Denver's Goldrush Music Festival has unveiled the rest of its lineup for its 4th annual staging. The festival is packing some heavy hitters this year, such as headliners Eric Copeland and Wolf Eyes, as well as acts like Guerilla Toss and, announced previously, Thug Entrancer. The two day festival takes place September 13-14. You can snag yourself tickets here. Check out a video of Wolf Eyes playing live at 285 Kents's farewell show below.
It's never very long before Eric Copeland puffs out another smoke signal. For years, his solo messages were relegated to this or that experimental label, but recently the dance world caught wind of his shamanic capacities to induce mass boogie. Following up his LP on DFA, Copeland is releasing Logo My Ego on hot-shit dance 12" label L.I.E.S. in September. The teaming more or less makes sense, as both are rooted in New York and are reputably weird. In Copeland's words, "to say this isn't a masterpiece would be a gross understatement." But "Uncle Sam's Blues" at the very least is crazy good, what with the squishy drum sounds, protracted reggae guitar, and late-game cheerleader chorus. This "isn't a masterpiece" in the same way calzone isn't a pizza. While categorically true, they're served from the same oven, by the same sweaty man.
Logo My Ego is out Septemer 25 on L.I.E.S.
Last year, Eric Copeland-- best known as one third of the seminal New York experimental crew Black Dice-- released an exceptional new solo album, Joke in the Hole, on DFA. Today, you can watch a new, fan-made music video for “Rokzi,” the opening track off the album. The video explores an animated, collagist aesthetic that seems to emerge from the Joke in the Hole cover art. It's an abstract but ultimately playful clip-- a perfect complement to the propulsive, bouncy, and occasionally noise-inflected song itself. Stream the video just below.
Joke in the Hole is out now on DFA.
A month or two back, the office took lunch at the dumpling shop a few blocks over. In a sense, this whole blogging thing is incredibly boring, since you listen to music then you write about music then you take a break to get some food and and inevitably end up talking about music. Makes you want to go listen to the traffic report for some variation. But this one specific time, the topic of the best New York band briefly came up. Ric decided to provoke everyone by suggesting DIIV, and then Justin Chun broke his stoic dumpling worship and said, “What? Black Dice!” That was about as far as that conversation went, but realize these opinions were rooted in affectionate memories of seeing each of these bands perform numerous times. Joy crystallizes as the event drifts farther into the past, and memories of the best concerts have the tendency shed all the worst moments-- failed spliffs, too-drunk friends-- in the name of preserving that one, idealized moment.
Justin is well aware that by the time you leave a Black Dice show, all the recollective detritus is already starting to fall away. There is a veritable trophy room in a Black Dice fan's memory palace where you'll find framed images of a Chinese Buffet where the ceilings are too low, or an outdoor 4/20 gig where there were an inordinate amount of children, or the PS1 Warm-Up where all the other acts conformed to a vision of electronic music which Black Dice would never have any use for. Funny that, as Eric Copeland recollects, “the Village Voice for YEARS called us 'notoriously spotty live' in every show listing.” And Copeland hits the nail on the head when he says, “16 years in, we are able to have the last laugh!” Be sure to catch Copeland at 285 Kent in Brooklyn, on August 23.
Early 7”s and EPs
“Black Dice is Bjorn's first and only band. He's only played with a handful of other people, ever. We played a little before Black Dice, but I can't remember too much about it.” Eric joined the band soon after its formation, traveling to Providence for early practices. Nowadays, Providence's status as a millennial haven for noise, rock, and everything in between is an old story. Yet it's worth noting that some of the most prominent minds in current-day experimental music-- Container, Alberich, Brian Chippendale-- stem directly from that scene, suggesting that Providence at the time was less a microcosmic anomaly than a pool of itching, bright minds. No entity exemplifies this better than the Dice, so a quick look at their embryonic stage is apt. While their earliest EPs contain what is undoubtedly hardcore-- albeit noisy hardcore-- the hallmarks of their trademark electronic sound were rife. Squawking loops on Semen of the Sun would morph into Beaches and Canyons' seagull samples. The unintelligible vocals on Black Dice were essentially a statement of intent for the band's singing to come. On the final untitled track on Semen of the Sun, you even get a hint of their later fixation with groove, thanks to a thinly sensical interplay of bass, rhythm, and guitar feedback.
A few weeks back, Eric Copeland of Black Dice announced Joke in the Hole, his new solo LP on DFA. Now you can hear "Cheap Treat," a track from that forthcoming album, and it is a treat indeed. After establishing the song with whirring electronic waves, Copeland launches us into a bright, bouncy zone. An '80s-influenced bass line trips along under a squiggly melody, in a combination that brings to mind vivid colors and quirky dance moves. Buoyant and catchy, "Cheap Treat" is a great first taste of what is sure to be an excellent LP.
Joke in the Hole is out July 17 on DFA.
Call it a homecoming. One half of Black Dice's Brothers Copeland-- the ever productive and rad Eric-- will be releasing his follow-up to last year's Limbo on DFA, 2003's hottest label. Black Dice were DFA's token noise band back in the day, being prominently featured on the famed DFA Volume 2 compilation. The label also released the band's 2002 breakthrough Beaches and Canyons as well as their best album, 2005's Broken Ear Record. Of course, a lot has changed in the past eight years, with DFA being picked up for major label distrubtion by EMI Records and founder James Murphy wearing more and more white. Considering that Copeland's solo work is not only consistently good but stellar, rejoice in the fact that Joke In the Hole will be in a spotlight just a little bit brighter.
Joke In the Hole is out July 17 on DFA. Copeland's Flushing Meats single was dropped last year in the wake of Limbo, so check it out.