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Parallelograms (Awaiting Repress)What's all the fuss about? If you've read any of the hundreds of articles in music mags and on the net about Linda Perhacs' sole 1970 LP Parallelograms, you'd be tempted to question its reputation. People talk about Parallelograms in much the same way that they talk about Nick Drake's Island albums, Swaddling Songs by Mellow Candle and Vashti Bunyan's sole LP for Phillips... as a life-changing musical experience, one that inspires them to create new works of art and to express their deepest emotions despite the risk. Sure, there's a lot of hyperbole out there about this record, and yet it's absolutely warranted. For just about 40 minutes, it will take you on a guided tour of a world that's far too beautiful to exist... but does.
Part of the effect of the album is in the incredibly sensitive production by soundtrack composer Leonard Rosenman. He facilitates some very non-traditional ideas and gets extraordinarily skilled musicians to execute them. Rosenman's willingness to work in intense collaboration with a wide-eyed studio novice speaks volumes about his desire to help create something truly original. Sundazed used a pristinely preserved master tape of the album as its source and meticulously remastered to reveal a deep and subtle soundscape that practically reinvents the listening experience even if you've heard Parallelograms a thousand times before. Listen to Steve Cohn's guitar lines and how they dance so delicately in and around Linda's vocal lines on songs like Dolphin. When you get to the end of side one, it's time to don the headphones. Every ride in the sonic theme park that is the song Parallelograms is free, and there are no lines!
As much as it's about the psychedelic production and gorgeous arrangements, it's about words. Linda Perhacs uses words like no one else, teasing and toying with them, spinning them into bright, joyous confections with her voice on songs like Porcelain Baked-Over Cast-Iron Wedding. Her words at times sound like ancient sacred poetry, translated for the first time into English and whispered in your ear by a true love. Listening to Call of the River and Delicious is as close as you'll ever get to hearing the Sirens' song without getting strapped to a mast first!
People like Devendra Banhart, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo & Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk) and Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) have expressed their love of these recordings, and they've taken direct inspiration from it for their current work. Parallelograms has also encouraged a close re-examination of the genre. Let's hope record collectors never stop searching for the kind of magic they hear in Parallelograms. For psychedelic folk, you can start at perfect and go from there.
This Sundazed release is the definitive edition of this essential album.1. Chimacum Rain2. Paper Mountain Man3. Dolphin4. Call of the River5. Sandy Toes6. Parallelograms7. Hey, Who Really Cares?8. Moons and Cattails9. Morning Colors10. Porcelain Baked-Over Cast-Iron Wedding11. Delicious$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
The Soul Of All Natural Things
Includes Collaborations With Ramona Gonzalez (Nite
Jewel) And Julia Holter
Includes Liner Notes With Song Visualizations From
Linda Perhacs' Parallelograms was created in the heart of
hippy country, LA's Topanga Canyon, by a dental hygienist
who was inspired by nature and by the cultural revolution
going on around her. When Parallelograms was finished, it sounded like a masterpiece, but the label had pressed it so
poorly, sales were non-existent. Obscurity beckoned.
But in the internet age obscurity can be discreetly transformed into a kind of niche immortality. By 2003, Parallelograms had become a cult album.
And slowly, Perhacs began making music again. In 2010,
she connected with a new generation of LA musicians at tuned to her vision, including Fernando Perdomo and Chris
Price, both accomplished musicians and producers in their
own right. The trio began recording the eclipse song, "River
Of God", and what became a new album's title track, The
Soul Of All Natural Things.1. The Soul of All Natural Things
3. River of God
7. Prisms of Glass
9. When Things Are True Again
10. Song of the Planets$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
LoyaltyThe record was called Loyalty from the beginning-it was the first decision I made about it. It's a word you
usually see written in copperplate script, a virtue: LOYALTY. But the songs don't treat it that way, just as a
thing to unpack. It's a force that you have to reckon with: loyalty to the dream, to the "work," to the mythical idea of "you" that somebody thought they saw. It can be a weakness as much as a strength; it can keep you from the reality of your own life, your own self. - Tamara Lindeman
In excess virtue lies danger, or at least limits to pragmatic action-it's a lesson hard learned by anyone
disillusioned by the erosion of youthful mythologies. Strict fealty to a fixed ideal of identity doesn't do us
any favors as adults. Loyalty, the third and finest album yet by The Weather Station (and the first for
Paradise of Bachelors) wrestles with these knotty notions of faithfulness/faithlessness-to our idealism,
our constructs of character, our memories, and to our family, friends, and lovers-representing a bold
step forward into new sonic and psychological inscapes. It's a natural progression for Toronto artist
Tamara Lindeman's acclaimed songwriting practice. Recorded at La Frette Studios just outside Paris in
the winter of 2014, in close collaboration with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist),
the record crystallizes her lapidary songcraft into eleven emotionally charged vignettes and intimate
portraits, redolent of fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and David Wiffen, but utterly her
Lindeman describes La Frette, housed in an enormous, crumbling 19th-century mansion, as
"a secret garden, a place of enchantment and grace": walls mantled in ivy and lions, corridors piled high
with discarded tape machines, old reels, and priceless guitars. As she puts it, "Recording where we did
meant we embraced beauty-we weren't afraid of it being beautiful." Like the record itself, it's a quietly
radical statement, especially since certain passages achieve a diaphanous eeriness and harmonic and
rhythmic tension new to The Weather Station. The stacked vocal harmonies of "Tapes," the drifting,
jazz-inflected chording in "Life's Work," and the glacial percussion in "Personal Eclipse" contribute to a
pervading sense of clock-stopping bloom and smolder, recalling the spooky avant-soul of Terry Callier's
Beyond the decaying decadence and vintage gear, the brokedown palace atmosphere of
La Frette afforded a more significant interior luxury as well, one stated with brutal honesty in the
stunning "Shy Women": "it seemed to me that luxury would be to be not so ashamed, not to look away."
Accordingly, Loyalty brings a freshly unflinching self-examining gaze and emotional and musical control
to The Weather Station's songs. She is an extraordinary singer and instrumentalist-on Loyalty she plays
guitar, banjo, keys, and vibes-but Lindeman has always been a songwriter's songwriter, recognized for
her intricate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, and complex metaphors.
Though more moving than ever, her writing here is almost clinical in its discipline, its deliberate wording
and exacting delivery, evoking similarly idiosyncratic songsters from Linda Perhacs to Bill Callahan.
Outside her musical practice, Lindeman also happens to be an accomplished film and
television actor, and it's her directorial eye for quietly compelling characters and the rich details of the
everyday, Bressonian in its specificity and scope, that drives the limpid singularity of The Weather
Station's songs. As in Bresson's films, there is no trace of theater here, no brittle singer-songwriter
histrionics, but rather a powerful performative focus and narrative restraint, a commitment to what the
auteur called the "simultaneous precision and imprecision of music." Despite the descriptive delicacy, the
album never lapses into preciousness or sentimentality, instead retaining its barbs and bristles and
remaining resolutely clear-eyed and thick-skinned. Lyrically, Loyalty inverts and involutes the language
of confession, of regret, of our most private and muddled mental feelings, by externalizing those
anxieties through exquisite observation of the things and people we accumulate, the modest meanings
accreted during even our most ostensibly mundane domestic moments. ("Your trouble is like a lens," she
discerns in "I Mined," "through which the whole world bends.")
"Tapes" and "I Could Only Stand By" expose and exalt the quotidian-"the little tapes"
hidden beneath a lover's bed, "the sunken old moorings" at the "bruise-colored lake"-without romanticizing
these scenes of, respectively, grief and guilt. "Like Sisters" analyzes the darker contours of a
friendship with devastating scrutiny. The breathless momentum of "Way It Is, Way It Could Be"-"both
are," she sings of the way we sometimes live, for better or for worse, amid multiple truths-hinges on a
mysterious moment when two brown dogs die underwheel, then don't, and that gut-sickness is
overturned, a sin redeemed with a second glance. "Floodplain" and "Personal Eclipse" are also road songs
about traveling through, and owning, the empty places in-between, literally and figuratively-what
Lindeman deems "the various ways people try to disappear from themselves, in physical distance, in
To invoke Melville (author of PoB's namesake story), "extreme loyalty to the piety of love"
can be a destabilizing force, a kind of bondage from which we must emancipate ourselves. The line is
from his strange masterpiece Pierre, or the Ambiguities; The Weather Station's Loyalty could quite easily
support the same subtitle for the fascinating ways it navigates the deep canyons between certainty and
uncertainty, faith and doubt.1. Way It Is, Way It Could Be
4. Shy Women
5. Personal Eclipse
6. Life's Work
7. Like Sisters
8. I Mined
10. I Could Only Stand By
11. At Full Height$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now