Record Highlight — Vetiver

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Image of Vetiver - Complete Strangers LP

Written by Andy Cabic:

Vetiver is what I’ve been calling my songs and recordings since about 2003 or so. I live in San Francisco, have since 1998. My touring band and the musicians I’ve recorded with over the years are always changing, though many friends and players have stayed with me over albums and tours. The one constant has been Thom Monahan who has engineered and co-produced every Vetiver album. Thom lives in L.A., where most of Complete Strangers was recorded. The album came together slowly over demos at my home in San Francisco and quick trips to L.A., continuing on with Thom at his studio. It moved in fits and starts for a couple years. Once we had the basic arrangements we jumped in the studio with Bart Davenport, Gabe Noel and Josh Adams for a few days to put down rhythm tracks. That’s when the album really took shape. Thom & I fleshed everything out with a few more musicians in San Francisco & L.A. and eventually Complete Strangers arrived. The songs on Complete Strangers bear some resemblance to the album’s title. They share things in common but come from different places, different times. “Stranger Still” is an anthem for insomniacs, illuminating the hours when the world exceeds our grasp. “From Now On” rings out some emotional tinnitus, the moment a night runs away from you, when freedoms turn into responsibilities. The album builds around dualities, the way people pair at parties. “Current Carry” percolates with the confidence of love, while “Confiding” reveals how vulnerable we are chasing love. “Backwards Slowly” and “Edgar” are vignettes of transition, more ebb than flow. As with many of Vetiver’s better moments, sunshine is only a chord away from melancholy. An introspective lyric underlies an extroverted chorus. Subtlety tries to be outgoing, loneliness familiar, in an effort to connect the dots of life’s ellipsis. I’m still figuring the album out. It feels like someone I’ve just met yet known for a long time.

Available now from Easy Sound Recording.

 

Record Highlight — Cory Allen

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

TheSource.jpg

Cory Allen‘s new album, The Source, travels to a place where avant-garde composition, free jazz drums, and eastern mysticism merge as one. Across the span of four long form pieces, the music shifts from lush string sections and gongs to passionate free drumming and Rhodes piano, to the meditative drones of Hammond organ, tanpura, and harmonium.

These works were composed using performance rules, pitch pools, and guided improvisation in a musical style Allen refers to as psychedelic minimalism. The sessions for The Source were superbly captured at three different studios in Austin: Estuary Recording Facility, Stuck On On, and Altered Ear.

Pre-order now from Punctum Records.

 

Record Highlight – Haynes Boys

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

 

This Columbus band’s one and only album is seeing the light of day on vinyl for the first time ever courtesy of Re-Vinyl Records.  The band is reuniting in celebration of its release (very likely for this weekend only) – catch them Friday, June 26 at Ace of Cups (Columbus), or Sunday, June 28 at Comfest in Columbus.

 

Record Highlight — Cheetah Chrome

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Cheetah Chrome - Solo

Punk legend Cheetah Chrome – co-founder of The Dead Boys, and more recently Nashville’s Plowboy Records – released his first ever studio collection of solo material, Solo via Plowboy on October 8, 2013. Solo was a 7-song EP of cuts from a 1996 recording session produced by Genya Ravan (with executive producer Hilly Kristal) which he deemed his “great lost solo album” and a Nashville session in 2010 featuring Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), Lez Warner (The Cult), and Sean Koos (Joan Jett and The Blackhearts).

Available now on vinyl for the first time, with some added bonus tracks, all encased in a chrome jacket.

 

Record Highlights — Midwich Records Debuts

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Midwich Records is a new Chicago record label dedicated to electronic music, ranging from techno, ambient, experimental and noise. The label is releasing music on vinyl only, complimented with digital downloads. The covers are adorned with the retina-burning work of renowned artist Mark Salwowski.

The first two releases from the label are new records from Detroit’s Moon Pool and Dead Band and Chicago’s MAGAS.

Moon Pool and Dead Band - MEQ 2x12" (MW-001) MAGAS - Heads Plus 12" EP (MW-002)

Moon Pool and Dead Band’s MEQ (pronounced MEK–futurespeak for ‘mech’) is an album of swinging, dirty, analog techno-funk, created with mountains of old synthesizers. MEQ consists of Moon Pool and Dead Band’s earliest  track, reworked by some of Detroit’s (and ex-Detroit) best producers: Patrick Russell, BMG (Brendan M. Gillen of Ectomorph), JTC (Dabrye/Charles Manier aka Tadd Mullinix), Ice Cold Chrissy (Coyote Clean Up), Michael Dykehouse, Erno the Inferno and Nate Young in Wolf Eyes mode. MEQ plays like an album, rather than a collection of remixes.

MAGAS’s Heads Plus is the first proper vinyl release from James Marlon Magas since 2009’s Violent ARP. For the past several years, Magas has been concentrating on instrumental production, eschewing vocal histrionics of previous work, in favor of moodier, more open-ended composition. This focus has resulted in the bombastic and hallucinatory Heads Plus, an all-instrumental wallop that fuses howling ARP Odyssey, capricious Juno funk and fuzzed Rhodes anchored to the ever-present throb of the Roland TR-808 drum machine.

 

 

Record Highlight — David Feldstein

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

After 20 years on pause, David Feldstein has finally crafted his debut album to represent his love of guitar-driven rock interwoven with catchy hooks and folktronic rhythms. Raised in Chicago and exposed to the burgeoning 90’s scene, David wanted to take his influences of Smashing Pumpkins, Urge Overkill and others and meld them into his own unique sound. These song structures and riffs have been bouncing around his mind for two decades. Surrender The Silence is David’s effort to showcase those ideas while trying to express something that is uniquely his own. The title track’s wall of overdriven electric guitar is in juxtaposition to the acoustic arrangements of “Grand Inspiration” and the folktronic beauty of “Gravy Train.” Having a work that is uniform was the antithesis of David’s motivation. David sought to highlight his many influences and express the core value of guitar-driven music with which he was raised. “There’s something about cutting a solid album where each song is different and unique that intrigues me.” Using some public domain speeches as a backdrop to the music give the tracks a textural flair. This album shows the listener where David Feldstein has landed after so many years.

 

Record Highlight — Monk Parker

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Monk Parker‘s first studio album – How The Spark Loves the Tinder is available now from Bronze Rat Records.  Parker serves up an alt-americana so sedating in its pace, that you might actually live a few years longer when you finally come back around from the time-slip it puts you in.  Pre-order now.

 

Record Highlight — The Lonesome Billies

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

The Lonesome Billies shoot from the hip with their own take on a classic country sound that has been described as “boot stomping, gator hootin, whiskey swilling music”. Four men from the badlands of Hazel Dell who have stuck together from their early days and have developed a bond akin to brotherhood, all while playing unapologetic dark and dusty honky tonk music.

Like the outlaw singers and guitar pickers who came before, these fellas tell stories, playing a mixture of songs both capable of starting a whiskey-fed bar fight or a Texas two step. The Billies embrace the DIY, anti-establishment ethos of 70’s punk rock and outlaw/honky tonk music, playing original music born out of their unique experiences. Four life long friends who grew up listening to the likes of The Ramones and The Clash make for a loose, rough and tumble approach to country music.

The band was formed by Clayton McCune (lead vocals, guitar) and Jeff Gaither (lead guitar, vocals) as a two-piece in early 2010, but quickly evolved; adding longtime childhood friends Mike Scheidt (bass, vocals) and Glen Scheidt (drums) to round out the four-piece. “From seeds to tumble weeds” the Billies grew up together in Hazel Dell, Washington and have been in and around the Portland music scene for many years. While much of their music is dark in it’s subject matter, the foursome is known for their fun, energetic live shows. Sighted influences include: Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams along with more contemporary country musicians like Whitey Morgan and Sturgill Simpson.

Their LP, It’s Good To Be Lonesome will be available on vinyl very soon!

 

Record Highlight — Vision Control

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Image of Vision Control 7"

NYC skronk & dance by John Pugh (Free Blood,!!!).  Limited to 500 copies, with silkscreened covers….available from Fast Weapons.

 

Record Highlight — William Alexander

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Residing on the Southern California coast, young songwriter William Alexander infuses sound and culture and turns them into compact pop gems. For years he has  been developing an extensive song catalogue as sun-streaked and sugary as his SoCal peers but with a relaxed modernity that is distinctly his own. Now with the help of east-coast indie upstart Yellow K Records, Alexander will finally share his recordings. His debut album, Strangest Things, is available on vinyl for the first time!