Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ty Segall & White Fence: I Am Not A Game

"I Am Not A Game" is the first single from Hair, the new collaborative LP from Ty Segall and White Fence (Tim Presley).  It's pure Nugget-organ garage pop of the 60s variety and I'm interested to hear the rest of the album.  Even if you're sick of 60s revivalism, the song is super-catchy, melodically rich and wonderfully upbeat. 

All info comes courtesy of Force Field PR.

Ty Segall & White Fence share first single from new collab LP Hair out April 24 on Drag City 

MP3: Ty Segall & White Fence - "I Am Not A Game"

Whether you're walking, rolling and tumbling, flying, driving your car, or sitting still and meditating, wherever you go, Hair you are. You don't always see the wild mystery that comes with everyday life on this rock, but your connection to the Eternal is always present. You just can't see it. Today, you're in luck - up to your frontal eye-lobes in luck. Ty Segall & White Fence have thrown their X-ray vision upon you and see the blood rocking through your veins and all the blood vessels in your brain. They can see them...

Hair it is - to stuff the cracks in your mental chrome dome. Hair for you to stare for awhile. Hair grows like grass beneath your feet, opens up your mind and reflects you in the fun house mirror - spreading past your borderlines, bouncing like rubber, growing and grooving towards the sky (with diamonds). Was it yesterday or yesteryear or is it happening now, on five-second synaptic delay? You were tall, you were high...you went farther than you've ever been.

Chanting to and from the dome is your living soundtrack and providing the Hairdressing for your psychic salad are Ty Segall and White Fence sitter Tim Presley with Sean Presley and Mikael Cronin along on the carpet ride. It unrolls from within them and in between them, and electricity takes many forms, from poppy lunges to acoustic strolls to freak-downs at end of the side. Hair gets tangled deep in clouds of guitars and drums and counter-riffs and percussion, then pressed flat with harmony vocals and compression. Whatever got them through the night, it launches the ship into the stratosphere. And Hair you are again.

5-2 San Francisco - Independent *
5-3 Portland, OR - Star Theater
5-4 Vancouver, BC - Waldorf Hotel
5-5 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
5-6 Missoula, MT - The Palace
5-8 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
5-9 Madison, WI - High Horse Saloon
5-10 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall !
5-11 Detroit, MI - Lager House !
5-12 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern !
5-13 Montreal, QC - Il Motore !
5-14 Portland, ME - Space Gallery !
5-16 New York, NY - Webster Hall $!
5-18 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
5-19 Raleigh, NC - King's Barcade
5-20 Atlanta, GA - Earl
5-21 Nashville, TN - The End
5-22 Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
5-23 Little Rock, AR - Whitewater Tavern
5-24 Houston, TX - Walter's
5-25 Austin, TX - Mohawk (outside)

* = w/ Shannon and the Clams, The Mallard
! = w/ The Strange Boys
$ = w/ The Men


4-22 Santa Cruz, CA - Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium +
8-4 Big Sur, CA Woodsist Fest / Henry Miller Library

+ = w/ The Shins

4-13 Gambier, OH- Kenyon College [solo set]
4-15 Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College

Ty Segall & White Fence
(Drag City)
Release Date: April 24, 2012

Track List:
1 Time
2 I Am Not A Game
3 Easy Ryder
4 The Black Glove/Rag
5 Crybaby
6 (I Can't) Get Around You
7 Scissor People
8 Tongues

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ty-Segall/268287955622
Official Site - http://ty-segall.com/ 

Facebook - www.facebook.com/pages/White-Fence/109125289153214 

Label - http://www.dragcity.com

Letters From A Tapehead 

The Men: A Minor

One of my favorite albums of 2012 so far is Open Your Heart by The Men, who today made available the non-album single, "A Minor."  The track is being featured in a compilation that their record label Sacred Bones Records will be issuing for Record Store Day dubbed, Todo Muere Vol. 2. An 8 minutes psych jam, "A Minor" is a free floating desert rocker that tempts you to wallow in a daze but ultimately makes your head nod.

All info comes courtesy of Life or Death PR & Management.

The Men's Open Your Heart was reviewed in No Ripcord.

   The Men - A Minor by sacredbones

photo by: angel ceballos




The Men have already played 58 shows in 2012 - their North American tour ended on Sunday. Now, two days later, The Men are pleased to announce their West Coast tour which will kick off in June. Before June rolls around, The Men will head back to Europe to perform at the legendary Primavera Sound Festival & Field Day Festival.

Sacred Bones will be releasing their Record Store Day follow-up,
Todo Muere Vol. 2. The compilation features an unreleased 8minute slow-burning jam / head banger from The Men, entitled "A Minor". Check it out on Pitchfork.

About The Men

Over the last three years, The Men have dabbled in everything from hardcore punk to psych to shoegaze to black metal; and they have done all of it effortlessly, and for the most part, flawlessly. Totally removed from the current climate of a.d.d-youtube-blog-hyped generation of musicians under 21, The Men stand out from the pack as both scene elders and actual record collectors. On the band's 3rd full length, The Men explore twangy country music, guitar solos, surf-ish riffs, psych, and just about errrry-thing in between. Open your heart & let in, The Men.

APRIL 21ST, 2012


War - "In Your Arms (Final Fantasy)
Led Er Est - "The Gold Cane"
Pop. 1280 - "Neon Lights"
Slug Guts - "Adult Living"
Crystal Stilts - "Dark Eyes"
Wymond Miles "Strange Desire"

The Men - "A Minor"
Follakzoid - "Trees"
Amen Dunes - "Ethio Song"
Psychic Ills - "Mind Daze (demo)"


MARCH 6th, 2012

1. Turn it Around

2. Animal
3. Country Song
4. Oscillation
5. Please Don't Go Away
6. Open Your Heart
7. Candy
8. Cube
9. Presence
10. Ex-Dreams


5-16 New York, NY - Webster Hall !
5-30 - Dublin, Ireland @ Whelan's
6-1 - Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera Festival

6-2 - London, UK @ Field Day Festival
6-3 - London, UK @ Shacklewell Arms
6-13 Ottawa, ON - Club Saw
6-14 Toronto, ON - The Garrison [Panache Booking NXNE Showcase] ^
6-15 West Toronto, ON - Wrongbar [NXNE]
6-16 Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid [T-Rex Music Festival]
6-18 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
6-19 Fargo, ND - The Aquarium
6-21 Spokane, WA - Mootsy's
6-22 Seattle, WA - Barboza
6-23 Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios $
6-24 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
6-25 Santa Cruz, CA - 105 Pioneer St.
6-26 Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
6-28 Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
6-29 El Paso, TX - Lips Lounge
6-30 Austin, TX - Red 7
7-1 Beaumont, TX - Victoria House
7-2 Jackson, MS - Hal & Mals
7-3 Atlanta, GA - 529 %
7-4 Belmont, NC - Haunted Mill
7-5 Washington, DC - DC 9
7-15 Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Festival

! w/ Ty Segall, White Fence, The Strange Boys

^ w/ Black Belles, Mac Demarco & more
$ w/ Hurry Up 
% w/ Womyn Pryson 

Letters From A Tapehead

Odd Future: Oldie

Inasmuch as the public and creative exploits of Tyler, The Creator and the Odd Future crew have granted them a predictable level of media scrutiny and the critical lambaste and/or acclaim that naturally follows, I find that their most admirable achievements to be the extent to which they've become something from nothing.  Odd Future is probably our decade's most compelling example of the do-it-yourself dynamic with regard to our digital age, a point of course that has been made many times by other music magazines and online publications.  Granted, if not for their tendencies to offend, their success might've been more difficult to obtain.  But, as there are evidently no limits to how successful they've become, there aren't going to be limits set in terms of how they get there.  And really, how easy is it to impose a moral compass when the rewards for its dismissal have been so fruitful? 

As a single from their new release, The OF Tape Volume 2, a video for "Oldie" has surfaced online.  The song?  Not bad.  Long, but not bad.

All info comes courtesy of Life or Death PR & Management. 




There isn't much to say that hasn't already been said about Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. The press either love them or love to hate them and keep an eye on their movement as the group continues to surprise the public at every turn along the way.
The OF Tape Vol. 2 is the next chapter in the group's story, pulling together the entire crew for what is undoubtedly their most unified statement to date. For proof of this, watch the video for "Oldie" (which features rare appearances by Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt), the release's final track now: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/13346-oldie/

Upon return from the UK next week, Odd Future will continue to tour, hitting Paid Dues festival in San Bernardino, San Francisco and Seattle. For a brief look at what a day in the life of an OF tour is, check out the following footage of the group's time in New York City that includes footage of the pop up store opening as well as the show at Hammerstein Ballroom.

Odd Future in NYC - http://bit.ly/HaFDUE


3/28 Birmingham, UK
3/29 London, UK
3/31 Manchester, UK
4/01 Glasgow, UK
4/02 Dublin, UK
4/07 San Bernardino, CA (Paid Dues Festival)
4/09 San Francisco, CA
4/11 Seattle, WA


Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mount Eerie: House Shape

About a month ago, I wrote a small blurb about Mount Eerie (Phil Elverum) and his upcoming album, Clear Moon.  A new single, "House Shape," has surfaced and I've listened to it now maybe three or four times.  I like very much the psychedelic, post-punk elements to it.  There's this rhythmic repetition and long streams of organ music that remind me of Can or Neu! or even 154 era Wire.  Give the track a listen.  I think Clear Moon could possibly be one of the more interesting albums to come out in 2012.  Such could also be the case with Ocean Roar, a second release slated for later this year.

All info is courtesy of Force Field PR.

   Mount Eerie - "House Shape" by forcefieldpr

Mount Eerie shares first single from new LP, Clear Moon, due this May

STREAM: "House Shape" - http://soundcloud.com/forcefieldpr/mount-eerie-house-shape 

In this first of two new albums planned for release in 2012, Mount Eerie presents a monumental work of depth and maturity. These are songs about a quiet life in and around a small northwest town, usually buried in fog, and the unexpected moments of clarity that briefly flash through. Clear Moon is the resonant lone bell symbol, the glint in the water, the sudden breath.

For over thirteen years Phil Elverum has been releasing beguiling records from and about the Pacific Northwest, first as the Microphones and since 2004 as Mount Eerie. The thread has sometimes been challenging to follow, meandering into weird EPs and live experiments, but there have always been punctuations of cohesive sound and idea, made giant;
The Glow pt. 2 (2001), Mount Eerie (2003), Lost Wisdom (2008), Wind's Poem (2009), and now Clear Moon (to be followed later this year by its companion album, Ocean Roar).

After all the world-touring that followed the release of Wind's Poem, Phil Elverum has spent 2 years establishing a new recording studio, "the Unknown", in an old de-sanctified church in Anacortes, Washington. These 2 new albums, Clear Moon and Ocean Roar, are the first Mount Eerie recordings to be released from the new old space. You can hear the giant wooden cathedral room in these songs. Vast echo, resonating gongs, impenetrable walls of thickness, and always a voice cutting through the fog, moon-like.

The sound is not lo-fi as it is sometimes called. It's also not hi-fi. These are just crazy recordings, bigger and deeper than any real-life fjord. It's 100% analog, and it is a sound that can only come from 15 months of studio solitude, crushing tape, riding waves of fake strings, finding new angles on "intensity". The music of Popol Vuh was inspirational, as well as explorers from black metal such as Menace Ruine, Nadja, and others. Contemporaries in theme can be found in the heavy sacred regionalism of Olympia's Wolves In The Throne Room. Ultimately, this is music on its own island, unlike anything else; a break in the clouds and a view of a hidden new landscape.

EUROPEAN TOUR (all shows with EARTH and Ô PAON)

Thurs. March 22nd, 2012- Torino, Italy- Spazio 211 
Fri. March 23rd, 2012- Firenze, Italy- The Box 
Sat. March 24th, 2012- Parma, Italy- Auditorium Del Carmine
Sun. March 25th, 2012- Lausanne, Switzerland- Le Romandie
Mon. March 26th, 2012- Wiesbaden, Germany- Schlachthof
Weds. March 28th, 2012- Vienna, Austria- Arena

Thurs. March 29th, 2012- Leipzig, Germany- UT Connewitz
Fri. March 30th, 2012- Prague, Czech Republic- Dobeska Theatre 
Sat. March 31st, 2012- Berlin, Germany- Festsaal Kreuzberg
Mon. April 2nd, 2012- Copenhagen, Denmark- Loppen

Tues. April 3rd, 2012- Gothenburg, Sweden- Truckstop Alaska
Weds. April 4th, 2012- Oslo, Norway- Inferno Festival
Thurs. April 5th, 2012- Stockholm, Sweden- Strand
Fri. April 6th, 2012- Helsinki, Finland- Nosturi

Mount Eerie
Clear Moon
(P.W. Elverum and Sun)
Street Date: May 22, 2012

Formats: Digital, LP

Theme: place/magic

1. Through The Trees pt. 2
2. the Place Lives
3. the Place I Live
4. (something)
5. Lone Bell
6. House Shape
7. Over Dark Water
8. (something)
9. Clear Moon
10. Yawning Sky
11. (synthesizer)

Official Site - http://www.pwelverumandsun.com

Letters From A Tapehead

Mission Of Burma: Dust Devil

The news that certain bands will be releasing an album in the space of a couple months will certainly brighten a day or two, possibly even add some enthusiasm or anticipation to the coming months.  Mission Of Burma is releasing a new album, Unsound.  It will be out in July.  The band has thankfully put a single, "Dust Devil."

   Mission of Burma - Dust Devil by FIRE RECORDS

Letters From A Tapehead

Locrian & Mamiffer: Piano Ballads for Noise Addicts

Locrian & Mamiffer
Bless Them That Curse You
SIGE/Utech Records
Released: 2.21.12

Cavernous and spiritual: There's a sadistic place of worship where man made, electronically manipulated sizzles and squeals can precede an otherwise beautiful and engaging piano and acoustic guitar duet, the disturbed instrumental, "In Fulminic Gaze," ritualized with heavy tom drums, the pulse beat anchoring waves of heavy feedback which find distance in their travels.  The payoff is enthralling.  Such is the nature of Bless Them That Curse You, the collaborative efforts of Chicago's noise metal champions, Locrian (members André Foisy, Terence Hannum and Steven Hess), and Seattle's experimental husband-wife combo, Mamiffer (pianist Faith Coloccia and ex-Isis member, Aaron Turner), which nurtures or punishes the coexistence of notes and tone, ambient noise and solid composition, experimental abstractions and anchored songwriting.

A challenging listen, Bless Them That Curse You smartly capitalizes on the strengths both bands carry into their own projects, each side of the collaboration contributing to the overall design and character of each piece of anti-music.  What Locrian and Mamiffer (or, "Locramiffer" — courtesy of Flingco Sound System) both bring to the table isn't always clear ("Bless Them That Curse You" and "Second Burial" both carry enough of Locrian's approach to soundscape to qualify as their own, though I'm sure they were able to do a lot more by simply expanding their ensemble), but wonderfully haunting moments like "Corpus Luteum" or "Lechatelierite" pay respects to both the music at the surface and the drifting sounds that wallow underneath, the distancing agent added that carries Faith Coloccia's keys into expansive thoroughfares they might otherwise never have discovered.  "Lechatelierite" is especially minimal, Coloccia's fingers forceful and lasting upon their keys, the notes abrupt and borderline sporadic.  There's intent, but liberty with the structure. 

"Bless Them That Curse You" is a tonally thick and trippy piece, evocative of something a band like Grails would perform.  While I wouldn't outright attribute the music to or say it was inspired by drug culture, you could imagine somebody's episodic, chemically charged journey being aided by something like this as track's repetition and gradual lift could suggest the act of traversing space or circling within it.  It's pleasant to the ear, no aural scarring or provocative strangeness to negotiate.  Contrasting, though, is "Second Burial," which is a percussive stab at the ominous, cavernous expressions of sound that Locrian normally devise. 

The three part "Metis/Amaranthine/The Emperor," is a 19-minute suite that's carried at first by an angelically sung (Coloccia) and isolated piece of music, powered by piano chords and the gradual increase of dissonant tones and voices fading in and out of audibility.  Enter a stinging onslaught of feedback and distortion, crunching sections of static crackling through the endless hiss.  Voices emerge, throaty and long; drones and amplified pulsations.  Drums appear for the third segment, which is carried to fruition by Aaron Turner's growl, a severity both abrupt and caustic that exhausts the mire beneath it.  The album simply fades during one single distorted whistle and its emotional investment follows suit.

Letters From A Tapehead

Skeletonwitch: The Infernal Resurrection

The metal band Skeletonwitch, who'd received a good amount of thumbs-up press in 2011 for their album Forever Abomination, released a video for the song "The Infernal Resurrection."  Appropriately, as the video features live footage, Skeletonwitch began the US leg of their tour last Friday, March 23rd.  Enjoy the video and check out the info which comes to you courtesy of Earsplit PR.  The video comes courtesy of Metal Injection.

Click Here To Watch The Video

SKELETONWITCH: New Video Premiere Brought To You By Metal Injection

US Tour Kicks Off Today; European Dates Announced

Today Ohio metal titans SKELETONWITCH unveil their brand new video for “The Infernal Resurrection.” The song comes off latest album, Forever Abomination which cracked the Billboard Top 200, as well as Decibel's Top 40 of 2011 and finds the band doing what they do best: slaying ears in the live arena. To view the video, head over to THIS LOCATION.

Like Satan himself set loose in the hallowed halls of heavy metal, these Athens-based headbangers careen wildly through the music’s history, gleefully destroying and setting flame to every genre along the way, only stopping at the forefront of today’s metal scene to look back and watch that fucker burn -- and then piss on the flames. No other band has tapped into the fire, fury, and frost of all things metal like SKELETONWITCH. Released last October through Prosthetic Records,
Forever Abomination continues to raise eyebrows with its relentless, fuck-all attack. In an 8/10 rating of the record, Decibel Magazine named SKELETONWITCH, “one of the most likeable bands in metal,” Terrorizer dubbed Forever Abomination a “masterclass in modern metal,” Revolver noted its “bad-ass thrash attack,” while Pitchfork championed the offering calling it “exciting, skilled, fist-pumping, true-to-life stuff…”

SKELETONWITCH return to the road today beginning with a warm-up show in Cleveland before joining forces with The Black Dahlia Murder, Nile and labelmates Hour Of Penance for a four-week tour that concludes at the New England Metal And Hardcore Festival. This marks the group's first North American tour action of 2012. The band will take a brief break before heading overseas for a stretch of Euro dates. Confirmed dates thus far are included below:

w/ The Black Dahlia Murder, Nile, Hour Of Penance

3/23/2012 Grog Shop - Cleveland, OH ^
3/24/2012 The Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
3/25/2012 Eagles Club – Milwaukee, WI
3/26/2012 Station 4 – Minneapolis, MN
3/27/2012 Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL

3/28/2012 The Waiting Room - Omaha, NE^
3/29/2012 Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
3/30/2012 The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT

3/31/2012 The Venue - Boise, ID *
4/02/2012 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
4/03/2012 Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
4/04/2012 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
4/05/2012 House Of Blues – Los Angeles, CA
4/06/2012 Nile Theater – Phoenix, AZ
4/07/2012 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
4/09/2012 Prophet Bar – Dallas, TX
4/10/2012 White Rabbit – San Antonio, TX
4/11/2012 Warehouse Live – Houston, TX
4/13/2012 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA

4/14/2012 Cincinnati Metal Fest @ Bogarts - Cincinnati, OH w/ Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Nile, Hour of Penance, Abysmal Dawn, Arkaik, Exhumed
4/15/2012 Skully’s Music Diner - Columbus, OH ^
4/16/2012 123 Pleasant St. - Morgantown, WV ^
4/17/2012 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD
4/18/2012 Theatre Of The Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
4/19/2012 Irving Plaza – New York, NY
4/20/2012 New England Metal & Hardcore Fest @ The Palladium – Worcester, MA


* w/ Black Tusk

SKELETONWITCH European Tour 2012:

 6/15/2012 Copenhell – Copenhagen, Denmark
6/16/2012 Metal Town – Gothenburg, Sweden
6/18/2012 Comet Club – Berlin, Germany
6/20/2012 Luxor – Cologne, Germany
6/22/2012 Graspop Metal Meet – Hasselt, Belgium
6/23/2012 Earshakerdays – Basel, Switzerland
6/25/2012 Durer Kert Small Hall – Budapest, Hungary
6/26/2012 Chelsea – Vienna, Austria
6/28/2012 Rock Café – Prague, Czech Republic
6/29/2012 With Full Force Festival – Leipzig, Germany
6/30/2012 Sputnikhalle – Muenster, Germany
7/01/2012 Open Air Metal – Tuska, Finland


Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, March 25, 2012

AIDS Wolf (2003 — 2012)

Citing the last nine years of being a very challenging, very bold and startlingly unique and aggressive noise rock band, and having little to show for their efforts, the Canadian-bred AIDS Wolf has decided to call it quits.

Photo credit: Yannick Grandmont
This recent dissolution has garnered some interesting posthumous appraisals of their career and sympathy to some degree.  The band Tera Melos, who'd played with AIDS Wolf in 2009, wrote a very respectful eulogy to the band and pointed out the difficulties with being an idiosyncratic presence when popular musical trends are driven by factors like American Idol and commercial licensing.  Some bands aren't for everybody, but it does speak to our supposedly "receptive" underground media and independent blogosphere when an entity like AIDS Wolf, a band that was truly surviving off the grid, a band who were as "outsider art" in terms of their look, their sound and their musical approach as any other band excluded from the safety of popularity, were somehow neglected.  I myself am guilty of this, having only really discussed to some extent their last album a few months ago, even though they've produced an extensive body of work for many independent record labels over their nine-year lifespan.  Do I feel bad?  Absolutely.


AIDS Wolf is the type of band I seek out and try to promote, simply because I know so few will.  Performers very often try and imitate what they believe the public will perceive as weird.  Lady Gaga has gotten away with saying she was Born This Way, but the actuality of Gaga is that she's a promotional stunt disguised as an entertainer.  Advertisers and PR types know how to mold and manipulate, shape and sham — they understand how to capture the public's attention and the effectiveness of costumes.  Good Charlotte managed to convince throngs of impressionable teens that punk rock was simply an outfit, and not an aggressive and outward attitude you were supposed to find in a band's music.  This same thing happened with Avril Lavigne and I still hear the label "punk" applied to her like some ill-gotten bandage she tore off the chest of G.G. Allin just as he was beginning to heal from whatever festering wound he managed to acquire during the many acts of brutality he would commit on any given stage on any given night.  Marilyn Manson's not that shocking if you know some history behind rock n' roll.  If you don't?  Well, you might think you're witnessing the apocalypse on stage and the corruption of your good little boys and girls.  Shocking, right?

Not really.  Without spending too much time retracing the co-opt'ness of Alternative music and the manufacturing of rebellion, what I'm trying to point out is that our perceptions of the truly avant-garde are horribly skewed.  AIDS Wolf were a band of artists, artists that knew full well they were going to have to fight and claw their way to any real success if they were going to follow their musical pursuits.  And even then, their success was going to be anchored to a very select and very limited type of listener-ship.  This was a band that could legitimately claim to be on the fringe, a rare musical entity whose outward presence was not only backed-up and probably surpassed by the music they made, but was confirmed by the extent to which they kept on and on and on.  

Singer, Chloe Lum, pointed out in her farewell summary of the band, "I don’t know I’d recommend this path to anyone else or if it’s even relevant to younger folks but I’m glad for the experiences because even the terrible ones become funny in time."  It's good that her attitude has allowed her to be proud of her work because I believe that AIDS Wolf serves as an example of the sort of purity of off-kilter artist many of us who write or blog look for.  If we didn't, we could simply chew the spoon that's being dipped into our collective mouths while we nod our heads obediently, puppy-dog eyes gazing upward as we assure our feeders, "Yep, this is really good."  Instead, we try and focus on the outskirts of popular or even "good" taste, attempting to dig through layers of gloss and sparkle in order to find those often very brilliant and struggling souls that will ALWAYS need the support of fans and/or an attentive underground media.  We try and network outside all those Simon Cowell approved turds so we can offer some exposure to the passionate and determined bands that really need it.  There's always a romantic aspect to creating your own new mechanism for art, one that can thrive without corporate funding or the approval of popular opinion.  But, the truth is, there's only a mechanism in place if its parts continue to work.  In this case, AIDS Wolf is no more because the mechanism failed them.  At this point, we can only apologize.


Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mr. Gnome: Softly Mad (and how!)

Mr. Gnome
Softly Mad
El Marko Records
Released: 3.20.12

One of last year's more interesting albums was the distortion happy Madness In Miniature by Mr. Gnome, its members Nicole Barille and Sam Meister having crafted a very strong guitar album that based itself on fantastical imagery.  Mr. Gnome makes the guitar/drum duo thing work pretty well, maximizing their sound beyond what some would consider a limited musical vocab.  Actually, the record catches you by surprise, some of the band's decisions and musical shifts as cerebral as they were imaginative.  

Following last year's LP, Barille and Meister have released a two-song 7" called Softly Mad, (which is digital-only apparently, so I'm still trying to figure out how physical circumference applies to digital music, but I guess that's just semantics), which differs in that it's less concerned with pop rock melodies, time signatures and alt. riffs.  Softly Mad is slow, ponderous and electronically propulsive.  It's also more vocal, the A-side, "The Way," comprised mostly of Barielle's voice which is multitracked into an array of choral backgrounds in addition to her main vocal.  Guitar sounds provide dissonance and carve haunting slivers through the song's wall of voice.  The B-side, "Still Life," follows roughly the same motif, though Barille is more isolated this time around.  Softly Mad is what it claims to be, though Softly Pensive or Softly Pretty would both have sufficed.

"The Way" — (Single provided with permission by Terrorbird Media.)

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Greg Ginn and the Royal We: Baiting

Listening to Greg Ginn and the Royal We, which is performed solely by the legendary Black Flag guitarist, (my comments discounting his instrumental work with Gone), I would call this a technologically modern continuation of his Process Of Weeding Out/John McLaughlin-inspired jazz punk excursions. His guitar work is still marvelously primitive, though the electronic elements sound kind of flat next to the rhythm section provided by Bill Stevenson and Kira Roessler. I guess you could say there’s a tad less jazz, less of Ginn’s atonal wheeze and a more melody-based approach. Of course, I’m judging based upon the song “Baiting,” which may or may not summarize the breadth of this project.

All info below comes courtesy of Speakeasy PR.


Mar. 21, 2012, Austin, Tex. -- Greg Ginn and The Royal We, Ginn's solo electro-instrumental project, has added a handful of California dates leading up to his Apr. 15 and 22 performances at Coachella.
Greg Ginn and The Royal We's debut album, We Are Amused, was released on SST in November and was hilariously described by Rolling Stone as "Black Sabbath scoring a Godzilla movie." Ginn plays guitar, bass, theramin and synthesizer on the release with a host of effects to create the lush and loosely psychedelic release. Live, Ginn utilizes a Mac combined with a wall of amp racks and speakers to create the powerful sound.
Greg Ginn and the Royal We tour dates:
April 5 San Diego, CA —  Soda Bar
April 6 Bakersfield, CA —  Sports and Spirits
April 7 San Luis Obispo, CA —  The Z
April 8 San Luis Obispo, CA —  The Z
April 15 Indio, CA —  Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
April 22 Indio, CACoachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Bad Behavior
Old Flame Records
Released: 3.6.12


Letters From A Tapehead

The Beatles: Only A Northern Song (Yes, this is a promotion for the restoring and re-release of Yellow Submarine.)

The Beatles' animated psychedelic fairytale, Yellow Submarine, will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray this May as its 1999 incarnation has gone out of print.  Having been restored by hand, (a detail I lifted from the press release below), the new version of the film will be released with a lot of geek fodder like cels, drawings and interviews.  Also, the movie's 1999 companion release, Yellow Submarine Songtrack, will be reissued as well, (though the actual Yellow Submarine album is all you really need.)

All information is brought to you courtesy of EMI. 



Once upon a time…or maybe twice…there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland…

London – March 20, 2012 – The Beatles’ classic 1968 animated feature film,
Yellow Submarine, has been digitally restored for DVD and Blu-ray release on May 28 (May 29 in North America). The film’s songtrack album will be reissued on CD on the same date.

Currently out of print, the film has been restored in 4K digital resolution for the first time by Paul Rutan Jr. and his team of specialists at Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc. Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, no automated software was used in the digital clean-up of the film’s restored photochemical elements. This was all done by hand, frame by frame.

Bonus features for the
Yellow Submarine DVD and Blu-ray include a short making-of documentary titled “Mod Odyssey” (TRT: 7:30), the film’s original theatrical trailer, audio commentary by producer John Coates and art director Heinz Edelmann, several brief interview clips with others involved with the film, storyboard sequences, 29 original pencil drawings and 30 behind-the-scenes photos. Both Digipak packages will include reproductions of animation cels from the film, collectible stickers, and a 16-page booklet with a new essay by Yellow Submarine aficionado John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios).

Lasseter writes in his essay,
“As a fan of animation and as a filmmaker, I tip my hat to the artists of Yellow Submarine, whose revolutionary work helped pave the way for the fantastically diverse world of animation that we all enjoy today.”

Directed by George Dunning, and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal,
Yellow Submarine began its voyage to the screen when Brodax, who had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC’s animated Beatles TV series, approached The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein with a unique vision for a full-length animated feature.
Yellow Submarine, based upon a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is a fantastic tale brimming with peace, love, and hope, propelled by Beatles songs, including “Eleanor Rigby,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “All You Need Is Love,” and “It’s All Too Much.” When the film debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.

Inspired by the generation’s new trends in art, the film resides with the dazzling Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Martin Sharp, Alan Aldridge and Peter Blake. With art direction and production design by Heinz Edelmann,
Yellow Submarine is a classic of animated cinema, featuring the creative work of animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes with a team of animators and technical artists.
“I thought from the very beginning that the film should be a series of interconnected shorts” remembers Edelmann. “The style should vary every five minutes or so to keep the interest going until the end.” These styles included melding live-action photography with animation, 3-dimensional sequences and kaleidoscopic “rotoscoping” where film is traced frame by frame into drawings. The entire process took nearly two years, 14 different scripts, 40 animators and 140 technical artists, ultimately producing a groundbreaking triumph of animation.

On April 24, Candlewick Press will release a new, compact hardcover edition of the
Yellow Submarine picture book, a read-aloud journey for the whole family. Featuring the lighthearted wit of the film’s script alongside original artwork from the movie that has charmed children and adults through several generations, the beautiful, 40-page book will be sold by retailers everywhere and on the Beatles Store ( www.thebeatles.com). An interactive digital version of the book is also available as a free download on Apple's iBookstore for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch at www.iTunes.com/TheBeatles.


Yellow Submarine synopsis:

Once upon a time… or maybe twice, there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland, a place where happiness and music reigned supreme. But all that was threatened when the terrible Blue Meanies declared war and sent in their army led by a menacing Flying Glove to destroy all that was good. Enter John, Paul, George and Ringo to save the day! Armed with little more than their humor, songs, and of course, their yellow submarine, The Beatles tackle the rough seas ahead in an effort to bring down the evil forces of bluedom.

Production credits

Running Time: 89 minutes

Director - George Dunning
Producer - Al Brodax
Screen story - Lee Minoff
Screenplay - Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn, and Erich Segal
Art Director - Heinz Edelmann
Animation directors - Robert Balser and Jack Stokes
Production Executive - John Coates

Music Producer and Supervisor - George Martin

Featuring music by The Beatles

Yellow Submarine [DVD, Blu-ray]

Feature film [TRT: 89:00]

Fully restored in 4K and presented in the original aspect ratio of 1:66-1

Audio options:

English 5.1 DTS
German 5.1 DTS
Italian 5.1 DTS
English Dolby Stereo

Original Mono

Audio Commentary – Heinz Edelmann (Art Director) and John Coates (Producer)

Subtitle languages (feature only):

English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Finnish, Japanese

Extra features:

Mod Odyssey documentary [TRT: 7:30]
Original theatrical trailer [TRT: 3:30]

Storyboard sequences:

- Sea of Monsters (split screen footage) [TRT: 4:20]
- Battle of the Monsters [118 images]
- Pepperland [64 images]


- Paul Angelis (voice of Ringo and Chief Blue Meanie) [TRT: 1:39]
- John Clive (voice of John) [TRT: 2:03]
- David Livesey (key animator) [TRT: 1:11]
- Millicent McMillan (Heinz Edelmann’s assistant) [TRT: 1:12]
- Jack Stokes (animation director) [TRT: 3:42]
- Erich Segal (co-writer) [TRT: 1:38]

Original pencil drawings [29 images]

Behind-the-scenes photos [30 images]
Yellow Submarine Songtrack [CD]

1. Yellow Submarine
2. Hey Bulldog

3. Eleanor Rigby
4. Love You To
5. All Together Now
6. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
7. Think For Yourself
8. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
9. With A Little Help From My Friends
10. Baby, You're A Rich Man
11. Only A Northern Song
12. All You Need Is Love
13. When I'm Sixty-Four
14. Nowhere Man

15. It's All Too Much 

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Inbox Giveth: Yama

Seaquake EP
Mind Flare Media
Released: 4.12

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Mind Flare Media in regards to an EP the label is releasing called Seaquake.  The band?  A Kyuss/Goatsnake-stoner-bred rock band from The Netherlands called Yama, who don't disappoint as far as expectations set by the genre's progenitors. 

Riff and speed (or, lack thereof) are all there, tripping on the slow and steady THC rock motif that the band eschews halfway through the EP's title track.   Vocally, the band toys with reverb effects, playing on some studio-induced notion of expanse or isolation.  The music itself, though, is a tad too refined to capitalize on such a device, the idea of infinite space only somewhat successful.  The guitar solo in the song "Synergy" attempts this as well and it's almost drowned underneath the chugging rhythm section, which has more emphasis.

Otherwise, Seaquake is an enjoyable three songs with enough head knock to entertain. 

Sample below and check out info on the album and Mind Flare Media's t-shirt promotion.  All details come courtesy of the label.

Yama is a heavy stoner rock band from Tilburg/Utrecht, The Netherlands.  They've been active since 2008 with influences ranging from (60's/70's) psychedelic rock, to doom and stonerrock and delta-blues.  Yama has a classic sound similar to Goatsnake, Baroness, and Graveyard with some weed-laced riffs thrown in to the mix, leaving these guys set to make a mark for themselves in the genre.  They focus on heavy grooves and big riffs to create their version of heavy, fuzzed-out stoner rock.  Yama released a limited demo shortly after they started touring in Europe, and were recently signed by Mind Flare Media.  The demo is now out-of-print will be reissued in April of 2012 with completely new artwork, now an EP titled SeaquakeSeaquake contains three heavy doom/stoner tracks running almost thirty minutes.  In addition to the EP, I'm running a special promotion for the band where buyers can preorder the EP at half price with a limited shirt in one of two designs.  Each package costs only $25 with shipping included in the US, $30 worldwide.  The promotion runs until March 31st 2012, and after this the shirts will no longer be available for sale.  Fans can listen to all of the tracks at the Bandcamp link featured below, which includes a link to the label's official site for ordering the package.  The artwork featured on Bandcamp is for one of the two designs.

Letters From A Tapehead

Beach House: Myth

In recent years, I’ve been less taken by lo-fi bands in general, sort of fed up with the “haze” and “daze” and “gaze” of each and every band tied to dreamy reverb. Engaging, though, is “Myth” by Beach House, whose new album, Bloom, will be out this May. I liked this song a lot, so give it a listen. If you trust me, of course.


All info comes courtesy of the essential Sub Pop.


Listen to “Myth” here.

Sub Pop is pleased to share the details for Beach House’s 4th studio album
Bloom, available in the US and Canada May 15th on CD, double-LP, and digital formats. The album will also be available in the following territories: Europe via Bella Union on May 14th, Mexico via Arts and Crafts on May 15th, and Australia via Mistletone on May 18th.

Bloom, led by the single, “Myth,” was recorded in late 2011 at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX and mixed at Electric Lady in NYC. Bloom was co-produced by Beach House and Chris Coady.

The landscape of
Bloom was largely designed on the road, between the countless sound checks and myriad experiences during two years of tour. Throughout this period, melodies, chords, rhythms, words, and textures surfaced in moments of their own choosing. These spontaneous ideas were later gathered and developed in Baltimore, where the band lives and works (read more @ Sub Pop).

Like previous Beach House releases (
Beach House in 2006, Devotion in 2008, Teen Dream in 2010), Bloom further develops their distinctive sound yet stands apart as a new piece of work.

Beach House have scheduled a month-long trans-Atlantic tour to support
Bloom. The eastern US tour begins May 4 in Charlottesville, VA at Jefferson Theatre and ends on May 13 in Asheville, NC at The Orange Peel. The European tour begins May 23 in Brighton, UK at The Haunt and ends on June 9 in Porto, Portugal at Primavera Festival. And on July 23in New York, Beach House will headline a special night at Central Park’s SummerStage. Many, many more dates to follow!

Full album track list + tour dates below.

Beach House

1. Myth
2. Wild
3. Lazuli
4. Other People
5. The Hours
6. Troublemaker
7. New Year
8. Wishes
9. On the Sea
10. Irene

Tour Dates

May 04 -- Charlottesville, VA -- Jefferson Theatre -- http://tinyurl.com/7uvdnbv
May 05 -- Carrboro, NC -- Cat's Cradle -- http://tinyurl.com/86sh37d
May 06 -- Charleston, SC -- Music Farm -- http://tinyurl.com/7b9l7cf
May 08 -- Miami Beach, FL -- The Fillmore Miami Beach -- http://tinyurl.com/73qvgvx
May 09 -- Orlando, FL -- Beacham Theater -- http://tinyurl.com/orlandobeachouse
May 10 -- Jacksonville, FL -- Freebird Live -- http://tinyurl.com/75zjzlq
May 11 -- Birmingham, AL -- The Bottletree -- http://tinyurl.com/7photft
May 12 -- Athens, GA -- The Georgia Theatre -- http://tinyurl.com/7ybbx3h
May 13 -- Asheville, NC -- The Orange Peel -- http://tinyurl.com/7copk4m
May 23 -- Brighton, UK -- The Haunt -- http://tinyurl.com/7xhkn69
May 24 -- London, UK -- Village Underground -- http://tinyurl.com/798e6hl
May 25 -- Belgium, BE -- De Kreun -- http://dekreun.be/tickets/how-where/
May 26 -- Amsterdam, NL – Melkweg -- http://tinyurl.com/86f2fgk
May 27 -- Berlin, DE – Volksbuhne -- http://tinyurl.com/732q39w
May 29 -- Paris, FR – Maronguinerie -- http://tinyurl.com/842r6le
May 31 – Düdingen, CH -- Bad Bonn Kilbi Festival
Jun. 02 -- Barcelona, ES -- Primavera Festival (evening) -- http://tinyurl.com/7zdanpz
Jun. 03 -- Montpellier, FR -- Le Rockstore -- http://tinyurl.com/6u8n4ml
Jun. 04 -- Bordeaux, FR -- Theatre Barbey -- http://tinyurl.com/6nfzfmf
Jun. 05 -- Nantes, FR – Stereolux -- http://tinyurl.com/7t9lxxg
Jun. 06 -- Lyon, FR -- Epicrerie Moderne -- http://tinyurl.com/6r9x47t
Jun. 07 -- Blarritz, FR -- L'Atabal
Jun. 08/09 – Porto, PT -- Primavera Festival (evening)
Jul. 23 – New York, NY – Central Park SummerStage

Letters From A Tapehead

The Inbox Giveth: Jooklo Duo and Bill Nace

Jooklo Duo and Bill Nace
Holidays Records
Released:  3.20.12

Jooklo Duo and Bill Nace's collaborative LP, Scratch, is for those already initiated and well-acquainted with tenor based free jazz. Jooklo Duo is an Italian avant duo (Virginia Genta and David Vanzan) and Bill Nace is an experimental guitarist.  Their efforts have spawned two sides of loud, free form noise that blends with improvisational guitar skree; a little over 18 minutes each. One track's called "Scratch Here," the other, "Scratch There."

The album is available as a limited run (350), clear vinyl with multi-color spatter.  
Here's a sample:

   Jooklo Duo and Bill Nace: Scratch (excerpt) by Holidays Records

Here's some info provided by Holidays Records:

Two sides of ecstatic noise captured on tape by Jason Lafarge at Seizures Palace, Brooklyn, in occasion of the East Coast and Midwest Tour of the Italian psychedelic tenor sax and drums duo of Virginia Genta and David Vanzan, joined by guitar wizard Bill Nace.

The music of Jooklo Duo is the most powerful expression in free improvisation, trascending every kind of stereotype and going straight to the center of Uncreated Sound. They have toured extensively in Europe and the USA, performing more than five-hundred concerts and tons of studio-sessions, collaborating with artists as Sonic Youth, Hartmut Geerken, Makoto Kawabata, Sabu Toyozumi, Chris Corsano, Paul Flaherty, C. Spencer Yeh, John Blum, and many others. Bill Nace is definitely one of the best avant-garde guitarists active today, able to drive his guitar into distortion - nearly breaking it - but still holding the reins. He is already known for his duo throwdowns with Chris Corsano as Vampire Belt as well as the more recent collaboration with Dylan Nyoukis and Karen Constance as Ceylon Mange and in duo with Thurston Moore as Northampton Wools.

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Daddy's a DJ...

My Daddy’s a DJ...
...so nothing is his.
An enthusiast’s view
In an admirer’s biz.
Fusing together
A melodious muck.
Arguing the difference
Between the bad and the suck.

Through dust and through board
Are stacks of his wares.
A collection of things
And he knows what's there.
From passion to fashion;
From cut to create;
Every song, every word,
Every flaw, every date.

My Daddy’s a DJ...
A talent for zip.
A fondness for pop,
His achievements a blip.
A platter of spin,
A needle to spark.
The conversation a blur,
The relationship stark.

Our connection not there,
His attention remiss.
Our bond's episodic
As we hug or we kiss.
I wage my rebellion,
My path’s looking bright.
His soundtrack is all
He can offer my spite.

My Daddy’s a DJ...
And his passion’s missed out.
Though expert in sound,
His life is in doubt.
His hours invested,
His ears taking toll.
His lack of a presence,
Leaving a hole.

I grew up too fast.
My days turned to years.
His songs speaking sadness.
My face streaks with tears.
Still immersed in the noise,
Still in love with the sound;
My life moves ahead,
While his spins around.

Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What I Heard This Morning: Sleep Maps

The Sleep Maps, a New York City post-rock band revolving around the more paranoid and militaristic aspects of classic science fiction, are putting out an independently produced album, Fiction Makes The Future, which was performed solely by Sleep Map, Ben Kaplan.  The band's first single, "Men Against The Stars," has premiered online alongside a teaser trailer for the album.

NYC post-metal band Sleep Maps premiere first track from forthcoming album via Prefix Mag

Click image above to watch album teaser video

New York City post-metal band Sleep Maps premiere the first track from their forthcoming album today via Prefix Mag. The song "Men Against The Stars" is culled from the quartet's retro-futurism inspired concept album,
Fiction Makes The Future and is available to stream/download HERE. Check out an album teaser video HERE.

Sleep Maps play a handful of New York area shows this spring before embarking on a more extensive tour in support of the album. Please see current dates below.

Sleep Maps is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Ben Kaplan, who performed all of the instruments on
Fiction Makes The Future. The band has since expanded to a full 4-piece lineup, playing its aggressive yet atmospheric songs live with poignant visual projections. The band first formed in Los Angeles, before Kaplan picked up a moved to NYC, recording the album on his own prior to finding musicians suited to the task.

A reaction to the present world and a vision of a lost future,
Fiction Makes the Future brings the listener back in time to imagine a reality that might have been. Set against a backdrop of ambient synthscapes, crushing guitar builds and explosive drumming, the album tries to make sense of man's deep seated desire to know his future. Disembodied voices from luminaries of many ages intermingle with echoing guitar leads, soaked in the reverb of outer space, and distorted bass lines that rumble in the low end like the jets of an Apollo spacecraft, blurring the line between traditional post-rock and a new kind of sci-fi instrumental rock.
Fiction Makes The Future was recorded in the woods of Delaware over 3 weeks in October 2011. The 5-song, 40-plus minute album was produced, performed and mixed by Ben Kaplan. It will be available on limited edition CD and download May 1st, 2012.

04/04 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
04/24 New York, NY @ The Delancey - CD Release show
05/10 New York, NY @ Local 629


Artist: Sleep Maps
Fiction Makes The Future
Label: Sleep Maps Music
Release Date: May 1st, 2012

01. Men Against The Stars (MP3)
02. The Eternal Wanderer
03. Forbidden Light
04. A Greater Fire
05. Last Future

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sleep: Dopesmoker gets reissued

Word came late last night that Dopesmoker, the epic single song album from stoner legends, Sleep, is getting reissued by Southern Lord.

Sleep's Al Cisneros at the Starlight Ballroom, 9.7.10
The album that ultimately led to the band's demise in the mid-90s, Dopesmoker was considered unmarketable by Sleep's then label, London Records.  Compromise on the band's part led to a rewritten and edited version of the album dubbed, Jerusalem, but this move was deemed unsatisfactory.  The excellent bands Om and High On Fire arose from Sleep's ashes.
An official version of Jerusalem was issued in the late 90s by The Music Cartel, followed by the definitive Dopesmoker in 2003 by Tee Pee Records.

All info below comes courtesy of Earsplit PR.

Related links:
Sleep at the Starlight Ballroom, 9.7.10, Philadelphia, PA.
Om at Johnny Brenda's, 11.15.07, Philadelphia, PA.

High On FireSnakes For The Divine
OmLive Conference

A small write-up about the 2007 vinyl edition of Sleep's Holy Mountain

SLEEP: Southern Lord To Unleash Dopesmoker Deluxe Reissue

News of almighty proportions has landed as Southern Lord announce a deluxe reissue of one of the towering achievements in metal history,
Dopesmoker by SLEEP.

For the 2012 reissue, there are some very notable changes. The original studio tapes have been remastered presenting the album as the band had originally intended. The audio is clearer, louder, and at last brings a true representation of SLEEP’s hour-plus Weedian chronicle. Exclusive to this Southern Lord edition is brand new artwork by long time SLEEP artist Arik Roper, to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Additionally, this reborn version of
Dopesmoker boasts an unreleased live recording of one of the band’s best all-time performances: "Holy Mountain" from San Francisco's I-Beam in 1994.

Southern Lord is overwhelmingly ecstatic to reissue one of the most important recordings in heavy metal history. This edition ensures that this mesmerizing, incredibly complex document remains unrivaled in the annals of stoner metal.
Dopesmoker Track Listing:
1. Dopesmoker 1:03:31
2. Holy Mountain (Live @ the I-Beam SF, CA. 1994) 11:54

Check out SLEEP’s upcoming European tour dates below...

SLEEP 2012 European Tour Dates:
4/14/2012 Roadburn Festival - Tilburg, Netherlands

5/03/2012 Asymmetry Festival - Wroclaw, Poland w/ A Storm of Light
5/04/2012 Amager Bio - Copenhagen, Denmark w/ A Storm of Light
5/05/2012 Betong - Oslo, Norway w/ A Storm of Light
5/06/2012 Strand - Stockholm, Sweden w/ A Storm of Light
5/08/2012 Tavastia - Helsinki, Finland
5/09/2012 Berghain - Berlin, Germany w/ A Storm of Light
5/10/2012 Conne Island - Leipzig, Germany w/ A Storm of Light
5/11/2012 Lucerna Music Bar - Prague, Czech Republic w/ A Storm of Light
5/12/2012 Club 202 - Budapest, Hungary w/ A Storm of Light
5/13/2012 Tvornica Kulture - Zagreb, Croatia w/ A Storm of Light
5/14/2012 Arena - Vienna, Austria w/ A Storm of Light
5/16/2012 Circolo Degli Artisti - Rome, Italy w/ A Storm of Light
5/17/2012 Fillmore Club - Cortemaggiore, Italy w/ A Storm of Light
5/18/2012 Dachstock - Bern, Switzerland w/ A Storm of Light
5/19/2012 Fzw - Dortmund, Germany w/ A Storm of Light
5/20/2012 Gagarin 205 - Athens, Greece
5/22/2012 The Arches - Glasgow, Scotland w/ A Storm of Light
5/23/2012 Button Factory - Dublin, Ireland w/ A Storm of Light
5/24/2012 Stylus - Leeds, United Kingdom w/ A Storm of Light
5/25/2012 I'll Be Your Mirror - London, United Kingdom w/ Slayer, Melvins
5/26/2012 Villette, Sonique - Paris, France
5/27/2012 Trix - Antwerp, Belgium w/ A Storm of Light
5/28/2012 Feierwerk - Munich, Germany w/ A Storm of Light
5/31/2012 Primavera Sound Barcelona - Barcelona, Spain w/ Wolves In The Throne Room



Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Cassettes In Print: An upcoming article and a request for participation

For any of you that have been reading Letters From A Tapehead over the last year or so, you may have noticed an occasional review or two for new music either released or reissued on cassette. The underground’s favorite format has persisted to exist even though tape decks and boomboxes are scarce and the technology itself has been written off as obsolete. Cassette-centric labels have sprung up and, along with the LP, basically defied the push by digital media to dominate the marketplace with convenient, mediocre MP3s and wipe out the production of tangible, high quality formats.

Okay, we’re talking cassette tapes so, realistically speaking, the MP3 isn’t in any danger of losing the battle.

But, the appeal here is that the cassette culture of years ago is finding its second wind, tape swapping and marketing with regard to underground and local music scenes being, in its essence, the first wave of what was to become file sharing. With this in mind, I’ve been locating and compiling resources with something to say about tapes and their continued importance. My findings will be articulated into an article for No Ripcord.

So, to anyone reading this, I’d like some opinions. If tapes had an impact on you, or if you know of any artists, record store employees or owners or record label proprietors in some way connected to new music released or sold on cassettes, please either write to me or comment. I’d like to include quotes and some perspective from music fans and anyone with a fondness or nostalgic attachment to cassette culture.

Letters From A Tapehead

Woods & Amps For Christ: From Oatmeal to Buttermilk

I caught news of this Woods/Amps For Christ split LP a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to wait to post about it until a track became available, which happened today.  "From Oatmeal to Buttermilk" is an improvisational couple minutes' worth of sitar psychedelia and is apparently the only collaborative track on the LP.  Otherwise, standard to the practice of split releases, there's a side for each artist.

All info, links and tour dates are provided by Force Field PR.

Woods shares new track from split LP w/ Amps For Christ 

STREAM: Woods - "Wind Was The Wine" 

MP3: Woods & Amps For Christ - "From Oatmeal to Buttermilk" -

There has been a tradition going back to almost the begin of Shrimper of artists on the label collaborating with one another. From John Davis/Lou Barlow's Folk Implosion to Franklin Bruno & John Darnielle's Extra G/Lens with dozens of other examples in between. This Split LP between WOODS & AMPS FOR CHRIST began as a kernel for a split 7" single but grew into this full length split LP featuring 4 songs by each artist and an additional collaborative track. Woods & Amps for Christ explore a lot of the same land mass as one another, but manage to turn over different rocks & shards of glass. Working independently from one another, you will hear the sublime manner in which the 2 sides of the LP (or the harsh tinny digital skree of the MP3's for you 20th century types, dig your irony) complement one another both musically & lyrically. Check out the ESP interplay of Barnes & Earl when together or separated by coasts.

Thu-Apr-19 Waltham, MA Brandeis University
Fri-Apr-20 Hoboken, NJ Maxwells *
Sat-Apr-21 Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Art Works *
Sun-Apr-22 Louisville, KY Zanzabar *
Mon-Apr-23 Bloomington, IN Bishop *
Tue-Apr-24 Grinnell, IA Gardner Lounge / Grinnell College *
Wed-Apr-25 Lawrence, KS Jackpot Music Hall *
Thu-Apr-26 Norman, OK Opolis *
Fri-Apr-27 Dallas, TX Sons of Hermann Hall
Sat-Apr-28 Austin, TX AUSTIN PSYCH FEST *
Sun-Apr-29 Houston, TX Rudyards *
Mon-Apr-30 Jackson, MS Morningbell Records *
Tue-May-01 Atlanta, GA 529 *
Thu-May-03 Charlottesville, VA The Southern *
Fri-May-04 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda's *
Sat-May-05 Brooklyn, NY 285 Kent *
Sun-May-06 New Windsor, NY Storm King Art Center

* = w/ MMOSS

Woods / Amps For Christ
Self-Titled Split
Street Date: CD April 17, 2012 / LP May 1, 2012

1.Amps For Christ - "When"
2.Amps For Christ - "Native Chantz"
3.Amps For Christ - "Lord Bateman (Child #53)"
4.Amps For Christ - "Roto Koto in C Major"

1.Woods - "Sleep"
2.Woods & Amps For Christ - "From Oatmeal To Buttermilk"
3.Woods - "Wind Was the Wine"
4.Woods - "Brothers"
5.Woods - "September Saturn"

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/woodsfamilyband 
MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/WOODSFAMILYBAND
Label - http://www.woodsist.com

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

Mr. Gnome: The Way

The spectacularly odd Mr. Gnome are releasing a digital 7” (not sure I get this concept, either) on March 20th. In circulation now through MTV Hive is the song, “The Way,” which is a drifting Casio-powered ballad that's sort dreamy next to the oft-loud guitar rock that comprised a greater portion of their last album, Madness In Miniature.

One very glaring instance of me dropping the ball in 2011 was never getting around to reviewing Mr. Gnome’s Madness In Miniature, which I did enjoy. So, in an effort to redeem myself, here are some tracks to check out and some info to absorb.  There's also a link to stream the LP and a new video for the single, "House Of Circles."

All information is courtesy of Terrorbird Media.

Mr. Gnome Premieres New Track "The Way" on MTV Hive, New 7" Softly Mad out March 20th on El Marko Records

Trailer for Live-Action, Comic Book Style "House of Circles" Video Starring
Madness In Miniature Cover Art Characters Unveiled

Coast-to-Coast Spring Tour Through May Kicks Off Tonight, Including SXSW

DOWNLOAD: "The Way" direct mp3 / via MTV Hive
DOWNLOAD: "Watch the City Sail Away" direct mp3 / via Rolling Stone
Madness In Miniature full album / via My Old Kentucky Blog

The duo of Nicole Barille and Sam Meister -- aka Cleveland's Mr. Gnome -- are going big in 2012, and things are just about to get started. They recently announced the upcoming release of their new digital 7"
Softly Mad, out March 20th on El Marko Records. MTV Hive premiered one of those new tracks, the brooding A-side "The Way," which shows a more restrained side of the band that was previously only hinted at on Madness In Miniature. That genre-obliterating album caused Rolling Stone Magazine to give them the coveted "Band To Watch" title last year. The new single includes two b-sides from the Madness In Miniature sessions, were recorded in their basement studio during a dark Cleveland winter, and were mixed by Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan & Sara, Secret Machines).

Addtionally, the band has released a stunning new trailer for their forthcoming video for "House of Circles" -- a comic book style adventure into the surreal that is a live action interpretation of a sci-fi graphic novel written by Mr. Gnome, and featuring fantasy characters from the
Madness In Minature cover art. Last but certainly not least, Mr. Gnome kicks off their massive Spring tour tonight in Louisville, KY, which sees them going from one coast to another now through early May. They will be hitting SXSW in Austin for an official showcase and mulitple day parties, including an appearance at the Terrorbird Media/Force Field PR day party on 3/14 at Red 7 along with Tycho, Youth Lagoon, Widowspeak, and others. See below for the full list of upcoming dates. If you missed them in 2011, it's a perfect time to revisit the album, check out their jaw-dropping live show, and see what more and more people have been talking about.

Click Here or Above for the "House of Circles" Video Trailer

Mr. Gnome Spring Tour Dates
02/29 Louisville KY @ Zazoo's
03/01 Nashville TN @ Exit/In
03/02 Cincinnati OH @ Mayday
03/03 Lexington KY @ Green Lantern
03/06 Durham NC @ Garage Bar at Motorco Music Hall
03/08 Atlanta GA @ The Five Spot
03/09 Pensacola FL @ The Handle Bar
03/10 Orlando FL @ Will's Pub - Orange You Glad Festival
03/13 Dallas TX @ Double Wide - Prekindle SXSW pre-party
03/14 Austin TX @ Red 7 - Terrorbird Media/Force Field SXSW party
03/15 Austin TX @ Lucky Lounge - TapeOp magazine SXSW party
03/16 Austin TX @ Treasure Island - official SXSW showcase
03/20 Fruita CO @ Cavalcade
03/22 Boise ID @ The Red Room - Treefort Music Festival
03/23 Portland OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
03/24 Seattle WA @ Sunset Tavern
03/27 San Francisco CA @ Thee Parkside
03/28 Sacramento CA @ Luigi's
03/29 Los Angeles CA @ Bootleg Theater
03/31 Albuquerque NM @ The Launch Pad
04/03 Salt Lake City UT @ Urban Lounge
04/04 Denver CO @ Hi-Dive
04/06 Springfield MO @ The Outland
04/07 Kansas City MO @ Riot Room/Middle of The Map Festival
04/10 Columbia MO @ Sideshow
04/11 Saint Louis MO @ Plush
04/12 Indianapolis IN @ Radio Radio
04/13 Chicago IL @ Schuba's
04/14 Grand Rapids MI @ The Pyramid Scheme
04/20 Cleveland OH @ Beachland Ballroom
04/21 Toledo OH @ Ottawa Tavern
04/27 Dayton OH @ Blind Bob's
04/28 Columbus OH @ Skully's
05/04 New York NY @ Mercury Lounge
05/05 Pittsburgh PA @ The Brillobox
More info on Mr. Gnome:

Like the previous album
Heave Yer Skeleton (2009), the new record was recorded at Josh Homme's (Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures) Pink Duck Studios in Los Angeles. The Madness in Miniature sessions signal the band’s second opportunity to partner with Pink Duck Studio Manager and Engineer, Justin Smith (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal, Arctic Monkeys, Them Crooked Vultures) as well. Portland’s Beau Sorenson, who mixed the previous two albums, also returns. Barille and Meister bring an unfiltered approach to their craft, allowing for emotional and sonic variance. The duo's mood swings are mirrored by the band's surreal album artwork, photography, and videowork, all created by Barille and Meister themselves.

The intricately woven musical tapestries and hallucinogenic interludes pounded out by the duo represent an expansion and perfection of the stylistic character Mr. Gnome had previously become synonymous. Don't miss your chance to see them in the flesh.


Mr. Gnome - Softly Mad
Out March 20th on El Marko Records

The Way
Still Life


Mr. Gnome - Madness In Miniature
Out Now on El Marko Records cd, vinyl, & digital

Ate the Sun

House of Circles

Run for Cover
Bit of Tongue

Fly Me Over
We Sing Electric
Wolf Girls
Watch the City Sail Away


Official Site






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