topimage

New Releases for April 27th, 2010

VINYL RELEASES:

Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo
Avi Buffalo is the adopted name of Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, an 18 year-old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Long Beach, CA. Avi Buffalo is also the name of the band he formed with friends and like-minded collaborators Sheridan Riley (drums), Arin Fazio (bass) and Rebecca Coleman (keyboards and vocals). It (Avi Buffalo) is also the name of his/their debut full-length album. And it’s on Sub Pop!

Baby Dee – A Book Of Songs For Anne Marie

Brilliant Colors – Never Mine b/w Kissing’s Easy 7″
San Francisco’s Brilliant Colors have staked out a unique spot in the indie music landscape. Inspired in equal parts by DIY post-punk fervor and the spiky pop of C86 and early Flying Nun / Creation label output, they hearken back to a time when the best tunes came out on 7-inch singles and weekends were spent digging through the stacks at your favorite local record shop. Their 2009 album, Introducing, is one of the finest debuts in recent memory, combining guitar buzz with dreamy melodies and rushing rhythms into some unlikely combination of The Dils and Shop Assistants. Now the band is back with their first new recordings since that great album, and boy, are they winners. “Never Mine” is two minutes of punk-pop perfection – singer/guitarist Jess Scott’s spare riff underpinned by Diane Anastasio’s steady thump and Michelle Hill’s busy, melodic bassline. It’s Brilliant Colors in a nutshell: crunchy garage punk played with total purposefulness, leavened by an instinctive pop sense. On the flip side, the pace picks up for “Kissing’s Easy”: all rolling snares and frantic guitar strum and Scott’s echoey vocal sass. Like all the best classic punk tunes, it’s over just a little too soon, leaving one no option but to turn over the record and play it all again. Recorded with DIY simplicity by Ty Segall, who knows a bit about garage pop himself, the minimal sound fits the band’s tunes like a glove. This great single hones Brilliant Colors’ spiky, angular crash-pop and points to a very interesting 2010 for the trio

Codeine Velvet Club – Codeine Velvet Club
Codeine Velvet Club is Jon Fratelli of The Fratellis and singer/songwriter Lou Hickey. Their new musical project celebrates their shared love of ’60s girl-boy duets, dramatic orchestral pop, and dark post-war Hollywood and Las Vegas romanticism

Daedelus – Meanwhile
2010 repress, 2004 release. LP version. Born Alfred Weisberg-Roberts in Santa Monica, CA, producer/instrumentalist Daedelus wanted to be an inventor from an early age, a sentiment that led to him choosing an artistic moniker (in Greek mythology, Daedalus was known as an inventor, although Weisberg-Roberts also cites the character Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – as well as the ship in the Japanese cartoon Robotech – as equally valid reasons for his selection) when he began releasing his own work. Despite the fact that he was formally trained on double bass and bass clarinet, had studied jazz at USC, and could play additional instruments such as the guitar and accordion, Daedelus chose to go the electronic route, often incorporating samples from the ’30s and ’40s into his IDM and left-field hip-hop.

Dosh – Tommy
For his fifth Anticon album, Martin Dosh had two goals. First: Get loose. 2008’s Wolves and Wishes took a step in this direction by way of its guests–freewheelers like Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Odd Nosdam–but Dosh records are well-known for their impeccable arrangements. To wit, Andrew Bird used Wolves and Wishes‘ “First Impossible” as the rhythmic backbone for a song on last year’s critically acclaimed Noble Beast LP. (Dosh has been collaborating, recording and touring with Bird since 2005.) Dosh’s second goal seemed to directly conflict with the first: Explore thicker terrain for his already seething soundscapes . More drums. More vocals. And new to the Dosh catalog, lots of low end. But instead of clutter, this unique brand of maximalist, rhythm-driven post-rock sweeps lilting beauty, serious beats and even airy moments into its comely whirlwind.

Frog Eyes – Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph

Peter Gordon & Love Of Live Orchestra – Another Heartbreak 12″
DFA Records presents Another Heartbreak–a three-song, two-sided single from Love of Life Orchestra, the forthcoming retrospective album by legendary NYC composer Peter Gordon. Side one remixes “Another Heartbreak” and “Don’t Don’t Redux,” two vintage cuts that made noise all over again in 2007 when LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Pat Mahoney used them to open and close the much-played dance compilation Fabriclive 36. The enthusiastic reaction spurred DFA to sign Gordon to release an album that showcases work better known to dance music insiders than to the general public. “

Hole – Nobody’s Daughter

Lali Puna – Our Inventions
The LP version comes with a printed inner sleeve and MP3 download coupon! This is the fourth full-length album by Germany’s Lali Puna. More than half a decade has elapsed since the release of Faking the Books, but the band’s impact on the climate of electronic rock music remains palpable. Along with sister-group The Notwist, this Weilheim quartet have helped map out the musical landscape for modern, experimentally-minded pop music, and Our Inventions finds Lali Puna continuing to push the frontiers of their medium.

Make Up – Save Yourself
Save Yourself, the sixth album by Washington DC’s Make Up, creates a new amalgamation that is best described as “Gospedelic.” Originally released in 1999, this record stands apart as their shimmering and ultra-psychedelic crown jewel

Jesse Malin & The St. Marks Social – Love It To Life

MONO – Holy Ground: NYC Live (3xLP + DVD)
The vinyl format is strictly limited to 3,000 copies and packaged in a heavyweight triple-gatefold jacket, and includes a bonus track not included on the CD format! In association with the esteemed Wordless Music Series, Mono super-sized their already legendary live show with a 24-piece orchestra. Painstakingly recorded and mixed by famed producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Isis, Minus The Bear), Holy Ground brilliantly captures every moment of whispered calm and breathless beauty with patient clarity. Included with the album is a stunning live DVD documenting the entire 90-minute performance, featuring live orchestral versions of many of Mono’s most beloved songs

People Of The North – Deep Tissue (+ MP3)
Started by Kid Millions and Bobby Matador of Oneida, People of the North is an ongoing but sporadic outgrowth of that restlessly experimental Brooklyn assemblage. It has always included Kid and Bobby, and usually other members of Oneida as well. While there are no clearly defined boundaries separating PotN from Oneida, it might be fair to say that the music is more staunchly devoted to minimalism, repetition, improvisation, and sternness than the wide-ranging efforts of the big brother band.

Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here (deluxe edition)
Deluxe double LP. I’m New Here is a shock. It’s a wallop filled with big nasty beats, a wide range of sonic atmospheres, and more — sometimes unintentional — autobiographical intimacy than we’ve heard from Gil Scott-Heron than ever before. Produced by XL Recordings head Richard Russell, I’m New Here is his first record in 16 years. It is a scant 28 minutes and doesn’t need to be a second longer. It’s unlike anything he’s previously recorded, though there is metaphoric precedence in his earliest, largely spoken word albums

Starkey – Ear Drums And Black Holes
With musical arrangement skills that make film score composers red-faced with jealousy, plus a knack for impressively bass-heavy music that works in clubs and on headphones, Starkey returns with his second album for Planet Mu. Ear Drums and Black Holes takes an incredibly open-ended vision of dubstep and runs with it. This genre cross-pollinator has released DJ mixes and tracks on his own Seclusiasis label in the so-called “street bass” subgenre. While that description covers some of the tracks here, such as “Murderous Words” (featuring Texan MC Cerebral Vortex) and the R’n’G-style “Club Games” (again with Vortex, this time adding Buddy Leezle on the mic), or the heartfelt “Numb” (with UK grime MC P-Money), this album merely starts from that point, and offers a whole dimension of new possibilities. Anneka’s delightful pop vocals on “Stars” or “New Cities,” featuring Japanese singer Kiki Hitomi, sounds like Yellow Magic Orchestra fast-forwarded into the contemporary world. But all these tracks would be nothing if they didn’t hang together beautifully with epic robo-funk. From the melodic to the monstrous, these pieces take an almost prog approach to dustup: wide-screen and weightless, until that bass drops. Then there’s “Capsule” with its driving bass enveloped by precise melodic chords, the gorgeous boom-bap intergalactic ride of “Neck Snap,” or the twisted synth dark-side grimace of “Fourth Dimension” that combines 8-bit computer game clarity with weird fairground bass and rave breakbeats. These tracks give Ear Drums a cosmic synth feel akin to a less overwrought Tangerine Dream with an “in the pocket” funkiness and incredible compositional skills

Emily Jane White – Victorian America

Josiah Wolf – Jet Lag
The debut album from Why? multi-instrumentalist Josiah Wolf offers up a rare achievement – a solo work with true legs of its own. Wolf’s visual snapshots illustrate the wistfulness of a mundane moment and offer canny excavations of those poignancies that lie beneath the surface: tough triumphs, tougher truths, and outright failures. His lean poems are set to an autumnal mix of warm folk and easy psychedelia played out (by Wolf alone) on guitar, vibes, kalimba, Hammond organ, bells, bass, and drums, to name a few. The end result, a sort of chamber pop minus the showy sweeps – virtuosity without the virtuoso – makes Jet Lag as impressive in its subtle execution as it is a timeless, heartfelt listen.

CD RELEASES:

Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo

Baby Dee – A Book Of Songs For Anne Marie
While the last album was lit with the production fire of Will Oldham & Matt Sweeney producing, A Book of Songs For Anne Marie glows softly with the calming presence of Maxim Moston (arranger of some standing & part of Antony and the Johnsons’ touring band). In essence, this album is a prequel to Safe Inside the Day. The songs here were released in a different set of recordings and in a limited-edition book form (150 copies!) on David Tibet’s Durtro label back in 2004. For most listeners, this is its first outing.

Frog Eyes – Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph
Three years in the making, Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph marks Frog Eyes’ thunderous, frantic, fiery return. This is a slow-brewed masterpiece that is unmistakably Frog Eyes, a new album that was very much worth the wait. On this point we feel unassailable: Frog Eyes keeps getting better and better. Frog Eyes are equally informed by Scott Walker and Roxy Music, Nuggets collections and the Everly Brothers. But in truth, Frog Eyes’ recordings sound like nothing else but Frog Eyes.

Hole – Nobody’s Daughter
Nobody’s Daughter is the first Hole album in over a decade, since 1998’s Celebrity Skin. It also marks Courtney Love’s first record since her solo album America’s Sweetheart in 2004. Collaborators include: Producer Michael Beinhorn, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, and Linda Perry. Along with Courtney Love, the new line-up of Hole includes 23-year-old British guitarist Micko Larkin (formerly of London indie rockers Larrikin Love), bassist Shawn Dailey (of Rock Kills Kid), and drummer Stuart Fisher. Jack Irons, formerly of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam, also played drums on the album.

Lali Puna – Our Inventions

Jesse Malin & The St. Marks Social – Love It To Life
Love it to Life is the new studio album from Jesse Malin featuring a collective of players and friends called “The St. Marks Social”. Jesse Malin belongs in a special breed of musicians, in that he is held as a legend in some circles and virtually unknown in many others. His bands, Heart Attack and D Generation, helped to shape the sound of punk and hardcore as we know them today, while remaining faithful torchbearers for the paradigm that had been built before them. As a solo artist, Malin has grown up and expanded his sound. His albums, whether consisting of original songs or covers, consistently show him to have taste as wide as it is good.

MONO – Holy Ground: NYC Live (+ DVD)

The Mynabirds – What We Lose In the Fire We Gain In the Flood
Following the demise of Georgie James, Laura Burhenn (half of the former DC duo) gathered her favorite books, records, and people around her and wrote what would become the first album from her new band. Recorded in the rugged hills of Oregon in the summer of 2009 with producer Richard Swift at the helm, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood tells the story of loss and recovery, the music nodding to gospel and garage, the lyrics following a Zen trajectory. “I wanted to make a record that felt like Neil Young doing Motown,” Laura says, “something simple and strong, old and new at once.

Small Black – Small Black EP
After months of thawing out in an uncle’s attic, Small Black emerged with one of 2009’s catchiest debut releases. The Small Black EP, as it is called, melds strange beats, dreamy synths, tape hiss and laid-back melodies into pop jams. Now 2010 sees Small Black teaming up with Jagjaguwar for a deluxe re-mastered release of their debut EP with two extra songs added, “Kings of Animals” and “Baby Bird Pt. 2.”

Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights – Pardon Me
‘We recorded it live,’ Tyler says of the ‘Pardon Me’ sessions in Nashville with producer Jay Joyce (known for his work with Cage The Elephant, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, Audio Adrenaline, Crowded House). ‘We were really critical about keeping things in the pocket and giving it a groove, but letting the songs breathe and feel alive was the main thing that was really important to us. And because we’d played those songs so much before going into the studio, for the most part it wasn’t that hard. We didn’t really pull our hair out over any of the songs.’
It’s clear from the finished results – be it storming rockers like ‘Young & Free’ and ‘Gypsy Woman’ or gut-wrenching, slow-burning beauties like ‘She Wears a Smile’ and ‘Paint Me a Picture’ – that the band expended just as much sweat and passion in the studio as they do night after night onstage

The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (Rarities Ed.)

Emily Jane White – Victorian America
Emily Jane White was raised in Fort Bragg, California, a seaside town nestled in the misty, secluded woodland of the Mendocino Coast where old men tell stories about logging and young girls dream of San Francisco. Time moves slowly in Fort Bragg, where in place of big-city sharp shocks of excitement there stretches one drawn-out, stable truth, quiet and unflinching. You will live, Fort Bragg says, and then you will also assuredly die. Though Emily Jane White’s newest album, Victorian America, was written largely in San Francisco and Oakland, the atmosphere of her upbringing permeates her songs. White has no patience with light fare. This pensive feeling was established with White’s first album, Dark Undercoat, which critics and fans alike called a masterpiece; White herself is more inclined to call it a bare set of sketches. Conversely, Victorian America fills in the blank lines from Dark Undercoat with color, dynamics, orchestrations and a richer sense of poetics, the product of the three years’ work. Lyrically, White’s themes act like a devil on both shoulders who long ago killed off the angel. Victorian America, like the country it is banned for, is not an album that rests easy, nor does it exist for the sake of existing. From beginning to end, this is new mystic American songwriting at it finest