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   November 9, 2012  
When hurricane Sandy came through New York, the flooding from its storm surge took Other Music's datacenter and web stores off line for well over a week, along with many other websites that were located in the same Wall Street-based facility. As of Wednesday evening, November 7, our email and download store have been restored and are fully functional, however, the mail order site's server is still down. As we wait for it to be restored, we've created this alternate web shop for CD and vinyl. The selection is limited to new featured releases rather than the full scope of our catalog, but you'll also find that this is a much more modern site than the good ol' orange and blue one our customers have been shopping on for years -- for one, you can actually store your customer information, so you don't have to type in your billing info and shipping address every time you place an order. And with the simpler and more modern back end we can add new titles daily, and releases will often appear on the site before you see them in our weekly Update. Keep in mind, this was built as a stopgap, so we'll be making tweaks from time to time, but rest assured it is a completely secure site, and we can use your business now more than ever. If there is a release that you aren't finding on this web store but are interested in ordering, don't hesitate in emailing us at orders@othermusic.com or calling the shop during business hours at 212-477-8150 for any inquiries.

Of course, we are very lucky that we've only had to deal with a technology problem. We know that so many in this area are facing far worse situations and our thoughts are with them. We do hope you and yours are safe.

Andy Stott
Cody Chesnutt
Menahan Street Band
King Krule 12"
Velvet Underground Box Sets
Soft Moon
The Haxan Cloak
Cut Hands
Tracey Thorn
Shindig! #29

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NOV Sun 04 Mon 05 Tues 06 Wed 07 Thurs 08 Fri 09 Sat 10

We're big fans of Big Star here at the shop and chances are you are too. This Saturday, SVA Theatre will be screening an amazing documentary about this legendary Memphis band called Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Big Star Story as part of the DOC NYC Festival, and we're giving away a pair of passes. To enter, email tickets@othermusic.com right away and we'll notify via email today at 5 p.m.

SVA THEATRE: 333 W. 23rd St. NYC
View Trailer | Buy Tickets

NOV Sun 11 Mon 12 Tues 13 Wed 14 Thurs 15 Fri 16 Sat 17

In celebration of the Who's upcoming performance at the Barclays, BAMcinématek is screening pristine 35mm prints of the band's filmography next week, and Other Music has two pairs of passes to give away to each of these screenings: Lisztomania on Tuesday, November 13; The Kids Are Alright on Wednesday, November 14; and Tommy on Thursday, November 15. To enter for your chance to win a pair, just email enter@othermusic.com and make sure to list which film you'd like to see.

BAMCINEMATEK: 30 Lafayette Ave. Brooklyn

NOV Sun 11 Mon 12 Tues 13 Wed 14 Thurs 15 Fri 16 Sat 17

Next Thursday, coinciding with the upcoming release of the deluxe edition of Tramp, Sharon Van Etten will be playing a special performance at New York City's Town Hall, joined by all-star guests like Thurston Moore, John Moloney, Aaron Dessner (The National), Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak), Peter Silberman (Antlers) and Brad Cook (Megafaun). Not to be missed, we've got a pair of tickets to give away to this great night of music. Enter for your chance to win by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com.

TOWN HALL: 123 W. 43rd St. NYC

NOV Sun 11 Mon 12 Tues 13 Wed 14 Thurs 15 Fri 16 Sat 17

Other Music is giving away three pairs of passes to an exclusive listening party for Scott Walker's forthcoming new record, Bish Bosch (out December 4), next Thursday at NYC's McKittrick Hotel. 4AD has promised this to be a unique event -- it's a new Scott Walker album, how could it not be? -- and it all gets underway at 10:30 p.m. To enter for your chance at a pair of these passes, email contest@othermusic.com. We'll notify the three winners via email on Monday.






$26.99 LPx2

Luxury Problems
(Modern Love)

"Luxury Problems"

UK producer and Other Music favorite Andy Stott turned heads last year with two stunning albums of dark, brutal, sluggish beatscapes that emphasized texture and pure bass weight, creating tracks that enveloped the listener like a mudslide avalanche. He follows up Passed Me By and We Stay Together with the brand new Luxury Problems, which finds Stott taking the sound mapped on those two releases, and quite literally fleshing it out by adding the warmth and sensuality of the human voice to his palette. He is joined on many of these tracks by singer Alison Skidmore, who has been mentioned by Stott in interviews as being the woman who taught him how to play the piano. She sent him various a capellas, and from those, Stott created the sound environments you hear on the album. It's a stunning collaboration, with Stott cutting her syllables into glottal rhythmic fragments, looping her breaths and sighs into wordlessly erotic pillow talk, and then letting her lyrics spiral upward in hypnotic mantras that hint at a blend of R&B and opera, as if Aaliyah and Maria Callas joined bodies to enact the works of Anaïs Nin.

Skidmore's voice is anchored by some brilliant textures by Stott, where he builds long beatless passages of ambience into tense atmospheres that provide counterpoint to the spacious, relaxed tenor of her vocals. Things build until he finally lets loose some of his most thick, heavy, thumping rhythms and deft touches of delay and cavernous reverb. It's worth noting, though, that Skidmore's presence isn't the sole factor that pushes this forward -- Stott's attention to detail is more brilliant than ever, with lots of other vocal textures wafting in and out of these tracks from other sources, and a diversity in his rhythmic arsenal that flirts with a bit of jungle/hardcore break science, and even a bit of funk on the title cut, which is arguably his finest track to date. Luxury Problems is quite simply one of the year's finest and most eagerly anticipated releases; while some listeners may not enjoy the addition of vocals to the mix, I personally find it to be a big step forward, adding a depth and maturity to his music that proves he has the skill to work in more pop-friendly structures. If you don't believe me, do a Google search for the recent Vogue Italia video that finds model Kate Upton writhing around in latex to the sounds of Stott's recent productions -- the man is one of the few working today who can deftly balance both brute force with blatant sensuality without it coming off as forced or contrived. This gets my absolute highest recommendation, folks. [IQ]





$22.99 LPx2+MP3


$9.99 MP3


Lonely at the Top

"Bless My Heart"
"Snow Theme"

Producer Luke Blair continues his work as Lukid on his fourth long-player for Actress' Werk Discs imprint. Following the awesome sleeper hit, Chord from 2010, Blair fuses his production skills honed on years of instrumental hip-hop/IDM with the loopy microtone aesthetic of his label boss, yet the music of Lukid is far from a copycat of Actress; Blair's productions possess a cleaner and brighter side and their own distinct personality. His tracks are microcosms of spinning patterns that shift, drift and stretch with ease in a slow-moving atmosphere, yet the album isn't lacking for dance floor moments. On Lonely at the Top, Blair all but turns his back on his clicky and glitchy IDM past and embraces the techno-not-techno, dub-influenced, more compositional approach of artists like Andy Stott, Zomby, or Lone. Lukid effortlessly moves from the melodic and melancholic to the beautiful and brutal; he's not afraid to work with heavy and thick sounds, though he nicely balances those pieces with ones that are more soothing, and often beatless. That duality is a big part of the charm, as Lukid seems to be aware of the constantly shifting landscape of electronic music, and never gets bogged down by the constraints of any one sub-genre. He's an artist with an impeccable catalog that has never disappointed me, yet he hasn't acquired the same level of hype of many of his contemporaries. Fans of the slice, dice and spin-dry aspects of Flying Lotus, or the moody vibes of any of the above mentioned, will find lots to get lost in here as well. Lonely at the Top grows deeper and richer with every listen. [DG]







$9.99 MP3


Landing on a Hundred
(Vibration Vineyard)

"That's Still Mama"
"What Kind of Cool (Will We Think of Next)"

It's been nearly ten years since Atlanta-born, Tallahassee-based Cody Chesnutt releasing his modestly titled 36-track soul-bomb debut, The Headphone Masterpiece, on unsuspecting ears. A raw collection of four-track recordings that Chesnutt played, produced, and self-released, his beautiful smoked soul quickly earned him a fiercely loyal fan base and loads of expectations. Yet for the past decade, Chesnutt has been pretty quiet, with a handful of new songs, appearances and collaborations, and a long break from the spotlight to focus on his family; finally, here is his proper follow-up album, Landing on a Hundred. It's been awhile Cody! So what have we got here?

The first thing that pops out is that Chesnutt is no longer making scratchy recordings in his bedroom; the album features a full band with a rhythm section, piano, guitars, horn and string orchestration, and even backup singers, all well recorded in a proper studio. And while the production adds power and a finished quality to the songs, there is nothing glossy or shiny about this effort -- thankfully the grittiness, urgency and swagger that made Chesnutt stand out in the first place remain. The ramshackle approach to song structure and delivery that defined Headphone Masterpiece is less evident here, but somehow the ethos remains, with the drive and no-bullshit honesty of the first album wrapped in a leaner, more "conventional" package, which makes this effort seem almost subversive.

Liberally channeling Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, with a dash of Stevie, the album glides effortlessly from raw roadhouse blues to sweet, soothing soul to driving funk. "What Kinda of Cool (Will We Think of Next)" starts with a lazy, low-key funk guitar as Chesnutt ruminates on the struggles of everyday life; string swells and light horn accents fill out the mood as he flexes his considerable vocal chops. He has the rare ability to glide from silky to strident on a dime, effortlessly layering tonality and mood. By contrast, "Don't Wanna Go the Other Way" barrels out of the gate with revivalist furor and lofty confidence. These are themes he touches on throughout the album -- redemption, salvation and determination informed by the church and a rocky life. And it works. Cody has delivered a rock solid record that builds and progresses on the first; the alt-soul axis remains alive and well, which should please longtime (and long-waiting) fans. Worth the wait, and also a great intro to an artist I'm sure we will be hearing from again. [GA]







$9.99 MP3


The Crossing

"The Crossing"
"Lights Out"

If you're into the Daptone scene, you surely already know the Menahan Street Band, but many more folks who have never heard of this loose-knit group, spearheaded by producer Thomas Brenneck, know their music. Numerous hip-hop hits were culled from Menahan's 2008 debut, Make the Road by Walking, (Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Kid Cudi and many more have used their instrumentals as the backbone of their own tracks), and over the last couple of years Brenneck has been the semi-silent partner in Charles Bradley's rise to fame, co-writing, producing, and leading the Menahan Street Band on Bradley's breakout No Time for Dreaming record. The Brooklyn funk scene is a tight circle and Brenneck, as well as much of the band, are all sometime members of the Dap-Kings and various related productions, and Brenneck is a fierce guitarist and talented multi-instrumentalist who has appeared on a wide variety of recordings over the years -- from Amy Winehouse to Rufus Wainwright to Quincy Jones. But the Menahan Street Band is Brenneck's own personal vision and passion, and these beautifully orchestrated instrumentals could be seen as the essence of his own soul. The Crossing is a laid-back soul-funk excursion, not dramatically different from the debut, but with higher fidelity, more diverse instrumentation and perhaps a richer sense of harmony in the layered horns and swirling electric piano. It's deeply cinematic, juxtaposing a whip-cracking rhythm section with Brenneck's tight, surprising guitar figures and powerful orchestration. It's great stuff, classic in every sense, and while Brenneck may prefer to be in the background, tracks like these speak for themselves. [JM]







Rock Bottom

This kid rules. Archy Marshall returns with one of 2012's best singles, following up his storewide-beloved eponymous EP from last year with two songs that sharpen his focus without sacrificing the unique, unorthodox charms that has won over so many listeners. He fuses the stark minimalism of the xx with the confessional song styles of Billy Bragg or even Shane McGowan, sounding like the world's most sensitive hooligan overtop a blend of surf-inflected guitars, skittering jazz breakbeats, and a solid low-end. The single's production by Rodaidh McDonald, who has worked with everyone from Adele to the xx and How to Dress Well in recent times, helps Marshall sculpt the full, wide-open soundscapes he has spoken of wanting to create with his work in recent interviews and radio broadcasts; the sound is spare but direct, light but thick, and Marshall's skill at writing catchy, earworm hooks has only sharpened since we last heard from him. I'll be honest, I've probably played this record close to a hundred times over since first getting a copy myself two weeks ago; its heartfelt lyrics and gorgeous atmospheres hit me right in the heart, and I guarantee you that this is going toward the top of my Best of 2012 list. Do the right thing and buy this to hold you over until his album drops in the spring. [IQ]









45th Anniversary 6-CD Box Set

The Verve/MGM Albums 5-LP Box Set

I'll admit to being somewhat perplexed -- maybe even troubled -- by the concept of a 45th anniversary special edition; I mean, why get worked up over sapphire when you could wait it out for gold? My two working theories are that Universal will actually drop a 12-disc set for the 50th, thus making this one obsolete, or just as likely, they are going all in now because they think the record industry will have completely dissolved in five years. But skepticism aside, this is a remarkably satisfying and substantial examination and homage to the stunning 1967 debut from one of the best and most influential groups ever in rock and roll. Across six discs, you get both the stereo and mono mixes of The Velvet Underground & Nico, the stereo disc including five alternate versions, and the mono including four alternate mono single versions. Then you get Nico's 1967 solo LP Chelsea Girl, by most accounts her best and most enduring album, which included Lou Reed, John Cale and Sterling Morrison on most of the cuts, as well as Jackson Browne. Disc Four holds the Scepter Studios sessions, nine long-lost April 1966 tracks that predate the album versions, and include the much-discussed acetate versions that were bought at a Chelsea flea market for 75¢ and sold on eBay for $25k, plus six tracks from a Factory rehearsal in January of '66.  Discs Five and Six are both from a show at the Valleydale Ballroom in Columbus, Ohio, also in 1966, and though the fidelity is far from impeccable, hearing the band work out these songs in stretched-out versions (plus two tracks that never made the record) is well worth the accompanying hiss. Do you need this? Oh I don't know, but you'll love it for sure -- at least for the next five years.

Unlike the deluxe Velvet Underground & Nico set that also just dropped, this five-LP box from Sundazed contains no obscure live tracks or unheard bonus material, just impeccable vinyl versions, mostly in pristine mono pressings: The Velvet Underground & Nico, White Light/White Heat and The Velvet Underground, all newly remastered from the original mono analog tapes and pressed on 180-gram virgin vinyl, plus Nico's Chelsea Girl, her 1967 classic that, despite its relatively gentle folk sound, was largely written and performed by the Velvets (along with a 17-year-old Jackson Browne). The final LP, 1969, features versions of tracks that were intended for the band's aborted fourth LP, most of which ended up on the 1985 archival release VU, here remixed (in stereo, as mono was a thing of the past by '69) and nicely re-sequenced so this has a more coherent album flow than the prior version. If you or someone you love are just coming around to the allure of vinyl (and/or the allure of the Velvet Underground), this is a pretty strong power move, going all in on a band who pretty much did no wrong. [JM]





$13.99 LP+MP3
$24.99 LP LTD.


(Captured Tracks)

"Die Life"

Multi-instrumentalist Luis Vasquez has been a crowd-pleaser ever since Soft Moon's self-titled debut back in 2010. His melodies are a soundscape of ominous instrumentals and abstraction tightly put together in a musical storybook -- one that Ian Curtis himself would read. Although Vasquez now leads a full touring band, he still chooses to record alone on Zeros, his second full-length for Captured Tracks. There are a handful of obvious influences here, from post-punk to Krautrock to goth and industrial, yet Soft Moon is a unique slap upside the head that's powerfully dark and imminently buoyant all at once. Vasquez creates a world of his own feelings and thoughts, traveling from despaired isolation to self-content. Throughout the sounds and textures of pounding percussion, crisp guitars, occasional synth and deep fuzz, Vasquez carefully brings in his vocals as another instrument, focusing on the tone and pitch of murmuring delivery to create an abstract atmosphere. Ghostly, breathy whispers tend to appear through a handful of tracks, making this record a perfect chilly autumn listen. The album ends just as abruptly as it starts and, like a wonderful film, begs to be experienced over and over again. [ACo]







The Haxan Cloak
(Aurora Borealis)

"Raven's Lament"
"In Memorium"

UK producer/composer the Haxan Cloak offers up a repress of his debut album from 2011, originally a self-released gem so hyped and so coveted that it pretty much vanished before it ever made it to American stores. It was well worth the wait, though, and anyone who was bewitched by his recent EP on the Latitudes label will find much to love here. He mixes dark, ominous atmospheres of brooding orchestral strings, visceral percussion arrangements, and a cunning use of negative space and silence to push this material above the stylish dark ambience of Demdike Stare and the like. There are nods to musique concrete composition, spectralist classical composition, and even a bit of noisy bass weight exercised by the dubstep crowd, where violins, cellos, and double basses drone and sustain as drums and chains thump, rattle, and scrape in cavernous rooms. This album is much less beat-oriented than the Latitudes EP; it's almost classical music for those who prefer the sounds of avant metal drone or bass techno, utilizing those musics' brute force with the delicate touch of a talented composer and sound designer. This is a lovely slice of darkness, most highly recommended to fans of Ben Frost and Tim Hecker's recent works, not to mention the Sunn O)))/Mego drone set, or the Demdike/Stott/Modern Love axis of evil as well, and it comes most highly recommended by yours truly. [IQ]







Black Mamba
(Very Friendly)


William Bennett's Cut Hands project returns with its second full-length release, offering an excellent, expanded exploration of the brutal tribalist Afro-noise he delivered on his acclaimed debut. The basic concept is the same -- pounding, clattering African hand drums and ringing metal shakers and chimes, all derived from Bennett's huge collection of vintage drums -- but the arrangements on Black Mamba are given a bit more room to breathe, and the pieces are all the better for it. There's a greater emphasis on dark electronic drones which anchor the percussion workouts, rather than vice versa; he is given room to stretch the rhythms out over these slowly wafting drones, much in the way Indian raga tends to work. There is less of the pummeling brutality of the debut at play here; while the beats are still megaton heavy, they are also more lithe and limber this time around, and dare I say it, more sensuous. He also seems to have more successfully integrated the electronics and synth tones into his compositions, rather than simply terrorizing your senses with an all-out assault. This album's palette seems to be more overall in a slightly Arabic/Middle Eastern tone, at times reminiscent of Muslimgauze or even Coil's more hypnotic, rhythmic work; it's easily the most sensual, and dare I say, sexy work Bennett has ever produced. While the debut was a big step forward, the maturity on display here is arguably even more remarkable. Kudos to him for delivering on the unwavering promise of such a stellar debut... on Black Mamba, there is absolutely no sophomore slump to be found. [IQ]





$19.99 LP


$9.99 MP3


Tinsel and Lights

"Hard Candy Christmas"
"Tinsel and Lights"

A Christmas record from Tracey Thorn? Yes, I suppose that's not such an odd fit, considering that Everything but the Girl's "25th December" has made its way onto lots of holiday mixes through the years and the song is nicely reprised here as a bonus track on the LP version, with Thorn handling the lead vocal originally sung by EBTG partner (and husband) Ben Watt. Her quiet melancholy and always spot-on taste make this a thoroughly enjoyable and surprising album. There are few classics here, instead Thorn opting for modern compositions from the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Jack White, Stephin Merritt, Low, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman and others, plus a couple of lovely originals. Watt is all over this, and Ewan Pearson produces (he worked on 2010's Love and Its Opposite), and it all adds up to a charming family affair, with a batch of sweet, soulful holiday tunes that, amazingly, inject some fresh spirit to that tired old season. [JM]





$8.99 MG


Issue No. 29

New Issue of Shindig! magazine features a cover story on the Free Design, a rare interview with Bill Fay, and an in-depth look at the Strawberry Alarm Clock. Plus, more on Gary Farr, Ken Stringfellow, Lee Hazlewood, Swedish Retro Rock, the Grateful Dead, the Velvet Underground, etc. You know the drill, pick it up.

Previous Other Music Updates.

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[GA] Geoffrey Albores
[ACo] Anastasia Cohen
[DG] Daniel Givens
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[JM] Josh Madell

- all of us at Other Music

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