…..news letter #1011 – smoked…..

Another lovely smoke filled skies kinda week out there. Hopefully some rain this weekend will knock it out of the sky, and bring my lawn back. Anywhooo.. some killer slabs in stock this week and some much needed represses of some other tasty slabs. Come on down for a dig, the A/C is cranked.

 pick-ups – 11 am – 6 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 4 pm Saturday 
 (if you don’t want to come into the store for a pick up, call and/or use the back door)
– in-store shopping – Noon – 5 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 4 pm Saturday
– Max 4 people in the store at a time
– Wear a mask (if you don’t have one, we’ll have some)
– Sanitize your hands (we’ll have some)
…..picks of the week…..

Nuno Canavarro: Plux Quba (Drag City) LP
BACK IN PRINT!!! NUNO CANAVARRO’s Plux Quba hails from three decades in the past, yet the simple profile of its abstract/ambient/cutup collage makes it a record that sits quite comfortably in our IDM-informed future. In 1988, Plux Quba was a primal dark horse in the world of pants-forward electronic music—an obscurity issued with little explanation from the laid-back west coast of Europe: Portugal, of all places. The vanguard of electronics in late-80s Europe was being pushed by organizations like Nurse With Wound, The Hafler Trio, HNAS—and yet, when Christoph Heemann came across this recording, it struck his ears and the ears of fellow listeners like nothing before. Plux Quba was handed around between the principles of the early 90s A-Musik scene: Jan St. Werner, C-Schulz, Frank Dommert, Georg Odijk, plus interested fellow travelers like Jim O’Rourke, to the intense curiosity of all. To ears that were already saturated with all things kraut, the dark corners of prog and the frontline of experimental and improvised music, it proved elusive. Not simply in how it sounded and how that sound was achieved, but in where it was coming from—like later Robert Ashley at times; certain stretches of melody recalled some of Eno’s ambient pieces—but mostly, it was a completely alien soundscape. O’Rourke reissued it as the first record on his Moikai label in 1998, and it had a good run through around 2005 before the last of the print parts were filled. It’s almost a decade since Plux Quba was available, which is way too long considering that we live in an era where it is NECESSARY to have an LP of this on hand for your contemporary listening distractions.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Frigate: Dreams of the Deep (D.Q. Records) LP
The tax scam label racket is certainly the most curious chapter of the record industry, retrospectively speaking. Tiger Lily-specifically, the S/T LP by Stonewall—might be the most famous, but there are many fanciful diamonds lurking in the undiscovered rough, not the least of which is this masterpiece of barbiturate haze from Frigate. Dreams Of The Deep was one of a dozen or so albums made “available” to an unsuspecting public by the elusive C.C. label in 1977, all of which are harder to find than a no leaf clover, with this being the holiest of grails in the discography. Rumors abound that Frigate wasn’t even the band’s real name, just a front for the dodge. Regardless, the shroud of JIMI looms large on here & in the parlance of contemporary seance speak, the wails & moans of Eddie Hazel, Toiling Midgets & (original) Fushitsusha ooze audibly from beyond, sometimes all at once. For years the psychedelic mafia have tried to keep Dreams Of The Deep on the down low-original copies almost NEVER turn up-so it’s quite a coup for collectors that the D.Q. Records label has served up a tasty reissue for this long obscured blueprint of psychotropic bliss. One time edition of 300. Have at it now, or have at it not.

File Under: Psych
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.….new arrivals…..

Carlton Melton: Night Pillers (Agitated) LP
Late RSD arrival! 5 New tracks from the same session that spawned 2020’s 2LP release Where This Leads. Spaced sike-drone fizzle and eyeball-shaking distorto rock leading the way on this late night head-nodder!

File Under: Psych
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Cerebral Rot: Excretion of Mortality (20 Buck Spin) LP
ON LIMITED NEON VIOLET / RED MERGE VINYL!!! Ascending from the odious decay of their first album, Cerebral Rot passes from animal to human contagion with a new more purulent virus on Excretion Of Mortality. A return of such festering decrepitude and anatomical canker as befits the true adherents of vile and sick underground death metal. Soaked in the swamp of radioactive sewage, Cerebral Rot’s tumor like growth on this release bludgeons with a hammering heaviness that few can manage or survive. A methodical focus on attaining maximum barbarism through every aspect of the production, from the meaty, dripping guitars to the immense rhythm section and Schwab’s nuclear travesty vocals, to the deceptively straightforward bludgeoning of the songs, exposes a scalpel-like cutting precision to this seemingly base display of horrid malevolence. Before leaving Jack Endino’s Soundhouse Studio in Seattle permanently uninhabitable for the next five hundred years, the pungent bubbling mess they set to tape on Excretion Of Mortality lingers there, and everywhere, like a malodorous putrescence at the crossroads of the excremental and the existential.

File Under: Metal
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Peter J. Cox: Running Away With Yourself (Dosh) LP
“It’s safe to say that original copies of Peter J. Cox’s ‘Running Away With Yourself’ LP are scarcer than a kipper with legs. Brinley Farthing, lead archivist with Blaggards Mystic Emporium, reckons it was pressed in a DIY vanity run of 100, with artwork hand-mounted by Cox himself, in the year 1979. In this business, an accurate backstory is everything. And be that as it may, the pickled punters at Dosh as proud to present this cracking reissue in the 3rd decade of the 21st century. For those unfamiliar, ‘Running Away With Yourself’ sounds like the results of a Pink Fairies (or Groundhogs) fan who ran face-first into a brick. A one-man wrecking crew, quaffing & cursing the sacred nectar of Rock, one scrumpy pint at a time. You can practically hear the sulfate sizzling on his tongue as this masterpiece shreds your ears. Or as we’re fond of saying here, ‘bloody-minded wins again’. Pressed in an edition of 250, this blazing solo opus not only keeps good company with the aforementioned influencers but also stands tall alongside compadres such as Ron Warren Ganderton/Sound Ceremony, Afflicted Man, John The Postman & Legendary Stardust Cowboy. If you think you’ve heard it all, you haven’t. But with this, you’’re one step closer.”—Seabert Liversausage, for Dosh

File Under: Punk, Lo-Fi
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Cub Scout Bowling Pins: Clang Clang Ho (GVB Inc) LP
Cub Scout Bowling Pins hop in the “Magic Taxi”, turn on the AM radio and time travel forty to forty-five years back in time. The project is mysteriously presented, but it’s a thinly-veiled alias of the ridiculously prolific and talented Guided By Voices. Minus the usual punk and prog influences, there are strong whiffs of bubble gum, psych and soft rock with sugary doses of ornate baroque pop. Long renowned scholars of rock, the Ohio players have occasionally worn their influences on their sleeves, but this time they seemingly have their jackets on inside out. Perhaps conceptually similar to how GBV went tongue-in-cheek “country” backing Cash Rivers & The Sinners in 2018, but Cub Scout Bowling Pins is a thousand times subtler, like an eccentric cousin of GBV with the craziness knob turned up by 10%. And while Cash Rivers discs trade hands among collectors on Discogs for hundreds of dollars, Cub Scout Bowling Pins’ debut 7-inch Heaven Beats Iowa was recently spotted for sale for no less than $10,000. On their debut long player, America’s newest hit-makers dip into retro-futuristic weirdness, side-by-side with whimsical sophistication and candy-coated technicolor complexity. In the flip-flop world of Summer 2021, transistor radios will vibrate with the sweet and hooky “We” and “Nova Mona” while “© 1-2-3” will “climb” the “charts”. “Ride My Earthmobile” spins like an even-more demented 13th Floor Elevators. Is that Jimmy Webb or Lee Hazlewood hidden behind the latest issue of “The Telegraph Hill Gazette”? “Schoolmaster Bones” chortles with a groovy pretzel logic, while “Space Invader” and “Magic Taxi” beckon with jangling guitars, shimmering strings, mellotrons and vintage synths. Following three critically-lauded GBV albums recorded in quarantine in 2020, is this a light-hearted detour, a midlife crisis or just good clean Pandemic fun? Cub Scout Bowling Pins beg the questions: exactly what drugs are they taking? And where can we get some? Clang Clang Ho!

File Under: Indie Rock, GBV
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Deathchant: Waste (Riding Easy) LP
Heavy music’s evolution has always been a murky swamp of sub-genres. So, combining Thin Lizzy’s glistening twin guitar harmonies with Melvins-grade sludge and a hearty dose of proto-metal psych probably shouldn’t sound so revolutionary as it does in the hands of L.A. quartet Deathchant. But theirs is a special, transcendent sound. Waste, the band’s sophomore album and first for Riding Easy Records, is anything but. The thirty three-minute, seven-song blast flows seamlessly from song to song, aided by droning segues, while simultaneously slithering between genres and moods. Rumbling noise, chiming guitar melodies, bluesy boogie, NWOBHM thrash, COC grunge and punk fury all rear their head at times, sometimes all at once. Though one wouldn’t be able to tell by the concise structures and well-crafted songs, a lot of Deathchant’s music is improvised, both in the studio and live. That’s not to suggest their songs are jammy— they’re very tightly organized compositions. But the four musicians have that special musical telepathy that allows them to keep the song structures open-ended. “Improv is a huge things for us and always has been,” singer / guitarist T.J. Lemieux says. “The musical freedom to look at the other dudes in the band and be able to take things wherever we want to go is magical. I like the feel of flying off the hinges.” Likewise, the band itself is similarly amorphous in its membership. “We run the band with an open door. No lineup is definitive,” Lemieux explains. On Waste, the lineup is: Lemieux, George Camacho on bass, Colin Fahrner on drums, and John Belino on second guitar. Waste was recorded live in a rented cabin in the mountains of Big Bear, CA. “We packed a big-ass van and set up in the living room and kitchen,” Lemieux says. “Tracked it live, with overdubs after.” The whole album was recorded over two separate weekends, engineered by Steve Schroeder, who also recorded the band’s 2019 self-titled debut album. “I’d say it has sort of a DIY LA punk aesthetic,” he adds. “Very ironically going hand in hand with a classic metal vibe: Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, classic Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and other melodic heavy rock bands.”

File Under: Hard Rock
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Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders: Promises (Luaka Bop) LP
Finally back in!!! These won’t last  long…
Sam (Floating Points): Pharoah… Pharoah: Huh…? Sam: Were you asleep? I’m sorry… Pharoah: No no… I was listening… and dreaming… and listening to music in my head… Sam: Oh wow… sorry. Pharoah: Many times, people think I might be asleep… but in fact, I am just listening to music in my head. I’m always listening… to the sounds around me… and playing, in my mind… and sometimes I dream. Sam: What were you dreaming about? Pharoah: I’m on a ship. In the ocean. Bears coming around smoking cigars. The bears are singing, ‘We have the music. We have what you’re looking for.
* * *
Pharoah: How you like that take, Sam? Sam: It’s cool. I think the bit in the middle, where it stops again…I think you can hear…We were both kind of confused. I like it as well because it sounds like two musicians that are trying to guide each other. Pharoah: I think that’s it right there. It came out different. It came out good though. Sam: You happy? Pharoah: Yeah, I’m cool with it. Sam: Okay. Yeah, I think your playing is beautiful.

File Under: Spiritual Jazz, Ambient
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Follakzoid: s/t (Bym) LP
A first-time-on-vinyl reissue of the debut album from Santiago, Chile’s FOLLAKZOID. “Their debut album, which bears the name of the band and has 6 tracks and 41 minutes long in total, is a high-flying alchemical fusion with echoes of the past and a transcendental look into the future. From the first seconds of the opening track of the album, ‘Sky Input I’ gives the flavor and rhythm of the classic self-titled album Neu! Atmospheric base with deep bass and time that goes in crescendo meets a guitar that howls, scream and whisper into an ecstatic trance that invites for an intense, but languid meditation. This formula is repeated in the second part of the cut and on the mesmerizing jams ‘Loop’ and ‘Directo al Sol’, which reaches a powerful sonic climax. The sense of travel, a sense of mysticism and pseudo-futuristic vibe fill up much of the album. There is also room for tracks perhaps more radio-cut and a structure close to the traditional: ‘El Humo’ and ‘Lisérgico Club’ are responsible for putting the groove, reverb, riffs taken from a noisy garage and stimulating mysterious voices, dark and lost between thick layers of sound. The bold and ambitious debut of Föllakzoid is persuasive and catchy, from the music to their mental or spiritual sustenance. One feels traveling between sound waves and ethereal sonic frequencies in a march towards the transcendental, to a somewhat metaphysical mixing between light and darkness. It’s good to have bands in Chile that achieve such a connection with the deepest essence of his own music and be able to transmit it faithfully. After all, is a matter of energy and communication with your listener.” Edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Psych
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Gary Higgins: Red Hash (Drag City) LP
BACK IN PRINT!!! The first-ever authorized reissue of GARY HIGGINS’ highly-sought 1973 Red Hash album. Eleven haunting tracks of folk-pop played on acoustic and electric guitar and arranged with percussion, cello, flute, piano, organ, bass, mandolin, and Higgins’ transcendent vocals. Includes two unheard bonus tracks—“Don’t Ya Know,” an early ‘80s home recording, and “Last Great Sperm Whale,” a 1975 track featuring Higgins and three of the Red Hash players. Includes bonus 7-inch of the once-CD only bonus tracks “Don’t Ya Know” and “Last Great Sperm Whale.”

File Under: Folk, Psych
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Kleenex/Liliput: First Songs (Mississippi) LP
A collection of early tracks from the egendary Swiss punk band from the late ’70s. First Songs combines all the band’s pre-1982 material—three KLEENEX singles, the first two LILIPUT 7-inches, and all the originally unreleased material prior to Liliput’s debut LP. A split release between Mississippi, Water Wing and Kill Rock Stars. “You can’t dispute Liliput’s status as pioneers of feminist art-punk. Along with fellow travelers like the Slits and the Raincoats, this (mostly) female Swiss group took advantage of punk’s anything-goes attitude and created jittery, spirited pop that was both in step with the times and completely singular. The early material is a riot of exuberant energy, taking stylistic cues from peers like Gang of Four and Wire–propulsive bass, skittering pop rhythms, slashing guitars–and adding distinctive overlapping vocal patterns, which are sung, shrieked, and hiccupped in three languages and made-up dadaistic slang. More than 20 years on, it still sounds fresh.”—Lisa Gidley

File Under: Post Punk
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LCD Soundsystem: The Long Goodbye (DFA) BOX
The long goodbye is the complete, unabridged recording of LCD Soundsystem’s April 2, 2011 “farewell” show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Produced and mixed by LCD founder and frontman, James Murphy, and spanning 3 hours of music across 28 songs, the long goodbye is the ultimate audio document of the now legendary (but not exactly final) concert from one of our generation’s best live bands. On the occasion’s 10th anniversary, DFA has partnered with Parlophone / Warner Music to repress this release in it’s original 5xLP configuration exclusively for North America.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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Liars: The Apple Drop (Mute) LP
The Apple Drop follows 2017’s TFCF and 2018’s Titles with the Word Fountain, both distinctly solo affairs, but for Liars’ tenth album, Angus Andrew chose to expand and embrace collaboration. “My goal was to create beyond my abilities – something bigger than myself,” he notes. The new album finds him working with avant-garde jazz drummer Laurence Pike, multi-instrumentalist Cameron Deyell and lyricist Mary Pearson Andrew. “For the first time, I embraced collaboration from an early stage, allowing the work of others to influence the work of my own,” Angus adds. This mixing of raw, organic live instrumentation in the studio, along with Angus’s solo tinkering at the computer, results in an album that blurs boundaries between the archetypal band structure and experimental electronics. “Momentum and revolution were themes I wanted to explore, to give the listener this sense of transformation and to feel like you were being transported through the wormhole,” he explains. For Angus, The Apple Drop comes from a personal place of realignment and reconfiguration. “Throughout Liars’ history I have consistently tried to develop new methods of creating music,” Angus says. “On each project, I’ve essentially abandoned previous methods and attempted to instead learn different ways of writing and producing songs. Where once I perceived this journey as a straight line, I’m increasingly realising my trajectory is more akin to a spiral. As new ideas are generated, older ones take on new meaning and evolve further.” There are not many bands that could make looking to the past feel futuristic but here Liars have managed to create an entirely new world – sonically, thematically and lyrically – by doing just that.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Lipstick Killers: Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-’81 (Grown Up Wrong) LP
Coloured vinyl! Hindu Gods are calling—Grown Up Wrong! Records is thrilled beyond belief to present the long-awaited anthology of material by the legendary Lipstick Killers, who blazed a trail in late ’70s post-Radio Birdman Sydney before gigging with the likes of the Gun Club and the Flesh Eaters in Los Angeles, where they crashed and burned in 1981. The Lipstick Killers released just one single in their life time—the perfect ’79 Deniz Tek-produced pairing of “Hindu Gods of Love” and ”Shakedown USA” on their own Lost In Space Records and Greg Shaw’s Voxx Records—but a posthumous live album and a couple of archival releases followed. It was all incredible. All that material is included here, as is a plethora of additional stuff, all from the best-available sources (mostly original tapes). The Lipstick Killers’ enigmatic and high-energy sound—heavily inspired by the Stooges and the ’60s psychedelic punk sounds of bands like the Thirteenth Floor Elevators and the Chocolate Watchband—bridged the gap between Radio Birdman and subsequent Sydney groups like the Sunnyboys (whose first-ever show was opening for the Lipstick Killers), Lime Spiders, Hoodoo Gurus and the Psychotic Turnbuckles. And of course they anticipated generation after generation of other bands with similar things in mind, right up to today’s ’60s-inspired freaks like The Straight Arrows, The Living Eyes and Thee Oh Sees.

File Under: Punk
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Needles // Pins: s/t (Dirt Cult) LP
“Maybe it’s the endless pieces of soft, soothing music being described as ‘a soothing balm for the stresses of the pandemic age’, but don’t you sometimes find yourself wishing for a solid rock’n’roll record to cut to your core and send your fists soaring towards the sky? Okay, our moshpits may not extend much further than the faces in our living rooms right now, but goddamit, some of us really just want some punk rock to help us feel alive. Here’s where Needles//Pins’ mighty fourth album comes in. From the surging rush of opener ‘Woe Is Us’ (sounds relatable), via the organ-drenched scuffle of ‘Winnipeg ‘03’ right through to anthemic closer ‘The Tyranny Of Comforts’, this is a record that takes your emotional concerns and bundles them up into sweet little packets of raw-throated, chest-swelling, moves-into-your-brain-and-never-leaves melody. They’re self-aware too; by referencing Cap’n Jazz’s ‘Little Leagues’ in the opening verse to ‘A Rather Strained Apologetic’, they lay bare that in a less complicated era you might have been tempted to call their take on punk ‘emo’. Hey, come back—OK, it’s not a Jade Tree special, but it’s got the same gravel throated delivery and honeyed approach to melody that Blake Schwarzenbach delivered on ‘24 Hour Revenge Therapy’. Needles//Pins are equally indebted to classic Canadian powerpop like The Pointed Sticks – hell, 1979’s essential ‘Vancouver Complication’ comp feels as much of a reference here as ‘Boxcar’. They know their history, they know their craft, and they know their shit. If you’ve not been keeping count, this all adds up to ‘plenty to love’. Of course, you could just ignore everything I just wrote and listen for yourself. What you’ll find is a record that sounds simple on first listen but offers more layers to peel back the more you listen. It’s comforting, it’s thrilling, it’s… well, it’s not a soothing balm, but it might just be what you need right now to pick you up off the floor and (as referenced on the aforementioned ‘Woe Is Us’) make you shake and shimmer. A future classic? Hell, why not?”—Will Fitzpatrick

File Under: Punk
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Poets of Rhythm: Discern/Define (Daptone) LP
Dealer exclusive Cosmic Peach vinyl! Celebrating the album’s 20th Anniversary, Daptone Records is pleased to present the first vinyl reissue of The Poets of Rhythm’s galactic, funky masterpiece, Discern / Define. As pioneers in the burgeoning modern funk scene of the ’90s The Poets of Rhythm created new standards, transcending the parameters lesser groups were defined by. With Discern /Define the Poets took their brand of classic funk to the next level by blending elements of rock, psychedelia, afro-beat, jazz and heavy, heavy drums to create a wholly original brand of transcendent, funky soul. Anyone who has tried to cop an OG in the last twenty years knows how difficult of a task that has proven to be – not necessarily due to rarity, but more to the fact that people simply DO NOT get rid of this album. It’s a testament to the fact that Discern / Define has no shelf life. It’s a bonafide classic that any discerning funk and soul fan must have in their collection. Now sporting a deluxe gatefold jacket with reimagined artwork, it is an honor to get these back on the shelves of a record shop near you. Cop one today! “They have the unique power of being able to depart from tradition in order to bring advancement music and unsuspecting listeners, yet still please the purists with home-cooked “Funk-of-Ages” values” – Lyrics Born

File Under: Funk
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Sun Ra: Languidity (Strut) 4LP Box
Strut present the definitive edition of Sun Ra’s classic ‘Lanquidity’ album from 1978 with brand new 4LP box set edition, featuring the widely distributed version of the album alongside alternative mixes by Bob Blank originally released in limited quantities for a 1978 Arkestra gig at Georgia Tech. Both versions of the album are cut loud at 45 rpm over 2LPs each. Recorded overnight at Bob Bank’s Blank Tapes on 17th July 1978 after the Arkestra had appeared on Saturday Night Live, the album is unique in the Ra catalogue. “Most critics felt that it was more of a fusion-inspired record,” explains Michael Ray. “As the name suggests, the album is liquid and languid.” Bob Blank continues, “Musically, it was very ad hoc and freeform. There were horn charts but most tracks came out of improvised jams. Sun Ra just did his thing.” Comprising five effortlessly fluid pieces, the album eases in with Lanquidity. Danny Ray Thompson remembers, “This was one of Sun Ra’s on-the-spot compositions. It is almost like an Ancient Egyptian Stargazing Ceremony, mapping out the stars and the planets.” Where Pathways Meet is “Sun Ra’s funky version of an Egyptian march. Pharaoh is sending his troops off to fight and this is his pep-talk!” continues Thompson. “The music seems to take different pathways but still converges.” The loping groove of That’s How I Feel, features the reflective trumpet lines of Eddie Gale with solos by John Gilmore and Marshall Allen: “Marshall comes in with that snake charming oboe.” Says Thompson. The funky Twin Stars Of Thence weaves around Richard Williams celebrated elastic bassline while the haunting closer, There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of), is pure “space music.” The poet Mama Nzinga described it as ‘The essence of light. Spirit takes a ride inside the deep dark space of just being.”

File Under: Jazz
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Matt Sweeney & Bonnie Prince Billy: Super Wolves (Drag City) LP
Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy return with the follow-up to their Superwolf album from years back. The songs, then, go boldly into undreamed-of places, and go deep, as Matt and Bonny take all the musics they know to make songs that penetrate. In classic Garcia-Hunter style, Sweeney and the ‘Prince’ first work separately, finding a path to each other in their solitary imaginings. Bonnie lyric sets delivered to Matt spark Sweeney’s guitar brain; chords and a melody are shaped, recorded fast and loose and sent back to the Prince, then the two parties meet up to sing, stitch, strengthen and finally perform them together in front of a small unsuspecting audience. Then new sets of lyrics are sent, animated and played in a high wire style until the shared songs and experiences are ready to commit to record. This is just the beginning of their fusion process, as words imply vocalizations to counter and support, and guitar lines suggest harmonic fields to subtly push into. In this process, a new creature grows out of the old one. In this name of this partnership, the guitar shares an open and fluid space with the vocals, the voices sing with the guitars—every moment in the life of Superwolves is an extravaganza, guided only by its need.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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Tobacco City: Tobacco City, USA (Scissor Tail) LP
Tobacco City is about simplicity. Simple songs and melodies built around nostalgic and blue stories. Built out of a mutual love of classic and cosmic country, the members of Tobacco City bring their psychedelic and folk influences to the exploding genre. The result is a feel good sway that fits into modern urban modes and passes by the shrewdest of classic country heads. Quickly gaining traction in Chicago playing with new country icon Orville Peck and psychedelic tastemaker Ty Segall, Tobacco City seems to fit in wherever good music resides regardless of the genre. “Hailing from Chicago, the musical project of Chris Coleslaw and Lexi Goddard leans ably into traditional country blues and honky-tonk shuffles. With a forthcoming Tobacco City full-length on the horizon, the group has shared two new tracks; the first of which is the amber-hued “Blue Raspberry,” a languid, steel guitar draped duet that recalls Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons at their most incandescent. Hanging in the air and gleaming like a curtain drawn against the day, the B-side, “Never On My Mind,” finds Goddard front and center amidst a slow sashay of the prosaic. Another dollar for the juke after a long day’s work—drinking for one.” —Aquarium Drunkard

File Under: Country, Folk
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Upupayama: s/t (Centripetal Force) LP
Upupayāma is the musical persona of Alessio Ferrari, an Italian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who lives in a small mountain village above the city of Parma. Upupayāma’s music is rooted strongly in Easternand Western folk traditions, an approach that Ferrari blends with his own modern sensibilities and style. In addition to playing guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums on the album, Ferrari himself also incorporates a number of other instruments into his sound, including sitar, erhu, transverse and wooden flutes, and avariety of percussion instruments. He is also responsible for all of the recording that went into the project. Ferrari is currently in the process of putting together a group of musicians that will help deliver his vision of Upupayāma to a live setting. Informed by the wonders of nature that surround him high in the Northern Apennine mountains, Ferrari’s songwriting possesses a mystical quality, one that reflects the fantastical and surreal, yet simple, elements of the natural world. His use of imagery is strong and is communicated vividly through his music. This isespecially clear in “The Blue Magician’s Fantasy” and “Hello Green Man, I am a Tiger,” both of which aresongs in which he sings with his own invented language. True to the sense of magical realism his songsevoke, Ferrari is quick to point out that even the concept of Upupayāma, which means mountain hoopoe, “is surreal because the hoopoe is not a mountain bird.” As he puts it, “I like the fact that a mountain hoopoe and an invented language can live in an imaginative world.” That imaginative world is the five songs in front of you right now. Comparisons to Kikagaku Moyo are understandably easy to make, but it should be noted that Alessio Ferrari is drawing from the same waters as many of his contemporaries, including his Japanese counterparts. These influences are wide and varied, ranging from the folk leanings of Fairport Convention and Popol Vuh to the rich creativity of Italian library music to the long-form jamming styles of Träd, Gräs Och Stenar and the Grateful Dead

File Under: Psych
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Alan Vega: After Dark (In The Red) LP
2021 is shaping up to be the year of Alan Vega. Every year should be but, this year is definitely it. The announcement of the opening of the Alan Vega archives which will be unleashing an untold amount of unreleased material dating back to 1971 via Sacred Bones, the release of Mutator (a lost album from the mid ’90s), which has gained rave reviews, a massive feature in the NY Times…Vega has been celebrated everywhere of late. In The Red is over the moon to participate in this celebration with the release of After Dark—an album that captures a late night rock ’n’ roll session with Vega backed by Ben Vaughn, Palmyra Delran and Barb Dwyer (all members of the incredible Pink Slip Daddy as well as countless other cool projects). This album serves as a reminder that Alan Vega was an incredible rock ’n’ roll / blue / rockabilly vocalist. He was one of the best.

File Under: Punk, Suicide
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Various: **** (Four Stars) (Swineken) LP
“Holy moly, if it isn’t a reissue of the super legendary Four Stars comp! This terrific artifact documenting Wellington New Zealand’s postpunk scene was originally released in 1980 (in an edition of 250) & copies have been as rare as a chook’s tooth ever since. Four ultra obscure bands-Life In The Fridge Exists, Wallsockets, Naked Spots Dance & Beat Rhythm Fashion-comprise these two sides & offer a fantastic snapshot of a radical DIY scene that played out in a vacuum at the bottom of the world. A great bookend to the excellent AK79 comp released at roughly the same time, this is a one-time reissue edition of 250 & a must-own for any fevered collector of New Zealand’s enigmatic, pre Flying Nun underground. Leave no stone unturned!”—Zander Van Dijk, Swineken Recordings

File Under: Punk, Lo-Fi, New Zealand, Flying Nun
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Atramentus: Stygian (20 Buck Spin) LP
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think (Mom+Pop) LP
Beherit: Oath of Black Blood (Nuclear War Now) LP
Blood Incantation: Hidden History of the Human Race (Dark Descent) LP
Fucked Up: Hidden World (Deranged) LP
Full Blast + Friends: Crumbling Brain (Okka) LP
Oh Sees: A Weird Exits (Castle Face) LP
Spike in Vain: Disease is Relative (Scat) LP
Stars of the Lid: And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky) 3LP
Stars of the Lid: Tired Sounds of.. (Kranky) 3LP
Witch Vomit: Buried Deep in a Bottomless Grave (20 Buck Spin) LP
Various: African Scream Contest 2 (Analog Africa) LP

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