June 30 , 2004  




Galaxie 500 (DVD)
The Bees
Boom Bip
Thievery Corporation (mix CD)
Donna Mcghee (reissue)

Belle & Sebastian
Young Marble Giants (DVD)
Rodney Hunter
Rachel Goswell


DJ Spinna & Bobbito (Wonder of Stevie 2)
Stavely Makepeace (reissue)
The Concretes
The Kinks (reissue)
Tony Aiken (reissue)

JUL Sun 11 Mon 12 Tues 13 Wed 14 Thurs 15 Fri 16 Sat 17



Plus Other Music's Own DJ Scott Mou

: 643 Broadway (at Bleeker) NY, NY
Wednesday, July 14 - 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
$5 - Advance tickets available at the shop





On Sale



Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste

With the rise of these nifty little technical wonders called DVDs (stop by the store to check out our growing video selection to be amazed by the range of interesting music being released on DVD these days), fans are gaining vast opportunities to re-live, or often times experience for the first time, the histories of their favorite artists. For a band as short-lived as Galaxie 500, whose brief but influential public career spanned little more than a couple of years, this history can be neatly contained within a double-disc set. The fine people at Plexifilm (they have wowed us in the past with such fine DVD offerings as Sun Ra's Space Is The Place, Wilco's I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, Jem Cohen's Benjamin Smoke documentary, and many others) have done just this, with over four hours of footage that captures the arc of the group's career, from a raw early show opening up for Beat Happening at Cambridge's Middle East club in 1988, to triumphant headlining slots in 1990 in London and California. Also included on the discs are their four "professional" music videos, all directed cheaply and beautifully by Sergio Huidor, ("Tugboat", "When Will You Come Home", "Blue Thunder", and the relatively visually slick "Fourth Of July"), and a UK television performance and interview from February of 1990.

As well, the fine booklet contains a pretty extensive interview with the band by super-fan (and Yo La Tengo bassist) James McNew, who basically de-briefs the band on all the performances included in the set, giving context to these moments in the band's career. And in a show of restraint uncharacteristic to the DVD generation (but perhaps very appropriate for this group), the interview is not on camera or available as running audio commentary to the video, but good old fashioned print only. Which conveniently also enabled the producers to create the illusion that the band was interviewed all together at once in a room, which seems unlikely if you are aware of the acrimony that has floated between members since the groups dissolution by Dean Wareham at the height of their popularity in 1990.

Aside from the TV appearance and the videos, none of this stuff was originally filmed for release, and as such the quality of both the visuals and the sound recordings are fair to good, no better. And few fans will remember the group for their energetic live shows. In fact rarely do you see even a facial expression pass across the bands pretty mugs, and any stage banter is limited to a drunken Atlanta show from January of 1990. But of course that is not what we want or expect from Galaxie 500. What we do get here is a chance to see this sublime group as they find their voice before an audience, turning simple, sad pop songs into dreamy and timeless classics. Although perhaps not relevant to every casual fan, for anyone who has been really moved by Galaxie 500 (and for a group whose influence runs so deep in the indie community, there are many of you), this is an intriguing and worthwhile package. Besides the videos and interview, you get nearly 40 live versions of all your favorite tracks, plus two unreleased songs (an early original, "Buzz In Your Head", and a cover of Jonathan Richman's "Back In Your Life"). For a band whose notoriety has ballooned since they disbanded, this is a valuable and interesting walk through history, giving many fans the chance to see them, as they never have before. [JM]






$18.99 LP


(Sonar Kollektiv)

"A Long Walk" Jill Scott (Touch of Jazz remix)
"You Again" Rainbow
"Dance the Dance" Jazzanova (At Jazz remix)

The shuffle masters are at it again with yet another 'mix' album to complement those things "in between", and the trifecta is now complete. After remixing, and being remixed, the natural conclusion is to produce a mixed compilation. Albeit to think the idea hasn't met fruition thus far is quite astonishing. ...Mixing is the culmination of several years hard at work in the studio and on the scene, and it's very apparent in the album's construction. Take classics like Jill Scott's "A Long Walk," throw in a negroclash staple of Carol Williams' caliber and the undeniable "U-Again" and already you have me listening. Add to that a few well placed mood-setting interludes and exclusive tracks that help to create a consistent flow, make it all available on vinyl, and you have me smiling. Remake Patrice Rushen's "Let Your Heart Be Free" and you have something special. Broken-beat, hip-hop, house, soul, you name it, it's all on here. Don't let this one go unheard. [JD]







Free the Bees
(Virgin UK)

"These Are the Ghosts"
"Chicken Payback"

Do you ever put off listening to a new record by a band just because you liked their last album so much and are afraid of the potential let down? I did that today with the Bees. After coming home from Other Music with a fresh import copy of Free the Bees, I procrastinated playing it for about three hours simply because Sunshine Hit Me was so damn good. So let me cut to the chase. I was immediately caught off guard by "These Are the Ghosts." With its super reverb-ed and direct chorus of voices à la the Association, the first track was the polar opposite of the lazy, sun baked sounds of the previous LP. The next track, "Watching the Rain," summoned the Small Faces and then came the playful electric blues boogie of "No Atmosphere." Has the mysterious band of Bees traded mellow vintage vibes and Latin grooves for straight up British classic rock? Yes. Well, not classic rock exclusively, but instead of Sunshine Hit Me's breezy, making music while smokin' lots of ganja on some tropical island feel, the vibe here is acid washed in mid-to-late-'60s London and West Coast California, and interspersed with a few Northern soul shaking diversions. Am I disappointed? Not at all.

Recorded at Abbey Road and utilizing only 40-year-old analog gear, this is as retro as it gets. It almost feels wrong listening via the CD format; these are the sounds you want to hear emanating from a thick, 180-gram slab of reissued vinyl with a Sundazed imprint slapped on the back of the cover. I swear, Free the Bees feels authentically old, and these boys from the Isle of Wight pull it off without being a mere imitation or parody. The only other recent band to respectfully capture a long-gone era was the Coral with their excellent Magic and Medicine, and they didn't even come this close.

Once a duo, the Bees have since tripled their ranks and don't fail in offering the same amount of eclecticism as their debut album. "Chicken Payback" is a slice of old school call 'n' response funk, while the stuttering-organ driven "The Russian" sounds like a mod instrumental from the swinging '60s. The guitar work in the catchy, minor keyed "Hourglass" instantly brings to mind the Byrds. And the Bees don't merely imitate, they back up their vintage fetish with great, and I mean really great songs. I know I'm guilty of declaring many a fine record to be the soundtrack to your summer -- I think I even did it with the last Bees album - but there's no way I can't end this review without giving this CD a highly recommended for this summer and way beyond! [GH]








"Last Walk Around Mirror Lake" (Boards of Canada remix)
"The Unthinkable" feat. Buck65 (Venetian Snares remix)

This extended EP from Lex gathers some bits 'n' pieces and little nuggets from one of my faves on the instrumental beat scene, Boom Bip. Most of these tracks have only been available on vinyl, and some are previously unreleased. Three original songs with an array of remixes from Lali Puna, Four Tet, Mogwai, clouddead, and the much sought after Boards of Canada mix, Corymb also includes two live tracks from his Peel Sessions with a live band. Dirty and scratchy, the overall approach is slow motion grooves with pretty, light, and sweet melodies riding atop. Standout remixes includes the audio blender shredding that is Venetian Snares with a twisted, stretched, and warped Buck 65, as well as the Four Tet bass deconstruction. Moving from light and breezy to down and dirty, this EP is perfect for these hot and hazy days. Recommended. [DG]







Outernational Sound

"Vai Vai" Thunderball
"Cramp Your Style" Breakestra
"My French Brother" Bobby Hughes Experience

With Thievery jet setting across the world year round, it's easy to see how they might encounter a variety of influences that dictate the mood of their performances. If you've ever had the pleasure of seeing one of these live collages then you know the corporate yacht will take several detours upon departure and climax near some fantasy island before returning to dock. The Outernational Sound carries the energy of this sentiment beginning with the traditional jazzy, Latin-lounge you've grown to expect, shadowed by down-tempo and funk from the like of Thunderball. It then takes a high-tide turn into the finest of break-beat, body-rockin' sauce courtesy of Breakestra and Major Force. The return leg is lead by cool-down sounds featuring tabla and sitar and there is no doubt of the journey's conclusion when greeted by the smooth lyrics of Delroy Wilson after the dub/reggae kicks in. Seventy-five releases later and the Corporation are still thriving. [JD]







Make It Last Forever

"Mr. Blindman"
"It Ain't No Big Thing"

Another deep disco banger from the vaults of the P & P catalogue. This record was released to little acclaim in 1978, and apart from it being a minor Paradise Garage hit, it pretty much sank without a trace. But over the years it has become a bit of a holy grail amongst soul and disco collectors -- I saw a copy sell for $400 on eBay just last winter -- and with good reason. If you liked the smoked-out, trippy elegance of the disco masterpiece Atmosphere Strut by Cloud One, then think of Make It Last Forever as its sleazier, funkier counterpart. The songs were long hustle-style workouts, complete with Patrick Adams' trademark Moog and smoky string arrangements, but there's a slower and dirty edge to this stuff -- think Barry White production but with none of the romantic elegance. Throw in Mcghee's husky vocal stylings, complete with long orgasmic interludes that make Donna Summer sound like Kathie Lee-Gifford, and you've got a potential orgy on the dancefloor. It also includes "It Ain't No Big Thing" by Mcghee's first band Personal Touch, which was a big early hip hop disco break record, and original versions of "Mr. Blindman" and "I'm a Love Bug," which were later reworked by Patrick Adams and Make It Last's producer Greg Carmichael under the Moniker Bumble Bee Orchestra (which, come to think of it, is due for reissue as well). But I digress…this is an excellent record that deserves to be heard by anyone who loved the Cloud One reissue, and any of the aforementioned artists. Excellent stuff y'all! [DH]







The Wonder of Stevie - Melody Man

"Perfect Angel (Wonderfull Mix)" Minnie Ripperton
"Melody Man (Wonderfull Mix)" Smokey Robinson

Volume two of The Wonder of Stevie -- a series that pays tribute to Stevie Wonder penned classics -- finds DJ Spinna and Bobbito digging deeper into all things wonderfull. This double CD features great tracks by the Spinners, Jermaine Jackson, Minnie Ripperton, Quincy Jones with Patti Austin, Gato Barbieri, Smokey Robinson, Ronnie Foster, and more -- all given a tasty slightly re-equalized DJ treatment. CD-2 lays out all the tracks in their original form, while CD-1 blends all the songs into the mix that make their "Wonderfull" parties such a joy. Looking for that CD to rock your beach party? Here ya go...no doubt! [DG]







The Scrap Iron Rhythm Revue

"Smokey Mountain Rhythm Revue"
"Slippery Rock 70s"

Stavely Makepeace, an appropriately bizarre name for such an unusual and obscure '70s rock band from England. Their instrumental "Slippery Rock 70s" made its way onto the immensely popular Velvet Tinmine compilation of "junk shop glam ravers," and now we are pleased to announce the arrival of a full-length collection of their primarily homemade recordings spanning more than a decade. Most of the tracks were singles released on a variety of small and forgotten UK major-label subsidiaries. There's a lot of strange bar-room jamming going on here, with tinkly upright piano and driving blues/R&B influenced riffing, a fiddle or mandolin here and there... I imagine that's what happens when a bunch of British glam rockers get together and sort of try to sound like Carl Perkins. The Sweet meet the Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies? The most unbelievable part is how well it all works. These guys must have been some kind of genius songwriters to have the know-how to puts hooks galore into their totally weird alternate universe honky-tonkin' tunes. The songs may be odd, but they're catchy as they come. There's also some great soft rock ballads on here that prove the band was doubtlessly more than capable of making more commercially-viable music. The band's later material got weaker and weaker, but luckily the disc is arranged chronologically and the first 35 minutes of The Scrap Iron Rhythm Revue are pretty much unstoppable. Stavely Makepeace were truly original, and this will probably be the first and last anthology of their work. I love this! [RH]







The Concretes

"Say Something New"
"Seems Fine"

I always meant to check out the Concretes' 2000 debut, so when a promo of their new album arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I was anxious to get past four flights of stairs and to my stereo. The opening track's hesitantly picked guitar, slow primitive drumming accented by a cautious tambourine, and the sleepy voiced Victoria Bergsman invoked the Velvet Underground in much the same way Mazzy Star could. But by chorus it blossomed into something more richly layered and orchestrated. Track two hinted at their love of '60s girl groups from its wall of sound chorus and certainly a non-accidental song title but not a cover, "You Can't Hurry Love." (A song called "Diana Ross" appears a few tracks later.)

Obviously, the Concretes aren't the first to embrace both the VU and the Shangri-las (Shirelles, Ronnettes, et al.), but this eight member Swedish ensemble add refreshing warmth, swirl and dreaminess to a classic formula. And they're so good at switching sounds and style, from the summery, horn powered "Seems Fine" to the much more restrained "New Friend," which lovingly hints at "Stephanie Says" with its call and response chorus and glockenspiel countermelodies. I even think the sultry sax solo that breaks out near the end is a playful wink to "Walk on the Wild Side," but oh so subtle. Not a bad song in the bunch, either richly orchestrated with strings, organ, horns and harp, or brilliantly sparse, the common bond from start to finish is Bergsman's sweetly sung melancholy - the one rare moment when heartbreak sounds wonderful. [GH]







Village Green Preservation Society - Deluxe Edition

"Village Green (Orchestra Overdub)"
"Misty Water"

Upon its initial release at the tail end of 1968, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society didn't make too much of an impact. At the time, the Kinks' record label didn't bother to notice that the group had matured considerably since the days of "You Really Got Me." The other reasons for its lack of success in England -- including the fact that it came out during the same month as the White Album and the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet -- are laid out quite clearly in the detailed liner notes of this incredible new three-disc reissue. As a teenager, this was the record that made me (and many of my friends) love the Kinks, and it remains my favorite album in their absolutely stellar discography.

Village Green is one of the most perfect pop records ever made, in large part due to Ray Davies' maniacal perfectionism. At the last minute, he halted production on the record and delayed its release by almost two months so that he could get rid of two songs and add five new ones. This was the first Kinks album that Davies wrote entirely on his own, and he originally intended to record it as a solo album. Eventually he decided to have the whole band do the album, but Village Green still feels like the most personal album that the Kinks ever made.

The most dedicated Kinks complete-ists won't hesitate to shell out $26.99 for this new definitive version of the album. Those of you who already own and love one of the many CD versions of Village Green take note -- the bonus tracks on this collection are well worth the added cost. Disc 1 is comprised of the 15-track version of the album in stereo, along with "Mr. Songbird" and "Days," the songs that Davies removed from the album before its UK release, and a couple of alternate mixes. Disc 2 includes the mono version of the 15-track album, three songs that were recorded during the Village Green sessions and shelved for later release ("Polly," "Wonderboy," and "Berkeley Mews"), and a version of the title track minus the overdubbed orchestral arrangement. Disc 3 is all bonus tracks and starts off with the aforementioned song's brilliant unaccompanied orchestral arrangement, and continues with a treasure trove of Village Green-era rarities, many of them legally on CD for the first time ever. There's a couple of great instrumentals, one of them a version of "Phenomenal Cat" and the other a seemingly improvised song called "Mick Avory's Underpants." There's also a bunch of great, fully-polished Kinks songs that fit perfectly with the tone of this indescribably wonderful album.

It's hard to imagine a more complete aural picture of the band while they were making their masterpiece. It's even harder to imagine a better time than the present to sit back and appreciate the Kinks' sincere nostalgia for a simpler way of life that seemed long gone in 1968 and now seems sadly like ancient history. This is a phenomenal reissue, a necessity for Kinks fans young and old. Long live the Village Green Preservation Society! [RH]







We All Have a Plan

"A Strong Donkey"
"Decorate Your Walls"

From Chicago's Hefty label comes the new full-length "We All Have a Plan" from Mr. John Hughes Jr., a/k/a Slicker. This time out he bridges the gaps between IDM, neo-soul, African pop, and jazz with a laptop sheen to create a groove based soul excursion. Guests are gathered from a varied palette and feature: Lindsay Anderson (Telefon Tel Aviv and L'Altra), Khadijah Anwar (Sugar Hill), Elzhi (Slum Village), vocalists Phat Kat, and Dan Boadi, Wendell Harrison and Phil Ranelin (Tribe Records) on flute, trombone and sax, with Joshua Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv) on guitar, bass and keys. This is the new school electronic soul sound brewing in the underground -- think Spacek, Super_Collider, Slum Village, as well as Prefuse 73 and the Compost and G-Stone labels. Live instrumentation (cello, violins, piano, brass and woodwinds) with bubbly digital beats and shimmering sonic textures. Here's another surprise and probably a sleeper from Chi-town. Recommended. [DG]







$9.99 LP


Unity, Sing It, Shout It
(K 2000/Traffic Entertainment)

"Better Days"
"She Loves Me"

This is a welcome reissue of another much sought after, rare NYC disco funk record from the mid-'70s. Tony Aiken & Future 2000 had a bit of an early Kool & the Gang style sound, but this band was definitely a bit raw-er in approach. The playing is super tough and the ballads are awesome. "She Loves Me" reminds me of the best Delphonics stuff…you know, high falsetto and in-the-pocket drums that will cause coma-inducing head nods. If you're a fan of the Stones Throw reissues, or you picked up the Midwest Funk reissues, this is another record worthy of your collection. Great! [DH]









Books EP
(Rough Trade)

"Your Cover's Blown"

New Belle & Sebastian EP includes three unreleased songs including the disco-fied "Your Cover's Blown." The enhanced CD also features the music video for "Wrapped Up in Books," a comic strip gallery ("Your Cover's Blown), and a "Wrapped Up in Books" game.








Live at the Hurrah
(Cherry Red Films)

A DVD featuring the only known live footage of Young Marble Giants. The very short-lived trio is rightfully beloved by many for their seminal "Colossal Youth," their one and only full-length release. "Live at the Hurrah Club" captures the band during two consecutive New York shows on their 1980 American tour. Sadly, Young Marble Giants would break up shortly after their return back to UK.








Hunter Files

"Quero Saber" featuring Orieta Pires

Longtime friend of Peter Kruder, Rodney Hunter has been a big contributor to the Vienna scene producing his own music as well as other artists. Two years in the making, his debut full-length is full of diverse, smoked-out grooves that seamlessly travel through dub, synthy funk, deep house and nu jazz. Definitely recommended for fans of Kruder and Dorfmeister and their G-Stone label. Includes guest appearances from Ken Cesar, Hubert Tubbs and Farda P.








Waves Are Universal

"Warm Summer Sun"

The solo debut from Rachel Goswell, the singer and multi-instrumentalist of Neil Halstead's Slowdive and Mojave 3. A sweet, dreamy album of originals penned by Goswell and Joe Light, the record is distinguished by Goswell's rich and nuanced vocal performance, and the subtle production, layering piano, acoustic guitars, and percussion with odd touches like the lovely uillean pipes solo on "Warm Summer Sun."



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[JD] J Dennis
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[JM] Josh Madell

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