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   March 5, 2008  
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The final details are coming together for our two big SXSW afternoon lawn parties on Thursday, March 13 and Friday, March 14 at the French Legation Museum in Austin. DigForFire.tv is the production team behind our ongoing Live at Other Music film series, and we were all anxious to make the trek out West this year. So we put together an ambitious plan to take over a little corner of the Texas capital, pick a pile of our favorite bands, and produce a cool film series about SXSW 2008, not to mention documenting a few of the groups on the road leading to Austin. The full line-up of the FREE shows are below, so if you are in town next week, please stop by the rolling lawns of the French Legation Museum for some great music, food, beer and good times. And if you CAN'T be at SXSW this year, you can get a front-row seat at www.othermusic.com (and www.digforfire.tv). This Friday, along with a new edition of Live at Other Music featuring White Williams, we will launch the first episode of the SXSW series, a great behind-the-scenes visit with Bradford Cox and his Atlas Sound, which shows them shopping for records at our NYC shop, sounding off in the van about SXSW, his mom, and various matters of great indie importance, as well as playing a riveting solo gig at Vassar College. So please help spread the word about our SXSW events, and stay tuned for the new film series.

MAIN STAGE: Bodies of Water (1pm), J. Mascis (2pm), These New Puritans (3pm), Mika Miko (4pm), Jay Reatard (5pm), Times New Viking (6pm)
ACOUSTIC STAGE: Sian Alice Group (1:30pm), Silje Nes (2:30pm), Bowerbirds (3:30pm), Jeffrey Lewis (4:30pm), Howlin' Rain (5:30pm)

MAIN STAGE: Phosphorescent (1pm), Grand Archives (2pm), Portastatic (3pm), Yo La Tengo (4pm), Atlas Sound (5pm), Shearwater (6pm)
ACOUSTIC STAGE: Devon Williams (1:30pm), Born in the Flood (2:30pm), Chris Brokaw (3:30pm), Tara Key/Antietam (4:30pm), Port O'Brien (5:30pm)

FRENCH LEGATION MUSEUM: 802 San Marcos Street Austin, TX

Stephen Malkmus
Michael Moorcock & the Deep Fix
Sahra Motalebi
Magic I.D.
The Gutter Twins
Don Covay
Visionaire 53 Sound
Sascha Funke
Rhys Chatham
D. Charles Speer
Ulaan Khol
Howlin' Rain
Born Ruffians
Earth, Roots & Water
Thomas Brinkmann
Cedric Im Brooks

All of this week's new arrivals.

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Black Lips

BLACK LIPS Mon, Mar 10 @ 6:30PM

OTHER MUSIC: 15 East 4th Street NYC
Free admission / Limited Capacity
Other Music closes for shopping an hour before all in-stores

MAR Sun 09 Mon 10 Tues 11 Wed 12 Thurs 13 Fri 14 Sat 15

Next Tuesday, March 11, French electro-house superstars Justice will take over the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. No word if any Michael Jackson or Rick James impersonators will be on stage with the duo, but no doubt this will be one of the most talked about shows since Daft Punk played Keyspan Park last year. Also on the bill are Chromeo, Fancy, DJ Mehdi & Busy P. Get ready to D.A.N.C.E.! Enter to win a pair of tickets by emailing contest@othermusic.com. We'll be picking two winners on Friday, March 7th. Please leave a daytime phone number where you can be reached.

WAMU THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN: Seventh Avenue between 31st & 33rd Streets NYC

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For those of you who prefer the folk over the digital funk, much acclaimed Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonazalez returns to New York City performing two sets at the Highline Ballroom on March 11, with Mia Doi Todd opening. Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets for each performance. To enter, send an email to tickets@othermusic.com, and please list the set time that you'd like to register for. The four winners will be notified on Friday, March 7.

TUESDAY, MARCH 11 - 8:00PM & 10:30PM

MAR Sun 16 Mon 17 Tues 18 Wed 19 Thurs 20 Fri 21 Sat 22

That's right, Barcelona's El Guincho will be playing live at a special Other Music Presents show on Tuesday, March 18 at Union Pool. We're excited to be hosting one of our favorite new artists at this FREE event, with Other Music DJs spinning records before and after his set. Stay tuned for more details!

UNION POOL: 484 Union Avenue Williamsburg, Brooklyn
FREE / AGES 21+ with ID

Other Music has the North American Exclusive for El Guincho's Alegranza and though the album is temporarily out of stock, more copies are currently en route from Spain and should be arriving this week.

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Theo Parrish

On any given night, chances are there's a great party with killer DJs playing on APT's state of the art sound system. We've got two pairs of tickets to give away to each of these upcoming nights. To enter, send an email to giveaway@othermusic.com, and please list the artist/event that you're hoping to score a pair of passes to. Winners will be notified this Friday, March 7th.

FRIDAY, MARCH 14: JUSTIN V. (!!! and Outhud)
APT: 413 West 13th Street NYC




$12.99 CD


$16.99 LP


$9.99 MP3


Real Emotional Trash

"We Can't Help You"

Like so many, I bowed down to the Pavement altar for most of the '90s, and while these days I don't find myself reaching for their records too frequently (why exert the energy when you've already got every song perfectly etched in your brain), there's something about a Stephen Malkmus album that is the aural equivalent of comfort food. Hard to believe that it's been three years since Face the Truth (in keeping with the food analogy, a hell of a long time to go without mom's meatloaf), but from the opening riff of "Dragonfly Pie" it's immediately apparent that Malkmus is back, his instantly recognizable sardonic croon matching the sweet leaf mood of the fuzzed-out guitar leads, singing "Of all of my stoned digressions/some have mutated into the truth." It kind of makes you wonder for a moment if he's going to spend the rest of the album deciphering two decades worth of his cryptic lyrics, or at least tame his stream-of-consciousness word flow into stories that won't leave you scratching your head -- thankfully, neither is the case. Soon enough, you'll be introduced to characters like the wrongfully accused killer Hopscotch Willie (who was most likely framed by Skinny White Ass) and Elmo Delmo.

Of all of Malkmus' solo releases, Real Emotional Trash will probably hold up as the Wowee Zowee of his discography. Once again joined by the Jicks, who were absent from his last album (with Jicks newcomer Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney/Quasi fame pounding the skins), there's more of a looser, anything-goes vibe than on Face the Truth, the band trying on West Coast-influenced pop (of course), Southern rock, and a lot more dueling-guitar and proggy flash coming from Malky's fret work (check "Baltimore"), that frankly, should guarantee him a CG character in the next version of Guitar Hero. Real Emotional Trash is probably the most jammy offering we've heard from him, hell, "Elmo Delmo" even breaks the 10-minute mark, but there's a fine balance of musicianship and songmanship at play here with tracks like the sunny "Gardenia" (which leads into each chorus with a little "Blinded by the Light" guitar-and-synth trilling) and "Cold Son," both destined to find home on countless Summer (Babe) '08 mix CDs. I don't expect Real Emotional Trash to make too many new Malkmus converts, but it sure is a great reminder of why all of us old fans are still sticking with him, and it's my favorite of his solo outings so far. [GH]






New World's Fair

"You're a Hero"
"Dodgem Dude"

It seems that there have been a ton of (mostly crappy) rock-n-roll novels over the years, but I can't think of too many novelists that have made the leap and actually fronted a band. Seriously, the only one I can recall off the top of my head is Stephen King's super group with Amy Tan (the Joy Luck Club) called the Rock Bottom Remainders, but I highly doubt we'll be seeing any of their albums in our bins any time soon. So major props to British anarcho sci-fi fantasy novelist Michael Moorcock for having pulled off a pretty fuggin' good rock n' roll LP back in the glammy halcyon days of 1975. I used to collect paperbacks of his Elric of Melnibone series when I was in middle school, and can still recall being mildly freaked by the weirdly androgynous looking dude on the covers I was supposed to be empathizing within my mind's eye. But now that I think about it, it seems rather likely that Ziggy Stardust probably ran around with Elric in his back pocket, assuming his pants weren't too tight, which they probably were.

Anyway, Moorcock was good buds with Hawkwind and he had the excellent sense to utilize them as his back-up band. You'd think that with a sci-fi novelist as a front man and rock cosmonauts Hawkwind as band, things would get ridiculously overblown, but they somehow managed to make a concise and fairly down to earth record, all things considered. It mostly reminds me of early Bowie and T-Rex, chugging glam rock populated with drug pushers, candy floss cowboys and sixteen-year-old doom girls with "death rattles in their throats." There's a novelist's flair for detail for you. It's an original album no doubt, but weirdly familiar, like how the old blues refrain "Alabama Bound" is transmuted here to "Valhalla Bound." I grew out of sci-fi, but I don't think I'll ever grow out of rock n' roll, and I gotta tell ya it feels pretty good to have Mr. Moorcock back in my life. [MK]



Feeding the Ghosts



$3.99 MP3




$4.99 MP3


Feeding the Ghosts
(Static Recital)


(Static Recital)

"Common Magic"

Static Recital label co-founders Sahra Motalebi and Lansing-Dreiden's Jorge Elbrecht both share an affinity for dramatic, synth-fueled '80s music. But where enigmatic art-popsters L-D fashion their sound, partly at least, from the halcyon days of MTV, Motalebi has more of a kinship to female visionaries like Kate Bush, who most likely would have had her videos introduced to late night American viewers by the British accented Dave Kendall on 120 Minutes. Motalebi, who is also a NYC-based multi-media artist, possesses a powerful and expressive voice which matches the range and intensity of Siouxsie, but whose music remains far more original than imitative. Of the two EPs here, Feeding the Ghosts from 2006 is a little more synth-heavy, with opening track "Firestorms" actually bridging icy, new romantic cues of early Simple Minds with the shambolic percussion and exotic melodies of Gang Gang Dance. Her recent Blankenship EP is more organic and angular, however, with Motalebi's vocals multi-tracked and layered while guitar and bass play call-and-response amidst Middle Eastern-influenced atmosphere ("Ocean of Thought") and even a little Creatures meets Peter Gabriel during "Common Magic." Two highly recommended EPs from an artist that you'll surely be hearing a lot more from. [GH]






$9.99 MP3


Naked Acid

"We Went There"

Naked Acid is the second release by Valet, the musical project of one Honey Owens. Owens, who is active in Portland, OR's DIY music and arts scene, is also the touring bassist and supporting act for Kranky labelmate Atlas Sound. Likewise, Valet invent cavernous spaces that pull the listener through subtly shifting, reverb-drenched repetition and which reward close attention to the minutiae of the tracks' frameworks. But Valet take a much starker approach than Atlas Sound, as frail notes loom loosely until they seem to just hang on and barely come together before giving way. Tones leap out of the darkness and crackle and transform like a well-kept fire, while Honey's voice lilts like smoke above the flickering musical glow. There are several moments that even recall Spiritualized, Valet slowing down and deconstructing blues-based idioms, and then soaking the sound in acid and feedback. The record climaxes with album closer "Streets," which is where we find Valet's most accessible moment, and where a relation to Atlas Sound can really be introduced. When taken in its context, however, as a celebration of the struggle depicted by the crawling synths and opaque vocals of the preceding songs, "Streets," like the rest of the album, shows the remarkable focus of one individual's quest for warmth, a warmth that breathes life into Valet's distant charm. A great record for the dog days of winter! [JW]






Till My Breath Gives Out

"Feet Deep"

The notion of fusion within music is becoming ever more popular. The breadth of styles that have been created, imagined, and marketed in contemporary music is nothing short of overwhelming, and sometimes disillusioning. Many innovators have not tried to create their own style but instead, seamlessly meshed existing styles into something that may sound new and exciting, but ultimately is a rehashing of old sounds and old music. Finally, a record that is new.

Till My Breath Gives Out, the debut album by Berlin-based the Magic I.D. (featuring noted improvisers Christof Kurzmann and Kai Fagaschinski, as well as Margareth Kammerer and Michael Thieke), is a purposeful mixture, an attempt to reconcile what is an illusory and pretentious division between free improvisation and pop music. The first release on Erstwhile subsidiary ErstPop, neither musicians nor label have any qualms of admitting this, nor should they. While other people have ventured into this territory, these records were too cautious in exploring the pop structures that give TMBGO so much strength. However, to come in expecting pop music played by improvisers is a mistake. Although Kurzmann was involved in a somewhat similar project before with B. Fleischmann in The Year Of, this ensemble does not adhere so strictly to pop formats, venturing further into abstraction, while maintaining a steady musical base. This is by no means an easy record to be jumped into with reckless abandon, because this is not pop music; this is something new. New things are difficult to approach, and I have spent a large amount of time with this album, and I am still not sure just how to listen to it. To quote the final track, "Somewhere there's music, it's where you are." This is music that stays with you, wherever you are. I have spent countless hours with this record, and I will spend countless more. [LR]






(Sub Pop)

"All Misery Flowers"
"Seven Stories Underground"

Meeting of the darkened minds -- Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, solo career) and Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers) come together for a palpably dramatic offering in Saturnalia. Feeding off of one another's twisted misery both projected onto and embraced by one another, the headspace on the Gutter Twins' debut album is stormy, brooding, sincere yet forked-tongued, and not surprisingly, Lanegan's show for the most part. His burnished, cracked, dog-tired vocal delivery breathes a strange, aging mist into the proceedings, the unflinching straight man to Dulli's stained showmanship. At once both manufactured and stark, the Gutter Twins album has turned out as good as anyone could have hoped, and devotees of either Dulli or Lanegan would do well to check it out. [DM]






Super Dude Mercury Years Vol. 1

"Overtime Man"
"Why Did You Put Your Shoes Under My Bed"

Don Covay is a man who should be a household name but even if you don't know who he his, chances are you know the tunes he wrote; "See Saw," "Chain of Fools" and "Long Tall Shorty" are just a few of the popular songs that he penned. Covay also had an established cult following for his own recordings, although they weren't nearly as big as the tunes he wrote for others. Artists like Wilson Pickett and Mick Jagger, however, were playing close attention, both singers having acknowledged the influence that Covay had on both of their trademark singing styles. So much so that it caused OM's Michael Klausman to shout "Jagger should be sued for this" when we were playing this album last week.

Super Dude came out in 1971 and shows Covay adjusting to the times by putting together an eclectic album reflecting what was popular then, resulting in this underrated masterpiece. JB's soul-steppers, gritty blues ballads and reggae are all represented here, and it all hangs together marvelously, due to Covay's throaty, swaggering vocals, all delivered with a healthy dose of rock-n-roll arrogance. With song titles like "Overtime Man" and "Bad Mouthing," and arrogant lines like "I'm Shaft and Sweetback rolled into one," it's no wonder the Glimmers idolized the man.

This reissue also includes tracks from Covay's excellent Different Strokes, released the year before. Any fan of the Jim Ford reissues, Delaney and Bonnie, Otis Redding, James Brown and the like should get your hands on this one. Like the aforementioned, Covay was one of those artists who helped to create the sound blueprint for the second wave of rock-n-roll..."classic rock" if you will. If you're not familiar with his output, this is as good a place as any to start. 15 outta 10!!! [DH]



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LPx5 w/CDx2+Vinyl Killer+Acrylic Case



Visionaire 53 Sound

Since 1991, Visionaire has provided a forum for famous and up-and-coming artists, fashion designers, photographers, and other interesting and well known personas to contribute their own personal take on a specific theme, each edition's beautiful and unique packaging a work of art in and of itself. For their 53rd issue, the concept is Sound and Visionaire takes the form of a sleek acrylic dome that houses five 12" vinyl picture discs, each side designed by artists like Wim Delvoye, Robert Longo, Raymond Pettibon, Peter Saville, Cindy Sherman, and Mario Sorrenti. Even more impressive is the range of people, numbering over a hundred (a large percentage being of interest to the Other Music customer -- although hearing Antony's voice following a Fergie track did make my day), who contribute sound pieces. Obviously too many to mention in these pages, but here's a partial listing: David Byrne, Cat Power, Adrock, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Michael Stipe with Miguel Bose, Yoko Ono, Spank Rock, Dani Siciliano, Vashti Bunyan, Lalo Schifrin, Christian Marclay, Fiery Furnaces, Trevor Jackson, Dntel, Fantastic Plastic Machine, UNKLE, Pet Shop Boys, Fischerspooner, U2, Jose Gonzalez, Dave Eggers, Sunn O))), Gang Gang Dance, DJ Spooky, Christian Fennesz, Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore & Kim Gordon, Courtney Love, Laurie Anderson, Bebel Gilberto, Danger Mouse, Mike Skinner, Miss Kittin, Malcom McLaren, Liars, Dan the Automator, E.A.R., Monolake, the Go! Team, the Knife, Andrew W.K. and Panda Bear, plus fashion icons like Helmut Lang, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen and more.

You'll also find a MINI Clubman "Vinyl Killer" record player housed inside the Visionaire 53 dome -- a pretty cool portable record player, the battery powered car plays the music as it drives along the groove of the LP -- plus a glossy booklet with artist credits and track info, and two CDs with the audio portion of the set (total running time just over two hours). Limited to 4000, this is a great collectible for that special audiophile in your life who has everything. [GH]

$10 shipping and handling charge for US orders. International customers, please email orders@othermusic.com for overseas rates before purchasing.







(Bpitch Control)

"Summer Rain"

One might assume Sascha Funke went on a tropical vacation after his first album Bravo, and attendant batch of singles for Bpitch. Mango, his follow-up, maintains some of the uptightness of earlier works, but the palette of sound from which he crafts this soothing batch of downtempo and ambient electronic music comes from a place of relaxation and deep thought, barely any gleaming chrome or striking architecture in sight, and a lot of guitar throughout. Quite the unexpected touch, but Mr. Funke plays it off legit, and his technique doesn't slip at any point throughout. It's just different and more laidback than in the past, an excellent bridging of his past with a very engaging present, best delivered on the Cure-meets-Miami Vice cut "Chemin Des Figons" and the Barry White moves on "Double-Checked." Good times! [DM]






$17.99 LPx2




Last weekend I watched a documentary on Scottish artist Peter Doig that posed the question: If you had to choose one of his landscapes to walk through, which painting would it be? It was a question that I thought of again when I put on Autechre's new album, Quaristice. The duo of Sean Booth and Rob Brown create audio landscapes that harbor a contradiction between movement and stillness, the magic resting in their ability to delve into cavernous, hollow spaces to surging through an electric no-man's land. Here, however, they break away from their entirely digital world and briefly touch on environmental themes during tracks like "Fol3" and "Io," with a coded, indecipherable human voice or bird samples. Like Autechre's previous albums, the duo stay true to their love of synthesizers, but there's also more of a sinister undertone on Quaristice. It's also easy to become completely immersed in these benumbed landscapes; when the track "Tankakern" is abruptly snatched away it's like being momentarily unglued.

Now I don't mean to give you a run down of my entire weekend, but on a train journey out of the city, I put on Quaristice and stared out the window. Traveling weightlessly through an amalgamation of derelict mountainous factories, bare trees and motionless ocean, the passing landscape created a visual depiction for me of the album. Going back to that question posed earlier, I know my answer. [KP]






Guitar Trio Is My Life

"Guitar Trio Part 1"
"Guitar Trio Part 2"

The original recorded version of Guitar Trio, from Rhys Chatham's formative years on the New York art-punk/no-wave scene, is just over eight minutes long. Still, that was long enough to establish Chatham's manifesto of bringing punk's intensity to avant-minimalism (or vice versa), layering guitars on guitars and creating a hypnotic one-chord symphony of overtones with bedrock-simple drums and bass keeping the music earth-bound. To celebrate his iconic composition's 30th anniversary, Chatham took the work on the road, with a stunning pick-up guitar-army that morphed and changed at every venue. Table of the Elements have released a powerful three-disc collection of live recordings from that epic journey, bringing the original eight minutes in at well over three hours, or more precisely nine separate full versions (plus one excerpt) that vary in length from 16 minutes to a half-hour each, which is much closer to the length of the original piece as Chatham used to perform it live at NYC's The Kitchen, back in the day.

Without a doubt, three hours of one chord may seem a bit extreme here on paper, and maybe this is not for every casual listener, but fans of Chatham and his minimalist ilk know that this is the point; that by honing in on the raw essence of the sound, the nuances begin to show themselves. Each reading of the piece unfolds at its own pace, building sound on sound, tone on tone, until they are near implosion state. Chatham has done a great job sequencing the discs, so that small variations can have the most impact, from simple drumming choices (sticking religiously to only the hi-hat throughout the piece, as it was originally conceived, or adding a full kit's dynamics), to the addition of a string section and, of course, the amazing range of the featured guitarists. And quite a group is featured. You can check out a great tour diary here, www.rhyschatham.net/G3ismylife/index2.html, spelling out all the different line-ups city by city, but some of the all-stars include all three Sonic Youth axe-swingers, Alan Licht, Robert Longo, Jeff Parker, Doug McCombs, Tony Conrad, several Godspeed You Black Emperor guitarists, Chris Brokaw, Robert Lowe and many more, plus bass duties from, amongst others, the Modern Lovers' Ernie Brooks, Josh Abrams, and Husker Du's Greg Norton, and on drums Jonathan Kane and John McEntire. From the roster of players I think it's clear the influence that Rhys Chatham has had on underground music, but more than a victory lap, this fine collection shows his continued relevance and vitality. [JM]






After Hours

"Single Again"

D. Charles Speer is the alias of Dave Shuford, one of eight founding members of sixteen-year-old experimental improv outfit No-Neck Blues Band. Appropriately, his second release as D. Charles Speer finds a home on NNCK's private record label Sound@One, which boasts over a hundred NNCK-related releases and side projects, including Shuford's spaced out-psychedelic project Egypt is the Magic #. However, the avant-garde associations end there and After Hours delivers just what its cover suggests -- the feeling of wandering into the back of a dive bar in the rural South and finding D. Charles Speer and his sweat-soaked back-up band still rocking well into their third hour. Despite laying down roots in Harlem, the countrified rock sound of "Dave" Charles Speer refreshingly channels the straightforward simple-man vibe of The Band, the unpretentious hooks of reverent sing-a-longs by Wooden Wand, and even the heavy-hearted confessions of Bob Seger. After Hours is noticeably overshadowed by a dark cloud of loss; accordingly, its most disarming strength is the knowing way in which here-to-fore unsung vocalist D. Shuford wrings heartbreak out of his half-spoken, lackadaisical baritone, at times indistinguishable from the Silver Jews' David Berman ("Guns in the Hills") or Smog's Bill Callahan. It feels natural to salute this record, with its veteran songwriting, as a new classic; After Hours is not only a solidly executed take on the timeless Southern rock sound, it is a heartfelt labor of love recorded over four years that acts as a panacea for almost a decade of soul-less boy-man hipster folk that bafflingly still clogs the Brooklyn club circuit. D. Charles Speer represents the under-represented mature and broken-in dimension of bluesy rock, warbling about the good Lord, being a family man, his bygone wanderings down the open road, and straight-up aging. After Hours naturally has a few psychedelic moments ("Sit Right There"), but the twelve songs overwhelmingly have a darkhorse, twangy rock 'n' roll attitude. Great spring album for a'wanderin' around. [KS]






$9.99 MP3


(Soft Abuse)

"Untitled Track 1"
"Untitled Track 4"

Steven R. Smith returns with the vengeance, a completely front-to-back KILLER psychedelic/drone album under the name Ulaan Khol. Massive sandswept dunes of guitar crest, crashing percussion, and the majesty of ceremony meld with lo-fi ambient disintegration and a distinct Middle Eastern/Northern Africa/"explore the pyramids and kick it with the Sphinx" vibe designed for maximum mental obfuscation. Of course, highbrow folks who don't spend hours in the day staring at the back of a dollar bill "looking for the answer" will find lots to love here, with more than a passing nod to drone/progressive legends like Agitation Free. A more satisfying chunk of guitar buzz and ancient crypt sound hasn't passed my ears in some time. May it pass yours with the same enthusiasm and zest for aural discovery. [DM]






Magnificent Fiend

"Lord Have Mercy"
"Goodbye Ruby"

As far removed from "indie rock" as is humanly possible, here's another generous helping of '70s AM rock by Ethan Miller (formerly of the dearly departed Comets on Fire) and his gang of dudes. Thanks to the infusion of major label dollars, and the guiding presence of Rick Rubin, Magnificent Fiend sounds crisper and cleaner, and Miller's vocals are inching ever closer to emulating Terry Reid's. Musically, it doesn't stray too far from the formula of the debut; grooving, soulful rock 'n' roll with extended jammy passages and heavy on the Hammond -- Allman Bros, Deep Purple, Faces, the Dead, and Mighty Baby. Someone invented the word "choogle" strictly for Howlin Rain. Now, where's the new Black Crowes record? [AK]






$15.99 LP


Red, Yellow and Blue

"Barnacle Goose"
"Kurt Vonnegut"

Toronto's Born Ruffians' debut EP from 2006 was a jagged, joyous jumble of energy, full of razor-thin guitar hooks and barely controlled exuberance. Thankfully the Ruff's have not reigned in the excitement on their proper debut full-length, but no doubt their sound has evolved, from a tightly wound explosion, to a joyful noise. Without exactly slowing things down, the band has given frontman Luke LaLonde more room to breathe, and chant and yelp and howl, and clap along for good measure. With the gentler pacing, the band's myriad of influences, from post-punk to new wave, from soul to indie-pop, can dance to the music, and it's a compelling concoction. [JM]






$9.99 MP3


Innocent Youths
(Light in the Attic)

In the '60s and '70s, Canada's most populous and diverse city Toronto played home to a group of Jamaican reggae artists and producers. One might wonder to what degree these artists transplanted their native Caribbean sound to the vastly different urban landscapes of Toronto. Originally released in 1977 on the Summer Records imprint and produced by labelhead Jerry Brown, Earth, Roots & Water's sole album, Innocent Youths, stands up suitably well to the sounds emanating from Jamaica at the time (think "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark studio, i.e. Heart of the Congos, also released in '77). With its own unique and masterful sense of musicianship and production values, Innocent Youths provides a take on the sun-dazed reggae reverb and equatorial echo of Jamaica's classic productions, often allowing these elements to swallow the tight grooves underneath before dropping out and leaving the funk/R&B influenced reggae rhythms to come to the fore. Remastered and thankfully reissued for the first time since its initial release, Innocent Youths is crafty and full of ideas that surprise the listener, all the while maintaining itself as an important document of classic '70s reggae groove. (Preview sound clips on Other Music Digital.) [JW]






When Horses Die


Warnings all over the new Thomas Brinkmann exclaim that it's "NOT A TECHNO RECORD." No, this is Brinkmann's venture into electronic singer-songwriter death ballad territory, and a surprising nod to digital dancehall and dub physics. Not exactly blessed with a wide or capable vocal range, the artist delivers his lyrics in a Leonard Cohen-esque deadpan monotone, spoken and often a bit slurred. When Horses Die will likely be remembered as a bleak, dark, engrossing statement, as Brinkmann breaks rank and aligns himself both with latter-day Trent Reznor-isms and a bracing touch of minimal synth inventiveness. [DM]






From Mento to Reggae to Third World Music
(VP Music)

"Satta Massa Gana"
"Hop Merry Hop"

In 1973, Cedric Im Brooks directed 21 musicians and singers during the recording sessions of From Mento to Reggae to Third World Music. Produced by the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica and recorded and mixed by Errol "ET" Thompson and Clive Chin at Randy's, Brooks in turn creates definitive versions of traditional, popular, and original songs. There are covers of "Put It On" by Bob Marley and Tommy McCook's "Steaming," yet the overall scope of the recording is much more expansive. Most of the players come from the Divine Light collective who provide a rich tapestry of instrumentation -- trombone, flute, trumpet, bass, drums and congas -- and Nyahbinghi staples like Rasta, repeater and funde drums, along with Brooks' playing the tenor sax. Brook's own place in the musical road map from Africa to America cannot be denied, his legacy landing somewhere between Fela Kuti and John Coltrane. As such, he complements each composition with an open-arms sound that's deep, grounded, and spirited, yet playful and free -- a subtle mixture of jazz, calypso and reggae. This great, re-mastered reissue is released by 17 North Parade as part of their excellent Reggae Rewind series of first-time-on-CD essentials, and tacks on three bonus tracks credited to Brooks' Light of Saba! In the mood for a joyful noise? [DG]
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