March 4th, 2014 , by John Beeler
The wait is over.
Linda Perhacs’ second album, The Soul of All Natural Things, is out today, over four decades after the release of her cult debut. Coaxed back into the studio the generations of fans that rediscovered her first disc, Parallelograms, she has created a sophomore album that once again summons that LP’s youthful spirit, without compromising its forward-looking experimental streak.
The intervening years have done little to dampen the idealism of that debut, says The New York Times, praising the “aura of mystical innocence” Perhacs radiates on her sophomore effort, as well as her music’s “craft and innovation.” Produced by Fernando Perdomo and Chris Price and featuring guest appearances by post-Perhacs singer/songwriters Julia Holter and Ramona “Nite Jewel” Gonzalez, The Soul of All Natural Things is now available for purchase as a CD, vinyl LP, or digital download.
February 17th, 2014 , by John Beeler
“Rhythm of Devotion” is out on Soundcloud. A lyrics video for “Alcohol,” another new single, is up for listening on Soundcloud.
Sisyphus will be on on March 19th, 2014.
February 17th, 2014 , by John Beeler
Otherworldly and ahead of its time, Linda Perhacs’ 1970 debut, Parallelograms is a window into the time and place of its creation: sun-soaked Los Angeles at the dawn of the ’70s. So it’s fitting that she should christen her second album, The Soul of All Natural Things, with a tour that brings her brand-new music to her fans up and down the Pacific Coast.
Her new record comes out on March 4, and on March 22, she’s celebrating with a concert at Seattle’s Fremont Abbey Arts Center, followed by a pair of dates in Oregon. March 23 will see her perform in Portland, at The Old Church, and on the 25, she’ll be singing at Eugene, Oregon’s Cozmic Pizza. In California the next night, Perhacs will play The Chapel on March 26, followed by a date at Hollywood’s Masonic Lodge on March 27. Finally, she’ll head inland for a March 29 date at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace in Pioneertown, CA. See the details of her tour here.
Championed by fans ranging from Daft Punk to Devendra Banhart, Linda Perhacs has only grown in stature in the four decades since the start of her musical career. Her return to recording is less a “comeback” than the next step in her long-awaited arrival.
Hear “Freely,” the latest single, here:
January 15th, 2014 , by John Beeler
Photo © Pascal Amoyel.
“Their music,” says NPR’s Robin Hilton—”a restrained, homespun mix of folk and pop with undeniably sweet harmonies—certainly ranks among the loveliest to grace the NPR Music offices.”
Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz, better known as the singing duo Lily & Madeleine, had a huge year in 2013 with the release of their first EP, The Weight of the Globe, and a self-titled LP last fall, and now they’re gearing up for another. They’ve just kicked it off with a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR, with a rendition of three songs from that LP that are now available to stream or download here at NPR.org.
The two sisters, Hilton adds, “aren’t the youngest musicians ever to play the Tiny Desk, but,” at 16 and 18, respectively, “they come pretty close.”
Their youth scarcely comes across in their tight, confident musical performances, but it does mean that those performances have been relatively rare. That’s changing this year, with a generous string of tour dates in North America and the UK in the first half of 2014.
After a pair of dates in their native Midwest including playing with at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Happy Hour (and in Chicago and Indianapolis on Jan 25 and 31, respectively), Lily & Madeleine are heading to Scotland and England from Feb 10-15, followed by concerts across the US from April 16 to June 20 plus a June 21 show in Vancouver.
A full schedule of Lily & Madeleine’s upcoming shows is available on their website.
December 23rd, 2013 , by John Beeler
Merry Christmas and happy holidays, from our family to you and yours! Whatever you might celebrating this season, and however you might be celebrating it, we hope you’ll enjoy some seasonal tunes our friends have put together for you.
Half-handed Cloud, Liz Janes, Danielson, and a heavenly host of other terrific artists have covered movements from the first part of Handel’s Messiah—that’s the Christmas part—to Familyre’s Messiah – Part 1, a charity compilation on Sounds Familyre Records. It only costs $4 to download the whole album here or send it as an instant gift, and all proceeds go to the Red Cross to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Another project featuring Half-handed Cloud’s John Ringhofer, The Season’s Glreekins, is also offering their very rare, self-titled 1998 tape as a present to you. Only 150 copies of the original issue were ever dubbed by the Glreekins, a seasonal band from Cattanooga, but the Glreekins are giving it away again here on bandcamp to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
My Brightest Diamond just released a cover of Bob Dylan and Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love,” which you can hear here.
So get someplace warm, and treat your ears to a little Christmas cheer. Here’s wishing you peace, joy and beautiful music this holiday season.
December 3rd, 2013 , by John Beeler
Linda Perhacs’ Parallelogram is the stuff of legend. Released quietly in 1970, the LP remained for years that rare example of a recording career consisting of a lone, largely forgotten, masterpiece of an album. Rediscovered, re-released and recognized years later, it inspired a new generation of musicians with its pure, guileless vocals, mystical lyrics, and visionary production.
But now, the Linda Perhacs story is finally entering its its second chapter, as the admiration of fans ranging from Devendra Banhart to Daft Punk has persuaded her to follow up her classic debut with a new release on Asthmatic Kitty Records. With her sophomore album, The Soul of All Natural Things, Perhacs is picking up where she left off.
It helps that her first record’s precocious lyrics and prescient sonics made that album sound as if it could have been released yesterday—but Perhacs’ voice remains so ageless, and her message so timeless, that her sophomore effort sounds almost as if it could have come out four decades ago. Whatever the case, it’s like she never went away.
On The Soul of All Natural Things, producers Fernando Perdomo and Chris Price have captured the spirit of that first album’s dreamy Canyon ambience, without favoring easy nostalgia over a direct and modern approach to the material. Fellow Perhacs devotees Ramona Gonzalez (Nite Jewel) and Julia Holter contribute their own talents to the CD, which will be also available for preorder in a hand-numbered limited edition on white vinyl, for an anticipated release on March 4, 2014.
You can preorder it here.
November 29th, 2013 , by John Beeler
Sufjan Stevens’ Silver & Gold vinyl boxset is available for sale. Two hundred copies of the the original 2,000 limited edition remain. Though AKR will keep the vinyl in print, it is unlikely that we’ll “repress” all the goodies inside.
The vinyl boxset includes:
1. One of only 2000 Limited Edition Boxsets, including five EPs on 6 vinyl discs
2. Christmas stickers
3. Temporary tattoos (non-toxic & safe for children)
4. Paper ornament (self-assembly with directions)
5. 40-page Christmas songbook with vocal and piano reductions
6. Christmas coloring book
7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design (by Sufjan Stevens, drug-free since 1975)
8. Extensive liner notes (introductory salutations and an essay on the Christmas tree by Sufjan Stevens, and a few theological words on the End Times by Pastor Vito Aiuto)
9. Download card.
10. Extra surprise stuff???
It is available for $120 (plus hefty 6lbs worth of shipping & handling). You can order the vinyl (and the CD boxset as well) by clicking here.
November 26th, 2013 , by John Beeler
Island Universe Story One and Two from Helado Negro, and the entire five-album epic from Land of a Thousand Rappers, are now available on quality, made-in-the-USA cassette tape.
Island Universe Story One comes in emerald green with gold emboss, while Two is a deep purple (also with gold emboss). You can buy
The five tapes from Land of a Thousand Rappers comes in a handmade, balsa wood storage box with laser-etched logo on front. The boxset, for $49, includes the book based on the Land of a Thousand Rappers universe, Zero Seed.
All our cassettes include emailed digital download, and a download card for your convenience. You can purchase the cassettes here, or by clicking below.
November 21st, 2013 , by John Beeler
New England area record and comic book store is taking pre-orders for a limited edition of Sufjan Stevens’ 2005 Illinois, with exclusive red and green colored vinyl that matches the award-winning artwork from Divya Srinivasan. The limited edition of 1,000 is out December 10. You can preorder it from Newbury here.
November 8th, 2013 , by John Beeler
Bryce Dessner is widely recognized for the rich guitar sound he brings to The National, and almost as widely for the discreet but unmistakably cerebral sophistication of projects like that group and his other, somewhat quieter band, Clogs. And so it may come as little surprise to his listeners in the rock world that Dessner, in addition to his performing career, has also built up a reputation as an esteemed classical composer, culminating in this week’s CD release of his music for string quartet.
Aheym, recorded by the iconic Kronos Quartet and released on Anti-Records, is only the latest step in a classical music career that has also included collaborations with composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich, in addition to cross-genre projects like the recent Planetarium, a song cycle created with Sufjan Stevens and opera composer Nico Muhly.
Stevens and Muhly exert a certain influence on Aheym. It was Muhly who proposed the collaboration between Dessner, Kronos and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus that produced the movement Tour Eiffel, recorded here, and Stevens makes an appearance as one-man choir of overdubbed Tenebre, singing the Hebrew alphabet in a nod to Renaissance settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Along with the album’s two purely instrumental works, Little Blue Something and the title track, their warm harmonies and layered, vital rhythms herald the emergence of a serious new composer of classical music.