Tyvek – Sidewalk 7″

What? I’m not writing about an LP this time around? Guess I’m falling in line…

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A. Sidewalk
B1. Flashing Lights
B2. Future Junk 

Label: M’Lady’s
Listen: Myspace
Buy: Bistro Distro still has copies of the first pressing apparently?

Dear Tyvek,

Enough is enough.

You guys have been one of my favorite current bands ever since I heard the Fast Metabolism CDR last year. Ten concise songs full of hooks that made sense the more you listened to it, with lo-fi production that fit perfectly. You guys kicked some major ass live and what’s more, Kevin is a pretty nice guy (and not just in the friend-rock apologist way either!). The thing is, I just heard that M’Lady’s is going to repress your Sidewalk 7″.

What is the fucking deal with that?

I know Dusted expressed and published this thought before I did but I’ll reiterate (and so!), most of us fans have heard these songs before. It would be one thing if you re-recorded the songs like you guys did on your newer Cauldron Born CDR but no, these are the exact same songs that have been around for a year.

(Look, I know that not everyone has heard Fast Metabolism and, fair enough, Sidewalk is good for newcomers – it’s easier to seek out a distro and order a 7″ then to scour the internet for mp3s of an unavailable CDR. If you’re reading this and you haven’t heard Tyvek, don’t let my buzz-harshing discourage you – get the aforementioned 7″ and also the Summer Burns 2×7″. Both are amazing singles worth spending your dollars on.)

I can’t speak for all the fans out there, but I personally feel like you’re taking advantage of the collectors out there who will get anything and everything you guys put out. Not cool. While you were busy putting out 7-inch singles of already-released material, you guys could have put out an LP of new material.

What I’m trying to say through all of this long-winded, unorganized, whiny record-collector bullshit I’m spouting is that the Siltbreeze LP better be fucking good. It also better be full of new material too.

I still love you guys though. Seriously.

xoxo,
Kallen Law

P.S. What are you guys called these days? TVK? Tyvke? Tyvjk?

Wooden Shjips – Vampire Blues 7″

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a: Vampire Blues (NEIL YOUNG!!!)
b: I Hear the Vibrations

Label: Sick Thurst
Listen: Myspace
Buy: From the UK

Wooden Shjips just put out another instant rarity/sellout in the form of this tour only 7″ available (to my knowledge) only through a few UK distros and webstores (though I got mine from S-S, so look around for a US distributer). I jumped on this because Wooden Shjips cover one of my favourite Neil Young songs from my favourite Neil Young album (On the Beach – pure brilliance there), though this cover doesn’t really do much for me. B Side “I Hear the Vibrations” sounds exactly like Wooden Shjips – a stoner rock album that has hit a lock groove and then some dude Jim Morrison’s out over the song (with as much reverb/echo on the vocals as is possible). Not really my thing, though I do like a few of their songs, it all seems pretty boring/samey to me.

J.T. IV – Cosmic Lightning LP

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Label: Drag City
Listen: Myspace
Buy: Drag City (or a few other distros like Goner, Florida’s Dying, and Tic Tac Totally)

Everyone likes a good rags-to-riches rock’n’roll story. The story of John Henry Timmis IV, otherwise known as J.T. IV, isn’t one of them. Dying in obscurity (well, until recently) at the age of 40 in 2002 from complications related to his alcoholism – booze being one of his many addictions – it’s safe to say that his story didn’t have much of a semblance of a happy ending until now.

Long, very interesting story short, Timmis was a very ambitious artist whose mother thought he was schizophrenic and, well, she may have been right. Whether it was hiring musicians to play with him for his “concert movies”, his publicity stunts (most notably telling the public that he was disfigured in an accident; apparently, there was no accident – the whole thing was a ruse for attention and a chance to play behind masks under the name Frankenstein), his addictions to booze, coke, heroin, you name it, or his 85-hour film The Cure for Insomnia, Timmis rarely, if ever, stopped believing in his own self-made legend.

Along with help from Drag City, Plastic Crimewave‘s Galactic Zoo Disk imprint has reissued his Cosmic Lightning LP, a compilation of Timmis’ recorded material, originally found on 7-inches, that was originally released in 1987 (don’t think it needs to be said, but original pressings were low in number and are now impossible to find). It would be lying to say that his backstory is not at least somewhat responsible for this reissued record’s hype, but it would also be lying to say that this music doesn’t stand on its own. From his hilarious, horn-infused rewrite of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting For The Man” as tribute to public transportation for “Waiting for the CTA”, to fuzzed-out punk numbers like “Death Trip” (not a Stooges cover), or his forays into glam (“The Monitors”), psychedelia (“Destructo Rock”), and psych-folk (“Out of the Can”), Cosmic Lightning is as close as we’re ever going to get to Timmis telling us his life story.

This package also comes with a DVD of various live, studio, and home footage. Along with this year’s Tommy Jay/Ego Summit reissues, I am confident saying Cosmic Lightning will end up being one of 2008’s best reissues. At the moment, it is sold out just about everywhere but, if you take my word on anything this year, let this be it, keep your eyes out.

Blank Dogs – The Fields Mini LP/Cassette

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Limited to 200 – order the cassette here (there can’t be many left – I have #175).

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Order the LP here.
A1: Red World
A2: Before the Hours
A3: The Other Way
A4: Spinning
B1: Passing the Light
B2: Now Signals
B3: All Photographs

Label: Woodist/Fuck It Tapes
Listen: Myspace
Download the entire discography up to The Fields HERE.

Its been a year since I started listening to Blank Dogs religiously, and it is getting to the point where it is starting to boarder on fanaticism. I deal with a nasty case of insomnia, and often when I am lying in bed, I get a snippet of one of these songs in my head, looping over and over and over to the point that I start going a bit crazy and need to get out of bed and watch tv or read a book or anything to get these ghosts out of my system.

I play Blank Dogs for my friends, and a lot of them get a pained look on their faces, all I hear is how “weird” it sounds. Other friends hear it and get instantly hooked, to which I imagine that this music scratches the same itch in them as it does me. The instant melancholy that accompanies these sounds, the distant nostalgia, the ghosts that enter the room when this music is being played.

The newest release from Mr. Blank Dogs comes in the form of a Cassette and Mini-LP album of songs that has some of the most immediately accessible songs he has released to date. In twenty years, when someone tries to get someone else into Blank Dogs, they will likely use The Fields as the entry point. Every song on this recording is out-there weird, but at the same time very poppy, and very subdued. Where I always think that every new release is going to be my favorite release, I imagine that it will be hard for Mr. Blank Dogs to top this one. The one-two punch of Red World/Before the Hours alone will make this record a must-have. Impossibly good.