Dino Valente ∆ S/T (1968)

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Dino Valente ( Chet Powers) is one of those enigmatic types in the footnotes of every third MOJO article dealing with the 60s, and it is plain that he had his fingers in a lot of pies both literally, and figuratively.  However, to paraphrase Wayne Kramer’s description of Johnny Thunders in Legs McNeil’s “Please Kill Me,” he “…seemed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.” He wrote “Get Together,” popularized by The Youngbloods and played in every 60s TV/movie flashback scene, but he didn’t make a dime off of it because he sold the rights off to the Kingston Trio’s managers to beat a drug rap; he also had a hand in writing “Hey Joe,” somehow.  He was going to be the focal point of Quicksilver Messenger Service, but he went to prison instead. He managed to piss off the CBS brass after signing a lucrative contract by phoning them repeatedly at 4 A.M. and telling them that they didn’t get where he was at.

 

The main show here, however, is not the man’s life story, but his solo release. His nasal voice, hippie dream poeticisms, and backing jazz instrumentation seems to drop in and out at will.  Think Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks meets Tim Buckley’s Happy/Sad with the overtones of a Haight-Asbury hippie dude trying to put the make on a girl, and you’re getting close. Fred Neil is another obvious influence in terms of his 12-string and jazz inflected chording, and it’s no surprise that the both used to play together in Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 60s.  Nevertheless, it’s a rewarding listen, especially in the context of the loner folk and DIY-ethic that predominates popular reissues from such labels as Numero Group, whose Wayfaring Strangers: Lonesome Heroes compilation serves as another touchstone.
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Robbie Basho – “Song of the Snowy Ranges” (1967)

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We’re up here in the north country. Three deer just ran across the frozen lake. Robbie Basho is playing on the stereo. Coffee and tea are brewing. Heading out to this place shortly.

For fans of American fingerpicking masters like Fahey and Kottke, you can delve further into Basho’s eastern-tinged melodies and old-time-y vocals with this excellent essay ‘Guitarist of the Other Shore: Robbie Basho in the 1960s’. It’s a very worthwhile read.

Another deer just ran across the lake. Let’s hope the wolves are still sleeping.

Robbie Basho – “Song Of The Snowy Range”


Houseboat Radio: A Winter Mix by Anna Fox Rochinski of Quilt

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Anna Fox Ronchinski of Boston psych-folk band Quilt was kind enough to put together this Winter-themed mix for us. Quilt are releasing their excellent new album Held in Splendor next week on Mexican Summer and will be hitting the road in support shortly thereafter. Head to Mexican Summer to pre-order Held in Splendor and check out the full list of tour dates after the jump.

HouseBoat Radio Mix


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Woods – “Leaves Like Glass”

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Our love for Woods should be no secret around these parts by now. With each year, the band ages like a fine wine—constantly refining their songwriting and studio material, while taking their live improvisations further and further toward the cosmos. On April 15, Woods returns with a new album titled With Light and With Love on their own Woodsist label. You can hear the first song from it, titled “Leaves Like Glass,” below.

Dog Gone Presents: Weyes Blood // ANAMAI – Magpie Taproom (January 25th)

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On Saturday, January 25, Dog Gone Presents a night of ghostly folk featuring Weyes Blood and ANAMAI at Toronto’s Magpie Taproom. Having already performed one of our Brooklyn shows, we’re psyched to bring Weyes Blood north of the border for her debut appearance in Canada. The show will feature Toronto’s own ANAMAI (the solo project of Anna Mayberry from HSY), who’s debut cassette we’ve been obsessing over of late.

Come take part in a night of creep folk while enjoying a crafty brew or two. Tickets available at the door. Inquire about group rates and travel packages within.

Weyes Blood

Weyes Blood is the mysterious ghost folk project of Natalie Mering, (former member of Jackie-O Motherfucker, Axolotl). Weaving sound textures with delicate folk songs, Weyes Blood is truly bridge music, combining the sonic influences of tape experimentation with the ancient art of song. Her voice is singular and timeless, unadorned yet soulful and penetrating. She has provided her pipes on Ariel Pink’s new record Mature Themes, singing back up on the song Early Birds of Babylon. She also accompanied the haunted graffiti live on an east coast tour in Sept 2012. Aside from small run releases such as the self-released “Strange Chalices of Seeing” (2007), and a 7″ entitled Liquor Castle (Smoker’s Gifts, UK, 2008) Weyes Blood released her first full length in March 2011 on the Not Not Fun label entitled The Outside Room.

ANAMAI

Anna Mayberry—of Toronto sludge-punk band HSY—released a solo, three track cassette under the name ANAMAI in late 2013. Stepping out from the murk of her other project, this new avenue finds Mayberry softly crooning over ghostly, psychedelic atmospheres–ones that would find themselves right at home alongside those of MV & EE and their extended family of bands.

Dog Gone Presents: Best of 2013

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Well folks, here we are again looking back on another year gone by. Fresh out of the frost, here’s the list of albums that received the most play around these parts in 2013. You’ll also find a mix containing some of our favorite songs from 2013 at the bottom.

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The Entrance Band – Face The Sun

Four years on from the release of their previous full-length, LA psych juggernauts The Entrance Band returned with an album built upon the personal struggles and spiritual transformations experienced by all three band members during the extended period of gestation. Balancing both sides of the journey toward the light, Face the Sun finds The Entrance Band in a more transcendent, melodic space while maintaining a hauntingly beautiful darkness in its undercurrent. Songs like “The Crave” and “Year of the Dragon” depict the introspective journey through the tunnel of addiction and sorrow, while “Fine Flow” and “Fire Eyes” channel a more cosmic side with the interplay between guitarist Guy Blakeslee and bassist Paz Lenchantin at near subliminal levels. A journey to the depths of the darkness can be known to strip away the heart and soul of a band, but in the case of Face the Sun it seems as though the members have returned to the surface with a brighter and more inspired outlook than ever before.

(originally published in Relix Magazine)

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White Fence – Cyclops Reap

Once again, in 2013, the ever-prolific Tim Presley released an album loaded with lo fi, garage-rock nuggets that sound like they could have been released over 40 years ago. Recorded during a 4 ½ year span and largely inspired by the loss of his father, Cyclops Reap strips away some of Presley’s trademark punk murk, making way for a more spacious, folk-inspired sound. Surely one of the finest to come out of the White Fence cannon.

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Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

These two young California sons managed to meld the ideas they’d been crafting while separately away at college into a beautiful piece of ‘60s inspired paisley psych-pop. As history often shows, combine two unique songwriters, especially one who possesses a highly volatile personality, and magic is bound to happen. However, tragedy and conflict are often bound to follow.

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Endless Boogie – Long Island

There aren’t too many bands that still embody the old New York spirit the way Endless Boogie has for the past decade. Long Island, the band’s third proper release for No Quarter, unapologetically churns and tunnels its way through the group’s signature, riff-caked groove, tugging at their namesake for 80 minutes of stoned-out bliss. You either love ‘em or you don’t. They certainly don’t give a shit.

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Steve Gunn – Time Off

For nearly 15 years, New York-based guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn has existed on the periphery of the contemporary avant-folk scene, acting as a solo artist and touring member in Kurt Vile’s Violators, as well as one-half of the Gunn-Truscinki Duo. But on Time Off, Gunn’s immense talent comes into full view as he leads a trio of old pals through a series of six extended folk journeys that touch on everything from Pentangle to Fahey to Indian Ragas to the Grateful Dead. Gunn’s soft, slightly haggard voice is showcased on songs like the heady acoustic jam “Lurker,” while the guitar interplay on “New Decline” would have Bert Jansch and John Renbourne singing praises. The title, Time Off, perhaps is not so much a suggestion that these songs were recorded during a particular downtime, but rather a nod to the music’s timelessness—where time can simply be switched off leaving music as the only dimension in which events may take place.

(originally published in Relix Magazine)

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Wooden Shjips – Back To Land

For Back to Land, the new album by West Coast Psych amblers Wooden Shjips, leadmen Ripley Johnson and Omar Ahsanuddin packed up and moved to Oregon to record their first set of tracks outside of the Bay Area. With the lush climate and natural surroundings inspiring their musical direction, the pair tapped into a more grounded, organic sound without diverting the course of their modernist space-psych core. Throughout each the album’s eight tracks, a distinctly brighter flag flies atop the Shjip, as melodies step out into the forefront, washing away much of the sledge-y murk that cloud their previous recordings.

(originally published in Relix Magazine)

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Night Beats – Sonic Bloom

Recorded in a Tacoma, WA warehouse, Sonic Bloom album perfectly captures the Beats at their drugged-fueled, raved-up best.

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Ty Segall Sleeper

California’s garage rock son turns in his electric and fuzz pedals for a simple acoustic on the emotionally-charged, introspective Sleeper LP. Recorded following the loss of his father, Sleeper showcases the unadulterated beauty of Segall’s knack for melodious songwriting.

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Kevin Morby – Harlem River

Harlem River is the debut solo album from Woods bassist/Babies guitarist Kevin Morby. Aided by a stellar cast of backing musicians, along with the help of Rob Barbato’s (Darker My Love) impressive production work, Morby delivers an intimate collection of songs that touch on the loneliness, addiction and hardships of a touring musician. Having joined Woods before he was legally allowed to drink in bars, Morby’s tale rings with the wisdom and experience of a man who’s spent the better part of his life on the road.

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Fuzz – S/T

For the past several years, Ty Segall has largely existed as a solo artist. But with Fuzz, his latest project formed together with high school friend and Ty Segall Band guitarist Charles Moothart, it seems the lone wolf has finally found a pack in which to roam. Heavy psych of the highest order.

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Steve Gunn & Mike Gangloff – “Worry Past Worry”

gunngang_slide_bigSteve 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.

Video: Quilt – “Arctic Shark”

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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.

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Dog Gone Presents: Autumn Folkways Pt. II

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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.


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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