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Van Dyke Parks returns with first new music in 15 years…

on May 11, 2011, 4:20pm

Last October, a few MoogFest attendees scratched their heads at the inclusion of Van Dyke Parks in the lineup. A few. The many that attended his show, however, witnessed a true legend. Here’s a guy that’s worked in the industry for over 50 years, released over a dozen albums, and has collaborated with everyone from The Beach Boys (Smile) to Joanna Newsom (YS). Now, the eccentric multi-instrumentalist returns with some new studio work, his first in 15 years.

Starting in August, the 68-year-old Mississippi native will release a series of 7″ vinyl singles via Bananastan, his own personal label. But these aren’t your everyday 7″ singles. Coupled with his new music, each vinyl will feature illustrations by legendary artists Frank Holmes, Charles Ray, Billy Edd Wheeler, Ed Ruscha, and Art Spiegelman. In a press release, Van Dyke Parks says of the releases: “They are from highly different genres, each of them. They don’t cohere. They belong somewhere. But the emphasis on the visual art is a big, big deal. These are the pre-eminent American artists of our time. We’re calling it ‘Nouveau Niche.'”

The first two singles will be “Dreaming of Paris”/”Wedding in Madagascar”, featuring artwork by Ed Ruscha, and “Wall Street”/”Money Is King”, which sports the work of Art Spiegelman. There will be six new singles over the course of the year and fans can pick them up at their local record shops, the label’s website, eBay, or at Van Dykes’ performances.

Along with the singles, Parks will release a compilation album. Due for release September 20th, Arrangements by Van Dyke Parks will contain 15 songs featuring artists including Arlo Guthrie, Ry Cooder, Little Feat, Sal Valentino, Mojo Men, Bonnie Raitt, Dino Martin, Lowell George and Van Dyke Parks himself.

So, who’s pissed they skipped out on that show last year? Better make it up this year.

Van Dyke Parks 2011 Tour Dates
05/15 – Dublin, IR @ The Button Factory
05/16 – London, UK @ Union Chapel
05/17 – Stockholm, SD @ Gota Kallare
05/18 – Malmo, SD @ KB
05/19 – Copenhagen, DE @ Bremen
05/20 – Gothenburg, SD @ Tradgarn