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   August 2, 2012  

On August 14, Other releases an LP that we think has a good shot at changing your summer (and life) for the better: Nude Beach's II, a power-pop-punk-rock-n-roll masterpiece that would have made us start a label, if we hadn't already done that a few months prior to hearing. The Brooklyn trio will be bringing their great live show to the shop on Monday the 13th for a special in-store performance and hang session, and on Thursday the 16th they will be taking the stage at Union Pool for an official release party. Check out the record, and join us in the front row!

OTHER MUSIC: 15 E. 4th Street NYC

UNION POOL: 484 Union Ave, Williamsburg, BKLN

The xx (Includes Ticket Contest Entry)
Bill Fay (Pre-Order + Early Download)

Deep Time
Country Funk (Various Artists)
Home Blitz 12" EP
Heavenly Beat
Micachu & the Shapes
The Pin Group LP+CD
Stevie Jackson
Wicked Lady

All of this week's new arrivals.
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AUG Sun 29 Mon 30 Tues 31 Wed 01 Thurs 02 Fri 03 Sat 04
  Sun 05 Mon 06 Tues 07 Wed 08 Thurs 09 Fri 10 Sat 11

BAMcinématek kicks off the Do the Reggae series tonight! Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence, this 14-film program will feature classic and rare reggae movies. We're giving away one pair of passes that will be good for all of the film showings in the series, which runs August 2-6. To put your name in the hat, email enter@othermusic.com and we'll notify the winner at noon today. Special note: tonight's 6:50 p.m. screening of Rockers will be followed by "Downtown Top Ranking in a BAMstyle," a party at BAMcafé with Deadly Dragon Sound System and featuring legendary DJ Ranking Joe on the mic, complete with free Red Stripes and Jamaican patties.

BAMcinématek: 30 Lafayette Ave. Brooklyn
Facebook Invite Here

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


Chelsea's Eyebeam Art + Technology Center is throwing a closing party tonight for Heather Dewey-Hagborg's "Stranger Visions" and Brian House's "Quotidian Record" installations. (Other Music had a special hand in this showing, helping curate the vinyl and CD selections displayed in the Bookstore Gallery.) Swing by after work when they'll be firing up the grill and serving Heather's delicious strawberry DNAquiris at 6:30 p.m., with live performances from Multitudes and Live Footage starting at 7.

EYEBEAM: 540 W. 21st St. NYC
Facebook Invite Here

AUG Sun 29 Mon 30 Tues 31 Wed 01 Thurs 02 Fri 03 Sat 04
  Sun 12 Mon 13 Tues 14 Wed 15 Thurs 16 Fri 17 Sat 18

Beyond Booking brings us these two great upcoming events. First, this Friday's edition of the Bunker will be taking a detour from the extended DJ sets normally associated with the party, focusing instead on live electronic music, all six of the acts playing hardware-only sets, incorporating lots of improvisation with their machines. In the backroom of Public Assembly: Atom™ & Tobias, Mark Verbos, Shawn O' Sullivan, and Darkcube (plus DJ sets between the performances from Bunker residents Bryan Kasenic and Eric Cloutier.) In the frontroom: Live performances from Pittsburgh Track Authority and Sycorax (plus DJ sets from Bunker resident Mike Servito and Aaron Clark). To enter for passes, email giveaway@othermusic.com.

PUBLIC ASSEMBLY: 70 N. 6th St. Williamsburg, BKLN

Then on Sunday, August 12th, the upcoming installment of Beyond Booking's Summer Time Rolls series will be taking place at Loreley, a very welcoming German-style beer garden in Williamsburg. It's another solid bill, with live sets from Legowelt, Xosar, and Xamiga, and DJ sets from Bryan Kasenic and Kiss & Tell's Bethany Benzur. It all kicks off at 4 p.m. and you can email tickets@othermusic.com to enter to win a pair of passes.

LORELEY: 64 Frost St. Williamsburg, BKLN

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

This Monday evening, Other Music will be throwing a listening party on the eve of the release of the new self-titled album from Brooklyn's Afrobeat kings, Antibalas! Stop by the shop at 7 p.m., when we'll start playing the record, while serving up free pizza and soda. Members of the band will also be hanging out at the shop and we'll be giving away a couple of test pressings courtesy of Daptone. See you Monday!

OTHER MUSIC: 15 E. 4th St. NYC





$12.99 CD


$16.99 LP+MP3


$27.99 LP+MP3
Deluxe Pressing 180 Gram / Gatefold Sleeve


Coexist - Pre-order + Concert Ticket Contest Entry
(Young Turks)

The anticipation has been building and we're just a little over a month out from the release of Coexist, the much-awaited new album from the xx. Other Music is now taking pre-orders for the record and we're going to sweeten the deal for one lucky customer... Anyone who pre-orders Coexist with us will be automatically entered into a store drawing for a chance to win a pair of tickets to a special concert from the xx this Monday, August 6, in Staten Island at the Snug Harbor Music Hall!

(Other Music has one pair of tickets to give away and this contest is only open to customers pre-ordering Coexist. Album will be shipped to your door on or near the album's September 11th release date.)




$12.99 CD


$16.99 LPx2


Life Is People
(Dead Oceans)

"There Is a Valley"

We're extremely excited to offer this pre-order for cult British singer-songwriter Bill Fay's first new studio album in forty years. We've long championed his work here at Other, from his two stunning Decca releases from the beginning of the '70s, to the devastatingly beautiful demo collection From the Bottom of an Old Grandfather Clock. Though far too under heard for many years, these days he's rightly considered by many to be the equal of the likes of Nick Drake or Scott Walker. Still Some Light, from 2010, included some vintage recordings with a disc of recent home recordings, which only really hinted at what he'd be able to accomplish for the Dead Oceans-released Life Is People. In many ways picking up where he left off with Time of the Last Persecution, his voice and songwriting prowess is entirely intact if not even more affecting than ever before. The lyrical turmoil he left us with in 1971 has here been transmuted into something much more reflective and humanistic. Sympathetically accompanied by a mostly younger cast of musicians with the occasional help of longtime collaborator/guitarist Ray Russell, the arrangements are generally stripped down and intimate, though sometimes building to epic, emotional heights like on the album's centerpiece, "Cosmic Concerto (Life Is People)." One of the major catalysts for Fay's increased exposure the last several years has been due to Wilco covering "Be Not So Fearful," and here Fay returns the compliment with his own version of Tweedy and Co.'s "Jesus, Etc." -- one of the record's greatest performances, just Fay alone with that genuinely moving voice set to the barest of piano accompaniment. A lovely return to form, and that he's managed to craft such a consistently satisfying album after so many years away from the scene makes the accomplishment all the more remarkable. [MK]

Pre-order the CD or double LP from Other Music and we'll email you a download code so you can begin enjoying Life Is People right away. CD and LP pre-orders will be shipped to reach your door on or near the album's August 21st release date.







$12.99 LP+MP3


Deep Time
(Hardly Art)

"Gold Rush"

Deep Time's self-titled debut is not exactly that -- the Austin duo of singer/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Jennifer Moore and drummer Adam Jones used to be called YellowFever, and released a solid LP under that name before being forced to find a new one last year. But the band has made light-years of progress in defining their sound and their reason in the interim, and Deep Time is one of the most interesting albums (and bands) we've heard in a long time. They draw on post-punk, but while that is pretty much standard bio fare for any decent indie band these days, Deep Time approach that hallowed era in underground music without the same sort of crippling reverence that spoils most attempts. While Moore's taut guitar, angular keyboards and rough-hewn, emotional yelp, in conjunction with Jones' off-center and brilliant rhythms, will undoubtedly remind you of classic-era girl music like Delta 5, Young Marble Giants, Kleenex/LiLiPUT, etc., Deep Time have such a strong and individual voice, and such little time for the forced trappings of the genre revivalists, the record stands on its own as an instant classic; if this was a lost private-press LP from some obscure Texas band from way back, it would be riding high on all the best-of lists right now. These songs are small, skittering things, shifting tempos and directions on a dime, yet their logic and reason is irrefutable, centered on Moore's sweetly melodic and hauntingly melancholy vocals, but elevated by the amazing interplay between these two musicians, who seem so completely locked in on a plane that sits just beyond the reach of traditional musical thinking; it's hard to understand just how they arrived there, but I know I want to spend as much time as possible in their shadow. This is a beautifully paced and flawlessly constructed album, and meant to be listened to as such, but check out "Clouds" or "Gold Rush" for a taste and try to walk away. On tour now -- check these guys out, they are amazing live! [JM]







$31.99 LPx3+45+MP3
180 Gram



"Tiene Sabor, Tiene Sazón"
"Linda Mañana"

Soundway delivers a stunning, funky slice of modern Colombian soul with Ondatropica, a sizzling collaboration between Mario Galeano of Frente Cumbiero and Will "Quantic" Holland. This excellent album brings together the old and new flavors of Colombian dance music, ably fusing together the indestructible rhythmic templates of cumbia, porro, and champeta with subtle but effective flourishes of dub, boogaloo, funk, and even a bit of hip-hop. Where most records attempting such urban cosmopolitan updates of traditional "rustic" music often fall flat on their faces, Ondatropica succeeds massively, not only due to the delicate care put into cooking such a potent, spicy stew, but also because of the wicked all-star band assembled. Featured musicians include the likes of saxophonist Michi Sarmiento (the recent subject of his own Soundway retrospective), producer/arranger/bandleader Fruko (who also had a killer collection released on Nascente, reviewed by yours truly in these pages), and accordion legend Anibal Velasquez. These incredible players are joined by contemporary MCs, singers and instrumentalists who have taken the pages written by the aforementioned figureheads and run wild with them, holding true to those roots yet also embracing their desire to effectively modernize Colombian music.

This is honestly one of the finest contemporary Latin American recordings I've heard in years, filled with rock-solid rhythms, catchy, hummable tunes, and a perverse sense of fun that drips from its sweaty grooves, perhaps best demonstrated in the group's interpolation of Black Sabbath's iconic "Iron Man," the great Jamaica-meets-Colombia flavors of "Ska Fuentes," and the stunning beatbox cumbia dub of "3 Reyes De La Terapia." Nothing feels off-limits here, and as we fan ourselves furiously through another unbearably humid heat wave I can't think of a better soundtrack with which to embrace the sweat. If you're down with the sounds of the classic New York City urban melting pot, from Fania Records to Kip Hanrahan's American Clavé to David Byrne's classic Rei Momo album, straight through to the Barbes label's retrospectives of classic cumbia music and Quantic's prior explorations of its modernization, this is straight-up essential listening, and gets my highest recommendation. [IQ]







$24.99 LPx2


Country Funk: 1969-1975
(Light in the Attic)

"Hawg Frog" Gray Fox
"He Made a Woman Out of Me" Bobbie Gentry

"What in the hell is country funk?" go the liner notes in this new compilation from Light in the Attic, wondering at what the correct genre name for this particular strain of music might be. Well, if you were at the shop a few years back, it was called "Country Got Soul," a fine set compiled by singer Jeb Loy Nicholls featuring Dan Penn, Travis Wammack, Larry Jon Wilson, Charlie Rich and more. And last year, Soul Jazz attempted to define the parameters of "delta swamp rock" with cuts from Allman Brothers, Cher and Big Star (?!). Whatever you want to call it, it marks a melding of redneck styling with a heavier backbeat. Compiled by LA DJ Zach Cowie, the beat is what ties most of this set together, from the breakbeat of Jim Ford's "I Wanta Make Her Love Me" through Tony Joe White's Kanye-sampled "Stud Spider" on through closer Johnny Jenkins' "I Walk on Gilded Splinters," which you may recognize as the break from Beck's hit "Loser." Perfect for those who wear denim shirts and cowboy boots even on hot summer days, and recommended just the same to the rest of you who don't. (Features extensive liner notes by Jessica Hundley, original album/label artwork and new illustrations by Jess Rotter of Rotter & Friends.) [AB]







Frozen Track EP
(Mexican Summer)

New Jersey's Daniel DiMaggio is a classic rock'n'roll outsider, the kind of guy who seems best suited to express himself in two- or three-minute blasts of jittery noise-pop that walk the line between classic power-pop and prime-era Half Japanese. He has been releasing records as Home Blitz for more than half a decade, all of them fantastic, but this new six-song EP is the first to reach the dizzying heights of his first two singles. DiMaggio bears all the hallmarks of a man who has spent far too much time in record stores, and though you may say I have a vested interest here, I think it's seriously paid off! The songwriting and playing are some of the best the band has ever come up with, and their take on late-period Game Theory's "Rolling with the Moody Girls" is fantastic. This is the kind of record that seems to get better with each listen, quickly ascending to "one of the best releases of the year" status. Any fan of outsider, song-based rock'n'roll should seek this out immediately. [DMa]






$13.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


(Captured Tracks)

Preview Songs on Other Music's Download Store

Another great spin-off from Beach Fossils, Heavenly Beat is the nom de plume of John Pena, who recently left Captured Tracks' flagship act to go fulltime with his solo project. Unlike the hazy Anglo-inspired jangle of Fossils and former bandmate Zachary Cole Smith's DIIV, the dreamy sounds that Pena is trafficking have more in common with the sun-kissed electro-pop of recent Tanlines, Delorean or Tough Alliance. Yet there's far more of an intimate, wistful quality here than with any of the aforementioned, with light jazzy guitars plucked and strummed over the sparkling washes of synthesizers and beats. I swear, "Faithless" could be a bedroom recording of Republic-era New Order, and the same could probably be said during the calm Balearic bliss of "Lust," just add a refrain of pitch-bending synths that seem to be echoing Kevin Shields' guitars in the latter. Heavenly Beat's arrangements and sounds are quite the opposite of dense, however -- take the less-is-more production of the xx, but replace those sleepy grey hues with warm, inviting tones. Tracks like "Talent," which finds Pena unknowingly conjuring breathy Sam Prekop melodies, the bouncy tropical pop of "Presence" (complete with steel drum samples), and "Influence," which channels a little of the jazzy samba sway of Antena or Sade, seem custom made for daydreaming on the sandy shores of Ibiza. If any record needs a Summer 2012 Soundtrack sticker adhered to its cover, it's this one. Better yet -- File Under: Breezy Listening. [GH]







$15.99 LP+MP3


$9.99 MP3


(Rough Trade)


Classically trained singer Mica Levi and her band the Shapes return with their follow up to 2009's Jewellery. Billed as an improbable pop prodigy and savior to all things strange and different, this release continues her journey into her own musical abyss. Though challenging, original and willfully experimental at times, Never is nonetheless wrapped in warmth and pop hi-jinx, stuffed with hooks and off-track arrangements, it does not disappoint. Opener "Easy" samples vacuum cleaner noises that blur into the clatter of jittery percussion, and melts into a hesitant energy that builds up as the album progresses. Most songs are under the two-minute-mark, rarely giving you a chance to find your comfort zone in these tightly packed sound landscapes. You might be slightly lost at first, but listening to single "OK," with its vibrating noise and hyperactive sampling, you soon feel like you are at home. On the almost dreamy and laid-back "Holiday," Mica sings the chorus in her deadpan Cockney accent, "Cannot wait for my holiday/I've got my work cut out for me." The track "Nothing" features a sample that sounds something like a phantom Theremin constructed by Tina Turner in Mad Max, but it also brings the album's most labyrinthine melody, something that could be played on a Moebius strip somewhere in deep outer space. Micachu is as odd and as engaging as ever, and you have no chance of escaping this talent. [MF]







$9.99 MP3


Ambivalence / Live at the Gladstone Hotel
(Flying Nun)

Wow! 2012 is definitely the year of New Zealand music reissues; so much amazing stuff has already been put out, but this album quickly goes to the top of the must-have list. The Pin Group were from Christchurch and their "Ambivalence" single was the first release on Flying Nun, and while the band might not get as much attention as label mates the Clean or Tall Dwarfs, their contributions to the New Zealand sound are massive. As one of the first groups to meld then-current post-punk sounds to a Velvet Underground framework, they created a template that is still reaping rich rewards today. Their obscurity as a band is mostly due to the fact that they didn't last too long with just one more single and a 12" EP released, all of them almost un-findable outside of New Zealand. The members, however, stayed active in equally exciting and influential groups like Scorched Earth Policy, the Great Unwashed, the Terminals, and Dadamah, and guitarist Roy Montgomery has released numerous excellent solo records; subsequently, the Pin Group's notoriety has continued to grow through the years.

Nerd notes: In the late 1990s Siltbreeze issued this material on CD, but never on vinyl, and finally the revitalized Flying Nun has come full circle releasing this LP with beautiful black-on-black artwork, liner notes by the Dead C's Bruce Russell as well as some surreal editorial by the guy who recorded the Pin Group's first two singles. To top it off, the LP also comes with a never-before-released CD of the band live in 1981, as well both sides of their reunion single that came out on Siltbreeze in 1993, plus a download code for all of it. Long overdue! [DMa]







(I Can't Get No) Stevie Jackson

It still always surprises me just how deep the talent pool in Belle & Sebastian runs; generally speaking, the phrases "college project" and "twee pop" would not inspire deep faith in a band's longevity or impact. Yet from humble beginnings have sprung one of the more longstanding and influential indie groups of the '90s and beyond, and aside from main man Stuart Murdoch, players like Isobel Campbell, Stuart David and Stevie Jackson have all attained a fair share of critical and commercial success outside of the confines of the group. Jackson is the band's lead guitarist and has written (and sung) a track or two on every record since The Boy with the Arab Strap, as well as co-writing many more with Murdoch, but aside from some gigging with the Vaselines and a handful of low-key solo gigs and some well-placed cover recordings over the years, he has never really made a stand outside of the B&S machine. Self-released digitally last year and now in physical form, (I Can't Get No) Stevie Jackson puts the multi-instrumentalist front and center, writing all the tracks (a handful in collaboration with Roy Moller and Gary Thom), and though he gets some instrumental help from a few of his B&S mates as well as the likes of Pastel Katrina Mitchell, Rose Melberg and others, this is Jackson's show.

Largely, fans of the Belle's will get just what they expected, though maybe not everything hoped for. The sound mines a similar trove of '70s songwriters, '60s radio pop and R&B, and the playing, arrangements and production are all top-notch, with Jackson's classic reverb guitar sound, beautiful organ work, and some swooning strings leading the charge, and Jackson is an accomplished and thoughtful songwriter and performer. But despite the many fine tracks he has written as a side-man, with the bright stage lights shining on him for a full album, there is something slightly underwhelming about the song craft here -- these are all good tunes, but maybe not indelible ones, and they can lack the wit and personality that make Belle & Sebastian's pop stand out. That said, it's a fine record that will please his fans and is definitely more than a stopgap between albums for his main gig. [JM]




The Axeman Cometh


Psychotic Overkill
$17.99 CD


$35.99 LP

The Axeman Cometh

"Run the Night"
"Wicked Lady"

Psychotic Overkill

Before joining the Dark, whose Round the Edges LP (SIS Records, '72) has made hard rock and prog collectors sweat bullets for years, guitarist Martin Weaver fronted this hairy UK power-trio. Record hounds have occasionally dubbed Wicked Lady the progenitors of "doom," and to a point, that may be accurate, since these lads never quite hit upon the speed and dexterity of a group like Sir Lord Baltimore. They issued, instead, a mid-tempo pall of stun-fuzz guitar and loping rhythms, achieving an arresting, loose-knit psychedelia through plodding repetition and deceptively basic instrumental workouts that they'd slather in delay and wah, topping the din with dazed, morose vox. Guerssen's reissues of their entire oeuvre -- The Axman Cometh (recorded '68-'72) and Psychotic Overkill ('72) -- show that the band really does live up to their reputation in collector circles.

The Axman Cometh seems particularly simplistic, and it is; but after repeated listens, it yields deeper pockets, wider valleys and headier dynamics. Even in the album's eponymous instrumental workout, one senses several hypnotic layers rising through the red-level static. The closer, "Living on the Edge," is an ace extended grind, and its patient chug is as catchy as it is menacing. Psychotic Overkill opens with one of the group's fastest and most aggressive moments, "I'm a Freak," and the deluge is damned near anthemic -- every bit Pink Fairies and Motorhead, though Wicked Lady's characteristic hopelessness supplants the teen bravado and biker skull-bash of the aforementioned groups. By contrast, the last tune on the album, "Ship of Ghosts" -- a haunting 22-minute workout -- may be their moodiest and most complex number. Indeed, Psychotic Overkill seems heavier, darker and wilder than its predecessor, and it speaks of a band who had, by '72, developed so much inward momentum that inertia would inevitably get the best of 'em, and they collapsed shortly thereafter. Guerssen's usual lavish packaging is intact here, including an extensive account of the band's history by Mr. Weaver himself. Fans of proto-punk, proto-metal and hard rock: Take note. [EC]

  All of this week's new arrivals.

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[AB] Adrian Burkholder
[EC] Eric Cecil
[MF] Michael Fellows
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[JM] Josh Madell
[DMa] Dave Martin

- all of us at Other Music

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