Standards Bearers Tortoise Mounting Club Tour

With abstract artist Nobukazu Takemura in tow, electronic-rock quintet will launch outing May 11 in Cleveland.

Chicago electronic-rock fusion outfit Tortoise will mount a 30-city club tour in support of their latest album, Standards, on May 11 in Cleveland.

The quintet — Douglas McCombs, John Herndon, Dan Bitney, Jeff Parker and John McEntire — emerged in the mid-'90s, following their self-titled debut (1994) and its follow-up, Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996), as the most visible of a slew of bands merging the post-production studio techniques of electronic music with rock instrumentation and jazz-influenced compositions. During the same period, their live performances, which featured bandmembers rotating among various instruments onstage for alternately mesmerizing and rousing renditions of their songs, Tortoise garnered a zealous live following, playing to sold-out crowds across the United States.

Having inched away from the more groove-heavy sound of their first two albums on Standards and 1998's TNT, the upcoming tour promises to reveal yet another phase in the innovative group's evolution.

Tortoise will be joined on all 34 of the tour's dates by abstract-electronic music artist Nobukazu Takemura, of Kyoto, Japan, whose digital sound constructions possess the ability to both beguile and disorient. His 1999 album, Scope, featured extended majestic, somersaulting pieces, including the 22-minute opening journey "On a Balloon." He released its more subdued but equally gorgeous follow-up, Hoshi No Koe, on Tuesday, and has another album, Sign, due May 29.

Select shows on the tour will also feature Atlanta producer Scott Herren's Prefuse 73 electronic hip-hop project as an opening act. His debut LP as Prefuse 73, Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives, is due May 15 on Warp Records.

English techno masters Autechre will perform at two shows on the jaunt, and will join Tortoise at the second Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28). The German duo Mouse on Mars will play at four shows in the tour's second month, while Jet Black Crayon, which includes former skateboard star and guitarist/singer Tommy Guerrero and hip-hop producer Gadget, are set to open on six dates.

Tortoise and Nobukazu Takemura tour dates, according to their publicist:

  • 5/11 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom

  • 5/13 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Theatre

  • 5/14 - Montreal, QB @ Club Soda

  • 5/15 - Boston, MA @ Somerville Theatre (with Prefuse 73)

  • 5/16 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza (with Prefuse 73)

  • 5/17 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza (with Prefuse 73)

  • 5/18 - Philadelphia, PA @ TBA (with Prefuse 73)

  • 5/19 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club (with Prefuse 73)

  • 5/20 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat's Cradle

  • 5/21 - Atlanta, GA @ Roxy Theatre (with Autechre, Prefuse 73)

  • 5/22 - Orlando, FL @ Club Firestone (with Autechre, Prefuse 73)

  • 5/23 - Tallahassee, FL @ Cow Haus (with Prefuse 73)

  • 5/24 - Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club

  • 5/25 - Nashville, TN @ TBA

  • 5/26 - Detroit, MI @ Detroit Electronic Music Festival (with Autechre, Prefuse 73)

  • 5/29 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue

  • 6/1 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox Showroom (with Jet Black Crayon)

  • 6/2 - Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theater

  • 6/3 - Portland, OR @ Pine Street Theatre

  • 6/5 - San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore (with Jet Black Crayon)

  • 6/6 - San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore (with Jet Black Crayon)

  • 6/7 - Los Angeles, CA @ UCLA (with Jet Black Crayon)

  • 6/8 - Los Angeles, CA @ UCLA (with Jet Black Crayon)

  • 6/9 - San Diego, CA @ Canes Bar & Grill (with Jet Black Crayon)

  • 6/10 - Tempe, AZ @ Nita's Hideaway

  • 6/12 - Austin, TX @ Stubb's Bar BQ (with Mouse on Mars)

  • 6/13 - Houston, TX @ Numbers (with Mouse on Mars)

  • 6/14 - New Orleans, LA @ Howling Wolf (with Mouse on Mars)

  • 6/15 - Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Ballroom (with Mouse on Mars)

  • 6/16 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater

  • 6/17 - St. Louis, MO @ Mississippi Nights

  • 6/18 - Madison, WI @ TBA

  • 6/19 - Chicago, IL @ Metro

  • 6/20 - Chicago, IL @ Metro