Archive for the ‘For The Record’ Category

Record Highlight — Dick Diver

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Dick Diver - "Melbourne, Florida"

Dick Diver managed to avoid the dreaded “sophomore slump” with their 2013 album Calendar Days (Chapter Music) & look to perfect a “three-peat” with their third album Melbourne, Florida.

This is their first domestic release & first for Trouble In Mind. Recorded in a former sheep-shearing shed in Apollo Bay, Victoria by Mikey Young, the album hums with a strident assurance, buoyed by the benefit of the band’s four talented songwriters whose singular voices sit comfortably beside each other in the albums twelve tracks. The crack of a snare starts off the lead-track, “Waste The Alphabet” an anthemic, jangling stomper full of bluster & swagger, while other tracks like “Leftovers”, “Year In Pictures” & “Percentage Points” yearn with a bookish intensity, complimenting the band’s dichotomy of erudite pop smarts and and idiosyncratic approach to composition (see Montfort’s charming & disarming “Beat Me Up (Talk to a Counsellor)”). If Dick Diver weren’t already leading the pack of new-school Australian pop, then Melbourne, Florida is sure to put them in the pole-position.


Record Highlight — Hardcore Live! Devo

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Performing 21 oddities, this is a tribute to departed, original Devo bandmate, Robert “Bob 2″ Casale. Recorded live on June 28, 2014 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California.  This is a double 180 gram vinyl set.  An accompanying DVD is also available.


Record Highlight — Jesse Dee

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Jesse Dee‘s new album On My Mind / In My Heart was co-produced by Jesse and kindred spirit Jack Younger at Watch City Studios, just outside of Boston. It features Jesse’s core band of guitarist Johnny Trama, bassist Jim Larkin, drummer Matt “Pie” Beaulieu, and horn brothers Scott and John Aruda. Scott has played with The Temptations and Wilson Pickett, while John has wailed behind Boston legends Superhoney and Dwight & Nicole. Further help comes from other aces such as saxophonist Paul Ahlstrand (who has worked with Eddie Floyd), trombonist Jeff Galindo (who has played with Ray Charles), and singers Joanie Pimental and Rachael Price, who have fronted Superhoney and Lake Street Dive respectively. “Ultimately, it’s a testament to the local crop of musicians here in Boston,” says Jesse.

It’s also a contagious victory for romantic soul music. “A lot of his music makes me smile,” says Bruce Iglauer, president of Alligator Records. “His music feels like spring. It’s soul music, but it’s really happy soul music. It’s in the tradition of Sam Cooke and Chuck Jackson. And there’s a little spirit of Joe Tex in there. All of those things make me feel good.”


Record Highlight — Sober Daze

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Split w/ Knockin' Chucks cover art

Austin based punk band Sober Daze have released a music video for their new song “Live To Shred”, the first single from their forthcoming split 7” with Knockin’ Chucks, coming in April from Dazed Records. “Live To Shred” is a fast paced skate anthem for the ages; an ode to the insatiable urge that pulses in the veins of skaters everywhere.

Sober Daze was born in Puerto Rico in 2002 by friends Peter Figueroa, Alex “Korn” Rivera, and Chris “Fatty” Bourcy. Fresh out of high school, the band set their sights to the proclaimed “Live Music Capitol of the World”, and relocated to Austin in 2003. Sober Daze garnered early support from other bands in the Austin punk scene, opening their first Austin show for the Lower Class Brats, and building friendships with Krum Bums and The Applicators. In the years since they have made their name in the Austin by throwing punk rock house parties with half pipe ramps, and playing shows across Texas and the US with bands like The Vandals, Reagan Youth, Angry Samoans, and The Freeze. Now a 4-piece, with the addition of Alex “Rager” Loughborough on guitar in 2013, “Live To Shred” is the testament of band that refuses to stop having fun.  

You can catch Sober Daze in Austin during the SXSW music festival, playing the Punk Vs. Rockabilly and Eastside Throwdown showcases. Pre-order their new split 7 inch (with Knockin’ Chucks) now.

Record Highlight — Hallelujah the Hills

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The limited edition vinyl release of Have You Ever Done Something Evil? is available now.  The purchase comes with a bonus digital EP!


Record Highlight — Jeremy Jones

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Sharing an infectious spirit of musical creativity, freedom and community, the cities of New Orleans and San Francisco are kindred. Whether in the Bay or the Bayou, music flows constantly and plentifully – a tragically uncommon phenomenon in this country. Resonating with the energy of both San Francisco and New Orleans, Jeremy Jones introduces Keep On Movin’, a full-length album of signature “Swampedelic Rock & Soul” sound: when the mud of the Louisiana swamps meets the grit of Southern roots and blends with the groove of San Francisco psychedelia.



Record Highlight — DRKWAV

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DRKWAV is Skerik (saxophones), John Medeski (keyboards) and Adam Deitch (drums). The three master musicians have come together for The Purge, an entirely uncompromising album debut that delves deep into the psychedelic corners of the human psyche. The recording was co-produced and mixed by venerated studio wizard Randall Dunn.
DRKWAV conjure a wall of intricately detailed sound as each of The Purge‘s eight tracks surge and swell in a cinematic overture. True to its name, the trio revels in the pitch black, yet continually discover beauty and shed light through sonic exploration.  The album will be released on February 24 by Royal Potato Family.

Record Highlight — Sarah Davachi

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Barons Court is the debut full length album by Canadian electroacoustic composer Sarah Davachi, following short run releases on Important Records’ Cassauna imprint and Full Spectrum. Trained at Mills College, Davachi’s work marries an academic approach to synthesis and live instrumentation with a preternatural attunement to timbre, pacing, and atmosphere. While the record employs a number of vintage and legendary synthesizers, including Buchla’s 200 and Music Easel, an EMS Synthi, and Sequential Circuit’s Prophet 5, Davachi’s approach to her craft here is much more in line with the longform textural minimalism of Eliane Radigue than it is with the hyper-dense modular pyrotechnics of the majority of her synthesist contemporaries. Three of the album’s five compositions feature acoustic instrumentation (cello, flue, harmonium, oboe, and viola, played by Davachi and others) which is situated alongside a battery of keyboards and synths and emphasizes the composerly aspect of her work. “heliotrope” slowly billows into being with a low, keeling drone that is gradually married to an assortment of sympathetic, aurally complex sounds to yield a rich fantasia of beat frequencies and overtones. Later, “wood green” opens almost inaudibly, with lovely eddies of subtly modulating synth clouds evolving effortlessly into something much larger, as comforting and familiar as it is expansive. In an era in which the synthesizer inarguably dominates the topography of experimental music, Davachi’s work stands alone – distinctive, patient, and beautiful.


Record Highlight — Kenosha Kid

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Inside Voices (Vinyl & Digital Pre-order) cover art

In Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow, the Kenosha Kid is a maddeningly ambiguous figure: it might be a cowboy, or a dance, or a Sodium Amytal-induced hallucination (or all of the above). Guitarist/composer Dan Nettles (who, by the way, has never been to Kenosha, WI) conceived his namesake band with similarly uncategorizable intentions. This Kenosha Kid might be an indie rock band, could be a modernist jazz ensemble, can probably be considered a jam band, and most definitely is all of the above.

All of those different identities emerge at different times (and, very often, several at once) on Kenosha Kid’s new album, Inside Voices, due out March 3rd. The album is the first of two planned releases (the second, Outside Choices, will follow in 2016) to result from a week of intensive exploration in Nettles’ native Athens, Georgia.



Record Highlight — Hot Rize

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With writing and rehearsals placing Hot Rize firmly back in their groove, recording When I’m Free took just five days at the solar-powered Studio at Town Hall in Boulder. The musicians eschewed booths and headphones in favor of sitting in a circle and recording live off the floor – “the first time I’ve recorded like that since 1971,” muses Wernick. This organic approach resulted in an album that crackles with the energy of a Hot Rize live show, even if the band’s Western Swing alter-ego sidekicks, Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers, aren’t present.

Following the release of When I’m Free, Hot Rize will tour nationwide this fall and into 2015, sure to please not only longtime fans of the band, but countless new fans who’ve discovered bluegrass and Americana music in more recent times.