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October 16, 2014

other music events

XYLOURIS WHITE: THURSDAY RESIDENCY AT UNION POOL

OCTOBER 16 & 23

Union Pool: 484 Union Ave. Brooklyn 
Facebook Event Page

Underground music icon Jim White (Dirty Three, Cat Power, Nick Cave, Will Oldham) and acclaimed Cretan folk musician George Xylouris have come together for an exciting new project known as Xylouris White. Their debut album Goats, produced by Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, is out now on Other Music Recording Co., and the duo is performing dates throughout the U.S. this month. New Yorkers can catch two more nights of their residency in Brooklyn at Union Pool: this Thursday, 10/16 with Bo Ningen and next Thursday, 10/23, in which Xylouris White will be headlining Other Music's CMJ Showcase (more information about our showcase below).


OTHER MUSIC CMJ SHOWCASE

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23 @ 8PM

Union Pool: 484 Union Ave. Brooklyn
$10, 21+, Facebook Event Invite

Next week, the annual CMJ Music Marathon takes over NYC and music fans from all over will be converging upon the city to catch their favorite artists as well as being turned on to a slew of up-and-coming names and sounds. Other Music Recording Co. is very excited about the diverse talent playing our showcase, one which will be focused on our newest signings: Xylouris White, who will be wrapping up their October residency in celebration of their debut full-length, Goats; the timeless, kaleidoscopic pop of Invisible Familiars; the mesmerizing Arabic-inspired sounds of 75 Dollar Bill (the duo of Che Chen and Rick Brown); and the shimmering West Coast rock of LA's Tall Tales and the Silver Lining. You are cordially invited to this great night of music, so mark your calendar, and we hope you will join us next Thursday, October 23 at Union Pool in Brooklyn.


NUDE BEACH IN-STORE PERFORMANCE

MONDAY, OCTOBER 20 @ 8:30PM

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

Nude Beach are celebrating the release of their brand new album, 77, with an in-store performance this Monday, October 20th at Other Music! The album comes out the following day on Don Giovanni Records but you'll be able to score your copy of the CD or LP that evening. All ages and free admission.

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

Xylouris White
Pharmakon
Steve Gunn
Foxygen
The Stroke Band


Stelvio Cipriani
Function & Vatican Shadow
Museum of Love
Worth the Weight Vol. 2
DIY or Die! (Book)

announcements

WIN ZOLA JESUS TICKETS

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19

Webster Hall: 125 E. 11th St. NYC

With her new album Taiga just released on Mute Records, Zola Jesus returns to New York City this Sunday, performing at Webster Hall. This powerful singer's shows are already not to be missed, and with Lee Bannon and Suicide's Martin Rev rounding out the bill, you know it's going to be an incredible night for lovers of darker pop and leftfield sounds. Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets and to enter, email giveaway@othermusic.com for your chance to win.


COURTNEY BARNETT & SAN FERMIN TICKET GIVE AWAY

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22

Webster Hall: 125 E. 11th St. NYC

Other Music is also offering up a pair of tickets to another great show happening at Webster Hall on Wednesday, October 22: Brooklyn's own San Fermin and Australia's acclaimed avant gardener/songwriter Courtney Barnett. Email tickets@othermusic.com for your chance to win!
 


WIN JOSHUA LIGHT SHOW TICKETS

OCTOBER 23-25

NYU Skirball: 566 LaGuardia Place NYC

Hailed as the "most psychedelic light show of all time," the Joshua Light Show returns to NYU Skirball for a 3-day festival of liquid light in collaboration with a fantastic line-up of bands and musicians. We're giving away one pair of passes (one winner per performance) to see each of these acts: The Bad Plus playing Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction (10/23 @ 7:30pm), Glasser (10/23 @ 10pm), Wye Oak (10/24 @ 7:30pm), Woods (10/24 @ 10pm), and J. Spaceman and Kid Millions (10/25 @ 10pm). Email contest@othermusic.com for your chance to win and make sure to list which show you'd like to enter for.

this week's update

XYLOURIS WHITE
Goats
(Other Music Recording Co.)

Am I allowed to play favorites with the Other Music Recording Co. catalog? No? Hmmm, then let me just say that I really, really, really love the duo of Cretan lute player George Xylouris and, one-of-the-best-fucking-drummers-in-existence, Jim White, who perform and record as Xylouris White (naturally). George hails from a very storied musical family: his father is the amazing and highly revered folk singer and lyra player, Psarandonis, while his late uncle, Nikos Xylouris, known as the "Arcangel of Crete," is one of the most famous Greek singers of all-time. (Actually, one of the most listened to albums I've found this year is Nikos' Native Land, which is absolutely thrilling and incredible, you must track it down!) Jim White you surely know from the Dirty Three, Cat Power, Bill Callahan, and Will Oldham albums presently sitting on your turntable or shelf (amongst many other artists he's recorded with).

Although the two met in Melbourne in the early '90s and have played together periodically since, including Xylouris occasionally sitting in with D3, and White with George in Psarandonis' band, it's only been in the last couple of years that the depth of their collaboration has truly blossomed, resulting in this outstanding debut album. Produced by Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, he expertly and sympathetically captures the duo's lean, stripped-down, near telepathic interplay. Contra to usual Cretan folk standards, George plays his lute as a lead instrument (he's long been an accompanist in his father's band), seeming to relish the freedom to unleash a torrent of pent-up melodies and ideas. There's a great dynamic tension to the songs here, laden with folk forms that evolve with a deliberate purposefulness. You can follow the line of Xylouris' thread as it unspools in a myriad of surprising directions, as White plays in, around, and on those hypnotic patterns. It reminds me most of the great guitarist Sandy Bull's collaborations with jazz drummer Billy Higgins in the mid '60s, where you can never be sure what's improvised and what's composed, and where the past and the present are finally reconciled. There's truly an amazing depth of creativity and feeling here, and Goats is without a doubt one of my favorite releases of the year. [MK]

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$13.99 LP+MP3

PHARMAKON
Bestial Burden
(Sacred Bones)

From Margaret Chardiet's very first limited-run CD-R and cassette releases to two accomplished full-lengths via Sacred Bones, the underground has been witness to the breakout success of a determined, focused avant "star" who now not only tours internationally with Swans(!) but has gained the wholehearted embrace of the greater music industry. And rightfully so! As Pharmakon, Chardiet's deeply personal brand of psycho angst music is not only for the noisily minded, but it also mines harsh industrial territory inhabited by heavyweights like Einstürzende Neubauten, and approximates the Afro-futurist rhythmic punch of Cut Hands, as well as a darkened black metal sensibility inhabited by cult heroes Darkthrone or even Mayhem. Any way you slice it, her music is visceral and has a primal, unfiltered energy at its core -- during live performances, Chardiet lunges herself into the crowd, slapping contact mics forcefully against hunks of metal, violently screeching.

Bestial Burden was conceived when Chardiet was bedridden for three weeks, recovering from a major medical surgery. "I became hyperaware of the complex network of systems just beneath the skin, any of which were liable to fail or falter at any time," she explains in the label's press sheet. "I thought of my corporeal body anthropomorphically, with a will or intent of its own, outside of my will's control, and seeking to sabotage. I began to explore the idea of the conscious mind as a stranger inside an autonomous vessel, and the tension that exists between these two versions of the self."

Voices are layered throughout the record, and whether screaming, gasping for air, or breathing heavily, the sense of ultimate bodily malfunction is felt. In fact, much of Bestial Burden sounds like her lungs are collapsing both literally and figuratively, with submerged beats and deep-end gurgling synth creating a sort of oozing, rhythmic creep. "Body Betrays Itself" is definitely the best example of this brilliant formula, with the song eventually convulsing and falling apart over a bed of what sounds like thousands of broken pianos. Bestial Burden is Pharmakon's most violently personal album to date; Chardiet's vocals are up front and in your face, the fidelity slightly clearer, and the sentiment raw as all hell. Totally kick ass -- this is not only one of the best heavy, noisy, extreme recent outcries from the underground, but a serious contender for album of the year. [RN]

$11.99 ON SALE
$16.99 LP


STEVE GUNN
Way Out Weather
(Paradise of Bachelors)

It's a good idea to keep your expectations tempered sometimes, and I'll be honest, I wasn't positive Steve Gunn could top last year's phenomenal Time Off, if only because there was a track on there called "The Lurker" that I probably played more than any other song in 2013... like, on more than one occasion I'd be on a drive somewhere for about an hour or so and that tune was literally the only thing I'd listen to, just hitting repeat over and over again. Not to say I didn't love the rest of the album too, but man how do you catch lightning like that more than once?

Well, after spending a healthy amount of time with his new one here, I've gotta say it's even more expansive and compulsive than his last. Way Out Weather is also more immediate than its predecessor in many ways, as it effortlessly conjures this rollicking yet supremely laid-back vibe that brilliantly foregrounds Gunn's growth as a singer and songwriter. The instrumental interplay is also more complex and intertwined, constantly reaching for greater heights with a larger cast of players (contributing shades of dobro, harp, pedal steel, banjo, and electronics) who each seem to perfectly know where to fit amidst this ever-growing cosmos. Glad to say too that there's a number of songs on here I fully expect to become as obsessed with as "The Lurker," especially the gorgeous title track and "Wildwood," which shuffles along laconically for five minutes and thirty-seven seconds, but is somehow still completely, perfectly, timeless. [MK]

$13.99 CD
$18.99 LP

FOXYGEN
...And Star Power
(Jagjaguwar)

Email enter@othermusic.com for a chance to win a very limited 2LP test pressing of ...And Star Power, hand-drawn by the band!

I'm not sure what you were expecting from a new Foxygen album, but whatever it is, I'm betting that ...And Star Power has got it, and a lot more -- at an epic 82 minutes long, this record has everything. Stuffed full of ideas (both half-baked and crispy), guest stars (Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, Bleached, White Fence), styles and influences (from impeccable retro pop to mind-numbing noise workouts), the album both satisfies and confounds, as Foxygen has been doing in pretty much equal measure since stumbling into the limelight with last year's hook-filled and enduring We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. Singer Sam France said that their goal was to make an excessive record -- one reason they ended up doing a good part of the tracking at LA's hedonistic Chateau Marmont hotel -- and no doubt they have achieved their mission.

France, and his songwriting partner and creative foil Jonathan Rado, have more than a few tricks up their sleeves, and their talents are here in force, with earworm hooks and a loose-limbed vintage production approach that relentlessly evokes classics, somehow avoiding outright appropriation. On the new record the main inspirations seem to be Todd Rundgren and Exile-era Stones, nudging the needle forward a few years from the '60s jangle of their last one. But truth be told, while they have all the style and attitude of their idols, the riffs, and the heart-swelling moments, they don't always have the actual songs to bring it all home. To some degree, that's the point -- I mean, they made an utterly excessive album about excess -- but listening to this thing front to back can be a seriously mind-numbing effort, as soulful choruses, swelling orchestration, aching piano lines or bent-string guitar hooks collide with screamo breakdowns, take rapid left turns seemingly at random, or, inevitably, trail away just as they are really getting good. There are a handful of new classics here, like the California dreaming of "How Can You Really," and it's rare for two minutes to pass without a great moment slapping you in the face. It's equally rare for even half a minute to pass without confronting a serious head-scratcher.

The thing is, where for most bands on a tangent like this, you would ask why nobody forced them to simply pick the ten best tracks, and make a killer pop album, with Foxygen, it's never that simple. It may be sloppy, unkempt, and somewhat ridiculous, but so is everything about these guys, and it's why we love them. [JM]

$13.99 CD ON SALE
$17.99 2LP
$10.99 2CASSETTE


THE STROKE BAND
Green and Yellow
(Anthology Recordings)

It is hard to imagine how out of place a band like this must have been in the small college town of Valdosta, Georgia, in the late 1970s. Disaffected university students and a towering misfit from the local Air Force base were about as far from Molly Hatchet and Lynyrd Skynyrd as you could get. With some cash from an insurance settlement bankrolling the equipment and advice and production help from Robert Lester Folsom, whose Music and Dreams album was a DIY revelation for all involved, the Stroke Band existed for a brief time, but thankfully they managed to release both a 7" single and an LP. With their bizarre, spoken introduction they establish a weird sort of rapport with the listener, sucking you into their world.

Most of these songs are penned by Bruce Joyner and are a bit more spaced-out than his later work with the Unknowns, but Don Fleming's two tracks here sound pretty much like the garage-y weirdness he'd release with the Velvet Monkeys over the next fifteen years or so. The homespun, slightly VU- and Roxy Music-influenced tunes with the odd Stooges diversion are perfect, eclipsing almost all other records for me since I first laid hands on this a couple of weeks back. Youth, alcohol and girls all contributed to the quick demise of the Stroke Band. Joyner would continue with the Unknowns and solo records, and Fleming would relocate to the Washington DC area and form the Velvet Monkeys, but thankfully they left behind this LP and, as luck would have it, they had some other demo and rehearsal material as well as a recording of one of their only live shows -- those are here too as bonus tracks on the CD and as an mp3 download on the LP version. [DMa]

$11.99 CD
$21.99 LP+MP3


STELVIO CIPRIANI
Concorde Affaire '79
(Vombis)

With a seemingly endless supply of soundtrack reissues hitting bins recently, it's a real treat to hear something as fresh and varied as this obscure Italian masterpiece. Stelvio Cipriani was not only a forerunner in the exploitation film score game, but also collaborated with the likes of Grace Jones and Goblin, which speaks towards his endlessly diverse sound palette. Cipriani's soundtrack for Ruggero Deodato's Concorde Affaire '79 is a hard hitting record, with a ton of analog synth, horns, keys, acoustic flutters, and a funky rhythmic pulse throughout.

Album opener "Adventure Flight" has a Kraut vibe with a laid-back sensibility not unlike Harald Grosskopf, while the intense dark disco feel of "Night Escape" falls somewhere between the hyper-stylized moves of Chromatics or a more accessible Chris & Cosey track. Later in the record, a Fender Rhodes graces the beautiful lounge refrain of "Concorde Theme," and "Happy Beat" employs a heady disco thump with motorik, plunky harpsichord jamming?! It all makes for a really insane album, with tons of goodies for beat diggers and soundtrack lovers alike. The first release from Vombis Records, this limited edition replicates the original Japanese Polydor version and adds a second LP with 15 bonus tracks. Also includes new liner notes by Cipriani himself! [RN]

$28.99 2LP


FUNCTION & VATICAN SHADOW
Games Have Rules
(Hospital)

On this collaborative effort, the duo of Function and Vatican Shadow deliver a mini-album that far exceeds the sum of its individual parts, propelling their otherwise rugged sound worlds into fragile and imaginative ambient territory. At about 40-minutes long, Games Have Rules seems to circle around its first five tracks, which form an eerily beautiful mirroring image, while the final two appear as a somewhat strange and perhaps unnecessary addendum. Forget everything you know about Function's crisp techno machinations and Vatican Shadow's murky noise/beat experiments. In tandem, the duo provides a convincing joint excursion in which atmospheric late night tendencies are cautiously pushed towards the dawn of the day. It's quite hard to discern who is responsible for which sound on the record, this shadowy aspect becoming a significant part of its mysterious, melancholic appeal. Feeling more like a withdrawal than a conclusive statement, the album's first five tracks drift and linger into brooding bleeps and smolder, through which an unnerving yet magical narrative emerges. The last two tracks disappoint somewhat, as we can hear the duo exploring the kind of straightforward and perhaps predictable house and techno propulsions we would expect from their collaboration, but by that time they have convinced wholeheartedly with a near perfect 35 minutes of ethereal ambient bliss. [NVT]

$15.99 CD
$28.99 2LP


MUSEUM OF LOVE
Museum of Love
(DFA)

DFA fans have been waiting for this one, the debut full-length from ex-LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney and longtime Juan McLean associate Denis McNany (a/k/a Jee Day). It's no surprise, then, that this collaboration doesn't stray too far from the disco-punk (or whatever you want to call it) aesthetic that the label is best known for, but that's not a handicap. The pulsing synths and lockstep bass guitar you hear in "The Who's Who of Who Cares" could have propelled any number of LCD Soundsystem songs, yet Museum of Love's approach is headier and more soulful, as freewheeling horns swirl about the mix and Mahoney channels his inner Bryan Ferry with a breathy croon. From the hypnotizing, slo-mo creep of "Down South" to the robotic pop of "In Infancy" to the steel drum-inflected, meditative electro of "Learned Helplessness in Rats (Disco Drummer)," a gentle melancholy hovers over the arpeggiating synthesizers and programmed beats. This is music to get lost to at the end of a long night in an empty club, contemplating the busier hedonistic hours while staring through the foggy blur of disco lights. That is until "The Large Glass" comes in near album's end with its noisy, coked-up Suicide throb and guitar scrapes. The bright overhead lights come on, last call is called, and it's time to go home -- but you know you'll find us again here next week. [GH]

$10.99 CD ON SALE
$15.99 LP


VARIOUS ARTISTS
Worth the Weight Vol. 2: From the Edge
(Punch Drunk)

2014 may be the year that the Bristol scene reignited its reputation for all things bass-heavy, dubby and, most importantly, noteworthy, high-quality music. Since 2006, the Punch Drunk label, run by Tom Ford (a/k/a Pev or Peverlist), has given a platform to the many young producers throughout the city hungry to get their tracks played in the local clubs, supported by the scene, and given life on vinyl. Following the 2CD Worth the Weight compilation from 2010, this new volume is a broader and tighter selection of haunting post-dubstep, sound system-ready dubstep, percussion-led techno, and textural experiments which have yet to be categorized. The standout names on the short track list include Pev, along with fellow Livity Sound member Kowton, and Young Echo members Kahn and Zhou. Other producers include Bass Clef, Ekoplekz, Hodge, Tessela, and Andy Mac. From the classic rumble and space aesthetic of dubstep proper, the comp moves in various directions inward and outward from techno and house to ambient and flashes of industrial. This is a timely primer shining light on some of the darker moments bubbling up from the underground and onto the dance floor. For those who prefer their dance tracks full of deep low end, tribal percussion, and rolling rhythms, this is a perfect combination of all those elements, and a proper reflection of the current state of Bristol bass! [DG]

$13.99 CD


VARIOUS ARTISTS
DIY or DIE!
(Sacred Bones/Boo-Hooray)

DIY or DIE! is a collaborative zine born out of the Sacred Bones/Boo-Hooray cabal, with ties to punk and art world circles simultaneously. Crudely printed on newsprint paper and assumingly 'hand stapled' (wink wink), this highly limited art object chronicles the once burgeoning avant do-it-yourself scene roughly spanning 1977-82 with a focus on handmade art edition record sleeves and the circles surrounding them. There are over 50 pages of record cover reproductions with little to no information but an index in the back. The zine serves as a sort of survey of that era, covering everything from hand-drawn Flipper logos to cut-and-pasted Cramps singles, to Byrds and Dylan bootlegs, silkscreened reggae 12"s, messthetics art, Columbus burnout rawk and much more. The forward by Johan Kugelberg states, "I think that these handcrafted flourishes on the sleeves are connected to the very nature of DIY culture: that the manufacturing of the sleeve was integral to the inner joyful narrative of making your own record." And what better way to explore these iconic aesthetic decisions than through a handmade newspaper-style zine spawned from the minds of the subcultural now. [RN]

$15.00 BK

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