Poster design by Jessica Milton
Greetings, friends! It is a great honor to once again present to you the lineup for our third annual run of year-end late-shows taking place once at Mercury Lounge in New York City. This year on December 29 we’re psyched to present the combination of Invisible Familiars (essentially the band behind Sean Lennon’s The Ghost of a Sabertooth Tiger) along with Frank LoCastro. The following night on December 30, we’ll welcome back Real Estate side-project Alex Bleeker and the Freaks for their second year in a row. Supporting the Freaks will be Shorts, one of our favorite new acts on the scene which features current and former members of Woodsman and Real Estate. Both shows kick off around 11PM and will feature Dog Gone Presents and guest DJ sets to be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 12PM Eastern Time via the Mercury Lounge website. Previous years have sold-out so be sure to get your tickets in advance to avoid missing out.
Steve Gunn, having already secured a pair of spots on our year’s best of list with his Golden Gunn LP and the solo effort Time Off, makes a run at a hat trick with a third release this year recorded together with Pelt‘s Mike Gangloff. The album was recorded in the spring months of this year at the remote farmhouse of noted roots-music engineer Joseph Dejarnette (Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bruce Greene, Curtis Eller). There, in the tiny community of Topeka set in the countryside of Floyd County, Virginia, Gunn and Gangloff spent an entire night improvising with six-and 12-string guitars, a banjo, along with traditional Indian instruments like gongs, tanpura, singing bowls, and a shruti box. The result was an intense night of improvisation captured on the forthcoming release Melodies for a Savage Fix. You can hear one of the tracks, titled “Worry Past Worry,” below.
Purchase Melodies for a Savage Fix on regular or red vinyl from the good folks at Important Records.
Before moving back to Toronto earlier this year, I remember scoping out the local music scene and coming across Optical Sounds—a independent Toronto label fixated on the burgeoning Great Northern psych community. It was here that I first discovered the Sun Stone Revolvers (formerly The Revolvers), a band that took little time to make their way to the top of my “list of bands to see” once I got back to my hometown. Not long after my return, I was lucky enough to catch a show put together by the good folks at Exhale Presents and to say it was a nice welcoming would be an understatement. A true rock band at the core, Sun Stone Revolvers venture through a range of sounds from spaced-out, dark-psych territory to blissed-out tribal chants to motorik, kraut-inspired grooves. And they look fucking cool doing it too. You can stream their most recent album, Spaceship X, below or purchase it on vinyl/CD via Optical Sounds.
Have a listen to this month’s mix, available to stream or download below.
01. Woodsman – Healthy Life
02. The Entrance Band – Fine Flow
03. Morgan Delt – Beneath The Black And Purple
04. White Fence – To The Boy I Jumped In The Hemlock Alley
05. The Velvet Underground – Lady Godiva’s Operation
06. Quilt – Arctic Shark
07. Doug Tuttle – Turn This Love
08. Speed, Glue & Shinki – Don’t Say No
09. Amen Dunes – Ethio Song II
10. Grateful Dead – Early Morning Rain (11/3/65)
11. The Bethlehem Exit – Walk Me Out (Morning Dew)
12. The Resonars – Marina
13. Hellshovel – Summer’s Over
14. The Candymen – I’ve Lost My Mind
15. Jonathan Rado – Hand In Mine
16. Wooden Shjips – Ruins
17. Bombino – Amidinine
18. The Gaslamp Killer – Nissim feat. Amir Yaghmai
19. Endless Boogie – The Artemus Ward
20. Our Solar System – Merkurius
Boston psych-folk trio Quilt have unveiled the second tune off their forthcoming album, Held In Splendor, out January 28 via Mexican Summer. Hear the raved-up “Tired & Buttered” below and be sure to check out their upcoming tour dates as well.
I first met Jeffrey Silverstein a few months back when we co-hosted a loft show in Greenpoint, Brooklyn featuring acoustic guitar prodigy Daniel Bachman along with Olden Yolk and Gem Trails. But even before that, our paths had crossed numerous times in the digital sphere through a mutual love for music and the passion to discuss it and share it with others. It’s likely from that passion that Jeffrey, along with and his bandmate Chris Muccioli, came to revive the old-time tradition of the record club in the form of Singles Club–a new subscription record club and digital music journal published quarterly throughout the year. The first release in the series comes from Daniel Bachman, while others down the line will include Small Sur, Woodsman, and Wisdom Tooth.
Jeffrey was kind enough to take the time to discuss the concept of Singles Club, as well as a bit about himself and the inspiration for the project. Read on below and if you feel like this is as great of an idea as I do, head over to their Kickstarter and help support the project.
A couple weeks back, Anna Mayberry—of Toronto sludge-punk band HSY—put out a solo three track EP under the name ANAMAI. Stepping out from the murk of her other project, this new avenue finds Mayberry softly crooning over sparse psychedelic atmospheres–ones that would find themselves right at home alongside those of MV & EE and their extended family of bands. You can stream the entire EP below or purchase the MP3s here. Cassettes are available at select record stores around Toronto.
I was rather pleased to receive word from Woodsman guitarist Trevor Peterson last week, informing me of the completion of their new album and its forthcoming release in early 2014. It’s been almost three years since the Brooklyn-via-Denver trio put out their 2011 Rare Forms LP, an album that saw the group diverting from their instrumental path toward a more stoned-out, vocal-driven sound. But over the course of a handful of EPs since then, Woodsman gradually rerouted their musical course back to the cosmically transcendent soundscapes that began their humble beginnings. That vision is fully realized on the new, appropriately self-titled LP from which you can hear the first track, “Healthy Life,” below.
Woodsman is out on February 4 via Trevor Peterson’s own Fire Talk Records.
Last week, the Fader premiered the latest video from Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker and his band of Freaks. Set to the lyrically revealing “Step Right Up,” the video was filmed on location at a Phish concert on their 2013 Summer Tour (can you tell which venue?). About the location choice, Bleeker says “It is my opinion that Phish has the most enthusiastic concert-going music fans in the world. The choice to shoot this video in the parking lot of one of their shows this summer was simple. This was the only large crowd I could think of that would lovingly embrace and interact with a man in an antler helmet without a moment’s pause. ” “Step Right Up” comes off Alex Bleeker & the Freaks 2013 release How Far Away, available via the good folks at Woodsist.
In many ways, taper culture these days resembles the situation the Samurai found themselves in following the fall of feudal Japan. Having formerly played an essential role as the military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan, the decline began in the late 1800s when Emperor Meiji stripped the Samurai of their right to wear the katana in public and replaced them with a more modern, western-style, conscripted army. Many of the once-great Samurai warriors became lost souls, wandering towns in search of work, unsure of their future in modern Japan.
Lots of cities these days have one or two local tapers that resemble these lost Samurai. Many have come from the Grateful Dead or Phish scenes and now carry on their once fanatical passion by taping the odd show for fun. These individuals are a lot like local musical archivists who capture some of their city’s live happenings and share the recordings on their websites. The sound quality is generally good, not great—it’s more about capturing the moment. These tapers aren’t smuggling pieces of taping rigs into shows and seeking out the ideal positions to achieve maximum sound quality like the Bob Menke and Louis Falanga team. No, these tapers are merely continuing a hobby that they love.
Having grown up a major Deadhead, I always felt I would somehow find my way back to that scene in some other form. There’s been signs along the way, but perhaps the biggest one came earlier this year when I saw a Woods tape being offered “for trade only” by someone from the Sacred Bones family flying under the name of Grateful Bones. Then, just a few weeks back I received word of a new series of releases titled Live in San Francisco being put out by Castle Face Records. The first installment in that series captures one of the best live bands on the scene, White Fence, over two nights at the Bay Area’s Amnesia, while the second catches new stoner-psych band Fuzz tearing down the walls on their drummer Ty Segall’s recent birthday. Both of these recordings were taped on a Tascam 388 and engineered by Chris Woodhouse, Eric Bauer, Bob Marshall, and Castle Face’s John Dwyer. You can hear cuts from both shows below.
White Fence Live in San Francisco is available on cd and vinyl with the option of a special lenticular cover, which creates magical movement through print-wizardry. Purchase it via Castle Face.
Following the dissolution of his former band MMOSS, coupled with the ending of a long relationship, guitarist/vocalist Doug Tuttle relocated to Somerville, MA and began work on what would become his debut solo album. That album comes out early next year on Trouble and Mind, but you can hear the first sounds from it in the form of a six-minute jammer, titled “Turn This Love,” below.
Doug Tuttle comes out January 28 through Trouble in Mind Records.
On Sunday night, Wooden Shjips made their way through Toronto and proved once again how they’re one of the best live psych acts on the scene today. Running through material off their excellent new album, Back To Land, the group kicked into their dark-shrouded fuzz onslaught from the outset. Perhaps inspired by their frontman’s recent move to Colorado, the Shjips new material is brighter and more organic even allowing Ripley’s vocals to poke out from the haze for a few revealing moments. With video-feedback projections offered by Moon Duo’s Sanae Yamada, the venue achieved near liftoff—the crowd seemed to almost lose their sense of gravity—as the Shjips blasted through well over an hour of palpitating, bone-rattling psych.
Check our the full list of tour dates along with the video for their new album’s title track below.
Nov 13 – NYC, Mercury Lounge (w/ Cave)
Nov 14 – Brooklyn, Knitting Factory (w/ Cave)
Nov 15 – Philadelphia, Underground Arts (w/ Bardo Pond, Creepoid)
Nov 16 – Baltimore, Ottobar (w/ Purling Hiss, Arbouretum)
Quilt have released the first video off their forthcoming album Held In Spendlor, which comes out January 28, 2014 on Mexican Summer. Since the release of their debut album in the winter months of 2011, the band has gone through bit of a lineup change with the departure of founding member Taylor McVey, along with the addition of drummer John Andrews and, more recently, bassist Keven Lareau (The Migs, MMOSS). These changes seem to have led the band from it’s folksky origins toward a fuller, more energetic sound that remains decidedly Quilt-y. Watch the video below and be sure to check the band out on their current East Coast tour with labelmates Happy Jawbone Family Band (see below for dates).
Pre-order Held In Splendor via Mexican Summer.
Download or stream the Part II of the Dog Gone Presents Autumn Folkways Mix below. You’ll notice that the mix is ideally tailored for weekend listening, so enjoy this selection of autumnal tunes before the first frost hits. If you missed Part I, you can check it out here.
01. Devendra Banhart – Hey Mama Wolf
02. The Range of Light Wilderness – Through The Leaves
03. Vetiver – I Know No Pardon
04. Rodriguez – Jane S Piddy
05. Ty Segall – Crazy
06. Chet Atkins – Canned Heat
07. Bill Fay – Doris Comes Today
08. Bert Jansch – Veronica
09. Brad Barr – Maria La O
10. Appletree Theatre – Saturday Morning
11. The Velvet Underground & Nico – Sunday Morning
12. Amps For Christ – Lord Bateman (Child #53)
13. Popol Vuh – Tanz Der Chassidim
14. Comus – The Herald
15. Dino Valenti – Let’s Get Together
16. Bob Dylan – Talkin’ New York
I Need You Bad, a new compilation curated by Sonny Smith (Sonny & The Sunsets, The Sandwitches, Warm Soda), captures a glimpse of the contemporary San Francisco garage rock scene with a collection of songs from Magic Trick, Warm Soda, The Memories, Cool Ghouls, Burnt Ones, Pure Bliss and more. Hear Pratt’s contribution to the album below. San Francisco folky Jessica Pratt‘s ”Dreams” is featured on the album and is available to stream below.
Watch the first video off The Entrance Band’s forthcoming Face the Sun LP, out November 19 on Beyond Beyond is Beyond.
When Real Estate released their debut album on Woodsist in 2009, at the time, the sound of the average white, suburbia-bred “indie” band in Brooklyn was fairly defined—tossed-off, alternative-ish rock with a lot of simple chords played rather quickly. But after Real Estate came onto the scene, things took a noticeable turn. Few could have predicted their influence on the mass of suburban adolescents with the means to purchase their own home recording setups. Over the next year or so, bands in Brooklyn began sharing tones with Yo La Tengo and The Feelies, while Matt Mondanile’s guitar playing inspired more than a few guitarists to replicate his slithery, reverb-drenched lines. In 2011, it was almost strange to see a review of a new “indie” album that failed mention its connection or similarity to Real Estate’s underwater pop sound.
It’s been a few years now since all of this happened. And, as with any fad, the genuine ones are those that remain. Take for example New York-based band Shorts, who mine a similar well of aquatic, lo-fi pop heard on Real Estate’s debut LP. The group has just recently emerged onto the scene, but already have an upcoming cassette being released on the much-loved Night-People records. Little else is known, but you can be one of the early discoverers by checking them out live tomorrow night at Glasslands when they play our show with Coke Weed and Andrew Cedermark.
(Poster by Jessica Milton)
We’re teaming up with our pals at Popgun Booking to bring you this most-excellent show, happening on November 5 at Glasslands. All three bands are great so be sure to arrive early. Show starts at 8:30. Tickets are $10. Purchase tickets here.
Stream or download our seasonal Halloween Mix below.
(Art by Sean Metcalf)
1. The Shaggs – It’s Halloween
2. Woods – Gypsy Hand
3. Edgar Broughton Band – Evil
4. Randy Holden – Between Time
5. Crow – Busy Day
6. Endless Boogie – The Savagist
7. Fuzz – What’s In my Head
8. Night Beats – As You Want
9. The Entrance Band – Spider
10. Buffy Saint Marie – The Vampire
11. Lou Reed – Halloween Parade
12. The Dream Syndicate – Halloween
13. Fear Itself – Lazarus
“Spider,” the second track to come off The Entrance Band’s forthcoming Face the Sun LP, was presumably written before the band member’s collective journey towards sobriety. Singer Guy Blakeslee tells the drugged-out tale of his interaction with a particular spider, as sparse nylon-stringed guitar dances atop a Southwestern-style rhythm and an eery harpsichord lurks in the outer reaches. While much of the album’s lyrical content deals with the actual transformation from dark to light, this song seems to take place before the journey had ever begun.
Baltimore’s Other Colors have been mining the well of “exploratory pop” music for the past few years, putting out home recordings driven by infectious melodies, vocal harmonies and atmospheric lo-fi production. Comprised of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Will Ryerson on guitar and vocals, Pat Berberich on bass guitar and vocals, and Dan Whatley on keyboard, guitar and vocals, the group teamed up with members of Dope Body and Wye Oak for their latest album, Free Thoughts, now available digitally and on cassette via Genpop. Stream it below.
Other Colors play our co-presented show in Toronto tomorrow night alongside Jacco Gardner and company. Details HERE.
Watching them play made my mouth drop, it felt like discovering the Rolling Stones…. they managed to capture the raw power of pure unhinged rock n roll and add to it a gunslingin’ whiskey drinkin swagger the likes of Merle Haggard, Billy the Kid and Conan the Barbarian all in one!!!
We’d have to agree with the sentiments shared by his highness, as we experienced a similar mouth drop when we caught Hellshovel for the first time last year. The mouth dropping continued when we witnessed Milk Lines for the first time earlier this year, and considering this dude is a Canadian brethren—and a supremely chill one at that—we’re even more enthralled.
Last week, Clarke and his Hellshovel brothers hit the road for a lengthy tour with King Khan and the Shrines that will likely bring them through your locale in the coming weeks. Check out the dates here and watch Hellshovel’s new video for “Drifting Across The USA” below.
Poster by Jessica Milton
For our next show, we’re teaming up with our old pals at Embrace Presents and our new found friends at Justshows.com for this sure-to-be-excellent night of music featuring Dutch psych-pop artist Jacco Gardner, Slim Twig, Other Colors and The Taste! It’s all happening on October 22 at the Garrison in Toronto.
Advance tickets ($8.50) available at Rotate This, Soundscapes & via Embrace.