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.