Saturday, August 18, 2007

Comets on Fire - 2006 - Avatar

"After 2004’s critically acclaimed Blue Cathedral, one might have expected Comets on Fire to blast off into the cosmos in an infinite flurry of lysergic spasmodicism. Surprising, then, that they should turn in an earthy, more accessible and downright beautiful album as their follow-up. Then again, it is a completely logical progression, but in reverse, sort of. On Avatar their astonishing new album, Comets display development in every direction: as musicians, as songwriters, as arrangers and as singers (?!), without sacrificing one ounce of the intensity that is expected from our heroes. As on Blue Cathedral, the diversity of the material is staggering. Avatar veers from swinging, bluesy explorations to piano-laced, progressive power balladry, to pure tribalism, evoking everyone from the Allmans, to Quicksilver, to Procol Harum, to some insane Fela/Sun Ra/Crazy Horse hybrid, yet remains wholly Comets on Fire. Though they play cleaner and clearer, their firepower is evident and abundant. They have shifted gears and opened themselves up completely. You should do the same." ~ Sub Pop Records

Label: Sub Pop Records
Catalog#: SPCD 704
Released: 2006
Credits: Artwork By [Album Art, Layout] - Comets , Jeff Kleinsmith
Bass, Guitar [Baritone], Organ [Hammond] - Ben Flashman
Drums - Noel Von Harmonson (tracks: 3, 6, 7)
Drums, Piano - Utrillo Kushner
Electronics [Echo], Organ [Hammond] - Noel Von Harmonson
Guitar [Electric, Baritone], Acoustic Guitar - Ben Chasny
Lyrics By - Ethan Miller (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 5) , Utrillo Kushner (tracks: 3, 7)
Mastered By - JJ Golden
Recorded By - Tim Green (2)
Vocals, Guitar [Electric] - Ethan Miller
Notes: Recorded at Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati and Louder Studios in San Francisco, California in January-April of 2006.
Mastered at Golden Mastering.

1 Dogwood Rust (7:48)
2 Jaybird (6:08)
3 Lucifer's Memory (7:03)
4 The Swallow's Eye (6:53)
5 Holy Teeth (2:59)
6 Sour Smoke (8:47)
7 Hatched Upon The Age (6:08)

Steve Eliovson & Collin Walcott - Dawn Dance

"I just got back from Cape Town, S Africa...
I spent a week and a 1/2 making a nuisance of myself at various gigs/jams. I got to sit in with Bensonphile, Richard Caesar, Wes-o-phile, Alvin Dyers and other sundry bands/guys.

So on saturday I was invited to a party at great pianist Robert Payne's pad. There were a few people there, and one guy was introduced as "Steve". About 1/2 way thru the nite I heard "Steve" mention recording in Germany. I tentatively asked him for his last name, and his response FLOORED me: Eliovson. This was the legendary Steve Eliovson who recorded on ECM in '80 and promptly vanished. HE is a legend amongst SA
gtr players, and here he was in front of me alive and well !!!!! He told me lots of stories of hanging with Towner and Abercrombie et al, and how the exigencies of survival forced him to abandon his gtrs in NY storage NEVER to return to music- sad freaking story....Anyway I pulled out my gtr and he played a bit. Rusty, but with glimpses of a Mclaughlin style...then I took over and showed him how to do it properly ;-)

He told me he was in Europe to record his 2nd ECM date and the weekend before recording commenced he broke a leg ski-ing in the Alps. It all began to fall apart for him after that. They postponed the rec. date, and Steve went back to NYC where he was living at the time. He said he couldn't really play gigs or get around with a cast up to his hip in NY and he was living on someone's couch. He decided to store his belongings and head back to SA to regroup. He never got back....and it seems he lost momentum...I could sense the sad regret/loss behind his eyes...He mentioned hanging with Richie Bierach in those days, and that Richie was living in a literal "shoebox": one room with barely space to move.He also recalled jams with Towner and Abercrombie where they all got so stoned that guys were literally falling over while playing..."

- Tom Marcello

Hisato Higuchi - Dialogue

Dialogue is the first American release by Tokyo's new rising power Hisato Higuchi. Originally a puppeteer, Higuchi has transformed his glacial, shadow-box inspired hand movements to the twilight theater of electric guitar. His six-string tones and hushed vocals fan out from these haunted torch songs and burning embers of Patty Waters and Keiji Haino's quieter, introspective work. Overall, a beautiful meditation and entirely new vision of celestial blues. His seemingly wordless Japanese croon is a smoky, after-hours call of loss or spectral introspection.

"These [songs] could be the whispers of lovers, the reassurances of parents to sleeping children, the prayers of the lost and lonely, or the tremulous breaths of the finally redeemed. It is heady and intoxicating stuff." -- Nick Southgate, The Wire

Friday, August 17, 2007

Devendra Banhart

"We released Devendra's recordings because we'd never heard anything quite like him, ever. His voice - a quivering high-tension wire, sounded like it could have been recorded 70 years ago - these songs could have been sitting in someone's attic, left there since the 1930's. The response was astounding."

Appears on
Local Live Vol. 9:
College Ruled
1. "Onward the Indian"
2. "Michigan State"
5. "A Sight To Behold"

Explosions in the Sky - 2002 - More Peel Sessions Pt. 1

2002 - Peel Session 1
1. First Breath After Coma
2. The Moon Is Down
3. Memorial

Jimi Hendrix - Fillmore East May 10, 1968 2nd Show



Fillmore East, New York City, NY 10 may 1968; 2nd Show
Aud; 1st Gen - Digitally restored, Phase & Speed corrected

1 "Lover Man" (9)
2 "Fire" (22)
3 "Foxy Lady" (28)
4 "Red House" (19)
5 "Hey Joe" (28)
6 "The Sunshine Of Your Love" (6)
7 "Hear My Train A-Comin'" (8)
8 "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window ?" (4)
9 "Purple Haze" (37)
10 "Wild Thing" (19)

Total time: 62:16

This is an upgrade that has been doing the rounds at JPIO and other places this summer. Generally considered to be one of Hendrix' finest performances, it has has been bootlegged several times over the years. These bootlegs have however all been missing "Wild Thing" (19), and collector's discs - including ATM 093 "Bill Graham Presentes The Jimi Hendrix Experience" - have only featured 0:46 of the track. Although still incomplete, "Wild Thing" (19) clocks in at 3:16 here, making this set not only an upgrade in regard to generation, but also the longest and most complete version of the show to date.

Artwork is included.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Soil & "Pimp" Sessions -2006 - Pimp of The Year

Genius work from a group who just keeps getting better and better -- the mighty Soil & Pimp Sessions, easily one of the sharpest jazz combos on the planet! This second album by the group is a great summation of all their unique power -- a record that soars ahead with unbridled energy, tight horns climbing to the sky in formation, then breaking off in freely soulful solos while the piano, bass, and drums rip along at incredible speed. The Soil & Pimp sound is by now such a trademark groove that it's gotten way past the group's clunky name -- and this album's a beautiful demonstration of the live energy that's made S&P one of the key combos in the current club jazz revival. An instant classic from a group we'll be loving for years -- and a record that we'd gladly stack next to our favorites from the 60s on Impulse or Blue Note! Titles include "Memai", "Sahara", "Scoop Out", "Summer Goddess", "Sabotage", "Crush", "Last Long", "The White Widow", and "I-Rony".

01 - Memai
02 - Summer Goddess
03 - Worldwide
04 - Crush!
05 - Sabotage
06 - Scoop Out
07 - Sahara
08 - Ha Hen (Splinter)
09 - The Black Widow Blues
10 - The White Widow
11 - I-Rony
12 - Last Long
13 - Satsuriku New wave

(This is a really dope album, check it out!)

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Brute Medium/Marc Antony

Grateful Dead - 1971 - Cincinnati, Ohio


Grateful Dead
Taft Auditorium
Cincinnati OH

WEBN FM > ??? > DAT > Analog > CDWav/Soundforge > WAV > FLAC

Back in the day when I was living in Athens, Ohio, my memory was sadly more occupied with the statistics of Deadbase than those of my formal education. Here's a show that always seemed to get pulled out of the stacks for roadtrips, breakfast, headphones, whatever. Some part of me always believed that Jerry and the boys just loved the Midwest, its beautiful mediocrity incited them to riot; it was this show and many others that probably convinced me.

The band was exceptionally tight, seemlingly focused on every note. Harmony was important to them and the vocals of each song seems to be played with true feeling, especially the duets and trios. Jerry's voice is crystal and listening to gems like Sugaree, Loser, & Brown-Eyed Women is a reminder of the range Garcia had as one of the greatest voices of the day. You'll never be able to convince me that a better version of "Comes
a Time" was ever played, and with the additional lyrics its one in a million. This is it, in bold letters, THE best one ever, and easily the best reason to get a copy of this show. Landmark vocals and a hauntingly wicked guitar, enough said.

The banter between the band & crowd goes on throughout the show, and listening between songs includes plenty of 1971 humor. Most notably is some maniac yelling "Play Truckin" one to many times before Garcia rarely addresses the crowd and goes off on the guy in Jerryesque before launching into a jammy Sugar Mags. They finally give in to the guy and play a 9+ minute Truckin before tearing the roof off the Taft with NFA > GDTRFB > NFA. This is Phil's song, he plays lead bass throughout the whole set and his interplay with the then new Keith Godcheaux on keys is mesmerizing. This 21+ minute jawdropper once again proves this band is one of a kind.

This is an FM recording sourcing from DAT to my Maxell XL2. I've been unable to locate a 100% pure digital source for this show, even "" did not have it listed when they originally opened up the SBD vaults. This version is exceptionally clear and the recording well balanced, at any time you can pick out every instrument, follow it, and hear it melt into a sea of sound; this is one of many of the all time best Grateful Dead shows ever played.

Set I:
01 ...Bertha
02 Me & My Unle
03 Sugaree
04 Beat it on Down the Line
05 Loser
06 Playin in the Band
07 Tennessee Jed
08 Jack Straw
09 Big R&R Blues
10 Me & Bobby McGee
11 Brown Eyed Women
12 Saturday Night
13 DJ Intermission

Set II:
14 ...Casey Jones
15 Mexicali Blues
16 Comes a Time*
17 El Paso
18 "Rambling Rose"
19 Garcia versus Heckler
20 Sugar Magnolia
21 Truckin'
22 Not Fade Away >
23 Goin Down the Road >
24 Not Fade Away
25 Outro

*w/ Alternate Lyrics

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Odd Nosdam - 2005 - Burner

"Burner is a culmination, a high water mark, a work that undeniably declares the presence of an artist who has ripened into his prime. A radical departure from odd nosdam’s past productions, Burner is a dense composition in which the seams between found sound, obscure records, a wide range of instruments and instrumentalists, vocalists, and field recordings are expertly concealed. His trademark lo-fi aesthetic--familiar to listeners of both cLOUDDEAD albums and his previous collections of instrumental sketches--has lately evolved a rare harmony between his G4 and his trusty cassette 8-track, between precision and tape saturation, between clean arrangement and the spare, effective use of space, drone, and fracture. His unique sense of composition, rhythms of headnod simplicity, balls-out emotional dynamics, intricate sonic embellishments, psychedelic coloring, lush ambient bliss-outs, and scrupulous pacing, all combine into an immersive, genre defying whole. There is no use labeling it pop, emo-ambient, dirty loop, space rock, or hipnotica. It is all these and more and none of the above. Burner is, in the artist’s words, “an emotional roller coaster ride, meant to be experienced like a film.” The elaboration of the compositional integrity of his work is accomplished in part by his conducting of an illustrious cast of collaborators including, among others, Dosh, Andrew Broder of Fog, Orvar Smarason of Mum, Dax Pierson and jel of Subtle and Themselves, and Josiah Wolf and Doug McDiarmid of WHY?. The voice of Kranky Record’s Jessica Bailiff haunts the pristinely melodic "Untitled Three" (she also adds guitar to two other songs) and the vocals of the celebrated Mike Patton lifts “11th Ave. Freakout Pt. 2” to sublime heights. The sainted spirits of adventurous producers are also present, as odd nosdam has appropriated Lee "Scratch" Perry’s rhythmic spontaneity with recording and mixing, the weight of Flying Saucer Attack’s tape saturated work, Prince Paul’s keen sense of hip-hop collage, Hood’s emotional clarity, and Stars of the Lid’s intoxicating sound worlds. Burner doesn’t exist in an artistic void, however, deaf to the world outside the headphones of its composer. The noise of the neighborhood in which much of the album was made--raucous East 28th and 11th Avenue in Oakland--permeate the album, appearing first on “Choke,” climaxing in the flurry of gunshots amid the dark, melodic sediment of “Untitled Two” and concluding in a straight-up beatdown on “11th Ave. Freakout Pt. 1.” Captured simply by hanging a dictaphone from the front window of the century old Victorian nosdam once inhabited, these raw, uncensored recordings, when juxtaposed with his absorbing soundscapes, assault the senses with the unsettling reality of glamorized violence. After all is said, written, and done, odd nosdam’s Burner may be considered not only a firm assertion of his independently-minded, post-cLOUDDEAD aesthetic voice, but also his first true masterwork." ~ Anticon Records

Label: Anticon
Released: 2005
Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop
Notes: Most stuff collected, recorded, directed, produced and mixed by Odd Nosdam between 5/98-2/05 at mom's in Cincinnati, Fairmount and 11th Ave. in Oakland, and 10th St. in Berkley. Additional stuff written and recorded in the homes or hotels of various contributors.


01 Untitled One (3:17)
Voice - Liz Hodson

02 Refreshing Beverage (4:21)
Piano [Rhodes], Percussion, Drum Programming - Dosh

03 Choke (0:30)

04 Small Mr Man Pants (6:01)
Co-producer [Loops, Feedback], Guitar, Keyboards - Andrew Broder
Melodica - Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason

05 Untitled Two (8:28)
Keyboards [Extra] - Dax Pierson

06 11th Ave Freakout Pt 1 (2:30)
Drums [Extra] - Jel
Guitar [Bass], Drums - Josiah
Violin - Dee Kesler

07 11th Ave Freakout Pt 2 (4:06)
Guitar [Acoustic], Keyboards [Extra] - Doug McDiarmid
Guitar [Screwdriver] - Jessica Bailiff
Vocals [Lyrics], Keyboards [Extra] - Mike Patton

08 Clouded (2:26)
Voice - Liz Hodson

09 Untitled Three (6:00)
Flute [Recorder], Guitar - Jesse Edwards
Vocals, Percussion [Extra] - Jessica Bailiff

10 Gun (0:44)

11 Upsetter (3:41)

12 Flying Saucer Attack (8:45)
Guitar - Jesse Edwards , Jessica Bailiff

Ataxia - 2007 - AW II

"ATAXIA was a band for about two weeks in February 2004. It’s members are Joe Lally of Fugazi, Josh Klinghoffer and John Frusciante. The word ‘Ataxia’ is Greek for ‘disorder’. We were unaware at the time that it also has a meaning in English which is: total or partial inability to coordinate voluntary bodily movements, as in walking. In keeping with our names’ Greek meaning (quite unintentionally), the sections of our songs never had an arranged order. All our songs’ foundations are the bass which always plays one part throughout. The drums and guitar move about and generally use the vocal as their guide. The vocals and words were written, but the order the vocal sections occurred in, and how long the spaces between were, was different every time. So we would all stay on our toes to stay together for dynamics, changes in groove, switches to new sections, etc. We played two shows and recorded two records. The first record was released in August 2004. It was named after the surrealist activity called Automatic Writing. That was where people like Andre Breton and Max Ernst would write words in the form of sentences and paragraphs, but with absolutely no conscious attempt at meaning. They would observe the structure of their subconscious and it’s peculiar methods of organization (or the lack thereof) this way. And if there is one sure answer I can give to the question, 'How did you write and record two albums in a week and a half?', it is that we gave absolutely no thought to what we were doing, whatsoever. This music is unblemished by any expectations of a specific result, on our part. The three of us simply got together to hear what music had to say that week. We had fun together and this is the record of that fun." ~ John Frusciante

01. "Attention" – 11:46
02. "Union" (previously titled "OLA") – 4:37
03. "Hands" (previously titled "Ethiopian Song") – 4:04
04. "The Soldier" – 10:04
05. "The Empty's Response" – 6:15

John Frusciante – guitar, synthesizer, vocals
Joe Lally – bass
Josh Klinghoffer – drums, synthesizer, vocals on "The Empty's Response"

Library Tapes - 2007 - Höstluft

Library Tapes' new album is called "Höstluft" and is their strongest to date. Released less than a year after their second album "Feelings for Something Lost", "Höstluft" was made by David Wenngren during the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007. The album contains 11 tracks of piano and subtle, atmospheric field-recordings, and will likely appeal to fans of Sylvain Chauveau, Eluvium, Max Richter, Rachel's et al.

"With the release of Hostluft, Library Tapes appear to have discovered a whole new side to their melancholy work. Admittedly they always had an abstract, incredibly atmospheric way with pianos and field recordings, but here they seem to have structured them in a more classical way which, at times, is certainly remiscent of Max Richter but manages to keep to the lo-fi sensibilities that I really love about their sound. For those that love piano music this is really a must and for fans of good, beautiful music it's really something for you to listen to and thoroughly enjoy. Truly gorgeous.." (Smallfish)

"This new CD on Make Mine Music was practically enough to take me over the edge of excitement. This is beautiful stuff!! It's pretty much just piano and field recordings. Some of the field recordings are pretty far out there but they're punctuated by this gorgeous piano which takes you to a different plateau of sheer fantastic-ness. This is absolute genius and if you're a fan of Sylvain Chauveau, David Sylvian, Max Richter etc. I can see no reason why you wouldn't want to be listening to this fantastic thing right now." (Norman Records)

1 Mörker Genom Tomrum (2:09)
2 Skiss Av Träd (3:54)
3 Noslipós (2:01)
4 Repor (3:52)
5 Dis/Dagg/Dimma (5:26)
6 Mellan Ljud Och Text (2:02)
7 Skiss Av Löv (2:45)
8 Pjotr (2:55)
9 Höstluft (1:49)
10 Ensamhet (3:17)
11 Distans (1:51)