Browsing Category Bits & Pieces

Sore Eros – “Backseat Bop”

Long a favorite around here, Sore Eros is back with a sprawling new LP for Feeding Tube. The band has become a bit more spread out of late, which accounts for the five-year span between their last outing and this eponymous opus. Robert Robinson and co. start things off with the sunrise swells of “Backseat Bop,” a swooning, jubilant slice of pop that starts off slow and serene before exploding into a cascade of pop colors. Sore Eros has often captured a certain homespun psychedelic pop feel that warbles with a tender fragility, and that feeling is on prime display here. The song’s trepidation burns off, though, around the halfway mark, blowing out the walls of the bedroom in exchange for a widescreen, all-hands-on opener to their new album. The LP is out January 10th and features contributions from longtime compatriots Daniel Oxenberg (Supreme Dicks) and Kurt Vile. Good to have the band back in our arms again.




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Dhidalah – “Jovian Sky”

Some late-year treasures have been floating out of the Guru Guru Brain house at the tail end of 2019 and I’d advise you not to sleep on them. Following up on their stunning debut EP, power trio Dhidalah is back with a new album of face-ripped space rock that pulls from the Ashra and AMT ends of the spectrum in equal doses. Tuck into the winding and thunder-scratched “Jovian Sky” for a taste of the band’s heft. The song rumbles and ravages, brings the low-end and then dips into the quasar-quench for a cool down that’s necessary before your speakers start to singe. If you missed out on their last platter, the GGB logo on the cover should be more than enough to sway ya, but let this crusher be the cincher. The record is releasing next week on a short-warning schedule. Highly Recommended!

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Hurt Valley’s Brian Collins on Tara Jane O’Neil – Peregrine

Any new Woodsist signing is cause for inquiry, but the debut from Hurt Valley is an amber-hued slice of Cosmic Americana that’s ticking a lot of boxes over here. The album channels the windswept, sea salt sanded vision of West Coast country-psych that permeated the best private press issues. He’s finding common ground with everyone from Jim Sullivan to Rose City Band and I couldn’t be happier to have Brian contribute a pick to the Hidden Gems series. Check out the story by hind how Tara Jane Oneil’s excellent debut became an illicit part of his record collection.

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Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – “Back In The Corner”

Very nice to see Aussies Scott & Charlene’s Wedding back on the release schedule this year. After a three year break the band is back with a new EP, When in Rome, Carpe Diem and the first cut has them hip-swinging and pouting through their very best Velvets take. “Back in the Corner” is loose and strummin’, bringing out that Lou flair and swagger that they’ve hinted at prior and leaning into it wholesale this time around. Making songs feel like an effortless pop gem is what the band does best, but there’s some thing more malleable about their sound this time around. They’d always had a mussed hair quality to their songs, but this one feels like its got the coif greased and the leathers on. It’s a bit sinewier than their last couple of records. A real stunner that begs for the listener hear more of this EP. The record lands November 29th (so you don’t have to wait long) on Bedroom Suck.





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En Attendant Ana – “Words”

France’s En Attendant Ana swoon into the first single from their upcoming album Juillet, expanding on the pop sparkle from last year’s Lost & Found. Atop a pulsing beat, cut through with tensile synths, a cacophony of horns and thick guitar clouds, Margaux Bouchaudon’s voice saunters through a dream haze. The song recalls Stereolab at their most feverish, less serene noise flutter, and more brass-scratched belter. The band’s sound has come into focus, more polished than they sounded previously but no less biting. The new record was mastered with notable French engineer Dominique Blanc-Francard and is headed out January 24th, 2020 on Trouble in Mind.




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Rose City Band Signs to Thrill Jockey, Reissues Debut

One of the greatest surprises of 2019 was the debut from Rose City Band, the mysteriously shrouded band (with a strangely familiar voice and guitar sound) on Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada’s Jean Sandwich Records. As I mentioned in a review previously, “Rose City Band slides in on an autumnal glow of golden shivers, slow-motion choogle, honeyed hues, and cedar swoons. “Rip City” plays right into the hands of the Cosmic American cavalcade that’s building steam in all the best nooks and nodes across the tattered tableau of 2018-2019.” If you missed out on the initial pressing, now’s the time to right some wrongs. The original Jean City pressing in green is long gone, but, Thrill Jockey’s got a limited red version of the LP up on their site for sale now. It’s one of 2019’s essentials for sure! Here’s hoping the signing bodes well for a sequel. We can always use more RCB in our lives.




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Dire Wolves – “(Brother Lee) Womblife Blues”

Exciting news today as Dire Wolves announce another crusher for 2019. The band’s Grow Towards The Light is already a staple of the turntable around here, but they’re never ones to shy away from prolific output. Centripetal Force is putting the band’s I Just Wasn’t Made For These Set Times tape on LP. Not familiar? I don’t blame you. The release was previously only available as part of a 50-cassette run at the merch table on their last European tour, released by French label Ruralfaune. The release comes from the same fertile sessions that birthed Grow and Paradisiacal Mind and it’s rooted in much of the same meditative/explosive sensibilities that anchor their recent work.

On “(Brother Lee) Womblife Blues,” Georgia Carbone’s vocals transport the listener away from the physical world, leaving language bound to the Earth in favor of something more ephemeral. Like many of the Wolves’ compositions, Arjun Mendiratta’s violin elevates the track, sawing at the mind in sinewy swaths, while the battle between guitars and drums reaches a fevered pitch. There’s never a good reason to pass up on Dire Wolves vinyl, and this one’s probably not sticking to the shelves too long. The label’s putting out a run of 300, with 100 on sky blue. The pressing lands February 2020.


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RSTB Radio WGXC: November

Another show hits the airwaves this week in anticipation of the 13th Anniversary show on Friday. Check out tons of new music including a just introduced cut from BBadge Époque Ensemble, and new music from Veiver, Simon Joyner, Donovan Quinn and more. A few classics squeezed in as well from Ivory, Fifty Foot Hose, and Jim Sullivan as well. Full playlist is below. Remember to check back to WGXC ever second Tuesday of the month. Check out the tracklist below and listen/download the show HERE.

::Playlist::

Moon Duo – Fever Night /// Badge Époque Ensemble – Zealous Child /// Wax Machine – Mind Palace /// Fifty Foot Hose – Rose /// Ivory – I, Of The Garden /// J.R. Bohannon – The Sorcerer’s Hand /// Owen Tromans – A Dialogue /// Itasca – Traveler /// Hurt Valley – Apartment Houses /// Half Stack – Goner /// Donovan Quinn – Satanic Summer Nights /// Vetiver – To Who Knows Where /// Bill Orcutt – Already Old /// Simon Joyner – Morning Sun, Slow Down /// Gabriel Birnbaum – Not Alone /// Jim Sullivan – Roll Back The Time /// Friends – Lonely Road /// The Kiwi Animal – Ever Word Is A Prayer /// Mikal Cronin – Caravan /// The Hussy – Sorry /// Woolen Men – Mexico City Blues /// Alex Macfarland – Event Y /// The Catenary Wires – Tie Me To The Rails /// McCarthy – Monetaries /// Failed Flowers – Faces /// Basic Plumbing – Constant Attention /// Ex-Void – Only One /// Uranium Club – Two Things at Once (Part 1) /// David Nance Group – Ham Sandwich /// Frankie and the Witch Fingers – Realization

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Badge Époque Ensemble – “Zealous Child (ft Dorothea Paas)”

If you missed out on the entrancing last LP from Canadian psychedelic soul-funk unit Badge Époque Ensemble, its time to go back and course correct, but don’t let that stop you from moving forward as well. The band’s issuing a follow-up EP on December 6th and it continues their journey down narcotized rabbit holes slathered with slinking grooves and splashed with Parliament guitar flash and sultry flute. Opener “Zealous Child” acts as a sequel of sorts to their song “Undressed In Solitude,” the sole vocal track on their previous LP. This time they recruit Toronto singer Dorothea Paas on vocals and she gives the track an air of Broadcast with a heavier edge. The song winds through a dream-like headspace before exploding into its turbulent second half.

If the great, undersung psychedelic sojourn that is Lodge 49 survives to a third season (and I damn well hope it does) someone better give Tom Patterson BÉE’s number, as they fit the bill as much as The Soundcarriers or Beautify Junkyards have in the past. Both of those stand as apt comparisons’ to the Ensemble’s space-scraping psychedelic journey – seeking to siphon the past and funnel it to an alternate future that’s resplendent and lush. I recommend getting on board.



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Charles Rumback on Houndog – S/T

The new collaboration between Ryley Walker and Charles Rumback is a highlight for both artists, but while you might be more familiar with Walker’s extensive output, there’s plenty to dig into with his foil’s career as well. The Chicago percussionist has worked with Jazz trio Colorist alongside John Hughes and Charles Gorczynski and found contemporaries in Fred Lonberg-Holm and Nick Macri in Stirrup. He’s touched through experimental country with The Horses Ha and led his own records exploring jazz under his own name. Rumback’s been a lynchpin in the Chicago scene for over fifteen years and so I asked him to drop in a pick to the Gems series. Interestingly he’s also chosen a collaboration, the late ‘90s team-up of Mike Halby from Canned Heat and David Hidalgo from Los Lobos under the name Houndog. Check out how this came into Charles’ life and the impact it’s had on him.

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