August 10, 2006  

There are more great finds in our latest weekly auction on eBay! This time we've listed a batch of near mint power pop and punk titles, including two mega-rare Misfits singles, five Dangerhouse 45s (one being the first X single), a Mark Eitzel recording from 1980, and more! Click here for the full listing.





Comets on Fire
Arthur Russell
Bridget St. John
Marc Moulin
Meic Stevens
Folke Rabe & Jan Bark
Matt Friedberger
Oh No


Dillinger at King Tubby's
Steffen Basho-Junghans
Fuzzy-Felt Folk


Sigur Ros
Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada
David Stackenas
Rick Ross


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

Eric Bachmann


Next Tuesday, swing by Other Music after work to get a sneak preview of Cursive's upcoming album Happy Hollow, and To the Races, the new solo offering from Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf. (Both albums are slated for release on Saddle Creek on August 22nd.) Not only will we be playing both records from start to finish, we'll also feed your bellies with free pizza, courtesy of Saddle Creek!

Tuesday, August 15th - 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
OTHER MUSIC: 15 E. 4th Street NYC
Free Admission/Limited Capacity



Pre-order Yo La Tengo's forthcoming album, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, off of, and you will be automatically registered to receive some extra YLT goodness, courtesy of Matador. Within a few days after you place your order, you'll receive an e-mail with directions on how to access the Season Pass Web site via a unique coupon code. Every few weeks, this site will be updated with exclusive bonus material including:

- A player streaming the full album
- A digital booklet with album artwork, photos, liner notes and YLT discography
- An exclusive mp3 available only to Season Pass members
- Advance notice on all ticket sales for the fall tour

This special promotion only applies to on-line pre-orders. Please note: the CD will be shipped to arrive at your door on the day of its release, 9/12/2006.

I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (Matador)

Buy $11.99 CD (On Sale)

Buy $15.99 LP








(Sub Pop)

"Dogwood Rust"
"Jay Bird"

I thought they wouldn't be able to stop the psych-spiked spires of Blue Cathedral, that they'd never match the caustic blasts of Field Recordings from the Sun. Perhaps they had put their "good" ideas into the numerous other projects that are some of this year's finest: from Howlin' Rain to Six Organs to their drummer's odd though dead-on Eric Carmen impersonation as Colossal Yes. My first time through Comets' Avatar, I thought maybe they had too much knowledge now: the parts trickier and more complicated in their riffs. And then I realized that Comets on Fire aren't trying to top their previous explorations with this album with higher volume so as to scale new peaks, but that they are weaving around them old highs like it's some sort of game, like a reversed, now-ascendent sort of slalom. Sure, "Holy Teeth" whiplashes back to their thrashy best (and is by far the shortest cut here), but the nuanced, multi-tiered tracks here, be it "Jaybird" and "The Swallow's Eye" (note the bird refs as far as ascendency and flight are concerned), offer just as potent a sonic rush as anything they've ever done. Digging on Avatar and its evocative Hindi imagery, I immediately thought about Jimi Hendrix's Axis: Bold as Love. It too didn't have so many acid flashbacks as its predecessor, wasn't as raw, but the bold songs, its startling use of texture and structural accomplishments within a muscular rock band make it the Hendrix platter I return to most. Okay, they're not THAT similar, but I can't help but thinking that Avatar will offer similarly expansive rock pleasures for decades to come, too. [AB]








Another Thought

"See Through Love"
"A Little Lost"

Over the last few years, we've witnessed the mystical and magnetic world of Arthur Russell grow from obscurity to fully-recognized. The latest reissue, Another Thought, finds Russell in an intimate vocal mode and, in structure, this album exists somewhere between World of Echo and (closest to) Calling Out of Context. Still, Another Thought is a collection culled from various recordings dating from 1982 to 1990, representing all of the elements that splintered off into his other projects, singles, and thoughts. Released shortly after his untimely death in 1992 on Philip Glass' Point label (now reissued on Orange Mountain Music), Another Thought has been a favorite of mine for some time now. I first heard these songs right before Soul Jazz released the World of Arthur Russell compilation, and since have anticipated the official re-release of this material, which features some of his best non-dance oriented song writing. That's not to say that his sweet sense of melody, mood and groove isn't present; all of his trademark ingredients are here: cello and effects, guitar, drum machines, keyboards, percussion, horns, and that sincere voice. While some similar lyrics and themes can be heard in various incarnations on the collections released thus far, songs like "This Is How We Walk on the Moon" and this album's version of "In the Light of the Miracle" showcase his style perfectly. Guests include Jennifer Warnes, Julius Eastman, Mustafa Ahmed, and Peter Zummo. It's rare that you find a record where every song is engaging and has something to offer, and here, these tracks are otherworldly meditations which give you a glimpse into this hopeful loner's yearning, searching mind.

Unfortunately, Russell never witnessed the generation that would come to hold him dear, acknowledging and embracing his songs. His music is as forward-thinking now as it was when originally released. This is one rare case where I enjoy a record almost too much, finding it hard to explain in words; it's more about the feeling it leaves than what I can say about it. The music speaks so well all by itself; these songs are warm, like love, hope, truth and life. If you've experienced Russell's unique style and have been intoxicated by what you've heard, then this is a much-needed addition to his other collections and reissues, another piece of the constantly growing puzzle of music he left behind. If you've missed out so far, Another Thought is the perfect entry point into Russell's organic, charismatic and beautiful outsider world. Without a doubt, recommended. [DG]









"I Don't Know If I Can Take It"
"Curious and Woolly"

Bridget St. John is one of the essential female heavyweights in late-'60's and early-'70s British folk canon. For every time adjectives like "hushed" or "gentle" or "lilting" are tossed around in music writing, a debt must be paid to St. John, whose string of three early records ('69's Ask Me No Questions, '71's Songs for a Gentle Man, and '72's Thank You For) are pretty much a textbook example of classy arrangements and sentimental love songs sung in the most breathtakingly unsentimental way. Originally released in '74, Jumblequeen was St. John's final record before she decided to enter into a two-decade long bout of silence. Jumblequeen isn't revered in the same way that Ask Me or Songs for are, if only because this record was recorded on American shores with members of Jethro Tull and King Crimson backing her, and production from Leo Lyons who some of you may remember from Decca favorites, Ten Years After.

That said, I'm all for accessibility, and Jumblequeen was easily St. John's most accessible record. It's laid back for sure -- all unraveling acoustic guitar notes, and hazy grooves…there's even a pseudo- reggae joint ("Some Kind of Beautiful"). And as unlikely as it may seem, this freer, more playful and, dare I say, certifiably "American" influence on St. John fit her voice like a glove. She sounds positively liberated, and I can't help but thinking that if this record had been able to score St. John a commercial hit she might not have stopped making music for so long. It was not to be. If you've ever wondered what Vashti might've sounded like had she ever cut an album with a full band rocking behind her, or if Nico made a record that wasn't a total gothic downer, Jumblequeen might've been the result. It's surely one of the best folk rock records of the 1970s, and it speaks volumes that St. John has a few others just as great too. [HG]








Placebo Years 1971-1974
(Blue Note Import)

"Humpty Dumpty"

Somehow when I was in my jazz-funk-fusion phase, I seemed to miss the small output of Marc Moulin and his group Placebo. Not to be confused with the more recent rock group with the same moniker, in the early-'70s, the name graced the covers of three LPs for the Blue Note label, and by the end of that decade, he helped form the electronic pop group, Telex. Moulin, a pianist, keyboard player and electronics enthusiast, began playing with names like Clark Terry and Dexter Gordon. He soon released a short list of albums that were constructed with the aim of fusing rock, jazz and funk together, using ultra-modern (for the time) synthesizers and keyboards to build this so-called bridge. In his compositions and arrangements, I hear the last 10 years of jazz-inspired electronic music, from Kirk Degiorgio/As One, Madlib's Sound Directions and Yesterday's New Quintet aliases, 4-Hero, and the Daptones. But I also detect a softer and steadier groove-based take on Miles Davis' early fusion, as well as the jazzy lock grooves of Can, and the bubbling sounds and liquid chords of Herbie Hancock. An amazing release, the sound is so right on and right now. I was just born when these records were hitting the shelves, and I'm not sure what the reaction was then, but when I heard it at the store, I instantly loved it. Any fan of jazz, funk, fusion, grooves and the like, new or old, should pick this one up without hesitation. One of the best unexpectedly original and flawless funky reissues I've heard all year. [DG]








The Night Will Last Forever

"Attracted by Fire"

The import-only album from Dial co-chair Lawrence has finally arrived at Other Music! It's been hard to track down and even harder to fathom why this album was deemed "import-only" material when Lawrence's star seems like it's on the cusp of breaking through in these parts. The tracks sit nicely between the style of the debut collection of singles and the sophomore effort, Absence of Blight -- medium slow heavenly house with dreamy percolating melodies. And Lawrence's signature switch at the 3/4 mark of the track still manages to delight and surprise. I have to say that the first time I heard the single "Swap," I was blinded by the similarity in tone to previous Lawrence singles, but hearing the entire album made me realize that he's only getting better at integrating his sweet melodies, the classic minimal house feeling, and inventive structures. Excellent record! [SM]







Rain in the Leaves: The EPs Vol. 1

"Tyrd I Lawr I'r Ogof"
"Lan a Lawr (Up & Down)"

If you're a male singer-songwriter, the absolute curse of clutching an acoustic guitar is that you're destined to be the Bob Dylan of something. Loudon Wainwright was Dylan for the Blueblood set, Springsteen was Dylan for the blue collar crowd, Ryan Adams for the hipsters, and even Dylan's own son, Jakob, did his time as the "Bob Dylan" for people with day-jobs in advertising, who compulsively shopped at the GAP and saved VH1 as a favorite station. As ridiculous as all these titles imply, it seemed from the get-go that Europe's reigning cult folk mastermind, Meic Stevens, was destined to be the "Welsh Bob Dylan." Dude could've just spelled his name Mike, and have been done with it. But no. As much a political rabble-rouser as Dylan was/is (?), Meic Stevens was out to make a point. Unfortunately, his allegiance to singing in his native Welsh tongue eventually cost him an audience in the US, but naturally in Wales he's a hero. The word "cult" was made for this guy.

For a while now, the only recording of Stevens that people on these shores could sort-of easily track down was his outstanding '70s Warner Bros. album, Outlander. Thankfully, the folks at Sunbeam have put out this first volume of Stevens' most sought after, impossible to find early material entitled, Rain in the Leaves: The EPs Volume 1. The cuts collected here are from various EPs and work he did with Decca in the late-'60s -- most enticing to diehards will be the inclusion of MD1, an all Welsh language EP of cuts he recorded alongside the legendary Outlander stuff originally intended for its follow-up, before the project fell-through (MD2 will be included on Vol. 2). When listened to alongside Outlander, this collection reveals Meic to be a major figure in haunting psych-folk -- all blissfully stoned and finger-picked folk-lore. And much like Dylan, a true original. [HG]








(Kning Disk)

"Memoria in Memoriam"
"Joe's Harp"

Kning Disk have compiled seven of the most important works by Swedish composers and sound artists Folke Rabe and Jan Bark. You might know Rabe from the Dexter's Cigar reissue of his brilliant electronic drone What?? some years ago. "Bolos," the one collaborative piece on here, is a wild and rapturous wail of trombones and, in 1962, caused quite a ruckus, launching the pair onto the international scene. Rabe and Bark went on to study with Ligeti, and made some quite fancy friends in Terry Riley, Morton Subotnick, and Pauline Oliveros. Rabe's three compositions on Argh! display the wide variety of his oeuvre, with the chaotic pop art radio collage culled of the title-track to "To the Barbender," a 1982 piece he wrote as a birthday gift for John Cage, where Wagner's "Liebestod" shares the stage with the sounds of car wrecks and church bells. Jan Bark's three works shows an equally impressive range, from the mid-'60s samplework of "Ach Chamberlin" to, perhaps the most impressive of all the compositions on here, the minimal yet expansive "Memoria in Memoriam." Obviously Riley-inspired, it's a breathtaking opus for voice, cello, piano, organ and percussion that, despite being 17-minutes long, always appears to end too early. Some truly groundbreaking sounds compiled here, with extensive liner notes by Jim O'Rourke, which will appeal to fans of any of the aforementioned minimalist composers and contemporary sound sculptors such as Nurse with Wound, Hafler Trio, and Christoph Heemann. [AK]








"Life Is a Dream"
"Family of Man"

Thorinshield released one great and sadly forgotten psychedelic pop album in 1968. They had a distinctive Southern California sound that's reminiscent of the Millennium, Penny Arkade, Byrds, Turtles, Sunshine Company, Buffalo Springfield and Paul Williams' group, the Holy Mackerel. Thorinshield's self-titled album has lots of memorable songs and great string and horn arrangements by Perry Botkin, who worked with Harry Nilsson and Harpers Bizarre and wrote numerous film and television scores in the '70s and '80s. All three of the guys in the band were active in music before and after Thorinshield. The bass player had recorded with Donovan, the guitarist had been a member of the Everpresent Fullness, and the drummer went on to play with the Moon, a similar group whose albums were reissued on CD a couple of years back. This album has gotten kind of lost in the context of the whole late-'60s LA scene, but it's definitely more than just a footnote. [RH]









"Scars, Four Eyes"
"Sickles & Hammers"
"New King"

Sebadoh III rules. Their third proper album, and their first full-length that wasn't wholly made up of home-recorded, mail-exchanged 4-track tapes, III is an epic voyage through confessional lyrics, uncut-diamond quality pop gems and beauty found in chaos, at least as much as '90s indie rock could bring. All these elements were wrapped in such unfashionable qualities for the time -- folk texture; straight-forward, everyday confession and self-loathing with very little poetic gloss that came across as poetic anyway; nerd-noise; intentionally lo-fi recordings that breathed with intimacy and realness, not gimmickry -- that somehow displayed their inadequacies by way of sincerity and individuality. Self-described as "folk core," the DIY punk ethos was injected with 'sensitivity' and rewrapped in diary-entry 4-track recordings. The three-piece band of Lou Barlow, Eric Gaffney and Jason Loewenstein operated as an idealistically democratic unit, each band member writing and arranging their own songs, making for an album of wildly creative schizophrenia that tapped into ideas and perspectives that would reach far into the future of the indie rock idiom, and that still resonates today.

Released in 1991, around the same time as Nirvana's Nevermind and before Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted, III would later prove to inspire the minds of creative types in a different way than their peers; both their sound as well as their aesthetic would prove influential. While Nirvana and Pavement spawned many fly-by-night, blatant copycat bands, Sebadoh managed to project a spirit and approach, ultimately realized in III, in subtle ways beyond their unique poly-sound. Inclusion of the album's "Spoiled" in the outtro to Harmony Korine's '95 debut film Kids, plus him hiring Folk Implosion (Barlow's side project with John Davis) to write an original soundtrack for the film implies that it wasn't only Herzog's later films that influenced Korine toward an interest in raw spontaneity and appreciation for beauty in everyday absurdity.

On a lighter note: Besides the slew of horrible record covers influenced by Sebadoh's blurry family photo artwork (e.g. Nada Surf, Blind Melon's canary yellow ballerina, just like the one on the inside cover of III, etc.), they can also be credited for helping to usher in the whole wave of folk singer/songwriters that is still growing today. Consider that at the time of the release of III, the word folk was a four-letter word in more ways than one, yet they championed it wholeheartedly. It's also worth pointing out that their cover of Nick Drake's Pink Moon, first released on their mid-'90s EP Rocking the Forest, was many an indie rockers' first ever experience with the deceased, then obscure and out-of-print, loner/crooner.

Okay, enough back-history. The true charm of III would have to be the completely democratic, epic variety of songs. Smarting from the ego battles of Dinosaur Jr., it seems that, according to Lou Barlow, in Sebadoh, everyone's voice counted! III comes across as the thinking man's loner version of Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime gone folk-Ween God Ween Satan, plus an open-hearted, collaged love letter sentiment that didn't quite exist this way beforehand. In non-geezer indie rock speak, that means the record killed with some rollercoaster variety, killer songwriting that worked together as an engaging listen from track one to track 23. Along the way, III manages to tug at the heartstrings, make you laugh and widen your eyes with fear ("Blood on the Walls! Blood on the Walls!"). Context helps, but Sebadoh's third album is a true indie classic and I don't even need to get into this reissue's bonus CD with 18 tracks of singles, alternate takes and unreleased material. A list of probable subscribers: Deerhoof, Animal Collective, Adam Green (confirmed), Rusty Santos, Xiu Xiu, Dead C, Shadow Ring and so on. [SM]







Winter Women / Holy Ghost Language School

"Seventh Loop Highway"
"Ruth vs Rachel"

As the songwriting half of the Fiery Furnaces, Matthew Friedberger may have logged more time up in Michigan's Key Club Recording studio than anyone other than its own engineers, having done three full-lengths with the Furnaces there, and now this double-CD, played almost entirely solo. There's definitely a method to this madness, however, as Friedberger is fast becoming the go-to guy for spastic, hyper-melodic, tin-can orchestra pop. Strongly influenced by George Harrison, Todd Rundgren, and Jeff Lynne, Friedberger runs through sixteen kitchen-sink experimental pop tunes on Winter Women, and thirteen somewhat more obtuse numbers on Holy Ghost Language School. And while, to the casual onlooker, these records would sound like Gerald McBoing-Boing left to live inside the wreckage of Sebadoh III, there is definitely a method to Friedberger's madness, evident in the fragmented and beautiful melodies that fall from these songs. Not an easy listen, but like the Furnaces' latest, Bitter Tea, it will greatly reward those with the patience to sit with it and let its wild, weird charms unfold. [DM]







As Life Goes By
(Temporary Mu)


The minimal-synth/coldwave dam has broken and we're getting a flood of gems up in here! We reviewed Stratis' amazing Herzlos CD a while back and gushed over its Blade Runner/Vangelis/Chris and Cosey Futur-O vibe. (Flatteringly, they repaid the favor by unexpectedly adding our write-up to the liner notes of this, their new album of new material!). Records like this risk the danger of sounding mega out of touch, or embarrassingly forced or just plain bad. Fortunately with Stratis, their love of the analog-future sound has preserved their creative juices like a cryogenically preserved Walt Disney head. Mostly instrumental tracks, As Life Goes By revisits the Blade Runner-esque, cyber-urban vibe, this time with a tastefully amplified sense of propulsion. Now that more than 20 years have passed since the inception of Stratis, they have shifted into a sound that greatly resembles Chris and Cosey-influenced Detroit techno. There is a palpable atmosphere of urban decay and longing for a brighter future, reminiscent of the dark, searching feel of Suburban Knight and Juan Atkins, but again, with that added Yello/Vangelis floating, dark romantic feeling. It is both vintage (thanks to the masterfully played analog equipment) and future-focused -- a strange, effective combination only old-schoolers like Stratis can pull off. Fortunately, As Life Goes By isn't marred by any trance elements, because I'd rather imagine floating cop cars and taxi cabs in the rain than a buncha dudes in ties and dockers dancing on the weekend! Stratis is keeping it real! [SM]







Exodus into Unheard Rhythms
(Stones Throw)

"Beware" Feat. Cali Agents
"No Aire" Feat. Vast Aire

Continuing in his older brother's footsteps, Madlib that is, producer and rapper Oh No takes the vaults of Galt MacDermot for a new spin on Exodus into Unheard Rhythms. Here he uses MacDermot's classic and obscure collection of jazz, soul, and soundtrack funk as source material to create beats, loops and versions in the Cali hip-hop style. A host of guests from both coasts and in between stop by to spit a verse or two: Vast Aire, Posdnous, Buckshot, Wordsworth, AG, Murs, Frank N Dank, and basically the whole Stones Throw roster. If you're into reinterpretation albums and/or explorations in the sample roots of hip-hop, here ya go. [DG]







At King Tubby's

"Jah Show Them the Way"
"Babylon Leggo Jah Children"

This is an excellent collection of Dillinger sides that Bunny Lee produced in King Tubby's studio. Bunny Lee was the premier producer of many classic reggae rhythms of the '70s that were used by many popular deejays, like Dillinger at the time. This collection includes some of Dillingers' best and most loved tunes, like "Regular Girl" and "African Worldwide." Fans of U Roy, Big Youth and all '70s dub take note, this is classic material here. [DH]







In the Morning Twilight
(Knig Disk)

"In the Morning Twilight"
"(Excerpt) from 7 Books (I-II)"

It's no secret that guitarist Steffen Basho-Junghans is into the steel-string meditations of master Robbie Basho, but he's no mere copyist. This live disc, recorded one night in Sweden in July of 2005, shows him alternating between extended flights on 6- and 12-string guitar. Incredibly focused and intent (much like Basho was), Junghans conjures fantasias and flurries, the audience enrapt. The little sounds of a creaking chair only emphasize the intimacy of this sparkling set. [AB]







Fuzzy-Felt Folk
(Trunk Records)

"The Elf"
"Tiffany Glass"

Now here's a record for all you Andy Votel wannabes out there. Fuzzy-Felt Folk is a collection of twee-folk oddities off obscure children's records from the '60s and '70s. Whether this stuff is intentionally as trippy and psyched-out as it is, I don't know; however, I'll be damned if there aren't a half-dozen vocal snippets here that Edan could flip for his next album. Fuzzy-Felt Folk is a relative holy-grail for the "Puff the Magic Dragon" set, and there's even some "naive experimental psychedelia" and "soundtrack demos" for you novelty fiends out there. If anything, this comp proves conclusively that progress is indeed a myth, and that sh*t was, indeed, way cooler like three decades ago. Raffi, eat your heart out. [HG]








Brand new and super-limited 12" from Ratatat. "Wildcat" is the first release in a series of three limited singles featuring tracks from the upcoming album, Classics (which hits stores on August 22), along with exclusive b-sides and remixes. "Wildcat" picks up where the debut left off, with a delirious blend of electronic funk, rock guitars, and laid back hip-hop beats. Comes with an exclusive E*vax remix and in a pretty sweet gold embossed sleeve.










An addendum to the gorgeous Takk album, this EP features the previously available title track, plus three unreleased songs and videos for "Glosoli," "Hoppipolla," and "Saeglopur" in glorious hi-def. Well worth your time for both the hardcore fan and the casual listener, as the unreleased material turns out to be pretty great, if a little more subdued than what we're used to.







El Nino y el Sol
(Eighteenth Street Lounge)

"La Lucha Sigue"
"Look Sharp"

A collaboration between Martin Perna of Antibalas and Adrian Quesada of Grupo Fantasma, El Nino y el Sol blends funk, Afrobeat, Latin and hip-hop together for a journey that reaches all corners of the musical spectrum. Perfect for the end of summer, and maybe even more suitable for warming one up in the fall.







(Kning Disk)


Becoming quite the staple on the international improv scene, Swedish guitar player David Stackenas has worked with a host of different artists, including Mats Gustafsson, Evan Parker, and Ken Vandermark. A beautiful and hypnotizing 36-minute piece originally composed for an art installation, BOW was created using five acoustic guitars with fans attached to them, creating a vibrating, subtly shifting drone. Check out his record on Hapna while you're at it.







Port of Miami
(Def Jam)


Rick Ross finally drops his red-hot full-length! On the heels of the genius smash hit single, "Hustlin'," comes Port of Miami. An even mix of club jams and thug jams spread out over 19 tracks, Ross is pretty much always on point and his raspy baritone sets him apart from the many contenders. Oh yeah, Li'l Wayne, Jay-Z, and Young Jeezy' are on it too. Could prove to be one of the year's best.




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[AB] Adrian Burkholder
[DG] Daniel Givens
[HG] Hartley Goldstein
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[SM] Scott Mou

- all of us at Other Music

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