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   April 18, 2013  


Record Store Day 2013 is just a few days away now and we hope you'll be joining us on Saturday for this very special time of year for music lovers and collectors! We've been unpacking the boxes all week and it's safe to say that our racks will be exploding with an array of exclusive vinyl releases that is nothing short of amazing. Of course, quantities are limited and there are no guarantees of what you'll find, but you can see a rundown of all the RSD '13 titles here, and we are thrilled with the variety and volume of special releases that we'll be offering our customers this Saturday. We've also invited many of our favorite DJs, artists and labels to spin some of their favorite records in the shop, and you can see the full line-up, which we are proud to announce below. In addition, we'll be offering free tickets to a couple of upcoming shows with purchase of the respective artist's RSD release while supplies last, courtesy of our friends at Bowery Presents, along with lots of other surprises. Other Music will be open on Record Store Day from 10:30am until 8pm, and as always there are no advance orders, holds or reservations -- just come on down and enjoy the fun!

1pm-2pm Parquet Courts (What's Your Rupture?)
2-3pm Caleb Braaten (Sacred Bones Records)
3-4pm Matt Werth (RVNG Intl.)
4-5pm Scott Mou/Queens (Dial)
5-6m Falty DL (Ninja Tune)
6-7pm Bryan Kasenic (Bunker)
7-8pm Jonathan Toubin (New York Night Train)

OTHER MUSIC: 15 E. 4th St. NYC
Record Store Day Hours this Saturday: 10:30am-8pm
Facebook Invite

White Fence
Thee Oh Sees
Major Lazer
London Is the Place for Me Vol. 5 & 6
Jessie Ware
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Marnie Stern
David Grubbs
Music for Dancefloors: The KPM Library
Iron and Wine
Flaming Lips
British Sea Power
Wolf Eyes
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba


George Brigman

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APR Sun 21 Mon 22 Tues 23 Wed 24 Thurs 25 Fri 26 Sat 27

We are thrilled to announce that End Times, the debut full-length from Queens a/k/a Other Music's Scott Mou, sees release next week on the esteemed electronic imprint, Dial Records! We'll be celebrating this Wednesday night upstairs at the Wythe Hotel's Ides Bar, where Scott will be DJing a special set featuring some tracks from the new record as well as music that inspired the album, along with a SURPRISE GUEST. There's no cover but you'll need to RSVP by emailing djscottmou@gmail.com. And don't forget to catch another special Queens DJ set at Record Store Day this Saturday, from 4 to 5pm.

WYTHE HOTEL: 80 Wythe Ave. (at N. 11th St.) Williamsburg, BKLN
Upstairs at Ides Bar | 8PM-1:30AM

APR Sun 21 Mon 22 Tues 23 Wed 24 Thurs 25 Fri 26 Sat 27

The ever-sprawling, folk-psych-world-influenced Akron/Family are releasing their new album, Sub Verses, next week on Dead Oceans, and will be celebrating with a live performance at Bowery Ballroom that Wednesday, April 24, with Eric Copeland and M Geddes Gengras opening. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to this special night and you can enter for a chance to win by emailing tickets@othermusic.com.


APR Sun 21 Mon 22 Tues 23 Wed 24 Thurs 25 Fri 26 Sat 27

This coming installment of the Modern School of Film's fantastic, on-going Film:Acoustic series will feature Iron and Wine's Sam Beam, who has picked Mike Leigh's unheralded masterwork Naked to present on Thursday, April 25 at the IFC Center. After the screening, Beam will discuss the film as well as its inspiration on his own music, including the new Iron & Wine album Ghost on Ghost just released on Nonesuch. Other Music is giving away one pair of passes to this night and you can enter by emailing enter@othermusic.com.

IFC CENTER: 6th Ave at W. 3rd St. NYC

MAY Sun 19 Mon 20 Tues 21 Wed 22 Thurs 23 Fri 24 Sat 25

Wordless Music presents two Liars shows next month, on May 18 at the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing at the Met Museum, and then the following night, Sunday, May 19, at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, which is co-presented by BOOM Collective. Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets to the Brooklyn Masonic Temple performance, which also has Lower Dens opening. To enter for your chance to win, email giveaway@othermusic.com.

BROOKLYN MASONIC TEMPLE: 317 Clermont Ave. Fort Greene, BKLN





$26.99 LPX2


Faint Hearted
(Modern Love)

UK producer Miles Whittaker, best known as a member of Demdike Stare and for his work with Andy Stott as Millie & Andrea, forgoes any pseudonyms on his debut full-length for Modern Love, and it's a killer. Over eight pieces, Whittaker ably blends an entire history of esoteric electronic music into one lovely, stunning statement; from the blurred jungle monsoons of opener "Lebensform" to the heavily filtered house tornado of ""Status Narcissism," on down to the elegiac drones and bell tones of "Rejoice," he's treating each piece like an elemental suite, classical in tone but kinetic in form, offsetting the academic classicist nature of the work with a nod to his roots in warehouse techno. Two of the most stunning examples of this come toward the album's end -- on "Archaic Thought Pattern 1," Middle Eastern drones are offset by the clatter of hand drums that rise, fall, and swell like ocean waves until a breakbeat appears distorted beyond belief, with acid synth lines squelching through the mix; then closer "Loran Dreams" plays like Derrick May soundtracking Blade Runner, with synthetic string swells and a relentless sequencer line setting the scene as metallic klang tones blow in the wind until the whole thing fades to black. Between this and the recent Demdike Testpressings 12", it's fair to say that Whittaker is making some of the best music of his career; fans of the usual Modern Love/Blackest Ever Black shenanigans, not to mention the grand dark ambient magick of Coil circa Musick to Play in the Dark and Astral Disaster or the more textural mathematics of Autechre, need to grip this without a pause. It's not the sort of album that blasts through you immediately, and it is all the better for it. Let its power slowly overtake you and simply give in to its dark charms, as it retains all of the shadows of Demdike's work with none of its witchy kitch. Highest recommendation! [IQ]




$15.99 LP


Cyclops Reap
(Castle Face)

"Chairs in the Dark"
"Trouble Is Trouble Never Seen"

When I try to explain a White Fence tune to someone, I always end up describing objects mangled by forces of nature, like, "Tim Presley's songs sound like the result of leaving your Lola cassette to wither and die inside of a parked car on a hot day." On the last three White Fence LPs, Presley elevated the practice of scrappily recorded rock and roll to the level of blissfully fuzzy fine art. His 2012 double album, Family Perfume Vol. 1 and 2, entranced and ensnared with its prismatic approach to songwriting -- a flick of the wrist, a twist of the dial, and blooming acoustic strums change colors and reveal new electric wavelengths, not only from song to song but often within them.

Now recording for the Castle Face label, operated by Thee Oh Sees' frontman John Dwyer, Presley pares away just a bit of the hissy tape fat that characterized his earlier records. The rockers on Cyclops Reap, like lead single "Pink Gorilla" and the first half of "White Cat," possess the same wired energy as anything from Hair, Presley's 2012 collaboration album with Ty Segall. Verses barrel into hooks that tumble into bridges that collapse into the next song. Riffs sometimes reference the past, like a nice vamp in "New Edinburgh Man" that is a dead ringer for the riff from the Byrds' "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better," or a fingerpicked flutter on "Only Man Alive" (my personal favorite White Fence song) that sounds like it could have sprung from Nick Drake's fingers. Presley's voice is strongest, though, when he falls into a hazy country shuffle on "To the Boy I Jumped in the Hemlock Alley" and "Live On Genevieve," with the help of a wiry lap steel -- on Cyclops Reap, he comes across like a Mayo Thompson or Syd Barrett with a slight west coast drawl. This is the finest White Fence album to date, from a songwriter whose rock songs often feel more like beat poetry than anything else. [MS]




$15.99 LP


Floating Coffin
(Castle Face)

"Toe Cutter-Thumb Buster"
"Sweet Helicopter"

I haven't really flipped for an Oh Sees LP since 2009's Help, an album that still features heavily in the band's sweltering, bruising, bashingly great stage shows. But on Floating Coffin, Thee Oh Sees seem to harness the raw power of their live act in the studio. Thrill to the turn-on-a-dime hook that whips you from the verse to the chorus in "I Come from the Mt.," and to the Neu!-on-speed baritone guitar work from Petey Dammit. Get lost in the groovy tremolo outro to "No Spell," propelled by one of the best vocal melodies that keyboardist Brigid Dawson has ever put to tape. Headbang to "Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster" and "Strawberries 1+2," which feature searingly chunky riffs from John Dwyer that sound like direct descendants of Blue Cheer and T. Rex. The Krautrock influence on the band has always been evident, but songs like "Maze Fancier" and "Tunnel Time" showcase how locked in drummers Mike Shoun, Lars Finberg, and bassist Dammit are with each other -- these songs are all repetition, crescendos and decrescendos, and it's all recorded live, folks. Thee Oh Sees have proven a thousand times that they're the best live band going; Floating Coffin translates the group's physical magnetism to an LP you'll want to hear over and over again. [MS]






Free the Universe
(Secretly Canadian)

"Scare Me"
"Reach for the Stars"

International DJ du jour Thomas "Diplo" Pentz is back in his breakout Major Lazer guise, intent on getting the fans on the dance floor. Essentially a party in a box, Free the Universe is high-octane, turbo-charged, global dance music based primarily in the fusion of dancehall/reggae, dubstep, and pop, and Diplo's production here is top notch and as usual, kinda bonkers. Having lost his founding co-producer Switch, Diplo handles all of the production with assistance from Ariel Rechtshaid, Flux Pavilion, and Laidback Luke, and a crew that includes Trinidadian Jillionaire and Jamaican-born Walshy Fire. With a mountain of guest artists that on paper seems more like a headache than essential listening, for the most part everyone involved here uses their varied talents to the keep the party rolling and the party favors varied and aplenty -- Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Amber from Dirty Projectors, Opal, Tyga, Elephant Man, Ezra from Vampire Weekend, Shaggy, Bruno Mars, Ward 21, Ms. Dynamite, Wyclef Jean, Peaches, and a few more all climb on board the Major Lazer carnival float.

And Diplo brings some of the heaviest block-rocking rhythms he's come up with so far, giving the album an instant radio-ready/festival crowd-pleasing feel. At times the sequence plays like a Caribbean radio broadcast or something one would hear on pirate systems from deep within the favelas; over the years Diplo has showcased, featured, appropriated, and some would say co-opted the dance rhythms (and artists) from all points south and east, and inner cities worldwide, yet here he seems to have honed in on the voices and personalities that help him create a cool and vibey, urban globe-trotting journey. What is a nice aspect is his use of female vocals, as along with every moment that gives voice to machismo and misogyny, it's seems to be somewhat balanced with a female voice and perspective. Diplo has grown as a producer and DJ with each of his personalized mixes he's made for M.I.A., Santigold, La Roux and others, and here he further pushes the envelope of the female presence with strong testosterone-fueled rhythms; not a new idea by any means but it works to his advantage -- dubstep and its noisier cousin bro-step are so male-dominated and macho that by bringing some much-needed feminine energy up front, he softens the heaviness of the rhythms and sharpness of his bombastic effects slightly.

Major Lazer is not about subtlety, and nearly every sonic trick in the book is used throughout, from the filtered build up and drop, to heavily chopped-up vocals, to bust-your-eardrums bass and drum interplay. The album has everything that one should expect from the former king of Baltimore breaks; it's high-energy dance music at its heart-pounding best. Free the Universe may be the first warm weather record this year that is guaranteed to get the party started, get those hips to shaking, and just may inspire you to finally book that trip to the Caribbean or maybe just Miami -- hell, crank up the temperature ten more degrees and we can bring it in the Bronx. So big and bouncy, good and fun, silly and goofy that it kinda hurts, in the best possible way. Grab a flag and get to swinging, for Diplo and his merry troupe will no doubt be coming to an open air area near you real soon, bringing the party full circle. It's not for everyone, but a wide range of dance and world music fans can find their own sweet spot within. But be warned, Major Lazer has more energy that a case of Red Bull! [DG]




Vol. 5 LPx2
$21.99 Vol. 6 LPx2


London Is the Place for Me Vol. 5 & 6
(Honest Jon's)

"My Wife Went Away with Yankee" Lord Kitchener
"Marilyn Monroe Calypso" Tony Johnson

In the post-World War II years, a mass migration took place in Britain, as workers from the British Commonwealth Nations in the Caribbean sought opportunity in England. Along with their labor they brought their culture and music; one of these cultural imports was calypso, the folk music of Trinidad and Tobago -- an amalgamation of African, Latin, and American jazz. The ongoing London Is the Place for Me compilation series represents the joys and sorrows of Caribbean immigrants' lives in the UK during the 1950s and 1960s, and volumes five and six go deep into British calypso of the era. Lord Kitchener, one of the innovators and leading proponents of what we know as calypso, is a prominent presence on these records. He embodies the griot spirit of West African storytelling (an essential element in this style of music) in his soap opera ditty of "My Wife Went Away with Yankee." On "Kitch's Mambo Calypso," Lord Kitchener incorporates both jazz and mambo -- two musical styles that influenced the sound of many artists featured throughout the record. One example of this particular fusion is the Quavers' track "Kitch," both a tribute to Lord Kitchener himself and a take on a mambo performed through the band's Ghanaian roots.

Mighty Terror's noteworthy presence on this compilation takes a bawdy look at life in England, with calypso tales touching on topics that range from cheating wives and his lust for policewomen, to praise for the Queen of England and general life on the British Isles. Along with the aforementioned styles, these collections are infused with a variety of other influences; some are reminiscent of Jamaican mento, the big band sound of Afro-Cuban jazz, West African highlife, and additionally hint at the English and American music popular at the time. It all makes for two more essential installments in this essential series; the double CD features both volumes five and six, and these volumes are also available separately on double LP. [ACo]




$16.99 LP


(Cherry Tree/Interscope)

"Wildest Moments"
"Night Light"

My favorite pop record from last year is finally available domestically! UK-based singer Jessie Ware first gained attention via guest spots on tracks by up-and-coming producers SBTRKT, Sampha and Joker; her vocals, smooth and slinky yet deep and powerful, showed a promising young talent to watch, and with Devotion, she delivers on that promise full-force with one of the best, most consistent debut albums of recent memory. Ware blends the jazzy, quiet-storm collusionist soul of influential acts like Sade, Loose Ends and Soul II Soul, but mixes the sound palette up with equal parts throwback '80s electro-funk and a keen ear for contemporary UK bass production. Nearly every cut here is a gem, filled with sharp hooks, stunning vocals, and a crisp, catchy, electronic minimalist take on soul and R&B that should appeal both to indie types that jam to the likes of the xx, How to Dress Well and the Weeknd, as well as those who dig more mainstream sounds like Rihanna, Beyonce and Whitney. It's that ease with which she balances her voice across those poles that makes the album such a success -- well, that and the great songs. I've easily played this record more than anything else that's been released this year, and it gets my absolute highest recommendation. If anything I've said here floats your boat, pick it up immediately. [IQ]





$11.99 LP


(Stones Throw)

"He Hit Me"
"Love Buzz"

Anika made big waves around these parts a few years back with her eponymous debut album, a collaboration with Geoff Barrow's Beak>> project that fused jagged post-punk angularity, robotic disco rhythms, and Anika's icy Nico-esque voice into a set of cover tunes (and a couple of originals) that became a near unanimous staff and customer favorite. She followed that with a tour, which saw her perform most of the album along with a handful of newer cover versions that were admittedly some of the show's highlights; we're now fortunate enough to get studio versions of most of those covers on this new EP, which features four jams originally recorded by the Chromatics ("In the City"), Shocking Blue ("Love Buzz"), '60s girl group the Crystals ("He Hit Me"), and the Kinks ("I Go to Sleep" -- reprised here, as it was also included on Anika'a self-titled album), along with dub mixes of "Yang Yang" and "No One's There," two of the aforementioned album's highlights. Now let's get down to brass tacks; the tunes here are excellent, and while they aren't bringing anything particularly new to the table that wasn't already explored on the album from a production standpoint, they do deliver a bit of variety in arrangements, splicing that record's continual gloomy funk with an odd, eerie whimsy on the Kinks tune, a clouded drone ballad on the Crystals number, and a lopsided Neue Deutsche Welle disco ball glitter groove on the Chromatics cover, which is arguably Anika's finest moment and worth the price of admission alone. The dubs are honestly a bit less engaging, leading me to wonder why they didn't instead include her show-stopping version of Harry Nilsson and Van Dyke Parks' "He Needs Me," from Altman's Popeye film; it was often the number with which she closed her concerts and would have been an excellent finale here as well. Nevertheless, this is an excellent postscript to Anika's eponymous album, and if you were a fan, you'll find much to love. It's a solid EP that's more playful than before, retaining all of her debut record's magic whilst letting a bit of light creep through the grayscale fog. [IQ]




$11.99 CD
$17.99 CD Deluxe
$17.99 LP+MP3



NYC art punks Yeah Yeah Yeahs came out of the gate more than a decade ago with something to prove, and seemingly through sheer force of will, this oddball band have gone on to have a major, lasting impact on modern music, and teenaged girls, across the globe. While in almost any other context Karen O would come off as a desperate-for-attention art school nerd, under the bright stage lights she has managed to create a powerful and near-universal character that connects on a primal level; plus, along with Nick Zinner and Brian Chase, she writes some pretty great songs. Karen's lightning-in-a-bottle vocal delivery and Zinner's intensely focused guitar and keyboard riffs are in full effect on Mosquito, the group's enjoyable fourth full-length, and they have stepped back somewhat from the synth-heavy sound of 2009's It's Blitz!; here there is a more balanced blend of organic and synthetic, with buzz-saw guitars and swirling synthesizers, muscular drums woven into programmed rhythm tracks, or on first single "Sacrilege," Karen's insane caterwaul processed and set against an earthy gospel chorus. (Or space alien Dr. Octagon rapping over a vintage U2-inspired guitar groove on the James Murphy-produced "Buried Alive." But that's another story.) It's a nice mix and there are plenty of hooks, but overall it does feels like the high points are not quite as high as we've come to expect, and a couple of the songs sort of missed the mark for me; the aforementioned Murphy track gave me bad '90s rap-rock flashbacks, and the alien nightmare of "Area 52" seems little silly without being that much fun. But even though I can't say the band's fourth full-length is likely to land on many lists of the "top three YYY albums of all time," there is still a lot for fans to enjoy. [JM]






The Chronicles of Marnia
(Kill Rock Stars)

"Year of the Glad"
"East Side Glory"

Guitar virtuoso Marnie Stern seems to have been fighting an uphill battle across her last couple of releases against typecasting and pigeonholing, the careless comments of dudes, and trying to find a niche for music as uncompromising and complex as hers. The Chronicles of Marnia, her third full-length, makes positive strides in all directions towards her favor. Exit the drummer Zach Hill and enter Oneida's percussionist Kid Millions as Stern's backup for this cycle. He's every inch the drummer Hill is, but he's able to sit back while keeping busy, never trying to outpace Stern's already swarming sound and meaningful lyrics about romance and the body politic. She is a unique and much-needed voice in contemporary independent music, sounding for all she's worth like Kate Bush sleeping on a stack of Rush albums (the good ones, of course ... wait, of course there are good ones, come on), and taking the positive qualities of such an unlikely alliance to their natural state. These are great pop songs that don't sound like anything else out there right now, and the power of these two musicians playing together commands your attention and your respect. Step to it. [DM]




$18.99 LP


The Plain Where the Palace Stood
(Drag City)

"Ornamental Hermit"

Despite his early teens as a (post) punk rocker of some note, and his continued forays into left-field pop, David Grubbs is generally thought of as an experimental composer, performer and theorist more than a songwriter. Though his most frequently deployed axe is the pedestrian six-string guitar, it's more common for Grubbs to make that guitar speak eloquently at length on a variety of complex and thought-provoking topics than to make it sing, so to speak. But throughout his long career in (avant) rock, stretching back to the early days of Gastr del Sol and even Bastro, Grubbs' true calling card has been the synthesis of traditional (pop) songwriting and more esoteric forms, or more precisely of beautiful and welcoming hooks and more difficult, thorny ideas, and nowhere has he better realized that delicate balance than on this lovely new full-length.

Opening with the title track's driving guitar riff and fluttering violin jam (courtesy of album collaborator C. Spencer Yeh), it seems that The Plain Where the Palace Stood will be one of Grubbs' more inviting records in a while, and indeed it is. Four tracks are built around his somewhat mannered vocals, closer to abstract poetry than proper singing (you try to croon a line like, "My first favorite song went something like this, but I started to live when my barber died, my hair grew curly, my sideburns wide, that's it"), and while his acquired taste of a voice gives the record its quirky heart, its soul is the sweet melancholy of the compositions. He sticks mostly to electric guitar here, and along with Yeh, Grubbs is joined by drummer Andrea Belfi and guitarist Stefano Pilia, and the relaxed interplay between these talented players sounds like the collaboration of a real living breathing band, pulling Grubbs out of his head and into the music, where he truly belongs. Vaguely nostalgic in their sideways glances at post-rock (from trailblazers like This Heat to the early-'90s Louisville and late-'90s Chicago scenes Grubbs was central to), folk and classical guitar, indie rock, noise, and myriad other forms, Grubbs' songs are indeed hard to swallow at times, but they are so full of life and real emotion, they are clearly worth a long chew. [JM]




$24.99 LPx2 w/CDx2


Music for Dancefloors: The KPM Music Library

"That's What Friends Are For " (Alan Parker feat. Madeline Bell)
"Senior Thump" (Alan Hawkshaw)

About 10 years ago (geez..that long?), former OM staff writer Robin Edgerton eloquently stated that what made the anonymous work-for-hire stock library music of the '70s so special was the fact that it was functional music created without a specific purpose in mind. It wasn't commissioned for any one soundtrack, it was meant to serve infinite purpose to independent producers who couldn't afford to license or commission an original track. KPM Music Library was a British music service that TV and radio stations subscribed to and would be sent instrumental albums with brilliant titles like Incidental Backcloth No. 3, meant to soundtrack the party scene in that low-budget local commercial playing on late-night TV during the late-'60s and early-'70s, John Holmes' most romantic interludes, and much, much more.

It's no wonder that all your fave hip-hop/dance producers from Dilla and Just Blaze to Luke Vibert and Theo Parrish were paying $200 or more in the '90s for these albums, because the egoless, funky instrumental was pure function, perfect MPC fodder for the aforementioned producers to create aural backdrops for cinematic storytellers like Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, DOOM and the like. As for house music, hell, this stuff might as well be considered proto-house; it's funky, functional music that only means something greater in the theatre of your mind, or on the dance floors surrounded by all your friends at once. You'll hear quick funky musical exercises in samba, reggae, disco, orchestrated sensual R&B breaks... like some sort of aural Russell Stover box of chocolates. Heavy session players like Keith Mansfield, Alan Parker and Madeline Bell make cameo appearances, and you get a kick-ass live recording of the "debut" performance of the KPM all-stars at the Jazz Cafe in London in 2000. Any rare groove, beat digger aficionado should try to get their hands on this ASAP! [DH]





Change Becomes Us
(Pink Flag)

"Doubler & Trebler"
"Reinvent Your Second Wheel"

Ever since the band's formation in 1976, Wire have been central to the seminal London post-punk scene. With their diverse and minimalistic answer to UK punk and the unique art-school manner of their early recordings, Wire's debut album, Pink Flag, is still regarded as one of the most intelligent approaches to alternative music of the era. The curious aspect of Wire's history is how they have continually pushed forward to produce new material, showing radical variety across their first three "classic" albums, and then, despite many hiatuses caused by 'differences' between band members, various side projects, and their later efforts being deemed as 'almost unlistenable' by many, the group has continued to surprise and innovate for more than 35 years.

Thus it only seems quite fitting that Change Becomes Us would take another quick turn, this time looking backwards; in fact, it could have almost been their fourth album, considering the songs featured here are based on ideas originally conceived in 1979 and 1980. Unearthed and revived, these tracks hold that familiar sound of Wire's well-respected early work. Change Becomes Us does not possess the raw, in-yr-face sort of approach of that era, yet the record still flows with familiar confidence, strong lyrics, and talent of seasoned musicians who have evolved and are now taking a sophisticated approach to recreating their original musical visions. Blending old school post-punk with hints of shoegaze, spaced-out prog-rock, and a touch of guitar-driven ambience here and there, the Wire of today continue to sound as relevant and contemporary as they did in the early days of Britain's underground rock. [ACo]




$15.99 LP+MP3


Vanishing Point
(Sub Pop)

"I Like It Small"

If you'd have told 16-year-old me -- Mudhoney fan inside and out -- that they'd be making music in 2013, I'd be shocked and pleasantly surprised, especially as I would learn that they weren't made of bionic parts and plugged into synthesizers or anything like that, because 1993 was a long time ago. What I wouldn't have believed would be a record so off-the-cuff in its subject matter (extolling the virtues of tiny peters, dissing white wine, calling out douchebags as Mark Arm sees fit) that it would call into question everything I understood about growing old. But Mudhoney certainly have nothing to prove except that they can still rock hard enough to knock your stones into your pockets, and on Vanishing Point, they do just that. It almost feels like they've taken a page or two from the Pissed Jeans playbook, but made it their own, withering pronouncements deadpanned from Arm's rusty-gate throat, Steve Turner setting flesh alight with his guitar tone, Guy Maddison and Dan Peters doing what they do best. If this is what retirement is going to sound like, I'm in. Stuff this in your 401(k) at your earliest convenience. [DM]




As you can probably imagine, it's been a busy week getting ready for Record Store Day this Saturday, and there was simply not enough time to cover all the great new releases that we wanted to feature in this Update. In addition to the new Wolf Eyes and Bassekou Kouyate records below, we wanted to let you know that anticipated new albums from Iron and Wine, the Flaming Lips and British Sea Power are in stock and available for mail order, and will be reviewed in next week's newsletter.





$12.99 CD

No Answer: Lower Floors
(De Stijl)

New album from Wolf Eyes, No Answer: Lower Floors finds these longstanding Michigan noiseniks taking a more focused and dare we say spatial approach to their squalling post-industrial experimentations, but without forsaking any of the sinister hallmarks of the earlier works in their dense catalog. While guitarist James Baljo joined the fold last year soon after Mike Connelly announced his departure, both Connelly and former member/co-founder Aaron Dilloway are back to contribute here, along with Wolf Eyes mainstays Nate Young and John Olson, making this new album the band's most vivid yet, where the primitive electronics, woodwinds, guitars, and rhythms are splayed out with a clear sense of purpose and intent, albeit the end results are always abstract, intense, heady, and nothing less than exhilarating.






Jama Ko
(Out Here)

"Jama Ko"

A fantastic new album from Mali's Bassekou Kouyate, this master of the lute-like ngoni is joined by a new backing band that includes his sons Mamadou and Moustafa (both ngoni players) and his wife Amy Sacko who contributes strong, emotional vocals, along with renown guests like Kasse Mady Diabate, Taj Mahal, and even Montreal's Barr Brothers. Produced by Arcade Fire collaborator Howard Bilerman, Kouyate's sinewy ngoni playing is amplified and often run through a wah-wah pedal atop hypnotic percussive grooves, and while the songs are politically charged, taking on religious extremism and calling for peace in the midst of recent fighting in Mali, Jama Ko is also one of the most uplifting albums you'll hear this summer.






Jungle Rot
(Obscure Oxide)

A fascinating slice of inner city Americana. Exactly in what compartment George Brigman fits in I'm not sure, but I smell demented blues, hard rock, basement psych, and healthy slices of unemployment and juvenile crime. And glue coming from the neighbor's garage. Recorded in 1974, but not released until 1975, the majority of the album is dominated by Brigman's discontented snarl and searing, murky fuzz guitars (see the ruthless title track and the maniacal rhythm & blues of "I Feel Alright"), and comes across as a truly pissed off Blue Cheer or a Stooges without the recording budget. Brigman showcases a more reflective mood in a couple of downer blues jams, but the lyrical angst and disaffected vocal slur does nothing to detract from the album's overall intensity. So come on, grab a slice of the real American underground, recorded by a man truly out of time and out of his mind. [AK]
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[ACo] Anastasia Cohen
[DG] Daniel Givens
[DH] Duane Harriott
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[AK] Andreas Knutsen
[JM] Josh Madell
[DM] Doug Mosurock
[MS] Michael Stasiak

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