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Sweeten The Distance (Awaiting Repress)The first line of the title track on Neal Casal's tenth studio effort Sweeten The Distance says much about where the storied singer/songwriter/guitarist finds himself in his career: "Nothing's gonna stop you now, everything you want is coming in good time." After 20-plus years of writing songs, recording albums and touring the world, there's a confidence and patience in his latest work that reveals an artist in full creative flight.
Produced by Thom Monahan (Fruit Bats, Devendra Banhart, Vetiver), Sweeten The Distance is indeed a defining moment in Casal's discography. Rich acoustic textures and sophisticated melodies of songs like "Bird With No Name," and "Need Shelter" and "Gyrls of Wynter" give way to a psyched-out ambience on "White Fence Round House," "Feathers for Bakersfield" and "How Quiet It Got."
The depth of production, with its purposefully layered sounds and oceanic atmospherics, makes Sweeten The Distance as much a multi-dimensional headphone experience as a soul-stirring modern songwriter record. And as such, Casal emerges as an essential voice in the new cosmic California movement.
In addition to his critically acclaimed solo work, Neal Casal made a name for himself as the lead guitarist in Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, with whom he recorded four albums: Easy Tiger, Follow the Lights, Cardinology and III/IV. Currently he serves as a central component of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood with whom he contributes lead guitar and vocal harmonies. Over the last year, Casal also added guitar and vocals to Ryan Adams Ashes & Fire, Fruit Bats Tripper, The Jayhawks Mockingbird Time, Vetiver The Errant Charm and a forthcoming recording by Beachwood Sparks.1. Sweeten The Distance
2. Bird With No Name
3. Need Shelter
4. Let It All Begin
5. White Fence Round House
6. So Many Enemies
7. Feathers For Bakersfield
8. Time & Trouble
9. How Quiet It Got
10. The Gyrls of Wynter
11. Angel and Youre Mine
$17.99Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Gorelick (Awaiting Repress)Dead Kenny Gs have made their punk rock masterpiece. A 17-minute EP entitled Gorelick. Not one more second is needed as the DKGs slash and burn their way through six tracks, including originals like "Beer," "Daddy Issues" and "Punk Rock Girlfriend," plus a bruising rendition of their namesake The Dead Kennedys' "Kill The Poor."
The combustible punk-jazz trio featuring saxophonist Skerik, bassist Brad Houser and vocaslist/vibraphonist/drummer Mike Dillon have garnered a fanatical cult fan-base over years of incessant touring and critical praise, as well as through related projects like Garage A Trois, Critters Buggin and Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle. Gorelick will be released as a limited vinyl pressing with only 500 copies being issued.
"Dead Kenny Gs is a definitive statement of purpose: a resolute denunciation of all-things artificial. Skerik and his compatriots use their un-compromised art to draw an aesthetic line in the sand at the expense of crass commercialization that contaminates our art, our food, and what passes for our political discourse. It's fun, fearless, and, if you are the ass-shaking type, you can get down accordingly." - Popmatters1. Gorelick
2. Kill The Poor
3. Trivial Assault
4. Punk Rock Girlfriend
5. Daddy Issues
$11.9912" Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
TigerFace (Awaiting Repress)Over three previous studio albums, pianist/sound-sculptor/songwriter Marco Benevento has set forth a vision for instrumental music that connects the dots between Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise on one side, Brian Eno and Brad Mehldau on the other. On his fourth studio recording, 'Tigerface', the 34-year old artist takes the next step forward in this evolution. Benevento paints his songs in a myriad of sonic colors, shimmering in acoustic piano, synths and analog keyboards. The tunes themselves conceptualized from seemingly every wisp of melody, hook and cadence that s ever tickled his ear. The album was recorded and mixed by Tom Biller (Silversun Pickups, Fiona Apple) and Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Akron/Family), while Benevento invited a stellar cast of musicians to help capture his ideas, including drummers Matt Chamberlain (Bill Frisell, Pearl Jam), John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea & The Cake) and Andrew Barr (The Barr Brothers), bassists Dave Dreiwitz (Ween), Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green) and Mike Gordon (Phish), violinist Ali Helnwein (Traction Avenue Chamber Orchestra) and saxophonist Stuart Bogie (Antibalas, Superhuman Happiness). For the first time on record he uses vocals, inviting Kalmia Traver (Rubblebucket) to sing on the infectious dance rock rave-up 'Limbs Of A Pine' and the pastoral psych rock meditation 'This Is How It Goes'. Other standouts include the angelic Arcade Fire meets The Flaming Lips anthem 'Eagle Rock', the soaring garage psychadelia of 'Going West', the piano riff rock jaunt 'Escape Horse', and the happily lilting 'Fireworks', which bounces along like a long lost Italian folk song beamed down to him by ancestors from his father s homeland. As anybody who's seen Benevento perform live can attest, the pianist eyes closed, smile wide across his face, fingers free-flowing across the keys is a satellite to the muse. 'Tigerface', indeed, is the commitment to this idea; a record that rides the yes wave and in the process becomes a soundtrack for fellow travelers chasing the horizon ahead.1. Limbs Of A Pine
2. This Is How It Goes
4. Going West
5. Eagle Rock
7. Do What She Told You
8. Escape Horse
10. This Is How It Goes (instrumental)
$16.99Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Band Of Outsiders (Awaiting Repress)Limited Edition Black And Red Splattered Vinyl
"When jazz hits you in the face with a stack of bricks, Mike Dillon is there...twisting chaos into order before turning it back on itself again." -Splinters & Candy
"The Mike Dillon Band is a predictably gruesome and sublime elixir of stealthy jazz vibes, street poetry raps and post-punk sonic carnage." -Boulder Weekly
"A body in motion tends to stay in motion, at least when The Mike Dillon Band is supplying the dance music. The psychedelic rock group shakes and gyrates with heavy, vibraphone driven grooves, delivering a steady stream of infectious rhythms and hypnotic percussion." -Pittsburgh City Paper
How many artists can claim being praised a "punk rock provocateur," "jazz vibraphone visionary" and "percussion virtuoso" in the same sentence? There's only one: Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists like Les Claypool, Brave Combo and Ani DiFranco, collaborations such as Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin or bands he's fronted, including Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the Texas-native has set his own standard for 25 years now.
With his latest effort, Band of Outsiders—released via Brooklyn label The Royal Potato Family—Mike Dillon has conjured the perfect storm of all these past endeavors. His manic creative vision found its match in three young musicians he met in New Orleans. Carly Meyers—whom Dillon describes as “a High Priestess of Trombone who channels the energy of Iggy Pop through the chops of JJ Johnson in second-line parade”—provides harmonic counterpoint to his vibes and percussion (“All Walks of Life”) as she simultaneously ups the band’s art-rock ante (“Carly Hates The Dubstep”). The rhythm section of bassist Patrick McDevitt and drummer Adam Gertner turns on a dime between snarling punk rock assaults (“Homeland Insecurity”), deep funky go-go (“Head”), ska grooves (“Here The Burro”) and experimental hip-hop beats (“7AM At The Jazzfest”) with all points covered in between.
Dillon recorded Band of Outsiders at Studio Center in Miami with the help of co-producers Gary Vandy and Richard Maloney Jr. Vandy is an old school engineer whose work includes over 200 platinum records predominantly in the disco and dance genres. His love of Zappa is what attracted him to Dillon’s work. In the age of pro-tools chicanery, the production is straightforward, capturing Dillon and his band playing live in a room.
“Two tours of Mexico and a steady dose of Brazilian music was the jumping off point for these new songs,” explains Dillon. “Add our love for The Melvins, Deerhoof, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Trouble Funk and all things New Orleans and this album surpasses our intention to make the freakiest, most vibrant dance music on the planet.”
Lyrically speaking, Mike Dillon draws from his love of Miguel de Cervantes, William Burroughs, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Anton Wilson to tell stories of New Orleans debauchery mixed with age-old themes of travel, love, self-destruction and greed. Delivered with Dillon’s trademark vocal rasp, the record has the intensity of a Tom Waits-meets-Frank Zappa black comedy. Rumor has it that Dillon lived for the past seven years in the same apartment that Waits shared with Rickie Lee Jones. Dillon discounts those rumors: "This apartment has housed dudes from Morning 40 Federation, Ani DiFranco, an old Conga player and a bunch of heroin addicts.”
Taken in its entirety, Mike Dillon's Band of Outsiders is a snapshot of four musicians hitting full stride. Having relentlessly toured the country in 2013—both headlining and opening for artists like Fishbone, Clutch, Primus and Galactic—its 13 songs bristle with a group mind, spill over the sides with the visions invoked during countless dead-of-night drives crisscrossing the country in a van and hit their target with a sonic assault only possible from a band that’s played 400-plus shows over the last two years.
“People are always trying to figure out how to describe our music. Maybe we should call it New Orleans punk jazz Brazilian math rock? It’s a gumbo of tribal percussion, The Meters, old school hardcore, Brazil, hard bop and anything else that might move us,” concludes Dillon. “But you know, I really don’t care what you call it. We kick out the jams harder than anyone, and we also know when to heed the lessons of The Minutemen's Double Nickels On The Dime and keep things straight to the point. There’s a reason we called the record what we did. We’re the living, breathing definition of a band of outsiders, but together we deliver simple majestic beauty, let’s leave it at that.”1. Head
2. Hand of God
3. Homeland Insecurity
4. Hero The Burro
5. Carly Hates The Dubstep
6. Great Lakes Tuna
8. All Walks of Life 9. Celebrate the Hate
10. 7AM at the Jazzfest
11. So Long Pal
12. Baby Flint Talk
13. Dauphine & Desire
$16.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Conversations (Awaiting Repress)Stanton Moore calls his latest album Conversations both a "return to my roots" and a "reinvention." The New Orleans drummer, who is by all counts regarded as one of the great funk musicians of all time, has delivered his first jazz trio recording. It's a return to Moore's roots because he finally gets the opportunity to record with pianist David Torkanowsky and bassist James Singleton whom he came up playing alongside on the New Orleans' club circuit. It's a reinvention because after years of delivering huge grooves and unrelenting funk at some of the worlds more revered rock clubs and festivals, Moore is stepping back to focus on the subtlety of swing and improvisation, while presenting the music via intimate settings like that of his trio's home-base Snug Harbor.
As for the album's title, one listen and it's clear. There's a vigorous musical dialogue happening among the three musicians, as they tell stories, explore ideas and trade thoughts on tracks like "Lauren Z," "Big Greaze" and the Herbie Hancock classic "Driftin'." The big easy is always close at hand with the majority of the material coming from the New Orleans composers, including James Black ("Magnolia Triangle" and "In The Keyhole"), Steve Masakowski ("The Chase") and Paul Barbarin ("Paul Barbarin's Second Line").
With Conversations, Stanton Moore shines a light on a side of his musical personality that will be new to fans, but every bit as compelling as the substantial body of work he's already established over the course of his 20-year career.1. Lauren Z
4. Magnolia Triangle
5. Waltz For Old Souls
7. The Chase
8. Big Greaze
9. In The Keyhole
10. Paul Barbarin's Second Line
$16.99Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now