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Showing posts from April, 2010

Soundgarden: Beyond The Wheel

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It didn’t occur to me how much I truly missed Soundgarden. In light of Chris Cornell ’s sinful post-Soundgarden endeavors, ( Audioslave , his Timbaland collaboration), this live clip shows him with the band and he sounds GREAT! He hasn’t sounded, to me, this good in a lot of years. I’m not necessarily convinced that Soundgarden’s reunion will be bare the sweetest fruit, but I feel compelled to welcome them back. Recorded at the Showbox in Seattle, WA, April 16th, 2010 Johnny Cash knew “awesome” when he heard it. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

GZA/Genius: 4th Chamber

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Wu-Tang Clan is into sequels now that Raekwon regained some of his '94/'95 flavor by adding a part II to his masterwork, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... . As confirmed by The RZA 's most recent Twitter update, as I refuse to say "TWEET," a sequel to GZA/Genius ' amazing Liquid Swords album is in the works. "IT'S TRUE: 'LIQUID SWORDS 2' PRODUCED BY THE ABBOT RZA COMING FALL 2010. WHO'S READY FOR THE WU? BONG BONG" Hearing this, I wound up throwing on Liquid Swords and thought back to a time when Wu were unstoppable, hip-hop still had a point and Method Man didn't make me cringe. Whatever the outcome of GZA's new album, it's doubtful they'll come up with anything as close to the perfection that is "4th Chamber." Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: CocoRosie

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CocoRosie , a duo of sisters otherwise known as Bianca and Sierra , have an album coming out entitled, Grey Oceans . It’ll be out on May 11th via Sub Pop. The album’s first single, “Lemonade,” marries Billie Holiday ’s classic angst with Björk ’s overt eccentricity. At least that’s the first thing I thought when I heard the track. The piano balladry is beautiful even if the vocals get distracting. In addition to the track, some teaser trailers were posted for Grey Oceans , featuring the sisters as cotton-clad gypsies with a fetish for Conquistador-inspired facial hair. Somewhat pretentious on the level of college film student, but there’s music to be absorbed. ”Lemonade” From the press release: Jun 08 — Black Cat, Washington, DC Jun 09 — Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA Jun 11 — Terminal Five, New York, NY Jun 12 — Royale (MA), Boston, MA Jun 16 — Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH Jun 17 — Crofoot Ballroom, Pontiac, MI Jun 18 — Metro, Chicago, IL Jun 19 — Barrymore T

Dinowalrus: Electric Car, Gas Guitar

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A new video is out for Dinowalrus ’ Ramones fuzz-meets-psychedelia track, “Electric Car, Gas Guitar.” This is the latest single from their album, % , which I reviewed for No Ripcord earlier this year. Dinowalrus "Electric Car, Gas Guitar" from kay kanine on Vimeo . Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Unnatural Helpers

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Seattle’s Unnatural Helpers are releasing their new album, Cracked Love & Other Drugs is being released tomorrow by Hardly Art . “Girl In The Window” is a loud and entertaining little ditty with enough dirt in its strings and tin on its snare to inspire a trip to the beach. If nothing else, “Girl In The Window” will make you wish you were far, far away from your cubicle-striped lockdown pajamas. ”Girl In The Window” From the press release: 4.27.10 – Seattle, WA / the internet – KEXP in-studio, noon 4.27.10 - Seattle, WA - Easy Street QA, free in-store 7pm 5.07.10 - Seattle, WA - Funhouse (record release party) 5.13.10 - Portland, OR - East End 5.14.10 - Oakland, CA - House Party 5.15.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Casual Encounters 5.16.10 - San Diego, CA - Bar Pink 5.17.10 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

“Byrne in Hell, Verlaine:” The Shape Of Things

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Man/Miracle The Shape Of Things Third Culture Records Released: 2.23.09 David Byrne ’s name comes up a lot when describing Man/Miracle and you can understand why. The Oakland quartet almost seems the graduated equivalent of first wave CBGB, one that combines older, wiser, latter-day permutations with their initial and youthful regard for sound and song. Think Naked era Talking Heads with generous nods to Marquee Moon and Blank Generation and that should amply provide a summary of Man/Miracle’s new album, The Shape Of Things . Singer Dylan Travis ’s throat does possess that distinguished blast that Byrne’s known for, but as it’s always considerate to be fair, that’s not such a distraction from the music as one would think. 90s variations on the Byrne/World theme seemed to embrace most of what came to be wrong with post-grunge rock music as Dave Matthews Band , Rusted Root and Phish became cornerstones of reconsidered world-conscious jam music. As if The Dead weren’t bad

What I Heard This Morning: BLK JKS

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The title track from BLK JKS ’ upcoming EP has posted, and I’m a little disappointed. I guess for getting the party started or rallying the football (ahem, soccer) fans to get all hooligan-like, maybe it’s appropriate. Typically, there’s a lush and rather amazing instrumentation that goes along with BLK JKS that is remarkably absent with this track, but it’s an event song. Hopefully, the rest of the EP won’t follow suit. ”ZOL!” Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Tempo No Tempo: Pole Position

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French Press Films have just released a new video for Tempo No Tempo ’s “Pole Position.” A mix of dubby post-punk and post-hardcore funk, “Pole Position” was great to hear first thing in the morning. Short, catchy and sweet. Tempo No Tempo - "Pole Position" from French Press Films on Vimeo . Their album, Waking Heat , was released last year. They’ll be in the West Coast touring with Dinowalrus . 4.27.10 — Hemlock Tavern w/ Dinowalrus and Ingot Rot (members of Tussle ) 4.28.10 — Biko House w/ Dinowalrus 4.29.10 — The Smell w/ Dinowalrus, Signals , Foot Village , Ezra Buchla ( Gowns ) and DJ Set by Railcars 4.30.10 — Che Café w/ Dinowalrus, Da Bears , Endless Bummer 5.1.10 — FMLY Ride w/ Dinowalrus, Slang Chickens 5.2.10 — Crepe Place w/ Dinowalrus, Green Flash 5.3.10 — 21 Grand w/ Dinowalrus, NYMPH , The Splinters Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Stereokiller: Twilight

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Twilight Monument To Time End Southern Lord Released: 3.2.10 Stereokiller review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Guru (1966-2010)

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Guru has passed away. As far as hip-hop's concerned, the good guys are definitely losing. R.I.P. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Damien Jurado

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I admit to knowing little to nothing about Damien Jurado , an indie presence that’s been kicking out records since 1995. In this instance, the press release will say it best: In order to create a live reproduction of the grandiose recordings of his upcoming record, Saint Bartlett , Damien Jurado enlisted eight musicians from Seattle band Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground to join him on tour as The Saint Bartlett Band . The resulting concerts will be unlike anything Damien Jurado fans have seen before - the songs done justice with an orchestra adding violin, cello, tuba, french horn and keys. Saint Bartlett is being released by Secretly Canadian on May 25th. One trend of Internet promotion is the growing utilization of album trailers. Musician and Saint Bartlett producer, Richard Swift , came up with a couple for Jurado’s new album. Saint Bartlett from Secretly Jag on Vimeo . Saint Bartlett Trailer #2 from Secretly Jag on Vimeo . You can also check out the folk

No Ripcord: Gil Scott-Heron

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Gil Scott-Heron I'm New Here XL Recordings Released: 2.9.10 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

An Evening with Mi Ami at the Danger Danger Gallery

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My Mind Hot Guts Mi Ami U.S. Girls Danger Danger Gallery Philadelphia, PA 4.14.10 As I’m no longer in my twenties, it takes a degree of introspection to realize what it is I notice most about the shows I attend. One thing is that I love loud music, but not when it’s played too loud. When I got to the Danger Danger Gallery in West Philadelphia, some of the first sounds I heard were the sizzle and sting of speaker feedback, grating enough to trigger involuntary facial scowls and squints. It’s a DIY venue and there will be technical drawbacks in such an environment. One needs to expect these things, but that doesn’t make it any easier to sit through. Still, having recently interviewed singer/guitarist Daniel Martin-McCormick of San Francisco’s Mi Ami , I was happy to score an opportunity to meet the band, see them throw down to a live crowd and check out a couple Philadelphia acts in the process. The Danger Danger Gallery is a makeshift living space turned venue. You enter

Sun Ra: That’s How I Feel

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There is an odd comfort that I get from jazz music in that it’s something I can’t think about analytically. I know that I wax philosophy-like about the grand and explosive nature of free form Coltrane or discuss like some pretentious chosen guy that “gets it” the merits of fusion era Miles . I think I may have said a word or two about Ayler or Ornette , but being that I’m not a musician, I can’t contrast “modal” jazz with chord progressions, or pick out flat notes, or any of that shit. Jazz is an expressive music that I can like or dislike based purely on how it makes me feel. It’s not like rock, punk, pop, hip-hop or whatever else I typically discuss in that it’s not so easy to draw its influences or come up with communicative or illustrative sentences describing what I hear. There is admittedly some relief in being able to just listen to the music without having to consider anything about it. Having said that, I know that discussing a jazz record seems hypocritical, but hear

Ufomammut: Eve Trailer...

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In anticipation of Ufomammut 's newest opus, Eve , a trailer for the album has been posted for your viewing/listening enjoyment. And, of course, a review of the album can be found at Stereokiller.com. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Golden Triangle: Cold Bones

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Golden Triangle are sharing seven inches of vinyl with The Fresh & Onlys , released 4/13 and limited to 1,000 copies, 300 of which will be green. Anyone interested can check out "Cold Bones," one of their two contributions on the release. "Cold Bones" Side A : "Cold Bones" - Golden Triangle "Jungle Jim" - Golden Triangle Side B : "Head of Steam" - The Fresh & Onlys "I'm Not Myself Today" - The Fresh & Onlys I will promote the shit out of this band because I really liked their LP, Double Jointer . Hopefully, you did, too. I hate to think I steered anyone the wrong way, though I'm sure I have. MP3 is courtesy of Hardly Art . Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

The Dead Weather: Die By The Drop

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Now that Jack White has broken out from his red and white pepperminty persona a little more, it’s interesting to see how dark and earthy he’s become. With “Die By The Drop,” new single from his OTHER side-project The Dead Weather , White combines his trademark "White" boy alterna-blues rock with Bat For Lashes occult-ish haunt, which is only helped by The Kills singer, Alison Mosshart . The song’s good, and I’m enticed enough to check out their upcoming second album, Sea Of Cowards . From the press release: April 15 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore 16 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore 17 Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 18 Las Vegas, NV - The Pearl Concert Theater 20 Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater 22 Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom 23 Bonner Springs, KS - Sandstone 24 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant 26 Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues 27 Birmingham, AL - WorkPlay Soundstage 28 Memphis, TN - Minglewood Hall 30 Austin, TX - Stubb&

Malcolm McLaren (1946-2010)

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Punk peddler, Malcolm McLaren , has died of cancer at the age of 64. Yes, the man was an exploitative showman, and yes McLaren inadvertently led Sid Vicious on his downward spiral. Yes, his want of marketable image withdrew credibility from The Sex Pistols and, ultimately, led to their ruin, as well. But, where would John Lydon be were it not for Malcolm McLaren? Inasmuch as we want to dislike this figure for being so superficial, it would be a task to imagine how the late 70s and early 80s would’ve sounded without him. R.I.P. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Interview with Mi Ami

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Phone interview with Daniel Martin-McCormick of Mi Ami Lansdale, PA 3.29.10 Photo courtesy of Thrill Jockey Records Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: People Of The North

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The apparent experimental side project of Oneida ’s Kid Millions and Bobby Matador , People Of The North will be releasing their new album, Deep Tissue at the end of April. “Tunnels” almost comes off like 70s jazz fusion, sort of Joe Zawinul inspired keystrokes despite being modernly electric. I wouldn’t put on the same level as Weather Report or Chick Corea , but I will say that that’s the first thing I thought of when I listened to it. "Tunnels" Links provided by Jagjaguwar Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Stereokiller: Black Breath

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Black Breath Heavy Breathing Southern Lord Released: 3.30.10 Stereokiller review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

BLK JKS: ZOL!

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I'm aware that I'm relying heavily on press release information anymore, but in the case of the BLK JKS ' newest EP, ZOL! , there are no songs available yet to discuss. Having been somewhat enamored with last year's Mystery EP and After Robots LP, this is news that I consider worth sharing. From Secretly Canadian : As the entire planet catches futbol fever and turns to South Africa for the World Cup, we'll let you in on a secret! The moment’s unofficial anthem — the song young dudes in Soweto sing on the way to local matches — is not something imported or manufactured for touristic consumption. It has lived there, waiting for the world to turn its ears to South Africa, just now. Secretly Canadian is stoked to present you with ZOL! , the new BLK JKS EP just in time for The World Cup. After a worldwide blowup in 2009 BLK JKS is back home in Johannesburg, gigging steadily and gearing up for the performance at the opening celebration for the world's bigge

No Ripcord: Dum Dum Girls

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Dum Dum Girls I Will Be Sub Pop Released: 3.30.10 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead