2004 Bonnaroo appearance. This track previously appeared on the Bonnaroo 2004 compilation CD. Includes a photo of Dylan.

Whiskeytown – “San Antone” / “The Great Divide” (7″ Geffen B00128170-21, 2009)($5.98) “Limited Edition Produced Exclusively for Record Store Day 2009” – two unreleased tracks from Ryan Adams’s pre-solo, pre-Cardinals band Whiskeytown. These are two tracks from the Baseball Park sessions that would make up Whiskeytown’s first album Faithless Street in 1995. When Faithless Street was reissued in 1998 by Outpost, it included Baseball Park tracks which were produced by Chris Stamey (from the dB’s). These two tracks were not part of those. Really nice hard sleeve that reproduces the Faithless Street cover photograph taken by Ryan.

The Sonik Youth / Beck – “Pay No Mind” / “Green Light” (7″ Matador OLE 865-7, 2009)($5.98) Limited edition (2500) split single. Sonic Youth covers “Pay No Mind” from Beck’s Mellow Gold, and Beck covers “Green Light” from Sonic Youth’s EVOL album.

Iron & Wine – Norfolk 6/20/05 (CD, Sub Pop SPCD 839, 2009)($7.99) Super-cute CD made to look like a mini-Sub Pop singles club release. Iron & Wine live during their 2005 tour after the release of Woman King EP. A sticker on the wrap mentions the upcoming release Around the Well, which will be a compilation of B-Sides and Rarities due out May 19th and will be followed by a tour. The cover art also mentions playedlastnight.com which is a place where you can purchase shows by Iron & Wine as well as The Swell Season.

The Jesus Lizard – INCH (8 x 7″, Touch and Go tg347, 2009)($29.99) Limited, numbered edition (256 / 2000) I will admit that I haven’t been a big fan of The Jesus Lizard, but will readily admit their influence on a lot of bands that I’ve listened to. Touch and Go records created this amazing “box set” of all of the singles release during The Jesus Lizard’s time on Touch and Go. All of the singles have been out-of-print for over six years, apparently. The singles have been remastered by Bob Westin and include reproductions of the original sleeves and are included in this really great clear plastic package that houses them, or could be used to display them as it has metal eyelets at the top. Gorgeous, if bittersweet release from Touch and Go as this will be one of the last new releases from the label until economic times improve. They are hoping to do reissues of the Jesus Lizard LP catalog in August, too.

In addition to the releases I purchased, Moondog included a recycled bag from WEA made of 60% post industrial and consumer recycled content full of freebies which included:

Various Artists – Happy Birthday to Me – SP20 – Terminal Sales Vol 3 (CD, SubPop SPCD 779, 2008) ($0) Super-cool CD celebrating 20 years of Sub Pop Records. Comes in a neat gatefold sleeve. 18 tracks of Sub Pop artists including Mudhoney, Wolf Parade, No Age, Blitzen Trapper, Flight of the Conchords, as well as a birthday card we are supposed to fill out and mail to Sub Pop and an SP20 sticker taboot!

Various Artists – Bloodshot Catalog Sampler (CD, Bloodshot Records, 2008)($0) Compilation of artists on Bloodshot Records. Bloodshot is the home of Jay Farrar of Son Volt, Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, Split Lip Rayfield and Andre Williams among others. Bloodshot is also handling the vinyl reissue of  Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker. Reissued as a 2 LP gatefold! Home of Dexter Romweber Duo and Ha Ha Tonka, too.

Various Artists – Live Your Life with Verve (CD, Verve Music Group VERR01591-2, 2008)($0) A compilation of artists on the Verve label(s). Includes the Diplo remix of Mariena Shaw’s “California Soul” which was on the Verve Remixed 4 compilation. “California Soul” was included in Brainfreeze by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, too.

Beat Union – Disconnected (CD, Science Records 426428-2, 2008)($0) Pop-Punk outfit from the UK. Disconnected is their debut release under the band’s new moniker as Beat Union. They used to be called Shortcut to Newark. This release was produced by Goldfinger frontman John Feldman. I haven’t listened to this, yet. If it rocks, I’ll review it.

“You Think You Really Know Me – The Gary Wilson Story” (DVD + CD, Plexifilm 032, 2008)($0) Wow, this is a pretty cool freebie. In 1977 Gary Wilson recorded a crazy outsider-art experimental album and effectively dropped off the face of the recording industry. A bunch of noted artists including Beck start talking about him and the renewed interest in him causes folks to look for him. This is the documentary about his return to recording and includes the seminal You Think You Really Know Me album. He apparently recorded an album for Stones Throw in 2004 as well.

Other goodies in the bag included a Touch and Go Records sticker, a Bloodshot Records Sticker, a drink coaster promoting the Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul, a sticker promoting the Hank III record Damn Right, Rebel Proud, a rolled poster for Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky album, a folded poster for Mogwai’s The Hawk Is Howling album, and a temporary tattoo that says “Jesus Loves Scott H. Biram” with praying hands that is a Bloodshot Records promo for Scott H. Biram. Also got the Dec ’08/Dec ’09 Paste Magazine.

What a very cool collection of freebies! Thanks Moondog Music!

From there we headed to Kennedy Mall to get burgers and beers at the Mining Company. Still the great burgers and fries I remembered from the 90’s. Our hunger sated, we made the hour-and-a-half drive to Iowa City for the Real Records stop. We listened to the Iron & Wine CD on the way there.

Real! CD's and Records

I hadn’t been to Real since it’s coming back in business. Real! originally opened in 1986, and I remember frequenting it along with The Record Collector and BJ’s back then. Sadly, BJ’s is gone, and Real! was gone for a while, too. It’s been back for three years (I think) under new management by Craig Kessler, who is also a DJ on the Jazz station KCCK-FM.

Real is now abutted with a book store, which is pretty cool. When we stopped there I didn’t spend any time in the book store, but certainly will next time I’m in town. The store itself is jam-packed with product, but has a laid-back cozy kind of feel. Lots of new and used vinyl and CDs. Craig still had some of the Record Store day exclusives in although he said a lot of it was already bought. He had the Talking Heads 77 180g vinyl as well as the Jane’s Addiction vinyl reissues of Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual (which aren’t really exclusive, but were released Saturday), and had the Columbia 7″es for Dylan and Springsteen as well as the Rhino 7″es making this the only place I saw these. Here’s what I picked up:

MC5 – “Kick Out The Jams” / “Motor City Is Burning” (7″, Rhino Entertainment R-21481, 2009) ($5.99) Very cool reissue of the seminal 1969 MC5 single on Elektra for “Kick Out The Jams.” Notable for the use of word “motherf*uckers” in the intro shout. The flipside is a cover of the John Lee Hooker song “Motor City is Burning.” According to the Wikipedia article on the MC5, there was a single for radio that replaced the intro explitive with “brothers and sisters.”

New Order – “Temptation” / “Hurt” (7″, Rhino Entertainment R-21479, 2009)($5.99) Another cool reissue from Rhino. This is a repressing of New Order’s 1982 Factory Records single for “Temptation” and “Hurt” (aka Fac63) This represents the first time this single has been released domestically in the US. The notable fact being that New Order used different mixes for every version of a release, so any version released in the US could be different from the UK versions. I have the original Fac63 12″ which is die stamped, so this is a nice companion to that.

Pieta Brown – Flight Time (CD, T Records, 2008)($11.99) Not a Record Store Day exclusive. Kind of pricey for a 7-track EP, but I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to pick this one up since Pieta’s touring schedule doesn’t seem to mesh with my life schedule. This EP is a really good companion to her last album Remember the Sun. This is self-released. I wonder what this means about future releases? One Little Indian seems to be staying up-to-date on her touring schedule, so that implies a current relationship.

While I was flipping though the bins, I found a copy of the out-of-print Mountains vinyl for $16.99 which I was tempted to pick up. They also had the last Sea & Cake album Car Alarm and the Human Bell LP. So, this is a good place to pick up Thrill Jockey releases. Craig was playing the relatively obscure Miles Davis Big Fun album. I’d never heard of it, but recognized it as Davis. The release had been regarded at it’s 1974 release as being a filler release. The sessions were recorded in 1969, 1970 and 1972. These session included quite a few jazz heavyweights: Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, John McLaughlin and Ron Carter amongst the large list of performers. The version he was playing was a Japanese Sony version of the original album. In 2000 it was re-released with other sessions recorded between Bitches Brew and Tribute to Jack Johnson expanding the release to a 2 CD version. So, this particular visit did what a record store visit should do– educate! I’ve already done some looking into Big Fun and will probably at least download it, and keep an eye out for a vinyl version.

So, all-in-all a sucessful day! I’m glad I got to do this run and big thanks to Erik and Alex for coming along and making it much more fun than it would have been by myself. Stay tuned for next year’s Record Store Day Crawl!

New Tortoise Album Beacons of Ancestorship Details

Contrary to the information that Pitchfork announced about an April release date in their Guide to 2009 releases listing April 21st for it, Tortoise’s new album titled Beacons of Ancestorship will be released on June 23rd! This was announced today in the Thrill Jockey forums as well as twitter.

Beacons of Ancestorship is taking Thrill 210 as its catalog number between Lithops Ye Viols! and Mountains Choral, is Tortoise’s first solo studio release since 2004’s It’s All Around You (excluding the compendium A Lazarus Taxon, and the album The Brave and the Bold which was a covers album done with Bonnie Prince Billy). Recent criticism of Tortoise is that they’ve been touring the same set since they introduced the It’s All Around You songs, and really haven’t been digging much further back in their catalog than T.N.T. Since the Thrill Jockey 15th Anniversary shows in December of 2007, Tortoise has been giving  new songs a workout on the road. Looking at the tracklist below, however, only “Prepare Your Coffin” is a recognizable title out of the working titles which included “Glowstick” and “Korg.” I guess we’ll see which of these tracks gained new titles on the record.

The release predictably will come out on CD and a limited pressing of vinyl, but according to this Pitchfork (who gets all the sweet scoops from Thrill Jockey!) there will be a series of  limited edition 5″ records following the release featuring new music!

Tracklist for Beacons of Ancestorship

01 High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In
02 Prepare Your Coffin
03 Northern Something
04 Gigantes
05 Penumbra
06 Yinxianghechengqi
07 The Fall Of Seven Diamonds Plus One
08 Minors
09 Monument Six One Thousand
10 de Chelly
11 Charteroak Foundation

New Tortoise on Record Store Day Special Release

Cover by Crosshair

Cover by Posttypography

Cover by Posttypography

In celebration of National Record Store Day, Thrill Jockey is getting in on the action by releasing a very limited edition (900 copies) LP (really more of an EP) called Records Toreism which will be blessed with catalog number Thrill 12.30. [Note: Thrill 12.29 was the Thrill Jockey 15th Anniversary Trey Told ‘Em MegaMix]

Thrill Jockey is using the occasion to showcase some of their newest acts as well as include a new track from Tortoise’s upcoming release (now pushed to June) and a Trans Am track. Here are the tracks as Thrill Jockey calls them:

A
1. Mountains “Windows”
This is a new song that does not appear any place else. It was recorded with love for the record store.

2. Tortoise “High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In”
This is a new song. It will also appear on their new album in June. Released early with love for the record store.

AA
1. Double Dagger “Stagger Lee”
This is a new song that does not appear any place else. It was recorded with love for the record store.

2. White Hills “Eye to Eye”
“Eye To Eye” was previously released on Abstractions & Mutations, a limited edition CD-R release put together for a tour in September of 2007. Released for the first time on LP with love for the record store.

3. Trans Am Featuring Tim Soete “Wounded Monkey”
This is an unreleased song recorded and mixed March 28, 2005 at MAINZ in Auckland, New Zealand. Tim Soete (from The Fucking Champs) on lead guitar and lead vocals. Released with love for the record store.

The covers (shown above) are meant to portray the alternate possible futures of record stores– one is if we don’t continue to shop the local indie store, and the other is the optimistic future afforded us from spending money not at Best Buy, but at our favorite Indie store. The covers will be handmade, and hand printed by Crosshair.

Of course, yours truly is drooling over this release. The trick is going to be to figure out which stores will carry this. Neither indie store in Iowa City is participating in Record Store Day on April 18th. However, two stores in Dubuque are, so maybe a trip to my old stomping grounds and the store that I spent many a Tuesday over lunch Moondog Records (known as Co-Op Records back then…)

Click Here for Record Store Day Information

Click Here for the post on the Thrill Jockey boards about Records Toreism

Tortoise to Release 6th Album on 4/21/09; Langerado ’09

Tortoise

Per Stereogum in an article interviewing Doug McCombs, Tortoise is in the studio working on their follow-up to 2004’s It’s All Around You. Well, I guess you could say they are still in the studio working on the follow-up.  Tortoise has been working on the follow-up for three years in “fits and starts” at McEntire’s Soma Studios in Chicago.

The band has been playing at least three of the tracks from the new album on tour since their unannounced appearance at the Thrill Jockey 15th anniversary shows in December of 2007. The article makes references to the temporary song titles that have shown up on setlists like “Korg” and “Prepare Your Coffin” which we’ve seen called “Coffin.” We’ve also heard a track variously known as “Glowstick” or “Glow.”

According to McCombs, although the album to him sounds sonically a bit like Standards, the band has implemented smaller arrangements than the last two albums. Apparently there are only a couple of sessions left to record including adding some string arrangements (!!). The album may also include vocals. Following the release of April 21st the band will kick off a “proper tour.” This April 21st date is corroborated at Pitchfork’s Guide to 2009 Releases.

Tortoise was recently announced as part of the Langerado Festival lineup on 3/7/09. Set in Miami, Langerado promises to be a really good festival based on this year’s lineup which includes Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Umphrey’s McGee, Dashboard Confessional, the Pogues, Snoop Dogg, and Death Cab among it’s current list of 58 musical acts to play over three days. With the wealth of tapers at Langerado, I’m hoping we get a good recording of that set.

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