3/31/2020

PSYCHIC ILLS Release 'Never Learn Not To Love / Cease To Exist' 7" Today on Sacred Bones Records

Psychic Ills

(original two versions of the same song by The Beach Boys and Charles Manson)

Available Today on Sacred Bones Records
Earlier this month, the music world mourned the loss of Psychic Ills founder, frontman, and songwriter Tres Warren. At the time of his death, Warren was overflowing with creativity, actively writing new songs, and excited about the next phase of the band. He was preparing to go into the studio alongside longtime collaborator Elizabeth Hart and their bandmates to record the sixth Psychic Ills full-length, which was supposed to be out this fall. While those songs were tragically not recorded, the band did record a pair of covers for a new 7", which we’re sharing today. “Never Learn Not to Love” and “Cease to Exist are the first new Psychic Ills songs to be released since 2016’s Inner Journey Out, and while they no longer precede a new album as originally intended, they stand as a celebration of Tres Warren’s beautiful musical spirit. You can listen to both songs now, and order the vinyl from the Sacred Bones website.

The original text meant to accompany this 7" is presented in its entirety below:

Originally appearing on The Beach Boys’ 1969 album 20/20, credited to Dennis Wilson and with changes to the arrangement and lyrics, "Never Learn Not To Love" was written as "Cease To Exist" by a then unknown songwriter named Charles Manson. His version would eventually appear on his album Lie: The Love and Terror Cult, released in 1970, by which time he was already incarcerated for the events that he is most commonly known for today. 

How a version of that song came to find its way onto The Beach Boys' album is the stuff of legend, and Charles Manson’s disappointment with the lyrical and structural changes is well documented. The Beach Boys' simultaneous adherence to and departure from the original has long been a point of fascination for people, but Psychic Ills frontman, Tres Warren, says it’s something less tangible that has kept him coming back to both songs through the years. “The soulfulness is what has always spoken to me in those songs. I gravitate towards that(soul) in music, and both of these songs have it in spades. I almost shed a tear every time I hear Dennis Wilson sing.”


Psychic Ills’ version of "Never Learn Not To Love" echoes the arrangement and feel of The Beach Boys' recording, but the female gospel backing singers make it more reminiscent of a Phil Spector production than that of Brian Wilson. “We wanted to honor the originals, but we didn’t want to cover them note for note.” Warren says, adding “We wanted to bring them to where we are.” Which seems like an apt statement as "Never Learn Not To Love" is a dense electrified rock and roll song reminiscent of recent Psychic Ills songs like it. 

On the flip side of the record, "Cease To Exist" couldn’t be sonically more different. Where "Never Learn Not To Love" has a fullness from an instrumentation and sound quality standpoint, "Cease To Exist" thrives off the intimacy of the performance and transparency of the documentation, bringing the singing and playing into full focus, in a similar manner to the Manson original. There’s no question that this was recorded in very few takes, and that by-the-seat-of-the-pants feeling is further reinforced by the unedited studio talkback left in at the beginning. “Ivi is it rolling?” Warren asks engineer Iván Díaz Mathé as he begins the song, the band naturally falling in behind him reminiscent of jazz players adhering to both their own cosmic cues and those of the collective whole.     

Never Learn Not To Love/Cease To Exist is an interesting experiment, successful in both concept and execution, and a typically non-traditional way to announce that Psychic Ills, have a new record coming soon. They continue to be a journeyman band, in an era where few exist, and a band you can count on to continue to expand on what they do as they have with every record, but never at the expense of what makes them Psychic Ills…their feel. They’re still weary and wanting, still searching for something.

Official Tres Warren memoriam quotes from his bandmates & label:

"Tres was happiest when he was playing music. Through whatever trials life brought, when he picked up his guitar he could find calm. He also had a passion for film and impeccable taste. Tres had such respect for storytellers and was an amazing storyteller himself – you can hear that in his music. Maybe what you don’t know is that Tres had a great sense of humor, he could run a joke forever and it never got old. He taught me so much. I’m so grateful to have had such a deep and soulful musical partner for all these years and feel lucky to call Tres my friend. Life won’t be the same without him." — Elizabeth Hart, Psychic Ills

"Your encouragement and support sweetly given to me weakens any self doubt and insecurity. The generosity with your knowledge, passion, and talent is a fire lighting motivator. Your mischievous, playful, sometimes biting but always familial wisecracking keeps me smiling and laughing. I can neither count the refractions nor express how mesmerizing the light was while passing through. I love you, Tres. And also, my amp on stage isn’t too loud." — Brent Cordero, Psychic Ills

"One of my favorite qualities of Tres Warren was his ability to ask your opinion of something and GENUINELY listen to your response with full attention and consideration. His knowledge and thirst for music was as unparalleled as his innate kindness, which was apparent to anybody that knew him. His tone on a guitar was unmistakably him, which was a tantamount to his musical brilliance. Drifting back on the memories we shared throughout unforgettable tours across the planet it shows me that he was one of those special people in life. One that you seldomly have the chance to meet, that continually inspire you and make you a better version of yourself. What an honor to know him. On that note I’ll cheers a margarita to you Tres. See you again someday amigo." — Jon Catfish DeLorme, Psychic Ills

"I was lucky enough to play music with Tres. He was a master songwriter and musicologist. He was a sensitive soul and magic maker who inspired so many people. I feel fortunate that he included me in his world." — Adam Amram, Psychic Ills

"Tres had this unflappable presence. He was so calm and cool it could be intimidating but once approached you were met with nothing but a gentle warmth and kindness. He was very generous with his cool. Above all else though, he was a lover of music. I mean the guy just loved music. He loved listening to it, he loved talking about it and more than anything he loved creating it. He was also generous with his music. For that I will forever be grateful." — Caleb Braaten, Sacred Bones Records
Press Photo: By Luz Gallardo
Psychic Ills Online - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter Bandcamp

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Chicano Batman releases “Pink Elephant” New Album 'Invisible People' Out May 1st via ATO Records

Chicano Batman releases “Pink Elephant”

New Album 'Invisible People' Out May 1st via ATO Records
Watch the video exclusively via The FADER

(New York, NY): Today, Chicano Batman releases “Pink Elephant,” the second track off their forthcoming album 'Invisible People' (out May 1st via ATO Records). The slinky track, premiering on The FADER, is imbued with the sensuous psychedelia that the LA-based synth-funk four-piece has become known for carried by Carlos Arévalo’s steady riff and Eduardo Arenas’ funky bassline over a lover who’s “rare as a pink elephant”.
The accompanying studio session video was shot at Hollywood's legendary Barefoot Studios, a recording home for Stevie Wonder ("Songs in the Key of Life"), The Jackson 5, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, and now, Chicano Batman’s upcoming album. It’s an aesthetic throwback to old-school public access TV and revered 70’s British music show The Old Grey Whistle Test. It captures their uncomplicated authenticity in action, with lead singer Bardo Martinez swinging in time to the groovy track as he dons a green fade and pink glove.
"The demo version was titled '40 Dollar Carwash,'" says the band. "On his birthday, Eduardo got one and the freshness of his whip reminded him of his West Coast roots listening to hip hop growing up in 90's L.A. With Pharcyde and Dr. Dre in mind, along with Gabriel's technical drum prowess, they tracked a bunch of ideas that were boiled down to the hook at the band’s rehearsal space. ‘Pink Elephant’ is an edgy portrayal of a cinematic landscape driven home by a deep pocket; with an unmistakable party vibe.”
For the album, the band worked with Shawn Everett, the GRAMMY-award winning mixing engineer known for his work with Alabama Shakes, War on Drugs, Kacey Musgraves, and Julian Casablancas. With Leon Michels’ (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Lee Fields & The Expressions) producing and Everett’s mixing steering the record’s direction, the band’s lush Latin alternative sound has become a more pointed, densely layered soundscape. 'Invisible People' is an illuminating and encapsulating listen, one that hasn’t lost the essence that put Chicano Batman on the map and makes a stirring point about the times we’re living in.
The album's debut single "Color my life" was lauded by Rolling Stone as a "tropicalia-infused thesis on a utopian world where factors like race, gender and class do not preclude the potential for human connection and solidarity" and garnered support from Rivers Cuomo and Danger Mouse. It debuted at # 3 on KCRW’s Top Music Charts and is featured on Spotify “Ultimate Indie” playlist.

PRAISE FOR CHICANO BATMAN:
"collide soul, surf and Tropicália into a raging blend of fire and excitement" – ROLLING STONE
 “a pitch-perfect voice of the resistance” – BILLBOARD
“a deeper dimension of sly pop culture references, unapologetic Latin pride, and the thoughtful exploration of popular music's all pervasive black roots" – Noisey
“laid-back lounge grooves and a funky swagger” – NPR
"You need to know Chicano Batman...with their combination of soul, pop, tropicalia and psych" – THE GUARDIAN

ABOUT CHICANO BATMAN:
Like all the most iconic music born from the West Coast, Chicano Batman’s 'Invisible People' offers an instant escape into the beautifully strange world they inhabit. Throughout their fourth album, vocalist/keyboardist Bardo Martinez, guitarist Carlos Arévalo, bassist Eduardo Arenas, and drummer Gabriel Villa channel the kinetic spirit of their city into a wildly shapeshifting sound, ultimately finding an unstoppable joy in following their most outrageous instincts. Produced by Leon Michels (The Carters, A$AP Rocky, Lee Fields & the Expressions) and mixed by Shawn Everett (Vampire Weekend, Alabama Shakes, Beck), 'Invisible People' taps into the unbridled creativity Chicano Batman previously brought to their 2009 self-titled debut, 2014’s 'Cycles Of Existential Rhyme,' and 2017’s 'Freedom Is Free' (their first release since signing to ATO Records). But as evidenced on songs like lead single “Color My Life” and on the album’s emotionally raw title track (whose lyrics examine race as a scientific fallacy), 'Invisible People' embodies elements of everything from krautrock to hip-hop—all while capturing the powerful energy the band’s shown in touring with artists like Alabama Shakes, Portugal The Man, and Jack White. The result is Chicano Batman’s most imaginative body of work yet, a collection of songs that could only come from their own idiosyncratic minds.

CHICANO BATMAN ON THE WEB:

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JG Thirlwell & Simon Steensland Share New Song "Papal Stain"   ​

 
 
JG THIRLWELL & SIMON STEENSLAND SHARE NEW TRACK, "PAPAL STAIN"

 
 
Photo credit for JG Thirlwell is Marylene Mey; for Simon Steensland by Joel Dannerup
 
 
March 31, 2020 -- Legendary NYC based musician JG Thirlwell (Foetus, Manorexia, Xordox) and composer Simon Steensland present the cinematic noir of their new track "Papal Stain" (https://smarturl.it/PapalStain) from the new collaborative album Oscillospira (April 24, Ipecac Recordings).

Speaking on the track Thirlwell remarks: "'Papal Stain’ is a multi movement piece which takes the listener on a cinematic journey that vacillates wildly in mood before its tumultuous climax. Along with Thirlwell and Steensland playing many instruments between them, the track features performances by drum virtuoso Morgan Ågren (Devin Townshend Band, Zappa, Mats Morgan) Simon Hanes (Tredici Bacci) on guitar, Chris McIntyre (Tilt Brass, Either/Or, SEM Ensemble) on trombone and Joanna Mattrey (Tredici Bacci) on violins."

A frequent collaborator with the likes of Zola Jesus, Melvins, Swans, Kronos Quartet and many others, JG Thirlwell is also the composer for the highly acclaimed animated TV series ‘Archer’ and 'Venture Bros’ while Swedish multi-instrumentalist Simon Steensland is known for his compositions for theatre.

Different yet complementary, both creators make idiosyncratic music that can be characterized by dramatic intensity, shadowy suspense, darkness and light, sometimes breathtaking and always evocative cinematics. Oscillospira is an odyssey of dark chamber prog with a cinematic bent, largely instrumental album with eerie choral parts.

JG Thirlwell and Simon Steensland's journey together first began in 2017 in Stockholm at a workshop for the Great Learning Orchestra, a collective that operate on the model of an experimental music ensemble from the late 60s, Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra, using musicians from a variety of backgrounds and abilities.

JG Thirlwell recounts "I had been a fan of Steensland’s work for some years through his albums like Led Circus and Fat Again. I admired the dark power in his work and it seemed adjacent to a lot of music that I love and inspires me - groups in the Rock in Opposition and Zeuhl worlds such as Magma, Univers Zero and Present, as well as 70’s era King Crimson and Bartok."

Taking JG Thirlwell's commission for Great Learning Orchestra as a starting point, the pair exchanged ideas and extended the work into a new collaboration which eventually became Oscillospira. The extraordinary drummer Morgan Ågren (Mats/Morgan band, Zappa, Devin Townsend, etc.) plays on all the tracks, bringing them to life in an explosive manner. The record also includes contributions from a variety of guest musicians playing oboe, bass clarinet, violin, voice and further sonic embellishments to enrich the album.

 
 
Oscillospira album cover
 
 
Oscillospira track list:

1. Catholic Deceit
2. Heron
3. Night Shift
4. Papal Stain
5. Heresy Flank
6. Mare
7. Crystal Night
8. Redbug

# # #
 
 
    

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Jess Williamson Releases "Infinite Scroll"

📸: Katie Miller
"Infinite Scroll" out Now!
-

The latest from Sorceress out May 15th

Today, Jess Williamson shares "Infinite Scroll." More than a song about a broken heart and disappearing memories: The track is also a sly commentary on life online (infinite scroll is a web design technique employed by social media outlets like Instagram and Twitter), as well as an appreciation for the magnitude of time itself, and how little we have here on Earth: “I was on one then, really leading the pack/ Swearin’ love can’t die when I believed that/ Time did unfold like an infinite scroll.”
"Infinite Scroll" Music Video
"Director Jim Larsen and I came up with this idea of a runaway bride with an extraterrestrial twist. The dress I'm wearing is my mom's wedding dress. She bought it in 1979 off the rack at Neiman Marcus in Dallas. The veil is hers as well. Her mom sewed every pearl onto it by hand. It felt really special to wear that dress, almost holy. The first time I put it on it was surprisingly emotional for me.

Jim and I are both drawn to the landscape of the Southwest, and we were talking about the musician Jim Sullivan's mysterious story, how he disappeared in the desert in New Mexico. I've spent a lot of time in New Mexico, it's a place that's near and dear to my heart. It felt right to make the video out there. Musically, Infinite Scroll is the most pop song I've ever made, so it feels good to me that the video is super connected to my roots and, beyond"
Listen to "Infinite Scroll"
Limited first pressing of 1500 on crystal ball colored vinyl
Sorceress Tracklist

01. Smoke
02. As the Birds Are
03. Wind on Tin

04. Sorceress
05. Infinite Scroll
06. Love's Not Hard To Find
07. How Ya Lonesome
08. Rosaries at The Border
09. Ponies in Town
10. Harm None
11. Gulf of Mexico

 
Pre-Order 'Sorceress'
Follow Jess Williamson on Instagram
Follow Jess Williamson on Instagram

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Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin repress the long out-of-print 7" EP Pop Song

Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin repress the long out-of-print 7" EP Pop Song

Mikal Cronin & Ty Segall

Another week from Italy's always dependable Goodbye Boozy imprint. Like a spiritual cousin from across the Atlantic, GB's sound runs the gamut from lilliputian folk to scuzzy garage rock to full-on psych freak-outs and every nook and cranny in-between. with a release from the dynamic duo of Ty Segall Mikal Cronin, “Pop Song” b/w “So I Went to Beach, Melody” & “Kit Carson”.
Ty as the man of a thousand bands, as he seemingly works with everyone on the West Coast and Mikal is no slouch himself, working with at least 4-5 bands we can think of off the top of our head. The most casual of this release batch, the three tunes here are all economical, hook-laden surf-garage-pop that Jonathan Richmond or The Clean would be proud to call their own.
Although hardly original, garage rock as a genre gets slammed with the accusation that it’s too imitative of someone or something else, another era that’s come and gone, whether it be the likes of Iggy and the Stooges or The Animals. Really, anyone who’s channeled aggression through a reverb pedal and thrashing drums.
Yet unlike their distant cousins hardcore and ‘70s punk, Cronin and Segall’s refurbished garage jams are neither brooding nor predatory. Stunningly raw — fresh, even — Pop Song prowls at the unsuspecting ear instead of tearing at flesh. Dual jaws take ahold of skin, sure, but with smirks that can only belong to two sleepy thirty-somethings changing the disgruntled face of garage rock.
                        
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