June 30, 2005  




No-Neck Blues Band
Jamie Lidell
Spectral Sound Vol. 1 (Various)
Laura Cantrell
Boobs: Junkshop Glam Boutique
Julien Neto
The Magic Numbers


Can (Remastered Reissues)
Art Brut
Max Romeo

Madvillain (Limited Tour Only CD)
Lali Puna
A Band of Bees (Domestic Pressing)

JUL Sun 3 Mon 4 Tues 5 Wed 6 Thurs 7 Fri 8 Sat 9


Sad, silky voiced Swedish singer Jay-Jay Johanson returns to New York City for a special 4th of July appearance at the Mercury Lounge. Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets, and you can enter to win by e-mailing giveaway@othermusic.com. Leave a daytime number where you can be reached. Winners will be notified by 4:00 P.M. on Friday, July 1st.

JULY 4 @ Mercury Lounge: 217 E. Houston St. NYC

AUG Sun 14 Mon 15 Tues 16 Wed 17 Thurs 18 Fri 19 Sat 20



Monday, August 15 @ 8:00 P.M.

15 East 4th Street NYC
Free Admission/Limited Capacity







The Collective Imaginings of Quantarenius, Cook, & Co.

"On the Planet Mars"
"A Spiritual Knifewound"

The Collective Imaginings of Quantarenius, Cook, & Co. is another digital release in the burgeoning catalogue of the NNCK. This one comes off in a gallery setting, the Greene Naftali Gallery in Chelsea. Those in attendance that night witnessed a large glass diamond strategically placed in the room (currently on view and for sale at the Gallery) and roped quadrants or zones were sectioned off. Members set up in two's and three's around the perimeter. What unfolded was a self-styled ceremony described by the band in these terms: "We assemble at this vista, the precipice of the Dim Kingdom, to derail the train of thoughts and to spread the heart like gas."

Up here, the air is thin. Urban sherpas ring bells. Cymbals drop. This music sounds like a monastery in Sikkim or an Aum Shrinkyo mixtape. From the opening of "A Spiritual Knifewound," the group sets into their familiar inner eye pulse that never gums up the works. There's something apocalyptic and dark in these recordings, due in no small part to the presidential election results from the day before. On "The Quicker the Police Show Up," Pat Murano drops anchor, locking into a baffling guitar reverberation; the sound manages to breathe in circles, resuscitating and collapsing. It's amazing, emphasizing his essential place in the group in this post-Jeff-era of the No-Neck. An incessant hammering is present throughout the recording, almost like they're working on building the great temple. The sounds penetrate, creating a music that veers more toward infestation rather than instrumentation. With that said, this is a glimpse of the band at the height of their pageantry.

If the endless redressing of half-assed Aquarian throwbacks (the so-called New Weird America) has you worn down, it's never too late to investigate present day generational icons, the No-Neck Blues Band. They actually continue to forge a new edge, and are currently the best at what they do. "Co-released with the gallery, and packaged in an unusual black folding card, each CD includes a hand silk-screened poster by artist Christopher Wool. Limited gallery edition." [JR]






(Drag City)

"High Lonesome Moan"
"War is Dead"

If the name Pajo doesn't ring a bell, here's a quick primer. This multi-tasking musician is responsible for M, Ariel M, and Papa M, and was a member of Slint, Tortoise, and Zwan. In his spare time he also recorded, toured and collaborated with the likes of Palace Brothers, Royal Trux, Stereolab, For Carnation, and Matmos. The list goes on and on. Twenty years after David Pajo started his ongoing musical journey, he has made an album that showcases his skills not just as a musician, but as an exceptional songwriter.His latest album, simply titled Pajo, is filled with bedtime lullabies which creak and hiss and rattle like an old mountain cabin, whose noises are eerie yet comforting to hear well into the night. Recorded at home, this latest project reveals his most intimate side with whispery vocals and gentle guitar playing made for when the sun goes down and we can all take a moment to rest. [AC]








"When I Come Back Around"

Following his Warp debut Muddlin' Gear--a noisy yet soulful album of reassembled jazz and collapsing beat collages--UK singer/producer/remixer Jamie Lidell moved to Berlin and entered a new phase of creativity. He recorded the second Super_Collider album (his collaboration with producer Christian Vogel) and sang two songs for Matthew Herbert's Big Band, each a world apart from the other. He also began a now-infamous trail of solo live shows, celebrated for their funky exercises in sound, voice and visuals--a bit of noise, and a lot of soul. Regardless, or not, of how disparate these recordings and concerts have been, they were all merely hints of what was to come.

With Multiply, Lidell stands directly underneath the glaring spotlight, picks up a microphone, and croons like no one else currently around. His voice effortlessly channels greats like Sam Cooke, Al Green, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Prince and Stevie Wonder--you might even detect a lil' R. Kelly. It's white boy soul at its most inspired and certainly equal to Phoenix, Air and local boys 33hz' abilities to duplicate the sound of classic soul (c. '65 to '88). You'll also detect similarities to Jamiroquai (Space Cowboy), Damon Alborn's Gorillaz (minus the guest rapper) and even an un-ironic, Midnight Vultures-era Beck, but Lidell surpasses all of these references by offering something unique and individual. Yes, he might have been an electronic underdog, but with Multiply, he emerges under the guise of a great soul singer, and it works. It's an exciting shift in direction from his earlier dubby and jazz influenced IDM, and quite frankly, his new album changes your perspective on how modern technology can be utilized in a fresh way--Multiply mirrors a classic feel but through 21st century means.

Avoiding the often self-absorbed trap of endlessly slicing and dicing together sonic constructions, Lidell has created a unique and energetic fusion of house, doo-wop, soul and funk-making. Self-produced, and with some help from Mocky (who was "discovered" by Peaches), the duo utilize a live band for the musical foundation and enhance the overall recording with the wave of a magic digital wand. Like Herbert, Lidell bridges technology with soul, house and pop and the results are fresh, slightly freaky but still accessible, and very much enjoyable. 21st century soul? No doubt! [DG]







Spectral Sound Volume 1
(Spectral Sound)

"The Tic-Tac Tactic" The Vanisher
"Another"/"Five Leaves" Matthew Dear/Lawrence

Ghostly International's sister imprint Spectral Sound celebrates their five year anniversary with a double CD set. Disc one includes 13 tracks that span the label's existence, starting with Osborne's jackin' "Bout Ready to Jak" (an Isolée remix of his "Daylight" appears later), to a variety of techno and house tracks from Spectral faves like Jeff Samuel, Peter Grummich and Geoff White. None of the cuts on the first disc have ever been released on CD before, and seven of these are exclusive, including James T. Cotton's throbbing "T-Y-O-C Painkillers," the digital skitter of "Je Suis Musique" by Hieroglyphic Being, and a Grummich remix of Matthew Dear's "It's Over Now." (Dear makes a strong showing on disc one, with three tracks under his own name that are currently only available on this compilation, plus another exclusive under his Audion moniker.) Disc two features 33-tracks culled from the Spectral/Ghostly catalog mixed by Matthew Dear co-conspirator Ryan Elliot. Tech-house heaven indeed! [GH]







$10.99 LP

Humming by the Flowered Vine

"14th Street"

NYC, via Nashville, native Laura Cantrell is the closest thing our gritty city has to a country music icon, and the very fact that she staked her claim in the Big Apple (does anyone really say that?) should be proof enough that she is an original. Cantrell originally came to prominence on the alt-country scene with her hugely popular and long-running WFMU show Radio Thrift Shop, but her own music has already begun to bring her name to international prominence well beyond the reaches of those vaunted airwaves, with releases and tours here and in Europe, including some great opening slots with Elvis Costello and others. Her new full-length, somewhat surprisingly on local metal label Matador Records, is her finest work to date, and cements her status as a performer and songwriting peer of the modern roots divas like Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams (whose heartbreaking unreleased track "Letters" is covered here). There are also great songs penned by Dave Schramm, Emily Spray, Jenifer Jackson and Wynn Stewart, as well as several great new originals by Cantrell. Sincere and moving, the album is a timeless classic. [JM]







Boobs: Junkshop Glam Boutique

"Turtle Dove" The Rats
"Love is Alright (Hey)" Hot Rod

So ya' want more glam?? I said DO YOU WANT MORE GLAM???!!!??? Well, hear it is kids. Phil King has hit us with one more collection of glittery good time rock-n-roll. The music compiled on this one seems to have more of a dance party atmosphere to it and less of the bubblegum vibe that permeated the previous two collections. The highlights include the 4/4 stomp of "Alive" by the black cross dressing six-piece Erasmus Chorum, the hilariously brilliant "Motor Boat" by Jimmy Jukebox aka Kim Fowley (in which he sings in a horrible fake British accent in an attempt to imitate Marc Bolan), and the northern soul-tinged "Love is Alright (Hey)" by Hot Rod. This stuff ain't rocket science rock, folks, but it's a helluva lot of fun to listen to. The production is inspired and if you bought any of the other Velvet Tinmine collections, or just bought the T.Rex Born to Boogie DVD, get this aural amp-fueled party in a box and "keep the party goin" for the rest of the summer. [DH]






Le Fumeur de Ciel

"I (One)"
"VI" Featuring Keith Kenniff

The debut album from Julien Neto is the latest release from the Type label, who have been keeping our electro-acoustic appetites well fed with other recent stand-out releases from Sanso-Xtro and Ryan Teague. The Parisian producer's Le Fumeur de Ciel fits right in with the label's aesthetic, as well as artists like Susuma Yokota, Marsen Jules and Colleen. Over the course of 10 tracks, Neto envelopes his gentle, melancholic melodies from harp, strings and piano with a luxurious blanket of submerged sounds and smoky, cinematic atmosphere. Songs don't really move as much as slowly crest in waves of haunted ambience. When the occasional downtempo beat does come in, it's as if a dark, ominous storm cloud has just let loose its cooling rain. [GH]







The Magic Numbers

"Mornings Eleven"
"Forever Lost"

As if Buddy Holly grew out his hair and returned to front a band of skiffle playing gnomes, the Magic Numbers' debut album blows across the Atlantic on a puff of sunshine and smoke and will burrow into your consciousness. Despite UK chart success and fawning praise, this London quartet makes some of the least pretentious, unassuming and joyful pop I've heard in a long while. Led by the prodigious talents of singer-songwriter-guitarist Romeo Stodart, and fleshed out with lovely harmonies, handclaps and bouncing rhythms by his sister Michelle, as well as the brother-sister duo of Sean and Angela Gannon, they are currently charming the world with their sweet, sad, love-struck and loose debut album. The songs effortlessly manage to evoke the primal joy of early radio pop while never lapsing for a moment into nostalgia, and the album will be adored by fans of the indie-pop of the Decemberists, orchestrated psychedelia of the Flaming Lips, and collectors of vintage sunshine pop and '60s radio gems. The album is scheduled to be released domestically by Capitol this fall, now available on UK import. [JM]







Catch Thirty Three
(Nuclear Blast)

"Imprint of the Un-Saved"
"Mind's Mirrors"

So many metal artists have stigmatized the genre with glorious boastings of speed, viciousness, and fashionable or cheesy-cheap imagery. In the midst of this clutter there is Sweden's Meshuggah, who have been captivating their dedicated listeners with their ingenious abilities as players, songwriters, and possessors of a profoundly complex vision that extends through and beyond metal. Since 1989, they have been unparalleled with their panoptic adventurism in songcrafting, rather abstractly sculpting an esoteric niche for themselves as unrivaled experimenters in sound. With sweeping forays in jazz-like time changes, mathematical guitar work, and an amazing gift in creating vivid atmospheres, they inadvertently became the yardstick for noise-metal bands worldwide. From their very beginnings, Meshuggah dedicated themselves to experimentation, carefully crafting each release as a purely unique and inspiring concept album--and Catch Thirty Three has proved their most brilliant and ambitious to date.

As Meshuggah have progressed throughout their elusive career, their styling has also converged nearer into perfection, while simultaneously diverging outwards into various layers of sound, like subtle traces of psychedelia and soundtrack-y moods. Repetition and tone take precedence in the delving of this record. The album is a mood, extended into thirteen 'parts' that seamlessly blend into one another making for a fascinating, mesmerizing epic of continuous riffs, otherworldly rhythms and song progressions. The guitar work of Fredrik Thordendal, who can probably be exalted to legendary status, is especially of note here, as he takes his hypnotic eight-string riffs (yes, EIGHT) and blends them into a mind-boggling polyrhythmic fusion-palette and chaotic feedback. This is a serious album from a serious band, with an intelligence quotient near to artists like Godflesh, Fantomas, and Mastodon. Wow. [MT]





Future Days


Soon Over Babaluma


Unlimited Edition



Future Days - Remastered
Soon Over Babaluma - Remastered
Unlimited Edition - Remastered
Landed - Remastered

The second wave of Cologne's Can discography finally arrives with a remastering that sounds stellar compared to the somewhat shoddy digital transfers on the early Spoon editions. There are reams of critical praise heaped upon the legendary Krautrockers' early work, culminating in the head-expanding Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi discs, and both are stone classics as far as avant-rock goes. Still, Future Days has been my favorite Can record since the moment I let its transcendent waves wash over me. There are few words to describe such a perfect record, a seamless blend of Miles Davis' In a Silent Way ambience that rides the man-machine percussive propulsion of drummer Jaki Liebezeit and the intricate little bass grooves and tape splicing of Holger Czukay, not to mention snatches of field recordings and moments of double-speed tapes feeding back into the mix. Singer Damo Suzuki, so much a fiery presence and catalyst on the previous two records, acts more as a spirit here, materializing in and out of the mix, his coos and wordless incantations wistful, beautifully moving the music to higher realms.

By the time of 1974's Soon Over Babaluma, Suzuki had left the band, making the group strip down to an even tauter quartet framework and evolve once more, their pliant, mutating grooves the focal point for this era. Hear how "Come sta, La Luna" flirts with tango rhythms before rooting into deeper, dubbier grooves. Elsewhere Michel Karoli's guitar elicits flamenco-like filigrees, only to burn supernova bright later on. The closing half of the disc is about as furious and effortless as any fusion record of the era, moving between complicated rhythms and weightless space like few other bands could even attempt.

Unlimited Edition is an odds and ends affair, but one that shows a fascinating glimpse into the band's inner workings. Enormously long grooves are cooked up alongside weird snatches of 'faked' ethnic music and other snippets of studio work. Certain sections echo motifs that appear in their previous work, and it's interesting to hear how the band wove it all together in their primitive studio settings. Landed continues with the labyrinthine rhythms of Babaluma, foreshadowing their move towards the pop charts and more overt disco beats the following year. But that's for another set of reissues. [RB]







Bang Bang Rock & Roll
(Banana/Fierce Panda)

"Bad Weekend"
"Good Weekend"

Living in a no man's land between the DIY prole art commune (too catchy) and the Britpop kingdom (uncool, not good looking enough), Art Brut's debut is three chords and straight to the point. The opening salvo of "Formed a Band" and "My Little Brother" sets the dry-witted yet naive tone and the band rarely looks back. Singer Eddie Argos' conversational vocal style is reminiscent of both The Fall's Mark E. Smith and Television Personalities' Dan Treacy, as he waxes lyrical about middle school girlfriends, bad drugs, and the state of rock 'n' roll today. Meanwhile, the band chugs along like pop art-damaged punks, a fitting vehicle for Argos' enthusiastic court jesterisms. Recommended for Guardian (or the New Yorker) readers willing to explore the dark side of the NME. [AK]






Crazy World of Dub
(Jamaican Recordings)

"Ethiopian Anthem"
"Dis Ya Dubwise, Keep Ya Moving"

From his work with Niney and Lee Perry to the seminal sides with Bunny Lee (for whom these dubs are culled), Max Romeo was a mighty figure in the development of roots reggae. There's no mention of who mixed this unreleased material but I'm assuming it's Bunny. The music is thick and heavy, and sitting here in my warm apartment, my body is totally absorbing the sounds that are flying out of my speakers. On "Take Dub Serious," a rhythm built around rolling snares and tambourine repeatedly collides into a boulder sized kick drum downbeat; meanwhile, "Love Thy Dub" begins with a steppers rhythm as washes of piano and vocal delays quickly ascend and scatter along the horizon. On "Ethiopian Anthem," echoes of percussion, guitar and vocals are smeared like a thick palette of paint on a canvas, intersecting with space before the sounds eventually disintegrate. Other times the rhythms are sparse, crisp and dry, ala Roots Radics or Scientist. Max Romeo's part in the mix probably comes secondary to the overall production, but his vocal lends a deeply spiritual overlay to these songs. Yes, this is dub music. [GA]








Tour Remixes by Four Tet & Koushik


OM Exclusive! Previously only available on the 2005 Stones Throw tour, this CD contains all of the tracks from the two rare UK 12"s of Madvillain remixes--the first by Four Tet and the other by newcomer Koushik. Fourteen vocal tracks followed by 14 instrumentals, 28 tracks in all, and this is the only way to get it on CD! Pick it up now because it won't be around by week's end.







$16.99 LPx2



I Thought I Was Over That

"Past Machine"
"Grin & Bear It" To Rococo Rot Remix

The career spanning I Thought I Was Over That features 19 tracks of Lali Puna rarities, remixes and B-sides. Highlights include remixes by Dntel, Two Lone Swordsmen and Boom Bip, plus a cover of Slowdive's "40 Days" and a collaboration with Bomb the Bass.









Free the Bees

"Chicken Payback"

I can't believe that it took a year for Free the Bees to finally reach our shores as a domestic release. After hearing the opening track "These Are the Ghosts," you'll be asking yourself, "Has the mysterious (Band of) Bees traded mellow vintage vibes and Latin grooves for straight-up British classic rock?" The answer is yes. Well, not classic rock exclusively, but instead of Sunshine Hit Me's breezy, laid back 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. Recorded at Abbey Road, and utilizing only 40 year-old analog gear, this is as retro as it gets. It almost feels wrong listening to this on a CD; 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 cover.

But the Bees 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. Throughout the album, the Bees back up their vintage fetish with really great songs. Free the Bees feels authentically old, and these boys from the Isle of Wight pull it off without being a mere imitation or parody. [GH]




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[GA] Geoff Albores
[RB] Randy Breaux
[AC] Amanda Colbenson
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[JR] Jeremy Rendina
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

- all of us at Other Music

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