June 9, 2005  




Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto
Acid: Can You Jack? (Various)
The White Stripes
TK Webb
Ellen Allien
Cheatin' Soul (Various)
Flaming Lips DVD
Antony & the Johnsons (CD single)
Triple R (Mix CD)
Teenage Fanclub
Eugene McDaniels (Reissue)


!!! (CD single)
Indiavision (Various)
DJ Koze

Gina X Performance (Reissue)

Joy Zipper
The Tears

JUN Sun 5 Mon 6 Tues 7 Wed 8 Thurs 9 Fri 10 Sat 11


Maximo Park will be performing two shows this weekend in New York City at Tonic! Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to each night, so enter right away by emailing tickets@othermusic.com. Please leave a daytime number where you can be reached. The winners will be notified by Noon on Friday, June 10.

June 10 & 11 @ Tonic: 107 Norfolk Street NYC

JUN Sun 12 Mon 13 Tues 14 Wed 15 Thurs 16 Fri 17 Sat 18



Monday, June 13 @ 8:00 P.M.

15 East 4th Street NYC
Free Admission/Limited Capacity

JUN Sun 12 Mon 13 Tues 14 Wed 15 Thurs 16 Fri 17 Sat 18

Prince Paul

This Monday, La Buena Musica with DJ Jer2 welcomes very special guests Mr. Len & Prince Paul to APT. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to this special night! Enter to win by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com. Leave a daytime number where you can be reached. Winner will be notified by 4:00 P.M. on Friday, June 10.

June 13@ APT: 419 W. 13th St. NYC - $6







$24.99 LP


We Are Monster

"Do Re Mi"

Where are all the techno superheroes? Here's one. Rajko Muller (Isolée) is advancing electronic house musically and with heart, without ever needing to tack on any trendy, temporary, so-called "innovations". We Are Monster is full of good, solid musical decisions. Check out "Enrico," with its non-clunky, shuffle beat nestled in an arpeggiated voice, and offset by a simple two-note bassline and a slight break that smooooths it all out. Much finesse. As usual, Isolée excels at developing signature sounds (deep, melted funk embedded in minimal disco) arranged in a personal, lively way. If you loved the minimal bubbly synth disco of "Can't Sleep All Night" and want to hear the active musicianship of "Beau Mot Plage" done effortlessly, get this one. [SM]








The newest collaboration by international superstars Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto doesn't stray too far from the formula they developed on 2004's stellar Vrioon. And like that album, it's the refreshingly amorphous combination of lyrical piano and pulsating electronics that gives the music such a unique sense of warmth and depth. Plunging further, we enter slightly less pure territory with Noto filtering and editing Sakamoto's piano refrains into hypnotic arabesques over which the piano is again overlaid, further blurring the line between the electronic and acoustic. For fans of the pair's earlier endeavor, this should be a welcome second installment. [KH]







$22.99 LP-1


$22.99 LP-2

Acid: Can You Jack? Chicago Acid & Experimental House 1985-95
(Soul Jazz)

"Phuture Jacks" Phuture
"Acid Over" Tyree

There's an ancient Greek saying that a philosopher is never truly appreciated within his home city; it's only people from without who recognize him as groundbreaking. I'm often reminded of this aphorism when thinking about house music, the forsaken bastard cousin of hip-hop that Americans are all too eager to forget. Dismissed as fodder for drug addled dancers, or as a quirky (read 'disposable') expression of late-'80s black culture, house is never treated as "real music." Maybe 'cuz house music is so close to home we fail to acknowledge its intrinsic soul, innovation, and revolutionary power to stimulate both mind and body. Whatever the reason, our shortsightedness is infuriating to anyone who truly understands the wisdom and beauty of real House Music.

Who understands real House Music, you might ask? Aside from a handful of people in this country, the Brits mostly. And God bless 'em! They've been serious about archiving Midwest dance music since the early days when labels like Kool Kat and Jack Tracks (both from the UK) provided an outlet for artists from Detroit and Chicago. Again history repeats itself. Today the Brits are still reminding us about importance of our house music history, the hometown "philosopher" we wrote off as a crank. Those clever bastards at Soul Jazz Records have come up with a definitive introduction to Chicago Acid House with their new compilation, Acid: Can You Jack?

If you want to learn about house, real house, Chicago, and more specifically acid house, then you must get this album. Included are seminal jack-masterpieces: the elegantly minimal and aggressive "Box Energy" by DJ Pierre, the mellifluous, dubby skank of Virgo Four's "Take Me Higher," the euphoric rapture of Mr. Fingers' "Beyond the Clouds." Acid house might conjure notions of predictable, squelchy 303 lines that all sound the same. This compilation, however, proves that Chicago acid house had many textures and flavors. The track listing is impressively comprehensive. There are perhaps a few oversights. I would have like to have seen Fast Eddie's "Acid Thunder," Bam Bam's "Where's Your Child?" or maybe some James "Jack Rabbit" Martin, but that's me being picky. In all fairness, this compilation delivers, and not just in terms of tracks.

Included is a 50-page booklet of acid house music history written by music historian Tim Lawrence (author of Love Saves the Day) in which he places the acid house genre in a broad musical context that extends beyond disco, reaching as far back as the delta blues and as far forward as European new wave. There are interviews with Chicago acid house innovators like Marshall Jefferson, Adonis, and Cajmere (aka Green Velvet). Brilliant. The liner notes are simply first rate, but don't think that's the selling point. What truly makes this compilation so enjoyable is the music. The infectious dancefloor rhythms, the undeniable taste of black urban aggression, the science fiction, the massive throbbing of an insistent, unrelenting 303 crowding the aural landscape with sounds that take on a planetary, cosmic dimension...this is what makes this compilation such a sound investment. [EH]







Get Behind Me Satan

"Take, Take, Take"
"Blue Orchid"

It's been easy to love the boyish Jack White, but as he's grown out his hair and goatee to look more and more like Michael Jackson, it's been a tad disconcerting. Although, on the cover of Get Behind Me Satan, he looks more like Johnny Depp meets goth meets Hasid meets mariachi player than the defendant. As for what he holds in his hands, your guess is as good as mine. Meg, of course, holds an apple, and both engage in a playful j'accuse that elucidates the title.

For the Stripes' fifth, Jack howls about being bruised on the twitching electric opener, "Blue Orchid." From there, the sound changes, with marimba, piano, xylophone, bells, and acoustic guitar (Meg even sings!) charging the songs, instead of his crunching electric guitar. It returns for the stomp of "Instinct Blues," and flares up for the Rita Hayworth-obsessed "Take, Take, Take." The album's best moments are its quietest though; "Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)" has piano and Jack's most plaintive cry, circa Mick on Beggar's Banquet, while the closing "I'm Lonely (but I Ain't That Lonely Yet)" could saddle on up to Hank Williams' side. Satan flows fast, partially due to their breakneck recording pace, finishing the album in two weeks. As always though, the White Stripes' romantic notions of love and rock 'n' roll and love of rock 'n' roll are on display. [RB]







(Social Registry)

"Lonely Wine"


Dear Mr. White,

Congratulations on your newest record, Get Behind Me Satan. It sounds great, and I think it's the best White Stripes album yet. I'm sure that you probably don't have as much time to go out and catch the smaller bands like you used to, what with busting your ass touring, recording and getting married, but there's someone I really want you to check out. His name is TK Webb. He was born in rural Missouri but currently lives in New York City, and let me tell you, he can play the blues guitar like no other dude that I've heard in a long time. With all due respect Mr. White, if there ever was a reason for you and Meg to become a trio, this is it. Though you might want to consider switching to bass and let this cat handle the guitar and some of the lead vocals. TK might be down with that too; he's sat in with groups like the Witnesses, Blood on the Wall, and the Only Children.

If that seems a little drastic, perhaps you could take him on the road with you as an opening act and give his career a big boost. It would kind of be like how Jon Spencer helped R.L. Burnside out, only TK is a young white dude who plays and sings like he's some old bluesman from the Mississippi Delta. His new album was produced by this Brooklyn guy named Sean Maffucci. It sounds like a worn blues record, but it's kind of spacey and dreamy too. TK's pulling from lasting boyhood memories of these desolate shanty towns that he saw in Kansas City, Kansas, so they've all got this sad, bleak feeling. I'm sure that he wouldn't take up much space on your tour bus, just his beat-up acoustic guitar, plus his harmonica, tambourine and a suitcase which doubles as his kick drum. Oh yeah, he'll probably drink a lot of whiskey, so you might want to add an extra bottle to your backstage rider.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this Mr. White. When you hear TK, you won't be sorry. And before I forget, I just wanted to say that I really liked your scene in Coffee and Cigarettes. Do you really own a Tesla Coil?










"The Brain Is Lost"
"Naked Rain"

As we've been saying in the store lately: "Everyone's growing up!" Meaning: Everyone's developing, moving along and trying new things. Ellen Allien is doing the same. Her new album, Thrills, has all the inventive German electro-techno/minimal vocal style of her previous efforts. One thing worth mentioning is the newfound, more effective/selective use of glitch sounds. Also worth mentioning is the obvious influence of Ellen's recent DJ touring. A well-crafted club-feel is subtly woven into this album via fat bass booms and extra layers of melody and atmosphere that fill the room tastefully. The glitchiness manages to accent the songs and add to the propulsive feel. Track after track on this album are club-friendly AND listener-friendly (in various ways), still utilizing Ellen's unique use of non-retro Kraftwerkian techno breaks, modern glitch sounds, moody minimal vocals and grounded pop sensibility. Great to see a solid step forward from an artist/label owner whose curatorial skills is well matched by her production skills. [SM]






Cheatin' Soul and the Southern Draw of Freedom

"After Laughter Comes Tears" Wendy Rene
"What Was I Supposed to Do" Clarence Carter

Trikont continues its obsession over the American gothic musical tradition with this compilation of southern R & B from the '60s and '70s. The rhythm and blues from the south always maintained the "B" in R & B, and all of the realistic storytelling of that tradition. Unlike other forms of music, blues isn't escapist music, it requires one to sing and write of the harsh realities of life, and all the temptations and trials of maintaining one's dignity. The "cheatin'" song has always been a mainstay in the R & B of the south, singers using that subject as an opportunity to wail 'n' moan and show off their vocal chops. It's hard to get down 'n' dirty if you're singin' about champagne sippin' and clubbin', ya' know. This collection allows one to hear some of the most underrated vocalists in soul history, such as Margie Joseph (Atlantic head Arif Marden still claims her voice as one of the best ever), OV Wright and Wendy Rene. If you've picked up the Dirty Laundry compilation, or any of the Honest Jon comps from Willie Hightower and Bettye Swann...or if you've just ended a relationship, buy yourself a bottle of wine, pick up this CD and "cry, baby, cry." [DH]







The Fearless Freaks: Life & Times of American Invention
(Shout Factory)

It would not be an exaggeration to say that this film was 15 years in the making, as director Bradley Beesley began filming live shows, session footage, and music videos for the Flaming Lips sometime around 1990. Perhaps even earlier, but you get the idea. Like the band itself, Beesley too is an Oklahoma native, and it is clear even from the beginning of the film that the two parties share not only a like geographical launching pad, but also a very loose and easy-going friendship. This pays great dividends as the film rolls along because Beesley is able to capture the band members and their respective families in relaxed and--at times anyway--painfully earnest settings.

It should be mentioned that, while this film is largely concerned with the history of the Flaming Lips, it spends at least as much time getting to know the individual personalities within. Like perhaps the early works of Errol Morris (Vernon, Florida, Gates of Heaven, etc.), as well as Beesley's own Okie Noodling, the grand narrative of The Fearless Freaks functions as something of a formality since Beesley's aesthetic always pushes him in the direction of the people behind the activity--regardless of the activity. In other words, while the history of the band and their music is clearly the focus here, it sometimes takes a backseat in favor of the band members' individual stories: who they are, what they were like in school, their relationships with their folks, etc.

This is an uncommonly well-made rock and roll documentary, one that I might compare with Banks Tarver's similarly touching Guided by Voices film, Watch Me Jumpstart, in that, yes, it's a movie about a rock band but, when it comes down to brass tacks, The Fearless Freaks is really about what it means to grow up in Midwestern America. [BB]







Hope There's Someone
(Secretly Canadian)


The second single from Antony's stunning I Am A Bird Now album, this includes the title track as it appears on the full-length, plus an equally haunting video for the song, starring a sleepy and sad Joey Gabriel, as directed by Glen Fogel. The two b-sides are out-takes from the album sessions, and can hold their own with most of that record, particularly the lovely and intense "Frankenstein." A great treat for the fans, and a reminder to the rest of you to give this singular artist a listen. [JM]






Flashback: MBF

"Someday" Steve Barnes & Riley Reinhold
"Mondo Cane" Youthanasia

MBF (My Best Friend) is a recent, slept-on sub-label of Traum that has been releasing Germany's answer to neo-jacking, Chicago-style funky acid house. For those of us who love the idea of clean, streamlined techno injected with some jacking, almost disco funk blackness, MBF is a godsend. So, what's the mix like? Triple R ain't no slouch; dope tracks, plus refined programming, make for a sweet ride. Minimal jack, Metro Area-like funk and minimal disco bliss buildups are all present on this mix. You'll be hunting down the vinyl back catalogue. [SM]








"It's All in My Mind"
"Slow Fade"

After 15 or so years of sticking to the three Bs of pop-rock songwriting (Big Star, Beatles and Byrds, silly), Teenage Fanclub have weathered an endless storm of label drama here in the States and have safely landed at Merge Records, and delivered a great new album just in time for summer. Featuring four tracks each by their three singer/songwriters, Norman Blake, Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley (the band is completed by drummer Francis MacDonald), they still manage to craft a consistent, focused pop album. They all stick to the basic formula of mid-tempo, strummy, melodic sing-alongs, with the perfect mix of melancholy and sunshine. This new one was recorded in Chicago with John McEntire, and as usual he brings a warm and welcoming sound to the production, lovingly capturing the buzzing guitars, gently stroked pianos and swinging rock and roll drums. Man-Made is the best album Teenage Fanclub have made in years, and a great example of the utopian dream where great rock bands never die, they just return to indie labels. [JM]






Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse

"Susan Jane"
"The Lord is Back"

When Label M reissued Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse in 2001, it was not only the first pressing of this soul jazz classic on CD, it also marked the first time one had the option of obtaining a legitimate copy (on any format) for less than a cool bill. Well…not surprisingly, those CDs ran out a long time ago, so the good people at Water have made it available again.

Marred by controversy upon its initial release in 1971, Headless Heroes received next to no promotion after then-Vice President, Spiro Agnew, allegedly called Atlantic to ask "what the hell is going on over there?" It's a famous story, to be sure. And who knows if it ever really happened, but with lines like: "nobody knows who the enemy is, cause he never comes out of hiding / he's slitting out throats right in front of our eyes, while we pull the casket he's riding, " it's not entirely out of the question. Heads will continue to argue back and forth about Eugene's--let's say--unique vocal stylings until the end of time, but there's simply no denying the ridiculous grooves here--including some of the most famous hip-hop samples of all time. Remember the hand-clapping, spoken interludes from the first Quest record? That's "Jagger the Dagger." The opening few bars of Pete Rock & CL Smooth's "Act Like You Know"? That's "Freedom Death Dance." Organized Konfusion, Jungle Brothers, Masta Ace, Beatnuts, the Beasties… They all bit this record at one point or another, making it essential material for aspiring beat archeologists. [BB]






Still Crazy After All These Years

"Faith (Mir Ham Neigschifft Mix)"

Nightshift's new album is a wildly varied and humor-filled advancement in the world of German techno/house/disco/funk/R&B/pop. Point is: even with all of Nightshift's connections to Dial, Ladomat and Parfum Collective, they've managed to cut their own template, adding their own brand of inventive, controlled pop chaos. Their grooves are decidedly edgy and fresh in the German style, but their micro-nods to disco, pop and R&B--in various helpings--keep the tracks fun, funky and strange. Imagine Prince joining Die Todliche Doris in the studio to record an album for Dial. The tracks run from 1999 to 2005, some from very limited 7-inch singles, some from obscure compilations, some exclusive to this LP--12 tracks in all. Despite the time-span, the album ends up being a fun roller coaster ride. "Trance for Friends" is just as fun and mesmerizing as "Haller" for very different reasons. Any fan of the sound ranging from Ladomat's bent pop to Dial's dreamy bliss will be psyched on this album. "Fur der Herren." [SM]






Take Ecstasy With Me
(Touch & Go)

"Take Ecstasy With Me"

Although !!!'s latest recording is only two songs, you get your money's worth with almost 20-minutes of synthesized magic. Their cover of Stephin Merritt's "Take Ecstasy With Me" transitions the song from a dry Magnetic Fields tune to a summer dance floor gem. At first, the recording sounds not unlike the original number off of Holiday, with vocals sounding uncannily similar; however, when beats, bass, and drums characteristic of !!! kick in, the song becomes more about the funk than Merrit could have ever intended. "Get Up" follows a similar formula, beginning with a distinctive cover of Nate Dogg from G-Funk's self-titled 2003 recording. Then, about four-minutes into the song they begin to deconstruct the rhythm until it resembles a minimalist disco groove. This well-developed freak out proves that the band has reached new territory in dance music since Louden Up Now. [AC]






(Buda Musique)

"Theme Music"
"Come Closer" Salma Agha

This compilation of Hindi film songs from Buda Musique (the label that brought us the sublime Ethiopiques series) attempts to highlight the incredible diversity of music during the golden age of Bollywood films. In India, pop music comes almost exclusively from movie soundtracks; and as you might guess, their vast film industry pumps out an enormous amount of scores. As the films themselves borrow liberally from American, European, Middle Eastern and Far East Asian films, so too do Bollywood soundtracks borrow from their Eastern and Western counterparts. So, in this collection you will hear surf/spy music, ska, funk and soul, psychedelic rock, jazz, lounge music and Sufi trance, among other things. But these are merely influences that have been heavily filtered through a well-established Indian identity. Tablas, sitars and sarods shimmer fluidly amongst the outside influences as euphoric Hindi vocalists bounce, strut and rock over the music. This collection really showcases a broad spectrum of Indian film music with instrumentals and vocal tracks, and successfully attempts to shatter any preconceived notion of what a Bollywood soundtrack should sound like. [GA]






Wo Die Rammelwolle Fliegt

"Steffex Twin"
"Zuviel Zeit?"

DJ Koze's alter ego Adolf Noise brings us his first full-length album, and it's nothing less than a head-scratcher. That's really not a surprise, considering that the Cologne producer (and former hip-hopper) curated a stunningly diverse, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mix with last year's All People Is My Friends on Kompakt. With his new album, Wo Die Rammelwolle Fliegt, Koze lets his imagination run wild. Starting with a minute long sample of a German news broadcast, the first track, "Zuviel Zeit?" is a slice of mellow, slightly abstract German hip-hop. It's actually a deceptive beginning, as the producer heads into warm ambient territory for a few tracks, and afterwards it turns playfully unpredictable. Koze seems to tell a story with lots of vocal samples (including an amusing snippet of a child singing the chorus of Outkast's "Roses"), sonic collages, tinkering video game keyboards and even a stripped down piano driven remix of Tocotronic's "Jackpot." From what I understand, Wo Die Rammelwolle Fliegt is actually a "concept" album, assembled from two previously released Adolf Noise EPs. Unfortunately, not being versed in the German language, I'm really not sure if there's truly a story to follow. Regardless, the record is a multi-hued carousel ride, often charming, sometimes psychedelic and one that leaves you wondering what the next track is going to bring. [GH]









Nice Mover

"Nice Mover"
"No G.D.M."

The best capsule description of Gina X is: decadent German Grace Jones with disco-Visage production. Vocalist, Gina Kikoine and producer Zeus B. Held created cold and lurching, yet glistening, hedonist disco that was to be in their own words, "the absolute union of music, poetry and travesty." If you wanna experience an actual personality and not just a 'persona' behind the detached female vocal style, look no further than here. The hits "Nice Mover" and "No G.D.M." (Gina's homage to Quentin Crisp) are on this one. Also killer is the chugging disco jam "Be a Boy" (predating Book of Love's "Boy" by almost 10 years), as well as "Exhibitionism" (another slinky sexplay manifesto) and "Black Sheep" (a prance-disco rally cry for the disaffected). Gina Kikoine's vocal style may have been copied many times over, but her lyrical audacity is hard to touch. Originally released in 1979, Nice Mover is a classic and essential to listeners ranging from the hipster disco set (you'll play it out) to the Neu Deutsche Welle fan with a funny bone (you'll collect it and secretly love it), to the lingering electroclash torch carrier (this will blow your mind). [SM]







Heartlight Set
(Mercury Import)

"Go Tell the World"

Only recently did Joy Zipper's American Whip finally see domestic release in the States, meanwhile, across the ocean an even newer album has just come out. Though still inspired by shimmering West Coast psychedelia, you can also detect more of a '70s inspiration throughout. (Full review next week.)








"White Shadows"

In just a few years we've seen Coldplay grow from catchy, Radiohead-inspired Brit-poppers to full-on rock sensations. Their new album X&Y is filled with the type of sweeping songs that cemented their status as international superstars, but topically, Chris Martin's lyrics often deal with staying grounded.








Here Come the Tears


Suede's Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler are together again! Their debut as Tears is a fantastic comeback, quite possibly the album we always wanted Suede to make. (Full review next week.)




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[GA] Geoff Albores
[BB] Brandon Burke
[RB] Randy Breaux
[AC] Amanda Colbenson
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[ETH] Evan "Tango" Hecht
[KH] Koen Holtkamp
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou

- all of us at Other Music

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