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Showing posts from May, 2010

The Flaming Lips: Speak To Me/Breathe

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Sometimes being a fanboy will drive you pick up albums you'd never otherwise own. I picked up a copy of The Flaming Lips ' long title, The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon because, well, Henry Rollins ' names was in the title. Plus, knowing the disdain that Rollins has for Pink Floyd , I was curious as to why he'd partake in such a venture, let alone how he'd contribute. Well, turns out Rollins was the one to read the album's original interview snippets, plus deliver the lunatic's laughter in "Brain Damage." Makes sense. Otherwise, Wayne Coyne recruited his nephew Dennis Coyne 's band, Stardeath and White Dwarfs to aid in the Lips' mission, and possibly just to create a project they could to together. Very Frank and Moon Unit . The undertaking of recreating a classic album is a pretentious one at that, so it's important to either make your parody kno

No Ripcord: The Dead Weather

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The Dead Weather Sea Of Cowards Third Man Records Released: 5.11.10 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Pontiak: Second Sun/Beach

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Into zoning out for a while? "Second Sun" and "Beach" are two songs from Pontiak 's latest album, Living , and they pull drear, folk and bemusement into a rather engrossing six or so minutes. "Beach" is a more traditional segment of the medley, (an acoustic guitar and a bottomless voice), though I like that the video sticks to a single guitar player for the duration of the song. "Second Sun" feels like it's found in nature, almost like it's too random and pure to be man-made. Perfect grouping for a grey day. Pontiak - Second Sun / Beach from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo . Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

BXI?

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There's an EP coming out called, BXI . It looks like Boris has something to do with it. That's all I got. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Stereokiller: Toxic Lab Rats

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Toxic Lab Rats Intoxicated Spectre Records Released: 4.6.10 Stereokiller review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #30: The Dandy Warhols Compilation The Capitol Years: 1995-2007

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Via Capitol/EMI press release: Hollywood, California - May 26, 2010 – A new CD and digital collection of 14 Dandy Warhols standout singles and album tracks, plus one brand new song, will be released by Capitol/EMI in North America on August 24. To be titled The Capitol Years: 1995-2007 , this is the Dandy Warhols’ first compilation release, spotlighting the influence the Portland, Oregon-based band has had, and continues to have, on modern music. The Capitol Years: 1995-2007 is comprised of material culled from the Dandy Warhols’ four Capitol Records releases, The Dandy Warhols Come Down (1997), Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia (2000), Welcome To The Monkey House (2003), and Odditorium or Warlords of Mars (2005), plus a new song, “This Is The Tide,” which is exclusive to this release, and two tracks from The Dandy Warhols Are Sound (the long-awaited original mixes of The Monkey House , released in 2009), making it an essential addition to the Dandys’ recorded canon. The D

Shopping For Records #29: Neurosis' Enemy of the Sun

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Via Earsplit PR : Neurot Recordings is proud to announce the reissue of one of the most groundbreaking releases in the ever-expanding lineage of icons NEUROSIS , Enemy Of The Sun. With NEUROSIS' earlier releases -- 1987's Pain Of Mind , and even 1990's The Word As Law -- the band's jagged and eerie blend of metallic, hypnotic, post-gutter punk was instantly recognized as wholly unique, yet it took multiple releases for the then Bay-area unit to infinitely define their sound, forcing the world to listen, then run for cover. Their 1992 full-length Souls At Zero showcased the band branching off into much more expanded songwriting, giving birth to much longer hymns, infusing them with tribal rhythms and slow-building post-doom bastardization, then breaking massive new ground for the metal world. But it was their follow-up in 1993, the crushing Enemy Of The Sun LP, that would be the album to take the pulsing, hypnotizing monoliths NEUROSIS was crafting down to mu

What I Heard This Morning: Library Catalog Music Series (Vols. 7 & 8)

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Asthmatic Kitty is continuing their quest to provide you, the less than enriched listener, with a soundtrack for your life. The two new volumes of AK's Library Catalog Music Series feature solo work from Richard Swift , (performing as Instruments of Science and Technology ), and electronica composer/installation artist/sound designer Kristin Miltner . The new versions will be released on 7.20.10. "Old Handshakes" from Volume 7: Instruments of Science & Technology — "Music for Paradise Armor" . "Dreaming Longing" from Volume 8: Kristen Miltner – "Music For Dreaming and Playing" . Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Did I Give You Guys “Skyward Housing?”

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Maus Haus Sea-Sides EP Rocinante Records Released: 4.20.10 Last year, I heard and fell in love with Lark Marvels , the debut album from San Francisco synth rock sextet, Maus Haus . As the band laid into its synthesized persona, a sound that strangely intellectualized its garage weirdness with a dose of science fiction, Lark Marvels seemed a new phase in the Nuggets continuum, one that took its San Franciscan homeland’s tradition and inspiration and brought the sound some digital awareness. With Sea-Sides , the band’s latest EP, Maus Haus doesn’t necessarily expand or evolve their sound, but they maintain their distinct brand of invention. “Winter” strides like a modernized Zombies track, heavy on vocal melodies and arrangements that evoke polite psychedelia. “Zig Zag” is enlivened by prancing keyboard strokes and rolling percussion that sets up the bouncing syncopation of “Skyward Housing,” a song whose title seems to exemplify the sort of imagery their sounds suggest. T

No Ripcord: Untied States

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Untied States Instant Everything, Constant Nothing Distile Records Released: 4.13.10 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Stereokiller: Snew

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Snew We Do What We Want SnewYou.com Released: 3.30.10 Stereokiller review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Boris On Tour

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Via Southern Lord : BORIS To Spend Their Summer Vacation Deafening North Americans Japan’s most potent psychedelic rock quartet BORIS have just locked down their next North American escapade. After many previous tours to the continent, superheavy post-doom-rock unit BORIS will return to North America this summer in a major way, storming the continent on a tour that will last from the end of July through the month of August. Kicking off in California, the opening leg of the tour will see the band accompanied by Russian Circles as main support for the first few weeks, and by Red Sparrowes for the second leg, which also winds down in the Golden State at the end of August. But BORIS will not let a tour die off quietly…. This full tour shall take place in advance of the previously announced appearance by SUNN O))) and BORIS amalgamating to perform as ALTAR — as heard on their 2006 Altar full-length — at the third annual All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in beautiful upstate New Yor

Menomena: FIVE LITTLE ROOMS

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Menomena ’s long awaited, (long awaited by me), new album MINES will be out July 27th on Barsuk Records . The band is offering a download of album single, “FIVE LITTLE ROOMS,” for the price of an email address which the band will later use to fill you in on information regarding record pre-ordering, a double 7” release, t-shirts and other assorted merchandise wonderments that I would gladly hand over my wallet for. It’s really good to hear a new Menomena track, so enjoy. I eagerly await the release date which, coincidentally, is my brother’s birthday. A review of their last album, Friend And Foe , can be found here . Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

ISIS: "Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do..."

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A statement from ISIS : "ISIS has reached an end. It's hard to try to say it in any delicate way, and it is a truth that is best spoken plainly. This end isn't something that occurred over night and it hasn't been brought about by a single cataclysmic fracture in the band. Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close. We've seen too many bands push past the point of a dignified death and we all promised one another early on in the life of the band that we would do our best to ensure ISIS would never fall victim to that syndrome. We've had a much longer run than we ever expected we would and accomplished a great deal more than we ever imagined possible. We never set any specific goals when the band was founded other than to make the m

What I Heard This Morning: The Harvey Girls

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The Harvey Girls are a husband-wife duo ( Melissa Rodenbeek and Hiram Lucke ) from Portland that likes to juxtapose zapping sprigs of keyboard noise with acoustic instruments. “Smile Like Gwynplaine” is the single off their upcoming album, I've Been Watching a Lot of Horror Movies Lately , and builds layers of harmonized vocals with the aforementioned keyboard noise, marching drums and folk guitar. Apparently, they create most their constructs with a Boss RC-20 pedal that allows them to sample and loop, thusly the duo can sound like a full band. Give the song a listen. I’ve Been Watching a Lot of Horror Movies lately will be released June 29th by Circle Into Square . ”Smile Like Gwynplaine” Links courtesy of Terrorbird Media Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #28: R.E.M.’s Fables Of The Reconstruction

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Via Capitol/EMI press release : Hollywood, California – May 18, 2010 - R.E.M. has teamed with Capitol/I.R.S. for the July 13 release of an expanded 25th Anniversary 2CD and digital edition of the band’s 1985 album, Fables Of The Reconstruction . The new edition features the digitally remastered original album, plus 14 previously unreleased demo recordings, cut prior to the album’s studio sessions, including one long-sought track that has never been released. The commemorative release also adds insightful new liner notes by R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck , with the 2CD package presented in a lift-top box with a poster and four postcards. On the same date, the remastered original album will be released on 180-gram vinyl. Fables Of The Reconstruction , recorded during the winter of 1985 in London, England, distant in geography, weather and culture from R.E.M.’s Athens, Georgia home, represented a musical step forward for the band and its members, vocalist Michael Stipe , guitarist Peter

Minus The Bear: My Time

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Choreographed B-girls in leotards amidst a color shifting spectrum of backgrounds and outfits. There’s a song, too. MTVu , which is supposed to be MTV’s attempt at staying to the left of the dial, just premiered Minus The Bear ’s new video for their single, “My Time.” Their latest album, OMNI , is out now on Dangerbird Records and ready for consumption. | Video Tour dates via Press Release: May 18 Albuquerque, MN - Sunshine Theatre 19 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues 20 Los Angeles, CA - Mayan Theatre 21 Pomona, CA - Glass House 22 San Diego, CA - SOMA 23 Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theater 26 San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom 27 Reno, NV - Knitting Factory 28 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre 29 George, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Mad Season: Wake Up

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“Slow suicide’s no way to go...” (...but it was, unfortunately.) I guess grunge/alternative music was at its peek in ‘94, ready to dissipate in the second hand smoke of Kurt Cobain ’s shotgun. As if to convey the significance of the chemical imbalances within the scene that were becoming media fodder thanks to Cobain’s drug habit, Mad Season , a supergroup of sorts comprised of Alice In Chains ’s Lane Staley , Pearl Jam ’s Mike McCready , Barrett Martin from Screaming Trees and bassist John Baker Saunders , was like an extracurricular activity designed to keep its members busy and off drugs. It’s just a shame it didn’t work: half its members are unfortunately deceased, Staley and Saunders having both overdosed on heroin. Above was the only album to come out of the group and I remember it being on rotation quite a bit when I was in high school. “Wake Up” was especially one of those songs worthy of meditation, the song’s thick bassline and somewhat minimalist rock approach c

Ronnie James Dio (1942 - 2010)

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Message from Wendy Dio Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever. - Wendy Dio So Ronnie James Dio has passed on at the age of 67. He was to undergo treatment for stomach cancer. His is a significant loss to his fans, fans of Rainbow and, of course, fans of Black Sabbath . http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio R.I.P. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Mondo Cane — A "Classical" Album

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Via Speakeasy PR : May 13, SAN FRANCISCO – Mike Patton ’s Mondo Cane is turning out to be an album of many firsts for the revered front man of influential bands such as Faith No More , Mr. Bungle , Peeping Tom and Fantômas . Not only is the album Patton’s first Italian language release as well as his first outing with a full orchestra, the album also finds him landing on Billboard’s Classical Album chart for the first time. Mondo Cane , which was released by Ipecac Recordings on May 4, entered the Billboard Classical Album chart at # 2, an unexpected twist on a chart that regularly features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Il Divo . The eleven-song album was years in the making with Patton selecting pieces from the great Italian composers and pouring over every detail for this labor of love. As Patton described the process himself, his motivation was to showcase the music’s persistent relevance through “modern and adventurous interpretation.” Spin described the release as “a

The Mailbox Giveth: Aluk Todolo

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Aluk Todolo Finsternis LP Public Guilt Released: 5.18.10 (CD is available from Utech Records ) Finsternis was this morning’s soundtrack for my commute to work and it was somewhat of an assuring listen. With the perpetual clockwork of drone trio Aluk Todolo ’s new album there was consolation attached that, when I wasn’t moving for minutes at a time, their music was always in a state of continual march. As two-sides of an LP, chapters of an ongoing story that continue till there’s no tread left for the needle to scratch, Finsternis is what you think of when you imagine walking on the shoulder of some gritty, expansive highway after your car breaks down, hoping that just beyond the bend, there’s a pit stop, a gas station, a police station... Something that will get you off your feet and on your way. Granted, that doesn’t sound too hopeful, or even pleasant, but those ever long inconveniences we face where time seems to slow to some obscene crawl, and the world never feels more rou

Dum Dum Girls: Pay For Me

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For Home Record Store Day , the Dum Dum Girls put out a split 7” with Sub Pop labelmates, Male Bonding , that featured the exclusive track, “Pay For Me.” For those that missed the release, like myself, Sub Pop is making the song available along with I Will Be ’s “Bhang Bhang, I’m A Burnout.” The download will be available for two weeks, so... Enjoy. A review for I Will Be can be found at No Ripcord penned, or keyed, by yours truly. Upcoming tour dates from SubPop.com : Wednesday, May 12, 2010 – Le Botanique, Brussels 1210 Thursday, May 13, 2010 – Luminaire, London United Kingdom Friday, May 14, 2010 – Sound Control (UK), Manchester United Kingdom Saturday, May 15, 2010 – Brudenell Social, Leeds United Kingdom Sunday, May 16, 2010 – Lancaster Library (UK), Market Square United Kingdom Monday, May 17, 2010 – Stereo, Glasgow United Kingdom Tuesday, May 18, 2010 – Whelans, Dublin Ireland Thursday, May 20, 2010 – Point Ephémère, Paris France Frida

No Ripcord: Mike Patton

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Mike Patton Mondo Cane Ipecac Recordings Released: 5.4.10 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Stereokiller: Mi Ami

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Mi Ami Steal Your Face Thrill Jockey Released: 4.20.10 Stereokiller review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing you Moms a good day with your loved ones. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Unnatural Helpers: She Was Your Girlfriend

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You should rock out and watch some people argue, cry and flip each other off. Unnatural Helpers ’ “She Was Your Girlfriend” is another single from their new album, Cracked Love & Other Drugs . Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Microphonies

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Sam Farfsing is Microphonies , a self-propelled electro-havoc project, sort of similar to the rap-ish laptop stylings of The Show Is The Rainbow . Microphonies is weird, wild, eccentric, the sort of mentality or creative vision that can sometimes only exist when self-sufficient. Jazz From Hell , McCartney ... Self-sufficient. Time Kills , (or Tttiiimmmeeekkkiiilllsss ), is coming out June 21st from Track Number Records . ”NNNMMM” ”Cut Your Fins and Learn to Swim” Links provided by Terrorbird Media. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Wolf Parade

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EXPO 86 is the title of Wolf Parade 's upcoming third album which is being released by Sub Pop on June 29th. "What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)" and "Ghost Pressure" are the album's first singles. Decent rock tracks, synth driven with disco beats. Wolf Parade - What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had to Go This Way) by subpop Wolf Parade - Ghost Pressure by subpop From the press release: Wolf Parade 2010 tour Dates — May 06 Europe Mania Festival (HU), Budapest, Hungary May 07 Donaufestival, Krems an der Donau, Austria May 08 Pop Up Festival (DE), Leipzig, Germany May 09 Matrix (CZ), Prague, Czech Republic May 11 Rockhouse, Salzburg, Austria May 12 Lokomotiv, Bologna, Italy May 13 Spazio 211, Torino, Italy May 16 Le Botanique, Brussels, 1210 May 17 Concorde 2, Brighton, United Kingdom May 18 Borderline, London, United Kingdom May 19 Oran Mor, Glasgow, United Kingdom May 20 Vicar Street, Dublin, Ireland May 21 Cl

Shopping For Records #27: Goatsnake's Flower Of Disease

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It's possible that I've been riding Southern Lord 's jock a little too fanatically, but 2010's been a good year for the label. Goatsnake 's Flower Of Disease , for instance, has finally been reissued after being out of circulation for 8 or 9 years and it sounds great. From Earsplit PR: Southern Lord Recordings is proud to re-unleash the long out-of-print GOATSNAKE album Flower Of Disease ! The third official release from the almighty GOATSNAKE, this slick, thunderous eight-song slab of doom was initially released in 2000 on the now defunct Man's Ruin label, with Southern Lord handling the vinyl release. After lying dormant without an official pressing of the album in over eight years, the 'Lord now officially brings the album back to the masses on both CD and LP formats. Recorded at Hollywood's Grand Master Studios, and engineered by Nick Raskulinecz ( Danzig, Foo Fighters, Probot, Alice In Chains ), Flower Of Disease showcased GOATSNAKE el