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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 SOLID DUDES KITCHEN Season Two (Gentlemen) dvd 11.98
Finally! Season two of Solid Dudes Kitchen, which for those of you who missed out on season one, is exactly what the title promises, a couple dudes, solid dudes obviously, in a kitchen. It's a cooking show. Sort of. But it's a cooking show that's more like hanging out with your tattooed metal obsessed pals, one of whom just happens to be a pretty serious chef, the other more of a wiseass and designated taster. They're both pretty funny, tell stupid jokes, make obscure rock references, drink heavily, and then cook and eat some seriously awesome looking food. But that's only part of it, they're also master graphic designers, and the production values are through the roof, even more than the first season, with each show featuring a wholly original credit sequence, opening AND closing, that is some of the most eye popping and visually pleasing graphics we've seen ever, whether it's the wooden fish in the opening to the sushi episode, or the backwards pouring cocktails that spell out the titles in one of the hangover episodes (can't remember if it's 'Hang' or 'Over').
This time around the dudes attend a wild backyard Jalapeno festival, they apprentice with a sushi chef (who's hilarious), they drink a LOT and learn all sorts of crazy cocktails, they cook up the perfect hangover food, they prepare the meal that they would pick if they had to pick one meal for the rest of their lives and more more more!
Oh and did we mention the guitarist from the Dillinger Escape Plan returns as a sort of black metal greek chorus, with a wig, a legion of skeleton warriors, and a guitar that shoots rainbows. It's all pretty silly, but it's kind of a blast. It might be hard to make any of the recipes since they don't really do much instructing, but it's more about the vibe, if it looks good, you can fucking figure out how to make it yourself (so they might instruct!). Unruly and rude, and funny as fuck. The DVD includes a bunch of extra goodies, commentaries, trailers and other stuff. And we were actually inspired to make our own version of the O.M.F.T.R.O.Y.L (one meal for the rest of your life), which was some sort of heart stopping Monte Cristo.
MMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Urgh...

album cover SOLID GROUND Made In Rock (Mellotronen) cd 17.98
Kick ass '70s proto-metal awesomeness alert! This Swedish band, who only managed one self-released LP back in 1976, combined hard rock panache with rough-edged rawness. This cd reissue is one we've been waiting for! Seriously, every time we do an order with the Mellotronen label over in Sweden (they're the folks responsible for that Charlie & Esdor reissue we love so much, among other things), we've been asking 'em, when are you gonna repress the Solid Ground? A cd reissue of Solid Ground's extremely rare Made In Rock album was actually the first thing their label ever did, but it had been out of print for years. Well, finally they got some bonus tracks rounded up and now present us with a new, deluxe version, in a digipack with liner notes from the band and all!
It's a powerful mix of all things cool about rock in the '70s, from the swinging stoner boogie of Sabbath and Budgie and UFO to the glammy uber-catchiness of KISS and The Sweet to the melodic guitar heroics of Thin Lizzy... all done with almost punkish, sassy attitude and energy.
And they've got some excellent, evocative of the era lyrics too, like these: "In the evening they go to discoteques / and drink champagne and listen to T-Rex / boys and girls look at each other / nothing happens no action no reactions" from the song "This Bloody Town". Meanwhile the production is in-your-face, plenty of distortion and reverb. HEAVY. Only 200 copies of the vinyl album were ever made, and the band eventually broke up in the wake of disco fever, a shame.
The 8 added bonus tracks include the two songs from Solid Ground's sole single, two more from the 1974 single by pre-Solid Ground band 4-EVER, plus four -new- tracks recorded in 2006 that aren't half-bad... harking back to their old sound with one foot in more modern grunginess (due to having new, younger singer perhaps). It's neat that they're playing again anyway -- we sure wish we could have made it over to Mellotronen's big 20th anniversary bash last January which featured not just these guys but also the reunited likes of Mecki Mark Men, November, Life, Flasket Brinner and others!! Wow.
NB. this Solid Ground are not to be confused with krautrockers My Solid Ground, another band from the '70s we love.
MPEG Stream: "Saturday Rae (Handrock)"
MPEG Stream: "Tombstone Kiss"

album cover SOLITAIRE Predatress (Ektro) cd 14.98
Pay attention, this may be confusing. First, look at the garish/ridiculous cover of this. A photoshopped (?) picture of a big, half-naked, long haired screaming man being tortured with a circular saw by a woman (?) in a spiky black wig. Spandex, leather, bullet belts, a toilet (with a foot sticking out?) are also part of the scene. Then take into account that this was released by Jussi of Circle's Ektro label, home of the NWOFHM (New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal, which isn't really heavy metal, not exactly - bands like Steel Mammoth, Krypt Axeripper and sometimes Pharaoh Overlord). So, is this yet another slice of NWOFHM weirdness? You might think so.
Nope, it's an ACTUAL Finnish heavy metal band. Nobody from Circle is in this group. And it's not even their first album (Jussi told us about these guys a while ago, and Andee and Allan even tracked down copies of one their previous albums, Invasion Metropolis, for themselves on his recommendation). They're the real deal, they've been around since 1995! But they're still somehow in the same tongue in cheek, awesomely absurd vein as the NWOFMH, just more "pro" sounding, nothing but metal, and maybe not a joke. And it's on Ektro, so of course we've got it. And we'd want it anyway, 'cause Solitaire play utter '80s sounding speed metal, sounding like Swedish retro metallions Wolf gone way over the top, with less taste but more of a sense of humor. Or even thrashier (and trashier) version of Judas Priest's OTT classic Painkiller.
It's all a bit chaotic and exhausting, a dense overdose of adrenaline and pure metal madness. Their frantic songs are packed with peals of guitar shred, hyperactive headbangin' riffs, Iron Maidenesque gallop, and screamin', screechin' vocals. Our favorite song titles here: "Rat Studded Maniac", "Leather Scream", and "I'm A Schizo (And So Am I)".
It's obvious why Jussi likes 'em. Us too.
MPEG Stream: "Murder In The Broad Daylight"
MPEG Stream: "Leather Scream"
MPEG Stream: "I'm A Schizo (And So Am I)"

album cover SOLITARY TORTURE s/t (self-released) cd-r 7.98
We love when weird stuff just shows up in the mail, especially when that weird stuff turns out to be some grim, rhythmic, experimental blackened industrial avant-noise, like this, the first we've heard from Solitary Torture, whose sound is tough to describe beyond the above. Somehow super varied, but woven into a strange black sonic ritual, beginning with whipping winds, and some glitched out primitive rhythms, which is soon swallowed up by a blast of howling heaviness, before transforming into a swirling psychedelic blacknoise freakout, moaning vocals, and gristly electronics. At that point, we were sort of expecting this to be a straight up noise record, but instead, the second track unveils a melancholy, buzz drenched black metal riff, but instead of exploding into your standard blasting metal, in stretches way out, for the length of the track, spaced out and truancy and minimal and super hypnotic, the final minute or two erupting into some speaker shredding crush.
The rest of the record splits its time between, grinding black electronica, post industrial thrum, woozy abstract black ambience, blurred grim riffage, strange minimal noise collages and dense, blasting blacknoise blowouts. Killer stuff for sure. Surprised this isn't on Crucial Blast.
Needless to say, we only got a tiny handful of these, so not sure if/when we'll be able to get more. Comes housed in a DVD style case, with two xeroxed black and white inserts.
MPEG Stream: "Black Vomit"
MPEG Stream: "Sick Man Lurking"
MPEG Stream: "Vicious Hands"

album cover SOLITUDE AETERNUS Alone (Soul Food) cd 17.98

album cover SOLITUDE AETURNUS Hour Of Despair (Metal Mind Productions) dvd 24.00

album cover SOLITUDE AETURNUS Into The Depths Of Sorrow (Brainticket) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
EPIC DOOM METAL. Nothing else better describes this band, the semi-legendary Solitude Aeturnus from Texas. In 1991 they debuted with this instant classic release. Back then, and even now, not too many bands were doing this style of metal. Heavy, slow, and emotive, with soaring guitar lines and equally soaring vocals, wailing in melodic, melancholic metal majesty, backed by the sheer weight of riff after massive riff. Candlemass (and by way of them, Dio-era Black Sabbath) were the obvious role models, along with Trouble, Witchfinder General, and a handful of others. Solitude Aeturnus are still with us today, but their first album was perhaps their best. Anyone who digs Candlemass -- not to mention the cultish likes of Solstice, Doomsword, Memory Garden, Thunderstorm, While Heaven Wept and other practicioners of EPIC DOOM METAL -- probably needs to have this album in their collection, and now it has been at last reissued by Solitude Aeturnus guitarist John Perez's own Brainticket label. He deliberately chose not to "remaster" it, preferring to retain the album's original feel, but this disc does add three bonus tracks that will make fans drool.
MPEG Stream: "Where Angels Dare To Tread"
MPEG Stream: "Mirror Of Sorrow (demo version)"

album cover SOLLUBI At War With Decency (Choking Hazard) cd 13.98
Another slab of crushing doomy filthiness from the Choking Hazard label, who we first heard about via that kick ass Ghast / Yoga split, and who also just released the Moloch cd reviewed elsewhere on this list.
Choking Hazard definitely have their niche, barring the anomaly of the Ghast / Yoga, it seems to be sludgey stonery crusty downtuned distorted drenched doom, whether it's groovy Eyehategod churn and crush, or pounding relentless ultrasludge, they got it covered.
Hard to tell where Midwestern quartet Sollubi fall, they veer chaotically from super slow sludge, to pounding almost AmRep style noiserock, even a bit of drugged out space rock, often careening back and forth between the three in a single song.
There's only three songs, but two of them clock in at over twenty minutes, the songs lock into pounding head banging grooves, seemingly looped, so hypnotic and heavy, "The White Witch" even adds some squiggly space-y effects, making it like the HEAVIEST space rock outro ever, and the outro lasts nearly 10 minutes. The title track is nearly a half hour of slow burning lope, the first half almost pretty, like a sludgey Low, until the song slips into some filthy slithery Killdozery chug, totally channeling old school Midwest thudrock, before spacing out and getting more and more abstract, slower and doomier, until the track finally, and begrudgingly, lurches to a halt. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "In Violation"
MPEG Stream: "The White Witch"

SOLMANIA Psycledelic (Alchemy) cd 21.00

SOLMANIA Trembling Tongues (Alchemy) cd 21.00

album cover SOLSTAFIR Kold (Spikefarm) cd 16.98
You'd never know from listening to Solstafir's Kold, that this Icelandic post-black metal horde began life as a Viking metal band, since now they traffic in something much more spaced out and psychedelic. We've never heard any of those Viking records, but this one is for sure kicking our ass.
Barely even black metal, mostly their lineage tying them to the genre, the sound of Kold is droned out propulsive riff heavy space rock, think the Heads, Hawkwind, White Hills, the band locked into long stretches of totally hypnotic and propulsive heaviness, with guitar melodies pealing above the main riff. But they are heavy, and definitely metallic, crushing at points, but it's the vocals that will make or break it for most folks, totally emotional, anguished and passionate, a mournful wail, that fits perfectly when the band slow down to a waltzy doomy dirge, and offer a strange foil to the band's sound when they're pounding away full bore. Reference points would definitely have to include Katatonia, Lifelover, that sort of melodic post-metal heaviness, but these guys are definitely more psychedelic, letting many of the songs unwind into sprawling jams, many of them full on psychedelic metallic blues rock freakouts, others brooding drone drenched drifts, the vocals push the sound somewhere way more mainstream, they wouldn't be out of place on modern rock radio, so even at its weirdest or most distorted, when the vocals swoop in, the song immediately becomes more accessible, which is not at all a bad thing, in fact it's a nice balance to the way-more-gnarled and blackened parts that pepper the whole record. Might be too poppy for some metalheads, but if you're looking for something heavy AND melodic, epic and psychedelic, this might do the trick!
MPEG Stream: "78 Days In The Desert"
MPEG Stream: "Kold"
MPEG Stream: "Pale Rider"

album cover SOLSTICE Lamentations (Candlelight) cd 14.98
First album (from '94) by Albion's masters of epic Celtic/cosmic doom metal. It's nothing compared to their more recent masterpiece "New Dark Age" but if you're a fan already, check out their plenty heavy beginnings. Reissued with the artwork altered to look more like that of "New Dark Age" -- a pretty cheesy move on the part of their old record label!

SOLSTICE New Dark Age (Misanthropy) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. NEW VERSION AVAILABLE, THOUGH, SEE ELSEWHERE ON OUR SITE.
From England, the second album by these champions of true, epic DOOM metal. Very metal indeed, with guitar harmonies, sad Celtic-folk motifs, clean vocals, and lyrical themes of weird fantasy. Massively heavy, sombre, and melodically grand. This totally grew on me, becoming one of my favorite metal records of the past year (sez Allan). In fact, Allan would go so far as to say that this is one of the best metal albums EVER.

album cover SOLSTICE New Dark Age (Cyclone Empire) cd 17.98
Originally released back in 1998 on the fabled Misanthropy label, this terminal masterpiece from England's truest champions of epic DOOM, Solstice (R.I.P.?), has now at long last been reissued, with two bonus tracks to boot. Old fans can take pleasure in purchasing this again (because it's an album so good, you'll WANT to buy it twice, so maybe you can fool yourself into that feeling of hearing it for the first time) and those that missed it the first go-round now have a chance to prove themselves as discerning metalheads.
When we first reviewed this, we said it was a grower. A record we came to consider one of the best of that year, of any year. In the near-decade since, this has only gained greater stature. In the realm of true metal, of epic metal, of doom metal, of pagan metal, of just plain pure heavy metal -- we proclaim New Dark Age to be an all-time classic. And believe us, few other albums from the late nineties qualify in that regard.
Such riffs. Such sheer heaviness -- heaviness that actually seems to be signifying something. Such FEELING. This is possibly the apex of epic doom. The guitar leads and harmonies are to die for, the sad Celtic-folk motifs and Lovecraftian lyrics of weird fantasy argue for an ancient intellect at work. The clean, somewhat delicate vocals of Morris Ingram and his abstruse vocabulary ("vermivorous", "tervous", "perpetuum", "axiom abhorrent, protean triumvirate"?) are at first a bit odd, but ultimately utterly fitting with the sombre and arcane, monolithic and melodically grand mood of this album. Certainly his performance on the acoustic "Blackthorne" would make any fan of '70s Brit-folk weep, while the other, fully amped tracks will make headbangers ready to both shed tears and storm the proverbial castle.
FYI, the bonus cuts consist of two NWOBMH covers ("The Prophecy" by Iron Maiden and "Stormchild" by Trespass). Cylcone Empire has also reissued Solstice's two prior discs, Lamentations and Halcyon, just like this one remastered, with bonuses, new liner notes and layout. We've got those as well and will get 'em listed when we can -- they're good too but THIS is definitely Solstice's finest.
Have we really heard the last of Solstice? Rumor has it that guitarist Rich Walker is assembling a new line-up, possibly featuring the singer from Primordial, to do a new album. If it actually happens we'll be eager to hear it, though it's hard to imagine they could ever top this!
MPEG Stream: "Hammer Of Damnation"
MPEG Stream: "Cimmerian Codex"
MPEG Stream: "Cromlech"

album cover SOLSTICE New Dark Age (Buried By Time And Dust) 2lp 36.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
LAST COPY!!!
Wow! Now on vinyl, one of Allan's favorite metal albums EVER. Released in style by the same label responsible for the recent Witchfinder General box set, and Pagan Altar lps. This is equally worthy of their deluxe vinyl reissue treatment, and we mean DELUXE... super heavy duty gatefold sleeve, gorgeous cover with metallic blue lettering, and thick solid vinyl. Nice! And LIMITED, of course.
Here's what we said about the cd reissue a while back, and yes the vinyl does include the same two bonus tracks...
Originally released back in 1998 on the fabled Misanthropy label, this terminal masterpiece from England's truest champions of epic DOOM, Solstice (R.I.P.?), has now at long last been reissued, with two bonus tracks to boot. Old fans can take pleasure in purchasing this again (because it's an album so good, you'll WANT to buy it twice, so maybe you can fool yourself into that feeling of hearing it for the first time) and those that missed it the first go-round now have a chance to prove themselves as discerning metalheads.
When we first reviewed this, we said it was a grower. A record we came to consider one of the best of that year, of any year. In the near-decade since, this has only gained greater stature. In the realm of true metal, of epic metal, of doom metal, of pagan metal, of just plain pure heavy metal - we proclaim New Dark Age to be an all-time classic. And believe us, few other albums from the late nineties qualify in that regard.
Such riffs. Such sheer heaviness - heaviness that actually seems to be signifying something. Such FEELING. This is possibly the apex of epic doom. The guitar leads and harmonies are to die for, the sad Celtic-folk motifs and Lovecraftian lyrics of weird fantasy argue for an ancient intellect at work. The clean, somewhat delicate vocals of Morris Ingram and his abstruse vocabulary ("vermivorous", "tervous", "perpetuum", "axiom abhorrent, protean triumvirate"?) are at first a bit odd, but ultimately utterly fitting with the sombre and arcane, monolithic and melodically grand mood of this album. Certainly his performance on the acoustic "Blackthorne" would make any fan of '70s Brit-folk weep, while the other, fully amped tracks will make headbangers ready to both shed tears and storm the proverbial castle.
FYI, the bonus cuts consist of two NWOBMH covers ("The Prophecy" by Iron Maiden and "Stormchild" by Trespass).
We're still waiting to hear more from Solstice, rumors have abounded for years that guitarist Rich Walker (who also has played in Pagan Altar, by the way) has a new lineup for Solstice and is working on a new album, we'll believe it when we see it, and we want to... though we doubt they could ever top this!
MPEG Stream: "Hammer Of Damnation"
MPEG Stream: "Cimmerian Codex"
MPEG Stream: "Cromlech"

album cover SOLTER, SCOTT One River (Tell-All Records) cd 9.98
Some new gentle sounds from the bright SF indie label Tell-All Records! This is the latest album from Mr. Scott Solter, a gent who is perhaps most known for being the man at the helm of the recording board for numerous aural luminaries such as Mountain Goats, Spoon, Court & Spark, Tarentel, Crooked Jades, Okkervil River and 31 Knots. On occasion though he steps to the other side of the console to craft his own music. One River is a soothing, vaporous listen. Ambient drones drift in and out, evoking the tranquility of a calm lake rather than the flowing movement of a river. Very very nice!
MPEG Stream: "Desert Trains"
MPEG Stream: "The Palace Wedding"

album cover SOLTERO Hell Train (Three Ring ) cd 12.98
Oh such pretty gentleness or is it gentle prettiness? Whichever, if there was a contest for 'ideal lullaby singer' a frontrunner and perhaps winner would be Mr. Tim Howard, lead vocalist and central member for this Boston (but maybe now Philadelphia?) based project. The first song on Soltero's latest album Hell Train definitely makes for solid proof of this. On the follow-up to 2004's The Tongues You Have Tied, Howard is joined by a full band with sumptuous results. Many of the songs bring to mind the warm, enveloping likes of Yo La Tengo and Grandaddy, as well as the intimate melancholia of Elliott Smith and Sparklehorse. Achingly heartfelt and lovely.
MPEG Stream: "If I Had A Chance"
MPEG Stream: "Bleeding Hearts"

album cover SOLTERO The Tongues You Have Tied (Three Ring) cd 8.98
Soltero's mainman Tim Howard has a voice that bears a striking resemblance to that of Dean Wareham. However, instead of a backdrop of Galaxie 500/Luna-esque glistening indie pop/rock-ness, his vocals are placed predominantly within a really pretty, countrified-pop-occasionally encountering-lounge-jazz kind of setting. A very nice sunset-y kind of album for watching the gradual stretch and creep of shadows. Soltero's songs slips effortlessly from day into night. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "The Light Bulb Above You"
MPEG Stream: "Cloth River Song"

album cover SOLVENT Solvent City (Morr Music) cd 15.98
My oh my, here's some more Morr prettiness! The German label is positively overflowing with electronic pop treats these days. Yes, Solvent is totally for you if you've dug the recent gentle burst of soothing shimmery music from that label's stable of dreamy-tronica artists such as Styrofoam, Isan, The Go Find, et al. That said, unlike his Morr Music brethren who are predominantly Europe-based, Solvent aka Jason Amm is from Toronto, Canada. Solvent City is populated by plentiful well-crafted, light meringue-y IDM beats (and no, I don't mean "merengue"!) and frosty lacy melodies.
MPEG Stream: "Some Assembly Required"
MPEG Stream: "Not For Sale"

album cover SOLVENTS Manresa Castle (self-released) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Not sure where this one even came from, but we just noticed a little stack of these hidden away in the back room, and judging from the packaging, an oversized brown paper booklet adorned with a black ink screen print of an octopus with its tentacles wrapped around an arm, and the band name, SOLVENTS, we were actually expecting this to be some sort of noise record, or some avant drone thing, but instead, we were treated to a gorgeous bit of lilting indie folk, piano and violin laced brooding strum and croon, a subtle Pink Floyd vibe happening, but filtered through more modern signifiers like Iron & Wine, Beirut, Bon Iver, Band Of Horses, Mount Eerie, the Low Anthem, a seriously impressive collection of stripped down twang flecked pop, the piano and violin elevating above most of the current crop of similarly sonic popsmiths, and Solvents main man Jarrod Bramson has an incredible voice, and knows his way around a pop song, and Manresa Castle definitely had us wondering what these guys were doing hiding way unreviewed on our shelves instead of being adored by legions of fans, and being worshipped by Pitchfork. Needless to say, for fans of this sort of thing, doesn't get much better. But be warned, we only have 4 or 5 of these, it's from 2007 and odds are it's long out of print...
MPEG Stream: "All Your Demons... Pulling"
MPEG Stream: "Death And I Talked Immortality"

album cover SOLYST s/t (Bureau B) cd 17.98
While there is no shortage of vintage kraut worship going on these days, Germany's Kreidler are one of the groups who have been doing their country's rich '70s underground music scene proud, since they formed in the late '90s. In fact their last outing, Tank, might even be our favorite record from them yet. So when we found out that Kreidler's drummer Thomas Klein had a new solo project, we were super curious and excited.
And we're happy to report that Klein has delivered the goods, as this record is filled with a hypnotic and suspenseful tone which takes us to a dark underworld filled with tribal beats, dubbed out repetition, and kraut like precision and intensity. There is no doubt that Klein's playing comes out of the direct lineage to the krautrock forefathers that so influenced the sound of Kreidler, and his drumming in particular. We think of Jaki Liebezeit (Can), Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru), and Klaus Dinger (Neu). But we could also see this record really appealing to everyone who has been going crazy for all the great John Carpenter/Goblin worship that's been coming out lately like Zombi, Majeure, Umberto, and Jonas Reinhardt. One of those records that gets people asking what is playing whenever we have it blasted on the stereo in the store. So good!
MPEG Stream: "The Swell"
MPEG Stream: "Melville"
MPEG Stream: "Cape Fear"

album cover SOLYST s/t (Bureau B) lp 23.00
While there is no shortage of vintage kraut worship going on these days, Germany's Kreidler are one of the groups who have been doing their country's rich '70s underground music scene proud, since they formed in the late '90s. In fact their last outing, Tank, might even be our favorite record from them yet. So when we found out that Kreidler's drummer Thomas Klein had a new solo project, we were super curious and excited.
And we're happy to report that Klein has delivered the goods, as this record is filled with a hypnotic and suspenseful tone which takes us to a dark underworld filled with tribal beats, dubbed out repetition, and kraut like precision and intensity. There is no doubt that Klein's playing comes out of the direct lineage to the krautrock forefathers that so influenced the sound of Kreidler, and his drumming in particular. We think of Jaki Liebezeit (Can), Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru), and Klaus Dinger (Neu). But we could also see this record really appealing to everyone who has been going crazy for all the great John Carpenter/Goblin worship that's been coming out lately like Zombi, Majeure, Umberto, and Jonas Reinhardt. One of those records that gets people asking what is playing whenever we have it blasted on the stereo in the store. So good!
MPEG Stream: "The Swell"
MPEG Stream: "Melville"
MPEG Stream: "Cape Fear"

album cover SOM IMAGINARIO s/t (Rev-Ola) cd 16.98
Oh how nice! Want to feel the glow of summer's warmth no matter what it feels like outside? Som Imaginario have got the golden rays for all of us to bask in. Brazil, 1970 - and yeah start thinking Os Mutantes and the Tropicalia revolution of sound. While they never got the wide attention that some of their peers would end up receiving, their music was just as dazzling, delightful and adventures as those whose names are now much more known (Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso, etc). Som Imaginario were a six piece who initially came together to back up Milton Nascimento for his short lived Brazilian TV show. This, their debut, was never released outside of Brazil until now, and with Os Mutantes launching a reunion tour this spring, the time is ripe for other wonderful sounds from that scene to finally resurface. Equal parts sun soaked pop, fun-freak-out and an underlying irreverent spirit make this one of those reissues that doesn't just sound cool in theory but you actually want to listen to it over and over.
MPEG Stream: "Super-God"
MPEG Stream: "Tema Dos Deuses"

album cover SOM IMAGINARIO s/t (Sweet Dandelion) lp 32.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now, also reissued on vinyl... what we said about the cd reish on Rev-Ola:
Oh how nice! Want to feel the glow of summer's warmth no matter what it feels like outside? Som Imaginario have got the golden rays for all of us to bask in. Brazil, 1970 - and yeah start thinking Os Mutantes and the Tropicalia revolution of sound. While they never got the wide attention that some of their peers would end up receiving, their music was just as dazzling, delightful and adventures as those whose names are now much more known (Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso, etc). Som Imaginario were a six piece who initially came together to back up Milton Nascimento for his short lived Brazilian TV show. This, their debut, was never released outside of Brazil until now. Equal parts sun soaked pop, fun-freak-out and an underlying irreverent spirit make this one of those reissues that doesn't just sound cool in theory but you actually want to listen to it over and over.
MPEG Stream: "Super-God"
MPEG Stream: "Tema Dos Deuses"

album cover SOMBRE CHEMIN Doctrine (ISO666) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover SOMBRE CHEMIN / ORNAMENTS OF SIN split (ISO666) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover SOMBRES FORETS Quintessence (Sepulchral Productions) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
From the frozen North, and no, not Scandinavia, we're talking Quebec, the other grim frosty North, comes French Canadian doom flecked black metal outfit Sombres Forets, who manage to spin a thick black web of depressive buzz that rivals the blackened buzzscapes of fellow dark souls Xasthur, Make A Change... Kill Yourself and of course Burzum.
Sad and sorrowful, melancholy and mournful, this is not so much harsh and hateful as it is desolate and despondent. The sound is black, but the mood is doom, with occasional stretches of rumbling dark ambience, distant washes of soft focus keyboard, finger picked clean guitar figures, and subterranean whir. But it's the dirgey riffs, and the dour, depressive melodies, so emotional and miserable, so strangely catchy and haunting, that make these songs resonate so deeply. They almost sound like sad pop songs wrapped in spikey black cloaks and wreathed in a thick black fog. Beneath the surface, huge swells of doomic miserablism lurk, a faint shadow beneath the roiling blackness, rhythms shift and shudder, but ultimately, this is a bleak and strangely introspective journey through a damaged and damned black soul, rendered in blur and buzz. So dark, and dolorous, funereal and forlorn, and yet so strangely dreamlike and lovely.
MPEG Stream: "Le Royaume"
MPEG Stream: "L'Abime"
MPEG Stream: "Vents Des Desespoirs"

album cover SOMBRES FORETS Royaume De Glace (Sepulchral Productions) cd 13.98
Record number two from Canadian black metal depressives Sombres Forets, whose debut, was definitely one of our favorite black metal records of last year. A gorgeous blown out miserablist wash of black buzz that definitely gave other aQ faves like Make A Change Kill Yourself, Xasthur and Burzum, a run for their money.
This disc takes that frosty washed out black sound and pushes it even further out, buzzier, fuzzier, more distorted and even more dreamlike. The brief opener sets the stage, thick swirls of keyboards throb and swell, the sound so blown out the notes distort as if burning from within, a sweet sad melody, wreathed in distortion and reverb, that quickly gives way to he record proper, the guitars thick and buzz drenched, churning over a wash of melancholy keyboards, which soar dramatically like a chorus of angels, adding a strange Arvo Part-ish vibe to the proceedings. But even minus those keyboards, the songs here, much like on the last record, are so moody and melancholy, but still super intense and powerful. Some tracks feature acoustic guitar interludes, with the acoustic guitar continuing on into the song proper, winding itself in and around the loping buzz.
The production is strange, at once thick and heavy, but also a bit murky and gauzy, the effect being that the record seems a bit blurred, a little washed out, which only adds to the lonely dreamy quality. Strip away the vokills, and the distortion, and these songs would most likely reveal themselves as heartbreaking minimal folk ballads, or depressive pop gems, but dip them in filth, wrap them in distortion, and run them through with harsh howls, and suddenly, your wallowing in some epic, majestic, depressive blackness. The final track is quite strange as well, all acoustic, a simple strummed minor key progression, peppered with occasional flurries of floor tom, some cymbal shimmer, but for the most part, simple and stripped down and strangely striking.
MPEG Stream: "The Forest"
MPEG Stream: "La Nuit"

SOMBROUS Transcending The Umbra (Forever Plagued) cd 7.98

album cover SOME EMBER Hotel Of Lost Light (Crash Symbols) cassette 9.98
First we've heard from this new local label, and the debut recording from Some Ember, aka Dylan Travis, who was laid up after an accident, and decided to spend his settlement on a bunch of gear (and from the sounds here, he must have been on plenty of pain killers too!), building this record from scratch, and learning to record in the process, but you'd never know it from the results. It's a dark, lush landscape of brooding, swirling post punk cold wave minimalism, all pulsing muted synths, spare percussion, shimmery atmospheres, thick, crumbling industrial swells, hushed melancholic melodies, all blurred into a murky, washed out dirge pop dreamscape, sounding a bit like a more lysergic Talk Talk, driven by Travis' vocals which at times sound like Danzig covering Scott Walker, and at others like some impossible hybrid of Antony and Dave Gahan, soaring and passionate, emotive and dramatic, we really weren't prepared to dig this as much as we do. Fantastic!
LIMITED TO 200 COPIES!!

album cover SOME GIRLS Feel It (Koch) cd 15.98
After gettin' pretty steamed by the jewelcase's sticker that let us know that "the hit single" was included within (really, the album just came out... thanks record label for deciding that for us!), we gave this record a spin... Seeming almost as though she just popped right out of a time capsule dated '92, Juliana Hatfield is back. Seriously, wearing her stone-faced stare, she doesn't look a day older than she did back then (although she does look alarmingly thin). Anyways, she's got a new band called Some Girls staffed by two similarly just-outta-their-teens lookin' gals... but wait! Those aren't just any young misses, they're her former Blake Babies bandmate Freda Love and her friend Heidi Gluck. Although the overall tone is noticeably subdued by Hatfield standards, fans will be happy to hear her still singing in her unmistakable breathy childlike voice about those familiar topics: prettiest girls, relationship confusion, etc. For sure, if you were a Blake Babies and/or Juliana Hatfield fan you'll wanna check this out. Includes a cover of Robert Johnson's "Malted Milk".
MPEG Stream: "The Prettiest Girl"
MPEG Stream: "Almost True"

album cover SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU, BORIS YELTSIN Let It Sway (Polyvinyl Record Co.) cd 11.98
We've always been suckers for a ridiculous band name, usually the weirder and more twisted the better, Fuck I'm Dead, Bathtub Shitter, Tremor Of The Black Manx, The Shitty Listener, Ithdabquth Qliphoth, but for whatever reason, we never listened to Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin specifically because of that name. Maybe it's a fine line, ridiculously inspired versus plain old dumb, bizarre versus precious, but fuck it, we should know better, and when we somehow got over our problem with SSLYBY's mouthful of a moniker, we were treated to a seriously fantastic collection of lush, jangly, super hooky upbeat pop, rife with subtle unlikely instrumentation (banjo! Marimba!), intricate melodies and gorgeously hazy harmonies, it's tough not to love these guys and this record. Especially if you're already a fan of groups like the Shins, Death Cab For Cutie, Animal Collective, Phoenix and other similarly lush janglepoppers. Quickly becoming one of our new favorite pop records of the year. Although to be honest, we're still having trouble saying things like "You should really check out Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin", but we're working on it...
MPEG Stream: "Back In The Saddle"
MPEG Stream: "Sink / Let It Sway"
MPEG Stream: "Banned (By The Man)"

SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU, BORIS YELTSIN Let It Sway (Polyvinyl Record Co.) lp 14.98
We've always been suckers for a ridiculous band name, usually the weirder and more twisted the better, Fuck I'm Dead, Bathtub Shitter, Tremor Of The Black Manx, The Shitty Listener, Ithdabquth Qliphoth, but for whatever reason, we never listened to Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin specifically because of that name. Maybe it's a fine line, ridiculously inspired versus plain old dumb, bizarre versus precious, but fuck it, we should know better, and when we somehow got over our problem with SSLYBY's mouthful of a moniker, we were treated to a seriously fantastic collection of lush, jangly, super hooky upbeat pop, rife with subtle unlikely instrumentation (banjo! Marimba!), intricate melodies and gorgeously hazy harmonies, it's tough not to love these guys and this record. Especially if you're already a fan of groups like the Shins, Death Cab For Cutie, Animal Collective, Phoenix and other similarly lush janglepoppers. Quickly becoming one of our new favorite pop records of the year. Although to be honest, we're still having trouble saying things like "You should really check out Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin", but we're working on it...
MPEG Stream: "Back In The Saddle"
MPEG Stream: "Sink / Let It Sway"
MPEG Stream: "Banned (By The Man)"

album cover SOMNAM Melancholy's Masquerade (Paradigms) cd 12.98
The Paradigms label has taken a mysterious turn away from things heavy and metal lately, focusing instead of the dronier and more ambient side of the sonic spectrum. Both the new releases in the latest batch are dark and mysterious, haunting and atmospheric.
Somnam are from Finland, and you know how much we love weird sounds from Finland!
The label references Twin Peaks, Goblin and Ulver, we definitely hear all that, but we also hear John Carpenter, and plenty of Muslimgauze, a sort of alien world music, tribal percussion, muted industrial crunch, swirling synths, all woven into creepy cinematic soundscapes, deep resonant drones beneath keening distant melodies, skittering electronic beats, swirling moody ambience, thick slabs of low end rumble, wavery sci fi synth warble over reverbed piano and crumbling washed out fuzz. It definitely sounds like the soundtrack to some awesome lost seventies Italian horror flick. Fans of Zombi will dig this like crazy, and we've said it before, but why aren't modern filmmakers looking to the world of underground music, bands like Zombi and Somnam, would be just as well served scoring horror flicks and weirdo indie films as they are playing with regular rock bands and making records. For now might was well just throw this on, close your eyes, and imagine all the fantastically grotesque and wonderfully horrific images these sounds invoke.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES. Packaged in white dvd style cases with full color artwork, and printed inserts.
MPEG Stream: "Masquerade"
MPEG Stream: "Melancholy Disguised"

album cover SOMNAMBULISTS At Daybreak The First Greyness To Emerge (Distinct Mirror Music) 2cd 11.98
Ever hear of Warren Ng? We hadn't either. At least until THREE separate DOUBLE cds showed up in the shop, two by his blissed out ambient guitardrone outfit Somnambulists, one by his old school post rock combo This Invitation. SIX DISCS, all of them pretty dang amazing, and pretty dang cheap too. We imagine if there's any justice in the world, Warren Ng won't remain unknown for much longer. And we're happy to do our part.
On the sprawling double disc At Daybreak The First Greyness To Emerge, Ng in his guise as Somnambulists, using just guitar, percussion and radio, crafts some deeply effecting, and darkly seductive, but most notably, not at all tranquil guitar ambience. Where other dronelords and soundscapers smooth everything out into shapeless shimmers, and washed out blurs, the music of Somnambulists is actually riffy, it's more like a solo guitar record, that an ambient drone record, sprawling epic tracks that are ever shifting expanses of riff and licks, of tangled melodies and woozy textures, the sounds chug and churn and jangle and swoop, backwards guitars wrap around chiming tones, warm muted pulses percolate beneath thick crumbling low end swells, at times verging on almost rocking, but more often slipping into something a bit more trancelike and softly psychedelic. Creeping skeletal minimalism gives way to jagged angular crunch, which in turn gives way to warped woozy swirls of mumbled melody, haunting and dreamy, soothing and spacey, Ng masterfully weaves lush sonic tapestries that manage the impossible task of actually sounding like someone playing the guitar (or guitars), while subtly effecting and transforming those guitar sounds, so that the whole is so much more than simply a 'guitar record'. Instead, it becomes some sort of psychedelic guitar minimalism. Ng's instrumental guitarscapery definitely sits comfortably along other guitarrorists like Roy Montgomery, Loren Mazzacan Connors, Stephen O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi, Rafael Toral etc.
Two discs, nearly two hours, all for $12, hard not to recommend buying both Somnambulists double discs (this and The Invisible Score, reviewed elsewhere on this week's list), they're both incredible, and almost sound like two parts of the same sprawling avant guitar songsuite. So good!!
MPEG Stream: "At Daybreak the First Greyness to Emerge"
MPEG Stream: "A Sunday Morning Deafness Falls"

album cover SOMNAMBULISTS The Invisible Score (Distinct Mirror Music) 2cd 11.98
Ever hear of Warren Ng? We hadn't either. At least until THREE separate DOUBLE cds showed up in the shop, two by his blissed out ambient drone outfit Somnambulists, one by his old school post rock combo This Invitation. SIX DISCS, all of them pretty dang amazing, and pretty dang cheap too. We imagine if there's any justice in the world, Warren Ng won't remain unknown for much longer. And we're happy to do our part.
On the expansive sprawling two disc set The Invisible Score, Ng trades in the relatively spare instrumentation of his OTHER double disc Somnambulists album, At Daybreak The First Greyness To Emerge, and expands his arsenal to include Moog, Farfisa and bass along with percussion and guitar. The results are similarly stellar, a series of lush layered guitarscapes, a very particular type of guitar ambience, that's barely ambient at all, instead, Ng's guitar emits dreamlike tangles of melody, and lets them float atop keening looped high end shimmer, or lets unfurl a slow, smoldering sort of psychedelic drift, hauntingly melodic, alternately strummed and finger picked, gnarled riffs give way to spidery tendrils of sound, the sound hushed and minimal one second, heaving and distorted the next, occasional churning textured drones are peppered with simple crashing cymbals, gorgeous hushed drifts explode into abstract Godspeed style drumless-post rock that eventually splinters into shimmery cascades of metallic buzz and muted clatter and clang, the songs developing slowly, blossoming gradually, lush and dreamlike, emitting a warm sonic glow, that sometimes bathes the sound in its radiant light, and other times is swallowed up by dense waves of crumbling psychedelia. The Invisible Score is definitely experimental, but impossibly melodic and mesmerizing, a perfect companion to the other Somnambulists disc for sure.
Ng's instrumental guitarscapery definitely sits comfortably along other guitarrorists like Roy Montgomery, Loren Mazzacan Connors, Stephen O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi, Rafael Toral etc.
Two discs, nearly two hours, all for $12, hard not to recommend buying both Somnambulists double discs (this and At Daybreak The First Greyness To Emerge), they're both incredible, and really almost sound like two parts of the same sprawling avant guitar songsuite. So good!!
MPEG Stream: "The Passing Of Centuries"
MPEG Stream: "Bliss And Non-Bliss"
MPEG Stream: "Factories Of Air"

album cover SON OF P.M., THE Hey Klong Yao! (EM Records) cd 22.00
A couple of lists ago, we awarded Record Of The Week status to the fantastic Soundway compilation The Sound Of Siam, a collection of vintage '60s and '70s psych/pop music from Thailand (and it just came out on vinyl too, which we're listing this week). Dunno about you, but The Sound Of Siam only whetted our appetites for more, though we had to wonder, who could possibly top that? Well, if anyone could, Japan's EM Records, one of our favorite labels for eccentric, unexpected reissues, would be a good bet. As if on cue, here's EM's first entry into the '60s Thai music reissue market, by the group Son Of P.M., so named because their manager, one Phayoung Mukda, was the father of their keyboardist and arranger, Khabuan Mukda. (Amusingly, their name is making us think of the '90s hiphop groups Son Of Bazerk and P.M. Dawn, neither of which this sounds like of course!).
Son Of P.M., and spinoff group P.M. Pocket music, who feature on 3 of the 14 tracks here, were part of Thailand's "Shadow Music" scene back in the day, "Shadow Music" being the uniquely Thai synthesis of their own ethnic folk styles with Western rock, surf, Latin, go-go, and other pop sounds. It's an exciting, groovy, colorful hybrid indeed, a good example being the title track, with its swirling keys, chiming Thai xylophone, wailing group vocals, and drum breaks. Specifically, Son Of P.M. considered themselves to play "Modernized" or "Modified" Thai music, as EM notes that means their use of traditional Thai melodies and instruments (various gongs, drums, flutes, fiddles, etc.) has been augmented with electric guitars, keyboards, and other modern/Western instruments. Despite that, though, to Western ears this is still gonna sound way more Eastern than otherwise. Though the final track here, "King Of Drums", does get pretty darn surf-rock, a la The Ventures or the Surfaris, it's a bit of an outlier, the majority of this is less "rock" sounding, and seems to us to have more in common with the orchestral "exotica" of Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny, which is cool too.
Delightful stuff, sure to put a smile on your face and a wiggle in your hip. Another winner from EM. Unfortunately for us, though, the liner notes in this gatefold cd sleeve are all in Japanese.
MPEG Stream: "Manohraluifai "
MPEG Stream: "Horse Step Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Kaektoimor"
MPEG Stream: "King Of Drums"

album cover SON OF P.M., THE Hey Klong Yao! (EM Records) lp 29.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A couple of lists ago, we awarded Record Of The Week status to the fantastic Soundway compilation The Sound Of Siam, a collection of vintage '60s and '70s psych/pop music from Thailand (and it just came out on vinyl too, which we're listing this week). Dunno about you, but The Sound Of Siam only whetted our appetites for more, though we had to wonder, who could possibly top that? Well, if anyone could, Japan's EM Records, one of our favorite labels for eccentric, unexpected reissues, would be a good bet. As if on cue, here's EM's first entry into the '60s Thai music reissue market, by the group Son Of P.M., so named because their manager, one Phayoung Mukda, was the father of their keyboardist and arranger, Khabuan Mukda. (Amusingly, their name is making us think of the '90s hiphop groups Son Of Bazerk and P.M. Dawn, neither of which this sounds like of course!).
Son Of P.M., and spinoff group P.M. Pocket music, who feature on 3 of the 14 tracks here, were part of Thailand's "Shadow Music" scene back in the day, "Shadow Music" being the uniquely Thai synthesis of their own ethnic folk styles with Western rock, surf, Latin, go-go, and other pop sounds. It's an exciting, groovy, colorful hybrid indeed, a good example being the title track, with its swirling keys, chiming Thai xylophone, wailing group vocals, and drum breaks. Specifically, Son Of P.M. considered themselves to play "Modernized" or "Modified" Thai music, as EM notes that means their use of traditional Thai melodies and instruments (various gongs, drums, flutes, fiddles, etc.) has been augmented with electric guitars, keyboards, and other modern/Western instruments. Despite that, though, to Western ears this is still gonna sound way more Eastern than otherwise. Though the final track here, "King Of Drums", does get pretty darn surf-rock, a la The Ventures or the Surfaris, it's a bit of an outlier, the majority of this is less "rock" sounding, and seems to us to have more in common with the orchestral "exotica" of Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny, which is cool too.
Delightful stuff, sure to put a smile on your face and a wiggle in your hip. Another winner from EM. Unfortunately for us, though, the liner notes in this gatefold cd sleeve are all in Japanese.
MPEG Stream: "Manohraluifai "
MPEG Stream: "Horse Step Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Kaektoimor"
MPEG Stream: "King Of Drums"

SON SKULL Wiped Clean (Perrenial) lp 14.98

album cover SON VOLT A Retrospective: 1995-2000 (Warner) cd 17.98
Yeah yeah yeah, everybody LOVES Wilco. Critics, Fans, everybody. So experimental. So creative. Such heartbreaking magical music. Hey, we love Wilco too. But there was a time, not all that long ago, when Jeff Tweedy, the man behind Wilco, was at least to most of us, the weaker half of the only alt country band that ever mattered. The band whose first album's title (No Depression) became the new name for alt country. Tweedy was merely the whiney vocal foil to Jay Farrar's world weary, whiskey soaked drawl. Sure Tweedy sang some great songs, but Farrar was the voice that MADE Uncle Tupelo, the band he shared with Tweedy. After Uncle Tupelo split, Tweedy went on to front Wilco, and Farrar went on to form his own group, Son Volt. The first Son Volt record was amazing, sort of an extension of Uncle Tupelo, Farrar's voice still so perfect and stirring, framed by kick ass country rock, sometimes soulful and stirring, acoustic and laid back, sometimes rambunctious and rocking. Tweedy's Wilco headed in decidedly more experimental directions, and it suited them, they got weirder and way more interesting, with the band and the songs and the sounds providing the focus, while Tweedy's vocals became just a part of the big picture. But as Son Volt progressed, something started to go wrong, the slow songs sounded too syrupy, the rocking songs began to sound cheesy, the attempts at sounding experimental sounded forced. But the thing was, every record contained at least two or three perfect jems. Gorgeous modern takes on classic bluegrass, full on Crazy Horse style rockers, all with Farrar's amazing vocals, emotive and laconic, soulful intense. Serious classics! So this comp is practically perfect. If it wasn't a compilation, it might just be the ultimate Son Volt record. In fact it sort of still is! Included are the four best tracks from Trace (the first Son Volt album), the best tracks from all the rest, as well as compilation tracks and a handful of unreleased tracks and demos. Loads of photos and liner notes. Andee has been playing this constantly in the store! So good!
MPEG Stream: "Drown"
MPEG Stream: "Windfall"
MPEG Stream: "Route"
MPEG Stream: "Rex's Blues"

SON VOLT American Central Dust (Rounder) cd 15.98

album cover SON VOLT Okemah And The Melody Of Riot (Transmit Sound) dual cd/dvd 19.98

SON VOLT Straightaways (Warner Bros.) cd 14.98
Second album from this spawn-of-Uncle Tupelo band, quite similar to their excellent first record...

SON VOLT Trace (Warner Brothers) cd 14.98
Jay Farrar was always my favorite part of Uncle Tupelo. That voice. So this is his new band. He brought back Uncle Tupelo's old drummer, and the resulting album is quiet and lovely, not filled with, as one Aquarius customer put it, the 'Nashville hotshots' Wilco features.

SON VOLT Wide Swing Tremolo (Warner Bros) cd 15.98
Jay Farrar and other ex-Uncle Tupelo folk with their third Son Volt album, this one a bit noisier and looser (in a good way) than previous efforts. We like it.

album cover SON, AMBULANCE Euphemystic (Saddle Creek) cd 13.98
At his sweetest, Joe Knapp (who is also in midwest indie sensations Bright Eyes) approaches the vocal sugariness of Belle and Sebastian, but mostly his quietly epic music has a solemn, introspective flavor that '70s singer songwriters made popular. Full of fresh-sounding embellishments, like non-saccharine dueling backup vocals, a bossa-nova song, clear piano, subtly-wielded synth whooshes. Listen to the soundclips, this description isn't happening for me today.
RealAudio clip: "And Instant Death"
RealAudio clip: "An Instant Birth"
RealAudio clip: "Seven Days"

album cover SON, AMBULANCE Key (Saddle Creek) cd 13.98
Son, Ambulance's new album is a more mature and fully realized work than any of mainman Joe Knapp's prior releases. Definitely less ramshackle and more focused. Moving away from the meek, self-conscious sound of their Omaha, NE indie folk brethren Bright Eyes and into more psych-ed out trippy late-Beatles / Flaming Lips-ish territory, Key is an album of earthy bluesy folk rock with synthesizers! Speaking of the Beatles, the ninth song has many Hey Jude-isms, the most obvious being a naaa-na-na-nananana chorus. Odd.
MPEG Stream: "Paper Snowflakes"
MPEG Stream: "Case Of You / Wrinkle Wrinkle"

album cover SONDERBERG, ADAM & PAUL BRADLEY Anoxia (Longbox / Twenty Hertz) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
When it comes to the methods of making dronemusik, the way you mix all of the component parts is probably more important that the original source material. A subtle shift between all of the layered drones can deeply impact any of the metaphors, allusions, and imagined landscapes that might emerge from the minimalist atmospheres. The Anoxia collaboration between Chicago's improv-dronescapist Adam Sonderberg and British tone-bender Paul Bradley (who has occasionally partnered with Colin Potter and Darren Tate on a number of exquisite post-Ora productions) finds Sonderberg culling all of the source material and Bradley producing the final mix. Within Bradley's engulfing, haunted mix of reverberant atmosphere, it's hard to tell what Sonderberg brought to the mix; but the resonance of what could be gongs, metallic pipes, and long strung instruments have been stretched and tugged into deep low frequency drones broadcast from the bottom of the ocean, collecting shimmering watery echoes, sonorous refractions, extended gasps of drowned air, and occasional tactile crunches of sand and grit. Beautifully immersive stuff that should appeal to those into Jonathan Coleclough, Thomas Koner, Keith Berry, and Loren Chasse's non-Jewelled Antler material.
MPEG Stream: "Anoxia (excerpt)"

album cover SONDHEIM, ALAN Ritual-All-7-70 (ESP) cd 14.98

MPEG Stream: "770"
MPEG Stream: "771"
MPEG Stream: "772"
MPEG Stream: "June"
MPEG Stream: "775"

album cover SONDHEIM, ALAN Ski/nn (Fire Museum) cd 14.98
Yes, this is a brand new recording by the same Alan Sondheim who made records on ESP and Riverboat in the late 1960's. A multi-intrumentalist, a poet and a visual artists, Sondheim has been making culture a little more interesting and innovative for the last four decades. Ski/nn finds his fingers navigating vintage instruments like a 19th century parlor guitar and a prime alpine zither from the 1920's. The results are so amazing! Primitive psych-folk that is sometimes really pretty and at other times freaked out and menacing. Sharing a similar spirit and freedom as the late Derek Bailey. Short pieces that together create a ghostly and timeless sensation.
MPEG Stream: "Take One"
MPEG Stream: "Cithara Two"
MPEG Stream: "1969"

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