Long weekend!!! Lots of new tunes for your May Long celebrations. And since it’s going to be a rainy weekend, you’ll appreciate having some new jams to drink inside with.
…..pick of the week…..
K. Leimer: A Period of Review 1975-1983 (RVNG Int.) LP/CD
For the third installment in RVNG Intl.’s archival series, the tape is wound back to 1970s Seattle, home place of ambient music savant K. Leimer. A Period of Review (Original Recordings: 1975 – 1983) unearths unreleased portions of Leimer’s vast archives and highlights the work of a self-taught visionary whose use of generative compositions ferried his music to infinite resonance. Kerry Leimer was born in Winnipeg, Canada. He was raised in Chicago before his family permanently settled in Seattle in 1967. Kerry’s teenage interests and artistic experiments blossomed from the seductively strange tendrils of Dadaism and Surrealism. In the early 70s, Leimer found musical parallels to these visual movements by studying backdated copies of NME and Melody Maker and inquiring with local record store clerks about the exotic descriptions he read of Can, Neu! and Faust – innovators who were bringing the wild dictates of 60s art-discourse into music. The tape-manipulated serenity Leimer experienced with Cluster’s II was a key revelation. Leimer realized the potential to compose with minimal training and scoured pawnshops for cheap instruments and recording equipment to transpose his wayward musical instincts. Leimer’s sound palette and composition soon refined and heightened with the accessibility of dynamic equipment such as the Micromoog and TEAC multi-track tape machines. Synchronously, the Terry Riley indebted loop-based compositions of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno’s No Pussyfooting inspired Leimer to form recursive musical passages of bare timbre and melody that would become hallmarks of his sound. “The loop provided an instant structure – a sort of fatalism,” recollects Leimer in A Period of Review’s liner notes. “The participation of the tape machine in shaping and extending the music was a key to setting self-deterministic systems in motion and held a clear relationship to my interests in fine art.” The underground music scene of Seattle-Olympia in late 70s was small but seeded. The vestiges of prog rock pompously pummeled the few clubs and record shops before punk and New Wave became the rage. Leimer sought to support a growing community of experimental composers by launching the Palace of Lights record label in 1979 with his wife Dorothy Cross (this was years prior to the birth of regional titans K Records and Sub Pop). Palace of Lights took philosophical and logistical cues from the flourishing DIY cassette culture, but demonstrated a different elegance in its music and design. A testament to his independent and uncompromising spirit, all of Leimer’s recorded work would be released in varying formats and editions on Palace of Lights from ‘79 to ‘83. Leimer rarely performed live, averting the litmus of instant appreciation for his solitary studio pursuits. Tellingly, the “K.” that abbreviated Leimer’s first name was a nod to Kafka’s doomed pariah Josef K (from The Trial and The Castle). This gives a sense of the reclusive and literary realm Leimer was fond of working in. Despite his reticence, Leimer’s debut 1980 album Closed System Potentials would reach a receptive audience, and eventually sell more than 3,000 copies thanks in part to Cross’s persistent advocation to independent distributors and magazines. A Period of Review focuses on unheard material outside of the work Leimer offered on Palace of Lights, though even that music could be considered relatively “unheard.” The thirty tracks of A Period of Review may have remained a mystery on moldy reels until now, but Leimer’s entire catalog of generative music remains pristine in its absolute power. The pieces of A Period of Review draw on many influences of the time, articulating gestures that embrace coolly composed stoicism, saturated fields of percolating beats, stark razed spaces and grave and gently developed glimpses of beauty. Overall, a genuine diversity of expression underscoring just how much range Leimer had at his disposal. A Period of Review is a rewarding step into the canopied, unheard world of K. Leimer and necessarily grand in scope. With its hypnotic, arcadian terraces and nearly narcotic glacial beauty, A Period of Review has a rightful place in the canon of pioneering ambient music. K. Leimer’s A Period of Review (Original Recordings: 1975 – 1983) will be released May 13, 2014 as a double LP set, CD and digitally. Liner notes were crafted by Seattle writer David Segal. Top-tier mastering was done by Greg Davis, who produced the compilation with Palace of Lights artist Robert Carlberg, RVNG and Kerry Leimer himself, who continues making music to this day.
File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Early Electronic, Eno
Amon Duul II: Dance of the Lemmings (Cleopatra) LP
Cleopatra Records will roll out a series of limited edition deluxe vinyl re-issues of 5 landmark albums by one of the most influential experimental rock bands of all time, iconic German Krautrock legends Amon Düül II! Each album has been meticulously put together with digitally remastered audio made specifically for these re-issues and comes pressed on 180 gram vinyl packaged in glue-on heavyweight chip board jackets. The first 2 re-issues to appear will be the spectacular 1969 debut album Phallus Dei and the hugely influential 1972 classicWolf City, followed by the release of the 1971 double LP Dance Of The Lemmings, 1973’s Vive La Trance and an extra special lenticular jacket printing of the group’s masterpiece, 1970’s double LP Yeti. 1971’s Dance Of The Lemmings is the quintessential Krautrock group’s bold and ambitious third full-length offering after Phallus Dei and Yeti. Rated as one of the ’40 Best Cosmic Rock Albums of All Time’ by both Q and Mojo magazines, the album is broken into the two movements Syntelman’s March Of The Roaring Seventies and Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child while the last four tracks on the second LP are from the Chamsin soundtrack.
File Under: Prog, Krautrock, Psych
Amon Duul II: Wolf City (Cleopatra) LP
Wolf City is the fifth full-length recording from German Krautrock pioneers Amon Duul II recorded at Bavaria Studios in July of 1972 with production by Olaf Kuebler who helmed the group’s first eight albums. More conventional than earlier efforts with the nearly 8-minute “Surrounded by the Stars” being the longest track, Wolf City finds the band balancing art and accessibility to great effect with an emphasis on hauntingly melodic song-based material. Reissued on deluxe limited edition colored 180g vinyl courtesy of Cleopatra Records.
File Under: Prog, Kraut Rock, Psych
Amen Dunes: Love (Sacred Bones) LP
While the previous Amen Dunes records have all been largely improvisational first-take affairs, recorded in a matter of weeks at most, the forthcoming full-length Love is the product of close to a year and a half of continuous work by Damon McMahon. Unlike McMahon’s earlier Amen Dunes recordings, which were almost always a solo affair, the music on Love was performed by a variety of musicians, including his longtime collaborators Jordi Wheeler on guitar and piano, and Parker Kindred on drums. McMahon chose to hold the main recording sessions for Love in Montreal with Dave Bryant and Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. In addition to recording the sessions that McMahon produced, members of Godspeed also played on several of the songs. So did saxophonist Colin Stetson and Elias Bender-Ronnenfelt of Iceage, who duets with McMahon on two tracks. This project has always seen McMahon guided by traditional song and sound, but Love is the first work in which this clearly shines through. The result is definitively the most substantial Amen Dunes record to date. These are elemental songs about time, love and memory, as much about the listener as they are about the writer: pure, open, and beautiful.
File Under: Indie, Psych
Black Keys: Turn Blue (Nonesuch) LP+CD
The Black Keys’ new album, Turn Blue, Nonesuch Records. Produced by Danger Mouse, Dan Auerbach, and Patrick Carney, Turn Blue features 11 new tracks, including the first single, “Fever.” Turn Blue was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood during the summer of 2013 with additional recording done at the Key Club in Benton Harbor, MI and Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound in Nashville in early 2014. Of the album – which was announced via a cryptic Tweet from former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and an accompanying David Lynchian video – the band says Turn Blue could refer to: suffocation, sadness, numbness from extreme cold and a Cleveland late night TV host from the 1960’s named Ghoulardi. Moreover, Carney comments, “We are always trying to push ourselves when we make a record – not repeat our previous work but not abandon it either. On this record, we let the songs breathe and explored moods, textures and sounds. We’re excited for the world to hear Turn Blue.” This is the eighth full-length album from the duo and follows 2011’s critically and commercially acclaimed El Camino, which is now certified RIAA Platinum. Internationally, El Camino is Gold in Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Holland; Platinum in Ireland, France and the UK; and double Platinum in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. The record also resulted in three awards at the 55th annual Grammy Awards – Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album. The band now has a total of six Grammy Awards including three in 2010 for their breakout, RIAA Platinum album, Brothers.
File Under: Rock, Blues, Hotshit
The Body: Shall Die Here (RVNG Int.) LP
I Shall Die Here is the fourth full-length album by The Body. Sharing their moribund vision for I Shall Die Here with Bobby Krlic (aka The Haxan Cloak), the tried and true sound of The Body is cut to pieces, mutilated by process and re-animated in a spectral state by the newly minted partnership. The Body’s brutal musical approach, engraved by drummer Lee Buford’s colossal beats and Chip King’s mad howl and bass-bladed guitar dirge, becomes something even more terrifying with Krlic’s post-mortem ambiences serving as both baseline and outer limit. I Shall Die Here sonically serrates the remains of metal’s already unidentifiable corpse and splays it amid tormented voices in shadow. Formed in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1999, The Body soon relocated to Providence, Rhode Island. The duo remained in Providence for a decade before moving west to their current home of Portland, Oregon. A handful of precursor releases readied the band for seasoned explorations across their debut self-titled album (Moganano, 2003) and on the widely-acclaimed All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood (At A Loss, 2011). The Body’s disobeyance to formal classification figured heavily on All the Waters. The album’s employment of the Assembly of Light Choir’s classical chorales alongside more industrial music techniques such as vocal sampling and drum programming in turn prompted RVNG to inquire with King and Buford which darker corners of the electronic universe they were presumably interested in exploring. The earnestly experimental undertaking of I Shall Die Here is expertly aided by Seth Manchester and Keith Souza, The Body’s longstanding engineers and creative collaborators, and noted producer Krlic. Krlic’s own work as The Haxan Cloak struck a similarly despairing chord to The Body with last year’s celebrated Excavations (Tri Angle, 2013), itself a minimalist evocation of the afterlife. I Shall Die Here shares similar nether space with the morbidly deviating darkness of Excavations, but remains sculpturally frozen in a sort of earthen purgatory. On album opener “To Carry the Seeds of Death Within Me,” a dramatic pause partitions the seismic caterwauling and savage whump of the first half from the ambient, suffocating ripple of the second. From there, the dimensional doom marches on in procession, ceaselessly alternating between shape and shadow. According to the band themselves, they sought to create something wholly experimental with I Shall Die Here. In the course of its creation and recreation, they have attained that rare artistic goal: an album with few precedents and a paradigm shift richly realized. Bobby Krlic’s downcast electronic visions laces seamlessly into The Body’s already volatile mix of fissured doom metal and fused verbal spaces. The onset of a new music emerges with I Shall Die Here, and in its shifts, shadows, and reeling voices, the darkest possible formulation of electronic music has been realized.
File Under: Doom Metal, Dark Ambient
The Both: s/t (Super Ego) LP
Critically acclaimed musicians Aimee Mann and Ted Leo have joined forces for a collaborative project they call The Both. The duo’s self-titled debut will be released in April 2014 via SuperEgo Records. Building on a friendship forged while they were on tour together last year, it was Leo’s solo sets that piqued Mann’s interest in getting on stage with him and writing music together. Of the project, Mann notes, “Honestly, I feel like for the first time, I’m part of a rock band.” The album was recorded in Los Angeles with Ryan Freeland, between stretches of touring in 2013, and produced by Mann’s longtime friend and band member Paul Bryan. The Both’s all original songs were written as back-and-forth collaborations between Mann and Leo. With their differing musical vocabularies and mutual admiration for one another, the duo found working together to be a boon. “We were just like ‘Fuck it, let’s push and make it happen,’” notes Mann. “You really just have to go, ‘You know what, I have to trust that this other person’s instincts are good.’” Leo furthers, “I think as Aimee and I have gotten closer, we have realized how much in common we have and how much respect we have for what the other person does and what they’re bringing to the table. The writing process has largely been long distance, but it’s been line by line, verse by verse, part by part; we’ll send each other something and go back and forth until it’s finished.” Mann began her solo career in 1993 with the album Whatever and made a name for herself through her independent success and the founding of her record label, SuperEgo. In addition to her solo work, she has appeared on many film soundtracks, composed the soundtrack for Paul Thomas Anderson’s much-lauded Magnolia and appeared as herself on the hit indie TV series Portlandia. The new collaboration follows Mann’s eighth studio album Charmer which received national attention. Punk/indie singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Leo is best known for his work with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists over the past fifteen years. His most recent album The Brutalist Bricks was released on Matador Records in 2010. Leo also kept up a consistent presence as a solo performer since the late 1990s and began playing with Mann in February 2012.
File Under: Rock, Ted Leo, Aimee Mann
Cramps: Flamejob (Drastic Plastic) LP
The Cramps career has been the stuff of legend. Dangerously bizarre but most of all cool, The Cramps represent everything that is truly reprehensible about rock’n’roll. Founding members Lux Interior (the psycho-sexual Elvis/Werewolf hybrid from hell) and guitar-slinging soul-mate Poison Ivy (the ultimate bad girl vixen) are the architects of a wicked sound that distills a cross of swamp water, moonshine and nitro down to a dangerous and unstable musical substance. Their cultural impact has spawned a legion of devil cults and dance-floor catfights, and created in its wake a cavalcade of cave-stomping imitators. As punk rock pioneers in the late ’70s, they cut their teeth on the stages of CBGB and Max’s Kansas City and recorded their first record at Sam Phillips legendary Sun Studios, funded mainly by Ivy’s income as a dominatrix in NYC. They coined the now popular term “psychobilly” on their 1976 gig posters. Their hair-raising live performances were total, no-holds-barred rock’n’roll assaults and total mayhem. “Alan McGee may have had bigger fish to fry in 1994 (namely the era-defining debut of five scallies from Burnage), but that didn’t stop him investing well-spent time and money on this, The Cramps’ sixth album proper. A good job, too, since Flamejob is a blast; its tunes every bit as colourful as their preposterous titles (eg; “Naked Girl Falling Down The Stairs”). If anything, it sounds even more current today, with The White Stripes reigning supreme, than it did 10 years ago in the shadow of their mono-browed labelmates.” – Uncut. This first vinyl pressing of the The Cramps Flamejob since its original pressing in 1994 has been remastered by Masterdisk and comes on numbered limited edition colored LP of 1,500 copies and is housed in a heavyweight vinyl jacket foil-numbered in silver.
File Under: Punk, Rock
Eno & Hyde: Someday World (Warp) LP/CD
Brian Eno and Karl Hyde (of Underworld) come together for the new album Someday World on Warp Records. This is the first vocal/band project from Eno since 2008’s David Byrne collaboration. Someday World comprises 9-songs, composed and sung by Eno & Hyde together with a highly distinguished cast of supporting musicians, including Eno’s Roxy Music band mate Andy Mackay, Tessa Angus, Nell Catchpole, Marianna Champion, Will Champion, Kasia Daszykowska, Don E., Darla Eno, Georgia Gibson, John Reynolds and Chris Vatalaro. Following-up Eno’s 2013 Grammy nominated album LUX, Somebody World was co-produced with 20 year old Fred Gibson, and serves as Eno & Hyde’s first complete album together despite years of collaboration. “A lot of the nicer cities I know are cities built on hills, and the cities are beautiful because the buildings have a challenge to adapt to. They have to mould themselves around the geology that they’ve formed upon. And that always makes for very interesting buildings, because they can’t just be blocks, they have to somehow morph around the environment. A lot of the constructions on the album were deliberately irregular and awkward. I had a big collection of ‘beginnings’ sitting around waiting for something to galvanise them into life, to make them more than just ‘experiments’. That something turned out to be Karl Hyde.” – Brian Eno “It’s a bit like being nine years old again. You have no idea what you’ve just been given, the record button has been pressed and you’re on. And then these unlikely patterns start to happen. The biggest surprise was discovering we both had a love of Afrobeat, Cyclical music based in live playing. When Brian played me these early tracks it was, ‘Oh my god, this is home! Can I borrow a guitar?” – Karl Hyde
File Under: Electronic, Eno, Underworld
Jay Z: Magna Carta… Holy Grail (Roc-a-fella) LP
Now available on vinyl… Features guest appearances by Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Rick Ross and Frank Ocean. And if that’s not enough guest spots for you.. There’s the track ‘BBC’ featuring Nas, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Swizz Beatz, Pharrell and Timbaland!! The future of hiphop is here, and we assure you – it is mad groovy.
File Under: Hip Hop, Rap
Liturgy: Aesthethica (Thrill Jockey) LP
Available again on vinyl! Brooklyn based Liturgy is Hunter Hunt Hendrix, Greg Fox, Tyler Dusenbury, and Bernard Gann. ‘Aesthethica’, their second album and third release, shows the band exploring, in greater depth, themes initially touched on by their critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Renihilation’. The band used every instrument, literal or figurative, to produce meaning and intensity, disregarding the genre boundaries of black metal, hardcore and experimental music. Deluxe 2LP version features gatefold sleeve, fully artworked inner sleeves, free download coupon, and PMS Gold printing.
File Under: Metal, Black Metal
New Bums: Voices In A Rented Room (Drag City) LP
New Bums is a new band featuring two well-seasoned veterans of the underground music wars: Donovan Quinn (Skygreen Leopards) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance). New Bums have ridden the hard road all the way to this, their album debut. They’ve played around and they’ve hit the singles scene (haven’t you turned up ‘Slim Volume’? 7″EP of the year, man!), but Voices in a Rented Room tells their whole life story and probably more of yours than you’d care to admit. The voices are two, spinning harmonies both heavenly and salt-pickled. Picking their direction and floating along on a pair of acoustics, New Bums are the sound of old drunk America, dancing out of the shadows, coming forth again to stand in the light, in the hopes of repopulating those sad old single-occupancy hotels before they’re all torn down. New Bums is the grudging match-up of Donovan Quinn (Skygreen Leopards) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire, 200 Years, Rangda and who’s hiring?). They didn’t like each other at first, but now make sweet and sour music together over the light of the magical Sterno (if there’s anything left in the can, that is!). The ideas go back and forth between Ben and Donovan in what seems to be a true partnership. Their songs are all that: songs, with lyrics set in a space to speak to the human buried in you. People’s music, with all the stark confessions, tall tales, bleak humors and punch lines that the people can bear. Behind the acoustics and voices is lots of space, but there are a few extra instruments that come and go and tinge the scrim as the boys move from stately processional to streetcorner sing-around to bluesy weeper to low-rolling rock n roll and back again, with slide-guitar lines erupting in the dark night air and classical-tinged filigrees curling around the tarnished and rusting edges throughout.
File Under: Psych, Rock
Swans: Burning World (1972) LP
First-ever vinyl reissue of their only major label album from 1989! The Burning World is an excellent curio in Swans’ already eclectic discography. 1987’s Children of God confirmed that Swans could indulge delicacy alongside immersive swathes of sound. In 1989, band leader Michael Gira coproduced The Burning World alongside multi-instrumentalist Bill Laswell and continued to refine his songwriting without compromising power. Jarboe’s inimitable vocal presence enhances the overall tunefulness while Gira’s own weary-but-resilient declamations ascend to towering intensity at precisely the right moments. All throughout, Gira rages against God for the sake of love, lifting the veil off darkness to reveal exaltation. ‘(She’s a) Universal Emptiness’ finds Gira’s signature croon perfectly belied by Jarboe’s harmony, but the sauntering balladry is spiked with assaultive snare drum and a rogue chord on the verge of feeling saccharine. ‘Jane Mary, Cry One Tear’ sends Gira’s voice to seemingly impossible depths. The slight quiver and momentary roll of the tongue that marks his style is on full display, as if the merest detail of his evocative delivery is toiled over in advance. It begins with the minimal guide of an acoustic guitar and builds to ardent fury, all the while honoring the intricate minutiae in his voice. The Burning World resolves Swans mournful rock sensibility with some of the most pure hooks Gira ever sang over, but his indelible assets as a singular songwriter are wholly intact and unmistakable.
File Under: Goth Rock, Folk Rock
Tobacco: Ultima II Massage (Ghostly) LP
On his third album, the Pennsylvania snake-synth-charmer deepens his approach to aural depravity. Ultima II Massage widens a jagged swath through the dude’s own weird catalog, each disparate track damaged to the point of contributing to some sort of greater, lurching Frankenstein-like state. “I spent a lot of time breaking it in all the right places,” says Tobacco. “It ends up making the whole thing breathe – sometimes gasp for air. It feels more alive.” Immediately after finishing 2010’s Maniac Meat, he went to work on the beat-addled series begun with Fucked Up Friends in 2008. There were notable breaks en route to now – a surprising commission to remix White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ‘65,” a new BMSR record (Cobra Juicy), and producing Demon Queen’s Exorcise Tape with vocalist Zackey Force Funk – but he saved the worst for last, amassing the most misanthropic material for Ultima. To wit, SPIN dubbed early share “Lipstick Destroyer” a “junkyard takedown of Daft Punk’s beloved, pristine electro.” Tobacco explains his modified approach: “I wanted to push each song just enough, so that even when the album’s at its wildest, it’s something you can zone out to. It feels like a definitive end to a concept I’ve been trying to perfect forever. Maniac Meat was linear. This time I wanted to do a lot of different things and have them come together as one meditative piece. At least for myself.” Which, oddly enough, makes sense. This is easily Tobacco’s most diverse set to date – his own Stereopathetic Soulmanure, but about that 1-900 hotline life: massage parlors, plasticized sleaze, fake tans, old dial-ups to the fan clubs of dead B-actors. Fittingly, the album’s only contributor is Beck music director Brian LeBarton who shrieks as Notrabel on the grimy freak-out “Streaker.” At 17 tracks, Ultima is stacked with beautifully perverse hits – from the sickly sticky “Eruption,” to the wobbly demon swaggerer “Face Breakout,” to the distorted punk spazz of “Dipsmack,” to the apocalyptic sepia ambience of “Spitlord.” You may hear disembodied bits of Boards of Canada, early Def Jam records, and Gary Numan, or maybe just public-access TV and bad VHS dubs of ‘80s horror flicks. Or the sun exploding and everything you’ve ever loved melting. Again, Tobacco was just trying to make meditation music. But to ﬁnd that rotted sweet spot, as always, he had to subvert his pop urges. Tobacco went back to the cassette decks he started off with – analog weapons of distortion to compliment his hissing vocoder and blown rhythms. Any moment that felt “just right” was brutally assaulted until ugly again. All to accomplish one end: “This might be my most purposely difficult album yet, but I promise if you let it in, it can fuck you up.”
File Under: Electronic, Black Moth Super Rainbow
Neil Young: A Letter Home (Third Man) LP
Neil Young’s new album A Letter Home is comprised of a collection of covers recorded with Jack White in a refurbished 1947 Voice-O-Graph recording booth at Third Man’s Nashville headquarters. Imagine a very simple recording studio not much larger than a phone booth and you’ll get the idea. Young describes the album as “an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology that captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever.” Recorded live to track to one-track, mono, the album has an inherent warm, primitive feel of a vintage Folkways recording. As for the track-listing, Young chose songs that have personal meaning for him, such as British folk artist Bert Jansch’s “Needle of Death” (which inspired Young to write 1972’s “Needle and the Damage Done”), Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country,” Willie Nelson’s “Crazy,” Don Everly’s “I Wonder If I Care as Much,” Bruce Springsteen’s “My Home Town,” and many others. The 12-song set finds Young alone on vocals, guitar, harmonica and piano with the exception of “On the Road Again” and “I Wonder If I Care As Much” where he’s joined by White. The album begins with Neil recording a spoken letter to his late mother, informing her of his personal and present state of affairs which sets the tone and atmosphere for the duration of the album. He does this once again at the beginning of Side 2 in a way which could explain why he’s selected these particular songs to record. In essence, this presentation is, as its title implies, A Letter Home from Neil. This is a deeply personal and expressive listening experience which is as real and raw emotionally as it is sonically and yet light of touch in its form and flow. “Neil Young just stopped by. He was driving his electric car, the LincVolt, he was driving around town and filming stuff, and he stopped by, checked it out, and me and him were talking about it. We had a curtain set up on the other side. And some kid came into the recording booth and recorded a Neil Young song and when he opened the door, Neil Young just peaked his head out. It was a pretty beautiful moment. And I think that a few months later he called me and said, ‘Hey man I want to come and record in that booth. Hey, maybe I’ll do my whole next record there.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not going to stop you. Where do you want me to pick you up?’” – Jack White
File Under: Folk
Young Widows: Easy Pain (Temporary Residence) LP
Young Widows are a creatively restless bunch. Easy Pain is easily their densest, most disturbingly addictive record yet. The guitars are enormous, the drums are pummeling, and the trademark gut-churning bass is more jaw-dropping than ever. Evan Patterson’s lyrics and vocal delivery are more expressive and dynamic, and the production is absolutely massive. Disregarding all boundaries and pushing forward with a masterful command of post-punk, noise rock, pseudo industrial, experimental doom, and goth, Young Widows emit the intimidating force of a 10-piece with the heart and soul of a classic power trio. Few artists can simultaneously summarize their entire recorded career while also undeniably expanding upon it. Young Widows have done exactly that, and have earned their reputation as a truly peerless group. In their constant pursuit of the intersection of beauty and ugliness, Easy Pain is unquestionably their most fully realized album to date.
File Under: Metal, Punk, Psych
Bjork: Debut (One Little Indian) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
David Bowie: BBC Archives (Fanclub) LP
Elliott Brood: Tin Type (Paper Bag) LP
Captain Beefheart: Trout Mask Replica (Reprise) LP
Birthday Party: Peel Sessions (Fanclub) LP
Johnny Cash: American IV (American) LP
Johnny Cash: American VI (American) LP
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads (Mute) LP
The Clash: Give ‘Em Enough Rope (Sony) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
Cursed: One (Deathwish) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Columbia) LP Mono
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Death: For The Whole World to See (Drag City) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Sundazed) 2LP
Brian Eno: Another Green World (Polydor) LP
Eric B & Rakim: Paid in Full (Universal) LP
Green Day: Demolcious (Warner) LP
Grizzly Bear: Shields (Warp) LP
Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage (Blue Note) LP
Hawkwind: In Search of Space (Rock Classics) LP
Joy Division: Peel Sessions (Fanclub) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Session 80 (Fanclub) LP
LCD Soundsystem: The Long Goodbye (DFA) LP
Lorde: Love Club (Fanclub) LP
Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um (Jazz Wax) LP
Charles Mingus: Tonight at Noon (Atlantic) LP
N.E.R.D.: In Search Of (Geffen) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In An Aeroplane Over The Sea (Merge) LP
Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Fanclub) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Power Glove: Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon (Invada) LP
Public Enemy: It Takes A Nation of Millions (Def Jam) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Rick Ross: Mastermind (Fanclub) LP
Run DMC: The Best of (Fanclub) LP
Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue (DOL) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Tom Waits: Rain Dogs (Music on Vinyl) LP
Ben Webster: Soulville (DOL) LP
Weezer: Blue (Mofi) LP
Kanye West: Yeezus (Good) LP