kimber – tarentel
lindsay – psychic ills, whitney, minor victories
dario – steve gunn
jeff – whitney
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
10,000 Maniacs – Playing Favorites CD (Omnivore)
Recorded before an adoring crowd in Jamestown, NY, Playing Favoritesfeatures 14 live tracks, including hits and fan favorites from the group’s storied and influential career. The six-piece band (Jerome Augustyniak, Dennis Drew, Jeff Erickson, Steven Gustafson, John Lombardo, and Mary Ramsey) is augmented by strings, horns, and backing vocalists. According to Dennis Drew, “We are thrilled to release a recording that represents 10,000 Maniacs’ true live sound. The MTV Unplugged (1993) record was an acoustic record. This is really what we sound like…a rock band. The energy in that room was electric.”
Joseph Arthur – Family CD (True North)
Joseph Arthur is a singer, songwriter, poet and artist from Akron, Ohio, known for his solo material and as a member of RNDM and Fistful Of Mercy. Combining poetic lyrics with a layered sonic palette, Arthur has built his reputation over the years through critically-acclaimed releases, collaborations and constant touring; his unique solo live performances often incorporate the use of a number of distortion and loop pedals, even live painting and a sprinkling of beat-poetry. [Vinyl version due June 24.]
Classixx – Faraway Reach CD/2xLP+MP3 (Innovative Leisure)
Faraway Reach casts the duo’s young-but-nostalgic melodies and sublime chords in a more mature, restrained light, albeit no less lively and bright. Establishing themselves as producers of note on their debut LP (Pitchfork called them “great songwriters, too”),Faraway Reach delivers powerfully smooth and soulful jewels that are still decidedly their own – the Classixx signature is one that can’t be traced. Their love of plaintive voices and disco-inspired grooves is as evident as ever, but this time around everything is a bit bolder, the cast is bigger, the melodies distilled into a higher potency — it’s all just as good, but better.
The Claypool Lennon Delerium – Monolith Of Phobos CD/2xLP (ATO)
After Primus and The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger completed a successful summer tour, Les Claypool and Sean Lennon decided to combine their abstract talents into a project called The Claypool Lennon Delirium. Monolith Of Phobos fuses Lennon’s psychedelic sensibilities with Claypool’s alternative air, resulting in a record that sounds post-apocalyptic and futuristic at the same time. Their sound is fleshed out by keyboardist Mark “Money Mark” Ramos Nishita (Beastie Boys) and drummer Paul Baldi (Fungi Band).
Combichrist – This Is Where Death Begins 2xCD (Rough Trade)
Eighth album from the Norwegian-American electronic hard rock/heavy metal band — an apocalyptic behemoth of guitars, electronica, infernal drums and dark elemental force. Vinyl version due June 24.
Robert Ellis – Robert Ellis CD/LP (New West)
Robert Ellis’ fourth full-length project finds the singer/songwriter building upon the familiar themes of love and loss, regrets and heartache, but also hope and optimism for the future. Almost entirely self-produced, the eponymous release finds Ellis’ writing growing in maturity and depth, while offering choice co-writes with such esteemed writers as Jonny Fritz and Angaleena Presley. Musically, the 11-song collection is a further unfolding of the genre-melding soundscapes that were explored so effortlessly on the critically acclaimed The Lights From The Chemical Plant. On Robert Ellis, sweeping string arrangements, arresting harmonies and the virtuosic instrumentation lay the foundation for tales of love and abandon, memories and new desires
Elvis Depressedly – Holo Pleasures / California Dreamin’ CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Run For Cover)
Airy synthesizers, distant drums and cooing vocoders provide an intricate and fascinating backbone to the groovy, trance-inducing songs that are seen by the band as a bridge between the fuzzy indie pop of 2013’s Holo Pleasuresand the more laid-back grooves of their 2015 LP, New Alhambra. This double EP provides a unique experience to both long-time and first-time listeners of Elvis Depressedly that a standard reissue of older material wouldn’t achieve. [Limited color vinyl also available.]
Fear Of Men – Fall Forever CD/LP+MP3 (Kanine)
“At some point, we’ve all felt isolated from the people we love most, or found ourselves stuck in a decaying relationship that has warped into something unrecognizable. In her songs, Jessica Weiss, singer and guitarist of Fear Of Men, has used a nimble touch to regularly address these themes; and with ‘Island,’ a compelling new song from the UK band’s new album, Fall Forever, she gives depth to the loneliness, depression and heartbreak she feels. Melancholy has been a pervasive thread in the band’s songwriting and in the tonality of its dreamy art-pop aesthetic form the start. Fall Forever, on the other hand, is the result of escape and solitude. Working with producer Tom Morris, Fear Of Men continued to refine its formula, harnessing layers of instruments and stripping away the echoing chasm of reverb that can submerge voices below the surface. That leaner approach can be heard in ‘Island’’s sleek restraint: pulsing synthesizers and a ghostly choir of harmonies enveloping even the corners of the song” – NPR. [Limited copies also available on white vinyl.]
Michael Franti – Soulrocker CD/2xLP (Fantasy)
In creating Soulrocker, Michael Franti & Spearhead introduce a new sensibility to their potent hybrid of hip-hop, rock, folk, and reggae: a gracefully arranged take on electronic music. Co-produced with Jamaica-natives Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor and Dwayne “SupaDups” ChinQuee, the new album includes 13 new tracks. Franti’s interest in electronic music helped shape the sound of Soulrocker, growing out of the early acoustic guitar demos that gave the songs their start. “One of the first records I had as a kid was a Kraftwerk7” that I got from the giveaway bin at the UC Davis radio station KDVS,” Franti said. “We always do a DJ set at the end of our shows, and I wanted to try bringing in those dance and electronic elements but still keep the organic instrumentation that I’ve always loved.”
Steve Gunn – Eyes On The Lines CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
Steve Gunn’s solo ventures, emerging over the past decade and culminating most recently the highly-acclaimed Way Out Weather, have been pastoral, evocative affairs. Here he embraces his urban surroundings through a series of songs that fully showcase his extraordinary ability to match hooks to deftly constructed melodies. These are songs you can take in quickly, but spend all the time in the world devouring. The very large and the very small are present in equal measure. The inability to categorize them within the avalanche of impotent diatribes that pass for categorization is a testament to their power.
The Kills – Ash & Ice CD/2xLP+MP3 (Domino)
Ash & Ice is the follow up to 2011’s critically lauded Blood Pressures and was five years in the making in part due to Jamie Hince’s five hand surgeries, which resulted in him having to re-learn how to play guitar with a permanently damaged finger. It was during Hince’s recuperation from surgery that he first started sketching out what would become the songs for the album. To shake up the writing process, Hince booked a solo trip on the infamous Trans-Siberian Express for inspiration while Alison Mosshart, now residing in Nashville, TN, wrote some of the most affecting, poetically candid lyrics that she ever has, painting word pictures that mine the dangerous terrain between romantic obsession, prophecy and tough love. Where previous albums had an air of detachment and emotional austerity, underpinned by an uneasy self-awareness and unexpressed anger, the 13 songs on Ash & Ice are more understated, less tempestuous and more affecting because of that, exposing the kind of push-pull you feel when you find yourself in a complicated but all-consuming relationship. [Limited red/blue swirl color vinyl also available.]
Ladyhawke – Wild Things CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
“People wonder why there’s always a massive gap between my albums,” says Pip Brown, better known as Ladyhawke, the one-woman synth-pop act from New Zealand. The reason is both complicated and easy. The simple explanation: “I’ve never released anything I’m not proud of. That’s important to me. I don’t want to release anything that I have a weird feeling about.”Brown’s conviction to authenticity led her on a journey starting in 2013. Over three years, she scrapped a full Ladyhawke album (“The material didn’t feel like me. It felt too dark or something”). Once reliant on alcohol to surmount social anxiety (“I’d never done a sober show in my life until last December”), she quit drinking and focused on getting healthy. Then she welcomed that newfound clarity by crafting her latest release, the blissed-outWild Things.“I think I went even more synthy and poppy this time around,” Brown says of the buoyant Wild Things. “I feel good for the first time in 10 years. I actually have a clear mind! I have a wife. I feel stable. That is what I’m celebrating.”
Brad Mehldau Trio – Blues And Ballads CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Interpretations of songs by other composers, this time with the focus on blues and ballads implied by the album’s title.
Melvins – Basses Loaded CD (Ipecac)
The Melvins are one of the quirkiest groups around and are predictably unpredictable. Always keeping fans on their toes with lineup changes and varying degrees of sonic differences from album to album, they’ve mixed it up again with their newest record,Basses Loaded. The record features several guest bass players, giving credence to the album title’s pun. A total of six bassists laid down tracks on the album, including (in order of appearance) Steve McDonald (current Melvins live bassist), Jared Warren (Melvins, Big Business), Melvins drummer Dale Crover who is reprising his 1983 role with the group, JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Trevor Dunn (Melvins Lite, Fantomas) and KristNovoselic (Nirvana). [Vinyl edition due July 1.]
Milk ‘n’ Cookies – Milk ‘n’ Cookies 3xCD/3xLP+Book (Captured Tracks)
Released last February on vinyl – now available on CD. Milk ‘n’ Cookies are the stuff of legends — or would be legends. Forming in the early ‘70s in Long Island, New York, this power pop group was originally signed to Island Records and seemed destined for greatness. Yet, through many cases of “wrong place, wrong time,” the band never managed to break. The core line-up of the band was made up of Ian North, Justin Strauss, Sal Maida and Mike Ruiz and, in their time, they played classic NYC venues like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City. They shared bills with everyone from Talking Heads to The Ramones and have amassed a cult following, influencing the likes of Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Debbie Harry (Blondie). After working extensively with the band members, Milk ‘n’ Cookies is a lavish reissue of the group’s entire recorded output.
Minor Victories – Minor Victories CD/LP (PIAS/Fat Possum)
Comprised of Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Editors’ Justin Lockey and his brother James, noise-wave supergroup Minor Victories was born out of Justin’s desire to create an extreme noise EP topped off with delicate female vocals. It became quickly apparent that the power of the resulting tracks was more than enough to lay the foundation stones of a full album, and so Minor Victoriesbecame a cinematic ten-track LP. Masterfully crafted by four band members who have somehow never all been in the same room together, it was also produced and engineered by Justin.
Moonface and Siinai – My Best Human Face CD/LP+MP3 (Jagjaguwar)
Wolf Parade may be recapturing their glory days with an upcoming reunion, but the band’s musical spin-off projects aren’t slowing down at all. Dan Boeckner’s Operators drop their debut album Blue Wave, and now Spencer Krug has revealed plans for the next Moonface release. Under his solo moniker, Krug has once again teamed up with Finnish outfit Siinai for a new record My Best Human Face.
Mourn – Ha, Ha, He. CD/LP (Captured Tracks)
There are moments on Ha, Ha, He. – the youthful Catalonian quartet’s sophomore LP – when there’s a distinct impression of listening to several House Of Love tracks played at the same time. Which is no bad thing; short and snappy it may be – its 12 tracks are done and dusted within half an hour – yet the band still manage to cultivate dramatic intent amidst the jangly guitars and posturing hooks. This is, in essence, a photogenic record, forming patterns from anger but also vibrancy.
Psychic Ills – Inner Journey Out CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
The seekers in New York City’s Psychic Ills have spent more than a decade following their muse wherever it takes them. Inner Journey Out, the band’s highly anticipated fifth album and first since 2013, is indeed an odyssey, traversing the psych-rock landscape they’ve carved throughout their career and taking inspired pilgrimages into country, blues, gospel, and jazz.
Rebelution – Falling Into Place CD (Easy Star)
Falling Into Place is the fifth album from the California reggae/rock band. “We named the album Falling Into Place,” said Rebelution frontman Eric Rachmany, “because all of our varied inspirations and experiences came together into one cohesive collection of music that we all really love.”The follow-up to 2014’s Count Me In features production and writing credits from the likes of Dwayne “Supa Dups” Chin-Quee, Sam Hollander, Yeti Beats and Donovan “Doncorleon” Bennett. Also appearing,Jamaican reggae performer and former Rebelution tour mate Protojeguests on the track “Inhale Exhale.”[Vinyl edition due July 1.]
Xenia Rubinos – Black Terry Cat CD/LP+MP3 (ANTI-)
With a unique and soulful sound that the The New Yorker described as a “rhythmically fierce, vocally generous music that slips through the net of any known genre,” Rubinos uses her powerful voice to traverse an array of genres from R&B to hip-hop to jazz and beyond, all of it delivered with a New York punk-funk abandon. As Rubinos explains, “Black Terry Cat is a #browngirlmagic carpet ride powered by deep pocket backbeats and funky bass lines. “Lonely Lover” is the first full song I finished for the album — it was a real breakthrough where I felt like I’d created my own sound, and became kind of my mantra for making the rest of the album. I was listening to a lot of R&B, hip-hop, rap, digging into black culture in America as well as the Afro Latin diaspora which I’m a part of.”
Paul Simon – Stranger To Stranger CD/LP (Concord)
Paul Simon’s thirteenth solo album Stranger To Stranger, his first since 2011’s So Beautiful Or What, was inspired in part by 20th century composer Harry Partch, who created custom-made instruments in microtonal tunings. “Paul Simon’s first new album since 2011 on first listen conjures up recollections of his masterpieceGraceland, released 30 years ago, and for good reason.Stranger To Stranger, likeGraceland, explores not just a sound that is atypical to the Western ear, but an entire realm of tones. Nothing Simon has ever written — then or now — is simple. Even if he were to write a boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love-
lives-happily-ever-after tune, there would be more layers and complexities to it than the US tax code (although to be fair, the lyrics are a lot better reading). Stranger To Stranger is not an album for the faint of heart. Instead, it is a pretty darn challenging and welcome one for someone who has tired of monosyllabic lyrics and music targeting the lowest common denominator of listener” – Cleveland.com/Entertainment.
Tegan And Sara – Love You To Death CD/LP (WB)
Tegan and Sara are pop purveyors now — there’s no debating that. Not only did the Sisters Quin prove their remarkable chops on 2013’s synth glitterbomb Heartthrob, but one could theorize that they’ve been practicing for the Big Game on every previous record in some shape or form, whether that’s 2004’s mostly acoustic breakout So Jealous (2004), the more experimental and piano-based pop of The Con(2007), or the touch of Paramore-punk rush on Sainthood (2009). Heartthrob reached the sugar-coated apex of one of the many Everests they’ve conquered, but the sublime new Love You To Death manages to stay there. Even as Love You To Deathis the shiniest record the ladies have released yet (largely thanks to Sia/Adele co-conspirator Greg Kurstin), its lyrics are substantially rawer and dig further under the skin than ever before. Heartthrob painted an emotional spectrum with a broad brush, but the language on Love You To Death is tenderly nuanced” – SPIN. [Limited color vinyl copies also available.]
JG Thirwell– Music Of The Venture Bros Volume Two CD/2xLP (Virtual Label Group)
Thirlwell’s oeuvre stretches the gamut from orchestrations, big band, cathartic noise-rock to abstract electronics and sound sculpture, chamber music, serial music and imaginary soundtracks — sometimes all in the same album. Here we have the second volume of music from the series where once again Thirwell takes the listener on a cinematic roller coaster with thrilling results.
William Tyler – Modern Country CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Modern Country is the fourth full-length album by guitarist and composer William Tyler and his first recorded outside of his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. It features an ensemble backing group consisting of multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook (Hiss Golden Messenger, Blind Boys of Alabama), bassist Darin Gray (Tweedy, Jim O’Rourke), and percussionist Glenn Kotche (Wilco). While there is never a comfort zone in instrumental music, Tyler attempts to leave any perceived one behind on his new album. Modern Country finds Tyler exploring more focused melodic themes rather than ethereal wanderings. These aren’t pop songs, per se, but they are closer in spirit to Neu!, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and Bill Frisell. Primarily written while Tyler was on sabbatical in Oxford, Mississippi, where he stayed at the cabin of a family friend within a stone’s throw of William Faulkner’s house, the album is a collection of songs about the vanishing America that still exists on back roads, in small towns, on AM radio stations.
White Zombie – It Came From N.Y.C. 3xCD/5xLP (Numero)
Years before Beavis and Butt-head headbanged “Thunder Kiss ’65” and “More Human Than Human” into the eternal rock video canon, there was primordial White Zombie — a quintessential, diabolically loud byproduct of Manhattan’s underground rock scene, born of artschool rendezvous and squalid apartment circumstance. It Came from N.Y.C. is the most exhaustive attempt so far to document the band’s wondrously ugly birth. Get reintroduced to White Zombie as New York noise-rock, a grotesque creation that clawed and threatened its way to crossover metal glory. On June 3rd 2016, Numero resurrects White Zombie’s eternally out-of-print early EPs and LPs as It Came From N.Y.C. spread across five LPs or three CDs, all 39 tracks have been remastered by guitarist J. Yuenger and packaged alongside the original lurid artwork.
Whitney – Light Upon The Lake CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Secretly Canadian)
Formed from the core of guitarist Max Kakacek (ex-Smith Westerns) and singing drummer Julien Ehrlich (ex-Unknown Mortal Orchestra), to say that Whitney is more than the sum of its parts would be a criminal understatement. The band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone. Their debut, Light Upon The Lake, marks the culmination of a short, but incredibly intense, creative period for the band. Chicago’s Whitney arrive as a fully formed gang of outsiders, their album rich in the musical history of the classic bands of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Classic and modern at the same time, Whitney revels in concrete details, evocative turns of phrase, and thorny emotions that don’t have exact names.
Andre Williams – I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City CD/LP (Bloodshot)
At 79 years old, Andre Mr Rhythm Williams has been a singer, writer, producer, star-maker, showman, cult hero and hustler for six decades. He has been high, and he has been low. For I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City, he wanted to return to his adopted hometown of Detroit – a town that has seen peaks and valleys just like Andre; from hustle and bustle to bust, from drinking out of crystal to drinking out of brown paper.
Deftones – B-Sides & Rarities  2xLP+DVD (Reprise)
Previously released and unreleased B-sides, including a DVD featuring multimedia content and a complete videography.
Drive Like Jehu – Bullet Train To Vegas b/w Hand Over Fist [Reissue/1992] 7”+MP3 (Merge)
Drive Like Jehu’s sole 7”is back in print.Originally released in 1992, its songs display a harnessing of powers first introduced on their self-titled record from the previous year and later fully realized on their final album, 1994’s Yank Crime.
Eluvium – Life Through Bombardment Vol. 2 7xLP (Temporary Residence)
Life Through Bombardment Vol. 2 collects every Eluvium recording made since the release of the first Life Through Bombardment set back in 2009. Packaged similarly to the first — a library-style cloth bound hardcover book with seven distinct sleeves featuring new original artwork by longtime collaborator Jeannie Lynn Paske — this is the first time these recordings have been released on vinyl.Includes the albumsSimiles, Static Nocturne, andNightmare Ending, as well as the B-sides, remixes, and bonus tracks that accompanied them. Also included is Wisdom For Debris, the rare album that accompanied Paske’s art book of the same name, and finally Curious Things, a full-length bonus album of rare and previously unreleased material recorded from 2009-2015.
King Khan – Children Of The World b/w Gone Are The Times 7”+MP3 (Merge)
King Khan’s new 7” was inspired by the story of The Invaders, a militant civil rights group from Memphis, Tennessee. An eponymous documentary about the group will be released soon. John B. Smith, founder and leader of The Invaders, invited King Khan & The Shrines to provide the soundtrack to their story. “King Khan is a fiery arrow shot into the night sky which no one knows how high or far it will travel. However, we do know that as that arrow streaks across the heavens, its flames will light up dark places along the way,” wrote Smith. “King Khan’s music can become the voice of many around the world, some of whom have never been heard from before.”
Regina Spektor – Soviet Kitch [Reissue/2004] 2xLP (Sire)
Regina Spektor – Begin To Hope [Reissue/2006] 2xLP (Sire)
Vinyl reissues of the Russian-born, Bronx-bred singer/songwriter/pianist’
sfirst two albums.
Tarentel – From Bone To Satellite [Reissue/1999] 2xLP (Temporary Residence)
One of the most overlooked post-rock classics returns for their label’s 20th anniversary.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
AIR – Twentyears CD/LP
BAND OF HORSES – Why Are You Ok CD/LP
BRONCHO – Double Vanity CD/LP
COLVIN AND EARLE – Self-Titled CD/LP
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS – S/T CD
GARBAGE – Strange Little Birds CD/LP
KALEO – A/B CD
KONGOS – Egomaniac CD/LP
NAHKO + MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE – Hoka CD/LP
ESME PATTERSON – We Were Wild CD/LP
PETER BJORN & JOHN – Breakin Point CD/LP
TEMPER TRAP – Thick As Thieves CD/LP
DEATH VALLEY GIRLS – Glow In The Dark CD
DIARRHEA PLANET – Turn To Gold CD/LP
LETLIVE – If I’m The Devil CD/LP
NITE JEWEL – Liquid Cool CD/LP
RIVAL SONS – Hollow Bones CD/LP
SUMAC – What One Becomes CD/LP
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS – Phone Power CD
THROWS – Self-Titled CD
ODDISEE – Alwasta CD/LP
ELI PAPERBOY REED – My Way Home CD/LP
MOBY – Music From Porcelain CD
PLAID – Digging Remedy CD/LP
CORNELIUS – Fantasma (colored) LP
HOLGER CZUKAY – Movie CD/LP
FLYING SAUCER ATTACK – New Lands LP reissue
FLYING SAUCER ATTACK – Mirror LP reissue
SMITHS – LP reissues (Louder Than Bombs, Rank, World Won’t Listen)