…..news letter #716 – dirty boots…..

This list may be short, but it sure seems like there’s a lot in this week. Maybe it’s just a lot of restocks. Anyway, Black Friday Record Store Day is creeping up on us so, lots to do here, so I’ll leave you to it….

Oh ya… I’ll be DJing down at the Black Dog next Thursday night after I close up shop with Ian Rae for Dig it Thursdays. If you live down there you should come out and listen to me play some bonkers tunes.

…..pick of the week…..harmoniaHarmonia: Complete Works (Gronland) 5LP Box
In tomorrow... Few bands match the pastoral beauty and majesty of Harmonia, the short-lived German band that existed from 1973 to 1976. The ‘Krautrock’ supergroup, brought together Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, and Michael Rother of NEU!, who were later joined by Brian Eno. The box set contains five vinyl records: Musik von Harmonia (1974), Deluxe (1975), Harmonia & Eno ’76 / Tracks and Traces (1997), Harmonia Live 1974 (2007) and the previously unreleased Documents 1975, plus extras: a lush 36 page booklet including previously unreleased photography documenting the history of Harmonia, the original Harmonia live poster, and a beautiful pop-up presenting the Harmonia headquarters in Forst. Additionally, there is a download code for all of the songs in the boxset.

File Under: Krautrock, Kosmische
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…..new arrivals…..


Diiv: Oshin (Captured Tracks) LP
DIIV is the nom-de-plume of Z. Cole Smith, musical provocateur and frontman of an atmospheric and autumnally-charged new Brooklyn four-piece. Recently inked to the uber-reliable Captured Tracks imprint, DIIV created instant vibrations in the blog-world with their impressionistic debut Sometime; finding its way onto the esteemed pages of Pitchfork and Altered Zones a mere matter of weeks after the group’s formation. Enlisting the aid of NYC indie-scene-luminary, Devin Ruben Perez, former Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, and Mr. Smith’s childhood friend Andrew Bailey, DIIV craft a sound that is at once familial and frost-bitten. Indebted to classic kraut, dreamy Creation-records psychedelia, and the primitive-crunch of late-80s Seattle, the band walk a divisive yet perfectly fused patch of classic-underground influence.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Steve Hauschildt: Where all is Fled (Kranky) LP
“Steve Hauschildt’s new album is his first since the late 2012 release of Sequitur. Although Where All Is Fled sonically harkens back to his earlier albums such as Rapt for Liquid Minister and Tragedy & Geometry, it slowly becomes apparent that it is also a divergence from those recordings. Both the artwork and the music on this new work were heavily inspired by surrealist landscape paintings, early alchemical emblems, and recurring visions Steve had from dreams. The result is a pristine series of cascading melodies, fantastical terrains of layered lattices, and overlapping patterns of synthesizers superimposed with orchestral instrumentation. Hidden in the crevices of the album are processed crowd sounds, re-sampled text-to-speech synthesis, piano, and animal noises which reveal themselves after repeated listens and blur together notions of artificial and natural sound. While slowly unfurling, each sound is given it’s own place and space, never hurried, never cluttered. The album is a modern kosmische milepost, and the most accomplished statement of Steve Hauschildt’s vision yet.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Kacy & Clayton: Strange Country (Big White Cloud) LP
Second cousins Clayton Linthicum and Kacy Anderson grew up in the Wood Mountain Hills of southern Saskatchewan, and they’re familial connection grew into a musical one. Teaming up with the Deep Dark Woods’ Ryan Boldt, the duo released their debut The Day Is Past & Gone in 2013, and they’re continuing to look forward with the new LP. Through a stint playing with Boldt in the Deep Dark Woods, Linthicum met fellow Saskatchewan musician Shuyler Jansen, who ended up producing the new album. The band describe the new material as a collection of songs that shows off a “darker and more worldly side of life.” These stories are told through “the imagery and language of the old folk forms,” but manage to bring a fresh perspective and sound to Canadian folk music that is all their own. It shines through on Strange Country, which is due out on November 13 through Big White Cloud Records.

File Under: Folk
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Loscil: Plume (Kranky) LP
“This is the first vinyl issue of the classic fourth loscil album originally released in May of 2006. from the original onesheet: Scott Morgan notes: Compositionally, many tracks on Plume are similar in approach to First Narrows; they started with a harmonic root from which sounds were processed into a loose structure over which the live players could improvise. There was substantially less editing this time around with the live tracks. I opted to choose the better improvised passes and merely mix them in and out rather than cut them up. I think this leaves a lot more natural space and balances the heavily structured and repetitive electronic elements with more organic performed layers. Jason Zumpano returned from the First Narrows ensemble and I also recruited long time friend Steve Wood and my partner Krista to play some ebow guitar as well as Josh Lindstrom to play some xylophone and vibraphone which added some new elements into the mix. Thematically, I stuck with things that are quintessentially loscil; flow, subtle movement, gradual transition, growth. Also of significance to this album is the family connection. ‘Charlie’ was composed after seeing and hearing my daughter Sadie through ultrasound while still in the womb. The track was also composed as a womb-like sound experience for her to sleep to after she was born, hence the heart beats.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Majical Cloudz: Are You Alone? (Arts & Crafts) LP
In 2013, the Canadian musical-performance art project Majical Cloudz released Impersonator via touchstone indie label Matador, garnering praise from tastemakers and mainstream media as one of the year’s best and most notable albums. Since then, principle writer and vocalist Devon Welsh has been fastidiously crafting the band’s second studio album, Are You Alone?, while simultaneously touring the world with producer Matthew Otto. Building off a solidly-laid visual and sonic foundation, the conceptual narrative remains – simple yet emotionally forthcoming lyrics showcasing raw vulnerability, backed by sparse instrumentation and minimalist production. Welsh delivers melancholic but melody driven vocals echoing off elemental tones, praising love and friendship, commiserating over heartbreak and sadness. Written and recorded between Montreal and Detroit, Are You Alone? features drum, viola and piano support from Canadian composition genius Owen Pallett, known for his work with Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Death from Above 1979, and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. Coming as no surprise, Welsh and Otto have created another soulful novella, continuing to contribute to the evolution of sound in pop, indie, and electronic music.

File Under: Electronic, Indie Pop
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The Necks: Vertigo (Northern Spy) LP
The Necks 18th album Vertigo is an eventful, kaleidoscopic tone poem set against a darkly shimmering background. Slowly but inexorably moving forward, it crosses many frontiers yet remains true to the mission and mood established in the opening stanzas of this cinematic 44 minute journey. A work able to be viewed either as a whole, or two symmetrical halves, Vertigo sees The Necks once again offer an excursion in sound that reflects both the light and darkness of some preternatural world. It follows their acclaimed 2013 album Open, described by SPIN as ‘the most beautiful album of the year’. In contrast to the sustained improvisations that are their live performances, The Necks’ studio albums take shape by way of intricate crafting brought to bear throughout the entire recording and mixing process. “The discussion this time really began in earnest in the session itself, where we started to pursue the idea of having a drone running from start to finish, off which we could hang ideas,” said bassist Lloyd Swanton “But like all Necks albums we ended up in a very different place from whatever our initial notion of it had been.” Maintaining a teetering tension between suspension and collapse, Vertigo draws on a diverse palette of sounds created in the studio by Tony Buck (drums/percussion/guitar), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano/keyboards), featuring everything from homemade instruments, extended instrumental techniques and marathon explorations of sonic textures. One piece, at the same time two. Monochrome, yet multicoloured. Dark, yet incandescent. Expansive and still. Melancholic and exhilarating. The Necks. Vertigo.

File Under: Jazz
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Panda Bear: Crosswords (Domino) LP
Panda Bear’s latest five track collection, Crosswords EP, sees wind in his sails as we follow him on his next wide-eyed quantum leap from 2015’s acclaimed album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper with the escalator firmly jammed on up. On his Crosswords EP, Noah Lennox bequeaths five fresh and finely observed body-pop wonders – three new songs: “No Mans Land,” “Jabberwocky” and “Cosplay” – and two re-castings of previous ore – “The Preakness” – previously heard in spirited demo form on 2012’s Tomboy LP boxset – and the whole shebang treasure-topped with a fresh take on his PBVSGR soul tour de force “Crosswords.” Aided on studio production duties by Sonic Boom, the five EP tracks take us tumbling down the metaphorical rabbit hole once more…as Noah’s latest Adventures in Wonderland continue. The 12″ comes appropriately enveloped in eye-popping fashion with artwork by Swiss artist Marco Papiro and with custom type-faces by Black Dice’s Bjorn Copeland.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Soldiers of Fortune: Early Risers (Mexican Summer) LP
Soldiers of Fortune started back in 2004 as an antiband! The idea was to put together a cracked mercenary “dirty dozen” type of outfit, who were never gonna write songs, never gonna practice, never gonna record music, make any product for public consumption or ever hit the road! Their only goal was to play a rare show every now and then that they could assault, terrorize, and shred, relying only on instinct, intuition and the chemistry of the band of bros in the moment of battle (show) – it was either sink or swim, or death before glory. Now here we are, ten years later: Mexican Summer A&R gave Soldiers of Fortune the opportunity to record a dozen embryonic ‘song ideas’ over an afternoon. The band called up friends who know how to sing and finished up the damn thing in like three days. The result is an LP called Early Riser, and beyond the core troupe consisting of Brad Truax (Interpol), Kid Millions (Man Forever, Oneida), Barry London (Oneida), Matt Sweeney (Chavez), Jesper Eklow (Endless Boogie), Mike Bones, and the elusive Papa Crazee (Oneida) they abused the superior vocal stylings of Clark “Yeremias” Bronson, Stephen Malkmus, Cass McCombs, Dan Melchior, Ethan Miller and Matt McCaley. Early Risers is the sound of utter confusion and unfocused tender hatred in song form. Mastered by Greg Calibi and pressed on standard black vinyl cut at 33 rpm. Housed in a 12″ single pocket jacket on reverse board stock with accompanying digital download code.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Spelljammer: Ancient of Days (Riding Easy) LP
Ancient of Days is not just the band’s third release, but in many ways, a rebirth. It’s Spelljammer’s first recording as a trio – with Olsson taking over bass duties and new drummer Jonatan Rimsbo battering the skins – and the culmination of a progressive move toward a heavier, doom-laden sound, away from the desert rock leanings of their 2010 debut Inches From the Sun. Vol II saw the band spreading out into darker territories. After writing sessions fell apart in 2013 for a followup to Vol II (reissued in early 2015 by RidingEasy Records) Olsson and guitarist Robert Sorling scrapped nearly everything following the departure of half of the band. The two began to build from the ground up as a duo with new ideas that resulted in the invigorated Ancient of Days. It’s the band’s most focused and deliberate in both its complexities and simplicities. There’s the pummeling heft of detuned guitars rumbling across the rugged expanse of unwieldy drums counterbalanced with moments of Master of Reality-era Sabbath’s introspective acoustic breaks and Pink Floyd’s Meddle-era psychedelia. These extreme shifts in dynamic give the band’s third album a sense of epic depth unlike most of Spelljammer’s peers.

File Under: Metal, Stoner Rock
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Ugly Casanova: Sharpen Your Teeth (Sub Pop) LP
Ugly Casanova is Isaac Brock, of Modest Mouse. Or, possibly, it is a mysterious savant named Edgar Graham, who imposed himself on Modest Mouse at the Denver show of the band’s 1998 tour, introduced himself as Ugly Casanova, and, through a haze of unnerving instability, shared some rough songs with the band. His songs, though delivered hesitantly…shamefully, even…displayed unmistakable talent. By the end of Modest Mouse’s tour, Ugly Casanova, with much reluctance, was persuaded to record some of these songs and hand them over to record labels for issue as singles or parts of compilations. Predictably, immediately after he had done so, he disappeared. Other than a sheaf of ramblings delivered to Modest Mouse’s singer Isaac Brock in the summer of 1999 that then inspired that band’s The Moon and Antarctica nothing had been heard from Casanova in years and those that still thought of him grew fewer. Then in November of 2001, a faded and water-damaged bundle was discovered among a stack of old packages during one of those general decontamination purges that so often follows a mail scare. Addressed simply to “Sub Pop, Seattle, WA,” there was little evidence of its origin. Inside, swathed in tape, Silly Putty and pelts of three identifiable rodents was a greeting from the long-lost Graham. Numerous tapes and a list of requests that alternated between raving demands for destruction of said tapes and meek pleas for recognition of their contents were extracted from the mess of the package. Fortunately Sub Pop recognized that the tapes held promise, and released them in 2002 as Sharpen Your Teeth. Until such time as Graham/Casanova resurfaces to take credit for his work and add a bit more to whatever understanding of him still exists, Sharpen Your Teeth will have to suffice. Produced by Brian Deck and Isaac Brock at Glacial Pace Studios (Oregon), Ugly Casanova’s songs are here performed by Misters Brock and Deck, as well as John Orth (Holopaw), Tim Rutili (Califone, Red Red Meat), Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession), and a handful of like-minded collaborators. This 2015 vinyl edition includes four bonus tracks originally released on long-deleted 7″ singles.

File Under: Indie Rock, Modest Mouse
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Various: A Funky Trip (BGP) LP
Original Motown Funk Brother Dave Hamilton is known for his stunning and in-demand northern soul productions, but he also made some of the very best Detroit funk recordings. In the last decade those productions have been sought after by DJs and collectors. This compilation combines his biggest successes with music that has until now never been available on vinyl. Billy Garner’s ‘Brand New Girl’ is one of the biggest vintage funk tracks of the last decade, whilst Prophet & The Disciples’ ‘You Fool, You Fool’ is a £500 single being reissued on vinyl for the first time. Other cuts released on record for the first time include Johnny Walker’s ‘Funky Trip’ and James Carpenter’s ‘Party Time’ and could soon join them on the dance-floor.

File Under: Funk, Soul


Various: Brown Acid: The First Trip (Riding Easy) LP
Expertly archived compilation (assembled by LA’s Permanent Records along with Riding Easy) explores the wealth of proto-metal, pre-stoner lost rock tracks from the past 30 years. Brown Acid: The First Trip opens with the slithering buzzsaw guitars and hard-rock howl of Zeke’s’ “Box”, a monster that gives Blue Cheer a run for their leaden blues. Snow sways into “Sunflower” with a touch of Steppenwolf’s swagger and wind-in-their-hair wildness. Elsewhere, Zebra proves they were “Wasted” with a soul-inflected groove, while Bob Goodsite leans in on his wah-wah and phaser pedals, determined to out-Hendrix Jimi himself on “Faze.” Raw Meat’s “Stand By Girl” serves up a fierce, stomping riff intercut with Iron Butterfly style operatics. Bacchus kicks out a hostile sounding boogie, demanding to “Carry My Load.” Josefus caps it all off nicely with a hooky power-pop meets Bob Seger System meets Lollipop Shoppe anthem with the undeniably catchy chorus, “hard luck – keep truckin’!”

File Under: Pre-Stoner, Proto-Metal
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Alkoholiks: 21 & Over (Euro Repro) LP
Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam (Domino) LP
Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say… (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkeys: AM (Domino) LP
Arctic Monkeys: Humbug (Domino) LP
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (Capitol) LP
Beach House: Bloom (Sub Pop) LP
Beck: Odelay (Euro Repro) LP
Beck: Mutations (Euro Repro) LP
Beck: Mellow Gold (Euro Repro) LP
Black Angels: Passover (Light In The Attic) LP
David Bowie: Low (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Lodger (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Heroes (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Man Who Sold The World (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Scary Monsters (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (Euro Repro) LP
David Bowie: Hunky Dory (Euro Repro) LP
Damned: Damned Damned Damned (Euro Repro) LP
Dangermouse & Jay-z: Grey Album (Euro Repro) LP
Death Grips: Exmilitary (Euro Repro) LP
Decemberists: Florasongs (Capitol) LP
Desert Sessions: 1/2 (Euro Repro) LP
Eric B & Rakim: Paid In Full (Euro Repro) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honey Bear (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop) LP
Gza: Liquid Swords (Geffen) LP
Jurassic 5: Quality Control (Get on Down) LP
Kadavar: Berlin (Nuclear Blast) LP
Killers: Hot Fuss (Euro Repro) LP
Kraftwerk: Ralf & Florian (Euro Repro) LP
Kraftwerk: Computer World (Euro Repro) LP
Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs (Merge) 6×10″
Mogwai: Rave Tapes (Sub Pop) LP
Mogwai: Hardcore Will Never Die (Sub Pop) LP
Mudhoney: Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (Sub Pop) LP
My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (Euro Repro) LP
My Bloody Valentine: Isn’t Anything (Euro Repro) LP
Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City) LP
Night Beats: s/t (Trouble in Mind) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 1 (Euro Repro) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 2 (Euro Repro) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 3 (Euro Repro) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 4 (Euro Repro) LP
Nirvana: Outcesticide 5 (Euro Repro) LP
OST: Eraserhead (Euro Repro) LP
Pearl Jam: Avocado (Euro Repro) LP
Pearl Jam: Binaural (Euro Repro) LP
Pearl Jam: Yield (Euro Repro) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (EMI) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf (Euro Repro) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: s/t (Euro Repro) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Real Estate: Atlas (Domino) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Hometowns (Paper Bag) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Departing (Paper Bag) LP
Shins: Oh Inverted World (Sub Pop) LP
Sigur Ros: ( ) (Krunk) LP
Smog: Red Apple Falls (Drag City) LP
Smog: Knock Knock (Drag City) LP
Swans: s/t (Young God) 12″
Swans: Filth (Young God) LP
System of A Down: Toxicity (Euro Repro) LP
System of A Down: Hypnotize (Euro Repro) LP
System of a Down: Mezmerize (Euro Repro) LP
Tool: 10,000 Days (Euro Repro) LP
U2: Actung Baby (Euro Repro) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Soft Airplane (Flemish Eye) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Shrink Dust (Flemish Eye) LP
Tom Waits: Bone Machine (Euro Repro) LP
Wire: Chairs Missing (Euro Repro) LP
Women: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP
Women: Public Strain (Flemish Eye) LP
Neil Young: On the Beach (Euro Repro) LP
Neil Young: Harvest Moon (Euro Repro) LP


Neko Case: Truckdriver Gladiator Mule Box… Nov 20
Deafheaven: New Bermuda LP… now Nov 27
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly LP… now DEC!
Sigur Ros: Takk… now Nov 17
Tinariwen: Live in Paris… now Nov 27
Kamasi Washington: The Epic… late no ETA

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