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See the Amazing Angel Olsen This Thursday at Zanzabar

Angel Olsen at Cropped Out 2011

I’m continuously figuring out how Angel Olsen exists. She’s a soul completely out of time, a pre-rock and roll voice with a sharp modern wit. Her albums are completely appropriate for the ol’ phonograph machine. She’s the best, which you already know if you caught her with The Cairo Gang’s Emmitt Kelly at Cropped Out 2011. Since then, she dropped Half Way Home on Bathetic Records to deafening critical elation. She returns to town to hit up the mighty Zanzabar this Thursday, and boy would The Decibel Tolls like to send you to the show for free. To grab a pair of tickets, leave a comment below (or hit us up at Facebook or Twitter) with a cool video or Vine. I need somethin’ new to laugh at or be fascinated about or be weirded out at. Best one gets the tickets.

Winner will be picked and notified by Thursday at noon.

For you non-winnin’ chumps, here’s the info:

Angel Olsen with William Tyler
Thursday, August 22nd
Zanzabar, Louisville
8 p.m. / 21+ / $10 adv, $12 doors


Cropped Out 2013 Ropes in Lambchop, Mayo Thompson, Wolf Eyes, and More!


Back for its fourth year, the country’s most determinedly anti-commercial, DIY, how-does-this-thing-even-exist festival returns this September. Cropped Out Fest 2013, just like the previous three, packs some serious surprises – the aerodynamic Lambchop, legendary Red Krayola freak folker Mayo Thompson, legendary Louisville punk outfit The Endtables, feel good noise purveyors Wolf Eyes, and a slew of familiar touring names – Blues Control, Endless Boogie, Bill Orcutt (this time with drummer Chris Corsano), and of course, the weirdest sonic bullshit from the city and region.

Just like last year, Cropped Out returns on the last weekend of September at our absolutely favorite blue collar country club on the muddy banks of the Ohio – American Turners, as well as a special closing party at the Workhorse Ballroom on Sunday (a.k.a. the cave where Bill Callahan and Dave Pajo played). Go on and get your tickets now, because if history repeats itself, more insanity will be added throughout the summer.

From the homies Ryan and James:

What our festival intends to define is a renewed sense of enthusiasm about Kentucky’s cultural offerings by pairing some of our favorites from the Bluegrass State with similarly progressive and expressive examples from alternate alleys of the world. The result? Well, one wild, wonderful weekend on the Ohio River, filled with food trucks, cheap drinks, vinyl vendors, art installations, merchant booths, tattoo artists, live magic, horseshoes, an idyllic backdrop of birds, boats, and barges, all while witnessing one-of-a-kind, intimate performances from artists like Jandek, Scratch Acid, Neil Hamburger, Lil B, Pissed Jeans, Merchandise, Angel Olsen, Papa M, & more.

Cropped Out exists solely as a celebration of contemporary musicians, artists, and artisans whom we feel reflect a greater undercurrent of sonic, visual, and conceptual exploration. These are the minds most interesting to us, the minds most capable of emerging from and quickly returning to their lightlessness, if only to be briefly met by a niche appreciation. We’re the ones who are listening. We’ll be waiting on the boat dock with open beers, open ears, and open arms. Now you know where to find us.

All Cropped Out 2012 Coverage
[SXSW] The Endtables – Barbarella, Austin – 3.18.11 March 27, 2011

[Contest] Death Grips and Rat King this Friday at Headliners Music Hall!

Folks, this is one for the books, one of the can’t miss live jams of the summer.

Death Grips has kept both the heads and the backpackers captivated since 2011’s brutal Ex-Militia mixtape, and concocted the type of cerebrally terrifying hip-hop that prodigiously soundtracks putting a hit out on someone. Even Swiffering your kitchen floor while listening to The Money Store makes you feel kinda seedy. Since then, mic destroyer Stefan Burnett and the percussion shredder of Lightning Bolt’s most formidable opponent Hella, Zach Hill, have continued to brilliantly meld punk, noise, and hip-hop that evokes Dalek at their most paranoid and volatile. The duo is touring in support of No Love Deep Web, which the band self-released on a whim to dick over their label. Speaking of dicks, the album art features a big ol’ fat fuckin’ dong, and earlier this year when I was listening to it on my iPhone in the car, I walked into Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up a wedding gift, and placed my phone on the counter while talking to the registry lady forgetting that I had a giant fucking dong on my screen. So, thanks Death Grips for that amazingly awkward few minutes. Can’t wait to see this show.

New York soothsayers Rat King are one of XL’s latest acquisitions, and with good reason. Much like Death Grips, Rat King explodes out of hip-hop’s previously constructed boundaries, harnessing the unbridled urgency of classic hardcore and anchoring it with hyperactive east coast beats, peppered with an impressive ear for off-kilter hooks. The strength of Ratking’s debut, Wiki93, got the group an invitation to Pitchfork Festival Paris and some always helpful ink from The New York Times. The latter’s almost kinda surprising since Ratking’s chaotic, gritty, jarring take on the rhyme scheme is not for the faint of heart – but a solid complement for traversing the underbelly Death Grips invites you to visit this Friday.

Do you want to go see the show? For free? I’ve got a pair! Of tickets! To enter, leave a comment below or an @ on our Twitter (@kbloggins) with the answer to this question:

You and Death Grips’ Stefan Burnett are going on a fly fishing trip. It’s just you, him, the great outdoors, and hopefully some catfish ready to bite. What do you all talk about?

Best answer gets the tickets. You have until Friday at 5 p.m. EDT, and must be able to reasonably make the show that evening in Louisville. Good luck!

UPDATE: This post originally listed the show as Saturday and that is so terribly wrong. The 14th is Friday, so don’t get it twisted. Our apologies!

Night Visions presents Death Grips with Rat King
Friday June 14
Headliners, Louisville
8 p.m. / $15 adv, $20 door / 18+ (get tickets)

WIRE is Coming to Louisville’s Clifton Center

Plan accordingly.

Matmos is Coming to Our Town, They’ll Help Us Party Down

The first Saturday in March, Tame Impala is coming and I think all my friends are going to that and I can’t stop yawning at the thought. So I was bumming pretty bad thinking about sitting around at home and eating Go-Gurt and watching Hey Dude on Netflix until lo the angels of Cropped Out and The Other Side of Life came upon me, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them when they emailed “yo we got Matmos rollin’ through.” Cool, done. I don’t think I have to introduce Matmos to you, but for the tragically unin-fucking-itiated, this post-glitch duo is one of the most forward thinking electronic acts this side of Squarepusher. They sampled surgical sounds on 2001’s A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure and old military standards with 2003’s The Civil War. They were responsible for not one, but two Bjork albums – Vespertine and Medulla (take that, Tricky). Their first effort in five years, The Marriage of True Minds, explores telepahty, and it might be their most accessible effort to date (without softening up any, obviously). It’s out February 19th on Thrill Jockey, and it’s my first favorite album of the year thus far.

Of course, show up early and often for Baltimore-based touring mates Horse Lords and Louisville’s very fine Parlour, the mathy revolving space outfit of Tim Furnish and friends.

Matmos, Horse Lords, and Parlour
Saturday March 2
Zanazbar, Louisville
9 p.m. / an insanely reasonable $8 / 21+
[buy tickets