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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.


!CARLOS! Bigger Teeth (Headhunter/Cargo) cd 11.98
Local boys play smart and plucky noise pop.

album cover 13 & GOD s/t (Anticon / Alien Transistor) cd 14.98
This is essentially the perfect mix of Anticon's off kilter avant indie hip hop, and the Notwist's melancholy electronic bliss rock. Which makes perfect sense considering that 13 And God is made up of 3/5 of the Notwist (Markus and Micha Acher, Martin Gretschmann) and all of Anticon's Themselves (Doseone, Dax, and Jel). The rest of the Notwist (drummer Martin Messerschmid and guitarist Max Punktezahl) help with production and several tracks feature guest vocals from Steffi Bohm of Ms. John Soda and Valerie Trebeljahr of Lali Puna. That should give some idea of what 13 And God is all about. Dreamy expanses of melancholy glitchpop, wistful and wandering, simple shuffling and loping drum beats, fuzzy synth melodies, warm warbling loops, soft focused and otherworldly, and then the strange entangling of Notwist-like breathy effervescent vocals and Doesone's rapid fire tongue twisting helium affected flow. Seems like it would be a mess, but surprisingly, they manage to make it all fit perfectly. Fans of the Notwist's Neon Golden should find this essential (assuming they aren't averse to a little hip hop here and there) and fans of Themselves, Doseone and those sorts of things will most likely just find this to be yet another perfect piece in Anticon's always evolving musical puzzle.
MPEG Stream: "Low Heaven"
MPEG Stream: "Men Of Station"
MPEG Stream: "Superman On Ice"

album cover 13 & GOD s/t (Anticon / Alien Transistor) 2lp 14.98
This is essentially the perfect mix of Anticon's off kilter avant indie hip hop, and the Notwist's melancholy electronic bliss rock. Which makes perfect sense considering that 13 And God is made up of 3/5 of the Notwist (Markus and Micha Acher, Martin Gretschmann) and all of Anticon's Themselves (Doseone, Dax, and Jel). The rest of the Notwist (drummer Martin Messerschmid and guitarist Max Punktezahl) help with production and several tracks feature guest vocals from Steffi Bohm of Ms. John Soda and Valerie Trebeljahr of Lali Puna. That should give some idea of what 13 And God is all about. Dreamy expanses of melancholy glitchpop, wistful and wandering, simple shuffling and loping drum beats, fuzzy synth melodies, warm warbling loops, soft focused and otherworldly, and then the strange entangling of Notwist-like breathy effervescent vocals and Doesone's rapid fire tongue twisting helium affected flow. Seems like it would be a mess, but surprisingly, they manage to make it all fit perfectly. Fans of the Notwist's Neon Golden should find this essential (assuming they aren't averse to a little hip hop here and there) and fans of Themselves, Doseone and those sorts of things will most likely just find this to be yet another perfect piece in Anticon's always evolving musical puzzle.
MPEG Stream: "Low Heaven"
MPEG Stream: "Men Of Station"
MPEG Stream: "Superman On Ice"

album cover 16 BITCH PILE UP Bury Me Deep (Troniks) cd 11.98
The undead never tire and we never tire of them.
It seems 16 Bitch Pile Up don't either. This is their new zombie themed album. Sarah Bernat, Sarah Cathers and Shannon Walter's particular brand of gratings, dronings and groanings do indeed resemble the sounds one would imagine a crusty zombie would make as s/he dragged half-shorn limbs across a deserted junkyard -- snagging flaps of decomposed flesh on random rusted detritus. A horrorsome gnarl of unwashed murky experimental noise.
MPEG Stream: "They Buried The Dead Boy... But Not Deep Enough"
MPEG Stream: "The Earth Was Loose"

album cover 16 BITCH PILE UP The Hairless Whisperer (American Tapes) picture disc 14.98

20 MINUTE LOOP s/t cd 9.98
If you were to combine the energy and raw emotion of P.J. Harvey or Ani Difranco, the pacing and melodic swoops of the Throwing Muses, and the boy/girl vocals of the late P.E.E., you just might find 20 Minute Loop in your ears. If this sounds pleasing, you should definitely check out the debut album from this Bay Area group.

album cover 20 MINUTE LOOP Yawn + House = Explosion (Fortune) cd 13.98
20 Minute Loop have made absolute leaps and bounds since their sophomore release back in 2001... heck, that album, Decline of Day, was already pretty damn good! For one thing they've polished their boy / girl vocals to an utter golden honeyed glow and lushed up the whole 20ML picture. Just check out the second song "Cora May"! A terrific pop tune! Indeed, this album does much to define their own sound from those who've influenced the band which in the past were much more apparent -- namely Throwing Muses and Breeders. Really, Yawn + House = Explosion should garner the band total 'college radio darling' status! Yay!
MPEG Stream: "Cora May"
MPEG Stream: "5 AM To 9 AM"

album cover 28TH DAY The Complete Recordings (Innerstate) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The '80s and a good portion of the '90s were, for a lot of people, all about indie rock. And 28th Day were right there laying down some of the most bright and lively tracks of the mid '80s, alongside other pioneers like REM and the Replacements, Beat Happening and the Rain Parade. Comprised of the effervescent Barbara Manning on bass, Cole Marquis (Snowmen) on guitar, and present day DIW label / magazine impressario Mike Cloward, 28th Day hailed from Chico, CA and this album contains all of their recordings plus 4 previously unreleased live tracks and 3 previously unreleased demos. Fans of Barbara Manning will find this amped-up, electrified indie rock a welcome addition to the sweeter, purer material found on her later recordings. Furious guitar strumming, a hint of paisley underground psychedelia... some have compared their sound to the British folk rockers Trees.
MPEG Stream: "Pages Turn"
MPEG Stream: "25 Pills"

album cover 3 LEAFS Canal Smarts (self-released) lp 14.98
Latest from these San Francisco psychedelic space rockers, and yet another record that has us wondering what it is exactly that keeps these guys from being huge. Sure here at aQ, we sell TONS of 3 Leafs records, but they've yet to start getting the sort of broader attention bestowed on many of their spacey / psychedelic brethren. Carlton Melton, Wooden Shjips, White Hills, Burnt Hills, etc. If you're into ANY of those bands, or just into space rock and psych rock and have somehow managed to miss out on these guys, now's the time to remedy that. And Canal Smarts is as good a place to start as any. With the band expanded to a sextet, including Anthony from Ezeetiger, Tim Cohen of the Fresh & Onlys, and Chris Cones, Canal Smarts starts things off with a sidelong slowburn sprawl, that might be the best thing we've heard from these guys yet. A thick crunchy bassline is looped and sent drifting into the ether, the drums are super minimal, a skittery shuffle, the guitars aren't riffing or chugging, instead they're emitting clouds of vaporous drift, of crystalline shimmer, and blurred chordal whir, the whole thing laced with intercepted cell phone calls, of what sounds like whirring organs, the mix heavily panned so sounds seems to be drifting from speaker to speaker, there are vocals too, some ethereal and angelic, others reverbed and croony, and throughout, there seems to be a miasma of random sounds, voices, percussion, strange production, random FX, a heady blurred swirl of droned out psychedelia, that seems to us like one of those long form Miles Davis space-jazz mega jams reimagined via modern psychedelic drug rock. There also seems to be a bit of Necks going on, that same sort of super minimal looped jazziness, mesmerizing and hypnotic, repetitive and circular, the sidelong epic unfurling as a slowly building sonic smoldering, that spends its second half winding down, becoming more spare and sparse, the rhythms fragmenting, much of the effects heavy atmospheres dissipating, leaving something almost poppy, with some proper vocals, a sort of slow motion psych pop drift, that disappears into a cloud of tangled melody and gradually fading shimmer. And that's just the A side!
The flipside starts off with the oddly titled "Guacamole Window" (the band seem to have a thing for goofy titles), a surprisingly propulsive jam, urgent busy bassline over a skittery rhythmic shuffle forming the framework, while the rest of the band fill the rest of the space, with wildly looped samples, dense swirls of FX, clipped vox, plenty of industrial whir, more vocals, which give the song an almost old school post punk vibe, there are tangles of psyche guitar in there too, but so doused in effects they barely sound like guitars, spidery melodies underpin the proceedings, and near the song's end, the guitars grow more distorted and angular, the bass even buzzier and busier, the vocals sent careening back and forth, distorted and dubbed out, the song finishing off in a blaze of wild sonic chaos. And then finally, the comparatively low key title track finishes things off, with a slithery funky bassline, plenty of heavily effected percussion, and more vocals, another chunk of abstract psych pop, that seems to slowly coming apart, a dubbed out bit of psychedelic minimalism, that mixes classic melodies with fluttery dubbed out effects, guitars drift in and out, the whole thing delightfully druggy and dreamy, and the perfect spacey wind-down.
Yet another kick ass record from 3 Leafs, with apparently another one on the way any day now! We can't recommend these guys, or this record, highly enough, especially for all of you into spacey psych (and we know that's a LOT of you), and who knows, maybe this will be the record that finally pushes them to the next level. But heck, if not this one, maybe the next one, or the next one, or the next one...
LIMITED TO 250 COPIES, each one hand numbered!
MPEG Stream: "Apprentice Destroyer"
MPEG Stream: "Guacamole Window"

album cover 3 LEAFS Eat The Earth (self-released) cd-r 9.98
We've been waiting for this one for a while now. The infamous, and much talked about "mushroom record" from this SF improv psychedelic space rock collective. So called, because the entire thing was conceived, created, performed AND recorded while the entire band was under the influence of magic mushrooms.
Close to 40 minutes (edited down from much more than that, although it's unclear whether it was also edited in the same state), of gorgeous, tripped out, abstract psychedelia, sprawling swirls of kosmische drift, all blurred guitars, krautrock like pulses, streaks of druggy FX, throbbing propulsive bass, equal parts total spaced out ambience, and head nodding hypnotic motorik churn, the opening track "Fahren Bei Tag", starts off with nearly 5 minutes of hazy atmospheric exploration, before the drums finally kick in, and it's another minute or two before the band lock into a serious cosmic kraut groove, but when they do, it's exultant, the pulsing bass and stripped down drumming, surrounded by gorgeous peals of fragmented melody, thick corrosive swells of undulating high end, grinding chunks of feedback drenched chordal buzz, all winding down after about 13 minutes, leading directly into a bit of super melodic Neu! worship, with some washed out swirl and shimmer and a playful meditative main melody, this time the vibe much more new age-y and drifty, sun dappled and dreamy, the warm processed guitars conjuring up a lush layered bed of rapid pulses, over which synths whir and warble, and that main melody drifts on and on.
The title track, clocking in at 13+ minutes, is definitely the record's centerpiece, a dark brooding epic, haunting and otherworldly. The rhythm skeletal and spare, the wheezing keyboards hovering amidst rubbery basslines and glitch electronics, the vibe very gothic and gloomy, but shot through with bits of melody and light, it's a slow build, but not in the traditional sense, it doesn't get louder or heavier so much as subtly more intense, totally hypnotic and mesmerizing, the core sounds soon joined by bird calls and other field recordings, strange burbling liquids (bongs perhaps?), swooping streaks of electronics and processed effects, it sounds like it could have gone on for another 13 minutes (and probably did).
The final track, is another organ driven droner, dark and dense and deep, the drums more free and skittery, everything muted and washed out, the organs doing most of the melodic heavy lifting, and much of the textural as well, the bass thick and ropy, anchoring the whole thing, keeping it from drifting off into the stratosphere. Warm and whirring, dreamily druggy and so so good.
We tend to love everything 3 Leafs does, but this might just be their best. Although we can't vouch for how it sounds when listened to on mushrooms as well. Guess we'll leave that up to some of you out there.
Featuring members of the Fresh & Onlys, Tussle, Horn Of Dagoth, Amocoma, Citay and a bunch more. And most definitely recommended for fans of Expo 70, White Hills, the Heads, Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound, Bardo Pond, Eternal Tapestry, Sleepy Sun, Burnt Hills, Gnod and other practitioners of modern kraut / space / psych. And it's probably pretty dang limited too...
MPEG Stream: "Puppies On Parade"
MPEG Stream: "We Eat The Earth"

album cover 3 LEAFS En Super Forme (self-released) cd-r 6.98
We gave away a handful of these on Record Store Day, the most recent release from local SF psychedelic space rock minimalists 3 Leafs, and if you came by aQ on the Sunday after RSD, you might have caught them performing live in the shop (with a very special guest for part of the show, one year old Brix on the keyboard). But if you missed out on the free copies, and seeing 3 Leaves live, fear not, we now have copies for sale of En Super Forme, a live set recorded back in 2011 at Amnesia, right down the street from aQ. And while most 3 Leafs records are recorded live, and are thus essentially live records, much editing is involved before we get to lay our ears on it. So it's exciting to hear what these guys can manage in a live setting, no editing at ALL. And as you might not be surprised to discover, they sound much like they do on their records, if anything a bit more loose and loud. In this case definitely loud, cuz there was much talking going on in the crowd, and while the band started off quietly, the sound darkly rhythmic and peppered with field recordings, almost like an orchestra tuning up, it really only took a couple minutes for all the pieces to fall into place, the dubbed out bass, the busy skittery krautrock drumming, the thick billowing clouds of chordal shimmer, the Necks vibe we've mentioned in other reviews in full effect, spidery guitars, the sound exploding in little psychedelic squalls, while the rhythm section remains locked tight. About ten minutes in, the vocals (by Tim Cohen, also of The Fresh & Onlys, etc.) come in, a dark reverby croon, that here definitely have a bit of a Doors vibe, slipping into a falsetto before fading out.
The rest of the set unfurls similarly, the drums busy and tribal, gorgeous Eastern sounding guitar melodies drifting over sinewy basslines, and soft swirls of effects, the vocals giving the sound a definite pop vibe, but a sort of drifty psych pop vibe, in fact, the second track sounds a bit like a more blissed out Animal Collective in places, strangely enough, while the third track is very krautrocky, and very dubby too, a sort of krautdub, not funky necessarily, but certainly groovy. And finally, the band do their "Guacamole Window" from Canal Smarts, and it's the most propulsive of the bunch, reminding us at times of Tortoise, at times of This Heat, a sort of post punk psych jam, super rhythmic, and a killer closer. As always fantastic stuff. And thus highly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "As Space As Impossible"
MPEG Stream: "Spirit Week"

album cover 3 LEAFS Inward Sun (self-released) cd-r 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If we didn't know better we might think this was some lost psychrock gem recently discovered, dug up and put on cd for the first time. With an infectious tribal groove running throughout and a seriously drugged out vibe these five jams definitely sound like they could be from some Amon Duul rehearsal recorded on a boombox in a dirty old German garage filled with dirt, mildew, mushrooms and lots of good weed. But truth be told these are actually new sounds from a local supergroup of sorts made up of members from Horn of Dagoth, Black Fiction, Tussle and Citay. The no frills cd-r packaging and raw recording are the perfect visual analog to 3 Leafs' primitive take on deep in the woods psychedelic rock.
MPEG Stream: "El Otro Lado del Cielo"
MPEG Stream: "Baile con Redman"

album cover 3 LEAFS Live At Cafe Du Nord (Triangle Tapes) cassette 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Super limited live cassette from aQ beloved psychedelic space rock drifters 3 Leafs! And by super limited, we mean FIFTY COPIES. We did get a bunch, but needless to say, these won't last long, so you might want to grab one before they're gone.
Recorded in December of 2011, right here in SF at the Cafe Du Nord, this tape offers up the entirety of the night's proceedings, repeated on both sides, a beautifully brooding slow burn / slow build epic. Dark swirls of abstract FX, warm synth swirl, buried voices, all blurred into a soft psych haze, before the drums and bass kick in, transforming the sound into something much more krautrock, sorta like the Necks meets Faust, or Can, mesmerizing and tranced out, laced with little bits of guitar filigree, dubbed out vox (courtesy of the Fresh & Onlys' Tim Cohen), some very Eastern style melodies, and some seriously nimble bass playing, the band locked into sprawling rhythmic kraut-psych workouts that slip deftly from hushed and hypnotic, to dense and driving, all the while wreathing the proceedings in swirling clouds of druggy spaced out shimmer and soft focus celestial murk, as always, fantastic stuff, and as we warned above, LIMITED TO 50 COPIES! Each one hand numbered.

album cover 3 LEAFS More Tomorrow (self-released) lp 14.98
Folks lucky enough to attend the 3 Leafs record release party for this latest lp, here in SF a few nights ago, were treated to an epic re-imagining of the group's favorite Metallica song, actually not even song, their favorite PART of a song, the group transforming that part, harmonized guitars and all, into a sprawling, metallic, repetitive psychedelic hypnorock epic, one that we can only hope the group eventually record. But as you might imagine, no such metallic shenanigans to be found here, just another collection of gorgeous tripped out psychedelic space rock, the group recording live with a stereo mic, no mixing and natural reverb, the space adding a warm glow to the proceedings, everything lush and lustrous. Opener "Traumvogel" offers some seriously dreamy kraut-age shimmer, a softly pulsing barely there rhythm, soft swirls of muted strum, the sky above filled with lovely little melodic tangles, and clouds of hushed cymbal shimmer, the Leafs at their most restrained, never exploding into something heavy, no driving rhythms, instead, just locked into this woozy, dreamily druggy drift.
The title track though does darken considerably, adding thick swaths of shadowy thrum, laced with crumbling distortion, and subtle swirling FX, the drums slowly gathering momentum, eventually settling into a quietly motorik groove, over which the rest of the band lay down clean guitar strums, layered drones and shimmery melodies.
It's not until the third track that Tim Cohen's (Fresh & Onlys, Amocoma, etc.) vocals first surface, echoey and softly reverbed, his vocal refrain drifting atop what sounds like a banjo, unfurling a lilting melodic loop, everyone locked into a simple, stripped down, minimal pulse, tinkling piano, swirling synths, wild squiggly FX surround the main melody/riff, minimal percussion, tinkling chimes, epic and a little bit folky, it's as if 3 Leafs were channeling some lost forest folk, through their own smoldering spaced out psychedelia, and it sounds GREAT.
The rest of the record follows suit, with the group stretching out a bit sonically. "Karlsoy Island" is all sun dappled synths, and pulsing bass grooves, a weirdly exotica vibe happening here, with some distorted guitar melodies draped over the top, laid back and hazily dreamy. "The Rose, The Crap, The Horse", though, is another darker one, all bowed metal and cymbal shimmer, tinkling music box melodies, clattery and clangy, before settling into something more abstract and almost free jazzy, xylophone (or vibes?) add some lush tonal color, the group eventually honing in on a cool skittery groove, that wraps distorted melodies around a skeletal rhythm, the group once again drifting into Necks territory, which is never a bad thing.
Finally, things finish off with the awesomely titled "You Will Be Mist", churning and tribal, with some fierce psych guitar swirl, lots of droned out buzz, some plodding percussion, atonal melodies, all wound up into a tense swirl of dark psych groovery, that ends way too soon after just 6+ minutes.
LIMITED TO 250 COPIES, each one hand numbered. Includes a download code as well!
MPEG Stream: "Traumvogel"
MPEG Stream: "More Tomorrow"
MPEG Stream: "You Will Be Mist"

album cover 3 LEAFS s/t (Spiritual Pajamas) 10" 13.98
Latest blast of cosmic hypno-psych from these local psychedelic space rock explorers find them continuing to push their sound in new directions, the first track here driven by the distinctive sounds of the Omnichord, a cool little electronic autoharp/drum machine combo, which lays down a playful percolating motorik Casio rhythm, swathed in the instrument's weird harp-like electronic strum. The band augments its woozy groove with soft swirls of tonal shimmer, little squiggles of guitar filigree, and a cool softly buzzy riff/refrain that surfaces occasionally. It's like a lo-fi home brewed giallo soundtrack almost, the beat finally slowing way down, the electronic chordal thrum mostly fading out, leaving soft streaks of twang flecked, FX wreathed guitars, which sprawl into a dreamy freeform chunk of cinematic drift, still anchored by the dying battery slow motion pulse of the Omnichord, creeping through a pulsing cloud druggy washed out psychedelia.
The second track pairs echo drenched pop vox, with some thick groovy bass, some buried in the mix drumming, and a skyfull of what sounds like animal sounds, lots of shimmery FX, simple percussion, all blurred into a dubbed out sonic headtrip, that partway through coalesces into a cool krautrock groove, rife with backwards guitars, and super distorted drumming, the result not that far removed from some super blown out, ultra abstract Flaming Lips jam! Which brings us to the 13 minute "Golden Weapons", which begins as a strange collaged swirl, fields of cymbal shimmer, blurred effects, sculpted feedback, the drums kicking, wild and octopoidal, over a bed of swirling noise, and then BAM, the bass swoops in, and it's a killer dubbed out noise groove, that bass sounding not unlike Paul Simonon from the Clash - which may sound weird, but imagine the Clash at their very dubbiest, then mix in some roiling rhythmic freakout a la the Boredoms and some Butthole Surfers-ish slow burn psych dirge tribal noise jam, and somehow craft all of those disparate parts into a hazy, driving, psych-kraut groove, toss in some of Tim Cohen's reverbed vocal croons on top, as well as dense clouds of guitar blur and layered constantly shifting textures, and smear it all into a gorgeously hazy expanse of minimal drone-dub hypno-rock bliss out. Near the end of the track, the song settles down into something much more minimal and tranced, out, a little jazzy even, once again, like some past 3 Leafs jams, reminding us of the Necks, albeit a bit more lo-fi and lysergically spaced out. Great stuff as always, and of course absolutely recommended!!!
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "Omniscience"
MPEG Stream: "Golden Weapons"

album cover 3 LEAFS Spaa (self-released) cd-r 6.98
We were a little bit blown away by the response we got to this Bay Area psychedelic space rock outfit's last record, the Canal Smarts lp, which we made our Record Of The Week on our last New Arrivals list. We couldn't keep it in stock, which is sort of the way we imagined it should be, especially considering considering that a portion of our review for that record was us lamenting the fact that these guys were not more well known, and didn't get the same sort of hype as other local psych-space combos like Carlton Melton and Wooden Shjips, not to mention groups like White Hills, Bardo Pond and the like. But for all the space-rocking 3 Leafs do, they seem to tend toward the blissed out, the meditative and abstract, for every stretch of propulsive krautrock like psychedelia, there's an even more sprawling segment of effects heavy drift, or looped jazzy mesmer, which bring us to Spaa, the soothing connotations no coincidence, as Spaa is in fact a single 45 minute jam, and one that spends most of its time in droned out raga mode, in fact, the band lock into a slow, haunting, darkly percussive groove from the onset, fading in gradually, as if this whole record was in fact cut from an even more epic and epically endless jam, the guitar buzz sitar-like (which is in fact not a guitar but an OUD!), the bass woozy and elastic, thick and fluid, the drumming subtle and minimal, more a pulse really than a beat, and once the drums / bass / guitar are locked in place, the track unfurls hypnotically, while all around that central groove, all manner of sounds and textures shift and shimmer and swirl, cascades of glimmering glitchery, whooshing wind like whirs, disembodied vocals wrapped in echo and delay, the sound definitely reminding us of Aussie jazz minimalists The Necks, which is never a bad thing. Unlike most space jams, Spaa is not a slow build, peppered with explosive crescendos, instead, it lurks and meanders, creeps and slithers, shuffles and shimmers, the vibe mesmerizing, the groove utterly hypnotic, and while there is the occasional passage of wild FX or fluttery flute, as well as occasional strange tangles of melody, the only real sonic shift comes with a few minutes left, the sound becoming weirdly warped and woozy, almost new agey sounding, with thick swirls of hazy synth and chordal whir, that give the sound a sort of Goblin / Zombi vibe, finishing off with a wild squall of buzzing, blurred psychswirl chaos, before cutting out abruptly, as if someone just reached over and pushed stop on the recorder, leaving us to imagine the band playing on and on and on and on...
MPEG Stream: "Spaa (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Spaa (excerpt 2)"

album cover 3 LEAFS Space Rock Tulip (self-released) lp 14.98
It's been a few years since we reviewed anything from these local spaced out psychrockers, and there have been at least a couple releases since Inward Sun, the last one we reviewed way back in 2007. Listening to Space Rock Tulip now, we're kicking ourselves big time. This stuff is awesome. Blissed out, effects flecked krauty space rock, heavy on the drift and shimmer and meander. Strings buzz, sounds swoop and stutter backwards, the drums are simple and motorik, synths whir, flutes flutter, the group slips from full on heart of the sun space jam, to Circle-esque hypnorock, to ethereal almost ambient groove, to Eastern style ur-drone to Santana sounding Latin tinged psychedelic rock to heavy tripped out metallic sounding stoner rock freakouts to full on trippy dubbiness, all woven into one extended and nearly seamless druggy outrock sprawl.
Anyone into The Heads, White Hills, Monster Magnet, Expo 70, White Hills, Burnt Hills, Titan, Gunslingers, Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound, or any of that kraut/space rock bliss, will definitely flip for these guys. Features a whole mess of local luminaries, who do or have done time in other bands like: the Fresh And Onlys, Tussle, Citay, Amocoma, Horn Of Dagoth, Black Fiction, Subarachnoid Space, Six Eye Columbia and more...
MPEG Stream: "No Control"
MPEG Stream: "Acorn"

album cover 3 LEAFS Technical Death Metal Parking Lot (Dub Ditch Picnic) cassette 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Latest from these local tranced out psychedelic space rock aQ faves, and don't let the awesome title fool you, there's no metal to be found here, technical or otherwise, just the usual sprawling abstract psych-scapes, two side long blowouts, brooding, and rhythmic, atmospheric and darkly melodic. And more than any of the other releases, this one sounds the most like an alaborate studio concoction, a 3 Leafs plunderphonic collage, mutliple sessions (including some of the aQ instore, which also just so happened to feature guest keyboards from our friend Pam's 1 year old son, Brix!), different recording qualities, multiple musicians, new jams AND old, all deftly woven into one single, and singular 3 Leafs epic, which weirdly is fast bacoming our favorite yet.
The A side, "Technical Death", starts out like some strange Eastern raga, all swirling and muted, laced with mysterious melodies and fluttering woodwinds, exotic instrumentation and gorgeous lush ambience, when the drums kick in, the sound is transformed to something distinctively more groovy, but without shedding that mysterious Eastern vibe. Space-y effects swoop in, and soon the track begins flitting sonically from sound to sound, as if some strange space rock overseer is flipping channels, weird falsetto vox, wheezing chordal shimmer, tangled analog squiggles, streaks of fuzzy hazy almost-pop, gurgling bass, clouds of cymbal shimmer, woozy acoustic guitar strum, a bit folky, but still droney and hypnotic, the sound melting into a weird collage of blurred sonic smears, electronic percussion, sine wave melodies, before blossoming into some Bitches Brew style groovery, and then finishing off with a wild tangle of skittery drums, bloopy electronics, and almost orchestral sounding strum. Wow.
The flipside is equally all over the map, beginning with a barely audible low end gurgle, before building into a Necks like churn, all dense percussion, and throbbing bass, wrapped in swirls of wah guitar, strange spacey chords, and a thick druggy haze, not to mention some washed out vox, the song seriously dense and driving, dark and churning, might be our favorite 3L jam yet, and then BAM, about 16 minutes in, the sound collapses into a weird swirl of drones and bleeps, before drifting back together in a new shape, this time sounding like some African street jam, like it could have come right off some tripped out Sublime Frequencies comp, albeit a little more tripped out and psychedelic. So good.
AND LIMITED TO JUST 100 COPIES!!!! Includes a download code as well.
MPEG Stream: "Technical Death"
MPEG Stream: "Metal Parking Lot"

album cover 3 LEAFS Titular Lines (self-released) cd-r 6.98
3 Leafs have slowly become not only one of our favorite psychedelic bands in San Francisco, but maybe even worldwide. We've dug everything they've released so far, but it was with their last release, Eat The Earth, that we really realized something really special was being created via their approach to improv based spaced out psych. With Titular Lines, we get further proof that this is a group truly invested in the essence of psychedelic music making. Too many of their counterparts seem very connected to one specific moment or era of psych rock, but what makes 3 Leafs stand above the crowd is how they really are true aficionados of such a wide spanning range of mind melting sounds.
The record starts off with a warm and woozy jam that sounds like some amazing lost outtake from a Miles Davis recording circa Live-Evil / Bitches Brew. As the record continues it shifts, twists and turns into hypnotic spells of sound that take us on a magical ride through a landscape of sonic wonder, rife with moments that recall Ennio Morricone, the Necks, Ash Ra Temple, Magma, Blues Control, Parson Sound, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Ariel Kalma, Eternal Tapestry, Sun Araw, the Organisation, White Hills, and others. We love how there is patience and an elegant pacing to the music of 3 Leafs. While others want to hit you over the head with just how 'psych' and 'weird' they are, 3 Leafs allow their tracks to slowly evolve with layer upon layer, allowing you to more deeply feel the evolved feeling of these sounds. This group definitely has the ability to sound shimmering and majestic as well as raw and haunting. So many other psych bands right now are getting all kinds of wide spread praise and acclaim, but we feel 3 Leafs deserves just as much attention as this is psych made with a deeper understanding and a long lasting impact.
MPEG Stream: "Titular Lines"
MPEG Stream: "Coriolis Wind"
MPEG Stream: "The International Section"
MPEG Stream: "Where Do You Live Again?"

album cover 3 LEAFS Would (self-released) cd-r 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MPEG Stream: "A Hint Of Return"
MPEG Stream: "Delta Dance"

album cover 5/5/2000 Reflektionen Musique (Post Replica) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A long look through a dark tunnel into the cloudy past of drone explorationists 5/5/2000, a duo made up of aQ pal Nathan Berliguette, formerly of tech grind outift Creation Is Crucifixion as well as the man responsible for bringing the glorious sounds of the Arboga Teenage Riot to these shores and our ears (and for that we he will never be forgiven, er... I mean forgotten) and Travis Ryan, frontman of gore soaked death metallers Cattle Decapitation and nominee for Sexiest Vegetarian In The World. But none of that really prepares you for the sound of 5/5/2000, named for a rare planetary alignment that was supposed to signal the coming of the Antichrist. Their sounds is not technical, not grind, not metal, instead, these three extended tracks explore different facets of the drone, from soft billowy tranquil ambience to soaring space like shimmer to creaking, corrosive machinelike whir to a thick whirl like the washed out fuzz of a million vacuum cleaners to the out of focus sepia toned drift of soft edged rumble and melancholy instrumental mumble. All three tracks are gorgeous, dense drones thick with swirling reverb, fuzzy tape hiss, and all manner of fragmented melodies and layer after layer of rich warm sound. While supplies last, you'll get the special limited edition version, limited to 100, hand numbered, packaged in an oversized sparkly silver, velcro sealed cardboard sleeve, with three pins affixed to the front. After those are gone it's back to the normal jewel case version...
MPEG Stream: "There Was Never A Moment When The End Of The World Was Not Real"
MPEG Stream: "Surface Of The Sun"

album cover 51717 557 (self-released) cd 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Is it a zip code? Nope. A padlock combination? We're not quite sure, but in the case of Bay Area artist 51717's also mysteriously numerically titled debut 557, the figures add up to seven atmospheric instrumental tracks of resonant bells, bassy shoves, prickly electronics and plucked strings. Ultra Spartan chiminess is gradually overtaken by more ominous cloudy distortions. Packaged in a handmade, hand-painted gold envelope.
MPEG Stream: "Utrecht"
MPEG Stream: "Leiden"

album cover 7 YEAR RABBIT CYCLE Ache Horns (Free Porcupine Society) cd 14.98
A Bay Area super group of sorts featuring Rob Fisk (ex-Deerhoof, Badgerlore), Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), Kelly Goodefisk (ex-Deerhoof), Ches Smith (superstar drummer, he's played with Tom Waits, John Zorn, Mr. Bungle, Nels Cline, Fred Frith, etc.) and George Chen (k.i.t., man about town). Ok now that we've got that out of the way on to the music. This is lovely and dark folk rock. You can for sure hear the remnants of the Deerhoof past that some of the members share, and a collective art-punk past that recalls moments of Saccharine Trust / the weirder side of SST, all delivered in a much more dusky, dusty woods kind of way. With one foot planted in improv free rock and another in darkwoods folk, 7 Year Rabbit Cycle hold tight to their punk roots with one hand while their other runs its fingers through dirt, leaves and soil.
MPEG Stream: "Puppies"
MPEG Stream: "Pirate"

album cover A MINOR FOREST 2013 Reunion Show Poster poster 20.00
Got a handful of these left, a super cool, super limited silkscreened poster for the recent A Minor Forest reunion show at Bottom Of The Hill with Barn Owl, Andee and Co.'s first show in fifteen years! The poster is printed in purple, yellow-y green and metallic gold, featuring eye popping weirdo-wizard forest-orb magic-staff art by Alan Forbes.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each one hand numbered and signed by Forbes himself! These are really nice and cannot be folded, so if you order one, they'll have to ship separately in a poster tube, and will thus incur a separate shipping charge...

A MINOR FOREST Flemish Altruism (Constituent Parts 1993-1996) (Thrill Jockey) cd 13.98
We asked beloved AQ-reader Douglas Mosurak to say a few words about Andee's band's new record:
"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 millenium. Buy two. Wow."

A MINOR FOREST Flemish Altruism (Constituent Parts 1993-1996) (Thrill Jockey) 2lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We asked beloved AQ-reader Douglas Mosurak to say a few words about Andee's band's new record:
"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 millenium. Buy two. Wow."

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"

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"

A MINOR FOREST Inindependence (Thrill Jockey) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
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. AMF again spared no expense with the exquisite packaging!

A MINOR FOREST Inindependence (Thrill Jockey) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
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. AMF again spared no expense with the exquisite packaging!

A MINOR FOREST Inindependence (Thrill Jockey) 2lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
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. AMF again spared no expense with the exquisite packaging!

album cover A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS / CEREMONY split (LAMC #1) (Famous Class) 7" 8.98
After reviewing parts #11 (Mikal Cronin / Wand), #10 (Fuzz / CCR Headcleaner), #7 (Ty Segall / Chad & The Meatbodies) and #3 (Thee Oh Sees / The Mallard) of this 7" series where some of our favorite bands offer up an exclusive A side jam, and introduce us on the B side to one of their favorite up and coming groups, we've finally started getting a bunch of the other installments in the series, and this one is the very first, #1, featuring 'the loudest band in New York', A Place To Bury Strangers, who dial back their usual psychedelic squall for something a bit more skittery and shuffly. It's a gloomy, druggy ditty driven by drums that sound programmed, beneath deep crooned, echo drenched vocals, and spidery almost surfy sounding guitars, a gorgeous, weirdly propulsive bit of gloom-kraut garage that aligns itself sonically with other outfits like Moon Duo or Spacemen 3.
APTBS's choice for the B side is Ceremony, who we only just realized has never been featured on the aQ list/site, which is weird, cuz lots of aQ-ers are big fans - and their track here makes it easy to see why, as it's a noise drenched shoegaze post punk dirge that blurs guitars into sheets of shimmery buzz, the drums buried in the mix, the vocals a hushed whisper, a gloomy pop song wrapped in layer after layer of swirling guitarnoise and blown out psychedelic skree. So good. And a good reminder that we definitely need to give some love to their albums proper.
And yeah, like the others in the series, very, very LIMITED!
MPEG Stream: A PLACE TO BURY STANGERS "Burning Plastic"
MPEG Stream: CEREMONY "Send Me Your Dreams"

album cover A TRIP DOWN MARKET STREET 1905 / 2005 (MX Entertainment) dvd 18.98
A San Francisco treat! Market Street is one of SF's most renowned main thoroughfares. Over a hundred years ago a gent named Jack Kuttner made a film about it appropriately titled A Trip Down Market Street. The rare pre-1906 earthquake film is a mesmerizing black and white silent cinema procession of horse and buggy carriages, automobiles, cable cars and pedestrians -- all captured through the unblinking eye of a stationary camera placed on the front of a cable car heading north on Market. A hundred years later two filmmakers Melinda Stone and Sprague Anderson made a new film which shares not only the name, but also the approach and spirit of the original. We have to say that one of the stars of this color re-creation are SF's wonderful vintage streetcars which have been acquired in recent years from cities around the world. They're always a treat to see and to ride. This dvd was produced by San Francisco's Exploratorium, and commemorates the centennial of the former, documenting the outdoor celebration and screening which took place on September 24th 2005 and compiles both of the films along with a whole lot of other Market Street inspired and related historic and newly commissioned filmworks and photographs. Although the original 1905 film was silent, both films were scored beautifully for this dvd by Beth Custer. A wonderful document!

A-TRAK Enter Ralph Wiggum (Stones Throw) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The newest member of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz releases on 7" on Peanut Butter Wolf's local label.

album cover ABBASI BROTHERS, THE Something Like Nostalgia (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.
Another new addition to the steadily growing flock on the Bay Area's Dynamophone label (also see the new boxed 3" cdr by Curium on this list)!
The shimmering atmospheric piano dappled washes on their debut Something Like Nostalgia are a perfect fit. The Abbasi Brothers follow serenely in the formidable footsteps of granddaddies of ambient quietude Brian Eno and Philip Glass. Really really pretty.
MPEG Stream: "Kompa"
MPEG Stream: "Camera Flashes Blue"

ABBOT KINNEY s/t (self-released) cd 11.98

album cover ABDUL-RAUF, LEILA Cold And Cloud (Saadi Saati / Pesanta Urfolk) lp 19.98
Local metal guitarist Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Hammers Of Misfortune, Amber Asylum, Saros, etc.) shows us a surprisingly different side to her talents with this vinyl-only solo debut! Here she's set herself up as a cinematic-style composer, working with brass and piano, and a little gentle singing, amongst other sonic elements woven into the dreary, drifty, droney soundscapery of Cold And Cloud, the title of the record and its music apparently (not that we doubt it!) inspired by summers in San Francisco (& probably winters too, just look out the window today...). You know the old saying attributed to Mark Twain, about the coldest winter he ever spent being a summer in San Francisco.
Ambient and intimate, this is probably something that those who know Abdul-Rauf from her work with chamber goth group Amber Asylum will likely be more into, than those who know of her as a six-string shredder in filthy deathmetallers Vastum or the progoperatic Hammers.
Album art by Tor Lundval.

album cover ABOVE THE ORANGE TREES / CHRISTIAN KIEFER The Inexplicable Falling (Mudita) cd 9.98
A split cd between Christian Kiefer and Jeff Pitcher's project Above the Orange Trees. Both musicians add to the canon of super sad singer songwriters: Jeff Pitcher's completely heartbroken songs are lushly melodic and quietly epic, bringing to mind Joel Phelps (ex-Silkworm) and Talk Talk; while Christian Kiefer's tracks are even more anguished than Pitcher's (if that's even possible), similar to the stillness of Low, the warm earthiness of Mark Kozelek, and the macabre twang of Songs:Ohia and Will Oldham/Palace. The artists also each contribute a cover of one of the others songs. Depressing in a good way.
RealAudio clip: ABOVE THE ORANGE TREES "Erendira"
RealAudio clip: CHRISTIAN KIEFER "With Fishes"

album cover ACEPHALIX Aporia (Prank) cd 11.98
Ever since their self titled 7", reviewed last year, we've been dying for a full length from these SF heavies, their sound an insanely punishing, ultra downtuned metallic crust punk, that's just about the most metal thing to come out on Prank, but Acephalix still manage to straddle that line between metal and punk, they're probably more a punk rock band than a metal band we think, but then that line is already so blurred with bands like Anti Cimex, the Cro-Mags, Motorhead, Nausea, Celtic Frost, Sacrilege, all of whom most definitely inform Acephalix's sound. And what a sound, the guitars crunchy and corrosive, the drums crushing, the bass thick and dense, and the vocals, holy shit, howling, hellish and guttural, doesn't seem like anybody, should be able to conjure up that sort of demonic bellow, anybody human at least which is exactly what makes it so intense.
Plus the band lace their chugging metallic crust with killer harmonized style classic metal leads, and even when they're not unleashing full on leads, the songs are laced with streaks of feedback, bursts of tangled melody, spidery and all interwoven into the roiling crusty blackness below. The tracks veer from frenzied black thrash to lumbering doom to full on D-beat crush, the sound just so fucking heavy and dense and yeah, sometimes weirdly melodic, some of these songs get lodged in your head for sure, which is not something you'd expect at all from this sort of grim metallic filth. These guys just might give Burmese a run for their money as our favorite heavy locals, which is saying a whole hell of a lot.
The packaging on both the vinyl and cd are pretty sweet, but the cd version includes one extra track, a gloriously grim, chugging crusty creep... just so you know...
MPEG Stream: "Immanent"
MPEG Stream: "Rectal Grave"
MPEG Stream: "Ascetix"
MPEG Stream: "Past/Present"
MPEG Stream: "Only The Dying"

album cover ACEPHALIX Aporia (Prank) lp 10.98
Ever since their self titled 7", reviewed last year, we've been dying for a full length from these SF heavies, their sound an insanely punishing, ultra downtuned metallic crust punk, that's just about the most metal thing to come out on Prank, but Acephalix still manage to straddle that line between metal and punk, they're probably more a punk rock band than a metal band we think, but then that line is already so blurred with bands like Anti Cimex, the Cro-Mags, Motorhead, Nausea, Celtic Frost, Sacrilege, all of whom most definitely inform Acephalix's sound. And what a sound, the guitars crunchy and corrosive, the drums crushing, the bass thick and dense, and the vocals, holy shit, howling, hellish and guttural, doesn't seem like anybody, should be able to conjure up that sort of demonic bellow, anybody human at least which is exactly what makes it so intense.
Plus the band lace their chugging metallic crust with killer harmonized style classic metal leads, and even when they're not unleashing full on leads, the songs are laced with streaks of feedback, bursts of tangled melody, spidery and all interwoven into the roiling crusty blackness below. The tracks veer from frenzied black thrash to lumbering doom to full on D-beat crush, the sound just so fucking heavy and dense and yeah, sometimes weirdly melodic, some of these songs get lodged in your head for sure, which is not something you'd expect at all from this sort of grim metallic filth. These guys just might give Burmese a run for their money as our favorite heavy locals, which is saying a whole hell of a lot.
The packaging on both the vinyl and cd are pretty sweet, but the cd version includes one extra track, a gloriously grim, chugging crusty creep... just so you know...
MPEG Stream: "Immanent"
MPEG Stream: "Rectal Grave"
MPEG Stream: "Ascetix"
MPEG Stream: "Past/Present"
MPEG Stream: "Only The Dying"

album cover ACEPHALIX Interminable Night (Southern Lord) cd 11.98
This local metallic crust outfit's first record was released on venerable punk label Prank, who found, upon receiving the masters for this, Acephalix's second full length, that the band's sound had gotten, well, WAY TOO METAL. Which while bad news for the punks, was most definitely good news for the rest of us. Especially considering their sound on Aporia, was already pretty dang metal, and while at the time, we did concede that they were probably more of a punk band, we also cited groups like Anti Cimex, the Cro-Mags, Motorhead, Nausea, Celtic Frost, Sacrilege, all of whom blur that line, and while Acephalix may have been more punk back then, even if just barely, they definitely sound more metal now. And have found a new home on Southern Lord, who seem to have a newfound obsession with crust punk and metal.
So yeah, while this is more metal, it's still plenty punk, the tempos especially, not dirgey and doomy (although there are moments), or blazing and blasting, instead songs seem to gravitate toward that galloping punk rock rhythm, but wedded to sounds more distinctly metal, thick, downtuned riffage, and some very Maiden sounding guitar parts, not to mention some seriously shredding leads, everything crusty and murky and HEAVY. One distinctive holdover from the first record is the vocals, a terrifying bellow that occasionally slips into an equally terrifying shriek, and that sounds even more menacing and bad ass when coupled to the group's more overtly metallic pummel.
LIMITED TO 2000 COPIES, each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Christ Hole"
MPEG Stream: "Immemorial Past"
MPEG Stream: "Daemonic Sign"

album cover ACEPHALIX s/t (Prank) 7" 4.50
Debut release from this Bay Area horde, fucking killer, grinding, pummeling old school downtuned metallic crust, equal parts Celtic Frost, Anti Cimex, Cro-Mags and any other of the classic crushers.
Thick, super distorted ultra heavy guitars, pounding drums, and some of the sickest, gnarled bellowed vocals we've ever heard. The riffs destroy, there are even GUITAR SOLOS, which shred, the songs are mostly midtempo, weirdly groove here and there, even some awesome Iron Maiden style harmonized guitars, and always crazy catchy and heavy as fuck. We find ourselves listening to this over and over and over. Can't wait for the full length.
Super swank packaging, silver metallic foil printed on thick black and white sleeves, pressed on nice thick vinyl, and includes a printed insert.

ACID KING III (Small Stone) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
San Fran stoner metal heroes (and heroine) Acid King roll their big ol' ball of fuzz in our direction with this latest (presumably third, but we didn't count 'em) album of heavy Sabbath-influenced spacey sludge rock. Singer/guitarist Lori S. and company kick out the jams (albeit slowly) on such tracks as "2 Wheel Nation", "Heavy Load" and "Into The Ground". With her wailing moan drifting over the sort of plodding, low-end riff repetition you'd expect from pals of Boris, this is one for those of you into the likes of Om, Sons Of Otis, Dead Meadow, that sort of thing. Of course, you might nod off before the cool guitar part or catchy bit of the song heaves into view...but that's the risk you take with a lot of the stonier stoner stuff like this!
MPEG Stream: "Heavy Load"
MPEG Stream: "War Of The Mind"

ADAM ELK Labello (Dep't of Ways & Means) cd 11.98
Solo album from Mommyhead's frontman Elk.

album cover ADELAIDE s/t (self-released) cd ep 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This new Portland, OR band Adelaide make pastel-hued instrumentals from the swirlingly pretty side of post-rock. Each of the five tracks is sort of the aural equivalent of a dewy spring blossom gently nodding its head under the weight of the water droplets. Everything's all softly focussed with shimmery cymbal washes, gauzy guitarwork and chiming keyboard melodies. Very nice.
MPEG Stream: "Games Without End"
MPEG Stream: "Entrance"

album cover AEMAE The Helical Word (Isounderscore) cd 10.98
First record from longtime AQ pal / customer Brandon Nickell aka Aemae, two long years in the works and we dare say it was well worth the wait. A gorgeous and exquisitely crafted abstract free noise drone record. Dark and deliriously dense, a perfect amalgamation of the experimental dronework of the Hafler Trio, the sweeping skreescapes of Sunrooof! and Vibracathedral Orchestra and the abstract minimalism of Mirror or Jonathan Coleclough. As well, this has plenty of distinctly unique sonic elements. Heavily reverbed chimes and bells are smeared into a twinkling fog, slowly thickening into a dense slab of electrical impulses, woven together so tightly it resembles a buzzing ball of hornets, a throbbing thrumming drone. Strange steel drum like electronic pulses, an alien gamelan, pickes out a tranquil melody beneath swooping and blooping spaciness, sheets of industrial shuffle, scrape and rumble, leaving sparkling trails of dense and complex almost IDM skitter in their wake, albeit wrapped in thick gauzy veils of warm reverberant flutter. All stretched into distant, soft focus soundscapes of warbling whir and creaking ambience. Quite lovely and sublime!
MPEG Stream: "Walking Along Edges"
MPEG Stream: "41667"

album cover AERIAL RUIN 133306668 (self-released) cd-r 5.98
This 22 minute cd-r is the debut for Aerial Ruin, the solo project of Erik Moggridge (guitarist for SF's bearded metal stalwarts Old Grandad). He was assisted in this dark endeavor by Eric Peterson of fellow Bay Area hard rock vets Lost Goat. Don't be expecting a rush of thunderous volume, guitar solos and downtuned heaviness though! Taking a considerably different path, Moggridge has crafted a half dozen songs of somber acoustic folk. Very hushed and slow creeping. The man himself likened it to slowcore leaders Low, but we hear more shades of Mark Lanegan or the solo efforts of Neurosis' Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly.
MPEG Stream: "To Slave"

album cover AERO-MIC'D 22:44 (self-released) cd-r 6.98
Aero-Mic'd began as a solo concern for local San Francisco artist Wayne Smith, but has over the years evolved into a three piece synth trio for live shows with the additions of Cliff Hengst (Troll) and our own Scott Hewicker (The Alps). Specializing in long form kosmiche explorations that gently shift into woozy bowed drones with a mixture of field recordings and ambient atmospherics, 22:44 is mostly culled from a live 2010 performance at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, with subtle augmentations from other home recordings. Invited by the art and music publication entity Land and Sea to perform in the late great cathedral event series Episco Disco (where artists were invited to create installations and music events inside the hallowed space) , Aero-mic'd used the echoing acoustics and the substantial room ambiance to create a floating sound world of soft angelic otherworldliness. Layers of synth and computer-generated drones and loops, bass tones and field-recordings merge with sounds of sleigh bells, bowed guitar, kalimba, and murmurs and footsteps from the moving crowds. Limited to 50 copies. Play loud for full effect!
MPEG Stream: "Excerpt 1"
MPEG Stream: "Excerpt 2"

album cover AERO-MIC'D I Think You're Great (Aero-Mic'd records) cd 7.98
Artist/Designer/Musician Wayne Smith's third outing as Aero-Mic'd (not including last years collaboration with the Sadnesses, Cloud Mama) is a family affair but not in the usual familial way. Made to coincide with a exhibition of new artworks at Queen's Nails Annex in San Francisco, I Think You're Great, includes many guest appearances from friends and local luminaries, including video artist Anne McGuire on vocals, writer Kevin Killian (intoning a series of tai chi movements on opening track "Cloud Hands"), and performer/painter Cliff Hengst, all of whom have been collaborating on each others' projects off and on for at least the past ten years. Smith is a master of mining magical significance through the filtering, manipulating and repetition of found sounds and images (celebrity, the cultic and the mundane play against each other constantly). On the title track, clocking in at over 15 minutes (an epic by Aero-mic'd standards whose songs normally clock in at under 2 minutes), he expands his sound from previous efforts by including excerpts from a live performance at the Headlands last year with William Collins from Mire on guitar and tibetan bowls and Cliff Hengst on percussion. Intermixed with the live and programmed bells and filtered guitars, Smith includes one of his signature sound pieces, "Hello", recorded by calling people randomly from the phone book and recording their standard but delightfully varied greetings. With I Think You're Great, the feeling is definitely mutual!
MPEG Stream: "Last Four Shakers"
MPEG Stream: "I Think You're Great"

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