Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What I Heard This (Last) Week: Wavves, DD/MM/YYYY, Baths, Lightning Bolt/Dan Deacon, The Good Ones...

I hope that my weeks aren’t going to continue to be so swamped that I can’t dedicate a second or two of my day to detail something new or good that I heard/saw. But, such is the case for now. Consequently, here’s another long entry, but with some good music attached:

Wavves — "Post-Acid"

Though aware that I posted this song a while ago, the video is satisfyingly juvenile and there's an alien on a half-pipe. I'm happy to end my summer with visions of extra terrestrials in the California sun while sk8er-baked surf rock jams out one last "hurrah."

King Of The Beach was released on August 3rd via Fat Possum Records.

And, his band is still touring.

Via Force Field PR:

08/27 Victoria, BC Sugar
08/30 Davis, CA Sol Collective
08/31 Visalia, CA Howie and Sons Pizza Parlor
09/04 Los Angeles, CA FYF Fest
09/10 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone *
09/11 St. Louis, MO Billiken *
09/12 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall *
09/14 Bloomington, IN Rhinos *
09/15 Columbus, OH Skully's *
09/16 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place *
09/17 Northampton, MA Pearl Street Nightclub *
09/18 Waltham, MA Brandeis University
09/20 Providence, RI Met Café *
09/21 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg *
09/24 Kingston, NY 323 Wall Street
09/25 Baltimore, MD Ottobar *
09/27 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel *
09/28 Greensboro, NC Guilford College *
09/29 Charlotte, NC Milestone *
09/30 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn *
10/01 Nashville, TN Exit/In - Next Big Nashville *
10/02 Oxford, MS Proud Larry's *
10/18 Boston, MA Agganis Arena !
10/20 New York, NY Madison Square Garden $
10/21 Montreal, QC CEPSUM !
10/22 Toronto, ON Ricoh Coliseum !
10/23 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theatre !
10/25 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues !
10/26 Orlando, FL House of Blues !
10/27 Miami, FL The Fillmore !
11/06 Austin, TX Fun Fun Fun Fest

$ = w/ Phoenix, Dirty Projectors
! = w/ Phoenix
* = w/ Christmas Island

DD/MM/YYYY — "Van Tan"

DD/MM/YYYY's Black Square is being reissued by Portishead member Geoff Barrow through his Invada label. Slacker math rocker, "Van Tan," carries as much snot as it does energy, kind of like something Les Savy Fav or Panther would come up with, though with a better comprehension of broken guitar chords and arrhythmic syncopation.

"Van Tan"

Via Force Field PR:

September 4 - Montreal, QC - M On The Quays w. Voivod
September 19 - Toronto, ON - The Shop w. Tera Melos [as DJ/MM/YYYY]
September 27 - Chicago, IL - Schubas #
September 28 - Detroit MI - Magic Stick #
October 5 - Burlington, VT - Monkey House #
October 6 - Boston, MA - Great Scott #
October 7 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge #
October 9 - New York, NY - Knitting Factory #
October 10 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's #
October 11 - Washington, DC - DC9 #
October 12 - Columbus, OH - Skullys #

# = w/ Women

Baths — Lovely Bloodflow

Pitchfork just premiered Baths’ new video for “Lovely Bloodflow,” which features an injured samaurai, masked forest dwellers and high end visuals. The song is from Cerulean, which was released in early July via Anticon.

As far as the song goes, it’s an odd, beatific and soulful. The harmonies are lovely and, despite its modernist instrumentalism, it has a lot of heart for being based in hardwired electronica, though the vocal aids in the song’s humanity.

Check the video out at Pitchfork.

Or, just listen to the song here. It’s available via Stereogum.

”Lovely Bloodflow”

Lightning Bolt/Dan Deacon

The news here is that Lightning Bolt and Dan Deacon are touring together. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I enjoyed the songs that were attached to the press release.

”Colossus” by Lighting Bolt.

”Get Older” by Dan Deacon.

Via Force Field PR:

A match made in touring heaven, Providence duo Lightning Bolt and Baltimore's Dan Deacon Ensemble will tour together this October for the first time on a limited run of shows.


THU 10/7 LEXINGTON, KY Busters
MON 10/11 TOLEDO, OH Mickey Finn's
TUE 10/12 TORONTO, ON Great Hall
WED 10/13 MONTREAL, QC Cabaret Mile End
THU 10/14 ALBANY, NY Northern Lights
FRI 10/15 BROOKLYN, NY Ridgewood Music Hall


WED 09/29 BALTIMORE, MD Rams Head Live
SAT 10/23 BROOMFIELD, CO 1st Bank Center
WED 10/29 ASHEVILLE, NC Moog Fest



The Good Ones — Sara

I don’t know what the song is about, but it’s beautifully parched and worn with voices that long for an alternative to the known. Read the story and hear the song, “Sara.”


Via press release:

Dead Oceans Partner With Rwandan Folk Trio The Good Ones, Release Kigali Y Izahabu November 9th

Great songs need not context, a shared language nor familiar rhythms to so prove themselves. The guitars don't even have to be exactly in tune. It's the melody and spirit, the human voice expressed within. And it's exactly why we fell so very hard for Rwanda's The Good Ones. Their music contains a message just as powerful for the first, blind listen than for those who choose to delve. And really, how could you not delve?

We're proud to bring the music of The Good Ones to the world.

Adrien Kazigira, Stany Hitimana and Jeanvier Havugimana recorded the songs collected on
Kigali Y' Izahabu over the course of one summer evening on the back porch of a friend's home. The result is an album filled with joyous, acoustic love songs written in the ancient local, Kinyarwanda street dialect of their nation's capital, Kigali. Kigali Y' Izahabu will be out November 9th in the North America and November 22nd in the UK.

Toiling at hard labor and subsisting on less than 50 cents a day in one of the ten poorest countries in the world, the hard-won spirit of these aging war-veterans shines through in The Good Ones' yearning voices. Kazigira, 47, wrote 8 of the 12 songs found on the album and both plays and sings. He cites Bob Marley and reggae as his major influences. Hitimana, 47, on lead guitar and "bass," sometimes teaches music in Kigali and finds inspiration in the music of Santana. And harmony singer Jeanvier, 38, who also plays guitar and sings lead
on his own compositions, is most influenced by the Caribbean dance music called Zouk.

The trio are armed with broken, mismatched-stringed, borrowed guitars; but singing angelically from amidst a landlocked country that the world abandoned. The primary obstacle to recording the group was that the musicians showed up with only one guitar for two players, and that guitar was missing two strings. Hitimana “played bass” on the 4-string and a beat-up acoustic was located for the second guitarist, the sullen, primary songwriter Kazigira who interweaves intricate harmonies with co-singer Havugimana.

Kigali Y' Izahabu is essentially an intimate field recording that even captures the howling and barking of dogs in the background. It was recorded by two-time Grammy-nominated producer Ian Brennan, who has worked with artists such as Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Flea, TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone, Richard Thompson and many others.

Brennan traveled throughout Rwanda, hoping to document some of the country's contemporary music, but up until his mission-affirming encounter with The Good Ones, he had been left wanting. As Brennan reports: “They were standing in the dark, their eyes downcast and restless, and holding only one guitar between them. From 100-feet away, I knew instantly that there was something special about them, a feeling one is lucky to experience even once in a lifetime. By that point, I'd already visited literally every recording-studio in the capital (Kigali) and surrounding areas over two weeks and listened to hundreds of artists, but to no avail. This meeting had been set up through a mutual friend and the instant the band opened their mouths to sing, it was as if the universe reached down to tap me on the shoulder and say, 'What these guys do is precious and rare. Don't fuck it up.'”

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, August 30, 2010

No Ripcord: Black Mountain

Black Mountain
Wilderness Heart
Released: 9.14.10

No Ripcord review

Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #34: Rekords Rekords and Ipecac partnership/Queens Of The Stone Age’s self-titled debut finally being reissued...

Via Speakeasy PR:


LOS ANGELES, Aug. 30 -- Joshua Homme's Rekords Rekords, through a partnership with Ipecac Recordings, will release three albums this fall: Alain Johannes'
Spark (Oct. 5), Mini Mansions self-titled debut (Nov. 2) and a reissue of Queens of The Stone Age's self-titled debut with three additional songs (Nov. 26).

An artist-driven label, Rekords Rekords' newly formed affiliation with Ipecac Recordings actually dates back to 2003 when Homme's ongoing Desert Sessions series released an installment on Ipecac, re-connecting Homme with longtime friends and Ipecac co-owners Mike Patton and Greg Werckman.

“Reports on the death of the record label have been greatly exaggerated," said Werckman. "Record labels like Rekords Rekords and artists like Joshua Homme continue to wage an assault on mediocrity and complacency in the music industry. We, at Ipecac, are stoked to work side by side with unique talents like Alain, Mini Mansions and el jefe Homme. Keep art in the artists hands.”

Rekords Rekords releases slated for 2010:

Alain Johannes
Spark (Oct. 5) — Johannes, co-founder of Eleven and collaborator with Queens of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Chris Cornell, Mark Lanegan and Spinnerette, penned this heartfelt album in dedication to his late wife and Eleven partner Natasha Shneider. Spark showcases Johannes' impressive musical dexterity moving seamlessly from coveted rock guitarist to soulful songwriter. "Alain's record is the total embodiment of what the label stands for," explains Homme. "The war against endorsing mediocrity and the uncensored attempt to take a leap off the musical cliff. Spark is a stunning examination of figuring out what you do when someone's gone, and it's utterly breathtaking."


Mini Mansions
Mini Mansions (Nov. 2) — The Los Angeles based trio of Michael Shuman (Queens of The Stone Age), Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford have spent the past eighteen months touring with a number of bands including The Dead Weather, Autolux, Them Crooked Vultures and Grizzly Bear, have released a limited edition EP and collectible 7" all while writing and recording their full-length debut. Recorded at Homme's Pink Duck Studios (and with Homme lending a hand on mixing several songs), The LA Weekly described the band's first single ("Monk") as "a mercurial slice of vintage-sounding psych-pop." The Seattle Weekly said of the band, "Mini Mansions is the side project of Queens of The Stone Age bassist Michael Schuman, and as far as offshoots go, it ranks up there with Jack White's The Dead Weather."


Queens of The Stone Age
Queens of The Stone Age (Nov. 26) — A highly sought after, out of print album, the debut release from Queens of The Stone Age has been recreated by Homme as it was initially envisioned, with three tracks that were initially cut from the record reinstated. Queens of The Stone Age will be reissued on Black Friday as a 180 gram double-gatefold, colored vinyl release packaged with a CD version. The straight CD release arrives in-stores on Dec. 7.


Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I Heard This Morning: Ruse Of Fools

Around December of last year, I posted the video for the song "The Flood" by Philadelphia's own, Ruse Of Fools. Since then, the band has been doing their damnedest to make their mark out in the UK and Canada as, for some reason, their home region doesn't seem too interested.

I find this sort of strange. The track that I'm posting tonight, a sonically charged ballad entitled, "Well Wished," doesn't seem like something that would inspire disinterest from a Philadelphia crowd. Or, even an American crowd. But, Ruse Of Fools seems to be getting noticed overseas, so maybe the stateside fandom will eventually germinate and bloom.

In the meantime, here's "Well Wished." Give it a listen and support a local band.

According to their press release, Princeton, NJ's WPRB 103.3's Slow Flood Radio show said of the song that "the standard for 21st Century Rock has just been set."

"Well Wished"

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kicking Against The Pricks: Stewart Copeland, Wild Nothing

Issue #2 of Kicking Against The Pricks has posted: http://kickingagainstthepricks.org/#home

I contributed reviews for the following:

Wild Nothing
Captured Tracks

>Kicking Against The Pricks review

I also wrote an article on Stewart Copeland’s soundtrack for the film, Rumble Fish, which is something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time.

Stewart Copeland
Rumble Fish: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Kicking Against The Pricks review

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, August 20, 2010

What I Heard This Week: Unnatural Helpers, Screaming Females, Krieg, The Body, Small Black

Not that I want to burden anyone with an overabundance of music that caught my attention, but I’m going to anyway. The week, unfortunately, didn’t allow for me to post as regularly as I originally intended, but the songs just kept coming and I feel compelled to give them their due. Plus, some of the upcoming releases tied to these songs could be/are worthwhile. Just an opinion, of course.

Unnatural Helpers: “Girl In The Window”

This is the second single from Unnatural Helpers’ latest album, Cracked Love And Other Drugs, stop motion peeping tomfoolery to go along with their garage vibe. The girl in the window’s got some “seismic waves,” apparently. I wonder if they’re talking about her tits.

Their first single, “She Was Your Girlfriend,” has a great video with hysterical and argumentative couples yelling and flipping middle fingers.

Screaming Females: “I Don’t Mind It”

Screaming Females will be releasing their new album, Castle Talk, on September 14th via Don Giovanni Records. “I Don’t Mind It” is just a really good rock song built on a solid foundation of 90s alterna/riot grrrl influence and 80s DIY counterculture. Their take on throwback wisdom surpasses the “revivalist” trap and sounds legitimately right for the upcoming decade.

Singer, Marissa Paternoster, also released Holy Hell under her Noun alter-ego on July 5th.

Krieg: “All Paths To God”

Black Metal is a genre I continue to love and hate with an equal amount of passion, though the work of Neill Jameson, or N. Imperial, won me over earlier this year with his involvement in the supergroup, Twilight. Jameson is releasing his sixth album with Krieg entitled, The Isolationist, and “All Paths To God” conveys as much regard for brutality as it does for sorrow, or even emotion.

I did get to hear some of this album and I truly wish that they’d released “Photographs From An Asylum” as public consumption because it’s one of the eeriest tracks I’ve heard. The bass rhythm alone is enough to warrant nervous response.

The Isolationist will be out October 26th on Candlelight Records.

If you’re interested, read my review of Twilight’s Monument To Time End at Stereokiller.com.

“All Paths To God” is available from Stereogum.com.

The Body: “Even Saints Knew Their Hour Of Failure And Loss”

The Body’s All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood was released July 27th through At A Loss Recordings and is one of the more disturbing albums I’ve heard. Conceptually, The Body is a two-manned doom orchestra, minimalist in musical happening yet full-bodied in conveyance of dismay and shriek. There were many times while listening to The Body that I wanted to write them off as a band that wanted to come off more important than they actually were, pointing to their simplistic arrangements and reliance on noise for noise’s sake. But, I keep coming back to the album and I realize that the simplicity doesn’t point to a lack of ability, but instead to an opportunity to generate discomfort. That may not be a selling point for some of you reading this, but the fact that The Body is finding what they seek, says that there’s something about them that’s worth consideration.

“Even Saints Knew Their Hour Of Failure And Loss” is available from Stereogum.com.

Small Black: “Photojournalist”

Small Black will be releasing their new album, New Chain on October 25th through Jagjaguwar. “Photojournalist” is an interesting mix of synth pop, shoegaze and indie pop. It’s catchy as fuck, there’s no denying that.


Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shopping For Records #29: Neurosis' Enemy of the Sun (Revisited)

Enemy of the Sun
Neurot Recordings
Originally released: 8.17.93 (on Alternative Tentacles)
This version: 8.30.10

Enemy of the Sun escaped me in 1993. In 2010, it's been a fixation.

I received a copy in the mail maybe two weeks ago, no doubt a result of the ink I offered the Neurosis reissue back in May. That was an exciting package to open: all black matte slipcover, silver reconsideration of the dilapidated and deteriorating face and figure on its otherwise apocalyptic cover, the fires now arterial translations of the fiery background. Something about the slipcover seems a sophisticate's variation of "menacing," but the doom therein is somehow more threatening with a cover this understated.

That became apparent once "Lost" reached that operatic tone when fallen seraphim seemed to willingly organize choir-like behind the heavy walls of guitar and sound loops abruptly appeared and repeated nonsensically within the band's assault. The effect is both captivating and unsettling, and I was very much entranced by what I'd heard and interested in what was to follow.

Neurosis' Enemy of the Sun is widely considered to be their most accomplished work, a veritable Pet Sounds of thick progression, crescendo-heavy sludge and ceremonial percussion. When Enemy Of The Sun was released in 1993, Tool's Undertow was bringing progressive music to MTV and reintroducing the genre's pretension and skill to the radio, albeit with a more accessible tone that was easier to digest. Even at a time when Alternative music was still king and the airwaves were spilling aural abrasions everywhere to the so-called "converted," Neurosis had cult status. An album like could only have been made by a band with cult status. Even with minimal acknowledgment of the music's brutality and wicked drone, the band's experimental approach to journalistic soundbytes and cut-n-paste editing seem relatively avant for the time, played in quick and constant cycles or stretched into long undulating sheets of spoken nonsense. The album's ponderous and patient tension spills out as sonic runoff and collects somewhere darker, the music always glad to accommodate the mood.

"Raze The Stray" is demonstrative of this tension, its opening song (vocal by Erika Little) pretty enough before crushing drums, long screams and squealing guitars sort of roll in and then disappear, leaving behind an acoustic instrumental. Eventually, the song transitions into a wallowing wall of ooze that shifts into a strident seesaw of chord changes. There's something primordial about "Raze The Stray," its crawl and struggle sporadically gifted moments of ease where the song seems to find a soft spot or two.

After an interesting news item about a Buddhist monk that's set ablaze, ("Burning Flesh In Year Of Pig"), "Cold Ascending" and "Lexicon," medley-like, take the impending doom of their intro and launch into a very furious series of chords that seem to run ahead before they're pulled back. Midway, "Lexicon" hypnotically trudges bass heavy while the wavering throat of what could be an old man offers a strangled melody. The song eventually dissipates underneath the weight of bubbling distortion, leading into "Enemy Of The Sun."

The title track is a grand gesture, appropriately strong and then mysteriously peaceful. Past the four minute mark, not too far from the five, percussion is kicked up and you can sort see the precum from Tool's Ænima begin to glisten.

"The Time Of The Beasts" is essentially dragged out blues music, accented by hefty distortion and brass that leads into static-clung crescendos of dueling guitar noise and pummeling bass rhythm. Piano notes lead into the nine-manned drum circle called "Cleanse," which is, at points, accompanied by a didgeridoo.

Originally, the album ended with fifteen plus minutes of drum play, but the reissue offers the demo version of "Takeahnase" from 1992's Souls At Zero and "Cleanse II (Live In Oberhausen)," which was recorded in 1996.

"Cleanse II" I especially like as a reconsidered ending for the Enemy Of The Sun. It follows the album's feel and construct well enough, the fact that it's a live recording inconsequential next to its use of sampling and live sound orchestration, the words "we shall never look back" reiterated over and over again to a crowd then unaware that the recording would later surface on the results of Neurosis' looking back.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, August 12, 2010

To all Dopesmokers and Holy Mountaineers: Sleep's Touring This Fall (UPDATE)

Via Earsplit PR:

Legendary stoner metallers SLEEP, who recently announced their long-anticipated reunion tour, have added several new stops to the impending trek including additional shows in Brooklyn and San Francisco. Dubbed the Marijuanaut's Return US Tour 2010, the journey will commence on September 3 at the prestigious All Tomorrow's Parties Music Fest in Monticello, New York and draw to a close on the second of two dates at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California. Support will be provided by a revolving roster of bands throughout the tour including: Doomriders, Unearthly Trance, A Storm Of Light, Lichens, Sub Oslo, Scott Kelly, YOB and Thrones. Check out the David D'Andrea tour poster, which will be available at each show as a 26" x 26" glow-in-the-dark screen print, here:

SLEEP split in 1997 after two hugely influential albums. Members went on to form underground heroes OM and High On Fire, and more recently metal supergroup Shrinebuilder. On the
Marijuanaut's Return Tour, original members Al Cisneros and Matt Pike will be joined by drummer Jason Roeder of Neurosis to perform the seminal Holy Mountain album in its entirety as well as selections from Dopesmoker and more.

SLEEP: Marijuanaut's Return US Tour 2010
9/03/2010 All Tomorrow's Parties - Monticello, NY
9/04/2010 FYE Fest - Los Angeles, CA
9/05/2010 Gothic Theatre - Englewood, CO
9/06/2010 Brooklyn Masonic Temple - New York, NY w/ Doomriders, Unearthly Trance
9/07/2010 Starlight Ballroom - Philadelphia, PA w/ A Storm Of Light
9/08/2010 Brooklyn Masonic Temple - New York, NY w/ A Storm Of Light, Lichens
9/09/2010 Logan Square Auditorium - Chicago, IL w/ Lichens
9/10/2010 Mohawk - Austin, TX w/ Sub Oslo w/ Sub Oslo
9/11/2010 Roseland Theater/Music Fest NW - Portland, OR w/ Scott Kelly, YOB
9/12/2010 Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA w/ Thrones
9/13/2010 Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA

SLEEP debuted with 1991's
Volume One album, recorded for San Francisco label Tupelo. Earache Records received the band’s next recordings in the mail as a demo. The label -- impressed by SLEEP's single-mindedness and unique vision -- immediately signed the band and released the tape exactly as it was received. Record stores worldwide stocked SLEEP’s Holy Mountain from November 1992 to this day.

The band then signed to London Records. Their debut album for the major took the form of one mammoth 63-minute leviathan of a track entitled
Jerusalem. The band resisted the label’s attempts at radio edits and bringing in their own engineer to remix the album in view of “marketability.” London balked at the prospect of promoting what probably still is the most extreme music ever recorded for a major label, so shelved the recording and dropped the band.

SLEEP's music has been featured in films by Harmony Korine and Jim Jarmusch.

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

No Age: Glitter

The garage-infused static of No Age will be getting another go around with Everything In Between, which will be out September 28th via Sub Pop. The first single from the album, “Glitter,” will be released twice as a 12” and 7,” each with a different B-side, (12” — “In Rebound” and “Vision II;” 7” — “Inflorescence”).

Sub Pop is offering “Glitter” as a download and a stream of “Inflorescence,” which actually sounds kind of gross.

Or, you can just check out “Glitter” below.

Letters From A Tapehead

Free Primus download...

Crawdaddy posted a link to a free Primus download. It’s four rehearsal tracks from their current tour and it can be yours for the price of an email address.

The songs featured are:
1). “Pudding Time”
2). “American Life”
3). “Duchess And The Proverbial Mind Spread”
4). “Harold Of The Rocks”

I really like the midway jam during “American Life.” Old songs, but it’s so good to hear them played.

Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Shapes and Sizes

Shapes and Sizes
Candle To Your Eyes
Asthmatic Kitty
Released: 8.3.10

No Ripcord review

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poobah & Ripple Music...

It had to have been true in the pre-Internet days that there were certain bands destined to be appreciated only by the aficionados as the rock rags, city papers and word-of-mouth networking could only reach so many ears. I’d never heard of Poobah till a week ago when a press release from Ripple Music reached my inbox and informed me of the “fuzzed-out, psychedelic, proto-metal masterpiece” entitled, Let Me In, that will be reissued this coming October.

Here are the details via Ripple Music:

With the original 1972 LP fetching upwards of $300 a piece at various auction sites, Poobah and Ripple Music decided it was time to "re-unleash" the album that started the madness. The fuzzed-out, psychedelic, proto-metal masterpiece is set to hit the streets on October 12th, 2010 and will be available in CD, digital, and deluxe double gatefold 12" vinyl versions. Fully remastered by T. Dallas Reed (Stone Axe/Mos Generator) the songs have a fresh vitality while never losing the 70's edge that made them so endearing in the first place. The original six tracks will be accompanied by a ton of previously unreleased tracks and never before seen photographs; Let Me In will undoubtedly satisfy the most rabid of Poobah fan! The CD edition includes twelve bonus cuts and an 8-page booklet that features live shots and of the band at some of their most candid moments, while the double LP edition includes 10 bonus tracks and is pressed on two-toned black and white vinyl. Now accepting pre-orders at www.ripple-music.com!

Knowing that Ripple is going to such lengths to bring obscure music into the realms of less obscure music, Ripple was recognized as “Label of the Month” by the NBT Network.

Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: The Fresh & Onlys

Since posting about their split 7” with Golden Triangle back in April, The Fresh & Onlys are a name I’ve been seeing more and more over the course of the year. Aside from their collaborative 7,” and an apparent slew of other 7” singles, the band released their August In My Mind EP in early Spring and are now finishing up their upcoming LP, Play It Strange.

Check out “Diamond In The Dark” from August In My Mind.

”Diamond In The Dark”

Via ForceField PR:

This has been a decisive year for San Francisco's The Fresh & Onlys - including invitations to play All Tomorrow's Parties and then join Deerhunter for a UK tour, extensive treks throughout the US, and standout performances at the Woodsist festivals in NY and Big Sur. Keeping with their notorious urgent pace the Fresh & Onlys released a handful of exclusive 7" singles, and Captured Tracks issued the lush and anthemic August In My Mind EP. Now to cap off the year, Play It Strange arrives this Fall from the infamous In The Red Records with a tour supporting Clinic across the US to follow.

Play It Strange is the third full length album recorded in just over two years since the band's inception with previous albums out on Woodsist and Castle Face. This newest album is also the first recording done outside the band's own analog home studio. Hot on the heels of touring and arranging these new songs live, Play It Strange was furiously recorded and mixed in one week with Tim Green (Fucking Champs, Comets On Fire) at Louder Studios in order to better capture the muscularity and depth of the band's live performances.

The Fresh & Onlys newest is a shimmering pop record full of infectious melodic hooks, led by singer Tim Cohen's hazy romanticism, and the incessantly propulsive rhythms of Shayde Sartin and Kyle Gibson.
Play It Strange has an evocative moody swagger that jangles with 80's guitar pop like the Go-Betweens, Jacobites, or early R.E.M. and a provocative rawness ala Iggy Pop or The Gun Club. The record is saturated with guitarist Wymond Miles' sonic textural sprawl full of desert guitar-noir phrases that call to mind Morricone/The Bad Seeds. Play It Strange is an addictive record that will establish the Fresh & Onlys as a band that effortlessly laces together threads of great guitar bands from decades past. They may not be your favorite secret to keep much longer.

09/05 San Francisco, CA - The Independent !
09/28 Santa Cruz, CA - Moes Alley @
11/05 Washington, DC - Rock n Roll Hotel $
11/06 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brendas $
11/08 Boston, MA - Paradise $
11/09 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa $
11/10 Toronto, ON - Lees Place $
11/11 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall $
11/12 Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry $
11/15 Seattle, WA - Neumos $
11/16 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret $
11/17 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge $
11/19 San Francisco, CA - The Independent $
11/20 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour $

$ = w/ Clinic
! = w/ Vetiver
@ = w/ Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, August 09, 2010

Grinderman: Heathen Child

Prefixmag.com posted a short video promoting the second album for Nick Cave’s Grinderman, Grinderman 2.

A complete video for their latest single, “Heathen Child,” is available through NME. Take warning: the video’s B-movie homage coupled with Cave and Co.’s Trojan garb are both hilarious, but there’s some nudity so you may want to wait until employers and busybody co-workers are out of sight. Or, just check out the video when you go home.

In the meantime, you can find a review of Grinderman’s self-titled debut here.

Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Wonder Wheel I: Possible sequel?

Paul A. Rosales
Wonder Wheel I
Care In The Community
Released: 8.3.10

Over the last couple years, (and this has been acknowledged on more than few occasions by me and everyone else with two ears and a blog), D.I.Y., albeit under the influence of modern methodology, has resurfaced with a vengeance. This is good: Truth be known, indie music has to some degree devolved to a castrated millennial take on prog rock, the excess of instrumentation and wallowing of whine less interesting next to the noted self-indulgence of arena-based prog and jam rock of the 70s. I got tired of indie rock and I don’t think I’m alone. How many Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel clones can you really listen to before it all sounds overwrought and dull?

And as creative heights are reached, the art form must fall time and time again. This will always be true, thankfully. Big band jazz went be-bop, hippie rock went metal, pop rock went punk rock and 00 indie rock has gone lo-fi. Granted the label “lo-fi” has taken on many permutations with neo-garage, neo-psychedelia, re-post-punk and whatever other crudely recorded form of music received a revival or makeover recently, but the so-called “bedroom movement” has been garnering a lot of notice, with Ariel Pink most especially, and R. Stevie Moore is enjoying accreditation as the home recording pioneer that’s inspired it all.

Moore is noted as a mentor to the young Paul A. Rosales, a member of this not-so illustrious guild of home recording artists that put out not-so refined albums. Wonder Wheel I is Rosales’ contribution to the genre and it does its progenitors proud with spacey loops, vocals drowned in reverb and haphazard percussion, anything to hide the album’s faults. Though that may not be a goal set by the production quality, or lack thereof, Rosales benefits from the album’s obscuring haze. Obviously you can hide a lot under distortion and the fact that he relies so heavily on echo effects to disguise his voice does more than merely hint that maybe he’s not that great vocally.

This should in no way dissuade you, though, from giving Wonder Wheel I some consideration. Rosales is like classic college radio: a presence not yet widely known but potentially important, especially in his own circles. With Wonder Wheel I, Rosales takes a fairly minimalist and airy approach to his material, his utilization of reverb there to thicken his efforts, but never to the point of betraying the reality of his acting alone. “Crimes,” for instance, is loose and a little sloppy in the percussion department. It becomes apparent throughout the album that Rosales is better in some areas than others, the album’s drum fills mostly uneven. However, the song’s keystrokes are interestingly ghost-like, the bass line punched up enough to almost make the drumming a mere distraction. He seems to fair better with synthetic drum sounds, the alt rock of “Bastard Of A Man” and industrial propulsion of “Clarity Dissolve” more reliable in construct. Even the warped limbo of “Swingset II” points to a clearer understanding of electronica than rock music, and that seems most evident in the Suicide-like “Freeway,” where his long, drawn out and bored vocal somehow melds perfectly with sped-up Casio sounds.

But, he’s also decent with broken indie rock riffs. “She Tells Me” works well and “Erroneous Love Song” maintains a degree of understated energy that evokes a familiar and welcome indie rock sound. “Purple” is probably the album’s most cohesive song, a dark and possibly ominous tone carried out like a better-than-average pop track. “Nautilus Cry” emotes with synth pop pulse, fuzz-tone strings generating static under the whistling and bouncy keys.

The album is experimental. I only bring this up because, in the way that some experimental albums maybe “dabble with” or “toy with” sounds foreign to an established musical personality, Rosales is figuring things out. Wonder Wheel I is not perfect, but it demonstrates enough potential to captivate and enough eclecticism to forgive most of his mistakes. He hasn’t found his niche, though, so, you can only assume at this point that he’ll improve once he works out his signature. As far as this “bedroom” genre is concerned, Before Today by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and WaavesKing of the Beach indicate that it’s going somewhere good, alive and exciting. The outlook for Rosales, therefore, looks the same.

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Black Mountain: The Hair Song

“The Hair Song,” a new single from Black Mountain’s upcoming album Wilderness Heart, is available for download. It was also announced yesterday that they’ll be touring with The Black Angels (cue jokes about “dark tours”).

”The Hair Song"

Via Jagjaguwar:

Black Mountain is teaming up with fellow psych rockers The Black Angels for what promises to be the stand out co-headline tour this Fall. Beginning at Chicago's Metro on October 28, the "Dropout Boogie" tour rolls through 24 cities, before winding up in Vancouver on Nov 30. Both bands new album releases coincide on Sept 14.

To mark the launch of the double header tour and simultaneous album releases, Ticketmaster is offering a pre-sale starting Aug 4th where tickets can be purchased along with digital copies of both albums. The bundle includes an instant free download of The Black Angels cover of Black Mountain's classic "No Satisfaction."

Black Mountain returns to Europe next month to embark on a 6 week tour taking in 12 countries.

Black Mountain's
Wilderness Heart pre-order bonuses are still available:
- A full-color poster featuring the
Wilderness Heart art.
- A download code of the record that will activate on August 31st, two weeks before the official release date (September 14th).
- Entrance in our
Wilderness Heart Pre-Order Contest with winner receiving tickets to visit New York and see Black Mountain perform on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The Dropout Boogie Tour with The Black Angels
10/28/10 Chicago, IL - Metro
10/30/10 Buffalo, NY - Tralf Music Hall
10/31/10 Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre
11/01/10 Montreal, QC - La Tulipe
11/02/10 Boston, MA - Paradise
11/03/10 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11/06/10 Philadelphia, NY - Theatre of Living Arts
11/07/10 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
11/09/10 Louisville, KY - Headliners
11/10/10 Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
11/11/10 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
11/12/10 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
11/13/10 Orlando, FL - The Social
11/15/10 Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree
11/16/10 New Orleans, LA - Tipitina's
11/17/10 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
11/19/10 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
11/20/10 Dallas, TX - Kessler Theater
11/24/10 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
11/26/10 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
11/28/10 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
11/29/10 Seattle, WA - The Showbox
11/30/10 Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom

Previously Announced dates:
08/26/10 Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater w/Lower Heaven
08/30/10 Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Facotry w/The War on Drugs
08/31/10 New York, NY - NBC's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
09/03/10 Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland - The Electric Picnic Festival (electric arena) 09/04/10 Oxford, UK - Academy 2
09/05/10 Birmingham, UK - Hare and Hounds
09/08/10 Brighton, UK - Concorde 2
09/09/10 Tourcoing, France - RADAR at Le Grand Mix
09/10/10 Isle of Wight, UK - Bestival
09/11/10 Dorset, UK - End of the Road Festival
09/12/10 Leeds, UK - TJs Woodhouse Club
09/14/10 Glasgow, UK - Oran Mor
09/15/10 Manchester, UK - Academy 3
09/16/10 Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms
09/17/10 Tilburg, Netherlands - Incubate Festival
09/18/10 Groningen, Netherlands - Take Root
09/20/10 Koln, Germany - Gebaeude 9
09/21/10 Hamburg, Germany - Grünspan
09/22/10 Denmark, Copenhagen - Loppen
09/24/10 Oslo, Norway - John Dee
09/27/10 Berlin, Germany - Festsaal Kreuzberg
09/28/10 Munich, Germany - 59:1
09/29/10 Milan, Italy - Salumeria della Musica
09/30/10 Ravenna, Italy - Bronson
10/01/10 Rome, Italy - Circolo degli Artisti
10/03/10 Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Romandie
10/04/10 France, Paris - La Maroquinerie
10/05/10 Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
10/06/10 Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
10/07/10 London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire with The Black Angels

Letters From A Tapehead

New Selections — Emma Ruth Rundle, Tropical Fuck Storm, Primitive Man, Private Life, Uniform, Erika Wennerstrom, Djrum, Windhand

Starting August off with some new singles. Emma Ruth Rundle:  " Darkhorse " (via Rarely Unable /  Sargent House  / YouTub...