January 30, 2015

special announcement



Baby's All Right: 146 Broadway, BKLN
Facebook Event Invite  + Tickets

If you're in New York City tonight, head on over to Baby's All Right in Brooklyn where we'll be celebrating the release of Disturbing Wildlife, the debut album from Invisible Familiars, out on Other Music Recording Co. (and featured below in this week's Update). It's going to be a great party, with a special opening performance from Adam Schatz & Thomas White's Option Copter that features Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto, Steve Marion from Delicate Steve, and Sean Lennon, plus DJ sets from Daniel Edinberg of the Stepkids and Hidden Fees' Ivan Berko, and guests galore! It's a big night for Invisible Familiars, so come on out and see a great show, say hi to the band, and pick up their fantastic debut!

in this week's update


Invisible Familiars
Jessica Pratt
Aphex Twin
Natalie Prass
Alex Calder
Letha Rodman-Melchior
Aine O'Dwyer
R. Stevie Moore
The Contents Are
Perfect Pussy
The Sunday Painters
The Supreme Jubilees



Guided by Voices
Charlie Tweddle





Knitting Factory: 361 Metropolitan Ave. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Don Giovanni Records is taking over the Knitting Factory stage next weekend, featuring two nights of performances from bands off the Jersey label's awesome roster. Friday, February 6: Nude Beach, Shell Shag, the Hamiltons, Mal Blum, Black Wine, and Crow Bait! Saturday, February 7: California X, Downtown Boys, Pink Wash, Worriers, Brick Mower, Nuclear Santa Claust, and Alice! We're giving away a pair of tickets to each evening, and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing Make sure to list which night you'd like to go to.



Cannon's Blackthorn: 49 N. Village Ave, Rockville Centre, NY
Facebook Event + Tickets

Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to this year's Shine a Light Music series, which will feature a double-headline bill of the Felice Brothers and Strand of Oaks, who will be performing on Saturday, February 7 at Cannon's Blackthorn in Rockville, NY. (For NYC'ers, that's just a 30-minute train ride from Penn Station on the LIRR.) Presented by the Tommy Brull Foundation, all the proceeds will be donated to help fund the construction of a new playground for special needs children in Long Island. Email for your chance to win, and Other Music will also throw in with the pair of tickets the latest LP from each of the bands performing!


February 7 & 8 / 14 & 15

1000 Dean St. Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Facebook Event Page

Nothing warms a record collector's cold winter day quite like the crisp, crackling sound of vinyl! While the next outdoor Brooklyn Flea Record Fair is still months away, we’re pleased to announce that a special mini-fair is coming to tide us over to May, featuring two weekends of vinyl browsing on February 7 & 8 and 14 & 15 inside the Flea's indoor space at 1000 Dean Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. There will be 15 different vendors in attendance each weekend selling new and used LPs including: ATO Records, Cakeshop / Capeshok, Captured Tracks Shop, Disco De Facto, Disco Matador, Halcyon the Shop, HPRS Records, Jammyland, Knitting Factory Records, Malcolm Tent / Trash American Style, Orivious Records, Other Music, Partisan, Raelian Raecords, Revilla Grooves and Gear, Rough Trade Shop, Sepiatone, Slipped Disc Records, Special Delivery Records, Unbreakable Records, Warp Records, White Columns, and Z/Z Records. Stay tuned for more details along with a listing of the guest DJs who'll be spinning sets over the course of the four afternoons. In the meantime, mark your calendars and see you at the Brooklyn Flea *mini* Record Fair!

this week's update

Disturbing Wildlife
(Other Music Recording Co.)

New York City's music community is a tight knit bunch, so if you don't already know Invisible Familiars, there's a good chance that you've seen the man behind the band playing on a number of stages here, or in any town that you may call home. A musician's musician, Jared Samuel has long earned his living recording and performing live with countless artists we respect and love -- folks like Cibo Matto, the Ghost of the Saber Tooth Tiger, Martha Wainwright, and Sharon Jones, to name a few. Yet even more impressive than his talents as a multi-instrumentalist is his songwriting, a pursuit that he's put his full focus on as Invisible Familiars. The group's album debut, Disturbing Wildlife, was born out of a few solitary weeks spent in a borrowed houseboat on Jamaica Bay, where Jared sketched out a bulk of these tunes. Back on land, the demos were brought to full fruition over the course of two years with producer Michael Leonhart, along with a wide, rotating cast of musician friends that included Nels Cline, Jolie Holland, Ryan Sawyer, and Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori.

We were immediately taken when we first heard Invisible Familiars' recordings, and frankly, there are moments where you can almost imagine us at the shop championing Disturbing Wildlife as some obscure, should-have-been-a-classic pop album unearthed from FM radio's halcyon days. However, there's also a modern sense of psychedelia throughout -- from the bubbling sounds to the world-wise influences. Leadoff track "Clever Devil," which we released last summer as a 7" single, is all at once snaky and vivid, with Jared's acoustic guitar and mysterious, breathy melodies accented by little bursts of electronics and a guest spot from Stuart Bogie (Antibalas) on saxophone. The spacious, funky pop of "Heavenly All" is just as headphone friendly, as gurgling synths and tape loops swirl about the song's sighing harmonies, while "New Mutation Boogie" channels Brian Eno & David Byrne's exotic global polyrhythms into a visceral psychedelic romp.

Yet even as the production is intricate and colorful, it's thoughtfully applied and never once overwhelms the tunes. From the ethereal, melancholy sway of "Elaine Serene" to the dusky yearn of Harry Nilsson tribute "You and Your Arrow," in which Dixieland horns swell around Jared's expressive, hopeful melodies, Disturbing Wildlife defies easy categorization, and it's as soulful and timeless as anything you're bound to hear this year -- or anytime soon for that matter. (Don't miss Invisible Familiars' record release party tonight, Friday, January 30, at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn!) [GH]

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$13.99 LP+MP3

On Your Own Love Again
(Drag City)

Released in 2012, Jessica Pratt's mesmerizing debut album had been recorded sporadically over five years, all at home on a lo-fi analog tape machine. She started writing when she was 16, and her intrinsic sense of classic song craft progressed steadily and quite impressively through her 20s. That eponymous record stands as a reminder of the power inherent in deceptively simple melodies and masterful acoustic guitar playing. It is commonly referred to as one of the "best albums of the past ten years" by almost all of my friends and music cohorts, it's been a consistent seller here at the shop, and has gained Pratt a cult-like following of record enthusiasts, music lovers, and folk aficionados. Let's just say that when anyone wanders in and asks to be recommended a contemporary folk singer following the classic lineage of Karen Dalton, Sibylle Baier, Linda Perhacs, or even Joni Mitchell, I don't have to think twice.

Diehards have been eagerly awaiting a follow-up and I'm happy to report that On Your Own Love Again, her Drag City debut, more than lives up to the hype. Although we find Pratt stepping up her fidelity, not to mention gracefully and ever so slightly expanding her horizons, most of her new album sticks to her tried-and-true formula of intimate guitar work and layered voice, with her nasally, wavering vocal delivery sitting right up front in the mix. And while it would be hard to top the near-perfect sequence, mastering and timeless impression of her debut, On Your Own Love Again comes pretty damn close, while also hinting at a deep well of still-untapped potential.

Opener "Wrong Hand" feels like it would fit squarely on her first record, with the same style of acoustic strum and cyclical refrain. The following song, "Game That I Play," utilizes a haunting cadence, approximating Vashti Bunyan with a darkened melody and confessional lyricism. The album glides along in hypnotic beauty, with the occasional tempo shift and genre jump, yet everything works -- from the baroque, almost Spanish guitar inflection of "Jacquelyn in the Background" to the off-kilter, woozy piano-tinged crackly elements of "I've Got a Feeling," and ultimately the triumphant, empowering lyrical energy of "Back, Baby." A righteous early contender for album of the year, On Your Own Love Again is guaranteed to win Pratt plenty of new followers and will surely reward with repeat listening. [RN]

$14.99 CD
$21.99 LP

Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2

Dropping just four months after his long-awaited return with Syro, Aphex Twin's latest EP, Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2, is easily one of his most intriguing and exciting releases to date. Abandoning his beloved synths and drum machines, Richard D. James is working with a new palette of piano and acoustic drums, all of which are triggered and processed via computer. The idea itself isn't necessarily new; Pat Metheny's Orchestrion project explored similar ideas a few years ago, but the end result here is, to my ears, far more successful. Blending elements of Harry Partch, Can, and even hints of Moondog while still referencing some of his signatures from earlier albums, this EP brings a welcome new twist to the world of Aphex Twin.

The heavy drum breaks and gritty funk of the prepared-piano bass lines on the 28-minute EP's longer tracks provide the best moments here, and it's almost a shame that this wasn't a full-length with a few more of those included around its numerous brief interludes. Tracks like "diskhat ALL prepared1mixed 13," "disk prep calrec2 barn dance [slo]," and "hat5c 0001 rec-4" are some of James' best compositions to date, an oddball mash of futurist gamelan, western funk, and avant-classical experimentation that truly no one besides Aphex Twin could imagine. The music is great, and the idea that we could potentially be getting music this fantastic every few months after years of silence has me intensely excited moving forward into 2015! [CW]

$12.99 CD-EP
$18.99 12" EP

Range Anxiety

Without a doubt Australia is in the midst of musical revival not seen since the late 1970s and '80s, as a new crop of groups has been supplying various genres and sub-genres with some of the best records in years. When I think of Australian indie bands, historically a few influences loom large over everything, and when you first encounter Twerps' chiming guitars and gently propulsive rhythms you may immediately recall keystones the Feelies and Yo La Tengo (though it should be noted that Australia's Go-Betweens and Cannanes have previously supplied some of the best records in the indie-rock cannon). It is within that context that Twerps have delivered their most assured and enjoyable album yet.

Much like their friends and former Underwater Peoples label mates Real Estate, Twerps are more straightforward than other current Aussie indie rock bands like Dick Diver, Rat Columns, Lower Plenty etc., but that is not to be taken as a negative as the record is packed with infinitely listenable songs that grow more distinct with each play. The album starts with "House Keys," a minute of organ that eases you into things, and then the hits start coming. Jangly guitars, cheap organ, male/female vocals and an understated rhythm section doesn't always yield results this great, but Twerps have an album packed with exceptionally hooky songs where almost every track could be a single. Not only is it their best release, but also an early entry for one of the best records of 2015, a new indie-pop classic. [DMa]

$13.99 CD
$17.99 LP+MP3

Natalie Prass
(Spacebomb/Star Time)

Natalie Prass draws heavily on vintage country, soul and pop on her charming and impressive, self-titled solo debut. It's a lavish yet down-to-earth production piece that is fresh and current while leaning on history, evoking Dolly Parton's early hits, Dusty in Memphis, gritty Muscle Shoals soul-country, and the rich emotion and swelling orchestration of classic pop and show tunes. Prass spent the last few years singing backup for Jenny Lewis, and while fans of Lewis (or Feist, She & Him, etc.) will love this stuff, an even bigger signifier would be Matthew E. White, whom Prass befriended while in high school playing in Virginia Beach bands. White is releasing Prass' debut on his Spacebomb label, and his collaboration is essential to this LP; he helped the budding songwriter select the tracks for her first album, and then wrote beautiful and intricate arrangements for the Spacebomb house band to record. Working with producer Trey Pollard, they crafted a lush set that is built on a crack rhythm section (including effortless guitar and electric piano, and loads of finespun percussion), but colored by wonderfully rich brass, woodwinds, strings, and vocal arrangements. No doubt Prass' emotional songwriting and subtly powerful voice are at the center of this confection, but as on his own albums, White's arrangements, and the intuitive and amazing performances from the Spacebomb band, are infectious.

The most immediate tracks here, like "My Baby Don't Understand Me," "Why Don't You Believe in Me" and "Bird of Prey," each approach country-soul with their own vision, from gritty strut to melting heartbreak, and in each song, White's band pushed Prass to deliver some seriously deep and spine-tingling vocal performances. The rest of the record is less combustive yet just as good, full of beauty and real emotion, but drawing on even earlier influences -- tunes like "Christy" and "Reprise" remove the soulful swagger, using byzantine webs of strings or woodwinds to create a subtle update on '50s and '60s pop. Yet in the end, the immediacy and passion in Prass' songwriting and delivery make the album sound more timeless than retro, and from the early buzz on this one, I think it's clear that Natalie Prass has found a way to write a new chapter in music history -- a great record from an exciting new artist you are sure to hear a lot more from. [JM]

$11.99 CD

Strange Dreams
(Captured Tracks)

Initially known for his work in Makeout Videotape -- a short-lived Canadian duo which co-starred a then-unknown Mac DeMarco -- Alex Calder has been slowly building a unique, liminal sound of his own. Following the eventual dissolution of 'the Tape,' Calder went straight to work, culminating in the release of his inaugural EP, Time (2013, Captured Tracks). Here, Calder's hazy debut gave listeners a glimpse into the sound that would become his signature -- wobbly baritone guitar tones coupled with clean jangly riffs and drenched vocals -- and the record established Calder as the hazier, psychedelic yin to DeMarco's pop yang.

Subsequent to the release of his debut full-length, Calder went into a creative reclusion, offering a trove of self-released tapes under the alias Mold Boy. The Mold Boy recordings provided sketches of Calder's transformation, working towards a more realized picture of his sound, which then led to the creation of Strange Dreams, Calder's first proper long-player for Captured Tracks. Songs like "Memory Resolve" and the title cut are charming and heady affairs, and would have fit nicely on a Shimmy Disc VHS compilation way back when; whereas tracks like the heavy closer "Mid Life Holiday" are wistful, forward-thinking tunes reminiscent of contemporaries like Julian Lynch and Atlas Sound. It all makes for a varied and entertaining listen, and despite the lingering subtext of his previous band and affiliates, Strange Dreams is a giant step forward for Calder, both musically and contextually. [IJ]

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$16.99 LP+MP3

Shimmering Ghost

On this posthumous release, Letha Rodman-Melchior follows up 2013's excellent Handbook for Mortals with refined explorations of similar ambient textures and tape loops. What initially seem to be peaceful and beautiful sonic meditations grow more haunting with each subsequent listen, making it difficult to separate Letha's sound paintings from her personal story. Vocals float in and out of the record, often referencing ghosts and apparitions, many times achieving a trance-inducing effect. "Southern Heartlands" plays like an eerie hypnosis track imbued with crushing melancholy. The ghostly echoes and drones of Shimmering Ghost sound current but also entirely at home with the earlier half of Siltbreeze's discography, giving this record appeal to fans of Gate and the Shadow Ring in addition to lovers of ambient music and modern composition. Striking and emotionally crushing, Letha's work demands attentive and repeated listening and stands as one of the strongest efforts of the new year. [BB]

$16.99 LP

Music for Church Cleaners Vol. I and II
(Mie Music)

If you only buy one double-LP of improvised pipe organ compositions this year, make it this one. Music for Church Cleaners is a beautiful, transporting set that sounds as old as the circa 1820s house of worship it was recorded in, but still feels fresh and alive. For a few months, Áine O'Dwyer serenaded the cleaners at St. Mark's Church in Islington with these improvised pieces, exploring the sonic possibilities of the pipe organ, in the process conjuring up a heady and, yes, quite spiritual atmosphere. It's hard not to use the term "funereal" when talking about the music here, and while some of it is certainly doomy, O'Dwyer also manages to locate a lightness and loveliness in her instrument -- the aural equivalent of sunlight filtered through stained glass windows, perhaps. These are very much field recordings, as the organ duets with the ambient sounds of vacuum cleaners, frolicking children and occasionally a grouchy church employee. A wonderful, and to my ears, quite unique record. [TW]

$29.99 2LP

Dreams and Images
(Light in the Attic)

Originally released on Lee Hazlewood's LHI label in 1968, Dreams and Images is the first of two albums from Arthur Lee Harper, whose style is more lonesome Donovan than lonesome cowboy. Hazlewood supposedly took the Florida-born singer-songwriter under his wing in attempts to "break" him into the mainstream, yet all attempts at greater commercial success inevitably failed -- who knows where Arthur's career would have gone if he had followed his friends' leads with Brother Records (affiliates of the Beach Boys, Lindsey Buckingham)? Of course, it also didn't help that Dreams and Images sounds like a twisted loner folk record, effectively eschewing what was happening in mainstream music around that time.

It's a very strange, intimate album, with its sparse instrumentation and awkward baroque elements. Arthur's singing style is woozy, smooth and introspective, approximating some marriage of the outsider zeal of Dave Bixby and the studied musicianship of Bert Jansch. Songs like "A Friend of Mine" can't help but remind the listener of '60s studio trickery via swooping strings and sad refrains, while the title track hints at more bombastic flower power vibes, with its muted trumpet and a catchy chorus. But opener "Blue Museum" sums the whole things up with the most mundane, observational, amateurish opening line of "I don't know why/the tears in my eye," and thereby sets the somber mood permeating throughout. [RN]

$17.99 CD
$23.99 LP

Ariel Pink's Picks Vol. 1
(Personal Injury)

If the notion of another solid R. Stevie Moore compilation doesn't excite you (it should!), then hear me out, as this latest comp was curated and assembled by his most famous fan and co-signer: Ariel Pink. Comparisons between these two have never ceased, nor should they be taken lightly, for both have and forever will be kindred spirits in their respective work and practice. Arguably the progenitor of the prolific pop art brut, Moore's work has always been impossible to pin down and keep tabs on. And on first glance, a compilation could only complicate things more.

However, in spite of the threat of inconsistency drawn by the conceptual schizophrenia of Moore's work, there is a map that listeners can follow throughout Ariel Pink's Picks Vol. 1. Showcasing some familiar pop troping from Moore -- highlights include the Kinksian romp "Come My Way" and the Pet Sounds riffer "Here Comes Summer Again" -- Mr. Pink guides the listener through a constellation of pop tropes conjured up by his mentor's wild brain. In total, what you end up reading in Pink's Picks is an alternate, uncanny history on the book of pop and how to write it -- penned by Moore, edited by Pink. [IJ]

$29.99 2LP

Through You
(Machu Picchu)

M'Lady's Records-affiliated reissue house Machu Picchu have, in their brief existence, kept a flawless track record, exhuming lost American private press classics such as Mirkwood's self-titled LP, Dark's Dark Around the Edges and my personal favorite, Anonymous' Inside the Shadow. At this point, one could trust anything that the Portland, Oregon-based label graces with their Midas touch, and their latest reissue, the Contents Are's Through You from 1967, keeps that winning streak alive. Details on the band are scarce, as is the case with most private press records. But what we do know is this group of then high schoolers, based out of Quad City, Iowa, wrote, recorded and released their sole full-length in a small edition of 100, which were then, one would assume, distributed to friends, family and anyone lucky enough to catch one of their regional shows.

For a flock of small-town teens, these songs are technically and emotionally wise beyond their years, as you can hear in tracks like "Uni-Love" and "I Don't Know," evoking shades of private-press legends Donnie & Joe Emerson and their unique brand of nascent earnestness. Those of you enamored by the obscure likes of Lazy Smoke, the Dovers, and the Bachs will be thoroughly satisfied. Mutually, fans of Buffalo Springfield, Rubber Soul-era Beatles, and the Byrds will be psyched. [IJ]

$31.99 LP+7"x2

I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling
(Captured Tracks)

The first release from Perfect Pussy, I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling which initially appeared as four-song cassette, now sees reissue on both vinyl and CD thanks to Captured Tracks. This EP provides a bridge between the sprawling sonic chaos of singer Meredith Graves' former band Shoppers, and the more direct song structures that Perfect Pussy would embrace on their debut album, Say Yes to Love. A short and concentrated blast of female-fronted post-hardcore, the EP is overloaded and fierce, several sonic steps away from the "cleaned-up" sound that the band would find on their next release. Instead, the listener is left to get lost in the tornado that is Graves' vocals careening against the trash of her band mates' guitars, drums, and synths, a short and sweet portrait of a group finding itself and establishing an identity. [BB]

$10.99 CD-EP ON SALE
$16.99 12" EP

7" Box Set

It is a funny state of affairs that within the space of just over a year we've gone from there being nothing available from this seminal American punk band to numerous retail options tailored to fit almost any budget and/or level of fandom. This new 7" box set is the top tier, with reproductions of the three original singles and re-imagining the other material as four more 7" singles, all with same sharp aesthetic that was intrinsic to the original releases. You also get a 20-page book with more photos and flyer reproductions, an essay, and an interview with the band conducted by longtime fan (and later-day CRIME bassist Michael Lucas), a truly unreleased recording of CRIME's medley of "Be Bop a Lula/Peggy Sue," not to mention a CD with all of the tracks.

Coming together in San Francisco in 1976, CRIME were an amazing group and masters of an aesthetic that has yet to be matched, sporting gay bar leathers or full police uniforms with a meticulous and twisted style that makes the band photos, flyers and logo some of the most iconic images in all of punk rock (check out The Band Crime: Punk '77 for more info). The original singles might be the best songs here, but maybe I have just heard them so many times -- the unreleased studio recordings of "Terminal Boredom," "Dillinger's Brain" and many others are all great, as is a version of "Rockin' Weird" produced by Huey Lewis?!?! In addition to all of this, you get CRIME's third single, "Gangster Funk" b/w "Maserati." This 45 has long been a line in the sand that the KBD faithful have been reluctant to cross. While the two tracks don't shine like the others, that isn't to say that they are bad. Yes, the high-energy punk action is replaced by agit-funk, but the guitars are still razor sharp and overall they still play with too much energy to make it anything but exciting. If you've ever jammed to the Contortions you should find these two songs more than worthy of your attention, and all 7"-loving punk fans need this set! [DMa]

$78.99 7"x7+CD

In My Dreams
(What's Your Rupture?)

For all of the praise and celebration that New Zealand's subterranea of the '80s has received, its Oceanian sister in Australia has gone somewhat unnoticed. Sure, INXS, Crowded House, and the Church dominated the '80s alternative commercial landscape, plus the Birthday Party, Radio Birdman and the Saints gave the Aussies their '77 and '79, but what was hiding in the underground? If you look in closely, you'll find Primitive Calculators, Essendon Airport, the Go-Betweens' early years, and even SPK and Severed Heads. And lo! Thanks to the great NYC imprint What's Your Rupture?, we have the re-emergence of the Sunday Painters.

A quick primer: The Painters were a trio based out of Wollongong, Australia, formed in 1979 by two Peters -- one MacKinnon, one Raengel -- and in five years of existence they released about a dozen records, singles and tapes. In keeping with the spirit of the times, their music was a pastiche of Roxy-ian glam, gothic tropes and punk of the "easy and cheap" variety. In My Dreams compiles the three singles released by the Aussies, painting an acute portrait of the group at their most realized and ambitious. Tracks like "Let'$ Be Moderne" and "Heart of a Siren" would fit have fit nicely on any of the Messthetics compilations, and their excellent, manic cover of David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" will please fans of the Painters' aforementioned Oz contemporaries, Primitive Calculators. Those interested in English '80s DIY pop heroes like the Cleaners from Venus, the Deep Freeze Mice, and (especially) the Homosexuals must take notice. [IJ]

$17.99 LP

It'll All Be Over
(Light in the Attic)

Holy cow! Here's a wonderfully bizarre statement channeling California's religious underbelly: the re-emergence of gospel-disco outfit the Supreme Jubilees' one-of-a-kind private press album from 1980. Following the excellent Good God! Apocryphal Hymns compilation by Numero Group from 2013, on which they featured It'll All Be Over's title track, the consistently excellent folks of Light in the Attic are doing us a huge favor by releasing this newly restored and re-mastered version.

First of all, there's the inspirational cover of a sunset, which brings to mind cheesy late-'70s floor-to-ceiling living room wallpapers, the quintessential middle class decorum. It sets the appropriate tone for the music to come, an idiosyncratic and uniquely strange sound hovering in between familiar musical tropes. Apocalyptic yet seductive, the Supreme Jubilees beguile with angelic voices and far-out, bawdy bass lines. There's something consistently odd in hearing these overwhelmingly harmonic vocals enveloping quotes from the Old Testament, contemplating death and religion from within a smooth disco and modern soul template. The record sets a decidedly fatalistic mood, but does so in a way that makes one dance and cheer. This definitely doesn't gear to everyone's taste, but if you dig the incredible fieldwork of passionate gospel aficionados such as Budgie, this will add a quintessential record to your collection. [NVT]

$17.99 CD
$24.99 LP

available on vinyl

Bee Thousand

Guided by Voices' 1994 lo-fi masterpiece Bee Thousand is finally back in print on vinyl. Newly re-mastered by John Golden and housed in a gatefold sleeve that features a never-before-published collage from Robert Pollard, GBV classics like "Hot Freaks," "Gold Star for Robot Boy" and "I Am a Scientist" sound better than ever. No doubt you wore yours out way back when Bill Clinton was still president, so now's your chance for a fresh copy of one of indie rock's most essential albums!

$19.99 LP

King Shit & the Golden Boys

Also from Guided by Voices comes a new pressing of King Shit & the Golden Boys, which features choice cuts from early albums Learning to Hunt and Back to Saturn X along with great Bee Thousand outtakes. Originally included as part of the the Guided by Voices box set back in 1995, this is the first time this collection has been released as a stand-alone. All the tracks are exclusive to this release, making this a must for any GBV fan.

$16.99 LP

Fantastic Greatest Hits by Eilrahc Elddewt
(Mighty Mouth)

Charlie Tweddle's album The Fantastic Greatest Hits by Eilrahc Elddewt is an outsider folk gem. Try to imagine Bob Dylan's unreleased basement tapes with the Band accompanied by French musique concrète composer Luc Ferrari's masterpiece of natural sound Presque Rien, and you'll get an idea of the brilliance to be found on this privately pressed, head-scratchingly amazing opus of Appalachian psychedelia.

Originally from Kentucky, Tweddle found himself ensconced in the Haight-Ashbury scene in the late '60s where he experimented with a good deal of LSD. His album was primitively recorded in San Rafael, California in 1971 with a gang of guys that look like ex-Burrito Brothers. But when I say primitively recorded, I don't mean to say that it isn't strikingly original. Tweddle had a great love for nature that he was able to perfectly marry to his downer folk songs through the use of exquisitely recorded field recordings. Only a lysergic attention to detail or a degree from INA-GRM could have produced such a wonderful cornucopia of seagulls, frogs and crickets. He's got a John Cage sense of Zen silence, with patches of tape seeming to descend into a physical nowhere. On side two, he even provides about 25-minutes of beautiful nighttime ambience. I don't think I've ever come as close to hearing a record sound as still as a pond, but the whippoorwills are quietly cooing to the sounds of a hootenanny gone adrift in the distance. I'm thinking he may actually be right on with his proclamation on the back of the LP's jacket: "Eilrahc is to music what Christ is to religion." He must share my pantheistic tendencies.

Fantastic Greatest Hits was released to little fanfare and even less acclaim, but it's aged quite well for an early-'70s artifact and should sit quite nicely with your Michael Hurley and Holy Modal Rounders albums. In the decades since this album was released, Charlie Tweddle has found fame as a maker of completely kick-ass cowboy hats worn by the likes of Kris Kristofferson. Check 'em out on his website. [MK]

$32.99 2LP

the big picture