The story of seminal Memphis power-pop band Big Star is a tragic tale of massive talent coupled with commercial failure, followed inevitably by huge critical acclaim and a cult-like status. Although their lifespan lasted only four years (in their first inception), the band has been cited as a major influence on bands such as R.E.M., The Replacements, and The Flaming Lips, due to their flowing melodies and introspective lyrics. This tragic story is the subject of the forthcoming feature-length documentary by Drew DeNicola & Olivia Mori, entitled "Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me". The documentary features interviews with the band and never-before-seen footage of the band in their prime. "Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me" premieres Saturday the 10th of November at the SVA Theatre as part of the DOC NYC Film Festival.
Upon first listen, the improvisational work of Ohio’s Ben Bennett comes across as a delineated aural cacophony. However, as it develops, the instantly orchestrated patterns emerge from the pieces. Utilizing unconventional instruments such as a wheelbarrow, a mason jar, and a camp cook set amongst others, Ben Bennett creates an improvisational fusion of found sounds. Spoilage shows us that music exists in every aspect of life, whether it is the scraping of a chair across linoleum, the pounding noise of road works or the rhythmic sound of your own breathing-- it permeates every aspect of life, even outside the restrictions of formal instruments.
Spoilage is due for release January 10th, 2013 on Experimedia.
Indie rock pioneers Royal Trux's 1998 release, Accelerator, is out now on Drag City. Blending lo-fi guitar lines, hypnotic rhythms, and socially alienated lyrics, the oft-imitated sound of Royal Trux still retains its relevance fourteen years on. Accelerator is out on general release. Check out one of our favourite cuts from the work, "Follow The Winner", below.
Captured Tracks are set to reissue Naomi Punk’s LP, The Feeling, on November 20th. Naomi Punk's pummeling and anthemic sound is throughly their own on this album; droning, lumbering rhythms transport the listener to a world of gritty, bleached monochrome. Check out “The Spell” below.
Matt Hill, also known as Umberto, will be following up his 2010 offering Prophecy Of The Black Widow with a new full-length, entitled Night Has A Thousand Screams. Originally conceived and recorded as a soundtrack for the Glasgow Music and Film Festival (we can only assume for horror films), the new track "The Investigation" reveals Hill at his most consistent, eerie best. Striking the balance between John Carpenter and a Nicolas Winding Refn soundtrack, Umberto is both sinister yet undeniably appealing. Night Has A Thousand Screams is released in the UK and Europe on October 29th on Mogwai's Rock Action imprint.
Portland, OR instrumental band, Grails, have been developing their sound steadily since their inception. Their forthcoming album, Black Tar Prophecies Volume 5 is the latest addition to their Black Tar Prophecies series, which has the group presenting us with expansive soundscapes that explore disparate genres in a wholly cohesive way. The first cut off the album, “Wake Up Drill II,” acts as a sequel to “Belgian Wake Up Drill” from 2006’s Black Tar Prophecies 1, 2 & 3, and continues in the same vein of heavy psychedelia, merging Eastern and Western influences seamlessly.
Black Tar Prophecies Volume 5 will be a split LP between Grails and Pharoah Overlord, available October 30th on Kemado.
Brooklyn's synth-pop duo Black Marble have released a stream of their debut LP A Different Arrangement. Previous singles from which have been "Static"-- channeling the darkness of Joy Division at their best-- and the overtly beautiful "A Great Design". If the previous releases whet your appetite for Chris Stewart and Ty Kube's taut, melancholic sound then look no further than the stream on their soundcloud here. The record gets its general release October 9th on Hardly Art.
Montreal's purveyors of post-rock Godspeed You! Black Emperor have announced their fifth album, entitled Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, this month on the band's longtime label Constellation.This will be the band's first album in a decade, following 2002's Yanqui U.X.O. and a hiatus from 2003 until 2010. The band quietly released the album on October 1st at a show in Boston, but the full-length will see general release October 15th in the UK and October 16th stateside. The album features 4 tracks-- two 20-minute pieces and two 6-and-a-half-minute drones-- and has a running time of 53 minutes. Constellation released this blurb on their website:
Having emerged from hiatus at the end of 2010, GYBE undeniably picked up right where they left off, immediately re-capturing the sound and material that had fallen dormant in 2003 and driving it forward with every show of their extensive touring over the last 18 months. The new album presents the fruits of that labour: evolved and definitive versions of two huge compositions previously known to fans as "Albanian" and "Gamelan", now properly titled as "MLADIC" and "WE DRIFT LIKE WORRIED FIRE" respectively. Accompanied by the new drones (stitched into the album sequence on CD; cut separately on their own 7" for the LP version), GYBE have offered up a fifth album that is absolutely as vital, virulent, honest and heavy as anything in their discography.
Here's an excerpt from one of our favorites, Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven: