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Friday, September 30

The New Video Of "Apply Some Pressure" By Maximo Park.

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It's A Better One Than The First Video, Coolest & Full Of Energy & Suit To This Amazing Song!!!

To Watch The Video Click On Pic Above.

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Monday, September 26

This Is: Rebecca Stark A.K.A Lavender Diamond.

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Introducing Video

Lavender Diamond is lead by singer/songwriter Rebecca Stark. A sweet, young woman from the mid-West, Rebecca teamed up with college friend Elvis Perkins to form the group. Elvis plays the guitar with warmth and clarity, while Rebecca, a trained opera singer, sings in a truly angelic voice. Lavender Diamond's music is so dreamy that you might mistake it for a fairytale. The peaceful tone in Rebecca's voice can be enjoyed morning or night. Either way, Lavender Diamond is too special to miss. ~ Hen House Studios

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Album Cover

Each time we hear that AQ pal Jeff Rosenberg has a new music project we secretly fantasize that it'll continue to push the 'out-there' dissonant envelope as many of his past ones have (the ever-expansive Tarentel, spazz-rock duo Pink & Brown, hypnotic art-folk trio Young People, and earthy instrumental duo Lumen to name a few), and shine the spotlight more on his considerable guitar talents. But even though each of his subsequent groups have definitely kept us on our toes, each one taking a new unpredictable Rosenberg direction, quite often the unassuming gent opts to humbly play the solid, no-frills support role. Such is the case with Lavender Diamond, a timorous folk pop combo who present themselves in Lawrence Welk-worthy attire, black suits and taffeta gowns, and in which Becky Stark's gentle'n'mild vocals take centerstage while Rosenberg, Steve Gregoropoulos and well known visual artist Ron Rege Jr back her up on guitar, piano and drums respectively. Maybe this is what all those jaded hipsters need these days... some wide-eyed, earnest songs of unabashed innocence. Sure seems so, 'cause folks have been gobbling this up like crazy already. You can even easily imagine the quartet doing a great cover of Coven's "One Tin Soldier" or perhaps something by The Carpenters! As for Jeff's guitar magic, alas, we'll just have to continue crossing our fingers that he'll unfurl it again someday. But for now we can happily soak in the sunny subdued country folk of The Cavalry Of Light. ~ Reveiw By Aquarius Records.


"Emptiness is a Conductor"


"Rise In The Springtime"

"You Broke My Heart"


The Southeast Asian Psychedelic Pop Of - Dengue Fever.

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At last! Dengue Fever have deemed it time to grace us with the follow-up to their highly lauded and loved 2003 self-titled full length American (played) / Cambodian (sung) treasure. If you enjoy Southeast Asian pop and you've somehow missed this group live or on record, please don't let another day go by without treating yourself royally to the sounds of Dengue Fever! This (along with the Bay Area's own Neung Phak alias Mono Pause who offer a broader spectrum of Southeast Asia's pop music) is probably as close as you can get to the 'real' thing without flying to the other side of the globe. If you want a little rundown on the group's story, please see our glowing review of their first album which was written by our then-co-worker Byram who seriously knows his stuff.
Happy to hear and report that the group have picked right up from where they left off in delightful ear-tingling fashion. Here, they've once again created a faithful and respectful recreation of the genre, but this time they've allowed more of their individual influences into the mix -- fleshing things out more, beefing up the rock elements a bit more (heftier saxophones and guitars), but they wisely leave plenty of the spotlight to Chhom Nimol's jaw-dropping vocals. If you need more convincing (yeah, like we really need to twist your arm on this one!), check out a couple of the album's highlights "One Thousand Tears Of A Tarantula" and "Sleepwalking Through The Mekong"! Intoxicating, irresistible and immensely recommended.
A side note: Has anyone else noticed that the cover art bears a remarkable resemblance to those of the Sublime Frequencies Southeast Asian compilation series? Makes sense!

Review By Aquarius Records.

Home Page - Check Out The Cool Videos

I had a huge writer's block in the mid-90s. I'd written for The Rocket, and many other zines and tabloids off and on for years, but after a couple of years of working with the homeless, I found I didn't have much to say — there were better stories than mine, everywhere else. I was the swing shift security guy in a low income housing tenement on Pike and Minor at the time, and one of the volunteers I worked with was a young Cambodian woman named Davi. We had gone to Olympia together to campaign on behalf of housing for the homeless, and in the van on the way back she told me a little about the horrors she had experienced under the Pol Pot regime — she had lost most of her family. I kept thinking about this one beautiful little life, going through such adversity to get through hell. When we returned to the facility, we began writing up the protest event together for the building's newsletter — and I became unblocked. We wrote and edited the events of the day as we sat there together at a desk in the Jesuit Volunteer's office, and I found I could write again.

Well, that trickle of creativity that enabled me to write again was nothing compared to the awesome flood of joy and pain and energy flowing through this awesome multi-cultural mash-up of a record. Global label M80 has released the second album of Dengue Fever, what they call a "Cambodian psychedelic pop band," due out on September 13th. It combines all of the dirty funk, raw soul, cheesy pop, and solid R&B groove records you adore in your collection into one super-impressive whole.

Vocalist Ch'hom Nimol (who has performed for royalty in Cambodia), Zac and Ethan Holtzman (on guitar and Farfisa, respectively), Beck's sax player David Ralicke, Radar Brothers' bassist Senon Williams and drummer Paul Smith create a musical novel on the level of "The Clear Light Of Day" or "The Stars at Noon" — even if I can't understand most of the lyrics on the album. Lie those weathered Eastern European art-punk bands many other rock critics declare to be brilliant, for me it reminds me of an entire culture that was almost eliminated, but its origins are even more intense — of the existentially dispossessed finding its rhythm back into the center of the world.

If you buy this and can resist the pull of sound-film songs like "Tip My Canoe," with its layered keyboards and urgent female vocals, or the psycho-dramatic "Tap Water," which sounds like the resplendent pinnacle of a psychotronic musical, I'll wonder if your heart has been drained by so much soul-less American indie rock of the past ten years. There are dark edges to the album, a sense of danger beneath the thrushes of organ — and the strange, claustrophobically violent imagery of the male-rapped "Made of Steam," for example. but as the record closes with "Hummingbird," a gracious Velvets-style ballad, it feels as if you have been transported back to a place of peace — tracers still intact, but ready for den-mat bliss-sleep.

Review By three imaginary girls Site.

Listen To Samples

Saturday, September 24

You Say Party! We Say Die!

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You Say Listen! We Say Fine!

Thursday, September 22

"12 Years Old In Y'r Mama Cloths"

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A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Devendra Banhart always used art as his means of communicating. Whether through poetry, painting or music, the artist's talent is only surpassed by his eclectic nature. After meeting Bill Berkson, who became a trusted friend and inspiration to Banhart, the young talent would often record songs on shoddy and sometimes broken four-track cassette recorders. The tracks, which sometimes clocked under one minute, were not meant for the outside world and were more stream-of-conscious. But after hearing these tracks, friends began persuading him to make his songs open to a larger audience. After sending out demo cassettes, which were enclosed with a marble and shipped in stationary from the French Treasury Department, Banhart was discovered by Young God Records founder Michael Gira. After thinking of producing Banhart in the proper studio environment, Gira decided to let the songs speak for themselves unaltered. In October 2002, Banhart released his debut album, Oh My Oh My on Young God Records. An EP (Black Babies) arrived in 2003, followed by the acclaimed full-length Rejoicing in the Hands. The latter made many a critic's top ten list, resulting in the quick release of its companion piece Nino Rojo. Cripple Crow followed in September of 2005. His vocals have been compared to Nick Drake, Daniel Johnston and even Tiny Tim. He has performed with Smog and has appeared at numerous lauded venues such as New York's CBGBs. He is also the author of The Thumbs Touch Too Much.

Biography By AMG

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Interview With This Gentleman ~ At Splendid Magazine

X L Records ~ Includes The New Album Sampler

The First House ~ At Young God Records

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Devendra Banhart ~ "Cripple Crow" ~ 2005

As "freak-folk" began to hit a stride last summer, Devendra Banhart's Golden Apples of the Sun compilation suggested a cogent introduction to the genre. A year later, Cripple Crow provides, in a sense, the loose-knit scene's strongest group effort to date. Banhart's fourth album isn't a compilation, nor is it billed as a group project, but he's assembled such a rich cast of cohorts here, it feels more like the fruit of community interaction than the product of a lone singer/songwriter. The communal vibe is hinted at by the album's artwork: Rather than adorning the cover with his usual calligraphic scribbles, Banhart offers a composite photo of "The Family" (a term he often ascribes to his musical friends), gathered beneath a large knotty tree and accompanied by the disembodied heads of smiling spirits. Sgt. Pepper is the obvious point of departure, though unlike the Beatles' classic, there are no numbered silhouettes in the liner notes to decode the relative anonymity of the photo subjects. Fittingly, the only immediately recognizable figure is Banhart himself, crouching front and center, wings spread wide.

The artwork conjures Native America, an attribute Banhart seemingly alluded to in a recent email exchange, admitting that he's "a little terrified at how white most of the people are," but reassuring me that "68% of the people on the cover have Native American blood." Indeed, Banhart strives for ethnic diversity on Cripple Crow, boasting the highest concentration of Spanish-sung tracks of any of his albums (he was raised in Venezuela where Spanish was his mother tongue), and finding him moving further beyond "freak" territory and into a worldly blend of various exotic approaches. Banhart has always experimented with method and sound, but he's never before approached Cripple Crow's expertise and variety. In all its obvious details, the album not only finds Banhart coming into his own as a songwriter and performer, but suggests future directions for the 24-year-old as well. Having started out on primitive recorders and four-track machines, Banhart only recently graduated to proper studios, and Cripple Crow further increases fidelity, possessing a warmer, more pristine quality. His vocals, too, often draped in slight reverb, are especially assured and less flaky than on previous outings. And as mentioned above, an ensemble cast showed up to back him: There's best chum Andy Cabic (aka Vetiver), Noah Georgeson (of Joanna Newsom's old rock band the Pleased, and producer of The Milk-Eyed Mender), and Thom Monohan (Pernice Brother and production whiz). The cast also includes members of Currituck Co., Espers, Yume Bitsu, The Blow, Feathers, CocoRosie, and others. Basically, it's a traveling band of hippies excited about Donovan who aren't afraid to rock.

Image Hosted by"I Feel Just Like A Child" Video ~ High ~ Real Player ~ Click On Pic

On Oh Me Oh My's "Roots", Banhart sang, "I don't play rock 'n' roll." All that's changed. Cripple Crow features an explosion of psychedelic R&R stuffs. "Long Haired Child" maneuvers a three-pronged guitar attack-- Adam Forkner's distorted noodling, Banhart's wah-wah, and acoustic coupling-- backed with Otto Hauser's drums and Jona Bechtolt's percussion. "Lazy Butterfly" is memorable for Cabic's closely mic'd backing vocals and a tambora sheen along with hand drums and guitars. And "Little Boys", which Banhart alleges is sung from the perspective of a schizophrenic Hermaphrodite, is divided in half by a mid-song bass change-up which shifts the song up from a sorta boring Oldham prom-dance lament to its sinister, surfy refrain: "I see so many little boys I wanna marry/ I see plenty little kids I've yet to had." Juxtaposed against a number of upbeat rock tracks, Banhart's quieter, more introspective material often makes a stronger impact. "Dragonflies", a whispered duet between Banhart and Matteah Baim of Metallic Falcons, flutters by in less than a minute with a cryptically tender lyricism. Likewise, album opener "Now That I Know" is one of his most beautiful and controlled tracks yet. It finds him backed only by cello and his own guitar, in confessional: "12 years old/ In [my] mama's clothes/ Shut the blinds and lock up every door/ And if you hear someone's coming near/ Just close your eyes it'll make 'em disappear."

Image Hosted by"I Feel Just Like A Child" Video ~ Low ~ Real Player ~ Click On Pic

Elsewhere, on "Heard Somebody Say", there's a sense of protest, with Feathers' lovely vocals adding witch-hunt background layers. Banhart gently lays down the thesis-- "Heard somebody say the war ended today/ But everybody knows it's going still"-- before winding around to the chill-inducing punchline, the easiest anti-war slogan ever: "It's simple, we don't want to kill." Later, he tries out Dylan rhyme schemes on "I Feel Just Like a Child", while "Some People Ride the Wave" is Louis Armstrong with New Orleans toy jazz ("some people write the songs that stay inside our souls"); "The Beatles" lets it be known that "Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are the only Beatles in the world" before shifting gears into Spanish; Pangea and various fertility myths are given new legs in "Chinese Children"; and endless love song "Korean Dogwood" tells as thorough an elliptical story as Banhart's tackled. Banhart's ambition is apparent throughout, but at 22 tracks and almost 75 minutes, the album does stretch its legs too long. Though it feels like an attempt to document as thoroughly as possible his late winter retreat to Woodstock, any more experienced mystics will tell you that blanks, dissolves, gaps, and other ingredients for mystery could've made it even richer. Still, Cripple Crow is undoubtedly impressive, vastly singular but entirely accessible, and an inspired listening experience where Banhart again proves himself one of the more talented and charismatic forces in modern music.

Review By ~ Pitchfork Media Magazine

Pure Magic...

Tuesday, September 20

New Album By Eternal John Cale...

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When one thinks of John Cale, one thinks of the avant-garde drone-rock of The Velvet Underground, and perhaps chopping up a chicken on stage (after this 1977 event, his drummer at the time, a vegetarian, promptly quit). It is therefore easy to forget that he actually hails from the throbbing hotbed of Bohemia that isn't Garnant, a settlement in the industrial heart of Wales. However, this particular boyo has come so far from his remote upbringings as to be a symbol for all that is gloomy and sinister in popular music.

Black Acetate, the follow up to 2003's Hobosapiens, on the first glance at the grey face staring at you on the cover and on first listen to the macabre first few tracks, perpetuates the reputation of Cale as this dark sort of character. Yet, overall, it's not a depressing, unhappy or desperate album. It disturbs the listener rather than deflates them, with its unhinged energy and unrelenting sonic oddities. If you picture a clown with smudged make-up and laughing maniacally with a Jack Torrance glint in his eye, you have arrived at the mood of much of this album. Brotherman is a particularly harrowing three minutes - if a migraine could be translated into song it would sound something like this. And there are others like it, combining similar vocal deficiencies to Leonard Cohen with electronic noises that hark back to Bowie in his Berlin period.

So it seems that Black Acetate has settled on a theme of nihilistic minimalism and is content to brood. But then Cale moves into a different zone. Gravel Drive, the standout track of the album, is a beautiful, haunting number with Cale confiding an unfamiliar vulnerability over a single guitar refrain, complemented marvellously by ethereal female vocals. Gentle and reflective, this mid-album song acts as a pivot for the sultry electronica that preceded it and the more raucous noise that follows. Cale completes his collage of an LP with some punk-rock (yet still the lyrical content addresses insecurity and desolation, especially the superb Wasteland - back to deepest Wales perhaps) and the excellent single, Turn The Lights On.

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The most provocative line on Black Acetate comes in Brotherman, when Cale states "I write reams of this shit everyday/ And you're still feeling it!". Now it is of course unclear whom he is addressing here - record companies, the press, or even his beloved audience. But whoever it is, surely this demeaning of his own work devalues the rest of what is actually a pretty fine album. How can something as fragile as Gravel Drive be some 'shit' he made up? If he is mocking such material and suggesting it is insincere, it is a very cruel trick but one Cale, scourge of all chickens, is more than capable of playing. But it isn't a trick and another listen to this album reveals the true nature of John Cale. He deals in balances, equilibriums, ying-yang, duality and so forth. Black Acetate is in equal measures, serious and mocking, threatening and comforting, ambient and rowdy. A bleak first half gives way to reflecting and relatively speaking, delicacy in the second. Perhaps this observation can be tentatively applied to Cale's career in general. He famously produced the riotous eponymous debut by The Stooges in 1969, and also went on to play on Nick Drake's gentle Bryter Layter the following year. It seems Cale may always have gone out of his way to cover both ends of the spectrum.

John Cale the great moderate, anyone?

Review By Music OMH

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Saturday, September 17

The Silver Poet Pulled Out A New One...

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Writer/musician David Berman formed the Silver Jews in 1989 with his friends, guitarist/singer Stephen Malkmus and drummer Bob Nastanovich. The trio performed together as Ectoslavia when they studied at the University of Virginia; after graduation, they moved to New York and shared an apartment. Dubbing themselves the Silver Jews -- the name references the Silver Apples, the Silver Beatles, and slang for blonde-haired Jewish people -- they played noisy, often improvised songs, mostly for the sheer enjoyment they got out of playing together after a hard day's work. At the time, Berman and Malkmus were guards at an art museum and Nastanovich was a bus driver. After work, they would record songs into people's answering machines; this basic idea of friends playing together in a spontaneous way became the Silver Jews' trademark style.

Before moving to New York but after finishing his studies, Malkmus founded Pavement with his childhood friend Scott Kannberg. As Pavement's acclaim and visibility grew, the notion arose that the Silver Jews were a "Pavement side-project," despite the fact that Berman's writing, singing, and guitar playing led the band's music. On the band's initial recordings, Berman tried to protect the Jews' individuality, listing Malkmus and Nastanovich under false names, but it backfired when people learned who "Hazel Figurine" and "Bobby N." really were. The notion of the Jews as a side project was only reaffirmed when Nastanovich joined Pavement as a second drummer (to supplement the duties of Gary Young, their then-current, unpredictable drummer) before the release of the group's debut album, Slanted and Enchanted (which was named after a cartoon that Berman created). Steve West, another college friend, played drums for both bands, first for the Silver Jews on Dime Map of the Reef, and on all of Pavement's releases after Watery, Domestic.

However, the Jews' sometimes frustrating "Pavement connection" did bring some important attention to the band: Dan Koretsky, founder of the Chicago-based indie label Drag City, met Berman at a Pavement show; when he heard of the Jews' tapes, Koretsky offered to release them. On their first EPs for the label, 1990s Dime Map of the Reef and 1993's The Arizona Record, the band held to their ultra lo-fi aesthetic and recorded both mostly on a walkman. After the release of the EPs, Berman entered a graduate-level writing program at the University of Massachusetts and met like-minded members of local bands, the indie-country hybrid Scud Mountain Boys and New Radiant Storm King. Writing and teaching at the university left Berman time for songwriting; soon, he had enough material for an album, which became 1994's Starlite Walker. The album reunited Berman with Malkmus and Nastanovich (this time listed by their real names in the credits) in the 24-track Easley Recording studios for a more focused, polished take on the Silver Jews' literate, lyrical, country and noise-inspired rock.

Along with writing and working with other performers like the War Comet and Silver Palace, Berman recorded the Jews' third album, The Natural Bridge, in the summer of 1996 with members of New Radiant Storm King and Drag City artist/producer Rian Murphy. Originally, Berman planned to record this album with Malkmus and Nastanovich and with the Scud Mountain Boys, but both sessions were scrapped after a few days. The Natural Bridge continued to streamline the Silver Jews' sound and let Berman's rich, abstract lyrics and reflective vocals take center stage. 1998's American Water featured a kind of reunion of the original lineup; Berman is joined by Malkmus, along with new Jews Mike Fellows on bass, Tim Barnes on drums, and Chris Stroffolino on piano. The album's pleasantly ambling feel is highlighted by Berman and Malkmus' guitar and vocal interplay, and has the warm, mellow vibe of the Silver Jews' best work. Though Berman is a reluctant live performer as a musician, he has read his short stories, poems, and lyrics in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Biography By AMG.

Image Hosted by"Tanglewood Numbers" ~ the new album cover

The Silver Jews sound bigger. Not just because Tanglewood Numbers incorporates some Nashvillian arrangements, or because Dave Berman actually attempts a vocal range, but rather because this latest album is something fuller and more consistent than even the Jews’ 1998 near-masterpiece American Water. Throwing some ’80s synth into the mix and bringing back Stephen Malkmus, Tanglewood kicks off on a superb note with “Punks in the Beerlight” and the classic Berman line, “Where’s the paper bag that holds the liquor/just in case I feel the need to puke”—only to be followed by another: “Where does an animal sleep/when the ground is wet?” on “Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed.” It also seems Berman found his singing partner and married her. Cassie Marrett, who laid her velvet voice over 2002’s Bright Flight, now appears as Cassie Berman and delivers a more confident counter to Berman’s ultra-droll delivery on “Animal Shapes” and “How Can I Love You (If You Won’t Lie Down)” among others. The country popper “Sleeping Is the Only Love” sounds near radio friendly and is on par with Berman’s finest past strummers like “Random Rules,” “Slow Education” and “How to Rent a Room.” And I’m taking bets that nobody will write a better line this year than “You might as well say ‘fuck me’/cause I’m gonna keep on lovin’ you.” Review By ~ Harp Magazine

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Drag City Page


~ "Room Games and Diamond Rain" from Bright Flight LP.
~ "People" from American Water LP.
~ "Black and Brown Blues" from The Natural Bridge LP.
~ "Advice To The Graduate" from Starlite Walker LP.

More MP3 & Video ~ Here.

Bardo Pond New Compilation.

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It’s crazy to me that a lot of Bardo Pond’s touring is supporting other bands. While they have been opening up for great bands for years (Sonic Youth, Acid Mothers Temple, and recently Dinosaur Jr.), they are seriously under appreciated. But if you still aren’t hip to the psychedelic jams of this Philadelphia band maybe this 2-disc collection of rare material would be a good place to start. Spacious, flowing jams spill out from the 2 CD’s to make over 2 hours of listening pleasure. Some thunder through the stereo with signature Bardo Pond white noise flare, other creek by with lazy bass lines that barely hold everything together (see: “Precious Metals”). With the smell of weed in the air, each song drifts on as though it was recorded at some unfocused rehearsal.

A lot of the slower and more spaced out material actually reminds me of some of the work Ghost has done. Differences being that Bardo Pond is strictly using electric guitars… and that they aren’t Japanese. But they do have that mystical eeriness to them that Ghost seems to capture so wonderfully. Taking tracks from the first four self-released CD-r’s (they are up to Vol. 6 now), this is not only a great collection, but also a reminder that this tremendously prolific band is constantly putting out new music. In a day where anyone and everyone is releasing CD-r’s just because it’s cheap, it’s nice to know there are some legitimate bands using the format as a way to keep constantly connected with their fan base. Don’t get me wrong, there are CD-r labels that are doing some great things, but there are only a few established bands using this format in this capacity.

For a while now the band has been recording new, non-album tracks and selling them as limited run CD-r’s at shows. But because of the keen ear of the people at All Tomorrows Parties you can enjoy them as though you snatched the songs the first time around. It’s a must for fans of the band, or for fans of chilled out psychedelic musings. - Review By Indieworkshop

Some Mp3 Of Bardo Pond:

~"Green Man"~
~"Shadow Puppet"~

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usart work by the band

Hip-hop has mixtapes while modern psychedelia has the limited-edition CD-ROM release -- the same principle applies, though, in terms of getting music out there, beyond "official" efforts as such. Bardo Pond are up through six collections of experiments and jams as of mid-2005, with Selections, Vol. 1-4 being just that, a sampling of the first four of these often-wonderful releases. Given that Bardo Pond's raisons d’être are indeed long improvisations recorded as they happen, it's not entirely a sudden steering away in style, but this two-disc collection generally emphasizes the strictly musical side of the band, with Isobel Sollenberger contributing only fragmentary lyrics or gentle croons on the singing front (her flute work is often prominent, in contrast). Where she does come more to the fore, as with "E Dub," she can provide an almost startling focus to the compositions, but she is more content here to go with the flow, or rather, to be carried along with it. Starting with the sample-laden, slow-and-low "Sit Sleep," Selections, Vol. 1-4 touches on everything from (relatively) short edits to extremely long, detailed jams. If anything, the collection shows that far from simply having a one-note approach, the quintet can take basic principles and use them to test out a variety of approaches towards doing one's brain in, from monstrous demi-metal riffs to near-minimalist flow and hum. The ten-minute "Before," for instance, relies on an ominous mantra/melody crossed with violent solos and steady, increasingly forceful drumming, while "Montana Sacra" has its core drone acting as a base for a series of squalling if still restrained acid rock solos, a continual trading off. "Lomand" probably shows the most variety over its own length, from majestic descending riffs and drones to seemingly endless drift.
Review By AMG.




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Saturday, September 10

An Eclectic Masterpiece Straight From Budapest...Mr Erik Sumo Present: "My Rocky Mountain" LP.

Image Hosted by"My Rocky Mountain" album cover

The debut long-player from Budapest beat juggler Ambrus Tovishazi. Life as a ' Crate Soul Brother' has seen Erik Sumo immersed in rare Eastern European jazz, library soundtracks, twisted funk, and cutting edge Baltic break beats for some time. It may come as some surprise then, that on his debut LP the Hungarian singer/songwriter has mixed up a heady concoction of Western inspired, acid tinged, future blues music that'll challenge the listener as much as it's guaranteed to entertain them. 'My Rocky Mountain': a genre defying and surreal collection of songs that are sure to turn so-called 'dance' music on its head. An album inspired as much by Ennio Morricone and Clint Eastwood as it is by post-punk, Portishead and the cosmic sounds of seminal outfits like the RTB Big Band. Tovishazi, with a little help from vocalists Julie Fabian and Erzsi Kiss, is due to confound, confuse and amaze with his debut LP. He reaches the summit of his ‘Rocky Mountain’ as has a hell of a lot of fun along the way…now ‘get on your horse, and drink your milk’….(review by soulseduction)

Erik Sumo Home Page

Listen To The Album At Soulseduction

More Releases By Sumo At Juno

Pulver Records

Thursday, September 8

The Third & Best Album By Broadcast...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBroadcast Gig Poster

I'm a total sucker for this stuff. Broadcast has figured out the formula that gives me goose bumps and immediately makes me feel comfortable and scared, yet so far away from something perfect. Trish Keenan's bewitching vocals make me melt. Dissonant drum machines, crisp guitar lines, the psychedelic sheen over it all... it's just perfect for me. But that's what works for me, and music should not be judged solely on the emotional impact that it delivers to the listener. But maybe an exception should be made here. Broadcast makes the music that will best make you feel sad and happy at once; music that confuses you and makes you unsure about your own unimportant self; music that makes you feel comfortable because others are uncomfortable with you.

Now for the record. It starts with a slow, descending song called "I Found the F." Short, melodious, yet repetitive. That's kind of the theme that Broadcast has utilized throughout their entire existence: taking advantage of the warming effects of repetition. Like the Velvet Underground, Broadcast has realized that a song can be terribly simple and terribly complex all at once. At any given moment, not much is actually happening in "I Found the F." The song is really just vocals, various beats, eerie guitar plucks... it's actually pretty sparse. And the same goes with "Black Cat," which has a similar "descending" feel to it... just a simple guitar line, repeating throughout the song. It is another perfect balance between dissonance (random synth lines) and thick harmonies, all melding together. On another level, even the vocals are repetitive: "the Black Cat, the Black Cat/ curious I run, curious I run," and so on. And for the first two songs, Broadcast stays pretty much the same: hypnotizing the listener through simple, flowing pieces.

Their more elaborate side comes out with Tender Buttons, which is absolutely drenched in stunning arrangements, yet still introduces an element of spontaneity to the music. "Tears in the Typing Pool" is a gorgeous song because it strips the production back to reveal Keenan's amazing vocal talent. "Corporeal" has a sound edging on electro-clash. It has a hazier synth in it, but is still accompanied by those compelling soothing bouncy guitars. "Bit 35" is a sort of intermission, as Broadcast changes their song a little after the end of the piece. They start to kind of fall apart. "Arc of a Journey" utilizes more random orchestrations, synthesizers, and a drone quality than any other piece. The song pours out of the speakers like honey -- smooth, elegant, and so sweet. "Michael a Grammar" is a cheerier version of "Arc of a Journey," as it is one of the few pieces that has a more melodious synthesizer part. Usually, Broadcast likes to use their electronic instruments as musical punctuation. It's as though the distorted keyboard is actually just an exclamation mark or question mark at the end of Keenan's sentence. But in "Michael a Grammar," the group actually relies heavier on an interplay between the guitar, bass, and synths, leaving the vocals as a more secondary element to the song.

It was only when I heard "Subject to the Ladder" that I heard a close relation between My Bloody Valentine and Broadcast. Broadcast is certainly sparser than anything My Bloody Valentine would ever come out with, but they both love to milk repetition and end their songs in a pseudo-cacophony rather than a melodious resolve. This is especially clear with "Goodbye Girls," a song that can't seem to stay in one place for very long. Dissonant sometime, clashing at others, but overall very aesthetically pleasing. "You and Me in Time" is the most reminiscent to me of something Broadcast did from HaHa Sound, their last record. It has a more lo-fi sound, and a sort of dizzying effect on the listener... more hypnotic than some of the other songs, but certainly appropriate for an album "wind down." "I Found the End" makes me sad. It's distant and eerie, which is what Broadcast does best. An echo-y horn synth wraps around me and gives me goose bumps before it simply dies out. I did hope, though, that Keenan would grace the last song for me, but she didn't. Maybe that's most fitting, though. Maybe Broadcast wants to make it clear that her vocals are a misleading central part of their sound. So much of their music relies on dissonance and harshness and abruptness, and Keenan's vocals do not really share any of their characteristics. So the band probably likes the make use of the obvious contrast between their vocals and their instrumentation.

Tender Buttons is indeed Broadcast's best album. Instead of having a few excellent songs per album as they normally do, the group has matured a little more and stresses the importance of having a truly cohesive final product to sell. None of the songs seem unnecessary or bland, but they each have a slightly different effect. Some make me feel confused and depressed while other make me feel light and optimistic. Everything meshes perfectly, and the group cannot be described as just being 60s nostalgia-obsesses musicians anymore. Their style, it has become increasingly clear, runs more towards the Velvet Underground, the United States of America, and My Bloody Valentine than any 60s pop tune ever did. Broadcast has found it's niche, and they executed it perfectly.

Review By Exploding Plastic.

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Sunday, September 4

A Reminder...It Began In Boston...1976

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Compiled of demos the band recorded with John Cale in 1973, The Modern Lovers is one of the great proto-punk albums of all time, capturing an angst-ridden adolescent geekiness which is married to a stripped-down, minimalistic rock & roll derived from the art punk of the Velvet Underground. While the sound is in debt to the primal three-chord pounding of early Velvet Underground, the attitude of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers is a million miles away from Lou Reed's jaded urban nightmares. As he says in the classic two-chord anthem "Roadrunner," Richman is in love with the modern world and rock & roll. He's still a teenager at heart, which means he's not only in love with girls he can't have, but also radios, suburbs, and fast food, and it also means he'll crack jokes like "Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole...not like you." "Pablo Picasso" is the classic sneer, but "She Cracked" and "I'm Straight" are just as nasty, made all the more edgy by the Modern Lovers' amateurish, minimalist drive. But beneath his adolescent posturing, Richman is also nakedly emotional, pleading for a lover on "Someone I Care About" and "Girl Friend," or romanticizing the future on "Dignified and Old." That combination of musical simplicity, driving rock & roll, and gawky emotional confessions makes The Modern Lovers one of the most startling proto-punk records -- it strips rock & roll to its core and establishes the rock tradition of the geeky, awkward social outcast venting his frustrations. More importantly, the music is just as raw and exciting now as when it was recorded in 1973, or when it was belatedly released in 1976.

Review By AMG.

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Modern Lovers Story At Boston Rock Storybook.

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Singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman is sufficiently well-established as a solo artist, and it's easy to overlook the fact that the moniker sometimes used for his backing band, the Modern Lovers, was once connected to a coherent group of which Richman was a member. The Boston-based group the Modern Lovers is of such significance to American underground rock that they deserve separate consideration from Richman's own body of work, although many of the songs they recorded carried over into Richman's solo career and were used as the flagstones on which it was built.

After graduating from high school in 1969, Jonathan Richman relocated to New York City. Totally infatuated with the sound of the Velvet Underground, Richman made his entrée to New York with a couple of weeks sleeping on Velvets manager Steve Sesnick's sofa, and afterward moved into the rodent-infested Hotel Albert. After nine months in New York, Richman decided he'd had enough and moved back to his native Boston, but with the intention of forming a rock band modeled after what he'd learned from observing the Velvets. Back home, Richman swiftly organized a band with childhood friend John Felice as guitarist, David Robinson on drums, and Rolfe Anderson on bass. The Modern Lovers played their first date in September 1970, barely a month after Richman's return.

In early 1971 Anderson and Felice departed, although Felice would rejoin the group later down the road. Anderson was replaced by bassist Ernie Brooks, and keyboardist Jerry Harrison would also come into the band at this point, completing the classic lineup of the Modern Lovers. The group proved popular at live gigs in Boston, and word about them spread. In the fall of 1971 the Modern Lovers got their first nibble from a label -- Stuart Love of Warner Bros. came calling, and organized the band's first multi-track session at Intermedia Studio in Boston. The recording of the song "Hospital" on the Beserkley album The Modern Lovers originates from this session.

This demo tape generated some buzz in the industry, and pretty soon A&M was interested in the Modern Lovers as well. So in April 1972 the band traveled to Los Angeles to make their best, and most representative, recordings in the form of two multi-song demos, the first being a date with John Cale producing for Warner Bros. and another with Alan Mason at the controls for A&M. These two sessions comprise the balance of the posthumous album The Modern Lovers, although tape copies of the Cale session circulated widely before it was released, even to the U.K. In June 1972 producer Kim Fowley decided he wanted a piece of their action and traveled to Boston to produce some poor-quality demos that were ultimately released in 1981 on an album misleadingly titled The Original Modern Lovers.

The Modern Lovers' success as a live act continued unhindered, but as far as getting a record deal was concerned, the band was always a bridesmaid, never a bride. A second session held in Los Angeles in September 1973 with Cale producing went badly, producing nothing usable in terms of recordings. Fowley took them into Gold Star Studios shortly afterward with much better luck than he'd had in Boston, but by this time the band was on its last legs, and Richman had already decided to quit. By December 1973 the Modern Lovers were a done deal, and Richman was recording demos on his own. Jerry Harrison ultimately joined Talking Heads, David Robinson became drummer for the Cars, John Felice formed the Real Kids, and Ernie Brooks ended up with David Johansen. Richman retained use of the band name "the Modern Lovers" but often performs solo, prefers acoustic instruments, and has no plans to undertake another group like them.

In 1975 Richman moved to California to begin his association with Beserkley Records. Beserkley collected the various demos they could access of Richman's earlier group and pulled them together into the album The Modern Lovers, which was released on Beserkley's Home of the Hits subsidiary in 1976. Given the piecemeal nature of its assemblage, Richman does not recognize it as his "first album," awarding that distinction instead to 1977's Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers, an album with a wholly different band, vibe, and approach. But The Modern Lovers was instantly recognized as a classic, and still came out in enough time to strongly influence aspiring punk rock musicians on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Sex Pistols, whose cover version of "Road Runner" is one of the high points in their otherwise largely dismal sophomore effort, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. It is not out of merely idle adulation that Trouser Press critic Ira Robbins once dubbed the Modern Lovers "one of the truly great art rock albums of all time." The Modern Lovers was at one time the hottest unsigned live act in America, and their surviving work forms a pivotal link between the Velvet Underground and the punk rock movement that was yet to emerge.

Biography By AMG.

Saturday, September 3

A Reminder - 10 Years To: Trembling Blue Stars.

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Trembling Blue Stars - the name comes from a line in sado-masochistic novel The Story of O by Pauline Réage: "her eyes were like stars, trembling blue stars" - began as the solo project of Bob Wratten, former singer and songwriter with The Field Mice and Northern Picture Library, as Bob tried to come to terms with the ending of his relationship with fellow band member Annemari Davies.

Bob began recording the songs that would form the debut album, Her Handwriting (the title is an apt quote from The Go Betweens' Part Company - "that's her handwriting, that's the way she writes..."), in the winter of '95/'96, as usual working with Ian Catt as producer. The album detailed with exquisite honesty the break-up of Bob and Annemari's relationship, from the numbed disbelieving reflection-in-tranquility of A Single Kiss ("and tonight it's as though she was just some wonderful dream...") through to the anguished remorse and self-reproach of To Keep Your Heart Whole. It also included an extended version of Trembling Blue Stars' debut single, Abba On The Jukebox - a list of recollected happy moments from Bob and Annemari's time together, each somehow imbued with a melancholic sense of foreboding of what was to come. The single - the first release on the new Shinkansen label - was released in April '96, a month before the album, and sold out on the week of release.

The album was universally well-received, and Bob was persuaded to go out and play the songs live. For this purpose, Harvey Williams from The Field Mice was re-recruited on guitar and keyboards, and Gemma Townley from fellow Sarah/Shinkansen act Blueboy on bass and cello. It was this trio of Bob, Harvey and Gemma that also recorded a live acoustic radio session for Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 1. In all, they played half a dozen gigs around the London area - including two slots as Special Guests of Baby Bird at the 100 Club - plus one at The Steam Tavern in Brighton, notable for the presence in the audience of a representative of Warner Brothers America, who'd flown in specially from New York with a view to signing the band for the USA, a deal which sadly fell through when the new REM album "flopped" and economies were required.

Increasingly, though, Harvey and Gemma were feeling frustrated by the band's seeming lack of direction, and unclear as to what their roles were supposed to be. Eventually, Gemma decided she'd had enough, and left, her place on bass for the last couple of performances being taken by Ian Catt. This was never anything more than a stop-gap measure, however, and a nightmarish gig at a mostly empty Wag Club supported by Arab Strap marked the start of a long period of absence from the live stage.

Although Her Handwriting was originally conceived as a one-off, work on recording a second album, Lips That Taste Of Tears (this time the title is taken from Dorothy Parker), began at the start of April '97. Ian was again at the controls but, more interestingly, several of the songs featured vocals by Annemari - including lead vocal on new single The Rainbow - and it was Annemari's photo which graced the cover of the album. Field Mice bassist Michael Hiscock also made a brief reappearance, guesting on the album's final song Farewell To Forever, and Gemma returned to the fold on cello. Again, the album received unanimously good reviews, and featured in Melody Maker's Album of the Year end-of-year poll. Sadly, Annemari's stage-fright still prevented her performing live, so the album remained unpromoted, despite being licensed all over the world.

In May 1999, work began on a third album, Broken By Whispers (the title refers to a line in Françoise Sagan's A Certain Smile). As before, Annemari provided vocals, and this time Michael was playing bass on nearly all songs. Doo-Wop Music - a curious, trip-hoppy, dubby take on Fifties doo-wop - was released in late summer as a stand-alone blue vinyl 7", and a second single, Dark Eyes, released at the end of October, was voted Single of the Week on Mark Radcliffe's show on BBC Radio 1 . Broken By Whispers was released in the UK at the end of February, and a licensing deal with Sub Pop Records meant that, for the first time ever, the band's releases would be available domestically throughout North America.

Perhaps most significantly, though, the band returned to playing live. A gig at Notting Hill Arts Club in December (a Rough Trade Shop promotion) saw Bob perform a dozen songs solo with an acoustic guitar, and in March 2000 Trembling Blue Stars headlined the Spitz in London; for this, Bob was joined by Harvey on guitar and keyboards, and Michael on bass.

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Michael's position was never likely to be permanent, however, as he now lives in France, and in the summer he was replaced on bass by Keris Howard, formerly of Sarah Records band BRIGHTER. Keris's debut was a gig at the Borderline in London, immediately after which the band left to headline the Emmaboda Festival in Sweden. A session was also recorded around this time for the John Peel show, with Ian Catt on bass, as Keris was unavailable.

Since then, Trembling Blue Stars have expanded to a 5-piece, adding long-time fan Jonathan Akerman on drums and Beth Arzy - formerly of Los Angeles band ABERDEEN - on backing vocals. This line-up made its debut at the Shinkansen Christmas Party in December 2000, and played again Upstairs at the Garage in February 2001; queues began forming two hours before the doors opened, and around 100 people were turned away. They also headlined Cargo in London on March 1st as part of Rough Trade's 25th Anniversary Celebrations.

Later that month the band made their first trip to the USA, playing a long weekend of dates in New York and Washington DC. Tickets for the first New York show, at Brownie's, sold out almost as soon as they went on sale, with fans flying in from as far afield as San Diego and Alaska. Since their return, they've played a couple of times in France, and supported Damon & Naomi at The Garage in London. Their first headline spot at The Garage followed in June.

Trembling Blue Stars have just finished recording their fourth album, Alive To Every Smile, which will be released on October 8th, 2001. The album will feature vocals from both Annemari and Beth, but this will almost certainly be the last time Annemari sings with the band. The album will was preceeded in September by an EP, with The Ghost Of An Unkissed Kiss as lead-track.

The Sub Pop version of this album will be released on October 23rd, and a 3 week tour of the USA is pencilled in for November.

- Description Above From Shinkansen Records.

- Interview With The Frontman Of T.B.S At Splendid Magazine.

- Discography At AMG.

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- MP3:

"The sea is so quiet" [Radio Version]

"Helen Reddy"

"To leave it now"

"Ghost Of An Unkissed Kiss"

- Video:

"Helen Reddy" (Real Player)

More Audio Samples At - Elefant Records.

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