Good seeing so many familiar faces out at the record fair on Sunday. Hopefully you found some gems, I know I found too much. But enough about that, down to business. Killer week with loads of goodies. Butthole Surfers reissues, Robbie Basho, and many other things. And yes, Arcade Fire is en route and will be here for Tuesday, calm down and enjoy the weather.
…..pick of the week…..
Butthole Surfers: Psychic, Powerless… Another Man’s Sac LP
Butthole Surfers: Rembrandt Pussyhorse LP
Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician LP
Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven LP
(Latino Bugger Veil)
Latino Bugger Veil presents the long-awaited vinyl reissues of Butthole Surfers” first four full-length albums. Originally released between 1984 and 1988, these classic and influential LPs capture the band at their peak, drawing from punk, rock, psychedelic and experimental influences for a truly inspired and unmistakably unique sound. Comes with coupons for free digital downloads. 1984’s Psychic…Powerless…Another Man’s Sac is the Butthole Surfer’s weird and depraved debut full-length on Touch and Go as well as one of the band’s most revered. Featuring a line-up line-up of Gibby Haynes (vocals, saxophone), Paul Leary (guitar, vocals), Bill Jolly (bass), King Coffey (drums) and Teresa Nervosa (drums), the everything goes 11-song set is perverse, outrageous and entertaining as hell. “Rembrandt Pussyhorse stands as one of the most “out” psychedelic albums of the post-punk era, featuring snaky, Middle Eastern-like instrumentation and drones, twisted folk melodies, avant-garde improvisation, industrial noise and feedback, and gastrointestinal sounds. Haynes’ attempts to shock include deranged laughter, Exorcist-like growls, and lyrics such as “There’s a creep in the cellar that I’m gonna let in… and he really freaks me out when he peels off his skin.” – Rolling Stone. 1987’s Locust Abortion Technician is the Butthole Surfer’s third full-length for Touch and Go following 1986’s Rembrandt Pussyhorse. The disturbing 12-song set features the band’s Black Sabbath parody “Sweat Loaf” and debuts Gibby Haynes’ “Gibbytronix” vocal effects for the first time on record. 1988’s Hairway To Steven is the Butthole Surfer’s fourth full-length and follow-up to 1987’s Locust Abortion Technician. Named in parody of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” the Butthole Surfer’s last release of the ’80s and last for Touch and Go is almost accessible, albeit with song titles like “I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas” and “Fart Song.”
File Under: Punk, Weirdo, Psych, Experimental, Classics
Listen To Psychic, Powerless… Another Man’s Sac
Listen To Rembrandt Pussy Horse Here
Listen To Locust Abortion Technician Here
Listen To Hairway To Steven Here
Bad Sports: Bras (Dirtnap) LP
Denton/Austin’s Bad Sports are back with their third album—and second on Dirtnap! Produced by the Marked Men’s Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke, Bras is a major departure from the ’77 pop/punk feel of 2011’s terrific Kings of the Weekend. This time the band brings a tougher, harder-edged sound and takes on a wider variety of musical styles. While still very much in the classic vein of Texan garage/punk, Bad Sports are also bringing to mind the heyday of New York City punk. With hints of Dead Boys snarl, Dictators thump, and even some artier Lou Reed/Television leanings, this record finds the trio refining its songwriting chops and rocking harder than ever. The album’s got a little bit of everything—from booming Cheap Trick style power pop to straight-up catchy garage punk to grimy proto-punk not far removed from Orville’s other band OBN IIIs. And while Bras builds on the foundation of previous records, quite frankly it blows away anything else the band has done to date. Scorching tracks like “Washed Up” and “Race To The Bottom” beg to be played at obnoxiously loud volumes, while “Nothing In This World” might be the best pop song you hear this year. Elsewhere, “Get You” and “Terrible Place” manage to satisfy the fan base even as they push the band’s sound to the next level. Lots of bands pay lip service to the idea of duplicating the energy of their live shows on record. Bad Sports have gone out and done it! Turn it up!
File Under: Garage, Punk, Dirtnap
Robbie Basho: Visions of the Country (Gnome Life) LP
Recorded in the height of Robbie Basho’s creative career, “Visions of the Country” was originally released in 1978, and has been out of print for nearly 35 years. The album is comprised of technically superb instrumentation (6 & 12 string guitars and piano); majestic compositions; transcendent singing and whistling; and astonishing lyrical, emotional, and spiritual depths that defy description or comparison. It is with a feeling of tremendous honor and joy that we offer this re-issue, which we hope will please existing Basho devotees, and create new acolytes, in equal measure. The feeling is akin to re-introducing an endangered species back into its native habitat, for this album is a precious, mighty, and wild thing. “Visions of the Country” should not stay couped up in expensive e-bay auctions and low quality vinyl-to-Mp3 rips, it needs to soar gloriously in high fidelity through our culture once more! “Visions of the Country” is most simply a depiction of the expansive American West, and an ecstatic journey into Basho’s equally expansive imagination and mystical approach to creativity… In Basho’s own words: “My philosophy is quite simple: soul first, technique later, or ‘Better to drink wine from the hands than water from a pretty cup’; of course the ultimate is wine from a pretty cup. Amen.” “Visions of the Country” is an shining example of what artistic heights can be attained when soul and technique meet on a deep level – in our opinion it is one of the finest albums ever recorded, wine from a very beautiful and magical cup indeed. We have sought to re-issue “Visions” with the highest level of intention & integrity, seeking out analog sources for both the music and the artwork. Artwork is presented in very much the same fashion as the original release with a few minimal changes made to include new information.
File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli, Americana
Frank Black: Oddballs (The Bureau) LP
Now available on Vinyl for the first time! Oddballs is a compilation album by Frank Black, released in 2000. The album includes various b-sides and outtakes that were recorded between 1994 and 1997. The album was only available for sale at Frank Black & the Catholics shows or on eMusic. It was out of print until July 2013 when the album became available on compact disc.
File Under: Rock, Pixies
Blitzen Trapper: VII (Vagrant) LP
VII – the appropriately titled seventh studio album from Blitzen Trapper and first release for Vagrant Records – is full of the vivid folk-rock-campfire-tales frontman Eric Earley is so well known for. VII opens with “Feel The Chill,” a southern adventure complete with a woman in her underwear, deer hunting, and of course drowning at the local bar. Earley takes us down a crooked bend so dark and gloomy you can smell the heat and feel the humidity oppress you. “Each song starts from a small place, a headwater-like remembrance and then widens into a song. For instance, that old wreck of a shack buried in evergreen and murky darkness at the bend in the road up on Jackson Hill where we used to drink, never failed to give me a chill driving by in the old Impala for it’s implacable mystery,” Earley notes. Tracks like “Thirsty Man” speak of love in a Dylan-esque fashion where Earley reveals “love like rain falls in the wasteland and slips thru the fingers – for love is a thing that cannot be held, only felt and released.” “Drive On Up” is a soulful, almost bluesy rendition of small town tales of quirkiness. “It seems you’re always driving on up to something.” Earley amuses, “into the mountains to see a girlfriend above the reservoir where she lives in a single wide with her mom and a cougar stalks us at fifty yards through the brush, she says to bang sticks but never look it in the eye.” VII moves effortlessly from track to track, allowing Earley to paint the colorful pictures that play in our head while singing along. “…there are those songs I keep writing over and over again, “Ever Loved Once” with all its regrets and tragic lost love, “Don’t be a Stranger” its hopeful cousin but they all still point to the same worn out place in the heart of old E. Earley. And hey, we all have that place, that worn spot on the heart like the chew canister circle on the back pocket of blue jeans, or that one shred in the green felt of the table where you ground the stick in too hard… May these songs minister in ways mysterious and eternal, or at least maybe make you shake a hip.”
File Under: Folk Rock, Indie, Ex-Sub Pop
Bottomless Pit: Shade Perennial (Comedy Minus One) LP+CD
“The first ten seconds of ‘Fleece,’ the opening track on Shade Perennial, Bottomless Pit’s mesmerizing third long player, sets the tone for the rest of the album. A carefully considered series of notes are picked on baritone guitar, deliberately unfolding the melody, only to be interrupted by a staccato burst. The guitars wrap around one another over a propulsive and elegantly understated rhythm section. Space opens in the music for a voice to emerge. It is enveloping and hypnotic, and you may play it over from the beginning a few times before moving on. What do we know about Bottomless Pit? Perhaps you’re already familiar with Tim Midyett and Andy Cohen from Silkworm, a band that put out nine albums between 1987 and 2005. Maybe you’re a fan of Seam, with whom Chris Manfrin drummed, or .22, one of bassist Brian Orchard’s other groups. None of that matters. What matters are these songs. What matters is hearing Midyett phrase the lyrics to ‘Full of Life.’ What matters is hearing Cohen’s magnificent guitar solo cut into ‘Null Set’ and then disappear. What matters is the way Orchard and Manfrin exercise restraint throughout, allowing the guitars to rise and fall and the arrangements to unfold effortlessly. By the time the feedback begins and the band fades out on ‘Felt a Little Left,’ Shade Perennial’s final and possibly most widescreen tune, thirty-two minutes will have passed under Bottomless Pit’s spell. This music is an incantation. It’s post-punk perspiration and the well-worn warmth of Crazy Horse. It’s inspired and assertive and won’t make you ashamed to call it the blues.”-Sohrab Habibion (Obits/Edsel)
File Under: Rock, Punk, Post Punk, Silkworm, Seam
Brendan Canning: You Gots 2 Chill (Draper Street) LP
Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning will releases his second solo album, You Gots 2 Chills. Even with Broken Social Scene on indefinite hiatus, it’s been an especially busy year for Brendan Canning: he recently revived his long-dormant, pre-BSS indie-pop project Cookie Duster; he composed the soundtrack to Paul Schrader’s Lindsay Lohan spectacle, The Canyons (written by Bret Easton Ellis); and he’s currently working on an ambitious interactive video-game/film project based on a premise that involves director David Cronenberg selling his intellectual property to a biotech lab. Amidst all this activity, he still found time to write and record You Gots 2 Chill, providing the clearest, most personal portrait to date of an artist who’s spent much of his two-decade career making other people sound better. Back in the ’60s, some acoustic-guitar slinging boho from Minnesota extolled the virtues of bringing it all back home—with You Gots 2 Chill, Brendan Canning updates that maxim to 21st-century standards. Yes, we mean Bob Dylan.
File Under: Rock, Indie, Broken Social Scene
Captain Beefheart: Safe As Milk (Sundazed) LP
Captain Beefheart’s 1967 debut album Safe As Milk introduced the world to a one-of-a-kind visionary whose unique output had no precedent in contemporary music. Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, filtered the raw influence of the blues and R&B through his own singular musical sensibility and left-field lyrical wordplay, and surrounded himself with some of the most talented and inventive young musicians around. The result was an album that, even in the heady year in which it was released, sounded like nothing else, and the stage for one of rock’s most iconoclastic and idiosyncratic careers. With backup from the first, and perhaps finest, incarnation of Beefheart’s legendary Magic Band (including future solo star Ry Cooder on guitar and teenage drum prodigy John “Drumbo” French), and production from future studio superstar Richard Perry, Beefheart unveils his fully-formed sound and vision on such landmark tracks as “Zig Zag Wanderer,” “Abba Zaba,” “Dropout Boogie,” “I’m Glad” and “Electricity” (covered two decades later by Sonic Youth). Now released on 180g LP by Sundazed Music, this landmark album sounds the way it was meant to sound, thanks to the restoration of Perry’s rare original – and, to most fans, superior – mono mix, which was later altered by Beefheart’s label without the artist’s involvement. The LP version of this definitive edition also features authoritative new liner notes by Rolling Stone editor and longtime Beefheart enthusiast David Fricke. “In mono, Safe As Milk is a powerful, concentrated revelation,” Fricke writes, further noting, “Safe As Milk promised comfort, exotic nourishment and rude health – and delivered. Created in a year rich in historic debuts and transformative statements about rock’s dynamic and expressive possibilities, Safe As Milk was so far in it was out.”
File Under: Blues, Rock, Mono, Classics
Church of Misery: Early Works (Emetic) 3LP
”This is another masterpiece for true doom fans.” Early Works Compilation includes all the songs that are on the band`s hard to find albums before Master Of Brutality. “Retal” is a previously unreleased song that was recorded in 2000. Compiled on two discs are 16 songs of heavy psychedelic/leaden doom rock. All songs have been remastered. A collection of destruction released between 1997 and 2000 on the Game Two, Bad Acid, Man’s Ruin, Cornucopia, Red Sun, Freedom, and Black Widow labels.
File Under: Metal, Doom
Crystal Antlers: Nothing is Real (Innovative Leisure) LP
Currently slated for a fall 2013 release is the newest Crystal Antlers full-length Nothing Is Real, featuring cover art by famed surf/skate/graffiti legend C.R. Stecyk III and recorded as the band returns to its most fundamental roots as an agile power trio – Jonny Bell, drummer Kevin Stuart and guitarist Andrew King. Nothing Is Real is Crystal Antlers going beyond the beyond, with songs that rattle and ricochet from desolation to delirium. Opener “Pray” sounds like what would have happened if Black Flag’s Greg Ginn had produced the first Psychedelic Furs single; “Persephone” and “Anywhere But Here” match the desperate, relentless rhythm of the Wipers with the inside-out guitar melodies of the Pixies. “Licorice Pizza” recalls lost cult-punk heroes like the Flesh Eaters or the Embarrassment. On Nothing Is Real, you’ll feel as much as hear echoes of bands like Wire, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. As Bell puts it, “With each album, we’ve tried to figure out ways to include more of our whole selves in the recordings, while still keeping things cohesive. And from growing up in punk bands, there always needs to be that little element of something that might piss someone off. We might be using a drum machine – but we’re gonna use it completely the wrong way.”
File Under: Rock, Punk
Patrick Cowley: School Daze (Dark Entries) LP
Perhaps one of the most revolutionary and influential people in the cannon of disco music, Patrick Cowley created his own brand of hi-NRG dance music coined “The San Francisco Sound.” This very special LP features a compilation of restored Cowley productions unearthed in the garage of vintage gay porn company Fox Studio. Spanning nearly 90 minutes, the 11 tracks (originally recorded between 1973 and 1981), epitomize Cowley’s forward thinking and his affinity for mixing elements of varying styles of music. Simply put, Cowley was a musical trailblazer ahead of his time. His credits as a producer include Sylvester’s “Do You Wanna Funk,” Paul Parker’s “Right on Target” and collaborations with Jorge Soccaras of Indoor Life-this is just the tip of the iceberg. An early victim of AIDS, Cowley passed away at the age of 32; these recordings shine a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon from us. Featuring over 80 minutes of music, this compilation contains soundtrack music from two Fox Studio films, Muscle Up and School Daze, never before released on vinyl. The tapes were restored and transferred using the same speed and pitch settings, then remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl comes housed in a glossy dual pocket gatefold featuring classic gay porn imagery from the Fox Studio vaults plus an essay Soccaras. For Patrick’s 63rd birthday, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem present a glimpse into the instrumental world of a young genius. These recordings shine a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon. School Daze will be released on what would be his 63rd birthday, October 19th. All proceeds from the release will go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
File Under: Disco, OST, Gay Porn, hi-NRG
Deer Tick: Negativity (Arts & Crafts) LP
Deer Tick – sounding as sure-footed as one would expect from a band known for spending a couple of hundred nights each year on stage – more than match the strength of the material by taking a more detailed approach than on some of the breakneck recordings of their past. From the sparkling baroque pop of ‘The Dream’s In The Ditch’ to the full-blown Memphis showstopper, ‘Trash’, Negativity sees the Tick bridging boozy punk, AM gold, bar band blues, country soul, and whatever else catches their fancy into their own profoundly American rock ‘n’ roll. Additional sonic color comes courtesy of magnificently arranged brass accompaniment by Austin, Texas’s GRAMMY®-winning Latin fusion collective, Grupo Fantasma.
File Under: Pop, Indie
Earthless: From The Ages (Tee Pee) LP
Award-winning San Diego power rock band Earthless has completed work on its brand new album From The Ages. The first new studio album from the globally celebrated trio since the release of 2007’s critically acclaimed Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky, From The Ages will see an October 8 release date via Tee Pee Records. Formed in 2001, Earthless prides itself on creating energetic, free thinking instrumental music inspired by an eclectic mix of German krautrock and Japanese heavy blues-rock. The Californian trio has dedicated itself to mastery of the mind-bending jam session, evoking the spirits of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath in equal measure. Earthless’ sound has been called “A sonic kaleidoscope of lava and lightning,” earning it the title of “California’s loudest band.” The group delivers “one of the best live shows in all of modern, heavy rock,” leading to one reviewer stating that the band’s “epic shredding harkens back to the days were psychedelic rock had balls the size of grapefruits and wasn’t afraid to take its listeners on a ride for which they may never return.” From The Ages promises more of the gigantic riffs and utterly unique heavy music that only Earthless can create! Double vinyl LP includes free album download card. First pressing on clear gold vinyl!
File Under: Stoner, Metal
Heldon: VI: Interface (Superior Viaduct) LP
Richard Pinhas is an artistic iconoclast. A French intellectual as likely to collaborate with Magma as the radical philosopher Gilles Deleuze, Pinhas released seven albums under the Heldon moniker in the 1970s that flaunt the mastery of progressive rock and early electronics while still being thoroughly avant-garde. The genre-expanding innovation of his ’70s output is best encapsulated on Interface, the group’s sixth album (and second with the stripped-down trio featuring drummer Francois Auger and keyboardist Patrick Gauthier). Interface is a sonic tour de force where Heldon avoids every logical category vis-a-vis infinite climaxes and rhythmic explorations that sound impossibly futuristic. As with much of the Pinhas’ music from this period, Interface is heavily influenced by the guitar treatments of Robert Fripp (King Crimson), especially those in collaboration with Brian Eno. More experimental than virtuosic, Pinhas applies feedback and a jazz-like looseness to create otherworldly soundscapes. Interface is loud, dark and unrelenting with a maximal approach to minimalism that would go on to inform the cold wave scene in the late ’70s. Few recordings are as menacing, although certainly Miles Davis’ Dark Magus and Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music come to mind. It is Heldon’s most crystalline work, building to the epic crescendo of the title track. Many fans consider this to be their masterpiece, but more importantly, Interface is a record that will continue to unfold for centuries to come. Includes download card.
File Under: Electronic, Prog, Ambient, Synth
JT IV: Cosmic Lightning (Drag City) LP
Like a bolt from the black, Cosmic Lightning has struck again-but who felt the shock the first time around? The sounds of JT IV were too much for 1980s Chicago. Now they can be truly absorbed, twenty years after they first flashed. Rock and roll often grows out of harsh circumstances. JOHN TIMMIS IV survived a broken childhood and a nightmarish adolescence, ending up homeless and hustling on the streets after being committed to a mental hospital by his mother in the mid-’70s. At New Trier High School on Chicago’s North Shore, he obsessed over the Velvets and David Bowie and taught himself how to play guitar. Two years later, he recorded his first 45, “Waiting for the C.T.A. ” b/w “Song For Suzanne” & “Death Trip.” Then came “In the Can” (written during his institutional stay), which was included on the B-side of his second single, “Destructo Rock.” These singles were pressed in runs of a hundred or two-and there are only two known extant copies of the first release. Both were recorded at Odyssey Studio on Michigan Avenue and released on JT”s Rock And Roll Records imprint. After an odd absence in which he claimed to have been horribly disfigured in a car accident, John rebounded in 1987, and released his last single under the name FRANKENSTEIN. The Cosmic Lightning album was compiled from his singles discography. In 1988 he moved to Ohio, never to be heard from again. He died in 2002 after a long struggle with drugs and alcohol. A DVD of never-before-seen footage of JT IV in the flesh is included in the package, as well as an insert reproducing scattered bits of press and other papers.
File Under: Punk, Glam-Punk
Kid 606: Happiness (Tigerbeat) LP
Happiness is nostalgic, starry-eyed and idyllic. Sonically influenced in equal parts by yacht rock like Christopher Cross, Doobie Brothers, Toto, and charming electronica like Mike Ink, The Orb, Oval, Border Community, the Field, and Tangerine Dream, its truest intrinsic inspiration comes not from other music, but from real life events like relocating from Berlin to Los Angeles, being newly single, beaches, road trips, hiking, sunsets and cuddling. The album is the complete opposite of 2012’s Lost in the Game, which was a cryptic exploration of disorientation, psychosis and depression. Instead of indulging in melancholy, these songs draw from the most cheerful moments of the here and now, connecting them to the best memories from childhood and late adolescence. “Cute Never Dies” is a perfect title and song to usher in this new set-picture -Ziq’s happier melodies supplemented with orchestral cuts. The older and wiser Kid606 hasn’t lost his knack for epic track titles; “If I Am Only Allowed One Song on This Album with Cut Up Female Vocals Then This Song Is It” is a beautiful and exuberant builder with bassy beds made for the cooing vocal cuts. Melodically driven in a way that supersedes the transitory Lost in the Game, Happiness gives way to thoughtful euphoria-blast “Party Gambas” and its joyful pad sweeps, and feel the wash of warm enlightenment.
File Under: Electronic, Techno
Mind Spiders: Inhumanistic (Dirtnap) LP
Mind Spiders are back with their 3rd album in 3 years! Featuring a streamlined lineup of Mark Ryan on vox/guitar/synth, Mike Throneberry on drums, Daniel Fried on bass, Peter Salisbury on synth, Inhumanistic finds the band going in a slightly more stripped down direction than previous efforts. The album was written while messing around with different drum machines, and while there is live drumming as well, drum machines play a prominent role as well, which is partly why the record is called Inhumanistic. The recording is very tight, direct, and almost claustrophobic. Influences for this record include Devo’s Freedom Of Choice, Wall Of Voodoo and old horror movies (the song “Electric Things” is about the movie From Beyond, for example). Inhumantistic is Mind Spiders catchiest, most direct and rockin’ (although they also slow it down a couple times, to great affect!) release yet! We’ve been cranking out Mark Ryan related releases for almost a decade now, and have no plans to slow down anytime soon!
File Under: Punk, Marked Men
MX-80 Sound: Hard Attack (Superior Viaduct) LP
MX-80 Sound is one of the real oddities in American music. Their debut album, Hard Attack (released in the UK on Island Records), found little-to-no audience in the States upon its release in 1977, yet remains a key document of the mid-’70s proto-punk zeitgeist. Hailing from Bloomington, Indiana, MX-80 Sound is lead by guitarist Bruce Anderson and defies simple classification with relentless riffs, dual drummers and vocalist Rich Stim’s absurdist prose and dizzying sax. Assimilating the avant-rock of Captain Beefheart and conjuring the ghosts of Albert Ayler, MX-80 Sound evokes what free jazz would sound like if born in Bloomington. As archivist Byron Coley writes, “Hard Attack has long been considered one of the great squirts of the Midwest underground’s prog-punk tradition. Fellow travelers include Debris’ Static Disposal, Pere Ubu’s Modern Dance and Destroy All Monsters’ 1974-1976, and what makes each of these fine gushers unique is that they were all created in virtual isolation. No one else in the neighborhood was creating anything akin to them.” Superior Viaduct is honored to reissue Hard Attack, mastered from the original analog tapes for the first time since 1977 and remixed by the band. The singular and staggering innovation of MX-80 Sound still harkens to rock’s future potential.
File Under: Proto-Punk, Avant-Rock, Prog
Nobunny: Secret Songs (Goner) LP
Secret Songs: Reflections from the Ear Mirror, Nobunny’s new LP on Goner Records, proves the Bay Area garage rocker’s absurd appropriation of rock ’n’ roll knows no bounds. In true Nobunny style, the album is a mixture of styles and fidelities, like having a garbage bin of awesomeness dumped on your head, the slime at the bottom rushing into your earholes and staining your brain. “Lurid and anarchic, Nobunny’s sound is a primitive animal thump informed by the conventions of early rock, classic ’70s punk and New Wave. It’s Chuck Berry with a devilock, Hasil Adkins crammed into Lux Interior’s PVC pants…. A punk rock Elvis impersonator doesn’t invite easy comparisons, but Nobunny’s chaotic live show evokes the costumed mania of Seattle’s the Spits, Black Lips, and the King Khan and BBQ Show… a catalyst for wild pandemonium, awash in sweat, musk, spit, and beer.” —Noisey
File Under: Punk, Trash
Lee Ranaldo & The Dust: Last Night on Earth (Matador) CD
Inspired by time spent trapped in his apartment during Hurricane Sandy last fall, Lee Ranaldo’s new album with his band The Dust tackles themes of despair, rage and societal shift. The songs on the new album are darker, longer and more intense than those of its predecessor. In particular, the intertwining guitar play between Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) and Alan Licht (Love Child, Run On, acclaimed solo work) enlivens these beautiful, scary songs. The Dust also features the incredible drumming of Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and bass work of Tim Lüntzel (who has worked with artists from Van Dyke Parks to Norah Jones). The rock-solid rhythm section grounds the exploratory, inviting music. “Every time I wait for the revolution to come,” Ranaldo sings on “Home Chds.” “Every night I think it’s here and then it’s gone.” “A solo record works best when you feel like you’re opening a window into somebody’s life, experiencing the things they’re going through or thinking about, places they’re seeing, through their eyes. At its best, you find a universality in it.” – Lee Ranaldo “At times sounding like Hendrix operating a theremin, and elsewhere resembling the mournful cries of lonesome satellites.” – Filter “It’s great to hear the third voice in Sonic Youth stretching out… a reminder of their irreplaceable magic.” – Rolling Stone
File Under: Indie Rock, Sonic Youth
Solaris OST (Superior Viaduct) LP
It’s only appropriate that Solaris, Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s psychological sci-fi classic from 1972, contains an equally original and mind-bending score. Solaris explores the inadequacies of time and memory on an enigmatic planet below a derelict space station. To reinforce the film’s chilling setting, Tarkovsky commissioned composer Eduard Artemiev to construct an electronic soundscape reflecting planet Solaris’ amorphous and mysterious surface; Artemiev rose to the challenge with a prophetic work that defies the era’s technological limitations while evoking unparalleled emotional responses even today. Artemiev’s score-centered around variations on Bach’s “Chorale Prelude in F-Minor,” a somber piece for solo organ-sounds majestic alongside dissonant crescendos and formless, ambient tracks. Armed with the massive ANS synthesizer Artemiev drafted sine waves on glass plates for the machine to interpret. The only prototype of the ANS was destroyed shortly after the Solaris soundtrack was recorded. Luckily this artifact of transcendent composition married with technological innovation endures as a masterpiece of early electronic music. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time official release of Artemiev’s original soundtrack for the film. Hand-assembled jackets with three unique designs.
File Under: OST, Sci Fi
Omar Souleyman: Wenu Wenu (Ribbon) LP/CD
Omar Souleyman – the Syrian artist who not only changed the vibe of weddings throughout the Middle East with his Shaabi street sound but also brought it to the West through his notorious late night festival slots – has finally recorded an album. After three compilations and a live release, Wenu Wenu is his first album to be recorded in a studio. Produced by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), Wenu Wenu combines aspects of Middle Eastern dabke dance music and traditional songs with his own contemporary style. Often described as “Syrian techno,” Souleyman records and performs live with long-time collaborator Rizan Sa’id. Citing Hebden and Bjork as fans, Souleyman’s audience has expanded, no longer just appealing to those interested in Middle Eastern music and tradition. His festival performances including at this year’s Primavera Sound in Spain has seen appreciation for his well-crafted, hectic and – at times – intense music grow and transcend not only language, but cultural barriers. Recorded primarily live in the studio, Wenu Wenu distills Omar’s enthralling live performances into laser blasts of recorded techno scales ascending and descending around his iconic voice. The LP version is limited to a worldwide pressing of 3000 hand-numbered classic Stoughton tip-on jackets with a printed inner sleeve featuring English translations. The LP is pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl and includes a MP3 download card. The album cover was painted by acclaimed New York City based artist Spencer Sweeney.
File Under: Ethnic, Dabke, Sublime Frequencies
Frederick St. Jude: Here Am I (Drag City) LP
At the end of the 1960s, FREDDY DENGLER was a veteran of the club circuit in his native Pennsylvania. Inspired in his boyhood by the decaying glamour of his father’s swing-era nightclub and then again in adolescence by the ubiquitous charm of The Beatles, he’d taken up the guitar as a teenager. This led to bands, and before long, Freddy was playing regular gigs with a group called THE OTHER SIDE. Amidst the hard work of rock and roll were a couple of recording sessions, but unfortunately for Freddy, his band mates didn’t share his enthusiasm for writing new material. By 1972, Freddy was in Florida and looking for a band to join. He eventually landed with an outfit named CYCLE, playing hits of the day and fronting the group with his frenetic stage presence. When that band broke on the rocks of mid-70s decadence, Freddy decided he needed a new approach: original songs, sung by an alterego he dubbed FREDERICK MICHAEL ST. JUDE. Shooting for the singles market, he wrote the material for Here Am I, then went looking for a company to back him. In the summer of 1976, he found SRS International Recording Studios. A few demos later, they were convinced to go all the way and cut a whole album with Freddy for their Soul Deep label. Inspired by Bowie and one of Bowie’s own heroes, Anthony Newley, Freddy’s own crooning occasionally has the reedy warble of Paul Williams, but with the backing of a moving, grooving southern house band that verges the material toward the sort of pop music of Scepterera B. J. Thomas. Freddy laid the tracks quickly; SRS personnel added strings and then, without his further input, overdubbed further, bringing an additional production edge with synthesizers and notably the robotic beat to the song “Love You Anyway,” that left Freddy “shocked and awed” when he heard the finished record. In the end, SRS and their Soul Deep label were deep-sixed in sudden and complete fashion; the Frederick Michael St. Jude album went into the world without solid representation and Freddy’s further musical endeavors were limited to a single in the mid-80s. Here is a pristine reproduction of the wild sounds of Here Am I. Freddy’s vigorous delivery, sensitive-man lyrics and the moogy synth touches make the album an unique and notable entry from its era.
File Under: Rock, Private Press, Weirdness
TV Ghost: Disconnect (In The Red ) LP
TV Ghost’s third full-length for In The Red, Disconnect is a journey to the center of dreams. The Lafayette, Indiana, band displays a newfound maturity, incorporating churning rhythms and psychedelic drone into a lush torrent of gaseous keys, sprawling guitars and eerie melody. Think Porcupine-era Echo and the Bunnymen and Tago Mago-era Can run through a Cure Pornography blender. Predecessor Mass Dream garnered a 7.6 rating from Pitchfork. LP includes a download.
File Under: Post Punk, Sleaze
Wolvserpent: Parigaea Antahkarana (Relapse) LP
Boise, Idaho duo Wolvserpent summon a deeply lush and powerful amalgamation of doom, dark-folk, drone, chamber music and black metal on their Relapse debut Perigaea Antahkarana. Shimmering tribal drone dances with epic blackened metal to create a sound much much bigger than its two human parts. Simultaneously dark and beautiful, the band’s sprawling Relapse debut gracefully blends stringed amplified instruments with a 21st century approach to composition to create a 4-part masterwork that is dark, emotional, menacing, cinematic, atmospheric, and heartbreakingly lovely. Pressed on purple vinyl and packaged in deluxe gatefold jackets.
File Under: Metal, Doom, Black Metal, Drone
Richard Youngs: Summer Through My Mind (Ba Da Bing) LP
Richard Youngs presents his debut recording for Ba Da Bing Records, and the label is looking forward to a long relationship. For Summer Through My Mind, Youngs pushes himself into a challenging new sphere yet again. A renowned musician with over 40 albums to his name, he goes somewhere he never has before—to the heart of American music. Summer Through My Mind is a country music album, warped through Youngs’s ambidextral mind. A warning: it’s not like any country album one has heard before. There are familiar elements scattered about—slide-guitar, heartfelt vocals, dark lyricism—but these pieces exist like alienated rocks from a planetary explosion of long ago. The discomfited guitar lines create patchy connections, and Youngs’s unmistakable singing seals things right up. The album draws together a story Youngs wrote as a child, involving bad people and dark spirits (“Story of Jhon” which has a vocal contribution from Simon Joyner), with some lyrics written by his own six-year-old son. In a rare chance to see him perform outside of Europe, Youngs will be playing select US dates in 2013, including the Hopscotch Festival in Durham, NC, and at the ISSUE Project Room in New York.
File Under: Avant-Garde, Folk
Various: Poco Loco in the Coco Vol 2 (University of Vice) LP
Ultra-rare gems extracted from 45s and 78s records released in the 50s and early 60s by obscure record labels. A unique mix of genres perfect for a successful exotic party: CUMBIA YE-YÉ, TEX MEX R&R, SENEGALESE JERK, ANDEAN TWIST, ANTILLAISE BEAT, ROCK-CALYPSO-MAMBO-CHA.. The craziest compilation of music from all over the world !!! This comp. collates a worldwide mixture of painfully obscure crud-a-phonic dance craze platters from the 50s and 60s. A brilliant & bonkers concoction of exotica and international nonsense novelties. If you need something new to listen to after you’ve worn out yer Las Vegas Grind and Jungle Exotica records then this is for YOU! This platter will liven up any party! Lurch-eriffic tropical crazes and totally daffy mix-n-match foreign language tracks that’ll make your eyes & ears alike pop just like corn. Long live the University of Vice.
File Under: Exotica, Ethnic, Party
Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse) LP
Black Keys: Thickfreakness (Fat Possum) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Burial: Kindred (Hyperdub) 12″
Carlton Melton: Always Even (Agitated) LP
Chromatics: Night Drive (Italians Do It Better) LP
Church of Misery: Vol 1 (Emetic) LP
Courtneys: s/t (Hockey Dad) LP
Darkside: Psychic (Matador) LP
Deltron 3030: Event 2 (Bulk) LP
Desire: II (Italians Do It Better) LP
Brian Eno: Another Green World (EMI) CD
Factory Floor: s/t (DFA) LP
Lee Fields: My World (Truth & Soul) CD
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Yanqui UXO (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists (Constellation) LP
Gun Club: Fire of Love (Munster) LP
Tim Hecker: Ravedeath 1972 (Kranky) LP
Tim Hecker: Virgins (Kranky) LP
King Khan & BBQ Show: Invisible Girl (In The Red) LP
Craig Leon: Nommos (Superior Viaduct) LP
Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (Matador) LP
Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Two (Constellation) LP
Rockin’ Horse: Yes It Is (Sing Sing) LP
Ty Segall: Melted (Goner) LP
Sensations’ Fix: Fragments of Light (Superior Viaduct) LP
Sonic Youth: Dirty (Goofin’) 4LP
The Sword: Apocryphon (Razor & Tie) LP
The Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemado) LP
Symmetry: Themes for an Imaginary Film (Italians Do It Better) LP
T Rex: Slider (Fat Possum) LP
White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights (Third Man) LP
Stevie Wonder: Innervisions (Tamala) LP
XX: Coexist (XL) LP
Zombies: Odessey & Oracle (Big Beat) LP
Various: Country Funk (Light In The Attic) LP