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Showing posts from September, 2009

Shopping For Records #18: Tom Waits, Kraftwerk & Jawbox

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"Fucking asshole!" I'd first learned of the re-release of Tom Waits 's Orphans box set from a friend of mine, his assurances that new tracks would be included and that it would be put out as a 7 LP vinyl set. After securing myself a copy of the 3-disc limited edition version of this album three years ago, the aforementioned vulgarity was my response to the news, simultaneously wanting a copy though aware that money’s already been spent on most of the album. Do I really want to buy the same album twice just to own six new songs? The angel of fiscal responsibility and the devil of fanboy allegiance are perched on each shoulder, debating vehemently. A little digging on the Internet and the ever-reliable Eyeball Kid had all the info. There was also mention of a live album from the Glitter & Doom tour being released this Fall, which I’ll have less of an issue picking up. Mute Records will be putting out Kraftwerk 's 12345678 The Catalogue: Four D

Justin Vernon & His Tepid Choir...

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Volcano Choir Unmap Jagjaguwar Released: 9.22.09 Rating: 6.5 out of 10 Unmap would’ve been a better EP. When first I’d laid ear to its first single, “Island, IS,” the Justin Vernon/ Collections of Colonies of Bees side-collective known as Volcano Choir sounded like an amorphous fount of ideas, a swarm of layered guitar strings and harmony that just… works. The song is a constant stream of experimental nuance and folky falsetto, gorgeous textures that build and build. It seemed a natural progression for Vernon particularly, his Bon Iver alter ego offered a not too grand departure from his signature tone, but an opportunity to expand on his abilities. Naturally, I had high hopes for Unmap and it’s possible that my unmet expectations may generate an overt degree of bias. But, whether that’s true or not, Volcano Choir’s opus drowns its high marks with arbitrarily sequenced outtakes and it’s a bitch because this album contains one of the best singles I’ve heard this year.

No Ripcord: Sunn O))) & Eagle Twin

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Eagle Twin Sunn O))) The First Unitarian Church OF Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 9.20.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: BLK JKS

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BLK JKS After Robots Secretly Canadian Released: 9.8.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Exploding In Sound

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More than a week or so ago, I got an email from a gentleman by the name of Daniel Goldin who sent me a press release regarding a FREE compilation of music entitled, Exploding In Sound: Future Legendary . Exploding In Sound is a series of promotional compilations that feature the creme de la creme of the relatively unknown, a labor of love for Mr. Goldin. You can download it here. A lot of the bands featured are 90s-centric, psych outfits, a mostly energized array of well-produced rock n' roll/alternative music. Nothing about the compilation says "indie darling," so these are bands working their way up from nothing and gaining some notoriety. And, as he's a promotional spirit, Daniel Goldin also keeps a very up-to-date rock blog . I've listened to the compilation a couple times and I think it's worth checking out. There are some very cool bands, (most notable for me were Zuu and Skeleteen ), and, honestly, the price is right. Sincerely, Lett

The Mailbox Giveth: Library Catalog Music Series

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900X Music For Lubbock, 1980 Law of the Least Effort Music for Measurements Casey Foubert/James McAlister Music for Drums Asthmatic Kitty Released: 7.7.09 Things may be improving a little bit, but we’re still in the midst of a recession. Earlier this year, once Touch & Go Records became a casualty of our economic decline , it was suddenly apparent that any sort of artistic or cultural bastion would be threatened and possibly forced to disappear or modify itself into a lucrative co-identity. The independent music industry is still surviving, but who knows for how long. Pessimistic view perhaps, but it’s difficult to accept the absence of underground or alternative outlets without preparing a little bit, even if it is by taking a mostly defeatist view on matters. Asthmatic Kitty Records is breaking into an interesting part of the music industry, becoming a pseudo-music stock house with their new series, Library Catalog Music . In what I imagine to be a mostly humoro

What I Heard This Morning: Tempo No Tempo & Railcars...

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Tempo No Tempo . Not so much vocally, but their song, “The Rat (Part One),” sounds like Goo era Sonic Youth meets Fugazi , sort of Ranaldo / Moore quality guitar shrieks kept in line by a thick, funk-drive low end. Their self-released album, Waking Heat , will be released 10/20. ”The Rat (Part One)” And while we’re on the topid of “shrieks,” noise pounders Railcars could quite possibly be the resultant offspring of a courtship between Alec Empire , Wavves and Animal Collective . Weird? Yeah. The album Cathedral With No Eyes will be available on 10/6. In the meantime, check out “Castles.” ”Castles” Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #17: Japanese Heavy Rock Hits...

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Fans of Japanese drone rockers Boris will be intrigued to know that a series of three 7” albums entitled, Japanese Heavy Rock Hits will be released over the course of the upcoming Fall. I don’t have any additional information and I haven’t heard any of the music, but Boris is a safe bet for quality and the elitist appeal of something like a 7” series sort of speaks for itself. September : Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 1 Side A: "8" Side B: "Hey Everyone/ねえエヴリワン" October : Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 2 Side A: "H.M.A. - Heavy Metal Addict" Side B: "Black Original/黒い点滅" November : Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 3 Side A: "16:47:52… /16時47分52..” Side B: "… And Hear Nothing/きこえない" Images courtesy of Southern Lord Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Revolution 09.09.09 Re-mastered: “Let Me Reintroduce To You…”: The Beatles In Stereo (Part 3)

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The Beatles Stereo Box Set Capitol/EMI/Apple Releases: 9.9.09 Part 3: (c) Apple Corps Ltd., 2009 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Rashied Ali (1935-2009)

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I’m not sure how I missed this one. Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to an episode of Henry Rollins ’s Harmony In My Head radio show that had been recorded on August 22nd. In it, Rollins mentioned that Rashied Ali , Coltrane drummer and Philadelphia native, had died on the 12th. As tribute, Rollins played an instrumental excerpt that he had produced with Ali and saxophonist, Charles Gayle , during the sessions for an audio book entitled, Everything . Actually managed to find an excerpt from Rollins’s Everything Everything was my introduction to Rashied Ali, before I’d even laid hands on any John Coltrane album. I would throw on my thick, ear muff JVC headphones before going to bed, and drift off to sleep listening to Rollins speak while Ali and Gayle improv’d in the backdrop, cityscapes and traffic alive behind them if you listened closely enough. And, I really hadn’t been exposed to too much jazz at this point, so the avant/free stuff was beyond me. But, the album mad

Revolution 09.09.09 Re-mastered: “Let Me Reintroduce To You…”: The Beatles In Stereo (Part 2)

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The Beatles Stereo Box Set Capitol/EMI/Apple Releases: 9.9.09 Part 2: (c) Apple Corps Ltd., 2009 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Revolution 09.09.09 Re-mastered: “Let Me Reintroduce To You…”: The Beatles In Stereo (Part 1)

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The Beatles Stereo Box Set Capitol/EMI/Apple Releases: 9.9.09 Part 1: (c) Apple Corps Ltd., 2009 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Breakfast at Sulimay's: Episodes 28 & 29

Jay Reatard and BBU Amanda Black and Radiohead Ann 's starting to look a little Joan Jett these days. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #16: The Only Music You’ll Have Time To Hear Is That Of Miles Davis…

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Miles Davis has been very good to Columbia/Legacy. While his body of work, as essential as most of it is, deserves all the attention it receives, (i.e. box set after box set after box set), you can’t get around the fact that Davis has been a reliable moneymaker for the label. He certainly left enough material behind for Columbia/Legacy to produce and reproduce while coming off sensible and respectful about how they treat the material. With Kind Of Blue having recently received the Legacy treatment in honor of its 50th anniversary, Columbia/Legacy are taking advantage of his current posthumous spotlight and going in for the kill: 70 CDs?!?! Initially, I barked “exploitation!” A 70 CD (1 live DVD, but who would have time to watch it?) box set is as unnecessary as it sounds. As Columbia/Legacy have been releasing and rereleasing Davis’s material for decades at this point, a 70 CD box set entitled, The Complete Columbia Album Collection , means the reacquiring of whatever yo