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Mini MansionsOn a break from Queens of the Stone Age, Michael Shuman melded heads and locked arms with longtime friends Tyler Parkford and Zach Dawes in a dusty room in the San Fernando Valley. Here, they began a collaborative sÉance out of which birthed Mini Mansions in January of 2009. Though their triangle is usually confined to piano, bass, and a cocktail drum kit, the LA-based trio generates a technicolor spectrum of sound drawn from the baroque, gothic, psychedelic, and cinematic realms. Their debut self-titled release, due out via Dangerbird Records/Rekords Rekords, curtseys to the past, bows to the present, and foreshadows a progressively more abstract future.1. Vignette #1
2. The Room Outside
3. Crime Of The Season
6. Seven Sons
7. Vignette #2
8. Kiddie Hypnogogia
9. Majik Marker
11. Vignette #3
12. Thriller Escapade$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Dead Men Tell No TalesDead Men Tell No Tales takes a stripped-down turn with plaintive lyrical confessions as pretty as they are prescient, summoning Syd Barrett?s wild spirit through a seance of simple reverb burbles and acoustic incantations. Front-and-center vocals recounting love, loss and death's lurking presence are presented against airy guitar shimmer in a demented yin and yang seemingly forecasting the scarf-swathed, underground dandy man's abrupt fall nearly 20 years later. In the midst of such weighty tomes are less downtrodden peeks into the studio, where Sudden and his Jacobites are caught on tape in a few joyful fits and starts, adding another complex layer to this celebrated post-punk. In founding Swell Maps, the post-punk prefacing Birmingham art-snots, Nikki Sudden and his drumming brother Epic Soundtracks charted new territory for racket and corrosive guitar. But after folding Swell Maps at the dawn of the '80s, Nikki Sudden plowed through another decade's worth of terrifically fertile ground. Drawing on his devotion to the Rolling Stones and T. Rex - alongside guitarist Dave Kusworth as Jacobites, plus a cheekily named cohort of British sidemen - Nikki Sudden cut a string of raw, inspired rock 'n' roll records, etched with double-edged travel melancholia and hard-bitten punk dejection.1. When I Cross The Line
2. Before I Leave You
3. Dog Latin
4. Wooden Leg
5. Dog Rose
6. How Many Lies
7. Cupful Of Change
8. Kiss At Dawn$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Attack & ReleaseUntil now, guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney of the Black Keys took an extreme do-it-yourself approach to record making, hunkering down in a basement studio or setting up equipment in one of the abandoned factories of their native Akron, Ohio. Their modus operandi was more seance than session. With a minimal set of tools, they conjured up a big, swaggering blues-rock sound, seemingly drawn from some distant time and place yet too weirdly original to ever be called retro. As Rolling Stone put it in a review of their 2006 Nonesuch debut, Magic Potion, Pure blues rock of this caliber is really timeless.
For this album, however, the Black Keys decided not to go it alone: Attack and Release is the result of one of the most audacious and eagerly awaited collaborations in alternative rock history. As producer, Auerbach and Carney chose Danger Mouse, the mega-eclectic sonic mastermind behind the Grammy Award-winning Gnarls Barkley's St. Elsewhere and its multi-format hit, Crazy, as well as the music-industry provocateur who created the mother of all mash-ups, The Grey Album. The Black Keys also deigned to work at an established studio, albeit one within driving distance of Akron. Suma Recording, a legendary spot in northeast Ohio renowned for its supply of great vintage gear, provided just the right ambience for the guys. As Carney put it, with genuine affection, Suma smells like a moldy cabin and looks like a haunted house.
On Attack and Release, Danger Mouse is more creative co-conspirator than traditional figure behind the boards. He doesn't radically alter the duo's sound so much as coax out more of its inherent soulfulness, groove and bittersweet emotion. Two versions of Remember When illustrate how the duo can swing easily from smoldering ballad to thrashing rocker. I'm more pleased with the sound of this record than any one we've ever made, says Carney, and Auerbach concurs: We never let it all go like we did for this one, anything was game. It was just fun to make, and that's why I think it's so successful. The band adds more instrumentation to their mix, including piano, organ and moog synthesizer. Danger Mouse fashions subtle special effects, like the ghostly background choir that surfaces on the moody I Got Mine, which sounds as if it were samples from some old Warner Bros. cartoon. The Black Keys also invited in a few special guests: guitarist Marc Ribot and clarinetist-flautist (and Pat's uncle) Ralph Carney, both veterans of Tom Waits' band and players on countless avant-rock/jazz/noise session. Jessica Lea Mayfield a/k/a Chittlin, an impressive 18 year-old bluegrass/country singer from Kent, Ohio, sings alongside a heart-breakingly plaintive Auerbauch on the slow-dance final cut, Things Ain't Like They Used to Be1. All You Ever Wanted
2. I Got Mine
3. Strange Times
4. Psychotic Girl
6. Remember When (Side A)
7. Remember When (Side B)
8. Same Old Thing
9. So He Won't Break
10. Oceans & Streams
11. Things Ain't Like They Used to Be$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Band PerryDaddy rocked us to sleep with the Rolling Stones; Mama woke us up with Loretta Lynn. So we get it honest. - Kimberly Perry
Inheriting a cross-pollinated love of country and rock & roll from their parents, The Band Perry - siblings Kimberly, Reid, and Neil Perry - say that they bleed the bright red blood of American music. The three have always felt the drive to perform and create music, sweating out the summers in Mobile, Alabama playing in any dusty roadhouse or church that would have them. Kimberly strapped on her first Gibson - and fronted her first high school band - at age 15, employing Reid, then 10, and Neil, only 8, as her roadies. Changing guitar strings and polishing cymbals for their big sister lost its charm after awhile, so the brothers formed their own band, opening for Kimberly's band.
My bass and I've been attached at the hip since I was 10 years old, says Reid. While most of my friends were playing little league, I was sitting in my room learning Rolling Stones' and Beatles' bass lines. It's really all I've ever known. Even as the three worked in different bands, the siblings would spend nights at home playing together: I remember sitting out on our front porch singing old Hank Williams and Bobbie Gentry songs in three-part harmony, hoping to channel the spirits of old country through musical sÉance while fighting off the southern Alabama mosquitoes, says Kimberly. We always knew we'd take the stage together - all we were waiting on was the right moment. That moment came in July of 2005, when - after years of writing together - the siblings decided to join forces as one band. The Band Perry was then invited by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company to open all of the dates on their New Faces Of Country Tour that year.
In the summer of 2008, after spending a few years on the road honing their sound, TBP met longtime Garth Brooks manager Bob Doyle. Partnering with Bob and Josh Pegram, The Band Perry spent the fall and winter of 2008 writing in Nashville and collecting songs for their first country recording session.
The three of us bring different strengths into the writing room, Neil points out. Kimberly carries in a bag of melodies and lyrics, Reid always has some really great musical ideas in his back pocket, and I bring in a sense of humor and some thread that ties it all together.
The new recordings caught the ears of Scott Borchetta and Jimmy Harnen, the CEO and President of Republic Nashville, signing to the new label in the summer of 2009.
When talking about The Band Perry, each member of the trio stresses how much family figures into the mix: Reid, Neil and I share genes and a musical pedigree, Kimberly explains. We read the same classics and cook from the same recipes. With all of our likenesses though, I believe it's our distinctions that stir up the magic when we create. When the three of us sit down to write songs together, we pull from all of our individual perspectives and happenstances to create the most interesting song concoctions.
There's a tightness between the three of us that goes way beyond even best friends, Neil adds. Family vocal harmonies can't be fabricated. And, besides - the three of us know that through the thick and thin of life and the music business, we're watching after each other.
Blood runs thick. The music business can be hard, but the three of us are committed not only to our lives in music, but to living them together, Reid says. I think the security of knowing that about each other allows us to be uninhibited when we create. It's a democracy. It's a safe haven.
We've walked a long way to find your ears, Kimberly Perry finishes with a grin. So play us long and play us loud. The Band Perry is here, and we just have so darn much to say.1. You Lie
2. Hip To My Heart
3. If I Die Young
4. All Your Life
5. Miss You Being Gone
6. Double Heart
7. Postcard From Paris
8. Walk Me Down The Middle
10. Quittin' You
11. Lasso$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
EpitaphEver since forming 16 years ago, Irish trio God Is An Astronaut has reigned as one of the premier instrumental groups. With its fusion of intense rock instrumentation, ethereal and emotional soundscapes, awe-inspiring dynamics and transfixing melodies.
Each of their prior releases has offered a breath taking sonic journey, and their ninth emotive opus, Epitaph, is a record that both sees a progression in their sound while still remaining true to their ethos that helped define the band. The cover artwork was painted by French artist Fursy Teyssier and fits the melancholic mood beautifully. Joined by long-time drummer Lloyd Hanney, contributions also come from Xenon Field on sound design and former member Jamie Dean on keys.
The opening title track 'Epitaph' sets the album`s mood. There is pain and loss at work here, but not pain and loss that are given in to. Sparse piano motifs face energetic rhythms, shimmering guitar coatings, and eruptions of dense fury breathe life into a journey of melancholic longing: there is the release experienced when a troubled existence ends in 'Mortal Coil' followed by the somber foreshadowing that is 'Winter Dusk/Awakening'.
The album changes direction slightly with 'Seánce Room' and the music on this highway is taking you someplace meaningful and special - someplace where near and far blur and stars weep over tragedies.
'Komorebi' is a word from Japanese. Think of the interplay between light and leaves when sunlight shines through trees.The song has a melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away from you or about to slip away.
'Medea' references Greek mythology, and the enchantress who married Jason, leader of the Argonauts, only to be later guilty of filicide, a crime so against the natural order of things that you can imagine the stars in the sky weeping. It is not easy to confront such things, but this record and this band don't shirk the challenge.
Finally, the beautiful and hypnotic piece of music that is the album-closing 'Oisín' is in memory of Torsten and Niels' 7-year-old cousin who was tragically taken from this world. It distills into four minutes all the pain, sadness and longing felt by many over a much longer timeframe. A fitting end to an album that will move you deeply and call out to you to be revisited many times.1. Epitaph
2. Mortal Coil
3. Winter Dusk/Awakening
4. Seance Room
7. Oisín$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Horrible NightRecorded during the summer and autumn of 2012 at Hampshire's Earth Terminal and London's Earthworks studios, Horrible Night is the sound of MOSS emerging from its cocoon a much more savage, intelligent and all the more terrifying beast. While no longer obsessed with extremity for its own sake - with weirdly infectious riffs, eccentric vocal melodies and no song over 12 minutes - MOSS remain heavier-than-thou, broadening their horror beyond any imposed 'scene' expectations. This mastery of the craft is evident from the opening moments of first track Horrible Nights - written back in 2010 it sets the course for the album, taking the twisting death-crawl of MOSS mini-epics such as Tombs of the Blind Drugged and administering a lethal dose of addictive melody, cooked up by the colossal riffs of Dominic Finbow and the Ozzy-via-seance vocalisations of Olly Pearson. Cuts such as The Coral of Chaos and Dark Lady expand further upon this potent formula, dragging the Black Sabbath blueprint to its most nightmarish conclusion and ushering MOSS further into their newest dark age.
With 6 tracks, MOSS proves more than ever why this English cult band is regarded exactly as such. While still no easy pill to swallow for the uninitiated, over its duration Horrible Night will demand complete mind control. Nonsense prefixes such as stoner, sludge or drone do not apply here; this is pure DOOM METAL, a celebration of horror, the arcane and the unknown.1. Horrible Night
2. Bleeding Years
3. Dark Lady
4. Dreams From The Depths
5. Coral of Chaos
6. I Saw Them That Night$37.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Open The CrownOpen the Crown conveys tendrils of raw energy emanating from the head - dream visions translated directly to audio outrage. Heavy. And sexy. To be expected from Arrington de Dionyso and his molten collection of Malaikat dan Singa who manipulate the "form'd and the formless" to create from within this broken system.
You may have experienced Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa as an unexpected live force, pushing up through the earth like daffodils in late winter; or maybe you're familiar with their previous exploits in the studio, Malaikat dan Singa and Suara Naga, which burn clean with fragrant traumas. Open the Crown is similarly passion-filled, with new vistas (channeled hallucinations) exploring English (previously only the Indonesian language was employed) as their stomping ground to expand parallel themes anew.
The players involved have all been Arrington cohorts in past lives with Malaikat dan Singa and other Dub Narcotic Studio exploits: Ben Kapp (drums), Angelo Spencer (guitar), Mark Morrison (keyboards) and Nehemiah St. Danger (electric bass guitar); tape echo over all. The joy of Open the Crown was captured by Dub Narcotic Studio engineers Ben Hargett (the mix) and Ephriam Nagler (the mastering). It's cosmically pleasing to both ear and dance floor.
Arrington de Dionyso (b. January 4,1975) makes trans-utopian world music for a world that may or may not exists. He traverses the nameless territories between surrealist automatism, shamanic seance, and the folk imagery of rock'n'roll using performance and visual art. He clarified his eccentric brew of ecstatic lunacy and prophetic madness during his 15 year tour-of-duty with Olympia's Old Time Relijun.
De Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa is a trance-punk outfit featuring bass clarinet, guitars, multiple drummers and his trademark wild vocals (multi-spectral harmonic throat singing combined with grunts, yelps, and barks). "Malaikat dan Singa" translates as "Angels and Lions," and de Dionyso's lyrics (both Indonesian and any other language he chooses to ply) fiercely combine mythology and fantasy. As a band Malaikat dan Singa ultimately defies a clean translation gaining power by crossing boundaries - both linguistic and psychic.1. I Feel the Quickening
2. I Create in the Broken System
3. There Will Be No Survivors
4. Tak Terbatas (versi Iblis)
5. Open the Crown
6. Jiwa dari Jiwaku
7. The Akedah (The Moon is Full)
8. Halilintar (versi Jatilan)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now