Clams Casino Returns with ‘Instrumentals 4’ EP

Sometimes, we like our Monday afternoon music with a dose of atmosphere and a lack of lyrics. That’s where Clams Casino comes in. No, not the food that sounds fancier than it is. The uber-producer who worked in the shadows up until last year’s major label debut 32 Levels is back doing what he does best.

Today, he debuted Instrumental 4, which (as you might’ve guessed) follows his three preview instrumental releases–2011’s Instrumental Mixtape, 2012’s Instrumental Tape 2, and 2013’s Instrumental Tape 4.

INSTRUMENTAL MIXTAPE 4 out now link in bio

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The release comes after the surprise drop of the track “Wavey” over the weekend. In addition to the new song, the EP also features instrumentals made for A$AP Ferg (“Uncle” and “Talk It”) and Vince Staples (“Norf Norf” and “Surf”) as well as remixes of Sia’s “Elastic Heart” and DJ Shadow’s “Stem.” Plug in your headphones and check out the full tape here.

Pitchfork Recap: Japandroids Blast Off on Friday Night

I arrived a little after the gates had opened and after almost an hour of hard rain had fallen on Union Park. The schedule was already fifteen minutes behind, and no one had started playing yet. Not the best way to begin a three-day festival. The weather seemed to make an impression on a lot of potential festival-goers, too, as it was the sparsest crowd I’ve ever seen, even for a Friday. But for those who did make it out, acts like Japandroids, Clams Casino, A$AP Rocky, and Dirty Projectors did Their best to make sure it was worth it.

Best Set: Japandroids
After a soggy start, these guys are exactly what we all needed: a shot of straight-forward, fist-pumping rock’n’roll to get everybody excited about seeing live music again (so, basically the opposite of Lower Dens). They kicked it off with “Adrenaline Nightshift” and, I know this is going to sound like hyperbole, the clouds started to part and the sun was shining before the song ended. The band didn’t let off the gas until they were done. It was glorious. It’s amazing to see how big a band with only two guys can sound. The only thing that bothered me was seeing a kid that couldn’t have been older than 17 sing his heart out to “Younger Us.” I’m not sure if he really gets what that song is about. Oh well; he’ll know soon enough.

Biggest Disappointment: the sound
Festivals in general have a reputation for spotty sound. Pitchfork seems to draw a lot more criticism than other festivals, partially because they book a lot of acts with complex sounds that end up having problems, but mostly because every year it really does seem as bad or worse than the year before, leading to complaints about prices going up but the sound not improving. This year the weather at least gave them a reason for much of the problems, causing equipment malfunctions and postponing or even canceling important sound checks. Still, a legitimate excuse for the issues doesn’t make them easier to deal with, and acts like Olivia Tremor Control definitely suffered. There’s nobody to blame, really, but it certainly put a damper on things.

Biggest Surprise: Willis Earl Beal
Because of the previously mentioned sound problems, I left Olivia Tremor Control a few songs early just in time to catch the last ten minutes of Willis Earl Beal. All I really knew about this guy was that he was from Chicago and that he used to post flyers with his phone number, telling people that if they called he’d sing them a song. I’m glad I made it a point to see him because he really was incredible, mixing elements of soul, blues, and lo-fi with a stage presence that’s exceedingly rare at this festival. He was as passionate and intense as he was self-effacing, telling the crowd, “Thanks for coming to my poetry reading. There’ll be real songs coming up after me,” before leading them in a sing-along about keeping the tears (and in this case, the rain) at bay. Only the most cynical music fan wouldn’t have been won over.

Afternoon Links: IFC To Air 32 More Chapters of ‘Trapped in the Closet,’ January Jones Defends Betty

● Cancel all your plans: In addition to a third season of the beloved Portlandia, IFC has ordered 32 new chapters of R. Kelly’s ambitious musical series, Trapped in the Closet, all to be aired in the next year. [ArtsBeat]

● Clams Casino’s swelling remix of Florence + The Machine’s "Never Let Me Go" is almost as nice as this summer come early in New York. [GvsB]

● Gene Simmons promises "no fake bullshit" on the upcoming Kiss/Motley Crue tour. "Leave that to the Rihanna, Shmianna and anyone who ends their name with an ‘A,’" he says of his fellow stadium-fillers. Ouch! [Billboard]

● Kim Kardashian coolly explained to Ryan Seacrest yesterday that she couldn’t possibly be involved with Kanye West, romantically or otherwise, because, she says, “I think I’m still married." Enought already! [Radar]

● “I find myself defending her a lot more often, just because people are pretty hard on her lately,” says January Jones, a new mother herself, of her Mad Men character, Betty. "All of her actions are justified … And, you know, Sally shouldn’t be masturbating at other people’s houses or she’s going to get slapped." [The Daily]

● Slate’s got a lengthy but worthy excerpt of Enemies, A Love Story, a 25,000 word oral history of "the original frenemies" Siskel and Ebert that is hosted in full by The Chicagoan. [Slate]

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