John Maus has been stewing quietly down in Austin, Minnesota. We haven’t seen him or heard from him since a raucous Minneapolis debut last July, a show which saw a packed 7th St. Entry practically worshipping his retro-inspired one-man performance. Never before had I seen so much energy from a musician with just a microphone in tow, and that’s not to disparage the time he spends assembling the instrumentation that ends up being his backing track in a live setting.
He quickly disappeared from our radar after that, retreating back south to work on a rarities compilation. The news has been made public today through his label Ribbon Music, closely related to Domino Records which hosts such talent as Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys and local band Night Moves. A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material is a fitting title for this record, one which gives us a blunt look at the past 11 years of Maus’ career.
These 11 years aren’t just confined to Minnesota. Maus also spent time at the California Institute of the Arts, studied philosophy in Switzerland and then taught in Hawaii. Along the way, he collaborated closely with Panda Bear and Ariel Pink, releasing over 15 underground albums since 1991, developing an adoring fan base which has seen him play to packed rooms across the world.
The compilation is out July 16 and 17 on Ribbon Music and features 16 demos from these aforementioned records including “No Title (Molly)” which you may have heard frequently on Local Current and The Local Show. It was also part of the sought after flexi disc Record Store Day exclusive Smugglers Way which also included new songs from Real Estate, Dirty Projectors, Cass McCombs and Villagers.
These demos have been remixed and remastered for the release and will be in short supply: there will only be a one-time pressing of 3000 LPs and 500 copies will be issued on translucent pink vinyl. You can find out more at Ribbon Music’s site.
Listen to “(No Title) Molly” and check out the historical span of the tracklisting below.
A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material
1. North Star (2008)
2. The Law (2003)
3. Castles in the Grave (2010)
4. Angel of the Night (2010)
5. Mental Breakdown (2004)
6. Bennington (2007)
7. Big Dumb Man (2003)
8. No Title (Molly) (2008)
9. Lost (2003)
10. All Aboard (2007)
11. This is The Beat (2005)
12. My Hatred is Magnificent (2008)
13. The Fear (2003)
14. Fish With Broken Dreams (1999)
15. Rock the Bone (2008)
16. I Don’t Eat Human Beings (2008)