kimber – wilco, gardens & villa
lindsay – gardens & villa, holy sons
dario – jessie jones, sextile
jeff – dangerdoom, afx
THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
AFX – Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 CD/LP+MP3 (Warp)
For the first time since the Analord series released through 2003-2005 on his own Rephlex Records imprint, Richard D. James revises his legendary AFX guise with a collection of tracks for the alien dancefloor. “Appearing under the AFX sobriquet, last active a decade ago, the eight-track EP belies James’s reputation for fearsome abstruseness with almost 30 minutes of concise and entertaining music. It sets off at a gallop with an upfront series of techno tracks, all squiggly acid bleeps and fast bass; ghostly textures, like the horror-film keyboard effects in ‘serge fenix Rendered 2,’ add depth to the adrenalin rush. The pace slows in the latter stages, with James at one point coaxing from his computers a sound like rusty signs swinging in the wind, as though advertising (or satirizing) his status as the enigmatic hermit of electronic music.” – Financial Times Limited
The Blind Shake – Live In San Francisco CD (Castle Face)
The long overdue seventh entry in Castle Face’s Live In San Francisco series, starring The Blind Shake. Captured to tape at the same shows as the OBN IIIs’ live record, The Blind Shake were tour-greased and fully torqued over three-night at The Chapel in San Francisco way back in 2013. For those unfamiliar: the sheer bodily reaction to seeing these guys is a unique pleasure. They are consistently one of the most fun bands doin’ it to it these days-such a direct channel to your inner teenager it’s more often than not you end up in the pit, awash in baritone guitar and that “let’s wig out” beat.
The Bohicas – The Making Of CD/LP+MP3 (Domino)
The Bohicas are rock and roll painted in vivid primary colors. Hi def, loud, fast, shiny and above all fun. A barrage of killer hooks, razor blade riffs and choruses that slap you in the face, grab your hand and lead you onto the dance floor. All shot through with pulp imagery torn from the pages of a graphic novel. “The title track proves you can combine post-millennium garage rock with cock-rocking guitar solos and even some anthemic ‘doop doops’ to get the crowd singing along. Just when you think the energy levels are red-lining, the wall-to-wall, machine-gun lyrics and urgent tempo of ‘Where You At,’ followed by with the pissed-off sneer of ‘XXX,’ and capped off with the relentless attack of ‘Swarm,’ knock it all up another notch.” – The Music
C418 – Minecraft – Volume Alpha CD/LP+MP3 (Ghostly International)
Minecraft – Volume Alpha is the work of German composer and musician Daniel Rosenfeld. Using C418 as his moniker, Rosenfeld crafted the sweeping soundtrack and vibrant sound design which helped breathe life into Minecraft’s voxel-based universe. Fans and critics were universally enamored with his beatless, nuanced electronic pieces upon release. Popular gaming site Kotaku named it among ‘The Best Game Music of 2011,’ calling the music “remarkably soothing,” and The Guardian has compared Rosenfeld’s delicate piano and sparse ambient motifs to legendary artists Erik Satie and Brian Eno.
Dangerdoom – The Mouse And The Mask [Reissue/2005] CD/2xLP (Lex)
10th Anniversary reissue of The Mouse and the Mask in original custom frosted plastic packaging. Guest features from Talib Kweli, Cee Lo Green, Ghostface Killah. “Insanely inspired…this stellar collaboration threatens to give underground synergy a good name.” – A.V. Club
Deradoorian – The Expanding Flower Planet CD/LP (Anticon)
Debut solo album from the Dirty Projectors vocalist, who’s also worked with Flying Lotus and Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks. Crystalline jazz harmonies and sinuous zen grooves, for fans of Alice Coltrane and Dorothy Ashby. “10 songs rich with keyboards, floating rhythms and layers of the artist’s smoky, pitch-perfect voice.” – L.A. Times
Dr. Dre – Compton (A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre) CD (Aftermath)
“Musically, the album is a reminder that Dre’s palette and appetite for sound has always been eclectic, and rather than retread, we hear him pushing into new territory. At one moment, he’s sampling an obscure modern funk band from Italy (for ‘One Shot One Kill’) and the next, lifting a guitar riff from a random Turkish psychedelic burner. Throughout, session musicians polish out the edges, and Dre continues to lean on live keys and bass to fill out chunky bottom ends.” [BNM/8.8] – Pitchfork
The Fratellis – Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied CD (Cooking Vinyl)
At the heart of Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied there’s a fun, energetic soul reminiscent of their 2006 debut. It’s wonderfully vibrant, playful and the stories and characters it projects embody the spirit of LA (the first place Jon Fratelli ever went to outside Scotland). With recognizable nods to ‘70s Cali-rock, rockabilly and glorious hints of Americana and country layered high, it’s a glorious homecoming with roots in both Scotland and L.A. Littered with standout tracks; The foot stamping ‘Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!’, The spiralling riffs of ‘Getting Surreal’ and ‘Thief’ all big choruses and live crowd pleasers. ‘Dogtown’ parades along with its strident brass section and funk-driven bass line it’s early seventies Stevie Wonder covering The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’. While the delicate, drifting layers of ‘Moonshine’ bring us to a reflective, poised ending. Vinyl version due September 18.
Gardens & Villa – Music For Dogs CD/LP (Secretly Canadian)
“Gardens & Villa are a tumbling torrent of creativity. The Santa Barbara group move effortlessly from indie rock to psych, from folk-inflections to electronic bliss, retaining a certain essence at every juncture” – Clash Music. “Moments on Music For Dogs feel distinctly and deliberately uncomfortable. ‘Maximise Results,’ for instance, is a blur of manic piano, oscillating synths, strained vocals and unhinged whistling. It’s a critique of a goal-orientated society which demands “results” from both artistic production and emotional life. ‘Fixations’ wears its late ‘60s/early ‘70s psych-pop influences on its sleeve, complemented by its kitschy video (with a surreal twist). ‘Everybody’ sounds like a lost track by The Zombies, but one which speaks to the pressures life in the social media age, with our constant need for novelty and re-invention.” – The Line Of Best Fit
Ghost – Meliora CD/LP (Loma Vista)
Meliora (Latin for “the pursuit of something better”) is the third full-length album by the Swedish occult heavy metal band. “Unlike the previous two Ghost records, Melioradoesn’t take its time to kick in. After 30 seconds of a pulsating organ, distant choir, theremin and glockenspiel playing what sounds like the intro passage to a 1980s horror flick, the band comes in full force with a headbanger of a riff and Papa Emeritus III’s familiarly eerie voice on ‘Spirit.’ One thing that’s immediately noticeable about the track is the strong keyboard presence and heavily layered vocals in the chorus. It’s a song that grows in instrumentation as it goes on, yet keeps all the different components of it easily discernible.” – Metal Injection
Jackie Greene – Back To Birth CD/LP+MP3 (Yep Roc)
Green’s seventh album (and Yep Roc debut) showcases the multitalented artist’s uncanny knack for synthesizing his deep affinity for multiple American roots styles into timeless, personally-charged music.
Noah Gundersen – Carry The Ghost CD/LP+MP3 (Dualtone)
Though only a little more than a year has passed since the 2014 release of Ledges,Carry The Ghost finds an older, more sophisticated Gundersen attempting the difficult work of unraveling our purpose here, searching for answers about the nature of man and the meaning of our relationships. Produced by Gundersen and mixed by Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Band Of Horses), Carry The Ghost explores issues of self-discovery and existentialism with an erudite sophistication across 13 tracks.
Holy Sons – Fall Of Man CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Holy Sons, led by Emil Amos (Om, Grails, Lilacs & Champagne), returns with his second Thrill Jockey release. Fall Of Man was recorded with producers Brandon Eggleston (Mountain Goats, Swans), Al Carlson (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Jeff Saltzman (Grails). The new album features some of the most beautifully produced, endlessly listenable, and insanely catchy songs of Emil Amos’ career. While the album is tinged with Amos’ signature darkness and sadness, there’s a softer, more inviting side to many of the songs on Fall Of Man, giving listeners an open invitation into Amos’ world.
Mark Lanegan – Houston Publishing Demos 2002 CD (Ipecac)
Houston Publishing Demos 2002 is a 12-track collection of primarily unreleased material. The album represents a unique stage of Lanegan’s solo work as his time with the Screaming Trees came to a close. Randall Jamail of Justice Records helped produce the album. A press release explains that the 12-song effort was, as the title implies, recorded back in 2002. It’s a significant time period for Lanegan, as this roughly lines up with the then-recent breakup of longtime band Screaming Trees. Though Lanegan had prepped solo albums in the early ’90s, a press release notes that these demos were made while “Lanegan was in the early years of his solo offerings.”
Method Man – The Meth Lab CD (Tommy Boy)
Recorded in Staten Island and featuring lifelong cohorts and SI residents Redman, Raekwon, Hanz On, Streetlife, and Inspectah Deck, along with Uncle Murda, Cory Gunz, and Mack Wilds, The Meth Lab features production from Ron Browz, Allah Mathematics, J57, and 4th Disciple. 17 new and gritty tracks dripping with Mef’s lyrically imaginative, deliberate and laid-back style. Vinyl version due September 18.
Pere Ubu – The Modern Dance [Reissue/1978] CD/LP (Fire)
Pere Ubu – Dub Housing [Reissue/1978] CD/LP (Fire)
Exploding onto the scene with a handful of releases behind them, Pere Ubu’s The Modern Dance stunned the music world and quickly began appearing on ‘Most Influential’ album lists. Pere Ubu originally formed as a studio project drawing on a body of musicians who were involved in the Cleveland underground music scene that had, by August 1975, seemingly run its course. The main objective of the band at that time was to document their work and then disappear. Luckily for us they were on the cusp of changing the face of rock forever. New high-resolution transfers from from the original two-track analogue mix tapes.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats CD/LP (Stax)
“Rateliff is also an accomplished solo singer/songwriter — more of the introspective, acoustic variety — but The Night Sweats’ music is where he unleashes his swaggering, after-dark persona. Folk revivalists come cheap these days, but The Night Sweats’ members tap into a different strain of Americana: There’s a hint of Booker T. & The M.G.’s — Stax’s first, iconic house band — to the propulsive plaintiveness of ‘I Never Get Old,’ one of The Night Sweats’ most tuneful, heartfelt tracks. Doused with reverb and regret, ‘Look It Here’ simmers in a stew of bittersweet soul; ‘Mellow Out’ is Rateliff’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,’ a gently strummed ballad that lets slip more than a little tenderness. For the most part, though, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats is an upbeat, old-time dance record — unpolished and unapologetic.” – NPR
Sextile – A Thousand Hands CD/LP (Felte)
Los Angeles based Sextile have played three shows to date, one of which was opening for Felte’s Ritual Howls. The label hadn’t heard a single song up to that point, but were so mesmerized with the band’s raw energy and tightly wound performance, they knew they had to work together. The band’s sound is an amalgam of The Jesus And Mary Chain, early Modern English, Christian Death, Coil, the post-punk era of Death In June and The Cramps for good measure.
The Sword – High Country CD/2xLP (Razor & Tie)
“Over the 12 years since their formation, The Sword have been compared to stoner rockers from Black Sabbath to Kyuss to Corrosion Of Conformity to, well, Black Sabbath a whole lot. Meanwhile, possibly their biggest fan, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has likened them to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands that he grew up on. But judging from the songs released so far from the Austin quartet’s forthcoming fifth album,High Country – the record’s title track and new cut, ‘Empty Temples’ – the group has moved in a classic-rock direction closer to Thin Lizzy and ZZ Top than anything wearing a bullet belt or brandishing an inverted cross.” – Rolling Stone
The Weeknd – Thursday [Reissue/2011] CD (Republic)
Reissue of the second mixtape by The Weeknd. Thursday follows his critically-acclaimed, Polaris Music Prize-nominated debut mixtape House Of Balloons (2011). Its music incorporates downtempo, dubstep, dream pop, hip hop, rock and reggae styles. As with his previous works, Canadian producers Doc McKinney and Illangelo were responsible for production of the mixtape. Young Money artist Drake contributes guest vocals to the track “The Zone.”
Barrence Whitfield & The Savages – Under The Savage Sky CD/LP (Bloodshot)
With its raw vocals, thick and nasty guitar tones, and preternaturally locked-in rhythm section, Under The Savage Sky might be the most soulful punk record (or the most punk soul record) you’ve ever heard, raining soul and brimstone from the heavens.
Wilco – Star Wars CD (Anti)
Wilco’s ninth studio album and it’s first since 2011’s The Whole Love. “Because Wilco sounds about 85% committed to a truly new idea, Star Wars is their strongest record in a decade; and if Wilco have another truly great one in them, history strongly suggests it’ll be devoted to sounding nothing like Star Wars.” – Pitchfork. Vinyl version due November 27.
John Zorn – The True Discoveries Of Witches And Demons CD (Tzadik)
The True Discoveries Of Witches And Demons is the second release by Zorn’s heavy new organ trio of John Medeski, Matt Hollenberg and Kenny Grohowski. Described as Tony Williams’ Lifetime on steroids, here they are joined by special guests Marc Ribot and Trevor Dunn to make the music even heavier and more intense. This is white hot, mind bending music filled with heavy riffs, fiery solos and improvisational madness. Three generations of musical explorers come together to rip your mind to shreds in the second installment from Zorn’s heaviest new ensemble Simulacrum.
Babes In Toyland – Fontanelle [Reissue/1992] LP (Rhino)
HQ-180gm vinyl reissue of the (recently reunited) punk/grunge band’s second album.
Daft Punk – TRON: Legacy [Reissue/2010] 2xLP (Walt Disney)
Double-vinyl repress of the classic soundtrack containing seven bonus songs not available on the CD version.
Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream  LP (Astralwerks)
Clear vinyl LP pressing of the 2009 debut album from Empire Of The Sun, a collaboration between Luke Steele from The Sleepy Jackson and Pnau main-man Nick Littlemore. Though the occupy the same aural terrain as bands like MGMT, Empire Of The Sun stand out in the crowd, chiefly due to their exceptional melodies and the fact that they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Faith No More – Sol Invictus LP (Ipecac)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Sol Invictus is Faith No More’s seventh album, and first since 1997’s Album Of The Year. “Considering this album had little odds of coming about years ago, it’s insufficient to say “Sol Invictus” is worth the wait. It’s a brand new beginning with a brand new vibe that’s still Faith No More in soul. It’s not King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime, but Sol Invictus is that damned good on its own merits. In some ways, it’s the most mind-blowing performance under the moniker. As the closing number asserts, Faith No More is back from the dead, thank God.” – Blabbermouth
Jessie Jones – Jessie Jones LP (Burger)
Recently released on CD and cassette – now available on vinyl. “Jessie Jones was once the frontwoman of the Burger Records-backed band Feeding People, who put out their debut on the So-Cal mainstay label in 2011 before signing to Innovative Leisure and releasing their final effort, Island Universe, in 2013. Jones has an intriguing, almost cinema-ready backstory: Supposedly raised a devout evangelical Christian, her love of music eventually superseded her relationship with religion. Or so the legend goes, according to a David Bevan-penned Spin review of Feeding People’s last album. Jones hasn’t been anywhere remotely near the spotlight since, but last year she began working on a new project and started singing in Death Valley Girls.” – Stereogum
Liquid Liquid – Liquid Liquid [Reissue/1981] 12” (Superior Viaduct)
Liquid Liquid – Successive Reflexes [Reissue/1981] 12” (Superior Viaduct)
Liquid Liquid – Optimo [Reissue/1983] 12” (Superior Viaduct)
Following their debut in 1981, Liquid Liquid wasted no time with their second release the same year. Successive Reflexes picks up where the previous EP leaves off with “Lock Groove,” a slow-paced deconstruction of Fela Kuti and Can that shows how quickly the band was able to capture their stripped-down approach in the studio. “Push” drives forward with unapologetic funk, yet still sounds utterly unique. Like their labelmates ESG, Liquid Liquid created music on their own terms and artfully avoided the trappings of any single genre. Liquid Liquid continued toward dance-floor perfection with their third EP, 1983’s Optimo.
The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers [Reissue/1976] LP (Sanctuary)
Originally released on the Beserkeley label in 1976 (though most of the material was recorded in 1973), The Modern Lovers is a universally accepted proto-punk classic. It’s an album that bridges the gap between The Velvet Underground, a band whom leader Jonathan Richman was obsessed with, and the first wave of punk rock. While also displaying the goofy wit that would later be Richman’s signature, The Modern Lovers is equal parts geeky, emotional, angst driven, life affirming, and, from start to finish, absolutely brilliant.
Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls 3xLP (Profound Lore)
Released last May on CD – now available on vinyl. New double-album from Dominick Fernow (Vatican Shadow, ex-Cold Cave) treads a fine line between harsh noise extremity and atmospheric beauty — his massive, layered walls of sound may be comprised of piercing feedback, tortured vocals and machine-like industrial pounding, or incorporate meticulous sampling, entrancing beats and waves of electronica.
Patrick Watson – Just Another Ordinary Day  LP (Secret City)
Patrick Watson – Close To Paradise [Reissue/2006] LP (Secret City)
Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms [Reissue/2009] 2xLP (Secret City)
One of Montreal’s best kept secrets, Patrick Watson is a young piano-playing singer/songwriter who draws influences from a wide range of artists, including Jeff Buckley, Erik Satie, Bjork and early Pink Floyd. He’s backed by a strong band that includes Robbie Kuster on drums, Mishka Stein on bass, and Simon Angell on guitar.
NEXT WEEK’S NEW RELEASES
ATLAS GENIUS – Inanimate Object CD/LP
FOALS – What Went Down CD/LP
GIN WIGMORE – Blood To Bone CD
WEEKND – Beauty Behind The Madness CD/LP
WEEKND – Echoes Of Silence CD/LP
BEACH HOUSE – Depression Cherry CD/LP clear vinyl
DESTROYER – Poison Season CD/LP colored and black vinyl
FROG EYES – Pick Pocket’s Locket CD/LP
MIKE KROL – Turkey CD/LP
TAMARYN – Cranekiss CD/LP
TIJUANA PANTHERS – Poster CD/LP
YO LA TENGO – Stuff Like That Here CD/LP
JAM – LP Reissues