Having trouble viewing this email? Go to othermusic.com/2011january27update.html

   
   January 27, 2011  
       
   

NEW LIVE AT OTHER MUSIC FILM: IRON & WINE
We've been sitting on this great in-store performance video for a while now, but with the release of Iron & Wine's fantastic new album, Kiss Each Other Clean, the timing seemed perfect to premiere the latest installment of the Live at Other Music series. This was filmed by Dig For Fire back in May of 2009, when Sam and his sister Sarah Beam stopped by the store to play a very intimate set in support of the then newly released Around the Well collection of outtakes and rarities. There are three parts to this episode -- the first segment features an early version of "Tree by the River," one of the many highlights on Kiss Each Other Clean, followed by performances of older I&W favorites "Boy with a Coin" and "The Trapeze Swinger" in the next two corresponding clips. This film truly captures how special this in-store was, and we hope that you enjoy the latest installment of the series as much as we have. (Click here to view the episodes, high quality streaming courtesy of VEVO. Viewers outside of the United States can watch the clips on YouTube.)
 
 
 
   
   

 

 

     
 

$12.99
CD

Buy

$21.99 LP+CD

Buy

  IRON & WINE
Kiss Each Other Clean
(Warner Bros)

"Walking Far from Home"
"Big Burned Hand"

And speaking of Iron & Wine's new album, this one is certainly Sam Beam's most ambitious effort to date, and once again with a full band in tow, nicely picks up where 2007's The Shepherds Dog left us. Look for a full review of Kiss Each Other Clean in next week's Other Music Update.

Order CD by Texting "omcdironkiss" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpironkiss" to 767825
 
         
   
       
   
     
 
 
FEATURED NEW RELEASES
Destroyer
Gang Gang Dance
Willie Wright
Cloud Nothings
Deerhoof
Balam Acab (now on CD)
Serge Gainsbourg (Initials B.B. LP)
Marisa Anderson
LCD Soundsystem
Disco Ladies (Various Aritists)
Jeff Phelps
Sic Alps
The Ex
The 13th Floor Elevators

 

 

ALSO AVAILABLE
Apex Manor
Death
Jokers
Gang of Four
Thank You
Fujiya & Miyagi
Cold War Kids


BACK IN STOCK
Catherine Christer Hennix


All of this week's new arrivals.
Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/othermusicnyc
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/othermusic
 
         
   
   
   
   
   
       
   
 
 
JAN Sun 23 Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thurs 27 Fri 28 Sat 29
FEB Sun 30 Mon 31 Tues 01 Wed 02 Thurs 03 Fri 04 Sat 05


  WIN TICKETS TO THE BUNKER: JAN 28 & FEB 4
We're giving away a few pairs of tickets to the next two upcoming Bunker parties. First, this Friday, January 28, residents Spinoza, Derek Plaslaiko, and Eric Cloutier are welcoming to the front room a live set from Virgo, whose untitled album has long been considered one of the greatest records of Chicago house music, along with a house set from Detroit's Patrick Russell. In the other room, Levon Vincent will be playing at the Bunker for the first time since his all-acid set at subTonic way back when, as well as Buffalo's Mike Parker, who's a name on the rise with buy-on-the-spot releases on Aquaplano, Prologue, and his own Geophone label. To enter for this night, email tickets@othermusic.com.

The following Friday, February 4, the Bunker has another killer night booked. In the front room, dance music legend Josh Wink will be spinning for six hours! Joining him will be Ezekiel Honig and David Last, who will kick off the evening together with a warm opening live set that will leave Wink the perfect starting point for his long journey. In the back, the Amsterdam-based Newworldaquarium (a/k/a Jochem Petri) will be making a very rare public performance, along with a four-hour opening DJ set from Delta Funktionen, and a live set from Delsin label mate Conforce. You can enter for this one by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com. We'll be picking two winners for each night.

THE BUNKER: Friday, January 29 & Friday, February 4
PUBLIC ASSEMBLY: 70 N. 6th Street, Williamsburg, BKLN


     
 
   
       
   

 

 

     
    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.
 
         
   
   
   
   
   
       
   

 

 

     
 

$13.99
CD

Buy

$22.99 LPx2+MP3

Buy

$9.99 MP3

Buy

  DESTROYER
Kaputt
(Merge)

"Chinatown"
"Kaputt"

At 15-plus years in, Dan Bejar's Destroyer project is nearly an indie-rock institution. This kind of longevity and, more importantly, relevance has become increasingly rare in the information age, where the attention spans of both artist and audience are more divided than ever. Destroyer established a method of combating this early on, establishing a brand of eccentric art-pop that managed to be self-referential and unpredictable at the same time. Bejar always dropped us a few breadcrumbs along the way, thematically linking his lyrical concerns from one album to the next. Musically, while never straying too far from his early-folk-era Bowie M.O., he also became more adept with his songwriting. These efforts culminated in 2002's sprawling yet incredibly cohesive This Night. But instead of barreling full-speed ahead down this path, he made a drastic left turn with his next album, Your Blues. It was a sparser, more insular concern -- dispensing of a band altogether and instead relying strictly on orchestrated synth-lines for kicks. Whether it is conscious or not, Bejar has always had a sense for when a stage of his project has come to its logical endpoint. And although it was received with muted enthusiasm upon its release, Your Blues was the right move, at exactly the right time.

Kaputt is reminiscent of Your Blues in that it feels like another attempt to break with the past without totally sacrificing the endearing qualities that make Destroyer unique. Like Your Blues, the basic themes remain the same, but the exposition varies drastically. Bejar has always had a playful approach to his influences, referencing them unabashedly in his lyrics. But rarely has he embraced a musical form or genre so openly as he does with Kaputt, a strictly smooth R&B affair through-and-through. Instead of pulling from the tried-and-true pool of '70's folk/glam/art-rock pillars that have served as the foundation for the majority of his work, Bejar looks to the yacht-rock and light/white R&B of the '80s for inspiration here. It's an interesting trick -- one that results in a comparatively breezy album that still retains the lyrical density that has become his calling card. To his credit, Bejar is fully invested in the new conceit, employing back-up crooners, wailing sax, and a synthetic sheen on everything that would make the Eurythmics proud. I'm also hearing traces of Everything but the Girl, Bryan Ferry, and latter-day Steely Dan in the "mature" polish and posturing of the faux-soul jams Bejar is kicking-out here. Kaputt is a refreshing turn, and an encouraging signal that, after a decade-and-a-half, Destroyer remains in service to a creative restlessness that still has the ability to surprise. A total charmer, end-to-end. [JTr]

Free Song Download of "Chinatown" is currently available on Other Music's Digital store for a limited time.

Order CD by Texting "omcddestroyerkaputt" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpdestroyerkaputt" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$13.99
CD

Buy

$16.99 LP

Buy

  GANG GANG DANCE
Kamakura
(Latitudes)

"Amorphous History"
"Amorphous History 2"

Of the several long-running Brooklyn bands making boundary-pushing experimental music with pop undercurrents, for my money Gang Gang Dance is hands-down the best. Over the past ten years the group has grown from some gooey beginnings into a controlled and deliberate machine, all the while maintaining their exploratory spirit and taking their sounds places others fear to tread. Their 2008 LP, Saint Dymphna, found the band upping production values on a solid set of hypnotic Middle Eastern-tinged club jams, sick broken beats processed into infinity and some baffling dubstep moments. While we wait for their first full-length on new label 4AD, Gang Gang has gifted us with Kamakura, a one-sided EP of material recorded in August of 2007 and seeing release for the first time here. This continuous 15-minute session is primarily a patchwork of fragments from all mixed bags put through the digital blender. Anonymous grime samples bounce around with orchestra hits, augmented by live drums and dubby bass stabs. In the hands of a lesser band, this could be a filler-heavy jam session. Gang Gang Dance is no joke, though, and the cut-up rhythms and bugged-out vocal snippets flow by with all the seamless mastery of an Aphex Twin composition, or the collage/compilation skill of Zomby. Juxtaposition of seemingly impossible elements has always been something GGD has excelled at, and Kamakura is more evidence of that fact. To find the sublime in not only the ridiculous but even the cringe-worthy is no small feat, and Gang Gang Dance's sonic pastiche of transforming the banal or ugly into the glorious is just one part of what keeps them ahead of the curve. Vinyl is limited to 1000 copies worldwide so don't sleep through the party. [FT]

Order CD by Texting "omcdgangkamakura" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpgangkamakura" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$16.99
CD+45

Buy

$21.99 LP+45

Buy

  WILLIE WRIGHT
Telling the Truth
(Numero Group)

"I'm So Happy"
"Right on for the Darkness"

I first heard of Willie Wright eight or ten years ago; Keb Darge was spinning at APT and he played Wright's jaw-dropping cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Right on for the Darkness." The OG 45 is known to go for upwards of $500 (mercifully, it's included here), but the percussive funk of that cover version is a bit different from the mellow, folky-soul vibe of Telling the Truth. Born in St. Louis, MO, reared in Harlem, Wright cut his teeth in the bohemian Greenwich Village and Boston/Cambridge folk scene of the '60s. He pretty much lived a nomadic, troubadour lifestyle for 20 years, and by 1977 Wright found himself on Nantucket Island entertaining the nation's wealthy elite, singing and strumming cover tunes in supper clubs, estranged. During his time there he penned all of these lovely self-reflective tunes. Like contemporaries Bill Withers, Terry Callier and Gil Scott-Heron, Wright had a gift for cutting straight to the heart of things, able to convey complex emotional sentiments in beautiful economical phrases, and as the title of the album suggests, this is a deeply personal listen. That's not to say that it's a heavy album, just an honest one. Whether he's singing specifically about his quiet life of solitude on Nantucket ("Nantucket Island"), the trial and tribulations of his love life ("Love Is Expensive") or regretful life decisions ("Son, Don't Let Life Pass You By"), the mood is one of peaceful contemplation and acceptance. The arrangements are sparse, and Wright's voice, which is also very similar to Terry Callier's, is in great form here. He recorded this album in New York, pressed up 1000 copies and sold most of them out of the trunk of his car, and it ended up being Wright's final full-length recording, so kudos to Numero for unearthing another gem and bringing it a larger audience. Lovely, lovely stuff. [DH]

Order CD by Texting "omcdwillietelling" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpwillietelling" to 767825
 
         
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

     
 

$13.99
CD

Buy

$14.99 LP+MP3

Buy

$9.99 MP3

Buy

  CLOUD NOTHINGS
Cloud Nothings
(Carpark)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Kids grow up so fast these days! It seems like only yesterday that Cleveland teenager Dylan Baldi was just beginning to blow blogger's minds with a slew of punk-paced and pop-minded songs under the name Cloud Nothings. Part of the appeal of Baldi's earlier recordings was that this stuff sounded like what it was -- a suburban brat in his folk's basement jacked up on Jolt Cola and effortlessly churning out tune after hooky-as-hell tune on a four-track. You could tell it was one person recording everything from some of the weird edits, jumpy drum lines and who-cares transitional moments, and the scrappy recording process suited the songs. Luckily for us, the result of Cloud Nothings leaving the basement and reaching a wider audience isn't the typical turn towards a slowed-down or lifeless new direction, but an even jumpier take on the territory they started out from.

On first listen, all 11 songs on this self-titled album kinda sound like the tape is actually sped up, yet even zooming by; the songs benefit deeply from the sheen of a good studio and talented engineer on board. The lo-fi treatment wouldn't work on the caffeinated-yet-complex arrangement of "Nothing's Wrong" or the snaky harmonies on "You're Not That Good at Anything." Though Baldi is probably still a little shy of 21, lyrical themes of getting older and fatalistic, regretful inevitabilities run through most of the record. There's a fine line between really killer amped-up punky pop and the dreaded territory of Lookout Records' style pop-punk, and Baldi's quarter-life crisis is keeping Cloud Nothings on the right side of that line. For all the jittery elements, there's equal parts wistful jangle and some soft sophistication hiding underneath the power chords. There are really subtle nods to early-'00s emo-rock (specifically a strong Promise Ring-esque nostalgia on "Should Have") and early-'90s sensitive-guy alterna rock like Lemonheads or even the Housemartins. While the shift in production will likely be the most discussed element of the record, the real success and growth here is in the songwriting, gaining depth and repeated-listenablity without sacrificing any of the band's youthful energy. [FT]

Order CD by Texting "omcdcloudnothings" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpcloudnothings" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$11.99
CD

Buy

$16.99 LP+MP3
180 Gram

Buy

  DEERHOOF
Deerhoof vs. Evil
(Polyvinyl)

"Qui Dorm, Normes Somia"
"Secret Mobilization"

A Deerhoof listener is not made -- they are born to cherish and celebrate this band that evades classification with humor and aplomb. With every new release or performance, Deerhoof creates the beautiful sense that you have discovered their music anew; at their Prospect Park show in 2008, they distributed sheet music of the single "Fresh Born" to the audience, inviting them to record their own versions; or, in the weeks leading up to the release of Deerhoof vs. Evil, their eleventh studio album, the band "leaked" a song every week to different music websites around the world, forcing fans to hop from site to site to listen to the whole record all the way through. And if you persevered, you heard a psychotically pleasurable whirlwind of improvisational pop and stomp.

Opener "Qui dorm nom├ęs somia," written and sung entirely in Catalan, is a journey of total immersion. Shot through the chiming guitars, impish, enthusiastic vocals, and spastic prog drumming are blasts of electronic squiggles and beeps, and twisty guitar loops. "Behold a Marvel in the Darkness" might be the best song about UFO's ever, and perhaps the biggest departure from the group's guitar theatrics is the synthesizer-based "Super Duper Rescue Heads!" Deerhoof's early records captured the live sound of one of the best and tightest contemporary rock bands -- as they continue to make records, Deerhoof are proving themselves to be one of the most challenging and rewarding studio bands as well. [MS]

Order CD by Texting "omcddeerhoofevil" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpdeerhoofevil" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$10.99
CD

Buy

$4.99 MP3

Buy

  BALAM ACAB
See Birds
(Tri Angle)

"Regret Making Mistakes"
"Big Boy"

Now available on CD! Being a rap devotee, I always look on music with a discernable "hip-hop influence" with a certain amount of trepidation. The majority of releases that glide through the electronic world under this supposed banner (no doubt mentioning one famed dead producer or another) are, to me, pointless and aggressively overdone. Sometimes it feels like electronic producers use rap as a badge of honor, re-appropriating these styles as subtly as a house-brick and honestly, they miss the point. Thankfully young-blood Alec Koone has taken the framework laid down by commercial contemporary hip-hop and buried it so deep within his tracks that it's almost not a reference at all -- it's simply the music's soul.

See Birds doesn't sound like a rap record; with all the instrumental degradation and vocal tics it could be closer to outsider pop than "urban" music, but that's exactly why it works. The links to electronic music and post-dubstep (see also Forest Swords) are there, but everything is mired in a treacle-slow DJ Screw-ed haze. It gives the tracks a living, breathing and simply intoxicating otherworldly sound that is as blissfully original as it is addictive. Somehow Koone has managed to do the impossible, and framed his influences in a sound that is neither contrived nor ill conceived, and for that he deserves all the praise that will no doubt be lavished upon him. Buy this disc, and then start waiting impatiently for the full-length. [JT]

Order CD by Texting "omcdbalamsee" to 767825
 
         
   
   
   
   

 

 

     
 

$18.99
LP

Buy

  SERGE GAINSBOURG
Initials B.B.
(4 Men with Beards)

4 Men with Beards continues their vinyl reissue campaign of the Serge Gainsbourg catalogue with Initials B.B., one of Gainsbourg's most highly enjoyable and beloved records. Originally released in 1968 at the peak of his prowess in the ye-ye pop scene, this album is in essence a compilation of Serge's three pop EPs up to that point, France's top format at the time being not singles or LPs but rather four-song 7" EPs with eye-catching picture sleeves. By this time, he had seen success writing and producing hit records for France Gall and Brigitte Bardot, not to mention his soundtrack for the TV musical Anna, starring Anna Karina and featuring her lead vocals on many of the film's songs.

Initials B.B. finds Gainsbourg slipping his own vocals into the ye-ye format, with some of the most straightforward, accessible pop productions of his career. Some of these songs, like the breathtaking title track, a tribute to Bardot modeled after the first movement of Dvorak's Symphonie No.9 and written shortly after their romantic split, cram so much into so little that the results are simply epic. Other bona fide jams on the album include: "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Comic Strip," (two of his Bardot duets); "Qui Est 'In' Qui Est 'Out'," his ode to the fickleness of fashion with some rather intense lyrics; and "Torrey Canyon," about Great Britain's worst ever oil spill, which was still fresh news during the single's release in summer of 1967 and which eerily foreshadows the recent BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. These songs are e Gainsbourg's first efforts under his own name to set aside the jazz and Afro influences of his earlier catalogue in favor of gorgeous, orchestral mutations of British Invasion-styled rock by UK arrangers David Whitaker and Arthur Greenslade; what is impressive about these tunes is their true embrace and creation of "French rock," fusing Gainsbourg's ever-brilliant, threateningly witty lyrics to catchy riffs and grooves rather than simply aping Kinks riffs and Beatles harmonies.

If you are familiar with Gainsbourg's Comic Strip collection on Mercury records -- one of North America's first (and best) domestic collections of his pop/rock material, you'll be familiar with the songs here, as that CD was in essence an expanded version of this record. You people know that I love me some Serge, but I say without hesitation that this is one of his best, most solid records. Two words sum it up, really: essential listening. [IQ]

Order LP by Texting "omlpsergeinitials" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$11.99
LP

Buy

  MARISA ANDERSON
The Golden Hour
(Mississippi)

Many have identified a Fahey-esque quality in Marisa Anderson's playing on this album of old-fashioned guitar music. I, however, would contend that her inspiration goes back further, here Anderson seemingly informed by the very same artists that influenced Fahey and his Takoma Records co-conspirators to breathe new life into the steel-stringed guitar. Songs like "The Night Before Last" and "First Light" evoke that same kind of otherworldly mix of melancholy and satisfaction that can be heard in early blues like Richard Rabbit Brown's "James Alley Blues" and Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was the Night (Cold Was the Ground)" -- the influence of the latter of these two classics is felt throughout The Golden Hour. The record's more rollicking and twangy pieces, like "Drop Down," "A Dream of Willie McTell" and "Electricity," bring to mind the up-tempo country blues style of more modern artists like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside, less some of the growling distortion that marks both those gentlemen's distinctive sounds. Anderson manages to unite these two related but distinct modes on this album by working with a limited but carefully chosen palette of guitar tones that are common to both styles of play. The record has a wonderful sense of being a complete artistic object with a narrative that flows from song to song, rather than a collection of familiar tunes held loosely together by tradition. There are without a doubt similarities between this album and Jack Rose's output in the last years of his life, and fans of his final, posthumous release Luck in the Valley (Thrill Jockey, 2010) would do well to give The Golden Hour a careful listen, as well as any lover of the blues or admirer of excellent guitar playing in the American primitive and country blues traditions. [AS]

Order LP by Texting "omlpmarisagolden" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$12.99
CD

Buy

  LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
London Sessions
(DFA)

"Us Vs. Them"
"Pow Pow"

I've got to be upfront -- I was never really a fan of LCD Soundsystem until last year's This Is Happening. Granted, I always respected James Murphy and I thought his records sounded great, grooving with the best of 'em... but it was the lyrics that always held me back. That is, however, until I heard the last album, with its more personal, emotionally frayed lyrical stance, and combined with the record's wicked mix of tunes fused to the new wave/punky disco that DFA does so well, I was now a convert.

LCD have always been a fiery live act. They toured their cojones off in support of This Is Happening, and with many offering up revelatory praise of the LCD live experience over the years, it seemed logical that they'd hopefully deliver a quality recording of that experience before calling it quits, as Murphy has claimed he may be doing with this band. So here we are with London Sessions, a live-in-the-studio recording of the group somewhat in its element. With no audience adrenalin to feed off of, the band is somewhat more subdued in this setting than usual, still, that doesn't keep them from delivering the goods. Recorded in a Peel Sessions-style, the septet sounds relaxed yet confident, putting new spins on a few well-worn jams and tweaking some of their more recent material along the way. I keep going back to Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense live set in reference to this record -- the mix of lean new wave synth sounds copping funk licks next to chicken scratch guitars with Latin and rock percussion, topped with Murphy's vocals, which bounce between Ritalin-starved romps through more high-octane LCD jams like "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" and "Drunk Girls," and full-bellied declarations on tunes like "All I Want" and "I Can Change," whose slower, subtle rearrangement provides one of the set's definitive highlights. While it's not exactly as triple-live-gonzo as many would perhaps hope for, it's a great document of a great live band in their element, sounding like a victory lap around the track after a great career. [IQ]

Order CD by Texting "omcdlcdlondon" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$21.99
CDx2

Buy

  VARIOUS ARTISTS
Disco Discharge: Disco Ladies
(Harmless)

"More More More" Andrea True Connection"
"Love at First Night" Kim Hart

Damn, it's cold out there! This kind of weather always makes me think of the summertime fun I wish I were having. Specifically, I'm reminiscing about the few weekends I spent out on Fire Island last summer. While most of the dance music played there veered toward the forgettable, everything changed on Sunday evenings when the whole Island flocked to hear NYC club-veteran Lina spin extended mixes of disco classics. The combination of the early evening sun, a few drinks, and the relentless disco thump was electrifying; the vibe there felt as close as I can (only begin to) imagine a night dancing at 12 West or the Paradise Garage must have been like. I mention my summertime exploits only to give you an idea of how excited I am to see the Disco Ladies collection in the shop right now, given the heinous weather that has pummeled NYC over the past few weeks -- this compilation is a warm ray of sunshine, to say the least.

The Disco Discharge series from the UK's Harmless imprint have been a personal favorite for discovering deep, funky and fun disco overlooked by other collections aiming to impress listeners with their curator's crate-digging, and Disco Ladies is no exception. While I mean no disrespect to the much-revered leftfield compilations that have opened our ears to the disco fringes, there is a refreshing lack of pretension on Disco Ladies -- hell, A Taste of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie" is on here (albeit, an excellent raw-sounding mix that is sure to impress). What I also like about this series is the loose definition of their themed compilations; there is no constricting criterion here other than these tracks featuring female vocalists that aim straight for the dance floor. Not inconsistent in the least, Disco Ladies moves deftly through the disco spectrum of the late-'70s and early-'80s, from the deep disco-soul of vocalists like Cheryl Lynn, Gloria Jones, and Sister Sledge, to the electronic funk of Fern Kinney's "Groove Me" and Vicky D's "This Beat Is Mine," and on over to Hi-NRG pounders like Suzi Lane's "Harmony." Finally available stateside for a non-import price, this 2CD collection features nearly two-and-a-half hours of killer, unmixed disco gems. I can't think of a better remedy to cure your winter blues. Highest recommendation. [CPa]

Order CD by Texting "omcddiscoladies" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$16.99
LP

Buy

$9.99 MP3

Buy

  JEFF PHELPS
Magnetic Eyes
(Tomlab)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Oh man, this is a good one. Tomlab offers up a reissue of a 1985 private-press album by one Jeff Phelps. Before you even tear the wrapping off of this LP, you're greeted by a huge sticker emblazoned on the front with deeply flattering quotes by Dam-Funk and Nite Jewel, and once you put the needle to the groove, it's easy to understand why they sing such high praises for this record -- Phelps' warm keyboard chords, percolating machine-drum funk, and quiet storm soul vocals prove to be fully-formed ancestors to Dam and Nite Jewel's own blends of trippy, fuzzy new-wave dream-pop and deep soul. You can throw the usual chillwave/hypnagogic buzzwords around, but the bottom line is that Magnetic Eyes is 41 minutes of arty, funky, unique artistry that sounds much like what surrounded it, but presented all in a mix that took about 25 years to develop sympathetic contemporaries.

Phelps' laidback delivery is the icing on the top of a deeply humanized electronic boogie, filled with soft squelches of synth-bass, slightly wonky Radiophonic squiggles that serve as hooks, and a bed of peach-fuzzed keyboard lines. There's a hefty touch of the jazzy Afro-futurism practiced by Sun Ra, Mr Fingers/Larry Heard, and Bernie Worrell, heavily displayed on instrumental cuts like "Phase Shift," "Excerpts from Autumn" and the opening title track. Add to this jackalicious jams like "K-Shell" and "Sometime Lover" and the cool, laidback "Super Lady" and "Wrong Space, Wrong Time" -- there's much to love for anyone who has grooved to an album by any of the aforementioned artists, not to mention Ariel Pink, James Pants, Gary Wilson, or early records by the likes of Anna Domino, Antena, and the more soul/jazz-influenced spectrum of the Crepuscule label. The honest, heartfelt sincerity that shines through here isn't the usual sort of sentiment associated with much of the music that Magnetic Eyes seemingly influenced, and that's one of the things that helps make it so special. The tunes are rock solid, the album is well-produced for a bedroom/home-studio affair, and the novelty solely lies in the fact that it took us all this long to catch up with Phelps. A slightly acquired taste it may be for some, but this one comes with my own personal highest recommendation as well -- it's one of those rare private presses that actually deserves the hype. [IQ]

Order LP by Texting "omlpjeffmagnetic" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$13.99
CD

Buy

$19.99 LPx2

Buy

  SIC ALPS
Napa Asylum
(Drag City)

"Jolly"
"Ball of Fame"

With Napa Asylum, Sic Alps continues in the gritty garage rock direction of their more recent recordings, and have stepped back from the noisier tendencies of their early days in favor of a simple, hazy 1960s sound. And yet still, the thing that makes Sic Alps special is their attention to the sound as much as the songs. Although it's rock music, they always pay great attention to atmosphere. Their vintage gear is integral to their sound, and reverb is practically a fourth member of this band. They clearly recognize that if they recorded in a more traditional, clear way their music would suffer -- small details like the way the drums on "Ball of Fame" are blown out make them stand out from the glut of rock bands. With 22 tracks, this is a good deal longer than the typical Sic Alps LP, and the space allows them room to experiment a bit, as heard on the skeletal "Wake Up It's Over". Mostly what we get, though, are 47 minutes of solid tunes bathed in echo that don't outstay their welcome. [MM]

Order CD by Texting "omcdsicnapa" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpsicnapa" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$14.99
CD

Buy

$16.99 LP

Buy

  THE EX
Catch My Shoe
(Ex)

"Maybe I Was the Pilot"
"Tree Float"

Can we finally stop calling the Ex a punk band? Even "art rock" is too reductionist a term for a group that has continually grown and assimilated new influences over its three decades of existence. The most jarring change for longtime fans is the absence of departed vocalist G. W. Sok's bark, now replaced by new singer/guitarist Arnold de Boer's inquisitive sing-song. That, along with the absence of bass guitar this time out (and the presence of a trumpet), seems to have eased them into a slightly more laid-back but sprightly mode even as they continue to rage. The center of their sound is still Andy Moor and Terrie Hessels' and loping guitar interplay, and Katherina Bornefeld's quasi-polyrhythmic drumming, but the tunes here range from the Congotronic fuzz of "Bicycle Illusion," the aggressive swing of "24 Problems," the Ethiopia-meets-Captain Beefheart clatter of "Eoleyo," and the full-on barnstorming of "Tree Float." On Catch My Shoe, the group's first full-length release since 2004's Turn -- not counting 2007's collaboration with Getatchew Mekuria -- the Ex continue to surprise and exhilarate. And come to think of it, what's more punk than that? [JB]

Order CD by Texting "omcdexcatch" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpexcatch" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$17.99
CDx2

Buy

$9.99 MP3

Buy

  THE 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS
Easter Everywhere
(Snapper / Charly)

"She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)"
"Levitation"

Charly's new double-disc version of the Elevator's classic Easter Everywhere is beautifully re-mastered, tastefully packaged in a satisfying hardback matte cardboard gatefold with a 15-page color booklet, and features definitive stereo and mono mixes of the record -- probably the Elevators' best. Whether or not you need it, we can't say. The sound here is impeccable, where the numerous previous versions of this album that have come and gone throughout the CD era, including several on Charly, were not. But for longtime fans, it adds little: one lone bonus track, a re-mastered stereo version of album outtake "Fire in My Bones." If you like rock and you don't have this, get it. If you like the Elevators and you DO have this, you should probably save your dough. [JM]

Please note: Download version features original album tracks plus eight live versions of songs from the 13th Floor Elevators' debut album, an instrumental version of "Levitation" and "I Don't Ever Want to Come Down."

Order CD by Texting "omcd13theaster" to 767825
 
         
   
       
   

 

 

     
 

$13.99
CD

Buy

$9.99 MP3

Buy

  APEX MANOR
Year of Magical Drinking
(Merge)

"Southern Decline"
"Burn Me Alive"

Following the break-up of the Broken West back in 2009, frontman Ross Flournoy encountered a case of writer's block, eventually overcoming it by entering a songwriting contest, which led to the "Under the Gun" (one of the highlights on Years of Magical Drinking). Newly inspired, Apex Manor was born with former Broken West multi-instrumentalist Brian Whelan signing on as one of the members, and their debut full-length finds Flournoy and his cohort's penchant for crafting infectious power-pop, a la Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, as solid as ever. A Free Download of the aforementioned "Under the Gun" is avaiable on Other Music Digital for a limited time.

Order CD by Texting "omcdapexyears" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$13.99
CD

Buy

$15.99 LP

Buy



  DEATH
Spiritual Mental Physical
(Drag City)

"Views"
"The Storm Within"

Ten tracks from reel-to-reel two-track demos the band cut between 1974 and 1976, straddling the studio recordings that were posthumously released by Drag City as ...For the Whole World to See. These are not alternate versions of the proto-punk genius that the album revealed, but a collection of tracks that never made it that far, some little more than riffs, some nearly jams, and honestly, none as good as anything on that excellent record. But for a fan, it can be interesting to hear these guys pushing in some different directions, and there are a few moments within that merit repeated listens.

Order CD by Texting "omcddeathspiritual" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpdeathspiritual" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$13.99
CD

Buy

  JOKERS
Jokers
(Fading Sunshine)

Recorded in Tehran in 1972, this previously unreleased adventure in psychedelic blues was heavily influenced by bands like Cream and the MC5 -- needless to say, a sound that never gained much traction in Iran. The band was never able to release their basement blowout, until now. Limited to 500 LP and 1000 CD, in lovely cardboard jackets with inner sleeves.

Order CD by Texting "omcdjokersjokers" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$15.99
CD

Buy

  GANG OF FOUR
Content
(Yep Roc)

"You Don't Have to Be Mad"
"A Fruitfly in the Beehive"

It's been about 15 years since they released any new material, and Andy Gill and Jon King have been joined by a new rhythm section -- but really not much else has changed. If anything, the subjects that always fired Gang of Four's angular, political punk-funk are more relevant than ever, and the boys have written another batch of intense, venomous songs that rail against corporate greed, senseless war, blind consumerism and the rest. The sound is actually closer to their early recordings than the slightly disco-fied later stuff like "I Love a Man in a Uniform," with fierce saw-blade guitar and blunt, pounding rhythms, and while we wouldn't say Content is as powerful and essential an album as Entertainment, who could possibly ask for that? It's a great new record from one of the best.

Order CD by Texting "omcdgangcontent" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$14.99
CD

Buy

$9.99 MP3

Buy

  THANK YOU
Golden Worry
(Thrill Jockey)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

The new album from this hard to-classify Baltimore trio finds the group, with new drummer Emmanuel Nicolaidis, dipping a toe into the rock world. Their songs are still wide-ranging and sensory-driven, with a sprawling sound that evokes bands like This Heat and Can, in the best possible way, but they have added some actual lyrics and song melodies that give this music a grounding that is welcome.

Order CD by Texting "omcdthankgolden" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$14.99
CD

Buy

$19.99 LP+MP3

Buy

  FUJIYA AND MIYAGI
Ventriloquizzing
(Yep Roc)

"Sixteen Shades of Black and Blue"
"OK"

F & M crafted their dark new album -- still slinky, just tenser -- with the help of producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, etc.). He pushed the group's Kraut-influenced Euro-pop in new directions, and it's a nice, if sometimes unsettling development.

Order CD by Texting "omcdfujiyaveintriloquizzing" to 767825
Order LP by Texting "omlpfujiyaveintriloquizzing" to 767825
 
         
   
   

 

 

     
 

$14.99
CD

Buy

  COLD WAR KIDS
Mine Is Yours
(Downtown)

"Mine Is Yours"
"Broke Open"

Cold War Kids kinda cleaned themselves up on this new one, which was recorded in Nashville and LA with Kings of Leon producer Jacquire King, who delivered some of the arena-rock sheen that made the Kings superstars. Frontman Nathan Willett scrubbed his songs too, simplifying and amplifying, and the sound is anthemic and broad, a more radio-friendly version of the CWK sound.

Order CD by Texting "omcdcoldmine" to 767825
 
         
   
       
   

 

 

     
 

$21.99
CD+Book

Buy
  CATHERINE CHRISTER HENNIX
The Electric Harpsichord
(Die Schachtel)




Following the sell-out of the original limited art edition of this rare slice of drone minimalism, Die Schachtel has now issued a second pressing with a new lower price. The CD is packaged in an elegant white box, accompanied by a 56-page book that includes two poems by La Monte Young specifically written for this edition and an in-depth discussion of the music by Henry Flynt (a longtime collaborator of Hennix's). Catherine Hennix's The Electric Harpsichord is an intense 26-minute piece recorded in 1976 in tribute to her mentor Pandit Pran Nath. After lengthy studies with both Pran Nath and La Monte Young, Hennix devised a mathematic, synthesized interpretation of the tamboura drones and spiraling, cascading note clusters of their music using sine wave generators, the aforementioned keyboard (tuned to just intonation), and a series of feedback tape delays. In the book Hennix describes in great detail her system for synthesizing the drones from tamboura to sine wave, and the resultant piece itself, while perhaps brief to some, is so packed with texture and tone that it simply rewards repeated listening rather than dilution via extraneous additions to the CD. Similar at times to the works of the aforementioned mentors, occasionally reminiscent of Rainbow in Curved Air/Poppy Nogood-era Terry Riley, and at times even recalling some freaky Italian Giallo horror film score, the music is hypnotic and lovely, always changing and evolving with precise technical complexity but never at the expense of harmonic and melodic intensity. This is the true definition of psychedelia: a time-altering mass of soothing sound clouds that invites you in and then consumes you with flickering, shimmering tones which never grate or irritate. If you need any further recommendations, consider the quote on the package's rear from Glenn Branca which calls the work a "pure, perfect piece of music that resonates and resounds and creates a universe that is impossible by other means... It is unbelievable." 'Nuff said. [IQ]

Order CD by Texting "omcdcatherineelectric" to 767825
 
         
   
       
   
   
      
   
         
  All of this week's new arrivals.

Previous Other Music Updates.

Visit www.othermusic.com.

PHONE ORDERS

Phone orders are accepted at
(212) 477-8150 (ext. #2, mailorder) Mon-Fri, Noon - 7pm EST

EMAIL
For general inquiries or other information please email sales@othermusic.com. Do not reply to this message.

REMOVE
This is an automated list. If you would like to be removed for any reason, please visit: digital.othermusic.com/subscribe.php
 

THIS WEEK'S CONTRIBUTORS

[JB] James Bess
[DH] Duane Harriott
[[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[JM] Josh Madell
[MM] Marc Moeller
[CPa] Chris Pappas
[AS] Andrew Siskind
[MS] Michael Stasiak
[FT] Fred Thomas
[JTr] Jon Treneff
[JT] John Twells



THANKS FOR READING
- all of us at Other Music

 
         
   
    Copyright 2011 Other Music
Newsletter Design Big Code