The Magnetic Fields return to Merge for Love at the Bottom of the Sea out March 6
The Magnetic Fields will release Love at the Bottom of the Sea, their tenth full-length album and first release of new material with Merge since 1999’s highly acclaimed 69 Love Songs. The band will celebrate their new album with a North American tour that passes through the SXSW Music Showcase in Austin, Texas.
After putting out three synthesizer-free albums, The Magnetic Fields are returning to the signature mix of synth and acoustic sounds they established in the 90s with Merge releases such as The Charm of the Highway Strip and Get Lost. Stephin Merritt has come back to synths with a fresh approach: “Most of the synthesizers on the record didn’t exist when we were last using synthesizers,” he notes. The songs – none over three minutes long – were recorded in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York with Merritt’s usual cast of collaborators: Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol, John Woo, Shirley Simms, Johny Blood and Daniel Handler.
Pre-order the Magnetic Fields’ Love at the Bottom of the Sea in the Merge store to get an exclusive limited-edition eggshell-colored vinyl. Also, the first 100 people who order the album from Merge on CD or LP will receive a free signed poster and a Magnetic Fields button, as well. Don’t forget . . . the Merge Holiday Code works on pre-orders, too!
1. God Wants Us to Wait
2. Andrew in Drag
3. Your Girlfriend’s Face
4. Born For Love
5. I’d Go Anywhere with Hugh
6. Infatuation (With Your Gyration)
7. The Only Boy in Town
8. The Machine in Your Hand
9. Goin’ Back to the Country
10. I’ve Run Away to Join the Fairies
11. The Horrible Party
12. My Husband’s Pied-a-Terre
13. I Don’t Like Your Tone
15. All She Cares About Is Mariachi
The Magnetic Fields on tour:
Mar 6 Hudson, NY Helsinki Hudson
Mar 7 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
Mar 11 Minehead, UK All Tomorrow’s Parties
Mar 14, 15, 16 Austin, TX SXSW
Mar 18 Vancouver, BC The Vogue
Mar 19 Seattle, WA Neptune Theater
Mar 20 Seattle, WA Neptune Theater
Mar 21 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
Mar 23 Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theater
Mar 24 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
Mar 26 Chicago, IL Vic Theater
Mar 27 Chicago, IL Vic Theater
Mar 28 Iowa City, IA Englert Theater
Mar 30 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
Mar 31 Montreal, QC Le National
Apr 3 New York, NY Beacon Theater
Apr 6 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center
Apr 7 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center
Apr 9 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
Apr 11 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
Apr 12 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
Apr 14 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
Apr 24 Brighton, UK Komedia
Apr 25 London, UK Royal Festival Hall
Apr 27 Manchester, UK RNCM
Apr 28 Dublin, IR Olympia
Apr 29 Cork, IR Opera House
May 1 Porto, PT TBA
May 2 Lisbon, PT TBA
May 9 Oslo, NO Rockefeller
May 11 Gothenburg, SE Annedalskyrkan
May 12 Stockholm, SE Filadelfiakyrkan
May 14 Berlin, DE Passionskirche
May 15 Hamburg, DE Kampnagel k6
May 16 Amsterdam, NL De Duif
Wild Flag on Letterman tonight!
Set your DV-Rs for the television debut of Wild Flag! The band will perform on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight, December 13. Check your local listing for airings in your city. On January 6, the band will ring in the new year with an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon! Don't miss these two special performances by one of the year's best new bands.
The band recently stopped by Sound Opinions and offered up a new song, called "Nothing." You can watch the band play the set live at the WBEZ studios.
Wild Flag have also announced new tour dates for spring of 2012! Get your tickets early!
Wild Flag is available on CD, LP and digital download now in the Merge store.
Wild Flag on tour:
Mar 30 New Haven, CT Toads Place
Mar 31 Boston, MA Paradise
Apr 01 New York, NY Webster Hall
Apr 02 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
Apr 03 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero
Apr 05 Chicago, IL Metro
Apr 18 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Imperial Teen return with Feel the Sound in January
Imperial Teen will return to the Merge active column with their new album, Feel the Sound on January 31!
Like the sharpest pop music, Feel the Sound gets you to keep coming back for more, but unlike so much music today, it rewards you for doing so, giving you the experience of a fulfilled and yet still yearning, lively potential, one that will be further realized when the songs are performed live. From the exhilarating, propulsive “Runaway,” which features the entire band on lead vocals (how many other groups can make that claim?), to the expansive final statement of “Overtaken,” Roddy Bottum, Lynn Perko Truell, Will Schwartz, and Jone Stebbins feel the sound themselves and, in turn, make the listener feel it in ways immediate and pleasurable but also lasting and haunting.
So many bands lose momentum and focus over time, but a little past its sweet sixteenth year of existence, Imperial Teen somehow grows both younger and wiser, connecting four characterful lives through creative friendship and deep trust, and forging a communal power that continues to grow stronger. Feel the sound of a one-of-a-kind group that’s never sounded more like itself.
Listen to “Runaway” from Feel the Sound now!
Imperial Teen will play the Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco on February 24 at Café Du Nord! Tickets are on sale now.
Pre-order Feel the Sound now on CD or LP in the Merge store and receive a poster and a limited-edition key-chain earplug case while supplies last. Don’t forget . . . the Merge Holiday Code works on pre-orders, too!
Follow Imperial Teen at twitter, Facebook and at their official website, ImperialTeen.com.
2. No Matter What You Say
3. Last to Know
4. Over His Head
5. Hanging About
6. All the Same
7. Don’t Know How You Do It
8. Out From Inside
9. The Hibernates
10. It’s You
Lambchop to release Mr. M in February
Merge Records will release Lambchop‘s Mr. M on February 21.
It’s been nearly two decades since Lambchop released its first album, at the time pronouncing itself “Nashville’s most fucked-up country band.” Provocative it may have been, but the description made sense: at the heart of all that ruckus was a band at once defying and embracing the musical legacy of its hometown. Since then, Lambchop has evolved into an accomplished ensemble, adding palpable depth and substance to singer-songwriter-guitarist Kurt Wagner’s songs–and the band sounds as commanding as ever on its 11th album, Mr. M, a collection of meditations on love and loss and the detritus of everyday existence.
Recorded at Mark Nevers’s Nashville Beech House studio cum bungalow and dedicated to Vic Chesnutt, Mr. M includes the usual core of musicians- Scott Martin (drums), Matt Swanson (bass), Ryan Norris (guitar, organ), Tony Crow (piano), William Tyler (guitar) and guests include original co-founder Jonathan Marx, delightful Cortney Tidwell (who shared vocals on 2010’s KORT project) and fiddler Billy Contreras (who has worked with all from Charlie Louvin to Laura Cantrell) – and with spectacular string arrangements shared between Peter Stopschinski and Mason Neely, it stretches out sonically as promised. (Incidentally the paintings, thickly layered black and white portraits forming a series called Beautillion Millitaire 2000, feature on the album sleeve and throughout the full artwork).
The core of the music remains the cyclical picking of Wagner’s guitar and the soft, warm croaking of his voice. The songs are spacious, even dreamy, as on the Countrypolitan instrumental “Gar,” while the lyrics and titles are rich with allusions, some of them obvious, others seemingly unknowable.
Listen to the first track “If Not I’ll Just Die” and pre-order Mr. M on CD or LP now in the Merge store. While supplies last, preorders will include a poster (the first 150 of which will be signed!) featuring the album’s cover art, an original painting by Kurt Wagner. Don’t forget . . . the Merge Holiday Code works on pre-orders, too!
She & Him on Ellen and at Starbucks
The She & Him band recently performed a few songs from their instant holiday classic, A Very She & Him Christmas! The full She & Him band played “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Matt & Zooey performed “The Christmas Waltz” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. You can watch the fireside performance at Hulu!
Fans who order A Very She & Him Christmas on CD or red vinyl LP in the Merge store have the option of ordering the album with a knitted She & Him holiday hat. Physical orders will include exclusive She & Him wrapping paper, while supplies last.
Through sales of the album, She & Him have raised over $10,000 so far for 826National! Every copy sold of A Very She & Him Christmas benefits 826National, so buy a copy for yourself & give one as a gift.
Also, congratulations to Zooey on her Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media for her song “So Long” from Winnie the Pooh which was performed by Zooey and M. Ward.
Presenting our free Winter Sampler & a reminder that the Merge Holiday Store is open through January 2
Stream and download the new Merge 2011-2012 free Winter Sampler now.
We have put together a collection of songs from late 2011 and a few glimpses of what is to come in 2012. Available as a stream and a download, our winter sampler will help you catch up on releases you might have missed, and alert you to what you should be pre-ordering now.
Merge 2011-2012 Winter Sampler
Hospitality – “Betty Wang”
Richard Buckner – “Traitor”
Lambchop – “Gone Tomorrow”
Crooked Fingers – “Bad Blood”
Superchunk – “Driveway to Driveway”
The Mountain Goats – “Estate Sale Sign”
Eleanor Friedberger – “My Mistakes”
Imperial Teen – “Runaway”
Archers of Loaf – “Harnessed In Slums”
Wild Flag – “Romance”
Stephin Merritt – “Rot in the Sun”
The Rosebuds – “Go Ahead”
We have also included streams of songs from our two holiday albums: Julian Koster‘s The Singing Saw at Christmastime and She & Him‘s A Very She & Him Christmas.
Enjoy our new sampler and visit the Merge Holiday store for more from all of these artists!
All Merge holiday bundles and sale items are in effect until January 2, so spend some of that hard-earned holiday cash by making your own 2011 bundle at our “Bundle Up” page or filling in those pesky holes in your Merge artist collections.
Click to view a special holiday coupon for 10% off all orders over $50–CDs, LPs, digital downloads, and Merge gear! Also, all orders of $150 or more will receive a free Merge tote bag designed by Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner with help from Vic Chesnutt.
Don’t forget . . . the Merge Holiday Code works on pre-orders, too!
Also, all orders placed after 10 a.m. on December 21 will not ship until January 6, 2012.
Archers of Loaf Vee Vee reissue scheduled for February
On February 21, Merge will reissue Archers of Loaf’s sophomore release, Vee Vee, on dbl-CD, LP and digital download.
Remastered by Bob Weston and featuring new liner notes by MAGNET magazine editor Eric Miller, physical copies of Vee Vee will include sixteen bonus tracks and new cover art re-imagined by graphic artist Jay Ryan. Reissues of All the Nation’s Airports and White Trash Heroes will follow later in 2012.
The first full-length produced by Bob Weston, Vee Vee was a slight departure from the previous bombastic noisepop that characterized Archers of Loaf’s previous work, and it proved that the band wasn’t just a flash in the pan. The album became their best-selling album to date and landed them on the covers of most fanzines and at the top of college radio charts across the country. “Harnessed in Slums” and “Greatest of All Time” became anthems of the underground and led to successful tours with the Flaming Lips and Weezer.
Listen to “Harnessed in Slums” from Vee Vee below and watch Eric Bachmann’s “One Track Mind” episode on The AV Club to hear the story behind “Web in Front.”
Archers of Loaf have announced an appearance at the Noise Pop Festival in February and the Primavera Festival in Spain May 30-June 3. They intend to perform a wider variety of songs on limited dates throughout the end of 2012.
Pre-order Vee Vee on dbl-CD or limited-edition mossy green LP now in the Merge store and receive an email download of the remastered original album. Also available in the Merge store are limited-edition “Team Loaf” pennants re-created from the original design. Don’t forget . . . the Merge Holiday Code works on pre-orders, too!
Vee Vee track listing:
Disc 1 -
1. Step into the Light
2. Harnessed in Slums
3. Nevermind the Enemy
4. Greatest of All Time
5. Underdogs of Nipomo
6. Floating Friends
10 Let the Loser Melt
11. Death in the Park
12. The Worst Has Yet to Come
13. Underachievers March and Fight Song
Disc 2 -
1. Harnessed in Slums ’95 (Bob Weston Radio Mix, 1995)
2. Telepathic Traffic (“Harnessed in Slums” single, Alias, 1995)
3. Don’t Believe the Good News (“Harnessed in Slums” single, Alias, 1995)
4. Smoking Pot in the Hot City (7” single, Esther, 1995)
5. Mutes in the Steeple (7” single, Esther, 1995)
6. Mark Price P.I. (out of print)
7. Bacteria (The Speed of Cattle, Alias, 1996)
8. Equinox (unreleased) (J. Coltrane)
9. (Big Joe and) Phantom 309 (out of print) (T. Faile)
10. 1985 (Marathon Boombox Demo)
11. Fabricoh (Marathon Boombox Demo)
12. Nostalgia (Marathon Boombox Demo)
13. Let the Loser Melt (Vee Vee 4-Track Demo)
14. Underdogs of Nipomo (Vee Vee 4-Track Demo)
15. Nevermind the Enemy (Vee Vee 4-Track Demo)
16. Don’t Believe the Good News (Vee Vee 4-Track Demo)
Hospitality announce 2012 tour dates
Hospitality will release their self-titled Merge debut on January 31 and have announced their album release show in Brooklyn on February 3 as well as a few warm-up dates in January.
Hospitality the album has an overarching vision and should be listened to as a whole, though every song registers as a single. “Friends of Friends” could break the Hot 100 with its heavy intro, swingin’ breakdown, and horn riffs; “Betty Wang,” the lynchpin of their live set a few years back, is impossibly catchy, the story of one of singer-songwriter Amber Papini’s real-life colleagues at a financial day job; and “The Right Profession” is a power-pop burst of an anthem with Papini chanting the immortal line, “It’s hard to change!” (Isn’t it?) And “The Birthday,” with a sinuous, dissonant lead guitar, the lockstep rhythm of the drums, and Brian Betancourt’s nimble bass, wouldn’t be out of place on The Police’s debut record, but its epic coda makes it decidedly CinemaScope.
And after patiently honing its craft, playing concerts (and gaining converts), Hospitality has reached what will be its first apex with many more heights to come; from their modest debut in a Red Hook row house, the band has evolved from four-track low-fidelity to a luxury five-star future.
Hospitality are Nathan Michel, Brian Betancourt and Amber Papini. Pre-order Hospitality on CD or LP now in the Merge store to receive via e-mail Hospitality’s 6-song EP from 2008, which was recorded in their Red Hook apartment by Karl Blau on a 4-track recorder. Don’t forget . . . the Merge Holiday Code works on pre-orders, too!
Hospitality on tour:
Jan 11 Toronto, ON Horseshoe
Jan 12 Detroit, MI PJ’s Lager House
Jan 14 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall (Tomorrow Never Knows)
Jan 16 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
Jan 17 Pittsburgh, PA Brillobox
Feb 03 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands Gallery (Record Release Show)
The Mountain Goats announce 2012 tour dates
The Mountain Goats have announced new tour dates beginning January 19 in Austin, TX.
The Mountain Goats have been keeping busy since their summer tour in support of their Merge debut All Eternals Deck. They have shared the stage with John Hodgman, Roseanne Cash, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, Eugene Mirman, and others at various “variety” shows. The Mountain Goats will close out 2011 with a couple of solo sets for charity, and then they will get right back to work.
In addition to the new tour dates visiting parts of the south they missed in 2011, the Mountain Goats will perform two special shows with Anonymous 4, appear at the 35 Denton Festival, and join “The Music of the Rolling Stones” at Carnegie Hall in March.
SPIN praised the Mountain Goats’ frontman John Darnielle as “indie rock’s greatest lyricist” on the cover of their April issue, while Rolling Stone touted him as an “ace word-slinger.”
All Eternals Deck is available on CD, LP, and digital download in the Merge store.
The Mountain Goats can be found on Facebook, twitter and at mountain-goats.com.
The Mountain Goats on tour:
* = w/ Nurses
Dec 16 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour Invisible Children Holiday Benefit show
Jan 19 Austin, TX – Antone’s*
Jan 20 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s*
Jan 21 New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s*
Jan 23 Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder*
Jan 24 Orlando, FL – The Social*
Jan 25 Tampa, FL – Crowbar*
Jan 27 St. Augustine, FL – The Original Cafe Eleven*
Jan 28 Atlanta, GA – The Earl*
Jan 30 Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club*
Jan 31 Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre*
Feb 02 Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle*
Feb 04 Saxapahaw, NC – The Haw River Ballroom*
Mar 09 Denton, TX – 35 Denton Festival*
Mar 13 New York, NY – Carnegie Hall: “The Music of the Rolling Stones: Hot Rocks 1964–1971”
Mar 24 New York, NY – Ecstatic Music Festival w/ Anonymous 4
Apr 02 London, UK – The Barbican w/ Anonymous 4
Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs Deluxe Edition nominated for a Grammy
For the 1-year anniversary of the release of Arcade Fire’s epic, 2011 Album of the Year Grammy-winning album The Suburbs, Merge released The Suburbs Deluxe Edition. Congratulations to Arcade Fire and art director Caroline Robert on their 2012 Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package.
The Suburbs Deluxe includes:
* CD: The Suburbs album, including an extended version of “Wasted Hours” and two non-album tracks “Speaking In Tongues” feat. David Byrne and “Culture War.”
* DVD: Scenes From The Suburbs (30 minutes), a behind the scenes documentary and the official video for The Suburbs’ title track.
* An 80-page booklet featuring stills from the film, behind the scenes photographs from the film’s production, and lyrics.
See an image here
Arcade Fire’s 2011 Album of the Year Grammy-winning album The Suburbs and the 2012 Grammy nominee for Best Recording Packaging The Suburbs Deluxe Edition are available now in the Merge store.