Wednesday, May 2, 2007

New Beasties

Hooray! The Beastie Boys are cutting their usual four-year post-album-release slack-off period to a mere three years! This June they're releasing "The Mix-Up," the band's second instrumentals-only album.

"There are no vocals, no samples," Mike D tells Pitchfork. "We played everything. But as different as that might be from To the 5 Boroughs, it's equally different from instrumental songs we've done before, like the ones that were on The In Sound From Way Out! That was kind of one direction and this one [has] different influences, like Public Image Ltd., Gang of Four, the Slits, Killing Joke."

Who those bands are, the FunkyPundit has no clue -- though many sound suspiciously indy. There is, though, reason for hope:
"What we do a lot is listen to music together, things that we're inspired by, everything from post-punk to Afrobeat to hip hop to whatever. We're almost as much music fans as we are a band that makes music."

Another good portion of the album came from sessions with frequent collaborator Mark Ramos-Nishita, aka Money Mark, and Beasties "regular percussion player" Alfredo Ortiz. Both musicians "embellished on top of what we had already made and arranged," said Mike D.

The Beastie Boys will have a chance to air out material from the new album at a series of instrumental shows scattered throughout their beefy schedule of festival dates, where they'll stick to their hits.

Mike joked that they plan to use some of their festival dates to expand their fanbase. "We're trying to really cross over into the whole jam band, Bonnaroo, Government-- what's it?-- Gov't Mule? That whole genre. We can play up the jam band [aspect], have a hacky sack tent. The 'Hack Sack Hand'... 'Sack Hand State Fair', we're going to be performing at. We're going to be performing at a lot of state fairs and a lot of pie-eating contests, too."

When asked if The Mix-Up might provide a pastry-oriented twist on the old Spacemen 3 axiom Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To, he said, "Yeah, it would be a great record to eat pie to."
Just what my record collection has always been missing.

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