Sunday, September 27, 2009
In the digital age, the fact that an independent brick and mortar record shop still has their doors open is nothing short of a miracle. Add in the fact that the store in question has been at it since 1979, witnessing the rise and fall of the megachain, all while quietly doing their thing and minding their own business throughout and you have a reason to celebrate.
Rockaway Records survived the era of the corporate record shop, but it still has iTunes, Amazon, illegal downloading, Best Buy and Wal-Mart to compete with. However, if you have ventured into the store recently you can easily forget those other things exist. At the very least you have 5 - 10 customers milling about at any given time. Many of them looking like they may just have been there for the grand opening, but you'll also bump into your fair share of high school and college kids. Everyone always seems to be having a grand old time whether it's digging through the vinyl section, perusing the used compact discs, taking in the eclectic in-store music or more generally just enjoying the kind of music buying experience that is becoming harder and harder to find these days.
I had been to Rockaway a few times since I first moved to L.A., but it wasn't until about six months ago that I started to become a regular. Partly because I moved around the corner, but partly also because newcomers like Vacation and Origami had really reminded me that being a frequent music buyer doesn't mean you have to limit yourself strictly to trips to Amoeba in Hollywood.
Here's a few things I've purchased at Rockaway recently:
Miles Davis - Porgy and Bess
Om - Pilgramage
Clogs - Lantern
Various Artists - Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father
Love - Forever Changes
The Kinks - The Kink Kronikles
The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat
Quite the varied mix there. I've had my eye on a lot more than that and that's what keeps me coming back for more.
Today Rockaway is having a one day sale that will help them mark their three decades of business. They will be filling the parking lot with 99 cent CD's (a price even strict vinyl buyers can love) and you'll find up to 75% off the vinyl, DVD's and rock memorobilia inside the store. If you are in the area you should stop by and support the exception to the rule when it comes to independent record stores. While there, wish Rockaway Records a happy 30th anniversary and, at the very least, 30 more.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Dead Oceans will be releasing the "Too Much Time" 7" on October 6th. "Moon Rocks" will be on the flip side. Pre-order now and you will receive an instant download for both songs.
One of the great things about John Vanderslice is the different variations of his songs that he freely makes available. Just take a look at the music section on his official site. In that same spirit, here is a gorgeous demo take for "Too Much Time":
"Too Much Time" (demo)
John recently visited KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. If you missed it (or only heard the audio), here you are:
Romanian Names is out right now.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Aside from being a member of The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile is also quite the accomplished solo musician. Matador recently signed him and will be releasing his latest LP Childish Prodigy on October 6th.
The Matablog has been getting everyone psyched about the record by posting new videos all week. Here's a recent interview Kurt gave where he discusses the honor of being on a celebrated label, the Philly music scene and how his new offering of songs differs from his more lo-fi work in the past:
Live performance of new song "Hunchback":
"Hunchback" (studio version)
Pre-order Childish Prodigy and receive the "He's All Right" 7" as a nice bonus.
It's also recommended that you pick up Constant Hitmaker released on Woodsist.
Saturday 03 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie
Wednesday 07 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Thursday 08 Poughkeepsie, NY Vassar College w/Indian Jewelry
Saturday 10 Oberlin, OH The ‘Sco (Dionysus Disco) at Oberlin College
Sunday 11 Lexington, KY Al’s Bar
Monday 12 Bloomington, IN Video Saloon
Tuesday 13 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
Wednesday 14 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
Friday 16 Missoula, MT The Palace
Saturday 17 Seattle, WA High Dive w/Crystal Stilts
Sunday 18 Portland, OR Holocene w/Crystal Stilts
Tuesday 20 Arcata, CA Jambalaya
Wednesday 21 San Francisco, CA Hemlock Tavern
Thursday 22 San Diego, CA Crepe Place
Friday 23 Los Angeles, CA Spaceland
Sunday 25 San Diego, CA Casbah
Tuesday 27 Phoenix, AZ Modified Arts
Thursday 29 Lubbock, TX Bash Riprocks
Friday 30 Austin, TX Mohawk
Saturday 31 Dallas, TX Lounge on Elm Street
Monday 02 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone Cafe w/Lovvers
Tuesday 03 Dallas, TX The Loft
Thursday 05 Washington, DC Black Cat
Merge Records will be reissuing both Neutral Milk Hotel full lengths on November 3rd (or is it November 17th? The site lists both dates).
On Avery Island and In the Aeroplane Over the Sea aren't exactly hard to track down for collectors but the pressings you'll find out there aren't really up to today's standards. Both of these releases will be 180 gram.
Neutral Milk Hotel - 'Holland 1945'
You can pre-order both of these now over at the Merge Store.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The new album is available now, but you'll have to wait until October for the vinyl release.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Beastie Boys, Hello Nasty
The final B-Boys remaster is now available. In this writers humble opinion this is where it started to go south. The key word is started, though, as this is still a great addition and a must for a complete collection. To be fair, even though this record came out all the way back in 1998 they have only had one proper follow up since (2004's To the 5 Boroughs, which wasn't all bad either). Still patiently awaiting Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1 as well
Diversions aside, this is available on a variety of different formats that will affect your listening pleasure and your bank account accordingly.
A lil' slice of the late 90's:
Volcano Choir, Unmap
The collaboration between Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Collections of Colonies of Bees. Haven't heard too much off of this one, but you probably know what it sounds like already.
Volcano Choir - "Island, IS"
Willie Nelson, Phases and Stages
Can't find too many details about this Rhino reissue that comes out today but it's probably a 180 gram pressing and the songs are bound to sound as great as they did when this was first released in 1974.
For those unfamiliar, Phases and Stages chronicles the breakup of a marriage with the first half of the record being told from the wife's perspective and the second half from the husband's. Can you call it a classic? Sure, you can call it anything you want but it's certainly a must have for even casual Nelson fans.
Willie wasn't available to perform you a song from Phases and Stages, so we have the equally excellent Waylon Jennings here to play you "It's Not Supposed To Be That Way".
Take it away Waylon!
Order Phases and Stages
A highly blogged about band worth their hype? It's rare that those exist these days but you can count Girls amongst the short list.
Chances are you're already burnt out on "Hellhole Ratrace" (especially if you listen to Sirius XMU). But take one moment out from being a jaded, hateful music consumer and enjoy a truly great song when it comes around.
I'd absolutely love it if J. Spaceman covered this tune sometime in the near future.
"Lust For Life":
Monday, September 21, 2009
Oh glorious Monday.
Those who pre-ordered the limited edition vinyl pressing of "Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses" are able to download the digital versions of the two tracks. Additionally they should have received a shipping confirmation on the 12".
Both songs fit well into the (presently) succinct 'solo' canon of Thom Yorke songs. A different feel than what can be found on The Eraser, but similar enough that they feel like they aren't Radiohead tracks. "Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses" has a low-end darkish electronic feel to it with a nice long outro that flits around a bit. "The Hollow Earth" beat could be the glitchier, more IDM leaning distant cousin of the "15 Step" with warmer vocal delivery than FPABH. Both very solid songs after only one listen.
Here's the unoffical video for "The Hollow Earth" that surfaced on the webs today:
Saturday, September 19, 2009
UK's Fuck Buttons thankfully returns this fall with their sophomore release, Tarot Sport. After hearing initial offering 'Surf Solar' this gets pushed up to my most anticipated album of Q4.
Forget the chillwave / altcore craze, Fuck Buttons is making headphone music that actually has some meat to it's bones. 'Surf Solar' confidently tight rope walks it's main beat, slowly adding and building to it's ethereal peak at the 2:28 mark. Classic electronic music formula sure, but few artists make it sound as great and immediate as these guys.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
(photo borrowed from Dead Air Space)
Thom Yorke doesn't get to play out in the sunshine too much these days, so it was nice that he took the opportunity today at England's Latitude Festival.
More importantly he debuted a new song called "The Present Tense". The always on point Ateaseweb already has video and an audio clip up:
Setlist (via NME):
Atoms For Peace
Follow Me Around
Everything In Its Right Place
The Present Tense
True Love Waits
Friday, June 12, 2009
Insound now has an exclusive pre-order up for Horn of Plenty, the debut album from Grizzly Bear. This is the first time this album is being offered on vinyl and ol' Insound is claiming to be the only place to get it. They are probably telling the truth.
The release will be on 180 gram and is being touted as a "SUPER LIMITED RELEASE!" That means if you want a copy for $14.99 plus shipping and not have to pay eBay prices, you might want to go ahead and order this now.
|1||Deep Sea Diver|
|9||A Good Place|
|11||Le Duchess Anne|
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Rough Trade has announced a 7" for Further Complications lead single "Angela". Only 1,000 copies will be pressed and it will come with the exclusive "I Found Myself Looking For God" on the flip side. You can pre-order it at HMV. Or just try your luck at your local record shop.
Jarvis was a guest Monday on The Radcliffe & Maconie Show that airs on BBC Radio 2. You can relisten to the show here. Skip ahead to around the 35 minute mark.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Most likely you have your copy already, but if you somehow seemed to forget that today is the day that The Eternal is available at your local vinyl retailer than by all means drop what you are doing and go get it.
Matador is obviously more than a little excited to have this album in their catalog. They certainly didn't spare any expense on the packaging:
If you are even a casual fan of the band, you might want to pick this one up just based on how beautiful it looks.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Nonesuch must be as excited about the new Wilco album as we are because on June 2nd they will be releasing new 180 gram versions of A.M., Being There and Summerteeth.
Wilco is another band whose early releases are a scarcity when it comes to finding them on vinyl. I actually snagged a sealed copy of Being There a few years ago, but these other two are suspiciously absent on the shelf.
A.M. will be a single LP while Being There and Summerteeth are both doubles. Each release will also include a CD version of the album.
You can pre-order now at Insound or Aural Exploits.
"Passenger Side", from A.M.:
"Outtasite (Outta Mind)", from Being There:
"We're Just Friends", from Summerteeth:
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Grizzly Bear will preface their new full length Veckatimest with a 12" single for "Two Weeks". This will include two Fred Falke remixes of the song. You can preorder it now through Insound.
"Two Weeks", Live on Letterman:
Veckatimest will be released May 26th on Warp.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Let's all welcome the latest Pink Mountaintops release, Outside Love, into our record collections this week. No matter what band Stephen McBean decides to release albums as, he hasn't made a single misstep yet. And if he has, he's buried it so far into the backwoods no one will ever fucking find it.
You can purchase this one through Jagjaguwar.
"While We Were Dreaming":
Akron/Family. The band that won me over 15 seconds into the first live song I heard them play. The plan was to listen to a song or two and split so I could get a good night's sleep. By the end of the first song I knew I was staying until they were done playing. What a great time that was.
While it's very hard to capture that kind of live performance on record, I do quite enjoy the music this band makes and they have a fan for life in me. Unless they start to really suck. But that probably won't happen.
Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free is a double LP and is being released by Dead Oceans.
Mastodon releases Crack The Skye on vinyl today and it comes in two versions. The easier one to find will probably be the "high quality" regular pressing. Does that mean 180 gram? Not sure.The more limited option is a one time 45 rpm double LP pressing with a gatefold sleeve. Either way you probably can't go wrong, but you'll probably want to play this one pretty loud so if you can snag the second option do it.
The "You're Probably Shit Out Of Luck" prize this week goes to the new ISIS release Wavering Radiant. As with most Hydra Head releases this came in a myriad of colors including blue, yellow, a clear version pressed and sold exclusively at Vacation and the import picture disc shown below. All of these appear to be sold out as of right now. You're not really surprised about that, are you?
The good news is you can stream the entire new album over on their MySpace page while you are searching for these on eBay.
That about does it for this week's releases. Go buy some wax.
After playing live with a full band the past few years, Damien is keeping it simple this time around. It's just him, his chair and his acoustic guitar. Seeing him with a full band previously, it was nice to hear the songs a little differently this time. Band or no band he still belts out his lyrics with enough commitment that he communicates the emotion that's ever-present in each line.
I forgot how damn funny he is too. In between songs he joked about how he's really not as depressed as his songs make him sound and that he mainly writes in the third person. At one point he pulled out a magazine that had a BMI ad that listed out several independent artists, himself included. The only problem was they put someone else's picture over his name. He played for a little over an hour and there wasn't one nonessential song in the entire set.
Damien's the type of artist that has seemingly flown under the buzz radar his entire career. I have several friends who, based on their taste in music, should by all rights be big fans of his but when his name comes up they always say something to the effect of "Oh yeah...I've heard of him." Damien seems more than ok with that though. He knows that his songs reach the people they reach and those people appreciate the heartfelt music he creates and in the end that's all that really matters.
Here's a couple songs from his latest release Caught In The Trees:
"Gillian Was A Horse"
Dig into Damien's back catalog over at his current label Secretly Canadian and his previous one, Sub Pop.
Cardiff band mclusky came and went without ever really landing on my radar, but the band that Andy "Falco" Falkous and Jack Egglestone went on to form after certainly caught my attention. The pair joined up with Kelson Mathias (ex-Jarcrew) and became Future of the Left.
Their debut album, Curses, came out in the fall of 2007 and has been a fairly consistent listen of mine ever since. News comes that their sophomore release is called Travels With Myself And Another and is set to release June 23rd on 4AD.
They also have a brand new song for us to listen to:
Additionally there's already a video available for another track from the new album,"The Hope That House Built":
"Manchasm", from Curses:
Performing "The Last Thing I Needed (First Thing This Morning)" and "At Death, A Proclamation" from To Willie and Pride respectively.
Both albums are out now on Dead Oceans and both get the highest possible recommendation.
See more live KEXP performances over on their Vimeo page.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Sonic Youth performed on Later...With Jools Holland again on Friday night. We see two more songs from The Eternal get the live treatment. This time it's "Sacred Trickster" and "Antenna".
The Eternal is out on June 9th via Matador.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Young Widows have their second (in a series of four) 7" splits up for pre-order over on the Temp Res site. This one features Japanese noise rockers Melt-Banana on the flip.
All four splits contain previously unreleased songs from Young Widows, with a different one of their favorite artists providing a song for side B. I picked up the first split with Bonnie "Prince" Billy a few weeks back and it's great stuff. Pelican and My Star will round out the series for splits three and four.
Each one is strictly limited to 2,000 pieces so you should get while the getting is good.
Young Widows, "Old Skin":
Check out Melt-Banana over at their MySpace page.
Faux Hoax is made up of Danny Seim (Menomena), Dave Allen (Gang of Four) and John Askew (Tracker). The trio got together a few years ago and recorded a few songs, which they are now releaseing.
Take a listen to "Your Friends Will Carry You Home" over on their MySpace page. They have a remix of that song and a second one, "Hippies", over at Muxtape. Sounds rad!
Polyvinyl is releasing their first 7" in May. Pre-order it here.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I know, I know. This was streaming pretty much everywhere yesterday so anyone who is even remotely interested in hearing it has heard it. But Jagjaguwar made it an official free download on their site today, so that's probably worth noting.
"I Want You To Know" is the first we've heard off of the upcoming Farm. It certainly sounds like Dinosuar Jr. and that's just how it should be.
"I Want You To Know"
Farm is out on 06/23 and will be a double LP.
Was very excited this morning to see that Plain Recordings is repressing This Is Hardcore, Pulp's 1998 follow up to Different Class. Pulp vinyl is pretty hard to come by in my experience, unless you have enough bucks and patience to pay a pretty penny on eBay. The only two I have in my collection are Countdown and We Love Life, both being very lucky finds at Amoeba Hollywood quite some time ago. I'm ecstatic to add This Is Hardcore right in between those records in my collection.
This release is on 180 gram double vinyl with a gatefold sleeve. You can pre-order now over at Aural Exploits. Ship date is scheduled for May 5th.
- The Fear
- Party Hard
- Help The Aged
- This Is Hardcore
- TV Movie
- A Little Soul
- I'm A Man
- Seductive Barry
- Glory Days
- The Day After The Revolution
- Like A Friend
- Tomorrow Never Lies
- Laughing Boy
- The Professional
- This Is Hardcore (End Of The Line Remix)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Holy heck. As much as I loved Rather Ripped, based off of this song The Eternal will kick that records ass ten ways till Sunday.
The Eternal is out on June 9th via Matador. They have one helluva Buy Early Get Now going too.
No offense to the LA Times, because the more coverage about this the better, but it seems like there's a new article each week almost word for word like the one they ran on Monday. Every article marvels at the fact that vinyl records are the only area of the music buisness that is growing. It's still a small percentage of overall music sold, but it's growing.
Aside from the redundancy of the statistics and the fact that vinyl never really went away, articles like these are great and serve the bigger cause. The more people who read these for the first time and think about going out and dusting off the turntable and digging out the old collection (or better yet, buying a new turntable and STARTING a collection) is a step in the right direction. Except if you are looking for rare Britpop records. Stay the hell away from those- they're mine.
The nice thing about this article is it profiles the great new vinyl stores that are popping up around L.A. Vacation Vinyl, Origami and Little Radio's new downtown venture all get mentions. It sure is a great time to love vinyl and live in Los Angeles. Shit- there was even a press release sent out this week about a new vinyl / BBQ hybrid opening up in Silver Lake.
Check out the full L.A. Times article here.
The always excellent (and super likable) John Vanderslice has made the switch from his longtime home at Barsuk to Dead Oceans for his upcoming new album Romanian Names. You can listen to two new songs from the album below.
"Too Much Time"
Romanian Names is out on May 19th, but if you pre-order now you'll get an instant download of the album PLUS a limited edition custom made wallet with a snippet of the unused master tape (if you are one of the first 100). It's not every day you get something like that with a pre-order.
He'll also be launching a North American tour around the same time the new album is released. Check out the dates over on his official site.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
According to yesterday's New York Post article, they are strongly mulling it over:
The consumer-electronics giant, which happens also to be the third-largest music seller behind Apple's iTunes and Wal-Mart, is considering devoting eight square feet of merchandising space in all of its 1,020 stores solely to vinyl, which would equate to just under 200 albums, after a test in 100 of its stores around the country proved successful.
Though vinyl represents less than 5 percent of Best Buy's music sales, the format is growing while CD sales continue to shrink.
Read the rest of the article here.
Great news for current and future collectors around the country that don't have the luxury of living near independent boutique vinyl stores. Sounds like the selection will be fairly limited at first, but it's definitely a step in the right direction.
A few different places are confirming that Wilco have titled their upcoming release Wilco (The Album). Allegedly their publicist has confirmed this, but their official site still has the album listed as "still untitled". They do have a tracklisting up however:
Wilco The Song
Bull Black Nova
You And I
You Never Know
"Wilco, The Song" (Live on The Colbert Report)
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Exclusive Wilco Song|
Whatever they call the album, it's currently scheduled to be out in late June on Nonesuch. The band kick off their U.S. tour starting in Cincinnati, OH on June 12th. You can check the dates here.
Ian Svenonius hosts a show on VBS.tv called Soft Focus. The latest installment of the show is an interview with Stephen Malkmus. Watch the first clip above. To watch parts 2 through 4 click over to the site.
As a post-rock fan I sometimes find myself slightly concerned with the genre and, more specifically, it's front runners. It's easy to imagine these bands all together in a medium sized room where they each pick a corner and start painting the floor backwards towards the middle. It feels like at some point they are going to end up bumping into each other, effectively running out of creative space.
As much as I love, love, love listening to post-rock I have to be honest with myself. Not everyone can do it well. Far less bands can do it great. And those that can do it great I want them to do it great forever and I'm always afraid there's going to come a day when they can't but they keep going anyway.
I can't really say I've consciously thought this about Mono, but I guess in a way I'll always sub-consciously think about it whenever someone like them puts out a new record. That's why I think I put off picking this one up until now, a few weeks after it's release. What if this was it? What if this is the one where they run out of steam?
Me of little faith.
As it turns out, this record is everything that is right about Mono and everything that's right about the music they choose to make. Sweeping, cinematic, breathtaking...all of the adjectives that have already been heaped upon them so many times before...they all apply here. But at the same time this album feels different than the last. And that's the key part for a post-rock band. With Hymn To The Immortal Wind not only have Mono possibly made their best record in their ten year career, they also manage to ease all anxiety that they could possibly stop making the most epic music you've ever heard anytime in the near (or far) future.
"Ashes In The Snow"
"Follow The Map", directed by Dimitri Galuret:
Hymn To The Immortal Wind is a double LP and is out now on Temporary Residence Limited.
Monday, April 27, 2009
What a gem of a song "Mykonos" is. Originally included on the Sun Giant EP it's now getting it's very own 7" release.
Sporting the beautiful cover shown above, the b-side is a cover of "False Knight on the Road".
You can pre-order this now from Sub Pop.
Fleet Foxes are on a much deserved touring break and are back on the road in June with some European dates.
He took his sweet ass time, but I Hate Rock N Roll finally has that Tweak Bird Reservations EP pressed on green vinyl and ready for order. This is a co-release with White Noise.
If you aren't familiar with Tweak Bird take a peek at this live video. It pretty much tells you what you need to know. Yes- they are playing in a mall!
Go ahead and order this bad boy before they are all gone.
Tweak Bird are currently out on a hefty tour with Big Business. Check out the dates over on their MySpace and if they are playing anywhere near you, you really need to get your ass out to the show.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Morrissey and company perform the opening track from Years of Refusal.
It's not news to any collector that labels have been very rewarding to their consumers who support their vinyl releases. Digital download cards included in the record sleeve have been increasing at an amazing rate over the last two years. Pretty much everyone is doing it these days.
Jagjaguwar is doing you one better when you pre-order the new Pink Mountaintops, Outside Love, by giving you immediate access to the mp3's. You can also preview the entire album now over at their MySpace page. Suffice it to say, if you liked the previous offerings from PM or you're a Black Mountain fan you're probably going to want to pick this up.
You can also preview / download two songs from Outside Love over at the Jagjag site:
"While We Were Dreaming"
Outside Love is out on May 5th.
First is Blitzen Trapper performing "Sleepytime in the Western World" with just their voices. I think their label buddies Fleet Foxes seem to get the most attention for their harmonies, but this video shows that BT is great at it as well:
Secondly, they have a preview of The Soft Pack performing an 'unreleased' song. I've pretty much loved anything I've ever heard from these guys, but I'm not so sure about this one. I know it's hard to form an opinion on less than a minute of music, so we should all reserve judgement for now:
When was the last time you picked up a brand new triple LP for $19, plus a couple bucks shipping? Let me answer that for you: probably never.
Iron and Wine's new rarities album, Around the Well, is up for pre-order over at SubPop.com for just that amount.
If you haven't been paying attention, Around the Well collects harder to find songs from Sam Beam's career and spans from the very beginning (The Creek Drank The Cradle) all the way up to his most recent (The Shepherd's Dog). And it's probably going to be awesome.
My co-worker said the other day that Iron and Wine bores him now and he makes music for indie rock parents and their kids. I think my co-worker is full of shit about a lot of things, including this statement. I say Sam Beam could very easily be a snoozer at this point in his career but hasn't had a single misstep yet as far as I am concerned and continues to crank out increasingly interesting music. Dude's got an ear for melody.
Around the Well is available May 19th. You can listen to one of the less rare rarities, "The Trapeze Singer" at the below link:
"The Trapeze Singer"
Well holy heck. Holy Fuck have announced a U.S. tour. Here are the dates (chronologically backwards, just like they appear on their official site):
I hear a lot about these Crocodiles, but you can bet that Holy Fuck will bring it for sure. I've actually never caught them live but I hear good things and I still love the shit out of LP. I mean, they've toured with Super Furry Animals, Mouse on Mars and Battles. There's no way any of those bands would play with a band that didn't own live.
Also- they have a "previously unreleased song" called "Jungles" and you can hear it here:
I haven't listened to it yet, but I will tomorrow!
"Milkshake" from LP (video by Chad VanGaalen)
New album allegedly this fall.