Various Artists - Follow The Sun
This is a fantastic view into a parallel world of the 70's from Australia! These are bands that I've never heard of before. All of these little folk rock gems were blasting on the radio down under while we were listening to the smooth and not so smooth sounds of LA . However think more Tim Buckley than the Eagles. A nice refreshing listen to satisfy your 70's folk rock needs- Bill
Guided By Voices - August By Cake
This is THE best GBV in a while! Im a huge fan and have liked all the other post break-up albums, however this to me is truly the best of that lot. This is Pollards Wings At The Speed Of Sound album in that he let each band member write two songs each. However there's no "Cook Of The House" (Lindas song! ugh!) here. My personal faves of the other writers would be Bobby Bare Jr's two songs. If you are already a big fan like me you already have this. If you havent bought anything since Under The Bushes, welcome back! Best song: "When We All Hold Hands At The End Of The World"- Bill
Drab Majesty - The Demonstration
The new Drab Majesty is so good! If not familiar, imagine the 80's, however this is a parallel world. The kind of dark synth pop that did not have hits but had a cult following. Drab Majesty is pretty much that. Drab Majesty is visiting from space....goth space! - Bill Jeffery
The Felice Brothers - Life In The Dark
After years of home recording in chicken coops and busking in New York City subways, the Felice Brothers have finally found a way to incorporate their rowdy live performances in their fourth studio album, Life in the Dark. Opening with a rollicking accordion and witty rhyme scheme about addiction to Corporate America, the album is chock full of surprising insight and anxiety about a changing culture, until it closes with a chorus of spiritual yearning. “Triumph ‘73”, an ode to a motorcycle, is a romance set in a small-town, “Plunder” is an upbeat sing-along that expresses wariness of technology and greed, and “Diamond Bell” is a ballad about a rebel woman terrorizing the west. There’s songs to dance to - like “Dancing on the Wing” and the foot-stomping instrumental “Sally!” And songs to cry to - like “Life in the Dark,” a sorrowful folk song drawing from traditionals and “Sell the House,” a troubling tale of a family down on their luck. Effortlessly intertwining Americana with classic rock, the Felice Brothers intuitively celebrate the simplicities of life, while offering a fresh view on what it means to be American. -Alicia
Embrace The Serpent
"Embrace of the Serpent", director Ciro Guerra's follow up to 2009's "The Wind Journeys", is a further exploration into the forgotten regions and people of Colombia. The story takes place in the remote Amazonian jungle of Colombia and follows a shaman as he helps 2 westerners (40 years apart) find a mythical psychedelic plant. It's like "Apocalypse Now", but instead of Viet-Cong occupied territory, we are floating down the Amazon in a canoe. Grab hold of the serpent and enjoy the trip... -Nico, July 2016
Modern English - Mesh and Lace
Re-issue of the year for me! This is a post punk classic! Ill admit it took me a while to listen to it in the 80's as i thought they were only about "Ill Melt With You" there only US hit. I lumped them in there with "Don't You Want Me?"! I couldn't have been more wrong! originally out in 1981 , Mesh and Lace has a strong Joy Division influence . Its on par with Bauhaus and Birthday Party. Yes its that good! pure goth heaven! plus extra tracks! - Bill Jeffery
Modern English - After The Snow
After The Snow is the Modern English album that most people are familiar with. most goth purists (what ever that means) definitely think this album is the weaker sister of Mesh And Lace.Maybe that,s the case but this is still great post-punk music with a pop twist! and "Ill Melt With You" is undeniably great !If you say you don't like that song you are fibbing! this includes cool extra tracks
Zun - Burial Sunrise
An amazing Summertime album from the Godfather of Desert Rock. Gary Arce was in a band called Yawning Man with Alfredo Hernandez and Mario Lalli (who later became members of Kyuss and Fatso Jetson respectively). Supposedly the progenitors of the legendary “Generator parties” in the late 80s/early 90s Coachella Valley, California desert, Yawning Man heavily influenced the core trio of musicians (John Garcia, Josh Homme, Brant Bjork) who would eventually join Hernandez to become Sons Of Kyuss, later shortened, of course, to Kyuss.
On Burial Sunrise , Arce plays all the guitars (including bass and lap steel) with vocal duties being handled by Kyuss’ John Garcia (in his desert crooner mode) and most enjoyably by Sera Timms (Ides Of Gemini). The breezy guitars awash in flange-y reverb and paired with aqueous meandering bass-lines and dreamy vocal melodies will drag you out of your Texas heat stroke and cool the air around you by several degrees. On this their debut, Zun creates a mellow trip conducive to lounging in the evening breeze while the cement around you pops and cracks; releasing its energy stored from the heat of the day.
Hiatus Kaiyote - Choose Your Weapon
Sounds like: BadBadNotGood, The Internet, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Erkyah Badu, Flying Lotus, Robert Glasper
This album is a soulful, funky journey into space and sound. From start to finish it has a cohesive flow, with each song moving fluidly into another. Nai Palm, the lead singer sings of creatures, animals, fire, and dreamscapes, reminiscent of a shaman, symbolically telling a different tale with each track. These are some soulful, otherworldly jams with complex and elevated song structures, which is really impressive and innovative from the Melbourne based band. Electronic and futuristic but natural, humanistic, and classic, peaceful, yet chaotic; the album is full of beautiful juxtapositions. You won't have to worry about each song sounding like the last or the album dragging on; each track has its own exciting and interesting story, like as if they were siblings. I am excited to see the future of Neo-soul /Jazz going into such a new direction. Mystical and magical, this album takes the genre to another dimension.
Favorite tracks: Borderline With My Atoms, Fingerprints, By Fire - Teddy
Carl Sagan's Skate Shoes - Carl Sagan's Skate Shoes
This relatively new Austin-3 piece has been making waves as part of the current wave of innovative, heavy punk coming out of central Texas, along with Borzoi, XETAS, Super Thief, and New China. Drawing from a 90s/alternative American rock influence, CSSS blends everything you like about Reagan-era noise rock together while adding a unique take + sound of their own. RIYL: Shellac, Mudhoney, Nirvana, METZ, Cows - Kana
Kleenex/LiLiPUT - LiLiPUT
2016 took Bowie, Prince, and Guy Clark, but it also shook the underground by taking Marlene Marder, leader of the cult icon, post-punk all-female band Kleenex. There is a reason Kleenex (they changed their name after a threatened lawsuit by Kimberly-Clark) tops the lists of some of the most famous musicians of our time- their carefree, whirlwind creativity and sense of adventure met the landscape of 1970s/1980s post-punk brilliantly. An ESSENTIAL listen for anyone who supports women in music. RIYL: Institute, NOTS, Wall, Raincoats, Shopping - Kana
Cardinals Folly - Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom
"Death to nu-metal!" indeed. This statement from the liner notes of the latest Shadow Kingdom release from Cardinals Folly. This 3rd release finds them continuing down the hallowed doom cult trail. Doom metal at its finest, sounding straight out of the 70's with slight comparison to Electric Wizard - Bill
Lucifer's Hammer - Beyond The Omens
Listening to Lucifers Hammer takes me back to 1984! Yes its THAT good! Shadow Kindgom does it again. This time its from Chile . Great contemporary metal that sounds like Maiden. Very classy heavy metal! - Bill
Weird Light - Doomicvs Vobiscvm
Posthumous release from the awesome Shadow Kingdom label from French Doom cult Weird Light! The band only made one record and 2007's Doomicvs Vobiscvm is it! (with some un-released tracks included). It sounds further back in time than 2007 to me like maybe during the Black Plague days! This is great doom metal! i mean come on! they have a track on here called "CogMagog (Under The Trumpets Of Doom) Sabbath meets Candlemass. - Bill
Robert Pollard - Of Course You Are
Robert Pollard definitely does not believe in "less says more"! Thats fine with me if he keeps putting out great
songs like this. Of Course You Are on Fire Records sees Pollard bring in strings and horns, and it works really well! Bring back Baroque rock Bob! Every track on here a golden pop nugget worthy of the GBV cannon. - Bill
ILian - Love Me Crazy (Anthology Records)
Another great lost treasure from Anthology records! Originally put out on one of the many "tax write off" labels from the 70's. This one out in 1977, captures California breezy pop of the times. However this ain't no Eagles, "groovy" instrumentals intertwined with outsider folk rock, this feels like a misplaced classic. - Bill
Trad Gras Och Stenar - (3CD or 6LP box) Anthology Records
Wow what a great release this is! three live performances from the Swedish band called Trad Gras Och Stenar ("Trees , Grass,and Stones) all three are from the early 70's one disc never before released. These guys are not a jam band or a prog band , its more what you would call " collective-core" they were doing the "live off the land vibe" playing free shows at various get together's in Sweden. All three have a great mello guitar vibe of just going-along-feelin-just-fine music. very little vocals . just cool hippy guitar jamming (but NOT in a Phish kind of way) also on vinyl. great stuff! - Bill
Don’t let the lack of burnt orange fool you. If you sacrifice your bracket every spring by picking the Horns to advance too far, this is the doc for you. The story of Shaka Smart’s VCU Rams and the least predicted tournament run in recorded history. They did not win it all, but by advancing to the Final Four in Houston they shocked the world of college basketball. This year, Coach Smart’s Texas squad has put a scare into its Big 12 rivals & drawn comparisons to Lee Perry’s backing band by toppling national powers like North Carolina. Will the home team catch fire in March? This DVD will nurture your delusions. - Patrick
DIIV - Is The Is Are
This is DIIV's sophomore release and stars the creative Zachary Cole Smith (Beach Fossils, Soft Black,& Darwin Deez). This double album (17 songs) is a unique blend of indie rock/dream pop/shoegazing/psych/post-punk..etc... I love the blend of guitar and Smith's vocals . Elliott Smith and Royal Trux are cited at Smith's influences for the album, but I'm not saying this album sounds like them, just throwing it out there. If you like the Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Beach House, Real Estate feel, check this out! Also, check out DIIV's first album, "Oshin". - Michelle
Prins Thomas-Principe Del Norte
One of Lindstrøm's pals/collabs and part of a bevy of Norweigian DJs/Producers/experimenters to break loose from the Northern Hemispheres in the recent past (see also Todd Terje, Röyksopp, Bjørn Torske, Lasse Marhaug), Prins Thomas moves a little further afield from his previous work with new album Principe Del Norte. This new effort keeps you moving but not with 120 bpm madness thumping in your brain. Tracks A1 through D are somewhat ambient (without being too wallpaper-y) and soundtrack-ish enough to keep your attention. Relatively percussion-free but sequencer-heavy it mines early Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schulze/Moebius & Plank territory to great effect. Tracks E through H are closer to his usual fare but still much more subtle and refined than previous works. Airy yet substantial? Modern yet timeless? Yeah... something like that. - Corby
Various - This Record Belongs To ______
For the past 6 months my daughter has demonstrated limitless enthusiasm for the songs from Frozen. I've had it with Olaf it, and my Menzel health demands I find something Elsa.
This is a terrific comp for kids!
Woody Guthrie's "Dance Around" follows the extended funk/psych of the
Pointer Sisters "Pinball Number Count"
Bobby Bare Jr. accompanies his dad on "Daddy What If"
Nina Simone and Kermit the Frog sing about rainbows.
The highlight for me is the collaboration between Carole King & Maurice Sendak
"One Was Johnny." Playful word economy & a warm vocal from King make "Johnny" the most elegant counting song I've ever heard. -Patrick
The Raincoats – The Raincoats (WE 1)
RIYL: Kleenex/LiliPUT, Gang of Four, Television Personalities, The Slits, Beat Happening
“The Raincoats offered a completely different way of doing things, as did X-Ray Spex, and all the books about punk have failed to realize that these women were involved for no other reason other than they were good and original.” – Johnny Rotten
Punk bands were formed like crazy in the wake of the new wave of the Sex Pistols crashed, but this one was special. Unlike punkers before them, the Raincoats were unafraid of experimenting with instrumentation and song structure, using sounds from violin and a rotating selection of instruments they would find second-hand. Drawing from world and freejazz as influences and as a political statement against blues-based rock, which they considered to be a part of culture appropriation and genderizing in music, they created a sound that was uniquely their own and has yet to be replicated, but has influenced countless musicians. When you hear words like “jangly” “angular” and “ramshackle” used to describe punk, you should know these were some of the ladies who pioneered that sound. - Kana
Sacred Few - Beyond The Iron Walls (Shadow Kingdom)
Another lost 80's metal classic from the Shadow Kingdom label! Cleveland Ohio's Sacred Few formed in 1977 and made one one album. They broke up soon after. This has a very "local band" feel but that to me is a good thing! If you like your early Judas Priest sound, this band is for you! very 1983 hard rock with powerful female vocals...and fantasy lyrics! this CD is awesome! - Bill Jeffery
A Salute To The Thin White Duke: The Songs Of David Bowie (Cleopatra Records)
You never know with tribute albums. Sometimes they can be very "meh", but A Salute To The Thin White Duke is a pleasure all the way through. I originally was excited because one of my favorite local Austin bands, Heartless Bastards, are on this with their very cool version of "Jean Genie". However after listening to the Muffs awesome version of "Changes" and the sweet "shoe-gazy" version of "Rebel Rebel" by the KVB,I was hooked! Not a bad version on here! For Bowie freaks like me this another great way to hear what a genius songwriter he is. - Bill Jeffery
Witness for the Prosecution
This is truly one of the best Billy Wilder films with one of the greatest casts ever assembled. Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich and Tyrone Powers are absolute perfection in this courtroom drama based on an Agatha Christie short story that influenced many films that came after it. This is being released for the first time on bluray by Kino Video. Absolutely essential. - Tracy
The Phantom of the Paradise
Brian De Palma's 1974 cult classic is getting the deluxe Scream Factory treatment on 8/5. What can you say about this glam rock, acid-trip version of Phantom of the Opera that hasn't already been said? It's got everything: a mixture of horror, comedy, rock n roll, unrequited love and fantasy makes this an extremely anticipated release. This one is LOADED with extras, tons of new interviews and commentary so don't feel guilty about upgrading that dvd copy! - Tracy
The Chills - Silver Bullets (Fire Records)
The new Chills album is a cause for celebration for well..Chills fans who never thought there would be another one after 1996 as well as fans of the great 80's and early 90's Flying Nun sound.The Chills were one of the "4" of the infamous Dunedin Double (recently re-issued for Record Store Day) that started it all! As a huge fan of the Chills dark jangly pop I'm very pleased that 1996's Sunburnt is NOT the last Chills album. Silver Bullets is comparable to their masterpiece, Submarine Bells! Good all the way through! A "must have" for all pop music fans! -Bill Jeffery