Monday, May 30, 2016

Goldmund: "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"

For this Memorial Day, I recommend All Will Prosper, the 2011 release from composer Keith Kenniff's Goldmund project.  This release contains what I believe to be one of the most moving renditions of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" I've ever heard.  It's a loose and lonely arrangement, and it beautifully conveys sadness, struggle, and, what I imagine to be, the small glimmer of hope that a homecoming will occur. 



To all the men and women who've defended our country, I thank you. 

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, May 20, 2016

Singles: Dieterich & Barnes, Gemma Ray, Seiho, Pale Dian, Mercury Girls, Weval, Papertwin, Shabazz Palaces

Dieterich & Barnes: "People Person" (via Kinsman & Meng/Living Music Duplication/YouTube)


Gemma Ray: "The Original One" (via Gemma Ray/Bronze Rat Records/YouTube)


Seiho: "The Vase" (via Julian T. Schoen/Leaving Records-Stones Throw/YouTube)


Pale Dian: "Evan Evan" (via Force Field PR/Manifesto Records/The FADER/Soundcloud)


Mercury Girls: "All That Heaven Allows" (via Slumberland Records/Soundcloud)


Weval: "You're Mine" (via Julian T. Schoen/Kompakt/YouTube)


Papertwin: "The Pool" (via Force Field PR/Stereogum/Soundcloud)


Shabazz Palaces: "Dawn in Luxor" (via Sub Pop/YouTube)


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, May 09, 2016

What's (Re)New?: Boris's Pink

It was with Boris's essential 2006 release, Pink, that I'd first become aware of the group's versatile brand of rock, drone and metal excellence.  Hard to believe that that was ten years ago.  In recognition of the album's 10th anniversary, Sargent House is releasing deluxe editions of Pink in both triple-LP and double-CD formats.  Along with the original release, a volume of unreleased tracks dubbed Forbidden Songs will be included.  A selection from the Forbidden portion of the reissue was posted at Pitchfork called, "Are You Ready?".  You can give it a listen and then read about the reissue below.  All info was provide by Us/Them Group.



In addition to the reissue, Boris will be performing Pink live for U.S. audiences.  Tour dates are posted below.  And they're touring with Earth

BORIS announce 10th anniversary Pink album deluxe reissue, U.S. tour performing Pink in its entirety

Hear & share "Are You Ready?" (Soundcloud)

Japanese trio Boris announce the 10th anniversary deluxe reissue of Pink today and premiere one of 9 previously unreleased tracks from the new edition via Pitchfork. See track list below. Hear and share "Are You Ready?" HERE. (Direct Soundcloud.)

Boris will launch a full U.S. headlining tour in July in which they will perform Pink in its entirety. The band's new Sargent House labelmates Earth will play all dates except two in Canada. Please see complete dates below.

Pink, the landmark 2006 album by Boris, which earned widespread critical praise — including Pitchfork's Top 10 Albums of 2006 — will be reissued in a deluxe edition this summer to commemorate the album's 10th anniversary.

The deluxe 3xLP box set and 2xCD features an entire album of previously unreleased tracks recorded during the Pink album sessions in 2004-2005. The bonus Forbidden Songs collects 9 tracks of the same hyperactive, accessible and aggressive caliber of the original album, available here for the first time, mixed (with additional editing and arrangement) in 2015 and mastered in January 2016. Like the original U.S. vinyl release, the Pink (Deluxe Edition) LP set has three longer edits of songs that were truncated on the original CD issue ("Farewell", "Pseudo-Bread" and "My Machine"). Otherwise, both the LP and CD versions have the same audio as the 2006 release. And, Pink (Deluxe Edition) also features the artwork of the original Japanese release, made by the band members themselves.

In 2006, Pink was Boris' 10th album and a major breakthrough that earned new fans outside of the underground metal community — the track "Farewell" was even featured in Jim Jarmusch's classic film The Limits of Control. The album landed on countless "best of the year" lists from underground metal sites to mainstream rock magazines. And the praise was certainly well deserved for its more accessible sound and explorations into shoegaze and ambient structures alongside brutal noise, searing psychedelia and apocalyptic doom.

Pink succeeds at what most bands cannot do: swiftly changing styles from song to song, while always sounding distinctly like themselves. The seamless, explosive set of fan favorites from the classic longtime lineup of drummer/vocalist Atsuo, guitarist/vocalist Wata and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Takeshi still sounds as mindblowing as it did a decade ago. And, Forbidden Songs continues with the same unbridled creativity and ferocity. These songs aren't outliers, they're rather more like the director's cut version of the original album.

Boris is now in their 24th year as a band — 20 years in the classic trio lineup — and showing no signs of slowing down. They have always demolished expectations of what a band can do musically and aesthetically. And in looking back with Pink (Deluxe Edition), the band's trajectory as experimenters and innovators over subsequent releases becomes even clearer.

Pink (Deluxe Edition) will be available everywhere (excluding Japan) on July 8th on 3xLP box set, 2xCD and download via Sargent House.

BORIS / EARTH / SHITSTORM TOUR 2016:
07/22 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
07/23 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
07/25 Dallas, TX @ Trees
07/26 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
07/28 Ybor City, FL @ The Orpheum
07/29 Orlando, FL @ The Social
07/30 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
07/31 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
08/01 Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records
08/03 Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
08/04 Washington, DC @ 930 Club
08/05 Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
08/06 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
08/07 New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
08/09 Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
08/10 Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. (no Earth)
08/11 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace (no Earth)
08/12 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
08/13 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
08/14 Chicago, IL @ Metro
08/16 Madison, WI @ Majestic Theater
08/17 Minneapolis, MN @ Fineline Music Cafe
08/18 Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre
08/19 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
08/20 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
08/22 Seattle, WA @ Neumo's
08/23 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
08/25 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
08/26 Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater
08/27 Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel - Psycho Las Vegas

On the Web:
www.borisheavyrocks.com (Official site: Japan)
www.sargenthouse.com/Boris
www.facebook.com/borisheavyrocks
borisheavyrocks.tumblr.com (BORIS news U.S.)

Follow BORIS on Twitter: @Borisheavyrocks

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Daughter of a Tapehead: Sia

Sia
This Is Acting
Inertia/Monkey Puzzle/RCA
Released: 1.29.16















* This was not the case, but a writer at Stereogum felt the same way, which was sort of validating to discover.

** So, while Rihanna gets no love for the most part, Isabella did enjoy her voice work in the movie, Home.




Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Shopping For Records: Sherwood At The Controls Vol. 2: 1985-1990

Producer and On-U Sound owner Adrian Sherwood is releasing the second installment of his Sherwood at the Controls series.  Sherwood at the Controls Vol. 2: 1985-1990 features tracks from Mark Stewart (The Pop Group), Lee "Scratch" Perry, Ministry, and KMFDM to name a few, and will be out June 24th.  The first volume, which encapsulates selected material from 1979 till 1984, was released April of 2015. 

In light of Prince's recent and very unfortunate passing, a cover of his song "Girls & Boys" by the group Pankow, which is coincidentally featured on the compilation, is available online.  You can check out the track below:



Here is a video trailer advertising the compilation:



You can read more about the release below. All info, links, and tracks were provided by Julian T. Schoen.

Pankow covers Prince "Girls & Boys", off Sherwood At The Controls Vol. 2: 1985-1990 on On-U Sound June 24

Stream Pankow "Girls & Boys" (Prince Cover)

Pre-Order
Sherwood At The Controls Volume 2: 1985-1990

Last month, On-U Sound and Adrian Sherwood announced news of a second label compilation, Sherwood At The Controls Volume 2: 1985-1990, which will be available June 24th on vinyl, CD and digitally. Volume 2 includes cuts from Lee Scratch Perry, Mark Stewart, and Tackhead, as well 5 previously unreleased tracks from the On-U vault.

Today, in respect and honor to the spirit and untimely death of Prince, the group releases a serendipitous 1987 metal dance deconstruction cover of the Purple One's classic "Girls & Boys", by Italian group Pankow, with additional production from Sherwood, available on this compilation.

To add some context to this song and its history, here is a snippet from the compilation's liner notes -

Adrian's mid-80s productions with the Tackhead axis were some of the most innovative of the period in their sheer sonic extremity - creating huge walls of sound with skull-crushing beats, a Dadaist collage of vocal samples, and instruments pushed way into the red. Distortion became another colour in his sonic palette, just as echo, reverb and parametric EQ had been to his dub productions. These records caught the ears of musicians from the emerging second wave industrial scene - an international affair taking inspiration from earlier groups like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire but applying it to tracks intended for a dancefloor or rock club. The hybrid would be dubbed 'electronic body music', and Sherwood very much had a hand in shaping the sound, being invited to work with the likes of Einstürzende Neubauten, Ministry, KMFDM, Nitzer Ebb and Nine Inch Nails.

Pankow were from Florence, Italy and Adrian made their acquaintance after producing fellow hometown act Rinf (also featured on this comp). Pankow's early synth and drum machine excursions such as "Das Vodkalied" have become a seminal touchstone for modern techno producers such as Helena Hauff in recent years, with their heavier late-80s productions with Adrian Sherwood being championed as metal dance classics by On-U compiler Trevor Jackson. They also ended up having their records released in the states by Wax Trax!, and worked on two albums with Adrian, Freiheit Für Die Sklaven (Freedom For The Slaves) and Gisela. This irreverent deconstruction of a Prince song is a highlight of their time working together and appeared in extended form on the humorously titled EP, Pankow Play The Hits Of The Nineties.

Various Artists - Sherwood At The Controls Vol. 2
(YouTube // Vimeo // Pre-Order)

Various Artists - Sherwood At The Controls Volume 2: 1985-1990
(On-U Sound, out June 24)
2LP // CD // Download

Pre-Order

Track Listing -
1. Mark Stewart - Hypnotised (12" Mix) [1985]
2. Tackhead - Mind At The End Of The Tether [1987]
3. Doug Wimbish & Fats Comet - Don't Forget That Beat (alternate dub) [1985]
4. Flux - The Value Of Nothing [1986]
5. The Unknown Cases - Masimbabele 89 (Adrian Sherwood Remix) [1989]
6. Keith LeBlanc - These Sounds [1989]
7. The Beatnigs - Television (Dance Mix) [1988]
8. Pankow - Girls & Boys [1987]
9. Ministry - All Day Remix [1986]
10. Rinf - Big Bondage (Kinky Sex Wet Mix) [1987]
11. KMFDM - Don't Blow Your Top (Adrian Sherwood Remix) [1988]
12. Dub Syndicate - Snatch A Style [1985]*
13. Lee Perry - Music & Science Madness [1987]*
14. Bim Sherman - Haunting Ground Dub [1986]*
15. African Head Charge - Hold Some More Version [1990]*
16. Dub Syndicate - Early Mafia [1990]*

* - Previously Unreleased

On-U Sound (Site // Store // Soundcloud // Twitter // Facebook)

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

What's (Re)New?: Pentagram's First Daze Here & First Daze Here Too

Pentagram reissues.  Not much to say about this except, "Just take my money, Relapse Records."

Check out the remastered "Forever My Queen" below.  Info and links come courtesy of Relapse Records. 



PENTAGRAM: Relapse Announces Deluxe Reissues of First Daze Here And First Daze Here Too 


Hear The Remastered Version of "Forever My Queen" now at YouTube
 

You can't talk about heavy metal without talking about PENTAGRAM. The legendary D.C. band has been committed to the dark arts for going on half a decade, and has only recently seen the kind of recognition its legacy deserves. Though the band has released nine influential full-lengths over the course of its career, PENTAGRAM's most popular and influential material since its Relapse resurrection fifteen years ago can be found in First Daze Here, a collection of the band's earliest works that has been out-of-print for years and will now finally see a new reissue via Relapse this coming June. Its companion First Daze Here Too, a 22-track collection of unreleased studio recordings and live rehearsals from the early '70s, will also see its first reissue since going out of print several years ago.

Both reissues have been newly remastered and include in-depth liner notes from founding PENTAGRAM member / original drummer Geof O'Keefe along with gorgeously revitalized layouts. CD Version of First Daze Here includes a vinyl-shaped CD featuring the two newly remastered versions of the infamous Macabre 45! The original mix of the long-lost 45 will also see its first-ever vinyl pressing for this reissue, and is available in the deluxe First Daze Here / First Daze Here Too bundle or along with the Bone White / Gold Merge LP of First Daze Here.
Stream the remastered version of the classic track "Forever My Queen" now at this location.

First Daze Here and First Daze Here Too will both be released this June 17 on 2CD/LP/Digital and 2CD/2xLP/Digital respectively. Physical pre-orders, including a variety of limited-edition vinyl colors and exclusive package options containing the Macabre 7", can be found via Relapse.com at this location. Digital pre-orders for First Daze Here and First Daze Here Too are available via Pentagram's Bandcamp page here and here respectively.
PENTAGRAM have also announced a West Coast tour with Wax Idols and King Woman this coming May! The band will be crushing audiences for two weeks kicking off this May 17, and will also be performing at Psycho Las Vegas this August - check out a full list of dates below.

***All Dates With Wax Idols & King Woman***
May 17 Seattle, WA Studio Seven
May 18 Portland, OR Dante's
May 19 Boise, ID Neurolux
May 20 Salt Lake City, UT The State Room
May 21 Denver, CO Marquis Theater
May 23 Phoenix, AZ Nile Theater
May 24 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
May 25 San Diego, CA Brick By Brick
May 26 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
May 27 San Francisco, CA DNA Lounge
May 28 San Jose, CA The Ritz
Aug 27 Las Vegas, NV Psycho Las Vegas
 

First Daze Here Tracklisting: 

Disc 1
1. Forever My Queen
2. When The Screams Come
3. Walk In The Blue Light
4. Starlady
5. Lazy Lady
6. Review Your Choices
7. Hurricane
8. Livin' In A Ram's Head
9. Earth Flight
10. 20 Buck Spin
11. Be Forewarned
12. Last Days Here
 

Disc 2
13. Be Forewarned (The Macabre 7" - Original Mix)
14. Lazy Lady (The Macabre 7" - Original Mix)


First Daze Here Too Tracklisting: 

Disc 1
1. Wheel Of Fortune
2. When The Screams Come
3. Under My Thumb
4. Smokescreen
5. Teaser
6. Little Games
7. Much Too Young To Know
 

Disc 2 
8. Virgin Death
9. Yes I Do
10. Ask No More
11. Man
12. Be Forewarned
13. Catwalk
14. Die In Your Sleep
15. Frustration
16. Target
17. Everything’s Turning To Night
18. Take Me Away
19. Nightmare Gown
20. Cartwheel
21. Cat & Mouse
22. Show ‘em How


Pre-Order 'First Daze Here' & 'First Daze Here Too' at Relapse HERE

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Singles: Kikagaku Moyo, Hooded Fang, The Red Krayola with Art & Language, La Luz, Zig Zags, Gruesome

Kikagaku Moyo: "Green Sugar" (via Tell All Your Friends PR/Consequence of Sound/Soundcloud)


Hooded Fang: "Dead Battery" (via Force Field PR/DIY Magazine/Soundcloud)


The Red Krayola with Art & Language: "No! No! No! Trust Yourself!"(via Drag City/Soundcloud)


La Luz: "Easy Baby" (via Hardly Art/YouTube


Zig Zags: "They Came For Us" (via Terrorbird Media/Castle Face Records/Consequence of Sound/Soundcloud)


Gruesome: "Raped By Darkness" (via Earsplit PR/Relapse Records/Revolver Magazine/Soundcloud)


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince (1958-2016)

Prince Rogers Nelson, known to us all simply as Prince, (and for a time, "The Artist"), has passed away at the age of 57.  Prince was a provocative, often controversial, and always brilliant entertainer, one whose gifts as a musician and willingness to carve his own path awarded him status as either an inspiration or a question mark.  He was essential to the story of Rock 'N' Roll and it's strange that he's no longer with us.

A little over thirty years ago, Tipper Gore tried to save us from Prince.  Did you know that?  Long before her husband Al served as Vice President, got ridiculed for "inventing the Internet," and became the spokesman for climate change, she was a Senator's wife who took issue with the music industry's then relaxed stance on lyrical content.  An evidently out of touch mother, Gore purchased a copy of Purple Rain for her daughter who, at the time, wasn't yet a teenager.  And it was with the song "Darling Nikki," a song about a girl that apparently had no qualms about "masturbating with a magazine," that set Tipper on her crusade to save the children from inappropriate and/or obscene language in music. 



With the aid of other concerned wives of U.S. Senators, she founded the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), an organization whose sole purpose was to vilify musicians for attempting to pursue their freedom of expression and apply its own standards of decency to material viewed through the questionable lens of so-called "porn rock."  And through said interpretation, Gore and company compiled a list of songs they referred to as the "Filthy Fifteen," songs they felt could inflict emotional harm and potentially corrupt any youthful ears that may have happened upon them.  Prince had the honor of being the first name on this list, his name eventually accompanied by the likes of Judas Priest, Sheena Easton, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Twisted Sister, (the laughable rebellion addressed in "We're Not Gonna Take It" was apparently too much for the organization to handle).  The labeling of material deemed too offensive to market to children was the organization's crowning achievement, though I've always felt the label did more to excite curiosity than provide any real warning, children normally drawn to the mysteries of things their parents would normally try and protect them from.

Thirty-plus years later, no one gives a shit that "Darling Nikki" flicked the bean in a hotel lobby.  Instead, Purple Rain is considered only for its place in the annals of popular culture, an encapsulation of an era perfectly rendered through Prince's words and music.  And Prince himself didn't wind up disgraced or blacklisted because some uptight parent with pull decided to sic the word police on him.  Instead, he's met with admiration, his music having touched lives.  He challenged antiquated perspectives on sexuality, taking norms to task through performance.  He even abandoned his name for a time so as to disassociate himself from a bad professional relationship and was eventually able to procure and maintain control of his work and distribute it as he saw fit.

So, while I can't claim to be a devoted fan by any stretch, I am an appreciator.  As I type this, "Baby I'm A Star" is pounding out of my speakers, the mood celebratory and good.  And while the man himself ceases to be, the work lives on.  It's a cliché to be sure and it's an observation made time and time again when eulogies are scribbled or typed in an effort to offer some consolation.  But, that doesn't make it any less true.  Dust off the records, throw 'em on, and appreciate that you're alive to experience them. 

R.I.P., Prince.

Sincerely,Letters From A Tapehead

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