Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mailorder From Tequila Sunrise

After a long time waiting, an order from Tequila Sunrise has arrived. I ordered the LP-only 'A Symphony Of Sound' by The Velvet Underground but unfortunately it was out of stock and another could not be found.

What did make it was an import copy of Flower Travellin' Band's Anywhere on CD and Alexander "Skip" Spence's Oar on vinyl. A couple of old classics that I'm grateful to finally own.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jandek - The Myth Of Blue Icicles

After a delay that should have had it out in 2007, the 52nd Jandek album has finally seen the light of day in 2008. For 0790, we get a studio album by Jandek featuring acoustic guitar and vocals. I've given it one spin so far, but it sounds like there are two acoustic guitars on this album for the entirety. Vocally this album doesn't hit the higher notes of past Jandek albums. There's much less wailing making it sound like a more confident delivery of the lyrics. The guitar playing remains distinctly Jandekian but there are times when it almost becomes conventional in the approach. Overall it's one of the better studio albums this decade from Corwood Industries.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bass Communion's Pacific Codex

The latest release from Steven Wilson's Bass Communion project has finally seen the light of day on Equation Records. Originally I believe it was supposed to be a vinyl release (which makes sense considering their are two tracks that could each take up a side of vinyl), it has arrived on CD and DVD-A mixed in surround sound. While pricey for the limited release, it does come nicely packaged in a nice sleeve with a thick booklet of photography and a mini gatefold to house the discs.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Old And New From Hydra Head And New Not Not Fun

I put in a massive order to Hydra Head for some new releases and some older albums they have recently gotten back in stock.

The new stuff is Pelican's DVD/3" CD package that includes their recent 'Pink Mammoth' 10" plus an extra track on the CD. The DVD is live footage, interview and video. The other new release is from Ocrilim, guitarist Mick Barr's solo project.

Older albums include the softmore album from Isis' Mike Gallagher's solo project MGR, Lustmord's collaboration with the Melvins' Buzz Osborne, Aaron Turner's solo project House Of Low Culture's full length, Oxbow's CD/DVD compilation, and James Plotkin's Phantomsmasher.

From Not Not Fun Records I received the latest CD from The Goslings, a duo that has really created some interesting works recently. I have high expectations for this one. LPs from Family Underground (the description sounded interesting), the latest from Mudboy and a split between Christina Carter (Charalambides) and Pocahaunted came as well. Lots of new music I've never heard before.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Best Of 2007

I've had a list done for awhile now but I've kept forgetting to post my favorite albums of 2007. I managed to form a top 10 but with no order. I don't like including EPs in my top 10 so I did a separate list for them. There's also a long list of honorable mentions.

Top 10 Albums (in no order):

Citay - Little Kingdom

A fantastic album that sounds like it came out in the early '70s. Featuring mellow, acoustic folk-like tracks along with psychedelic rock of the same era.

Clutch - From Beale Street To Oblivion

Now with full-time keyboard player, Clutch have continued their streak of great albums. This album might be their bluesiest to date. They just groove on every track.

Earthless - Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky

Their live show is stunning so it's no surprise they record live in the studio with minimal overdubs. Two long jams and a nice cover of the Groundhogs to end the disc.

Big Business - Here Come The Waterworks

If I had to choose a number one album, I would probably pick this one. It took 4 or 5 listens and then really clicked with me. The vocals do tend to be similar on every track but the hooks make up for it. Love the closing mellow track after they crush you.

High On Fire - Death Is This Communion

I didn't care much for their previous album so this one came as a nice surprise. Better production, a new bass player who brought new instruments to the table and some great hooks make this my favorite metal album of the year.

Raccoo-oo-oon - Behold Secret Kingdom

Although their previous releases have more of a free folk vibe, this album has more of a psychedelic rock feel to it. Some great jams on here thanks to their awesome drummer.

Nadja - Thaumogenesis

Lots of releases from Nadja in 2007 thanks to a bunch being reissued but this was my favorite of the new material. One long track that goes from blissful to crushing throughout.

Witchcraft - The Alchemist

While their influences are still clear, they now have their own identity and it's working great. From more pop sounding songs to a song in Swedish to the epic title track, it's well written album.

Om - Pilgrimage

Nothing dramatically new compared to their previous album but this is their best songwriting to date. Every track is fantastic and has its own identity.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Se Dice Bisonte, No Bufalo

This might be my favorite solo album he has done so far. Plenty of variety in the styles of music he pulls from and the playing is top notch.

EP of The Year:
Torche - In Return

This was only a few tracks short of making my top 10. Can't wait to hear a new full length by them.

Rest of the EPs:
Porcupine Tree - Nil Recurring
Rameses III - Honey Rose
Bloodhorse - Bloodhorse
Nadja - Guilted By The Sun

Honorable mentions (in no order):
Tomahawk - Anonymous
Oxbow - The Narcotic Story
The Angelic Process - Weighing Souls With Sand
Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound - Ekranoplan
Titan - A Raining Sun Of Light & Love, For You & You & You
Wolves In The Throne Room - Two Hunters
Wooden Shjips - Wooden Shjips
Solace - The Black Black
Six Organs Of Admittance - Shelter From The Ash
Sir Richard Bishop - Polytheistic Fragments
Serpent Throne - Ride Satan Ride
Aluk Todolo - Descension
Reverend Bizarre - III: So Long Suckers
Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
Neurosis - Given To The Rising
Mammatus - The Coast Explodes
Grinderman - Grinderman
Fu Manchu - We Must Obey
Electric Orange - Morbus
Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today
Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
Do Make Say Think - You, You're A History In Rust
Deathspell Omega - Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum
Circle - Katapult
Causa Sui - Free Ride
Buried At Sea - Ghost
Brant Bjork And The Bros - Somera Sol
Bass Communion & vidnaObmana - Continuum 2
Baroness - Red Album

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pair Of AMT Albums And New Stuff From SL

Thanks to the Archive CD distro, the latest releases from Acid Mothers Temple have arrived. The first album is under the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. moniker and is a reissue from a vinyl only album back in 2002 with two bonus tracks. The latest from the Cosmic Inferno version of AMT has an album of new material coming in a nice mini gatefold sleeve with a pop-up.

From Southern Lord came the new CD from Earth which has been in the can for awhile now. When I saw them back in July of last year they were done recording and played a bunch of new tracks. I think they upped the ante with this one.

To celebrate Earth's tour with Sir Richard Bishop, both artists have a new "tour only" split 12" album featuring side-length tracks from Richard and Dylan. Also released was a beautiful picture disk version of Earth's 'Hibernaculum' that comes in a heavy cardboard sleeve. It's definitely one of the better sounding picture disks I've heard.

Friday, February 8, 2008

ATH Order #1

The first order of 2008 from All That's Heavy has arrived. I picked some new 2007 releases and reissues along with a couple of older albums.

They had great deals on the reissues of BigElf's 'Hex' and 'Closer To Doom' that I couldn't pass up. I've been meaning to pick up both of those for years now.

As far as 2007 releases go I bought the new Reverend Bizarre double album which is sadly going to be their final release as a band along with the self-titled debut from The Bakerton Group who is the band Clutch minus their singer/guitar player.

Having just gotten into Reverend Bizarre, I picked up their last album along with a double disc reissue of an older album. For a freebie I finally have Solace's 13 which is now back in print.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Gown's 'For The Maples'

The first release of what promises to be an amazing year from Three Lobed Recordings has arrived. Gown, aka Andrew MacGregor, has teamed up with Sunburned Hand Of The Man for an album titled "For The Maples". Another fantastically produced album from Three Lobed. The LP is on black 180 vinyl and comes with a pressed CD of the vinyl material in a silk screened jacket. And for pre-ordering a bonus CD has been included with a 20 minute track.

Having just spun the record for the first time, I'm loving both sides of it. The first track has some vocals on it but it's nothing but some great jamming the rest of the way out. The second side-long track is a real psychedelic rock burner. Absolutely a fantastic way to start 2008 for Three Lobed.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Blackout Party, Earthless and Blue Cheer at the Casbah, San Diego February 1, 2008

Considering how long the headlining band has been around I was expecting a very diverse crowd (age-wise) and I was correct. Lots of older folks showing up to see the mighty Blue Cheer rock the Casbah. The house music was particularly good which is usually not the case for some shows. Turns out they had Brainticket DJ's spinning some vinyl records from the past and present.

First up was The Blackout Party. Instead of checking them out on the web before the show I decided to let their live show be my introduction to their music. They play a style of country-folk rock music with lyrics heavy on drinking, women and other topics usually associated with country and blues. I like how they have a guitarist doubling on flute and a lap slide guitar player (and apparently they also have a fiddle player). They had some nice jams but ultimately didn't suck me into their set.

Switching gears to first of two power trios for the night, Earhless continues to melt people's faces. Seems like every time I see them they are winning over people in the crowd. Reuben was on fire tonight on the kit. They're using much variation in their jams these days.

Having been around since the late 60s, Blue Cheer have been a huge influence on fuzzy, bluesy hard rock bands. The trio sounded massive with the original rhythm section of Dickie Peterson and Paul Whaley and with fantastic guitar playing from Duck MacDonald. With a mix of classics and new cuts, they got better as the set progressed. They played most of (if not all of) their debut album 'Vincebus Eruptum' with the highlights being 'Parchment Farm', 'Sumertime Blues' and a 25+ minute version of 'Doctor Please' that included a drum solo. 'Just A Little Bit' was the only song from their second album I recognized but it was enough of their classic songs to make me happy. Their new tracks blended in well and while I've only listened to their new album one time, it sounded great. It's great to these veteran rockers showing the young kids how it's done.