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Tuesday, February 28

LCD Soundsystem Will Pull Out Digital-Only Release...March 14.

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LCD Soundsystem's digital release, Intron, will be available from iTunes and other digital depots starting March 14. The virtual album will consist of rare tracks previously unavailable in the US, as well as B-Sides and remixes. These rarities include a Soulwax Shibuya remix of "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" and a cover of Siouxsie And The Banshee's "Slowdive." Since the Grammy Award nominee's self-titled punk-funk release hit the dance floors, LCD Soundsystem has been playing sold-out shows throughout the US and Europe (including the opening spot for the Pixies and Interpol last summer), and they even made an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman. LCD Soundsystem leading man and DFA mainman, James Murphy, will be spinning at the Hiro Ballroom in New York City at the Cheeky Bastard party March 2, where he will be playing records in order of their importance—to him. Murphy will then be hitting the studio in March to begin recording LCD Soundsystem's next tangible record. > By CMJ

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Monday, February 27

Debut & Truly Anxiety Album By - Deadboy & The Elephantmen.

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Stream 3 Songs... "No Rainbow"..."Stop, I'm Already Dead"... "How Long The Night Was" .

Band Of The Day By The Spin (From 10 February):

Dax Riggs wasn't exactly born on the bayou, but neither was John Fogerty, who made a career out of swampy roots rock. But Louisiana is the closest thing to "home" for Riggs, who survived a childhood of displacement, an adolescence of hallucination (and metal, in a band called Acid Bath), and a half-decade of musical rebirth that found him shedding the shredding. After a few years of auditioning musicians to round out his new outfit, deadboy & the Elephantmen, Riggs met Tessie Brunet. It's the kind of pairing that could supply the screenplay for some dour Gus Van Sant flick: Wandering soul/teenage runaway/child of divorce (Riggs) forms a band with a New Orleans orphan (Brunet).

The resulting output, We Are Night Sky, is laced with the hazy essence of the Gulf Coast's tortured soul, from sparse, acoustic dirges like "Evil Friend" to stormy, electrified romps like "Ancient Man." The dichotomy has certainly piqued the interest of White Stripes aficionados, but Riggs' belly growls have something genuinely unforced and earnest about them, sounding far more natural than Jack White's well-practiced bluesman holler. In softer moments, Riggs evokes the world-weary Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), and atop more raucous grooves he infuses a bit more crooner bravado, a la Nash Kato of Urge Overkill.

We Are Night Sky is out now on Fat Possum, and the band begins a tour with the Fiery Furnaces next week. An appearance at March's South by Southwest is also on the horizon.

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This Is James Blackshaw...New Album - "O True Believers".

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Stream Two Songs..."Transient Life In Twilight"..."Spiralling Skeleton Memorial".

Review By Aquarius:

We often lament the state of musical affairs that would render records that are as good as anything and everything we've heard by James Blackshaw to be so limited as to only be heard by a mere handful of people. But until now that has indeed been the case. Cd-r after gorgeous cd-r, limited to 200 copies, 100 copies, even less in some instances. But music this beautiful, this lush, this lovely definitely deserves a wider audience, even if its cd-r / underground / outsider / avant folk / new weird America cache suffers accordingly. Who cares? Who -can- care when faced with the sounds on O True Believers. Over the last few years, Blackshaw has found a home amongst free noise fellows and their fans (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, Birchville Cat Motel, Rameses III, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Sunroof!, Avarus, etc.) even though his sound hewed much closer to Fahey and the like, a stark but sweet steel string Appalachia. Here, that sound is even more stark, more spare and oh so even sweeter. The opening two tracks will have you swooning, or drifting off, or swaying in some glorious mesmerized state or whatever it is you do when you find yourself submerged in some lush swirl of tonal dreaminess, 30 full minutes of guitar, mostly just guitar, spacious and grand, lilting and delicate, no whir or fuzz or rumble or any of the other sonic detritus that usually decorates most of the music like this we love -- no this is crystal clear and crystalline, shimmering and glistening, as if Blackshaw was some strange musical alchemist who discovered how to use a guitar to describe leaves covered in dew, green grass sparkling with morning frost, the sun reflecting on a placid pond, silvery streaks of sunlight filtered through the interwoven branches overhead. It's like wandering into a lost glade, laying in a thick soft patch of grass, and slowly sinking into the ground, until you BECOME the forest around you, sinking into a warm, wash of tranquil otherworldliness.

Towards the end of track two, the guitars are joined by cymbalon, tamboura, and bells, and what was only moments earlier some sort of mysterious Appalachian folk, becomes a slow burning blissed out raga, steel strings buzz, each note smeared into warm drones, then sprinkled with delicate chimes and reverberating bells. Track three is equally as blissful, but is constructed quite differently, the guitar lines speed up and become intense and intricate tangles of notes, so snug that the melodies blur and stretch out melodic whirs, while lush major key swells, ebb and flow in the background, a swaying swooning sweetness. The final track is almost jubilant by comparison and 'rocks' as much as any foresty free folk Appalachia can be thought to rock, dense steel string strums, a simple percussive framework of cymbals and chimes, the whole thing wrapped in the wonderfully warm wheeze of a harmonium, adding a thick warm fuzzy patina to the sparkling steel shimmer beneath.

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Saturday, February 25

Since "Discomfort" & "Monkeyboy" Shawn Lee (The Singer Song Writer) Became 'Shawn Lee & His Ping Pong Orchestra', Something completely Different.

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Taking inspiration from classic library records produced by companies like Music de Wolfe and KPM, Ubiquity presents the first in it's series of Studio Sessions albums. Volume one features 25 mood setting tracks that work great as an album to listen too, as a DJ tool, a production tool for sampling, or music for beds in advertising or film.

Library records were often recorded by top session musicians and featured tracks capturing a variety of moods - from the frantic bongo-driven chase scene to the string-laden back-drop for a tender love scene - the music featured was aimed largely at TV, film and radio producers. Many of these obscure records are highly collectible for the single one or two tracks that the best LPs featured - often times selling for hundreds of dollars for an amazing breakbeat or a great funk track.

The Ubiquity Studio Sessions will include all killer, no-filler tunes for the DJ, funk connoisseur, film, TV, ad or radio music supervisor. There are plenty of breaks and beats, loops galore, and mood setting tunes from the bass line driven suspense of "Friday The 13th" to the hard hitting adrenaline rush of "Bongo Fury". Each tune a perfectly formed short-but-sweet vibe catching moment in it's own right.

"Music And Rhythm" is produced by Shawn Lee who will be known to breaks n'beats collectors as the man behind "The Ape Breaks" and "Planet of the Breaks" series which were sampled by everyone from Guru to The Gorillaz. As a multi-instrumentalist and singer he has played and recorded with a diverse range of artists including Coldcut, Leeann Rhimes, Martina Mcbride, UNKLE, Tony Joe White, Chateau flight, The Dust Brothers, St. Etienne, Jeff Buckley, Bomb the Bass, The Spice Girls, and Natasha Atlas not to mention solo records for Talkin Loud and Wall of Sound imprint We Love You. His new album "Soul Visa" is out in Japan. And you can learn more about the amazing Mr. Lee at: His Home Page.

To Listen To The New Release Check Also The Label Page

Friday, February 24

Late Night Tales No' 14 By...Belle and Sebastian? Surprising, But This Is One Of The Best Compilations In The Series So Far.

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Belle And Sebastian’s 'Late Night Tales' has got to be one of the best compilations of its kind ever put together. It’s fresh and varied and effortlessly hip without ever succumbing to the tedious obscurist one-upmanship that so often dogs these affairs. This is all just great, great music. Pure pop, Sixties psyche, Seventies rock, West Coast harmonies, beat groups, folk balladering, punk, indie, girl groups and bossanova are just a few of the slants to crop up without musical contradiction within the Belles’ own work. So it is perhaps less than surprising that their choices for 'Late Night Tales' comprehensively cover the waterfront.. Just who chose what is never expressly made clear, but what is presented is a treasure trove of musical nuggets, some in the public domain, but often lovingly disinterred specially for the purpose and certainly never put together quite like this...

1. Rehash - Gratuitous Theft In The Rain
2. Jimmy And Mama Yancey - How Long Blues
3. Rjd2 - Here's What's Left
4. Lootpack – Questions
5. Demis Roussos - O My Friends You've Been Untrue To Me
6. Stereolab - French Disko
7. The Peddlers - On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
8. Butch Cassidy Sound System - Cissy Strut
9. Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire
10. Ethiopians – Freeman
11. Elsie Mae - Do You Really Want To Rescue Me
12. Walter Jackson - It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom
13. Mary Love - I'm In Your Hands
14. Novi Singers - Cos Specjalnego
15. Gal Costa - Lost In The Paradise
16. Paperclip People - People Make The World Go Round
17. Ramsey Lewis – Uhuru
18. Steve Miller Band - Fly Like An Eagle
19. Donovan - Get Thy Bearings
20. Mum - Green Grass Of Tunnel
21. Belle And Sebastian - Cassaco Marron
22. Eric And Mondrek Muchena – Taireva
23. Space Jam - Let Your Conscience Be Your Guidance
24. Big Star - Watch The Sunrise
25. Boston Baroque - Bedinerie From Bach's Orchestral Suite No.2 In B Minor
26. Spoken Word Track : David Shrigley - When I Was A Little Girl

Late Night Tales / Another Late Night Series - Here.

Thursday, February 23

Mike Lindsay a.k.a Tunng Talk's Tons Of Impatient Shit On This Video Interview By Face Culture...

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Info By Face Culture:

The duo of singer Sam Genders and producer Mike Lindsay have created one of the year’s finest releases so far. Otherworldly and enchanting, the hastily applied ‘folktronica’ tag doesn’t do justice to the dark beauty of Mother’s Daughter, which bridges the gap between traditional folk and ambient soundscapes. Cloaked in darkness, it has a broad scope that allows for acoustic finger-picking and skittering beats, updating folk for the glitch-pop generation. Revealing new treasures with each listen, this is a densely layered record and a potent amalgam of styles, old and new. Comparisons with Four Tet and Adem seem redundant, although Tunng are similarly successful in digitally updating gentle folk – perhaps the best point of reference is the hypnotic folk-hop of the Beta Band’s early EPs. Mother’s Daughter sounds strikingly original, and its skewed leanings have much to offer for willing ears. There really is no excuse for not owning this.

Sam Genders of Tunng doesn't like performing, so FaceCulture spoke to Mike Lindsay and two members from the live band of Tunng just before their gig in Paradiso in Amsterdam on July 3. Mike Lindsay told us all about the past, present and future of Tunng. He shed a deeper light on his working relationship with Sam, their debut album mother's daughter and other songs, their tiny studio in London, writings songs, Sam's lyrics, the new members of Tunng and lots more!

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Wednesday, February 22

2 New Albums...Different Taste With One Black Soul. The Black Heart Procession With "The Spell" & Dub Unlimited.

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San Diego's Black Heart Procession will release their fifth proper full-length record on May 11. Titled The Spell, the album is the first for the band since 2002's Amore Del Tropico. The 11 new tracks will probably contain Black Heart's trademark meloncholic sound, made only more eerie and depressive by lead singer Pall Jenkins' frequent use of musical saw. He's joined on this album by fellow core member Tobias Nathaniel, as well as drummer Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse), and bassist Jimmy LaValle and violinist Matt Resovich, both of the Album Leaf. The Black Heart Procession will play a couple shows close to home before heading out to this year's SXSW.

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Magnificent dub album out originally on the Senrab label in 1976, when Lloyd Barnes’ spars at the desk were Prince Douglas and Jah Upton, in the first months of the White Plains Road headquarters, and indeed as Upton - disheartened by the gang warfare that had crossed the path of the Bullwackies Disco sound - crifted away. The selection commemorates a series of brilliant sevens and twelves on labels like City Line and Wackies, and sister labels like Upton, Versatile, and Munchie Jackson's Earth imprint. Core rhythm tracks from Jamaica - Treasure Isle mostly, and then mixed by Tubby - had been worked over at the Sounds Unlimited studio on E 24th Street in Manhattan. There are few traces of singers, though: the Sylvester Brothers are singled out by the label artwork here. Baba Leslie's Black Horns - next piece to Wayne Jarrett's African Woman - is spun out of the opening track. The Love Joys are like genies in the stunning twin mixes of Disco Reggae. The track Dub Unlimited is John Clarke's Pollution (Unlimited Dub dubs singjay coverage of the Ali-Frazier Thriller In Manilla); Bullwackies Revenge is a version of the Chin Chow rhythm, a tribute to the restaurant next door; the Chosen Brothers' Talk To The Father is represented, and Andrew McCalla's Home By The Sea... But it would be wrong to bog the album down in these details - an all-time great dub LP.

Fuck Rock n' Roll! The Destroying Malachi Constant Came Back With A New LP

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Album Review By City Pages Magazine:

Last year Malachi Constant found themselves teetering on the edge of extinction. With drummer Alex McCown accepted to grad school in New York, word spread all the way from the Turf Club to the 7th St. Entry that the band might break up. In that respect, Pride is a comeback album for a bunch of guys who never really went away. Well, except for McCown. He's in New York.

Marking their "return" is this appropriately triumphant and sometimes strange batch of indie rock. The band has never been one for straightforward songwriting, and the new album is no exception. The opening track lays a Middle Eastern-sounding guitar solo over a bed of fuzzy drone and even scratchier artificial drums. (McCown laid down some of the album's tracks before moving.) "The Traditions" ups the intensity but the doubled vocal tracks that waver in and out of tune grate on the ears. The lyrics are fairly incidental anyway; it often sounds like Carl Wedoff is just singing the first thing that came to his head. That would explain "Immortality": "Me and Alex/Ben and Sean/We are Malachi Constant."

Fortunately, a lot more work goes into the music. "Princess Billionaire," which rides a disco beat and funky bass line, takes its time getting started: some twinkling guitar here, an E-bowed wail there. Malachi Constant aren't interested in sticking to one sound or tempo or melody for any extended period of time, so it's a good thing they can glide between movements with grace.

Regardless of mood, Pride maintains a sense of humor with tossed-off lyrics and song titles that take potshots at beloved former bandmates ("New York City Is Full of Pussies") and record-label friends ("Keith on All Fours"). I'm guessing the latter refers to Guilt Ridden Pop owner Keith Moran, though I hesitate to assume anything more. The deliberately adolescent track is so out of place, it must be an inside joke. "If you fuck with me/You will see/I will fuck with you," goes the teenage punk chant on the 34-second song. Wait, did McCown leave for grad school or grade school?

Arctic Monkeys? Cool Name & The Album Is...Too Good To Be True. What About The Infadels? They Don't Sound Like Reality For A Change.

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Since their explosive debut ‘Leave Your Body’ surfaced last September, THE INFADELS have been locked up in their home studio in Hackney pumping out the tunes to finish off their debut album and release the follow up single – how could they top ‘Leave Your Body’? It seems that the electrifying live performances across the country at the end of last year paid off because these guys have actually more than delivered on the highly anticipated second single. Already described as a ‘triumph of production’ by like-minded soul Trevor Jackson both ‘Can’t Get Enough’ and ‘Murder That Sound’ are two of those rare, total, mind blowing records that immediately cause a reaction.

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Tuesday, February 21

Best Song Writers - Bill Callahan a.k.a Smog The Only Voice Of Reason.

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"I was a stranger when I came into this town yesterday. ... They don't come much stranger." - From Smog's 1997 album Red Apple Falls.

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Article About & Interview With Bill Callahan By The Austin Chronicle - July 2005:

Because of the brutally honest nature of his songs, Bill Callahan has been called a jerk. But as we sit under a threatening gray sky at the Spider House in Central Austin, Callahan is relaxed. He brushes back his salt-and-pepper-colored hair, bluish gray eyes canvassing the scene. His face is friendly, intermittently cracking into a quick smile before he puts his poker face back on. He pauses long and often when speaking, as if channeling his inner narrator for the most potent words. Sipping a Sierra Nevada and staring into the distance, above the frat boys and artists and musicians, Callahan smiles knowingly, like a man who's cracked the code.

Bill Callahan is also known as Smog, and, briefly in the late Nineties, (Smog). He's never had a Top 40 hit or a flashy, masturbatory spread in Rolling Stone. Instead, he's the autobiographer in a world of his own creation, and the truth is seldom pretty. Jealousy, greed, sexual drama, violence, and death all make their rounds in his prolific output – 12 albums in 15 years. After that, most people don't know anything more about Callahan.

Where contemporaries like Beck perfect the über-bored Cali swing and Will Oldham is the quiet Appalachian stoic, Callahan is a real nowhere man, having lived in Maryland, Georgia, South Carolina, Chicago, Sacramento, San Francisco, and now Austin. As his inner chronicler dictates, he has no roots, no history outside the stories he spins. In fact, he's telling human stories in a time when we are happily being spoon-fed shallow, vanilla-flavored characters. He's cursed with pure honesty and a sense of humor as dry as tumbleweeds. What a jerk.

In 2003, after passing through Austin during a stint at South by Southwest, Callahan felt a distinct affinity for River City and the people he met here. So he pulled up stakes in Chicago and moved here in early 2004, sleeping in a car in the parking lot of a La Quinta before moving on to his current South Austin home. "It's right on the edge of the city, where they just stopped building," he says. "I'm literally surrounded by dead ends. There's only one way out."

On his 12th and latest album, A River Ain't Too Much to Love, once again on Smog franchise label Drag City, Callahan's molasses drawl runs down 10 songs of isolated self-reflection and identity, never jumping above a quiet "Fuck all y'all." He doesn't so much sing as deliver a deadened blues sermon that's both contemplative and boiling within. On the surface, the river never ripples. From the hopefulness of "The Well" ("Well they say black is all colors at once, so I gave it my red rage, my yellow streak, the greenest parts of me, and my blues") to the pastoral hues of "Let Me See the Colts" ("Is there anything as still as sleeping horses?"), Callahan's previous unease has been channeled into corn-fed nature brother blues – a man at peace with the world. Well, sort of: Callahan admits the rambling "I Feel Like the Mother of the World" is about "War. Or peace. Or Palestine, Israel, USA, Iraq."

On opener, "Palimpsest," Callahan faces his conflicted wanderlust: "Why's everybody looking at me like there's something fundamentally wrong? Like I'm a southern bird who stayed north too long."

"That line has more to do with migration," Callahan explains with a smile. "It's about that natural migratory urge – it could be south to north, too. Which some animals do."

The song concedes that urge: "Winter exposes the nest and I'm gone."

"I'm not easily fooled by pseudo-home atmospheres," he says. "But Austin isn't trying to be. ... A place like this is just a place like this."

Callahan hasn't always been so content. He was born in Silver Spring, Md., and describes his childhood in cyclical (and appropriately obtuse) terms: "I liked to go fishing but never caught anything. Except once I caught a holy trinity of fish, the little one getting eaten by the bigger one again and again." He picked up the guitar at age 14 and began writing songs he describes as "nonsense." Influenced by the SST acts of the era, the Minutemen and Meat Puppets especially, he began recording the songs, eventually taking to the stage.

"It was Coney Island, at a venue where they used to have sideshows," he says of his first gig. "It was me and a friend who was this total metalhead guitar player, and I'm sure it was really weird. We played a lot of the songs that were on my first album, but with Eddie Van Halen guitars."

Callahan went on to produce a handful of 4-track recordings in the late Eighties, which he released on his own Disaster label. One of the earliest, a cassette titled Macramé Gunplay, foreshadowed what would become his signature tattered sound. His first proper LP, 1990's Sewn to the Sky, cultivated his spare style and dark humor while experimenting with more lo-fi bedroom noise. 1993's Julius Caesar found Callahan sharpening his tongue on songs like the menacing "Your Wedding" ("I'm gonna be drunk, so drunk, at your wedding") and "Stick in the Mud" ("There's nothing I'd rather see than for you to fail"), getting morbid on 1997's The Doctor Came At Dawn ("I hope you don't mind if I grab your private life, slap it on the table, and split it with a knife"), and opening up on 1999's Knock Knock: "For the first time in my life, I let myself be held like a big old baby." Songs range from bleak acoustic laments to celebratory numbers about Star Wars and sexified tributes to Prince.

Callahan's good at extremes. The majority of his Nineties output hung precariously between humorous and downright feral. 2000's Dongs of Sevotion captured this. Take his deadpan lyrics from "Dress Sexy at My Funeral" ("Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife. For the first time in your life wear your blouse undone to here, and your skirt split up to here") and "Cold Discovery" ("Well I can hold a woman down on a hardwood floor. This was my, my cold discovery"). This misanthropic milieu has surrounded Callahan through the years. Do any research on Smog and you'll find he has quite a cult following and that there are plenty of folks who want to peg him as a misogynist or a tortured soul for their own piece of mind. While his lyrics have always been straightforward, he shrugs off any labels. He's not here to be a role model.

His latest album offers some closure, a scene of resolution for the author after years of tension and climax. River is quite a departure from his earlier works, in that it soothes rather than seethes. It smells less of stale beer and failure and more of, say, maturity. As he remarks on the charming "Running the Loping," he's "getting off on the pornography" of his past.

"I forced myself to finish it quickly," Callahan says of River. "I wrote 'em all at home, and I just come with a title I think tells a story, or a phrase, and sort of build around it."

River came together in about six months, recorded at Pedernales in Spicewood, Texas, a former country club Willie Nelson turned into a studio. Callahan writes mostly at home, where he lives alone, handling the day-to-day business of being Smog. He is his own manager. Callahan tours the same way he lives, sometimes cobbling together a band days before heading out, often having only a few practices to go on. In addition to touring and writing, he recently put out a trio of sketchbooks (appropriately titled Women, The Death's Head Drawings, and Ballerina Scratchpad) and is currently compiling an "epistolary novelette," which will contain a series of his letters over the years.

Callahan doesn't know how long he'll stay in Austin. If River's redemptive tales are any indication, only he knows whether he wants to be the stranger here or elsewhere. He's optimistic this is the best album he's made so far, the most revealing and the most honest. Where his earlier albums offered a look through a fractured lens, this latest vision is clarity.

"I guess it's just supposed to be something to savor in your mind," Callahan ventures when asked what the title means. "It doesn't have a distinct meaning. I think it will mean different things to different people, different things over time, but I think that's just part of human nature."


A River Ain't Too Much to Love (Drag City) 2005

Supper (Drag City) 2003

Accumulation: None (Drag City) 2002

Rain on Lens (Drag City) 2001

'Neath the Puke Tree EP (Drag City) 2000

Dongs of Sevotion (Drag City) 2000

The Manta Rays of Time EP (Spunk) 2000

Knock Knock (Drag City) 1999

Red Apple Falls (Drag City) 1997

The Doctor Came at Dawn (Drag City) 1997

Kicking a Couple Around EP (Drag City) 1996

Wild Love (Drag City) 1995

Burning Kingdom EP (Drag City) 1994

Julius Caesar (Drag City) 1993

Forgotten Foundation (Drag City) 1992

Sewn to the Sky (Drag City) 1990

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Red Apple Falls

The widow says
It's hard to live
With a man
A man like me
The widow says
It's hard to live
On the lonely version of love I give

And I've seen the way her eyes light up
When she looks at the man in a family way
He's made of iron and he knows the way

And when I think about my brother dying
And my parents trying
To slowly do themselves in
Inch by inch, day by day
And the telephone's ring
Is like a banshee wail

The widow says I broke her first
Of course I say, just the reverse
And we cant get past this

Something she did
On the 14th of june
Because of something I said
On the 13th of june
And we can't get past this

And if we could lock our lips
And block our noses
And swim beneath the barriers
And come up clean
On the other side
But we can't get past this

Isolée a.k.a Rajko Müller Is Getting Bigger...

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For anyone who didn’t know or didn’t realise: Isolée is a French word and means something like “having little contact with other people”, “on its own” or just simply “isolated”. Yet one should not come to any wrong conclusions in relation to Rajko Müller or his private life. The name refers purely to the music of the artist who originates from Frankfurt and now lives in Hamburg having spent some time in Algeria. “On its own” is the correct terminus technicus. Well, Isolée simply sounds like... Isolée.He last demonstrated this impressively on his album We Are Monster. The reference engine of “Superproducer Rajko Müller” (Sebastian Fasthuber, Spex) works much slower and in a far more abstract manner than that of most of his peers.

The fact that Rajko Müller is one of two people on this planet whose head doesn’t make trucker caps look out of place makes the whole thing even more likeable. Perhaps Isolée had breakfast on the same disco planet as Morgan Geist or Daniel Wang, the action he has taken as a result of this is completely different. Though synthie-pop, EBM and hip hop may well count as influences, they are not really tangible and impossible to pinpoint in his music. The four-minute track Cité Grande Terre (Play 022) doesn’t sound like anything you’ve ever heard before. Nonetheless you instantly take a liking for it. So Isolée proverbially plays in a league of his own. And he has always done so Yet don’t get me wrong, »Western Store« is anything but a random patchwork. Held together by ice crystals sparkling in the sunlight such as »Simone Rides« or the spellbinding futuristic music of »King Off« (both on Play 018), »Western Store« comes across like the missing link in the chain of albums between »Rest« and »We Are Monster«.

So it makes no difference whether the year they were created was 1997 or 2003. With his openness and flexibility, Isolée evades any distinct identification with regard to his music, making him a nightmare and blessing for the music journalists worldwide. A nightmare, because the pigeonholes jam whenever Isolée’s tracks are played. A blessing is their effect: »Western Store« is one of the few exhibits of our time that stimulates dancefloors and our minds alike, without playing one off against the other.

Description By The Label - Playhouse

Monday, February 20

It's The Hour Of The Australian Howling Bells, Dont Even Think About Sleeping!

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Sunday, February 19

Fresh Releases By Five Deez & Atom TM & Pink Elln...

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Artist: Five Deez
Album: Kommunicator
Label: Rapster
Release: February 3

"Let The People Know"

Since 1974, when jazz astronaut Sun Ra declared, "Space is the place," a small but courageous group of musicians — those behind the Dr. Octagon and Deltron aliases included — have trekked through the outer rings of future-bop experimentation. Following in those buoyant, cosmic footsteps come Cincinnati's Five Deez, a quartet of gifted producers and MCs led by the inimitable Fat Jon (the Ample Soul Physician). Rather than float weightlessly in the nebulous void of commercial radio, Five Deez have managed to establish a weigh station somewhere between Euro-hop fringe and reliable stateside groove — one where thick beats and memorable hooks are broken down and reconfigured with an admirable degree of dexterity. What results is an incomparable blend of Mo' Wax-era production, mid-Atlantic hip-house boogie, and entire atmospheres of stylized ambience. Drop the backpack and gas up the jetpack, because Kommunicator avoids the clichés of underground hip-hop with a vision fixed firmly on the firmament. Review By earplug

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Artist: Atom TM & Pink Elln
Album: Live Vol. 2 & 3
Label: Logistic
Release: February 27

As if Uwe Schmidt — aka Atom Heart, Atom TM, Señor Coconut, and perhaps a hundred other aliases — weren't prolific enough already, here come two live recordings from his appearances alongside longtime accomplice Pink Elln (Tobias Freund, a member of NSI and Sieg Über Die Sonne). Recorded in Valparaiso, Chile and Zürich, Switzerland, these are hardly simple collectors' fare; rather, they're essential documents for anyone interested in acid evolution. Performed on laptops and 808, the two tracks — each around a half-hour long — twine together machine-like, real-time improv with sampling and digitally assisted construction. The end product is a relay race of ever-unspooling bass lines that turns back time with Superman speed, all while pushing the party further forward, into the eternally pulsing now. It's funky, feverish, and absolutely acid-fab. Review By earplug

Saturday, February 18

The Best Song Writers Ever (Corner) - Felt a.k.a Lawrence Hayward - Absolute Genius.

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About The Song "Primitive Painters" (With Elizabeth Fraser) By... This Site

Now that Felt yet hasn't been reviewed on this site, I guess that a little introduction might be of necessity - wanted or not. Felt started out as an alias for the guitarist/singer Lawrence Hayward, mostly known as just Lawrence, in 1979. Shortly after the '79 single "Index", the group became a group, based in Birmingham, and with guitarist Maurice Deebank as the probably most profilic member besides of Lawrence. Around that time, Lawrence came up with the idea that Felt were supposed to release ten LPs and ten singles during the 80's, and then the group would dissolve. Later on, the band would keep Lawrence's promise, and after the tenth LP Me And A Monkey On The Moon in 1989, the band members would move onwards. Right, this song is from Ignite The Seven Cannons, their perhaps most commercially successful album. Which doesn't really mean anything when we're talking about Felt, and Lawrence made sure that the sales would go down again by recording a slightly more unaccessible album - the instrumental Let The Snakes Crinkle Their Heads To Death. On this album, the band got produced by Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins, and CT's wonderful singer Elisabeth Fraser added some vocals. Felt's music had always been some spiritual (no, not religious - just, you know, moody and imaginative) and atmospheric indie pop, with Lawrence's half sung vocals far back in the sound picture, covered by the guitars and, not seldom, an organ. This song might not be the most representative in their catalog, but it might very well be the climax. It opens with some guitar harmonics, but soon, er, bursts into a gloriously glimmering thing of an indie song, where an acoustic guitar lays some chords in the background, while an electric guitar with a huge bit of reverb and chorus added to an organ laying some just gorgeous chords. The drums has some echo added, to give a less distinct sound, and the bass plays a repetive but important line. The sound of Lawrences laid-back vocals is just too cool, but it is in the choruses, when Liz Fraser comes in with some just awfully great little lines that I get the goose bumps. And they'll stay all the way through the remaining five minutes of the song. It's, like, six minutes of an indie cure for your head and mood - its repetiveness just adding a slightly hypnotic but not at all unpleasant touch...that's a huge unit moving.

A Huge Tribute Site

AMG Page

Old Home Page

Cherry Red Records


Felt were essentially the brainchild of one man, Lawrence (no surname), one of music's more eccentric characters. Examples of his strange behaviour include once driving to a gig in first gear. insisting that all Felt albums had an even number of tracks and personally destroying the tapes of out-takes. These eccentricities tended to overshadow the true extent of Felt's worth. which covered a wide spectrum; from the moody soundscapes of their early work to 60's pop, country-rock and jazz. augmented by brilliant song titles and beautiful cover sleeves.

Formed in 1980 in Birmingham the band featured Lawrence (vocals, guitar), Maurice Deebank (guitar), Nick Gilbert (bass) and Gary Anige (drums). Lawrence had released a single Index on his own label the previous year, although credited to Felt, it was a recording made alone by Lawrence in his bedroom. Impressed by the single Felt soon secured a deal with Cherry Red, and set about what Lawrence called his 10-year masterplan: This involved releasing 10 singles and 10 albums throughout the 1980's.

Something Sends me to Sleep (1981); Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty LP (1982); My Face is on Fire (1982); Penelope Tree (1983); The Splendour of Fear LP (1983); Mexican Bandits (1984)

The original idea was to release 6-track 30 minutes reflective albums. while also releasing pop singles. The albums were dominated by the classically trained Deebank's guitar work, with Lawrence's whispered vocals low down in the mix. Only the lyric sheet gave any idea what he was singing about. The singles were something else: songs like My face is on Fire and Penelope Tree featured more upfront vocals coupled with soaring melodies.

Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow (1984); The Strange Idol Patterns LP (1984); Primitive Painters (1985); Ignite the Seven Cannons LP (1985)

With their next two albums Felt entered a new era. The plan for distinct singles and albums was dropped. Both albums were full of pop songs with The Strange Idol Patterns" being the best of all the Cherry Red albums. Other changes saw the addition of Martin Duffy on keyboards and the use of an outside producer: The Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie. This combination produced Felt's finest moment to date, Primitive Painters, which featured Liz Fraser on backing vocals. Deebank was less impressed, and Ignite the Seven Cannons proved to his last recording with the band.

Ballad of the Band (1986); Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death LP (1986); Rain of Crystal Spires (1986); Forever Breathes the Lonely Word LP (1986)

The Cherry Red contract had elapsed so Felt decided to move to Creation, who were in the process of becoming the best independent label in the country. Ballad of the Band was Lawrence's reaction to Deebank's leaving, and not a particularly complimentary one at that.

Snakes was an album of ten short instrumentals, but Forever Breathes was the album Felt had always threatened to produce. Duffy's hammond organ now dominated Felt's sound and Lawrence came up with eight classic songs to suit this. Brilliantly played and produced it was easily the best album released on Creation up to that point.

Poem of the River LP (1987); Final Resting of the Ark (1987)

Felt returned to the idea of 6 track 30 minute albums for Poem that is generally regarded as their best album. More relaxed than their previous work, some of the tracks even verge on easy-listening and Lawrence rarely wrote better songs that She Lives by the Castle and "Declaration". Final Resting reunited the band with Robin Guthrie and continued in the same vein.

The Pictorial Jackson Review LP (1988); Train Above The City LP (1988); Space Blues (1988)

Pictorial Jackson was two LP's in one. Side one featured eight songs by Lawrence. while side two featured two piano instrumentals by Martin Duffy. The sleeve notes stated "recorded quickly" and it sounded like it. Maybe the strain of recording five albums in a little over two years was beginning to show. Train Above the City released just two months later was something else entirely, being an album of jazz instrumentals. Apparently Felt had bough a vibraphone and needed to recoup the cost, so Martin Duffy and Gary Anige were despatched to the studio to record an album. Lawrence's only involvement was to title the songs.

Space Blues was a return to form, for what was to be their final release on Creation. Completely atypical of Felt's normal work it featured just Lawrence and Duffy. Lawrence's autobiographical lyrics were coupled with some weird synth playing from Duffy. A cover of the Beach Boys Be Still (Felt's only cover version) was one of the B-sides.

Me and a Monkey on the Moon (1989)

The album was Felt's return to Cherry Red, apparently because Creation were unable to release it until 1990, Lawrence insisted it had to appear in 1989 to fulfil the ten-year plan.

For their 10th and final album, Lawrence produced some of his best lyrics. Mobile Shack and Budgie Jacket drew off his childhood, while Free dealt with his experiences with the band, including a desire to meet up with Maurice Deebank again. There was also a definite country-rock feel to most of the songs on the album.

After the split, Lawrence went to New York before returning to England to form the 70’s revivalist Denim, while Martin Duffy achieved greater prominence by joining Primal Scream. Two compilations have subsequently been released Absolute Classic Masterpieces covers the Cherry Red years while Bubblegum Perfume features 20 tracks from the Creation years. Both are a perfect introduction to a band that produced some of the best and enduring music from the 1980s.

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New Jukebox Service By Online Record Shop Named > Tunes.

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Tunes MP3 Jukebox

Try their new broadband toy out > listen to a selection of new stuff, then click to be taken to the record's details page...that's pretty cool! it's all about Deep & Soul House, Hip Hop, Break Beat, Electro, Big Beat, Broken Beat, Funk, Jazz, Afro Beat, Abstract Electronic Sounds etcetera.

Check It Out...

Friday, February 17

One Hour With My iPod. U Don't Know It Yet, But U All Might Fall In Love Again...

Darg City Superstars > All Combinations > Ambulance Ltd > The American Analog Set > Animal collective > Archer Prewitt > Baikonour > Belle & Sebastian > Billy Bragg > The Black Angels > Boards Of Canada > Boy Robot > The Broken Family Band > Caribou > Cat Power > David Axelrod > The Early Years > Edith Frost > Four Tet > The Free Design > Gilles Peterson > Global Communication > Grant Lee Buffalo > James Yerkston > John Perish > Kelly Polar >Kid Koala > The Kingsbury Manx > Koushik > Lasch > Lorna > Love Is All > Madlib > Mahjongg > Mark Gardener > Mellow > Michael Hurley > Neil Young > Nostalgia 77 > The Phoenix Foundation > Pink Floyd > The Rakes > Richard Davis > The Robot Ate Me > The Sea And Cake > Smog > Stereolab > Sufjan Stevens > Summer Lawns > Sun Kil Moon > Super Furry animal's > Super Numeri > Teenage Fanclub > Women & Childern...

b.t.w >>> No Links On This Post...
Go & Search By Y'r Self...
Today I'v Got Spam pam...pam...pam...

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Thursday, February 16

36 Years After, Ron Mael & Russell Mael Are Still Bizar, Queery &...Interesting.

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AMG Review:

Why it is that after years or even decades some artists continue to thrill and entertain while others just burn out badly is one of those great mysteries, but in the example of Ron and Russell Mael, aka Sparks, they're firmly in the former category. Hello Young Lovers is their 20th studio album in 35 years, not to mention one of their best. Following on from their enjoyable all-classical instrumentation experiment, Lil' Beethoven, Sparks take their cue here from the album's one song that added full rock band instrumentation to all the strings, "Ugly Guys with Beautiful Girls." The resulting fusion on Hello Young Lovers — with the brothers and drummer Tammy Glover now accompanied full-time by former touring guitarist Dean Menta, along with Redd Kross' Steve McDonald guesting on bass and Jim Wilson on guitar — audibly harks back to the U.K.

glam era of the band but crucially does not simply replicate it. Instead, it's as close to a full mélange of all the band's various sounds thus far over the years, as Lil' Beethoven's orchestral swoops are shot through with feedback and subtler hints of the various dance incarnations of the duo. Opening track "Dick Around," with its rapidly ascending and descending melodies, absolutely precise performance (Russell's voice continues to be one of the best ever in the field while Ron's ear for immediate but busy-as-heck hooks similarly hasn't gone stale), and back-and-forth arrangements between strings and guitar is a tour de force on its own, not to mention showing that the trademark Mael misanthropic wit remains fully intact. From there, Hello Young Lovers is off to the races, with only a tiny misstep or two along the way ("Here Kitty" is cute but slight, "Metaphor" takes a while to connect fully).

First single "Perfume" is a delight, a finger-snapping swing of a song that's still very 21st century, with a classic Russell spoken word break to boot. Other highlights include the outrageous "(Baby Baby) Can I Invade Your Country?," a reworking of the American national anthem that turns into the slyest post-9/11 song yet, and the stellar conclusion "When I Sit Down to the Play the Organ in the Notre Dame Cathedral." "Waterproof" might be the best song in the end, Russell singing like butter couldn't melt in his mouth about being a merrily heartless bastard untroubled by his former love's "Meryl Streep mimicry" while the sound moves from chamber music to a hint of '30s jazz to a full rock-out apocalypse. If, as is often alleged, Queen ripped off Sparks to fully kick-start their own career, Hello Young Lovers is Sparks having the last and best laugh, not just on their former rivals but on all those bands now and then whose members may have listened in but never showed even a tenth of the Maels' genius and inspiration.

>AMG Biography <

A Reminder - "Just Call Me "Lone" Lee: The Continuing Confessions of Tim "Love" Lee" From 2000.

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Review By One Listener In Amazon:

When you first hear this cd, the first track will make you wonder just what you're in for. It's very dark and very ominous with sounds of airports and runways behind it. Then, track two kicks in ("Twilight Reservation") and erases any doubts you may have had--you know that this will be an AWESOME journey. Almost chilling, with the lounge-esqe singer crooning (imagine Buddy Greco or Mel Torme) in the background as vibes soufully strike their way into your mind and heart and a vintage flat-top f-hole guitar strums eloquently.

The remaining songs do not fail to disappoint. Track 5 ("Bed Sheet Shuffle")is so extremely Mancini-esque that you will swear that it's a left-over track from any one of the Peter Sellers "Pink Panther" movies, or perhaps "Charade" starring the incredible Audrey Hepburn along side of Cary Grant. Or for those partial to the other side of things, it is very John Barry-ish and belongs in "Her Majesty's Secret Service." As the other lone reviewer has described, Track 9 ("Sombre Hombre")is very beautiful. Very, very slow. With mr. sandman type vibes playing along side of sulking strings and a moog. This is a very good late night cd. Although, I first heard it as I was driving in my car across the golden-gate bridge just as evening was giving way to night and that incredible burnt-orage glow could be seen setting into the pacific. And, this cd was perfect. Get this one. You'll love it.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Album Cover

The BBC Talk About Tim:

Debonair purveyor of dubbed-out treats and all-round spreader of joy - the word he had shaved into the back of his head during acid house days - Tim “Love” Lee is a dude famed for making a party swing. In anticipation of the release of his Tummy Touch label’s new compilation, Touch Tones 2, we locate him in a car cruising through upstate New York. “I’m actually on highway 87,” chirrups this former native of Zimbabwe and Cambridge, down the phone. “Me and my girlfriend are driving up to Woodstock. We’re thinking of buying a place to live up there.” For the past three years, Tim has been splitting his time between his East London record label HQ and a new life in America. “Maybe one day we’ll move the whole operation over here,” says Tim, who’s also been moonlighting as a TV composer, having previously trained as a proper musician and played in various pop outfits (including Katrina & The Waves). “Erm, I don’t find it easy to make a living anywhere, frankly,” he confesses. “But recently I’ve been making music for a documentary called Real Sex. It’s about grown men who like to be dressed up as babies.”

Tummy Touch was originally founded in 1996 as a home for the more uptempo tracks that wouldn’t fit with the “far-out dope beats” of his other label, Peace Feast. Tummy Touch records are made by good-time Charlies, trip lovers and junk-shop junkies. Think Steptoe & Son on acid or Carry On, soundtracked by Ravi Shankar and Frankie Knuckles. “We’re a home for waifs and strays,” says Tim. “We’ve got a good gang.”

Come 2004 and Tummy Touch reveals a playful, have-a-go artist roster, as evinced on Touch Tones 2, a deliriously groovy melange where star-in-ascendant Tom Vek’s growling filth, Crazy Girl’s druggy pop, and Patrick & Eugene’s ragbag crooning meets Tim Love Lee’s own great vocal masterpiece, Drunk Love, a twisted paean to alcohol-fuelled amour: “I like to make drunk love before the drink gets to my member/ We’re drunken lovers, my boozy baby and me.” Add to this, The Electric Mocassins Of Doom’s crazed freak-out, Neighbours, and the whole LP makes for a huge bellyful of goodness. “It’s just forest, for as far as the eye can see,” says Tim as his sun-beaten vehicle continues to roll Stateside. “Woodstock is what you’d imagine: proper full-on hippy. Big beards and bandanas. There’s all sorts of burn-outs from the 60s and 70s wandering around making acoustic albums. It’s a beautiful part of the world.” Ah, bliss. The perfect setting for Tim’s own Goldrush-era, Miner Sixty-Niner facial hair, legendary for its myriad styles. But which particular phase of whisker sculpture did his girlfriend fall in love with? “Oh, full-on,” he replies. “Down to the belly button, mountain ranger. Which is what always attracted me to her, that she saw the real me beneath the beard.”

Interview with Tim Love Lee By The BBC:

What's your link with Nottingham / where did you grow up?
I was brought up in Cambridge but moved to Nottingham as a teenager and definitely learned a lot about music here.
What got you into music?
There was always music in my home as my grandad was a jazz musician; however it was the clubs and parties in Nottingham in the early 90s that really inspired me as a DJ.
Which Nottingham clubs particularly inspired you?
Kool Kats, Venus, Papa Bins.
What about the clubbing scene in Nottingham in 2004? Any clubs that stand out?
I mostly just go to parties at mates' houses these days but I hear there's still plenty of fun to be had in Nottingham.
The new album's a very eclectic mix. Do you have a favourite type of music or are you open to anything?
I'm definitely open to anything, in fact I have trouble choosing a type of music I DON'T like !
What's the inspiration behind your new album?
I just chose some of the records from my collection that had a story connected to them - favourites from school, early clubbing classics etc etc and threw them all in to my disco mixer.
Who are your influences / DJs you admire?
I try to get inspiration from as many sources as possible.
When are we going to see you in Nottingham again?
Soon I hope but I live in New York now. I'm not around as often as I used to be.

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Wednesday, February 15

...Another Trip Hop Album? Well...If U Samples Nina Simone & Shirley Horn In Such Talent The Definition Is Irrelevant.

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Frenchman Alif Tree has written film scores, remixed, ran a soundtrack-based radio show and performed live around the globe using a variety of instruments, samples and assorted unusual gear. This album brings in the voices of Shirley Horn, Anna Karina, Nina Simone, David Linx and Ana Carril, and includes an homage to Steve Reich.

Review By Inthemix:

To fully appreciate the work of ‘Alif Tree’, one should always embrace the inconceivable and never take things too literally. As an artist and sound engineer, this french musician firmly believes in fully immersing himself in the science of digital sound and applying it to traditional methods – and vice versa. He holds vast open spaces to be as influential as the urban world in which he resides and he is a fervent defender of the art of living. In a past life (2000) he recorded his debut ‘The Observatory’, where critics deemed his clairvoyant perspective as “the possible future of electronic music”. Come the release of his second works in 2002, ‘Spaced’, and a following began to amass as many took to his classical influenced style of trip-hop.

Alif’s latest effort, ‘French Cuisine’, (which was recently made Worldwide Radio’s album of the week by Gilles Peterson) is a sumptuous affair that indulges in one of his many passions, food. The cover art is as tantalising as any high-end cook book and each track is accompanied by one of Alif’s to-die-for dining suggestions. To the music, and this is one of those rare types that becomes fixed in your mind from the very first listen.

Offering an amalgamation of modern sound and featuring the enigmatic voices of Shirley Horn, Anna Karina, Nina Simone and David Linx, here Alif takes from his past works on independent cinema soundtracks, modern and classical ballet scores, late night parisian radio shows and big city club gigs. The vibe is definitely late night chic with jazz, funk, blues and arabic playing a prime role. Few however can put a stamp so individual on their sound. ‘Deadly Species’ hops between the dreamy and the sublime as chords, strings and digital beats collide with immaculate precision. ‘Forgotten Places’ soars with jazzy double bass licks and funky trip-hop arrangements and ‘I Feel Blue’ is laced with hypnotic piano riffs and electronic treasures to boot. Textured yet vaporous, complex yet straightforward, infinite yet complete, ‘French Cuisine’ is truly an exceptional listen.

The Weather Machines Pull Out A Promising Debut LP - "The Sound of Pseudoscience".

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Their Space

"Modern Text Of Our Love" mp3

"Last Stop" mp3

Band Of The Day By The Spin:

The Weather Machines have a song towards the end of The Sound of Pseudoscience called "32,000' Above Suck City." In a plaintive, Ted Leo-ish yelp, frontman Jason Ward sings about looking down at mythical Suck City, thinking, "[W]e're two hours from a drop-dead feeling like we're past the point of no return." Everyone's looked down at Suck City at some point; some are actually permanent residents, folks who would feel so lucky if Suck City was merely the capital of some flyover state in their psychological universe.

Cheeky lyrics dealing with feelings of repression and depression are the Weather Machines' forte, and throughout The Sound of Pseudoscience -- their debut full-length -- this South Dakota outfit supplements that sarcasm with power punk riffs reminiscent of the Hold Steady. It's straightforward rock that won't set the world aflame, but the Machines are tight enough to overcome the album's lack of any revolutionary discoveries.

Sure, the band's debut is called The Sound of Pseudoscience, but if the whole rock star thing doesn't work out for Ward, he has actual science to fall back on: Ward has a degree in electrical engineering. On the strength of this debut, though, Ward should quit his day job: He won't be visiting Suck City any time soon. The Weather Machines will play a one-off, Feb. 11 show at St. Joe Pub in their hometown of Rapid City with Stereotyperider, the Revenge, Out On Bail, and Noise Noise Noise. The Sound of Pseudoscience is out now on Tigers Against Crime.

68 Great Mixtapes Back In The Archive...Well, That's Not Bad For A Simple Milk Man...

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robert strauss (freerange, canada) november
yukihiro fukutomi (japan) october
jazzanova (sonar kollektiv, germany) september

gilb'r (versatile, france) august
dj gregory (faya combo, defected, france) july
jazztronik (pantone, japan) june
kirk degiorgio (versatile, ubiquity, uk) june

alec deruggiero (apt, usa) may
zero db (fluid ounce records, uk) march
dimitri from paris (bbe, defected, france) march
blackbeard (uptown safari, uk) march

ryan elliott (ghostly, usa) february
basic soul unit (iwani music, toronto) january

will page (straight no chaser, scotland) january

john kong (do right! music / movement) december
roc hunter (far out recordings, uk) november

stefano ghittoni aka the dining rooms (schema , italy) october
alex attias (visions, compost, switzerland) october
joe davis (far out recordings, uk) september

dj mkl (spiritual life music, usa) september
dave lee (z records, uk) august
troubleman (global communication, jedi knights, far out, uk) august
2:am workday with jonathan coe (london, canada) ugust
i:cube (versatile, france) july

jon kennedy (grand central, uk) july
circle research (do right!, canada) june
yam who? (uk) may
tm juke (tru thoughts, uk) may

beanfield (compost record, germany) april
minus 8 (compost, switzerland) april
carl craig (planet e, usa) march
nostalgia 77 (tru thoughts, uk) march
blackbeard (uptown safari, uk) march
mettle music (mettle music, uk) february
patrick forge (da lata, palm pictures, uk) january

daniel w. best (best seven/sonar kollektiv, berlin, germany) december
jaylib vs. jrocc (stones throw, usa) december
maurice fulton (modal records, nuphonic, usa) november
ben mono (compost records, germany) september

john arnold (ubiquity records, usa) september
stephane attias (visions, switzerland) september
dj vadim (ninja tune, jazz fudge, russia) august w/karl & tyler (straight no chaser, atlanta + nyc, usa) july
matthias heilbronn (deep zone, wave, usa) june
ben mitchell (mr.hermano, mumo, disorient, uk) june
slam mode (spiritual life, glasgow underground, usa) may
dj venom (viper squad, incognito, difusion, uk) may

bitches brew aka dj cosmo & nikki lucas (bitches brew, uk) may
tom wieland (les gammas/panoptikum, compost records, vienna) april
boozoo bajou (stereo deluxe, germany) april
domu (archive, uk) april

break reform (village again, uk) april
gilles peterson (bbc, talkin' loud, uk) february
paul murphy (afro art records, uk) february

toni rossano (strut, uk) december
kyoto jazz massive (especial, compost, japan) november
the funky lowlives (stereo deluxe, acension, uk) november
gavin smith (mr.bongo, disorient, uk) october

jon kennedy (grand central, tru thoughts, uk) october
dj deluca aka oli rosch (stereo deluxe, germany) september
quantic (tru thoughts, uk) september

dj ender (nuspirit helsinki, guidance, finland) august
chateau flight (versatile, france) july
dublex inc. (pulver, germany) june
jazzanova (jcr, compost, germany) may

zero db (fluid ounce, uk) april
rainer truby (truby trio, compost, germany) february

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Darla. Amazing Label. Here T...Th...The...They Go Again.

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Biography by Stewart Mason AMG...

Noise pop trio New Radiant Storm King has survived more than its share of tribulations in the indie rock world, including defections of key members, geographical dislocation, and the collapse of more than one label. However, the Amherst, MA-based trio's music has gained in depth and feeling where many of their '90s lo-fi brethren stagnated in diffident irony.

New Radiant Storm King formed in 1990, when its members were students at Hampshire College. The original lineup was singer and bassist Peyton Pinkerton, singer and guitarist Matt Hunter, second guitarist Eli Miller, and drummer Elizabeth Sharp. Sharp and Pinkerton had made the decision to start their own group while on tour with another local band, taking their new group's name from the radiator in the basement where they decided to strike out on their own. The newly formed group gigged around Amherst (at the time something of an indie rock hotbed, with Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh the leading lights of the local scene), opening for visiting stars like Nirvana and tackling odder chores like providing the music for a play performed by a local theater company. The quartet recorded a full album, One Day Rust, for Rough Trade Records in 1992, but the label imploded just before the scheduled release. (These tracks, along with the 25-minute instrumental recorded for the play and various odds and ends, were collected on The Castle, a bonus disc that was packaged with Wormco's reissue of their eventual debut album in 1998.)

Disappointed with the Rough Trade situation, Miller left the band in 1992. Continuing as a trio, Pinkerton, Hunter, and Sharp recorded My Little Bastard Soul without a label and eventually shopped the completed tapes to the tiny indie Axis Records, which finally released the album in 1993…and promptly followed Rough Trade into oblivion, leaving the group high and dry a second time. Finally, New Radiant Storm King signed with Grass Records, a subsidiary of Homestead, that provided a measure of stability. The group quickly recorded a new album, Rival Time, that was released only months after My Little Bastard Soul. Featuring their first truly great song, "The Opposing Engineer Sleeps Alone," Rival Time was a critical success and New Radiant Storm King started to develop a following that included Guided By Voices, who claimed that their breakthrough single, "I Am a Scientist," was explicitly inspired by that song. (The two groups eventually recorded each other's songs on a split single in 1996.)

1994's August Revital was a poppier affair that featured an increased vocal role for Sharp, who by this time was splitting her time between this group and another Amherst band, Skinner Pilot, where she played bass and sang. Wanting to focus more on her own music, Sharp left New Radiant Storm King in 1995 to create the one-woman D.I.Y. project Ill Ease. Out of college and now married, Hunter moved to New York City around the same time, turning New Radiant Storm King into a part-time project for all concerned. 1996's Hurricane Necklace featured Sharp's replacement, Figgs and New Harmful drummer Jeremy Smith, who was replaced by Garrett Fontes sometime before 1999's Singular, No Article, recorded for the tiny Poster Girl label. This lineup stayed stable, although another three-year gap separates this record and 2002's excellent Winter's Kill. Between these projects, Pinkerton toured and recorded with the alt-country Pernice Brothers, while Hunter played bass for the noise rock Wharton Tiers Ensemble. They reunited in 2006 for The Steady Hand with Caleb Wetmore joining on bass and Patrick Berkery in the drummer's chair. The album was released by the Darla label.

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Saturday, February 11

Saturday Morning...Sweet Joy Of Listening To Darren Hanlon, Fruit bats, The Kingsbury Manx, Love Tractor, Archer Prewitt & Teenage Fanclab...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDarren Hanlon..."Little Chills" 2005

A veteran of the Australian music scene, having completed stints as a supporting guitarist and keyboard player for the Lucksmiths, the Simpletons, the Deerhunters, and Mick Thomas, singer/songwriter Darren Hanlon officially stepped out on his own in 1999. A charming and clever songwriter, drawing comparisons to Evan Dando and Billy Bragg, Hanlon wasted little time in establishing himself as a compelling songwriter with his observational wit and memorable pop hooks. Releasing his Early Days EP in 2000, he quickly gained notoriety within the Australian indie music scene (his album topping their independent charts) and began touring Europe and the United States shortly thereafter. In 2002, his full-length debut, Hello Stranger, a wonderful mix of folk-rock and quirky songwriting, was released to comparably favorable reviews. By AMG

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usFruit Bats..."Spelled in Bones" 2005

Chicago's experimental folk-pop combo the Fruit Bats feature an ever-changing lineup based around singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist Eric Johnson (not to be confused with the Eric Johnson from Archers of Loaf or the guitar virtuoso of the same name) and keyboardist/bassist/mandolin player Gillian Lisee. Johnson began playing and writing songs on his four-track in the mid-'90s before he formed I Rowboat, a Velvet Underground-inspired indie rock band. Johnson began dabbling in folk with I Rowboat guitarist Dan Strack and drummer Brian Belval as the Fruit Bats. When I Rowboat disbanded, Johnson played guitar and banjo with Califone. That group's Tim Rutili and Ben Massarella, who also own Perishable Records, urged the Fruit Bats to record their work for the label, which resulted in the trio's 2001 debut, Echolocation. Over the next two years the group toured and refined its lineup and sound, adding Lisee as well as more pop and experimental elements to its folk-rock base. In 2002 the group signed to Sub Pop, who released their sophomore effort, Mouthfuls, in spring 2003. Two years later, after relocating to Seattle and expanding to a four-piece, the band released their sophomore album, Spelled in Bones.

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Kingsbury Manx...s.t 2000

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Kingsbury Manx..."Fast Rise and Fall of the South" 2005

The Kingsbury Manx emerged in 1999 from the same North Carolina indie rock scene that spawned the Archers of Loaf and Superchunk before them. Band members Ken Stephenson (guitar/vocals), Bill Taylor (guitar/vocals), Ryan Richardson (drums/vocals), and Scott Myers (bass/keyboards) attended middle school together in Greensboro before going separate ways during their college years. Stephenson and Myers enrolled in creative writing studies at Wilmington while Taylor and Richardson both landed at UNC, Chapel Hill. During visits back home, the quartet began writing and recording the music for a demo. The band's break came when Overcoat Records owner (and former Thrill Jockey employee) Howard Greynolds heard the tape and agreed to fund their debut.

Kingsbury Manx was released by the label in 2000 to so little fanfare (failing to offer any information about the band or the recording) that it ended up creating a small amount of mystery. Managing to stay independent from any particular scene, the band cultivated a sound simultaneously derivative and original. The influences were timeless (early Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, and the Byrds have all been cited), but they were handled with such loving care and attention to detail that they were rendered largely insignificant. The album became one of the underground indie successes of 2000, landing in the year-end polls of the NME (Top 50) and Magnet ("Ten Great Albums Buried in 2000"). A short tour of the U.S. followed in support of Elliot Smith. Let You Down followed in 2001. It's Japanese counterpart release included two bonus tracks, "Dirt and Grime" and "My Shaky Hand." In support of the Afternoon Owls EP, which arrived in fall 2003, Kingsbury Manx toured with Sea and Cake. Additional shows with Gorky's Zygotic Mynci coincided the release of the band's third album, Aztec Discipline (2003). In 2004, the band started working on tunes for their next album at their practice space (Pine Manor) in Chapel Hill. They traveled up to Michigan to record the tunes atKey Club studios and, in early 2005, left longtime label Overcoat Recordings to sign with local North Carolina label Yep Roc Records. The band took the Key Club tapes to Chicago, where Wilco member Mikael Jorgensen mixed the album. The result was their 2005 release The Rise And Fall Of The South. By AMG

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLove Tractor..."Themes From Venus" 1989

Along with luminaries like R.E.M., the B-52's and Pylon, Love Tractor helped establish the college town of Athens, Georgia as a Mecca of alternative music in the early '80s. Comprised of guitarist Michael Richmond, multi-instrumentalist Armistead Wellford, drummer Kit Schwartz and guitarist Mark Cline, the band's earliest material was instrumental, if for no other reason than that they could not afford a PA system. However, the approach set them clearly apart from other acts on the crowded Athens scene, and helped win them a deal with DB Records.

1982's Love Tractor documented their formative approach, which touched heavily on fusion and even cocktail music. By their 1983 follow-up Around the Bend, Richmond was taking the occasional stab at singing; after the 1984 EP 'Til the Cows Come Home, Love Tractor resurfaced in 1987 with This Ain't No Outerspace Ship, a full vocal exercise which also found the group tackling a cover of the Gap Band's "Party Train."

The quartet enlisted Mitch Easter to produce 1989's Themes From Venus, which, while comprised largely of vocal tracks, did contain the instrumental "Nova Express," effectively bringing the Love Tractor story full circle. Accordingly, in 1991 the group decided to take a break from the music business; they reformed periodically, and began writing and performing new material for a projected album.

During their hiatus, Wellford played in Gutterball with Steve Wynn, Bob Rupe, Sparklehourse, and the House of Freaks. Cline traveled, studying Italian opera and ancient languages, while Richmond studied art history. After several failed attempts at completing their "comeback" album, Love Tractor returned in 2001 with The Sky at Night, which featured original members Richmond, Wellford and Cline; former R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry helped out with percussion chores. In 2005, a new and revamped lineup of Love Tractor - with Richmond joined by new members Billy Holmes, Ben Holst, Tom Lewis and Darren Staley - recorded a new album, Black Hole, which found Richmond and company exploring a new musical direction influenced by progressive rock. By AMG

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usArcher Prewitt..."Three" 2002

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usArcher Prewitt..."Wilderness" 2005

Musician and illustrator Archer Prewitt was born and raised in Frankfort, KY, going on to attend art school in Kansas City. There he co-founded the Coctails, a now-legendary quartet whose eclectic, Martin Denny-inspired kitsch-pop predated the lounge revival movement by a good half-decade; the band relocated to Chicago in 1991, issuing four albums and a series of singles before disbanding with a farewell show on New Year's Eve, 1995. By that time, Prewitt was also ensconced as a member of the acclaimed post-rock combo the Sea and Cake; after completing the band's 1997 effort The Fawn, he returned to the studio to record his long-awaited solo debut, the outstanding In the Sun. White Sky followed two years later. In addition to his musical pursuits, Prewitt enjoyed success as a graphic artist — a onetime colorist for Marvel Comics, he also earned acclaim for his brilliant independent title Sof' Boy. A third release entitled Gerroa Songs was released in fall 2000. Recorded on an old reel to reel recorder in Australia, it featured a far more stipped down sound. However, 2002's Three was a return to a more lush pop sound and detailed arrangements. In 2003, the Sean and Cake was back on duty, but Prewitt returned to his solo work and released Wilderness in early 2005. By AMG

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTeenage Fanclub..."Songs From Northern Britain" 1997

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTeenage Fanclub..."Howdy!" 2000

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTeenage Fanclub..."Man-Made" 2005

After first gaining acclaim for a densely melodic sound which anticipated the coming emergence of grunge, Scotland's Teenage Fanclub spent the remainder of their career as torch-bearers for the power pop revival, unparalleled among their generation for both their unwavering adherence to and brilliant reinvention of the classic guitar pop approach of vintage acts like Big Star and Badfinger. Blessed with the talents of three formidable singers and songwriters (Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley, respectively) all sharing an unerring knack for crafting immediately infectious melodies, Teenage Fanclub's radiant brand of pop classicism enjoyed only a brief moment devotion to its unapologetically old-fashioned sensibility yielded of commercial and critical vogue, and over time, the band's dogged increasingly dwindling fan base and virtually non-existent record sales. Nevertheless, almost none of their contemporaries can claim either Teenage Fanclub's consistency or longevity — though never groundbreaking or hip, their music possesses a timelessness and accessibility matched by precious few.

Singers/guitarists Blake and McGinley first teamed with singer/bassist Love in 1987 in Glasgow's short-lived Boy Hairdressers, issuing the single "Golden Shower" on the famed Scottish indie label 53rd and 3rd, before disbanding. After a brief stint with the BMX Bandits, Blake reunited with Love and McGinley to form Teenage Fanclub in 1989; drummer Francis McDonald, a fellow BMX Bandit, completed the original lineup, although McDonald was replaced by fan Brendan O'Hare during sessions for the group's debut album, 1990's A Catholic Education. Released on the Creation label overseas and on the fledgling Matador imprint in the U.S., the album's thick, murky squall staked out sonic territory subsequently occupied by the nascent grunge movement and made Teenage Fanclub an instant critical favorite; the God Knows Its True EP soon followed, but although American major labels came courting, the band still owed Matador one more record. They submitted The King, a ramshackle collection of instrumentals capped off by a tongue-in-cheek rendition of Madonna's "Like a Virgin"; instead, the record was summarily rejected by Matador honcho Gerard Cosloy, and after paying Cosloy what they felt the remainder of their contract was worth, Teenage Fanclub signed to Geffen.

Never shy about celebrating their inspirations — covers of the Beatles' "The Ballad of John and Yoko," the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Older Guys," and Phil Ochs' "Chords of Fame" are scattered across various singles and EPs — Teenage Fanclub's 1991 Geffen debut, Bandwagonesque, gloriously evoked the raggedly radiant pop manna of Big Star, the famed 1970s cult band led by ex-Box Tops frontman Alex Chilton and his singing/songwriting partner Chris Bell. With its newfound melodic ingenuity, brash guitar sound and gorgeous harmonies, the record was a massive critical success, and although mainstream pop radio failed to bite, the group found a warm welcome on collegiate airwaves. Although somewhat hard to believe in retrospect, Bandwagonesque topped Spin magazine's best-of-1991 year-end list in the face of staggering competition including Nirvana's Nevermind, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, and R.E.M.'s Out of Time; a few months later, they were tapped as Rolling Stone's Hot Band for 1992, and at the peak of their success, the Fannies even performed on Saturday Night Live, that same year also opening for Nirvana.

Although the title of the 1993 follow-up Thirteen served immediate notice that Teenage Fanclub's Big Star fetish continued unabated, the album's bitter lyrical outlook and heavier guitar sound owed much to Neil Young, while the epic closer, "Gene Clark," honored the pioneering Byrds co-founder. Critical reception was decidedly icy, however, and in 1994, O'Hare was dismissed from the lineup, briefly resurfacing in Mogwai before mounting his own project, the Telstar Ponies. Ex-Soup Dragon Paul Quinn assumed drumming duties for the 1995 follow-up, the shimmering Grand Prix; by now, however, whatever critical cachet the Fannies had amassed was long gone, and after the disc sold poorly on both sides of the Atlantic, Geffen dropped the group from its roster. Sony picked up their contract just long enough for a U.S. release of 1997's Songs From Northern Britain, which again made few waves outside of the power pop faithful. Quinn left Teenage Fanclub in the midst of completing 2000's Howdy! More setbacks were to follow as Sony refused to release Howdy in the United States. The album eventually recieved distribution via Thirsty Ear in 2001, a year after its original release. A year later, the band brought a relationship they had developed with spoken word artist Jad Fair to fruition by backing him on the album Words of Wisdom and Hope. In 2003, the band took stock of its career by releasing the retrospective anthology Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds: A Short Cut to Teenage Fanclub. It took three more years for Teenage Fanclub to return to the studio, eventually working with Chicago post-rock icon John McEntire at his Soma recording studio. Forming its own label Pema, the Fanclub released Man-Made in 2005. By AMG

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Friday, February 10

Spotlight - New Albums - different Taste.

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