Behind a nondescript East Williamsburg tenement at 229 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, NY lies Woods‘ home, recording studio, creative refuge and beloved shithole–Rear House. But after 10 long years the band will say farewell to the former live-in practice space turned ramshackle recording studio, which has also housed bands like Real Estate, Ducktails, The Babies and other members of the Woodsist family. To mark the occasion, Woods are releasing a new single on July 9 featuring a cover of The Kinks’ tune “Gods’ Children,” along with a re-recorded version of “Be All Easy.” “God’s Children” comes from the soundtrack to the 1971 British film Percy, while “Be All Be Easy,” originally from 2011′s Sun and Shade, was re-recorded to capture the live form the song has taken since it’s original release. Both are the first to feature new drummer, Aaron Neveu, formerly of Mmoss.
Woods hits the road next month for a tour that includes stops with Parquet Courts and Alex Bleeker & the Freaks. Full dates below.
Boston musician Glenn Jones is a longtime student of the so-called American Primitive school of acoustic steel guitarists, one that includes artists such as John Fahey, Robbie Basho and so on. Playing guitar since the age of 14, Jones formed his first psych-rock band, Cul de Sac, in 1989 and went on to perform with the group for 20 years with artists including Can’s Damo Suzuki and Fahey himself. In 2004, he released his first album of acoustic guitar instrumentals, titled This Is the Wind That Blows It Out, and established himself as a solo artist on tour alongside the late Jack Rose. Following two more solo releases of mostly acoustic material, Jones will release his third album in that vein, My Garden State, on Thrill Jockey next month. Written in the New Jersey home where Jones’ family moved in 1966, while he was caring for his mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s, the gentle finger-picked songs carry the emotional weight of this time through a collection of reflective instrumental stories.
Pre-order My Garden State via Thrill Jockey.
As San Francisco folkie Jessica Pratt told me in a recent interview, her young life was largely one of isolation and alienated musical study. Deep inside her own world, Pratt developed her own songwriting style that channels the styles of folkies like Karen Dalton or Linda Perhacs atop delicately plucked nylon string guitar. Combined with some American Grafitti-esque imagery, Pratt’s music truly sounds like some long lost set of recordings from the 60s. Here’s a video for the song “Her Strange Melody,” which is not included on her debut album for Birth Records.
Purchase the album here.
I recently stumbled across the incredible 1974 album by Turkish psych-folk duo Mazhar & Fuat, titled Türküz Türkü Çağırırız (which translates to “We are Turks, we sing Turkish folk songs”). The duo, formed in 1973, released this one album before joining up with bass guitar player Özkan Uğur to become the famous pop trio MFÖ. But before their foray into the world of Turkish pop, these fine musicians left behind what is considered to be one of the crown jewels of the Turkish psych era. The album, sung almost entirely in Turkish (as you may have gathered from the title), blends various ’60s rock and folk influences with flowing Eastern melodies referencing the traditional music of Arabia, India and beyond. The song chosen for you today is titled “Adimiz Miskindir Bizim,” which translates loosely to “Our Mix of Step.”
Since 2006, guitarist Emmet Kelley and a roving band of musicians have been creating some of the more interesting contemporary folk music as The Cairo Gang (a name taken from a group of slain anti-IRA British spies). Best known as a collaborator, Kelley has worked with artists such as Beth Orton and, most notably, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, with whom he made the 2010 album, The Wonder Show of the World. Following last year’s largely overlooked 7″, Kelley and the Gang returned with a new album, titled The Corner Man, last month on Empty Cellar, and, as the saying goes, it may just be their finest to date. Listen to album track “Now You Are One Of Us” below.
With the arrival of each autumn season, it seems natural for one’s musical taste to migrate towards a folkier sound. And so the release of San Francisco singer/songwriter Jessica Pratt’s debut self-titled LP comes at a most perfect time for those of us who abide by this seasonal ritual. Pratt’s music is steeped in the sounds of 1960s folk, recalling the vocal styles of iconic figures such as Anne Briggs and Sandy Denny with poetic, finger-picked tunes that could have been included on the Gather in the Mushrooms compilation. Fellow San Franciscan Tim Presley (White Fence, Darker My Love) launched his own imprint, Birth Records, solely to release Pratt’s debut LP, which he describes as sounding like “Stevie Nicks singing over David Crosby demos, with the intimacy of a Sibylle Baier.” Listen to album track “Night Faces” below and check out a couple additional songs here.
Order the album via Birth Records.
Last night I had the great pleasure of catching Los Angeles-via-Michigan group Lord Huron’s return to NYC. Celebrating the release of their debut LP, Lonesome Dreams, the band performed their stunning new material infront of dimly lit silhouette of a mountainscape and proved why they’re one of the best emerging indie-folk acts on the scene today. Lord Huron’s new album is a dream-like journey, recalling contemporaries like the Fleet Foxes, while harkening back to the days of yore with tales of growing up on the lake, river crossings, undying loves and stories of the American heartland. It’s an album for autumn. Listen to album tracks “Ends of the Earth” and “Time to Run” below and then head over to IAMSOUND to purchase the record.
Following the release of their highly impressive new album, Bend Beyond, Woods have dropped the B-side to the sun-soaked album single “Cali in a Cup.” While much of the new album offers a more accessible, brighter side of Woods, “Give Your Light Off” turns toward the dark with a spiritual hymn that recalls early Wailers, while coasting atop a haunting undercurrent of tape effects, heavy-handed acoustic guitar strums and Peter Tosh-style wah licks. Another impressive nugget from the prolific Brooklyn outfit.
Purchase Bend Beyond via Woodsist.
Frequent readers of this blog will know that, over the past few months, we’ve been championing the band Quilt as one of our new favorite acts to emerge onto the East Coast psych scene. After delving further into their world, and through meetings and interviews the band, it has now come to our attention that some of the band members also have side-projects of their own. Today, we start with Olden Yolk–the solo project of Quilt singer/guitarist Shane Butler. As Shane tells us:
I have been writing and recording music on my own for as long as I have been playing tunes. I have always made releases under different names and played shows under various monikers: Olden Yolk is the most recent incarnation. Recording/playing solo is definitely a fun outlet cause it allows a totally different process of creation to take place. What I have been doing with Olden Yolk lately is starting songs with folk/acoustic/drone structures and looping and layering until it becomes super atmospheric drone-based folk.
Also, trying to make visual partners for all the jams (i.e. The film I put together for Violet Vagaries). There is really no concrete plan for it, I would love to build some sound installations soon that can place different elements of looping folk songs throughout a room so that you can be within the song more, having instruments surround you and stuff.
You can check out Olden Yolk’s only song ” Violet Vagaries” above.
Boston-based psych folk band Quilt have a new video for the song “Young Gold. The song comes off their criminally good self titled LP out now on Mexican Summer, which was one of our favorite albums of 2011. Look out for a DGB exclusive Quilt-related announcement in the coming days!
[via Beyond Beyond is Beyond]
Local North Carolina taper Dan Schram recently caught our ear when we stumbled across his War on Drugs recordings up on archive.org. To add to that, Mr. Schram posted another one of our favs earlier today with when he shared his excellent recording of Megafaun’s performance at the Cats Cradle in Carrboro, NC from September 22. This hometown show for the band comes off their recent tour in support of their new self-titled release out now on Hometapes. Below, listen to “Real Slow” or download the entire show via archive.org. Also, be sure to check out Dan’s archive page for lots more great recordings.
MP3: “Real Slow” (9/22/11)