March 6, 2014

special announcement



Friends & Neighbors: 2614  East Cesar Chavez St. Austin, TX

Along with much of the music universe, Other Music Recording Co. is gearing up for SXSW 2014, and we wanted to invite anyone who will be down in Austin next week to join us and a couple of our bands for the fun. Mutual Benefit will be in Texas straight off their first European tour and will be playing a ton of great parties and showcases, and Boogarins are performing their first ever shows outside of Brazil at the start of a massive international tour -- you can see the full listings for both bands' SXSW schedules here.

And on Wednesday, March 12, Other Music Recording Co. and Friends & Neighbors, along with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, invite you to share cold beer with us in the hot Texas sun. Friends & Neighbors is a beautiful new east side café, wine bar and boutique, with a lovely backyard where we will be setting up camp for the afternoon, and with our friends from Dogfish Head on board, it's the best way we can think of to start the week off right. Join us!



Free Admission | Limited Capacity

Other Music Recording Co. is thrilled to announce that our beloved Boogarins' world tour includes a stop at the shop for an in-store performance on Monday, March 25, at 8:00 p.m. Since the release of their home-recorded debut album, As Plantas Que Curam, last October, this young psych-rock band has quickly moved from small local shows in their hometown of Goiânia to performing at larger music festivals around their country, and with an upcoming tour that will see them playing across much of the U.S. and Europe over the next three months, we can't imagine them staying Brazil's best-kept secret for much longer.

in this week's update


YMO (Masayoshi Sukita Photography Book)
Real Estate
Georges Vert
Sun Araw
The Men
Warfaring Strangers (Various)
Linda Perhacs
Damaged Bug
Deadbeat & Paul St. Hilaire


Carla Bozulich
Stone Jack Jones


These New Puritans


Simon Finn
Nils Frahm


Dead Moon (3 albums)


Gene Clark DVD




Barclays Center: 620 Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn
Tickets Available Here

Ennio Morricone returns to New York City on March 23rd for an extraordinary event at Barclays Center with an ensemble of 200 musicians and singers. This concert will mark the first time Morricone has taken the podium on the U.S. East Coast since his 2007 Radio City Music Hall NYC debut. Morricone has composed the scores for more than 450 films including five of Sergio Leone's westerns -- A Fistful of Dollars; For a Few Dollars More; The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; Once Upon a Time in the West and A Fistful of Dynamite -- and The Battle of Algiers; Sacco and Vanzetti; Cinema Paradiso; 1900, Malena; The Untouchables; Once Upon a Time in America; The Mission; U-Turn; The Unknown Woman; The Best Offer; Kill Bill: Vol.1; Kill Bill: Vol.2; Inglourious Basterds; and Django Unchained, among hundreds of others.

Other Music is thrilled to give away a pair of tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime concert; email for your chance to win!



Output:  74 Wythe Ave. Williamsburg, BKLN

Next Friday, March 14, the Bunker celebrate the release of two new 12"s on their new imprint. Both Clay Wilson, whose latest vinyl offering was just issued, and Voices from the Lake (the Italian duo of Donato Dozzy and Neel), whose new single will be out next week, will be performing live sets in the main room of Output, along with a DJ set from Bunker resident Bryan Kasenic. Next door in the adjacent Panther Room, you can catch DJ sets from Portable, Wrecked, and Bunker resident Mike Servito, making this another party not to be missed. We're giving away a pair of passes, which you can enter to win by emailing



Highline Ballroom: 431 W. 16th St. New York, NY

While best known for fronting the Brazilian Girls, Sabina has put away her surname and is stepping out as a solo artist with her recently released new album, Toujours. Somehow she's found time to squeeze in some live appearances even as her band is finishing up their next record, and on Thursday, March 20, you can catch Sabina at New York City's Highline Ballroom. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets and to enter for your chance to win, email

this week's update

Photography by Masayoshi Sukita
(KAB America)

Just in: this windfall YMO/synth fan holy grail opportunity! Housed in a glossy square manual-style jacket vaguely resembling a synthesizer's user's manual, we are proud to present the rare and beautiful photo book of renowned photographer Masayoshi Sukita. Sukita is best known for his iconic cover photo for Bowie's Heroes as well as for working with Yellow Magic Orchestra and major Japanese underground luminaries like filmmaker Shuji Terayama. Here he has photographed YMO from their beginnings on through to recent tours and performances capturing them in their innovative, uniquely stylish glory right on through to the present day! It's all wonderfully laid out, whether portraying the group looking like the Kraftwerk Big Band in publicity shots, to fully detailed synth setups and live photos, to audience shots and cameos from Vivian Westwood, Serge Gainsbourg and Throbbing Gristle!

It flows like a beautifully paced yearbook or artist monograph, giving us both the unique event atmosphere and intimate details of the band: from their equipment choices to alternate angles of iconic YMO cover art to their sartorial finesse, it's all here. This was a book meant for tour only, but some remaining copies were made available to us from Ryuichi Sakamoto himself. Fans of YMO and all side projects (solo as well as Happy End, Sadistic Mika etc., not to mention any project touched by their far-reaching influence) will absolutely DIE to see these photos. Includes an excellent overview by David Toop, detailed band chronology, dedication by Afrika Bambaataa (!!!) and more anecdotes from a star cast including Yoko Ono, Bowie, Jim Jarmusch, Arto Lindsay, Phil Manzanera plus notes from individual YMO bandmates themselves. Must have/must see item!!! [SM]

$35.99 BK


Straight off the bat: Atlas, the third full-length Real Estate LP, is a gorgeous guitar-rock album that shimmers and chimes in all the right places. Across ten sprightly songs, the band channels the minimalist suburban grandeur of the Feelies, the crystalline guitar leads of Television, and the earnest literary sensibilities of the Go-Betweens. Like Days before it, Atlas finds Real Estate reinforcing the tidal dynamics and effortless interplay between the core four players -- Martin Courtney on vocals/rhythm guitar, Matt Mondanile on lead guitar, Alex Bleeker on the bass, Jackson Pollis on the drums -- while introducing new member Matt Kallman, who lays down lush, subtle keyboards throughout the album.

Hopefully all the folks rushing to append lazily hyphenated descriptors like "lo-fi" and "reverb-laden" to the band will trip and fall face-first when they hear the crisp, cool energy of songs like "Talking Backwards" and "April's Song." Recorded in Wilco's loft studio in Chicago, Real Estate and producer Tom Schick take laidback, ambling guitar rock albums like the Rain Parade's Emergency Third Rail Power Trip as a template before tying Courtney's bell-clear voice and Mondanile's slippery guitar lines together like a pair of shoelaces. There's a heavier sixties psychedelic vibe to songs like "The Bend," which sounds equally as influenced by Jerry Garcia's squiggling clean guitar tone as by the dripping ring modulator fireworks of a Broadcast record. "Crime" speeds along at a cool 65mph, about as much of a "jammer" as Real Estate feels comfortable doing. Credit must also be given to Bleeker's walking, talking bass lines and Pollis' precise and subtle touch, without either of which I don't think Real Estate would be possible. For his lone vocal on the album, Bleeker delivers the beautiful, loping "How Might I Live," which sounds like Galaxie 500 working a shuffling country number into their repertoire. On Atlas, through songs that are not about the suburbs themselves but rather the people who live in them, Real Estate prove themselves not just capable of writing a relevant record, but also a timeless one. [MS]

$12.99 CD ON SALE


Finally here, the new Moodymann album from his own KDJ imprint! We have been wringing our hands like hungry children in anticipation and now we have plenty of CD copies in stock. (Sorry: the vinyl sold out almost immediately.) The first thing that must be said is this is a flawless, successful culmination of Kenny Dixon Jr.'s most recent forays into "song-elements," starting with "Freeki Muthafucka" (showing up in two different forms on this 20-track CD that blends recent/older 12" tracks as well as skits/segues in between album tracks). He's already proven a solid lyricist since as far back as 2004's "Rectify" (off Black Mahogani 2), and he's tapped into a particularly unique sleazy, deep, cerebral quality on the aforementioned "Freeki MF" up until the recent Picture This. This quality has been developing slowly and steadily since then and on Moodymann he steers it into full-blown vocal territory along with a newfound take on his heady production, a mixtape-like presentation, and an underlying personal soul/blaxploitation soundtrack vibe complete with news clip voice-overs and well-placed bits of live instrumentation, Detroit gang history -- even a Richard Pryor snippet gets thrown in! And then the extended, vaguely Superfly/Mayfield-esque "Sloppy Cosmic" wraps up the overall feel as a great album ender (leading to the song outro "Heaven").

KDJ, of course, knows better than to let the vocals get in the way of his production. With tracks like "You're 2 Moody," "I Got Werk," and "Watchin U," Dixon even goes into personal/autobiographical territory with great results. These intimate and vulnerable moments only add to the soul of Moodymann. He fuses bravado with rejection in "Lyk U Used 2" when he says, "You don't even scream my name/no more/Do you remember you used to come/for more...8.5 isn't enough?/anymore?" The excellently simple "No" features a lightly stomping beat and a key flourish along with a KDJ voiceover asking questions like, "Would you rather go to work than drink?/Do you really want to stop having fun?/Do you really want to turn the lights on?", to which a plain, sexy female voice replies each time, "No." Then the groove kicks in deep and stomping on "Sunday Hotel" with some old school KDJ vocal snippets joining blues moans and gospel phrases and a deliciously blobby bass line that will have heart, soul and mind all bobbing in unison. Another Moodymann classic stretching his boundaries and ours simultaneously! Dope!!!  [SM]

$21.99 CD

An Electric Mind

Georges Vert may or may not be a mysterious French synth wizard. He also may or may not be Jon Brooks, British synthesist best known for his stunning works as the Advisory Circle. One thing is for sure, though, whomever Vert happens to be, this album is a total winner. Originally released on Brooks' Cafe Kaput label in 2012 as a download-only release, it has finally seen a much-deserved vinyl issue via Melodic, who recognized the serious dancefloor potential in these eight cosmic analogue bangers. Vert crafts a world of trippy, sensual rhythm excursions, heavy on tight, sweaty disco-funk grooves, percolating hand percussion, the occasional bit of chicken scratch guitar, and layers of squealing synth lines, sparkly electric piano, and pumping arpeggiations. One can hear elements of library music and Balearic tropicality as well, all glazed over with a distinctive Euro vibe that really just has to be heard to be believed. If you've ever dug the likes of Black Devil Disco Club (whom Vert has remixed in the past) or you swoon at the sounds of the Italians Do It Better label's production aesthetics, you'd be wise to pick this up. An Electric Mind sounds like a dance party held in a science lab, where everyone's labcoats are unbuttoned to reveal low-cut gold and silver lamé bodysuits. The production is top-notch, but more importantly, the tunes are simply outstanding. This is honestly closer in vibe and spirit to what many people wanted Daft Punk's last disco-heavy Random Access Memories album to sound like (and it came out a full year before DP) -- all of the lasers and glitter with none of the cheese. Well, maybe a bit of the cheese. In any event, all signs point to HELL YES. This one gets my absolute HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. [IQ]

$21.99 LP

(Sun Ark)

Cameron Stallone returns to his roots, in a sense, on his latest album as Sun Araw. After making a breakout collaborative dub album with reggae icons the Congos, Stallone heads back deep into the trippy wonderland he's established throughout his wandering discography. Belomancie is knee deep in cosmic slop, its nine pieces utilizing a kitchen sink approach with twisting and turning rhythms, a stew of found sounds, organic instrumentation, dubby treatments, and hooky lyrics. This is definitely his most out-there release to date, and not just in terms of the music; Stallone's vocals are more upfront than before, daring you to confront his voice as much as his soundscapes. Adventurous has always been the way I've felt about Sun Araw records, and this one is no different; perhaps he's focusing his lens on the left of center, and if so, he certainly hits the mark. Needless to say, Belomancie is the weirdest listening experience I've had so far this year, and while I'm not sure quite how I feel about it, in this case, that's a positive thing. [DG]

$14.99 CD
$22.99 LP

Tomorrow's Hits
(Sacred Bones)

The Men are featured this week on the cover of one of our local music rags under the headline "Brooklyn's Last Great Rock Band," and while they surely are not the "last," there is no doubt these guys are a great rock band from a music-rich borough with not too many straight-up rock and rollers these days. And despite some lineup changes and ups and downs over the past few years, the Men have been cranking out rock records like it really IS going out of style. This new one finds the group in a more refined studio setting than they generally work in, but the production is still rough and ready. The band's approach seems to be classic Neil Young & Crazy Horse -- no doubt a major influence -- in that they don't worry about finding perfection, instead they sound like they are riding a wave as they bash out their songs in the studio, delivering a blustery abandon that feels remarkably fresh in this era of endless home-studio tinkering. Neil Young, the Stones, maybe a little Bruce -- you get the idea. Loads of guitars, a stomping rhythm section, throaty vocals, and lots of coloring here with barroom piano, pedal steel, harmonica and blaring horns, it's nothing new, but the group sounds great just the same. People keep waiting for the Men to deliver their masterpiece, where the songwriting rises to the level of the attitude and sound, and frankly, I'm not sure Tomorrow's Hits is that moment, but without a doubt this a fantastic set from one of the best rock bands around. (Colored red vinyl and bonus cassettes while supplies last.) [JM]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$15.99 LP

Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles
(The Numero Group)

One look at the cover of this new installment in the Numero Group's Wayfaring Strangers series (aptly retitled "Warfaring" in this instance) and I knew I was in. Like any good metalhead, I spent more than my fair share of school dutifully trying my best to recreate the logos of my favorite bands on the front and back of every notebook I was supposed to be writing in, and the album cover here recreates that special mix of fandom and escapism that is vital to enjoying this record. Obviously, like all the volumes in this series, they go deep, into the void if you will, unearthing long-forgotten 45s that were often the only document of these hazily remembered groups; so if you aren't already down with the heavy hitters in the genre (in this case Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Cream, etc.), then you've got some work to do before you enroll in the A.P. Metalogy offered here.

The compilation opens with "Twelve O'Clock Satanial" by Air (obviously not the French group with the same name), and its swirling organ and wonderfully absurd title, not to mention a wah-wah guitar intro that eases into a proper heavy riff, set the tone for the next hour or so. I won't do a track-by-track breakdown but all in all this comp is pretty solid front to back and, as always, the packaging is top notch -- so if you think you'll be into this, the answer is YOU WILL! And not to be a format snob, but the vinyl comes with an extra track by Houston's Stone Axe (ex-Josefus, whose excellent Dead Man is set to be reissued by the Numero Group empire later this month) that is a total jammer, plus the music benefits by being broken up into side long doses. [DMa]

$15.99 CD
$28.99 LP

The Soul of All Natural Things
(Asthmatic Kitty)

The Soul of All Natural Things is only the second album by cult folk singer and songwriter Linda Perhacs, and her first in 44 years following 1970's Parallelograms. Like any artist who's had such an enormous layover in between recordings, there's a heavy amount of anticipation, scrutiny, and even apprehension weighing down upon this LP. The good news is that Perhacs still possesses the same gorgeous, warm voice that made the songs of Parallelograms so bewitching, so simultaneously spectral and sensuous. The album is beautifully recorded, and there's little to no attempt to filter her sensibilities into contemporary trends and mentalities. Therein also lies part of the problem with the record, though -- at times some of these songs seem almost too safe, as though her young collaborators (among them producer Fernando Perdomo and vocalists Julia Holter and Nite Jewel's Ramona Gonzalez, both notably influenced by Paralellograms) all felt either too in awe of their idol, or too afraid to accept her desire to further investigate the subtle electronic flourishes of Parallelograms. It's lovely to hear Perhacs fully embracing the soft, heartfelt expressivity that made her debut so enchanting, but one gets the feeling at times that she isn't fully revealing the secrets discovered during the decades she spent away from the recording studio. There's very much a great deal to enjoy and recommend on The Soul of All Natural Things, but I'm still left wishing that it was just a bit more odd and unrestrained. All in all, however, it's a very nice return. [IQ]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$15.99 LP

Hubba Bubba
(Castle Face)

John Dwyer's Oh Sees are a prolific and somewhat fluid band, their explorations ranging from static blasts to sweet pop, and visiting many spots in between. Still, if you had to give their music a name, it would probably be "garage rock." Known as a guitar mauler and three-chord brawler, when Dwyer announced that his group was taking a short break, it seemed likely that he would surface with a new project, but I'm not sure anyone imagined Damaged Bug. Recorded alone at home, there is some guitar on here, but the songs are defined by a funny little analog synth that Radio Shack sold back in the day, a budget-line Moog called the MG-1, which Dwyer coveted in his youth, and has bonded with in a major way. The MG-1, and a small pile of other vintage synth gear Dwyer laid hands on, had as much to do with the songs of Hubba Bubba as Dwyer himself. This is a droney, retro-futuristic journey that at times evokes elements of weirdo synth projects like Silver Apples or Suicide, but it's something all its own. Song-oriented but deeply textured, melancholy mid-tempo tracks that feel isolated without being maudlin, bleepy and electronic while remaining firmly analog and homemade sounding, as with everything Dwyer does it leaves you wondering about a different world in which this was his full-time muse, rather than rock & roll. Strange, and strangely satisfying. [JM]

$13.99 CD
$16.99 LP

Infinity Dub Sessions

Following a few 12" singles together, these two digital dub masters finally join forces for this full-length album that combines the beats of Deadbeat with the fine-tuned vocals of Paul St. Hilaire. Having made a name for himself as Tikiman, St. Hilaire recorded classic plates for Rhythm & Sound in the early 2000s, and over the last decade has released solo material as well as collaborations with Modeselektor, Mikkel Metal, and a few other producers. Within the vibrant and techy dub-scapes that Deadbeat creates, St. Hilaire dances in and out of the speakers, somewhere between a ghost in the machine and a life-loving dub poet. Though Rhythm & Sound may have a lock on this brand of German dub, Deadbeat always offered a nice alternative. The Infinity Dub Sessions feels like a natural extension of both their visions and it seems like they should have done it sooner. At any rate, this is a top-notch addition to the digital dub world and a nice variation to the usually cold and wordless sounds of techno. Definitely recommended. [DG]

$17.99 CD
$25.99 2LP

Estoile Naiant

The second album by London producer patten, and his first full-length for Warp, sees him pulling back a bit from the dense intensity (indensity!) of 2011's GLAQJO XAACSSO, but even so, that record's unrelenting maximalism was so obtuse at times as to be completely exhausting while still sounding surprising. ESTOILE NAIANT pulls back just a shade, and offers a fractured contextual cousin to the already fractured, blown synthetic sampledelia of artists like Actress and Hype Williams, where urban contemporary ingredients are abstracted into alien textures and flavors. While Actress' most recent album was a strictly greyscale affair, ESTOILE blows out of the speakers in blinding Technicolor meant to be viewed with contempo 3D glasses. These tracks are dazzling, if not a bit headache-inducing should one attempt to experience them without the proper interpretive gear. This is a thick, intense, and multilayered record to be sure, and it's not meant for easy, instant gratification; rather, it raises more questions than it offers answers to, and its assortment of shifting, complex machine beats and shattered synthesized voices nod approvingly to Warp's IDM past while pushing it into more updated contemporary tastes. This could easily appeal to fans of Autechre and Boards of Canada as much as it could fans of Ghettoville or even Yeezus; it represents a wonderful cross-section of the gluttonous attention-deficit media consumptive habits to which we've all fallen victim in recent times, and yet remains head-noddingly enrapturing for all its density. This one's for the more adventurous beatheads out there. (Limited edition bonus CD, Ship of Theseus, with purchase. While supplies last.) [IQ]

$12.99 CD
$21.99 LP+MP3

(Arts & Crafts)

Robert Alfons and Austra drummer Maya Postepski released their first Trust full-length exactly two years ago, a dark, synth-pop debut that also happened to be one of the most haunting dance records of 2012. While originally viewed as a witchier Austra side project, Trust quickly turned into a force to be reckoned with and one that, for some at least, outshined Postepski's better-known group. Postepski herself would depart from the duo soon after TRST was released, and for this follow-up Alfons is clearly holding the reigns.

It's no surprise then that Joyland is more tailored to Alfons' signatures and strengths -- from his otherworldly vocals and the spooky, distorted atmospheres to his brainwashing Ninendo pop sounds -- but there's a noticeable refinement happening too. Where with TRST, different elements of the project's talents came through in disparate moments, here there's a consistency which allows the album to be listened to from start to finish without a lull or ripple. Throughout, Alfons' voice mutates from icy, murmuring croons to delicate, pitch-shifted melodies that pierce through the walls of neon synths and beats. Sure, there are still hints of bands like Crystal Castles and Salem poking through the dramatic brood, but there's also a poppier gloss that makes the songs as fun as they are sinister. Add to this a succinctness that was rarely heard on Trust's debut, and it's as if someone has turned on the light in the once-darkened basement (albeit, it’s a black light). Fans of witch house, goth-pop, dark electro and the like should not hesitate on this one. [MM]

$12.99 CD
$28.99 2LP

also available


In the decade since The Red Headed Stranger (the lauded reinterpretation of Willie Nelson's classic album) was released, Evangelista/Ethyl Meatplow/Geraldine Fibbers frontwoman Carla Bozulich has covered much ground on her five solo records. Self-proclaiming Boy as her "pop album" -- albeit still challenging, deconstructed pop -- Bozulich reigns in the experimental sound of earlier work, utilizing distinguishable song structures and melodies throughout the ten tracks, which all come in at three to five minutes in length. Recommended!

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$19.99 LP

(Western Vinyl)

Inspired by the vast stories of his ancestors -- four generations of coal miners from West Virginia -- Stone Jack Jones explores life, death, work, and love on his third album, which was produced by Roger Moutenot (who is known best for his work with Yo La Tengo, Sleater-Kinney and They Might Be Giants). Like the subject matter on Ancestors, the record's tone is both haunting and contemplative: lush folk compositions layered with textured sounds that are both beautiful and unsettling at moments. For fans of Sun Kil Moon, Castanets, and Lambchop.

$9.99 CD ON SALE
$14.99 LP

domestic pressing

Field of Reeds
(Play It Again Sam)

Led by twin brothers George and Jack Barnett, These New Puritans is one of the more interesting bands in the UK, and after a three-year wait they are back with a new album; it's a mature and passionate record that also marks quite a departure for this somewhat underrated group. Though Beat Pyramid from 2008 and 2010's Hidden each had their own sound, both releases shared a unique blend of youthful DIY post-punk and Brit-pop crossed with dubstep; the band maintains this ever-evolving momentum here as well, while taking their chamber music and avant-garde/music concrete aspirations to new heights. Since their last full-length, Jack Barnett studied orchestral notation and also explored field recordings, and the group itself has been scaled back from a quartet to a trio (although Jack's impassioned singing is joined by additional vocals from Elisa Rodriquez, Elizabeth Turner, and Adrian Peacock). Much like movements within an opera, here Barnett employs space, drama, and emotion-filled brass and string arrangements to set the scene, and Field of Reeds seems to unfold in suites rather than songs.

While the album might seem to lack a spine (i.e. a back beat), it holds together well, with bass guitar and drums providing rhythm if not drive, and organ, piano, and synthesizer, along with lots of unique acoustic sound sources -- glass, rototoms, chromatic gongs, un-pitched percussion, and magnetic resonator piano, to name a few -- adding lush coloring. Like the music of Talk Talk, Arthur Russell, or Current 93, TNP explores moody orchestral pop with touches of stern British folk, full of deep ambiance and broad landscapes that create a stark yet rich tapestry of floating passion, sparse melody, open atmosphere, and tightly arranged restraint. With every full-length the band seems to shapeshift into a new form; I've always found a lot to like about the group in the past, and here they have really created an original, engaging, and accomplished album that they previously never quite seemed capable of (or interested in) realizing. It's a nice surprise to see a band branch out, mature, and explore new territory with such great results. Fans of minimal orchestral rock such as Dirty Projectors, Antony, How to Dress Well, or any of the above mentioned should definitely check out These New Puritans. Definitely not the group you thought you knew, and probably better than you remember. Either way, recommended. [DG]

$13.99 CD
$25.99 LP+MP3

available on vinyl

Pass the Distance
(Big Little Chief)

Simon Finn's 1970 cult classic is finally back in print on LP. This is psychedelic folk at its finest: intuitive, immediate, vulnerable, emotional, chaotic, dark, lonely, world-weary, naive, incredibly human. While recording the album, Finn was joined in the studio by several accompanying musicians, one of whom was a very young David Toop. Toop was given free reign to play an incredible number of instruments including guitar, mandolin, flute, harmonium, accordion, and violin. The fact that he admittedly didn't know how to play many of them explains for the strange bare-bones arrangements. As with some of the best works of art, the so-called mistakes make this LP all the more fascinating. Parts of the record are beautiful and idyllic, but there's an unsettling and sometimes terrifying undercurrent to some of the music that reminds me of Comus. There are several moments when Finn sounds like he's on the verge of a total breakdown, and it's a miracle that the songs don't ever fall completely apart around him. Finn's legacy looms large over the music of contemporary folk revivalists and experimenters like Richard Youngs and Devendra Banhart -- consider Pass the Distance essential. Pressed in an edition of 500 copies with liner notes by John Olson of Wolf Eyes/American tapes. [RH]

$22.99 LP

(Erased Tapes)

It's a live album delivered as sound art, and as such, with Nils Frahm's intuitive piano playing and wonderfully open-minded approach to music, this is a fairly stunning and truly enjoyable record. Frahm has long tended to make great music out of enforced limitations, from the string-deadening approach on 2011's Felt to the minimal meditations of last year's Screws, but the genius of this new set can be defined by one song title: "Improvisation for Piano, Laughs, Coughs, and a Cell Phone." Drawn from more than 30 performances, Frahm carefully constructed this album to reflect the magic and off-kilter surprises of a public performance, and the results make for a great home listen far beyond the pale carbon copy of most live LPs. Really great and innovative stuff here, joyful, melodic and emotional in the truest sense. (Double-LP version comes with a poster.)

$13.99 CD
$22.99 2LP

now available on cd

In the Graveyard

Dead Moon's songs are like lovely and terrible ghost trains; they rumble and roar through the post-Beatles rock 'n' roll night, peeling the scabs off of hackneyed chord changes and cliché rock attitudes. From 1987 to 2006, the band recorded 13 albums of bristly, no-bones psychedelic, punk, and blues at home studios deep in the Oregon woods. Their fans are easily mistaken for worshippers of some freakshow Americana cult, bearing Dead Moon tattoos to signal to other believers -- a skull in the moon flashing a toothy, maniacal smile. These first three albums, back in print as CDs, are as pure and unadulterated as the first Sun recordings -- rock music that bleeds electricity, spooky voodoo, and ferocity.

Led by Fred Cole, whose punk rock resume extend from the mid-'60s west coast garage-psych scene right through today, Dead Moon records sound and feel the way they do because of Cole's blistering songwriting, fierce guitar, wailing vocals, and in large part because of his Spartan recording techniques. Recorded to 8-track tape at home and mixed in mono, Fred then cuts the master LP himself on the same lathe that cut the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie." I hesitate to throw the entire Dead Moon catalog under the banner of "lo-fi;" we don't call the Kingsmen the first great lo-fi band. But that iconic song, like Dead Moon's songs, sounds amazing partly due to the raw, no-frills, no-bullshit aesthetic of the recording.

The band's debut 1988, In the Graveyard, is smoldering, rickety, and unbelievably good. The songs are often on the verge of derailing, but that's mostly because of Fred's snarling, psychotic voice. A friend once described Cole's singing as "horrifying, but weirdly beautiful." He's at his wildest on punky covers like "Hey Joe," or on tombstone blues ballads like "I Hate the Blues." The band's bass player (and Fred's wife), Toody Cole, throws her bewitching high priestess pipes onto Elvis' "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You," delivered with an off-kilter honestly that is the antithesis of Presley's smooth croon. The record also includes longtime DM live staples "Out on a Wire," "Graveyard," and plenty more. [MS]

$14.99 CD

Unknown Passage

Unknown Passage, from '89, is the best of the first three records. There are no more nerves, and the three-piece locks together in a way that was only hinted at on the debut. There's no great leap forward in fidelity, but right from the opener, "Dead Moon Night," through to closer "On My Own," the band kicks hard against the pricks. This record contains a lot of classic Dead Moon jams, like the aforementioned opener, "A Miss of You," "54/40 or Fight," "Evil Eye," and "Demona," which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Wipers' "Is This Real?" Drummer Andrew Loomis seems to burst apart on this record, helping anchor Fred's songs with simple, insanely hard drumbeats. [MS]

$14.99 CD


1990's Defiance continues the streak, opening with a punk rock barnburner cover of the traditional "Milk Cow Blues." This album is decidedly twangier than Unknown Passage, and the band often sounds like an acid-fried alternate universe version of the Byrds. "Walking on My Grave" is one of Fred's best songs, a screed against the stale state of rock and roll, and proof that the modern pop airwaves did indeed reach the Cole's cabin. "There's a new kid on the block/and he's taking my place/walking on my grave!" he screams. Directly after that is "Johnny's Got a Gun," one of the best songs that Toody sings on. It might be the straightest rock song in Dead Moon's repertoire, starting out with a Patti Smith spoken word verse and eventually reaching a Joan Jett chug.

There are a lot of obvious influences at work here: the Kingsmen, the Animals, Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, Robert Johnson, and the Sonics. But Dead Moon is decidedly original and refreshing, even twenty years after the records were first pressed. Their recording process, style, and aesthetic were pure and simple, right down to the monophonic sound and the monochromatic sleeves. I reconnected with these records a few nights ago, when thunderstorms rolled over Brooklyn and lightning flashed in my windows. There were moments when I could not distinguish between the lashing rain and the gravel in Fred Cole's voice. The experience was almost religious, as my ears completed a trinity with the records and the speakers. Dead Moon is proof that rock and roll lives, and if the genre has lately left you feeling a little cadaverous, these three albums have my highest recommendation. [MS]

$14.99 CD

back in stock

The Byrd Who Flew Alone
(Four Suns)

Amongst a flurry of music documentaries being released right now, none of the subjects intrigue me more than elusive and gifted singer/songwriter Gene Clark. We are thrilled that the shop was able to get copies of The Byrd Who Flew Alone in stock only a month after its existence was even announced, and Other Music is probably one of the only stores in the US where you can pick this up. Director Paul Kendall takes us through an in-depth exploration of Clark's life, starting out on the family farm in Kansas City (one of 13 children!), on to playing in the New Christy Minstrels and then to off LA to start the Byrds. The band's other founding members, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman, are all featured prominently in the interviews revealing some of the behind-the-scenes events in the group that led to Clark leaving in 1966, as Kendall perfectly cuts between the interviews of these three each telling their memory of Clark's departure. The story goes from there, Clark embarking out on his own to record solo albums and collaborations, without ever quite finding the success he so clearly deserved. It's a familiar story heard time and time again of the prolific artist never quite around at the right moment to receive proper acknowledgement while alive, only to be discovered years later by another generation, and yet with Gene Clark's immense talent and influence, it's still a baffling and emotional tale.

Also included here in this lovingly packaged DVD are tons of additional interview footage that didn't make the final cut for the film, director's commentary from Paul Kendall, plus two live performances, notably one of Clark playing a very moody solo acoustic version of "Silver Raven." Great stuff for any fan of American music, The Byrd Who Flew Alone does not disappoint. [AC]

$26.99 DVD

the big picture