Native Musicians in Popular Culture at Smithsonian

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s current exhibition, Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture, displays the oft-overlooked relationship between Native artists and American contemporary music with audio samples and artifacts from big-name artists like Chuck Billy (Testament), Jimi Hendrix, Link Wray, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. This ain’t your average trip to the history museum.

Sunn O))) to curate 2011 Roadburn Festival

Since 1999, The Netherlands’ annual Roadburn Festival has showcased adventurous alt-metal, psychedelic, doom, noise, and experimental music from around the globe.

Drone-doom poster duo Sunn O))) will curate the 2011 festival, guaranteeing another exceptional lineup.  The two official members (Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley) have participated in various past Roadburns, and they will follow curators David Tibet and Neurosis from past years.  Specifically, the group will choose the events of Friday, April 15, personally selecting bands to play before headlining the event.

Last year’s stellar roster included Shining (Norway), Russian Circles, Earthless, Kylesa, Enslaved, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Jesu, Bohren Und Der Club of Gore, Nachtmystiuim, and Shrinebuilder.  The 2011 festival will take place on April 14-17 in Tilburg, Holland.

Russian Circles, P.O.S, William Elliot Whitmore to play first Middlewest Fest

Middle-of-nowhere festivals can be real gems, and the first annual Middlewest Fest is doing what it can to get on the map. The two-day, twelve-show event in DeKalb, Illinois is ready to rock the state’s northwestern cornfields with Russian Circles and Born of Osiris recently added to its lineup.

The fest will make its debut on September 10 and 11, featuring a bevy of artists and ALARM favorites such as P.O.S. and William Elliot Whitmore. Other notable performers include Smoking PopesMurder by Death, Maps & Atlases, Mark Rose (ex-Spitalfield), and more.

Norway’s Shining announces more European dates

Style-shifting Norwegian band Shining continues on its acoustic-jazz-turned-jazz-fusion-turned-progressive-metal agenda, announcing 15 new dates for its fall European tour. Shining will pass through select European countries through early November, playing massive riffs from its latest album, Blackjazz (Indie Recordings). Check out Alarm 37 for our review of the album.

During the tour, Shining will share the stage with bands including Ihsahn, Leprous, Xerath, A-Ha, Killl, and Suburban Tribe. For a detailed schedule, visit the band’s website.  And yes, that’s the same A-Ha of “Take on Me” fame — which awarded Shining one of its lucrative A-Ha Grants this summer.

Seattle’s Decibel Festival announces massive lineup

[UPDATE (8/18/10): Flying Lotus has been added]

Seattle’s Decibel Festival is back for its eighth year, this time boasting talent from 14 countries. The festival brings together technology and creativity through visual art, workshops, panel discussions, and electronic-music performances.

The musical lineup this year is long and impressive; Fennesz, Ben Frost, Eskmo, Alex B, Ctrl_Alt_Dlt, Mount Kimbie, and Starkey are among the nearly 100 performers, speakers, and visual artists scheduled for appearance.  With a world-class conference included (details have yet to be released), this event is an oasis of underground electronic music and art with plenty to offer.

Ewerdt Hilgemann’s imploded volumes

German artist Ewerdt Hilgemann has been recognized in the States for some time now, his work reflective of America’s current post-industrial state: a gleaming façade collapsing from within. Comparable to Los Angeles’ industrial damage in the past years, Hilgemann’s volumes express the remnants of a bruised economy and the resultant collective mindset.

Masters of Reality to release Pine/Cross Dover on September 14

Masters of Reality has been creating art and music for nearly 20 years, with plenty of musical accomplishments collected along the way. The duo has worked with Rick Rubin, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and collaborated with Stone Temple Pilots, Twiggy Ramirez, SOULWAX, and many others.

Straying from the emphasized improvisation and rhythm of its previous albums, Masters of Reality’s new full-length album, Pine/Cross Dover (out September 14 on Cool Green Recordings), combines elements similar to the punk-rock playfulness of Public Image Limited and the technical mastery of Mahavishnu Orchestra.

The Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic Guitar Duo launch lengthy Midwest tour

Chicago natives Andreas Kapsalis and Goran Ivanovic are guitar-wielding wizards, prodigious at the steel-string ten-finger technique as well as nylon-string classical folk. Together, they are The Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic Guitar Duo, a dexterous duo rooted in modern, classical, world, jazz, and other genres, mixed to make a truly creative sound.

The duo will tour the Midwest — with a few peppered Northeast dates — from mid-August through September, before taking a brief break in October to perform at the Chicago Guitar Festival at the Mayne Stage, which they are helping to produce.

We were lucky enough to have them perform at the launch party for our sister magazine, Design Bureau, so we know that they’re awesome live. Don’t miss this tour!