Fave new band of the week via Joe Cushley 
Available via Stag-O-Lee!

Natch Series | Album Feature

Black Dirt Studio have been offering up some heady jams as of late via their collaborative series Natch. They have been releasing a steady stream the past few months & only seem to be picking up steam. That's really saying something for a series whose first start out of the gate was the recently featured Black Twig Pickers & Steve Gunn. Now with the addition of three more solid entries in the bag, including folks like Pigeons, Rahdunes, & Stellar Om Source Natch has been able to firmly cultivate a solid vibe & keep me guessing who will show up to jam next. 

The latest entry into the catalogue, Natch 3,  sees Aaron Moore & Carter Thornton two dudes I'm not too familiar with. The duo bring some pretty damaged electronic noise squall to the table that has been relatively absent from the series thus far. I wouldn't say noise rock is what's going here as there is something that feels somewhat premeditated & sculpted anchoring it down contrary to the more free wielding almost punk nature that I somewhat identify with the genre. The promo video's occult night-time vibes go a long way in saying what's going on here. 

I must say that the latest entry in the series is quite a treat & in my opinion may be the apex of the catalogue thus far. Natch 0 sees Dave Nuss, Rahdunes, Stellar Om Source, & Aswara meet up for a 1 time sound excursion sure to leave a few brains fried. It works as a prequel, if you will, to the Natch series recorded before the series really got off the ground floor. As such it's our lucky stars that the series was started so these jams can reach some anxious & possibly otherworldly eardrums. 

Back on the chronological track (kind of... oh wait I started with 3!) Natch 2 features Pigeons, Dave Shuford, & Margot Bianca. This collaboration does a fantastic job of blending the unique voices of each musician. It seems as if it were the product of a solid band lineup rather than a artists who just happened to be in the same place at the same time. The movements & styles of each compliment & play off one another in a way that seems to imply a deep musical bond. A bond which is lost within it's own bubble of existence in no hurry to jump on any passing notion letting each thought & action they express seep into your bones.

Black Dirt Studios Natch series is available for FREE via the Natch Tumblr. No limited, editioned, exclusive bull waggery here to distract just some solid jams by a bunch of cats striving towards their third eye (ear).


The great man has passed.  
Harry Crews is dead
Raise the black flags. 
How do you like your blue-eyed boy now, Mr. Death?

In his honor here's a post from early 2011

I've been wanting to see this for years. 
Some might say "well, what's Harry Crews got to do with blues?" 
If you don't know I can't help you, except to say
Crews is the blues as much as anything else is.

The Men - "A Minor" | Track Feature

Kids, Record Store Day is fast approaching. You know what that means...tons of new tracks and rarities from some of your favorite bands. Like this one, taken from Sacred Bones' upcoming compilation
Todo Muere Vol. 2.

"A Minor" finds The Men exploring some slightly different musical terrain, channeling Crazy Horse circa 1971. It's a good fit for the group, who seem to be able to shift from energetic slop-pop to psychedelic sludge without batting an eyelash. Another triumph from a band who seem to be able to do no wrong these days. Peep it above.

Todo Muere Vol. 2 is out on National Record Store Day, April 21st, via Sacred Bones.

Yek Koo / LA Lakers / Purple Pilgrims - Tour US | Artist Feature

I was recently hipped to this US tour of yek koo, LA Lakers, & Purple Pilgrims that for those of you who can sit still for a couple minutes will totally fall for, it doesn't hurt if you dig the sound of air conditioners as well though. If you haven't heard of these groups before I'm sure it's no fault of yours either as even the completely thorough & inexhaustible internet barely brings me any info on any of them.

Regardless what I do know is that yek koo (lower cases are important here) hangs with some of the best of them when it comes to some serious overdriven drone-related underground goop, or now that I think about I'm not wholly satisfied with that word goop as this tuff is way to put together than that implies. It is also the project of Helga Fassonaki, also of Metal Rouge & who outside of the sonic underground works as a visual artist.

Purple Pilgrims blend of subdued ambience & altogether foggy sonics really sits just right. Created by a sister duo currently based out of New Zealand / Hong Kong the short video leaves me wanting more. They have recently released an 8" lathe on Pseudo Arcana.

Both groups are on tour now with LA Lakers, another NZ native, who helps solidify the countries experimental exports. The tour is currently in progress & you can check the remaining dates below. Those on the east coast won't have to wait long as the tour will pick up where it left off May 2nd

Remaining Dates

3/27 - Davis, CA @ The Villanova House
3/28 -  Portland, OR @ Little Axe Records w/ Polyps
3/29 - Olympia, WA @ Olyphant w/ Brother Raven, Skrill Meadow
3/30 - Arcata, CA @ Mex N Wow w/ Ensemble Economique
4/2 - Los Angeles, CA @ Dems Passwords w/ Peter Kolovos
5/2 - Brooklyn, NY @ Zebulon w/ Zaimph
5/5 - Boston, MA @ White Haus
5/6 - Northampton, MA @ Media Mansion w/ Bill Nace
5/7 - Albany, NY @ Helderberg House w/ Burnt Hills

Lower Dens - "Propagation" | Track Feature

The line musical groups walk between maturation and stagnation is indeed a thin one; many fans beg of them to keep churning out the same beloved product over and over again, while others expect a natural progression in aesthetics with each new release. Somehow, Baltimore hometown heroes Lower Dens have managed to straddle this line with ease; their sound drifting in a natural direction while not straying too far from the elements which made 2010's Twin-Hand Movement one of the most enjoyable records of that year.

Having already released the excellent motorik epic “Brains,” Ribbon Music has decided to treat us to a second taste from their upcoming album Nootropics; “Propagation.” Dreamy, chorus laden guitars float over an air-tight rhythm section with Jana Hunter's trademark vocal smoke front and center. The track is a return to form for the band, echoing some of the best aesthetic elements from their previous work yet demonstrating true musical progression. Check it out above. Sometimes, the middle feels just right.

Nootropics is out May 1st via Domino affiliates Ribbon Music.

DEEP BLUES FESTiVAL @ Bayport BBQ MSP 6-29-12 to 7-1-12 :: TiCKET iNFO!

Here's yr information from Boss Johnson RE: advance ticket sales for DBF-Bayport.
By the way i've seen the line-up and it's as amazing as you'd imagine it would be. For more info and for tickets contact Chris Johnson.

The three day festival pass is going to be $150 plus tax. This is 25 bands plus all you can eat bbq, tea and lemonade as well as getting entered into our Golden Ticket drawing. We hope to sell out all 200 three day passes, so there will not be any individual daily tickets sold.

Sales tax is $10.69 (total ticket $160.69) and if you want to pay with credit card or paypal, there is another $5.11 processing fee.(total with tax and processing $165.80)

We’re announcing the bands each day leading up to the April 5th schedule announcement and ticket sale start date. This presale gets you the first chance to purchase before we sell out and also a chance to win a pair of Golden Tickets. The Golden Ticket is a drawing to win two front row seats at both stages, two VIP musician all access passes (including the green room with alcohol), and we’re asking each band for a signed cd. You still have to purchase your ticket, but these extra perks should a nice bonus for a fan.

Let me know if you want me to send you a paypal invoice, or stop into the bbq and you can save the processing fee by paying with cash or check.

MUDLOW: LiVE at BiG Vs in Saint Paul MN 07.21.08

Mudlow are finishing up a new album to be called Sawyer's Hope.  
It's unbelievably freaking great.
Until then, here's some old school Mudlow badness:

pinhole pic of Mudlow shot by nhungsta!

Brighton UKs Mudlow played a post-DBF gig at Big Vs in Saint Paul MN on the monday following the fest. Sadly their sax man Trimble was under the weather but I filled in on Maraccas on So Long Lee and Honkeyfinger hit the harp on a couple songs. 

They played a bunch of new material including a sweet cover of The Scud Mountain Boys song Silo which has always been a fave of mine so I was shocked and thrilled to hear them do it. The material shows growth while still retaining the very Mudlow-ness that I know and love. 

My Norwegian friend journalist Oyvind Pharo had spoken with them earlier and had been told that they like to consider their music the soundtrack to an unmade film. Well said. 

I shot the show with my handy Casio Exilm. It was pretty dark on stage but the sound is good. Mudlow seems to have the ol' Prophet not Welcome at Home problem in the UK so please spread the word about them so we can get them back to the U.S. asap where they garnered a slew of new fans at The Deep Blues Festival.

MUDLOW- Dust from ricksaunders on Vimeo.

MUDLOW - Fetlock from ricksaunders on Vimeo.

MUDLOW - So Long Lee from ricksaunders on Vimeo.

MUDLOW - Silo from ricksaunders on Vimeo.

MUDLOW - Drunken Turkey from ricksaunders on Vimeo.

MUDLOW - Zac from ricksaunders on Vimeo.

MUDLOW - Catalina from ricksaunders on Vimeo.

MUDLOW - Down In The Snow from ricksaunders on Vimeo.

Here's a couple sooper rare Mudlow mp3s
for being such good little monkeys:

Jester MP3
Ain't No Pleasing You MP3

No Neck Blues Band - CINo 51 | Album Feature

No Neck Blues Band return with another new album, CINo 51, & are pretty much doing what they do best. The release follows on the heals of  the success of their previous album YTIU, also released by member Pat Murano's Kelippah Records.  I have to say that their music as of late of seem to veer away from the more acoustic friendly, almost hippie jams they once cranked out. Maybe time has taken it's toll during their 20 year journey. It kind of sounds like they'd rather be at home watching some totally bonkers euro-art house film, or at least creating the soundtrack.

The first excerpt leans towards a sound that Murano himself has been mining as of late with his own project Decimus. A heavy emphasis on keys & a more general horror score vibe.  The second excerpt from CINo 51 really livens things up. It showcases an immediate stone(d) age rock vibe, albeit one free of restrictions & let loose to discover it's own path in this world. Then again I suppose that's what NNCK do best.

No Neck Blues Band's CIN0 51 is available now via Kelippah Records.

TOMPKiNS SQUARE RECORDS Set To Release Line of new 78s!

One of my fave record labels, Tompkins Square is releasing a line of 78s:

"San Francisco-based record label Tompkins Square announces the first in a series of releases in the 78 rpm 10" vinyl format.

The first two will feature previously unreleased recordings from Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), and Ralph Stanley. Both 78's will be released as a limited edition of 500 copies on Record Store Day, April 21, 2012.

Luther Dickinson plays medleys of Southern melodies on his 78, including "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah/Beautiful Dreamer" on the A side and "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen/Peace in the Valley" on the B side. Ralph Stanley's 78 features "Single Girl", with "Little Birdie" on the B side.

Tompkins Square owner Josh Rosenthal comments, "A lot of new turntables play 78's, and many 78 collectors listen to their records on modern equipment. Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe have all recently released 78's. So I thought it would be fun to start a line of them."

Weird Dreams | Artist Feature

Weird Dreams are an East London based guitar-pop outfit that plays, well, classic English guitar pop. Surprising? No, not really. Rad? You betcha. Being from an area of the city famous for its innovations in the dance and electronica scenes, the music of Weird Dreams couldn't be more at odds with the neighborhood's claims to fame. Equally as influenced by 60's psychedelia and the C86 sound of mid-eighties Britain, the group creates breezy, ebullient nuggets of otherworldly pop sure to vibrate your eardrums in delight.

The four piece psych-pop crew have been garnering quite a bit of attention here in the states, being chosen as UK tour support by indie-rock luminaries (Stephen Malkmus) and rising stars (The War on Drugs) alike. Awash in reverb, sugar-sweet vocal melodies, and catchy-as-hell guitar lines, it's no wonder why tracks like “666.66” and “Little Girl” have got the band some big time buzz.

“Little Girl,” one of the first tastes off their upcoming debut album, Choreography, is a lovely lilting little ditty destined to impress. With beautiful guitar work and delicate vocals drenched in lush swashes of effected goodness, Weird Dreams might just be everyone's favorite new dream-pop band.

Weird Dreams Choreography is due out April 2nd via Tough Love Records.

Chicago Underground Duo - Age of Energy | Album Feature

Taking some serious cues from the worlds of free jazz, world, & ambient musics Chicago Underground Duo are a rare bread of of musician these days. In fact it is their musicianship itself that stands out the most, or sets them apart from a many musicians/composers working with non-traditional & often times electronic methods & tools. This is not to say that Chad Tayler & Rob Mazurek stick to any strict concept of jazz as they incorporate electronic elements & synthesis throughout with a deft touch.

I recently had the pleasure of seeing these guys in the live setting where they come at the listener with the same engaging improv I've witnessed in a while. Chad Taylor in particular seemed to have more wiggle room on his drum kit in the live setting & providing some highly intricate rhythms that left me consistently wondering where he will go next. A friend who I met up with at the show said it was the most enjoyable jazz performance he'd seen in five years. It's hard to argue even as bold a statement as that while watching these two musicians play together, they must formed a symbiotic relationship over the years.

Chicago Underground Duo's Age of Energy is available now via Northern Spy Records.

Tall Firs- Out Of It and Into It | Album Feature

Veteran Brooklyn psych-rockers Tall Firs, not known as one of NYC's quietest bands, may have just made the most achingly beautiful folk record of the Spring with their latest release Out of it and Into It. After parting ways with longtime drummer Ryan Sawyer and returning to their original incarnation as a duo, the group has radically pushed their sound towards more pastoral realms.

While not ditching their electric guitars wholesale, this time they're used in a far more textural, delicate fashion; where there was once overdriven grit there is now clean canyon echo. Opener “Suffer So Long” is a languid, melancholy ode to the tougher parts of life we all must naturally go through. Single "Crooked Smiles" preserves a bit of the band's bite though, with driving percussion and a wonderfully overdriven guitar break, complete with hedonistic lyrics about how we should just "get high," just "get evil."

Listen, I would be lying if I said it wasn't a relatively somber affair. Not somber in a negative way, in fact there is much, much beauty in its melancholy, just don't expect to put this one on at your first BBQ this Spring; it's not that type of record. This is a record to listen to in the wee hours, laying in bed and reflecting upon the past. Not a very bad thing at all.

Tall Firs album Out of It and Into It is out now via All Tomorrow's Parties.

Spiritualized - Hey Jane | Video Feature


Whoah. I'm pretty sure that would be any sensible human's reaction after seeing "Hey Jane," the epic latest clip from old school indie-psych progenitors Spiritualized. After a heart wrenching eight minutes in the life of a transgender prostitute, a fittingly epic happy ending wipes you emotionally clean so you don't have to have your day ruined. I really don't want to say much, because watching the full video is an experience any fan of the band, or cinema in general, would really, really enjoy. So go 'head, dive on in.

Nymph - U.F.O. Over Dome Rock | Track Feature

Nymph dropped this track on the world back in January but as the weather warms I'm guessing it may become more relevant than ever. Those that know the group or have seen them in the live setting where their membership reaches seven members or more will understand the avalanche of propulsive music. The group's fusion of world-new age inspirations bridges a terrific gap that can easily go awry.

Ascending to some heady peaks, Nymph bring the listener along their journey towards spiritual awakening within the deep grooves of "U.F.O Over Dome Rock". Bits & pieces of ethno-forgery squirm throughout the mix. The most prevalent to my ears is the introduction of the Saharan guitar sounds of Tinariwen, Group Doueh, & Group Inerane to name but a few of the groups from the region.

Nymph's "U.F.O. Over Dome Rock" is available now directly from the group's bandcamp.

Fingered Media - Videos for Blues Control & Psychic Ills | Video Feature

Fingered Media, Harrison Owen, has been creating some exciting & tripped out videos in conjunction with artists across a variety of mediums for quite a bit now. Releasing the results via youtube & vimeo streams to his own dvd-zine. Owen recently let loose a new trio of videos for Blues Control + Laraaji & Psychic Ills respectively that seem to represent a new stripped back method that verges on tripped out minimalist introspection.

"City of Love" by Blues Control & Laraaji, a highlight on their recent collaborative album, essentially covers the entire gamut of the current state of contemporary underground (dare I say alternative / experimental) music in about 9 minutes. And very well at that. That may be an exaggeration but many of the hallmarks are here pulsing kraut beats, overtones droning, & surreal sense of underwater acoustics bending & blurring every which way in accordance with the water. Owen's Warholian tribute to Philadelphia (or at least I'm assuming) is a fantastic reference to what the trio have created musically in that their improvised & organically formed compositions are matched by the slowly evolving pace of emptiness full of movement found in the footage.

The second video for Blues Control & Laraaji & their track "Awakening Day" appears to center around more obvious themes of mankind's relationship with nature & organic processes disassembled through creation. Images of trees recently cut down or ones left hacked from their base & left to rot. It's an interesting counter point to how I perceive this collaboration & artistic process of improvisation leading the way to unplanned sonic landscapes. Perhaps the title leads the way on this one providing a not too cool day to wake to.

Blues Control & Laraaji's released their collaborative album back in November but it's good to get a visual accompaniment for some of the grooves these 3 create. The album has been released as part of label/promotional team RVNG's Freakways series which have thus far featured younger musicians & groups teaming up with their forefathers for remix 12" singles or direct collaboration, such as this.

"I'll Follow You Through The Floor", Psychic Ills burnt-out jam from their most recent album Hazed Dream , is perhaps the most cinematic of this batch of videos. The track title again pretty much epitomizes what is to follow sonically & visually in Owens hands. Taking cues from classic American road trip films & the US's West's association with lawlessness & open terrain. Yet it also conjures up the theme of personal introspection present in all three of these videos. Developed visual concepts that do not rely on narrative forms or immediately eye catching & exotic elements. Rather we are given the familiar, the natural, the seemingly mundane allowed to breath free of their normal restrictions & given a rebirth partly in thanks to their new soundtracks partly on their simple yet thoughtful pace & framing.

Blues Control & Laraaji's Freakways album is available now via RVNG INTL, while Psychic Ills Hazed Dream is available via Sacred Bones. Check out more by video artist Harrison Owen at Fingered Media.

Mac DeMarco - Rock and Roll Night Club | Featured Artist

Waaay back in November, Scott hipped us to a new kid on the glam-rock block: Mac DeMarco. Back then, he was armed with only an EP and a destined-to-be-iconic photo (above) of him smearing his lips in cherry red. Now, he's inked a deal with Brooklyn tastemakers Captured Tracks, with a full length album to be released this Tuesday titled, fittingly; Rock And Roll Nightclub.

The record is a murky journey into just that: the seedy underworld of urban life, a space previously inhabited by the likes of Bowie, Lou Reed, and Johnny Thunders. When DeMarco croons about having to “head downtown” to “look for some fast girls,” on the title track, you believe him. You guys are gonna have a good time tonight. No matter what.

What strikes me most about DeMarco is the pure star power he possesses. With a voice reminiscient of Dirty Beaches' Alex Zhang Hungtai and the recording aesthetics of a younger Ariel Pink, DeMarco has managed to tap into the zeitgeist of today's bedroom pop auteurs; to create a world unique in its sense of space and time. Sounding both completely of the moment and like you could find the record in the dollar bin along other lost 70's/80's classics, this one's gonna be big. Trust me, y'all.

Mac DeMarco's Rock and Roll Night Club drops this Tuesday via Captured Tracks. According to CT, this is just a taste of DeMarco's talents, as he already has another full length in the works. Get psyched!

Chrome Wings - Coast To Coast | Video Feature

Chrome Wings are back contributing 1/2 of a new split cassette on Deep Tapes. I have to say I've been digging what these have been up to more & more with each release. The pair offer up a haze of wonky electronic soundscapes mixed with the tight & rhythmic flare "Coast to Coast" probably epitomizes some of their best moments in a condensed package.

The tune really just floats by with some melodic synth lines that really hit the spot. I don't think this is miles away from what I've heard from a good bunch of folks from the North West US & beyond recently but has a more refined take that sets these guys apart from the pack. I think that the melodic aspects up front & present here is what does it. I mean Chrome Wings get out there sometimes but always bring it back into some warped yet structured instrumental which providing a counter point to the more exploratory sections. Maybe it is to satisfy some sort of pop urge, maybe it just feels right.

The Chrome Wings / Ladyshapes Split Tape is available now via Deep Tapes.

R.L. BURNSiDE - When My First Wife Left Me - 1978

R.L. Burnside at home in Independence, Mississippi, shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop in August, 1978.

SUGAR FARM's Lost Pacific Northwest Hill Country Blues

I was digging around in the vaults and 
 found 5 more Sugar Farm tracks. 
You can get 'em HERE

So much good music, so little time. A lot of stuff slips thru the cracks. I have a drawer full of cds that deserve better than to sit gathering dust. I intend to get to them one of these days but as the man said, The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions. This is one of them. 

Sugar Farm was/is Marty Reinsel on drums (aka the drummer for GravelRoad who, btw, have just released a very wicked album called Psychedelta) and Margaret "Mugs" Light on guitar/vocals. 

They operated out of Seattle between 2002-2007 touring the US and Europe on their own, though they played gigs (backing T-Model Ford) as recently as August, 2011. Margaret sings like she's worrying a raw secret wound that never heals and plays guitar like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside's  punk-rock god daughter. Marty keeps the North Mississippi groove sexy, stony, and locked in place.

I suppose the fact that they never issued a proper album is why I didn't get around to writing about them. But in good news for all y'all they did record eight songs in February of 2005 at Jimbo Mathus' Delta Recording Service in Clarksdale, MS and Sugar Farm has given me permission to offer them up as a free download right HERE.

Below is a short Q n' A that I did recently with Marty Reinsel:

Your first MySpace post is 30 May 2005. In January-February of that year you and Mugs made a trip (pilgrimage?) to the North Mississippi Hill Country and spent time with the Kimbrough and Burnside clans.

Yes, we were in Mississippi until about March. We  lived for part of 2005 in Mississippi's northern "Hill Country," getting to play regularly with local musicians including members of RL Burnside's family and Junior Kimbrough's family. The recordings from February 2005 at Jimbo Mathus' Delta Recording Studio are perhaps the best recorded examples of the band's sound garnered from a traditional studio setting.  Otherwise the best recordings of Sugar Farm, according to me, are bootleg tapes of live shows of the band. I recall bootlegs from 2006 as being favorites, often capturing the band's best or weirdest moments including ones from less traveled tour stops such as Evansville IN and Morehead KY as examples of the our range and atypical approach to the music.

How did you two get together in the first place? Were you friends first then started playing together or did you get together with the intention of playing this music?
Margaret and I lived in a musical house in Seattle WA around the turn of the century.  We played with like-minded players, usually for the enjoyment of the music & often not going beyond the living room, perhaps playing a house party for friends during our first few years playing together.  Taking influence from hill country blues, fundamental four-on-the-floor rock-n-roll mixed it with primal energies, all of the music-making from that house in Seattle's Central District helped spawn GravelRoad- and gave Sugar Farm their start. Yes, we were friends first - through a common friend - and we were all learning this sort of music together. We had the "bricks" of a friendship in place, this music was the "mortar."

How on earth did this trip come about? How did a couple kids from Seattle manage to show up in Mississippi, meet the Burnside and Kimbrough clans, and hook up to record music with Gary and Cedric Burnside and Jimbo Mathus?
Really, a lot of it was determination to meet the people who made this music out of a deep-rooted connection to the music that I can almost not describe. Something intuitive was in place. I FELT this music more than other sounds. Literally, the heart beat rhythms and the general flow of energy and sounds - low & haunting, yet energetic and danceable - really resonated in me and for me. I, thankfully, heeded the call of the music. I was not a musician before the time I first started to play this (2000 or 2001). Having friends learning this music simultaneously and rally around this sort of sound made it easier. My first "real" trip to Mississippi to explore the music and people deeper in 2001 (with Margaret) led us to meeting David Kimbrough JR, among others, and got us into their church and their family (we went to a family reunion with David in July 2001 - meeting not only Kimbroughs but Burnsides and others). Special stuff.

Approximately one year from that trip Sugar Farm started touring, doing shows with the likes of Hillstomp and Cicada Omega. Was that year a whirlwind for you or did it all seem like natural progressions?

Natural progression. It's funny now to think of that time, but we were Over-ready to be playing by the time of 2005 and '06. This might be hard for some to believe, but we were not very connected to the bigger world of music, namely thru the web. Sugar Farm didn't get a website - and a crappy one at that, but it's all we could afford - until mid 2005. We coulda been playing more shows earlier, but we were not knowledgeable and/or connected to really get gigs. Local venues didn't seem to take us seriously. It was tough and weird, but ok. We just kept working on our craft. It was not about a specific outcome -like money - that drove us. I'll only speak for myself here, but music held and still holds such a magical place for me, that to dull it down to being driven by money would lose some, if not all, of the luster and appeal of it.
Really, I'd been lucky to have a great life in terms of learning and creating a life that was filled with meaningful endeavors. I wanted to learn this music, I wanted to play with my friends, and I wanted to travel. If I made some money, great. But it really was and is about the music and the relationships around it. Thanks for asking.
I snagged a few early Sugar Farm MySpace posts for historical perspective:

May 30th, 2005
Sugar Farm is a music duo performing our own style of electrified, boogie-blues based music. Our live show currently packs a pretty big wallop. We've been making music for a few years, but this year has seen us taking great strides to expand our musical horizons.
We spent a large chunk of time in January and all of February in Mississippi. We got a number of great life experiences and musical connections during that time. We played with the Burnside family, the Kimbrough family, T-Model Ford, and a bunch of other talented and dynamic people while we were there. We are currently working to create a tour with the Burnsides (not RL, unfortunately, but with Cedric and Garry, in conjunction with their 2-piece). They are up for it, and so are we.
We'll keep you updated as we go.
Sugar Farm is M Light on vocals & guitar and M Reinsel on drums.

Current mood:awake
Hey Any and All out there-
Muggs and I are by no means wizards at this computer stuff. Hell, Marg. gets on about once a month, and I seem to screw up the website when I try to update a show date.
Well, I'm learning more and definitely giving more time to the computer thing (at what cost?), so hopefully we'll get some music and phots on this site, but you can still check out music on our own website; www.sugarfarmmusic.com.
The "push" is on for more shows; and not just Seattle, but all over the place. Hell, if we can travel to Mississippi to play, there's no reason the I-5 corridor (and then some) can't accomodate us.
Keep on rockin'.

Dec. 2, 2005
Check out our Mississippi recordings - with the Burnsides and Jimbo Mathus. We recorded some songs when we were down in Mississippi. We've finally posted them up here (thanks to Stefan from Gravel Road) - they are rough mixed and not mastered, but they have something special on them that we figured people would want to check out.

"Lord Have Mercy" had Garry and Cedric Burnside (RL's kin) playing on it. And "Boogie Chill" has Jimbo Mathus adding a second guitar to the track. Both of these tracks were impromptu and unpracticed. We got to play with the Burnsides a bunch, but when we recorded this track with them, we'd only screwed around with it once together at brother DuWayne's juke. And the track with Jimbo ... hell, we hadn't met him before that day.

All of those guys were great in offering their time and energy. We love 'em.


Everyday I learn something. I learned (again) that playing $8 cover shows where your time slot is small sucks for those that came to listen to the music. I don't see us doin' that again, unless there is a hell of a good reason.
To those that came to the show last night at El Corazon ... sorry for the short set ... we coulda played all night long, but they wouldn't let us ... we'll make it up with a "party" show w/ no cover, especially for those friends/fans that came last night. You will be personally invited.

Last Night's show at the Comet

We had so much fucking fun at last night's show. We'd like to thank everyone that was there, our friends, those that heard us for the first time, the other bands, and the fine folks of the Comet. It was a great nite.

Feb. 14th. 2006
Last year, SUGAR FARM went and lived in Northern Mississippi. We had some amazing experiences during our trip. One that stood out occurred on Valentine's Day (even though we did not realize it was Valentine's Day until later on). We had been able to spend a fair amount of time with the Burnsides (namely Cedric and Garry) in Holly Springs, but we hadn't gotten out to the house to see RL. We were a bit reluctant, given his recent physical struggles.   

On February 14, a weird thing occurred. I was talking with Cedric, and I was giving his dad, Calvin Jackson, props for his drumming. Cedric said to me: "I wish he could hear that ... Why don't we go out and see him?" Soon, we were on the road. I didn't realize we were going out to RL's to meet up with Calvin.
When we got there, I was a bit uneasy. I knew I'd get to hang with Calvin, yet I also wanted to see RL, but I did not want it to seem uncomfortable to the family. I hesitantly asked Cedric, and in a very nice way he let me know that RL would want to meet us. 

We went back to the room where he rested. He was obviously weakened and looking less robust than the RL I was used to seeing. Life was leaving him. Yet his eyes were brilliant: bright blue, with that glimmer that we all know, and as vibrant as it ever was. He smiled as we held his hand and let him know how much we've enjoyed his music over the years. I felt very humble in his presence.
It was quite an experience. We quietly left his bed and joined the rest of the crew in the living room. I knew that it would be a once in a lifetime experience. I knew it was the last time I'd see him.
M. Light, my bandmate who joined me on the trip, said it best: "I don't normally care about Valentine's day, but this one meant something." I agreed. It was my favorite yet.
Thanks for the memories RL (RIP) and the entire Burnside family.
-M. Reinsel


The Stranger March 16-22nd, 2006
Rocka Rolla
Sugar in My Bowl
by Hannah Levin

Boy-girl two-piece bands that fold swampy blues into dirty punk are definitely nothing new, especially since a certain Detroit band with a fondness for red and white saturated the scene. Despite that reality (or perhaps because of it), I'm impressed with the sounds being passionately banged out by local duo Sugar Farm (www.sugarfarmmusic.com). Though originally from the Seattle area, guitarist/vocalist Margaret Light and drummer Martin Reinsel spent a few months last year living in Mississippi, exploring the roots of their chosen genre at ground zero. Rensel describes their time in the South with great fondness and respect, citing "truly life-altering experiences recording and giggin' with the likes of Cedric and Garry Burnside [close kin of the late R. L. Burnside] and T-Model Ford." They also got involved with the local Mission Baptist church attended by Junior Kimbrough's family—a cultural and spiritual immersion that now informs their work with palpable authenticity.

However, they're hardly content with emulating their predecessors, and enthusiastically pull a powerful sense of punk-minded aggression and paint-peeling sexual heat into the mix. If your idea of a dream band is one that fuses the lusty charisma of the Bellrays with the articulate aggression of Fugazi, then I strongly advise you to catch their next show this Thursday at Hana's (downtown at 1914 Eighth Avenue). Need more incentive? This will be the alternative venue's last show—Hana's is being bulldozed to make way for yet another onslaught of condos.

Pond - Beard, Wives, Denim | ALBUM REVIEW

Even the most casual reader of Last Nights should be well versed in the myriad permutations psychedelic music has spawned since its inception in the mid-to-late-sixties. Filtered, percolated, and filtered through the decades, the landscape of psychedelic music as we know it today is vast, overwhelming, and at times; daunting. With so much experimentation and envelope-pushing occurring within the genre, it can be quite refreshing to hear a psych-rock band whose only goal seems to be having a great time re-interpreting all of their favorite records, all while scorching your face clean off . If this sounds like a good ol' time to you, Pond are your band.

The story begins within the rural confines of a Western Australian farmhouse, with three friends (Nik Albrook, Joseph Orion, and Jay Watson) converting the old place into a home studio. Over two weeks of what sound like debauchery filled evenings; Pond somehow managed to lay to tape a blistering yet lovely collection of 13 tunes recalling an array of beloved psych and hard rock bands, ranging from Floyd, The Dead, and The Beatles, to Sabbath, Pink Fairies, and even a fair dose of Zeppelin. Though they've released three albums in the past, their latest, Beard Wives and Denim is the first to gain the band true exposure, thanks to the success of two-thirds of Pond's other project, Tame Impala, whose 2010 debut InnerSpeaker just happened to take home the coveted J Award in their native Australia.

Beard, Wives, and Denim is chock full of highlights. The first half of the record brims with the playful genre bending Pond is so adept at. “Fantastic Explosion of Time,” is one of my favorite opening tracks in recent memory. Beginning with a casual, charming bit of studio chatter before barreling into a grnarly overdriven guitar riff (that wouldn't sound strange on a Tame Impala track.) The song is a brilliantly fun psych romp, complete with spastic Syd Barrett style vocals frenetic drum breaks. Then comes “When it Explodes,” a soaring slide-guitar led tune that transforms from an overdriven country-rock banger into a synth-laden noise jam that is sure to scare your mother off from ever enjoying this record. That is, unless your mother enjoys noisy, effect driven noodling in which case, you've got a very hip mama. Following this one-two punch is a little psych-pop nugget entitled “Elegant Design,” in which the band's hard-rocking guitar sound and 60's pop sensibilities meet beautifully in the middle, rounding out the brilliant attack of the record's first three tracks. “Sorry I was Under the Sky” is a trance inducing floater, showcasing the band's Floyd-ian tendencies, likely to seduce you into forgetting what you were just doing.

Unfortunately, the record does have its flaws and missed marks. For starters, it feels extremely front-heavy, as many records do these days. It's almost as if in sequencing the record, the band knew most folks would only make it through side A, so they loaded it with the album's best cuts. This doesn't mean there aren't gems to be found within the album's latter half, as out-and-out rocker “Leisure Pony” deomstrates, it's just that one finds their attention span being stretched thin. Which brings me to the only other glaring flaw on Beard, Wives, Denim; it's running time. Though sixty minutes may not seem over the top for a modern psych-rock record, the album certainly seems to drag in spots.

These are merely minor defects on an overall extremely charming, lovable record. Any musician should feel right at home listening to it. It's the boisterously joyful sound of your and your friends' first band, drunken laughs and chatter left intact. It's an incredibly endearing record in that respect. Though all members of Pond are seaseoned veterans of the Western Australian psych-rock scene (as mentioned, two thirds play in the also excellent Tame Impala, with main Impala Kevin Barker hitting the skins with Pond on tour,) Beard, Wives, Denim sounds wholly unpretentious and without reserve, it's just the wicked noise of three buddies getting stoned in a rural farmhouse, having the time of their lives.

Pond's self-titled album is available via Modular. Pond is currently on an appropriately massive 70's style world tour, you can find those dates here.

Weird Forest - Winter Cassette Releases: Smegma, Colour Bük, & Monterey Babe Aquarium | Album Reviews

Weird Forest have unleashed a new batch of tapes upon the world, including a sweet mix of sounds from Smegma, Colour Bük, & Monterey Babe Aquarium. There's something ot be said for eclecticism I would say. After all variety is the spice of life, & these two tapes really demonstrate that.

Smegma do what they do best here & show they live up to their reputation in the live setting as well. Rambling compositions that somehow end leaving the listener (or at least myself) with a feeling & a thought. I think you can name drop a lot of folks who have subsequently taken on a similar attitude to this now legendary crew & this performance from 2010 sees Smegma outlasting even their younger imitators.

Colour Bük are no strangers in these parts & in some respects are children of Smegma, if not literally then at least philosophically. A train of thought that sees a total disregard for cultural norms while bathing in them all the same. CB's side is as usual all over the place yet maybe the most refined approach they've yet taken. "The Good Memoir", above, is the final track on this split & is quite an eye (read ear) opener. After being led through some sonic guitar/drone sludge we are left with some moronic (read punk / child star) turntable-isms that bring a surprising bit of humanity into the whole.

Monterey Babe Aquarium were probably the brightest shining of this batch, or should I say most readily accessible, or hmm never mind it was a fun listen. "Yoyo Loach" definitely stand as one of the highlights & most immediately satisfying track on the tape. The track incorporates a drum machine workout that propels & provides structure here, while vocals & synths swarm and cascade about. I think the blown out oceanic cover art gives you a glimpse of what's to come. Do people still use the tag "chillwave"? I never understood that personally, but maybe it was just me.

The Monterey Babe Aquarium & Smegma/Colour Büktapes are out now & available via Weird Forest, along with a third split by Sagan Genesis & Waxy Tomb.