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.
October 29th, 2013 , by John Beeler
Lily & Madeleine have arrived. Just months after the release of their debut EP, the singing sisters have released a self-titled LP of all new songs.
The full-length format gives the sisters a broader canvas for musical expression, with Madeleine lending her ethereal vocals a soupçon of soul, and Lily’s wry contralto sounding earthier than ever. Lily & Madeleine reunites Madeleine and Lily Jurkiewicz with much of the creative team from their first disc, The Weight of the Globe, including producer Paul Mahern and songwriting partner Kenny Childers, but this time, the young women headed into the studio armed with the experience of making that recording, and with it a fuller sense of artistic self-determination. The resulting album is the sound of two already preternaturally assured young singer/songwriters coming even further into their own.
October 24th, 2013 , by John Beeler
The False Alarms, Fol Chen’s latest and greatest, is on sale on iTunes for just $7.99.
iTunes User pomengranates gave it five stars, calling it “future music.” User shajaaaahaaajaaa loves it too, suggesting that “in no way should you hesitate to buy this.” Here here iTunes friends.
Click here to purchase on iTunes.
October 22nd, 2013 , by John Beeler
For those listeners who literally cannot wait for Lily & Madeleine’s self-titled debut LP to drop on Oct. 29th, there’s good news. The blogosphere is counting down to the release of Lily & Madeleine with the release of one new acoustic video every day this week, starting with “I’ve Got Freedom” at CMT Edge. Fans of the elegant duo can keep up with each new video as it’s released by following Lily & Madeleine on Twitter, @LilandMad.
“Sounds Like Somewhere” is over at My Old Kentucky Blog.
The third video, for “Goodbye to Anyone,” has posted at Death & Taxes.
The fourth, “Come to Me,” is up at the Indianapolis Star.
“Spirited Away,” the fifth video, has posted over at USA Today.
Or, for a solid dose of the singing sisters, curious listeners can visit the website of New York Times, which for one week only is streaming the full album at their online Press Play feature. Visitors to the Times can preview the LP in its entirety or listen track by track to hear how Madeleine and Lily Jurkewiecz have managed to follow up on the promise of their breakout EP, The Weight of the Globe, released earlier this year.
October 18th, 2013 , by John Beeler
“It’s very humbling to me,” guitarist/composer Chris Schlarb says of performing with the members of his Psychic Temple project. “It’s a truly phenomenal band of musicians.”
Schlarb has just set out on a tour of the American Southwest with that ensemble in tow, promoting the release of their second LP, Psychic Temple II, and the Psychic Temple material is very much built to accommodate the virtuosity of his band.
“All the guys in the band are like jazz musicians or can hang on that level. So you’ve got to give them some room to contribute their own thing—you sort of recontextualize this music,” explains Schlarb. While this tour unifies these players as sidemen around the singer-songwriter material from Psychic Temple II, he points out that in their respective musical lives, “Each one of them is a leader of their own project. There’s an honor to that for me, to be in charge for a little while. That also gives me some confidence as an artist.”
Chris Schlarb and Psychic Temple kicked off their tour in Phoenix, AZ this Thursday, followed by a Friday night show on Oct. 18 at High Mayhem in Santa Fe, an Oct. 19 concert at Austin’s Salvage Vanguard Theater, an Oct. 20 date at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton, TX, and on Oct. 30th a performance at Le Corusse Rouge in Bakersfield, CA.
“I think anybody who likes the material on the record,” says Schlarb, “or any of my material at all, will like what we’re doing—it’s sort of the most ambitious large-scale work for an ensemble that I’ve ever put together.
October 18th, 2013 , by John Beeler
“I’ve been ‘out.’ I wanted to come in,” says Chris Schlarb.Read the Rest...