WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.


New Releases of Note (6/17/08)
June 19, 2008, 4:35 pm
Filed under: New Music

Hey all!! Here’s just a few things that were released this week that are of note. Well, I guess there were a ton of releases that came out that were definitely of note, but these are the ones I’m most excited about. Yup.

silver jewsSilver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea CD (Drag City)

New, highly anticipated Silver Jews release! It’s been a couple years since the last one and they’re still holding up marvelously against the tests of time. The mood is definitely a bit more old and weathered, but the lyrics and songwriting are fully on point and what you’ll be expecting. Beautifully crafted and engaging songs. The juxtaposition of male and female vocals (Berman & wife, Cassie) on a couple of the tracks is breath-taking. His harsh, weary vocals mixing with her cute, playful voice creates an amazing atmosphere in the song. Her vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Neko Case / Jenny Lewis at times. Fully worth checking out! Drag City rarely disappoints!

bowerbirdsBowerbirds – Hymns for a Dark Horse (Dead Oceans)

Phenomenal local album finally gets a proper re-release!! This album came out on Burly Time Records about a year ago here in the Triangle. Sadly, it disappeared shortly after that for a long while. It’s one of those albums that completely removes itself from the realm of local music and quickly pushes itself way out into national realms of good, independent music. Jagjaguwar subsidiary, Dead Oceans, picked it up not too long ago and repackaged it, added a couple more tracks and threw it at us on CD & LP. They play a hauntingly beautiful version of folk, a sort of dream-folk. The melodies are eerie and seem to drift along at a slow, first-cracks-of-light pace. Perfect soundtrack for the sun coming up over a valley or meadow as a chance for something new comes around the corner. The Bowerbirds are three players who switch of on: nylon guitar, accordion, violin, piano and one single, solitary bass drum for emphasis and accent. The songs are stark with minimal instruments playing at once, so there’s no room for overcrowding the mood. Highly recommended to all you!!

king khan

King Khan & The Shrines – Supreme Genius of… (Vice)

This is our gratuitous garage release for the week. Hip, and getting hipper, label – Vice Records – has recently plunged itself head deep into the realm of garage and psych. Smart move ‘eh? There seems to be a wonderful influx of this stuff hitting the shelves at shops everywhere and people seem to be loving it. Use to be that these releases were reserved for smaller, more obscure labels and their cult fan base. Of which, yes, I tend to be a fanboy subscriber. I’m excited as hell to see this stuff gaining more shake appeal across the nation. Vice Records has also had a heavy hand in getting the Black Lips out to the masses (even more so than their constant, massive touring had achieved) and they also recently brought back the family psych folk freakout album by Dark Meat back into play. Anyway, I digress. King Khan is known from his 90s garage punk outfit, the Spaceshits, and the more recent King Khan & BBQ Show recordings on In the Red, Goner and Crypt. BBQ is also known as Mark Sultan…who was also in the Spaceshits (sounded like the Oblivians and the New Bomb Turks) and also has fine solo records out. King Khan plays out some ferociously catchy garage rawk. Doo wop and retro rock inspired with a heavy dose of sleaze thrown in for good measure! This release actually compiles a handful of tracks from a handful of releases, but it’s true to garage sleaze form through and through.

valient thorrValient Thorr – Immortalizer (Volcom)

Another outstanding local release! If you have not experienced a Valient Thorr live show, I’d say your soul is not quite complete and missing out on something big. Get saved. Get reborn. One of the most energetic, antic-inducing shows you’ll see these days. They’re definitely in the ranks of hard rock and metal with punk attitude and choruses (in the same vein as a lot of other Volcom releases), but they take it to the next, planetary level and infuse heaping portions of space travel and alien-lore. We’re not talking your daily dose of the same old, worn down modern metal, we’re talking a feeling harkening back to the true days of 70s hard-working, heavy blue collar rawk made for the bar-creeping crowd. They fit in perfectly alongside fist-raisin’ anthemic bands like label mates, The Riverboat Gamblers, that just make ya feel good and sweaty. Even did some touring with those guys! Full throttle, dirty rawk! This is not yer sister’s psych-folk or yer brother’s twee.

A few more new releases I haven’t touched on yet: My Brightest Diamond, Wolf Parade, Eef Barzelay (of Clem Snide), The Briggs, Coldplay, Notwist, Tilly & the Wall….

Thanks!
(You can pick ’em up at Bull City Records, or email ’em if you want to mailorder anything.)

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