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Lou Takes Off'
Dress UpColored Vinyl LP (Limited to 500)
The debut album from Edinburgh quartet The Spook School brings together 13 (mostly) very noisy guitar pop songs, the culmination of four people making a lot of noise about gender and about identity. Inspired by the post-punk-pop of The Buzzcocks, Lou Reed's 'Transformer' and the films of Buster Keaton, with a dash of 60s pop for good measure, The Spook School are Nye Todd on guitar with Adam Todd also on guitar and Anna Cory on bass, not forgetting Niall McCamley who plays drums, tells jokes and takes his clothes off. They all sing and shout and write the music together. There is no leader and no 'frontperson'. They're a band.
With Nye identifying as trans, the band explore gender, sexuality and queer issues with stories that do not shy away from being absurd and silly. The title of the album is 'Dress Up' and relates to the idea of gender being a social construction, something that can be artificially appropriated. Gender is something more fluid than the given binary of male/female. There is also a strength in dressing up, a liberation of mind and body, a chance to smile, be silly, be yourself, be someone else, be anything at least for a little while.
As the band explain; "We want to liberate the listener by lubricating their ears with noisy pop songs about coming to terms with gender identity and realising how silly the world is. We like to have fun, but we also really care about the things we sing and write music about. I think if anyone was to ever listen to one of our songs and think "hey, I've felt like that!" then that would make us very happy indeed."
The band started playing together because Nye and Adam (siblings) had written a few songs and fancied playing them with a full band. Searching around the city of Edinburgh they found Anna hiding amongst a pile of The Beatles records and Monty Python DVDs. They managed to coax her out of her pile and into the band using a bass guitar as bait. Niall joined on the proviso he would be allowed take his top off at any moment and he would be allowed to attempt to seduce the crowd during gigs. In response the other three, unhappy with his abundance of height, made him agree to sit behind the drums so The Spook School could successfully be equidistant from all ceilings. None of them even knew how to play their instruments or write songs. They still don't really, although that's now become important in terms of how they sound. They don't really "write music", they just try and make noises that sound nice and exciting. They're four friends on an adventure.
The name came from Adam's love affair with architecture. Around 1920 a group of Glasgow artists led by Charles Rennie Mackintosh were criticised for their work being too gothic. This led critics to make fun of them by calling them The Spook School. Nowadays of course they're heralded as one of the greatest art collectives to ever come out of Scotland. For that reason the band don't really deserve to appropriate their name at all, but they like the idea of taking something mean and making it awesome, of something that was at the time ridiculed and considered 'weird' later being recognised as brilliant and revolutionary.1. Are You Who You Think You Are?
2. I'll Be Honest
3. You Make It Sound So Easy
4. I Don't Know
5. The Cameraman
7. Can You Ever Trust A Man Who Think Matt Damon's Really Cool?
8. What A Pity
9. Devil of Mine
10. That's When I Ran Away
11. You Don't Know
13. Who Ya Gonna Call? Goat Buster!$19.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Give A Glimpse Of What Yer NotLet's face facts - in 2016 it is remarkable that there's a new Dinosuar Jr album to go ape over. After all, the original line-up of the band (J Mascis, Lou Barlow & Murph) only recorded three full albums during their initial run in the 1980s. Everyone was gob-smacked when they reunited in 2005. Even more so when they opted to stay together, as they have for 11 years now (on and off). And with the release of Give a Glimpse Of What Yer Not, this trio redivisus has released more albums in the 21st Century than they did in the 20th. It's enough to make a man take a long, thoughtful slug of maple-flavored bourbon and count some lucky stars.1. Goin Down
3. Be A Part
4. I Told Everyone
5. Love Is...
6. Good To Know
7. I Walk For Miles
8. Lost All Day
9. Knocked Around
11. Left/Right$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Wounded Masculinity (Pre-Order)In the tradition of Neil Young's 'please kick me off the label' era, or when Lou Reed tried to drive his audience away, Self Defense Family delivers brilliantly difficult listens on the new 12 EP Wounded Masculinity.
Family member Mary Brulatour takes the songwriting reigns on four tracks that range from sullen folk to anxious kraut. The result is material unique even in Self Defense Family's varied (and sprawling) catalog.
It's a ripper that'll make you tear up. Experience the pineapple pizza of the emotional spectrum.1. Visit Scenic Western New York
2. Lost the Thread
3. Karate in the Driveway
4. Mary Devoured By Horses$5.9912 Vinyl EP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Part Of The Blue Note 75th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue Campaign
Clifford Brown emerged fully formed in 1953, a trumpeter gifted with an ebullient swing and technical skills that added polish and precision to fresh invention. Foregoing both the manic pyrotechnics of Dizzy Gillespie and the laconic introversion of Miles Davis, he also provided a stylistic model for jazz trumpeters that has never gone out of style. This album combines Brown's first two recording dates as leader, placing him in quintet and sextet settings with some of the core musicians of the New York bop scene. The first nine tracks have Brown in an inspired quintet, prodded by the twisting, off-kilter solos and comping of the brilliant and underrated pianist Elmo Hope and the sparkling complexity of drummer Philly Joe Jones. While altoist Lou Donaldson is deeply in the sway of Charlie Parker, Brown sets his own course, whether it's the boppish Cookin' or the standard You Go to My Head. The final nine tracks have Art Blakey's drums driving the sextet, while altoist Gigi Gryce's understated concentration acts as an effective foil to Brown's joyous, dancing lines. Taken at a medium up-tempo, Cherokee is one of Brown's most effective vehicles. The alternate takes from each session highlight Brown's spontaneous creativity, while Rudy Van Gelder's remastering adds fresh focus to both his gorgeous tone and the explosive drumming. --Stuart Broomer1. Hymn Of The Orient
2. Easy Living
3. Minor Mood
5. Wail Bait
6. Brownie Speaks
9. You Go To My Head
10. Carving The Rock$19.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
And Hell Will Follow Me (Awaiting Repress)Includes CD
A Pale Horse Named Death is the brainchild of Brooklyn, NY native Sal Abruscato, and sounds like Alice in Chains mysteriously sneaking up behind Type O Negative with a butcher knife while being filmed for a future episode of Law & Order. Sals partner in crime on And Hell Will Follow Me is Matt Brown, sound engineer extraordinaire and guitarist of fellow NY band Seventh Void.
The chemistry between me and Matt is unique and flawless, very rare in todays music. We are the murdering evil version of Lennon and McCartney. says Abruscato. Brown adds, Sal asked me if I would help to take these songs to the next level. I took on this project for my friend, to find some closure in rough times. The music is just an extension of our friendship and our passion for creativity.
The album artwork was done by Sam Shearon aka Mr. Sam, who has previously done work for Rob Zombie, Fear Factory and Cradle of Filth to name a few, and features a 20 page booklet with artwork for each individual song. Additionally, the Double LP version will feature a never before heard bonus track called Pick Up Truck.
To top that all off, Life of Agonys Keith Caputo lent background vocals to four tracks and Lou Reeds saxophonist Ulrich Krieger guests on Die Alone. Bobby Hambel from Biohazard, who also plays with the band live, played the guitar leads on three tunes.1. And Hell Will Follow Me
2. As Black As My Heart
3. To Die In Your Arms
4. Heroin Train
5. Devil in The Closet
6. Cracks in the Walls
7. Bad Dream
8. Bath In My Blood (Schizophrenia In Me)
9. Pill Head
10. Meet The Wolf
11. Serial Killer
12. Pickup Truck (Bonus Track)
13. When Crows Descend Upon You
14. Die Alone$22.99Vinyl LP - 2LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
CongratsA cyborg dance party for a broken future that's closer
than you think - Pitchfork
Off Your Face Euphoria - The Line of Best Fit
hypnotic, electronic climax-rock - SPIN
scuzzy, funk-fuelled energy - FACT Mag
Holy Fuck took the world by surprise around 2005 because there was
just nothing like them-a hardcore thrift-store found-object punk
band with a relentless commitment to rhythm and a sense for
atmosphere better matched to a close encounter of the third kind
than a simple rock concert. Think EinstÜrzende Neubauten re-inspired
by Fela Kuti with Brian Eno working as keyboard tech and every
channel on the mixer set to max power. It was the best ride out there
while it lasted, up to and including their 2010 full-length Latin,
recorded largely in too-brief breaks while on the road. That album
cemented Holy Fuck's sound and reputation for unapologetic
instrumental noise but at the end of yet another insane touring cycle,
it was time to take a break which turned into a hiatus which turned
into a chance to explore other projects and production work. (Like the
bands Lids, Dusted and Etiquette, or production for Metz, Alvvays and
They'd been moving faster than they'd ever expected, especially after
a 2007 sophomore release that came close to securing Canada's
prestigious Juno and Polaris Music Prize. (Not to mention festival slots
at All Tomorrow's Parties, Glastonbury, Coachella and more-plus Lou
Reed said they were the best band he'd seen at SXSW.) The strategy
was just to stay busy, says founder and noisemaster Brian Borcherdt,
but soon they started to feel like Indiana Jones running from that
boulder: "He had to step aside and let things settle!"
But there's nothing Indiana Jones does better than the shock reveal, is
there? And so in 2016 Holy Fuck suddenly announced the release of
Congrats, a surprise full-length two years in the making that is by any
scientific measure their holiest fuckiest release ever: "When you're
sitting still in a van and staring out the windows, you start to dream
about all the other things you want to do," says Borcherdt. "This album
is exactly what we couldn't do then."
Checking into a "proper" studio, rather than the barn in rural Ontario
where most of Holy Fuck's records were made, Congrats was
recorded by the same lineup that recorded Latin: Borcherdt, Graham
Walsh, Matt "Punchy" McQuaid, and Matt Schulz. As they worked, they
discovered that Congrats was a process of refining things, Walsh
says-both physically and philosophically. Their ad hoc arsenal of
low-budget hi-tech toys has been streamlined down to what he calls
the nervous system of the band: "What gets run through our system is
the seed of the idea for our music, and the system is what we play. This
record is almost a beginning-the first stage of a new way for us."
So consider those previous albums prelude to Holy Fuck's true
breakthrough, and recognize Congrats as the moment when Holy
Fuck take the chaos and craziness (and charm) that have always been
at the heart of their band and not so much control it as concentrate it.
Now they're heavier, wilder, leaner, sharper, more daring and more
unpredictable than ever before, on fire with the power of inspired
outsiders like Suicide, Silver Apples, Can, Mission of Burma or the
Monks or even Sun Ra, says Borcherdt, whose pursuit of his own kind
of musical purity is exactly what Holy Fuck are after. Yes, it took them
a few years, which in 2016 is supposed to be the career suicide, but
they took that time to take chances. "We were told we did everything
wrong," Borcherdt says now, laughing-but really Congrats is the
sound of a band doing absolutely everything right.1. Chimes Broken
2. Tom Tom
4. Xed Eyes
5. Neon Dad
6. House Of Glass
10. Crapture$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
NDR 60 Years Jazz Edition No. 1 - Dizzy GillespieOriginal Remastered
The story behind the bent trumpet
It is just a few days since the accident that gave the career of the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie a new boost and made the main figure of this captivating Jazz history appear that bit crazier, that bit more "Dizzier". At the end of the year 1953, according to the legend, Lorraine Gillespie, Dizzy's wife, was celebrating her birthday in Manhattan; there were a lot of musicians, dancers and actors present and, after performing for the birthday girl, Dizzy's trumpet was left lying unattended on the stage while the trumpeter was outside in front of the club giving an interview. The two dancing comedians "Stump & Stumpy" (Jimmy Cross and Eddie Hartman) were capering around the stage and one of them fell on the instrument and damaged it so that the bell was bent upwards at an angle of 45 degrees. Dizzy, the story continues, tried to play the mutilated instrument and noticed just how near to his ear his own sound suddenly was, nearer at least than with a normal trumpet. He had the damaged instrument repaired, but ordered a new trumpet from a manufacturer with exactly the same kink as the accident had caused.
If all of that is true, the first jazz recording in the archive of today's NDR was played either with the repaired trumpet or with a substitute instrument -Mister Gillespie, who came on the 9th of March 1953 with his quintet for a studio recording to Hamburg's studio 10(which at the time was merged with the Cologne broadcaster under the name of "Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk" - NWDR), is not only wearing - even though there is no audience - a decorative Tyrolean hat like the popular singing comedian and EX-GI Billy Mo; the ornately decorated trumpet he plays has no kink, it is absolutely straight (as verified in the photos by Susanne Schapowalow). The "old" Dizzy, so to speak, becomes a prominent guest on this remarkable day in Hamburg, and the "new" Dizzy has just ordered his future trade mark from the trumpet manufacturer. "60 Years Jazz in the NDR" could hardly have kicked off more auspiciously.
In 1953 John Birks Gillespie is 36 years old and a world star in Jazz. Born in 1917 in the small town of Cheraw/South Carolina, the youngest of nine children, he is known in the scene as "Dizzy" because, alongside the inventors of bebop Charlie Parker and Bud Powell, he likes to play the mad intellectual with goatee beard, Basque beret and round sunglasses. He cultivates the role of provocateur, in 1964 he even stands for election as president of the USA. However, the history of bebop has already been written when he comes to Hamburg in the spring of 1953; now the time has come for Dizzy, the spirited oddball, to reinvent himself - until in 1968 with a grandiose big band at the Berlin Jazz Festival and from then on, again and again, he sets important milestones in a great career, including NDR concerts of course. He never switches styles and sounds as drastically as, for example, Miles Davis - Dizzy was always Dizzy - but ever new musical formations led up to the "United Nations Orchestra" with whom he guested in the last years before his death on 6 January 1993 all over the world including on northern German festival stages. As often as possible, the recording vans of NDR were always there.
In March 1953, Gillespie is accompanied by the baritone saxophonist Bill Graham, a musician who in the years beforehand had been part of the "Dee Gee Days", the "Savoy Sessions" (the album of this title became a classic of modern Jazz). Graham contributed not only magnificent solos in the sessions such as now in Hamburg; he also wrote "Oh-sho-be-do-be" a light-hearted ditty about the whispered conversations of young lovers which became a genuine classic in Gillespie's repertoire. At the piano in the Hamburg studio sits Wade Legge, barely thirty years old at the time, and one of the greatest but highly underestimated and unfortunately almost forgotten talents of the time. Legge's partner of many years, Lou Hackney, plays bass, and Al Jones is on percussion.
Among other places, this European tour also brought the band to Paris; they recorded five tracks on a stop at the Hamburg studio. Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "Alone Together" by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz are followed by two of those compositions laced with Latino rhythms that Dizzy had developed with the percussionist Chano Pozo and the arranger Gil Fuller: "Manteca" and "Tin-Tin-Deo". The short but extremely sweet program ends with "I Can't Get Started", a masterpiece for posterity written by Vernon Duke and Ira Gershwin.
The power of imagination is really not sufficient to conceive of the interaction of Gillespie's quintet with the other band in this studio session - or how on this 9th of March what was probably the most important modern quintet in the German-speaking world performed alongside Dizzy. Hans Koller had formed the band around himself. Koller was born in 1921 in Vienna. After time spent as an American prisoner of war, in 1946 he returned to his home city to found a Jazz club, and the saxophone sound he made his own influenced at least a generation. The trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff was not even 25 years old in March 1953, and it is not so long since he swapped the guitar for the trombone as a professional musician. Jutta Hipp is the pianist. Born in Leipzig in 1935, she was regarded as the greatest piano talent of her time; her career took off vertically, but ended abruptly and tragically shortly after she moved to the USA. She never played piano again and she never returned to Germany. She died in 2003 in New York, almost completely forgotten. Shorty Roeder on bass and the percussionist Karl Sanner are the top rhythmists of their age - and this band of twenty-somethings (Koller is the oldest at 32, and with a certain amount of bravado he christened them the "New Jazz Stars") is showing quite clearly that Jazz in Europe wants to and will take other paths than Dizzy in the motherland of the genre.
Koller selected some quite standard fare; "The Way You Look Tonight" is followed by "Indian Summer", "You Go to My Head" is followed by "All the Things You Are". Old friends, all very familiar - but the interpretation that the quintet gives these tracks is cooler than anything considered cool or fashionable up to then in the USA. What would have been going through Mr. Gillespie's keen mind when he heard just how uncompromisingly these young Krauts and Koller were advancing the renewal of music which had begun to develop further and beyond the Dizzy standard at home in the USA ?
Anyone in the NWDR studio in Hamburg on the 9th of March 1953 who could read minds would probably have witnessed an international dialogue, which has ever since repeatedly influenced the Jazz world. "60 years Jazz in the NDR" - and what an event stands at the very beginning!Side A - Dizzy Gillespie Quartet
1. They Can't Take That Away From Me
2. Alone Together
4. Tin Tin Deo
5. I Can't Get Started
Side B - Hans Koller New Jazz Stars
6. The Way You Look Tonight
7. Indian Summer
8. You Go To My Head
9. All The Things You Are$32.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now