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May 14, 2015

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

Kamasi Washington
Prurient
Prefuse 73
Kenny Knight
Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll
Juan Wauters
The Weather Station
The Tallest Man on Earth
Hop Along
Popol Vuh / Florian Fricke
Insanlar / Ricardo Villalobos
The Gaslamp Killer
Graham Lambkin / Michael Pisaro
Bill Fay
Aki Onda with Loren Connors & Alan Licht
Best Coast
Crocodiles
 

special events

BROOKLYN FLEA RECORD FAIR

SATURDAY, MAY 16

East River State Park: 90 Kent Ave. Williamsburg, BLKN
Facebook Event Invite 

This Saturday, May 16, the spring edition of the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair returns to Williamsburg's East River State Park, with 50-plus vendors made up of independent labels, record stores (including Other Music), and used record dealers setting up next to Smorgasburg. Like last year, Red Bull Music Academy has put together a great DJ line-up, with Eamon Harkin (Mister Saturday Night), Jack Tatum (Wild Nothing), Justin Miller (Have a Killer Time), Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (Mexican Summer), and Matt Werth (RVNG Intl.) spinning the soundtrack for your crate digging. You can check out a full list of vendors here, and we'll see you on Saturday!!


KA SETS UP SHOP IN FRONT OF OTHER MUSIC

SATURDAY, MAY 16 (1-4pM)

Other Music: 15 E. 4th St. New York, NY 

We are honored to support the record release from Dr. Yen Lo, a great collaborative project featuring one of our favorite NYC rappers, Ka, and DJ/producer Preservation. Traditionally Ka has released his albums straight to the public by taking to the streets and setting up shop outside the famed Fat Beats storefront in the West Village. The hip-hop mecca closed their retail locations a few years ago, but Ka has now chosen Other Music as his new launch pad. This Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m., he will be selling The Days of Dr. Yen Lo, greeting fans, and maybe even hosting a cipher outside our shop on East 4th Street.


HOT CHIP RECORD RELEASE

MONDAY, MAY 18 (7PM)

Other Music: 15 E. 4th St. New York, NY

Come join us for the release of Hot Chip's new album, Why Make Sense?, at Other Music on Monday, May 18th at 7 p.m. We'll be displaying a multitude of the deluxe edition's individually unique record sleeves in all their colorful glory. Each and every copy of the record's first pressing is a unique variant in design and color, the product of a concept by designer Nick Relph and a procedurally generated printing process. Stop by to hear the new album and to snag one of these highly collectible editions before they disappear!  

ticket give-aways

THE BUNKER PRESENTS: MORITZ VON OSWALD

FRIDAY, MAY 15

The Bunker at Output: 74 Wythe Ave. Brooklyn, NY //  Facebook Event Invite

Electronic music heavyweight Moritz Von Oswald (Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound, Maurizio) returns to the Bunker tomorrow night at Output! Joining this techno legend will be a Giegling showcase featuring Konstantin, VRIL and Kettenkarussell. In the adjacent Panther Room, Bunker resident Derek Plaslaiko will be over from Berlin to DJ alongside Nikola Baytala and Mike Servito, while Control Modulars will be presenting a night of spaced-out synth sounds in the Stilton House. Other Music is giving away a pair of passes to this incredible night; email giveaway@othermusic.com for your chance to win!
 


TV ON THE RADIO GIVE-AWAY

THURSDAY, MAY 21

Terminal 5:  610 W. 56th St. New York, NY

TV on the Radio have a busy several months ahead, touring the world over which includes two stops in their hometown, New York City: Wednesday, May 20 at Brooklyn's newly restored King's Theatre, and Thursday, May 21 at Manhattan's Terminal 5 -- Japan's Bo Ningen supports both nights. Other Music has a pair of tickets to give away to TVOTR's Terminal 5 performance; email tickets@othermusic.com for your chance to win!

this week's update

KAMASI WASHINGTON
The Epic
(Brainfeeder)

Saxophonist, composer, and arranger Kamasi Washington is one of the major players behind Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma and You're Dead, as well as Kendrick Lamar's jazz-funk-rap opus To Pimp a Butterfly. A mainstay of the L.A. scene, Washington's cosmic, spiritual, and funky talents feel like they have been bubbling up from underneath the surface in recent years. Folks have been trying to bury jazz for decades, but with the releases of jazz-inflected records by artist like Thundercat, FlyLo, Lamar, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, and Ambrose Akinmusire, the form has been on the upswing, with The Epic being the alpha and the omega, the beginning of a new appreciation and the end of the "jazz is dead" debate. Washington is a forward-thinking composer who is schooled in tradition but not a staunch traditionalist -- he won the John Coltrane Music Competition way back in 1999, and that's also where he first met FlyLo, and now, so many years later, the fruits of his dedication and exploration fully come to the surface. For his debut release as bandleader, he offers an expansive journey in contemporary jazz that weaves many influences and decades together in a way that befits the title The Epic.

The three-disc set runs just under three hours long, with many of the pieces going beyond the 10-minute mark. The echoes of Alice and John Coltrane, Doug Carn, Fela, Eddie Gale, George Duke, Pharoah Sanders, Albert Alyer and Weather Report all flow throughout 17 songs, the whole thing blending together in a jazz odyssey this generation has been missing. His involvement with Lamar and FlyLo has brought the sound, moods, and energy of spiritual and soulful jazz to the ears of a broad pop audience; now remove the contemporary fusions of hip-hop and electronica and we are invited into a swirling and dynamic, shifting and flowing atmosphere of pure jazz expressions. With a 20-person choir and 32-piece ensemble made up of South Central-based musicians, among them Thundercat and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., this is an exhilarating and exhausting listen taken in one dose. Broken apart, however, each of the three discs would serve well as a solid album on their own. It's a wonderful listen and reminder of the joy that jazz can bring. Washington and his ensemble have sculpted a needed addition to the genre. It feels like the by-product of a vibrant music scene of talented players that share ideas, influences, and opportunities. Definitely one of the best (and longest) new jazz records that I've heard in quite a while. [DG] (Song Preview Here)

$22.99 3CD


PRURIENT
Frozen Niagara Falls
(Profound Lore)

A major statement at 92 minutes, Frozen Niagara Falls feels like the most fully realized transmission in the lengthy Prurient discography. Dominick Fernow and cohorts Kris Lapke and Arthur Rizk are firing on all cylinders throughout this double-CD program. Though they intended to forsake electronics at the project's outset two years ago, they ended up throwing almost everything possible into the mix, resulting in the most widescreen version of Prurient yet recorded. While, in general, this album pulls away from the flirtation with more overtly traditional structure found on its predecessor, 2011's Bermuda Drain, there are still several melodic tracks that feature much more conventional acoustic instrumentation. Although the harsher moments are perhaps more chaotic and noisier than anything on Bermuda Drain, there are also tracks comprised of 12-string acoustic guitar, fretless bass and field recordings of crackling fires. The subject matter seems quite personal and soul-bearing throughout, and this is something that sets Fernow's output apart from that of most "noise" artists. His work always has a strong emphasis on content, and is never merely a display of harsh sound for its own sake. This is an overwhelming listen, in the best way, and there are many sections that will sound insane even to the most jaded veteran of extreme composition. Fernow has really outdone himself this time. Frozen Niagara Falls may well stand as his masterpiece. [DHa] (Song Preview Here)

$15.99 2CD

PREFUSE 73
Rivington Não Rio
(Temporary Residence)

It's been more than a minute since we've heard from Guillermo Scott Heron a/k/a Prefuse 73. Following his 2011 album for Warp, The Only She Chapters, he moves to Temporary Residence for a trio of new releases, two of which are now available. Through the early 2000s, P73 had been the poster boy for glitch-filled hip-hop, breezy and pastoral tropicalia, and melodic microtonal downtempo, and here he picks up right where he left us. Rivington Nao Rio is a dreamy and gentle journey that blends acoustic instruments (guitar, piano, chimes, percussion) with electronic treatments and programming. Throughout the 11 songs, all of Heron's signature snaps, crackles, and pops are in full effect, dusted off and shining brightly, with a slew of great guest vocalists (Sam Drew, Milo & Busdriver, Helado Negro, and Rob Crow) giving the album a varied and engaging sound. [DG] (Song Preview Here)

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$16.99 LP


PREFUSE 73
Forsyth Gardens
(Temporary Residence)

Forsyth Gardens is a mostly instrumental record and across the nine songs here, Guillermo Scott Heron presents more of the synth and beats version of his signature sound, with wavering bass tones, jumping double-dutch beds of digital percussion, and chopped vocal samples, including a cool remix of a Sam Drew track from Rivington Nao Rio. This album looks back to Heron's early Warp days and feels stronger and more soulful. I always liked his style of arranging, which has always lent his records a dynamic feel and a varied sense of movement -- one minute it seems like he's a mad scientist in the studio about to spin out of control, everything speedy and crunchy, where the next moment drifts along at a snails pace, all open and meditative.

A noticeable difference from his past releases, however, is that the individual track times are longer here, letting the songs breathe, settle and develop, resulting in a more complete listening experience rather than a hyper and dizzying, sliced-up mixtape. You could say that his aesthetic of dissecting and fusing trip-hop, rap, Latin and psychedelic with touches of minimal classical and a laptop-enabled b-boy attitude paved the way for labels like Brainfeeder, Friends of Friends, etc. So here Prefuse 73 is back, not really with a big splash, but a series of releases to refresh our memory of days and sounds gone by from a producer that knows his way around the block. [DG] (Song Preview Here)

$18.99 LP


KENNY KNIGHT
Crossroads
(Paradise of Bachelors)

Discovered by longtime Other Music associate Michael Klausman on a record buying trip near his Colorado home, Kenny Knight's private press LP Crossroads is the kind of album that deep diggers are already sweating bullets over. Released in 1980, Crossroads belies its date by a good 8-10 years, as a dusty, bedraggled example of prime-cut rural rock. Echoes of the Dead, CSNY, Fraser & Debolt, Bernie Schwarz, and Tom T. Hall rest gently over these sad, prideless examples of a man beaten down by the world, looking with anxiety and a little bit of hope, for a way back in. The musicianship is rough-hewn but impeccable for the material at hand (the pedal steel on "Carry Me Down" is particularly expressive), and Knight's songwriting talent is undeniable; "Jean," with its solemn acoustic strumming bolstered by haunting Leslie cabinet electric leads, immediately enters the canon of Ultimate Folk Downers, dragging its feet with whatever resolve it has left, while "Whiskey" becomes an instant, favored mellow groover. I can't stress how satisfying it is to discover a record like Crossroads, which fulfills the promise of the search some of us go through to find great examples of mostly-unheard music. [DM] (Song Preview Here)

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$19.99 LP

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll
(Dust-to-Digital)

This companion piece to the excellent documentary of the same name, Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll has been in constant rotation on the shop stereo lately. Compiled by the film's director, John Pirozzi, the music is as spell-bounding as it is haunting, knowing the horror that would soon befall many of the musicians represented here, killed along with two million others during the brutal four-year reign of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. This 20-track compilation transports the listener back to an incredibly rich era of music and art coming out of Cambodia in the mid-20th century, when the country was known as "the Pearl of Southeast Asia." From the lounge-pop stylings of Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Serey Sothea, to the psychedelic rock of Yol Aularong, to Pou Vannary's chilling cover of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend," this East-meets-West fusion of sounds is nothing but magical, and several of these tracks have never been available outside of Cambodia until now. Highly recommended -- pick up this compilation, and also, email enter@othermusic.com for your chance to win a pair of passes to a screening of Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll, now playing at NYC's IFC Center through Tuesday, May 19. (Passes are good for any of the 10 p.m. show times during the film's run). [GH] (Song Preview Here)

$11.99 CD ON SALE


JUAN WAUTERS
Who Me?
(Captured Tracks)

When Juan Wauters performed at Other Music last February in support of his debut solo album, North American Poetry, he was ecstatic to discover Uruguayan songwriter Eduardo Mateo's CDs in our racks. Wauters, himself a Uruguayan who now calls Queens home, built a little shrine to Mateo and burned a candle while he played...a candle that lit the American flag behind him on fire. Wauters just shrugged and smiled and kept a-strumming as some OM staffers patted out the flames, all of us bemused at his balance of consternation and zen-like "show-must-go-on" attitude.

Who Me?, like North American Poetry, has a few obvious and irresistible musical signposts: the good-natured optimism of Jonathan Richman; the light cosmic folk of Mateo; the wry, funny lyricism of Lou Reed. Wauters augments his usual plucked acoustic guitar with bongos, piano, double-tracked vocals and a little saxophone action. In a canny aural recreation of walking down any street in New York, Juan sings in both Spanish and English, sometimes within the same song. And just like his joyous live performances, he draws listeners in with a storyteller's unique magnetism and talent for painting vivid scenes with precious and precise details (this record has spawned my new favorite Wauters lyric: "Like a movie that is good, you require my attention"). On Who Me?, Juan stares down crushingly heavy existential juju with the same good humor and grin he flashed as flames tickled his stage. Highly recommended for fans of Richman and folks who think that the best Ramones songs are the ballads. [MS] (Song Preview Here)

$11.99 CD ON SALE


THE WEATHER STATION
Loyalty
(Paradise of Bachelors)

Let's cut to the chase -- this is pure, low-key, expressive modern folk music, with sparse arrangements that hit with a strange power (that kick drum on "Shy Women" might punch a hole in your chest). Singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman sounds like a lucid, late-day Chrissie Hynde, her voice floating over the strings, electric piano, acoustic guitar and deep well of bass like the spirits watching over us all. Her lyrics evoke the human condition, taut and immediate, effortlessly blending moods with descriptors to the point where it's hard to separate the poetry from the feelings they drag forth. With absolutely no pretense or juked feelings, Loyalty is the kind of record that could save folk music as it exists today, and announces that the Weather Station's development period is done, as Lindeman and her side-players usher forth in full bloom. Outstanding! [DM] (Song Preview Here)

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$19.99 LP

THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH
Dark Bird Is Home
(Dead Oceans)

With his fourth full-length as the Tallest Man on Earth, Kristian Matsson expands the borders of his solitary folk songs ever so slightly, holding on to the bare-boned intensity of his early work, while adding layers of sound and vision. The Swedish songwriter has become an international star with just his thin, reedy voice and lush acoustic guitar finger picking, but word has been spreading of a impending "full band tour" behind this new record, and fans have been waiting with both high expectations and a bit of trepidation to see what this new music would hold. In fact, while parts of Dark Bird Is Home feature synth and piano, drums, French horn, strings, large vocal choruses and more, the changes are still subtle, and Matsson's instantly engaging acoustic playing and high-lonesome voice still sit at the spiritual center of these songs. Matsson plays most everything himself, but still achieves a broader, collaborative sound, and the record does bring in friends like Bon Iver's Mike Noyce (violin and vocals) to shake things up a bit. All in all, it's less a radical retooling of Tallest Man on Earth's beloved sound than it is a thoughtful exploration of the possibilities, and though it's not really a breakthrough album that will push this already quite successful artist to the next level, it's an enjoyable record that should please most all of his fans. [JM] (Song Preview Here)

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$16.99 LP (LTD. WHITE VINYL)


HOP ALONG
Painted Shut
(Saddle Creek)

From the opening lines of Painted Shut, it's clear that Hop Along's newest album -- and first for Saddle Creek -- is the strongest, clearest, and most rockin' vision that this Philly band has presented us with yet. Though the focal point is still the viciously wry, effortlessly spun lyricism of Frances Quinlan's gritty voice, the insanely tight playing is just as crucial, with math rock-like drum patterns colliding with guitar twangs. "The Knock" is an intense, heavy-handed opener, followed by the driving wallop of "Buddy in the Parade" which coasts into an extended breakdown and screeching refrain. Elsewhere, the steady, moving piano and tense, rhythmic sway of “Horseshoe Crabs” brings to mind Tim Kinsella-related bands like Owls and Joan of Arc. An album with lyrical themes of personal triumph, failures and lessons learned, Painted Shut very much grabs the listener’s attention. Evolving from a DIY basement singer to a main-stage headliner, if you were ever curious about the world of Hop Along or Frances Quinlan's unique brand of emotive punk rock, know that Painted Shut is the record that could very well break her into indie stardom. [RN] (Song Preview Here)

$14.99 CD
$21.99 LP+MP3


POPOL VUH / FLORIAN FRICKE
Kailash
(Soul Jazz)

The unearthing of forgotten kosmische Kraut gems continues at a steady pace by invaluable labels such as Bureau B, a much-appreciated trend to which Soul Jazz contributes this truly delightful release of mostly lost Popol Vuh recordings. Florian Fricke, who wrote music history with a series of classic records on which he established his unique vision of "sacred music," will always remain somewhat of an outsider in the German progressive musical landscape of the 1970s. While bands such as Can, Neu!, and Cluster channeled forward motion and embraced modern technologies, Fricke uniquely explored spirituality in music. But although he increasingly started using piano and world instruments such as oboe, kong, and tamboura, he definitely wasn't a traditionalist, regularly retreating to the synthesizer as a devotional conduit. His objective being peace instead of progress, Fricke nevertheless established a unique parallel sonic universe that explored alternative modes of achieving ecstatic bliss.

On the first disc of this lovingly put together double-album, Soul Jazz, in compiling both released and unreleased material, posthumously realizes Fricke's long-held dream of producing a record with solo-piano music exclusively. Classically trained, Fricke explores a conceptually rich post-Bach sensibility, rejecting contrapuntal composition in favor of evaporating yet always compelling tone clusters. The result is a deceptively calm yet attention-grabbing endeavor, at times coming close to a sense of looming catastrophe. The second disc, which presents the soundtrack to the also included Kailash film, finds Fricke exploring slightly more commonplace yet nonetheless convincing territory. Making magic with dark synth sounds, as well as with his signature battalion of fourth world, "authentic" sound effects, this is classic Popol Vuh romanticism, well-known from the musician's long-standing collaboration with film director Werner Herzog. As a film, Kailash pales in comparison to Herzog's transcendental cinematic masterpieces, but that should not be the focus here. The music is by all means a vivid reminder of Fricke's singular compositional achievements, which will inspire and energize over and over again in the years to come. [NVT] (Song Preview Here)

$31.99 2CD+DVD
$44.99 2LP+DVD


INSANLAR / RICARDO VILLALOBOS
Kime Ne Versions 1+2
(Honest Jon's)

The always on-point folks at Honest Jon's reissue the cult track "Kime Ne" by Turkey's Insanlar, adding icing to an already alluring cake via two remixes by Chilean luminary Ricardo Villalobos. First released in 2013 on the Istanbul-based Aboov Plak imprint, Insanlar's original version of "Kime Ne" occupies the full a-side of the record, with the Baris K-led trio charting an otherworldly sonic voyage that melds a pulsing steady beat and minimal house programming with hypnotic vocal chants and treated melodic lines from the lute-like bağlama. The track's subtle build and slowly shifting nature provides perfect fodder for Villalobos' own brand of heady production. His remixes aim equally for headspace and the dance floor as he manipulates the original's bağlama and vocal elements over steady, pared-down beats. In all, everything comes together to make a highly recommended package of left-field psychedelic dance work. [BB] (Song Preview Here)

$21.99 2x12" EP


THE GASLAMP KILLER
The Gaslamp Killer Experience: Live in Los Angeles
(Self-Released)

One of my favorite weirdoes of the California beat scene is William Benjamin Bensussen, better known as the Gaslamp Killer. Most may remember him from his production work for Gonjasufi and as a co-founder of the Low End Theory collective. The Gaslamp Killer Experience is the auditory document of Bensussen's 2013 performance with a 14-piece ensemble at L.A.'s Mayan Theater. This special release finds his brand of ethno beat science expanded and enhanced, as TGK handles turntables, electronics, and vocals, while he's assisted by two drummers, two percussionists, guitar, violin, viola, sitar, trombone, trumpet, cello, and bass, with Kamasi Washington on sax, and keys by Computer Jay. Throughout the 50-minute show he does an instrumental version of one of his songs with Gonjasufi and a few tracks from Breakthrough (his 2012 album for Brainfeeder), while elsewhere Bensussen taps into his extensive back catalogue of Indian and Middle Eastern fusion, with the live musicians heightening the arrangements and the overall listening experience. A highlight is their version of "Apparitions," where the strings and horns are given center stage and sound like the introduction of a king to his royal court.

The Gaslamp Killer has always had a flare for digging in the world music bins, cutting and dicing some choice moments of the music of Ethiopia, Turkey, and Eastern Europe. Sure, it's an aspect that he shares with Madlib, but Bensussen's deep love for and knowledge of the world's music is one of a kind, and really shines with this large-ensemble performance. Though he doesn't put out enough music, with his mostly self-released mixes, 7"s and 10"s going quickly out-of-print, this offering of a special night in L.A. seems all the more, well, special. A side note: after a near fatal scooter accident last year, Bensussen created a mix to aid him in his recovery. We currently have copies of this wonderful meditation-themed mix called Lavender A.M. which I've had on repeat for a while now. The Gaslamp Killer is definitely one of the more original and inspired producer/DJs working today and I'm glad to see him back in the game. [DG] (Song Preview Here)

$15.99 CD
$22.99 LP


GRAHAM LAMBKIN / MICHAEL PISARO
Schwarze Riesenfalter
(Erstwhile)

Opening with forceful, doom-laden piano tones, Graham Lambkin and Michael Pisaro's first collaborative effort, Schwarze Riesenfalter, presents an astonishingly sequenced, mirror-like musical configuration. It consists of a dramatic piano piece followed by a lengthy field recording-composition, a sequence that gets reversed after a drone-based centerpiece. While there is a sense of wonder and twisted humor running through the disc's meticulously composed 49 minutes (such as opening the second track with the offsetting sounds of a buzzing cell phone), the explored material feels at times terror-laden. Such is the strength of combining two seasoned composers working in total synergy, conjuring a conceptually heavy yet compositionally light-hearted crepuscule endeavor. The music creeps up on its listeners with an unsettling yet deeply enjoyable sense of dread. [NVT]

$17.99 CD


BILL FAY
Who Is the Sender?
(Dead Oceans)

Bill Fay waited for more than three decades to follow up his 1971 classic, Time of the Persecution. Thankfully we didn't have to wait that long this for this one. Coming relatively hot on the heels of 2012's wonderful Life Is People, Who Is the Sender? is another worthy entry in the English singer-songwriter's small discography, blending pastoral reveries and spiritual musings with bleak visions of industrial nightmares and war machines. The music here is unabashedly majestic, with swelling strings and keyboards playing a poignant counterpoint to Fay's frail (but still strangely powerful) vocals. Who Is the Sender?, like its predecessors, is also an unabashedly Christian album; many of the songs are heartfelt prayers and expressions of faith aimed directly at the heavens. It really is a collection of 21st century hymns more than anything else. But no matter what your religious inclinations may be, Fay's ultimately hopeful and inclusive message makes room for everyone. [TW] (Song Preview Here)

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$18.99 LP


AKI ONDA WITH LOREN CONNORS & ALAN LICHT
Lost City
(audioMER.)

A solemn lost transmission from the depths of the NYC underground, this incredible, devastating, emotional set from the duo of Loren Connors and Alan Licht was recorded live in 2007 at Anthology Film Archives. Here, the two minimalist guitarists soundtracked a "visual score" presented by Aki Onda that was comprised entirely of photographs taken soon after the September 11th attacks in New York City. Highly regarded for their collaborative ingenuity, the music is vast and smoky with Connors pulling long sustained strokes over Licht's plaintive strums. A heavy atmosphere invades the sonic landscape at times, with rumbling drones drowning the sound. The flip side features a meditative Connors solo exploration.

The vinyl is accompanied by a folded 20 x 30 inch poster of the complete photograph series and an A4 risoprinted booklet containing the accompanying text written by NYC-based curator/writer (and Other Music Update contributor) Niels Van Tomme. Limited to 350 copies. [RN] (Song Preview Here)

$33.99 LP


BEST COAST
California Nights
(Harvest)

A new, heavy transmission from California rockers Best Coast, California Nights is also their first for the legendary Harvest label. Chock full of West Coast-centric lyrical hooks and huge production, Bethany Cosentino's voice is right up front next to the walloping drums and somber guitar leads courtesy of band mate Bobb Bruno. Like any classic ‘60s bubblegum-pop outfit, Best Coast operates via keen simplicity: effortlessly catchy melodies, uncomplicated sentiments, and short songs. However, California Nights has a really solid and sincere vibe to it, and the album gets better as it goes along with topics that range from empowerment ("Fine without You") to yearning nostalgia ("When Will I Change?") to the inevitable heartbreak ("Heaven Sent"). And with all of the wailing solos, buildups, and breakdowns, not to mention Cosentino's recent collaborative studio stint with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, one can't help but draw comparisons with this to Cuomo's mathematically succinct pop formula. Indeed, at their strongest Best Coast approximates the same kind of emotional response that you get from a great Weezer tune, in ways that only a pop song truly can. [RN]

$10.99 CD ON SALE
$21.99 LP


CROCODILES
Boys
(Zoo Music)

Truth time: I always avoided this group for a number of reasons. They came up late enough in the lo-fi/s**tgaze sweepstakes of 2008 to raise an eyebrow; they have made a number of albums firmly in the post-JAMC mode that seems redundant if you think about it too much; mostly I considered them to be a fashion band, and for people younger than me. If you've been on social media at all in the past few weeks, you've probably read an article saying that people stop seeking out new music around 32-33 years of age. The members of Crocodiles are probably at that point, but they still write music that seems mainly for the young, or young at heart, music that assists in the pushing of credit cards through cash registers at clothing shops or whatnot, and sync licensing to basic cable.

Reality time: there's nothing wrong with these sentiments, at least how they're shaped on Crocodiles' fifth album, Boys. You'd think five LPs of this sort of thing would be enough, but they've sort of hit a mastery of their particular game, the way they turn phrases with depth and cap them with a snarky cliché, the specific ways they have stretched out noise pop to overlap with glam and exotica (just try getting that bass line to "Foolin' Around" out of your head), the manner in which they write songs hooky enough to stick with you from the very first listen. There may be some calculations to this band and their music, but it would be hard -- foolish, even -- to dismiss them. As part of a cool, sunglasses-at-night West Coast crowd, built for young people who still go out, they have created an ultimate soundtrack, one which works for reminiscing on your days out after midnight. [DM] (Song Preview Here)

$13.99 CD
$16.99 LP

also available

OREN AMBARCHI
Sleepwalker's Conviction
(Black Truffle)

$26.99 LP
 

BLANCK MASS
Dumb Flesh
(Sacred Bones)

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$21.99 2LP (LTD. CLEAR VINYL)

JOE BYRD & THE FIELD HIPPIES
The American Metaphysical Circus: Remastered Edition (Esoteric)

$27.99 CD

LOREN CONNORS
Blues: The 'Dark Paintings' of Mark Rothko (Reissue)
(Family Vineyard)

$15.99 CD

CULTURE
Harder Than the Rest
(Frontline)

$13.99 LP

VINCENT FLOYD
Moonlight Fantasy
(Rush Hour)

$15.99 CD

HOLYDRUG COUPLE
Moonlust
(Sacred Bones)

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$16.99 LP

KING TUBBY
Surrounded by the Dreads at the National Arena - 26th Sept. 1975 (VP)

$18.99 LP
 

VINCE MATTHEWS & JIM CASEY
The Kingston Springs Suite (Delmore)

$16.99 CD
$26.99 LP

NOSAJ THING
Fated
(Innovative Leisure)

$15.99 CD
$21.99 LP

SCHARPLING AND WURSTER
The Best of the Best Show
(Numero Group)

$109.99 16xCD + BOOK + USB

DENNIS TAYLOR
Dayspring
(Grass Tops)

$15.99 CD

TRACEY THORN
Songs from the Falling
(Strange Feeling)

$10.99 CD

DAVID TOOP
Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul - Yanomami Shamanism, Songs, Ritual, 1978 (Sub Rosa)

$19.99 2CD

PIERO UMILIANI
L'Uomo Nello Spazio
(Dagored)

$28.99 LP

VARIOUS ARTISTS
A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble, Exploding in Your Mind: The Wizards of Oz (Festival/Warner)

$32.99 2CD

VARIOUS ARTISTS
When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel 1926-1936
(Tompkins Square)

$54.99 3LP BOX SET

RICK WILHITE
Analog Aquarium
(Still Music)
 

$29.99 2LP

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