17 09 2012

Alan Licht on Will Oldham on Bonnie 'Prince' Billy book, published by W.W. Norton 17th September


     This Monday marks the official U.S. publication of Will Oldham on Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, all 402 pages of it. The book is in a Q & A format, edited, by me, from a series of conversations I had with Will about his career, his life, and other topics of interest. W.W. Norton is the U.S. publisher; Faber & Faber, who commissioned the book to begin with, released it in the UK last spring.

     Anyway, in trying to get people all excited about the book or at least to clue them in that it exists, two events are planned in the coming days. Will and I are to be guests on Therese's show on WFMU this Sunday night, starting at midnight: http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/TQ
I'll actually be in the studio, Will via the phone. We'll be talking about the book, I guess, but who knows what'll actually happen. WFMU is good about archiving their programming, so you can always catch up with it after the fact.

    Then on Monday, September 24th, there will be a book launch at Housing Works Bookstore/Cafe, 126 Crosby St., NYC at 7pm, free: http://www.housingworks.org/events/detail/will-oldham-on-bonnie-prince-billy-release-party-with-mcnally-jackson-vol-1

I will be on hand to "DJ" (i.e. to press "Play" on an iTunes playlist I've conjured beforehand), and to mingle with, well, whoever shows up, really. If someone hands me a pen I'll probably sign some books too.

Looking forward to it all,
Alan Licht

16 09 2012

Joshua Ford photographs SUNN O))) @ Union Transfer, Philadelphia 5th September 2012


































12 09 2012

Everybody Talks About The Weather, Melbourne, Thu Sept 20





Thu September 20
Northcote Social Club

The annual experimental music showcase ''Everybody talks about the weather'' returns to Melbourne on Thu Sept 20 at the Northcote Social Club. The blistering 2012 edition will feature the first ever Oz performance from Norwegian noise legend LASSE MARHAUG. Mr. Marhaug has made some of the most fantastic ear-splitting music over the past 20 years and has contributed to well over 200 cd, lp and cassette releases both as a solo artist and with a flurry of other bands and collaborators (from acts likeJazzkamer, Sunn O))) and Kevin Drumm). According to him, speaking in noise is not speaking in tongues, but ''a celebration''. You don't want to miss this!
OREN AMBARCHI will present the first ever live performance of KNOTS the epic centrepiece of his recent release on Touch ''Audience Of One.'' Described by UK music mag Mojo as the ''undoubted standout on the Australian guitarist's stunning new album - nothing can prepare you for its awesome power'', this version will feature JOE TALIA on drums and a string quartet led by JAMES RUSHFORD. 
Together with BRENDAN WALLS, Ambarchi will also lead their guitar army project HUSBANDS. 20 guitarists and a meat & potato rhythm section plan to help you, the listener, reach transcendence via their massed just-intonation guitars creating beautiful harmonic clouds in conjunction with the propulsive repetition of the bass and drums. Yowza!
In amongst it all is a solo set from guitar signal annihilator MARCO FUSINATO. Described as 'extending the traditional language of the guitar to distressed oblivion, unleashing tsunamis of ecstatic free noise’, the Fusinato experience is guaranteed to detonate your mind. 
The 2012 edition of 'Everybody talks about the weather' promises to be an unforgettable event, don't miss it!


11 09 2012

Hydra Head Records endgame

Aaron, Mark, it was a pleasure to work together on some great albums and projects. 
All of my best to you both.

Thank you. 

From the HHR website.

Hydra Head Records has never been a smooth-running operation. We've spent the majority of our existence excitedly scrambling from one thing to the next, taking on more than

The decision to pull the plug has not been an easy one, and in some ways is a not a choice at all.  The simple fact of the matter is we've been running on empty for a while now and cannot afford to keep our doors open for much longer. Years of imbalance between creative ideals and financial realities, personal problems amongst the label operators, an unwillingness to compromise our aesthetic standards, a tendency towards releasing challenging (i.e. unmarketable) artists, and the steady decline of the music industry in general, are amongst the chief reasons for our inability to continue. It is a harsh but undeniable reality, and one which we are attempting to confront with as much integrity and grace as is afforded by the circumstances.

For the short term we will continue to operate as we have been, effecting our first step into shutdown this December, at which point we are cutting off new releases from the label. Thereafter, we will be remain operational only in the interest of maintaining our back catalog, with the ultimate aim of repaying our rather sizable debts. Grim though this prospect is, in the midst of it all I still feel an extreme gratitude for everything that has happened and for all the wonderful people with which we've been involved over the years. We've been lucky enough to work with some of the most unique and provocative artists of the last two decades, many of which have made indelible impressions in the underground, and by extension the larger world of music in general. We've also been fortunate to have had the support of a small but loyal following, who've constituted the very essence of our life force. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and love to each and every person who contributed to making this label what it is - all the artists who entrusted us as the custodians of their work, all the people that bought or listened to our releases, and all the people who performed the various label duties at various offices (and houses) across the continent. 

...and this brings us to the present moment, where in all honesty we are in need of financial assistance from anyone and everyone who's willing to throw us a rope. Though it is highly unlikely we'll be able to resuscitate the label, we do wish to follow through on the final round of releases to which we're committed and pay off our debts to our artists and manufacturers. In order to do this we are initiating a massive sell-off of everything we can dig up and produce for the next 6-12 months. This will include discounted bundles of CDs/LPs/posters/etc, represses of certain titles for which we still have parts, test pressings, and whatever worthwhile items we can pull together. For anyone that is able and willing to fund our funereal arrangements please visit our direct mailorder or webstore and pick up whatever you can. Any and all support is greatly appreciated by our remaining team, and will be put to the best use possible.

There is no way to sum up nearly 20 years of incredibly important music, experiences, and evolution other than to say a big heart felt "thank you", and that we hope this closing will provide an opening into other even more positive and rewarding experiences for all of us and all of you who have been a part of our shared experience. For now we bid you all a very fond farewell....

-Aaron Turner

10 09 2012

Great SUNN O))) fanmail (reference "the spirit of music in tragedy")

Dear Stephen O’Malley,
My name is Matt Roberts. I was at the Sunn concert last night in Atlanta, GA. It was truly one of the great aesthetic experiences I have ever had. I’ve been a great admirer of your work, with Sunn and as a solo artist. So it was a true privilege to be able to attend the performance.
I am currently working on a PhD at Emory University in Atlanta, where I study ‘avant-garde’ forms of theatre and performance, and I’ve become increasingly interested in thinking about musical performance, which is I suppose what initially interested me in your work. But aside from that, I find that your work with Sunn is just so very important to me. Perhaps in part because I’ve experienced it in some way before I ever heard your music: in extreme situations of pain, in moments when I have inhabited the space between life and death. Aristotle writes of  tragedy that the pain that appears on stage can often produce pleasure to a spectator, particularly if the pain that is depicted reflects the pain that he or she may have experienced in his or her life. This is one of tragedy’s virtues. And I have found this to be the case in your work, which also strikes me as very Dionysian, very ancient, very full of life. This is very important, I believe, for I’d go so far as to argue that what you and Sunn are doing may have something to do with what Nietzsche called the spirit of music in tragedy. In other words, what I hear when I listen to Sunn is the sound of that which gives tragedy, and perhaps all serious art, its inspiration.
In any event, I wish you the best. May you have safe travels back to Europe. I am so grateful that you come to Atlanta, and I thank you for your work, which is so necessary and vital.
Matt Roberts

09 09 2012

Recommended Atlanta restaurant: Panita Thai Kitchen

Had a mindblowing meal at this place last night as end of O))) tour hang. Never had thai like it, really amazing.


06 09 2012

SUNN O))) at Strange Matter, Richmond poster


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