Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tim Cappello: "I Still Believe"

Letters From A Tapehead

Bernard Herrmann: "Sisters (Main Title)" & "Valse Lente (from Obsession)"

Letters From A Tapehead

Howard Shore: "The Fly"

Letters From A Tapehead

David Bowie: "Scary Monsters (& Super Creeps)"

Letters From A Tapehead

Bauhaus: "Bela Lugosi's Dead"

Letters From A Tapehead

Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Bad Moon on the Rise"

Letters From A Tapehead

Jerry Goldsmith: "Carol Ann's Theme" (from Poltergeist)

Letters From A Tapehead

Jerry Goldsmith: "Omen Theme (Ave Satani)"

Letters From A Tapehead

John Carpenter: "Halloween Theme"

Letters From A Tapehead

Gravediggaz: "Diary of a Madman"

Letters From A Tapehead

The Misfits: "I Turned into a Martian"

Letters From A Tapehead

Mr. Gnome: "Wolf Girls"

Letters From A Tapehead

Cramps: "I Was A Teenage Werewolf"

Letters From A Tapehead

Sunn O))): "Hell-O)))-Ween"

Letters From A Tapehead

Dead Kennedys: "Halloween"

Letters From A Tapehead

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stereokiller: Neurosis

Honor Found In Decay
Neurot Recordings
Released: 10.30.12

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, October 26, 2012

No Ripcord: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Originally released: 2.23.03
Reissued: 8.14.12

Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus
Originally released: 9.20.04
Reissued: 8.14.12 

Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!
Originally released: 4.8.08
Reissued: 8.14.12

Letters From A Tapehead

Less Artists More Condos: Deerhoof/Half Waif

Another installment of the Less Artists More Condos series being released as a tribute to Famous Class label partner, Ariel Panero.  This release pairs Deerhoof with Half Waif and is the fourth of the year's projected six releases.

The limited white vinyl release is already sold out, but standard black is still available for $5 at Famous Class.  

All info, links and tracks are courtesy of Terrorbird Media.

New Deerhoof 7" out now with Half Waif, watch the documentary of the recording with legendary producer Chris Shaw

"Sexy, but Sparkly" marks the first time the long-running experimental band has worked with an outside producer, all digital proceeds of LAMC No. 4 go to support Ariel Panero VH1 Save The Music Fund. Available now though Famous Class.

WATCH: Deerhoof on Masters From Their Day with Chris Shaw

LISTEN: Deerhoof "Sexy, but Sparkly"

LISTEN: Half Waif "Black Mountains"
(via Impose)

LAMC No. 4: Deerhoof/Half Waif 7"
"Sexy, but Sparkly"/"Black Mountain"
out October 23rd on Famous Class

In loving memory of their dear friend and label partner, the late Ariel Panero, the Brooklyn-based label Famous Class started the Less Artist More Condo series of 7"s. The series gets its name from the epic Less Artists More Condos concerts that Ariel threw, showcasing amazing bands in some strange and unique venues. Ariel’s driving force was a desire to get the bands he believed in the recognition he felt they deserved. This series simply tries to honor that idea. For each LAMC split 7” Famous Class asked one of their favorite bands to provide them with an unreleased track for the A-side. They were then asked to pick their favorite emerging artist to provide a track for the B-side. So far we've seen releases from A Place To Bury Strangers, Ceremony, Future Islands, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Thee Oh Sees, The Mallard, and now today Famous Class welcomes another addition to their series. Like how Ariel’s LAMC shows introduced New Yorkers to bands they might not have otherwise discovered – Famous Class hope that this series will do the same.

Famous Class is thrilled to release LAMC No. 4 from Deerhoof who have invited Half Waif onboard for the split. The 7" will be out October 23rd, and just like all the previous releases in the series, the digital proceeds 100% go to charity. .

For the October installment in the series, Deerhoof's contribution “Sexy, But Sparkly” was recorded for an upcoming episode of “Masters From Their Day”, an on-going series of short documentaries. Deerhoof had produced all their own records until being paired with producer Chris Shaw (Weezer, Public Enemy, Bob Dylan) for this episode, making for a very collaborative experience. A short documentary on will accompany the release of LAMC No.4 Each episode chronicles the efforts of a band and a record producer as they attempt to record a song in one day. The series gives a first-hand account of the creative processes behind the records being made by today's luminaries.

For the excellent b-side they invited to intriguing Half Waif to an arresting piece of baroque art pop that is as mysterious as it is difficult to place.

The 7" is available for pre-order right now with limited quantities of on white vinyl (100). Sure to go fast if not gone already.

The digital versions of LAMC No. 1 and 2 are currently available for purchase on the FAMOUS CLASS bandcamp page with 100% of the proceeds going to the Ariel Panero Memorial Fund at VH1 Save the Music.

more info on LAMC No. 4's artists...

Satomi Matsuzaki plays bass and sings, Greg Saunier plays drums, John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez play guitars. But what is Deerhoof really? Hell if we know. Pitchfork went so far as to label Deerhoof as "the best band in the world." The New York Times described them as "one of the most original rock bands to have come along in the last decade." From their humble beginnings as an obscure San Francisco noise act, they've become one of indie music's most influential bands with their ecstatic and unruly take on pop. Deerhoof has released 11 self-produced albums and continues to tour the world frequently. The members of Deerhoof are Satomi Matsuzaki, John Dieterich, Ed Rodriguez and Greg Saunier.

Half Waif is half a person and half an idea—as yet in its formational phases, it arose from the ashes of past projects and has demanded definition over the past six months. It is an auditory grappling with life beyond college, beyond walls, beyond home-base. It is placeless and yet the product of many places, among them: the wilds of northern Massachusetts; Ohio’s stark fields; Brooklyn on a warm, lonesome night; and Plunkett's ancestral homelands of Ireland and India. A solo venture for now, Half Waif writes music influenced by equal parts classical theory and contemporary practice. There is a mood both ancient and relevant that issues from the dark layers of synthesizers, piano, vocals, and percussion. It sounds like bits and pieces of things you may have heard before; half of this and half of that, and half of something else too.

Letters From A Tapehead 

Mudhoney: New documentary "I'm Now: The Story of Mudhoney"

A documentary about grunge progenitors, Mudhoney, is being released on DVD in early December called I'M NOW: The Story of Mudhoney. There are two teaser trailers available, which are enticing, but very unsatisfying, previews into the film. It will be available to stream online October 30th.

All info comes courtesy of Sub Pop.

I'M NOW: The Story of Mudhoney online debut October 30

Streaming rental at Distrify;
DVD to see release December 11

On October 30, King of Hearts Productions will release the long-awaited, much-anticipated, and really very good documentary film
I'M NOW: The Story of Mudhoney for streaming rental via Distrify. The film will be available for sale on DVD December 11 at both and

I'M NOW follows Mudhoney's nearly-25-year career, from their early beginnings in the Pacific Northwest through the band’s most recent world tour. Complete with testimonials from friends, music industry veterans, and musicians such as Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard & Jeff Ament, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore & Kim Gordon, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman, and the band themselves, the film is the ultimate document of one of the world's most influential and beloved rock bands. The film was directed by Ryan Short and Adam Pease and trailers are available at YouTube: and

Fans can also visit for exclusive presale DVD offers and more.

5 out of 5 Stars - Film Threat

"Honest, funny, sad, and ultimately, really inspiring" - Susie Tennant
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Evens: "Warble Factor"

The Evens
The Odds
Dischord Records
Released: 11.20.12

I've gotten through maybe two songs so far and I can't begin to explain how excited I am about this release. 

The band's last album, Get Evens, was reviewed in 2006. 

Letters From A Tapehead

CAN: "Waiting for the Streetcar" (Edit)

The very seminal and experimental space rockers CAN will be releasing a 5-LP box set dubbed, The Lost Tapes, which is (quite obviously) five albums' worth of unreleased music.  It'd been shelved, byproduct of unfinished projects and unreleased B-sides.  This looks to be quite a collection.

See a trailer for the album below and an edited version of the song, "Waiting for the Streetcar." 

This info was lovingly offered by Mute.


5 LP SET – 180g VINYL

“More than a great listen, the set solidifies both Can’s oeuvre and their approach to music making as far-reaching influences." - New York Times

“essential for any fan” - Under The Radar

“a masterpiece in it’s own right” - Consequence of Sound

“A startling discovery” - Q Mag

Mute and Spoon are delighted to announce that, due to phenomenal demand, Can’s The Lost Tapes will be released as a 5 LP box set on 180g vinyl on December 4th, 2012.

The Lost Tapes was curated by Irmin Schmidt and Daniel Miller, compiled by Irmin Schmidt and Jono Podmore and edited by Jono Podmore. The vinyl issue of The Lost Tapes will come with a 24” square poster and a 28 page booklet with sleeve notes by Irmin Schmidt and Ian Harrison.

‘Lost Tapes’ were discovered when the legendary Can studio in Weilerswist was sold to the German Rock N Pop Museum. The new owners sentimentally preserved everything, including the army mattresses that covered the walls for sound protection, and relocated it to Gronau.

Whilst dismantling the studio, master tapes were found and stored in the Spoon archive. With barely legible labeling, no one was sure what was on these until Irmin Schmidt and long time collaborator Jono Podmore started to go through over fifty hours of music.

What they found was years of archived material--not outtakes, but rather tracks which had been shelved for a variety of reasons – soundtracks to films that were never released and tracks that didn’t make it onto the final versions of albums due to space. 
Irmin Schmidt explains “Obviously the tapes weren't really lost, but were left in the cupboards of the studio archives for so long everybody just forgot about them. Everybody except Hildegard, who watches over Can and its work like the dragon over the gold of the Nibelungen and doesn't allow forgetting.”

The final cut of tracks, dating from 1968-1977, features studio material recorded at Schloss Nörvenich and Can Studio, Weilerswist with the Can line up of Holger Czukay on bass, Michael Karoli on guitars, Jaki Liebezeit on drums and Irmin Schmidt on keyboards, and on most tracks, vocals from Malcolm Mooney or Damo Suzuki.

Can was formed by ex-student of Stockhausen Irmin Schmidt, who, fired by the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa abandoned his career in classic music to form a group which could utilise and transcend all boundaries of ethnic, electronic experimental and modern classical music.

Can’s influence is well known and far-reaching and the impact they made on music is felt today as keenly as it ever has been. They themselves have always been impossible to classify and reflecting this, the scope of artists who in recent years have cited Can as a major influence is varied from John Lydon to Radiohead, The Fall to Portishead.

Richard Hawley:
"Can are impossible to classify and its impossible to ignore their seismic influence on so many diverse musical paths, I'm so glad what was lost has been found" 
Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite: "I can honestly say that there isn't another band who sound like Can. Their music was of a future that we haven't yet arrived at. Influencing people with their ambition more than just music we're incredibly lucky to have found even more of their music to wonder at. God bless Can." 
New Order’s Stephen Morris: "Can are the most revolutionary band ever, hearing Monster Movie for the first time was like stepping into another world. You Doo Right is the reason I took up the drums in the first place. It's not a song, it's a journey. I love everything they have ever done."
Wild BeastsTom Fleming: "Can are, along with very few others, what I consider to be the zenith of how a group can play together; loose and sensuous, but tightly coiled and always ready to go off; academically trained but gloriously, beautifully casual. I'm not at all surprised that unheard-of recordings exist, they sound like they just did it, every day."
Factory Floor’s Gabe Gurnsey: "Can is pure escapism. I have great memories of driving back through the British countryside after FF recording sessions listening to 'Oh Yeah' over and over, dancing to 'I Want More' in the early hours and wishing I'd written 'Quantum Physics'. Repetition is the platform for free thinking, something we try to mirror in Factory Floor."
With a phenomenal canon of work that includes Tago Mago, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2011, The Lost Tapes is an opportunity to hear unreleased material from this iconic band – whoever thought that would be possible?

Watch a trailer for
The Lost Tapes vinyl here:


Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

11.23.12 — Record Store Day: Boris/Asobi Seksu split 7"

News about a limited edition split 7" release from Boris and Asobi Seksu surfaced, which will be a Record Store Day exclusive.  All info is courtesy of Us/Them Group.

Boris announce split 7" with Asobi Seksu, UK & EU tour dates including All Tomorrow's Parties

Legendary Japanese trio Boris announce a limited edition split 7" with recent tour mates Asobi Seksu available as a Record Store Day exclusive release on Black Friday, November 23, 2012. Additionally, Boris post new headlining tour dates in the UK and EU, as well as appearances at All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK and State-X New Forms Festival in Holland. See dates below.

The forthcoming split single features each band covering a song by the other. Asobi Seksu takes on Boris' majestic "Farewell" off of their
Pink album, while Boris reworks "New Years" from Asobi Seksu's Citrus album here as "Neu Years", a churning dream pop gem. The vinyl edition includes a download card with 4 additional classic songs from both bands.

Iconoclast trio Boris are widely known for their ability to breach styles and stretch sonic boundaries of all that is heavy, psychedelic, droning and downright cathartic. Their last three albums --
Attention Please, Heavy Rocks and New Album, all released in 2011 via Sargent House -- are perfect testament to the band's vast abilities. Over the span of two decades, the trio, bassist/vocalist Takeshi, guitarist/vocalist Wata and drummer/vocalist Atsuo has issued nearly 20 studio albums, as well as numerous collaborative albums -- including projects with Merzbow, Sunn0))), Ian Astbury and Michio Kurihara of Ghost (who also currently tours with the band as second guitarist) -- EPs and singles on various labels throughout the world.

American dream pop band Asobi Seksu is widely known for their shoegaze influenced effect-laden sound. Since their beginning in 2001, the band led by vocalist/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate and guitarist/vocalist James Hanna has released four albums and various singles. Their most recent album, Fluorescence (Polyvinyl) hit shelves on Valentine's Day 2011 to much critical acclaim. Asobi Seksu toured supporting Boris in the fall of that year, cementing the friendship between the two bands leading up to this endeavor of mutual admiration covering each others' songs.


12/04 Brighton, UK @ Coalition

12/05 Manchester, UK @ Islington Mill
12/06 London, UK @ Scala
12/07 Rye, UK @ All Tomorrow's Parties @ Camber Sands
12/08 Leeds, UK @ Brudnell Social Club
12/11 Cork, IE @ Cyprus Avenue
12/12 Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
12/13 Birmingham, UK @ The Rainbow Warehouse
12/14 Hasselt, BE @ Kunstencentrum Belgie
12/15 The Hague, NE @ The Hague - State-X New Forms Festival
12/16 Karlsruhe, DE @ Jubez
12/17 Lausanne, CH @ Le Romandie
12/18 Munich, DE @ Feierwerk e.V.
12/19 Dresden, DE @ Beatpol 

Letters From A Tapehead

Madvillian: "Raid" (Plus, a trailer for the new Stones Throw documentary)

The Madvillian track was merely an enticement, but also validation for Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton (This is Stones Throw Records), which is, if you couldn't tell, a documentary about the very label that produced the brilliant Madvilliany album. 

As is the case with many independently funded projects lately, a Kickstarter has been enacted to help with the film's completion.  Check out the trailer below.

OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON (This Is Stones Throw Records) Teaser from Gatling Pictures on Vimeo.

All info comes courtesy of Force Field PR.


LOS ANGELES - Drawing on live concert footage, never-before-seen archival material, inner-circle home video and photographs and in-depth interviews with the folks who put Stones Throw on the map, director/producer Jeff Broadway's feature-length documentary, OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON, will follow the label's enigmatic founder, Peanut Butter Wolf, as well as explore its left-of-center artists, history, culture and global following.

The production of a Stones Throw documentary began in late 2010, when French company MediaTV sent Paris-based filmmakers Sébastien Bauer and Lucas Blaya to Los Angeles to begin filming events for the label's 15th anniversary. Over several months, the two amassed over 100 hours of footage before Broadway joined the production.

The documentary is still in production, and requires further funding for its completion. Broadway has launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $35,000 for additional production trips, shoots and the edit of the film. The duration of the campaign is 45 days, and will conclude at the end of November.

OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON is Broadway's second music documentary - the first being CURE FOR PAIN: THE MARK SANDMAN STORY. He is also a co-founder of the Los Angeles-based production collective, Gatling Pictures.


Trailer on Vimeo:

Trailer on YouTube:



Official Site:

Label site:

Letters From A Tapehead

Boyd Rice/NON: "Turn Me On, Dead Man"

Noise pioneer, Boyd Rice (a.k.a, NON) has a new album coming out called Back To Mono via Mute.  "Turn Me On, Dead Man" is a new single from the album and it's like listening to a Phil Spector or Jack Nitzsche arrangement being dragged across a serrated blade.  If that intrigues you, check out the track.

All info comes courtesy of Mute. 

OUT NOVEMBER 6th, 2012 



Boyd Rice / NON is set to release their new album, Back To Mono on November 6th 2012. Back To Mono is a return to Boyd Rice’s noise roots and the first new album since 2002’s Children Of The Black Sun.

Back To Mono’s tracklisting encompasses brand new recordings - made with Wes Eisold of Cold Cave and New York based producer Bryin Dall (Thee Majesty / Hirsute Pursuit) as well as long time collaborator Z’ev. The album also features unreleased studio and live recordings from the late 70s, plus a cover of The Normal’s “Warm Leatherette”, Mute’s first release which explains Rice, is “the best electronic pop song – bar none. I bought that single fifteen minutes before meeting Daniel. And that meeting changed my life.

It is difficult to imagine the pioneering impact that tracks such as 1978’s “Watusi” (here re-recorded by Wes Eisold) and “Scream” (recorded live in 1979 at Los Angeles’ Whiskey A Go-Go) must have had at the time—now that noise is a recognized genre.

Says Rice, “I was doing sample-based music about a decade before the advent of samplers, when everyone else was using bass, guitars, keyboards and drums. It has been said that I invented the first sampler. Perhaps I did. At the time I called it the N.M.U. (or noise manipulation unit). It allowed me to essentially sample numerous tracks of noise and mould them into rudimentary rhythms. This was my principle instrument for a good many years and can be heard on Back to Mono, in the late 70’s archival recordings.”

Turn Me On, Dead Man and Turn Me On, Dead Man (Reprise) are both collaborations with musician, artist, poet, dancer and “long time partner-in-crime” Z’ev, who has previously collaborated with the likes of Merzbow, and Psychic TV amongst others Cold Cave’s Wes Eisold produced and recorded the title track at Cold Cave’s Philadelphia studio.

Boyd Rice / NON’s first release was what is known as the Black Album (1975). “When I started to compose and perform noise music in the ‘70s there simply were no other noise groups.” As noise became more commonplace, Rice moved into more subtle and complex recordings.

Explains Rice, “Back to Mono was my attempt to demonstrate that the genre I created still had room to grow; that it could still be re-imagined.”

Turn Me On, Dead Man
Back To Mono
Seven Sermons To The Dead
Obey Your Signal Only
Man Cannot Flatter Fate
Back To Mono (Live)
Turn Me On, Dead Man (Reprise)
Fire Shall Come
Warm Leatherette

NON has upcoming tour dates in Europe which you can find here.

Boyd Rice / NON : Website | Facebook
Mute: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Swans — 10.13.12

Swans at the Union Transfer, 10.13.12.

Letters From A Tapehead

Crystal Antlers: "Persephone" (Room 205)

Crystal Antlers are featured in the Room 205 Live series and I lit up this afternoon when I gave their performance of "Persephone" a look.  I don't think Crystal Antlers get enough press.  They achieve quite perfectly, and with a considerable amount of energy, the laid back, smoked out atmospherics that most psych bands pursue without coming off complacent or lazy or simply pleased enough to wallow in torrents of feedback or purple haze.

Check out the video and then read.  This performance is apparently the first of a series of videos filmed at MusicFest NW for Room 205 Live.  All info was provided by Force Field PR.

I reviewed the band's last album, Two-Way Mirror, for Kicking Against The Pricks.

Room 205 Live from MFNW: Crystal Antlers

Last month while at MusicFest NW in Portland, we put our heads together with friend and longtime MFNW producer Trevor Solomon to curate "Room 205 Live." After filming more than 30 episodes and 90 videos in a tiny 15x20-foot rehearsal space, we wanted to have a go at collaborating in front of a live audience. Held at venerable downtown venue Ted's, (formerly Berbati's Pan), the night showcased five featured artists from Room 205, including Crystal Antlers, Craft Spells, Tropic of Cancer, Chelsea Wolfe and Blouse. To document this very special night, we worked with director Greg Hunt, DP Greg Schmitt, and audio engineer Griffin Rodriguez. No overdubs, no second takes. 100% raw live weirdness.

For the next five weeks we'll debut one performance per week from each Room 205 Live artist. Today's premiere episode features a performance from Crystal Antlers, who originally visited Room 205 in 2010. The Room 205 Live showcase at MFNW marked the debut of the band's new blazer, "Persephone."

We hope you'll enjoy watching our experiment as much as we've enjoyed making it. Huge thanks to the performing artists, MFNW and the good people of PDX, as well to production manager Nathan Ostrander, in-house engineer Dave Hite and booker Kenric Ashe at Ted's.

See Crystal Antler's performance of "Persephone" here: 

About Crystal Antlers
Crystal Antlers formed in January 2006 in Long Beach, CA. Creating their own blend of psychedelic, punk, and soul, the band have quickly become favorites among a broad range of music lovers throughout N. America and the EU. The full-length LP
Tentacles (Touch & Go, 2009) and the more recent Two-Way Mirror (Recreation Ltd, 2011) offer true mind-melters in the traditions of early-Love Battery, late-Built To Spill, and the always classic Jimi Hendrix Experience.

About Incase
Founded in 1997, Incase creates products to protect and enhance the technology that is essential to our lives. Designed to meet the needs of individuals across all interests, professions and passions, Incase products promote design simplicity and offer intuitive functionality to provide users with a fully integrated mobile experience.

About Room 205
Working in collaboration with visiting musicians and a revolving cast of filmmakers, set designers, audio engineers and friends, Room 205 exists to share our collective passion for art and music and showcase the people that inspire us.

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sleep Maps: "Medals" (New EP releasing and CoS video)

Consequence of Sound is hosting a video to promote Sleep Maps' upcoming EP, Medals.  This is the band's second release in 2012, Fiction Makes the Future having released in early May, and Medals is apparently based in anti-war sentiment, all of which is explained below by Sleep Maps musician, Ben Kaplan.

All info and links are courtesy of Us/Them Group.

NYC band Sleep Maps announce powerful new EP with Consequence of Sound video premiere

Click image above to watch video

"Much of the best art comes from visionary individuals following their instincts into strange and dark places, and that's certainly the case with Sleep Maps, whose Fiction Makes The Future debut is an unexpected treat. These are definitely ones to watch." – Rock A Rolla

New York City heavy-psych band Sleep Maps announce their return this fall with a teaser video premiere courtesy of Consequence of Sound. The band's new long-form EP (4 songs spanning 28 minutes), Medals quickly follows their recent debut full length in May 2012. Watch video HERE.

The latest from mastermind multi-instrumentalist Ben Kaplan is a deeply moving work, both musically and thematically as it addresses the shallow pageantry presented to war veterans, many of whose lives have been forever shattered by their experiences.
Medals is based upon the Winter Soldier Investigation from 1971. "A group of Vietnam vets held a press conference in Detroit to discuss the atrocities they had seen and sometimes participated in," Kaplan explains. "This was meant to bring attention to the mainstream public about what was really happening in Vietnam. Of course after it was over the government did everything in their power to discredit them and claim they were liars." The powerful, slow building fury of "The Heavens Gaze Empty" underscores the statements made by these war vets as they dispose of their awards of battlefield valor. "The image of throwing the medals back is the refusal to be placated by a trinket when your entire life has been ruined," says Kaplan. "The parallels between an era supposedly long gone and the wars of today are too blatant to be ignored. Soldiers coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq have also participated in medal throwing ceremonies, although mainstream media will not cover it."

Medals builds a chronology across the first three songs using audio snippets from various speeches laid over Sleep Maps' masterful control of dramatic tension as spindling guitars, ominous keyboards and crashing drums weave the sound and theme into a vivid sense of intense emotions. Kaplan again performed all of the instruments on the EP, as he did on the band's debut Fiction Makes The Future. While the group has expanded to a full 4-piece lineup live -- playing its aggressive yet atmospheric songs with poignant visual projections -- Kaplan remains the sole creative force behind Sleep Maps.

"The Final Weapon" opens
Medals with the pulsing sounds of war drums and the all-too-familiar rhetoric used to spur citizens to "fight the good fight." Soaring guitars and anthemic melodies cascade into a military march as things segue into "Blackout Eyes", sounding like a strange hybrid of Sigur Ros and Boyd Rice's NON. The syrupy tune traces a soldier's return to 'normalcy' and the lead up to the tortured intensity of "The Heavens Gaze Empty". Bonus track "Horror In The Telescope" is the band's recent single, previously only available as a download.
Medals was produced, performed and mixed by Ben Kaplan. It will be available on limited edition CD and download on November 13th, 2012.


Artist: Sleep Maps
Label: Lost Future Music
Release Date: November 13th, 2012

01. The Final Weapon
02. Blackout Eyes
03. The Heavens Gaze Empty
04. Horror In The Telescope (bonus track)


Artist: Sleep Maps
Album: "Horror In The Telescope" single
Label: Lost Future Music
Release Date: July 18th, 2012

01. Horror In The Telescope (MP3)


Artist: Sleep Maps
Fiction Makes The Future
Label: Lost Future 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 (VIDEO)

On the Web:

Letters From A Tapehead

MONO: "Dream Odyssey"

I received a press release today regarding the Japanese post-rock band, MONO, and some tour dates they'll be performing in England to support their album, For My Parents.  For those of us in the States, this isn't very helpful.  However, the information did come with a clip of the track "Dream Odyssey" along with a video trailer to promote For My Parents, both of which are worth checking out.

All info is provided by Rarely Unable.


Blurring the boundary between art-metal and neo-classical, Japanese post-rockers MONO hailing from Tokyo, have long established themselves as the leading voice of epic majestic noise. For over 12 years in fact. Their instrumental compositions are powerful, sweeping studies in the limits of the musical spectrum; from rumbling subsonic lows to dizzying harmonic highs.

Over the years, they have developed their vast and beautiful noise into something entirely majestic. Their colossal orchestrations often incorporate strings, flutes, organ, piano, glockenspiel and tymphani as well as guitar and drums, balancing all elements masterfully with each new release and live performance.

The Japanese quartet have always followed their own muse, and in the process have become "
one of the most distinctive bands of the 21st century." They are an instrumental rock band whose melodies have grown increasingly lyrical, with increasingly transcendent execution. There is no doubting a MONO song when you hear it, and no denying their uncanny ability to feel perfectly at home in both pristine symphony halls and dirty rock clubs.

Last time Mono performed live, it was part of the highly successful London show with the Holy Ground Orchestra. Now they will return for a full UK tour promoting their brand new album
For My Parents, which obliterates that divide, showcasing a sensitivity and maturity that simultaneously acknowledges where they came from, and where they're going. The songwriting is sharper, the dynamics are subtler, and the production is stunning. For the recording, the band once again enlisted The Wordless Music Orchestra for support, and the collaboration has never sounded stronger. The unique combination of soul-stirring melodies, cinematic East-meets-West arrangements, and firm command of elusive emotional intangibles is what makes MONO so...well, so MONO.

Here are the dates:

Dec 1st - Bristol, The Exchange

Dec 2nd - Manchester, Sound Control
Dec 3rd - Glasgow, Oran Mor
Dec 7th - Leicester, Cathedral *not promoted by One Inch Badge
Dec 8th - London, Village Underground

Check out a YouTube link to the album trailer: and sample an album track via Soundcloud:


"Mono are one of those rare bands who seem absorbed in pushing their sound as far as they possibly can. Their marriage with The Holy Ground Orchestra is testament to that ambition, resulting in an impossibly powerful and enthralling experience that not many will be able to match." - CLASH MAGAZINE

"Few bands - those grounded in post-rock especially - could not have pulled this off with such ease and utter lack of pretence as MONO. In a word: epic" - ROCK A ROLLA

"It is stunning and crushing and bewildering" - 8/10 ROCKSOUND

"Mono's real strength lies in their ability to immerse the listener completely in a blanket of feedback, and fragile melody" - TERRORIZER

Letters From A Tapehead

My Disco: "Turn"

Here's a video of a girl dancing to "Turn," a song from the post-punk band, My Disco.  This is from their album Little Joy

My Disco "Turn" Video from Temporary Residence Ltd. on Vimeo.

Link supplied by Rarely Unable.

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Monday, October 08, 2012

What I Heard This Morning: John Butcher

Call my attraction to this type of non-melodic, structureless "music" some attempt at appeasing my need to establish myself some wannabe sophisticate.  Or, just understand that, since listening to both John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman trespass into unconventional means of musical expression, some of which remain the most severe and extreme forms I've ever heard, I'm prone to subjecting myself to the free form language of any instrument, saxophone, guitar, or whichever medium suits its author. 

Today, I listened to John Butcher, whose solo saxophone album, Bell Trove Spools, will be out this November on Northern Spy Records.  Butcher's sax work breathes and hums, bellows and moans, reaches shaky peaks of vibrating tone, a sputtering verse followed by a more fluid line of wavering stress.  This admittedly sounds more like an exercise than a piece of music, but Butcher eventually gains some level of riff and rigor, almost as if he's playing a song at half its intended speed only to spew more conventional chords in rapid couplets.

Info and links are courtesy of Northern Spy Records.

John Butcher Releases Solo Saxophone Recording on Northern Spy

photo by Geert Vandepoele

“Butcher is the leading soprano and tenor saxophone voice in the generation of free improvisers who emerged after the pioneers of the music - among them Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, John Stevens, Paul Rutherford - let the genie out of the bottle.” - Philip Clark, The Wire

This November 2012, Northern Spy is proud to present two of John Butcher’s most recent experiments in moving soundwaves through space. On Bell Trove Spools we hear Butcher in two distinct situations: Richmond Hall, a Houston art gallery housing a permanent Dan Flavin collection that has been compared to a bowling alley; and the high-ceilinged marble room in Brooklyn which is the new home to Issue Project Room. Butcher is heard on his two saxes of choice, the soprano and the tenor, and suspended in space, fluid, challenging, at times melodic and always exciting.

In short, John Butcher knows how to work a room – and that’s not about relating to the audience. In fact, there was no audience present for the Brooklyn session. Bell Trove Spools is just Butcher and a saxophone and spaces ready to receive. The results speak for themselves.

Check John Butcher's Invisible Juke Box feature in the latest issue of The Wire (Oct '12)! In conjunction with the feature, Butcher selected some 'top picks of the web' in a post on their website.

Letters From A Tapehead

MusicFilmWeb: SpokAnarchy!

MusicFilmWeb's Music Documentary Monday feature, 10.8.

Directed by David W. Halsell, Erica K. Schisler, Joe Swanstrom, Heather Swanstrom, Theresa Halsell, Cory Wees
Released: 2011

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, October 05, 2012

Killer Mike: "Reagan"

Apologies to any Reagan enthusiasts, but then again, I didn't write the song.  Killer Mike's new single, "Reagan," is being released as a 7."

All info, links and tour dates are courtesy of Life or Death PR & Management.




Watch - "Reagan":

Nearly a decade deep in the rap game, Mike has released five critically hailed records and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group with Outkast for the song "The Whole World." But, in no uncertain terms, Mike will tell you that
R.A.P. Music is his finest accomplishment. He'll even call it a "classic." Of course, every rapper calls every one of their albums a classic. The only difference is that Mike's right.

Reagan 7" is the quintessential companion piece to Killer Mike's critically acclaimed LP R.A.P. Music produced by El-P. Dropping on Election Day (11/06), the release is limited to just 1500 copies on white vinyl. "Reagan" video director Daniel Garcia also contributed to the album artwork. Watch the Animated video for "Reagan" at

Killer Mike is currently on tour with GZA and Sweet Valley. Scroll down to view all of the tour dates.

Pre-order - Reagan 7":

Reagan 7"
(11/6, Williams Street Records) 
A: Reagan
B: Reagan (Instrumental)

Tour Dates w/ Sweet Valley & GZA
10/05/12 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
10/07/12 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
10/08/12 - New Oreleans, LA - Tipitina's Uptown
10/10/12 - Tampa, FL - The Ritz Ybor
10/10/12 - Gambier, OH - The Horn Gallery at Kenyon College
10/11/12 - Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues
10/12/12 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
10/13/12 - Athens, GA - Georgia Theatre
10/14/12 - Wilmington, NC - Brooklyn Arts Center
10/16/12 - Washington, DC - Howard Theater
10/17/12 - Towson, MD - Recher Theatre
10/18/12 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
10/19/12 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
10/20/12 - Philadelphia - Trocadero
10/21/12 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
10/26/12 - Asheville, NC - Moogfest
11/08/12 - Bloomington, IN - Rhinos
11/09/12 - Columbus, OH - Ace Of Cups
11/12/12 - Athens, OH - Union Bar
11/14/12 - West Chester, PA - The Note
11/16/12 - Northhampton, MA - Pearl Street Nightclub
12/16/12 - Fort Lauderdale, FL- The Celebrity Silhouette 

Letters From A Tapehead

Mogwai: "George Square Thatcher Death Party (Justin K. Broadrick Reshape)"

Mogwai's 2011 album, Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will, has undergone reinterpretation by a cast of mixologists.  The new album slated to release late November is called A Wrenched Virile Lore and one of its new tracks, "George Square Thatcher Death Party," is available to sample.  This track was manipulated by Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu). 

All info comes courtesy of Sub Pop.

Mogwai to release A Wrenched Virile Lore remix album on Sub Pop 

Available on "Black Friday" Nov. 23 as a limited edition LP & Dec. 4 on CD / digitally;
Europe on Nov. 19 via Rock Action

"George Square Thatcher Death Party (Justin K. Broadrick Reshape)"
premieres w/ Pitchfork

Download "George Square Thatcher Death Party" (Justin K Broadrick Reshape) here.

The ever-mighty Mogwai will release
A Wrenched Virile Lore, a remix album featuring songs from their 2011 outing, Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will on Sub Pop. The album will be available in the following formats: as a limited-edition, colored vinyl (of 2500) on Black Friday, November 23; and on CD and digitally on December 4. The album will also be available in Europe via Rock Action on November 19. At this time you can download the "reshape" of "George Square Thatcher Death Party" (from Godflesh/Jesu founder Justin K. Broadrick) here (see Pitchfork news story Friday October 5).

A Wrenched Virile Lore remix highlights include: the aforementioned Broadrick; along with Replex Records act Cylob ("White Noise"); BEAK member Xander Harris ("How To Be A Werewolf"); Relapse Records act Zombi ("Letters To The Metro"); ambient musician Tim Hecker ("Rano Pano"); SF based synth-punk band The Soft Moon ("San Pedro"); and Loop founder Robert Hampson ("La Mort Blanche"). Please find a full track list below.

A Wrenched Virile Lore Tracklisting:
George Square Thatcher Death Party (Justin K Broadrick Reshape)
Rano Pano (Klad Hest – Mogwai is My Dick RMX)
White Noise (EVP Mix by Cyclob)
How To Be A Werewolf (Xander Harris Remix)
Letters To The Metro (Zombi Remix)
Mexican Grand Prix (Reworked by RM Hubbert)
Rano Pano (Tim Hecker Remix)
San Pedro (The Soft Moon Remix)
Too Raging To Cheers (Umberto Remix)
La Mort Blanche (Robert Hampson Remix) 

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Neurosis: "We All Rage In Gold"

"We All Rage In Gold" is another new track from Honor Found In Decay, the new Neurosis album that will be out later this month.  It's also the album's intro.  The track is available exclusively at

All info comes courtesy of Earsplit PR.

NEUROSIS: New Album’s Opening Track Hosted By Noisey, VICE’s Music Channel
“We All Rage In Gold,” the immense opening track to NEUROSIS’ anticipated Honor Found In Decay opus, is now streaming exclusively via Noisey, VICE's music channel. The six-and-a-half minute behemoth bears some of the most ethereal, organic resonance, as well as some of the most glacial, signature NEUROSIS riffs found on the new album.

Stream “We All Rage In Gold” via Noisey AT THIS LOCATION.

The second track from
Honor Found In Decay, “At The Well,” is being broadcast exclusively by National Public Radio, and a detailed trailer created by NEUROSIS’ visual artist Josh Graham and edited by video architect Kenneth Thomas is flowing at Neurot Recordings' YouTube page.

The standard jewel case CD, limited edition Stoughton gatefold sleeve CD and digital download versions of
Honor Found In Decay will be released on the band’s Neurot Recordings in time for Samhain, in Germany October 26th, throughout the rest of Europe October 29th, and in North America on October 30th. NEUROSIS’ previous label home Relapse Records will be handling the 2xLP vinyl edition of the album.

Directly following the unveiling of
Honor Found In Decay, NEUROSIS will converge in their point of origin, Oakland, California, for a singular record release performance with support from Voivod and YOB. Two weeks later they’ll cross the Atlantic for two special UK performances, first at ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Steve Albini’s band Shellac, followed by a concert in London with the mighty Godflesh. Additional live performances will continue to be announced in the months ahead.

NEUROSIS Confirmed Performances:
11/17/2012 Fox Theater – Oakland, CA *Honor Found In Decay release show w/ Voivod, YOB [info]
11/30-12/02/2012 ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas – Camber Sands Holiday Camp, England [info
12/02/2012 HMV Forum – London, England w/ Godflesh [info]

Letters From A Tapehead

Ceremony: "Everything Burns"

Ceremony's new song, "Everything Burns," is the a-side of a tour only split single the band is sharing with Titus Andronicus.  You can listen to the song here courtesy of Matador Records.

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




Photo courtesy of Jimmy Fontaine

Bay-Area punk band Ceremony are proud to be sharing brand new single "Everything Burns". It's an all-killer-no-filler jam off of an upcoming limited edition, tour-only split 7" with Titus Andronicus, which will be available when they hit the road together later this month. Check out the single and all upcoming tour dates below.

MP3: "Everything Burns" - 


Ceremony / Titus Andronicus 
"Everything Burns" b/w "In a Big City" 
(Matador Records)

1. Ceremony - "Everything Burns"
2. Titus Andronicus - "In A Big City"

Oct-19 - Halifax, NS Reflections Cabaret - Halifax Pop Explosion
Oct-20 - Halifax, NS The Pavillion - Halifax Pop Explosion 

Oct-23 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church*
Oct-24 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel*
Oct-25 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter*
Oct-28 - Gainesville, FL - Florida Theater of Gainesville 

Oct-29 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar*
Oct-31 - Atlanta, GA - 529*
Nov-02 - Memphis, TN Hi Tone*
Nov-04 - Austin, TX - Red 7 Nov-06 - Tempe, AZ - Sail Inn*
Nov-08 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey*
Nov-09 - San Diego, CA - Irenic*
Nov-10 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room*
Nov-11 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Atrium*
Nov-12 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall*
Nov-14 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's*
Nov-15 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret*
Nov-17 - Boise, ID - Neurolux*
Nov-19 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*
Nov-20 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot*
Nov-21 - Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground*
Nov-22 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St Entry*
Nov-23 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall*
Nov-24 - Madison, WI - The Frequency*
Nov-25 - Chicago, IL - Metro*
Nov-26 - Detroit, MI - Majestic*
Nov-27 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace*
Nov-28 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore*
Nov-29 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Lounge*
Nov-30 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair*
Dec-01 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's*
Dec-02 - New York, NY - Webster Hall*

* with Titus Andronicus 

Letters From A Tapehead 

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Mailbox Giveth: Bright Little Field

Bright Little Field
Treatment Bound: A Ukulele Tribute To The Replacements 
Bar-None Records
Released: 9.18.12

A band called Bright Little Field put out an album of Replacements covers using the ukulele as the primary instrument of conveyance, Treatment Bound: A Ukulele Tribute To The Replacements.  It's difficult to really grade something like this because, through Bright Little Field's reinterpretation of a selection of Paul Westerberg's much-revered catalogue, what you get is only confirmation of the music's quality, the mere presence of amplification proven inadequate without good songwriting to make it worth something.  An obvious conclusion considering the source material.

Bright Little Field is Jonathan Bright and Tim Littlefield, hence the clever band name, and they do a respectable job with the music.  "We're Comin' Out" and "I Will Dare," two of my favorite songs from Let It Be, are played with necessary gusto and an awareness of sonic limitations.  Overt country flavor manifests with certain treatments, though, the blues-borne Exile On Main St. swagger of "Treatment Bound" for instance feeling less like a rock song.  This of course is just resultant of BLF's reliance on their instrument of choice, its very spare and tuneful sound distilling Westerberg's song structures and revealing much about his influences.

Selections include songs from Hootenanny, Let It Be, Tim, Pleased to Meet Me and Don't Tell A Soul, excluding The Replacements' early hardcore output, which laid to rest my hopes of hearing "Fuck School" as a ukulele tune. 

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, October 01, 2012

What I Heard This Morning: Chris Lawhorn's Fugazi Edits

It's been so long since I've seen the band name "Fugazi" associated with anything new, I was happy to see something interesting emerge during the band's indefinite hiatus. And, in true Fugazi fashion, there's charity involved.

I received an email from No Ripcord editor-in-chief, David Coleman, a couple weeks ago about Chris Lawhorn's Fugazi Edits, a 22-track mash-up comprised of instrumental snippets from every song Fugazi's ever released.  I can't claim to have heard the complete results of Lawhorn's efforts, other than the two 20-second excerpts he posted on his website and the clips below from Soundcloud, but it sounds like he takes some interesting liberties with the source material and experiments with disjointed soundscapes as well as cohesive blends.

The album is available for pre-order.  All info below came from a press release from Lawhorn.

Chris Lawhorn Announces Charity Album Based Around Fugazi Samples

Fort Wayne, IN – September 12, 2012 – Chris Lawhorn will release his fifth album Fugazi Edits on October 30th on Case/Martingale Records. Fugazi Edits features 22 tracks, which were pieced together using excerpts from every song in the band Fugazi's discography.

The album's been in the works for almost two years. It's entirely instrumental and combines 100 Fugazi samples with a variety of effects. Ian Mackaye (from the band and their label Dischord) has authorized the album for release. And, the profit from will be donated to a pair of charities—one that works with senior citizens in Washington, D.C. and another that provides aid globally to folks impacted by disaster and civil unrest.

Lawhorn started the Case/Martingale label in 1996, while playing drums for the (admittedly Fugazi-influenced) band Cataract Falls. A decade of disastrous tours and middling solo albums followed. Along the way, he became the staff DJ at a spring break company—playing for drunk, college students on South Padre Island each March—and recorded the rap album Pole Position.

This gradual switch from rocking to beat-making isn't exceptionally unique. But, it led to an 18 month stint as the resident DJ for Marie Claire magazine. When that wrapped up, Lawhorn began work on Fugazi Editsin an attempt to make something that touched on both the musical influences of his youth and his current love of cutting up tracks and reassembling them.

Interested folks can visit to check out samples from the album, the artwork, and so on.

Letters From A Tapehead

The Inbox Giveth: Great Falls/Pink City split release

Great Falls/Pink City
Split (Tapes of a Neon God #7)
Tapes of a Neon God

It's good to hear something violent and/or sullen from time to time.  The new split release from Great Falls and Pink City offers a healthy amount of rapid beat metalcore, Neurosis style post-metal noise revelry, Big Black informed pigfuckery and some electronically addled Joy Division post-punk with hints of Alan Vega

Pink City is no stranger to Letters From A Tapehead, as I've discussed both the band's 2-song "Loop One/Service" single and their album, Designing Women.

Expect something dark and loud for the very reasonable price of $5. 

Links provided by Tapes of a Neon God.

Great Falls

Pink City

Tapes of a Neon God

You can preorder the cassette here.

Letters From A Tapehead

Guerilla Toss: "Meteorological"

I was elated to find out that Guerilla Toss will be releasing a new LP this September called Twisted Crystal . Last year's GT Ultra sp...