…..news letter #832 – maaaarch…..

A new month, new releases… and some much needed restocks. And, records, records,  records, records, RECORDS!!!!

…..pick of the week…..


Dedekind Cut: Tahoe (Kranky) LP
In tomorrow… Northern California electronic producer Fred Welton Warmsley III’s solo work as Dedekind Cut (pronounced “dead-da-ken cut”) has evolved from fractured industrial design into increasingly subdued and sublime ambient meditations across two years of dedicated activity. His second full-length collection, Tahoe—so named after the mountain lake town he now calls home—swells with widescreen grandeur, evoking vistas both inner and outer. There are echoes of his earlier, more tempestuous mode in tracks like “MMXIX” and “Spiral” but overall the album skews panoramic and pensive, muted synthetic mists contoured with choral melody, field recordings, and radiant drone. His compositional instincts feel alternately classical, contemporary, and conflicted, befitting an artist whose discography spans labels as divergent as Hospital Productions, Ninja Tune, and NON. Warmsley characterizes Tahoe as a “time peace,” sifting through “the past, the present, future, and fantasy.” Recorded primarily in New York, with additional sessions sourced from Berlin, Cambridge, and Placer County, California.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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…..new arrivals…..


Bad Religion: Stranger than Fiction (Epitaph) LP
2018 Remastered Reissue! (Limited coloured indie-shop-only edition) Bad Religion has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Over the past three decades the band has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen. Stranger Than Fiction is the eighth album from Bad Religion, and one of their most popular. First released in 1994, the album has been certified Gold and features hit singles“ 21st Century Digital Boy”, “Infected” and “Stranger Than Fiction.” Features guest appearances from some of punk’s greatest including Rancid’s Tim Armstrong (vocals on “Television”) , Jim Lindberg of Pennywise (vocals on “Marked” ) and Wayne Kramer of the MC5 ( guitars on “Incomplete”. )

File Under: Punk
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Breeders: All Nerve (4AD) LP
All Nerve, The Breeders first record in a decade, reunites band members Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson – the classic line-up behind the iconic and platinum-selling record, Last Splash. The quartet returned to the stage in 2013 to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary and have been quietly working on new material ever since. Recording took place with Mike Montgomery at Candyland, Dayton, KY; with Steve Albini and Greg Norman at Electrical Audio, Chicago, IL; and with Tom Rastikis at Fernwood Studios, Dayton, OH. Artwork was conceived by Chris Bigg, who has worked with the Breeders since their first album Pod. Includes the infectious lead single “Wait in the Car.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Carlton Melton: Mind Minerals (Agitation) LP
In tomorrow… This is the new Carlton Melton album, the first full length release since 2015’s widely-lauded Out To Sea, itself a languid drifting of drones and psychedically-enhanced riffmongering. Admittedly, there has been some long EP releases since: Hidden Lights in 2017 (featuring the immeasurable drone-sike-float on “Rememory”) and Aground in 2016 (a companion, the Desert Island weather beaten psych-flow follow up to Out To Sea). Now it’s time to soak up Mind Minerals. This album finds the band in fine fettle: all the songs were recorded and engineered at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Manley over two days (except “Untimely”), with the studio suiting them—a logical progression from previous weekend recordings out at the Dome. Under Manly’s watchful ear / eye, the band have created a futurescape soundtrack, a 3001 Space Odyssey. The drums are more pounding and direct than ever, the constantly re-assuring bass creates a helping hand of propulsion through the clouds of static and shards of electrifying guitar dazzling the horizon. Synths help soothe the sharp edges and lull one into an out of body experience, while the orchestrated calamitous scree brings one back. This is a breathless, yet deep breathing album. The core trio of Andy Duvall (drums/guitar), Clint Golden (bass guitar), and Rich Millman ( guitar/synth) have some alchemical bond that’s helped them create a post –rock / psychedelic / freeform organic slab of American Primitivism / space drift, unashamed head-music from the melting pot of Northern California. Five decades ago this album would have been released on the ESP Disk Label or even Apple. Carlton Melton provides the aural microdose to reset your mind and psyche!

File Under: Psych, Rock, Drone
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cindy lee

Cindy Lee: Act of Tenderness (W.25th) LP
In tomorrow… available again thanks to Superior Viaduct! Cindy Lee is the diva alter-ego of singer / guitarist / drag queen Patrick Flegel, the one-time captain of heralded Canadian experimental guitar pop act, Women. In Flegel’s working on / as Cindy Lee exclusively over recent years, their songwriting makes a move toward high atmospherics, often achieving a mysterious sweetness rooted equally in beauty and ache. As Cindy Lee’s first long-form statement, Act Of Tenderness makes use of antipodal themes to create a living sound: static with grace, distortion and sugar, all masterfully arranged with crooked nods toward pop classicism. The layered vocal on “Power And Possession” creates a palpable haunt, bringing historical girl-group lament to choir-esque heights. The feedback shriek and industrial grind of “Bonsai Garden” provides near-operatic damage, yet never stumbles into the irrevocably grave. These snowy pieces give the album a decidedly cinematic feel, albeit one bent more towards Eraserhead. Originally released in a scant private edition in 2015, Superior Viaduct’s imprint W.25TH is pleased to give Act Of Tenderness its deserving wide release.

 File Under: Indie Rock, LoFi, Women
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Lucy Dacus: Historian (Matador) LP
Historian is a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent that finds Lucy Dacus unafraid to take on the big questions – the life-or-death reckonings, and the ones that just feel that way. It’s a record full of bracing realizations, tearful declarations and moments of hard-won peace, expressed in lyrics that feel destined for countless yearbook quotes and first tattoos.The album was helmed by No Burden producer Collin Pastore and mixed by John Congleton. The sound Dacus and Co. created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut – an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus’ remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers, on a new level of truth-telling and melodic grace. The past year, with its electoral disasters and other assorted heartbreaks, has been a rough one for many of us, Dacus included. She found solace in crafting a thoughtful narrative arc for Historian, writing a concept album about cautious optimism in the face of adversity, with thematic links between songs that reveal themselves on repeat listens – touching on everything from systemic racism to creative burnout to the death of her grandmother. “It starts out dark and ends hopeful, but it gets darker in between; it goes to the deepest, darkest, place and then breaks,” she explains. “What I’m trying to say throughout the album is that hope survives, even in the face of the worst stuff.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Insect Ark: Marrow Hymns (Profound Lore) LP
In tomorrow… Combining elements of horror-film soundtracks, psychedelic doom, and atmospheric noise, NYC / Portland-based instrumental duo Insect Ark presents their newest record, Marrow Hymns. Comprised of Dana Schechter (bass, lap steel guitar, synthesizers) and Ashley Spungin (drums, synthesizers), Insect Ark’s intensely visual music weaves interludes of fragile beauty with crushing passages of swirling doom, spinning like a backwards fever dream. This album is a wordless song, a hypnotic voice that screams and whispers from a place deep in the furrows, from the bones, from the blood. Defying easy categorization, their uncommon sound is in part the amalgamation of these two women’s passions: Schechter’s sinister bass lines and unconventional use of lap steel guitar (and her complete omission of electric guitar), and Spungin’s lucid, exacting drumming and synth work with her own hand-built analog noise pedals (Ormus Electronics). With the two halves of the band residing on opposite coasts, the album was largely skeletal in form upon commencement of recording. Overdubs and further writing / arrangements were done after Spungin’s return to Portland in the isolation of Schechter’s home studio. The sense of distance and vast emptiness remained intact in the songs, built out over many long nights. These songs of displacement, loss, and isolation are personal journals of that time period, as both members found themselves simultaneously experiencing existential crises. However, the album also tells a story of strength and determination, made from the marrow of these two women, a song for all things that struggle to survive.

File Under: Metal
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king gizz

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Polygonowanaland (Strange World) LP
In tomorrow… More copies.. these ones on the Aussie label Strange World. Crazy colours, and only a few…  “Polygondwanaland is the farthest the seven-piece has strayed from their usual psych sci-fi roots. The band still employ lyrical nerdiness and wigged-out guitar in the album, but whereas King Gizzard’s last records got knee deep in prog rock, Polygondwanaland slinks into those waters until it’s waist high and loses the usual gnarly riffs. Like its mouthful of a title, Polygondwanaland delivers a 10-course meal without dividers between its dishes. Songs seep into one another for an immersive listen. The stirring, quiet percussion of ‘Inner Cell’ tiptoes into ‘Loyalty’ for a slow buildup, before it splashes into the punctuated vocals of ‘Horology,’ a sea of guitar tapping and rich, warm woodwinds. As usual, transitions are key in King Gizzard’s work, but they add a smoothness to Polygondwanaland that makes it particularly digestible, so that every vocal sigh and gaudy synth acts as a complementary flavor.”—Pitchfork

File Under: Psych Rock
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Seun Kuti & Egypt 80: Black Times (Strut) LP
Strut presents the new album from the modern day leader of Afrobeat, Seun Kuti. The youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti is as incensed by injustice as his father ever was and, with his mighty new album Black Times including features from Carlos Santana and Robert Glasper, he honors the revolutionaries who have gone before and rallies the torch-bearers to come. Black Times is the fourth album by Seun and Egypt 80, the extraordinary dance orchestra created by Fela Kuti as a conduit for the common people. Inherited by the 14-year-old Seun in 1997, the younger Kuti has been building to this, his most accomplished and honest album yet. Here, then, are tracks designed to spark conversation and realign priorities. The elegant “African Dreams” insists that commercial success counts for little. “Black Times,” with its rousing male and female harmonies, furious guitar riffs courtesy of Carlos Santana and Kuti’s soaring tenor sax, gives us truth. “Bad Man Lighter” is a horn-heavy track calling out duplicity and defending the right to smoke the good weed. The politically charged “Corporate Public Control Department (C.P.C.D)” is a roiling protest anthem directed at Muhammadu Bahari’s Nigerian government and deceitful politicians the world over. The frenetic, finger-pointing “Kuku Kee Me” borrows from a Nigerian saying (“When someone is always on your case, you’re like ‘Save yourself the stress and kuku kill me now'”) while “Theory Of Goat And Yam” ridicules a homily invented by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, who justified corruption by likening politicians to goats tempted by yams. “Last Revolutionary” featuring Robert Glasper’s keys is a paean to authentic leaders past, present and future.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
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Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: Close But No Cigar (Colemine) LP
Close But No Cigar is the debut album from Seattle’s Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. The group channels old-school organ combos like The Meters and Booker T & The MGs, but are making it fresh and feel new again. Super in the pocket, tight and dirty drums, everything you want in an organ trio. “DLO3 plays music that speaks to the soul and intellect of the listener,” says the band. “So brace yourselves for a passionate, heartfelt, mind boggling, intense musical experience you will never forget.”

File Under: Funk
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luciusLucius: Nudes (Mom + Pop) LP/DLX LP
After releasing an acoustic version of “Until We Get There” in 2017, Lucius offer up a full album of acoustic tacks entitled Nudes. The 10-track collection encompasses acoustic versions of four old songs, three new numbers including charming lead single “Neighbors” and three cover songs plus features by collaborators like Roger Waters and Nels Cline. Recorded over two days at New York’s legendary Electric Lady Studios, Nudes was produced by Lucius, engineered by Joe Visiciano, mixed by Dan Molad and Stephen Kaye, and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

File Under: Indie Rock
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menThe Men: Drift (Sacred Bones) LP
Drift is the seventh full-length by New York City rock polymaths The Men. The band’s last album, the self-released Devil Music, was the sound of a band who had been through hell hitting reset and looking to their roots to rediscover themselves. On Drift, The Men return to their longtime label Sacred Bones Records and explore the openness that Devil Music helped them find. The immediately evident result of that exploration is the experimental quality of much of the material on Drift. Songwriters Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi chase their muses down a few dozen thrilling rabbit-holes over the course of the album’s nine tracks. The songs on Drift veer in a number of directions, but notably, almost none of them feature a prominent electric guitar. The lone exception, “Killed Someone,” is a rowdy riff-rocker, worthy of the finest moments of the band’s now-classic Leave Home and Open Your Heart albums. The rest of the record drives down stranger highways. “Secret Light” is an improvisation based on an old piano riff of Perro’s. “Maybe I’m Crazy” is a synth-driven dancefloor stomper for long after last call. “Rose on Top of the World” and “When I Held You in My Arms” are paisley-hued, psyched-out jams with big, beating hearts. The album was recorded to 2″ tape with Travis Harrison (Guided by Voices) at Serious Business Studios in Brooklyn. A whole pile of instruments was involved – synths, strings, sax, steel, harmonica, tape loops, on top of the usual guitar, bass, and drums. Unlike recent releases from The Men, there aren’t many overdubs on Drift – a reflection of the personalities of its makers becoming less frantic. In fact, the band removed a lot of the additional parts they tried adding early on, giving the final product a bit of a ghostly feel. The songs on Drift took giant leaps and trips from their beginnings only to find the band returning to the first spark of creation.

File Under: Indie Rock, Punk
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mind spidersMind Spiders: Furies (Dirtnap) LP
In tomorrow… “The ‘Furies’ are the ancient Greek Gods of vengeance and violence,” says Mark Ryan of the title of his latest album. “The Furies were tamed,” he continues, “but in my story, they are waking up and the ancient chaotic ways are resurfacing.” Ryan (The Marked Men, High Tension Wires, Radioactivity), alongside Peter Salisbury (Baptist Generals) on synth and Mike Throneberry (The Marked Men) on drums, lead this modernistic, machine-like and cinematic version of the story of the Furies and have churned out something furious in return; this is their most electronic album yet. Gone are any notions of Ryan’s former project the Marked Men and its style of winningly bombastic garage-pop. Since 2012’s Meltdown, Mind Spiders have been perfecting an aggressive, relentless, frenetic and melodic style of punk that is a long, dark shadow of DEVO but carries something much more sinister in its jaws as it slinks its way through the ears, illustrated by their lone, intensified cover of Grauzone’s 1980 hit, “Eisbaer.” It’s a sound for the new dark ages, emboldened by urgency and sped along by some good old fashioned panic.

File Under: Punk
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nightcrawlersNightcrawlers: Biophonic Boombox Recordings (Anthology) LP
Deep, diverse, and unheralded, the Philadelphia ambient electronic music scene of the 1980s is explored with The Nightcrawlers’ The Biophonic Boombox Recordings, an expansive archival collection documenting the hard-knuckled kosmische synthesizer trio’s home recordings self-released and distributed over 35 cassettes between 1980 and 1991. Featuring the farthest reaching spacescapes of those cassette releases—improvised straight into the mic of a JVC Biphonic Boombox—none of these performances have been released beyond the original format, and essentially went out of print when Nightcrawler Peter D. Gulch got tired of dubbing them to blank tapes to mail-order through his Synkronos label and sell at live shows. Restored and recalibrated from the original cassettes, The Nightcrawlers’ music has never sounded better or so readily accessible. First pressing limited to 1,000. Vinyl housed in gatefold jacket with 28-page booklet of ephemera and liner notes by journalist and Kosmische expert D. Strauss.

File Under: Ambient, Kosmische
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promisePromise Ring: 30 Degrees Everywhere (Epitaph) LP
The Promise Ring were formed in 1995 in Milwaukee, WI by guitarist Jason Gnewikow, drummer Dan Didier and bassist Scott Beschta. The band was eventually rounded out by frontman Davey von Bohlen, who at the time was a new enlistee into Midwest darlings Cap’n Jazz but gave The Promise Ring their crucial missing piece. In 1996, the group signed with Jade Tree and released their debut, 30 Degrees Everywhere, a powerful introduction that distilled the spirit and vigor of some of the members’ punk and hardcore backgrounds and spit-shined it with von Bohlen’s tastefully angsty melodicism. But 30 Degrees Everywhere is deceptively complex, masked by layers of driving guitars and buoyant rhythms. It’s also deceptively dark, as the singer’s heart-on-sleeve lyrics – tackling love, loss, regret and disappointment – and emotive delivery were hallmarks of The Promise Ring’s genre-leading sound. This raw emotion, along with an overall lack of polish, ultimately gives the album an endearing personality. You won’t find perfect performances here; rather, you’re getting real songs about real life played by real people in real time. Boiled down, 30 Degrees Everywhere is the foundation of a musical legacy, a lightning-in-a-bottle musical moment that demands listeners pay attention to its urgency and passion – in the end, what more could you ask for?

File Under: Punk, Emo
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simplySimply Saucer: Cyborgs Revisited (In The Red) LP
In tomorrow… Simply Saucer’s Cyborgs Revisited is an explosive time capsule from one of the great Canadian cult rock ‘n’ roll groups. Formed in Hamilton, Ontario, these sci-fried proto-punks created a sound fusing Hawkwind, The Kinks, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and the omnipresent Velvet Underground. Originally recorded from 1974-1975, the album became a critically revered classic when it was finally unearthed in 1989 by Mole Records. Now, In The Red is proud to release the definitive, remastered double album edition featuring new liner notes by band biographer Jesse Locke, unseen images, and the complete live recordings available as a second album for the first time ever. As a means to escape his oppressive experiences while living in a practice space surrounded by biker gangs, singer and fretboard-shredding guitarist Edgar Breau wrote a set of songs filled with dystopian visions of the future, conjuring metalloid thugs, Eva Braun’s cyanide love affair, and “dancing the mutation.” With nimble-fingered bassist Kevin Christoff, clatterwauling drummer Neil DeMerchant, and electronic cosmonaut John “Ping Romany” LaPlante (Breau’s foster brother and answer to Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine), his lyrics were launched into a sonic supernova. Their first recording session took place in the basement of brothers Bob and future superstar producer Daniel Lanois and was initially intended as a demo. Naturally, interest was non-existent for the sneering six-song set. It’s shocking how anyone could have overlooked “Bullet Proof Nothing,” an undeniably catchy VU-swiping anthem for the used, abused, and confused.  Shelving these sessions, the band ascended into the future with 15-year-old drummer Tony Cutaia. This set off a series of gigs before the band touched down on the roof of a local shopping center! Following their 2006 reformation, Simply Saucer continue to tour and perform to ecstatic fans while being celebrated with a belated wave of releases, reissues, and documentation, including a rarities compilation, Jesse Locke’s book Heavy Metalloid Music: The Story of Simply Saucer (Eternal Cavalier Press), and an upcoming 7-inch. At long lost and at the top of this towering stack, In The Red’s expanded reissue of Cyborgs Revisited gives the Canadian cult classic the deluxe treatment it so greatly deserves.

File Under: Garage, Psych
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sleepwalkerSleepwalker: 5772 (Sentient Ruin) LP
In tomorrow… The unparalleled 2016 debut album from elusive multinational psychedelic/avantgarde black metal enigma Sleepwalker now officially re-released on cassette and finally also available on 12″ vinyl. A visionary collision of sounds and of different schools of thought in extreme and experimental metal and beyond, that bursts the listener’s synapses open with a mind-shattering alloy of drone, raw black metal, kraut/psychedelic rock, free-jazz, noise rock, and tribal ritualism – a truly unparalleled mind-fuck suspended between the visionary opposites of Voivod, Zeni Jeva, Oxbow, John Zorn, King Crimson, Darkthrone, and Xasthur.

File Under: Metal, Psych
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slowSlow: Against the Glass (Artoffact) LP
Finally back in stock, cuz you missed it in November… Slow was a short lived band from Vancouver BC. Somewhere between seventies barroom boogie, punk and high octane rock n roll, the group was around long enough to release one two-song seven inch single and this absolute stunner of an EP. Six songs, around ten minutes each side, but this is frantic, exciting rock that unfortunately seems now to only be a side note in the history of Canadian music, although it deserves so much more. Some have said this band helped kickstart grunge in Seattle. I don’t know if that is true or not, but you can definitely hear that this is one of those “should have” releases that probably influenced more people than ever had the chance to hear it. Opening with the infamous “Have Not Been The Same” – the song that spawned the title for the incredible book that Michael Barclay, Ian Jack and Jason Schneider did on the Canadian independent music scene in the late 80s and early 90s – the song has a bluesy riff to its beginning that, after some Stonesy-backing vocals, becomes an absolute barnburner. Vocalist Thomas Anselmi sings “I’ve been drinking/But drinking doesn’t make me feel alright” in a slight warble that sounds like a precursor to David Yow’s warble in the Jesus Lizard years later and the band ramps up in the second half to a furious feverpitch. Second song “Out of The Cold” features quite possibly the best skronking sax on any Canadian punk rock record from the mid-80s. It sounds like it wouldn’t work, but it totally does. This must be the best Stooges song ever written by a Vancouver band. The side’s final song, “Bad Man”, is no slouch either. It sounds like Rocket From The Crypt nearly a decade before they became a band. Yes, really, this record is that good. The second side of the record is no slouch either. “In Deep” starts off like a windswept Morricone instrumental from a classic spaghetti western but soon enough turns into the most traditionally sounding song here. Wow, this band must have been absolutely stunning live, especially if they could pull this stuff off (I am sure they could!). “Looking For Something Clean” sounds like it could be your favourite Mudhoney song – I am sure those guys had this album on high rotation when they formed their band – and the title track has a “Train Kept A Rollin” feel to it, if that song was done by a bunch of ragged punk rockers that snorted way too much speed for their own good. The band broke up shortly after this twelve-inch came out. A very wild performance at Expo 86 that included throwing two-by-fours into the crowd and getting naked onstage had organizers pulling the plug on both the band and the festival their performance was part of. The band did their only Canadian tour almost immediately afterwards, but broke up before that tour was over. The band members split off into two different bands, Copyright and Tankhog respectively, but neither managed to reach such great heights as they did during their time in Slow. Against The Glass is one of my top five Canadian releases in dire need of a reissue. Apparently both Zulu and Mint Records have approached the band about doing just that, but the band could not agree on it and to this day it still hasn’t happened. It’s a crying shame too, as this album is now selling on Discogs for upwards of $50 US. Hopefully one day this will be able to happen, but until then it will trade hands through record collectors for an inflated price. Snap it up if you can!

File Under: Punk
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tkop1This Kind of Punishment: A Beard of Bees (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… In the fertile terrain of New Zealand’s 1980s post-punk scene, few figures loom as large as the Jefferies brothers. Graeme Jefferies and Peter Jefferies—the primary forces behind This Kind Of Punishment—wrote some of the best music to come out on Flying Nun, Xpressway or elsewhere. A dizzying mix of pastoral ballads and DIY experimentation, TKP’s songwriting was at once classic and acutely raw. Among This Kind Of Punishment’s myriad recordings, A Beard Of Bees best outlines the collective vision of the Jefferies brothers. Their classic second album feels more meticulous than its predecessor, proffering a grey, near-Mancunian influence that serves as both touchstone and springboard for the proceedings. The unique maneuvering on “Trepidation” is a marvel: guitar sweetness shifting toward melancholic piano and ending with their combined shimmer. Conversely, the augmented VU-inspired noise of “East Meets West” positions itself as the album’s prime moment of severity, creepily building toward horror-show screams that inch to a buried, found-sound resolution. Originally self-released in 1984, A Beard Of Bees has been out of print for almost 25 years.

File Under: DIY, New Zealand, Indie Rock, Flying Nun
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tkopThis Kind of Punishment: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… In the fertile terrain of New Zealand’s 1980s post-punk scene, few figures loom as large as the Jefferies brothers. Graeme Jefferies and Peter Jefferies—the primary forces behind This Kind Of Punishment—wrote some of the best music to come out on Flying Nun, Xpressway or elsewhere. A dizzying mix of pastoral ballads and DIY experimentation, TKP’s songwriting was at once classic and acutely raw. On their self-titled debut, the Jefferies brothers and Chris Matthews eschew the punk-informed modes of their contemporaries for a sound that is decidedly more deliberate / intimate. Rooted in a marriage between simplistic, classically-influenced piano, alternating guitar chime and sparse, subtle violin drone, This Kind Of Punishment is a contemplative, inventive collection of ideas corralled via economic 4-track recordings, minimal instrumentation and an austere performance style entirely of the Jefferies’ own making. Songs like “After The Fact,” “In View Of The Circumstances” and “Two Minutes Drowning” boast a living quality whereby the listener can act as bystander to these moments of creation—a trait that the band would expand upon throughout the course of their brief tenure. First-time vinyl reissue since its initial release in 1983.

File Under: DIY, Flying Nun, Indie Rock, New Zealand
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Titus Andronicus: A Productive Cough (Merge) LP
Since debuting in 2008, Titus Andronicus (hereafter +@) has been conditioning faithful listeners to expect only the unexpected. With A Productive Cough, +@ has executed the most shocking departure yet—but only if, as ever mercurial singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles insists, “you haven’t been paying attention.” In a move that may infuriate the black-denim-and-PBR set, A Productive Cough sets aside leadfooted punk anthems in favor of a subtler, more spacious approach that pushes Stickles’ soul-baring songwriting to the fore, creating an intimacy between artist and audience with which previous +@ efforts had only flirted. Features guest contributions from veteran pianist Rick Steph (Cat Power, Lucero, Hank Williams Jr.), esteemed cellist Jane Scarpantoni (R.E.M., Bob Mould, Lou Reed), listeners Brooklyn singer Megg Farrell, and many others. Limited edition LP version is pressed on blue-gray swirled vinyl.

File Under: Indie Rock
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turboTurbonegro: Rocknroll Machine (Burger) LP
It’s been over six years now since the word got out that the Titans from The Big O (Oslo, Norway) were re-resurrected for a second time since their grimy beginnings back in 1989. November 2015 heralded the unveiling of the first new music from Turbonegro since 2012’s Sexual Harassment. “Hot For Nietzsche” found our boys in full throttle, staring the void right in the face and raising a glass to its honor. May 2016 saw Turbonegro unleash another single “Special Education,” a story of a teenage boy’s fall from academic grace and the cruel and unusual discipline he finds at the very bottom. And so finally, in the wake of the infamous blizzards of the Scandinavian Winter of 2017, the savvy six gathered in the studio in Oslo to record their ninth studio album, Rocknroll Machine. Vocalist Tony Sylvester had this to say about the new material: “We’ve spent the the past years honing our skills. The music we are releasing now is more distilled, more refined, more pointed, more powerful; we traveled to the future and this is what we heard on the radio!”

File Under: Punk
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ditaDita Von Teese: s/t (Record Makers) LP 
Dita Von Teese sings about the power of seduction and the ecstasy of letting go in an album bearing her name, written and composed by Sébastien Tellier. “I’ve collaborated with artists I admire that have invited me, such as Monarchy and Die Antwoord,” recalls the Michigan native. “But nothing compares to this project with Sébastien Tellier. When we began recording, he offered to let me to write some lyrics, but I preferred the feeling of letting go, of making a Sébastien Tellier record. I had a fantasy about having a modern Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg moment. To describe the album is difficult; perhaps it’s me with less make-up.” Tellier has long dreamt of composing for a woman, but was not inspired by any professional singers. “I was looking for someone both beautiful and unique,” he explains. “When I saw Dita dance to a piece of music I had written for her, I had a feeling that her physical presence and her personality were a perfect fit with my music. My wife, Amandine de La Richardière, wrote some sexy pop lyrics to balance the melodrama of my tragic vision that love always ends – in my songs – in bitterness and regret.” Recorded in Sydney, Los Angeles, and Paris, Dita Von Teese owes much to the talents of Tellier, the singing of Dita Von Teese, and the art of two instrumentalists – programmer/keyboardist John Kirby (Solange, Blood Orange, Money Mark) and drummer Daniel Stricker (Midnight Juggernauts) – who co-produced the album, under the name of Mind Gamers. “Sparkling Rain” is a futuristic calypso shot through with angel choirs and the syncopated rhythms of marimbas; “Rendez-Vous,” a robotic reggae which Grace Jones would not have disdained; and the bewitching “My Lips On Your Lips” and “Bird Of Prey,” despite their air of inoffensive TLC-like silky ballads, promise a thousand erotic raptures. Woven with powerful heartbeats, waves of liquid pianos, guitars cracking like whips, Chinese sounding motifs, and synthetic steel drums, Dita Von Teese asks to be lured into its intoxicating wake, as if the singer who had crossed invisible and tormented worlds had found the path leading to divine ecstasy.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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waits2Tom Waits: Glitter & Doom (Anti) LP
In 2008, Tom Waits launched a sold-out national tour, garnering intense critical praise and thrilling fans across the country and the world, some in cities where he had never performed before. Glitter And Doom Live is the document of those concerts, 17 performances hand-picked by Waits from along the tour. Leaning heavily on songs from his ANTI-releases including a haunting “Trampled Rose” from Real Gone and a roaring “Get Behind the Mule” from Mule Variations, Waits also digs into the vaults for tracks like a re-imagined “Singapore” from 1985’s Rain Dogs. Glitter and Doom Live resides in the Waits catalog alongside earlier live albums like Nighthawks at the Diner and Big Time.

File Under: Rock
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waitsTom Waits: Closing Time (Anti) LP
After signing with Asylum Records in the early 1970s, Tom Waits recorded a series of acclaimed albums whose noir tales about the after-midnight underworld transformed the seedy into the sublime in songs laced with both dark humor and profound longing. Decades and several musical evolutions later, Waits’ Asylum years still hold a special place in the hearts of many fans. Waits’ first seven albums on Asylum have been remastered and will be re-released via Anti-Records. All titles – many of which have been long out of print – will be re-issued on high quality 180 gram vinyl throughout 2018. Waits’ time-honored and critically acclaimed 1973 debut Closing Time was released when the singer-songwriter was 23 years old and foreshadowed the distinctly lyrical storytelling and original blending of jazz, blues and folk styles that would become hallmarks of his distinguished career. Home to such enduring career classics as lead single “Ol’ 55,” the heartbreaking “Martha” and the gentle acoustic folk of “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You,” a number of artists covered songs from the album including Tim Buckley, Bette Midler and the Eagles.

File Under: Rock
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zummoPeter Zummo: Frame Loop (Foom) LP
“A few years ago , American composer and trombonist Peter Zummo discovered a 1984 recording of unreleased material from his Six Songs suite in his archive. Six Songs was the basis for Lateral pass , his award winning score for modern-dance choreographer Trisha Brown’s work of the same name. Material taken from Six Songs can also be heard on his seminal Zummo WIth An X (Loris Bend, 1985/Optimo 2012). The work is now being released as this new album, r ecorded live and in single takes, it features a stellar line-up of longtime Zummo collaborators: Arthur Russell on amplified cello, Bill Tuyle on marimba, and Mustafa Ahmed on congas. Zummo plays trombone and euphonium. He describes the recording as ‘an exercise in spontaneous arrangement’. He mainly hews close to the score, while from time to time introducing canonic lines and variations. Arthur Russell, using his signature amplified cello sound, alternates between solos and rhythm playing, while Ruyle vamps on the notation, while Mustafa Ahmed’s improvised percussion drives the forward momentum. Sometimes the music takes its time traversing a sonic landscape; at other points, it jumps from one section to another . Players’ decisions push and pull the downbeat ; rounds emerge, then disappear…”

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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hexadicVarious: Hexadic III (Drag City) LP
In tomorrow… If we subscribe to the current ISO 8601, then 2018 is Hexadic year three—the third annum since we were introduced to a new wave in combinatorial theory with powerful potentialities for music composition. The book, The Hexadic System, was written by Six Organs of Admittance’s Ben Chasny, who demonstrated the possibilities of the system with two albums of Hexadic composition, as well as touring the music and chairing talks on the process and uses of THE SYSTEM around the United States and Great Britain. This third installment of the Hexadic series had been planned from the beginning—inviting others outside of Ben Chasny’s Hexadic headquarters to make music using THE SYSTEM. Features music from Moon Duo, Jenks Miller, Meg Baird & Charlie Saufley, Tashi Dorji, Richard Youngs, Phil Legard, and Stephen O’Malley, Tim Wyskida & Marc Urselli.

File Under: Folk, Experimental
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tg3Various: Typical Girls Vol 3 (Emotional Response) LP
In tomorrow… Emotional Response continue their quest to highlight the finest in current female fronted punk, post-punk, hardcore and indie. Following on from the two previous vibrant volumes of Typical Girls, Emotional Response was quickly presented with a wealth of staggeringly high quality material. Rather than sit on tracks, or exclude material that the world needed to hear, it was feverishly decided to release two new breath-taking volumes simultaneously (Volumes 3 & 4). Essential listening. Features tracks from C.H.E.W., Sick Bags, Alice Bag, Daudyflin, Swann Danger, Warm Bodies, Natterers, Rata Negra, Judy And The Jerks, Macho Boys, Crooked Bangs, Scaredy Snake, and more.

File Under: Post Punk, Indie

tg4Various: Typical Girls Vol 4 (Emotional Rescue) LP
In tomorrow… Emotional Response continue their quest to highlight the finest in current female fronted punk, post-punk, hardcore and indie. Following on from the two previous vibrant volumes of Typical Girls, Emotional Response was quickly presented with a wealth of staggeringly high quality material. Rather than sit on tracks, or exclude material that the world needed to hear, it was feverishly decided to release two new breath-taking volumes simultaneously (Volumes 3 & 4). Essential listening. Features tracks from Neon, No Love, French Vanilla, Janitor Scum And The Scums, Couteau Latex, Chroma, The Primitives, Replica, Cruel Summer, C-3’s, and more.

File Under: Post Punk, Indie Rock

warfaring-strangers-acid-nightmares-1Various: Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP
FINALLY BACK IN STOCK!!! As the hippie movement hurdled towards its emanate demise, bad vibes infiltrated the rock world. Tainted LSD, loud motorcycles, and a series of brutal deaths spawned inspiration for guitar-wielding teenagers across the globe. Implementing deafening fuzz and satanic screams to create their protometal monstrosities, short-lived stoner bands pressed their lysergic experiments in microscopic quantities before blacking out entirely. Lifted from the ashes of the acid rock hell fire are 18 distorted tales of dope fiends, pill poppers, and the baddest of trips. Deluxe 2LP comes housed in a blacklight poster-style jacket, replete with flocking and lysergic neon. 24 pages documenting the creeping existential dread of the hard rock underground are tucked into the gatefold pocket alongside two dead dinosaur-heavy LPs.

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock
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A Winged Victory for the Sullen: ATOMOS (Kranky) LP
Adele: 21 (XL) LP
John Bender: Plaster Falling (Superior Viaduct) LP
Drab Majesty: Careless (Dais) LP
Drab Majesty: The Demonstration (Dais) LP
Deux Filles: Silence & Wisdom (Dark Entries) LP
Flesh Eaters: A Minute to Pray A Second to Die (Superior Viaduct) LP
Flesh Eaters: Forever Came Today (Superior Viaduct) LP
Jamie XX: In Colour (Young Turks)
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Drive Like Jehu: Yank Crime (Hedhunter) LP
The Fall: Hex Enduction Hour (Superior Viaduct) LP
The Fall: Live at the Witch Trials (Superior Viaduct) LP
Liquid Liquid: Optimo (Superior Viaduct) LP
Liquid Liquid: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Liquid Liquid: Successive Reflexes (Superior Viaduct) LP
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
Melvins: Houdini (Thirdman) LP
Pandit Pran Nath: The Raga Cycle (SMM) LP
No Age: Snares Like A Haircut (Drag City) LP
Klaus Schulze: Irrlicht (Brain) LP
Klaus Schulze: Timewind (Brain) LP
Shellac: 1000 Hurts (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Excellent Italian Greyhound (Touch & Go) LP
Sigur Ros: ( ) (KrunK) LP
Solid Space: Space Museum (Dark Entries) LP
The Sound: From The Lions Mouth (1972) LP
Stars of the Lid: And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky) LP
Suicide: First Rehearsal Tapes (Superior Viaduct) LP
Ebo Taylor: And the Pelikans (Mr. Bongo) LP
Justin Walter: Unseen Forces (Kranky) LP
Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (Matador) LP
Various: Funky 16 Corners (Stones Throw) LP

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