Monthly Archives: September 2008

Details emerge for ART-SCHOOL mini-album, best collection follows up a previous report on new ART-SCHOOL releases with more details. The new mini-album, titled Illmatic Baby, contains six songs, while the best compliation, titled Ghosts and Angels, spans the band’s career on previous labels, including EMI. Both albums have an Oct. 15 release date. The title track of Illmatic Baby was produced by DOPING PANDA member YUTAKA FURUKAWA. ART-SCHOOL embarks on a tour with DOPING PANDA, OGRE YOU ASSHOLE, the telephones, THE NOVEMBERS, UNCHAIN and VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE as guests.

Sonic Youth signs with Matador

Billboard reports Sonic Youth has signed a one-album deal with Matador Records. The telling quote of the article is this one by Thurston Moore:

"Matador is a super strong, high-profile label with an indie distribution system that is exactly what a band like us in this current climate needs more than anything."

That’s a very diplomatic way to say major labels are in deep shit.

It’s interesting to see Moore admit to making the last three Sonic Youth albums somewhat accessible. I kind of got the sense the band was taming their sound, and to learn that was the intent still comes as a surprise, even more so the fact the next album will continue in that vein.

Waterloo Records holds first classical in-store apperance

When I worked over at Waterloo Records, I always wondered why the store never hosted a classical in-store performance. (The simple answer: you have to pay to play, and classical ensembles don’t usually have that kind of promotional subsidy.)

But Russell McCullogh, who maintains the classical section of Waterloo, called to let me know about the store’s first ever classical in-store appearance happening Sunday, Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. (tomorrow.) It’s a signing by Conspirare artistic director Craig Hella Johnson and composer Tarik O’Regan, whose work Conspirare performs for its first album for Harmonia Mundi, Threshold of Night.

The label is releasing the album as a super audio CD (SACD), so the regular price is going to be mucho expensive. It will, however, be on sale for the first few weeks of its release. Tuesday is the official release date, but Waterloo gets the album early for the in-store signing.

Austin-based Conspirare has garnered a lot of acclaim since its inception in 1991. The ensemble’s second album, Requiem, was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2007.

Do As Infinity reunites

Do As Infinity is getting back together again, reports The duo split up in 2005 to pursue solo careers, but singer Van Tomiko and guitarist Owatari Ryo were the secret guests at the Ajinomoto a-nation 08 concert, where they announced the reunion. No word yet on any future releases.

I can’t say Van and Owatari had very lucrative careers since Do As Infinity announced its break-up three years ago. Van released a series of uninspiring singles and two cover albums, while Owatari’s band, MISSILE INNOVATION, never really took off. At the same time, Van and Owatari complement each other wonderfully. Van sounds far better with Owatari’s muscular guitar work as a foundation, and Owatari is … not much of a singer.