kimber – the feelies, froth
lindsay – froth, king gizzard and the lizard wizard
dario – brokeback
jeff – all them witches, froth, thundercat
dominic – brokeback
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
All Them Witches – Sleeping Through The War CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (New West)
“Carrying a reputation for following instinct over calculation, All Them Witches lunge into the young year wielding Sleeping Through The War, a record that potently concentrates all that the band pull up from their well of heavy Americana. Depending on which state-of-the-pop-world conversation you jump into, rock is routinely in decline, left for dead, or being resuscitated. All Them Witches don’t seem like the kind of guys to entertain any of those notions. Like Josh Homme’s Kyuss and Queens Of The Stone Age, they dig up diamond hooks from rough desert rock. They can swing between tranquil and torrential in an almost Mogwai-esque manner, as the massive strobe light opener ‘Bulls’ demonstrates. Nashville grounding informs their grooves and affords them the inspired addition of recurring backing vocals by local notables Erin Rae, Caitlin Rose and Tristen. Sleeping Through the War’s persuasive determination to chew up everything in its path make minor idiosyncrasies like Allan Van Cleave’s psychedelic organ punctuations on the pedal-to-the-floor ‘Bruce Lee’ fit in without question. Even through mere speakers, All Them Witches have a physically imposing yet approachable presence” – The Line Of Best Fit. [Vinyl is available in two editions: Limited gatefold and standard sleeve.]
Aseethe – Hopes Of Failure CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Aseethe’s unrelenting slow-doom is often compared to drone music because of its core repetitions. This distinctly non-metal approach combined with harsh vocals and unusual samples gives Aseethe a unique voice among metal’s boundary pushers. On Hopes Of Failure, the Iowa band’s primary influences of doom and drone share a similar ethos, but rarely do they converge with as much restraint, and patience, drawing on inventive sound sources and distorted, just enough, to add some sludge. Aseethe is the direction that heavy music is moving in.
David Bowie – No Plan CDEP (Sony)
The No Plan EP features single “Lazarus” from Blackstar backed with three final, non-album tracks recorded during the Blackstar sessions. [Vinyl edition due April 21.]
Brian Jonestown Massacre – Don’t Get Lost CD/2xLP (A. Recordings)
Don’t Get Lost, the 16th full length release from The Brian Jonestown Massacre, was fully recorded and produced at Anton Newcombe’s new Cobra Studio in Berlin, and features saxophonist Emil Nikolaisen (from the Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh), and vocal performances from Tess Parks and Shaun Rivers. The album mixes a shoegaze and psychedelic sound with more experimental twists on some tracks you might hear from Public Image Limited’s Metalbox (1979), Primal Scream, or even Ornette Coleman. [Limited yellow color vinyl edition also available.]
Brokeback – Illinois River Valley Blues CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Brokeback features members of Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day, Tweedy, and Steve Gunn Band. For lead guitarist/bassist Douglas McCombs (Tortoise), Brokeback’s Illinois River Valley Blues stands as one of his most sumptuous and personal offerings to date. Inspired by his early years growing up along the Illinois River corridor between Peoria and Chicago, Illinois River Valley Blues stretches McCombs’ eternal fascination with the roots of American guitar music in bold new directions.
Children Of Alice – Children Of Alice CD/LP (Warp)
“Exquisite eldritch spooking from Children Of Alice, the trio of Broadcast’s James Cargill and Roj Stevens joined by Julian House, who collaborated with Broadcast on the final album in his guise as The Focus Group. The trio are titled in tribute to Trish Keenan (R.I.P.), the Broadcast co-founder and Cargill’s partner, who named Jonathan Miller’s ‘60s film adaptation of Alice In Wonderland among the band’s main inspirations.” — Boomkat
Circus Devils – Laughs Last CD/LP (Happy Jack Rock)
Circus Devils – Laughs Best: The Kids Eat It Up CD+DVD/2xLP+DVD (Happy Jack Rock)
Robert Pollard’s freak-rock trio Circus Devils (2001–2017) says farewell with a pair of simultaneous releases. First is their 14th and final album Laughs Last, along with a best-of, double LP collection titled Laughs Best: The Kids Eat It Up (with DVD included).
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – The Tourist CD/LP+MP3 (CYHSY Inc.)
The fifth album from indie-rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is nod to frontman Alec Ounsworth’s inspirations, such as Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and Paul Simon, and features keyboard-laden cuts alongside more folk-based numbers. Album tracks “Better Off” and “The Vanity Of Trying” are lush, keyboard-augmented songs, while “A Chance To Cure” and “Ambulance Chaser” are rhythmically askew, and the sighing “Loose Ends” is delicate, acoustic-based folk-rock. In terms of theme, Ounsworth uses The Tourist to reflect on an emotional last couple of years, describing the songs as a “type of purge.” A “purge of certain emotional confusion that manifested itself in the last several years,” he explains. “I’d rather not say that it was a dark time, but it was a difficult time in my life — among the most difficult. But I needed and need to try to let it go. And this is how I let things go.” [Limited white color vinyl pressing also available.]
Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors CD/2xLP+MP3 (Domino)
Dirty Projectors, the beloved, decade-plus-long recording pursuit of producer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist David Longstreth, presents the eighth full-length album in the band’s wildly varied and fascinating discography. As with previous Dirty Projectors albums, Dirty Projectors sees Longstreth lead a group of hugely talented contributors, including Solange Knowles, Tyondai Braxton, Mauro Refosco (Atoms For Peace, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Dawn Richard (D∆WN and Danity Kane), in realizing his creative vision. “‘I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel a little crazy, but I wanted to tell these stories,’ Dirty Projectors leader Dave Longstreth told Rolling Stone of the prolific art-pop group’s new self-titled LP. Dirty Projectors is a self-admitted breakup record that chronicles in vivid detail the entirety of his ultimately doomed relationship with former bandmate Amber Coffman. Ranging from new-love giddiness (‘Little Bubble’) to self-flagellation (‘Winner Take Nothing’) and eventually acceptance (‘Cool Your Heart’), the album is a deep dive into the musician’s life and heart. Rather than bury his emotions, he chose to channel the intense sadness he felt in the wake of his breakup into his most soul-baring, emotionally jarring songs yet” – Rolling Stone. [Double vinyl LP pressing features an etched D-side.]
Dude York – Sincerely CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Hardly Art)
The Seattle-based trio Dude York arrive with an album that couches its themes of anxiety and eroding mental health in rock tracks that amp up the sweetly melodic crunch of power pop with massive distortion and bashed-to-heck drums. Sincerely is a loud, sweaty rebuke to those moments in life when it seems like nothing is working, a testament to the power of friendship, staring problems directly in the face, and finding solace in art. Longtime Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill producer John Goodmanson and The Blood Brothers’ Cody Votolato helped Dude York craft a more straightforward draft ofSincerely, one based on the energy of their live show but without any superfluous flourishes. The band’s thoughtful approach to putting togetherSincerely‘s songs echoes the album’s overarching themes of almost-punishing inward focus. Bringing bassist Claire England’s straightforward drawl into the mix underscores that idea, and its contrast to guitarist Peter Richards’ excited yelp heightens the tension on Sincerely, a chaotic, yet ultimately triumphant album that’s a vital tonic for these increasingly confused times.
Emel – Ensen CD/LP+MP3 (PTKF/Partisan)
Tunisian artist Emel Mathlouthi rose to prominence after her song “Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free)” became a viral anthem for the Arab Spring in 2012. A strident songstress, her craft incorporates elements of Western rock, Middle Eastern scales, electronic beats, synth lines and percussion. Although her music has been shunned from her country’s official airwaves, it has not stopped her message and incomparable voice from gathering a global audience. Her live performances and first album Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free) garnered praise from Pitchfork, the New York Times, The Guardian and more. Her 2015 ended with a solo performance at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
Entrance – Book Of Changes CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Entrance is Guy Blakeslee, a Baltimore-born, Los Angeles-based musician. Book Of Changes documents the journey back for an artist who has gone through a creative rebirth. Blakeslee takes you on a transformative trip, with his powerful vibrato and rich baritone, uplifting and transporting the listener throughout the album. On the new album he’s joined by several very talented friends including former bandmate Paz Lenchantin (Pixies, Silver Jews), Frank Lenz (Pedro the Lion, The Weepies) and Lael Neale. The adventurously produced collection of songs is reminiscent of Townes Van Zandt’s ruminative lyricism and the gypsy flavored orchestral explorations of Arthur Lee and Love, uniquely channeled through Blakeslee’s 21st Century approach to the spiritual dimensions of American songwriting in a way that gives an old form new power. [Limited green vinyl pressing also available.]
The Feelies – In Between CD/LP+MP3 (Bar/None)
Impose Magazine recently called The Feelies “… one of the most influential bands in the history of alternative and underground music” and Rolling Stone said that they are “a template of formal perfection.” They have influenced bands like R.E.M., Yo La Tengo, Real Estate and Weezer, and now during their 40th anniversary comes their first album of all new material in over six years. While working the VU template they are famous for, In Betwen brings some interesting new sonics into the mix.
Froth – Outside (briefly) CD/LP/Cassette (Wichita)
Outside (briefly) is the third album by L.A.-based band. The record follows their acclaimed album, Bleak, released on Burger Records in 2015. On Outside (briefly) the band continue to hone their own blend of ‘60s inspired surf rock, psychedelia, indie rock and shoegaze influences. [Limited yellow color vinyl edition also available.]
Rhiannon Giddens – Freedom Highway CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Freedom Highway, Grammy Award–winner and 2017 Grammy nominee Rhiannon Giddens’ follow-up to her highly praised debut 2015 album Tomorrow Is My Turn, includes nine original songs along with a traditional song and two civil rights-era songs, “Birmingham Sunday” and Staple Singers’ well-known “Freedom Highway,” from which the album takes its name. Giddens co-produced the album with multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell in his Breaux Bridge, Louisiana studio, with the bulk of recording done in wooden rooms built prior to the Civil War. “Know thy history. Let it horrify you; let it inspire you. Let it show you how the future can look, for nothing in this world has not come around before. These songs are based on slave narratives from the 1800s, African American experiences of the last century, and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and headlines from streets of Ferguson and Baltimore today. Voices demanding to be heard, to impart the hard-earned wisdom of a tangled, difficult, complicated history; we just try to open the door and let them through.”—Rhiannon Giddens
Hippo Campus – Landmark CD/LP (Grand Jury)
“There’s a moment in growing up when it becomes clear that the road you walk is your own to cultivate.” A surprisingly profound sentiment for a band of 21-year olds. Nevertheless, it’s a sentiment that animates much of Landmark, the debut album from Minneapolis’ Hippo Campus.
From the resplendent “Way It Goes,” a guitar led gallop about the Instagram-filtered church of cool, to the propulsive “Boyish,” a horn-kissed rumination on children of divorce, Landmark is shot through with a woozy dissonance between precocious wisdom and old-as-time coming of age stories. The result is a messy, brave, and earnest whole — not to mention, a tectonic shift forward for a young band still discovering itself. Landmark invites introspection and close listening—even its most upbeat songs are rich with details, like the whistling break that lands in the middle of the galloping “Simple Season” or the spangles of guitar that slice through the clamor of “Tuesday.” Elsewhere, the second half of landmark is dominated by a somber stretch that includes the lush “Monsoon,” which slowly blooms into a quiet freak-out of reverb and synth, a revelation in the context of the band’s catalog. [Limited opaque yellow color vinyl pressing also available.]
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana CD/LP (ATO)
Flying Microtonal Banana is King Gizzard’s first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves. “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for (lead singer and guitar player) Stu Mackenzie,” drummer Eric Moore explained. “The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a Turkish horn called a Zurna.” Flying Microtonal Banana is the first of five albums the band plans to release in 2017 (each based around a different sonic experiment), and takes a subtle musical shift away from the frazzled freak-beat of its predecessor, Nonagon Infinity. [Limited neon color vinyl pressings are also available.]
Los Campesinos! – Sick Scenes CD/LP+MP3 (Wichita)
Los Campesinos! Sixth studio album has been described by the band as “an expression of the pent-up aggression we felt due to being inactive for so long, but it’s also a celebration of just getting to be a band, of getting to play music with our friends.” The themes of aggression and celebration that inspired the album have resulted in 11 tracks that find the band sounding as vital and life-affirming as ever. [Limited 180gm blue and pink splatter color vinyl LP pressing also available.]
Old 97s – Graveyard Whistling CD/LP+MP3 (ATO)
In 1996, the Old 97s recorded Too Far To Care. It was their major-label debut after the band signed with Elektra Records. But rather than venture into some state-of-the-art studio in New York or L.A., the band decamped to Village Productions in Tornillo, Texas, a remote facility in the middle of two thousand acres of pecan trees near the Mexican border. The sound that the group captured on Too Far To Care has remained a touchstone for them. “We’ve always held that one up as the closest to sounding exactly like what sets us apart from the rest of the world,” says Rhett Miller. And so when it came time for the Old 97’s to record the follow-up to the highest-charting album of their career, 2014’s Most Messed Up, producer Vance Powell brought up the idea of returning to Tornillo. “We knew instantly that it was the perfect move,” says Miller. The result is the eleven songs of Graveyard Whistling, the band’s eleventh studio album. The emotional range and musical scope of Graveyard Whistling also benefits from the contributions from co-writers Brandi Carlile, Caitlin Rose, Nicole Atkins, and Butch Walker. [Four different color vinyl pressings are are available: translucent clear, green, red and blue.]
Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now CD/LP+MP3/Cassette (Sub Pop)
Pissed Jeans have been making gnarly noise for 13 years, and on their fifth album, Why Love Now, the male-fronted quartet is taking aim at the mundane discomforts of modern life—from fetish webcams to office-supply deliveries. Their gutter-scraped amalgamation of sludge, punk, noise, and bracing wit make the band—frontman Matt Korvette, Brad Fry (guitar), Randy Huth (bass) and Sean McGuinness (drums)—a release valve for a world where absurdity seems in a constant battle trying to outdo itself. Take the grinding rave-up “The Bar Is Low,” which, according to Korvette, is “about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a shithead. It seems like every guy is getting outed, across every board of entertainment and politics and music. There’s no guy that isn’t a total creep.” The lyrics on Why Love Now are particularly pointed about gender relations and the minefield they present in 2016. “‘It’s Your Knees’ is about the endless, unrequested, commenting on if you’d f**k a girl. On “Love Without Emotion” Korvette channels Nick Cave’s guttural side while bemoaning his detachment over cavernous guitars. “Ignorecam” twists the idea of fetish cam shows— “where the woman just ignores you and watches TV or eats macaroni and cheese or talks on the phone”—into a showcase for Korvette’s rancid yelp and his bandmates’ pummeling rock.
Pete Silberman – Impermanence CD (ANTI-)
While Impermanence is Peter Silberman’s first solo album, it could easily be thought of as a continuation of the emotional-spiritual odyssey begun through his work in The Antlers over the past decade. It travels some of the thornier terrain of the trio’s previous albums Hospice, Burst Apart, and Familiars, while carrying the conversation further down the path. What distinguishes Impermanence from its forebears can be attributed to an unexpected injury, as Silberman developed a hearing impairment in his left ear that resulted in a temporarily total hearing loss, extraordinarily loud tinnitus, and an excruciating sensitivity to everyday noises. “Writing Impermanence became my effort to meditate on what had happened, and grasp what it had taught me: about my mortality, compassion, and change. There’s no remedy for the unpredictable, and I want this record to reflect that, to offer an alternative way to think about changing circumstances” explains Silberman.
Sun Kil Moon – Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood CD (Caldo Verde)
Mark Kozelek’s new double album under his Sun Kil Moon alias was recorded with Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley. “On Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood, he spends two hours and ten minutes saying whatever the f**k he wants, and he covers just about everything. That said, is it even possible to have a conversation about how the album sounds? It feels more like Facebook rants set to music than songwriting. But if I try, I’d say it sounds about as good as a lot of his recent material. His conversational, wearied voice and finger-picked guitar have moments that sound as pretty as anything on Benji.” – Brooklyn Vegan
Thundercat – Drunk CD (Brainfeeder)
Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat returns with his follow up to 2015s The Beyond / Where he Giants Roam. Produced by Flying Lotus, Drunk features vocal performances by Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell. [Vinyl edition due March 10.]
Xiu Xiu – Forget CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
While writing Forget, Xiu Xiu released the lauded Plays The Music Of Twin Peaks, collaborated with Mitski on a song for an upcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, and scored an experimental reworking of the Mozart opera, The Magic Flute. All of this frantic, external activity lead to a softly damaged dreaminess and broadened intent that has not been heard before in other Xiu Xiu works. Standout track, “Wondering” is one of the catchiest boogie pop gems in the Xiu Xiu catalog, but like much of Forget, it still bears an underlying tension that manifests differently in each piece. [Limited light blue color vinyl pressing also available.]
Andrew Bird – & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs [Reissue/2005] LP (Wegawam)
Chicago singer/songwriter/violinist Andrew Bird updates the traditions of small-group swing, German lieder, and New Orleans jazz, mixing Gypsy, folk, and rock elements into his distinctive style. His 2005 album (originally issued on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe label) is back in print on vinyl.
Circa Survive – On Letting Go: Deluxe Ten Year Edition LP (Equal Vision)
Equal Vision Records’ alumni artist Circa Survive present a deluxe 10 year anniversary edition of their sophomore album. It was originally released in May 2007 and produced by Brian McTernan at Salad Days Studio, as the follow-up to their 2005 debut Juturna.
Mike Watt – “Hyphenated-Man”  LP (ORG Music)
Limited edition white vinyl pressing. Hyphenated-Man features thirty songs in 47 minutes with Watt on bass, his deep baritone singing melodies and reciting spoken word while the
Missingmen (Raul Morales and Tom Watson) wail on drums and guitar.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
CHICANO BATMAN – Freedom Is Free CD/LP
GRANDADDY – Last Place CD/LP
TIM KASHER – No Resolution CD/LP
ED SHEERAN – Divide CD/LP
NOAM PIKELNY – Universal Favorite CD
BELA FLECK – Juno Concerto CD
ETHEL METHYL – Everything Is Forgotten CD/LP
IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE – Uyai CD/LP
MINUS THE BEAR – Voids CD/LP
SENSES FAIL – In Your Absence CD/LP
SLEAFORD MODS – English Tapes CD/LP
TEMPLES – Volcano CD/LP
WHY? – Moh Lhean CD/LP
BLANCK MASS – World Eater CD/LP
KNEEBODY – Anti-Hero CD
SEAN ROWE – Her Songs CD
MOVING UNITS – Collision With Joy Division LP
BESNARD LAKES -Are The Divine Wind LP
BLEACHED – Can You Deal LP