Sunday, October 28, 2012

Autumn Incoming, Upcoming and the Usual Blah Blah Blah

It's fall and that's a bittersweet time of the year for me--my favorite season but also a time to remember some lost people who too loved fall or left this world in the fall.  The leaves are blowing inside (sometimes faster than the customers), the neighborhood critters are seeking warmer hangouts and lots of killer music to sooth the pain and prepare us for the inevitable cold.

The last month or so has been littered with some killer shows--some bands we watched "grow up" like thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall (but even their growing audiences haven't changed their attidudes, personalities or great music a bit), some who had grown up and left us only to return for a brief moment ( Hot Snakes earliest lineup passed as close as Toronto and let me say i HATE going to shows in Toronto--mainly the drive home, but the 'Snakes brought their a-game the the Horseshoe on this night and were stunningly great even tossing in an old Drive Like Jehu song towards the end), our own production (seed planted by terminal-boredoms Chuck Barrels) of Nobunny, Apache Dropout, Bad Sports and support from 2 of Buffalo's top acts-Mallwalkers and White Whale.  Memphis' CHEAP TIME made their third (underappreciated) stop through Buffalo in support of their third lp--the killer-pop of 'Wallpaper Music'.  Godspeed You! Black Emperor took a decade to put out a new album and pass through town,
I missed the saucy and talented Frankie Rose and attended a wedding while Rocket From The Tombs set Mohawk ablaze (again?!) but perhaps the top of the heap was the Pleasure Leftists playing to firewood stealing/no cover paying Rochester cretins (this one set up by the handsome young Get Mugged Gaffney) in a rented park cabin in an otherwise dark and deserted wooded area of Pittsford, just outside the crotch metro area itself.  The Pleasure Leftists bring a dark, brooding and erie brand of british post-punk (ala Joy Division--weak reference point, i know but it's true) with possibly the strongest female vocalist in any band on the planet at this time.  Incredible presence and projection from an otherwise humble front-woman leading this awesome quartet out of Cleveland.  Probably the best touring band i've seen all year, or at least up there at the top.  They have a 12" on Fan Death we occasionally stock--it's absolutely essential and crushes many of our top sellers of similar stock.  Look for a new batch of songs on the supercool HOZAC label hopefully by springtime.  Take a listen to their track "SUITS" from the self titled 12" and some poor sound quality live footage won't be far.
So, whats new?  Well in anticipation of Indie Black Friday, there have been a plethora (yes, El Guapo i do know what a plethora is and you do, indeed, have a plethora of pinatas.)

In the last update, a few of the bands mentioned, as well as in the above paragraphing mentioning some significant national tours, have bequeathed upon us brand new albums.  Thee Oh Sees 'Putrifiers II', Ty Segall--almost as ridiculously prolific as his pals thee Oh Sees put out a raw, killer 2x 10" 'Slaughterhouse' and has since, back to the Drag City label, released some more of his best work in years on the TWINS lp (theres also a 2 track 7" teaser which preceded it) which may not be quite as raw as Slaughterhouse but is full of thick guitar/drum pounders with melodic intentions that almost seems effortless for this young fella.  Both Twins and Slaughterhouse may be two completely different and essential beasts--and beasts they are, they leave last years Drag City debut 'Goodbye Bread' in the dust.  Where Slaughterhouse was for the fans who have been following Segall all along, TWINS will be the record to, not only keep the fanboys and girls happy, but break him into a much wider audience.  With the hype behind him and the killer tunes to back it up--expect Segall to be reaching a much wider audience while he continues to do what he was dropped on to this earth to do--produce killer rock and roll music.  If he weren't busy enough writing, recording and touring relentlessly, Segall (who toured with Mikal Cronin who played bass in 'the Ty Segall Band', he remains a reoccurring drummer in the cool as shit SIC ALPS who also have recently released a brand new full length--a self-titled lp.  Don't overlook the "underlooked" Sic Alps if yer a fan of the above mentioned artists--they are weirder and won't be filling huge clubs with fratboys trying to crowd surf, but they are no less an essential piece of this puzzle often drawing weirder pop-psychedelia with big chunks of Syd Barrett influences.  Their consistency has been puzzling on essential lp's like US EZ--but when they're on, they are ON.  The double singles collection is a great starting point, but what i've heard from 2012s Sic Alps is no slouching point (is that a term?  it is at 5:42 am).   Aw screw it, here's the video for the track "Glyphs".  Sic Alps also are on Drag City, the label who recently has offered up a fine reissue of Royal Trux "Accelerator" (1998) and their "untitled" lp's--both in stock right now.

                                            Sic Alps video taken from Sic Alps lp 2012   

A little late, as this update tends to be--were some key releases from a few upstart bands as well as some real winners from artists we haven't heard anything new from for awhile.  Godspeed You! Black Emperor put out their first lp in nealry a decade which is still in stock (barely).  From the Matador Group--Cat Power (Chan...meow!!!) has been mulling around 6 years before her highly anticipated SUN lp hit the shelves on the same day as The Xx's 'Coexist'.  The Deluxe version of Coexist was delayed and has arrived and in stock along with their self-titled  debut which remain at their lowest prices anywhere!   Don't be ripped by lazy, big box stores selling "hot new bands for credibility" at laughable prices--well you won't be laughing when you realized you paid $10 more than our list price.   That will always be the case as we tend to order direct to label or true independent distributor. 

Often stores will reap the 'cred' of calling themselves INDEPENDENT when they are bringing in inflated priced product  from the great satan companies who still don't get it.

Apache Dropout's second lp is fitting for Halloween but don't expect campy spookrock--anyone who saw their performance with NOBUNNY knows this upstart band is full-on midwestern weirdo psych-garage stripped dowwners rising from the basements of Lafayette, IN and even into the grimy paws at Pitchfork™ (who also loved them) .  By the time their rickety van hit Buffalo, they had a room full of rabid fans complimenting their brilliant set.

Pinback, Dinosaur Jr (who continue with the original line-up who brought it all back on the stunning FARM lp) both return with their unique, seminal sounds all their own. 

On the locally bred front, most recently, comes a beautiful third lp and 7" single from Roger Bryan/the Orphans (a band loaded with some of Buffalo's ace songwriters/players/bartenders/recording engineers/record collecting dudes) --"37" which is released on the bands own Harvest Sum--an outlet for a band who should probably be on a much larger label to distribute such hard efforts. 
On a darker, much more aggressively brutal front comes the ingeniously packaged GAS CHAMBER 7" compliments Warm Bath Label--another pro-quality underground local label run by the paychecks/beer ca return money of it's braintrust.  The first Gas Chamber 7" and the longplayer along with an amzingly well shot and recorded RUNNING FOR COVER DVD documenting one of our most well remembered and important hardcore units final two shows.  One shot at the ol' Sit-n-Spin (the shop which became Spiral Scratch) and the finale at Kitchen Distribution.  Essential and available only here or through Warm Bath Label.

WATER TORTURE a familiar 2 piece bombastic duo who have really come into their own with this most recent project of just the two of them, have a 7" (acclaimed in many reviews nationally) out that is going to sell out, seasoned veterans OLD GHOSTS (lp & 7") -who happen to be our source for an occasional offering of DEAD HEARTS (reunion show in the works).
cassette label DRUG PARTY continues to offer us their killer releases on cassette format which has been the choice of voice for non-related but no less worthy recent works from reborn songwriter (currently finishing an album backed by the mysterious Magi Chipi) Bill "Tracy Morrow" Nehill (each with individual hand drawn cover art) and Area Denial.

 The Numero Group, outspoken critics of the darker side of Record Store Day, is a fine re-issue label known for unearthing obscure gems (from soul/classic r&b to power pop) and beautiful packaging with great sounding (and looking) records.  " Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago " is 2 lp's worth packed with obscure power pop gems previously only known to rabid collectors with fat wallets.  Obviously a regional compilation, the Numero Group is the real deal and this twin set is bringing that out into the open.  At a price that seems like a steal, they also prove that labels charging $20 for a bare bones, single lp with half-assed packaging are once again, ripping off the customer or squeezing the retailer.   This comp has been largely ignored in the shop since it's arrival and I'm warning you not to pass it by as they were probably pressed in a limited quantity.

More reissues of note.
Sugar - Copper Blue
Sugar - File Under Easy Listening
Following the breakup of the legendary hardcore to pop band Husker Du both song writers/vocalists Bob Mould and Grant Hart embarked on solo careers. Meanwhile, bassist Greg Norton continued to sport his fantastic mustache and became a chef leaving music behind.  the others weren't finished.   A messy breakup it was, Hart struck first with his criminally underrated Intolerance which SST (Huskers label for much of their career) which was recorded all by himself with pointed songs aimed at his former bandmate, drug abuse, etc.   Meanwhile, Mould was taking the high road recording a few well received lp's before settling into a "band".  When Copper Blue first came out, I recall being blown away and stunned--it's not that the prior solo albums were that bad--this was just so much MORE.  What i was craving.  Intense was the (attached to this reissue making it a double lp) Beaster 12", some of Moulds angriest, most aggresive songs since the Husker days but not without the trademark melody.  Also included are a batch of b-sides and an entire live show.  Holy crap.  File Under: Easy Listening continues on attaching an extra disc of b-sides and boisterous live material.  Essential.

the Men - Immaculata  Prior to the Men gaining notoriety with their last two Sacred Bones releases--they debuted with Immaculata (as a full length) with a limited pressing of 500--which are obviously all gone by now.  Thanks to the supercool Deranged Records, this is now available again (along with their 2 latest) just in time for their passing through Buffalo on November 12th.  8 songs of desperate, fuzzed out, riff laden punk/post-punk that is both dreamy and droney--a sign of incredible things to come when Sacred Bones picked them in 2011 for the highly acclaimed "Leave Home" lp, a more aggresive, louder and noisier foray and this years all-over-the-map "Open Up Your Heart".  In Stock.

Monoshock - Walk Into The Fire  "A Buried Treasure" (MOJO mag), which Julian Cope declared "a Barbarian Classic" this mid-90's (1995 to be precise) garage-psych opus taps into the Stooges "Funhouse" along with earlier seminal bands names dropped such as Blue Cheer, Hawkwind and Amon Dull II blending into a monstrous double-lp masterwork which has been highly sought after 20 years after it flew--rampaged it's way under the radar of phony grunge rock and other alt.bullshit.  Hashtag that.  Revered by many of it's hometown bay area bands such as Comets on Fire and the Wooden Shjips as a prime influence, this reissue is beautifully (how that word works its way into a Monoshock write-up is beyond me) with extensive liner notes and a heavy cardboard tip-on gatefold jacket.  What else could be expected by the excellent S-S records who probably tossed a download code inside as well.  Fans of the heavy psych-punk genre should not miss this one if their lives depend upon it. 

Of course there's a lot more to mention, but this has taken 3 days to complete and we should let you in on these things before they're gone.   Some other notable incoming that I'll talk about more next time is a few Siltbreeze reissues of note: Dead C "Harsh 70's Reality" 2x lp .  Originally released in 1992, this was the bands fourth outing, an ambitious double album and with it preceding two well received albums--it had huge shoes to fill.
'People say that rock music died with the passing of Kurt Cobain. But The Dead C slaughtered it in its sleep with this tremendous set of grinding thud. It is in every sense the ultimate post-rock album. To hear it is to understand why one scribe back in the day referred to their sound as “a garbage truck backing over the abyss.” A legendary release from a legendary band on a legendary label.'
Then, a world away in Australia was Flying Nun's obscure Max Block "Air Ache In The Belly Of The Leech".  Few ever got their paws on this bands (who soon after became the Renderers) because it never saw official release.  Until now, that is in which this long player has pressed it along with some odds and sods for side 2.  Says Siltbreeze: "the Max Block pushed different boundaries than other active Christchurch bands at the time; they came out slinging a brain-splattering goo of art-spaced, Pere-Ubu-seared cerebellum, and frenetic, Mars-fried medula oblongata."  It's quite good stuff as well and is limited to 500 reissued copies. 
The Feeling of Love - Dissolve Me  This french band first caught me with their second long player, OK Judge Revival -- a Velvetsy influenced (with inspiration from the Fall/Country Teasers) romper of an lp that we were pushing before the fire in the shop. (my copy has charred corners but otherwise no fire-damage) It quickly became a staff favorite and has certainly aged well since it's 2010 release.  In that time a 12", Suck/Soul/Porn (2009) seemed like it should be wedged betwixt the 2010 lp and this, the incredible Dissolve Me lp released stateside on Kill Shamen.  Saving my favorite record of the lot for last, (Jesus Christ, i forgot to mention the Avengers self-titled classic seeing an official release for the first time, yet bootlegs have been readily available all along-Four Men With Beards has unleashed this.  Proper. sorry. back to what i was saying...) Dissolve Me is the best album we (myself included) didn't hear that was released in 2011. Probably one of the best bands we haven't heard of that we would dig, a shift in gears to the synthy/guitar driven follow the dots masterpiece that will catch you right away.  Key words overused like psych/synth/guitar/dreamy/droning/garagey (ever so slightly) all finally fit as each song is a new direction so subtle you'll barely notice as it unravels and shifts gears song to song.  It's the record I put on and whoever happens to be listening asks "who is this?"  It's time everyone discovers this way overlooked band before they DISSOLVE.  Their releases are not always long-lasting so grab them while you can.  This is fantastic record that is a familiar cat that is all it's own, minimal enough but not aping anything in particular--but a dose of Spacemen 3 if you require a name drop.  Getting the sound AND getting the songs right on.  What else can I say?  Discover this band any way you can.  Right now Dissolve Me remains where i set it the day it came in.   A+.  The best was saved for last this time. 
Here is the opening track in YouTube form:

 Thank you for reading, feel free to leave a comment or spread this along.  this is our website for now and I hope it's helpful for keeping you aware of what's been coming in and some of the more obscure stuff I know you will dig. 

next update:
 Buffalo's Third Annual Decency Rally Preview/Indie Black Friday/More Stock/a peek into our thousands of incoming used records/Our 4 Year Anniversary In-Store Customer Appreciation Party.

phew.  Happy Halloween, folks.

 11:27 p.m.