First day of school for a lot of kids out there today, which means one thing… Fall new releases! Some big titles in this week and some even bigger ones on their way for next week. I hope you got your student loan all sorted out.
…..pick of the week…..
OST: Twin Peaks (Death Waltz) LP
These are almost all gone already, so… don’t sleep. Twin Peaks – Original Score LP. Music by Angelo Badalamenti. Artwork by Sam Smith, full package design by Jay Shaw. Pressed on 180 Gram ‘Damn Fine Coffee’ colored vinyl. One of the greatest scores ever recorded is finally back in print for the first time in 25 years! Death Waltz went back to the Warner archives, where engineer Tal Miller cut brand new vinyl masters. They then worked with Dave Cheppa at Plush Vinyl to cut new lacquers. Finally they asked Rainbo to press the record on 180g vinyl for the best possible sound quality. The record comes housed inside a 425gsm gatefold sleeve featuring lyrics and liner notes by composer Angelo Badalamenti; the cover image by Sam Smith comes approved by David Lynch himself! The gatefold sleeve is then housed within a bespoke die cut outer jacket designed by Jay Shaw featuring super subtle white spot varnish text. The whole affair is finished with a top loading obi strip & pressed on ‘Damn Fine Coffee’ colored vinyl. “I’m glad that after 25 years, Death Waltz Recording Company has re-released the original soundtrack for Twin Peaks for a new audience to enjoy. This is my defining work as a composer and I’m happy it will get a fresh listen” – Angelo Badalamenti, 2016
File Under: OST. Electronic, Death Waltz
Haley Bonar: Impossible Dream (Thirty Tigers) LP
Haley Bonar has been releasing music under her own name for over a decade now, and she seems to get stronger with every iteration. Her newest endeavor is Impossible Dream, the follow-up to 2014’s critically acclaimed, Last War, and she made a concerted effort to write from a different perspective for each of the record’s 10 songs. Impossible Dream was recorded on analog tape at Pachyderm Studios in Minnesota and produced by Bonar and Jacob Hansen. Here’s how she lays it out: “Everybody wants a story. Something to sell. I’m here to tell you that there isn’t one with this album, at least in the traditional sense, but ten. Perhaps each of them contain more stories, sitting inside each other like nesting dolls. I could sit here and tell you that some of the songs are about growing up in the Black Hills. Some of the songs are about my parents. Some of the songs are about sexuality. Some of the songs are about loss of youth, teenage parenthood, the lines of social disorder for women, or the terror of jealousy and suspicion. “But what I write is borne of my own set of memories and ideas, and once they are released into the world, they do not belong to me anymore. The interpretation is all yours, therefore these stories are yours. What I can tell you is this: My name is Haley Bonar (rhymes with “honor”). I’m 33 years old, a Taurus, and I live in Saint Paul, MN with my daughter Clementine. I also sing in a band called Gramma’s Boyfriend.”
File Under: Rock
The Chills: Kaleidoscope World (Flying Nun) LP
Kaleidoscope World is not just the starting point for The Chills, but a story of how it all began and an insight into the world of New Zealand guitar-pop and the ‘Dunedin Sound’ – an influence which carries on to indie-pop bands around the world today. Originally released in 1986, the compilation captures the best of the magical early period recordings of The Chills and simply oozes excitement and possibility. The zany brightness of the cover art against the black background only hints at the wonder contained within. Now re-issued again on a deluxe 2xLP and CD set, featuring six bonus, b-sides, demos and live tracks plus an expanded gatefold cover with photos, posters and liner notes from journalist Martin Aston. As Flying Nun label founder Roger Shepherd put it – Kaleidoscope World is “complex, varied but simple and direct. Musically sophisticated but joyous, poppy and accessible. Essential.”
File Under: Alt Pop, New Zealand
Johnnie Frierson: Have You Been Good to Yourself (Light in the Attic) LP
Followers of our output might have a pang of recognition on reading the name Frierson. That was the surname of Wendy Rene, whose work was collected into the 2012 LITA anthology After Laughter Comes Tears, and indeed, Johnnie Frierson is Wendy’s brother – a fellow member of her mid-’60s Stax four-piece The Drapels. But Have You Been Good To Yourself will come as a surprise to anyone expecting more of the beat-driven R&B Johnnie and his sibling produced – including that compilation’s much-sampled title track. A mix of spoken word and gospel songs laid down direct to cassette, these ultra-rare home recordings draw from Johnnie’s religious upbringing and his history in the music business, which was interrupted in 1970 when he was sent to fight in Vietnam. Crate digger Jameson Sweiger found Have You Been Good To Yourself and a companion album, Real Education, released under the name Khafele Ojore Ajanaku in a Memphis thrift store, but it was noticeably Frierson’s work. They hadn’t made it far – they would originally have been sold at corner stores and music festivals in the Memphis area, where Frierson continued to perform and host a gospel radio show, all the while working as a mechanic, laborer and teacher. The seven songs on Have You Been Good To Yourself are overtly religious; some, such as “Out Here On Your Word,” are strident and faithful; others, like the self-questioning “Have You Been Good To Yourself,” are more meditative. They reflect the difficult situation that Frierson was in when recording, shell-shocked from his time in the military and grieving the untimely death of his son. “He was really trying to find his way,” remembers Frierson’s daughter Keesha in Andria Lisle’s liner notes. “And writing and making music were a way out for him.” Remastered and released professionally for the first time, the message spread by Frierson – who passed away in 2010 – remains undimmed.
File Under: Folk, Gospel
The Frightnrs: Nothing More to Say (Daptone) LP
The Frightnrs escort Daptone into the world of long-playing reggae with both the sweetest and the roughest record of the decade. Crafted under the meticulous eye of black-belt reggae mastermind/producer Victor Axelrod (AKA Ticklah), Nothing More to Say is a rocksteady masterpiece the likes of which has not reared it’s head since the golden era of Studio One. However, you’ll find no imitation here – none of the faux-jamaican cliches of lesser reggae bands. Like all things Daptone, this record is above all soulful and honest. With the exception of two soul covers (both from the Daptone catalog: Bob & Gene’s “Gotta Find a Way” and Saun and Starr’s “Gonna Make Time”,) the record is populated by original compositions of the highest order. They are simply great songs, and though their treatment here is masterful, each one of them has the melodic and lyrical substance to hold it’s own in any genre. “Till Then” invokes the coquettish hyper-rhymes of top-form Smokey Robinson, while “Hey Brother” sounds like it fell off the desk of Gamble and Huff, and “Purple” defies any comparison at all. From the first cracking snares of “All My Tears” through the final pulsing echoes of “Dispute,” the murderous rhythms of Rich Terrana (drums,) and brothers Preet and Chuck Patel (bass and piano, respectively) can be heard chunking mercilessly towards oblivion as Dan Klein pours his endearing poetry over over the top like some other-worldy falsetto potion. The combination is a sound birthday-suit raw, mesmerizing, infectious, and above all, lovely. This record will long be treasured by lovers of reggae, lovers of soul and lovers of love.
File Under: Reggae
Gonjasufi: Callus (Warp) LP
In tomorrow… Callus begins with a musical grimace. The solitary drums enter first, their slow syncopation and rifle-shot echo setting a tone of instant, obdurate menace. The cacophony of a crowd and the oscillation of electronics pass beneath the beat, shaping veins of discord and discontent. A guitar shrieks with feedback and snarls with distortion, the teeth bared for the start of some very significant statement. And then it arrives, the voice of singer, producer, and deeply existential sage Gonjasufi, delivered from the pit of the stomach like a last will and testament. “Is anybody private?” he bellows, his pitched tone suggesting a desperate quest for breath. “Is anything sacred?” This is the countenance of Callus, Gonjasufi’s third album for Warp Records and the most challenging and raw recording of his career. In the past, Gonjasufi’s music, however dissonant it became, would faithfully drift ahead, but for these nineteen tracks, created during the last five years and in three studios scattered across two states, Gonjasufi exposes the scars of a lifetime, digging beneath the surface coat of a callus to strike nerves and expose his reality. If the earliest Gonjasufi records suggested an effort to overcome, the scowling violin drone and electronically mangled vocals of “Poltergeist” and colossal riff and crushing rhythm of “The Kill” make it clear that he’s now facing them, sans fear or hesitation. This is the other side of Gonjasufi, then, ready to battle for what he believes. Negotiating pain on record requires some time and some new skills. In the four years since 2012’s MU.ZZ.LE, Gonjasufi has grown vastly in his skills as a musician. The Cure guitarist Pearl Thompson plays on three of these tracks and, through close collaboration, showed Gonjasufi new ways to approach songs. In the past, Gonjasufi’s records have summoned worlds of sound, with ideas and instruments imported from across the globe. Here, he sculpts it all – synthesizer drone and sitar riffs, static walls and industrial beats – into a unified journey. In his own words, “It has to be authentic. Fuck a filter. Just throw the mic to the tape,” he says. “This is love. All the pain and misunderstanding still burns, but I’m here to pull all that into me and give something that will help everybody get through that. No one can stop it”
File Under: Electronic, Trip Hop, Lo-Fi
Margo Guryan: 29 Demos (Modern Harmonic) LP
Margo Guryan’s honeyed voice and gorgeously sweet songwriting have become a favorite of the soft-pop set. As a successful songwriter, her compositions have been recorded by the likes of Jackie DeShannon, Spanky & Our Gang, Astrud Gilberto, Claudine Longet, Oliver, Cass Elliot, Glen Campbell, Saint Etienne and Harry Belafonte. Her only solo album, the magnificent Take A Picture (featuring the hit “Sunday Morning”), has become a cult classic since its release in 1968, and no wonder: its combination of marvelously funky sunshine arrangements and Margo’s delicious melodies are a heady combo. She’s influenced everyone from the Wondermints to Belle and Sebastian to Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (who listened to Take A Picture while writing Juno). In 2001, Margo released 25 Demos, a collection of fully-fleshed out demos from her personal collection. Most people’s demos are mere sketches – Margo’s are little baroque masterpieces, featuring string arrangements, circus organ, chamber-pop rhythm sections and tons of glorious echo. Now, Modern Harmonic presents the biggest collection yet, 29 Demos, all lovingly wrapped in a gorgeous gatefold jacket loaded with liner notes. Finally, an album worthy to follow Take A Picture – two LP’s worth of magnificent soft-pop.
File Under: Pop, Psych
Horseback: Dead Ringer (Relapse) LP
Dead Ringers, Horseback’s newest full-length album, is a lush, heady, and singular blend of organic and synthetic textures. The new LP sees the one-man Chapel Hill, NC experimental project continuing to evolve while staying true to their distinctive sound. Written, produced, engineered, and mixed by the mastermind Jenks Miller, Dead Ringers finds Horseback weaving a bright web of drone, krautrock, shoegaze, metal and psychedelic elements, driven by wispy guitars, synths, beats, and clean vocals, and bolstered by dense layers of hypnotic resonance. The music is heavy yet light, taking influence from the doomiest grooves and the nuance of minimal electronics, and is the most cohesive representation of Horseback’s musical vision to date.
File Under: Metal, Drone, Psych
Howlin’ Wolf: His Greatest Sides Vol 1 (Jackpot) LP
Continuing in our series of Chess Record Reissues, Jackpot Records presents this compilation of landmark original studio singles, from Chicago blues artist Howlin’ Wolf. Originally recorded from 1954-1965. Howlin’ Wolf electrified the sound of the Mississippi Delta blues and brought it to Chicago, laying down what would become the foundation of rock and roll in the early 1950s. Delivered in his gruff, haunting voice, his lyrics spoke of his hard life experiences and his signature growlin’ mesmerized audiences and blues musicians alike. Howlin Wolf helped make Chess Records a historic label and solidified Chicago as the worlds capital of blues.
File Under: Blues
Meridian Arc: Aphantasia (Broken Press) LP
There is a deep irony within Meridian Arc’s new album. Its title, Aphantasia, refers to a neurological disorder that prevents the creation of visuals in the brain — where there should be images there’s only a void. But to listen to Meridian Arc is to be subjected to an onslaught of visions: ghouls clawing their way out of rotten soil, a maniac on the hunt through back alleys, explorers scouring a sunless planet for signs of life. Conceived, written and performed by Andrew Crawshaw (owner and operator of design company Broken Press), his synthesized compositions are journeys through worlds that are both familiar and completely unpredictable. Crawshaw cut his teeth bashing out rhythms behind a drum kit for bands such as Terminal Fuzz Terror and A Story of Rats, before moving onto analog instrumentation which, while more anodyne, evokes much richer and bleaker landscapes. It has allowed him to blend hypnotic tempos with layered arrangements that create immersive atmospherics. Haunting, unnerving and at times almost beautiful, Aphantasia is Meridian Arc’s ode to a classic sound and a vision for its future.
File Under: Electronic, Synth
Lee Moses: Time & Place (Future Days) LP
Lee Moses was a huge talent and if he’d had the big hit album he richly deserved, Time And Place would’ve been it. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Moses cut his teeth in the clubs of Atlanta, the ‘Motown of the South’, where he frequently performed alongside his contemporary Gladys Knight (who reportedly wanted him for the Pips, but couldn’t pin him down). It was, however, in New York in the ‘60s that Moses made his greatest bid to find the solo fame he desired. Moses began working there as a session player, even playing frequently with a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix, but his close relationship with producer and Atlanta native Johnny Brantley eventually saw him getting his own break via a series of 45s in 1967 – most notably with covers of Joe Simon’s “My Adorable One”, The Four Tops’ “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” and The Beatles’ “Day Tripper”. It was 1971 before Moses’ dream of being at stage front was realized, when he released his Brantley-produced LP Time And Place for Maple Records. Recorded with a band including members of The Ohio Players and Moses’ own backing group The Deciples, it was, nonetheless, Moses himself whose star quality shone through, via his scratchy guitar riffs, his throat-ripping vocals and the stirring mood that permeates the LP’s heady mix of funk, soul and R&B. The LP did no business, and Moses’ dream quickly crumbled. Though details on his life are scarce, it’s believed he fled New York disenchanted with the music industry, feeling he’d been double-crossed by Brantley both in credit and remuneration for the countless records he’d played on. Back in Atlanta, Moses returned to playing the clubs, married twice, and fell into depression and drug dependency. He died in 1997 at the age of 56. Time And Place soon became a much-sought-after item for collectors, and its cult has continued to grow over the years. Here, we re-present it on deluxe vinyl, with brand new liner notes from Sarah Sweeney including interviews with Moses’ sister and his closest collaborator, the singer and guitarist Hermon Hitson. Through them, Moses becomes a little – but just a little – less of an enigma.
File Under: Funk, Soul
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
Anyone reckless enough to have typecast Angel Olsen according to 2013’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness is in for a rethink with her third album, My Woman. The crunchier, blown-out production of the former is gone, but that fire is burning wilder. Her disarming, timeless voice is even more front-and-center. Yet, the strange, raw power and slowly unspooling incantations of her previous efforts remain. Over two previous albums, she gave us reverb-shrouded poetic swoons, shadowy folk, grunge-pop band workouts and haunting, finger-picked epics. My Woman is an exhilarating complement to her past work, and one for which Olsen recalibrated her writing/recording approach and methods to enter a new music-making phase. As the record evolves, one gets the sense that the “my woman” of the title is Olsen herself, absolutely in command but also willing to bend with the influence of collaborators and circumstances. An intuitively smart, warmly communicative and fearlessly generous record, My Woman speaks to everyone. That it might confound expectation is just another of its strengths.
File Under: Indie Folk
OST: Crash (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to present the third of our Cronenberg / Shore summer trilogy: the 20th anniversary release of Howard Shore’s score to David Cronenberg’s Crash. Crash is an utterly audacious piece of work from Shore—using 6 electric guitars, 3 orchestral harps, 3 woodwinds and 2 percussionists. Shore crafts a meticulous sonic landscape. Based on the novel by J.G. Ballard, Crash deftly explores the complex interpersonal relationships of a select few, who find themselves colliding head-on with the world of car-crash fetishism. Crash is the first Cronenberg film to premiere at Cannes. John Bender wrote “Shore’s calculated instrumentation, mostly electronically manipulated guitars, harps and percussion, give Crash a cold and burnished metallic sound.” The perfect companion to an uncompromising filmmaker like David Cronenberg. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of this complex film, Mondo and Howe Records are pleased to present Howard Shore’s score for Crash for the first time ever on Vinyl, with original artwork by Rich Kelly.
File Under: OST, Mondo
Pearl Jam: No Code (Legacy) LP
The 1996 sessions for No Code featured longtime producer Brendan O’Brien (his third consecutive collaboration with the band) and drummer Jack Irons, who’d joined Pearl Jam at the end of the Vitalogy sessions. They explored new approaches to writing and recording, developing songs out of jam sessions and eschewing their stadium-rock style for self-examining ballads, garage rock and even psychedelic sounds. No Code became the band’s third consecutive No. 1 album, with lead single “Who You Are” topping Billboard’s Modern Rock chart. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of No Code, Pearl Jam is pleased to reissue the highly sought after album back on vinyl. This is the first time the album has been available on the format since its original 1996 release and the first time the album is being mastered specifically for vinyl, by Grammy Award-winning engineer Bob Ludwig. The reissue will also feature recreations of the album’s original packaging, including the set of nine random replica Polaroid/lyric cards.
File Under: Rock
Pearl Jam: Yield (Legacy) LP
On 1998’s Yield, Pearl Jam and Brendan O’Brien teamed up once again for a spirited session marked by the breakthrough of band members (guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard, bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Jack Irons) bringing in finished songs for Eddie Vedder to add his signature lyrics to. With a more accessible mainstream rock sound and a full-scale tour (and replacing Irons with Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, the band’s drummer to this day), Yield became the band’s fifth straight album to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Pearl Jam is pleased to reissue the highly sought after Yield back on vinyl for the first time since its original 1998 release in celebration of the 20th anniversary of it’s 1996 predecessor No Code. The album has been mastered specifically for the vinyl format, by Grammy Award-winning engineer Bob Ludwig and features a recreation of its original packaging. Vinyl pressings of Yield currently command triple-digit prices on the secondary market. The original singles from the album are also being released separately on 7″ vinyl.
File Under: Rock
Prairie WWWW: Wu Hai (Gurugurubrain) LP
Prairie WWWW is an experimental folk band from Taipei, Taiwan. Their music combines poetry, folk, ambient and tribal elements. From lo-fi drones, ambient flute/synth/guitar interplay, chanting and trippy rhythmic percussion, Wu Hai is a Taiwanese feedback folk funeral march, buzzing with consciousness of the hive mind.
File Under: Psych, Taiwan
Pylon: Pylon Live (Chunklet) LP
Back in 1983, Athens, GA legends Pylon had just released Chomp, their second album and toured the country extensively, and played several opening slots for then up-and-comers, U2. Without a hint of explanation, they suddenly quit. This is their final show at the Mad Hatter in Athens, full of a frenzy of minimal disco thud, post-punk guitar scree and deliriously inspired howl. There’s little arguing that the Athens powerhouse trifecta of R.E.M., the B-52’s, and Pylon is peerless. While all three bands have achieved great critical acclaim, only the first two had the commercial acclaim they deserved. Pylon Live intends to correct that. “Randy Bewley & Michael Lachowki’s simple lines display untoward rhythm & melody, respectively. Curtis Crowe bangs away so obdurately it’s hard to understand why he didn’t become rich. Vanessa Briscoe Hay barks & brays whatever incantatory phrases seem called for. Timeless. Cool.”—Robert Christgau
File Under: Post-Punk
Repeated Viewing: Frozen Existence (Lunaris) LP
Since 2009, Alan Sinclair’s Repeated Viewing project has produced a series of soundtracks for imagined films and beyond. Following his long running involvement in Scotland’s noise and experimental scene, Sinclair has now swapped drones and feedback for melody and structure. More recently the imagined films have become reality with Repeated Viewing providing soundtracks for Daire McNab’s “The Three Sisters” and Play4films debut short, “Art Imitates” as well as contributing tracks to Astron 6’s “The Editor”. RV’s latest offering, Frozen Existence, was recorded in 2011 but is finally getting the intended vinyl release after a series of unfortunate events. The amazing cover artwork illustrated by Adam Burke is complemented by the design styling of Eric Adrian Lee. A full color insert of the cover artwork is included.
File Under: Soundtrack
The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World (Light in the Attic) LP
In 1968, three sisters from Fremont, New Hampshire strapped on their instruments and declared themselves The Shaggs. At that moment begun a peculiar tale that would last far beyond the group’s five-year run. Dot, Betty and Helen (and occasionally Rachel, the fourth sister) played in the group on the insistence of their father, Austin Wiggin Jr., who was convinced they were going to be big. Years earlier, Austin’s mother gave him a palm reading, predicting that her son would marry a strawberry blonde woman, that he would have two sons after his mother died, and that his daughters would form a popular music outfit. The first two became reality, so Austin was certain the third would follow suit. With pure confidence and his mother’s bold prediction, Austin decided that his daughters would forgo attending the local high school in favor of home schooling interspersed with a strict regiment of instrumental and vocal practice, along with jumping jacks and sit-ups. Soon after The Shaggs would enter Fleetwood Recording studios in Revere, Massachusetts to record their sole album, Philosophy Of The World, a collection of garage rock tunes that balanced charm and discordance in equal measure. Austin would spend most of his savings not only on the session but also on the manufacturing costs to press up 1,000 copies of the album (900 of which mysteriously vanished upon completion). Throughout the album’s simple truths are revealed through the pen of sister Dot, the songwriter of the band. The rich people want what the poor people got, just as the poor people want what the rich people got. Your parents love you. There is happiness in nearness and sadness in the farness. The album failed to fulfill Austin’s expectations of rock stardom, though the group remained together until their father’s death, performing frequently at the Fremont town hall and a local nursing home, no further albums were released. That might have been the end of it, until rock band NRBQ discovered a copy at a Massachusetts radio station and re-released it in 1980.Rolling Stone’s reviewer at the time described it as “the most stunningly awful wonderful record I’ve heard in ages”. Nearly 50 years later, the album ranks among the most polarizing LPs of all time. Some said it was the worst thing ever made. Others felt it was one of the great long players of the 20th century. Frank Zappa famously dubbed the band “better than The Beatles”, while Kurt Cobain placed the album at #5 on his list of Top 50 favorite albums. Original copies of the album fetch for $10,000. Decades later and one could argue that maybe Austin was right all along. We’re all here, still enthralled by the purity of The Shaggs.
File Under: Folk Rock
Super Super Blues Band: s/t (Jackpot) LP
Super Super Blues Band started out merely as Super Blues, a conglomerate of blues pillars Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and Little Walter. When Little Walter bowed out and was replaced by Howlin’ Wolf, they rightfully threw another Super on the name, and went on to release this burning, irreverent and even sometimes hilarious set of drunken, wild-eyed electric blues. Long form jams roll on in a trance as the trio of blues legends flex egos, talking shit to each other, trading off leads and ducking blasts of unexpected wah-wah guitar lines. Songs are peppered with an incredible level of banter between the trio of bandleaders that predicts the call and response sing- talking of early hip hop, laced with random screams in the background that teeter between celebration and danger. That these three ever got into the same room together is a miracle, and that they produced something so intense, energetic and weird is another almost unbelievable feat. The record is special enough as a stand-alone document of this meeting/melting of the minds before you find out the backing band consists of Hubert Sumlin, Otis Spann and freaking Buddy Guy. Lordy. Might have needed one more “super” in there.
File Under: Blues
Titus Andronicus: S+@DIUM ROCK (Merge) LP
In July of 2015, noted rock band Titus Andronicus made history, twice. The wider world shook upon the impact of The Most Lamentable Tragedy, the triple-LP rock opera that immediately established itself as the most ambitious punk record of all time, a distinction challenged only by a foolish few. Meanwhile, in the hallowed halls of Shea Stadium, NYC’s longest running active all-ages DIY space, Titus Andronicus was doing the unthinkable again, becoming the first band in the history of NYC DIY to sell out five consecutive nights at the same venue. While these epic shows ostensibly served as a record-release celebration for TMLT (as well as an uproarious shindig for the 30th birthday of singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles), they shattered the limits of mere promotional exercise and reached mythical status. Sadly for the wider world, you had to be there…until now. The band and their patient patrons at Merge Records are pleased to announce the new live LP, S+@dium Rock: Five Nights at the Opera, a record which will allow fans everywhere their chance to relive the auspicious occasion from the comforts of their own home. Titus Andronicus’ position as the most thrilling live act in rock and roll has long been etched in stone, but never before has that riveting energy been captured on wax as it is here. The A-side to S+@dium Rock revisits some of TMLT’s most celebrated hits in a newly concise context, stripping away all studio wizardry until only the primal passion remains. The B-side offers fresh electric arrangements of the largely acoustic fifth act of TMLT’s rock opera narrative, presenting a new perspective on the material Tiny Mix Tapes praised for “emotional intensity…unrivaled anywhere in rock music,” as well as debuting the previously unreleased TMLT outtake, “69 Stones.” Taken as a whole, S+@dium Rock is a whirlwind journey through a moment in time never to be repeated, preserved for future generations starving for “the real deal.”
File Under: Indie Rock
Tuns: s/t (Royal Mountain) LP
Tuns is a Canadian indie super-group made up of Chris Murphy (Sloan), Matt Murphy (Super Friendz/Flashing Lights) and Mike O’Neill (The Inbreds). Having already toured the world, releasing critically acclaimed records and receiving multiple accolades (including several JUNO nominations) with their bands respectively – Chris, Matt and Mike have blended their worlds to create Tuns. With songs that are summer sweet and jangly, Tuns has been described as an “’90s indie fan’s dream” – AUX.
File Under: Indie Rock, Super Group
Piero Umiliani: Due Temi Con Variazioni (Schema) LP
Many words were spent on the long and fruitful collaboration between Piero Umiliani and the director Luigi Scattini: new light has been shed recently on some of their works, in lieu of the reissue of soundtracks such as “Angeli bianchi… angeli neri”, “Questo sporco mondo meraviglioso” along with “La ragazza fuoristrada”, “Il corpo” and “La ragazza dalla pelle di luna” (the famous trilogy starring Zeudi Araya as a main character). In 1977 Scattini, a world famous Mondo Movie author, directed “Blue Nude”, one of his masterpieces: shot in New York, the movie falls between fiction and documentary, and investigates the world of hardcore pornography (Rocco Spinone, the main character, is an Italian porn actor). The movie is raw and uncompromising as demanded by the script, and anticipates Paul Schrader’s more popular “Hardcore” by a couple of years. “Blue Nude” relied on Piero Umiliani’s expert hands for its soundtrack. The Maestro decided to return to his jazz roots and composed fifteen tracks, recorded with some of the best Italian musicians of the time: Cicci Santucci, Sam Genovese, Roberto Scoppa, Enrico Pieranunzi, Franco D’Andrea, Bruno Tommaso, Gegè Munari, Carlo Coppotelli and Antonello Vannucchi. Unexpectedly, the soundtrack wasn’t released simultaneously with the movie and the music ended up being used by Umiliani one year after in an unusual music library LP, released in 300 copies under the moniker of ‘Rovi’ and titled “Due temi con variazioni” (Two themes with variations). The two themes are ‘Blue’ and ‘Easy’, and gave name to all the compositions. The soundtrack had been eventually released on CD in 2014 by the Rome-based label Beat Records, while now we can finally get our hands on the Sound Work Shop LP thanks to this reissue, destined to all those who love scores such as “I soliti sospetti” and Umiliani’s jazz works.
File Under: Italian, Library
Vomitface: Hooray for Me (Help Yourself) LP
Jared Micah (vocals/guitar) and Preetma Singh (drums) found themselves trapped in their Jersey City, NJ, home during Hurricane Sandy. Drawing inspiration from their depressing surroundings and a shelf full of equally depressing records – Slint, Shellac, and Babes in Toyland, to name a few – Micah and Singh decided they had nothing better to do than to write loud songs. Those songs eventually became a band that they decided to call Vomitface, despite several industry professionals subsequently telling them that was a bad idea. From the beginning, Vomitface pledged to steer clear of the latest production trends and micro-genre tags, but despite their best efforts they soon became known as New York City’s buzziest “black-surf avant-grunge sludge-pop” band (a term Micah may have coined himself). In 2014, Vomitface released their debut EP, S/T, followed immediately by a second EP, Another Bad Year_, in 2015. The quick output, combined with a slew of DIY shows and tours, landed Vomitface on a list of “Hardest Working Bands in NYC” (_Oh My Rockness), an accolade that contradicted a number of previous articles that had them pegged as “best new slacker rock.” Following the release of Another Bad Year, Vomitface headed into the studio with bass player Angela Phillips (not pictured) and engineer Steve Albini to record their debut full-length, Hooray for Me. Recorded in two days in mostly single takes, Vomitface left the studio with an album that finally encompassed the raw and unhinged energy the band had been striving for all along. After the session, Albini even went so far as to tell the band that the songs “sounded fine.” The final product is an album full of sharp, deceptively catchy songs, each delivered with a self-deprecating smirk. The son of a Tennessee preacher, Micah began writing songs in high school around the same time he started working at the local record store, where he would book after-hours shows and sneak out punk records behind the manager’s back (he was fired). Singh is a law school graduate, who can beat the shit out of the drums and do a spot-on Courtney Love impression at karaoke. Singh’s booming drum kit is the first thing you hear on opener “Senior Pictures,” with Micah’s buzzsaw guitar following close behind. On “Dramamine” and “It’s Me,” vocal harmonies layer over voyeuristic glimpses into the band’s collective misfortunes. The band’s nihilism and generational self-loathing boils over on “Chew Toy,” a five minute dirge that ends with Micah sarcastically showing off his millennial participation trophies (“I hear applause it’s all for me / Hooray for me”). Vomitface recently relocated from NYC to Singh’s hometown of Toronto, Canada. With a new home base, multiple tours on the horizon, and a debut LP, Hooray for Me – making a tumultuous splash via Help Yourself Records – the pessimists in Vomitface may very well experience their long-awaited first good year.
File Under: Garage Rock
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