Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cover(s) of the Day: Beer Corpse & Backslider w/ Nimbus Terrifix

The Give Praise label has released a couple grindcore 7" albums from the bands Beer Corpse, Backslider and Nimbus Terrifix.  However you feel about grindcore, I was both amused and intrigued by the cover art of each release.

Give Praise is a vinyl-only label and they pay close attention to the cores of grind, speed and violence.

Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Shabazz Palaces

This is a pretty hypnotic track.  Sub Pop's Shabazz Palaces is releasing Black Up, which is their debut.  Check out the single, "an echo from the hosts that profess infinitum."  No extended hook, actual verses, some creative liberties with the backing track... It's pretty much the opposite of what's popular in rap music these days.

They'll be playing the Kung-Fu Necktie in Philadelphia on May 11th for one of their two east coast dates. 

All info, links and tour dates are courtesy of Sub Pop.

Black Up by Shabazz Palaces out JUNE 28
Documentary Trailer Featuring “Blast It”
Tour Dates

Surprise! Shabazz Palaces has a new release date for their debut full length Black Up, which will now be out June 28th in the US and June 27th worldwide on Sub Pop Records.

In other news, Shabazz Palaces recently scored the upcoming documentary Tough Bond, by Village Beat, about kids sniffing glue to survive street life in Kenya’s disappearing villages and exploding urban slums. You can check out the trailer for the documentary featuring the song “Blast It” of their self titled EP

Village Beat on Facebook

an echo from the hosts that profess infinitum

Shabazz Palaces have a few upcoming shows, including 2 east coast dates in May, and a performance at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago in July. See below for a full list of tour dates and or visit: for more information on the group.

Apr 30 Howlin Wolf, New Orleans, LA (Jazz Fest)

May 11 Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA 

May 12 Santo's Party House, New York, NY 

Jun 9 Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA
Jun 30 Neumos, Seattle, WA (CD Release show)

Jul 01 Neumos, Seattle, WA (CD Release show)
Jul 17 Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago, IL

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Death Grips: Ex-Military mixtape up for download...

About a month ago, I wrote a small blurb about Zach Hill's experimental hip-hop side-project, Death Grips.  A mixtape titled, Ex-Military, was released 4.26 and is available online for free.  They will be releasing a proper full-length later this year.  All the info, links and images below are courtesy of Third Worlds Music.

Avant hip hop group Death Grips releases free mixtape

Click image above to watch video

Intense and mysterious new avant hip hop group Death Grips has released for free download their entire recorded debut mixtape,
Ex-Military. The Northern California trio featuring virtuoso drummer Zach Hill formed in December 2010 and has quickly assembled a vast collection of songs and videos.

Download full album
Ex-Military HERE. Stream full album HERE.

Watch videos for several singles HERE. Download the latest video, "Guillotine" HERE.

All of Death Grips work is created in their compound THE KLINK in Northern California. Death Grips is conceived as a broadcasting system; there are no defined roles within the group and all members contribute to every aspect of the music. All Death Grips content is released via Third Worlds. Following the release of
Ex-Military, Death Grips is rehearsing for live performance & finishing songs for a Death Grips full-length album, which will be issued in late summer / early fall 2011.

Artist: Death Grips
Label: Third Worlds Music
Release Date: April 26th, 2011

01. Beware

02. Guillotine
03. Spread Eagle Cross the Block
04. Lord of the Game (ft. Mexican Girl)
05. Takyon (Death Yon)
06. Cut Throat (Instrumental)
07. Klink
08. Culture Shock
09. 5D
10. Thru the Walls
11. Known For It
12. I Want It I Need It (Death Heated)
13. Blood Creepin

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Atomic Bitchwax: The Local Fuzz

Sabbath meets Rush; Kyuss meets Black Mountain. The Atomic Bitchwax’s The Local Fuzz is one track at 42 minutes, but it flies by. Its exceptional array of riff and hook is the type of maddening entertainment you wish from any rock band worth its salt, so much to latch onto with time signatures throwing off every cycle but tying everything together seamlessly. It’s a thing to behold and a segment of “The Local Fuzz” is being hosted at BLURT, so check it out.

Or, check out the YouTube clip below.

All information is courtesy of Tee Pee Records:

BLURT premiers first earful of progressive rock innovators' one song 42 minute "rock and roll feast"!

Check it out here:

Legendary New Jersey hard rock band THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX (also TAB) will release its new album The Local Fuzz on June 21 via Tee Pee Records (the album is out now in the UK and Europe). The trio's fifth full length effort delivers an advanced take on its blistering, virtuosic sound via a single, glorious 42 minute song titled "The Local Fuzz" that contains no less than "50 riffs back to back", perfectly capturing the unit's vivid execution and ambitious vision.

Recorded at the Panic Room in Neptune, NJ,
The Local Fuzz pushes THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX's high-octane groove and powerful strut to new heights of unencumbered artistic expression. The band's "Rush-like riff mazes" weave through natural pop structures nearly effortlessly while the record's out-of-site production showcases the musicians' prowess at the apex of their career to date. Widely recognized as pioneers of the modern hard (or "stoner") rock sound, The Local Fuzz shows THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX as a forward-thinking band not content to rest on career accomplishments; instead surging forward to give fans a brand new way to re-experience the exhilarating rush and sonic assault of heavyweight Rock 'N' Roll.


New Jersey's Chris Kosnik, Finn Ryan and Bob Pantella first started plotting their musical careers back in the mid '90s influenced by '70s rock and progressive groups ranging from Black Sabbath to Parliament Funkadelic. Simultaneously all three members were already playing for major labels in separate bands: Godspeed (Atlantic), Monster Magnet (A&M) and Core (Atlantic). THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX has continually evolved over the past two decades, becoming widely recognized amongst rock musicians as "a player's band". The unit's self-described mantra is "play what you want" and its music is a combination of '60s psychedelic rock and '70s riff-rock filtered though the widening eye of progressive rock influences. Since the release of the band's self-titled debut in 1999, THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX has toured every year in both North America and Europe, performing in over 15 countries to widespread fan and critical acclaim. In that time the band has released the full length albums
TAB-2 (2000), TAB-3 (2005) and TAB-4 (2009) as well the EP's Spit Blood (2002) and Boxriff (2006) which included a live DVD filmed in Seattle, WA. The music of THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX has also crossed over to pop culture, appearing in the popular TV shows "Jackass", "Homewrecker" and "Fox Sports". This June, the band will release a new album titled The Local Fuzz which boasts a 40+ minute long track that merges "Over 50 riffs back-to-back".


April 25 Rotterdam, Netherlands Baroeg
April 26 Antwerpen, Belgium Trix
April 27 London, UK Purple Turtle
May 13 New York, NY Pianos

Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #49: Sebadoh's Bakesale

The 90s nostalgia campaign continues...

Via Sub Pop:

Deluxe Edition reissue of Sebadoh’s 1994 album Bakesale out on Sub Pop June 14

Download “Rebound” – both the song and the video

Sebadoh’s 1994 album, Bakesale, was the band’s fifth full-length album, arguably their best and certainly their most acclaimed. For this June 14, 2011 deluxe reissue the original album has been re-mastered and a full CD of b-sides, EP tracks and rarities, all from the same era as Bakesale, has been added (the full track listing is below). All of which was overseen by Sebadoh’s Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein. The album is also being reissued on LP for the first time in years and will include the bonus material as a digital download. If you pre-order Bakesale via prior to release date, you will also receive a free Bakesale poster. Click here to pre-order.

Sebadoh began in the late 1980s as a songwriting outlet for Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. What started as a few acoustic songs taped at home on a four-track recorder grew into a grassroots fanbase and a record deal with Homestead. With Barlow officially parting ways with Dinosaur Jr. in 1989, he and collaborator Eric Gaffney focused on Sebadoh and with the addition of Jason Lowenstein the band began touring and recording demos. It was these early demos that lead to a deal with Sub Pop Records in the early ‘90s.
Bakesale was Sebadoh’s third album for Sub Pop and seventeen years after its original release, it stands the test of time. With an entire disc of bonus material for this deluxe reissue there are more reasons to fall in love with this album all over again.

Right now on you can download a free mp3 of the song
"Rebound" from Bakesale (click track name to download) and watch the associated music video.

For more information on Sebadoh please visit:

Bakesale Disc 1 (original album):

01 License to Confuse
02 Careful
03 Magnet's Coil
04 Not a Friend
05 Not Too Amused
06 Dreams
07 Skull
08 Got It
09 S. Soup
10 Give Up
11Rebound (Listen & download)
12 Mystery Man
13 Temptation Tide
14 Drama Mine
15 Together or Alone

Bakesale Disc 2 (bonus tracks):

01 MOR Backlash
02 Not a Friend (four-track)
03 Foreground
04 40203
05 Mystery Man (four-track)
06 Drumstick Jumble
07 Lime Kiln
08 Fancy-Ass / Destitute
09 Perfect Way (four-track)
10 Give the Drummer Some
11 Cementville
12 Social Medicine
13 On Fire (acoustic)
14 Magnet's Coil (acoustic)
15 Rebound (acoustic)
16 Punching Myself in the Face Repeatedly, Publicly
17 Sing Something / Plate of Hatred
18 III Screams (Wet Synth Mix)
19 Monsoon
20 Rainbow Farm
21 Hank Williams
22 Careful
23 Dramamine
24 Not Too Amused
25 Shit Soup 

Sebadoh - Rebound (OFFICIAL VIDEO) from Sub Pop Records on Vimeo.

Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: White Fence

White Fence’s ...Is Growing Faith was released January 10th, so I’m late in the game on this one. If you can appreciate what “Jackin’ For Beats” was for Ice Cube, it’ll be easy to appreciate White Fence’s lo-fi appropriation of the Velvet Underground. You can liken Tim Presley’s (Darker My Love) minimalist and somewhat amateurish approach to bedroom tapes or chillwave, but that would be doing the song, “Get That Heart,” a disservice. At the very least, such comparisons might dissuade one from giving White Fence a listen. I think it’s pretty cool, so take that for what it’s worth.

...Is Growing Faith is out on Woodsist and all information is courtesy of Force Field PR.

"Get That Heart" by White Fence by forcefieldpr

White Fence announces New York shows, shares new track

MP3: "Get That Heart" -

Those who expect Tim Presley's White Fence project to be an extension of Darker My Love are in for a lysergic surprise. Sure, listen to White Fence... Is Growing Faith, and you'll hear the same sixties love as in Tim's day-job band. But replace the boogie bass with Velvet Underground & Nico guitars, and ramp up the weirdness; that's not your turntable's belt melting, that's the warped, pitch-bent sounds of an album with a sheen of lo-fi so grating, you'll feel all the brown acid in your brain melting into your pineal gland just in time for the bad trip lyrics to kick in-that and the laughter, and the reverb, and the echo, and the feeling that this is a nightmare Presley's welcoming you to enjoy. Few albums in the somewhat recent past have had such a bleeding, in-the-red mystery (think, roughly, of Ween's The Pod, or Alex Chilton's Like Flies on Sherbet, or most of the Ariel Pink catalogue), and this has a similar sense of being a calm before a storm, albeit a paisley one filled with hashish-laden clouds of wonder. Yet aside from a few well-placed punk drums and vintage guitar sustain that sometimes stretches as late as 1978, this could be the great lost Teenage Shutdown or Pebbles compilation, with fantastic fanciful ballads and faded odes to lost friends all wrapped up in a stoned-ground aural husk rough enough to wear down your teeth. It holds up as an album, but the individual songs each tell their own stories, sometimes in a style similar to the Kinks, sometimes like a Voxx Records band from the 80's, and sometimes like a third-generation Dylan-buzzed teen who only recently learned two chords on the Farfisa. There's enough scuff and noise for the John Cale Dream Syndicate fan in you, enough acoustic guitar for the lover you want to be, and enough rock for anyone who's ever grown their forelocks long because their school had an above-the-collar rule. ....Is Growing Faith is so creative, so enjoyable, so deep, you'll wonder how Tim does it, what with Darker My Love and the Strange Boys being just some of his many other projects. Clearly White Fence takes some go-go-go with its linger-linger-linger. As Presley says in "Tumble, Lies & Honesty," "There is a power in me: I never look behind." -Dan Collins

4/28 Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent Ave. *
4/29 Brooklyn, NY - Death By Audio
4/30 New York, NY - Cake Shop
7/30-31 Big Sur, CA - Woodsist Fest
* = w/ Woods, Spectre Folk

White Fence
...Is Growing Faith
Street Date: January 10, 2011


Label Page -
MySpace -

Letters From A Tapehead

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Ripcord: The Feelies

The Feelies
Here Before
Released: 4.12.11

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, April 22, 2011

Beastie Boys: “Make Some Noise”/”Say It”

Caught the Fight For Your Right Revisited video today on the Beastie Boysofficial site along with pre-order information and a slew of purchasing options.  The video's cameos are both excellent and ridiculous.  While doing a little research on the video, I happened upon another new single from the upcoming Hot Sauce Committee Part Two called “Say It,” which is available at Some Kind Of Awesome

Unlike Part One, Part Two is still being released May 3rd.  I haven't been excited about a Beastie Boys album in quite some time.

Letters From A Tapehead

P.S. -- Something else to keep in mind:

Toro Y Moi: Still Sound (Live)

I posted Toro Y Moi's "Still Sound" a few months ago.  His album, Underneath The Pine, (in spite of its rather awful cover), has been garnering high marks.  One has nothing to do with the other as my meager contributions, reviews and posts factor minimally next to the music sites and blogs music fans actually read, but I did receive this clip of Toro Y Moi performing "Still Sound" live in Washington D.C.

The Sweetlife Festival, which will happen May 1st, has been apparently preceded by occasional live shows put on by the festival's promoters.  This clip was recorded April 14th in Logan Circle.

Sweetlife Sessions - Toro Y Moi (Full) from sweetgreen on Vimeo.

Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Seapony

Catchy. A tad dreamy. Seattle trio, Seapony, is simplistic and airy, their new singles “Blue Star” and “Dreaming” playing like quick odes to “left of the dial” independence and, like Big Black, percussiion duties are generated by machinery, albeit modernized and smaller. It’s soft stuff, but it’s likeable. Their debut album, Go With Me, will be out May 31st on Hardly Art.

All information, links and tour dates are courtesy of Hardly Art:


MP3 - "Blue Star"
MP3 - "Dreaming"

Seattle three-piece
Seapony has announced album details for their debut full-length, Go With Me, forthcoming May 31 on Hardly Art. An mp3 of "Blue Star" is also now available, which is the first new Seapony material since their "Dreaming" single was released last fall.

About the record:

The music of Seapony is refreshing in its simplicity. Most songs on
Go With Me use no more than three chords, with an average running time around two-and-a-half minutes. In lieu of a human drummer, the Seattle trio entrusts time-keeping to a vintage gizmo the size of a desktop calculator. The lyrics to "Dreaming," the track that catapulted them into the spotlight, are just six lines long. Like Young Marble Giants and Beat Happening before them, this young three-piece has generated excitement that belies their music's modest means. And their back story is just as no-nonsense...


04.22.11 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe ^

05.06.11 - Portland, OR - Renn Fayre (Reed College)
05.07.11 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey #
05.28.11 - Santa Cruz, CA - 418 Project
05.29.11 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern %
05.31.11 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo % !
06.02.11 - Seattle, WA - The Vera Project $
06.15.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands *

^ - w/ Pains of Being Pure at Heart

# - w/ Beach Fossils, Craft Spells
% - w/ Eternal Summers, The Beets
! - w/ Catwalk
$ - w/ 14 Iced Bears, all-ages
* - w/ Idiot Glee, Holiday Shores 

Letters From A Tapehead

Daytrotter: Dax Riggs

I'm thinking you could stand to hear a really good Daytrotter session with Dax Riggs.  I'm listening to it right now and it sounds great.  Give it a listen.  You owe it to yourself.

4.20.11: Dax Riggs' Daytrotter set

You can find the session here.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gerard Smith (1977-2011)

I remember about a month ago seeing reports that TV On The Radio's Gerard Smith had been struggling with lung cancer, but I didn't expect to see news of his passing this morning.

A note from the rest of the band and a list of canceled show dates is on their official site, along with notice that "There will be more information as it becomes available."

This is very sad news. Multiple spins of Return to Cookie Mountain and Young Liars shall commence.

I found this very good and rticle via Guardian.Co.UK. Seemed like a fitting eulogy.


Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail Of Dead: Summer of All Dead Souls (Video)

The more I hear this song, the more I like it.  And now, it has a video.  All information is courtesy of Stunt Company:

WATCH: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead Give You The Creeps (FILTER Premiere)

Rock maestros, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, has recently released their new album, Tao of the Dead, and it is a rocker. Today we get to premiere their new video for the tune, "Summer of All Dead Souls."

The video was shot in the style of an old silent movie. It's filled with pretty ladies, creepy guys with a crystal ball, creepy black and white images, and many other slightly disturbing images.

Enjoy the clip below!

You can also catch Trail of Dead on the road with Surfer Blood right now!

Tour Dates:

29 Bowery Ballroom New York , NY
30 Middle East Boston , MA


01 Le Tulipe Montreal , Quebec
03 Lee's Palace Toronto , Ontario
04 Magic Stick Detroit , MI
05 Basement Columbus , OH
06 The Loft Lansing , MI
07 Bottom Lounge Chicago , IL
08 Grog Shop Cleveland , OH
10 Rock and Roll Hotel Washington , DC
11 Ottobar Baltimore , MD
12 First Unitarian Church Philadelphia , PA
13 Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn , NY

Check out Trail of Dead’s “Summer of All Dead Souls” video at

Letters From A Tapehead

Kylesa: Spiral Shadow

If you're a fan of Kylesa, the following news is for you.  All information and links were provided by Speakeasy PR.


Photo credit: Geoff L. Johnson

Apr. 20 -- Kylesa, the Savannah-based quintet who have won widespread praise for their earth-shaking blend of psychedelia and hard rock, return to the road on May 25 for a series of headlining dates as well as performances at venerable summer festivals including Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Music Festival and Maryland Death Fest.

"After a small break from several months of touring here and abroad, we're ready to get back on the road here in the U.S. and are very much looking forward to playing these lauded and diverse festivals," said songwriter/guitarist Laura Pleasants.

Spiral Shadow has earned universal praise since its 2010 release on Season of Mist Records. The highest metal entry on Village Voice's 2010 Pazz & Jop album poll, Kylesa's latest release was described as "sweaty as a south Georgia summer" by Spin Magazine and Pitchfork said in a just world "Kylesa would be a household name." The New York Times described the band's live performance as "... something trippier and more nebulous than metal, a tribal and swirly and patient sound..."

Tour dates are:

May 25 Charlotte, NC Casbah @ Tremont Music Hall

26 Richmond, VA Strange Matter
27 Baltimore, MD Maryland Death Fest @ Sonar
28 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place
29 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
31 Newport, KY Southgate House

June 1 St. Louis, MO The Firebird

2 Tulsa, OK The Marquee Theater
3 Austin, TX Liquid Sludge Festival @ The Scoot Inn (Chaos in Tejas)
4 Denton, TX Rubber Gloves
5 Houston, TX Free Press Summer Fest @ Eleanor Tinsley Park
10 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo

July 17 Chicago, IL Pitchfork Music Festival @ Union Park

Hour of 13 have been named the support act for shows between May 25 to June 2.

Letters From A Tapehead

4.20: Some of Marijuana’s Highest Notes...

I know that I’m missing a ton of popular music’s better-known pot tunes as one could go insane trying to find them all. So, for the occasion of 4.20, I figured I’d at the very least single out some of my favorites. Some of these are subtle with the drug references (“Salesman”), others may be branching out in terms of its opiate of choice (“YHWH On Acid”). Hopefully, this will provide some of you a nice backdrop for the day’s inactivity, snacking and television viewing. Enjoy.

Any additions to the list? Let me know.

Cypress Hill – "I Wanna Get High"

Cypress Hill/Sonic Youth – "I Love You, Mary Jane"

Sleep – "Dopesmoker" (Yes, the entire track)

Black Sabbath – "Sweet Leaf"

The Fraternity Of Man – "Don’t Bogart Me"

Method Man – "Tical"

Kyuss – "Gardenia"
“One smoke and your head spins around and around”

The Goats – "Wake N’ Bake"

The Pharcyde – "Pack the Pipe"

Queens of the Stone Age – "Feel Good Hit of the Summer"

The Monkees – "Salesman"
“Salesman with your secret goods that you push while you talk...”

The Other Half – "Mr. Pharmacist"

Steppenwolf – "The Pusher"

Peter Tosh – "Legalize It"

Saccharine Trust – "YHWH On Acid"

Grails - "Stoned at the Taj Again"

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

If By Yes: You Feel Right


If By Yes the "avant pop" quartet featuring Petra Haden, Yuka Honda and Cornelius members, Hirotaka Shimizu and Yuko Araki, have a new video out for their song, "You Feel Right." The song itself is light and airy, Haden's voice receiving ample opportunity to beautify everything that's going on. She does have a great voice, and If By Yes works perfectly to bolster her appeal.

Their debut album, Salt On Sea Glass, was released via Sean Lennon's Chimera Music label on March 22nd.

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, April 18, 2011

4.16.11 — Record Store Day #6: Competing With Geeks...

A.K.A. Music
Philadelphia, PA

In 2009, for Record Store Day, I spent my money at A.K.A. Music.

Though happy for the excuse to shop for some albums and pick up a couple unique and rare items, I remember being sort of underwhelmed by the event.  Other stores had gone so far as to feature live music, set up grills and barbecue... they took more of an opportunity to thank shoppers for their support and treat Record Store Day like a celebration.

To me, though, it seemed like more of an opportunity to sort of dangle the treats over a bunch of salivating geeks and capitalize a bit.

Yesterday, I revisited A.K.A. and was in line thirty minutes before the store opened, so I wasn't too thrilled at the prospect of fighting my way into the store.  And, that's what happened.

As interested as I was in some of the RSD exclusives this year, the only real prize for me was Bad Brains' "Pay To Cum" 7," just so I could hear that song in glorious analog.  And, I thought the pairing of Mastodon and ZZ Top for a split 7" was inspired enough to earn the expense.  But, the mire of bodies that I'd been flung into once the doors opened proved to be a frustrating hipster swamp that was difficult to navigate and it sort of prevented me from spending any real time viewing what was made available.  Bodies would part long enough for me to sort of inspect the spread, which consisted of a few tables situated around the register and the NEW RELEASES wall, which was, at the time, impossible to view thanks to the crowd.  I found the Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' I Love Rock & Roll 12" at the price of $19.99, which I thought was a bit too much.  After that, I found The Black Angels' Phosogene Nightmare 10" at a better price, but I left it just in case I found something I wanted more, (the problem with shopping on a budget).   The Television release was almost $50.

The jackals there for the exclusives, and you could tell who they were, would push their way to each table and snatch up the small filing boxes of 7"'s, their shoulders hunched up like they were taking tests and hiding their answers.  There would be reports from one salivating hipster to another regarding their progress: "Did you get the Fleet Foxes, yet?  Are there any more?  Get me one!"  The couple singles and such that I did find were a little too expensive, asking $12-$14.  I remembered paying no more than $6 for singles in 2009, (the Sonic Youth/Beck split 7," the Sonic Youth/Jay Reatard split 7," the Tom Waits Glitter & Doom 7"), so I felt like we were being gouged.  Granted, the spikes in price could very well be indicative of the hard times indie stores currently face, but it could also be indicative of exploitation.  As ravenous as many of the exclusives crowd were, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if many of them hadn't known what they were spending before they got to the register.  It was just all about getting a piece of that limited run, at whatever cost.

I was in the thick of it for maybe ten or so minutes, getting cut off and pushed around while trying to check out what everyone else wanted to check out and I was over it.  I managed to break through the crowd so I could shop.  Finding room to breathe was nice.

The rest of the store remained relatively unexplored for the first half hour to forty-five minutes or so of my visit, so the back of the store where the vinyl is located was light on customers and easy to peruse.  Prices, though, were proving to be ridiculous, which once again could correlate directly with living in a download-crazy consumer climate.  While I do my best to only patronize the indie stores for my record buying, the consumer's budget is still something to consider.

Despite being turned off to the mad rush, it was nice combing through the LPs and crossing wants off my list:

Sic Alps - Napa Asylum double LP
Grails - Deep Politics double LP
Zach Hill - Face Tat
Sonic Youth - Simon Werner A Disparu

I was at the store with friends, one of whom brought me a copy of the Skip James Today! 12," but it was $25 and I'd already decided on most of my purchases.  I wound up putting that one back with some apprehension.

A little while later, I was looking through the CDs.  As far as new releases, A.K.A. stocks aplenty.  Their catalogue selections, though, have dwindled significantly.  Optimistically, I'm hoping whatever revenue yesterday's shopping onslaught generated will replenish the store's CD selections, or, at the very least, allow them to expand their vinyl inventory.  After all, if CDs are going to inevitably fade into nonexistence, then the LP's much talked about resurgence should, in a perfect world, make up the difference.

From the CDs, I added:

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
The Birthday Party - Prayers On Fire

Realizing that my budget was tapped, my brother and I got in line and talked about for about an hour while we waited.  This observation was brought up later during our post-shopping lunch excursion, but there were a LOT of people holding onto the new Foo Fighters album.  I also picked up on conversations regarding Nirvana's reissued, Hoarmoaning, which has tracks released subsequently on other albums and compilations.  We managed to gain some access to the exclusives being in line, so we looked to see if there was anything else we may have wanted.  I did NOT see the Mastadon/ZZ Top album, which was disappointing.  Nor, did I see the OFF! 7" and The Black Angels 10" was sold out.

Can't say it was a bad day, though.  I got some good albums out of the deal, got to hang out with friends and I have some new slabs of vinyl to throw on the platter.

I understand that Record Store Day exclusives are an enticement and their rarity and uniqueness is meant to stimulate the desire to visit these record stores on this now somewhat sacred annual occasion.  But just going to a store and communing with fellow fanatics is at the heart of what may become extinct if stores continue to falter.  Exclusives, though well-intended, facilitate a philistine subset of music fan, one whose appreciation seems to go as far as the investment.  I want to think that Record Store Day is still about the stores, but its commercial viability is becoming more and more realized.  While stores capitalize and, hopefully, survive because of the draw, I hope the point of Record Store Day isn't being missed.

I did manage to find my Bad Brains 7," but it won't be up on E-Bay anytime soon.

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, April 15, 2011

To Whom It May Interest: Dos, Velvet Monkeys, Locrian, U.S. Christmas (USX), “Echomancy"

From the Hoot Page. 
This photo was taken in 2002.
For those of you that may be getting tired of seeing the name Mike Watt appear on this site in regards to one thing (Floored By Four) or another (Hyphenated-Man), here’s something else to annoy you. Watt and ex-Black Flag bassist, Kira Roessler, have been performing together for a number of years as Dos. Their forth album, Dos y Dos, will be out on Watt’s Clenchedwrench label on 6.7.11. In the meantime, more details regarding Dos can be found at Watt’s exhaustively detailed Hoot Page.


Velvet Monkeys 1982 release, Everything Is Right, will be reissued via producer Don Fleming’s Instant Mayhem label. The album will be out 6.7.11.

The below information is via Howlin’ Wuelf Media:

This reissue of the Velvet Monkeys debut 1982 release,
Everything is Right, features Don Fleming (later of Gumball and producer of Sonic Youth, Teenage Fanclub, Screaming Trees, Hole, Alice Cooper, Joan Jett, Andrew W.K.) on vocals and guitar, Elaine Barnes on vocals and keyboards, Stephen Soles on bass and Jay Spiegel (Half Japanese, Gumball, Dinosaur Jr., Lookies) on drums. Coming out June 7 on Instant Mayhem distributed by IODA.

Skip Groff
, producer of many notable Washington, D.C. bands, first recorded the Velvet Monkeys in 1981 at Don Zientara’s Inner Ear Studio.  "Drive In" and "Shadow Box," were featured on Groff’s
Connected LP, a sampler of D.C bands released in 1981 on Limp Records. The band followed with the 10 song cassette-only Everything is Right, released on their own Monkey Business label in July 1982. Three additional live songs from a show at the Chancery in D.C. on New Year’s Eve 1981 have been added to the original release for this reissue.

The Velvet Monkeys were formed in Washington, D.C. in 1981 and found many like-minded bands in the mushrooming local scene including Half Japanese (with whom Fleming, Barnes and Spiegel also played), Tiny Desk Unit, The Nurses, and Chalk Circle. The band was originally a three-piece combo that included prominent use of a Dr. Rhythm drum machine. By late 1981, drummer Jay Spiegel, a.k.a. the Rummager, joined the line-up and the band began their move from minimalist art-rock toward an increasingly heavier sound.

The digital reissue of
Everything is Right is the first release on Don Fleming’s Instant Mayhem label since partnering with digital distributor IODA. The audio was restored from the original analog tapes and remastered by Fleming. Instant Mayhem will release reissues of Fleming’s older catalog (w/Velvet Monkeys and Gumball) as well as new projects. The next two releases for the label are a new solo EP titled Don Fleming 4, and a new album by To Live and Shave in L.A. called The Cortège.


Favorite darkness experimentalists, Locrian, have released a split 7” with Horseback. Their song, “In The Absence Of Light,” which would suit well enough as a descriptor of the band’s output, was recorded before their last album, The Crystal World, a review of which can be found here.

Locrian and Horseback have also apparently teamed up for an upcoming EP.

Via Land Of Decay/Press release:

Artist: Locrian/Horseback
Edition: 300 Copies:
Format: 7" Record
Label: Turgid Animal Records

Track Titles:

Side A: Horseback - Oblivion Eaters

Side B: Locrian - In the Absence of Light

Turgid Animal is proud to present two of the best of the new school of American dark experimental acts on one record. For those not in the know, Horseback's main man Jenks Miller has had a few other heavy hitting titles already released on Turgid Animal over the years and has recently been signed to the mighty Relapse Records. His unique sound encompasses elements of drone, noise, black metal and home grown Americana folk, the latter of which becomes very apparent on his side of this split single. Locrian on the reverse demonstrate the cold, calculating and heavy side of experimental music in a way few can compete with. Using the power of focused composition, they forge an expert slice of their vision; a world where bleak & beautiful drone is king. 300 copies. Black Vinyl. 


U.S. Christmas (or, USX as they seem to be going by these days) are putting out a single track full-length LP dubbed, The Valley Path. I got to check it out yesterday and it sounds great. I plan on reviewing it in the near future. In the meantime, below is some information regarding the album and some upcoming live dates.

All information is courtesy of Earsplit PR:

USX: Appalachian Masters Of Dark Psychedelia To Release The Valley Path Via Neurot Recordings This May

Neurot Recordings is proud to unleash the latest full-length from Appalachian masters of dark psychedelia, USX. Titled The Valley Path, the epic follow-up to 2010’s critically-lauded Run Thick In The Night consists of one, near 40-minute mammoth track of esoteric beauty set for release in North America on May 31, 2011.

Commented guitarist/vocalist/wordsmith Nate Hall of the prodigious offering:
“When the idea for The Valley Path was imagined, all involved agreed it was true and went forward. Forward in thought, forward in vision, forward in action. We achieved what we wanted to achieve, and whatever is said about The Valley Path, it will stand. USX has played more gigs than I can remember, from Marion to Prague, Detroit, Austria, Memphis and Switzerland. Dirt floors and Masonic temples, churches and ghettos, wilderness and cities. To dozens and hundreds – occasionally thousands. We have recorded our songs, projected our collective visions. We have realized all that we have imagined. At this point, we have nothing to prove. We’ve been under the gun many times, and whatever anyone might think about us, we’ve never flinched. Never compromised. When things are good – and they usually are, being in this band is a dream. But we can’t entirely escape reality. Fuse boxes blow, power fails, instruments break, people leave. We vomit in parking lots and go play inside. We sleep sitting up and wake up sore. Or we sleep in places most people would not willfully enter. We are hungry and miss home. We go on, and we are thankful because we have songs. And when we write our songs become a part of us, our center. Our home. A song does not have to be a part of a collection. It is more important for music to take the path it chooses, and an artist must be willing to let this happen. The Valley Path is one song. And a song is a thing that changes.”

The record was engineered by Travis Kammeyer, mastered by Vince Burke and features the fittingly striking cover art by Adam Pernell Deal.

As a precursor to the release of
The Valley Path, USX will be performing several one off shows, including three full acoustic performances in North and South Carolina. Confirmed dates include:

USX Live Actions:
4/16/2011 Earshot Records – Greenville SC [acoustic show]
4/22/2011 Static Age Records – Asheville NC [acoustic show]
4/29/2011 or 4/30/2011 (TBA) Night Light – Chapel Hill, NC [acoustic show]
5/25/2011 Pilot Light – Knoxville, TN w/ Black Skies, Generation of Vipers
5/26/2011 The Get Down – Asheville, NC w/ Black Skies, Generation of Vipers, Caltrop
5/27/2011 King’s – Raleigh, NC w/ Black Skies, Caltrop, Royal Thunder
“Nate Hall is a plain-faced general calling his troops to a doomed battle, but then jerking awake occasionally to find that it was all a moonshine hallucination.” — Decibel
“At times this is heavy, heavy psych that possesses the power to blow yer mind to little bits, but it’s when the band let their psych out to play with a Laurel Canyon acoustic strum that things really take off. Headphones and a bong are mandatory packing items for this trip.” — Montreal Mirror
“U.S. Christmas provide an album that challenges listeners instead of directly handing them emotions.” — Slug Magazine
“USX weave a psychedelic spell as potent as that by any other mystic. Open your third eye and get that nail ready.” — Sleazegrinder!/USX.APPALACHIA


2010’s Common Wealth was one of my favorite album’s from last year, so any project where Fletcher Tucker’s folk expressive nature boy Bird By Snow is tied, I’ll pay attention. Gnome Life Records is in the midst of developing a cassette tape series, Echomancy, making its own strides in the underground’s cassette revivalism.

Some songs from the series are available, which features Bird By Snow, Mega Bog and Yurt.

Via Terrorbird Media:

Gnome Life Records presents Echomancy: featuring Bird By Snow, Mega Bog, and Yurt

LISTEN to new tracks from Bird By Snow, Mega Bog, and Yurt HERE

This week Big Sur, CA based Gnome Life Records debuts their new cassette tape & Mp3 series called Echomancy, with awe inspiring releases by Bird By Snow, Mega Bog, and Yurt. Echomancy means divination through music and the presence of old magic spill out of the tapes and onto the beautifully occult packaging – cardboard tape boxes copper-foil embossed with esoteric symbols. Seeing is believing, take a look...

Now for the tapes...

"SUBTLE BODY" is BIRD BY SNOW 's new EP, and their 7th release overall (4 LP's & 3 EP's). On this EP Fletcher Tucker (Bird By Snow's only constant member) takes a breather from the studio and returns to his lo-fi life. With one mic and a cassette multitrack, Tucker sculpts songscapes simultaneously spaced-out and intimate. "Subtle Body" summons songs from the subtle (spiritually energetic) landscape of California and populates them with vision inducing, poly-melodic guitar lines; and trance inducing, minimalistic rhythms. With tunes and lyrics smuggled back from an astral hike through vibrational hills, this album feels like the soundtrack to a lucid dream, one where you fly on and on over an endless ocean.

Subtle Body by Bird By Snow

"Tucker's work is now something that resists easy summary -- one can hear everything from understated folk antecedents to fraught metal extremes to shadowed goth touches throughout its seven songs, but at no point is it simply one of those approaches, or any other one, for that matter." - All Music Guide

"NATIVE TONGUE" is the 1st release by YURT a new, far-out project by Fletcher Tucker (also of Bird By Snow). "Native Tongue" consists of 12 improvised (in Tucker's words "channeled") Jew's harp recordings, employing 11 different harps from around the world. The Jew's harp is a mystic instrument that sounds like no other. It appears independently in hundreds of regions and cultures throughout the globe, and features largely into a lot of sacred indigenous music. "Native Tongue" is a further testament to the Jew's harp's ability to siphon music into our world from other dimensions.

Native Tongue by Yurt

"OKAY HUMAN" is Gnome Life's first release by MEGA BOG, yet another new band on the label. Mega Bog is from Seattle and they play a kind of echoey pop music, this sort cold surf music, this groovy golden dawn music. "Okay Human" will transport you to an effortless groove space, a realm inhabited with glorious word forms, turns-of-phrase both alien and familiar, profound and playful – "My board, it crumbles in a heavy ocean weeze. I met my new best friend while crawling to my knees". It's time to let the spring sunshine in with this ultimate road-trip tape.

Okay Human by Mega Bog

"The band projects the power of the Northwest and its mysticism. The last time I saw Mega Bog perform, it was in a basement of a house in the U-district and it was one of the most powerful performances I've seen. Also, couple that thought with awesome saxophone solos." - The Stranger

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shopping For Records #48: Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman Turn 30...

...naturally, it's reissue time.

Sony/Legacy is releasing a 30th Anniversary Deluxe box set of Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, his legendary collaborations with the dearly departed Randy Rhoads

It's a big edition and you can find details here.  I hope the remasters will be available in a smaller edition, or individually.  I don't have a spare $150 to drop on two albums.

The set is available May 31, 2011.  See below for a trailer for the release.

I really hate inadvertently advertising for VEVO.  I really, really do.

Letters From A Tapehead

4.16.11 — Record Store Day #5: Charlotte Gainsbourg/Villagers & Ripple Music

More Record Store Day stuff.

Via Sure Shot PR:

Charlotte Gainsbourg & Conor O’Brien (Villagers)

Record Store Day 7” Single ‘Memoir’ 16th April 2011

Last Autumn, Charlotte Gainsbourg approached Conor O'Brien (aka Villagers) to compose a song for her. The result is 'Memoir', a song which Conor wrote between soundchecks and radio sessions on his week-long tour of the Midwest last September. The track was completed after working through the night in a Chicago hotel room.

Charlotte loved it and they recorded it together the following week at Studio Ferber in Paris, with Conor co-producing alongside Renaud Letang (producer of Feist, Jamie Lidell, Manu Chao).

The split 7" features the sumptuous 'Set the Tigers Free' by Villagers as well as Charlotte's beautiful rendition of 'Memoir', all wrapped up in some striking artwork by Conor and sold exclusively for Record Store Day.

The track will also feature on Charlotte Gainsbourg's
Live and Unreleased Album, which will follow later this year.


RSD Means Ripple Store Day – Special Discounts for Record Store Day Weekend

After exploding onto the scene June of last year, Ripple Music continues its path as one of the fastest growing Independent Record Labels in America.

Following a year that saw the signing and releasing of new and vintage material from Stone Axe, Poobah, JPT Scare Band, Fen, Modern Day Moonshine, Mighty High, Grand Atlantic, Sky Parade, and Kevin Beadles, Ripple Music followed up by adding such bands as Mos Generator, Iron Claw, Grifter, and Tripdavon to their roster, and joining with Small Stone Records to release new material from Sun Gods in Exile. And special projects are in the works for more Poobah, Stone Axe, JPT Scare Band, and special releases from this years Fuzzapalooza.

Now, Ripple Music will celebrate Records Store Day with their own Ripple Store Day. As a thank you to their fans and supporters who’ve allowed Ripple to unleash all this musical mayhem onto the world, Ripple will be applying special 15% discounts on everything ordered from the Ripple Store from April 15 to April 17th.

And when Ripple Music says “discount on everything” they mean everthing, including special collectors packages of Stone Axe I deluxe CD/DVD, vinyl and 7” single, the new
Heavy Ripples double 7” package, and the best-selling Poobah Let Me In double 12” LP. In the store, you can also find classic non-Ripple albums from Ripple artists Stone Axe, Mos Generator, and JPT Scare Band. All of which will get the additional RSD discount.

It’s all just Ripple’s way of saying thank you for allowing them to keep doing what they love, bringing the best music your way and putting the guts back into rock and roll!


Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I Heard This Morning/Week: Gypsyblood, Making Friendz, Coca-Cola 3

I blame life, because I always do when I fall so far behind. In fact, I’ll just apologize now for the future of Letters From A Tapehead, as work, family and overall exhaustion will always factor considerably with the frequency of updates and reviews. Just know that I have a lot to get through and that I’m working on it—slowly, but surely.

In the meantime, this is the good/interesting shit I caught onto this week:

Gypsyblood“My R.K.O. Is M.I.A.” (via Consequence Of Sound)

There is a very distinct Jesus And Mary Chain/Magnetic Fields haze that drapes the otherwise pop-driven output of Gypsyblood, their new album Cold in the Guestway having just released today (4.12). Some might say that Yuck is also capitalizing on 90s revivalism and attempting to evolve lo-fi, (sort of retrofitted Guided By Voices and Dinosaur Jr., with maybe even some Sonic Youth for dissonance sake), but I would focus on “progression.” If indie rock and the less accessible side of pop music is going to cling to melodic distortion, it’s good that songs like this are coming about.

All information on Cold In The Guestway is courtesy of the ever-awesome and accommodating Terrorbird Media:

Gypsyblood Debut Album Cold In The Guestway Out April 12 On Sargent House

Full Album Streams Available Now

Tour Dates With Maps & Atlases Announced

Stream: Cold In The Guestway via AOL Spinner & Absolute Punk

Download “In Our Blood” via Epitonic

Download “My R.K.O. Is M.I.A.” via Consequence Of Sound

The Chicago Reader recently sat down with Adam and Kyle from Gypsyblood to discuss their “accidental retro” sound. Read the fantastic interview here.

Gypsyblood formed in 2009 when longtime friends and former bandmates Adam James and vocalist/drummer/bassist Kyle Victor healed the somewhat fresh wounds of their previous band's breakup (initiated by Victor storming off stage after the last song and hitchhiking home.) The pair later made up and James invited Victor to hear demos of new songs he was working on. Gypsyblood was born shortly thereafter and the pair quickly wrote an impressive amount of songs together within two months.

In the end the pair recorded around 30 tracks working on their own in the dead of Chicago winter in an old building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The songs were captured on equipment normally used for film audio recording. Faint sounds of the band's bustling neighborhood outside can be heard at times throughout. There's a distinctly haunted, living presence to both the recording and the songwriting of Cold In the Guestway that cannot be replicated in a sterile studio environment.

Many musicians and other lucky few who have heard Gypsyblood have succinctly remarked, "my new favorite band." 
Dave Davison of Maps & Atlases and the solo project Cast Spells, who brought the band to the attention of Sargent House, remembers the first time he heard Gypsyblood. “One evening I was walking to get dinner when I was called into a parked car containing Chris Alvarez, Kyle Victor and Adam James. They were listening to the first mixes of the Gypsyblood album
Cold In The Guestway and upon hearing the songs, I immediately wanted a copy for myself. When I finally got sent a copy a week later I was hooked! I first met Kyle and Adam while they were playing in the band Karma With a K. Gypsyblood offers a more refined, but equally raw version of the music that I've come to enjoy from Adam and Kyle and their live performance is every bit as entertaining and even sometimes scary as it ever was. Whether in a small gallery or outdoor festival stage, the way that Adam is able to utilize and incorporate space into his performance is part of what makes him truly fantastic frontman.”

Gypsyblood's songs tend to start dissent among listeners trying to describe exactly of what their songs are reminiscent. Some common references include a strange amalgam of Pavement's early hazy-pop singles, The Jesus and The Mary Chain and early Guided By Voices. Put simply, it's a noisy, soft-focus approach to classic pop.

"Everything revolves around that feeling of restless old souls, a timeless aspect to the music," explains vocalist/guitarist Adam James. "We've all been on this planet -- whether we were in a past life, or whatever. We've all been singing these same notes for decades and now it's finally getting out to people's ears. It's something that comes from deep down within. It's unique to anyone who understands it."


04.15 – Buffalo, NY @ The Ninth Ward *

04.17 – Hamden, CT @ The Space *

04.19 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
04.20 – Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia*
04.21 – Washington, DC @ Rock N Roll Hotel *

04.22 – Harrisonburg, VA @ Clementine Café *
04.29 – Chicago, IL @ Liars Club (CD RELEASE SHOW)

* with Maps & Atlases

Sargent House



Making Friendz - "Situation" (via Brooklyn Vegan)

Making Friendz is bratty as fuck.  Some may not be so readily accepting of the bouncy, pep rally snot delivered by singer Tami Hart like she's the unwanted teenage lovechild of Leather Tuscadero and Toni Basil, but it's tough not to appreciate.  At least, it's fun.

All information below is also courtesy of Terrorbird Media, and there's a lot of it.

Making Friendz, aka MEN's Tami Hart, Announces Social Life Full Length Out June 21st on Last Bummer Records

Brooklyn Vegan Premieres Upbeat, Anthemic Single "Situation"

DOWNLOAD: "Situation" mp3 (via Brooklyn Vegan)

“Brooklyn's Making Friendz is, frankly, awesome.” – LA Weekly

Nearly ten years after her two solo records, New York Times “Artist to Watch” Tami Hart is back with the debut album from the latest of her many projects, Making Friendz.
Social Life, her much anticipated return, is a sweet, sweaty mixture of lo-fi punk and glossy pop, R&B and disco, rooted in a spirit of collaboration with fellow artists and friends. But make no mistake, Making Friendz is Tami Hart. Brooklyn Vegan premiered the lead single, the dirty yet dancy and super upbeat jam "Situation."

Hart, formerly signed to Mr. Lady Records, recorded two full-length albums by the time she was 21. By 22, Hart consciously moved away from the “folkie” image her critics had constructed and began her foray into noisepunk. She played guitar and sang in Gangway (bandmates included members who would ultimately become No Age) and played with Coachwhips, Abe Vigoda, K.I.T., eventually touring with Mika Miko. In 2005, Hart moved to New York City and started a two-piece garage band, Winning Looks, for which Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) recorded and pressed a limited 7”. Most recently, Hart has been playing bass for JD Samson’s latest band, MEN.

But by the time the Winning Looks 7” was released, Hart had already begun writing songs and finding collaborators to work with on Making Friendz. Inspired by listening to tracks by the likes of Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and Missy Elliott, Hart began experimenting with dance music, while still keeping her innate punk point of view. After recording demos of what would eventually become
Social Life, Making Friendz signed with Brooklyn record label Last Bummer Records, and will be releasing the album June 21st, 2011.

Click Here for JD Samson Video!

Click Here for SIA Video!


Making Friendz -
Social Life
Out June 21st on CD, LP, Digital via Last Bummer Records

Making Friendz Press Page
Making Friendz Facebook
Last Bummer Records Official Site
Terrorbird Official Site


Coca-Cola 3 - "Go Around"

Prepare for confusion.

I received an email a couple days ago from Tobias Lund of Flacon Recordings which, as best as I can tell, is a cassette devoted label.  Lund directed me to Coca-Cola 3, who have two cassette releases out on the Flacon label called Seal and Moby, (which is pretty fucking cool).  The music?  Not sure this would qualify as "music." Experimental?  Absolutely.  Noise?  Even better.  The band's opposition to melody borders on fascinating and CC3's lack of accessibility is only enhanced by their album art, which seems influenced by Nagel, Swatch Watch patterns and 80s florescent cheese.

They have a song called "Go Around" that might suffice in conveying what this group, (if it's even a group), is all about.

You can download the full Seal and Moby records at the label along with other release.

Letters From A Tapehead

Beauty Pill: The Cigarette Girl From The Future

It’s possible that I had maybe five readers when I first discussed Beauty Pill’s The Cigarette Girl From The Future EP way back in 2007. Upon hearing the song on my much loved Harmony In My Head, and finding out that the EP, out on Dischord, was out of print, I managed to find a copy through GEMM.COM. It has since become one of my favorite EPs of all time.

I’m spotlighting it today because Dischord has come into some physical copies and I feel I would be doing the band, and yourselves, a complete disservice by not mentioning this. It’s a great five song collection from a very underrated band and the title track... Well, you can sample its brilliance below.

Head on over to Dischord and order it before it's no longer available.

Find more artists like Beauty Pill at Myspace Music

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TV On The Radio’s Nine Types Of Light's "Visual Re-Imagining"...

TV On The Radio’s Nine Types Of Light is out today (4.12) and, obviously, it’s a big deal. As a companion piece to the album, TVOTR’s Tunde Adebimpe directed a film which, according to YouTube’s write-up, “is meant to be a visual re-imagining of the record, and includes a music video for every song on the album.” In cynical corporatized MTV-addled post-Reagan era speak, (or, how I read it), “visual re-imagining” means grab bag for video marketers to exploit with potential for single saturation. This is sort of like their Moonwalker, though TVOTR do their best to unite art and commerce with self-important interviews, psychedelically colorful cut paper animation, amateurishly shot dance parties and band members embroiled in antiquated virtual reality apparatus. I recognize a cast member from the Parenthood TV show.

The film’s pretension and potential marketability notwithstanding, Nine Types Of Light (the music version) sounds like it’s worth a listen or two. I’m enjoying it more than Dear Science, which I still consider grossly overrated despite popular belief. They still haven’t returned to cookie mountain, though, that’s for damn sure.

Forgive the VEVO crap.  I'm not a fan, either.

Letters From A Tapehead

Crystal Stilts: In Love With Oblivion Streams...

Interested in hearing the new Crystal Stilts?  Their new album, In Love With Oblivion, releases today (4.12).

Information and links have been provided by Force Field PR.

Stream the new Crystal Stilts album now

Plus extended tour dates

In Love With Oblivion -!/artist/Crystal Stilts

VIDEO: "Through The Floor" -

Back in 2008, a lot of heads turned to clock Crystal Stilts' Alight Of Night, their first album after a string of here-today-gone-tomorrow singles and EPs. It wasn't exactly a surprise - Crystal Stilts felt like part of a new age dawning, of underground collectives and random, crazy groups who'd rediscovered the joys of noise-pop and set about creating their own Creations - but there was something unique about Crystal Stilts, something hermetic yet gorgeous about the world they created. With their new album, In Love With Oblivion, they stretch things further still, honing their songcraft, indulging their more strung-out sides, full of elliptical verses and perfectly chiming guitars, cranky pop organs and the punkest of rhythms. It's a perfect blend of pop smarts and beguiling experiment.

Converging in the quiet of South Florida, Brad Hargett and JB Townsend dreamt a perfect pop group and then set about recreating the dream. Along the way to New York, they collected members, record labels, a cultish fanbase, raves from the likes of Dean Wareham and Stephen Pastel, and (from across the seas, at least) the kind of mystique even the 'know-everything' glaze of the modern 'net-age couldn't debase. I still listen to their records and wonder about the people behind the songs - and this does not happen very often nowadays. Their record covers are mysterious two-tone ciphers. They know the importance of a good font. In short, they sound and look like a group you want to be in.

And as with all good pop bands, Crystal Stilts not only look cool and sound great: they also listen hard. I recently read an interview where JB said his favourite show of '09 was The Mad Scene, which made me double-take - who else cares so much about Hamish Kilgour's other best group? But if Crystal Stilts are scholarly about pop, they don't wear their knowledge heavily. The best songs on
In Love With Oblivion are effortless, rapturous - "Through The Floor" burns on fevered energy; "Silver Sun" kisses the air with a beautiful stream of jangle guitar; "Alien Rivers" is a spooked, psychedelic requiem, roughly Opal's Happy Nightmare Baby + 14 Iced Bears' "Mother Sleep" x Victor Dimisich Band. (But that was my math, not theirs.) "Precarious Stair" is my favourite girl-pop-song-not-actually-fronted-by-a-girl since, I dunno, "Just Like Honey".

A friend of mine walked into my flat when "Half A Moon" was playing and for a split-second asked if it was The Damned's "Smash It Up", which made me chuckle. Then he looked at the speakers and wondered what exactly he was hearing. Hey, cool - it's always good to take people by surprise. Well, that's what Crystal Stilts do with
In Love With Oblivion - take all of those expectations you have and quietly, unassumingly, but determinedly turn them upside down, make you listen differently the glorious haze of pop they pour out of their bloodied veins. A buzzing organ, some slack-strung guitars, a clutch of Moe Tucker dreams and some black tambourines rarely sounded this alive. - JADE PILLAR

Sat-Apr-16 New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge #
Sun-Apr-17 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg #
Fri-Apr-22 Washington, DC Black Cat Backstage *
Sat-Apr-23 Raleigh, NC Kings Barcade *
Mon-Apr-25 Birmingham, AL Bottletree *
Tue-Apr-26 New Orleans, LA The Den *
Thu-Apr-28 Houston, TX Fitzgeralds (upstairs) *
Fri-Apr-29 Austin, TX Austin Psych Fest 4 at Seaholm Powerplant
Sat-Apr-30 Dallas, TX Club Dada *
Tue-May-03 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room
Wed-May-04 San Diego, CA Casbah
Thu-May-05 Santa Barbara, CA Muddy Waters
Fri-May-06 Los Angeles, CA Natural History Museum
Sat-May-07 San Francisco, CA Rickshaw Stop
Sun-May-08 Sacramento, CA The Hub
Tue-May-10 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
Wed-May-11 Seattle, WA The Crocodile
Thu-May-12 Vancouver, BC Biltmore
Fri-May-13 Kennwick, WA Red Room
Sat-May-14 Boise, ID The Linen Building
Sun-May-15 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
Mon-May-16 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
Wed-May-18 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
Thu-May-19 Madison, WI High Noon
Fri-May-20 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
Sat-May-21 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
Sun-May-22 Toronto, ON Sneaky Dees

# = w/ Spectrum

* = w/ The German Measles

Crystal Stilts
In Love With Oblivion
Street date: April 12, 2011

Crystal Stilts
Shake the Shackles
Street date: Oct. 26, 2010


MySpace -

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...