Saturday, September 30, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

No Ripcord: Protomartyr

Relatives in Descent
Domino Recording Company
Released: 9.29.17

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, September 25, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Online Sounds: Jarboe & Father Murphy

The spoken tale of "The Ferryman," precedes the funerary tone of "Truth or Consequences," this 2-song 10" by Jarboe and Father Murphy a quick, intensely dark, and moving listen. Jarboe's sung melancholia lightly and beautifully suspends over the organ that introduces "Truth or Consequences," creating a grander, more tender transition into the repetitious prayer that carries the song to its end.

Releasing today via Consouling Sounds, you can listen to the album below before you purchase it. You can order it here.

All info, links, and tour dates are provided by Rarely Unable.


American artist and performer Jarboe and Italian occult duo Father Murphy release their collaborative EP today through Consouling Sounds, and commence their tour with a record release show in Belgium.


About the EP, Mike from Consouling Sounds remarks...
"It goes without saying that we are honored to be able to release this collaborative effort by two amazing and enigmatic acts. When I first heard the music, I was blown away. These tracks are nothing short of incredible, and feel very natural. It’s like Jarboe and Father Murphy were destined to work together. Calling it a perfect match wouldn’t even do it justice. This sounds like an eerily accomplished unity."

Jarboe and Father Murphy's connection runs deep. Jarboe continues to have a profound influence on Father Murphy's musical path, and there is a strong, mutual understanding of what they define as a "sense of guilt", rooted in their Catholic upbringing, which informs their music, both together and independently. Approaching the EP, both Jarboe and Father Murphy each wrote a song, which they exchanged for the other to finalise, the result being a rich reflection of the spirit of both artists, and their meaningful bond. The Jarboe & Father Murphy EP was mastered by an infamous engineer, Davide Cristiani at Bombanella soundscapes studio in Italy, using a technique he calls "anti-mastering" whereby he irradiates the analogue master with deep, pure 432hz sounds in a process that somehow gives the master the same benefits than a defragmentation does to a hard disk. It works the sounds together in harmony, the result being much brighter and more real, which is very befitting to the release.

Father Murphy shall open with the rituality of their alluring live performance, followed by a haunting set that combines Jarboe's unique voice and Father Murphy's charmed sounds, together they shall draw upon Jarboe's old and new songs, including the two brand new pieces from the EP. Full dates below...


22 BE, Eeklo - N9
23 DE, Krefeld - Südbahnhof
24 DE, Berlin - Quasimodo
26 CZ, Brno - Kabinet Muz
27 CZ, Soulkostel - Soulkostel
28 PL, Poznan, LAS
29 PL, Torun - Klub NRD
30 PL, Gdansk - Smoke Over Dock II Festival at B90

1 PL, Warsaw - Distorted festival at Klub Hydrozagadka
2 PL, Lodz - Dom
4 LT, Riga - Gertrude Street Theater
5 RU, Moscow - 16 Tons
7 RU, St Petersburg - Place
10 SWE, Stockholm - Kraken
11 SWE, Karlstad - Tinvallakyrkan
12 NO, MOSS - House of Foundation
13 SWE, Gothenburg - Culture Night Festival at Goteborg Public Library
14 DK, Aarhus - Tape
16 CH, Basel - Unternehmen Mitte (Safe)
17 CH, Geneve - Cave 12
18 IT, Pistoia - Bruma Vol.III
19 CH, Busto Arsizio - Circolo Gagarin
20 FR, Lyon - Sonic
21 FR, Paris - Instants Chavirés
23 UK, London - St. Pancras Old church
24 UK, Leicester - The Musician
25 UK, Glasgow - Cottiers Church
26 UK, Preston - The Continental
28 BE, Bruxelles - Magasin 4
29 NL, Utrecht - Tivolivredenburg

2 PT, Lisbon - ZDB
3 PT, Porto - Understage



Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Monday, September 04, 2017

Walter Becker of Steely Dan (1950-2017)

Walter Becker and Donald Fagan were two-halves of the inimitable jazzy soul rock band, Steely Dan.  It was announced the morning of Sunday, September 3rd, that Becker had passed away.  While vague details regarding a "procedure" had been addressed by Fagan as explanation to why Steely Dan had performed without Becker for a couple of dates earlier this year, cause of death is as yet, (or as the time of this writing), unknown.  Becker was 67 years of age.

I have no conscious memory of the first time I'd heard Steely Dan, but their music seemed omnipresent growing up in the early- to mid-80s.  They were always on: whether being funneled into our living from my father's stereo, aired over the PA at our local ACME supermarket, or just on the radio.  And I didn't think much of them.  Steely Dan was unfortunately of a musical category that often deserved vehement derision: clean, precise, smooth rock grooves that were too pleasant to offer a generation's progeny any reason to flip off their parents.  And parents?  Well, parents loved them.  At least, mine did.  My mother's station of choice in those days was Magic 103, (now formatted as a classic rock station, 102.9 WMGK), which was where Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, and others of the soft-to-the-point-of-sterile rock ilk were on rotation.  Steely Dan fit the mold accordingly and were a daily presence.  So, just about every morning as I was eating breakfast or being driven to school, I heard "Deacon Blues," "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," "Hey Nineteen," or "Peg."

Your ears tend to wake up at some point, though, as avid listeners develop an appreciation for things like subtlety or understated showmanship, creative distinction, and harmony.  It wasn't until many years later that I picked up Steely Dan's 1977 milestone release, Aja, and was engaged by the band's approach to rhythm and arrangement, distilling so much with every listen and sort of impressed by how the band's seemingly outward rep as geezer rock allowed them to get away with singing about drugs and alcohol.  The first couple lines of "Black Cow" ascribe drug use to its addressee, the simple acknowledgement of being "high" in a song criteria enough to attempt censoring The Doors and The Beatles from airplay not too many years before.  And yet, these topics were abound in their songs, put to music so brilliantly "inoffensive" that you would be unaware you were hearing the exploits of junkies and derelicts while selecting off-brand cereal.

(Plus, the band took its name from William Burrough's Naked Lunch, the complete nomenclature "Steely Dan III From Yokohama" used to describe a strap-on dildo.  So, there's that.)

But, I was also enamored by the music.  The title track to Aja was a song I returned to quite often and it wound up on more than a few mix tapes when I was attempting to explain through force of listen alone why Steely Dan ruled.  Aside from those ridiculous sax rips (courtesy of Wayne Shorter) and the midway and outro drum fills, the song itself was built from a remarkably seamless series of time signatures.  And, as someone who'd only really attributed structural changes to this level with the blatancy of a Frank Zappa or a Mr. Bungle at the time, it made an impression on me.

And leave it to hip-hop to figure out how great this band was: De La Soul, 3rd Bass, Ice Cube, Kanye West, MF DOOM... DJs, producers, and crate diggers can always be counted on to find a groove and many artists have pulled from Steely Dan's catalogue. So, it was of no shock to find eulogizing from the likes of Talib Kweli and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, both of whom addressed Becker's importance as an artist and his influence on them.

A post shared by Talib Kweli (@talibkweli) on

To quote Thompson, "They got a name for the winners in the world: his name is Becker."  There's really no better way to put this.

R.I.P., Walter Becker.

Letters From A Tapehead

New Selections — DEAFKIDS, Marisa Anderson, Circuit des Yeux, Moaning, Here Lies Man

Some new and not-so-new selections for June.  DEAFKIDS: " Espiral da Loucura " (via Rarely Unable /  Bandcamp ) Via Ra...