Other Music New Release Update
November 6, 2002

In This Week's Update:

Featured New Releases:

Beth Gibbons & Rustin' Man
Out Hud
Rogers Sisters
A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Smog (singles collection)
Derrick Carter
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (new single)
Badly Drawn Boy
Tok Tok Vs. Soffy O
Fragile State
David Cross
"45 Seconds Of:" (Simballrec compilation)


Nagisa Ni Te "On the Love Beach" (Domestic)
The Impressions

This Just In:

Triple R (Kompakt Records compilation)
Bjork (Box Set and Greatest Hits)


BETH GIBBONS & RUSTIN' MAN "Out of Season" (Go Beat)
CD/LP $22.99/$22.99
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It's been much longer than most fans would want to wait for, and
technically they're still waiting, but in the meantime Portishead
vocalist Beth Gibbons has temporarily ventured off into solo territory
with the assistance of "Rustin' Man," aka Paul Webb, the former
bassist in Talk Talk. A warning: Beth hasn't been sitting at home for
the past couple of years listening to cinematic instrumental hip hop.
What she has been listening to, and in turn created is a
simultaneously skeletal and lush album in the British folk tradition.
At times accompanied only by acoustic guitar, other times with full
strings, grand piano and organ, "Out of Season" maintains a sense
of grandeur in space. The overall tone will be familiar to Portishead
fans -- sober and introspective. But the backdrop has more to do with
Nick Drake and even David Axelrod than early-'90s trip hop. Intimate,
desperate and hauntingly beautiful, "Out of Seaon" is already being
hailed by many as a contender for album of the year. [GA]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=04400665742&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=04400665741&refer_url=email

GUITAR "Sunkissed" (Morr) CD $15.99
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Hands down, Guitar had the best track on Morr Music's recent double
CD compilation, "Blue Skied an' Clear." A one man project from Italy
who goes by the name Digital Jockey has taken the spirit of early
shoe gazing and My Bloody Valentine's masterpiece "Loveless" album
from 1991, and brought it into the new millennium. Although a little
contrived, Guitar definitely do the genre justice incorporating heavy
reverb and tremeloed guitar, downtempo beats, and lush processed
female vocals courtesy of guest stars Regina Janssen (of Donna Regina
fame) and Ayako Akashiba. Take a song like the opener "Sunkissed," a
track so lush, distorted and beautiful that you would swear Kevin Shields
was in the room, and then the backwards double vocals come in --
amazing in itself and it doesn't stop there. Followed by "House Full of
Time" from the Morr compilation, and featuring six other gems, this is an
absolutely beautiful debut, and the closest thing to the legendary
"Loveless" album that we will ever see. Essential! [JS]

OUT HUD "S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D." (Kranky) CD/LP $13.99/$11.99
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Essentially a quartet, though a fifth member doubles as producer and
live sound manipulator, Out Hud hail from California (what is in the
water out there?) and have become the instrumental booty shaking act
in these parts -- I have definitely lost pounds dancing at their shows.
This long, long, long awaited debut on Kranky focuses less on the
dancefloor and more on the head noddiest grooves. There are definite
rhythmic disco tangents, but if this record were a rodeo, the cowboys
would be of the post-punk persuasion. Not to say you won't find
yourself dancing, you will. It just creeps up on you. Recommended!
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=79644180572&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999186961&refer_url=email

PALESTINE/COULTER/MATHOUL "Maximin" (Young God) CD $14.99
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Charlemagne Palestine (a noted early minimal composer and
conceptual artist) took a break from music for a number of years to
focus on his fascinating installations. The last three or four years have
seen him return to his minimal roots with a series of brilliant new
releases that are varied in their execution, but fairly united in their
conception. Pieces tend to range from 45 to 75 minutes in length on
compact disc and deal with various aspects of the creation of the drone
and its ability to seemingly alter aspects of time. "Maximin" comes as
a bit of a surprise. David Coulter and Jean-Marie Mathoul have
reconfigured moments from three of the previous new Palestine records
with his blessing and participation. Using those records as templates,
they have distilled the pieces into anywhere from two-and-a-half to
12-minute sections, then subtly added additional drones, loops, guitars,
pianos, etc. One would think that this would drastically alter the intent
of the music (Reich re-mixed anyone?), yet they've managed to very
faithfully adhere to the spirit of the original pieces. Highlights include
the reworked versions of Palestine's "Jamaica Heinekens in Brooklyn"
in which Palestine wandered around during the famed annual West Indian
Day Parade with a tape recorder and then applied a drone to the
proceedings, and Palestine's very beautiful and odd singing on "Karenina."
Hopefully, by shortening the length of the tracks, and in a sense compiling
his recent output, the music of Charlemagne Palestine will reach a much
wider audience than what he has thus been granted. A brilliant place to
start for the uninitiated. [MK]

ROGERS SISTERS "Purely Evil" (Troubleman) CD $11.99
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I've been waiting for this one! The Rogers Sisters have been one of
my favorite New York bands for a couple of years now, their
performances always igniting a dance party in whatever Brooklyn bar
or basement they're playing at. Named after siblings Jennifer and
Laura, (who were also members in the more serious and now-defunct
Ruby Falls), their full-length debut on Troubleman perfectly captures
this trio's revved up take on '60s garage pop by way of post-punk bounce.
Recorded in only thirty-six hours with minimal overdubs, you can almost
name check the Rogers Sisters' favorite early Rough Trade records.
Better yet, imagine the B-52s channeling the Gang of Four and Kleenex
and you're halfway there. Singer-guitarist Jennifer can go from Kate Moss
to Lene Lovich at the turn of a dime while switching between sassy one-note
surf leads and sprinkles of machine gun skronk. Meanwhile, bassist Miyuki
Furtado backs her up with his affected sing/speak vocals and punked up
call-and-response. But unlike a lot of groups diving into the early-'80s pool,
the Rogers Sisters have the tunes. "Song for Freddie," "I Dig a Hole," and
"Calculator" are catchy as hell and the band dares you not to pogo. [GH]

A HAWK AND A HACKSAW "A Hawk and a Hacksaw" (Cloud) CD $12.99
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A Hawk and a Hacksaw is a one-man band. This one man is Jeremy
Barnes, best known as one of the co-conspirators in the experimental
"rock" trio Bablicon, and as the heavy-duty drummer in Neutral Milk
Hotel. Barnes will likely create his own niche with this debut, which
begins with a meditative piano study that could easily be mistaken for
anything Reich or Riley ever did. Barnes quickly mixes it up with a frantic,
carnival-esque track featuring euphonium, accordion, piano and more. As
soon as a theme is explored on A Hawk and a Hacksaw, it morphs into
the next barrage of sound, elements of ping-ponging musique concrete
darting between Eastern European-inspired gypsy melodies; bubbly
passages reminiscent of Satie dancing amid crackling electronics.
Somehow, the music seamlessly flows together from idea to idea. There
is also something decidedly old-timey about this recording, as if it could
have been the score to a surrealist silent film. Entertaining, intricate and
ambitious, A Hawk and a Hacksaw is a magical recording, one of the
most original and inventive you are ever likely to hear. [PW]

LOSCIL "Submers" (Kranky) CD $13.99
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In late 2001, a record by Loscil (aka Scott Morgan) on Kranky records
arrived here in the store. Filled with all of the things that I loved in
electronic music at the time, tech house beats, dubbed-out bass and
ambient soundscapes, this great debut album put him in the same realm
as German contemporaries like Pole, Jan Jelinek and the like. After
releasing an EP for Involve in early-2002, Morgan emerges with his
sophomore album. Named "Submers", this is exactly what it is. Filled
with aquatic references in the song titles and evoking a murky underwater
quality throughout the record, "Submers" is dark ambient music at its
finest. The dub bass has been stretched out, the beats have been
submerged -- meters underwater resembling a faint heartbeat with ambient
soundscapes that are extremely dark, floating synth washes. Loscil has
created a perfect listen for those dark rainy nights. A haunting, but
soothing experience. [JS]

SMOG "Accumulation None/Singles Compilation" (Drag City) CD/LP $13.99/$11.99
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Bill Callahan sets out upon quite minimalist song frameworks to be
sure, but I think it would be fair to say (based on the evidence provided)
that he's a 'results-oriented' person. Such results are often a combination
of the martial and (I daresay) the mystic, with lyrics conjured up initially
to complement and then to rattle each song's frame right out of whatever
sanctimonious rot might be being insisted on by our marketplace's more
regressive influences. I really like Smog a lot, in other words, and actually
have a lot of the tracks on here already but would encourage you to pick
this up as these are definitely some of his best things. [DHo]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=03617292002&refer_url=email
LP //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999186911&refer_url=email

THE BRUCES "War of the Bruces" (Misra) CD $13.00
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After seven years, Alex McManus (aka The Bruces) returns with a
follow-up to his acclaimed mid-'90s solo releases for Simon Joyner's
Sing! Eunuchs record label. In the interim, he formed the band Empire
State and kept himself busy as a sideman for Lambchop, Vic Chesnutt,
and Bright Eyes. This one-man band is lo-fi-no-more on "War Of The
Bruces," which was impeccably recorded by veteran engineer Mark
Nevers, who has worked behind the board for the Silver Jews, Tindersticks,
and many more. Subtle noises and instrumentation (telephones, whistles,
crickets, harmonica, cymbals, bells) dissolve in and out over layers of
McManus's twangy, shimmering guitar and rich voice, which will undoubtedly
remind some people of Will Oldham's. The meandering, disjointed nature of
the compositions makes "War Of The Bruces" an album that takes a little
patience but grows in beauty with each successive listen. This captivating
collection of electrified folk with an uncontrived poetic sense joins the
ranks of American music classics like Palace's "Viva Lost Blues." [RH]

DERRICK CARTER "Square Dancing in a Round House" (Classic) CD $16.99
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When Daft Punk were seeking inspiration for their "Homework" album,
they took trips to Chicago and hung out with various house producers,
namely Felix da Housecat and Derrick Carter. But while DP got lost in
AM radio and Felix is knee-deep in Electro, Derrick "The Maestro"
positioned himself as the next king of the underground. Usually seen
DJ-ing with three turntables -- cigarette dangling from his lips, cocktail
in one hand while the other keeps all three records blending perfectly
on beat -- he has a talent for keeping the party moving like no one else.
Having been making catchy leftfield booty-shaking house 12"s since
the age of 15, Carter, who is now in his thirties, is ready to reign with
his first full-length "Square Dancing in a Round House," on his amply
titled label Classic. Big, tough, meaty, bouncing beats; itchy acid
baselines; layers of percussion and analogue synths; snatches of
disco and soul singers; along with his own baritone vocals in sung
and twisted spoken combinations is what you get here. Think Larry
Heard, Bobby Konders, Pal Joey, Lil' Louis, Green Velvet, Basement
Jaxx, or Moodyman -- all are referenced but none are imitated for DC
is truly an original. Definitely recommended for lovers of a good party!

YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Machine/Single" (Touch and Go) CD/10" $5.99/$6.99
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Hot damn! I must have hit my Walkman's repeat button 10 times
during my subway ride listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' title track
on their new three-song Touch and Go single. Nick Zinner's guitar
sounds downright sinister with super-tight chugs that seem to be
clenching Karen O's neck while her radio squelched vocal-warble
and breathy gasps land somewhere between Kathleen Hanna, Poly
Styrene and Siouxsie Sioux. Sexy, sassy and primal, the Yeah
Yeah Yeahs' heavy assault of art damaged garage punk is rock at
its purest; it leaves you shaking, sweating and wanting more. I
can't wait for the full-length! [GH]
CD //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=03617209442&refer_url=email
10" //perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=09999186851&refer_url=email

BADLY DRAWN BOY "Have You Fed the Fish?" (Artist Direct) CD $16.99
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Badly Drawn Boy's follow-up to 2000's brilliant "Hour of Bewilderbeast"
(if you should want to call it a follow-up considering that his recent
soundtrack for the motion picture "About a Boy" stands on its own
merit) is very much the production. Like "Bewilderbeast," "Have You
Fed the Fish?" opens with an esoteric track, but then proceeds
straight to the title song with the grandiosity of a mid-'70s arena rocker,
ala' Elton John. That's not to say his first album didn't have its
grandiose moments, but here Damon Gough approaches this record
with a little more self-realization (meaning confidence) in his
songwriting skills and a lot more studio shine. Deep down however,
he's still that sensitive troubadour with a clever, self-deprecating wit --
his heart nailed to his sleeve, breaking hearts as his heart gets broken.
"Have You Fed the Fish?" is more focused with far less whimsical
acoustic folk, but Gough's lyricism is unmistakably melancholy,
humorous and a little self-indulgent all at once; he even turns down
Madonna's affection in "You Were Right." As expected, there are
plenty of playful twists, but they're a little different than in the past.
The accompaniment to "The Further I Slide" mimics Marvin Gaye's
"Sexual Healing" note-for-note, while "Tickets to What You Need"
breaks out into a fit of honky tonk with Gough rejecting Madonna yet
again. Serge Gainsbourg's daughter Charlotte even makes a vocal
appearance during the chorus of "Using Our Feet." Though most fans
probably expect each Badly Drawn Boy record to take a new direction,
I'm sure "Have You Fed the Fish?" is certain to spark some controversy
among them. But make no mistake, it is a strong release and had this
been his first LP, Gough would have surely gathered the same circle of
praise and then confounded some with a follow-up named "Hour of
Bewilderbeast." [GH]

TOK TOK VS. SOFFY O. ""Tok Tok vs. Soffy O." (East West Germany) CD $25.99
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After being the biggest act for Ellen Allien's BPitch Control label and
releasing the hit song "Missy Queen's Gonna Die" on about a
half-dozen labels worldwide, as well as being included on about every
electro compilation in the past two years, the trio called Tok Tok vs.
Soffy O. have signed with EastWest/Warners in Germany and released
their much anticipated album debut. Twelve tracks that are filled with fun
'80s inspired rhythms, electro beats, and Soffy O.'s deadpan vocal
delivery. Tok Tok vs. Soffy O. are the Miss Kittin and the Hacker who will
have that Top 40 hit. A guilty pleasure for sure, but one that I am not
embarrassed to have in my collection. [JS]

RAZORCUTS "R is For" (Matinee) CD $13.99
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With this collection, I've finally had a chance to hear what I've been
missing all this time. The Razorcuts were one of the bands to spring
up in mid-'80s England that fused the DIY ethics of punk rock with
the jangly guitars of sunny '60s pop, and along with Primal Scream,
the Shop Assistants, McCarthy, and the Wedding Present, led to the
indie pop later released on Sarah, K, Slumberland and a slew of other
labels. Sure, sometimes the vocals are a bit wobbly, but that just adds
to the charm of the 21 songs on the disc. And I think that's why I like
this album so much... charm. With the chiming 12-string guitar,
Hammond organ, harmonies, and tambourines, the Razorcuts come off
as a more-catchy version of Felt. The disc contains 21 songs picked by
the band collected from their early singles on Subway and their albums
on Creation records (previously available only at inflated collector/import
prices) plus a 12 page booklet with photos and notes from the band and
friends. Just listen and hum along and you'll never again think that "twee"
is a four-letter word. [RS]

FRAGILE STATE "Facts and the Dreams" (Bar de Lune) CD $19.99
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Featuring Zero 7's touring keyboardist, Neil Cowley, and music
journalist Ben Mynott, Fragile State's second album is a wonderful late
night fix for every downtempo fan. Mostly instrumental, super chill
grooves support cinematic string sweeps that wrap around nice breaks
and deep soul. There's a lot of knowledge and respect for the music
craft herein. Cowley's keyboard work is outstanding; his jazz solos and
electric piano flourishes, plus some non-typical sounds like thumb piano
and auto-harp separate this from a cookie-cutter chillout record. Real
smooth. [GH]

DAVID CROSS "Shut Up, You Fucking Baby" (Sub Pop) CD $15.99
"Because of the way I perform (which doctors have insisted upon), in
which I start drinking before the show as well as during it, I tend to
pretty much 'wing it' (a medical term). So yeah, I will ramble on and
on in an amusing, drunk-at-a-party way." That's how David Cross
describes his style on this, the only comedy album worth getting this
year, quite possibly this decade... Jimmy Fallon ain't got nothin' on
him. Before taking the criminally cancelled HBO cult-classic "Mr.
Show" line-up on tour this summer, Cross did a series of stand-up
gigs in rock clubs, which were recorded for this release. "Shut Up,
You Fucking Baby," includes over two hours of ranting about Promise
Keepers and VH1's "Bands On The Run," as well as video footage
from a forthcoming DVD release. Any further description would not do
justice to this two-disc collection. Simply put, it's terrifyingly, painfully
funny. [RH]

[V.A.] "45 Seconds Of:" (Simballrec) CD $14.99
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Trying to cram 99 tracks with almost as many artists onto one CD
compilation could and should spell disaster, but Simballrec's new
sampler "45 Seconds Of:" comes out on top. Encompassing an
overwhelming A-list of electronic artists that is way too long to
name here, this is a very engaging collection of sound collage, each
cut placed tightly next to the previous so you literally have to watch
your CD track counter to follow along. Included are contributions from
Electric Birds, Electric Company, DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid,
Lali Puna, Kim Cascone, Solvent, Sutekh, Hood, Daniel Givens,
Jan Jelinek, Dntel, Martin Rev, Blevin Belctum, Rothko, Saftey
Scissors, Stars as Eyes… phew! [GH]


NAGISA NI TE "On the Love Beach" (Jagjaguwar) CD $13.99
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Nagisa Ni Te, an Osaka-based collective centered around Shinji
Shibayama and his partner-muse Masako Takeda. Shibayama runs
Org Records, the label that first released material by Maher Shalal
Hash Baz among other obscure gems of lo-fi psychedelic pop. And
like those recent faves, Nagisa Ni Te perfectly combine the pop flavor
of, say, Belle & Sebastian or The Pastels with the killer atmospherics
of Neil Young circa "On The Beach" (and I suspect the title of their first
album is no accident in that regard). "On The Love Beach" was
originally released in 1995. It is nothing short of bliss on a disc;
Masako is credited simply as "wind" while Reiko & Tori from M.S.H.B.
lend support. [JG]

IMPRESSIONS "This is My Country" (Sunspots) CD $15.99
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IMPRESSIONS "The Young Mods' Forgotten Story" (Sunspots) CD $15.99
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These two absolute masterpieces are where Curtis Mayfield matched
his ability to write some of the most glorious love songs ever sung with
an overt political consciousness. He'd been writing, arranging, leading,
and recording with the Impressions since the late-'50s. By 1963, they
were averaging nearly two records a year for the next five years. "This
Is My Country" and "The Young Mods' Forgotten Story" would prove to
be the crowning glory of his work with the Impressions, just before he
embarked on an equally stunning solo career that culminated
(commercially at least) with the mega-hit "Superfly." This is soul music
of the highest order. Pieces of art that operate not as singles (as much
soul music did at the time), but as a fully realized album-length statement
of ethics and devotion. Simultaneously tough and pliant, Mayfield wasn't
about to let rock music eclipse his vision and he delivers repeatedly here
at the highest level. Highest Recommendation. [MK]
"This is My Country"
"The Young Mods' Forgotten Story"


[V.A.] "Triple R Friends" (Kompakt) CD $15.99
Can you beleive it? Kompakt deliver the goods again! This time it is a mix
CD by Riley Reinhold and features tracks by Broker/Dealer, Luciano, Dntel,
Schaeben und Voss, Oxytongue, Process and many, many more. You need
this! (Full review next week.)

BJORK "Family Tree/Box Set" (Elektra) CD $57.99
Bjork's box set includes six CDs and spans the singer's vast history.
Wonderfully packaged (designed by her sculptor friend named Gabriela)
the first CD features a "greatest hits" chosen by Bjork herself.

BJORK "Greatest Hits" (Elektra) CD $19.99
The choice of tracks selected by fans on her official website, Bjork's
greatest hits is a beautiful retrospective and essential compilation.

This week's contributors: Geoff Albores [GA], Jeff Gibson [JG], Daniel
Givens [DG], Gerald Hammill [GH], Rob Hatch-Miller [RH], Dan
Hougland [DHo], Michael Klausman [MK], Nicole Lang [NL], Jeremy
Sponder [JS], Roy Styles [RS], and Phil Waldorf [PW].


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