As a music journalist, I receive a rather large number of press releases and pitches from a countless number of publicists and PR agents. Over the years, I’ve learned to sift through the sheer mass of these releases, preferring only to pursue musics sent by those with both a curated focus and a discerning taste. Some of these folks are constantly at the cutting age of “21st century music,” and falling behind on the bands they are representing means falling behind on what is current and relevant to the most discerning, critical-minded listeners in today’s vast musical world.
If music was to follow the global changes that have taken place over the past 50-odd years, what “should” it sound like today? I sometimes feel like I’m behind the times, simply because I’m still listening to bands that use instruments, and have real people playing them. Walk into these avant-garde venues in the deepest and most subterranean rooms in Brooklyn and, these days, and you’ll typically find one person controlling an array of equipment that is only sold in stores that opened within the past 10-20 years. Stores that are completely foreign to me. Take the guitar store down the street from my apartment, for example. Years back, it was a guitar store and a used guitar store split in two. Now, the used side is gone and it’s been replaced by a “studio” department that sells everything from oscillators to monitors to samplers to stuff where I really don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s a far cry from the four-tracks and basic studio equipment that The Beatles revolutionized on Sgt Peppers, or the drum machines and flangers of the 70s and 80s.
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.
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.
Here’s the latest video from Brooklyn’s Superhuman Happiness, who are playing our show with Os Tropies tomorrow night at The Garrison in Toronto. Our very own Bearded Rainbow will be providing the evening’s projections. RSVP for the show here. We hope to see you there!
Our Solar System is a newly formed 10 piece musical collective—featuring members of Dungen, Life on Earth!, The Amazing, Me and My Kites and more—in which each musician represents an element of our solar system, whether it be a planet, an astroid belt or Pluto. Illustrating a journey through space, each planet was described in a few keywords, a fusion of the members’ mutual associations based on emotion and poetry rather than science. These keywords thus became the score they’ve been working on since.
On October 29, the good people at Beyond Beyond is Beyond will release Our Solar System’s debut album, Vårt Solsystem, recorded live one hot summer afternoon in the amphitheater at Raven mountain in Vårberg, and one cold November night at a magical party in an old movie theater in Kärrtorp. Each song is also named after an element in our solar system—many of the Swedish titles share the same spelling as their English equivalents, while others like “Asteroidbältet” aren’t too hard to decipher—drawing comparison to Miles Davis’ far out sonic journeys on Bitches Brew, as well as Alice Coltrane, Acid Mothers Temple, and Can.
Our Solar System is a community without a leader, a floating crowd of people, where everyone who wants to be part of creating within these cosmic frames are welcome. The dream is to one day see representatives of Our Solar System around the world, illustrating the concept in all the arts in all kinds of contexts for all kinds of audiences. Only your imagination sets the limits!
Listen to the first track (or planet), “Mars,” below.
Download/stream our August 2013 Mix below. Thanks to RavenVal for the art!
1. The Memphis Jug Band – K.C. Moan
2. Bruce Springstten – Tate Strooper (Mau Remix)
3. Can – …And More
4. The Seeds – Now A Man
5. Temples – Shelter Song
6. Night Beats – Outta Mind
7. 13th Floor Elevators – I Had To Tell You
8. The Deviants – Child Of The Sky
9. Steve Gunn – Trailways Ramble
10. Country Joe & The Fish – Sad And Lonely Times
11. Bert Jansch – Heartbreak Hotel
12. Beacon Street Union – Mystic Mourning
13. The Sea-Ders – Thanks A Lot
14. Anonymous – Pike River
15. Jacques Dutronc – L’espace D’une Fille
16. Khánh Ly & Trịnh Công Sơn – Goi Ten Bon Mua
17. Kraftwerk – Heimatklange (The Bells Of Home)
Stuart Bogie and Colin Stetson at the DGB NYE 2011 Party. Photo by Trista Alley
Here’s a list of shows we either plan to catch or wish we could. If you are a photographer and would like to shoot any of these shows for DGB, feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if we missed anything worth checking out please let us know!
NYC Show Picks (6/26-7/1)
2013-06-26 Yellowbirds / Superhuman Happiness @ Rockwood Music Hall
2013-06-26 Dirty Beaches / Heathered Pearls / X-Ray Eyeballs @ Mercury Lounge
2013-06-26 Light Heat / Caged Animals / Life Size Maps @ Glasslands
2013-06-27 Nymph / Nass Gnawa / Bird Names @ Union Pool
2013-06-28 Os Mutantes / Tuff Sunshine @ Maxwell’s
2013-06-28 Unknown Mortal Orchestra / Bass Drum of Death @ South Street Seaport
2013-06-29 Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) / Susie Ibarra / Seth Olinsky (Akron/Family) @ Brookfield Place Plaza
2013-06-29 Donnie & Joe Emerson / Backwords @ Mercury Lounge
2013-06-29 Os Mutantes / Javelin / Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang @ Prospect Park Bandshell
2013-06-29 Kurt Vile / Marnie Stern / Parquet Courts / The Men / Hunters / White Lung / The Babies / Reigning Sound / Fat Tony / Heliotropes @ South Street Seaport
2013-06-29 Endless Boogie / TV Baby / Degreaser @ Union Pool (Early show)
2013-06-29 Steve Gunn / Highlife / Loren Connors / Tom Carter @ Union Pool
2013-06-30 Phosphorescent @ The Surf Lodge
2013-07-01 Weyes Blood / Strawberry Hands / Dandelion Fiction / James Strong @ Silent Barn
Several months ago, one of Brooklyn’s greatest music haunts shuttered its doors after serving, for over nine years, as a home and meeting place for up-and-coming experimental artists. Countless bands will tell you they wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for Zebulon, but as gentrification goes, so did a musical landmark that will not soon be forgotten. Thanks to this new video from Brooklyn psych rockers Woodsman, which pairs audio from a show at the venue with some psychedelic visuals, you can step back inside the doors, grab an ale, and relive the magic that took place nightly on Zebulon’s stage.
Woodsman hit the road next week for a string of dates where there’ll be hawking a reissued version of their album Collages (originally released on Mexican Summer in 2009) both digitally and as a tour-only cassette. Full list of dates here.
“Living Lens” is a cut off New York sound art duo Mountains’ new album, Centralia, out today on Thrill Jockey. The duo, consisting of of Koen Holtkamp and Brendon Anderegg, approached the album layer by layer, combining purely-acoustic recordings with purely-electronic sounds rather than using electronics to manipulate acoustic source material. Guitar, cello, organs, electric piano et al are seamlessly combined with modular electronics, synthesizers and other sound sources to create an engrossing, ambient listening experience. Watch the video for “Living Lens” below or download/stream the track here.
Order the album via Thrill Jockey.