Type

Revenge of The Carrots

 

Revenge Of The Carrots used to be a punk band from Zaan, an industrialized district of North-Holland where squats throve around the end of the 20th century, and where The Ex formed.

The only thing they ever recorded was an eponymous 7″, released in 1991 by Konkurrel. Three gripping songs which make the atrophy of their discography all the more deplorable.

Pim (guitar) also played with another great band, Donkey, and later started with Marco (vocals) The Bent Moustache and De Kift.

Revenge ot the Carrots – Human

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Download the whole 7″ by clicking here.

Entr’acte mix by Giuseppe Ielasi

Entr’acte is a record label based in London and run by Allon Kaye (nom de plume of R. de-Chantecler). Most of the releases (well, all of them except for the 12″ records) are sealed under vacuum. The only way to have access to the music is to tear apart the sleeve, loosing any possible ‘collectors value’. No downloadable versions (except for the ‘illegal’ but well accepted pirate versions). No images, same font and a few variations of shape and color for the sleeve.
Most of the releases come from demos that Allon received, and there’s no difference at all in the way the debut cd of a young artist is presented and promoted in comparison to one of a more established musician.                                                                                             

What the buyer gets is just music (finally !): pure, stripped down, in most cases beautiful, at least engaging / interesting in some way. In an age of ‘amazingly packaged nothing’, and that goes for every field including sound and art, what looks like a suicidal choice, is probably the only possible one.

Last february Entr’acte released my new solo cd, together with the new Bellows (me and Nicola Ratti). What a relief to be able to release music with no cover image, no title and finally no press text !

Giuseppe Ielasi – Entr’acte Mix – Tracklist (times are approximate):

00’00″ – S R Hess: System Failure extract (E88 cassette, out of print)
03’30″ – The Automatics Group: Summer Mix (E130 cd)
08’15″ – Evapori: Transkript 17 (E74 lp)
10’30″ – John Wall / Alex Rodgers: Work 2006-2011 (E114 cd)
13’30″ – Adam Sonderberg: American Hours with German Efficiency (E116 cassette)
15’20″ – Jacques Beloeil: Bidules (E64 lp)
18’10″ – Adam Asnan: Fancies (E101 cassette, out of print, cd reissue forthcoming)
20’10″ – Esther Venrooy: The Spiral Staircase (E50 lp)
24’30″ – Bellows: Reelin’ (E128 cd)
27’25″ – Strategy: Noise Tape Reggae (E62 7″)
30’30″ – Dj Ordeal: Seagull (E39 lp)
31’45″ – Ben Gwilliam / Michel Vorfeld: Laute (E97 cd)
33’40″ – Renato Rinaldi: Time Machines III (cd, forthcoming in 2012)
35’40″ – Adam Sonderberg: American Hours with German Efficiency (E116 cassette)
37’50″ – Ian Middleton: Time Building (E66 lp)

Download the whole mix + tracklist + cover (made by Clarence Manuelo from Volcano The Bear):

Giuseppe-Ielasi-Entracte-Mix.zip (headphones & serenity recommended)

Culture is Anti-Rivalrous – by Nina Paley

Economists talk about rivalrous and non-rivalrous goods, but Culture is neither rivalrous, nor non-rivalrous; it is anti-rivalrous.

 —

I – RIVALROUS

Rivalrous goods diminish in value the more they are used. For example, a bicycle: if I use it, it gets me from here to there, if you use it, it gets me nowhere. If I acquire your bicycle, you don’t have it any more. Only one of us can have the bicycle at one time. We can share it to a limited extent, but the more it’s used the less it’s worth; it gets dinged up and wears out. The more people use the bicycle, the less utility it has.

If I steal your bicycle, you have to take the bus

All material things – things made of atoms – are rivalrous, because an object cannot be in two places at the same time. Everything in the physical world is rivalrous, even if it’s abundant.

A commons is a rivalrous good. Hence the “tragedy of the commons“: the more people use a square of land, the less valuable it is to each of them. The grass gets eaten too fast to grow back, the soil can’t handle the incoming rate of sheep shit, and degradation ensues.

the commons

Fig. 1: a lovely day for grazing on the commons

tragedy of the commons

Fig 2: Tragedy strikes

Rivalrous and non-rivalrous are often confused with scarce and abundant, but they’re not the same thing. Air is abundant, but it is still rivalrous – some “users” could make it toxic for the rest of us, because air is not infinite. Land and water are so abundant in North America that Native Americans couldn’t imagine owning or depleting them, and look what happened. We treat the oceans as infinite, but they are not; human pollution and exploitation is killing ocean life. We also pollute the vast ocean of air – hence acid rain. Air and oceans are commons.

Commons are commonly-held rivalrous goods. Because they are rivalrous, some uses (or over-use) can poison them or otherwise diminish their value. For that reason, Commons(es) actually merit rules and regulations.

But Culture is not a commons, because Culture is not rivalrous and can’t be owned.

II – NON-RIVALROUS

Non-rivalrous goods, as their name implies, don’t diminish in value the more they are used. A favorite example of a non-rivalrous good is the light from a lighthouse. It shines for everyone. No matter how much you look at it, I can see it too.

Everyone can see the light from the lighthouse…

This is a pretty good example, but it’s not quite right. Theoretically, if enough tall boats are in the harbor, they actually can crowd out your lighthouse light.

…except when they can’t. Once again, too many sheep ruin everything.

Consider sunlight in Manhattan; yes, the sun shines for everyone, but if they build a high-rise next to your apartment you won’t see it any more. There’s only so much sunlight that hits a certain area, and that light is rivalrous. You can always move, of course – except land, while abundant, is definitely rivalrous and not infinite, so you’ll have to engage in some rivalry to do so.

The light metaphor has another problem: is light a particle, or a wave? If it’s a particle, then light is rivalrous. If it’s a wave, then it’s not.

Thomas Jefferson used the example of candle fire, writing “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” Of course candles burn out but it’s not the light that’s diminished, it’s the candle. That’s a great metaphor for attention, which is scarce: once our attention is used up, the light goes out.

But Culture is not non-rivalrous either.

 —

III- ANTI-RIVALROUS

Anti-rivalrous goods increase in value the more they are used. For example: language. A language isn’t much use to me if I can’t speak it with someone else. You need at least two people to communicate with language. The more people who use the language, the more value it has.

Which language do you think more people would pay to learn?

  • English
  • Esperanto
  • Latvian

More people spend money and time learning English, simply because so many people already speak English.

Social networking platforms increase in value when more people use them. I use Facebook not because I love Facebook (I certainly don’t), but because everyone else uses Facebook. I just joined Google+, and will use that instead of Facebook if enough other people use it. If enough people flock to yet another platform, I’ll use that instead. Meanwhile I love Diaspora in principle (I was an early Kickstarter backer, before they surpassed their initial $ goal), but I don’t use it, because not enough other people do. When it comes to social networks, I am a sheep.

I'm surrounded by stupid sheep

A classic “Nina’s Adventures” comic, which I only realized was anti-rivalrous a few years ago. ♡ Copying is an act of love. Please copy and share.

Culture is anti-rivalrous. The more people know and sing a song, the more cultural value it has. The more people watch my film Sita Sings the Blues, or read my comic strip Mimi & Eunice, the happier I’ll be, so please go do that now and then come back and read the rest of this paragraph. The more people know a movie or TV show, the more cultural value it has. Monty Python references attest to the cultural value of Monty Python – we even use the word “spam” because of it. Shakespeare‘s works are culturally valuable, and phrases from them live on in the language even apart from the plays (“I think she doth protest to much,” etc.). The more people refer to Monty Python and Shakespeare, the more you just gotta see em, amiright? Or not, it doesn’t matter whether you see them, you’re already speaking them. That all culture is a kind of language, I’ll leave for another discussion.

Cultural works increase in value the more people use them. That’s not rivalrous, or non-rivalrous; that’s anti-rivalrous.

 —

IV – SOME EXCEPTIONS THAT PROVE THE RULE

I know what you’re gonna say now: “what about my credit card number? That doesn’t increase in value if it’s shared!!” That’s right, Einstein, because your credit card number is not culture. Here are two things that aren’t made of atoms and are nonetheless rivalrous:

1. Identity
2. Secrets

Identity is some mysterious mindfuck that my very smart friend Joe Futrelle says no one has satisfactorily defined yet. But whatever identity is, it’s rivalrous. If more people were named Nina Paley and had my home address and social security number, I’d be screwed. But that should highlight that my name, home address, and social security number aren’t culture. They may be information, but they’re not culture. They don’t increase in value the more they are used.

Secrets have power as long as they’re secrets. They lose their power when they are shared. When I become conscious of some secret that’s weighing on me, I share it with at least one other person (even if they are a confidante also sworn to secrecy): I can feel the secret’s power diffused just by the act of sharing. Notice I use “power” here instead of “value.” Secrets may be of little or no cultural value – most people don’t really care who that guy slept with 6 years ago – but they can certainly have power, especially when used for blackmail. Which is why it’s important they remain secrets, so they’re not used for blackmail, or harassment, or any reason at all. Privacy is important. Because secrets aren’t culture. Culture is public. Secrets are, well, secret. Until they’re public, whereupon we get scandalous stories that are culture – humans love to gossip – but aren’t secrets any more. The story might gain value, but the secret loses it.

Money vs. Currency
And how about money? Money is scarce, right? It has to be, or it doesn’t work (thanks Wall Street & Federal Reserve for screwing that up). But currency has more value the more it is used! Would you rather have your scarce 100 Euros in Euros, or in giant immoveable donut-like stones on a remote island?

A large rai stone in the village of Gachpar

I remember when the US dollar was a valuable currency; markets all over the world wanted dollars, because they were so widely used and exchangeable. So you want your money to be scarce, but you want your currency as widely used as possible.

 —

V – CONCLUSION

It’s important to treat scarce goods as scarce, abundant goods as abundant, rivalrous goods as rivalrous, and so on. Wall Street treated money, a scarce and rivalrous good, as though it were infinite/non-rivalrous, and look what happened.  Power companies, and the politicians they own, treat the environment, which is a rivalrous commons, as though it were non-rivalrous, and we have dying oceans and mass extinctions and other events you don’t want to think about so much that you’ll just get mad at me if I point them out here so I’ll stop. The RIAA and MPAA, and the politicians they own, treat Culture, which is anti-rivalrous, as though it’s rivalrous. They are doing for Culture what Wall Street did for the economy. If you want to help make this better, treat Culture like what it is: an anti-rivalrous good that increases in value the more it is used.

Great Lost Indie Artists of Today, and Great Lost Private Press Artists of The Past – some special selections from Jeffrey Lewis

As far as I understand it, the modern “indie” or “independent” music movement grew out of the late-70s punk bands who chose to manufacture and distribute their own albums, freeing themselves from the decision-making process of the existing record labels.  When bands like the Buzzcocks and Crass began to take pride in the fact that their music was being created independently it made the idea of independent production into something to be proud of, not ashamed of, and that is the artistic ideal of many “indie” artists who have followed in their footsteps.  But in the 1960s and 1970s it was only the most desperate and driven artists who took the step to self-manufacture their own recordings, artists who were often too strange or too unprofessional to be signed to a record label.  These artists and the records they made are often called “Private Press,” meaning they had their albums pressed privately, paid for out of their own pockets, and often in very small print runs, perhaps making as few as a couple hundred or even a couple dozen copies of their recordings.  Usually they made up a record label name, but these record labels were not what you might think of as an official label, and usually only existed for the purpose of putting out one or two records made by the same people who paid to press the albums.  Millions of these albums exist, and more are being made every day, although there were fewer in the decades before “punk” and “indie” were things to be proud of.  The vast majority of these privately made albums are indeed bad or unmemorable, but among the millions of mediocre records there are inevitably a few rare and special gems that rise up above the others, albums which can bring listeners incredible enjoyment but have almost no chance of being heard by very many people.  As music lovers it is our job, when we find a gem, to help other people to hear it!  So here are some of my personal favorite gems among the lost recordings, some privately pressed albums which were never manufactured in high quantity and were never heard by many people, but are some of my favorite albums of all time.  I’m picking three examples from the original “private press” era (before punk) and three examples from the modern era.  

 

THREE FROM THE EARLY ERA:

 

Dandelions – Dandelions

Apparently the real name of this 1970 band was “The Children of Sunshine” but on the album sleeve it looks like the band name was “Dandelions.”  In any case, the album itself is titled Dandelions, and this song is called Dandelions, and the band was two young girls on guitars, with some drums and bass provided by grownups.  The album is totally delightful, and until it is officially reissued you will have to find out more about it from http://www.dandelionsalbum.com/ or Google searching, and you can contact the original artist to make donations at info@dandelionsalbum.com

Download MP3 file

 

Virgin Insanity – Seeking Truth

The first Virgin Insanity record is the best, and it is called “Illusions of the Maintenance Man,” pressed in an edition of 200 copies around 1971 in Texas.  They had two other albums which were never released until recently, and this track comes from one of those later albums.  However, if you like this song I think you should try to buy their first album, which has more of this sort of feeling.  Their best work is very moving, but almost disturbing in its intensity and its lo-fi atmosphere.  For more info you can try contacting the original guy at BobLong@VirgrinInsanity.com or BobLong@VirginInsanity.com (it is spelled wrong on their website, and I don’t know if that was on purpose).  You can order copies of all of the existing Virgin Insanity recordings, on CD, from their Japanese reissue label P-Vine here.

Download MP3 file

 

D.R. Hooker – The Sea  

 This is the best track on D.R. Hooker’s first album “The Truth” (pressed in 1972 in Massachussetts) but there are some other really good tracks on that record as well, and the second D.R. Hooker album “Armageddon” is also excellent if you like this sort of thing.  The photo of D.R. on the album cover makes him look like Jesus carrying a guitar, with beard and robes, walking alone on a hill.  Although there are many songs about religion on the albums, the peaceful solo portrait on the first album cover gives you no warning as to the full-band sound you’re about to hear, which is sometimes jazzy and cheesy and sometimes rocking, and when it rocks it rocks pretty hard, like on this track.  You might like the lounge-jazz songs too.  You can get re-issues of the albums here.  D.R. Hooker is dead now, but maybe some of his band members are still alive.

Download MP3 file

 

THREE FROM THE MODERN ERA

 

Grey Revell – Glass Hammer 

 Grey Revell recorded three albums from 1998 – 2000 that I consider lost classics.  This song is from his third album, “The Green Train,” from 2000.  He was a songwriter who moved to New York City from Los Angeles and began to make a name for himself with his small concerts and self-released albums but he got married and left the city and mostly vanished from the music scene, never having done a single tour, and leaving behind only a handful of CDRs to be remembered by.   His music blends folk and rock and psychedelia, with a beautiful sense of lyric and melody, and often a much higher quality of arranging and production than most privately made albums.  When you hear these tracks you will not believe that they have only been heard by perhaps less than 100 people – this is not “strange, lost music,” this is popular indie music which has simply never been heard because of circumstance.  I just did some searching on the internet and found that all of Grey Revell’s albums, including some recent recordings which I have never heard, are available to download very cheap from Bandcamp here. I recommend you support this lost artist, where ever he is.

Download MP3 file

 

Prewar Yardsale – Turn On (live Peel session)

 A rough and raw and strange antifolk duo, this band has had a very big influence on me.  I once wrote a ten-page essay about their lyrics.  The music seems simple and crude, just an acoustic guitar and a bucket for a drum, with the occasional use of a distortion pedal, and strange simple lyrics, but it all adds up to very smart and evocative songs that sound different than anything else I have ever heard.  Some similarities to Beat Happening and the Velvet Underground, but even more minimal – most Prewar Yardsale songs are all the same two chords, sometimes three chords.  Amazing to make an entire 15-year career out of only using the A and E chord, with just sometimes another chord or two.  I have some amazing unreleased recordings that I bootlegged form live shows or got from their home demo recordings, someday maybe I will try to release an album of the unreleased stuff, which is all insane and excellent.  As for the officially released material I recommend the first Prewar Yardsale album “Lowdown” but you can find all of their albums here.

Download MP3 file

 

Gentlemen’s Relish – Third In A Knife-Fight 

 People give me a LOT of home made albums at my concerts and in the mail, but this one is the best I’ve ever got.  The album is called “An Early Bath for… Gentlemen’s Relish” and it’s very strange.  The freakish album cover, a crude drawing of what seems to be a viking in a bathtub, gives no clue as to the sound of the album.  It still sounds like nothing else I’ve ever heard, I don’t even want to know anything else about it because that might defuse some of its chills and disturbing charm.  Despite the sort of 80s/”New Romantic” angle of it, it somehow fits in well with any collection of underground weird collector’s item “private-press” stuff from the 60s-70s.  If you were having a nightmare about Morrissey, these are the songs he would sing in your nightmare, and it would be very hard to recall them when you woke up so you would need this album to help you remember.  You can find the full album for sale here. Or you can contact the artist directly at  odaltrey@googlemail.com.

Reines d’Angleterre – Les Comores

Trio Reines d’Angleterre, made up of noise pioneer and veteran Ghédalia Tazartès teaming with younger deconstructionists él-g & Jo, have released a singularly ethnic album. Not that ‘ethnic’ by itself means anything: is it an offensive term for something Other? Does it refer to a specific place, a specific people, a specific style? A specific language even?

No, to all accounts (except, perhaps, the offensive question). On Les Comores, Reines d’Angleterre tightly restrain the free noise and industrial leanings of each member, and the result is an album that bounces and smashes influences and cultures, ethnicities and languages – even/especially Tazartès’ trademark fictional language – off and into each other. There are pieces of Native American drum circle wailing, Exuma-style Caribbean folk, American children’s folk music, gypsy clatter, blues riffs pulled into oblivion, French and English and gibberish. There is singing and speaking, and everything fighting for recognition over the walls of sound that, picked apart, are themselves clamoring pieces broken off of at one time coherent wholes.

Reines d’Angleterre are not curators picking up and showing off the pieces that have built them, they are musicians living within a multifarious and incoherent culture, they are the most recent examples of T.S. Eliot’s self-portrait in ‘The Waste Land’: “these fragments I have shored against my ruins”, because surely Les Comores is an album about ruin as well. No matter the urgency of Tazartès’ voice – that voice – by the end it is almost swallowed by the noise it rises from, the noise it combats and tries to shout into place. Is that the point? Is there a struggle between the human and the inhuman, first pointed at by the title that refers to an African island nation which France still oversees? Whatever the struggle, Reines make it one we must fight from within our contradictory cultural makeups so that we become not universalists, not French, not American or Comoran, but human, owning another poet’s prescient statement, a positive reinterpretation Eliot made negative, Walt Whitman wildly writing: “Do I contradict myself? Fine, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

 

Reines d’Angleterre – Untitled (Track 3 side B)

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Download MP3 file

Reines d’Angleterre – Untitled (Track 1 side B)

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Download MP3 file

 

This record was released by Bo’Weavil but is currently sold out. You can buy MP3/Flac version here.

DONATION CONSPIRACY – BETA VERSION

Well, yes, our donation platform is finally online.

DONATIONCONSPIRACY.ORG

It is a beta version, we’re gonna polish it during the whole summer, but it is already possible to send donations to any indie band and label in the universe.

Go test it, and don’t hesitate to report bugs !

Ps : The collective webzine will resume in a few weeks, we’re focusing on the donation platform for now.

Pps : Hail to David and Patrick, we will worship you forever.

bruit, sueur, larmes

 

Hey.

It’s May 2014, and two years after this webzine started, we are finally completing the donation platform which was the purpose of the entire project. A year ago we were hoping to launch it during the summer of 2013, but we are obviously cursed whenever we announce an issue date while our own lives aren’t even sorted. Today, it is safe to tell you that the donation page has already been working for a few weeks — thanks to our masterly programmer — but needs a few cosmetic and editorial adjustments that the idle part of our squad are currently struggling with. You know, trying to make things handsome and understandable. So we are now entirely focused on the donation platform, which we decided to rename “Donation Conspiracy” — the webzine shall remain as “Amour&Discipline” and resume sometime soon. In short : we truly are getting there, so if you’re still interested in what we do : 

1) thanks for your patience ; 

2) you should be able to send donations before apocalyptic acid rain pours on us, until then just casually refresh this page once in a while to stay updated

 

As a way to fill the transitory void and maybe advocate some bands worthy of your support, we thought we’d share a mix we made for a top-notch French journal called Article11.

Si Article 11 vous a mené.e.s jusqu’ici, bienvenue sur Amour&Discipline.
Nous ne sommes hélas ni évangélistes, ni fétichistes, mais de simples Lyonnais aux idées fumeuses qui travaillons depuis 3 ans au montage d’un site internet permettant d’envoyer directement des dons à n’importe quel groupe ou label indépendant.
Notre projet a initialement pris la forme d’Amour&Discipline, webzine contributif écrit par des musiciens, membres de labels, activistes, blogueurs, etc. Il aboutira très bientôt en tant que Donation Conspiracy, plateforme de don. A&D/Donation Conspiracy est un projet DIY et non profit qui a pour unique source de financement l’argent économisé grâce à l’organisation de concerts ündergründ sept ans durant. En effet, la plupart d’entre nous sommes également impliqués dans Grrrnd Zero, lieu/collectif/association accordant une importance sans doute démesurée à l’exposition quotidienne de l’habitant rhônalpin à des musiques de qualité. 

Notre pragmatisme légendaire et notre soif de succès universel nous ont poussés à rédiger d’emblée tous nos textes en anglais. Vous trouverez donc notre manifeste ici.

HOT MIX

Bruit Sueur Larmes (right click + save as)

1. robots, dogs | Tyvek
2. shittin’ with the shah | The Men
3. an impression | No Age
4. I’m a you-know-what | The Pheromoans
5. my mind is broken by the sound | Ed Schrader’s Music Beat
6. rope burn | Damaged Bug
7. schnitzel boogie | Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
8. enemy outta me | Dope Body
9. bums on a rock | The Rebel
10. spacehead | Eric Copeland
11. eyebath | Pumice
12. kamu talyat | Group Inerane
13. when the right time comes | Wet Hair
14. going to Malibu | The Mountain Goats
15. snowbank treatment | Dragging an Ox Through Water
16. I bet I can writ one more | Better Psychics
17. lonely Richard | Amen Dunes
18. the night before the last | Marisa Anderson
19. yummy yummy pizza | Tonetta
20. body on the tide | Black Pus 

Andy Moor + DJ/rupture

The refreshing and generous Andy Moor sent this transcription of a transversal discussion he had with Jace Clayton, aka DJ/rupture, conversing about possible meanings for the expression “post-colonial culture”, the uncertain substance of rastafarianism or what DJ tools you should use or not…
Music always meets politics.

First step, you should play DJ/rupture famous “Gold Teeth Thief” mix from 2001 (check full infos and tracklist here).Then move to this enlightening interview.

DJ/rupture – Gold Teeth Thief Part A (right click + save as)

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DJ/rupture – Gold Teeth Thief Part B (right click + save as)

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Jace in the subway, Brooklyn

Continue reading

night people / mixtape for a&d / new releases


Shortly before summer solstice, Shawn Reed (of the impressive and prolific Iowa-based label Night People and Wet Hair ) sent us an illustrated first-rate mix of “old” music that we kind of selfishly savored during the sunny season. Hot picnic days are now gone but you can still listen to this hour and sixteen minutes of invigorating nonchalance and forget that another endless winter will soon swallow you up.

A few samples:

Deep Freeze Mice – minstrel radio yoghurt

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English Subtitles – sweat

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The Ropers – you have light

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Yeah Yeah Noh – prick up your ears

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Full Download:

Images of Deception (NP mixtape)

Tracklist:

1. The Sea Urchins – solace
2. The Weeds – baby don’t go
3. Los Yetis – llegaron los peluqueros
4. Disco Zombies – time will tell
5. Hansadutta Swami – helpless awe
6. The Terminals – batwing
7. The Apryl Fool – the lost mother land (part 2)
8. Graeme Jefferies – nothing’s that new
9. The Ropers – you have a light
10. Close Lobsters – foxheads
11. Deep Freeze Mice – minstrel radio yoghurt
12. Silicon Teens – memphis, tennessee
13. Ana Hausen – professionals
14. Fatal Microbes – violence grows
15. English subtitles – sweat
16. Lost Cherrees – real crimes
17. Colette Magny – répression
18. The 39 Clocks – stupid art
19. Danny and The Dressmakers – TV boredom on the dole
20. Ann Summer – gordisk knut
21. Portion Control – in pursuit of excellence
22. Yeah Yeah Noh – prick up your ears
23. Soldiers In A Field – lullaby

 

By the way, Night People has struck again this week with a fresh batch of TEN cassettes swinging from retro synth wave, cosmic disco prog and weirdo dance to garage psych pop, freak folk, diy reggae etc. You can buy them or at least contemplate the unfailing beauty of their artwork here.
You can also download Spent Minds, a free mix compiling samples of each release (and others coming up soon).
Here’s a selection from our favorite tapes so far, all reviewed by Shawn Reed on NP’s website :

 

Gem JonesExhaust

Gem Jones lives in Iowa and lays real low and outside the normal fray of the underground music scene. An outsider even in small town scene terms, Gems music has evolved a lot over a few years of weirdo pop cassette releases and even more rare live shows. Exhaust shows Gem in a new stretched out mode making serious nods to jazzy outsider rock, reggae, and DIY pop. Playing all the instruments and tracking the release to sound like a live full band make this tape sound like something truly out of its time. Not often in contemporary times is a songwriter able to create something so unique and also specific from so many influences so successfully. If you dig the sound of a wild cross section of Larry Young, Prince Buster, and Eddy Detroit you will enjoy this.

Gem Jones – Starquisha

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Gem Jones – Just Broken

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Happy Jawbone Family BandThe Silk Pistol

Happy Jawbone are a loose collection of Brattleboro musicians who come out of the same Vermont weirdo scene as fellow Night-People bands Blanche Blanche Blanche and Son of Salami. Happy Jawbone also have close connections with the Feeding Tube record label with two prior LP’s. Happy Jawbone ride a kaleidoscopic rainbow of influences stretching out from the loose jangly air of garage psych pop into country and freak folk with a bit of everything in between. Where as prior releases showed a bit more of a bent Beatles or Kinks vibe this one feels way more paisley underground (think early Rain Parade) meets Texas psych (think Easter Everywhere era Elevators) and maybe even a bit of 60s soundtrack style weirdness. Comparisons aside, this crew does their own thing in the saturated world of garage and psych pop revival. Something must be floating around the collective creative brain in Brattleboro to keep things unique and without pretension. Happy Jawbone seems so full of youthful sonic exuberance that there is plenty more room to grow even after three killer full lengths.

Happy Jawbone Family BandDeep Dreamer

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Happy Jawbone Family BandLivin’ Foul

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Blonde Gods/t

This is a reissue of a self-released CDR, which Carson Cox of Merchandise had on tour with him last spring. After playing a gig together and jamming choice deep records until the early morning hours a bond was made concrete after a couple years of short duration crossings on different tours and mail correspondence. A good warm up for the upcoming Merchandise LP on Night-People, Blonde God is Carson all by himself, or so it seems. Its hard keeping up with this Tampa crew with such a tight knit relationship to collaboration and backing up each others solo outlets that goes beyond Merchandise itself into all the bands surrounding and coming before or surely after. For those of you who have been paying attention to Night-People long term you know full well this is the kind of thing the label is all about: The end of the road destinations and cities without much of an outside identity where creation happens for its own sake. Blonde God plays good and loud, it is reflective of the overall output but has its own aesthetics at play. Carson’s voice hovers in and out of a wash of electronics and dreamy guitar work, in parts influenced by classic shoegaze and also harsher noise sensibilities, all in all if feels sad, heavy, distant and lost. There is a landscape to the sound. Is this what living in Tampa Bay can feel like?

Blonde God – I Don’t Want It (Anymore)

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Blonde God – Diggin’

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our weeks on soulseek – 2

Two weeks ago, OSR tapes put out the first album of Better Psychics, twenty tracks of collaborative live mixing between Chris Weisman and Zach Phillips of Blanche Blanche Blanche, both international ambassadors of Brattleboro, Vermont.
It kind of sounds like a blend of early Psychic TV albums and Sebadoh cassettes, with sprinkles of woodsy experimental folk and acousmatic bossa nova on top. (it’s outstanding).
I never buy cassettes, as the closest tape player i could use is in the old family car, but I pre-ordered theirs as an inticement to finally get my driver’s licence and drive around while blissfully listening to it.
You can download the album (then consider doing a donation) and/or order it here.

This one is short but it kills me:
Better Psychics – I bet I can write one more (right click/save as)

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Better Psychics - What stays

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Better Psychics - With my attitude

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I guess I have a thing for every band John Dwyer plays in, as they cover the entire spectrum of genres that naturally stroke my ears, from garage punk to weird doo wop and drone psych pop. However it seems that, lately, The Oh Sees have been favoring their binary rock’n'roll side (close to Dwyer’s older band, The Coachwhips), to the detriment of the numerous other facets that made the superiority of their first records. But now their new album is out on In The Red and it’s quite a gem — great name, great artwork, wicked songs. The tracklist of Putrifiers II is somehow based on a chiasmus, with rowdy garage tunes both opening and ending the record. “Cloud#1″ provides a graceful contemplative transition towards the middle of the album, which is very 60s sounding, but in a way that freshens your bronchial tubes, spruces up your hair and takes you on a fuzzy journey where Nico and John Cale (“So Nice”) are striving to deprave the Everly Brothers (“We will be scared”) while impish voices fuse with Can-like instrumentals (“Lumpine Dominus”). Makes my day.

The Oh Sees – So Nice (right click/save as)

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The Oh Sees – We will be scared

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The Oh Sees – Lupine Dominus

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Natural Snow Buildings is an impressive French experimental duo who have released about 20 albums since 2001. They were/are mostly released on outrageously limited series, so the only way to listen to them is through culture sharing. Night Coercion Into The Company Of Witches, one of their best albums, was first issued in 2008 with 22 (yes, twenty two) copies, but people who love to manipulate cumbersome objects before listening to music can rejoice, as Ba Da Bing just made a three CD/four Lp reissue (yes, it is almost three hours long). Judd of Ba Da Bing speaks the truth: “Natural Snow Buildings make melodic, orchestrated, folk, droning compositions with layers of guitars, chants, woodwinds, percussive bells, distortion and delay. On Night Coercion, they push to extremes, producing layers of stereophonic sound both nuanced and grandiose. This record is the ideal introduction to the band’s sound, building harmonies upon noise upon harmonies, and providing a clear explanation as to why their albums (even the ones that aren’t so limited) sell out so immediately upon release”.

Natural Snow Buildings - Kadja Bosou (right click/save as)

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everything’s okay

Right before retiring from music and going to work with chickens and goats in a farm, Sir Jason Molina recorded eight songs with just guitar, rawness and his elegant voice from Desperate Land. I have to admit I’m not a huge supporter of his whole Magnolia Electric Co. era, but Autumn Bird Songs arouses the same kind of shivers in the stomach as his majestuous Lionness album with Songs:Ohia. We will always love you Jason.

Jason Molina – A Sad Hard Change (right click/save as)

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Songs:Ohia – Lionness (right click/save as)

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