BON IVER Bon Iver LP+MP3 / CD
*** "Former haunts, new spirit. The reprises are there: solitude, quietude, hope & desperation compressed but always a rhythm arises, a pulse vivified by gratitude and grace notes. The winter, the legend, has faded to just that, and this is the new momentary present. The icicles have dropped, rising up again as grass."
CHALK CIRCLE Reflection LP+MP3
*** "Chalk Circle were the first all-female band to record & perform in DC during the punk/hardcore scene of the early 80s. The 12 songs on this release are from compilations, live shows, and unreleased recordings. Includes a book by guitarist/vocalist Sharon Cheslow that tells the Chalk Circle story in its entirety."
CITY CENTER Redeemer LP / CD
*** "City Center draws equally on the amped up teenage anger of the Void side of the Faith/Void split, confused angst at the Gap sales rack circa '93 (Dinosaur Jr. style guitar solos over mumbling harmonies) or the frustration of the kid trying to talk about Fluxus at the open-armed parking lot scene of a Dead show in 1971."
THE COATHANGERS Larceny & Old Lace LP+MP3 / CD
*** "The Coathangers reckless energy from their half-serious roots is every bit as vibrant and rambunctious as anything. The Coathangers' latest offering is easily their best record to date. Join the party."
ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO Suara Naga LP / CD
*** "You know how in the 1950s the press and parents and such talked about how rock'n'roll had some evil, sexual, tribal force that was going to possess the youth? Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa is really that. Trance-punk dancehall!"
HUMAN EYE They Came From The Sky LP+MP3 / CD
*** RECOMMENDED "Ohhhhhhhh shit -- inter-planetary life and travel, alien/ human relationships & horror films filtered through an unhinged psychedelic punk juggernaut. The perfect garage freak-out from Vulgar and crew!"
JOHANN JOHANNSSON The Miners' Hymn LP+MP3 / CD
*** "Chilling, stirring, and powerfully evocative music of genuine beauty, The Miners' Hymn is the haunting score to a film by Bill Morrison (Decasia), lamenting & almost droning in moments, sweeping & almost heartstoppingly dynamic in others."
KID CONGO & THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS Gorilla Rose LP+MP3 / CD
*** RECOMMENDED "Thirteen jams hitting ’60s Chicano rock, slip sliding rockabilly, teenage punkdom, mystic krautrock, baby-making sleaze, the best bad peyote trip you ever took and even a velvety call from the beyond. Flamboyant and inspired."
NOVELLER Glacial Glow LP / CD
*** "Her most assured, accomplished statement to date, trading distortion & feedback for memorable melodies & a wider sonic palette. Icy shards from the heavens! Pulsing throbs! Creeping anxiety! Fleeting melancholy!"
THEE OH SEES Castlemania 2xLP / CD
*** "Castlemania is more low-key than previous Oh Sees records -- 'summer-y & poppy' with electric guitars jettisoned for acoustic, the normally echo-laden vocals a bit clearer. Happy pop melodies, sweet and somber tunes, psychedelic moves galore & more."
PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT Laced LP+MP3 / CD
*** "Boundary-pushing, thrilling, unique: Psychedelic Horseshit blaze with a coherent set of bustling, hookladen, melted outsider pop songs. Shitgaze!"
TY SEGALL Goodbye Bread LP / CD
*** "TY SEGALL has his finger on it. A finger on it, digging into your vinyl. It’s 2011. Ty is 23. So, do we get the comedown record? Yes and massive.”—Andrew Loog Oldham, San Mateo, CA 2.17.11.
TINDERSTICKS Claire Denis Film Scores 1996-2009 5xCD
*** RECOMMENDED Whoa! Truly incredible batch of beauty on Constellation Records. Get out your hankies! "Six subtle & beautiful scores by Tindersticks recorded for French filmmaker Claire Denis, four of which are previously unreleased."