Tim Catlin & Jon Mueller, "Plates and Wires"

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7974 Hits

Angels of Light, "We Are Him"

 

Available August 2007

Black River Song - listen to full song

We Are Him - listen to full song

 "Michael Gira is one of maybe ten people in the whole world who inspired me  to pick up a guitar and try to write songs in the first place. He continues to be a tremendous influence on me. A new Angels of Light record is always  cause for celebration around our house, and though each one is always better than the last, this new one is going to be hard to top… Forget everything you know about Michael Gira and Angels of Light, even if  you love everything you know about Michael Gira and Angels of Light (which I most certainly do) - We Are Him is an intimidatingly great album and a highlight in a career of highlights…. Michael Gira taught me that you don't need to play loud to play heavy, you don't need to compromise to be a success to those who really count, and all you need to make rock and roll soup is some piss, some vomit, a little blood, and a few hundred wet cigarette butts."  - James Toth / Wooden Wand

"We Are Him is the most assured and relaxed Angels of Light album since the debut, and deserves to be considered alongside Gira's highest peaks. The frightening rage of old Swans  surfaces several times, albeit in more bucolic clothing; the contrast  is bracing. Lyrically Gira's constantly in-pocket, addressing his  subjects with renewed agility, but
also in a very relaxed voice; if  De Sade had lived long enough to tell folk tales around a campfire,  some of them might have sounded like this. The genuinely playful  orchestration - banjos? horns? chimes? slide? check – is by turns  charming and perverse, and has a band-of-brethren feel to it that's both ominous and exiting. The title track is like a pure shot of adrenaline. An intimate, unexpected masterpiece." - John Darnielle/The Mountain Goats


Michael Gira | Angels of LightWe Are Him began with my usual vows to keep things simple this time, finally, and I failed once again to live up to the task. I went into the studio with Akron/Family as backing band (as they had been on Other People). We recorded all the basic tracks in a week. They played drums, bass, guitar, piano, and backing vocals. Despite Akron's valorous efforts and fine performances, things sounded thin and tentative to me, so I started calling my friends to help me flesh things out. Christoph Hahn came to Brooklyn from his home in Berlin (Christoph played in Swans for a while, and has played in several Angels incarnations - he has his own group called Les Hommes Sauvage too) and played his usual stellar "kraut-abilly" electric guitar stylings, as well as open-tuned lap steel. That helped considerably, and gave the songs balls, or bowels in many instances, as well as occasionally lifting things up nach Himmel… Next came Bill Rieflin. Bill is as fine a gentleman as you'll ever meet. He also played in Swans at one point. When I met him he was drumming in Ministry. He's since moved on to play with Robert Fripp (off and on I think), Robyn Hitchcock, and he currently is the drummer for REM. He's an incredibly expressive musician, on a variety of instruments. He played: Hammond B3 organ, Moog synthesizer, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums/percussion, piano, casio, and backing vocals and probably 3 or 4 things I can't remember at the moment… Next the spirited and gracious Eszter Balint played fiddle/violin to great effect. She played mostly drone based parts, but injected a lot of feel through inflection and modulation. She's a wonderful player and she also just brings a sense of warmth into the studio which is most welcome. She also sang some backing vocals here and there. Eszter first came to wide public notice through her central role in the film Strangers In Paradise, but she's gone on to become a fine singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter in her own right - look her up!....

 Next came Julia Kent on cello and Paul Cantelon on violin. They played multitracked string sections on a few songs here and there, "arranged" on the fly. Julia's a member of Antony and The Johnsons, and she does some arrangements as well as playing therein. Paul is primarily a pianist, composer, arranger and recently a soundtrack composer for some high fallutin' films, the names of which I now forget, but I like the way he plays violin, with lots of warble and feeling. He and Julia work quite well together too and have the added advantage (from my perspective) of tolerating my vague descriptions and out of tune humming-of-part suggestions, and then taking those scanty guidelines and making something musical and fully realized out of them. No mean feat !.. Next came my pal and x-neighbor in Brooklyn Steve Moses. Steve's a drummer and trombone player. He's in the band Alice Donut and also has his own solo extravaganza called Drumbone and also an improv duo called Lambic. He played trombone like a brontosaurus on this record. He also played drums and trombone on a few of Devendra's YGR releases… next came the estimable musical encyclopedia and flute player (and multi instrumentalist ) of true finesse David Garland. He played flute on a few songs, and also did some rather deep backing vocs. He's another great presence to have in the studio, though he's a little intimidating because he's such a repository of all things musical. He hosts the shows (on NYC public radio station WNYC) Evening Music and Spinning On Air. Aside from playing classical music and film scores and more, he's also been a big supporter of people like Devendra, Akron/Family, Mi and L'au and other contemporary rock/folk related music, as well as myself. David's also a songwriter/singer and should be checked out too!...

 Next came the glorious Siobhan Duffy and Larkin Grimm, singing "Chick Vox"on several songs (and Siobhan sings a cameo on the song Not Here/Not Now). Siobhan drummed for years in the NYC noise/skronk band God Is My Co-Pilot, but she went on to become the singer of the group Gunga Din, then drumming for Kid Congo and also Flux Information Sciences. She's sadly temporarily retired from music. She's got a very particular and unique voice, and it's a big loss. Larkin is a wild-ass Georgia mountain woman, or She-Shaman, or something. Ha ha! She too has an amazing voice, a huge range and as a songwriter she's eccentric and fiercely expressive and really coming into herself. She's got a few CDs out - look for 'em. We're also in the nascent stages of working on an album that she'll be putting out on Young God Records… Next came my old touring buddy Phil Paleo. Phil was drummer in a band called Cop Shoot Cop, but he played drums and yes, hammer dulcimer in Swans final phase. He played hammer dulcimer on a few songs here… Birgit "Cassis" Staudt played accordion and melodica on a few songs. She's played and toured in several Angels incarnations, and she's a chanteuse you can find playing cabarets and nightclubs in NYC… My big buddy and protector Pat Fondiller played a little mandolin here and there. He did a great job. His hands are bigger than the mandolin! Pat played bass on an Angels tour a while ago, and he also plays in the hard rock combo Smokewagon… The record was recorded at Trout Recording by Bryce Goggin and at Seizure's Palace by Jason La Farge, both in Brooklyn, and in fact right around the corner where I used to live. It was mixed by Bryce at Trout. Thanks to them, and all the above! Also big thanks to the fellow musicians/friends who supplied the
extremely kind words about the record on this page…  Michael Gira/ ‘07


"the moment I played -we are him- my heart exploded with the feeling 'that voice!!!!!!' and it has done it to me everytime I have ever heard it. From my first cassette of filth to this newest work, michael gira's singing is my favorite gentle violence and lovers strangulation. Now is the best he has ever sounded and I cannot without sounding insanely thrilled express how much this means to me. -we are him- is touching, frightening, wonderfully different and whole." }  - Jamie Stewart / Xiu Xiu

"What‚s a young turk to do when Michael Gira, at 52, is at the height of his powers?   Everything I‚ve loved about his previous work ˆ the apocalyptic soundscapes, the window-shattering drums, the glistening acoustic passages, the voice like God speaking out of the whirlwind -  is distilled and reimagined in these songs, and infused with an organic warmth that only makes them the more urgent and harrowing.  By turns frightening, funny, cathartic, wise, even strangely sweet, "We Are Him" is a sprawling masterpiece by an artist whose muse seems more fertile than ever."
 - Jonathan Meiburg / Shearwater

"Michael’s shirtless screaming is now finally reborn into something closer to the intensity of Nina Simone than punk rock.  The song forms are now clear and strong enough to support vocal performances that sometimes sound like a 25-year-old Michael simultaneously hallucinating and dictating the dark underbelly of the Amercian Dream. And now that this strength and intensity is firmly rooted in tradition it can take on a whole new level of meaning and interplay and understanding  that I find simply wonderful. This is not indie rock or Americana, this is authentic American music; or as Gram Parsons said, ' Cosmic American Music ' "  -  Seth Olinsky / Akron/Family
15744 Hits

Lisa Germano, "Lullaby for Liquid Pig"

 

 

digi-pack CD re-issue with bonus CD
available 6/18/2007

Pearls - listen to full song

Dream Glasses Off - listen to full song

“…delves into those bleak hours before the  sun comes up, with raw emotion that's calculated to disturb. Stark, gorgeous songs weave a spell of deep-seated loneliness coupled with unceasing introspection; the album is a gut punch from the first hanging, ethereal note. “ – Salon.com

“Lullaby for Liquid Pig is deceptively potent; in just thirty minutes it divines your most closely held memories, guiding you farther farther back with endless, heartbreaking choruses…” Pitchforkmedia.com

“Lisa Germano pushes confessional intimacy to unsettling extremes …Unashamed candor often spells dreary self-indulgence. In Germano's insightful hands, it's fascinating and strangely exhilarating.” - Blender

Nobody makes records like Lisa Germano. This music seeps into your system with a warm glow like alcohol gently working its way into the bloodstream through the lining of an empty stomach. From the first moment you’re drifting weightless through Lisa’s gossamer world, where everything’s infused with a woozy, fairy tail melancholy, and maybe just a hint of the sour taste of last night’s wine. Liquid Pig is particularly beautifully and richly orchestrated, but also so intimate and saturated with a peculiar sadness (that can suddenly shift to joy or whimsy) you get the feeling you’re drifting through the dreams inside her head, led along by the soft breeze of her breathing. Lisa says that if you removed the breath from her voice there’d be nothing there. That particular quality is perhaps what draws you in. It really is the sound of a lover whispering a song or a secret in your ear. These songs are intimate, even “confessional,” but they’re certainly not limited to the personal. Seems to me, any human being with a sense of their own frailty ought to find a place for themselves in this beautiful and seductive music.

This album was first released in 2003 but the label that released it disappeared very soon thereafter, and it sadly went out of print. It’s my extreme pleasure to make it available now and I hope that this time it reaches the audience it deserves.  - Michael Gira / Young God Records

Lullaby for a Liquid PigLULLABY FOR LIQUID PIG:  1. Nobody’s Playing 2. Paper Doll 3. Liquid Pig 4. Pearls 5. Candy 6. Dream Glasses Off 7. From A Shell 8. It’s Party Time 9. All The Pretty Lies 10. Lullaby For Liquid Pig 11. Into The Night 12. …To Dream

BONUS CD – 20 songs (56 MINUTES): 1. It's A Rainbow (home recording) 2. (Live from Lisbon): Way Below The Radio / Guillotine / Moon Palace / Woodfloors / Pearls 3. My Imaginary Friend (home recording) 4. Flower Steps / From A Shell / Turning Into Betty (live from Largo Club) 5. Candy (home recording) 6. Liquid Pig (home recording) 7. In The Land Of The Fairies / In The Maybe World / Golden Cities (live from Lisbon) 8. Wire / Red Thread (live from Largo Club) 9. Dream Glasses Off (home recording) 10. It's Part Time (live from Lisbon)  11. Making Promises (home recording)

SOME REVIEWS / ARTICLES THAT APPEARED AT THE TIME OF LIQUID PIG’S FIRST RELEASE:

From Salon.com

Hard luck, red wine and loneliness

Lisa Germano made her hauntingly beautiful record alone, then turned down a tour so she could take care of her  cat.

By Julene Snyder
April 1, 2003 | It's not surprising to learn that as a child, Lisa Germano delighted in self-inflicted pain. In some ways,  she's never stopped picking her open wounds.

What's unexpected is that she doesn't mean it literally. "I used to lock myself in a closet and torture  myself," she recalls. "Not cut myself or anything, but I'd have these childhood fantasies where everything was  awful. I'd make myself cry, and then it would end when I was crying so hard that the prince would have to come  and save me."

Lullaby for a Liquid PigNow in her mid-40s, she's long since stopped waiting to be rescued. "I don't believe there's a prince  coming anymore," she laughs. "I'm just sick of the whole thing." On the phone from her Los Angeles home, Germano  sounds incongruously upbeat for a self-described "fairly dark person," but she blames her perkiness on morning  coffee. Her demons tend to come out at night.

Boy, do they. Germano's latest effort, "Lullaby for a Liquid Pig," delves into those bleak hours before the  sun comes up with raw emotion that's calculated to disturb. Stark, gorgeous songs weave a spell of deep-seated loneliness coupled with unceasing introspection; the album is a gut punch from the first hanging, ethereal note.  "These are your secrets, hidden inside," she murmurs on the opening track, then lays them out, one by one, like  canapés at a suicide's farewell party.

The tone is hardly unexpected, as Lisa Germano has never made music for the faint-hearted. For the last decade, the multi-instrumentalist (violin, piano, recorder, guitar, voice, etc.) has specialized in delving into the deepest crevices of her psyche, exposing nerves, tendons and viscera until she reaches the white gleam of bone. While critical acclaim has been lavish for album after album -- six since her self-released 1991 debut -- audiences have not flocked to buy Germano's records. This is a crying shame, as her intimate, near-whispered  delivery and spare arrangements tower above your average chart-toppers' best efforts.

Germano's chosen subject matter doubtless has something to do with the elusiveness of financial success,  especially in the context of a recording industry that celebrates superficiality. The bleak "Happiness" (1994)  explored the depths and valleys of depression and relationships with breathtaking directness. ("You wish you were  pretty, but you're not … ha ha ha/ But your baby loves you, he tells you so all the time/ Oh, that must be why  you're so happy together.") Yikes.

Her subsequent full-length release on 4AD, the harrowing "Geek the Girl," is an even more devastating dose  of raw sensation. (Liner notes describe the record as the tale of a girl who is "constantly taken advantage of  sexually" yet who still dreams of "loving a man in hopes that he can save her from her shit life What a geek!")  That album's pièce de résistance, the nervous-breakdown-inducing "A Psychopath," culminates with a  recording of an actual 911 call made by a terrified woman as an intruder breaks into her home. It's deeply  chilling and more than a little creepy.

True to form, 1996's "Excerpts from a Love Circus" was a muffled scream, as Germano wielded her sweet, often-tentative voice with a surgeon's precision. The matter-of-fact self-loathing of "I Love a Snot" reveals flashes of humor and self-knowledge: "Tubby tubby butt, tubby tubby face, tubby tubby stomach when I am with you  Icky icky breath, each and every kiss you're a snot, and I adore you."

But honesty doesn't pay the bills. 1998's "Slide" turned out to be her last with indie label 4AD. In spite  of reviews lauding the work and a burgeoning sense of hope woven through the record, it ended up selling a disappointing 6,000 copies. "They're still my friends, but I understood," Germano says about 4AD's decision to drop her. "They've got to pay the bills." - - - - - - - - - -

Still, the muse doesn't stop coming just because payday's been canceled. Germano's been tinkering with "Lullaby for a Liquid Pig" for the past three years -- in spite of having no record label and no money.

"I don't even want to make a lot of money. Just enough," she says. "I don't know how people make it. I've stripped away my life so I just live in a room." (Her income comes mostly from her day job at Book Soup on the  Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, where she's worked on and off for five years.)

So in true DIY fashion, Germano recorded "Lullaby's" 12 songs at home -- a practice she's become accustomed  to over the years -- and ultimately put them on the audio-editing software ProTools so that she could send tracks  to various musicians to get their input from a distance, since a lack of finances prohibited working together in  person.

With contributions by former Crowded House frontman Neil Finn, ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and Wendy  Melvoin (Wendy and Lisa/Prince), "Lullaby for a Liquid Pig" is an excellent -- albeit deeply disturbing --  addition to the Germano catalog. It's slotted to be released in April on ArtistDirect's new Ineffable  label.
 

At first listen, one would think that the album is unambiguously about the seductions of booze  (specifically, red wine). And while it's true that many of the songs on "Lullaby for a Liquid Pig" have to do  with alcohol, Germano says that in talking about the album, she's come to the conclusion that it's not really  about drinking at all.

"I've had to figure out what it is about," she muses. "You strip away and strip away and strip away until  you get to the real meaning. And even though some of the songs are about alcohol, it's mostly about loneliness,  about being thirsty, being thirsty for more than you can get -- than you  should  get -- it's about being needy, about being a pig."

Germano believes that drinking every night masks a deeper void. "There's something about alcohol that's  either 'I'm a big drunk alcoholic' or 'Let's go out and have some fun,'" she says. "But it's really about the  behavior. A lot of us have this need, this behavior. We have our vices. Some people have sex with a million  people, some do heroin, some drink, but it all comes from the same lonely place."

She laughs and tries to lighten the mood. "To mock your own behavior makes it less sad. Even the title [of  the album] is mocking myself, that 'Everything is about me' thing, being so self-consumed. There's just too much me sometimes."

Lullaby for Liquid PigOf course, "too much me" is the very essence of Lisa Germano's work, and "Lullaby for a Liquid Pig" is no exception. The hazy, almost underwater vocals of the opening track, "Nobody's Playing," are accompanied by a  hesitant melody picked out on piano keys. When she murmurs, "Circles and circles/ Places to drown/ All that you  feel/ Is you're going down," there's a doomed inevitability, a noose that only grows tighter as the album  progresses.

The discordant opening of "Liquid Pig" is a rumination on morning-after regret, Germano's accusatory whisper "Who did you call/ What did you say" a precursor to the certainty that whatever you said, whatever you  did, you'll doubtless do it again -- and feel like shit the next day. The delicate prettiness of "Pearls" is laced with self-loathing ("Hurry world/ Whirl and whirl/ Stop when you fall down") and the siren call of home.

"That song is about alcohol," Germano says. "When you look inside, you see some really bad shit. But then,  as you're getting drunk, you feel like you're home. But that's not right, getting drunk to do that. It strips it  away and then puts it back in. When you hate yourself, all sorts of stuff grows, but in the end there's nothing  to learn from alcohol."

There's a raw quality to Germano's voice on many of the songs here that she freely admits is owed to her  vices: "I like some smoke and some wine when I sing," she says. "It makes me like the sound of my voice. It  doesn't make it gravelly, doesn't make me turn into Marianne Faithfull. It just deepens it." She almost sounds  giddy on the song "Party Time" when she drawls, "And I smell like wine, most of the time, a big red wine."

The album's title track flirts with the idea of going cold turkey before quickly backpedaling: "Well, if I  do stop/ Or if I don't stop/ It doesn't matter/ I probably won't stop." A fluid segue into the next song, the  almost dizzy introspection of "Into the Night," finds Germano making a laundry list of denial: "What not to see/  What not to hear/ What not to be/ When you begin seeing your sins."

A slender hint of hope snakes through the album's last track "To Dream," tempered with a heartbreaking fragility. Of course, after all that's come before, the listener clings to lines like "Don't give up your dream/  It's really all you have/ And I don't want to see you die," hoping that wishing might just be enough -- just this once -- to make it so. - - - - - - - - - -

Germano's labor of love is coming out on veteran record producer Tony Berg's newest venture, Ineffable Records (billed as a "creative collective" of artists). The release will almost certainly not change Germano's immediate financial situation; she had to plunk down nearly every penny she got as an advance to pay the vet  bills for her ailing cat, 12-year-old  Miamo-Tutti.  "The cat got really sick really quickly," Germano says. "I had to feed him by hand and give him medicine a couple  of times a day." The sick kitty meant that she had to postpone a planned tour with former Crowded House frontman  Neil Finn, a decision she says Finn supported wholeheartedly.

"John Cougar probably would have had me arrested," she laughs, imagining telling the hard-rocking Mellencamp that she couldn't go on the road because she had to nurse an ailing kitty. Since nearly every article  ever printed about Germano mentions her one-time affiliation with his band as a fiddle player, she kicks herself  for bringing it up. "I've tried so hard not to have the press mention it!" she laughs.

Besides her dark past as a backup musician for heartland rocker Mellencamp, Germano has another incongruous  skeleton in her closet. In high school, she was a cheerleader. "I didn't expect to make it and was shocked when I  did," she recalls. "Even then I was not a positive person. I got yelled at every day for not smiling, so I quit."  She laughs when she tells the story, but she sounds as if she's still unsure as to what went wrong. "I thought I  was smiling," she says ruefully.
 
Sadly, Miamo-Tutti (who Germano describes as a "very Italian cat), ultimately didn't make it. ("I'm sure  [he's] having a big party with all the other cats up there," she says in an update on her Web site.) Perhaps  he'll make an appearance in a future Germano song; a likely scenario, given her penchant for turning episodes  from her own life into art.

When asked what it's like to perform such personal material live, Germano is matter-of-fact. "These songs  really work best when I have a sense of humor," she explains. "It lets the audience think, 'This is hard, but at  least she's all right.'" While she doesn't get stage fright, she does say that wine can help her to focus better.  "It's important that I really start breathing before I go on. My voice is all breath. Without the breathing,  there's nothing there."

9831 Hits

( r ), "In Pink"

Release date: June 26th, 2007

Cover art for the ( r ) release,

 

"'In Pink' is the 3rd ( r ) album. I’ve worked on it for almost 2 years, both 'cause I’ve been very busy with Larsen and XXL as well as touring and working in the studio with other bands, and ‘cause it came through troubled and sometimes painful, but anyway intense times.

Whereas the previous 'Under The Cables, Into The Wind' was a very warm and relaxed album, and also my favourite so far, 'In Pink' is a pretty extreme one, swinging between joy and fear, introspective moody songs and explosions of - desperately optimistic - energy.

Still it is more a diary than an exorcism, filled with songs about death and transfiguration, including my version of an Irish traditional theme (which also Johnny Cash interpreted on one of his American albums) and Joy Division’s classic Atmposphere (which I list among the best songs ever written). It is also my most arranged and colourful album where my recent experiences as producer for other bands have converged, and the most "band" oriented among my solos.
While I was composing and recording it I was also playing lots of shows and often other musicians joined me on stage. I really wanted to have them on the album in order to get that sound in the studio too and also for personal and sentimental reasons, them being among my closest friends.

Paul Beauchamp (who is also my partner in the Blind Cave Salamander project as well as one of the members of the Steve McKay - of Stooges- band), Ango (of Mariae Nascenti), il Bue (of Larsen) and the amazing Baby Dee have contributed to the final result of this album along with Marco Milanesio that even this time has not only recorded and mixed the album, but also co-produced it with me.

The CD also sports some amazing pictures by photographer Giulia Caira that portray to perfection the moods of the music.

Pink was also the colour of Vivienne Westwood’s Sex Pistols t-shirts, so In Pink is a punk album and, despite everything - luckily!- it ends up with very positive notes, out of darkness and into the landscapes and the waters of the Blue Lagoon."

--Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo

11085 Hits

Astral Social Club, "Super Grease" ltd. LP

Release date: June 26th, 2007

Cover art for the Astral Social Club release,

 

"Super Grease" is a limited edition of 500 vinyl only release from Vibracathedral Orchestra/Sunrrof!/A Band member Neil Campbell. This is a companion release to Astral Social Club's "Neon Pibroch" CD also on Important.

Astral Social Club is the current project of Neil Campbell, formerly of Vibracathedral Orchestra, Sunroof!, A Band and many more. Campbell has been active since the early 80s, and The Wire magazine has said that, along with his friends Richard Youngs and Matthew Bower, he "provided the map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the 80s and 90s".

Campbell's approach as Astral Social Club could be seen as both a continuation and a refutal of his work with Vibracathedral Orchestra - a continuation in that it continues the quest into the unknown stellar regions of improvised drone-based music, and a refutal in its espousal of most of the elemental organic rock modes that made that band so special. The focus here is more on alien electronics and overloaded loop disorientation, sometimes even working with sounds more readily associated with the far end of dance music to produce a truly vast 21st century psychedelic sound.

Late last year, VHF Records released a compilation/mix CD drawn from the earlier string of self-released CDRs which showcased the diverse methods employed in Astral Social Club recordings. These encompass straight-ahead drumbox/synthesizer jamming, computer-processing, swirling loops, primitive vocal holler, noise catharsis, tranquil guitar shimmer and a busload of other angles. The live experience throws these methods up the air, cranks up the volume and adds a visceral, seething human presence before letting it fall all over the audience. Despite the excessive use of electronics and processing, the over-riding feeling is one of a raw, ecstatic communion with the music, a million miles from sterile "electronica".

Although largely a solo project, Astral Social Club collaborators have included Tirath Singh Nirmala, Richard Youngs and Arttu Partinen.

12293 Hits

Astral Social Club, "Neon Pibroch" CD

Release date: June 26th, 2007

cover art for the astral social club release,

'Neon Pibroch' is a brand new full length CD from the Astral Social Club. Also available at the same time is a limited edition Astral Social Club LP on Important entitled, 'Super Grease'.

'Neon Pibroch' is dedicated to the memory of Textile Records founder Benoit Sonnette. Astral Social Club is the current project of Neil Campbell, formerly of Vibracathedral Orchestra, Sunroof!, A Band and many more. Campbell has been active since the early 80s, and The Wire magazine has said that, along with his friends Richard Youngs and Matthew Bower, he "provided the map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the 80s and 90s".

Campbell's approach as Astral Social Club could be seen as both a continuation and a refutal of his work with Vibracathedral Orchestra - a continuation in that it continues the quest into the unknown stellar regions of improvised drone-based music, and a refutal in its espousal of most of the elemental organic rock modes that made that band so special. The focus here is more on alien electronics and overloaded loop disorientation, sometimes even working with sounds more readily associated with the far end of dance music to produce a truly vast 21st century psychedelic sound.

Late last year, VHF Records released a compilation/mix CD drawn from the earlier string of self-released CD-Rs which showcased the diverse methods employed in Astral Social Club recordings. These encompass straight-ahead drumbox/synthesizer jamming, computer-processing, swirling loops, primitive vocal holler, noise catharsis, tranquil guitar shimmer and a busload of other angles. The live experience throws these methods up the air, cranks up the volume and adds a visceral, seething human presence before letting it fall all over the audience. Despite the excessive use of electronics and processing, the over-riding feeling is one of a raw, ecstatic communion with the music, a million miles from sterile "electronica".

Although largely a solo project, Astral Social Club collaborators have included Tirath Singh Nirmala, Richard Youngs and Arttu Partinen.

8600 Hits

Black Magic Disco

Release date: June 26th, 2007

Cover art for Black Magic Disco's self-titled album. 

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7811 Hits

Múm, "Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy..."

It has been more than three years since the release of múm's last album "Summer Make Good", and a lot of water has passed under the bridge. And now, finally, a string of European festival appearances heralds their long-awaited new album, strangely entitled "Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy, Let Your Crooked Hands Be Holy", due out September 25.

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10129 Hits

Larsen & Friends, "Abeceda" CD/DVD

Release date: May 29, 2007

Cover art for Larsen's

This CD/DVD set captures an extremely special evening for Larsen, one that places them in a perfect visual and musical perspective revealing more an a little about this enigmatic quartet from Torino Italy.
For one night only Larsen assembled their closest musical friends to play to a sold out crowd at the Teatro Colosseo in Torino Italy. The purpose of the performance was to pay tribute to the work of Czech avant garde designer, typographer, founder of Devestil and cultural radicalist Karel Teige and his Abeceda – a 1926 collaboration with poet Vitoslav Nezva which minimalised text down to its basic components establishing a poetic dialogue between text and images.

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8728 Hits

Free Mother's Day Comp from Silber

Hey starz,

Been busy lately on working on the Mother’s Day comp, but we got it up for you for free in plenty of time at http://www.silbermedia.com/comps/mom The artists appearing are: Wrong Brothers, Remora, Glissade, Blessed Child Opera, Plumerai, Moral Crayfish, Lauri des Marais, Century of Aeroplanes, Electric Bird Noise, Miss Massive Snowflake, & Origami Galaktika.

hrt
Brian John Mitchell

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7621 Hits

Sutcliffe Jügend / Satori: "Japan Tour 2007" CD

Sutcliffe Jügend / Satori - 'Japan Tour 2007' CD
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4391 Hits

The Loose Salute, "Tuned To Love"

 

Mojave3 members form new band The Loose Salute.  Fans of Fleetwood Mac, The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas, Wilco and Midlake tune in to debut album Tuned To Love.

 

The Loose Salute came to life a couple years ago when Mojave3’s Ian McCutcheon (drums & vocals) and Alan Forrester (piano & organ) were in the studio recording the band’s third album Excuses for Travelers. One day at the Fortress Rehearsal Studios’ café, McCutcheon overheard Lisa Billson (vocals) belting out Bob Dylan’s “Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” while she cooked at the studio café.

 

Instantly impressed by Billson’s pipes, he asked the songbird if she’d be interested in singing a few tunes he’d written.  She loved the songs and got friend Charlotte King (harmonies & percussion) to lend back-ups. Guitarist Pete Greenwood, who played with McCutcheon and Forrester on the last Mojave3 tour, was asked to join the clan shortly thereafter. Together --sometimes with the help of Paul Noble on added bass, surf guitar and mixing skills -- they form The Loose Salute.

 

The Loose Salute is essentially a pop group, though some have categorized it as folk/pop and even at times alt-country. Songwriting influences range from the likes of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas, The Eagles and Leonard Cohen. “Basically the albums in my parents’ record collection when I was growing up,” McCutcheon laughs.  Some of the more contemporary inspirations include Elliott Smith, Beachwood Sparks, The Tyde, Wilco, The Shins, Midlake and Dr. Dog. ”You could say The Loose Salute sound borrows from all of these bands,” says McCutcheon.” The vibe is different from Mojave3. We’re more of a pop group.  It’s a little more fun in places.”

 

The English group’s debut album Tuned To Love is a record full of summer and nostalgia and songs that make you want to go out, find some friends and dance the night away.  The songs are about all the facets of life: falling in and out of love, break-ups, partying, wanderlust, home-cookin’, surfing, travel, fields, beaches, stars and bars…”The general weight of the world,” explains McCutcheon. 

 

“The Mutineer” is an apology song, while “Why’d We Fight?” is a reflective song about breaking up. “‘Through the Stratosphere to the Bars’ is about appreciating the person or people you have in your life,” he says. “We always seem to be looking for something when what we really need is often already right there in front of us.”

 

After the plug got pulled on the money following the release of its first single, the Suck It Up Buttercup EP, the band decided to just get on with it and make an album themselves. Luckily for them, the EP had managed to gain attention all over the world, catching the ears of Graveface Records in Chicago. A demo and a few meetings later, a conclusion was met and The Loose Salute was signed to Graveface, where they proudly share the roster with indie favorites like Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Octopus Project and The Appleseed Cast.  The band has since been hibernating in the studio with hot-shot engineer Gareth Parton (The Beta Band, The Go Team, The Pipettes, Mojave3) and producer and McCutcheon’s school-yard buddy Pritpal Soor.  

 

Tuned To Love hits the streets and the airwaves this June.

 

Tuned To Love Tracklisting:

Release Date: June 12th, 2007

 

 

01. Death Club

02. Photographs and Tickets

03. From Head To Sandy Toes

04. The Mutineer (VIDEO)

05. Turn The Radio Up (VIDEO)

06. Why’d We Fight?

07. Ballad of The Dumb Angel

08. Through The Stratosphere To The Bars

09. Cold Water

10. Tuned To Love

11. Ship On The Ocean

 

On The Web:

www.theloosesalute.com

www.myspace.com/therealloosesalute

www.graveface.com

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Limpe Fuchs, "Vogelmusik" CD


Performing in the late 1960’s and through the early 80’s
as half of the German duo Anima (with Paul Fuchs), Limpe Fuchs
continues to explore music making as a part of everyday life. Her
vibrant live performances are numerous and consist of solo as well
as ongoing collaborative works. With her new release, “Vogelmusik”
(or “Bird-music”), Limpe is heard performing a series of duos with
multi-instrumentalist Christoph Reiserer (saxes/clarinet). The duo then
extends to a trio with Julia Schoelzel (on piano), featuring a piece
recorded at Musikfest, Munich, in 2004. The themes that developed
from these recent recordings revealed a beautiful and bizarre series of
compositions that have now been collected on CD for the first time.
With an array of movements and audio dialogue amongst the performers,
the “bird-related” themes have an equally visual quality that correlate
 perfectly with such titles as “Zwiegespräch” (Dialogue) and “Fliegen”
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sense of space and otherworldly atmosphere that one may liken to acts
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unique pieces from a true musical visionary. Packaged in a full-color
digipak with illustrations by Christoph Heemann. 
 
Info on other available releases (Organum, The Aeolian String Ensemble,
Mirror and more) can be found at our website: www.robotrecords.com
 
wholesale inquiries welcome
--
Robot Records
P.O. Box 120004
San Antonio, Texas 78212-9204
U.S.A.

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Caribou, "Andorra"

 

Merge Records is thrilled to announce the release of Andorra the new album from Caribou on August 21st, 2007. The album will be released in Europe on August 20th (City Slang).

Andorra is the 4th full length from Dan Snaith recording under his Caribou moniker (formerly Manitoba - but that's a whole 'nother story). Andorra has more of a full band feel than some of Caribou's earlier studio efforts. It's still just Dan in the studio creating his singular magic, but the extensive touring that Caribou did for their last album, The Milk of Human Kindness, definitely left its mark on the arrangements. The sound is more expansive and more blissfully psychedelic than ever.

Dan seems pleased with the results: "I'm super-happy with the way the album has turned out. I've put seemingly endless hours into it over the last year or so getting everything exactly as I wanted it and have never been this madly excited about my music. I can't wait for you all to hear it and hope you'll like it too."

We have no doubt that you will.

"The sound Snaith debuted with on Up in Flames and developed with The Milk of Human Kindness is easy to describe in terms of other bands, blending Mercury Rev, Neu!, Brian Wilson, and a few others in specific proportions. It's most certainly a formula, but then, so is E=MC2" --Pitchfork Media [9.0 rating]

"Sounds like the work of someone given one month to live" -- Urb

Andorra Tracklist:
1. Melody Day
2. Sandy
3. After Hours
4. She's the One *
5. Desiree
6. Eli
7. Sundialing
8. Irene
9. Niobe

"She's The One" features and was co-written by the Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan

Merge
will be releasing a CDEP of "Melody Day", the first single from Andorra, on July 10th. More details to follow shortly.

Look for Caribou on tour in North America in October and November 2007. Complete tour dates and routing coming soon!

Stay tuned for more updates and details.

www.mergerecords.com
www.caribou.fm

www.myspace.com/cariboumanitoba

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Nick Drake, "Family Tree"

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