Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Whom It May Interest: Jane's Addiction, Joe Lally, Neurosis

Just some news and snippets I caught over the course of the day, plus a new single from Jane's Addiction.

The new Joe Lally (Fugazi) album, Why Should I Get Used To It will be released on April 26 on Dischord Records in conjunction with Tolotta Records. This album was recorded in Rome, Italy, where Joe now lives, and features extensive contributions from his tour-mates, Elisa Abela and Emanuele Tomasi. Joe just wrapped up several weeks of European tour dates and will continue to tour throughout 2011. 

Neurosis’ Sovereign EP To Be Reissued, Pre-orders Go Up Today

1077 The End - Jane's Addiction - "End to the Lies" by 1077 The End

Letters From A Tapehead

Fleet Foxes: Grown Ocean

In 2008, Seattle's folk heroes, Fleet Foxes, released their self-titled debut to much acclaim.  I was NOT a fan of that album, but "Grown Ocean," from their upcoming new album, Helplessness Blues, isn't bad. 

Check out the video here:

Via Sub Pop:

Fleet Foxes Video for Helplessness Blues Track "Grown Ocean" Debuts on

Exclusive Poster Available with Album Pre-Order on

HELPLESSNESS BLUES Out (release date: May 3, 2011)


Watch "Grown Ocean" now:

Helplessness Blues here:

Robin Pecknold talks about the new album:

Hey, my name's Robin and I'm a singer in and songwriter for Fleet Foxes, here to write the promotional biography meant to accompany and explain
Helplessness Blues. I'm just going to write down some thoughts I have about the album and give you some context. Let's do this.

So, for a bit of background: we're from Seattle, and the members of the band are me, Skye Skjelset, Josh Tillman, Casey Wescott, Christian Wargo, and now our buddy Morgan Henderson, who helped out on the album and will join the band on tour. The band began as just me and Skye in Junior High, playing songs in his bedroom, until we moved to Seattle, settled on a name, and began meeting other musicians and playing with different people until we met all the guys currently on board. Casey joined in 2005, Christian in 2007, and Josh joined shortly before our first album was released, but after we'd recorded it. So, that's some background information. Good luck working that into something intriguing.
We released our first album in 2008, had a lot of unexpected support from people and the press and we ended up on tour until October of 2009 (we'd expected to do one or two U.S. tours and hoped to start our next album in the Fall of 2008!)

Recording started with demos at a building in Seattle that's been multiple recording studios since the ‘70s, from Triangle, to Jon & Stu's, to Reciprocal Recording, to the Hall of Justice. A number of incredible albums have been made in that building over the years, including
Bleach by Nirvana. So we were lucky enough to take over the lease when Death Cab for Cutie moved out in October 2009, and I started writing songs more seriously again. A couple months later, Joanna Newsom asked me if I would open some shows for her. As a huge fan of hers, I was completely honored and flattered that she'd want me to open her shows, and I felt like I needed some new songs that I could play alone. So, a number of the songs that ended up on this album came from the writing that preceded those tours. Having to play the songs alone meant I was really focusing on having a clear lyric and a strong melody, which ended up being a great change of focus for me as a writer because I'd spent a lot of 2009 messing around with non-songwriter type music and not always finding it satisfying.

After the first Newsom tour, we all went up to Woodstock, New York, to record at Dreamland Recording, where our friends in Beach House had had a good experience recording their last album
Teen Dream. We were there for twelve days recording the drums and acoustic guitars. As an aside, I think Josh did an incredible job on the drums on this record, writing really inventive parts without a lot of instruction, and having such good tempo and "feel" that we were able to record all but one song on the album without a click track.

From there began a long stretch of recording in Seattle, from May of 2010 to November of 2010, where a ton of shit happened at numerous studios including Reciprocal, Bear Creek, and Avast. I could get into it, but basically it took a long time due to illness, scheduling, creative doubt, reassessment, rewriting, new songs being written, etc., etc ., etc. It was at times difficult to make this record. We ended up mixing at Avast in Seattle in December of 2010, with the record finally finished, even though we were recording vocals and guitar and rewriting lyrics up to the 11th hour. Not even the 11th, more like the 13th. So here we are, almost three years after the first album, finally done with the second one. Now I'll talk about the actual music a little bit.

I think this music draws influence and inspiration from popular music and folk rock of the mid ‘60s to the early ‘70s, folks like Peter Paul & Mary, John Jacob Niles, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Neil Young, CSN, Judee Sill, Ennio Morricone, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The Zombies,
SMiLE-era Brian Wilson, Roy Harper, Van Morrison, John Fahey, Robbie Basho, The Trees Community, Duncan Browne, the Electric Prunes, Trees, Pete Seeger, and Sagittarius, among many others. I'd say it's a synthesis of folk rock, traditional folk, & psychedelic pop, with an emphasis on group vocal harmonies. Astral Weeks was a big inspiration on this album, if not always in sound then in approach. The raw emotion in Van Morrison's vocals and the trance-like nature of the arrangements were very inspiring for this album!

Musically it leans on country music a little bit more, in the slide guitar of songs like “Grown Ocean” and “Bedouin Dress” or “Helplessness Blues.” We used a number of new instruments including the 12-string guitar, the hammered dulcimer, zither, upright bass, wood flute, tympani, Moog synthesizer, the tamboura, the fiddle, the marxophone, clarinet, the music box, pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar, Tibetan singing bowls, vibraphone, along with more traditional band instrumentation.

OK! I think that covers most of it. The last thing I'll talk about is the title. It's called
Helplessness Blues for a number of reasons. One, it's kind of a funny title. Secondly, one of the prevailing themes of the album is the struggle between who you are and who you want to be or who you want to end up being, and how sometimes you are the only thing getting in the way of that. That idea shows up in a number of the songs.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the record!

Any other names you want to drop?  

Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Le Bucherettes

They have a singer named Teri Gender Bender, so I don't know whether to nod in agreement or laugh hysterically.  Either way, Le Bucherettes throws down pretty well.  I hear pre-glam bound Yeah Yeah Yeahs and hints of PJ Harvey.  A few songs from their upcoming album, Sin Sin Sin, can be found via the links below as well as some live tracks from the iTunes exclusive SXSW release. 

And, they're getting some help from The Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez Lopez.

All information and links were supplied by Us/Them.

Le Butcherettes release iTunes Live: SXSW EP, announce more U.S. dates surrounding May album release

Mexico City garage-punks make huge impact at SXSW

Photo courtesy MTV Iggy/Chris Carrasquillo

"The best act I saw: Le Butcherettes singer Teri Gender Bender is something of a stunner. She can howl, she can yell, she can growl the letter "R" into multi-syllables, and she needs little more than one ferocious drum beat to have her way with a song. And just in case you're not paying attention when Teri sings that she's sick of you, she'll do a backward stage dive."-- LA Times 

"Le Butcherettes was the best band I saw on Thursday night, and also one of the best bands I've seen anywhere in a very long time." -- Jim DeRogatis, WBEZ
"Any band who rocks this hard and leaves the crowd looking this limp and sweaty - some even splattered with a little fake blood - deserves some sort of honorary prize." -- LA Weekly

The rampantly raved-about garage-punk trio Le Butcherettes have released an iTunes exclusive live recording captured during SXSW. The 6-song live recording iTunes Live: SXSW features 3 tracks not available on Le Butcherettes forthcoming debut full-length, Sin Sin Sin available in May.

Today, Consequence of Sound premieres one new non-album track, "The Devil Lived" HERE, while iTunes PING is streaming a second non-LP song, "Gold Notebook" HERE.

Surrounding the release of the trio's album debut, Le Butcherettes will continue to floor audiences (as they have many writers like those quoted above) this spring, playing shows with Deftones and The Dillinger Escape Plan as well as headlining an L.A. album release party on May 10th. See complete dates below.

Led by 21-year-old vocalist/guitarist/pianist Teri Gender Bender (a recent transplant to L.A. from Guadalajara, Mexico) Le Butcherettes bring a brazen intensity and playful, hook-laden simplicity that hacks to pieces all forms of pretension and excess. Upon relocating to Los Angeles in late 2010, Teri recruited renowned drummer Gabe Serbian (The Locust) and bassist Jonathan Hischke (Hella, Broken Bells) round out the lineup.

Check out MP3s for the first tracks from the album, "Henry Don't Got Love" HERE and "New York" HERE.

The band's songs and wildly cathartic live shows often draw comparisons to Karen O, Patti Smith, Bikini Kill and other female-fronted rock groups. But, there's a theatricality to Le Butcherettes that brings a further reaching sense of mystery and imagery to the band. For more on the band's impressive back story, see the complete bio HERE.

Le Butcherettes' full length debut, Sin Sin Sin was produced by Omar Rodriguez Lopez, who also plays bass on all of the album's tracks, and will issue the album May 10th, 2011 on Rodriguez Lopez Productions via Sargent House.

05/19 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel *
05/20 Jacksonville, FL @ Plush *
05/21 Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Cafe *
05/22 Boca Raton, FL @ Sunset Cove Amphitheater *
05/24 St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Landing *
05/26 Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Ampitheater *
05/28 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle *
05/29 Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall *
05/30 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues * (no Dillinger Escape Plan)
06/01 Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom *
06/03 San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center *
06/04 Austin, TX @ Austin Music Hall *
06/05 Corpus Christi, TX @ Concrete Street Amphitheatre *
06/06 Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre *
06/08 El Paso, TX @ El Paso County Colliseum *
06/09 Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Ampitheater *
06/10 Hollywood, CA @ The Hollywood Palladium * (SOLD OUT)
06/11 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel *
06/13 San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield Theatre * (SOLD OUT)
06/15 Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater *

* w/ Deftones and The Dillinger Escape Plan

Artist: Le Butcherettes
Album: Sin Sin Sin
Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions
Release Date: May 10th, 2011

01. Tonight
02. New York (MP3)
03. Henry Don't Got Love (MP3)
04. Leibniz Language
05. Bang!
06. All You See in Me is Death
07. I'm Getting Sick Of You
08. Riko's Smooth Talking Mother
09. The Actress That Ate Rousseau
10. Tainted in Sin
11. Dress Off
12. Empty Dimes
13. Mr. Tolstoi

Artist: Le Butcherettes
Album: iTunes Live: SXSW
Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions
Release Date: March 18th, 2011

01. The Devil Lived (STREAM)
02. New York
03. The Leibniz Language
04. Dress Off
05. Breathe You In
06. Gold Notebook (STREAM)

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stereokiller: Explosions In The Sky

Explosions In The Sky
Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
Temporary Residence
Released: 4.26.11

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Inbox Giveth: Northern Primitive & Aaron Roche/Tim Hinck

Northern Primitive
Released: 1.1.11

Matt Sajn wrote me around February asking me to give a listen to his band, Northern Primitive. I’ll blame the backlog I’ve managed to amass so far this year, (it’s impressive), for the lateness in my acknowledgement of his self-released and self-titled debut. Sajn is definitely in good company and my Inbox will be supplying Letters From A Tapehead a good amount to talk about as I try and play catch up throughout Spring.

Northern Primitive reflects the early 90s ruggedness of college rock informed “alternative” music. The textured guitar assault of its first track, “Highway,” sounds like an evolved variation of post-punk groups like Wire and The Feelies, its fast and completely uninterrupted movement a base for layering guitar effects and riffs.

The band benefits from a lack of polish and refinement. That’s not to say that they’re sloppy or that they lack discipline, but that their sound vanquishes ease of accessibility. You can imagine bands similar to Northern Primitive winding up the victim of FM battery as the band does, at points, come dangerously close to mid-90s, post-Alternative wannabe rock.

Overall, though, it’s a strong debut. Other highlights include “The Civilian In Me” and the Dead Boys inspired “Space Traveler.”

Northern Primitive - Highway from Alexei Golob on Vimeo.

Aaron Roche & Tim Hinck
Sounds Are Active
Released: 11.30.10

I’m trying to figure out if Aaron Roche would constitute “Freak Folk.”

Aaron Roche and Tim Hinck experiment with classically-tinged free form jazz (“Saraburi Provence”), instrumental piano tracks (“Plainspeak”) and orchestrated folk songs (“A Weaker Vision”), combining them into this varied collection of melodies and string dubbed, plainspeak. I love the title track with its flurried brass and rolling piano notes. It’s just a really offbeat and beautiful.

Roche and Hinck will appeal to fans of Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Six Organs of Admittance and possibly Antony & The Johnsons and the album is available for vinyl hounds, limited edition of 500.

You can stream the album below.

Letters From A Tapehead

Boris: Riot Sugar

A new single from Boris' upcoming release, Heavy Rocks, was unveiled today by Pitchfork. If "Riot Sugar" is any indication of the quality of Heavy Rocks, not to mention the accompanying Attention Please, there's cause for optimism.  The song has less of a drone, but the mud is energetic and intact.

Information and links provided by Us/Them Group:

Boris releases new song from forthcoming album Heavy Rocks

Track listing revised for both new Boris albums out on Sargent House in May

Iconoclast Japanese trio Boris have released the first single from the all-new Heavy Rocks -- one of TWO new full length Boris albums to be released on the same day via Sargent House this spring. The song, "Riot Sugar" premiered today via Pitchfork and is available HERE.

Due to circumstances beyond the control of both Boris and Sargent House, the release date and track listings for the band's two new albums,
Attention Please and the all-new Heavy Rocks have been pushed back to May 24th, 2011. See complete details below.

Boris has earned its rabid cult following for their ability to expertly harness music as power. Be it psychedelic metal, colossal drone, blistering punk or distortion-ravaged shoegaze, a Boris song is an exploration of sound as physical mass. The Japanese trio's classic 2002 album,
Heavy Rocks is a landmark of their mastery. So, it's fitting that the group's new album sharing the same title and very similar artwork to that disc, this year's Heavy Rocks seeks to redefine "heavy" music in a culmination of the band's tireless efforts over the past two decades. Heavy Rocks (2011) is beyond heavy, it firmly establishes Boris as the pillar of innovation and integrity in guitar-based music.
Heavy Rocks opens with fitting aplomb as a driving drum beat catapults a thunderous drop-tuned guitar riff headlong into the Sabbath meets Eddie Hazel pummeling of "Riot Sugar" (featuring guest backup vocals by Ian Astbury). Elsewhere, bristling thrash meets ethereal psychedelia ("GALAXIANS", "Window Shopping") and lush, languorous nearly 13-minute songs "Missing Pieces" and "Aileron" navigate explosive quiet/loud dynamics with inventive use of song structure and emotionally-wrenching melody. Heavy Rocks is at once both a reinvention of Boris' magical ability to combine elements of myriad genres as much as it is a return to form, expanding and developing on the ideas explored on the original 2002 Heavy Rocks album.

Boris invited some very, uh, heavy friends to contribute to songs the album, including longtime collaborator and Boris' touring second guitarist Michio Kurihara (Ghost), Ian Astbury (The Cult, BXI), Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer) and Aaron Turner (Isis, Mamiffer, et al.) It's worth noting that all guests tracked their parts in Tokyo, not via file transfer.

Some of
Heavy Rocks (2011) originated following Boris touring the world in 2008 in support of their previous album, Smile. The trio set about recording new material and an album was completed, then abandoned. The band sought to challenge themselves further, and the end results are two new albums of dramatic growth and the most powerful extension to Boris' unparalleled creativity, the all new Heavy Rocks (not to be mistaken for their earlier 2002 release, Heavy Rocks) and Attention Please.

Boris formed in the early 90s as a four piece just-for-fun endeavor with the sonic template of influences like Melvins and Earth. By the time of its 1996 debut as a trio
Absolutego (later released in the US via Southern Lord in 2000), Boris had already hit its stride in creating unique ground-rattling heavy, melodic music. The group, bassist/vocalist Takeshi, guitarist/vocalist Wata and drummer/vocalist Atsuo went on to release nearly 20 studio albums, as well as numerous collaborative albums -- including projects with Merzbow, Sunn0))), Ian Astbury and Michio Kurihara of Ghost (who also currently tours with the band as second guitarist) -- EPs and singles on various labels throughout the world. For a further in-depth discography, please see HERE.
Heavy Rocks and its counterpart, Attention Please will be available worldwide (excluding Japan) on LP, CD and digital download via Sargent House on May 24th, 2011. The vinyl version of Heavy Rocks will feature extended versions of "Missing Pieces" and "Czechoslovakia".

Artist: Boris
Attention Please
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: May 24th, 2011

01. Attention Please

02. Hope (MP3)
03. Party Boy
04. See You Next Week
05. Tokyo Wonder Land
06. You
07. Aileron
08. Les Paul Custom '86
09. Spoon
10. Hand in Hand

Artist: Boris
Heavy Rocks
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: May 24th, 2011

01. Riot Sugar (MP3)
02. Leak -Truth, yesnoyesnoyes-
04. Jackson Head
05. Missing Pieces
06. Key
07. Window Shopping
08. Tu, la la
09. Aileron
10. Czechoslovakia

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead

True Widow: Trailers for As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth

Via Speakeasy PR:

TRUE WIDOWAs High As The Highest Heavens and From The Center To the Circumference of the Earth
Kemado Records
Mar. 29, 2011

"The self-described "stonegaze" trio from Dallas is as hushed as it is ribcage-rattling. Imagine Low doing heavier, maybe even slower stoner-rock covers of their own songs, all that hurt with the volume turned way up." - NPR

"It's an album that's easy to get lost in..." - Alternative Press

"...raw emotion tightly mastered and boxed into a corner where it's antithetically filtered into barely restrained stoicism..." - Pitchfork

When receiving word of the FIRST trailer ("Interlude") for True Widow's now released album, As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth, I'd meant to post it. I guess I got sidetracked. But, a new and more comprehensive trailer is up now for the album that better exemplifies how the album may sound. I'm intrigued. You?

True Widow "Interlude" from Justin Wilson on Vimeo.

True Widow Album II Trailer from Justin Wilson on Vimeo.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, March 24, 2011

4.16.11 — Record Store Day #4: Black Mountain and Sub Pop

I received a couple more Record Store Day-related press releases from Jagjaguwar and Sub Pop. Read below.

Via Jagjaguwar:

Black Mountain Unveil Record Store Day Single, Headline Roadburn Festival Afterburner.

Jagjaguwar are proud to announce that Black Mountain will celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday April 16 by unleashing the third single from their third LP Wilderness Heart on seven inch vinyl.

"Rollercoaster" showcases the band's trademark psych-metal sound, with the interchanging vocals of Stephen McBean and Amber Webber in full force. The song was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood with D. Sardy.

The B-side to this single is entitled "In The Drones" and is previously unreleased. It features Webber's haunting vocals at the forefront, accompanied by reverb-drenched picking and shadowy synth stylings underneath. The song was recorded in Seattle at London Bridge Studio with Randall Dunn.

Vancouver's finest will mark this special release with a tour of continental Europe (dates below), culminating in a headline slot at the closing Afterburner event of Tilburg, Holland's prestigious Roadburn festival.

March 28 Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Den Atelier
March 29 Paris, France - La Fleche d'Or
March 30 Leffinge-Middelkerke, Belgium - De Zwerver

April 1 Athens, Greece - Gagarin 205 Live Music Space
April 2 Thessaloniki, Greece - Principal Theatre Club
April 4 Milan, Italy - Live Club
April 5 Florence, Italy - Viper Theatre
April 6 Treviso, Italy - New Age Club
April 7 Vienna, Austria - Flex Wien
April 8 Prague, Czech Republic - Lucerna Music Bar
April 10 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
April 11 Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia Club
April 12 Oslo, Norway - Parkteatret
April 13 Gothenburg, Sweden - Park Lane
April 14 Stockholm, Sweden - The Strand
April 17 Tilburg, Holland - Roadburn Festival (headlining Afterburner)

Artist page



Via Sub Pop: 


The Head & the Heart Self-Titled Debut out on CD and Vinyl!

10-Track Sub Pop Free Sampler Featuring J Mascis, Dum Dum Girls, Mogwai, Mister Heavenly, Niki and the Dove and more!

Limited Edition Fleet Foxes, Lower Dens and Blitzen Trapper Exclusive RSD Releases!

Low, Obits and the Head & the Heart In-Store Performances

Seattle, WA – We at Sub Pop Records will be celebrating the third annual Record Store Day with a myriad of releases and events across the country. Record Store Day exclusives include limited edition releases from Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes and Lower Dens, a 19-track free Sub Pop sampler, in-store performances from Obits, Low and The Head & the Heart. To top it off, The Head & the Heart will be releasing their self-titled debut on April 16th as part of Record Store Day on both CD and vinyl. To find a participating store, go here.

Record Store Day Exclusive Releases

Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues b/w Grown Ocean 12” SP920 (limited edition of 3000)
Lower Dens Deer Knives b/w Tangiers 7” SP927 (limited edition of 1000)
Blitzen Trapper Maybe Baby b/w Soul Singer 7” SP929 (limited edition of 1500)

Record Store Day Release Date

The Head and the Heart
The Head and the Heart CD/LP SP915

Record Store Day Sampler

Terminal Sales Vol. 4: Please to Enjoy CD SP932

Sub Pop would like to gift you. Housed in an embossed, die cut case, the sampler contains 18 art prints with information about each of the artists and a folded poster.

1. Daniel Martin Moore “Dark Road” From the album
In the Cool of the Day (SP860), available Jan. 2011
2. Aurelio “Tio Sam” From the album
Laru Beya (NXA002), available on Next Ambiance Jan. 2011
3. The Twilight Singers “On the Corner” From the album
Dynamite Steps (SP844), available Feb. 2011
4. Mogwai “Slight Domestic” From the “Mexican Grand Prix” 7” single on Rock Action Records, available Feb. 2011
5. Papercuts “Do What You Will” From the album
Fading Parade (SP885), available Feb. 2011
6. Dum Dum Girls “Wrong Feels Right” From the
He Gets Me High EP (SP917), available March 2011
7. J Mascis “Not Enough” From the album
Several Shades of Why (SP859), available March 2011
8. Obits “You Gotta Lose” From the album
Moody, Standard and Poor (SP857) available March 2011
9. Low “Try to Sleep” From the album
C’mon (SP905), available April 2011
10. The Head and the Heart “No One to Let You Down” Previously unreleased. The album
The Head and the Heart (SP915) is available for Record Store Day, April 16, 2011
11. Blitzen Trapper “Maybe Baby” From the “Maybe Baby” 7” single (SP929), available for Record Store Day, April 16, 2011
12. Lower Dens “Deer Knives” From the “Deer Knives” 7” single (SP927), available for Record Store Day, April 16, 2011
13. Fleet Foxes “Helplessness Blues” From the album
Helplessness Blues (SP888), available May 2011
14. Chad VanGaalen “Peace on the Rise” From the album Diaper Island (SP871), available May 2011
15. Shabazz Palaces “lost foundling” This Shabazz Palaces track is not from the
Black Up (SP900), available May 2011
16. Memoryhouse “Sleep Patterns” From
The Years EP (SP925), available at some as-yet-undetermined point in 2011
17. Mister Heavenly “Mister Heavenly” From the as-yet-untitled Mister Heavenly debut album (SP926), available August 2011, probably the fall.
18. Niki and the Dove “The Fox” From “The Fox” 12” single (SP930), available June 2011
19. Blouse "Shadow" From the “Shadow” 7" single (Sp939), available at some as-yet-undetermined point in 2011.

Record Store Day Instores

The Head and the Heart
Sonic Boom (Ballard), Seattle, WA 3pm (acoustic)
Easy Street (Queen Anne), Seattle, WA 7pm (full band)


Electric Fetus, Minneapolis, MN 3pm


Generation Records, New York, NY time TBC.

More About Record Store Day

This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.

Letters From A Tapehead 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

4.16.11 — Record Store Day #3: The List...

The Record Store Day website has been promising a comprehensive list of exclusive releases for a while now and it’s finally happened. Jason over at the 7 Inches blog linked up to a fully-compiled list of Record Store Day releases for 2011. It’s available as a downloadable PDF.

My list of wants:

Bad Brains — “Pay To Cum” 7”
Skip JamesToday 12”
Joan Jett and the BlackheartsI Love Rock & Roll 12”
Fela Kuti and the Africa 70 – “Monday Morning In Lagos Parts 1 & 2” 7”
MastodonLive at the Aragon double LP
Mastodon/ZZ TopJust Got Paid 7”
NirvanaHormoaning 12”
OFF!Live at Generation Records 7”
Opeth – “The Throat of Winter” 7”
R.E.M.R.E.M. Three 7” set
Sonic YouthWhore’s Moaning 12”
TelevisionLive at the Old Waldorf double LP
The Black AngelsPhosgene Nightmare 10”

Remember when vinyl hounds ate shit while CDs dominated the record sales market?  Yeah.

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Zach Hill: Death Grips and Wavves...

Caught wind of a couple Zach Hill projects, one of which is a rather aggressive avant-garde hip-hop project dubbed, Death Grips.  This is called, "Full Moon (Death Classic)," and it obviously reflects the sort of percussion you expect from Hill and a lyrical flow to match.  I'm happy just listening to hip-hop that's not comprised of soundboard-generated tinny beats, extended hooks that cancel out the need to come up with an actual verse or two and a shitload of auto-tune.

From Album Of The Year, there are three tracks from Wavves that feature Hill.  Either go there, or click below.

Latest tracks by wavveswavves

Letters From A Tapehead

Thurston Moore: Benediction

Stereogum posted a small blurb regarding “Benediction,” a new song by Thurston Moore. NPR is currently hosting the single, which is from Moore’s upcoming solo album, Demolished Thoughts.

The album was produced by Beck Hanson and will be out in May. I’ll be reviewing it for No Ripcord at a later date. In the meantime, I reviewed Moore’s last solo album, Trees Outside The Academy, in 2007 along with the then-new reissue of Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation. If you want to check it out, just click here.

Letters From A Tapehead

Battles: Ice Cream (feat. Matias Aguayo)

Tiny Mix Tapes posted a track from Battles' upcoming Gloss Drop album.  The track is rhythmically playful and continues the band's tradition of vocal freestyling, (or mostly indecipherable lyrical jive).  Gloss Drop is releasing June 7th.

Give "Ice Cream" a listen here.

For a review of Battles' 2007 release, Mirrored, (and somewhat of a profile on drummer John Stanier), click here.

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Inbox Giveth: Drugs Of Faith, Lecherous Gaze...

Drugs Of Faith
Selfmadegod Records
Released: 2.22.11

Virginia’s Drugs Of Faith revel in grinding speeds and syncopation for their debut LP, Corroded. Consider its less than thirty minutes more of an attack than an album, songs like album opener “Grayed Out” and “Race to the End” quintessentially hardcore wrapped up in a metallic attempt at crossing over. Think D.R.I., though “Hidden Costs” unpredictably hits on Jawbox-informed melody, suggesting an allegiance to D.C. post-hardcore as well.

Lecherous Gaze
Lecherous Gaze EP
Tee Pee Records
Released: 3.29.11

Thin Lizzy and Motörhead meets Danzig? Yeah, actually. Though their home page unjustly boasts them, “The Future Of Rock N’ Roll,” there’s a dirty soul and punk bred spirit throughout the EP’s four tracks that’s at least admirable. Plenty of guts are on display throughout riffs in songs like “Phaze” and “Sold,” hearkening back to Sabotage-era FM. The slow and grimy “Graveyard” and MC5-tinged “R ‘n’ R Lust” provide midway tension and an opportunity to brandish a solo or two. Overall, it’s an enjoyable four tracks. It’s not going to blow your mind, just make it smile.

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, March 18, 2011

No Ripcord: Mi Ami

Mi Ami
Thrill Jockey
Released: 3.15.11

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Boris: Announcements regarding Japan and upcoming albums...

Obviously, there’s little else that matters as Japan continues to undergo the hardships following March 11th’s earthquake. Boris, though, is one of those wonderful things that Japan has given us, so as fans we're happy to have received the following statement from the band.

All information is courtesy of Us/Them Group, who’ve thoughtfully included a link to the Red Cross for those who wish to send some aid.

Via Us/Them Group:

Boris issues statement regarding tragedy in Japan, album delays

Iconoclast Japanese trio Boris have released a statement regarding the tragic events in Japan over the past several days. The full statement is as follows:

Boris expresses our condolences to everyone who passed away because of current unexpected earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, and also our deepest sympathies for all of the people who have a hard time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

"All Boris members, our families and staff are safe now. Thank you very much for kind words and thoughtful messages.


Additionally, due to circumstances beyond the control of both Boris and Sargent House, the release date for the band's two new full length albums,
Attention Please and the all-new Heavy Rocks have been pushed back to May 24th, 2011.

Both albums will be released on the same day worldwide (excluding Japan) via Sargent House. Further details to come.

Donations to aid the disaster relief efforts in Japan are being taken by the American Red Cross HERE, or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 for a $10 donation.

Artist: Boris
Album: Attention Please
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: May 24th, 2011

Artist: Boris
Album: Heavy Rocks
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: May 24th, 2011

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, March 14, 2011

What I Heard This Morning: Adebisi Shank

I'm sold. First of all, Irish maniacal math trio, Adebisi Shank, have a great album title, This Is The Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi ShankMenomena did something similar with I Am The Fun Blame Monster!, which unscrambled read, "The First Menomena Album."

Second of all, Adebisi Shank is indeed comparable to a technologically aided progressive act like Battles, but there's also a very raw and reckless edge to them that reminds me of Shining's Grindstone album.  They utilize overt metallic riffs, almost Yes-tinged ivory theatrics and vocoder-enhanced vocals, suggesting archaic notions of science fiction's future world.  I've posted two singles, "International Dreamboat" and "Genki Shank," but there is an option to stream the entire album through one of the links I'm posting below.

All information is courtesy of Us/Them Group. 

Irish trio Adebisi Shank releases award-winning album worldwide, U.S. live debut this week at SXSW

This week, Ireland's multiple award-nominated breakout trio Adebisi Shank sees the worldwide release of its critically-acclaimed recent album, This Is The Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank via Sargent House. The band also makes its U.S. live debut this week during the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, TX. See below for details on all of their U.S. shows.  RCRD LBL launches a free MP3 download/stream for the song "Genki Shank" today (get it HERE). AOL Spinner will also offer a full album stream all week long, listen to full album HERE.

An additional album MP3 "International Dreambeat" is available HERE. Watch live videos for "International Dreambeat" HERE and "Masa" HERE.

Adebisi Shank has signed to Sargent House for worldwide management and release of its sophomore album, to be released on March 15th, 2011. The Wexford, Ireland trio deftly merges the triumphant guitar harmonies of Fang Island with the mathematic precision of Battles, the genre-surfing playfulness of Daft Punk and churning intensity of HEALTH. But it's much more than the sum of those parts, it's a sound befitting of the retrofuturism we've come to love about old films where archaic technology collide with far more further-reaching ideas. To wit, the album cover depicting two zebras galloping across a
Tron-style neon landscape perfectly embodies the transcendent intersection of triumphant guitars and rollicking drums with vintage synthesizers, marimbas, horns, vocoder, synthesizers, ensemble percussion and musical instruments we're not sure have even been invented yet.

Adebisi Shank has been doted on by Irish, European and UK press since its 2007 debut EP, 2008 full length and the 2010 Irish release of
This Is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank -- which topped countless Year-End Best of 2010 lists, was nominated for the coveted Choice Music Prize (Ireland's equivalent of the Mercury Prize) and named by Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper one of the Top Five Best New Irish Bands. The album was previously issued in Ireland/UK by equally likeminded and groundbreaking DIY Irish label Richter Collective (co-founded and co-operated by Adebisi Shank drummer, Mick Roe) in 2010.

This is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank features contributions from Mercury Prize nominated Villagers frontman Conor J O'Brien and Ireland's Choice Prize winner Richie "Jape" Egan among others. The album was recorded and produced by the band and Stephen J. Caffrey in various locations around Ireland and mixed and mastered by TJ Lipple at his home in Washington DC. The trio's debut full length, This is the Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank was produced by legendary musician (Jawbox, Government Issue) and producer (Jawbreaker, Dismemberment Plan) J. Robbins.

"On the first album, our mission was get in, tear it up, get out," explains bassist Vin. "The whole thing is over in about 24 minutes, which is really cool, but this time we wanted to make something that you could really spend a bit of time with, get a bit lost in. This one's 40 minutes, which might not sound a lot, but to us that is almost like a double album. There's a real sense of geography to the songs, you can really feel the places we've been and to an extent, the people we've met as we've travelled around. It seemed to make sense to bring in as many of our friends as we could to give the album the party vibe we felt it deserved." He continues, "It's a big glorious mess."

3/17 Giant Steps Productions' notSXSW @ Plush (617 Red River Street) - 4:10pm
3/18 The Full Irish Breakfast @ BD Riley's (204 East 6th St) - 5:00pm
3/19 Sargent House/RLP Showcase @ Emo's Annex (600 Red River St) - 10:30pm

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #47: Beach Boys' SMiLE Sessions Being Released...

In 2004, few albums made headlines like Brian Wilson's long-anticipated SMiLE. The album was shelved for years following Wilson’s mental collapse, and apparently some record company woes, and then brought to fruition almost four decades after its initial sessions began. Citing the success and acclaim that Wilson’s efforts gained, this new SMiLE Sessions box set is stated to be a very in-depth peek into the album’s development.

Via EMI:


Never-Before-Released Original 1966-’67 Album Sessions Compiled for 2CD and Digital Packages and Deluxe, Limited Edition Box Set

Hollywood, California - March 14, 2011 – Between the summer of 1966 and early 1967, The Beach Boys recorded, in several sessions, a bounty of songs and drafts for an album, SMiLE, that was intended to follow the band’s 1966 masterpiece, Pet Sounds. The sessions were ultimately shelved, and The Beach Boys’ SMiLE has never been released. With the full participation of original Beach Boys Al Jardine, Mike Love, and Brian Wilson, Capitol/EMI has collected and compiled the definitive collection, The SMiLE Sessions, for worldwide release this year in multiple physical and digital configurations.

The SMiLE Sessions presents an in-depth overview of The Beach Boys' recording sessions for the enigmatic album, which has achieved legendary, mythical status for music fans around the world. The SMiLE Sessions will be released in 2CD and digital album packages and a deluxe, limited edition box set.

Co-produced by Mark Linett and Alan Boyd, all of
The SMiLE Sessions’ physical and digital configurations will include an assembled album of core tracks, while the box set delves much deeper into the sessions, adding early song drafts, alternate takes, instrumental and vocals-only mixes, and studio chatter. The SMiLE Sessions invites the listener into the studio to experience the album's creation, with producer, singer and bassist Brian Wilson's vision leading the way as he guides his fellow Beach Boys, singer Mike Love, drummer Dennis Wilson, lead guitarist Carl Wilson, rhythm guitarist Al Jardine, and newest member Bruce Johnston (who'd replaced Brian Wilson in the touring group during 1965), through the legendary sessions.

"I'm thrilled that The Beach Boys' original studio sessions for
SMiLE will be released for the first time, after all these years,” says Brian Wilson. “I'm looking forward to this collection of the original recordings and having fans hear the beautiful angelic voices of the boys in a proper studio release.”

“One of my favorite songs from the
SMiLE sessions is ‘Wonderful’,” says Mike Love. “The song truly lives up to its title, as do many of the tracks on SMiLE. Cousin Brian was at his creative peak during those sessions. I’m unaware of anything that comes close in pop music.”

“I recently played some of my personal acetates from the
SMiLE sessions and they held up really well,” says Al Jardine. “We would come home from touring and go straight into the studio to record. Brian couldn't wait to show us his latest ideas. We were recording SMiLE and Pet Sounds material simultaneously, so the tracks and vocals all have the same great quality. Most of the vocals were done at Columbia Studios in Hollywood , across the street from Western Studios, where most of the tracking was done.”

“For me, it's always been about the way Brian Wilson brilliantly composed and 'voiced' his amazing chord progressions and melodies,” says Bruce Johnston. “
SMiLE really made me smile!”

“Personally, I loved it,” the late Carl Wilson said in 1994 of the
SMiLE sessions (from the Don Was-directed documentary, Brian Wilson: I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times).

“In my opinion it makes
Pet Sounds stink - that's how good it is,” the late Dennis Wilson told a journalist in 1966 of the planned SMiLE album.

What Brian Wilson brought to the table, in his effort to maintain The Beach Boys' position among the top rock 'n' roll bands of the day, was beyond what anyone could have expected. Beginning with “Good Vibrations,” then into
SMiLE, Wilson had begun to construct songs in a modular form, crafting individual sections that would later be edited together to form a coherent whole. In several intense bursts of creative energy, Wilson , drawing on the talents of the finest studio musicians in Los Angeles and utilizing the best studio facilities available on any given day, laid down dozens and dozens of musical fragments, all designed to fit together in any number of possible combinations. No one had done this in pop music, and Wilson had just created “Good Vibrations,” The Beach Boys’ best-selling record in a long string of hits, by using this method. His next endeavor would be an album-length version of this unique and luxurious songwriting parlance: SMiLE.

In 1965, Brian Wilson had met an up-and-coming session keyboard player and songwriter, Van Dyke Parks. Noticing Parks' conversational eloquence, Wilson felt that he could help to volley The Beach Boys’ songwriting into the wave of broader-messaged and socially-conscious rock 'n' roll that would come to define the '60s. They were soon collaborating on keynote songs for
SMiLE, including “Heroes and Villains,” the band’s follow-up single to “Good Vibrations.” Wilson and Parks would also co-write “Surf's Up,” “Vegetables,” “Cabin Essence,” “Do You Like Worms,” “Wonderful,” “Wind Chimes,” and other bits and pieces of the SMiLE tapestry. Parks also introduced Beat-Pop artist Frank Holmes to create album sleeve art and a booklet interpreting the album’s James Joyce-mode lyrics.

The reason
SMiLE did not see a release in early 1967 had more to do with back room business that obscured the creative side of the program than anything else. In late 1966, The Beach Boys formed Brother Records, initially to produce outside artists. Soon, however, The Beach Boys would become embroiled in a court action with Capitol Records with the goal to become the top-selling artists on their self-owned, independent label. The group withheld “Heroes and Villains” and announced they would instead release “Vegetables” – recorded with the band’s own money in April of '67 – on Brother Records. By July of 1967, Capitol Records and The Beach Boys had come to terms, with Capitol agreeing to distribute the band’s Brother Records, and it was agreed that SMiLE was no longer to be the band’s next album.
The SMiLE Sessions’ global release date, complete track lists, and artwork will be unveiled soon.

“Surf's up, aboard a tidal wave, come about hard and join the young and often spring you gave. I heard the word, wonderful thing... a children's song... ” - from “Surf's Up” (Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks)

Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No Ripcord: Earth

Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light: 1
Southern Lord
Released: 2.22.11

Letters From A Tapehead

Saturday, March 12, 2011

4.16.11 — Record Store Day #2: The Wake & Captured Tracks

More Record Store Day enticements.  I'm not too familiar with The Wake, but I did enjoy the "On Our Honeymoon" track enough to possibly add their reissued 7"s to my ever-expanding wish list.

Via Force Field PR:

Captured Tracks reissues, pays tribute to The Wake

VIDEO: The Wake - "On Our Honeymoon" Fan Video

STREAM: Beach Fossils - "Plastic Flowers (The Wake cover)" -

In celebration of record store day, Captured Tracks is releasing two classic, hard to find singles by highly influential Scottish post-punk band, The Wake. These two releases book-end the 80's for the band, as their privately released On Our Honeymoon 7" on Scan in 1982 was their first (and only) pre-Factory record, while Crush the Flowers 7" is their final release in the 80's (1989) and their first post-Factory record for the illustrious Sarah label.

In conjunction with those two releases, Captured Tracks is offer a tribute white vinyl 7" featuring faithful and well-crafted Wake-approved covers of two classic songs by two Captured Tracks artists, Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing, available direct from the label's site or participating stores. The bundle of all three 7" records will come with reproduced buttons of The Wake.

The Wake
On Our Honeymoon 7"
(Captured Tracks)
Release Date: Apr. 16, 2011

1. On Our Honeymoon

2. Give Up

The Wake
Crush the Flowers 7"
(Captured Tracks)
Release Date: Apr. 16, 2011

1. Crush the Flowers

2. Carbrain

Beach Fossils / Wild Nothing
Gruesome Flowers: A Tribute to The Wake 7"
(Captured Tracks)
Street date: Apr. 26, 2011

1. Beach Fossils: "Plastic Flowers"

2. Wild Nothing: "Gruesome Castle"

Label -
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...