Posts Tagged ‘Feeding Tube’

Spiral Wave Nomads – “Radiant Drifter”

On of the great improv psych bands to emerge out of the Upstate NY / CT / MA area in the last couple of years has been Spiral Wave Nomads. I had these guys on a show with Wet Tuna and they burned down the Half Moon stage with a barrage of jams (one of which is on their last EP here). Now the band feat Eric Hardiman (Burnt Hills, Sky Furrows) and Michael Kiefer (More Klementines) is back with a sophomore LP again split between Michael’s Twin Lakes Records and Feeding Tube. The first taste of the First Encounters is the contact burn of “Radiant Drifter.” The pair has only burrowed further into their den of knotted riffs, amplifier spray and turbulent rhythm on this record and I couldn’t be more excited to hear the whole thing when it lands in the first week of January.



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Wren Kitz

This is a nice swerve into heavier territory from Vermont’s Wren Kitz. The Burlington artist has often found himself enmeshed in the kind of psych-folk that would have played nice with Hush Arbors, Skygreen, and Six Organs during the boom of ’04, but with an album running with split support from Sophomore Lounge and Feeding Tube, Kitz has swerved into a feedback-fraught rock territory that’s a bit heavier. Early Worm bakes its riffs in the sun, never quite erupting into the kind of psych scorch that might emanate out of the MV & EE camp, but certainly traveling down the Golden Road for a touch. Kitz’ vocals have an aqueous float to them, lost in the waves like his folk works, but riding against a stronger tide this time around.

Early Worm soaks into the skin, an apparently easy record on the surface, tinged with a bit of sadness and sway. As it flips into the second side, though, the album takes on a bit more bite that the opening few salvos might let on. The gnarled pair “Intro (improv 1)” into album stunner “Georgie” elevate the record from a sunset melt into something that’s got a bit more aural heft. The intro tiptoes up to squelch before the 8+ minute “Georgie” lays out a quaking centerpiece for the album that’s tender and torn. The rest of the second side balances sunset and storm with a bit more improv squall and a couple of half-light closers. Kitz’ last LP for NNA was hard to pin down, but this one blossoms in the heart of the amplifier — a nice direction that I hope isn’t a one off.



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Anthroprophh

Gonna lock in for this week before I make any end of year judgements because there’s still a lot of heard fought music coming out. Case in point; this absolute burner from psych veterans Anthroprophh. The band, an offshoot of Bristol legends The Heads with the band’s Paul Allen at the wheel, has long been hovering in an afterburner bliss of noise-addled psych. Their latest, a split between Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube, doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The record launches itself into the higher reaches of the atmosphere pretty much immediately with the 16 1/2 minute opener “German Oak” with leads the listener on a journey through an amplifier acid bath of guitar scorch that’s admittedly also laced in thick plumes of venomous smoke. Guessing that title is an homage to the ’70s German Progressives of the same name, and its a pretty nice homage in that regard.

The song doesn’t play into riffs so much as it unhinges from the universal need for tether — free jam sonic curdle at its best. The second side plays out over four additional pieces that take the temperature down quite a few degrees, preferring to work through meditative creep, cosmic float, field recording ambience, and even some acoustic tangle. It’s a varied player that shows all sides of the band’s influences without losing the thread. It seems that while broken into four tracks, the second sweep is more of a suite of songs that melt together into a soft-touch counterpoint to the first side’s charred ruins ravaging. The record is out now and any Heads fans already know they need to get this one on the shelf. UK psych folding in a full array of past obsessions for a new era.



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Frank & The Hurricanes

It’s only been a year since Frank & The Hurricanes released the languid charm of Life Is Spiritual into the air and they’re already back and not one ounce of palatable positivity has ebbed away. Frank exudes a burly ease and familiarity that barrels into the room but never takes up more space than is needed. Its welcome affable and oddly tender under the skin. Frank is hugging and joking before its jacket is off and while you’re offering it a beer he’s pulling one from his pocket and beating your hospitality before you even catch yourself. Coming from small town life myself, the skinned knees and feedback familiarity of The Hurricane’s tales feel like they ring particularly hard, but Frank delivers them with a denim-dragged country quality that gives the record a Meat Puppets / Giant Sand saunter to them and I’ll be damned if he doesn’t make it sound easy.

Spiritually the album is a companion piece to its predecessor, but musically it seems like the trio that’s coalesced on Love Ya Love Ya has blossomed in the interim, it is as tight as Frank’s vision has ever sounded. With Jake Merrick on bass, vocals, and keys and John Spiegel on drums, the trio cook out a Crazy Horse on SST vibe that stops just short of Always August (who most definitely did that first). It’s hard not to be drawn into Frank’s light. We all have a friend like that — at once disarming and rough-edged, yet uplifting. He takes that likability and pins it to a particularly potent rollick of Cosmic Americana, which only makes the smiles grow broader. Frank’s been building his sound for years now, and its undergone a lot of changes, to say the least, but this is the first true Hurricanes album and quite certainly Frank at his best.

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Jen Powers on Jan Dukes de Grey – Sorcerers

Over the last couple of years Jen, along with her partner Matthew Rolin, have garnered acclaim for their live sets, issued to cassettes, culminating in an excellent album for Feeding Tube earlier in the year. The pair have also issued a limited run cassette as a trio with Jason Gerycz (Cloud Nothings) that expands into a noisier nook than they hang in on their own. With another tape just released in Trouble In Mind’s new experimental series, its shaping up to be quite a year for the duo. Jen’s hammered dulcimer adds a touch of crystalline beauty to their works and she’s long been a self-professed folk nerd on social media, giving me every reason to reach out and see what gems she has hiding in her collection. Jen’s picked a record that’s long found its way into the hands of obsessive collectors, but has been finally getting a bit of its own due this year. Find out how the debut from Jan Dukes de Grey made its way into her collection.

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The Left Outsides / Alison Cotton

Over the last few years, Feeding Tube has amassed an impressive collection of works by The Left Outsides, and subsequently solo work by singer / violaist Alison Cotton. The husband-wife duo of Cotten and Mark Nicholas have carried on the psych-folk torch following the dissolution of their previous band The Eighteenth Day of May. This Feeding Tube and Cardinal Fuzz pull triple duty, reissuing the band’s live set cut to CD-R, A Place To Hide from last year. The set culls quite a bit from the band’s previous studio album All That Remains, though they take pains not to merely recreate the album in the live setting. In the room. The Left Outsides can breathe new life into their works — here stretching the songs into haunted dirges that weep with harmonium and dread. The set’s rounded out with a few covers, one traditional and another a rather beautiful take on a 13th Floor Elevators tune, an inspired choice if there ever was one. The lone new cut is the opener “My Reflection Once Was Me,” a song that ties this release to the band’s new record, Are You Sure I Was There?

The song finds its way into the new album, slated for release next week, but its a changed animal. The harmonium drone is gone, replaced by the low growl of guitar, but Alison Cotton’s singular voice still drives the track with hints of deep furrowed sorrow. The album is a departure from the live set that inhabits A Place To Hide, still scarred with the heavy heart and melancholy that’s present in the duo’s work, but fleshed out into a psych-folk landmark that’s acts as a proper follow-up to the scarred and singed landscapes of All That Remains. As the album wears on the clouds pull in tight, blocking the wan moonlight and calling the mists from all directions. Like Espers, Fire On Fire, or most of the Language of Stone roster, this is a band that connects deep to the currents of UK folk and the dark pull of anguish and hope that have long played a part in it’s legacy. Both pull at each other on A Place To Hide, creating rivulets of tension that scar and soothe.

While they hold court evenly, with both Cotton and Nicholas taking on vocal duties within the new album, the labels have found room for one more Cotton related LP on the roster this year and it puts Alison’s solo works on par with the duo’s elemental sadness. Earlier in the year Cotton released a cassette for Bloxham tapes that saw her balancing the stark viola drones with her voce, playing up her Nico tendencies more than any other on the dock this year. The set opens wit the labyrinthine, 20+ minute “Behind The Spiderweb Gate” and delves deep into the darkness from there on out. The song winds her voice through eddies of glacial sadness leading into the layered beauty and stark mourning of the rest of Only Darkness Now, perhaps the most fitting title in all of the Left Outsides-adjacent catalog. Both Feeding Tube and Cardinal Fuzz have done well to showcase what’s so entrancing about Cotton and The Left Outsides and its quite an enticing spread of albums from them this year. If you’re unfamiliar, this trio is an excellent primer on what’s made the band and Cotton’s contributions so vital over the past few years.

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Big Blood

The collaborations between Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube continue and this time they bring out another incarnation from the always entrancing Big Blood. This one’s an older bit of the Big Blood story, but its finally making its way to vinyl thanks to both labels. The family that harnesses the vibrations of the infinite together stays together, or so they say and while the pair includes daughter Quinnasa, this might mark her first appearance via the charming closer. Caleb and Colleen cut their teeth in Cerberus Shoal and Fire on Fire, but its always been Big Blood that’s truly felt like their own skin to inhabit and augment. This is one of the records in their stable that feels like they truly came into their own under the name. Dark Country Magic pretty much sums up the feeling here perfectly — the peace and love of their newer albums is traded in favor of a more dire psych-folk framework.

The moods are largely poisoned, shrouded, alone in the forest in harmony with silt and soil by day and offering blood to the moon by night. Big Blood’s emphasis on the ragged chorus of vocals remains one to their most effective tools and they can turn it from jubilant to harrowing within the space of minutes. They do let the veil slip mid record to dance in a full sun ceremony, but within the context of the rest of the record, the atypical moment in the sun feels more like a facade to put the listener at ease before the coven turns on them once the sun escapes the sky. Clatters of percussion, dusty guitars, and Kinsella’s vocals that leave an imprint on your soul — the record has everything a Big Blood fan could ask for.




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Matt Sowell

So many great records seem to have been born out of the folk nexus of 1,000 Incarnations of The Rose, the festival that brought together a wealth of classic fingerpicked talent like Peter Lang, Max Ochs, and Peter Walker with the more recent luminaries Glenn Jones, Marisa Anderson, Daniel Bachman, and Nathan Bowles. Yet what was great about the festival was that so many of the names flew much further below the horizon, letting the talent of those who’d not yet staked a reputation sit alongside revered legends. This is largely a testament to the booking of Elkhorn’s Jesse Sheppard, who’s years among players lead him to pack the three days with so many interesting players. Among the lesser known marquees lay Matt Sowell, who’d released a few low-key titles, but caught the ear of Feeding Tube during his set. A devoted union carpenter in addition to a stellar musician, the title Organize Or Die hits harder in these times of tension.

Among the weathered country blues, there’s a dissension that’s palpable through Sowell’s work. Alongside his nods to Fahey, and in turn Cotton, Patton, James and Johnson, there’s notes of Jack Rose’s intensity and Harry Tausig’s patience. There’s also a political fire that singes through the strings and stamps itself defiantly in titles like “Requiem For Democracy” and the title track. Like so many guitarists before him Sowell’s earthen medium is also a conduit for frustration, lament, and the weariness that’s laid on the American worker. It’s not all strife, though, there’s a joy that often simmers through the sadness of slide blues. The nights feel dark on Sowell’s record, but the days seem to come with an appreciation for the clear sky and the cool breeze. When a record like Organize Or Die comes your way, its a time to feel grateful for the collective spirit of folk players celebrating over three days in Maryland, and for chance meetings that lead to something that hits this hard.




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Prana Crafter – “Rebirth In The Mosslands”

I’ve got a brand new one from Northwest psychedelic soaker Prana Crafter today and it’s just a small scrape of his upcoming release. Fresh off of two lengthy side-long splits with ragenap and Tarotplane, Will’s next release is essentially an album-long composition broken up into movements. The first section, “Rebirth In The Mosslands” walks in slow, with a touch of dread in its blood. Steady, progressive plucks give way to a Kosmiche grind that puts this squarely in the pocket of Popul Vuh fans. It’s the opening salvo to an album that tumbles through cosmic impulses — heady and nebulous — and acts as a proper continuation of what Sol was working on with his Symbiose split. There’s tension and trepidation at play here, and Sol wields both with a fine edge that never cuts too deep for discomfort. It’s been great to see him weave between psych folk and more atmospheric ephemera, as he lends a scholar’s ear to both genres. The record lands September 18th as a split release between Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube and you’re gonna want to get a hold of this one.



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Lloyd Thayer and Jerome Deupree

Always happy when the Feeding Tube mailers arrive with something that hits outside of my consciousness but well within the site’s wheelhouse. Since that crew is constantly tilling the best musical soil, this happens pretty regularly to say the least. While plenty of Eastern and American Primitive guitarists happen through the halls here, I’ve not found an entry point into the work of Lloyd Thayer previously, despite his roster of 30+ CDs and cassettes. The Boston string-slinger is working in the earthen thrum blues styles that pulls from Basho and Bull while making a stop around Hamza El Din for good measure. The artist employs a Weissenborn-style lap guitar and a 22 stringed instrument called a Chaturangui, and he winds the album into a headspace that’s entrancing, soothing, yet dipped in a mild poison that brings about strange dreams.

Thayer’s playing is masterful but restrained, a quality I’ve begun to enjoy greatly in instrumental string albums. White-knuckle string runs come and go, but its worth an album’s weight to let the songs sink into skin-ripple tension and slo-motion slide visions. Thayer delivers the dose, but doesn’t come to the task alone. He brings with him the percussion work of Jerome Deupree — a session regular and immensely versatile player who’s resume boasts time with The Humans, Joe Morris, and a co-founding credit in Morphine as the band’s original drummer. His rhythms don’t drive so much as urge the record forward. Deupree plays off of Thayer’s work with a flexibility and grace that’s palpable. His playing sways with the slides of Thayer’s stings, giving the album an even greater tie to the tumble of the winds and the hum of the Earth.

With title nods to blues legends Al Wilson and Melvyn Marshall, shouts to hip-hop pioneer Ramelzee and the boats of Apocalypse Now the record’s certainly not hitting the usual notes for this kind of vibe, but that all adds too the charm and hypnotic hold that Duets brings to the turntable. The more I listen, the more this one latches on.





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