The MataBlog is edited by Matador Records’ co-moaner Gerard Cosloy and individual entries are the work of whoever’s name is next to them. If you enjoyed something in the MataBlog, thank you very much! If there was something you found particularly troubling, please be advised that a) maybe you should read it again and b) the contents of this blog do not necessarily represent the opinions of Matador Records, Beggars Group, the combined staff of either company, nor the Matador artist roster. Opinions are like friends — hardly anyone has one worth listening to.

Steve Gunn - 'Nakama'


(photo : Duane Michals)

stream / download 'Nakama'
stream / purchase 'Other You'

Available today digitally, Steve Gunn’s 'Nakama' EP features reinterpretations of five songs from the guitarist’s recent full-length, 'Other You', created with close friends. This includes new studio recordings made alongside Mikey Coltun and Ahmoudou Madassane of Mdou Moctar, and Natural Information Society, as well as remixes by Circuit des Yeux and Bing & Ruth. The artwork was shot and sequenced by photographer Duane Michals.

These are not covers, exactly. Nor are they full-blown from-the-ground-up collaborations. It’s a third path – using Gunn’s song structures as a point of departure, seeking a new route through familiar ground. They expand on and illuminate the experimental impulses and meditative moods that guided 'Other You'.

“It touches on a lot of music that I love, but that I might not necessarily translate with the proper album”, says Gunn. “To give these songs to people that I admire and to see how they would return, knowing that their music is an inspiration to me, was really a cool opportunity. Joshua Abrams' bass playing, his group Natural Information Society, and his film soundtrack work have been an inspiration to me for some time now. I am grateful that I was able to travel to Chicago and work closely with Josh in his studio on ‘Good Wind’ and ‘On the Way’. Reimagining these songs with Josh, along with Lisa Alvarado's accompaniment, was a total joy. I arrived with the intention of keeping these songs open in seeing where they would go in working with Josh, and am very happy with the results.”

Mikey Coltun of Mdou Moctar said of the collaboration, “Ahmoudou and I wanted to give ‘Protection' a Tuareg feel. We knew we wanted to use field recordings from Niger and specifically Tende music, which is the drums and chanting you hear. We used drum machines which is an homage to Abdallah Oumbadougou, the first Niger Tuareg artist to do that in the ’90s.”

Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr sought to dial back the arrangement on ‘Ever Feel That Way’, foregrounding Gunn’s vocal. “By stripping back his guitar and adding some horns and effects, I worked to bolster his narration atop a pillowy and nocturnal environment,” she explains. “The result is quiet and intimate. It is a serenade for one that lays close to the heart.”

Bing & Ruth’s David Moore said: “It was a joy to get inside of Steve’s music and rearrange the furniture. ‘Reflection’ struck me instantly as a classic song that I wouldn’t want to stray too far from the original, so I added some piano and moved around a lot of the pieces until I found something somewhere between sunshine rock and a psychedelic opium den. Such a pleasure to get this one where it ended up.”

In February, Gunn will perform a three-show residency at Brooklyn’s Union Pool. Each set will be unique format – solo (2/1), Gunn-Truscinski Duo (2/8), and full-band (2/15). Openers include Laura Ortman, Bill Nace, and Bing & Ruth. All shows are free with RSVP.

Nakama Tracklist

  1. Protection (with Mikey Coltun and Ahmoudou Madassane of Mdou Moctar)

  2. Good Wind (with Natural Information Society)

  3. On The Way (with Natural Information Society)

  4. Ever Feel That Way (with Circuit des Yeux)

  5. Reflection (with Bing & Ruth)

    Steve Gunn on tour :

Tuesday, February 1 Union Pool, Brooklyn NY (w/ Laura Ortman)
Tuesday, February 8 Union Pool, Brooklyn NY (w/ Bill Nace) ^
Tuesday, February 15 Union Pool, Brooklyn NY (w/ Bing & Ruth)
Tuesday, March 29 Pappy and Harriet’s, Pioneertown CA #
Wednesday, March 30 The Casbah, San Diego CA #
Thursday, March 31 Zebulon, Los Angeles CA *
Friday, April 1 Zebulon, Los Angeles CA *
Saturday, April 2 Zebulon, Los Angeles CA *
Monday, April 4 The Guild Theatre, Menlo Park CA #
Tuesday, April 5 The Chapel, San Francisco CA #
Wednesday, April 6 Sebastiani Theatre, Sonoma CA #
Friday, April 8 The Aladdin Theatre, Portland OR #
Saturday, April 9 Fawcett Hall, Tacoma WA #
Sunday, April 10 St. James Hall, Vancouver BC #
Monday, April 11 The Crocodile, Seattle WA #
Wednesday, April 13 Fox Theatre, Boulder CO
Thursday, April 14 Globe Hall, Denver CO
Friday, April 15 Three Lobed Festival, Durham NC
Saturday, April 16 Three Lobed Festival, Durham NC ^# w/ Jeff Parker
* "Steve Gunn, Jeff Parker & Friends"
^ Gunn-Truscinkski Duo

Steve Gunn Online

Mdou Moctar/Mikey Coltun/Ahmoudou Madassane Online

Mdou Moctar instagram
Mdou Moctar Facebook
Mdou Moctar Twitter
Mikey Coulton Instagram
Ahmoudou Madassane Instagram

Circuit des Yeux Online

Natural Information Society Online

Bing & Ruth Online




Lucy Dacus - "Thumbs Again"

(photo : Marin Leong)

Before there was news of 'Home Video', an album which captured the complexities of Lucy Dacus’ formative years growing up in Richmond, VA, leading her to be named “one of the best songwriters of her generation” (Rolling Stone), Lucy presented the long-awaited “Thumbs” to the world. Debuted on tour in 2018 while on the road with boygenius, “Thumbs” became a fan favorite, immediately and deeply impacting audiences: “Depending on what you’ve been through in your life, those words might leave you weeping in public, too,” commented Stereogum. Lucy now releases a full-band version of the arresting original, titled “Thumbs Again.” Here, the simple instrumental backbone of “Thumbs” is filled out with electric guitar, synth, and drums and is how many have heard the song on Lucy’s recent tour.

Following last week’s performance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon", Lucy has announced a winter 2022 North American tour, including rescheduled dates for five shows. These new dates follow an incredible fall tour that featured three nights of sold out shows at both New York’s Brooklyn Steel and Washington DC’s 9:30 Club, and precede her UK and European tour in support of 'Home Video'.

stream/download "Thumbs Again"

Purchase / Stream Home Video

Lucy Dacus on Tour (new shows in bold)
Wednesday, February 9 Stage AE, Pittsburgh PA *
Thursday, February 10 Majestic Theatre, Detroit MI *
Friday, February 11 Ovation, Newport KY *
Saturday, February 12 Egyptian Room at Old National Center, Indianapolis IN *
Monday, February 14 Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee WI *
Tuesday, Feburary 15 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL (Rescheduled Date, SOLD OUT) *
Thursday, February 17 First Avenue, Minneapolis MN (Rescheduled Date, SOLD OUT) *
Friday, February 18 Englert Theater, Iowa City IA (Rescheduled Date, SOLD OUT) *
Saturday, February 19 Liberty Lawrence KS *
Sunday, February 20 Tower Theatre, Oklahoma City OK *
Wednesday, Feburary 23 Georgia Theater, Athens GA *
Thursday, February 24 Orange Peel, Asheville NC *
Friday, February 25 Jefferson, Charlottesville VA *
Saturday, February 26, The Stone Pony, Asbury Park NJ *
Tuesday, March 1 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON (Rescheduled Date) *
Wednesday, March 2 Corona Theatre, Montreal QC (Rescheduled Dale) *
Thursday, March 3 The Strand, Providence RI
Saturday, March 5 Ram’s Head, Baltimore MD

Friday, March 18th Brudenell Social Club, Leeds UK (SOLD OUT)
Saturday March 19th, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds UK
Sunday, March 20th St Lukes, Glasgow UK (SOLD OUT)
Monday, March 21st The Button Factory, Dublin IE **
Wednesday, March 23rd Gorilla, Manchester UK
Thursday, March 24th Trinity, Bristol UK
Friday, March 25th Kentish Town Forum, London UK
Tuesday March 29th Botanique, Brussels BL **
Wednesday, March 30th Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam NL **
Thursday, March 31st Artheater, Cologne DE **
Saturday, April 2nd Molotow, Hamburg DE **
Sunday, April 3rd Loppen, Copenhagen DK **
Monday, April 4th Atlas, Aarhus DK **
Wednesday April 6th Parkteatret, Oslo NO **
Thursday, April 7th Nalen Klubb, Stockholm SE **
Saturday, April 9th Lido, Berlin DE **
Sunday, April 10th Trafo, Jena DE **
Tuesday, April 12th Chelsea, Vienna AT **
Wednesday, April 13th Milla, Munich DE **
Thursday, April 14th Bogen F, Zürich SU **
Friday, April 15th La Maroquinerie, Paris FR **

* w/ Indigo De Souza
** w/ Fenne Lily

Lucy Dacus Online

Snail Mail - 'Valentine', Out Today, Appearing on "The Late Show WIth Stephen Colbert" Tonight

You know how we and other esteemed labels sometimes refer to an upcoming album as "highly anticipated"? I'm gonna let you in on a little secret -- sometimes they're only mildly anticipated. The only people highly anticipating are the band members, their parents and maybe their creditors. This is a little something we like to call SHOW BUSINESS HYPERBOLE. In this instance, however, we can with great authority pronounce today's official release of the 2nd Snail Mail album, 'Valentine' as highly anticipated. A profusely thank you to everyone who has nagged us to death about it.

Tonight you can catch Snail Mail on an 11:35pm (10:35 central) telecast of the Columbia Broadcasting System's "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert". Elsewhere, we have described this as Snail Mail's late night television debut, an unfortunate diss to Carson Daly which was entirely inadvertent on our part. This is not the first time we've had to apologize to a former late night television host while in the process of promoting an appearance on a contemporary program (we were never able to bury the hatchet with Tom Snyder, for instance), and it's too late to say we don't want this to become a habit because we here we are. Anyhow, tune in tonight, it's gonna be great.

At 2pm eastern today, WPLN News' Paige Pfleger will be joined by Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan and Mac DeMarco in a live conversation about 'Valentine' (see above)

stream / purchase 'Valentine'

'Valentine' in-store signings :
Philadelphia - Repo - Fri, Nov 5 at 5pm ET
Baltimore - Sound Garden - Sat, Nov 6 at 2pm ET

Snail Mail On Tour


Saturday, November 27 The National, Richmond VA *
Sunday, November 28 Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte NC *
Tuesday, November 30 The Beacham Theater, Orlando FL *
Wednesday, December 1 The Ritz Ybor, Tampa FL *
Friday, December 3 Saturn, Birmingham AL *
Saturday, December 4 The Mill & Mine, Knoxville TN *
Sunday, December 5 Headliners Music Hall, Louisville KY *
Tuesday, December 7 Turner Hall, Milwaukee WI *
Wednesday, December 8 Majestic Theatre, Madison WI *
Friday, December 10 The Pageant, St. Louis MO *
Saturday, December 11 The Castle Theatre, Bloomington IL *
Sunday, December 12 The Athenaeum Thratre, Columbus OH *
Monday, December 13 Majestic Theatre, Detroit MI *
Wednesday, December 15 Mr. Smalls Theatre, Millvale PA *
Thursday, December 16 Toad’s Place, New Haven CT *
Friday, December 17 Fete Music Hall, Providence RI *
Saturday, December 18 The Stone Pony, Asbury Park NJ *
Sunday, December 19 The NorVa, Norfolk VA *
Tuesday, December 21 The Fillmore, Silver Spring MD *

Friday, February 18 Manchester Academy 2, Manchester UK
Sunday, February 20 QMU, Glasgow UK
Tuesday, February 22 SWX, Bristol UK
Wednesday, February 23 O2 Forum Kentish Town, London UK
Friday, February 25 Le Trabendo, Paris FR
Saturday, February 26 Epicerie Moderne, Lyon FR
Sunday, February 27 Locomotiv, Bologna IT
Monday, February 28 Magnolia, Milan IT
Wednesday, March 2 Bogen F, Zurich CH
Thursday, March 3 Ampere, Munich DE
Friday, March 4 Groovestation, Dresden DE
Sunday, March 6 Loppen, Copenhagen DK
Monday, March 7 Oceanen, Gotherburg SE
Tuesday, March 8 Parkteatret, Oslo NO
Thursday, March 10 Slaktkyrkan, Stockholm SE
Saturday, March 12 Columbia Theater, Berlin DE
Sunday, March 13 Knust, Hamburg DE
Monday, March 14 AB Ballroom, Brussels BE
Tuesday, March 15 Gebaude 9, Cologne DE
Wednesday, March 16 Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam NL

Tuesday, April 5 Union Transfer, Philadelphia PA #
Wednesday, April 6 Union Transfer, Philadelphia PA #
Thursday, April 7 Kings Theatre, Brooklyn NY #
Friday, April 8 Royale, Boston MA #
Saturday, April 9 Club Soda, Montreal QC #
Monday, April 11 Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto ON #
Tuesday, April 12 Agora Theatre, Cleveland OH #
Thursday, April 14 Riviera Theatre, Chicago IL #
Friday, April 15 First Avenue, Minneapolis MN #
Saturday, April 16 Liberty Hall, Lawrence KS #
Sunday, April 17 Ogden Theater, Denver CO #
Tuesday, April 19 Olympia Film Society, Olympia WA
Wednesday, April 20 Moore Theatre, Seattle WA ^
Thursday, April 21 Vogue Theatre, Vancouver BC ^
Friday, April 22 Wonder Ballroom, Portland OR ^
Saturday, April 23 Wonder Ballroom, Portland OR ^
Sunday, April 24 Fox Theater, Oakland CA ^
Wednesday, April 27 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles CA ^
Thursday, April 28 The Observatory North Park, San Diego CA ^
Friday, April 29 The Nile, Mesa AZ ^
Saturday, April 30 Meow Wolf, Santa Fe NM ^
Monday, May 2 ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Austin TX ^
Tuesday, May 3 The Factory Studio, Dallas TX ^
Thursday, May 5 The Masquerade – Heaven Stage, Atlanta GA ^
Friday, May 6 The Orange Peel, Asheville NC ^
Saturday, May 7 Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro NC ^
Sunday, May 8 Brooklyn Bowl, Nashville TN ^

* w/ Spencer, Hotline TNT
# w/ Joy Again
^ w/ The Goon Sax

Snail Mail Online

Coming September 10 : King Krule - 'You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down'

(photo : Reuben Bastienne-Lewis)

"Stoned Again", Filmed by Reuben Bastienne-Lewis

presave/preorder 'You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down'

stream / download "Stoned Again" (live)
Today, King Krule announces his forthcoming live album 'You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down', due out September 10th via True Panther Sound/Matador Records (LP version in stores December 10). In addition, the artist shares the lead single and an accompanying video from the live album, "Stoned Again (Live)." Mere weeks before the world went into lockdown, King Krule had performed a handful of European shows which featured tracks from his critically acclaimed third album 'Man Alive!' Recorded live during that short run of shows, the 'Man Alive!' single “Stoned Again” was taken from a show in Paris. Performed with a ferocious intensity, the recording offers fans a glimpse into a live tour that never was, while also reminding them of the artist's unique stage presence and incredible performances delivered across his entire catalogue.
'You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down' features a setlist of 17 songs that span the acclaimed artist’s entire discography including fan favorites “Easy Easy,” “Baby Blue,” "Out Getting Ribs" and more. In addition to the album's upcoming digital release, the project is slated for a physical LP release on December 10th.

"Once spilt into the cheap 4 tracks and pirate software, now collosos energy redeemed into small diaphragms. Sat on toilets imagining the moment other animals would sing the very vibrations back to them. Climbing a ladder of fulfilment, that fullfills neither need or want, but in ascent maybe the organised grouping of heartbeats pounding into the universe for an hour and a half would not be better spent.
I felt comfortable for once, young and uncomfortable with a tunnel of anxiety to walk through."

'You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down' Tracklist
01. Out Getting Ribs
02. Emergency Blimp
03. A Slide In (New Drugs)
04. The Ooz
05. Cellular
06. Stoned Again
07. Slush Puppy
08. Rock Bottom
09. Comet Face
10. Perfecto Miserable
11. Alone, Omen 3
12. Baby Blue
13. Half Man Half Shark
14. Underclass
15. Energy Fleets
16. Please Complete Thee
17. Easy Easy

Purchase / stream Man Alive!

King Krule Online

Julien Baker - "Favor "(Jesu Remix)

(photo by  Alysse Gafkjen)

(photo by VB)

Earlier this month, Julien Baker announced the September 1st release of the  'Little Oblivions Remixes'EP, which sees tracks from her critically acclaimed album 'Little Oblivions' reworked by notable contemporaries personally selected by Baker.

Today comes a second preview from the EP with a rework of ‘Favor’ from Jesu, the moniker of pioneering UK experimental and industrial metal musician Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Final, JK Flesh, Techno Animal, Napalm Death).
“Having already been a fan of Julien since her first album, it was wonderful to hear that Julien was in turn a fan of Jesu. The request for the remix, and being able to work Julien’s voice and music in the context of Jesu, was something both daunting and very exciting. I reimagined Julien’s song to accommodate Jesu’s heavy and melancholy guitars and much much more. After much self doubt I was heartened to hear that Julien and all concerned loved the remix. This one I am truly proud of….” - Justin Broadrick

stream / purchase 'Little Oblivions Remixes' EP

stream / download "Favor" (Jesu Remix)

stream / purchase  'Little Oblivions'

Julien Baker on Tour :
Friday, September 3 Saturn, Birmingham AL + (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, September 4 Variety Playhouse, Atlanta GA + (SOLD OUT)
Sunday, September 5 Bonaroo Festival, Manchester TN +
Tuesday, September 7 Orange Peel, Asheville NC + (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday, September 8 Haw River Ballroom, Saxapahaw NC + (SOLD OUT)
Friday, September 10 The National, Richmond VA ^ *SOLD OUT*
Saturday, September 11 The National, Richmond VA & *SOLD OUT*
Monday, September 13 9:30 Club, Washington DC + (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday, September 14 Beacon Theater, New York NY +
Wednesday, September 15 Franklin Music Hall, Philadelphia PA +
Friday, September 17 House of Blues, Boston MA +
Saturday, September 18 Calvin Theater, Northampton MA +
Monday, September 20 Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto ON +
Wednesday, September 22 Metro, Chicago IL +
Thursday, September 23 Metro, Chicago IL +
Friday, September 24 First Avenue, Minneapolis MN +
Saturday, September 25 Majestic Theatre, Madison WI + (SOLD OUT)
Monday, September 27 Majestic Theater, Detroit MI +
Tuesday, September 28 Newport Music Hall, Columbus OH +
Wednesday, September 29 Mr Smalls Theatre, Pittsburgh PA +
Wednesday, October 27 Stubbs, Austin TX #
Thursday, October 28 Granada Theater, Dallas TX #
Friday, October 29 Heights Theater, Houston TX #
Saturday, October 30 Paper Tiger, San Antonio TX #
Monday, November 1 Van Buren, Phoenix AZ #
Tuesday, November 2 The Observatory, San Diego CA #
Thursday, November 4 The Wiltern, Los Angeles CA #
Saturday, November 6 Fox Theater, Oakland CA #
Monday, November 8 Aladdin Theater, Portland OR # (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday, November 9 Hollywood Theatre, Vancouver BC #
Wednesday, November 10 Moore Theatre, Seattle WA #
Friday, November 12 The Complex, Salt Lake City UT #
Monday, November 15 The Granada, Lawrence KS #
Tuesday, November 16 Delmar Hall, St. Louis MO #

Friday, April 15 Tivoli, Utrecht NL *
Saturday, April 16 Vera, Groningen NL *
Sunday, April 17 Fabrik, Hamburg DE *
Tuesday, April 19 Vega, Copenhagen DK *
Wednesday, April 20 Pustervik, Gothenburg SE *
Thursday, April 21 Parkteatret, Oslo NO *
Saturday, April 23 Nalen, Stockholm SE *
Monday, April 25 Mejeriet, Lund SE *
Thursday, April 28 Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin DE *
Friday, April 29 Rock Café, Prague CZ *
Saturday, April 30 Arena, Vienna AT *
Sunday, May 1 Rockhouse, Salzburg AT *
Wednesday, May 4 Padova Hall, Padova IT *
Friday, May 6 Bogen F, Zurich CH *
Saturday, May 7 Manufaktur, Schorndorf DE *
Sunday, May 8 Technikum, Munich DE *
Tuesday, May 10 Kulturkirche, Cologne DE *
Friday, May 13 Le Trabendo, Paris FR *
Saturday, May 14 Ancienne Belgique, Brussels BE *
Wednesday, May 18 Electric Ballroom, London UK *
Thursday, May 19 Leeds Irish Centre, Leeds UK *
Saturday, May 21 Whelan’s, Dublin IE *
Sunday, May 22 Whelan’s, Dublin IE *
Tuesday, May 24 St. Luke’s, Glasgow UK *
Wednesday, May 25 Gorilla, Manchester UK *
Sunday, May 29 Teatro Kapital, Madrid ES
Monday, May 30 La Rambleta, Valencia ES
Tuesday, May 31 Sala Apolo, Barcelona ES

+ with special guests Thao and Katie Malco
# with special guests Dehd and Katie Malco
* with Ratboys
^ with Lucy Dacus and Thao
& with Lucy Dacus and Bachelor

Julien Baker Online

Jesu / Justin Broadrick Online




Coming October 22 : Circuit des Yeux - '-io'

photo : Evan Jenkins

On October 22, Matador is releasing '-io', the sixth album by vocalist and composer Haley Fohr, best known as Circuit des Yeux.

A celebrated figure in Chicago’s music community, she has released acclaimed albums via De Stijl, Thrill Jockey, and Drag City and toured throughout the world. However, '-io' is Circuit des Yeux’s most ornate and elaborate work to date – a set of compositions that nest Fohr’s otherworldly four-octave voice amid a 24-piece string, brass, and wind ensemble. The album was put to tape last fall by Cooper Crain at Chicago’s Electrical Audio studio and mixed by Marta Salogni (Bjork, Holly Herndon) with Fohr acting as arranger and producer. Written in the wake of personal loss and recorded in the midst of the pandemic, '-io' maps a geography of grief – a place where “everything is ending all the time.” While Fohr’s music has never been short on ambition, these songs are striking in their brilliance and strangeness. On '-io', Circuit des Yeux has delivered a work that is vivid, immense, and fully illuminated.


("Dogma", directed by Haley Fohr, co-directed by Rudy Rudio)


Fohr says of the first single “Dogma”: “Where there is faith there is violence. The story of civilization is complicated and layered with dogmas. At each individual’s incentive lies both a beacon and an instinct. The fool follows the outer while the idiot chases her interior. Society is a necessary subversion of the self. It is through time that our quiet alarms grow with great intensity until emancipation through implosion or explosion become imminent.”
This is how grief becomes a landscape.

Before the pandemic cast its weather of mourning on the world, and before she began weaving together her sixth album as Circuit des Yeux, '-io', Haley Fohr found herself grieving a close friend. For a time, the loss severed her from her art. A singular, celebrated figure in the Chicago experimental music scene, known for her arresting voice and the transportive moods she grows around it, Fohr had kept a steady creative practice since she first began recording her own music as a teenager. Grief ruptured that foundation. Fohr could not write for months, the longest fallow period she'd crossed since she experienced her first episode of major depression at 17.

In the winter just before the pandemic took hold in the United States, Fohr was scheduled to complete an artist's residency at Robert Rauschenberg's house in Florida. She wanted to finish a roster of new material before leaving, but the music would not budge. Stalled, she turned to the organ, away from her guitar, and started tracing shards of sound, grasping melodies that began, slowly, to lead somewhere. It was not what she had hoped to bring south, but it was a start.

"I went to the Robert Rauschenberg residency with this idea of trying to explore the hard work of joy. At that point, I had just been wallowing in this grief for so long. I thought, I want to write about joy. I know it's going to be hard work," Fohr says. "But when I was on this beach and in this really privileged, gorgeous place, I felt even more despondent. I thought it would be this balm, but instead it was just the saddest beach in my life."

After sunset on Captiva Island, the Florida sky would glow a deep, burnt orange. The striking image became a conduit between Fohr’s interiority and her environment, keeping her from experiential isolation, tethering her to reality. She carried that sky back to Chicago and kept it with her as the world shut down and mass death triggered grief on an incomprehensible scale. Through this, Fohr began to cultivate a world inside the world, a world called '-io', "a place where everything is ending all the time."

The sky over '-io' is Florida's strange, radiant orange. It's a built environment, unnatural, made from concrete and glass, with skyscrapers that stretch to the vanishing point as you gaze up at them. It's crumbling and suffocating, a city perpetually on the brink of collapse, where tension never topples over into catharsis, where the heat never breaks.

Inside this world and its closed loop of time, Fohr found herself able to begin moving again. "I was haunted by memories in the pandemic," she says. "As someone with PTSD, memories are all twisted up inside of me in a way that doesn't help my higher self. Making this album was once again an exercise of trying to relieve myself of some of that darkness in a way that music has always done for me."

Under lockdown, her typically collaborative songwriting practice became solitary. She wrote on piano and organ, instruments on a larger scale than her usual guitar that felt more "like a solid foundation you can stand on." Her lyrics kept returning to images of black holes and gravity, all-consuming phenomena that rend our common experience of physical reality. "I became obsessed with black holes, which is the ultimate gravitational pull," Fohr says. "It also makes such a synonymous metaphor to death. Things go in, they can only go one way. They go in and they never come out."

From that colossal gateway, songs began to form. They followed the disintegration of the world as it stands, the hard-wrought rituals and habits that are already beginning to fracture under the pressures of climate catastrophe, as on "Vanishing," where Fohr sings "goodbye" to everything she can see and touch around her. They pinned down claustrophobic moods through the threatening whispers of "The Chase," and they shook them loose with sweeping vocal runs, like those that lattice the slow, enveloping "Walking Toward Winter" and pierce the melancholic "Stranger," a chilling piano-and-string composition that was recorded live in a single take.

Working at home on her computer, Fohr wrote, arranged, and produced each note of '-io'. She wrote for a 23-piece orchestra, gathering strings, horns, and drums around her daring vocal melodies. She staged -io on a scale vaster than anything she'd recorded before, a scale that matched the enormity she'd weathered, big enough to hold the world in its tumult.

Under COVID restrictions, Fohr could only record with six other players in the studio at a time. She and her collaborators – 13 renowned musicians from Chicago’s jazz, classical, and experimental scenes – built -io layer by layer, entwining its pain with the clear yearning that sparks at its dark heart. Horns cry out like terrified and distant voices from the dizzying waltz of "Neutron Star." A spaghetti-western guitar reverberates as if in a cavern amid the percussive pummel of “Dogma.” Strings thrash against each other like sheets of rain amid "Vanishing's" apocalyptic thrum. Amid them, Fohr's voice rears in space, overdubbed to the point where it becomes an architecture of its own, at once the subject in the narrative and the surrounding environment. The effect is at once capacious and crushing, like being drawn into a gas giant.

This is what happens when you take grief's smothering and render it in space: It expands. It becomes something you can traverse. That quiet, impossible feeling of loss can suddenly be crossed. The body moves through it. What once seemed to be an impenetrable collapse turns into a site of possibility. From the wreckage, something grows, and the ruin is no longer a ruin. In all its smoldering and all its weight, it is simply a place to begin.  - Sasha Geffen.


Circuit des Yeux on Tour, New Dates in Bold on Sale This Friday

September 17-18, Basilica Soundscape, Chatham NY
Friday, October 22 Knockdown Center, Brooklyn NY
Sunday, November 21 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL **

* w/ Wordless Music Orchestra
** w/ 16 piece orchestra

Circuit des Yeux Online





Mdou Moctar featuring MC Yallah - "Tala Tannam" (Debmaster Remix)

(photo : WH Moustapha)

In September, Mdou Moctar and band will arrive in the US to begin a much-anticipated tour, with a number of dates already sold out.

Today, listen to “Tala Tannam” (Debmaster Remix), which flips the song’s gentle acoustic guitar vamp into a pulsing and percussive rhythm track for Kenya-born/Uganda-based rapper, MC Yallah (Nyege Nyege Tapes). “I've loved to work on my brother Mdou Moctar's track,” says Yallah. “Fusing hiphop with deep desert sounds really took me to a different place. I hope we meet in real life one day!”

stream / download "Tala Tannam" featuring MC Yallah (Debmaster remix)

Purchase or stream 'Afrique Victime'

Mdou Moctar on tour (new dates in bold)

Thursday, September 2 The Grey Eagle, Asheville NC
Friday, September 3 Bonnaroo, Manchester TN
Saturday, September 4 Terminal West, Atlanta GA
Sunday, September 5 Motorco Music Hall, Durham NC
Tuesday, September 7 Ottobar, Baltimore MD (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday, September 8 Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia PA (SOLD OUT)
Thurdsday, September 9, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY (SOLD OUT)
Friday, September 10 Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, September 11 Gateway City Arts, Holyoke MA
Sunday, September 12 The Sinclair, Boston MA (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday, September 14 Thunderbird Café & Music Hall, Pittsburgh PA
Wednesday, September 15 Ace of Cups, Columbus OH (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, September 16 The Storehouse, Galien MI *SOLD OUT*
Friday, September 17 Lincoln Hall, Chicago IL (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, September 18 Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis MN
Monday, September 20 Globe Hall, Denver CO (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday, September 21 Globe Hall, Denver CO
Wednesday, September 22 Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City UT
Thursday, September 23 Treefort Music Festival, Boise ID
Friday, September 24 The Crocodile, Seattle WA
Saturday, September 25 Mississippi Studios, Portland OR (SOLD OUT)
Sunday, September 26 Mississippi Studios, Portland OR (SOLD OUT)
Monday, September 27 The Miniplex, Arcata CA *SOLD OUT*
Tuesday, September 28 The Chapel, San Francisco CA * SOLD OUT*
Wednesday, September 29 Starline, Oakland CA *SOLD OUT*
Saturday, October 2 Lodge Room, Los Angeles CA (SOLD OUT)
Sunday, October 3 Lodge Room, Los Angeles CA *SOLD OUT*

2022 :
Friday, April 1st Het Bos, Antwerpen [BE]
Saturday, April 2nd AB-club, Brussels [BE]
Sunday, April 3rd Bumann, Köln [DE]
Monday, April 4th Paradiso, Amsterdam [NL]
Tuesday, April 5th Effenaar, Eindhoven [NL]
Wednesday, April 6th, Komedia, Brighton [UK]
Thursday, April 7th Hare & Hounds, Birmingham [UK]
Friday, April 8th The Sugar Club, Dublin [IE]
Saturday, April 9th Ulster Sports Club, Belfast [UK]
Sunday, April 10th Drygate, Glasgow [UK]
Monday, April 11th The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds [UK]
Tuesday, April 12th YES, Manchester [UK]
Thursday, April 14th EartH Theatre, London [UK] (venue change)
Friday, April 15th : La cave aux Poètes, Roubaix/Lille [FR]
Saturday, April 16th Le Hasard Ludique, Paris [FR]
Sunday, April 17th Doornroosje, Nijmegen [NL]
Monday, April 18th Molotow - Hamburg [DE]
Tuesday, April 19th Alice, Copenhagen [DK]
Wednesday, April 20th Nefertiti, Gothenburg [SE]
Thursday, April 21st Blaa, Oslo [NO]
Friday, April 22nd, Fasching, Stockholm [SE]
Saturday, April 23rd Plan B, Malmö [SE]
Sunday, April 24th Frannz Club, Berlin [DE]
Monday, April 25th UT Connewitz, Leipzig [DE]
Tuesday, April 26th Meetfactory, Prague [CZ]
Wednesday, April 27th Kapu, Linz [AU]
Thursday, April 28th Rote Fabrik, Zurich [CH]
Sunday, May 1st De Post, Oostende [BE]

Mdou Moctar online
Official site

MC Yallah Online

DARKSIDE - 'Spiral' Out Today

(photo : Jed DeMoss)

The long-awaited 2nd album from DARKSIDE (Nicolar Jaar and Dave Harrington) is finally out today and available on LP, CD and via all streaming platforms.

stream / purchase 'Spiral'


  1. Narrow Road

  2. The Limit

  3. The Question Is To See It All

  4. Lawmaker

  5. I’m the Echo

  6. Spiral

  7. Liberty Bell

  8. Inside Is Out There

  9. Only Young

DARKSIDE is an American rock band formed in Providence, Rhode Island in 2011. The group consists of Chilean electronic musician & vocalist Nicolás Jaar and American multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington. Jaar and Harrington first met while studying in Providence through their common friend and saxophonist Will Epstein. In the summer of 2011, they toured Europe and Australia in support of Jaar's breakthrough debut album Space Is Only Noise.

Upon returning to Providence, they continued to write together, releasing their self-titled EP in 2012 and their critically acclaimed debut album 'Psychic' on Matador in October 2013. The album was met with glowing reviews, including a 9.0 from Pitchfork and the New York Times calling it "the soundtrack to a lost David Lynch sci-fi movie."

In the years that followed the 'Psychic' tour in 2014, the musicians moved on parallel and occasionally intersecting paths. Jaar would release five albums under his name and two collections of club music as Against All Logic. Harrington worked as a producer and composer, releasing two albums with his Dave Harrington Group. During that time he also played some 300 shows in NYC and Brooklyn, becoming deeply entrenched with a wide-ranging community of improvisers and collaborators, performing and recording with Yuka Honda, Brian Chase, Ilhan Ersahin, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Joe Russo, Innov Gnawa, Angel Deradoorian, The Master Musicians of Jajouka, Nels Cline, and more.

In the summer of 2018, Harrington and Jaar rented a small house on Lenni-Lenape territory, which is present-day Flemington, New Jersey. The group spent a week there, making a song a day. While it would take another year and a half to complete their second album, six songs from the band's new record 'Spiral were written and recorded during this initial session.

"From the beginning, DARKSIDE has been our jam band. Something we did on days off. When we reconvened, it was because we really couldn't wait to jam together again,” says Jaar. Harrington echoes this, “It felt like it was time again,” he said. "We do things in this band that we would never do on our own. DARKSIDE is the third being in the room that just kind of occurs when we make music together."

Darkside online :
Darkside at Matador

Spoon - "Breakdown" / "A Face In The Crowd" (Live)

Out today, Spoon has released live recordings of two Tom Petty covers, "Breakdown" and "A Face in the Crowd" captured last October at The Catacomb in Austin TX.

Both songs are available to stream / purchase through the link HERE.

Video captured by Peter Simonite, Scott Cremeens & Chris Rusch, edited by Sabrina Nichols. Audio recorded by Britt Daniel and mixed by Jim Eno.

Spoon online
Official Site

Julien Baker - "Heatwave" Premiere & Lyric Video

"Heatwave" - lyric video by Sabrina Nichols), from 'Little Oblivions', out this Friday, February 26

"Maybe it's a trite or well-trod topic, but ‘Heatwave’ is really just about being confronted with how much time I spend worrying about things that are trivial. I was stuck in traffic because a car had randomly combusted, and it made me feel so stupid for being concerned with the things I had been anxious about earlier that day. It was just such a poignant thing, an event that communicated a lot of complex things in a single image. So I wrote a song about it. I know I'm not the first person to witness an atrocity and consider my own mortality or life's fragility because of it, but that truly was my experience. Theoretically the lesson or symbolism to be interpreted there is that life is precious and it's not worth it to give your time and energy to negative thoughts, but jesus, how could you be a person alive on earth right now and not have negative thoughts? It's certainly less romantic to say that the consideration of life's fragility made me feel relieved at my own inconsequence, but it's true; it is comforting to think of the minuscule role everyone plays in the human drama, to realize we have more choice about what we give power over us than we maybe thought." - Julien Baker

photo by Alysse Gafkjen

stream / download "Heatwave"

presave / preorder 'Little Oblivions'

Julien Baker Online

Out Today : Bailter Space - 'Wammo', 25 Anniversary Remastered Edition

"Splat" (director, Julie Hermelin

(photo Jill Greenberg)

As previously touted in this space, the 25th anniversary remastered edition of Bailter Space's 'Wammo' is available today via all streaming services, finer record shops and mail order.  Author and labelmate Andrew Earles once wrote of 'Wammo', "Bailter Space's final album for Matador (fifth overall) finds the band showing everyone how skilled it was at erasing any lines of demarcation separating wickedly catchy pop songs and washes of guitar noise and toothy dynamics."  Alister Parker, Brent McLachlan and John Halvorsen  are still erasing lines (sonic and otherwise) to this very day, so where's their Hall Of Fame nomination?

Preorder / stream : 'Wammo'

(Flying Nun are releasing a limited green vinyl edition of 'Wammo'.)

Wammo Tracklist:

At Five We Drive
D Thing

Bailter Space Online :


Julien Baker - "Favor" (Premiere & Lyric Video)

"Favor" (lyric video by Sabrina Nichols)

"Favor" is the third track from Julien Baker's eagerly anticipated 3rd album, "Little Oblivions", out February 26.

“I used to think about myself, like I was a talented liar,” Baker sings on the track, “turns out that all my friends were trying to do me a favor.” Here those friends are Baker’s boygenius collaborators, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers. Phoebe says, “Julien is one of those people whose opinion you want to hear about everything. A true critical thinker with an ever-changing and ridiculously articulate worldview. Her music changes in the same way, and this record is my favorite thing she’s ever done. I’m sure I’ll think the same about the next one.”

Lucy noted, “We sang on "Favor" in Nashville the same day we recorded vocals for Graceland Too and a song of mine. That day had the same atmosphere as when we recorded the boygenius EP. Making music was just a natural result of being together, easy as can be but also rare in a way that feels irreplicable. I love the song for its stark but sensitive picture of friendship, what it looks like to recover from broken trust. Makes me think about how truth only ever breaks what should be broken, and how love is never one of those things. I’m always honored to be brought into Julien’s life and music.”

stream/download "Favor"

(photo : Alysse Gafkjen)

presave / preorder 'Little Oblivions'

Julien Baker Online

Julien Baker - "Hardline" (Lyric Video)

"Hardline" - from 'LIttle Oblivions', out February 26
presave / preorder

Following the debut earlier this month of Joe Baughman's amazing video for Julien Baker's "Hardline", this morning we're showcasing Sabrina Nichols' lyric video for the same track.

Julien Baker Online

Available Today On Vinyl & CD : Kurt Vile - 'Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (EP)'

After previous release via digital auspices, today is the official release date for Kurt Vile's 'Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep)' on the resilient vinyl and compact disc formats.

Track List :

Speed of The Sound of Loneliness
Gone Girl
How Lucky (with John Prine)

"How Lucky" (with John Prine)
"Prine, KV and Ferg as Babies" drawing by Delphine Vile in Nashville.

purchase / stream  'Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep)'
Stream/Purchase Bottle It In

Kurt Vile Online

Coming December 11 : Belle and Sebastian - 'What To Look For In Summer' 2XLP/2XCD

[caption id="attachment_35649" align="alignnone" width="537"] Photo by @WillByington[/caption]

(photo : Will Byington)

"The Boy With The Arab Strap"
(video by Wide Eyed)

"My Wandering Days Are Over"
(video by Wide Eyed)

On December 11th, we're releasing Belle and Sebastian’s 'What to Look for in Summer', a live double album gathering choice selections from the band’s 2019 world tour, including last summer’s epic “Boaty Weekender” cruise.

Today, the band release new videos with the audio of live renditions of their classic songs “The Boy With The Arab Strap”, in a special near 8-minute version featuring the band in their respective Glasgow locations and a clip for “My Wandering Days Are Over,” (both above)

presave/preorder 'What To Look For In Summer'
stream/download "My Wandering Days Are Over"
All live records are a time capsule to some extent, but Belle and Sebastian’s 'What To Look For In Summer' is perhaps a bit more evocative than originally planned.

“We'd been badgered by our fan base to put out recordings of the shows,” frontman Stuart Murdoch teases. So they began multi-tracking their 2019 tour, including all three sets from the “Boaty Weekender” festival, which took place on a cruise ship. Which of those things feels more like an out-of-reach fantasy right now, simply seeing some live music, a festival, or getting on a cruise ship?

Whatever your answer, What To Look For In Summer takes you there. With COVID-19 cancelling not only 2020 live shows, but Belle and Sebastian’s plans to make a new record in Los Angeles, what started out as a between-albums, “for-the-heads” release wound up getting a bit more care and attention.

“It was something to focus on,” says Stevie Jackson. “That was very, very nice.”
“It was quite nice to be doing that when we couldn't even see each other,” echoes Sarah Martin.

When Murdoch polled Belle and Sebastian fans on Twitter, most said that their favorite live LPs were of a single concert. But hey, the fans don’t get to make the set list either. The band decided picking the best recordings from different shows was the way to go, taking their inspiration from such live albums as Yes’s Yessongs' and Thin Lizzy’s 'Live and Dangerous.

“For a while, the working title of the record was Live and Meticulous,” Murdoch says. “The record company really wanted it to still be called Live and Meticulous. But I don't like derivative things really.”

Neither a retrospective nor a back-door greatest-hits, What To Look For In Summer is the sound of a band that’s always moving forward, a picture of Belle and Sebastian in 2019 that gives equal weight to early days (“My Wandering Days Are Over,” “Seeing Other People”) and recent years (“Poor Boy,” We Were Beautiful”), with a track selection Murdoch says was almost random. “I’m a Cuckoo,” #2 on the band’s Setlist.FM stats, didn’t even make the cut. But you get three songs from 2000’s Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant (which the band played in full at the Boaty Weekender).

You also get a full picture of a group that’s always been built around Murdoch’s songs, but has three other writers in Jackson, Martin and guitarist Bobby Kildea (with all songwriting credits shared by the entire band). Martin, in particular, has become more and more prolific as a songwriter and lead vocalist over the past decade - her “I Didn’t See It Coming,” with its indelible refrain (“make me dance/I want to surrender”) is always a highlight, as is her show stopping vocal on “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John,” originally sung by Norah Jones on 2010’s Write About Love. “It's always a little bit of a moment when she steps up and goes into the song,” says Murdoch.

Once a more introspective live group (Stuart's staying in and he thinks it's a sin/That he has to leave the house at all,” they sang on 1998’s “This is Not a Modern Rock Song”) Belle and Sebastian’s live shows for the past two decades have featured both an incredibly high level of musicality and a bit of a variety-show vibe. At one point on the album, Murdoch wonders why the band stopped its tradition of having someone bring gin cocktails to the stage mid-set.

“It just feels like you're having your friends around for dinner and you want everything to be right,” he says. “No matter how miserable your songs are - maybe most of the fans have learned to love these songs in a bedroom or a kitchen - when you come out to a show, it's a different thing. You just want everybody to feel good.”

Never is that more true than towards the end of every show. “The Boy With The Arab Strap” is both Belle and Sebastian’s “Born To Run” - they’re never not gonna play it - and their “Dancing in the Dark” to the nth degree, as scores of fans end up on stage for a bit of participatory dancing. It's a once-in-a-lifetime highlight for the kids, an occasional nightmare for the band’s production manager, and the greatest bit of fun for everybody else. Sometimes Jackson has to fight his way through the dancers to get back to the mic for his harmony vocals, while Martin gets a close-up view of people surrounding Murdoch on stage, or sometimes even hijacking the song. “I kind of enjoy it when people overstep the line,” Martin admits. “But not with me!”

Murdoch never gets tired of playing it “I genuinely look forward to it,” he says. “If the concert’s going great, it just feels like a natural vibe. And if the concert’s going okay - maybe it's a Sunday night and everybody’s a little bit flat, or still in their seats - it’s definitely the time to send it home.”

He also never gets tired of playing, period. “Touring the band is something that I never thought we'd do. It’s turned into the thrill of a lifetime, really, in a manifest, physical way. It's just the nicest experience that I think I've had in my life.”
— Jason Cohen

tracklist :

1. The Song of The Clyde £ >
2. Dirty Dream Number Two *
3. Step Into My Office, Baby *
4. We Were Beautiful +
5. Seeing Other People %
6. If She Wants Me @
7. Beyond The Sunrise &
8. Wrapped Up In Books +
9. Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John $
10. Nice Day For A Sulk (digital only) #
11. I Can See Your Future *
12. Funny Little Frog ^
13. The Fox In The Snow+
14. If You’re Feeling Sinister*
15. My Wandering Days Are Over*
16. The Wrong Girl #
17. Stay Loose%
18. The Boy Done Wrong Again #
19. Poor Boy%
20. Dog On Wheels%
21. The Boy With The Arab Strap+
22. I Didn’t See It Coming+
23. Belle And Sebastian #

£ recorded Banchory Studios, Glasgow, August 6th, 2020 (digital version)
> recorded by Kenneth McKellar (vinyl + CD versions)
* The Boaty Weekender, August 10th, 2019
+ Royal Oak Theatre, Michigan, July 21st, 2019
% Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA, July 12th, 2019
# House Of Blues, Boston, MA, July 13th, 2019
^ M-Telus, Montreal, QC, July 15th, 2019
@ Carnegie Hall - Pittsburgh, PA, July 18th, 2019
& House Of Blues, Cleveland, OH, July 19th, 2019
$ Auditoria Baluarte, Pamplona, Barcelona, November 4th, 2019

Belle & Sebastian online
Official site

Julien Baker - 'Little Oblivions' Coming February 26, 2021 / "Faith Healer" Premiere

"Faith Healer" - directed by Daniel Henry

(photo by Alysse Gafkjen)

Julien Baker will release her third studio album, 'Little Oblivions', on February 26. Today she reveals the first look at the album via “Faith Healer.” She says, “Put most simply, I think that ‘Faith Healer’ is a song about vices, both the obvious and the more insidious ways that they show up in the human experience. I started writing this song 2 years ago and it began as a very literal examination of addiction. For awhile, I only had the first verse, which is just a really candid confrontation of the cognitive dissonance a person who struggles with substance abuse can feel-- the overwhelming evidence that this substance is harming you, and the counterintuitive but very real craving for the relief it provides. When I revisited the song I started thinking about the parallels between the escapism of substance abuse and the other various means of escapism that had occupied a similar, if less easily identifiable, space in my psyche."

“There are so many channels and behaviors that we use to placate discomfort unhealthily which exist outside the formal definition of addiction. I (and so many other people) are willing to believe whomever-- a political pundit, a preacher, a drug dealer, an energy healer-- when they promise healing, and how that willingness, however genuine, might actually impede healing.”

“Faith Healer” introduces the exhilarating, widescreen musical palette and infectious spirit of risk-taking found on Little Oblivions, a transformative sonic shift from Baker’s more spare and intimate previous work. Engineered by Calvin Lauber and mixed by Craig Silvey (The National, Florence & the Machine, Arcade Fire), both of whom worked with Baker on 2017’s 'Turn Out the Lights', the album was recorded in Baker’s hometown of Memphis between December 2019 and January 2020. Baker’s tactile guitar and piano playing are enriched with newfound textures encompassing bass, drums, synthesizers, banjo and mandolin, with nearly all of the instruments performed by Baker. The album weaves unflinching autobiography with assimilated experience and often hard-won observations from the past few years, taking Baker’s capacity for starkly galvanizing storytelling to breathtaking new heights.
If you are lucky enough to have a future where the present anxieties of distance become romantic memories, I hope there are people who turn this album over in their hands years from now and remember the world it tumbled into. A world that, in whatever future moment exists, will likely be defined by the work people undertook and the fights people continued to show up for. But it will also be a world defined by how many of us exist on the other side of distance.

In the moment, here is a new Julien Baker album that arrives as a world comes to newly understand its relationship with touch, with distance. At the time of this writing, I shouldn’t want to run into the arms of anyone I love and miss, and yet I do. In an era of hands pressed on the glass of windows, or screen doors. An era of hands reaching back. An era where touch became an illusion. If we have been unlucky enough, our own lifetimes have prepared us for the ever-growing tapestry of aches.

To wrestle with the interior of one’s self has become a side effect of the times, and will remain a side-effect of whatever times emerge from these. The first time I ever heard Julien Baker, I wanted to know how an artist could survive such relentless and rigorous self-examination. I have been lonely, I have been alone, and I have been isolated. There are musicians who know the nuances between the three. What whispers in through the cracks of a person’s time alone. Julien Baker is one of those artists. A writer who examines their own mess, not in a search for answers, but sometimes just for a way out. A lighthouse to some newer, bigger mess.

It is hard to put into words what this feels like. Little Oblivions is an album that steps into that feeling and expands it. Sonically, from the opening swells of sound on “Hardline” rattling the chest, loving but persistent jabs to the way “Relative Fiction” spills into “Crying Wolf,” which feels like speeding down a warm highway that quickly turns into a sparse landscape, drowning in a hard rain. Lyrically, too, of course. There are writers who might attempt to bang at the doors of their listeners, shouting their particular anguish of the hour. And there are undoubtedly times when I have needed that to get from one sunrise to the next. But there are also writers who show up assuming anyone listening already knows what it is to crawl themselves back from one heartbreak, or to shout into an enduring darkness and hear only an echo. Little Oblivions is an album that details the crawling, details the shouting. An album that doesn’t offer repair, or forgiveness. Sometimes, though, a chance to revel in the life that is never guaranteed. Yes, the life that grows and grows and is never promised. How lucky to still be living, even in our own mess.

The grand project of Julien Baker, as I have always projected it onto myself, is the central question of what someone does with the many calamities of a life they didn’t ask for, but want to make the most out of. I have long been done with the idea of hope in such a brutal and unforgiving world, but I’d like to think that this music drags me closer to the old idea I once clung to. But these are songs of survival, and songs of reimagining a better self, and what is that if not hope? Hope that on the other side of our wreckage – self-fashioned or otherwise – there might be a door. And through the opening of that door, a tree spilling its shade over something we love. A bench and upon it, a jacket that once belonged to someone we’d buried. Birds who ask us to be an audience to their singing. A small and generous corner of the earth that has not yet burned down or disappeared. I can be convinced of this kind of hope, even as I fight against it. To hear someone wrestling with and still thankful for the circumstances of a life that might reveal some brilliance if any of us just stick around long enough.

Julien, how good it is to hear you again. And now, in all of our anguish and all of our glory. I miss the way the outside world reflected myself back to me. Now, I make mirrors out of the walls. I am so thankful for a better noise than the howling of my own shadows. Julien, you have done it again. You expert magician. You mirror-maker. Thank you for letting us once again watch you maneuver through all of your pleasant and unpleasant self-renderings. If there is a future, there will be people in it who might not remember how this album came at a time when so many hungered for a chance to put themselves back together. When the imagination of a person, a city, a country, was expanding. When, despite all of that, in the quiet moments, there were people who still wanted to be held by someone they maybe couldn’t touch. Thank you, Julien, for this comfort. This glass box through which a person might better be able to see a use for their own grief. This kingdom of small shards of sunlight, stumbling their way in to disrupt the darkness.

— Hanif Abdurraqib

Tracklist :
01. Hardline
02. Heatwave
03. Faith Healer
04. Relative Fiction
05. Crying Wolf
06. Bloodshot
07. Ringside
08. Favor
09. Song in E
10. Repeat
11. Highlight Reel
12. Ziptie

stream / download "Faith Healer"

presave / preorder "Little Oblivions"

Julien Baker Online

Coming October 2 : Kurt Vile - 'Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep)'

"How Lucky"

photo : Kate Taylor Battle

Kurt Vile’s Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep) was recorded and mixed in sporadic sessions that spanned four years at The Butcher Shoppe studio in Nashville, TN. It includes five songs — covers of John Prine and “Cowboy” Jack Clement as well as two originals — and was recorded alongside a cast of local heavies like Bobby Wood, Dave Roe, and Kenny Malone with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Superwolf) tossed into the mix as well.

Most importantly, it features what KV has called "Probably the single most special musical moment in my life” – a duet with the late John Prine on the songwriter’s well-loved tune, “How Lucky.”

“The truth is John was my hero for a long time when he came into The Butcher Shoppe to recut one of his deepest classics with me. And, man, I was floating and flying and I couldn't hear anything he told me while he was there till after he was gone for the night,” notes Vile in a personal statement that accompanies the record.

“A couple nights later we were playing ‘How Lucky’ together again; this time onstage at the Grand Ole Opry on New Year's Eve at the turn of 2020. Nothing like seeing John and his band of musical brothers and family and friends playing into the new decade in front of an adoring audience on that stage in Nashville, TN... and, yup, that's just how lucky we all got that night."

Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep) is out digitally on October 2nd. A physical edition will arrive early next year on pink-colored vinyl and CD.

presave / preorder

Kurt Vile – Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep)
By Matt Sweeney
His body left this planet in 2014, but “Cowboy” Jack Clement still brings seekers like Kurt Vile to Nashville to find the wild and mellow musical spaces he created.

Jack was Nashville’s Wizard of Oz. As a producer, songwriter, and mentor he had a profound guiding hand in the careers of Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Charlie Pride, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Townes Van Zandt, and Kurt Vile’s hero John Prine. Clement’s still-out-of-print ’70s solo album All I Want To Do In Life is a holy grail for KV.

So Kurt asked me to introduce him to Jack’s protege, the great David “Fergie” Ferguson. Ferg is a Nashville studio legend in his own right and the owner/operator/house producer of The Butcher Shoppe, a recording studio he started with Prine. He was also Johnny Cash’s right-hand man and recording engineer. He’s a heavy, to say the least.

I’d told Kurt about meeting Ferg in 2005, when Rick Rubin asked me to play guitar on Cash’s America V and VI albums. Raised working in Jack’s studio, Fergie is hilarious. He’s very gruff, yet lovable and a unique mix of hillbilly and worldly. He’s the youngest of the Old Guard -- utterly unpredictable and surprising while always maintaining a deep sense of the traditional. I hung on his every word during the Rick Rubin sessions and learned every song he showed me.

In 2006 Ferg called me and said: “Man, you gotta come to Nashville and meet Jack Clement, get with the real guys before they’re all gone.” This invitation was daunting -- my NYC ass certainly didn’t know any “country licks”. He reassured me: “Hell, we don’t need any more country licks. We need something different. Besides, nobody’s really from Nashville ’cept for me and Jack loves weirdos so you’ll be fine.”

So I went and my life changed. Ferg opened the doors to the Nashville I’d dreamed about. I kept my cool on that visit and as a reward he told me I could bring my non-Nashville friends to town so he and I could produce records for them “as long as they got songs and can really hang”.

The friends I brought in became new wild cards for Fergie to shuffle into this magic deck. A lot of recording ensued. Jack Clement was in his twilight years, but burning bright. Jack’s home studio and The Butcher Shoppe were full of musical legends dropping by to pick songs, have a smoke, get weird, tell jokes, and make records. For years.

When Jack died in 2014, Ferg assumed the mantle and kept Jack’s loose-but-laser-focused studio-style going at The Butcher Shoppe with the same gang of musicians that came up in Clement’s world.

And Kurt Vile wanted in on the action.

It took a couple years for Kurt and Ferg’s schedules to line up, but they finally lined up like a motherfucker in May 2016 for a recording of KV's version of the Prine original “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness," among other songs.

Then KV came back again in late September 2016. Ferg booked two more days at the Butcher Shoppe and made another band for Vile, including keyboardist Bobby Wood (Dusty In Memphis, Elvis’s “Suspicious Minds”) bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Jerry Reed), Kenny Malone (George Jones and the rest!), Pat Mclaughlin (ripping solo artist and Prine's mandolin player for many years) along with me on guitar as a bridge between that gang and Vile’s East Coast freakness.

That first day at The Butcher Shoppe we recorded a cover of Cowboy Jack's "Gone Girl" and a remarkable blissed-out Vile original. We had to finish early, though, cuz Ferg had also lined up a big night: Some more of his friends to join Kurt for a loose evening of live music at The Station Inn, Nashville’s realest music venue.

KV: "It was backstage at the Station Inn where Ferg introduced me to John Prine for the first time. And the first thing John told me was that he heard and liked my version of ‘Speed of the Sound of Loneliness’. I knew Ferg had showed him that recording, but it was wild to hear him acknowledge it to say the least.... meeting him then was a perfect moment to do so, but also comical... I had my daughter Awilda back there with me at that moment -- who was 6 at the time -- and other interesting people were around like Billy Ray Cyrus, who was being really funny and cool... the other big reason I was there in Nashville at that time was to catch Prine's two 70th birthday shows at the Ryman... so to see him a couple nights before his big shows, warming up on such a tiny stage in a moment when i was sort of "in the scene" was a real treat and a trip... i had to break the ice by asking Billy Ray in front of everyone if he ever heard that Cypress Hill song where they namedrop him, to which he replied ‘no, i never heard it!’"

Our mind-blown and hungover selves returned to the Butcher Shoppe the next day to work a little more. It took another three years before Kurt could get back to mix what we did, but on that return trip he finally got to record a song with his hero John Prine.

KV: "Probably the single most special musical moment in my life."

Jack Clement was already gone when Kurt first came to town to catch his vibe. Now John Prine is gone and The Butcher Shoppe building has been sold. But the music Jack Clement made is about an energy between people, an unbroken thread. I’m grateful to witness how Fergie plugged Kurt Vile into Jack’s electric mainline of American music that he’d wired and switched on back in 1958. The songs Kurt recorded at The Butcher Shoppe have that continuous electrical charge running through them.

The new Butcher Shoppe Studio is 14 miles outside of Nashville in the countryside and the sound keeps rolling.

"speed of the sound of loneliness" was the first song recorded for this ep on May 26, 2016.
the last song, captured 3.5 years later on December 29, 2019, is called "how lucky" and that's exactly how i felt.
both are John Prine songs. "speed" was recorded to get John's attention. "lucky" was recorded to get John IN the studio.
welp... a couple-o-missions accomplished and that's how I'd prefer to roll on the regular. (thanks, Ferg!)

the truth is John was my hero for a long time when he came into the butcher shoppe to recut one of his deepest classics with me and, man, I was floating and flying and i couldn't hear anything he told me while he was there till after he was gone for the night. speaking of John talkin to me, well, his songs, they speak to my soul. that's the real reason I picked them to play. (but the other reasons are real as well.)

a couple nights later we were playing "how lucky" together again; this time onstage at the Grand Ole Opry on New Year's Eve at the turn of 2020. Nothing like seeing John and his band of musical brothers and family and friends playing into the new decade in front of an adoring audience on that stage in Nashville, TN... and, yup, that's just how lucky we all got that night.

recording with Ferg at the butcher shoppe was just the best. no bullshit, just solid music...
i never met Cowboy Jack Clement in the flesh on this earth but his "gone girl" cuts clean through to my soul for true.
we got that down in September 2016 on the same day as "dandelions" which i had just freshly written. "pearls" is a song i composed in my early 20s, finally galvanized to tape with the right boys on the same day we got "speed".

so many great and legendary musicians grace these sides ...heavy hitters across the multigenerational spectrum...
each played their parts like a songbird sings... (see liner notes)

-KV, Philadelphia 8-22-20

presave/preorder 'Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep)'
Stream/Purchase Bottle It In

Kurt Vile Online

Yo La Tengo - "Bleeding" (From 'Sleepless Night')

(photo : Noah Kalina)

This morning, Yo La Tengo has released a second song from their forthcoming EP, 'Sleepless Night' (October 9) . “Bleeding” is the record's standalone original composition, a windswept ballad where delicate guitar melodies give way to cyclonic fuzz. The five-song record will also feature covers of songs by The Byrds, The Delmore Brothers, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Lane, and The Flying Machine.

The tracks on Sleepless Night were initially released as one side of an LP included within a limited-edition catalogue (published by LACMA and DelMonico Books/Prestel) for the LACMA exhibition, "Yoshitomo Nara", the first international retrospective for the artist Yoshitomo Nara. A longtime Yo La Tengo fan, Nara worked in collaboration with the group -- Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew -- to choose the EP’s songs.

This Matador version of the EP is a single-sided 12” with original cover art by Nara, a drawing of the band by Hubley, and an illustration by McNew etched on the record’s flip.

stream/download "Bleeding"
preorder / presave 'Sleepless Night'

Yo La Tengo online:

Official Site

Stephen Malkmus - "Juliefuckingette" + Rescheduled Spring 2021 Tour Dates

Stephen Malkmus presents “Juliefuckingette,” an A-side-worthy B-side off Traditional Techniques, his album released earlier this year. Additionally, he announces a rescheduled North American tour slated for March and April 2021. As with Traditional Techniques, “Juliefuckingette” is new phase folk music for new phase folks. Malkmus’ wry lyricism unwinds over his 12-string acoustic guitar: “Abolish the fanfiction set // I don’t wanna clean up the logorrhea mess // It’s the last brand standing // You know you wanna kill it but you can’t kill that quite yet.”

Traditional Techniques presents Malkmus as attuned as ever to the rhythms of the ever-evolving lingual slipstream. Informed by a half-century of folk-rock reference points, Malkmus drew from a whole new musical palette for Traditional Techniques--including a variety of Afghani instruments--to support an ache both quizzical and contemporary. Alongside gorgeous folk music, Traditional Techniques presents occasional bursts of flute-laced swagger, straight-up commune rock, and mind-bending fuzz. He’s joined throughout by Matt Sweeney and Chris Funk.

Stream / Purchase Traditional Techniques

Stephen Malkmus on Tour
Tuesday, March 2 Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis MN
Wednesday, March 3 Turner Hall, Milwaukee WI
Thursday, March 4 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL
Friday, March 5 Headliners, Louisville KY
Saturday, March 6 Cannery Ballroom, Nashville TN
Sunday, March 7 Terminal West, Atlanta GA
Tuesday, March 9 Orange Peel, Asheville NC
Wednesday, March 10 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC
Thursday, March 11 The National, Richmond VA
Friday, March 12 Black Cat, Washington DC
Saturday, March 13 Union Transfer, Philadelphia PA
Sunday, March 14 Webster Hall, New York NY
Tuesday, March 16 Royale, Boston MA
Wednesday, March 17 Higher Ground Ballroom, Burlington VT
Thursday, March 18 L'Astral, Montreal QC
Friday, March 19 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON
Saturday, March 20 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland OH
Sunday, March 21 Majestic Theater, Detroit MI
Friday, April 9 Gothic Theatre, Englewood CO
Saturday, April 10 The Waiting Room, Omaha NE
Sunday, April 11 Granada Theater, Lawrence KS
Monday, April 12 Cain's Ballroom, Tulsa OK
Tuesday, April 13 Granada Theater, Dallas TX
Wednesday, April 14 The Mohawk, Austin TX
Friday, April 16 Lowbrow Palace, El Paso TX
Saturday, April 17 The Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix AZ
Sunday, April 18 Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach CA
Monday, April 19 El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles CA
Tuesday, April 20 The Fillmore, San Francisco CA
Thursday, April 22 Wonder Ballroom, Portland OR
Friday, April 23 Imperial, Vancouver BC
Saturday, April 24 The Showbox, Seattle WA

All shows with openers Qais Essar & the Magik Carpet

Stephen Malkmus Online

Spoon - "Rainy Taxi (Big Beat)"

Spoon has released a new track "Rainy Taxi (Big Beat)" available exclusively on Bandcamp. A new take on "Rainy Taxi" from the 2014 LP They Want My Soul, the single was recorded remotely in May 2020 by Spoon's Britt Daniel and Alex Fischel in Austin TX and Los Angeles CA respectively.

During Bandcamp's 24 hour fee-waiving period today (Midnight PST Fri Sep 4 to Midnight PST Sat Sep 5) Spoon and Matador will donate all proceeds earned from the "Rainy Taxi (Big Beat)" single to Austin Community Foundation.

The premiere of the new track coincides with the release of Spoon's full discography on Bandcamp.

Buy / Stream Spoon catalog classics HERE.

Spoon online :

Official Site

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