Friday, August 31, 2012

What I Heard This Morning: Sarin Smoke

Psychedelic guitar-based free jazz, Sarin Smoke is the work of guitarists Tom Carter and Pete Swanson.  Carter, who will remain on treatment since being irrevocably stricken with Pneumonia, will be the recipient of any funds generated by the band's upcoming new album, Vent, which will be released September 17th.  

All info comes courtesy of Rarely Unable.

On September 17th, MIE in partnership with Rarely Unable PR will unleash the latest LP by Sarin Smoke, entitled Vent. In anticipation of the release the label are giving away one track, 'Upsound', for your listening pleasure. You can download from soundcloud via this link:

After performing at a concert in Oakland in 2010 and feeling proud of their musical output, Tom and Pete decided to collaborate with one another again. The resulting record amalgamates Tom's recent self-oscillating, power starved shredding psychedelia, with Pete's self proclaimed "more neanderthal attempts at VU/Roy Montgomery inspired simple melodicism". Ultimately, the album is an unusual haze of oscillator sweeps, dying batteries, ripping solos and clean(ish) two chord backbones forming a very unique angle on the possibilities that the "psychedelic rock" format could aspire towards.

Tom Carter was recently on a tour with Charlambides where he developed a very serious case of Pneumonia. He has now returned to the US but requires ongoing treatment. As a result, Pete Swanson and MIE Music have agreed to donate all profits from the new album to The Robert Thomas Carter Irrevocable Trust.

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Fucking Elephant: “I'm Addicted To Drugs And Sex And I Want You To Choke Me”

Myself a fan of A Fucking Elephant and the brand of oddly conceived prog metal that they craft, I'm happy to hear that another 7" of new material is in the works.  Their last 7," which was a split effort with El Drugstore, was discussed last year.  I wound up picking up a copy on CD not too long ago  and another split they'd released with Arbogast on 7" vinyl.  I consider the band fascinatingly abrasive. 

Info comes courtesy of Earsplit PR.

A FUCKING ELEPHANT: New Jersey’s Progbending Deviant Duo Enter Studio

New Jersey’s atypical progressive experimanglers A FUCKING ELEPHANT – who have been assaulting basements and forcing acoustic trauma since 2007 -- will barricade themselves in the studio with engineer Colin Marston (Krallice, Dysrhythmia, Behold… The Arctopus) this weekend to lay down two new tracks. The material being recorded is for a 7” the duo – drummer Greg Meisenberg and guitarist Matt Keys -- will be releasing in January, in conjunction with a stateside tour to support it.

The newly-confirmed 7” will be A FUCKING ELEPHANT’s first new material since their split full-length with cohorts El Drugstore, which dropped in early 2011 via Nefarious Industries, a label created by members of both bands and other local allies. The new 7” will also be released through the label, and will be joined by other new titles in the coming months.

More info on the studio session and upcoming live actions will be released in the weeks ahead. In the meantime get nuts with live footage of one of the new songs to be recorded for the 7”, bearing the polished title “I'm Addicted To Drugs And Sex And I Want You To Choke Me,” RIGHT HERE. 

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sic Alps: "Glyphs"

If you've been reading Letters From A Tapehead long enough, you know that Sic Alps has been a point of coverage since before this band had any albums available on Amazon.  So, I can't but feel some pride in the fact that even Pitchfork has deemed the band worthy of notice, even if, in the words of Light from Repo Man, "I was into these dudes before anybody."  Seriously, I believe Sic Alps canceled out the legitimacy of the garage rock revival, simply because they were the most genuinely damaged band to revel in the genre's lack of fidelity, but not for the purposes of sounding vintage.  There was no gag or novelty to what this band did, and it's not as if they can be accused of riding Jack White's jock when so very few people even knew who they were.  But, they persisted and now Sic Alps seems to be enjoying some notoriety, which makes me very happy.

Anyway, this was my attempt at being self-congratulatory.  This rarely happens, so savor the moment.

Sic Alps are releasing a new self-titled LP on September 17th and "Glyphs" is its new single and video.  I think I've reviewed all of their long-players at this point, so if you're interested, peruse the links below.

Pleasures & Treasures (2006)
A Long Way Around to a Shortcut (compilation) & U.S. EZ (2008)
Napa Asylum (2011)

Info about the new release comes courtesy of Rarely Unable.


In their new fever-dream of a video, which premiered this week on, Sic Alps set up an audience of one, a jean jacket-clad scarecrow, while they “perform” for him. The performance includes instrument smashing, smoke bomb bashing, and other examples of entertainment, interspersed with flashes of romanticism. Their concert eventually ends and it’s time to send the rapt spectator home. The Alps won’t recycle a tired principle, though. Set fire to their instruments? F*ck that; they set fire to their audience.


We’re looking at another fresh dawn in the storied history of a band. But what really is the story anyway?

During Pavement’s “One More for the Money” tour of 2010, Sic Alps played some British gigs with them – it’s been written that during one long night in Brixton, Stephen Malkmus was heard uttering within shot of a microphone that Sic Alps would be one of the most important bands of the next ten years. Not that we’re inclined to disagree, but Malkmus is a habitual liar, so who knows how apocryphal one can really be about that.

All speculation aside, here are the facts as we know them: Sic Alps be the fifth album from Sic Alps, if you include the compilation album Long Way Around to a Shortcut, which we do. There’s been a number of singles and some splits and who knows, we may be looking at a second way around to a shortcut someday soon. First though, we deal with the cracking and recasting of the mould that is apparent when you start to hear the sounds of Sic Alps.

Where on previous recordings there was space and distance, this time, they have carved a fuller sound, fleshed out with instrumental textures and classic vocal melodies, expanding upon the playful experimentation for which they're known.

Sic Alps Tracklisting:
1. Glyphs
2. God Bless Her, I Miss Her
3. Lazee Son
4. Polka Vat
5. Wake Up, It’s Over II
6. Drink Up!
7. Thylacine Man
8. Moviehead
9. Rock Races
10. See You On The Slopes

Finally, stay in touch with Sic Alps Online:

Letters From A Tapehead

Iggy Pop (Bobblehead)

So, this is an Iggy Pop bobblehead.  

This is available at Aggronautix.

It's staring at you and it wants to kill you.

Raw power.

Image courtesy of Aggronautix

Letters From A Tapehead

TOY: "Lose My Way" & "Motoring"

Into The Horrors?  Then you might dig TOY, who are conversant in all things traditionally indie rock and/or post-punk.  There are psychedelic and garage elements here as well.  Their overt allegiance to mid-80s Jesus and Mary Chain reverb-laden mud rock and Echo & The Bunnymen croon could lead one to cite the soundtrack from Some Kind of Wonderful as the band's chief influence.  Decent songs with decent videos.

All info comes courtesy of Cooperative Music.

TOY unveil video for "Lose My Way"

s/t record due 9/11 on Heavenly Recordings / Cooperative Music

WATCH: "Lose My Way" 
LISTEN: "Dead & Gone" 
WATCH: "Motoring"

"They punch all the right cult-rock buttons, merging garage-rock violence, post-punk drama, krautrock's motorik rush and effects-pedal psychedelia into a blitzing racket." – The Guardian

TOY have revealed the video for third single "Lose My Way." It's the second TOY video directed by Joe Morris who was also behind the cut for "Motoring."

The band's s/t record hits streets on September 11th, 2012 through Heavenly Recordings / Cooperative Music.

Recorded during the spring of 2012 with Dan Carey (Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand, The Kills) in his South London studio, the track listing of the 11-track album is as follows: 

1. Colour's Running Out
2. The Reasons Why
3. Dead & Gone
4. Lose My Way
5. Drifting Deeper
6. Motoring
7. My Heart Skips A Beat
8. Strange
9. Make It Mine
10. Walk Up To Me
11. Kopter

Debut single "Left Myself Behind" is now available in the US on limited edition fade-in/fade-out 7" vinyl.

TOY is a Korg Delta led five-piece formed in 2010. It consists of Tom Dougall (Vox/Guitars), Dominic O'Dair (Guitars), Maxim Barron (Bass/Vox), Alejandra Diez (Synthesizers/Modulation) and Charlie Salvidge (Drums/Vox). TOY's musical influences incorporate a wide range of genres including punk, psychedelia, krautrock, post rock to name a few and they explore experimental recording techniques in the studio.

TOY Official Site
TOY on Facebook Heavenly Recordings

Letters From A Tapehead

Cover of the Day: Neurosis

The cover art for Honor Found In Decay, the upcoming new album from Neurosis, has been revealed.  Thoughts?  While I feel this imagery evokes enough about Neurosis in terms of aesthetics, I do like the illustrated covers of their past albums more.  This seems like an idea that's been hatched but not necessarily nurtured into anything substantial or brought completely to fruition, which I hope doesn't speak to the music.  Otherwise, I'm excited for this one. 

All info below comes courtesy of Earsplit PR.

NEUROSIS Unveil Artwork And Track Listing For Tenth Album, Honor Found In Decay

Anticipation for Honor Found In Decay, the tenth studio album by NEUROSIS, is starting to intensify, as we count down the days until its North American release date on October 30th. Like an eclipse, a brand new NEUROSIS album is not a frequent occurrence and when it comes around, every last moment must be savored. For this momentous event, all the forces are aligned.

NEUROSIS forged the songs on
Honor Found In Decay with the revered Steve Albini, marking their fifth collaboration with the engineer in their longstanding relationship. Their monolithic sound captured at Electrical Audio studios, Chicago, the seven tracks were then mastered by John Golden at Golden Mastering in Ventura, California.

Aesthetics have always been paramount for NEUROSIS and with
Honor Found In Decay, Steve Von Till, Scott Kelly, Noah Landis, Jason Roeder and Dave Edwardson's musical vision is brilliantly evoked by NEUROSIS' visual guru Josh Graham. And with that, we proudly unveil the cover art and track listing for this prodigious album, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest releases in the band's extensive history.
Honor Found In Decay Track Listing:

1. We All Rage In Gold

2. At The Well
3. My Heart For Deliverance
4. Bleeding The Pigs
5. Casting Of The Ages
6. All Is Found... In Time
7. Raise The Dawn

NEUROSIS have been invited to perform at
ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas at Camber Sands Holiday Camp, England on November 30th through December 2nd, which Steve Albini’s band Shellac have been asked to curate. Keep your ears to the streets for a plethora of pending announcements on NEUROSIS in the weeks ahead including music from Honor Found In Decay, additional live appearances and more.

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, August 27, 2012

Assembly of Light (Streams)

This is very angelic.  Very pretty.  And, right now, very much available to sample online.

All info is courtesy of Earsplit PR.

ASSEMBLY OF LIGHT: Hear Choir’s Haunting Album At Cvlt Nation

Debut Full-Length Out This Week On At A Loss Recordings

The maiden studio recordings from ASSEMBLY OF LIGHT see release this week via At A Loss Recordings, boasting six ethereal hymns from the twenty-some member female secular choir. Recorded at Machines With Magnets in their hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, the self-titled album features contributions from members of The Body, Braveyoung, Work/Death, Daughters, and more, creating some of the most unique songcraft in recent memory.

As Assembly Of Light is officially available this week, the folks at Cvlt Nation are hosting a stream of the entire album, RIGHT HERE.

The album is now available for order directly from At A Loss on CD HERE and Digital Download HERE.

ASSEMBLY OF LIGHT just returned from an intense West Coast tour with their close friends, and labelmates, The Body and Braveyoung, where all three bands presented their own solo contributions as well as collaborative movements with members of all three bands simultaneously, as they have on previous tours on the East Coast.

Further tour plans will be unveiled in the weeks ahead as the choir permeates new parts of the Earth with their presence.

"All six songs will teleport your whole being into another reality as you fly away on some very ethereal voices.” - Cvlt Nation

"I have never been a fan of choral music but this record really showed me the power of the human voice and the utterly stunning and emotional things it can create. If you give this record a chance I can promise you will be moved emotionally and spiritually. 9/10" - American Aftermath

"The Assembly of Light Choir's collaboration on The Body's All of The Waters of The Earth Turned To Blood are some of the most compelling tracks on the record. The juxtaposition of the all-female choir against The Body's rumbling low-end blasts is a study in eerie contrast, and one that continues on AoLC's debut LP." - Brooklyn Vegan

"They are one of the most interesting and certainly unique group of artists out there, and they are pushing boundaries in ways most metal bands fear. This is a breath-taking, imaginative effort that you might find will break down the walls of your genre fiefdom with the power of a wrecking ball." - Meat Mead Metal

"Although completely secular Assembly of Light definitely have an almost religious reverence in their all-vocals hymns (beginning of Treelight) and could easily conduct a service in some catholic cathedral. Subliminal and meditative, this music projects either the innocence of a human being’s birth or the unbelievable sadness of one’s passing." - Metal Reviews

Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Pressing “rewind” in an era of technological “fast forward:” D.I.Y. Cassette Culture finds relevance in the shadows of digital media

A few months ago, I began to collect quotes from independent record labels and artists who are involved in the reemergence of cassette tapes in the digital marketplace.  It resulted in a two-part article for No Ripcord.  You can find the articles below.

Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bambi Lee Savage: "Oh Loneliness"

"Oh Loneliness" is a new single from Bambi Lee Savage, noted Bad Seeds, U2 and Einstürzende Neubauten collaborator.  She is releasing a new solo album that's produced by Bad Seed Mick Harvey called Darkness Overshadowed.  The song is a tad contemporary, but there is a subtle country twang and midnight mystery to its tone that I find engaging.  Lee Savage has a lot of character in her vocal, so this is like "sing" noir, and Harvey provides much of the album's instrumentation, so I'm doubtless the music is stellar. 

All info comes courtesy of Us/Them Group.

Bad Seeds, Daniel Lanois collaborator Bambi Lee Savage announces new album produced by Mick Harvey

Bambi Lee Savage announces the forthcoming release of her third solo album, Darkness Overshadowed. The album is produced by Mick Harvey (Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey), who also plays most of the backing instrumentation. Check out the sultry Twin Peaks-esque pop of the track, "Oh Loneliness" available to stream/share HERE and download HERE.

As with most things in existence, it's the secrets in music that speak truest. The fact that Bambi Lee Savage has remained a secret for so long is testament to that. Over the past 25 years, the world-wandering singer-songwriter has worked with Daniel Lanois as well as members of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and Einstürzende Neubauten. She counts among her patrons Billy Bob Thornton and Bono. Her timeless ballads and haunted anthems are stark, lush, elemental, and ethereal as smoke. And like smoke, they conceal -- even as they signal deeper mysteries well worth the effort of unveiling.

Savage began life in Florida, but following the death of her father -- a stunt pilot tragically killed during the filming of the Pearl Harbor drama
Tora! Tora! Tora! -- her family relocated to Colorado. In Denver, she played in various punk bands, including the Pagan Cowboys, as the '80s raged around her. It was upon moving to England in 1985 that her secrets began to weave themselves. After fronting the post-punk outfit Horseland, she moved to Berlin, drawn by the industrial allure of Einstürzende Neubauten. In Berlin she began working as an assistant engineer at the famous Hansa Tonstudio. There she wound up scoring credits on two definitive albums of the era: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' The Good Son and U2's Achtung Baby.

Behind the scenes, though, Savage was working on her own songs. In 1992, Bono funded a recording session in Berlin that included the Bad Seeds' Mick Harvey and Hugo Race as backing musicians. Shadowy and steeped in a shivering mystique, the four-song recording went unreleased, although Harvey would later cover one of Savage's other songs, "Demon Alcohol," on his 2005 album
One Man's Treasure. From there, Savage appeared on the German music documentary Lost in Music: Out of Country, playing two of her songs with Neubauten's Alex Hacke.

By then, Savage's music had taken a turn toward the dark end of the Americana street, driven partly by a homesickness for her native country. Back in the States, she captured another handful of songs with Daniel Lanois, with whom she'd worked on Achtung Baby. One of those songs, the ghostly folk threnody "Darlin'," caught the ear of Billy Bob Thornton, who used the song on the soundtrack to his breakthrough film Sling Blade.

In 2003, she released her first album,
Matter of Time, a collection of the various sessions she'd done to date. Although a patchwork, the disc is stunning in its quiet force and sublimated passion. In it, Savage explores illicit substances, spirituality, tenderness, and terror, always with a thrilling tension between myth and confession. In the years that followed, she toured Australia (accompanied by Harvey on some dates) and played a triumphant set as the handpicked opener for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in Denver. She moved to Los Angeles soon after and, with Josh Klinghoffer on guitar (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dot Hacker) she completed work on the daring GJ and the PimpKillers, a conceptual and synthetically textured album that delved into the underworld of sex trafficking. As always, though, Savage's rich, hypnotic, full-blooded voice lends both humanity and otherworldliness to her songs.

Savage's new album,
Darkness Overshadowed, is both a culmination of all she's done before-and a brave move beyond it. From the guttural punk undertow of "Easy Way" to the atmospheric dread of "Elsinore" to the whispery twang of "Waiting," the disc is based around hopes, fears, memories, regrets, and scraps of confessions written on Berlin bar napkins. Produced by Mick Harvey, who also provides most of the backing instrumentation, it's by far the most vivid and chilling of Savage's work to date. Above all, though, Darkness Overshadowed reads as a secret history of the pre-apocalypse, a gnostic gospel decrypted and given human form. Or in Savage's case, something slightly beyond human.
Darkness Overshadowed will be available on CD and download on November 13th, 2012.


Artist: Bambi Lee Savage
Darkness Overshadowed
Label: Bambi Lee Savage Music
Release Date: November 13th, 2012

01. Easy Way
02. Nearly Gone
03. Speed of Life
04. Nicht Mehr
05. Oh Loneliness (STREAM) (MP3)
06. Elsinore
07. Take Me Down
08. Good Advice
09. No Stranger to Sorrow
10. Waiting

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, August 24, 2012

No Ripcord: Sleepies

Weird Wild World
Released: 8.21.12

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lightning Bolt: "King Candy"

New track by Lightning Bolt, "King Candy."  It's nice and manic.

The band is releasing a new EP called Oblivion Hunter, which will be out September 25th via Load. 

All info and tour dates provided by Force Field PR.

Hear a track from Lightning Bolt's new EP, tour launches in DC tonight

STREAM: "King Candy" -
Lightning Bolt
Since forming in 1994, Lightning Bolt has taken a zig zag path to recording, playing and touring. Following in this pattern is the release of Oblivion Hunter, a collection of the band's epic recording sessions over the last few years. Oblivion Hunter is a real cool time - loose, hard and loopy. From the get-go the sound is amped-up and free with an ear on the railroad tracks to the big sounds of industry and clamor. Bass sounds jump out of the speaker cones that conjure up ears in alien propulsion systems, nights in faraway wind tunnels, and brutal beatings at Gitmo. Drums and assorted FX pop in and out with the resolve of a finger quivering over the A-bomb button drunk on power and convinced of your need. This record is one of the few necessary things in your grim stretch of existence, played by a band with 20 years of total conviction to the destruction of your ear drums. The net is cast decidedly further this time out with North Pole square dancing colliding with shock troop whiplash, executed with the spontaneous interplay of neutrino collision. It is time for you to binge and purge. You are now the Oblivion Hunter.

08/21 Washington DC - Rock 'n Roll Hotel
08/22 Richmond, VA - Gallery 5
08/23 Raleigh, NC - Kings Barcade
08/24 Atlanta, GA - The Goat Farm
08/25 Birmingham, AL - Bottletree $
08/26 New Orleans, LA - Big Top Three Ring Circus
08/27 Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's
08/28 Dallas, TX - Sons of Hermann Hall ^
08/29 Austin, TX - Emo's East
08/30 Santa Fe, NM - Sol Santa Fe *
08/31 Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space
09/02 Los Angeles, CA - FYF Fest
09/03 Oakland, CA - The New Parish
09/04 San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
09/06 Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater / MFNW #
09/07 Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club
09/08 Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market %
09/09 Boise, ID - The Shredder
09/10 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
09/12 Denver, CO - Rhinoceropolis
09/13 Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
09/14 Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College
09/15 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
09/16 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
09/17 Pittsburgh, PA - Lawrenceville Moose
09/18 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
09/19 Baltimore, MD - Floristree
09/20 Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent
09/21 Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre
09/23 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club

* = w/ Purity Ring
# = w/ Quasi, White Fang
% = w/ Fucked Up, Ceremony
^ = w/ Wiccans, Drug Mountain
$ = w/ Droves

Lightning Bolt
Oblivion Hunter EP
Street Date: Sept. 25, 2012

1. King Candy
2. Baron Wasteland
3. Oblivion Balloon
4. Fly Fucker Fly
5. The Soft Spoken Spectre
6. Salamander
7. World Wobbly Wide

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Label Page -

Letters From A Tapehead

It's Called a Cymbalum: Asva and Philippe Petit

Asva & Philippe Petit
Empires Should Burn...
Small Doses/Basses Frequencies
Released: 7.16.12

Sunn O)))'s White 1 album begins with "My Wall," a 25-minute soundscape narrated by Julian Cope.  His poem is flamboyantly articulated as charred and faraway sonic shards of guitar effects haunt and gasp, close to melodic chords pierce the mire like wind chimes.  It was the first piece of music I thought of when I began listening to "And Empires Will Burn," the opening track from Empires Should Burn…, a collaborative effort from Asva and Philippe Petit.

The rotating static of a spent LP and the swelling whirr of unknown means accentuate Edward Ka-Spel (from The Legendary Pink Dots) as he relates, "Just how many days and nights have passed now?  There are no clocks in this room."  A cycle of winding notes that sound like a broken harpsichord advances, (evidently the sound of a cymbalum, which compares to a dulcimer), a rather eerie 23 minutes acting as the album's introduction.

In light of what you'll hear for the length of Empires Should Burn…, it's not surprising that Asva is the work of G. Stuart Dalquist, formerly of Goatsnake and Burning Witch.  Philippe Petit is an electronic artist that deals in circuits and turntables, samples and percussion, synthesizers and strings.  Empires Should Burn… is a study in textures and compositional mood.  A piece of theater like "Sweet Dreams Asshole" assumes the job of performance art almost.  As pretentious as that sounds, the piece warrants a reaction, either through its claustrophobic vocal drones which seem to build walls of inescapable height, or through its eerie howls and distant bells.

Performance artist Bryan Lewis Saunders provides whispered testimony in "A Vision," which toys with melancholia and abruptly struck piano keys.  Ex-Swans vocalist and instrumentalist Jarboe contributes some phrases for "The Star Implodes," a suitable role considering her past work.  Jarboe's presence is perfect for this album as her spoken tone compliments and dominates the ambient strangeness around her.

"Apocrythatic Alley" ends the album with a nervous and bitter tone, a simulated pulse and organ-notes-as-requiem feel.  It's relatively soft and meditative, and it allows an underlying gorgeousness of guitar and piano notes to grow subtly, a structural melody taking shape just as the album fades to a close.  The sweetness is just out of reach and you wind up resigned to accept that Empires Should Burn... is just not the venue for that kind of pleasantry. 

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And in Pussy Riot News: Vivian Girls Playing a Benefit

Because Pussy Riot was bound to get some notice here.

Vivian Girls have decided to kick it charity style and aid in contributing to the defense fund of dissident Pussy Riot members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, all of whom are serving two years for hooliganism.

The band's 2011 release, Share The Joy, was reviewed at Kicking Against The Pricks.

Vivian Girls

All info comes courtesy of Force Field PR.

Vivian Girls playing Pussy Riot benefit show in LA

Vivian Girls will be playing a benefit show for Pussy Riot at The Smell in LA on 8/27. All proceeds will go towards the Pussy Riot Legal Defense Fund. Joining Vivian Girls for the show will be Pangea, Haim and Kremlin Head (members of No Age & Mika Miko playing punk covers). Tickets will be $10 and will go on sale Thursday here. More details can be found on the flyer below.


Official Site - 

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Twitter -

Letters From A Tapehead

Jim Jarmusch & Jozef Van Wissem: "The Sun of the Natural World is Pure Fire"

Sigur Rós meets Sunn O)))?  Ambient noise and ethereal folk music.

Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and artist Jozef Van Wissem are releasing an album called The Mystery Of Heaven via Sacred Bones.  "Ths Sun of the Natural World is Pure Fire" is its first single. 

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




Acclaimed avant-garde artist, Jozef Van Wissem and American auteur Jim Jarmusch are pleased to announce their 2nd LP, The Mystery Of Heaven, due November 13th on Sacred Bones. The album will feature a special guest and will build off their previous work, continuing to explore life after death. A couple select tour dates are in the works and will be announced later.

Today, Pitchfork premiered a long-form music video for "The Sun of the Natural World is Pure Fire". The track is off their 1st collaborative album, Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity. The video was directed by Diego Barrera - the video is a mediation on the afterlife. In Barrera's words:

"I've written a story in a way that its development would be fluid, a structure that would relate with the basic concept of the videoclip, the movement of water (and union of other elements, fire's radiance in water when the soul heals). A relationship after death, where the dimension or posthumous world presents itself with water, which is the environment where the two main characters have contact, one of them is the personification of a wound that is reopened which attracts and at the same time scares away, we pretend to sweeten it or violently try to make it disappear. The solution or healing that I propose is through balance, or at least what that word means to me, I connect the relationship between these two (or one character, depends how you want to perceive it) with Hermaphroditus in Greek mythology, Ovid tells in his "Metamorphoses" that Aphrodite's and Hermes's son from great beauty attracted a water nymph's attention, she was called Salmacis. So great was her obsession for the beautiful lad that once she had him in her arms (which were water, all her body was liquid) she pleaded to the Gods to never separate them, and her wish was granted, the equilibrium."


Jim Jarmusch and Jozef Van Wissem met on the streets of New York in 2006. They shared a lot of interest and background so a collaboration and a friendship was born. Jarmusch was looking to have Van Wissem compose a score for a film he had been trying to make for years, what he described as a "crypto-vampire film" about two lovers, outsider types who have been in love for hundreds of years. Van Wissem's work comes from a tradition of avant-garde minimalism and lends itself well to the director's stark cinematic works. Jarmusch has played guitar in bands on and off since the late '70's. Van Wissem's compositional style involves hypnotic circular musical phrases that allow for a lot of contemplative space between the notes.

Their first live performance was in Issue Project Room in Brooklyn in October 2011, where they appeared together for a Van Wissem curated concert program called "New Music for Early Instruments". The idea for their first album,
Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity (Important Records) developed from their live performance. Jarmusch has said that he considers these songs as Van Wissem's compositions, and sees himself as someone filling in the background to Jozef's foreground, like the "scenic" on a film shoot, the one who paints the backdrops. "The sound of the lute is as bright as the sun, a beautiful red color and my stuff sounds sort of like the moon, more like blue, like mercury."


09/10 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge (solo Jozef Van Wissem)
09/30 - Louisville, KY - Cropped Out Festival (solo Jozef Van Wissem)
10/04 - Brooklyn, NY - Issue Project Room (solo Jozef Van Wissem)

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, August 17, 2012

Shopping For Records: Bong

Bong's self-titled 2009 release, which had a limited run of 500 copies in its initial pressing, is being reissued on CD and digital media via Ritual Productions.  Check out the info below, which comes to you courtesy of Rarely Unable.  And then, check out the almost 30 minute live rendition of "Wizards Of Krull." 

Hot on the heels of the acclaimed new album Mana Yood Sushai and following a ton of positive feedback from recent live shows, Bong are resurrecting some of their back-catalogue via their spiritual home, Ritual Productions.

Their debut 2009 self-titled album was originally released on vinyl, limited to 500 copies and with just two edited album tracks, 'Wizards Of Krull' and 'The Starlit Grotto'. This October, Ritual will be releasing the album for the first time ever on CD and digitally, including the full versions of these tracks and one unreleased bonus track entitled 'Asleep'.

This revitalised collection will remind people of Bong's beginnings, when their early meditative hymns were first committed to wax. The bonus track is a rare treat too, witness Bong at their darkest, most mournful and most psychedelic. To my mind, one of their greatest compositions.

Overall, a great collectible and an interesting comparison to their new material. These jams still sound so utterly entrancing.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, August 16, 2012

High On Fire: "Fertile Green"

Here's a nicely warped, psychedelic video for High On Fire's new single, "Fertile Green," which, if you haven't guessed, has something to do with weed.  As you can imagine, the video does, too.  It's a tad unsuitable for the cubicle, (particularly because of the naked woman carved out of stone with a nice patch of "fertile green" in its pubic region and the two globular masses staring walleyed at the sky above...  striking), so sit it out for your 9 to 5. 

"Fertile Green" is one of the best songs featured in High On Fire's De Vermis Mysteriis, which I couldn't recommend more.  Great riffs, great speed, lots of energy.  It's one of my favorite releases of 2012 for sure.

Found through Noisey.

Letters From A Tapehead

Bird By Snow: "Grace" & "Before Names"

Bird By Snow, its moniker and vision the work of musician Fletcher Tucker, will be releasing a new album called Offering, which will be out September 15th on Gnome Life Records.  I was particularly fond of Tucker's 2010 album, Common Wealth, which was reviewed at No Ripcord.  New songs from the album have been made available: "Grace" and "Before Names."  Give them a listen and then see all info below, which was provided by Terrorbird Media.

Big Sur's Bird By Snow returns with majestic new LP Offering, out on Gnome Life Records (Daniel Higgs, Wildbirds & Peacedrums) this September

Fletcher Tucker, recent producer to Daniel Higgs and Little Wings, flies solo with an album of intricate arrangements, shamanistic drones, elusive alternate world "quiet storm", mytho-poetic imagery, and masterclass songwriting restraint. Out September 15th.

LISTEN: Before Names

"[Tucker's] voice paired with tip-toeing guitar lines and the soft hiss of empty space is basically what it feels like to hole up in a warm wood cabin for awhile"

"Fletcher Tucker is a product of the wilds of Nothern California and the Pacific northwest, so it's not entirely surprising that his music sounds the way it does: subtle, remote, rich, contemplative."
- SF Weekly

"It’s not easy to make folk-flavored music different when singer/songwriters seem to emerge from obscurity as often as they fade back, but Tucker seems to simply know the notes and the words. This is music as natural as sunshine, rolling off his strings and keys like rain off a slick surface."
- No Ripcord

The mystique and beauty of Offering, the 5th record by Bird By Snow, is indebted to a deep sense of place. Recorded and performed entirely by Fletcher Tucker – producer of recent albums by Daniel Higgs and Little Wings. Offering offers up eight completely analog recordings put to tape at various power spots in Big Sur, California – Tucker's homeland. This primordial, majestic and wild landscape is the primary inspiration for the album, and consequently Big Sur emanates from the speakers as the record spins – filling rooms with windswept ridges, fog shrouded mountains, roaring coastline, golden clearings, and shadowy old growth forests. However, this record does not present a simple, picturesque view of nature. As in the wilderness itself, dark and light appear in equal measure – storms rage and fires destroy; there is erosion, decomposition, disease and predation. The wild is vast and powerful, both fantastically destructive and creative.

Received, written, arranged, and performed by Tucker himself, Offering is the first Bird By Snow album to not feature any guest performers or collaborations. With new freedom emerging from the isolated creative process, the album's unique structure features five song-formations with vocals and three ambient dronescapes that range from the pastoral and shamanistic to the doomed and stormy. Opener "World's Returning" signals an entrance into a world removed from modern life but perhaps familiar deep in our ancestral subconscious.

Inspiration for Offering was also found in human stories and doings. Indeed as easily as one may visualize redwoods as the record plays you may also see and hear tools being sharpened, fires being lit, stone walls being built, and ceremony being held. The songs center around our tribal past and possible tribal future, old ritualistic relationships to nature, our potential to be truly at home in the wild, and conversely our will to change it. Offering's centerpiece "My People" draws on these themes and intrigues lyrically, but more so "My People" surprises musically with a subtle groove reminiscent of R&B's "quiet storm" sounding both soulful and elusive. Stylistically, the album continues to deliver the unexpected; the percussion on "Peering Out" coalesces into a subdued head-nodding rhythm that swings with masterful restraint, the minimal arrangements on "Wide Open" and "Grace" get the most out of each melody and word, while the naturalistic ambience of "Black Ocean" and "Before Names" captures the foreboding mystery and tension present in the wild.

Offering sets out to reawaken an ancient consciousness, an ancestral awareness present in the land and in our selves – to give you permission to return to the familiar place, inhabited by our fore-bearers, where myth and magic are primary natural forces. This record was informed by a practical knowledge and daily relationship with the physical wild – knowing the plants and animals, walking the trails and peaks, chopping wood and sowing seeds. And these songs came forth by approaching the non-physical wilderness of Big Sur with the same respect and curiosity – through ritual, rites, and ceremony a mystic backcountry opens.

Bird By Snow
LP + digital (out Sept 15th, 2012)

1. World's Returning
2. Peering Out
3. Grace
4. Before Names
5. My People
6. Black Ocean
7. Devouring
8. Wide Open

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Speedy Ortiz (Fuckin' Hates Playing Indoor Soccer)

Speedy Ortiz
Sports EP
Exploding In Sound Records
Released: 6.5.12

The Northampton, MA based Speedy Ortiz is a 90s allegiant rock quartet based in the guitar rock and Alterna-pop'dom of the era.  Appealing to the once flannel-clad set now subsisting on nostalgia, Speedy Ortiz, whose members include singer/guitarist Sadie Dupuis, guitarist Matt Robidoux, bassist Darl Ferm and drummer Mike Falcone, have released Sports, a five-song EP synthesizing the more hook-savvy aspects of The Pixies or The Breeders and some of the distorted power pop and anti-melody of Sebadoh. 

Dupuis, holding her own amongst 90s female rockstar alumni like Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield, Tanya Donelly and Kim Deal, delivers pretty and unpolished testimony, her verses dealt in winningly profane and suggestive modes of conveyance.  The music itself makes one miss the days of early 90s episodes of 120 Minutes, Speedy Ortiz convincing enough to have themselves made an appearance or two.  I can't deny having had a couple flashbacks, Sports feeding into some unconscious need to reminisce.  I spent much of today looking up old 90s videos on YouTube and feeling old.

Three of the five tracks deal in sports, first being the nicely crafted "Basketball," which is an engaging mid-tempo tune employing the Pixies' tried and true act of dialing up the hook, Dupuis and Robidoux lightly playing off each other till it's time to howl.  The more serious, tom-thumping "Indoor Soccer" is carried off by some really nice guitar melodies that give way to a series of amplified blasts.  "Don't you let down/my good friends don't/you fuck with my pals," Dupuis warns, chords being worked in an effort to heighten the seriousness of her tone.

"Curling" is a rock dirge with chugging and crunching rhythm guitar strings played beneath tinny lead notes generating an affecting melody.  The following song "Silver Spring" holds up the softer edge of the band initially, propping up their return to loud hooks and heavy guitar chords.  "Suck Buddies," probably the least accessible song on the EP, goes out in a very welcome array of Sonic Youth-friendly atonal shredding, ending their outing with extended play, moments of loud and, ultimately, a solid riff to bring it all to a close.

Well played, Speedy Ortiz.  Well played.

I will say, though, that the 90s don't require an homage or revival.  While I realize and understand the cyclical nature of trends, it would be good to experience the 2010s as free of revivalists, the 90s better suited as a point of inspiration rather than a decade to pull back into relevance.  As much as I enjoy what the 90s had to offer, (not all but some), I think new generations need their own alternative identity, not the runoff that Gen X has since abandoned like their babyboomer elders had before them.  Honestly, this decade can do better than Fun, especially when capable bands exist to possibly provide some salvation from mediocrity. 

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Soft Moon: "Die Life"

I do love it when word arrives that a new album from The Soft Moon (a.k.a., Luis Vasquez) is slated to release.  The new album, Zeros, will be released October 30th, appropriately on the eve of Halloween.  A new song from the album is available to investigate, "Die Life." 

Info, tour dates and links ourtesy of Life or Death PR & Management.




The Soft Moon photo by Julie Bonato
The Soft Moon was never intended for the public's ears, but you found it, were drawn in by its danger, and insisted that others hear. Oakland's Luis Vasquez began the project in order to better know his own self. He'd holed up in his apartment and let the tape roll, allowing gut and memory guide him. Those twin sherpas, however, led him to a place of darkness, claustrophobia and dread: a musical wasteland moving to a Motorik tic, its edges made jagged in the image of early post-punk, swathed in the moody atmosphere of vintage darkwave. Now, because the word has spread, the Soft Moon waxes again, returning with a most vicious, seething and focused second album: Zeros.

There've been some changes. While 2010's
The Soft Moon LP was recorded entirely in solitude in an utter absence of expectation, these ten songs were written and recorded between days on the road. Out there The Soft Moon sound had expanded into a full-band attack accompanied by immersive video visuals. Vasquez needed the new work to be just as primal and enveloping, and so set to paring down his post-apocalyptic soundscapes. What was began as barely controlled exorcism became an exercise in control, and after six months of intently shaping Zeros on his own, Vasquez met with producer/engineer Monte Vallier at his San Francisco studio where he could get loud, beat on things, scream.

The result is complete immersion.
Zeros opens with "It Ends," a rumbling eerie epic that explodes and then fades. The slowing breath and pulse at the finish signify our break with reality as consciousness drifts deeper into Vasquez' world. Welcoming us into "Machines," a demon utters unclear incantations over snapping drums and flange-warped tones, while the titular song gives us a beat to dance to as a strange voice gushes lascivious "aahhhs" from a cloud of swirling synths. Songs like "Insides" and "Crush" feel utterly inward-looking-a loner's cry buried in soil and metal shavings-but "Remember the Future" bounces like a twisted John Carpenter score, and "Die Life" lashes out at everything within reach. Listen closely and you'll hear the sounds of the creatures and people that survived whatever catastrophe created this space: chirping insects, bawling whales, strained howls, jungle percussion, tribal chanting. It's this basic stuff that makes Zeros familiar-the animal need to not be alone in the dark, to be heard by another living thing even whilst working solo, The Soft Moon as the lone wolf. This becomes clearest as the album approaches its close and the whipcrack snares of "Lost Years" give way to the wild hand drums of "Want." The aggressively hypnotic build eventually runs smack into the wall of "ƨbnƎ ƚI," a reversal of the opener that slowly, surely, delivers us back to the waking world-untouched, yes, but not unchanged.

MP3: "Die Life" -

The Soft Moon 
(Captured Tracks)
Oct 30, 2012

1. It Ends

2. Machines
3. Zeros
4. Insides
5. Remember the Future
6. Crush
7. Die Life
8. Lost Years
9. Want
10. ƨbnƎ ƚI


09-08 Portland, OR - Ted's (MFNW)

09-20 Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands * %
09-21 Montreal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa *
09-22 Toronto, Ontario - The Drake *
09-23 Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom *
09-24 Indianapolis, IN - White Rabbit Cabaret *
09-25 Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox *
10-26 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge ^
10-28 Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College Gardner Lounge ^
10-30 Manhattan, NY - Bowery Ballroom ^
10-31 Middletown, CT - Eclectic House ^
11-01 Rochester, NY - Blug Jar ^
11-02 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom ^
11-03 Chicago, IL - Schubas Tavern ^
11-04 Columbus, OH - Ace Of Cups ^
11-06 Atlanta, GA - 529 ^
11-07 Athens, GA - Caledonia Lounge ^
11-08 Durham, NC - The Pinhook ^
11-09 Washington, DC - Black Cat ^
11-10 Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar ^
12-12 Echo - Los Angeles, CA ^
12-13 Casbah - San Diego, CA ^
12-14 The New Parish - Oakland, CA ^
12-15 Mezzanine - San Francisco, CA ^
12-18 Holocene - Portland, OR ^
12-19 Barboza - Seattle, WA ^
12-20 Waldorf - Vancouver, British Columbia ^

* with Cold Showers

^ with Group Rhoda
% with Eraas

Letters From A Tapehead

Alaric: "Weep"

I found this video for "Weep" by Alaric.  This song appears on the Alaric/Atriarch split LP, which is easily one of my favorite releases of 2012.  The album surfaced mid-May via 20 Buck Spin.

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, August 13, 2012

Neurosis: Honor Found In Decay to release October 2012

It was revealed today that Neurosis will be releasing a new album later this Fall called, Honor Found In Decay.  Details are, unfortunately, limited.  Over the last couple weeks, though, the band released these "Electrical Transmission" teaser videos that may or may not provide hints as to how the album will sound.

All info comes courtesy of Earsplit PR.

Neurosis' 2010 reissue of their 1993 release, Enemy of the Sun, was reviewed here.

Neurosis' 2011 reissues of 1992's Souls At Zero and 2000's Sovereign EP were reviewed here.

NEUROSIS: Title Of Eleventh Full-Length From Musical Pioneers Revealed

It is said that great art has the power to take us outside of ourselves and bring us closer to ourselves simultaneously. Few bands have accomplished this rare feat on a more profound and consistent basis than NEUROSIS. For nearly three decades, their music has touched the hearts and minds of young men and women seeking contact with something beyond the physical world, something intangible, something that expresses the inner tumult of the human condition in a way that transcends time and space. Something that not only provokes questions but maybe even hints at answers.

Since 1985 this matchless force has surpassed the boundaries of any genre, never ceasing to mutate and progress their songwriting and sonic delivery, and never failing to mesmerize audiences both in the studio and onstage. And as the anticipation from their diehard fanbase reaches a boiling point, this week NEUROSIS unveil the title of their eleventh full-length studio creation, which will manifest itself as
Honor Found In Decay.

The follow-up to their acclaimed 2007-released
Given To The Rising album, the music on Honor Found In Decay is both torturous and transcendent. It is the ongoing exposition of a vast internal dialogue that seems to carry the weight of eons. With the right kind of ears and eyes, it can seem like the trials and tribulations of mankind are being channeled through five individuals: Steve Von Till, Scott Kelly, Noah Landis, Jason Roeder and Dave Edwardson. And yet? They will be the first ones to tell you that they are just regular people trying to make sense of the world around them. Aided by Josh Graham, their resident visual guru, they transmit their interpretations through multiple sensory planes. The degree to which Neurosis allows them to step out of their everyday lives is the distance between one and zero, the distance between thinking and doing, the distance between this minute and the one that may or may not follow. Which is to say: NEUROSIS takes them outside of themselves and brings them closer to themselves. Simultaneously.

This next chapter in the evolution of NEUROSIS will see worldwide release through the band’s own Neurot Recordings this Autumn, in Germany October 26th, in the UK October 29th, and in North America on October 30th.

Further details on
Honor Found In Decay will be made available over the coming weeks.


Scott Kelly – vocals/guitars
Steve Von Till – vocals/guitars
Dave Edwardson – bass
Jason Roeder – drums
Noah Landis – keyboards
Josh Graham – visual effects, art

Letters From A Tapehead

"If I had a fucking knife, I'd cut my head off right now" — Swans Are Live

We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head
Young God Records
Released: 5.8.12 (Proper release; Limited handmade edition released 2.2.12)

Severity.  Self-indulgence.  Instinctual art.  Primitive and emotional clarity manifest in perpetual, compositional, fascinating ruts.

 For an audience.  All for an audience.

The jogging clangor, a shower of bells and piano notes, percussive ringing tapped in rapid succession...  It's almost as if Michael Gira, head of the No Wave, Industrial legends-turned-high art collective Swans, sought to weed out the non-believers.  The frequency heightens, the music turning to screeching shrieks which then settles a tad just before "No Words/No Thoughts" is beaten into the foreheads of every man and woman in attendance.  Track 1 is over 23 minutes long, the first 13 minutes an introduction to the show as described above.  The applause seem polite, as if the crowd had been shocked into clapping.

It would be too easy, though, to report of or point out the obvious over-length of Swans' double live album, We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head, so I won't.  If you know the band and you buy the album, you know what you're getting into.  You realize that this is not just an album, but an artistic investment.  You realize that by listening to Gira and his ensemble, you are devoting yourself to something fantastically huge that will likely stretch your tolerance to its threshold.  You realize you are opting, (mindfully and willingly opting), to have the contents of your head removed and rearranged by an album.  Gira has a penchant for building up suspense and you have elected to await the arrival of a full-blown and difficultly won money shot that arrives only sometimes.

When it arrives, though...  It's worth it.

We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head was, in its first iteration, a handmade release limited to 1,000 copies that ranged in price anywhere from $30 to $600.  It was a way for Swans to meet the rising cost of recording their now upcoming new studio double-LP, The Seer.  There were, of course, novelties to go along with the purchase depending on which package you selected, some being genuine artwork from Gira.  One of the options even promised a personalized acoustic song, praising the benefactor by name.  Their enticements must've worked, because every copy was sold within 24 hours. WRFYBWTSIOH has since been released as a proper album and it stitches together performances from Melbourne, Australia, Berlin, Germany and New York City, which were recorded while the band toured for their 2010 release, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky.

Swans dwells in the mire of their sounds, ornaments and embellishments decorating moments of cycling battery ("Beautiful Child") or enhancing trails of dissonance ("93 Ave. B Blues").  Their roots firmly planted in New York's abstract eruption of No Wave music in the early 80s, Swans remains a strange and abrasive sort of art rock presence fascinated with its own noise.  There's a sophistication to Gira's extremes, the industrialized and inaccessible aspects of the band's past now bred into this cultured mix of symphonic propulsion and wandering composition.  Their approach walks a fine line between self-indulgent tenacity and high minded expression, both of which require some patience from the listener, especially if this person isn't well-versed or somewhat acquainted with the music of Swans.

Gira pours himself into his performances like a tent revivalist, jumping on every syllable, chewing the theatrical scenery with the "JEEEEEEEEEEZUS CHRAAAAAAAAAST!"'s provided by "God Sex God," or the very pronounced declarations of "I HAVE A BYOOOUTEEEEFUL CHYLLLLLLD!"  It's over-the-top, but hard to dismiss or accept with a humored nonchalance.

While WRFYBWTSIOH offers a very well-produced and performed facsimile of a live show for its listeners, the album also offers somewhat of a sales pitch for The Seer, some of its material having been written while Swans toured.  "The Apostate," for instance, is heavily percussive and rhythmically circular.  "The Seer" is a cacophonous harsh that muscles its way to "I Crawled" medley-like, given some body through a thudding bass line (Christopher Pravdica) and rattling percussion (Thor Harris).  "93 Ave. B Blues" is an aimless mass of guitar runoff with an incidental and sporadic drum beat that precedes "Little Mouth," which finishes the album.  Gira offers a gentle "thank you" and the applause become silent.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Shopping For Records: Zs Ten-Year Anniversary Box Set

 Zappa meets Ruins?   

The Brooklyn based Zs is releasing a four-disc retrospective called, Score — The Complete Sextet Works: 2002-2007, in correlation with their ten year anniversary.  The band now functions as a trio, so I imagine this box set is not only a retrospective, but a requiem for Zs as they once were.  Yes, I realize I'm probably injecting a dose of romance where it doesn't belong, but I can't imagine that one wouldn't approach their tenth anniversary doing ANYTHING without a tinge of reflection, especially when this anniversary means something new approaches. 

All info comes to you courtesy of Northern Spy Records.

Zs Celebrates 10 Years As A Band, Debuts New Line-Up 8/29, Releases Retrospective Box Set 9/11

The new Zs line-up (Patrick Higgins, Sam Hillmer, Greg Fox)

This September 2012 New York City band Zs celebrates 10 years of being a band with the release of SCORE - The complete sextet works from 2002-2007. Zs has been described with a dizzying array of musical vocabularies, and has performed alongside an equally dizzying complement of colleagues and collaborators ranging from Throbbing Gristle's Genesis P. Orridge, to Roscoe Mitchell, to Christian Wolf, not to mention hundreds of comrades from the Brooklyn DIY scene, that has been home to Zs' myriad incarnations and musical and artistic tangents. Belonging nowhere and everywhere, Zs has absorbed the editorial space of Howard Stern and Alex Ross alike. In 10 years of activity, the band has changed in countless ways without ever changing a fierce commitment to inscrutable aesthetics and execution crafted to provoke reflection and challenge assumption in the consumption of music.

4 disc box-set hits stores on 9/11 and pulls together all of the out of print works from the band's first 5 years of existence along with a disc of never released material. There are over four and half hours of music represented, a 20-page booklet, and four CDs in printed sleeves, all housed in a beautiful 55pt box featuring original artwork by art/design team Fredericks & Mae.

To celebrate a hugely productive decade, the band is celebrating, surrounded by band members old and new, with an epic
Ten-Year Anniversary & Box Set Record Release Show Wednesday August 29th at 285 Kent in Brooklyn NY. Featured will be Diamond Terrifier (featuring Sam Hillmer of Zs), Hubble (featuring former Zs member Ben Greenberg), Extra Life (featuring former Zs member Charlie Looker), Wet Ink Ensemble (featuring former Zs members Alex Mincek & Ian Antonio)and the Mick Barr + Marc Edwards Duo.

To further the ever evolving nature of the group, Zs will debut new material and a new line-up at the 8/29 show. Guitarist/composer
Patrick Higgins (Bachanalia, ex-Animal) and drummer Greg Fox (Guardian Alien, ex-Liturgy) have joined founding member Sam Hillmer to launch Zs into their second decade. They’ve been rehearsing in secret for months and this show is not to be missed.

CD wallet covers

Artist: Zs
Score - The Complete Sextet Works: 2002-2007

Catalog Number: NS 027
Genre: Modern Composition
Format: 4 CDs in wallets w/ 20 page history all housed in a 2 piece 55pt box featuring original artwork by art/design team Fredericks & Mae

Barcode: 741360699748 (CD)
Street Date: September 11th, 2012

Featured Artists:
Alex Hoskins: drums, Brad Wentworth: drums, Ian Antonio: drums, Charlie Looker: guitar, Matthew Hough: guitar, Alex Mincek: saxophone, Sam Hillmer: saxophone

Track Listing:
DISC ONE: Retrace A Walk, Slalom, Olympics, Mimesis, Zs, Bump, Karate, (Untitled), Glyphs, Play

DISC TWO: In My Dream I Shot A Monk, Magnet, Four Systems (Tzadik Edit), Four Systems (Complete Version), Arms, Retrace A Walk (Live), Pendulum, Bump (Live), Slalom (Live), Mimesis (Live), Zs (Live), In My Dream I Shot A Monk (Remix)

DISC THREE: B Is For Burning, Woodworking, Nobody Wants To Be Had, Balk, I Can’t Concentrate, Except When You Don’t Because Sometimes You Won’t, Z Is For Zone, Except When You Don’t Because Sometimes You Won’t (Zebrablood Remix), Bump (Zebrablood Remix)

DISC FOUR: I Can’t Concentrate (Prototype), Tenor Duet, Balk (Prototype), Woodworking Drums (version), Woodworking Drums, For Zs [excerpt] (Live at Paula Cooper Gallery), Fall and Climb, Mimesis (Alternate), Z Is For Zone (Remix)

Letters From A Tapehead

Six Organs of Admittance: "Waswasa" & "One Thousand Birds"

Ascent is the new Six Organs of Admittance album that will be out August 21st via Drag City and Mr. Six Organ himself, Ben Chasny, plugs in and hits up the astral turf for the below tracks, "One Thousand Birds" and "Waswasa."


All info comes courtesy of Rarely Unable.

Asleep on the Floodplain, the 2011 release from Six Organs of Admittance, was reviewed at No Ripcord.

In anticipation of the imminent release of Ascent, the brand new Six Organs Of Admittance album, Drag City unleash another audible treat in the form of a giveaway track taken from the record, 'One Thousand Birds'. Download, listen to and share using this link -
We love everything Six Organs has ever launched at us, and Ascent, coming out in less than two weeks, is no different - in fact, it's nothing short of our new favorite. The thing though about Six Organs is that we don't always know everything that's going on in that weird world...we might turn around and find some album that's come out on some other label, or a porno film soundtrack he's done. As tangential as that all is, then there's this video >>>

To be honest, someone tipped us to this and we're totally perplexed... Chasny's been reticent to comment while shedding for the upcoming Six Organs of Admittance tour, but we can't stop watching and feel the need to share publicly, even though it appears there's a conspiracy to prevent people from purchasing or even listening to
Ascent. Call us the "sheeple," but while that sure as hell does look like Matt Sweeney testifying to some crazy experience where lizard-like men herding Chasny off into the shadows during a Current 93 soundcheck in Moscow, we just can't believe Six Organs is involved in any Illuminati-type business. Anyway, besides giving us a scary WTF?-feeling, and despite Six Organs' Jack Parsons 7" coupled with this recent Mars landing of NASA's "curiosity" machine, we've got to share this and confirm as best we can, there's no reason to fear Ascent...we hope!?!?!?!!

Six Organs of Admittance as an electric entity is not without precedent. Ben Chasny regularly performs with a full, electric band, often cascades an electric guitar solo in the middle of an acoustic jam, and has recorded entire sides of electric drone. This element goes all the way back to 2002, when a short-lived rock version of Six Organs (with the members of Comets on Fire) toured the West Coast and etched a few demos to tape before moving on. Ten years later, with the idea to record new songs as a full rock band firmly entrenched in his mind, Chasny warped over to Tim Green's Louder Studios with members of Comets as his backing band. He emerged with
Ascent, the rollicking realization of the Six Organs full band experience.

No, these aren't those dusty old 2002 moments with the dust blown off. We live today, and so does Six Organs of Admittance! To manipulate the past would change the world forever. Instead, the time line for
Ascent occurs on our identical Earth, on the other side of the sun, telescoping the strength and power of that moment in 2002 and it's electri-Six-O after-affects by viewing it through the mind's opera-glass, in the present.

From the opening red storm of "Waswasa" to the sentinel strength of "Even If You Knew" and the sensual lilt of "Visions (From Io)," the sound of this Six Organs is that of full-tilt rock band. The fun and fury of electric Six Organs of Admittance is evidenced in every molten groove.

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Shopping For Records: Dinosaur Jr.'s upcoming I Bet On Sky up for pre-order

Dinosaur Jr.'s upcoming new album, I Bet On Sky, can now be pre-ordered in an interesting array of "bundles."  You can check below for bundle description and links for pre-order, watch the stupid Portlandia interview and then find out if Dino will be touring in your neck of the woods. 

All info comes courtesy of Jagjaguwar.

Dinosaur Jr.'s I Bet On Sky is Now Up for Pre-Order
Watch New J Mascis Interview with Fred Armisen

One of Portland's top feminist bookstore professionals, Candace of Women & Women First, spoke with J Mascis about the upcoming record, I Bet On Sky. Watch their illuminating interview above.

I Bet On Sky is now available for pre-order!

Click here to see all the available pre-order options, including a deluxe bundle.

I Bet On Sky Bundles include:

1. LP version of
I Bet On Sky in gorgeous gatefold litho-wrapped jacket
2. CD version of
I Bet On Sky in six-panel wallet
3. Limited-edition 7" featuring two brand-new, non-album tracks: "Now the Fall" and "Ricochet"
4. 17" x 22" glossy poster featuring artwork by Travis Millard
5. Digital download code for the entire album, redeemable on September 4th (two weeks before street date)

All CD and LP orders include:

1. 17" x 22" glossy poster featuring artwork by Travis Millard

2. Digital download code for the entire album, redeemable on September 4th (two weeks before street date)

Dinosaur Jr. 
I Bet On Sky
September 18th, 2012

"It sounds like a record that they could have released 20 years ago... There aren't many bands that were once really big that break up, get back together and find that original magic. It just doesn't really happen very often, but this is a band that I think has found that original magic, and this is a great-sounding record." — NPR's All Songs Considered

"Reunions don't usually work out this well." — Rolling Stone

"A catalogue that only seems to grow stronger." — SPIN

Tour Dates:
08/25/12 St. Louis, MO: LouFest 2012
09/02/12 Los Angeles, CA: FYF Fest
09/06/12 Solana Beach, CA: Belly Up Tavern w/Electric Flower
09/08/12 Portland, OR: Roseland Theater (Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis solo, and Sebadoh all performing)
09/24/12 Toronto, ON: Lee's Palace**
09/25/12 Toronto, ON: Lee's Palace**
09/26/12 Toronto, ON: Lee's Palace**
09/27/12 Detroit, MI: St. Andrew's Hall***
09/28/12 Cincinnati, OH: MidPoint Music Festival***
09/29/12 Champaign, IL: Pygmalion Festival***
10/01/12 Nashville, TN: Mercy Lounge*
10/02/12 Atlanta, GA: Variety Playhouse*
10/03/12 New Orleans, LA: Tipitina's*
10/04/12 Austin, TX: Mohawk*
10/05/12 Houston, TX: Fitzgerald's*
10/06/12 Dallas, TX: The Prophet Bar*
10/08/12 Flagstaff, AZ: Orpheum Theater*
10/09/12 Santa Ana, CA: The Observatory*
10/10/12 San Francisco, CA: The Fillmore*
10/11/12 Eugene, OR, WOW Hall*
10/12/12 Seattle, WA: Neptune Theatre*
10/14/12 Salt Lake City, UT: Urban Lounge*
10/15/12 Denver, CO: Bluebird Theater*
10/17/12 Omaha, NE: The Waiting Room*
10/18/12 Minneapolis, MN: Cabooze*
10/19/12 Madison, WI: Majestic Theatre*
10/20/12 Grand Rapids, MI: The Orbit Room*
10/22/12 Bloomington, IN: The Bluebird*
10/23/12 Cleveland, OH: Beachland Ballroom*
10/24/12 Millvale, PA: Mr. Smalls Theatre*
10/25/12 Washington, DC: Black Cat*
10/26/12 Charlottesville, VA: Jefferson Theater*
10/27/12 Philadelphia, PA: Union Transfer*

* w/Shearwater

** w/The Besnard Lakes
*** w/Purling Hiss

Dinosaur Jr. Press Alcove

Dinosaur Jr. at Jagjaguwar
Dinosaur Jr. Official Site
Dinosaur Jr. on Facebook

Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Keiji Haino & SUMAC

A review of the recently released experi-METAL (buh-dum-chck) collaboration between Keiji Haino and SUMAC is up at No Ripcord .  The album...