September 11, 2015

in this week's update


Empress Of
Micachu & the Shapes
Jean Guerin
Birds of Prey
The Beta Band (Three Eps on Vinyl)


Craig Finn
Nils Frahm - Late Night Tales
Petite Noir
Shannon and the Clams
+ More

other music events



Other Music: 15 E. 4th St. New York, NY
Facebook Event Page  // Free, All Ages

The past few years have seen Lorely Rodriguez honing the exotic productions of her Empress Of guise into a more clear-eyed pop direction while still retaining the rich details of her gorgeously abstract earlier work. It's all culminated into an excellent debut full-length, Me, which is out today on Terrible Records and reviewed below in this week's Update. This evening, Lorely will be signing copies of her new Empress Of record at Other Music while we serve up pizza and drinks and play the album in full. We'll also be giving away a ticket to her Sunday show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with the purchase of her new CD or LP to the first 20 customers. We hope you will join us!



Other Music: 15 E. 4th St. New York, NY
Facebook Event Page  // Free, All Ages

Led by former Grass Widow bassist/vocalist Hannah Lew, San Francisco's Cold Beat have just released their excellent new album, Into the Air, and will be playing in New York City later this month, which includes an intimate in-store performance at Other Music on Sunday evening, September 20!

ticket give-away



Terminal 5: 610 W. 56th St. NYC

Marking the 30th anniversary of their seminal album debut, the Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy tour comes to New York City's Terminal 5 on Thursday, September 24 and Friday, September 25. Not to be missed, Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to each of the shows, and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing!!

this week's update


A refreshingly direct and personal full-length debut from Empress Of (a/k/a Lorely Rodriguez), her aptly titled Me is somewhat of a juxtaposition from the mysterious series of "colorminutes" that she introduced herself with three years ago on YouTube. Here, Rodriguez has traded the soft-focus of her earlier works for a sharper sound that at times tacks towards the leftfield digital R&B of FKA Twigs and Jessy Lanza. However, Empress Of's appropriation of these sounds, from the slippery beats to the occasional woozy sub-bass, are more often than not uptempo and even dancey, but with a heavy dose of introspection. Yet even at her most direct, there remains an allure about Empress Of, be it her oft-layered byzantine vocal melodies or her sophisticated productions. This is as much a singer-songwriter album as it is an electronic pop record, and here Rodriguez blurs the lines between both in the most original and imaginative ways possible. (Read More & Listen)

$19.99 LP
$12.99 CD ON SALE

Good Sad Happy Bad
(Rough Trade)

Following her game-changing score for film director Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, composer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Mica Levi returns with a much-awaited new album from her band, Micachu & the Shapes. Good Sad Happy Bad shows the trio at their most experimental, as they effortlessly shift through moods, melodies, textures and tempos. Call it free-form pop if you will, as there's a casual ease to the playing that pulls you in, even when the results are at their most agitated and murky. Fans of adventurous, leftfield pop-makers running the spectrum from Ariel Pink and Hype Williams to King Krule and Ty Segall will want to pick up Good Sad Happy Bad. That said, Micachu & the Shapes never fit anywhere perfectly, and to Levi and her band's advantage, that seems to be the perfect place. (Read More)

$19.99 LP
$13.99 CD

(Souffle Continu)

French composer and drummer Jean Guérin's seminal album of avant jazz concrète is a truly inventive slab of early 1970s weirdo experimentation. Originally issued on the Futura label, and heralded by many as its most precious release, Guérin tops free jazz with electronics, high-pitched vocals, as well as occasional electronic processing to blur the sources of its instrumentation. Think musique concrète à la Pierre Henry mixed with singular masterstrokes such as Robert Wyatt's The End of an Ear or the recently gracefully reissued Buddhas of Golden Light by Pekka Airaksinen. You know what to do: get this while you can! (Read More)

$26.99 LP

Birds of Prey

Originating from Brooklyn but now operating from both coasts, Birds of Prey is comprised of Grant Aaron, Eric Holmes, and Camille Altay. A connection with Ricardo Donoso at one of Aaron's Mysteries of the Deep events led to a home for the group's physical debut on Donoso's Kathexis imprint. Across the self-titled album, the trio explores darker ambient textures, spaced down-tempo beats, and fleeting moments of noise. The LP includes an 11"x11" full-color print by Altay, as well as a digital download which features bonus remixes by Chicago duo Talker, NY/Detroit veteran Patrick Russell, and Public Memory (formerly of ERAAS).

$24.99 LP

Artificial Dance
(RVNG Intl)

Following last year's quintessential overview of lost K. Leimer gems, RVNG launch another killer Leimer compilation. Consisting of material that was released under the Savant banner in the early 1980s, Artificial Dance pushes the oftentimes wonderfully combined Kraut, ambient, and dub-sensibilities of the former A Period of Review anthology towards new, ever-searching post-punk territory. Savant was Kenny Leimer's artificial band of revolving, largely unknown Seattle-based musicians that only existed on record. And it's this advanced sense of adventurous DIY studio wizardry that makes this release a head-scratching delight. Think Talking Heads, Cabaret Voltaire, or Gang of Four, influences that Leimer creatively pushes towards new heights, oftentimes adding off-kilter ghostly effects that prelude current experimentation in the realm of hazy electronics. (Read More)

$22.99 2LP
$13.99 CD

No No No

With his fourth Beirut full-length, we find Zach Condon offering a far more sparsely arranged outing than the horn-fueled, Balkan folk-inspired romps that had indie fans flocking to the band when they first appeared back in 2006. Sure, the group still pulls from a kitchen sink filled with guitars, keys, drums, vintage synths, brass, strings and ukuleles, but the instruments are used much more sparingly. Opening with a quick loop of an old organ preset, the catchy title track recalls the bubblier side of Beirut classics like "Scenic World" or "Santa Fe," yet here the melancholy runs deeper. Songs like easy-listening acoustic instrumental "As Needed" and the jaunty "Perth" nicely brighten the mood, but it's during "So Allowed" where Condon finally finds catharsis; his croon soars like a dream atop the cinematic sway of the horns and strings. (Read More)

$19.99 LP
$12.99 CD ON SALE

Champion Versions EP

Scotland's Beta Band were one of the most unique, yet under-appreciated groups of the '90s. They never made it to the big time, save for some lower level chart action in the UK, but their following was devoted. Both Oasis and Radiohead counted themselves as fans, but in many ways, the Betas served as an antidote to the bombast of those groups. Their first three EPs, now being reissued for the first time in the U.S. (on 180 gram vinyl), represent the Beta Band at their best.

Released in 1997, Champion Versions opens with "Dry the Rain," a song that certainly introduced the group to countless U.S. listeners, thanks to a short but pivotal scene in the film adaption of High Fidelity in which record store owner Rob Gordon (played by John Cusack) cues up the track on the shop stereo. All four of the cuts on this EP mine a similar vibe: stoned acoustic jams informed by hip-hop/sampling culture. The absence of the electric guitar is notable, but the skill in which they harness their disparate influences is perhaps most striking -- psych, dub, trip-hop, folk, electronica -- they all get mashed into a thrilling, genre-less mess. And it's fitting that the cover art mimics King Tubby's Roots of Dub.

$14.99 12"

The Patty Patty Sound EP

At close to 40 minutes long, 1998's The Patty Patty Sound practically qualifies as a full-length album, but four tracks still equals an EP in the world of record marketing, so be it. Here the Beta Band stretch out and run amok on the mixing board. Spacey synth sounds dominate "Inner Meet Me" while during "The House Song" they invent their own brand of dance music which also incorporates a ridiculous rap in mock-French. "Monolith" is 15 minutes of musique concrète where they even reference themselves with a sample of "Dry the Rain" from Champion Versions.

$14.99 12"

Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos EP

Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos (also from '98) shows the Beta Band at their most concise, with only one song clocking in at over five minutes, and the songs even flirt with some semblance of commercial viability. "Push It Out" approximates a voodoo vibe akin to Dr. John's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters"; "It's Over" posits a nursery rhyme-style chant over some jaunty stand-up bass; "Dr. Baker" is a fine impression of a Smile outtake and "Needles in My Eyes," with its swirling organ, resembles Traffic on Quaaludes.

$14.99 12"

also recommended

Ones and Sixes
(Sub Pop)

"Ones and Sixes takes everything Low excels at and dips it in a heavy gold plating of industrial-leaning electronics. This catapults to new and extreme heights the innate beauty their music has always had. It’s a series of contrasts: stunning and menacing, gorgeous and frightening, giving and desperate, and, ultimately, unbearably heavy and unbearably light. From one to six and back again." —Dee Dee Penny (Dum Dum Girls)

$23.99 2LP
$12.99 CD ON SALE

Faith in the Future

"At times stark and spare, at other times vibrant and dynamic, Faith in the Future is Finn’s most compelling collection thus far, each song a powerfully alluring and subtly nuanced composition wedded to his distinctive short story narratives, which owe as much to authors such as John Cheever and Raymond Carver as they do any rock influences."

$18.99 LP
$14.99 CD

Late Night Tales
(Late Night Tales)

"A hypnotic voyage through modern and classical composition, experimental electronics, jazz, dub techno, soundtracks and soul; Frahm's Late Night Tales haunts and beguiles. It’s not mixing, so much as gently layering, like a particularly fluffy goose-down duvet folding in on itself, the folds part of the attraction, the layers part of the overall picture being painted." 

$35.99 2LP
$15.99 CD

La Vie Est Belle/Life Is Beautiful

"Debut album release by Yannick Ilunga, AKA Petite Noir. The 11 track LP from the half-Congolese, half-Angolan, Cape Town-residing artist follows the release of his breakout EP, ‘The King Of Anxiety’, earlier this year. Recorded at Box Ten Studios in London with Oli Bayston (Boxed In) and Leon Brichard (Ibibio), ‘La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful’ is a highly accomplished album with a unique concoction of influences. The record seamlessly fuses intricate contemporary electronics and raw post-punk energy with Yannick’s stirring, soulful vocals and African shuffles that echo his homeland. Named after a revered Congolese film of the same name, the album is both a beacon and a vessel of inspiration, offering empowerment to those who need it."

$23.99 LP+MP3
$13.99 CD

Gone by the Dawn
(Hardly Art)

"Gone by the Dawn, the newest Shannon and the Clams album, is their best work to date. The music is complex, the lyrical content is emotionally raw and honest, and the production is the strangest it's ever been. The album was written as one member was recovering from a serious breakup and another was deep in one. The lyrics reflect it, and the entire album is dripping with sadness, pain, and introspection. Gone by the Dawn was recorded at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco and produced by Sonny Smith."

$15.99 LP+MP3
$12.99 CD

also available

Off the Deep End
(Mind Cure)

$17.99 LP

We Have Got to Make It on Our Own: Collected Tracks '78-83 (Mind Cure)

$17.99 LP

Zombi Holocaust
(Death Waltz)

$37.99 2LP

Opus III
(Tompkins Square)

$21.99 LP
$14.99 CD

The Music of Norma Lyon
(Little Axe)

$15.99 LP

Pot Luck
(Light in the Attic)

$17.99 CD

the big picture