August 18, 2004  




The Ivytree
The Futureheads
Climax Golden Twins
Ghedalia Tazartès
Nagisa Ni Te
Kim Hiorthoy
Little Wings

Keren Ann


Edu Lobo
Luciano Cilio
Terrestrial Tones
Twice as Nice (Various Artists)
Seth P. Brundel
Mud Acres

AUG Sun 22 Mon 23 Tues 24 Wed 25 Thurs 26 Fri 27 Sat 28



Wednesday, August 25 @ 8:00 p.m.
OTHER MUSIC - 15 East 4th Street NY, NY
Free Admission/Limited Capacity

Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to a special night with Keren Ann celebrating the American release of her fantastic Not Going Anywhere. The Paris based singer's soft melancholia is powerful in its simplicity and casts shimmering, bittersweet beauty that deftly combines European and American folk and pop traditions. Enter to win by e-mailing Include your name and a daytime phone number where you can be reached. Winner will be notified on Friday afternoon, August 20.

Monday, August 23 @ 7:30 p.m.
JOE'S PUB - 425 Lafayette St. New York, NY

AUG Sun 15 Mon 16 Tues 17 Wed 18 Thurs 19 Fri 20 Sat 21

Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber

Saturday, August 21
@ 7:00 p.m.
Delacorte Theater
Central Park New York, NY

This Saturday, Burnt Sugar performs at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park with the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra and Nublu Orchestra (conduction by Butch Morris). The admission is free but the seating is super, super limited. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets which will guarantee you reserved seats to this great summer show. Enter by answering this question:

The title of Burnt Sugar's first album Blood on the Leaf is taken from a song lyric. What is the name of the song and who is the singer?

E-mail your answer to: Include your name and a daytime phone number where you can be reached. Winner will be notified on Friday afternoon, August 20.







Winged Leaves
(Catsup Plate)

"Emerald Green, Peacock Blue"
"The Book of Job"

This must be the year of the Jewelled Antler Collective. In the past I'd heard whisperings about their excursions, magical and epic journeys into the California countryside armed with instruments and minidisc recorders. But it wasn't until the Skygreen Leopards record came out and blew the minds of myself and many others that I realized what an incredible force they actually were. Glenn Donaldson is the Collective's founder and most active member and is one half the aforementioned duo, and the Ivytree is his new solo project. On his own, Donaldson mixes the off-the-cuff acoustic songwriting of the Skygreen Leopards with sublime field recordings and elements of the more experimental drone-folk of Thuja. Winged Leaves is a much darker record than the surprisingly popular One Thousand Bird Ceremony, but it is every bit as incredible. Donaldson is an innovator, taking the singer-songwriter genre in a pretty amazing new direction. Truly and deeply beautiful on the inside and out, Winged Leaves might actually contain the saddest music in the world. Astounding. [RH]







(679 Recordings)

"A to B"
"Decent Days and Nights"

It seems that these days the Europeans are taking the post-punk revival and running with it. Not only are they doing it better than the Americans, but they're also having huge success with it. I am speaking of one band in particular here, Franz Ferdinand who now have a gold record with their debut. Well, look out because their friends the Futureheads are the next band to fight for the post-punk throne. Like Franz Ferdinand, they have jagged guitars, danceable rhythms, and an incredible knack for writing the catchiest of songs. Take "A to B," with a sing-along chorus that is filled with more vocal harmonies than a Beach Boys album, pounding, up-tempo drums, and jagged Gang of Four-like guitar work -- production courtesy of the one and only Andy Gill. At just under two-and-a-half minutes, it will make your feet move and keep you humming its melody all day long.

The track "Decent Days and Nights" could very well be an outtake from All Mod Cons. It is filled with that driving guitar line, repetitious drumbeat and a stop-start tempo that made bands like the Jam and the Clash the legends that they are today. One of the things that sets this band apart from their American counterparts is definitely the multiple vocals that switch on and off and harmonize as much as the songs' tempos change. The Futureheads are truly a well-oiled machine, and one that will take their show on the road with their buddies Franz Ferdinand this fall. Don't write the Futureheads off as just another post-punk revival band; this foursome have the songs, and the chops to back up the hype… prepare to be converted. Thirty-seven of the catchiest minutes that you will hear all year, and that I guarantee. Highly recommended! [JS]







Highly Bred and Sweetly Tempered
(Northeast Indie)

"Billy McGee McGraw"
"Awful Hungry"

Seattle's mysterious Climax Golden Twins are back with what is probably their most accessible effort to date. Highly Bred And Sweetly Tempered is in part a kind of folk collage, not completely unlike what the Books have done on their two albums but far, far, far more sparse and minimal. That said, the bulk of the album relies a bit more heavily on straight-up acoustic guitar playing than most of this group's prior work. Still, all of the elements that you'd expect from them sprout up here and there: earthy drones, found sounds, field recordings of ethnic folk music, samples from scratchy old phonograph records. Surprisingly, they even do a proper "song" with lyrics and all. I'm not sure what to make of the infant theme -- photographs of babies are printed on the album cover and inside the digipack, and sounds of young children are scattered all over the first half -- but for some reason it intuitively makes sense. If you're looking for some lovely and not too far out-there experimental sounds, stop right here. Highly recommended for fans of Six Organs Of Admittance, Jewelled Antler Collective, Tower Recordings, Jack Rose, and the like. [RH]








Diasporas/ Tazartès
(Alga Marghen)

"La Berlue Je T'aime"
"Mourir un Peu"

Name-checked on that infamous NWW list, nomadic European sound artist Ghedalia Tazartès and his innate weirdness stands out even among those select artists. Simply put, he makes music out of his voice, organs, primitive drum machines, and manipulated loops of sounds, but the results are stymieing, inexplicable, piling up in bizarre, hypnotic patterns. He sounds at times like a gypsy with a beatbox, an outsider opera singer, a cabaret crooner suddenly taken with throat singing and babytalk, a Wildman Fischer among Tibetan monks.

Italian label Alga Marghen, responsible for two other archival discs of Tazartès music, here issues his fourth and first album, both from the '70s. The fourth is heavy on his layered croaks and moans run through varying amounts of distortion and tape manipulation, while his first album shows a more literate side as well as a more rhythmic, Eastern trance element. Titles are taken from Flaubert, and the opener has Mallarmé's words warbled over strange strings and a skipping loop of disco. It's yet another welcome glimpse into this mysterious man's singular world of voice and cycling sound. [RB]







The Same as a Flower


There aren't many bands that take me to the same place as Nagisa Ni Te. More or less the musical vehicle of Shinji Shibayama and his muse and co-writer Massako Takeda, this Japanese duo's reflective psych-pop-folk music is always romantically visceral to me. Their songs conjure relaxed images of days spent outside on warm beaches, exploring forests or staring at blue skies. Read the lyric translations and you'll find that with the simplest of phrases, Nagisa Ni Te do sing about nature and two people's lives running parallel - it's beautifully elegant and almost like haiku. In the past few years not much has changed with Nagisa Ni Te; and with The Same as a Flower you can still feel the duo's love for Japanese folk music and late-'60s psych and folk as their unaffected pop music is edged along by the strums from Shinji's guitar.

Like their 2001 LP Feel, Shinji and Massako's fifth album (third to be released stateside) uses a wider array of instrumentation than earlier releases, however the arrangements continue to be reflective and laid back. In other words less is more as music ebbs and flows around meditative melodies. Even in their updated, more produced version of "River," the lush layers of Shinji and Massoko's voices stay meditative and restrained. The eleven-and-a-half minute "Bramble" moves at a sweet lethargic pace until it collapses into a cyclical refrain of a lone Rhodes Piano. Four minutes later, the song rises into a dreamy haze of slide guitar and mellotron and then continues toward an anthem of an ending, that is until Shinji's last few delicately strummed chords brings the song back to a human level. Not many modern bands create music that's so simple and yet so complex in emotions. It's eerie how songs sung in a language completely foreign to me can conjure feelings of comfort and nostalgia. [GH]




Hopeness EP


For the Ladies


Live Shet


Hopeness EP
(Smalltown Supersound)

"Soliga Dagens Slappiga Trosor"

It's been a couple of years since Norwegian electronica wizard Kim Hiorthoy has released a new record, so it's interesting to see what direction he's decided to head in. As it turns out, he's apparently opted to go in every possible direction at once. His three new mini-albums/EPs on Smalltown Supersound couldn't possibly be more different from one another. For The Ladies is the most surprising of the group, so minimal and ambient that it's pretty hard to discern any sound at all for long stretches of time. On the total opposite side of the spectrum is Live Shet, a recording of a laptop performance that's way more beat heavy and dance oriented than anything he's done before. He uses many of the same samples and sounds that were on his earlier recordings, but a lot of the quiet parts and experimental elements are more or less stripped away entirely. It isn't quite the kind of set he would play at a place like Tonic, but it's great for a party.

The best of the bunch is the Hopeness EP, which thankfully sounds much more like the really great stuff for which Kim has come to be known and loved. It's melodic, it sounds really warm; it's got a strong beat but also a lot of space and silence. This is one of his more organic-sounding releases, and the instrumentation has a distinct jazz-bent. In particular there are a lot of upright bass and piano sounds. Hiorthoy completists will undoubtedly want to check out all three of these new treats, but if you have to go with just one I would definitely lean toward Hopeness. [RH]







$12.99 LP


Magic Wand

"Sing Wide"
"Magic Wand"

I don't mean to shock you with my honesty, but I don't know much about Little Wings. Considering how much I've been enjoying Magic Wand, the new one from Kyle Field and company, and also that this is their sixth full-length, that's a bit of a surprise. My instinct tells me that this marks a great artistic leap for the band, but hey, all I know is how much I like it. The album is full of dreamy, breezy, joyful and melancholy folk-pop, plainly played with a simple honesty and immediacy that transports me. Perhaps it was their lovely track that DEVENDRA BANHART included on his recent Golden Apples…compilation that made me give Little Wings a second look, but this excellent record has sucked me in and held me tight. Rich with shades of IRON AND WINE, M.WARD and WILL OLDHAM, yet distinctly original and satisfying on its own terms, fans of the new psych-folk explosion, take note. [JM]







(Universal Brazil)

"No Cordao da Saideira"
"Jogo de Roda"

A perfectly lovely album recorded in 1967 by noted bossa nova composer and singer Edu Lobo. This one was his third release, and it's generally considered to be his greatest record. Frequently melancholy and grand, the arrangements are sophisticated without being too syrupy, and many songs are often stripped to just the barest essentials. Lobo was obviously pretty influenced by Antonio Carlos Jobim and here at least he seems to have Jobim's knack for understatement down pat. An important, if overlooked (in North America at least), contribution to Brazil's greatest cultural export of the '60s. [MK]







Dell 'Universo Assente
(Die Schachtel)

"Primo Quadro 'Della Conoscenza' da 'Dialoghi dal Presente'"
"Terzo Quadro da 'Dialoghi dal Presente'"

Founded in early 2003, Die Schachtel is a label/publishing house and art gallery based in Milan, Italy that specializes in electronic-concrete-avant-garde music, sound poetry, and artists' records. After several extremely limited vinyl-only releases from artists such as Franco Sacchi, Enore Zaffiri and Pietro Grossi, they grace us with this stunning collection of recordings by the late Luciano Cilio on CD format. A difficult one to categorize Dell 'Universo Assente is a truly singular work of intimate acoustic arrangements that references many different musical genres while existing in a unique space all its own. Focusing primarily on acoustic instrumentation, the 11 tracks contained in this collection represent Cilio's entire recorded output -- the legendary Dialoghi del Presente LP from 1977 plus a few other odds and ends from the late-'60s and early-'70s. Luciano Cilio was a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist and self-taught composer whose unfortunate suicide at the height of his career in 1983 left few artifacts behind.

Dell 'Universo Assente represents a truly unique and beautiful approach to music making where each instrument and each sound are given ample time and space to develop. Cilio performs on piano, guitar, flute, bass and mandola with various musicians and non-musicians contributing contrabass, violin, cello, percussion, oboe, saxophone and vocals. He focused his 'research' on long sustained sounds attempting to truly get inside each individual note or melodic passage. Or in his words: "Re-enter in the sound, to hold it, to hold it... then to leave it to go." These recordings achieve this not only in the overall musical structure, but through Cilio's highly acute and subtle sense of the mix which brings each instrument slowly to the forefront. Folk, modern composition, improvisation and various world musics are just a few of the musical genres that spring to mind when listening to Dell 'Universo Assente but it's the kind of self-contained, confident and reflective work that transcends mere genre restrictions to become that rare thing which is truly unique. This deluxe edition features a three-gatefold cover with silver foil design, 20-page booklet in English and Italian with an essay by Jim O'Rourke. Easily my favorite release of the year, it's limited to 500 copies, so get it while you can. [KH]








Dave Portner (Animal Collective's Avey Tare) and Eric Copeland of Black Dice lock horns under the earth. Using raw textures and other small bits, Terrestrial Tones create an aural diary of the daily life of an earthworm, mole or any other blind, earth-burrowing creature. Home recorded in 2003, this project treads darker, even more experimental sound territories than their respective bands, touching on influences from Krautrock to horror movie scores. A claustrophobic soundtrack to listen to in the dark. [SM]







Volume 2 / Various

"Call Me Mr. Telephone" Cheyne
"You Hurt Me" Shark Vegas

Last year, the great Cool as Ice compilation focused on dance music and early electro tracks that the various members of New Order produced between '82 and '86 (all under the collaborative moniker of Be Music) and included songs produced by A Certain Ratio drummer and Factory in-house knob twiddler DoJo Johnson. Just released, LTM's follow-up Twice as Nice covers the same period but expands the roster of producers with names like Mark Kamins and the legendary Arthur Baker. Here, classics such as a Jellybean Benitez remix of 52nd Street's "Cool as Ice (Twice as Nice)," Marcel King's "Keep on Dancing" (produced by Bernard Sumner, DoJo and Fruitz) and "Genius" by Quando Quango sit next to the more obscure. The inclusion of both sides of the first long lost Factory single, 52nd Street's "Express" and "Look into My Eyes," is well worth the album's sticker price. Another real gem is the instrumental edit of the original version of New Order's "586," which reveals the band's early flirtation with sequencers a whole year before their watershed "Blue Monday."

The Arthur Baker re-mix of Anna Domino's jazz infused "Summer" is a slice of swinging pop music, while Cheyne's "Call Me Mr. Telephone" is driven by programmed electro beats and is very reminiscent of early Madonna -- no doubt due to producer Mark Kamins who is credited on some of her early singles. (The story has it that the material girl originally offered "Into the Groove" to Cheyne, only to ask for it back.) Other standouts include the club friendly "You Hurt Me" sung by Germany's Shark Vegas and produced by DoJo and Bernard Sumner. Very synth heavy, you can hear some of the same drum sounds and beats that would be used by New Order on their Low Life LP. With Peter Hook at the helm, the Royal Family and the Poor's "Motherland" is bass heavy, with lots of icy accents and robotic beats enhancing the eerie vocorder introduction. Twice as Nice also features Factory staples like Section 25 as well as the darker styling of Thick Pigeon (produced by Steve Morris and Gillian Gilbert).

As far as history lessons, this is fantastic audio lecture to a turning point in dance music history. Like Cool as Ice LTM's second volume tells an even bigger piece of the story to those of us not lucky to have witnessed this important period firsthand, as technology worked its way into the music mainstream. [GH]







Devil's Pawn

"Beyond Murky Drapes"
"Devil's Pawn"

Over the last few years, Florida's Algorithm and Beta Bodega collectives have been sending out distress signals. Mostly in the form of 12-inch singles and comps, fierce political wordplay, IDM trickery, intense and provocative artwork, and a no-hands-barred/all-are-suspect mentality is the methodology. The new solo release by MC and producer, Seth P. Brundel, out on the increasingly diverse Aesthetics label, is a solid debut full of strong views, super tight production and an accomplished DIY stance that's bound to intrigue. Unlike most of the indie-hip hop releases of this year, Devil's Pawn is not super-freaky or tweaked a'la Big Juss or Dead Prez. Brundel aligns himself with the growing number of MCs not ashamed to name names and bring attention to the current state of the US and its government. Think Mr. Lif, Talib Kweli (Black Star-era) or contemporaries like Diverse and Vast Aire. The album blends a classic-'90s feel -- some sweet beats flow throughout -- with the addition of new school technology. This doesn't beat you over the head with politics and uses of "methods of mass distractions," it's still accessible and listenable, yet thoughtful. Devil's Pawn won't disappoint as solid results are the outcome. Recommended for those that like some intelligent thoughts with their beats. [DG]





$17.99 CD


Music Among Friends

"Oh, the Rain"
"Hobo Blue"

A new Korean re-issue of early-'70s Americana, Mud Acres Music Among Friends is a timeless document of the then nascent roots movement. Not so much a band as a gaggle of friends, Mud Acres was nominally headed by Happy and Artie Traum, a couple of well connected folkies who'd split New York City to decamp to the musically fertile grounds of Woodstock, NY. Rounder Records was just starting up and they convinced label head Ken Irwin to float them 500 bucks for a recording session. The idea was to get a bunch of friends together and record an album in the spirit of the house parties and picking sessions they all frequented; totally loose and laid back they'd tackle pre-war blues, cowboy songs, jug band music, and bluegrass. The recorded results perfectly captured that spirit and practically ended up creating a blueprint for the alt-country scene today. "Hobo Blues" even sounds like it could be an Uncle Tupelo outtake, and I'm convinced that Gillian Welch bit the banjo arrangement on the last song here for one of her own. Like the Holy Modal Rounders and Michael Hurley, Mud Acres shared a similar, albeit slightly less cracked, approach to old-timey music. All these friends had a deep, but absolutely never overly scholarly, enthusiasm for the continuing relevance of classic American folk music and they ended up creating a gem of a record. [MK]





$15.99 CD


Not Going Anywhere

"Not Going Anywhere"
"Road Bin"

French singer/songwriter Keren Ann takes a giant step towards international recognition for the recently roiling musical talent emanating from Paris with her first album recorded in (perfect) English. Along with Benjamin Biolay (who's 2003 double album Negatif was one of the year's most beautiful efforts), Coralie Clément, and Thomas Fersen, Keren Ann has been on the forefront of the French musical talent wave infusing Gainsbourg-era chanson, with American folk and country stylings to create a hybrid genre that easily rivals much of the best contemporary American and English folk/pop output. With a simultaneously wispy and textured delicate voice, Ann's soft melancholia is powerful in its simplicity and easily evokes Joni Mitchell, Vashti Bunyan, Rickie Lee Jones or even Stina Nordenstam. Loping melodies (many co-written by Biolay), folk guitars and slight string sections weave elegant story songs, and cast a shimmering bittersweet folk beauty that deftly combines European and American folk and pop traditions and heralds a giant new talent. [MC]




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[RB] Randy Breaux
[MC] Matt Connors
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[KH] Koen Holtkamp
[MK] Michael Klausman
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou
[JS] Jeremy Sponder

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