Images - Know What I Mean Available Today, album stream

Happy to announce that Images newest release Know What I Mean is available today and ready to order. We've definitely been hyping the album for a bit in these parts and for good reason! To mark the occasion we're offering a limited stream of the album available now. Beyond all the digital confusion we have also made up a special art-edition cassette version of the album. We've outdone ourselves with this one and look forward to continuing the trend.

Images have a been hard at work prepping new material and have some other releases on the horizon. Those in Brooklyn can also catch Images later this week (Feb 2nd) at Death By Audio for their album release show with Woodsman, Hubble, & Man Forever.

Images Know What I Mean is available today via Last Nights Records (Cassette) & AMDISCS (Digital)


Porter Ricks - Biokinetics

Porter Ricks - Biokinetics by _type

It's kinda hard to imagine calling albums from the mid-late 90's as classic but that's exactly the kind of praise Porter Ricks debut full-length opus calls for. Essentially defining the sound of a whole new breed of era in techno & dance music whose influence continues to this day. A compositional form that is minimalist by nature, aquatic by design, & versatile enough to be found in a club or bedroom setting simultaneously.

In retrospect it is also easy to view this album as a precursor to a lot of dubstep in it's use of dub-like techniques and sonic qualities. The deep bass sound while not wobbling to and fro is still a deep & moving force. With this release Type records is continuing their reputation as a forward thinking avant label even while digging a little into the past only to reveal a landmark release for contemporary music.

Porter Ricks' Biokinetics is available now via Type records.

Last Nights Presents: Jonas Reinhardt, The Present, Driphouse

Last Nights Presents:

Saturday February 11th
89 Varet St. Brooklyn, NY 11206
9pm | $8 | All Ages

Head Full Of Doubt / Road Full Of Promise

Lots to love about this video which interprets the song in both an abstract and complimentary way without resorting to literal imagery whilst still using a mainly 'traditional' approach... Also see how the video was put together here by artist Jason Mitcham who discusses the project with one of the The Avett Brothers founder members Scott Avett.

If the video above is unavailable in your country, try this link.


The Only Known Filmed Footage of Leadbelly

thx to Dangerous Minds blog!

The brilliant folks at the Facebook Real Blues Forum kindly corrected me about the above being the only filmed footage of Leadbelly. Here's a newsreel from 1935:

What's your Blues name?

Thanks to the Huffington Post and some Facebook friends!

Think I'll stick to being Peter Memory Banks ;-)

Mind Alien - From Roswell with Love

The first couple copies of Mind Alien's From Rosewell With Love came with a bag of Doritos. Not that I think anyone is trying to promote the brand (& the larger corporation they are a wing of), or anything here, in all honesty the dude probably bought the chips himself . I just think they kinda say a lot here. For example I really get the vibe that Mind alien expects us to have the munchies while listening to this. As "Alien Home World" offers a dense mesh of aquatic bubbling & otherworldly incantations from the nether for one to sit back in and explore with a corn-based snack at hand.

Anyway Mind Alien is Shane 3McDowell (also of the Portland duo Twins, also, if I can be sidetracked for a moment, this is the 2nd underground music reference to the movie Twins starring former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger & Danny Devito. The other being Mudboy's R.A.F.) I ran into this by way of the wonderful Dog Daze Tapes who you may still be able to pick up a copy from.

Mind Alien's From Roswell With Love is available now via CGIFRIDAY, though we probably missed out on the chips as only the first 23 copies came with those. You can buy your own bag though, I'm sure.

Images - "Not Peeking"

Images album Know What I Mean is being co-released by AMDISCS & our extended record label self at Last Nights Records one week from today (it being Tuesday Jan. 24th, the album will be available on cassette/digitally Jan 31st). As such it seems time to share another track from the album, this time it is the lysergically infused "Not Peeking".

With former member Kai Lord-Farmer's vocals taking center stage the songs takes cues from contemporary indie music while also harkening back to the duo's passion for world music. Lord-Farmer in particular is able to display some fantastic call & response vocal maneuvers that may be influenced more or less by his musical heritage (his step-father being drumming instructor who immigrated into the US from Guinea). While at the same instance swirling wah-wah inflected guitars stream throughout the recordings adding a hallucinogenic atmosphere to the overall proceedings.

Images Know What I Mean is available via Last Nights Records (cassette) & AMDISCS (digital) Jan 31st. For those in New York Last Nights also curated a show Images will be playing that is a record release-esque show Feb. 2nd at Death by Audio with Woodsman, Hubble, & Man Forever.

Bola - "Abayetidu Ma"

Bola "Abayetidu Ma" by awesometapesfromafrica

From the get go here it's almost impossible not to get lost in heading nodding groove, depending on where & what your doing when you hear this maybe that groove has spread to other parts of your body. Bola and the track "Abayetidu Ma" take the listener by storm once the programmed drums & keyboard's low make their entrance.

Hailing from Ghana Bola takes on traditional forms of song-craft & instrumentation and fuses them with modern touches. His use of the Kologo at once being a sign of history and cultural meaning while the inclusion of the drum machine is made particularly striking when heard in contrast, itself being the most notable hallmark of contemporary songwriting. As the press release notes "Traditionally, Kologo performances occur at pito (local beer made from fermented millet or sorghum) bars, weddings, funerals, festivals or spontaneous jams on the street, which is where Bola honed his craft as a solo musician." So pretty much like most indie bands, minus the funerals & street jams (these indie bands probably have garages for all their spontaneous needs).

Unlike most indie bands though this track seems to stretch for something a bit more down to earth as "Bola has taken a dynamic instrument used by traditional healers and herbalists to sing to god in search of advice and taken it to futuristic heights." A spiritual element many incorporating West African compositional motifs into their can not necessarily relate to.

Bola's Volume 7 (originally released by the artist in 2009) is available via Awesome Tapes From Africa April 2nd.

The end of the C of E as we know it...

'I don't care about the Church of England' is an obvious soundbite that journalists will inevitably latch onto that Bishop Stephen Cottrell proclaimed during the Chelmsford Diocesan Transforming Presence event this Saturday 21st Jan. I first encountered Bishop Stephen's inspirational style at another conference, Transforming Worship, at Chelmsford cathedral when he was still serving as the Bishop of Reading. Then he encouraged us to think much more creatively and holistically about the experience of what it's like to attend a church, explaining that planning services must go way beyond simply preparing for a liturgical, lectionary based hymn, prayer and reading sandwich.

The Transforming Presence event was convened to draw together around 1,000 people from all over the Diocese, which covers all of Essex and East London, to discuss the pressing issues facing the C of E in terms of attendance, finance and clergy. The process was one of structured discussion and feedback gathered from delegates grouped in tens around circular tables. We were guided through a creative SWOT analysis exercise, each topic culminating in filling out conclusions onto friendly and varied 'homely' forms which were collected and then displayed around the venue.

However, the overall experience was very much like church, a see-saw of good versus the uncomfortable. On arrival at the Brentwood Centre it was a joy to see the Bishops modelling high-vis fashion (see photo above) and directing the not inconsiderable traffic. Regardless of whether some thought that was, maybe, a tad contrived, it positively demonstrated the 'renewal of the mind' from the day's familiar reading, Romans 12, as a way to think in reverse of the expected.

Next one of the truly saddening moments! Depsite the church banging on about the 5th Mark of Mission drinks were served in polystyrene cups with plastic teaspoons... To some that may seem insignificant, but surely a powerful 'evangelistic' message was missed because of that lack of joining obvious dots?

Moving along the next uplifting moment was hearing Bishop Stephen's opening remarks as he unpacked the vision for the day. Sadly this was then swiftly followed swiftly by another downer as the first hymn we sang, despite having great words, was set to the wretched tune of Danny Boy. I must stress this was an exception in the day's liturgy as a whole. However, to me it was such an irony that, as the Brentwood Centre stages professional boxing tournaments, I kept imagining everyone else at the Centre, those making use of the usual sporting facilities etc., must have been left wondering why such a strait laced bunch was so robustly endorsing Fighting some sort of (good?) Fight? OK, I'll fess up, I only see and hear Barry McGuigan's dad singing whenever I hear that tune!

The main part of the day then ensued, with the aforementioned discussions. My table had a good mix, clergy were in a minority (3), our geographical locations and church types were varied. Despite having to bite my lip (a lot!) it was a good process and although, overall, I felt we were somewhat parochial, there were some surprising contributions along with some changes of heart as the day progressed. To generalise, I don't think we were realistic. For example, am I cynical to not expect an imminent revival?

This process was interspersed with other elements, including sharing lunch on the table and simply wandering around to meet acquaintances. A Twitter hastag was running, #timetotalk, which both started to produce some good comments and enabled a Tweetup moment for those of us who partake to meet in real life (ie non-virtually) ;-)

After the lunch break we were called back by singing 'Spirit of the Living God', played most sensitively by Elwin Cockett, now an archdeacon, no less! Next came a really weird moment... We were shown a new video of some relative youngsters, I assume teenagers, talking about church and what it meant to them. Frankly it was dreadful, and that is a gross understatement. It was typical of something a church / Diocesan committee would produce. Great content, awful production. In the car one of my buddies proposed that the way the contributors had delivered their pieces to camera was the result of some rendition process deep within the Guy Harlings complex! In line with the rhythm of the day, and another irony, next up was an interview by BBC Essex broadcaster Ian Wyatt who demonstrated how much better professionals handle things. Ian's programme covering the conference is on iPlayer for a few more days.

So, back to our table and the mission thereon. We resumed by filling out a mythical edition of Diocese's publication 'The Month', predicting the content for the year 2020, fleshing out a Headline we had invented in the last pre-lunch session. My question here is why were we even talking about the print edition without at least acknowledging on-line or mobile / tablet apps and media that we would most likely consume in 8 years time? With converging of Internet and TV technology it is likely everyone will have access to some sort of online media, even without broadband. Of course, it is not the point that was being sought, the possible stories were, but it does show a lack of vision for it not to be even mentioned. Equally not actually having the #timetotalk hashtag displayed anywhere seemed a bit of an omission as people were trying to figure it out.

And so on to the closing remarks that Bishop Stephen gave. He started by giving his imagined headline for 'The Month': 'The Church of England ceases to exist' explaining whilst we have too many churches his solution is to actually have more. He qualified the daring opening statement in the first sentence of this post, 'I don't care about the Church of England', as he concluded, 'but what I do care about is the Gospel of Jesus Christ'. There ensued a passionate rallying call about how inevitable a terminal decline of the C of E will happen, in the short term, unless we engineer radical changes, starting now, which he summarised as 'I do not want to manage the graceful decline of the Church of England'. He added an even more daring thought when he said 'the C of E may still decline, but that's up to God'. His call is for all of us to be transformed, to let go of our preferences and desires, for the church to break from the cultural constraints that may have worked well in the past but do no longer, and to develop such that we, as both disciples and as the church corporate, are distinctively Christian.

It was a priviledge to be at the starting point of this vital and prohetic initiative. Of course, I will not be the only one to have found some niggles but if this collaborative approach is an inkling of real transformation in the way things move forward from now on, that is refreshingly good. Yes, I was pleased to feel part of the day and whilst still harbouring concerns about how big an ask this may prove to be it is one giant leap in a brave direction.

And one more thing... I had one of those weird 'moments'! Whilst visiting the rest of the Brentwood Centre complex to avail myself of the facilities I felt assailed by the loud 'piped' music. It was a strange contrast to be part of what I can only describe as a quite a noisy 'holy hubbub' yet to still find that bit of the outside world so strident when, normally, you wouldn't even notice?


History Detectives: A book of Slave Songs published in 1867 & Josh White's Guitar

Thx to NTSiB for the tip!

Hey! Wanna Win This Wicked Black Keys Poster?

My pal April at NOW THiS SOUND iS BRAVE is celebrating the second anniversary of her blog by giving away this supa-cool Black Keys zombie poster.  To enter the running for the baby, 

"you’ll have to tell us about an important music moment in your life. Be it funny or touching or something that will make us all want to slash our wrists, whether it involves playing music, listening to music or meeting a music hero, as long as it was important, influential and memorable to you we want to read about it. The sharer of the best music moment, judged by my own indefinable I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it standards, will win my extra Black Keys zombie poster to have, to hold and to scare young children with. The deadline for entry will be 5 PM EST on January 26, and I will announce the winner on the NTSIB anniversary, January 27..."

For more info and to enter go HERE
Good Luck! I can't wait to read your stories.

Dustin Wong - "Diagonally Talking Echo"

Dustin Wong - Diagonally Talking Echo from Thrill Jockey Records

Minimalism has really spread into contemporary indie culture rather seamlessly hasn't it? If I were in academia I might discuss societies penchant for assimilation and the marks of fringe-cum-pop culture and use Dustin Wong's newest single as a prime example. Alas I am not so this will not be, anymore than it already is, a rambling yet detached look into social & cultural habits. Regardless Dustin Wong really takes on key elements that personify the more high-culture musical movement/genre.

Yet at the same time Wong is also working towards extending the groundwork he laid with his previous group Ponytail. In fact many moments on "Diagonally Talking Echo" wouldn't be wholly out of place on any Ponytail track, yet he's never attempting to recreate that sound rather aspects of it's experience. In place of a mere facsimile of that band's (former) power, Wong's own voice can be seen in retrospect to be a guiding force now set to go about it's own particular paths.

Dustin Wong's "Diagonally Talking Echo" is taken from his forth coming full-length Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads is available February 21st via Thrill Jockey.

Family Portrait - "Dark Roast"

Dark Roast the newest EP from Family Portrait sees a bit of aural changes that seem to be totally fitting of the times. Most notable is the strong presence of electronic drums and a more studio inclined slickness missing from the previous recorded outings. Some of this makes sense when compared to some of their peers and label-mates such as James Ferraro & La Big Vic, though Family Portrait are going in their own direction altogether.

It's nice to see a sonic progression from the group's last outing, this time fully incorporating modern electronic instrumentation into the tunes. "It Turns" retains singer & group leader Evan Brody's distinctive vocal delivery in place, while the title track "Dark Roast" lets the rhythm section take the forefront which lets the slow burning melody relax and follow the crowd a bit. All in totally bumping up a phil collins vibe in my mind mixed with some contemporary songcraft, but that's just me. And I'm digging this.

Family Portrait's Dark Roast EP is available now via Underwater People's.

Mike Wexler - "Pariah" & new album

It's been a few years since Mike Wexler first caught my attention with his last full length offering, 2007's Sun Wheel, & it seems like he's ready to build upon that album's foundation. "Pariah", taken from his upcoming album Dispossession, utilizes all of the familiar elements heard on previous recordings while adding a new layer of sheen & polish to the whole thing.

Here Wexler's unique guitar styling & songwriting, which takes cues from English folk & Eurocentric structuring devices, "without a trace of 'Americana'" as the press release will tell us, is a driving force for which swirling synth & organ tones may dance around. These keyboard arrangements themselves are the main cohesive element glueing the proceedings together though, providing the needed atmosphere & dramatic swells the songs search for. Definitely an album to look out for in 2012.

Mike Wexler's Dispossession will be available March 6th via Mexican Summer.

Street Gnar - "East Quiver" video

I'm digging this music by Street Gnar, a nice blend of a half-baked Kraut-rock groove & classic psychedelia. Case Mahan (aka Street Gnar) has been releasing stuff on great labels like Night People & Eggy Records for a little bit now but I'm only getting my first taste with "East Quiver."

Using some familiar tools (samples, guitars, drums) to create some heady daydream music. The video itself seemingly captures this spaced quality by using sped up footage taken from moving subways trains, bikes, skateboards, swings and other such events which allow for such shifted perspectives of time. At only two and a half minutes the song too seems to defy time, making me wish it was twice as long.

Street Gnar's Poking The World With A Stick is available now via Night People & for free on his bandcamp.

Making Music Matters....

From comes a synergetic mix of neuroscience and comic strip art giving a generalised explanation of how different styles of music affects our senses...


Woods - "Any Other Day" video

Though by this time Woods' new video for "Any Other Day" has surely made it's way around the entangled internet web it's still definitely rad enough to have some mention here. After all the mellow psych-pop of Woods is always welcome in these parts especially when perfectly matched by Eyebodega's accompanying animation.

To longtime fans of Woodsist records, or Woods themselves, the drawings presented through the video will appear strikingly familiar as they are made up of Woods main-man Jeremy Earl's drawings. They twist and turn throughout becoming entangled in the song's irresistibly catchy melody and tremelo laden fuzz guitar. Even though it's winter this song is bringing back some hazy memories of spinning some classic 60's folk-rock on warm nights.

Woods' latest album Sun and Shade is out now via Woodsist.

Revival comes to West Mersea...

Residents of St. Peter's Road receiving the Wood of the LORD this morning.... a parishioner was encouraged by the new and charismatic preacher saying they would fit in well 'as our services are usually a bit wooden'. We're told the reading was from Isaiah 55:12 along with a relevant chorus.

The good news is the message Sufjan Stevens brings us which I wouldn't have found if I'd not searched for the obvious song!

Hands down for coffee...

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Black Dice - "Pigs" video & announce new album Mr. Impossible

It's always good news in these parts when Black Dice announce a new album and and even better day when they also release a new video for one of their tunes. "Pigs", taken from their upcoming LP Mr. Impossible, follows a similar sonic terrain that the trio have been developing for the last couple of years; a onslaught of electro-noise with a penchant for the dance floor, or in lieu of reaching those heights the DIY punk space near you.

The accompanying video made by the group brings their sonic pranks to life. A collage of swirling neon fruit & whacked out dangly eyed freaks groove along through out. Those who have caught some of Black Dice's other video output for bands like !!!, Wooden Shjips, or even the group's involvement with Animal Collective for the Creator's Project will surely be aware of the particular aesthetic approach taken by the visual/musical group.

All in all this makes today pretty great.

Black Dice's Mr. Impossible will be available April 10th in an edition of 350 hand numbered and silkscreened LP's via Ribbon Music.

M. Geddes Gengras - Kiss of Life CS on SicSic Tapes

M. Geddes Gengras has been at for a bit in the underground synth scene (should i say movement? How many synth heads does it take to create a movement?) and is offering up his latest release on SicSic Tapes. Some may know Gengras through one of his myriad cassette releases through top notch labels such as Stunned, Digitalis, & Ekhein to name a few. Did I mention that he also plays in the live Sun Araw band.

Kiss of Life offers up some bubbling, rolling synth sequencing & glimpses into some unforeseen dystopian dream. Playing out as the soundtrack to some great lost sci-fi flick from the late 70's where apes wearing streamlined attire eat soylent green.

M. Geddes Gengras's Kiss of Life cassette is out now via SicSic Tapes.

KENNY BROWN - Can't Stay Long

Do I really need to write anything about Kenny Brown? Really? 

Haven't we got to the point yet where his albums are issued at birth to each newborn child? If not this world is in a damn sad state. 

Y'all know Mr. Brown learned to play mostly at the feet of Mr. Joe Callicott, and as a young man became R.L. Burnside's "adopted white son," playing guitar for Mr. Burnside (and on occasion with others like Junior Kimbrough) for twenty-six years. For the last few years he's been playing and hosting the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic, which presents most everybody you could want to see/hear that rocks that Hill Country sound. 

Mr. Brown released an album on the Plum Tone label in 1998 (back in the olden days when I ordered it by phone it was Kenny on the line) called Goin' Back To Missisippi (shamefully out-of-print! Somebody needs to fix that.), one on Fat Possum in 2003 called Stingray, one i'd never heard of called Fast, Cheap, and Dirty with Danish guitarist Troels Jensen in ought-six, Meet Ya At The Bottom via CDBaby in 2008, and now a new double-disc set on Devil Down Records called Can't Stay Long. 

Disc One is titled Porch Songs and that's just what it is. Kenny Brown playing and singing solo on Kenny Brown's porch. Recorded over a weekend. That's it. All you need. 

Disc two is titled Money Maker. It was recorded live at the 2010 North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic. If you've been achin' for some classic Mississippi Hill Country boogie you can quit it now. Dr. Brown and his band deliver the rural medicine. The thing that I dig most about this live set is that you finally get to hear just what a badass bar band  vibe Kenny Brown can roll out (dream show would be Kenny and The Bottle Rockets), yet get artistically deep up in the boogie. 

 Can't Stay Long is the first album to really deliver Mr. Brown's live thing intact. It stands as both Kenny Brown/ North Mississippi Hill country Blues compendium and companion.  Maybe Kenny can't stay long but this album will. 

Choral Anthems for the rest of us...

A sensitive live performance of U2's anthemic 'With or without You' by the Belgian girls' choir Scala conducted by Stijn Kolacny and accompanied by brother Steven Kolacny on the piano. First became aware of them when they played and sang Coldplay's Viva la Vida during the introduction to the last (2011) BBC Sports Personality of the Year.


Ocrilim - Groundrest

Groundrest is Mick Barr's (aka Ocrilim or Octis) latest entry into his ever growing catalogue. Recorded between 2007-2010 the album sees the musician trading in the long form thematic compositional structures for shorter aesthetically isolated miniatures. The arc of conjured emotions and concepts located here are as diverse as Barr has provided on a single release to date. It is perhaps this reason that the album is explained as being "not necessarily Ocrilim, or Octis, or Or:12r3."

His (seemingly) mathematically precise guitar shred is of course present, while other tracks showcase some unlikely synth sheen, sporatic drum machine workouts, & exotic come minimalism along with Barr's own unique style of metal/classical. While not each track throws each of these disparate approaches into the mix each feels comfortably at home next to each other in Barr's hands.

Groundrest is available now via Mick Barr's bandcamp.

Indian Jewelry - "See Forever" video

Indian Jewelry have been at it for a couple years now. Always treading the waters between noise, psychedelic rock, & electronics while never settling down into any of those genre's predefined niches. "See Forever" and its accompanying video, taken from the group's newest release Sufi Headbangers, is a daunting almost claustrophobic track that if anything continues the band's trajectory over time.

The video wrapped in a dark, occult-leaning mystique, combines a continuous rapid succession of images & (presumably) live footage of the band in a manner that may not be best viewed by the faint of heart or those prone to seizures. Those who

Sufi Headbangers is available via Indian Jewelry's own Girlgang Records & Tapes.

Agail Ag Amoumine - Takamba

Agail Ag Amoumine's album Takamba on Sahel Sounds & Mississippi/Change records marks a fine beginning to a new year. Amoumine's electric folk is something of a transcendent process that is one part songcraft, two parts
technical prowess, & one part showmanship and a deserved one at that. When considering the music which has been pouring out of Africa, particularly the West and North, the past few years contributing to countless compilations & reissues that have spread like wildflowers/fires. Add to this the increasingly larger group of fantastic contemporary musicians and bands that have been releasing and playing music on these shores, most notably including Tinariwen who have toured with the Rolling Stones.

Takamba is Agail Ag Amoumine's first album issued in this part of the globe. The recordings are an immediately awe inspiring form of rough & raw folk music. Amoumine's buzzing tehardent, a lute-like variant, is the driving force here some slight vocal and percussive additions here and there always reminding of the musics social context, that is to my and I believe many of it's english speaking listeners ears will be at once familiar in intent while obscured in meaning.

Even so the album finds traits of familiarity to those already exposed to the music of the region, most notably Group Doueh & to a lesser extent Group Inerane. Both of these groups release their music in the United States through Sublime Frequencies. Fans of the afore mentioned groups will find much to love in this release while finding it's own eccentricities.

Agail Ag Amoumine's Takamba is available now on LP and mp3 via Sahel Sounds & Mississippi/Change records.