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Record Highlight — Harps

Available on vinyl from Rocket Heart Records.  The Marvelous Cheer EP differs from it’s original CD counterpart. This limited edition 12″ pressing has been remastered for vinyl and includes updated album art, insert art drawn by HARPS’ own Kaitlin Uemura, etching on Side B, and a HQ digital download of the entire EP.

 

Record Highlight — Robbie Fulks

Robbie Fulks Upland Stories Album Artwork

Robbie Fulks‘s storytelling through folk and bluegrass music on Upland Stories delivers the quieter, sometimes unsettling truths of humanity.

Coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s in Virginia and North Carolina, at the edge of the broad “upland” region referenced in the record’s title, provided depth and detail for Fulks’s songs about the mysteries of memory, the vanishing of cherished things, and the struggles of everyday life. Robbie tries to make songs that offer more than verse-chorus-hook: songs that have space, calmness, unresolved tensions, and the hallmarks of lived experience. This sort of complexity is displayed in “Fare Thee Well, Carolina Gals,” an intimate folk song from the perspective of a man who has let life’s possibilities pass him by, and in “Never Come Home,” in which a sick man returns to spend his last days among an unwelcoming clan of pious, hard-bitten East Tennesseans.

Available from Bloodshot Records April 1 (pre-order is up now).

 

Record Highlight — Old Head

 

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Pittsburgh’s Old Head returns March 19 at The Brillobox! Get there early for Terry & The Cops and Outsideinside.

Featuring Modey Lemon’s Phil Boyd and Jason Kirker, along with bassist Bill Wehman and Mike Layton, the band’s brand new self-titled release via Omentum Records is officially available at the show.

 

Record Highlight — Minas

The rare 1983 Minas (Orlando and Patricia) record – Num Dia Azul takes Brazilian and American roots to create a sound that is fresh and innovative, from ballads tinged with melancholic traits of Blues and Choro, to Folk coasting on the subtle coolness of a Bossa Nova pulse, to upbeat Sambas elaborated with instrumental jazz improvisation, scat singing and whimsical whistling.

 

Record Highlight — Jack Logan with The Roach Brothers

Failure Records & Tapes is pleased to announce the release of What Is This Some Kind Of Joke? from heralded songwriter Jack Logan and The Roach Brothers . The full length LP will be available as a limited pressing of 300 multi-colored vinyl discs. The first 50 records sold will come with limited edition Jack Logan buttons and stickers.

 

Record Highlight — Suit of Lights

Break Open the Head cover art

Psychic upheaval through art! Break Open the Head is the follow-up to Suit of Lights‘ critically-acclaimed Shine On Forever, which was included in “Top Albums of the Year” lists from Brooklyn’s The Big Takeover to the UK’s Instrumental. Pre-order is up!

 

Record Highlight — Pippo Spera

Lilting melodies, including a shimmering cover of Eduardo Mateo’s ‘Mejor me voy,’ infused with an undercurrent of bossa nova and the drowsy, faded memory of sun-drenched islands. All of this melodic loveliness is made ever-so-groovy in an Afro-Cuban sort of way thanks to a mighty contribution from world famous percussionist Jorge Trasante, Totem drummer Roberto Galletti, and Limonada drummer José Luis Sosa. Pippo Spera had come into the orbit of Uruguayan master Eduardo Mateo back during the days of El Kinto (one of that band’s finest songs is about a visit by Mateo to Pippo’s house). From 1967 to 1970, Pippo concentrated on studying classical guitar at the Conservatorio Nacional of Uruguay, until the military dictatorship closed the school.

So, Pippo started his songwriter career, which culminated in 1975/1976 with the recording of “A Buen Puerto.” As Pippo says, “It was a beautiful experience to me. I had the help of the best musicians in town, they were like brothers. At that time in Uruguay, nobody used to get money to perform in a recording studio; for the musicians it was a pleasure, it was just love of art…” After the release of this LP, Pippo decided to leave a Uruguay oppressed by a brutal dictatorship. He sailed to Brazil in a ship much like the one hovering behind him on the “A Buen Puerto” album. Brazil was indeed “a good port” for Pippo—he became friends with many of the best Brazilian musicians of those years: Milton Nascimento, Geraldo Azevedo, Renato Rocha, and Alceu Valença, and ended up writing for and playing on Nascimento’s “Clube da Esquina 2” album.

 

Record Highlight — Beech Creeps

Beech Creeps

Word is Beech Creeps formed in Brooklyn, New York in 2013. Despite being devoted to drinking rum and lazing on hammocks, they quickly became a favorite at venues like Death By Audio and Shea Stadium for their balls out live shows. And after releasing in rapid succession the digital/cassettes Meet the Creeps and The Crashing Booms, Beech Creeps has emerged from the studio (the studio in this case being the immense gallery at Bushwick’s Secret Project Robot) with Beech Creeps, available from Monofonus Records.

Recorded by Jonathan Schenke who has worked with Parquet Courts and PC Worship, this self-titled album captures the glory of the Creepsound– at times sublime, crusty, swirling and headbanging. This is a record of solid rock, liquid water, floating detritus and violent storms. Lightning and thunder and the beautiful calm that follows. It growls, it screams, it thumps, it drives. Yes, you are caught in the ocean whirlpool of rock n’ roll, straight down to the garbage disposal at the bottom and you can’t escape until it lets you go, right about the 39 minute mark.

 

Record Highlight — Japanese Breakfast

A side project from her work as front woman of Philadelphia indie punk band Little Big League, Michelle Zauner released a tape in June 2013 under the solo moniker Japanese Breakfast. The tape was titled June and boasted thirty tracks written and recorded every day of the month. A stark deviation from Little Big League’s guitar-based indie rock, it showcased Zauner’s dark lyrics, unique vocals and inherent knack for pop melody.

Two bedroom pop cassettes later, Japanese Breakfast returns with its first full-fledged LP and vinyl release, Psychopomp. The album explores Zauner’s experimental interests and hosts a wide range of sound: jarring anime samples, minimalist ballads, rhythms and synths reminiscent of Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac paired with the moody intimacy of Mount Eerie. Psychopomp revisits and revamps lo-fi tracks and adds chilling new songs to fall in love with.

 

Record Highlight — Jeremy Gara

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Jeremy Gara, drummer of Arcade Fire, announces his first solo album – Limn.  Recorded over the last many months and assembled this last fall, Limn is a melodic, dense, and noisy ambient record… a collection of organized improvisations, of solo creative moments in response to familiar collaborative efforts.  Divinity, the first song on the album, is streaming here and here.  Mastered by Helge Sten (Deathprod, Supersilent), Limn will be released March 11 by NRCSS Industry on vinyl, on cassette, and digitally.

 

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