July 13th - July 19th
Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications - 2009 Rough Trade Records
Further Complications is different than Jarvis, and I'd go as far as to say it's a bit better. Firstly, it needs to be known that he worked with legendary rocker/producer Steve Albini on this one,so you know it rocks even before listening to it. And it does. Jarvis also apparently had a bigger hand in the composing of the songs (which range from slow soul burners to grungy rock tunes). Further Complications takes it up notch with louder guitars, blasting drums, and more aggressive vocals. Jarvis sounds like a 1970's David Bowie transplanted into some neo-britpop realm, singing about some new and amazing things in an experimentally racy fashion.
June 29th - July 5th
Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves - S/T - 2009 No Idea Records
The record starts off with a powerful pop/alternative radio-friendy song (something of a tame 1992 J. Mascais singing to a moderately paced song that could have been featured on the soundtrack for Singles). It then moves into a folkier sound with some fingerpicking fireside relaxers and some giddy-up drumming but periodically dips back into the aforementioned 90's alternative sound. The record is crisp and Chris's voice is so good on this that I think he could easily handle whatever form his solo sound ends up taking. Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves is a really solid and impressive record that will hang by my turntable for a good bit.
June 22nd - June 28th
Sonic Youth - The Eternal - 2009 Matador Records
June 8th - June 14th
The Church - Untitled #23 - 2009 SecondMotion Records
June 1st - June 7th
Human Adult Band - Samantha (b/w Samantha song/poem by Jad Fair) - 2009 Third Uncle Records
May 25th - May 31st
We're All Broken - Blacktop Cry - 2009 Devildance Records
We're All Broken
May 18th - May 24th
Cheap Girls - Find Me A Drink Home - 2008 Los Diaper Records
May 4th - May 10th
Chain and the Gang/Down With Liberty...Up With Chains!- 2009 K Records
April 27th - May 3rd
Pavement/ Live Europaturnen MCMXCVII- 2008 Matador RecordsThis is part one of two (so far) very limited live Pavement Albums. This was available as a Matador “Buy Now Get Early” campaign by Matador. Original set to be released in 1998, you’d receive a copy this record with an advance purchase of Brighten The Corners: Nicene Creedence Ed. Re-release (Matador “Buy Early #6” promo). The recording of the show is of very high quality and sounds brilliantly crisp. There are rumors that there were only 500 of this record pressed whereas 2500 copies of the very similar Live in Köln record was pressed for Record Store Day. A lot of people are confusing these two records for the same record and selling them online under similar descriptions. These are two very different releases and shows, only visually distinguishable by the fact that this record has a purple cover versus Live in Köln’s orange cover. Also, track listings are found on the Live Europaturen and Live in Koln labels themselves, in Spanish and English respectively.
April 20th - April 26th
Jay Reatard / "Sonik" Youth - Split 7" - 2009 Matador Records
Jay Reatard grabs side A on this Record Store Day exclusive 7". The song is called "hang them all", and it's a pretty solid track.The song draws techniques from his past success, including hooky repetitive riffs and vocals, with a bit of a warm, vintage low-fi feel. Side B belongs to Sonic Youth. The track is titled "no garage" and was appropriately recorded in the basement of Thurston's Moore's record label Ecstatic Peace! in Northhampton, Massachusetts. The song is instrumental, save a slightly distant "1-2-3-4!" heard rounding the final lap of the song’s composition. Not only does the song sound as if it could be handpicked from nearly any favorable sonic youth period, but it's a great and intense track. The song so perfectly drops into a lock groove at its finale. I thought I was losing my mind - in a good way.
April 13th - April 19th
Q-Tip - The Renaissance - 2008 Universal Motown Records
His second solo release (1999’s Amplified was his first and 2002’s would-be second release, Kamaal the Abstract was never released), Q-tip brings us his distinctive character once again. Reminiscent of his early Tribe Called Quest days, Q-tip unleashes a full album of new quality rhymes, drenched in style. Another hip hop classic that is sure to withstand the test of time. Special thanks to my roommate Matt for turning me on to his record.
April 6th - April 12th
Portishead - Third - 2008 Island Records
So it took eleven years for them to make a new record, but I’m not complaining in the least. As a huge fan of their debut album Dummy, I worried towards what I thought was the end of their career in 1998/1999 when it seemed they would never return to their original sound. Third takes the listener on an intimate trek through the troubled but intelligent mind of Beth Gibbons. A more retro 60’s experimental psych/krautrock sound is apparent in this album, a move I feel was very smart. The effects on this record don’t scream NINETIES like their previous works, but rather offer a timeless, more reserved vibe. Once again I can picture Ms. Gibbons smoking a cigarette in the rain with her head down, preparing thoughts for their next record.
March 30th - April 5th
Wire - Object 47 - 2008 Pink Flag
Wire is a band that started very strong and held their own for their first three albums and for the several singles and EPs that followed. It wasn’t until their next full length, 1987’s Ideal Copy that I began to wonder where the band was headed. They had an eight year break from releasing a full length album, and following up 1979’s 154 couldn’t have been an easy task. All the corny effects and production tricks used in their albums throughout the mid-later 80’s makes it hard for me to enjoy their music during that time frame. Also, a 90’s industrial sound becomes evident in their more recent stuff with the exception of this newest album, Object 47. This record is fantastic. It sounds like an immediate follow-up to 154, and a complete success at that. One of those records where it almost feels like the band finally listened to their fans and did the right thing.
March 23rd - March 29th
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash- 2008 Matador Records
It took me a year to finally give this record an honest listen. I heard the promo in early 2008 and was actually turned off to the record upon first listen. Over this past weekend I found a clean copy of Real Emotional Trash and took a minute to sit down and give the record my full attention. A good friend of mine recently spoke of his positive opinion on this release as well, and I’m glad I bought this. As a Pavement fan for as long as I can remember, I go heavily guarded into all of SM’s newer material. Fortunately, by the second track of Real Emotional Trash I realized that I was listening to the classic tricks of SM’s Pavement days with a heavier, rock and roll edge. Quite good.
March 16th - March 22nd
Blank Dogs - On Two Sides- 2008 Troubleman Unlimited
A dark low-fi minimal synth sound that almost makes me wish Blank Dogs was a band from 1981 that I could brag to my friends about discovering. Something of a metal box PIL session coupled with an early New Order track but with that new desirable home recording sound that is capturing the attention of underground music creeps of late. Textured and poppy, On Two Sides takes the listener on a faceless journey through a non-cliché execution of a recently well traversed path.
March 9th - March 15th
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - S/T- 2009 Slumberland Records
If you thought loneliness was something you got over, you haven’t heard this album yet.
March 2nd - March 8th
Crystal Stilts - Alight of Night - 2008 Slumberland Records
There is something dark and strangely appealing about this record by
February 22nd - March 2nd
The Estranged - Static Thoughts - 2008 Dirtnap Records
With intense guitar work that seems like it’s straight off of your favorite mid eighties Homestead Records release and vocal melodies that sound as if they were arranged by Roger Miller of Mission of Burma, and executed by Greg Sage of the Wipers, The Estranged “Static Thoughts” ties together the greatest elements of some of the greatest post punk bands out there. Their driving, catchy, mid-tempo compositions will leave you eagerly awaiting their next release.
February 16th - February 23rd
Red Stars Theory - But Sleep Came Slowly - 1997 RX Remedy
February 9th - February 15th
Marked Men - Ghosts -2009 Dirtnap Records
I was very excited to hear that these guys were putting out a new album and very excited once I heard the album. It's not a far stretch from their previous works, which is a great thing since their past two albums have been amazing. Same droning guitars and memorable hooks, with some new surprises. The song structures are a bit more clever and developed and in my opinion, the album is a success.
February 2nd - February 8th
Nobunny - Love Visions - 2008 Bubble Dumb
An exciting, low-fi, bubblegum,Ramonesy,solo record with more memorable hooks than any recent records I can quickly drum up. Maybe something like if Ben Weasel and a random member of The Spits had a mutant bunny baby who knew how to tease an overly excited fun punk fan base. This record is hip yet humble.
January 26th - February 1st
Spacemen 3 - Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To -1990 Father Yod Productions
This collection of early S3 recordings proves that these guys had the knack long before some of their more popular songs became polished and better known. Tracks from as far back as 1986, exhibit hints to future space rock classics like "Walkin' With Jesus" (then titled "Sound of Confusion"). A really neat piece of history for fans of this band's wall of white noise. These early versions might be more chilling than their later masterpieces, but raw and real if nothing else.
January 19th - January 25th
The Locust & VA - Well I'll Be A Monkey's Uncle - 2000 GSL 032
Here’s a little flashback to the good old grind days. The Locust combined interesting and funny lyrics with fast, energetic songs, generally under a minute in length. This record is a set of remixes from some great stuff with the help of Kid606, Sinking Body, I am Spoonbender and more. This two LP set contains “camo” wax on one disc and an intense etching on the other. I had the pleasure of getting to see them in Columbus, Ohio back in 2002 as openers for the Moss Icon reunion. People got naked, dressed like chickens, and there was even a community kiddie pool in the middle of the pit. Members have gone on to play in bands such as: Swing Kids, Crimson Curse, Some Girls, Holy Molar, Head Wound City, Cattle Decapitation, Tristeza, and The Album Leaf (to name a few!) Although the band continues to play and write today, I’ve been a bit out of the loop with their newer material. From what I am seeing in the new generation grind scene is that the band is still buzzing and the kids are still swarming for them.
January 12th - January 18th
Moolah - Woe ye Demons Possessed - 1974 DruidstoneI was lucky enough to find an original copy of this holy grail of the 1970’s underground NYC psychedelic experience. This masterpiece, allegedly recorded in a basement by Walter Burns and Maurice Roberson, will absolutely blow your mind. The frightening drums, chilling effects (tapes, noise, ???, etc), and ghostly/demonic voices will convince you to keep the lights on all night. Imagine Faust meets early Floyd to discuss a colossal mid seventies psychological horror/thriller by way of a 13th floor elevator. Beautiful. Repress available on 180 gram from Annuit Records. CD available on EM Records. I have to write more about this later.
“by the mystic fire
ye wait . . . . yor hide
glistening with sweat
of strange endeavors
to the sun and moon
licking blood drinking tears
sacrificing love on the
altar of tomorrow
eating fruits of stolen vineyards
with withered young mouths
that sing old songs
which were forbid
the whirlwind . . . . . . !”
“look the dark clouds
on the horizon of doom
winds cross trees uproot
plagues of flies invade
the land at hand
o day of judge men
see ye children
of the accursed
what sown be reaped
given ye gods ye chose the beast
and eternity plays the tune
of unnamed horror
for terror is real
and so is hell!”
DOWNLOAD IF YOU DARE
January 5th - January 11th
Os Mutantes - S/T - 1968 Omplatten/Polydor
I have to give credit to my roommate Matt for blasting this classic a lot lately. I can't seem to get enough. A Brazilian psychedelic masterpiece at it's finest. Powerfully melodic songs, interesting textured soundscapes, and Portuguese vocals that are so incredibly visual - you'll think you understand what they are singing...
December 29th- January 4th
Bo Hansson - Music Inspired by Lord of The Rings -1972 Charisma CAS 1059
This record is one of my favorite musical afterthoughts on the LOTR books. It's from 1972, very psychedelic, very ambient, very interesting. There's an organ, a Moog, a textured and exciting bass, guitar, horns, and powerful drums. Imagine ELP's Tarkus record, except you can take the entire adventure seriously. I particularly like putting this on before bed, but be forewarned: It gets pretty intense when those Ringwraiths start galloping through the shadows looking for you and your Hobbit friend.
December 22-28 2008
Love 1, Love 2 - S/T1968-1970?? - cat#221978/221979I found this record in a batch of classical records. It was in a plain white sleeve with white center labels (as shown). I was hoping it would be a live recording of the band "Love", but surprisingly enough it was not. I have no idea what this record is or why anyone ever pressed it. It's two sides of corny "sexy" pg-13 dialog between a man and a woman in their late 20's. It's creepy, weird, and disappointing. The only reason this scored "record of the week" is basically because it's just too odd to go unmentioned. Please contact me if you have any info on this.
December 15-21 2008
The Marked men - S/T - 2003 Rip Off Records
I can't seem to get enough of this record. It's good to put on when a lady is around, it's good to rock out to with friends, and it's great at any volume. Driving 2-3 chord punk rock reminiscent of early 90's CA punk meets droney late 90's indie. Catchy riffs, fantastic vocals, solid song structures. You'll be singing along whether you figure out the lyrics or not.
December 8-14 2008
Lime Spiders - Slave Girl - 1984 Big Time Records
Legendary Australian indie rockers shred both sides of this EP. Original tracks taken from several different recording takes and a line up change come together in garagey psychedelic sounds. Raw, poppy, punky and down right awesome, this record has scored some serious quality playtime on my turntable.
December 1-7 2008
The Chameleons - Tony Fletcher Walked On Water...La La La La La-La La-La La - 1990 Glass Pyramid (recorded in 1987).
I honestly love everything the Chameleons ever did, but this is their masterpiece. This very rare posthumous release clearly captures the devastation surrounding the loss of their band manager and friend, Tony Fletcher. The group disbanded shortly after Fletcher’s sudden death and reappeared in 2000 for some short lived reunions.