Friday, November 25, 2011

Primitive Motion - By Arc Or Chord - Soft Abuse
Primitive Motion - By Arc Or Chord - Soft Abuse
Australian weirdness from Brisbane. Am I picking up on a Brisbane "sound"? Like the excellent Sky Needle, Primitive Motion bring quite a bit of composure to their wigged-out worldview, and similarly, I suspect both groups are hiding a decent level of musicianship in their clatter, or perhaps get their nice sound from a good ratio of musicians to non-musicians. The tracks here are minimally arranged and rhythm heavy -- some kind of groove is established and then the singer lays down unaffected sing-speak poem-lyrics. The songs that really click are rugged and hypnotic and definitely suggest that these guys have a killer LP in them. Cool stuff. Good energy and fresh vibes.

$6, email to order.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Concern - Living Wage - Digitalis LTD
Concern - Living Wage CS - Digitalis
Concern is something of a giant in my mind -- his mysterious drone music made from tape loops of real, live, vibrating instruments (dulcimer, piano, lap steel, etc.) never fails to stun with its depth and attention to texture. Emotionally, too, his pieces are deep, and steer clear of the usually traps of maudlin "ecstasy" or goth-y doominess. What I'm getting at is that what you hear on a Concern release is the work of person diligently following their own path and honing their craft, making music that is above trends and superficial distractions. Music that will last.

$7, email to order.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ampax Catalog - DSR.SLT - Phaserprone
Ampax Catalog - dsr.slit - Phaserprone
Elemental and trippy, Ampax Catalog dial in some classic electronic vibes reminiscent of early BBC Radiophonic/Delia Derbyshire and library music LPs of the mono synth era. Couple tracks lean in a more Mark Lord-esque dystopian industrial zone but keep with the M.O. of stark arrangements and tones. Super nice harmony of sound and design with this tape, probably the best looking Phaserprone release to date, no small feat, thick paper and two color letter-press printing. Very elegant!

$7, email to order it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eggy is your one-stop Mad Nanna shopping center...
Mad Nanna - If I Don't Sleep Tonight 7" - Wormwood Grasshopper
Mad Nanna - If I Don't Sleep Tonight 7" - Wormwood Grasshopper
Very excited to get a handful of this 100 press Australian 7" from my fav Weirdos of Oz. "If I Don't Sleep Tonight" finds the 'Nanna band in a moment of surprising tenderness -- late-night sentiments of love and psychosis transmitted via their usual out-of-tune clatter. The unlabeled b-side is mellower still, a very pretty folk-pop number with muted strumming and a guitar line out for a midnight wander, with occasional, distant vocals. An excellent pair of tunes, very skewed and lovely.

$11*, email to order it.

*A ton of money, I know, but I'm really not making any money off this release, I should charge more but I just can't. More than $11 is too much for a 7". It costs that much because it's a tiny run size of 100 and it's coming all the way from Tasmania(!). And I just had to have it in the mail order.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sad Horse 1
Sad Horse - Eggy Tape - Eggy Records
Perhaps one of the highest compliments I can pay to Sad Horse is that after hearing their 7" on Mississippi Records and waiting to see them play for the first time, I realized that I had no idea what kind of people were about to take the stage. From the sounds on their record they could just as easily be a pair of young punks with a melodic streak as stylish artsy-types recently transplanted from New York. (I won't tell you what they're really like!) And I think this gets right to the core of their music -- it's not reducible to a certain "sound" or genre but instead represents the two distinct personalities behind the songs. Their music is frenetic and melodic, pleasantly frayed while executing tricky passages, spry one moment and rock and roll heavy the next. And also funny. In the few years since that first show I've gotten to know the two of them, and been able to figure out some of the elements going into their music -- Geoff's past playing drums in the band Fuck, his love of Thinking Fellers, little snippets of surf music, some African guitar, a dash of Dead Moon, for example. Elizabeth's deep, subliminal love of Zooey Deschanel. But ultimately what comes out is the particular combination of the two of them, Geoff's dizzying guitar lines with Elizabeth's scatter-shot drumming underneath, then suddenly 90s-heavy chords with a no-nonsense beat, and both of them hollering away on top. This release breaks a long dry-spell from one of Portland's great bands, and with a record in the works for the excellent, new Water Wing imprint it looks like there's a lot more good stuff to come.

$5, email to order it.

Here's "Check's In The Mail":

And you can check out a few more tracks here.
And also, if you are in Portland, don't miss the release show!
Woolen Men & Sad Horse & Well
Sad Horse
Woolen Men
and our new friends
Well the World Famous Kenton Club! Free! If you drink like crazy the bands get paid!
Sad Horse - Eggy Tape - Eggy Records

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Garbage and the Flowers - Stoned Rehearsal LP - Quemada Records
The Garbage and the Flowers - Stoned Rehearsal LP - Quemada Records
Well, the title says it all but I can fill you in on the details. The Garbage and the Flowers are a New Zealand/Australia band whose approach to music is so laid back that it sometimes feels like a small miracle that their recordings ever even see the light of day. After two decades of existence they have left a sparse trail; beyond a double LP, only two 7"s, a tape and a handful of compilation appearances. They seem to enjoy drifting along the margins, beloved by the lucky few who happen upon their music, which itself drifts along, sometimes noisily but usually, lately quite hushed, always on the verge of coming together or falling apart, but amazingly, beautifully, doing neither.
Stoned Rehearsal dates to 2007. It was first released by the band, then re-released by Near Tapes, small editions in both cases. In terms of mood, it's very much in line with the Alamo Rose 7" that came out Skull Tones a few years back(and actually has stoned versions of the two songs on that record), which is to say quietly anthemic, full of off-kilter guitars and wobbly harmonies. And really, this record is what it says it is -- the band meanders around the songs, starting and stopping, flubbing guitar lines, the dogs start barking, lyrics are forgotten, chords discussed. It's like a normal Garbage and the Flowers recording except more so. But the songs, despite being all wrong, so utterly, totally, completely wrong, are great. Bracingly tender, quietly cacophonous. An oddity and a classic. Comes with a lyric sheet!

$14, email to order it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Le Super Djata Band Du Mali - En Super Forme - Musique Mondiale
Le Super Djata Band Du Mali - En Super Forme LP - Musique Mondiale
Four long, hypnotic tracks from the Malian Super Djata Band. Discogs lists the original issue of this LP at 1982 but I would guess that these recordings date to at least a few years earlier given the nicely swampy fidelity. Similar to other group records from Mali I've heard, the songs tend toward mid-tempo and draw their strength from their magnetic repetitiveness. The bass, for example, locks into a single, simple line for each long song and plays it into infinity. My knowledge is limited, but the Super Djata Band seems fairly stripped down, lacking horns and featuring a single guitarist -- but they use the economy of the setup very well and the guitarist is really extraordinary, easily moving from the chiming figures that accompany the singing into the nimble leads that intersperse the songs.

Here's live footage from Malian television, circa the early 80s. The group on the LP sounds much smaller than the relatively large one here but the song is fairly representative and -- holy shit! -- that guitarist! that guitarist!

$12, email to order it

Monday, November 7, 2011

A pair of limited run re-presses on the table. Was doing some organizing and realized I had the tapes and covers to put a couple tapes back in print that I thought some folks might be interested in:
Jovontaes - Masks of the Land (reissue) - Eggy 11b (1)
Jovontaes - Masks of the Land
An Eggy favorite and early-ish release from these Lexington, KY rippers. They've got a new LP on Hello Sunshine and are on the up. I've got just a handful of these. $5
The Polyps - Flies Of Winter
The Polyps - Flies Of Winter
Made these up for the recent east coast tour (in support of a Hello Sunshine LP) and sold them all on the road, thought I'd do a few more for non-east coasters. Very stripped down, songs and improvisations on acoustic guitar for the most part. $5

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ural Thomas - Push Em Up/Deep Within My Heart 7 " - Mississippi Records
Ural Thomas - Fade Away/Smile 7" - Mississippi Records
Ural Thomas - Push Em Up/Deep Within My Heart and Fade Away/Smile 7"s - Mississippi Records
Sometimes given the distinguished title of "Whitest City North of the Mississippi," North Portland was actually the home to a vibrant, if small, African American community in the decades before and after the second World War. Ural Thomas is the most well-known singer to emerge from that scene, recording a few singles in the late '60s for the UNI label, which failed to bring him mainstream success at the time but in later years earned him cred from crate diggers who rediscovered his West Coast take on Northern Soul (check out "Pain Is The Name Of Your Game"). My ears tell me Push 'Em Up/Deep Within My Heart dates to earlier than his UNI records and sounds to have been recorded in a small -- Portland -- studio(Note: I'm told 1963 is the year). Gritty and upbeat, the two cuts here are absolute gems. Unlike his later studio work with open, hi-fi production, these songs are swampy and sweaty, all smeared organ and snappy drums. I was expecting a ballad from Deep Within My Heart and while the tempo drops a few notches this side has the same giddy energy as the flip. Fade Away/Smile is an oddity of a record; Thomas himself pressed it in 1968 in a run of less than 400, which in 1968 was a minuscule number. Fade Away is a rambling jam featuring a band consisting of children, some of them playing hollow metal bedposts as horns, with the vocals somewhere deep in the mix -- easily one of the stranger soul sides I've heard -- and Smile is a solid and straightforward ballad in a kind of Curtis Mayfield style. These are $5 each, I highly recommend Push 'Em Up. It will make you happy, for real.

Email to order it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thought Broadcast - Up Maker 7" - Phaserprone
Thought Broadcast - Up-Maker 7" - Phaserprone
Brooklyn-based Phaserprone continues to impress, pairing excellent design work with a unique take on the fringe music scene. Thick paper and stately letter-press work have become the visual hall-mark of the label, while musically the releases tend toward rhythmically focused experimentation. Thought Broadcast reminds me of the other Broadcast actually, though only tangentially. These are of course not pop songs, nor is there a demure chanteuse, but it's not hard to imagine these four songs as lost instrumental tracks from the late, more experimental era of the British band. There is something vaguely 60s about the rhythms -- they are simple and propulsive -- and the odd electronic sounds are channeled into semi- and sometimes overtly melodic phrases. Very cool and mysterious 7", the somewhat high cost reflects the high production value.

$8, email to order it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The opening of a new show of excellent and funny art by Lil' Jeff Kriksciun with musical accompaniment by Ketchup Duo DJs (me and Josh)

811 E Burnside
6 to 8pm
More info here.