May 11, 2006  




Gnarls Barkley
White Flight
Kawabata Makoto
Robin Scott
The Story
Black Heart Procession
Hackamore Brick
Pan American
The Stills


The Raconteurs (CD & 7" singles)
M.S. Waldron, Steven Stapleton, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Jim Haynes, and R.K. Faulhaber

Art Brut


MAY Sun 07 Mon 08 Tues 09 Wed 10 Thurs 11 Fri 12 Sat 13

DJ Dusk
Celebrate the life of DJ Dusk (spear-header of the legendary Root Down parties), whose recent sudden passing came as a shock to the hip-hop community. This show was planned months in advance by Dusk, and now it has taken on an entirely new meaning, with 100% of the proceeds going to his family in this time of need. So come on down to Table 50 tonight, and make some noise for Dusk!!

Featuring: Afrika Bambaataa | Kool DJ Herc | Jazzy Jay | DJ Spinna | Rich Medina | Ge-ology | Eli Escobar | DJ Center

TABLE 50: 643 Broadway @ Bleecker NYC
Thursday, May 11 - $15 at the door 9 4 A.M.

Further inquiries, e-mail:

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


Jason will be stopping by Other Music to perform an intimate set, which will include new songs taken from Grandaddy's brand new album, Just Like the Fambly Cat.

May 17th @ 8:00 P.M.

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

MAY Sun 21 Mon 22 Tues 23 Wed 24 Thurs 25 Fri 26 Sat 27


Known for his releases on Berlin's Bpitch label, Modeselektor will be breaking in the turntables with a set of his trademark neo-industrial chunk-funk (think Bpitch-style techno with a Kraftwerkian krunk thrown in for good measure). Opening DJ sets by the Novay's Kevin McHugh and Other Music's Scott Mou. Open Boru Vodka from 9 to 10 P.M.

APT: 419 W. 13th Street. NYC
Tuesday, May 23rd - Tickets $9 (available at Other Music)

Thursday, June 1st @ APT - $9 Tickets (available at Other Music)

JUN Sun 04 Mon 05 Tues 06 Wed 07 Thurs 08 Fri 09 Sat 10


Following Rev-Ola's recent reissue of his 1969 Baroque-pop masterpiece The Nightmare Of J. B. Stanislas, singer-songwriter Nick Garrie will be making a rare New York City appearance, performing in-store at Other Music.

June 5th @ 8:00 P.M.

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







St. Elsewhere

"Just a Thought"
"Who Cares?"

I don't think anyone saw this one coming, but here it is. The warped minds of producer Danger Mouse and exuberant vocalist Cee-Lo have transformed themselves into something called Gnarls Barkley (possibly the silliest name in pop). Having already paved the way for this current adventure by providing the backbeat for a host of talented front men (Damon Albarn, Jemini, MF Doom, and Jay-Z), Danger Mouse is at his most innovative and ambitious here, partnered with gospel rapper, and former member of Goodie Mob, Cee-Lo Green. St. Elsewhere is a staggering bounce-and-shake journey into the future of hip-pop, and is like no album before. Think neon Hollywood meets the red soiled Dirty South; pop references abound, not to mention the kitsch-en sink. It's perfect (pop) campiness to say the least, but it really works! Cee-Lo mostly sings, but he also screams, shouts, raps and struts, unleashing an uninhibited yet controlled freshness only hinted at on either of his solo albums--check the slo-n-lo "The Boogie Monster." Dark themes of sexy suicides and schizophrenia ("Just A Thought", "Necromancer") stand next to cyber-gospel ("Go-Go Gadget Gospel", "Transformer"), with some blues-soul influences ("Online, "St. Elsewhere", "Who Cares", "Last Time"), a heaping of crunchy rock ("Crazy", "Storm Coming" and a cover of the Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone"), along with a few sparkling hip-hop tracks ("Feng Shui"). Purposely eccentric, electric, elastic, and energetic. No guest appearances and no band photos (although the press photos of G.B. mocking Wayne's World, A Clockwork Orange, and Napoleon Dynamite are worth seeking out), St. Elsewhere is definitely the most accessibly oddball and fun pop record you've heard this century. Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo go where few have gone and it's well worth the price of the ticket; every track is a little sonic bomb about to explode. If you thought Outkasts' "Hey Ya" was the beginning of a shift in urban music, then this is the next logical step. Fans of the Gorillaz, Andre 3000, or simply genre-bending/redefining music should take note. For better or worse, guaranteed to blow your mind. [DG]







White Flight
(Range Life)

"Pastora Divine"

From what I understand, the artist who goes by the moniker White Flight served time in a moderately successful yet somewhat marginal indie rock band for a good portion of his teens and early twenties. Apparently, some sort of personal or spiritual distraction set the young artist off on a quest for greater fulfillment and his journey found its culmination in a life altering ayahuasca trip administered by a shaman amidst the ancient ruins found in Peru. He returned to his hometown and his friends were astonished at both the outward and inward changes that had obviously manifested themselves over his person. At home, and creatively rejuvenated, he made an album that boldly broke with nearly all aspects of his previous work, far surpassing it in both inspiration and conception.

Now the tale I just related was mostly gleaned from secondhand accounts, so I don't really know the extenuating circumstances; however, the story is familiar enough in the annals of pop music and art to make it ring true, whether it be a Barrett, Gauguin, or a cult act like Maitreya Kali. The only thing I can relate for sure is the fact that he's made a great album, an ambitiously dense sonic song-collage that bears comparison to as diverse a group of artists as Animal Collective, TV on the Radio, Little Wings, and even Outkast (!), without really sounding like any of them. Like those artists, the experimentation is generally in service to the song, with layers of horns, old ethnic 78rpm samples, and outdoor field recordings making a frame for the introduction of cyclical beats and multi-tracked vocals. It's a pretty intense look into a person's headspace, but somewhat remarkably the mood rarely verges on the claustrophobic. If anything, it's generally pretty buoyant, with pop moves that wouldn't sound out of place on a Wolf Parade or Clap Your Hands record and which aren't afraid to wander into some pretty esoteric corners. Last I heard the artist was rambling around somewhere in Mexico and busking for travel money, let's hope he makes it back for the forthcoming adulation. [MK]







(Secretly Canadian)

"Ship the Majestic Suffix"
"Did I Step on Your Trumpet"

I'll never forget the first time I saw the Danielson Family play live. It was here at the shop, right around the release of their debut album, where they performed their first ever show in Manhattan some 10 years ago. The whole family was driven into the City from suburban New Jersey by their doting parents, and they left the full house of hipster heads slack-jawed and truly wowed. College-age Daniel Smith was the songwriter and bandleader, accompanied by his two young brothers on drums and percussion and his teenage sisters handling background vocals--his siblings all clad in medic and nurse uniforms. This setup, combined with their oddball Christian lyric imagery and trippy indie pop sound, was truly mind-blowing.

In the interim, Smith has released records and performed around the world with several "distinct" versions of the group, solo, in a more traditional rock-band format, and of course with the family, as well as other collaborations, including producing much of Serena-Maneesh's debut and Seven Swans for Sufjan Stevens. Ships seems to merge all incarnations, rocking out, freaking out, and inviting the now much extended family on board (the original five family members plus longtime collaborator Chris Palladino all perform, plus four of the original group's husbands and wives, parents, cousins, kids…the Family is growing). The sound has grown too, maintaining its carefree childlike approach while adding new levels of orchestration. Comparisons to this true original are complicated, but for a start think Shaggs/Pixies/Animal Collective/Akron Family/Langley School, and you will have a rough idea where we are. Original, thrilling, disturbing, and much more. [JM]







Inui 1


Like Jellyfish Rising, this reissue of Makoto's Inui 1 is an exercise in meditation. A full-length album made up of three long, intermingled tracks, housed in a nicely screened cardboard jacket. The atmosphere is cloudy, heavenly, peaceful and pretty. Track one ("Shin") opens with the ritualistic buzz of a sitar, bowed so that it produces a constant hum which is eventually joined by a slow blast of violin and oud. Ten short minutes later, an echoing voice (courtesy of French film maker and musician Audrey Ginestet) that's reminiscent of a cosmic Benedictine monk weaves its way into the clouds of sound. By the second track, "Tai," the voice is soaring slowly through guitar plucks and the swelling electric sitar buzz which transitions into a higher pitched buzz that remains soothing nonetheless. Sixteen minutes into "Son," the third and final song, the voice returns and brings the album to a soft, three-point landing. Constantly placid. [SM]








Woman from the Warm Grass

"Song of the Sun"
"Tattooed Lady"

Believe it or not, in the late-'70s, the man behind this little-known British folk-rock gem produced sessions for Adam & the Ants and the Slits, and accidentally stumbled into fame with his group M's massive 1979 hit "Pop Muzik." Robin Scott's career began over a decade earlier when Sandy Robertson--manager of Steeleye Span, Keith Christmas and Shelagh McDonald, among others--heard him play on John Peel's radio show (the bonus track on this reissue is taken from a later Peel session). Robertson took Scott under his wing and arranged for him to record his songs with Mighty Baby, formerly known as the Action, serving as the backing band. In spite of the hastily arranged partnership, the album turned out marvelously; Scott hypothesizes that Mighty Baby must have been "either very intuitive or very high." As the case always seems to have been with this type of record, Woman from the Warm Grass was released by a small label which went out of business shortly thereafter, relegating the album to decades of obscurity in spite of a positive response from the critics. Do you like John Martyn, Marc Brierley or Roy Harper? If so, you'll no doubt want to pick up this CD. [RH]








Tale Spin

"The Story"

In the midst of Sunbeam's deluge of quality psych-folk reissues comes a brand new album by the Story, a duo of Martin Welham (leader of late-'60s/early-'70s folksters Forest) and his son, Tom. There may not be any other groups around in this vein with a parental lineage connecting its members, and it's definitely something you don't hear every day in any case, especially in a relevant niche like this. The two play plaintive, exquisite, light folk-pop with a lifespan that extends from Martin's heyday through early-'80s psychedelia, studio works like the Lightning Seeds and the less foreboding side of the 4AD roster, and even the gentler side of the '90s Britpop explosion. The Story offers up a warm and welcoming sound, largely unadorned by technology, allowing the crisp brightness of the acoustic guitars and airy vocal harmonies of both father and son. Those of you digging on Espers and Devendra Banhart will find much to like here, but moreover, Tale Spin is an ideal release for those just coming into the psych-folk oeuvre; this is pop music, first and foremost, and an extremely accessible, inviting example at that. [DM]








The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast

"Semen Song for James Bidgood"
"Rag for William S. Burroughs"

The San Francisco-based dynamic duo of M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, better known as Matmos, has been pushing the micro genre for the better part of a decade now. By splicing and dicing found sound samples into completely unrecognizable fragments, they rearrange the parts into jittery, wobbly rhythms for your head and your booty. On The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast, they have decided to make it an ode to their influences which are as diverse and varied as the music they've constructed to honor them. From Larry Levan to Joe Meek, Valerie Solanas to Ludwig Wittgenstein, and William S. Burroughs to King Ludwig II of Bavaria, each track is a bizarre, customized tribute. But why stop there? They've also enlisted an equally diverse list of contributing vocalists and instrumentalists, including Antony, the Kronos Quartet, Bjork, Don Bolles, among others. From the onset you know this is going to be an interesting ride--from the herky-jerky disco of "Steam and Sequins for Larry Levan," to the lurid sexual undertones of slowed-down orgasms and off-kilter piano lines in "Public Sex for Boyd McDonald." Antony guests on "Semen Song for James Bidgood," where a lush fabric of bowed and plucked strings support his delicate spoken lyrics. And on "Solo Buttons for Joe Meek," urgent splashes of paranoid drums and odd guitar solo stabs make me think of surf guitar jams gone off the deep end. At hardly any point on this album does one minute resemble another, as everything is in constant state of flux. Call it micro-detailing. [GA]








Just Like the Fambly Cat

"Jeez Louise"
"Rear View Mirror"

Indeed, just like the fambly cat. Wildly underappreciated, unduly criticized, criminally taken for granted, but loved too. Yes, loved. I loved Grandaddy if only 'cause they stood for everything "Indie-Rock" seemed to be all about in the first place--five perfectly average dudes who haven't quit their day jobs or given up on wearing flannel shirts, living the dream, escaping the mundanity of the suburban sprawl by knocking out power-chord driven pop songs off in a garage somewhere with an army of two dollar guitars, and even cheaper analogue keyboards to boot. A peoples' band, doomed by their own façade of "look, you can do this too"-ness. Because like most proletariat bands, regardless of image, Grandaddy were anything but average. You could not do this too. Grandaddy's ingenious blend of power-pop and fractured anthemic post-rock was so subtly great that even when their jams broke off into egregious faux-metal riffage or autumnal ballads about robots, it never read as cloying. Equal parts tauntingly ironic, and dead serious, they're the only band I know of that could title a tearjerker, "Jed the Humanoid," and get away with it. Of course, they were from middle of nowhere, Modesto, CA. Where else would a band like this be from!?

Grandaddy's chief songwriter/frontman/resident genius, Jason Lytle, is more responsible than anyone else for the group's consistent brilliance; and this imbalance of power may be directly to blame for the band's decision to call it quits on the eve of the release of their fifth and greatest opus, Just Like The Fambly Cat. Furthermore, I'm sure the Honda commercial in heavy rotation now featuring the group's song "Nature Anthem," is not really helping to settle old scores, even if it is helping to sell some foreign cars to the drama nerds and art-school demo. The liner notes of Fambly Cat proclaim that the record was written and produced by Lytle, and when you take into account the fact that he plays on it too, and then add into the balance the fact that the record features some of the most personal and suspiciously auto-biographical accounts of new beginnings and dreams deferred in its lyrics, Cat starts to sound suspiciously like a Jason Lytle solo joint. W'ever.

Regardless of how you approach Cat, it's still remarkable. The opener, "Jeez Louise" is the band's best honest-to-god take-no-s**t rocker, and it goes for the jugular. They may be over and done, but they're gonna make a racket on the way out. Good for them. From that point on you get pogo-inducing experiments in swirling keyboard loops ("Skateboarding Saves Me Twice"), flanger-pedal stained acoustic-guitar driven laments ("Rear View Mirror," "Summer…It's Gone"), and more. Just like the fambly cat, they will be missed. [HG]







Bestio Tergum Degero

"Calais to Dover"
"Bestio Tergum Degero Pt. 1"

A limited live CD intended for peddling on Pelt's 2006 European tour. The first part, an extended 20-minute reworking of Jack Rose's "Calais to Dover," has Jack conjuring up some serious 12-string magic while the rest of the band sheath his wizardry with fiddle, harmonium and sruti, achieving a state of prolonged bliss absent from the original. The second half, the three-part "Bestio Tergum Degero," sees the band switch to gongs and Tibetan bowls, and opting for a quieter, Zen-like drone...until the very end when Pelt unleash all their fury in a rapturous gong assault. The foundation has been shaken once again. It's becoming a habit of theirs. [AK]










The Spell
(Touch & Go)


Since their very beginning, Black Heart Procession records have always played like the brooding scores to vintage, nail-biting movie thrillers. So it's probably no coincidence that 2002's Latin-flavored Amore Del Tropico was actually a soundtrack of sorts to a murder mystery the group had penned, which would be fully realized two years later in the feature length DVD, Tropics of Love. Their first proper full-length since, The Spell finds the band scaling back the grandiose arrangements of Amore, while still remaining grand in theatrical scope. That's not to insinuate that Black Heart Procession have gone back to the stripped-down approach of their earlier records. Founding members Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel have once again enlisted drummer Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse) and violinist Matt Resovich (The Album Leaf)--both played on Amore--and also drafted Album Leaf bassist Jimmy LaValle into the permanent line-up. The resulting record is just as disturbing as you'd expect from Black Heart Procession, with ominous feelings of paranoia and delusion lurking in every dark corner. The centerpiece of the music is still Jenkins' sinewy swagger who, in "GPS," delivers Orwell-inspired observations like "All our fears are fed / all our thoughts are read" over a funeral pyre backdrop of swirling organs and nervous guitars. Throughout the album, Nathaniel's ghostly piano and spooky accoutrements, such as the singing saw, transport the listener back to another time and place: perhaps an old cabaret, where the lingering hopes of the brokenhearted are simultaneously united and dimmed by a cloud of cigarette smoke wafting across the room. That the spell cast from these bleak emotions perfectly echoes the scary uncertainty of the early-21st century, Black Heart Procession have never felt as foreboding. [GH]








One Kiss Leads to Another
(Mr. Nobody)

"Zip Gun Woman"

The Kama Sutra label was a hit factory for the Lovin' Spoonful until they became the sister label to Buddah Records, when a streak of non-commercial experimentalism relegated most of its output far away from the charts. Labelmates to awesomely cement-headed Brooklyn hard rock trio Dust, Michael Brown's post-Left Banke combo Stories, and a rocked-out and revitalized Flamin' Groovies, Williamsburg, Brooklyn's Hackamore Brick signed to the label and issued one album and a 45 in 1971 before vanishing into the cut-out bins. Whatever the public was looking for at the time, Hackamore Brick could not puzzle out. What they did manage to do, however, is become the first band to cite the Velvet Underground as a significant influence--members of the group were said to have chaired the Venus in Furs Society, the official VU fan club, while the band was still active--and, moreover, bridge their late-'60s Factory double-time chug with the searing, involved six-string search of Television and the Patti Smith Group in the mid-'70s, despite having only surface connections to either. (One could link Lenny Kaye to working with another Kama Sutra artist, Andy Zwerling, in this era, and both Zwerling and the Brick sharing Richard Robinson as a producer). If for no other reason, Hackamore Brick are a crucial band by virtue of the development of these sounds between generations and scenes.

But the record, man! Over the years, this thing has grown on me like no others of its kind or time. With the aforementioned VU influence in place, Hackamore Brick sought to burnish that group's amphetamine drone into a more accessible pop-rock framework, but instead added more touches of originality than could be expected, energized by warmth, struggle, and loss, and to say they accomplished this is an understatement. The guitar playing that became synonymous with Television is there right off the bat with "Reachin'," a heart-rending ballad that questions the ongoing battles in Vietnam with that of personal character, wondering if there was a man who could really brave the war and return spiritually intact. They chug along with Loaded intensity on the groovers "I Won't Be Around" and "Oh! Those Sweet Bananas," then double-back to an even greater height on "I Watched You Rhumba," and when that organ kicks in you won't be able to keep from nodding your head. Ever the classicists, their "Radio" is a love song to the medium--and simultaneously a dead girlfriend ballad, the albatross of early-'60s doe-eyed pop (see J. Frank Wilson's "Last Kiss"). They cap the album off with "Zip Gun Woman," proto-punk that eclipses a similar sound the Modern Lovers would mine by a few years. Also included in this reissue is the impossible-to-find "Searchin'," a Jimmy Webb tune that only appeared as the B-side to the "Radio" single; this is as complete a picture of the band as has ever been made available.

It'll either click with you or it won't, but those who dig Hackamore Brick will be singing their praises for years to come. I've owned a copy of the original for about four years, and rarely does it get filed back on the shelf. Out of all the "lost" albums out there vying for your attention, this one is definitely more worth the chance than a lot of others. It has a strangely satisfying common touch and is executed so effortlessly, it'll sound like something you've been familiar with for a long time. [DM]








For Waiting, For Chasing

"From Here"
"Love Song"

Pan American (Mark Nelson of Labradford) has been exploring minimal ambience for a while now, delving into post-rock dub and pastoral clicks and cuts over the course of more albums than most "pop ambient"-style artists have ever released. For Waiting, For Chasing features the introduction of more shifting texture and personalized sounds, and they are in greater variety here than on previous Pan American releases. Imagine an American producer reshaping the aural elements of Vladislav Delay's more stripped down work (without the overt references to dub reggae, and with more diversity in sound) into something that kind of comes across like a minimal Susumu Yokota. It's all much more personal, moody and soothing than intellectual and/or clinical. [SM]










Without Feathers

"It Takes Time"

Expectations be damned. And here I thought Montreal's like 12th best band would follow up their solid Cure/Echo and the Bunnymen/Interpol-influenced debut, Logic Will Break Your Heart, with another dark pop album that sounded like, well, Joy Division or (insert troubled genius '80s band name here). It might've been better than their debut or it might've been worse, but it sure as hell would not have sounded like Neil Young. Thing is, the only thing the world needs more than a new president is less bands pulling inspiration from the '80s--I think it's time for everyone to just move on. In recent years, the soundscape of the '80s has been raped and pillaged for all it's worth and there's not even a fluorescent-polka-dotted slap-bracelet's worth of creative energy to be uncovered there for the time being. Luckily, the fellas in the Stills realized this fact, and what Without Feathers lacks in making it one of the best albums of the year, it'll certainly be remembered as the best band reinvention. And, really, who doesn't like a good makeover? It's not only that a track like "In the Beginning" isn't even written in a minor key, but, hell, it also features chugging, bluesy Fender guitars and dare I say it, Hammond organ swells and rag-tag saloon piano too. If a song could manage in sounding like The Kinks and Coldplay, "In the Beginning" achieves it. And yet, even when these guys kick off their cowboy boots as they do on a cut like "Baby Blues" (a duet with Metric frontwoman/Broken Social Scene hottie, Emily Haines), they still sound more invigorated than the morose album art hints at. Hell, The Band were from Canada. Neil Young too. [HG]












Steady, As She Goes

"Steady, As She Goes"

Get 'em while they're hot! We've got a couple of different versions and formats of the first single from this year's most talked about super-groups, the Raconteurs (featuring the White Stripes' Jack White and Brendan Benson). The CD-single features "Steady, As She Goes" and "Bane Rendition." The B version of the seven-inch also includes "Steady, As She Goes," but here it's backed with "Store Bought Bones." The C version of the seven-inch features an acoustic version of "Steady, As She Goes" with "Call It a Day" on the flip side. Heck, don't over-think it, just buy all three!

The soundfile above of "Steady, As She Goes" is the version which appears on the CD-single and the "B" seven-inch.








The Sleeping Moustache
(Helen Scarsdale Agency)

"A Bottomless Black Eye"

Unsettling, yet imminently listenable, new tape work from a quintet that features M.S. Waldron of of irr. app. (ext.), Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson of Stillupstepya, and Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound. Hard to say who contributes what here, but the sum does seem to be equaling the parts, as the results frequently match the finest work of the aforementioned artists.








Bang Bang Rock & Roll
(Banana/Fierce Panda)

"Good Weekend"
"Bad Weekend"

At last, a domestic pressing and a new low price for Art Brut's debut full-length. Here's what we wrote last summer about the album when we first got it in as an import:

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




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[GA] Geoff Albores
[DG] Daniel Givens
[HG] Hartley Goldstein
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[MK] Michael Klausman
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[SM] Scott Mou

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