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   April 30, 2008  

Other Music is looking for a couple of summer interns who can help us grow our MP3 Download Web Store. Must be computer savvy and own a MacBook or MacBook Pro, with strong writing skills and, of course, a passion for music. We're looking for about 15 hours of work per week (some of this can be done from your home) in exchange for employee perks like discounts on your music purchases at the shop and concert guest lists, and college credit if approved through a school program. Please contact gerald@othermusic.com for more information.

Also, our friends at Digforfire.tv (the producers of the Live at Other Music film series) have an intern position open. Budding filmmakers with a passion for music should apply. Contact: info@digforfire.tv

Nigeria Rock Special (Various)
African Scream Contest (Various)
Jamie Lidell
Xeno & Oaklander
Xeno & Staccato
Tickley Feather
The Roots

Frightened Rabbit
Dillard and Clark


Kid Creole
Kid Sister

Dizzee Rascal

All of this week's new arrivals.


Indie rock's favorite husband and wife duo Mates of State have a new album coming out on Barsuk Records on Tuesday, May 20th, and will be celebrating the release the following night with a secret show in New York City on May 21st! Starting today, the first 25 people who come into Other Music and pre-order the CD, Rearrange Us, will also get a pair of guest passes to the concert. (In-store customers orders only, sorry no web pre-orders.) Don't miss out!

MAY Sun 27 Mon 28 Tues 29 Wed 30 May 01 Fri 02 Sat 03

Staten Island soul merchants, the Budos Band will be performing tomorrow night (Thursday, May 1) at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The eleven-piece ensemble are sure to keep the audience grooving from start to finish with their raw, Afro-psychedelic-funk sound. Other Music has two pairs of tickets up for grabs, so enter right now by emailing contest@othermusic.com! The winners will be notified via email tomorrow morning, Thursday, May 1st. Good luck!

MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG: 66 North Sixth Street Williamsburg, Brooklyn

MAY Sun 27 Mon 28 Tues 29 Wed 30 May 01 Fri 02 Sat 03

Duane keeps his monthly Tha Get Up! party rolling with another amazing guest...Dam-Funk. You may know Dam-Funk from his remix of Baron Zen's "Burn Rubber" and his debut solo joint "Sidewayz" both out on Stones Throw, but he also throws one of the freshest Monday night parties in L.A. called FUNKMOSPHERE which focuses on rare joints from the early-'80s based boogie/funk, modern-soul, & "current" modern-funk sub genres respectfully. Dam is now currently recording his debut EP for Stones Throw Records with full support from Peanut Butter Wolf which promises to be the "modern-funk" project everyone's been waiting for to emerge from the left coast. We've got two pairs of tickets to give away to the night. To enter, send an email to tickets@othermusic.com.

APT: 419 West 13th Street NYC

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

Peter Walker

NYC's Tompkins Square label will celebrate the release of Imaginational Anthem Vol. 3, and the first album in 40 years by '60s guitar master Peter Walker with an in-store at Other Music on Wednesday, May 7th. Performing will be George Stavis, who recorded the infamous 1969 psychedelic 5-string banjo album Labyrinths on Vanguard Records, and Peter Walker, whose new album Echo of My Soul will be released on Tompkins Square on May 6th. Walker recorded two albums for Vanguard in the late '60s, during which time he was also Dr. Timothy Leary's "musical director".

OTHER MUSIC: 15 East 4th Street NYC

: A reading and lecture from highly influential minimalist composer and experimental filmmaker Tony Conrad and Branden Joseph, the author of Beyond the Dream Syndicate.








"Machine Gun"
"Magic Doors"

Let me start by saying that I cannot name another band or artist that can return after an 11-year hiatus with an album so truly amazing and relevant. It's been a long, long wait, but Portishead's Third is a beautiful, dark masterpiece that sheds the "trip hop" tag altogether. An album whose influences are vast and wide, on this journey Beth Gibbons, Adrian Utley and Geoff Barrow take us through an aural experience primarily influenced by Krautrock, psychedelia, and industrial music. "Silence" opens the record with a Can-like drumbeat, creepy synths, and brooding guitar lines...until it all goes silent. And then, there it is, Gibbons' vocals -- just as haunting and beautiful as ever. It's an amazing way to start an album and it only seems to get better. "Magic Doors" has one of the best drum breaks that I have heard in years, a truly offbeat Krautrock rhythm that is followed by some haunting keys and a warped bassline. It is a track that is both beautiful and slightly off kilter, and one that I keep going back to. "Machine Gun" is reminiscent of an early Cabaret Voltaire cut and it's the record's closest thing to a single. "Hunter" could be a lost track from United States of America's classic album, with its exotic psychedelic synthesizers, twinkling bells, and deep bass. It is definitely a song that Broadcast would be jealous of. "We Carry On" channels NY's very own Silver Apples with an up-tempo beat, oscillating keys, and tripped-out electronics, and it's probably the last thing that I ever expected from Portishead, but that's the thing. Third is something that you would never expect from the Bristol trio. It is an album that defies genres, stimulates the mind and keeps pulling you back for repeated listens. I honestly can't think of another album coming out in the next seven months that'll top this as album of the year. Portishead have released another all-time classic; let's just hope it doesn't take 11 years for the next. [JS]








Nigeria Rock Special

"More Bread to the People" Action 13
"Kenimania" Mono Mono

African Scream Contest
(Analog Africa)

"It's a Vanity" Gabo Brown & Orchestre Poly-Rythmo
"Gbeti Madjro" Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou

Is it just me or are African compilations a dime a dozen recently? It seems just yesterday when general knowledge of that continent's music was limited to Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and a few Strut compilations, but over the last few years, we've been showered with hit or miss reissues, seemingly every other week. That hardly matters if they're as consistent as the two in question here, though. Both Soundway and Analog Africa have established themselves as two of the major players, most notably for the Special-series of collections (Soundway) and great retrospectives of the Green Arrows and Thomas Mapfumo's Hallelujah Chicken Run Band (Analog Africa).

The latest from Soundway, Nigeria Rock Special, focuses on Afro-rock and funk. There's a definite Western influence on some of these tracks, with the influence of Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Santana, and the Chambers Brothers looming large. Perhaps more influential than any of the aforementioned was Cream, in particular drummer Ginger Baker who traveled to Nigeria in the '70s, and recruited a gang of musicians to tour the US and Europe with him. They returned back home with heads full of inspiration, having been exposed to psychedelic and progressive rock for the first time, and this clearly shows on Nigeria Rock Special. The fifteen tracks are fuzzed-out and rocking, with heavy African rhythms as the backbone, and it's easy to imagine this as the soundtrack for the nightclubs in Swinging Lagos. Some of the names will be familiar to casual fans (BLO, Ofege, Mono Mono, Funkees), but most are unheard of to Western ears. However, your life will be forever enriched if you embrace Tabukah X, Question Mark, and the Hygrades as household names. Comes with a nice little booklet with interesting notes and droolworthy scans of the original records.

And if the tracklisting on Nigeria Rock Special reads pretty obscurely, African Scream Contest is a treasure trove of all unknowns. Little mined until now, the countries of Benin and Togo, located between Ghana and Nigeria (shout out to my fellow geography buffs), are ripe for discovery, as proved by this amazing set of tunes. These fourteen songs are even more wild and unhinged, with a decided Western rock and funk influence. The guitar work is choppy and psychedelic and the drumming is airtight, with aspiring young vocalists who appear completely absorbed by the idea of out-belting James Brown. And as far as packaging goes, few releases will surpass African Scream Contest this year, with its extensive 44-page booklet of interviews and photographs. If I have to choose between the two...sorry, I'm of no help. Both essential. [AK]






$17.99 LP



"Little Bit of Feel Good"
"Figured Me Out"

Jamie Lidell has made a career of avoiding easy pigeonholes, with a discography that ranges from noise to experimental electro to straight-up rhythm and blues, and a frenetic, eclectic stage show to match. He is one of those artists who seem to have too much creative energy to contain, and he bursts at the seams with ideas and ambition. Lidell's newest, the somewhat self-titled Jim, is an ambitious and creative tour-de-force for the singer, but a fairly straightforward one. Though Lidell came up through the U.K. avant-electronic scene, his current obsession is the same as that of most British pre-teen girls these days (as well as their idols, Amy Winehouse, Adele, et al.): American soul music. And with an expressive, dynamic voice and a new batch of hook-filled pop turns (most written with longtime collaborator "Mocky" Salole), Lidell can pull this off with relative ease, and generally avoid the Jamiroquai trap (cheese) as well. I can't say that the album is retro gold; Lidell clearly idolizes classics like Mayfield-era Impressions and Smokey Robinson, but despite a stellar band (including Gonzales on piano and organ throughout, and helping with some songwriting as well), and tasteful old-school recording flourishes, there are elements of nu-soul throughout. But don't be frightened, this album swings and burns in all the best ways, and I'd say there is little chance of Lidell being championed by teenyboppers any time soon; this may be his "normal" album, but face it, the dude is a freak... in all the best ways! [JM]






Smile - Limited Version
(Southern Lord)


This one is a slow builder; the speaker buzzing-assault we've come to expect from Boris oozes instead of ignites. "Flower Sun Rain" gets meaty only toward the end -- a primer for the coming ballast. "Laser Beam" begins, "You want some pain, you get it tonight" (sung in Japanese), and is sure to bring smiles to the inner head banger. Lurking underneath the Slayer-like solos and metal speeds are the psychedelics (a video game-like sample of lasers, vocal harmonies, cowbell, and ample guitar fuzz) that keep Boris sounding fresh. Smile nods at Pink territory, jamming with the more accessible melodic guitar-led thickness rather than the heavy, dark psych-doom. But for those that love the sludge, all is not lost. "Kare Hateta Saki" wades in layers of slow-strummed bass and guitar, then screeches into a wall of tangible feedback and noise, buoyed slightly by some vocals and lightning quick spoken phrases, as well as parts of the candle-burning (but relatively short by Boris standards) 15 minute closer, "[ ]." Special, limited CD pressing includes a bonus DVD. [LG]








"Shove It"

The self-titled debut from vocalist Santi White -- now known to the world as Santogold -- is the perfect hodgepodge of beats and guitars, and skank and style. Cutting her teeth as the lead singer of the Philly ska/punk band Stiffed, White has spent the past decade steadily blending influences and associations. What results here is an uber-contemporary mash-up spanning a spectrum that has Karen O on one end and M.I.A. on the other. Likewise, the production credits include a few generations of music makers, from members of Bad Brains and Steel Pulse, to Diplo and Spank Rock, and throughout, you can detect the influence of ska, punk rock, dub, new wave and hip-hop. There's also some sweet Caribbean and slightly African sounding inspirations, but Santogold's approach is a little more homegrown than, say than the worldview of M.I.A. Nonetheless, Santogold's integration of styles and references is quite refreshing and this is a great debut. For more of a genre-bender, check out Santogold's Jam cover on the latest Mark Ronson full-length. [DG]









"Non Senti"

Cara's Kiss
(No Label)

Xeno and Oaklander is Miss Liz Wendelbo on vocals and Martial Canterel's Sean McBride on vintage analog synths. The duo has re-released their insanely limited debut EP, previously available in an edition of 75, with a bonus track from the vinyl-only Wierd compilation and in a still-limited edition of 150. As expected, these tracks feature stripped, genuine, analog synth beats that are filled with cold, soaring melodies (see "Blue Flower") and real-time manipulation that can't be matched with a laptop. Xeno and Oaklander have unleashed an essential collection of authoritative synth-wave.

With both members alternating on the mic, McBride's tracks have his trademark, fist-throwing, martial/baritone-Andy McClusky/Ian Curtis vocal while Wendelbo's songs (sung in English, French and German!) stand out for having a more romantic take on Gudrun Gut's "Domina" and/or Xmal Deutschland (see "Zuruck"). Other tracks find her skillfully marrying these coldwave vocal stylings with the echo-y lilt of Lisa Gerrard. Her vocal-led tracks combine the beauty of a synthwave chanteuse with a D.I.Y. artpop charm. Fans of the excellent Can't Stop It 2 compilation of Australian D.I.Y./post-punk gems will love this stuff.

For a more brooding yet no less authoritative take on this sound, also check out the Xeno and Staccato (Wendelbo and Staccato Du Mal's Ramiro Jeancarlo) vinyl-only single. The record, which is limited to 500, is housed in a beautifully grey & silver on black cardstock sleeve with inserts. The a-side, "Cara's Kiss," is drenched in a warm, claustrophobic, humming pulse with heart-rending descending/ascending discordant chords. The starkness of the backing tracks allows Wendlebo's vocals to peek in and out and climb at will, while the pulse-y drones grind at the chest. Excellent! [SM]






$9.99 MP3


Tickley Feather
(Paw Tracks)

"The Python"
"Night Train"

The Paw Tracks debut by Philadelphia's Tickley Feather (a/k/a Annie Sachs) is spookily inviting, the album opening with a reverb-drenched recording of Sachs' young son announcing, "I've got the magic inside my bones somewhere." It's a perfect introduction into Tickley Feather's magical, lo-fi universe; and like a nursery rhyme of "ashes, ashes, we all fall down," there's a mysterious, dark undercurrent running through her childlike melodies and the gauzy, bedroom-recorded Casio and beats. Sachs' woozy layers of vocals are enshrouded in an echo that makes everything seem strangely detached yet ultra-personal; tracks like the beguiling "Keyboards Is Drunk" are so intimate and fragile, you almost feel that she is sharing with you a secret song that no one else will ever hear. Imagine Kate Bush recording with Ariel Pink on his warbled 4-track and you're halfway there. Not your usual definition of the term, but if any album deserved to be called "dream pop," it's this one. [GH/KP]




12-inch w/CD


Waiting for Desire

"Waiting for Desire"
"Waiting for Desire" (Sizzler’s -Surf N Turf Version)

Outta nowhere, these underrated and mysterious Swedish dance-punk rockers deliver another stiff dancefloor wallop just in time for the warmer weather ahead. But it's not like they haven't done it before. "Someone Like You" is a Williamsburg dancefloor anthem and "Walking Machine" predated the nu-rave of Justice and Simian Mobile Disco by almost two years. Now paired down to a duo, Revl9n's "Waiting for Desire" is built around a beat so stiff it's funky and vocalist Maria Eilerson's sexy, sing-songy yelps. The Maxxxxy-single includes nine(!) skacid (ska meets acid) remixes by artists such as In Flagranti and Scsi-9. The elaborately packaged 12-inch contains the single and four remixes, while the CD has an additional five remixes not on the vinyl. This is a banger!! [DH]






Rising Down
(Def Jam)

"Get Busy"

It's been a long road to 2008 for the Roots. Skyrocketing from their jazz-rap niche origins to radio stardom in the early 2000s, Illadelphia's favorite sons have probably watched as many diehards exit as they have seen newcomers arrive. Despite cries of "sellout!" the band's constants have remained strong, and a good Roots song has always been a good song. Lucky for us, the age of uncertainty has solidly come to a close with Rising Down, unquestionably the group's best album since 2002's Phrenology. After a few years of flirting with the dreaded sample, the famously organic Roots make a beautiful return to drum-and-bass essentials, bending their incredible talents to produce a record stiff with dark but frantic, post 9/11 soul paranoia. ?uestlove, Black Thought and crew ditch the block party for far graver company this time around, creating what might be the most apocalyptic Roots album yet. With wide disparity between track lengths, Rising Down ragdolls you unexpectedly from beat to beat, adding to the record's schizophrenic tone, and the aggressive tempos and always-conscious wordplay certainly don't detract from the mood. The album features grabs from every one of the Roots' time-tested genres. There are no-nonsense talent showcases like the title track and "Get Busy," while those who enjoyed the forays into territories beyond hip-hop will appreciate the sensuous guitar textures on "Criminal." As usual, the personnel register is loaded with Roots regulars and luminaries alike; Okayplayer heavyweights like Mos Def and Kweli appear alongside lesser-knowns like Mercedes Martinez of the Jazzyfatnastees, who wowed us once before on 2006's Game Theory. Rising Down might not be the best mood music for this summer's lazy barbeques, but given the polished show that this record whips up, I'll happily stay inside with my headphones. [DS]







"Wait a Minute (Just a Touch)"
"American Boy"

With her second album (her first for the States), Estelle has truly "arrived." After her UK debut was met with very lukewarm sales, she was promptly dropped from the label. But no worries; the British singer simply doubled up with executive producer John Legend in tow, and hit back harder, enlisting the talents of such A-list producers and guests as Will.i.am, Swizz Beats, Wyclef Jean, Mark Ronson and Cee-Lo, to name a few. Make no mistake; this is not simply star-studded fluff. While comparisons to Lauryn Hill, Mary J., et al. are fine (I'll throw one in too, Ms. Dynamite), they don't quite hit the mark. Yes, she can sing. And yes, she can rhyme. And yes, she writes good songs, but one thing I really like about Estelle is that she retains her British/West Indies roots. Unlike so many of the UK's R&B singers, who try their hardest to sound like they were born and raised in the States, Estelle makes absolutely no effort to mask her Britishness. And by Britishness, obviously there's the accent (a risky thing to flaunt in American urban music), but also the strains of reggae and dancehall running through Shine -- the UK has always generally had a closer relationship to Jamaican music. Unlike too many albums that traverse multiple genres, this doesn't sound like someone sprinkled some reggae vibes here and some soul accents there for added flavor. It feels genuine. On "Magnificent," a stark digital rhythm runs through the jam while Estelle sings a sunny dancehall-friendly lovers rock melody. "No Substitute Love," I assume, is where the Lauryn comparisons come from -- not a bad thing at all. And "American Boy" is so souped up and infectious with Estelle coyly trading verses with Kayne West, that it's bound to be this summer's anthem. Recommended! [GA]






$9.99 MP3


Midnight Organ Fight
(Fat Cat)

"The Modern Leper"
"Old Old Fashioned"

Frightened Rabbit not only has a well-received debut to top, but a whole standard of past and present Glaswegian pop to uphold -- The Delgados, the Pastels, Franz Ferdinand, Teenage Fanclub, Belle and Sebastian, Sons and Daughters -- I could go on. On "The Modern Leper," the group eschews the fits and starts of a post-punk band and flows into more folk-pop territory. Call it their own sound, call it more mature, (or the hand of producer Peter Katis -- Interpol, Spoon), either way, they're heading in the right direction. Amongst the pop hooks, sure to be as familiar as the Scottish hills that the aforementioned bands have painted, there are pellets of genius lyrics and surprising structure twists. On "My Backwards Walk," for instance, right after Scott Hutchinson intones, "My clothes won't let me close the door/my trousers seem to love your floor," the keyboard drone and guitar strum fall away, replaced by a subtle skittering Casio dance beat that backs the closing verse, "You're the s**t and I'm knee deep in it." There is even a short keyboard and piano avant-classical tribute, "Extrasupervery." So before hopping over Frightened Rabbit as another Glaswegian indie pop band, or bending your ears away from the Connor Oberst nervous meets John Roderick (of Long Winters) vocals, dig a little deeper. This den is breeding something good. [LG]






Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark

"With Care from Someone"
"Why Not Your Baby"

Amazing bluegrass group the Dillards opened for the Byrds on tours throughout 1965 and 1966 -- during which time Doug Dillard made the acquaintance of Gene Clark, who was still in the Byrds at that point. Clark became fired up at the idea of forming a modern bluegrass band -- sort of the bluegrass equivalent to what the Flying Burrito Brothers were to country music -- and this was their first album of that collaboration. And that's what this sounds like: Dillard's wicked banjo playing a lacework around Clark's heartfelt vocals, that wide-open Californian pop production sound meshed with the tight speed of bluegrass. I can't think of another record that sounds quite like this one, of solid bluegrass and a vague dreamy swirl of R&B heartache, well-chosen covers and masterful musicianship. [RE]






Going Places: The August Darnell Years

"Sunshower" Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
"Double on Back" Kid Creole and the Coconuts

A long overdue collection of productions by the criminally under-appreciated August Darnell a/k/a Kid Creole. Off-kilter, leftfield disco classics by Ze Records stalwarts Cristina and Aural Exciters share the stage with some little known tracks by his own Kid Creole and the Coconuts and rapper/avant showman Coati Mundi. It's all catchy enough but Darnell's genius lies in the arrangements and the marriage of many different styles, without making the tracks seem hodge-podge or haphazard. He fuses Latin, punk, disco, funk, new wave, even hip-hop, with incredible ease, and this set deserves your immediate attention if you have even the slightest interest in dance music, new wave, and downtown NY legends.






$9.99 MP3


Kensington Heights
(Arts and Crafts)

"I Will Not Sing a Hateful Song"

Ontario's Constantines are back with their fourth album of self-described "soul music" (referring to where it hits you, not what it sounds like). While there is no dearth of aggressive, hooky tunes like record opener "Hard Feelings," songs like the stripped-down, melancholic "New King" sees the band diverging from their signature driving rock anthems for something a little more intimate.






$8.99 12-inch


Pro Nails EP

"Pro Nails"

Ahhh, the inevitable summer jam. Kid Sister lights it up with "Pro Nails," which is as infectious a song you're likely to hear all spring and summer. The intro is syrupy like DJ Screw but then it kicks in and gets all electro and the dancefloor spontaneously combusts. Oh yeah, there's a verse by Kanye. Hot!






Maths + English
(Definitive Jux)

"Wanna Be"

Following lots of controversy between the artist, label and management, Dizzee Rascal's third full-length finally gets a domestic release in the States. Where his sophomore effort, Showtime, was brilliant in its minimal approach to grime mechanics, the production on Maths + English comes from longtime collaborator Cage, first school drum-n-bassers Shy FX & T-Power, and Lily Allen's producers Futurecuts. (Lilly Allen herself makes a guest appearance, as do the Arctic Monkeys via a lengthy sample.) What's odd is that even though he's not interested in the US market, his records are so aligned with American hip-hop. Here, Dizzee seems more like a traditional NYC rapper instead of the double- and triple-time of grime MCs -- it's more about digital crunk than speed. And though much of the album is a hodgepodge of good tries and near misses, when he does hit the mark, he's brilliant: e.g. the opener, "World Outside," the Bollywood-infused "Bubbles," the dubby sway of "Excuse Me Please" and even the grime-meets-hard-rock single, "Sirens." It's when Dizzee occasionally leans towards the more foul-mouthed, bash-your-head-in kind of street garbage that he begins to wear thin. That said, I like this one more with each play. [DG]
  All of this week's new arrivals.

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[GA] Geoff Albores
[RE] Robin Edgerton
[LG] Lisa Garrett
[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[SM] Scott Mou
[KP] Kimberly Powenski
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