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   August 13, 2009  
AUG Sun 16 Mon 17 Tues 18 Wed 19 Thurs 20 Fri 21 Sat 22

This coming Monday, August 17th, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Matador Records and Other Music are throwing a listening party for Jay Reatard's long-awaited new album, Watch Me Fall which comes out the following day. Pulling from his discovery of Flying Nun greats like Chris Knox/Tall Dwarfs, Reatard's latest combines a batch of hooky pop hits with a couple of punky rippers, and plays a lot like his singles compilation on Matador -- definitely a good thing in our book! There'll be an hour of free vodka drinks, a documentary screening, and two chances to hear the album in its entirety, plus Other Music will be selling the CD and LP at the event. We hope to see you there! Here's the complete rundown for the night:

ALBUM PLAYBACK (7:30 - 8:30PM)

(LE) POISSON ROUGE: 158 Bleeker Street NYC
No Cover but RSVP required for admission, email: watchmefall@lprnyc.com
21+ with ID

The Very Best 7"(OM Exclusive)
Reigning Sound
The Mighty Sparrow
Box Elders
Screaming Females
Up All Night (Various)
Meth Teeth LP

Las Palabras (7" single)
Johnny Clarke
String of Pearls (Mississippi LP)

Robert Pollard
Yo La Tengo (Buy Early Get Now)

All of this week's new arrivals.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/othermusic

AUG Sun 09 Mon 10 Tues 11 Wed 12 Thurs 13 Fri 14 Sat 15

This Friday and Saturday, Celebrate Brooklyn! Benefit Concerts presents Animal Collective, who'll be performing their wonderfully skewed, avant-pop at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Friday's concert is sold out and Saturday's is well on its way, but we've got two pairs of tickets to the Saturday, August 15th show, where the group will be joined by Black Dice and Zomby, along with a DJ set from Dam Funk. To enter for passes, send an email to tickets@othermusic.com. We'll notify the two winners on Friday.

5:30PM Doors / Tickets $30 Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000, and at the Mercury Lounge box Monday-Saturday 12 to 7PM or the Music Hall of Williamsburg box office Saturdays 11AM to 6PM.

AUG Sun 16 Mon 17 Tues 18 Wed 19 Thurs 20 Fri 21 Sat 22
AUG Sun 23 Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thurs 27 Fri 28 Sat 29

Photo Credit: Tim Soter

Just like this year's summer, the Sunday Best schedule is really heating up. This weekend, resident DJs Justin Carter, Eamon Harkin and Doug Singer will be welcoming none other than Beats in Space's Tim Sweeney (DFA, RNVG), and then the following week, one of house music's most original and finest, Theo Parrish, will be the special guest, making the next two Sundays must-attend events for any fan of dance music. To enter for a pair of passes to either party, just send an email to enter@othermusic.com, and please list the day you'd like to attend.

BKLYN Yard (outdoors by the Gowanus Canal): 400 Carroll St between Bond and Nevins, Brooklyn
Alternate rain venue at the Bell House, around the corner
Cover $10 / $8 before 4PM with RSVP OR $8 in advance at: residentadvisor.net/sundaybest

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

You may recall us featuring the Antlers' then self-released Hospice in our Update earlier this year (the CD would spend several weeks in our best sellers list). We're very excited for Peter Silberman and his group who have since been signed to the Frenchkiss label and will finally see Hospice getting a proper issue next week. The Antlers are celebrating the release with a special performance at the Mercury Lounge on Friday, August 21st, and Other Music has three pairs of tickets to give away to this great night. To enter, email contest@othermusic.com. We'll notify the three winners on Monday, August 17th.

MERCURY LOUNGE: 217 East Houston Street NYC







Warm Heart of Africa
(Green Owl)

Other Music Exclusive! This is the lead single from the debut album of the somewhat unlikely (apparently they met by chance browsing used furniture), yet truly inspired pairing of Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and Euro DJ duo Radioclit. The group toys with sunny African pop, cross-breeding it with various Anglo offshoots of said African pop, which explains the presence of Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig on "Warm Heart of Africa," trading verses with Mwamwaya. B/W "Yalira."






Love and Curses
(In the Red)

"Brake It"
"Dangerous Game"

It's been quite a while since the last proper Reigning Sound album, 2005's Too Much Guitar, but the band hasn't been relaxing in the Memphis sun. In addition to writing most of the songs for and backing legendary Shangri-La Mary Weiss on her Dangerous Game album, Reigning Sound mainman Greg Cartwright (a/k/a Greg Oblivian) also just played a string of Oblivians reunion shows, and there's been several live albums as well, like the must-have Live at Goner Records. No doubt, time well spent.

I personally consider Cartwright to be one of America's greatest living songwriters, with chops that just won't quit and a voice made from equal parts whiskey and gravel. He also is responsible for some of the choicest cover songs ever. This album's one non-original is the previously unknown to me "Stick Up for Me" (a/k/a "Stick Over Me) by the Glass Sun and it is a tune that, along with a good portion of the rest of the record, will be lodged in your head for the rest of the summer after one listen. There are also two songs from the Mary Weiss album that get the full Reigning Sound treatment and actually benefit from it. Overall the record is the perfect mix of Byrds jangle, garage-fuzz fury and organ-drenched Memphis soul and R&B that comes closer to summing up everything I love about rock and roll than any recent release I can think of. My favorite record of the year, so far. [DMa]






Rebel of Rai

"La Camel"

The story of Algerian rai is a complex one, from its roots in the classical sung poetry (malhoun) of the Maghreb, to the urban experience of the chebs and chabas (young people) that modernized and sang it, and its syncretization of everything from Bedouin festival music, French cabaret and Oran's wahrani sound to the Bee Gees, Johnny Hallyday, and Julio Iglesias. One simple fact, however, is that, for over thirty years, Khaled has remained its biggest star. The two discs of Rebel of Rai, drawing from the late '70s through the early '90s -- the most prolific period for both Khaled as an artist and for rai as a musical and social phenomenon -- prove why.

Rai, a predominantly underclass music that often deals with earthy themes prohibited by strict readings of Islam, had existed in Algeria since at least the 1930s, but became increasingly visible and popular in the late '70s as singers like Houari Benchenet, Cheb Sahraoui, Chaba Fadela, and Cheb Khaled (as he was then known), born just before Algerian independence, came of age in Oran. By the early '80s, nightclubs, the radio, and both local and French newspapers began championing the music and its singers -- despite the vociferous (and dangerous) opposition it engendered from Islamic fundamentalists -- and it soon became Algeria's predominant form of pop music.

There's no doubt that in the past, rai was a kind of "rebel music" to many of its young singers and fans, but this set's title -- Rebel of Rai -- is a bit of a misnomer, as Khaled is hardly the genre's prodigal son, but instead its most mainstream and successful purveyor, and the embodiment of its popular evolution. And he is also one of the very best. His songs are irresistible, owing to his melodies, his rhythms, and the power, urgency, and utter personality of his voice. He, like most rai artists, eagerly embraced the synthesizer and drum machine after their introduction to the scene in 1982, and Rebel of Rai flows through rai's technological development, from bedroom keyboards to slick studio arrangements. There is just one tune from the analog '70s here, "Trig Lycée," with the ever-present accordion of that era of rai. Though I might have liked more to be included, this offers a nice glimpse of where Khaled's music came from, while the rest of the set illustrates how quickly he adapted to and mastered the new technology, made dozens of killer records to prove it, and became, as he's commonly known, the King of Rai. [NS]






Hot & Sweet

"Sparrow Dead"
"Hello People"

Summer Jam Alert!! The Mighty Sparrow is one of the kings of Trinidadian calypso; active as a recording artist since the 1950s, this 1974 Warner Brothers release was tailored for a crossover market, yet nonetheless the album is one of his most fiery and focused sets. Produced by Van Dyke Parks around the same period Parks made his calypso-influenced Discover America album, Hot & Sweet sees Sparrow rerecording many of his classic tunes in addition to laying down some fresh jams. Put to tape in one sweaty night during a hurricane, backed by a big band featuring guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, percussion, a full horn section and backup singers, the dense, swirling arrangements fully capture the spirit and feeling of Trinidadian carnival.

While the hefty bounce of the album's tropical funk is appealing enough, Sparrow's razor-sharp lyrical flow really sets him apart, as he spins verse cutting down the ever-present gossip-mongers ("Sparrow Dead"), the always pleasing double-entendres for which carnival crowds go wild ("More Cock," "Chinese Love Affair"), and plenty of lady-done-me-wrong laments ("Jane," "Maria," "Who She Go Cry For"). If you need any further endorsement, I'll leave you with the words of none other than Bob Dylan(!), who says this about the man: "As far as concept, intelligence, and warring with words, Sparrow was and probably still is the king. His shows are like prize fights and he always comes out on top. He's fantastic." I couldn't have said it better myself. One of my favorite albums ever. [IQ]






$14.99 LP w/MP3


$9.99 MP3


Alice and Friends

"Jackie Wood"

The specter of Red(d) (K)Cross looms large over this debut album from Omaha's Box Elders. Not only are there two brothers in the band, but they seem to be taken with a lot of the same kitsch, cultural debris and questionable fashion sense as the McDonald brothers. In fact, the only one of the four tracks from the Elder's debut 7" that doesn't make a reappearance here is their take on the Red Cross punk classic "S&M Party," but even if that reference means nothing to you there's a lot to recommend here. The album is full of innocent garage pop bordering on bubblegum; they rhyme "Jackie Wood" with "Hollywood," and when you add some simple glammy beats and cheesy organ to guitars that jangle at least as much as they crunch, well that's what I call a good time. It may have taken until August for the summer to kick in but if you're looking for a record to combat the hot days and hotter nights, look no further as the Box Elders are here for you and have managed to translate a lot of their live energy onto record. A surplus of good times. [DMa]






What If Someone Is Watching Their T.V.?
(Don Giovanni)

"Humanity Arranged"
"Little Anne"

Right on the heels of their two-week tour supporting the Dead Weather, we're treated to the reissue of Screaming Females's sophomore album, What If Someone Is Watching Their T.V.? The young d.i.y. trio from New Brunswick, N.J. originally released this fistful of tight, ferocious indie rock themselves, and it's hard to believe that an album as great as this one didn't land on a "real" label. Now, four months after the release of their third album Power Move, one of the most infectious rock records of the year, Don Giovanni Records rightly makes this essential chunk of the "Screamales" story widely available.

It's no exaggeration to say that half these tunes have already reached hit status amongst Brooklyn audiences; the no-holds-barred closing track "Boyfriend," showcasing Marissa Paternoster's unparalleled shredding and hysterical Corin Tucker-esque screeching of "Is that your boyfriend, is that your girlfriend?" whips crowds into a frenzy that verges on catastrophic when unleashed live. The backbone of Screaming Females is energy and urgency -- all-too-rare qualities in today's pop scene -- and their playful, snotty, shimmering indie-meets-punk sound rivals immortal greats as diverse as the Vaselines and Minor Threat. Whereas their latest record was saturated with bluesy, jammy rock, this precursor is tighter, lighter and precociously dynamic. If the new one got you hooked, this one's sure to transform you into a groupie! [KS]






Up All Night: 20 Heavy Nuggets from the Golden Age
(Past & Present)

"Driver" Damnation of Adam Blessing
"Providence Bummer" Yesterday's Child

Another sweet compilation from the Past & Present crew, in the form of Up All Night. This time the focus is on heavy rock from the late 60s and early 70s, with hard psych leanings and plenty of thuggy attitude. Flying in the face of the hippy-dippy, flowery fashion of the era, these dudes pour on the grill fat and serve up thick slabs of juicy hard rock. Detroit's finest, SRC, are my own personal fave on here, and contribute "Up All Night," one of the best heavy-riffin' party anthems of all time. Then there's Bang, with a total ripper from 1971, the dense, Sabbath-crunching "The Queen"...and these Philly brats were only in their teens! And as if my brains haven't been spilled all over the floor already, along comes Dragonfly and kills it with a spaced-out, echoey (the vocal effects are out of control!) psych jammer, which must've come outta nowhere, especially in the band's hometown of Durango, Colorado, in 1969. And it goes on and on, from more familiar names such as the Litter, Sir Lord Baltimore, and Power of Zeus to seldom seen obscurities, including Highway Robbery, Tin House, Landslide, Jamul, and many, many more. Comes with detailed liner notes and very hairy pictures. Turn up loud and pour on thick! [AK]






Everything Went Wrong

Another month and another wonderfully weird, mysterious Woodsist album. This time Portland, Oregon's Meth Teeth are here to play a game I call hide the pop. They had a great 7" on Sweet Rot and a cassette last year, and make the move to the larger format in fine fashion. The record is loaded with tribal drums and warbly guitar and tape hiss, and vocals that often remind me of the Country Teasers. But like fellow Portlanders Eat Skull, their distorted vocals, blasts of static and fuzz can't completely obscure that catchy pop. It may be buried but by the second listen you'll find it. [DMa]






Mariposas / Un Momento
(Fox Hollow)

A great, two-song 45 that caught my ear when it came in from this Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter (and former Supersystem lead guitarist), Rafael Cohen, a/k/a Las Palabras. With not much more than his voice and acoustic guitar, save for some spare woodblock percussion and light saxophone on "Mariposas," Cohen's music (and the recording itself) effortlessly conjures the soulful, yearning spirit of tropicalists such as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, as well as early-'70s era Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges. Any fan of the aforementioned as well as more recent Brazilian talent such as Seu Jorge or Marcio Local will want to snatch this single up while you can. Fantastic! [GH]






Jah Jah We Pray
(Kingston Sounds)

"Stealing, Stealing"
"Jah Jah We Pray"

Johnny Clarke's musical journey started out like many reggae vocalists, in the yard. At the age of seventeen he made his first single but he still continued to enter contests held by the various local producers. He landed a gig singing backing vocals for producer Bunny Lee, and his big break came from a mishap while Lee was in the mix down process for a track voiced by Earl Zero. The lead vocals were accidentally erased, and Clarke was asked to step in and replace them. As good fortune would have it, the song, "None Shall Escape the Judgment," went on to become a hit. This new collection from Kingston Sounds focuses on the musical relationship between Clarke and producer Lee during the 1970s. Among the sixteen tracks collected here, a few familiar rhythms surface, yet the songs are all fresh and original. Clarke's smooth vocal delivery and his ability to pen cultural themed lyrics atop classic rocksteady rhythms has allowed him to survive the various movements in reggae, from slow, soothing roots to the flying cymbal attack of the rockers era. Strong and agile, righteous and warm, Clarke is one of the more shamefully underrated vocalists yet maybe this comp will help change that. Solid grooves and solid vocals make for a solid listening experience. Enough said. [DG]






Whirlpool: Original Recordings
(Space Age)

"Rain (Alternative Version)"

We were thrilled a few years back when Chapterhouse's debut album came back into print, allowing newer fans of the Scene That Celebrated Itself to hear a true classic without spending an absurd amount on eBay. As timely as that reissue was, right as "shoegaze" was starting to creep back into the consciousness of younger groups, apparently Chapterhouse themselves were unhappy with the mastering, and now comes this band-approved edition of the original Whirlpool recordings, with three bonus cuts including the never before released "Thrasher" and alternate mixes of "Something More," "Rain" and "Guilt."

For the uninitiated, 1991's Whirlpool is a stunner of an LP, with tracks like "Breather" being the perfect companion to Ride's "Chelsea Girl," its Beatles-influenced melody drowned in feedback. "Pearl" could be the answer to My Bloody Valentine's highly influential "Soon," featuring distorted guitars (of course), a beatbox rhythm, and dual male/female vocals, with Slowdive's Rachel Goswell accompanying Andrew Sherriff. Other highlights include the wah-driven anthem "Falling Down" and "Treasure," a beautiful feedback-laden track with a rolling drumbeat that is easily one of my favorite shoegaze songs of all time. Whirlpool is truly a classic and a must for anyone who owns a Slowdive, Ride, or My Bloody Valentine album. [JS]






String of Pearls

Ian Nagoski, the compiler of the Black Mirror CD on Dust-to-Digital, is back with an LP that collects fourteen 78s from all over the world (Armenia, Egypt, India, Jamaica, Ukraine, etc.). There isn't really any concept to what is included, and the globetrotting and genre hopping add to the charm as it keeps things fresh. This is music that I generally don't know too much about and don't spend much time researching, and what I find so appealing here is that this LP is infinitely listenable, and just the right amount. Anyone who knows me has probably heard my rant about compact discs more often than they'd like, but I've said for years that most of them are just TOO LONG! The aforementioned Black Mirror CD is so good it transcends the format to an extent, but it is still more than what I'd generally like to listen to in one sitting. What makes this LP so great is that the format is much more kind to the music, so that instead of an archival item that feels like it requires preparation and work, this LP can be played and enjoyed instantly. [DMa]






$16.99 LP


$9.99 MP3


Elephant Jokes
(Guided by Voices)

"Things Have Changed (Down in Mexico City)"

Everyone's favorite long player-a-week songwriter returns with his umpteenth album, and it's a good one. Stacked with 22 tracks clocking in at roughly two minutes each, Elephant Jokes is a power-pop goldmine, fast-forwarded to the good bits. Here's further proof that riffs and rhythms are like beer cans to this guy -- once used, they're tossed away without a backwards glance, but his cooler is somehow always full.




CD Pre-order


$39.99 LPx2 Pre-order

Yo La Tengo's forthcoming album, Popular Songs, gets the Buy Early Get Now treatment! In addition to the CD or double LP, customers who pre-order the album will also receive:

July 27 - Album stream goes live
August 18 - First Bonus MP3
September 1 - Second Bonus MP3
September 8 - CD or 2xLP will be shipped to arrive at your door on or before the September 8 release date, along with the exclusive live LP of the Adventureland soundtrack and a bonus poster.

Questions? Email: orders@othermusic.com

  All of this week's new arrivals.

Previous Other Music Updates.

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[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[DMa] Dave Martin
[NS] Nathan Salsburg
[KS] Karen Soskin
[JS] Jeremy Sponder

- all of us at Other Music

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