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MaxMAX, the upcoming 12 EP from WA based songwriter and sound-crafter Karl Blau, will be Blau's first major release since his LP Zebra dropped in 2009. Recorded at Dub Narcotic in Olympia, Washington, MAX is a snack pack of subdued, soulful, introspective emotional funk that shows Blau at his best. When he sings I scrape at the barnacles that build on the frame; I take old binoculars & peer in again, on the track Celebrated by Singing you're left with the feeling that having some me time between a pair of headphones is better than any prescription a doctor coud give; and it feels good.1. For Tenniscoats
2. Celebrated By Singing
3. Golden Chariot
4. A Melody To Wake Us In the Morning$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-KRE-2516xThe Curious Mystery
We CreelingThe Curious Mystery stitch together 60s-styled psychedlia with smoky garage guitars, Eastern drones, and dynamic, post-soul experimentation; a new gospel. 2009s Rotting Slowly was a true debut album: a journey into new landscapes, charting the depths of canyons. With the release of We Creeling, The Curious Mystery are no longer that mysterious stranger in town; theyve left the bluffs and entered the valley.
We Creeling was recorded in 2010 by Karl Blau and features the vocal/guitar tandem of Shana Cleveland and Nicolas Gonzalez. Since releasing Rotting Slowly and completing two US tours, The Curious Mystery have expanded the seating capacity of their dinner table to include other weary travelers on this recording: Blau adding percussion, Bradford Button on bass, Gabriel Will (The Hive Dwellers) on violin, Andrew Dorsett (LAKE) on piano and Kristian Garrard (Thousands) on drums.1. Up In The Morning
2. Hear The Break
3. Night Ride Reeling
4. Hot Port
5. Taste It
6. Rocky XVII
7. Space Shuffle
8. Cool Kids In The Valley
9. Blue Limits
10. PB & J
11. Rocky XVIII
12. From The Garden$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Get InThe Hive Dwellers is a band, a combo of disparate individuals who share a common love of rocknroll, library cards and railroad travel. The assorted cacophony of membership slides around to include at any given time Olympia pioneers Gabriel Will, K.E. Sixx, Brian Weber; K stalwarts like Faustine Hudson (Curious Mystery), Spencer Kelley (Wallpaper), Karl Blau; and rocknroll ringers imported from out of state: Brett Lyman, Fred Thomas, Michelle Mae. When they emerge from their active lives to make music, the Hive Dwellers emit a bright, shiny sound derived from a shared love of pop music underground.1. Get In
2. Get In (Strategy Remix)
3. Sitting Alone at the Movies (Shawn Parke and Blandow C. Remix)
4. Sitting Alone at the Movies (Shawn Parke Remix)$10.99Vinyl LP - 12 LP - Sealed Buy Now
Lynch the Swan b/w Selector Dub Narcotic Dub theSwanThe Hive Dwellers are a small grouping of Pacific Northwest natives, led by the large sound of one Calvin Johnson. On their latest musical effort, Lynch the Swan b/w Selector Dub Narcotic Dub the Swan Johnson and his alternating collection of collaborators fuse baritone vocals with melodica for an awkwardly peppy groove sensation.
Last year the Hive Dwellers stepped into Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, Washington to record a 7 45 rpm phonograph record of a particular type: a Dub Narcotic Disco Plate. That being a single on which the A side is a strong, hit-bound song by the artist in question, and the B side is a remix of said song by the fabulous Selector Dub Narcotic. The results were joy-producing.
For this particular session the Hive Dwellers consists of Calvin Johnson on electric guitar & vocals, Karl Blau playing the electric bass guitar, and Andrew Dorsett keeping rhythm on the drum set, providing stylish flourishes on the keyboard. Powerful stuffs.Side A: 1. Lynch the Swan
Side B: 2. Dub The Swan$6.99Vinyl LP - 12 LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-KRE-3513xAngelo Spencer Et Les Hauts Sommets
World GarageInspired by Bollywood, a trip to Morocco, and Serge Gainsbourg, Angelo Spencers second full-length World Garage brings armloads of new instruments and the flavor of exotic locations to a compilation of songs that amount to more than just an album, but an experience of wildness. Hearing Spencer transition from English to French, from guitar to hand percussion, and from soft singing to auto tuned screaming, its easy to close your eyes and imagine that youre running barefoot through the soft grass of, somewhere. Somewhere else.
Backed by local musicians Ben Kapp, Karl Blau, Clyde Petersen, with guest vocals by Rebecca Redman (from the band Watercolor paintings), World Garage began as a bundle of unfinished songs that Spencer played for everyone, along with a mixtape of Algerian, Moroccan, and Bollywood selections meant to serve as inspiration for how he wanted the finished album to sound; from the sounds of it, it did the trick.1. Tanger, Tanger
3. 10 Feet Tall
4. La Marche
5. 3 Heures
6. Let You Down
7. Immune System Crashing Down
8. Dirty Blues
9. Les Haut Sommet
10. Gallop$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The World Is Real (Awaiting Repress)LAKE's comprehensive pop vision has always been anchored in an honest mournfulness, a sensitivity to nature, and the vulnerability of life. These mark
LAKE's more down tempo, contemplative grooves, which are given their fullest voice yet on The World Is Real, LAKE's fourth album for K and sixth overall.
It follows 2008's Oh, the Places We'll Go, 2009's Let's Build A Roof, and 2011's Giving & Receiving, and was similarly recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio at K headquarters in their hometown of Olympia, Washington.
The songwriting partnership of Ashley Eriksson and Eli Moore is the locus of LAKE's creative engine, but the additional members are as integral and
longstanding. They are the diversely talented Andrew Dorsett, Markly Morisson, and Lindsay Schief. The creative sound that surrounds LAKE is storied in collaboration, sonic adventure and an allegiance to exploring the limits of crafting pop songs. They have toured, recorded and allied with some of the most pioneering figures in contemporary independent music: R. Stevie Moore, Chris Cohen, Karl Blau, and Phil Elverum's Mt. Eerie, for example.
Lead track Do You Recall? offers wide and subtle nods to working-class 80's classics like Mellencamp's Jack & Diane, or Hornsby's The Way It Is. Featuring drum machine and nostalgic guitar riffs, the lead and group vocals float through droning synths like wind to a bounded world.
Dog in the Desert one of the album's centerpieces, was initially inspired by the text-works of conceptual artist, Richard Long, and his "art made by walking in landscapes" (richardlong.org). Eriksson's voice, and the dark plodding instrumentation of the song, take Long's images and shape them into a meditation on abandonment, loss and reconciliation with nature.
Tellingly, the earthbound bass groove on Dog in the Desert is a quotation of Steely Dan's Black Cow. It is not the only song to directly live sample Fagen and Becker: Perfect Fit mashes up the chordal rhythms of Peg to excellent effect.
It's clear that LAKE enjoys to boldly tread and rework the classics in this way, most notably in Mark Morrison's first personal LAKE offering Takin' My Time, a direct reference to the Isley Brothers song "Caravan of Love." This smooth R&B pop seducer - a wild crowd favorite at LAKE's local Olympia outings - is a bit of an aside from The World Is Real's more meditative core.
Other highlights on The World Is Real: Bury the House takes its 60's styled psychedelic setting for a playful, self-deprecating riff on LAKE's own new age-y ideals: Bury the house / under the garden / make an attempt to go outside. Composure and "I Wish For You" have the pop attributes of Pet Sounds and Smile era Beach Boys - faintly forlorn, but still warm and sweet. And the community oriented compassion exhibited by LAKE's members is beautifully summarized in the opening lines of album closer Reconcile: How do we exist under the sun
but not in bliss? / What could have been? / Act on it.
Lovers of hybrid pop will hear the bright whirring electronic keys that notably set McCartney II apart from the rest of Paul's catalog, as well as the bittersweet organ and keyboard influence of Yo La Tengo, and the minimalist funk of Talking Heads on
this record. However, precise comparison is difficult: The World is Real avoids easy genre comparisons. An album full of the articulation of discontent and loss, LAKE captures these emotions in tandem with the pop music joys they have so expertly reigned in for many years.1. Do You Recall?
2. Bury The House
3. Combat Culture
5. Go Back
6. Dog In The Desert
7. Perfect Fit
8. Takin' My Time
9. I Wish For You
10. In The Stubborn Eyes Of A Demon
11. Reconcile$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
High Country (Out Of Stock)An operatically tragic tale is told in Richmond Fontaines 10th studio album, The High Country. More than a concept piece, the Portland, OR four-piece have crafted a song-novel, in which a gripping tale is spun with fully fleshed-out characters, changing scenes, snippets of radio and spoken word passages. Its a spectacularly unique album.
Richmond Fontaines frontman, Willy Vlautin, is a published novelist whose 2006 debut, The Motel Life, has just been turned into a major motion picture directed by the Polsky Brothers and starring Dakota Fanning, Stephen Dorff and Kris Kristofferson. With Richmond Fontaines latest album, hes combined that story-telling prowess with his songwriting gift to stunning effect.
Set in a rural logging community in Oregon, The High Country is a gothic love story between a mechanic and an auto parts store counter girl, whose secret love inspires an effort to escape the darkness of the world that surrounds them. Its a world of drugs, violence, madness, loneliness and desperation set against a backdrop of endless roads and the remains of a forest brutalized by logging. In this story of light versus dark, Vlautin has woven a tale where screw-ups and freaks terrorize the lives of innocents.
From stark, romantic ballads and dialogue sequences to raw Northwest garage rock and cinematic song-scapes, this album sees Richmond Fontaines musical trajectory soar far beyond their cow-punk roots, ably assisted by producer John Askew (The Dodos, Karl Blau).1. Inventory
2. The Girl On The Logging Road
3. The Chainsaw Sea
4. Let Me Dream Of The High Country
5. The Mechanic Falls In Love With The Girl
6. The Mechanics Life
7. Angus King Tries To Leave The House
8. The Meeting On The Logging Road
9. Claude Murrays Breakdown
10. The Eagles Lodge
11. Driving Back To The Chainsaw Sea
12. Lost In The Trees
13. On A Spree
14. Deciding To Run
15. I Can See A Room
16. The Escape
17. Leaving$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock