Best Albums of 2012

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[Art by Sean Metcalf]

Greetings friends and fellow travelers. As the year comes to a close, we find ourselves looking back on all the great music that came out of 2012. This year offered much hope for the future, including the emergence of folk singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt; Swedish music collective GOAT; Southern England’s Beaulieu Porch; and new Brooklyn based label Beyond Beyond is Beyond, who brought us the debut album from Prince Rupert’s Drops. This was another exceptional year for new releases and we’re psyched to present to you our picks for the best albums of 2012. Tell us about your favorite albums of 2012 in the comments section below.

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Nuggets: Antipodean Interpolations of the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968

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In the mid-to-late 1960s, guitarist Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group) and Jac Holzman (founder of Elektra Records) assembled the groundbreaking compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era—a double album containing a collection of pioneering psychdelic sounds and liner notes that included one of the first uses of the term “punk rock.” In honor of its 40th anniversary, Kaye has teamed up with journalist David Fricke to compile Nuggets: Antipodean Interpolations, which features the latest generation of Aussie bands paying tribute with covers of the original Nuggets tracks. In addition, the original collection is being re-released along with a couple of local compilations, featuring Australian artists from the same era and with a similar attitude as what was on the original Nuggets.

The collection of covers features contributions from the likes of Pond, Straight Arrows, Gooch Palms, King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard, Frowning Clouds, Laurels and Eagle & The Worm. Check out one of our favorites, Baptism of Uzi’s “Baby Please Don’t Go” along with Pond’s cover of “Hey Joe.”

NEW MUSIC: Kiki Pau

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As Scandinavia continues to emerge as one of today’s most fertile psychedelic breeding grounds, here we have the first single off Helsinki-based outfit Kiki Pau‘s forthcoming album on Beyond Beyond is Beyond records. Pines, the group’s third album, was mixed by Dungen’s Gustav Ejstes and comes out Feburary 5. Hear the 9+ minute “Tomte Mars” below.

Kaipa – “Inget Nytt Under Solen” (1976)

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As we prepare to venture to the great northern lands of Sweden in just one week’s time, we’ve decided to share this astral journey by Swedish prog rock band Kaipa. “Inget Nytt Under Solen” is the title track of the band’s 1976 sophomore album, which translates to “Nothing New Under the Sun,” from the much-quoted bible verse “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

(will upload downloadable mp3 shortly)

NEW MUSIC: Holy Wave

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Imagine the ideal soundtrack to one of those retro 70s surf films shot on an old Super 8. What you conjure up will likely sound something like Austin-based psych band Holy Wave. Just listen to the jam “Albuquerque Freakout”, which takes on that classic wobbly Texas psych sound with layers of surf riffs, tambourines and howling echoes beneath the stoney vocal lines. This imagery carries throughout Holy Wave’s Evil Hits, out now on Burger Records, with vinyl coming February 2013 in conjunction with the Reverberation Appreciation Society. The release compiles 5 tracks from their 2011 release Knife Hits with 5 tracks from this year’s The Evil Has Landed EP. Picture those gnarly waves and tune in.

Holy Wave – “Albuquerque Freakout”

Also check out the song in the recent trailer for the 2012 Austin Psych Fest concert film below.
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Dog Gone Presents: Blue Modules Live at Rockwood Music Hall

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We are very psyched to present a last-minute FREE late show taking place this weekend in New York City. On Friday evening (technically the wee hours of Saturday), Blue Modules—a Toronto-based experimental musical project exploring post-modern jazz—will make their debut New York appearance with a show at Rockwood Music Hall’s intimate Stage 1. For fans of avant-garde improvisational music, this is your calling.

RSVP on FB while listening to a track from the band below.

Blue Modules – “Making Plans for Nigel”


NEW MUSIC: The Smoking Trees

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Since 2001, Los Angeles-based musicians Sir Psych and L.A AL have been making and recording 60s-inspired psych and garage rock. Originally part the five member group The Clerk Two Project, the duo’s collaborations continued over the past 11 years, eventually forming what is now The Smoking Trees. Reminiscent of 60s acts like the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and some of their contemporaries, The Smoking Trees take us on a day-glo trip back to that era with their new album, Acetates, now available via Colour Tree Records. Watch the video for album track “In Another Land” and then head over to Bandcamp to stream or purchase the album in full.

Check back in the coming days to read an extended conversation with The Smoking Trees.