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   August 27, 2009  
       
   

 

 

     
 
  OTHER MUSIC INTERN POSITION AVAILABLE
Other Music is seeking an intern to 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.
 
         
   
       
   
     
 
 
FEATURED NEW RELEASES
Nite Jewel
Stephan Mathieu + Taylor Deupree
Legion of Two
Animals & Men LP
Pissed Jeans
Eric Copeland
Six Organs of Admittance
Red Fox Chasers
Pax Nicholas & the Nettey Family
Arctic Monkeys
St. Christopher
Another Sunny Day
 

Women Blue (Various Artists)
Wayfaring Strangers (Numero Comp.)
Tommy Cash
Mirrors LP
Luke Vibert
Science Fiction Dance Party

BACK IN STOCK:
Group Inerane: Guitars from Agadez

ALSO AVAILABLE:
Yo La Tengo (Buy Early Get Now)

All of this week's new arrivals.

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

 
         
   
   
   
       
   
 
 
SEP Sun 30 Mon 31 Tues 01 Wed 02 Thurs 03 Fri 04 Sat 05



  WIN TICKETS TO A SECRET DAVID BAZAN SHOW
Next Tuesday, September 1st, Pedro the Lion's David Bazan will be releasing his first solo album, Curse Your Branches, on Barsuk Records. That same evening, he'll be performing a secret, intimate show in Manhattan to celebrate the new album, and Barsuk has given us 10 pairs of tickets to this private event! We'll be picking names at random and notifying the 10 winners on Monday morning, so enter right away by emailing: tickets@othermusic.com, and please include your daytime phone number. Good luck!

 
   
   
 
 
SEP Sun 30 Mon 31 Tues 01 Wed 02 Thurs 03 Fri 04 Sat 05
AUG Sun 06 Mon 07 Tues 08 Wed 09 Thurs 10 Fri 11 Sat 12



  WIN COCOROSIE & SUPER FURRY ANIMALS TICKETS
Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets to each of these upcoming shows at the Highline Ballroom! First up is the indie-folk-tronic duo CocoRosie, who will be performing on Wednesday, September 2, which you can enter for by emailing contest@othermusic.com. The following week, Super Furry Animals will be taking the stage on Friday, September 11. To throw your name in the hat to see these Technicolor Welsh rockers, just send your name to enter@othermusic.com. We'll notify the winners by email on Monday.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2: COCOROSIE
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11: SUPER FURRY ANIMALS
HIGHLINE BALLROOM: 431 W 16th Street NYC

 
   
   
 
 
AUG Sun 30 Mon 31 Tues 01 Wed 02 Thurs 03 Fri 04 Sat 05
SEP Sun 06 Mon 07 Tues 08 Wed 09 Thurs 10 Fri 11 Sat 12

Justus Kohncke

  WIN TICKETS TO SUNDAY BEST PARTIES
The Sunday Best crew are closing out the summer in style, with great guest DJs lined up for the next two weeks. This Sunday, August 30th, one of Kompakt's finest, Justus Kohncke, will be joining residents Justin Carter, Eamon Harkin and Doug Singer, offering up a special live laptop performance, and then the following week, legendary DJ Harvey will be closing out the summer series for what will surely be one of the best dance parties of the season! We've got two pairs of tickets up for grabs for each of these parties, so send an email to giveaway@othermusic.com, and make sure to put the day you'd like to enter for in the subject line.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 30: JUSTUS KOHNCKE
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6: DJ HARVEY
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

 
   
   
 
 
SEP Sun 30 Mon 31 Tues 01 Wed 02 Thurs 03 Fri 04 Sat 05



  TAKEN BY TREES LISTENING PARTY
Kick off your Labor Day Weekend with us at Stanton Public on Thursday, September 3rd, where we'll be celebrating the upcoming release of the new Taken By Trees full-length, East of Eden, out on Rough Trade Records on September 8th. While Victoria Bergsman won't be able to join us again for this party, we've still got lots of great treats in store, including a full spin of the new album from 9 to 10PM and never-before-seen music videos, plus guest DJs and drink specials. Stay tuned for more details!

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
STANTON PUBLIC: 16 Stanton Street (btwn Bowery and Chrystie)
No Cover / Ages 21+ with ID
Presented by Other Music & The Swede Beat Magazine



 
   
   
   
   
   
       
   

 

 

     
 

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  NITE JEWEL
Want You Back
(Italians Do It Better)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Brand new single on Italians Do It Better from our very favorite bedroom disco diva, Nite Jewel. "Want You Back" finds Ramona Gonzalez taking direct aim at the pop jugular, with crisper beats and her yearning voice sitting surprisingly high in the mix. Not lost, however, are the jaunty, smeared keyboards and the dreamy psychedelic vibe that we all love. (Guarantee you'll find this song listed on more than a few best-of lists at the end of the year.) The 12" is backed with a Spanish version of the slo-mo, narco-disco cut "All Out of Order," while the download tacks on two additional tracks -- an English version of the b-side, as well as a vocal mix of the title track.
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  STEPHAN MATHIEU + TAYLOR DEUPREE
Transcriptions
(Spekk)

"Nocturne"
"Solitude"

Stephan Mathieu bombarded '08's year-end lists with Radioland, and I wouldn't be the least surprised to see this excellent collaboration with Taylor Deupree topping quite a few '09 lists as well. In the recent mire of mediocre drone records, Transcriptions is too good to be true. So good, in fact, that it neatly demonstrates how the depth of modern classical composition is broadening the potential and setting the bar for ambient musicians. Mathieu's approach in affecting sound from wax cylinders and 78s provides a warm, crackling, and enveloping depth at the foundation of this collaboration, and Deupree's acoustic ambient work jumps off the charts the way John Butcher's compositions defy the ear to distinguish between electronic and acoustic. Originally, this was going to be a solo Mathieu recording on Deupree's 12k label but luckily for us, these two preeminent electronic artists organically melded their sounds in an utterly engrossing feat of composition. Transcriptions embeds tactile noise deeply within each track, giving the record a hospitable familiarity in an otherwise alien soundscape. The album establishes momentum through motifs of shimmering and oscillating high end and drones that leap and undulate like threads weaving together a dense and comfortable atmosphere. Not a dull moment passes as the scope of the entire record is enthralling. Highly recommended! [BCa]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  LEGION OF TWO
Riffs
(Planet Mu)

"Turning Point"
"And Now We Wait"

This record has become a sleeper hit here, creating a buzz amongst the staff, who have taken to calling the new subgenre it foretells "Doomstep," and always piquing the interest of customers when we spin it in the store. The debut full-length from Dublin's Legion of Two, Riffs couldn't be more aptly titled. The duo of drummer David Lacey and electronic technician, guitarist, vibraphonist Alan O'Boyle (Decal, Two Lone Swordsman) create a thick and intricate tapestry of dark and dubby grooves from a series of great, if somewhat uncomfortable riffs. Pounding drums drive the mood forward, couched in foreboding atmospherics, thick reverb, bowed cymbals and walking bass. Fitting somewhere in the luminous landscape of Sunn0))), Earth, and Boris, yet reflecting the instrumental dub textures of Tortoise (at their most sinister) or Frontier (Google them), this is not for the lighthearted. You might wonder what a record of this description is doing on Planet Mu, but there are enough bleeps and squiggles to hold the attention of electronic fans as well. Definitely a growing favorite around here, which can appeal to listeners with an ear for metal's heavy rhythmic aesthetic, the industrial aspect of electro, dub techniques, and the sonic spectrum of electronica. [DG]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  ANIMALS & MEN
Animals & Men
(Convulsive)

Like a lot of folks, I first encountered Animals & Men on one of the early Messthetics compilations and was subsequently floored by their full-length CD on Hyped 2 Death and was ecstatic when Mississippi put a good deal of that material out on vinyl. The last sentence of the liner notes to the Hyped 2 Death CD state "....and other new recordings will turn up on our site. We're probably still just as naive, but since our taste in music hasn't changed, and our musical ability remains primitive... it should be interesting!" And interesting it is, as I can't think of a better description of the 2009 Animals & Men. Here we are graced with six new recordings that find the band still walking the line between DIY and garagey rock that wouldn't be out of place on Hangman Records. A fine welcome back or introduction to their world. [DMa]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  PISSED JEANS
King of Jeans
(Sub Pop)

"False Jesii Part 2"
"Dominate Yourself"

Sometimes I really miss metal. I mean, this "other music" is nice, but nothing really brings the mood up on a sleepy Monday evening at the store like a little surprise Slayer-fest! Yes, on these momentous occasions, all in earshot snap out of whatever personal malaise may be plaguing them to join in the communal elation that is Reign in Blood. Customers who seconds before were seemingly asleep standing up in the Out section are now head-banging around the room, asking if we have this for sale (yes), overcome with the sheer power of the Slay-ing. Wait...this isn't a Slayer review? (Sigh...). BUT the roundabout "point" I'm trying to address here is how rare it is to feel that kind of energy and intensity emanating from a band. You know, the kind of cathartic outpouring of bad vibes that REALLY brings people together. So much music seems to willfully hold any inherent emotional quality at bay, be it by obscuring the lyrics under blankets of distortion and effects, or placing emphasis more on production and arrangements. All this is pleasant enough at the end of the day, but I sometimes can't shake the feeling that I've been somehow shortchanged -- wishing that the band was GIVING me more.

Allentown's Pissed Jeans have never shied away from giving it, and they do it to the max on King of Jeans. While not exactly a metal record, King of Jeans is certainly a vicious, lumbering monster to behold. The Jeans' approach heavy much in the same way Black Flag did, taking punk's alienated sneer, splitting it with a lethargic hardcore intensity, and peppering the whole bucket o' sludge with a touch of angel dust. The result is a lobotomized, stinking pit-stain of an album. But it's also the most immediate, visceral record I've heard in ages. From the ferocious drag race in a tornado of opener "False Jessi Pt. 2" -- a thorough refusal to be big-man-on-campus -- to the exhausted, sludgy crawl of "Spent," the oppressive air of desperation fills the room. Other bands have occupied adjacent caverns down here, (the Jesus Lizard, Harvey Milk, the Melvins) but few have blown cobwebs as thoroughly and to the point as Pissed Jeans. If you've ever found yourself consumed with blind rage at your roommate, traffic, the cost of living, dogs barking, jobs, food, the heat, bands, stupid guys, stupid girls, stupid self, etc., then Pissed Jeans have a tune for you. One of the best records of the year by a country mile. [JTr]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  ERIC COPELAND
Alien in a Garbage Dump
(Paw Tracks)

Track 1
Track 5

"Anyone want some marijuana?" Good question. Eric Copeland's second full-length (a combination of the Al Anon and Alien in a Garbage Dump vinyl EPs) is like a magic eye puzzle; you either see them or you don't -- or more like, you either know how to see them or you don't. Either way, as the first track unfolds, built around the minimal repetition of the aforementioned solicitation, the music puts some sort of a spell on the listener. Under the vocal sample Copeland gracefully stumbles between funk and house samples, record loops, and found sounds. The title track tackles hip-hop vocal samples spliced with throbbing bass and mashed-up heaps of traffic noise, movies, cartoons, and a multitude of sounds from the cultural garbage dump of the 80s.

The good news is that one (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure. Returning to the cultural litter of the past under the spell of the new sincerity places Copeland's long player in the theoretical construct of hypnogogic (see Wire 306) voyagers like the Skaters, Ducktails, and Zola Jesus. However, unlike those contemporaries, Black Dice have been feeding from that umbilical cord for the past decade, so Copeland knows the territory. This is more playful than his debut solo album Hermaphrodite, less Throbbing Gristle and more, well, Eric Copeland. Alien in a Garbage Dump will blossom immediately for Black Dice fans, as many recognizable structures are intact, and will blossom of anyone else as well... if they refocus their eyes correctly. [BCa]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE
Luminous Night
(Drag City)

"Actaeon's Fall"
"Cover Your Wounds"

Let's get one thing straight: Ben Chasny will be the last man standing. He was there before this whole freak-folk movement began, and he'll be there when the last of the New Weird Americans retire their bongos to the basement to start a cold wave/synth pop band. Musical trends will come and go, but among the carpetbaggers and hip priest prospectors there always stand a handful of Ben Chasnys -- intrepid souls whose vision remains unclouded by fashion and the demands of ever-shifting listener allegiances. If we assess the Six Organs of Admittance oeuvre on these terms, Chasny's career has been an unqualified success, remaining loyal only to his own highly personal creative vision while continuing to push it further with each new release. Anyone who's been paying even intermittent attention has by now realized that in the case of Six Organs, this "pushing" doesn't always occur on a linear growth chart, instead stretching and shifting, expanding and contracting in ways that may at first seem obscure.

But like walking into a forest, what first appeared an indistinguishable expanse of arbor from a distance becomes an impossibly detailed and varied gathering of species once inside. And like a forest, Chasny's vision has grown organically, patiently winding its way in whichever direction will nurture it most, be it upwards towards the sun, or further into the earth in search of new dark wellsprings. Luminous Night is unlikely to convert anyone left on the folk-psych fence, but at this point, you already know whether you're on board this magic carpet or not. For those whose curiosity remains undimmed enough to see the ride through to the end, it's another compelling, deeply satisfying turn into Six Organs enchanted wood. At the risk of overstating the obvious: HIGHLY recommended. [JTr]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  RED FOX CHASERS
I'm Going Down to North Carolina
(Tompkins Square)

"Little Sweetheart Pal of Mine"
"Did You Ever See the Devil, Uncle Joe?"

In terms of strict listenability, the value of the "complete recordings" anthology is often pushed to its furthest limits when applied to old-time country music. Labels like Document and JSP no doubt satisfy the most obsessive or scholastically minded listeners among us by reissuing several volumes of this fiddler or that string band -- always with the requisite alternate takes, always in chronological order -- but to call such releases enjoyable, at least as the album experience goes, can be a stretch. Not so with Tompkins Square's release of the complete recordings of the Red Fox Chasers. Two long CDs of this pre-war North Carolina string band might seem a tall order, but the group was so versatile both in their playing and their repertoire to make for a seriously entertaining listen. Formed after the third annual Union Grove Fiddler's Convention in 1928, the four Chasers' hailed from three Northwestern North Carolina counties now synonymous with old-time music -- Wilkes, Alleghany, and Surry -- and all were hungry to make records, something that had served their landsmen like Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, the Carolina Tar Heels, and Charlie Poole & His N.C. Ramblers so well.

Traveling to Richmond, Indiana, the home of Gennett Records, they cut 20 sides in April and June of '28, and returned in June of '29 for an additional 16, including a four-sided skit called "The Red Fox Chasers Makin' Licker," which holds up remarkably well, all things considered. All but the four sides rejected by Gennett are included here -- a number of which have been previously unissued on LP or CD -- and they show the Red Fox Chasers in full command of a broad repertoire: familiar dance tunes like "Mississippi Sawyer" and "Did You Ever See the Devil, Uncle Joe?"; sentimental hits by the Carolina Tar Heels ("Bring Me a Leaf from the Sea"); Charlie Poole ("Budded Roses"), and the Carter Family ("Little Sweetheart, Pal of Mine"); Tin Pan Alley numbers and parlor songs; and a few surprisingly great compositions attributed to the band themselves. Bandleader Paul Miles' "Virginia Bootleggers" remains the Chasers' best side, although fiddler Guy Brooks probably resented it -- mischievously borrowing the melody of country-gospel chestnut "The River of Jordan," it got Brooks kicked out of his church.

But to this listener, the real gems are the recordings made in 1931 by Bob Cranford and A.P. Thompson, the Red Fox Chasers' harp blower and guitar player, respectively. They were invited back to Richmond as a duet to make a number of sides that were ultimately released on Gennett's budget Champion label, displaying a penchant for the macabre and the sinister (murder and bad-man ballads like "Pretty Polly," "Otto Wood," and "The Murder of the Lawson Family" predominate). They prove themselves to be one of the best old-time vocal twosomes you've never heard, appearing a good five years earlier than the other great Carolina duets of the 1930s, the Dixon Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys, and they easily match the Delmores of Alabama and the Monroes of Kentucky in lonesomeness of delivery.

Credit is due to producer Chris King and mastering engineer Marcos Sueiro for making the best of the bad situations afflicting some of the source 78s; King is also to be thanked for resisting the chronological-order temptation and instead sequencing what flows along as an honest-to-goodness album -- a concept of which the original Red Fox Chasers or their Gennett paymasters couldn't have conceived, but which in this form is definitely worth every old-time music fan's time and attention. [NS]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  PAX NICHOLAS & THE NETTEY FAMILY
Na Teef Know De Road of Teef
(Daptone)

"Ataa Onukpa"
"You"

You know if Daptone finds an African record to reissue, then this thang must be worth hearing... and indeed it is. This is a killer, killer, KILLER Afro-funk reissue of a rarer-than-hen's teeth Afrobeat album from a former percussionist and singer for Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band. The Ghanaian-born Pax Nicholas-Nettey joined Africa 70 at the tender age of 17 and played with that storied group for eight years, appearing on every Kuti release between the years of 1971 and 1978. At the time of this recording, Nicholas-Nettey was 19 years old and produced, wrote and arranged this record at Ginger Baker's famed studio in Lagos (home to all of Kuti's 70s output and Wing's Band on the Run). Africa 70 was his house band for this recording and it's every bit as good as any of Tony Allen or Kuti's best work from the time. Legend has it that it was so good, when Fela Kuti heard the album and found out that Africa 70 had played on it, he asked "never, ever to hear it again," and pretty much sabotaged the promotion of the LP so that barely anyone noticed the teenaged musician's masterpiece. And barely anyone did, until noted African Funk collector, DJ and writer "Voodoo" Frank Gossner discovered the album while diggin' in Philly, oddly enough. Gossner was able to track down Nicholas three years ago, by this time relocated to Berlin, and got the go-ahead to reissue his masterpiece some 36 years later. Guaranteed to move mind, body and soul, I can't say enough about this gem, except that I highly recommend it! [DH]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  ARCTIC MONKEYS
Humbug
(Domino)

"Crying Lightning"
"Cornerstone"

It's their third full-length in as many years, but despite a somewhat furious pace, Humbug finds the Monkeys (and frontman Alex Turner) maturing both in age and musical aptitude. The album presents a new, heavier and more esoteric sound thanks to producer Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. His dark and edgy production style works quite well here with Turner's lyrics, giving weight to these tales of everyday English life peppered with witty, inquisitive, prose (i.e. "What came first, the chicken or the dickhead?"). While this band has always had a clever way of retooling rock clich├ęs, Humbug brings this concept to the next level, and the songs seldom start or end where they were supposed to. The overall tempos on this effort are slower, which is apparent from the excellent lead single, "Crying Lightening." On the other hand, tracks like "Pretty Visitors" will satisfy the old fans who crave the high octane indie rock sound that made them superstars. All told, it's the Arctics' most diverse offering and as the group continues to be one of the most popular crossover acts from the UK, at the ripe age of 23, there seems to be nothing to slow them down but themselves. [BL]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  ST. CHRISTOPHER
Lost at Sea
(Plastilina)

"You Deserve More Than a Maybe"
"Say Yes to Everything"

At long last, and with exquisite timing (after all, it is a twee pop renaissance age we live in), here's a CD that compiles the entire Sarah Records output of St. Christopher. Not as well known as some of his label mates (Field Mice, Heavenly, etc.), Glenn Melia, St. Christopher's main man, appeared to have grander aspirations than the majority of his peers, creating a more ambitious, lush, airy classical brand of pop music. Featuring four singles and a 10" from 1989-91, Lost at Sea chronologically showcases Melia's impeccable songwriting and hopeless romanticism. At times, Melia's songs play like an indie pop version of the Walker Brothers (check "You Deserve More Than a Maybe" and "Gabriel"), with a similar dramatic flair, and there's an attention to detail reminiscent of Felt's Lawrence. Marc Almond comes to mind as well. One indispensable package for fans of 80s pop. [AK]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  ANOTHER SUNNY DAY
London Weekend
(Cherry Red)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Finally, this vital piece of the Sarah Records puzzle sees the light of day again. Another Sunny Day (pretty much one guy, Harvey Williams) ended up in London, but Williams grew up in Cornwall, and that sense of loneliness and isolation that comes from being young and feeling stuck somewhere plays itself out in the lyrics. They released a series of singles on Sarah that blazed a trail through the hearts of the indie pop kids worldwide. London Weekend starts with the flexi disc single "Anorak City," their most rocking moment, and then heads straight into the classic "I'm in Love with a Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist" and on through the rest of their five Sarah 7"s which range from indie-pop to twee indie-pop to lush pop (on a budget). If you've ever thought that you think too much or dreamed of talking to that girl/boy but knew that you probably wouldn't, this is the record for you. This CD reissue also kindly adds on Another Sunny Day's one non-Sarah release, a covers single where they take on O.M.D.'s "Genetic Engineering" and the Bee Gee's "Kilburn Towers," as well as four other previously unreleased songs. [DMa]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  VARIOUS ARTISTS
Women Blue: 16 Lost US Femvox Classics
(Past & Present)

"I Will Never Be Alone Again" Kathy McCord
"You Keep Me Hangin' On" Mary McCaslin"

The ever-curatorial Past & Present label have already released a slew of great compilations this year, mining everything from gritty garage rock (Off the Wall, Vile Vinyl) to heavy psychedelia (Up All Night, the Acid Dreams series, Electric Asylum). Now they've turned their attention to American female singers circa 1960s and 70s, akin to releases like Songs of She and the Numero Group's Ladies from the Canyon. Unearthing 16 tracks of lovely, delicate and previously obscured female folk-psych with a specific focus on acoustic guitar instrumentation, the artists featured here run a vast, emotional gamut from dark and bluesy ballads to songs of unadulterated sunshine, creating not only a rich, but also captivating collection. Whether it's the low-key voice showcased on Karen Beth's "In the Morning," who is accurately described in the CD's liner notes as a cross between Karen Dalton and Buffy Sainte-Marie, or the powerful, expressive lungs of, simply, Emily, who has sung with the likes of Leonard Cohen, the caliber of the tracks never wavers. Highlights include the warm number, "I Will Never Be Alone Again" by Kathy McCord; the charming, seasoned vocals of Michele, who once sang backup for Tommy Roe, Mike Deasy and Sagittarius; and the Nina Simone-esque soul of Anna Black's "Gloomy Sunday." This record is overflowing with lost classics; if it's not the teenaged duo Lily & Maria that blow you away, then it's the eerie, spectral vibes of the enigmatic Amanda Trees -- every artist on this compilation has not only a great song, but a great story to go with it. A+.

If you like what you hear, recently reissued records of artists featured on Women Blue include Lily & Maria, Rosalie Sorrels' If I Could be the Rain, Michele O'Malley's Saturn Rings, and Penny Nichols' Penny's Arcade. [PG]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  VARIOUS ARTISTS
Wayfaring Strangers: Lonesome Heroes
(The Numero Group)

"Before" Jim Schoenfeld
"Little Children" George Cromarty

The first two Wayfaring Strangers compilations focused on the musical followers of John Fahey and Joni Mitchell, and now the series returns with Lonesome Heroes, an absolutely outstanding collection of private-press loner folk gems. The homegrown singer-songwriters on this disc channel the likes of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Rapp, Mickey Newbury and Tim Hardin... each in their own slightly off-kilter way, of course. If you're a fan of that sort of thing, then you're probably going to love just about all of the dusty obscurities on here, from the cracked genius of Jim Schoenfeld's anti-war/environmentalist anthem "Before," to Jack Hardy's epic ballad "The Taylor," and the haunting "No Love Lost" from Tucker Zimmerman's Tony Visconti-produced debut album (which someone really ought to reissue in its entirety). Wayfaring Strangers: Lonesome Heroes is one of the strongest compilations the Numero Group has put together to date. As always, the guys from the label have included brief biographies for each of the artists, who include numerous Vietnam veterans as well as draft dodgers, a priest, an ABC-Dunhill promotions director, a future motivational speaker, and even a professional hockey player. It's a weird and wonderful group of musicians, and a totally gripping collection of songs. [RH]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  TOMMY CASH
Rise and Shine / Six White Horses
(Omni)

"One Song Away"
"Carried Away"

Two very fine LPs and a handful of bonus tracks from Tommy Cash, a highly underrated country singer and youngest brother of Johnny Cash. I suppose he was destined to be underrated from the get-go, considering the larger than life impact and stature of his older bro. When he was starting out his managers and handlers all suggested he just go ahead and change his name so he'd not have to live up to crushing expectations, along with charges of riding on his famous sibling's coattails. Cash is a good last name though, and the fact is Tommy is a superb singer, steeped in the same folkways as Johnny, and a commanding presence on his own.

Listening to Tommy you can hear a faint echo of the intonation and inflection of Johnny, but these albums probably bear closer comparison to the mid-sixties country-folk work of Waylon Jennings. Always an acoustic guitar in the foreground, and surprisingly shorn of superfluous arrangements, there's an interesting tension going on across these LPs between what I guess we'd these days call a red state/blue state divide. A fair amount of the tunes reflect the progressive politics of Johnny, but they sometimes sit uneasily next to others that can be hilariously reactionary. It's not as schizophrenic a listen as that sounds though, and probably pretty accurately reflects the confusing emotions of the times in which these records were crafted. However, the greatest song on here, and I do mean great, pretty unequivocally comes down on the side of the political spectrum I'm most comfortable with, and it was also Tommy Cash's biggest hit and the song he'll be remembered for.

"Six White Horses" is a haunting, rueful, and entirely un-mawkish tribute to the slain Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King Jr., which manages to strike the perfect balance between sorrowful resignation and outrage. It's a song well worth revisiting and reflecting on now, when we're faced with an increasingly acrid political atmosphere where individuals think it's appropriate to bring assault rifles to health care debates. Pay heed as Tommy sings, "Some preach wrong and some preach right / Some preach love and some preach fight / Takes every kind to make the world go round / Takes only one to gun you down." [MK]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  MIRRORS
Something That Would Never Do
(Violent Time)

The Mirrors formed in Cleveland in the early 70s, born of the same scene (and often sharing members with) the Electric Eels, Styrenes, and most famously Rocket from the Tombs / Pere Ubu. Led by the Velvets-damaged songwriting of Jamie Klimek, they produced a few albums worth of classic American rock and roll that, if you've never heard them before, will leave you wondering where the Mirrors have been all of your life. Both sides of their "Hearthan" single (the only record released during their lifetime) are here as well as most of the material from that Scat Records Those Were Different Times set and a couple of tracks from that essential Overground Hands in My Pockets CD that have never been on vinyl. It's been forever and a day since there's been any Mirrors material on vinyl and this stuff is as good as it gets. Highly recommended. [DMa]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  LUKE VIBERT
We Hear You
(Planet Mu)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

After digging his heels into new-school acid and disco with his Kerrier District project, Luke Vibert heads back to his electronica roots with We Hear You, a record that's a lil' weird -- it is Vibert after all -- and oddly groovy. From the cut-up hip-hop of the title track, to classic Warp-era influenced techno ("Hot Sick") and onto guitar-laden big beat ("Batting for England"), Vibert is ready to dance again -- granted it's in a rubber-walled room. As longtime listeners are well aware, he's capable of producing spine-shifting, ear-tingling beats that get your feet tapping while you're simultaneously scratching your head. Add to this vocal snippets, vocoder musings and his signature offbeat humor, there's no mistaking We Hear You as coming from anyone but Vibert -- there's a reason why the man has been a household name in electronic music for well beyond a decade. [DG]
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

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  VARIOUS ARTISTS
Science Fiction Dance Party
(Finders Keepers)

"Hit Parade in the Light Year 25"
"The Whistling Astronaut"

First off, yeah, I approached this one with more than just a wee bit of skepticism. Science Fiction Dance Party, a concept science fiction/space-ploitation album from the late 60s by German composers Horst Ackerman and Heribert Thusek, set off more than a few alarm bells... soundtracky German go-go kitsch ain't exactly my bag, you see. Turns out it's exactly that yet nothing like it. Science Fiction Dance Party is a deliriously giddy, hallucinatory, and wildly imaginative trip, with crazy studio effects, squelching and bleeping synths, and a horn section straight outta Jupiter. Thusek was also a seasoned jazz session man, and played with members of Embryo and Niagara, which shines through on a number of occasions, as does the willingness to experiment in a fashion that was very much in line with the Krautrock of the era. File this one alongside Jean-Jacques Perrey, Delia Derbyshire, and Joe Meek's I Hear a New World, and it will hold its own for most of the way. [AK]
 
         
   
       
   

 

 

     
 

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  GROUP INERANE
Guitars from Agadez
(Sublime Frequencies)

"Kuni Majagani"
"Awal Sptember"

One of Sublime Frequencies' most rewarding discoveries is once again available (following a sold-out vinyl pressing that now fetches triple digits), a vibrant, trancelike run through of electric guitars from Agadez, Niger. Group Inerane, led by local youth legend Bibi Ahmed, practices Tuareg guitar music, a sound of protest strengthened in Libyan refugee camps throughout the '80s and '90s. For those of you who like to rock but shy away from world music sounds, this is as good of a compromise as we can offer -- sinewy thirds of raw desert blues that, aside from the decided local bent on composition, delivery and subject material, has more in common with a Dead Moon record than anything in the WOMAD canon. Voices and percussion yelp and skitter around in thirds, but it's Ahmed's guitar (and the rhythm guitar of Adi Mohamed) that animates this music and gives it purpose. Theirs is the sound of immediacy: relentlessness without aggression, the basic need to be heard and to overpower an oppressive world with a heavy, mantra-like screed of burly, sand-chunk guitar. It's a brutal sound at times, but a leavening one for the duration, meditating with wild passion in any number of keys and group dynamics. There's an extra-large Hendrix obsession at play as well, gracing these songs with bursts of raw rock heroics you'd likely never expect to find here. Unbelievable album, one of 2007's best and a necessity for anyone with even an inkling of musical adventurousness within them. [DM]
 
         
   
       
   

 

 

     
 

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  BUY EARLY GET NOW: YO LA TENGO
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

 
         
   
   
   
   
 
   
       
   
         
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THIS WEEK'S CONTRIBUTORS

BCa] Brian Cassidy
[PG] Pamela Garavano-Coolbaugh
[DG] Daniel Givens
[DH] Duane Harriott
[RH] Rob Hatch-Miller
[MK] Michael Klausman
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[BL] Brian Levine
[DMa] Dave Martin
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[NS] Nathan Salsburg
[JTr] Jonathan Treneff









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