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   March 12, 2008  
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Texas, we have arrived! Things are just starting to bubble here in Austin, as the music portion of SXSW 2008 officially kicks off today. Tons of great parties, showcases and assorted events happening day and night in every corner of the capital for the next 96 hours or so, but of course we are particularly excited about our two parties, presented live in the flesh and on film by Other Music and digforfire.tv. The events are free, the music will be great, the venue is spectacular... if you are in Austin, we insist that you join us. Full event details are below.

But before the first chord is struck, we are pleased to present the second episode of our film series SXSW: ALL ROADS LEAD TO AUSTIN. Following the Bradford Cox/Atlas Sound feature, we proudly present Episode 2: These New Puritans. This young new Domino recording artist met up with us a couple of days back in the streets, marshes and pubs of their homeland Southend, England, as they prepared for their first visit to Texas. Tune in for a taste of this great new band before they even take the stage at our lawn party Thursday afternoon.

MAIN STAGE: Bodies of Water (1pm), J. Mascis (2pm), These New Puritans (3pm), Mika Miko (4pm), Jay Reatard (5pm), Times New Viking (6pm)
ACOUSTIC STAGE: Sian Alice Group (1:30pm), Silje Nes (2:30pm), Bowerbirds (3:30pm), Jeffrey Lewis (4:30pm), Howlin' Rain (5:30pm)

MAIN STAGE: Phosphorescent (1pm), Grand Archives (2pm), Portastatic (3pm), Yo La Tengo (4pm), Atlas Sound (5pm), Shearwater (6pm)
ACOUSTIC STAGE: Devon Williams (1:30pm), Born in the Flood (2:30pm), Chris Brokaw (3:30pm), Tara Key/Antietam (4:30pm), Port O'Brien (5:30pm)

802 San Marcos Street Austin, TX

WNYU 89.1 FM

   Click Below to View Episode #2 with These New PuritansSXSW, All Roads Lead to Austin: These New Puritans (Episode 2)


March 12: These New Puritans

March 13: Jay Reatard

March 14: Bodies of Water, J. Mascis, These New Puritans, Mika Miko, Jay Reatard, Times New Viking

March 15: Phosphorescent, Grand Archives, Portastatic, Yo La Tengo, Atlas Sound and Shearwater

Don't Stop: Recording Tap (Various)
Funky Nassau (Various)
Silje Nes
Marc Masters (No Wave Book)
BIPPP: French Synth Wave
Serge Gainsbourg
An England Story (Various)
Radio I Ching
Mia Doi Todd

All of this week's new arrivals.

MAR Sun 16 Mon 17 Tues 18 Wed 19 Thurs 20 Fri 21 Sat 22

That's right, Barcelona's El Guincho will be playing live at a special Other Music Presents show on Tuesday, March 18 at Union Pool. We're excited to be hosting one of our favorite new artists at this FREE event, with Other Music DJs spinning records before and after his set. Stay tuned for more details!

UNION POOL: 484 Union Avenue Williamsburg, Brooklyn
FREE / AGES 21+ with ID

Other Music has the North American Exclusive for El Guincho's Alegranza and though the album is temporarily out of stock, more copies are currently en route from Spain and should be arriving this week.




$9.99 MP3


Don't Stop: Recording Tap
(Numero Group)

"Breakout" Arnie Love & the Lovettes
"Don't Stop Dancin'" Jackie Stoudemire

For all of the flak that beat digger obscurists take for championing the private-press gospel recording of that tone-deaf six-year-old singing "Amazing Grace" ('cuz of that killer four-second drum break...ugh!), there's unearthed gems like these, that make you say all is forgiven! The Numero Group has released one more amazing retrospective of a label that was barely a label. Led by eccentric producer and arranger Jeremiah Yisrael, the Tap imprint operated out of the East Coast in the early '80s. These tunes are an exceptional collection of lo-fi yet impeccably arranged funk, disco, and early hip-hop. It's probably closest sonically to the Patrick Adams and Peter Brown productions of P & P. But where P & P was loose, slightly stoned and a bit experimental, Yisrael's productions and arrangements were airtight and had a sense of urgency about them. Apparently most of this music sat in Yisrael's garage for nearly 30 years, so kudos to the Numero guys for curating this project. The humorous, bizarre and informative liner notes are just as entertaining as the music contained in the collection. All fans of the funk should check for this. [DH]



Funky Nassau: The Story of Compass Point

"My Jamaican Guy" Grace Jones
"Genius of Love" Tom Tom Club

The Compass Point studios, set up in 1977 by Island founder Chris Blackwell, is pretty much leftfield funk ground zero as far as I'm concerned. Most of the music produced in this studio during this time period wasn't really mainstream affair...that wouldn't come until twenty years later. Set up in the Bahamas, it allowed Blackwell to finance a place where new cutting edge music could be produced the same way reggae was. Although most of the music produced weren't top 40 hits, it found a home in the burgeoning club culture of the UK and New York City. With noted reggae producers Sly & Robbie at the production helm for most of the tunes collected here, you can hear the common thread of the minimalist drum and bass-based reggae groove, tying all of these tunes together. "Genius of Love," "My Jamaican Guy," and "Born Under Punches" were basically hypnotic, dubby pop tunes, that lived on in clubland, and later on in hip-hop. The comp also includes stellar rarities such as the unhinged dub-punk disco by Set the Tone, Lizzy Mercier Descloux's sultry take on "Sun Is Shining," and the essential "Adventures in Success" by Will Powers. This compilation isn't necessarily a collection of "lost treasures", because most of these songs aren't hard to find. What it does do is provide a solid overview of a unique sound that was carved out here and how it influenced the current landscape of modern music...but I'll let the stellar liner notes tell the rest of that story. [DH]



$9.99 MP3


Ames Room
(Fat Cat)

Silje Nes is a young Norwegian singer with a warm debut album of bedroom pop-electronica, built around low-fi guitar strumming, simple beats and baubles, and Ms. Nes' playful vocals. An obvious touchstone would be fellow Scandinavian chanteuse Stina Noredenstam, with whom Nes shares a child-like singing style and coy sexiness. But Ames Room, while also sharing Nordenstam's light touch with low-key orchestration, is in the end a less mannered confection than Nordenstam is known for, drawing on Morr Music style homespun electronica and American d.i.y. for a sprawling yet subdued sound. From the lovely skewed harmonies of Nes' multi-tracked vocals layered on woodwinds and shifting electronic tones of "Shapes, Electric" to the reverb guitar strum and Young Marble Giants old-school beats of "Giant Disguise" to the glitchy accordion and trombone groove of "Escape", this album is a dream-filled journey well-worth taking. (Preview sound clips on Other Music Digital.)[JM]



No Wave
(Black Dog Publishing)

To say that this book is long overdue is putting it mildly. Marc Masters, one of present music journalism's most consistent and engaging scribes, presents the most in-depth treasure trove yet of one of the most brief yet influential scenes in New York City's rich musical history. I was confounded upon first reading reviews which called this book "too academic" - if anything, the book reads like a huge, well-crafted zine; Masters's writing and interview style is consistently engaging and informative for both neophytes and the even the most hardened know-it-alls, and his enthusiasm for the bands and visual artists he writes about nearly bleeds through the pages without pandering or blowing smoke up anyone's ass. Working chronologically from the scene's origins and forefathers (like Suicide and the Velvet Underground) and providing recollections (many less-than-positive in hindsight) of Brian Eno's recording of the now-canonized No New York LP, the book includes chapters on the histories of each of the four No New York bands, and then moves on to the less-anthologized contingent of groups like Red Transistor, the Static, Theoretical Girls, Ut, Dark Day, and 8-Eyed Spy. Masters also covers the importance of works by composers Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, as well as the crop of post-No Wave groups who embraced a more commercial, groove-based sound and helped usher in the "post-punk" sounds heavily covered in Simon Reynolds's Rip It Up book. Perhaps most exciting, though, is the inclusion of a chapter about the oft-overlooked group of filmmakers and visual artists active amongst No Wave circles, such as Amos Poe, James Nares, and Beth & Scott B, to name a few.

Additionally, the book is loaded with many never-before-seen photos, gig flyers, and other assorted paraphernalia from the era, and Masters admirably manages to speak to nearly every single living mover and shaker in the scene, no matter how ephemeral they may seem to the casual passerby. Also included is an enthusiastic and humorous foreword by Weasel Walter, a fantastic experimental musician who has been flying the No Wave flag for years, championing its worth and screening his amazing collection of No Wave-related films, performance footage, and photographs since before many of the current crop of whippersnappers were blowing rent money on 1st pressings of Contortions LPs. This is an essential document of a time and place which, while seeming somewhat unimportant at the time, has proven its influence (for better or worse) and has gone on to outlive and outlast that true grit, grime, and terror of what Downtown New York once was -- a wasteland of creative opportunity and a nihilist's paradise. Think about that, and of these artists, the next time you pass by the new Bowery Hotel on your way to Whole Foods on Houston Street. Kudos and high-fives all around for Masters -- this book is a killer, and does the scene every amount of justice it deserves. [IQ]



BIPPP: French Synth Wave 1979/85

"Viol Af Dis" Casino Music
"Torroriste" Vox De

It's 1980 and (almost all) the punks have retired their guitars for synthesizers. Casios and Arps create a gloriously nihilistic yet romantic, and surprisingly danceable, pop sound. France was very much at the top of the coldwave game, and BIPPP does an excellent job of proving just that, as did Tigersushi's So Young but So Cold from a few years back. Spanning simplistic synth pop (Marie Moor's "Pretty Day" is amazing in its stark simplicity,) Stranglers-esque new wave (Casino Music, A Trois Dans Les WC) and dancefloor killers (TGV sound like a French version of the Normal), BIPPP contains not a single dud -- unless we're counting the last track by Busy P which is actually a new recording...how fitting -- and it's a guaranteed hit with fans of synth wave, as well as the more adventures followers of post punk and indie pop. Some more information on the groups would've been nice but the scans of the original 45s and a rather nice poster makes up for that one shortcoming. I'm loving it. [AK]



Les Annees Psychedeliques 1966 to 1971
(LSD Records)

"Requiem Pour Un Con"
"Bonnie and Clyde"

Les Annees Psychedeliques collects a variety of grooves from classic French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, charting "psychedelic" excursions from the heady years of 1966-71. Pulling together hard to find soundtrack work and more familiar material, the collection is a moody patchwork of theatrical pop and otherworldly, low-end freak-outs, all featuring the vivid arrangements of Monsieur Gainsbourg and frequent collaborators Michel Colombier and Jean-Claude Vannier. The psychedelic moniker, however, is not of the kitschy, disingenuous type or of the outdated hippie free-for-alls to which many people ascribe the term, but refers here to a tight yet expansive sound which swings between light-hearted, airy melodies and intensely passionate, sometimes dark and unsettled, musical expressions.

Familiar elements of psychedelia run throughout the disc: the frequent appearance of bright, funk-fused guitars and blown-out drum and bass swells, the Indian timbre of "New Delire" and "Psychastenie," the temperamental orchestral soul searching of the epic "Breakdown Suite." But with so much more substance than banal peace/love/acid stereotypes, the most pervasive element of the compositions is an atmosphere crafted alongside the two psychedelic stalwarts of the mid-'60s, the Beatles - especially circa Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour - and the matured and left field output of the Beach Boys. The variety of instrumentation and sound (check the in-your-face funk of the two closing tracks and compare that to "Bonnie and Clyde") is enough to make ones head spin in classic psychedelic fashion, while Gainsbourg's talent keeps things tight enough to keep the listener grounded in a highly engaging and enjoyable set of songs. Recommended for the unacquainted and the fanatics alike. [JW]



Sound of My Wooden Chest

"Dance Hall King"
"The Spot Where You Are"

"We surface every once in a while to a non-virtual level," this electro-indie-pop (with a twist) duo remark on their home page. Frokost began in 1993 and in recent years have independently released their work exclusively as MP3 downloads on their website, www.frokostmusic.dk. But for the first time ever, 500 copies of Frokost's handmade limited edition album The Sound of My Wooden Chest are available, and Other Music is proud to be the only retailer in the US to have a handful of them!

Everything about Frokost is quite simply charming. Compiled by Mikkel and Tue, the songs on their first album are a collection from the past four years of material, their one-sheet explaining, "Recorded in a Copenhagen apartment whenever time and inspiration were plenty." They unabashedly reference their influences in their work while allowing their own personality to grow through music they admire. The monotone and repetitious deliveries, like in "Nowhere Fast," directly reveal a Fall influence, and the signature guitar sound from the revolving door of players that have backed Mark E. Smith through the years is present throughout this album. But there's also an other-worldy quality to Sound of My Wooden Chest that brings to mind Klaus Nomi, not to mention an Autechre-esque electronic surface. Lyrically, the songs are reminiscent of the Smiths' unrequited love, exclusion and pining. Frokost play on words in song titles like "Explosions In the Guy" and "I Let It Be," creating parodies that are all at once disarming and endearing. Through all of those influences, however, Frokost have created a very distinct and compelling voice that must be heard! [KP]



An England Story
(Soul Jazz)

"So U Want More" Ty & Roots Manuva
"Tika Toc" Skibadee

Soul Jazz Records continues to showcase the wealth and influence of the UK with their newest and best compilation of late, An England Story. Connecting the dots between their Rumble in the Jungle, Box of Dub, and Nice Up the Dance collections, this one focuses mainly on British MCs of the last 25 years. Across two CDs and 21 tracks a selected who's who from the UK dance hall, hip-hop, jungle, garage, and grime scenes are represented here in fine style. From London Posse to Roots Manuva, YT to TY, Top Cat and Tenor Fly to Glamma Kid and Blak Twang, we get a taste of the progression in sound, verbal dynamics, and technology that made each new decade unique and continually experimental and expansive. There's a whole back-story that should be told about the migration and development of the underground parties and soundsystems bubbling in the UK, which the thirty-page booklet outlines perfectly. So anyone interested in contemporary black music from beyond the States, should no doubt check this out. A rare and exciting glimpse into the culturally rich, original and energetic world of merry ol' England. Recommended. [DG]



Fire Keeps Burning
(No Label)

"What Is the Color of the Dessert" Jimmie Driftwood
"Don Van Vliet" Abba Zabba

The members of Radio I-Ching -- Dee Pop, Andy Haas, and Don Fiorino -- have been part of New York's downtown scene since before the term was a selling point. Their time spent working with such artists as Bush Tetras, John Zorn, and Canada's Martha and the Muffins, has served them well. With their second full-length, The Fire Keeps Burning, these skilled improvisers give new twist to a unique collection of music. About half of the disc is original material, yet the covers seem the most odd and engaging. The trio takes on Hamza El Din, Count Ossie, Roland Kirk, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Simmons, among others, with no sense of new school irony, and they sound extremely confident and achieve an interesting mix of structured improv jazz, jam band, deconstructed blues and world music. And though downplaying the freeform noise associated with the scene, things do get a bit wild here and there. With an instrumentation that includes saxophone, lap steel, banjo, piri, drums, mandolin, percussion, guitar, glissentar, and live electronics, The Fire Keeps Burning is challenging yet highly enjoyable. [DG]



$9.99 MP3


(City Zen)

"Big Bad Wolf & Black Widow Spider"
"Old World New World"

The seventh album from L.A.'s Mia Doi Todd finds her returning to the impressionistic and mellow mood of her early work, yet still retaining the collaborative give-and-take of her last two albums. Stylistically, this is her best effort. The subtle, call-and-response string arrangements, provided by co-producer Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and the gently percussive rhythm section led by Josh Abrams, sound more Astral Weeks and Bryter Layter than Diamond Day, which is a lot better suited to Todd's vocal style. I also hear more of a South American influence here than in previous efforts as well. With all the attention that is being paid to the new young West Coast indie-folk scene right now, it couldn't be a better time for Todd to be peaking and she's produced her finest album to date here. Recommended. [DH]




Antonelli (formerly known as Antonelli Electric) has released a new album. Loyal followers will be glad to know that he's back to making dance tracks unlike his last couple albums that dealt with more effervescent/cocktail instrumental themes. He made fans out of us early on by injecting his German pop-house minimalism with disco during a time when it was almost unheard of. His tracks from that time could be found in electro mixes then just as easily as they could be found in a minimal house or synth disco mix now.

The new album is rumored to be made with actual synths, but you wouldn't really know it except for the fact that the tracks have a really nice live quality to them. The sophisticated pop-disco sound is back and the analogue-ness just adds to the nastiness of the bass lines. It's a great record, and a perfect cousin-album to the new Justus Kohncke. Get it! [SM]
  All of this week's new arrivals.

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[DG] Daniel Givens
[DH] Duane Harriott
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[SM] Scott Mou
[KP] Kimberly Powenski
[JW] Josiah Wolfson

- all of us at Other Music

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