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.
Catch Alex Bleeker and the Freaks live when they perform our post-Phish late-show at Mercury Lounge on December 30.
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.