April 21, 2019

Posted in 12XU, record collector disease at 11:23 pm by

???

“Vaporwave Headache” – video by George Mayo

“Shoofly” – video by Oliver Lewis

USA/Mexico – ‘Matamoros’ LP available from 12XU or Bandcamp
UK/EU version available from Riot Season.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 171 user reviews.

April 21, 2019

Posted in General, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 9:51 am by

As a young person I frequently heard tales that high-end stereo shoppes used Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ as a demonstration disc, in order to fully document the prowess of their impossibly-expensive wares.

I rarely frequented any of these establishments but always took these stories on faith. I’m no audio guru, but it seems to me that someone attempting to do the same thing in 2019 could do a whole lot worse than adopting USA/Mexico’s long-awaited 2nd album, ‘Matamoros’ for similar purposes. The trio’s first album 2017’s ‘Laredo’ might’ve been a worthy candidate for a test-spin in the Bang and Olufsen showroom, but the successor is the sort of record that really makes sense if you’re the sort of person who can appreciate the BACKES MÜLLER BM 100 loudspeaker (list price $500, 000.00 USD)

Once you’re comfortably settled in, you’ll find that the all-star team of guitarist Craig Clouse (Shit & Shine) drummer King Coffey (Butthole Surfers) and Nate Cross (Marriage, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth) have done everything possible to help you expand your sonic palette — some might say they’ve even done too much! Either way, these guys are as unselfish as they are loud. Or perhaps they’re as selfish as they’re quiet — i do hope you’ll agree their motives are less important than the results, and in this instance, those results are nothing less than a staggering sensory overload.

George Dishner (Spray Paint) and Kevin Whitley (Cherubs — on a rendition of his band’s “Shoofly”, as previously heard on 1992’s ‘Icing’) make cameos. The entire affair was engineered by budding genius Ian Runndell (he of every other great record recorded in Austin) and is available via the 12XU and Riot Season record labels in North American and UK/Europe respectively.

(US/Canada preorders :
12XU / bandcamp)

(UK/EU preorders :
Riot Season / bandcamp)

credits

Bass – Nate Cross
Drums – King Coffey
Guitar and vocals – Craig Clouse
Vocals on “Shoofly” – Kevin Whitley
Extra Guitar on “Matamoros” – George Dishner

Recorded by Ian Rundell
Mastered by James Plotkin

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 290 user reviews.

April 21, 2019

Posted in 12XU, record collector disease at 12:46 pm by

‘Victory Is Rated’ is the 3rd studio album from Philadelphia’s Dark Blue, following 2014’s ‘Pure Reality’ and 2017’s widely acclaimed ‘Start Of The World’. Over the course of the last half decade, the ensemble —helmed by Clockcleaner / Puerto Rico Flowers founder John Sharkey III, have walked a thin line between defiance and fatalism, often trading in the anthemic with equal doses of the sardonic and the melancholy. That all of it is increasing informed & influenced by the real goddamned world probably helps.

 

(photo by Angela Betancourt)

There’s some cruel irony in Sharkey’s (second) self-imposed exile from the USA occurring right after completing the recording of ‘Victory Is Rated’ with conspirators Andy Nelson (Ceremony), Michael Sneeringer (Strands Of Oak, Rosali) and B. David Walsh given that this is by far, Dark Blue’s most fully realized statement — in some alternative universe where this band toured consistently, they’d be way too big for this label (frankly, they already are), but really, what has America done to actually deserve their brutal honesty?

Sharkey says the album’s main themes are class war and mortality. I’m not entirely sure there are other themes (not simply on ‘Victory Is Rated’, either) , but we’re very fortunate he’s so skilled at writing about those two. He also likens the record to “if Blitz went Brit pop” and while that ticks off a couple of crucial boxes for me, let’s get something rather thorny out of the way. However many allusions you’ve seen to some subculture you either dislike or can barely be bothered to skim the surface of on a Dark Blue flyer, this is not a high (?) concept series of mannerisms disguised as a gloriously powerful rock band. Dark Blue is a gloriously powerful rock band. For all time.

John Sharkey III – vocals, guitar
Andrew Mackie Nelson – bass & piano
Michael Sneeringer – drums
B. David Walsh – guitars

with additional support from
Kurt Vile – trumpet
Sara Schimeneck – keys

Recorded & Mixed by Jeff Ziegler
Produced by 2 Young Attorneys

preorder ‘Victory Is Rated’ from 12XU or Bandcamp
stream “Waterford Crystals” at Spotify, Apple Music or Bandcamp

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 191 user reviews.

April 21, 2019

Posted in record collector disease at 2:35 pm by

(Editor’s Note : A panel of exactly one brilliant person was convened to compile the list shown below ; CSTB’s former contributors have all moved on to far bigger and better things — yes, I know, that isn’t saying much — and if I can no longer allow them to do the heavy lifting for no compensation whatsoever, AT LEAST I HAVE THE FOND MEMORIES.

As in past years, projects from labels that either pay the CSTB bandwidth bill or directly contribute to the growing thorough neglect of CSTB are ineligible. A version of this list was previously published elsewhere. If you’re seeing it for the second time today, at least it was free – GC)

Yuzo Iwata – Daylight Moon (Siltbreeze)
Rosali- Trouble Anyway (Scissor Tail / Spinster Sounds)
Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt – Brace Up! (Palilalia Records)
David Nance Group – Peaced & Slightly Pulverized (Trouble In Mind)
Lena Hessels – Billow (Terp)
Deaf Wish – Lithium Zion (Sub Pop)
Uniform – The Long Walk (Sacred Bones)
Marlowe – s/t (Mello Music Group)
Armand Hammer – Paraffin (Backwoodz Studio)
Tropical Fuck Storm – A Laughing Death In Meat Space (Joyful Noise)

Heather Leigh – Throne (Editions Mego)
Counter Intuits – “Vietnamese Lighter” (Total Punk)
Obnox – Bang Messiah (Smog Veil)
Rattle – Sequence (Upset The Rhythm)
The Goon Sax – We’re Not Talking (Wichita)
Thalia Zedek – Fighting Season (Thrill Jockey)
Salad Boys – This Is Glue (Trouble In Mind)

Civic – New Vietnam (Anti-Fade)
Jon Spencer – Spencer Sings The Hits (In The Red)
Various Artists – Wound (Carbon)
ISS – s/t EP (Sorry State)
Midnight Mines – Invisible Insurrection Of A Million Minds (Loki)

Charalambides: Tom And Christina Carter (Drawing Room)
Wingtip Sloat – Purge and Swell/Lost Decade (VHF)
Fuck – The Band (Vampire Blues)
Lewsberg – s/t LP
The Kids / The Real Kids – 1974 Demos / 1977/78 Demos/Live (Crypt)
Wet Tuna – Livin The Die (Feeding Tube)
Bad Sports – Constant Stimulation (Dirtnap)
Träden, s/t  (Subliminal Sounds/Gåshud)
Mazoma – Stark Joy (Feeding Tube)
Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore – Ghost Forests (Three Lobed)
F.U.K – “Roadkill” b/w “I Got A Head” 7″ (Hozac)
Heavy Metal EP – (Total Punk)
Wax Chattels – s/t (Captured Tracks)
Kuzu – Hiljaisuus (Astral Spirits)
Eyelids – Maybe More (Jealous Butcher)

live
Mdou Moctar, PhillyMOCA

Deaf Wish, Slim’s /Hopscotch Fest Raleigh NC, Murphy’s/Goner Fest, Memphis, Barracuda Austin

Vampire Belt, Union Pool, Brooklyn
The Scientists, Beerland, Austin
Wire, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa Myths
This Is Not This Heat, Union Park, Chicago
ExEk, Hotel Vegas, Austin
Matthew Lux’s Communications Arts Quartet, Barracuda, Austin
Xylouris White, Beerland, Austin
S.H.I.T., Mohawk, Austin
Loren Connors, Wonders Of Nature, Brooklyn
too many times / most times : Chronophage, Temple Of Angels

“Milford Graves Full Mantis” (dir – Jake Meginsky)

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 275 user reviews.

April 21, 2019

Posted in 12XU, Austin, Merry Fucking Christmas at 2:00 pm by

Austin’s 17th or 18th most beloved independent record label returns to the scene of past crimes against music with 12XU’s annual war-on-christmas event at Beerland. Since the organizer’s FINISHED hauling cans of food to some mysterious loading dock in South Austin, this year we’re taking cash donations at the door for caritasofaustin.org, in an attempt to aid the city’s homeless.

Performers include internationally famous masters of absurdity BORZOI, John Schooley’s impossibly moderne ROCKET 808, ILINX (featuring MEMBERS OF BANDS) and round 2 of one of Beerland’s all-time great grudge matches SICK VAN vs. SPIDER SABICH.

DJ’s Katherine Strickland & Johnny Vomitnoise will make us all feel inferior with their wonderful musical selections throughout the evening.

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 280 user reviews.

April 21, 2019

Posted in 12XU, Austin, Internal Affairs, record collector disease at 12:38 pm by

(“Long Way Down” – video by Raul Vela IV)

Missing Pages is the new project from Stephen Svacina (Sweet Talk, Jonly Bonly, ex- Mind Spiders) featuring Ali Ditto (Talkies, Mean Jolene), Gabriel Pastura (Sean Morales, Church Shoes), and Garrick Thurston (Slow). Taking cues from genre benders before them and shaped by the musical overload of the Austin TX live scene, Missing Pages meld together a sound both brooding and hopeful, sincere while rejecting the sentimental; power-pop hooks ensnared in a wiry tangle of dark, splintering edges.

(photo credit : Missing Pages)

On their blistering 7″ debut, Missing Pages channel the anxiety, exasperation, and jubilation born of those delicate moments in life when the casual comforts and routine are stripped away, forcing us to confront the ugly truth of who we really are. These songs represent both the high and — more importantly — the comedown, and coming to terms with what it all means.

A-side “Long Way Down” fumes with irrepressible anger, the pound of drummer Pastura’s kick like the iron taste of blood in your mouth. The simple production and tight arrangements allow a paranoid sharpness to dominate the track, broken only by the towering guitar lead attempting to pull the listener up and dust them off. Feeding off the band’s ragged energy, Svacina’s liberation feels palpable as he screams out at the song’s roaring crescendo.

After the fall, there’s only one way to go: up. B-side “Highlighter Piss” revels in lessons learned from the injury; massive guitars ignite, only to fade to somber memories and daydreams of fleeting emotions. Accompanied on vocals by Ditto, the song portrays the frayed nature of a shared experience, and how we can begrudgingly dispense some wisdom as we part ways. Guitarist Thurston obliterates the fretboard as his solo explodes like a firecracker over the nimble rhythm section.

Recorded at Estuary Studios by John Michael Landon and mixed by Marked Men/Radioactivity mastermind Jeff Burke, Missing Pages’ 7-inch continues to sharpen a jagged reflection of the world. In 2018 the four-piece began tracking their debut album.

preorder “Long Way Down” b/w “Highlighter Piss” – 12XU / Bandcamp

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 224 user reviews.

April 21, 2019

Posted in 12XU, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 5:40 pm by

(“Big Pink” – video directed by Taylor Browne)

BorzoiA Prayer For War (12XU 109-1)
out September 21

I’ve grown weary of calling Borzoi one of the nation’s best live bands, not because it isn’t 100% true, but because I’ve long ago stopped making excuses for how their prior recordings failed to capture the full range of their muscularity, their absurdity or nearly boundless level of invention. Thankfully, though, others actually liked those recordings.

Of the Austin trio’s 2017 ‘Surrender The Farm’ EP, The Wire’s Byron Coley called the 7”, “very thudly” (“slams straight along like a cement truck full of corndogs”), while Yellow Green Red’s Matt Korvette hailed the band’s “mangy form of post-punky garage-rock, equipped with a nimble heaviness and plenty of dirt under the nails, ” (“there’s no confusing their rough-and-tumble punk with noise or no-wave, and yet I feel like subtle hints of Sightings, Liars and Harvey Milk creep through. Borzoi run through a variety of tempos and moods on these four tracks, from inebriated and confused to spastic and scared.”)

(l-r : Zachary Wood, Rhys Woodruff, Taylor Browne. photo : Jordan Willis)

On the way-too-long-in-the making, ‘A Prayer For War’ (expertly recorded by Ian Rundell, notable for recent works from Xetas, Spray Paint and Exhalants), I’m happy to confirm Borzoi are exponentially less mangy though improved production values have done nothing to quash the band’s idiosyncrasies. While fellow travelers plunder the early ’90’s Amp Rep catalog and perform spirited mimicry of The Year ____ Broke, Borzoi’s Rhys Woodruff (drums/vocals), Zachary Wood (guitar/vocals) and Taylor Browne (bass) are operating on another level altogether, and if completing a conceptual K.O. like this album hasn’t entirely cured them of self-saboteur moves (ie. blatantly lying about where they’re from — though under the circumstances, can you blame them?), they’ve set an awfully high bar for what any remaining deep thinkers might attempt, lyrically or musically (though truth be told, their fixation with life during wartime is no easier to figure out than whatever Wood comes up with on the guitar). ‘A Prayer For War’ takes Borzoi’s truculent worldview and glues it to accompaniment that’s as dazzling as it is confounding. You’ll be tempted to call the trio of Wood, Woodruff and Browne a well-oiled machine, but unless you’re comparing them to an Koenigsegg Agera RS, you’re selling them very short.

PREORDER ‘A Prayer For War’ from 12XU
PREORDER ‘A Prayer For War’ from Bandcamp

upcoming shows :

August 30 – Beerland, Austin (with The Dead Space)
September 14 – Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin
September 25 – Barracuda, Austin (w/ Deaf Wish, Sean Morales)?
October 4 – Paper Tiger, San Antonio, (w/ Metz)?
October 5 – Hotel Vegas, Austin (rec release show, w/ Tshushimamire, Loafer)
October 7 – Backyard on Bell, Denton TX
October 8 – The Backspace, Fayetteville AR
October 9 – The Middle East, Kansas City MO
October 10 – Brother’s Lounge, Ohmaha NE
October 11 – Moon Palace Books, Minneapolis MN
October 12 – Mickey’s Tavern, Madison WI
October 13 – The Archer Ballroom, Chicago IL
October 14 – Donovan’s Pub, Detroit MI
October 15 – Gooski’s, Pittsburgh PA
October 19 – The Glove, Brooklyn NY
October 21 – EMP Collective, Baltimore MD
October 23 – Static Age, Asheville NC

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 202 user reviews.