Apollo Ghosts – Hastings Sunrise LP

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Label: Self – Released

Listen: Myspace

My friend Jarrett Evan Samson (who I’ve “known” for a long time on various Guided By Voices message boards, but who is a member of such awesome bands as Collapsing Opposites / Role Mach / Shipyards; he is also going to be part of the Endangered Ape vinyl debut soon-ish! This is a lot of information for a bracket. Perhaps it should have been a footnote? Too late now…) sent me this record from The Apollo Ghosts in the mail because he just thought I should hear it. Which, in my opinion, is a pretty nice thing to do. I’m trying to figure out something to send back. Maybe a copy of the NoBunny record? Turns out that I had been hearing about this record from another online “acquaintance” Ryan Catbird (who I “know” from the Destroyer message board, and who runs the only indie-centric music blog that I still read), and I am embarassed to admit that I was going to order a copy for myself, even though Jarret said he was sending me a copy. I was waiting for Payday actually, and then “MAGIC” here is

This might be the nerdiest opening paragraph in 7/10/12 history.  Internet friends!

Like a Destroyer record, Apollo Ghost’s Hastings Sunrise is all about unique vocal delivery delivering clever lyrics. In this case, Adrian Teacher employs a variation of the classic baroque-pop style that evokes the romantic-pop of the mid 80’s. Even with the emphasis on that voice, delivering those lyrics, there is lots to grab onto here – from the great production (JC/DC studios, just like a Destroyer record!), to the two minute pop-songs floating around this album. Most of these songs hover around the two minute mark, which gives the album a sense of urgency from start to finish even when the songs slow down and Teacher takes on the role of plaintive crooner (“Ghost, Get Out of My Apartment” reminds me of that awesome Devon Williams album from last year).  Album highlight comes in the form of the jittery second track, “Land of the Morning Calm” which, at two-minutes is one of those songs that advocates finish/restart/finish/restart behavour – one of the best pop-songs I’ve heard in a long time. At 300 copies on vinyl (available through their myspace page), Hastings Sunrise is a debut that marks the start of a brilliant career.

The Spooks – Death From Beyond the Grave – LP

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Label: Die Slaughterhaus
Buy: From the Label
Listen: Myspace

The Spooks is a “Ghost-rock” band featuring Cole, Jared and Joe of the Black lips, as well as some people from Deerhunter and The Kiwis (though I don’t know who).  According to the Die Slaughterhaus website, “the seven year wait is over!”, though I’m not sure exactly who was waiting for this for seven years.

Look, I’m not wanting to jump on any Black Lips backlash bandwagon – I think the new single is pretty good, I honestly think that “Good Bad Not Evil” is a great record with some great songs. Though I haven’t listened to the new album (which has apparently leaked), I’m kind of excited to hear it, and I’ll give it an honest chance because Black Lips are one of my favourite bands.

But this Spooks LP is something else entirely – dreadful might be the word I am looking for. Sounds like The Black Lips featuring “spooky” (re: annoying) keys with lots of background “woooooooooohhhhooohhhhh” vocals (you know, the “scary” ghost sound). The whole thing is mired in the worst lo-fi production that makes the whole thing sound like garbage.  This is the worst record I have spent money on in at least a year.

On the plus side:  the LP comes with 3D glasses, and the cover is 3D, so that is cool.

For fans only.

Transmit Vinyl

And now for something entirely different…

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Last December, I put out the cassette only Alberta Boom! compilation on my label Mammoth Cave (featuring The Wicked Awesomes, The Ostrich, Pine Tarts, Los Cremators, Menehune and my own band Endangered Ape). Given that this was a cassette, and there are a lot of people without cassette-players, I wanted to include a a digital download code.

Looking around for this service, I found a few companies that were doing it, but at a cost that nearly doubled my budget (lowest price for a similar was $120, highest is around $250). In talking to my friend and computer coding genius Jeff King about my predicament, he told me that he could work up some code to do just this, and here Transmit Vinyl was born.

The idea isn’t new, but the pricing is – we are aimed at the numerous small-labels doing micro-releases on tiny budgets. We are currently offering an introductory rate of $25 for 500 unique codes for 192K Mp3s (though we can be flexible on this).

For $25 we offer:

– Hosting that is guaranteed for min 5 years (likely much longer than that)

– Each code gets 4 downloads in a 24 hour time-frame to minimize code-sharing.

– Customizable download code-ticket that can include the album art or your label’s logo

– Quick Turnaround time – In one business day from the time we get everything. from you, you will get a .pdf that you can print out, and insert into your vinyl or cassette release (this saves on shipping and printing – just do it yourself).

– Every label will get their own web url (for example, like the one for Mammoth Cave – http://mammothcave.transmitvinyl.com/) that we can set up for you.

Labels, get in touch! Email me: paul@transmitvinyl.com

Auction for Anna!

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Today is the last day you can put your bids in for the Auction for Anna over at the Goner Records site. Anna is the daughter of Goner Records owner Zac Ives, and has been battling cancer for two years now. Ives’ partner at Goner, Eric Friedl, has organized a benefit project to help ease some of the family’s financial strain.

Bidding ends tonight at 6pm EST, and there are lots of amazing things available. If you don’t win anything, think about making a direct donation anyways!

New Release Round Up

So many things of note that have just been released, are imminent or that I had missed that a nice little round-up is in order. Who knows, maybe you’ll order something!

HoZac “Hookup Klub” 7″ Single Club: I wasn’t going to write about this for some reason, but then I was reading Seven Inches about how Jason missed the pre-order call, and I figured there were a few more of you who might have missed the very exciting news.

Essentially, HoZac has one of the best tracklists around. I just “completed” my collection with the addition of the Spider 7″ (HoZac 002), and I can say that I listen to every record on a regular basis, save for the White Savage 7″ and the Subtle Turnhips 7″ (though, I think Thomas from The Wicked Awesomes spoiled that one after a show we played with them, and a small group of us stayed up all night drinking and listening to records, and he went on an hour-long tyrade about how much he hated that record).

You’re going to get 10 records in this club in three seperate mailings, a bunch of stuff that no-one has heard of yet, including: Teeth (a collaboration between Blank Dogs and Spider!!!), Dum Dum Girls (who also have a 12″ coming on Blank Dogs new record label Captured Tracks), TeePee (the cassette on Jerkwave is fucking great). Also, a new Box Elders 7″ (finally), and a band I’ve been recently turned on to – White Mystery. The rest – Idle Times, Woven Bones, Art Thieves, Flight, Mother of Tears – I don’t know too much about, but I trust HoZac to do me right. Limited to 500 records each.

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Vaticano “Mocosos Pateticos LP”

Out on the great Siltbreeze label, this has been best described as “The Mexican Spits”, and that certainly sounds accurate to me. Sloppy, lofi garage punk, sung in Spanish. Limited to 700.

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Dull Knife Records has announced the Dull Knife Songwriter Series which should be available in the next six weeks. The initial entries will be from Richard Youngs and Dan Melchior, with each 7″ in a hand-numbered edition of 300. They also have the RTFO Bandwagon LP coming soon!

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Death …For the Whole World to See LP

This re-issue (recorded originally in 1974) has me v. excited. Drag City has pre-orders up now.

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Eat Skull have a new split 7″ with Gaglions. Gonna set you back $7.08 Paypal  yakamashirecords@yahoo.com

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Suppositories – Moments of Square Violence LP


Label/Buy: Going Gaga Records
Listen: Myspace

Wire’s Pink Flag has been picked apart and reinterpreted in so many ways by so many different bands, and yet hearing the debut debut from Ottowa’s Suppositories made me realize how much potential there is in riffing off of the slower, sludgier songs on that album – “Reuters” and “Pink Flag” especially. Take a deliberate, driving chord progression, and repeat until song has reached its logical conclusion. Moments of Square Violence is full of songs that use this style, and the result is a collection of claustrophobic songs that just build and build without having to rely on getting heavy or loud or overly complicated.  These are short, simple and devastatingly effective songs. Moments of Square Violence definitely benefits from great production, and because it is vinyl only (45 RPM 12″, nice!), the songs have some time to grow on you.

Radiohead 12″ Single Reissues

Capitol Records recently reissued Radiohead’s back-catalog on vinyl, and because they love money, they are doing more reissuing in the form of twelve “limited edition” 12″ singles on vinyl.

The reissues include the rare Drill EP (Radiohead’s first release), but because they are a major label and fuck everything up, all the covers are of the actual size of the original 5″ CD singles printed as a sticker on the special branded 12″ sleeves and look shitty.

The included singles are Drill, Creep, My Iron Lung, Just, Fake Plastic Trees, High and Dry, Street Spirit [fade out], Paranoid Android, Karma Police, No Surprises, Pyramid Song, There There and 2+2=5.

Insound is doing pre-orders, though they aren’t going to be released until almost May. With shipping, this is going to set you back around $150-160.

Stinks in here.