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Showing posts from February, 2009

What I Heard This Morning: Swan Lake

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Indie rock trio, Swan Lake , will be releasing their new album, Enemy Mine on March 24th. As far as their featured three singles, "A Hand At Dusk," "Spanish Gold, 2044" and "Spider," they're all rooted in highly evocative non-traditional conveyance, meaning that you can hear their influences but they're all jumbled effectively enough that Swan Lake own their sound. "Spanish Gold, 2044" is like Odysseus meets Space Oddity - Bowie , its lethargic sway leaning like a seesawed ship. "A Hand At Dusk" is a lovingly crafted piano tune that has moments of swelled ambience that sort of set you adrift till the song comes to an ethereally distant halt. "Spider" feels like something Lou Reed might've done if he'd been mainlining Joy Division or Jesus and Mary Chain , making it probably their most indie-conventional track. It still fails to disappoint. "A Hand At Dusk" "Spanish Gold, 2044"

4.18.09: Let me repeat myself…

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…I love record stores. For years I told myself that any money gifted to me by any lucky Lotto number or bequeathed me by any long lost relative of which I had no knowledge; any large sum of expendable income I accrued in that fantastical, daydream-worthy way, would’ve gone into opening my own record store. I still dream about it: some urban-centric brick building with Xerox strewn flyers amassed at every available inch of wall space, overlapping torn, dog-eared promotional posters, rusted baskets bursting with dusty 45s and rows and rows of plastic sealed vinyl, just sitting there waiting to be tapped like a fraternity keg. I’ve imagined myself standing in front of a counter, my backdrop a veritable Venetian-blind stack of vertically housed CDs and 7” records, engaged by mutually obsessed patrons and getting into conversations about their many purchases as I ka-ching away and hopefully earn their eternal loyalty. Jello Biafra at Amoeba Records, Record Store Day , San Francisco

Patton Scores…Again

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Following the score he completed and released for Derrick Scocchera ’s short film, A Perfect Place , alt-composer Mike Patton has decided to apply his talents to something a little more Hollywood. Crank 2: High Voltage has been given the Patton treatment. Both the movie and Patton’s score will be released on April 17th. Being the anti-mainstream presence that he’s been for the last twenty years, something as big-budget as a Crank sequel seems somewhat of a strange place for Patton to apply his vision. Yes, he did lend his voice for I Am Legend and a slew of videogames, so he’s definitely been moving toward more accessible creative outlets. Film is obviously an industry he wants to tap into from a compositional and musical standpoint. I’m sure he looks at it as work, just another project to sink himself into, prolific workaholism that won’t necessarily reside in his familiar environment of obscurity. Plus, it could be good exposure for Ipecac. Economically speaking, any ta

Another EP: Purpleface…

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Throw Me The Statue Purpleface EP Secretly Canadian Released: 2.17.09 Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Glad to see the EP isn’t dead. As minimal as it is, the EP really is an interesting format: Easy to produce, affordable and typically packed with exclusive non-LP goodies. And, in the pre-download days, the 7,” the single and the EP were a cheap way to get some exposure to music, a real alternative to breaking the bank on a potential bad purchase. Now, it seems like they’re just a way to appease the music-buying masses. Having already heard Bon Iver ’s anticipated Blood Bank EP , following his favorably received For Emma, Forever Ago , the need to quickly sate fan hunger seems immediate in these times of instant access and effortless gratification. Seattle band, Throw Me The Statue , also coming off a successful 2008 release, Moonbeams , is following suit. Their new EP, Purpleface , features three new songs and a revised Moonbeams track, “Written In Heart Signs, Faintly.” Vid

Touch & Go Bye-Bye

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So, the economy has killed an indie giant : Touch & Go Records has minimized its presence in the marketplace, sticking to its back-catalogue for future revenue and cutting its distribution ties with indie labels Merge, Drag City, Kill Rock Stars, Flameshovel and Jade Tree among others. Any music aficionado will be able to recognize what a huge blow this is to the independent music scene, especially in correlation with the one Touch & Go housed, nurtured and inspired: Big Black , Girls Against Boys , Shellac , The Jesus Lizard , Pinback , TV On The Radio …there are a lot of names tied to this label. The Jesus Lizard : “Monkey Trick” Not to pimp out another music reviews source, knowing fully well that I lack the resources, money and time to cover what they do, but Pitchfork put together a really good and comprehensive list of Touch & Go must-haves: Twenty-five essential Touch and Go albums In the meantime, as the economic climate will hopefully begin to prosper,

Ciccone Youth: Macbeth

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Ciccone Youth (taking their name from Madonna ) was a short-lived experimental side-project by Sonic Youth and Mike Watt . The Whitey Album , their one and only LP, was reissued by Geffen in 2006. The Whitey Album , on the surface, isn't particularly good, (more interesting than anything else). The track "Macbeth," however, an admittedly drawn-out drum-n-bass instrumental, always brings me back to the album. The whole track is basically a platform for Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo to violently screech sonic trenches through the air, but the sections of harmonic string play really soften the brutality, making it kind of beautiful. My mother heard this song on a mixtape I'd made and referred to it as "relentless." She wasn't completely wrong. Watch more Yahoo! Music videos on AOL Video Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Home Video Will Be OK

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Home Video It Will Be OK EP (Self-released) Released: 1.13.09 Rating: 7.25 out of 10 Very quick to write-off electronic music, simply because it seems too easy, I find myself appreciating it more and more, especially when it’s married to actual instrumentation. Preprogramming sounds preprogrammed: lifeless and calculated. There’s something to be said for Industrial strength repetition, chugga-chugga pumped up sonic whirlpools of found, chaotic sound, loud and proud…I get it, but I don’t always buy it. How many times can Kraftwerk be referenced? How often do you want to reconsider Kid A ’s effect on the new millennium? Devo ? New Order ? Massive Attack ? Speaking In Tongues -era Talking Heads ? Synth Pop has been done. Electronica, New Wave, Trip-Hop…it’s all been done. But, technology being technology, or upgrading being upgrading, Electronica is here to stay. So, we accept it and hope it’s not borne from the hands of some basement dwelling Pro Tools hack. Brooklyn t

No Ripcord: These Are Powers

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These Are Powers All Aboard Future Dead Oceans Released: 2.17.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree Family: That Song (feat. Tunde Adebimpe)

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Maybe you're tired of 70s pop throwbacks: those fluted little ditties with falsettos blazing across happy-go-lucky funk rhythms. If you are, you may still like "That Song," latest single from Parisian collective Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree Family . With TV On The Radio 's Tunde Adebimpe aiding in vocal duty, Tahiti Boy ( David Sztanke ) and crew make use of the 70s pop template, but wind up with more of an introspective lounge sound, instruments welling up like orchestral tears. "That Song" can be found on their upcoming EP, 1973 . Release date pending. Image courtesy of Terrorbird Media Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree Family - "That Song" featuring Tunde Adebimpe Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Beastie Boys

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Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique — 20th Anniversary Edition Capitol Originally released: 7.25.89 Re-mastered and re-released: 1.27.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Sid & Nancy Revisited…

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Punk rock historian Alan G. Parker has basically devoted his life to figuring out whether or not Sex Pistol bassist and punk icon Sid Vicious really killed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen , having promised Sid’s mother, Anne Beverley , (before she also passed away due to an overdose in 1996), that he would clear her son’s name. His new documentary, Who Killed Nancy? , is a new take on the mystery surrounding Spungen’s death and questions Sid’s involvement. I’m hoping it’s a more conclusive and better-researched analysis than Nick Broomfield ’s documentary, Kurt & Courtney , which never really presented any substantial evidence to support Broomfield’s claim that Courtney Love had a hand in Kurt Cobain ’s “murder.” But, having spent decades researching and analyzing, it’s a safe bet that Parker will have something for all the conspiracy theorists and Pistols fans to chew on. As of today, the documentary's traveling the U.K. circuit. I haven't found any information

Lux Interior (1946-2009)

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Psychobilly hero and Cramps frontman Lux Interior passed on at the age of 62. A B-rated monster of a schtick to go along with his intense showmanship, Lux Interior ( Eric Lee Purkhiser ) and his wife, Poison Ivy ( Kristy Wallace ) formed The Cramps in 1976, just in time for punk rock’s emergence into CBGB mania. Boasting more of a rockabilly-surf-infused and sexy crawl, The Cramps stuck out as Bela Lugosi 's variation on Johnny Cash and Link Wray . If you’ve never heard Songs The Lord Taught Us or Psychedelic Jungle , it would be behoove you to find them, throw down the money and listen. Or, if you want a decent overview of early Cramps, the compilation Bad Music For Bad People is worthwhile. The Cramps perform “Human Fly” - 9.25.93 In the song “Garbage Man,” Interior sums himself up perfectly: "...Yeah it's just what you need when you're down in the dumps One half hillbilly and one half punk Big long legs and one big mouth The hottest thing from the

Buried In A Good Mix Tape #3: Best Of 2008...

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Another mix inspired. I wound up pulling together a two-disc compilation of my favorite songs of 2008. Some of the songs I used were from albums that didn’t make it to the Best Of list, results of decent songs winding up on lackluster or “so so” albums. I was happy with how it turned out. Disc 1 — French Miami - God Damn Best (French Miami) WHY? - Good Friday (Alopecia) Wire - Circumspect (Object 47) Eagles Of Death Metal - High Voltage (Heart On) These Are Powers - Chipping Ice (Taro Tarot EP) Ten Kens - Downcome Home (Ten Kens) Carlos y Gaby - Hot Heavy Heat (A Chase Theme) (La Voz Sabia De Los Cosmos) Bauhaus - Endless Summer Of The Damned (Go Away White) Dub Trio - Regression Line (Another Sound Is Dying) The Gutter Twins - Seven Stories Underground (Saturnalia) Man Man - Poor Jackie (Rabbit Habits) Mike Patton - A Dream Of Roses (A Perfect Place) Beck - Replica (Modern Guilt) Panther - Glamorous War (14kt God) Marnie Stern - The Crippled Jazzer (This I

Posthumous FZ: Project Object at the Sellersville Theater - 1.31.09

Igor's Egg Project/Object Sellersville Theater Sellersville, PA In my head, there’ve been Zappa borne riffs and words cycling throughout the last couple days in a convoluted gathering that occasionally reveals a discernible song part or two. It’s been chaos basically: the type of loud, obnoxious cerebral turmoil that leaves one staring at a 2 o’clock ceiling, waiting for silence or calm to envelope the commotion. In an effort to quiet the mess, I actually whipped out my copy of Joe’s Garage , just to play some of what I’d heard Saturday night and put the internal noise jam to rest. It kind of worked. But, now that I’m writing this, the music has returned and remains disorganized. Project/Object , a collective of Zappa alumni, played to a sold-out crowd at the Sellersville Theater this past Saturday. Of the originals, Project Object features guitarist/singer Ike Willis , percussionist Ed Mann and original Mother Of Invention , 77 year-old keyboardist Don Preston . Pro