Showing posts from March, 2009

What I Heard This Morning: ISIS

Ipecac metal droners ISIS are going to be releasing their latest album, Wavering Radiant , in early May. The following video is some studio footage of them prepping the album: ISIS Wavering Radiant Studio Footage from ISIS THE BAND on Vimeo . A tour will be following the album's release . ISIS - Holy Tears from ISIS THE BAND on Vimeo . Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Swan Lake

Swan Lake Enemy Mine Jagjaguwar Released: 3.24.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead


Image least Complex magazine isn't accusing Kanye West of being the most influential ARTIST in the universe. I'd suggest getting a copy of the magazine so you can read what insightful narcissism Kanye has for all of his fans to feel excited about, but I'm sure the newsstand shelves are fresh out of this issue. No one buys his own press like Kanye does. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

“NASCAR! BAD BOYS! BUD LIGHT! HOOTERS!:” Average Men Need Not Apply…

Pansy Division That’s So Gay Alternative Tentacles Releases: 3.31.09 Rating: 5.5 out of 10 The first lines you hear are these: “He’s in his PJs/Giving BJs/To the DJs/Who play what he likes…” …and it’s exactly what you’d expect from an album entitled, That’s So Gay . The sixth album to emerge from San Franciscan Queercore pioneers Pansy Division , That’s So Gay ’s giveaway of a title is meant to ironically disparage the usage of the word “gay” as a euphemism for “lame,” “stupid…” etc. The title track attempts to make a serious case ( “I heard what you said/I'm not stupid you know/What do you take me for?/Hetero?...” ) while not being THAT serious ( ”I’ll show you what it’s like to be gay” ). Thusly, you have the plot. With poppy punk-infused rock n’ roll sort of gallivanting about its 14 sung treatises on promiscuity (“Twinkie Twinkie Little Star”), sex (“Ride Baby,” “Dirty Young Man”), attached prostitution (“It’s Just A Job”) and the celebratory battle cry of self (“20 Years Of

The Moist Knuckles of a Laptop Zappa

The Show Is The Rainbow Wet Fist Retard Disco Released: 3.17.09 Rating: 7.5 out of 10 On his Myspace page, Lincoln, Nebraska’s own Darren Keen , the one-man performance entity known as The Show Is The Rainbow , says his music sounds like “generally impatient music.” As incessant electro-beat propulsion slings together Keen’s various blips, bleeps, bass throbs and rock riffs like a temporary bandage on his second full-length, Wet Fist , “impatient music” almost sounds like he doesn’t have time to let it organically fuse together, or heal. Jagged and fractured seems the way to go, as Wet Fist combines the idiosyncratic musings of Mr. Keen with the imperfect sounds of a computer. Keep it flawed; keep it real; keep it weird; keep it kind of Zappa , I guess. Interestingly though, The Show Is The Rainbow doesn’t necessarily reflect Zappa because he strives for recorded oddity. Wet Fist seems to expound on an electric era of Zappa, a time when Frank was able to rely less on other musici

4.18.09: Some things to look for…

Attempting to bolster support for indie record stores on this year’s Record Store Day , some special treats are being released for the occasion. Out of the multitude, these are at the top of my list: Sonic Youth & Beck split 7” — Matador Records is putting out some specialized releases, but this one in particular features Sonic Youth and Beck covering each others’ songs. Thurston Moore and Co. are performing Mellow Gold ’s “Pay No Mind” and Beck will be putting a spin on EVOL ’s “Green Light.” Sonic Youth is also cutting an additional split 7” with Jay Reatard , also available from Matador. Tom Waits Live from the Glitter & Doom Tour 2008 7” — I’ve been trying to get the details straight on this one, but there’s no actual information on Waits’ label, ANTI. This is either a live split 7” with Lucinda Williams , or Waits performs “Lucinda” live. Either way, Waits’ name is on a 7.” ‘Twill be mine. The Jesus Lizard — Touch & Go is putting out set of nine remastere

Daniel Johnston: Reality TV You Can Buy...

Artist Stephen Tompkins has released some live footage of singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston that he recorded in 1999 entitled Daniel Johnston: At Home Live . This imaginatively titled (sarcasm) documentation features Johnston at home (obviously), writing and performing for Tompkins, sort of disclosing his "authentic creative environment" as Tompkins puts it. MP3s and video clips are available for purchase. The 2005 documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston , was a very revealing portrait of the artist, his cult celebrity and his constant struggle with manic depression. No doubt a lot of his impact is tied to his legend, but Johnston is a fascinating figure nonetheless and the documentary was a sad, but excellent, depiction of his life. His music is still as out there as he is. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Animal Collective Try For Pepper…

Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion Domino Released: 1.20.09 Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Every generation, every decade has that one key album. You know that album: the definitive musical representation of EVERYTHING that comes and goes or came and went, the invaluable summation of an era. The revisited and reexamined gem that inspires debate upon debate for years after its initial impact sent shockwaves through our collective consciousness. The album that knocks the appreciators onto their pompous asses. THAT album. As decade 00 comes to a close, you have to wonder if you’ve heard that album yet, or if it’s something that will be established once decade 10 begins, hindsight being a key factor in all of that “importance,” “seminal” bullshit anyway. Not even two full months’ worth of hindsight later, Animal Collective ’s latest electr-avant offering, Merriweather Post Pavilion , is already widely considered the best album of the year, guaranteed to place highly on every end-of

Fingertappin’ at the Necktie: Marnie Stern & Satanized…

Satanized Marnie Stern Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, PA 3.10.09 A round of U-turns went by before I finally parked my car on some unnamed side street facing the “L” bridge that hung over Front Street. I was about two blocks away from the Kung Fu Necktie, a laughably named corner bar wherein the show would go on. Marnie Stern was the draw, though when I arrived around 7:15, there were maybe five people inside and two or three of them were working. Some Stern -chandise was being spread out in an alcove next to the bar, stacks of CDs and vinyl, t-shirts with pink lettering that read “Win ‘Marnie’ Win.” Even shoulder bags. My brother showed up not long after I began quietly sipping lager and absorbing my surroundings, paper flyers and rows of cult/martial arts flicks behind the bar capturing most of my attention. Soundcheck followed a little later, Marnie Stern onstage, guitar strapped to her frame, announcing American cities into the microphone for the sound tech in her s

Virgin Closing...

Virgin Megastores are the latest major league casualty of waning record sales, shutting down all U.S. locations by summer's end. The Times Square store, a well-known commercial landmark within the New York City's business epicenter, (probably as familiar a city landmark as the Statue Of Liberty), is already advertising huge "farewell" sales. Despite the fact that Virgin, (even Tower Records to some extent when it was still alive and kicking), represented the mainstream mall-version of music consumerism, it's still unsettling to see such a major entity shut its doors. Maybe this was a way to filter out the Best Buy/Wal-Mart music-buying crowd, but honestly, if the majors can't survive in the current climate, is there really any hope that the indie stores can stay alive? *steps off of soapbox* Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Mi Ami

Mi Ami Watersports Touch & Go/Quarterstick Released: 2.17.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Panther

Last year's 14kt God , crafted from the loving hands of Portland, Oregon duo, Panther (multi-instrumentalist Charlie Salas-Humara and drummer Joe Kelly ), wasn't necessarily the best thing I heard last year. Still, standout tracks like the funk-driven "On The Lam" and the organ swirling loveliness of "Glamorous War" made enough of an impression on me that I want to keep track of where they take themselves and their sound. Photo courtesy of Terrorbird Media A new 12" dubbed The Birds will be out March 6th on Altin Village . It's premiere extract, a cute piano ditty entitled, "Like A Bridge," seems a more poppy and less lo-fi effort. "Like A Bridge" Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead