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out this week 8/10 & 8/17 & 8/24...blonde redhead...conan o'brien...antony & the johnsons...sufjan stevens

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 26, 2010 12:20pm | Post a Comment
It is hard to believe that September is almost here -- it seems like summer just started! But before we know it the kids will be back in school and we will all be getting ready for the holiday season. I love this time of year... The end of summer, I mean. I was actually one of those weird kids who didn't mind going back to school. I looked forward to the end of summer and the beginning of fall and winter. The award season is also right around the corner and the Emmy Awards are this Sunday! I am thinking they are actually going to be very funny this year since they are hosted by Jimmy Fallon. I do still love Jimmy Fallon from his SNL days. I am rarely up late enough to catch his show but I do like it whenever I manage to watch it. I still think that Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon should host the Oscars together. And yes, the Oscars are also right around the corner -- the Oscar nominations will be given out January 25th and the actual Oscars will be on February 27th!
                                                                                                                                                                        
It has been a couple of slow weeks for music new releases. Arcade Fire week was amazing a couple of weeks ago but it was all sort of downhill after that. Now things are getting exciting again this week! The great end of summer albums are coming out and there are some fantastic albums right around the corner to get us through the end of the year. Additionally, there are some exciting new EPs and singles and 7"s out this week. No Age put out a new single called "Glitter" on 12" and 7". They have a new album, Everything in Between, out on September 28th. Blonde Redhead released "Not Getting There" as a 12" this week. They are one of my absolute favorites who never let me down and I can't get enough of them! They have a new album out on September 14th called Penny Sparkle. I still remember the first time I heard Blonde Redhead. That girl has one of those amazing voices and I have never heard anyone like her. Glad to have them back in my life! I assume by now that everyone has heard them but if you haven't, check out A Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and In an Expression of the Inexpressible first.


One of the coolest and weirdest releases this week is by Conan O'Brien. Jack White has released a new 7" from Conan on his very own label, Tconan o'brien 7"hird Man. Yes, you heard it right -- Conan has released a 7" single! I can't really remember the last time a late night show host put out a single or an album. I do own a couple of Joan Rivers albums...but it has been a while. The A side is "And They Call Me Mad?" It is basically a spoken word sort of storytelling. Conan tells a Frankenstein story in the style of Vincent Price. The B side is a previously unreleased interview with Conan and Jack White. It is actually more of Jack White interviewing Conan. I don't know about you, but I am super excited about the new Conan show. Team Coco! I actually really have not watched hardly any late night since Conan left the Tonight Show. I don't really know anyone who likes Jay Leno and I am getting a bit bored of David Letterman. I am ready for Conan to be back in my life! The new show airs on TBS in just a couple of months. The date is November 8th, so mark your calendar. I can't wait! I will be patiently waiting for the Jimmy Fallon 7". Or maybe a Jenny Jones or Sally Jessy Raphael 7"! I for sure think that Oprah should put out a 7"! Come on, Oprah! It is the last year of your show! I would probably buy an Oprah/Whitney Houston split 7".
                                                                                                                                                                       Also out this week is a new EP from one of my other favorites, Antony & the Johnsons! Antony releasesantony & the johnsons Thank You For Your Love as a CD EP. The vinyl version will be out in a couple of weeks. The new full length album is called Swanlights and is out October 12th. As you would expect, I can't wait. I fell in love with Antony when Amoeba Hollywood first opened. He was just starting to become a little well known. His first album was released on Durtro at the time and then later reissued on Secretly Canadian. It was one of those albums that you really only had to listen to once to fall in love with. He really seemed like he came from a different period in time. Somebody really could have told me that they had uncovered some recording from some husky lady vocalist from the 1940's. His vocal style is sort of amazing -- imagine a goth version of Nina Simone. I know Nina is already sort of goth! Maybe imagine Marc Almond or Alison Moyet mixed with Nina Simone. It is that good. You can't help but be physically and emotionally affected after listening to an Antony & the Johnsons album. I knew he would eventually get more popular over the years -- he was just too good to be ignored. He has gone on to record 2 more full lengths for Secretly Canadian. His first album was self titled, then I Am A Bird Now came out in 2005 and The Crying Light came out in 2009. He also released many singles and EPs over the years. The Another World EP came out in 2008 before his last full length. This new EP is also a sort of teaser for the new album and I am in love with it. I am just glad that we don't have to wait until 2011 for a new album! Anyway, Thank You For Your Love is a bit on the sad side, which is probably why I love it. It also includes a brilliant cover of "Imagine." Antony! Thank you for your love! I like to think that this EP is a thank you to his fans like me for our love for him. I am just so glad Antony decided to give us the gift of his music. If you have never seen this guy perform live, you simply must do it. His shows are up there on my list of my favorites. They are magical experiences.

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Current 93 Celebrates Its 28th Year with a New Album and Three Box Sets

Posted by Aaron Detroit, June 30, 2010 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Current 93
began a new revitalized era with the release of last year’s quite exceptional Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain. The long running project helmed by the forever impish David Tibet introduced dark swirling pools of amped-to-11 guitars to its starry-eyed mix of esoteric tripping and psychedelic visions alongside Tibet’s more recent languid and typically pensive compositions. Mountain also marked a new C93 era in that it is the first full-length release to fully delve into Tibet’s most recent obsession: apocryphal Christian texts written in Coptic. Tibet used his inspiration from these ancient texts to write his fever dream poetry that is, as with most C93 albums, the focus of Mountain. This month welcomed the release of Aleph’s follow-up, Baalstorm, Sing Omega. Baalstorm sees the happy return of Mountain collaborators and Tibet’s post-Michael Cashmore wingmen James Blackshaw and Andrew Liles (as well as many other co-conspirators). The heavier elements on Aleph are replaced here by some light Eastern percussion, creepy-yet-playful outbursts of children’s voices (either real or made to sound childlike via a pitched-up Tibet), and Liles’ atmospheric electronics. Like its predecessor, Baalstorm is a journey best taken all at once, but unlike Mountain it is a journey much more easily traveled courtesy of its majestic and less oppressive atmosphere.


Listen: Current 93 "Baalstorm! Baalstorm!"
 
Also (finally) released this month is C93’s long-delayed Like Swallowing Eclipses, a 6-LP vinyl-only box set featuring remixes and reconstructions by Liles of the first five Current 93 LPs: Nature Unveiled, Dogs Blood Rising, In Menstrual Night, Dawn and Live at Bar Maldoror. Exclusive to the set is also a 6th LP, Haunt Invocation (Apadno), which features Liles remixing Tibet’s interpretations of Count Eric Stenbock’s Faust and text by Horror author Thomas Ligotti.

As if that were not enough to feed your need for Current 93, German label Vinyl-on-Demand is releasing TWO 4-LP eponymous box sets of early C93 material in July. The first features completely unreleased (!!!) material from the years 1982-95, while box set #2 features the albums Christ and the Pale Queens, The Red Face of God, As the World Disappears, and Emblems. This release is particularly exciting, as both Emblems and As The World Disappears see their first vinyl release here. Both sets are packaged in sturdy wooden boxes with 28-page booklets and other ephemera, including a C93 metal pin. The super-geek collector fever doesn’t stop there either; available separately is a limited quantity of deluxe embossed fine linen folders to complete and protect the 2 wooden boxes. All three box sets are extremely limited.

Amoeba Music Hollywood will have quantity of Baalstorm, Sing Omega likely on Friday, July 2nd and Like Swallowing Eclipses will be available in limited quantity as of early next week. The Vinyl-on-Demand boxes will be available in late July.

out this week 5/26...james blackshaw...phoenix...grizzly bear...blank dogs...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 28, 2009 01:45pm | Post a Comment

I imagine that everybody will be so busy talking about Grizzly Bear this week, they will forget about any other albums that have also come out this week. I am still trying to get into the Grizzly Bear, but it just hasn't been working. I don't neccessarily have a problem with them and maybe they will finally grow on me in the next couple of weeks. It just has not happened yet. But I imagine if you are already a Grizzly Bear fan then you will love this new album -- everybody seems to like it. Some lucky fans got to hear the album early and even buy it early on this Monday here at Amoeba, the day before the album officially came out.

But there are some smaller albums that are getting me very excited this week. First up is the new album by Blank Dogs. The album is called Under & Under and is released by In the Red Records. Blank Dogs is actually just one Blank Dog: one dude from Brooklyn. We seem to know way too much about most artists these days, so I find it refreshing when I know absolutely nothing about an artist. It just makes it all about the music, which is what it should be. This guy even goes so far as to wear masks when he is photographed. Blank Dogs have been putting out music for a couple of years but this is my first real introduction to him. I have long been a fan and will always be a fan of blank dogs under and undershoegaze...and shoegaze this is not, but it does sort of fall into the new genre -- "Shitgaze," brilliant term that makes complete sense. He basically is sort of making up his own weird distorted intrepretation of a genre. It makes it super personal and way more interesting than anything else out there. I am also forever in love with the keyboard, so when it is done right, I usually fall in love with the album. Blank Dogs sound not too different than the synth bands you might have grown up with. Elements of Joy Division, The Cure, and Tuxedomoon are easy to find in these songs. He is not really hiding his influences, but imagine a Jay Reatard type playing with those old genres and making his own sound. The album is dark and dreary but also has a hidden energy inside that make the songs have a sort of more fun, pop feel to them. This is probably the music I would have wanted to play if I had ever continued on my career in music and perfected my keyboard playing skills. Lots of good songs on the album, however, the first track is still my favorite. As much as I love Joy Division, sometimes I need a break. This album is the perfect alternative -- giving you the darkness you desire but with a little something else. Maybe if Ian Curtis had found the right medication and managed to survive the 80s and 90s, this is the sort of album he would have ended up making.

One of my other favorites of the week is the new James Blackshaw. This guy has been around for a while but I have never actually gotten around to listening to him...although it is very possible that I did listen to him before and it just didn't hit me until now. I honestly always thought this guy was some 60 something Irish dude playing old timey folky ballads. I pictured him with a long white beard and maybe in a wheelchair -- not unlike Robert Wyatt. I was amazed to find out he was actually born in 1981, and he is from London...so I was not so far off on his location, just a bit off on my guess of his age. He has been putting out albums since 2004. He made his way to the label Young God for this new album called Glass Bead Game. Like the albums of Grouper and Jose Gonzalez, this album manages to break my heart a little every time I listen to it. At first it just seems like a simple little album of solo guitar and piano, but it managed to get inside me and break me all up inside. It was one of those albums that I put on not really exjames blackshaw glass bead gamepecting to like, but I was intrigued because it was on Young God. I just expected some Glenn Yarbrough style vocals over the music. I have not had a chance to explore his old albums, but I know he has crossed some boundaries and experimented with a couple different genres. I just like what he is doing right now. There is also some great piano work on this album. The Glass Bead Game is actually the last book by author Hermann Hesse, the man who brought us Siddhartha and Steppenwolf. The album features Joolie Wood on violin, clarinet, and flute; and also John Contreras playing the cello, both of whom also play with Current 93. Lavinia Blackwall also contributes some vocals, but most of album is instrumental. The album is nothing short of beautiful. While it manages to break my heart every time I listen to it, it also mangages to heal it every time. The album is sort of a spiritual classical album. It really makes me feel like I am living in a different era.

I am also really enjoying the new album by Harold Budd out this week. Candylion is a collaboration between Harold Budd & Clive Wright. I am most familiar with Harold Budd because of his work with the Cocteau Twins in the 80s, and I have always wanted to dig deeper into his discography. I have always been a fan of ambient music and Harold Budd is one of the originators of the genre. Darla Records put out two albums by Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie in 2007. He also released A Song for Lost Blossoms with Clive Wright last year. While I am told that his catalog is sometimes hit or miss, he seems to have never really stopped putting out albums. He has also put out a couple soundtracks over the years. This album could easily be a soundtrack and it is possible to listen to it without even knowing that it is on -- but not because it is boring or dull -- it just manages to slip in and out of your consciousness. His music is very minimal and beautiful. Imagine Cocteau Twins without the vocals. I have been threatening to get into New Age music for years, but I think this might be as far as I go. I have always been a huge fan of instrumental music and really do often fall in love with the scores of many films. This is just a nice, pleasant album. But it also has that intenseness that the James Blackshaw album has, maybe just more ethereal and dreamy. However, it can still manage to get inside you and make you feel things you didn't know were in there and is also sort of healing music. I guess that is why it gets labeled New Age Music, but I love it just the same. Sometimes I just need to calm myself down a bit and listen to music like this. It really is a stress reliever. Music is supposed to make you feel good, right? Sometimes you just need a different type of music to accomplish that. Thank you, Harold Budd. You made getting through this week just a little bit easier.

also out this week...






Freak of Araby by Sir Richard Bishop











Eating Us by Black Moth Super Rainbow











Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain by Current 93











Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear











High End of Low by Marilyn Manson












Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix










Monoliths & Dimensions by Sunn O)))











Hard Knox by Wand