Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh, 2011... Where Have You Gone?

So, how do you feel about 40 LPs and 10 EPs and singles?

2011 is over in a couple days and I'm already anticipating new music for 2012.  Here are my favorite albums of the year.  Hope you enjoy the list and thank you for another year of support.  And, please, feel free to comment, yell, scream, disagree...  I'm all about debate and my "comments" sections have been quiet for some time.

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead


15). Noxious FoxesLégs

Légs was an album that I'd spent a few months with the intention of reviewing, but failing to unfortunately.  A duo comprised of drummer Richard Levengood and guitarist Justin Talbott, Noxious Foxes follows the avant propulsion and chord progressions of Hella, but also create jam-based instrumentals that rely purely on groove.  Guitar loops are masterfully constructed, allowing the limitations of being a two-piece to expand into very full, very densely performed music. 


14). Parts & LaborConstant Future

"Though the band doesn’t do much to expand on their 2008 album Receivers, the songs seem more cut-n-dry, their penchant for build-ups and suspenseful intros intact but not to the point of excess. "Fake Names" could easily have taken longer to begin, the slow development of ethereal keyboard and tom-heavy accents taking barely a minute before the song launches into percussion rolls and grinding guitars. The fat is trimmed, but nothing feels hurried. Parts & Labor get done what they mean to accomplish; they just do it without fucking around." — 5.9.11


13). Six Organs of AdmittanceAsleep on the Floodplain

"'A New Name on an Old Cement Bridge' stutters, daring (Ben) Chasny to miss his successive chords like a Thelonious Monk composition, heavy and almost erratic with his guitar pick. For 'Dawn, Running Home,' (Is that an accordian?), Chasny’s layering fades long enough to hear the distant echoes of a neighborhood. The effect is striking, the song’s words delivered like fragmented apologies: Warm, expressive — unintentionally jabbing cliché by exemplifying dignified sensitivity." — 3.3.11


12). LocrianThe Clearing

"Simply put, Locrian is continuing to merge a more musical approach with their better-established experimental identity, making their sound both as accessible as possible while incorporating more invention into their work. 'Chalk Point' is one of the best pieces of music I’ve heard this year, a simple piano melody adding some very distinct humanity to a sound-induced hallucinatory plain of weirdness and impending darkness. A guitar begins to weep, a beat is introduced, the keys flurry, the vocals drone, the effect is compelling." — 11.6.11


11). J MascisSeveral Shades of Why 

J Mascis had a busy year with Dinosaur Jr., touring on the strength of the band's very seminal classic, Bug, and enjoying both vinyl and cassette reissues of their first three albums via two different labels.  He also released the very good Several Shades of Why, an alterna-folk acoustic solo album for which he toured earlier this year.  Fueled simply by his aged and distinguished voice and some truly gorgeous melodies, not to mention a decent cast of co-conspirators like Kurt Vile, Broken Social Scene's Pall Jenkins and Ben Bridwell from Band Of Horses, Mascis made the pondering and wonderment of singer-songwriter music something engaging, a feat considering the wealth of such albums feigning purpose and world-weary Dylan-isms.  I hate to say that Mascis shows the kids how it's done, but he does.


10). Russian CirclesEmpros

"The band’s fourth album, Empros, seamlessly threads together a mire of unmitigated sonic emanations with a consciously utilized sensitivity to sound and beauty, crafting a less than monotonous or laborious listen. I liken it to either The Valley Path by U.S. Christmas or Grails’ 2008 release, Doomsdayer’s Holiday, both of which are dark and clad in Tony Iommi’s wisdom but also attentive to their specific purposes and identities. Empros is more of a suite than an album and Russian Circles attempt to brandish their wares in a discernible manner, splitting off from the mere conjuring of predictably pretty soundscapes. " — 10.27.11


9). Sic AlpsNapa Asylum

"Napa Asylum has even less disarray and more music, whatever acidic tendencies toward aural friction minimized, crafting melody-concerned culture shock to those of us accustomed to volumes of feedback. It’s also twenty-two songs and a little over 45 minutes: their lengthiest studio LP." — 1.26.11



8). HellaTripper

"Not surprisingly, Tripper thrives on musical irregularity and any momentary lapse into standardized pop rhythms ('Long Hair,' 'Netgear') or digestible guitar-driven melodies ('Headless,' 'Kid Life Crisis') are quickly remedied. Whether that’s to your delight or chagrin… 'eyes' and 'beholders.'" — 8.11.11



7). Empty Space Orchestra – s/t

"As sophistication seems consistently at odds with blues-informed garage, generationally speaking, Empty Space Orchestra combine both, taking riff rock and time signatures and coming up with the least condescending form of progression. The tunes are impressive, but not at the expense of energy." — 9.4.11


6). GrailsDeep Politics

"There are certain things you expect with Grails. First off, atmosphere. Second, Eastern influences. Third, heavy arrangements. Deep Politics has all of this and the band still manages to refine their edges without duplicating songs, writing the same albums or exhausting their vision." — 7.7.11 



5). EarthAngels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1

"The first crushing notes of 'Old Black' emanate from some anonymous American frontier, dusty and unpredictable, striding on its terrain while wandering determinedly and focused. You get the sense that, throughout Earth’s Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light: 1, stories are being spun using the band’s instrumental language and economy of notes, traditional narratives normally told over a backdrop of folk music, blues and country. Dylan Carlson plays as if exiled in some very distant, unpopulated part of his imagination, a vagabond absorbed in his internal surroundings, uncertain of where the elusive horizon will lead." – 3.14.11


4). MastodonThe Hunter

"Inasmuch as the band can boast huge metallic sounds and riffs, a sophisticated level of detail and precision, the gift of expanse and the energy and spiritedness of even the most basic rock n’ roll, The Hunter grants (Mastodon) an opportunity to not have to one-up their previous output, out “math” their songwriting or conceptualize themselves into a rut." – 10.5.11


3). Tom WaitsBad As Me

"Modern world or not, (Tom) Waits sounds right at home and Bad As Me, his newest studio offering since 2004’s Real Gone, ties together the lounge act, noir-rator of yore with the gruff-rough-n-tumble lab poet of recent." – 10.28.11




2). PJ HarveyLet England Shake

"PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake garnered a lot of praise this year for being both beautiful and strange, a testament to country-born pride, but also an examination of what it means to be English, which is to say Harvey waxes extensively about war, soldiers, carnage and nationalism." – 7.7.11



1). BorisAttention Please

"Attention Please, though, makes (Boris) into something more profound: an often puzzling albeit enthralling and super-malleable “fuck you” to the safety of classification." – 5.27.11





And, because I want to give as much credit as I possibly can, here are my follow ups:

16). The Rootsundun
17). BattlesGloss Drop
18). DeerhoofDeerhoof Vs. Evil
19). Crystal AntlersTwo-Way Mirror
20). MagazineNo Thyself
21). USXThe Valley Path
22). WireRed Barked Tree
23). BorisHeavy Rocks
24). HULLBeyond A Lightless Sky
25). Yuck – s/t
26). Thurston MooreDemolished Thoughts
27). Mike WattHyphenated-Man
28). DosDos Y Dos
29). The FeeliesHere Before
30). GypsybloodCold In The Guestway
31). LiturgyAesthethica
32). Death Grips - Exmilitary
33). Wolves in the Throne RoomCelestial Lineage
34). MogwaiHardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
35). The HorrorsSkying
36). Vivian GirlsShare The Joy
37). Explosions In The SkyTake Care, Take Care, Take Care
38). TotimoshiAvenger
39). All Pigs Must DieGod Is War
40). RadioheadThe King of Limbs

EPs and singles:

1). Locrian – “Dort Ist Der Weg” b/w “Frozen In Ash” 7"
2). The Evens 2 Songs 7”
3). Empty Space OrchestraDark Matters EP
4). BaptistsBaptists 7”
5). The Nighty NiteDimples EP
6). MogwaiEarth Division EP
7). Is/Is – “Vowel Movements” b/w “Blackest Beat” 7"
8). Giant SquidCenotes EP
9). The Besnard LakesYou Lived in the City EP
10). Mi AmiDolphins EP

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Buried In A Good Mix Tape: Best of 2011

So, how was 2011 for you?  Though I've yet to post the entire list of albums I've enjoyed this year, I did notice how much it deviated from many of the various lists I've been reading since the beginning of December, people's tastes revolving around tired folk (Bon Iver), dry Antony Hegarty/Sufjan Stevens-informed dubstep (James Blake), solo electronic masturbation (Washed Out) or electronic monotony (Cults) and gorgeous-sounding-boredom-mistaken-for-gorgeous-sounding-rock-music (The Antlers).  Call me out of touch, fine; I'm the last person in the world to declare superiority of taste or downplay a generations' music based on my perspective, (though I know I've been guilty of that from time to time). 

I will say, though, that if you pieced together a compilation of many of the year's big picks, it could very likely be used as a soft rock radio DJ's suit-selected playlist of light, accessible, non-threatening to the ears background noise sprinkled delicately between commercial spots and needless banter.  Boris more or less infiltrated pop music this year with Attention Please which, to me, spoke of a need to become reacquainted with other music forms since the indie circuit has been relieved of its purpose to exist as the antithesis of pop.  I don't really care if enthusiasts of James Blake or Bon Iver disagree.  If this is as aggro as you're willing to allow your ears to experience, then I certainly can't help you.  After all, I'm out of touch, right?  I turned 35 six days ago, and as I've gotten older, I've found myself gravitating more and more towards buzzwords like "loud," "experimental" and "alienating."  Granted, certain folk-based albums did get some nods from me this year, most especially from Six Organs of Admittance, Thurston Moore and J Mascis, (his Several Shades Of Why was unfortunately not reviewed).  Yeah, older and better established musicians.  I understand that my selections put me at odds with Justin Vernon and make my opinions seem consistently biased in favor of artists from years prior, but I heard Vernon's album and felt nothing.  Just like I've heard Fleet Foxes and have felt nothing.  Being sampled in an album by Kanye West did more for Vernon than expanding his band. 

Anyway, tangents are tangents, opinions are opinions.  Generalized lists always leave a lot to be desired.  I will say, even though I'm not one to pat myself on the back, that 2011 allowed me to put together a pretty good compilation.

Cover image




Mogwai – Get to France (Earth Division EP)
Wire – Two Minutes (Red Barked Tree)
Hella – Self Checkout (Tripper)
Battles (featuring Gary Numan – My Machines (Gloss Drop)
PJ Harvey – The Last Living Rose (Let England Shake)
Sic Alps – Zeppo Epp (Napa Asylum)
Locrian – Dort Ist Der Weg (Popol Vuh cover) ("Dort Ist Der Weg" b/w "Frozen In Ash" 7")
The Nighty Nite – In My Hospital Gown (Dimples EP)
Mastodon – Stargasm (The Hunter)
Empty Space Orchestra – Intergalactic Battle Cruiser (s/t)
Deerhoof – The Merry Barracks (Deerhoof vs. Evil)
Mike Watt – Hammering-Castle-Bird-Man (Hyphenated-Man)
Six Organs of Admittance – Light of the Light (Asleep on the Floodplain)
Grails – Deep Politics (Deep Politics)
The Horrors – Endless Blue (Skying)
Crystal Antlers – Always Afraid (Two-Way Mirror)
Tom Waits – Chicago (Bad As Me)
Noxious Foxes – A Real Leonardo DiCaprio Shit (Légs)
The Roots (featuring Bilal Oliver & Greg Porn) – The OtherSide (undun)
Boris – Hope (Attention Please)
Vivian Girls – Lake House (Share the Joy)
J Mascis – Several Shades of Why (Several Shades of Why)
Baptists – Life Poser (Baptists 7")

Inside Cover





























These songs didn't make the cut, but I'd like to offer honorable mentions at least.  I'd also like it if CDs held more minutes. 

Parts & Labor – "Bright White" (Constant Future)
One of the loudest songs in what came to be Parts & Labor's last album, (provided the finality of their "hiatus" is brought to fruition), "Bright White" is almost metal, the song's thunderous repetition beautifying what the ears might typically understand as assaulting.

I couldn't find a clip of this track online.  


Yuck – "Operation" (s/t)
I enjoyed Yuck's self-titled LP for the most part, though the band were shameless in their nostalgia campaign.  "Operation" nicely utilized much of what made Sonic Youth's early 90s attempted pop experiments engaging, the riffs and distorted blaze hitting gusto territory, a melody/feedback combo acting staple to the decade.  And, yeah, The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. can be heard as well.



Liturgy – "Returner" (Aesthethica)
I hate to say that song length is a factor when selecting songs for my end of year mixes, but I do like to fit in as much as possible.  In Liturgy's case I selected a single, "Returner," which is not the strongest song on the album, but still does enough to put across what's going on.  Their album, Aesthethica, is wonderfully constructed and composed, though I believe its crossover into the hipster bowels of Pitchfork-approved indie-litism left many black metal fans scratching their heads and wondering, "Where's their fucking make-up!?!"  The band's lack of Satanic accessories and demonware did little to sway my opinion of the album, even if Liturgy do at times get a little too involved in time changes and come across incapable of expanding on a riff.



Gypsyblood – "In Our Blood" (Cold in the Guestway)
Two man Gypsyblood's "In Our Blood" is just a straightforward garage tune with Sonic Youth tendencies and sweet repetitious couple notes.  A simple lack of polish and a heavy kick drum does wonders.



Death Grips – "Klink" (Ex-Military)
Dude, Black Flag got sampled in a hip-hop track!  I need say nothing else, other than Death Grips is one of the most exciting and inventive things to happen in hip-hop for some time.  Not to knock Odd Future, but Death Grips' music does enough without shock value, controversy and pop culture curiosity to energize a listener.  Strong, aggressive and, at times, brutal.  I sort of wish I'd tried a little harder to get this track on the compilation, but... 



The Feelies – "Time Is Right" (Here Before)
The Feelies came back after years of silence in 2011 with Here Before, which was a good and competent addition to their canon.  Jangly, poppy but not corny or pathetically attempting to pick up where the band left off, "Time Is Right" was one of the more directly "punk" tracks on the album, high tempo and serious in tone.



Magazine – "Hello Mr. Curtis (With Apologies)" (No Thyself)
Also in comeback mode were post-punk heroes Magazine, whose "Hello Mr. Curtis (With Apologies)" made interesting and humorous use of Joy Division's Ian Curtis and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain as acknowledgements of rock n' roll suicide.  The song itself is a shit-eating grin.




Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Frank

The 21st, as always, is dedicated to Frank Zappa.  Crank up the volume, all ye loyalists of Frank.  Crank up the volume.  The man would've been 71 years old today.

Photo by Jerry Schatzberg, New York City, 1967































Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kicking Against The Pricks: Boris

Contributors to Kicking Against The Pricks were asked to select their own #1 album for 2011 and submit a review.  Originally, this was supposed to be treated as a "12 days of Christmas" feature with one review a day being posted as the countdown to Christmas continued, but there were not enough submissions to make that happen.  The articles were instead used for Issue #15, which is up for perusal.

I selected Attention Please by Boris.

Issue #15 of Kicking Against The Pricks is up. You can find that here.

Boris
Attention Please
Sargent House
Released: 10.25.11



  


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Mailbox Giveth: Haptic

Haptic
Scilens
Flingco Sound Systems
Released: 10.11

Over the last couple years, I have been treated to various interpretations regarding ambience and noise and how the two can coexist committed to a recorded format.  Some are more basic than others, loose translations either limited to or aided by the extent of vision and tools, obviously.  Haptic, their new cassette release, Scilens, is different from many of these noise compositions/experiments I've heard because it owes much less to the creation of expanse and noise than it does the improvisation dynamic of free jazz or composed weirdness via John Cage or Philip Glass.  I say this because, despite the array of devices used to create Scilens, (and what a list: "air conditioner... paper (various weights)... sand... tuning forks... wooden clothespin"), you can almost imagine a conductor's wand flowing through the air this recording breathes, working to cue the slow builds of quiet rumble or the odd, Zappa-esque clinking of chimes and glass.  There seems to be some thought at work here, an attention to detail that comes with the usual following of notes and scales.  You can almost imagine pages of written music being turned, a book of noisemakers reading as notes and informing Haptic's every movement.

Performed by Steven Hess (Locrian), Joseph Clayton Mills and Adam Sonderberg, Haptic's third full-length release also benefits heavily from the cassette format, that inherent, though light, persistent hiss adding to their collage. 

Scilens is what mixed media sounds like: art school on cassette, a slathering of kraft paper and wheat glue wearing the ephemera of daily life or the ink spatter of a darkly-tinged series of thoughts.  No tangible meaning may exist, nor may there be an obvious conclusion to be drawn, but the experience cancels all of that out.

  haptic - scilens (album preview) by experimedia

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Orange Goblin: Red Tide Rising

Orange Goblin is releasing a new album called A Eulogy for the Damned in February of 2012.  Their first single, "Red Tide Rising," is available to check out, immediate satisfaction with riff, speed and volume a guarantee for anyone anticipating the new album.  All the below info comes courtesy of Earsplit PR.  Hit up Noisecreep for the song.

ORANGE GOBLIN: New Track Premiere Brought To You By Noisecreep

Today Noisecreep premieres "Red Tide Rising," the opening track from ORANGE GOBLIN's forthcoming
A Eulogy For The Damned full-length. Set for North American release on February 14, 2012 via Candlelight Records, A Eulogy For The Damned is the band’s seventh studio album (and first for Candlelight). The ten-track offering was recorded at The Animal Farm studio in South London, UK, produced and engineered by Jamie Dodd and mastered by two-time Grammy-nominated Pink Floyd engineer Andy Jackson at Tube Mastering. 

Commented vocalist Ben Ward of the track: "'Red Tide Rising' was actually the first song we wrote for the new album and the main riff was written by [guitarist] Joe [Hoare] as far back as 2008. We all knew that this would be the lead song on the album as soon as we wrote it; it felt kind of special and it set the tempo and feel for the whole record. It's one that we all had a lot of input on so it's a real band effort and definitely wasn't rushed. The ending must've been changed half a dozen times or so until we were all satisfied! It's a very typical ORANGE GOBLIN song and I'm confident that it's going to be a live favorite for many years to come. We've actually played it at the last few shows and despite no one knowing it, it got a great response. Lyrically, the song is a tribute to my fascination with the works of horror writer H.P Lovecraft. The theme centers around the rising of Cthulhu from the deep and the ultimate destruction of Earth and mankind. It was fun for me to use my imagination and be able to write about the Elder gods and the end of the world. I think it'll make a great Heavy Metal video! The title was something I made up and we considered calling the album 'Red Tide Rising' for a while. It's pretty self-explanatory with the idea of the oceans turning to blood and the beasts taking over for the dawn of a new dark age! We are all very proud of this track and honored to preview it with Noisecreep/AOL. With our annual Christmas show looming on Saturday, now seems like the perfect time to unleash this beast on the world!"

Check out "Red Tide Rising"
HERE.

As previously announced, ORANGE GOBLIN will hit the road in April 2012 for the
A Eulogy For The Damned UK & Ireland Tour. Confirmed dates are below:

4/7/2012 Desertfest @ The Underworld - London

4/8/2012 The Fleece - Bristol
4/9/2012 The Old Bell - Derby
4/10/2012 Classic Grand - Glasgow
4/11/2012 Sound Control - Manchester
4/12/2012 The Garage - Swansea
4/13/2012 The White Rabbit - Plymouth
4/14/2012 o2 Academy - Oxford
4/20/2012 The Pint - Dublin
4/21/2012 Spring & Airbrake - Belfast

http://www.orange-goblin.com

http://www.facebook.com/orangegoblinofficial
http://www.myspace.com/theorangegoblin
http://www.youtube.com/orangegoblinofficial
http://candlelightrecordsusa.com
http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Beauty Pill: Lifeguard During Wartime


Driving home yesterday, I was listening to Beauty Pill's The Unsustainable Lifestyle, which is the last LP they released before this upcoming 2012 album that I'm very eager to hear.  Some info regarding their recent living art/recording installation at Artisphere and a record release party has surfaced, so I figured I'd post some info for anyone living in the D.C. area and also post a song.



Info comes courtesy of Terrorbird Media.

Beauty Pill Returns To Artisphere for Immersive Ideal Installation + Exclusive New Record Release Saturday January 7 - Sunday January 22

Following Washington, DC Beauty Pill's groundbreaking summer 2011 open recording residency at Artisphere, the Immersive Ideal project returns with a multimedia installation designed by Kelley Bell and Stephan Moore from Saturday, January 7 to Sunday, January 22. Visitors will have the opportunity to listen to Beauty Pill's new album—recorded in full view of the public eye at and presented exclusively at Artisphere—while immersed in the photographs that document the band's experiment in radical artistic transparency.

 

 














The installation will feature a user-interactive, monome-controlled (www.monome.org) array of photographs from the recording sessions by Nestor Diaz, Morgan Klein, Brian Libby, Jon Pack and PJ Sykes. The monome is a wooden box that holds a grid of glowing buttons. It is beautiful and basic, but also mysterious. It is a purely creative device. What it is and what it does is up to the user. Its simple, soothing exterior belies the fact that is one of the most innovative designs of the 21st century (recently honored by MoMA as such).
“The monome is a zen koan in physical form,” states Beauty Pill’s Chad Clark. “Its marriage of technology and tactility is ideally matched to Beauty Pill's musical aesthetic. It's one of the instruments we use to make music, so it made sense to put it at the heart of the installation. We're all about feel.”

Not content simply putting out a record, Beauty Pill embarked on the first half of the Immersive Ideal project, an onsite recording residency from July 16-August 2, 2011 in Artisphere’s Black Box Theatre. The upcoming installation will also run in the Black Box, furthering the intimacy between the viewer/listener and the work. The band’s current line-up includes multi-instrumentalists Basla Andolsun
, Chad Clark, Jean Cook, Drew Doucette, Abram Goodrich and Devin Ocampo.

The Immersive Ideal project and the partnership with Beauty Pill underscores Artisphere’s continued commitment to provide opportunities for artists and audiences to experiment and serve as a forum for new ideas.
“Artisphere is thrilled to have Beauty Pill back for the second half of this artistic experiment.” says Artisphere's New Media Curator Ryan Holladay and one half of electronic music duo Bluebrain. “All of our patrons and Beauty Pill fans who came and looked in on the recording as it was happening can now see, hear and interact with the finished project. This has been, and will continue to be in its final iteration, one of the most amazing windows (literally and figuratively) into how an artist works.”

Installation designer Kelley Bell's animated work has appeared in and literally on Baltimore City in two series of public guerilla-style projections:
White Light, Black Birds and Rise and Fall of the Land of Pleasant Living. These projects compared the benefits and downsides of urban development through imagery and animations projected on specific sites facing transformation (or destruction) due to economic and cultural factors. Bell’s animations have been screened locally and as far away as Berlin, Germany. Screenings include the American Visionary Arts Museum, the Annapolis Film Festival, The Transmodern Arts Festival and the University of Maryland College Park. She was a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2004, and a semifinalist for the Sondheim Art Prize in 2010. She holds an MFA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Imaging and Digital Arts and a BFA in Graphic Design from Pratt Institute.

Installation designer Stephan Moore is a composer, performer, audio artist, sound designer and curator based in Brooklyn and Providence. His creative work currently manifests as electronic studio compositions, improvised solo performances, sound installation works, scores and sound designs for collaborative performance pieces, and sound designs for unusual circumstances. Evidence, his long-standing project with Scott Smallwood, has performed widely and released several recordings over the past decade. He has created custom music software for a number of composers and artists, and has taught workshops and numerous college-level courses in composition, programming, sound art and electronic music. He curates the annual Floating Points Festival at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, where he also serves on the Art Advisory Board. From late 2004 to mid-2010, he performed over 250 concerts with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, serving as their sound engineer and music coordinator, and as a touring musician.

Nestor Diaz is a DC metropolitan area concert photographer and musician whose work has appeared in DCist.com, SPIN.com, Rollingstone.com, and Pitchfork.com.

Bay area-based photographer Morgan Klein is an autodidact with a proclivity to natural light and analog saturation, a penchant for capturing people in their element, and for whom photography is a way of seeking beauty in everything and remaining involved and detached concurrently.

Brian Libby is a writer, photographer and award-winning filmmaker living in Portland, Oregon. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic and the Christian Science Monitor, among others.

Jon Pack
is a photographer based in Boston, a town so nice they named it bean.

Richmond-based PJ Sykes started off playing music before picking up a camera. His photos have been used by bands like Superchunk, Lambchop and The Walkmen.

Beauty Pill
Beauty Pill Twitter

Artisphere

Terrorbird


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead 

Weekend: The One You Want

I just listened to "The One You Want" off of Weekend's last EP, Red, which I've apparently slept on seeing as it came out around the end of September. 

The band will apparently be touring with The Soft Moon, whom I really enjoy, and they toured with Wire so I thought spotlighting the single would be worthwhile to anyone not in the know.  I'm sure that's just me.

Weekend - The One You Want by Slumberland Records

Info is courtesy of Force Field PR.

Weekend announces West Coast Winter dates

Weekend photographed by Marina Forte

STREAM: "The One You Want" -
http://soundcloud.com/slumberland-records/weekend-the-one-you-want/s-4I1JG


Upon finishing recent tours with Talk Normal and The Kills, and a hostile takeover of the 2011 CMJ Music Marathon, tireless San Francisco post-punks Weekend are now announcing Winter show dates on the West Coast. Weekend have been touring hard behind their debut album Sports since it arrived on Slumberland Records in November 2010. Between seeing their track "End Times" promote the Showtime hit Dexter, touring with Wire, and suffering a van breakdown of panic-inducing proportions on the road with labelmates the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the noise-pop trio found time to pause and reflect. The result: a five-song EP titled Red.
"The goal for the EP was to remove some of the haze from the first LP and be up front about all the fucked up things that were happening musically and lyrically," says bassist/singer Shaun Durkan. "We've always been interested in indulgence and restraint and we tried to push that further with these recordings," adds guitarist Kevin Johnson. "Maybe this song doesn't have a guitar in it, or maybe we use a synthesizer or there's no distortion or no drums. We were pulling back to make everything a little more searing."

Slow-burning opener "Sweet Sixteen" and urgently bouncy "Hazel" were originally recorded during an all-night jam earlier in the year and refined during the band's sessions with producer Monte Vallier, who also helmed
Sports. Durkan started fiddling with the lyrics of "Sweet Sixteen" in a tour van in Europe while thinking about his sister and dog, who had both turned 16 (the EP is named after the latter). "I was reflecting on the endless optimism of youth and impending doom of ageing," he explains.
Red represents the group's musical and personal growth since Sports. Trials on the road, losing jobs, and a sudden exposure to the music industry all had a hand in the sound of the EP. The songs on Red show Weekend exploring their sound with confidence and energy, while maintaining a self-effacing vulnerability. Equal parts terror and wonder, the songs are immediate, articulate, and heavier than ever.

WEEKEND

02/01 Oakland, CA The New Parish #
 
02/11 San Diego, CA The Loft at UCSD
02/12 Los Angeles, CA The Echo / Part-Time Punks

# = w/ The Soft Moon




WeekendRed EP
(Slumberland)
Street Date: Sept. 20, 2011

1. Sweet Sixteen
2. Hazel
3. Your Own Nothing
4. The One You Want
5. Golfers

WEEKEND LINKS:
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/weekendtheband
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/weekendmusic


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records: Poison Idea reissues from Southern Lord in 2012


Poison Idea reissues in 2012!  A lot of Poison Idea material has been unavailable for some time, so Southern Lord's attention is not only warranted but very much appreciated.

All info comes courtesy of Earsplit PR.

POISON IDEA: Southern Lord To Reissue Seminal Titles From Hardcore Punk Legends


 
Southern Lord Recordings are proud to be officially re-releasing several incredible, seminal titles from Portland, Oregon's explosive punk/hardcore kings, POISON IDEA in 2012!

Southern Lord will be releasing CD versions of several POISON IDEA reissues that TKO Records are currently re-releasing on vinyl. All of the material is being re-mastered by Jack Control (World Burns to Death) and each release includes new, extensive liner notes as well as never before seen photos and previously unreleased bonus material.

This POISON IDEA reissue series kicks off January 31st, with the re-release of
Darby Crash Rides Again: The Early Years. Boasting twenty-nine tracks from the band's earliest days, the album includes the 100% previously unreleased Boner's Kitchen demo from 1981, the complete Darby Crash Rides Again demo from 1982, the complete uncut live-on-the-air set from the 1983 KBOO radio benefit, and outtakes from the Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes recording session. Much of this material has either been out-of-print or never before officially released! All the recordings have been meticulously restored and mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door Mastering. The booklet contains liner notes, old flyers and tons of previously unpublished photos from the band's beginnings. This is a complete no-brainer for POISON IDEA fans or any fan of the early days of American hardcore punk.

Following
Darby Crash Rides Again in January, Southern Lord will also re-release The Fatal Erection Years (Pick Your King/Record Collectors are Pretentious Assholes), War All The Time, Ian Mackaye, Feel The Darkness, We Must Burn and Last Will & Testament throughout 2012.

http://www.myspace.com/blankblackoutvacant

http://www.southernlord.com
http://blog.southernlord.com
http://twitter.com/twatterlord



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eyvind King: Innocent Eye Crystal See (w/ Mike Patton)

Composer Eyvind Kang is set to release a new album, The Narrow Garden, through Mike Patton’s Ipecac label in January of 2012.



All info come courtesy of Speakeasy PR.

EYVIND KANG'S THE NARROW GARDEN SET FOR JAN. 31 RELEASE ON IPECAC 
FAMED STRING PLAYER KNOWN FOR WORK WITH JOHN ZORN, MIKE PATTON AND SUNN 0)))

San Francisco, Dec. 14, 2011 - Eyvind Kang, the well-known string player who has worked with Mr. Bungle, Sun City Girls and Lou Reed, releases
The Narrow Garden on Jan. 31 via Ipecac Recordings.Spin said of Kang's most recent Ipecac release, 2007's Athlantis: "Think the monolith scene from 2001 as rendered by Mr. Bungle and you're almost there."   PopMatters said Kang "...inhabits other worlds so the rest of us don't have to."

While
Athlantis is a choral piece inspired by Renaissance era literature and philosophy, The Narrow Garden is inspired by the natural world.  "I composed most of the songs at a pond on Vashon Island," explains Kang.  "I also went down to Yelm and Olympia and music just came into my head.  There were birds, plants and flowers.  It's a concept of love, of poetry, like a troubadour or ashugh, courtly love that goes in two directions - one the more ineffable, kind of delightful which is the idea of 'Pure Nothing' and the other direction is the implication of a kind of violence."
The Narrow Garden was recorded in Barcelona with a group of 30 musicians helmed by Kang.
The Narrow Garden track listing:
1.  Forest Sama'i
2.  Pure Nothing
3.  Usnea
4.  Mineralia
5.  The Narrow Garden
6.  Nobis Natalis
7.  Invisus Natalis
Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records: Joyful Noise w/ Flexis...

Joyful Noise is beginning a subscription service in 2012, patrons of which will receive single-sided, limited edition, clear Flexi-Disc releases by artists like Of Montreal, Deerhoof, Richard Swift and some others.  Responsible also for a number of cassette reissues this year by Dinosaur Jr. and Of Montreal, give Joyful Noise credit not only for digging long gone music formats out of obscurity, but for trying to reinvigorate the physical music market with these oddities.  They play on a normal turntable, too, so it's not like you need to find a specialty item to play the music, (I imagine some people are still struggling to find tape decks for many of the cassette releases that have emerged over the last couple years). 

As far as my personal connection to Flexi Disc vinyl?  Years ago, when I was a child, McDonald's had a contest requiring you buy some food, which then awarded you a chance at a million dollars.  You were given a small, square, super-flimsy record of the "McDonald's Menu Song," the idea being that, if the words were sung perfectly, you could win the money.  My one shot was a dud.



All information comes courtesy of Terrorbird Media.

Joyful Noise Announces 2012 Flexi Disc Series Featuring Tortoise, of Montreal, Deerhoof, Lou Barlow, Richard Swift, and others



Joyful Noise Recordings announces the 2012 Flexi Disc Series! This monthly subscription features new exclusive recordings from 12 amazing artists including Of Montreal, Deerhoof, Tortoise, Akron/Family, Lou Barlow, Jad Fair, Richard Swift and others. Each release is limited to just 500 copies on clear, single-sided Flexi Discs.

WTF is a Flexi Disc?

In case you are unfamiliar, a Flexi Disc is essentially a thin, single-sided vinyl record which is flexible (hence the name), and rather obscure. However it is playable on any standard turntable. Back in the day flexis were often packaged inside magazines and even in cereal boxes.

The Joyful Noise 2012 Flexi Disc Series will feature a different artist each month for the duration of the year. All of the releases will be strictly limited to 500 copies on single-sided clear flexi discs. Digital will NOT be made available. That's right, these songs will only be available on these 500 physical units. All of the songs featured in the series are 100% new and unreleased and will never be released in any other format.


The bands featured on the 2012 Flexi Disc Series include: Akron/Family, Danielson
, Dead Rider (ex US Maple), Deerhoof, Jad Fair (Half Japanese), Lou Barlow (Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr.), Make Believe (ex Cap'n Jazz/Owls/Joan of Arc), of Montreal, Racebannon, Rafter, Richard Swift and Tortoise.

Subscription to the series costs $4 / month, with an additional "Deluxe" box set package available as well.


Order at Joyful Noise here:

http://www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com/catalog/jnr100

Joyful Noise Recordings

Terrorbird 


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Evens: “Warble Factor” b/w “Timothy Wright”

The Evens
“Warble Factor” b/w “Timothy Wright”
Dischord
Released: 11.21.11

After five years of silence, Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina’s two-person post-hardcore folk band, The Evens, release a two-song single, “Warble Factor” b/w “Timothy Wright.” Anyone familiar with The Evens’ self-titled debut and their excellent follow-up, Get Evens, will know what to expect from the band in terms of tempo, sound and melody. Though there are no surprises, The Evens have an approach to their dynamic that is engaging despite its simplicity and commanding of attention even if the band’s volume never exceeds the capability of acoustic instrumentation. “Warble Factor” begins with a great riff. MacKaye knows how to draw in a listener. Once Farina is activated, the hook is set. She has great presence both as a drummer and vocalist and arguably she could be considered the band’s winning factor. MacKaye doesn’t falter or shrink into any background, his presence better felt in the following “Timothy Wright.”

It’s a strong 7,” but it’s two songs after five years. Consider it an appetizer that will hopefully be followed up by something a little more substantial very soon.




Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: GAHZA

For new levels of irritation...

Yesterday morning, I received a Bandcamp link for GAHZA, which is evidently some sort of experimental/folk/hip-hop/chipmunk weirdness that's home-recorded, sped up, played back and issued out there for all of you to check out.  GAHZA is a character in these tracks from inception with "Birth of GAHZA" till close with "GAHZA's Last Stand," other monumental episodic tracks like "GAHZA Loves," "GAHZA Sleeps" and "GAHZA Hides" carrying the in-between.

Though the songs are pretty unlistenable, this is the type of strangeness that I at least find intriguing enough to spotlight.  The pretension is thick enough to cut with a chop saw, but it's also goofy and playful.  I just can't tell if GAHZA is some ironic take on a concept album, or if it's just a joke. 

  BIRTH OF GAHZA by GAHZA

  GAHZA DREAMS by GAHZA

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, December 08, 2011

No Ripcord: The Top 100 Debut Albums (Honorable Mentions)


If anyone happened to survey last week's Top 100 Debuts List for No Ripcord, then you probably had as many issues, (if not more), as I had.  First off, most 00 releases haven't been in circulation long enough to make any lasting impact.  Secondly, Sabbath was beat out by The Arctic Monkeys and Coldplay.  Do I need a third reason after that?


And, because many of the writers felt certain albums that they'd voted for basically got cancelled out for inclusions like James Blake, Neutral Milk Hotel and Fleet Foxes, No Ripcord added an honorable mention feature as a companion piece.  I felt particularly bummed that Fugazi's Repeater hadn't made the cut, so here is a word or two in honor of one of the strongest debut albums of all time.  In my opinion, of course.


FugaziFUGAZI
Repeater

(Dischord, 1990)


Fugazi released two EPs before their first full-length in 1990, Repeater. Preceding the Alterna-splosion by only a year or so, not to mention all the faux-tortured angst and anti-industry posturing that followed, Fugazi remained true to their convictions, refusing any and all association with the major labels, keeping their door prices very modest (Eat shit, Pearl Jam) and only utilizing all-age venues for their gigs. In the face of their philosophies, though, (“We don’t have to try it and we don’t have to buy it!”), Fugazi’s music is often overlooked, Guy Picciotto’s very passionate vocal and Ian MacKaye’s authoritative tone playing against the band’s post-hardcore idiosyncrasies. Funk-driven and propulsive, melodious while abrasive, songs like the album’s title track, Merchandise, Greed and Styrofoam illustrate Fugazi’s tendency to be a tad preachy. But then songs like Turnover, Blueprint and Shut The Door add a very emotional angle to their craft, a unification of creative ideas brought to fruition in the wake of Rites Of Spring, Embrace and One Last Wish. Repeater would begin one of the most fruitful, distinguished and consistently unique discographies to emerge from independent music, Fugazi’s true brilliance in its refusal to cater to any whim or compromise their creative vision.  (Sean Caldwell)



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wire: The Black Session — Paris 10 May 2011


For 2011, Wire released their album Red Barked Tree around the beginning of the year and toured. A lot. Big year for the band to say the least.

A live album recorded last May as part of a radio series for Radio France, The Black Session — Paris, 10 May 2011, is going to be released in February of 2012. All the info below is courtesy of Terrorbird Media.

Wire's Red Barked Tree was reviewed at No Ripcord.



Wire To Release The Black Session Paris, 10 May 2011 Live Album On February 7



2011 saw the release of Wire’s most critically acclaimed and fastest-selling album in recent years, Red Barked Tree. The band also embarked on its most ambitious tour to date, embracing four continents and dozens of cities, many of which Wire had never played before. The final leg of the tour saw Wire performing in front of UK audiences for the second time in a year, something not undertaken for more than three decades.

In celebration of this extraordinary year, pinkflag presents a special keepsake for those many thousands that saw the band live, as well as those who weren’t able to make it. Named for the legendary series of radio broadcasts hosted by Bernard Lenoir for Radio France,
The Black Session – Paris 10 May 2011 was initially available as an exclusive tour item during Wire’s UK autumn dates, but will see a worldwide release in February 2012.
The Black Session – Paris 10 May 2011 was recorded at Radio France’s Paris studios in May 2011, with Wire performing in front of an invited — and enthusiastic — audience. The album captures the band in razor-sharp form, tightly honed after months of touring. The selection of tracks marries live versions of songs from Red Barked Tree with choice cuts from Wire’s extensive back catalogue, including much-loved classics Kidney Bingos, Map Ref 41°N 93°W and Two People In A Room. The recording is also the first album to feature guitarist Matt Simms alongside the core trio of Colin Newman, Graham Lewis and Robert Grey.
The Black Session – Paris 10 May 2011 Track List

01. Adapt
02. Comet
03. Smash
04. Please Take
05. Kidney Bingos
06. Clay
07. Map Ref 41°N 93°W
08. Moreover
09. Two People In A Room
10. Down To This
11. Drill
12. Red Barked Trees
13. Pink Flag

Pink Flag
Terrorbird


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

UFOMAMMUT: Oro in 2012...

News today came of UFOMAMMUT's completion of their new upcoming album, Oro, which should be a monster.  Details below from Earsplit PR.




UFOMAMMUT's last album, Eve, was reviewed for Stereokiller.  You can find that review here.

UFOMAMMUT Complete Two-Part Neurot Recordings Debut

UFOMAMMUT, Northern Italy's sorcerers of supernatural and obliterating doom, have completed the recordings for their sixth full-length, and first as part of the Neurot Recordings family. This week we are beyond excited to announce the details of this highly anticipated, mammoth follow-up to their 2010 full-length Eve, the band's most critically-acclaimed and devastating piece of magic to date... until now.

Oro is the title for UFOMAMMUT's latest work, divided into ten massive movements overall which is now confirmed to be delivered in two separate pieces during the coming year. The first chapter, Opus Primum, will see arrival in April, and the second, Opus Alter, in September. The vinyl versions of both chapters will be handled directly by UFOMAMMUT's own label Supernatural Cat Records, who were responsible for the release of all of the band's previous material. This is the third album in a row the band recorded with Lorenzo Stecconi.

As with all previous UFOMAMMUT albums, the concepts behind Oro are expansive and multi-faceted, mutating the Italian palindrome which translates to "gold" with the Latin translation of "I prey." Oro explores the concept of knowledge and its power; the magical stream controlled by the human mind to gain control of every single particle of the World surrounding us. Oro is the alchemical process to transform the human fears into pure essence; into Gold. Although Oro's two chapters will be released months apart from each other, they must be considered as a single track in which the musical themes and the sounds show up and hide, mutating and evolving, progressively and increasingly stratifying culminating in the crushing final movement. Oro is like an alchemic laboratory in which substances are flowing, dividing and blending themselves in ten increments from the alembics and stills, culminating into the creation of Gold. The band are also in the process of crafting a full video/visual version of Oro which will accompany the audio.

Since their inception in 1999, UFOMAMMUT has toured several times, and crossed the oceans to the United States for the first time in 2009 for a tour of the West Coast. They've performed at renowned, international music festivals including Roadburn, Hellfest, Ieper, Stoned from the Underground, Asymmetry, sharing the stage with Neurosis, Down, Amen Ra, Baroness, Sons Of Otis, Motorpsycho and endless more along the way. The band's live show is supported by the internationally acclaimed video and graphic art of Malleus, a rock artists’ collective who conjure the entirety of UFOMAMMUT’s visual impact.

UFOMAMMUT is:
Poia - guitars and effect
Urlo - bass, vocals and synths
Vita - drums
Ciccio - soundlord
Lu - visuals


http://www.ufomammut.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/UFOMAMMUT/83336386071
http://www.malleusdelic.com
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings




Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

The Roots: The OtherSide & Tip The Scale

Aside from the occasional indulgence of a bought CD or album, and I mean really occasional, most of the year's music for me as been via promo. Financially speaking, if it wasn't for writing about music, I don't know how I'd hear anything. However, The Roots' new album, undun, was released yesterday and I was sure to pick it up. I realize that Letters From A Tapehead probably doesn't spotlight hip-hop as often as it should. I will attribute this notable absence, unfairly I admit, to my personal preferences and taste, myself being a "music" fan and remaining mostly unimpressed with many of hip-hop's current big timers. This is a genre that has, unfortunately, left me locked into a certain era, a "back in my day" curmudgeon romanticizing the creativity brought to the music via turntables and physical technique, the self-promotion and word-of-mouth brought to the music via boomboxes and cassettes and the flow and craft brought to the music via real MCs with something to talk about other than their possessions. The plastic, Casio beats, the tired, bored loops and extended hooks of today's hip-hop do nothing for me and haven't done much to extend the life of what should be a very vibrant culture. Basically, I can't find the "music" aspects of most present day hip-hop and were I more receptive to boasts over beats I might be on board.



Having said all that, and realizing that a prosperous underground may be nurturing and influencing a higher standard of quality than which I’m currently aware, The Roots, for me, transcend the monotony and self-induced creative constraint that hip-hop is experiencing. Yes, they are a hip-hop band first and foremost, but they also epitomize the possibilities associated with knowing music at a scholar's level (i.e. "music" as in not within the terms of their own classification, which is short-sighted) and being able-minded enough to think in terms of versatility. They've done more to expand hip-hop's boundaries than most groups, not only by staying their own course and not diluting their content or the level of sophistication with which they approach their performances, but by incorporating, musically, the past genres that informed hip-hop's genesis in the first place. What you get are genuine soul albums, rock albums, jazz albums, R&B albums, avant-garde albums, an authentic tone and attention sorely lacking in most performers claiming to be any and all of the aforementioned categorically speaking, especially from a mainstream perspective. This isn't music meant to sell Pepsi or cell phones. The Roots aren't commodifying culture or influencing material envy or desire. Even in the face of The Roots' nightly stint as Jimmy Fallon's late night band, they take clear advantage of their television platform to collaborate with artists, oftentimes aiding in some very unique performances, especially for late night television. In short, for anyone in need of the safety of classification, The Roots are probably one of the most important overall bands to emerge in the last twenty years, a household name that should be leading the way in terms of popular culture’s relationship with music. And, every time I listen to a Roots album, I have to ask myself the following:

How does a genre of music survive if it refuses to grow? Or, at the very least, respect its, pardon the pun, roots? Where is the narrative? Or, the consciousness expanding verbal ingenuity? Why is it okay for any genre to lose its value, or for any performer to allow its genre to suffocate under the weight of commercial viability?

This group proves that a mainstream band can have integrity and as independent music becomes more and more saturated with R.E.M.-inflated jangle, simplistic lo-fi or faux-garage Spector-laced nostalgia, maybe it’s time more bands did try to inform and brighten FM radio’s playlist or redefine the music industry’s status quo. Granted I’m speaking in terms of a pipe-dream utopia where art is considered something other than a means of jingling a fast food cheeseburger or prettifying an expensive automobile, but why are we so stifled in this day and age and willing to just eat the shit we’re given? Because, art and creativity are two things Americans do NOT endorse or develop in its progeny at the expense of the potential loss of conformity and obedience, which are seen as more important. Without either, you wouldn’t blindly consume. From an economic standpoint, it pays to bring up commercial-addled, greedy little bastards, but it does nothing to enable enrichment or thoughtful living.

I digress. Really, all I wanted to do was post videos from The Roots’ performances of tracks from their new album, undun, on Jimmy Fallon’s show. And, after you watch the videos, buy the album, please.





Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Earth: Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II

With 2011 winding down and the "Best Of" lists bombarding readers left and right, announcements for 2012 releases are surfacing.  Drone quartet Earth will be releasing the sequel to this year's excellent album, Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I, (aptly updated to "II"), on February 14th of 2012.  No tracks are available yet, but thanks to Earsplit PR, you can read release info below.

A review for Earth's Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I can be read at No Ripcord.  Also, I had the opportunity to see Earth perform this year in Philadelphia and wrote all about it.  You can read that here.

All links and information come courtesy of Earsplit PR.

EARTH Announce New Album Details

The second half of Seattle drone icons EARTH's Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light is being prepared for release on Southern Lord in North America this February 14th on CD, LP and digital download formats.

Recorded in the same two week session as 2011's lauded
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I by Stuart Hallerman at Avast and mastered by Mell Detmer, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II carries on in the freely and folkloric vein of the last release and invokes even more improvisational and unrestrained energy than its predecessor.
Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II is striking in many ways, not least in the wildly improvised nature of this particular recording. The songs "Sigil Of Brass" and "The Corascene Dog" perfectly emphasize how the interplay between the foursome has evolved even further since the first installment. Meanwhile, the track "His Teeth Did Brightly Shine" veers further into an entirely other direction, recalling sounds of the great British Acid Folk generation. This new material brings forth some highly original and deeply mesmerizing tones throughout, at times more hopeful and less dark and death oriented than previous work. Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II is ultimately a completely unanticipated direction for EARTH, and a very welcome one at that.

The line-up again consists of Adrienne Davies on drums and percussion (on this release there is more percussion of all sorts), Lori Goldston (Nirvana, David Byrne, Black Cat Orchestra, Laura Veirs) returns on cello, and Karl Blau (K Records, Laura Veirs, Microphones) plays bass. This also marks the first time the band on the record has toured outside of the US West Coast in preparation for the album. As with the first part, it again has truly amazing artwork by Stacey Rozich. View the cover art and more at this location.
 
 Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II Track Listing:
1. Sigil of Brass
2. His Teeth Did Brightly Shine
3. Multiplicity of Doors
4. The Corascene Dog
5. The Rakehell

http://www.thronesanddominions.com
http://www.facebook.com/thronesanddominions?ref=ts

http://www.southernlord.com

http://twitter.com/twatterlord
 
 
 
Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, December 05, 2011

No Ripcord: Magazine

Magazine
No Thyself
Wire-Sound
Released: 10.24.11



   Hello Mister Curtis (With Apologies) by Magazine

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Mark Lanegan Band: The Gravedigger's Song

A new single from the Mark Lanegan Band's upcoming album, Blues Funeral, has been released. “The Gravedigger’s Song” carries Lanegan’s lengthy breaths with a pulsating persistence, a contrast of sounds between his raspy prosaic guts, which rock blues-like over a sturdier means of conveyance, and the song's barrage of electro-thuds that mimic high tempo waddling. The song provides, for me anyway, a wave of anticipation for 2012, this being my first real preview into the coming year and what gifts it could possibly hold.



 I found this track via Stereogum.




Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, December 02, 2011

Sunn O))): The Electric Drone (2011 Documentary)

I know that I just posted a review for Sunn O)))'s ØØ Void reissue, but I found a short documentary by Gilles Paté on the band featuring interviews with Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson posted to O'Malley's Ideologic website.  I think it's worth a look.  Live footage is included.



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: The Top 100 Debut Albums

A massive undertaking to say the least, No Ripcord recently posted a 5-part series compiling the quantified results of what 34 writers considered to be the top 100 debut albums.  I contributed five of the 100 blurbs posted.  There are aspects of this list that I outright oppose and others I can get behind.  There are also albums that really should've made the list and an "honorable mention" accompaniment is being developed so to make sure some the omissions, many of which are fucking criminal, at least get some due.

Now that all five parts of the series are posted, give them a look when you get the chance. 

Part 1 (100-81)

Part 2 (80-61)

Part 3 (60-41)

Part 4 (40-21)

Part 5 (20-1)

Have a gripe?  Me too, so feel free to comment or discuss.

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

The Mon: "Doppelleben"

Acting somewhat contrary to his normal work with the doom metal colossus Ufomammut , vocalist/bassist Urlo performs as The Mon , whose new...