March 30, 2006  




Paulo Bagunça e a Tropa Maldita
Arthur Russell
The Knife
Jane Weaver
Major Stars
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Motorsoul Vol. 1 (Various)
Erkin Koray
Ghostface Killah
Rubinho e Mauro Assumpção


John Fahey
Donny Hathaway
Uw Owl
The Electric Ghosts (Daniel Johnston & Jack Medicine)
Aki Tsuyuko


MAR/APR Sun 26 Mon 27 Tues 28 Wed 29 Thurs 30 Fri 31 Sat 01


Other Music presents a pre-release party for Morrissey's upcoming album, Ringleader of the Tormentors, which hits store shelves next Tuesday, April 4th. Come by the Annex for an exclusive coupon to purchase the new album on CD for $11.99 and limited CD/DVD for $14.99 (redeemable for in-store purchase only). There will also be lots of giveaways and complimentary Newcastle beer while it lasts.

THE ANNEX: 152 Orchard St. (btw. Stanton & Rivington) NYC

TONIGHT! Thursday March, 30th
8:00 P.M. / No Cover

MAR/APR Sun 26 Mon 27 Tues 28 Wed 29 Thurs 30 Fri 31 Sat 01


Sun 02 Mon 03 Tues 04 Wed 05 Thurs 06 Fri 07 Sati 08


Tickets for the upcoming Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) and Steve Reid (Sun Ra) show on Sunday, April 2nd, are only available for purchase in person at Other Music. Extremely Limited!

Issue Project Room: 400 Carroll Street (btw. Bond and Nevins) Brooklyn
Sunday, April 2nd @ 5:00 P.M.
$10 Tickets (+ $1 handling)

WIN TICKETS! Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to Sunday's Keiran Hebden and Steve Reid show at the Issue Project Room, as well as one pair for each night of the duo's performance at the Mercury Lounge on Saturday, April 1st and Monday, April 3rd. To enter, e-mail Please leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached as well as the date of the show you'd prefer to see. Winners will be chosen by 4:00 P.M. Friday, March 31st.



Sun 02 Mon 03 Tues 04 Wed 05 Thurs 06 Fri 07 Sati 08


Other Music and XLR8R present the New York City edition of HEFTY's 10 Year Anniversary Celebration, this coming Tuesday at APT!

: ELIOT LIPP (Hefty Records)
DJ SETS: RYUICHI SAKAMOTO, JLE (Joshua Eustis from Telefon Tel Aviv, Hefty Records), PREFUSE 73, and JOHN HUGHES (Slicker, Hefty Records Label Owner)

APT: 419 W. 13th St. NYC
Tuesday, April 4th
No Cover / Open Bar from 9 to 10:00 P.M.








Paulo Bagunça e a Tropa Maldita

"Grinfa Louca"

Over the past year, there's certainly been no shortage of great unearthed and digitized Brazilian obscurities. Lula Cortes e Zé Ramalho, Satwa, Os Brazões, Alceu Valença & Geraldo Azevedo. Each of these artists is unique in their own way, giving us audible glimpses of an amazingly creative period of music in Brazil. But late last week, this CD reissue of Paulo Bagunça e a Tropa Maldita's very rare, self-titled LP from '74 came in and I haven't been so immediately taken by a Brazilian record since first hearing Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges' Clube de Esquina a few years back. Yes, that's high praise but it's certainly merited.

Coming out after the peak of the Tropicalia era, the blending of traditional and contemporary music styles was far from novel and by then an established genre known as MPB (Música Popular Brasileira), but Paulo Bagunça and his band's approach stands out from most of the touchstone records of the day. Within this diverse set of songs, you'll detect the influences of Latin and American funk, Afro-beat, rock and samba, with an even heavier emphasis on percussive elements than what is already prevalent in Brazilian music. The press lazily branded their music "electric pop," obviously a reference to the use of a synthesizer in one or two of the tracks; this was no less than a misnomer, as acoustic guitars and other real instruments take organic precedence. In spite of the striking horn and string arrangements by Laércio de Freitas, the recording feels raw and edgy, unconsciously symbiotic with the urgency of the lyrics; the liner notes compare the "strength of their words" to that of Dylan's. Even the band's name hints at something that's on the cusp of revolution; Bagunça means mess or confusion, while Tropa Maldita roughly translates to "cursed soldiers."

Bagunça's singing is actually reminiscent of Jorge Ben's, and like Ben, he often pushes his vocals to the breaking point and then reels it back with a breathy gulp of falsetto. In fact, on paper there are some similarities between this album and Ben's Africa Brazil, which would come out two years later, but Paula Bagunça e a Tropa Maldita's music has a more spontaneous, almost communal vibe. From the driving "Apelo" to the soaring, string-soaked ballad "Olhar Animal" which shares a similar yearning spirit as Nascimento's aforementioned Clube de Esquina, one does not need to speak Portuguese to understand the sweeping emotions that resonate from within this album. [GH]







First Thought Best Thought

"Instrumentals Volume 1"
"Tower of Meaning"

Just right for the changing of seasons, Audika offers another glimpse into the expansive world of Arthur Russell. First Thought Best Thought is a 2-CD collection of classical compositions, three of them previously unreleased. We begin with the 10-piece suite "Instrumentals Vol. 1" from 1975, recorded in NYC at the Kitchen where Russell was a musical director at the time. Joined by Rhys Chatham, Ernie Brooks and Peter Gordon, among others, subtle shifting layers of percussion, drums, bass, flute, clarinet, sax, keyboards, guitar and, of course, Russell's electric cello weave a hypnotic and structured play between improvisation and composition. "Instrumentals Vol. 2" combines pieces recorded in '77 and '78 at the Franklin St. Art Center as well as the Kitchen. Here he switches the lineup a bit, mainly removing two flutes, but much of the other instrumentation is kept intact.

On disc-two we find the restored gem "Tower of Meaning", a seven-piece suite recorded in '81 and conducted by Julius Eastman, a fellow outsider of the downtown-uptown minimalist scene. It's here where the rich orchestral beauty of Russell's compositions fully blooms. Stringed instruments caress, pull, merge and build into a fragile sandcastle of sound that's able to disappear at the slightest blow from the wind. Stark but never cold, warm and rich much like his contemporaries of the time (e.g. Cage, Eno and Chatham) yet with a certain sense of wonder that none of them tapped into. Also included are two unreleased pieces, "Reach One" and "Sketch for the Face of Helen," along with informative liner notes from Russell, Brooks and Audika's Steve Knutson. You've heard Russell's music for dance clubs, and for the lower-side, now hear his music for theater and small ensembles. Various selections were intended to be accompanied by film or movement (one piece was commissioned and then rejected by Robert Wilson). There's no doubt that Arthur Russell was ahead of his time, now the rest of us get chance to catch up. Minimal beauty never shined so deep. [DG]





Silent Shout
$21.99 CD


Deep Cuts
$19.99 CD


Silent Shout

"Silent Shout"

One of 2006's most anticipated releases is finally here. This Swedish brother-sister duo of Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson, always hidden behind masks, made waves with their first release Deep Cuts, which spawned the dancefloor hit "Heartbeats." (The song would also get an acoustic reworking by fellow countryman José González on his Veneer album.) Silent Shout is on another plane altogether. Their boy-girl heavily-processed voices mix with throbs and thuds to delirious effect. It's poppy, but distended and contorted by banks of digital effects that verge on the psychedelic and vertiginous. Lest you get too dizzy, there's a massive dancefloor foundation to it as well to keep it all grounded. "We Share Our Mother's Health" pongs between the tundra and the funhouse, chilly but with a hot and claustrophobic atmosphere as well. Well worth the wait. [AB]

Also available, Deep Cuts, which comes with a bonus DVD featuring the band's music videos.







Seven Day Smile

"Slow Song"
"In Summer"

Jane Weaver has been quite a diligent lady over the years, having cut her teeth in mid-'90s all-gal guitar pop troupe Kill Laura, fronting the criminally underrated Misty Dixon on Twisted Nerve, and partaking in ongoing collaborations with Badly Drawn Boy, Andy Votel, and Doves amongst many others. Doves are actually the musical backbone to this unsung little gem that's received a deserved dusting-off thanks to Cherry Red and their new imprint, Bird Records. Some moment in between all this engaging, busily bemusing creative progression Jane landed a record deal with New Order/Manchester iconoclast Rob Gretton, a dream latent that never actually manifested, as all her work went into a sort of indefinite limbo when Gretton passed. Quaint (in both senses), wispy, and bittersweet, evoking a haunting spirit of Americana, Weaver's debut effort Seven Day Smile is a curious rediscovered bijou--poising future-perfect amongst today's strand of femme-folkies and songbirds. Gorgeous vintage production and dissonant happy-sad lilt boasts a leftfield delicatesse not too far from the stylings of Mazzy Star, White Magic, and Nina Nastasia. This isn't your ordinary singer-songwriter album. [MT]








"Fake Date"

Many have called Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggars the finest psychedelic string-benders around. Whether with the Magic Hour (their "pop" band with Damon and Naomi), exploring the psych-folk-freakout in Crystallized Movements and Vermonster, or fully embracing the rock with Major Stars, the duo creates some of the most intense and cathartic noise this country has to offer, referencing Vertigo Records hard rock, Japanese noise, British folk and a bevy of sounds from the underground through their own dark filter. This latest version of the Major Stars kicks the pair to a new level, with the Luxurious Bags' Tom Leonard still rocking on third guitar, an almighty rhythm section of Dave Dougan and Casey Keenan, and newcomer Sandra Barrett taking over vocals from Rogers. Barrett's clear and powerful voice rides atop the maelstrom as she battles against the sludge angling to swallow her whole. Although the record is not as ballistic as their live onslaughts of the past year, how could I really expect my little home system to ape the sound of melting amplifiers and a blown P.A.? This record is a welcome f**k you to the many baby bands wasting our time with flavorless folk and half baked psych-outs, and can hold its own with the best of hard rock and psychedelia. 'Eavy, 'eavy s**t, if you know what I mean. [JM]








Show Your Bones

"Gold Lion"

Although the Yeah Yeah Yeah's new album begins with drummer Brian Chase mimicking the stomp-stomp-clap of Queen's "We Will Rock You," it's the four chugging chords from Nick Zinner's acoustic six-string which seem to announce that the group's follow-up to 2003's Fever to Tell isn't going to be same old, same old. "Gold Lion" doesn't in fact rock as much as it rolls, finally reaching its climax with a thick wall of distorted guitars and Karen O's earmark yelps. I can't help but think of psych-gothers Love and Rockets' "No New Tale to Tell" from 1987's Earth Sun Moon, a comparison that doesn't seem so off base and not only because both songs are built around a simple chord progression from an acoustic guitar. These two songs are also similar, both being the first singles off albums which marked parallel transitions for the trios, by replacing the expansive production for a sound and mood that's far more taut.

Produced with band friend Squeak E. Clean and mixed by Alan Moulder, it's fitting that the title of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's sophomore full-length implies something that's even more naked than naked itself. By showing their bones, the group has moved beyond the garage rock revival that they were often and inaccurately associated with. While there isn't anything quite as big and propulsive as "Y Control" to be found on this offering, tracks like "Cheated Hearts" (where Karen O sings the truer than true lyric, "Sometimes I think I'm bigger than the sound") and "Warrior" certainly deliver the heart-on-the-string sentiment of "Maps;" only here the blind "They don't love you like I love you" devotion has turned into the decisive yet reactionary feeling of self-empowerment that springs forth after finally accepting that your heart has been broken. Though Show Your Bones does mark a maturing of the band, I don't think old fans should be put off by this evolution. Tracks like "Honeybear," which at first seems to filter PJ Harvey's bluesy stomp through the lemon-hued art rock of Blonde Redhead, and the plodding groove of "Phenomena," where Karen O's Siouxsie Sioux growls are answered by some laser beam zaps supplied by Money Mark, are cut from the same cloth of what put the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the map, with Chase's tight, explosive drumming and Zinner's inimitable guitar work still as raucous as ever. [GH]








Motorsoul Vol. 1

"Bryzdota" Nik Reiff feat. Philip Kucharski
"You Never Know (Soulphiction Mix)" Dub in a Nutshell feat. Paul St. Hilaire

Dope, unexpected Detroit Beatdown-type s**t. Theo Parrish/Kenny Dixon-style rawness and soul embedded in a bit more polish and deep Detroit tech-feel with a soft crunk to it. Some new names that stood out to us: Manmade Science ft. J. Thrower, Phlegmatic, Rob Warren, Dub in a Nutshell (with Paul St. Hilaire a/k/a TIKIMAN!!). Also some known underground names like Danile Lui, the Mole, Soulphiction and Todd Sines. Satisfying jams. [SM]








Erkin Koray
(World Psychedelia)

"Nihansin Dideden"

O pioneers! A mere footnote in the encyclopedia of popular music in the Western world, Erkin Koray is the grandmaster of rock music in Turkey. He played what is regarded as the first rock 'n' roll concert in Turkey in 1957 and his 1962 single, "Bir Eylul Akgami," is the first Turkish rock record of any real significance.

Often listed as Koray's first album, this is actually a compilation of singles spanning from 1967-1972 and it displays the variety of his many styles. From the more traditional Turkish folk sounds to R&B rave-ups and psych burners, Koray is a master of marrying Eastern and Western styles and coming up with something entirely new. However, as he tears through one searing acid solo after another, and lays down nasty fuzzed-out riffs, what really sets the majority of these recordings aside is the incredible guitar playing. (Check the last track, "Dost Aci Soyler," which turns from acoustic ballad to electric facemelter on a dime!) Koray is often championed as the Turkish Hendrix, which is accurate skillwise but sells his legacy short as he is much more of a musical trailblazer than Hendrix ever was.

This reissue comes with eight bonus tracks and if the sounds don't get you hyped enough, you also get informative liners and some amazing photos (Erkin playing with kittens! Erkin playing guitar in the nude!). One of those rare "psychedelic classics" that actually live up to the name. When Baba Erkin's guitar speaks, you should listen. [AK]








(Def Jam/Island)

"The Champ"
"Whip You with a Strap"

Since 1996, Ghostface Killah (a/k/a Tony Starks) has been the most consistent member of the Wu-Tang Clan, the unlikely hero still keeping the Wu relevant after all these years. His lyrical prose is on par with any MC to ever lift the mic and he is a master storyteller that, in a way, can be compared to any of the great songwriters of our time. With 2004's brilliant Pretty Toney album, Ghostface switched it up and gave us an amazing record filled with straight soul samples; it was easily one of my favorite hip-hop albums of the past decade. Some diehards dismissed it though, hoping for another raw street album like 2002's Supreme Clientele.

Well, for all of you who were disappointed with Pretty Toney, Ghostface pulls out Fishscale and it is another masterpiece. The record features A-list producers like Pete Rock, Just Blaze, MF Doom and J-Dilla, and, as a first, the album does not contain one single RZA beat. Yes, that's right, not one. That's not to say that the Clan is not here this time around; Ghostface is reunited with his Wu brother Raekwon on several songs and their vocal interplay has never sounded better. He also brings back the whole Clan for "9 Milli Bros.", including a posthumous verse from ODB; it's not one of the album's best cuts but it's still great to hear them spittin' rhymes like it's 1993 all over again. Ghostface teams up with Just Blaze on "The Champ," and it is a beat rockin' jam not unlike 1996's "Daytona 500." But it's not all hard beats and street anthems; with "Whip You with a Strap," he takes it back to his true love of soul sampling and gives us a tale of him getting beat as a kid for misbehaving. As usual his rhymes are on point and his narration is so lucid that it doesn't take much imagination to picture his story.

In a just world, Ghostface would be building his rap empire like other hip-hop moguls. He would be buying Mike Tyson's mansion, launching a cut and sew clothing line and his videos would be number one on TRL. He is easily one of the top five MCs alive today and his songs deserve to be heard. Ghostface, you have done it again; Fishscale is, hands down, the hip-hop record of the year. Trust me, you need this! [JS]







Perfeitamente, Justamente Quando Cheguei

"A Montanha"
"Sozinho Não Estou"

The Mariposa label is hitting us pretty hard with these exceedingly strong Brazilian reissues, Valença/Azevedo and Quintal de Clorofila a couple of weeks ago and now the Paulo Bagunça, also reviewed this week, along with this great album from 1972 by Rubinho and Mauro Assumpção. Don't know too much about these guys apart from that they were from Rio, and that they look pretty nuts on the cover photo as they crawl naked out of a gigantic tree vagina! The album has a slightly different character from what I've come to expect from post-tropicalia Brazilian stuff; there's a heavy Jorge Ben influence taking place but combined with these great West Coast psychedelic guitar lines, like they've been listening to the Byrds or the Grateful Dead. It's a combination I've not heard before, and it works great. Apart from one or two pretty ballads the record is jamming and joyous, the perfect accompaniment to this gorgeous spring day and the ones to follow. [MK]







Selections by John Fahey & Blind Joe Death

A true-to-form vinyl-only reissue of the original recorded version of John Fahey's private-press Blind Joe Death. This is THE first version that Fahey later rerecorded as The Legend of Blind Joe Death for his Takoma label, and it's a bit rawer. It's as unlikely and at least as special, if not more, than the reissue of Marclay's Record Without a Cover, and cheaper too. This is the one that Fahey had pressed up all by himself and planted in thrift shops so people would think that they happened upon an undiscovered Skip James-type ("Wigga Please!"). Easily described as the original version of one of his all time best albums. [SM]







(Warners Germany)

"Little Ghetto Boy"
"You've Got a Friend"

No need to mince words here: this stands next to Curtis Mayfield's Curtis/Live! as the greatest soul/R&B concert recording of the '70s. Coincidentally, both albums were recorded at the Bitter End in NYC (Donny's splits the difference with the Troubador in Hollywood), both artists made their names in Chicago, and both albums capture the band and audience connecting in that sort of magical, you-had-to-be-there moment. The late Donny Hathaway didn't have very many albums to his credit (his greatest successes were in collaboration with Roberta Flack), but the ones that did make it out resonate with a depth none of his peers could muster without drawing from pity, pride, or plaintiveness; his voice held loneliness and warmth in equal measure, a duality which crossed over to all the music he touched.

Digging into a short, powerful set, Hathaway reveals his passion for social justice and cultural equality ("Little Ghetto Boy," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," fresh off the charts) almost as a façade for his crying-on-the-inside blues ballad turns, as evidenced on the aching bruise of "We're Still Friends" and the rousing, audience-led rendition of "You've Got a Friend." Then there's John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," which Hathaway reinvents with barrel-house piano trills, a stonky two-beat rhythm, and his soaring vocals, shot through with lament and torment but clear of conscience, eclipsing the mopey original into a full-blown confessional. I don't know that a better cover version of any song has ever been rendered; it's beyond compare or criticism, finding meaning in an existing work that wasn't there previously and warrants purchase of this album alone. So impressed were Rod Stewart and the Faces by this number that they incorporated Hathaway's arrangement into their live set, and onto their 2004 box set. Haven't even gotten to the two extended numbers but both "The Ghetto" and "Voices Inside (Everything is Everything)" climb past the 12-minute mark, unwrapping in glorious, long, even strokes, with brilliant, in-the-groove soloing on behalf of all the sidemen (guitarists Phil Upchurch and Cornell Dupree, Willie Weeks on bass, Earl DeRouen on congas). The sort of album that stays with you long after it ends, an unabashed classic. [DM]







Thorn Elemental

UW OWL, who we first heard on U.U.A.R.'s They Keep Me Smiling compilation from 2004, have released their debut, private-press LP. The sound is akin to a recent Black Dice (but less chaotic, thick and subterranean) meets digital Throbbing Gristle: dark, medium hard, raw electronics with a focus on the mammoth-throb. LP only, with hand letter-pressed, die-cut covers by Jonas Asher, thick vinyl and limited to a pressing of 333 (to make it half satanic)! [SM]







Electric Ghosts

"Sweetheart (Frito Lay)"
"Row Boat (Fruit Loops)"

Daniel Johnston, in typical anti-careerist fashion, chose the eve of the theatrical release of a major documentary on his life and the midst of a major upswing in his career as a visual artist to release this odd little record (rather than a definitive career collection, although several fine reissues of his early works and an excellent tribute and compilation are now all available). What we get is a nicely recorded (with Kramer production!) album of collaborations with longtime tour manager and talented singer/songwriter Jack Medicine. Daniel is listed as the songwriter or co-songwriter on most all of these tracks, but only about half of them seem like full-fledged Johnston originals, as Medicine wrote some lyrics and takes the mic on a few. The Johnston-led tracks contain a few gems, the band and production nicely compliment his songs, and Medicine is not half bad either, with a fine '60s rock aesthetic reminiscent of early Donovan. [JM]





Book w/CD


(Thrill Jockey)

"Owlet Hymn"
"Bud of a Song"

Those with eagle ears will no doubt recall Aki Tsuyuko's childlike voice on Nobukazu Takemura's Child's View discs but they may not know that a few years ago, she released a lovely nap-time album of wandering keyboard melodies on Jim O'Rourke's Moikai label. Some six years on, she returns with more effervescent lullabies encased in a hardbound book. Each song has the musical staffs drawn inside along with crayon sketches and other dreamy shapes. Play along with her or else lay back and drift away with these naif, nap-worthy new tracks. [AB]




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[AB] Adrian Burkholder
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[MK] Michael Klausman
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[SM] Scott Mou
[JS] Jeremy Sponder
[MT] Mahssa Taghinia

- all of us at Other Music

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