Hear New Olivia Tremor Control Tracks and a Full Show from their Reunion Tour with Memory Tapes

The Olivia Tremor Control released two of the coolest albums of the ’90s…
                 …then more-or-less vanished for a full decade.

In October 2010 they reappeared with their first new work since 2000, “North Term Reality” – a noise track for AUX Vol. 2. It wasn’t a full return to form though – “North Term Reality” isn’t even really a song – but it suited the nature of the compilation and its limited release (only 250 copies, each with hand-printed silkscreen on archival paper).

In August 2011 they made their proper studio comeback, releasing their first true song since the innocence of the Bill-Clinton-was-prez-good-ol’-yesteryear – “The Game You Play Is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3”. The release synched with the start of their reunion tour – which also prefaces a glorious upcoming reissue project of their ’90s classics.

Hear both of the aforementioned tracks in the video above – first “The Game You Play Is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3” at the start, and then “North Term Reality” at 5:17 – and buy the former at Secretly Canadian or iTunes.

Limited edition (1000 copies) vinyl reissues of Olivia Tremor Control’s Music From the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle (1996) and Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol 1. (1999) will drop on November 15.  Both  records come with download cards featuring B-sides and previously unreleased tracks.

Dusk was originally released with a bonus CD of ambient environmental sounds called Explanation II: Instrumental Themes and Dream Sequences.  Listen to excerpts from this disc in the video above – but be forewarned it doesn’t exactly sound like the CD: for some reason, the audio was distorted in the process of uploading to YouTube… but it’s close enough to give a general impression of the disc).

It has long been rumored that the band intended Explanation II to be played at the same time as Dusk – on two separate CD players.  When I found this out a few years after its release – by which time they were all sold out – it took me over a year to find a reasonably priced copy of Explanations on eBay.  When I finally got my hands (and ears) on a copy, I noticed that unlike The Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka the two CDs were completely independent – they don’t even have the same running times let alone number of tracks…  not even close.  Still, the idea was intriguing and a few years ago I had an oppurtunity to ask Olivia co-leader Bill Doss if the myth was true (after a show he played with Apples in Stereo).  He sort of laughed at me, then smirked, “you can play any two CDs at the same time…”

In any case, UK single “The Opera House” b-side “Black Swan Network” – which was issued in two mixes, “Capillary Radar” and “Enveloping Bicycle Folds” – certainly was designed to be played on two systems simultaneously.  The download card that comes with the reissues in November includes the entire Explanation II: Instrumental Themes and Dream Sequences plus both “Black Swan Network” mixes – so you can try the quadrophonic effect yourself.  The download card also includes “Jumping Fences” b-sides (“Optical Atlas”, “Language of Stationary Travelers”, “Green Typewriters” and two cuts from the 1998 Beach Boy tribute Smiling Pets in Japan (Do You Like Worms?, Little Pad).  The Black Foliage download card tracklist is at the bottom of this page:


Another Elephant 6 band has recently reunited as well, The Music Tapes.  In fact the latter’s mainmain Julian Koster is also a member of Olivia.  Both bands are currently touring together (tour dates at bottom) and on September 21st they made a stop at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, webcast by NPRIf you didn’t manage to catch that stream (or attend in person), you missed a joyous affair that balanced the band’s wonderfully Beatlesque songcraft with noisy asides – all delivered with unbridled energy.  But worry not – the show is streaming in its entirety at NPR Music.  The site also reports that, “Some in attendance were hoping for a surprise appearance by elusive Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum, an early member of The Olivia Tremor Control when the band first formed in Athens, Ga., in 1994. While Mangum did show up for the concert, it was as a fan, not a performer.”

Olivia Tremor Control Sept 21st Setlist
A Peculiar Noise Called “Train Director”
I’m Not Feeling Human
Memories of Jacqueline 1906/The Giant Day (Dusk)
Define a Transparent Dream
A Place We Have Been To
The Game You Play Is In Your Head, Parts 1,2, & 3
Jumping Fences
Grass Canons
California Demise 3
Green Typewriters (suite)
Paranormal Echoes
I Have Been Floated
Marking Time
A Sleepy Company
The Sylvan Screen

Holiday Surprise 1, 2, &3
The Opera House

Olivia Tremor Control/ Memory Tapes Comeback Tour
08.31.11 – Austin, TX – Mohawk *
09.03.11 – Los Angeles, CA – FYF Fest
09.05.11 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall*
09.08.11 – Seattle, WA – Vera Project *
09.09.11 – Portland, OR – (MFNW) Someday Lounge *
09.12.11 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theatre *
09.13.11 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge *
09.14.11 – Columbus, OH – Wexner Center *
09.15.11 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Warhol at New Hazlett Theatre *
09.16.11 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace*
09.17.11 – Montreal, QC – Il Motore *
09.19.11 – Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall *
09.21.11 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge *
09.23.11 – Philadelphia, PA – UPENN Rotunda *
09.24.11 – Durham, NC – The Casbah *
10.11-15.11 – Athens, GA – Athens PopFest
11.25.11 – Madrid, Spain – Primavera Club
11.26.11 – Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Club
11.28.11 – Toulouse, France – La Dynamo
12.2-4.11 – Minehead, UK – ATP Festival

* with The Music Tapes

Dusk at Cubist Reissue Bonus Card:
The Sky Is a Harpsichord Canvas [full version] 
Beaker and Avalanche, Part 1
Beaker and Avalanche, Part 2

-B-sides to the 1998 UK single “Hideaway”
Combinations (live at GLR Radio) 
Can You Come Down With Us? (live at GLR Radio)

-Unreleased live session
A Sleepy Company (live at GLR Radio 1998)

-Compilation rarities
Outside Explorations, Pt. 3 from More Music, Less Parking: WFMU Live from New Jersey (2000 compilation)
European Son from Rabid Chords 002: Tribute to the Velvet Underground (2000 compilation)
Glass Beard from Keep Left: David Barsamian (Alternative Radio), Vol. 1 (2000 compilation)

-Live on NPR
California Demise
Grass Canons
Can You Come Down With Us?
A Peculiar Noise Called ‘Train Director’

7″ Black Swan Network (2000)
Grains and Sauces/Ice and Rings/Aqua Waters (and a Pear Shaped Thought) 
The Present Time/Seven Thousand Luminous Aches and Pains/The Dinner Plate

Follow more psych explorations at twitter/FutureHeartDay

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