Slint’s Spiderland to Be Reissued as Mega-Deluxe Box Set

Slint’s landmark Spiderland, now 23 years old, will be reissued as a deluxe box set by Touch and Go in April.

No other band was as largely overlooked during its relatively brief lifespan as Slint, which posthumously became one of the most influential and far-reaching bands to emerge from the American underground the 1980s. The band broke up before the release of its magnum opus Spiderland, and couldn’t reap the rewards of its legacy: Innovative and iconoclastic, the group’s deft, extremist manipulations of volume, tempo and structure cast them as clear (though unwitting) progenitors of the post-rock movement that blossomed in the decades to come.

The box set includes the album, remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston and pressed on 180 gram vinyl, plus 14 previously unreleased demos, outtakes and live cuts. (The box set comes with a CD of all of the above, too.)

The box set also comes with a 104-page book replete with never-before-seen photos documenting Slint’s entire history, as well as lyrics to the songs on Spiderland and a forward by Will Oldham. (Most of Slint’s members spent at least a little time in Oldham’s Palace Music project, and Oldham took the album’s famous cover photo.) There’s also the brand-new, 90-minute documentary Breadcrumb Trail documentary about Slint and the making of Spiderland; it’s directed by Lance Bangs.

There are only 3,138 copies available, and a limited number of pre-ordered box sets will be signed by all four members of Slint. Pre-orders also include a T-shirt created from the re-discovered silk screen used to print Slint’s one and only tour shirt.

You can pre-order the box set here, and the tracklisting is below.

SIDE A
breadcrumb trail (remastered)
nosferatu man (remastered)
don, aman (remastered)

SIDE B
washer (remastered)
for dinner… (remastered)
good morning, captain (remastered)

SIDE C
Nosferatu Man (basement practice)
Washer (basement practice)
Good Morning, Captain (demo)

SIDE D
Pam (rough mix, Spiderland outtake)
Glenn (Spiderland outtake)
Todd’s Song (post-Spiderland song in progress)

SIDE E
Brian’s Song (post-Spiderland demo)
Cortez The Killer (live Chicago 1989)

SIDE F
Washer (4 track vocal demo)
Nosferatu Man (4 track vocal demo)
Pam (4 track vocal demo)
Good Morning, Captain (Evanston riff tape)
Nosferatu Man (Evanston riff tape)
Pam (Evanston riff tape)

Prince is Crazy, Contradicts Himself, Previews New 3rdEyeGirl Song

To paraphrase Walt Whitman: Does Prince contradict himself? Very well, then. He is large, and he contains multitudes.

Earlier today, The New York Times reported that two weeks ago Prince Rogers Nelson filed a lawsuit — well, his lawyers did on his behalf, anyway — against 22 bootleggers who allegedly posted unauthorized recordings of his concerts to peer-to-peer sharing sites and their Facebook pages. The timestamp on the most recent update to the Times story reads 4:11 p.m. EST. (Oh, and

But not more than three hours later, The Purple One changed his mind, TMZ reported.

Oh, yeah, he also dropped a teaser of “PRETZELBODYLOGIC,” a song from his 3rd Eye Girl collaboration with Donna Grantis, Hannah Ford and Ida Neilsen. You can hear the 30-second clip above.

The lesson, as always: Prince moves in mysterious ways.

Phife Writes “#dearDILLA” Letter

February would have been a big month for James Dewitt Yancey, better known as die uberproducer J Dilla, this year, were he alive.

February marks both Dilla’s birthday — he’d have been 40 on Feb. 7 — and  release date of his magnum opus Donuts, released shortly after his untimely death in 2006. Since 2007, hip-hop heads have marked Dilla’s memory with loving tributes held for worldwide. (The Charleston-based Dillamental live instrumental tribute, hosts shows in Charleston and Raleigh in early February.) And emcees have continued to uses Dilla’s beats and evoke his name, furthering his already significant legacy.

One of the best tributes this year, though, comes from one of Dilla’s former collaborators: Rapper Phife Dawg, erstwhile of A Tribe Called Quest. “#dearDILLA” is both touching — it opens with a soliloquy from Phife about a dream he had about sharing a hospital room with Dilla (Phife has well documented health struggles himself) — and head-nodding, Phife spitting over a jazzier rendition of Dilla’s “Hold Tight” beat from Slum Village‘s Fantastic, Vol. 2.

“Jay Dee, flip another beat for me,” Phife chants, almost like a mantra, in the chorus. Would that he could.

Listen to Beck’s Beautifully Bummed-Out “Blue Moon”

Beck-Morning-Phase

I always thought Mutations was Beck’s most underappreciated record. My favorite of its many nifty tricks is how it sounds simple upon the first listen, then reveals more psychedelic layers upon each play.

I’ve listened to “Blue Moon,” the first single from Beck’s upcoming Morning Phase, his first studio album since 2008’s Modern Guilt, probably six times straight now, and I’m similarly noticing new depths. The gentle flange of the pointillist electric guitar line in the bridge. The unhurried ease of the muted tom rolls. The cavernous reverb that extends Beck’s doleful vocal melody spaceward. The slight out-of-phase doubling of the acoustic guitars. The variegated acoustic backing instruments. The smear of the delayed signal on those first few electric guitar notes (which sounds like a Strymon TimeLine in action, to me).

All this is to say, “Blue Moon” is sad and beautiful and you should listen to it. I’m getting a strong Mutations vibe from “Blue Moon.” A Sea Change vibe, at least. Moreover, I’m actually kind of excited about a Beck record for the first time since, well, Mutations.

Morning Phase is out on Capitol on Feb. 25.

Merge Plans Summer Festival Commemorating 25th Anniversary

Beloved and seminal North Carolina indie rock label Merge Records — home to such historically important indie rock bands as Archers of Loaf and Polvo and current chart-toppers Arcade Fire — celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and Merge is throwing one hell of a yearlong party.

There’s the Or Thousands of Prizes subscription series, which will include 12 seven-inches (split singles, mostly) on colored vinyl featuring exclusive, newly recorded tracks from 25 Merge artists including Superchunk, Mikal Cronin, Mount Moriah and The Mountain Goats. Then there’s the Merge 25k Road Race, a 15.5-mile run from Merge’s old home in Chapel Hill to its new home in beautiful downtown Durham. Along the way, Merge will release re-packaged back catalog favorites each month — Lambchop’s Nixon and Superchunk’s Indoor Living are the first two to have been announced.

But the jewel in Merge’s birthday crown is the midsummer festival Merge is throwing in Carrboro. (Spin broke the news yesterday.) No details on the festival are available yet, save for July 23-26 dates, but it’d be a fair wager to bet that the lineup will be packed with bands from Merge’s exemplary stable. Plus, label co-head Mac McCaughan teases the festival will have a “Mountain Goats-Mount Moriah Misty Mountain Magic Misting Tent” and a “Lambchop Petting Zoo.”

Man, I’d pay good money to see a Mountain Goats-Mount Moriah split set. And a Bob Mould-Richard Buckner back-to-back would kill. Or maybe an Arcade Fire-Superchunk double headliner. Maybe I can finally see Archers of Loaf. OK, I’m salivating now.

Speaking of: Man, Laura Ballance can spit really far.

Logan K. Young’s Top Albums of 2013

Logan K. Young is the Editor in Chief at Classicalite.com.

ALBUMS:
Body/Head, Coming Apart (Matador)

Lonnie Holley, Keeping a Record of It (Dust to Digital)
Because Oxford American needs to see him.

Wolf Eyes, No Answer: Lower Floors (De Stijl)

Richard Youngs, Summer Through My Mind (Ba Da Bing!)
Because Ba Da Bing! captured him at his prolific best.

R. Kelly, Black Panties (RCA)

Jace Clayton, The Julius Eastman Memory Depot (New Amsterdam)
Because Eastman isn’t just a school in Rochester.

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Shadow Man (ECM)

Byron Coley, Dating Tips for Touring Bands (Hot Cars Warp)
Because you should at least hear the one about Don Rickles and Giuliani.

My Bloody Valentine, m b v (m b v)

The Dead C, Armed Courage (Ba Da Bing!)
Because, really, it’s been a while.

SINGLES:
Phosphorescent, “Song for Zula” (Dead Oceans)
Antwon, “Dying in the Pussy” (Suicide Squeeze)
Benjamin Clementine, “Nemesis” (Later…with Jools Holland)
David Bowie, “Where Are We Now?” (Columbia)
Jennette McCurdy, “Wrecking Ball” (YouTube)

Jaap Blonk, “The Prime Minister I” (Plant Migration)
Hair Police, “Mercurial Rites” (Type)
Daft Punk, “Get Lucky” (Columbia)
Jennifer Walshe, “In a Way, It’s All New Age Music” (THMOTES)
Parquet Courts, “Stoned and Starving” (What’s Your Rupture?)