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My Favorites of 2012

5th Feb 13 (Tue) Leave a comment

Life has been a been busy/hectic lately, to say the least. Not enough time to do the usual extended blogs for best of instrumental, vocal and whatnot with lots of descriptions. And since, hell, it’ll be 2014 before too long; so I figured I’d get out my favorites of 2012 list in some fashion now before it’s officially too late.

Here’s what was my favorite music from last year…

vocal top 10
(in no particular order beyond #1)

O.S.I. - Fire Make ThunderO.S.I.Fire Make Thunder

Damien Jurado - Maraqopa Peter Mulvey - The Good Stuff Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

Ani DiFranco - Which Side Are You On? Bad Veins - The Mess We've Made Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind

Storm Corrosion (Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree & Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth) Sigur Rós - Valtari Aimee Mann - Charmer

instrumental top 10
(in no particular order beyond #1)

Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola - Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead

Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola
Not Getting Behind is the New Getting Ahead

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Alleujah! Don't Bend Ascend Guillaume Perret - The Electric Epic Buckethead - Electric Sea

Celldweller - Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head, Vol 2 Floratone - Floratone II Cosa Brava (Fred Frith with Kihlstedt, etc) - The Letter

John Zorn / Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 18 (Pruflas by David Krakauer) John Zorn / Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 19 (Abraxas by Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz) John Zorn - A Vision in Blakelight

ep, internet, etc

Best Novelty: Sufjan Stevens’ Silver and Gold boxset

Best Internet-only releases: Glen Phillips Coyote Sessions,
Greydon Square Type II : The Mandelbrot Set,
Sufjan Son Lux & Serengeti (s/s/s) beak and claw

Best EPs: Levi Weaver’s I Am Only A Tiny Noise
Peter Mulvey’s Chaser (OOP)

Best Vinyl-only: Wussy “Dangerous Highway” 7″
Sufjan Stevens & Rosie Thomas “Hit & Run” 7″

Enjoy! I’ll sort of promise to do better with timeliness on next year’s lists!

~Dan – np: Pinnick Gales PridgenPinnick Gales Pridgen
pinnick gales pridgen

Sufjan Stevens’ Silver & Gold (Xmas EP #’s 6-10)

2nd Oct 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Update: the stop-motion Lego video is at the bottom.

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

“Happy Holidays! On November 13, 2012, Asthmatic Kitty Records will release (another!) Christmas box-set extravaganza by the implacable singer/songwriter Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10, a compilation of 5 EPs recorded between 2006 and 2010.

Expanding on the tradition of the first box-set (Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5 from 2006), Silver & Gold is a generous document of five more years of holly-jolly jubilee — Christmas caroling, sleigh-bell-ringing, collaborative songwriting — undertaken by Sufjan and his various musical cohorts. Originally intended as gifts for family and friends, these musical snapshots have been re-mixed and re-assembled for the public in an exquisitely-designed gift box containing all the Yuletide pleasures money can buy: Christmas stickers, temporary tattoos, lyric sheets and chord charts, a paper ornament, an apocalyptic pull-out poster, photos, illustrations, and extensive liner notes—a veritable Christmas feast for the eyes and ears.

The album features collaborations with a running line-up of friends and musical peers, including Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Cat Martino (Sufjan’s right-hand woman on all things Age of Adz), Sebastian Krueger (Inlets), Gabriel Kahane, Vesper Stamper, and members of Danielson (Daniel, Elin, Lilly, and Ida). Sufjan’s own indelible aesthetic and his tireless oblique strategies (in vain pursuit of the perfect Christmas song) maintain the album’s center of gravity, resulting in an abundant compilation (nearly 60 tracks) that investigates the canon of devotional hymns and holiday pop songs with reckless abandon (totaling nearly three hours of music).

Silver & Gold surpasses its predecessor both in style and scope by taking a wider stance and embracing a more liberal ethos. The box-set sails through musical fashions as various as ornaments on a Christmas tree (covering songs from John Dowland to Johnny Marks). The folksy old-world renaissance of Gloria (Vol. 6) gives way to bi-polar impertinence on I Am Santa’s Helper (Vol. 7). Christmas Infinity Voyage (Vol. 8) looks to the cosmos (and the drum machine) for inspiration, while Let It Snow (Vol. 9) and Christmas Unicorn (Vol.10) show a giddy return to form, unselfconsciously reveling in all the bubble-gum show tunes from the 1950s and 60s (“A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” to name a few).

There are also 18 original songs intermixed throughout (some of them co-written or wholly composed by guest collaborators). Sufjan’s contribution to the Christmas canon exhibits an ever-expanding canopy of approaches: there’s the moody and affectionate Christmas ballad (“Happy Karma Christmas”), an ecclesiastical take on the Burl Ives classic “Silver & Gold” (re-titled here as “Justice Delivers Its Gift”), the rowdy, garage-rock, rumble-in-the-snow-bank (“Mr. Frosty Man”) and the psychedelic pop-anthem (“Christmas Unicorn”) that attempts to reconcile new age magic, fantasy fiction, and the commodification of Christmas with expository deftness.

Silver & Gold is more than just another Christmas album, but an ongoing exercise in theme and variation, an annual tradition that offers this songwriter a chance to experiment with fashion and technique without taking himself too seriously. Sufjan’s playful (yet purposeful) expedition through the superficial landscape of sugar plum fairies and marshmallow fluff has produced an exuberant musical account of “all things Christmas” in the pursuit of the sublime. What distinguishes this project from the glut of Christmas albums saturating the market today are Sufjan’s unguarded enthusiasm for the genre itself (the sense of freedom he shows in celebrating with reverence and rebellion) and the belief that Christmas music contains a multiplicity of sacred and secular significance (from Baby Jesus to Babes in Toyland) that is ultimately ours for the taking. It’s safe to say that no one has taken it further than Sufjan, for better and for worse.

Thanks for listening and may all your Christmas dreams come true.

Silver & Gold will be available in digital download, a CD box-set available November 13th, with a limited edition of 2000 vinyl box-sets available later this year or early 2013.

A special edition of the vinyl boxset, which will include some extra surprises, is available to US/Canada/EU for pre-order:

http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/album/silver-gold

The CD Boxset includes: (price not listed yet)

1. Five CD EPs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos  (non-toxic & safe for children)

4. A paper ornament (self-assembly with directions)

5. An apocalyptic pull-out poster

6. Song lyrics and chord charts (sing along with your friends and enemies)

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design (by Sufjan Stevens, drug-free since 1975)

8. Extensive liner notes (introductory salutations and an essay on the Christmas tree by Sufjan Stevens, and a few theological words on the End Times by Pastor Vito Aiuto)

The vinyl boxset includes: ($120 + S/H)

1. Five EPs on 6 vinyl discs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos

4. A paper ornament

5. A 40-page Christmas songbook with vocal and piano reductions

6. A Christmas coloring book

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design

8. Extensive liner notes

Whoa!

Sufjan Stevens Lego Movie

~Dan – np: Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias BossiNiagara Falling: Tales for the Stage, III

new music from Nellie McKay & My Brightest Diamond

22nd Mar 12 (Thu) Leave a comment

Jazzy, piano-pop songstress Nellie McKay just got done with a stint of tour dates for her death-row musical review I Want To Live! (double Oregon show review here).

Now she’s off with a new show entitled SILENT SPRING – It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature, a tribute to trailblazing environmentalist, Rachel Carson (Nellie made up as Rachel to the right).

She is currently amidst her Silent Spring residency at Feinstein’s in NYC.  The show runs March 20 to 31, 2012.  No word on if Silent Spring will make it out of NYC for a tour, but this seems similar to the path that I Want To Live! took… so, who knows, maybe we’ll see Silent Spring out West in late 2012/early 2013?

Listen to Nellie’s version of the song “Rio de Lua (Moon River)” below:

Shara Worden / My Brightest Diamond has recorded a guitar-based version of “I Have Never Loved Someone” for a limited release (1000 hand-numbered copies) as a 7″ through Holland-based Nowhere Fast Records.  For the B-side, Shara has sung Leonard Cohen’sBird On A Wire” with guitar accompaniment by Marc Ribot.  The album is set for release on Record Store Day (21 April 2012), and it will be available in Europe, the UK and the US markets.

~Dan – np: Boards of CanadaMusic Has the Right to Children

Tomahawk – Eponymous to Anonymous (RSD 2012 vinyl)

15th Feb 12 (Wed) 2 comments

On Record Store Day 2012 (aka 4/21/12), Tomahawk will release its first three albums on vinyl – their first time ever in this format.  The vinyl boxset sleeve for “Eponymous to Anonymous” will also contain a space for their upcoming fourth record on vinyl as well (currently TBD)…

Source: Tomahawk FB page

For those not in the know, Tomahawk is the super-group led by Duane Denison on guitars/songwriting (The Jesus Lizard, U.S.S.A., etc) that features Mike Patton on vocals (Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Fantomas, Mondo Cane, Moonchild, etc), John Stanier on drums (Helmet, Battles, etc), and Trevor Dunn on bass (Mr Bungle, Trio Convulsant, MadLove, Moonchild, etc).

Their breakout debut (Tomahawk out on Ipecac in 2001) is amazing… the other two vinyls in the RSD2012 set are Mit Gas and Anonymous… also great from the ever-evolving group:

 

Again, Record Store Day 2012 is April 21.  Find out about more RSD2012 releases HERE.

~Dan – np: John Zorn’s The DreamersO’o

A ton of new stuff from SECRET CHIEFS 3 (7″ with MIKE PATTON + 12″/shirts)

23rd Jan 12 (Mon) 3 comments

All of this should be available on the upcoming Secret Chiefs 3 West Coast (USA) Tour (dates below), but you can also now order them online…

NEW MERCH FOR 2012 FROM SECRET CHIEFS 3


WOM042 – Traditionalists: Le Chanson de Jacky / The Western Exile Exile 7″

La Chanson de Jacky

In 1965 Jacques Brel wrote and recorded a fiery three verse chanson exploding with the anxiety, bravado and panic faced by someone stretched to a midpoint  across the abyss — to find oneself suspended between mediocrity and genius, villainy and heroism, doom and eternity, etc. In 1967 the nearly equally inimitable Scott Walker brilliantly re-interpreted Brel’s Chanson in English, to equal parts controversy and acclaim in the Anglosphere. In 2012, both versions of the tune have collided in an Anglo-Franco alliance, revealing perhaps an ever-implicit third dimension. It’s a stunt simultaneously ill-advised and absolutely necessary for a band like Secret Chiefs 3: Traditionalists to undertake — and one that could only be pulled off with someone uniquely qualified to take command of the vocals. Who other than the maestro Mike Patton, in this day and age, to do justice (and then some) without insult to such a preposterously Spartan legacy?

The Western Exile

One of the main themes from Secret Chiefs 3’s 2004 album “Book of Horizons” receives a more spaghetti-seasoned marination in the crimson blood-soaked cemeteries of occidental exile. Not a chump re-mix, this is an entirely new thunderhead-evoking arrangement and recording, back-dated with a few more horsemen of the Apocalypse casting shadows over the Cowboys and Indians for cinematic effect. Already a well-proportioned auditory and philosophical compliment to its flipside, this recording is also one of the precious few Secret Chiefs 3 recordings graced with the voice and viola of Anonymous 13.

Read more about the 7″ and purchase here.

Also available: three new Secret Chiefs 3 t-shirts:

 

Secret Chiefs 3 also available on 12″ vinyl  (US customers only)

Secret Chiefs 3: First Grand Constitution & Bylaws 12″ vinyl

Secret Chiefs 3: Second Grand Constitution & Bylaws: Hurqalya

2012 West Coast Tour Dates

  • Jan 24 – Denver CO – Bluebird Theatre
  • Jan 25 – Santa Fe NM – Santa Fe Brewing Company
  • Jan 26 – Phoenix AZ – Crescent Ballroom
  • Jan 27 – Los Angeles CA – El Rey Theatre
  • Jan 28 – Santa Ana CA – Constellation Room
  • Jan 29 – San Diego CA – The Casbah
  • Jan 31 – San Luis Obispo CA – Club SLO Brew
  • Feb 1 – Santa Cruz CA – Moe’s Alley
  • Feb 2 – San Francisco CA – Great American Music Hall
  • Feb 3 – San Francisco CA – Slim’s
  • Feb 4 – Sacramento CA – Harlow’s
  • Feb 6 – Eugene OR – WOW Hall
  • Feb 7 – Portland OR – Dante’s
  • Feb 8 – Seattle WA – Neumos
  • Feb 9 – Bellingham WA – The Wild Buffalo
  • Feb 10 – Vancouver BC – Rickshaw Theatre

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaOne Size Fits All

EARTH’s Dylan Carlson – Wonders from the House of Albion

14th Jan 12 (Sat) Leave a comment

The frontman from sludge/drone/doom metal pioneer’s EARTH is coming out with a solo album via Kickstarter

(Dylan on the far left)

Dylan Carlson is creating his first major solo project outside of earth.  There will be a limited edition lp/dvd/book and cd/dvd/book (500 of each format) and a special pressing of 150 copies (lp only) with personalized ex libris by Simon Fowler (who will also do the cover and end papers). The illustrations will be by Kiyo Lappalainen. The limited edition books will be pop-up style. There will also be an open edition with regular flat printing in a cd booklet and flat lp printing.

The recording will combine field recordings from various megalithic and other sites of human/fairy encounters across the UK, also the use of ritual and folkloric magical practices. The expedition will be filmed by Clyde Petersen. These recordings will be layered with Dylan’s interpretations of classic Scotch-English ballads about human/fairy encounters from early modern England and Scotland (15th-18th century). It will also feature guest vocalists to sing the songs.

This is not being done through a label, as earth’s output has, but is a labor of love/obsession of Dylan’s. Being primarily of Scotch-English descent, this is an historical journey to his personal and cultural past, embracing music/folklore/the occult dimension and history. This is also result of personal experience’s of ‘the other side’. His blog has details, if interested. The field recordings will be accomplished in April-May of 2012. The rest of the recording/mastering will be finished in summer and early fall, the artwork is an ongoing process, already begun. Dylan is planning to have it all done for a May 2013 release. Join in the restoration of magic, a return to a world of spirits. Where all objects have a will of their own and a language they speak in, and we have learned how to speak with them again. It will be titled “Coleman Grey presents Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders from the House of Albion.”

You can join in on the Kickstarter HERE.  Despite the May 2013 release date, this project needs funding by February 12th, 2012.

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaBurnt Weeny Sandwich

* Favorite EPs / Vinyl / Live Albums & more of 2011 *

28th Dec 11 (Wed) 4 comments

This is sort of a precursor to my “official” Favorites of 2011 blogs. Up later this week, I’ll post my favorite vocal and favorite instrumental albums of 2011. Anyway, on with the music pimping

Favorite EPs of 2011

  • Savanna Coen – Strength
  • Auragamieverything. Now.
  • Works Progress Administration4×4
  • Amanda Palmer/Ben Folds/etc8in8
  • CelldwellerWish Upon A Blackstar 4

Favorite Vinyl-only Release of 2011

  • Secret Chiefs 3 (FORMS & Ishraqiyun)Saptarshi / Radar 7″
  • Chamberlain/Krauss/Phelps – Modular: Sonic Explorations 12″
  • John Zorn’s The DreamersThe Christmas Song/Santa’s Workshop 7″
    fave non-vinyl-only issue: My Brightest DiamondAll Things Will Unwind 12″ (is luscious)

Favorite DVDs of 2011

  • Fantômas – The Director’s Cut Live
  • Kevin SmithRed State
  • Morgan SpurlockPOM Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold
  • Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
  • Sigur Rós – Inní

Favorite Internet Only Releases of 2011

  • Derek WebbDemocracy Vol 2 (monthly series from March to December)

Favorite Live Albums of 2011

  • Sigur RósInní
  • Dave Douglas & Brass EcstasyUnited Front (live at Newport)
  • Damien JuradoLive at Landlocked
  • Medeski Scofield Martin & WoodIn Case the World Changes Its Mind

Favorite Podcasts in 2011 (they’re free, yo! Search for them on iTunes)

  • George Hrab Geologic Podcast
  • Keith Olbermann Countdown on CurrentTV
  • Rachel Maddow – The RM Show on MSNBC
  • Bill Maher‘s New Rules
  • Adam Carolla The Adam Carolla Podcast, Ace on the House and CarCast
  • Kevin Smith & Scott MosierSModcast
  • Kevin Smith & Ralph Garman – Hollywood Babble On
  • The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
  • CNN’s Political Notebook
  • Marc MaronWTF Podcast
  • Dan SavageSavage Lovecast

Best Cover Art & Packaging in 2011 

  • Steven Wilson – Grace For Drowning (special edition)
  • Chamberlain/Krauss/PhelpsModular: Sonic Explorations 12″
  • Over the RhineThe Long Surrender (special edition)
  • My Brightest DiamondAll Things Will Unwind (colorful, lovely cover art)
  • Mike PattonThe Solitude of Prime Numbers (stunning die-cut leaf design)
  • John Zorn’s The DreamersA Dreamer Christmas (vinyl, designed by Chippy)

Favorite Indie Releases in 2011 (DIY all the way)

  • Jason Ludwig – Lost in Love and Tanglings (Cincinnati/Austin-based, former Noctaluca frontman)
  • Savanna CoenStrength EP (13yo Eugene singer with a voice beyond her years)

Best Re-issues in 2011

  • Dream TheaterMetropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory (on vinyl)
  • Ben FoldsBest Imitation of Myself (hits w/ some new BFF songs)
  • Toad the Wet SprocketAll I Want (hits, rerecorded)
  • Various Artists/Sufjan StevensOn Joyful Wings (tribute album to Seven Swans)

Worst Music News in 2011 (for me at least)

  • Faith No More‘s reunion tour didn’t hit the U.S. proper, again… and the promised Mondo Cane U.S. Tour didn’t happen.
  • Dream Theater not wanting to take a short break/hiatus, and thus kicking out Mike Portnoy, one of the best parts of that band…

Best Late-Getter in 2011 (something that came out before 2011)

  • Florence + The MachineLungs (from 2009)

Best Musical Novelty / Ingenuity in 2011

  • F*ck That! Erin McKeown’s Anti-Holiday Album
  • Weird Al YankovicALpocalypse

Best Soundtrack in 2011

  • Kevin Moore – Shine (for Küçük Kıyamet)
  • The Book of Mormon

So, yeah, this was the catch-all post… check back later this week for the more traditional year end wrap-up festivities…

My Other Favorites of 2011 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Ani DiFranco – Which Side Are You On?

Modular: Sonic Explorations (2011)

26th Oct 11 (Wed) 1 comment

I love experimentation in music… especially when you take a preconceived construct, great players/improvisors, and it results in some beautiful music.  This project from Matt Chamberlain*, Viktor Krauss, and Dan Phelps on Oceanographic Records entitled MODULAR: Sonic Explorations does just that.  It’s not noise-rock or grating avant-garde… it’s quite the sonic delight.  There’s an audio sample (see the youtube embedded song below) that makes it vie for one of my fave instrumental albums this year.

About the Modular Project

The Modular Project is the collaboration of a select group of sonic technicians working together to discover what the spontaneous and organic manipulation of sound can yield. Inspired by the world around them, they set out to discover what it might sound like when continents shift, clouds form, and roots push through soil.

Capturing and manipulating the hum of the natural world, their results show that there are as many answers as there are questions, that in seeming chaos there is order, and within that order there are new undiscovered truths waiting to be revealed.

The Components

The Audio Modulation Compoenents of The Modular Project1. Main Control Unit
2. Tape Modulation Unit
3. Contact Sensor Unit
4. Subaquatic Sensor Unit
5. Subterranean Sensor Unit
6. Atmospheric Sensor Unit

Elements Modulated

Elements Modulated by The Modular Project1. Subterranean Readings
2. Organic Matter Readings
3. Tectonic Readings
4. Atmospheric Readings
5. Celestial Readings
6. Subaquatic Readings

It’s available now as a digital download version (320kbps mp3/FLAC/AAC/etc) or as a limited-edition, double-gatefold 12″ vinyl version (what I opted for).  The project also features guests Eyvind Kang (yay!), Martin Woodlee, Paul Gold, Chris Henning, and Christopher Pierce.

Everest

For more info on the project, GO HERE.

For purchase info, GO HERE.

*– Matt Chamberlain is a diverse drummer… I’ve seen him play with Tori Amos & Regina Spektor, and he’s also put out some great music with Skerik (the jazz-meets-jam band Critters Buggin), Bill Frisell (Floratone), Secret Chiefs 3, Wild Colonials, Peter Gabriel, The Wallflowers, Fiona Apple, Sam Phillips, Macy Gray, Melissa Etheridge, Erin McKeown, Stebmo, and a ton of other artists…

~Dan – np: TristezaMixed Signals

Zorn Christmas CD/LP/45 (out now)

7th Oct 11 (Fri) 3 comments

Originally mentioned here, the John Zorn / The Dreamers Christmas album is out now on Tzadik.  The CD, limited edition vinyl and limited edition 45 rpm 7″ vinyl can be ordered now via Tzadik’s official retailer: Downtown Music Gallery.

The CD & vinyl will also be at Amazon (by Oct 11th), but the 45 rpm single will only be at DMG.  It’s also available via Amazon & iTunes as well in mp3 digital download format (but why would you ever get something like this in lower fidelity?)…

The Dreamers band is Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, Kenny Wollesen, Trevor Dunn, Joey Baron, and Cyro Baptista… and the album also features Mike Patton crooning “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.

~Dan

New Secret Chiefs 3 vinyl (Ishraqiyun & FORMS) {sound samples now posted}

29th Aug 11 (Mon) Leave a comment

Update 8/29: Sound samples for the two songs on the 7″ are now posted at the WOM store.

~Dan

New Secret Chiefs 3 vinyl (Ishraqiyun & FORMS) Just posted to Web of Mimicry’s store… The new 7″ vinyl single from Secret Chiefs 3.  This time the tunes come from the satellite bands Ishraqiyun & FORMS.  It comes out September 13th, is limited to 1000 pressings, and the physical edition will contain lossless digital download links. Side A: Ishraqiyun “Saptarshi” Side B: FORMS “Radar”… Read More

via pacificlectic : pacific northwest concert reviews & eclectic music news

New Secret Chiefs 3 vinyl (Ishraqiyun & FORMS)

2nd Aug 11 (Tue) 1 comment

Just posted to Web of Mimicry’s store

The new 7″ vinyl single from Secret Chiefs 3.  This time the tunes come from the satellite bands Ishraqiyun & FORMS.  It comes out September 13th, is limited to 1000 pressings, and the physical edition will contain lossless digital download links.

Side A: Ishraqiyun “Saptarshi”

Ishraqiyun

Side B: FORMS “Radar”

FORMS

~Dan – np: StavesacreAbsolutes

Radiohead – Caribou/Jacques Greene Remixes

1st Jul 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

The first in a series of Radiohead remixes on 12″ vinyl will be released on Monday 4th July (or Tuesday in the US & Canada).  The series kicks off with Caribou remixing “Little by Little,” and a remix of “Lotus Flower” by Jacques Greene.

You can find the vinyl in your local independent record shop, but if not, you can buy by mailorder here from the 4th. If you don’t have a record player, digital versions will be available here, here, here and here. Or you can just listen to them here at Radiohead.com.

More 12″ remixes will be released every couple of weeks over the summer until we run out of remixes… or summer. On the next one they’ve got Nathan Fake (Morning Mr Magpie) and Mark Pritchard (Bloom).

~Dan – np: Pet Bottle NingenPet Bottle Ningen

Packaging Art : Design in front of the Music

27th Jun 11 (Mon) Leave a comment

A big piece of what still links me to music is the artistic approach that goes into the whole package.  Sure, break it all down, and the actually music hitting my ears is the “most important” component, but I still dig the physical product (CDs & vinyl).

Two of my favorite record labels go out of their way to create stunning packaging: the John Zorn-run Tzadik Records and the Mike Patton co-owned Ipecac Recordings.

 

For Zorn, the die-cut and gorgeous lettered detail in Tzadik’s Masada Book Two series jumps to the forefront, as do many of the stunning titles in the Archival series (The Dreamers, etc).  For Patton, the gold-embossed Mit Gas from Tomahawk was a first step, and the Peeping Tom & Mondo Cane packaging was colorful and stupendously took Ipecac’s level of art-packaging to a new level.

Both labels obviously believe in the physical artistic value, otherwise, they wouldn’t bother.  Well, this post delves a little bit into that process with two designers for Tzadik & Ipecac, respectively…

In a recent interview with Chippy from Tzadik…

Poor quality digital artwork is a shame because the original art/packaging is an extension of the concept. Most people therefore will not be able to fully appreciate/experience beyond the music. At the same time, the low quality is a good reason to truly really seek out the hard copy because there is so much more beyond the digital world. People forget about the beauty of books and print. The paper, the binding, the thread, glue, etc. There’s a reason why artists/designers use a certain ink, stock, varnish, diecut, emboss/deboss, etc. Dismissing this part of the experience minimizes the experience.
READ the FULL INTERVIEW with CHIPPY

Aaron Lazar from Tzgani Design worked on the most recent Book of Knots release from Ipecac.  The original design would have cost too much ($6-7/per unit), but would have been a three piece laser etched packaging design that would cradle a CD (printed in aqua, yellow and orange) and would function as a working astrolabe. Check it out in higher-resolution.  I wish this could have come to fruition, but I guess you have to be realistic in your artistic pursuits, too.

It is works of art like this that make me seek out more than just a download version.  Even if “CD quality” 320 kbps, it still seems hollow to me.  And more than just design… with music moving to a cloud-based platform now, here are eight reasons why vinyl is cleaner than “the cloud”… READ HERE at DigitalMusicNews.

~Dan – np: John ScofieldUp All Night

Coldplay – Every Tearderp Is A Waterderp

23rd Jun 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

British knockoff rock act Coldplay have announced an Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall digital EP, featuring two more brand new tracks “Major Minus” and “Moving To Mars.”

The digital EP comes out Sunday (6/26).  It also comes out on CD and 7″ vinyl on Monday (UK) and Tuesday (US).  The title track is already available (see Amazon for sound sample).

If Chris Martin releases a video of him dancing by himself in an alley, well… you know where he got the idea.

Sorry, I hate to be negative (or do I?).  I just have very little patience for Coldplay.

~Dan – np: Basya SchechterQueen’s Dominion

Rova:Zorn – The Receiving Surfaces

21st Jun 11 (Tue) 2 comments

The Rova Quartet, who began in 1978 and have worked with many legendary acts like John Zorn, released their 33 1/3 anniversary live album with Zorn, The Receiving Surfaces, on June 1st on vinyl LP.  It’s available now on the not-for-profit organization Rova:Arts

~Dan – Elysian FieldsLast Night On Earth

Radiohead limited edition 12″ Remixes

7th Jun 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

If you came here for the U2 Seattle review, GO HERE.

This summer, Radiohead are set to release more vinyl releases after their UK Record Store Day/U.S. June 14th release of The Butcher/Supercollider. Remixes 12″ vinyl releases will hit throughout the summer from tracks from their current album The King Of Limbs.  The first release, on July 4 (UK), comprises remixes of “Little By Little” by Caribou, and “Lotus Flower” by Jacques Greene.

The 12” will be available at selected independent record stores and from www.radiohead.com. There will also be a WAV format available through Boomkat and on http://www.radiohead.com.

~Dan – np: dredgChuckles & Mr Squeezy

‘Speak With Ghosts’ by Anakronic Electro Orkestra (now out on CD)

15th Apr 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

One of the late releases digitally in 2010… the fantastic Anakronic Electro Orkestra now has their full-length Speak With Ghosts out on CD.  It comes with three extra connecting snippets (“ghosts”) and is going to make it on my Best of CDs in 2011.  Sure, it made it on the list in 2010, but it’s sooooo good, I’ll break / make my own rules. :)

Do you like jazzy rock-fusion klezmer (great for fans of Beats Antique & Balkan Beat Box)?  Of course, you do! Find out more about Anakronic Electro Orkestra with the links below…

Read what I wrote last December below… or just take my word for it, and buy this albumYou won’t regret it!  Per the band, it’s also destined for a vinyl release later in 2011.

Speak With Ghosts by Anakronic Electro Orkestra One of my favorite EPs of 2009 was Anakronic Electro Orkestra’s The Yiddish Part.  My only complaint with the EP?  It was too short.  Well, in mid-November 2010, unbeknown to me at the time, they came out with their debut full-length Speak With Ghosts.  It’s digital only at this stage, with Amazon’s mp3 Download department being the best choice (which I found out after I bought it on iTunes).  Anyway, well worth the coin spent! AEO hail from Toul … Read More

~Dan – np: Anakronic Electro OrkestraSpeak With Ghosts

Radiohead – The Universal Sigh (PDF)

28th Mar 11 (Mon) 8 comments

Today in the UK, Radiohead released their newspaper art-piece that is in conjunction with The King of Limbs CD & LP.  Tomorrow it hits the US (check here for where to get the FREE newspaper).

At Ease reported that Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood were handing out the newspaper outside London’s Rough Trade East record store (photo below).

If you aren’t in a place where the newspaper is available… fret not, it’s HERE as a FREE download (PDF format):

Radiohead – The Universal Sigh newspaper (PDF) (16M)

Also, more news today, Radiohead will be releasing a two track 12″ vinyl on the worldwide Record Store Day (April 16th, 2011). The two tracks are “Supercollider” and “The Butcher”

April 16th…

~Dan – np: Pink FloydA Saucerful of Secrets

File Sharing Policy: There are no free mp3 download or FLAC torrents for any albums on this blog (nor will there ever be). On occasion, there are links for songs for free download (legally provided by the artist). If you like music, support the artists. Buy it!!

Radiohead – King of Limbs (retail version artwork)

21st Mar 11 (Mon) Leave a comment

As reported over on At EaseRadiohead’s The King of Limbs CD is housed in a 4-page wallet, with the actual cd in a slit on the right side. On the left page you can see 8 illustrations accompanied by the following titles: Roots Of Roots, Ragnorok, Urpflanze, The King Of Limbs, Codex, Axis Mundi, Yggdrasil and Arbor Philosophica. The back has the word RADIOHEAD mirrored and the track list.

For the vinyl, expect the same front and back as the cd. The actual record is housed in an inner sleeve with a drawing (like the right page on the cd edition) on one side, and the drawings and credits on the other side. Inside the sleeve you’ll find a card with a download code to obtain the digital edition of The King Of Limbs.  No word on if additional songs/limbs will surface with this or with the “Newspaper edition” in May.  READ MORE about the artwork and credits, etc at At Ease.

The King of Limbs comes out March 29th in the U.S.  you can pre-order it now over on the Amazon: in both CD / VINYL versions.

~Dan – np: A Perfect CircleThirteenth Step

File Sharing Policy: There are no free mp3 download or FLAC torrents for any albums on this blog (nor will there ever be). On occasion, there are links for songs for free download (legally provided by the artist). If you like music, support the artists. Buy it!!

A to Z / Music Packaging Today

3rd Feb 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Check out this cool article/interview from last Thursday with A to Z Media‘s Sarah Robertson and Scott Pollack to discuss the state of physical media in 2011.  Click here or the pictures below to go to the interview…

John Zorn‘s Interzone

John Zorn‘s The Dreamers with Chippy’s artwork

A to Z Media covers a lot of John Zorn’s Tzadik and other record label releases, which are all quite stunning mini pieces of art.

~Dan – np: Over the RhineGood Dog Bad Dog 

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