Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Gift Tapes:
Spare Death Icon - Survival - Gift Tapes
Spare Death Icon - Survial (detail) - Gift Tapes
Spare Death Icon - Survival - Gift Tapes $7
Oh man, this title is no joke! Spare Death Icon is the black eye-liner synthesizer music of Jason Anderson, Gift Tapes main man and half of Brother Raven. And Survival rides some existential vibes -- 80's Candy Nihilism, to borrow a phrase from Jacques Boyreau. But I can also hear the influence of Frak coming through in how snappy and concise the tracks on this tape are. Sure it's dark but it's also probably the funnest tape in the Gift catalog, the one to most openly embrace pop music. I mentioned it before, but the art for this round is bonkers, you'll be happy to hold the physical thing in your hands.

Spare Death Icon - Quest from Brenna Murphy on Vimeo.

Monday, March 21, 2011

First of three new tapes from Gift Tapes:
Million Mists - Original Motion - Gift Tapes
Million Mists - Original Motion (detail) - Gift Tapes
First up is Million Mists, the solo project of Jamie Potter(half of Brother Raven, ex of Bonus). A couple tracks in standard New Age Kraut mode aside, Original Motion is that rare thing in today's tape scene -- an eclectic and interesting collection of synthesizer music that's full of surprises and weird passages. Side B alone is worth of the price of entry. For all the aping of the Harmonia/Cluster sound going on right now, this is the first place I've heard someone so successfully tap into the power of some of those recordings, the way the repetition creates its own hypnotic gravity. And its thankfully done without the full regalia of rhythm boxes and electric piano and all those signifiers. The other nice aspect of some of these tracks is the subtle sense of menace that flows beneath them, and in that I hear a little Boards of Canada. (Are Boards of Canada, by the way, the elephant in the room? I've read dozens of reviews of synth stuff without their mention. Geogaddi is still a great album, right?). Hearing this tape, and seeing the kind of stuff Jamie and Rene Hell and Matt Carlson are up to here in Portland makes me happy that this whole synth revival thing is heading into new, werid, interesting territory. Let's all listen deep and demand more.

The art for this tape, and all three in this batch, was done by Brenna Murphy. It's totally zonked and beguiling -- this is some of my favorite tape art of all time. She also made three short videos to accompany each tape.

Million Mists - Slangaer from Brenna Murphy on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Night-People re-stocks!
Pageants - s/t - Night-People
Pageants - s/t - Night-People - $6
White Woods - Bellplay - Night-People
White Woods - Bellplay - Night-People $6
Followers of this blog know how much I've been digging the Australian pop-scene of late, particularly the stuff coming out of Melbourne/Victoria -- so I'm very happy to have these two great tapes back in stock. I should know by now to stock-up on the Aussie tapes that NP puts out because they go so fast but I was luckily able to grab a few more this time around. Both these tapes have a nice balance between 60's and 90's influences. Pageants stick to a leaner approach -- simple, reverb-heavy songs adorned with dark 12-string guitar and organ. White Woods pair a snappy rhythm section that reminds of the Bats with messy, 90's-style psych in the vein of Brian Jonestown Massacre. Two excellent tapes, I'm guessing you'll hear more from both of these groups.

(Brisbane, I know...)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I've got the Pak tape back in stock. It's $6. The first run disappeared so fast because the tape is great. Second run is of 100 tapes, when they're gone that will be it for this release.

Also, the Tracey Trance tour tapes are all spoken for. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tracey Trance - Learning To Your Stuff
Tracey is a lifer. I can't think of higher praise to heap on this nomadic weirdo. Getting to know him, hanging at his shows, realizing that he is never not working on more recordings, realizing that he knows every single person in America who runs a small label, that he knows every single person in America who has put out a good cassette tape, that he is always just back from tour or about to leave on one -- it all makes clear how little barrier there is between his "life" and his "art." And the reason I mention that is not to say that he's more For Real or Authentic, any of that, but to explain the tractor beam-like charm every little blurp of his music can exert on you, from the 30-second blasts of scuzz to the long-form meandering jammers. It's because every piece is a fragment knocked from a glowing, kinetic, ever-morphing whole. Hope this collection of missives from Tracey-land makes it into your stereo, it's one of my favorites.


Tracey Trance - Hangtown USA II
I've got two copies of the new tour tape, self-released by Tyler. They're five clams, first come first served.


Monday, March 14, 2011


Last chance to catch this killer art show at White Box. Midori Hirose, Ben Young, Jason Traeger, Matthew Green, and the curator Jesse Hayward talking about the show. Midori and Ben are the freaking jam.

6 to 7pm
White Box in the White Stag Block
University of Oregon in Portland
24 NW First Avenue


Cody's new TONING synth project.
Jason of Trace Figures's WEATHER EXPOSED SKELETON MUSIC which is gnarly and elemental.
And WOOLEN MEN, who are ditching the guitars(mostly) for a very special evening of SPACED-OUT SYNTHESIZER KRAUT JAMS! FOR REAL!

Everything is free!
Everyone is rad friends!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Art opening at Artery, with work by Chris Johanson, Jo Jackson, Chris Corales, Sam Coomes and about a dozen others. Spacey music performance by Brian Mumford, Dana Dart-McLean, Ron Burns and Raf Spielman.

Friday March 11th, 7pm
2219 NW Raleigh


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thanks, Jed!

And "Find Your Way":

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lab Coast - Pictures On the Wall
Turn the radio on in 2011 and it's clear that guitar-based pop music is as much on the fringe as avant-improv jazz. We can look to the Woodsist axis to see how easy it is to slip from psyched-out noise to reverbed-out hooks. So it's on the plane of the cassette underground that Bug Incision main-man Chris Dadge and I met, via his Bent Spoon Duo's weird scratchings. When Dadge got in touch about doing a tape with his pop group it was a no-brainer -- we were kindred wanderers moving between the two fringe worlds. Which is to say nothing of the gem he and Lab Coast turned in with Pictures On The Wall, which is one of those tapes that finds it's way into my tape deck and orbits there, going 'round and 'round. If you've been digging the pop music Shawn Reed has been releasing over at Night-People(Twerps, Pageants, White Woods, Terrorbird), this will be your jam. $6

And the band tells me they've made the release readily available digitally, itunes, CDbaby, etc.

Fear No Pop review
And a million blog reviews
Lab Coast detail

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tomorrow night at Courier Coffee I will be playing SYNTHESIZER MUSIC for the art opening of Alex Liegel's photography. LPs and tapes. Contemporary stuff, Kraut stuff, pop stuff, odd-ball stuff. Stop by if you are doing the first Thursday thing, SW Oak right by Powell's, 5 to 9 is the time I've been told.

Copies of FREE SPIRIT MAGAZINE can now be purchased from Container Corps or from me directly. FREE SPIRIT is a collection of drawings by Jeffery Kriksciun, Josh Kermiet and Raf Spielman. It costs $10. Much more information about the book can be found at the Container Corps website.