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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover BLONDE REDHEAD In An Expression Of The Inexpressible (Touch & Go) cd 14.98
The Japanese/Italian trio's last album Fake Can Be Just As Good should have been the album Sonic Youth made right after Daydream Nation. Fortunately, their latest album proves that they are no longer a Sonic Youth rip-off band. And for that matter, what they've grown into is quite something to behold. On In An Expression Of The Inexpressible, the band's fourth full length, lead female vocalist Kazu Makino has honed her pipes into a distinctly expressive wonder... taming its former shrillness into something very childlike and otherworldly. Noisy melodies of angular guitars, modest keyboards, and a tight rhythm section come across as desperate yet beautiful epics. Very highly recommended.
RealAudio clip: ""

album cover BOREDOMS Super AE (Birdman) cd 13.98
The domestic version of this kick ass Boredoms album finally sees the light of day! Far less manic than their previous spazzcore albums you loved in the past, the Boredoms' new focus on studio manipulations is intense and artistically successful. Layers of bombastic guitar noises swell and give way to insane bursts of tape manipulation along with the wax and wane of desperate screams and urgent percussion. Super AE is a rancid psychedelic experience that could be a chance meeting on the dissecting table between Amon Duul and Nurse With Wound.
If you've seen the Boredoms live and don't think you could sit through a disc of it, know that this album builds on the studio experiments of their recent SuperRoots series; it's not Yamantaka Eye jumping around anymore -- he's sitting in the cockpit, entering your earholes with intents to purple-shag-carpet-bomb your sense of reality. Mad Jack became mad scientist.
Although Japanese import version came packaged in an elaborate day-glo oversized plastic box, don't worry: the artwork on this domestic cd is pretty damn cool complete with nifty Eye Yamantaka magic marker art!
MPEG Stream: "Super Are You"
MPEG Stream: "Super Good"

album cover DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE Something About Airplanes (Elsinor/Barsuk) 2cd 15.98
Here's there review we wrote about Death Cab's debut way back when (we made it Record Of The Week in 1998), we don't want to change a word, it's funny though since they're so huge now....
At the risk of slipping into hyperbole, which we try avoid at all costs (snicker...), this is hands down, one of the best (and possibly most overlooked - we almost missed it ourselves, gasp!) indie rock records ever. Landing somewhere between There's Nothing Wrong With Love and Perfect From Now On, Death Cab craft a Built-to-Spill-ian universe, full of lazy sad pop, intricate compositions, jangly melodies, shifting structures, odd time signatures, and haunting cellos (and none of that solar malevolence that Doug Martsch and our very own Jim are so fond of.)
This record has been an unbelievable hit in the store. We don't think it's ever been played without at least one person buying it, sometimes 2 or 3!
The version we have now, is the limited, numbered, slipcased 10th anniversary edition, with expanded booklet and bonus disc of DCFC's first show in Seattle, on February 25th, 1998, titled Live At The Crocodile Cafe. Nice!!
MPEG Stream: "Bend To Squares"
MPEG Stream: "President Of What?"
MPEG Stream: "Your Bruise"

album cover FLAMING LIPS The Soft Bulletin (Warner Brothers) cd 12.98
Following a wholly unique progression, from drug-addled psych rock jam band to off kilter pop geniuses, the Flaming Lips keep on stretching the boundaries of 'pop' music, never losing sight of the song. They seem to have a unique understanding of the absurdity of the music they produce. We're not talking about the garden variety, pedestrian pastiche efforts of so many of today's indie pop bands (i.e. avant garde = birdsounds or 'out there' segues). The Lips' weirdness isn't manufactured or forced, it seems rather to be the result of some sort of dropped-on-their-head childhood mishap or an unprecedented series of synaptic misfires. It comes as less of a surprise then that this band was dragged kicking and screaming into mainstream success by a catchy little pop song about masturbation.
The Flaming Lips seem to be taking great advantage of their lofty position on a major label, doing their best to piss off the business minded folk of Warner, while at the same time managing to make truely amazing and creative records, like their last release Zaireeka, a 4 cd set composed to be listened to simultaneously on four separate cd players. While certainly not as labor-intensive for the listener as Zaireeka, The Soft Bulletin is another set of perfectly imperfect popsongs, albeit now accessible to the traditional one cd player household.
It's hard to describe The Flaming Lips without providing a visual reference, take their live show at Slims a few years back. It began with a pathetic solitary spotlight illuminating the band huddled around their instruments and plucking fragile solitary notes. With the initial crack of the drums, a dizzying kaleidoscope of tens of thousands of Christmas lights burst to life and engulfed Slims, offereing a hallucinatory visual equal to the Lips' psychedelic pop dadaism.
The Lips' disparate and patently un-pop elements; huge and fuzzy John Bonham-esque percussive bombast, ultra low frequency Moog oscillations, Wayne Coyne's still-getting-out-of-puberty voice crack, bizarre song struture, and an insane mastery of recording studio-as-instrument, come together more seamlessly than ever on The Soft Bulletin, making it our record of the week, and for some of us, record of the year.
MPEG Stream: "Race For The Prize"
MPEG Stream: "Waitin' For Superman"

album cover MAGNETIC FIELDS Get Lost (Merge) cd 12.98
Everyone has a favorite record that acts as a faithful crutch throughout their life and this is Sadie's. Every song has a different heartbreaking theme. Each devastating in their own way. You will never tire of this Stephin Merritt's masterpiece.

QUASI Field Studies (Up) cd 14.98
The third full length from Portland, OR duo Sam Coomes (Heatmiser, Donner Party) and Janet Weiss (Sleater Kinney) is overflowing with well-crafted pop. With Farfisa organs, dreamy strings, girl/boy harmonies, catchy hooks, and a dollop of full-on rock to boot, each song is an irresistible treat! Fans of Built to Spill's 'Keep It Like a Secret' and the Flaming Lips' 'Soft Bulletin' should definitely take note. When this gets played in the store, we invariably end up hitting 'play' again as soon as it ends... a few times at least! Really. Recommended!
Added attraction: Coomes' former Heatmiser bandmate Elliott Smith plays a little bass on three songs.

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Eyes Of Flesh, Eyes Of Flame (Web Of Mimicry) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Mr. Bungle Fan Alert!! Here's a live recording of this brilliant Bungle side-project, released on guitarist Trey Spruance's new label (and only available via mailorder from their Web of Mimicry website, except that we, being fans of all things Bungle, have it too). Recorded at Slim's, San Francisco by Billy Anderson. Also of note: this features the violin of Eyvind Kang, and a song by Ananda Shankar. Packaged in a cardboard sleeve as part of Web of Mimicry's "nice price" effort I guess.

SMITH, ELLIOTT Either/Or (Kill Rock Stars) cd 14.98
Finally, the new album from the fine introspective singer/songwriter formerly from the band Heatmiser. His songs will break your heart... seriously. One of his best.

TOBIN, AMON Permutations (Ninja Tune) cd 15.98
Mr. Tobin continues to meticulously develop his sounds beyond his previous releases into this great album. Really sophisticated and an absolute joy to listen to. Here he fuses lounge with his usual jazz-infested drum'n'bass. Everytime we play this album in the store, someone buys it. Highly recommended.

album cover A MINOR FOREST Flemish Altruism / Inindependence (Thrill Jockey) 4lp 25.00
We ran out of the special Record Store Day limited tote bag version of the AMF reissues, but we just got the last remaining copies of the vinyl reissues (sans tote bag) direct from the band. Both lps are again sadly out of print. But while they last, we have a handful of the nice priced 4lp set which includes both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence... Here's our review of both when we listed this back around Record Store Day...
In the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly (!), our very own Andee was asked about what Record Store Day Releases we were most excited about. He mentioned a bunch, but the two they actually included in the magazine, were the utterly hilarious music nerd classic Rock, Rot And Rule (now sadly out of print), and these two vinyl reissues, from recently reunited / reactivated nineties post/math/noise rock combo A Minor Forest, which as many of you know, is in fact Andee's band! He was kind of joking, and a bit embarrassed when THAT was one of the ones they picked to print, but really, we WERE pretty excited. These two records have been out of print on vinyl for a decade, and have been remastered, now come with digital downloads, and one has all new artwork! But instead of making Andee further toot his own horn, we figured we'd try to be more objective, and let some other folks weigh in. A couple reviews from the past, and a couple from the present. So when we first reviewed these back in the day, for AMF's debut, Flemish Altruism, we asked beloved aQ-pal Douglas Mosurak to say a few words about that record, here's that original review from years and years ago:
"October 22, 1996: Bay Area rock trio A Minor Forest stop indie rock dead. Their new double LP on Thrill Jockey is so incredible, and subsequently so complete, that no other records of its kind need to be produced anymore. Lesser bands of their stripe are currently being petitioned to break up immediately to save embarrassment. And while some people will miss, like, June of 44 or the Archers of Loaf for a little while, with the proper exposure to Flemish Altruism, they'll forget all about it. AMF manage to piece together everything good about every post-Big Black and every post-Heroin outfit into a seamless, epic sound; fairly dense, deeply emotional and thoroughly human. They have the sense of humor required to lift it off, too. Some of their songs prefer to hide in the corner; some lunge for your throat. Their style is such that their original ideas fill in with ones borrowed from their rich lineage in such a manner that pays tribute without disrespect. It's a thoroughly engaging sound that I'd rank up there with the Bitch Magnet discography, with the Bastro LPs, with the Gore records, with the cream of the Gravity crop, even with the Shellac album. Best rock record of 1996, and currently outweighing all proposed rock concepts until the close of the millennium. Buy two. Wow."
Then, the follow up Inindependence was reviewed thusly by us upon its original release (when aQ reviews were still concise and impossibly brief):
"Simply put, this may be the last bastion of rock on Thrill Jockey, before they devolve into a purely electronic/jazz label. Sure we may be boasting a little, because A Minor Forest is our very own Andee Connors' band. But this truly is a great record of delicate math rock instrumentations executed with violent precision!"
So here were are 15+ years later, and both records, now reissued and available as a swank 4lp / tote bag set, in honor of the just passed 2014 iteration of Record Store Day, are ripe for reassessment, a new listen to some old sounds, with fresh ears, a bit of distance, and years of subsequent music making in their wake. So, here's what the illustrious Pitchfork site had to say this week about both AMF records:
According to legend, the A Minor Forest song "Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck" - a high point of the post-rock group's 1996 debut album, Flemish Altruism - was swiped from an inside joke that had circulated for years among the punk kids of Rapid City, South Dakota. A Minor Forest wasn't from Rapid City; they hailed from far-off San Francisco. But the band toured extensively throughout the country during its 90s-spanning existence, playing many of the same DIY venues that hosted the burgeoning post-hardcore and emo bands of that decade. If there's one thing that brings people together, it's cruel humor - and A Minor Forest, brooding and abrasive as well as downright delicate, knew a good joke when they heard it.
Flemish Altruism was reissued on vinyl for this year's Record Store Day, alongside A Minor Forest's other studio album, 1998's Inindependence. The rollout has been humble one, and it can't help but be compared to Slint's deservedly lavish Spiderland box set this month. Slint blazed trails with its dour, eerie ominousness; A Minor Forest, on the other hand, neither innovated nor intimidated. That doesn't make Flemish Altruism any less tense. The shadow of Slint - as well of Slint's slower, icier cousin, Codeine - loom large over A Minor Forest's distended syllables and dangling chords. The group had been honing that sound on singles and EPs since 1994, but Flemish Altruism tracks like "...But the Pants Stay On" and "Jacking Off George Lucas" groped for a new vocabulary out of the fragments laying around after post-rock's early-'90s Big Bang. What resulted was pidgin Slint-but in that process of restructuring, A Minor Forest came damn close to inventing post-post-rock, where the subgenre's self-seriousness was wrestled with until it laughed, gasped, and collapsed.
Steve Albini and Bob Weston produced Flemish Altruism, and the nerve-tightening cello they'd previously captured on Nirvana's In Utero feels almost deliberately evoked on the album's most arresting song, "Perform the Critical Straw Transfer". Singer/guitarist Erik Hoversten opens it with a deadpan punch line: "Guess you really lucked outÉ" he begins, his numb voice trailing off as bassist John Trevor Benson screams bestially yet faintly in the background, "Éon this one." Sarcasm never sounded so black. Beneath them, cellist Dominique Davison saws with quiet strength, as if mocking and apologizing at the same time. The screaming gets pushed to the fore on thoroughly non-dainty "Dainty Jack and His Amazing Technicolor Cloth Jacket", an erratic spasm of dissonance that shows an affinity for San Diego screamo (A Minor Forest had previously recorded with Matt Anderson of Heroin), only broken up here and there with squibs of pinpoint jazziness. The balance is struck almost perfectly on "Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck", a 10-minute noise-cycle of mood swings, red herrings, and curdled blood.
The wiseass, scattershot racket of Flemish Altruism settles into a more predictable groove onInindependence. Concise and controlled by comparison, A Minor Forest's second and final album (not including their 1999 singles-and-EPs collection, ...So, Were They in Some Sort of Fight?) drags more algebra into the rhythm and more calculation into the off-kilter melody. It wouldn't be fair to say the band had begun to take itself either more or less seriously - but the music is more serious, and even the song titles are less crass. If "Erik's Budding Romance" is to be taken at face value, that relationship flip-flopped randomly and often between coy, candlelit dinners and table-flipping eruptions of lust. Drummer Andee Connors, an unsung hero of his instrument and era, is in top form, coaxing every shade of texture, dynamic, and emotion out of the kit. There are honest, unabashed hooks on the deliciously brief (that is, under four minutes) centerpiece, "ÉIt's Salmon!!!", as well as in "Michael Anthony", which skips a sweet melody across a minefield of disjointed changes and chords. At the same time, the album's 18-minute monster "The Smell of Hot" never fully jells; as A Minor Forest's recording career drew to a halt, patience-testing jams occupied one extreme of their spectrum, while a hint of pleasing pop teased at the other.
A Minor Forest's legacy is not a towering one. Most notably, Hoversten went on to play with Pinback, where he was able to indulge his love of angular melody much more avidly. The band never seemed to want to make bold statements, and it always punctured whatever atmosphere it crafted with wiry self-deprecation and perverse wit. When A Minor Forest reunited in 2013 after a 15-year hiatus, Hoversten said in a radio interview, "[This reunion is] sort of like, take an outfit you wore 15 years ago, then put it on today. Clearly you liked it at one point, but it's not exactly the outfit you would have chosen today. That being said, it's not like I'm being asked to put on a clown suit." Despite their crank titles and in-jokes, A Minor Forest was never a funny band. But they had fun, and that fun seeped into their music. And that makes Flemish Altruism and Inindependence two of the most endlessly rewarding albums of the 90s post-rock boom, if never the most monolithic.
And finally, here's a review of both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence from the always awesome Pop Matters:
The bare truth behind two classic albums from the 1990s.
I remember it clearly: the road was a hazy sequence of distant glares kept together by a dense, hazy lull immersed in the purest of mists. My friend, the proud owner of the CD, was holding the music artifact with one hand, while the other occasionally found its way up and down the wheel, now on this side; now on the other. I never knew how both hands also managed to offer such an accurate interpretation of the drumming, but his abilities ceased to amaze me when my side of the car hit a guardrail that seemed to have popped out from nowhere. My friend carefully placed the CD case in the glove compartment and met me outside the vehicle, where we assessed the damage. "That drumming! Oh boy, that drumming!", was all he had to say.
Not much has happened in the 16 years that followed that day. My friend got married, paid his way to a divorce and when we meet, I drive, so he can be Andee Connors and I can take good care of our lives. In the real world, the influence of a band like A Minor Forest - a scruffy bunch of lads from San Francisco - still echoes on both sides of the Atlantic. Inheritors of the legacy initiated by bands like Slint, Bastro, Gastr Del Sol and Shellac, A Minor Forest's name appears, rightly or wrongly, almost invariably as part of the American post-rock scene, as if their own legacy could not be singled out and stand on its own two feet. But while most people blame them, together with a whole bunch of Midwestern acts loosely located in the "Corn Belt", for the explosion of the math-rock plague, the impact this short-lived ensemble has had on indie rock is probably still far from being recognised.
Their two classic albums, Flemish Altruism and Inindependence, reissued on vinyl by Thrill Jockey for Record Store Day on 19 April, are both presented with an array of previously unpublished pictures in a special four-LP set that includes download cards. However, what matters the most is that these albums, which have been out of print for a decade, have been remastered from the original tapes. The sensuality of the naked, raw sound that was the core of that scene (and I hereby use this term in the artistic, rather than in the geographic sense) is therefore faithfully represented in all its purity and ingenuity. "The Dutch Fist", "So Jesus Was At the Last Supper" and "...But the Pants Stay On" are some of the finest representations imaginable of noise as the most spontaneous by-product of the deconstruction of rock grammar. This primary necessity regulated by tradition - Erik Hoversten (guitars and vocals) and John Trevor Benson (bass) had both studied music at Berkeley - found its champions in Steve Albini (who else?) and Bob Weston (he too of Shellac fame), whose uncompromised affection for stripped-down sounds and total lack of artificiality constituted the perfect match for the band.
Flemish Altruism is the result of this formula, and tunes like "Jacking Off George Lucas" or "Ed Is 50" betray an improvisational approach which heavily relies on the dichotomy between the extreme unpredictability of noise and the discipline usually behind melodic patterns. The almost mandatory (at least back then) tour of most of the US would lead, two years later, to the recording of Inindependence: an album that followed the path traced by its predecessor, perpetuating the angularity and eclecticism that would make A Minor Forest easily recognizable years after their dissolution.
Flemish Altruism and Inindependence are the band's only full-lengths and it could not be otherwise. Although a collection of much of their out of print material, plus a couple of new tracks made it onto the Were They in Some Sort of Fight? CD on My Pal God Records in 1999, these two albums vouch for an incredibly inspired band which disbanded once they realized that the traditional rock instrumentation was starting to restrict their enormous potential and creativity. Does this awareness affect these two records? Not at all. A Minor Forest didn't live long enough to see their craft surpass their inspiration, and for this reason their legacy is definitely safer now than it was 20 years ago!
As mentioned above, both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence have been remastered, both include digital downloads, and are housed in swank full color gatefold jackets, Flemish Altruism has all new artwork!!
MPEG Stream: "But The Pants Stay On"
MPEG Stream: "So Jesus Was At The Last Supper..."
MPEG Stream: "Speed For Gavin"
MPEG Stream: "Erik's Budding Romance"
MPEG Stream: "Michael Anthony"
MPEG Stream: "The Dutch Fist"

DAVIS, BETTY s/t (Light In The Attic) lp 19.98
Now on Vinyl! Here is what we said about the cd:
Finally this essential slab of raw classic funk get the proper, deluxe, loving reissue treatment it always deserved. Most importantly, unlike some of the previous versions, this is absolutely legit, so all the money goes straight to Ms Davis.
New super fancy digipak packaging with extra photos and liner notes, a huge booklet, and fancy glittery metallic printing. And as if that weren't enough, there's even a bunch of bonus tracks!! For all aficionados of the Funk, here's cause for celebration! The long-awaited cd reissues of these early '70s albums by Betty Davis, ex-wife of Miles (famously, the subject "They Say I'm Different"'s second track, "He Was A Big Freak")! Betty belts out her lowdown lyrics over some super heavy funk grooves, kinda like a rawer version of Lyn Collins backed not by the JBs but by the swampier P-Funk band (or on s/t Sly Stone's kick ass rhythm section!). Betty doesn't hold back and her band does their best to match her attitude. Both records (her third, "Nasty Girl", still awaits an official reissue but should hopefully soon be making the scene) are the quote unquote bomb. The self-titled one is her 1973 debut, and features jams like "If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up" and "Game Is My Middle Name". Larry Graham's the bassist, and Neal Schon (!) appears on guitar. The follow-up, "They Say I'm Different", continued Betty's Afrodelic party, with guests Buddy Miles and others, and made the list of "100 Records That Set The World On Fire" in The Wire magazine a few years back. Tough, sexy funk classics unearthed, don't miss 'em!
The three bonus tracks here are all unreleased, "Come Take Me", "You Won't See Me In The Morning" and "I Will Take That Ride"!! Quite possibly the most essential funk album of all time!
MPEG Stream: "Anti Love Song"
MPEG Stream: " Game Is My Middle Name"
MPEG Stream: "Come Take Me"

album cover A MINOR FOREST Flemish Altruism / inindependence (Thrill Jockey) 4lp + tote bag 31.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
In the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly (!), our very own Andee was asked about what Record Store Day Releases we were most excited about. He mentioned a bunch, but the two they actually included in the magazine, were the utterly hilarious music nerd classic Rock, Rot And Rule, which you'll find reviewed elsewhere on this week's list, and these two vinyl reissues, from recently reunited / reactivated nineties post/math/noise rock combo A Minor Forest, which as many of you know, is in fact Andee's band! He was kind of joking, and a bit embarrassed when THAT was one of the ones they picked to print, but really, we WERE pretty excited. These two records have been out of print on vinyl for a decade, and have been remastered, now come with digital downloads, and one has all new artwork! But instead of making Andee further toot his own horn, we figured we'd try to be more objective, and let some other folks weigh in. A couple reviews from the past, and a couple from the present. So when we first reviewed these back in the day, for AMF's debut, Flemish Altruism, we asked beloved aQ-pal Douglas Mosurak to say a few words about that record, here's that original review from years and years ago:
"October 22, 1996: Bay Area rock trio A Minor Forest stop indie rock dead. Their new double LP on Thrill Jockey is so incredible, and subsequently so complete, that no other records of its kind need to be produced anymore. Lesser bands of their stripe are currently being petitioned to break up immediately to save embarrassment. And while some people will miss, like, June of 44 or the Archers of Loaf for a little while, with the proper exposure to Flemish Altruism, they'll forget all about it. AMF manage to piece together everything good about every post-Big Black and every post-Heroin outfit into a seamless, epic sound; fairly dense, deeply emotional and thoroughly human. They have the sense of humor required to lift it off, too. Some of their songs prefer to hide in the corner; some lunge for your throat. Their style is such that their original ideas fill in with ones borrowed from their rich lineage in such a manner that pays tribute without disrespect. It's a thoroughly engaging sound that I'd rank up there with the Bitch Magnet discography, with the Bastro LPs, with the Gore records, with the cream of the Gravity crop, even with the Shellac album. Best rock record of 1996, and currently outweighing all proposed rock concepts until the close of the millennium. Buy two. Wow."
Then, the follow up Inindependence was reviewed thusly by us upon its original release (when aQ reviews were still concise and impossibly brief):
"Simply put, this may be the last bastion of rock on Thrill Jockey, before they devolve into a purely electronic/jazz label. Sure we may be boasting a little, because A Minor Forest is our very own Andee Connors' band. But this truly is a great record of delicate math rock instrumentations executed with violent precision!"
So here were are 15+ years later, and both records, now reissued and available as a swank 4lp / tote bag set, in honor of the just passed 2014 iteration of Record Store Day, are ripe for reassessment, a new listen to some old sounds, with fresh ears, a bit of distance, and years of subsequent music making in their wake. So, here's what the illustrious Pitchfork site had to say this week about both AMF records:
According to legend, the A Minor Forest song "Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck" - a high point of the post-rock group's 1996 debut album, Flemish Altruism - was swiped from an inside joke that had circulated for years among the punk kids of Rapid City, South Dakota. A Minor Forest wasn't from Rapid City; they hailed from far-off San Francisco. But the band toured extensively throughout the country during its 90s-spanning existence, playing many of the same DIY venues that hosted the burgeoning post-hardcore and emo bands of that decade. If there's one thing that brings people together, it's cruel humor - and A Minor Forest, brooding and abrasive as well as downright delicate, knew a good joke when they heard it.
Flemish Altruism was reissued on vinyl for this year's Record Store Day, alongside A Minor Forest's other studio album, 1998's Inindependence. The rollout has been humble one, and it can't help but be compared to Slint's deservedly lavish Spiderland box set this month. Slint blazed trails with its dour, eerie ominousness; A Minor Forest, on the other hand, neither innovated nor intimidated. That doesn't make Flemish Altruism any less tense. The shadow of Slint - as well of Slint's slower, icier cousin, Codeine - loom large over A Minor Forest's distended syllables and dangling chords. The group had been honing that sound on singles and EPs since 1994, but Flemish Altruism tracks like "...But the Pants Stay On" and "Jacking Off George Lucas" groped for a new vocabulary out of the fragments laying around after post-rock's early-'90s Big Bang. What resulted was pidgin Slint-but in that process of restructuring, A Minor Forest came damn close to inventing post-post-rock, where the subgenre's self-seriousness was wrestled with until it laughed, gasped, and collapsed.
Steve Albini and Bob Weston produced Flemish Altruism, and the nerve-tightening cello they'd previously captured on Nirvana's In Utero feels almost deliberately evoked on the album's most arresting song, "Perform the Critical Straw Transfer". Singer/guitarist Erik Hoversten opens it with a deadpan punch line: "Guess you really lucked outÉ" he begins, his numb voice trailing off as bassist John Trevor Benson screams bestially yet faintly in the background, "Éon this one." Sarcasm never sounded so black. Beneath them, cellist Dominique Davison saws with quiet strength, as if mocking and apologizing at the same time. The screaming gets pushed to the fore on thoroughly non-dainty "Dainty Jack and His Amazing Technicolor Cloth Jacket", an erratic spasm of dissonance that shows an affinity for San Diego screamo (A Minor Forest had previously recorded with Matt Anderson of Heroin), only broken up here and there with squibs of pinpoint jazziness. The balance is struck almost perfectly on "Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck", a 10-minute noise-cycle of mood swings, red herrings, and curdled blood.
The wiseass, scattershot racket of Flemish Altruism settles into a more predictable groove onInindependence. Concise and controlled by comparison, A Minor Forest's second and final album (not including their 1999 singles-and-EPs collection, ...So, Were They in Some Sort of Fight?) drags more algebra into the rhythm and more calculation into the off-kilter melody. It wouldn't be fair to say the band had begun to take itself either more or less seriously - but the music is more serious, and even the song titles are less crass. If "Erik's Budding Romance" is to be taken at face value, that relationship flip-flopped randomly and often between coy, candlelit dinners and table-flipping eruptions of lust. Drummer Andee Connors, an unsung hero of his instrument and era, is in top form, coaxing every shade of texture, dynamic, and emotion out of the kit. There are honest, unabashed hooks on the deliciously brief (that is, under four minutes) centerpiece, "ÉIt's Salmon!!!", as well as in "Michael Anthony", which skips a sweet melody across a minefield of disjointed changes and chords. At the same time, the album's 18-minute monster "The Smell of Hot" never fully jells; as A Minor Forest's recording career drew to a halt, patience-testing jams occupied one extreme of their spectrum, while a hint of pleasing pop teased at the other.
A Minor Forest's legacy is not a towering one. Most notably, Hoversten went on to play with Pinback, where he was able to indulge his love of angular melody much more avidly. The band never seemed to want to make bold statements, and it always punctured whatever atmosphere it crafted with wiry self-deprecation and perverse wit. When A Minor Forest reunited in 2013 after a 15-year hiatus, Hoversten said in a radio interview, "[This reunion is] sort of like, take an outfit you wore 15 years ago, then put it on today. Clearly you liked it at one point, but it's not exactly the outfit you would have chosen today. That being said, it's not like I'm being asked to put on a clown suit." Despite their crank titles and in-jokes, A Minor Forest was never a funny band. But they had fun, and that fun seeped into their music. And that makes Flemish Altruism and Inindependence two of the most endlessly rewarding albums of the 90s post-rock boom, if never the most monolithic.
And finally, here's a review of both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence from the always awesome Pop Matters:
The bare truth behind two classic albums from the 1990s.
I remember it clearly: the road was a hazy sequence of distant glares kept together by a dense, hazy lull immersed in the purest of mists. My friend, the proud owner of the CD, was holding the music artifact with one hand, while the other occasionally found its way up and down the wheel, now on this side; now on the other. I never knew how both hands also managed to offer such an accurate interpretation of the drumming, but his abilities ceased to amaze me when my side of the car hit a guardrail that seemed to have popped out from nowhere. My friend carefully placed the CD case in the glove compartment and met me outside the vehicle, where we assessed the damage. "That drumming! Oh boy, that drumming!", was all he had to say.
Not much has happened in the 16 years that followed that day. My friend got married, paid his way to a divorce and when we meet, I drive, so he can be Andee Connors and I can take good care of our lives. In the real world, the influence of a band like A Minor Forest - a scruffy bunch of lads from San Francisco - still echoes on both sides of the Atlantic. Inheritors of the legacy initiated by bands like Slint, Bastro, Gastr Del Sol and Shellac, A Minor Forest's name appears, rightly or wrongly, almost invariably as part of the American post-rock scene, as if their own legacy could not be singled out and stand on its own two feet. But while most people blame them, together with a whole bunch of Midwestern acts loosely located in the "Corn Belt", for the explosion of the math-rock plague, the impact this short-lived ensemble has had on indie rock is probably still far from being recognised.
Their two classic albums, Flemish Altruism and Inindependence, reissued on vinyl by Thrill Jockey for Record Store Day on 19 April, are both presented with an array of previously unpublished pictures in a special four-LP set that includes download cards. However, what matters the most is that these albums, which have been out of print for a decade, have been remastered from the original tapes. The sensuality of the naked, raw sound that was the core of that scene (and I hereby use this term in the artistic, rather than in the geographic sense) is therefore faithfully represented in all its purity and ingenuity. "The Dutch Fist", "So Jesus Was At the Last Supper" and "...But the Pants Stay On" are some of the finest representations imaginable of noise as the most spontaneous by-product of the deconstruction of rock grammar. This primary necessity regulated by tradition - Erik Hoversten (guitars and vocals) and John Trevor Benson (bass) had both studied music at Berkeley - found its champions in Steve Albini (who else?) and Bob Weston (he too of Shellac fame), whose uncompromised affection for stripped-down sounds and total lack of artificiality constituted the perfect match for the band.
Flemish Altruism is the result of this formula, and tunes like "Jacking Off George Lucas" or "Ed Is 50" betray an improvisational approach which heavily relies on the dichotomy between the extreme unpredictability of noise and the discipline usually behind melodic patterns. The almost mandatory (at least back then) tour of most of the US would lead, two years later, to the recording of Inindependence: an album that followed the path traced by its predecessor, perpetuating the angularity and eclecticism that would make A Minor Forest easily recognizable years after their dissolution.
Flemish Altruism and Inindependence are the band's only full-lengths and it could not be otherwise. Although a collection of much of their out of print material, plus a couple of new tracks made it onto the Were They in Some Sort of Fight? CD on My Pal God Records in 1999, these two albums vouch for an incredibly inspired band which disbanded once they realized that the traditional rock instrumentation was starting to restrict their enormous potential and creativity. Does this awareness affect these two records? Not at all. A Minor Forest didn't live long enough to see their craft surpass their inspiration, and for this reason their legacy is definitely safer now than it was 20 years ago!
As mentioned above, both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence have been remastered, both include digital downloads, and are housed in swank full color gatefold jackets, Flemish Altruism has all new artwork, and while they last, available ONLY at aQ (or from the band on their upcoming tour, which begins a few days after this week's list!), both records are bundled together (4lps!), for a special low price, and housed in a silkscreened tote bag, with a killer new AMF logo by none other than Christoph Szpadjel, the Lord Of The Logos!
MPEG Stream: "But The Pants Stay On"
MPEG Stream: "So Jesus Was At The Last Supper..."
MPEG Stream: "Speed For Gavin"
MPEG Stream: "Erik's Budding Romance"
MPEG Stream: "Michael Anthony"
MPEG Stream: "The Dutch Fist"

album cover HELDON Interface (Superior Viaduct) lp 23.00
This unanimous store favorite has been newly reissued on vinyl with a beautiful gatefold sleeve. Come on, who could resist that classic cover of a mysteriously sexy lizard alien in a retro space helmet? Surely not us!
Ok, anyone into Magma and/or Moogs pay attention! Pretty much anything by Heldon, the pioneering French electronic rock act from the '70s comes highly recommended by us, but Interface perfectly combines Pinhas' Frippertronics guitar obsession with (what are now) vintage synth sounds into some of the best psych-prog sci-fi jamming EVER. Interface was Heldon's sixth LP, dating from 1977, and features the latter-day Heldon trio line-up of Pinhas (guitar, various Moogs, electronics), Patrick Gauthier (later of Magma, on the Moog bass and Minimoog) and Francois Auger (drums and synthesized percussion). Tracks like "Jet Girl" and the nearly twenty minute title cut are kinda like King Crimson meets Suicide or something like that. It's at once both hectic and contemplative, filled with dynamic energy and industrialized nervous ambience. Essential!
MPEG Stream: "Jet Girl"
MPEG Stream: "Interface - Live (Part 2)"

LYNN, LORETTA Van Lear Rose (Third Man) lp 17.98
Hot damn, does Meg White have reason to be jealous?! This is Loretta Lynn's first album in four years (we're not quite sure exactly what number it is in her discography... we lost count around fifty!), and it's got huge Lynn fan Jack White of The White Stripes in the producer and arranger's seat. Their vocal duet "Portland Oregon" (which will surely draw truckloads of White Stripes worshipping Loretta Lynn neophytes to this album) is hardly this excellent album's highlight. On the other hand, White's gritty guitars are a perfect foil for Lynn's feisty singing on songs such as "Have Mercy". Some may think that some of this, if you listen close, actually sounds like White Stripes songwriting, but it's more likely a case of Lynn's formidable influence on White coming full circle. Regardless, Van Lear Rose is all about the singular wonder that is Loretta Lynn and White has done a fine job of ensuring just that. Her voice is in top notch form. Her range is absolutely smokin' whether she's breakin' honky tonk hearts or baring her own or simply givin' everyone what-for. Mid-album she fires thing up for the rousing gospel stomp of "High On A Mountain Top" and then takes it down a few notches for the spoken story-song "Little Red Shoes". Wonderful! A vibrant, rich, and organic album. All hail Loretta Lynn!
MPEG Stream: "Have Mercy"
MPEG Stream: "High On A Mountain Top"

CALEXICO The Black Light (Quarterstick) lp 15.98
This album is awesome. Really. Rich twang and horn wind around organ, accordion and marimba. Yes, it is the super greatness of Joey Burns and John Convertino (of Giant Sand) and their many musical friends. Great desert driving music.
Vinyl includes mp3 code!
MPEG Stream: "The Ride II"
MPEG Stream: "Stray"

PLEASURE SEEKERS What a Way To Die (Norton) 7" 4.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The year is 1965 and a feisty teenage Suzi Quatro is kicking ass on all the boys in town. Yep, that's pre-Leather Tuscadero, sweetcakes! Ultra-raw, raunchy garage rock straight from the day re-issued by the fab garage mavens at Norton Records. Hot!

album cover BEBEY, FRANCIS African Electronic Music 1975-1982 (Born Bad) cd 16.98
When we first heard a track from this album a few months ago, our immediate reaction was A) wow, we really had better find a way to get it for the store and B) if and when we do, it'll probably have to be a Record Of The Week. And that was just from hearing ONE song. Fortunately, we did manage to get some of these imports, and the rest of the record only confirmed and amplified our first impression. Record Of The Week it is! (Actually, some of us here, like Andee, were already Bebey fans from way back, but for others of us, gosh, what an introduction...)
As you know, we've certainly seen a bunch of great groovy African reissues lately (in fact, there's a couple others elsewhere on this week's list). But this collection of the late Cameroonian composer & writer Francis Bebey's music is rather unique, to say the least. And it's got something in common with another cool item we're reviewing this week, the vintage "electronic soul" compilation Personal Space. As the title indicates, the focus here is on the especially electronic side of his discography, from the era when multi-instrumentalist Bebey experimented with the latest gear - tape recorders, keyboards, drum machines - to record his own music at home in Paris, making for delightfully dancey, avant-garde Afropop.
The track we had heard was the first one here, "New Track", an over 8 minute long number that starts off with tinkling thumb piano before blaring synth stabs, burbling keys, and ticking drum machine rhythms kick in... pretty soon, the song has become dense with loops and layers, repeating vocals about bananas and potatoes and politics creating a kind of cheerfully confusing mantra. It's as fresh and charming and mesmeric and groovy today as it was when Bebey recorded it in back in '82.
Though this would pretty much be worth it just for that memorable song alone, the rest of this 14-track collection is full of further futuristic Afrofunk highlights. Meaning, more blurting synthesized horns, head bopping basslines, thumping electronic beats augmented by hand percussion, and laidback vocals - some spoken, some sung, in various languages (Duala, French and English). Bebey's talent on classical guitar is also evident. It's quite an amazing mix altogether; 'makossa' music from Cameroon meets "Blow Your Head" style Moog outbursts (as on the woozy instrumental track "Super Jingle", with its skronky synth shiver set amidst hypnotic percussive pulsations). Sometimes the mood gets emotive in other ways, Bebey bringing the beats down and singing sadly in a soft, ragged voice... Here we will go out on a limb, and make a wild hypothetical rock crit "cross between this and that" equation, of Konono No.1 + Arthur Russell, whattya think?
Basically, this is as cool as anything you could imagine something called "African Electronic Music 1975-1982" might possibly sound like! And maybe even cooler than that.
Packaged with liner notes in both English and French.
MPEG Stream: "New Track"
MPEG Stream: "La Condition Masculine"
MPEG Stream: "Pygmy Love Song"
MPEG Stream: "Savanah Georgia"

album cover CARLTON MELTON aQ Hits (aQuarius recOrds) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
aQ Hits is a new collection from beloved SF psychedelic space rock minimalists Carlton Melton, and is our second annual official aQuarius recOrds Record Store Day release. Last year's was a live disc called Black Valleys, a document of a killer aQuarius instore by NY psych rockers White Hills, and that one sold out in a flash. This year's looks to do the same - if you like White Hills, you like Carlton Melton, right?!
It's a super limited (just 300 copies) compact disc, collecting a handful of rare, and now out of print vinyl tracks, from various singles and split lps from the last couple years, including one super extended version.
Let's run through the various tracks... "Bottle Of Heat [Extended Version]", is, as you can probably tell from the title, the aforementioned alternate cut, which takes "Bottle Of Heat", originally released on the 2011 Agitated Records 12" comp I'm So Convoluted!, and offers up the unedited full-sprawl recording, stretching out to more than 19 minutes, thick smoldering clouds of soft focus psychedelia, drifting and blissed out, free form and abstract, a meandering epic of lush chordal swell and shimmery FX drenched swirl, all over a shuffling hypnotic and motorik kraut-psych beat. "Handling Snakes" is the A side from the group's Valley King 7" single, and is a jolt of heavy hypno-blues a la Wooden Shjips, but in the hands of Carlton Melton, somehow even heavier with wailing riffs and pummeling drums.
The next two tracks are from Carlton Melton's split 12" with Empty Shapes, originally released on Mid-To-Late Records in 2010: "Call and Response" is an epic (and originally nearly side-loooong) blowout, beginning with a heavy rumble of monolithic sludge eventually progressing into a slow wave of burnt-out blues riffage a la early Comets on Fire, that churns and steeps into a gnarly brew of molten fuzz. While "Purer", is more cosmic and dreamy, built on a layer of percolating synth drones that give way to a more uplifting space rock jam trajectory, total heart-of-the-sun zoner blissout.
And finally, the last two tracks are from CM's split 12" with Qumran Orphics, also originally released on Mid-To-Late Records, that one in the beginning of 2011. "March Of The Cicadas" is a glorious ten minute slab of psychedelic heaviness, that sounds exactly like the title implies, a slowmotion dirge over martial rhythms with buzzing electronic hisses and stratospheric guitar leads. And things finish off with "Murder Ridge", a noirish Bardo Pond-like spiral of burning sonic embers and sustained decay, a gorgeous hazy stretch of blurred lysergic drift, the perfect final movement, psych-drone comedown.
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES, each one hand numbered, the artwork is printed on metallic silver cardstock, everything housed in a slim dvd style case, only available here!
MPEG Stream: "Bottle Of Heat [Extended Version]"
MPEG Stream: "Handling Snakes"
MPEG Stream: "March Of The Cicadas"

album cover VAN HALEN A Different Kind Of Truth (Interscope) cd 16.98
First things first, recommended. Yes, you heard us right!
Ok, like everyone else, after catching an appalling earful of the... errr, flaccid lead-off single trumpeting the return of THE Van Halen WITH David Lee Roth, we were totally gun shy and almost ready to toss the new album in the dumper unseen and unheard, especially after so much drama and so many false starts and empty promises (read: bottles) over the last twenty seven years (!), BUT to honor old allegiances to the genius pre-1985 Van Halen (i.e. before Roth left), we just had to give the new disc a fair spin. So, we did, albeit somewhat gingerly. Needless to say, we skipped right past the lame opening track (the abovementioned "Tattoo"), and kicked things off with "She's The Woman" (a reworked version of a 1976 demo), and... HOLY SHIT... it... really... sounds... and... grooves... like... THEM (circa VHII, Fair Warning, Women And Children First, 1984). Once we recovered from the shock, the goosebumps and glee took over! That song slays like '79 all over again! Really should have been the first single...
Yeah, we know at this point you're probably thinking "what are they thinking?!" Still a bit skeptical, right? Sure, the relationships seem to be business-calculated. Sure a bunch of the songs are based on old demos, and many songs are fundamentally riffin' on archetypes of their various early styles, for instance, the terrific "Stay Frosty" = "Ice Cream Man", but over the majority of this record this all actually works in the favor of the band, and these tunes ultimately reveal themselves to be more than mere sonic nostalgia (and actually the band's practice of reworking old material is nothing new, it was their modus operandi after the first couple years of existence).
But try to block out all the hype, preconceptions, and "Tattoo". Forget the embarrassing, drunken EVH YouTube clips. Don't scoff and dismiss before you've given it a listen... or two or three. If you like/love vintage Van Halen, you will be surprised and happy and super stoked to hear that everyone has risen to the challenge. The playing is technically and musically brilliant, and as entertaining and fun as old VH. They're still the mad geniuses expertly disguising themselves as airheads. Meticulously composed, deceptively complex, yet totally on the verge of careening out of control. Eddie in particular sounds absolutely revivified. There's some spine tingling EVH guitar playing going on here. The bongo-Bonzo intricate drumming is unmistakably Alex Van Halen, with his signature snare and cymbal sounds. David Lee Roth's vocal range ain't what it used to be, but it's still plenty there, with authentic deliveries of his usual characterizations, delivered Tarzan-like (we'll forgive/turn a blind eye to his shout-out to Facebook). And what about Wolfgang Van Halen's bass playing? Totally fat. Very solid, and full of Michael Anthony-esque beefy vrroooms and BASS counterpoints. Wolfgang's sound is a little tighter than MA's, and he is really fantastically locked in here. The whole band is really quite on fire and up-to-snuff with their best vintage material throughout A Different Kind Of Truth. Most importantly - because VH were known to record their albums very quickly and quite live - the band sounds rejuvenated without sounding reliant on modern technology (unlike most other reunited rock bands and their love affair with the rhythm grid). The faithful vintage vibe is at many times remarkably fast, heavy and crammed full of mesmerizing riffery from all involved (check out "China Town", "Bullethead", "Outta Space", "Honeybabysweetiedoll", "As Is", and "Big River"). A welcome return to form, as VH was largely devoid of any sense of wild danger or threat of pyrotechnic-wizard combustion during the non-DLR years. Well, it's clear that something has sparked, and the friction makes for some magical chemistry and hard rock firepower channelled through all four players. Really, the only obvious element (and it is a considerable one) that could make this an old VH fan's complete dream come true would be the return of Michael Anthony, but we doubt that'll ever happen since it seems obvious that Wolfie's been groomed to be the VH bassist since he was a tot. He rips on this record though, and his backing vocals are quite satisfactorily in the ballpark of the MA model. And the band IS called Van Halen.
So, there you have it. A major portion of A Different Kind Of Truth fucking smokes! We can only guess that the "Tattoo" single debacle was an ill-timed April fool's joke and/or a poor decision by them. But these guys ain't no dummies, so maybe it was all part of a reverse-psychology master plan - that is, to first deliver what everyone naturally expected from the even-up-til-recently-EVH-trainwreck, and then hot on its heels deliver what everyone hoped for, yet doubted they could ever actually have (i.e. pretty much the rest of the album). Heavy rock comeback of the year! (At least until the Black Sabbath record? Assuming they have Bill Ward. Cuz while we may have been convinced to abide a Michael Anthony-less VH, a Bill Ward-less Sabbath reunion is utterly unacceptable)!
MPEG Stream: "She's The Woman"
MPEG Stream: "Honeybabysweetiedoll"
MPEG Stream: "Outta Space"

album cover BAUER, MATT The Jessamine County Book Of The Living (Crossbill Records) cd 9.98
Wow, do not miss The Jessamine County Book Of The Living. Matt Bauer's third full length is another deeply moving intimate work. Once again, he's gathered many of his musical friends around him for this lush bluegrass-y embrace. His nimble banjo picking and fine piano playing are now accompanied by strings, woodwinds, brass and more. Wonderful. The string quartet was recorded here in SF, the vocals of Garrett Pierce in Davis, and the rest of the production took place in Brooklyn and Lexington. And by "the rest", in part we mean some gorgeous female vocals from the likes of Jolie Holland and Mariee Sioux. Bauer's hushed voice is mournful yet comforting, and is perfectly complemented by the ladies' luminous delivery. Perhaps the album's crowning jewel is the fourth track "Blacklight Horses", a solemnly lovely Bauer and Holland duet. Just might move you to tears... actually many of Bauer's songs have that effect. Needless to say, this album is heartily recommended. Definitely for fans of Ms Holland, M. Ward and Iron & Wine.
MPEG Stream: "Useless Is Your Armor"
MPEG Stream: "Blacklight Horses"

album cover ISLAJA Keraaminen (Fonal) cd 17.98
It's no secret we have a deep love of so many of the sounds that come from the Finnish underground, and Islaja is one of the most golden treasures to come from that magical region. It's been over three years since we've heard new material from her, but with artists of this quality, whose songs are so meticulously constructed, we totally understand and appreciate that it takes a good deal of time to create a new album. And man oh man was the wait worth it, as Keraaminen is her most bold, up front, crisp and riveting work to date. Her earlier songs were very much buried in layers of rustic dirt, muddied and mysterious, but with her mystical sounding voice cutting through the fog. But now she has reached a place where she is confident and assured enough to strip away the excess layers while maintaining such gorgeous and evocative atmospheres, and her voice sounds as powerful, and alluring as ever. While previous outings have found her being compared to Bjork, that comparison maybe seems more apt here, as on this record she is able to use her voice as such a strong instrument conveying such striking and mesmerizing emotions. And for people who haven't heard Islaja before but love folks as haunting and varied as Zola Jesus, Fever Ray, Beth Gibbons, Jane Birkin, Brigitte Fontaine, Laurie Anderson, Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, and Jarboe, we imagine you'll probably fall very much in love with the sounds on this record. We definitely have!
Recorded in locations all across the globe, in Helsinki, Berlin, Grand Popo, and Hong Kong, this is an album that transcends both geographical and musical borders. We've loved all her albums, and this one has grabbed us from our initial listen and we've been listening to it multiple times a day since it arrived, and this will probably be a record that pops up on several of our year end favorite lists too!
MPEG Stream: "Joku Toi Radion"
MPEG Stream: "Otakun Uhkaus"
MPEG Stream: "Ihmispuku"

album cover ANGER, KENNETH The Complete Magick Lantern Cycle (Fantoma) 2dvd 40.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Cult cinema buffs might recall The Films Of Kenneth Anger: Volume One and Volume Two, a pair of dvds that we carried a couple of years ago. They were amazing and highly coveted documents of the filmmaker's works, not only because his films had been so elusive (and when they were found the prints and VHS dubs had seen better days), but also because Fantoma did such a beautiful job with the presentation (dvd digipak with slipcover and 48-page booklet). Feel free to check out our reviews for them if you want to "read and weep". Sadly their lifespan was fleeting, and those dvds are both now out of print. However, all is not lost because Fantoma has just released a new double dvd set to take their place. It compiles Anger's Magik Lantern Cycle... or in other words, his films circa 1947 through 1981: Fireworks, Puce Moment, Rabbit's Moon (both the 1950 and 1979 versions), Eaux D'Artifice, Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome, Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandos, Invocation Of My Demon Brother, and Lucifer Rising. Plus the extras include the Rabbit's Moon outtakes that were included on Volume One, and Anger's 2002 film about Aleister Crowley's art among other goodies. While you don't get the deluxe packaging of its predecessors, you do get all of the restored films in one spot at a nicer price!

album cover GREAT NORTHWEST, THE The Widespread Reign Of The Great Northwest (The Kora Records) cd 14.98
The Great Northwest combine hazily effected guitar textures, clean acoustic pick'n'strum, chiming toy box melodies, and sleepy head vocals into one lush, lullingly lovely listen. So inviting, you can't resist melting into these warm, drowsy songs. Each one is drenched with dreamy atmosphere, but never drifts too far from its central pop song structure. Grand and expansive. Whimsical and intimate with a gentle plaintiveness. We sense that the band draws ample inspiration from the Beatles and Pink Floyd as well as the unmistakably '70s west coast soft rock. Thus, they fits in splendidly alongside bands such as Radar Brothers, Sparklehorse or their labelmates Fredrik. Speaking of which, this was released on The Kora Records who treated us to the sounds of Fredrik and Stricken City a few months back. With such a wonderful recent one-two punch, we figured we'd better pay closer attention to this fine label who also put out the Aidan Baker Scalpel cd and a couple of Gregor Samsa albums a few years back. What a terrific track record so far! So yeah, we're backtrackin' a little bit, but figure even though this came out in 2008, it's still new to us and perhaps to you as well. Very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Chief John"
MPEG Stream: "Reverie"

album cover COMMON LOON The Long Dream Of Birds (Hidden Agenda) cd 15.98
A pop lover's delight! Common Loon's debut album dishes the most marvelous of drowsy psych-tinged pop we've heard in ages. It seems to glow with the warmth of the '70s California sun despite the duo's homebase of Illinois. Oh so good! Their record label namechecks these artists as points of reference... Sparklehorse, Sebadoh, Spacemen 3, Grandaddy, Apples In Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control. Hmmm, there just happen to be plenty of aQ faves in there, n'est pas? Of those bands, we'd say that we concur with the inclusion of Grandaddy and O.T.C. most definitely. The rest are somewhat subtler nods. We'd actually add the Posies, early Quasi and Death Cab For Cutie to the list. Each song strikes a sweet balance of melodic hooks, hazy noise-pop guitars and mellow lulling boy vocals. This just might be the perfect antidote to cast away those lingering winter's chills and make way for spring. Needless to say, The Long Dream Of Birds has charmed us to no end! Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Ho-Hum Apocalypse"
MPEG Stream: "Dinosaur Vs. Early Man"
MPEG Stream: "Palestine Everywhere"

album cover MELLE, GIL The Andromeda Strain (Intrada) cd 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The Andromeda Strain was Michael Crichton's first book published under his own name, and told the story of a military probe returning to Earth bearing a lethal, microscopic virus, that proceeds to wiped out an entire New Mexico town, as scientists frantically try to devise a way to destroy the ever mutating virus, eventually considering detonating a nuclear bomb, sacrificing their lives to destroy this insidious interloper. The book was a huge success, as was the movie that followed, retaining the book's documentary-like vibe, hiring unknown actors as well as using graphic footage of virus victims dying. Long a cult favorite, the movie was most notable to music geeks for two reasons, its trippy electronic musique concrete score, and that score's original lp release, which found the record housed in a cool octagonal sleeve, mirroring a recurring shape in the film.
The music, composed by Gil Melle, is incredible, minimal and abstract, but haunting and ominous, even removed from the visuals, it's a harrowing listen, much of it performed on an instrument called the Percussotron III, the FIRST instrument ever designed and built specifically for a film score, some sort of primitive synthesizer we'd assume, percussive as well judging by the name, but details and history aside, this is just a simply fantastic piece of music. Strange electronic chirps, ominous low end thrums, helicopter like whirs, deep swirling drones, spidery squiggly high end melodies, blooping and bleeping glitch skitter, some mechanical percussion, plucked strings, crunchy buzzing swells, haunting bell like tones, militaristic snares, clipped and truncated scrapes and bleats, moaning strings, shimmering synth buzz, tinkling piano, clouds of music box like chirps and whistles, blurred and smeared into a whirling cloud of intertwined sine wave tones, grinding rumbles over swirling streaks of hiss, chromatic melodies unfolding into atonal shards of jagged crumbling sound, cool stuttery machine like rhythms over tangles of bass warble and clouds of glitch, and huge psychedelic swirls of interlocking prismatic tones, all the various elements woven into a truly otherworldly soundtrack. One that sounds like some legendary lost musique concrete artifact, as much as it does a chunk of kitschy sci-fi weirdness, when in fact it's most definitely both.
Unfortunately this reissue doesn't replicate the awesome octagonal packaging, but it makes up for it with a massive booklet, featuring tons of photos, liner notes about the movie, the soundtrack, the composer, each individual song, as well as all of the original lp liner notes. So awesome. We'd been waiting for a proper reissue of this FOREVER. So totally recommended, sorry it's not cheaper...
MPEG Stream: "Wildfire"
MPEG Stream: "Hex"
MPEG Stream: "Andromeda"
MPEG Stream: "Desert Trip"

album cover GILDED ROOKS, THE Scarecrow's Pockets (Out Of Round) cd 11.98
Wow! if you've a penchant for rustic melancholia richly rooted in American country folk traditions, don't miss this new SF quintet's debut album. Although these days The Gilded Rooks are a full band of five, for these recordings which were captured in Nashville, TN, the band leaders Jessy Brown and Devon Angus were backed by locals Red White Blue. From the sounds of things, they got along smashingly well. The performances are terrific!, so easy-going and relaxed, you can easily imagine that they've been playing together for years. Scarecrow's Pockets is wonderfully drowsy and withery in mood and tempo. Brown's honeyed lilt and Angus' considerably more bristly, Waits-tinged delivery play off one another beautifully. The band tastefully embellishes the core guitar, bass and drums with piano, lap steel and organ, as well as surprise appearances of bright horns and a ghostly whisper of musical saw - all while still maintaining plenty of space to allow the duo's vocals to truly take flight. Each of the dozen songs is burnished to a mellow, whisky hued glow. Very warm and inviting despite the plaintive tones. Highlights are the opening title track, "31 Pages (Of Country Music)", and the closing "Joan Of Arc Of Bernal Hill". Along with the ten originals, they transform Jules Shear's "All Through The Night" (popularized by Cyndi Lauper) into a sweet shadowy lullaby, and also do a terrific rendition of Richard Thompson's "Walkin' On A Wire". Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Scarecrow's Pockets"
MPEG Stream: "All Through The Night"
MPEG Stream: "31 Pages (Of Country Music)"

album cover BROADCAST & THE FOCUS GROUP Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age (Warp) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Crystal balls, dark mirrors, Ouija boards, seances, creepy knocking, music boxes that play themselves, creaking doors, and distorted kaleidoscopes are just a few of the fascinating hauntological associations mined in the latest collaborative effort by long time aQ faves, Broadcast, and new to us electronic outfit, The Focus Group, run by Ghost Box label head Julian House (who also designed all of Broadcast's record covers). We've been trying to carry the Ghost Box label stuff for years but haven't found a feasible distributor, and with this release, it has become quite clear what we've been missing out on.
Billed as a mini-album (23 tracks across 50 minutes), Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of The Radio Age is all at once a mesmerizing sound collage, a mind-warping concept album, a reimagined soundtrack to some chilling psychological cinema (we're thinking of films like Dead of Night, Secret Ceremony, The Ballad of Tam Lin, Persona, Angel, Angel Down We Go, or Simon, King of The Witches), as well as an homage to the obscure left-field psychedelic electronic music and sounds of the sixties and seventies that have influenced Broadcast over the years. Bands like White Noise, The Animated Egg, Basil Kirchin, United States of America, British Library Music and of course the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
So as you probably guessed from the description above, this is not a typical Broadcast release, but a experimental detour while we await for their next official full length. Fans of their full lengths may be less immediately satisfied by this, as it's not designed to be enjoyed as a pop record. It often requires either deep listening, or having it on while working on a solitary activity, such as painting or knitting, or better yet tarot card reading. While Trish Keenan's lush and dreamy singing is heard through out, there is only one typical Broadcast song, opener "The Be Colony", a woozy lullaby that hearkens back to the dreamy melodies from the HaHa Sound album, and even that is thrown in the delirious blender of The Focus Group, who took recordings made by Broadcast for this project and cut them up in a method to suggest automatic writing under a deep hypnosis. Disembodied voices, blowing wind, flashes of jazz drumming, eerie squeeches and electronic bloops, radio dials shifting, whining puppies, crows cawing, mysterious choirs and echo-y playground rhymes. Very ghostly, and sometimes beautifully creepy. It's the kind of strategy that may sound like it could get tedious after awhile, but the collage is so delicately and carefully constructed with just enough structured melodies that it wonderfully forms an intriguing narrative, of course aided by suggestive song titles like "Reception/ Group Therapy" , "Ritual/ Looking In", "Libra, The Mirror's Minor Self..." and "Drug Party". We think that people who are less inclined towards Broadcast's pop albums and into spectral sounds, occult music compilations, electric voice phenomenon, experimental electronic music or music on the Type or Miasmah labels should definitely give this a listen. We haven't been so spellbound by a record in quite a while. Fantastic!
MPEG Stream: "The Be Colony"
MPEG Stream: "Mr Beard, You Chatterbox"
MPEG Stream: "A Seancing Song"
MPEG Stream: "Drug Party"
MPEG Stream: "Ritual / Looking In"
MPEG Stream: "Royal Chant"
MPEG Stream: "Let It Begin / Oh Joy"

album cover NILSEN, BJ & STILLUPPSTEYPA Vikinga Brennivin (The Helen Scarsdale Agency) cd 12.98
The first edition of Vikinga Brennivin came and went very very quickly, as it came with an elaborate insert cut from actual copper. We are pleased to say the second edition is equally beautiful with sparkly copper colored paper and the same silkscreened design. The musical program is exactly the same as the first. Here's what we said earlier:
The cold winter nights stuck above the Arctic Circle have become the perfect climate for extended bouts of intoxication for many a Scandinavian. As a result, the capacity for the Icelandic duo Stilluppsteypa to consume alcohol is the stuff of legend. Alcohol has soaked into every fiber of their being; but its manifestation in their music (and their personalities for that matter) is closer to the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde allegory, as a raging alcoholic squirms just beneath the surface of a stoic Scandinavian temperament. Of course, where these two personalities come into conflict is where the art of Stilluppsteypa is realized. A schizoid tension runs throughout Stilluppsteypa's impressive catalogue of terminal drones, sputtered rhythms, and atomic fractures; and often this tension is dished out with a smug dollop of black humor and Dadaist absurdity. So, it's hardly unusual to come across Stilluppsteypa celebrating Vikinga Brennivin, the stringent Icelandic alcohol that has undoubtedly killed some of their collective brain cells. Yet it was the stoic BJ Nilsen -- the Swedish electron wrangler whose best known for his work as Hazard -- who invited Stilluppsteypa to collaborate on Vikinga Brennivin. Their resultant collaboration is an existentialist allegory in which the three drunkenly stumble out in a Scandinavian winter night and spiral toward the inevitable point in which they blackout. Lest this be construed as a derelict piece of method acting, the craft that Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa brought to Vikinga Brennivin is impeccable, as the extended dronescapes breath with the majesty of distant fog horns and sparkle with the delicate light of countless stars cast down from the black heavens onto the frozen tundra below. Frightening and barren, yet hauntingly compelling, Vikinga Brennivin is an isolationist masterpiece.
MPEG Stream: "En Dare Kan Fraga Mer An Tre Visa Kan Svara"
MPEG Stream: "Det Ar Bast Att Jag Borjar, Annars Kommer..."

album cover BERNSTEIN, DAVID W. (EDITOR) San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture And The Avant-Garde (UC Press) book+dvd 26.00
We apologize to tape music buffs near and far, but we shamefully snoozed on reviewing this awesome book about this music movement's seminal Bay Area based hub back in June of this year when it was first published. We thought that now would be a good time (what with the holiday gift-giving season just around the corner as well as the chillier stay-inside-with-a-good-book autumn and winter months) to give it a good ol' shout out! Better late than never, right?
Those already well acquainted will need no further explanation, but for those unfamiliar, in a nutshell, the San Francisco Tape Music Center was a vital cultural and educational meeting ground of adventurous pioneers in audio arts and science. The sonic explorations of composers Morton Subotnick (who performed an in-store presentation here a few years back), Steve Reich, Ramon Sender, Don Buchla, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley among others produced some of the most stunning and influential avant-garde sounds of the period in an utterly unassuming locale right here in SF. This creatively tangled web of tape-loop and tape-delay, analog synthesizers and various other electronic tentacles came into fruition back in the early '60s. These days, having been schooled by the wonderful reissued works of numerous seemingly like-minded audio renegade technicians of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire, John Baker to name a few), we still can't help but conjure images of the electronic music artists of that decade donning lab coats with pocket protectors and bespectacled consternated gazes, but this 344-page book reveals just as much the kaleidoscopic opening of minds induced by sound (and in some cases substances). In fact, for those of you who were captivated by the revelatory glimpse of the LA counterculture in the '60s courtesy of the recent Source Family book (The Source: The Untold Story Of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa And The Source Family), this serves to some degree as a Bay Area counterpart (albeit perhaps somewhat less Hollywood tabloid scandalous). It's the first ever first-person retrospective of the SFTMC. Many a fond memory and occasionally a hair-raising tale were unearthed for this tome. Our current favorites include one involving wild escapades to keep the center afloat on a less than shoestring budget as well as a desperate search across a floor/sea of tape edit detritus to find an errant single note snippet using a dismantled reel-to-reel playback head!
An inspiring, fascinating and often entertaining document of interviews with and essays by all the key figures and more. This 322-page softcover tome is also packed with color and black & white photos, diagrams, drawings, and a comprehensive chronology. But wait, there's still more! A dvd is tucked away in the back which features video documentation from the 2004 Wow & Flutter: The San Francisco Tape Music Center, 1961-Now festival / reunion of sorts that took place in Troy, NY.
Highly recommended!

album cover AQUARIUS T SHIRT Special Limited Artists Edition #1: Justin Bartlett (Size: 2XL) T shirt 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally! The first in a series of super limited, artist designed aQ T-Shirts, featuring original art by some of our favorite artists, who just so happen to be loyal aQ customers as well! Each one will be super special, totally unique, and will only be available for a limited time, as we're only making a finite amount of each.
The first shirt design is by aQ pal and infamous killustrator Justin Bartlett, whose style many of you no doubt will recognize. He's done tons of drawings for Oaken Throne black metal magazine, as well as record covers for grim groups like SUNNO))), Moss, Nadja, Pentemple and loads more. His style is incredible, super detailed, pen and ink with tons of stippling, lots of skulls and guts and demons and various crusty oozing offal. For aQ he's designed a super creepy and super evil mother and child, heads in bags, their rotten innards spilling out, skulls on spikes, and "Aquarius Records" carved into the stone archway in the background. It looks amazing, and will for sure get some eyes a popping as you wander through the grocery store or sit in church (heaven forbid).
The back features a small aQ logo up near the collar, the shirts are white on black, they are Hanes heavyweight T's, 100% preshrunk cotton, and we have sizes all the way from Youth Large (for kids and little ladies) all the way up to XXL (for the big guys).
We will only be selling these for a couple months, so don't miss out. Once they are gone, they won't be reprinted. EVER.
Future aQ Artist Edition T's will include designs by Savage Pencil, Stephen O'Malley, Aaron Turner and more more more!!!

album cover AQUARIUS T SHIRT Special Limited Artists Edition #1: Justin Bartlett (Size: Extra Large) T shirt 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally! The first in a series of super limited, artist designed aQ T-Shirts, featuring original art by some of our favorite artists, who just so happen to be loyal aQ customers as well! Each one will be super special, totally unique, and will only be available for a limited time, as we're only making a finite amount of each.
The first shirt design is by aQ pal and infamous killustrator Justin Bartlett, whose style many of you no doubt will recognize. He's done tons of drawings for Oaken Throne black metal magazine, as well as record covers for grim groups like SUNNO))), Moss, Nadja, Pentemple and loads more. His style is incredible, super detailed, pen and ink with tons of stippling, lots of skulls and guts and demons and various crusty oozing offal. For aQ he's designed a super creepy and super evil mother and child, heads in bags, their rotten innards spilling out, skulls on spikes, and "Aquarius Records" carved into the stone archway in the background. It looks amazing, and will for sure get some eyes a popping as you wander through the grocery store or sit in church (heaven forbid).
The back features a small aQ logo up near the collar, the shirts are white on black, they are Hanes heavyweight T's, 100% preshrunk cotton, and we have sizes all the way from Youth Large (for kids and little ladies) all the way up to XXL (for the big guys).
We will only be selling these for a couple months, so don't miss out. Once they are gone, they won't be reprinted. EVER.
Future aQ Artist Edition T's will include designs by Savage Pencil, Stephen O'Malley, Aaron Turner and more more more!!!

album cover AQUARIUS T SHIRT Special Limited Artists Edition #1: Justin Bartlett (Size: Large) T shirt 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally! The first in a series of super limited, artist designed aQ T-Shirts, featuring original art by some of our favorite artists, who just so happen to be loyal aQ customers as well! Each one will be super special, totally unique, and will only be available for a limited time, as we're only making a finite amount of each.
The first shirt design is by aQ pal and infamous killustrator Justin Bartlett, whose style many of you no doubt will recognize. He's done tons of drawings for Oaken Throne black metal magazine, as well as record covers for grim groups like SUNNO))), Moss, Nadja, Pentemple and loads more. His style is incredible, super detailed, pen and ink with tons of stippling, lots of skulls and guts and demons and various crusty oozing offal. For aQ he's designed a super creepy and super evil mother and child, heads in bags, their rotten innards spilling out, skulls on spikes, and "Aquarius Records" carved into the stone archway in the background. It looks amazing, and will for sure get some eyes a popping as you wander through the grocery store or sit in church (heaven forbid).
The back features a small aQ logo up near the collar, the shirts are white on black, they are Hanes heavyweight T's, 100% preshrunk cotton, and we have sizes all the way from Youth Large (for kids and little ladies) all the way up to XXL (for the big guys).
We will only be selling these for a couple months, so don't miss out. Once they are gone, they won't be reprinted. EVER.
Future aQ Artist Edition T's will include designs by Savage Pencil, Stephen O'Malley, Aaron Turner and more more more!!!

album cover AQUARIUS T SHIRT Special Limited Artists Edition #1: Justin Bartlett (Size: Medium) T shirt 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally! The first in a series of super limited, artist designed aQ T-Shirts, featuring original art by some of our favorite artists, who just so happen to be loyal aQ customers as well! Each one will be super special, totally unique, and will only be available for a limited time, as we're only making a finite amount of each.
The first shirt design is by aQ pal and infamous killustrator Justin Bartlett, whose style many of you no doubt will recognize. He's done tons of drawings for Oaken Throne black metal magazine, as well as record covers for grim groups like SUNNO))), Moss, Nadja, Pentemple and loads more. His style is incredible, super detailed, pen and ink with tons of stippling, lots of skulls and guts and demons and various crusty oozing offal. For aQ he's designed a super creepy and super evil mother and child, heads in bags, their rotten innards spilling out, skulls on spikes, and "Aquarius Records" carved into the stone archway in the background. It looks amazing, and will for sure get some eyes a popping as you wander through the grocery store or sit in church (heaven forbid).
The back features a small aQ logo up near the collar, the shirts are white on black, they are Hanes heavyweight T's, 100% preshrunk cotton, and we have sizes all the way from Youth Large (for kids and little ladies) all the way up to XXL (for the big guys).
We will only be selling these for a couple months, so don't miss out. Once they are gone, they won't be reprinted. EVER.
Future aQ Artist Edition T's will include designs by Savage Pencil, Stephen O'Malley, Aaron Turner and more more more!!!

album cover AQUARIUS T SHIRT Special Limited Artists Edition #1: Justin Bartlett (Size: Small) T shirt 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally! The first in a series of super limited, artist designed aQ T-Shirts, featuring original art by some of our favorite artists, who just so happen to be loyal aQ customers as well! Each one will be super special, totally unique, and will only be available for a limited time, as we're only making a finite amount of each.
The first shirt design is by aQ pal and infamous killustrator Justin Bartlett, whose style many of you no doubt will recognize. He's done tons of drawings for Oaken Throne black metal magazine, as well as record covers for grim groups like SUNNO))), Moss, Nadja, Pentemple and loads more. His style is incredible, super detailed, pen and ink with tons of stippling, lots of skulls and guts and demons and various crusty oozing offal. For aQ he's designed a super creepy and super evil mother and child, heads in bags, their rotten innards spilling out, skulls on spikes, and "Aquarius Records" carved into the stone archway in the background. It looks amazing, and will for sure get some eyes a popping as you wander through the grocery store or sit in church (heaven forbid).
The back features a small aQ logo up near the collar, the shirts are white on black, they are Hanes heavyweight T's, 100% preshrunk cotton, and we have sizes all the way from Youth Large (for kids and little ladies) all the way up to XXL (for the big guys).
We will only be selling these for a couple months, so don't miss out. Once they are gone, they won't be reprinted. EVER.
Future aQ Artist Edition T's will include designs by Savage Pencil, Stephen O'Malley, Aaron Turner and more more more!!!

album cover AQUARIUS T SHIRT Special Limited Artists Edition #1: Justin Bartlett (Size: Youth Large) T shirt 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally! The first in a series of super limited, artist designed aQ T-Shirts, featuring original art by some of our favorite artists, who just so happen to be loyal aQ customers as well! Each one will be super special, totally unique, and will only be available for a limited time, as we're only making a finite amount of each.
The first shirt design is by aQ pal and infamous killustrator Justin Bartlett, whose style many of you no doubt will recognize. He's done tons of drawings for Oaken Throne black metal magazine, as well as record covers for grim groups like SUNNO))), Moss, Nadja, Pentemple and loads more. His style is incredible, super detailed, pen and ink with tons of stippling, lots of skulls and guts and demons and various crusty oozing offal. For aQ he's designed a super creepy and super evil mother and child, heads in bags, their rotten innards spilling out, skulls on spikes, and "Aquarius Records" carved into the stone archway in the background. It looks amazing, and will for sure get some eyes a popping as you wander through the grocery store or sit in church (heaven forbid).
The back features a small aQ logo up near the collar, the shirts are white on black, they are Hanes heavyweight T's, 100% preshrunk cotton, and we have sizes all the way from Youth Large (for kids and little ladies) all the way up to XXL (for the big guys).
We will only be selling these for a couple months, so don't miss out. Once they are gone, they won't be reprinted. EVER.
Future aQ Artist Edition T's will include designs by Savage Pencil, Stephen O'Malley, Aaron Turner and more more more!!!

album cover HUMAN LEAGUE Golden Hour Of The Future (Black Melody) cd 21.00
BACK IN PRINT!!! Perhaps you've heard the quiet rumbling accolades for The Human League's early non-synthpop recordings. Up until now, only mere glimpses were available via their Reproduction album from 1979 and to a lesser degree 1980's Travelogue. Well, here's a UK import of twenty previously unreleased songs that predate their '80s glory. They were compiled from the label's own collection of bootlegs as well as from restored master tapes that have been locked away in the group's studio for over two decades. In those days ('77 to '79) they were also known as The Future. Decidedly un-pop, this Human League was an altogether different entity back then with a line-up that included Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh (who went on to form Heaven 17). Actually many of these works were performed by only these two gents. It was they rather than Philip Oakey who pretty much ran the early Future / Human League show. They constructed much more abstract and exploratory soundscapes with a heavier, graver mood than the later Oakey-fronted fluff that would bring the group fame (i.e, the weak songwriting, thin synth sounds, and off-key vocals of "Fascination").
Odd, yet effectively frail falsetto and deep spoken vocals converse over the low viscous electronic marches and swooping spaced-out analog synthesizer excursions with no drums or guitars. It actually would be quite at home accompanying the art-wave film Liquid Sky or on a bill with the Residents. Truly, much of this sounds quite fresh and adventurous today. All except one track were produced by Ware and Marsh. Note: the sound quality does vary from track to track, however this compilation still stands up as a revealing and intriguing document of this group's early works. Much more impressive and much less dated than both Heaven 17 and later Human League combined. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "4JG"
MPEG Stream: "Year Of The Jet Packs"

album cover V/A Okkulte Stimmen Mediale Musik : Recordings Of Unseen Intelligences 1905-2007 (Suppose) 3cd 57.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This 3cd boxset is a fantastical document of parapsychological research throughout the 20th Century, with recordings of purported demonic possession, glossolalia, precognition, poltergeists, and the already well documented Electric Voice Phenomenon. The latter had been the subject of research by noted parapsychologists Raymond Cass and Freidrich Jurgensen, whose work was collected on several cds released on the Touch label, one of which was the AQ perennial favorite The Ghost Orchid. The first disc of this set focuses on voices spoken through a person, who may not be conscious of the spirits controlling their words. There are several examples of demon possessed children, and a particularly creepy recording of a spirit medium who has contacted those who died in a plane crash and weeping through the medium to "move on." The second disc concentrates on Xenoglossy (the articulation of a language not known to the speaker) and Glossolalia (also known as 'speaking in tongues'), with examples of an English girl who speaks in an arcane form of Egyptian. There's also a few examples of Aleister Crowley famously channeling the Enochian language which the 16th Century mystic John Dee had also been known to conjure up. The third disc documents the sounds left behind by the spirits themselves, including paranormal music (that which has been transcribed from a deceased composer into the hands of a receptive living musician), the rappings of poltergeists within the walls, and the aforementioned EVP. A good deal of these recordings suffer from poor recording qualities that exacerbate the mystery of these spirit communications. From a strictly aesthetic point of view, we have long extolled the virtues of scratchy 78s, tape hiss, and surface noise as a patina of remarkable beauty and sublime power. This rusted sound makes things seems haunted to begin with, and then add the recordings of demons, ghosts, and other spirits, and we've got one thoroughly creepy and amazing document.
Includes extensive liner notes in both German and English.
MPEG Stream: "Jack Suttton Contacts Dead Airmen (1980s)"
MPEG Stream: "Banta Trance Speech (1948)"
MPEG Stream: "Spukfall Pursruck (1971)"

album cover FJORDNE The Last 3 Days Of Time - Parcel Series (Dynamophone) cd-r 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Wonderful! As is reflected in the icy blue cover art, this is a wintry album - contemplative and shimmering soundscapes populated by acoustic guitars, piano, fleeting vocal gasps and seemingly microscopic electronics. Imagine a not so distant Japanese cousin of the Diskont album by Germany's Oval. Yes, it's that good! Winding and unwinding like the delicate clockwork mechanics revealed amid the feathers of the diminutive birds on the cover, these ten tracks are simply gorgeous from start to finish... as has been pretty much everything released to date by this fine, young SF independent label. Needless to say, very recommended! A perfect fit for those who've also been enjoying the soothing immersion into the releases on labels such as A Room Forever and Mystery Sea.
Part of the Dynamophone Parcel series, the cdr comes beautifully packaged in a round metal tin with a ribbon attached inside to facilitate opening the tin and getting the disc out.
MPEG Stream: "Dazing Off"
MPEG Stream: "Everyone Has A Season"

album cover VSS Nervous Circuits (Hydra Head) cd+dvd 14.98
Words can't describe how fuckin' happy we are to see this! Finally, The VSS's long out of print (and pretty hard to track down even when it was in print!) 1997 album Nervous Circuits has been remastered and reissued... and how! The new edition is bursting at the seams in sound and visuals with tons of bonus historical documentation packed on the cd and dvd!
The VSS = a short-lived yet incredibly influential and genre defining band from Southern California / Colorado in the mid-90s.
The VSS = Josh Hughes' deeply textured apocalyptic air-raid guitars, Andy Rothbard's lithe double fisting of snaking bass guitar and Juno 60 synthesizer, Dave Clifford's fevered muscular drumming, and Sonny Kay's clenched spewed vocals delivering cryptic wordplay and caustic socio-politically charged lyrics (mind you, due to his impassioned expulsionary singing style they're pretty unintelligible, you'll need to refer to the lyric sheet!).
The members of The VSS surfaced from the ashes of legendary post-punk band Angel Hair, burned incredibly hot and bright for only a couple years, and then later went on to other mighty bands Slaves, Pleasure Forever, Year Future, Rabbits, Red Sparowes and solo projects (Andrew Douglas Rothbard!) and an independent record label (Gold Standard Laboratories).
These days on paper, the marriage of post-punk, hardcore, synth-wave, electronic rock and metal is nothing short of commonplace. It's become a hip lifestyle genre, but this wasn't the case back then. And even so, this album still sounds fresh and immediate eleven years after its original release! Seeming at once wild and untethered and totally in control, it's a remarkably composed aural assault with plenty of quick shifts in mood, atmosphere and tempo that still stands head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.
The dvd offers what criminally few were able to witness in person back in the day... a young band who absolutely slayed in the live setting! There's nine song clips from various stops on their '97 U.S. tour as well as three sets in Brooklyn (six songs), Boulder (seven songs) and Berkeley (four songs). Be forewarned though, the quality of a lot of the footage is pretty poor -- having been culled from many fans' handheld home camcorder vhs tapes -- but our eyes have become accustomed to this sort of grainy, shaky stew a la murky cellphone-shot YouTube clips. Nevertheless a welcome electrically charged video document.
Yeah, definitely recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Death Scene"
MPEG Stream: "In Miniature"
MPEG Stream: "Nervous Circuits"

album cover DESTROYER Trouble In Dreams (Merge) cd 14.98
Chock up another dandy from Destroyer! Love, travel and other projects (New Pornographers, Swan Lake, Hello Blue Roses among others) sure haven't kept Daniel Bejar from his main musical outlet. Unlike many other multi-taskin' music folks these days, with Bejar nothing gets the short end of the stick. You can always count on consistently high caliber pop songcraft, artful arrangements, wryly witty and obtuse lyrics, and that voice -- equal parts Donovan, Marc Bolan, and Cat Stevens. Ultra liltingly sensitive and so darn Canadian-earnest! And it's all stamped with the indelible, unmistakable mark of the Bejar... Free spirited and fantastic!
MPEG Stream: "Foam Hands"
MPEG Stream: "Leopard Of Honor"

album cover CAN Ege Bamyasi (Spoon/Mute) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
These two essential krautrock classics from Can (Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi) have been reissued yet again, nothin' different except they're a little cheaper, always a good thing. Though, whatever you'd pay for 'em (even if they were twice this price!) would be money well spent, these are so good.
Here's our review: Ege Bamyasi! Can's fourth album features their second and most fantastical vocalist, Damo Suzuki. Ege is one of our faves from Can, especially of Allan's, though we think he just envies Suzuki's amazing hair! Let us just say that if you don't own this already, what are you waiting for?? The reissues contain extra liner notes and candid photos that some earlier cd editions lacked. But unless you're totally obsessed with the band and are certain of your ability to appreciate the remastering note-for-note, there's not too much else about these reissues that would require buying 'em again. If you've happy with your older copies, you'd probably do well to just keep them and sleep soundly at night.
But if you don't have a copy of this record at all... well let's say once more, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? Can's Ege Bamyasi is absolutely brilliant. Can of course were one of the most important 'krautrock' bands, along with Amon Duul II, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Faust and a few others. With Japanese singer Damo Suzuki at the mic on this he sings some of their best songs, like "Sing Swan Song" and "Vitamin C" and "I'm So Green". Actually EVERY song on here is wonderful. Languid and laidback, yet rhythmically insistent. Mellow and gorgeous and deep. Right on. Fans already know how good this is, everybody else should trust us and pick up one of these, you won't be sorry!
MPEG Stream: "Sing Swan Song"
MPEG Stream: "Vitamin C"

album cover PAAVOHARJU Yha Hamaraa (Fonal) lp 21.00
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! Oh how we adore the Finnish label Fonal Records -- home to the likes of Kemialliset Ystavat, Islaja, Kiila and Es. And now, won't you please kindly welcome the newest addition to the Fonal roster, Paavoharju! We can say that that welcoming 'em is not such a difficult thing to do 'cause they sure do make some wonderful music! In fact, Cup and Jim have both listened to it almost every day since its release. It's true!
Note: We don't want to deny anyone the pristine 'first listen' magic that we experienced. We can attest that it was a sheer delight packed with many surprises, and our fondness has only grown with each listen. So if you want your introductory spin to be 'pure', please be forewarned that this review contains what some might call spoilers... that means stop reading now!
In many ways Paavoharju can be likened to fellow enchanting Finnish artists Lau Nau and Fonal labelmates Islaja, but their finely detailed yet loosely strung music is considerably more melted and collaged and electronic. Listening to Yha Hamaraa is almost like eavesdropping on a dream... or having someone else's heartbreaking memories come back to hazily haunt you. Sounds, voices and melodies drift in and out of focus, occasionally overlapping and seeping into one another. Sometimes it seems like you're listening to a rickety old radio with the dial set between stations so that the sounds somehow magically fit together. Odd faintly familiar elements make their presence felt such as in the ninth song where the male vocal melody brought to mind a twisted folk (and of course very Finnish) version of "Stairway To Heaven". The swooping, trebly female vocals find their own special place between Indian film music singers and the Southeast Asian voices that surface on the similarly (un)structured Sublime Frequencies travelogue field recording compilations. And reference must be made to Bjork as well! Now after having read this far in our review, you might find the very first track with its swell of distorted static-y noise to be somewhat unexpected, disorienting even, but we encourage you to go with it (and with us). Allow the wash of sounds to transport you into Paavoharju's intoxicating world. Completely and utterly breathtaking.
MPEG Stream: "Aamunuringon Tuntuinen"
MPEG Stream: "Vitivalkoinen"
MPEG Stream: "Kuljin Kauas"

album cover MULDROW, GEORGIA ANNE Olesi: Fragments Of The Earth (Stones Throw) cd 14.98
Caught us sorta snoozin' on this one! This release actually came out back in 2006, and Cup heard its strange soulful glory out in Michigan that year. However, its name promptly vanished from her memory banks and we couldn't track it down until now! From the bio provided by Stones Throw Records it sure sounds like Ms Muldrow grew up within close proximity to some cool shit! Her father invented instruments for Eddie Harris and her mother sang with Pharaoh Sanders. Whoa. Initially Olesi: Fragments Of The Earth seems like a disorienting jumbled mess, albeit a really awesome sounding one -- a bunch of different unrelated pieces heaped up precariously into a generous twenty one tracks. All the parts ring familiar on their own in their old R&B, (almost free-) jazz, hip hop and soul ways, but we've never heard them arranged together in quite as unconventional a fashion as this! As the album progresses the sense of disorientation lingers, but her fevered vocal delivery and undulating, loping grooves prove infectious. The album definitely walks the fine line between defiant genius and baked madness. Seriously 'out there', she clearly had a 'vision' for this but it might not be for everyone! A fierce and bizarre debut.
MPEG Stream: "Wrong Way"
MPEG Stream: "Skaw De Beast"

album cover DAISIES OST (Finders Keepers) lp 30.00
Following the rabidly received reissue of the soundtrack for Jaromil Jires' early '70s treasure Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, the folks at Finders Keepers keep the Czechoslovakian cinema adoration flowing. Here is the freshly reissued soundtrack to Cup's all-time favorite film -- Vera Chytilova's 1966 Czech New Wave masterpiece Daisies (aka Sedmikrasky)! It's an eye-popping work that incorporates an astoundingly broad variety of art styles Dada, absurdist, pop, cut-ups, collage, psychedelia, and so much more... all while delivering a potent commentary on the dark state of the world (which is as valid today as it ever was!). Genuinely radical and so ahead of its time, 'tis the Czech way that beneath a seemingly light-hearted, dreamy and charming exterior, lies a black wit and a mighty subversive heart.
The Daisies soundtrack commences with the insistent, pinched sound of a high-pitched horn and militant snare drum introduction, then just like the two main characters, the music tumbles and frolicks and raises a giddy ruckus in a technicolor kaleidoscope of fleeting melodic vignettes. Along with traditional instrumentation -- brass, woodwinds, strings, vocals, etc -- keep an ear out for the musique concrete scissor snips and a conversation between a typewriter and reedy woodwinds. They are definitely two particular highlights of both the film and soundtrack. Accompanied by processional/funereal march formalities, jazzy escapades, classical choral geysers, dainty minuets, Stalling-esque cartoony themes, and rambunctious surfy shimmy pop, the two female leads kick up their tipsy heels in a supper club effectively disrupting a ragtime flapper dance number, play with their food and toy with stuffily suited elder gentlemen, leave suitors hanging on the telephone, cram themselves gleefully into the tight spaces of a dumbwaiter, and... oh we don't want to give any more away. Must see! Must see! Nevertheless, taken sans the film's visuals, this soundtrack makes for a deliriously delightful, discombobulating listen all on its own! Ultra artful and fun! Feverishly wonderful, and fervently recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Sedmikrasky"
MPEG Stream: "The Juggler"
MPEG Stream: "Man With A Typewriter"

album cover DAISIES OST (Finders Keepers) cd 23.00
Following the rabidly received reissue of the soundtrack for Jaromil Jires' early '70s treasure Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, the folks at Finders Keepers keep the Czechoslovakian cinema adoration flowing. Here is the freshly reissued soundtrack to Cup's all-time favorite film -- Vera Chytilova's 1966 Czech New Wave masterpiece Daisies (aka Sedmikrasky)! It's an eye-popping work that incorporates an astoundingly broad variety of art styles Dada, absurdist, pop, cut-ups, collage, psychedelia, and so much more... all while delivering a potent commentary on the dark state of the world (which is as valid today as it ever was!). Genuinely radical and so ahead of its time, 'tis the Czech way that beneath a seemingly light-hearted, dreamy and charming exterior, lies a black wit and a mighty subversive heart.
The Daisies soundtrack commences with the insistent, pinched sound of a high-pitched horn and militant snare drum introduction, then just like the two main characters, the music tumbles and frolics and raises a giddy ruckus in a Technicolor kaleidoscope of fleeting melodic vignettes. Along with traditional instrumentation -- brass, woodwinds, strings, vocals, etc -- keep an ear out for the musique concrete scissor snips and a conversation between a typewriter and reedy woodwinds. They are definitely two particular highlights of both the film and soundtrack. Accompanied by processional/funereal march formalities, jazzy escapades, classical choral geysers, dainty minuets, Stalling-esque cartoony foley themes, and rambunctious surfy shimmy pop, the two female leads kick up their tipsy heels in a supper club effectively disrupting a ragtime flapper dance number, play with their food and toy with stuffily suited elder gentlemen, leave suitors hanging on the telephone, cram themselves gleefully into the tight spaces of a dumbwaiter, and... oh we don't want to give any more away. Must see! Must see! Nevertheless, taken sans the film's visuals, this soundtrack makes for a deliriously delightful, discombobulating listen all on its own! Ultra artful and fun! Feverishly wonderful, and fervently recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Sedmikrasky"
MPEG Stream: "The Juggler"
MPEG Stream: "Man With A Typewriter"

album cover FOETUS (SCRAPING FOETUS OFF THE WHEEL) Nail (Some Bizzare) cd 22.00
Finally reissued on cd! Nail is Foetus' fourth album which was originally released in 1985. Whoa, that's twenty two years ago! So damn criminally underrated and unjustly lumped in with the less stellar, more single-minded 'industrial' artists on the Wax Trax label, the time is right to set the record straight...
Like an orchestral clash of Birthday Party, Swans and Einsturzende Neubauten set in a tawdry cabaret deep in the seediest underbelly of the darkest noir flick imaginable? Close, but better! A one-man symphony, wrecking crew, and/or runaway train, Foetus' music is truly fierce, mean, nihilistic and... absolutely brilliant, black humored and beautiful! Some might say that he works in similarly multi-genre meltdowns, enormous scopes and sprawling ranges as Mr. Bungle or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and they'd certainly be correct, but Foetus was doing it all by his lonesome years before those groups. Furthermore, he was an influential wizard behind the scenes too, co-producing early Coil albums, and collaborating with other (in)famous aural beacons Nurse With Wound, Sonic Youth, Marc Almond, The The, Nick Cave, and Lydia Lunch to name just a few. (Re)visit this wonder... a seething, scathing, festering and perversely enticing musical menace. Highly recommended.

MPEG Stream: "The Throne Of Agony"
MPEG Stream: "Descent Into The Inferno"
MPEG Stream: "Enter The Exterminator"

album cover HITCHCOCK, ROBYN Eye (Yep Roc) cd 13.98
Let's get straight to the heart of the matter, and it is exactly that! Robyn Hitchcock knows the inner workings of matters of the heart, but he never panders to valentine cliches to get the sentiments across. Nope, time and time again, he comes up with some crazily inventive turn of prose to express an observation of something commonplace. Then he backs his wizened delivery of wry wisdom with an equally quirksome crunchy guitar melodic twist -- a holdover from his Soft Boys days? Often so wonderfully obtuse and cryptic, but also somehow so clear and true! Genius songwriting.
Anyways, this is our longwinded way to let y'all know that we are super pleased as punch that the fine folks at Yep Roc Records have recently reissued three of this venerable troubadour's albums Black Snake Diamond Role, I Often Dream Of Trains and Eye, each complete with hella unreleased bonus tracks. The latter is perhaps our personal fave. If you have one Hitchcock album in your library, make it this one. Plus at the same time, they've released the three albums together in a retrospective box set titled I Wanna Go Backwards which also includes an exclusive pair of additional cdeps of odds'n'ends from 1981-88! Awesome and super recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Cynthia Mask"
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Girl"

album cover NURSE WITH WOUND Homotopy To Marie (United Jnana) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
FINALLY REISSUED!!! Of all of the Nurse With Wound records (and we like a bunch of them!), this is our favorite. Perhaps because this makes the least 'sense,' with a textbook definition of how Surrealism can be accurately applied in an aural context. Within Homotopy To Marie, Steven Stapleton (the proprietor of Nurse With Wound) addresses most of Andre Breton's qualifications of Surrealism as "pure psychic automatism, by which an attempt is made to express, either verbally, in writing or in any other manner, the true functioning of thought. The dictation of thought, in the absence of all control by the reason, excluding any aesthetic or moral preoccupation." In many respects, John Cage took Breton's theories to one possible logical end; but Stapleton wanted to bridge contemporary musical production techniques (musique concrete informed by Industrial culture) with the original Surrealist fascination with Victorian imagery applied to Freudian definitions of fetishism, thus offering a version of Surrealism that fits better with how Breton may have thought Surrealism would sound. References to culture and the world as we know it abound in this record, but in such a convoluted way as to appear perfectly normal next to something that would normally be aurally incongruous. The title itself certainly refers to this. Often utilized within the highly specialized vocabularies of genetics and chemical engineering (you think that *we* get verbose!), a homotopy (as best as I could determine) is the relationship between a specific object and the fundamental characteristics that define the family in which that object belongs. Who Marie could be is perhaps best left between Stapleton and Marie.
Homotopy To Marie is Stapleton's finest audio collage, culled from various studio sessions, found sounds, and unknown media samples. Proceeding along at a stately pace, this album is certainly not a quiet affair, yet each sound within the album is given plenty to hold its unique place with the collage at large. It opens with "I Cannot Feel You as the Dogs are Laughing and I am Blind" -- a close investigation of shards of glass with a gated volume filter on it to accentuate the brittleness and fragmentation of the sound, followed by a period of snoring (presumably from Stapleton) which shifts to various screams, maniacal laughs, and hysterical utterances as if from an asylum. The title track is an amazing collage of a multiple gongs with the tonal rings augmented by occasional backwards masking and manipulated attack. Stapleton's use of the vocal sample is at it's best here with two characters (a shy little girl and a confident woman) intermittently reciting ambiguous phrases "When I woke up I didn't know where I was" answered by "Don't be naive, darling!". The rest of the album is a clutter of non-descript distortion, feedback from guitar buzz, microphones overloaded by megaphones screaming into them, broken by backwards dialogues in Spanish, rag time pianos, and clattering horns finally explode into a whimsical polka but have a weird aura surrounding them like when Hermann Nitsch uses polkas as punctuations to his orchestral drones.
Homotopy To Marie is a confounding album that matches its psychological instability with its dexterity in its composition, that leaves you not with a recognition of sound within an organized context, but the feeling of unidentifiable unease. An absolute masterpiece.
MPEG Stream: "I Cannot Feel You As The Dogs..."
MPEG Stream: "Homotopy To Marie"
MPEG Stream: "Astral Dustbin Dirge"

album cover BALUSTRADE ENSEMBLE Capsules (Dynamophone) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
An uncommonly sumptuous array of releases was just presented to us courtesy of the young music label Dynamophone. They've only been around since mid-2006, but already have a bountiful catalog of releases, and many more on the way. We think your ears will welcome them with a warm embrace. Particularly if you've been recently enjoying the aquatic drone releases on the Mystery Sea label, you might wish to check out the seemingly likeminded, but more melodically inclined Dynamophone artists. Really, the label is a treasure trove of shimmering and dewy listening delights. Delve in immediately (also see: Disinterested, Halou, Po, Pornopop, A Lily, Curium, and R/R Coseboom)!
This is the label's new release from Balustrade Ensemble, a group which features Grant Miller (also of the very different Mandible Chatter), singer/songwriter/pianist Liam Singer, and Scott Solter (whose worked with the likes of Singer, Mountain Goats, Spoon and Tarentel). Their intricate (mostly) acoustic (mostly) instrumentals are artfully woven from familiar instruments piano, guitar, cello, and pedal steel, and the less common mellotron, orchestron, claviola, and celeste. Each one seems to glimmer out through Victorian lace curtains yellowed and slightly threadbare from age, through shatters of antique crystal goblets dappled with droplets of deep red, through a flaking, clouded gilt mirror, through deep sea greens and azures. Very cinematic, in fact, the Dynamophone folks beat us to the punch at raising the darkly whimsical filmmakers the Brothers Quay as a point of reference. Very recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Glorianders"
MPEG Stream: "Incarnadine"

album cover MORNING RECORDINGS The Welcome Kinetic (Loose Thread) cd 12.98
Dreamy. Drowsy. Droney. Dulcet. Aww shucks, we have to admit we're a sucker for anything with hammered dulcimer and vibes. Aren't you!? Those round warm tones just feel so right! But this Chicago band's second album has a lot more goin' on with that our ears are snuggling up close to.
They're distinctly 'Chicago' sounding (the city not the band). We knew as soon as we heard a few bars that they were from the Windy City. In fact, fans of gentle jazzy pop with chops breezers Sea And Cake and Archer Prewitt, take note! This might be your new favorite too! Seemingly equally inspired by '70s soft rock (think: 10CC, Bread, Burt Bacharach), '60s exotica (a la Les Baxter, Martin Denny), '90s slowcore (y'know, Low, Ida, Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley)... yeah, all the good stuff! Hushed, intimate and sweet, Morning Recordings make it seem like they're playing their music just for you. Have you guessed yet that we're pretty smitten with this album? Well, they push our newfound luv over the top when they let it be known that their roster includes Barry Phipps (of The Coctails) and guest singer Edith Frost -- both longtime aQ faves. We could continue gushing, but let's just say, "Wow, what a dreamboat!" So very very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "In Twilight"
MPEG Stream: "Songs From A Hotel Bar"

album cover ALLEN, TONY Afro Disco Beat (Vampi Soul) 2cd 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Wow! This is on fire! While Tony Allen will always be best known for being the amazing drummer in Fela Kuti's band, he is responsible for some totally great and inspired body moving music of his own. This collection collects four of his best albums onto two discs for a nonstop offering of Afro-Beat perfection! These records, which all originally came out in the 1970's, share a very similar sound and spirit to the work that Fela Kuti was doing when Allen was in his band. So it makes a lot of sense that three of them were produced by Fela. Long, stretched out passages filled with the kind of grooves that work their way right into your body and soul. While there is certainly nothing wrong with being known as the drummer in Fela's legendary group as well as more recently a member of the Damon Albern led supergroup The Good, The Bad & The Queen, we think this release could help make it plain to those who don't know already, that Tony Allen is a legend in his own right! Every time we play this in the store immediately people start asking what we're listening to moving their bodies up and down and all around. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Hustler"
MPEG Stream: "Ariya"

album cover ANGER, KENNETH The Films of Kenneth Anger: Volume Two (Fantoma) dvd 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
As varied as they can be, Kenneth Anger's films are pretty unmistakable. This Volume Two dvd set is just as stunning as its predecessor. The restorations are immaculate, the soundtrack vibrant. Details pop out that we were never able to distinguish on our old grainy vhs dubs. From the seemingly random assemblage of the Technicolor hued magickal aesthetics as seen in 1969's Invocation Of My Demon Brother (which incorporated pieces of an aborted version of his film Lucifer Rising as well as footage of a staged ritual deeply inspired by Anger's hero Aleister Crowley and featuring a cameo by Anton LaVey and a Moog synth soundtrack by Mick Jagger) to the pastel powder puffed homoerotic hotrod dream of 1965's Kustom Kar Kommandos to the bikers'n'black leather homoerotic motorcycle club dream of 1964's Scorpio Rising (shot like a documentary, it captures the period's dark visceral energies, the cultural and consciousness explosion, the social rebellion -- arguably the beginnings of protopunk); from the fiery Egyptian golden luminescence of 1981's Lucifer Rising (complete with soundtrack composed and recorded by Bobby Beausoliel in his prison cell) to the 1979 version of Rabbit Moon with its unexpectedly well-suited rock song soundtrack (an earlier version appeared on Vol.1)... Really, what's not to drool over? Through Anger's gaze objects, symbols, songs and people are fetishized to an intoxicating state. Even to those without an interest in avantgarde film, a schooling in esoteric knowledge, or an affinity with fringe communities, the images are nothing short of spellbinding, especially taking into consideration the time period in which they were made. The lone disappointment we found was in Anger's commentaries which come across as surprisingly uninspired, often vague and less than informative. Best to let the films speak for themselves -- a delicious visual feast!

album cover ZOMBIES, THE Odessey & Oracle: 30th Anniversary Edition (Big Beat) cd 22.00
Sometimes you just have to pause from the hustle, bustle and general assault of the modern world to refresh your appreciation of something truly exceptional and timeless. So, that said... EVERYONE! STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING THIS VERY SECOND, AND GET YOUR OWN COPY OF THIS ALBUM! If you already have it, then get another copy for your best friend! If they already have it, then... well, you get the picture! Its presence is absolutely essential in any/every self respecting music lover's library.
This is not a new release, in fact it is the 30th anniversary edition which came out back in 1998... which means this classic album is pushing forty, and it still delights like a pup! Simply stated, Odessey & Oracle is a rare beautifully plumed pop bird that soars above the crowd. So many of our favorite more recent pop gods were clearly enormously influenced by this band and this album in particular -- Pernice Brothers, Zumpano, The New Pornographers, The Posies, The Shins... the list goes on and on and on. And we could go on and on but why waste breath and time? Highest recommendation possible, 'nuf said!
This edition also includes a bunch of bonus tracks for the completist (primarily alternate and mono versions). Heck, if you wanna go totally whole hog... may we recommend the Zombie Heaven 4 cd box set? At least two aQuarians own one, and several others are definitely considering it...
MPEG Stream: "Care Of Cell 44"
MPEG Stream: "Changes"
MPEG Stream: "This Will Be Our Year"

album cover YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS Colossal Youth & Collected Works (Domino) 3cd 19.98
Young Marble Giants' minimal masterpiece, Colossal Youth, receives yet another reissue (the fifth or sixth to date)! This one is extra super special because it's a three cd set which compiles ALL of their previously released music! So you not only get the fifteen songs that make up the Colossal Youth album, but also a five song Peel Session from 1980, six songs from their 1981 Testcard EP, three from the Final Day single, sixteen from their 2000 Salad Days album, and their first ever recorded appearance titled "Ode To Booker T" from the 1979 compilation Is The War Over?.
Needless to say, it's a cause for celebration! Absolutely essential listening. This UK trio's existence was ever so fleeting, and they only had one proper album, but what a leftfield classic it is. It sounds *totally unique*, like nothing before and pretty much nothing since. Amid the aggression and edginess of the post-punk movement, YMG emerged as a remarkably stark, understated and utterly engaging wonder. It has made an enormous impact in the many years since its original release in 1980. Seriously, this is one of those classic albums that has influenced tons of musicians (Hole even covered "Credit in the Straight World", but don't hold that against YMG!). It ranks up there with, like, The Velvet Underground's first record, Neu!, the Raincoats, Pere Ubu's Modern Dance, etc., etc.
Their music's simplicity is deceptive. A very hushed, metronome-sounding drum machine ticks out the tireless beat of each song like a friendly clock, and its neutral tone is also reflected in Alison Statton's girlish, earnest, not always pitch-perfect vocals as well as in the muted string strum of Stuart Moxham's electric guitar. Spartan, angular strikes from the same guitar punctuate this steady atmosphere as a frail organ does its wheezing, bleating melodic best and Philip Moxham's rubbery bass line hesitantly bends and bounds. Minimal and no-frills, yes, but somehow there's so much more going on, and so much more expressed than its quietness belies. The songs are tiny and simple and total perfection. Powerful and totally f**king timeless and yes, very highly recommended.
As we mentioned above, we believe this just might be the fifth or sixth edition, and we hope that it's kept available forever and ever and ever!
MPEG Stream: "Brand - New - Life"
MPEG Stream: "Searching For Mr. Right (Peel Session)"

album cover CHESNUTT, VIC North Star Deserter (Constellation) cd 16.98
Vic Chesnutt's collaboration with a number of folks on the Constellation Records roster (aka A Silver Mt. Zion and a list of friends which includes Fugazi's Guy Picciotto and members of Hangedup, Frankie Sparo, Esmerine, The Quavers, and yes, Godspeed You Black Emperor) sounds *exactly* as you would expect... bleak and immensely moving. They keep such perfectly dour company that we wonder what took them so long to make it happen! Flooded with anguish and raw nerves, North Star Deserter is an intense frayed journey, but not without a moment or two of glimmering hope and twisted folly. Chesnutt's lyrics have always been an affecting bruised blend of the absolutely direct and the utterly cryptic. We know they're a perfect match for his own creeping, barren plain plucked guitar accompaniment, but wow, when joined by these additional like-minded vocalists and musicians the results are often times crushingly beautiful. Placed before a landscape of ominous cello drones, electrified string shards, and near-military marching drums, his weathered rasp of a voice resonates anew. The amazing breadth of this album is captured in two songs late in the album -- the thunderous roar of "Debriefing" and the hushed haunted loner "Marathon". Damn. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Debriefing"
MPEG Stream: "Marathon"

album cover MIDDLETON, MALCOLM A Brighter Beat (Full Time Hobby) cd 15.98
Gawd, how I love the bitter, sourpuss music of Malcolm Middleton. Why is his beleaguered Scottish grumpiness so damn endearing? Well, for one thing the man's a genius at penning a pop hook even when it's laden with the weight of the whisky'd world. His ol' band Arab Strap may be no more, but fortunately he's still makin' music on his own. This is his third blearily great solo album. Sweetening the proceedings is the presence of female vocalist Jenny Reeve (also of The Reindeer Section) who pretties up Middleton's scruffy loner pad... uhh, we mean music with some creamy pastels and brighter lighting. Still nothing can outshine the overcast woolen greys of Middleton's hopelessly romantic and just plain hopeless universe. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Fight Like The Night"
MPEG Stream: "Death Love Depression Love Death"

album cover AQUARIAN, ISIS WITH ELECTRICITY AQUARIAN The Source: The Untold Story Of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13 And The Source Family (Process) book + cd 24.95
An amazing compendium of facts (and some fantasy?) pertaining to the surprisingly under-documented '70s self proclaimed Aquarian tribe The Source Family and their freeflowing psychedelic jam branch Ya Ho Wha 13!
For years our awareness of this group was limited to the obscure recordings of the band (including the extraordinary giant box set God And Hair), and a smattering of vague and sensationalist 'cult' rumors. The members' secret oath and a marked absence of controversy, calamity and crime no doubt kept this group underwraps and off the pages of tabloids. Our fascination grew tenfold a couple of years ago thanks to the compelling dvd documentary "Yahowha 13: Re-visiting Father And The Source Family". It recounts the history of the movement founded by Father Yod (aka Ya Ho Wha, born Jim Baker) through interviews with original members and archive footage. Definitely recommended viewing. Fortunately for those whose interest has been piqued, we now also have this book. Isis Aquarian was one of Father Yod's fourteen 'women' or 'spiritual wives' and the group's appointed record keeper. Hence she was integral to the inner workings of the Source Family and has compiled an enormous archive of photographs, writings, and memorabilia. Her wealth of and deep connection to this knowledge makes for an immensely intimate and informative document. Lively and entertaining too, among other things, the book details living a utopic life in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills and a subsequent move to Hawaii, observing Father's integrated teachings of ancient philosophies and religions (strongly influenced by Yogi Bhajan and the writings of Manly P. Hall), practicing daily pre-dawn meditations and rituals, and eating a strictly vegetarian diet. In fact, the Source Family ran one of the very first and most wildly successful vegetarian / raw health food restaurants which was located on the Sunset Strip (recipes and photos from the restaurant are included!). Nowadays yoga has been mainstreamed into another physical fitness trend -- a glorified stretching if you will, the ancient spiritual teachings lost to the masses -- and terms like 'guru' and 'visionary' are bandied about with abandon, but back in the late '60s and early '70s there was a West Coast consciousness explosion goin' on, and these people lived it!
The bonus cd is a daunting experience unto itself featuring not only a mindblowing Ya Ho Wha 13 live performance at Beverly Hills High in 1974 (obviously not the most pristine recording quality nor anything resembling trained musicianship (we suspect that if any members had any formal schooling, it was tossed to the wind) -- this is a sensory overloaded moment captured in time of opened channels and the cathartic power of music), but also fascinating radio interview segments, enlightening Father Yod lecture snippets, and Source Family chants! Anyone curious about Ya Ho Wha is gonna want the book, we'd think, and this bonus disc pretty much makes it essential, with its several tracks of unreleased Ya Ho Wha jams, freaky stuff to be found nowhere on the infamous God & Hair 13 cd box set...
MPEG Stream: "Beer Recordings (Ya Ho Wha 13)"
MPEG Stream: "KPPC Interview"

album cover POLLOCK, EMMA Watch The Fireworks (4AD) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Many pop fans were severely saddened when those Scottish dreamboats The Delgados sailed off into the sunset in 2005 after ten years and five albums. Well, we can all dry our tears... at least a little bit because Ms Emma Pollock (who was one of the charmingest voices from that band) has emerged with an album that respectfully carries on in her former band's wonderfully sumptuous and poignant pop tradition. On the surface Watch The Fireworks reflects the sound of lemon meringue, dew drops, crushes, and snugglin', but there's more to it than simple sweetness. After you get swept up immediately in the opening number's carousel waltz tempo and Pollock's voice, you'll find songs with a bit more burly energy than that of the Delgados. The backdrop of electric guitar crunch, sturdy bassy organ lines, solidly struck piano keys and insistent drums make for a pleasing counterpart to her sweet singing. It propels each song up-up-up into the super pop stratosphere, burning off any grey clouds and leaving nothing but warm golden sunlight. It's easy to see why it was such a good idea for her to open for the new Pornographers on their latest tour for their album Challengers. if you get a chance to see her, don't miss it! Otherwise, buy this now!
MPEG Stream: "New Land "
MPEG Stream: "Acid Test"
MPEG Stream: "Paper And Glue"

album cover BALROYNIGRESS Shampoo And Champagne (Kning Disk) cd 14.98
Here's another release of exceptional quality and artistry from the Kning Disk label, who have previous brought us fine disks from the disparate likes of James Blackshaw, Jerry Johansson, Steffen Basho-Junghans, Wolf Eyes, Giuseppe Ielasi & Nicola Ratti...
Subtly trippy and strangely entrancing, Balroynigress is an art-folk trio melting in the Swedish sun. We were immediately drawn to main man Erik Joer's withered, slightly druggy male vocals that alternately call to mind early Bowie and Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. His and female vocalist Elvire Soyez's hushed voices wander tremulously amid the somber, bent and broken melodies woven from acoustic guitars, synths, melodica and piano... occasionally getting their boots stuck in the slushy sludge of the gently growling bass. Despite the album's title which to us suggests fizzy cosmopolitan festivities, the ten songs that comprise this Shampoo And Champagne potion are neither bubbly nor urbane. Ungrounded and seemingly far from city lights, they flow freely between the concrete and the intangible, the conscious and the subconscious, conjuring both the deepest of longings and glimmering hallucinations. We like! May also intrigue the fans of Devendra Banhart or Andrew Douglas Rothbard.
Don't dill-dally though! This is a very limited handmade pressing of 900!
MPEG Stream: "Postlove"
MPEG Stream: "The Landlord's Love Affair"

album cover LONE WOLF AND CUB OST (La-La Land Records) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Fans of samurai flicks and film soundtracks from the '70s, today we celebrate! First, we raise a cheer for Daigoro (aka the "Cub" in the title) -- undisputably the most adorable *and* badass tot to ever grace the silver screen. Yay! Then, we take this cd for a spin. It compiles musical selections from each of the six films which comprised the early '70s manga-based Baby Cart samurai movie series. The music is so eclectic that it's easy to think of composers Hideakira Sakurai and Kunihiko Murai as the Japanese counterparts to multifaceted American film score master David Shire (Taking Of Pelham One Two Three, Saturday Night Fever, The Conversation, etc.), but perhaps even more 'out-there'. Their compositions are certainly as wildly varied and unpredictable in style, and often times wildly incongruous with traditional samurai movie soundtracks. That's not all that surprising though because the series itself was truly one of a kind.
Oftentimes the proceedings are so densely packed that it seems like there are multiple (and very different) soundtracks overlapping one another. Frantic fevered measures gives way to dreamlike and hauntingly atmospheric passages. Traditional Japanese instruments such as koto, taiko drums, and shakuhachi stride serenely into a looming storm of synthesizer driven space prog-iness, unbound brassy jazz and orchestral thunder. Like the violent yet honorable swordsmanship, the music's sweeping, mighty gestures are executed with the utmost of control. This attention grabbing aural madness is strangely fitting for the films' striking imagery of too-red bloody fountains splashing across glinting swords, sand and snow covered expanses, claustrophobic tatami rooms, opulent royal courts... you get the picture? So awesome and recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Main Title"
MPEG Stream: "The Suioryu Swordsmanship"
MPEG Stream: "The Wolf Crosses The Ocean"
MPEG Stream: "Prologue: Shining Waters"
MPEG Stream: "Ending"

album cover WARLORD Deliver Us (Sound & Vision) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Would you happen to be seeking some really epic, catchy, melodic, complex, amazing music that just happened to encorporate elements of Black Metal before Black Metal even existed? That sounds like an impossible request to fill, doesn't it? But we've got it! Look no further than this ultra obscure, short-lived California band's groundbreaking debut mini-album from 1983. Seriously, Black Metal historians know that a lot of the BM touchstones Warlord practiced predated genre titans Celtic Frost and Mercyful Fate by years. A little aQ back story, once upon a time many moons ago, it seemed that only our own Mr. Connors and his friend Dustin Donaldson (of I Am Spoonbender and co-founder of tech-prog-math-metallists Thought Industry) knew about (let alone loved!) the band Warlord. Through proximity to their gushing, Cup got to hear Warlord a whole bunch, but it only took a couple of listens to get her hooked too. So much so that she's been known to burst out singing "Winter Tears" without warning!
Proto Metal, Power Metal, call it what you will, Warlord's music embodies epic European melodicism, veiled mysticism and a haunted romanticism. It sweeps the listener up in its neo-classical movements, each one possessed with an almost medieval feel and an ever present doomed, tragic tone. The band members fearlessly tread in flamboyant theatrics, assuming mighty pseudonyms (such as Destroyer, Damian King and Thunder Child) and suitably audacious stage garb.
So how did this band fall through the proverbial cracks? Well, keep in mind that this was back in the olden days (when there were truly underground music scenes, before the age of mp3s, cdrs and the internet... alright, 'nuf jokes about us being grannies and gramps!). Beloved as they are, cassettes and vinyl lps were inarguably more labor intensive and cumbersome vehicles to spread the word about a band you loved. It was even harder once said releases vanished into the record label's out-of-print bin. So needless to say, all of the abovementioned individuals were quite elated when this mysterious reissue appeared before them.
Most of these songs are from their long-gone first mini-album, but there's a few extra fan pleasers such as the non-album single "Mrs. Victoria" plus lyrics (so that we can all sing along accurately). Unfortunately this reissue does suffer from a few disappointments -- namely rather flimsy digipak packaging and a not so hot mastering job (there's occasional slight distortion of the bad kind). Not complaining tho', the original was a less than stellar production unto itself, suffering from among other things a less than impactful final mix. And yet, all in all, the greatness of the songs still shines through!!
MPEG Stream: "Winter Tears"
MPEG Stream: "Mrs. Victoria"

album cover PLEASURE FOREVER Bodies Need Rest (Conspiracy) lp 15.98
Over the course of only a few brief years and two albums, these fervent music makers drew an equally fervent following. So many hands were wrung and much despair was expressed when word got out that Pleasure Forever had disbanded a few years ago. Granted the individuals have continued on making stellar music separately as Andrew Douglas Rothbard, Rabbits and Red Sparowes, but... it's just not the same! Which brings us to this posthumous Pleasure Forever release. We welcome it with open arms and eager ears. Bodies Need Rest is comprised of equal parts originals (previously unreleased numbers, rarities and compilation tracks) and cover versions. Throughout these eight tracks which span the band's existence, the trio maintains their trademark piercing focus while perpetually on the verge of spinning wildly out of control. They fuel Black Flag's "The Bars" and The Germs' "Our Way" with their own rage, then just as ably enter irony-free into tender territory with their hazy dream rendition of ABBA's "Honey Honey". Rounding out the for covers is a searing, snaking spell of Alice Cooper's "Black Juju". It's a musical tempest as fierce as it is beautiful. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "King Cobra In The Guts Of Valhalla"
MPEG Stream: "Honey Honey"

album cover ANDERSON, LAURIE Big Science - 25th Anniversary Edition (Nonesuch) cd 15.98
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of this inimitable New York avant garde artist's landmark album, the fine folks at the Nonesuch label have remastered and reissued it... and it sounds as mysterious and beautiful as it did the first time around! The unforgettable eight minute long single "O Superman" made a surprise showing at number 2 on the U.K. pop charts back in 1981, and the album from which it came left its own indelible mark on many of us here.
The music and spoken word pieces that comprise the album were actually drawn from Anderson's expansive eight hour long performance art stage production United States Live (which was performed over the course of two evenings). Drawing on disparate elements and themes, commentaries and critiques about life in America, Anderson's Big Science is at once bold, imaginative and artful. Dryly humorous and chillingly bleak. Starkly minimal and deeply moving. Playful and cerebral. Thoughtful and thought provoking. Challenging and engaging.
Keep in mind, the short audio samples here really don't do the whole work justice. This album should be experienced in one complete distraction-free listening session. One of Cup's all time favorite albums, she recommends you stop what you are doing right now. Big Science beckons.
Oh yes, and we should mention that this special edition includes the haunting "O Superman" music video and a (unnecessary in our opinion) bonus track "Walk The Dog".
MPEG Stream: "From The Air"
MPEG Stream: "Big Science"

album cover OSWALT, PATTON Werewolves And Lollipops (Sub Pop) cd+dvd 14.98
Try some Werewolves And Lollipops on your funny bone! If you share our sense of blackened humor, we're sure you'll find Patton Oswalt's second album to be a perfect fit... especially because this cd of his live stand-up in Austin, TX in December 2006 comes with a dvd of his live stand up in Athens, GA two months earlier (and doin' some other stuff too)! In our opinion his Athens show is not as 'on' as the one in Austin, but nevertheless his Jonathan-Winters-in-miniature, stubbled, disgruntled grimace is just as entertaining to see as it is to hear. While he certainly shares with his buddy David Cross the deep influence of the Bill Hicks and George Carlin school of scathing yet insightful social political humor, he also shares with another fellow stand-up Dave Attell a penchant for liquor'd up, absurdist, saucy bon mots. He deftly juggles all of that while infusing the proceedings with his own ever present pottymouth, comic book geekiness and self deprecation.
This show took place at the Cap City Comedy Club in December 2006, and the only segments here that we recognize from a previous recording are the reworked versions of his Racist Cell Phones and Best Baby In The Universe bits (not that we're complaining... the latter is one of his best). You might recall that the original appeared on his unedited 222 Live & Uncut double cd that was released a few years back by the Chunklet Magazine folks (it didn't appear on the edited version of that show which was titled Feelin' Kinda Patton though). That means for those of you who haven't seen him perform live in the last couple years, you get 21 tracks of previously unheard hilarity. Awesome! Keep your ears peeled for his mention of Brian Dennehy and his explanation of the birds and the bees. Holy shit, it'll have you in wicked stitches. Need we say? Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful People And A Bridge Troll"
MPEG Stream: "The Best Baby In The Universe"

album cover PINHAS, RICHARD Iceland (Cuneiform) cd 13.98
Did you know electronic music pioneer and guitarist for the mighty '70s prog rock band Heldon, Richard Pinhas was recently in the Bay Area to play two criminally underpromoted shows? Yes, fortunately the word of mouth reached our ears at the very last minute, and some of us were able to attend this rare event. It was his first time performing in SF and only his second visit to the city in twenty five years. Less than ideal sound and somewhat awkward stage set up aside, Pinhas on guitar, his laptop collaborator Jerome Schmidt and drummer Antoine Paganotti made the most of the situation, holding the small audience rapt for the duration of their performance. Quite possibly the most intimate and casual setting in which he's performed in years. Pinhas' musical path has travelled from early loose rock jams into absolutely tight prog precision and outwards through richly textured atmospheric soundscapes.
Iceland is his third solo album which was released back in 1979. It focuses on the latter two directions, flowing seamlessly from one into the other and back again. The sixth track "The Last Kings Of Thule (Part 2)" highlights the deep influence Robert Fripp's snaking sinewy guitar work has had on Pinhas who slinks his way into far more dystopic territory. While the eighth track titled "Greenland" flows out into an epic expanse of overlapping cyclical synthesizer sequences. The album closes with the twenty four minute long Eno-friendly frosty shimmering dronescape of "Wintermusic". Meditative and beautiful. The album as a whole could be the perfect soundtrack to a winter night's Aurora Borealis. A majestic, hypnotic wonder.
MPEG Stream: "The Last Kings Of Thule (Part 2)"
MPEG Stream: "Greenland"
MPEG Stream: "Wintermusic"

album cover NEUROSIS Given To The Rising (Neurot) 2lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL!
New albums from old faves come and go, but when you say, there's a new Neurosis, we sit up and pay attention. Like contemporaries the Melvins, they've reached an iconic, utterly influential status at this point in their long career -- and yet still keep making rad, relevant albums that keep pushing their now archetypal sound further. Pioneers who keep on pioneering, getting better and better, even as hordes of other bands copy them and try to keep up. The word on the street was that Given To The Rising was a "return to the heavy" for Neurosis, not like they ever really left. But yes, this is HEAVY. We can't say (like we did about A Sun That Never Sets) that is is a "kinder, gentler" Neurosis. Not at all. The riffs will slay you, the vocals are fierce, yet the scope (musical, emotional) of this disc is impressively broad... The proggy, psychedelic, post-rock and (dare we say) gloom-pop melodic elements that run like a dark thread through their discography are present on these ten tracks, mostly all of epic lengths (as usual). Harrowing power. Depressive beauty. Ritual rumble. Alienated lyrics. Soft-loud dynamics. Droning space-outs. All utterly "owned" by the Neurosis crew. This band just levels everything and everyone in their path!
This is one that will satisfy old school Neurosis fans and yet would be a perfect first-time Neurosis experience too. For instance -- although we can't imagine this is too likely! -- if there are any Jesu fans out there who haven't ever heard Neurosis, do yourself a favor and pick this up pronto!! Arguably their best album since 1999's classic Times Of Grace.
MPEG Stream: "Given To The Rising"
MPEG Stream: "Fear And Sickness"
MPEG Stream: "Water Is Not Enough"

album cover NEUROSIS Given To The Rising (Neurot) cd 14.98
New albums from old faves come and go, but when you say, there's a new Neurosis, we sit up and pay attention. Like contemporaries the Melvins, they've reached an iconic, utterly influential status at this point in their long career -- and yet still keep making rad, relevant albums that keep pushing their now archetypal sound further. Pioneers who keep on pioneering, getting better and better, even as hordes of other bands copy them and try to keep up. The word on the street was that Given To The Rising was a "return to the heavy" for Neurosis, not like they ever really left. But yes, this is HEAVY. We can't say (like we did about A Sun That Never Sets) that is is a "kinder, gentler" Neurosis. Not at all. The riffs will slay you, the vocals are fierce, yet the scope (musical, emotional) of this disc is impressively broad... The proggy, psychedelic, post-rock and (dare we say) gloom-pop melodic elements that run like a dark thread through their discography are present on these ten tracks, mostly all of epic lengths (as usual). Harrowing power. Depressive beauty. Ritual rumble. Alienated lyrics. Soft-loud dynamics. Droning space-outs. All utterly "owned" by the Neurosis crew. This band just levels everything and everyone in their path!
This is one that will satisfy old school Neurosis fans and yet would be a perfect first-time Neurosis experience too. For instance -- although we can't imagine this is too likely! -- if there are any Jesu fans out there who haven't ever heard Neurosis, do yourself a favor and pick this up pronto!! Arguably their best album since 1999's classic Times Of Grace.
PS while supplies last, we've got a bonus dvd that comes with the cd... oh and also there WILL be a vinyl pressing, but it's not out yet.
MPEG Stream: "Given To The Rising"
MPEG Stream: "Fear And Sickness"
MPEG Stream: "Water Is Not Enough"

album cover DAVIS, BETTY They Say I'm Different (Light In The attic) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally this essential slab of raw classic funk get the proper, deluxe, loving reissue treatment it always deserved. Most importantly, unlike some of the previous versions, this is absolutely legit, so all the money goes straight to Ms Davis.
New super fancy digipak packaging with extra photos and liner notes, a huge booklet, and fancy glittery metallic printing. And as if that weren't enough, there's even a bunch of bonus tracks!!For all aficionados of the Funk, here's cause for celebration! The long-awaited cd reissues of these early '70s albums by Betty Davis, ex-wife of Miles (famously, the subject "They Say I'm Different"'s second track, "He Was A Big Freak")! Betty belts out her lowdown lyrics over some super heavy funk grooves, kinda like a rawer version of Lyn Collins backed not by the JBs but by the swampier P-Funk band (or on s/t Sly Stone's kick ass rhythm section!). Betty doesn't hold back and her band does their best to match her attitude. Both records (her third, "Nasty Girl", still awaits an official reissue but should hopefully soon be making the scene) are the quote unquote bomb. The self-titled one is her 1973 debut, and features jams like "If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up" and "Game Is My Middle Name". Larry Graham's the bassist, and Neal Schon (!) appears on guitar. The follow-up, "They Say I'm Different", continued Betty's Afrodelic party, with guests Buddy Miles and others, and made the list of "100 Records That Set The World On Fire" in The Wire magazine a few years back. Tough, sexy funk classics unearthed, don't miss 'em!
The 4 bonus tracks on They Say I'm Different are previously unreleased rough mixes from the original sessions!
MPEG Stream: "Shoop-B-Doop And Cop Him"
MPEG Stream: "He Was A Big Freak"
MPEG Stream: "Your Mama Wants Ya Back"

album cover DAVIS, BETTY s/t (Light In The Attic) cd 14.98
Finally this essential slab of raw classic funk get the proper, deluxe, loving reissue treatment it always deserved. Most importantly, unlike some of the previous versions, this is absolutely legit, so all the money goes straight to Ms Davis.
New super fancy digipak packaging with extra photos and liner notes, a huge booklet, and fancy glittery metallic printing. And as if that weren't enough, there's even a bunch of bonus tracks!! For all aficionados of the Funk, here's cause for celebration! The long-awaited cd reissues of these early '70s albums by Betty Davis, ex-wife of Miles (famously, the subject "They Say I'm Different"'s second track, "He Was A Big Freak")! Betty belts out her lowdown lyrics over some super heavy funk grooves, kinda like a rawer version of Lyn Collins backed not by the JBs but by the swampier P-Funk band (or on s/t Sly Stone's kick ass rhythm section!). Betty doesn't hold back and her band does their best to match her attitude. Both records (her third, "Nasty Girl", still awaits an official reissue but should hopefully soon be making the scene) are the quote unquote bomb. The self-titled one is her 1973 debut, and features jams like "If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up" and "Game Is My Middle Name". Larry Graham's the bassist, and Neal Schon (!) appears on guitar. The follow-up, "They Say I'm Different", continued Betty's Afrodelic party, with guests Buddy Miles and others, and made the list of "100 Records That Set The World On Fire" in The Wire magazine a few years back. Tough, sexy funk classics unearthed, don't miss 'em!
The three bonus tracks here are all unreleased, "Come Take Me", "You Won't See Me In The Morning" and "I Will Take That Ride"!! Quite possibly the most essential funk album of all time!
MPEG Stream: "Anti Love Song"
MPEG Stream: " Game Is My Middle Name"
MPEG Stream: "Come Take Me"

album cover JODOROWSKY, ALEJANDRO The Films Of Alejandro Jodorowsky: Fando Y Lis, El Topo, The Holy Mountain (Anchor Bay) 4dvd/2cd 49.00
Visionary cult cinephiles get ready to drool! If you were as excited as we were about the recent reissue of Kenneth Anger's early films, then this incredibly packaged and affordable 4dvd+2cd box set of the early films of Chilean theatrical genius Alejandro Jodorowsky will surely make your head explode!!! Fando Y Lis! El Topo!!, HOLY MOUNTAIN!!!! Marvelously restored and beautifully remastered, there is so much amazing material here that has either never been available before, or only available previously as extremely hard to find poor quality transfers from mediocre prints.
AND there's more! This set also includes the absolutely killer SOUNDTRACKS to both El Topo and yes, Holy Mountain!!! The Holy Mountain Soundtrack has never been released before and it so totally kills, and why wouldn't it, Don Cherry is all over it! But more about that in a minute, there's also bonus features, interviews, deleted scenes, audio commentary, a documentary and a short film from 1957 that was presumed lost until it was found early last year.
So for those who may be unfamiliar with Jodorowsky's films, a bit of back story:
Born in Chile and struggling to become an actor, Jodorowsky became fed up with the idea of scripted theatre and moved to Paris to study mime. Working with the great mime, Marcel Marceau while at the same time influenced by the Surrealists, Antonin Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty, Jean Cocteau's mythical fantasias, and the European Art House cinema of Fellini and Bunuel, Jodorowsky relocated to Mexico to form the theatre troupe, The Panic Movement, which would stage early happenings (involving lots of nudity and rotting food) and existentialist plays by Ionesco, Beckett and Fernando Arrabel. It was Arrabel's play, "Fando Y Lis" that would inspire him to move away from the theatre into cinema, but far from any structured or direct form of filmmaking. Jodorowsky wanted to re-interpret Arrabel's play by filming it completely from memory and in a remote and ruggedly extreme locale. Here he would bring together all the soul-baring psyche of experimental theatre, the role-playing excess of costumes, props and pageantry, the ritualistic entanglements of violence and beauty as catalysts of transformation, and most importantly the notion of existence as a journey through all kinds of personal and mystical revelations both sacred and profane. All of these qualities permeate each of the three films here.
Ok, you get the idea. So let's just break it down for you, what you get from this awesome box set:
--Fando Y Lis (1968): Jodorowsky's first full length black and white feature started riots at its premiere at the Acapulco Film Festival and was banned in Mexico due to its violent sexual imagery and ritualistic mocking of church beliefs. Based on Arrabel's play about a pair of dysfunctional lovers (one impotent, the other paralyzed) in a Fellini-esque quest for the spiritual city of Tar.
Extras on this disc include the 1994 French documentary, La Constellation which features interviews with Marcel Marceau, Peter Gabriel (who was inspired by El Topo, when he wrote The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway), and the French sci-fi illustrator, Moebius, who began working with Jodorowsky on the failed attempt to film Frank Herbert's Dune, which sparked Jodorowsky's interest in graphic novels.
--El Topo (1970): The bloody surreal western that spawned the Midnight Movie. Funded by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, this film is like a Sergio Leone film on a serious dose of brown acid.
Extras include an interview with Jodorowsky about the Midnight Movie phenomenon.
--Holy Mountain (1973): The ultimate spiritual quest film. Jodorowsky takes us through every imaginable belief system only to completely shatter our preconceptions about spiritual enlightenment.
Extras include deleted scenes and commentary about Jodorowsky's continuing interest in the Tarot.
--La Cravate (1957): A 35 minute silent film in color based on Thomas Mann's The Transposed Heads about a girl who sells heads and the men who are her customers. This film was presumed lost until its discovery last year in someone's attic in Germany!
--El Topo Soundtrack: 18 tracks composed by Jodorowsky and John Barham inspired by both the soundtrack work of Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota. Full of flutes and droning horns, accordions and organs and twisted Mariachi styles.
--Holy Mountain Soundtrack: 24 tracks composed by Jodorowsky, Don Cherry and Ronald Frangipane. Ranging from spiritual free drones to acid rock to Moroccan desert jams to pensive marches to soft jazz and everywhere in between. There are even themes for each of the nine planetary characters. Such a wild, weird, and wonderful soundtrack and it alone is worth the price of admission.
Phew! So can you guess, that this is totally and absolutely recommended!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MPEG Stream: "La Catedral De Los Puercos (The Pigs Monastery)"
MPEG Stream: "Vals Fantasma"
MPEG Stream: "Las Flores Nacen En El Barro (Flowers Born In the Mud)"
MPEG Stream: "Trance Mutation"
MPEG Stream: "Psychedelic Weapons"
MPEG Stream: "Baby Snakes"

album cover TIMONY, M. BAND (MARY) The Shapes We Make (Kill Rock Stars) cd 14.98
Whoa, this first few songs on this new Mary Timony album sounds about as close to her old band Helium as it could possibly get. And in our opinion that is a mighty good thing because although we've appreciated her many solo flights of fancy into fantasylands filled with castles, wizards and unicorns, our hearts still pine for the good ol' college radio solid Helium. On The Shapes We Make, Timony slips easily into each of her different musical guises that she's assumed over the years. Medieval maiden, indie rock firecracker, piano parlor princess, woodland pixie, dissonant axe goddess... yes, she's been all of those and then some. This is one of her best, most well-rounded albums to date! Recommended for old fans and neophytes alike!
MPEG Stream: "Sharpshooter"
MPEG Stream: "Summer's Fawn"

album cover VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS OST (B-Music / Finders Keepers) lp 29.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now available on vinyl!
Well, that just does it, doesn't it?! In case their existing catalog, which includes reissues of Selda, Jean-Claude Vannier, Yamasuki Singers, Mustafa Ozkent and Bruno Spoerri, didn't already do it, the Finders Keepers label's decision to release the soundtrack of this awesome early '70s Czech New Wave film (one of Cup's faves) totally confirms that they rule... or at least confirms that they share our taste in music and movies!
Now, we all know that a soundtrack can be an integral, transformative power in a film, no question, but when one can stand alone sans visuals it takes on a whole 'nother life. Needless to say, we're not talking about those recent lazily compiled nostalgia-button pushing collections of familiar pop songs. Seventies films and their soundtracks were a breed all their own. Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders is a perfect example.
A mesmerizing motif-heavy procession of flutes, tinkling bells, harpsichord, organ, and vocal interludes, Lubos Fiser's soundtrack contributes to the establishment and intensification of the nightmare / dream atmospheres of Jaromil Jires' film. At once lulling and unsettling, recurring timorous prepubescent choral incantations are startled by ominous organ exclamations. On its own, the melange of the carnivalesque, music box-y and chamber drones totally captures a distinctly haunting, pixie-dusted delirium.
Sound good? If so, you need this now, and of course see the film as soon as possible (it was recently released on dvd)! Definitely for those who were spellbound by the soundtracks to The Wicker Man (the original movie and not the recent Nicholas Cage remake!) or Suspiria. Yes, three very different works, but all equally affecting. Absolutely recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Magic Yard"
MPEG Stream: "Brother And Sister"
MPEG Stream: "In Flames"

album cover LOCUST, THE New Erections (Anti) cd 13.98
Holy shit... New Erections indeed! While in the past The Locust have been frequently typecast as just another obnoxious, bratty, fuck-you band of perpetual malcontents, they've grown to be one of the most tight, virulent units around. This album's first track alone ("Aotkpta") turns the hardcore and metal contingents on their collective ear. Old Locust fans fear not, there's still plenty of splatter and thunder, but there's also a fierce precision that sets them apart from the pack. If there was any question, New Erections confirms that the band's four members have got chops to spare. Unlike many of their contemporaries who equate the punk rock ethos with rushed and raw sloppiness, The Locust slice through your ear cartilage with speed and exacting mathematics, leaving them a bloody heap of complex tatters. Exceptional musicianship at every turn coupled with their consistently concentrated tenacious count-that-shit! fury, not to mention Joey Karam's obvious thorough knowledge of analog synthesis makes for a huge, awesome sounding end result. With regards to the latter, Karam's synthesizers are all analog which means each gnarly sound (of which there are many!) needed to be individually dialed in, honed and crafted. Furthermore, it's not an overstatement to say that at this point Gabe Serbian can go toe to toe with any of today's top drummers. Another new development that was immediately noticeable was that their multi-part vocals have been pitched down from their trademark screech-bark making the nihilistic lyrics somewhat more decipherable.
Still as short-winded as ever, The Locust are the lean mean masters of succinctness, executing all of the above in less than twenty four minutes. Fucking great!
MPEG Stream: "Aotkpta"
MPEG Stream: "We Have Reached An Official Verdict: Nobody Gives A Shit"
MPEG Stream: "The UnwillingÉLed By The UnqualifiedÉDoing The UnnecessaryÉFor The Ungrateful"
MPEG Stream: "One Manometer Away From Mutually Assured Relocation"

album cover VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS OST (B-Music / Finders Keepers) cd 15.98
Well, that just does it, doesn't it?! In case their existing catalog, which includes reissues of Selda, Jean-Claude Vannier, Yamasuki Singers, Mustafa Ozkent and Bruno Spoerri, didn't already do it, the Finders Keepers label's decision to release the soundtrack of this awesome early '70s Czech New Wave film (one of Cup's faves) totally confirms that they rule... or at least confirms that they share our taste in music and movies!
Now, we all know that a soundtrack can be an integral, transformative power in a film, no question, but when one can stand alone sans visuals it takes on a whole 'nother life. Needless to say, we're not talking about those recent lazily compiled nostalgia-button pushing collections of familiar pop songs. Seventies films and their soundtracks were a breed all their own. Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders is a perfect example.
A mesmerizing motif-heavy procession of flutes, tinkling bells, harpsichord, organ, and vocal interludes, Lubos Fiser's soundtrack contributes to the establishment and intensification of the nightmare / dream atmospheres of Jaromil Jires' film. At once lulling and unsettling, recurring timorous prepubescent choral incantations are startled by ominous organ exclamations. On its own, the melange of the carnivalesque, music box-y and chamber drones totally captures a distinctly haunting, pixie-dusted delirium.
Sound good? If so, you need this now, and of course see the film as soon as possible (it was recently released on dvd)! Definitely for those who were spellbound by the soundtracks to The Wicker Man (the original movie and not the recent Nicholas Cage remake!) or Suspiria. Yes, three very different works, but all equally affecting. Absolutely recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Magic Yard"
MPEG Stream: "Brother And Sister"
MPEG Stream: "In Flames"

album cover ANGER, KENNETH The Films Of Kenneth Anger: Volume One (Fantoma) dvd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Such a momentous occasion! Renegade American filmmaker and (oc)cult figure Kenneth Anger's early works have finally been released on dvd! Fans and disciples, you need squint through fuzzy faded VHS and 16mm copies no more. The five shorts were meticulously restored by the UCLA Film Archive, and the dvd features crisp, high definition transfers. Anger's films haven't looked this vivid in decades. Stunning! Works include Anger's debut Fireworks (a sailor fantasy / nightmare gay cinema classic from 1947); Puce Moment (a 1949 short which exudes the absolutely giddy glamour of early Hollywood); Rabbit Moon (a mesmerizing black and white dream from 1950) - the original 16-minute long version could easily be imagined as an alternate-universe mime scene from Marcel Carne's 1945 cinematic masterpiece Children Of Paradise; the mystical garden stroll of Eaux D'Artifice (1953); and last but not least Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome (dripping with garish colors and bizarre bacchanalia, this film from 1954 was Anger's filmic launch point into the rites and mysticism of Aleister Crowley).
The dvd extras include extensive, frank commentary by Anger and rare outtakes from Rabbit's Moon. Indeed, Anger has long been known to go in and tweak his films years after their 'completion' -- changing music, re-editing scenes, adding, subtracting. Ardent, eagle-eyed fans will probably notice a few such cases on this dvd. And if that's not enough for you, there's also a big 48-page book filled with rare photos, stills, storyboard sketches, and an introduction penned by Martin Scorsese.

album cover I'M ALAN PARTRIDGE Series 1 (Warner / BBC America) 2dvd 34.00
A-haaaaaa! Laughing is fun... and healthful too! We're quite partial to a hearty belly laugh now and then. And if you share our sense of humor -- which we're pretty sure many of you do (test questions: did you love the original BBC series The Office more than the US version? Are you becoming dangerously obsessed with Peep Show, the UK's version of Curb Your Enthusiasm?!)-- then you'll be doing lots of it too while watching this dvd which has finally been released domestically!
Stateside awareness of Steve Coogan, the British comic madman of many less than savory personas, has certainly grown significantly in the past year, mostly due to his prominent appearances in hip movies such as Tristram Shandy and Marie Antoinette. That said, this is the one and only Coogan domestic release that truly matters... at least where Cup is concerned. This dvd showcases Coogan at his best, most wickedly funny, most uncomfortable. It's amazing how completely immersed he is in this character. The title is no lie! We're talking about a remarkably fully realized, deceptively complex, alternately despicable and pitiful, genuine wince'n'cringe individual. It oozes from his pores, revealing itself in every word and mannerism, both conscious and unconscious.
The fictional story in a nutshell: Once upon a time, Partridge was a former TV variety show host (his program was called "Knowing Me Knowing You" -- yes, he has a thing for ABBA which in itself equals more brownie points with Cup) and news show The Day Today's sports reporter, but is now a small town early bird radio show DJ living in a motor lodge, and desperately in pursuit of his former 'glory'. Partridge vacillates between helpless, awkward manchild and horseblinder-ed arrogant wanker. But one thing is for sure, all that he does, he does with absolute conviction and determination with his own (distorted to everyone but himself) sense of logic -- regardless of (and oblivious to) the degree to which he may be making an appalling, insensitive ass of himself. His interactions with others, namely the small staff at the Linton Travel Tavern and his dutiful P.A. Lynn, are nothing short of priceless. One of the brilliant-est things about this show is that there's not only plenty of the 'holy shit, that's hilarious!' kind of moments, but also the gradual cumulative squirm that we find somehow ever so perversely irresistible. This is razor sharp, brutally frank, but equally subtle television comedy as only the Brits can do, and they've been doing it for years! Hard to believe that this series originally aired back in '97.
Stateside comedies simply can't touch 'em (and really should stop trying!), and invariably end up coming off as forced, trying too hard for shock value, and ultimately missing all of the key nuances. Really, the only American shows that have come anywhere close to this delicious discomfort are maybe Curb Your Enthusiasm and the ahead-of-the-curve Larry Sanders Show, and the latter's release on dvd got stalled at Season One... yeesh. Actually for those of familiar with the The Office (UK) and The Larry Sanders Show, think of this as the missing link between the two. Oooh! (or should that be "Ewww!") Doesn't that sound good? C'mon now, get "up with a Partridge!"

album cover ROTHBARD, ANDREW DOUGLAS Abandoned Meander (Smooch) cd 13.98
Andrew Douglas Rothbard, the self-taught keyboardist, bassist and vocalist formerly of potent (and elusive) aural conjurers Pleasure Forever, Slaves and The VSS, has returned with his first solo album. On Abandoned Meander, Mr. Rothbard seems unconcerned with... no, make that completely detached from trends and popularity contests, and his openness to reinvention results in music which flows forth so naturally it seems effortless.
While passages of Abandoned Meander are fleetingly reminiscent of early T-Rex, Zoso-era Zep or more recent artists such as Devendra Banhart and Ariel Pink, these generally lo-fi but ultra textural and weirdly 'orchestrated' creative forces exist in a realm far outside and beyond the current crowd of experimental psych-folk artists. Time is just another word in the as above / so below matrix of this release, with the I-ching derived musical concepts and astrological / musical conjunctions aligning just in time for us to hit 'repeat play' and reenter Abandoned Meander's audio alchemy. It's swirling strangeness also has the good sense to leave behind the faux eccentricities and posturing of mere mortals, with each hazy number crafted from an open palette of conventional and more unorthodox instrumentation. New and different but not wholly unfamiliar, Abandoned Meander may initially conjure a neo-psychedelic folk impression, but just as swiftly an altogether distinct and personal delirium takes over... and it's not one that we want to escape from anytime soon. Need we say? Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Rabbit Hole"
MPEG Stream: "Tempeste"

album cover ROTHBARD, ANDREW DOUGLAS Abandoned Meander (Peaking Mandala) lp 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL! Same record... different mix!
Andrew Douglas Rothbard, the self-taught keyboardist, bassist and vocalist formerly of potent (and elusive) aural conjurers Pleasure Forever, Slaves and The VSS, has returned with his first solo album. On Abandoned Meander, Mr. Rothbard seems unconcerned with... no, make that completely detached from trends and popularity contests, and his openness to reinvention results in music which flows forth so naturally it seems effortless.
While passages of Abandoned Meander are fleetingly reminiscent of early T-Rex, Zoso-era Zep or more recent artists such as Devendra Banhart and Ariel Pink, these generally lo-fi but ultra textural and weirdly 'orchestrated' creative forces exist in a realm far outside and beyond the current crowd of experimental psych-folk artists. Time is just another word in the as above / so below matrix of this release, with the I-ching derived musical concepts and astrological / musical conjunctions aligning just in time for us to hit 'repeat play' and reenter Abandoned Meander's audio alchemy. It's swirling strangeness also has the good sense to leave behind the faux eccentricities and posturing of mere mortals, with each hazy number crafted from an open palette of conventional and more unorthodox instrumentation. New and different but not wholly unfamiliar, Abandoned Meander may initially conjure a neo-psychedelic folk impression, but just as swiftly an altogether distinct and personal delirium takes over... and it's not one that we want to escape from anytime soon. Need we say? Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Rabbit Hole"
MPEG Stream: "Tempeste"

album cover MONKEES, THE Head (Rhino) dvd 17.98
Psychedelic, surreal, bizarre, expansive, campy, politically charged, charming, stylized, kitschy, technicolorful, captivating. Oh my god, what the heck could all of those adjectives apply to? The Monkees' Head of course! Yup, it is all of that and so much more! If you've passed on watching Head in the past because you saw The Monkees' name on it, you've been seriously missing out on a work that is *exactly* whatever you might think The Monkees and their music was, but it also reaches far beyond their scope as well as that of more shall we say 'serious' auteurs... and successfully so. Co-written and co-produced by Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson, this 1968 movie continues to kick ass almost forty years after its original release. Seriously, DO NOT MISS THIS!

album cover SENOR COCONUT El Baile Aleman (Multicolor) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Few artists' music can guarantee to brighten your days and nights the way Atom Heart (and his numerous aliases) can. Any new release from this fella is received with a huge aQ grin! If you dug the recent Yellow Magic Fever tribute from the always deliriously delightful Senor Coconut and Los Negritos' Speed-Merengue Mega-Mix, you know what we're talking about and you definitely won't wanna miss these freshly reissued earlier Senor Coconut releases including this, his awesome Kraftwerk tribute! Even if you got 'em the first time around, heck, we're sure you know somebody who'd benefit from this festive treat!
Back in 2000, we had this to say about El Baile Aleman: Senor Coconut is actually the guy better known as techno/electronica artist Atom Heart. He's moved to Chile and gone all Latin and groovy on us. However, all the songs on this (high-) concept album are Kraftwerk covers! So this joins a long line of weird and wonderful tributes to Kraftwerk. Soon we'll be able to have a whole bin at Aquarius dedicated to such endeavors: the Balenescu Quartet one, the Terre Thaemlitz one, the one with all the Slovenian acts, the Japanese import one, the Miami Bass one, etc. etc. Anyways, so incredibly executed down to the tiniest detail, this one will sit at the top of the heap! Super duper fun.
MPEG Stream: "The Robots (Cha-Cha-Cha)"
MPEG Stream: "Neon Lights (Cha-Cha-Cha)"

album cover VANNIER, JEAN-CLAUDE L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches (B-Music / Finders Keepers) cd 16.98
Alright everyone, once more with feeling! Last year (2005) we got this amazing reissued treasure in stock and it came with two bonus tracks from a rare 7" single entitled Point D'Interrogation. We simply couldn't say enough glowing things about it! Now just one year later the album has been reissued again, not only with the pair of extra audio treats but also with an exclusive video of "L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches Et Les Allumettes" performed live on the Roland Petit Show ('twas a musical accompaniment to Yves Saint Laurent's fashion show)!
Here's what we said about the 2005 edition:
Some reissues of long-lost gems arrive here with little fanfare and turn out to be great nonetheless. This one though, came our way emblazoned with blurbs proclaiming its immense awesomeness quoting the likes of Jim O'Rourke, Tim Gane, Jarvis Cocker and David Holmes. And guess what? Those guys do indeed know what they're talking about! This IS fantastic. Here we have an action-packed instrumental concept album whose title translates into English as The Child Killer Of The Flies, which musically narrates a simple but creepy story by Serge Gainsbourg (written *after* he heard the album, not before, and included the liner notes, explaining each track title) about the horrific revenge of flies on a child who had tortured them. This musical story-telling is by way of schizoid arrangements of tracks that range in sound from groovy pop to jazz to avant-garde tape music to fuzz guitar rock! Sounds good, eh? Good 'n' weird for sure.
L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches is a "Fellini-esque psychedelic symphony" originally released (but poorly distributed and relegated to general obscurity) in 1972, credited to a unknown group called Isolitudes. The man behind Insolitudes, though, was one Jean-Claude Vannier, a musician and producer from the happening '60s French pop ("Ye Ye music") scene who had scored film soundtracks and collaborated with Serge Gainsbourg, most famously providing the arrangements for Gainsbourg's highly-rated L'Histoire De Melody Nelson album (the reissue of which we wish we had in stock also, but haven't been able to get a hold of lately). This record is thereby cited as the follow-up to that one-of-a-kind conceptual classic. Itself it's pretty much one-of-a-kind too. Funky and groovy, as well as deliriously, disorientingly hallucinogenic, this will hit you with lush string arrangements one moment, sound effects of sheer terror the next... it's psych, it's prog, it's funk, it's musique concrete. There's even a chorus of car horns put to good use here! It's the freakiest 'sploitation soundtrack that never was. The insert booklet boasts extensive and informative (and quite laudatory) liner notes by DJ Andy Votel. Very very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "L'Enfant La Mouche Et Les Allumettes"
MPEG Stream: "Le Roi Des Mouches Et La Confiture De Rouse"
MPEG Stream: "Mort Du Roi Des Mouches"

album cover COYLE & SHARPE These 2 Men Are Imposters (Sharpeworld) 3cd-r + dvd-r 32.00
Hallelujah!!! All of you folks already well-versed in the much-more-than-comedy duo of Jim Coyle and Mal Sharpe, you know this is the one you've been waiting for! If you've not yet gotten your introductory dose of their genius antics, this is a perfect place to commence your schooling. For a brief spell in the early '60s -- waaay back before everyone and his mother became acclimatized to guerrilla 'man on the street' style pranks -- these two sharp dressed gents were wreaking havoc in and around SF, blindsiding pedestrians along Market Street. Their unflinchingly methodical mischief was an effortless razor sharp blend of social criticism, surrealism and utter hilarity. Often their verbal interrogation would take on somewhat sinister and/or downright subversive undertones. Indeed, theirs was a much more refined and thought provoking mind-boggle than the recent parade of heavy on the obnoxious, gross out factor peeps such as the Jerky Boys or Jackass crew. Sure much of Coyle and Sharpe's antics may seem tame by today's standards, but simply put, their perfect balance of lightning quick wit and stoic straight-facedness has seldom been matched, let alone bested.
Released on the Sharpeworld label run by Mal Sharpe's daughter Jennifer, this fantastic four disc set comes pretty much straight from the horse's mouth... well, at least one of the two horses' mouths. Sadly Jim Coyle passed away in 1993, but in the years since his passing his cohort Mal Sharpe and their legions of diehard fans (including one Henry Rollins) have kept the Coyle & Sharpe magic alive. Sharpe compiled the proceedings here which include a Best of '63 collection recorded off the radio on New Year's Eve '63, a reissue of Coyle & Sharpe On The Loose (originally released in 1995 on Rollins' 213 label), a third cd of recently unearthed raw recording odds'n'ends with their earliest known recording from '61 plus 'Coyle & Sharpe Get Arrested' (yes, really!), and finally a dvd of the pair's 1965 pilot TV show The Imposters (the socialite dinner party and employee evaluation segments are particular viewing treats). This is truly a case of that old truism "they don't make 'em like they used to"! These 2 Men Are Imposters is a genuine treasure trove. Highly recommended!!
[Note: the version we stock now is a repressing, in a smaller box, the discs all cd-rs and dvd-rs instead of the manufactured discs that they were before, for some reason, unfortunately.]
MPEG Stream: "Record Your Stomach"
MPEG Stream: "Daring But Dead"
MPEG Stream: "114 Noises"

album cover LIAISONS DANGEREUSES s/t (Hit Thing) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another great reissue from the Hit Thing label! Joining the Georges Montalba pipe organ cd on their catalog is this mysterious European minimal industrial album from the very early '80s.
Liaisons Dangereuses were primarily two individuals, Beate Bartel (who in later years went on to form Malaria!) and Chris Haas (a founding member of DAF). They were accompanied on vocals by Krishna Goineau who sang in French, German and Spanish (a few customers have mistaken his flamboyant delivery for that of Falco). Very much akin to Einsturzende Neubauten, The Normal, Suicide and DAF. Edgy, dark and throbbing, the programmed nailgun-like beats are punctuated by Goineau's impassioned singing/speaking, some high pitched female backing vocals, squidgy electronic belches, an occasional saxophone run, and much metallic clanks and thuds. It was all mixed at Conny Plank's studio. The one track here that may be familiar is their dance 'hit' "Los Ninos Del Parque", however L.D.'s impact goes beyond this one song. Indeed they were/are highly regarded and very influential in techno, house and yes, electroclash circles. Fans of present-day electro, EBM, post punk and no wave should definitely check this out as it's the real deal - solidly kicking ass on many of the current crop. May leave you reeling.
MPEG Stream: "Etre assis ou danser"
MPEG Stream: "El macho y la nena"

album cover BASTIEN, PIERRE Pop (Rephlex) 2lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!!
We sure are suckers for unconventional music making. Be it accidental (ice melting, applause, junkyards, metal rusting, fire burning) or environmental (elephants, sled dogs, cats purring, FROGS!, bats) and most especially the mysterious or unexplained (the sounds of the dead, breaking through the radio waves, haunting shortwave spy transmissions). Then there is a whole other realm of unconventional music making: the mad scientist. Why form a band, when you can construct robots and machines to play all the instruments? Why actually play the piano, or the guitar, or the drums, when you can construct an elaborate set of pulleys and levers and gears and axles that will play them for you? Why be happy with a turntable that plays records with only one stylus when you can make music with a turntable equipped with multiple needles? We can only assume Pierre Bastien asked these same questions, and the answer he came up with is Pop. Forty five minutes of simple, repetitive, hypnotic and mesmerizing machine driven minimal krautrock. That's right, krautrock is what this sounds like.
In lesser hands a room full of self playing instruments would most likely result in a sterile series of sound events, but Bastien has a deft hand and a keen ear, and breathes life into his automatons, delicate contraptions that each contribute a unique element to a song, not just spitting out sounds -- strange gadgets that play simple chords on a keyboard, an apparatus to beat out simple insistent rhythms, all manner of haunting minor key plinkety plonk, crisp windup toy clickety clacks and disgruntled grinding large machinery groans and whines, some strange warped turntablizations, wearily wheezing woodwinds, all woven into spare stretches of minimally propulsive ambience. Sounds a bit like an army of tiny wind up toys assembled in an automated sonic ballet, an inhuman menagerie making music more human that it seems possible. The vibe is very fuzzy and washed out, droney and dolorous, smeary and sepia-toned, definite shades of Philip Jeck and Tim Hecker, with plenty of creak and crackle surrounding the minimal melodies and subtle rhythmic pulses within each song. It's easy to become obsessed with the method behind the music, and the amount of obviously painstaking preparation that went into creating these machines. And why not?! It's absolutely mind boggling to be sure, but even beyond the mere construction of these music making mechanisms, imagine figuring out how to get these 'things' to make these sounds, and THEN somehow to compose music this lovely and captivating. Seems impossible. Surely, Pop is too perfect to be accidental, too beautiful to be pure luck, too musical to be anything other than the work of a brilliant mad sonic scientist. Or better yet, and possibly more likely, imagine Bastien is nothing if not lucky, a man who somehow stumbled upon a secret world of machines, in some mysterious forgotten warehouse, in some dark overlooked part of town, an insulated little world populated by these devices, not a living breathing creature in sight, just shelves full of strange little contraptions, all running endlessly and self controlled, creating this beautiful music as if that's what they were designed to do, and he was just the first to stumble upon this place, these things, and was able to capture these mysterious sounds before one night, that building and those things were nowhere to be found. Sounds farfetched, maybe a little silly, but it's the sort of romantic story that befits music this warm and beautiful and mysterious, whether it was ultimately the work of a man, or the just the serendipitous sounds of a room full of machines.
MPEG Stream: "Eye"
MPEG Stream: "Noon"
MPEG Stream: "Deed"

album cover SUPERCONDUCTOR Bastardsong (Boner) cd 13.98
An old time favorite that has strange ties to some of our current faves!
Not a new release, but we figured fans of the New Pornographers / Zumpano school of fantastic pop just might want to take a trip back to some pre-New Porn Carl Newman-penned weirdly wonderful hits. Superconductor were a veritable crowd of Vancouver indie rockers who were known to annually perform an honorable tribute to Neil Diamond with great aplomb, and who all too often were dismissed as simply a quantity-not-quality, eight guitar, maximum volume, hairy, screwy supergroup bunch of guys (which they indeed were earlier on), In later days they seemed to become much more of a Newman-dominated group. Brilliantly covering Donovan's "Colors" and The La's "There She Goes" (long before the dreadful Six Pence None The Richer's horrendously bland version). His mighty grand pop songwriting skills seeped into the works of the 'Conductor making for a much more melodic and crafted album than previous noisier efforts. That's not to say that they're no longer hefty nor immensely retarded as hell at times. No way! Case in point, "Gimp Stroll" and the lil' twinkie sounds of "Merry Tune Of Seduction". That said they also kick ass on many current electronic-rock bands such as Trans Am with tracks like "Computer Stroll" then leap into some weepy-eyed, melodramatic balladry on "Mary Ann". And you can even catch a glimpse of his formerly more frequently heard shriek on "Goddess of Fire, Poetry, Handicrafts And Metalwork". With a few exceptions, most tracks are mere sonic spurts rarely stretching past a couple minutes a piece, wasting not a moment before proceeding on to their next musical mission. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "The Bastard Overture"
MPEG Stream: "The Heaven That Is Everywhere"
MPEG Stream: "The Strip Oracle"

album cover KNIFE, THE Silent Shout (Mute) cd 15.98
The hip kids have been all a-buzz about this album for weeks already, and it's no wonder. Silent Shout is the bestest electro-party record around right now. Super super fun from Sweden that treads the shadowy perimeter of goth industrial (think: WaxTrax Records circa early '90s My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult). The brother and sister duo Olof and Karin Dreijer have really come into their own on this one. We've heard some comparisons to Ladytron, and we can certainly hear some similarities in the softer synth pop tracks, but The Knife are looser, edgier, more gregarious, more... strange! So if you dig Ladytron, but you maybe want something that struts with more attitude and ambition, give The Knife a go! Silent Shout is packed with a variety of juicy jaunty beats, sputtery'n'swooopy synth lines and the vocals... ah, the vocals! In particular, Sister Karin's are a bit like Bjork in their cooing expressiveness but a lot more tweaked, petulant and sauced up. Brother Olof provides a complementary smooth deep croon and downright weird guy delivery. Right around the time your feet get tired from all the dancin' (or other involuntary body movements), The Knife deftly insert a little down time in the form of the sweet lilt of "Na Na Na" and the beautiful euro-cabaret stylings of "Marble House". Then they pick it up again for the delightfully bizarre stomp of "One Hit". Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "We Share Our Mother's Health"
MPEG Stream: "Marble House"
MPEG Stream: "One Hit"

album cover AMON DUUL II Yeti (Revisited ) cd 17.98
It's been reissued again and again, as well is should 'cause this is one of the best albums EVER everyone at AQ agrees and should always be in print, and you should even own more than one copy it's that good. For some reason, the rights to this album (and ADII's others as well) seem to constantly be in flux from one label to the next -- this time it's in the care of an outfit called Revisited Records, who have put it in a digipack almost identical to its previous incarnation on Repertoire, but sadly without the two bonus tracks from singles that that one had.
Anyway, maybe you're wondering what the heck the big deal is with Yeti, so here's our review we wrote last time it got reissued:
The absolute hardest albums to write about are those we hold in the highest esteem and though we have an aversion to the general notion of a "desert island selection", this Amon Duul II disc is one of those albums that we could see as an definite inclusion on a short list of "must have" rock records! 1970's Yeti is the second album of Amon Duul II, succeeding Phallus Dei, and captures these krautrockers at their zenith. The album opens with the four movement opus "Soap Shop Rock", an amazing 13+ minute track that encompasses the gamut of psychedelia. It begins as an uptempo number with driving bass and drums in which vocals, guitars and amplified fiddles swirl around in a multitude of melodic variations in counterpoint before breaking down into one of the most kick ass tempo changes ever performed in rock; a heavy dirge that never fails to knock my knee caps loose, and it's got a guitar line that certainly must have been held in immense reverence by Kramer at some formative point in his career. The song doesn't settle down there, but continues in its focused meanderings for another ten minutes, retaining enough of an anchor of its beginnings to give it coherence as a unified whole. The rest of the album is equally amazing, touching everything from blasted proto-punk psych ("Archangels Thunderbird" and "Eye-Shaking King") to spacey drone improv (the fifteen minutes of "Yeti Talks To Yogi" and "Sandoz In The Rain"). Essential krautrock. In fact, one of the best records EVER.
It's one of those albums, like First Utterance by Comus and Satori by Flower Travellin' Band, that when it's playing, we think, why listen to anything else again??
MPEG Stream: "Soap Shop Rock - Halluzination Guillotine"
MPEG Stream: "Archangels Thunderbird"
MPEG Stream: "Soap Shop Rock - Flesh-Coloured Anti-Aircraft Alarm Clock"

AMON DUUL II Yeti (Revisited) 2lp 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yes, now reissued on vinyl!!! It's been reissued on cd again and again, as well is should 'cause this is one of the best albums EVER everyone at AQ agrees, and should always be in print, and you should even own more than one copy it's that good. This is the first vinyl reissue we've seen though, released by the same outfit that did the most recent cd digipack reish. Four sides of Yeti's genius, in a gatefold sleeve bearing that iconic krautrock cover image of Shrat with his scythe.
Anyway, maybe you're wondering what the heck the big deal is with Yeti, so here's our review we wrote the last time it got reissued:
The absolute hardest albums to write about are those we hold in the highest esteem and though we have an aversion to the general notion of a "desert island selection", this Amon Duul II disc is one of those albums that we could see as an definite inclusion on a short list of "must have" rock records! 1970's Yeti is the second album of Amon Duul II, succeeding Phallus Dei, and captures these krautrockers at their zenith. The album opens with the four movement opus "Soap Shop Rock", an amazing 13+ minute track that encompasses the gamut of psychedelia. It begins as an uptempo number with driving bass and drums in which vocals, guitars and amplified fiddles swirl around in a multitude of melodic variations in counterpoint before breaking down into one of the most kick ass tempo changes ever performed in rock; a heavy dirge that never fails to knock my knee caps loose, and it's got a guitar line that certainly must have been held in immense reverence by Kramer at some formative point in his career. The song doesn't settle down there, but continues in its focused meanderings for another ten minutes, retaining enough of an anchor of its beginnings to give it coherence as a unified whole. The rest of the album is equally amazing, touching everything from blasted proto-punk psych ("Archangels Thunderbird" and "Eye-Shaking King") to spacey drone improv (the fifteen minutes of "Yeti Talks To Yogi" and "Sandoz In The Rain"). Essential krautrock. In fact, one of the best records EVER.
It's one of those albums, like First Utterance by Comus and Satori by Flower Travellin' Band, that when it's playing, we think, why listen to anything else again??
MPEG Stream: "Soap Shop Rock - Halluzination Guillotine"
MPEG Stream: "Archangels Thunderbird"
MPEG Stream: "Soap Shop Rock - Flesh-Coloured Anti-Aircraft Alarm Clock"

album cover HELDON Well And Alive: Live In Nancy 1979 (Captain Trip) 2cd 33.00
What a difference a few years made! Of the two live Heldon albums that we just got in, this one from '79 kicks so much precision ass (while the other from '75-76 is looser, more straight-forward jam rock). Awesome! On the first disc, the band effortlessly locks into hypnotic rhythmically complex cycles driven by Francois Auger's incredibly tight yet dextrous drumming. Some stretches are austere, atmospheric and almost soothing, while others possess a mysterious dark force that'll thrust you back in you seat, and still others' synthed-out spaciness might have you tripping your pants off. Mind-melting. The second disc is less kinetic, more along the lines of frontman Richard Pinhas' later solo guitar and synthesizer drone explorations (think: more Tangerine Dream, less King Crimson). Please note: be forewarned that the recording quality is less than stellar (somewhat murky at times), but also keep in mind that these are previously unreleased tracks. Personally we feel the pros outweigh the cons in this situation, but of course you'll have to decide for yourself.
If you're new to this group, allow us to simply proclaim: late '70s Heldon = psych-prog / electronic rock at its finest. Prior to entering the live Heldon arena, we'd highly recommended checking out 1977's Interface and 1979's Stand-By. Fierce, menacing and propulsive. Limited to 1000!
MPEG Stream: "Heldon UFO War Machine"
MPEG Stream: "Red Line Target"

SEBADOH III (Domino) 2cd 14.98
Lots of claims could be made for best indie rock record ever. Pavement's Slanted And Enchanted is an obvious choice. But there are tons of other contenders, records by Dinosaur Jr., Galaxie 500, Seam, Archers Of Loaf, the Pixies, the Breeders, Unrest, Slint, Yo La Tengo, Superchunk...
But what about Sebadoh? Originally Lou Barlow's bedroom side project while he was playing bass in Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh went from soft 4-track sad boy ruminations to full on rambunctious indie rock without losing Barlow's tender hearted, mopey moodiness. This record, III, is where they really clicked. To be totally honest, the first two are our absolute favorites (c'mon, somebody reissue The Freed Weed!!!) but until those are available again, we'll just have to cast our lot with III. Not entirely fair to compare them though. The first two Sebadoh records were just Lou, in his bedroom, singing and strumming, a ramshackle collection of sweet sad songs and freaked out tape experiments, where as by the time of III, Sebadoh was a real rock band, with not just two other band members, but two other songwriters, Eric Gaffney and Jason Lowenstein. Giving Sebadoh a distinctly schizophrenic sound, veering from introspective to noisy and annoying depending on whose song it was. Years before Conor Oberst ascended to the weepy, slouchy indie throne, Sebadoh's Lou Barlow was already the king of the lo-fi tearjerker. He ruled the roost of unabashed romantics in his rumpled threadbare cardigan, spectacles and tousled mop of hair. However, as III proved beyond a doubt, Sebadoh wasn't confined to lovey-dovey bedroom balladry, nope they could tear shit up a-plenty providing both cathartic heartbaring sadsack sweetness and blistering noise rawk for indie kids near and far.
The copious liner notes are a bit confusing though. As far as we were concerned, Sebadoh WAS Lou Barlow, who was later joined by Eric and Jason. But the liner notes, especially Gaffney's, paint a quite different picture. Gaffney goes on and on about how it was basically his band and his songs. But a quick listen to the record (and a look at each member's subsequent sonic track record) reveals the truth, that Lou was still the quiet mastermind. Eric has some killer tracks for sure, and Jason's songs are wild and chaotic (this was before he would grow into a songwriter to rival Lou on later Sebadoh discs) but almost without exception the perfect pop gems here are penned by Lou. Just check out the opener "The Freed Pig", hard to imagine a more perfect indie rock song. Jangly and catchy, a little ramshackle, a teensy bit melancholy, but exuberant and hopeful. With a killer crunchy chorus.
III is peppered with sweet soft acoustic numbers that sound like they were plucked from old Sebadoh cassettes. Each one sad and lovely, perfect mix tape material way back in 1991 (Yeesh, has it really been fifteen years?!), the prototype for EVERY home recorded bedroom record since. Jason contributes some Minutemen sounding instrumental jams ("Sickles & Hammers"), some slow motion druggy stoner jams ("Smoke A Bowl"), a killer twangy acoustic hoedown ("Black Haired Girl") and most of the really esoteric tunes. Eric offers up some lilting minor key jangle ("Violet Execution"), some super fuzzed out jangly tribal psych rock ("Limb By Limb") and the super lengthy bizarre drugged out psych jam "As The World Dies The Eyes Of God Grow Bigger". Between all of these musical flights of fancy, Lou gives us perfect pop song after perfect pop song, whether it's in the form of a whispered mumbly song fragment, or a glorious rocked out jangly jam. Somehow these disparate elements mesh perfectly into a totally rollicking chaotic indie rock masterpiece. A reissue of III on its own would definitely merit record of the week status, but there's a whole extra disc of singles and outtakes that make this absolutely essential.
First up on the extras disc is "Gimme Indie Rock" a tongue in cheek slam on their more popular indie contemporaries, which inadvertently became a hit and somehow sounded like, but better than, all the bands it was poking fun at (check out the very Dinosaur-like leads!) Speaks volumes that a tossed off fuck around track can be this good. Next up is quite possibly the best Sebadoh song ever "Ride The Darker Wave" a loping groove, with a totally catchy guitar part and an instantly unforgettable melody. Heavy and sludgy but perfectly poppy. The rest of the disc is jam packed with outtakes and alternate versions, a whole bunch of Gaffney tracks, as good as anything on the record proper, as well as a few other Lou gems. Also, tacked on at the very end is "Showtape '91" a 12 minute experimental tape piece, the band used to play at shows before they came on stage. It features the band reading various reviews (positive and negative), repeating the various mispronunciations of the band name, all amidst a cacophonous soundscape of tape manipulation and guitar grind. Very annoying but very very funny.
As befits a classic record like III, the packaging and reissue extras are amazing. Besides the wealth of extra and unreleased tracks, there are extensive liner notes from all three band members, tons of photos, and the whole thing is housed in a snazzy slipcase with the band name and album title embossed in metallic gold ink. We feel like we're 21 again!!!
MPEG Stream: "The Freed Pig"
MPEG Stream: "Sickles And Hammers"
MPEG Stream: "Total Peace"
MPEG Stream: "Scars, Four Eyes"
MPEG Stream: "Truly Great Thing"
MPEG Stream: "Gimme Indie Rock"
MPEG Stream: "Ride The Darker Wave"

album cover GERMANO, LISA In the Maybe World (Young God) cd 14.98
Another breathtaking album from Ms. Lisa Germano. Few are capable of capturing in song the shadowy outer limits of total heartbreak and distressed frailty as she does. Her slightly unstable, velvety voice alone can cause your heart to unexpectedly find itself lodged in your throat. Add in the accompanying melancholic strings and willowy piano and you just might be reduced to a quivering puddle of tears. Deceptively potent. Wow. Need we say more?
MPEG Stream: "The Day"
MPEG Stream: "In The Maybe World"

album cover HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE The Locust Years (Cruz Del Sur) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT, GET THE METAL BLADE VERSION INSTEAD!
People have been waiting a long time for this, the third opus from SF's own Hammers Of Misfortune, one of the most ambitious, audacious, bodacious, bombastic, maybe even slightly ludicrous bands in the metal realm...and metal this is, through and through, even as it pushes the envelope right over the edge into, I don't know, musical theater... 2003's The August Engine was pretty amazing, as was (our favorite) their year 2000 debut, The Bastard (released by Andee's tUMULt label we should note). The Locust Years has a lot to live up to.
And live it up they do here. Just check out the band photos for evidence of that (funnier if you know these folks). There's a shocking formal portrait on the back cover, everybody dressed up in tuxedos and evening gowns, hair pulled back. And then inside the cd booklet, you see 'em letting their hair down in a glammy, rock n' roll fantasy shot. It's nice to see that they don't take themselves too seriously, that should keep people guessing about this band. Not so pretentious as some might think, joking but no joke.
Quick intro first for those just tuning in/turning on to this band: Hammers is a rock-operatic heavy metal juggernaut with harmonizing lead guitars, pounding Hammond organ (new!), and majestic male and female vocal lines. The band features members of The Lord Weird Slough Feg past and present, and mainman John Cobbett is busy too with his other band black metallers Ludicra (new ep elsewhere on this list) plus he's been playing with the likes of Amber Asylum and even Jarboe of late... As you might imagine from all of this, Hammers is an especially eclectic mix of '70s prog, '80s metal, black metal (without the black metal vocals), classical music, avant-chamber-rock, Mary Poppinsy musical showtuneage, Opethian loud/soft, fast/slow dynamics...
Basically, everything (and more) that already earned mucho plaudits for the Hammers' first two albums is present here: the sweeping melodic grandeur, metallic excitement, complex arrangements, virtuoso playing, intelligent lyrics, many moods, and attention to idiosyncratic detail -- which is evident from the packaging, with its Thomas Woodruff cover painting and aforementioned photography, to the music, for instance the track "War Anthem" that features a whole hired drum line arranged by Hammers drummer Chewy. Or it's actually Chewy multitracking his own one man drum line. Either way, it's pretty darn Tusk!!
And lyrically, while it's not a storytelling narrative like The Bastard, it's somewhat more of a cohesive "concept album" than was August Engine... the concept being, near as we can tell, a very allegorical, cryptic protest against the awful person and policies of our president, George W. Bush!! Or at least that's what we get from lyrics like "Death - death to the infidels / sons of our servants shall serve and serve us well / and gifted with endless war / flags and fanatics forevermore" (from "War Anthem") or, "If people wonder at the suffering you cause / and your massive avarice has left them at a loss / if by chance they notice your bloody, snapping jaws / the blood upon your claws / your shifty eyes and laws / the nauseating flaws in all you've said / trot out the dead" (from "Trot Out The Dead") -- no that's not Satan they're singing about, not exactly. We're pretty sure that makes The Locust Years the world's first POLITICAL epic fantasy prog power metal album!!
Recommended of course.
MPEG Stream: "The Locust Years"
MPEG Stream: "We Are The Widows"
MPEG Stream: "War Anthem"

album cover THIS HEAT Out Of Cold Storage (This Is / ReR) 6cd box 102.00
Trying to explain why this band is so good is sort of like trying to explain why ice cream is so delicious. Or why Bush is such a terrible president.
Or maybe it's kind of like writing an introduction for the new Pynchon novel. Or telling a few jokes before Richard Pryor comes on stage. Or throwing a couple quick passes before Joe Montana comes on the field. It's that daunting, that overwhelming, that impossible.
The trio of Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen and Gareth Williams known collectively as This Heat were one of the few bands that literally changed people's lives. Changed the way folks thought about music. I (Andee) couldn't believe music like this actually existed. It was everything I wanted to listen to before I knew that THIS was exactly what I wanted to listen to. Hit It Or Quit It publisher / rock critic / indie scenestress Jessica Hopper once wrote that she literally pee'd her pants the first time she heard This Heat. And it's not hard to see why. Without This Heat, modern, alternative, avant-garde music as we know it would be a whole different beast. Post-rock, math-rock, avant rock are hugely indebted to the genre shattering experimentalism of This Heat. Tortoise, You Fantastic, Yona Kit, Brise Glace, Psychic Paramount, Laddio Bollocko, Radian, Village Of Savoonga, Larsen, Starfuckers, Circle, Salvatore, I Am Spoonbender -- none of those bands would even exist if it weren't for This Heat, or if they still did you can bet they would sound a whole lot different. And that's just off the top of our heads, AND that's -just- bands whose sound directly reflects the influence of This Heat. Imagine how many performers and artists were influenced by This Heat but who let that influence manifest itself in not so obvious ways.
We once described This Heat as "Krautrock-ish hyper rhythmic tape-looped prog." Which comes close to succinctly describing the magical musical alchemy of This Heat, but still only scratches the surface. The sound of This Heat is rhythm and texture and dynamics. The recording studio as instrument. Every sound and every song is based on rhythm and texture. There are hooks, and melodies, but they exist to serve the rhythm and are often born from the deft manipulation of sound and tempo. Even the most static and repetitive parts manage to sound -musical-. There are vocals, but they are minimal and otherworldly, weary and sing songy and completely mesmerizing. A droning musical accompaniment to the haunting whirs and clanging percussion in the background.
Their entire catalog has gone in and out of print over the years, mostly out, with all of these records pretty much completely unavailable for the last 7 or 8 years. Rumors of a complete box set began to circulate a few years back and it has finally surfaced and it's everything we could have hoped for and more. Every single release, remastered, repackaged in swank digipaks, including a bonus live disc, a huge booklet, amazing archival photos, extensive liner notes, all packed in a gorgeous box. It's a testament to the power this band holds over their fans that pretty much everyone who owns all of these records already will buy the box without a second thought. We're almost jealous of folks who have never even heard This Heat. The thought of entering into this box set completely blind, is almost frightening, as the world of This Heat is so singular, so powerful, it will be difficult to ever listen to music the same way again.
This Heat's self titled debut, originally released in 1978 (which is almost impossible to believe, that people were making music this progressive, this intense, this fucked up and forward thinking) is such a totally immersive and strangely lovely musical environment. From the machinelike krautrock of "Horizontal Hold" to the dreamy contemplative "Twilight Furniture" with its simple chiming guitars, muted tribal percussion and keening vocals, to the bizarre affected drum workout of "24 Track Loop", it's like wandering through some alien musical world. A sky full of greys and blues, smeary drones floating gently by, haunting quavering vocals drifting below, like tendrils of smoke, the barren landscape littered with all manner of rhythmic outcroppings, harsh jagged crashes and booms, as well as low rolling thumps and stutters, off in the distance simple spare melodies float and hover, each note a glowing spot on the horizon. Absolutely and utterly overwhelmingly brilliant.
The Health And Efficiency ep followed in early 1981 and took their sound in a strangely pop (for them at least) direction, sounding like some tweaked and twisted version of Wire, the title track all angular new wave guitars, monotone vocals, driving drums, strange convoluted arrangements and creepy background sound effects before the whole thing splinters into super abstract rhythmic experimentalism, looped grooves, played over and over, while sounds float and careen in the background, so incredibly hypnotic and repetitive. The second track on Health And Efficiency (which runs a brief twenty minutes) is "Graphic/Varispeed (45rpm)", a lengthy drone, a warm synth whir that surfaces within other This Heat tracks, recontextualized and often chopped up and reassembled, but here, it's a slow shifting slow motion single tone soundscape, with the tone occasionally being pitched up or down, very simple but quite haunting, and a cool glimpse at how This Heat managed to mix and match, use and reuse, without ever treading water.
Later that same year came Deceit, with the band continuing to expand and explore. Deceit consisted of shorter songs, but that didn't mean their process, or disdain for convention was altered. If anything, they managed to subvert pop music in a way never thought possible. Imagine Brian Eno circa Taking Tiger Mountain, but filter that through some avant industrialism, angular new wave and hyper rhythmic krautrock and you'll begin to get the picture. The songs on Deceit are impossibly catchy, especially when examined closely. Abstract, obtuse, angular, convoluted, tangled up but without ever losing that thread, that melodic sensibility that grounded the songs, kept them from falling apart completely, instead, the perilous arrangements only added tension and emotion. An incredibly explosive sound that somehow hybridized all of the countercultural fury of punk and situationism, within a sonic context informed by the technological advances of musique concrete and electro-acoustic experimentation. The sound was definitely punk in its own way, but certainly wasn't expressed through three chord song structures or snarling postures, instead This Heat injected their own complex pop agendas with a jittery nervous tension always building to a dramatic and cathartic release. Deceit was sadly the band's final release disbanding soon after.
In 1993, a disc of unearthed This Heat recordings was released and consisted of three lengthy tracks of tape loop experiments and random rhythmic explorations. Repeat has come to be This Heat's defining work even though it is essentially a record of outtakes and pieces meant to be incorporated into other songs. But it's hard to argue with the 20 minute title track, and endless, almost funky groove, punctuated by weird electronic swells, sprinkles of woodblock percussion and occasional handclaps but held together by one of the most amazing drum parts ever. A relentless pound and shuffle, drenched in effects, sound very dubby, but also very krautrock, a tripped out blissed out drone drenched rhythmic space jam never matched to this day. Every time this is played for a friend, musician or not, the listener is inevitably confused, perplexed and then quickly obsessed with hearing more. The second track, appropriately titled "Metal" is an abstract soundscape of, well, metal, clanging, clinking, like some ancient junkyard gamelan, almost like the previous piece transcribed for sheet metal, garbage can, metal pipe and dumpster. The metallic symphony shifts and sways, melodies surface, rhythms twist and turn, all very hypnotic and quite lovely. The final track revisits a song on Health and Efficiency, but slows it down a bit to become "Graphic/Varispeed (45rpm)", the same sort of slow, murky drone, just made even slower, so more tonal colors surface, and the subtle shit is much more noticeable, a gloriously dreamlike warm warbly whir.
In 1996, This Heat's 1977 Peel Sessions were finally released and demonstrated once again that This Heat were untouchable, effortlessly unfurling a sound equal parts avant pop, krautrock, progrock, musique concrete and a handful of parts that defied easy classification. Every track here a jaw dropping, mind blowing performance. Especially the new version of "Horizontal Hold", one of This Heat's finest moments already, played here with much more verve and vigor and with a sound quality so much clearer, a recording so incredibly hot, that the song is reborn and completely confounds and amazes. The whole session is rhythmically dense, rife with bastardized pop, incredibly complex arrangements all rendered again in such a way that they are emotional and moving, instead of just intellectual musical exercises. And the sound is so crystal clear, that you can hear a band at the top of their game, taking over the BBC studio and using it like they would a second guitar or another drummer. The Peel Sessions also include a handful of songs that never made it onto records proper. All as good as anything on their official releases.
The bonus disc included in the box is a compilation of live tracks recorded between 1980 and 1981 all over Europe and sequenced to resemble the set list the band used on tour in the eighties. Recorded using a single stereo mic, the sound is less that crystal clear, but captures the band in their element at the top of their game. The songs are amazing, it's awesome to hear the band recreate pieces that on record relied so heavily on the studio, more evidence as to the genius of This Heat.
Our only complaint about this box was that there is definitely more This Heat material out there, and anyone picking up this box, would have gladly paid a few bucks more for one or two more discs of lost rare material. But then we spied this in the liner notes of the live cd: "Further CD's from other stages in This Heat's music to follow, including collaborations, improvisations and site-specific work as well as other live cds."
We can hardly wait!
There are plenty of places on the web and in magazines to read more about the history of the band, the band members, various versions, releases and re-releases and past reissues, but none of that ultimately matters as much as the sound. And oh the glorious sound. Just take a listen to the sound samples and no words will be necessary.
MPEG Stream: "Horizontal Hold (Peel Session)"
MPEG Stream: "Repeat"
MPEG Stream: "Paper Hats"
MPEG Stream: "Health And Efficiency"

album cover ANAAL NATHRAKH The Codex Necro (Earache) cd 15.98
Available again! And now with 4 bonus tracks from Anaal Nathrakh's Peel Sessions, recorded on John Peel's show in December of 2003, with members of Napalm Death in the band!
Thank God (or Satan) that this record is as good as it is, because of all the trouble we had to go through to get it (this was several years ago mind you, when this disc first came out way back near the millennium)! We became aware of British black metal act Anaal Nathrakh from first seeing ads for this album in Terrorizer magazine (the UK's metal version of The Wire), then Terrorizer named it record of the month, and then one of the top 40 records of 2001! Yet no metal distributors in the United States had ever even heard of Anaal Nathrakh. Not even the band themselves could help us out, and the one distributor that did offer the album only had TEN COPIES. Our tiny little store wanted at least twice that many.
But, many frustrating conversations and unproductive emails later, we finally got The Codex Necro in stock and are happy to report that it is as heavy, as weird and as completely cool as we had hoped. And now several years later, the world is finally hip to Anaal Nathrakh, enough that this here disc finally got a deluxe reissue with bonus tracks. The formula is blasting black metal mayhem of course, but A.N. up the intensity a notch as well as mixing in all sorts of fucked weirdness: bizarre ambient electronic soundscapes, creepy cloying melodies buried in the mix, strangely hypnotic vocal chants, light speed fuzzed out blast beats, found sound interludes, and totally processed and INSANE vocals, from growling guttural bowel-shaking grunts to maniacal high pitched, electronically fucked-with shrieks. Plus the riffs are ultra catchy, and the guitars are so distorted and recorded so hot, it feels like demonic claws are being scraped across your ear drums. Take the raw, "necro" sounds of Nordic black metal pioneers Darkthrone and give them the bombastic force of the best-produced, over-the-top Cradle of Filth stuff, and you're thinking Anaal Nathrakh. When they say necro, they mean it. And they say it a lot. Like in the liner notes: "Anaal Nathrakh plays Fucking Necro Exclusively!...Fuck Everything".
MPEG Stream: "The Supreme Necrotic Audnance"
MPEG Stream: "When Humanity Is Cancer"
MPEG Stream: "Submission Is For The Weak"

album cover 1900S, THE Plume Delivery (Parasol) cd ep 10.98
Wonderful breezy pop very much in the vein of Belle And Sebastian that also reveals a moodier side. Dare we say that this 6-song ep by Chicago sextet The 1900s almost makes for a better B&S follow-up to Dear Catastrophe Waitress than The Life Pursuit! Yes, we do. Much like those Scots' last few lush albums, The 1900s' Plume Delivery comes fully decked out with organs, harpsichord, violin, keyboards, horns. Of course, that alone wouldn't mean much if the bountiful instrumental palette wasn't put to good use, but it certainly is. The 1900s incorporate it all seamlessly into such lovely melodies and glorious arrangements. But the super dreaminess comes from the vocal department, Caroline Donovan and Jeanine O'Toole's voices alternately remind us of Isobel Campbell and Laetitia Sadier, while mainman Edward Anderson's voice can easily be compared to Belle And Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. If you dig the sounds of the abovementioned bands as well as The Delgados, Call And Response, Young & Sexy and Mates Of State, you might also take a shine to The 1900s. A super delight from start to finish!
MPEG Stream: "Bring The Good Boys Home"
MPEG Stream: "Whole Of The Law"

album cover CALEXICO Garden Ruin (Quarterstick) lp 14.98
Each time that you think this Tucson, AZ band can't possibly get any better or can't possibly bring anything new to their palette without sacrificing some core element of their sound, they go and do it! Excuse the horticultural puns (we're sure other reviewers have already exhausted the lot) but we can't resist, Calexico do indeed continue to grow, to blossom, to flourish with each album. And we get the feeling that they've still only scratched the surface.
Some of us had the deluxe treat of catching a sneak peek of these songs when John Convertino (always a joy to watch!), Joey Burns and their ensemble of stellar multi-instrumentalists played a couple of hush-hush live shows right around the corner from AQ at the Make-Out Room a couple months ago. 'Twas an ultra intimate, yet totally rocking affair, drenched with passion, polish and earthy elegance. We were floored!
Continuing on from their excellent last album Feast Of Wire's '70s west coast (Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, etc) pop/rock infused vibe that drew the focus more towards Burns' vocals and pop song structures, Garden Ruin features the heaviest doses of singing yet (by practically all of the members!) as well as effective explorations into beautiful, crashing waves of guitar and percussion dissonance -- particularly on the spectacular, emotionally draining final track "All Systems Red" on which Burns' voice captures a previously unreached depth of expressiveness. The band has already drawn some criticism for deserting their beloved trademark mariachi style trumpets and expansive cinematic atmospheres, but we think those accusations are unfounded. Yes, this is their most accessible album to date, but fear not, "old" Calexico devotees! Those elements that characterized their earlier releases are still very much present on Garden Ruin (as they were on Feast Of Wire), they're just much more integrated. Other stand-out tracks include the falsetto-ly sung, chiming "Panic Open String", the wispy retro pop number "Lucky Dime" (think Kings Of Convenience meets Olivia Tremor Control) and the smoldering duet "Roka" with its guest vocalist Amparo Sanchez. Breathtaking. On Garden Ruin, Calexico reaches out to every one of us -- an indie kid who just wants to hug him/herself and sway to the sweet gentle folksy ballads, a rock adventurer who loves to get lost in the expanses of Godspeed You Black Emperor, Mogwai and Village Of Savoonga, a lover of the sparkling Southwestern horns and jazzy guitar flourishes -- and never loses sight or sound of their burnished golded Arizonan desert heart. Y'know, there has never been a Calexico release that we haven't heartily recommended. They've given us no reason to start now. What more can we say... except holler from the rooftops, "Recommended!!!"
MPEG Stream: "Cruel"
MPEG Stream: "Yours And Mine"
MPEG Stream: "All Systems Red"

album cover WIRE Chairs Missing (Pink Flag) cd 14.98
In 1978, being qualified as "the Pink Floyd of the New Wave" might have come across as something of an insult; and by today's artistic strategies of rampant revivalism such a pithy remark may ring true to many a listener. That statement was, in fact, the critique prescribed to Chairs Missing, Wire's second album, as the album decelerated the pogo punk minimalism found on their first album with an increasing use of experimental production. In hindsight, Chairs Missing is the perfect transition between the high-strung velocity of Pink Flag and the staggering gloominess of 154; yet most transition records have a clunkiness about them, like a lanky teenager not quite able to fit into his sunday best. But Chairs Missing is miles above the average transition album. To many a listener, Chairs Missing stands as the ultimate Wire album, with near perfect pop songs alternating between anthemic punk and eccentric production techniques (i.e. atonal synth drone, staccato guitar chops, overdubbed guitar distortion, etc.). Where Pink Flag kept many of the songs under a minute and half, Chairs Missing is downright baroque in its presentation of 3 minute tunes. The genius of Chairs Missing is how Colin Newman, Robert Gotobed, Bruce Gilbert, and Graham Lewis manage to steer through the diverse songwriting landscape, in how the album's opening track "Practice Makes Perfect" transitions from a delicate prance for jangled guitar into a precise expression of menace, in how "Outdoor Miner" creates the catchiest, Beatlesque chorus you'll never be able to sing back to yourself given the complexity of its rejoining, nonsensical syllables, in how jaggedly clean the guitars of Newman and Gilbert attack each other, in how Lewis' bass is fluid and effortless, in how this run-on sentence seems to have lost its way trying to fathom the complexity of Wire. If you believe that the length of Aquarius' reviews directly correlate to how good the record actually is, then we have failed as we would need to write a fucking a book about how stunning this album is. Yeah, Chairs Missing is incredible; and if you don't have it, you really should.
Okay, one thing to bitch about the reissue of Chairs Missing is that the cover is curiously bleached out of its color; the reissue also doesn't come with the (really great!) bonus tracks found on the EMI cd version of the album. Come on Wire, you released this album on your own label. At least you could give us all the bells and whistles found on other versions of this album! This is our only complaint, and a minor quibble for sure.
MPEG Stream: "Outdoor Miner"
MPEG Stream: "Practice Makes Perfect"
MPEG Stream: "I Am The Fly"

album cover BEDEMON Child Of Darkness: From The Original Master Tapes (Vessel / Black Widow) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now no longer a European import, Bedemon has been released Stateside by our pal Pellet's new Vessel imprint. We've sold a ton of the previous edition, but if you missed it, we've got these now. They're the same as the import, but now a buck cheaper, and with slightly revamped packaging (the cd booklet is still HUGE), and also now they've got a big sticker on the front that quotes this very Aquarius review! (And also recommends this to fans of Wolfmother, among other bands...well why not?). Our review from before:
DOOM HISTORY HERE FOLKS! And not just that, it's a fantastic album. Ok, you know something is up when almost EVERYONE here at AQ absolutely loves a doom metal album. Not just the regular metal heads (Andee, Allan, Lauren) but also Jim too.
So what's all the fuss about Bedemon? Well some of you may be familiar with the band Pentagram from Maryland, who have about a 30+ year history, going on 40 in fact. Well Bedemon are essentially an obscure but very worthwhile footnote to Pentagram's history, being the "solo" recording project of original '70s Pentagram guitarist Randy Palmer, the majority of this recorded circa 1973-74 with a few tracks from a 1979 Bedemon session as well. They never played out, or even released any records. Bedemon were more of a practice room, basement-recording project that involved Palmer and friends, including the other members of Pentagram, most significantly the uniquely talented vocalist Bobby Liebling who sings on all of these cuts. It was just a way for Palmer to get his own songwriting down on tape, stuff that wasn't recorded by Pentagram. It's totally in the same vein as Pentagram though, if anything MORE dark and doomy than Pentagram's '70s output. Very heavy, and heavily Black Sabbath influenced, also with echoes of Blue Cheer, Randy Holden's Population II, and Iggy & The Stooges (the track "Time Bomb" is very Stoogey, in a way similar to Pentagram's "Last Days Here"). And for '73, this is definitely about as heavy as it gets, Sabbath and Pentagram themselves excepted. There's so many great tracks on here, each one more sorrowful and wrought with doomful emotion than the next, all of 'em throbbing and (awesomely) distorted. Yes, the quality of these rehearsal tape recordings is downright grungey and murky, but in our opinion that isn't a distraction nor a detraction. In fact, it only makes this better, totally capturing that spirit and raw energy of jamming in the garage for your own enjoyment. And it also sounds doomier that way too. Hands down, Randy Palmer wrote some of the best Pentagram songs, and many of these are just as good. Some of his riffs absolutely lay to waste those of his contemporaries. Just imagine if Palmer had decided to promote his doom skills rather than keep them for the most part to himself. Holy shit. At least we have this, one of the best "lost" albums ever uncovered in the realm of heavy, underground music.
Sadly, Palmer died in a tragic car accident just a few years ago, so the official release of this material at long last is also something of a tribute to his memory. Some of this stuff has been bootlegged before, but this legit release has been done with the blessings of Randy's survivors and the input of the other Bedemon musicians. There's even a Wes Benscoter cover painting based on Palmer's own hand-sketched ideas, as well as lots of photos, a Bedemon history written by Palmer before he was killed, and some very fascinating, detailed, and heartfelt liner notes from fellow Bedemon/Pentagram bandmate Geof O'Keefe.
Essential to all true fans of Pentagram, and also to anyone into heavy '70s Sabbathy psychedelic garagey proto-metal!!
MPEG Stream: "Child Of Darkness"
MPEG Stream: "Last Call"
MPEG Stream: "Time Bomb"

album cover AQUARIUS BUTTONS 2 x 1" buttons 1.00
Hey, we just got another batch of AQ buttons made up...
Spread the word! Show the world your true aQ colors! COOL COOL COOL aQ buttons, now in 6 different vibrant color combinations. 5 new color combos (blue on pink, red on dark grey, dark blue on blue, orange on black, and yellowish green on dark green) and a popular one we had previously (brown on yellow).
TWO FOR $1!!! Colors are random, but buy enough and you'll be guaranteed to get 'em all! And of course all feature our spiffy James Gang style logo!! So stylish!

album cover ROGERS SISTERS, THE Invisible Deck (Too Pure) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We heart The Rogers Sisters! Their new album kicks so much serious butt we can hardly take it! Each of the ten songs packs the combined wallop of a fierce glare, a cigarette burn and a doubleshot of bourbon. The gritty crunch and smeared lipstick snarl of their guitars... The snotty sneer of their throaty (sort of a cross between Kim Deal and Kate Pierson) vocals... The bratty yet solid stomp of the drums... Sooo rad! This is bad boy/bad girl music that makes you wanna get up to no good too. Don't get us wrong, The Rogers Sisters ain't no possessed wild men of rawk a la Screamin' Jay Hawkins or The Monks, but they do have their own brand of prickly bluesy garagey electricity. Can't wait to see this trio live! We'd say more, but we're too busy rocking out. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Why Won't You"
MPEG Stream: "Emotion Control"

album cover ROGERS SISTERS, THE Invisible Deck (Too Pure) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We heart The Rogers Sisters! Their new album kicks so much serious butt we can hardly take it! Each of the ten songs packs the combined wallop of a fierce glare, a cigarette burn and a doubleshot of bourbon. The gritty crunch and smeared lipstick snarl of their guitars... The snotty sneer of their throaty (sort of a cross between Kim Deal and Kate Pierson) vocals... The bratty yet solid stomp of the drums... Sooo rad! This is bad boy/bad girl music that makes you wanna get up to no good too. Don't get us wrong, The Rogers Sisters ain't no possessed wild men of rawk a la Screamin' Jay Hawkins or The Monks, but they do have their own brand of prickly bluesy garagey electricity. Can't wait to see this trio live! We'd say more, but we're too busy rocking out. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Why Won't You"
MPEG Stream: "Emotion Control"

album cover HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT (Factory 515) dvd 14.98
This all-time AQ fave is now BACK IN STOCK, at a new lower price too!!
Oh boy. It was a red letter day here at AQ when this showed up, being the long-awaited DVD incarnation of an old, old favorite. Filmed in 1986 in the parking lot (natch) at a Judas Priest concert, with just a video camera, a microphone, and a willing, wasted, unwitting cast of teenage metalheads, this underground documentary is an absolute all-time classic. When filmmakers John Heyn and Jeff Krulik shot this short doc way back when, they certainly had no idea it would become such a cult, cultural artifact. You can tell from the DVD extras that they are as amazed at its continuing popularity as anyone. But they did have the foresight to think going and interviewing all those hessian dudes and dudettes getting psyched to see the Priest would be a comedy goldmine.
In the genre of heavy metal documentary, this holds a special place. There's been some great ones: The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II, Metallica Drummer, and Spinal Tap if you want to count mockumentaries, but this is our number one fave. It was funny when it was made, it was even funnier in the '90s when the VHS version started making the rounds, and it's damn funny now that it's on DVD at long last, complete with a ton of bonus material and special features!! Director's commentary, outtakes, subtitles, sequels (Monster Truck Parking Lot, Neil Diamond Parking Lot, and Harry Potter Parking Lot), and lots more. There's even a "Dub-o-Vision" version of HMPL that simulates watching it as an Nth generation video dub the way it looked when most people first saw it! Oh, and perhaps best of all, there's "Parking Lot Alumni" wherein the original filmmakers track down (or are tracked down by) some of HMPL's "stars" now, sorta like a heavy metal version of one of Michael Apted's Up documentaries. The dude known as "Zebraman" (pictured on the cover of the dvd, wearing the stripey spandex muscle-T, whose drunken rant about how heavy metal rules, that punk shit sucks and Madonna is a dick is one of HMPL's many highlights) has turned into a suburban yuppie, believe it or not, while several of the other alumni really haven't changed that much. Any HMPL fan needs this just for that portion of the DVD alone.
And by funny, we mean sure, yeah, you're laughing AT the people in the movie. But as we've often noted, you can laugh at these kids, but think about it. Have you ever had as much fun (unironically we might add) as they are evidently having? Probably not. So, there's an element of sheer shared good times that makes this worthwhile for reasons beyond just the hilarity. Sociologically it's also fascinating...
If you haven't seen this before, YOU MUST SEE IT NOW!!! Get it, watch it, you'll be happy. And if you have seen it before, even if you already own a VHS copy, we're pretty sure you already know you need this.

album cover CALEXICO Garden Ruin (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
Each time that you think this Tucson, AZ band can't possibly get any better or can't possibly bring anything new to their palette without sacrificing some core element of their sound, they go and do it! Excuse the horticultural puns (we're sure other reviewers have already exhausted the lot) but we can't resist, Calexico do indeed continue to grow, to blossom, to flourish with each album. And we get the feeling that they've still only scratched the surface.
Some of us had the deluxe treat of catching a sneak peek of these songs when John Convertino (always a joy to watch!), Joey Burns and their ensemble of stellar multi-instrumentalists played a couple of hush-hush live shows right around the corner from AQ at the Make-Out Room a couple months ago. 'Twas an ultra intimate, yet totally rocking affair, drenched with passion, polish and earthy elegance. We were floored!
Continuing on from their excellent last album Feast Of Wire's '70s west coast (Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, etc) pop/rock infused vibe that drew the focus more towards Burns' vocals and pop song structures, Garden Ruin features the heaviest doses of singing yet (by practically all of the members!) as well as effective explorations into beautiful, crashing waves of guitar and percussion dissonance -- particularly on the spectacular, emotionally draining final track "All Systems Red" on which Burns' voice captures a previously unreached depth of expressiveness. The band has already drawn some criticism for deserting their beloved trademark mariachi style trumpets and expansive cinematic atmospheres, but we think those accusations are unfounded. Yes, this is their most accessible album to date, but fear not, "old" Calexico devotees! Those elements that characterized their earlier releases are still very much present on Garden Ruin (as they were on Feast Of Wire), they're just much more integrated. Other stand-out tracks include the falsetto-ly sung, chiming "Panic Open String", the wispy retro pop number "Lucky Dime" (think Kings Of Convenience meets Olivia Tremor Control) and the smoldering duet "Roka" with its guest vocalist Amparo Sanchez. Breathtaking. On Garden Ruin, Calexico reaches out to every one of us -- an indie kid who just wants to hug him/herself and sway to the sweet gentle folksy ballads, a rock adventurer who loves to get lost in the expanses of Godspeed You Black Emperor, Mogwai and Village Of Savoonga, a lover of the sparkling Southwestern horns and jazzy guitar flourishes -- and never loses sight or sound of their burnished golded Arizonan desert heart. Y'know, there has never been a Calexico release that we haven't heartily recommended. They've given us no reason to start now. What more can we say... except holler from the rooftops, "Recommended!!!"
MPEG Stream: "Cruel"
MPEG Stream: "Yours And Mine"
MPEG Stream: "All Systems Red"

album cover NARDWUAR THE HUMAN SERVIETTE Doot Doola Doot Doo... Doot Doo! (Alternative Tentacles / Nardwuar The Human Serviette Records) 2dvd 21.00
If you have even a tiny inkling of who or what Nardwuar The Human Serviette is, you know this is a big fucking deal! For years and years, the contents of his monumental interview archive vaults have only been accessible in bits and pieces on his home-compiled VHS tapes, on his weekly college radio show in Vancouver and on brief Much Music appearances in Canada, but now finally you can take a heaping double platter home with you!!! Are you prepared? For five and a half hours worth? Well, if you're unsure as to whether you have the endurance for it, we strongly recommend that you brace/pace yourself, and don't be dissuaded. Stock up on snacks, take the phone off the hook, you'll be okay. Hell, you don't have to watch it all in one sitting, but once you get started it might be hard to stop.
Many less observant, less hardy folks might dismiss the tartan capped, high-pitched Nardwuar The Human Serviette as simply a hyperactive irritant with a microphone -- lumping him in with seemingly similar in-your-face tightly-wound personalities such as fellow Canuck Tom Green, but first (and second) impressions can be deceiving. While we have to admit many of his disarming, oft-infuriating, absurd tactics do closely resemble those of more self-aggrandizing gonzo interviewers, there's definitely something else going on with this infamous irrepressible staunch Canadian. Let's take for example his unbelievably obsessive researching skills. For each and every potential interview subject, he consistently bloodhounds out the obscurest, mundanest, yet oddly fascinating facts that effectively stop the interviewee in his/her tracks. Y'know, those little skeletons in the closet that they themselves don't even remember, and that via Nardwuar have come back to haunt them much to their glee or chagrin.
In the early days, he started out by primarily digging into the nooks and crannies of the indie music scene doing interviews for his radio show. As his own notoriety grew so did his scope, broadening to encompass the whole show biz industry. Along the way he's also delved deeper and deeper into other media related areas and points of interest (politics, self-help, tele-evangelism to name a few).
The list of people to whom he's somehow gained access is in itself nothing short of mind-blowing (over 60 interviews are featured on this dvd set and that's a mere drop in this Serviette's bucket) -- Mikhail Gorbachev, Dan Quayle, Gene Simmons, Pam Grier, Marilyn Manson, Destiny's Child, Gwar, Kelly Osborne, Slayer, Ian MacKaye, Vanilla Ice, Franz Ferdinand, Wesley Willis, David Cross, Busta Rhymes, Michael Moore, Cradle Of Filth, Blur, Henry Rollins, Thor, Ernest Angley.... And that's not even counting his multiple interview encounters with Snoop Dogg, Courtney Love and Jello Biafra over the past decade.
Clearly people love him, hate him and love to hate him, but when he suffered a brain hemmorhage a few years back, it was nothing but an outpouring of love and admiration that came his way from all walks of life. While hospitalized he received an avalanche of gifts and well-wishes (including a painting by and from David Lee Roth!), and even had to have his own bedside payphone to take all the calls that came flooding in. But now fortunately he is back on his feet wreaking havoc with this, his most comprehensive crowning glory to date. Granted it's not for everyone, but those who rise to the challenge will be duly rewarded with a thorough schooling of headscratching useful and useless facts, figures and trivia, will be thoroughly entertained along the way, and will find themselves responding with a resounding "Doot Doo!"
Also included: lots of sights and sounds of Nardwuar's bands (The Evaporators and Thee Goblins), an eye-straining 16 page boooklet, and yes of course, audio commentary!

album cover WHYSALL LANE s/t (Blackball) cd 13.98
First things first, if you want one damn terrific song with one catchy soaring chorus with some really pretty backing vocals and some rockin' heaviness to boot, "Time Machine" by Whysall Lane is where it's at. Hey, sometimes all you need is one song! You'll be singing along and/or humming it during the day in no time. However this Bay Area based band deliver much more on their self-titled debut! This is the current incarnation of former Versus vocalist Richard Balayut's longtime personal project. Up until recently the entity named after a street in Detroit, MI was either a solo endeavor or had an ever-changing supporting cast, but now along with the solid presence of Adam Pfahler (Blackball Records bossman and ex-Jawbreaker, J-Church) on drums and Mikel Delgado (ex-Wussom*Pow) on bass and vocals, his formerly stripped-down songs have been fleshed out into rockin' full band extravaganzas -- dark and smolderingly brooding and peppered with occasional slightly proggy or postrock-ish excursions and sweetly heartfelt sentiments. As we touched on above when Delgado chimes in with her back-up vocals, they really complement Balayut's deep world-weary delivery (also check out their song "Half Life" for more dreaminess!). Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Time Machine"
MPEG Stream: "Half Life"

album cover THIS HEAT s/t (ReR) cd 17.98
Trying to explain why this record is so good is sort of like trying to explain why ice cream is so delicious. Or why Bush is such a terrible president.
Or maybe it's kind of like writing an introduction for the new Pynchon novel. Or telling a few jokes before Richard Pryor comes on stage. Or throwing a couple quick passes before Joe Montana comes on the field. It's that daunting, that overwhelming, that impossible.
The trio of Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen, and Gareth Williams known collectively as This Heat were one of the few bands that literally changed people's lives. Changed the way folks thought about music. I (Andee) couldn't believe music like this actually existed. It was everything I wanted to listen to before I knew that THIS was exactly what I wanted to listen to. Hit It Or Quit It publisher / rock critic / indie scenstress Jessica Hopper once wrote that she literally pee'd her pants the first time she heard This Heat. And it's not hard to see why. Without This Heat, modern, alternative, avant garde music as we know it would be a whole different beast. Post rock, math rock, avant rock are hugely indebted to the genre shattering experimentalism of This Heat. Tortoise, You Fantastic, Yona Kit, Brise Glace, Psychic Paramount, Laddio Bollocko, Radian, Village Of Savoonga, Larsen, Starfuckers, Circle, Salvatore, I Am Spoonbender -- none of those bands would even exist if it weren't for This Heat, or if they still did you can bet they would sound a whole lot different. And that's just off the top of our heads, AND that's -just- bands whose sound directly reflects the influence of This Heat. Imagine how many performers and artists were influenced by This Heat but who let that influence manifest itself in not so obvious ways.
We once described This Heat as "Krautrock-ish hyper rhythmic tape-looped prog." Which comes close to succinctly describing the magical musical alchemy of This Heat, but still only scratches the surface. This is their self titled debut, originally released in 1979 and reissued briefly in 1991, and manages over the course of about 50 minutes to redefine almost all music that had come before.
The sound of This Heat is rhythm and texture and dynamics. The recording studio as instrument. Every sound and every song is based on rhythm and texture. There are hooks, and melodies, but they exist to serve the rhythm and are often born from the deft manipulation of sound and tempo. Even the most static and repetitive parts manage to sound -musical-. There are vocals, but they are minimal and otherworldly, weary and sing songy and completely mesmerizing. A droning musical accompaniment to the haunting whirs and clanging percussion in the background. This record is such a totally immersive and strangely lovely musical environment. From the machinelike Krautrock of "Horizontal Hold" to the dreamy contemplative "Twilight Furniture" with its simple chiming guitars, muted tribal percussion and keening vocals, to the bizarre affected drum workout of "24 Track Loop", it's like wandering through some alien musical world. As sky full of greys and blues, smeary drones floating gently by, haunting quavering vocals drifting below, like tendrils of smoke, the barren landscape littered with all manner of rhythmic outcroppings, harsh jagged crashes and booms, as well as low rolling thumps and stutters, off in the distance simple spare melodies float and hover, each note a glowing spot on the horizon. Absolutely and utterly overwhelmingly brilliant.
There are plenty of places on the web and in magazines to read more about the history of the band, the band members, the various releases and reissues (see elsewhere on the AQ website for reviews of past editions of various TH recordings) but none of that ultimately matters as much as the sound. And oh the glorious sound. Just take a listen to the sound samples and no words will be necessary.
This is arguably This Heat's finest moment, their debut record, finally available again after almost 15 years of being out of print. Be aware that there will be a 5cd box coming out in the (near?) future, containing EVERY SINGLE ONE of the band's releases, as well as a bonus disc of unreleased material and a huge book of photos and liner notes. And we would have made (maybe will make) THAT record of the week, and while we do believe EVERY music lover we know owes it to themselves to buy the upcoming box, we figured a single disc was plenty for most people to get hooked and obsessed.
MPEG Stream: "Horizontal Hold"
MPEG Stream: "24 Track Loop"
MPEG Stream: "The Fall Of Saigon"

album cover CASE, NEKO Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (Anti) cd 16.98
Simply in a class of her own. We've said it before and yes, we'll say it again... Neko Case's voice can invoke a power capable of levelling anything in its path emotionally and maybe even physically too -- leaving some hearts melted, some empowered and some broken. That said, this lady knows that you must wield such a force responsibly and wisely, and over the years she's attained full mastery of its might. On Fox Confessor brings The Flood as on her past albums, an ample serving of reverb in the recording process has ensured that her voice embraces your ears with utterly dreamy warmth, but it doesn't overpower its characteristic nuances. We all know (no doubt herself included) that she could floor you just by singing the alphabet or a grocery list, but we (and she) know that there's more to *it* than that. With each album she's steered clear of trends, reinvented herself subtly and honed a different facet of her craft. Here its her songwriting inkwell which has been given a thorough loving and it runneth over with the deepest indigos and the reds of blood and rubies. Yes, the most noticeable shift / development on Fox Confessor is definitely in the lyrics department. An ever-evolving and maturing lyricist, Case has honed her lyrical imagery into what very well are her least literal, but most poetic and vivid to date. The songs are definitely less immediate with fewer obvious hooks than those of her last three albums, but Fox Confessor inhabits a different realm, and is so very deeply moving and enchantingly special in its own ways. Indeed, it comes across much more as the work of a wise, seasoned storyteller than a flavor of the day pop songstress. Certainly not one to rest on her laurels, for her fourth album Case raises the bar once again, challenging both herself and her fans. Plus with the support of her revolving cast of supremely talented players, her musical tapestry has never been more lushly and intricately detailed. This time she's invited Garth Hudson of The Band into her collaborative fold/family which already shines with the likes of The Sadies, Giant Sand's Howe Gelb, Ms Kelly Hogan, Tom Ray, Jon Rauhouse, Brian Connelly, Calexico's Joey Burns and John Convertino. Each of her albums has been lauded as "her best yet", but with Fox Confessor we'd dare to say she's taken things to a whole 'nother spine-tingling level.
A side note for fans of her live show... you'll be pleased to find that "John Saw That Number" (or perhaps you might know it as that "holy to the world" song) makes a rousing appearance midway through the proceedings. With its soaring rounds of choruses, it's a particular crowd favorite at her shows she shares with her singin' pals Kelly Hogan and Carolyn Mark ('tho the latter is sadly missing this time around). Need we say? Highly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Star Witness"
MPEG Stream: "John Saw That Number"
MPEG Stream: "Dirty Knife"

album cover SOUNDS OF AMERICAN DOOMSDAY CULTS The Church Universal and Triumphant Inc. feat. Elizabeth Clare Prophet (Faithways International) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Here's some of what what we wrote about this gem way back when it first came out as a vinyl release:
It's hard to believe this is real. In fact, it took a lot to convince Andee, who was sure this was some sort of elaborate prank. But it's one of those things that just makes you proud / embarrassed to be an American. Elizabeth Clare Prophet purchased 24,000 acres in Paradise Valley, Montana and started The Church Universal and Triumphant, a creepy new age doomsday cult in which Prophet channeled spirits such as Jesus, Buddha, K-17, Morya, Quan Yin, Afra, Hercules, Mighty Victory, Astrea, Shiva, Pope John XXIII, and more. (Sort of like J.Z. Knight of Yelm, Washington and her channelling of "Ramtha" except even more scary.) Prophet and her husband stockpiled arms, built giant bomb shelters, and coerced their devotees to purchase their own survival equipment at exorbitant prices. Throughout its existence various members of CUT were indicted for kidnapping, lost custody of the children who belonged to the church and were investigated for tax exempt status and firearms violations. In 1995 former member Joseph Pietrangelo Jr wrote a book condemning CUT entitled "Lambs to Slaughter: My Fourteen Years with Elizabeth Clare Prophet and Church Universal Triumphant".
But the thing that really puts CUT on the map for us is their way of conducting their religious services. The tapes of these services have been floating around for years already. Those of you familiar with Negativland's 1989 album "Escape From Noise" will already be familiar with an excerpt of one of the tracks on this album, as they used it for the track "Michael Jackson", and Steve Fisk has been using these tapes for years as well. This record features live recordings of Clare Prophet 'speaking' out against the evils of rock music. She sounds perfectly normal as she introduces her 'psalms' or 'songs' or 'speeches' or whatever they are. But when she gets going, it's amazing. And so goddamn insane sounding. Her rapid fire high pitched testifying sounds a bit like an impossible mix of an auctioneer, a yodeller, the guy who sings the directions at a square dance, Neil Hamburger huffing helium and variations of baseball's 'hey batter batter' chant only faster. It's like that sound you make when you sort of hum/breathe out and move your finger up and down between your lips making a sort of 'bebubebubebubebubebubebubebubebu' sound. It's one of the most amazing things we've ever heard! Cup's group I Am Spoonbender even performed a cover version of it live in concert a few years ago! A must for all cult fanatics, new age withdrawal victims, seekers of the truly strange, and fans of extended, trancelike vocal techniques. Ever so highly recommended! We'd almost have made this cd edition our Record of the Week if we weren't certain that it would probably bug the heck out of more people than (like us) would love it!!
MPEG Stream: "Dedication To The Of The Beast And The Dragon - The Momentum Of Rock 'N' Roll"
MPEG Stream: "Call For Protection"

album cover BEDEMON Child Of Darkness: From The Original Master Tapes (Black Widow) lp 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
DOOM HISTORY HERE FOLKS! And not just that, it's a fantastic album. Ok, you know something is up when almost EVERYONE here at AQ absolutely loves a doom metal album. Not just the regular metal heads (Andee, Allan, Lauren) but also Jim too.
So what's all the fuss about Bedemon? Well some of you may be familiar with the band Pentagram from Maryland, who have about a 30+ year history, going on 40 in fact. Well Bedemon are essentially an obscure but very worthwhile footnote to Pentagram's history, being the "solo" recording project of original '70s Pentagram guitarist Randy Palmer, the majority of this recorded circa 1973-74 with a few tracks from a 1979 Bedemon session as well. They never played out, or even released any records. Bedemon were more of a practice room, basement-recording project that involved Palmer and friends, including the other members of Pentagram, most significantly the uniquely talented vocalist Bobby Liebling who sings on all of these cuts. It was just a way for Palmer to get his own songwriting down on tape, stuff that wasn't recorded by Pentagram. It's totally in the same vein as Pentagram though, if anything MORE dark and doomy than Pentagram's '70s output. Very heavy, and heavily Black Sabbath influenced, also with echoes of Blue Cheer, Randy Holden's Population II, and Iggy & The Stooges (the track "Time Bomb" is very Stoogey, in a way similiar to Pentagram's "Last Days Here"). And for '73, this is definitely about as heavy as it gets, Sabbath and Pentagram themselves excepted. There's so many great tracks on here, each one more sorrowful and wrought with doomful emotion than the next, all of 'em throbbing and (awesomely) distorted. Yes, the quality of these rehearsal tape recordings is downright grungey and murky, but in our opinion that isn't a distraction nor a detraction. In fact, it only makes this better, totally capturing that spirit and raw energy of jamming in the garage for your own enjoyment. And it also sounds doomier that way too. Hands down, Randy Palmer wrote some of the best Pentagram songs, and many of these are just as good. Some of his riffs absolutely lay to waste those of his contemporaries. Just imagine if Palmer had decided to promote his doom skills rather than keep them for the most part to himself. Holy shit. At least we have this, one of the best "lost" albums ever uncovered in the realm of heavy, underground music.
Sadly, Palmer died in a tragic car accident just a few years ago, so the official release of this material at long last is also something of a tribute to his memory. Some of this stuff has been bootlegged before, but this legit release has been done with the blessings of Randy's survivors and the input of the other Bedemon musicans. There's even a Wes Benscoter cover painting based on Palmer's own hand-sketched ideas, as well as lots of photos, a Bedemon history written by Palmer before he was killed, and some very fascinating, detailed, and heartfelt liner notes from fellow Bedemon/Pentagram bandmate Geof O'Keefe.
Essential to all true fans of Pentagram, and also to anyone into heavy '70s Sabbathy psychedelic garagey proto-metal!!
MPEG Stream: "Child Of Darkness"
MPEG Stream: "Last Call"
MPEG Stream: "Time Bomb"

album cover EDISON WOODS Nest Of Machines (Habit Of Creation) cd 13.98
This week brought us a gathering of sumptuous dark pop albums from around the globe which all fit together incredibly well! Sure to keep you completely soothed and enchanted: this Edison Woods album, Come Up For Air by the Norwegian trio known as The White Birch and Leaving Songs the soon-to-be-released solo album by Tindersticks' Stuart Staples (we got an advance listenin' copy, but rest assured it's comin' out June 6th).
A hushed hurrah! The very welcome third Edison Woods full length has arrived hot off the presses and direct to us from the group in New York. We're pleased as punch to find that Ms Julia Frodahl and co. continue to craft immensely moving artful music, and this time they're joined by members of Antony & The Johnsons and Elysian Fields. The album is yet another treasure trove of ornate luminous beauties with each track glimmering out of the velvety darkness with a light all its own. Once again the ensemble's approach is very cinematic, but perhaps growing a bit more song-oriented than it was on past releases. Almost imperceptibly the pieces flow from barely-there utterly minimal passages to sweeping grand orchestrations. Additionally in comparison to their previous two fine albums (self-titled and Seven Principles Of Leave No Trace), Nest Of Machines' soaring highs and lulling lows seem even much more pronounced, but remain anchored to the heart by central force and lead vocalist Frodahl's silken voice and resonant piano accompaniment. So lush and haunting are the tones and hues that it's like being enveloped in a dream state wandering by candlelight inside a giant antique music box. Sure many artists' music gets likened to that of music boxes primarily for their delicate chime-iness, but few so fully embody the genuine wonder of those meticulously crafted, timeless inventions as Edison Woods does. Supremely beguiling. For fans of Rachel's and vice versa.
MPEG Stream: "Baby Doll"
MPEG Stream: "Nest Of Machines"

album cover BASTIEN, PIERRE Pop (Rephlex) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We sure are suckers for unconventional music making. Be it accidental (ice melting, applause, junkyards, metal rusting, fire burning) or environmental (elephants, sled dogs, cats purring, FROGS!, bats) and most especially the mysterious or unexplained (the sounds of the dead, breaking through the radio waves, haunting shortwave spy transmissions). Then there is a whole other realm of unconventional music making: the mad scientist. Why form a band, when you can construct robots and machines to play all the instruments? Why actually play the piano, or the guitar, or the drums, when you can construct an elaborate set of pulleys and levers and gears and axles that will play them for you? Why be happy with a turntable that plays records with only one stylus when you can make music with a turntable equipped with multiple needles? We can only assume Pierre Bastien asked these same questions, and the answer he came up with is Pop. Forty five minutes of simple, repetitive, hypnotic and mesmerizing machine driven minimal krautrock. That's right, krautrock is what this sounds like.
In lesser hands a room full of self playing instruments would most likely result in a sterile series of sound events, but Bastien has a deft hand and a keen ear, and breathes life into his automatons, delicate contraptions that each contribute a unique element to a song, not just spitting out sounds -- strange gadgets that play simple chords on a keyboard, an apparatus to beat out simple insistent rhythms, all manner of haunting minor key plinkety plonk, crisp windup toy clickety clacks and disgruntled grinding large machinery groans and whines, some strange warped turntablizations, wearily wheezing woodwinds, all woven into spare stretches of minimally propulsive ambience. Sounds a bit like an army of tiny wind up toys assembled in an automated sonic ballet, an inhuman menagerie making music more human that it seems possible. The vibe is very fuzzy and washed out, droney and dolorous, smeary and sepia-toned, definite shades of Philip Jeck and Tim Hecker, with plenty of creak and crackle surrounding the minimal melodies and subtle rhythmic pulses within each song. It's easy to become obsessed with the method behind the music, and the amount of obviously painstaking preparation that went into creating these machines. And why not?! It's absolutely mind boggling to be sure, but even beyond the mere construction of these music making mechanisms, imagine figuring out how to get these 'things' to make these sounds, and THEN somehow to compose music this lovely and captivating. Seems impossible. Surely, Pop is too perfect to be accidental, too beautiful to be pure luck, too musical to be anything other than the work of a brilliant mad sonic scientist. Or better yet, and possibly more likely, imagine Bastien is nothing if not lucky, a man who somehow stumbled upon a secret world of machines, in some mysterious forgotten warehouse, in some dark overlooked part of town, an insulated little world populated by these devices, not a living breathing creature in sight, just shelves full of strange little contraptions, all running endlessly and self controlled, creating this beautiful music as if that's what they were designed to do, and he was just the first to stumble upon this place, these things, and was able to capture these mysterious sounds before one night, that building and those things were nowhere to be found. Sounds farfetched, maybe a little silly, but it's the sort of romantic story that befits music this warm and beautiful and mysterious, whether it was ultimately the work of a man, or the just the serendipitous sounds of a room full of machines.
MPEG Stream: "Eye"
MPEG Stream: "Noon"
MPEG Stream: "Deed"

album cover TWINK The Broken Record (Seeland) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Move over DJ Shadow! Outta the way Cut Chemist! Same goes for all of the rest of you vinyl collagists! Twink (aka AQ pal Mike Langlie) has returned with his thoroughly engaging follow-up to last year's delightful triple 3" cd set of pling-plong music, The Toy Box. Always lovingly and artfully packaged and always with some sort of initial seemingly children's theme, each Langlie release has been very different from the next. You might also recall the cute bunny book with cd combo from a few years back. This new cd is no exception! Now, when you think of a broken record, don't ya think of a needle stuck maddeningly in a repeating groove just waiting to be swatted off the turntable? Well, this Broken Record is far from repetitive. In fact, it'll probably keep you glued to your stereo speaker in anticipation of the next playfully entertaining morsel of which there are a generous twenty one! Meticulously pieced together from vintage novelty and children's records, it's already drawn plenty of tingling attention when it's been played in the store. The Broken Record should definitely cause fans of John Oswald / Plunderphonics, Negativland, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Bruce Haack and DJ mash-uppers alike to sit up and take notice. For kooky kids of all ages... really. It's a super trip! Released on Negativland's label. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Alphabent"
MPEG Stream: "Hip Hopera"
MPEG Stream: "Grandmother And The Wolf"

album cover HICKS, BILL Dangerous (Ryko) cd 16.98
Not a new release, but perhaps new to you! This disc is undoubtably already a fixture in the cd collections of anyone calling him/herself a Bill Hicks fan, but for anyone needing an introduction... buy this now! This performance contains some of his most astute and hilarious material (and some of his best voices too!). This was the first of a slew of posthumously released cds documenting Hicks' fierce, scathing stand-up performances (some were reissued, some had never before been unleashed on the unsuspecting cd-buying public). Others include Rant In E Minor, Arizona Bay, and Relentless. Aw heck, get 'em all 'cause although there is repeated material amongst the releases, he injects each performance with its own distinct fire and plants unique nuggets of wisdom and wit throughout. That said, as we've mentioned somewhat profusely in the past, the Bill Hicks Live: Satirist, Social Critic, Stand Up Comedian dvd is definitely a fantastic place to begin your Hicks indoctrination, but we're sure you'll be seeking more in a jiffy.
MPEG Stream: "Flying Saucer Tour"
MPEG Stream: "The Vision"

album cover VULCANS Star Trek (Trojan) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
First things first, we know some folks have strong feelings both positive and negative for all things 'Star Trek'. So if you fall into either camp you might wanna disregard this band's name and the album's title completely! We found the music to reveal very little connection to Star Trek and/or Vulcans. In fact, we sensed very little overt sci-fi action here at all. Well aside from the song titles... and the galactic analog synth action that accompanies the reggae riddims. While the name choices did successfully grab out attention, we were subsequently a bit disappointed by this discovery, however, the music quickly won us over anew in surprisingly different ways! This album is sooo awesome and sooo perfect for baking in the (late) summer sun! Imagine this... what if Os Mutantes lived in Jamaica? And had a rendezvous with Perry & Kingsley, Joe Meek and an Arp 2600 synthesizer? Or how 'bout some kick-ass psychedelic prog dudes getting their reggae on while sipping fresh fruit cocktails? Got you hooked yet? Well, here's the skinny... The Vulcans were actually not a band in the traditional sense, although after hearing this cd we sure wish they were! As legend tells it, back in the early '70s some session musicians including Ken Elliot of UK prog-psych band Second Hand got together and recorded these songs. They group were dubbed The Vulcans by Trojan Records when the smart decision was made to release an album. We have to stress once again that despite what the title and band name suggest this is far from a novelty album. You can drift off, trip out or sink right into this generous serving of Vulcans tunes - there's two albums on one cd, 1972's Star Trek and perhaps slightly heavier and edgier Interstellar Reggae Drive (the latter originally released under the wacky moniker Colonel Elliot & The Lunatics). Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Journey Into Space"
MPEG Stream: "Shang Haied"
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Bust"

album cover SLOAN Twice Removed (Koch) cd 15.98
Yay! Yaaay! Finally the long-overdue domestic release of a bunch of albums by one of Andee and Cup's all-time fave Canadian pop bands... SLOAN! Yaaaaaaaaaay! Before the New Pornographers, before Arcade Fire, before Hot Hot Heat, before Godspeed You Black Emperor, Bassist Chris Murphy, drummer Andrew Scott, and dual guitarists Jay Ferguson and Patrick Pentland were rockin' and representin' for the land of the maple leaf! Twice Removed is by far Cup's favoritest album of theirs. She pretty much knows it by heart. So does Andee in fact! Perhaps you'll wanna get geekily acquainted too -- y'know, be able to distinguish a Chris song from an Andrew one or be able to recognize Jay's guitar playing from Patrick's? A general rule of thumb: the oft-falsetto-piped Murphy writes a lot of the more bombastic power pop songs such as the lead-off track "Penpals" which reportedly was based on a sneak peek at their former DGC labelmates Nirvana's fanmail, the angelic voiced Ferguson pens the peppier boyish pop tunes such as "Snowsuit Sound" (a definite album highlight if you had to single one out and maybe one of the greatest pop songs EVER!), bespectacled Pentland's contributes many of the slower heartfelt romantic numbers, and the drollest of the bunch Scott inserts a bit of slightly eccentric artiness. And that's not even taking into consideration how they support one another, fleshing out each song with great multi-part harmony backing vocals which elevate things to a whole 'nother level. Soooo good! With each of the four bandmembers contributing an equal share of the songwriting and singing, it's not difficult at all to imagine each of the fellows leading his own band, but fortunately for us they haven't 'cause of course their chemistry does add that significant intangible extra 'something'. While other bands frequently go through line-up changes with varying degrees of success, the founding foursome have stuck together for over a dozen years and maintained their high pop standard and their seemingly inexhaustible fountain of hooks that balances brains and balls. Ultra highly recommended, and if you disagree, well then you'll have to face the wrath of Cup and Andee!
MPEG Stream: "Penpals"
MPEG Stream: "Snowsuit Sound"
MPEG Stream: "People Of The Sky"

album cover DEVO Live 1980 (Target Video) dualdisc cd / DVD 14.98
Spuds rejoice: it's live Devo, 1980! One of the best bands ever at the height of their powers, playing their "hit" songs to a stand-offish audience at the Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma, California. However, spuds also bewarned: with an insanely abrasive edit of scrappy video footage, it's hard to watch this baby all the way through in one sitting -- even for us die-hard fans! Despite this, and the fact that you can tell the band takes awhile to warm up on stage, when they do, holy spudboy, watch them go! A high note is their cover of "[I Can't Get No] Satisfaction". This particular performance reaffirms that it may possibly be the most amazing cover of all time. Also great performances of "Pink Pussycat", "Girl U Want" and "Freedom of Choice"... Instrument note-worthy are Bob Mothersbaugh's cloud-shaped guitar and Gerald Casale's custom bass.
This is in the dualdisc format, meaning you get the video on the dvd side of the disc, as well as an audio-only version on the cd flipside. And, as a bonus, there's footage of Dove, The Band of Love (Devo's easy listening alter-ego that a lot of Devo fans didn't seem to "get", somehow) performing three songs live, also from 1980!

album cover NEW BUFFALO The Last Beautiful Day (Arts & Crafts) cd 16.98
Who or what is New Buffalo? Why, it's a one woman band from Melbourne, Australia, Sally Seltmann (with some assistance from her husband Darren Seltmann of the Avalanches!). Her debut album The Last Beautiful Day is the first non-Canadian release on the Canadian label Arts + Crafts (home to fine bands such as Broken Social Scene and Valley Of The Giants), and it's pretty darn great. Achingly lovely and slightly woozy, you can easily imagine any one of these ten songs being included in a David Lynch film. Her vocals are reminiscent of the alternately earnest lilting sing-song and dreamily contemplative singing style and slightly off-kilter poetics of Canada's best-kept secret Ms Jane Siberry. Hmm, perhaps that's what drew the Arts & Crafts folks to the sounds of New Buffalo (consciously or not)? Notable guests include Beth Orton (whose voice blends perfectly with Seltmann's on the seventh song "Inside") and Dirty Three's Jim White (who drums on three songs). Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Time To Go To Sleep"
MPEG Stream: "Inside"
MPEG Stream: "While You're Away"

album cover NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Twin Cinema (Matador) lp 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Sound the trumpets (hey, there is one on this album!), the third album from Vancouver's New Pornographers has arrived and it's nothing short of glorious! If you're even remotely familiar with us here at AQ, you know that we've championed this pop wunderkind since the very beginning (and maybe it can be said, even before that if you count our affection for their predecessor Zumpano). We celebrate the fact that their debut album Mass Romantic was an instant unanimous hit around these parts long before practically anywhere else (even prior to much of their homeland catchin' on!). Of course these days everyone is more than familiar with these guys' pop songwriting mighty might. Heck, they can't help but know it themselves, however they haven't just rested on their laurels nor have they gotten too clever for their own good. They remain steadfastly earnest and humble in the ways only Canadians can truly be (just check out that dorkier-than-dorky guitar 'solo' on the album's opener and title track... it's a hoot!).
Whereas Mass Romantic was a millennium freak of nature in its wall-to-wall power pop fireworks -- c'mon, the kind of spontaneous, unabashed puppy-dog romp bursting from songs like "Letter From An Occupant" can't be planned nor easily replicated -- 2003's Electric Version proved to be more of a grow-on-you kind of album. Slightly clouded by self-awareness and the pressure of elevated expectations, its hooks and charms weren't as immediate, but eventually that album put some solid roots down in our hearts too. So needless to say we were eagerly anticipating album number 3. And after just a couple of listens (who are we kidding? we've been playing it non-stop!), we can say that Twin Cinema nestles itself right in between. Having hurdled past the sophomore jinx obstacles and having numerous individual projects under their belts in the interim, the seven band members have once again reconvened with a remarkable effortlessness and consistency. We'd dare proclaim that the album even betters on both of its predecessors in certain aspects.
All the usual New Pornographers are present and accounted for. Tossing his delightful eccentricities into the mix, the elusive Dan Bejar surfaces for his sporadic appearances singing tales about his mysterious "Jackie" character once again. Carl Newman and Bejar can both be downright cryptic and non-sequitur-ish in the lyric department, but that certainly doesn't prevent you from gleefully singing along to lines like "Listenin' too long to one song, sing me Spanish Techno!" (wha'? huh?). If anything these peculiarities offer a neat contrast to their comparatively straight-forward guitar and piano leads. That said, they have stretched their creative limbs a little further adding nice touches like the dizzying vocal loops in "Falling Through Your Clothes", the cascading line from the abovementioned trumpet in "Stacked Crooked" and the even more effecting multi-part vocals that grace every song. Speaking of which, everyone's vocal performances are top notch with more full-on falsetto all around. Hurrah!
There's lots of fan-pleasing moments such as on the fourth song "The Bleeding Heart Show" which winds up with a big ol' chorus of "hey-la! hey-la!"s that's pushed over the top by an outtro counter-melody sung by noneother than Ms Neko Case. Definitely an album highlight, that tune has an air of sentimentality that feels like it was written specifically for a 'driving out of town' scene in a movie. Actually it was this song that was playing when our now-former co-worker (and major NP fanatic) Byram said his final farewell to the shop. Awww. Of course, if he hadn't left, it would rightfully be him writing this review, but we'll do our best in his absence. Anyways, we should let you know that this time around not all of the female vocal parts were sung by Neko Case, but don't get yourself in a panic! She does sing a whole bunch, but two other young ladies' sweet voices chime in as well -- one of them is Ms Nora O'Connor and the other is Carl Newman's long-lost niece Kathryn Calder (of their Mint Records labelmates The Immaculate Machine). And y'know what? You might have a hard time figuring out who's singing what 'cause despite each singer having distinct, seemingly recognizable voices, they all melt together into a single New Pornographers voice.
But back on the subject of Twin Cinema as a whole, it effectively strikes a balance of exuberantly vibrant hues and darker bittersweet shades. Indeed, there's an undercurrent of wistfulness (not quite heavy nor somber enough to be called melancholic) that runs throughout the fourteen songs, however it certainly doesn't dampen any spirits. Whereas Electric Version didn't have many instantly ass-kickin' pop anthems, Twin Cinema sure as hell does. They expertly cover the full palette of tempo and mood, serving up their trademark hooks all along the way. Whereas other band would/could muster one hook per song, Newman and Co. generously pack each song with numerous pop treats. Taking into consideration just how high they set the bar with their last two albums, not to mention how high fan and critic expectations probably are at this point, Twin Cinema is arguably the band's most polished and fully realized work to date. These Canucks have scored a hat trick!
MPEG Stream: "Twin Cinema"
MPEG Stream: "The Bleeding Heart Show"
MPEG Stream: "Sing Me Spanish Techno"
MPEG Stream: "Broken Breads"

BOWIE, DAVID Low (Virgin) cd 16.98

album cover PAAVOHARJU Yha Hamaraa (Fonal) cd 17.98
Oh how we adore the Finnish label Fonal Records -- home to the likes of Kemialliset Ystavat, Islaja, Kiila and Es. And now, won't you please kindly welcome the newest addition to the Fonal roster, Paavoharju! We can say that that welcoming 'em is not such a difficult thing to do 'cause they sure do make some wonderful music! In fact, Cup (and Jim for that matter) has listened to it almost every day since its release. It's true!
Note: We don't want to deny anyone the pristine 'first listen' magic that we experienced. We can attest that it was a sheer delight packed with many surprises, and our fondness has only grown with each listen. So if you want your introductory spin to be 'pure', please be forewarned that this review contains what some might call spoilers... that means stop reading now!
In many ways Paavoharju can be likened to fellow enchanting Finnish artists Lau Nau and Fonal labelmates Islaja, but their finely detailed yet loosely strung music is considerably more melted and collaged and electronic. Listening to Yha Hamaraa is almost like eavesdropping on a dream... or having someone else's heartbreaking memories come back to hazily haunt you. Sounds, voices and melodies drift in and out of focus, occasionally overlapping and seeping into one another. Sometimes it seems like you're listening to a rickety old radio with the dial set between stations so that the sounds somehow magically fit together. Odd faintly familiar elements make their presence felt such as in the ninth song where the male vocal melody brought to mind a twisted folk (and of course very Finnish) version of "Stairway To Heaven". The swooping, trebly female vocals find their own special place between Indian film music singers and the Southeast Asian voices that surface on the similarly (un)structured Sublime Frequencies travelogue field recording compilations. And reference must be made to Bjork as well! Now after having read this far in our review, you might find the very first track with its swell of distorted static-y noise to be somewhat unexpected, disorienting even, but we encourage you to go with it (and with us). Allow the wash of sounds to transport you into Paavoharju's intoxicating world. Completely and utterly breathtaking.
MPEG Stream: "Aamunuringon Tuntuinen"
MPEG Stream: "Vitivalkoinen"
MPEG Stream: "Kuljin Kauas"

CARLOS, WENDY A Clockwork Orange (OST) (East Side Digital) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Not only is Wendy Carlos a pioneer of electornic music as we now know & love it. Her transformation from Walter to Wendy led to a new beginning in music making for Carlos. No longer was there just an academic and novelty approached to a new form of music(see "Switched On Bach"), but her music started to take a much more intense and focused eye. Haunting sounds, creepy melodies, something bubbling under the surface. Her work is most heard in film scores she has done over the last few decades..with this, her score for A Clockwork Orange being a seminal moment and a great place to start the voyage into the magical mystery of Wendy Carlos.

album cover NOMI, KLAUS / ANDREW HORN The Nomi Song (Palm Picture) dvd 22.00
Ms Cup has long been a Klaus Nomi devotee, but -- save for his one song appearance in the Urgh! A Music War film and the now out-of-print Eclipsed: Best Of Klaus Nomi compilation -- there's never been enough documentation from back in the day to satiate any craving for this ultra stylized, provocative and enigmatic figure. So she was thrilled and a bit trepidatious to hear that a documentary was being made. After many failed attempts to go see the film in the theater, she was then delighted to hear that it was coming out on dvd. Her verdict? Superlatives galore. This fantastic documentary was made with absolute loving care and imaginative attention to detail. One of the most obvious (and unique) examples of this comes in the segments featuring the voice of Nomi's aunt. "Why just her voice?" you might ask. Well, apparently she's really camera shy, and the filmmakers came up with a novel way to present her likeness in the film. They crafted accurately detailed miniature dioramas of various locations (such as her living room with a mini slide projector and backyard with shrubbery and garden hose) in which they sat a paper doll with a picture of her face. The interview clips (each filmed in front of a very thought out, appropriate backdrop), audio and video footage sheds much light on his life and music career (including more background info about the abovementioned Urgh! appearance), totally capturing the vitality, tragedy and defiance of Nomi the individual as well as of the underground New York New Wave scene as a whole during those years. He cut such a striking, unmistakable, indelible silhouette. Unforgettable.
The dvd includes a bunch of exclusive remixes by Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic, Richard Barone, The Moog Cookbook and Man Parrish (formerly of The Fast, Man2Man and more!)

album cover NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Twin Cinema (Matador / Mint) cd 14.98
Sound the trumpets (hey, there is one on this album!), the third album from Vancouver's New Pornographers has arrived and it's nothing short of glorious! If you're even remotely familiar with us here at AQ, you know that we've championed this pop wunderkind since the very beginning (and maybe it can be said, even before that if you count our affection for their predecessor Zumpano). We celebrate the fact that their debut album Mass Romantic was an instant unanimous hit around these parts long before practically anywhere else (even prior to much of their homeland catchin' on!). Of course these days everyone is more than familiar with these guys' pop songwriting mighty might. Heck, they can't help but know it themselves, however they haven't just rested on their laurels nor have they gotten too clever for their own good. They remain steadfastly earnest and humble in the ways only Canadians can truly be (just check out that dorkier-than-dorky guitar 'solo' on the album's opener and title track... it's a hoot!).
Whereas Mass Romantic was a millennium freak of nature in its wall-to-wall power pop fireworks -- c'mon, the kind of spontaneous, unabashed puppy-dog romp bursting from songs like "Letter From An Occupant" can't be planned nor easily replicated -- 2003's Electric Version proved to be more of a grow-on-you kind of album. Slightly clouded by self-awareness and the pressure of elevated expectations, its hooks and charms weren't as immediate, but eventually that album put some solid roots down in our hearts too. So needless to say we were eagerly anticipating album number 3. And after just a couple of listens (who are we kidding? we've been playing it non-stop!), we can say that Twin Cinema nestles itself right in between. Having hurdled past the sophomore jinx obstacles and having numerous individual projects under their belts in the interim, the seven band members have once again reconvened with a remarkable effortlessness and consistency. We'd dare proclaim that the album even betters on both of its predecessors in certain aspects.
All the usual New Pornographers are present and accounted for. Tossing his delightful eccentricities into the mix, the elusive Dan Bejar surfaces for his sporadic appearances singing tales about his mysterious "Jackie" character once again. Carl Newman and Bejar can both be downright cryptic and non-sequitur-ish in the lyric department, but that certainly doesn't prevent you from gleefully singing along to lines like "Listenin' too long to one song, sing me Spanish Techno!" (wha'? huh?). If anything these peculiarities offer a neat contrast to their comparatively straight-forward guitar and piano leads. That said, they have stretched their creative limbs a little further adding nice touches like the dizzying vocal loops in "Falling Through Your Clothes", the cascading line from the abovementioned trumpet in "Stacked Crooked" and the even more effecting multi-part vocals that grace every song. Speaking of which, everyone's vocal performances are top notch with more full-on falsetto all around. Hurrah!
There's lots of fan-pleasing moments such as on the fourth song "The Bleeding Heart Show" which winds up with a big ol' chorus of "hey-la! hey-la!"s that's pushed over the top by an outtro counter-melody sung by noneother than Ms Neko Case. Definitely an album highlight, that tune has an air of sentimentality that feels like it was written specifically for a 'driving out of town' scene in a movie. Actually it was this song that was playing when our now-former co-worker (and major NP fanatic) Byram said his final farewell to the shop. Awww. Of course, if he hadn't left, it would rightfully be him writing this review, but we'll do our best in his absence. Anyways, we should let you know that this time around not all of the female vocal parts were sung by Neko Case, but don't get yourself in a panic! She does sing a whole bunch, but two other young ladies' sweet voices chime in as well -- one of them is Ms Nora O'Connor and the other is Carl Newman's long-lost niece Kathryn Calder (of their Mint Records labelmates The Immaculate Machine). And y'know what? You might have a hard time figuring out who's singing what 'cause despite each singer having distinct, seemingly recognizable voices, they all melt together into a single New Pornographers voice.
But back on the subject of Twin Cinema as a whole, it effectively strikes a balance of exuberantly vibrant hues and darker bittersweet shades. Indeed, there's an undercurrent of wistfulness (not quite heavy nor somber enough to be called melancholic) that runs throughout the fourteen songs, however it certainly doesn't dampen any spirits. Whereas Electric Version didn't have many instantly ass-kickin' pop anthems, Twin Cinema sure as hell does. They expertly cover the full palette of tempo and mood, serving up their trademark hooks all along the way. Whereas other band would/could muster one hook per song, Newman and Co. generously pack each song with numerous pop treats. Taking into consideration just how high they set the bar with their last two albums, not to mention how high fan and critic expectations probably are at this point, Twin Cinema is arguably the band's most polished and fully realized work to date. These Canucks have scored a hat trick!
MPEG Stream: "Twin Cinema"
MPEG Stream: "The Bleeding Heart Show"
MPEG Stream: "Sing Me Spanish Techno"
MPEG Stream: "Broken Breads"

album cover RASPBERRIES Greatest (Capitol) cd 17.98
Ooooh, in a perfect world if you were to look in the dictionary for "70s classic pop", you'd find a big photo of this band alongside their fellow '70s AM radio masters Bread and Electric Light Orchestra. Their heart-string pulling treasures such as "Go All The Way" and "Let's Pretend" recall the blissful pop orchestrations of the Beatles, Beach Boys and the Zombies. Actually we noted that Eric Carmen's voice sorta resembles two Pauls' (very McCartney and less so Stanley), and come to think of it, their respective bands' personalities (i.e, Wings and Kiss) are definitely reflected in Raspberries music -- the glorious power pop sweetness and the ballsy power rock crunch. Raspberries' bright, often bubblegum-y hooks, swirling string arrangements and earnest multi-part vocal harmonies will totally appeal to your sappy soft side, leaving you weeping in a sunbeam. The liner notes include song-by-song commentary by the band members.
MPEG Stream: "Go All The Way"
MPEG Stream: "Let's Pretend"

album cover AAVIKKO History Of Muysic (Muysic For Peoples) cd 16.98
At long last, back in stock!! Here's our review from list 207...
Fuck. That's always a great way to start any decent review here at Aquarius. Fuck Yeah! That's even better, and certainly more appropriate for a disc we've been lusting after for so long. Aavikko is one of those elusive bands that we never seem to be able to keep in stock long enough to escape becoming a mere legend and a fading memory. The problem seems to reside in a lifetime of poor distribution and lackluster label attention. But now Aquarius has secured a direct pipeline to the band in the hopes of rectifying this shortage. Aavikko, for those who've yet to experience their magic, are easily the reigning kings of "electronic instrumental rock" (their own genre?). Hailing from Finland -- that in and of itself should be a clue -- Aavikko have honed a lo-fi electro-punk sound that's oft imitated, but never equaled. Using only cheap electric organs (most notably the Yamaha PSS Home Organ), drums and archaic analog recording technology, Aavikko compose Slavic disco, garage surf punk with rumba beats and insanely catchy pop tunes that bring to mind soundtracks to 8-bit videogames of yesteryear. History Of Muysic is an impressive collection of both no longer available Aavikko classics and unreleased tracks dating back to the group's inception in 1995. The latter includes their first rehearsal demo, outtakes from the Derek! ep sessions and their theme for the Kumman Kaa TV series (which has become one of the most popular ring tones in Finland!), among others. In the long lost and now out of print category, we're most excited by the inclusion of the eight tracks from the first, self-titled Aavikko 7". These are a veritable holy grail of primitive electronic rock and expose imitators for the slick hi-fi hucksters they really are. Probably recorded direct to cassette, you can even hear the tape drag and occasional drop outs. Fellow lovers of Bjorn Olsson will be excited by this and all analog anomalies indelibly pitted into the digital realm. All under three minutes in length, the tracks on the eponymous debut are tight and gritty pop ditties, completely trimmed of fat: the words 'overproduced' and 'Avvikko' will never be found in the same sentence but for this one. Also included on this anthology is the entire Oriental Baby CD, their collaboration with Mono Pause "Of Stomping Men", an unreleased live recording off of the beloved WFMU in NJ, their contribution to the Team Yamaha compilation and last, but in no way least, their most recent single, for the first time on CD, the amazing Eye of the Leopard with Kabar. Really folks, do yourself a favor...
MPEG Stream: "Alas Volgaa"
MPEG Stream: "Seikkailu Villi"
MPEG Stream: "Eye of the Leopard"

album cover DANGER: DIABOLIK (Paramount ) dvd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A MUST-SEE finally available on dvd! We sold a bunch of the amazing soundtrack to this when we could get it. Now we don't have the soundtrack anymore, but with this dvd you're getting the visuals too, and WOW are these great visuals.
Danger: Diabolik is remarkable for so many reasons... One of which being that it's the one definitely non-horror movie from one of the kings of classic horror movies, Mario Bava. Another being that it's the absolute pinnacle of stunningly stylish, captivatingly campy '60s spy flicks. Sooo many filmmakers have drawn heavy influence from Danger: Diabolik.
Another example of just how ahead of the curve this movie was is the fact that it was based on a comic book decades before the recent onslaught of comic book-based superhero and supervillain movies.
Two scenes of note: the trippy cheesoid psychedelic party scene; and Diabolik and his lady in bed writhing in all that money. Not to mention how stunning the couple look, how the guy seems strangely uninterested in her, how they both seems pretty asexual, but how totally amazing their outfits are.
With flabbergastin' set design, lighting and wardrobe, this is definitely a stylistic masterpiece. And the music is way rad too.
And we mustn't forget to mention that this movie has one of the best lines of script-writing, "Dry up stupid!"

album cover V/A Hip Hop Remix (Batty Bombaclaat) cd-r 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We only have a limited quantity of these little gems, so be forewarned. Even before we started becoming inundated with "mash ups" and the compilations featuring them -- The Best Bootlegs In The World Ever, 2 Many DJ's, not to mention DJ Rupture's excellent mixes -- we were able to pick up, quite briefly, 7" releases which featured ragga dancehall a capellas remixed over the hot hip hop rhythms of the day. The labels printing these -- RMC, Special Remix & Killa -- printed short runs, and often the best mixes were long gone before we could even write about them. Those singles are long out of print and the labels that released them have all vaporized as well, but the folk(s) at Batty Bombaclaat have preserved some of the best for a brief second time around for the rest of us stuck in the digital realm. In all, nineteen tracks on this cd-r, each one amazing in its own way. For starters, the two genres -- hip hop and dancehall -- are taylor made for a good mash up. Hip hop's formation owes much to Jamaican DJ's and sound systems that supported them. In turn early Jamaican artists owe much of their inspiration to the early soul and R&B that was imported to the island at the early ages of the sound system. In recent years with the maturation of raggamuffin dancehall, and Jamaican artists cameoing on American hip hop artists' albums, the lines between hip hop and dancehall have been further blurred. Ward 21's first full length is a classic example of hip hop influenced dancehall, and Soul Jazz's excellent compilation Nice Up The Dance further illustrated the connections between the genres. The singles compiled on this anthology are more blunt than that, but the results are no less wonderful. Some, Like Lexxus' "Bounce A Gal" (which uses Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On" as its rhythm) are great in their complete contrast to the original hit. When Missy's track came out it was impossible not to hear it 5 times a day; and of course, the rhythm was recycled many times by many artists from Timbaland himself to Kid 606. The great thing about the Lexxus mix is that Lexxus's voice is so anti-thetical to Missy's. He sounds like an insane person with a bad head cold who snuck into the studio. Other tracks, like Sizzla's "Never Want To Heard A Dem", best the originals. Mixed over M.O.P.'s "Ante Up", Sizzla's vocals turn an otherwise mediocre track into a fucking blood spittingly amazing one. The rhythm is so fucking great it would have been such a disappointment to let it get relegated to the dust bin of history with M.O.P.'s uninspired vocals on it. Along with the aforementioned Jamaican vocalists, included here are many of our favorites like Elephant Man, Capleton, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Merciless, Raegan, Danny English and more. Plus all the best hip hop rhythms of the cusp of the millennium are represented here: "Independent Women", "Ugly", Who's That Girl", "One Minute Man", "Can't Deny It", "I'm A Thug" and more. No rhythm tracks are repeated, for what it's worth, so there's no feeling of redundancy with this comp and it makes it a nice party mix to play. As an interesting twist, the disc closes with an inverted remix featuring Sensational's "Livin' It Up" over Beenie Man's "Who Am I". We're not sure where that one came from. As a final note, the original sources from which these tracks were culled, though most likely pressed in the U.S., were done in the Jamaican style: fast and dirty. In other words, there's lots of clicks and pops -- which the producers of this disc elected to preserve -- to increase that sense of authenticity while you listen. On cd-r, with covers nicely printed on vellum and card stock. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: SIZZLA "Never Want To Heard A Dem"
MPEG Stream: CAPLETON "Bun It Down"
MPEG Stream: SENSATIONAL "Livin' It Up"

album cover YAMASUKI SINGERS, THE Le Monde Fabuleux Des (Finders Keepers) lp 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Everytime we've played this delicious reissue in the store, people have eagerly inquired, "Oooh, what's this?!" If you dig music that gleefully jumps boundaries and melts together genres with whimsical abandon (but NOT in the current irony-sodden, just-fuckin'-around fashion) -- in this case, a cross-cultural funneling in on the sounds of French Ye Ye Girl pop, far-out Japanese psych and prog influences, some almost-Carpenters level sing-song-y glorious pop, and assorted other vintage Euro-funkiness -- well then, Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki is for YOU!
Lovingly mastered from the original tapes by one of the original producers Monsieur Jean Kluger, this is the first time these recordings have been released on cd. Apparently there was originally one album and two singles released under the name The Yamsuki Singers on the French label Biram back in 1971. Needless to say, they've been next to impossible to find for years. If you're eager to get the skinny on Yamasuki, the project's lively history is printed in English in the liner notes, but there's also an added bonus on the back page of the booklet. If your French comprehension is any good, you can find out how to do the dance moves -- le salut, la joie, la peur, la grace, le combat, attaque (translation of this move's description: one assumes karate positions while shouting "caa ooh") and hara kiri!
By today's standards, you might find some of the 'oriental' (ahem, Asian) elements downright corny (the first song begins with a gong, and songs are introduced by a black-belt judo master!), but the sheer exuberance of the performances sweeps away any possibility of scowling criticisms. The sticker on the front proclaims "A fuzzed-out-educational-multi-cultural psych-rock-opera from 1971. Proto-psychedelic hip-hop with overweight drum beats and basslines!" Who's gonna argue with that?! Not us, we particularly appreciate the record label's use of the word "overweight". Yeah, we can hear what they're gettin' at -- the rhythm section is pretty thumpin' and hefty -- but it still made us giggle. Anyways, not to be super nit-picky but although this is indeed a conceptual album, after reading the liner notes we deduced that it's not so much a 'rock opera' per se, but more like a dance performance with lots of choral accompaniments. So who was behind all of this wonderful madness? Two French producer/composers, the aforementioned Kluger and Daniel Vangarde... and various children's choirs singing in Japanese. Ultra bizarre, campy, freaky and outrageous (again, even by today's standards!), we've got a sneaking suspicion that Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks probably saw/heard Yamasuki 'cause there sure are some striking resemblances with their own deliriously fantastic Kimono My House album that came out a few years later in 1974. You might find it sorta Zappa-ish too. Heck, it even spawned a dance move, "The Yamasuki"! Oh yeah, and if the fifth song "AIEAOA" sounds oddly familiar, you might recognize it as a song covered by Bananarama. Apparently the gals heard a version recorded by a band from Zaire (!), and loved it so much that they covered the cover "Aie A Mwana" and made it their first single!
Cup sez "Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!" Who's gonna argue with that, either?! Recommended, along with the other amazing reissue on the Finders Keepers label we reviewed last week, Jean-Claude Vannier's L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches.
MPEG Stream: "Okawa"
MPEG Stream: "Aieaoa"
MPEG Stream: "Abana Bakana"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS Come Come To The Sunset Tree (self-released) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This is John Darnielle's wonderful home-spun alternate rendition of his latest album, The Sunset Tree, released on vinyl only. Taking into consideration the songs' rough-hewn state and the fact that there's also a studio recorded album consisting of most of these songs, some folks might refer to these recordings as demos. To that we utter a robust "Pshaw!" 'Cuz as with most every release in the history of Sir Darnielle, Come Come To The Sunset Tree stands as a finished work on its own merits. He recorded these eleven songs at his home in North Carolina, and he recorded the 4AD CD release version at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, CA. Keep in mind, apart from the obvious differences in production, you'll also find additional distinctions between the LP and CD in their respective song selections and running orders. If you're a serious Mountain Goats fan, you'll no doubt need both versions! The bare bones intimacy of these home recordings brings back fond memories of his early releases. Wonderful! Each record is packaged in a one-of-a-kind handcrafted cover (festooned with photos, comic strip panels, colored construction paper, paint and felt tip markers). Ultra limited pressing of which we only got a handful and they're going very very fast, so don't you dare snooze on this one!

album cover YAMASUKI SINGERS, THE Le Monde Fabuleux Des (Finders Keepers) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Everytime we've played this delicious reissue in the store, people have eagerly inquired, "Oooh, what's this?!" If you dig music that gleefully jumps boundaries and melts together genres with whimsical abandon (but NOT in the current irony-sodden, just-fuckin'-around fashion) -- in this case, a cross-cultural funneling in on the sounds of French Ye Ye Girl pop, far-out Japanese psych and prog influences, some almost-Carpenters level sing-song-y glorious pop, and assorted other vintage Euro-funkiness -- well then, Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki is for YOU!
Lovingly mastered from the original tapes by one of the original producers Monsieur Jean Kluger, this is the first time these recordings have been released on cd. Apparently there was originally one album and two singles released under the name The Yamasuki Singers on the French label Biram back in 1971. Needless to say, they've been next to impossible to find for years. If you're eager to get the skinny on Yamasuki, the project's lively history is printed in English in the liner notes, but there's also an added bonus on the back page of the booklet. If your French comprehension is any good, you can find out how to do the dance moves -- le salut, la joie, la peur, la grace, le combat, attaque (translation of this move's description: one assumes karate positions while shouting "caa ooh") and hara kiri!
By today's standards, you might find some of the 'oriental' (ahem, Asian) elements downright corny (the first song begins with a gong, and songs are introduced by a black-belt judo master!), but the sheer exuberance of the performances sweeps away any possibility of scowling criticisms. The sticker on the front proclaims "A fuzzed-out-educational-multi-cultural psych-rock-opera from 1971. Proto-psychedelic hip-hop with overweight drum beats and basslines!" Who's gonna argue with that?! Not us, we particularly appreciate the record label's use of the word "overweight". Yeah, we can hear what they're gettin' at -- the rhythm section is pretty thumpin' and hefty -- but it still made us giggle. Anyways, not to be super nit-picky but although this is indeed a conceptual album, after reading the liner notes we deduced that it's not so much a 'rock opera' per se, but more like a dance performance with lots of choral accompaniments. So who was behind all of this wonderful madness? Two French producer/composers, the aforementioned Kluger and Daniel Vangarde... and various children's choirs singing in Japanese. Ultra bizarre, campy, freaky and outrageous (again, even by today's standards!), we've got a sneaking suspicion that Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks probably saw/heard Yamasuki 'cause there sure are some striking resemblances with their own deliriously fantastic Kimono My House album that came out a few years later in 1974. You might find it sorta Zappa-ish too. Heck, it even spawned a dance move, "The Yamasuki"! Oh yeah, and if the fifth song "AIEAOA" sounds oddly familiar, you might recognize it as a song covered by Bananarama. Apparently the gals heard a version recorded by a band from Zaire (!), and loved it so much that they covered the cover "Aie A Mwana" and made it their first single!
Cup sez "Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!" Who's gonna argue with that, either?! Recommended, along with the other amazing reissue on the Finders Keepers label we reviewed last week, Jean-Claude Vannier's L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches.
MPEG Stream: "Okawa"
MPEG Stream: "Aieaoa"
MPEG Stream: "Abana Bakana"

album cover ONEIDA The Wedding (Jagjaguwar) cd 14.98
First things first, it was just brought to our attention that those Oneida guys actually BUILT A GIANT MUSICBOX (apparently the largest in Eastern U.S.) out of plywood, saw blades, marine pilings and motor parts. Then they put it to good use forming the foundation of this album. Okay, hang on a sec, can we just say, HOLY SHIT!!
Before we were aware of this considerable undertaking, we'd already written the following review. While we have added a few points, we still stand by our initial glowing praise:
A very different Oneida greets us on their latest album The Wedding. More somber and delicate, less propulsive, abrasive and multipersonality-ed, but fortunately still unmistakably Oneida. The compositions and the album as a whole appear to be their most cohesive and even-keeled (in style, mood and tempo) to date. It's a refreshing change from past albums which been very rollercoaster-y with some of the band's strongest and weakest moments right next to each other -- perhaps due to their jam tendencies to fearlessly and freely follow their muse. Having said that, by no means does this shift indicate that Oneida has become any less adventurous, dynamic or challenging in their music-making. Hell, the fact that they dreamed up *and* constructed a GIANT MUSICBOX is proof of this alone (although to be honest, a few of us couldn't actually hear the music box, mixed as it is amidst the usual rock instrumentation, and due to the fact that the giant music box apparently ends up sounding a bit like the synths it's nestled up against). These guys are fucking astounding musicians with a wealth of creativity and chops that show no signs of drying up anytime soon. The analog synthesizers with which they've created some dense, fierce and otherworldly atmospheres in the past have been joined by not only the musicbox but also an impressive string ensemble (arranged and assembled by New York's Fireworks Ensemble's Brian Coughlin) which certainly makes for some of the band's most stunningly beautiful and introspective songs ever. Also contributing to this new persona is the consistency of the vocals which occasionally swoop up to falsetto, but generally linger in the gentle range of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour or Radar Brothers' Jim Putnam. Definitely more psych-folk than psych-rock, although the sixth song bursts in and jars everyone out of their seats with its over-the-top, near-metal balls rock. Whoa! Nonetheless, quite a stunning achievement. Highly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Heavenly Choir "
MPEG Stream: "August Morning Haze"

album cover LOCUST, THE Safety Second, Body Last (Ipecac) cd ep 10.98
Got a bunch more of these in, and figured we'd list it again since it's one of our favorite Locust records that some of you may have missed last time around.
Have those blisters on your eardrums finally healed from listening to The Locust's 2003 full length Plague Soundscapes? Good... 'cuz the boys have returned to do some more damage. Their Safety Second, Body Last EP threatens to tear right through your eardrums and get to gnawing on those cochleas. Mmmm. Each of the two tracks is remarkably lengthy (well, at least for this band whose songs usually clock in at under a minute long!). The first is just over six minutes long, while the second is just under four. Mind you, there are quiet moments in each track that sorta breaks things up into more familiar Locust-y shorter spurts. Plus to make things even more puzzling, printed on the back of the cd are not two but four (!) song titles complete with subtitles (happy to see that their song titles are still in top form, if a little uncharacteristically short-winded). Overall, this is a bit slower, more sludge-y and more grinding than usual, but it still offers up their trademark acid-spit screamo vocals, blurble-fart synths and rapidfire drumming. That said, this is by no means simply a no-brain, messy pile of noise. No! In case you're not familiar with this band, there's definitely a degree of precision and order to The Locust's music. There's rhythmic switch-ups and twisted synth melodies that make their presence more than felt throughout the ten minutes.
FYI: This time they come via Mike Patton's label Ipecac Recordings, home to many likeminded auditory system abusing artists.
MPEG Stream: "Armless And Overactive"
MPEG Stream: "One Decent Leg"

album cover V/A Yellow Pills: Prefill (Numero Group) 2cd 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Although we're currently havin' a nice warm, sunny spell here in SF this week, let's not fool ourselves... summer's still months away! But before we bemoan that fact, let's give ourselves a dose of Yellow Pills. It's a pair of cds potent enough to trigger their own summer spell or at least give the gloomy grey days a hearty kick in the pants. This is as 'feel good' as music can get! An over-the-top mix of bubblegum and power pop (with some glam rock thrown in there for good measure) circa '78-'82, deeply influenced by the Beach Boys, the Shoes, the Rasberries, the Beatles, E.L.O., Badfinger, the Nazz, Sweet and all of those other seminal practitioners of power pop. This is totally for you if you dig Redd Kross and Silver Sun or if you just love your pop powerful, and your punk poppy. Released on that cool label Numero Group who recently gave us those two brilliant Eccentric Soul compilations. Liner notes by power pop afficianado Jordan Oakes who published the pop fanzine Yellow Pills where this comp got its name (he also chose the bands!!). A totally brilliant collection of perfect power pop, which is definitely saying something as no one here had heard of a single one of these bands!
MPEG Stream: LUXURY "Green Hearts"
MPEG Stream: TWEEDS "I Need That Record"
MPEG Stream: COLORS "All I Want"

album cover DA SILVA, ANA The Lighthouse (Chicks On Speed) cd 15.98
Please please do not be deterred (as we almost were) by the fact that this was released on Chicks On Speed's label. Although we're admittedly not the biggest fans of those gals' music, we've gotta give them props for good taste. Besides this sounds absolutely nothing like C.O.S.!
Ana Da Silva was one of the original members of the seminal post-punk female band The Raincoats, and this is her first solo release. We're happy to report that although this is quite different and considerably more delicate music than that of her old band, some of those Raincoats angularities still linger. The subtly eccentric minimal folk pop of The Lighthouse comes across as sounding not unlike a wonderful hybrid of Bjork, Young Marble Giants and maybe even some early Residents too.
This truly solo effort (she wrote, performed and produced it all herself) is comprised of vocal songs (standouts include "Running In The Rain" and the title track) and a beautiful instrumental titled "Hospital Window" (a video is included for this song too!) -- all of which she crafted on both acoustic and electronic soundmakers that flicker and flutter like moth wings near candlelight. If you've taken a liking to the recent avant-folk scene (Joanna Newsom, Vetiver, Devendra Banhart and many of the Jewelled Antler Collective) and/or find the abovementioned artists tickling your fancy, do yourself a favor and grab this now! Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Running In The Rain"
MPEG Stream: "The Lighthouse"

album cover CONET PROJECT, THE (Irdial Disc) 4cd+book 62.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Once again, the wait is over! Feels like we spend a whole lot of time waiting for the Conet Project to come back into our lives. We sell these like crazy when they're in stock, but it always seems to go out of print before we know it and we're forced to wait again for the re-emergence of one of our all time favorite "musical" documents. And hell, if there was ever a quadruple cd / book of shortwave transmissions worth waiting for, this is the one!! We're now on the FOURTH pressing of the Conet (or maybe even the fifth?) and we still can't get enough! This is one of our ALL TIME favorite releases EVER, as evidenced by the fact that EVERYONE who works here owns at least one copy, and to date, we've sold 680 copies! And counting! We'd probably have broken 1000 if this darn thing would stay in print. This version is again exactly the same as the others EXCEPT that this one includes a postcard seeking "cold warriors" with personal knowledge of numbers stations. As stated on the card, if you are one of those warriors, contact Irdial immediately. Your identity and whatever information you are able to share will be kept strictly confidential. If you are not one of those warriors, pass the card on, in the hopes that it will find its way into the right hands. Why so mysterious? What's with the cloak and dagger stuff? Well, my friends, read on, and learn all about the beautiful and mysterious Conet Project:
If there's one recording we have sold here that is most identified with Aquarius Records, or that at least we mention most often when trying to explain to people what it is that we're all about here, it'd be the Conet Project. Some others come close: Sounds of North American Frogs, Os Mutantes, Burzum "Filosofem", Comus "First Utterance", Boris, Circle, Philip Jeck, Village of Savoonga...and there's of course many other discs and LPs near and dear to our hearts (for instance, hearing the first Neutral Milk Hotel album always makes me nostalgic for the old 24th street store). But for some reason it's the Conet Project that really seems to sum it all up. It's all the things we really love: completely ridiculous (four cds!), completely fucked (secret government spy transmissions), droning, weird. It's just so interesting and evocative on so many levels, both musical and totally non-musical, as a listening experience and also as a geopolitical cold war and beyond artifact. Definitely a big AQ fave: Allan's got the whole thing on his iPod, Andee has multiple copies, many of which found their way into his old band's live perfomances, Jim has steadfastly maintained that this is the greatest record of all time, and we all are a little bit obsessed.
If you've been in the store, you've probably noticed that we have a chart on the wall behind the counter keeping a tally of Conets sold. It went up to 387 (yes, three hundred and eighty seven!) before it became unavailable/out of print a few years ago, then again up into the 400's, and then again into the 600's always forced to wait patiently until it becomes available again -- there's even snapshots of some of the happy purchasers (#382, Mike Patton) beside it. Now we're ready to start checking off more boxes on our chart, as we at last are able to offer you The Conet Project once again!! After several years of going in and out of print, the Irdial label has finally done another re-press! We're not sure if the re-presses are still funded by the $30,000+ settlement they recieved from Wilco's record label, who Irdial sued for the unauthorized use of a Conet Project sample on their breakthrough Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album, whose title itself comes from that Conet sample. (Read more about that here http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,63952,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_7.) We're not sure if we understand or agree with the legalities behind Irdial's lawsuit, but we're happy at least that the outcome resulted in more Conets to go around (if that's where Irdial got the money to repress, as we suspect). There was also the use of a Conet track in that Tom Cruise movie Vanilla Sky...
Basically, the Conet Project is a four-cd compilation of recordings of mysterious shortwave radio broadcasts, known as "numbers stations". These numbers stations are generally believed to be encrypted spy transmissions, but no concrete evidence has ever surfaced proving that suppostion. However, no credible *alternate* explanation has ever been demonstrated, either. For years (ever since the start of the Cold War), amateur radio enthusiasts have come across these sinister signals, and they continue to this day, broadcast in many languages all over the world (the theory is that some are CIA, some are KBG, some are Mossad, etc).
In general, the transmissions consist of a deadpan voice (sometimes an old man, sometimes a young woman, etc.) reading a seemingly random, meaningless series of numbers over and over. Sometimes the broadcsts are preceded by a musical cue (the "Swedish Rhapsody" music box one being a favorite of ours), and sometimes the numbers are not conveyed by voice but by even more cryptic electronics (as with "The Buzzer", and other noisy, abstract stuff found mainly on disc four).
Needless to say, hearing those amazing and baffling sounds collected on these four cds is an unnerving experience. Not only does knowledge of the supposed purpose of these transmissions imbue them with a disturbing quality, but the repetition of the numbers combined with the background of shortwave radio static makes for a aurally hypnotic experience. If merely regarded as a piece of experimental ambient sound scupture, the Conet Project would be a brilliant and affecting piece of work, yet with the added context of international intelligence and conspiracy theory, it becomes even more intriguing and creepy. The four cds come with a large book (housed in its own jewel box) that provides a great deal of description of, and speculation about, the many recordings. Very well done. The Conet Project is possibly the most incredible, and weirdest, item of sound art/documentation that we've EVER had here at Aquarius. Mesmerizing, fascinating, unique, massive, scary, but sometimes even soothing. 100 percent recommended to the adventurous listener ('cause it's not for everyone!). And once you have it you'll understand why it had to be a full four cds--being overwhelming is part of the obsessive allure of this Project.
MPEG Stream: "Swedish Rhapsody"
MPEG Stream: "5 Dashes"
MPEG Stream: "Iran/Iraq Jamming Efficacy Testing"
MPEG Stream: "Magnetic Fields"
MPEG Stream: "Tyrolean Music Station"
MPEG Stream: "The Buzzer"

album cover HECKER, MAXIMILLIAN Lady Sleep (Kitty-Yo) cd 16.98
On his third full length, the spotlight is fully on Maximillian Hecker's voice. It brings to mind a drowsy Joe Pernice or David Gates from Bread. Y'know, it's that sort of voice that just starts the hearts a-melting as soon as he opens his mouth. Hecker's backed by the full elegant pop assemblage of piano, strings... soooo lovely! Lady Sleep captures the deep ache of lovelorn yearning and loss. It's a box o' tissues listen. He'll probably also draw many comparisons to the grand swooping likes of Radiohead or Coldplay, and fans of those bands (particularly the latter) would do well to check Hecker out. The only song that steps outside of the hushed beauty comes late in Lady Sleep. "Yeah, Eventually She Goes" is the tenth of the album's eleven songs, and it jars with it's sudden barrage of guitars which push it into that tired ol' quiet/loud camp. Really, it's somewhat disappointing, coming across more as a Radiohead knock-off that this album could've done without. That said, setting that brief exception aside, we can say this album is absolutely haunting and heartbreaking.
MPEG Stream: "Birch"
MPEG Stream: "Help Me"

album cover NILSEN, BJ & STILLUPPSTEYPA Vikinga Brennivin (Limited Edition) (The Helen Scarsdale Agency ) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The cold winter nights stuck above the Arctic Circle have become the perfect climate for extended bouts of intoxication for many a Scandinavian. As a result, the capacity for the Icelandic duo Stilluppsteypa to consume alcohol is the stuff of legend. Alcohol has soaked into every fiber of their being; but its manifestation in their music (and their personalities for that matter) is closer to the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde allegory, as a raging alcoholic squirms just beneath the surface of a stoic Scandinavian temperment. Of course, where these two personalities come into conflict is where the art of Stilluppsteypa is realized. A schizoid tension runs throughout Stilluppsteypa's impressive catalogue of terminal drones, sputtered rhythms, and atomic fractures; and often this tension is dished out with a smug dollop of black humour and Dadaist absurdity. So, it's hardly unusual to come across Stilluppsteypa celebrating Vikinga Brennivin, the stringent Icelandic alcohol that has undoubtably killed some of their collective brain cells. Yet it was the stoic BJ Nilsen -- the Swedish electron wrangler whose best known for his work as Hazard -- who invited Stilluppsteypa to collaborate on Vikinga Brennivin. Their resultant collaboration is an existentialist allegory in which the three drunkenly stumble out in a Scandinavian winter night and spiral toward the inevitable point in which they blackout. Lest this be construed as a derelict piece of method acting, the craft that Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa brought to Vikinga Brennivin is impeccable, as the extended dronescapes breath with the majesty of distant fog horns and sparkle with the delicate light of countless stars cast down from the black heavens onto the frozen tundra below. Frightening and barren, yet hauntingly compelling, Vikinga Brennivin is an isolationist masterpiece.
We've got a handful of the first edition of Vikinga Brennivin which come housed in a jewel case with beautiful aged-copper inserts (as in actual metal, not copper ink) with white silk-screened printing. There's only 300 of the first edition, and the label has sold out of it! We'll let you know when the second edition will be released sometime in April 2005.
MPEG Stream: "En Dare Kan Fraga Mer An Tre Visa Kan Svara"
MPEG Stream: "Det Ar Bast Att Jag Borjar, Annars Kommer..."

album cover CHARLEBOIS, ROBERT Avec Louise Forestier (Unidisc Music ) cd 14.98
These Unidisc Music reissues aren't necessarily new, but they are new to us here at AQ, and we've found them to be quite intriguing and enjoyable listens. On this 1968 album it's clear that Robert Charlebois' collaborative work with Louise Forestier were just as high on dramatics (and at times as loopy) as her solo albums... if not more so. The chemistry between Quebecois artists Charlebois and Forestier is not unlike two old friends getting together to bend a musical elbow over a glass of wine (or two or three). Heck, on songs such as "C.P.R. Blues" and "Egg Generation" they get downright unhinged -- lively frolics that verge on the mad or chaotic. You also get a duet version of the song "California" which appears as a solo-sung number on Forestier's Avec Enzymes album. Great!
MPEG Stream: "C.P.R. Blues"
MPEG Stream: "Egg Generation"

album cover FORESTIER, LOUISE Avec Enzymes (Unidisc Music) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Here's one of several Unidisc Music reissues that aren't necessarily new, but are new to us here at AQ, and we've found them to be quite intriguing and enjoyable listens.
Avec Enzymes was originally released back in 1970. Now, on the language side of things, unfortunately we're not multilingual to the point of being able to tell the difference between Quebecois-French and France-French (although we wish we were!), so please don't think we're simply generalizing when we say that stylistically there are many parallels between the francophone music of Louise Forestier and Brigitte Fontaine. Much like that of chanteuse Fontaine, French Canadian actress/singer Forestier's music might initially strikes you as being fairly standard French Pop performed by seemingly straight-laced studio musicians, however listen closer / further and you'll discover that's it's considerably more challenging and theatrical, at times drifting off into subtle eccentricities and some downright bizarre tangents. I mean, just check out the album's title! A little odd, doncha think? She didn't stick to any one genre either, dabbling in rock, folk, pop and even rock opera! So campy and cool!
MPEG Stream: "California"
MPEG Stream: "Tzagadou"

album cover HICKS, BILL Live - Satirist, Social Critic, Stand-Up Comedian (RykoDisc) dvd 16.98
We've been sitting on this one for a couple weeks 'cause we wanted to be sure it got everyone's full attention. On the surface this may appear to be just another comedy dvd, but it's considerably more than that. It's a potent posthumous release and historical document of, for lack of better words, 'highlights' of the mighty Bill Hicks' career as a stand-up comedian.
Arguably, the bulk of the current crop of incisively insightful comedians are reduced to mere fluff when held up to the unforgiving fire of Hicks (who passed away in 1994 at the age of 32)... and make no bones about it, they fuckin' know it! Many (David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Dave Attell to name a few) bow their heads in deep reverence to the memory of this seriously groundbreaking individual, and others would do well to do the same. Much of their material comes directly from the provocative seeds this man sowed. Much of his material comes across as fresh and as relevant as it did over a decade ago. When you hear him speak of President Bush, it's startling to realize he's speaking of Bush 41 not Bush 43. He blazed his own trail in much the same unrestrained and unrelenting tradition as Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce or George Carlin. He was the archetype of a comedian's comedian. Not always funny nor entertaining per se, and not always giving the audience what they wanted... that wasn't the point. He had things to say. He raised and skewered topics -- often scathing and remarkably direct -- that other people (comedian or otherwise) would cower away from. Don't be mistaken though, when Hicks deemed it time to be 'funny', he laid to waste all in his presence. The title says it all. It's impossible and completely inaccurate to simply peg this man as a comedian. It can truly be said that he was one of the best in each category.
With the increased prominence of indie comedians -- particularly stand-up and sketch on television (Mr. Show, Insomniac, etc) -- over the past half decade, the time is more than ripe for this dvd which contains three of his 1991 performances (in Chicago, Montreal and London which for years have only been circulating in grainy vhs copies) plus a documentary. His diehard following has certainly grown over the years (heck, he was by no means unknown back in the day - he made numerous prominent tv appearances on shows such as David Letterman), but now with this dvd and the aforementioned individuals' giving props to him in their interviews, Hicks will hopefully receive the attention and respect long overdue.
This dvd includes one of Hicks' most moving and insightful segments -- his imagined editorial comment for a news broadcast: "Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves... Here's Tom with the weather."
Fucking brilliant. Seriously. Not to be missed!

album cover IRON MAIDEN The History Of Iron Maiden - Part 1: The Early Days (Sanctuary) 2dvd 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This dvd set is so cool, two AQers wanted/needed to review it...
When I (Allan) ordered this, I actually thought it was just one dvd, with a bunch of classic Iron Maiden live stuff on it that I probably had already seen on videotape but figured would be cool to have on DVD since I'm such a big Maiden fan. And I assumed a few AQ customers would think so too. But then when it showed up, I discovered that there's TWO discs, and the second one is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to anyone into Maiden, '80s nostalgia, or air guitar (I'll explain in a sec).
On the first disc, you get three concert films: 1981's Live At The Rainbow with Di'Anno singing, plus 1982's Beast Over Hammersmith and 1983's Live In Dortmund both with Bruce on the mic. In just three years, quite an arc of triumph. Turns out some of this I had seen, but some of it is previously unavailable footage. So, that disc is cool in and of itself. And then there's Disc Two. As Cup alluded to above, there's a documentary, The Early Days (90 minutes) which is so in-depth it's insane, and quite entertaining, the documentarians talking to everyone and anyone who had anything to do with Maiden, telling the story of Maiden from the band's modest inception in the punky mid '70s through their world-conquering Number Of The Beast album and tour. But what really made me exclaim "Heavens to Eddie!" is the episode of an 1981 British TV entertainment/documentary programme called 20th Century Box that focused on the burgeoning New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) as exemplified by the young Iron Maiden and their legions of fans. This is where the air guitar comes in...well not just air guitar, cardboard guitar! Apparently it was quite a pastime of the punters who populated clubs like the Soundhouse (whose resident DJ, Neal Kay, provides some unintentionally hilarious interview moments, like talking about how he doesn't approve of the term "heavy metal" while wearing a t-shirt with those very words on it) to make their own cardboard guitars and bring 'em out for a night of competitive headbanging. We don't want to spoil it by telling you more... it's great though. If you like Heavy Metal Parking lot you'll love this.
If that wasn't enough, true Maiden fans will then be utterly freaked out to see the amazing Live At The Ruskin, 45 minutes of live Maiden shot with a home video cam from the crowd at the show in a tiny club celebrating the release of their very first album. Wow. Incredible.
And Ms Cup sez: This 2-dvd set is fantastic! The band really shows their love and respect for their legions of fans with such a super generous helping of rare Maiden treasures (and the price tag's pretty kind too). In particular, I found The Early Days documentary on this dvd to be sooo inspiring and impactful (and entertaining too... especially hearing Bruce Dickinson talking about wearing his "jimjams"!). For one thing, it has proven to amply refuel the fires of hardcore Maiden fans' Dickinson vs. Di'Anno frontman debate. That said it also resonates even if you're a non-Maiden fan, a not-yet-a-Maiden fan or simply not a metal fan at all, and you might discover (as I did) that you have newfound respect for Steve Harris and co. Awesome!
Plus there's tons of extras: 5 promo videos, early TV appearances (Top Of The Pops!), photo and art galleries, etc. They really did a bang-up job with this DVD package. Basically, Maiden rules, early Maiden rules even more, and if you like Iron Maiden, you must get this!!

album cover GO! TEAM, THE Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Memphis Industries / Columbia) cd 13.98
Heads up people! It's a surging candy-coated fountain of perky, ultra funky euro pop sweeping up everyone in its path! When we played it the other day, she had three customers ask about it in quick succession. Pretty darn irresistible, The Go! Team cook up lots of hyper-energetic, ass-slappin', toe-shakin' party jams! Sorta like a bubbly, brightly-hued blend of Bis and Stereototal. Sometimes you think your listening to a '60s spy movie soundtrack (particularly for a scene involving a car chase by the beach), while other times you'd swear you've stumbled upon a groovy pyjama-party-a-go-go. Something that's this jam-packed with rompin' good thrills'n'chills has just gotta be... highly recommended!!!
MPEG Stream: "Panther Dash"
MPEG Stream: "Ladyflash "

album cover GO! TEAM, THE Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Memphis Industries) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL!!!!
Heads up people! It's a surging candy-coated fountain of perky, ultra funky euro pop sweeping up everyone in its path! When we played it the other day, we had three customers ask about it in quick succession. Pretty darn irresistible, The Go! Team cook up lots of hyper-energetic, ass-slappin', toe-shakin' party jams! Sorta like a bubbly, brightly-hued blend of Bis and Stereototal. Sometimes you think your listening to a '60s spy movie soundtrack (particularly for a scene involving a car chase by the beach), while other times you'd swear you've stumbled upon a groovy pyjama-party-a-go-go. Something that's this jam-packed with rompin' good thrills'n'chills has just gotta be... highly recommended!!!
MPEG Stream: "Panther Dash"
MPEG Stream: "Ladyflash "

album cover IRON & THE ALBATROSS s/t (self-released) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
HOORAY! BACK IN STOCK!
Ara Anderson's sure stacked the decks in his favor for his debut release with a supporting cast that includes the beloved Jolie Holland on vocals, guitar and violin (perhaps repaying the kind favor of his stellar performance on her own Escondida album), and fine SF composer Erik Walker (psst, we also just got his wonderful album in stock on which you can also hear Mr. Anderson play). Much like that of Ms Holland, Mr. Anderson's music has an earthy, somber old tyme-y feel that's quite an anomaly these days. Much like the namesake of the seventh song ("Musee Mechanique" - the fabulous antique penny arcade here in SF) it's almost as though he's conjured his songbook pages from a very distant yesteryear. Richly expressive instrumentals are woven from player piano style ivory-tickling frolicks, wheezily congested horns, downtrodden strings and sullen woodwinds among other things -- occasionally off-kilter, whimsically carnivalesque, and often very melancholic. You might even wonder if Anderson was a silent movie score composer in a past life. The easiest (or, ahem, laziest) comparison that could be made is that many of these songs sound very much like the intimate rough-hewn music of Tom Waits minus the voice of Tom Waits (and actually Anderson has appeared on a couple of Waits' albums, Blood Money and Alice!), while others can be likened to the eccentric splendor of the Tin Hat Trio. Fans of both (as well as the abovementioned artists) should certainly take note of this talented gent. Simply wonderful!
MPEG Stream: "Musee Mechanique"
MPEG Stream: "Chinese Opera"

album cover CURE, THE Three Imaginary Boys (Remastered) (Rhino / Atlantic) 2cd 25.00
Well, it's about fuckin' time (psst, you know it's a special occasion if it makes us swear)! The Cure's Three Imaginary Boys debut album has finally been reissued, just in time to cleanse our ears of the disappointment of their latest album. In comparison to their recent studio-concocted big 'raw' sound, T.I.B. needed no high-tech bells and whistles to effectively convey its gritty immediacy. Yes, it's occasionally clunky and often imperfect, but it's a great snapshot of the band back in its 1979 unpolished adolescence with their bare bones electric guitar, bass, drums and vocals (pre-synthesizer) set-up. In contrast to their playing chops, their songwriting chops were already pretty darn solid. Actually this is the very first time the album has been released in the U.S., and thus begins Rhino Records' resurrection of The Cure's long-yearned-for catalog of seminal albums. Hurrah! If this remastered and expanded edition is any indication, we're in for some pretty great rarities-type surprises. It comes with a big ol' booklet and a 'bonus' disc filled with twenty surprisingly punky demos, outtakes, live tracks and such from back in their formative years -- including a demo version of what is undisputably one of their best pop songs "Boys Don't Cry". Many of the recordings are really really lo-fi and murky, but Robert Smith and Co.'s magic shines through. Cure fans rejoice!
MPEG Stream: "Boys Don't Cry (studio demo)"
MPEG Stream: "10:15 Saturday Night (studio demo)"

album cover COCTAILS Popcorn Box (Carrot Top) 3cd 42.00
We sort of forgot how much we loved indie rock, but recently, there've been a handful of re-issues that definitely remind us what was so fucking great about that whole early nineties / college rock / DIY / indie rock scene. Most importantly the bands were just amazing. And they actually wrote amazing songs. Pavement, Guided By Voices and of course the Coctails. The Coctails had all the makings of a joke band, goofy instrumentation, a definite love of all things kitsch, they even performed in the beginning in cheesy yellow tuxedos as if they were the house band in some Catskills resort. The sound was sort of jazz, sort of lounge, a little bit pop. But the Coctails were unbelievably talented songwriters AND players. So whatever type of music they tackled, it sounded great, and eventually sounded like the Coctails and nobody else. Their 'sound' definitely leaned heavily in the jazz direction, but as they progressed, they became quite the pop songsmiths, and not the sort of pop you would always expect from a goofy bunch of dudes in a band called the Coctails, no, more a moody, brooding, dark and warm pop. Not that they couldn't goof it up and whip out some of the funniest silliest stuff you've ever heard, but they were capable of bringing a room of jaded indie rockers to their emotional knees if the mood suited them. Those of you who have never heard the Coctails, might remember a handful of amazing records by a guy named Archer Prewitt. Well Mr. Prewitt just so happened to spend his formative years in those very same Coctails. His sweetly melancholic sunny pop definitely had its roots in the Coctails later years. This box set is really well done. Collecting loads of tracks from their out of print albums, as well as ALL of their singles, compliation tracks (of which there were many) and even their contribution to They Might Be Giants's monthly cd club from way back when. The Coctails tended to experiment more when they weren't making albums, so the singles tracks tend toward the more goofy and fun and flat out silly, but the album cuts balance those out perfectly, with their dark melancholia and sunny jazzy hopefulness. Plus the booklet is immense, with all sorts of amazing art and Coctails ephemera (they had to be one of the best merchandised bands ever, they even had cloth dolls of each band member! And purchasers of this here box are offered the chance to order the whole set!!) including extensive notes on each track from the band. Comes in a cool popcorn box like slip-cover.
MPEG Stream: "Steam"
MPEG Stream: "Monkeys And Seals"
MPEG Stream: "Penguin / Powerhouse"
MPEG Stream: "Woodbee"
MPEG Stream: "Working Holiday"

album cover GO-BETWEENS, THE 16 Lovers Lane (Jetset) 2cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It's time for much revelry, Go-Betweens fans! Jetset Records has reissued another batch of Go-Betweens albums on cd. This time it's three of the band's finest, most beloved works -- 16 Lovers Lane, Tallulah, and Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express. Perhaps it's time for you to replace your well-worn copies of these totally classic albums?! Each comes with a bonus disc overflowing with a variety of rarities and videos. Such a treat for pop music lovers! And if you've somehow yet to experience the refined splendor of the Go-Betweens music, now is the time to get with the program! Seriously folks, this band was (and is) graced with not just one, but two of the most formidable songwriting forces around, Robert Forster and Grant McLennan. Consistently head and shoulders above their comtemporaries, their unmistakable and unforgettable songs speak to both the heart and the mind, and we'd venture to say that 1988's 16 Lovers Lane does so the best of them all. It's the album they released just prior to disbanding for a decade (they reformed in '99), and they 'ended' things on a glowingly resonant high note. It's quite possibly their best work of their career (and a particular favorite of Andee's). This reissue includes videos for "Streets Of Your Town" (two versions) and "Was There Anything I Could Do?" plus ten stellar bonus tracks. Not to be missed. Sooo recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Love Goes On!"
MPEG Stream: "Wait Until June"

album cover ORGAN, THE Grab That Gun (Mint / 604) cd 14.98
These Young Canadian gals are hitting that '80s wonderfully dour British rock pop sound (The Smiths, The Cure and The Church... oops, they're Australian) right on the mark. And we totally love it! No, it's probably not anything you haven't heard before, but it is very very good... particularly notable and impressive when you find out that the five gals are only in their early twenties. Yes, they do indeed have a big ol' Hammond organ as one of their instruments, however the guitars and vocals are what defines the band's retro sound. Lead vocalist Katie Sketch possesses a depth of expression that's much broader, seeming much older, wiser and world-wearier than her years. So strong and emotive, think a young female Morrissey. And as a fitting counterpart, Debora Cohen's lanky guitar tone is straight-up Johnny Marr. Hindered only by some rather stiff drumming (unfortunately not quite on par with the rest of the band's level of composure), Grab The Sun is packed with moody, yet super infectious songs like the lead-off track "Brother" with its punchy, youthful girl gang sing-a-long chorus, "Sinking Hearts", the very Smiths-y "A Sudden Death" and the great album-closer "Memorize The City". Oh yeah, and FYI: If this band already seems familiar to you (apart from their decidedly retro sound), it might be because you saw them a couple of years ago opening for their Mint Records labelmates New Pornographers.
MPEG Stream: "Brother"
MPEG Stream: "Memorize The City"

album cover OSWALT, PATTON 222 Live & Uncut (Chunklet) 2cd 15.98
Third (and final?) re-pressing of this unanimous AQ comedy favorite!!
222... Two mints in one? Nope. Codeine? Nope. Nope. Nope. This double disc is BETTER -- packed with two and a half hours of comedian Patton Oswalt recorded live at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA. What more could you possibly want or need in your life? The man is fuckin' hiiiiilllaaarrriiiioouuss! Aaah, you might know him from the TV show King Of Queens, or you might've spotted him in the movie Taxi (or the soon to be released Blade 3... what the f'?!), or you might've heard his voice on Crank Yankers, or you might know him from one of his stand-up performances (he just finished a brief tour with Maria Bamford and Mr. Show alumni Brian Posehn). Now we know this isn't a competition, but dare we say, he frequently kicks his pal David Cross' ass? Yes, as a matter of fact we do dare. Much like Cross, he draws much inspiration from the late great Bill Hicks who pushed the renegade stand-up envelope hard and far in a very short period of time (if you dig current comedians such as Oswalt, Cross and Dave Attell, do yourself a favor and seek out any/all videos and cds of Hicks... seriously!). Fueled by a steady fountain of red wine, Oswalt holds court unleashing his often jaw-dropping, astute observations about the telling signs of the apocalypse and other stuff -- more specifically Dubya, zombies, celebrities, midgets, liquor ads, babies, hair metal videos, open mic nites, hippies, comic books and steakhouses. We won't attempt to re-enact any of his jokes here. There's no way we could accurately replicate his comedic 'nuances'. Hell, what are you waiting for? Just give those audioclips a spin. As he gets more inebriated instead of getting sloppier in his delivery, he somehow gets even more blistering. It's not until the last twenty minutes that things start to get noticeably, uhh, affected by the copious amount of vino consumed. He goes off on a bizarre rant beginning with a comment about shaving a back with a rusty tuna fish can. Hoo boy. If laughing appeals to you, buy this immediately. You won't know what hit you. Squibilleee flabilleee dooo!!! Brought to you by the kind folks at Chunklet Magazine / Records.
Warning #1: This is definitely not for the dainty eared nor for the faint of heart nor for the humorless.
Warning #2: Remember folks, this is a completely unedited recording, so the laffs aren't as rapid fire as on other comedy albums that have been nipped and tucked for maximum hilarity. This is two and a half hours of real-time stand-up with many drinking pauses, muffled banter with the audience and even a break when Oswalt takes a photo of his photographer who himself is drunk too.
And most importantly, Warning #3: This is a very very very limited tour only release that we've been fortunate enough to snag a few copies of, so please don't dilly-dally.
MPEG Stream: "excerpt 1 [we won]"
MPEG Stream: "excerpt 2 [dubya]"
MPEG Stream: "excerpt 3 [pride]"
MPEG Stream: "excerpt 4 [chipmunks]"

album cover CALEXICO World Drifts In (Quarterstick) dvd 16.98
Holy cactus! This much Calexico goodness just might bring a fan to tears... of joy, that is! If you've somehow missed this fabulous, tireless band's live performances (or conversely if you wish to enjoy them again and again in the comfort of your own living room), here's a new dvd that's absolutely bursting with Calexico treasures. Firstly, an hour and a half 20-song set performed in the majestic setting of the Barbican in London, England with guests French chanteuse Francoiz Breut and Arizona's Mariachi Luz de Luna. Their luminous, lush southwestern twang is always richly dynamic and truly captivating, and the band's performance this evening is no exception. Truly from the heart and soul, their music resonates with a passion and a vitality seldom seen in contemporary music. To witness it live is more than a treat. Plus you also get over an hour of bonus stuff: a trio of music videos for their songs "The Black Light", "Ballad Of Cable Hogue" and Crystal Frontier", a documentary about the band called "Border Horse" by Bill Carter, "The Soul Of Mariachi" a reverential mariachi documentary featuring members of Mariachi Luz de Luna shot by Joey Burns, "Shot And Mounted" a European tour montage by James Murray, interview segments with all of the band members, and the cartoon "El Kabong Rides Again" which features one of their songs. Sure do wish we could offer you some visual clips, but you'll just have to trust us on this one. Need we say? Highly recommended.

album cover SCREAMERS Live in San Francisco Sept. 2nd 1978 (Target Video) dvd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Much like the equally amazing Cramps Live At Napa State Mental Hospital video, for years this live footage of the Screamers' seminal synth-punk action has been circulating in increasingly grainy, on the verge of disintegrating VHS copies. Not anymore! This must-see legendary video document has finally been dvd'd! Hallelujah! Hell yeah!

album cover GUIDED BY VOICES Bee Thousand (Scat) cd 13.98
By 1994, Guided By Voices were on full length number SEVEN. Hundreds upon hundreds of songs, dozens of releases, almost all of them awesome! That's a pretty good record by anyones standards. And yet there would be more to come, nearly 10 more full lengths, solo records, singles, eps... But if forced to pick THEE record that best exemplifies what made Guided By Voices so special, it would have to be Bee Thousand. Originally released in 1994, their seventh long player, Bee Thousand perfectly captured both sides of GBV, the frustratingly experimental fragmentary side, with short 30 second bursts of pop brilliance that burnt out before making it out of the first verse, exhausting in under a minute, the sort of hook other bands would kill for and would most likely repeat 50 times in a song if they had come up with it, and classic pop songsmithery, with gorgeously hooky, jangly pop gems, cobbled together from bits of the Beatles and the Kinks and other pop stalwarts, all filtered through GBV frontman Bob Pollard's non-sequiter flecked lyrcal flights of fancy and a distinctly drunken desire to ROCK! It's impossible to describe exactly what makes this record so great. The songs sure, but also the way they are recorded, and the sequencing, and the way some songs are butted up right against each other, and some songs just cut off and trample all over the end of another songs. It's absolutely perfect. One of those rare records where the spaces between songs and the random bits of sonic detritus are jus as catchy as the songs themselves. Sort of like the way you would find yourself humming the drum fills in Nirvana songs, GBV records were a single dense collection of sounds and songs and parts and pauses and chunks of rock and pop assembled in a seemingly haphazzard arrangement, but on closer inspection, it couldn't be any other way, and most certainly couldn't be played by any other band. The first ten minutes of Bee Thousand is perhaps the finest opening salvo in musical history. "Hardcore UFO's", "Buzzards And Dreadful Crows", "Tractor Rape Chain", "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory". A 1-2-3-4 punch! And while the record is basically solid, no filler to be found, there are a handful of POP CLASSICS scattered throughout: "Echoes Myron", "Goldstar For Robot Boy", "Awful Bliss", "I Am A Scientist" and more... This record is definitely one of the best indie rock records of all time. Fuck Slanted And Enchanted. Sure that's a great record, but it's irony-heavy and too cool. Bee Thousand is just a regular bunch of beer drinking yokels from Ohio who love pop music, love to rock and somehow struck gold. If you don't own this record, for fuck's sake GET IT!
MPEG Stream: "Hardcore UFO's"
MPEG Stream: "Buzzards And Dreadful Crows"
MPEG Stream: "Gold Star For Robot Boy"
MPEG Stream: "Awful Bliss"

album cover DELGADOS, THE Universal Audio (Chemikal Underground) cd 14.98
We weren't expecting a new album yet from these Scottish lovelies. It came right outta the blue, but what a delicious surprise it is!
What do you do when you reach the highest of glorious heights in dreamy popdom two albums in a row? Well if you're the Delgados, it seems you give the candy bag a shake to uncover fresh aural delights. They've traded out their longtime producer, the kickass Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Sparklehorse, Mercury Rev, et al) for the equally distinguished producer/engineer and fellow Scotsman Tony Doogan (Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Mountain Goats among many others) -- taking a step back from Fridmann's trademark dizzying studio wizardry and towards more stripped down, back to basics production and song structures. Never fear, there are still plenty of lovely embellishments, but they're not the kind characterized by overblown-to-the-point-of-distortion clouds of reverb and epic orchestral tidal waves. The most noticeable result of this crisp new direction is that there's more space for the vocals to breathe. And who doesn't want Ms Emma's heartmelting vocals more upfront and center?! Oddly enough this 'new' direction sorta brings the band full circle back to their early rough'n'tumble lower fi garage-y sound and plants it next to their more recent slower, more polished introspective sweet-tarts. A prime example of this comes early in the album. The third song "Everybody Come Down" is a peppy pop tune and the next "Come Undone" brings things way down into their more recent gauzy, wistful tempo. On Universal Audio, the beloved Delgados have truly achieved a faithful balance of their old and new selves. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Everybody Come Down"
MPEG Stream: "Come Undone"

album cover MR. SHOW The Complete Fourth Season (HBO) 2dvd 39.00
What will it take for us to convince you that Mr. Show is the greatest "sketch" comedy show EVER? Thimbles? Fake poo? Wyckyd Sceptre? Marilyn Monster Pizza Parlors? Probably nothing will do it at this point, you're either with us or against us. Us Mr. Show fans have to enjoy our obsession in secret (some of us here even have to sneak out of bed late at night and watch with headphones, so as not to wake our significant other who'd surely discipline such behavior). For those of you who do love Mr. Show and miss anticipating a new season every year, be sated with these final two discs. Not only will you get to relive the final ten episodes, but also enjoy some new items. Like the DVD reissues of the earlier seasons, this one has the usual hilarious commentary with Bob & David on all but one episode. Plus there's outtakes from the first three seasons, bloopers, "The Naked Improv" from a 1998 Comic Relief appearance, "The Grand Reunion" featurette and a Mr. Show Jukebox of songs from the entire series.

album cover RESIDENTS, THE Eskimo (Cryptic / Euro Ralph) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If there's one Residents record that is the one Residents record that people who aren't necessarily Residents fans own it is Eskimo (their sixth release, from 1979). There's good reason for this album being in so many libraries, if for no other reason than that it's one hell of a concept album. And if there's one thing the Residents do well it's concept albums. For Eskimo the Residents partially impersonate a Folkways ethnomusicological document from the 60's and a Firesign Theater record. The album is presented as a recreation of "not only the Eskimo ceremonial music, but also a living context for its existence". And so included is a booklet of stories illustrating the daily life and ceremonies of the Eskimo with which you can read and follow along with the music. The music is a combination of likely, but miscellaneous percussion instruments (Chris Cutler of Pere Ubu, Art Bears, Henry Cow fame is credited for his "precision drumming" here), analog synths, and chanted vocals. It's all about as convincing as genuine Eskimo music as you can imagine coming from the eyeballed wonders, and that's definitely part of its charm. The vocals themselves you can take as non-sensical made up words, or listen closely and you might be able to hear some familiar phrases here and there: "Coca Cola adds life" and "we want Coke, oh yeah!" are definitely in here. How much other subliminal marketing the Residents slipped in here is up for debate. Some people hear more than others. This handsome digipack edition comes with the original cover art; a classic image of the Residents on wearing tuxes, tails and eyeballs on a deco stage setup out of the 40's.
MPEG Stream: " The Walrus Hunt"
MPEG Stream: "The Angry Angkok"

album cover BONGWATER The Power Of Pussy (Instinct / Shimmy Disc) cd 12.98
Not that you're necessarily going to be as psyched about this Bongwater reissue as Cup is, but we'll have you know that she's already listened to it, oh, about seven or eight times, and it's been here less than a week! When she first heard this album back in 1992 she'd yet to find out what bong water actually was, and only thought it to be an odd band name. Now many out-of-print moons later, Power Of Pussy is back and it continues to hold a very high spot on Cup's all-time faves list! And Andee's as well! The combined genius of Kramer and Ann Magnuson is responsible for this amazing album which is at times twistedly satirical, brazenly bizarre, dreamily lovely, ballsily glammy, heartbreakingly bittersweet and thoroughly entertaining. More a string of dizzying vignettes than individual songs it includes a rendition of Dudley Moore's "Bedazzled". Plus you'll find out about the "fat lead singer for Canned Heat". So great!
MPEG Stream: "Great Radio"
MPEG Stream: "Nick Cave Dolls"

album cover EX, THE Turn (Touch & Go) 2cd 15.98
Some select words for this new release and the people who created it: Fervent and focused. Vital and valid. Now well into their third defiant decade (they did post-punk before it was post!), this band's potent message and razor-sharp musicianship will kick your ass around the block... twice. Yes indeed, Turn is the very welcome return of socio-political ensemble known as The Ex. Two solidly packed cds with no filler whatsoever. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "Dog Tree"
MPEG Stream: "Confusion Errorist"

album cover LHASA The Living Road (Nettwerk) cd 16.98
Stunning! Heck, when we heard murmurs that Joey Burns from Calexico might soon be playing live with Lhasa we figured that was a pretty darn good indication that we were in for something really great with this new album... and The Living Road does not disappoint. Each song on Lhasa De Sela's second album lures you deeper and deeper into the shadows, and you'd be wise to follow. What you'll encounter is a slowly unfolding, deeply intoxicating drama of mariachi horns, desert twang guitars, somber piano, ghostly theremin and pedal steel and oh yes, her voice which is a force unto itself -- dusky, slinking, and smouldering winding its way around her English, Spanish and French lyrics. The music has a rich mysterious cabaret and carnivalesque flair and it's not surprising 'cause in between albums she spent her time in a small travelling circus with her sisters in France! If you'd like some current points of reference, think Calexico fronted by a much older Mirah or a much younger Omara Portuondo (Buena Vista Social Club). If you like this don't miss her first album La Llorona that came out back in 1997. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Con Toda Palabra"
MPEG Stream: "Anywhere On This Road"

album cover FIERY FURNACES, THE Blueberryboat (Rough Trade) cd 15.98
Delving deeper into the strange and the eccentric and in the process carving out their own lil' musical niche, The Fiery Furnaces' impressive sophomore album Blueberryboat is like one heck of a wild carnival ride - like a tilt-a-whirl, funhouse and rollercoaster all rolled into one. At times Eleanor Friedberger's vocals seem more oddly affected in a Kate Bush sort of way laced with a mix of campy glam Rocky Horror Picture Show, old tyme cabaret, and sing-song nursery rhyme stylings. The music is heady, sometimes plodding, sometimes careening and often quite surprising, occasionally blending a thick squidgy electronic backdrop with their more familiar acoustic and electric guitar-based instrumentation. A wonderfully woozy listening adventure!
MPEG Stream: "Straight Street"
MPEG Stream: "Chris Michaels"

album cover MESHUGGAH I (Fractured Transmitter) cd 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If I was in a technical death metal band, or a technical band of any sort, I think I would absolutely shit my pants every time Meshuggah released a new record. Or played live. Or even walked by me on the street. These guys are so good. And so heavy. It's really scary. Ultra precise riffing, drumming that makes the rest of us drummers wither up and run home to practice, shredding leads that sound like a quadruple neck guitar played by a four armed guitarist, and song structures that require a degree in calculus to unravel. So what do you do when you have out-tech'ed every band in the world? Well, you write a 20 minute song, that is so complex and technical, it's like the death metal version of 40 Agoraphobic Nosebleed songs strung together. But it's not just technical for technical's sake. No, this is definitely a song, granted a long song, with melodies and hooks, and catchy bits. They just all happen to be draped perilously over the churning jagged musical machinery of these Swedish shredders. So fucking good.
MPEG Stream: "I (excerpt)"

album cover ROGUE WAVE Out Of The Shadows (Sub Pop) cd 13.98
Now on Sub Pop! You might've caught sight of this SF quartet opening for AQ faves Spoon at the Fillmore a whiles back, and they keep on winnin' fans over with each subsequent show. Word is definitely spreadin' about this fine pop combo, and deservingly so. That's probably one of the reasons why Sub Pop thought it'd be a good idea to re-issue their previously self-released debut album... remastered with some nice new cover art, in a digipack! (And on vinyl too, for the first time.) The only disappointment is that there aren't any bonus new tunes. Ah well.
Here's what we said about it last July:
One dozen delightful tunes that take turns lulling you sweetly and perking you back up again. A couple of songs particularly bring to mind the intelligent pop of bands like Thingy, American Analog Set, Death Cab For Cutie or Pinback. And well, if you have any inclination of how we feel about those bands, then you know this bodes very very well for our appreciation of these new popsters.
Fantastic lilting vocal harmonies, crafty hooks, and little embellishments like delicate chimes or birdy chirps to pretty things up even more. But heck, don't just take our word for it, see for yourself! Check out the album's third song, the gentle pop confection "Be Kind + Remind". Aaah, so lovely, and such a great debut!
MPEG Stream: "Be Kind + Remind"
MPEG Stream: "Nourishment Nation"

album cover ROGUE WAVE Out Of The Shadows (Sub Pop) lp 13.98
Now on Sub Pop! You might've caught sight of this SF quartet opening for AQ faves Spoon at the Fillmore a whiles back, and they keep on winnin' fans over with each subsequent show. Word is definitely spreadin' about this fine pop combo, and deservingly so. That's probably one of the reasons why Sub Pop thought it'd be a good idea to re-issue their previously self-released debut album... remastered with some nice new cover art, in a digipack! (And on vinyl too, for the first time.) The only disappointment is that there aren't any bonus new tunes. Ah well.
Here's what we said about it last July:
One dozen delightful tunes that take turns lulling you sweetly and perking you back up again. A couple of songs particularly bring to mind the intelligent pop of bands like Thingy, American Analog Set, Death Cab For Cutie or Pinback. And well, if you have any inclination of how we feel about those bands, then you know this bodes very very well for our appreciation of these new popsters.
Fantastic lilting vocal harmonies, crafty hooks, and little embellishments like delicate chimes or birdy chirps to pretty things up even more. But heck, don't just take our word for it, see for yourself! Check out the album's third song, the gentle pop confection "Be Kind + Remind". Aaah, so lovely, and such a great debut!
MPEG Stream: "Be Kind + Remind"
MPEG Stream: "Nourishment Nation"

album cover EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN Kalte Sterne - Early Recordings (Mute) cd 16.98
Do you like early Einsturzende Neubauten (Kollaps, Strategies Against Architecture)? Yeah? Great; then you don't want to miss Kalte Sterne, the new collection of Einsturzende Neubauten's early 7"s, surrounded by many previously unreleased recordings. Most of these were impossible to find the first time around, and represent the beginning of the brilliant German group's (literally) metallic, Dadaist anti-music. Thirteen tracks of scraping atonal genius by the group arguably most responsible for connecting the ideas of 20th century avant-garde composers and '-isms' with the underground art-rock audience. Kalte Sterne reveals a dub sense not readily apparent on the first full length albums, as well as surprisingly well formed looks at their trademark post-Faust, homemade musique concrete. Early Einsturzende Neubauten is iconclastic, ubiquitous and absolutely unique. If you've ever wished for more early-style Einsturzende Neubauten, before they mellowed considerably and became more like 'regular music', here it is. Kalte Sterne is 'noise' in the truest and best sense, for every adventurous ear.
MPEG Stream: "Kalte Sterne"
MPEG Stream: "Tan-Ze-Dub"

album cover CHESNUTT, VIC Little (New West) cd 16.98
Vic Chesnutt's early albums have always been a bit hard to come by... especially this one from 1990. Fingers are crossed that New West keeps these reissues in print!
This is the album that started it all, and it's the one that's nearest and dearest to Cup (Andee on the other hand hugs Chesnutt's Is The Actor Happy? album). Unlike his later albums which infused pop elements into the foundation of his rootsy blues-folk, Little features some of his most barebones, raw acoustic guitar work. This starkness provides an all the more effective backdrop for one of the most expressive sourpuss voices around singing some of the most gnawingly bleak songs around. Bleary and skewed, his words tumble unapologetically from his lips -- emotional scars and verbal barbs all completely out in the open. Produced by Michael Stipe who took a shine to Chesnutt early on and helped bring him to college radio eyes and ears. Includes five previously unreleased tracks.
MPEG Stream: "Isadora Duncan"
MPEG Stream: "Independence Day"

album cover HILSINGER, DOUG / CAROLEEN BEATTY Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy (DBK Works) cd 10.98
Back in stock (and at an extra nice price!), but maybe not for much longer! Very few copies remain and it is actually now officially out of print, so nab one while you still can. We are the only store in the known universe where you can still get it!
Folks are certainly all a-buzz about the new Brian Eno documentary film, 1971 Ð 1977: The Man Who Fell To Earth, and at a recent screening here in SF, there was a special rare performance by the amazing Enochestra led by hardcore Eno enthusiast Doug Hilsinger. We sadly missed it, but were spurred to revisit his wonderful adaptation of Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) album, and heartily encourage you to do the same (or check it out for the first time)! Here's what we said about its original release back in 2004:
What apparently began as a lark has absolutely snowballed... and with what is quite possibly the (unintentional) best timing ever! Indeed it seems the planets have aligned in the most fortuitous fashion for devoted Brian Eno fan Doug Hilsinger (presently in SF band Waycross, and formerly in Bomb and Gifthorse) and his bandmate Caroleen Beatty. Initially planning to record covers of just two of the songs from TTM(BS) for their own enjoyment, they got caught up in the inspired swing of things and progressed right on through the rest. Hilsinger has emphasized that this was not intended to be some grand transformation nor interpretation of Eno's original. This is simply their celebration of a great album, with the hopes of drawing attention back to the original. And it certainly does just that, but it also bears the mark of an immensely talented duo in their own right. If you dig this, be sure to check out Waycross too. Now, we're probably going to catch some flack for this, but we'll dare to say that he improves on a few of the originals. C'mon all of you Eno fanatics who're screaming "Impossible!", it's not all that hard to fathom. Consider the following: back when Eno recorded the album, these songs were fresh and new to him. They tingle with the electricity of experimentation and spontaneity, but there are moments that are perhaps not fully realized. On the other hand, Hilsinger has lived and loved these songs for thirty plus years! He knows them like the back of his hand. With the exception of the lead vocals which were the domain of Beatty, Hilsinger played and produced all that you hear. With a full command of each instrument and the aforementioned inside'n'out knowledge of the songs, his performance and the recordings are breathtaking. The interplay between the instruments captures the subtle dynamics of a kickass full band playing together live. You'd never know it was laid down track by track, piece by piece. Heck, the prerequisite organizational skills alone are daunting. Completing this loving, enthusiastic tribute in the best possible way, Beatty's languid voice winds its way around the slinking arrangements, delivering Eno's words in a most seductive, heavily lidded fashion. Highlights include a great carnivalesque rendition of "Back In Judy's Jungle" transitioning it into a pint-raising singalong, as well as their slowed-to-half-time, intoxicating version of the originally near-punk, Wire-ish, propulsive "Third Uncle". The winding chorused guitars and textural wheeze are rich and effective while the vocals add to the air of subtle unease. Splendid!
So back to the magical tale of good timing... The pair completed the work right around November 2003 which just happened to coincide with a special lecture that Brian Eno was giving here in SF. Of course Hilsinger was in attendance, and personally delivered a copy into Eno's hands. The very next day he received an enthusiastic phone call from Eno giving it his mighty stamp of approval. He even wrote the liner notes! To boot, that year marked the 30th anniversary of the album.
Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Third Uncle"
MPEG Stream: "Back In Judy's Jungle"

album cover SECRET CHIEFS 3 Book Of Horizons (Web Of Mimicry) cd 13.98
The Book Of Horizons is another sonic tome scribed by these occult chieftans, destined for the same library as outre literary works like the Principia Discordia and the sanity-blasting Necronomicon of the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. (This just goes in the audio section of said library.) To the uninitiated, we should explain that Secret Chiefs 3 is the arcane alter ego of Mr. Bungle's Trey Spruance and others from the same axis of absurdity. Almost all instrumental, imagine some sort of technically insane Middle Eastern surf music, a collision between the Sun City Girls and Fantomas, or a John Zorn-scored soundtrack to some desert epic. Italian horror film music, black metal, and even turntables all enter the mix. In the liner notes, Trey finds it necessary to state: "What you hear is music, not samples"! As always, impressive and inscrutable, even if the mood is occasionally broken by the more incongrous elements. Fans can spend their time listening to this, also attempting to decipher the meaning of the SC3's cryptic Kabbalistic computer graphics and song titles. A five star sequel to the band's previous opus Book M.
MPEG Stream: "The 4 (Great Ishraqi Sun)"
MPEG Stream: "Exterminating Angel"

album cover YOUNG & SEXY Life Through One Speaker (Mint) cd 14.98
Okay, we admit that we cringed slightly at their chosen band name (again, what is it with Canadian -- or more specifically Vancouver -- band name choices?!), but their glorious pop tunes are pretty darn hard to resist. Really, unless you're a complete stone-hearted curmudgeon, Young & Sexy's second full length will have your spirits lifted in no time! Each song has been lovingly polished to a wonderful warm glow with delicious multi-part harmonies and lush instrumentation. The third song "Herculean Bellboy" is a definite highlight. Come to think of it, have ya noticed Canada's stronghold on the swoonsome pop these days?! AQ superfaves New Pornographers, Destroyer, Broken Social Scene, P:Ano, The Gay, Metric... and now Young & Sexy! You may have been lucky enough to see them on tour recently opening for their Mint Records brethren and fellow Vancouverites the New Pornographers. And actually, they're sort of like the mellow side of the NPs and Zumpano melded with the honeydrop girl group vocal sweetness of UK bands such as Broadcast, Belle & Sebastian or Camera Obscura. We sell at least one of these each time it's played in the store!
MPEG Stream: "Herculean Bellboy"
MPEG Stream: "In This Atmosphere"

album cover LYNN, LORETTA Van Lear Rose (Interscope) cd 13.98
Hot damn, does Meg White have reason to be jealous?! This is Loretta Lynn's first album in four years (we're not quite sure exactly what number it is in her discography... we lost count around fifty!), and it's got huge Lynn fan Jack White of The White Stripes in the producer and arranger's seat. Their vocal duet "Portland Oregon" (which will surely draw truckloads of White Stripes worshipping Loretta Lynn neophytes to this album) is hardly this excellent album's highlight. On the other hand, White's gritty guitars are a perfect foil for Lynn's feisty singing on songs such as "Have Mercy". Some may think that some of this, if you listen close, actually sounds like White Stripes songwriting, but it's more likely a case of Lynn's formidable influence on White coming full circle. Regardless, Van Lear Rose is all about the singular wonder that is Loretta Lynn and White has done a fine job of ensuring just that. Her voice is in top notch form. Her range is absolutely smokin' whether she's breakin' honky tonk hearts or baring her own or simply givin' everyone what-for. Mid-album she fires thing up for the rousing gospel stomp of "High On A Mountain Top" and then takes it down a few notches for the spoken story-song "Little Red Shoes". Wonderful! A vibrant, rich, and organic album. All hail Loretta Lynn!
MPEG Stream: "Have Mercy"
MPEG Stream: "High On A Mountain Top"

album cover MARK, CAROLYN The Pros And Cons Of Collaboration (Mint) cd 14.98
Following up her lively and lovely Terrible Hostess sophomore album, Ms Mark offers up her third and most polished album to date. For those of you who've heard her alongside good pals Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, you very well know that she has no difficulty working with others. Indeed on their recent tour together, the trio of witty chanteuses charmed the pants off one and all in attendance. In both song and laughter, their voices go so well together. Actually if you were at one of their shows you just might've heard a song or two from this album. Pros And Cons reveals her broadest stylistic range yet -- honky tonk, ragtime, twangy balladry -- and as opposed to past recordings which had somewhat haphazard mood changes, she shifts much more smoothly from one to the another, and with no loss in the sparkling personality department. She clearly knows the benefits of collaborating with like-minded, talented folks. Ms Hogan lends her angelic backup vocals to the song "Jody And Sue" which along with the following double-whammy of nocturnal themed tunes "Bigger Bed" and "Slept All Afternoon" make for the high point of the album. The album closes with a beautiful stark voice and piano number "Hangover" that devolves into an intoxicated singalong and on into old style radio drama announcer credits. Splendid!
MPEG Stream: "Bigger Bed"
MPEG Stream: "Slept All Afternoon"

album cover RAUHOUSE, JON Steel Guitar Rodeo (Bloodshot) cd 12.98
Fantastic! The list of Rauhouse's friends/guest players on his second solo album is enough to make you wanna nab it immediately -- a bevy of lovely ladies like Neko Case, Carolyn Mark, Kelly Hogan and Sally Timms (perhaps you've heard/seen him performing with one or all of them?), not to mention a gathering of dapper gents like Tommy Connell, Howe Gelb, and Calexico's Joey Burns and John Convertino! However, you'll soon discover (in case you haven't already!) that all by his lonesome Mr. Jon Rauhouse is something of a multi-instrumental magic man. With a natural ease and mastery of the full spectrum of mood, expression, and vintage style, he captures the sounds of a bygone era. Able to unfurl the amazing melodious sounds of Hawaiian guitar, smoky lounge, country, spaghetti western... you name it, but he just as readily can conjure the most dissonant thunder from the strings of his pedal steel guitar. Really folks, the only place where he stumbles is in the lyrics department, particularly on the songs he sings himself. Kooky rhyming couplets and matching guitar accents just aren't our cup of tea. But fret not! The strengths of this album far outshine those fleeting weak moments.
MPEG Stream: "River Of No Return"
MPEG Stream: "Indian Love Call"

album cover CALEXICO Convict Pool (Quarterstick) cd 10.98
Our favorite Arizonans are back with another fantastic release! Really, do Joey Burns and John Convertino ever disappoint?! This six-song EP features three covers and three originals. They've finally release their version of the Minutemen's "Corona" (always a hit when they play live!), as well as Francoiz Breut's "Si Tu Disais", plus if there was ever a band who could/should cover Love's "Alone Again Or"... it is Calexico! And they do so here in grand fashion, joined by Swedish vocalist Nicolai Dunger. Not surprisingly the three originals are of their trademark Southwestern sound and consistent high caliber. To top things off, just as they did on their last EP Even My Sure Things Fall Through, they've offered up a little extra visual treat in the form of the animated short El Kabong Rides Again for which Calexico provided the soundtrack ("Minas Del Cobre" from their album The Black Light).
MPEG Stream: "Alone Again Or"
MPEG Stream: "Si Tu Disais"

album cover TV ON THE RADIO Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (Touch & Go) cd 14.98
Excellent! TV On The Radio's sophomore release (and debut full length!) is a passionate, captivating, artful work, with languid bass grooves and simmering guitars. Atmospheric tensions take shape, gradually build, deepen and close in. The album's second song "Staring At The Sun" is quite something to behold -- a brooding stunner. The vocalist reminds us of Peter Gabriel so much sometimes that it is unnerving. But in a good way. Kind of like classic Genesis filtered through the depressive brood of modern slowcore mope rock. But with lots of studio sheen and ambient fuckery. Dark and delirious, dreamy and moody and oh so good!
MPEG Stream: "Staring At The Sun"
MPEG Stream: "King Eternal"

album cover CRAMPS Live At Napa State Mental Hospital (MVD) dvd 19.98
Hot damn! Finally more readily available and on dvd no less, this video documenting one of the most unhinged rock spectacles ever -- the legendary free Cramps concert for the patients at the State Mental Hospital back in 1978 -- has been circulating in increasingly poor quality vhs copies for ages! If you've seen it, you'll know what a cause for 'celebration' this is. If you've yet to see it, Cramps fan or not, you're in for a helluva blisterin', jaw-droppin' time in front of your television. No, the quality's still not all that great, but that only adds to the wild grittiness of the viewing experience. Lux Interior and Poison Ivy are in top down'n'dirty form. During the course of the performance, the lines between patient and band are swiftly blurred and eventually obliterated. This is as punk as it gets!

album cover CRIME IN CHOIR The Hoop (Frenetic) cd 13.98
Leaps and bounds from their already impressive self-titled debut from a couple of years ago, Crime In Choir's second full length reveals sharper chops both in composition and musicianship. They've adapted a much more prog aspect into their post rock instrumental sound with definite shades of Goblin. A sophomore success from this mathy, Moogy San Fran quartet, who now have replaced drummer Zach Hill of Hella with drummer Jay Pellici of Dilute and 31 Knots. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Strong Beautiful Suspicious Horse"
MPEG Stream: "Magnetotail"

album cover FIERY FURNACES, THE Gallowsbird's Park (Rough Trade) cd 15.98
Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger, the brother and sister duo known as The Fiery Furnaces have certainly drawn lots of comparisons to the plethora of other boy/girl, brother/sister duos of late (White Stripes, The Kills, The Raveonettes to name just a few), but hang on a sec! Don't dismiss them as a bluesy, garagey raw rock copycat pair. 'Though there's definitely waves of low slung slouchy blues, garage and rock flowin' through their veins, there's also plenty more goin' on here. While The Fiery Furnaces are definitely not silly, they are full of whimsy, wit and carefree spirit. Gallowsbird's Park begins at a frantic pace of descending xylophone and piano lines while snarky guitars and thumpin' drums elbow their way through the fray. Eleanor's delivery has a distinct saucy devil-may-care tone to it. She seems to be having a blast kicking out each verse and chorus with such sass. This album is a rambunctious freewheeling jumble, however that's not to say it's by any means messy. What it is is a darn good time! Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "South Is Only A Home"
MPEG Stream: "Don't Dance Her Down"

album cover BOYSKOUT School Of Etiquette (Alive) cd 14.98
Besides being just about the cutest band in the the Bay Area (although they've recently left SF for NY), Boyskout more importantly manage to meld elements of queer grrrl punk, new wave, pop and goth into super buzzy, catchy, hypnotic perfection.
Three distinct vocalists keep things really interesting: one a petulant pout of a voice, another closely resembles Siouxsie's dark, throaty sultriness, and the third is all Kim Gordon-ish whispery, and almost-spoken. So varied and cool. The music has the propulsive new wave simplicity of Interpol, the playful purr of the Cure, and the buzzy intensity of classic punk rock, with claustrophobic minor key melodies, crunchy punchy guitars, thick circus-y Gary Numan-ish synths, and super catchy hooks EVERYWHERE. The more we listen to this the more we love it! Includes one of the songs from their debut 7". The cd also contains a video for the track "Back To Bed", a spicy, saucy romp, reflecting the song's sexy lyrics, with the band making out with each other and rolling around in their underwear!
MPEG Stream: "Back To Bed"
MPEG Stream: "Secrets"

album cover PINBACK Blue Screen Life (Ace Fu) 2lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Out of the blue, now here on vinyl! Here's what we said about the cd way back when (2001) about Pinback's second album:
Much anticipated new full length from Rob Crow (Heavy Vegetable / Thingy / Optiganally Yours) and Zack (Three Mile Pilot). Jeff first thought this was the new Modest Mouse until it started sounding like the Sea & Cake. Oddly enough the last thing we thought it sounded like was Pinback. We would agree to its sounding like those two bands, but that's by no means a dis on Pinback. The results in our opinion are actually better than both those bands' recent efforts. Wonderfully warm, wistful and emotive quality pop.

album cover MIDDLETON, MALCOLM 5: 14 Fluoxytine Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine (Chemikal Underground) cd 16.98
Malcolm Middleton, the multi-instrumentalist chap from those Scottish melancholics known as Arab Strap, steps up to the microphone. So as we might expect this does sound a great deal like A.S. if perhaps a bit more earthy, straight-outta-the-pub folky acoustic-y. 16 drained pints... er, I mean songs of depression, broken relationships and self deprecation. A slew of "woe is me, woe is you" lyrics ensues. Moods swing from rambunctious and rowdy to sullen and brooding. One of the totally pint-raising singalongs is "The King Of Bring":
I'm only happy when I'm sad
My good times are all bad
The best years have all left me
Alone with you.
Aaaah, heavy sigh... but somehow Middleton succeeds in not making 5:14 Fluoxytine a complete despair-fest. Along with the words of utter bleakness comes achingly pretty compositions both barebones like in "Cold Winter" as well as more fleshed out with subtle details like the misty-eyed strings, hushed female backing vocals and delicate chimes of "Best In Me". So good! Cup (who has a soft spot for Scottish mope-pop) has been playing this every single day since she got the advance copy. Fans of Badly Drawn Boy might also wanna check out ol' Malcolm too. This domestic release includes four bonus songs as well as a short film by Martin Smith.
MPEG Stream: "Best In Me"
MPEG Stream: "Cold Winter"

album cover V/A Today's Voices (Hyperscan) cd-r 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
In the "found" sound "field" recording vein of Kathy McGinty, Daddy's Curses, or Petros Drecojecai's Mistaken Receptions comes Today's Voices. We weren't given much information about the collection other than that it is a super limited edition (ie: a buy now or cry later sort of thing) and that the contained herein recordings are all of cellular phone conversations that were picked up via scanner between 1997 and 2000 (apparently the advent of digital cellular phone technology has made such scanning of cellular phones impossible). Clocking in at just over 70 minutes, there's enough strange, absurd and disturbing material within to satisfy even the most thirsty voyeur. And probably more unnerving is that most of the tracks for some reason only contain one half of the conversant parties, which makes 'you' the listener feel more like a participant than a casual observer. This odd lack of a second party to the conversation brought several of us here to the conclusion that it was the silent participant recording their own conversations. But listening to the variety of calls perhaps calls that conclusion into question. Either way, we have not been given any further info. It may not come as a surprise that a goodly fifty percent of the tracks are sex related; be they the belligerent rantings of young men trying to impress(?) the ladies on a party-line by calling them minotaurs and threatening to call CYS on them, the tentative musings of a straight man exploring his sexuality, or a phone sex chat line first date (complete with climax). While some of the phone sex tracks may put to test even the most iron willed, there are respites of interesting slices of life that are both intriguing and beguiling. There's the two old black guys complaining about the youth of today being nothing but "Charlie's children", a coked up soccer mom rambling from gift baskets to reject fortune cookies in under two minutes, bizarre nuage philosophy & advice, incomprehensible noises and more! Comes packaged with silk-screened artwork that's made to look like it could be a Folkways record. Great! Upsetting! Or just greatly upsetting!
MPEG Stream: "Charlie's Worried"
MPEG Stream: "Stag Line 2"
MPEG Stream: "Animal Smells"

album cover PLEASURE FOREVER Alter (Sub Pop) cd 13.98
Cup was absent when this album arrived back in May, and now upon compiling her best of the year list -- on which it is included -- felt it deserved a revisiting... Live and on record, Pleasure Forever draw you into their lair. Many make it only to the threshold, and choose to go no further believing they've got this band figured out. For instance, you might've seen their name lumped in with the dime-a-dozen Birthday Party / Nick Cave / These Immortal Souls wannabes, but David Clifford (drums), Joshua Hughes (guitar) and Andrew Rothbard (vocals, keyboards) achieve so much more than a mimicry of style. There may be some sonic similarities, but their sound is more concentrated and elusive with more far-reaching reference points. They simply cannot be pigeonholed so easily. Allow yourself to immerse deeper and a whole fantastic (in the true sense of the word) world unfolds before you. The lyrics alone conjure images of the grotesque and the elegant meeting in the folds of slightly threadbare velvet drapes. Layer upon layer of intricate effected guitar haze, roar and searing shards build and crash, a gorgeous web of keyboard melodies, and a thunderous dynamic relationship between drums and keyboard bass - indeed, they are a group whose art is capable of kicking your ass with just one initial listen, but also rewards the listener each subsequent spin. Quite simply, few bands approach the intensity, complexity and conviction of Pleasure Forever. There's a tangible chemistry between the three gents (not at all surprising as they've been linked together through three musical incarnations, previously The VSS and Slaves). Each knows when and where to make space for the others, and when to lock together in a full-on empassioned assault. Their heights are nothing short of glorious, their depths are darker than most would dare to go. Case in point? The third song, "Aeon Flame". It all begins calmly enough - some warbly vibes introduce a sumptious candlelit cabaret scene - only to have an ominous figure drift over to hiss heavy predictions in your ear as his accomplices close in with deep bending notes and imposing clouds of distortion. Alter is drenched with tarnished opulence: delirious visions of calliopes, wickedly decadent crowds of grimaces and howls, a piano pirouetting endlessly. Intoxicating. Stunning. Recommended! Note: Recently there's been rumors of a breakup, and if they are in fact true, then we'd best be making the most of two P.F. albums in existence, shan't we?
MPEG Stream: "Aeon Flame"
MPEG Stream: "Axis Exalt"

album cover A MIGHTY WIND: THE ALBUM (OST) (Sony) cd 17.98
Throughout their beloved mockumentary movies Spinal Tap, Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show and now A Mighty Wind, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and co. have done a smashing job faithfully replicating musical styles right down to the most miniscule detail. You might even say that quite often it puts the 'real' thing to shame. Pssst... if you've yet to see AMW which focuses on three very different fictitious embodiments of folk music - the squaresville upstart New Main Street Singers, veteran trio The Folksmen and beloved duo Mitch & Mickey - what the heck are you waiting for?! Perhaps one of their most astute skills is in knowing when to apply humor (either subtle or over-the-top) and when to play things totally straight. They locate just the right moment to give your funny bone a wallop or tug gently at your heartstrings. The latter is so fully realized in Mitch & Mickey's bittersweet duet "A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow". Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara's voices ring so clear and true as the former sweethearts. Sigh! It makes our ol' softie Ms Cup get all misty eyed. Of course, this is a must-have for those of you who've seen (and re-seen) the movie and/or the fabulous live production that came to the Warfield recently. Recommended!!!
MPEG Stream: "A Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow"
MPEG Stream: "Never Did No Wanderin'"

album cover MOJAVE 3 Spoon and Rafter (Matador) cd 14.98
Beautiful! Truly, Neil Halstead and co. are shining models of quality and consistency. Album number four starts off on the right foot with the languid nine minute long "Bluebird Of Happiness", and carrying on from there delivers more of the same gorgeously hushed, delicate pop for which Mojave 3 are not nearly well enough known and loved. Each of the songs on Spoon And Rafter is a luminous, glistening treasure. If you're prone to song-triggered weeping sessions, be forewarned that this band has the crushingly bittersweet goods to gently pull those heartstrings 'til they break. That said, Mojave 3 can also pep things up to a perfect driving-along-the-beach tempo ("Billoddity"), slow things down to the most spartan, wistful balladry ("Hard To Miss You"), and then take a stroll beneath the willows ("Tinkers Blues"). Very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Billoddity"
MPEG Stream: "Bluebird Of Happiness"
MPEG Stream: "Tinkers Blues"

album cover EDISON WOODS Seven Principles Of Leave No Trace (Glitterhouse) cd 14.98
Hurrah! Edison Woods, the Brooklyn-based aural/visual art assembly led by Ms Julia Frodahl, have crafted and set to flight their second tapestry of song. And they've garnered the assistance of some musical luminaries to realize their vision, namely Alan Weatherhead (engineer, producer and/or mult-instrumentalist for such groups as Sparklehorse, Cracker, and Trailer Bride) and Mark Van Hoen (producer, engineer and/or multi-instrumentalist for the likes of Locust, Mojave 3, and Seefeel). As well, guitarist Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins) steps in to guest on the final song. Whereas their debut cast a soothing, ephemeral atmosphere resembling diaphamous veils and glistening silks, this time the fabric, no less gorgeous, may be seen as being more akin to deep, jewel-hued velvets and sumptuous brocades weighted by painstakingly embroidered personal details. Ever so gracefully composed and arranged, all elements are much more present than previously so, bringing a sense of immediacy to the proceedings. This is particularly palpable in Frodahl's vocal performance. Formerly singing in a whispery murmur, here she expresses a greater range of character and raw emotion - often approaching the deeply heartbaring lilt of Chan Marshall. Need proof? Simply give the seventh song "Fiction" a listen, as well as the album's lengthy centerpiece "Was He A Poet". Wow! Indeed, the warmth and allure of Seven Principles Of Leave No Trace brings to mind not that of a comforting blanket, but rather of glowing embers of a dying flame. A haunting, burnished beauty. Once again, very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Was He A Poet"
MPEG Stream: "Fiction"

album cover YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS Colossal Youth (Les Disques du Crepuscule / PIAS America) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Young Marble Giants' true minimal masterpiece, Colossal Youth, receives yet another reissue. Whatta cause for celebration -- this is absolutely essential listening! This British trio's existence was ever so fleeting, and they only had one proper album, but what a leftfield classic it is. It sounds *totally unique*, like nothing before, and has made a huge impact in the many years since it was originally released in 1980. Seriously -- this is one of those classic albums that not only has influenced tons of musicians (Hole even covered "Credit in the Straight World", but don't hold that against YMG!) but is also great listening in and of itself. It ranks up there with, like, The Velvet's first record, Neu!, the Raincoats, Pere Ubu's Modern Dance, etc etc.
A very hushed, metronome-sounding drum machine ticks out the tireless beat of each song like a friendly clock, and its neutral tone is also reflected in Alison Statton's girlish, earnest, not always pitch-perfect vocals as well as in the muted string strum of Stuart Moxham's electric guitar. Spartan, angular strikes from the same guitar punctuate this steady atmosphere as a frail organ does its wheezing, bleeting melodic best and Philip Moxham's rubbery bass line hesitantly bends and bounds. Minimal and no-frills, yes, but somehow there's so much more going on, and so much more expressed than its quietness belies. The songs are tiny and simple and total perfection. Powerful and totally f**king timeless and yes, very highly recommended.
(We believe this just might be the fourth edition. In the past, each time it's been pressed the track listing has increased, but not so with this Play It Again Sam America pressing. The song count remains at twenty five. Might be that there simply aren't any more recordings left in the vault to plunder. Not that we're complaining, we just wish a label would once and for all release it and be able to keep it available forever and ever and ever! Hopefully PIAS America is that label. Heck, we're truly fortunate to have as much YMG music as we do!)
MPEG Stream: "Brand New Life"
MPEG Stream: "Searching for Mr. Right"
MPEG Stream: "Wurlitzer Jukebox"

BROADCAST HaHa Sound (Warp) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
At last, the highly anticipated follow-up to The Noise Made By People has arrived!
Cup totally adored their pre-album Pendulum cdep, and after giving the HaHa Sound a first listen she feared that this sophomore effort's brightest highlights might've been packed onto that lil' ep. For instance, the ep's title track bursts forth as the second song on the album and is clearly one of its standouts. It's undeniably irresistible! Thoroughly taken with that song as well as the gloriously obtuse, bloopy electronic instrumentals, she initially found herself somewhat disoriented with the rest that followed (as you might be able to tell 'cause she's speaking about it in the third person), but then she gave it a second spin... and the album blossomed before her very eyes/ears!
Vocalist Trish Keenan murmurs and sings in her wistful, lullaby-perfect voice that nears the clarity and sweetness of Karen Carpenter or Julee Cruise. It's the perfect foil for the fizzing and churning backdrop of analog synths, guitars, bass and percussion created by Roj Stevens, Tim Felton, James Cargill and Steve Perkins - tipping their collective hat to '60s Brill Building girl groups, the grand sentimental lovey-dovey-ness of Bacharach, and Esquivelian space age bachelor pads everywhere. Broadcast skillfully craft glistening, starry-eyed music that swirls and creaks like an old carousel, but just as ably veer off into more eccentric, trippy territory a la Bruce Haack, Raymond Scott and Joe Meek (psst, this contrast is perfectly exemplified at the meeting between songs 7 and 8 - "Lunch Hour Pops" and "Black Umbrellas" - check 'em out!). Perhaps the time has come that the occlusive "Stereolab Jr." tag they've been saddled with (granted, quite aptly so) may be tossed in the trash. Very recommended!
MPEG Stream: " Lunch Hour Pops"
MPEG Stream: "Black Umbrellas"

album cover KILLING JOKE s/t (2003) (Zuma) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It would be a considerable understatement to say this new Killing Joke album is a sobering listening experience -- it's a fierce, visceral, and bleak call to battle. It rocks and rages with echoes of their 1981 debut (and first self-titled) album's feel and spirit. Yes, genuinely punk, and yes, genuinely metal... although those stifling labels can't and won't adhere to this band. Frankly, very few artists today can capture the pure seething energy that this, Killing Joke's second self-titled album, has harnessed.
Jaz Coleman tears out of your speakers like a man possessed. His deeply inspired vocal performance delivers some of his most inhuman gutteral growls, anguished howls and demonic hisses. Birlliant. His lyrics, brutally direct, are steeped in immense disgust and despair, with hard-hitting political critiques -- cross-hairs unquestionably zeroing in on Bush, September 11th and America -- interestingly, a lot of the heavy duty ones are omitted from the liner notes.
Geordie Walker's thunderstorm of guitars drill and grind, at once both tightly clenched and loosely slung -- pelting your ears with metallic shards and sinewed debris. Original bassists Youth and Paul Raven consume any remaining air with glowering lines that boil and stew. With each song, the unrelenting roar of Killing Joke closes in around you.
Drummer Dave Grohl -- apparently not busy enough with Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age -- does an excellent job immersing himself in the Killing Joke realm, closely resembling the pummeling precision and tribal thrash of Martin Atkins. Hopefully Grohl's presence (his name is stickered prominently on the front of the cd) will draw younger audiences to this venerable band.
Unlike other bands from the past who've regrouped recently for one last hurrah or to cash in on the latest retro trends, it's clear Killing Joke have resurfaced because they truly have something vital to convey (just as they did back in 1990 with Extremities... dirt... etc). They don't churn out albums year after year to fulfill record contract obligations -- they make music with a piercing focus when they feel the need and when it is needed.
Andy Gill's production is beautiful and huge (but not too 'modern rock'), making for a generally accessible and current sounding album (although some of the tracks are overly long) -- one that should have hard music fans clambering.
If you were ever into Killing Joke, check out this album! If you're new, this is a pretty good place to start.
MPEG Stream: "Dark Forces"
MPEG Stream: "Total Invasion"
MPEG Stream: "Implant"

album cover BROADCAST HaHa Sound (jewelcase version) (Warp) cd 16.98
At last, the highly anticipated follow-up to The Noise Made By People has arrived!
Cup totally adored their pre-album Pendulum cdep, and after giving the HaHa Sound a first listen she feared that this sophomore effort's brightest highlights might've been packed onto that lil' ep. For instance, the ep's title track bursts forth as the second song on the album and is clearly one of its standouts. It's undeniably irresistible! Thoroughly taken with that song as well as the gloriously obtuse, bloopy electronic instrumentals, she initially found herself somewhat disoriented with the rest that followed (as you might be able to tell 'cause she's speaking about it in the third person), but then she gave it a second spin... and the album blossomed before her very eyes/ears!
Vocalist Trish Keenan murmurs and sings in her wistful, lullaby-perfect voice that nears the clarity and sweetness of Karen Carpenter or Julee Cruise. It's the perfect foil for the fizzing and churning backdrop of analog synths, guitars, bass and percussion created by Roj Stevens, Tim Felton, James Cargill and Steve Perkins - tipping their collective hat to '60s Brill Building girl groups, the grand sentimental lovey-dovey-ness of Bacharach, and Esquivelian space age bachelor pads everywhere. Broadcast skillfully craft glistening, starry-eyed music that swirls and creaks like an old carousel, but just as ably veer off into more eccentric, trippy territory a la Bruce Haack, Raymond Scott and Joe Meek (psst, this contrast is perfectly exemplified at the meeting between songs 7 and 8 - "Lunch Hour Pops" and "Black Umbrellas" - check 'em out!). Perhaps the time has come that the occlusive "Stereolab Jr." tag they've been saddled with (granted, quite aptly so) may be tossed in the trash. Very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Lunch Hour Pops"
MPEG Stream: "Black Umbrellas"

album cover ROGUE WAVE Out Of The Shadows (Responsive) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
You might've caught sight of this new SF quartet opening for AQ faves Spoon at the Fillmore recently. One dozen delightful tunes that take turns lulling you sweetly and perking you back up again. A couple of songs particularly bring to mind the intelligent pop of bands like Thingy, American Analog Set, Death Cab For Cutie or Pinback. And well, if you have any inclination of how we feel about those bands, then you know this bodes very very well for our appreciation of these new popsters.
Fantastic lilting vocal harmonies, crafty hooks, and little embellishments like delicate chimes or birdy chirps to pretty things up even more. But heck, don't just take our word for it, see for yourself! Check out the album's third song, the gentle pop confection "Be Kind + Remind". Aaah, so lovely, and such a great debut!
MPEG Stream: "Be Kind + Remind"
MPEG Stream: "Nourishment Nation"

album cover CZARS, THE The Ugly People Vs The Beautiful People (Manifesto / Bella Union) cd 11.98
As far as we can tell, we're pretty darn sure there are no Russian emperors present in this Denver, CO band's roster, but if it's any concession, there are five very talented musical fellows. On this their second full length, there's definite shades of the kaleidoscopic yet richly earthy scope of Pink Floyd as well as the lilting rock grandeur of Radiohead. All of that said though, in-store play has also drawn a couple of customer comparisons to the lush mellowness of Calexico. The lovely gentle horns, reverbed atmospheric pedal steel and piano surely don't hurt matters in that department. Lead vocalist John Grant has one of those voices that's so warm, deep and velvety, there's no question he could break your heart simply by singing his grocery list. That's what Cup thinks anyways. On the other hand, Jim thinks he sounds like John Denver! Cup thinks the only things remotely John Denver-ish are Paula Frazer's vocal harmonies on "Lullaby 6000" (more on that song in a bit). Imagine equal parts Thom Yorke, Rufus Wainwright, and Roy Orbison. Aaaah, that's a voice that packs quite a wallop! The Czars generally keep things wonderfully gentle and laidback - getting more so as the album progresses and allowing the listener to gradually sink into its gorgeous melancholia. Lots of guests added their vocal and instrumental two bits worth (and more). For instance, Ms Frazer sings on three of the twelve songs. Please do yourself a huge favor and give the abovementioned song "Lullaby 6000" your full attention! Absolutely breathtaking! Also appearing: Ron Miles, Rick Benjamin (of Elephant 6 Collective galore), Glen Taylor, Elin Palmer, and oh yes, and did we mention... Simon Raymonde (of Cocteau Twins) and Giles Hall who also co-produced. Originally released in the UK on Raymonde's Bella Union label, and now finding it's home on Manifesto. Don't your ears need this album?
MPEG Stream: "Drug"
MPEG Stream: "Killjoy"
MPEG Stream: "Lullaby 6000"

album cover LONESOME ORGANIST Forms And Follies (Thrill Jockey) cd 15.98
The lone Chicago fellow Jeremy Jacobsen might indeed be the Lonesome Organist, but he's also exceedingly adept at a number of other instruments and assorted noisemakers. He incorporates them all into his music which is just as varied in style as it is in instrumentation. With so much going on, you might think things would get a little chaotic or out of hand, but no! Jacobsen's got it all well under control with some very fine songcraft and musicianship. There's a sense of the grand and the tiny coming together on Forms And Follies. A bigtop circus! A vaudeville theater! An antique musicbox! In fact, you might even find his music stirring fond memories of the Musee Mechanique here in San Francisco, but then before you know it he's suddenly shifted gears over to a distorted trashy garage tune, then to a frantic organ mouse chase, then to some haunting barbershop-quartet-meets-Brian-Wilson-style vocal harmonizingand then... ??? Seemingly oblivious to current trends, Jacobsen follows his muse through dreams, nightmares, toyboxes, genres and decades. Won't you join him? Plus if the music ain't enough, the cd comes with a big (cd jewelcase sized) flipbook which shows some of the Lonesome Organist's hijinks. A splendid bizarre delight!
MPEG Stream: "Walking To Weston's"
MPEG Stream: "The Victory Of Sheila's Nap"

album cover BROADCAST Pendulum (Warp) cd ep 8.98
Presenting a much more feisty, energetic Broadcast than on their last album The Noise Made By People. There's only six songs here, but they're mighty fine ones. Mighty, indeed! Four of them ring with that familiar dreamy Broadcast sound - shades of their Cardigans/Stereolab leanings still linger but only faintly. They're definitely more fired up these days. Just check out that tight, harder-hit drumming and heavier overall sound. Actually this brings their recorded work more in line with their rockin' live performances. And what about those other two songs? Well, they deserve their own mention that's for sure: the wonderfully incongruous third track "One Hour Empire" and the sixth "Minus Two". It truly sounds like they hopped a time machine back to the '70s and hijacked the BBC Radiophonic Workshop! The former's an eccentric jazzy bleep-bloop exotica number that's plenty entertaining all by itself. The latter begins as a spaced-out robotic spazz-fit that's eventually muscled over by more frantic drumming and melodic female sighs. Actually if the last few Add N To (X) albums have left you rather disgruntled and disappointed (as they have us) and if this new EP is any indication, you might want to switch over to the Broadcast team! Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "One Hour Empire"
MPEG Stream: "Pendulum"

album cover DOIRON, JULIE Broken Girl (Jagjaguwar) cd 14.98
When this album was first released back in '96, the limited pressing of 1000 copies was gone almost immediately. It's been highly sought ever since - so beloved is Julie Doiron in Canadian indie circles (and admiration for her on this side of the border continues to grow). This was her debut as a solo artist following the demise of her band Eric's Trip under the name Broken Girl, and it articulates softly all the yearning and emotional upheaval of separation. Regardless of moniker, she skillfully wove some of the most hushed, fragile, deeply moving music around, and she did so with little more than her lilting voice and acoustic guitar. Recorded and mixed in '94 by her fellow Eric's Tripper Rick White. As an added bonus this re-issue includes the songs from her first two 7"s which swells the song count to a bountiful nineteen. So achingly down to earth pretty. For fans of Rose Melberg or Barbara Manning.
MPEG Stream: "Dance Music"
MPEG Stream: "Five"

album cover GERMANO, LISA Lullaby For Liquid Pig (Artist Direct) cd 16.98
Finally, the long-awaited sixth album from Ms Lisa Germano has revealed itself after a five year silence, and it's so well worth the wait! Is she the female equivalent of kindred spirit Howe Gelb? Or perhaps is it vice versa? Both artists pour themselves so completely into their music, and in doing so bring light to the most intimate, strange, and darkest corners of the heart and mind. Gloriously spooky, rich and eccentric. Each word she sings and each off-kilter dusty musicbox melody that echoes around her voice pull back the covers to reveal raw hurts, half-healed heartaches and the scars of the past. Ghostly images blurred by tears and sleeplessness fully materialize and dissipate. The personae who inhabit Germano's songs always seems either right at the brink of emotional collapse or perhaps resurfacing from just such an unravelling, but there remains an ever-present glimmer of hope. Hers are deeply moving songs that linger with you long after the curtains close. At once, it's somehow both immensely soothing and unsettling... and absolutely gorgeous. She's joined by a stellar group of musicians too including Johnny Marr, Wendy Melvoin, Joey Waronker, and Neil Finn. Very very recommended.
MPEG Stream: "From A Shell"
MPEG Stream: "Lullaby For Liquid Pig"
MPEG Stream: "Candy"

album cover METALLICA DRUMMER (Neverending Entertainment) video 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Holy smokes! Final copies in existence! Only available here! Now lower priced!
It's the infamous and highly sought after Metallica Drummer video which has been sadly out of print for five years much to the chagrin of those whose lives were severely altered by viewing the tape. Those individuals will surely not want to miss out this time around. In fact, for those of you who were fortunate enough to nab a copy the first time around, it's undoubtably been worn thin from repeat plays. I know mine has. Time for a fresh copy! For those who have yet to experience Metallica Drummer... hoooo boy, brace yourself!
Released once again by Neverending Entertainment aka Cup and her I Am Spoonbender bandmate Dustin. Apart from buying it directly from them at their shows, aQ is pleased as punch to be the *only* other place to get it.
Here's what we said the first time around...
You have certainly spent many idle moments staring at the wall dreaming of stardom. You've spent inspired Sunday afternoons dancing on your bed, singing your favorite song to the illusion of thousands of adoring, screaming fans below. But have you been caught?
Metallica Drummer, as he has come to be known, set-up a video camera in his livingroom, put on some of his favorite Metallica songs and gave an air-drumming performance with no equal. This is truly one of the funniest things that we have ever seen. The humor lies not only in laughing at this embarrassing moment, but in the utter fascination with someone who is so obsessed with Lars Ulrich that he is able to replicate his drumming with absolute accuracy. We are certain that he sold his soul at the crossroads to acquire these unparallelled air-drum skills. An astonishing personal document. "He's talented! He's obsessed! He's Canadian! He's... Metallica Drummer!"
Ultra limited and sure to go fast, and once they're gone, they're gone! So don't snooze and lose again!

CALEXICO Feast of Wire (Quarterstick) lp 15.98
Ah yes, we do have this on vinyl now too! Right out of the starting gate, this new Calexico album rings with a fond familiarity, perhaps leaning a little more towards traditional country than their past mariachi-drenched sound. However, from that point on John Convertino and Joey Burns take a winding path away from both the sound and style that have defined them for three superb albums, returning only every so often to their trademark lushly reverbed slinking twang with horns. It's a bold move with results that are both successful and refreshing for the group. That's not to say they're unrecognizable, nor sounding like a completely different band. Not at all, each song is most certainly distinctly Calexico. Still very cinematic and expansive. However, there's subtly executed shifts and additions that build gloriously upon their work to date. The simmering second song "Quattro" has an almost Fleetwood Mac "Tusk" rhythmic feel, and oddly enough the sixth is called "Not Even Stevie Nicks" a surprisingly sunkissed '70s-ish pop rock song. High strings slide and soar through the atmosphere of "Black Heart". Mid-album, hushed backing vocals grace the chorus of "Woven Birds". The Convertino-penned "The Book And The Canal" is a brief hushed interlude centered around misty piano melody. For those of you itchin' for some more familiar moments, there's still plenty on songs like "Guero Canelo" and "Close Behind" (both written by Burns). Something new for old Calexico fans and a great introduction for those who've yet to experience this fabulous group. Wonderful, and very recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Quattro"
RealAudio clip: "Black Heart"
RealAudio clip: "Not Even Stevie Nicks"

AISLERS SET How I Learned To Write Backwards (Slumberland) lp 10.98
And hurrah again for the Aislers Set, as we now have their new full length on vinyl too! It's the highly anticipated third album from our favorite world-weary pop angels. Very '60s Brill Building girl group style production but with less naive, sugarcoated lyrical sentiments. Sooooo sssplendid! Beautifully recorded, with layer upon layer of beautiful melodies and instrumentation. This band really does just get better and better. Their recordings have the hugeness and details reminiscent of Phil Spector or Joe Meek. And the use of reverb is flawless. The soft echoey lovely vocals just melt my heart and the songs are so individually rad that they stand on their own and apart from each other. This record is softer and sadder in some ways, perhaps their darkest work to date. Less poppy or optimistic than previous songs I've heard. I really can't take it off my stereo at home. Absolutely, totally and completely recommended!!!
RealAudio clip: "Catherine Says"
RealAudio clip: "Attracion Action Reaction"

album cover CALEXICO Aerocalexico (Our Soil, Our Strength) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Attention all Calexico fans! We're pleased as punch to be one of only two shops in the whole world to have not one but two splendid self-released Calexico discs which are otherwise only available at their shows or on their website. However, please note: we've got very limited quantities of these, so hop to it! Both make fine companions to the band's albums proper.
This is their 2001 collection of recordings which took place in a number of locales - at home in Tucson, in the Wavelab studio also in their hometown, in Nashville, TN, and live on the KPRO Radio in Amsterdam. It should actually be subtitled "Family and Friends" as it features exactly that! The Burns brothers, Mia Convertino, Howe and Sofie Gelb, Doug McCombs among many others. A whopping twenty three tracks in all that make for a remarkably cohesive 56 minutes of music! Included are a stirring cover of Nick Drake's "Clothes Of Sand", an instrumental of Goldfrapp's "Humano", as well as a handful of traditionals "Bees And The Flies", "All The Pretty Horses" and "6 White Horses". Recommended!
RealAudio clip: "Clothes Of Sand"
RealAudio clip: "Bees And The Flies"

album cover CALEXICO Scraping (Our Soil, Our Strength) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Attention all Calexico fans! We're pleased as punch to be one of only two shops in the whole world to have not one but two splendid self-released Calexico discs which are otherwise only available at their shows or on their website. However, please note: we've got very limited quantities of these, so hop to it! Both make fine companions to the band's albums proper.
Never failing to amaze and enthrall, these fellows' live concerts are simply not to be missed. For those who have witnessed their performances, you know exactly what we mean. For those who haven't, what are you waiting for? But in the meantime, here's your opportunity to experience the next best thing. Unlike many live albums that are plagued by poor sound quality and extraneous noise, this cd as well as 2001's Aerocalexico capture the magic and vitality of Calexico beautifully. Crisp recordings, much adoring but not intrusive audience response, and oh yes, the songs! So many favorites like "Sonic Wind" and from The Hot Rail, "The Ride Pt. 2" and "Stray" from The Black Light, a reworking of "Paper Route" from their first album Spoke, an extended rendition of "Crystal Frontier" plus a version of "Lost In Space" (which they originally did with Lisa Germano in OP8). All but three of the thirteen songs were recorded live right here in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall in January of 2002. the others were from the Roskilde Festival in Denmark and at the Temple Of Music & Art in their hometown Tucson, AZ. 69 minutes.
RealAudio clip: "Lost in Space"
RealAudio clip: "Crystal Frontier"

album cover POSTAL SERVICE, THE Give Up (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
Indie darlings Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello and Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie join forces in The Postal Service. Apparently these collaborations did indeed take shape via tapes mailed back and forth between the two. Each track is subtle variation of the following: bashfully boyish vocals, chiming music box melodies and soft jangly guitars that play off one another over a simple thumping or clicking programmed beat. Gibbard sings oh so sweetly in his melted ice cream voice while Tamborello delivers the delightfully pretty electronics and bounding rhythms. Just what you might expect from a project starring these two fellows. Plus there's an added aural delight here and there in the form of lovely vocals by Jen Wood and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis. It's easy to draw comparisons to Kings Of Convenience vocalist Erlend Oye's new solo album which also sets a gentle male voice -- more familiarly heard with soft guitars and drums - singing atop light electronic dancey tracks. However unlike Oye's Unrest on which music and voice sound somewhat detached from each other, Postal Service's Give Up has a wonderful chemistry that swirls everything together perfectly. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight"
MPEG Stream: "Nothing Better"

album cover CALEXICO Feast of Wire (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
Right out of the starting gate, this new Calexico album rings with a fond familiarity, perhaps leaning a little more towards traditional country than their past mariachi-drenched sound. However, from that point on John Convertino and Joey Burns take a winding path away from both the sound and style that have defined them for three superb albums, returning only every so often to their trademark lushly reverbed slinking twang with horns. It's a bold move with results that are both successful and refreshing for the group. That's not to say they're unrecognizable, nor sounding like a completely different band. Not at all, each song is most certainly distinctly Calexico. Still very cinematic and expansive. However, there's subtly executed shifts and additions that build gloriously upon their work to date. The simmering second song "Quattro" has an almost Fleetwood Mac "Tusk" rhythmic feel, and oddly enough the sixth is called "Not Even Stevie Nicks" a surprisingly sunkissed '70s-ish pop rock song. High strings slide and soar through the atmosphere of "Black Heart". Mid-album, hushed backing vocals grace the chorus of "Woven Birds". The Convertino-penned "The Book And The Canal" is a brief hushed interlude centered around misty piano melody. For those of you itchin' for some more familiar moments, there's still plenty on songs like "Guero Canelo" and "Close Behind" (both written by Burns). Something new for old Calexico fans and a great introduction for those who've yet to experience this fabulous group. Wonderful, and very recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Quattro"
RealAudio clip: "Black Heart"
RealAudio clip: "Not Even Stevie Nicks"

DELGADOS Hate (Mantra/ Beggars Group) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now on LP! Quite possibly the sweetest spin your record player's had in a long time. The Scots certainly have a magic touch when it comes to creating absolute pop splendor. Just think of artists like Belle And Sebastian, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, not to mention supergroup The Reindeer Section... and then there's this band! You might recall us gushing over the Delgados' last album The Great Eastern a couple of years back. Oh my! Well, we're happy to report that with this, their fourth full length, they've picked up right where they left off. That is, continuing to finely craft their splendid compositions full of a swirling carousel of strings, woodwinds and horns, honey-sweet male and female lead vocals, and an angelic choral accompaniment. Plus they've done so once again with the notable presence of Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Sparklehorse, Mercury Rev) in the producer's seat. Such a wonderful combination it is! Making for an even grander big picture than they created together on the super lush Great Eastern. Clouds of shimmering cymbal crashes punctuate the glorious, dramatic atmosphere, definitely revealing that distinct Fridmann touch. Wistful, lulling melodies are introduced in the most spartan of settings -- a lone voice and guitar -- but soon build to epic proportions. And the lyrics? Ah yes, quite capable of stirring heartswelling sighs and misty eyes from the coldest of men with their crushingly bittersweet imagery (lyrics are included in the cd booklet). If you've even a glimmer of affection for glorious orchestral pop, the Delgados are for you! Luminous and lovely and so very recommended.
Note: Includes a video for their song "Coming In From The Cold" and two bonus tracks not on the Mantra UK pressing.
RealAudio clip: "Coming In From The Cold"
RealAudio clip: "Favours"
RealAudio clip: "If This Is A Plan"

album cover AISLERS SET How I Learned To Write Backwards (Suicide Squeeze) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Hurrah! The much anticipated third album from our favorite world-weary pop angels has arrived! Very '60s Brill Building girl group style production but with less naive, sugarcoated lyrical sentiments. Sooooo sssplendid! Beautifully recorded, with layer upon layer of beautiful melodies and instrumentation. This band really does just get better and better. Their recordings have the hugeness and details reminiscent of Phil Spector or Joe Meek. And the use of reverb is flawless. The soft echoey lovely vocals just melt my heart and the songs are so individually rad that they stand on their own and apart from each other. This record is softer and sadder in some ways, perhaps their darkest work to date. Less poppy or optimistic than previous songs I've heard. I really can't take it off my stereo at home. Absolutely, totally and completely recommended!!!
RealAudio clip: "Catherine Says"
RealAudio clip: "Attracion Action Reaction"

HOT HOT HEAT Make Up The Breakdown (Sub Pop) lp 8.98
Now here on vinyl! These young Canadians have certainly come a long way in a very short period of time. Their first Sub Pop cdep 'Knock Knock Knock' only came out earlier this year, and I believe they had just one other release prior to that. They started out in 1999 with a different vocalist and churned out boyish angst filled post-punk made notable by its catchy rockin' synth lines (which were very much like the amazing, but sadly long defunct The VSS). Nowadays however, they're quite a different band. No longer spurring fewer comparisons to Circus Lupus or bands from San Diego's ThreeOneG and Gold Standard Laboratories roster, they're drawing more from the British, buoyant mod pop sounds of the '60s and yes, the new waveness of '80s. Polished, styled out and very danceable, yet still retaining their youthful exuberance. Very fleshed out vocals with great gang of boys backups deliver the clever lyrics. Oh and yes the rad riffin' keyboard lines are also still present. Ultra-infectious and energetic! If you've liked Outhud, !!!, the most recent Rapture 12" or the last Radio 4 album 'Gotham' (a sidenote: oddly enough HHH's singer often sounds a lot like R4's vocalist who actually sounds a lot like early Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello), then you'll definitely want to check this out! Mind you they're a much more pop than funky! Recorded by Seattle studio vet Jack Endino. Get ready folks, you're probably going to be hearing a lot from these boys in the months to come! Recommended! Psst... here's a couple more tempting audio clips!
RealAudio clip: "Bandages"
RealAudio clip: "Aveda"

album cover POSTAL SERVICE Such Great Heights (Sub Pop) cd ep 3.98
This four song introductory ep offers barely a peep of Postal Service's effervescent crushworthy tunes. Ah, such a sweet peep it is! A perfect accessory to their full length that's out now too. Definitely see the full album review for all the PS nitty gritty, but in particular regards to this ep, the title track is an instantly catchy gem that's sure to find its way onto friends' mixtapes everywhere. The second half is actually PS songs performed by two other bands - fellow Sub Poppers The Shins and Iron And Wine. The brief encounter ends with Iron And Wine's drowsy acoustic rendition of "Such Great Heights". And y'know what? This lil' cd is worth picking up for that track alone. Beautiful! Each version is strong on its own and great in contract to one another. Recommended!
RealAudio clip: POSTAL SERVICE "Such Great Heights 1 "
RealAudio clip: IRON AND WINE "Such Great Heights 4"

album cover LAIKA Lost In Space (Pure) 2cd 16.98
A ten year anniversary double cd retrospective from the fabulous Laika! Even a decade after their debut, some amount of confusion still seems to linger as to the band's identity. Therefore, once again we'd like to state the following: Named after the Soviet space travellin' canine (the album cover is an awesome photo of the lil' doggie's bubble helmet!), this Laika is not to be confused with the other musical group of the same name (y'know, the one with The Cosmonauts) who are a surf combo. That said, this trippy groovy London quartet, lead by Ms Margaret Fiedler (formerly of Moonshake) and Guy Fixsen, have released three fine albums - 1994's Silver Apples Of The Moon (no relation to the band nor the Morton Subotnick album of the same name), 1997's Sounds Of The Satellites, and Good Lookin' Blues from 2000. A fourth full length is currently in the works. They're a melding of all the good stuff: complex and sexy electronics, hypnotic dubby bass, scintillating jazzy percussion, and Fiedler's seductive vocals. Meticulously piecing and layering it all together to set moods that crackle, smoulder and undulate.
The first cd is a compilation of highlights from their three previous albums, and the second features remixes, Peel sessions, live recordings and a *new* previously unreleased track! Will surely delight Laika fans until their next album finally surfaces, and win them some new admirers as well. Captivating!
RealAudio clip: "Beestinger"
RealAudio clip: "Sugar Daddy"

album cover DELGADOS Hate (Mantra/ Beggars Group) cd 16.98
The Scots certainly have a magic touch when it comes to creating absolute pop splendor. Just think of artists like Belle And Sebastian, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, not to mention supergroup The Reindeer Section... and then there's this band! You might recall us gushing over the Delgados' last album The Great Eastern a couple of years back. Oh my! Well, we're happy to report that with this, their fourth full length, they've picked up right where they left off. That is, continuing to finely craft their splendid compositions full of a swirling carousel of strings, woodwinds and horns, honey-sweet male and female lead vocals, and an angelic choral accompaniment. Plus they've done so once again with the notable presence of Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Sparklehorse, Mercury Rev) in the producer's seat. Such a wonderful combination it is! Making for an even grander big picture than they created together on the super lush Great Eastern. Clouds of shimmering cymbal crashes punctuate the glorious, dramatic atmosphere, definitely revealing that distinct Fridmann touch. Wistful, lulling melodies are introduced in the most spartan of settings -- a lone voice and guitar -- but soon build to epic proportions. And the lyrics? Ah yes, quite capable of stirring heartswelling sighs and misty eyes from the coldest of men with their crushingly bittersweet imagery (lyrics are included in the cd booklet). If you've even a glimmer of affection for glorious orchestral pop, the Delgados are for you! Luminous and lovely and so very recommended.
Note: Includes a video for their song "Coming In From The Cold" and two bonus tracks not on the Mantra UK pressing.
RealAudio clip: "Coming In From The Cold"
RealAudio clip: "Favours"
RealAudio clip: "If This Is A Plan"

album cover FAST, THE The Best Of The Fast: 1976 - 1984 (Munster) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
So damn punk! So shamefully obscure! It's the fearless Zone brothers aka The Fast! Cup heard about this band (who've caused much discombobulated head-scratching around here) from her good friend and fountain of the most obscure bits of information, Nardwuar The Human Serviette. Although The Fast did release a few singles and one album (produced by Ric Ocasek, no less!), their music's pretty impossible to find. Up until now you might've been fortunate to catch a rare glimpse of this NY band on a Hyped To Death collection, but the fine folks at Munster have come to your rescue with this fantastic compilation of twenty three songs. This cd is the extensively detailed sonic documentation of their electrifying eight year evolution-meltdown through garage, power pop, mod, glam, goth, metal, new wave and electronic dance! And it comes with graphic documentation too! The cd's booklet bursts with band history detailing their early stage antic mayhem (gogo girls dressed as nuns, giant lollipops, cheap guitar destruction, Cheerio showers and a mysterious event called the pencil solo?!), a gamut of fabulous wardrobe changes (badass skintight vinyl suits, pencil thin moustaches, zebra striped spandex, suspenders, bandanas, and elaborate makeup including a big black heart over one eye reportedly predating Paul Stanley's star), not to mention some coifs that put the current crop of jet black angular 'dos to shame. Plus there's a bunch of candid photos of the band cavorting with members of Blondie, The Cramps, The New York Dolls, The Ramones and Suicide to boot. All this from the group that would eventually morph into the astounding ultra-leather boys Man2Man who are a whole other amazing story. Really, this brief review simply can't do the Brothers Zone justice. So if you think you need more, I can tell you that there was an obsessively thorough story in Roctober Magazine a while back (issue #25). Oh and lest I forget, The Fast's music is simply a super good time! So very very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Boys Will Be Boys"
MPEG Stream: "Moontan"

album cover V/A Fubar: The Album (Aquarius Records Canada) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Miss Cup has been raging about it for months. Allan finally got a hold of an import dvd of it (and a t-shirt!). Andee's just about to watch it. And we've got the import soundtrack compilation in stock now!
Sooo, what's with all the hubbub?! Well, the center of attention is a mockumentary indie film which may be described as "Driver 23" meets "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" meets "American Movie", but... Canadian. It's all about the tragicomic misadventures of two Molson-chugging burnouts (think a Canadian Bill and Ted, ten years older and wasted most of the time) spewing stoner wisdom like "turn up the good, turn down the suck!"
If that piqued your interest (or not), give the following news a moment's ponder too...
This cd contains a couple of extra special songs performed by AQ ultra-fave Canucks the New Pornographers *and* Sloan (psst, they even do a Rush song)! This very well could be the only peep you'll be hearing from those NPs until they unleash their new album sometime next year, and who knows when we'll be hearing from those Sloan boys? So if you need your fix... FUBAR is where it's at! It's also where you'll find NoMeansNo, Chixdiggit, The Sweet, Girlschool and more. For the most part the concept here is Canadian indie/pop punk bands doing covers of Canadian rock/metal classics from the past: thus, NoMeansNo does Neil Young, GOB tackles Kick Axe's "Heavy Metal Shuffle", Sum 41 performs the Helix anthem "Rock You", while other bands cover April Wine, Loverboy, Toronto, BTO, etc. And lets not forget he-man Canadian metaller Thor (a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek 80's relic himself) doing the film's catchy theme, "FUBAR Is A Super Rocker". Throw in some originals from Creeper (loser metal band of Fubar star "Dean") and some out-of-context dialogue from the film, and what other album could possibly be more fun and surreal?? ...Know what else? These filmmakers received funding from the Canadian government to do this. Fill yer boots, eh!
Finally as a little aside, we'd like to clarify that the Aquarius Records who released this compilation is not us, but a Canadian label with the same name. But, unlike most things on their label, we'd be proud to have put this out ourselves if we were a label... Canada + Comedy + Metal + The New Pornographers + Helix + Thor + Sloan + Kick Axe = Aquarius Record of the Week Big Time!!!
RealAudio clip: THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS "Your Daddy Don't Know"
RealAudio clip: TERRY & DEAN "Shotgun A Few Beers"
RealAudio clip: GOB "Heavy Metal Shuffle"

album cover HR PUFNSTUF AND OTHER SID & MARTY KROFFT FAVORITES (Gazillion) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Gather 'round "kids"! Twenty seven theme songs and fun tunes from those vibrant Saturday morning tv shows of the '70s. Are you ready for... Witchiepoo, Far Out Space Nuts, Electrawoman & Dynagirl, Bugaloos, Dr. Shrinker, Land Of The Lost, Bigfoot & Wildboy and so much more? Yeah, we sure are! Fantastic (in the true sense of the word), trippy and at times pretty darn fucked up. This is what the fabulous Mr. Show modelled the Altered States Of Druggachussetts after!
RealAudio clip: "HR Pufnstuf Theme"
RealAudio clip: "Bugaloos Theme"

album cover ATOMIC 7 Gowns By Edith Head (Mint) cd 14.98
Aaah, how I've yearned for the magic of the Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet. Y'know the fab Torontonian trio behind the insanely catchy theme song to Kids In The Hall? Not to mention their three amazing albums in the early '90s that melded the raw sounds of surf and punk music with a truly absurd wit.
But wait, what's this I hear? Holy dewy drops of spring! This sounds remarkably like those Shadowy folks. Well, particularly that unmistakable, slinky yet blistering guitar of Mr. Brian Connelly. He's back with a new trio. A masterful guitarist with a wicked sense of humor, his sly quirks come through in each of these nineteen (!) songs. By the way, you might've also experienced his fine guitar stylings live and on record with AQ fave Ms Neko Case. Jumping genres with tireless finesse and flourish at the mere flick of guitar pick - campy tiki cocktail lounge, fiery rockabilly rave-ups, slowly smouldering western twang - Atomic 7 is where the good times are.
This will undoubtably make for a great holiday party album without all those darn season-specific lyrics. Super festive. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Her Sassy Kiss"
RealAudio clip: "Artistry In Nachos"

album cover BBGUN MAGAZINE (BB Gun) magazine 6.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Bob Bert (ex-Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore, Chrome Cranks, and most recently the Knoxville Girls) and his partner in crime Linda Wolfe continue the transformation of their zine into a full on magazine - this issue features a full color section. Truly a labor of love, BB Gun has annually served as a historical rock document as well as a who's who of current NY hotpants. Within the pages of the mag, the content runs the gamut, but always with a balance of the old and the new. There are a few things you can always count on though: a dose of Rowland S. Howard, Jon Spencer, Lydia Lunch and Richard Kern, as well as some gems from Bob's seemingly bottomless treasure chest of stories from "back in the day". In this issue, we also get Vincent Gallo (the cover story), Yoko Ono, Michael Gira, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the White Stripes along for the ride. And why don't they throw in a few interviews / conversations between Christian Marclay and Lee Ranaldo, Lee Hazlewood and Dean Wareham, Jim O'Rourke and Thurston Moore? Heck, how 'bout some contributions from the likes of Marcellus Hall (Railroad Jerk), Mike Alway, Bleddyn Butcher, Ian Svenonius (The Make-Up), Byron Coley, Everett True, Clem Snide, Jack Sargeant, Ali Smith and Matt Verta-Ray too? And maybe some coverage of James Chance, Smokey & Miho, Mick Collins, Death By Chocolate, Mick Farren, Chris Buck, Peter Missing, Milo Jones? You betcha! Top it all off with a mountain of photos and reviews to serve as much more than the whipped cream and cherry. Always a fun read!

album cover PRISONER [FILE #1] (OST) (Silva) cd 16.98
-Where am I?
-In the Village.
-What do you want?
-Information.
-Whose side are you on?
-That would be telling. We want -- information.
-You won't get it.
-By hook or by crook, we will.
-Who are you?
-The new Number 2.
-Who is Number 1?
-You -- are Number 6.
-I am not a number -- I am a free man!
-[laughter]
In The Prisoner, the sixties James Bond superspy entertainment phenomenon is subverted into an enigmatic, psychedelic critique of the Cold War and modern mass society -- or something. The 1967 British TV series, starring Patrick McGooghan, has long been considered one of the most innovative and original TV shows ever, and enjoys quite a cult following today. Hence the release of this soundtrack disc, one of at least three planned.
This collection blasts off with Ron Granier's famous, dramatic theme, complete with thunder, the roar of motorcar, and the hiss of anesthetizing gas. It's one of the most famous tunes in spydom next to 007, Mission Impossible, and Secret Agent Man. The rest of the disc, taking music from the first three Prisoner epsiodes in order (Arrival, The Chimes Of Big Ben, and A. B. and C.) ranges from more jazzy suspenseful numbers to lovely lullabies to Strauss marches, and also contains many snippets of dialogue, including the classic bit quoted above (which many will remember from Iron Maiden's "The Prisoner"). Only some of the music here was composed and recorded especially for the series, with many selections coming from the Chappell Recorded Music Production Library. The Library music is often quite benign, reflecting the surface serenity of the Village, which after all is a very pleasant resort town -- albeit one from which you can't escape, and in which constant efforts are being made to break your will, if you're an obstinate fellow like Number 6. Suddenly the sixties library music, a 'genre' enjoying a hipster renaissance of late, takes on a sinster significance.
RealAudio clip: "Main Title"
RealAudio clip: "'I Will Not Make Any Deals With You'"
RealAudio clip: "Helicopter Escape Bid"
RealAudio clip: "Number 6 Chops Down The Tree"

AISLERS SET Mission Bells (Suicide Squeeze) 12" 5.98
Hurrah! The beloved Aislers Set return with this 3-song 12". It contains two versions of the title song (sung in English and Spanish) as well as "I'm So Glad To See You Go". Super splendid pop once again from Amy, Wyatt, Yoshi, and Alicia. Slinky'n'jangly guitar, low-key organ, a vibrant horn section and the always welcome vocal pairing of Amy's unmistakable sweet, drowsy lilt and Wyatt's gentle, boyish charm. Sooo good. And this is just a little hint of what's to come in their third full length due in February - certainly cause for celebration. Can't wait!

DESTROYER This Night (Merge) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yes, now on vinyl! At long last Destroyer (aka Dan Bejar and co.) receives some well-deserved widespread distribution, thanks to the wonderful Merge Records. The previous three albums (Thief, City Of Daughters and Streethawk) were released on small indies, and as a result probably haven't reached as many hungry ears as they deserve. For those unfamiliar, apart from his fine solo efforts Mr. Bejar was also a significant songwriting force along with Carl Newman for the New Pornographers' Mass Romantic album, lending his distinct, slightly more eccentric lyrical twists to their pop magic. But shortly thereafter, he took to the road, travelling from Vancouver to Montreal, Spain, New York, and who knows where else. Somewhere in there he found time to write and record these fifteen songs. A modern day roaming minstrel? He's joined on this album by Fisher Rose (former NP drummer), Chris Frey and Nicolas Bragg. This Night is full of his oft-obtuse, yet deeply poetic writings, and is perhaps his most fleshed out, lush and consistent album to date. Swimming against the current flood of singer/songwriter folk-inflected melancholia, Bejar's songs do more than tug at the heartstrings or play with the emotions. This is not the music of a quick fix although his sweet jangly pop hooks do surface every so often ("Here Comes The Night"). Almost seeming from a different time, the first three songs alone will sweep you up into his world - keeping you on your toes with tempo shifts and his particular vocal inflections - and draw you back again with each listen. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: "This Night"
RealAudio clip: "Here Comes The Night"
RealAudio clip: "Trembling Peacock"
RealAudio clip: "Goddess Of Drought"

album cover HANGEDUP Kicker In Tow (Constellation) cd 14.98
Expanding immensely upon their self-titled debut in interesting ways is this Montreal instrumental duo (yes, they are comrades of Godspeed, Fly Pan Am et al). Hangedup create a storming industrial soundscape (note: definitely not "industrial" a la WaxTrax, Ministry or Front 242). Each song drills, thunders and spits fiery sparks in wonderfully stirring torrents. Flaring up and simmering darkly, they do so with the minimum of instruments - a lone viola and raw percussion. The distinct, furiously bowed strings once again are joined by the steady shuffling drums and chime-clank metallic percussion. Often bringing to mind the unparallelled fervor of The Ex, Kicker In Tow is an album of vitality and immediacy. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Kinetic Work"
RealAudio clip: "Losing Your Charm"

NURSE WITH WOUND Sugar Fish Drink (United Dairies) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover PINBACK s/t (Tree) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Rob Crow (Heavy Vegetable, Thingy) takes his music into much more of a downer territory than that of his previous outings. With intertwining vocal duets, lazy-day rhythms, yet effortlessly catchy indie-pop mellowness. Pretty darn great and pretty darn recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Tripoli"
MPEG Stream: "Chaos Engine"

album cover TOBIN, AMON Out From Out Where (Ninja Tune) cd 16.98
Brand new, fifth full length album (including the one he did as Cujo) from Amon Tobin. I recently raved about the pre-release cd single Verbal (that fucking great song appears here too), so I'll papraphrase a bit: Tobin's music, as typified by his two most recent albums Supermodified and Permutations, which are deeply beloved by just about everyone who works here at AQ, not to mention many many AQ customers such as yourself, takes samples of the most wildly diverse material -- no programmed beats for this Brazilian-turned-Briton -- and recombines them into a style utterly his own. That might not sound like much of a feat, and yeah sure everyone's doing it, but like fellow vinyl sampler DJ Shadow, Tobin really does make irrelevant the fact that the source material is sampled, so seamlessly and proficiently does he distill his own style. In fact, even though the *elements* of the "Verbal" track -- cartoonish speed rapping courtesy MC Decimal R, flamenco-ish guitar -- weren't typically Tobin fodder, we noticed that the *sound* of the music made it nonetheless totally recognizable as his own. There's film noir-ish tension, thundering big beats, tumbling tomtoms, itchy chatterings and menacing flutterings amidst the jungly energy. So interesting, never repetitive or predictable.
If you're already into him, you know you need to get this now, and if you're new to Amon Tobin, start right here. You won't be disappointed, promise!
RealAudio clip: "Back From Space"
RealAudio clip: "Verbal"
RealAudio clip: "Rosies"

album cover HOT HOT HEAT Make Up The Breakdown (Sub Pop) cd 12.98
These young Canadians have certainly come a long way in a very short period of time. Their first Sub Pop cdep 'Knock Knock Knock' only came out earlier this year, and I believe they had just one other release prior to that. They started out in 1999 with a different vocalist and churned out boyish angst filled post-punk made notable by its catchy rockin' synth lines (which were very much like the amazing, but sadly long defunct The VSS). Nowadays however, they're quite a different band. No longer spurring fewer comparisons to Circus Lupus or bands from San Diego's ThreeOneG and Gold Standard Laboratories roster, they're drawing more from the British, buoyant mod pop sounds of the '60s and yes, the new waveness of '80s. Polished, styled out and very danceable, yet still retaining their youthful exuberance. Very fleshed out vocals with great gang of boys backups deliver the clever lyrics. Oh and yes the rad riffin' keyboard lines are also still present. Ultra-infectious and energetic! If you've liked Outhud, !!!, the most recent Rapture 12" or the last Radio 4 album 'Gotham' (a sidenote: oddly enough HHH's singer often sounds a lot like R4's vocalist who actually sounds a lot like early Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello), then you'll definitely want to check this out! Mind you they're a much more pop than funky! Recorded by Seattle studio vet Jack Endino. Get ready folks, you're probably going to be hearing a lot from these boys in the months to come! Recommended!
RealAudio clip: "Get In Or Get Out"
RealAudio clip: "Talk To Me, Dance With Me"

album cover DESTROYER This Night (Merge) cd 14.98
At long last Destroyer (aka Dan Bejar and co.) receives some well-deserved widespread distribution, thanks to the wonderful Merge Records. The previous three albums (Thief, City Of Daughters and Streethawk) were released on small indies, and as a result probably haven't reached as many hungry ears as they deserve. For those unfamiliar, apart from his fine solo efforts Mr. Bejar was also a significant songwriting force along with Carl Newman for the New Pornographers' Mass Romantic album, lending his distinct, slightly more eccentric lyrical twists to their pop magic. But shortly thereafter, he took to the road, travelling from Vancouver to Montreal, Spain, New York, and who knows where else. Somewhere in there he found time to write and record these fifteen songs. A modern day roaming minstrel? He's joined on this album by Fisher Rose (former NP drummer), Chris Frey and Nicolas Bragg. This Night is full of his oft-obtuse, yet deeply poetic writings, and is perhaps his most fleshed out, lush and consistent album to date. Swimming against the current flood of singer/songwriter folk-inflected melancholia, Bejar's songs do more than tug at the heartstrings or play with the emotions. This is not the music of a quick fix although his sweet jangly pop hooks do surface every so often ("Here Comes The Night"). Almost seeming from a different time, the first three songs alone will sweep you up into his world - keeping you on your toes with tempo shifts and his particular vocal inflections - and draw you back again with each listen. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: "This Night"
RealAudio clip: "Here Comes The Night"
RealAudio clip: "Trembling Peacock"
RealAudio clip: "Goddess Of Drought"

album cover CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE Answering Machine Music (Tomlab) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Originally released on the Cassingle label, the debut album from AQ fave one-man band Casiotone For The Painfully Alone now happily gets reissued on Tomlab (also home to his dreamy, sweet second full length "Pocket Symphonies For the Lonesome Subway Cars"). What can we say? It still gives us the warm fuzzies. If you require a more in depth description... here's what we said the first time around: Owen Ashworth has set his ruminations on the awkwardness of crushes and infatuation with rock stars to music. With just a couple of casio keyboards, a distortion pedal or two, and a 4-track, Owen's Casiotone for the Painfully Alone somehow succeeds, teetering between affected bedroom-rock naivete, and excerpts from a musical diary never meant for strangers' probing eyes. A recommended album for fans of early Sebadoh and Magnetic Fields, and especially the legendary early Mountain Goats cassettes.
MPEG Stream: "When The Bridge Toll Was A Dollar"
MPEG Stream: "Casiotone For The Painfully Alone Joins The Foreign Legion"

CASE, NEKO Canadian Amp (Lance Rock) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Hurrah for yet another dose of Neko Case! Yes, along with her new album Blacklisted which we just reviewed in AQL 144, there's this special collection released by the lady herself (also just released on vinyl by her friends at Lance Rock Records). There's been plenty of conflicting reports on the status of the cd even from those very close to the source. Initially a tour-only cd, it seems to be in a very nebulously limited pressing - most likely it'll continue to be in print just as long as the Lady Pilot fancies. That said, doncha think it's high time you had your very own copy!? Anyways, let's get to the actual music, shall we? She recorded these songs in her kitchen while reportedly clad in her trademark flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Her dear Boyfriends are notably absent, although she did get a bunch of her pals to join her refrigerator-side for these intimate recordings. Her partners in crime? Tom Ray, Jon Rauhouse, Andy Hopkins, Robert Lloyd, Brett Sparks, Chris Von Sneidern, Kathleen Judge and Kelly Hogan. Much more spartan than her two previous albums, yet still so rich and haunting with some gorgeous banjo, accordion and an impressive array of guitars. There's stirring renditions of the classic "Poor Ellen Smith", Neil Young's "Dreaming Man" and Hank Williams' "Alone and Forsaken" as well as covers of tunes by her Canadian friends Mike O'Neill of The Inbreds, Sook-Yin Lee, Lisa Marr of cub, Buck and The Beards - each an amazing songwriter him/herself - showing once again what a knack she has for choosing great material to cover. And to top off all this goodness, she reworks two of her own lovely songs "Make Your Bed" and "Favorite". Her voice is an unquestionably mighty force unto itself, but her singing performance is so far beyond mighty lungs and vocal chords. Seeming effortless, it flows from somewhere deep within and beyond, which makes listening such a wonderful, deeply moving experience. Pure, honest and powerful!
RealAudio clip: "Andy"
RealAudio clip: "Make Your Bed"
RealAudio clip: "Alone And Forsaken"
RealAudio clip: "In California"

album cover CASE, NEKO Blacklisted (Anti) cd 14.98
Watch her legion of admirers increase tenfold with every passing moment! Will you join them/us? On this, her third full length, Neko Case's voice pours forth in such an untethered and unaffected manner, yet with such power and control. It's truly something to behold. Through seemingly endless touring since Furnace Room Lullaby (on her own, as well as with the New Pornographers) she's honed her voice into an incredibly dynamic instrument. She delivers old classics like "Runnin' Out of Fools" or "Look For Me (I'll Be Around)" with such ease and conviction so seamlessly amid her own splendid songs like "Deep Red Bells" and "I Wish I Was The Moon" as well as "Pretty Girls" from The Gift soundtrack. On much of Blacklisted, her delivery is not unlike that of a lone, world-weary torch singer. Quite simply, her performance is arresting - deeply dramatic and haunting. Perhaps this may be attributed, in part or in whole, to the fact that these days she's holding all the reins. She co-released this album on her own label Lady Pilot with Bloodshot Records, and produced and mixed it with Darryl Neudorf and Craig Schumacher. Also noteworthy is the absence of "and the Boyfriends" from her name, but she's by no means flying solo - although she did play a greater number of the instruments this time around (various guitars, saw, piano). Speaking of which, the accompanying music is a perfect, richly hued match that warmly envelops and lingers around her every word. She's surrounded by an impressive group of musical friends including Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico, Giant Sand's Howe Gelb, Kelly Hogan, Brian Connelly of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Dallas Good of the Sadies, John Rauhouse, Tom Ray, and Mary Margaret O'Hara. A stunning album that glistens and glows from start to finish. Highly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Deep Red Bells"
MPEG Stream: "Pretty Girls"
MPEG Stream: "I Wish I Was The Moon"
MPEG Stream: "Look For Me (I'll Be Around)"

album cover CASE, NEKO Blacklisted ( Lance Rock) lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL! At long last this AQ fave, a Record Of The Week back 2002, in appears on wax.
Watch her legion of admirers increase tenfold with every passing moment! Will you join them/us? On this, her third full length, Neko Case's voice pours forth in such an untethered and unaffected manner, yet with such power and control. It's truly something to behold. Through seemingly endless touring since Furnace Room Lullaby (on her own, as well as with the New Pornographers) she's honed her voice into an incredibly dynamic instrument. She delivers old classics like "Runnin' Out of Fools" or "Look For Me (I'll Be Around)" with such ease and conviction so seamlessly amid her own splendid songs like "Deep Red Bells" and "I Wish I Was The Moon" as well as "Pretty Girls" from The Gift soundtrack. On much of Blacklisted, her delivery is not unlike that of a lone, world-weary torch singer. Quite simply, her performance is arresting - deeply dramatic and haunting. Perhaps this may be attributed, in part or in whole, to the fact that these days she's holding all the reins. She co-released this album on her own label Lady Pilot with Bloodshot Records, and produced and mixed it with Darryl Neudorf and Craig Schumacher. Also noteworthy is the absence of "and the Boyfriends" from her name, but she's by no means flying solo - although she did play a greater number of the instruments this time around (various guitars, saw, piano). Speaking of which, the accompanying music is a perfect, richly hued match that warmly envelops and lingers around her every word. She's surrounded by an impressive group of musical friends including Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico, Giant Sand's Howe Gelb, Kelly Hogan, Brian Connelly of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Dallas Good of the Sadies, John Rauhouse, Tom Ray, and Mary Margaret O'Hara. A stunning album that glistens and glows from start to finish. Highly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Deep Red Bells"
MPEG Stream: "Pretty Girls"
MPEG Stream: "I Wish I Was The Moon"
MPEG Stream: "Look For Me (I'll Be Around)"

album cover CASE, NEKO Canadian Amp (Lady Pilot) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Hurrah for yet another dose of Neko Case! Yes, along with her new album Blacklisted which we just reviewed in AQL 144, there's this special collection released by the lady herself (also just released on vinyl by her friends at Lance Rock Records). There's been plenty of conflicting reports on the status of the cd even from those very close to the source. Initially a tour-only cd, it seems to be in a very nebulously limited pressing - most likely it'll continue to be in print just as long as the Lady Pilot fancies. That said, doncha think it's high time you had your very own copy!? Anyways, let's get to the actual music, shall we? She recorded these songs in her kitchen while reportedly clad in her trademark flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers. Her dear Boyfriends are notably absent, although she did get a bunch of her pals to join her refrigerator-side for these intimate recordings. Her partners in crime? Tom Ray, Jon Rauhouse, Andy Hopkins, Robert Lloyd, Brett Sparks, Chris Von Sneidern, Kathleen Judge and Kelly Hogan. Much more spartan than her two previous albums, yet still so rich and haunting with some gorgeous banjo, accordion and an impressive array of guitars. There's stirring renditions of the classic "Poor Ellen Smith", Neil Young's "Dreaming Man" and Hank Williams' "Alone and Forsaken" as well as covers of tunes by her Canadian friends Mike O'Neill of The Inbreds, Sook-Yin Lee, Lisa Marr of cub, Buck and The Beards - each an amazing songwriter him/herself - showing once again what a knack she has for choosing great material to cover. And to top off all this goodness, she reworks two of her own lovely songs "Make Your Bed" and "Favorite". Her voice is an unquestionably mighty force unto itself, but her singing performance is so far beyond mighty lungs and vocal chords. Seeming effortless, it flows from somewhere deep within and beyond, which makes listening such a wonderful, deeply moving experience. Pure, honest and powerful!
RealAudio clip: "Andy"
RealAudio clip: "Make Your Bed"
RealAudio clip: "Alone And Forsaken"
RealAudio clip: "In California"

album cover MAGNETIC FIELDS The Wayward Bus / Distant Plastic Trees (Merge) cd 13.98
The first two Magnetic Fields albums reissued by Merge Records on one disc! This is where you go when you need to hear the early genius of Stephin Merritt. Putting his lo-fi keyboards and drum machines to wonderful use. These two full lengths feature the vocals of Susan Anway. Merritt didn't take on vocal duties until subsequent releases. Her voice however is a fitting female counterpart to his deep croon - so droll, yet drenched with romantic longing. Alternately reminiscent of '60s Brill Building girl group pop and glistening, lush chamber pop. Classic heartbreak music. Highly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "When You Were My Baby"
MPEG Stream: "100,000 Fireflies"

album cover DOVES The Last Broadcast (Capitol) cd 15.98
Only the second album from Manchester trio Doves (not to be confused with The Doves), but what a beauty it is! An ultra lush production of mellow, earthy British pop. Often quite akin to fellow Brits Coldplay especially on their slower songs with their lilting, emotive male vocals, warm piano and combined acoustic and electric guitars. The trio's compositions swell to gorgeously grand proportions with some very tastefully applied strings (as arranged by Sean O'Hagan of High Llamas), horns and woodwinds (check out "Friday's Dust", oooh!). And glistening glockenspiel too! Truly soaring and dramatic, but never excessively so. However, these fellows show they're more than capable of also kicking things up a notch or two on tracks like the solid pop of "Pounding", a super catchy number propelled by drums that certainly get their share of thumpin'. Sorta made me think "I'd like the Strokes' if they sounded more like this and less detached and indifferent." Near the close of the album, the songs - particularly the title track and "The Sulphur Man" - shift in tone subtly into something that strongly reminded us of American Music Club, in part due to the striking vocal resemblance between Mark Eitzel and Jimi Goodwin on these tracks.
RealAudio clip: "There Goes The Fear"
RealAudio clip: "Friday's Dust"
RealAudio clip: "Pounding"
RealAudio clip: "The Sulphur Man"

album cover EPOXIES s/t (Dirt Nap) cd 12.98
If you've still got a lil' soft spot in your heart for the energetic, bubblegum-snappin' new wave sparkplugs like Josie Cotton or Kim Wilde, you don't wanna miss the Epoxies from Portland, OR. They are a bazooka blast of '80s good times. Brightly hued, skinny-tied, stripe-y legged, duct-tape accessorized and kooky pseudonymed. So very John Hughes teen movie soundtrack perfect, you can almost imagine them rockin' out a version of Karla DeVito's Breakfast Club hit "We Are Not Alone". No, they're not bringing anything new to the table, but they certainly write ultra-catchy, snappy tunes. Super earnest, enthusiastic and a bit geeky, it's as if a time machine plucked them right out of '85. Full of punchy-crunchy guitar, squidgy-weeny keyboards and sorta-yodelled oh-eee-oh-eee-oh backing vocals. Lead singer Roxy Epoxy possesses such the perfect pipes to capture the poppy, punky spirit - running from Dale Bozzio's hiccup-squeak to Ms Wilde's more throaty delivery - that we can forgive the somewhat off-kilter boy vocals of keyboardist Fritz M. Static. Heck, if the Muffs hadn't already beat them to it, they'd probably do a bang-up job covering "Kids In America". C'mon, can't ya feel that ol' herky jerk pogo dance a-twitchin' in your bones? Don't deny it. Join me on this one!
RealAudio clip: "Need More Time"
RealAudio clip: "Please Please"

album cover WAITS, TOM Alice (Anti) cd 14.98
Approaching 30 years of making music, Tom Waits presents two wonderful albums at once, Blood Money and Alice. This collection, actually recorded many years ago but only now seeing its proper release, richly evokes particular moods and sounds of a world long gone, yet also captures a pure timeless beauty just like that of the Lewis Carroll tale. After all these years, it's truly a pleasure to see that he's still quite the wise, eccentric and immensely romantic fellow. There's such a consistency to all that he does, and that is made no clearer than when you stack these two albums up against one other. Alice is a mournful, weathered variety of songs one might just as fittingly hear coming out of a shady speakeasy or from a roaming band of minstrels. Twisting strings, subdued horns and piano, plodding rhythms and his unmistakably sandpaper-raw, billy goat's gruff voice. Smoky, sinister jazz and blues numbers entwine with looming, somber waltzes and darkly creeping, gutwrenching ballads. Although the music is definitely much more fleshed out than his great works like the Spare Change or Swordfishtrombones, this album offers many moments reminiscent of those releases. So enveloping and theatrical, if anyone's music can transport you spiralling down rabbit holes or indeed through the looking glass, his most definitely can. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Everything You Can Think"
RealAudio clip: "Kommienezuspadt"
RealAudio clip: "Barcarolle"
RealAudio clip: "Table Top Joe"

album cover BEAT HAPPENING Crashing Through (K) 7cd 52.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Kinda lost hope of ever seeing this special box set after the bazillionth time a new release date came and went. But holy hopscotch, here it is! "The final word on Beat Happening!" or so the sticker on the front proclaims. Was it really worth the wait? Well, for devoted fans of Calvin, Heather and Bret after all these years, who couldn't resist the appeal of a box set from their fearless K Punk faves all nicely compact and neatly designed? I'm sure that goes without saying, but for the rest, let's see...
Music-wise, you get all five albums (heck, these should already be a part of any self-respecting Beat Happening fan's library!) all uniformly presented in digipaks: the primal beat and often atonal singing of the self-titled debut and Jamboree, the more sing-song pretty Black Candy and Dreamy and the final You Turn Me On (produced in part by former Young Marble Giant Stuart Moxham). As well, you're also treated to a disc titled "Music To Climb The Apple Tree By" packed full of all the non-album previously released bells and whistles (which once again I have to say, any true blue B.H. devotee should already own!), that means all of their 7"s, compilation tracks and the 12" EP they did with the Screaming Trees. Other stuff? An exclusive cd/cd-rom collecting together music from the B.H./Vaselines split cassette and assorted early videos (including ones for "Hot Chocolate Boy" and "Pine Box Derby" as well as live footage of "Black Candy" on Olympia tv, "Cake Walk" from the International Pop Underground Convention '91 and "Cry For A Shadow" at a record store in Memphis). And for your reading enjoyment, queen of the Olympia/K Punk scene Ms Lois Maffeo has assembled a concise 92-page book filled with B.H. archives, personal recollections, grainy photos, interviews, etc. So is this the final word from the beloved Oly trio who were an immeasurable inspiration to indie kids everywhere and a d.i.y. force to be reckoned with back in the day? Who truly knows for sure? But it is without question the most comprehensive and lovingly assembled Beat Happening retrospective you'll ever find... and yes, it was worth the wait!
RealAudio clip: "Indian Summer"
RealAudio clip: "Cast A Shadow"
RealAudio clip: "Fortune Cookie Prize"
RealAudio clip: "Tiger Trap"
RealAudio clip: "Tales Of A Brave Aphrodite"

album cover OMD Dazzle Ships (Virgin) cd 12.98
We've all got our old favorite records that maybe we haven't heard in a while, but it only takes a few bars of the lead-off track to immediately bring it all back and make us wanna dust 'em off again... This was the case when a special order was recently placed for Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark's 1983 album "Dazzle Ships"- a seeming direct follow-up to Kraftwerk's 'Radioactivity' - featuring shortwave radio broadcasts, chiming synth lines, speak-and-spells, and earnest, emotive vocals. Take tracks like the bouyant "Telegraph"- it's pure synth-pop goodness, combining an innocent exuberance with considerably more weighty, dark subject matter. An overlooked experimental electronic pop gem, this album is full of wonderful songs and sounds, courtesy of core members Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey. In a time when 'the '80s' are seemingly everywhere - and frequently in the most watered-down, cliche forms - it's nice to catch a few quality moments with a brilliant, good old friend. FYI: Jim thinks 'Organization' is way better, but this is definitely OMD's most exploratory moment.
RealAudio clip: "Telegraph"
RealAudio clip: "ABC Auto-Industry"
RealAudio clip: "Of All The Things We've Made"

album cover MARS VOLTA, THE Tremulant EP (GSL) cd ep 7.98
If you've been in search of some new and exciting sounds, you simply should not miss this introductory EP to The Mars Volta. Although this sextet will undoubtedly receive much attention for two of its members' past band (Omar and Cedric were the most recognizable members of At The Drive-In) not to mention the presence of Jon Theodore (of Golden and formerly of Royal Trux and Him) on drums, they fully deserve to be taken on their own ground.
The Mars Volta are determined *not* to take the path of least resistance by retracing the steps they've already trod. Instead, they're traversing a fresh, dynamic terrain. Crafting intricate, multi-layered songs with a definite *prog* angle. Shades of King Crimson and Yes (and U2 in the vocals, but it's not annoying at all). And they've got the chops to successfully execute their formidable mission. The vocals - so untethered, hoarse and fiery in ATDI - are here molded into an emotional falsetto that rings clear and strong with additional effected ones adding an air of alienation. The music is an amazing, intricate blend of ultra-tight drumming, deep bass, keyboards and guitar made even more potent and unsettling by carefully arranged, foreboding samples and electronics. Oh and in case I didn't make myself clear... They absolutely rock! If these three songs are any indication, they will be a force to be reckoned with. Blistering!
Please note: this is not to be confused with DeFacto (TMV members Omar, Cedric, Jeremy and Ikey's experimental dub side project).
RealAudio clip: "Eunuch Provocateur"
RealAudio clip: "Cut That City"

MIRAH Advisory Committee (K) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
An ambitious sophomore album from Ms Mirah. Thirteen songs that expand on the recent "Cold Cold Water" ep and follow her impressive debut "You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This". At times lonely and sorrowful, at others uplifting and empowering, the music has a predominantly old west, folkish feel, but is definitely not country, often it's much more of an indie Morricone sound. Not to be kept pinned down, Mirah follows her muse wherever it may lead her - traversing much musical ground, be it chamber music or a cabaret-ish mode or music box melodies or pulsing casio programmed beats or straight-up indie pop. Building and bounding slowly like a tumbleweed, kicking up a small cloud of dust each time it brushes the earth. And you'll find you too are swept up into her world - her songwriting and performance capturing a sense of both immediacy and intimacy. Her voice slipping effortlessly from shy, frail whisper to mournful wail, sort of like Helium before Mary Timony was whisked away to the land of wizards and castles. Once again she's joined by fellow indie pop adventurer The Microphones' Phil Elvrum. Very recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Cold Cold Water"
RealAudio clip: "The Garden"

NURSE WITH WOUND Soliloquy For Lilith (United Dairies) 2cd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
"The record is fucking amazing," or so says Nurse With Wound protagonist Steven Stapleton. Originally released as a triple vinyl set in 1988 (though references have been made to a mysterious additional 12" released in 1989), "Soliloquy For Lilith" got the CD reissue back 1993, standing as one of the pinnacles within the Nurse With Wound pantheon of surreal records. The iconography of Lilith is a rich and often divergent set of references, beginning with an ancient story (possibly of ancient Babylonian origin, but merged into Jewish mysticism) of Lilith being the first woman (predating Eve's birth from Adam's rib) who chose not to live in the Garden of Eden. While contemporary feminists have taken Lilith as a role model of independence from masculine authorship (i.e. Lilith Fair), Lilith has often been associated with supernatural tendencies with Qabalist scholars qualifying her as a demoness instead of human, manifesting herself as the 'hidden' second moon that circles the Earth. For his "Soliloquy For Lilith," Stapleton opts for the archaic readings of Lilith and presents NWW's mellowest album as a brooding contemplation of Lilith as an archetypal source for unknown magicks. Here, six extended mantras flutter through an ambience created by the closed loop of various effects pedals and flangers, cycling through the built-in harmonics from those electronic elements as tidal rhythms and hums. The resulting album rivals any of the ambient records from Brian Eno and Klaus Schultz, adding a decidedly menacingly feel to the ambient blueprint.
RealAudio clip: "Soliloquy For Lilith 1"
RealAudio clip: "Soliloquy For Lilith 3"

album cover MORRICONE, ENNIO Danger: Diabolik (OST) (Sycodelic (M.D.W.C.G.C.G.)) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
One of the early filmworks from Mario Bava (best known for his horror flicks), Danger: Diabolik is a spectacular, unusual and campy romp of a movie. From 1967, it's an Italian comic book come to life complete with wonderfully mad leaps of logic, a bevy of foxy ladies, and a suitably sexy musical accompaniment. Move over Batman! James Bond, step aside! You're no match for Diabolik who we should mention is no super-hero. He's a super-criminal wrapped in skin-tight black leather and latex. This soundtrack offers up a smattering of gleefully stilted dialogue snippets including the fab "Dry up, stupid!" line, but the seemingly relentless revisiting of the main track "Deep Down"- slinkily kitten-crooned, perky horns, slow'n'wistful, sly Peter Gunn-esque and oh so many more - may quickly wear on your nerves without D:D's swoonful eye candy. FYI: Even if you've yet to see the film, you might already be familiar with its kitschful flair. Mike Patton (in Fantomas) and the Beastie Boys have both plundered this amazing film for it's seriously astounding set designs and stunningly sleek wardrobe.
RealAudio clip: "Driving Decoys"
RealAudio clip: "Criminal / Justice Solution"
RealAudio clip: "Charading Chauffeurs In Wait"
RealAudio clip: "Deep Down"
RealAudio clip: "Valmont (Underworld Don) Philosophies"
RealAudio clip: "Money Orgy"

album cover MIRAH Advisory Committee (K) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
An ambitious sophomore album from Ms Mirah. Thirteen songs that expand on the recent "Cold Cold Water" ep and follow her impressive debut "You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This". At times lonely and sorrowful, at others uplifting and empowering, the music has a predominantly old west, folkish feel, but is definitely not country, often it's much more of an indie Morricone sound. Not to be kept pinned down, Mirah follows her muse wherever it may lead her - traversing much musical ground, be it chamber music or a cabaret-ish mode or music box melodies or pulsing casio programmed beats or straight-up indie pop. Building and bounding slowly like a tumbleweed, kicking up a small cloud of dust each time it brushes the earth. And you'll find you too are swept up into her world - her songwriting and performance capturing a sense of both immediacy and intimacy. Her voice slipping effortlessly from shy, frail whisper to mournful wail, sort of like Helium before Mary Timony was whisked away to the land of wizards and castles. Once again she's joined by fellow indie pop adventurer The Microphones' Phil Elvrum. Very recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Cold Cold Water"
RealAudio clip: "The Garden"

album cover OP8 Slush (Thirsty Ear) cd 15.98
Attention all Calexico, Giant Sand, and Lisa Germano fans! In case you missed it the first time around, the collaboration between those fine artists has been re-issued. Yessiree, and those jubilant cheers you may be hearing are undoubtably coming from Cup. Why? Well, 'cause it's one of her absolute most favorite albums ever. Not just another Giant Sand side project. No! It's a magical one-time combination of John Convertino, Joey Burns, Howe Gelb AND Lisa Germano. The beautiful rich twang we've grown to know and love from the gents' main projects (Calexico and Giant Sand) is most definitely in full glorious bloom here. Combine it with Ms Germano's off-kilter, melancholic vocal delivery and you've got yourself one very special album. Odd textures and noises creep in to keep the slow bittersweet melodies company. Originally released in 1997, these eleven moody, heartswelling 'n' handwringing songs never ever fail to break Cup's heart (especially tracks #3 and #5). Beautiful downer music. Includes a breathy, slow-winding world-weary duet between Germano and Gelb covering Lee Hazlewood's "Sand". Damn fine listening. Sooo very very recommended.
RealAudio clip: "If I Think Of Love"
RealAudio clip: "It's A Rainbow"

ANNIVERSARY, THE Your Majesty (Vagrant) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
What the hell happened here? The Anniversary has poised themselves as the heir apparents to the emo / power pop throne now occupied by labelmates the Get Up Kids, yet with their second album "Your Majesty," these kids from Lawrence, Kansas suddenly think they're Noel and Liam, constructing a bombastic album of baroque pop with lots of harmonizing choruses, extended guitar solos, dramatic piano chords, and distant nods to The Pixies and Supertramp. This record was a real slow burner. In the beginning we all hated it, wondering what happened to our emo pop Anniversaries, but the more we listen, the more we began to understand. I began catching Jim listening to it when he thought no one was the wiser. So now, we have to give it a thumbs up. The only bummer is the one guy singer who whispers in a earnest croon and ends up sounding lame. Outside of that, they're probably the best Brit pop band America has. A few painfully public inter-band squabbles and loads of coke and the sky's the limit!
RealAudio clip: "The Siren Song"
RealAudio clip: "Sweet Marie"

album cover MY BLOODY VALENTINE Loveless (Warner / Sire) cd 14.98
We just realised that this record, one of AQ unanimous all time favorites, never got listed on the website OR the AQ list. And while most of you may already have this, a few of you are in for a big surprise and a musical awakening. "Loveless" stands at the pinnacle of the UK shoegazer movement of the early '90s also populated by Ride, Slowdive, Blind Mr. Jones, Lush, and dozens of lesser knowns on Creation and Cherry Red Reords. Almost all of these bands were enthralled by '60s pop, extending Phil Spector's wall of sound into thick tapestries of distortion and reverberation that almost completely buried their distinctly pop structures. My Bloody Valentine was no exception, but were certainly the most adventurous in terms of production techniques and most definitely the best songwriters of the lot (though Ride and Slowdive did write some amazing songs) culminating with their masterpiece (and swansong) "Loveless." Led by the intertwined guitars and vocals of the bleary eyed duo of Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher, My Bloody Valentine blurred what would normally be punk-as-fuck distortion into a velvety wash of sleepwalking sound, soothed further by their hushed lullabye vocals. Yet, My Bloody Valentine weren't just interested in lulling their audiences to sleep, as "Loveless" borrows more than a few tricks from the contemporary Manchester sound (Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, etc.) with their brilliant track "Soon" filled with rolling basslines and spry breakbeats.
That track along with the equally groovy-yet-dreamy "Glider" ep had been the basis for Simon Reynolds curious thesis that My Bloody Valentine had produced some of the earliest jungle tracks. More plausible was that MBV were one of the first rock bands to actively incorporate sampling into their production techniques. My Bloody Valentine had resampled their guitar feedback digitally to created strangely warbling layers of sound and allow for additional tools to build their bittersweet, melancholic melodies. "Loveless" may remain the final testament to the musical prowess of My Bloody Valentine, as Kevin Shields continues to state the claim that another album is in the works... well it's been in the works for over a decade and has no signs of ever being realized. Nevertheless, this album *still* sounds totally fresh and wholly superior to all of the bands that have attempted to revive the My Bloody Valentine sound (Lilys, Swirlies, Flying Saucer Attack, Third Eye Foundation, Fennesz, Chessie, etc, etc, etc).
Perhaps our opinion best stated by former Aquarian Marc Kate: "If you don't own it, I won't be mad, but you will certainly earn my pity." An earthshattering record. Period.
RealAudio clip: "Only Shallow"
RealAudio clip: "I Only Said"
RealAudio clip: "Sometimes"
RealAudio clip: "Soon"

NURSE WITH WOUND Thunder Perfect Mind (United Dairies) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Nurse With Wound's 1992 companion album to Current 93's of the same name. Beautiful, darkly shimmering soundscapes as assembled by Steven Stapleton and co. [among them David Tibet (Current 93), Colin Potter, Rose Mc Dowell (Death In June), Anita Plank, John Balance (Coil)]. At times deeply hypnotic, at others tensely unsettling like a tiny jackhammer on an even tinier toy piano. Stunning.

album cover ANNIVERSARY, THE Your Majesty (Vagrant) cd 14.98
What the hell happened here? The Anniversary has poised themselves as the heir apparents to the emo / power pop throne now occupied by labelmates the Get Up Kids, yet with their second album "Your Majesty," these kids from Lawrence, Kansas suddenly think they're Noel and Liam, constructing a bombastic album of baroque pop with lots of harmonizing choruses, extended guitar solos, dramatic piano chords, and distant nods to The Pixies and Supertramp. This record was a real slow burner. In the beginning we all hated it, wondering what happened to our emo pop anniversaries, but the more we listen, the more we began to understand. I began catching Jim listening to it when they thought no one was the wiser. And Windy is pretty much playing it nonstop in her car. So now, we give it a thumbs up. The only bummer is the one guy singer who whispers in an earnest croon and ends up sounding lame. Outside of that, they're probably the best Brit pop band America has. A few painfully public inter-band squabbles and loads of coke and the sky's the limit!
RealAudio clip: "The Siren Song"
RealAudio clip: "Sweet Marie"

album cover DADDY'S CURSES s/t (Prophecy Connection) cd-r ep 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aquarius Records is proud to present the newest in field recording fuckery: "Daddy's Curses". The disc is exactly as the title implies, a recording of someone's father cussing his brains out. Apparently, in 1987, an enterprising young son surreptitiously recorded his father as he attempted to repair a piano. For ten solid minutes the father lays out a steady stream of profanities ranging from the milquetoast Ned Flanders end of the spectrum to out and out Raymond & Peter nastiness. The combination of the two from one mouth is absolutely pant wetting at times, such as when our protagonist locks onto a repeated "Gosh Darn It!!" after having been laying out a heavy stream of "You Motherfucker" style potty mouth. For better or worse, the piano itself is never heard throughout the recording. The closest thing we get to hearing it are repeated strikes with what sounds like a hammer against maybe the piano's frame, eventually resulting in pieces of wood falling to the floor.
RealAudio clip: "Excerpt 1"
RealAudio clip: "Excerpt 2"

album cover V/A Popshopping Vol. 2 (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aaah, the wonder of advertising jingles! Cleverly, insidiously hooking the consumer through the ear. Love 'em or hate 'em, we've all caught ourselves pleasantly humming a tune only to realize it's for some junk food we'd never ever lay a hand on. Pizza on a bagel, anyone? Oops. But what if the melody was for a product from another country? You'd could hear and enjoy the music without visions of the product dancing in your head. Well, that's the case with the Pop Shopping Series from Crippled Dick Hot Wax! Twenty seven ultra-lively tracks from '60s and '70s German commercials. Not as tiki-lounge-y-centric as past like-minded compilations, this one runs the stylistic gamut. Embellished with plenty of playfulness - including but not limited to kooky horns and exuberant voice-overs. Check out the stand-out track "Shoe Shoe Twist"! You just might even hear a bit of "Goldfinger", the theme from "S.W.A.T." or Cat Stevens. Campy, kitchy goodness. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: HERMANN GEHLEN "Exposition K'71"
RealAudio clip: CHARLES NOWA "Super-Nowa-Jingles"
RealAudio clip: FISCHER /MALTZ "Shoe Shoe Twist"

V/A Popshopping Vol. 2 (Crippled Dick Hot Wax!) 2lp 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aaah, the wonder of advertising jingles! Cleverly, insidiously hooking the consumer through the ear. Love 'em or hate 'em, we've all caught ourselves pleasantly humming a tune only to realize it's for some junk food we'd never ever lay a hand on. Pizza on a bagel, anyone? Oops. But what if the melody was for a product from another country? You'd could hear and enjoy the music without visions of the product dancing in your head. Well, that's the case with the Pop Shopping Series from Crippled Dick Hot Wax! Twenty seven ultra-lively tracks from '60s and '70s German commercials. Not as tiki-lounge-y-centric as past like-minded compilations, this one runs the stylistic gamut. Embellished with plenty of playfulness - including but not limited to kooky horns and exuberant voice-overs. Check out the stand-out track "Shoe Shoe Twist"! You just might even hear a bit of "Goldfinger", the theme from "S.W.A.T." or Cat Stevens. Campy, kitchy goodness. Recommended.
RealAudio clip: HERMANN GEHLEN "Exposition K'71"
RealAudio clip: CHARLES NOWA "Super-Nowa-Jingles"
RealAudio clip: FISCHER / MALTZ "Shoe Shoe Twist"

STEREO TOTAL Musique Automatique (Bungalow) lp 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now available on snow white vinyl! Another Euro-pop swingin' shimmy-shake affair from the very cosmopolitan Stereo Total. Once again, a lyrical cocktail shaker of French, German, English and... Turkish! Many moments that would make obscure, eccentric '60s lounge-y/ad jingle composer Charles Wilp leap to his feet in his astronaut suit. If you don't know this gent of whom I speak so highly, check out his awesome "Bunny" album. Anyways, back to Stereo Total, stylistically this seems less eclectic than their past albums, but no less ultra-pouty and playful. The second song, "L'Amour A 3" sounds like a cover, but I'm not sure of what. Perhaps you can recognize it? The middle of the album is a lively, thumping party unto itself particularly tracks 8 through 10 ("Forever 16", "Je Suis Une Poupee", and "Ich Weiss Nicht Mehr Genou). Also brings to mind one of Cup's super-faves the fearless and fabulous French duo Les Rita Mitsouko.
RealAudio clip: "L'Amour A 3"
RealAudio clip: "Je Suis Une Poupee"
RealAudio clip: "Nationale 7"

album cover STEREO TOTAL Musique Automatique (Kill Rock Stars) cd 14.98
A new pressing of this Euro-pop swingin' shimmy-shake affair! From the very cosmopolitan Stereo Total, it's a lyrical cocktail shaker of French, German, English and... Turkish! Many moments that would make obscure, eccentric '60s lounge-y/ad jingle composer Charles Wilp leap to his feet in his astronaut suit. If you don't know this gent of whom I speak so highly, check out his awesome "Bunny" album. Anyways, back to Stereo Total, stylistically this seems less eclectic than their past albums, but no less ultra-pouty and playful. The second song, "L'Amour A 3" sounds like a cover, but I'm not sure of what. Perhaps you can recognize it? The middle of the album is a lively, thumping party unto itself particularly tracks 8 through 10 ("Forever 16", "Je Suis Une Poupee", and "Ich Weiss Nicht Mehr Genou). Also brings to mind the fearless and fabulous French duo Les Rita Mitsouko.
RealAudio clip: "L'Amour A 3"
RealAudio clip: "Je Suis Une Poupee"
RealAudio clip: "Nationale 7"

album cover PINBACK Blue Screen Life (Ace Fu) cd 16.98
Much anticipated new full length from Rob Crow (Heavy Vegetable / Thingy / Optiganally Yours) and Zack (Three Mile Pilot). Jeff first thought this was the new Modest Mouse until it started sounding like the Sea & Cake. Oddly enough the last thing any of us thought it sounded like was Pinback. It does sound a lot like those two bands, but that's by no means a dis on Pinback. The results are actually better than both those bands' recent efforts. Wonderfully warm, wistful and emotive quality pop.
RealAudio clip: "Offline P.K."
RealAudio clip: "Talby"

album cover PHOENECIA Odd Jobs (Schematic) cd 12.98
Seven outstanding remixes mutating Phoenecia's super-rubbery beats into even more rhythmically complex IDM from Autechre, Richard Devine, Push Button Objects, Ectomorphm Takeshi Muto, Soul Oddity (actually, this is one of their alter egos... of which they have many). A particular highlight? The awesome track utilizing samples of the song "Rhythm Box" from the film Liquid Sky. Ooooh!

album cover THIS HEAT Deceit (These Records) cd 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It would be nice to think that These Records have only been releasing the reissues of "Deceit" -- This Heat's second and final proper album -- every ten years after the original release of the album in 1981. The first CD pressings arrived on 1991, and this remastered version of the album holds a released date in 2001. Regardless of These Records' coy intentions, the return of "Deceit" to the Aquarius Records' catalogue is very welcome indeed!!!
Almost all of the histories of UK avant-garde music have claim allegiances to This Heat, as Punk, New Wave, Industrial, Prog Rock, Jim O'Rourke, and even Electronica place the seminal outfit somewhere at the beginnings of their respective etymologies. To a certain extent all of these histories may be true, but then again the broad aesthetic and ideological contexts between all of those different styles may cross-each other out, leaving This Heat as one of the few artistic forces that truly exists all by itself.
Just a trio comprised of Charles Hayward, Charles Bullen, and Gareth Williams, This Heat manifested an incredibly explosive sound that hybridized all of the countercultural fury of Punk and Situationism, within a sonic context informed by technological advances of musique concrete techniques and electro-acoustic synthesis. Musically speaking, This Heat did not espouse the three chord structures or the snarling postures of Punk, instead injecting the complex pop agendas of Brian Eno (which were purposefully seeking to conflict the archetypes of rock into a new aesthetic language) with nervous tension building up to dramatic cathartic releases. "Deceit" is a record that was so ahead of its time that it has taken twenty years for artists like Fennesz and Radiohead to articulate ideas with such intensity and attention to the play between musical creation and technological advances. So highly recommended.

album cover SHIRE, DAVID The Conversation (OST) (Intrada) cd 30.00
Finally back in stock. One of the best soundtracks to one of the greatest movies EVER!! Really. The last time we listed this was almost 5 years ago and we just now managed to get another batch in. Here's what we had to say about this amazing disc:
This is simply one of the greatest films ever made. You can call AQ and argue with us if you disagree. This film is so personal and intense. So completely thrilling and perfect. And it features what has to be Gene Hackman's best performance ever (except maybe for The French Connection). Also features Harrison Ford, as well as Cindy Williams in one of the best scenes of all time (the scene in the park, filmed in San Francisco's Union Square). And the soundtrack is equally impressive. David Shire, who also did the score for the oh so amazing Taking Of Pelham 123, was presented with a new challenge in the scoring of the Conversation. First, Coppola insisted that the score be simple and stripped down, unlike the bombastic full orchestras Shire was so adept with. Second, the score was composed before the film was finished (like Morricone with Leone), which allowed the score to guide the filming and really help focus the performances. So the score ended up being mostly just solo piano (with Shire believing the whole time that they would orchestrate it later). Dark and minor key. Simple, but so goddamn creepy. It's absolutely chilling and almost too perfectly captures the paranoid unhappiness of Hackman's Harry Caul. It's way scarier and dismal sounding than anything more modern doomsters like Piano Magic or Tindersticks have been trying to pull off. Another interesting aspect of the score is the 'jazz records' that Hackman's character plays sax along to in the film. Those 'records' were actually composed by Shire specifically for the film and Hackman actually played the sax. He had never touched a saxophone before, so on the set he had someone teaching him to play, and he would spend his time practicing scales instead of going over his lines. Those tracks are on this disc, complete with Hackman's sax accompaniment. Another bonus on the disc is a full band version of the Theme From the Conversation, where Shire finally gets to flex his arranging muscles. This soundtrack has never been released in any form, so it's pretty exciting that the folks at Intrada managed to pull it all together and get this out (they actually had to do quite a bit of legwork, remixing, re-EQing, and re-editing to put this all together!). Not really available at stores, we're managed to get a few copies 'cause we're such slobbering The Conversation fans.
And for those of you who haven't seen The Conversation...WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? WALK AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW. WALK TO YOUR NEAREST VIDEO STORE. RENT THE VIDEO. UNPLUG THE PHONE. AND WATCH. YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY. An absolutely beautiful film with some of the best performances, directing, and music you will ever see or hear.
MPEG Stream: "Theme From The Conversation"
MPEG Stream: "No More Questions / Phoning The Director"
MPEG Stream: "To The Office / The Elevator"

DEVO Oh No It's Devo / Freedom Of Choice (Virgin) cd 15.98

album cover LOCUST, THE Flight of the Wounded Locust (GSL) cd ep 9.98
Finally on cd (the 7" got a headstart earlier this year) and with bonus tracks to boot! This ep also includes their songs from the puddle-shaped split 7" they did with Arab On Radar. If you're familiar with this San Diego quartet, you already know that their tracks rarely reach the one minute mark. Short convulsions of contorted thick synth lines, pummelling blast beats, spastic shrieks. Well, as a finale, the title track swells to a ridiculously relentless three minute evil carnival. A feverish sonic assault of organized chaos. Oh and did I mention the song titles? Absurd, lengthy and often inflammatory bundles of words like "Gluing Carpet on Your Genitals Does Not Make You A Cantaloupe" or "Spitting In The Faces Of Fools As A Source Of Nutrition". Awesome, but the faint of heart should definitely steer clear.
RealAudio clip: "Siphoning Projectiles During Selective Amnesia"
RealAudio clip: "Get Off The Cross The Wood Is Needed"

album cover MICROPHONES Glow Pt. 2 (K) cd 14.98
Phil Elvrum -- the ever so shy Microphones ringleader who has also appeared in Old Tyme Relijun and D+ -- will probably never be so bold as to express his songs with all of the heartwrenching, off-key scream of a great emo vocalist, although his songs ooze with the post-adolescent grand bummer that is so common in the emo. His quivering voice holds nothing more than a few muttered melodies and a handful of whispered lyrics, yet Elvrum has always delved into baroque, if lo-fi, production tricks to augment what began as the quietest of bedroom indie strumming. While he's nowhere near the songwriter as Jeff Mangum or Bill Smog, his downer indie-rock songs filled with ramshackle rock bursts, early-Stereolab Moog-o-riffic rhythms, liltingly paranoid piano lines, big-muff distortion blasts, and big band horn flourishes sure do make you feel as Neutral Milk and Smog can do.
All of the Microphones albums have a great sound, there is always that little critical voice that wishes he would bring to the production table a set of really great songs. Elvrum is way too talented to waste his production and arrangement abilities on being just an indie-dork. This is a pretty good record, but if he continues to improve his songwriting ability - let this be a prophecy - Elvrum will write the next "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea."
RealAudio clip: "The Glow Pt.2"
RealAudio clip: "Map"

album cover EDISON WOODS s/t (self-released) cd 12.98
So very very lovely! Brooklyn based septet Edison Woods weave shadowy gossamer ribbons of dream tunes. These are the warm blanketing lullaby sounds for starry winter evenings. Former San Franciscan Julia Frodahl's gentle whisper of a voice glides effortlessly over the lush cello, piano, effected guitar, and harmonium with barely-there percussion providing texture rather than rhythm to the mellow proceedings. Will undoubtedly draw comparisons to fellow lovely melancholics Low, Cowboy Junkies and Ida, but more than hold its own -- possessing its own hushed, dark beauty. Quite recommended.
RealAudio clip: "You Are Bright"
RealAudio clip: "Lullabies And Goodbyes"

SUPERCHUNK Here's To Shutting Up (Merge) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Marking Merge Records' 201st release is Superchunk's eighth full length. And a splendid one it is. Mac, Laura, Jim and Jon have crafted a glowingly polished pop album with all pieces falling gracefully into place. A smooth, lush progression from their last release "Come Pick Me Up" in part due to the return of Jim O'Rourke in the co-producer's seat next to Mac. Certainly eons from their youthful frantic pop power anthems ("Slack Motherfucker" anyone?), but with age comes wisdom, focus and beauty. And Superchunk are positively brimming. From the
bittersweet opener "Late-Century Dream"
to the sweeping twang of "Phone Sex" to the more fired-up spin of "Art Class (Song For Yayoi Kusama)", this is their most accessible release to date. Oddly enough the normally young-sounding Mac has never sounded more so. Recorded at Zero Return Studios in Georgia -- homebase of Man Or Astro-Man?.

album cover MERCURY REV All Is Dream (V2) cd 18.98
The peculiar, exuberant band from Buffalo, NY bring forth their long-awaited follow-up to 1998's Deserter's Song. All Is Dream is their fifth album: an often sublime, ambitious orchestral pop assemblage that even in all of its grandeur and oddness still maintains an air of innocence, particularly on tracks such as "A Drop In Time". Please forgive me but an image of Mercury Rev performing "Puff The Magic Dragon" parading down the main street just flashed though my head. They'd surely do a damn fine job of it too, but I digress. Jonathan Donahue's tweaked boy voice easily draws comparisons to that of Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne. And the 'Lips comparisons - or shall we say connections - don't end there, Donahue and bassist Dave Fridmann have put in their fair share of time with that likeminded band from Oklahoma. The former as lead guitarist and the latter as producer extraordinaire - most notably for the supreme "Soft Bulletin". He does a splendid job on his own band's material here with all of its lush, complex instrumentation of woodwinds and strings and blown-out percussion. Pretty wonderful. Oh and a word of note: more recently Fridmann's unmistakable production touches may also be heard gracing the newest Sparklehorse album.
RealAudio clip: "The Dark Is Rising"
RealAudio clip: "A Drop In Time"

album cover BLUE OYSTER CULT Agents Of Fortune (Columbia / Legacy) cd 12.98
The umlauted Oyster boys' fourth album, from '76, remastered n' reissued with bonus tracks etc. By this point, the Cult was getting pretty big. "Agents Of Fortune" features what must be their biggest hit, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper". Worth it for that, and "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" and a few others. Though, we have to say their first three albums are stronger and less commerical sounding, and are recommended ahead of this one, which is just cheesier and wimpier, what with having more keyboards and the Brecker Brothers playing horns. But then again, it's got the poetic lyrics *and* vocals of Patti Smith on "The Revenge Of Vera Gemini" as well as the aforementioned afterlife romance classic "Reaper".
RealAudio clip: "The Revenge Of Vera Gemini"

album cover BLUE OYSTER CULT Secret Treaties (Columbia / Legacy) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
Remastered and reissued: the third of BOC's debut trio of masterpieces, from '74. Features 5 bonus tracks - 3 previously unreleased songs from the Secret Treaties sessions ("Boorman The Chauffer", "Mommy", and "Mes Dames Serat") as well as their version of "Born To Be Wild" and a single version of "Career of Evil", which also appears as an album track here, along with classics like "Dominance And Submission", "Flaming Telepaths", and more. Another essential BOC album, hard rock with lyrics worth listening to ("Career of Evil" started life as a Patti Smith poem).
Along with full lyrics and photos (each band member posing with guitar in front of a triple stack of Marshall amps), this has liner notes by Lenny Kaye (as do the reissues of s/t and Tyranny and Mutation as well).
MPEG Stream: "Career Of Evil"
MPEG Stream: "Boorman The Chauffer"

album cover BLUE OYSTER CULT Tyranny And Mutation (Columbia / Legacy) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
The Red & The Black! BOC's 2nd album, from 1973, now remastered and all that. Includes 4 bonus tracks: three live tracks from bootlegs, and a studio outtake version of live fave "Buck's Boogie".
"The Black Side" (LP side one) rocks hard with aggro classics like "Hot Rails To Hell" and "7 Screaming Diz-Busters", while LP side 2 ("The Red") gets a little artier with songs like the Patti Smith-penned "Baby Ice Dog" and psychedelic epic "Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl)". A misunderstood band that went over a lot of people's heads ironically due to their dumbed down image.
MPEG Stream: "7 Screaming Diz-Busters"
MPEG Stream: "Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl)"

album cover BLUE OYSTER CULT s/t (Columbia / Legacy) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
BOC (that's Blue Oyster Cult, not Boards of Canada!) has always been mistakenly regarded as some sort of heavy metal band -- and while they originated and/or embraced much of the imagery associated with HM (umlauts, leather pants, long hair, occult symbols) and certainly rocked hard and heavy, they were much more of a psychedelic pop rock n' roll band than a "metal" one. Certainly their lyrics (famously, some penned by intellectual rock crits Sandy Pearlman and Richard Meltzer of Crawdaddy magazine, and Meltzer's then-girlfriend, poetess Patti Smith) are much more brainy and bizarre than what the average headbanger normally is forced to wrap their brain around. This album, now remastered, was BOC's 1972 debut - but the band had been together under different names since their late '60s college days. Their roots as a weirdo psychedelic jamming band put them in a category closer to West Coast psych or Detroit's Stooges and MC5 than, say, Led Zeppelin, despite BOC's later arena-rock status.
Contains the hard rockin' hits "Transmaniacon MC", "Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll" along with several other somewhat more obscure but equally brilliant tunes full of the surreal, psychedelic lyrics and guitar work of which these guys were geniuses.
And this reissue also includes four bonus tracks, taken from the band's rejected 1969 demos under the name Soft White Underbelly. These are released here for the first time (well, outside of the recent mail-order only Rhino Handmade release of the Stalk-Forrest Group's entire unreleased album demos, which contains 3 of these cuts). A few of the SWU/SFG tracks were later reworked into BOC tunes, like the bizarre "I'm On The Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep" found on this album. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Transmaniacon MC"
MPEG Stream: "I'm On The Lamb But I Ain't No Sheep"

VASQUEZ, JHONEN Filler Bunny in... I Fill Up 15 Pages (SLG) magazine 2.25
Brutally funny first issue of this comic by the creator of Johnny The Homicidal Maniac - Mr. Jhonen Vasquez. Simultaneously super-cute and super-bummer. Quite simply the being known as Filler Bunny exists to fill up space... yep, 15 pages worth. And it isn't an easy existence for Filler Bunny - tortured, drugged and tormented. There's also exists an amazing Filler Bunny doll (can't really call it an action figure, he's just a pink blobby bunny after all). Rules!

album cover SUPERCHUNK Here's To Shutting Up (Merge) cd 14.98
Marking Merge Records' 201st release is Superchunk's eighth full length. And a splendid one it is. Mac, Laura, Jim and Jon have crafted a glowingly polished pop album with all pieces falling gracefully into place. A smooth, lush progression from their last release "Come Pick Me Up" in part due to the return of Jim O'Rourke in the co-producer's seat next to Mac. Certainly eons from their youthful frantic pop power anthems ("Slack Motherfucker" anyone?), but with age comes wisdom, focus and beauty. And Superchunk are positively brimming. From the bittersweet opener "Late-Century Dream" to the sweeping twang of "Phone Sex" to the more fired-up spin of "Art Class (Song For Yayoi Kusama)", this is their most accessible release to date. Oddly enough the normally young-sounding Mac has never sounded more so. Recorded at Zero Return Studios in Georgia -- homebase of Man Or Astro-Man?.
RealAudio clip: "Late-Century Dream"
RealAudio clip: "Phone Sex"

album cover SECRET CHIEFS 3 Book M (Web Of Mimicry) cd 13.98
Of all the post-Mr. Bungle bands featuring its members, the instrumental Secret Chiefs 3 are carrying the torch for what I most enjoyed about Bungle -- their intense love for all kinds of music, and the irrepressible, joyful schizophrenia that results. Like Bungle, who would play carnivalesque songs with ska breaks and heavy metal bridges, Secret Chiefs are similarly manic, inspired and skilled. The Secret Chiefs mainly operate in the realm of "ethnographic forgery" (a la the Sun City Girls and Can), drawing inspiration from Middle Eastern and Indian music (especially Bollywood soundtracks -- they "cover" several Indian film themes here), and the last song is even a cover from one of the Ethiopiques records. They know "il Maestro" Ennio Morricone's soundtrack work so well that spinning out an Italian folk waltz or minor key lament is simply second nature to them. And their occasional use of techno beats, is matched by an obvious love for metal as well, making for some "heavy" moments on this disc. Even the (happily non-annoying) drum'n'bass lasts mere seconds and injects just enough adrenalin into the proceedings.
Secret Chiefs'd like to be as weird and esoteric as the SCGs, and try really hard in the purposefully obtuse liner notes, but let's face it, as great as the Secret Chiefs are, they don't possess the singular sound, feeling and mystery of the Sun City Girls -- instead they're successfully mixing up all those world music influences, Bungle, and the Boredoms.
The band is primarily Mr Bungle alumni Trey Spruance & drummer Danny Heifetz, and along with frequent Sonic Youth collaborator / percussionist William Winant, brilliant violinist Eyvind Kang (a frequent SCGs collaborator, hey) is all over this record. The instrumentation is as wide-ranging as to include dumbek, zils, contrabass, sax, electric sitar, organ, and something called a santur.
A quite satisfying, surprisingly consistent, well-executed album!
RealAudio clip: "Combat for the Angel"
RealAudio clip: "Horsemen of the Invisible"
RealAudio clip: "Safina"
RealAudio clip: "Siege Perilous"

album cover COIL Love's Secret Domain (Threshold House) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The re-issue of "Love's Secret Domain" from 1991 is not unlike unearthing a long lost exquisite treasure. Obsessively coveted and revered over the last decade, it re-emerges still sounding fresh and current. Sadly and strangely, this album was often pigeonholed as an industrial-dance record. Sure, it was licensed to the US on Wax Trax and Coil's longstanding association with Industrial Culture (um, they started it) certainly confused idiot rock critics who aimlessly equated industrial with the militant stomp of Front 242. Clearly, "Love's Secret Domain" is an album that stands way above the standard Wax Trax fare of the time.
During the construction of this album, Coil's core duo -- Peter Christopherson and John Balance -- had immersed themselves in the acid house culture of the UK that flourished around The KLF (I don't care what you think of "What Time is Love," The KLF were geniuses in the art of pop subversion), 808 State, and even the early bleep techno from Warp Records. To Coil, the UK rave culture reflected many of their own ideas of transgression through almost pagan rituals of communities uniting around liberating music, sexual exploration, chemical enlightenment, and the release of hidden dark energies from the body and spirit.
"Love's Secret Domain" embodied a near-perfect harmony between the dark, occultish overtones from their previous albums "Scatology" and "Horse Rotovator" and the technological futurism at the heart of rave culture. Within this synthesis, Coil has not just created a handful of singles (although "The Snow" and "Windowpane" off of this album still make great dancefloor fodder), but has articulated the entire album as a sonic narrative. Swelling through the sampledelic abstraction on "Disco Hospital" (recently covered by admitted Coil fans Matmos) and the surreal tension of "Things Happen" (with Annie Anxiety Bandez' obtuse guest vocal appearance), Coil offers "The Snow" as a magnificient techno track, with creepy cut-ups of choral elements, constantly shifting and reforming melody patterns, and an 808 techno pulse. "Windowpane" in turn is far more seductive in its low slung bassline and downtempo pace. The rest of the album continues through a darkened path of hallucinatory electronics, intricate instrumentations, and occasional bursts of subverted pop sentiment. Unlike a lot of electronica records, nothing on "Love's Secret Domain" ever feels like filler.
This is a marvelous record that even after a decade has very few rivals.
RealAudio clip: "The Snow"
RealAudio clip: "Windowpane"
RealAudio clip: "Love's Secret Domain"

TEAM DRESCH Personal Best (Chainsaw / Candy-Ass) cd 14.98
So very sadly defunct, Portland, Oregon's Team Dresch empowered young women everywhere back in '94. And continue to do so with this feistily fantastic album as a document of their inspiring greatness. Some extraordinarily right-on raging music including the awesome "Fake Fight". Super catchy, driving and emotive dyke punk for everyone. All salute Kaia, Donna, Marci and Jody. A co-release on Jody's label Candy-Ass and Kaia's Chainsaw Records. Is that enough superlatives for ya?

YO LA TENGO May I Sing With Me (Alias) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Some of Yo La Tengo's best and dreamiest pop songs invariably got bullied out of the way by the Ira Kaplan's earlier tendencies towards Sonic Youth-ian blasts of ear-piercing guitar distortion. Such is often the case on their 1992 album May I Sing With Me, but even still, the melodic genius and intelligent, unwaveringly heartfelt lyrical sentiments stand strong and shine through the dissonance. Don't even think of calling yourself a Yo La Tengo fan if a well-worn copy (or two) of this album doesn't grace your record collection. My (Cup's) second favorite Yo La Tengo album next to Painful. Highlights: "Upside Down" and "Detouring America With Horns". Man, I could listen to those two songs back to back on repeat all day long... in fact, maybe I'll go do that now!

WILLIAMS, LUCINDA s/t (Koch) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Quite possibly Lucinda Wiliiams' best album. It contains her alterna-country hit "Passionate Kisses". Despite the slick production (which seems very oddly out of place with the grit and yearning of her voice), this is simply wonderful, rootsy and earnest.

album cover PHOENECIA Brownout (Schematic) cd 14.98
The highly anticipated, long overdue, new full length from Miami, Florida's cinematic IDM duo Phoenecia was well worth the wait. Finely crafted and mood-altering, it achieves a successful melding of seeming opposites: claustrophobia and expanse. Fragmented, angular and insectile, yet oddly fluid and gorgeously mellow. Flowing from dream to nightmare seamlessly. Actually, the darker stretches of this kinetic release descends into quite similar unsettling, ominous mood-territory as that of the Nic Endo cd listed here too. Palpitating beats smoothly perforate your eardrums. Very very recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Eyebrow"
RealAudio clip: "Oriaca"
RealAudio clip: "Biorepo"
RealAudio clip: "Non-Specific Acoustic Stimulation"

NURSE WITH WOUND Thunder Perfect Mind (Drag City) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Any Nurse With Wound release on vinyl is most highly coveted. Always with gorgeous artwork to match the sonic artistry within. So this release is a welcome -- albeit mysterious -- vinyl re-issue by Streamline via Drag City of Nurse With Wound's 1992 companion album to Current 93's of the same name. Beautiful, darkly shimmering soundscapes as assembled by Steven Stapleton and co. [among them David Tibet (Current 93), Colin Potter, Rose Mc Dowell (Death In June), Anita Plank, John Balance (Coil)]. At times deeply hypnotic, at others tensely unsettling like a tiny jackhammer on an even tinier toy piano. Stunning.

album cover MORODER, GIORGIO The Best of... (Repertoire) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
What with the current retro electro boogie wonderkinds like Adult. and Ladytron, this is a more than timely release of that suave disco dance-meister with the bad-ass moustache, Giorgio Moroder. "Best of" may be a bit of a misnomer though as this compilation includes the groan-inducing "Solitary Man" and Flashdance ballad "Lady Lady". Nevertheless, this is a highly entertaining no-holds-barred retrospective. From his silly, bubblegum Ohio Express-ish debut single "Looky Looky" from 1969, to his glammy Spirit In The Sky-esque "Son Of My Father" in '72, and on into the Aqua Velva disco years and beyond. It's not until the fifth track though that the disco rump-shakin' truly kicks in with oozing over-sexed vengeance - "I Wanna Funk With You Tonight"... indeed. The major Moroder highlights though come in mid-cd with the relentlessly groovy "Chase", vocoder-active "E=MC2" and "Baby Blue". His later tracks may raise a few eyebrows (like the aforementioned cringers as well as "American Dream"), but they just might also remind you of a certain recording studio scene in the movie Boogie Nights... which is alright with me. You got the touch!
RealAudio clip: "Stop"
RealAudio clip: "Looky Looky"
RealAudio clip: "I Wanna Funk With You Tonight"
RealAudio clip: "Baby Blue"

album cover DUOTANG The Bright Side (Mint) cd 14.98
Like a wonderful melding of Spoon (Girls Can Tell) and The Jam (but not Jam & Spoon!), this is the third full-length from this super-sharp Canadian pop duo (their first two were "Smash the Ships and Raise the Beams" and "The Cons and the Pros") with a penchant for fine wine and the '60s Brit sounds of The Who, The Kinks, the aforementioned Jam and oh, The Beatles too. Looking fab as always in their custom-made suits, these gents make a surprisingly big pop sound between (primarily) just the two of them. Sean supplies the bouncing drum beat, and Rod provides the wonderfully full bass guitar lead melodies (that's right there are no six-strings here) and the frequently Paul-Weller-deadringer vocals. Prior to the release of "The Bright Side", they both took some time off from the band, Sean to school and Rod to the lush Winnipeg pop group Novillero. The break seems to have done them a world of good, as this is their most confident and polished work to date. Much more edgy and driving than their previous poppier efforts. The addition of horns, keyboards, and a few female backing vocals help flesh out the Duotang landscape. Check out the lovely "Toast To The Life-long Friends". On Mint Records (home to the New Pornographers, I Am Spoonbender, Neko Case, and the Evaporators). Very recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Present Blind"
RealAudio clip: "Toast To The Life-Long Friends"
RealAudio clip: "The Witch Hunters"
RealAudio clip: "Words of Simon"

album cover ENDO, NIC Cold Metal Perfection (Geist) cd 15.98
Very impressive. Much less randomly aurally assaultive than her previous works. Atari Teenage Riot's Ms Endo has steadied her aim, and carefully selected her angles of attack. Not a constant barrage of pummelling abrasiveness, but instead more of a nightmarishly twisted soundscape. Feelings of suffocation by sound. As if some very malevolent, hostile forces are at work, whispering their plans to only you. At times, approaching a somewhat industrialized, sinister (Morton) Subotnick-ness. Recommended for adventurous ATR fans.
RealAudio clip: "One Night Domination"
RealAudio clip: "The Program And The Brides"
RealAudio clip: "Mask Identity"
RealAudio clip: "Neon Sunrise"

TRAILER BRIDE High Seas (Bloodshot) cd 14.98
The fourth album (their third on Bloodshot Records) from this Chapel Hill, NC quartet is a dark bewitching jewel very much along the same path as their labelmates the wonderful Sadies. Characterized by Melissa Swingle's haunting, lilting drawl, highly reverbed feline pluck and twang, and ghostly musical saw, this is the sultry music of shadows that stretch and creep across your porchswing at dusk. Wielding her songwriting pen with an ease and flair, Ms Swingle and co. at times creep, at others swagger, and at still others gallop. Kicking at the dirt with a well-worn boot. Like the spirits of an old ghost town's beautifully bittersweet tales from the south. Notably lovely and heartbreaking: "Bird Feet Feelings".
RealAudio clip: "All Thine"
RealAudio clip: "Bird Feet Feelings"
RealAudio clip: "Wilderness"

PLEASURE FOREVER s/t (Sub Pop) cd 15.98
Combining beautiful harmonies and heartbreaking epic songs, the debut album from Pleasure Forever (formerly Slaves) displays elements of the Doors if they were good and the gutwrenchingly despairing parts of great eighties rock such as Swans or the Birthday Party. The recording itself is so complex and layered it's hard to believe this band is a 3-piece. Their music has a magickal force all its own. Don't miss.
RealAudio clip: "Any Port In A Storm"

OHGR Welt (Spitfire) cd 16.98
Throughout the '80's/90's, Vancouver surrealists Skinny Puppy were a group ahead of their time. Laced with film dialogue samples (one of the first and best, if you ask me) and seething emotion, their highly visceral and visual music seemed to reverberate from the future much like that of Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, and Cabaret Voltaire before them. Much more experimental and sonically out-there than Ministry and bands they were eventually lumped in with, SP undeniably cut a deep and indelible mark in the pages of music history - in the years since, countless bands have shamelessly plundered their trunk of aural pleasures (Trent Reznor,etc) and macabre visuals (Marilyn Manson,etc). When they disbanded following the death of member Dwayne Goettel in 1995, multi-instrumentalist Cevin Key paused but a moment before immersing himself in a rash of other projects - Tear Garden and Download to name but two - and launching his own studio and label in LA. Frontman Nivek Ogre, on the other hand (with the exception of his 1998 collaborative effort with Martin Atkins entitled Rx), seemed to simply vanish into the shadows. until now. This album was completed and ready for release in the mid-late '90s under the moniker W.E.L.T., however the legal shackles of American Recordings kept it in limbo until Ogre's contract expired in 1999. Reworked, refreshed, and actually re-recorded, the album now finds its home on Spitfire Records, with the moniker changed to 'OHGR' and the album itself called 'WELT'. Heavy synth grooves and hooks reminiscent of early SP material ('Bites'), or even recent Gary Numan. with Ogre actually SINGING (as opposed to screeching under racks of effects), most of these songs are downright catchy synth-industro-pop(!) with a lot of current electronic music sounding more and more like old Skinny Puppy, this just might be Ogre's time. Surprisingly contemporary. Hey everyone (and especially all you kids that are going to the Ozz-fest this year): recommended listening!
RealAudio clip: "cracker"
RealAudio clip: "water"

album cover MCGINTY, KATHY s/t (Hamburger Records) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If you missed out on this all-time AQ "comedy" fave before, now's your chance... here's what we said about it when it was first reissued on cd back in 2001, and we made it Record Of The Week:
FINALLY! We've been waiting ages for this to get reissued and the wait is now over! Easily one of the funniest, weirdest, most fucked up records ever. As we're writing this, everyone else here is laughing hysterically while this plays in the store. In fact, we're having trouble concentrating or even typing with this playing. It is so goddamn funny. But also kind of creepy and totally bizarre. But mostly very very funny! Originally released as a cd-r, later bootlegged by an unscrupulous LA record label, Kathy McGinty is now available as a professionally pressed cd (no longer a cd-r) with new liner notes and bonus material not included on the original cd-r release!! Here's what we had to say about the original:
You ever have that problem where you're in an internet sex chat room, and you make a date with some pervy girl for a phone sex session, and then when you call her up it's actually some jerk with a sampler loaded with a sexy female voice telling you things like "Taco Bell is sooo good?" Well if you did, chances are you're one of the crank call victims on this extremely funny and fucked up cd. We guarantee, if you hear this stuff you'll die laughing (unless you're a total prude, of course). It's really unbelievable how pathetic the guys are who attempt to carry on a phone sex chat with "Kathy McGinty", who is pretty obviously a recorded voice triggered by someone's sampler. They don't seem to mind that she sounds like she's talking to them over a CB radio, or that most of what she says is absurd and nonsensical, like a random sound collage from a porno movie. Her Taco bell comment just gets a moan of agreement from the hapless caller.
A few of the callers figure it out, and then it gets even more pathetic as they continue to masturbate, being such geeks that they're turned on by the technical details of the joke (one guy asks, excitedly, about if the sampler is triggered by keyboard or mouse). But most of the guys are so clueless and horny that they're completely unfazed by Kathy's bizarre comments ("I think you might be racist", "I want to have your retarded babies", "I've got a pickle in my ass", "You know I'm only 12?", "I sell used cars", "Check out my hairy balls", "I'm all fucked up from huffing Scotch Guard", "I think I might be having a miscarriage") and limited vocabulary (she says "Yesssss!" the same way every time), or her deafeningly noisy, Merzbow-level obviously-looped screams of orgasmic ecstasy. We could go on, but we don't want to reveal too much. Just get this, it's the best crank call disc we've heard in a long time. You'll be playing it for everyone you know, except maybe your mom. Absurdly funny.
MPEG Stream: "Very Large Hands"
MPEG Stream: "OK, This Is A Recording"
MPEG Stream: "This Is Damien"
MPEG Stream: "I Look Like A Cock"
MPEG Stream: "How Many Fingers?"

album cover MCGINTY, KATHY s/t (Hamburger Records) cd-r 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. REAL CD VERSION W/ BONUS TRACKS COMING SOON, HOWEVER!!
You ever have that problem where you're in an internet sex chat room, and you make a date with some pervy girl for a phone sex session, and then when you call her up it's actually some jerk with a sampler loaded with a sexy female voice telling you things like "Taco Bell is sooo good?" Well if you did, chances are you're one of the crank call victims on this extremely funny and fucked up cd-r. We guarantee, if you hear this stuff you'll die laughing (unless you're a total prude, of course). It's really unbelievable how pathetic the guys are who attempt to carry on a phone sex chat with "Kathy McGinty", who is pretty obviously a recorded voice triggered by someone's Yamaha SU10 sampler. They don't seem to mind that she sounds like she's talking to them over a CB radio, or that most of what she says is absurd and nonsensical, like a random sound collage from a porno movie. Her Taco bell comment just gets a moan of agreement from the hapless caller.
A few of the callers figure it out, and then it gets even more pathetic as they continue to masturbate, being such geeks that they're turned on by the technical details of the joke (one guy asks, excitedly, about if the sampler is triggered by keyboard or mouse). But most of the guys are so clueless and horny that they're completely unfazed by Kathy's bizarre comments ("I think you might be racist", "I want to have your retarded babies", "I've got a pickle in my ass") and limited vocabulary (she says "Yesssss!" the same way every time), or her deafeningly noisy, Merzbow-level obviously-looped screams of orgasmic ecstasy. We could go on, but we don't want to reveal too much. Just get this, it's the best crank call disc we've heard in a long time. You'll be playing it for everyone you know, except maybe your mom. Absurdly funny.
RealAudio clip: "I'm Jamming It In Deep, Baby"
RealAudio clip: "I'm Not A Child Molestor, But I'll Fuck You"

GOGOGO AIRHEART Love My Life Hate My Friends (Vinyl Communications) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This album fades in as though we've just encountered the GoGoGo boys well into one of their lengthy improvisational sessions. Constantly changing in instrumentation, sometimes there's two drummers, sometimes a cellist, and sometimes who knows? But it's always anchored by some truly awesome bass playing. Live, they can be a tightly wound, convulsive unit channeling the ghosts of The Pop Group and The Fall, or a quietly meditative dubby discovery of notes and rhythms. Includes a reworking of A Certain Ratio's "Do The Du".

FASTBACKS ...And His Orchestra (PopLlama) cd 13.98
Quite possibly the best example of the pure power pop brilliance that is the Fastbacks. Three early releases from Seattle pop greats Kurt Bloch, Kim Warnick and Lulu Gargiulo on one cd. Not only do you get '... And His Orchestra' (which is pretty much the bestest from start to finish), but also 'Everyday Is Saturday' (with their cover of "Midnight Confessions"), and '...Play Five Of Their Favorites' (with one of their best "In America"). Spanning the years '81 to '86 (yes, they've been around for two decades now!), these songs positively burst with joyful hooks and harmonies. A wonderful racket of Kurt's electric guitar and Kim and Lulu's unmistakable dueling vocals. Fast, furious fun even twenty years later.

MOMUS Slender Sherbet (Cherry Red) cd 16.98
... in which the fine dandy Scot known as Momus remakes his dazzling downer album Tender Pervert. The result a new perhaps odder beauty that can be admired all on its own.

PLEASURE SEEKERS What a Way To Die (Norton) 7" 4.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The year is 1965 and a feisty teenage Suzi Quatro is kicking ass on all the boys in town. Yep, that's pre-Leather Tuscadero, sweetcakes! Ultra-raw, raunchy garage rock straight from the day re-issued by the fab garage mavens at Norton Records. Hot!

album cover ADULT. Resuscitation (Ersatz Audio) cd 13.98
Strap on your electro pants, baby. 'Cause Adult. (don't forget that punctuation) are here. Witness the awesome android power of this Detroit duo - one half of which is Mr. Adam Miller, formerly of the mighty electro-kings known as LeCar. If you were a fan of said group or fellow Motor City techno duo Drexciya, what are you waiting for? Get on this now! Imagine a hard electro hybrid of Berlin, Add N to (X) and Miami booty bass beats - and although they utilize plenty of super '80s retro sounds, Adult. never get stuck in the past. Instead, they forge ahead cutting a very new and now path of fresh 'n' groovy tracks complete with a battery of wonderfully tweaked, effected vocals (as performed by Ms Nicola Kuperus - the other half of Adult. not to mention uber-cool photographer to boot). Check out the anxious twitch and sputter of "Minors at Night" and "Nausea". On their own Ersatz Audio label. Yes, quite recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Contagious"
RealAudio clip: "Nausea"
RealAudio clip: "Lost Love"
RealAudio clip: "Pressure Suit"

album cover U.S. MAPLE Acre Thrills (Drag City) cd 14.98
Hallelujah! US Maple return with "Acre Thrills". And such a wonderful return it is. Their last release "Talker" (produced by Michael Gira) was so sparse and subdued it was barely audible, but this one's turned up a few notches. Me, I love anticipating the stumbling -- but far from clumsy -- explosions of Al Johnson, Mark Shippy, and company. How these gents write, record and perform their music is a magnificent mind-boggler. A seeming haphazard mess of gimpy sonic bumps and bruises with the ghost of Captain Beefheart lurking about. Track 7 (with it's Link Wray-ish chicken scratch guitar line) will surely bring out the retarded epileptic chicken in all of us. With cover art that resembles a sharpie-marker-tagged baby blue bathroom tile, this really brightened Allan's day, who'd like to add that if you've been following the amazing and (for lack of a better word) fucked career of the Maple, "Acre Thrills" will indeed be a thrill, as the band perhaps know that they'd reached the pinnacle of abstraction with their previous disc "Talker" -- so, while not returning to (avant)rocking-out like they did on their debut "Long Hair In Three Stages", they do endeavor to craft something more recognizably close to what ordinary folks would consider "songs" on here. Heck, lead whisperer/barker Al Johnson even comes close to some indie-rock standard *singing* at points! But it's still all very abstract and fucked, unmistakably US Maple, with all their unique quirks and counter-intuitive approaches to rock/pop. In short, a great new record from a very special band!
RealAudio clip: "Acre Thrills track 6"
RealAudio clip: "Acre Thrills track 7"
RealAudio clip: "Acre Thrills track 10"
RealAudio clip: "Acre Thrills track 11"

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS Flood (Elektra) cd 17.98
Features the wonderful "Birdhouse in Your Soul", "Istanbul", "Particle Man", "Whistling in The Dark"... I could go on and on. 19 songs in all. Quirky, brainy nerd pop at it's best.

album cover THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS Then: The Earlier Years (Restless) 2cd 28.00
Here's an old favorite title we thought we'd highlight 'cause we've never listed it before and just got it back in stock! Over the years the two Johns (Flansburgh and Linnell) from Brooklyn, NY have cranked out an impressive amount of musical fun and friviolity. From the early spartan sounds of twisted tuba and accordion nuttiness accompanying their highly humourous yarns (remember 'Dial-A-Song'?) to their more recent much more rock'n'roll adventures with full band line-ups (complete with horn sections), they've never lost their ability to compose the cleverest and catchiest of tunes. Ah, "Ana Ng" anyone? Unfortunately all too often the popsters who've chosen the more quirky path get dismissed simply as novelty. And if you're one of the TMBG naysayers, I gotta tell you bub, you've been missing out. These guys are the princes of pop craftsmanship. This two cd set is a shining example not to mention a barrel of fun unto itself: the first two albums ('s/t' from 1986 and the super-excellent 'Lincoln' from 1988), plus a heap of b-sides and bonus tracks.

APHEX TWIN Come to Daddy EP (Sire) cd 9.98
The title track of this ep scared the pickles out of me. And the video will do the same. Must hear. Must see. Richard D. James, you rule.

MIDNIGHT STAR No Parking On The Dance Floor (Solar) cd 12.98
Yes, only the best for your dance floor! Features the awesome title track from 1983 as well as Freakazoid. You need this.

MOMUS Folktronic (Le Grand Majestery) cd 14.98
The prolific, inventive, and cheekily clever Momus is at it again. The last time we heard from him was 1999's Stars Forever on which he performed songs of "patronage pop" (thirty patrons paid one thousand dollars each for the privilege of having a song written specifically about them). Now Momus presents Folktronic. Well, what are you expecting? His trademark fey Scot-boy crooning heavy on the baroque and melodrama but thrown into a hillbilly mountain goldrush-era scene? Well, sort of. Ever-inquisitive, Momus muses over the juxtaposition of the seemingly disparate worlds of folk and electronic to create as he calls it "plastic folk". Always a man with a crazy, novel idea brewing, back in October/November 2000, Momus held court at Folktronia his art installation in NY. It included opportunities for exhibition visitors to sing their own versions of these songs karaoke-style. And as usual he's included complete lyrics so you too can sing-a-long with Momus.
RealAudio clip: "Appalachia"
RealAudio clip: "Folk Me Amadeus"

album cover YO LA TENGO Painful (Matador) cd 10.98
A most excellent album from Ira, Georgia and James. Bridging their earlier feedback-laden Sonic Youth-iness with their more recent gradual move towards dreamy organ prettiness. This cd contains one of their loveliest songs ever... 'Nowhere Near'. Go on give it a listen. You deserve it! Beautiful and breathtaking. An absolute aQ favorite! In fact if we had to pick one YLT album as a desert island disc, it might very well be this one (although May I Sing With Me is a close second!).
MPEG Stream: "Nowhere Near"
MPEG Stream: "From A Motel 6"

BLACK HEART PROCESSION 2 (Touch & Go) cd 14.98
The somber musical beauty created by Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel (of Three Mile Pilot) Mario Rubalcaba, (of Thingy and Clikitat Ikatowi), and Jason Crane (trumpeteer for Back Off Cupid, Gogogo Airheart) is quite something to behold. Each song of their shadowy first album (yes, it was titled "1") slowly unfolded and enveloped the listener. And this their second album, is just as enchanting - if not more so. Steeped in deep melancholia, feel you heart grow heavy to mood-altering songs such as "Blue Tears" and "My Heart Might Stop". Simply gorgeous. Very recommended.

ENO, BRIAN Here Come The Warm Jets (EG) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Now reissued on EMI!

ENO, BRIAN Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (EG) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Now reissued on EMI!

SIXTHS, THE Wasps' Nests (London) cd 11.98
Wasps Nests is brimming with fifteen songs composed and played by Magnetic Fields mastermind Stephin Merritt, but sung by a variety of wonderful artists including Lou Barlow (Sebadoh, Folk Implosion), Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo), Amelia Fletcher (Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap), Chris Knox, Mac McCaughan (Superchunk, Portastatic), Dean Wareham (Luna), Mary Timony (Helium) and more. Can music possibly get more bittersweet and lovely? The answer dear friends is "NO!" So please please please treat yourself to the delights of Mr. Merritt's lisp-inducing Sixths! One of Cup's all-time favourites! Soooo recommended!
MPEG Stream: "All Dressed Up In Dreams"
MPEG Stream: "Movies In My Head"

APHEX TWIN I Care Because You Do (Warp) cd 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Quite possibly Mr. James' best album. Electronic music of the maddest genius kind. Pure twisted brilliance.
MPEG Stream: "Acrid Avid Jam"
MPEG Stream: "Ventolin"

TEAR GARDEN To Be An Angel Blind, The Crippled Soul Divide (Nettwerk) cd 16.98
Combining the wonders of cEvin Key (of Skinny Puppy and Download to name but two of his many projects), Edward Ka-spel (of Legendary Pink Dots), Ryan Moore (aka Twilight Circus) and their cast of like-minded co-horts, it's Tear Garden. Rich, velvety, and hypnotic. Check out track 3 "In Search Of My Rose". If you like the more dub-tinged moments of the Pink Dots' album A Perfect Mystery (undoubtedly due to the bass and percussion presence of Mr. Moore), this earlier album is definitely for you. Gorgeous!

DEAD VOICES ON AIR Frankie Pett Presents The Happy Submarines, Playing The Music Of Dead Voices On Air (Invisible) cd 14.98
Mark Spybey (Zoviet France, Download, and innumerable collaborative projects) and friends -- among them some members of Legendary Pink Dots -- meld together their individual sonic imaginations, seemingly shatter the outcome, and piece it all back together again to bring you this long-titled, meticulously beautiful work. Constructed from recordings made in Canada, Cuba, and Germany (the latter by krautrocker Michael Rother of Neu!, Harmonia and Cluster). It was produced and engineered by Spybey along with the multi-talented Frank Vershuuren (LPD engineer) and Darryl Neudorf (who's worked with such divergent artists as Neko Case, Twilight Circus' Ryan Moore and the New Pornographers). At times, swirling and crystalline. At others, sputtering, heavy, and percussive.
RealAudio clip: "mknt37"
RealAudio clip: "Zeehond"

PREWITT, ARCHER Sof' Boy Econo Combo Comic (Fantagraphics) comic 5.95
I really cannot express the extreme jubilation-then-plummeting-bummerness I felt when I saw that we'd received a "new" issue of Archer Prewitt's brutally hilarious comic. But alas, it wasn't new at all! No, it's a special reprint of the first (and only) two issues together. Well at least for everyone who missed them the first time around, here's your second chance. Of course you may be thinking "isn't she over-reacting just a wee bit?" And well, all I can say is "see for yourself." Oh my, hee hee... Okay!

JOY ZIPPER s/t (Bar None) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Imagine this scene: the Elephant 6 Collective are having a lil' summertime picnic in the park (yes, the Olivias, Apples, Of Montreal... heck, they're all there). The trio known as Joy Zipper peek out from behind a nearby tree and break out into song. Upon hearing the sweet popness, the E6 gang invite them over and lovely cozy melodies ensue. Dreamy guitar and keyboards. Youthful boy/girl vocals. Moments of quirky twists. Fans of the Apples in Stereo, Death Cab For Cutie or Elliott Smith, take note. If this is any indication, each and every time we've played this in the store we've received multiple inquiries asking who this pop wonder is. Yay!

ZUMPANO Look What The Rookie Did (Sub Pop) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
So by now everyone knows how great the New Pornographers record is. I mean, the label sold out of 'em in a matter of months, it got written up in the New York Times, and we've sold tons of it. And while some of the credit goes to Neko Case's sublime vocals, the songs, and the vocals of lead pornographer Carl Newman, remind us of a band we were raving about 3 or 4 years ago, and that coincidentally featured one Carl Newman on vocals and keyboards. Zumpano put out two records of absolutely perfect pop, with enough musical bite and lyrical savagery to keep it interesting, even after all this time. Unlike all the pop groups that stole liberally from the Beach Boys and the Beatles and Supertramp, Zumpano while obviously indebted to the above, dug much deeper and/or much farther back finding influences in the Zombies, Kinks, Chicago, Redd Kross, Jimmy Webb and even Neil Diamond. Amazing musicianship, crystalline production, beautiful harmonies, and some of the catchiest kick ass songs we've ever heard. While this record predates the AQ list, it's equally as amazing as recor number two, which we reviewed on AQ list 38:
"THE pop record of the year. An amalgamation of all those AM radio anthems you heard day in and day out as a child yet it's somehow still wholly original. A pinch of Jimmy Webb, a dash of Chicago, a little Kinks, a little Zombies. Horns!... Piano!... Harmonies!... Somehow it still rocks!... Andee and Byram swear by this record & even Windy loves it. Allan loves it too but Andee refuses to believe him."
All of you that love the New Pornographers record should definitely give Zumpano a try, if you haven't already!
RealAudio clip: "I Dig You"
RealAudio clip: "Platinum Is Best Served Cold"
RealAudio clip: "Temptation Summary"

ZUMPANO Goin' Through Changes (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
So by now everyone knows how great the New Pornographers record is. I mean, the label sold out of 'em in a matter of months, it got written up in the New York Times, and we've sold tons of it. And while some of the credit goes to Neko Case's sublime vocals, the songs, and the vocals of lead pornographer Carl Newman, remind us of a band we were raving about 3 or 4 years ago, and that coincidentally featured one Carl Newman on vocals and keyboards. Zumpano put out two records of absolutely perfect pop, with enough musical bite and lyrical savagery to keep it interesting, even after all this time. Unlike all the pop groups that stole liberally from the Beach Boys and the Beatles and Supertramp, Zumpano, while obviously indebted to the above, dug much deeper and/or much farther back finding influences in the Zombies, Kinks, Chicago, Redd Kross, Jimmy Webb and even Neil Diamond. Amazing musicianship, crystalline production, beautiful harmonies, and some of the catchiest kick ass songs we've ever heard. Here's what we had to say about 'Goin Through Changes' way back on AQ list 38:
"THE pop record of the year. An amalgamation of all those AM radio anthems you heard day in and day out as a child yet it's somehow still wholly original. A pinch of Jimmy Webb, a dash of Chicago, a little Kinks, a little Zombies. Horns!... Piano!... Harmonies!... Somehow it still rocks!... Andee and Byram swear by this record & even Windy loves it. Allan loves it too but Andee refuses to believe him."
All of you that love the New Pornographers record should definitely give Zumpano a try, if you haven't already!
RealAudio clip: "Here's The Plan"
RealAudio clip: "The Millionaire Poets"
RealAudio clip: "The Sylvia Hotel"

TREEPEOPLE Guilt Regret Embarrassment (K) cd 15.98
The genius of Mr. Doug Martsch recorded pre-Built To Spill/Dub Narcotic. Kick-ass hook-laden pop rocks from 1991. Harder and much more angstful than BTS. Plus a cover of David Bowie's "Andy Warhol". Awesome.

BEAUTIFUL SKIN Revolve (Gold Standard Laboratories) cd 12.98
Channelling the early strains of Joy Division, Wire, and maybe a bit of Cabaret Voltaire and PiL are these two men. Nick Forte (ex-Rorschach!) and Rossano Totino churn the moody new wave machine into the next dimension. And they do it so well. Cool, varied and effected vocals stream through the synth-laden landscape. Fans of the above-mentioned bands as well as New Order and anyone who freaked out at the recent super-smooth Antarctica cd need this. A very very cool album with some very very cool cover art. Oh yes, and did I mention very very recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Revolve"

album cover CALEXICO The Black Light (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
This album is awesome. Really. Rich twang and horn wind around organ, accordion and marimba. Yes, it is the super greatness of Joey Burns and John Convertino (of Giant Sand) and their many musical friends. Great desert driving music.
MPEG Stream: "The Ride II"
MPEG Stream: "Stray"

album cover CORN SISTERS The Other Women (Mint) cd 15.98
When Neko Case isn't out breakin' hearts with her country combo The Boyfriends or popping up with the New Pornographers, she gets together with her pal Carolyn Mark to become the Corn Sisters. Two beautiful, gutsy gals fueled by a love of country and yes, corn. Together they're a wild hayride of hilarity breaking out into song or story at the drop of a hat. They can wind a beautiful tale of love lost and in the next breath hoot out a gutbusting tale of the rawest humour. These songs were recorded live at a cool little cafe known as Hattie's Hat in Seattle, WA. Highlights include a string of songs mid-cd namely "She's Leaving Town", Loretta Lynn's "Fist City", the Carolyn-penned "Matineed", and Leiber & Stoller's "Love Me" as well as a Nick Lowe cover and a reworking of Neko's "High On Cruel".
RealAudio clip: "Too Many Pills"

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Mass Romantic (Mint) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. GET THE DOMESTIC VERSION ON MATADOR.
Amazing pop maestro Carl Newman (Zumpano, Superconductor) heads the star-studded cast of what is, to AQ's collective ears, simply THE BEST POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2000. When was the last time the AQ staff and our wildly differing tastes happened to *unanimously* agree on a single album's brilliance? Maybe Neutral Milk's second record? The Soft Bulletin or Conet Project? Suffice to say that this happens very rarely, and that's how good this New Pornographers record is. "Mass Romantic" is absolutely shiningly great power pop, with influences as wide-ranging as Big Star, the Zombies, Eno, the Beach Boys, Cheap Trick, and Built to Spill.
Not since, well, the last Zumpano record (or Silver Sun's debut) has a pop record emerged that's this powerful, kickass, well-crafted and totally complex. Really. Each of the twelve tracks is a fully realised pop creation unto itself. Intelligent, infectious, and uplifting, with truly flawless arrangements (the key to pop greatness).
In a sparkling non-country spin, the wonderful Neko Case lends her vocal gusto to complete the soaring FOUR-PART vocals on such gems as "Letter From An Occupant" not to mention the title track. And the four other members of the New Pornographers are super talents in their own right: Daniel Bejar (the enigmatic figure behind the very Nilsson-influenced combo known as Destroyer), John Collins (bassist/engineer for the Nardwuar the Human Serviette-lead freakos the Evaporators, garage-pop stalwarts Smugglers, and the rock army known as Superconductor), Kurt Dahle (drummer for Canadian college popsters Limblifter), and indie filmmaker Blaine Thurier.
Recommended for everyone -- even if you only buy one pop or rock record this year, this should be it.
RealAudio clip: "Letter From an Occupant"
RealAudio clip: "The Fake Headlines"
RealAudio clip: "The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism"
RealAudio clip: "To Wild Homes"

AAVIKKO Oriental Baby (Hawaii) cd ep 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The Finnish Casio-pop band we so adore from their two discs on the Bad Vugum label return with this six-song ep (that we've finally tracked down import copies of). Consider this cd for your next party of circus freaks. With "Oriental Baby" as the soundtrack, it's guaranteed to go on into the very wee hours. A feverishly demented Denny-esque boogie session with no end. The neighbours downstairs will reduce their broom handle to sawdust as they pound away at their ceiling. Definitely music to put a gleeful yet puzzled grin on your face. Featuring occasional Circle percussionist Tomi Leppanen. Wonderfully disturbingly fun.
RealAudio clip: "Pelihelvetti"

PIZZICATO FIVE The Fifth Release From Matador (Matador, duh) cd 14.98
Sugary dance-pop you know and, possibly, love -- from the land of the cute, Japan. Much more frantically punchy than their past releases. This is the soundtrack to your dream holiday in Tokyo as you rush about scooping up as many last minute souvenirs. Cruising through scenes of super-bounce glitzy pop to frenetic jazzy numbers to full-on boogie fever to brief, weird, almost sinister (for Pizzicato 5, that is) segments. All kept aloft by the soaring horns, strings and tambourine. Includes three bonus tracks not available on the import version. And as usual wonderfully stylin' photos and packaging. Go go jetsetter!

CINERAMA Disco Volante (Manifesto) cd 17.98
I'm ashamed to admit that I completely missed Cinerama's wonderful first album when it came out a couple of years ago. I will not make the same mistake twice. No way! We will forgive them for using the same title as that of Mr. Bungle's very different (but very excellent) second album. And comparisons to Dave Gedge's other band the Wedding Present? Well, in my humble opinion this is equally if not more wonderful... and I'm a huge Wedding Present fan. Mr. Gedge sings with a much more melodic Merrit (that is, the less monotone side of Magnetic Fields' Stephin) style, than his more familiar Muppet-esque (hello, Grover?) tone. And Sally Murrell's sweet voice provides the pretty counterpart. Super polished dream pop like a swirling carousel in shades of Bacharach and Morricone. Flutes, strings, french horns. Oh, I just might swoon and weep. Quite fabulous.
RealAudio clip: "Lollobrigida"

BEAUTIFUL SKIN Revolve (Gold Standard Laboratories) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Channelling the early strains of Joy Division, Wire, and maybe a bit of Cabaret Voltaire and PiL are these two men. Nick Forte (ex-Rorschach!) and Rossano Totino churn the moody new wave machine into the next dimension. And they do it so well. Cool, varied and effected vocals stream through the synth-laden landscape. Fans of the above-mentioned bands as well as New Order and anyone who freaked out at the recent super-smooth Antarctica cd need this. A very very cool album with some very very cool cover art. Oh yes, and did I mention very very recommended.

NOMI, KLAUS Eclipsed: The Best Of Klaus Nomi (Razor & Tie) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Operatic, plastic, geometric. Absolutely astounding. The pinnacle of the wonderfully strange. Klaus Nomi (1944-1983) was all this and so much more. Prior to his solo career, he performed with David Bowie on Saturday Night Live. Watching his striking performance on the 'Urgh! A Music War' video (which is very recommended), you get the sense that he's at once both fearless and terrified. Although this compilation features some eyebrow-raising cover choices --- "Ding Dong" (yes, from the 'Wizard of Oz"), "You Don't Own Me" and "Just One Look". the highlights ("Total Eclipse" and "Simple Man" to name but two) far out shine these very odd numbers. Simply amazing.

DAUERFISCH Crime Of The Century (Bungalow) cd 15.98
The ultimate in suave chic pop. Positively groovy. Ideal music for the Euro-fashion show runways including the catfights backstage. One part Heaven 17. Remember "Let Me Go"? Well, check out the track entitled "So Gut". One part Charles Wilp. One part Human League. One part Pizzicato 5 (see "Whole Lotta Weasel"). One part dorky weirdness. Well shaken, and topped with an avalanche of cocktail fruit, olives and canapes. So very very fun.

BEAT HAPPENING Black Candy (K) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Well, alright!!! To complete the list of Beat Happening newly re-issued LPs here's the absolutely wonderful 'Black Candy'. Jump up and down on your bed with glee to the sounds of "TV Girl" and "Knick Knack". This is the real deal bub! Lo-fi pop at it's best. Let's all raise our cups of cocoa in salute to the punker than punk Calvin, Bret and Heather.

LALI PUNA Tridecoder (Darla/HausMusik) cd 14.98
While this quartet boasts the talents of Markus Acher and Christoph Brandner from Village of Savoonga, Valerie Trebeljahr and Florian Zimmer, this is far from that band's dark, textured, moody compositions. Lali Puna lead by Trebeljahr is much more of an airy, textured, pretty combo. Think a German Stereolab. Playful programmed beats, wafting organ drones, twinkling electronics, murmurred vocals, and an ample array of sampled sounds.

INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Nothing We Can Control (Overcoat) cd 14.98
International Airport is comprised of Glasgow indie-scene veterans Aggi of the Pastels (as soon as the vocals began, I knew it was her) and Tom Crosley of Drag City folk duo Appendix Out (Tom is also in Pastels). But, International Airport is much less singsong pop than Pastels. Softly floating pastoral goodness, mostly instrumentals but with a few vocal tracks. It will not blow you away (it's far too demure for that) but it may make your dreams sweet. With appearances by members of Incense and Belle and Sebastian. What a lovely world it would be if the masses looking for the new Sea and Cake album would turn their attention to International Airport.
RealAudio clip: "De Merging Van Bruin en Groen"

VERSUS Hurrah (Merge) cd 14.98
Versus are a NYC band who in my opinion have had a stellar track record with their contributions to compilations and who have a very very loyal following, but who have yet to bring forth a full-length truly representative of their amazing songwriting talents. Well, this their fourth just might be the one! Perhaps their most fully realised collection of songs to date. The year and a half that they spent recording this album was definitely time well spent. The lovely Fontaine Toups and ever-boyish Richard Balayut's voices weave together beautifully over the textured pop melodies and occasional noise excursions. Layers of moving sweeps, swells and lulls. If you swooned to the last couple of Yo La Tengo albums but are yearning for something a little more upbeat, songs such as "You'll Be Sorry" will surely catch your ear. Hurrah, indeed.
RealAudio clip: "You'll Be Sorry"

album cover MAGNETIC FIELDS Holiday (Merge) cd 13.98
Magnetic Fields third beloved full length is notable as being the first on which mainman Stephin Merritt sang his deeper than deep, droller than droll lead vocals. Following the departure of the heartmeltingly honey-voiced Susan Anway, what could he do, but tackle the singing duties in the most diametrically opposite fashion. And the results have proven heartmelting in their own right!. Don't miss the third song "Deep Sea Diving Suit". Truly one of Merritt's finest moments!
MPEG Stream: "Deep Sea Diving Suit"
MPEG Stream: "Torn Green Velvet Eyes"

VSS, THE 21:51 (Gold Standard Laboratories) cd 9.99
A re-issue of this 1996 collection of 7" tracks by the amazing but unfortunately now-defunct VSS. Not quite as excellent as their full-length "Nervous Circuits" (which is rumoured to be on it's way to a re-issue also. Fingers crossed!), but definitely offers many a glimpse at the awesomeness of this band. The sound? Dissonant, angst-y and very Roland Juno 6 synth-driven. Totally furious and ass-kicking. FYI: Andy, Dave and Josh are now the excellent Portland based Pleasure Forever (formerly SF band Slaves), Sonny now heads the very label on which this release appears.

WARE, CHRIS Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth (Fantagraphics) book 27.50
I was completely crushed when I heard that Chris Ware had decided to end his Acme Novelty Company / Jimmy Corrigan comic series. A very very special and moving story by an astounding artist. At times, brutally heartwrenching, at others darkly humorous. Honestly this has brought tears to my eyes more than a few times. Completely redefining and elevating the form of the comic book. Ah, what could Mr. Ware do for a finale? Wrap the complete story up in a beautiful hardcover with a fold-out poster / dustjacket. Of course, sorely missing from this format are the added features and embellishments found in the individual comics such as the highly detailed and entertaining faux ads and extra stories. If you've not yet discovered the greatness of Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan, here's your chance to jump right in head first and experience it from beginning to end. So absolutely positively recommended.

THEE HEADCOATS Elementary Headcoats (Damaged Goods) 2cd 19.98
Billy Childish has had quite a prolific career, and one that shows no signs of slowing. He is a writer and an artist, but perhaps he is most known for his music. Much of his musical output was written and recorded with his main band Thee Headcoats (although he also fronted such garage wonders as Thee Milkshakes). This is an impressive double disk collection of fifty (!) singles released by Thee Headcoats and friends between 1990 and 1999. Never bowing to trends or technology, the garage rockin' rawness of Billy, Johnny and Bruce's music continues to shine and inspire their fans and other bands. Comes with a very very thorough discography. All hail Thee Headcoats!

V/A 400% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00
"400% Dynamite" is the fourth and undeniably the best in the series of Jamaican grooves as compiled by Soul Jazz Records. There's the dubbed out dancehall raggamuffin chants from Barrington Levy and Tenor Saw & Buju Bantu (whose cut "Ring The Alarm Quick" may inspire us to venture further into dancehall); the soulful rocksteady of Prince Buster and Toots & The Maytals; the classic early ska sounds of The Cimerons. Come to think of it, there's not a single track here which isn't fantastic. I don't even think we can say that about those universally loved Trojan compilations!
RealAudio clip: BUJU BANTON "Ring The Alarm"
RealAudio clip: LLOYD ROBINSON "Cuss Cuss"

V/A 400% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) 2lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
"400% Dynamite" is the fourth and undeniably the best in the series of Jamaican grooves as compiled by Soul Jazz Records. There's the dubbed out dancehall raggamuffin chants from Barrington Levy and Tenor Saw & Buju Bantu (whose cut "Ring The Alarm Quick" may inspire us to venture further into dancehall); the soulful rocksteady of Prince Buster and Toots & The Maytals; the classic early ska sounds of The Cimerons. Come to think of it, there's not a single track here which isn't fantastic. I don't even think we can say that about those universally loved Trojan compilations!

WEAKERTHANS Left And Leaving (Sub City) cd 13.98
Causing quite a stir with our neighbours to the north, it's the Weakerthans featuring former Propagandhi member John K. Samson. Don't be expecting any fiery political punk though, this is coming from quite a different direction. However, let it be known the attention and accolades are very deserved - often-brittle vocals convey poetic narratives from and about a depressed region around Winnipeg, Manitoba (a central province of Canada). Samson is a fantastic lyricist, nailing the most achingly personal sentiments and weighty political commentaries. Desolate, intimate and filled with heartache. From the first strains of "Everything Must Go!" to the final chord of "Slips And Tangles", this is some damn fine, melancholic, hook-laden emo pop. An all-time Cup fave, 'Left and Leaving' is their second full length and it stands head and shoulders above the rest... of their own releases and any other emo band's for that matter. Very very recommended.

ADVENTURES IN STEREO Monomania (Bobsled Records) cd 14.98
Beginning softly with some very retro dreamy balladry, this album then shifts into a bit of country guitar pickin' and on to perkier numbers, but the lovely high female vocal harmonies continue throughout. Very, very pretty swirling melodies from this pop sextet. Actually, these songs would have been very much at home on the Sarah record label or early SpinArt. Lovely.

LAIKA Good Looking Blues (Too Pure) cd 15.98
Now domestically available (thus cheaper, the important point). Otherwise, as with the identical import version that we previously stocked, it's a super-sultry follow up to "The Sounds of Satellites", full of the same sexy murmurred, whispered vox, minimoog textures, and infectious rhythms.

ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY Spring 2000 (Fantagraphics) comic 12.95
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Oh happy day, another issue of Chris Ware's always-amazing publication is here! This time, the final installment of the Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Kid On Earth saga: sad, funny, and exquisitely rendered of course.

SECRET CHIEFS 3 First Grand Constitution And Bylaws (Web Of Mimicry) cd 13.98
Finally a reissue of the Secret Chiefs (Mr Bungle side project sans Mike Patton) too-long-out-of-print first album! Like a screwy world music, surf band version of Naked City. Contains bonus tracks not on the original version.

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Hurqalya: Second Grand Constitution And Bylaws (Web Of Mimicry) cd 13.98
And the long-awaited reissue of the second cd by members of Mr Bungle (no Mike Patton here, sorry.) Sort of a screwy world music, surf band version of Naked City. Contains bonus tracks not on the original version.

TWILIGHT CIRCUS DUB SOUND SYSTEM Other Worlds of Dub (M Records) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A reissue of this long out of print wonderful dub gem. Twilight Circus is the work of one astoundingly talented man -- Ryan Moore is his name. Mastering each of his chosen instruments (bass, percussion and electronics), his true love and dedication to dub music is obvious. Rich, challenging sounds and rhythms, deep deep rubbery liquid bass. I strongly recommend you get your ears around all Twilight Circus releases starting with this one (they are actually all on his own M label... talk about d.i.y.!). You won't be disappointed. And if you're itchin' for more from Mr. Moore, his talents may also be heard on the new Legendary Pink Dots album as well as past Tear Garden and Download albums. Very, very, very good.

BEAT HAPPENING Dreamy (K) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Lofi pop, deadpan vocals and super catchy melodies... ah, Beat Happening. And this reissue is quite possibly their best album (well, maybe next to 'Black Candy'). With such wonderful raw pop moments as "Fortune Cookie Prize", "Hot Chocolate Boy", "Nancy Sin", "Collide", "Cry For A Shadow", "Red Head Walking", "Me Untamed", "Revolution Come And Gone"... oh, that's almost the entire album! Relive the joyful, sweet early K days with Calvin, Heather and Bret. If you missed out back in '91, consider this your second chance at punker than punk-ness Oly-style 'cause this LP (along with 'You Turn Me On' and 'Jamboree') has been re-issued by K Records in preparation for the big Beat Happening cd boxset due out later this summer.

BADLY DRAWN BOY The Hour of the Bewilderbeast (XL/Twisted Nerve) cd 10.98
Now released domestically!...When we first heard the Badly Drawn Boy, we couldn't believe our ears. Who was this guy? He was like a Britpop Beck; sort of Beck-like voice, twisted pop sensibilities, beautifully Sentridoh-style home recording, and songs that kill. Well, we still don't exactly know who he is, except for the fact that he's the Mercury Prize winner, but at least now there's more than two impossible to find eps. Surprisingly, for his first full length, BDB has abandoned the lo-fi bedroom sound, and lots of his Beck-isms and created a lush, hyper-produced pop masterpiece. Somewhere between Elliott Smith, Radiohead, and Beck. Right off the bat, the first song is a spare arrangement for strings and oboes and cornets. In fact the whole record is dotted with swelling string parts, horns, accordions, bleeps and bloops and super creative production. This is a weird and beautiful (albeit commercial, compared to his earlier recordings and remixes) record, definitely for fans of Beck, Elliott Smith, Radiohead, Quasi, Built to Spill, etc. Imagine Beck or Elliott Smith, if they grew up in England, listening to Radiohead and Oasis, and cut their teeth doing remixes for a who's who of British pop/dance groups, and put a record out on MoWax. It's kind of like that, but not exactly. But it *is* totally great.
RealAudio clip: "The Shining"
RealAudio clip: "Once Around the Block"

BADLY DRAWN BOY The Hour of the Bewilderbeast (XL/Twisted Nerve) lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Limited pressing on vinyl! When we first heard the Badly Drawn Boy, we couldn't believe our ears. Who was this guy? He was like a Britpop Beck; sort of Beck-like voice, twisted pop sensibilities, beautifully Sentridoh-style home recording, and songs that kill. Well, we still don't exactly know who he is, but at least now there's more than two impossible to find eps. This too was a little difficult to get (check out the price) but it was worth it. Surprisingly, for his first full length, BDB has abandoned the lo-fi bedroom sound, and lots of his Beck-isms and created a lush, hyper-produced pop masterpiece. Somewhere between Elliott Smith, Radiohead, and Beck. Right off the bat, the first song is a spare arrangement for strings and oboes and cornets. In fact the whole record is dotted with swelling string parts, horns, accordions, bleeps and bloops and super creative production. This is a weird and beautiful (albeit commercial, compared to his earlier recordings and remixes) record, definitely for fans of Beck, Elliott Smith, Radiohead, Quasi, Built to Spill, etc. Imagine Beck or Elliott Smith, if they grew up in England, listening to Radiohead and Oasis, and cut their teeth doing remixes for a who's who of British pop/dance groups, and put a record out on MoWax. It's kind of like that, but not exactly. But it *is* totally great.

BEAT HAPPENING Jamboree (K) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yes, back in stock! Prepare yourself for the 6-cd Beat Happening boxset coming this summer. A wonderfully primal and totally punk pop album originally released by Rough Trade in '88 on which Heather, Bret, and Calvin are helped out by two Screaming Trees and a Steve Fisk. This record is the home of one of the prettiest dreamy lo-fi pop songs ever: Indian Summer (later covered by such mellow popsters as Dean Wareham and his band Luna) and paved the way for many young rough-around-the-edges and wet-behind-the-ears K Records combos to come.

SUCKLE Against Nurture (Chemikal Underground) cd 21.00
Frances McKee from The Vaselines now fronts Glasgow band Suckle. Very pretty folk-rock. Described as being like "the McGarrigle Sisters jamming with the Velvet Underground." Dunno about THAT, but this is really nice. Lush and soft vocal harmonies with graceful strings and flute. Sounding quite like a sister album to 'The Great Eastern', the lovely recent release by labelmates the Delgados!

HOGAN, KELLY, & PINE VALLEY COSMONAUTS Beneath The Country Underdog (Bloodshot) cd 14.98
After hearing us rage on about the fabulous Neko Case, perhaps you may have been itchin' for another beautiful voice from the Bloodshot camp? Well if so, look no further than Neko's Bloodshot labelmate (and occasional country chanteuse partner in crime), Kelly Hogan. Ms Hogan and company approach their songs from a more angelic, softer angle. Although it seems at times this album teeters quite close to the country-rock mainstream, fear not, strong storytellin' songwriting, some great guest players (Robbie Fulks, Edith Frost, John Wesley Harding to name a few), and her own ol' country heart (reminiscent of a young Tammy Wynette) keep it from completely tumbling over to that side of the fence. Plenty of rich reverb-y twang, fiddle and pedal steel embellished from time to time with horns. Lovely. Top it all off with tips of the hat to Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt and Willie Nelson (with fantastic covers of "Papa Was A Rodeo" and "I Still Can't Believe You're Gone" respectively).

WHITE NOISE An Electric Storm (Island UK ) cd 17.98
White Noise's first album has long been one of the holy grails for kosmische / space rock collectors. Kinda strange, actually, because it's actually more on the "exotica" Moog side of things, as opposed to a Klaus Schulze or Conrad Schnitzler production... Released in 1968 on Island in a total vacuum, An Electric Storm could be a Perrey & Kingsley soundtrack to a Radley Metzger soft-core porn film with twee psych-pop vocal melodies (a la Beach Boys, Free Design, Monkees) topped off with lots of bizarre electronic squiggles that originated in the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop (home of the Dr. Who title track). White Noise's mastermind David Vorhaus keeps things pretty surreal with a track based around the recordings made at a orgy and with a precursor to the John Balance vocal mumbles about how "darkness was enshrouded by darkness and the darkness was deadeningly dark."
MPEG Stream: "Love Without Sound"
MPEG Stream: "Firebird"
MPEG Stream: "Your Hidden Dreams"

NORDENSTAM, STINA People Are Strange (EastWest) cd 23.00
More lovely breathy, sighing vocals from Swedish chanteuse Ms Nordenstam. This time she's transformed a number of songs originally performed by such artists as Tim Hardin, The Doors (see the title of this collection), Prince ('Purple Rain'!), Leonard Cohen (a particularly pretty, moody rendition of 'Bird On A Wire') as well as some traditional folk songs. Recorded in what seems to be a when-the-impulse hits-kind of spirit -- performance locales include the Sweet Silence studios, an attic, her apartment and a variety of other venues. Dark, haunting and at times yes, quite strange. Recommended. While this is not new (it came out in 1998), her records have been so difficult to get that we figured we ought to list it, since it's basically new to us, and probably you.

LEGENDARY PINK DOTS A Perfect Mystery (Caciocavallo / Soleilmoon) cd 14.98
The Legendary Pink Dots venture further into 70s Germanic trance / space rock (Neu!, Gunter Schickert) with hypno-motorik bass thudding and repetitive rhythms becoming the prime elements for the LPD songwriting ---this mainly due to the increased presence and influence of the astoundingly talented Ryan Moore (aka Twilight Circus Dub Sound System). The album flows with wonderful transitions from rich drones to Niels Van Hoornblower's complex sax arrangements. In spite of the title "A Perfect Mystery", Edward Ka-Spel's lyrics here are less cryptic (and perhaps a little pedestrian) on a couple of tracks. However, as most LPD records are full of indiscretions (notably bad Fellini-esque carnival tunes), this is a minor infraction to an otherwise great record by an ever-evolving group of musicians. LPD's crushed velvet and black nail polish romanticism is retained in a baroque sheen that coats the album, but they have long ventured forth from their goth beginnings. And if their recent SF performance ---a beautifully enveloping evening that enthralled all present at the sold-out Slim's--- is any indication this album is destined to reach perhaps LPD's widest audience yet, and deservingly so.

YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS Salad Days (Vinyl Japan) cd 15.98
What a treat, and 21 years after the fact, too! In the ensuing years since Young Marble Giants made their masterpiece "Colossal Youth", they've become cult favorites beloved by music fans of all stripes and styles (close to home, Windy, Owen of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Cup of I Am Spoonbender are big big fans). "Salad Days", recorded in 1979, is a perfect example of a 'home recording' done right. Featuring different versions of 11 songs from "Colossal Youth" PLUS four others, "Salad Days" preserves the immediacy and personalities evident in this performance of the group at such an early stage. It's easy to envision Stuart, Philip, and Alison huddled together on a worn couch playing such gems as "Brand New Life" or "N.I.T.A.". Alison's voice, especially, sounds like she's RIGHT THERE sitting next to you. This is a record you wish would never end.

GOGOGO AIRHEART s/t (Gold Standard Laboratories) cd 11.98
San Diego's Gogogo Airheart play their own version of late '70s style arty post-punk. From dabbling in dub realms to punching out frenetic, spasmatic, pop dislocation, Gogogo Airheart doesn't hide their affinity with The Pop Group, whose song "Trap" they in fact cover. There are also ample references to Wire's "Pink Flag" and even neo-Krautrock by way of The Fall, making for an excellent follow-up to GGGAH's great "Love My Life Hate My Friends" album. See them live. Buy their records. Gogogo Airheart kick ass.

LMO, VON Future Language (Flemish Masters) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
As the cover art proclaims: "The group from the future is here now! Advance yourself!" And well, Von Lmo has actually been bringing the future to us for quite some time now. This CD reissue of his classic early 80s LP includes the awesome track "Leave Your Body" that certain list-recipients might be familar with from the re-recorded version on one of Lmo's 90s underappreciated (but great) "comeback" efforts. Von Lmo exists in a futureworld not of synths, robotics and electronic blips'n'bleeps. No, it is instead one of skronky saxophone, raw garage-y guitar mayhem, balsa wood spacecrafts, and raging positivity. After all, "this album is dedicated to the advancement of the United States space program". And who can resist music that comes vacuum-packed in silver suits with giant red snowboots?

DELGADOS The Great Eastern (Beggars Banquet / Mantra / Chemikal Undergroun) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Without fail if this album is played in the store, customers immediately ask who this is. Leans gently towards lo-fi and unassuming, yet epic and orchestral, this Scottish outfit has produced a majestic pop album of instantly catchy, toothsomely epic ditties and waltzes. The second track "Accused of Stealing" is a beautifully crushing composition. One of Cup's favorite albums of all time. Highly recommended.

AISLERS SET The Last Match (Slumberland) cd 13.98
Local popsters Aislers Set finally return with their second, super anticipated full length. Unabashed mod-pop fans of the Postcard Records / Belle & Sebastian / Zombies variety, the Aislers' first album Terrible Things Happen has been a steady bestseller at AQ ever since it came out 2 years ago. Look for the same to happen with The Last Match -- it's that toothsomely good and that insanely catchy. Warm, jangly with honest to goodness real songs. Belle and Sebastian are rumored to be big fans, and coincidentally enough, when we play this in the store some folks mistake the Aislers Set for B&S when Wyatt, not Amy, is singing.
MPEG Stream: "Balloon Song"
MPEG Stream: "The Red Door"

CALEXICO Hot Rail (Quarterstick) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
John Convertino and Joey Burns named their band Calexico after a town near the Mexican border, and "Hot Rail," their third album certainly lives up to their name more than ever. Romantic Mexican-style cornet and trumpet alongside low-rider bass (not to mention the homie on the back cover) and super atmospheric reverbed guitar (y'know, the type Chris Isaak overuses). Plus lots of excellent instrumentals where you can hear the band really expanding and maturing their trademark sunbaked sound. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "El Picador"
MPEG Stream: "Sonic Wind"

PRIMAL SCREAM XTRMNTR (Creation/Astralwerks) cd 16.98
Primal Scream's latest has Bobby Gillespie getting Kevin Shields to help (smoke pot) in the studio. Big beats and pop hooks galore. Those in the know, tell me, that when on the dancefloor, this is the shit. But seeing as the dancefloor is the last place I want to be EVER, i'll just say that this is a surprisingly catchy, block rockin' big beat extravaganza, that to me, the little wallflower, sounds remarkably like Pop Will Eat Itself (complete with the unfunky British white guy raps!). Actually if you're not prone to fancy footwork neither, you might instead wanna take this one out for a drive. Pretty hot freeway cruisin' music!

CALEXICO Hot Rail (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
John Convertino and Joey Burns named their band Calexico after a town near the Mexican border, and "Hot Rail," their third album certainly lives up to their name more than ever. Romantic Mexican-style cornet and trumpet alongside low-rider bass (not to mention the homie on the back cover) and super atmospheric reverbed guitar (y'know, the type Chris Isaak overuses). Plus lots of excellent instrumentals where you can hear the band really expanding and maturing their trademark sunbaked sound. They just keep getting better and better! Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "El Picador"
MPEG Stream: "Sonic Wind"

album cover CASE, NEKO AND HER BOYFRIENDS The Virginian (Mint) cd 16.98
If you've recently been floored by the voice and music of "Furnace Room Lullaby" (Neko Case and Her Boyfriends' second full length), then you surely must grab hold of this beauty. The Virginian is what started Neko on her recording career down the old country path. Formerly the drummer for Vancouver based pop punk bands Maow and cub, Neko returned to her roots with this album comprised of equal parts originals and covers. Schooled in her youth by her grandmother in the sounds of such country greats as Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson, Neko can belt them out with the best. The twelve tracks here run the gamut from rollicking, playful numbers such as "Karoline" and "Honky Tonk Hiccups" to moving heartbreakers such as "Somebody Led Me Away". Also check out the great version of "Bowling Green". Guest stars include: Brian Connelly (Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet), Rose Melberg (Softies, Tiger Trap), Carl Newman (Zumpano, Superconductor). Very recommended, just ask Cup who got to hear these songs on a daily basis when she and Neko were roomies.
MPEG Stream: "The Virginian"
MPEG Stream: "Karoline"
MPEG Stream: "Somebody Led Me Away"

KA-SPEL, EDWARD Red Letters (Cacciocavallo) cd 14.98
With the evidence clearly stated in Ka-Spel's solo projects, no one can doubt who wears the pants in the extended family of the Legendary Pink Dots. Edward Ka-Spel expands the downer psychedelic strum frosted with ample doom & gloom found on the "Hallway of the Gods" Pink Dots album into smoldering experimental if baroque arrangemnts maintaining his Syd Barrett vocal mimicry all the while.

album cover CASE, NEKO AND HER BOYFRIENDS Furnace Room Lullaby (Bloodshot / Mint) cd 14.98
Here it is! The much anticipated follow-up to Neko Case's fabulous debut album of 1997 "The Virginian". Have no fear, this ain't no faux-country a la Shania Twain or Dixie Chicks, No! Ms Case has some unbelievable true blue old-school country pipes and spirit (that have drawn many comparisons to kd lang and Loretta Lynn). Indeed, hers is a voice that can lift your heart and let it soar or wrap it in velvet aches... or pick you up by the seat of your pants and give it a swift kick. This time around she's got a band with a solid line-up backing her up; one with whom she's toured and written most of the songs on this album. Plus her usual lengthy list of guest players among them Brian Connelly (formerly of Shadowy Men From A Shadowy Planet, a truly awesome guitarist in his own right but perhaps most noted for writing the theme to 'Kids In The Hall'), Carl Newman (guitarist/vocalist of Zumpano, Superconductor, and The New Pornographers) and her labelmates The Sadies and Kelly Hogan. Whereas on her first record half of the songs were loving cover versions of many of her old favorites and inspirations, this album is wonderfully all her own.
MPEG Stream: "Set Out Running"
MPEG Stream: "Bought & Sold"
MPEG Stream: "Mood To Burn Bridges"
MPEG Stream: "Furnace Room Lullaby"

YO LA TENGO And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (Matador) 2lp 19.98
Soooo worth the (nearly three year) wait! Yes, this new album from the ever-evolving Yo La Tengo can be simply described with two words: positively dreamy. With grace and ease, Ira, Georgia and James transport you to their lovely otherworld. With each release they've moved farther and farther from their feedback-laced, decidedly more cacaphonous early years. Which has brought them to this, their tenth album! Always choosing to bring a little something from their previous release to their next, they've brought the pretty organ drones and sequenced beats from their last full-length 'I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One', and drawn them out over the course of a full album. Both Ira and Georgia's voices blend seamlessly into the music and into each other. In fact, it's not until track 9 that Ira pulls out his guitar for a little upbeat number reminiscent of "Sugarcube" or "From A Motel 6". With 'And Then Nothing...' Yo La Tengo have successfully created an album that moves forward, but still blankets you in a warm fuzzy familiarity.
MPEG Stream: "Last Days Of Disco"
MPEG Stream: "Cherry Chapstick"

COIL Astral Disaster (Loci / World Serpant) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The year 2000 looks to be a busy year for Coil, after so many moons of sonic hybernation. "Astral Disaster" is the follow up to "Musick to Listen to in the Dark" and is equally as limited (only 2000). But that number is better than the original edition of "Astral Disaster" (a vinyl edition of only 99 copies!!!). Originally recorded on Samhain under the Thames River, "Astral Disaster" has been reworked into four lengthy pieces of Coil's techno-pagan ritual music that falls between the Coil aesthetic of the Solstice series of 1998 and "Time Machine"'s droning.

YO LA TENGO And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (Matador) cd 10.98
Soooo worth the (nearly three year) wait! Yes, this new album from the ever-evolving Yo La Tengo can be simply described with two words: positively dreamy. With grace and ease, Ira, Georgia and James transport you to their lovely otherworld. Choosing gentle transitions over abrupt changes, with each release they've moved farther and farther from their feedback-laced, decidedly more cacaphonous early years. Which has brought them to this, their tenth album! Always bringing a little something from their previous release to their next, they've brought the pretty organ drones and sequenced beats from their last full-length 'I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One', and drawn them out over the course of a full album. Both Ira and Georgia's voices blend seamlessly into the music and into each other. In fact, it's not until track 9 that Ira pulls out his guitar for a little upbeat number reminiscent of "Sugarcube" or "From A Motel 6". With 'And Then Nothing...' Yo La Tengo have successfully created an album that moves forward, but still blankets you in a warm fuzzy familiarity.
MPEG Stream: "Last Days Of Disco"
MPEG Stream: "Cherry Chapstick"

RONDELLES The Fox (TeenBeat) cd 13.98
Bubblegum rock'n'roll action from Albuquerque! Peppy, high-spirited tunes for your next rollerskate party. This cd has not left Cup's stereo since it came out. Yes, it's that good from start to finish. Snappy songs, super hooks. Confident vocals at once youthfully exuberant, world weary, and wise beyond their years. An ultra-great trio sure to glue a smile on your face. Hey, Donnas fans in need of a more pop fix...this is definitely for you!

album cover COYLE & SHARPE Audio Visionaries (Thirsty Ear) cd 15.98
Wandering the streets of San Francisco in 1963, radio "comedians" Mal Sharpe & Jim Coyle presented themselves with an aura of research based authority as they carried out their ludicrous pranks on the unsuspecting public. Dressed rather conservatively in double breasted suits and armed with a tape recorder, they confronted people on the street with such proposals as "For the sake of scientific investigation, can we drill a hole in your head to document the sound of your unconscious thoughts?" or "Please join our cult of three-ism, in which you will join us in a collective agreement and disavow any personal individuality." Coyle & Sharpe's charisma and genuine interest to engage their audience has resulted in a confrontational humor that has rarely been matched. If you have the Coyle and Sharpe cd that was released a few years back on Henry Rollins' label ("On The Loose") you know how funny this disc will be, and don't worry, this one features entirely different but equally insane material. Brilliant, hilarious genius! They far pre-dated the now-commonplace man-on-the-street / guerrilla interviewers. Today's reality TV can't hold a candle to these guys. Just think, this was long long long before passers-by were prepared for what was in store for them! They're the O.G.!

PIANO MAGIC Low Birth Weight (Rocket Girl) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
With such a visual grasp on the surreal puppets of Jan Svankmajer, Piano Magic invokes the musical equal to a Victorian cabinet of curios - carefully arranged avant-pop songs filled with macabre nursery rhymes that shimmer & sparkle in spite of the dust, dimly lit spaces, and eerie moodiness. Quite similar to the early incarnations of His Name Is Alive or the later days of Tear Garden. Quite possibly Piano Magic's best, most focused work. Stunning!

album cover AAVIKKO Derek (Bad Vugum / Humppa) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A whole lot has changed since we first laid our ears on this glorious slab of cinematic Finnish casiocore way back in the twentieth century. At the time Derek, the debut full length from these Finnish freaks, was released, it was just about the weirdest and coolest thing we'd ever heard. And the last few years haven't changed that one bit! What has changed is the fact that now, the whole world, at least the underground music world, have their eyes squarely on Finland's fertile music scene. Eating up anything and everything, and it's all amazing! Circle, Kemialliset Ystavat, Avarus, Anaksimandros, Paavoharju and on and on and on. But before all these bands (except for Circle) Aavikko were busy creating impossibly catchy, Eastern tinged synthesizer scores for imaginary Westerns, or Bollywood movies, or whatever crazy Finnish movie could handle being accompanied by this maniacal music. Think of it this way, the fictional filmscores of Godspeed You Black Emperor or Barry Adamson are meant to be played at 33 rpm, to capture all of the scope, space, and time of their bleak sonic imagery, right? Well supposing that is indeed true, then Aavikko's utterly absurd and gloriously frolicsome music is some alternative universe version of those filmscores meant for 33, but played at 45. Or heck, 78!! Manic twin casios wiggle out catchy tunes that could easily have sprung from the mad mind of Martin Denny, had he been composing for 60's spy thrillers. Tomi Leppanen (Aavikko's human metronome, and currently the drummer for Circle AND Pharoah Overlord) propels the casio madness with pseudo disco syncopations and hyper-active breakbeats, while second hand synths weave surprisingly lush noir soundscapes, equal parts moody cocktaily jazz, propulsive spy thriller soundtrack muzak, spastic mechanical sounding krautrock and pretty much every musical stop in between. The surprising thing is that every song, no matter what strange twist or direction it takes, is wildly fun, unbearably catchy and weird as fuck. Full of hooks and unlikely sounds, funky grooves and hauntingly playful circus music, this record is one of the greatest warm and fuzzy, feel good, psychedelic groove lounge freakout records EVER! Aavikko's original label Bad Vugum coined the term maniacal monkey jazz for Aavikko, and we're not sure we could come up with anything better!
We can't tell you how psyched we are to have this back in stock. This is one of THE essential Finnish records, definitely one of our top five Finnish records EVER. This reissue is so long overdue as Derek has been out of print practically for freaking EVER! 7 or 8 years! Until now! Plus, this reissue includes two bonus tracks from the also long (and still!) out of print Aavikko cd ep. And who can argue with MORE Aavikko?!?!
MPEG Stream: "El Cebo"
MPEG Stream: "Galaktus"
MPEG Stream: "Ostsee"

album cover AISLERS SET Terrible Things Happen (Slumberland) cd 12.98
This is the debut album from the highly anticipated new project from Amy of Henry's Dress/Go Sailor, Alicia of Poundsign, Wyatt Trackstar, and Yoshi of Scenic Vermont. And what a debut it is! There's certainly no shortage of fine songsmiths in this SF combo, and the resulting pop chemistry is pretty darn magical. Soft, pretty and a bit droll, but with ample bounce and feist when required. Superb indie pop gems that are not to be missed... really! You need this now... or bear the wrath of Sadie!
MPEG Stream: "California"
MPEG Stream: "Long Division"

APPLES IN STEREO Science Faire (Spin Art) cd 12.98
One of our favorite pop bands collects early releases, b-sides and sundry out-of-print gems, plus one new song. Perky, poppy music that'll bring out the kid in you! You may have seen this recently available as expensive Japanese import.

album cover STEREO TOTAL Juke-Box Alarm (Kill Rock Stars) cd 13.98
When we first encountered Stereo Total back in 1999 with this album (originally released by Bungalow Records), our initial reaction was a rather perfunctory "Stereo-Total are Stereolab meets Musical Youth with herky-jerky female vocals you will either love or hate." Over the years, the duo have certainly improved and endeared themselves to a few of us... or maybe back then our hearts were just colder. Now that the folks at Kill Rock Stars have reissued two of the duo's early albums, we've been spurred to revisit 'em. Y'know what? We've been having a grand ol' time kicking up our heels and tapping our toes to this album and its also-reissued follow-up My Melody (with which we were already smitten the first time around). While we can't say that we luv Francoise Cactus' pouty cooing vocals, we sure don't hate 'em either. They make a great companion to Brezel Goring's droll Gainsbourgian delivery. We're happily humming along even if we haven't a clue what they're singing about in French, German, Japanese and Italian! If you dig '60s French Ye Ye girls, bubbly electronic pop, and all things Euro-cute, Stereo-Total is sooooo for you!
MPEG Stream: "Holiday Innn"
MPEG Stream: "Supercool"

album cover STEREO TOTAL My Melody (Kill Rock Stars) cd 13.98
Ooooh la la! This was the Stereo Total album that really caught our ears back in late '99 -- especially the irresistible ultra-kicky tune "Vilaines Filles, Mauvais Garcons". Clearly it caught the ears of the Kill Rock Stars folks too 'cause they've reissued it domestically (it was originally released by Bobsled Records) along with their previous album Juke Box Alarm.
Here's what we said the first time around: Quirky German, French and English vocals frolic over a mish mash of tinkly, woobly melodies. A dash of Pizzicato Five, a sprinkle of Francoise Hardy, a pinch of Thee Headcoatees. This is the soundtrack to your next pyjama party, wear your pinkest of lipsticks and fluffiest of pjs... Or perhaps, this is the soundtrack to your next Sanrio soiree, wear your battiest of lashes and froufrou-est of frocks. Go go go!
MPEG Stream: "Vilaines Filles, Mauvais Garcons"
MPEG Stream: "Ringo, I Love You"

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