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    New Releases & Restock Items For This Week!   
    Monday, January 19 2009 @ 10:47 am CST
    Contributed by: Dave

    Here's the beginning of this week's list. More coming soon!

    BON IVER- "Blood Bank" 12"/CDEP (Jagjaguwar)
    On sale tuesday Jan. 20th.
    The four song Blood Bank collection continues down the path forged by 2008's critically acclaimed For Emma, Forever Ago.
    While still tied to the identity of the place where it was born, Bon Iver is no longer an unplanned entity synonymous with Justin Vernon. It is an idea, a place and sentiment that has now become as international as it is timeless. From the title track's remembrance of the winter warmth we seek, to the summer love tribute of b-side gem "Babys," Bon Iver's snow-blanketed harmonies live across the seasons. Still, there is a reverence for sabbatical, solitude and the winding down of time. As much as Emma is about the cold, the Blood Bank collection is about the warmth that gets you through it. You can feel the air move. Like a fire you've been stoking for hours and finally got to sustain itself, the heat blisters your face while your back is frozen solid.
    Bon Iver has grown to include more than what was available at the much-fabled Wisconsin cabin, such as piano, slide guitar, and vocoder. As Justin layers on harmonies in the meditative R&B a capella "Woods", he declares "I'm building a still to slow down the time." It is as poetic as it is necessary. Both expansive and intimate, these four songs explore the darker and lighter natures of the seasons and what they signify, and offer a dynamic glimpse into the natural energy and refined craftsmanship that characterize Justin Vernon's music.

    ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS- "The Crying Light" CD on sale tuesday Jan. 20th (Secretly Canadian)
    The LP version will be available on Feb. 3rd.
    Antony and the Johnson's breakthrough second album I Am a Bird Now won the UK's Mercury Prize in 2005. The success that followed introduced many to a pioneering soul singer exploring themes that traversed darkness and light, life and death, male and female. Antony's inimitable voice sparked the interest of artists ranging from Bjork to Hercules and Love Affair, resulting in a series of critically acclaimed collaborations.
    The Crying Light is the highly anticipated full-length follow-up to I Am a Bird Now. Here, Antony shifts the thematic focus and explores his relationship with the elemental and natural world, and the intimacy of the Johnsons' sound is enveloped by subtle symphonic arrangements. The first moments of "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground" set the stage, conjuring an animist world with enigmatic lyrics, painterly clarinet lines, and a lilting piano that cradles the listener over a menacing quarry of strings. The spiraling waltz of "Epilepsy Is Dancing" and the joyful ricochets of "Kiss My Name" are to follow. The record's centerpiece, "Another World" traces despair in the face of a vanishing landscape. The hypnotic vocal on "Dust and Water" unfurls like smoke, and the track "Everglade", co-arranged with Nico Muhly, concludes the album. Here Antony realizes that his "...Limbs (have) stopped Crying for Home..." and falls into a musical reverie that seems inspired in its sense of pastoral abandon by the legendary Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, whose eerie portrait graces the cover of The Crying Light .
    Antony and the Johnsons' music bridges the gap between avant-classical music and the blues, and Antony and his band have sold out performances from Carnegie Hall to the Apollo. The Crying Light may become one of those albums that becomes emblematic of its time, a reflection of the momentous changes that we are facing, within each of our private worlds as well as collectively, and how we are summoning the courage to start moving through them.

    Swervedriver- "Mezcal Head" CD (Hi-Fi Soul)
    Remastered limited edition deluxe package with extended booklet and 4 bonus tracks.

    Swervedriver- "Raise" CD (Hi-Fi Soul)
    Remastered limited edition deluxe package with extended booklet and 4 bonus tracks.

    Jeb Loy Nichols- "Parish Bar" CD+LP comes with free download (Compass)
    Brand new CD/LP from the former front man of the Fellow Travellers, who were a wonderfully unique band who morphed country with dub for a label called Okra records.
    PARISH BAR "was made at at home, over the past couple years, in between other projects. Some of the tracks came quickly, other tracks crawled into being, a layer at a time", explains Jeb Loy Nichols.
    "It all started because I was involved in doing a series of woodcuts entitled Ghost Yard. Ghost Yard was a public park in the Bronx where Afrika Bambaataa birthed Zulu Nation and helped bring about the age of hip-hop. When I lived in NYC from 1979-1983, I went to the parties that Bambaataa threw there. Like the music, the parties were grass roots affairs, a collection of sounds and influences that said: what you see is what you get! This is who we are and that's what I wanted to say with PARISH BAR. 'This is who I was and who I am!' No big deal- just relax and have a good time!"
    "The first song COUNTRYMUSICDISCO45 was based on a real happening - I was at a dance and we were all dancing to great disco grooves when out of nowhere the DJ dropped a Charlie Rich record. It was a great moment. It reminded me of being in Jamaica and going to the local parish bar and listening to a dub session that lasted all night. Finally, as the sun was coming up, they put on some country tracks. It's all roots music".
    "So I've included some covers, some jazz, some soul- all the stuff that matters. It's an in-between time record - this is what it sounds like at my house".

    Fripp & Eno- "No Pussyfooting" CDx2 (DGM)
    (No Pussyfooting) is a 1973 ambient music album by the British musicians Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. (No Pussyfooting) was the first of three major collaborations between the musicians, growing out of Eno's early tape recording experiments and Fripp's ability to input music with an electric guitar.
    (No Pussyfooting) was recorded in three days over a period of two years. It was released very closely to Eno's own solo album Here Come the Warm Jets (1973) and is considered to be one of his early experiments in ambient music.
    This is the new expanded two CD version with remixes.

    The Gourds- "Haymaker!" CD (Yep Roc)
    "Gourds Music" has its next chapter. Unclassifiable Austin sons The Gourds are back with Haymaker!, The crooked cousin to their critically acclaimed last album, Noble Creatures. On Haymaker! the band circles back, digs beneath and climbs over their gin soaked music roots with an album of grass-fed cosmic country. Rattling flourishes of soul, swamp rock and gospel rhythms spill out all over the place. Psychic songwriting apparatus Jimmy Smith, Kevin Shinyribs Russell and Max Johnston continue their chronicling of askew Texas characters who populate the subterranean Lone Star State, a world of 'Fossil Contender's', 'Luddite's', 'Valentines' and women with skin like chocolate milk, so beautiful they make married men feel no guilt. Haymaker! will undoubtedly slake the thirst of hardcore and fledgling Gourds fans alike and tip unsuspecting ears to the colorful Texas thump being laid down by this legendary band.

    King Crimson- "Deja Vrooom" DVD (DGM)
    Reissue of this 1995 concert from Japan. 19 live performances.

    Animal Collective- "Merriweather Post Pavilion" CD (Domino)
    Brand new CD which goes on sale tuesday. LP should be back in stock soon.

    Metallica- "S/T: The Black Album" LPx4 (WB Music)
    The Deluxe vinyl package features four 45 rpm 180g heavyweight black vinyl discs pressed at RTI in four single-pocket jackets in a box with a universal "Louder Faster Heavier" branded bellyband. The pressing was half-speed mastered from the original analog tapes at Mobile Fidelity, for the ultimate audiophile listening experience.

    Metallica- "S/T: The Black Album" LPx2 (WB Music)
    Vinyl reissue of Metalica's self-titled fifth album, aka the Black Album, one of the biggest selling albums in history.

    Iron & Wine- "The Shepards Dog" CD (Sub Pop)
    Back in stock, with LP to follow shortly.

    Jack White & Alicia Keys- "Another Way To Die" 7" (J)
    Here it is only 6 months late, but what the heck! Jack White (White Stripes) duets with AK on this theme song from the James Bond movie. Surely a collector's item on 7" vinyl. What next!

    Fennesz- "Black Sea" LP (Touch)
    Black Sea is the fourth studio album by the Austrian electronic musician Fennesz.

    Chrome- "Blood On The Moon" LPx2 (Cleopatra)
    Cleopatra reissues this album from 1981. Inspired by mid-70s punk rock and rock groups such as Hawkwind and Black Sabbath, Chrome's music incorporated synthesizers and samples, and frequently emphasized themes of science fiction and paranoia. Though their mainstream success was limited, Chrome are now regarded as one of the earliest industrial rock groups.

    Devendra Banhart- "Smoky Rolls Down Thunder Canyon" LPx2 (XL)
    Finally out on LP, and only 18 months late! (this seems to be a theme this week). Double LP on 180 gram vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

    Lucinda Williams- "Little Honey" CD+LP (New West)
    Restock of Lucinda's latest album in both formats. LP contains free MP3 download.

    Tool- "Undertow" LPx2 (Zoo)
    Restock on double LP.

    Dropkick Murphys- "Sing Loud, Sing Proud" CD+LP (Epitaph)

    Dropkick Murphys- "Warriors" CD+LP (Epitaph)

    Dropkick Murphys- "Do Or Die" CD (Epitaph)

    Dropkick Murphys- "Gang's All Here" CD (Epitaph)

    Dropkick Murphys- "Blackout" CD (Epitaph)

    Roxy Music- ""S/T" LP (Capitol)
    Roxy Music's 1st album. Limited edition reissue on 180 gram vinyl. Original packaging.

    Roxy Music- ""For Your Pleasure" LP (Capitol)
    Roxy Music's 2nd album. Limited edition reissue on 180 gram vinyl. Original packaging.

    Social Distortion- "S/T" LP 180 gram vinyl (Sony)
    Reissue of this popular album from SD.

    Beach House- "Devotion" CD+LPx2 (Carpark)
    Restock on LP from this lo-key electronic pop duo. CD also here.

    Cream- "Wheels Of Fire" LPx2 (Back On Black)
    Restock on double LP. One LP is studio recordings and the other is live. Fantastic live version of Crossroads.

    Joy Division- "Unknown Pleasures" LP 180 gram (Rhino)
    Back in stock on LP.

    She & Him- "Volume One" LP (Merge)
    Recent collaboration between M.Ward & Zooey Deschanel.

    M.Ward- "Post War" LP (Merge)
    M.Ward vinyl has been hard to find lately. This one is finally back in stock. Look for new M.Ward CD+LP coming out soon!

    Johnny Cash- "With His Hot & Blue Guitar" LP (Get Back)
    Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar is the debut album of country singer Johnny Cash, released on 11 October 1957. The album contained four of his hit singles: "I Walk the Line," "Cry Cry Cry," "So Doggone Lonesome," and "Folsom Prison Blues."

    Santogold- "S/T" LP (Warner)
    Santogold, the collaboration between Santi White and former Stiffed bandmate John Hill, first began receiving notice in late 2007, thanks mostly to the release of the single "Creator," which seemed to point White in the direction of an M.I.A. knockoff. The debut full-length, however, shows Santogold to be a unique group, one that pulls equally from dub, pop-punk, hip-hop, electro, and rock without succumbing to the archetypes of any.

    Fleet Foxes- "S/T" CD (Warner)
    Back in stock.

    Arcade Fire- "Funeral" LP (Merge)
    Restock on LP.

    Arcade Fire- "Neon Bible" LPx2 (Merge)
    Restock on LP. Comes with free MP3 download. I still have copies of the long since gone 3D box CD version.

    Bob Dylan- "Blood On The Tracks" LP 180 gram (Columbia)
    Back in stock.

    Bob Dylan- "Nashville Skyline" LP 180 gram (Sundazed)
    Back in stock.

    The Band- "Music From Big Pink" LP (Capitol)
    Restock. Reissued on heavyweight vinyl in original packaging.

    Bad Religion- "Recipe For Hate" LP (Epitaph)

    Bad Religion- "All Ages Show" LP (Epitaph)

    NOFX- "Heavy Petting Zoo" LP (Epitaph)

    NOFX- "So Long & Thanks For All The Shoes" LP (Epitaph)

    Ellen Allien And Apparat - "Orchestra of Bubbles" LPx2 (BPitch Control)
    Disc unheard, the collaboration between DJs Ellen Allien (of the BPitch Control label) and Apparat (Sascha Ring of the Shitkatapult imprint) is far from a natural match. Both are iconoclastic with different approaches to electronic music in general and dance music in particular, though it should be noted from the outset that Orchestra of Bubbles is not their first collaboration. They've worked on remix projects together, and done one another's remixes for a few years now. Allien has worked tirelessly to engage the club dancefloor with her albums and 12"s, whereas Ring has taken a more aesthetic and strategic approach. The end result is that the two don't square off so much as find a strange albeit delightful common ground between techno and IDM.

    Forbidden Dimension - "Cool Sound Outta Hell" LP (Saved By Vinyl)
    The Forbidden Dimension began originally as a one-man band in 1988, but over the course of 19 years, Jackson Phibes (Earth name: Tom Bagley) has worked with a host of other local Calgary musician pals. In 2006, FD began recording A Cool Sound Outta Hell, the first full-length project since 1997's Widow's Walk. The album comprises songs worked up secretly during the intervening years along with a clutch of brand new stompers honed in the live setting. It's a surefire combination of catchy garage rock, psychedelic mood modifiers and ornate protometallic ravers. The FD were delighted to find that Calgary's Saved By Vinyl label was expressing interest in doing the full 12-inch vinyl release, a first for the band which has continued priding itself on keeping it fun, loud and creepy-assed. Since starting out in the Calgary-based garage rock band Color Me Psycho in 1985, Phibes has been dishing out macabre-tinged, psychedelic punk rock for over two decades. CMP managed to stay together for 3 years of tyranny and stagnation, releasing a few tapes and one full-length piece of vinyl (the now collector's item Pretend I'm Your Father album). Immediately following the demise of his first ill-fated stab at the smalltime, Phibes set about initiating a headlong dive into the B-movie rock ghettos with the Forbidden Dimension. Three critically well-received, full-length CDs were recorded and released by the now defunct Cargo Records. These, along with a brace of singles on various small labels, found an ardent international cult audience. A fourth CD was released by an Ann Arbor, MI label, Reanimator Records, in 2000. This collection of home-made, one-man band recordings reached #3 on the !Earshot chart that summer. "no one could ever match Phibes's witty graveyard songwriting and funny approach to the macabre." Vue Weekly

    Isis - "Panopticon" LPx2 (Robotic Empire)
    Restock on double LP.

    Jay Reatard - "Singles 06-07" LPx2 (Matador)
    Now available on vinyl. “Over the past six months, Matador has celebrated the signing of Memphis boy-wonder Jay Reatard by releasing a series of highly prized limited edition 7” singles, with each one being put out in a progressively more limited run. Needless to say, the first 5 sold out instantly upon release. Frenzy for the 7"s was so insane that it brought down the Matador server twice, once with 10K attempts to purchase in a one-minute period. This collection, Matador Singles ‘08, compiles all six tracks and their respective B-sides onto one release, wth the exception of the Deerhunter track from single #4, we make up for it by including "I’m Watching You", which is exclusive to this release. Every song is a perfect snarling pop-punk gem, but the collection evolves interestingly (and erratically) from punk to pop... track 13 is Jay's attempt to write a song in the style of Kiwi songsmiths the Tall Dwarfs which uses the word "cunt." He succeeds. Available on CD and HQ180 vinyl with booklet and complimentary MP3 coupon.” Jesu - "Lifeline" 12" (Hydrahead)
    Four brand new jams from our favorite pot-addled limey genius, Justin K. Broadrick? One of which, "Storm Comin' On," features a guest shot from ex-Swans vocalist Jane "The Living" Jarboe?”

    Kathleen Edwards - "Asking For Flowers" LP (Rounder)
    Back in stock finally! On LP of course.

    Knoxville Girls - "S/T" LP (In The Red)
    At first blush, New York's Knoxville Girls seem like throwbacks. Their eponymous In the Red debut begins with a reverb-y instrumental called "Sixty-Five Days Ago" that might as well have been recorded 45 years ago -- soupy reverb coats the air, and three guitars pick out an ode to teenage death and leather. But by the time "Soda Pop Girl" skips coyly down the lane, it's clear that these Girls (they're all guys, incidentally) aren't limiting their powers of reinterpretation to rock & roll's golden age. No, "Soda Pop," "Two Time Girl," and "NYC Briefcase Blues" all swirl their '50s hair grease in a puddle of fuzzy garage rock goo. These guys are down with swarthy and messy after-hours revisionism; they seem like slyly aging punk rockers singing Little Willie John covers. A honking sax joins the din for the Ray Charles nugget "I Had a Dream," in which the Girls even impersonate the sashaying female backup vocals of vintage R&B (again, it must be said, the Knoxville Girls are fellas). While the only thing that's bad on this record are the attitudes, its best moment might still be "One Sided Love." Its groove is dirty, giddy, and irresistible -- like doing the Tighten Up during church. Knoxville Girls finally pulls into the station -- steaming, wheezing -- with the eight-minute-plus jam "Low Cut Apron/Sugar Fix." As you might expect, frontman Jerry Teel makes it clear that cornbread and black-eyed peas aren't the only thing cooking in his old lady's oven.

    LCD Soundsystem - "Big Ideas" 12" (DFA)
    Back in stock! Those alchemists of cool, LCD Soundsystem knuckle down to some new material having fully milked the excellent Sound Of Silver for all it was worth. 'Big Ideas' was commissioned for the soundtrack to the movie 21, which if my pop culture knowledge serves me correctly, is about MIT students playing blackjack. A fine way to spend 90 minutes or so of your time, I'm sure. Well, whatever, this is exemplary rhythm section-centric stuff, boasting a great set of vocal harmonies and some sweet staccato synth passages all underpinned by a steady, motorik groove. The B-side is a remix by Babytalk that resituates the track in a very now-ish '80s disco mode. (online review)

    LCD Soundsystem - "Give It Up" 7" (DFA)
    Follow up to the best of the DFA 12”s, the latest from DFA co-founder/producer James Murphy. More rockist, and plenty good, a-side with a bit of chaos on the flip. Single of the week in NME. Different color sleeve than UK.

    LCD Soundsystem - "Sound Of Silver" LPx2 (DFA)
    Their most recent full length. Back in stock on double LP.

    LCD Soundsystem - "Tribulations" 12" (DFA)
    Featuring remixes by Tiga and Lindstrom, plus the Shallow version recorded for a BBC Zane Lowe Radio 1 session, and the original.

    Mammatus - "Coast Explodes" LP (Holy Mountain)
    "Dead Meadow/Black Sabbath sounding vocals, swirling guitar riffs, and just enough stoner in its rock. For fans of Comets on Fire, Green Milk from the Planet Orange, Boris, and the bands previously mentioned."

    Mammatus - "S/T" LP (Holy Mountain)
    "Impressive collection of stoner drone psychedelic jam rock. While Mammatus hasn’t been around for very long, they deliver on just about every level. Their self-titled debut draws heavily on the cornerstones of mind warping, heavy music – Hawkwind, Sleep, Floyd, Sabbath. You’re in for a hell of a lot of cosmic wandering as the band stretches out and cuts loose with some creative playing. It’s mostly instrumental, although ethereal vocals in the style of Dead Meadow do creep in from time to time. I was really impressed with this one. It’s both heavy, soothing, and altogether engrossing. Bottom line, if you want your head caved in and you want to feel really good about it, get this album."

    Whitechapel - "This Is Exile" LP (Metal Blade)
    The burgeoning southwestern United States "deathcore" scene gets another kick in the teeth from Knoxville, TN's Whitechapel with This Is Exile, their first full-length for Metal Blade. A quick glance at the cover art (razor wire, emaciated dude with a bag on his head) and the song titles ("Daemon [The Procreated]," "Messiahbolical") pretty much sums up what's inside, but Whitechapel (named for Jack the Ripper's preferred London hunting grounds) are capable of more than just eating the microphone and playing relentlessly fast -- standout cuts like "Possession," the instrumental "Death Becomes Him," and the blistering title cut, the latter of which yields the album's best lyric ("The world is ours and you're totally fucking dead"), are rarely predictable. To be sure, the "heavy, choppy chromatic riffs wrapped around an indecipherable monster voice" style that fuels the genre is well utilized, but around every corner is a sneaky melodic lead, time-signature change, or smart production trick that elevates This Is Exile above the usual death/metalcore sonic assault.

    One Day As A Lion- "S/T" LP (Epitaph)
    Here it is...finally. One Day as a Lion are Zack de la Rocha, lead vocalist (and current as of July 2008) for Rage Against the Machine, and Jon Theodore, former drummer with the Mars Volta. De la Rocha and Theodore have been reportedly working on this project since 2006. The end result is a volatile mix of rhythm, noise, and radical poetry. De la Rocha is no stranger to the great political poets; his brand of rapping and freestyling has always been saturated with their influence as well as his own constantly evolving political thought. Many of these writers are cited in the set's acknowledgements -- Jimmy Santiago Baca, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and Junot Diaz, to name just four. The name of the band comes from a near mythic photograph by the great George Rodriguez published in 1970: "It's better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb." The slogan is a tag centered in a frame on a white wall in Boyle Heights. Knowing this, you might believe you have an idea of what these songs are about, but you'd be wrong; you only think you do. Yes, these five songs, clocking in at just over 20 minutes, are an intense racket of sociopolitical noise. Theodore's drums add the taut, tightly wound pulse of the lion, the phrase, the breath, the heart of the sound, while de la Rocha's keyboards blurt, pulse, and skronk a post-9/11 warning siren throughout. Some nonsense has been made of this entire project being influenced by Led Zeppelin -- that seems to be the thing to write in 2008. Truth is, one track, "Ocean View," touches on Zep's mighty tune "The Ocean" in the melody of its refrain, but its lyrical content is in stark, even violent contrast to the former hard rock heroes as de la Rocha spits atop some mighty organic beats and squalling synths: "...Oceans of tears now rise aflame to tear them down/Oceans of past crimes now fill our hearts to tear them down...." It's poetry, it's political, it's mysterious -- until you sit down and let this killer track knock you flat on your back with its rage, power, and knowledge of reckoning. The rest you are going to have to check out, save to say that all five of these cuts are essential, pure kinetic anger motivated by love for people (to paraphrase Che Guevara). (AMG)

    Weakerthans- "Reconstruction Site" LP (Epitaph)

    Decemberists- "Picaresque" LP (KRS)
    Back in stock on vinyl.

    Circle Jerks- "Group Sex" CD+LP (Frontier/Combat)

    David Byrne & Brian Eno- "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today" CD (Opal)
    Brand new collaboration between DB & BE. Sweeping & majestic, in it's electronic pop opulence.

    Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez- "Why Is Bear Billowing?" CD (Car Park)
    Outsider folk with a huge debt to early Donovan. Nice stuff (made my top 50 of 2008).

    Fu Manchu- "No One Rides For Free" CD (Sweet Nothing)
    Back in stock.

    The Raconteurs- "Old Enough" bluegrass version 7" (WB Music)
    Both formats include the same two tracks - "bluegrass versions" of "Old Enough" and "Top Yourself".

    Palace Music- "Viva Last Blues" CD+LP (Drag City)
    Back in stock on both formats. This incarnation of Palace, one of its more impressive, sees frontman Will Oldham turning out some of the strongest bleak country-rock in his career and taking the music in a few intriguing and even upbeat directions. With a great supporting cast that includes, among others, Sebadoh's Jason Loewenstein on drums and Oldham's brother Ned on bass, the group busts out laid-back twangy tunes that can really rock when the opportunity comes up. Most notably, tracks like "Work Hard/Play Hard" and the opening "More Brother Rides" are brimming with energy that may not overwhelm, but certainly provides a hefty backbone. Alternately, slower brooding tracks like the longing "New Partner" see the band proving their chops in a more refined setting. Oldham's cracking backcountry voice may be a bit of an acquired taste, but it's worth the time, as his inflections are capable of powerful feelings and certain honesty. The Palace team has put out many a record, but as far as accessible and slightly upbeat musical ruminations go, Viva Last Blues certainly sees the players near the top of their game. Things are a little thicker and dirtier than on the more laid-back acoustic records this prolific artist has put out, but the rock approach adds worlds to the delivery and creates a powerful palette for the equally important lyrics. Oldham is a truly underrated American talent, and this is among his best work, so take the time to find it.

    Knife- "Silent Shout" CDx2+DVD (Mute)
    Deluxe version of this album. Vinyl is also in stock as well as the regular version of the CD.

    Kings Of Leon- "Because Of The Night" LPx2 (Warner)
    Double LP back in stock.

    Langhorne Slim- "S/T" CD (Kemado)
    Outside of Philadelphia I was born and raised, and in the playground I spent quite a few of my younger days. At the time I had a preference for brunettes but years pass and we change. When my tendencies turned toward blondes I began to hear the call of the big rotten apple and at eighteen, away I went. Gone were the lonely, sweaty summer nights of PA. The crickets were still cricken’ but not in my ears. I was in New York and I was looking for action. Some crave love, some seek danger but I was on the hunt for open mics and not to brag—I found ‘em. In a section of the city once referred to as alphabet on the lower east side there lurks a lot of white guys with acoustic guitars. This minor mass of songsters would meet one, two and sometimes three times a week in the back of bars, smoking, drinking and sharing with each other our newest creations. It was there that I met some good friends and came of age beginning to play my own shows and tour.
    I’m not sure that there’s any other kind, but the songs I write are love songs. Some are literal, about specific events, people and relationships in my life; a form of therapy, self-help for the flowers and the shit along the road of life. Others come from a place far more mysterious. Either way, I’m in it to capture the feeling, the truth of an emotion, changing only names and events to protect the innocent. At the moment, my favorite songs on the album are “Diamonds & Gold”, “Spinning Compass” and “Restless.” Some came out of the blue, others took some sweat but if the feeling’s there, then you’ve got something and it don’t make a damn difference how it happened. I hope that you feel it.

    Elder- "S/T" CD (Meteor City)
    "Crushing and destroying everything in its path comes the new offering from Massachusettes' psychedelic doomers, Elder. Like a trip into ancient times of barbarism with enough psychedelics to last you until the middle ages."

    Eighteen Wheels Burning- "Tweak`d Out, Strung Up & Redlined " CD (Meteor City)
    "Bringing the power trio into the 21st century, Eighteen Wheels Burning rolls over you like a ten ton rig! Tripped out guitars, a pounding rhythm section, sonic vocals and featuring ex-members of The Want (Southern Lord), "Tweak'd Out, Strung Up & Redlined" is set to establish Eighteen Wheels Burning as one of the premier bands on the stoner rock scene."

    The Beach Boys- "Pet Sounds" LP (Capitol)
    Reissued on heavyweight vinyl.

    Against Me- "New Wave" LP (Sire)
    Back in stock on LP that comes with a bonus CD version.

    Friendly Fires- "S/T" CD (XL)
    On their self-titled debut, Friendly Fires serve up a very slick -- and very appealing -- mix of synth pop and dance-rock with unexpected nods to shoegaze that suggest the hard-edged, nu-rave sound might blur into something more interesting. The band crafts a big, hooky sound that loves melody, rhythms, and choruses equally, especially on "Jump in the Pool," which is just as fun and refreshing as its title suggests (the tropical-sounding drum breaks don't hurt), and "In the Hospital," a sleek track that sounds like the D.F.A. collaborating with Franz Ferdinand on an especially poppy day.

    Foals- "Antidotes" CD (Sub Pop)
    New group from Oxford, England. Warbly indie pop that's right in there with the Arcade Fires of the world. LP expected soon.

    Nick Drake- "Pink Moon" CD (Island)
    Nick's final album. Dark & haunting acoustic folk.

    David Holmes- "Holy Pictures" CD (Universal)
    David Holmes is set to release his long-awaited fourth solo album The Holy Pictures, an album whose incubation has lasted almost the entire length of Holmes’ career. In terms of its musical direction, The Holy Pictures shares with Holmes’ other work a rich and idiosyncratic fusion of influences. The first single, I Heard Wonders, (which will be released with a remix by Andrew Weatherall amongst others) calls to mind The Velvet Underground, Blondie and La Dusseldorf. David teamed up with Martin Rev from Suicide to write the lyrics for this track. Threaded through the rest of the album are myriad other influences, from the Jesus and Mary Chain through Soft Machine and The Beach Boys, to Daniel Johnson and early Eno and Lanois. As well as Rev, The Holy Pictures features collaborations with Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins. The album was recorded in Belfast, which, given its themes, seems only fitting.

    Ponytail- "Ice Cream Spiritual" CD (We Are Free)
    Kamehameha (Their 1st album) introduced the band's highly concentrated, highly combustible noise-punk-pop in saturated outbursts; it sounded like someone threw a few mikes into the fray and then got out of the way of the band's blazing onslaughts. Ice Cream Spiritual! sounds much more produced and premeditated, and its songs are longer and maybe a touch more involved, but none of this halts Ponytail's sugar-buzz energy -- if anything, the album's clarity gives a better idea of just how big the band's sound can be than Kamehameha did.

    Atlas Sound- "Let The Blind....." CD+LPx2 (Kranky)
    One of the latest true queer art punks to emerge from the cracked pavement of southern suburban sprawl, Atlas Sound is the solo moniker of DEERHUNTER frontman/provocateur Bradford Cox. Here on his debut album, Cox/Sound moves out of dank nightclubs filled with eternal existential drone punk, and relaxes at home in his Atlanta bedroom. And this is, essentially, a bedroom album, a collage, mixing the garage rock and ambient electronic influences previously explored with Deerhunter in a new context, with newly explored recording techniques, mainly laptop-based, learned with guidance from Kranky artist Nudge’s Brian Foote. The result is 14 songs of melancholy and mania. This is a true solo album, entirely created and produced by a single person.

    RZA- "World According To RZA" LPx2 (Virgin)
    Released in 2003.

    The Unintended- "S/T" CD (Blue Fog)
    Back in stock. This band features Rick White (Eric's Trip) as well as members of the Sadies & Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor.

    Death Angel- "Killing Season" LPx2 (Nuclear Blast)
    1st time in stock on LP.

    Exodus- "Atrocity Exhibition" LPx2 (Nuclear Blast)
    1st time in stock on LP.

    Meshuggah- "obZen" LPx2 (Nuclear Blast)
    Back in on double LP.

    Antony & The Johnsons- "Another World" CDEP+12" (Secretly Canadian)
    Out for a few weeks now, Another World was the teaser leading up to the release of the full length which you can see at the top of the list.

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