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New Releases for March 9th, 2010

VINYL RELEASES:

Alberta Cross – The Broken Side Of Time

Aloha – Home Acres (+ MP3)
Aloha follows the acclaimed LP Some Echoes (2006) and acoustic EP Light Works (2007) with a powerful record that shows the band unbound by past influences and boldly stepping out of the shadows. Home Acres pushes the tempos and dials up the guitars, with the band’s slow-burn intensity sometimes overflowing into huge moments. But even as the energy surges, Aloha casts an otherworldly glow, serving up ambience and attack with equal measure. Lyrically, Home Acres tries to sort through the wreckage of the Great Lakes region and a way of life. Left abandoned “waiting for a getaway car that never came” in the record’s arena-rock-by-way-of-Silver Apples closer “Ruins,” we’re left to think that maybe we ought to have dreamt bigger and fought the urge to disengage. A suggestion that Aloha has taken to heart for its biggest, brightest record to date

The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night

Broken Bells – Broken Bells (+MP3, poster)
Broken Bells is a new band featuring James Mercer (from the band that “changed your life,” The Shins) and Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse (producer; one half of Gnarls Barkley; The Grey Album). The two first collaborated on a track on the (never “officially” released) Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse album Dark Night of the Soul, and now they are a real life band! And by thus far keeping details about the endeavor to a minimum, the tunes will really speak for themselves

The Bundles – The Bundles
The Bundles boasts a line-up of Kimya Dawson, Jeffrey Lewis, Jack Lewis, Anders Griffen and Karl Blau, a formidable group of artists who have achieved great singular success. The Bundles started in 2001 as a collaborative project between Lewis and Dawson, who were fans of each other in the growing anti-folk music scene of New York City in the late 90s (she of the Moldy Peaches, he of the Jeffrey Lewis Band). Their debut album The Bundles is a delightful fusion of everything they have done on their own.

Jason Collett – Rat a Tat Tat

Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

Gonjasufi – A Sufi and A Killer
In these recent heady days, hype spreads like digital swine-flu and new artists are subjected to the sea change of an entire career before ever developing their sound. So to exist outside of the spotlight and develop a sound at once ready for the masses online, yet rooted in the fierce individualism of artists past may seem somewhat of a quaint notion until you hear Gonjasufi. At the moment, he stands just outside the spotlight cast on his friends and collaborators Flying Lotus and The Gaslamp Killer, but the sonic brotherhood that exists is implicit rather than as similarities in sound. Drawing from unearthed strains of global psychedelia and merging it with a rejuvenated sense of hip-hop clarity currently distinct to the West Coast, Gonjasufi is more than just a songwriter, MC or performer. His debut album A Sufi and a Killer recalls moments in love as well as trading sinister threats with enemies, sometimes within the same song. Trading in both the murk of lo-fidelity vintage samples and the concentrated crispness of current West Coast production, A Sufi and a Killer is both a roadmap to the riches of the distant past and a signpost to the future

Jimi Hendrix re-issues
Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, First Rays Of The New Rising Sun

Interference – Interference

Shooter Jennings – Black Ribbons

jj – jj n° 3
jj create R&B and balearic dub from the ghosts of lost lovers; pop as delicate as a fawn’s nose across blades of frosted grass. It is the soundtrack for friends packed into the town square’s tiniest tavern, their moon-tanned, apple-cheeked faces glowing, their dilated pupils filled with all the meaning and meaninglessness of a magic 8-ball. Their music is both carefree without carelessness, and self-aware without being self-conscious. With it, they build an ice bridge arching from Gothenburg into the heart of Middle America, and everywhere in between

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks

The Morning Benders – Big Echo
Big Echo is an album made to be played LOUD. It sounds great on headphones. The band that made it is called The Morning Benders.They recorded the album in San Francisco and mixed it in Brookyln. Chris Chu and Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear) produced it in eleven days. On the twelfth day they rejoiced. There are 10 tracks on Big Echo which The Morning Benders think is the best length for an album. It should also be said that Big Echo is made of some of the most glorious pop music you’ll hear this year or any year

Pavement – Quarantine The Past: Greatest Hits 1989-1999 (2x LP)
The tracks span the entirety of Pavement’s career from 1989 to 1999, from the scratchy and mysterious sounds of their early vinyl-only releases to the rich, multilayered warmth of their final recordings. Although the compilation does not include any unreleased material, it definitely digs deeper than the hits. This re-mastered mid-priced, 23-track Greatest Hits collection, chosen by the band, ranges from their Top 10 Modern Rock hit “Cut Your Hair” to nearly all their singles, some underrated album tracks, three choice pre-Matador cuts and one obscure compilation track singing the praises of R.E.M

Pavement re-issues
Slanted & Enchanted, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Wowee Zowee, Watery, Domestic EP, Brighten The Corners, Terror Twilight

Mark Stewart – Edit
Among the most outspoken voices to emerge from the aftermath of U.K. punk, Mark Stewart has left an indelible influence on generations of politically minded musicians across several genres. From scathing, leftist hectoring as the front man for post-punk legends the Pop Group, to more recent forays into dub-influenced electronica, Stewart has steadfastly wielded his microphone as a weapon against the forces of oppression. His sixth solo outing, EDIT has lost none of the ideological fervor of his earliest punk-era efforts. Once again, Stewart has employed his group Maffia, who feature the rock-solid rhythm section of drummer Keith LeBlanc, bassist Doug Wimbish, and guitarist Skip McDonald. Relying less obviously on the studio trickery of producer Adrian Sherwood, EDIT is firmly rooted in live musicianship that is supplemented by Sherwood’s tight mix and restrained use of effects. On the bitter bombast of “Loner,” Stewart’s monotone phrasing echoes the industrial-tinged distortion of the LeBlanc’s relentless, rhythmic pounding. “Secret Suburbia” meanwhile, overlaps acidic synth riffing over a pumping funk groove as Stewart bemoans the cultural wasteland created by urban blight.

Titus Andronicus – The Monitor

Various Artists – The Minimal Wave Tapes Vol. 1
Minimal Wave: both a genre of underground DIY electronic music from North America and Europe in the late 1970s and 80s, and the name of the label devoted to unearthing these recordings. The Minimal Wave Tapes is the first official anthology of Minimal Wave music from this label. Most of the songs were originally released on limited edition cassettes or vinyl by the artists themselves, and only a handful of people knew about them. They’ve been re-mastered from their analog source tapes and compiled here by Minimal Wave’s Veronica Vasicka and Stones Throw’s Peanut Butter Wolf. The Minimal Wave musical genre was hallmarked by the use of the analog synths and drum machines manufactured in the 70s and 80s, and characterized by simple music structures made by musicians working in the early D.I.Y. aesthetic: recording on tape in their home studios, creating their own album artwork, and often collaborating via postage mail. The fanzine CLEM (Contact List Of Electronic Musicians) was very influential in creating a worldwide community for this sort of music, before digital technology and the internet came into play.

Minimal Wave the label was founded in New York City in 2005 by Veronika Vasicka, who focused the label solely on obscure Minimal Wave recordings, re-mastering and releasing them on limited vinyl and digital. The Minimal Wave Tapes fits neatly into Stones Throw Records’ own tradition of compiling or reissuing the independent music of the past which influences the independent music we make today

Ween – The Pod (180g 2x LP)

White Hinterland – Kairos
On Kairos, we find White Hinterland exploring the edges of minimal pop, accomplishing a delicate but lively seduction through deep, patient bass throbs, prismatic synth textures, and direct, intimate songs sung with an empowered gravitas. Here Casey Dienel tailors the acrobatics of her former songwriting into a slender focus, folding it into deeper grooves

You Say Party! We Say Die! – XXXX

CD RELEASES:

Alberta Cross – The Broken Side Of Time

Alberta Cross’ ATO Records debut, Broken Side of Time, is a cathartic kaleidoscope of influences, from Depeche Mode to The Band. Grand in its volume and vast in vision, it is an inspired set of electric songs that finds the intersection between the Verve, My Morning Jacket, and Neil Young

Aloha – Home Acres

The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night calls upon the influence of ELO and finer parts of the Alan Parsons Project in its orchestration. Still helped by ghosts of Beach Boys Past, the album is more Dennis Wilson than Brian, and more Peter Green Fleetwood Mac than Lindsay Buckingham. The album is a dark bliss-out that folds the eerie guitar epics of the Montreal band’s breakthrough into a wall of affected drones and atmospherics, but with a toughened immediacy and grit that gives the form a much-needed shove over the cliffs, making for a haunting, provocative swan dive into the crushing tide

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Beat The Devil’s Tattoo
Somewhere between the five full-length albums and a decade-long road test across the highways of the world, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club found their way. Eleven years after bassist Robert Levon Been and guitarist Peter Hayes started playing gigs around their hometown of San Francisco, the duo has now started over, with a new vision, a new drummer, and the gift of a future unknown. The sound of Beat the Devil’s Tattoo comes from everywhere and nowhere – it draws a map and embarks on a sonic road trip through American music; from howling front porch stomps on the Chattanooga and beer-sloshing Texas roadhouse rockouts, to swaggering proto-punk sneering in NYC’s basement bars

Broken Bells – Broken Bells
*deluxe box set also available – includes CD, 44-page notebook, exclusive poster, glow-in-the-dark stickers & more; plays an exclusive soundtrack when opened

The Bundles – The Bundles

The Chieftains ft. Ry Cooder – San Patricio

Jason Collett – Rat a Tat Tat
Rat A Tat Tat took shape in a dilapitated garage in Toronto’s East End (owned by Carlin Nicholson of Zeus) during the summer of 2009. In this comfy hole in the wall, surrounded by clutter of vintage instruments and recording gear held together with shoe laces, gaffer tape and indefatigable optimism, Collett worked with the duo of Carlin Nicholson and Michael O’Brien. Rat A Tat Tat is Collett’s follow up to his widely praised 2008 release, Here’s To Being Here. The album attributes to, and trumpets the energy, of an exciting and burgeoning creative arts scene Toronto, in which Jason Collett – highly regarded as a prolific songwriter and performer – finds himself at the very centre. Rat A Tat Tat shows Collett using the Canadian backdrop to further explore his roots as a national storyteller

Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
With their sophomore outing The Midnight Organ Fight a fixture on 2008’s Best Of The Year circuit, a fanbase increasing in both size and devotion, and multiple sold-out tours of ever-larger venues under their belts, Glasgow-based Frightened Rabbit are releasing their third LP to towering expectations. The Winter Of Mixed Drinks – a collection of ambitious, moving, and gloriously accomplished songs – more than meets this challenge

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
*deluxe CD/DVD also available
Five years after the release of their last record, Damon Albarn’s animated dub-hop group Gorillaz have announced their new album, Plastic Beach. There’s a theme to this one – from the press release: The band have taken up residence, recording on a secret floating island deep in the South Pacific, a Plastic Beach HQ, made up of the detritus, debris and washed up remnants of humanity. This Plastic Beach is the furthest point from any landmass on Earth; the most deserted spot on the planet. Got it, yeah? The first single is Stylo, and features Mos Def and Bobby Womack. The guest on Plastic Beach don’t stop there as Albarn and his compadres have enlisted an eclectic group of players – including Lou Reed, Gruff Rhys, De La Soul, Kano and The National Orchestra For Arabian Music

Ben Harper – Live From The Montreal International (CD/DVD)

Jimi Hendrix – Valleys Of Neptune
12 previously unreleased studio recordings! 10 recordings were made between Feb – May ’69, and includes 1969 arrangements of classic signature songs “Red House”, “Fire”, “Stone Free”, also unheard studio versions of interpretations of “Bleeding Heart”, by Elmore James, Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”

Jimi Hendrix re-issues (CD/DVD)
Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, Smash Hits

Shooter Jennings – Black Ribbons
Black Ribbons, the highly anticpated new album from singer/songwriter Shooter Jennings, features a unique collaboration between Jennings and best selling author Stephen King. The 70 minute concept album sees King providing the voice of “Will O’The Wisp,” a late night talk radio host who is in the last hour of his final broadcast before the airwaves are overtaken by “government approved and regulated transmissions”

jj – jj n° 3

The Knife w/ Mt. Sims & Planningtorock – Tomorrow, In A Year
The Knife, in collaboration with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, present the studio version of the opera Tomorrow, In A Year. Commissioned by Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma to write the music for their opera based on Charles Darwin and his book On the Origin of the Species, The Knife decided to make this a collaborative process, working with artists Mt. Sims and Planningtorock for the first time, to capture the huge width of the Darwin and evolution theme. They extensively researched Darwin related literature and articles, with Olof attending a field recording workshop in the Amazon to find inspiration and to record sounds. Tomorrow, In A Year is a unique musical project. Richard Dawkins’s gene trees have formed the basis of some of the musical composition, artificial sounds have been mixed with field recordings, with the music inspired by everything from the different stages of a bird learning its melody, to a song based on Darwin’s loving letters about his daughter Anne. These are compositions that challenge the conventional conception of opera music. Pushing the experimental process further still, composer, choreographer, costume designer and set designer worked separately, only coming together three and a half months before the first performance of Tomorrow, In A Year in Copenhagen on the 2nd September 2009.

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks
New Jersey’s Ted Leo and the Pharmacists are back after a two year break with their fourth album and Matador debut, The Brutalist Bricks. This extraordinarily assured, wide ranging album explores new ground for Ted, showcasing his singer-song writer side while remaining emotionally and energetically true to his punk roots. From the thrilling opener “The Mighty Sparrow” to the apocalyptic “Last Days,” startling influences reveal themselves

Liars – Sisterworld
Liars return in 2010 with their fifth studio album; their boldest and most exhilarating record to date. Sisterworld was written and recorded in Los Angeles by Liars and Tom Biller and is an invigorating summation of their career so far. Building on the back-to-basics approach employed by previous album, Liars (2007), Sisterworld is a dense art-pop thrill from start to finish. Sisterworld is Liars’ own space, completely devoid of influence, somewhere remote from the false promises and discarded dreams amassed in LA. In it Liars explore the underground support systems created to deal with loss of self to society

The Morning Benders – Big Echo

Pavement – Quarantine The Past: Greatest Hits 1989-1999

Josh Rouse – El Turista
Unexpected and utterly sublime, El Turista‘s sultry song cycle shuffles seamlessly in tandem with Getz/Gilberto and Paul Simon’s Graceland, albums as boldly surprising in their eras as El Turista is in this one. The record marks a new direction for the critically acclaimed artist, while offering the musical sophistication and emotional depth Rouse’s devoted constituents have come to expect. His new songs continue the consistently enthralling body of work highlighted by the modern-day landmark albums 1972 and Nashville. Throughout El Turista, simple, Spanish-influenced street rhythms unfurl into epic versions of Guaraldi-like jazz numbers, resulting in yet another career defining touchstone and a genre-blending album that is as sophisticated as it is infectious

Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
The Monitor was recorded in August, 2009 by producer and engineer Kevin McMahon at his studio – Marcata Recording – in New Paltz, NY. The usual suspects from the world of Titus Andronicus were all in attendance, as well as members of Ponytail, Wye Oak, Vivian Girls, and the Hold Steady. McMahon also mixed the album, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi – whom the band chose because he is the only person alive who can claim involvement in both The Chemistry of Common Life by F*cked Up and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell by Meat Loaf

White Hinterland – Kairos

You Say Party! We Say Die! – XXXX

DVD RELEASES:

Bob Dylan – Weary Blues From Waitin’
Bob Dylan’s 1966-78 period is re-examined by this insightful documentary program. Fans will find fascinating details about his alleged motorcycle accident, his famous sessions with The Band at Big Pink, the Isle of Wight appearance, and much more. Features revealing comments from Dylan experts as well as friends and colleagues

Jimi Hendrix – Live At Woodstock (2x DVD)
This special two-disc DVD presentation of Jimi Hendrix: Live At Woodstock stands as the definitive record of one of Jimi’s most celebrated performances. This deluxe set features all of the existing August 1969 concert newly re-edited and in it’s original performace sequence. Includes never-before-seen versions of Foxy Lady, Message To Love, Hey Joe, Spanish Castle Magic and Lover Man, and an all new 5.1 and 2.0 stereo soundtrack mixed by Eddie Kramer, Jimi’s orignal studio engineer