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   September 1, 2010  

Other Music has had the pleasure this summer of overseeing a short concert series, presented by our friends at the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, celebrating the vibrant and diverse communities of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill Brooklyn, and the beautiful park that sits at their center both physically and spiritually. The final 2010 show is Tuesday, September 14, and features not just great, uplifting music, from Daptone recording artists Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, but some sublime comedy as well, from the one and only Reggie Watts. The shows are free, the park is beautiful, and summer is not over until we say it is -- please join us!

Fort Greene Park, Myrtle Lawn (Myrtle @ N.Portland)
FREE! | 6:30-9:00pm

Dirty Projectors (Pre-order)
Ducktails (Live on WFMU LP)
The Acid Archives - 2nd Edition
Bruce Haack
The Clientele
Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg
Kompakt Total 11 (Various)
Madlib (Medicine Show #8)
Jenny & Johnny
Charlie Nothing & Dingulator
Family Trees (7")
Common (Resurrection Box)
Philip Selway
Outer Space (Limited LP)

Les Rallizes Denudes (2 LPs)

All of this week's new arrivals.

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SEP Sun 29 Mon 30 Tues 31 Wed 01 Thurs 02 Fri 03 Sat 04

This Saturday, Moving Sounds Festival, Austrian Cultural Forum New York & Wordless Music are presenting a special performance from acclaimed Austrian electronic composer and guitarist Christian Fennesz, along with Soap & Skin and Due East. Other Music has two pairs of tickets to give away to this diverse night of sounds, just email enter@othermusic.com to register. We'll notify the two winners this Friday.

LE POISSON ROUGE: 158 Bleecker Street NYC

SEP Sun 05 Mon 06 Tues 07 Wed 08 Thurs 09 Fri 10 Sat 11

All Tomorrows Parties and the Blackened Music Series are presenting what is sure to be an incredibly epic evening. Sunn0))) and Boris will be together performing their Altar collaboration in NYC for the first time ever! Boris will also be playing with the Cult's Ian Astbury, making their US debut together as BXI, with Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter opening the night. Enter to win a pair of tickets by emailing tickets@othermusic.com. We'll notify the winner this Friday.

BROOKLYN MASONIC TEMPLE: 317 Clermont Ave (at Lafayette Ave) Fort Greene, Brooklyn

SEP Sun 05 Mon 06 Tues 07 Wed 08 Thurs 09 Fri 10 Sat 11

With the recently released "Tomboy" single on Paw Tracks and Domino Recording Co. about to drop another teaser single later this month (all leading up to the upcoming Tomboy full-length), our old friend Panda Bear is back in the States to perform a few dates, which includes a stop at Governor's Island on Saturday, September 11, with Teengirl Fantasy and Portugal's Gala Drop, as well as a DJ set from Animal Collective's Avey Tare. And yes, we've got a pair of tickets up for grabs, which you can enter for by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com. We'll notify the winner on Tuesday, September 7.

SEP Sun 12 Mon 13 Tues 14 Wed 15 Thurs 16 Fri 17 Sat 18

L.A. shoegaze art-punks No Age return to New York on Saturday, September 18, where they'll be playing at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg in support of their forthcoming new album, Everything in Between (out September 28 on Sub Pop) with Small Black opening. Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets which you can enter for by emailing contest@othermusic.com. We'll notify the two winners on Tuesday, September 7.





    Many of our customers have been enjoying the ease of texting their orders with their mobile phone. To take advantage of this option with the items listed below, go to subports.com where you can create your free Subports account. Afterwards, just text the corresponding subcode listed underneath each item to 767825.



Live at Other Music


Bitte Orca Expanded



Live at Other Music 12" EP

We still have a small quantity of an exclusive, limited white label 12" featuring a live acoustic set from Dirty Projectors, recorded last summer at Other Music, available for website pre-order (limit 2 per customer). These are going very fast, so if you are a mail order customer don't wait too long. We will have a fairly large, but still limited quantity available for local shoppers to buy in person at our East Village store when the vinyl EP is officially released on Tuesday, September 28. (These have been set aside for in-store purchases only.) Also available for pre-order: Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca Expanded Edition, which includes a bonus disc with the Other Music performance, plus B-sides, and comes out on the same day.







Neu! 86

"Good Life"

Quite simply, this album kicks ass. Don't listen to the haters who unfairly (and unjustly) claim that this record pales in comparison to Neu!'s previous masterworks. This LP was an attempt at musical reconciliation between Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger, recorded ten years after their last album and never given a final mix and master until now -- Dinger gave the unfinished tapes to Japanese label Captain Trip in the mid 1990s without Rother's knowledge of permission, and that quasi-legit release was one of the biggest stopping points between the duo's negotiations to remaster and reissue the group's catalogue until the early 2000s. That Japanese release was quickly deleted, and Dinger's rough, punk non-mix only hinted at sessions that successfully captured a melding of Rother's graceful synth drift with Dinger's jerky neue-deutche-welle pop experimentation, which he had perfected in three albums as La Dusseldorf. Rother recently took those 1986 master tapes and applied a breathtaking, epic mix to the sessions, slightly re-sequencing the album and finally giving closure to what was to be Neu!'s final chapter.

The duo take the Apache beat science (stop calling it "motorik" -- Dinger would be pissed!), hypnotic riffnosis, and majestic synth fanfares of past works and re-jig them with Fairlight sampler workouts reminiscent of early Art of Noise and Yellow Magic Orchestra, and apply a keen knowledge of new wave sonics that freshen up their template while remaining true to what makes the group so instantly recognizable. They apply '86 technology to their sound palette in ways that make total sense, where big chunky blocks of samples form riffs of rhythmic ecstasy; the sound may be a tad thicker, but it's all still as streamlined and saturated in neon as ever. Songs like "Crazy" and "Drive" hark back to '75-era jams like "Hero," and tracks like "November," "Wave Mother" and "Euphoria" rival the ballet-like grace of Rother compositions like "Isi" and "Seeland." The real meat here, however, comes from epic pop blasts like "Danzing" and "La Bomba (Stop Apartheid Worldwide!)," where Dinger whoops, crows, and chants like a wild man over electro breakdance beats and surf guitars; his energy is infectious, and on "Paradise Walk," possibly my favorite track on the record, he is fully assimilated into his machinery, cut-up, re-sampled, and made into a beat of his own.

Rother's dedication to Dinger's spirit is striking throughout; it bleeds across every track and gives the album its heart. Rother's version is also very different from Dinger's, and in my opinion it's his finishing touch that makes the record as striking as Dinger's version decidedly wasn't. If you're looking for brain-melting psychotic Krautrock, look elsewhere. Despite what many people say about those first three Neu! albums, in my opinion that's not what any of them ever really represented; rather, this record successfully integrates the current-events mentality of pop culture that the duo always stood for, right down to their name and logo. On Neu! '86, Rother and Dinger made an album that ends their career together on a high note, with a coda that finds two oil-and-water personalities mixing their potent brew together one last time with the same amount of perverse humor, deft musical brilliance, and total disregard for what came before as the duo and their music always represented. One of the best reissues of the year. [IQ]

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$9.99 MP3


The Traveller
(Ostgut Ton)

"Atmo - Action"

The Traveller finds German producer Rene Pawlowitz (a/k/a Shed) exploring new roads and repaving some old ones. His 2008 debut, Shedding the Past, was a sleeper hit at the shop, a backward-looking but still forward-moving record that our staff frequently -- and with great success -- recommended to techno fans looking for something new. Here we find Shed skillfully combining his appreciation for the spacious, minimal work of Basic Channel with a more diverse rhythmic palette than before; touching on dubstep, garage, drum & bass, and straight-up techno, Pawlowitz creates a subtle, moody flow by linking the tracks together with lots of beatless interludes. As a result, The Traveller plays out like a proper album as opposed to a collection of dance-floor singles.

He has a great sense of space and timing and nothing seems to be in a rush, as rhythms and sounds float, shimmer, and bounce around the sonic environment, settling into the listener's head as well as their feet. Though there are true danceable moments, like the four-and-a-half minute acid excursion, "My R-Class," the shorter length of the tracks doesn't let you settle into the groove for too long. As the album plays out, the sound becomes bigger and the beats more prominent; rhythms fade and re-emerge with ease, often enveloped by a windstorm of synths. At times the mood feels like an electronic new age record, or maybe music for meditation, however, this is not sleepy techno, with the atmospheres frequently shifting after sticking around just long enough to engage. Like his Ostgut labelmates Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann, Shed is moving beyond the 12" and becoming a new visionary in the post clicks-n-cuts world of techno. In fact, a passage on the back cover of The Traveller asks, "Does techno music really need the album format?" If they were all like this one I would wholeheartedly answer, "Yes." [DG]

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Live on WFMU

If you're a big fan of Ducktails like we are at the shop, then you know that these songs, recorded live in New Jersey's WFMU studios, have already made a victory lap or two around the Internet. You may have heard this excellent live set, you may even "own" it, but Inflated Records just did everybody a solid favor by releasing the session on vinyl in a 500-copy limited run -- and 250 of those 500 are pressed on the most gorgeous orange-yellow vinyl you can imagine, the color of sunlight filtered through foggy shades, the hue of an orange flavored Creamsicle!

Though the session consists only of Matt Mondanile and his Real Estate bandmate Martin Courtney, the two of them deftly maneuver among the drum and synthesizer samples with chiming, intertwining guitar parts. The six-song set is a mostly instrumental affair; only "The Mall" uses Mondanile's voice to drive the tune forward. Mondanile and Courtney even break out a Real Estate song on the second side: a faster, sparser version of "Let's Rock the Beach." Though most everyone conflates chillwave with the beach and tune in/turn on/drop out vibe, I've always thought that these songs will sound even better come winter; there's something frosted, dark, and mysterious inside of most Ducktails songs. And sure enough, there it is, right there on the photocopied liner notes: "Recorded by Matt Mondanile and Martin Courtney on 12/18/08. It was snowing outside." So hot, so cool, so orange, so limited, so buy it already! [MS]

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The Acid Archives - 2nd Edition

It's been less than four years since the first edition of The Acid Archives, a capsule review compendium of rare and privately-pressed North American psychedelic albums of the '60s and '70s, was originally printed. In that time, the book has been through four printings, gone out of print, and has commanded three figure sums on eBay and Amazon. More importantly, it kicked into gear a massive resurgence of psych, hard rock, folk, garage, lounge-pop and otherwise incredibly strange music reissues, many of which have been carried here at Other Music. And it's made all who have read it more aware of music that, due to circumstance and general desirability, has been all but obscured by history, human error, and common sense.

But let's face it, there are a good number of you out there who love the cornerstones of these niche genres of music so much that you look for more of it, through research and recommendations and discovery. So if you're a collector, just curious, or appreciate a well-done music reference guide in general, Patrick Lundborg's second tome is set to blow your mind. It's a marked improvement from the first edition in many ways. Doing a quick comparison, nearly all of the reviews I've looked up have been revised with current information against the original, up to date as of July 2010. Over 700 reviews have been added, bringing the total in the book to well over 5000, and there are hundreds of cover scans and press clippings peppered throughout, now rendered in full color. In addition, there are appendices on some of the most asked-about topics within the realm of collecting -- '70s tax scam labels, Christian psych, exotica, underground soul and funk, Southern rock, and many more. (Aaron Milenski's guide to affordably-priced unknowns is sadly missing from this edition, though to be honest, if you're not looking for Cheryl Dilcher or Bernie Schwarz LPs now, you probably never would!)

Lundborg's efforts as editor here are a marked improvement over the original, and his dry, humorous style makes these reviews a blast to read. The writers have done an excellent job of testing sound quality of reissues against originals, and they sniff out the best versions available, and give you the scoop on bootlegs. And while there are other resources that would provide more accurate, up-to-the-minute pricing information, Acid Archives does a good job at ballparking the value of originals, and provides the frank talk from trusted sources needed to debunk rare record dealer hype.

Simply put, there is no better resource out there for information on rare American, Canadian and Mexican psych records. The market for these titles continues to trend upwards, and whether you're the type to spend $20, $200, or $2,000 on a record, you should know what you're getting into. A book like this evens the score significantly. Along with Galactic Ramble, the UK equivalent of this volume (also featuring contributions by Lundborg and Milenski, among other Acid Archives contributors), the historical perspective, level of knowledge, and overall scope of the reviews within provide a much-needed reference against some of the wildest music you'll ever hear. It's a positively fascinating look into an enormous and under-documented realm of outsider music, and is most highly recommended... and who knows when this edition will disappear? [DM]

Order Book by Texting "ombkpatrickacid" to 767825






Farad: The Electronic Voice
(Stones Throw)

"Electric to Me Turn"
"Program Me"

Right now is as good a time as any to get introduced to (or rediscover...I hadn't listened in years) the electronic wizardry of Bruce Haack. The man's musical resume is quite incredible, and his longtime love affair with the synthesizer led him all sorts of places, from theater scores and musique concrète composition to Kraft and Goodyear commercials to a series of amazing self-released LPs of robot music for children, psychedelic concept albums and some dark and tortured experimental recording (Haackula, anyone?), and somehow he topped it all off in 1982 with a 12" on Def Jam called "Party Machine." Stones Throw's Farad: The Electronic Voice is a great overview's of Haack's recordings from the '70s and '80s, kicking off with "Electric to Me Turn," a track off his best-known "rock" album, the wonderfully twisted 1970 acid opus Electric Lucifer, that sounds like a bizarre and absolutely incredible marriage of Raymond Scott and Syd Barrett. As far as electronic psychedelic music goes, this, along with White Noise, is its very high point.

Elsewhere, there's a 50/50 split between wonderful trippy electronic pop and more abstract pieces, where he showcases his Moog skills and use of effects (a lot of Haack's equipment was homemade which makes the sounds he coaxed out of his machines even more incredible), and also introduces the Farad, an early prototype of the today's vocoder. Perhaps the greatest quality of Bruce Haack's work though, is the human element that his music possesses. Despite the fact that he uses exclusively (analog) electronic equipment, there's a warmth and soul to everything that's unsurpassed. It might not be man and machine in perfect harmony, but it's certainly one of the most remarkable musical rides the two have taken together. Haack has remained somehow under the radar all these years, while being name-checked by everyone from Luke Vibert to Beck to Cornelius and the Beastie Boys, and anyone into electronic composition, psychedelia, Silver Apples, Broadcast, electro, Raymond Scott etc., needs this. [AK]

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$5.99 MP3



Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Listening to the Clientele now it strikes me that, before I'd actually heard them, this is what I always imagined the Paisley Underground bands of the '80s would sound like: wistful and haunted odes to a fading past, with a sparing touch of British melancholia to authenticate the forgery. Signed, sealed, delivered. Over a decade into their career, it's easy to forget just how arresting and magical this music seemed when it first appeared. Beyond the understated pop hooks and studied ear for reproducing the sound and feel of the best '60s pop, vocalist Alasdair MacLean has always possessed a poetic way with the word, pairing his evocative, half-whispered delivery with a novelist's attention to detail. The overall effect is a fully realized transportation into a hazy dreamworld where everything is a half step removed from reality. The group's moves toward an evolving vision of their sound continue here, mixing prog and psych flourishes into their tried-and-true delicate pop blueprint. Whereas the integration felt a bit forced in the past, they manage a much more seamless marriage of their muses here, running the gamut of '70s folk/prog, Felt-indebted jangle-bounce, White Light/White Heat garage churn and late-period Zeppelin breaks, sometimes all in one perfect song ("Jerry"). The Clientele have long been masters of the mood, and every song here works perfectly -- you'll be hard pressed to find a better soundtrack to the transitional weeks of late summer to early fall than this. A faultless EP. [JTr]

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$21.99 LP+45


Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg
(Light in the Attic)

"Je T'aime, Moi Non Plus"
"Le Canari Est Sur Le Balcon"

Chances are, even if you're not familiar with Serge Gainsbourg, you've probably heard "Je T'aime, Moi Non Plus," his controversial 1969 duet with lover Jane Birkin. The song was his first international hit, courting controversy due to Birkin's simulated orgasm in the song's coda and its subsequent banning by the BBC, topping charts in France, Japan, and the UK, and even gaining underground cult status in the USA, where it appropriately peaked at, of course, #69. It was the soundtrack to countless baby-making sessions across the globe, and has been covered by countless musicians, featured in numerous films, and has become Gainsbourg's signature tune to many. Light in the Attic offers up this first American reissue of the album which quickly followed in the single's wake, a compilation of new tunes sung by both Birkin and Gainsbourg, a few Serge-sung versions of ye-ye pop songs originally written for France Gall ("Les Sucettes"), Francoise Hardy (L'Anamour"), and Anna Karina ("Sous Le Soleil Exactement"), and one hell of a stoned church-funk jam based upon a Chopin prelude (that'd be the epic "Jane B"). We also get new liners and a bonus track, the couple's first recorded duet (the sultry, classic "Chanson De Slogan," which was the theme tune to the film on which the couple first met and fell in love).

The album deftly mixes psychedelic cabaret tunes sung by Birkin ("18-39," "Orang Outang"), seedy orchestral baroque-pop bombs half-crooned by Serge ("Manon," "Elisa") and one of their best duets, the quasi-autobiographical "69 Année Érotique," which plays out like their version of "The Ballad of John and Yoko" and features one of the creamiest, most sultry basslines ever put to tape. It's funny, but as great as this album still sounds to this day, it's not even the best work that these two would go on to produce together. Rather, it's the sound of that initial, inseparable l'amour that makes this record's somewhat disjointed parts equal up into a classic whole, and British conductor Arthur Greenslade's arrangements deserve mention as well. Listen to Michel Colombier's thick, syrupy arrangement of Gainsbourg's 1967 version of "Je T'Aime," recorded with Brigitte Bardot but unreleased until the 1980s, and compare it to the sleek, classy bounce of Greenslade's arrangement for the Birkin version -- there's a world of difference, and it carries through to the rest of the album as well, filled with baroque organ and string parts, thick bass grooves, and a light jazziness that wisps across the record like smoke from a Gitanes cigarette. This is the sound of Gainsbourg's love for Birkin being immortalized on wax for all to hear; their creative partnership would go on to last long after their romantic relationship had fallen apart in the late 1970s, and the songs recorded here would plant the seeds that would be creatively sewed on Gainsbourg's historic L'Histoire De Melody Nelson album a few years later in 1971. It's an essential chapter in not only Gainsbourg's discography, but in the story of French pop as well, and it's a cornerstone album in Other Music's International/Decadanse section. Translation: écoute essentiel. [IQ]

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$14.99 MP3


Kompakt Total 11

"Rollerskate (Sanfuentes & Thunders Rmx)" Matias Aguayo
"Silbereisen" Sog
"Hang Four (Allez-Allez Rmx)" Walls

Kompakt's annual Total series is always a great barometer for what the label has up its sleeve, and the eleventh installment is surprisingly their most diverse offering yet. Having been one of the prime movers of minimal techno during the early/mid 2000s, in recent years we saw elements of trance creeping into the Kompakt aesthetic, and now again we find the Cologne imprint tweaking its course, though listening through these two discs of almost all new music, it's not always exactly clear where the final destination is. Sure, the usual suspects are all here, from DJ Koze, who kicks off the comp with the percussive, electronic experimentalism of "Der Wallach," to minimal-house and tech-pop sounds from the likes of Jurgen Paape, Ada & Heiko Voss, Michael Mayer, Popnoname, and Jonas Bering, ambient house from Orb-man Thomas Fehlmann, and of course, minimal techno pioneer Wolfgang Voigt. We also find the Field dipping his toe into the kosmische pool, the delightfully strange "Lapdance" from Superpitcher, a club friendly reworking of Matias Aguayo's dance hit "Rollerskate" (Sanfuentes & Thunders Version), and even an Alan Parson's Project cover from Justus Kohncke. But it's the head-scratchers and small surprises that demonstrate that the best editions of Total seem to be when the label is in a bit of stylistic flux. Gui Boratto's uber-melodic "Plie" is a continuous pulsing crescendo that reaches its tasteful climax with the help of some human beat-keeping from ex-Sepultura(!?) drummer Iggor Cavalera, while Mugwump glams things up for the dance floor and It's a Fine Line (a/k/a Ivan Smagghe and Tim Paris) offer up some spacey instrumental rockabilly. The comp winds down on a couple of unexpectedly soulful notes; Ada's tropical reworking of Gusgus' "Hateful" sets the stage for the nocturnal dub-pop closer, "You'll Win Again," from the Three Lions, a collaboration between Jorg Burger, Superpitcher and Rebolledo featuring a horn section with Michael Mayer on the saxophone -- who knew?! [GH]

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Medicine Show #8: Advanced Jazz
(MMS Records)

Track 4
Track 9

Madlib's latest installment of the album-a-month Medicine Show project is, as with all the odd numbers in the series, a mix. The theme for Volume Eight is advanced jazz, and of course Madlib digs into his legendary vinyl collection, creating a monster mix of unnamed and often unidentifiable moments in jazz history. Though the amazing cover image finds Miles, John, Pharaoh, Sun Ra, Herbie, and a coterie of other giants rowing their way across a stormy Hudson River, rarely across the 80 minutes of music on this disc did I even recognize a song -- yes, this stuff is deep. To his credit, Madlib continues to expand and expose his true inspiration and sonic preferences. A moody, trippy, funky, and advanced journey through a selected vision of jazz from the last forty years. [DG]

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$21.99 LP+CD


I'm Having Fun Now
(Warner Bros)

Jenny Lewis and boyfriend Jonathan Rice have already worked together in many capacities, co-writing many songs that have appeared on both Lewis' and Rice's previous solo efforts, touring, recording and collaborating in many different groups and configurations. But this is their first co-headlining gig, and the couple celebrate with a dose of lovelorn bubblegum on I'm Having Fun Now, an AM radio-inspired pop album that indeed sounds like a fun change of pace, and finds Lewis hanging up her Acid Tongue, at least for the moment. While her alt-country, non-Rilo Kiley output had many great moments, I secretly wished that she would backtrack to the days when RK still played songs like "The Frug." Though still plenty stomping, I'm Having Fun Now leans toward that kind of levity, celebrating the joys of being poor and being in love with sharp Tom Petty guitar riffs and a cruising down the highway attitude. "Straight Edge of the Blade" throws both Rice and Lewis' voices together into one big howl over a surfy lick, while the exceptional "Slavedriver" sounds like something Beck tossed out of his car window in 1998. Jenny & Johnny are having fun, I'm having a ton of fun right now listening to this record, and you should, too. [MS]

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Order LP by Texting "omlpjennyim" to 767825






Charlie Nothing & Dingulator Cassette
(De Stijl)

Charles Martin Simon, the man who would become Charlie Nothing, was born in 1941, and came of age as America was reborn. He was a dropout, a craftsman, a farmer, a writer, and an all around freaky person. He used his metalworking skills to invent and build a series of "dingulators," guitar-like instruments made from junked American cars, then tuned them randomly, and set to work plucking and beating something like music out of them -- usually while reciting his own revolutionary poetry over the cacophony. I say "something like music" because, wonderfully, it never quite coalesces in traditional song forms, and it remains at all times firmly in the realm of dingulation. His releases were few and far-between, and original copies of them are hard to come by. Luckily, De Stijl has reissued his 1985 cassette Charlie Nothing & Dingulator, so you can all get in on the fun.

Side One contains a brief introduction, and then some unaccompanied dingulation which is guaranteed to freak you out, make you uncomfortable, and give you the nervous, itchy sweats all over your body and mind. I recommend listening to it in a dark room on a deep sofa when you have no plans that require you to be calm and collected. Also, play it as loudly as you can. Side Two, as promised in the introduction, features additional dingulatory delights, this time with the added pleasure of Mr. Nothing's own chanting. The topics of said chanting are roughly 1) saving America and 2) words that rhyme with dingulator (e.g. alligator, radiator, etc). This is outsider music at its finest: weird, maniacal, and unsettling. It's not for everybody, but it might be for you -- and if it is, boy, are you in luck. [AS]

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Dream Talkin'

The debut 7" from Brooklyn's Family Trees sounds like a message in a bottle found under the boardwalk, floated from some leafy island in the Pacific Ocean whose precise location is known only to Phil Spector. Every song on this record is an instant earworm, combining elements of blue-eyed soul and sixties pop balladry into a wistful, romantic night breeze, sure to cool the hottest August nights and melt the hearts of all who hear them. [MS]

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Resurrection Box
(Get on Down)

Before Common began his shift to full-fledged conscious rapper (and sometime movie star), the Chicago native was hungry, aspiring, and the top representative of Midwestern hip-hop. This deluxe reissue of Resurrection, his sophomore effort from 1994, collects the original album with 12" mixes, instrumentals, and a cappella versions, along with a 24-page booklet. This is the record that best illustrates the shift in Common's overall style and technique. Soon after he begin a lengthy and healthy relationship with the Roots, Kanye West, and Dilla, growing into a top-notch arena performer. Here, however, he is still the local talent, smart, witty, and eager to show and prove. The majority of production comes from No I.D. and is filled with the soulful griminess and jazzy vibes of the Windy City. In the years when the backpacker was in fashion, this was the true head soundtrack. [DG]

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$21.99 LP



When the drummer in a popular band records his solo LP, there are two basic options: it can sound like a (lesser) version of the skinsman's main gig, or it can sound totally different. On the one hand you have Sean Carey's recent Bon Iver-esque exploration, or on the other hand the distinctly un-Kiss-able disco workout that was Peter Criss. And now, Philip Selway's decidedly Radiohead-less Familial. The excellent and phenomenally successful drummer has made a quiet, deeply heartfelt album of acoustic songwriter pop that owes far more to the hushed, intimate sounds of artists like Richard Hawley or Nick Drake than it does the proggy alt-rock gestures of the 'Head, and that is probably a good thing for everyone involved. With not a drumbeat to be heard throughout, the album must be judged strictly on its own terms, and as luck would have it, Familial is a pretty good record.

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Outer Space

Emerald's John Elliott releases this full-length meditation that (according to its own press release) is "deeply indebted to the inner workings of the electric signal." Vintage synth breakdowns very much in the style of early 20th-century electronic composers, Elliott has retained the mood and magic of his main band while mining a different, if parallel vein of sound. Limited edition, clear vinyl LP.

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Heavier Than a Death in the Family

"Night of the Assassins"
"Ice Fire"

Blind Baby Has Its Mother's Eyes

"Blind Baby Has Its Mother's Eyes"
"An Aweful Eternitie"

This review is both easy and difficult for me to complete, as I'm privileged to be writing up one of my all-time faves, Les Rallizes Denudes. This music has until now only been available on bootlegged CD-Rs, but finally these two albums get a proper reissue on the Phoenix imprint. Monumentally important, ahead-of-its-time music from the '70s post-Group Sounds/Futen scene of Japan, Les Rallizes' vibe has infected countless artists including Fushitsusha/Keiji Haino, as well as Kousokuya and LSD March -- really, pretty much any black-clad, long-haired Japanese band making harrowing, overdriven bliss-out sounds owes it to LRD. I always like to describe the group as a much more evil, nihilistic, bad-trip version of Exploding Plastic Inevitable V.U. meets Psychocandy-era JAMC, complete with that screaming wall of jet-engine guitar. Les Rallizes Denudes also have a way of throwing a bit of doo-wop into the mix, which allows listeners to put their guard down long enough for the band to then explode in their faces like a glass-filled I.E.D.

While there are a number of great records in the LRD catalogue, Heavier Than a Death in the Family and Blind Baby Has Its Mother's Eyes are surely among the best to start with. And you've got to agree, these are two of the coolest record titles of the '70s, maybe ever. I won't go into a blow-by-blow description for each album, but suffice to say that if you're into the idea of plaintive, ghostly, ethereal doo-wop arching and lurching into beautifully anguished, skin-melting sheets of distorted guitar that bring forth curiously appealing images of Godzilla tearing down skyscrapers in slow motion, then this is for you.

Heavier Than... has the essential "Strong Out Deeper Than the Night," "Enter the Mirror" and "Night Collectors" as well as the decidedly more rocked-out and thunderous "People Can Choose" and the screaming, white-hot blizzard of "Ice Fire." The later album of the two, Blind Baby... features the mildly Arabesque "An Aweful Eternitie" and a somewhat more urgent, quicker-than-normal version of the dinosaur dirge, "The Last One," while the title track is a 19-minute epic of especially phased-out, UFO-effected guitar -- for Les Rallizes' headman Mizutani at least. The album also quickly cuts to some folksier and otherwise dissimilar Les Rallizes moments but then jumps back before you know it. Excellent, essential stuff for fans of ultimate blissed-out distortion from the likes of classic bands like Parsons Sound, Spacemen 3, Jesus & Mary Chain, Loop and Godflesh to more current groups like Wooden Shijps, Black Tambourine, Dead Meadow, Bardo Pond, etc., and so on ad infinitum. [SM]

Order Heavier Than LP by Texting "omlplesheavier" to 767825
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Order Blind Baby LP by Texting "omlplesblind" to 767825
Order Blind Baby CD by Texting "omcdlesblind" to 767825
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[DG] Daniel Givens
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[SM] Scott Mou
[AS] Andrew Siskind
[MS] Michael Stasiak
[JTr] Jon Treneff

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