Monday, March 25, 2013

Foals - Holy Fire


I don’t know if this makes any sense, but the introduction of big name producers Flood and Alan Moulder into the Foals’ world with their third release-Holy Fire-makes the band’s transition from the clubs to the theatres sound like practically a necessity.

That’s not to suggest that Foals are assured of bigger audiences or that Holy Fire is that much of a creative improvement over the surprising Total Life Forever (it isn’t), it’s merely an acknowledgement that dropping the extra pounds for the knob twiddlers achieved the desired effect: the band sounds bigger, deeper and strikingly original.

But just because Foals sound good in their big boy pants, it doesn’t mean that Holy Fire smokes all the way down to the filter.

There are several moments of undeniable grooves and truly inspired performances. It begins with the anthemic opener “Inhaler” and it continues with Foals’ trademark syncopated guitars and funky rhythms.

The record’s two high-water marks follow that comfortable pattern, “Late Night” and “Milk & Black Spiders.” The former utilizes a slow-burn effect, gradually building until the band stumbles back around to the song’s killer rhythm, where it rides it for a minute when it could easily milk it for another five.

“Milk & Black Spiders” follows suit, but Flood & Moulder add some plucked strings to the taut rhythms, giving the Foals’ secret weapon an entirely new dynamic.

Providence” also makes a similar connection, but then Holy Fire makes an unwelcomed swing by the self-aggrandizing slower numbers that end the record.

Ironically, Foals have attempted such serene moments before and won. But in the context of Holy Fire’s already massive intentions, these moments are a bit overbearing. It can nearly derail the impact of the entire record if you allow it, wallowing in its own girth and unintentional comparisons.

Thankfully, the aftertaste doesn’t stick and you’ll remember Holy Fire for what it’s intended to be: a full-flavored toke of one of rock music’s wide-eyed upstarts with arena-sized ambitions. Its impact depends on how much you appreciate (or miss) the band’s clear inspirations (read U2, Radiohead, The Cure) and its place in their own history depends on how much you think their last two records burned new paths/

Friday, March 22, 2013

Horsehands - Sirs


Just when I was wrapping up an extensive review of Ween’s catalog, along comes Boston’s Horsehands with their debut album, Sirs.

More progressive than Dean and Gene, Horsehands shake out thirteen tracks of caffeinated nervosa, blending the angular parts of new wave guitar tones against math rock left turns.

And commanding your attention from all of these impossibly complex guitar runs is a helium-aided vocalist who will have you reminding to everyone you end up playing Sirs to, “Focus on the music.”

Yet through the strings of Hosehands’ gnarly bits of quirky turns and gut punching stops ‘n starts, everything begins to fall into place. Sure, it’s a jazzy, Zappa-inspired corner of the room, but then again, I don’t know of tons of bands earning a living at playing this shit. There’s a passion behind their brand of nonsense-one that defies any logical sense from a commercial standpoint, opting instead to focus their wares on a select audience of jazz heads and guitar freaks.

Well count me in, brother, and I’m not suggesting that Sirs is worthy of your consideration simply out of pity. It’s a record that stands very much on its own and carves its own path, proudly and boldly through a landscape that’s designed to kill off bands like this.

I especially dig the entire homespun vibe throughout Sirs as it provides just enough evidence that there is very little slight of hand taking place with the studio toys.

By the album’s second half, the helium begins to run out and the arrangements begin heading down more psychedelic paths. Yes, it seems the hot shit front-end finally winded the power trio, but not until Horseheads unleash their own show-stopping version of “Tequila,” this time under the listing of “Kiwanis Ow” and a sprite instrumental called “Ocho” which about as choppy as a Wang Chung video.

Ultimately, half the fun of Sirs is considering where this band could end up, particularly when a lot of the time, Horsehands sound like they’re galloping out of control.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Morrissey Is Now The George Jones Of Alt Rock

Dear Morrissey Ticketholder:

We regret to inform you that the remaining dates of the Morrissey U.S. North American tour have officially been pulled down due to medical reasons, including the rescheduled date here in Clear Lake at the Surf Ballroom (Wednesday, March 27th). The singer has suffered a series of medical mishaps over the past few months including a bleeding ulcer, (Syd) Barrett's esophagus and double pneumonia.

Despite his best efforts to try to continue touring, Morrissey has announced that he will not be able to continue on the rest of the tour. The show will NOT be rescheduled and refunds will be processed this week. All ticket and seating refunds will be credited to the original method of payment used for the initial purchase.

Thank you for your ticket purchase!

P.S. Now would be a good time to remind readers that it really doesn't matter since it would never top this show anyway.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When I Grow Up I Want To Be An Old Bigot: The Career Suicide Of Michelle Shocked


Michelle Shocked hates fags.

To be completely honest, before I saw her live last year, I assumed that Michelle Shocked was gay. During the live show, she referenced her ex-husband, but the weirdest thing was how she incorporated her current boyfriend into the performance-via her cell phone.

“She’s straight?” I thought to myself as she spoke of her partners.

But as she continued-which was quite often, as her performances are filled with personal antidotes and lefty dogma-I noticed something more confounding than her sexuality.

Michelle Shocked is a very strange woman.

My review of her performance was complementary, and the wake of her show brought back some very fond memories of her catalog. I will carry the memories of that night in a very positive manner, particularly the part where I didn’t get charged to attend.

One thing the review doesn’t reflect all that well was how weird the show was. It was a rather intimate setting (the performance space at the CSPS hall only holds about 200 seats) and Michelle took full advantage of that intimacy.

She lobbied the audience for discussions on the Occupy movement, particularly in regards to predatory lending and how little has changed since the economic collapse.

She also called her boyfriend.

I can’t help but dwell on it, because it was such a surreal experience. I saw nothing regarding her Christianity (which I did learn about after the show, but before her recent controversy), but what I saw instead was an almost obsessive devotion to the man on the other end of the cell phone.

Shocked incorporated the bit into her material, explaining that it was her boyfriend-artist David Willardson-who created the artwork that hung behind her that evening, which helped inspire her latest material.

Fair enough, but she then continued with the call all the way through the intermission, hanging up, literally, as she walked on stage for the second set.

Who does that?

The second set began with a choppy love letter to the Occupy movement, a spiel that evolved into a losing attempt at engaging the audience in a political dialogue, before realizing that the crowd that remained at the venue for that second set just wanted to hear “Anchorage.”

Yes, a large portion of the audience left after the first set, perhaps due to other obligations or perhaps because they were weirded out by Michelle’s incessant yammering, or the fact that she put a microphone up to her cell phone so that we could listen to her boyfriend talk.

I have no idea if they’re still together, but I do know that a large portion of her audience is no longer with her, particularly since so many of her audience related to her-right or wrong-as an advocate for LGBT causes.

There was certainly no hint of the kind of hatred she dished out this week at a show in San Francisco, but there were hints of some kind of instability. Despite her small frame, Shocked can be an intimidating presence, and some of that is due to the fact that she often doesn’t appear to have that filter that most of us possess, the one that knows when to put on the brakes at certain points, and when to shut the fuck up at others.

That fearlessness is part of her appeal, and her outspokenness certainly provided her with a sense of legitimacy when it came down to the kind of music she’s known for and the audience that coddles her. The sudden outburst is most certainly a characteristic of her persona, but the two points that she brought to the stage-her Christian beliefs and their influence towards her views on homosexuality-were nothing that her San Francisco fans were expecting or wanted to hear.

The shock that she isn’t a lesbian has become a common response immediately before everything turns red and Michelle Shocked is the worst person on the planet. There are those who question-and I’ll confess to being somewhat intrigued by this theory-the legitimacy of her heterosexuality and cite her vitriolic discussion of homosexuality as a self-hating projection of her own suppressed sexual preference.

More than anything, this incident brought me immediately back to the uncomfortable feeling that I had during some moments of the performance I saw last year. It reminded me of that vague suspicion that there is glaring moments of Michelle Shocked personality that suggests something is chemically wrong with her.

This isn’t the misogynist “that bitch is crazy” knee-jerk reaction, but instead it is a reasonable suggestion to why anyone who is smart enough to understand 1.) That you audience features a proportionally large section of homosexuals, 2.) The power of the internet and social media is swift, universal and permanent, 3.) That Jesus Christ was perhaps the most tolerant motherfucker to walk the planet, 4.) Your entire career is dependant on your ability to tour and 5.) The fucking gig is in San Francisco.

Sure, Shocked may think her credibility with her LGBT audience entitles her to milk the free-speech thing all the way to the point of yelling “Fire” in a Hamburger Mary’s, but the reality is that a sane person doesn’t go to their job and start blurting out shit that can be perceived as mean, hateful and offensive.

That’s what I mean by “chemically wrong.”

And that’s where I go to the fact that a large portion of American musicians go without health care, forgoing medical care and preventative treatment. Could it be that we are watching the results of medication being missed or that the power of the Holy Spirit has convinced Ms. Shocked that there’s no need for those pills any more.

So far, Michelle has chosen to almost manically respond to certain Twitter haters individually, promising a full explanation of the event in a scheduled interview this Friday.

A common theme in some of her tweets is the suggestion that a media campaign is underway to throw her under the proverbial bus, but again, Shocked is not stupid. When you encourage your crowd to tweet “Michelle Shocked said God Hates Fags” did you not think there would be repercussions.

If we are witnessing a woman that is experiencing a chemically induced crisis, the upcoming interview will certainly cause more harm than good. There will be a misguided attempt at trying to explain the outburst in biblical terms. By referring to the Bible or her own personal faith will only reinforce the perception that Shocked is yet another crazed Christian, the same kind of crazy that superglues the locks to Planned Parenthood or makes signs that read “God Hates Fags.”

No, unless this interview is a heartfelt confessional, one that acknowledges a tolerance towards the LGBT community and clearly explains the design of such an outburst, we will be witnessing someone rambling on without that aforementioned filter. The same one that is needed more than anything, to stop this attempt at career suicide.

Because make no mistake, this is career ending stuff. If you want your entire musical legacy to be remembered for one ill-advised moment where the letters “STFU” should have been tattooed on to your skin, then here it is.

There’s no defending something like this, and the entire media circus surrounding the incident was Shocked’s own creation. She panicked and clammed up. Then she bit back. And now she is biding for time, something that may suggest a long-winded manifesto is in the making.

Her response should be quick, honest and apologetic. They need to be, if she ever plans on drawing any resemblance of a support group again. Because, while running away from the ghosts of East Texas has provide Michelle Shocked a nice career so far, running from her own redemption will not give her very more places to go.

 Update to include Shocked's most recent statement.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Need Seven Inches Or More: Parental Guidance Suggested

It’s unfortunate, but I am forced to consider matters of sexual content in nearly every form of media when it is in proximity to my children, ages six and two. It’s a shame because it forces my wife and I to take on the role of entertainment babysitter at all times and the only form of relief is when we put the channel on something that’s exclusively for the age group we’ve sired.

What that means is that our television is continually on this shitty network called Sprout and we’ve both agreed that if we ever come across a real world replica of the cartoon character Calliou, we are going to kill and dismember the little bastard.

When it comes to matters of music, it’s a touchier subject. You’ve probably guessed that I’m very opinionated when it comes to the actual selection of tunage and, goddamnit, I don’t feel the need to acquiesce when we’re considering playlists. 

After all, I was fucking raised on Sgt. Peppers, Beggar’s Banquet and Jesus Christ Superstar. I’ll be damned if I’m forced to spin Kids Bop or some album by The Wiggles just to ensure our kids aren’t subjected to an f-bomb, a lemon squeeze, or fifty foot queenies.

As a result, my two-year-old daughter now has a penchant for The Runaways.

The entire thing had me considering my own sexuality and how it arrived to where it is today. From what I remember, there was nothing prior to the age of 12 that I recall as being patently offensive. There was the inner gatefold of Alice Cooper’s Love It To Death (a close-up of Furnier’s made up eyes) that freaked me out and that robot on Queen’s News Of The World that impaled frightened citizens with his metallic finger, but nothing that ever spoke to me in a sexual fashion.

I’m sure that it had to do with a lack of testosterone production and that would explain why one album, The Knack’s Get The Knack, shines like a light in my sexual development.

I would have been twelve around the time Get The Knack was released, right around the time my testes began secreting that magic hormone into my bloodstream. To be honest, there were other boys that I’m sure were under the full sway of puberty, already bragging about French kisses and the ass grabbing taking place at the local dance club-In The Mood-that allowed the 13-17 years olds a chance to boogie every Sunday night. On Monday, the few twelve year olds in my class who regularly attended would tell me of their exploits from the night before, leaving me to curse my dad for not letting me go because I wasn’t old enough and because it was a school night.

Then there was Doug Fieger. The Knack’s frontman advised me through headphones that good girls frequently didn’t, that they were occasionally selfish (“she said she’ll make your motor run/now you know she never give you none”), and that they could best be identified as teases (“the flesh is on the bone/and she ain’t givin’ you a bite”).  Clearly, the opposite sex would prove to be a lot more cunning than I originally thought.

Around the same time, I discovered Frank Zappa's Sheik Yourbuti at one of my parents' friend's house. They'd regularly go over to play cards and drink beer and leave me alone with the guy's massive record collection and his killer stereo. system. It was just as much fun for me as my parents, as I'd don a pair of headphones and spend the evening just absorbing every bit of rock and roll that I could.

The owner was a guy that would buy albums five or six deep at a time, and he would put his new releases next to the turntable. On one particular week, the double from Zappa appeared in his new release section. I quickly discovered Frank's unique humor, and also discovered words like "golden shower," "poop chute," and "wrist watch Crisco." I didn't know what they all meant, but I knew it wasn't for my age range when the dude noticed I what I was spinning and quietly advised "You probably shouldn't be listening to that, man."
By the time I began to fully understand the sexual urges taking place inside of me, pop music had begun a sonic influx of mixed messages, blatant promiscuity and shaded areas of sexuality.

The obvious contenders-Prince and Madonna-were public enemy number ones for Mom and Dad. The telling thing was how the folks only caught on to them years after we began listening to them.

Madonna’s debut, while low on sexual innuendo, provided girls with a visual ideal that-ironically-many moms viewed as a cute and harmless raid of local Ragstocks and St. Vincent DePaul’s. Soon, every girl began cramming their wrists with bracelets, layering on black lace tops, and mirroring every bit of Madonna’s attire on the “Lucky Star” video.  It wasn’t until Madonna began writhing on the floor of the MTV Music Video Award for “Like A Virgin” that moms suddenly began to show concern of their daughter’s listening habits.

Same goes for Prince. “Darling Nikki” got the PMRC up in arms, but we were already discussing the “I sincerely want to fuck the taste out of your mouth” in great detail over two year before Tipper Gore caught her daughter spinning Purple Rain. And, in an act of wonderful admiration, Prince released the wonderful b-side “Erotic City” at the same moment the spotlight was on him. Like any devoted teenager, we strived to “fuck until the dawn/makin’ love ‘til cherry’s gone.”

The attention placed on the artists certainly overshadowed a few that were equally “offensive” and just as influential in our Walkmans and Panasonic boom boxes that competed with each other on every football, speech, and debate team bus trip.

There was Prince’s protégé, Vanity 6, who put the fear of limited male endowment with one line on “Nasty Girl.” Vanity herself advised any potential suitors that she needed at least “seven inches or more,” which caused every dude to bring home a ruler from school to measure up behind the bedroom door.

Vanity 6 didn’t just affect the guy’s self-esteem, they (and the subsequent follow-up band, Apollonia 6) showed young high school girls the power of lingerie. As hard as this may seem, I vividly remember more than one party with too young girls wiggling out of their normal clothes after too much Cuervo, revealing newly acquired teddies and camisoles underneath. My fear now is that my daughter will be present at such a party in a dozen or so years.

Prince also had his fingers in one Sheena Easton who advised us men that vaginas were to be referred to as “Sugar Walls” while his contemporary, Morris Day, oozed confidence and other bodily fluids with “If The Kid Can’t Make You Come” on The Time’s Ice Cream Castle.

With such “lengthy” demands from Ms. Vanity and a laundry list of terminology, techniques and positions from the rest of Prince’s protégés, my attention turned to Terri Nunn. The Berlin vocalist displayed a wiliness to adapt, becoming a geisha, a slut, or a mother depending on the mood (“Sex (I’m A)”) and presenting a compact California body that prompted this Midwestern boy to put her as my “Valentine Wish 1983.” My girlfriend at the time wasn’t pleased. Not that I had chosen to list Terri Nunn in the school newspaper article over her, but that I had chosen someone from such a lame band.

Strangely, why metal is often cited as an unhealthy influence, there were very few of us who considered the blatant misogyny as reality. We knew it was about bravado. We knew it was based on fantasy. But these were two of the same feelings that we had inside. The difference was that the dude’s in metal were like older brothers, preaching the poontang gospel in front of a wall of Marshall amplifiers.

We thought Blackie Lawless’ claim of fucking like a beast (inspirational verse: “I pound and thrust/And the sweat starts to sting ya!”) was sheer comedy. We considered Motley Crue’s “Ten Seconds To Love” to be an unintentional ode to their premature ejaculation problems. And we thought there was nothing more laughable than nearly every song on The Mentors You Axed For It! After all, if dudes that ugly could get chicks, there was hope for us all.

Then there was Bronski Beat, who spoke volumes to gay teens across America during a time when even the slightest hint of effeminacy potentially created four years of hell during high school. While “Smalltown Boy” may not have contained any hint of vulgarism or erotica, it was a critical moment for young homosexuals challenged with managing their hormonal urges and the confusion that came with knowing your attraction didn’t jibe with traditional Midwestern morals.

With all of these conflicting messages, it is a wonder that we were even able to secure relationships with the opposite sex (or the same sex, for that matter) let alone fumble our way through with the actual act. I do attribute some of my own neurosis to the role that music played in my sexual education, but I will not become an advocate for censorship or for parental warning stickers. Even though the sexual content may have grown leaps and bounds in its explicitness and in terms of exposure and availability, it doesn’t negate the role that parents must take it both monitoring and in actual guidance of their children. Believe me, the prospect of actually having do that doesn’t bring me any joy; I don’t look forward to having to explain why Katy Perry liked kissing a girl or why Justin Timberlake feels the need to bring sexy back.

It’s not something that I necessarily want to do, but it’s something that I have to do.

I remember my own conversations about sex with my parents, it was an event that is so perfectly embedded in my mind because it never it happened. There was not one moment that either of my parents ever mentioned the topic. Not even when my parents re-carpeted my bedroom the summer before I entered the 7th grade and my Mom discovered my hidden stash of Oui and Club International girlie mags lodged deep in the bowels of an air vent. The offending pornography was disposed of without a word and a perfect opportunity to discuss human sexuality was squandered.

As far as sexual education within our town’s middle and high school, I can only imagine that our curriculum qualified as one of the worst in the country. Barely a week was devoted to the topic, culminating in a segregated meeting to each gender. We-meaning the boys-were rushed off to a classroom where the head football coach, a transplant from Arkansas who led our school to over a decade worth of losing seasons, began to deliver an obviously uncomfortable lecture on premarital sex.

The coach boiled sex down into two sentences “A male orgasm lasts approximately ten seconds. Those ten seconds is not worth the risk of making a child that you will have to care for, for the rest of your life.”
Or to put it another way, “If you knock up a broad, you won’t have enough time to do two-a-days. Have you seen how shitty we did last season?! I can’t afford to lose talent for a little taste of poontang!”

I don’t know which was worse, that clichéd attempt at a scare tactic or the mixed messages that popular music unleashed on our growing anatomy. Here we had a Southern Baptist Football coach that didn’t seem to understand that abstinence was not part of the equation while the auto-reverse of our cassette decks blared continual messages of blowjobs, goodtime gangbangs, and masturbating to magazines.

Years have passed, and I’m now beginning to think ahead as to how a consistent message can be delivered to my own children. One that circumvents both the extremity of today’s popular music (which, at the risk of sounding old, appears to be tenfold more explicit that when I was in high school) and the “community-standards” message that our public school system delivers.

In short, my wife and I will have to deliver the message ourselves. It pains me to admit that probably the best way to instill the values that we want our children to carry is to actually communicate that message, regardless of how tough it may be.

The motivation, of course, is to make sure that neither one of our kids come home with their own version of “Papa Don’t Preach.”



This article originally appeared in Glorious Noise.

Monday, March 18, 2013

When We Make Love: The Soundtracks To Our Sex

Iggy Pop: The Godfather of Abstinence
I have to confess, after reading Gawker’s post “On Choosing Sex Music,” I was reminded of a regular column that was under consideration at one point here on Glam-Racket.

The article considers the critical admiration of Rhye, a band that I am not familiar with but would wholeheartedly consider as the common thread among these critics is that this is great lovemakin’ music.

A quick side note, the article identifies a dozen songs that you’re not supposed to play during sex, of which I’m guilty of at least one Marvin Gaye song.

Do Not Play These Songs During Sex:
Color Me Badd's "I Wanna Sex You Up"
George Michael's "I Want Your Sex"
Berlin's "Sex (I'm A...)"
Salt-N-Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex"
Marcy Playground's "Sex and Candy"
Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing"
Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love To You"
Prince's "Do Me, Baby"
Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"
Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love"
Nine Inch Nails' "Closer"
N.W.A.'s "Fuck the Police"

The column that I was considering was an actual review of an album that was played during lovemaking. I even went as far as to ask my wife if something like that would make her feel uncomfortable, but almost immediately, I was given the green light.

Yet something stopped me from actually following through, namely because the idea was really stupid and I can’t imagine anyone giving a shit about the music that my wife and I listen to while we get behind closed doors.

The entire premise changed too many times to come to fruition, anyway. One draft would focus more on the wife’s perception of the music (which sometimes was non-existent) while another would end up as nothing more than a regular review of the record.

The most disturbing drafts matched the music with the actual act itself, and the results were just as creepy as you can imagine. Then there was the review of the spontaneous playlist that I prepared immediately before, but any such review would have to begin with the admission that the playlist began with the god-awful Berlin song “When We Make Love” off 1984’s Love Life.

Since we’re being honest, here are some notes from the lost drafts of this canceled column.

Channel Orange was considered “weird” by the Mrs. And obviously, that’s not a good thing.

Richard Hawley was too distracting.

Avalon is only the tip of the iceberg. For Your Pleasure is a close second and Flesh + Blood sometimes ranks as good as the last Roxy Music effort.

You can never go wrong with Pantha Du Prince, King Tubby, or any mix by Pete Tong.

Teddy Pendergrass should not be used unless you intend on working through at least one compilation side. There should never be any leftovers with Teddy.

Same thing goes for Barry White.

Marvin Gaye only in moderation.

Prince beyond 1999 is not recommended and the first two are essential.

I once had to turn off an Earth Wind & Fire record. It wasn’t working for me.

As exciting as learning more about the sex life of my wife and I must seem, the reality is that we’re usually to lazy to think beyond the 80’s Channel in our DirecTV music line-up. We’ve got that shit hot keyed, yo, and we play Russian Roulette with certain songs. If Kenny Loggins’ “I’m Free” comes on during the sweet love down by the fire, it means that we contract Chlamydia.

More than anything, the reason why I could not get behind the idea of a regular column like that is because it’s really none of your business. It’s fun to talk about once in a while and it’s a topic that I’m obviously not afraid of, but to bullet point the periods of our sexual activity is something I don’t want to have a digital record of.

I want to have an emotional record of those events, and as this blog attempts to remind everyone: the records themselves are the perfect compliment to any emotional event that life provides.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Badass Archival Footage Of Nick Cave

I asked my cousin the other day if he liked Nick Cave and he goes,

"I'm not that into him"

Or something like that.

Spoiler alert: This video will make you "into him."


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar

I have to confess, unless it’s a movie soundtrack with a hefty blend of songs that fit nicely in the mix of the film, I rarely pay much attention to the music featured in movies. If it’s a movie score, forget about it. I appreciate how a score can bring emotional stock to a film and understand that modern day scoring is the closest thing that we may have in terms of classical composition, but it’s not anything that I feel the need to examine further.

There are a few exceptions to this, but I’d be hard pressed to name a soundtrack that spoke to me on any real meaningful level.

Or so I thought.

I sat down with Nick Cave & Warren Ellis’ White Lunar recently, a double disc collection of the pair’s soundtrack work a prepared for something uneventful. I will confess to not bothering to read the press material or familiarizing myself with the movies that this collection is gleaned from.

Within a few moments, however, I recognized something. A piece from the cd stood out and my attention turn to answer the question “Where have I heard this from?”

The answer was Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and the song that prompted my attention was “What Must Be Done,” a brief two-minute piece with little more than a repeated piano phrase. Surely, this was not the kind of thing that would leave such a lasting impression on its own, so it should only demonstrate the power that music has-even the most simplistic of compositions-when properly placed with just the right moving image.

The Jesse James material is housed with The Proposition and the forthcoming film The Road on disc one. With the selections from the film to Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, White Lunar begins its travails into ambient territory. Prior to this, the first disc sticks to mostly Cave performing a plaintive piano with Ellis providing effortless violin work.

It’s with disc two that the material evolves more in to the “film score” realm, an eerie combination of Angelo Badalamenti atmospherics with Ellis’ previous work with the Dirty Three. It culminates with “Sorya Market,” a piece from the The Girls of Phnom Penh. For three minutes, the song continues White Lunar’s beautiful restraint. Then, after ten minutes of silence, the song erupts into atonal shrieks, hyper-bowed violins, and industrial noises. It’s unsettling-that’s the intent, obviously, and it serves as a wake up to remind the listener of the dangerous territory that both of these men originate from.

White Lunar won’t capture the imagination of new fans or encourage novices to pursue more notable moments of Cave’s illustrious career. What it does is find two talented men inspired by the imagination of their celluloid counterparts and using-quite effectively-their musical abilities to create memorable moments that stay with you after the credits roll.

This review originall appeared in Glorious Noise.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away

Endlessly endearing and enviably talented, Nick Cave returns with the Bad Seeds and another left turn, this time even more noticeable since the last effort (Dig Lazarus Dig) was such a raucous affair.

We should probably come to expect this from Cave, as Murder Ballads bequeath Boatman’s Call, and therefore it should come as no surprise that album number fifteen is the quiet and reflective Push The Sky Away.

It took me several listens to wrap my head around this record, and I think the delay was nothing but the shock of hearing Cave sound his age again, and the reality is that it may take a traveled person to really appreciate what’s going on with this record.

Because its simplicity is deceiving, but it also enables you to appreciate the beauty that comes from Cave’s distinctive voice and the wonderful draw of his words.

It’s what kept me coming back-those words. They’re filled with big, curious themes. Some of which he’s explored before, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth reviewing. After all, weighty topics like mortality, love, religion and mermaids sometimes need a second glance.

With the additional look, you’ll hear such incredible details like “I watch your hands like butterflies landing” right next to such naughty musings as “I was the match that would fire up her snatch.”

Producer Nick Launay wisely leaves Cave’s voice out in front, highlighting its age when needed, its desperation when it’s called for, and its dark perversion when everything else fails.

The Seeds find Warren Ellis again stepping up with remarkable restraint and incredible intuitiveness. Basic loop structures are introduced with very little else added to the mix; a spare piano, a lone guitar and a simple rhythm are usually the rest of the performances. The bare atmosphere that is created throughout the album makes it something dark and timeless.

Push The Sky Away is subtle masterpiece that is diminished only by the artist’s already impressive catalog. But to be honest, after my own repeated listens there is nothing else in the man’s work that I’d rather listen to at this moment.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Whitesnake Guitarist Releases Album That Isn't Called 'Vandenberg'

Not to be confused with 'Heading For A Storm'

I’ll say this about David Coverdale: he’s got good taste in guitarists.

And that goes for his recent axe-slinger, too: Doug Aldrich. Mr. Aldrich has some impressive chops, and he also possesses Mr. Coverdale’s penchant for regularly visiting hair salons and tanning beds. Understand that I say this out of pure jealously that they have hair to warrant even going to hair salons.

Now is the time more Mr. Aldrich to introduce the world to the band he was in before he sold them down the river to cater to David Coverdale’s quest for a new Whitesnake guitarist.

I’m pretty sure the reason you’ve never heard of Burning Rain before now is because they sucked, but just in case you need to find out for yourself, here we go again with another promotional blurb.

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of bluesy hard rockers Burning Rain's third studio album, Epic Obsession, on May 21st in North America.  Burning Rain was founded by current Whitesnake axeman Doug Aldrich together with singer Keith St. John (ex-Montrose). The line-up for the new album is rounded out by Sean McNabb on bass (ex-Quiet Riot, Dokken, House of Lords) and Mat Starr on drums (Ace Frehley). Epic Obsession comes after a long hiatus from the release of the band's second album, Pleasure To Burn, in 2000.  

Of Epic Obsession, Aldrich commented, "I think we have a good batch of songs that will stand up. It's a melodic blues rock approach to the sound.  It's really the only thing I have done outside of Whitenake in the last ten years."  Frontiers Records will be also be reissuing the long out-of-print first two albums from Burning Rain, the self-titled debut (released in 1999) and the aforementioned Pleasure To Burn. Both albums will be repackaged and remastered and will contain two added bonus tracks to each respective album.  Burning Rain's previous efforts received great acclaim in Japan and the UK prior to Aldrich being tapped as guitarist for Whitesnake in 2002, with Melodic Rock.com declaring, "Great quality song writing...fantastic production that rivals any others out there.  For fans of classic blues influenced hard rock there will be few albums to rival this record..."

EPIC OBSESSION track listing:
1.    Sweet Little Baby Thing
2.    The Cure
3.    Till You Die
4.    Heaven Gets Me By
5.    Pray Out Loud
6.    Our Time Is Gonna Come
7.    Too Hard To Break
8.    My Lust Your Fate
9.    Made For Your Heart
10.  Ride The Monkey
11.  Out In The Cold Again
12.  When Can I Believe In Love
13.  Kashmir*
14.  Heaven Gets Me By (acoustic version)*
*bonus tracks

Monday, March 11, 2013

Simple Minds - Once Upon A Time


The art of buying a record sight (or sound, as it were, in this case) unseen is a precarious one. There are those titles where the purchase are solely because the covers are so awesome (Iron Maiden’s Killer and Trio’s debut album immediately come to mind) and then you discover how great the music inside the sleeve.

Then there are those records that you buy because your friends-or some dumbass music blogger-recommend them. This is usually a bit more successful than the cover art method, particularly if your friend or favorite music blogger happen to have an idea of your personal tastes.

When in doubt, always begin your recommendation with James Brown’s Star Time box set.

Finally, there are those sight unseen purchases that are based entirely on the success or experience with previous records. Usually, these are the ones that you put into your shopping cart before the record is even released. The Police’s Synchronicity immediately comes to mind, as at least a dozen friends that I knew of mindlessly pre-ordered an album that had no chance of ever being out of stock.

And until I’d had enough after NYC Ghosts & Flowers, I used to religiously purchase Sonic Youth records the same week they were offered.

But there is one record buy that I’ll never forget which came from the love of one song so awesome that it’s still popular today, and used as a reference point when waxing nostalgic about the 80’s decade.

Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” wasn’t even written by the band, a Scottish outfit that had their obligatory roots in punk rock before changing their sound so dramatically that they are mainly known as part of the New Romantic movement.

Unlike Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet, nobody in America ever heard of Simple Minds. You’d have a couple of geeks that claimed to be fans since “Promised You A Miracle,” but the reality is that tune barely got airplay until the band got tapped to sing a Keith Forsey tune that both Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry turned down previously.

I think that “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” is so good that it would have been a chart-topper even without the help of The Breakfast Club. With that being said, the placement of that song in John Hughes film is priceless, and it will forever be tied with that cultural touchstone.

It was so good that when Simple Minds prepared to release their first album after the enormous success of “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” I was at the front of the line.

Once Upon A Time is a record completely motivated by that fact that it would be gobbled up by schmucks like me, and it’s blatant commercial production was designed with the hopes that something within its paltry eight tracks would stick to the brains of us dumb Americans.

And who better than Jimmy Iovine than to concoct the correct mix for us dumb Americans?

Actually, the downfall of Once Upon A Time isn’t Iovine’s fault at all, because the record sounds positively gorgeous, even a quarter-century later. No, where the record begins to come apart is during the creative conception of the material.

Clearly, Simple Minds had world domination in mind with this record, incorporating elements of American soul, gospel and disco into Jim Kerr’s lyrical activism and social commentary. When there were matters of the heart, Kerr tackles the subject with such a heavy hand.

With “Alive And Kicking,” the record’s first single and most notable entry, finds Kerr with a call and response with vocalist Robin Clark (former Chic vocalist and wife to guitarist Carlos Alomar, for all you Bowie freaks), asking such weighty questions like “Who’s got the touch to calm the storm inside?”

The arrogance of what is nothing more than a simple love song is smothering, so credit Iovine again for matching such pretentiousness with an equally grandiose arrangement.

There’s no way that what you’re hearing on Once Upon A Time started life with the same sounds and tones that you get on record. They are so bloated beyond mortal men that it transcends Simple Minds from a rock band into a slogan, and that slogan has its own soundtrack.

But because that soundtrack is for a slogan with world domination on its mind instead of a detention party for Brat Pack teens, Once Upon A Time rings like a hollow Wyclef Jean charity. The band carries a big megaphone but has very little to say, turning the entire record into less of a Scottish band of socially aware men and more of a farm-league U2.

By the time listeners get to side two, they’re greeted with “Oh Jungleland,” an attempt to channel the youthful musical fruits of Glasgow from the perspective of a wise, old sage who witnesses their creativity and drive with pride and support.

The “wise, old sage” is Kerr, who would have been 25 years old at the time “Oh Jungleland” was written, a fact that does little to add to the credibility of such lines as “You’ve got the love drugs/You’ve got the long nights/You’ve got the heartbeat that spirals to Heaven.”

If there ever was a time to enjoy the “love drugs” and “long nights”, it’s when you’re 25 years old. So the fact that Kerr and Simple Minds were sitting on the sidelines watching such Scottish bands like Orange Juice or Jesus and Mary Chain with envy or admiration is a testament to their own priorities and how much they compromised in their quest to get America to notice them.

Instead of channeling their youthful exuberance into music with passion, Simple Minds chose the route of mainstream acceptance and then had the silly notion that it all had to mean something more than it really was.

Once Upon A Time is the unfortunate result of their lofty expectations, and it wouldn’t be too long before audiences caught wind of the huge gap between Simple Minds’ own self-importance and the reality that their entire career was based on a pop song that even The Fixx turned down.

No shit.

To even suggest that the band somehow warranted the title of social commentators is utterly ridiculous, yet here they are on Once Upon A Time hiring a big name producer to tidy up their unwelcomed worldview.

Hopefully, all of this narrative and irrelevant back-story paints somewhat of a clear picture of the disappointment in my poor vetting process with this record. Once Upon A Time was clearly intended to capitalize on the success of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” while forging a path in utter contempt of it.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

More Japandroids Dates

...And not an Iowa date among them.

Bummer.




Japandroids on tour 2013:
3/08 -- New Orleans, LA -- BUKU Music & Art Project
3/09 -- Winter Park, CO -- Snowball Festival
3/12 -- Austin, TX -- SXSW -- Viceland w/ Divine Fits, Wavves, etc
3/13 -- Austin, TX -- SXSW --- The Mohawk w/ Iggy & The Stooges, Ghostface Killah, etc
3/15 -- Mexico City, Mexico -- Vive Latino Festival
3/21 -- Bristol, England -- Bristol Academy*
3/22 -- Bristol, England -- Bristol Academy*
3/23 -- Leeds, England -- Leeds Academy*
3/24 -- Glasgow, Scotland -- Glasgow Academy*
3/25 -- Glasgow, Scotland -- Glasgow Academy*
3/27 -- Manchester, England -- Manchester Academy*
3/28 -- Manchester, England -- Manchester Academy*
3/29 -- London, England -- Troxy*
3/30 -- London, England -- Troxy*
4/01 -- Dusseldorf, Germany-- Mitsubishi Hall*
4/03 -- Copenhagen, Denmark -- Store Vega*
4/04 -- Oslo, Norway -- Rockefeller*
4/05 -- Stockholm, Sweden -- Berns*
4/06 -- Gothenburg, Sweden -- Tragarn*
4/12 -- Indio, CA -- Coachella
4/15 -- Santa Barbara, CA -- Velvet Jones^
4/16 -- Oakland, CA -- New Parish^
4/17 -- Oakland, CA --    New Parish^
4/19 -- Indio, CA -- Coachella
4/22 -- Pomona, CA -- Glasshouse^
5/24 -- George, WA -- Sasquatch Festival
5/27 -- Milwaukee, WI -- Turner Hall Ballroom+
5/28 -- Indianapolis, IN -- The Vogue+
5/29 -- Lawrence, KS -- Granada Theatre+
5/31 -- Austin, TX -- Emo's East+
6/01 -- Houston, TX -- Free Press Fest
6/03 -- Baton Rouge, LA -- Spanish Moon+
6/05 -- Carrboro, NC -- Cats Cradle+
6/08 -- New York, NY -- Governors Ball
6/09 -- Detroit, MI -- Orion Festival
6/11 -- Chicago, IL -- Metro
6/12 -- Columbus, OH -- Newport Music Hall
6/13 -- Manchester, TN -- Bonnaroo
6/15 -- Louisville, KY -- Headliners Music Hall
6/16 -- Pittsburgh, PA -- Mr Smalls Theatre
6/20 -- Charlottesville, VA-- Jefferson Theatre
6/21 -- Baltimore, MD -- Ottobar
6/22-6/23 -- Dover, DE -- Firefly Fesitval
7/12 -- Lisbon, Portugal -- Optimus Alive Festival
* with The Gaslight Anthem
^ with Cloud Nothings
+ w/ A Place To Bury Strangers

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Warner Bros Records Announces Their Record Store Day Goodies

Some of the first items available for 2013's Record Store Day are starting to be announced, including the offerings from the still-standing Warner Bros. Records.

I'm not sure how the Zaireeka on vinyl thing would work and I imagine the end results would be pretty horrendous when trying to time everything up just perfectly, particularly with the differences in speed between the turntables.

But whatever turns you on, I guess, it's your list. Start savin'.

WARNER BROS. RECORDS AND AFFILIATED LABELS ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE VINYL RELEASES FOR RECORD STORE DAY ON SATURDAY, APRIL 20TH

EXCLUSIVE VINYL PACKAGES AVAILABLE FROM THE BLACK KEYS, TEGAN AND SARA, LINKIN PARK, THE FLAMING LIPS, GARY CLARK JR., DEFTONES, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, AND MORE
**As these Limited Edition vinyl pressings and soon-to-be-rare artifacts are designated for Record Store Day ONLY, promo review copies will not be available.  Let's keep the culture of independent record stores alive.  Support the cause. Support vinyl. Support your love of music on Sat. Apr 20, 2013.

Rick Gershon
WBR Publicity
March 4, 2013 - (Burbank, CA) - Warner Bros. Records, an official sponsor of Record Store Day has announced its annual participation featuring a series of vinyl albums and singles available on Saturday April 20th exclusively in honor of everyone's favorite holiday: a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 1,000 independently owned record stores in the U.S., and hundreds of similar stores internationally.

We are excited to reveal that our very special, Limited-Edition, Exclusive releases are as follows:

Avenged Sevenfold: "Carry On" - One disc vinyl 12" Picture Disc - Limited to 5000 copies
The A-side is the studio track Carry On, which is featured in Activision's video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II.  This song was written specifically for the game and released on Sept. 25, 2012.  The B-side features the instrumental version which has been previously unreleased. This picture disc is limited and features the Call of Duty: Black Ops II artwork and Avenged Sevenfold's Deathbat.

Avenged Sevenfold  "Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough"
12" vinyl LP and DVD Deluxe Edition - Limited to 3500 copies
For Record Store Day 2013, on the 5 year anniversary of the Live in the LBC performance, we have produced a limited vinyl/DVD configuration, pressed on vinyl for the first time in a deluxe gatefold jacket and mastered by Bernie Grundman. This release contains both the first live concert film from Avenged Sevenfold "Live in the LBC" filmed live on April 10, 2008 as well as "Diamonds in the Rough", an offering of previously unreleased B-sides and more. The CD/DVD configuration was released September 16, 2008 and has since been certified Platinum.

Biffy Clyro: "Black Chandelier" - 7" EP - Limited to 2,000 copies
Pressed on limited-edition black and clear splattered vinyl for the first time and featuring an energetic and unreleased live performance of the new single Black Chandelier from the new Opposites album. This was recorded at Kaufleuten, Zurich-Switzerland on January 19, 2013. Also features a previously unreleased B-side, City of Dreadful Night.

The Black Keys / The Stooges"No Fun" Split 7" Colored vinyl Single - Limited to 7,500 copies
This year's Side by Side Vinyl Series features The Stooges '69 classic track on one side and The Black Keys updated 2002 take on the flip side pressed on orange & red sunburst vinyl. Very Limited so grab it before it's gone for good. 

Bombino: "Azamane Tiliade/Si Chilan"- 10" Single - Limited to 3,000 copies
Nonesuch Records releases Nomad, from the Tuareg guitarist, singer, and songwriter Omara "Bombino" Moctar and his band, on April 2nd. The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who just won the GRAMMY Award for Producer of the Year, helmed the recording at his Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound. On Record Store Day, Nonesuch will release a 10" with the album track "Azamane Tiliade" and an exclusive non-album B-side, "Si Chilan."Mastered at Bernie Grundman Studios and pressed by Pirates Press, which means it sounds real good.

Built To Spill: "Live" - Two-disc vinyl LP and CD Deluxe Edition - Limited to 2,500 copies
An absolutely stunning collection of seminal Built To Spill songs recorded live during the band's 1999 "Keep It Like A Secret" tour. Originally released on April 18, 2000, on both vinyl (on Up Records) and CD (on Warner Bros. Records). The vinyl configuration initially contained two bonus tracks "Forget Remember When" and "Now and Then," which have now been included on the limited-edition CD in celebration of this release and Record Store Day. Naturally, it's cut for vinyl at Bernie Grundman Mastering especially for your sonic delight.

Cream: "Live at the Royal Albert Hall" - Three-disc vinyl LP box set with book Deluxe Edition - Limited to 1,500 copies
A sensational and historic reunion concert performed and recorded May 2, 3, 5, & 6 in 2005 and released for the first time in October of that same year - released on DVD, CD, and vinyl. Now available for the first time in over five years and for the first time ever, we have produced a limited edition of this box set on CREAM-colored vinyl in celebration of Record Store Day 2013 and this important recording. Half Speed mastering from Stan Ricker for the ultimate audiophile quality.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: "Patterns" - One-disc vinyl 12" EP - Limited to 3,000 copies
Another RSD Exclusive 12"-vinyl EP includes digital download card. Details forthcoming but suffice to say, this is wondrous stuff. This one-time-only 12" artifact was made just for you and will disappear fast. You know what to do.

Deftones: Live: Volume 1 - Selections from Adrenaline - One disc vinyl 12" EP - Quantity N/A
Songs from Adrenaline hand-picked by Deftones and recorded live at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, New York, on Oct. 13, 1996. The initial release in a series of seven vinyl exclusive releases with the first release being a Record Store Day exclusive and the last planned to be a Black Friday independent exclusive retail release. Finally, the light of day has come.Cut for vinyl by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios from the original live analog sources and pressed on both 120- and 180-gram highest-quality vinyl at Record Technology Inc.

Eli "Paperboy" Reed"WooHoo" / "Call Your Boyfriend" - 7" vinyl EP - Limited to 3,000 copies
Eli "Paperboy" Reed is an emerging talent who already has two albums under his belt, 2008's Roll With You and 2010's Come & Get It, which earned the soul singer an especially loyal fan following in Europe - so much so that Reed was nominated as "Breakthrough Artist of the Year" by Britain's Mojo magazine. For the singer's upcoming Warner Bros. debut album, Eli takes his affinity for classic Chicago soul and blends it with a newfound respect for modern pop music. The result is a collection of songs that extend far beyond his neo-Motown roots. In the meantime, this release features a new song, "WooHoo,"and a reinterpreted version of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend," aptly titled "Call Your Boyfriend."

The Flaming LipsZaireeka- Four-disc different colored vinyl 12" - Limited to 7,500 copies
Fans and critics agree that this is one of the most important and invigorating experimental albums in contemporary pop music. Four discs, designed to be played on cue and simultaneously, producing nothing short of a symphonic experience. Re-mastered by the band especially for this release at Bernie Grundman Mastering in celebration of this record and Record Store Day 2013, with unique art and packaging (Including a 12pg booklet) w/ limited to this release.. Once these are gone...they are GONE.

Foals"Holy Fire" - One-disc vinyl 12" LP plus two song 7"-colored vinyl EP - Limited to 5,000 copies
Domestic vinyl exclusive of the celebrated new album, in visually stunning package featuring an additionaltwo-song 7" EP pressed on gold vinyl featuring the exclusive tracks "Bluebird" and
"My Number (Friendly Fires Remix)." We've included a download card that can be redeemed for the entire album plus 7" single content. You're welcome!

Gary Clark, Jr.: "HWUL Raw Cuts Vol. 2" - 12" EP colored vinyl - Limited to 1,000 copies
Over 20 minutes of music and performance mastery available for the first time in all of its analog glory. Vol. 2 features a blistering live performance of "When My Train Comes In" as well as a studio version of the track off his hit album Blak And Blu. A beautifully crafted limited edition offering mastered at 45 rpm and cut by Bernie Grundman Mastering for maximum vibes.

Iron & Wine: "Next to Paradise" / " Dirty Ocean" - 7" Single - Limited to 3,300 copies
Iron and Wine makes its Nonesuch Records debut with Ghost on Ghost in the U.S. on April 16. Ghost on Ghostis the fifth release from singer-songwriter Sam Beam, using the pen name Iron and Wine. The album was produced by Beam's longtime associate Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Califone, Fruit Bats). This special 7" includes two exclusive tracks unavailable anywhere else but on this lovely one time only pressing just for RSD. Cut by, you guessed it, Bernie Grundman and pressed at Pallas MFG (Diepholz, Germany) for your supreme listening pleasure.

Linkin Park: Hybrid Theory  - One disc vinyl LP plus two song 10" EP, Exclusive poster and sticker - Limited to 3,000 copies
The arresting debut album that came to be known by fans and critics alike as one of The Premiere Albums of The Decade!  Originally released on October 24, 2000, the album has sold over 10 million copies in the United States alone, where it has since been certified Diamond.  Around the world, the album would also garner Multiple Platinum status in over a dozen countries. Hybrid Theory still stands as a contemporary classic in the world of modern rock and alternative music. The bonus 10" EP contains the tracks "One Step Closer" and "My December". This pressing will also contain long out of print poster and original street team sticker re-productions.Here it is reissued on vinyl for the first time in over a decade and cut by Bernie Grundman Mastering to insure the highest possible audio standard.

LP: "Into The Wild - Live At EastWest Studios" - Limited Edition 12" Vinyl EP - Limited to 2,000 copies
Another Record Store Day Exclusive masterpiece from this critically loved and incomparable songwriter and vocalist LP captured completely live without overdubs just the way nature intended. Originally on CD only, this first-time vinyl pressing contains a previously unavailable bonus track "It's Over." Her Warner Bros. debut album will be released later this year.Your friends at Bernie Grundman mastered this with you in mind.

Punch Brothers:  "Ahoy!" - 33 1/3 rpm Vinyl EP - Quantity N/A
Nonesuch Records released Punch Brothers' five-song EP Ahoy! digitally and on CD last November. Now on vinyl for the first time, the EP has been pressed on 10" vinyl for Record Store Day, and includes songs by Josh Ritter ("Another New World"), Gillian Welch and David Rawlings ("Down Along the Dixie Line"), Punch Brothers ("Squirrel of Possibility"), and Mclusky ("Icarus Smicarus"), along with one traditional tune, arranged by Punch Brothers ("Moonshiner"). Originallyrecorded during the Nashville sessions for their critically acclaimed 2012 album Who's Feeling Young Now?, these tracks were produced by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, Modest Mouse). Cut by Chris Bellman (Bernie Grundman Studios) and pressed at Pallas MFG (Diepholz, Germany) because, sound matters!

Surfer Blood: "Demon Dance" - One disc Colored Vinyl 7" EP - Limited to 5,000A special early look at Surfer Blood's new album PYTHONS, out June 11th featuring the single "Demon Dance" and another previously unreleased album track "Slow Six" pressed on exclusive tri colored- Navy, Blue and White vinyl.
Tegan and Sara: Closer Remixed  - One-disc vinyl 12" EP - Limited to 5,000
An exclusive selection of remixes of the hit single "Closer" from Tegan and Sara's revered new album Heartthrob, assembled and released on vinyl in celebration of the album, as special thanks to fans and independent record stores on Record Store Day 2013. Closer Remixed includes 10 exclusive remixes of the new single by Sultan & Ned Shepard, Morgan Page, Until The Ribbon Breaks, The Knocks, Bradley Hale, Yeasayer, Chris Walla, Damian Taylor, Ted Gowans and C-ro & Sofa.

About Record Store Day:
Record Store Day is managed by the Music Monitor Network and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and celebrates the culture of independent record stores by playing host to in-store events/performances, signings and special product releases on a global scale on Saturday, April 20th, 2013. For more about Record Store Day, please visit www.recordstoreday.com.