Welcome to a new weekly column on Biff Bam Pop, “Pump Up The Jam,” in which I take you through some of my musical highlights of the week, including music news, new releases, and other things you might have missed.
Fans of both The Venture Bros. and JG Thirlwell have been clamoring for a second volume of the prolific composer’s work for the Adult Swim series and this month, they’ve been rewarded. The Venture Bros. Volume Two soundtrack release features more of Thirlwell’s singular style which at this point, is as much of a character on The Venture Bros. as Rusty, Brock, Hank, and Dean (and my personal fave, Billy Quizboy). The CD version contains 16 tracks while the vinyl version has 13, but there is absolutely no reason why you can’t buy both, right? You can purchase the album from the Foetus Shoppe on Thirlwell’s website and from brick and mortar retailers (distributed by Virtual through Sony Red).
Toronto’s Odonis Odonis is a difficult band to describe, but that’s part of what makes them so great. Their newest full length, the excellent Post Plague, is out today from Telephone Explosion and the band will be playing a record release party at Toronto’s The Velvet Underground on June 24 before embarking upon a US West Coast and European tour (ooh la la!). Visit the band’s Facebook page for more info.
And be sure to check out the official album stream and become a Post Plague victim.
Speaking of tours and new music, everyone’s favorite Swedish Satanic Majesties, Ghost, will be touring the US and Canada again and tickets go on sale today. Do these guys and ghouls ever stop to take a break? Apparently not: according the band’s Facebook page, “select shows will include a digital download of new music that will be made available the day their Fall rituals begin.” These Fall rituals have been titled the “Popestar Tour” and there is, as usual, some gorgeous and clever artwork to accompany the announcement.
The tour kicks off on June 18 with a date in Belgium at the Graspop Metal Meeting and includes stops at the infamous Roskilde Festival, Lollapalooza, and more. The band takes a break in August but comes back in September, hitting Toronto at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on November 9. For a full list of tour dates, check the band’s website.
Atlanta’s power trio Whores, are playing the Aftershock Festival in October but will also be entering the studio soon to record a follow up to 2013’s Clean, which is due out in the fall. In the meantime, you can check out Clean on the band’s Bandcamp page.
Longtime Toronto live music fans will be familiar with Queen West club The Rivoli, which relaunched June 14 under new ownership, three women all under the age of 35: entrepreneurs Jenna Wood (29), Jessica McHardy (31), and Sarah Henning (31). Well-known for the restaurant in the club, The relaunch of the Rivoli boasts a new menu from Chef Jessica McHardy (including some old favorites) plus a slew of Toronto-themed cocktails, and best of all: brunch is back on Saturdays and Sundays!
When I heard that L.A. (by way of Chicago) singer and songwriter Cerise was influenced by Siouxsie and the Banshees and Bauhaus, I became interested. After hearing the title track from her upcoming self-released album Smoke Screen Dreams, I was impressed. Check it out.
Taking their name from what is, in my opinion, in the top five best Bauhaus tunes, Dark Entries always delivers quality music. Four summer singles are out from the label on June 28 and you can check out samples of them on Soundcloud. From contemporary bands like Barcelona’s Cute Heels to late ‘70s/early ‘80s French duo Space Art, to early ‘80s German group Axodry, to mid-‘80s DJ duo Series-A, there is something for every kind of taste, as long as your taste runs towards weird, post-punk electronic music, which is a pretty wide spectrum!
For current electronic weirdness, Cube’s “Safe Word” is definitely worth your time. Cube is an experimental electronic music project from Adam Keith of Oakland, California and you can listen to “Safe Word” on Soundcloud. Left Hand Path is a new label that “seeks to represent the aesthetics and atmosphere of the underground culture that has long been an integral part of Bay Area music, and contextualize it amongst the contemporary global musical currents influenced by it.”
And finally, after the disturbing rape allegations that musician Larkin Grimm has made against Swans’ Michael Gira, there’s more troubling news of rampant misogyny in music. Noisey has an interview with Hether Fortune (Wax Idols) and Kristina Esfandiari (King Woman) who recently cut short their tour with doom metal legends Pentagram because they claim that not only were their contract and payment terms not honored, but because Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling was a sexually harassing dirtbag. Yuck.