Friday, March 28, 2008

Nice Matt Baldwin Review.

Posted on Naturalismo today....
The gents at American Dust records have just released the first album by Matt Baldwin. I gave it a spin last night while eating a plum and staring longingly at the ceiling. First and foremost, Baldwin is a guitarist. And yes, before I go any further: comparisons to John Fahey and Leo Kottke are often tossed around wayyyyy too liberally to acoustic composers. I’m guilty of it myself. But aside from the fact that Baldwin plays longform acoustic-based compositions, his approach is far more atmospheric, far more restrained than his fingerpicking forebears. This is a rare case where “atmosphere” is not a compensation for a lack of talent. His virtuosity simmers beneath the surface; his skill is an unspoken subtext in every song. That’s not to say that he doesn’t let the lions loose to ravage a gazelle once and a while. Sometimes water can only boil so long before it bubbles over the edge of the pot, scalding the hand and sending thoughts racing.

Mr. Baldwin will be playing amongst the redwoods on May 10th at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, CA.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cessna-centric Podcast.

In celebration of Slim Cessna's Auto Club's new album Cipher, Alternative Tentacles has whipped up an all Cessna-centric podcast. The session includes snippets of new and old Slim Cessna songs along with related projects Jay Munly & Blackstone Valley Sinners. Stream the podcast in it's entirety here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Message From The Rebel.

B.R. Wallers accompanied by three of his Country Teaser mates will be performing on WFMU tomorrow under The Rebel moniker. More deets straight from the man himself below.

"Guys, hurry, tune in!, tomorrow (Tuesday March 25) between 3 and 6pm, the Brian Turner show, yeah! The Rebel has AT LAST been recorded in such a way that not only us serious music fans can love it but also those people who can't hear music unless it's, you know, and i don't want to put down lo-fidelity here, but ... well... SHARP. I'm not saying the Rebel can't produce himself perfectly , I'm just saying that this live session featuring Country Teasers' Sophie Politowicz, Alastair Mackinven and Robert McNeill is what is probably going to rocket The Rebel into the space from which Country Teasers was holding him back for 15 years, no offence guys, none taken. Great group and all that, but we're int the Future Now, as Kool Keith so wrightly sed: the past is in a bic lighter: Foget It!"

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Warehouse Knows Best.

Dozens upon dozens of amazing and not-so-amazing new releases arrive at the doorstep of Revolver USA each week. The onslaught of vinyl, plastic, and shrink wrap never seems to cease. For the most part variety and quantity are good things, but the downside is that occasionally a gem or two will get lost in the fray. Today is the maiden voyage in what will hopefully be weekly instalments of top picks from the folks in the Revolver warehouse. Who know's inventory better than the people who unload and pack up the boxes? Enjoy.

Kyle (warehouse manager):
Wrath of the Weak "Alogon" CD
Cloudland Canyon "Lie In Light" LP
Dirtbombs "Play Sparks" 7"
Anna Järvinen "Jag Fick Feeling" CD

Jacob (king box stuffer):
MRR ADM "Untitled"
Factums "New Album Thingy"
Black Milk "Caltroit"
The guitar "playing" old skeleton cowboy man@ 16th st & Van Ness.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dusted Understands 水晶の舟 / Suishou No Fune.

Artist: Suishou no Fune
Album: Prayer For Chibi
Label: Holy Mountain
Review date: Mar. 19, 2008
Original Dusted review

Formed in 1999 by guitarists Pirako Kurenai and Kageo, Suishou no Fune has pursued a pretty singular cause in their nine years. Working a rich vein that picks up the Velvet Underground’s influence right where Les Rallizes Denudes left it, these two play slow-motion ballads, plying thick, droning guitars with hefty doses of feedback and distortion. That much of the material on their handful of releases has been captured live in concert is hardly surprising; after all, these lengthy, languid pieces are truly of the moment, tumbling forth with a voluminous presence that was obviously created to fill voids both spiritual and physical.

Though recorded in the studio, there’s hardly a thin or underworked moment throughout both discs of Suishou no Fune’s Prayer for Chibi, their latest long player (and a sprawling, two-disc behemoth of an album at that). Created as a memorial to their dearly departed cat, Prayer is tonally split across its two discs; the first focuses on gauzy, almost transparent guitar tones and textures, while the second digs much deeper to unearth more harrowing performances. In keeping with the theme of memorial, it’s almost as if the first half focuses on remembrance, allowing the second half to confront the void of loss head-on.

While unmistakably possessed by the same demons that can make Fushitsusha such a harrowing experience, there’s still a certain levity to Prayer for Chibi’s front half that grants each track an almost indisputable weightlessness. Here, the guitars are diffuse, stretching out into gauzy streams of consciousness that mesh with the lofting, intertwined vocals of Kurenai and Kageo. While the idea of corporeal transience plays out again and again in the lyrics, the sounds that accompany them make for some of the sweetest moments the band has ever committed to tape. The mammoth “Prayer” opens the album by shaking off shackled percussion, gradually granting a slow blues the freedom to roam across the stratosphere. Later, “Till We Meet Again” plots a similar course, matching simple, melodic guitar lines against a backdrop of steadily darkening drone.

Dealing in altogether different shades, Prayer for Chibi’s second disc opens on far more tempestuous ground, with the leads of “Resurrection Night” launching headlong into a constantly encroaching din. It’s a stark contrast to the almost genteel nature of grief explored earlier, and one that cuts to the core with an ever-sharpening blade. Most harrowing of all here is undoubtedly “The Stars Know All,” and eviscerated blues that pitches notes and chords into the black against forlorn vocals, breaking only for some hard strums towards the close of the piece.

Out of the whole of Japan’s modern wave of psychedelic acts, none choose to explore the exquisite possibilities of the endless bummer with as much intensity as Suishou no Fune. Even still, while their material pursues an almost unmatched heaviness in both tone and aesthetic execution, Prayer for Chibi shows the band developing into a formidably spare ensemble, one that’s capable of highlighting the sheer transformational power of grief and loss. More so than any of their other releases to date, Prayer for Chibi finds the band confidently leaving behind solid ground for all that the sky above has to offer, for better and for worse.
By Michael Crumsho

Suishou No Fune will be performing at the Telemagica Art and Music Festival in Jacumba, CA this May. Additional US dats TBA.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vinyl Is The Future (At Least To A Certain Group Of People).

Between partying his ass off and shoveling BBQ down his gullet Revolver's salesvasary Mike Doyle joined a SXSW panel of like-minded "industry" folks to discuss the future of the vinyl format. It was quite a meeting of the minds, Patrick Amory of Matador Records, John Kunz of Waterloo Records and Video, Eric Levin of Criminal Records / AIMS, Kevin Pedersen of What's Your Rupture, and Doug Mosurock staff writer of As you can imagine it was a wild 1:10 minute ride of opinion and knowledge. Download audio of the whole shebang here. Viva La Vinyl!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Akron/Family's Live Show Praised By The Washington Post.

With Help From Friends, Akron/Family Soars
Tuesday, March 11, 2008; Page C04
By Patrick Foster

Original post

"We care a lot!" Faith No More sang sometime during the 1980s; since then, few bands have shouted, stomped and seemed to care as much as Akron/Family. During its kaleidoscopic two-hour set at Jammin' Java on Sunday night, the Brooklyn outfit was unwaveringly passionate. The trick was figuring out just what it was the band was caring so much about.

Start with an extra emphasis on family. The three core Akrons were joined by North Carolina trio Megafun to create a six-piece group (keyed by dual drummers and Seth Olinksy's lithe guitar) able to take full advantage of a dizzying array of flutes and percussion instruments and give sung/chanted interludes an impressive gravity. Those vocal anchor points were welcome during a set that was heavy on new material.

Familiar songs such as "Phenomena" and "There's So Many Colors" were distended and splayed to fit an ever-shifting template encompassing gently rippling folk, unabashed hippie jamming, blissful harmonic drones, African pop and springs-sprung improv. So when the Family steered the nearly 40-minute concluding piece into "Turn on Your Lovelight," it was un-ironically digging on both Bobby "Blue" Bland and the Dead. That stunning final piece climaxed with the Akron's best song, "Ed Is a Portal," which threw the band's startling inventiveness into high relief but didn't shed much light on the roots of its passion. Mystery, however, is what the Akron/Family really digs, and mantras like the one chanted Sunday are explanation enough: "We've gone where we've gone."

Catch the "experience" for yourself:
03/15 Austin, TX @ Emo's Inside Room (SXSW showcase12:00 AM)
04/26 Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
04/29 Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place
04/30 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
05/01 Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door
06/21 Philadelphia, PA @ Popped Festival on Drexel University Campus
07/24 New York, NY @ River to River Festival at Castle Clinton

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why?'s Alopecia Gets A 8.2 Recommendation By Pitchfork!

[Anticon; 2008]
Rating: 8.2
Original Review

Eyebrows raised when Why? were chosen to support the Silver Jews on a 2005 tour, but that seemingly incongruous bill made more sense when considering one of Berman's better lines: "All my favorite singers couldn't sing." Likewise on Alopecia, Yoni Wolf doesn't seem to know he isn't a diva on "Simeon's Dilemma", that he isn't a New Pornographer on "Fatalist Palmistry", or that he's not a grizzled battle-rapper on "The Fall of Mr. Fifths", and he won't let any of it get in his way. He's got too much to say to be concerned about it.

"Unclassifiable" is usually lazy shorthand for albums featuring both guitars and keyboards. Alopecia is a liquid in the sieve of genre: put it on headphones and it begs to bump; recite lyrics aloud and people will look at you with loathing usually reserved for religious leaflet canvassers and slam poets; try and decode the words in your head and you'll only hear the melodies behind them. As for his lyrics, it's wrong to call them stream-of-consciousness, since that implies Wolf is a poor self-editor; nothing about Alopecia is lazy. It's more like 5 a.m. journal entries cut up and turned to collage. Clearly, every line won't be pure gold, but they all add up to something.

Alopecia opens with the chain-gang lurch of "The Vowels Pt. 2", its slow claps and big, watery bass hits rubbing against Wolf's most insistent rap/sing delivery, and the unlikely hook of "Cheery-ay, Cheery-ee..." somehow becoming the record's most ingratiating. Funnily, the first two lines ("I'm not a ladies man, I'm a landmine, filming my own fake death...") reveal most of the record's preoccupation. No matter what he's on about on Alopecia-- although most of the time, he's pretty easy to follow, especially compared to his Anticon brethren-- sex and death are never far from Wolf's mind. The former is pretty evident on "Good Friday", a crisper revisiting of the acoustic plucking-plus-beats of Why?'s earlier work, and an uncomfortable litany of perversions Wolf "wouldn't admit to his head-shrinker" that includes forgetting Elton John lyrics in karaoke. Wolf's voice is (putting it delicately) distinctive, but his monotone murmur here is just one example of his ability to change up his delivery.

Not that he needs to-- while Wolf fearlessly splays open his head for all to see its contents, the band is the real star (the core of Yoni, brother Josiah Wolf, Doug McDiarmid, and here fleshed out by Fog's Andrew Broder and bassist Mark Erickson). They're what make "The Hollows" work as both tentative and propulsive guitar-rock under Wolf's paranoia, and make "Palmistry" cheerful and memorable pop under the sobriety of his lyrics. "These Few Presidents" is stiff indie rock, with drum-machines and the polite blurt of an organ, until the bottom drops out and cascades of clattering percussion and yawning low frequencies soundtrack the most sincere Hallmark card ever: "Even though I haven't seen you in years, yours is a funeral I'd fly to from anywhere."

"Mr. Fifths" returns to bouncy, rap-minded delivery, with tongue-twisting lines about syphilis and the sound of high heels on marble. But they've got some nerve here, making us wait until the record's last third for its best songs: "A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under" is some strange, sublime triangulation of Steve Reich, deadpan rap swagger, and blustery multi-tracked choruses you could link to Alice in Chains. But trainspotting is beside the point-- the band creates a musical landscape so vivid that every cryptic line doesn't seem inscrutable, but more like puzzles worth unlocking.

The stalker's serenade, "Simeon's Dilemma", is creepy, sure, but then Wolf busts out the falsetto like he's a supporting character in a boy band getting his big solo moment-- you can almost hear him pointing at notes on the invisible scale with his hand. Then there's the disorienting and dreamy behind-the-beat thump of "By Torpedo or Crohn's", featuring what I guess you might expect from underground white-guy rap: cryptic lyrics about throwing up behind Whole Foods, the admission that as a kid he "didn't shit his pants much," and hoping for health food in hell. It's contrasts with the rest of Alopecia, but even as a portrait of a medium existence, it's still a complicated one, and its most lasting impression after the lulling sing-song of the chorus is pervasive anxiety. It's weird to think that 2008 could be a year of reaffirmation for Anticon, but along with Subtle, they just won't adhere to the boxes we've tried to stuff them into.

If there's anything that drags down Alopecia, it's that "Fatalist Palmistry" is the only real sigh of relief on a very sober record (and even that song begins and ends on thoughts of death). Even as it charted a difficult breakup, 2005's Elephant Eyelash had a few more moments of relative sunshine. Here, Wolf's exhaustively catalogued his sins and imperfections as on "Good Friday", and even the stalker in "Simeon's Dilemma" has no release or acknowledgment to look forward to; he braces for the fall, and prepares to "deny, deny, deny." Wolf seems doomed to feel too much here-- to take in everything, and take it all very, very seriously.
-Jason Crock, March 11, 2008

Anticon in Austin this week / weekend:
Anticon and Tomlab SXSW Showcase @ Lambert's:
(401 W 2nd Street)
01:00 Hey Willpower

12:00 WHY?

11:00 Thee Oh Sees

10:00 Son Lux

09:00 No Kids

08:00 Misha

WHY? and Son Lux will also be playing at various day parties:


WHY? - Force Field PR & Terrorbird Media SXSW Day Party @ Emo's (4:30pm)


WHY? - Brooklyn Vegan Party @ Emo's Annex (2:30pm)

Son Lux - Soundcheck/Spiderhouse Presents @ Spiderhouse (7pm)


WHY? - Soundcheck Magazine's 2nd Birthday Party presented by Dewar's @Emo's Annex (5:30pm)


Son Lux - Okay Mountain Presents Asthmatic Kitty and Friends @ Okay Mountain Gallery (4pm)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tiny Mix Tapes Dares To Explain The New Why? Album.

Anticon 2008
OOOO/ Styles: a true amalgamation: let’s call it “hip-pop”
Others: cLOUDDEAD, Emperor X, Aqueduct, Fog
Original review

Picture it: a mass of energy is floating through space at an accelerated rate. The energy, when decoded by the complex circuitry of our ear canals, resembles something we recognize as musical notes. This energy, in a brilliant flash of nothing, seems to implode in on itself, wholly disappearing from the black void of space and time. It’s been sucked into the gravitational field of a black hole so immense that it dwarfs our very conception of enormity. This so-decoded musical energy is, seemingly, lost.

Oakland, California. The year is 2008. Note this. A crackle of electricity lights up the sky, and while the residents of the eighth-largest Californian metropolitan area fail to notice it, a wormhole opens up above their fair city for the slightest fraction of a millisecond, releasing the once-lost musical energy. At its constant rate of descent, the invisible mass quickly impacts the ground and spreads in a horizontal trajectory until the whole of the city is engulfed. From there, the fluent mass continues across the continent.

Sound far-fetched? Fine; you try explaining how a group like WHY? can exist in this rudimentary world.

Answering the question, nay, even making an attempt at answering “So, what do they sound like?” is deserving of a gold star. WHY? is a three-piece from Oakland, composed of beat- and word-smith Yoni Wolf, his brother Josiah, and Doug McDiarmid, joined on Alopecia by bassist Mark Erickson and Fog’s Andrew Broder. They’re really less of a black hole and more of a modified vacuum cleaner. They suck up everything along with the dirt: experimental hip-hop, indie rock, sugar-loaded pop, minimalist balladry, etc. And then, once the components are all bundled together, they flip the switch and send it all tumbling back out again and into the recording studio. More plainly, WHY? is the alphabet soup of independent music. Clever, biting, creative, intense, storied, and lurid. There’s really nothing else like it.

Alopecia, their third full-length release and second as a full band, is a darkly tinged juggernaut. 2005’s supremely wonderful but admittedly melancholic Elephant Eyelash is downright cheery in relation. The songs of Alopecia find a renewed interest from Yoni Wolf in delivering straight-up beats and rhymes alongside his more sing-songy efforts. Unsurprisingly, his styles of old and new fit together like it ain’t no joke.

Wolf isn’t in a rush to spit out his verse in a song like “Good Friday,” instead letting the lazy beat lead him through some seriously down-and-out lyrical content. At the same time, it’s considerate that Wolf plays it so that we can get a few laughs from it alongside the cringes. “The Hollows” is a masterpiece, the band’s efforts fully coalescing into a totally monstrous sound that keeps building until it bursts. The sublime opening of “A Sky For Shoeing Horses Under” is a testament to WHY?’s tendency to include every type of sound imaginable and actually make it work. “Fatalist Palmistry” is the only track even approaching the bouncy demeanor of Elephant Eyelash, but with an opening tercet like “I sleep on my back/ ’Cause it’s good for the spine/ And coffin rehearsal,” you know where you’re at.

Alopecia is therapeutic for everyone involved. Wolf is bearing the darkest parts of his soul here. Sometimes they just sound so good that it’s easy to forget that. He’s asking big questions without answers, and when one gets stuck in a rut like that, well, the chances of coming out with a cheerier outlook are slim. But that’s where these songs come in. They’re a total release for Wolf, his band, and anyone who happens to listen and can’t help but be washed over in that wave of understanding. It’s not inaccurate to say that the album seriously considers mortality. Living and dying are weighed on equal scales for the first two-thirds, each seeming as peaceful and viable as the other. But there’s a dilemma in that. That black hole shows up again and Yoni Wolf stares into the very depths of it hoping to take some answer, any answer, away from it. It’s here that Alopecia finds its unified harmony.

Listening to his warbly plea in “Simeon’s Dilemma,” it’s clear Wolf has found what he was looking for. Maybe by the time the recurring refrain (“While I’m alive/ I’ll feel alive”) shows up again in “By Torpedo or Crohn’s,” even those slow to the draw will have picked up on the hints. Rest assured that it hits you in the chest like a mass of energy torpedoing through space and time: “WHY?” was a damn good question to ask.

1. The Vowels Pt. 2 2. Good Friday 3. These Few Presidents 4. The Hollows 5. Song of the Sad Assassin 6. Gnashville 7. Fatalist Palmistry 8. The Fall of Mr. Fifths 9. Brook & Waxing 10. A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under 11. Twenty Eight 12. Simeon’s Dilemma 13. By Torpedo or Crohn’s 14. Exegesis

by Jeffrey Canino

Friday, March 07, 2008

Great Interview & Live Footage Of White Williams At Other Music.

Live at Other Music: White Williams (Episode #8)
Filed under: Other Music News, In-Store Performances, Live at Other Music Episodes

Related: concert film, dig for fire, in store, other music live, white williams

Joe “White” Williams
started to make a name for himself late last year with a couple of high-profile tours with Girl Talk and Dan Deacon, and the release of his stellar Smoke album on Tigerbeat6 (soon picked up by Domino). His music comes off as an updated electro take on the classic ’70s-era glam of T-Rex and Eno, but other than that, we didn’t know much about him. Turns out the reason why is that he recorded and mixed his debut album in the isolation of his home studio, and had never played a single live show as White Williams until after the album was released. A scant few months into the band’s career they dropped by the store for a short set and a few questions on music history and the band’s future. Enjoy!
-Josh Madell

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Birds Of Maya Reviewed By Dusted's Vinyl Connoisseur.

Birds of Maya
Vol. 1
(Holy Mountain)
Original review

Raw, back-to-basics ‘70s basement proto-metal/hard rock pummel. Dirty recording and practice-space dynamics recall some of the best late examples of this kinda sound (High Rise, Monoshock, Comets on Fire). Some might be put off by the loose, jammy nature of most of the tracks, but these guys have a great sense of how far they can hold that shit out there before it gets old. This comes at a cost, however, as some tracks don’t have a solid beginning or end, leading me to wonder how this all plays out live. Nevertheless, this is a great combo of electric blues, Southern rock, and blown-out, handheld Led Zep bootleg played through a boombox, putting most of the recent crop of hard rock revivalists to shame. Power moves all over the place, vocals merely a suggestion of harmony rather than lyrical suggestion due to their choices in production. Nearly flawless, and righteous where it could have been corny, and legitimately sounds like a product of a prior time. Just a great, great record; a shining example of dedication to playing as it is to nostalgia. Still Single / Doug Mosurak

Monday, March 03, 2008


Shut Up Little Man features the belligerent rants, hateful harangues, drunken soliloquies, and audible fistfights of Raymond and Peter-- two booze-swilling homicidal roommates in a low-rent area of San Francisco. These real-life recordings were made by their frustrated and much-bereaved next door neighbors, Eddie Lee Sausage and Mitchell D.

Warning: The CD contains nothing but profane language-- as do the downloaded tracks.

Yes, that's right. For the first time you can legally download Shut Up Little Man; as of today it's digitally available exclusively at iTunes.

The Shut Up Little Man recordings were initially made surreptitiously as proof of the booze-laden threats and murderous exploits of Peter and Raymond. The recordings then circulated in a subterranean manner for several years before being officially released in 1992 as a series of tapes issued by Seymour Glass and Tedium House. Subsequently, Shut Up Little Man was officially released by a subsidiary of Matador Records in 1993.

Due to the outlandish vitriol and darkly humorous exchanges between Raymond and Peter, the recordings quickly became regarded as a classic of the audio verite phenomenon (along with the Tube Bar tapes and the Jerky Boy prank calls). Shut Up Little Man has been featured in The Wire, Vanity Fair, Spin, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Washington Post and many underground zines. Shut Up Little Man has also been the subject of an episode of “This American Life” by Ira Glass, and the inspiration for several theatrical plays, short films, a song by Devo, and graphic depictions by several great comic book artists, including Dan Clowes, Ivan Brunetti, Dame Darcy, and M. Flinn.

For further information, please visit

The Official Shut Up Little Man website.

(watch this space for a relaunch-- with new URL-- in late March!)

The Complete Recordings of Shut Up Little Man-- in seven volumes-- will be issued one by one in March and April of 2008. Yes, they'll be available for download and yes, we will warn you (and link you) here first.

Track listing for the original Shut Up Little Man CD/download:

1. Introducing Peter: the crucifixion of dinner
2. Introducing Ray: I am ready now!
3. You wanna stick me with that fork?
4. Go to bed: Fist fight #1
5. Someday I will kill you
6. Sorry Darling
7. I despise all queers
8. What did you do during the war?
9. Don’t call me Goodnight!
10. Introducing Tony: I seen them potheads
11. On the floor again: Fist fight #2
12. You always giggle falsely
13. Ray, you are just fucking up!
14. I was a mean motherfucker in my time
15. Ray’s soliloquy: I am the human race!
16. Toenails
17. I know how to use any weapon
18. Vodka
19. This time I attack!
20. I don’t wanna watch queer shit: Fist fight #3
21. Tony stripped her down!
22. Nova Express Times survey on alcoholism
23. Queers giggle
24. Where are the police?
25. A night in the Stony Lonesome
26. I am a killin’ motherfucker
27. You don’t have friends
28. Go live south of Market
29. The killing of 14 people
30. Ray mewls at the cops
31. We’ll set your hair on fire
32. Cheap little bitch
33. A liar, a cheat, and a thief
34. I am a man
35. I tried to make this a home
36. If you wanna talk to me, then shut your fuckin’ mouth