Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reissued: Mazzy Star

The mysterious Plain Recordings has great taste in music. Over the past couple of years they have released vinyl reissues from My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, Elliott Smith, The Flaming Lips and Cat Power.

Go ahead and add Mazzy Star to that list. Plain will be releasing all three full lengths from the celebrated dream poppers on March 2nd. That's She Hangs Brightly (1990), So Tonight That I Might See (1993) and Among My Swan (1996). 180 gram.

You own Beach House records, right? Well those two were most assuredly listening to these albums in junior high.

You can pre-order from Aural Exploits. Looks like She Hangs Brightly might be available already so don't sleep on it.

Thom Yorke Announces Band Name, Tour Dates

Lots of people have had ????'s regarding Thom Yorke and his other band. You know, the one that features Nigel, Flea etc. playing songs from The Eraser. Will the band ever be named? Are there going to be any shows other than Coachella?

Well unlike LOST, questions have been answered. Thom announced on Dead Air Space today that the group is called Atoms For Peace. If that sounds familiar it's track 6 from his solo album.

And yes, there will be other shows. Flying Lotus will be supporting all dates.

New York - Roseland Ballroom - April 5th & 6th

Boston - Citi Wang Theatre - April 8th

Chicago - Aragon Ballroom - April 10th & 11th

Oakland - Fox Theatre - April 14th & 15th

Santa Barbara Bowl - April 17th

Read the official message from Thom here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Second Look: Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Britpop (2003)

Picked this up a few years back on a recommendation and recently re-watched it. Here are my notes.

John Dower's film starts off in 1990 with The Stone Roses playing Spike Island to around 27,000 people. Noel Gallagher talks about how being in attendance helped him lay the blueprint for what he wanted Oasis to be. The Stone Roses were supposed to be the U.K.'s saving grace, but as music journalist Jon Savage so bluntly puts it here, they 'lost their nerve'. The ping pong ball of popular culture bounced back over the pond to the U.S. where the grunge flag was being furiously waved, with the extremely reluctant Nirvana front and center.

Blur had been helping to build the foundation of Britpop since the release of Leisure in 1991, but the turn of the tide came back to the UK in 1994 when Kurt Cobain committed suicide. The music world was left with a huge hole to fill and Oasis just happened to be there with an album called Definitely Maybe. The inveitable topic of the Oasis / Blur single war is brought up (working class vs middle class), with Damon Albarn not wanting to discuss it very much and Noel being all too eager to talk about how he understands it all went down (a marketing gimmick cooked up between Damon and the NME). Interesting moments and quotes from both are found throughout. Plenty of Liam too, being very Liam.

Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Britpop focuses mainly on these two bands. Not surprisingly, since anyone who remembers Britpop knows that they were the two biggest headline grabbers. There is a healthy dose of Pulp included (particularly focused around their most well known hit, 'Common People', but also a brief piece that goes into the darkness that helped create This is Hardcore) and a minute or two on Massive Attack, Sleeper, Suede and a very brief mention that Portishead released Dummy in 1994. This is all well and good. While there is a chance for someone else out there to create a doc on Britpop that focuses more on the music (LF doesn't even hardly touch on The Verve or go into detail on how, after 15 years of toiling away and releasing albums, Pulp hit critical mass at Glastonbury in 1995 when The Stone Roses dropped out as headliners), the movie's strong suit is the way it focuses on Britpop as a real sea change in music and life in the U.K. A nation of people railing against a decade of Thatcherism and wanting some legitimate rock stars that came from round the way instead of what America told them to listen to. It also touches on British film, fashion and art which were also being revitalized throughout the 90's.

In the end, Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Britpop is well done at its intended job which is to chart the cultural phenomenon of this particular genre in musics history. Highly reccomended to fans of these bands as well as anyone who is even vaugley interested in important movements in music. It might sound lame, but watching this again made me briefly remember what the air in the 90's smelled like and how blue and endless the sky could look at times.

Click arrows to download.

Oasis - 'See The Sun (Porta Studios 1992)':

Blur - 'Girls & Boys (Demo)':

Pulp - 'Razzmatazz (Live at Glastonbury, 06.25.95):

Monday, February 22, 2010

CHEAP: Pavement vinyl!

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about vinyl and how much is a fair price to pay for a record. Partly I guess it's to do with how much you love the artist or particular album in question but that's not where it starts and ends. It's also about how much extra money you have in your pocket at the moment to put towards your hobby, while also keeping your eye on your inevitably growing wish list.

Pavement was one of the bands mentioned in that discussion. Over the last couple of years, Matador has been great at updating the bands albums to the more widely accepted 180 gram. The one trouble with this for some is it can be pricey ($18+ per record), especially if you weren't buying these during their staggered release and you're now riding high on the wave of Pavement-mania.

Well good news, thrifty shopper. Starting in March, Matador is releasing these fellas on 120 gram as well with the prices ranging from $8 - 12 each (!). The obvious downside here is that they aren't going to sound quite as good as the more heavyweight pressings, but the obvious upside is you can have an instant collection of Pavement vinyl for around $60. That is a helluva deal.

Some might cry foul and say this is a way for Matador to milk a cash cow while it's full of sweet, delicious money. Those people should keep in mind that the profit margins on vinyl are usually very slim. Between these releases and pricing the new double LP compilation Quarantine The Past under $15, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the label is losing money on this passion project. Instead they are giving the consumer a choice on what they are willing to pay for these records and that's not something you get very often.

Order and pre-order here as you see fit and let us enjoy the Year of Pavement while it lasts.

Pavement - 'Summer Babe (Live)':

Download 'Summer Babe (Live)' (click arrow):

Pavement - 'Gold Soundz':

Friday, February 19, 2010

Noel Gallagher to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol

Nah. Just kidding. But Simon Cowell wants him to.

From NME:

Simon Cowell is apparently very keen to sign up Noel Gallagher to replace him as a judge on American Idol. The ex-Oasis star, however, would be in contention with US radio host Howard Stern and Piers Morgan for the role. "I know Noel quite well," Cowell claimed. "I like him. He is very funny and a brilliant songwriter - it's a possibility"

As rad as it would be to see Noel behind the judges chair (I'd become a loyal viewer), here's hoping he concentrates on that solo career. He should guest judge though.

Noel & Gem - 'Whatever' (Acoustic: Toronto, 11.07.06)

Noel & Gem - 'Slide Away' (Acoustic: Toronto, 11.07.06)

Noel & Gem - 'Half The World Away' (Acoustic: Toronto, 11.07.06)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Fall announce new album

The Fall (aka Mark E. Smith and whomever the hell he wants to play with him) have announced that they will be releasing a new album in April. Your Future Our Clutter will be out in the U.K. on 4.26 via Domino UK.

Thee tracklist:

1. O.F.Y.C. Showcase
2. Bury Pts. 1 + 3

3. Mexico Wax Solvent

4. Cowboy George
5. Hot Cake
6. Y.F.O.C. / Slippy Floor

7. Chino
8. Funnel Of Love 9. Weather Report 2

That's all the news on this one for now.

MORE NEWS: Domino USA will be releasing this as well. The date on that is May 4th. It will be a double LP.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Reissued: Spacemen 3

Just a heads up that Fire Records recently reissued the first three full lengths from Spacemen 3. For those keeping score that's Sound of Confusion (1986), The Perfect Prescription (1987) and the live album Performance (1988) now freshly available on 180 gram. Rejoice!

Spacemen 3 - 'Take Me To The Other Side':

Re-Mastered: Elliott Smith, Roman Candle

There's an announcement today on the Domino UK site that they will be releasing a re-mastered version of Elliott Smith's first solo album, Roman Candle.

From the post:

Roman Candle
has been re-mastered for the re-release by Larry Crane, editor of Tape Op Magazine and archivist for Elliott's family, and Roger Seibel at SAE Mastering.

Larry explains, “The intention that I had was to make the album more listenable. I felt that a lot of the guitar “squeaks” were jarring and very loud, and that many of the hard consonants and “S” sounds were jarring and scratchy sounding. I felt by reducing these noises that the music would become more inviting and the sound would serve the songs better. When I went to Roger Seibel's SAE Mastering, he proceeded to equalize the tracks a small amount and to make the volume slightly louder. We never tried to make this CD as loud as current, over-limited trends, but just to match the volume of the rest of Elliott’s KRS catalog in a graceful way. Please note that none of this album is “remixed” from the master tapes - it is still composed of the mixes Elliott created himself."

The re-mastered Roman Candle will be released on April 5th in the UK and will most assuredly be available in the U.S. as an import. You can pre-order it here.

UPDATE: Turns out this is old news and Kill Rock Stars will be releasing this domestically, as well as From A Basement on the Hill (originally released on Anti-).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Moon Duo, Escape

Aside from playing in Wooden Shijips, Erik Johnson also has an epic beard. That's not what this post is about. This post is to remind myself that his other band called Moon Duo (with Sanae Yamada rounding out the duo part) are releasing their first full length 12" on Woodsist today. Note to self: buy this sometime when you have money.

Moon Duo - 'Stumbling 22nd Street':

More here.

Order here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Various Artists, Ghostly Essentials: Avant-Pop One

Michigan's Ghostly International is a label that I enjoy but seem to have trouble keeping up with (my fault, not theirs). So when LHB dropped the Twitter tip last week letting me know that this compilation was available for free at the Amazon MP3 store, I immediately downloaded it, burned it to disc and listened to it all week.

Now, I like my electronic music more on the glitchy / ambient / non-singing variety so I've gone ahead and highlighted my three favorite songs below. I was aware of Dabrye beforehand, but Mux Mool and Midwest Product are new to me (the former being a newer artist to the label, the latter having been around for years):

Dabrye - 'Hyped-Up Plus Tax':

Mux Mool - 'Night Court':

Midwest Product - 'Swamp':

Those are my faves, but since this comp is free why not download the whole thing and see what you like? Some of the songs that didn't immediately appeal to me are starting to sink in a little the more I listen.

Grab Ghostly Essentials: Avant-Pop One here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

White Fence 12" LP

A little birdie told me that Darker My Love is recording (has recorded?) a new album to be released sometime this year. Hopefully that's a fact and not some rumor mill gossip. In the meantime, Tim Presley has recorded 16 new songs under the name White Fence and released them on a 12". Fuzzy, hazy pysch. Great stuff and a nice way to tide us all over until the third DML record.

Take a listen:

White Fence - 'Destroy Everything'

White Fence - 'Mr. Adams'

(tracks originally found on VICE)

Buy White Fence 12" LP from make a mess records.

Listen to more here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra Band, Kollaps Tradixionales

Hey- look who has a new record out this Tuesday- Thee Silver Mt. Zion.

This puppy will be a double 10" and the first pressing comes with a sixteen page art book, two posters and a CD version for your Discman. Sounds delicious.

Pre-order it at Insound.

Go on ahead and preview 'Bury 3 Dynamos':

The Besnard Lakes, Albatross 12"

Yes, this song is old news to almost anyone who cares. But is it old news that its 12" is available as of two days ago? Probably. But I haven't posted in months, so it's new news to me. And since I'm the only one who reads this let me react by saying "Holy shit! A new Besnard Lakes 12"! Rad!!!"

Anyways, if you DON'T know about The Besnard Lakes (as I recently found out a few people that I most certainly would expect to know about them didn't), then here's your chance to hop on board and act all cool as if they've been your favorite band for years by the time The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night is released on March 9th. Buying this 12" and playing at your next bro fest is a step in that right direction.

P.S. The flip-side is a non-album track about aliens. ALIENS!

Snag it at Jagjag.

The Besnard Lakes - 'Albatross'

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eluvium, 'Similies'

Q: What do you do if you are Eluvium's Matthew Cooper and you've released four experimental instrumental records?

A: Well, you start singing.

Q: What does it sound like?

A: Beautiful.

Eluvium - 'The Motion Makes Me Last'

Similies is out on Temporary Res on February 23rd. But it sounds like if you pre-order it you just might get it early, as they start shipping this Monday.