This is a link to Raven Sings the Blues Presents: Volume 2 which debuted in 2010 and acted as the follow-up to our first ever download compilation that we put together in 2009. The track descriptions are from the original writeup so take some of the references with that in mind. Most of the albums referenced have now been released. A big thank you to all the artists involved without whom this would never be possible.
Clicking the link above will download a .rar file containing RSTB Presents Vol. 2 in high quality 256k MP3 format plus an 8 1/2 x 11 page in full color design with two sided artwork to cut out and place in a sleeve. Enjoy and of course, watch this space for volume three sometime in the future.
ABOUT THE TRACKS:
1. Woven Bones – Tussin Blues
A new track from our favorite Texans, Woven Bones. The song was originally considered as an alternate B-side to the wonderful Janie 7″ but they wound up going with “Let It Breathe” instead. Heavy as the syrup that shares its name, the tack is a perfect example of just why we’ve been so excited about Woven Bones all along. An excellent preamble to their upcoming album on HoZac in May.
2. Moon Duo – Dead West Pt. II
Another new song, this time from haze wrangling Californians Moon Duo. Ripley sent us over this track that acts as a sequel to “Dead West” from the band’s Sacred Bones EP, Killing Time. Part II plays off a similar theme as its predecessor, but goes even deeper into the murky depths until finally bursting through with corroded guitar squelch that shakes the track’s foundations.
3. Gary War – Highspeed Drift (Live on Me + You)
This version of “Highspeed Drift”, recorded live on the radio program Me + You, both eschews some of the original’s watery psychedelics and picks up the tempo. Thus the band turns the track into a buzzing guitar burner completely different from the version that appeared on Horribles Parade. Definitely a great version of this album favorite.
4. Thee Oh Sees – If I Stay Too Long
Dwyer and Co. turn in a fuzzed up version of Big Wheel’s “If I Stay Too Long”. Honestly I wasn’t even familiar with the original version, but had always heard it done by The Creation. Thee Oh Sees tear up both versions and completely make it their own, leaving the clean driven strums that mark those versions laying by the wayside in favor of the redline fuzz rumble and sweet/scuzzy harmonies that we’ve come to love them for.
5. XYX – Tal (Live @ KDVS)
A powerhouse track from our favorites from south of the border, XYX. The band laid down a version of this unreleased song at California radio station KDVS. Ferocious and ecstatic as usual, the band rumbles through an amphetamine whirl of bass and a flurry of percussion topped as always with the furious wail of Anhelo.
6. Eddy Current Suppression Ring – That Time of Day (Live on 106.7 PBSFM)
Australian heavyweights Eddy Current Suppression Ring have definitely turned out some of our favorite albums over the last couple of years so we were pretty excited when they sent over this live radio session of the title track from their That Time of Day 7″. As springy and jagged as the original and cutting quickly to the core of their 77/80 punk roots, the this is just a further example of how these guys can totally bring the bite live.
7. Flight – Throw The Water
This Mississippi project has been steadily creeping into daily rotation around RSTB and their S/T 10″ on Killshaman was definitely one of our favorites of last year (though it only made us wish it was longer every time). As usual he brings a ton of fuzz crumbling down on our heads, but underneath that distorted veneer lies a catchy chunk of rock that pounds with sweat and drums and tortured strings. A classic bit of Flight if we ever heard one. Just more fodder to add to hope for an album soon.
8. Christmas Island – Bed Island (Demo)
It seemed like we were on the edge of our seats all last year waiting for Christmas Island’s debut record to come through and blow us away, which, naturally it did as soon as it hit the turntable. Followed shortly by an unstoppable 7″ for Captured Tracks, it seems the band could do no wrong last year. This demo version of “Bed Island” from their Blackout Summer LP gives some insight into the construction of one of the album’s key tracks. A rougher cut for sure, with the focus mainly on Brian and a guitar, but it bears the obvious sketches of a classic track.
9. Sonny and the Sunsets – She Plays Yo Yo With My Mind
Another great exclusive track from a band we love. Sonny was one of the first to respond to our call for tracks for the new comp and we instantly fell in love with the laid back shuffle of “Yo Yo”. Its pure Sonny; smirking, swinging and easy to keep on repeat. In short this track sums up everything we loved about the band’s recently released album on Soft Abuse. A clean driven gem amongst a sea of distortion here, but somehow Sonny’s easy smile rings louder than most any amplifier ever could.
10. Sore Eros – Shook Life
A new one from another of last year’s favorites, Sore Eros, encapsulating perfectly their mix of haunting atmospherics and shimmering pop. Building slow into a wall of shifting tones, “Shook Life” digs in and expands in your brain until it fills every crevice with Robert Robinson’s spectral vocals. An essential piece of the ever evolving Sore Eros puzzle.
11. Amen Dunes – Lips Touch/IDONTWANNAGOTOWAR
Last year’s Dia firmly rooted Amen Dunes on our radar and luckily we were able to track him down and nab this excellent new track for the compilation. Actually the track is a two part suite that combines the eerie throb of “Lips Touch”, pulsating along in its own disconcerting calm; with the ecstatic explosion of “IDONTWANNAGOTOWAR”. Just as with the preceding album, these tracks show the many sides that work themselves into Amen Dunes’ vast palette.
12. Sun Araw – I’m Gonna Cross The River Jordan (Traditional)
Closing out the compilation is a track from one of our perennial favorites around here, Cameron Stallones’ Sun Araw. When Cameron told us me he was sending over a version of the traditional hymn “I’m Gonna Cross The River Jordan” it almost seemed too good to be true. How could it have taken this long for the waters of psych and gospel to finally cross paths? So in turn Gospel-Psych is born and this version enters itself excellently into the Sun Araw canon; as absorbing and atmospheric as anything he’s recorded. Originally laid to tape during the session for The Phynx and just finally making its appearance here.
Volume One of our compilation series was released in 2009 to mark the 3 year anniversary of Raven Sings the Blues. A big thank you to all the artists involved and also to Darryl for the great design.
Clicking the link above will download a .zip file containing RSTB Presents Vol. 1 plus an 8 1/2 x 11 page in full color design by Darryl Norsen with two sided artwork to cut out and place in a sleeve. Below are the track descriptions from the time of release, so take the dated info with context.
ABOUT THE TRACKS:
1. Wet Hair – Saturn
A new track from Shawn Reed (of Raccoo-oo-oon) and co.’s new project Wet Hair. Some seriously blissed out stuff that eases the compilation off to a great start. Wet Hair has a few great cassettes out on Shawn’s Night People label and new full length due soon on Not Not Fun.
2. Hassara – Chiller Channel (live)
For those of you not familiar Hassara is the alias of one James Jackson Toth (WWVV, Wooden Wand, Zodiacs) in full on instrumental scuzz territory. The bulk of the Hassara recordings were compiled onto Time Lag’s Backyard CD but this one’s an unreleased live track in a mellower vein from those early recordings. Recorded at Skin House, Cinco de Mayo 2008, with a fever of 103.
3. White Rainbow – Mind Haze is Clear Delights
Total drone out kraut from Adam Forkner’s White Rainbow. As usual Forkner brings the shimmering pulses and drives them into oblivion… and we love it! Adam has a collaboration with Lucky Dragons and Robb Walmart out now on Marriage Recs and a wonderful album out last year on Kranky.
4. The Reds, Pinks & Purples – Almost Everything Under the Sun
The Reds, Pinks & Purples is a new project from the ever prolific Glenn Donaldson. I hit Glenn up for a Giant Skyflower Band track and he was cool enough to let us in on these new recordings. If you’re a Donaldson fan this is right up the same sun bleached folk pathway you’ve come to know and love. Glenn’s band Skygreen Leopards is working now on a new album, Gorgeous Johnny which should hopefully be out soon.
5. Julianna Barwick – Youcatcher
Julianna’s Sanguine album was one of the most unexpectedly captivating releases of 2008 and she was kind enough to lend us this new recording that’s as lovely as anything she’s done so far. A bit of soft shine among all these noiseniks on the comp.
6. Fantastic Magic – Imminent Grove
Well at the time we started this comp Fantastic Magic was live and kicking but it seems that the band may be on bit of a hiatus as of late due to rather intense popularity of Nate’s other band, Wavves. This is a prime slice of noise-folk and if you’re able to track down a copy of the band’s Witch Choir CD-r/Cassette it’s well worth it.
7. Black Vatican – Night is Come
This track from Iowa’s Black Vatican has also appeared on the band’s split with True Primes. Stark waves of paranoia and loneliness eminating out of every pore of this one. The band’s excellent Zed Omega cassette was out last year on Night People and be sure to pick up the split out now on Locust.
8. Sic Alps – Egg Bun No. 3
Well through hardship (Matt’s broken wrist) and about half a dozen tours Sic Alps were still able to let us in on this exclusive track. It should be no surprise by now how much we love the Alps around here and this one was well worth the wait. The band’s A Long Way Around To A Shortcut will be reissiued on wax soon at Drag City.
9. Mythical Beast – Big Sky
Another great exclusive track from a band we love. Following last year’s Scales which made out top albums of 2008, the band recorded this track with Expo 70’s Justin Wright. Another great bit of darkness from the Beast and one of their best yet. Don’t be fooled by the name, this is no Kinks cover though that could be pretty interesting. Scales will see vinyl release soon on Not Not Fun.
10. Blues Control – Frankie’s Problem
A live recording of this Blues Control classic from the Self-Titled release on Holy Mountain. The track, recorded live at Silent Barn in Brooklyn, appeared previously on the small run Tony Rettman’s 2007 WFMU marathon CDR comp.
11. Plastic Crimewave Sound – Divine 20 Infant
Closing out the comp is this monster from veteran psych beheomoths Plastic Crimewave Sound. This track has been a live staple for years and the band has never been able to properly format it for album release. Here it is in its raw and ragged glory.