November 9, 2005  




Diane Cluck
Piano Overlord
The Dolls
Angels of Light & Akron/Family
Thomas Brinkmann
Bjorn Olsson
Michael Chapman
Anthony Burr & Skuli Sverrisson


The Orb
Mi and L'au
Spoon (CD Single)
Mars Volta

Maximum Joy
Judee Sill (Restock)
Congreso (Restock)



Broken Social Scene returns to New York City on January 27 and 28th, performing at Webster Hall. While the tickets will go on sale next week at all the usual outlets, the Canadian super group has been kind enough to give our customers the first chance to purchase them through us. For the rest of this week Other Music will be selling them exclusively, so come into the shop and pick them up early, while they last.

NOV Sun 6 Mon 7 Tues 8 Wed 9 Thurs 10 Fri 11 Sat 12

No-Neck Blues Band

The No-Neck Blues Band celebrates the release of their new album, Qvaris, at the Knitting Factory this Thursday, joined by special guests Michael Chapman and Hototogisu. Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets, enter right now by e-mailing The winners will be notified by 3:00 P.M., Thursday afternoon. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

Thursday, November 10th
KNITTING FACTORY: 74 Leonard Street, NYC

NO-NECK BLUES BAND Qvaris (5 Rue Christine)
$13.99 CD


NOV Sun 6 Mon 7 Tues 8 Wed 9 Thurs 10 Fri 11 Sat 12

Burnside Project

Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets to see Burnside Project, Brasilia, Isobella and Hartley Goldstein, this Thursday night at the Delancey. Following the concert, there will be a free Broadcast/Tralala aftershow party going on upstairs, with members of Tralala as well as Warp Records DJs spinning the tunes, plus 2-for-1 beers from midnight to 1:00 A.M. Enter right away by e-mailing The winners will be notified by 3:00 P.M., Thursday afternoon. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

Thursday, November 10th @ 8:00 P.M.
THE DELANCEY: 168 Delancey, NYC

NOV Sun 13 Mon 14 Tues 15 Wed 16 Thurs 17 Fri 18 Sat 19



Saturday, November 19 @ 9:00 P.M.

15 East 4th Street NYC
(212) 477.8150
Free Admission/Limited Capacity

NOV Sun 20 Mon 21 Tues 22 Wed 23 Thurs 24 Fri 25 Sat 26


Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets to LCD Soundsystem's upcoming concert at the new, state-of-the-art Nokia Theatre. This night is guaranteed to be the best dance party in the city, in Times Square no less, bringing a little funk-n-punk back to midtown--kind of reminds us of the days when bands like the Clash performed at Bonds. Not only will LCD Soundsystem be playing, but they'll be joined by Sh*t Robot and Soul Wax gurus 2 Many DJS, both spinning sets guaranteed to get the hips shaking. To enter, e-mail The winners will be notified by 2:00 P.M., Monday, November 21st. Leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

Wednesday, November 23rd
1515 Broadway, NYC







Countless Times

"Love Me If Ye Do"

One thing that has always struck me about Diane Cluck's music is her capacity to pull intense emotions from her bare-boned performances: usually just her voice and guitar, and not much more. Sure, there are many that have come before her that use these same primitive tools, but very few are successful in creating music that's equally haunting, passionate and, more importantly, so genuine. While we were lucky enough to hear her music early on, when she dropped off copies of her homemade Oh Vanille for us to sell as a consignment, it was immediately apparent that hers was a voice that would break free from the chains of New York's insular anti-folk scene. Devendra Banhart was already proclaiming her to be his favorite songwriter out of NYC, and we couldn't keep her album in stock, receiving orders almost daily from all around the world.

Released on CocoRosie's Voodoo-EROS imprint, Countless Times is her fifth full-length, and the mass-produced album art indicates that Cluck is standing at a well-deserved crossroad. One thing that I hoped for, and Countless Times confirms, is that the folksinger wouldn't opt for a bigger studio to gloss over the wonderfully raw edges of her music. She once again has recorded her new album at home; Cluck uses the sound of the room around her to emphasize the intimacy of her songs, as if you are a neighbor walking by her open door, and secretly peering in to watch your neighbor singing to herself in her living room. You can hear the occasional sound of a passing car or truck; yet she continues playing, uninterrupted by the background noise. When her fingers squeak on the fretboard, it bounces off the walls, as do her beautifully affected vocal melodies. While it's absolutely stark, I can't imagine hearing her music presented any other way. When Diane sings, she bares her soul. [GH]








"Sand Dunes"

It's been almost two years since Tape's second album Milieu was released, and while this Swedish group doesn't seem to have changed a bit aesthetically, Rideau feels different and even more cohesive than their previous efforts. The most conspicuous change on this album is the presence of producer Marcus Schmickler (Pluramon), who manages to make Tape's music even more beautiful, crystal clear, and expansive than it's been in the past. "A Spire" sticks closest to the formula laid out on the band's last record but takes it to even greater heights, with a single repeating piano chord providing the rhythm for all 10 minutes of the song while the melody is played in unison on an acoustic guitar and glockenspiel. As the piece builds in volume and exuberance, a laptop counter melody gradually develops as feedback and drones ebb and flow across the speakers. Elsewhere, a ticking clock duets with an organ, a wall of multi-tracked shakers keeps time for a melodica and a harmonium, and a trio of trumpets explodes in jubilant harmony. It seems like a cliché to say that Tape have outdone themselves, but they really have. Rideau is their best album yet and is one of the year's finest releases in any genre. [RH]








E o Bando do Sol
(World Psychedelia)


One of the most exciting things to happen to these ears this year has been the excavation of lost classics from Northeastern Brazil's fertile psychedelic scene of the early-'70s. The record at hand, Flaviola e o Bando do Sol, was birthed in the same atmosphere that produced Lula Cortes and Ze Ramalho's masterpiece Paebiru, as well as Satwa's eponymous late-night acoustic guitar excursions. If you've heard and enjoyed those, you're sure to not be let down by Flaviola, as it's a pretty good midway point between those two records' differences. A number of the same guys play on here as on Paebiru, Lula Cortes perhaps most significantly, but it isn't as consciously far-out as that album, nor perhaps as navel gaze-y as the Satwa record is wont to be. Incredibly tender and peaceful, predominately acoustic, and with soothing melodies in spades, the Flaviola album is probably the most immediately accessible of the three to be reissued yet. Information about these artists has been far too hard to come by, but fortunately the liner notes provide a little mini-history of the scene, as well as a personal reminiscence from one of the players, Ze da Flauta. The number of incredible reissues we've been seeing this year from South America is amazing, and Flaviola e o Bando do Sol is already shooting to near the top of my list for greatest new discoveries. [MK]







Singles Collection
(Money Studies)

"No Community"
"Stay Home"

Prefuse 73, Savath and Savalas, Delarosa, and now, Piano Overlord. After four aliases and nearly a dozen albums in about half-a-dozen years, no one could accuse Scott Herren of being lazy. With each project come new ideas to explore and different ways of doing them. As hip-hop continues to venture into new terrain, Herren's projects have always helped to expand the vocabulary and Piano Overlord is no exception. Over the course of 16 beautifully composed beat-scapes, a fluid mixture of clunky, chunky MPC-fueled rhythms mesh with lush piano, Fender Rhodes, the occasional vocal snippet and splashy drums--from Susie Ibarra no less. There are even some shuffled Mantronix-esque electro workouts in there. And while there is nice variety in the tracks, it all seems to make sense sitting side by side. [GA]







The Dolls

"Martini Never Dries"
"The Dolls"

The Dolls is the collaborative project of Vladislav Delay, AGF, and Craig Armstrong, and together the three have created an album that is the sum of all three artists' visions. The record falls somewhere between Donna Regina, Massive Attack and Herbert's big band project. The leadoff cut, "Martini Never Dries," sounds like it could have been left off Massive Attack's landmark Protection album, with its dark, distorted beats, lilting beautiful piano lines, and AGF's smoky vocal delivery. It is definitely one of the finest tracks that I have heard this year. "Soul Skin" sounds exactly like an outtake from Vespertine with AGF's vocal-style reminiscent of a jazzy Bjork, all the while Vladislav Delay contributes an atmospheric backdrop filled with metallic electronic beats, and Mr. Armstrong adds some flawless piano playing. The title-track is another gorgeous gem of a song, with a snail's pace of a beat, sparse piano, and AGF's vocals delivered at barely above a whisper; it is truly beautiful. If you are familiar with these three artists' output then you definitely know what to expect here, but it is done so well, and so meticulously that the debut album from the Dolls is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. A very pleasant surprise, and a must have for fans of Portishead, as well as the aforementioned Donna Regina, Herbert and Massive Attack. [JS]







Split Album
(Young God)

"One for Hope"
"Raising the Sparks"

After some extensive touring together, Angels of Light (spearheaded by ex-Swans main man and all-around icon Michael Gira) and Akron/Family locked themselves in a studio for a week-and-a-half, and out came this split album. The Akron/Family half is a similar jumble of styles to those on their debut album--country twang, incense-fuelled balladry, psychedelic meanderings, and hypnotizing freakouts. It works particularly well on "Raising the Sparks," where they rock like Jefferson Airplane for a bit, and then mutate the song into a 4 A.M. bar stomp version of Nick Cave's cover of "Black Betty." Just trust me on that one.

Gira's half (where he's backed up by Akron/Family) is a slightly more restrained and uniform affair. He does a nice country crooning cover of Dylan's "I Pity the Poor Immigrant" and reworks the Swans' "Mother/Father" into a percussive scrapheap ritual. The real tour de force here is perhaps "The Provider," which turns from ominous lullaby to wicked brewing dirge halfway through, with the kids providing the metallic screech and Gira's sneer coming off as a distorted Mark E. Smith.

Akron/Family 1 Gira 1, which means we're all winners. Definitely something here for everyone, including old Swans heads and the Brooklyn neo-beards. [AK]







Lucky Hands
(Max Ernst)


I have to say that Thomas Brinkmann is an artist that I have always found to be hit or miss. Some of his records have blown me away and, to this day, stand up as some of this decade's finest techno, while other records left me to wonder what the hell he was thinking. Well, on Lucky Hands there is thankfully more of the former; there are some stunning tracks on this album. This time he definitely revisits the Perlon and Playhouse school of techno, with most of the tracks being extremely funky club jams that will have many hips shaking at 2:00 A.M. on any given night. The opening cut, "Drops," starts the album off with an all-out funky assault, with a male voice that comes in every 30 seconds to say: "Drops...Medicated Cough Drops." It could easily follow a Matthew Dear jam on anyone's playlist. "Jacknot" is a stormer with a standard pounding 4/4 rhythm, until he drops these killer whistles, whirrs and keyboard stabs that up the ante for a crescendo that recalls the classic days of a Plastikman live set. Forget tech-house or tech-pop, this track is pure techno. Lucky Hands is not an album without flaws, however. There are a few cuts on this album that could be truly killer but are faulted by female vocals that seem to lessen the impact of the music itself: the title-track being one of them; and one could also live without his re-interpretation of Morrissey's "The More You Ignore Me the Closer I Get." Well, nobody's perfect, and not to end the review on a sour note, this album does contain some essential tracks. If you are a fan of techno, and of Brinkmann himself, than you need this. [JS]







The Lobster

"Melodi I F# Moll"
"Lang Lat I A Dur"

Another remarkable release from longtime Other Music favorite Bjorn Olsson. His last several albums have shown him to be particularly adept at channeling the sort of cosmic Americana that a lifelong Swedish resident could have only learned from Morricone-scored Leone spaghetti westerns. The thing is, he's gotten sooo f**king good at it. This latest is his most reflective to date, moving further and further away from that very fine line he's been traversing, that would have put him over onto the other side of kitsch. It's probably the closest he's come to nailing the direct simplicity that Dylan pulled off when he scored Pat Garret and Billy the Kid for Peckinpah, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite albums. That Olsson can add another dimension to this sort of material, without being simply revisionist or slavishly imitative, is quite a feat. [MK]






Viking of Sixth Avenue
(Honest Jons)

"Theme and Variations"
"Down is Up"

One of the major unsung heroes of American music finally gets a proper introductory retrospective release. I've been a fan of his music for many years but whenever anybody asks me to describe his compositions, I'm always at a loss for words. The liner notes compare his works to Harry Partch and Sun Ra, and that's valid, although, Moondog's music wasn't as chaotic as the other two artists could be. Moondog was a New York street musician who is more known for being an infamous character, than for his music. For nearly 20 years (1953-1973), the blind and bearded musician would stand on the Manhattan street corners for hours, dressed in old viking gear, listening to the sounds of the city that he would later try to recreate in his compositions, for which he built new instruments (like Partch) to achieve maximum effect. Like Ra, his "free" music is never a chore to listen to and is definitely more joyous in its approach, and it always swung. To these ears, Moondog's music sounds more relevant now than ever. Modern day minimalist artists like Colleen, Fennesz, and the like, owe a debt to this man. Steve Reich has called him the "True father of minimalism." For anybody who's a fan of the above artists, you MUST hear this. Oh yeah, he also wrote the song that Mr. Scruff used for his club smash "Get a Move On" and was indirectly responsible for inventing the term "Rock-n-roll", but I'll let the liner notes tell that story. [DH]






$14.99 CD


Fully Qualified Survivor
$14.99 CD


"It Didn't Work Out"
"On My Way Again"


Fully Qualified Survivor
"Stranger in the Room"
"Soulful Lady"

These two albums from Michael Chapman have been available to customers for a number of years now. Can't quite say why we've never written them up before, as they are much loved, but with his first Stateside gig in god knows how many years coming up at the Knitting Factory on Thursday night (sharing a bill with No-Neck Blues Band), I figured now is as good a time as any. Both of these albums were released on Harvest records in 1969 and 1970 respectively. The first, Rainmaker, is the more conventionally folky of the two, which may be a misnomer in this case since Chapman has such a singular voice and style that you wouldn't mistake him for Pete Seeger or anything like that. His acoustic guitar playing here is incredibly virtuosic; and the deep, low, and laconic way in which he sings really sets him apart from his closest contemporaries--guys like Bert Jansch and Roy Harper, who both have a reediness in their voices, that is nowhere to be found here. It's a great album through and through and was highly acclaimed critically in its day, with John Peel apparently being an enormous fan.

The following year he released Fully Qualified Survivor, a huge departure from his debut in many ways. It is far more ambitious for one thing, with a larger cast of sidemen and string arrangements. He brought in Mick Ronson to play lead guitar over the whole album, and it was on this record that Bowie discovered one of his first great collaborators. Listening to Fully Qualified Survivor, you get the feeling that Bowie may have pinched more than a few ideas for his own ambitious projects circa the early-'70s from the work that Ronson and Chapman did together. Chapman is as laconic and growly a singer as ever here as well; and while FQS is more rocking, and certainly heavier, than Rainmaker, it is with a heaviness that seems to be bearing the weight of Quaaludes. [MK]







A Thousand Incidents Arise
(The Workers Institute)

"We Shall Be Sure of Not Going Astray"
"Except in Memory"

Although Anthony Burr and Skuli Sverrisson have been performing together for the better part of a decade, until now their recorded output has been limited to one long-out-of-print CD that was released by the Staalplaat label in 1997. Individually, Burr and Sverrisson have shared stages and recorded with some of the biggest names in experimental music, including John Zorn, Alvin Lucier, Jim O'Rourke, La Monte Young, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Using acoustic instruments and only the subtlest of electronic effects, this duo has created some of the finest minimal music I've heard so far in 2005. Their compositions are long, loosely structured, warm and atmospheric. The four tracks on A Thousand Incidents Arise are constructed over layers of Burr's sustained bass clarinet drones, with bowed upright bass, acoustic guitar, organ, and other less easily identifiable instruments adding harmonic counterpoint and filling out the sonic spectrum in the middle and upper ranges. Johann Johannsson's Virthulegu Forsetar, Nils Okland's Bris, and the self-titled album by Mountains are among the comparable recent releases that immediately sprang to mind when I began listening to this. A Thousand Incidents Arise is at least as accomplished and satisfying as the aforementioned records, so if you loved any of those I would definitely recommend picking up this disc too. [RH]







Okie Dokie, It's the Orb on Kompakt

"Kan Kan"
"Kompagna (Zandik Mix)"

What's a new Orb album gonna sound like other than good? The possibilities seem endless. Even the title, Okie Dokie… admits an attitude of, "Well, here it is in all its varied glory..!" That's what we get: an album that displays all the flavor of seasoned rave veterans modern and focused enough to fit on the Kompakt label. Speaking of raves: this album skillfully plays out like an entire night out--the first half has the dance tracks and the second half is soup-y, active-ambient bliss.

The dance tracks are basically what you would expect Orb to do (ideally)--fun, neo-classical, percolating techno house with that non-retro disco element embedded deep within it. The sounds are generated on new equipment (there's a thank you addressed to Ableton in the credits) and the feel is up to date, but there is also a heavily filtered sound (not full of filter sweeps) that is decidedly reminiscent of classic club music. Combined with Patterson and Fehlmann's veteran sensibilities, that gives the dance tracks a natural, unforced classic melodic disco/techno feel. Imagine the percolating club techno feel of Jorg Burger's Modernist project (or, of course, Fehlmann's recent solo efforts) but with more of the disco root of classic techno to it.

By track 7 ("Beatitude"), Okie Dokie downshifts into big room downtempo tracks that introduce the second half of the album. This is where it becomes more varied and displays the all-around capabilities of Orb. It basically sounds like they are playing live to a huge room of fans willing to give in to all of their different styles. "Cool Harbour" has the infectious Fehlmann polka-shuffle and "Traumvogel" is the soft, cloudy rave-down moment that leads into the impossibly gorgeous "Because/Before." These guys could have made an album of just singles and we would have been happy--Okie Dokie does a solid job of delivering the whole Orb experience. [SM]








Looking for You / Takin' So Long

"Don't Ask Me Why"
"Can't Play Part of Me"

Okay, I'll straight out admit that the early-'70s soft rock sounds of Alzo are not for everyone, he's proving to be pretty divisive around here actually. But for those folks who are inclined to dig some seriously played and soulfully smooth A.M. stylings, then I say Alzo is your man. I'm in no way speaking about liking it ironically either. Seriously, music just doesn't soar like this anymore and for certain people Alzo is going to strike a chord and be very moving. Clive Davis tried to sign him, and if that guy doesn't know what the people want then I don't know who does. Beat diggers first started resurrecting some interest in Alzo a couple of years ago, because the thing that really sets him apart from a lot of the other soft rock that was being made back then was his interest in Latin rhythms. There are always about four guys accompanying his beautiful 12-string acoustic guitar playing and killer melodies with percussion and Fender bass. The end result makes his songs more organic and less studio sheen-y than that of much other soft rock from back in the day. The more you listen, the more you get sucked in, and for the past few days I've really been wondering if there's anything else I'd rather feel like listening to. So on that note, I'll leave you now to go wander around on a nice fall day in Central Park with Alzo as the perfect soundtrack. [MK]








Mi and L'Au
(Young God)

"They Marry"

Mi and L'au met and fell in love in Paris. They then decided to move to the woods of Finland, "so they could be alone together in peace and to spend their time discovering each other and their music. They live in a small cabin in complete isolation with the barest of essentials and they spend virtually all their time making music together in solitude." The mere mention of this neo-luddite way of life will no doubt lump this album into the new-folk thing, positive or negative, but it is the relevance of their atmosphere that has been transformed into the truly haunting beauty this album holds. The intimacy of this album is almost awkward, as though you shouldn't be in the room with them but you can't seem to make a move either way. The quiet vocals from both Mi and L'au are generally accompanied by the delicate strum of the guitar and, at times, the light and sound of what appears to be a sinister carnival off in the distance. It is the kind of album you carry with you long after listening, and may be your only company in the looming winter months. [JO]







Sister Jack

"Sister Jack"

New single from Spoon, featuring the song "Sister Jack," from their breakthrough Gimme Fiction album. Also includes a music video for the title-track, plus a John McEntire remix for "Turn My Camera On" and "Sunday Morning Wednesday Night."







Scab Dates

"Volta Live"

The ever-epic Mars Volta delves deeper into fantastically weird terra with a cosmic live album... an album that is not a typical live album, but let me reiterate -- an awesomely weird Mars Volta Live album, 74 minutes of live recordings and odd tour-related "field recorded samples" taken from shows between 2003 and 2005. Unbending and unstoppable, this band rules. [MT]








Unlimited - 1979-1983
(Crippled Dick)

"Building Bridges"
"White and Green Place"

Superb compilation of rare 7", 12" and assorted album cuts from Maximum Joy. Featuring two former members of Pop Group, Maximum Joy was one of Bristol's most original post-punk bands, combining punk, funk and soulful jazz with wild improvisational breaks. (Full review next week.)





Judee Sill
$15.99 CD


Heart Food
$15.99 CD



S/T & Heart Food

Judee Sill's seminal two albums are finally back in stock. Judee Sill was an extremely talented songwriter and arranger whose initial claim to fame was the few songs she wrote for the Turtles in the '60s. As a solo artist in the '70s, she created two emotionally intense yet surprisingly uplifting folk pop records before dying from a heroin overdose soon after the release of her second, Heart Food. Sill's heartbreaking lyrical ruminations on God, addiction and the redemptive power of love create a striking contrast to the gospel-y strains of piano and strings, occasional blast of Dixieland horns, and her amazing, self-arranged multi-tracked vocals. (Her delivery is very similar to that of Victoria Williams.) For fans of Skip Spence, Fleetwood Mac, and Pink Moon. I dare you to not be moved. [DH]








El Congreso
(Record Runner)

"Vamos Andando, Mi Amigo"
"Has Visto Caer Una Lagrima"

This enormously popular staff favorite has easily been the album I've most frequently listened to this year. We've had the hardest time getting this record in stock to present to customers but we've finally got just enough to go around, for a little bit at least. Congreso formed in Chile in 1968, and when they recorded their debut album El Congreso in 1971 they were still teenagers. The C.I.A- backed right-wing coup that overthrew the socialist government of Salvador Allende and installed a military dictatorship in 1973 halted their career for a few years, but they've gone on to make over 17 albums.

The music Congreso created in the early-'70s was a continuation of the Nueva Cancion (New Song) movement in 1960s Chile that had been spearheaded by Violeta Parra and popularized by Victor Jara--he was sort of a Bob Dylan figure that was murdered in the first days of the coup due to his left-wing sympathies. Nueva Cancion was a protest music that looked to the culture of the Mapuche Indians and the indigenous inhabitants of the Andes for inspiration. I generally find the music of Parra and Jara to be a little dry, but the music that Congreso and similar groups like Los Blops made in their wake is positively thrilling. While still looking towards the Andes for ideas and instruments, rock and roll's international influence was becoming increasingly prevalent by the early-'70s and the gorgeous Beatle-esque melodies that Congreso wrote perfectly complimented their indigenous folk music influences.

El Congreso was a pretty stripped down affair, recorded with only two tracks, but I've rarely heard such a finely balanced album. They have the perfect combination of acoustic and electric guitars, flute, and percussion; and like in the greatest Andean folk music I've heard, they have a subtle sense of forward rhythm that makes these songs incredibly addictive. The power of this album really creeps up on you. Chile is a country noted for its poetic heritage and even if you don't know Spanish, Congreso's haunting lyricism and ghostly emotive choruses shouldn't fail to acutely move you. [MK]




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[GA] Geoff Albores
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[MK] Michael Klausman
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou
[JO] Jennifer Orozco
[JS] Jeremy Sponder
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

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