New Vinyl Releases April 26, 2011

Happy New Release Day!!!

ABOUT GROUP – START AND COMPLETE – DOMINO RECORDING CO. – Comprising Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Charles Hayward (This Heat), John Coxon (Spring Heel Jack, Spiritualized) and Pat Thomas, who has played with the likes of Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley and others, the band originally formed to make a record of improvised music for the Treader label in 2009, having never played together as a whole before the day it took them to make their first album. After a clutch of live performances (supporting Gang Gang Dance, playing Ornette Coleman’s Meltdown Festival and even Glastonbury, among others) they regrouped to record this album.

AN HORSE – WALLS – MOM & POP MUSIC – Walls has plenty of the whip-smart, energetic rock that propelled An Horse half-way across the world. The album’s opening track, “Dressed Sharply,” is as fizzy and explosive as a shook-up bottle of champagne, spraying the listener with showers of melody and noise. It’s no surprise that the tune is a fan favorite already, thanks to having been previewed in their recent shows. But on the song that follows it, “Not Mine,” the craft and care that went into Walls’ making becomes even clearer. Kate and Damon’s passionate vocals, weave into a pattern with Kate’s chiming guitar, building the intensity slowly and deliberately as Damon’s drums nudge the momentum along.

BAPTISTS – GOOD PARENTING – SOUTHERN LORD RECORDINGS – “Vancouver four-piece hardcore band Baptists just released their self-titled debut 7” for Southern Lord. Baptists is a fairly new band, having formed in 2010, but is comprised of long-time veterans of the Vancouver hardcore scene. Members have had stints in bands that include LadyhawkSports and A Textbook Tragedy. This new four-track (12 min.) single is raw, aggressive hardcore played in the style of bands like Converge and the Cro-Mags.” –brooklynrocks


BATILLUS – FURNACE – SEVENTH RULE – “Big on atmosphere, big on time and big on tone, the first album from Brooklyn doomers Batillus is a bleak, oppressive six-song outing that’s bound to ring their name out among the underground converted. ” –The Obelisk

Big Pauper – Beyond My Means – Circle Into Square/Fake Four – Portland’s Big Pauper is an acclaimed producer, deejay and visual artist with a penchant for forgotten media and discarded technologies. His ten year stint managing the abstract hip hop label Token Recluse found a wide variety of projects in his lap. Pauper established himself with the notoriety of a full length cut and paste reinterpretation of first Radiohead, and then Beck. In their wake, Pauper performed at Scribble Jam & the Red Bull Music Academy, toured Europe a handful of times and worked with the likes of Two Ton Sloth, Cut Chemist and the Dandy Warhols. Big Pauper also has been producing circuit bent video work within the world-renowned sound art collective Folktek and gearing his projects towards a variety of video-art installations. “Beyond My Means” sits comfortably somewhere between a 93 era instrumental hip hop record and some of the best downtempo electronic work out there today. It is a dusty, glitchy and often times noisy tapestry of found sounds, VHS beats and analog synth textures. The album has it’s roots deep in sixties psych rock, the dregs of new age tape crustiness, our waning industrial society and most evidently, schlock cinema (everything from Portuguese horror, to the sleaziest of nunsploitation). The album draws comparisons to recent works from the Books, Broadcast, Odd Nosdam and Edan. Beyond My Means unfolds like a grindhouse double feature, that private press record you can’t believe you found, or your third eye chakra babbling on after a group reiki session.

BLACK MOUNTAIN – ROLLERCOASTER B/W IN THE DRONE 7″ – JAGJAGUWAR – “Rollercoaster” is the third single from Black Mountain’s Wilderness Heart. This song really showcases the band’s trademark psych-metal sound, and throughout it the interchanging vocals of Steve McBean and Amber Webber are in full force. The song was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood with D. Sardy. The b-side to this single is entitled “In The Drones” and is previously unreleased. It features Webber’s haunting vocals at the forefront, accompanied by reverb-drenched picking and shadowy synth stylings underneath. The song was recorded in Seattle at London Bridge Studio with Randall Dunn.

BLOOD ORANGE – DINNER / BAD GIRLS 7″ – TERRIBLE RECORDS – “Blood Orange is Dev Hynes’ latest project, after releasing music as Lightspeed Champion and Test Icicles and recording with Solange Knowles, Theophilus London, Aaron Pfenning (of Chairlift) among many others. Blood Orange recalls a sweaty 1980s New York dance scene with some R&B flavor and MJ synths. Prince definitely comes to mind as well. These tracks were produced by Chris Taylor with Dev, and are the first official release of any Blood Orange material.” –Insound

  • Boris – Attention Please – Sargent House
  • Boris – Heavy Rocks (2011) – Sargent House

BORIS – Attention Please came to be following Boris touring the world in 2008 in support of their last album, Smile. The trio set about recording new material and a new album was completed, then abandoned. The band sought to challenge themselves further, and the end results are two new albums of dramatic growth and the most powerful extension toBoris‘ unparalleled creativity, Attention Please and the all new Heavy Rocks (not to be mistaken for their earlier 2002 release, Heavy Rocks).

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Chatham County Line – IV – Yep Roc Records – The North Carolina quartet’s fourth album IV, is a boozy blend of Americana and loose acoustic rockers that exhibits the band’s ever-evolving style. CCL continues their dedication to traditional instruments by using their love for bluegrass as a base on which to layer an eclectic blend of roots music. Bluegrass workouts like “The Carolinian” stand beside pop geared numbers such as “Chip of a Star” and the hard soul of “Birmingham Jail.” The progression seen on IV is helped along by indie pop musician and producer Chris Stamey (Yo La Tengo, Alex Chilton, Alejandro Escovedo), making for a starkly heartfelt testament to making the past new again.

DENNIS COFFEY – DENNIS COFFEY – STRUT – For these sessions, in addition to a host of new compositions, Coffey personally cherry-picks tracks upon which he first appeared and enlists an illustrious guest list for all-new interpretations. Stones Throw’s new soul hero Mayer Hawthorne takes up The Parliaments’ poignant mid-tempo swayer ’All Your Goodies Are Gone’, Fanny Franklin from killer Hollywood funk combo Orgone voices a new version of Wilson Pickett’s psych-soul jam ’Don’t Knock My Love’ and Lisa Kekaula from California garage-soul band The Bellrays takes on the 100 Proof Aged In Soul stomper ’Somebody’s Been Sleeping’. The Detroit connection looms large throughout the set – Mick Collins from the Dirtbombs alongside Detroit Cobras’ Rachel Nagy unleash a dark, brooding take on Funkadelic’s ’I Bet You’. UK chart sensation Paolo Nutini contributes a passionate version of Rodriguez’ „Only Good For Conversation.“ Completing the list of collaborations, Milwaukee funk sensations Kings Go Forth (Luaka Bop) mould an intense funk jam around some heavy Coffey licks on ’Miss Millie’. For his new compositions on the album, Coffey revisits the uncompromising instrumental style he is renowned for. Album opener ’7th Galaxy’ echoes the hard guitar ’n’ breaks of his Detroit Guitar Band recordings for Sussex, ’Knockabout’ whips up an epic funky soundtrack groove and ’Space Traveller’ simmers on a sleazy, guitar-drenched, slo mo workout.


MATTHEW COOPER – SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS – TEMPORARY RESIDENCE – We have waited with eager anticipation to release Matthew Cooper’s spellbinding soundtrack to Some Days Are Better Than Others since before his creative breakthrough album, Similes (released under his more widely known Eluvium moniker) was even made. The film stars James Mercer (Broken Bells, The Shins) and Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Sleater-Kinney) as strangers whose lives occasionally intersect as they navigate their way through the struggles of personal attachment and disconnection. When viewing the film, Cooper observed themes being presented regarding our throw-away society, and realized that both he andSome Days director Matt McCormick shared a common interest in this world of things left behind and the emotional baggage that is connected to it – whether broken or simply tossed aside for something new; something once considered the future, turning into antiquated rubble. Cooper decided that using a collection of damaged instruments would be a fitting way to underscore this aspect of the film. Here he uses the inherent characteristics of these instruments to create something honest and beautiful, something that is at once familiar, damaged and unique – something we can all relate to.

CROSBY & NASH – ANOTHER STONEY EVENING – BLUE CASTLE RECORDS – Another Stoney Evening was recorded on October 10, 1971 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles during one of Crosby and Nash’s first in-concert performances as “two together.” Previously released only on CD (in 1998), Another Stoney Evening captures an intimate performance spotlighting the duo’s stellar harmonies, acoustic guitar and piano accompaniment, and between-song banter. Song highlights include “Deja Vu,” “Wooden Ships,” “Southbound Train,” “Immigration Man,” “Guinevere,” and “Teach Your Children.”

Daedelus – Bespoke (2xLP) – Ninja Tune – After a busy couple of years of touring, remixing and releasing singles and EPs with Brainfeeder, All City, Magical Properties (the Daedelus home-imprint), Alpha Pup, Warp and Stones Throw, Alfred Darlington aka Daedelus returns with his new full length album on Ninja Tune, Bespoke, a title summing up the unique and eccentric vision of a musical artist as obsessed with the clothing of the Victorian era as he is with the music of the future. Bespoke is defined as “a term employed to mean an item custom-made to measure.” Darlington explains that “I not only intended it as a reflection of the LP itself, but also an outlook on life.” It’s Daedelus’ way of stating that it’s possible to grow and flourish as a musician without settling for the drab factory pre-sets of genre.

DEAFHEAVEN- ROADS TO JUDAH – DEATHWISH INC – “Roads to Judah” isn’t Heavy Metal role play, but a beautifully blackened artistic exploration of the issues and self loathing that can cloud every day life. A stunning a achievement emotionally and musically that will surely shape aggressive music for years to come.

DEER TRACKS, THE – THE ARCHER TRILOGY PT. 1 – THE CONTROL GROUP – The Deer Tracks is David Lehnberg & Elin Lindfors, both children of the little Swedish town of Gävle. Despite their earlier success with respective projects (Leiah, Ariel Kill Him & Twiggy Frostbite), all roads led them into an electromagnetic mist of melodies and harmonic noise that later came to be called The Deer Tracks. The Deer Tracks released their debut LP Aurora in 2008 receiving accolades from NME, The Guardian, Clash Magazine, and more. Since then The Deer Tracks have toured the UK, Europe, and Japan. The Deer Tracks made their North American debut in 2011 at SXSW.

Derek & The Dominos – Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs [2 LP 40th anniversary Super Deluxe] – Polydor

THE DONKEYS – BORN WITH STRIPES – DEAD OCEANS – Born With Stripes is an altogether less twangy affair than the band’s 2008 Dead Oceans debut, Living On The Other Side. The nods to Grateful Dead and Buffalo Springfield are better balanced with echoes of other Cali arists, notably Pavement and Beck. The country-rock flairs are often overtaken by powerpop hooks. What some might call a lazy melody is really just a melody on its own clock. Nice and relaxed.

STEVE EARLE – I’LL NEVER GET OUT OF THIS WORLD ALIVE – NEW WEST – ThIS 11- track set was produced by T Bone Burnett and is Earle’s first collection of original material since his 2007 Grammy Award winning, Washington Square Serenade. I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive will be available as a single compact disc, deluxe CD/DVD set, digitally, as well as 180 gram vinyl.

EARTH – ANGELS OF DARKNESS DEMONS OF LIGHT – SOUTHERN LORD RECORDINGS – Drawing on inspiration from both British Folk-Rock bands the Pentangle and Fairport Convention and the North African Tuareg band Tinariwen, the new material, while still ‘heavy’ is much more fluid and melodically oriented, less dense and more textured and nuanced. It contains greater improvisatory interplay between the musicians. On one hand, the new album acknowledges previous recordings… on the other hand, there have been some significant changes which have given birth to yet another new sound, the main change being the line up and so joining Dylan and Adrienne on the album is cellist Lori Goldston (Nirvana, David Byrne, Black Cat Orchestra, Laura Veirs) and Karl Blau (K Records, Laura Veirs, Microphones) on electric bass.

THE ECHOCENTRICS – SUNSHADOWS – UBIQUITY RECORDS – The Echocentrics is a new band from Austin-based two-time Grammy winning producer Adrian Quesada, a member of Grupo Fantasma, and one of the minds behind bands Ocote Soul Sounds and Brownout. Teaming up with Argentinean singer Natalia Clavier and Brazil-based Tita Lima, he has carved out a southern-fried, laid back, and psychedelic-tinged album.

Emika – Count Backwards – 12 inch – Ninja Tune – “Count Backwards” is the story of an over-fed yet undernourished soul in search of a little peace and quiet,’ explains Emika. ‘In times of stress, you can count your date of birth backwards or spell your birth month backwards and the logical side of the mind is kicked into action, resulting in a feeling of calm. Counting backwards is a coping mechanism in overwhelming moments of panic. The song is inspired by my best friend from my teenage years. She was a lot older than me and was in therapy. She told me about how our brain works and how it connects thoughts, feelings and creativity. This was the first moment in my life where I became aware of my own creativity.’ The single is remixed by British dubstep producers Kryptic Minds and Berlin’s Marcel Dettmann, who transforms the original song into a deep techno meditation for which Emika re-sang the vocals.

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY – TAKE CARE, TAKE CARE, TAKE CARE – TEMPORARY RESIDENCE – 2xLP Quadruple Gatefold, 36×36″ Foldout Poster and Postcard, Includes MP3 Download

FAKE PROBLEMS – SONGS FOR TEENAGERS 7″ – SIDE ONE DUMMY RECORDS – The 7″ features the album version of Fake Problems epic indie anthem “Songs For Teenagers” and the B-Side is an amazing acoustic rendition of Songs For Teenagers performed by The Gaslight Anthem.

FIGURINES – FIGURINES – THE CONTROL GROUP – Figurines’ self-titled fourth album is a triumph for the Danish band. Musically it reaches back to the power of “Skeleton” (2006) while remaining close to the more complex “When The Deer Wore Blue” (2007). Figurines have managed to return to a point where the songs’ structures, immediacy and extroversion are the focus. Figurines are skilled and experienced musicians, almost veterans although barely reaching the end of their 20’s, but still growing and learning to polish their songwriting in new ways. The band will be active touring the US in 2011.

Figurines "Figurines" vinyl LP

FRESH & ONLYS – SECRET WALLS – SACRED BONES RECORDS – The Fresh & Onlys have had an unusually prolific past couple of years. On the heels of their critically acclaimed album Play It Strange, the band returns with a bold creative leap forward on their new EP Secret Walls. The cavernous opening sounds of Secret Walls reveal the strong threads of hazy post-punk melancholy that have been woven throughout the band’s catalog and have now fully matured. Tim Cohen’s crooning baritone is more confident and commanding than ever as it is sewn into the dizzying tapestry of the melody, while the guitar sounds of Wymond Miles often suggest the dynamic interplay of Verlaine/Lloyd. Long in the works, this EP was recorded in guitarist Miles’ San Francisco studio and properly captures their ambience while bringing forward Kyle Gibson’s lock-step drumming and the unique melodic play of bassist Shayde Sartin. It is the next logical step for the F&O’s and their moody, jangly guitar pop.

GENERIFUS – IN MY CAVE B/W I KNOW 7″ – K RECORDS – Generifus is the main musical project of songwriter Spencer Sult. Generifus began performing in 2005. When he was seventeen, Sult began self-releasing music and booking west coast tours. Since then, Sult has recorded with Karl Blau and LAKE, who in turn, have also contributed to live performances and Generifus albums. Sult has lived his entire life in Washington state and currently calls Olympia home. His songs reflect the beauty found in nature and life in the Pacific Northwest, and he has taken those songs on tour all over the United States and into Japan.

The Globes – Future Self – Barsuk Records – The Globes were formed in their teenage years (recently — the youngest member is 21), spending afternoons in their sleepy city of Spokane, Washington collaboratively dissecting and interpreting the fundamentals of songwriting while forging together their own musical inspirations. Their debut full-length,future self, was produced by John Goodmanson (Blonde Redhead, Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney, etc), and promises to be one of the best rock records of 2011.

GREEN DAY – AWESOME AS FUCK – ADELINE RECORDS – Green Day recorded every show on the 21st Century Breakdown tour. When it concluded, the band members, singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool, sifted through the audio to deliver the best performances from their shows around the world. The package includes Green Day’s biggest hits and fan favorites, including “21 Guns,” “American Idiot,” “When I Come Around,” and “Good Riddance.”

HOLLY GOLIGHTLY – NO HELP COMING – TRANSDREAMER – On No Help Coming, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs continue to make music that’s spare and earthy yet unfailingly tuneful, drawing upon gritty blues, country and rockabilly influences while maintaining an unmistakable personal resonance.


JOOKABOX – THE EYES OF THE FLY – ASTHMATIC KITTY – Jookabox has decided to throw in the towel, and The Eyes of the Fly is their last cryptic transmission. This recording is the final chapter in the history of a band as bizarre, anxious, and confusing as the music it makes. A band whose imagery echoes ghosts, zombies, decay, and the afterlife, inspired by life in the post-industrial land of white flight, now writes its own epitaph, carves its own headstone, and sings its swan song. May the funky frenetic compositions of Jookabox rest in chaos as beautiful as that which they created.


Kode9 & The Spaceape – Black Sun (2xLP) – Hyperdub Records – It’s been five years since South London-based duo Kode9 & the Spaceape’s debut album. On this new disc, named after Kode9’s influential 2009 single “Black Sun,” the intensity and themes of their debut Memories of the Futureremain, but the delivery is clearer and more rapid, the beats more jagged and restless. Starting as a dense onslaught,Black Sun proceeds to expand and contract its galaxy, sucking you into its orbit, and daring you to come and bathe in the warmth of its toxic glow. -InSound

Kort (Nashville’s own Kurt Wagner of Lambchop & Cortney Tidwell) – Invariable Heartache – City Slang“Not so much a replication, but more of a study in reclamation. We were into the idea of making a record of the type of country that we all seemed to hold in high regard, not for the kitschy-ness or the retro-ness, but for the beauty and simplicity it could impart to the listener” – Kurt Wagner, July 2010

INVARIABLE HEARTACHE is an album inspired by a shared love of Nashville and its musical traditionsLambchop’s Kurt Wagner – a long time champion of the city’s history and charms – and Cortney Tidwell – whose family have, for decades, played a significant part in the city’s (country) musical life – are both fervent admirers of the music that has emerged from the city.

It was an early collaboration on Cortney’s Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up album that led to the two of them performing together at Nashville club The Basement in the summer of 2008. Such was the crowd’s overwhelming response that evening that the idea of a duets album was born, and though work didn’t begin for well over a year the concept was never forgotten. It was discussion about Cortney’s family history that led them to the Chart Records catalogue, a label run by Cortney’s grandfather Slim Williamson, A&Red later by her father Cliff Williamson, and for which her mother Connie Eaton also recorded.

The result of their subsequent fascination with what they discovered on dusty forgotten vinyl is an album that pays tribute to art of the duet and the classic songwriting that lay behind many of the albums and singles released by the label, a tribute on a grander scale to the forgotten sounds of ‘Music City USA’.

MASUKO, SHINJI – WOVEN MUSIC – JAGJAGUWAR – Categories cannot contain Shinji Masuko. He’s the founder of DMBQ – one of Japan’s greatest modern psychedelic bands, a respected music and comic reviewer, an astonishing guitarist and a master guitar builder. He’s also been a member of the Boredoms since 2004, having designed and built their notorious seven neck guitar (the Sevena) while acting as the band’s principle guitarist.

Matthewdavid – Outmind (2xLP) – Brainfeeder – Matthewdavid is a man who builds with warm tones. He travels new paths gathering sounds to enhance the intricate dimensions of his creations. It was this hunt for inspired trails and blazing progress that pulled him to California. Matthewdavid made the move from southern states and was immediately embraced by the Los Angeles community. A willowy figure with wide smiles, his gentle presence and generous talents made him a welcome addition to internationally applauded LA creative circles: dublab, Poo-Bah, Low End Theory and Brainfeeder. Constant collaboration with these collectives helped inspire Matthewdavid to a build a platform of his own. His Leaving Records label has an ear to the next and an eye on the original. Through all these outlets Matthewdavid is dedicated to sharing elevated sounds and visions.

MCCOMBS, CASS – WIT S END – DOMINO RECORDING CO. – “With each release, Cass McCombs has proven himself a wordsmith of great economy and precision. His compositions, often sparse and non-traditional, paired with his melodies and arrangements, transform into subtly revealing songs, filled with depth of emotion and meaning. It is that precision that would lead one to believe that all the autobiographical material a person would seek about McCombs is embedded in the songs (and you’d be right) but then he would insist after the fact that your deductions couldn’t be more off the mark about what is truth and what is simply artistic expression. Light in its darkness, claustrophobic in its panorama, distant in its intimacy, present in its timelessness; WIT’S END should be given one’s full and undivided attention” -Kris Gillespie, Domino Records

Mono/Poly – Manifestations EP – 12 inch – Brainfeeder – On his latest EP, Manifestations, Mono/Poly brings all of the sounds informing his full-length debut to their melting point. Rather than hoping from idea to idea, this short release shoots for an atmospheric aesthetic filled with crisp beats and glitched bass programming. Like any good release on Brainfeeder, it’s difficult to pin a single genre to this thing, which only adds to the sonic adventure. –The Needle Drop


OFF! – COMPARED TO WHAT / ROTTEN APPLE 7″ – SOUTHERN LORD RECORDINGS – Southern Lord is very honoured to be asked to release the very latest recordings by OFF! The two songs were cranked out this last February with the urgent intention of recording (and releasing) something special for their 1st ever US tour alongside Trash Talk. “Compared to What” features original music by OFF! with the lyrics written by Eugene McDaniels and later recorded and made famous by Les McCann (along w/ Eddie Harris ) and Roberta Flack. “Rotten Apple” is a 60s’ garage rock stormer by a band called ID interpreted with a venomous, ultra-bruising stomp that effectively breathes vigor into the jam.


Poly Styrene – Generation Indigo – Future Noise MusicR.I.P. Marianne Elliot Said, July 3rd 1957- April 25th 2011

Poly Styrene was a punk amongst punks. A groundbreaking presence that left an unrepeatable mark on the musical landscape, she made history the moment she uttered, “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think oh bondage up yours!” The influence of Poly and X-ray Spex has been felt far and wide ever since. Their landmark album Germ Free Adolescents is a landmark work and a primary influence on Britpop and Riot Grrrl. At the centre of it was PolyStyrene, a bi-racial feminist punk with the perfect voice to soundtrack rebellion. Poly never sacrificed the intelligence or the fun in her music and style. Her trademark braces and dayglo clothes were a playful rejection of the status quo and of conformity and complacency. She dissected gender politics, consumer culture, and the obsessions of modern life in a way that made us all want sing along with her.

At the core of Poly’s work from Germ Free Adolescents through Generation Indigo, is a revolutionary with a genuine love for this world and the people and things in it. Her indomitable heart is all over the new material from her championing of cruelty free products (“I Luv Ur Sneakers”) to giving voice to marginalized poor people worldwide (“No Rockefeller”) to tackling racism (“Colour Blind”). Poly Styrene never stopped exciting us with her incisive world-view, amazing wit, and her adventurous sound. It is impossible to imagine what modern music would be like without her incalculable contributions but it’s probably not worth imagining a world that never had Poly Styrene in it.

A thrilling work from a true pioneer and rebel in every sense, Poly Styrene’s album Generation Indigo is out now through Future Noise Music and was produced by Youth (The Verve, Killing Joke, The Fireman, Edwyn Collins). The album received rave reviews from Uncut, NME, The Guardian and countless others across the Atlantic. The forward looking Generation Indigo showcases Poly’s humorous musings on pop culture, the internet and fashion whilst also tackling heavier subject matter (war and racism) with her politically aware and intelligent lyrics all in the inimitable voice of a genuine icon. Listen to the full Generation Indigo record streaming on AOL Spinner.

Rock journalist John Robb recently interviewed Poly Styrene about her current album. This footage and track by track from Poly Styrene is available to watch here.

Prefuse 73 – The Only She Chapters – Warp Records – Guillermo Scott Herren, better known under the auditory nom de plume, Prefuse 73, is highly lauded as one of the founding fathers of theglitch-hop movement. Fusing a wide palette of influences encompassing classical instrumentation, with edgy computerized samples; he prepares to re-establish another sonic foray with the release of this latest LP: The Only She Chapters. –confederationtrough

RELIGIOUS KNIVES – SMOKESCREEN – SACRED BONES RECORDS – The core duo of Michael Bernstein (guitar, synth, vox) and Maya Miller (organ, vox) began their careers together as the extreme noise act, Double Leopards. By 2005, they had left the industrial noise realm for the somewhat mellower pastures of Kraut explorations. Their last album on Ecstatic Peace was highly acclaimed and co-produced by label owner Thurston Moore. This new long-player is in a similar vein — long, drawn-out and sprawling; the shortest song is just shy of the five minute mark. Pulse-like repetition and reed-organ oscillations are the main framework as the duo are joined here by Todd Cavallo on bass and Ryan Nadieau on drums. Like SB label-mates Moon Duo, or the recent signings of Chilean artist Follakzoid and The Holydrug Couple, Religious Knives draw from a well of pounding rhythmic drums and psychedelic drones with heavy organ and synth landscapes which envelope the listener fully.


SILVERSTEIN – RESCUE – HOPELESS RECORDS – Silverstein may not be as popular as they should be, but for over ten years they’ve beenreleasing fairly consistent albums (with the exception of the misstep that was most ofArrivals & Departures) that have credited them with a loyal following. December of last year, they started a new chapter of their careers, releasing the EP Transitions through their new record company Hopeless. It was an exciting release, despite offering nothing all that new. With Rescue, the band certainly continues with the consistency, however they’ve completely redefined their sound, implementing elements from all of their previous works to create perhaps their finest achievement as a band. –

SIMON, EMILIE – THE BIG MACHINE – LE PLAN MUSIC – The gorgeously blessed Emilie Simon is much recommended for the places she takes listeners with her new songs in The Big Machine. If you are tired of great vocalists that sound like everyone else then try Emilie, her voice is an obscure delight. Her odd musical arrangements and vocals recall many greats to mind such as Cindy Lauper, Bjork, Oingo Boingo, and Tori Amos. –

SLEIGH BELLS – TREATS – SLEIGH BELLS – Though both Krauss and Miller have been making music for a while– he in the hardcore band Poison the Well, she in some kind of manufactured teen-pop group that never got off the ground– it’s easy to see them as a connected band with the right gimmick at the right time. They live in New York, they’ve played hip shows for important people, and from the beginning the online chatter has been almost as deafening as the guitar tones. But what works in their favor is that they’ve taken advantage of these breaks and marshaled their talent to make something that oozes joy. There’s spirit to this music, and the sonic assault is celebratory, asking only that you come along with it and join in. All of which, for me, anyway, makes the hype melt away. And if it’s true that records this intense and exhilarating don’t always sustain themselves over the long haul, that’s not a worry either. The visceral thrill of Treats may not last forever, but neither does life; right now, this feels like living it. –pitchfork




Thao & Mirah – Thao & Mirah – Kill Rock Stars – Thao and Mirah each wrote a new batch of beautiful songs which were jointly performed and produced by the three with some help from fine Bay Area friends. The album is a collection of songs from two distinctly different, highly respected songwriters, threaded and woven together with the creative energy and freedom of collaboration. Such freedom allowed for varied and rewarding levels of innovation, and a determination to keep the music-making as in-house as possible: both Thao and Mirah assume many of the instrumentation duties: from drums and bottles to slide guitar and knee caps. All songs maintain the writers’ shared gifts: profound emotional poignancy with lyrics and melodies to match and stay with you.

The Limousines – Get Sharp – Dangerbird Records – The Limousines, featuring songwriter/vocalist Eric Victorino and multi-instrumentalist/producer Giovanni Giusti, first made a mark with their 2009 single “Very Busy People,” which garnered heavy rotation on San Francisco’s Live 105 (KITS-FM) as well as Sirius/XM’s Alt Nation station.

Thousands – The Sound of Everything – Bella Union – The Sound of Everything is aptly named: dissatisfied with recording their debut in a Seattle bedroom, acoustic duo Kristian Garrard and Luke Bergman took to the great outdoors – and the twitterings of the natural world form an uncredited but crucial backing chorus here. Our musical reference points are Simon & Garfunkel and (friends and fans) the Fleet Foxes. So while there’s nothing here to stop the traffic, a spring picnic would be just the place to take this back to its source. – The Independent



TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB – TOURIST HISTORY – GLASSNOTE RECORDS – Recorded in London at Eastcote Studios and produced by Elliott James (Bloc Party, Noah And The Whale) with a number of tracks mixed by Phillipe Zdar (Phoenix, Justice, Cassius), the album simply multiplies the single’s surfeit of ideas and sounds. The opening track, “Cigarettes In The Theatre,” perfectly displays the band’s light-footed yet hard-driving energy, highlighted by Alex’s vocal melody, with its almost dreamy brand of urgency. It’s followed by “Come Back Home,” a sequel of sorts; introducing a bed of woozy synths that build and act as a launching pad for a digi-funk backdrop that bounces, swings and rocks behind Alex’s confessions of relationships-past. The album, he explains, has two general themes – ‘love’ songs (“but not in a typical sense; I’m adamant about avoiding clichés”) and songs that “chart our progression over these past 18 months. Where we’ve come from to where we are now with this album.”

VARIOUS ARTISTS – CULT CARGO: SALSA BORICUA DE CHICAGO – NUMERO – Far from the twin epicenters of New York and Miami, Carlos Ruiz and his Ebirac label were both feeling and generating the aftershocks of the mid-’70s salsa boom. Holed up in their own bustling Puerto Rican community center on Chicago’s west side, these third coast salseros plied their trade outside the hot lights, cutting their teeth in city parks, VFW halls, and Holiday Inn rec rooms. Nearly 50 records survive in the wake of orquestas La Justicia, La Solucion, and Tipica Leal ‘79, the most impassioned, singular moments of which are compiled here.



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