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   March 28, 2013  
My Bloody Valentine
James Blackshaw & Lubomyr Melnyk
Hiss Golden Messenger
Lee Hazlewood
Psyche / BFC (Early Carl Craig)
Karl Bartos
The Invisible Hands
The Strokes
Depeche Mode
Wax Poetics Issue #54

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$36.99 LPx2


Pre-order the Flaming Lips' new album, The Terror (out on 4/16), from Other Music for guaranteed entry to a listening party that the band are hosting in NYC at the Bow next Wednesday, April 3rd. We've only got 25 spots up for grabs and we're taking pre-orders both in the shop and on our mail order website -- in other words, what are you waiting for!?

THE BOW: 190 Bowery, NYC

APR Sun 31 Mon 01 Tues 02 Wed 03 Thurs 04 Fri 05 Sat 06

Wordless Music is offering our Update readers a pair of tickets to see the first ever live NYC performance by English composer Clint Mansell, best known for his scores to the Darren Aronofsky films Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Pi, and The Fountain, as well as his '90s work as a member of Pop Will Eat Itself. This very rare event will feature Mansell performing with a string quartet, full band, and video projection. To enter for your chance to win, email tickets@othermusic.com.

Doors at 7 p.m. / Show at 8 p.m.
Tickets Available On-Line

APR Sun 07 Mon 08 Tues 09 Wed 10 Thurs 11 Fri 12 Sat 13

Young Magic (a/k/a Isaac Emmanuel) colors his hazy dreamscapes with a touch of R&B, adding booming bass, hand-claps and even some low-key rapping to his found-sound, pan-global grooves. The Brooklyn-dwelling Aussie, who's expanded his project's ranks to include Melati Malay and numerous other friends, plays Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, April 9, and Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to the show; just email giveaway@othermusic.com for your chance to win!

MERCURY LOUNGE: 217 E. Houston St. NYC





$39.99 LP


m b v

"Who Sees You"
"New You"

Fans of My Bloody Valentine, and there are many of us, have been waiting for a follow-up to 1991's legend-making Loveless for more than two decades, with tales of false starts, scrapped albums, and Kevin Shields' relentless perfectionism now deeply engrained in the band's mythos. So much so that when Shields revealed to the NME last November that a new full-length was almost finished and its release was imminent, the response from most fans was unsurprisingly a skeptical shrug, until m b v suddenly appeared on the group's website for sale, and lo and behold, it was real! And there I was sitting in front of a computer on a Saturday night in early February, along with tens of thousands of others across the world, obsessively refreshing mybloodyvalentine.org, waiting for a chance to download a record that I had thought would never come. The overloaded server felt like a final joke from the band, but after a few hours I actually made it to the check-out page, and soon after album opener "She Found Now" whooshed from my speakers, revealing the instantly familiar swoon of Shields and Bilinda Butcher's bittersweet harmonies buried beneath rich, distorted waves of warbled, down-strummed guitars.

So much has changed in the almost 22 years since Loveless first appeared and left its mark on innumerable bands, producers and listeners with its lush, disorienting sonics and transcendental atmosphere. Countless sub-genres of music have come and gone, and the very way so much music is consumed now -- be it downloading to a computer or streaming on a pocket-sized iPhone -- would have seemed as mind-blowing as Loveless itself back in 1991. Yet that record's lasting influence is impossible to deny, and listening to m b v, it's as if no time has passed, and that this new album was reportedly finished from recordings that Shields had started in the '90s only adds to its prescience. From the immediate hazy dream-pop of "Only Tomorrow" and the tremolo- and shuffle beat-driven "New You," both songs sweetened by Butcher's sugary coos, to "Who Sees You" in which nose-dive guitars bring to mind the ethereal pummel of the band's classic "Only Shallow," Shields and Co. aren't reinventing the wheel, but they aren't exactly copying it either; the sparkling, kaleidoscopic textures of Loveless have been replaced by an altogether more organic otherworldliness. Elsewhere, guitars are completely shed for organ, electronics and sampled brass during "Is This Yes," recalling the surreal ear candy of Stereolab/High Llamas spin-off project Turn On, while the careening, vocal-less "Nothing Is" plays out like an exercise in proto-industrial minimalism. The track that follows, album closer "Wonder 2," is perhaps m b v's most thrilling moment, as dense, multi-layered harmonics come together atop a rapid drum-n-bass rhythm which eventually collapses into a jet engine-like swoosh.

This was surely a daunting record to complete, I mean, how does one follow up the iconic Loveless? Brush aside expectations, though, and what you have is a great new album from the band, that sounds like no one else but My Bloody Valentine -- and it's finally on Other Music's shelves. Whether it lives up to its interminable wait, literally a lifetime for some fans, is for you to decide, but I for one am ecstatic to have this almost unexpected gift from the group, and m b v has been on heavy rotation ever since. [GH]




$22.99 LP


The Watchers


Born in the Ukraine in 1948, since the late '70s Lubomyr Melnyk has been composing, performing and recording a pioneering classical piano technique that he refers to as "continuous music," where he crafts a tapestry of sound using overtone and sustain generated from a flurry of precise notes, creating complex harmonies (and dis-harmony) from the shifting chords. Born in 1981 in the UK, James Blackshaw's wonderful compositions for acoustic 12-string guitar grew out of the folk and blues guitar legacies of artists like Bert Jansch and John Fahey, and he has been recording as a solo artist and collaborator for more than a decade. They come from different backgrounds and disciplines, but when the two artists met a festival a few years back, Blackshaw's longtime love of Melnyk's music led to a friendship that eventually led to this wonderful improvised album of collaborations. When Melnyk saw Blackshaw play for the first time at that festival, his first thought was "continuous music for the guitar," and indeed, it's easy to hear a similarity in the players' precise, swirling notes. They are both incredibly disciplined and accomplished talents who are best known as composers, but here they have let their hair down, so to speak, with a set of four live studio improvisations, starting with some basic progressions that lead these players down shifting pathways of lush, pastoral beauty. Especially considering just how dense, complex and technique-driven both of their own styles can be, and the relative lack of experience they both have improvising, this album is a true wonder, quiet, subtle and totally engrossing, as these amazing players weave in and out of each other, crafting gorgeous Technicolor washes of sound and multi-layered harmonies. It is a rare and beautiful thing, and fans of either artist will love it. [JM]




$23.99 LP

(Paradise of Bachelors)

"I've Got a Name for the Newborn Child"

I've heard that Hiss Golden Messenger's Haw, the newest from the shape-shifting concern led by Durham, North Carolina's M.C. Taylor, was a long time coming. The principals would measure that time in months: months spent arranging, recording, sending files back and forth between N.C. and NYC (the home of Taylor's long-time arranging and recording partner Scott Hirsch) and other points between and beyond (there are guest appearances by, among others, William Tyler and Black Twig Picker Nathan Bowles), and negotiating the usual hassles of album production. But the ultimate effect of the record suggests it's been, to quote the Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon distillery, "asleep many years in the wood."

I first got ears on Haw a few months back, as I was digging in for my first winter in Maine, and I burrowed deep into it, pulled it close, and it provided singular warmth and ballast through some increasingly bitter days (climatically, existentially) leading up to the turn of the year and down the slog of the other side. It's largely a hot-blooded record, folk-rock thick with the blue-eyed soul elements -- half Southern, half Californian -- and countrified swagger that distinguished the excellent Poor Moon (originally released as a limited LP in 2011 by Paradise of Bachelors and reissued on CD last year by Tompkins Square to a bigger audience and broader acclaim). But unlike the posturing that mars many contemporary iterations of this sort of music, Haw's particular vigor (and that of HGM in general) isn't a put-on. M.C. Taylor's songs are brave, frank, grown up. The things they tackle and plumb -- family, faith, ecstasy, salvation, virtue -- cause lesser talents (and, compared to Taylor, most are lesser talents) to fumble and fail.

Now it's spring, Haw is out in the world, and it has weathered the seasons nimbly. Where it once insulated, it now lets in a breeze. The aching, lugubrious strings of "Devotion" and the martial brass of "Sufferer (Love My Conqueror)" have lost their winter weight, and now appropriately soundtrack longer, brighter days. And the songs that evoke sunlight and rivers (the Haw; the Yazoo), births and rebirths, they've transformed from wistful to hopeful to prescient. It's no understatement, and still not quite saying it, to say that M.C. Taylor is one of the most effective songwriters working today. And by working I mean like Donald Hall's Connecticut Yankee grandfather advised one to work: "keep your health, and woik, woik, woik." Taylor's records sound like he'd agree. They sound like he knows that those two are inextricable, and so Haw trucks with nothing idle, nothing superficial. The work itself is the reward. [NS]




$16.99 CD
$26.99 LPx2


Trouble Is a Lonesome Town
(Light in the Attic)

"Son of a Gun"
"Trouble Is a Lonesome Town"

Light in the Attic's top-notch reissue campaign of the works of Lee Hazlewood continues with this brain-melting, delicious expanded edition of Lee's debut solo album, Trouble Is a Lonesome Town. Recorded and released in 1963, by which time Hazlewood had already earned a deserved reputation as one of the country's most promising up-and-coming songwriters and producers, this record sees Lee jamming raw through a story of a backwoods town called, you guessed it, Trouble. It's the first glimpse at one of his trademark album formats, which found him peppering a set list of rolling, rocking, rhythmic country romps with dry, witty vignettes that set scenes of loners, debaucherous rabble-rousers, and good-for-nothing, down-and-out losers. He's backed by a stripped-down band that includes guitar work by Billy Strange and drums by Hal Blaine, both legends in their own right, and longtime Hazlewood collaborators later down the line. Quite simply put, this album is essential listening for Lee fans, presented in its original mono mix for the first time since its initial release (and mastered from the original tapes, natch).

If that weren't enough, this reissue is stuffed with a whopping FIFTEEN bonus tracks, and yes, they are included with the vinyl edition -- they even get their own LP! These cuts come from some of Hazlewood's first solo singles (some issued under the pseudonym Mark Robinson), and see him rocking in more of a Roy Orbison style that he never really explored further than these releases. Also included is the classic tune "The Girl on Death Row," a personal favorite, and one of his most difficult to snatch early sides, featuring Duane Eddy's trademark twang, sweeping strings and a massive reverb-chamber vocal that sets his dark humor into a soaring lament of a female killer. The bonus cuts conclude with the rare, promo-only 45 "The Lee Hazlewood Autobiography," which sets the man's story to a spoken-word back-porch blues that foreshadows his then-forthcoming Reprise albums (reissued a few years back by Rhino Handmade and now sadly out-of-print). At this point, if you haven't clicked the "BUY" button, I honestly don't know what else to say. Light in the Attic have been absolutely KILLING it in the best possible way with these Hazlewood reissues, and even if you have the old Smells Like Records edition of this album, just trust me... you need this. Absolute highest recommendation, folks! [IQ]




$16.99 LP


The Invisible Way
(Sub Pop)

"Holy Ghost"

It's hard to believe that this band has been around for 20 years now, as we are enjoying their tenth (or so) proper studio album; along the way Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker haven't necessarily re-invented themselves with every release, but they certainly have become adept at adding new musical wrinkles to the glacial rhythms and darkly impressionistic, intricate vocal interplay that defines their sound. One of the most interesting things about the band to me has always been how whoever produces Low tends to pretty much become a fourth member of the group, adding their own singular touch to the proceedings. The band's early work was punctuated by the minimalist, cavernous reverb of Kramer; their influential breakout "pop" LP from '05, The Great Destroyer, benefited from the controlled chaos of knob-twiddling producer Dave Fridmann.

This time around Low set up camp in Jeff Tweedy's loft space in Chicago, and as you might expect, Invisible Way is a bit of a stripped-down acoustic affair. Tweedy focuses on the trio's incredibly focused performances and stellar songwriting over their textures and sonic experimentation; all the better to showcase Mimi Parker's confident and arresting lead vocal turns. She penned five of the 11 tunes on the piano-heavy record, and tracks like "To Our Knees" and "So Blue" remind me of Emmylou Harris' surefooted phrasing. Her voice soars, giving the songs an optimistic bent I'm not used to hearing from a Low recording. That's not to say there isn't a trace of darkness here, or that the emotive male/female vocal interplay that we love is not represented. "Clarence White" envisions the late Byrds guitarist as an ominous angel of death; "Plastic Cup" boasts lovely harmonies and dark lyrical references to a urine sample cup being mistaken for a princely chalice by future archeologists. But two decades on, Low's longevity is rooted in their allegiance to the healing melancholy power of melody, and Invisible Way, like every other Low album beforehand, has that in spades. [DH]

$31.99 LPx3


Elements 1989-90
(Planet E / Rush Hour)

With the recent renaissance of house music and analog techno in both Europe and stateside, this reissue of some of Carl Craig's earliest musical endeavors comes at a crucial moment. While not a member of the Belleville Three, Craig was part of Detroit techno's second wave, even working closely with Derrick May to realize some of these tracks. No one recording can possibly encapsulate Craig's contributions to modern electronic music, but consider this loud, very limited 3xLP pressing as The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Recording as Psyche and BFC, Craig began following May's example of this futuristic music and took it further out by the end of the 1980s. A track like "Neurotic Behavior" is abstract ambient electronic music at its headiest and weirdest, the seeds from which folks as diverse as DFA, Steve Moore, L.I.E.S. (at their most atmospheric) and Ame have all sprung. And then there's "Chicken Noodle Soup," a massive slice of Detroit techno that's both stomping and light-hearted at once. All classics here and a massive reissue all around. Recommended. [AB]




$23.99 LP w/CD


Off the Record
(Bureau B)

"International Velvet"

The second solo album from this former Kraftwerk robot, showroom dummy and percussion virtuoso plays like a venerable snapshot of his lifetime love affair with the machine. The aptly titled Off the Record reveals a sonic diary that Karl Bartos secretly began in 1977 and had kept hidden until now. While the band were sound checking and recording, Bartos was also documenting and melding his own ideas and creative entries onto tapes and notepads -- a blending of regal melodies and timeless, futuristic, warm Mini-Moog washes that he now has painstakingly transferred from the original analogue down to the digital binary code. Bartos wrote and recorded new lyrics during the process of polishing these dusty floppy discs, DAT and Betamax tapes of early sketches and backstage experiments, resulting in a cohesive sampling of what Kraftwerk stood for all those years ago. First single "Atomium" is inspired by the massive architectural structure built for the 1958 Brussels Expo, where you seemingly are looking down at the inside of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times -- be prepared to get lost in its melodic metric movements. Elsewhere, "Musica Ex Machina" is based on a lost demo of "Imitation of Life," a B-side from '90s super group Electronic; co-written by Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr, here Bartos updates the track with new lyrics and some fresh, sharp composition shifts. All in all, Off the Record is a great aural document of its time, a historic, hiss-laden sampling of the early prototypical veering of synth-pop and vintage beat-box theory. [MF]






The Invisible Hands

"Nice on Ice"

Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls fame has been on quite a hot streak recently; he's had a number of solo projects under both his own name and as Alvarius B released as either new titles or reissues, and he now adds to that list this weird and wonderful debut by his newest project, the Invisible Hands. Perhaps the most shockingly straightforward record he's ever put out, the eponymous debut sees Bishop collaborating with a group of Egyptian musicians. Recorded in Cairo, the band delivers eleven sultry, unsettlingly seductive slices of psychedelic troubadour rock. At times the results sound like dispatches from some lost vintage Elektra/Asylum folk-rock release made in an alternate universe, while elsewhere he dips into the same poisoned chalice from which Nick Cave drinks with the Bad Seeds; these songs lurch menacingly with both uneasy terror and a swaggering confidence, with his band peppering the tunes with hypnotic Middle Eastern melody lines and lovely arrangements for oud, viola, guitars, percussion, and piano. It's a wonderful start to what's hopefully to be a new chapter in Bishop's career, and you don't have to be a fan of the Sun City Girls' universe to appreciate it. If anything mentioned above tickles your fancy, grab this; it's one of the most unexpected and delightful records I've heard in a while! [IQ]

Customers who purchase the Invisible Hands album will be entered to win a beautiful hand-sewn Invisible Hands pillow! We'll be running this contest through April 4th, and the winner must be available to pick up the pillow in person at Other Music.




$12.99 CD
$22.99 LP


Comedown Machine
(Rough Trade)

"All the Time"
"Slow Animals"

Five albums in, the Strokes have been around long enough that you can actually talk about the various stages of their career in rock, and after those unabashedly great early years -- no, the Strokes were never the most original band out there, but their first couple of albums were truly a lot of fun -- and then the fading mid-period, Comedown Machine arrives with a sense of vitality that has, honestly, been missing for awhile. The sound is diverse, but it errs towards the joyful new wave strut Julian Casablancas showed off on his electro-tinged solo LP Phrazes for the Young, while still clearly being a true, collaborative Strokes album, with Albert Hammond Jr.'s distinctive guitar, and that whip-smart rhythm section delivering real rock & roll. Frankly, the Strokes have sounded a bit lost for some time now, unable to find magic any longer in their original template, but unsure how to break the mold without losing their way. On Comedown Machine the band seems to have recaptured the spirit of their best early work, without trying to ape it, and it's an adrenaline jolt to the system that is no less enjoyable because it was so badly needed. The Strokes are now pretty much a New York City institution, and like this city, they are too tough, too resourceful and too ambitious to just roll over -- they are kicking and fighting and scratching their way back into your heart, and any longtime fan should give this new one a listen. [JM]




$12.99 CD
$22.99 Deluxe Edition CDx2
$31.99 LP

Delta Machine


While Depeche Mode's most influential days are way behind them -- jump back to the mid '80s to early '90s when the group's jaunty synth-pop took a decidedly dark turn and songs like "People Are People," "Black Celebration," "Strangelove" and "Enjoy the Silence" became the angsty soundtrack for so many sensitive young adults -- the band plays on, releasing their thirteenth proper album with Ben Hillier sitting in the producer's chair and Flood behind the mixing board. Sin and seduction continue to be go-to themes, but Delta Machine is a headier outing, and tracks like the slow-burning "Angel," "Slow" and "Goodbye" find these electronic pop purveyors taking their frequent flirtations with Americana and the blues into deeper, minimal territories. David Gahan's dark, expressive croon has never sounded better (especially during the emotive "Should Be Higher") with the lead singer contributing three tunes along with 10 from main songwriter Martin Gore. While the album isn't frontloaded with the type of dance anthems that classic records like Music for the Masses or Violator had, tracks such as the retro-fitted electro-pop of "Soft Touch/Raw Nerve" and the spirited stomp of "Soothe My Soul," which nicely recalls "Personal Jesus," round out a solid set from a group that still sounds inspired some three decades in. Deluxe edition includes four bonus cuts on a second CD, and comes housed in a 28-page hardcover booklet featuring photographs from Anton Corbjin. [GH]

Last chance to enter! Purchase any format of Depeche Mode's Delta Machine from us before the end of today (Thursday, March 28), and you'll be automatically entered for your chance to win a limited edition, numbered, double-LP test pressing of the album which we're giving away to one lucky customer. Please note: the winner must be local to NYC and available to pick up the test pressing from us in the store. [GH]




$11.99 MG

Issue #54
(Wax Poetics Magazine)

Wax Poetics #54 explores the diverse sounds of soul as only they can, with twin themes of blue-eyed soul, as personified by coverboy Daryl Hall, plus features on Bobby Caldwell, Laura Nyro, Ned Doheny and Donald Fagen, and Brooklyn hip-hop, from Juice Crew alum Big Daddy Kane to young gun Joey Badass, as well as an interview with Jimmy Spicer, and features on Jose James, Clams Casino, Nosaj Thing, Ghetto Brothers and Keyboard Kid.
Previous Other Music Updates.

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[AB] Adrian Burkholder
[MF] Michael Fellows
[GH] Gerald Hammill
[DH] Duane Harriott
[IQ] Mikey IQ Jones
[JM] Josh Madell
[NS] Nathan Salsburg

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