Thursday, May 29, 2014

From the Racks #5: Ex-Cocaine

Ex-Cocaine - Esta Guerra (Siltbreeze, 2007) 
Release info via Outer Space Gamelan:
I've been on a mini Brian Ramirez kick lately: the fantastic Universal Indians "Monster Approach" LP and this year's Poor School "Voor Niets in Zijn" disc. Why not top it all off with the new Ex-Cocaine record, brought to the world by a label called Siltbreeze. Whole lotta morra Ramirez acion in the pipeline - a quick view of the Killertree website sees Plants, Ramirez/Pete Nolan, Ex-Cocaine/Yellow Swans and Poor School/Swords & Sandels epherma en route. What a time to be alive in '85.
If you somehow managed to miss out on Ex-Cocaine till now, here's a quick rundown: Brian Ramirez and Michael Casler are the duo behind the name and both utilize vocals, guitars, and percussion to stir up "plundering stoner folk jams" though they've been branching out from that a bit in recent days. Really, this was all documented on the "Keep America Mellow" LP, a Heavy Tapes release, and the just-out GHQ/Ex-Cocaine split 7", so you've not no excuse not to be knowing at this juncture. Despite being all new (to my knowledge) material, "Esta Guerra" is a pretty good overview of the ground they've dragged their feet over since they were birthed while offering up some new surprisings hinting at still more radness to come. Three pretty diverse songs occupy the first side of the record. The first, "The Warning", is similar to their side of the GHQ split - totally inept free-percussion sledging, beaten out by hand and stix in lo-fi, basement-tech glory, Bennink and Graves by way of Black Flag, blood is singing, you know. "Sun Before Arises" treads the turf of "America" w/ a woozy, discordant psych/folk wash, gorgeously rendered in sun-stained early morning laziness with the title being chanted in rather charming fashion - slots in fine alongside your Golden Calves Money Band, your Davenport, your Tower Recordings, etc., but with a bent that's all Ex-Cocaine and no one but. "The Tempest", finally, is a scowling square-off between Ramirez and Casler, one on guitar and the other on bass, sending out all kinds of mangled riffs in gnarled, barbed patches. At times they sorta congeal into shaky rhythms, but they collapse into sludgy compost just as quickly a la Gate.

The second side features a short piece ("The Sheafman") and a longer one ("With the With the When the One"). Both deal in sub-angelic guitar riffing, bruised harmonies, and wasted vocals - "The Sheafman" is a guitar-led sermon bolstered by tabla-style percussion while "With the..." is a colossal excursion in 60's psych riff carvings and 80's Xpressway/Shock junk rock moves, thick and hazy Rallizes vibes all over this one, albeit slower, methodic, and more fucked up. It embodies pretty well the general Ex-Cocaine ethos of lying out in the sun stoned out of your head with sweat and beer leaking out of every pore - sun blindness music indeed.

Overall - overall! - it's all pretty great slosh rock fro a couple of undisputed champeens though I think I still prefer the "America" LP. Hardly a fair comparison since "America"'s had plenty of time to settle and this one's the new kid that I have to spend more time with before I Really Get to Know It but shit, you can't go wrong with any of the Ramirez/Killertree filth in my book. Get to scopin'.


Various auction sites list this record for a wide variety of prices between $5-20... we have a Very Good vinyl copy currently priced at $11.99 in the racks. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Second Chances

Twenty titles in our Used CD New Arrivals that should be in your collection (If they aren't already)

  1. Air - Moon Safari
  2. Horace Andy - Roots 
  3. Jill Barber - Chansons
  4. David Bowie - Scary Monsters
  5. A Certain Ratio - Early
  6. Constantines - Shine a Light
  7. Cousins - Out of Town
  8. Nick Drake - Way to Blue
  9. Bob Dylan - Another Side of...
  10. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
  11. Godflesh - Slavestate
  12. Here We Go Magic - Pigeons
  13. Parts & Labor - Receivers
  14. Archer Prewitt - Three
  15. Purity Ring - Shiners
  16. She & Him - Vol. 3
  17. Sun Ra - Lanquidity
  18. M Ward - End of Amnesia
  19. Whitehorse - Fate of the World
  20. Yamantaka//Sonic Titan - YT//ST

Friday, May 23, 2014

Led Zeppelin reissues delayed

News from Warner today is that the reissues of the first three Led Zeppelin, slated for a June 3rd released date, will be pushed back by about two weeks due to "global production issues."

On the plus side if any of you want copies this extends the time you have to special order them.  The store will be stocking the regular edition vinyl versions of the albums, each will retail for around $27 + tax.  The deluxe versions (3LP for I, 2LP for II and II) will be between $56 - $45 each and the super deluxe (all LPs + CDs and bonus ephemera for each album) will be around $175 for each of the three releases.  The deluxe and super deluxe are available as special orders only.

Act now for your stairway to vinyl.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

From the racks #4: Dynamic Superiors

DYNAMIC SUPERIORS - Give and Take (Motown, 1977) 


Artist Biography by

This Washington, D.C., quintet signed with Motown in the early '70s and found limited success on the soul charts. Though not as vocally dynamic as the Temptations or the Four Tops, they were excellent showmen with energetic and inventive choreography. They were also unique in that they sported a gay lead singer who often did his shows in drag.

Various auction sites list this record for a wide variety of prices between $1-20... we have a Good+ vinyl copy currently priced at $5.99 in the racks. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

From the Racks #3: Classix Nouveaux

CLASSIX NOUVEAUX - S/T (Liberty, 1981)

Artist Biography by

Classix Nouveaux was one of the first new romantic acts in England. Although Classix Nouveaux's more guitar-heavy sound separated them from the mostly synthetic rhythms of Japan and Ultravox, the group's appetite for stylish fashion and danceable keyboards had them quickly associated with the new romantic movement. Formed in 1979 with Sal Solo (vocals), Mik Sweeney (bass), BP Hurding (drums), and Jak Airport (guitar), Classix Nouveaux originated in the punk underground, namely from the ashes of the controversial X-Ray Spex. After banshee wailer Poly Styrene departed from X-Ray Spex, the remaining members held auditions for a replacement singer. Solo won the approval of a few of Styrene's former bandmates, and they debuted at the Music Machine on August 1979. Airport left the group before they even recorded their first single; he was replaced by Gary Steadman. In 1981, Classix Nouveaux released "Guilty," their most well-known track; "Guilty" was a Top-20 hit in Sweden, and the video received airplay on MTV. A year later, the single "Is It a Dream" reached number 13 on the U.K. charts. Despite successful tours in Yugoslavia, Finland, and Poland, none of Classix Nouveaux's three albums truly catapulted them from cult status in Britain or America. The band split up in 1985, and Solo started recording Christian music.

Various auction sites list this record for between $4-15... we have a VG vinyl copy currently priced at $6.99 in the racks.

Friday, May 02, 2014

From the Racks #2: Bosnian Rainbows

BOSNIAN RAINBOWS - S/T (Sargent House, 2013)

Review by via All Music

With hopes of putting together a more collaborative project, the spearhead behind Mars Volta, Omar Rodríguez-Lopez, put his former group to rest in 2012. Recruiting the help of his bandmate Deantoni Parks, the experimental post-rockers take a backseat to vocalist Teri Gender Bender on their 2013 ode to goth rock and new wave, Bosnian Rainbows. In fact, without prior knowledge, there is very little evidence signifying these members' involvement. Instead, their 2013 effort sounds surprisingly like the best Siouxsie and the Banshees album in years. Gender Bender flips between gentle and commanding, or between mournful and scornful, on the flip of a dime, with a dynamic voice that shares uncanny similarities to the princess of goth in both timbre and acrobatic style. The production also sounds like Tinderbox/Peepshow-era Siouxsie, trapped in a lush Wall of Sound comprised of dreamy '80s sheen and retro keyboards courtesy of Nicci Kasper. Meanwhile, the chorus-splashed guitar of Rodriguez-Lopez and tasteful, open-aired rhythms of Parks are kept simple, but the two play with a post-punk angularity that makes things edgy and on the verge of becoming sinister. The real visionary of course is Gender Bender, who plays the role of the sad-eyed dominatrix, offering up thoughtful, abstract lyrics about lost loves (and hates) in her stormy melodies. The hooks are massive, and despite sounding very true to the retro sound, there are enough modern moments embedded in the minutiae to keep the album feeling fresh and appealing to people looking for an alternative to Santigold, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or the Knife. Without a weak song on board, Bosnian Rainbows is a daring, excellent debut that is as compelling as it is ambitious.

Various auction sites list this record for between $20-75... we have a VG copy on translucent green vinyl currently priced at $35.99 in the racks.