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The cover isn’t the only unexpected thing about Wintersleep’s New Inheritors / by Karen Bliss
the road nonstop, including an opening slot hang out in his local record store in Yarmouth, Nova for Paul McCartney in Halifax, a U.S. tour with Wolf Parade and European tour with Scotia, where many of his friends worked. “I grew up the Editors. in that culture,” he says. Now he occasionally pops The band—rounded out by bassist Mike into record shops when the band is touring “if we Bigelow and keyboardist, backing vocalist/ guitarist Jon Samuel—would start trying out know they have a good vinyl collection.” song ideas at soundcheck or just jamming on Murphy is one of the positive ones, who doesn’t guitar for fun whether they were in Ireland, Japan or Italy. think album art will ever be unnecessary, at least The resulting 12-song album kicks off with real strings—something they denot for Wintersleep, which he put together almost cided to add in the studio—and proceeds with a moody, sparse, rocker, “Experi10 years ago with guitarist/keyboardist Tim D’Eon ence The Jewel,” then follows with a more boisterous track, “Encyclopedia.” and drummer Loel Campbell. The first single, “Black Camera,” seems like it could be interpreted as being “It’s something that we really enjoy,” he says. “I sung from the perspective of a person who is in the body bag, or someone who don’t think the tangible record or the tangible CD is being railroaded by police. Murphy isn’t that forthcoming. “It seems to be a will ever go away. It might not sell as well, but it’s dark, murderer sort of character,” he says. something that we really like.” Of the title-track, which was inspired by author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The cover of Wintersleep’s latest album, New In- short story “The New Adam And Eve,” Murphy says, “It’s not like the song is heritors, is cool without even knowing the history. It specifically based on that story. It’s just that actual lines are taken [from it].” shows a cluttered room with a piano, a car smashed The band’s bio says it “examines the finitude of the human condition in a postthrough the wall, books piled high, a toaster, clock, apocalyptic setting.” Murphy laughs. “I guess that would be a way to explain a clothesline, a boat and other items, some harder the song in a pretty broad, vague way.” to make out than others. Murphy says it’s hard to put a finger on what’s different “It’s a diorama,” says Murphy of the miniature or new about New Inheritors. “It’s gonna be different and replicas made specifically for Wintersleep. “Everyit’s gonna be new just because of the fact that it’s a few thing in that picture is a model. Graham Patterson years after [the last album] and you have different ideas designed it. It’s not crazy small, but it’s made to look about what you like about a song, like it’s an actual room.” “You wanna keep it fresh, and keep it moving in an Obviously, artwork is the last piece of the puzzle interesting direction, but it’s also hard because it’s also when it comes to making an album. First there are something that‘s pretty attached to who you are as a perthe songs. Wintersleep’s last album, 2007’s Welcome son and as a musician. It’s not something that we take a Inheritors To The Night Sky, featured the sprightly, dark-folk New step back and go, ‘What are we going to do for this record? is available now ditty, “Weighty Ghost.” That hit kept the band on from EMI Canada. What can be different about this record?’” 10
intersleep singer/guitarist Paul Murphy used to
photo by Dustin Rabin
by Karen Bliss
believe that when people truly step back and actually look
extreme subcultures of metal; and last year’s Iron Maiden: Flight 666 covered the English band’s whirlwind 23-show, five-continent, 45-day 2008 tour in a jet piloted by frontman Bruce Dickinson. “[Beyond The Lighted Stage] was different than anything else we’ve done before in that it’s a history of a particular band— and we chose a band with a really long history,” laughs Dunn, sitting with McFadyen for promo interviews at Alliance Films’ Toronto headquarters, which distributes the Banger Films production. By using key interviews, concert footage and photographs, some dating back to Rush’s suburban high school years, the pair does a compelling job at explaining why this Toronto progressive metal trio—singer/bassist/keyboardist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart—has been around for more than 40 years, sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, and continue to sell out massive tours, like the one they’re doing this summer. “What makes Rush unique is fearlessness; it’s a quality of starting to write a song and not caring about what’s popular [and] what’s not,” offers bassist/ singer Gene Simmons; the film mentions how KISS took Rush out on the road in America at the start of their career. “There’s only one band that sounds like them. What kind of band is Rush? It’s Rush.” Among the other musicians gladly interviewed for Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage and going into fine detail about their passion for the band are Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, Sebastian Bach, Rage
at who the great bands were, they are one of those bands,” says The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, in one scene near the beginning of the documentary Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, just released on DVD.
“They are one of those bands that somehow they were never popular enough that they get commonly name-checked as one of the great bands of all time. A lot of the other stuff has been over-explained. Led Zeppelin has been over-explained; the Beatles have been over-explained. It doesn’t tell the whole story and you could say, ‘Why was this band marginalized? What was it?’ It doesn’t matter. At some point, they’re there and somebody has to explain why they’re there.” Canadian directors Sam Dunn and Scott McFadyen are those somebodies. Dunn is a noted “heavy metal anthropologist” whose previous documentaries with McFadyen have explored the genre on a worldwide scale: 2005’s Metal: A Headbangers Journey delved into this much maligned and stereotyped music; 2008’s Global Metal took them from Europe to Asia and the Middle East to unearth the 12
Rush looks back at their long career in a new documentary
photo by Dustin Rabin
Against The Machine’s Tim Commerford, Jack Black and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. “This rock band got me all fired up about literature,” says Bach, recounting how he bought Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead at age 12 because of Rush’s 2112. He also proudly reveals he was “member No. 3 of the Rush Backstage Club.” Black recites passages of Rush’s music in the comically intense way only he can, and surmises: “Rush is just one of these bands that has a deep reservoir of rocket sauce. A lot of bands they only have so much in the bottle. They use it up sometimes in one song. These guys were the real deal. Their bottle was so big and so filled to the brim, they were shaking it literally for decades and still there was sauce coming out.” Rush is often perceived as cerebral musos, always “over-reaching” musically, to which they admit, but what Beyond The Lighted Stage also shows is that the three don’t take themselves nearly as seriously as people think. The band members, particularly Lifeson and Lee, continually crack jokes about everything from their so-called “Down The Tubes” tour early in their career to their fashion choices, such as Lee’s Asian robe phase, and there are plenty of the simple quips and ribbing that comes with any long-standing friendship. At Alliance Films, even during a short interview for the doc, it becomes apparent. “You know even hearing [his] voice from back then, you know, I don’t remember Geddy singing like that,” Lifeson says. “I know,” laughs Lee. “Seriously,” says Lifeson. “But I did,” Lee laughs. “You do,” says Lifeson. It’s the funny little stuff like that that provides a glimpse into their personalities, how they have stayed together all this time, and why Beyond The Lighted Stage is not just a story about three musicians. “Alex Lifeson is probably one of the funniest people we’ve ever met,” says Dunn. “He plays in Rush, which is probably one of the most serious bands that ever existed. Frankly, I think if it wasn’t for Rush’s humour and sense of humour about themselves and what they do, this movie would have been really boring. And it was the juxtaposition between their humour and their camaraderie as friends and their creative direction in terms of creating music that’s very challenging and intellectual and complex, that was really fascinating to us. “What we learned, and what we think was conveyed in the film, is that part of what enables them to create this complex music, and go through so many different changes in their sound over this period of time, is that when they get in a room they just want to laugh together. And I think that’s unique about Rush. We’ve certainly never seen it before.” The film has many levels—the story of first generation Canadians, pursuing one’s dreams despite the norm or what’s expected, loyalty, compromise, excellence, friendship, family. But for their part, Lee and Lifeson say there was never a point when they looked at their lives and what Beyond the they’ve accomplished as a “big story.” Lighted Stage is available “It’s hard to think of yourself in those terms,” says Lee. now on DVD and “We just put one foot in front of the other and get on with Blu-Ray from it. To see it on a screen like that is a bit overwhelming for Alliance Films.
To see it on a screen like that is a bit overwhelming for us, because it’s 40 years of your life. And all those moments of putting one foot in front of the other have added up to be this big story.” —geddy lee
us, because it’s 40 years of your life. And all those moments of putting one foot in front of the other have added up to be this big story. But we never would have guessed it and I guess Scott and Sam saw that and that’s the reason they came to us in the first place. After watching the documentary, Lee admits, “It was emotional at times.” “There are triggers,” Lifeson agrees. “There are things you see and it puts you back,” explains Lee. “When you’re talking about difficult periods, obviously that hits you because you re-live all those things. And it’s a bit of a strange feeling because some of the really early stuff I can’t remember that guy and it bothers me that I feel so disconnected from that 20 year old kid. I don’t remember what it felt like to be him and I guess that’s part of aging.” One of the most telling clips in the documentary is of a teenage Lifeson talking about wanting to quit school in an Allan King documentary that was shelved. “I don’t want to make a bunch of money,” he tells his parents. “If I make a lot of money, that’s great, but I’m not gonna go to university and get a big degree. I don’t want to drive around in a big car and get people to go, ‘Hey, there goes Alex. He’s loaded with money’ and ‘Wow, he’s really set himself up great.’ I don’t know why I have to go through all the bullshit of high school to learn music.” And that epitomizes Rush—music first; money later. needle
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Sebastian Blanck quietly confronts a tragedy on Alibi Coast / by Nick Green
es, Sebastian Blanck’s Alibi Coast is a concept album, a suite about
the self-estrangement that goes hand-in-hand with being away from home too long and aching for familiar comforts. At least that was Blanck’s intent when he started piecing together the record almost four years ago. And for most listeners, no further context is necessary to enjoy the simple charms of his spare, soothing arrangements and expressive, multi-tracked vocals, which create the illusion of a multitude of voices, this lonely chorus-of-one magnifying despair. But the drowning death of his brother Toby had a in the vein of the Carter Family and old bluegrass bellwether effect on Blanck’s songwriting process. standards. The album is the antithesis of the anWhat was already a potent rumination on love and gular, music-as-irritant attack of Black Dice. It’s Blanck’s raw vocals that drive the album, roughing loss became a very specific—and intensely personal—epitaph for one of the most inspirational figures it up—though some likeminded artists, including in Blanck’s life. “Nothing is stranger than doing pub- Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond and Caroline licity for a record about the death of my brother, but Polachek of Chairlift, drop by to take the edge off. I realized that it was easier in the long run to be up- Alibi Coast wasn’t originally conceived as a series front about it,” he says. “Of of duets, but Blanck says course, singing the songs the struggle to make sense from this album can actually of his brother’s death made be pretty painful because so the format a necessity. much of it is explicitly about “[My brother] had kept losing him.” most of the details of the Alibi Coast is steeped in last year of his life from my the sound of 60s and 70s family and me,” he says. “I singer-songwriter pop. Accould only imagine what cording to Blanck, the album he was going through. Even his drowning was began with rediscovering a mystery to us. He had some of the music that held a childhood fascination for been having marital probboth him and his brother. lems, had separated from “When I first started writing his wife, and was engaged quieter material, I thought in multiple relationships. of my songs as being like the The idea of having many ballads that rock bands like voices, matched with my Moby Grape or Big Star or own constant voice singLed Zeppelin had on their ing about heartbreak, records,” he says. “But the made sense. My brother’s more I wrote, the more I confusion and my loss are started to love Elliott Smith, at the crux of these songs. Bert Jansch, Leadbelly My own voice could never and that solo guitar player do some of the things in —Sebastian Blanck some of these duets—it sound. The harmonies came helped to capture exactly as a product of trying to strengthen the songs and finding narrative depth.” how I feel during those moments where I couldn’t On Alibi Coast, Blanck, a visual artist and onefully express it.” time member of experimental noise band Black In some ways, Blanck repurposing others’ voices Dice, plays an always melodic mix of guitar, piano, is in keeping with his visual art. Blanck’s favored organ and banjo. “Nothing Left to Lose” has the sim- medium is collage, and his stock in trade is taking plicity of a child’s lullaby, and “Don’t Let the Darksimple painted scraps and building them into new ness Gather Me” hews to a hearthside arrangement forms. The detail in Blanck’s collages is impres-
Nothing is stranger than doing publicity for a record about the death of my brother, but I realized that it was easier in the long run to be upfront about it.”
photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg
sive—a series of time-lapse videos on his blog demonstrates how he assembles up to 1,000 separate piece of cut paper into portraits of his friends and loved ones. (The video clips are essential viewing if you want to see, say, members of Yeasayer in a completely different light.) “Rather than using found photos as a source of color and imagery, I handpaint paper in gouache,” he says. “It gives me total control over color, texture and pattern. Each piece of paper that I cut is glued to a piece of paper that is stretched over stretcher bars. It gives the image the physical presence of a painting while remaining a work on paper.” While the raw, angular sound of Black Dice—the band Blanck helped found as a student at the Rhode Island School of Design—had no bearing on Alibi Coast, there are some casual connections. Jon Galkin of DFA Records (one of Black Dice’s labels) was instrumental in introducing Blanck to Nicolas Vernhes, who engineered Alibi Coast and became Blanck’s closest collaborator during the lengthy, off-and-on recording process. Blanck’s experience as a student at RISD had a greater influence on his work as a visual artist, and it’s his approach to art that helps explain this methodical, largely acoustic and mournful album. The crestfallen mood is captured perfectly in the video for “I Blame Baltimore.” Ironically, it’s one of the only songs on Alibi Coast that isn’t explicitly about Blanck’s brother. It’s also one of the only songs Blanck was able to preview for Toby before his death. “It was a little odd when my friend Ben Syverson picked this song to make a video, since I played it at
my brother’s memorial service,” he says. “Toby and I had planned to start a little label together to put out my record. The most satisfying thing about releasing Alibi Coast is that it is the completion of an ambition we both shared.” Which makes the video’s treatment—Blanck as a lonely astronaut in search of civilization—that much more bittersweet. “It’s simple and beautiful,” Blanck says. “And my twoyear-old son is still convinced that I traveled to outer space.”
Alibi Coast will be available July 6 from Rare Book Room Records
Ghosts and Their Machines Stars ditch the clutter (but keep the drama) on the streamlined The Five Ghosts / by Sarah Kitteringham
t was a heavy apex in our lives where all these things happened at once,” Stars bassist Evan
Cranley says. “We’ve gone through a lot of personal things as people in a band. We’ve lost some family members and people lost their homes. People built homes, new families were born.” ¶ The weight of that collective experience—sudden loss and new beginnings—hangs over Stars’ fifth and latest album, The Five Ghosts. The Montréal rockers have specialized in indie-scale epics—sprawling, multi-part songs full of emotional peaks and troughs—most notably on the critically-acclaimed Set Yourself on Fire. They’ve been both chided and lauded for their sugary and always grandiose sound. But now, after weathering the past decade, they’ve managed to capture both adult heartbreak and adult joy. Lyrically, The Five Ghosts reflects this “world between darkness and light,” as Cranley puts it, but the delivery remains deceptively sweet. This time around, the quintet—including Cranley, vocalist/guitarist Amy Millan, vocalist Torquil Campbell, keyboardist Chris Seligman and drummer Pat McGee—have opted for a sound built on synthesizers and pop succinctness. The Five Ghosts is still trademark Stars, of course: lyrical narratives full of scene-setting detail; brash and bright two-singer choruses; songs that build increasingly complex percussion arrangements lightened with the occasional sweet twang of guitar. Violins, piano, accordion and other lavish instrumental touches are often woven into the mix. But while The Five Ghosts retains an orchestral richness, the band has pruned some of the pompous flourishes that have long plagued them. “We just wanted to make sure that every single song that was chosen for the record was meant to be there,” Cranley says. “There was just too much music last time,” he adds, referring to 2007’s overstuffed In Our Bedroom After the War. “With [Ghosts], I really wanted the listener to have a sense… that everything was a puzzle piece that connected to everything else.” 18
The band worked as unit, a departure from their usual songwriting method, where music and lyrics were often composed separately and then pasted together. “The chemistry changes when you’re all in there together,” Cranley says. “When you’ve been a band for 10 years, it’s important to put yourself in unfamiliar territory, which can lead to a new energy.” But the synthesized sound of The Five Ghosts is also an opportunity to remaster an old tool—the band’s first full-length, 2001’s —Luke LaLonde Nightsongs, was also synth-heavy. “I think it’s important every time you start a new process to start out with instruments that are unfamiliar to you,” Cranley suggests. “I find it pushes the creative envelope a little bit more when you’re unfamiliar with something. It’s a naïveté that
We just wanted to make sure that every single song that was chosen for the record was meant to be there. There was just too much music last time.”
helps you when you’re composing music.” On The Five Ghosts, the synths harmonize with the drums and bass because the band wanted “to put the synthesis in that register was really fun,” creating a bouncy low-end sound. Cranley notes that, as much as Stars have changed things up on The Five Ghosts, much remains the same, including another guest appearance from Broken Social Scene/ Apostle of Hustle guitarist Andrew Whiteman. “He is one of my favorite musicians,” Cranley enthuses. On Ghosts, Cranley played on four tracks, including the bubblegumcatchy (if slightly too repetitive) single “Fixed.” “We all look up to him… We’ll lay down a track and he’ll just go in, feel it in the moment and we get an incredible sense of spontaneity from him.” The Five Ghosts is also the latest Stars release on Soft Revolution, the band-run label inaugurated with 2008’s Sad Robots EP. “It gives us more freedom to be as creative as we want,” Cranley says. “I think the most important thing about having our own imprint is managing our own aesthetic… Yes, there are people who distribute for us and act as a label for us, but [Soft Revolution] gives us a chance to create our own kind of story and world… It’s like we create our own sense of theater as a backdrop to releasing the record.” Both in presentation and sound, the band is consumed by this sense of theater; singer Campbell’s acting background is certainly one explanation for
his melodramatic vocal delivery. Even Cranley’s responses to questions about the internal tensions that sometimes arise during recording sessions— Stars spent two weeks writing in Vancouver and recorded at two studios in Montréal, Hotel2Tango and Breakglass—have a bit of the theatrical about them. “I find it 75 percent tense, 25 percent fun,” Cranley says of the recording process. “You’re etching something in stone forever. I know that’s a dramatic way to look at it, but you won’t have another chance… For me, the [album’s] ghost theme has been more about a living ghost: the fear of becoming anonymous.”
The Five Ghosts hits stores June 22 from Soft Revolution
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From Chicago jackers to European minimalists: House music goes on and on / by Jess Harvell
n the early ’80s, Chicago dancers were desperate. When disco fell out of
Many of these wannabe Chicago producers, often struggling DJs or broke club kids, had never even picked up an instrument. They certainly couldn’t afford time behind a couch-sized synthesizer in some 24-track studio. But they could, if they scrimped and borrowed, afford the drum machines and keyboards “real” musicians had dumped in secondhand stores in favor of the latest gear. And so: house music. It hardly seems like it could have been that simple. House music has proven the most resilient of all dance music subgenres. It’s cracked the Billboard Top Ten and explored the kind of dissonance more common to noise-rock. From hip-hop to hardcore, there’s probably not one genre that house hasn’t affected, at least a little. The new album by leftfield R&B singer Kelis, Flesh Tone, 20
is a house record in all but name. It’s also a genre that— there’s no getting around this—is designed to be played by DJ, in a club, for those who love the nightlife. For almost three decades, hedonists have given up their weekends to chase house’s immediately recognizable 4/4 bass drum thump, from antiseptic superclubs to squat raves in abandoned buildings. Yet many house records—singles, LPs and DJ mixes—are just as enjoyable when heard through iPod earbuds. But the last 25 years have seen the birth (and occasional death) of so many house subgenres that we’d need an extra page just to list them: tribal house, minimal house, tech-house, etc. So forget the genre’s byways and experiments and underground avenues for a second. If your knowledge is limited to Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman” and whatever will.i.am’s thrown at the radio lately, this month’s Playlist will guide you around the house. If you find these beats addicting, there’s plenty more to explore.
favor with the mainstream, labels abandoned the genre as if it carried some communicable, organ-melting virus. Clubbers around the world had to make do with funk, synth-pop, anything with a danceable beat. With few new disco records coming out of New York or L.A. or Miami, the choice was clear for Chicago’s diehards: They’d have to make their own.
illustration by gluekit
Various Artists, A Tom Moulton Mix / Soul Jazz (2006)
Various Artists, Journey Into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story / Rhino (2006) Beneath the genre’s smiley surface, there was underground disco, fiercer than its Top 40 variant. Tom Moulton was one of the first disco remixers, and the rock and soul remakes on A Tom Moulton Mix are stripped to the kind of bass-and-drum basics later heard on early house records. The Broadway horn sections and gospeltinged singers are reigned in, and the rhythms on faintly cheesy
tunes like B.T. Express’ “Peace Pipe” are pushed past “hypnotic” and straight into “manic,” “uncontrollable” and “all-consuming.” It’s almost impossible to talk about the late DJ Larry Levan without succumbing to hyperbole or sentimentality. His eclecticism was unrepeatable (what other disco DJ would play Sting if it worked?); his soundsystem was mind-altering; and his crowd
never let disco die, riding the postSaturday Night Fever slump into the house present. Journey Into Paradise contains records Levan both played and remixed, from obscure disco nuggets to the Talking Heads. It’s as rhythm-focused as A Tom Moulton Mix, but it also raises the lush sound of classic disco to an artful extreme, presaging later “deep” house artists.
Various Artists, Trax Records: 20th Anniversary Edition / Trax (2004)
Various Artists, Masters At Work: The Tenth Anniversary Collection / BBE (2001) This double-disc DJ mix from one of the earliest house labels is the best introduction to the early house sound. You can hear the genre coming into its own, week to week, in Chicago’s clubs: the bracing, skeletal crudity of the earliest tracks; the eerie psychedelic noise of Phuture’s “Acid Tracks”; the diva melodrama of Ralphie Rosario’s “You Used to Hold Me”; the opulent techno ambiance of Jungle Wonz’ “The Jungle.”
In just a few years, Trax mapped out the sound of dance music for two decades to come. House migrated quickly. One of its first stops was New York, where producers began to merge the basic post-disco beat with the roughness of hip-hop and the smoothness of Latin-tinged jazz. The O.G.’s of both upscale “deep” house and down-and-dirty NYC party house, Masters at Work have
enjoyed a 20 year career that’s brought them into contact with both Madonna and Eddie Palmieri. This four-disc selection from their first decade contains everything from roller rink funk (all-time classic “The Bomb), to spacey slow-motion disco (“The Nervous Track”), to mechanical grooves (“Deep Inside”) that give an East Coast gloss to that old Chicago minimalism.
THE CROSSOVER Basement Jaxx, Remedy / Astralwerks (1999) It’s not as if Basement Jaxx invented pop house. From its earliest days as a Chicago curio, when the radio was already full of synthetic sounds and programmed drums, house records had crept into the charts. By the early ’90s, they were sandwiched between Roxette and the New Kids on pop radio, blaring from shopping mall loudspeakers, rocking the set of Club MTV. Basement Jaxx never even had a hit (at
least in America). But few acts have made house as big and bright and immediately accessible as Basement Jaxx while also keeping things raw, noisy, sonically schizo and dancefloor-focused. Remedy is the ultimate pop-house album because it’s so stuffed with hooks that even disco-phobes can’t burn out on that relentless beat. It’s also a testament to producers Si-
mon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton’s derangedly catholic definition of “pop.” On Remedy, you’ll hear everything from hardcore Jamaican dancehall to old-school new wave to gutbucket soul to noises usually left to David Lynch soundtracks. And it’s all cut-and-pasted together with such ragged energy that you can almost miss the fact that Radcliffe and Buxton are studio virtuosos.
Ricardo Villalobos, Fabric 36 / Fabric (2007) For the last 10 years, the word on the lips of house-heads has been “minimal.” At the end of the ’90s, a group of producers, mostly German, began to strip house of it excess, exploring pure rhythm and barely-there melodies. At the time, it was unexpected and bracing and refreshing, a kind of punk asceticism after years of frou-frou jazziness. Like most back-to-basics experiments, this proved something of a dead end. Soon the genre was beefing up again, but instead of pop or jazz it took on a prog tinge,
psychedelia where tribal rhythms meet techno austerity. No one’s taken this new proghouse into weirder (and perversely funky) places than GermanChilean icon Ricardo Villalobos. A DJ mix constructed entirely from his own productions, Fabric 36 contains little that can be called “minimal,” despite Villalobos’ penchant for microscopic rhythms that sound pieced together with a pair of tweezers. But tunes like “Andruic and Japan” (imagine an Asian drum ensemble playing
redwood-sized vibraphones) and “Primer Encuentro Latino-Americano” (sounding like an amped-up Chilean soccer crowd sucked into the engine of a jumbo jet) sound like nothing else in house music history. The “big leap forward” era is over for house—the genre now evolves in small increments—but as long as visionaries like Villalobos are nudging it in new directions, fans shouldn’t worry about stagnation.
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Nashville’s underground stands strong after a devastating flood / by Sean L. Maloney
f I hear one more mom at my daughter’s soccer game talk about how their husband lost a million
dollars worth of guitars at SoundCheck, I’m going to snap.” ¶ Bill Elder, guitarist/bandleader for hard funk outfit the Dynamites and owner of local label Outta Sight, sits in midtown Nashville, recounting the city’s recent flood, and its aftermath. The world’s largest rehearsal facility, and storage-unit-to-the-stars, SoundCheck was swallowed by the Cumberland River when it overflowed its banks, swollen from almost 17 inches of rainfall in 48 hours.
illustration by a.vastagh / bossconstruct.com
Luckier than some, Elder is among the hundreds, maybe thousands of working musicians affected by the storm. They’re men and women you won’t see chatting with Anderson Cooper or headlining telethons. They aren’t going to be on CMT, they aren’t a part of the corporate country music machine and they aren’t necessarily playing the music you’d expect from the tourist brochures. But they are the foundation of what makes Nashville “Music City” and not just “Country Music City.” Living outside the media glare, these are get-in-the-van bands, operating without the support of major labels or the safety net of previous success. “If your husband lost a million dollars worth of guitars, I’m sure there’s another million just waiting for ’em,” Elder says. Not that he lacks sympathy, per se. No one in this town likes to see equipment ruined, and the flood claimed a significant amount of vintage gear. Elder doesn’t have a spare million dollars sitting around, but he does have work, three weeks of touring Europe in early June. It won’t make up for the loss of his label’s master recordings—a label’s only true assets—but musicians like Elder make a living by recording and playing. So, sure, it’s a bummer about losing the vintage microphone that Elder claims to give Dynamites leader Charles Walker the “magic” on their albums Kaboom! and Burn it Down. But in the grand scheme, it could have been much, much worse. That’s the common sentiment in Nashville’s underground. Those that lost equipment point to those that lost their homes. Those that lost their homes point to the 19 people statewide that lost their lives. Losing stuff doesn’t seem so terrible, when you put it into perspective.
Music City’s Underside
Nashville—as opposed to New York and L.A., even Chicago and Atlanta—doesn’t have much going on besides music. Almost all outside media attention revolves around the local music industry, whether corporate country, indie rock, Americana or otherwise. And few other industries in Nashville attract new residents, or define the city’s collective character, the same way that music does. Imagine a city full of well-informed residents excited about music in all its myriad forms, and then imagine a city where most of them get to work in the industry they
love. (Or near enough to it that they can hang out talking music all day.) The bar is set high, in terms of quality and attention to craft, but expectations are realistic. Success is elusive, and fleeting once found. The city’s D.I.Y. tradition and entrepreneurial spirit stretch all the way back to country legends like Chet Atkins and Fred Rose. It’s also a city of variety, though it will likely always be known as country’s seat of power. But just look at the non-country stars Nashville has exported lately. Paramore (from nearby Franklin), Kings of Leon and Ke$ha aren’t anomalies. They’re representatives of very real aesthetic subcliques in the Nashville music community, the tip of the off-Music Row iceberg. There are dozens of bands who won’t be showing up on your local pop-country station any time soon. It was heartbreaking to hear that the Musicians Hall of Fame had lost some of the coolest-sounding instruments in the history of recorded music. That includes gear used by the Funk Brothers and the Wrecking Crew, folks responsible for a very high percentage of oldies radio hits. But at the same time, local underground musicians, often still trying to make a name for themselves outside of city limits, were losing the very means to get their music out there. The Running—a fuzzed-out reggae-rock act that forms the harder edge of Nashville’s nascent jam band scene—lost all of their equipment. They had driven to Knoxville, 180 miles east of Nashville, and back on Saturday. That’s a typical run for local, self-financed bands unable or unwilling to spend money on hotel rooms for a show that’s only a few hours away, but it became an arduous task given the torrential downpours that night. When the members of the Running woke the next morning, everything left in the van overnight—because who wants to unload at 4 a.m.?—was gone. But no one was hurt, and by the end of the week the band was already performing on borrowed equipment, playing benefit shows for other flood victims, while other bands began throwing benefits for them. And if you talk with Running bassist Christ Mironescu, he’s happy about the support, but not surprised. To him, it’s just another example of how tight-knit the Nashville music community can be. All of which is not to say that Nashville’s some musical utopia where everybody holds hands and sings “Kumbaya” while
labels pass out record deals and royalties fall from the sky. There’s still plenty of competition for media attention and plenty of flame wars on local music blogs. But people here seem more willing to recognize the struggle common to all working musicians: the need to play shows and make albums by any means necessary. Now they just have to adapt to the monkey wrench the “500-year flood” (as it’s been dubbed) has thrown into the city’s daily operation. It’s not necessarily how anyone wanted to come to national attention. But if the flood provides an opportunity to shine a light on some deserving musicians, and the spirit they showed in the flood’s aftermath, no one’s going to complain, either.
Reaching Out (and Retrenching)
Tennessee likes to make a big deal over its reputation as the “Volunteer State,” but its inherent urge to lend a hand was never more evident than in the days immediately following the flood. Ilyasin Zarifa, a category-busting electro-pop singer/ songwriter who records as YaZa, organized multi-genre benefits that flew in the face of the stylistic segregation that often characterizes the city’s concert scene, using her vast social network not as a promotional machine but as a community clearinghouse for relief and emergency information. Back in the Bellevue neighborhood, Tom Pappas—bassist for ’90s Buzz Bin power-pop champs Superdrag, leader of the psych-punk solo project Flesh Vehicle, general contractor and father—watched as his neighborhood disappeared under flood water. The next morning, he was out wading through the hard-hit River Plantation development with his tool belt in hand. “Even after the water had receded from the seven-foot mark, it still looked like lakefront property,” he says. “You couldn’t see were the water ended.” Pappas discovered a residence so flooded that the refrigerator had floated up off the floor and become lodged horizontally between the cupboards that lined the kitchen’s ceiling. He walked door to door, seeing which complete strangers could use his expertise, being fed by the roving bands of church groups and do-gooders armed with cookies and bottled water. Pappas waxes fondly about the sense of community that sprang up in the wake of the disaster. “If it takes this kinda thing to happen for all to be nice to each other, so be it.” 23
Infinite Arms to Hold You Band of Horses come into their own after a tumultuous beginning by Brian Baker
en Bridwell gets slightly flustered when asked about his imminent
departure to Europe for a quick and hectic tour. “I guess [we leave] Tuesday, or something,” Bridwell says with a laugh from a sound check in San Francisco. “Shit, I don’t really know.” Pondering the duration of this European jaunt, he finally resorts to mock frustration. “God, I don’t know, I swear,” Bridwell says in his still potent southern drawl. “I don’t even know when we’re leaving. I just go where they tell me.”
But when he announces, “If I can do this, anybody can,” he’s not being self-deprecating or disingenuous. Bridwell is nothing if not confident in his ability to adapt quickly to unfamiliar situations. When the South Carolina native began BOH in 2004, he had only just learned to play guitar. And when he joined chamber rock outfit Carissa’s Wierd in 1995,
it wasn’t just his first time in a band—it was the first time he’d ever played an instrument. Bridwell’s journey from musical novice to frazzled road dog has been somewhat rocky, of course. Although there was relatively little drama when Carissa’s Wierd dissolved in 2003, Bridwell’s tenure at the helm of Band of Horses has been tumultuous; photo by PHILIp ANDELMAN
/music Dean Shortland, local show promoter and mascot for doo-wop punks the Dozen Dimes, was seen kayaking around his East Nashville neighborhood with a chainsaw, looking for residents trapped by the flood. (He discovered an elderly woman stranded on the second floor of her home.) Aaron Irons, keyboardist for quirky new wavers the Non-Commissioned Officers, would spend the week following the flood ripping out drywall and removing mold in East Nashville, home to much of city’s arts community, both a working-class neighborhood and bohemian repository. “It looked like a Sasquatch wrapped in a tornado wrapped in tsunami just stampeded through the neighborhood,” Irons says. “There are still people down there that don’t have water or electricity. Their houses are completely gutted. There were some houses that were in five feet of water, and those were the easy houses. Some were under 20 feet of water and those were just... I dunno. Just demolished.” Ryan Bruce, a talent buyer and promoter that works on Nashville’s “Rock Block,” didn’t lose anything in the flood. “We had about three inches of running water through our basement, and we live on a hill, so we didn’t flood flood,” he says. He’s backstage at the Exit/In, a local club hosting a benefit for Candice Burnside, a well-loved local record store employee. It’s a month to the day from the start of the rain. Chuckling, he tells of the damage done to even the houses left standing. “There’s an infestation of termites because of wet wood. It’s a pretty common thing, fucking termites that look like gnats… and the mold, the fucking mold.” He chuckles again. “I’m living with my girlfriend now. And her sister. And two cats. And a bunny. And I have allergies.” His girlfriend, radio host and blogger Janet Timmons, is the organizational brawn behind tonight’s “Candice Is Kicking Cancer’s Ass” benefit and its bake sale. She also helped with the first big postflood benefit at the Mercy Lounge with Motown/Universal prog-pop act Paper Route, mainstays of Nashville’s downtown psychobilly scene, and ELO-fetishizing synth-poppers How I Became the Bomb. Both occasions raised thousands of dollars for their respective causes. 24
A month after the Cumberland River rose so high that it began to swallow the tourist-bait honky tonks on Lower Broad—a month after the river did swallow the Grand Ole Opry House (the newer incarnation, not the legendary Ryman, which remained dry)—Music City began to show signs of flood fatigue. For the crowd at the Exit/In benefit show, it was clearly a relief to be worrying about something else for a change, even if the flood was still on everyone’s tongue. Cortney Tidwell lives in Donelson, near the Opry, and is a fourth-generation Nash-
ville musician, which you might not guess based on her 2009 City Slang release Boys or her backing vocals on Tracey Thorn’s latest album. Tidwell and her family were fine—the water made it to the very bottom of the house piano—but her drummer Scott Martin lost almost everything. She’s since borrowed drummer Rollum Haas from benefit headliners the Features. When the flood began, the Features, like many Nashville bands, had been on tour, promoting their album Some Kind of Salvation, a tightly wound package of anglophile power-pop recently reissued by Kings of Leon’s self-run label. They’ve
A New Nashville Playlist by Sean L. Maloney
A nowhere near complete guide to Music City’s rock underground
On Album The Features, Some Kind of Salvation (Bug Music, 2009) Certainly the most resilient band in the mid-Tennessee music scene, the Features formed over a decade ago in the small town of Sparta. Quietly honing razor-sharp guitar pop reminiscent of Ray Davies, they’ve become one of the tightest, most bombastic live acts in the city. If the name sounds familiar, it might be because they’ve opened for their biggest fans (and label bosses), Kings of Leon. Glossary, Feral Fire (Liberty & Lament, 2010) You can’t talk about Nashville without mentioning Murfreesboro, the Hoboken to Nashville’s Big Apple. Located 30 miles to the southeast, Murfreesboro is the home Middle Tennessee State University and its world famous Recording Industry Management program. Lots of kids come to his idyllic southern city to make records and start bands; it feels like a Superchunk video come to life at times. And in a town where the choice is D.I.Y. or die of boredom,
Glossary reign supreme with their Thin Lizzy-by-way-of-Dinosaur Jr. approach to the Southern indie sound, so much so that Lucero stole their steel guitarist and put out their album. JEFF the Brotherhood, Heavy Days (Infinity Cat, 2010) The Brotherhood— or just JEFF if you’re old school—has been at the center of Nashville’s underunderground scene since drummer Jamin Orral left mid-’00s punk phenoms Be Your Own Pet to concentrate full time on his heavy-pop two-piece with his brother Jake. Pulling as much from the psych-rock of, say, Vanilla Fudge or Mountain as it does from the first-wave punk hooks of Generation X or Wire, Heavy Days is a fuzzed-out and overflanged jet stream of face-melting riffs and sing-along choruses. Those Darlins, Those Darlins (Oh Wow Dang, 2009) This Murfreesboro backwoods-garage quartet formed at the Southern Girls Rock N’ Roll Camp, cut an album with Vampire Weekend producer Jeff Curtin and toured the nation in the time it takes most bands to choose a MySpace layout. The Darlins’ aren’t bashful about their country roots. But they also don’t let parochial-
been plugging away, making records for almost a decade and a half. They’re the most recognizable example of the Nashville underground’s perseverance. They’ve scrapped more albums than most bands will ever release. They’ve tasted the fruits of the major label system and been given the heave-ho when they wouldn’t cave to corporate demands. The Features are a band that would exist with or without the lure of fame. The promise of possible stardom brings many to Nashville each year, but it’s the scene outside of the Music Row bubble that makes the city such a vibrant, exciting hub for new music. More than the
Tidwell is the earth mama of Nashville’s nascent art-rock scene, and Boys takes as much from tradcountry as it does from krautrock. Tidwell’s got an album of duets with Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner coming out this fall. (According to a source, “the best songs are very country.”) The press frequently compares her voice to Bjork’s, and her live show is somewhere between psychedelic heroes Soft Machine and classic dance-rockers Pylon. Yeah, it’s that good. Courtney Tidwell, Boys (City Slang, 2009)
superstars marketed by the mega-corporations, Nashville’s best music is made by folks who will never win Entertainer of the Year or sell out your local brand name EnormoDome. These are folks who have bills and families—who make records in their basements and run labels out of their garages. They were also folks who didn’t have flood insurance because they were told they would never need it. Folks who will keep making music, once-a-millennium weather event be damned. As the final financial totals for the destruction come in, as millions of dollars become billions of dollars, as the piles of waterlogged drywall and broken appli-
ism keep them from injecting overdriven surf-punk into the mix. Known for wild, whiskey-fueled shows and humorous, self-reflexive country ditties like “Whole Damn Thing” (about eating an entire chicken), The Darlins are as far as you can get from Music Row and still know you’re in Tennessee.
Also Check Out The Dynamites ft. Charles Walker, Burn It Down (Outta Sight) Northern Soul star Walker collaborates with New Orleans native Bill Elder and Music City’s best horn section. Chelsea Crowell, Chelsea Crowell (Cleft Music) She might be the progeny of Nashville songwriting royalty, but her gem of a debut is a wonderful piece of cosmic-country-psych evoking Lee Hazlewood. Flesh Vehicle, Racket (Superdrag Sound Laboratories) Did you find out about the Byrds because of Husker Du’s cover of “Eight Miles High”? Then you are going to love this album of buzzsaw pop from Superdrag bassist Tom Pappas.
On Single The Kindergarten Circus with James Leg, Twin Evils 7-inch (Chicken Ranch, 2010) Blue Cheer-worshipping high school kids team up with blues-preacher Leg from the Black Diamond Heavies to create a double-A side that evokes both St. Vitus and Ray Charles. Yes, on the same record.
photo by jonathon kingsbury
ances are hauled away, it’s tough to know what the flood’s lasting impact will be on Nashville’s music culture. As a collective traumatic event in a city full of musicians, the flood’s sure to inspire a number of powerful songs, even if they have to be recorded and performed on borrowed gear. (Of course, it’s going to inspire some terrible songs as well.) But in the basements and bedrooms and honky tonks, studios and stadiums and house shows, they’ll keep on making music in Music City. Hopefully it won’t take another meteorological mishap for those outside Nashville to realize what they’ve been missing.
Natural Child, Natural Child 7-inch (Infinity Cat, 2010) If Natural Child is anything to go by, Nashville punks are all about getting inebriated and jamming out to old Richard Hell records. The Coolin’ System, “The Prophet” b/w “Dracula” (G.E.D. Soul) This instrumental ensemble make deep, sweaty Southern soul-jazz like it was 1968 all over again.
On the Web We Own This Town Podcast (weownthistown.net) The most upto-the-minute sounds from Nashville’s unrelenting indie underground, WOTT is the jump-off for exploring the deepest recesses of Music City.
On Video Make Out with Violence Unrequited love and the undead are the focus of this feature length indie film, but it really stands out thanks to the remarkably mood score by art-pop outfit the Non-Commissioned Officers. Available now from Netflix. Trash Humpers Harmony Korine, director of art-shock classics Gummo and Julien Donkey Boy, records former Silver Jews drummer Brian Kotzur (literally) humping the hell out of this author’s neighborhood, while breaking glass and lighting fireworks. It didn’t seem that out of the ordinary when it was happening. On tour through September.
personnel turnover has been more consistent than the band’s release schedule. But Bridwell is quick to point out that BOH are enjoying a period of stability, and you can hear that newfound surety on the band’s latest, Infinite Arms. “The fact that the band has a solidified lineup for the first time in our career, to have a band mentality when doing these songs, was a big asset,” Bridwell says. “It’s my favorite [album] because of that. There really was a lot of cohesion in the studio instead of me feeling like all the weight was on my shoulders.” Band of Horses’ sound has remained relatively unchanged despite the internal shakeups. That’s a testament to Bridwell’s unwavering creative vision. From the band’s first two albums for Sub Pop, 2006’s Everything All the Time and 2007’s Cease to Begin, to Infinite Arms, their debut for Fat Possum/ Columbia, BOH has maintained an ethereal-butrocking sound that has earned them comparisons to everyone from My Morning Jacket to Neil Young to the Flaming Lips. Synthesizing the solemn quietude of Carissa’s Wierd with muscular arena rock, BOH take in everything from reverb-heavy prog to diaphanous ’70s folk to the melancholy running through much contemporary indie. It’s a sound that manages to bridge the psychedelic expansiveness of the earliest Pink Floyd records with the quirky pop of the Shins. But when asked if there’s a creative arc threading through the BOH catalog, Bridwell notes that, if so, it’s not by design. “I just do whatever I do and try not to think about it,” Bridwell says. “I think a lot of people would appreciate it if the second or third album would have had another ‘The Funeral’ [BOH’s 2007 hit single] on there, but I don’t think about that. That’s probably the only way I can keep it pure, but I have never tried to write a song like the others. Sometimes they end up sounding a lot like the others because maybe it’s all one song. But it seems like if you start trying hard like that, then maybe you end up in some creative rut. I’m terrified of that. Do what you do and hope for the best.” Considering the phenomenal response to Everything All the Time four years ago, it would seem as though Bridwell’s hope-for-the-best formula has worked out. In light of the acclaim, it’s doubly strange to realize that Band of Horses might not exist if Bridwell had passed on the unexpected offer to join Carissa’s Wierd, whose label he was operating at the time. “Like anybody’s life, wherever you end up, everything puts you in position to be where you are,” Bridwell says. “If it wasn’t for [Carissa’s Weird] asking me to play drums for them, having no previous
I was more interested in the label side of things; I never imagined myself being onstage at all, much less having to be the singer.” —ben bridwell
knowledge or being any sort of musician, I wouldn’t be here. I was more interested in the label side of things back then; I never imagined myself being onstage at all, much less having to be the singer.” Carissa’s Wierd took melancholy chamber pop and stripped it back to the barest of basics. Their music had an almost claustrophobic intimacy; the playing was so fragile that it sometimes felt like the songs might evaporate for good once you played the CD. The band was every bit as vulnerable and tremulous onstage. Bridwell’s experience in Carissa’s Wierd proved an exceptional tutorial on how to operate an indie rock band. For a budding bandleader, though, CW were also a shining example of all the things he didn’t want for his own outfit. “Not only did I learn the element of being tasteful with your playing and trying not to distract by overplaying—and [Carissa’s Weird], in a nutshell, it was almost always underplaying for the sake of sparseness—but also I learned the opposite side of that, that there needed to be a bit more excitement, as well,” he says. “At least vocally. Mat [Brooke] and Jenn [Ghetto] are great singers, but there was also this element of being so afraid of being successful or engaging the crowd… It seemed like we were spinning our wheels and never engaging the crowd at all. I learned a lot of how to do it right and I saw a way to maybe do it a little bit better and project yourself into the crowd a bit more. I’ve never said that out loud, I guess, but I learned everything from them.” On the surface, Band of Horses would seem to be a collection of beards, tattoos and plaid shirts—not an image that seems to promise much energy, onstage or on disc. When the band does raise a ruckus, they rarely pull of the kind of manic, Stoogesesque gyrations that require a workout regimen. But there’s something compelling about Bridwell’s self-deprecating charm as frontman, and BOH fans have responded with Grateful Dead-like fervor. As Bridwell’s honed that everyman confidence to a fine edge, first as a drummer and then bassist, fronting his own band seemed like a natural next step after CW’s demise in 2003. And while stepping out front is daunting for any first-time singer, Bridwell thought he’d at least heard enough mediocre music to assume he knew what to do. “If I was going to complain about music and what I thought was cool and what wasn’t, I should shut 29
ally. No one’s busting my chops over it. I didn’t have to change websites and I dropped the .com, which was really liberating.” In 2005, BOH recorded a demo and found themselves playing in front of Sub Pop co-owner Jonathan Poneman. “Sam [Beam of Iron and Wine] is an old family friend from basically the same town in South Carolina, so he threw me a bone by letting the band open for him for two nights in Seattle,” Bridwell says. “Sub Pop was there, they grabbed our demo, and I think it was a couple weeks later that I heard back from them that they were interested in the band. That was when it was starting to seem like, ‘Holy shit, this is insane.’” Bridwell shouldn’t have been too surprised by Sub Pop’s immediate infatuation. The label’s unexpected success with the Shins’ debut album in 2001 had led them to pursue a new line in similarly bent indie-pop outfits. Band of Horses fit the profile, with the added bonus of an atmospheric quality the Shins lacked. With Sub Pop’s 2006 release of Everything All the Time, though, BOH members began defecting as if they were trapped in an Eastern Bloc power during the Cold War. Early and Meinig were gone after recording Everything, replaced by multi-instrumentalists Joe Arnone and Rob Hampton and drummer Creighton Barrett. Brooke, who had taught Bridwell to play guitar, departed three months after the album was released in order to start his own new band, Grand Archives. Regardless of Bridwell’s absolute lack of experience as a frontman, songwriter or gui—ben bridwell tarist before Band of Horses, up and do it myself before I criticize others,” Bridwell something obviously clicked between band and ausays. “I remember getting to that point and thinking, dience. Everything All the Time—a line lifted from ‘Jesus, this is really fucking hard. I don’t know how the chorus of the Eagles’ “Life in the Fast Lane”—hit I could be so stuck up about certain bands that don’t one of those rare critic/audience sweet spots. The alresonate that well with me.’ So now I’m on the receivbum nudged the Billboard charts, the band serenaded ing end of all the goddamn naysaying, and some of the David Letterman with “The Funeral” and BOH even good stuff as well.” found themselves pop stars in Scandinavia. Bridwell’s first post-Carissa’s Wierd project was In 2007, Bridwell moved the reconstituted band to comprised of ex-CW members—guitarist/vocalist his native South Carolina without Arnone, and beMat Brooke, bassist Chris Early and drummer Tim gan work on BOH’s sophomore album, Cease to BeMeinig. The band, formed in 2004, was originally gin. While leaving their core sound intact, Bridwell christened Horses. That just happened to be the name introduced more Americana and roots rock elements, of actor Don Johnson’s band in the late ’60s, and as a perfect example of how to expand a band’s sonic palthe quartet’s lone album was released, Horses decided ette without significantly altering its original appeal. that a slight name change might be for the best. The band went Top 40, and found themselves on in“I had already paid for a website domain, and as you ordinate number of year-end best-of lists. Bridwell might imagine, horses.com was already taken, probbrought on keyboardist Ryan Monroe, guitarist Tyably by someone with actual beasts,” Bridwell says ler Ramsey and bassist Bill Reynolds, and the band with a laugh. “So I had to go with bandofhorses.com, hit the road hard. But Bridwell’s high expectations, before I even knew about this other band or having for both the band and himself, continued to make to change the band name. So it was like, ‘Oh, cool. I BOH an unstable situation as album number three named my band after the website.’ It worked out, re- approached.
I grew up in the south and I was taught to treat people with respect anywhere you go. Sometimes people would rub me the wrong way like that. Sometimes it took going with the wrong folks to find the right ones.”
photo by PHILIp ANDELMAN
“If anything, I’ve learned not to be a freaking asshole when I’m writing songs,” Bridwell says of Band of Horses’ evolution. “I get so bogged down. As much as I say I do what I do and hope for the best, I do spend a lot of time obsessing about the songs themselves and trying to make them as good as I can. Hopefully on this next record, I can learn to relax a bit with it and not obsess to the point where it actually affects those around me too intensely. It does wear on me, the responsibility I have to the fans and to myself, so hopefully I’ll learn that. I’m still learning that, I guess. I’m learning so much that I don’t have the perspective quite yet.” By the time Bridwell and Band of Horses had begun the Infinite Arms sessions, Rob Hampton had left the band, with Swedish guitarist Ludwig Boss taking his place. Then Boss was gone before recording a single note. Discussing this unofficial (and unintentional) revolving door policy, Bridwell is willing to accept a certain amount of responsibility for Band of Horses’ internal volatility. To a point, at any rate. “Me getting comfortable in this role has been tough in spots,” he says of being a band leader. “It’s well documented. If you do some digging, you’ll see me at some point being really frustrated with this job. So there‘s been some of that, but there’s been some where it wasn’t necessarily me being a dickhead. I’ve had my moments, for sure, but there were other times where people were just treating other people poorly, or showing their ass to people, and I didn’t appreciate that. I grew up in the south and I was taught to treat people with respect anywhere you go. Sometimes people would rub me the wrong way like that. Sometimes it took going with the wrong folks to find the right ones.” Infinite Arms may stand as the best evidence that Bridwell has finally gotten the right collaborators in place. This iteration of the group expands on the ethereal rush of Everything All the Time, particularly with the shimmering “On My Way Back Home” and the Procol Harum-like majesty of “Factory.” But the band also revels in their pop side, with a 10cc-esque soft-rock vibe running through “Dilly” and “NW Apt.” At the same time, BOH version 3.0 foregrounds the rootsy undercurrent of Cease to Begin across a whole album—the Crazy Horse-gone-spacerock buzz of “Laredo,” the stripped-down acoustic folk of “Evening Kitchen” and even some overt pedal steel twang on “Older.” Given the consistency and confidence of Infinite Arms, it’s no surprise that Bridwell says this album feels like the first true “Band of Horses” album, as opposed to a fleshed-out solo release. “There were a lot of songs to choose from, which is an oddity for us,” Bridwell says. “At least on the second record, we were trying to stretch seven [songs] into 10, where this record we were trying to pare 30 down to around . It was hard to tell what to
expect from it. I just knew that because the lineup had solidified and everyone was writing songs that it would definitely be a collaborative kind of thing.” Bridwell also acquired a computer, allowing him the opportunity to make rudimentary demos at home. With other BOH members sending him songs, Bridwell began assembling the album at remote cabins, first in Minnesota, where he lived with his wife, and then in South Carolina, where they subsequently moved. The process began in 2007, when Bridwell’s wife was pregnant. It continued well after his daughter’s birth, as the excitement of her pending arrival, and joy at the reality of parenthood, crept into his songs. As Bridwell and the band attempted to find an album in the mass of material they’d written, Band of Horses were working without a contract. Having completed their two-album deal with Sub Pop, Bridwell was eager to explore new options. As a result, the shape of Infinite Arms became even less certain when Bridwell signed to Fat Possum. Suddenly the label was also voicing an opinion on the album’s track list. “By the time the lyrics were done, there were probably 16 or 17 songs, and it was kind of hard to tell what was good and what was bad at that point,” Bridwell says. “So there were songs that I didn’t exactly think belonged on there and there were songs that [the label] didn’t think belonged on there, but we met in the middle at the end.” Fans listening to Infinite Arms might notice the relative absence of longtime producer Phil Ek. Although Ek worked with Bridwell and the band early in the recording process, the gap between sessions began to stretch from weeks into months. Ek couldn’t hold off on his other production commitments any longer, accepting a job in Sweden to produce the last Shout Out Louds album. BOH soldiered on with some trepidation, finally deciding to produce themselves. “It was a hard decision to make, because I’ve had Phil guide me through this whole Band of Horses thing since day one,” Bridwell says. “It was pretty scary at first; then it ended up that, three days in, we were like, ‘We’re getting some good stuff here.’” The decision sounds like the Band of Horses story in microcosm: Take a leap into the unfamiliar, stay humble and hope for the best. Discussing the Infinite Arms sessions, Bridwell could be talking about the band itself, and its future. “We opened up a whole new chapter for ourselves, and it ended up being really positive, so we just kept Infinite Arms rolling with it. It’s the first time is in stores now on CD and we did it. We can only get better vinyl from Fat at it.” Possum. 31
Culture Jamming Katzenjammer make bewitching sorta-pop from global scrap parts / by Jeanne Fury
n 2005, Solveig Heilo was enrolled in a Norwegian mu-
sic college and playing in eight different bands around Oslo. She wasn’t thrilled by any of them. So, when two classmates, Anne Marit Bergheim and Turid Jørgensen, asked her to sit in on a jam, she was reluctant at best. ¶ “I wasn’t friends with the girls,” Heilo says. “We were in the same class, but I didn’t have contact with them. I was like, ‘Ugh, okay, yeah, sure I can do that. Oh shit, I don’t have time for that, but okay, I’ll do it.’ You know?” She groans for emphasis. But then Bergheim and Jørgensen began to play a song called “Wading in Deeper.” “And I was just, wow,” Heilo says, her voice trailing off. “Blown away. It was so instant. I felt so [at] home. It was very fast.” The three women entered a small rehearsal room as strangers; they exited as a band. They called themselves Katzenjammer after The Katzenjammer Kids, an old American comic strip and a childhood favorite of the trio. Heilo quit her other eight bands. A few months later, Marianne Sveen became the fourth Katzenjammer. It turned out that a friend of the band had written a clutch of “great” songs, and then promptly forgotten all about them. “[They] were just lying in a drawer,” Bergheim says of the material Katzenjammer soon appropriated. “I found a dusty accordion up in the attic. We borrowed a mandolin, had a guitar and piano. We just started jamming.” But as these early sessions progressed, it became apparent that something was missing—like, say, a dozen additional instruments. “If we started to jam on a new song, and we heard it demanded a banjo, we had to buy a banjo and learn how to play it,” Bergheim says. “We never planned to have 15 instruments onstage at the same time, but it developed naturally.” 32
That do-it-yourself mentality was a breath of fresh air for Heilo, who was used to playing with guys hell-bent on mastering technique and mimicking their rock star idols. “With Katzenjammer, it was, ‘Just play. Just do what you think. Just feel the energy and be a part of the music.’ No rules, no boundaries.” That sense of “anything goes” freedom is what drives Le Pop, Katzenjammer’s debut album. Imagine an Eastern-European hootenanny breaking out in Pee-wee’s Playhouse, hosted by a convoy of carnival freaks. The songs that were collecting dust in their friend’s drawer— tracks like “A Bar in Amsterdam,” “Hey Ho On the Devil’s Back” and “Demon Kitty Rag”—pack in a variety of global flavors, from hardy gypsy requiems to randy American ragtime, until they’re almost bursting with vibrant crosscultural life. “We’re very different, both in personality and what we like in music,” Bergheim says. “Marianne is very into rock ‘n’ roll, Turid is into East-
Just play. Just do what you think. Just feel the energy and be a part of the music. No rules, no boundaries.”
Le Pop is available now from Nettwerk Records
European music, Solveig is the classical one, and I’m more like the bluegrass and American folk [fan]. We have some common references, like folk music and old Disney music like Cinderella. We grew up with [the Disney films]. They’re fantastic, the arrangements and vocals. We love that.” And Katzenjammer spin stories as ably as Walt Disney himself. The album is so flush with memorable characters that it seems primed for a theatrical adaptation. But like those old animated fairy tales, darkness lurks under Le Pop’s colorful surface. The fanciful music is at odds with tales of doom and woe. “We like contrasts,” Bergheim says. “If it’s a happy song, musically, it needs the other side to weigh it down. Like ‘Tea With Cinnamon,’ for example. The music is happy, kind of circus-y. It sounds like [life is] perfect, but it’s not… It’s a crappy day and everything falls apart. We like the contrasts and the filthiness of it all.”
photo by Mathias Fossum
Remember “Wading in Deeper,” the song that swept Heilo off her feet and brought Katzenjammer together? “It’s a ballad about a girl who kills herself,” Bergheim says. The noir-ish “Virginia Clemm,” with its music-box backing, is sung from the viewpoint of the title character, Edgar Allan Poe’s wife—who also happened to be his first cousin. “Right now we’re writing about a female serial killer from back in the day,” Heilo says. “A saloon girl who is getting treated really bad, so she just kills all these guys and hides the bodies in the muddy waters of the Mississippi or something. I guess we’re not typical girly-girls. We’re not angry punk rockers. And we’re not very sweet and soft. We’re something in the middle.” The motley collection of tunes found in Katzenjammer’s cabinet of curiosities have yet to be embraced by American audiences, but that’s expected to change once the band starts touring more extensively. They’ve played festivals like South by Southwest and Bonnaroo, where they were part of a musical entourage invited onstage by David Byrne, to great acclaim. “We were blown away,” Heilo says of the band’s reception in America. “We had no idea that somebody would like our music over here. We thought maybe somebody would enjoy [our music], think it was funny and strange and exotic. But people seem to understand the music.” And Katzenjammer are overjoyed to expose audiences to their multifarious sound—no rules, no boundaries. “We want to take back the pop genre and tell the world that pop is so much more,” Bergheim says. “This is our pop.” 33
A new box set cements the legacy of one of the great rock bands of the ’70s by Michaelangelo Matos
raftwerk changed music in many ways. The Düsseldorf-based elec-
tronic duo is, of course, the acknowledged starting point for both techno and synth-pop. But even the band’s ex-members have left a deep mark. Guitarist Michael Rother and drummer Klaus Dinger, striking out on their own as Neu!, left behind a three-album catalog that permanently altered the sound of experimental rock.
NEU!, a special vinyl box set is available now from Groenland Records.
Neu!’s music is still immediately recognizable. They played with a gentle touch, but could also chug like the most propulsive ’70s hard rockers. They took early to studio experiments with tape loops and sonic cut-ups. But their legacy rests on the motorik beat of Dinger’s drumming, which evoked the endless forward momentum of German motorways. Neu!’s mesmerizing, purposeful rhythms avoided the sexy, blues-based 4/4 beat. Here, their albums said, is a way to rock without the roll. Despite their wide acclaim, the band’s legacy has been fraught. Their albums fell out of print for decades at a time, in part because of business disagreements and lingering bad blood between Rother and Dinger. That didn’t stop Stereolab from copping the band’s signature, driving-yet-serene rhythmic pulse as one of their building blocks, or San Francisco audio collagists Negativland and UK synth aficionados Seeland from naming themselves after Neu! songs. But Neu!, as a band rather than a reference point, have resurged over the past decade. In 2001, all three original albums were reissued on CD legally, and now the duo’s original label has released a vinyl box set containing all of the band’s studio works, including Rother’s remix of mid-’80s studio sessions released by Dinger (without Rother’s input or consent) as Neu! 4. In addition to the newly titled Neu! ’86, there’s also a fifth disc of live material, an archival book, a stencil of the band’s iconic logo and a T-shirt. “We have been discussing the idea of doing a vinyl box set for many years,” Rother says over the phone 34
photo by Anton Corbin
/music Big Boi’s music since has stuck to the Stankonia principle, where jams can coexist with the ideas captured in the phrase “organized noise.” It’s a phrase that leads back to the Bomb Squad’s contention that anything, from a snapped pencil to a landmine exploding, can be turned into funk. A whole new album of innovative hip-hop that also bumps? Most Outkast fans would have been ready to plunk down their $9.99 three years ago, when Sir Luscious Leftfoot was first announced. But stalled by Jive, Big Boi could do little but stew, and hit the studio.
Organizing the Noise
Though Big Boi scoffs a bit at Jive’s assertion that Sir Luscious Leftfoot is “too artsy,” he doesn’t want you to think it makes for easy listening, either. “[The album’s] not contrived at all,” he says. “I just wanted to make sure there were layers of music and rhythms and funk and aggressive lyricism, serious lyricism. Just really bust it. I come from the Dungeon Family school, where serious lyrics were definitely necessary to match with the high-powered Organized Noize sound. Everything’s got to be topnotch.” That means certain songs have been scrapped, and certain songs that hit the web during the long delay have been dropped. A long, and excellent, EP could be custom-built from those orphaned songs, especially “Royal Flush,” a brooding hookup with Andre and Wu-Tang’s Raekwon that’s closer to grimy New York hip-hop than anything else Outkast have released. What’s made it onto the album sticks to Big’s métier: rolling, bass-heavy funk, referencing everything from the crashing drums and rigid electro riffs of pre-sampling hip-hop to the martial parade grade rhythms of military marching bands, each song studded with those little sonic trinkets. “I sat on the music for about a year and a half before I started recording,” Big says. “I had a slew of beats that I listened to while I was on the road.” After this lengthy period of tour bus quality control, he didn’t get overly fussy when he hit Stankonia [Studios]. “Just go in the studio and put my scrubs on and grab my utensils and crank it up.” Sir Luscious Leftfoot is also tuned in to a longer view of pop history than last week’s 40
Top Ten. When Big Boi uses a vocoder, it So where is Andre? The duo’s already sounds like he’s channeling fond grade leaked several collaborations to the web, lobbing hard rhymes against harder beats school memories of Roger Troutman’s ’80s electro-funk rather than attempting like it was 1998 all over again; everyone to cash in on the current craze for robo- presumed these songs would be both voices. That’s part of what he means when highlights on Sir Luscious and teasers for he calls Sir Luscious Leftfoot a “mature” the next Outkast album. But looking at the album. At a time when hip-hop skews finalized tracklist for Sir Luscious, Big’s younger than ever, it’s refreshing to hear old friend and artistic foil is nowhere to be a rapper who sounds like he’s internalfound. “[That’s] Jive Records, not playing ized all of the genre’s stylistic twists and fair,” Big says. “Trying to forbid him [from turns over the last 30 years. “When I say appearing on the album], saying we can’t ‘mature,’ I don’t mean ‘serious,’ but ‘sea- make records together unless it’s under soned,’” he says. “There’s definitely a place Jive Records.” Asked if he has any plans for in hip-hop [for an older artist]. If you can the completed but momentarily shelved tracks with Andre, Big turns momentarily rhyme, you can rhyme, period. There’s no age limit. It depends on the content of your enigmatic. “Stay tuned,” he says, and then music. And my music is complex. It’s not laughs when accused of being a tease. simple.” As for Sir Luscious Leftfoot himself, Complex, sure, even if he’s typically don’t worry that Big Boi’s gone the dreaded overselling things a bit. But the singles concept album route, or developed some released so far do seem designed to show Sasha Fierce-style split personality. “It’s off Big’s range, a canny move for an album just a nickname,” he says. (Sir Luscious being sold as “too experimental for Jive has shown up as far back as Stankonia, Records.” On the one hand, the George alongside other pseudonym-gems like Clinton collaboration “Fo Yo Sorrows” “Francis the Savannah Chitlin Pimp” and, is a minimalist techno-tinged slow jam, of course, “Billy Ocean.”) “Me and Dre both a sleek digital-era update of the lo-res have so many nicknames, different chararcade game funk Clinton released as a acters you get into when you’re recordsolo artist. But the bonkers “General Pat- ing. Nobody wants to sound the same on a ton” swerves as far left as possible, with whole album, so you just use different perswampy Funkadelic guitar and a full-on sonalities to bring out different styles of gospel aria swelling in the background, as rhyming. Luscious Leftfoot is the grownif to announce Big’s return in the brashest man Big Boi. He’s the big tall one. He’s just way possible. more extreme. I’ve never been one to bite Vintage Outkast, in other words, albeit my tongue, but he’ll just say whatever’s on with a slew of collaborators standing in for his mind.” Andre. “I couldn’t listen to a whole album The music industry has never seen that of just my voice, by itself,” Big says. “So, kind of honesty as a virtue, of course. Big I bring in different people, and I sprinkle Boi turned in Sir Luscious Leftfoot and them in wherever I feel they’re needed. Jive demanded the kind of hit that would Just bring them into my world and see ensure a return on their investment, ashow they react.” He’s also not 100 percent suming he’d roll over. He balked, and we’re convinced that the album counts as his better off for it. But it does make you won“first” solo project, even if it’s the first with der how much longer artists like Outkast his name. “Me and ’Dre haven’t will be able to operate on the really [collaborated] inside mass scale provided by corpothe studio like that, together, rate distribution. For his part, since Aquemini,” he says. “I though, Big seems sanguine usually work out of Stankoabout the future. Pop and hipnia, he works out of his home hop alike may not know what studio, and then we’ll come toto do with him, especially in an gether and pile a whole bunch era of compliant company men of ideas on the table and stitch and test-marketed rebels, but he Sir Lucious it together. So, [working solo] relishes the confusion. “We are Left Foot: The wasn’t hard at all. The hardin a class by ourselves,” he says. Son of Chico Dusty hits est part about it is the load of “And I like it that way… I like bestores July 6 writing.” ing on the outskirts.” from Def Jam
We did not write music at home and go into the studio and recreate what we had written. We created on the spot in the studio. That’s where the most important things happened.” —Michael Rother
from Germany, where he’s recuperating from a virus after a successful string of shows accompanied by, among others, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley. “Klaus died two years ago. [But] last year, we met with his widow and the owner of [Neu!’s label] Gronland, because we have to prolong the contract.” Neu! ’86, Rother says, finally sounds the way it should. “That was a recording which was never properly released. I was very happy to see that [Dinger’s] widow is very cooperative. She’s an artist, so she understands perfectly well. I worked for six months last year. We had so much material; some of [which] was not yet ever heard.” Rother is hardly a nostalgic, though; he’s been making music steadily since Neu!’s first breakup in 1975. Nevertheless, he remains fond of the work he created with Dinger. “Klaus and I didn’t see what we did as writing music,” he says. “We did not write music at home and go into the studio and recreate what we had written. We created on the spot in the studio. That’s where the most important things happened.” For Neu!’s debut, “We were creating music like action paintings,” Rother says. “Like having three pieces of canvas and deciding where to continue. It isn’t that we started recording one track and then finished it and moved on to the next track. We were working on the whole album at once.” Both Neu! and Neu! 2 were recorded at a rental studio in Hamburg. “The room certainly did not have any artistic appeal,” Rother says. “We rented it at night because it was a bit cheaper. We paid the production costs out of our own pockets, so we had to be very careful. We wanted to avoid having any influence from the record company.” The debut opens with one of the hands-down landmarks of ’70s rock, “Hallogallo,” a simmering 10-minute groove that offers a textbook definition of the motorik rhythm. The snares hit at odd intervals over a fast bass drum that just keeps on coming— but never seems to completely hit with full force, either—while the guitars have the feel of an endKlaus Dinger and Michael lessly revving motorcycle. “Hallogallo” never cliRother took maxes. It’s a masterpiece of sustained tension that listeners on an endless ride. still leaves its co-creator in awe. Reversing tape—the “backwards guitars,” as Rother calls them—was an experimental strategy suited to the open-ended play of ’70s German rock. The man behind Neu!’s tape adventures was a major figure in his own right: Conny Plank, who produced dozens of influential German bands, and later worked with Brian Eno.
“[Plank] had this ability of featuring and showing the important elements, and he did that on ‘Hallogallo’ in a perfect way,” Rother says. “[The song] has such a sort of frailty and a sort of magic that I still cannot completely understand. I think if you take away one or two elements, everything would just crash… Conny Plank did a great job mixing all these elements we scattered on the tape. We owe Conny Plank a lot for the creativity he introduced into the mixing of the Neu! albums.” Plank’s studio in Cologne was the birthplace of Neu! ’75. “Conny definitely gave off a lot of energy,” Rother says. “He knew what musicians expected, and [the studio] had private quarters, which was much more appealing than the rental studios in Hamburg. His wife was also cooking for the band, so we felt much more at home. It was a much more personal atmosphere.” Neu! ’75 is indeed the band’s most personal statement. It’s the album where each member took his ideas to the limit—by commandeering one LP side apiece. Rother’s side one is full of poignant melodies, poky tempos and melancholy; Dinger’s side two largely shreds, with “Hero” featuring the drummer snarling his vocal like avowed fan Johnny Rotten. “Klaus wanted to get away from the drums and go to the front of the stage,” Rother says. “He wanted to play guitar and sing. Klaus had started working with two drummers… I said, ‘Klaus, I want to do the album the same way we did the first two albums, just the two of us.’ So we compromised.” The late ’60s and most of the ’70s were a heady time for German rock. Neu! were the tip of an iceberg that includes such well-loved acts as the rhythmically experimental Can, cut-up rockers Faust and more atmospheric bands like Popol Vuh, Ash Ra Tempel and Cluster, the latter of whom Rother would later work with as Harmonia. Deutsche Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock and Electronic Musik 1972-83, issued earlier this year on Soul Jazz, is a smashing primer of the period. “It’s good that there were all those young musicians; young artists were affected by the same values of change and revolution at the time,” Rother says of Germany in the ’70s. “I knew there were bands like Amon Duul and Tangerine Dream, but to be honest whenever I heard [a new German band], it didn’t really convince me. I said, ‘OK, I don’t have to listen further.’” Rother is more indulgent, though, when it comes to newer bands working with Neu!’s classic sound. “As long as it’s not a simple copy of the basic patterns,” he says. “If it has an individual artistic approach and attitude, I’m quite happy with that.”
soul survivor Outkast’s Big Boi finally drops his years-inthe-making solo album
Antwan Patton is not pleased with his former
record label. As one half of Outkast, Patton, better known to both soccer moms and hardcore hip-hop heads as Big Boi, made quite a bit of money for Jive Records. More importantly, he proved profitable while doing exactly what he wanted to do. In pop music, an artist that can continually reinvent himself and release hit records is rare. Like Prince-in-his-prime rare, the-Beatles-at-their-peak rare, a-unicornby jess harvell prancing-through-downtown-Atlanta rare. And yet for over two years, Jive delayed the release of the first solo album by one of the most inventive, and successful, artists on their roster. ¶ How does one of the most famous rappers in the world record an album that gets shelved by his label? When asked, the normally affable Big Boi doesn’t bristle or beg off the question. Instead, he drops the playfulness for a moment, and bluntly lays out his grievances. “The delay was: They didn’t understand the music. Jive didn’t understand the music,” he says. “They expressed to me that the music was ‘too artsy.’ It wasn’t your average cookiecutter music, and they wanted me to make songs specifically for the radio. I’m not accustomed to that, so there was a lot of pushing and pulling. But I wasn’t about to conform. If I can’t make music the way I want to make it, I just won’t do it.” 36
It’s especially funny, or sad, because despite Big dropping the “experimental” talking point several times during our chat, Big Boi’s music, while adventurous, is not “artsy.” It’s hard to hear what Jive thought might alienate Big’s fans. Now blessed with a new label, Def Jam, and a firm promotional push, photo by Jonathan Mannion
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TOUR DATES 6/25 6/26 6/27 6/29 6/30 7/01 7/02 7/03 7/05 7/06 7/07 7/08 7/09 7/10 7/11 7/13 7/14 7/15 7/16 7/17 7/18 7/20 7/21 7/22 7/23 7/24 7/25 7/26 7/28 7/29 7/30 7/31 8/01 8/02 8/05 8/07 8/08 8/10 8/11 8/12 8/13 8/14 8/15
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June 2010 COWBELL 411
Big Boi’s Sir Luscious Leftfoot, The Son of Chico Dusty is not an album to leave label accountants clutching their temples. This isn’t Lou Reed dropping Metal Machine Music on all the kids (and parents) seduced by “Walk on the Wild Side”; or Sleep recording a 40-minute drone and calling it a metal album; or even a young, untested rapper turning in a concept album instead of 12 tracks designed to get radio programmers’ tongues waggling. It’s just another chapter in the book called Outkast, a decade-plus freak-funk odyssey that’s seen two kids barely out of high school mature into hip-hop’s most consistently forwardthinking duo. Big Boi’s situation might be disheartening, but it’s not exactly surprising. As the music industry contracts, major labels have become bared-teeth vicious about the bottom line. Plenty of rappers, even millions-selling rappers, have turned in albums in the last few years and been told, No thanks. Go record it again. Give us a hit. In Big Boi’s case, you might have wondered if Jive’s reticence meant the days of populist innovation were finally behind us, especially in the niche-marketed-to-death world of “urban” music. It’s been a long time since Columbia paid Miles Davis to explode jazz into long-form psychedelic surrealism and Warner Bros. gave George Clinton the funds to cart a spaceship full of his freaked-out pals around America. Big Boi says he’s back at home now, with a label that understands a vision of hip-hop beyond Auto-Tune abuse and off-the-rack dance-pop beats. “From the time I played the songs for [Def Jam exec] L.A. Reid, he was in love with the music,” Big Boi says. “He’s the guy that started our career as Outkast; he’s given us creative freedom since we were teenagers. He trusts our judgment, and loves the music that we make, and gives me the leeway to do what I want to do.” Until the CDs are shrink-wrapped and shipped to stores this month, there’s still the lingering worry that it might be delayed, yet again. But the fact that Def Jam is pushing their latest signing so hard is the best sign in a while, despite the endless breakup rumors and Jive’s ongoing meddling in the duo’s affairs, that the Outkast story isn’t finished yet. 38
No Boundaries at All
The origin of Outkast, humble as it may be, is now part of hip-hop’s standard mythology. The hyper-condensed version goes something like this. Two Atlanta teenagers—blessed with fluid voices and rhymes that strained against gangsta rap conventions—found their way to an upstart production team banging out left-ofcenter beats in an unfinished basement. The kids were Antwan Patton and Andre Benjamin; the producers were Organized Noize. Along with the Goodie Mob and a handful of Atlanta hip-hop fringe-dwellers, Outkast became part of the Dungeon Family, so named for the medieval vibe of ON’s basement studio. Outkast’s 1994 debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, was the Dungeon Family’s calling card. While the rhymes are absurdly assured for the work of first-timers, sonically it’s something of a pastiche. ON were still indebted to the
game-changing smoothness of Dr. Dre’s g-funk, and Big Boi and Andre (yet to attach the “3000” to his birth name) played baby-faced playas, though with hints of the outlandishness to come. The Dungeon Family’s learning curve was steep. Big Boi and Andre ditched the half-hearted tough guy routine to build a world that included Afrocentric sci-fi, everyman struggle and sex that was far more sensual than hip-hop’s porn-grade norm. You could hear 50 years of popular (and not-so-popular) music pulsing beneath hip-hop’s basic framework. Outkast songs might play with the high-speed synthetic bump-and-grind of Southern club music; or the mournful testifying of the gospel church; or the bass-heavy psychedelia of dub reggae. An Outkast album like 1998’s Aquemini is undeniably hip-hop. It’s just a hip-hop album with room for a raucous harmonica breakdown or a seven-minute live-band jam halfway between jazz and Afrobeat. photo by Jonathan Mannion
/music / the_checklist
this month’s best new releases
Noise (Doesn’t) Annoy Matmos and So Percussion make the year’s most inviting experimental album / by Jess Harvell
or almost 15 years now, Matmos have gleefully blurred the line be-
tween avant-garde sound art and melodic sorta-songs. The duo’s best albums are perfect indie-friendly entry points into the kind of experimental electronic music too easily dismissed as arid or inhuman. For 1998’s The West, Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt merged country-tinged post-rock with the fractured synthetic rhythms of I.D.M. 2006’s The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of the Beast was a collection of “sound portraits” of everyone from philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein to the Germs’ Darby Crash that ranged from the whimsical to the fearsome to the downright filthy. On Treasure State, Matmos team with neo-classical ensemble So Percussion to craft an instrumental album that evokes everything from tropical kitsch to the freneticism of ’40s cartoon scores. You can’t quite call Treasure State an “ambient” album; the playful bounce of So Percussion’s live rhythms are far too antic to let the record just wash over you. Stemming from a live collaboration, where 42
Treasure State [Cantaloupe Music] Daniel and Schmidt made their electronic boxes harmonize in real time with So Percussion’s fleshand-blood drumming, you can still hear that guys-in-a-room give-and-take on the disc. Abandoning the static feel of sequenced rhythms, Treasure State keeps listeners guessing; it’s a “what noise am I going to hear next?” kind of album. At different times it channels the long-form groove power of krautrock, the bobbing and weaving melodies of jazz and the way abstract hip-hop of old-school I.D.M. And with an atmosphere that vaguely recalls Caribbean music and drum ensembles from the more humid regions of Asia, it’s also, perversely, the best beach music of the summer. There’s as much pure pleasure here as you’ll find in any pop-leaning band with a frontman.
Funk is the music that makes you frown your face up when you listen to it. It’s layers and layers of music, uncontrollable but controlled, to make a funk Frankenstein, which is an audio experience that you’ve not experienced before. [It’s] not the same melodies or the same 1-2 count. It’s unpredictable rhythms and melodies.” —big boi
It was also hip-hop as densely layered as the music the Bomb Squad had made with Public Enemy a decade earlier. “It’s something you’re not going to get on the first listen,” Big Boi says. “We hide little trinkets inside the music, different sounds or whatever, so when you listen to it on headphones you hear so many different things. You might catch different words, different things in the background. To where, if you listen to the album six months or a year later, you might hear totally different sounds in a song.” But whereas the Bomb Squad assulted listeners’ nerve endings, Outkast and Organize Noize went for seduction. Maybe they’d just absorbed the slow creep of all that Southern soul music as kids, but like the warm honey cadences of the duo’s drawls, Outkast’s best songs are, as Big Boi describes them, “free-flowing,” rather than manic.” For Big Boi, though, his music, and Outkast’s guiding principle, is just “funk.” It’s the word that crops up again and again
during his interviews. His definition of funk is both seriously felt and deeply nonsensical, worthy of George Clinton, the genre’s preeminent philosopher and one of the stars by which Outkast has always steered. “Funk is the music that makes you frown your face up when you listen to it,” Big says. (Presumably he means “frown” in the “ooh, that’s so nasty” sense of the word.) “It’s layers and layers of music, uncontrollable but controlled, to make a funk Frankenstein, which is an audio experience that you’ve not experienced before. [It’s] not the same melodies or the same 1-2 count. It’s unpredictable rhythms and melodies.” When asked about the funk that turned him on as a kid, he lists the expected greats: Funkadelic, James Brown. He also names an artist many listeners might not think to include: “Even some of Bob Marley’s stuff is very funky. I can remember growing up my grandmother used to listen to a lot of Bob Marley songs. From reggae to the P-Funk era, I was totally into it.” Otherwise his pubescent listening habits were as catholic as you’d expect listening to Outkast’s albums: “Nirvana, U2, 2 Live Crew, NWA, A Tribe Called Quest, Geto Boys, UGK. Everything. Conway Twitty, Kenny Rogers. There’s no boundaries in the music at all.” The one artist he hasn’t worked with, but wants to: “Kate Bush,” a name he says with reverence. Perversely, it was that same diversity that turned Outkast into celebrities. The duo had been successful from the very beginning—Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik went platinum, the group quickly became Grammy nominees—and Organized Noize produced some of the ’90s’ biggest hits, including TLC’s inescapable “Waterfalls.” But 2000’s Stankonia was a Technicolor assault, literally in the case of the video for “Bombs Over Baghdad,” on the mainstream. During the high days of indie hip-hop, when avant b-boys wanted nothing to do with the radio, Big Boi and Andre 3000 dared to make formally weird, boundarypushing rap that was also entertaining. Often self-produced, Stankonia contained their richest music, a carefully orchestrated riot of Hendrix guitars run backwards, machine-tooled beats that owed more to Kraftwerk, interpolated Wagner and much more. Both men were rhyming better than ever, slyly conversational one
minute and boomingly theatrical the next. It also didn’t hurt that Stankonia was anchored by their most accessible, if oddly downcast, single yet, “Ms. Jackson.” Suddenly a group known for cosmic oddness was talking about visitation rights, angry relatives and other commonplace trials of post-breakup parenting. Millions of normal folks, including plenty of casual hiphop listeners, decided they identified. Three years passed, an eternity for a label hoping to capitalize on an unexpected hit. Stankonia proved that Outkast’s music was elastic enough to incorporate just about any sound that caught their ears. Many wondered if they would retrench on the follow-up, release a pareddown album of uncut hip-hop. Not quite: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was finally announced as a double album, with each rapper taking a disc. It could have been a flop. Artistically, it’s a mess, overlong, wildly inconsistent and in need of an outside editor, as double albums by confident showoffs usually are. Then Andre’s “Hey Ya!,” which sounded like a curio on the album, a one-time swerve into novelty rock, became inescapable. Suddenly The Love Below was “the essential disc,” and its auteur was hailed by rock critics as rap’s first true successor to Prince and Hendrix, even though Andre mostly aped their more regrettable excesses. Once Andre became the visionary, the breakup rumors began in earnest. How could a group, with all of its compromises, contain him and his crazy ideas? A spotty soundtrack to Outkast’s first feature film, Idlewild, didn’t do much to dispel those rumors. Purple Rain it wasn’t, in terms of aesthetic coherence or sales. Maybe Outkast were slumping to an ignoble end after all? But two important points got lost in the rush to anoint Andre a genius. One, Outkast were still very much a group; their best work has always been the product of a partnership, even when split onto separate discs. And two, Big Boi’s music was no less “weird” than Dre’s; it just stuck closer to funk’s body-centric pleasure principle. Big Boi is certainly the more consistent artist of the two. Whereas many of The Love Below’s experiments already feel a little cheesy—a cack-handed drum ‘n’ bass cover of “My Favorite Things,” anyone?— Speakerboxxx still sounds surprising and listenable. 39
Torche and Boris
Chapter Ahead Being Fake Of the bands that might comfortably fit under the banner of “extreme metal,” Torche are easily the least extreme. Despite their club-flattening bottom-end, and the occasional bursts of prog-grade guitar heroics, Torche’s melodies are pure pop, with choruses that would add much-needed bursts of color to the drab post-grunge of modern rock radio if anyone was paying attention. Boris, on the other hand, have slowly moved from “most extreme” to “sorta extreme.” 1996’s Absolutego was a punishing experiment in how long you could extend one feedback-attenuated note, but a decade later, Pink found the Japanese band alternating between gossamer and brutal. Chapter Ahead Being Fake is the kind of split-thedifference split-release you’d expect. Boris essay a mini-history of the last 20 years of crossover metal into one 12-minute epic— screaming fields of filthy distortion, a mid-song barrage of death metal blast beats, the swelling shoegaze guitars that saved the Deftones’ career and the kind of vocals you’re more likely to find on an indie record. Torche go for pure bait-and-switch, though. (Who’d have guessed Boris would be the more accessible band?) Those seduced by their harmony-heavy instant-classic Meanderthal might be taken aback by the primitive, doomy noise they kick up here.
Unsurprisingly, given that she’s one of the most idiosyncratic R&B stars of the 21st century, equal parts sci-fi nerd and sex goddess, Kelis hasn’t had the easiest career. The freak success of 1999’s “Caught Out There” turned her into a novelty act, a stigma “Milkshake” didn’t do much to erase five years later. So it’s probably no surprise that for Fleshtone, her first album in six years, Kelis has grabbed the zeitgeist with gusto. She wants a hit, and badly. Like so much urban pop these days, the album bumps to the 4/4 thump of house music, but Kelis decided to not make a dance-pop album so much as a straight-up dance album. Drafting producers from the big-and-garish end of clubland, Fleshtone isn’t as odd a fit for Kelis as you might think. (It’s a short jump from lyrics about spaceships to aping the robot rock sound of Daft Punk.) And, in many ways, it’s refreshing. They don’t make IMAX-scale dance records like this anymore, at least with any hope of reaching a pop audience, and few mainstream disco divas have ever been as doggedly odd as Kelis. It might not revive her career, but her funkadelic stamp means it’s no late ’90s retro trip, either.
Well Done Europe Coupled with the title, the cover kinda says it all: The Chap want to blow up the staid world of post-Britpop rock and start all over again. For those still worried that Oasis and their ilk killed the strain of U.K. indie that favored sarcastic humor and genre-hopping weirdness, Well Done Europe is proof that cheeky dorks are still picking up guitars (and keyboards) across the Atlantic. The core sound is tongue-in-cheek dance-pop—“Even Your Friend” and “Nevertheless, the Chap” recall the days when the Human League were art school kids with a crazy dream—but it’s also got a real weakness for beauty and grandeur. (Two words that would probably make the Chap gag, but hey, it’s their fault for writing such pretty tunes, however goofy they might get.) Given the range of styles/eras evoked in only 13 short songs—the ethereal sweep of ’80s 4AD; snotty, self-deprecating indie-pop; the homemade keyboards of early synth-rock—it’s actually a wonder the album sounds so assured and cohesive. It’s not a world-conquering sort of record—as anti-power balladeers, the Chap won’t be headlining Glastonbury any time soon—but it’s the kind of record that might blow a few young minds if they manage to hear it.
Wolf Parade Expo ’86
Who knew Neutral Milk Hotel would prove to be such a lasting influence? Jeff Mangum’s hermetic project— with its (at one time) unique mix of lit-referencing lyrics, ’90s indie energy and psychedelically smeared D.I.Y. production—has become a touchstone for a whole wave of 21st century indie bands (or collectives, if you must). Wolf Parade may have once drawn from Mangum’s ramshackle songwriting style—and his overheated delivery—but over three albums they’ve become sleeker, more stylish, even a bit restrained. You’d never mistake Expo ’86 for a distorted one-man band document recorded in someone’s bedroom. Vocally, the cracked high notes and earnest yelp-singing are still very old-school indie—and will remain a sticking point for those who get their rock tips from NPR—but the music’s moved ever closer to the assured pop pulse of, say, the Cars. (If the Cars had grown up on rough-edged Pacific Northwest indie, rather than ’60s bubblegum, that is.) Tunes like “Two Men in Tuxedos” bring back a little of that old herky-jerky energy—garage rock made by library assistants rather than juvenile delinquents—but mostly Expo ’86 finds Wolf Parade steadily transforming into the new wave band they always wanted to be.
On the Record
Brendan Toller’s documentary makes a passionate case against the digital revolution / by Bret McCabe
he brick-and-mortar independent record store is a source of more clichés than misspelled signs at a Tea Party rally. And
like all stereotypes, the one that have accrued around the record store are never flattering. Only “those people” still get their music at record stores, and “those people” can be any of the following: heshers, D.I.Y. art-punks, urban hipsters, bearded jazzbos, house DJs, new weird Americans, folk Luddites or any other so-called niche demographic. As producer/director/editor Brendan Toller’s documentary I Need That Record: The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store argues, though, the mom-and-pop record store is just as vital to the concept of Main Street as the grocer, hardware store, dry cleaner or any other foundation of a healthy local economy. Record stores are part of what keeps America sustainable. And the doc has found an audience, making its way through the fall 2009 and spring 2010 festival season, and in one week selling out the 700 copies that were distributed through independent record stores during National Record Store Day on April 17. The MVD Entertainment Group gives Need its official home-video release July 27. Not a bad debut for Toller’s first feature project—which he made while he was still in college. “This was my thesis project at Hampshire College, so I didn’t have to totally worry about how to put food on the table and how to put a roof over my head or anything like that,” says the now 23year-old Toller by phone from Martha’s Vineyard, where he began a six-month stay this past May as he learns how to farm. “I could 44
I’m glad that people are picking up that [the movie] is not even just about record stores and not even just about the music industry. There’s corporate greed all around. It’s affecting every part of our lives.”
just work—I sat down for about three months and just sort of read everything [about the music industry]. I was trying to read a book or two a day. Which is good. I made [the bulk of ] I Need That Record in about eight months. It was just totally crazy.” What he came up with is both a mash note of the independent record store and a grassroots response to the corporate takeover of all aspects of the American marketplace. In a brisk 77 minutes, Need mixes interviews with record store owners, musicians and writers—such as Glenn Branca, Ian MacKaye, Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Legs McNeil and Noam Chomsky—and cut-out animation from Toller’s friend Matt Newman. The film uses the 2006 closing of Toller’s hometown record store, Record Express, as a leaping off point to examine the economic tangle that developed in the 2000s, a decade that saw the closing of more than 3,000 record stores across the country, including megastores like Tower and Virgin. Toller wisely doesn’t put all the blame on peer-
to-peer file sharing—Napster, after all, only lasted as an illegal service from June 1999 to July 2001—but adds digital downloading to a half-century of shady radio business practices, including the price-point crunching big-box stores exert on the marketplace. Walmart is now the leading music vendor in America, even though CD sales account for a tiny fraction of its overall revenue stream. It’s a common-sense observation to make. Instead of limiting record store closures merely to music industry factors, Toller recognizes them as small businesses, facing the same sort of market stress that all small businesses face right now. “I come from a very small town in Connecticut,” Toller says of his hometown, Portland, population around 8,000. Portland hasn’t been too affected by big-box sprawl yet, but in the towns surrounding it, “more and more the momand-pop or sort of independently-owned ventures are getting pushed out by these big homogeneous corporate things. They all have Home Depots, they all have Lowe’s, they all have Stop & Shop. You can go down the list. Any small town in Connecticut might as well be anywhere in the U.S.A. “So, I’m glad that people are picking up that [the movie] is not even just about record stores and not even just about the music industry,” he continues. “There’s corporate greed all around. It’s affecting every part of our lives.” Need isn’t a big downer, though. During the summer of 2007, Toller spent three weeks driving cross-country with two friends visiting independent record stores for the movie, and he found many record stores not only surviving but thriving, from Nashville’s Grimey’s to Boston’s Newbury Comics,
making the documentary a well-balanced, mature and level-headed look at a beloved cultural institution, a subject far too easily romanticized. And that totally professional approach is what whets the appetite for Toller’s current project. Along with writer Justin Skrakowski, Toller is working on a documentary about Danny Fields, the music insider who had a pivotal hand in New York’s downtown arts community since the 1960s. Fields managed/worked with the Ramones, the Stooges, the MC5 and the Modern Lovers, briefly shared an apartment with Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick and was one of the first openly gay men in the industry. In other words, Fields is a dream subject. “I have about 40 hours of footage with him, and we’re just starting to do other interviews and it’s amazing,” Toller says. “I’m shocked that I’m doing it.”
I Need That Record makes its home-video debut July 27.
! S I H T R E V O C DIS Albums You Need… Four New
ROBYN Body Talk Part 1
Body Talk Part 1 is the first of three new studio albums to be released by the Swedish pop diva in 2010. The last time we heard from Robyn, it was 2008. The diminutive Swede was riding high after top ten hits with the bittersweet, orchestral- pop smash “Be Mine” and the anthemic dance ballad “With Every Heartbeat.” Available Now
KELIS Flesh Tone
Kelis debuted in 1999 with Kaleidoscope, providing us with the massive hit “Milkshake” and the worldwide million-selling ringtone “Bossy.” The fashion icon is also a certified chef and a recent graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. Kelis has won a BRIT award (“International Breakthrough Act”), an NME award (“Best R&B/Soul Act”) and a Q award (“Best Music Video”). Over the past 10 years, she has worked with a wide variety of artists, including The Neptunes, Andre 3000, Björk, and Enrique Iglesias. Flesh Tone, the new album from the GRAMMY™ nominated singer-songwriter will be her first in almost four years. Tipped as one of 2010’s “Best Bets” by Billboard, the album takes Kelis in a different direction having recorded with several influential producers: David Guetta, will.i.am, DJ Ammo, Benny Benassi and more. Available Now
MACY GRAY The Sellout
Grammy™ nominated singer/songwriter Macy Gray is back with her first album in more than 3 years, The Sellout. The new disc features 12 new songs, all co-written and executive produced by Macy including the infectious first single and irresistible anthem “Beauty In The World.” Including collaborations with T.I., Bobby Brown, Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum formerly of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, The Sellout is the work of an artist who has reconnected with the essence of her creative gifts after a long journey through the music biz. Available Now
SEMI PRECIOUS WEAPONS You Love You
It’s hard to argue with a band who expresses such an impassioned sentiment. And audiences across the country ain’t fightin’ with the raw power and electricity that pulsates throughout a Semi Precious Weapons performance. Their message is clear- music can be dangerous, dirty, and fun. Led by one of the most charismatic vocalists in generations, the Boston Globe declares that “SPW splits the difference between AC/DC and Queen, fronted by the fabulously fierce Justin Tranter.” The visual appeal of the band, who are masterfully thrusting sex, glamour, and a love of violence back into the rock & roll spotlight, is undeniable. Tranter easily dominates any stage, with crowd-pleasing antics ranging from gravity-defying high kicks in his custom-made Stuart Weitzman heels to pouring champagne into eager mouths, all while demanding to “See some titties!” Available Now
ROCKIN' CANADA SINCE 1977 50
The Cinema of Lost Children
Children of Invention wanders the streets of America’s lost decade / by Jonah Gruber
ast year, a film captured the attention of Sun-
dance and earned itself a long list of laurels from other film festivals. It was a simple story about two small children left to their own devices when their mother suddenly disappears from their lives. Newly released on DVD, Tze Chun’s Children of Invention is an anomaly: Loosely structured, restrained and without a grain of sentimentality, the movie could not have succeeded at any other time, perfectly capturing the tragedy of the recent economic meltdown. We needed a story about the most innocent victims of America’s insatiable greed; Tze Chun was thankfully plugged into the moment. 46
The mother (Cindy Cheung) of the two children (Michael Chen and Crystal Chiu) is unemployed in suburban Boston; her estranged husband is trapped in a Hong Kong coding mill, completely absent from the family’s life. Facing foreclosure, the three are forced into an apartment that has yet to be zoned for residency. In her desperation, the mother becomes involved in a vitamin pill pyramid scheme. The kids are left alone as she works tirelessly to find new customers. Eventually the mother’s neglect gives way to complete abandonment. From there, the story unfolds almost entirely around the obstacles the children must face just to survive: After the ramen in the cupboard is gone, they hatch a plan to make a million dollars by making and selling tools for eating spaghetti more efficiently. Convinced that their mother has left them photo by Will Serber
for good, they go into the city to find their fortune. Children of Invention casts them as both innovators and victims, already lost in the ruthless world of getrich-quick schemes that brought the economy to its knees. A handful of filmmakers have explored the miseries of adulthood—the political and social turmoil—through the eyes of abandoned, neglected or displaced children forced to fend for themselves. These lost children can show the effects of their parents’ sins without the director resorting to a narrative that lectures, often choosing parable or allegory instead. And these children perceive the intricacies of the adult world, especially the day-today struggles that we would see as quotidian, with a fresh intensity. They bear witness to adult folly, whether war or economic meltdown, without being forced to comment. Victor Erice’s masterpiece The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) focuses on a young girl named Ana, who runs away from her manorial home to find Frankenstein after seeing the film at a traveling cinema. Franco’s fascist victory over a democratically elected Spanish Republic is the backdrop, and as the film
progresses, Ana’s sense of isolation changes to suffocation, as Francoists close in and alter the social landscape. Ana spends much of her time secretly tending to a wounded partisan for the Republic, who she believes to be Frankenstein incarnate. Rife with allegorical condemnation of the regime—and made during the last years of the Franco era—The Spirit of the Beehive exposes the lost innocence of an entire generation by focusing on one lost child. When the partisan is executed, Ana’s plea for his return can be heard as a plea for a return to life before Franco. But as in Children of Invention, the child is also a symbol for the possibility of change. Ana’s despondence—and her coldness toward her family—thaws at the end, just as Raymond and Tina Cheng warm up to their mother when she returns. photo by Chris Teague
A handful of filmmakers have explored the miseries of adulthood—the political and social turmoil—through the eyes of abandoned, neglected or displaced children forced to fend for themselves. The cinema of lost children takes a turn for the fantastic in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. There is a great amount of debate as to the extent of del Toro’s use of parable in the film, but it’s clear that the child, Ofelia, the stepdaughter of a sadistic fascist officer in the Spanish Army, becomes “lost in fantasy” as a means of escaping the political terror that surrounds her life. Ofelia encounters a demon, a creature that cannot eat and appears to be starving, one that kills anyone who tastes the banquet set before it. On one level, del Toro’s demon is fascism itself, offering something seductive and dangerous, something that will destroy Ofelia if she indulges. The labyrinth itself becomes a metaphor for being lost in an unfamiliar adult world, the sense of dissociation and confusion. And again, as with Spirit of the Beehive and Children of Invention, Ofelia’s journey from innocence to experience allows her to stand in for a whole generation forced to grow up ahead of schedule, thanks to adult forces beyond their control. Tze Chun claimed, in one interview, to have had no idea the economy was on the verge of collapse when Children of Invention went into production, or that the film would have a “generational” quality that tapped into the sort of wider cultural issues which Spirit of the Beehive and Pan’s Labyrinth make explicit. Instead, he says the film is a continuation of themes explored in an earlier short, Windowbreaker (available on the COI DVD), the story of two Asian-American children who invent traps to keep the hoodlums in their rough neighborhood from breaking into their home. For Chun, Children of Invention emerged from the trials of his own upbringing, but whether by accident or by intention, the film also captures the experience of America’s young as they were battered by our race for wealth. While we’ve not won a whole lot in that particular race, the resilience of these lost children offers hope that the next generation might get it right.
Children of Invention is available now on DVD.
/movies Every fight scene is magnetic, primarily because they’re not magical and balletic.
The Foot-Fist-tothe-Face Way
Ip Man revives the spirit of old-school kung fu flicks to thrilling effect / by Bret McCabe
he first foe catches a foot in the face. The second
eats about 20 quick fists. And over the course of a four-and-a-half-minute fight scene, many whiterobed Japanese soldiers get schooled by a single Chinese man, who attacks with extreme prejudice. A femur gets broken, an elbow finds a throat, an arm bends in a way that nature never intended. By the end of 2008’s Ip Man, a refreshingly old-school kung fu flick finally receiving an American release, Ip Man (Donnie Yen), clad in the simple black-on-black ensemble of the martial arts master, steadily takes out 10 black belts. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Hong Kong movies infiltrated the international market, and the city’s popular auteurs impressively influenced both American action movies and Chinese drama. John Woo updated the hard-boiled gangster movie by thrusting his characters into wild, acrobatic shootouts. Jackie Chan became the Buster Keaton of his generation by recognizing the comic potential of both martial arts and pratfalls. And the dazzling fight sequences of wire-work choreography became a visual poetry for historical dramas once Ang Lee turned it into an art house affectation with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. What got slightly left behind was the genre that helped introduce Hong Kong 48
movies to Westerners: traditional kung fu flicks, such as those distributed by Golden Harvest in the ’70s. While the ’80s/’90s boom saw its fair share of traditional martial arts pictures, such as the Once Upon a Time in China series, the genre lost its gripping luster once Western audiences had so many other options. Ip Man doesn’t try to reboot the genre the way Batman Begins or Casino Royale reinvigorated their resepective franchises. Instead, director Wilson Yip merely recognizes what makes the genre so appealing, and hits every mark. The movie opens in 1935 in Foshan, China, a city so renowned for its martial arts masters that it has a dojo street where they all spar. Ip Man doesn’t maintain a dojo, preferring to live with his wife (Lynn Hung) and young son (Li Chak) just outside of town. He’s the city’s undisputed champion, though, as he proves when a wildeyed fighter comes to town and defeats everybody— everybody except Ip Man. Soon, though, everybody is bowing down to the Japanese, who invade and occupy Foshon by 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The city is sacked, the people go hungry and Ip Man has to shovel coal to put rice on the table. But the presiding Japanese officer, Miura (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi), is an exceptional fighter himself, and has one of his underlings recruit Foshon men to see if any Chinese style can match the Japanese martial arts. Winners get a bag of rice; losers, well, have a habit of ending up dead. Just where Ip Man is headed is pretty obvious from here, and it goes there with dependable gusto. Every fight scene is magnetic, primarily because they’re not magical and balletic. Yen has a calm stare and agile limbs as the titular hero—like many wuxia movies, Ip Man is inspired by an actual person, Yip Kai Man, who trained a young Bruce Lee—and the fights are electrifying because the men don’t appear to defy the laws of physics or possess superhuman powers. Feet and fists fly, but the action and the streamlined plot remain tethered to the ground Ip Man hits in a way that makes Ip Man a great stores July 27 reminder that certain genres are on DVD and classics for a reason. BluRay.
BLU-RAY 2/$20 DIRTY HARRY
COOL HAND LUKE
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
BLU-RAY 2/$30 BLAZING SADDLES
Quantities limited. Sale in effect until July 31, 2010. © 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. © 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Tous droits réservés.
Nun of This and Nun of That essay by
Nuns. What is it about them that films continue to find so absorb-
ing? Today, most people, let alone filmmakers, wouldn’t recognize a nun if she flipped them an engraved rosary and flashed a conventual tattoo. Memories of rustling black veils and tunics blazoned with starched white wimples—a noir cinematographer’s dream, come to think of it—are those of their parents and grandparents. So, too, among other things, the strange pedagogic creed, endorsed by far too many nuns, of slapping, strapping and rapping (with yardsticks) book learning into generations of schoolchildren. Though relics of another time and world, little did that matter when Nude Nuns With Big Guns packed them in at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Where did it all go wrong, Grandma? How did we get from the piety of 1915’s White Sister, to the sentimental mush of Bells Of St. Mary’s, to the harsh austerity of Nun’s Story, to the Tits-andTorture-in-the-Cloister of Convent Of Sinners? The short answer, from a social and political standpoint, is the worldwide erosion—for well-documented reasons—of institutional authority in the late 1960s. From a film standpoint, the answer is 1971‘s The Devils, Ken Russell’s inflammatory interpretation of Aldous Huxley’s historical novel about torture, Satanism, politics and sexual frenzy behind abbey and convent walls in 17th century France. Distributed (where it wasn’t banned) as a hybrid arthouse/ mainstream movie, The Devils’s cachet of artistic respectability had the curious effect of releasing in audiences a long-suppressed, prurient urge to speculate about what’s 52
under the habit, rather than behind the veil. The golden age of Nunsploitation cinema was about to begin. But if The Devils sensationalized sex among the good sisters, it was Michael Powell’s and Emeric Pressburger’s 1947 film Black Narcissus—largely unknown to audiences today—that first broached the notion that nuns were human, too (an outrageous suggestion to anyone schooled by nuns), subject to the same urges and temptations as normal women. For Russell’s nuns, sex was about organs. For Powell’s and Pressburger’s, sex was organic. Based on a Rumer Godden book, the film recounts the ultimately futile struggle of a group of Anglican nuns to establish a school and dispensary in the Himalayas. Domiciled in a former pleasure palace of a long-dead Hindu prince, its walls decorated with erotic murals reminiscent of the temple of Khajuraho, the nuns gradually succumb to the sensual allure of their surroundings. Breezes of discontent first waft, then howl through their residence. Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr), the too-young head of the mission dreams, while at prayer, of her previous life, replete with jewels, vacations and fiancé. Addled Sister Philippa (Flora Robson) grows exotic flowers in her garden, rather than much-needed vegetables. Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron), however, falls hardest and deepest (literally and figuratively), overwhelmed by a lust she’s unequipped to understand, much less control. Stoking the malaise is an unforgivably handsome land agent (David Farrar) with a penchant for walking around shirtless among sex-starved nuns; and a burgeoning romance between Sabu (as the aristocratic Young General), and a nubile Hindu temptress, played by 17 year-old Jean Simmons. (The film may feel old fashioned, but when Jean Simmons kneels before Sabu, hungrily eyeing his crotch, the shock of recognition is electric: a precise foreshadowing of one of the staples of Nunsploitation movies.) Underpinning all this angst, naturally, is the sense of isolation defined by the spectacular Technicolor scenes of the Himalayas— every one of which, Powell tells us on the commentary track (recorded shortly before his death) was shot in a studio courtesy of cinematographer Jack Cardiff and Production Designer Alfred Junge. (The lush subtropical flora was filmed in a nearby English garden.) Powell’s commentary track (shared with his ardent disciple, Martin Scorsese) is just one of the highlights of Criterion’s breathtaking re-issue (standard and Blu-ray) of Black Narcissus. Another is the Painting With Light documentary, wherein the delightful Cardiff explains the influence of Vermeer and Rembrandt on the film’s look. A pair of new documentaries, a Bertrand Tavernier introduction, and a booklet complete the package. Now if only Powell and Pressburger had gotten their paws on The Sound Of Music … Black Narcissus hits stores July 20 on DVD and Blu-Ray from Criterion.
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2 Minute Heist Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle All I Want for Christmas Amex: Into the Deep: America, Whaling & The World Among the Righteous: Lost Stories From the Holocause Another Woman’s Husband Bakugan: Chapter 2 Battle League Horumo Battlestar Galactica: Seasons 4.0 & 4.5 Best of Elmo Betrayed: A Story of Three Women Bitten Boeing B-52 Stratojet Brooklyn’s Finest Brother Outsider: Life of Bayard Rustin Canterville Ghost Cats & Dogs Chicago Continental Divide Crash Course D. Gray-Man: Season One Dangerous Evidence: The Lori Jackson Story David & Goliath Doc Martin: Series 4 Doctor Who: The Time Monster Doctor Who: Underworld Doctor Who: The Horns of Nimon Doctor Who: The Space Museum/ The Chase Dragnet: Season 2 End of Days ER: The Complete Thirteenth Season ESPN Films 30 for 30: Two Escobars Everyone Loves Raymond: The Complete Seasons 8 & 9 Everyone Else Eyeborgs Eyeshield 21: Collection 2 Familiar Family of Spies Film Noir Collection Vol. 2 Founding of a Republic Freedom: Complete Collection From the Dead of Night Game: Third Season Gamera vs. Barugon Ghost Slayers Ayashi: Complete Collection Girl With the Dragon Tattoo God of Vampires Gold Retrievers Good Fight Grandpa for Christmas Haunting of Lisa Have Gun, Will Travel: The Fourth Season Vol. 2 Hayate the Combat Butler Part 6 Hidden in Silence Hobo’s Christmas Horror Collector’s Set Vol. 8 Hustle Interrogation of Michael Crowe JFK: Reckless Youth John Wayne Last Chance to See Life on Mars: The Complete Collection Lost Keaton: Sixteen Comedy Shorts 1934-1937
Love for Sale Lucky Day Lucy Show Margot/The Royal Ballet Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Complete Collection Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Season 2, Part 2 Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam II: Lovers Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam III: Love Is the Pulse of the Stars Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Inheritor of the Stars Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Movie Complete Collection Monk; Seasons Five & Six Monk: Seasons Three & Four Mushishi: Complete Box Set National Geographic: Dinosaurs Decoded North American P-51 & P 82 T Office: Season 1 & Season 2 One Piece: Season 3 – First Voyage Phoenix Mars Mission: Onto the Ice Precious Girls Club: A Little Bit of Faith Project Precious Paws Project Runway: The Complete Seventh Season Recycled Parts Rendering Return to Lonesome Dove Rhoda: Season Three Salvage Secrets to Love Sense of Wonder Single Man Sixgun Sophisticated Misfit Squidbillies Vol. 3 Steamboat Bill, Jr. Steve Byrne: The Byrne Identity Street Boss Street Life Tales From the Crypt: The Complete Seasons 3 & 4 That’s Funny Vol. 1 Touching Evil: The Complete Collection Twins Visions of Murder Western Collector’s Set Wind Journeys Woman’s Rage Wonders of the Vatican Library Wonderworks: The Haunting of Barney Palmer JULY 13
2: 37 8: The Mormon Proposition Aegri Somnia Ally McBeal: The Complete Third Season Artois the Goat Backyardigans: Operation Elephant Drop Black Angels Black Cat: The Complete Series Body/Antibody Borrowed Hearts Bounty Hunter Brassiere de Emma Britten-Pears Collection Bunch of Amateurs Burnt House
july 13 The Only Son/
There Was a Father
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu Before Kurosawa there was Ozu, the first Japanese filmmaker to rise to international acclaim on the post-war art-house circuit. Unlike the brash samurai/ gangster melodramas of Kurosawa, Ozu’s films are almost painfully restrained. His career could be seen as an extended meditation— definitely the right word given his pacing—at the emotional costs of what’s left unsaid between family members, including these early films about the desperate moves made by cash-strapped parents. Criterion Caught in the Crossfire CBC Chloe Christmas in Wonderland Christmas Visitor Christmas: The Classic Television Collection Vol. 2 Come Together Crackie Crush Day of the Roses Dead Are Alive Devil Dogs of Nam: Call in the Marines Devil Dogs of Nam: Goodbye Vietnam Devil Dogs of Nam: Tour of Duty Dino Squad: Fire & Ice Don’t You Forget About Me Dove Family Double Feature Eva Feeding the Masses Horror Collection FIFA World Cup Collection Film Noir Classics Collection Vol. 5 Fingers Five Corners Fog Island Following Her Heart Funeral for an Assassin Girl by the Lake God’s Office Golgo 13: Collection 1 Greatest Greenberg Harry Christophers and the Sixteen: A Handel Celebration
Here and There Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger Hit Parade Hitman, Uzi Vol. 2: Sings to Kids Hobo’s Christmas Holly Horror Vault Vol. 3 How to Make Love to a Woman Hug Moment for Toddlers If You Love Me Japanese Wife Jet Li: 8-Film Set Killer Car Last Adam Last Farm in Lowell Littlest Light on the Christmas Tree Tangerine Dream: Live at Coventry Cathedral Love Chronicles 2 Lucy Show: The Official Second Season Magikano: The Complete Series Maldad Oculta Maria Watches Over Us: Season 4 Marigold Middle of Nowhere My Year Without Sex Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVIII Naked Nerve Endings Naruto: Shippuden Vol. 11 National Geographic: Alaska State Troopers Season One Nick Jr. Favorites: The First Day of School Night Dwarves Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy Only Son/There Was a Father Our Family Wedding Outback Parasomnia Passengers Peter Ackroyd: Venice Revealed Petticoat Junction Petticoat Junction Vol. 2 Priest of Love Primal Rage Psych: The Complete Fourth Season Radiant Rent a Car Return to Tarawa: The Leon Cooper Story Ride the Wake Rodney Perry: Nothing But the Truth Romeo x Juliet: The Complete Tragedy Saint John of Las Vegas Saturday Night Live: Best of Tracy Morgan Saturday Night Live: Best of Will Ferrell Saving Grace: Season Three – The Final Season Saving Marriage Scarf Scream Girls Selling Hitler Sesame Street: 20 Years and Still Counting Simon Cowell: On the Records Soldier’s Tale Spongebob Squarepants: Triton’s Revenge Street Hawk: The Complete Series Super Hero Squad Show Vol. 1 Supranova Swiss Conspiracy Sword of Lancelot Tengers Terribly Happy Thomas & Friends: Creaky Cranky UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun 2 Ultimate Crime Spree Collection Uncross the Stars Unearthed Universal Soldier 2
Universal Soldier 3 Vexville Vivere Warped Tour: A Concert, A Culture, A Punk Generagion White Collar: The Complete First Season Why Am I Doing This Wiggles: Hot Potatoes – The Best of the Wiggles Wildfire: The Arabian Heart World War 1 in Color WWE: Satan’s Prison – Anthology of the Elimination Chamber Zift JULY 20
2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams Air the Motion Picture Altitude Falling Ant Bully Attack of the Eraser Bannen Way Barking Dogs Never Bite Being Human: Season One Best of Europe: Beautiful Europe Black Narcissus Bleach Vol. 30 Bong Joon-Ho Collection Caillou’s Fun Outside Cats & Dogs Change of Plans Circle Collective Cookies & Cream Cop Out Courage the Cowardly Dog: Season One Crush: Four Stories of Love and Longing Degrassi: The Next Generation Season 9 Desperate Romantics Elvis & Anabelle Entre Nos Evening of Yes Forbidden World Frontline: College, Inc Frontline: The Wounded Platoon Galaxy of Terror Gangland Love Story Godkiller Ground War: The Evolution of the Battlefield Guitar Is Their Song Horse Crazy Too I Do & I Don’t Inside Ring Jersey Shore: Season One Just Another HDay Kangaroo Jack Kevin Hart: Seriously Funny Kurokami: The Animation Part Two Legend of the Dark King: A Fist of the North Star Story Look Around You: Season One Losers Love Exposure Martha Goes to School Matlock: The Fifth Season May 18th Most Dangerous Man in America Mother Mt. St. Helens: Back From the Dead My Boys; The Complete Second and Third Season My Bride Is a Mermaid: Part 1 National Geographic: World’s Toughest Fixes Season Two Nature: Moment of Impact New Recruits NHL: Stanley Cup 2009-2010 Champions Nollywood Babylon Outside Parting Ways: The Beatles – An
july 20 The Red Shoes
Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger Even if its subject is of little interest to you—a ballet dancer’s tortured rise to the top—anyone interested in how a movie camera can transform sets and studio backlots into whole new worlds owes it to themselves to check out The Red Shoes. Rather than plot, what seduces is the colordrunk look of the film. That goes double for the dance sequences, which subvert the bright Busby Berkeley style of the time for something a little more sinister, sensuous and surreal. Criterion
Unauthorized Story Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School Prodigal Sons Professional Red Shoes Royal Kill Rules Scooby-Doo: The Movie Shuffle: The Complete Collection Stand-Ins Superfriends: Season One, Vol. 2 Sutures Tenderloin Thick as Thieves TMNT TNA Wrestling: Sacrifice 2010 To Live and Die in Amerikkka Town Called Panic UFC Presents WEC: Aldo vs. Faber Uptown Vampire Knight Vol. 1 White House Revealed Wronged Man WWE: Fatal Four Way 2010 X’s & O’s JULY 27
1984 Los Angeles Comedy Competition Acceptance Accidents Happen Against a Crooked Sky Agatha Christie Hour Set 1 Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Classic Collection Set 4 Altamont Now America the Beautiful Appassionata
Appointment With Danger Art of the Steal Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed Astronome: A Night at the Opera Atom Age Vampire Atomic Brain Bad Blood Barney: Furry Friends Batman: Under the Red Hood Be Easy Be Nice Best of Soul Train Best of the Fest Birds of Norfolk: A Bird Watchers Dream Black Arrow: Complete Series Blessed and Cursed Blue Move: Dolphins British Rail Journeys: Central Highlands: Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye Builder Catherine’s Pain Change of Life Chatterbox Cheerleader Camp Cholo Comedy Slam Chow Down Clash of the Titans (2010( Clay Aiken: Tried & True Cliff Richard: Rare and Unseen Cody Black Colors of Curacao: Ava & Gabriel – A Love Story/Papa’s Song Combat Aircraft Communism Was No Party: The Joke/The Shoe Cone of Silence Crack in the World Crash: The Complete Second Season Death Kappa Dog the Bounty Hunter: Crime Is On the Run Dogs vs. Cats/Dogs 101/Cats 101 Don’t Look Up Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies Dragon Ball: Season Five Dungeons of the Deep: Shipwrecks & Artificial Reef Edgar Broughton Band Egypt Exposed: The True Origins of Civilization Egypt Uncovered Einstein Eyes of Me F.A.R.T.: The Movie Favorite Son From Czars to Dictators: The History of Russia and the Soviet Empire G.I. Joe: The Movie Girl Getters Girl in Blue Glaring Emission Gold: Before Woodstock, Beyond Reality Goodnight Moon… And More Great Bedtime Stories Grapes on a Vine Great Epochs of European Art: The Art of the 19th Century/The Art of the 20th Century Great Gardens of England Hannie Caulder Heavenly Bodies: Dancing With the Stars Hell Girl: Two Mirrors – Collection 2 High Tide: Armchair Thriller Series Home Hunter Prey Huxley on Huxley I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle I Need That Record: The Death (Or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store
Ian Dury: Rare and Unseen Instant Star: Season Four IP Man Jamdown Jesse Stone: No Remorse Joan Mitchell: Portrait of an Abstract Painter Job Jocking Around K.Y.E.: Kill Your Enemy Kangaroo Kansas City Royals: 1985 World Series Collector’s Edition Life After People: The Series – The Complete Season Two Lights Camera Dead Lince Perdido Loos Ornamental Love Hina: Complete Collection Magic Knight Rayearth 2: Season 2 Mahler/Bernstein Max’s Chocolate Chicken… and More Stories by Rosemary Wells Memory of Water Metropolis Moodafaruka & Friends: The One World Festival Mothers In Law: Complete Series Naked Cities NBA Champions 2009-2010 Neighbor Night of the Living Dead Noisy Nora… and More Stories by Rosemary Wells Only Way Operation Endgame/Comedians of Comedy Paquito D’Rivera: Improvise One Peter Pan and J.M. Barrie: The Boys Who Wouldn’t Grow Up Pocket for Corduroy Poet’s Guide to Britain Polar Opposites Presenting Sacha Guitry Pride Fighting Championship: Bushido Vols. 4-6 Puppet Master Puppet Master: Axis of Evil Queen Rain Ray Bradbury’s Chrysalis Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles – Reconstruction Redemption Reefer Madness Repo Men Rolling Stones 1969-1974: The Mick Taylor Years Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Final Season Salt 2: Angels of Fury Secret Gardens of England Secret of the Grain Secret World of Plants Sex and the U.S.A. Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show – The First Season Shark Week: Jaws of Steel Collection Shine: An Unauthorized Story on Beyonce Shout: Family Friendly Comedy Skateboard Snake Soul Eater Part 4 South Africa: Impressions Specials: 30th Anniversary Tour Spinnin’ Stargate Universe 1.5 Target of an Assassin/Lion of the Desert/Children of Sanchez/ Ruby’s Dream/Death Collector Tricks of a Woman U2: Let Them Be – The Second Chapter Uninvited
Union Station Urban Demographic Vincere Viva Castro Volcanoes: Fire in the Sky Water Wars We Fun: Atlanta, GA Inside/Out Weather Report: Live in Hamburg 1971 Welcome to Earth Wrath of the Titans Youth of Chopin AUGUST 3
300 After.Life Allnighter American Graffiti American Legacy American Pie Bachelor Party/Miss March/ Porky’s Big Trouble in Little China/Kung Pow – Enter the Fist Big/Man With One Red Shoe Billy Elliot Blood Done Sign My Name Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet Blood Simple Borat/Grandma’s Boy Borat/Me Myself & Irene/Super Troopers Breakfast Club Brown Sugar/I Think I Love My Wife Bull Durham Casino Chavo Animado Season 2 Chilling, True Crime Collector’s Set Coal Miner’s Daughter Comebacks/Grandma’s Boy/Stuck on You Creeping Flesh Cross My Heart Curious George: Back to School Daim Duab Date Movie/Epic Movie/Meet the Spartans Days That Shook the World: The Complete Third Season Dazed and Confused Death Mask of the Ninja Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do the Right Thing Dodgeball/Rocker Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure Dude Where’s My Car/Reno 911Miami/Rocker Duel of the Shaolin Fist Dungeon Masters Elvis on Tour Elvis: 75th Anniversary DVD Collection Escape From New York Fargo Fast Times at Ridgemont High Finding Bliss First Films of Akira Kurosawa Forgetting Sarah Marshall Franklin: Back to School With Franklin Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Ghost Writer Girl Next Door/Miss March Going Berserk Gong at Montserrat 1973 Great Waldo Pepper Greek Tycoon Happiness Runs Hawaii Five-O: The Ninth Season Henson’s Place: The Man Behind the Muppets Hidden Gems: Hell on Heels – The Battle of Mary Kay/His and Hers/ Adopt a Sailor Hidden Gems: Lonely Street/ Unbeatable Harold/Route 30 Hot Fuzz Humanoids From the Deep I Am Legend Ikki Tousen: Premium Box In Her Shoes/There’s Something About Mary Into the Void: The International Space Station Japan: Nation of the Sun Kalifornia Kodocha; Season 2 Box Set Kodocha: The First Season Living Wake Lytton’s Diary: Complete Collection Mallrats Max Headroom: The Complete Series Mercy: The Complete First Season Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Mist: Sheepdog Tales – Top Dog Mitsein Monarchy: Complete Collection Napoleon Dynamite/Revenge of the Nerds Naruto: Shippuden Box Set 3 National Geographic Dinosaur Collection Never Say Never Again Night Mother Open House Pandora and the Flying Dutchman Patterns Trilogy & Other Short Films Piranha Princess Bride Princess Resurrection: Complete Collection Prophet Reno 911- Miami/Super Troopers Roger Corman’s Cult Classics: Death Sport/Battletruck Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell Vol. 3 Scotland’s Secret Bunker: Shadows, Raps, Orbs and Other Strange Paranormal Entities See No Evil Seven Alone Shank Sixteen Candles Sola: Complete Collection Spaceballs Spike Sweetgrass Sweetpea Beauty TCM Spotlight: Errol Flynn Adventures Test of Wills
july 27 Repo Men
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik Is it an allegorical screed in favor of universal health care, or is it a movie where Jude Law shoots a lot of people? It’s both! In Repo Men’s future, we can replace our poisoned organs with fabulous artificial ones that cost a shit-ton of money. And if you can’t pay for your robo-heart, Jude Law comes to collect. (The heart, that is, not the money.) Then Law gets his own expensive fake heart installed and… well, you see where this is going. Bargain basement as far as transgressive sci-fi goes, Repo Men is nonetheless an enjoyable two hours of revenge-based mayhem, plus it’s always fun to see lovable Forest Whitaker playing a tough guy. Universal There’s Something About Mary Timothy Goes to School: The Great Race To Save a Life Towards Zero Unforgettable: The Korean War Wallflower: The Complete Collectiotn Weird Science Wiz Wow Wow Wubbzy: Wubbzy Goes to School Xanadu AUGUST 10
Adam-12: Season 5 Alex Reymundo: Red-Nexican Between Syd & The Dark Side Big Time Rush Boy Canary Casper’s Scare School: Season 1 Children of Invention Chocolate Sundaes Comedy Show: Live on the Sunset Strip Christmas Celebration Clone Hunter Coffee Express Crumb
D. Gray-Man: Season One Dark Metropolis Date Night Death at a Funeral Diets That Time Forgot Discoveries… America, Special Edition: Alaska Grizzlies Discoveries… America, Special Edition: Glass Artistry Discoveries… America, Special Edition: Metal Sculptures Discoveries… America, Special Edition: Painters Easy Does It: Getting Started Figure in the Forest Formosa Betrayed Good Heart Helen Hell of a Ride Home for Christmas Home Front Horror High: 35th Anniversary Edition In the 1980s Indelible Joneses Just Say Love Killer Weekend Kim Novak Film Collection Kings of the Underground: The Dramatic Journey of UGK Kleiber Latest Buzz Legend Legendary Dick 2004-09 Letters to God Living Warbirds: World War II Fighters Looney Tunes Super Stars: Bugs Bunny – Hare Extraordinaire Looney Tunes Super Stars: Daffy Duck – Frustrated Fowl Louie Bluie Lucky Days Master of Martial Hearts: Complete Mission Multiple Sarcasms My Name Is Khan Naruto Shippuden Vol. 12 Naturally, Sadie Nightmare Numb3rs: The Sixth Season Paraguay According to Agustin Barrios Penguins of Madagascar: Happy King Julien Day Pippi Longstocking: Pippi Goes to School Project Earth SOS: Complete Collection Project Solitude (Buried Alive) Queen Pin Railfans Chasing Trains Rodney Racoon: Fun With Fitness Health Runaways Say Goodnight Sea of Dust Secrets of the Great Barrier Reef Seeing Searching Being Summer Lover Tales of King Solomon Vol. 1 Tapped Things Thorn in the Heart Titan Maximum Season 01 Trauma: Season 1 Triage UFC 114: Rampage Ultimate Death Match Under the Mountain Visions of Israel We Have to Stop Now Welcome WWE: Best of Raw Seasons 1 & 2
Welcome to Esencia de Cuba! The colección “Esencia de Cuba” series has been specially developed by the musicologists at the world famous egrem records in havana cuba. The first four CDs in the series encompass all of the styles and rhythms of the island, dating back to the beginning of recorded music in Cuba, right up to the present day. This colección spans the decades, showing the influence of Cuban music in the world today. Featuring artists: Chucho Valdés, Bebo Valdés, Omara Portuondo, Los Van Van and others, each CD has extensive liner notes in both English and Spanish. Discover why people the world over revere the music that is Cuba!
Mi salsa tiene sandunga
SON DE LA LOMA Son de la Loma is emblematic of the best of traditional Cuban music. This colección gathers the Son’s original musical forms and all of its variations. Experience lyrical stories full of Cuban grace and wit, by the most genuine interpreters of the genre.
Salsa was born in New York, and in the 1990’s “Mi salsa tiene sandunga” defined the Cuban way to make salsa. The “Esencia de Cuba” colección includes the best music of this period on “Mi salsa tiene sandunga” - an invitation to dance!
locos por el mambo
The Mambo revolutionized the Cuban dance scene in the 1950s. “Locos por el mambo” - Crazy for Mambo - is a tour through the history of mambo that shows listeners why it still has fans all over the globe.
All of Havana danced the Chachacha in the 1950’s and today it is as popular in Cuba as it is abroad. Composed and interpreted by some of Cuba’s most outstanding artists, these songs demonstrate the passion that is Chachacha.
Quantities limited. Valid until July 30, 2010. needle
Paegan Terrorism Tac Songs of Flowers & Skin Cerulean Rockin’ the Hits Sir Lucious Left Skyscraper Sound Alibi Coast I-ternal Fire Rock N Roll Cinema What’d I Say Budokan! Friday, April 28th, 1978 Alice Clark Studio Recordings 1968-72 Ray Conniff Musicals in Rhythm Corpus Christi A Feast for Crows Cravats Land of the Giants Current 93 Baalstorm Sing Omega Peter Daltrey Heroine/Tattoo T Danza Tapdance … Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events Miles Davis The Complete Columbia Album Collection Die So Fluid World Is Too Big for One Lifetime Dirty Little Rabbits Dirty Little Rabbits Disrupters Gas the Punx Duck & Cover Pasadena Recordings End of a Year You Are Beneath Me Five for Fighting Slice Blaze Foley The Dawg Years Glitterati Are You One of Us Good Riddance Capricorn One Gravehill Rites of the Pentagram/ Metal of Death Al Green Love Ritual Halo of Gunfire Conjuring the Damned Hambone Conflagrations Helstar Rising From the Grave How to Destroy Angels How to Destroy Angels Enrique Iglesias Euphoria International Hello International Hello Juvenile Beast Mode Kelis Flesh Tone Kitto Over Sensitive Johnny Richter Laughing Kounty Boyz Music Ed Kowalczyk Alive Charlie Landsborough Songs From the Heart/ What Colour Is the Wind Charlie Landsborough With You in Mind/Further Down the Road Jerry Lee Lewis Essential Sun Country Jerry Lee Lewis Rock N Roll Roots Liverbirds From Merseyside to Hemburg Locators Locators Madness Keep Moving Madness Rise & Fall Men Four Good Men & True Kylie Minogue Aphrodite Mirrors Hands in My Pockets My Epic Yet Janko Nilovic Rhthmes COntemporains No Hawaii Snake My Charms No Justice 2nd Avenue Nobelkommitten Innan Livet Exploderar Noun Holy Hell Orig Broadway Cast Gypsy Pathology Legacy of the Ancients Peter Pan Club Vol. 3: Top House Session John Phillips Many Mamas Many Papas Picture Me Broken Wide Awake A Plea for Purging The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Robert Pollard Moses on a Snail Steve Poltz Dreamhouse Primordial Spirit the Earth AFL The Rescues Let Loose the Horses Cliff Richard Forever Samantha vs. Sabrina Call Me Acid Bath Aidan Baker Baths Chuck Berry Big Boi Big Science Sebastian Blanck Capleton Johnny Cash The Cat Empire Ray Charles Cheap Trick
Sambada Gente A Savoy & Her Sleep… Black Coffee Shining Line Shining Line Skill in Veins Skill in Veins Smash Palace 7 Soundtrack Despicable Me Soundtrack Knight and Day Soundtrack Special Relationship Kyle Sowashes Nobody Leni Stern Sa Belle Belle Ba Texas Hippie Coalition Rollin’ Thieves Like Us Again & Again The Tired and True Scenarios Trailer Choir Tailgate Trevolt I All Hast Walter Trout Common Ground Unspoken Rage Generation X Various Artists Best of Brass Bands Various Artists D:Vision Club Session Vol. 19 Various Artists DJ Club Hits Vol. 10 Various Artists Northern Soul’s Classiest Rarities Various Artists NPR Discover Songs: Soul Revival Various Artists Top of Lounge Bar Various Artists Top of Ragga Dance Jimmie Vaughan Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites Villa Delle Rose Summer 2010 Riccione Richard Walters The Animal What Laura Says Bloom Cheek Spencer Wiggins Feed the Flame: The Fame & XL Recordings Wild Side Speed Devil Kathryn Williams The Quickening O Williams & His … It’s a Treat: The King/ DeLuxe Recordings Woom Muu’s Way JULY 13
8804 The Last Great Train Sam Adams Boston’s Boy Cannonball Adderley Complete Live in San Francisco The Adicts Life Goes On Admiral Radley I Heart California Alabama Setlist: The Very Best of Alabama Live Amad-Jamal Barely Hangin’ On Andi Sex Gang Bram Stoker’s Dracula Antibodies Live Fast Die Old School Louis Armstrong 100 Hits Legends Louis Armstrong King Louis Louis Armstrong Standards Asphalt Valentine Strip Rockroll Autechre Move of Ten EP Chuck Berry Rollin’ Till the Break of Dawn Pat Bianchi Back Home Biblecodesundays Boots or No Boots The Big Bopper Hello Baby: You Know What I Like Black Majesty In Hour Honour Wil Blades Sketchy Blood Axis Born Again Blood Axis The Gospel of Inhumanity Blood Sweat & Tears Mirror Image/New City Blue Giant Blue Giant Blue Oyster Cult Setlist: The Very Best of Blue Oyster Cult Live Tracy Bonham Masts of Manhattan Pat Boone The Drugstore’s Rockin’ D Bozzio & Missing … Live From the Danger Zone Glenn Branca Symphony No. 3 (Gloria) A Braxton & G Hemi… Old Dogs Jim Brickman The Essential Jim Brickman P Brotzmann Chic… 3 Nights in Oslo Dave Brubeck Southern Scene Buggirl Dirt in the Skirt Kenny Burrell Standards Busy Signal D.O.B. Donald Byrd Complete Live at the Olympia 1958 Calibro 35 Ritornano Quelli Di Candido Hands of Fire C Gomez & Jordan Hot Licks & Rhetoric Canvas Solaris Irradiance Capone N Noreaga The War Report 2 Caravan Palace Caravan Palace
M.I.A., July 4
Maya Yes, that’s not the precise title of the new M.I.A. The real title’s actually a semi-abstract design that kinda-sorta resembles “Maya.” As always with the L.A./London/Sri Lankan rapper, the political posturing and conceptual jerking around threatens to upstage her (often very good) music. Rather than the pleasing boom of hip-hop and dancehall, her beats now have the starved snarl of early industrial, so caveat emptor to all the “Paper Planes” fans. Interscope
They’ll Only Miss You When You Leave Eric Carmen Eric Carmen/Boats Against the Current Carnival Season Misguided Promise Johnny Cash Setlist: The Very Best of Johnny Cast Live Bobby Charles See You Later Alligator Ray Charles King of Soul: Classic Hits Chatham County Line Wildwood Cheap Trick Setlist: The Very Best of Cheap Trick Live Ava Cherry The Astronettes Sessions Steve Cichon Cranial Feedback C-Murder Trapped in Crime Coasters Greatest Hits Eddie Cochran Rocks Nat King Cole Very Best of Nat King Cole Gloria Coleman Sweet Missy John Coltrane At Temple University 1966 John Coltrane Soultrane Concrete Blonde Bloodletting: 20th Anniversary Edition Chris Connelly How This Ends Bing Crosby 100 Hits Legends Crowded House Intriguer Curren$y Community Service 3 Curren$y Pilot Talk Danger Mouse & Sp… Dark Night of the Soul Darkness Conclusion & Revival Darkness Death Squad Darkness Defenders of Justice Darkness Live Over Bocholt Matt Darriau Paradox Trio With Bojan Z Wolfgang Dauner Changes/Zeitlaufe Dead When I Found Her Harm’s Way Joey Defrancesco Finger Poppin’ Dehumanizers & … New World Odor Split S Denny & Strawbs All Our Own Work Destructino Metal Discharge Destruction All Hell Breaks Loose Destruction The Antichrist Devotionals Devotionals Al Di Meola Splendido Hotel/Electric Rendezvous DJ E-Z Rock Spittaz Vol. 1 Jerry Douglas Southern Filibuster Nick Drake Nick Drake’s Jukebox Drudkh Estrangement Robbie Dupree Time & Tide Bob Dylan The Roots of Bob Dylan Edenbridge Solitaire Walter Egan The Collection Engrained Anger, Roots & Rock N Roll Carissa’s Wierd
Setlist: The Very Best of Jefferson Airplane Live Jews & Catholics God’s Trash Quincy Jones Standards Judas Priest Setlist: The Very Best of Judas Priest Live Just Surrender Phoenix Kala After Quintessence Kansas Setlist: The Very Best of Kansas Live Brendan Keeley Under a Celtic Sky Tommy Keene You Hear Me: A Retrospective Doug Keith Here’s to Outliving me Killa Kyleon & Lil C Keep on Stackin’ 5 K’naan Troubadour Korn Korn III: Remember WhoYou Are Jane Krakowski The Laziest Gal in Town Volker Kriegel Journal/Palazzo Blue Kruger For Death, Glory and the End of the World Lantlos Neon Mario Lanza 100 Hits Legends Laya Project Laya Project Les Filles Crepuscule Les Filles Du Crepuscule Lonesome River Band Still Learning The Love Language Libraries Tony Lucca Rendezvous With the Angels M.I.A. Maya Mad Sin Burn and Rise The Maine Black and White Melissa Manchester Melissa/Better Days & Happy Endings Steve Marriott Lend Us a Quid Steve Marriott Some Kind of Wonderful S Marriott’s All Stars Wham Bam Marshall Law Marshall Law Dean Martin Greatest Hits Mass Angel Power Mass Metal Fighter Mass Swiss Connection Mass War Law The Master Plan Maximum Respect Jim McCarty Sitting on Top of Time Lisa McClowery Time Signatures Clyde McPhatter Clyde/Rock & Roll Carmen McRae Standards Memmaker How to Enlist in A Robot Uprising Memphis Minnie Essential Recordings Memphis Slim Legend of the Blues Vol . 1-2 S Mendes & Brasil 66 Play the Hits Metal Music Machine Angels of Destruction MFSB Philadelphia Freedom/ Summertime C Mingus & Bill Evans East Coasting Mondo Generator Dog Food Morcheeba Blood Like Lemonade Matt Morris When Everything Breaks Open Van Morrison Blowin’ Your Mind Mp4 Cross Party Mr. Criminal Death Before Dishonor Mr. Pookie & Mr. Lucci Classics Mark Mulholland The Devil on the Stairs My Ruin A Pray Under Pressure of Violence My Ruin Speak and Destroy The Mystery Jets Serotonin Napalm Death Punishments in Capitals Nattsol Stemning Willie Nelson Setlist: The Very Best of Willie Nelson Live New Politics New Politics Jerrod Niemann Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury The No Good Sinners My Demo Noctiferia Death Culture Norma Jean Meridonal N Atlantic Oscillation Grappling Hooks Nox Aurea Ascending in Triumph Ted Nugent Setlist: The Very Best of Ted Nugent Live Tim O’Brien Chicken & Egg Dom Pachino Tera Iz Him 2 Pack of Wolves Hot & Bothered Pagan Babaies Last PBII Plastic Soup Jefferson Airplane
Sun Kil Moon July 13
Admiral Fell Promises For 21 years, and across two bands, Mark Kozelek has been doing his best to bum you out, and Admiral Fell Promises is another album of glacially-paced guitar melodies and general bad vibes. So what’s the draw? Well, Kozelek still makes some of the prettiest wrist-slitting soundtracks around. And unlike the emo-goth blues of your average Hot Topic habitué, Kozelek sounds like he’s lived enough to know pain beyond mom taking the cell phone away for too many text messages. Calo Verde
Out tha Blue 100 Hits Legends Memento Mori 3’s Company The Dark Side Ella Swings Lightly Chaotic Silence Essential Hits & Early Recordings Aretha Franklin 100 Hits Legends Judy Garland 100 Hits Legends Erroll Garner Other Voices Lonnie Gasperini North Beach Blues Robin George Crying Diamonds Ian Gillan Cherkazoo & Other Stories Ian Gillan Naked Thunder Ian Gillan Toolbox Gillan & Glover Accidentally on Purpose Ian Gillan Band Scarabus/Clear Air Turbulence Gordon Giltrap Shining Morn Gordon Giltrap Under This Blue Sky/Drifter Medwyn Goodall Druid II B Goodman & His Or… Benny in Brussels Grasscut 1 Inch/1/2 Mile Great Big Sea Safe Upon the Shore Grief Come to Grief Gynger Lynn Baby’s Gone Bad Merle Haggard 20 #1 Hits Al Haig Jazz Will-O-The Wisp Halford Crucible Remixed Butch Harrison What It Is C Hawkins & R Bryant Complete Recordings Bill Heid Air Mobile Bill Heid Asian Persuasion Bill Heid Wylie Avenue Hellyeah Stampede Billie Holiday 100 Hits Legends Billie Holiday Essential Collection John Lee Hooker Essential Collection Mike Howe Round River Humble Pie The Atlanta Years Ice Cube Death Certificate In This Moment A Star-Crossed Wasteland Inira Revolution Has Begun Innocence Mission My Room in the Trees J Hood Sorry I Made You Wait Michael Jackson Do You Remember The Jacobites The Complete Regency Sound Recordings Etta James The Essential Etta James Jammer Jahmanji Jay Street Tasty Epik Everly Brothers Exit Clov Fast3 Fat Joe Ella Fitzgerald Forever’s Edge Connie Francis
Stephen Pearcy Under My Skin Lee “Scratch” Perry The Mighty Upsetter L Perry & A Sherwood Dub Setter Edith Piaf Essential Collection Bobby Pierce The Long Road Back Pnagea Retrospectacular Charlie Poole The Essential Charlie Poole Deva Premal Dakshina Putumayo Presents Tribute to a Reggae Legend Quantic … Flowering Dog With a Rope Quiet Riot Setlist: The Very Best of Quiet Riot Live R.E.M. Fables of the Reconstruction: Deluxe Ed. Radio Utopia Algebra of Delight Rayvon Rayvon Reactor Never Again The Ready Set I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming Red Horse Red Horse Otis Redding 100 Hits Legends REO Speedwagon Setlist: The Very Best of REO Speedwagon Live Rockabye Baby Lullaby Renditions of Black Sabbath Royal City Riot Coast to Coast Juelz Santana Da Bottom 16 Matt Schofield Live From the Archive School of Seven Bells Disconnect From Desire Rhoda Scott From C to Shining C Section A Sacrifice Brian Setzer Orchestra Don’t Mess With a Big Band C Shiflett & Dead P… Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants Judee Sill Live in London: The BBC Recordings Nina Simone Essential Nina Simone Collection Nina Simone Little Girl Blue Sky Architect Excavation of the Mind Skylar May Married to the Moon Ernie Smith Best of Original Mas Jimmy Smith Plays the Hits Snake Eye Seven 13 Crows Snoop Dogg My #1 Priority Snoop Dogg Tha Last Meal Soilwork The Panic Broadcast Sons of Liberty Brush-Fires of the Mind Sorgeldom Inner Receivings Soundtrack Inception Spydaman P Art of Gemini Jo Stafford Beyond the Stars: Key Recordings Sting Symphonicities Stratovarius Infinite Stratovarius Polaris Live Stray New Dawn/Alive and Giggin’ N Sudden & P Schoe… Golden Vanity Sun Kil Moon Admiral Fell Promises Sweet Sybil Sweet Sybil Sylvain Sylvain (Sleep) Babydoll S Sylvain & The Crim… Bowery Tangerine Dream Phaedra Revisited: 35th Anniversary Edition Tangerine Dream The London Eye Concert Tangerine Dream Views From a Red Train Templebeat The Grey Space Tx Terri/Kevin K Band Firestorm Third Eye Recipe for Disaster Lil’ Dave Thompson C’mon Down to the Delta Three Colors One Big CD Three Houses Down Break Out A Toussaint/Fats D… Alligator Alley Trai-D & Swishahouse 2010 Tru Da Crime Family Eddie Turner Miracles & Demons Typical Cats Typical Cats Uptrio Uplifting Townes Van Zandt Texas Troubadour Various Artists 100 Beats: African Various Artists 100 Beats: Arabica Various Artists 100 Beats: Cuban Various Artists 100 Beats: Latino Various Artists 100 Greatest Film Themes: Take 2 Various Artists 15 Years of Duck Down Various Artists All We Want to Do Is Rock Various Artists Bluegrass Pride: 40 Bluegrass Classics Various Artists Café De Paris Various Artists Cashgrass Various Artists Classic Field Recordings
Cuban Gold Eaglesgrass Eist Elvisgrass Ibiza: The Island Ladies Sing the Blues Product 6 Sidewinder: Snakebite 4 Soul Legends Steelin’ It: The Steel Guitar Sun Records Taylorgrass History of Indian Film Music Trad at Heart Unwrapped Vol. 7 Woman’s Heart Trilogy Zeppelingrass Performance Chapter Two Rocks Voices on Lockdown Cirque Surreal Heart of a Champion Standards Messin’ With the Kid: Original Masters H West & Bill Clifton Getting Folk Out of the Country Johnny Winter The Progressive Blues Experiment Wolfstrping Wolfstrping K Wood & From…North Malfunkshun Yanni The Essential Yanni Lester Young Standards Zero 7 Record Zoroaster Matador Z-Ro Look What You Did to Me Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Various Artists Joe Venuti Viking Skull Gene Vincent Voices on Lockdown Rick Wakeman Paul Wall Dinah Washington Junior Wells
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday Above & Beyond Anjunabeats Vol. 8 The Acacia Strain Wormwood Allegaeon Fragments of Form and Function Armand Amar The Concert Asleep at the Wheel It’s a Good Day Joe Barbieri Maison Maravilha Big Head Todd & … Rock Steady Black River Black’N’Roll Black Veil Brides We Stitch These Wounds Blood Revolt Indoctrine The Books The Way Out Boris Believe in the Music John Brannen Bravado British Are Coming The British Are Coming Chimaira Coming Alive Jay Clayton In and Out of Love Clutch From Beale Street Cochemea Gastelum The Electric Sound of Johnny Arrow Marc Cohn Listening Booth: 1970 Sheryl Crow 100 Miles From Memphis Brian Culbertson XII Ry Cuming Ry Cuming John Debney Iron Man 2 Score Department of Eagles Archive 2003-2006 Early Man Death Potion East of the Wall Ressentiment Electric Wire Hustle Electric Wire Hustle Em., Lake & Palmer A Time and a Place Ender This Is Revenge Endless Boogie Full House Head Frazey Ford Obadiah Francis and the Lights It’ll Be Better Frontier Ruckus Deadmalls and Nightfalls Walter Gibbons Jungle Music Git Some Loose Control Jimmy Gnecco The Heart Goodnight Loving Goodnight Loving Supper Club 12 Stones
Café Amore Hold You Jazzmasters VI Seriously Funny Turning Lead Into Gold All We Are Now Action! Drama! Suspense Performance Hostage Calm There Will Be Violence Visceral Transcendence Still Rovin’ After All These Years J.E. Jones Fire Kitto Precious Junk K-X-P K-X-P Ladi6 Time Is Not Much Paul Lawler Tibetal Journey Shawn Lee Sing a Song Lillian Axe Deep Red Shadows Little Fish Baffled and Beat Charlie Louvin Hickory Wind: Live Lower Dens Twin-Hand Movement Baaba Maal African Soul Revolutionary: Early Years Mad Caddies Consentual Selections Magica Dark Diary Mahjongg The Long Shadow of the Paper Tiger Major Lazer Lazers Never Die Man Overboard Real Talk Micki Free American Horse L Miller & Heliocent… Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics Steve Miro Rude Intrusions/Second Sentence/Trilenma Morbid Carnage Night Assassins Mose Giganticus Gift Horse Mountain Man Made the Harbor Nadja/Ovo Live & Death of a Wasp Netherbird Monument Black Colossal Piebald Volume III Portland Cello Project Thousand Words Potluck Greatest Hits With O A.R. Rahman Connections Rakaa Crown of Thorns Max Richter Infra Rosaline The Vitality Theory Rick Ross Teflon Don Salem Playing God and Other Short Stories Dan Sartain Lives Secret Cities Pink Graffiti Soundtrack Jersey Shore Soundtrack Jonas L.A. Soundtrack Step Up 3D Rachelle Spector Out of My Chelle Jo Stafford Best Of Shannon Stephens Shannon Stephens Stereo Skyline Stuck on Repeat Kenseth Thibideau Repetition Tokio Hotel Humanoid City The Triffids Wide Open Road Various Artists Horse Meat Disco 2 Various Artists Jersey Shore Anthems Various Artists This Is the Blues Various Artists Welcome to Mobville War From a Harlot’s … Split Jasper Williams Jr Landmark Howard Green Gyptian Paul Hardcastle Kevin Hart High Confessions Homesick for Space Honor Bright Lena Horne Hostage Calm Impending Doom Inherit Disease The Irish Rovers
What Did You Think Was Going to Happen 36 Crazyfists Collisions & Castaways Ralph Alessi Cognitive Dissonance Angel Band Bless My Sole Angels of Babylon Kingdom of Evil Art of Noise Best of Art of Noise Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare Bank Holidays Sail Becomes a Kite BeauSoleil Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler Tony Bennett Young Tony Best Coast Crazy for You Bombay Bicycle Club I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose David Bromberg Wanted Dead or Alive/ Midnight on the Water Burning Spear Marcus Garvey + Garv Butcher Holler Butcher Holler 2AM Club
Best Coast july 27
Crazy for You It’s hard to know if the title intentionally references the Madonna song or if it’s just a happy accident. Crazy for You certainly doesn’t sound much like classic Madge; it’s more like the Go-Go’s, albeit roughed up with lofi noise. There’s a lot of this stuff around at this moment—maybe too much—but Best Coast seem to have a deep affection for California pop, which means their tunes would stand regardless of how they’re produced. Mexican Summer
Orgasm Addict Live The Diary of Juanita Ultra Sonic Boogie: Live 1971 Cab Calloway We Cats Can Hep You Charlotte Medusa Groove J Cipollina/Nick G Band Rockpalast West Coast Legends Vol. 1 Stanley Clarke Rocks, Pebbles and Sand Bill Cody Alive and Risen Commander Cody Rockpalast Blues Rock Legends Vol. 1 Common Grackle The Great Depression Elvis Costello Pomp & Pout Robert Cray Band Cookin’ in Mobile Cruel Hand Lock and Key Danger Radio Nothing’s Gonna Hold Us Down Dean & Britta 13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol Decrepit Birth Polarity Dillinger Escape Plan Option Paralysis Dokkebi Q Hardcore Cherry Bon Bon Dora the Explorer We Did It! Dora’s Greatest Hits Mason Douglas My Wild Heart Dru Hill Indrupendence Day Craig Duncan Country Mountain Barn Dance Dwarves Dwarves Must Die Redux Esterlyn Call Out Evans Blue Evans Blue Extra Life Splayed Flesh Remix EP Fantasia Back to Me Fat Joe The Dark Side Food Quiet Inlet J Forgel & The Sherrifs Exorcism Frames Another Love Song C.L. Franklin Best Of Furnaze No Stairway to Heaven Futurebirds Hampton’s Lullaby Eric Gales Relentless Merle Haggard Amber Waves of Grain/ Kern River Fred Hammond Family Life in the World CD/DVD T Harnell & The Mer… Round Trip Jesca Hoop Hunting My Dress The Hoppers The Best of the Hoppers I See Stars #3D Reissue Adrian Iaies Trio A Child’s Smile Incognito Transatlantic RPM Insidious Disease Shadowcast Ivoryline Vessels Jaill That’s How We Burn Buzzcocks Juanita Bynum Cactus
The Arcade Fire aug 2
The Suburbs So the new Arcade Fire album is called… The Suburbs? Really? That was the best they could do? Here’s a band that continues to make indie rock sound as big as humanly possibly without actually hiring Mutt Lange. Neon Bible? That was an appropriately vague and portentous name for an Arcade Fire album. But perhaps only the Pet Shop Boys could get away with a title as bland as The Suburbs. (At least then you’d know they were being arch.) Merge
Speed of Sound This Is How I Rock Praise and Blame Dio Look Into the Future/Next Back on Money Rockpalast West Coast Legends Vol. 2 Krayzie Bone Fixtape Vol. 3: Lyrical Paraphernalia Dave Kusworth An Anthology 1977-2007 Dave Kusworth Group The Brink Lachi Lachi Life of Agony 20 Years Strong: River Runs Red Lil Flip Leprachaun Machine 22 Off the Record Luisa Maita Lero-Lero Dave Mason Mariposa de Oro/Old Crest on a new Wave Clyde McPhatter Lover Please Menomena Mines Glenn Miller The Golden Years 19381942 Miniature Tigers Fortress Mop Mop Ritual of the Savage Mr. Big Lean Into It: Expanded and Remastered The Museum Let Love Win Vince Neil Tattoos & Tequila Mark Olson Many Colored Kite Alexander O’Neal Five Questions: The New Journey Roy Orbison The Last Concert Orig Cast Recording Imaginocean Andrew Peterson Counting Stars Mike Phillips MP3 Porcupine Tree Nil Recurring The Postelles The Postelles Proghma-C Bar-Do Travel Propaganda Secret Wish: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Lowell Pye Finally Q-Unique Between Heaven & Hell Red Wanting Blue These Magnificent Miles Renaissance Scheherazade and Other Stories Revamp Revamp Rufio Anybody Out There Dino Saluzzi El Encuentro Saravah Soul Cultura Impura Michael Sarver Michael Sarver Rob Schneider Registered Offender O Schroer & Stewed … Freedom Row Sedona Spirit of the Southwest JFA Marcus Johnson Tom Jones Jorn Journey Kane & Abel J Kaukonen & Vital …
Tomorrow’s Children An Airplane Carried Villa Manifesto Get Low All I have Created to Worship Effortless I Have to Believe Rise Up Don’t Say No Live at the Greek Romance in Tuscany Shepherdess & the BoneWhite Bird Tech N9ne Collabos The Gates Mixed Plat Mark Tedder The Door Terra Nova Come Alive John Tesh Grand Piano Worship Sister Rosetta Tharpe The Original Soul Sister George Thorogood … Live in Boston 1982 Tierra Stranded Tierra Tierra Trek Life Everything Changed Nothing T-Rock Roaches in Da Ashtray Various Artists 20 Years of Century Media vol. 3 Various Artists All Time Gospel Various Artists Babylon Central CD/DVD Various Artists Best of Broadway Various Artists Classic Sounds of New Orleans Various Artists Epitaph for a Legend Various Artists From Boppin’ Hillbilly to Red Hot Rockabilly Various Artists Gotta Have Gospel: Ultimate Choirs Various Artists Gotta Have Hits Various Artists Return to the Dark Side of the Moon Various Artists Soufside Red Nawfside Blue Various Artists This Is Southern Rock Stevie Ray Vaughan Couldn’t Stand the Weather: Legacy Edition Kevin Williams Acoustic Sunday Yoso Yoso Young Galaxy Invisible Republic Zero T Fabriclive 52 Zo! Sunstorm Z-Ro & Agonylife Trappin’ With This Muzik Pete Seeger Sky Sailing Slum Village Soundtrack Rita Springer Rita Springer Rita Springer Rita Springer Rita Springer Billy Squier Ringo Starr & His … Jeff Steinberg Stone Breath
All Out War Rusty Anderson Horace Andy Arcade Fire Autolux Babies Presents Jesse Belvin Shelley Berman Bitter End The Black Crowes Tim Bowman Alex Brown Dennis Brown Buckcherry Bun B Max Bygraves The Casting Out Freddy Cole Chris Connor Miles Davis Dax Riggs Martin Denny DJ Hell DJ Mustard David Dondero Dr. John Duane Eddy El-P Fan Death Fleshwrought Gaelic Storm Freddie Gibbs Paul Gilbert Roger Glenn Benny Goodman
Into the Killing Fields Born on Earth Serious Times The Suburbs Transit Transit International Lullabies Just Jesse Belvin Outside Guilty as Charged Crpweology The Collection Pianist Reggae Sensation All Night Long Trill O.G.; Unbeatable Bygraves The Casting Out Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B Sings Ballads of the Sad Café King of Blue Say Goodnight to the World Exotica Body Language Vol. 9 DJ Mustard # Zero With a Bullet Tribal Especially for You We Are All Going to Burn in Hell Megamixxx Womb of Dreams Dementia/Dyslexia Cabbage Str8 Killa EP Fuzz Universe Reachin’ Ultimate Big Band
Gov’t Mule Mulennium S Grappelli & Django … With the Quintet of the Hot Club of Fran Hammers of Misfor… Fields/Church of Broken Glass Hammers of Misfor… The August Engine Hammers of Misfor… The Bastard Lena Horne Bewitched Horseback The Invisible Mountain House of Heroes Suburbia Jimmy Hughes Something Extra Special In the Midst of Lions The Heart of Man Sandra Ingerman Soul Journeys: … JLS JLS George Jones Sacred Songs Randall Jones The World: By Night Jackiem Joyner Jackiem Joyner Juvaliant Inhuman Nature John P. Kee The Legacy Project Kingston Trio At Large K Kings Present D-Loc Made for Kings Larkin’s Jazz Larkin’s Jazz Level 42 Living It Up Ferraby Lionheart The Jack of Hearts Loden Buggy Los Lobos Tin Can Trust Luciano United States of Africa Manose Dhyana Amam Manose Notes From Home Manose Suskera Mantovani Film Encores Dean Martin Sings the Hits Masters of Reality Pine/Cross Dover Johnny Mathis Heaveny J Mayall’s Bluesbr… So Many Roads John Mellencamp No Better Than This Katie Melua The House Glenn Miller Ultimate Big Band Mt. St. Helens Viet… Where the Messengers Meet Night Horse Perdition Hymns Nottingham Talk to Strangers NTU With Gary Bartz Singerella: A Ghetto Fairy Tale OK Go Of the Blue Colour … Sky Orig Broadway Cast The Music Man Deva Premal Into Light A Previn & D Rose Secret Songs for Young Lovers Purenrg Graduation: The Best of Purenrg CD/DVD Queens … Stone Age Rated R: Deluxe Edition Harold Rayford Live: I Am the Instrument Ola Belle Reed Rising Sun Melodies Jim Reeves Girls I Have Know Debbie Reynolds Love Is a Simple Thing Rocket in My Pocket Rocket in My Pocket Les Sabler Crescent Shores Secondhand Serenade Hear Me Now Shapes and Sizes Candle to Your Eyes Side Effect What You need Joyce Sims Come Into My Life: The Best Of Soundtrack Middle Men Soundtrack South Pacific Soundtrack The Kids Are Alright Squeeze Spot the Difference Ryan Star 11:59 Bill Summers Feel the Heat The Tellers Hands Full of Ink Alex Theory Light Alex Theory Water Thieves and Villains South America Tigers Jaw Tigers Jaw Travis Tritt Top 10 Steve Turre Delicious and Delightful Various Artists Next Stop Soweto Vol. 3 Various Artists Sweet Slumber Various Artists Ultimate Big Band Various Artists World Travels Versus On the Ones and Threes Voices of the Valleys Voices of the Valleys Votum Metafiction Clay Walker Top 10 Watchmen Wu-Tang Mangaement Presents Wavves King of the Beach T West & T Cashman Hometown Frolics/ Terry Cashman Wretched Beyond the Gate Dwight Yoakam Top 10
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The new album featuring “Let Me Hear You Scream,” “Life Won’t Wait” & “Let It Die.” AVAILABLE NOW OzzY.cOM