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reviews

Wooden Shjips sjet sjail. San Francjisco psjch-rock quartet’s forthcoming Holy Mountain debut earns praise from rock-crit royalty.

Wooden Shjips sjet sjail. San Francjisco psjch-rock quartet’s forthcoming Holy Mountain debut earns praise from rock-crit royalty.

“Tight-wound repeato psych guitar raunch with spoony (maybe even imaginary) percussion, surprisingly Rev-like keys, and vocals buried under burning driftwood.” — Byron Coley, The Wire

Wooden Shjips (not a typo) are from San Francisco, but the concentrated ferocity of the freakouts on their two very-underground releases — a white-label ten-inch EP (the band gave away the first 300 copies) and a clear-vinyl single (“Dance, California”) — arrives via the Seventies Germanic-guitar lunacy of Guru Guru and the confrontational repetition of VU.” – David Fricke, Rolling Stone

With glowing endorsements from legendary critics like David Fricke (Rolling Stone) and Byron Coley (The Wire, Forced Exposure, Arthur, et al) as well as visionary labels Holy Mountain and Sub Pop, San Francisco’s highly-touted garage-drone group Wooden Shjips (that’s not a typo) sets sail this fall.

Soon, others outside of the music biz cognoscenti will have the opportunity to set sail aboard Wooden Shjips‘ psjchedelic adventure. Its self-titled debut on the Holy Mountain label (OM, Lesbian, Six Organs of Admittance) follows quickly on the heels of the band’s forthcoming Sub Pop single. And, Wooden Shjips plans to dock briefly for an appearance during this year’s CMJ music festival in New York City.

Wooden Shjips is a vital and refreshingly inspired quartet playing loud rock ‘n’ roll in a style heavily influenced by the experimentalism of psychedelia, classical minimalism and garage rock excess. Started as an experiment in rhythmic primitivism and group improvisation, the current lineup brings a more structured rock approach to its performances, utilizing a traditional lineup of drums (Omar Ahsanuddin), bass (Dusty Jermier), organ (Nash Whalen), guitar (Erik “Ripley” Johnson) and vocals.

Its songs sound something akin to the icy garage rock of early Echo & The Bunnymen crossed with the sun-bleached tremolo-punk of The Scientists. There are hints of krautrock, the trance-inducing organ haze of Suicide, Deerhunter style dance-drone, classic desert-fried garage psych and the mysterious, obscure Japanese lysergic-rock band Les Rallizes Denudes all mixed into one explosive whole on Wooden Shjips self-titled Holy Mountain debut.

The experience of Wooden Shjips has been equated to that of the Japanese phenomenon called maboroshi, which is somewhat similar to seeing a mirage or hallucinating in time. In the context of imagination/dreams, maboroshi is attributed to past occurrences and can take on a meaning like “phantoms.” The group’s songs seem to exist in a dream state in which anything is possible.

Wooden Shjips released two acclaimed records in 2006, beginning early in the year with the self-released 10” EP Shrinking Moon For You. The record quickly sold-out, after capturing the attention of well-regarded tastemakers, such as Tom Lax and Byron Coley, who penned rave reviews on Siltblog and in The Wire magazine, respectively. A 7” followed on the Sick Thirst label, and received similar praise from music bloggers, as well as from veteran scribe David Fricke in Rolling Stone.

The band has three new releases lined up for 2007: the LP/CD for Holy Mountain, a 7” for Sub Pop and a 7” for Pollymaggoo Records. The group played at NoisePop 2007 with Roky Erickson in March, as well as playing a packed showcase at the SXSW Music conference in Austin, TX.

Wooden Shjips Live:

09/15 San Francisco, CA Bottom of The Hill

09/16 Davis, CA Delta of Venus

10/05 Oakland, CA Ghost Town Gallery

10/20 New York, NY The Annex (Fanatic CMJ Showcase)

Wooden Shjips Tracklisting:

01. We Ask You To Ride (MP3)
02. Losin’ Time
03. Lucy’s Ride
04. Blue Sky Bends
05. Shine Like Suns

Categories
tour dates

Patrick Wolf announces fall 2007 North American Tour Dates

Beware: the season of the Wolf (Fall tour and Burberry Campaign). London wunderkind arrives in October.

Patrick Wolf announces fall 2007 North American Tour Dates

23 year old Patrick Wolf has commanded the attention of the masses for half his lifetime (by age 14, he was writing, recording and releasing music). From studying at Trinity College, to gracing the pages of international fashion magazines in the 2007 fall Burberry campaign or collaborating with Chicks on Speed and Marianne Faithfull, Patrick Wolf has continued to record music that is widely considered to be original and innovative. Supporting his new release The Magic Position (Low Altitude) Mr. Wolf will be this nation’s saving grace starting Sept. 30th in Philadelphia and will wrap on Oct. 16 in LA (Dates Below).

Now that he’s 23, his pop romps seem like children’s dreams-all colors, twinkles, and buzzes, though there’s hardly anything he can’t twist into polymorphous eroticism- SPIN

“The Magic Position”-“A bed of electronic blips and bleeps percolates beneath an exuberant string arrangement and a great ’50s-derived sax part. It’s all topped off by Wolf’s winning melody, sung in a voice that calls to mind a campier Bryan Ferry. It’s a fun listen from a promising young talent.”-SALON.COM (song of the day)

“Šon three excellent, eclectic albums-veering from glammy pop to gloomy folk-the London singer-songwriter has found an outlet for his tales of life as an outcast.”-ROLLING STONE

Already strides better than its solid precursors, The Magic Position leaves Wolf in a prime spot for whatever position he’d like to assume next. PLAYBOY.COM

TOUR DATES:
09-30 Philadelphia, PA – Fillmore
10-01 Washington, DC – Black Cat
10-03 New York, NY – Webster Hall
10-04 Boston, MA – Paradise
10-05 Montreal, Quebec – Cabaret du Musée Juste Pour Rire
10-06 Toronto, Ontario – Lee’s Palace
10-08 Detroit, MI – Saint Andrew’s Hall
10-09 Chicago, IL – Metro
10-11 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
10-12 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Plaza
10-13 Seattle, WA – Neumos
10-15 San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine
10-16 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey

Categories
tour dates

The Coathangers prepares for a magical record release party and fall tour, gets featured in Burn To Shine DVD Series.

The Coathangers prepares for a magical record release party and fall tour, gets featured in Burn To Shine DVD Series.

The Coathangers’ music floats somewhere between the highlights of Bikini Kill, Pylon and Talking Heads, while the band members maintain a keen sarcasm and a certain oneness about their own musical abilities.” –Southeast Performer

The Coathangers has quickly become Atlanta’s most talked about new band. The Dirty South’s premier ladies grace the cover of this month’s Southeast Performer, are currently featured in Atlanta’s monthly music magazine Stomp and Stammer, and have become a favorite of weekly alternative Creative Loafing. The excitement surrounding the girls has spread nationally, as well.

The Coathangers recently returned home from a quick jaunt up the east coast with another group of rowdy Atlanta hometown heroes, The Black Lips which recently released a 7-inch by The Coathangers on its own Die Slaughterhaus label. Atlanta’s Rob’s House Records will release the debut self-titled album by The Coathangers this week. The record is also the first full-length release for the label following the release of singles by Deerhunter, Shock Cinema, Black Lips and others.

The Coathangers will celebrate the release of the album with an in-store at Atlanta’s beloved Criminal Records on September 4th. Reportedly the show will also feature real live mini-unicorns (or at least mini ponies with attached horns!) The band will then begin a string of US dates (see below for the full itinerary.)

In other Coathangers news, the band was recently featured on the Atlanta edition of the Burn To Shine series of documentaries helmed by Brendan Canty of Fugazi. As reported recently by Pitchfork Media (LINK), this unique DVD series collects footage of a city’s bands performing in a space slated for demolition. In this one, Mastodon, Deerhunter, The Black Lips, Shannon Wright, Snowden, The Selmanaires, and The Coathangers are among the Atlanta bands that tear through one song a piece — just before bulldozers tear through their makeshift performance venue.

More about The Coathangers:

Since July of 2006 Julia Kugel (guitar/vocals), Stephanie Luke (drums/vocals), Candice Jones (keyboard/vocals) and Meredith Franco (bass/vocals) have hammered out a bat cave crunk-punk dirge that explodes with energy and creativity. Don’t be fooled by playful early song titles, like “Nestle In My Boobies” and “Don’t Touch My Shit.” These women are real deal feminists, armed with a brash and irreverent sense of humor. They’re more likely to be caught cracking jokes with Andrew W.K. than sharing tea and vegan cookies with Kathleen Hannah’s crew. Simply put, The Coathangers get the party started. They say what they want to say, do what they want to do, and they write songs because they want to have fun.

Imagine if you will a marriage of The Beastie Boys circa Some Old Bullshit and The Slits when they were still a punk band and you’re in the right ballpark. The group’s manic pep rally chants in “Wreckless Boy” morph into the sneering caterwauls of “Tonya Harding” over simple and powerful rhythmic plods. “Bloody Shirt” transcends the power of three-chord tension with the sounds of ratchets and a sparkling piano slurring to the tune of heartbreak and revelation. And an accordion has never channeled so much punk melancholy as it does in “The Missing Letter.” Jones found the toy accordion in a Texas gas station for ten dollars, and the song is a very personal one about Kugel’s grandmother, sung half in Russian and half in English. She tells Stomp and Stammer, “When I wrote the lyrics, I didn’t want them to sound like a seven-year-old wrote them. I only got the education of a seven-year-old in Russia, so I didn’t want them to sound trite. But this Russian friend of a friend was like, ‘Oh, the lyrics are really good!’ So that made me feel proud.”

The Coathangers Live:

*w/ Demon’s Claws

09/04 Atlanta, GA Criminal Records (Record Release In-Store)

09/07 Atlanta, GA Star Bar (Record Release Party)

09/12 Athens, GA 40 Watt Club

09/13 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn

09/14 New Orleans, LA Circle Bar

09/20 Atlanta, GA Atlantis Music Conference

10/10 Clemson, SC WSBF

10/15 Atlanta, GA Lenny’s

10/19 Brooklyn, NY SoundFix (Fanatic CMJ Day Party)

10/24 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn

10/25 Athens, GA Caledonia Lounge

10/26 Chapell Hill, NC The Cave

10/27 Washington DC Fight Club

10/28 Philadelphia, PA The Kyber

10/29 Danbury, CT Cousin Larry’s

10/30 Boston, MA PAs Lounge*

10/31 New York, NY Mercury Lounge

11/01 New York, NY Death By Audio*

11/03 Cleveland, OH Now That’s Class*

11/04 Detroit, MI Lager House*

11/05 Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club*

11/06 Chicago, IL Ronny’s*

11/07 Lafayette, IN Zooleger’s*

11/08 Nashville, TN The Basement*

11/09 Memphis, TN Murphy’s*

11/10 New Orleans, LA Saturn Bar*

11/11 Mobile, AL Blind Mule*

11/12 Orlando, FL Peacock Room*

11/14 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn*

The Coathangers Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. “Why This Record” Intro
02. Tonya Harding
03. Wreckless Boy
04. Haterade
05. “A Real Honey”
06. Shut The Fuck Up (MP3)
07. Parking Lot (MP3)
08. Buckhead Betty
09. Don’t Touch My Shit! (MP3)
10. “Roll Dem Dice”
11. Parchezzi
12. Where The Hell Were You?
13. “Fatty Pad”
14. Nestle In My Boobies
15. Bloody Shirt
16. The Missing Letter
17. “Larger Success” Outro

Categories
tour dates

The Phantom Family Halo launches yet another tour — this time with psych-minded group Acid Mothers Guru Guru.

The Phantom Family Halo launches yet another tour — this time with psych-minded group Acid Mothers Guru Guru.

PFHalo boasts members of The For Carnation, Slint and Dead Child, debut album The Legend of Black Six available now.

Louisville, KY haze-rock troupe The Phantom Family Halo launches yet another tour this week — hot on the heels of summer treks with Slint, Dead Meadow, et al. This time out, the band boasting members of The For Carnation, Slint and Dead Child hits the road with psych-minded brain-melters Acid Mothers Guru Guru (a variant of the Acid Mothers Temple.) The (ahem) trip, which started August 31st on the east coast, will ultimately take both bands from sea to shining sea… See complete dates below.

The Phantom Family Halo may be most immediately notable for its pedigree — members of indie rock royalty The For Carnation, Slint, Dead Child, et al. But, it’s the band’s sound that becomes the most remarkable upon first listen: Think Syd Barrett and Scott Walker jamming with Hawkwind or the 13th Floor Elevators in the height of the Krautrock frenzy, or the Birthday Party subdued to play a rendition of “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.” Others have described the quintet as a unique crossbreed of Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Tangerine Dream and Marc Bolan, or Scott Walker fronting Roxy Music.

The Phantom Family Halo is the product of millions and millions of hours in front of speakers, communicating off of the wave forms of 60s & 70s rock n roll music. Core members Michael McMahan (The For Carnation / Dead Child / Slint [reunion]) and Dominic Cipolla (Hookers / Sapat / Dead Child) have been jamming together for over 13 years and have no fear of angelic apparitions while walking past the skeletons of rock’s multi-dimensional idiom. In fact, it’s embraced and cherished.

The Phantom Family Halo’s debut long player The Legend of Black Six on Cold Sweat Records launches listeners on a journey into other worlds and dimensions of time. The album harkens back to the trailblazers of experimental rock music, while fitting nicely within the nest of neo-psyche brethren Dead Meadow, Entrance, Six Organs Of Admittance or Bright Black Morning Light. The Phantom Family Halo are the missing link to the past and future, rooted deeply in the present.

Slip inside their house — it’s recommended for good health and more hours in front of speakers.


The Phantom Family Halo Live:

9/04 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
9/05 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
9/08 Seattle, WA Chop Suey
9/09 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
9/10 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
9/11 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
9/12 San Diego, CA Casbah

The Legend of Black Six Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. Black River (MP3)
02. Slender Head
03. Lady Blue (MP3)
04. In The Back of My Head
05. Broken By The Way
06. Electric God In Your Galaxy
07. Stop The Biting
08. The Legend of Black Six (In 3 Parts)

Madison’s Sleeping In The Aviary to bring its Kinks/Buzzcocks brand of spastic, brainy basement pop on the road this fall. Debut album follows in the paranoid-humor tradition of local heroes Violent Femmes.

Madison’s Sleeping In The Aviary to bring its Kinks/Buzzcocks brand of spastic, brainy basement pop on the road this fall. Debut album follows in the paranoid-humor tradition of local heroes Violent Femmes.

“Hard, fast, noisy and addictive indie-pop at its finest. It is such an absolutely joy to hear something as jarring and as exciting as this. I’m not lying when I say I spilled tea all over myself lunging for the volume to turn it up up up.” – The Roaring Machine

“I just like these kids because they make short pop songs. There’s a lot to be said about a song that is under two minutes and engaging enough to get you dancing alone in your bedroom…” – It’s The Money Shot

Thanks to intense, highly entertaining live shows and its addictive, spastic pop songs, Sleeping In The Aviary has in short order become one of Madison, Wisconsin’s most intriguing young bands. Its sound could be described as The Thermals vacationing with the Violent Femmes, sharing hot tubs with The Kinks and saunas with Nirvana — often sounding frenzied or angry, but strangely good-natured about it. Flashes of rock and roll’s history percolate throughout its authentic brand of catchy songs which are of the kind that immediately become implanted in one’s brain upon listening.

Sleeping In The Aviary was formed in 2003 and underwent a few lineup changes before founding members and long-time friends Elliott Kozel and Phil Mahlstadt finally found their perfect match in Eyebeams songwriter and drummer, Michael Sienkowski. The band recorded its debut album, Oh, This Old Thing? with Ricky Riemer at Science of Sound, a basement studio in Madison where they felt they could achieve what they were looking for – a crisp and full recording while maintaining a DIY ethic. Now the band will take this sound and these songs on a month long tour of the US where fans can find out exactly what is making this group the most talked about act in Madison, Wisconsin.

“The album’s opening salvo dominates, suggesting early Thermals via mid-western garages and basements. From there its 20 minutes of kick-ass lo-fi power pop laced with strains of Buzzcocks crunch, Kinks hooks, and I swear, a dash of Ruins grandiose spazz.” – Necromuncher

“It’s sloppy, low-fi and as catchy as anything that you are going to come across… The garage rock-esque undertones of the thing could probably carry it on its own but the raw vocals of Elliott Kozel and the way that they are thrown about in the most pop-punk of fashions are what really make this such a good listen.” – Side One: Track One

Sleeping In The Aviary Live:

09/01 Minneapolis, MN Soap Factory

09/09 Madison, WI King Club

09/14 Milwaukee, WI Linneman’s

09/15 Chicago, IL South Union Arts

09/16 Peoria, IL TJ’s

09/17 St. Louis, MO Way Out Club

09/18 Little Rock, AR Vino’s Brew Pub

09/19 Shreveport, LA 516 Soundstage

09/20 Denton/Dallas, TX TBD

09/21 Houston, TX Rudyard’s Pub

09/22 Austin, TX Trophys

09/25 Albuquerque, NM Space Maybe

09/26 Tucson, AZ Vaudeville Cabaret

09/27 Los Angeles, CA Knitting Factory

09/28 Fresno, CA The Exit

09/29 Sonoma, CA The Shop

09/30 San Francisco, CA TBD

10/02 Portland, OR Brainstains

10/03 Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern

10/04 Portland, OR Red Room

10/05 Boise, ID Neurolux

10/06 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge

10/07 Denver, CO Three Kings Tavern

10/09 Wichita, KS Kirby’s Beer Store

10/10 Manhattan, KS PJ’s Pub

10/11 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews

10/12 Chicago, IL Cal’s Bar

10/13 Dekalb, IL TBD



Oh, This Old Thing? Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. Face Lift Floats

02. Pop Song (MP3)

03. Another Girl (MP3)

04. Gloworm

05. Sign My Cast

06. Maureen

07. Drug Suitcase

08. No Socks

09. Only Son

10. Lanugo

11. Love Song

12. Getting Thin

Categories
interviews music videos press releases

Illegal Art’s first release of Fair Use mayhem following Girl Talk’s Night Ripper is the latest from artist James Towning, aka Realistic

Illegal Art’s first release of Fair Use mayhem following Girl Talk’s Night Ripper is the latest from artist James Towning, aka Realistic.

“Following the aesthetic of Negativland and John Oswald, Realistic borrows material from every possible source: classic rock, disco, self-improvement records, soap operas [and more]. Towning demonstrates a knack for unconventional looping, sonic accumulation, and a good joke.” – All Music Guide

Realistic’s third album, Perpetual Memory Loss, features sixteen tracks of intricate sample-based compositions – a beautifully sophisticated celebration of found sound, recorded media, technology, and electronic composition. Slices of field recordings mesh with surreal electronic melodies, which creates enjoyably odd multi-layered musical fun. Realistic is the guise of sound collage artist James Towning, by day a Brooklyn-based motion-graphics designer.

With this release, the Illegal Art label continues to challenge the restrictions of copyright as perceived by the larger music industry. The uniqueness of Realistic in comparison to other artists on the label (Girl Talk, Oh Astro, Steinski) further illustrates that sample-based music is strikingly some of the most original, innovative, and exciting music being made in the 21st century. Illegal Art claims Fair Use for all of its releases and has professional legal counsel nearby if needed.

Towning has been a fan of electronic music since his college days, mostly the UK scene. Artists like Human League, Soft Cell, Cabaret Voltaire, Wire, Art of Noise, and Meat Beat Manifesto were early influences, while Mu-ziq and Kid Koala can be counted as contemporary ones. In a recent interview Towning says, “I also go off on binges of Queen, ELO, XTC, The Beatles, and Bowie.”

A recurring source in Towning’s compositions is the nostalgic sounds of 70’s and 80’s techno-pop and rock artists that were personally influential over the years. As well as using computer-based waveform editing and sampling, Towning carries a portable digital recorder to capture various audio environments on a daily basis. Whether the source samples are found around the house, on TV, on a busy Chinatown street, or a crackly sound effects record, Realistic‘s juxtaposition of head-spaces always creates something surreal and altogether new.

“There’s such a rich texture of sound and visuals in New York. I’m constantly entertained with the sounds that I record,” said Towning in a recent interview. An ever-increasing collection of thrift-store records and cassettes is another likely source of audio inspiration. “I love composing little sound pieces using whatever source material I choose. It’s a cathartic, fun, and essential part of my life.”

With Perpetual Memory Loss, the Realistic sound has evolved into a tighter and more structured mesh of musical patterns and mangled beats. Tiny rhythmic patterns and subtle textural layers are revealed upon repeated listening. Sampled dialogue is used more sparingly than in previous Realistic releases allowing the musical voices to be heard more clearly. Each complex track is its own self-contained little world, with disjointed characters, funky grooves, and odd but familiar musical samples. Throughout the 45-minute album, expressionistic patterns of sound twist and fold into one another as the tracks evolve. At times the entire audio spectrum degrades and distorts in groovy syncopation. The tracks on Perpetual Memory Loss are more complex and refined, but what remains is the underlying sense of humor, rich production, and an offbeat composition style that is distinctively Realistic.

Regarding the album’s unique artwork, Towning explains, “The CD art was designed by me. It consists of many thumbnails of snapshots I’ve taken over the past three years or so. That timeframe coincides with the production of the audio tracks, too. The snapshots represent memories in a very literal way. They vary in subject matter from pictures of my cats, still-lifes, industrial landscapes, detailed textures, and random found art. The inside artwork reveals more snapshot thumbnails in varying degrees of clarity.”

Towning further elaborates, “Beneath the CD, a collage of found images and photographs explodes and bleeds over into the snapshots. The technique of collaging with found and personal imagery reflects the style of the audio tracks too. The primary colors of red and green that I chose were inspired by and derived from a vintage Christmas card I received from a friend a few years ago. Again, a nostalgic reference.”

As for the title Perpetual Memory Loss, Towning says it “speaks to the process of growing older and the mind’s ability to store, lose, and constantly distort memories. And how sometimes those memories are recalled in a random and overlapping order. As we get older, more and more memories are stored while others are buried deep or lost. The title also references the similarities between the ever expanding human mind and a computer’s finite hard drive and its ability to retrieve random and corrupt data.”

Videos From Previous Realistic Releases:

“Private Moments”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJAaDZZawLo

“Music for Voyeurs”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzIUnevtrFc

“Angel 2001”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ0eKMJKnm0

“Spectacle of Slop”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bTYS2HQqqI

Perpetual Memory Loss Tracklisting:

Release Date: October 23, 2007

01. The Camera Track (MP3)
02. Music in the Round
03. Conversation Hearts
04. Post-Corporate Fantasy
05. Amazing Fall
06. Welcome to Heaven
07. Brand Name Sunday
08. Library Music
09. Wandering Aimlessly
10. Have a Nice Trip
11. April and August Sixth
12. There is Always More
13. In Loving Memory
14. Snowday Plaything (MP3)
15. The Numbers Test
16. Uneventful Fall