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  July 26, 2013  
JUL Sun 28 Mon 29 Tues 30 Wed 31 Thurs 01 Fri 02 Sat 03

On Tuesday, July 30, we hope you will join us for the second and final show in our annual series with the Fort Greene Park Conservancy in Brooklyn's first (and coolest) park. We are hosting a global lineup, headlined by the incredible Brooklyn band Red Baraat, whose unique cross-section of North Indian bhangra rhythms and jazz, brass funk, go-go and hip-hop is nothing short of electrifying. Opening the show is the Boston-based collective Debo Band, whose open-minded take on Ethiopian jazz celebrates the polyglot sounds of African jazz-funk in a new and thrilling context. Two bands with sousaphones on one stage! Also on the bill is our old friend DJ Duane Harriott. Join us for a night of great free music, and help support Fort Greene Park!

THE MYRTLE LAWN OF FORT GREENE PARK (enter Myrtle and N. Portland), Brooklyn

Van Dyke Parks
Chris Watson
Craig Leon
After Dark 2 (Various)
Jackson Scott
High Speed & the Afflicted Man
Bitchin' Bajas
Thomas Dinger
Eric Copeland (12" single)
Michael Chapman
Honey Ltd.
Five Days Married & Other Laments
Daft Punk (Get Lucky 12")
Speedy Ortiz

Aaron Dilloway
Clay Rendering
Don & Stevie
Polyphonic Size
Los Microwaves

Grant Hart
Gogol Bordello
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

The Mountain Goats
Taj Mahal Travellers

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JUL/AUG Sun 21 Mon 22 Tues 23 Wed 24 Thurs 25 Fri 26 Sat 27
  Sun 28 Mon 29 Tues 30 Wed 31 Thurs 01 Fri 02 Sat 03

Other Music is giving away tickets to the next two installments of New York City's longest running electronic music party. This Saturday, the Bunker welcomes Function (Ostgut Ton), who'll be taking a break from his summer residency at the legendary Berghain in Berlin, for his first appearance in NYC in over a year, along with techno purveyor Claude Young (Different World), and resident Bryan Kasenic. Then on the following Friday, August 2, the Bunker welcomes Other Music favorites Demdike Stare (Modern Love), along with the prolific Atom™ (Raster Noton) who will be performing a live set, and resident Derek Plaslaiko. Both nights take place at Williamsburg's Output. Email tickets@othermusic.com for your chance to win, and list which night you'd like to enter for in the subject line.

OUTPUT: 74 Wythe Ave. BKLN

JUL Sun 28 Mon 29 Tues 30 Wed 31 Thurs 01 Fri 02 Sat 03

The amazing music pouring out of the Western Sahara has been attracting an ever-growing legion of fans from all corners of the globe these past few years, and Omara "Bombino" Moctar is at the forefront of this peregrination of sound. The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach is one such fan who produced Bombino's newest full-length, Nomad (out now on Nonesuch), and on Tuesday, July 30, the Tuareg guitarist will be performing at Brooklyn Bowl, with Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang and Mamarazzi opening. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets and for your chance to win, email enter@othermusic.com.


JUL/AUG Sun 28 Mon 29 Tues 30 Wed 31 Thurs 01 Fri 02 Sat 03

Le Poisson Rouge is offering our Update readers a chance to win a pair of tickets to one of these forthcoming shows next week at the West Village club. On Tuesday, July 30, singer-songwriter Beth Orton will be coming through New York during her summer tour, and she'll be playing in support of her recent Sugaring Season full-length. Then on Thursday, August 1, techno stalwart turned blue-eyed soul singer and electro-funk maker Jamie Lidell takes the LPR stage, and needless to say his live performances are not to be missed. To enter for your chance to win tickets to either of these nights, email giveaway@othermusic.com and list which show you'd like to see in the subject line.

LE POISSON ROUGE: 158 Bleecker St. NYC

Other Music's summer Monday residency at New York City's Ace Hotel continues through to the end of August! During these next few months, you'll find a different member of our staff DJing their favorite records and countless varieties of music inside the gorgeous lobby bar every Monday evening from 8pm to midnight, and we hope you'll come and join us as we shake off those dog days that are finally here. So mark your calendar: Other Music's Summer DJ Residency at Ace Hotel, every Monday in June, July and August. Here's the schedule:

7/29 - Scott Mou
8/05 - Amanda Chouette
8/12 - Chris Pappas
8/19 - Ryan Naideau
8/26- Ning Nong

ACE HOTEL: 20 W. 29th St. NYC
8:00pm to Midnight | Facebook Event Page







In Search
(Paradise of Bachelors)

"Sunn of Gunn"
"Blue Monday"

So far into an early career, notable North Carolina label Paradise of Bachelors has surprised us with some of the finest roots/singer-songwriter records of recent years (Steve Gunn's Time Off, the last two Hiss Golden Messenger albums), as well as handpicked reissues that carry with them the scented breezes of small-town America, and ideas swollen beyond the regionalism and narrow minds they worked against -- quality records like a comp of David Lee's decades-long march into obscurity, the Red Rippers' psychobilly/wavo reflection on the Vietnam War, and Plant and See's rootsy psychedelic funk.

Into the canon comes a reissue of In Search, a 1982 private-press album by one Chance Martin that must be heard to be believed, and even then you might have doubts. Chance is Nashville royalty to some, a former right-hand man to Johnny Cash throughout the '70s and roadie to just about every one of that city's musicians that mattered. Taking the Martin guitar bestowed upon him by Cash, he began writing what would be his signature statement upon the world of music. It would take Chance five years to complete this work, running up studio time after-hours in some of Music City's most advanced facilities. Across thirteen tracks, Chance threads tales of love, loss, and lysergia across a patchwork of the era's most popular and vibrant musical statements, for an album that sounds like a more commercially viable take on the Jade Stone & Luv record. It's rock -- searing, hard rock at that -- and country and acid-fried funk and boogie and blues and mystical shards of neorealism rolled together into a deep-fried chunk of musical truth. Chance's vocals sound like a cross between Cash, Jim Morrison and a talking granite statue of Tony Joe White, and he and his band approximate Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell by way of Eddie Hazel/Funkadelic style guitar and windowdressing, country funk that'll blow your hair back, studio trickery that'll warp your eardrums, and the essence of illicit substances influencing the whole shebang -- in other words, totally required listening for anyone into outsider sounds. In Search is as messy as the image on the cover, but there is a code to the whole thing. It's up to the intrepid among you to crack it. [DM]





Songs Cycled
(Bella Union)

"The Parting Hand"
"Wedding in Madagascar"

Give respect to this man, for he is an American icon who has spent more time in the peripheries than he has in the deserved glow of known recognition and admiration. Known predominantly for his infamous work with Brian Wilson on SMiLE, the Beach Boys' masterful epic of psychedelic Americana, and perhaps also for his work as an arranger and producer for artists from Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson to Haruomi Hosono and Joanna Newsom, Van Dyke Parks has also recorded some of the most beautiful, witty, and thought-provoking albums of American song form in the pop age. His records are often brushed aside more as novelties or curious objects due to their density in both lyrical and musical content; his lyrics are tapestries of intricately woven puns, oblique historical references, and complex rhyme schemes, with the music displaying an equal diversity in its references, rhythms, and instrumental textures.

Songs Cycled is Parks's first album of predominantly new material since 1995's Orange Crate Art, made in collaboration with Brian Wilson. It is essentially a compilation of the singles Parks quietly released via his Bananastan label in 2011 and 2012, sequenced masterfully into what is a gorgeous and perfect summation of the man's remarkable career. The album's titular reference to his debut full-length, Song Cycle, is no accident, either, as the record's lush, breathtaking production and arrangements drift through widescreen vistas of orchestral strings and brass, gentle tropical rhythms, clouds of Caribbean steel pan bands, as well as hefty doses of the vintage Americana that Parks so loves, fusing together back porch blues, Zydeco, ragtime, and even a bit of European classical music into the same dizzying wonderland that Parks first dreamed up back in 1968.

What sets this apart from being a mere sequel to that classic album, though, are his brilliant lyrics, here telling complex tales of an America that is infinitely more complex and screwed up than the freewheeling 1960s; everything from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the post-9/11 financial crisis, the bombing of Baghdad, and the Prestige oil spill are all interpreted through Parks's unique vision. The results are never less than gripping, and the wisdom and perspective that he's gained at age 70 gives these songs an emotional anchor that was hard to approximate in his earlier work. He even revisits Song Cycle's classic "The All Golden" in a beautiful, stripped-down arrangement for just voice, piano, and accordion, and it's touching to hear the gentle weariness in Parks's voice as he revisits the song's lyrics.

At risk of sounding somewhat hyperbolic, I say without hesitation that this is, to my ears, one of the year's most beautiful, accomplished, and best records. Parks has said that this is likely to be his last album, as he is reaching an endgame of sorts both physically and financially to continue such activities to his liking. If this unfortunate news is to be true, I'm pleased to say that this giant of American song craft is going out on top. My recommendations don't get any higher for this one, folks. [IQ]






Time: The Sounds of Lindisfarne and the Gospels


Field recordings appear to be having a moment in the spotlight, and in recent years the genre has affected contemporary art circles as well, notably taking a prominent role in MoMA's upcoming large-scale sound exhibition, Soundings: A Contemporary Score. There have also been ongoing exchanges with more popular strains of music, not in the least through the well-known work of Other Music favorites Boards of Canada, or the phonographic interludes on Julia Holter's avant chamber pop debut Tragedy. Given these continually developing trends and hybrid approaches, it remains inspiring to hear how the genre is explored in its purest form on each new release by British "sound recordist" Chris Watson. Using the microphone as an instrument to reveal sounds habitually unheard by humans, his recordings contain an almost unreal ability to place the listener directly within the environment that is being registered. On In St. Cuthbert's Time, Watson sets forth to explore the sonic properties of Lindisfarne, a scenic island off the coast of Northeast England, with a rich history that encompasses both Vikings and Sir Walter Scott, as well as Roman Polanski, who shot his 1966 film Cul de Sac on location there. The recordings are an attempt to provide an aural imprint of how Lindisfarne might have been experienced in 700 A.D. when St. Cutberth, a monk, bishop, and hermit, became associated with its wildlife. We hear chatter of ducks and wading birds in winter, and then go off on a series of recordings that reflect the quotidian and seasonal flows of the variety of sounds present on the island. The unidentifiable and unverifiable nature of many of these sources adds to the complexity of the listening experience. With an added level of historical and scholarly frameworks that made this project possible, and stunning photography included in the CD booklet, this work is a triumph in both its exactness and strangeness, straddling nature's complex sonic landscape and the uncanny effect of these sounds when registered through a microphone. [NVT]






(Superior Viaduct)

Finally!! Craig Leon's 1981 album Nommos, arguably the most unusual record released by John Fahey's Takoma label, sees a long overdue reissue on vinyl, remastered from the original analogue master tapes in a full reproduction of the original release. 

Leon is primarily known as a record producer who helped start the careers of NYC icons like Blondie, Ramones, Suicide, and Talking Heads, and who then went on to helm the boards for such high-profile luminaries as Luciano Pavarotti. What many don't know is that he released this incredible LP of analogue electronic wizardry at the height of the post-punk era, creating a monstrous, hypnotic beast of an album that combined the rough-edged primalities of early electronic synthesis with a more studied compositional sophistication. The record's five extended explorations were inspired by African ceremonial rhythms, and predate and foresee the electronic tribalism of early house and techno and the gritty ambient textures of the Mego/Blackest Ever/Modern Love set. It's of the same contextual cloth as Eno and Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and Hector Zazou & Bony Bikaye's Noir Et Blanc, in that all three albums were released nearly simultaneously and explore the same physical alchemy of African music with electronic tools that were arguably as primitive in aesthetic nature, if not more so, as a thumb piano or slit drum. That all of these albums still hold up today, and continue to inspire, is a testament to the power of these recordings. Anyone who has enjoyed works by the aforementioned, not to mention Monoton, early Cluster, and even Terry Riley's keyboard work, needs to grip this post-haste, as it's limited and not likely to last long. There's also a download included for full iPod enjoyment. Trust me, folks... You want this. [IQ]






After Dark 2
(Italians Do It Better)

"Cherry" Chromatics
"The Magician" Mike Simonetti

Like the slow-motion disco that the Italians Do It Better imprint brought back in vogue and have since almost flawlessly sustained over the past seven years, the wait between 2007's watershed After Dark compilation and After Dark 2 has been a patient one. Fans probably wouldn't expect anything different, however. Not counting 12" singles, the full-length releases on the imprint seem to come in bursts going back to IDIB's early days, with the first After Dark, Glass Candy's B/E/A/T/B/O/X, and Chromatics' Night Drive all hitting the shelves within months of each other -- it wasn't until last year that Chromatics' magnificent follow-up, Kill for Love, finally appeared. And we're still waiting on Glass Candy's forthcoming Body Work, which may or may not come out this fall. Consider that Johnny Jewel -- the label's co-founder, producer and visionary -- is not only a known perfectionist, he is also behind a large percentage of the bands on the roster including the aforementioned Glass Candy and Chromatics, and he has seen his profile rise dramatically these past few years with soundtrack work for television and film (notably contributing to 2011's Ryan Gosling vehicle Drive).

The most apparent difference between After Dark 2 and its predecessor is just how much Jewel has grown as a producer. Though all of his noirish trademarks thankfully remain -- flickering neon synthesizers that seem lifted from Giorgio Moroder records and Gallic horror film scores; cool, detached melodies from mostly female singers; less-is-more arrangements crafted from vintage gear -- the overall sound is far more vivid. Glass Candy's album opener, "Warm in the Winter," is about as anthemic as anything we've heard from the band, with Ida No betraying the icy keyboards as she sends an uplifting message directly to the listeners: "You're beautiful, you came from heaven... and that's why I love you, we love you." (Glass Candy's other three offerings here are pretty diverse, including the after-hours disco of "Beautiful Object" and the far more dreamy, machine-like "Redheads Feel More Pain.") Next up, Desire's "Tears from Heaven" crests along a gentle 4/4 rhythm with drum machine accents and a bed of airy, moaning synths that could have been borrowed from Prince's "Little Red Corvette," while the Vocoder slo-mo funk of Mirage's "Let's Kiss" ebbs and flows atop an Italo disco pulse. Elsewhere, Symmetry, Jewel's spacier project with Desire and Chromatics member Nat Walker, appears with "Heart of Darkness," which nicely taps into the same chilly atmospherics of the '70s/early-'80s soundtrack work from John Carpenter and Goblin's electronic-leaning moments. Chromatics contribute three tracks (two bookending the Symmetry cut) including "Looking for Love," a mysterious slice of death disco with Ruth Radelet cooing the song title atop the rhythmic click of a muted guitar string, and later in the record, the beguiling nocturnal pop of album highlight "Cherry."

While tracks like IDIB co-honcho Mike Simonetti's EBM-flirting instrumental, "The Magician," and Appaloosa's slightly more maximalist takes on poppy Euro house ("Fill the Blanks," "Intimate") help break the icy spell that most of the other contributors cast, Jewel's mastery of creating an arc in the overall sequencing ensures that this isn't just another label comp showboating its roster. After Dark 2 reveals a glamorous sound world that's of its own and of which a person can truly get lost in -- like its predecessor, I don't see this one wearing out its welcome any time too soon either. If you can make the next installment as good as this, you can take however long as you please, Mr. Jewel. [GH]




$21.99 LP


Andy Votel and Demdike Stare's Sean Canty form the backbone of the new project NeoTantrik, an outcropping of both the crate-digging, sound-sourcing scope of the former, and the dark, filmic electronic experimentalism of the latter. Mostly recorded live in performances throughout Europe, Intervisions layers samples and manipulated vinyl with ominous drone, in a sprightlier but no less arcane method as what you'd expect out of Demdike, and of course the musique concrete and slices of electroacoustic tickle-torture you'll find here is miles away from any of Votel's DJ sets. Think of this as the free jazz in relief to Demdike's murky mystery, save one track -- Jane Weaver's exquisite "Sous Le Meme Soleil, Vie Dispary Dans Le Ciel," all groaning keyboards, low-level melodies and the sound of a human voice gently shushing. It's the truest to form of anything here with reference to previous Pre-Cert releases, and the one I'll be coming back to, alongside atavistic closer "Xian Octagon." [DM]




$15.99 LP+MP3

(Fat Possum)

"That Awful Sound"

Still at college in Asheville, NC but choosing to devote his time to his music, Jackson Scott is a psych-pop performer on the rise, and Melbourne easily justifies the 20-year-old's admission into the indie whiz kid club. Melbourne's short little songs can be divided into essentially three categories: instrumental and eerie ("Wish Upon," "Only Eternal), upbeat and sickeningly sweet ("Sandy," "Any Way"), and those in which Scott's droning and moody voice blends into faded guitar picking ("Evie," "Doctor Mad"). Although all three styles fit perfectly into the lo-fi, cozy stoner rock that he creates, the standouts are usually the creepily optimistic ones. "Sandy," the first single off the album, features Scott's pitch-shifted vocals over sanguine guitar chords a la Bradford Cox's Atlas Sound, mixed with a sweet melody that could have come off of Youth Lagoon's Wondrous Bughouse. But the dark undercurrent in Scott's music pokes through, and as he sings, "Little kids sitting all around/ wishing we were so asleep again," it becomes clear that the song makes reference to the tragic Sandy Hook murders. On the other hand, "Together Forever" shows Scott's ability to make a real bedroom haze hit with cynical, but typical lyrics like "don't you know it's all the same/ just a game, just a game." The fact that Scott is still so young is much more of a blessing than a curse; his teenage angst lingers in every corner of this moody, delirious album (most excellently on the lilting guitar of the catchy track "Evie"). For those who enjoyed Girls' Album, but can handle a darker and moodier take on the lo-fi sound, Melbourne is the way to go. [MM]





Get Stoned Ezy

"Get Stoned Ezy"
"Zip Ead"

Guitarist Steve Hall led a solitary existence throughout the dingy back alleys of first-wave punk in England, churning out DIY singles and albums that moved increasingly away from the genre's typical signifiers as the years went by. For how little is known about Hall, the music he released (first as Afflicted, then Afflicted Man, and finally with a rhythm section as High Speed & the Afflicted Man) speaks volumes -- a barking sound bent on punk, blues and noise that loses its social conscience as it starts its long and rickety journey inward. While some of his releases anticipate the sort of deconstructed rock purism in the vein of a Michael Yonkers or Dan Melchior, 1982's Get Stoned Ezy channeled that spirit into full-bore hard psychedelic rock, anticipating the blowout choogle of High Rise and the mentally taxed, acid-fried mind state that powered Hawkwind before him and the Butthole Surfers afterwards. This is one heavy shredder for sure, with the title track provid ing the departure point from the blues into two 12-plus-minute brain melters, replete with masterful soloing and a tough outer shell. The era into which Get Stoned Ezy was introduced was about 10 years off on either end, and listeners rejected it outright. The record was bootlegged back to life several times, but this latest edition (along with Permanent's reissue of Afflicted Man's I'm Off Me 'Ead) should settle several scores and restore Hall's place in the galaxy of pin-eyed spiritual shaman. [DM]




$17.99 LP


(Drag City)

Once you get over how truly god awful the name Bitchin' Bajas is, you'd be hard pressed to find a better example of a "new age" cabal doin' what they do. Like Emeralds, Sunroof!, Mountains and a few other predecessors to this throwback before them, BBs take major cues from the German kosmische music of the 1970s and filter it through a '90s/'00s lens. Opening track "Transcendence" starts off slow, awash with gauzy, washy synths, and steadily builds to a sonic guitar crescendo. Yes, they're seriously chompin' at the Ash Ra bit, but when it sounds this effortless and pretty it's a welcome influence. "Inclusion" follows and loops flutes over mellow waves of synthesizer to achieve the sort of heady vibe of Hosianna Mantra-era Popul Vuh. Four long, stony tracks make up this excellent slab o' aughts electronic soundscapery. [RN]

$21.99 LP


Fur Mich
(Bureau B)

Weary of the endless disputes with his undoubtedly more famous brother Klaus, late percussionist Thomas Dinger left La Dusseldorf during the recordings of Viva in 1978. Sibling rivalry aside, the sonic palette and compositional structure of Für Mich, his 1981 solo album, is more closely related to Michael Rother's unforgettable series of post-Neu! records than any of Klaus Dinger's efforts of the same period, a link that can perhaps be traced back to his early musical contribution to Neu! 75 as a drummer. The mood is reflective and dream-like, with long elegiac synth parts occasionally interspersed with touches of musique concrète. What becomes immediately striking upon first listen are the complex rhythmic patterns explored on the majority of the tracks, with only one providing that instantly recognizable 4/4 Dinger beat. The album's gratifying playfulness comes best across on "E-605," with its unusual slow 3/4 rhythm and the kind of delicate pastoral quality only the most weathered Krautrocker can pull off. While not necessarily classifiable as a rediscovered masterpiece, Dinger's adventurous sense of pop experimentation adds a shiny ray to the ever-growing Kraut-canon. [NVT]




$10.99 12"


Black Dice's Eric Copeland releases his fifth solo LP, Joke in the Hole, on August 6th; "Masterbater" isn't on the album, but this 11-and-a-half-minute single very well exemplifies Copeland's skills as a mixer, sampler, and experimental artist, and it's a mind-blowing record well worth some time. The track begins with a distorted drum kit, and every minute or so the erratic song shifts, varying pitches, intensities, and even genres. About halfway through "Masterbater" sounds like a smooth R&B jam, but a few minutes later morphs into industrial hip-hop rhythms a la Yeezus. The track seems to carry an influence from Animal Collective -- no big surprise as Copeland has the side project Terrestrial Tones with Avey Tare -- and he incorporates a multitude of samples to produce a switching-channels-on-the-radio effect, in the style of great DJs like the Avalanches. It's seamlessly constructed experimental dance music of the highest order, and now I'm waiting for that album! [MM]




$21.99 LP

Wrecked Again
(Light in the Attic)

"Indian Queens"

The renewed interest in the work of Michael Chapman warms my heart. Signed to the Harvest label (Pink Floyd, Deep Purple) in the 1960s, he was billed to U.S. audiences as a singer-songwriter, but his music was a little too ambitious for Jim Croce fans. He never caught on here in the States, even though he was a popular figure on the U.K. folk circuit. This is a pity. His talents are many and varied. A gifted guitarist, he can write Fahey-like instrumentals and rock out with the best of them. He also has a knack for catchy melodies and can weave genres into his music with remarkable facility, from psych to folk to rock to jazz to blues. Perseverance paid off, however. He never stopped recording, never stopped touring, and he's steadily won new fans over the years. Now the Light in the Attic label has reissued one of the best of his early albums. Released in 1971, Wrecked Again is Chapman's fourth full-length and one of his most well-rounded records. Working with some key members of Elton John's team (producer Gus Dudgeon and arranger Paul Buckmaster), Chapman reveals many sides of his genius here. "Polar Bear Fandango" is a delightful old-timey instrumental, with shades of ragtime; "Indian Queens" is a sublime, haunting ballad; the title track soars behind Buckmaster's string and horn arrangements; "Night Drive," my favorite track on the record, features a snappy guitar riff and a steady, propulsive rhythm. Dudgeon bathes the album in a warm '70s soft-rock sound that's just right. And his rich, gravelly voice never sounded better. If you're new to Chapman, Wrecked Again is a great place to start. [JBr]




$16.99 CD
$21.99 LP

The Complete LHI Recordings
(Light in the Attic)

"Not for Me"
"Come Down"

Light in the Attic's dedication to reissuing all the music by or associated with Lee Hazlewood finds us at this late-'60s curiosity. Starting out in their home state of Michigan as the Mama Cats, where they were deeply involved in Detroit's burgeoning rock scene and collaborated with Bob Seger, four women -- all vocalists as well as capable players -- started in on one end of a giant joint and wound up in Los Angeles, where they were quickly signed by Hazlewood and rechristened Honey Ltd. By the time he had worked his arrangement and production skills on them, they were on the far side of rock music with any rough edges filed down, aiming towards a genteel pop sound with dazzling four-part vocal harmonies, woven together with an intuition that belied the need for charts. Those harmonies are the most striking thing about Honey Ltd.'s music, steeped in a late-'60s social conflict agenda (check Vietnam protest anthem "The Warrior" which opens this collection) that ground against the prowess of the opposite sex, sung about in tracks like "I've Got Your Man," and truly oddball versions of "Louie Louie" and "Eli's Coming." The band issued two 45s on Lee's LHI imprint and toured extensively, though their schedule routed them more through Vegas and USO tours than Monterey or Woodstock. Come 1968, the group had recorded their debut album with the Wrecking Crew when Hazlewood pulled the plug. Finished copies were pressed but never officially released; the handful of promos that trickled out are all in the hands of collectors asking as much as $2,000 per copy. Without disparaging the talents of Honey Ltd., LITA's current price point is much more along the lines of what you'd expect music like this to be worth, a pleasant and affordable voyage in a time machine, back to a more turbulent era quelled by song, all glamour and formidable talents in an eye-popping sleeve. If you're into pop from the era, strong singers like Lulu or Sandie Shaw, or late-period "girl groups" like the Feminine Complex, this one's for you. [DM]




$14.99 CD
$22.99 LP


Five Days Married & Other Laments: Song and Dance from Northern Greece 1928-58
(Angry Mom)

Now available on CD. For more than a decade, Christopher King has proven his mettle as a foremost collector, curator, and restorer of vintage American vernacular music. And, for the past several years, he's been exhibiting a similar adeptness with regard to early commercial recordings of Polish, Ukrainian, Greek, and Albanian traditions. Five Days Married & Other Laments is King's second volume devoted to the demotika (folk music) of Epirus (Northern Greece and Southern Albania), following 2011's Don't Trust Your Neighbors, a staggering compilation of Albanian lyric songs and dance tunes originally released on 78-rpm recordings in the 1920s and '30s. Five Days moves further south to incorporate material from Roma and Greek musicians, and although the religions and languages change, the music -- made by keening clarinets, frenzied fiddles, throbbing vocal polyphony, and a shrieking shepherd's flute -- remains profoundly affecting.

Don't Trust Your Neighbors, Five Days Married, and King's four-CD Beyond Rembetika set (released last month by JSP) could be considered correctives for the enduring emphasis placed on rebetika, the music of the urban Greek underworld, and, as such, they're essential: there's a hill-country wildness to these performances that are a welcome counterweight to the (ironically) more sober sounding singers of the cafés and hash dens of the cities. But this music isn't remotely of value only because of what it's not -- each of the fourteen selections of Five Days Married is a bona fide masterpiece, some full of gasping longing, others of boundless joy, but all of them succeeding in reaching, in King's words, "the very discreet act of catharsis as a collective whole and [converging] on a higher plateau of harmony and vitality." This record features that rarest caliber of music: the music you had no idea existed, but that, now that you've heard it, you couldn't bear to be without. [NS]




$11.99 CD


Candy Waves
(Don Giovanni)

"Pyro Hippies"
"Candy Waves"

This Ohio band has been kicking 'round the underground punk scene for five-or-so years now, keepin' their cool touring, and single handedly re-writing the rules of psychedelic punk in the aughts. A trio of true freaks, Vacation has basically created a genre unto themselves by playing music LOUD and STONED, and with a reckless abandon seldom seen nowadays. Candy Waves, the band's second proper full-length, is a truly raging summertime punk record full of aggression, powerful playing, and plenty of hooks. Opener "Pyro Hippies" has a pummeling guitar and vocalist Jerri Queen's signature croon, recalling everything from Jeff the Brotherhood to the Gun Club to the Electric Eels to the Amps... raw, distorted pop! This song trails off into a haze of circling guitar spirals, coming to an abrupt stop right before the drums start up again and second track "Make a Mess" kicks in like some sort of masochistic-addictive-psycho maze you can't escape.

At this point, they've already won you over, but the album keeps you sucked in, hit after fucking hit. The title track is a total pop swinger, and plays like a lost '70s New York bubblegum punk 45 (think Dead Boys jammin' Ramones), and later in the album "Everyone Loves the Sun" reminds us why we dug early-aughts no-waver punk so much, with overdriven chorus bass and heavy drums trading lines over feedback guitar and deadpan yet melodic vocals. Let's just say shit hasn't sounded this fresh since, well, Jay Reatard started making solo records OR the Spits blasted out their first album back in the day. Totally fresh and punk and sugary sweet -- you'll eat it up! An amazing band. [RN]




$13.99 12"

Get Lucky

Daft Punk have finally issued their smash hit single "Get Lucky" as a proper vinyl release, and while this inescapable song's groove sounds great stretched out on 12" wax, it's the duo's new self-produced remix of said track that really deserves all of the attention. They reconfigure "Get Lucky" into a ten-and-a-half minute banger that ups the obvious Chic/Nile Rodgers influence (not to mention featuring more of his inimitable guitar work as well), and contains a great deal more vocoder and talkbox into the mix. It's equal parts re-edit and remix in the true disco sense, paying homage to innovators like Tom Savarese, Larry Levan, and Tom Moulton, while also giving the song a bit more of the vintage thumping Daft Punk flavor of Homework. Pharrell's vocals are still there, but they seem less important to the structure of the song now as compared to the original and radio edit versions featured on the single's flipside. The remix is a VAST improvement upon the original -- which admittedly was pretty great already -- and even if you weren't so keen on the album as a whole, this re-work is killer. This is allegedly the first in a number of self-made remixes by the duo to come, and if the rest are as good as this one, we're in for some treats. 180-gram vinyl, with a download included... what are you waiting for?!? Pump this beast as loudly as you can manage! [IQ]





Major Arcana

"No Below"
"Tiger Tank"

Speedy Ortiz have refused to enter the 21st century. The band members' distinct clothing style, fish-eye "Tiger Tank" music video, and overall sound are so reminiscent of the '90s indie rock scene that it's hard to believe Major Arcana was released in 2013. The debut LP of this quartet from Massachusetts, however, isn't outdated in the least. Last year's Sports EP demonstrated the group's ability to write crafty songs with clever lyrics and loud, rock-out guitar eruptions, but Major Arcana proves that Speedy Ortiz can really make a great fulfilling record. With a fusion of solo rebel-girl rock, heavy riff-based pop-punk, and '90s angsty garage, the album is much more multi-dimensional that it appears on the surface. 

Sadie Dupuis, lead vocalist and the original sole member of Speedy Ortiz, greatly augments the value of this record with her deceptively clever lyrics; on "No Below," the exploding centerpiece of Major Arcana, Dupuis sounds whiny from afar, with her repeated refrain of, "they always said I was better off as being dead." However, as the song slowly transforms into a slow head-banger, with powerful lead guitars shattering any trace of vulnerability, Dupuis similarly amps up the emotion and sings, "you might've said you were better off as being dead, but I'm looking out for you, my friend, look out." The real masterwork of the record is the balance between slower, smoother Exile in Guyville-esque anthems like "Hitch" and "Casper (1995)" and utter rock-out tracks like "Tiger Tank" and album-closer "MKVI." Although the two styles are different, they are never contradictory, and Dupuis' tough-cookie vocals are the constant glue that holds the record together so well. Speedy Ortiz can sound like Waxahatchee with amped-up riffs, or even a toned-down Sonic Youth, but with Major Arcana they deliver music that truly stands on its own without comparisons. [MM]




$28.99 LPx2

Floor et Satie
(EM Records)

Wow! Amazing Japanese post-punk group Saboten is finally seeing reissue via the always-excellent Em records (responsible for Brenda Ray, Naffi, Finis Africae to name only a few). Here we have a double-LP collection of the band's first album as well as rare singles, b-sides and instrumental versions. Saboten were an interesting group; think all female, post-"punk"-era Japan, and righteously obsessed with the music of Erik Satie (?!). Although the sound they bring is singular, the twangy guitar matched with amateurish thumping drums recalls the Raincoats on many songs -- some even hinting at the dubby punk of Slits. The first LP straight up reissues their self-titled debut, while the second showcases their take on Satie forms inna no-fi minimalist punk styling. A really interesting reissue that should appeal to fans of female-fronted angsty punk, Japanese pop, and DIY 'messthetics.' Vinyl only. [RN]




$22.99 LP


Hoochie Pooch/Space Alligator: Freddie Viaduct at Naffi HQ 1979-83
(EM Records)

EM Records continues their excellent campaign of archival reissues of Brenda Ray's impressive body of kitchen-sink dub work, this time focusing upon the more instrumental side of her post-punk era Naffi project. Whereas the previous D'Ya Hear Me! album was centered more around the song-oriented pop aspects of the project, Hoochie Pooch, Space Alligator is a compilation of her more experimental mixing board excursions. Of particular focus here is the work of Naffi contributor and bassist Freddie Viaduct, whose solid grooves anchor these tracks' most wild, percussive flights of fancy. This material, compiled from a series of impossible-to-find cassette and vinyl releases, is a treasure trove of dub at its wildest, but undercut with Ray's keen ear for pop sweetness; melodicas flutter and toot in the distance as shakers and hand drums pop and percolate in clouds of rhythmic psychedelia. Vocals waft above the echo chamber intermittently, horns flash and honk, and the entire set plays like a weird, wild mix of American funk, Jamaican dub, and British punk. It's the perfect flipside to D'Ya Hear Me!, showing the other, more experimental and improvisational side of the group's excellent take on the anything-goes DIY production ethos. As someone who owns the old Naffi stuff on vinyl, but who's never heard the cassette material, this album is a treasure-trove even for a diehard freak like myself. I don't have enough thumbs to raise skyward in recommending this one, folks! It's a killer, and a perfect soundtrack for this disorienting summer humidity. [IQ]




$11.99 CD


Modern Jester


 "Body Chaos"

First time on CD for Aaron Dilloway's massive 2012 double LP, Modern Jester. Recorded over a period of four years (beginning when Dilloway left Wolf Eyes), this album finds all of his skills masterfully coalesced into a major statement. His hands-on approach, using tape loops, percussion, synthesizer, junk, voice, and tape FX, gives his work an organic feel that separates it from that of other artists working in noise today, and Dilloway's personal approach allows his work to transcend genre and exist in some other realm all his own. The sonic palette on Modern Jester is far wider than on any of his previous solo albums. "Labyrinths and Jokes" is built from subtle creaking loops that recall the dank rhythmic electronic clankery he was exploring as a member of Wolf Eyes circa 2001; the screaming loops of "Eight Cut Scars (For Robert Turman)" sound like an electronic equivalent of the horns of the Master Musicians of Jajouka; the side-long "Look Over Your Shoulder" creates an aura of paranoia and suffocation across its 18 minutes; "After the Showers" concludes the set with wobbly, mournful drones and is at once nightmarish and beautiful. An impressive masterwork from an artist at the top of his game. [NN]






Vengeance Candle
(Hospital Productions)

This promising debut from Mike and Tara Connelly's new project on Hospital Productions is the most song-based work either has done. The two tracks presented here sound at once doomy and propulsive, thanks to steady drum machine patterns and swelling repetitive guitar figures. Whispered vocals create a claustrophobic atmosphere and their subtlety helps these songs sound better with repeated listens. Though more accessible than his work in Hair Police and Wolf Eyes, or the duo's releases as the Haunting and the Pool at Metz, Clay Rendering still has a lo-fi grit to it, and their long history with noise informs these songs and gives the project character. The prominence of Tara's accordion playing just before the B-side comes to a close suggests good things for the future, and I'm looking forward to a full-length. [NN]





Don & Stevie

"American Lullaby"
"What Do You Think of Me"

For lovers of forgotten and seldom-heard folk-pop, the past 15-20 years has ensured that their cup has never run dry. Here's another offering unbeknownst to all but a literal handful of people -- wholly forgotten, unreleased acetates by West Coast husband-and-wife duo Don Gere & Stevie Howard, circa 1969. Andy Votel discovered these recordings in the home of Ms. Howard as he planned to reissue the soundtrack to Werewolves on Wheels, and the end result is here. Don and Stevie lived the '60s and '70s to the height of the cultural revolution and its inevitable aftermath, working on music alone and together to support their lifestyle. Don Gere in particular was met with some degree of success, having penned songs for Curt Boettcher's post-Millenium solo outing, collaborated with "The Section's" Waddy Wachtel, and written commissioned ideas and songs for film and TV. Without holding back, he finds a lighter and sweeter side to his reported rough 'n' tumble nightclub country act, playing softer folk, Monkees-style rambling pop (the kind of songs Mike would've sung), and more soulful fare, all with a heavier hand than is expected for this music. Imagine someone stripping the Left Banke's debut album down to guitar and vocals, with Leadbelly-style folk guitar playing the leads, with graceful co-ed harmonies, and you've got the idea of what's on this warm and winning record. Owing nothing but the luck of the draw as to what was on these acetates, Don & Stevie cover a fair amount of ground from song to song, showcasing interests in literature and fantasy that fit in with the times in which these tunes were crafted. No one knew about Don & Stevie until now; it's your turn to give life to this music by welcoming it into your own home. [DM]




$24.99 LP

(Minimal Wave)

This Belgian synth-pop act is best described as a project rather than a "band." Founder Roger-Marc Vande Voorde formed Polyphonic Size in 1979 with Kraftwerk and Devo as his primary influences, although possibly due to the use of cheap instruments and DIY recording technology, the group eventually developed a sound of its own. One of the most unique aspects is the varied vocal tone and adventurous use of language, as Polyphonic Size mixes French, English, German, and Japanese lyrics (mostly ghost-written by Dominique Buxin, who never appeared on stage with the rest of the band). This prolific project eventually achieved strong success in the Belgian new wave scene with their sound evolving from rather dark minimal synth to more playful electronic synth-pop. Around 1980, after releasing a second EP, Vande Voorde got in touch with Jean-Jacques Burnel of the Stranglers, who began working as a producer for Polyphonic Size, and both "eras" of the project are featured on this well-curated collection from Minimal Wave.

Vande Voorde picked tracks from Polyphonic Size's early output, and on Earlier/Later, Side A represents the period up until 1980, a selection of their more stark and arty recordings, and includes an unreleased instrumental, "Kosmik Rok" (which is later echoed in a reworked version titled "Space Rejection"). Recorded between 1980 and 1982, Side B traces the evolution of their sound with a producer. These tracks are lighter in tone and more melodic, including a hypnotic, robotic cover of the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper." The entire package is a brilliant introduction to a slice of early Belgian synth-pop/electro-pop featuring finely selected and remastered tracks, pressed on transparent 180-gram vinyl, and limited to 999 hand-numbered copies. Any minimal synth fan who might've enjoyed the X-Ray Pop reissue on Dark Entries earlier this year will certainly be delighted with this admirable release. [ACo]




$19.99 LP+DVD

Life After Breakfast
(Dark Entries)

"Radio Heart"
"Time to Get Up"

Dark Entries delivers a long-overdue vinyl-only reissue of the lone 1981 album by San Francisco punk/wave trio Los Microwaves, who blended the taut, nervous energy of early B-52's and XTC with a synth-heavy, kitchen sink, sci-fi production akin to Devo's early work. Their songs are bright, odd bursts of melodic, left-field pop that have sadly been slept-on, even amongst the various years of post-punk and synth/wave revivalism that have popped up intermittently. This is one of my favorite albums of the era, and it includes an excellent DVD of live performances and the band's sole music video. Fans of the more offbeat strains of new wave and synth pop should do themselves a favor and grab this without hesitation. It's remastered from the original tapes, and is altogether a lovely package. Highest recommendation! [IQ]




$13.99 CD
$19.99 LP+MP3


The Argument

"I Will Never See My Home"
"Shine, Shine, Shine"

After taking a decade-long hiatus, the former drummer (and co-songwriter and singer) of '80s punk legends Hüsker Dü released Hot Wax in 2009, which consisted of nine rich songs that showed off his exemplary songwriting. Hart is back just three years later with an equally rich, and even more impressive concept album that takes strong influence from Paradise Lost. This undertaking alone is admirable; with twenty tracks that revolve around Satan's story according to John Milton, one can draw easy comparisons to impressive literature-in-music projects like Anaïs Mitchell's Hadestown. Even better, the brief ballads are easily some of Hart's most accessible. Incorporating bits and pieces of classic rock and hazy dream pop, all supported by beautiful melodies, Grant Hart has created not only a hefty and complex epic with this album, but an extremely listenable composition as well.




$11.99 CD
$18.99 LP+MP3+7"
$19.99 LP Ltd. Bootleg Edition


Pura Vida Conspiracy

"We Rise Again"
"Lost Innocent World"

Pura Vida Conspiracy is the sixth official full-length from this group of colorful Lower East Side global punks. Gogol Bordello's music is ubiquitously deemed "gypsy punk," as in the fusion between Eastern European classical sounds and hardcore punk rock. But as Eugene Hütz and his gang open the album with the floor-stomping jam, "We Rise Again," which features acoustic guitars, a fiddle, an accordion, and both English and Spanish lyrics, it's hard to find to find any genre that hasn't influenced Conspiracy; songs may literally oscillate between polka and country. The pounding rhythms and Beirut-esque instrumental array always lead to a rock-out chorus with Hütz's rebel-leader words. The album is a strange and enticing amalgam of everything, led strongly by Slavic anthems that desperately yearn for dance.




$14.99 CD $22.99 LP+x2+MP3

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

"Better Days"
"Country Calling"

This self-titled third LP from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros finds the 10-piece band of hippies continuing to make optimistic anthems about getting high, looking for the good in life, taking journeys, and falling in love. Although there's no remarkable outlying hit like Up from Below's classic "Home," the Magnetic Zeros are just as likable as they've ever been. On this full-length, the band's freak-folk shines best on road trip hits like the bouncy "If I Were Free" and the jazz-infused "Better Days." All in all, it's a feel-good album whose substance becomes irrelevant when the songs get caught in your head.




$18.99 LP+MP3

All Hail West Texas

"The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton"
"Pink and Blue"

From the time period of 1991 to 2000, the Mountain Goats was basically a John Darnielle solo project, alone with an acoustic guitar or keyboard writing songs, and home recording them on various tape machines. These songs meant a lot to people -- they were folk-punk anthems of lust and loneliness and isolation and the small victories of life. His nasally voice sounded like a lost transmission poking its way through the AM radio haze and delivering a sermon of truth. All Hail West Texas is, for many, the first album that really connected them to Darnielle's music. Humor me here -- I remember when I first heard this gritty music in the basement of a friend's house on Long Island after a DIY punk show. It was a hot summer night, bands just performed, we were passing around a bottle of something, and this tape was playing in the background. Someone told me it was called the Mountain Goats, which made it even more mysterious and romantic and exciting; who was this guy, and why were his songs so infectious?!?! I fell in love with this album.

Opener "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" tells the story of two brothers brought together by heavy metal, and the next track is about high school football heroes messing up their lives. A self-proclaimed concept album containing "fourteen songs about seven people, two houses, a motorcycle, and a locked treatment facility for adolescent boys," it really felt like something special, and it still does today. The band went on to some great successes and made many more wonderful records, but this one was not only the last home-recorded affair, but now, in 2013, it feels like the accumulation of some 12-odd albums of songwriting practice adding up to utter perfection. For new and old fans alike, the reissue contains the original record, seven bonus tracks, and a long essay by Darnielle documenting the recording sessions surrounding this modern classic. [RN]




$17.99 CD


July 15, 1972

Finally back in print and nicely remastered, the first album (originally released via CBS Japan) by this commune of psychedelic Fluxus heads, led by the legendary Takehisa Kosugi (Group Ongaku). Recorded live at Sohgetsu Hall, Tokyo, the album documents three lengthy drone-infused collective improvisations. In addition to standard acoustic instrumentation, violinist Kosugi and trumpeter Seiji Nagai are armed with audio and radio frequency oscillators and all six musicians are augmented by an echo machine at the command of producer-member Go Hamada and electronic engineer Kinji Hayashi. As each piece evolves and the Travellers gradually unleash their arsenal, collisions between instruments and sound ensue and the quest for higher ground commences. Harmonica battles bass, violin vies with vibraphone, trumpet (frequent-flyer Miles!) takes on tuba, and percussion punctuates ghostly vocal chants wafting through the ether, all deliciously swirled to lysergic perfection! [JG]
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