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railcars' "Cathedral With No Eyes" 12"

12" EP out now on Stumparumper

Halfway through their epic fall tour, railcars are leaving no corner of the US unloved. Their new EP "Cathedral With No Eyes" is finally out now on on vinyl courtesy of Stumparumper. (Out digitally on Gold Robot)"Cathedral With No Eyes" is the second proper release by railcars. In this record, LA-based multiple-instrumentalist Aria Jalali recounts the life of Edmund the Martyr, a 9th century king of East Anglia with songs about his life and succession to the throne as a young boy, his conquests, his suffering at the hands of vikings and death by their arrows.This time around railcars make an attempt to more accurately recreate the whirling, dizzying fury of their live performances, flowing continuously yet shifting without warning, translating the story of St. Edmund into walls of noise, sputtering drum machines, dying electronics, and tales told in distant shouts.

railcars' debut release came last year as a 7" recorded by Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart and they have recently played shows with Crystal Antlers, Handsome Furs, and Former Ghosts. While the recorded output is just Jalali, his live show incorporates more players including live visuals making for quite a visceral experience bringing the songs to life. railcars will be on tour throughout the US throughout the fall. available now at Stumparumper


Future Selves

(Obscure Magpie Records, November 3rd)

TRANSFER shine on their grand sounding album that is aptly called FUTURE SELVESTRANSFER is poised to release their full-length album aptly titled, Future Selves. Earlier this year, the band secluded themselves in their studio for a month to write the record. Tucked away in the canyons in North San Diego among the influence of coyote howls and cricket bows, they created a collection of songs with poignant and chilling lyrics and sounds broad enough in range to deem undeniable.While exhibiting all the grandeur of British rock, yet rooted in the gritty allure of the American west, TRANSFER beseeches personal discovery. You can either experience TRANSFER by being fully immersed within a good pair of headphones, or, preferably, get caught up in the intensity of their unusually captivating and dynamic live performance. With the impending release of their digital-only second full-length release, Future Selves, TRANSFER stands poised to win over unsuspecting listeners and to elicit praise for its remarkably savvy take on the art of rock music.

That rare act that successfully merges evocative songwriting with pristine musicianship, the ambitiously detailed aesthetics of TRANSFER’s studio recordings frequently draw comparison to My Morning Jacket, while the personally resonating lyrical content often invokes the specter of Jeff Buckley. However, this is not a group content to feel either bolstered or confined by its influences, and with each new release TRANSFER’s sound has grown more expansive, balancing soulful instincts with wildly charismatic rock as you can hear listening to their first single “Losing Composure”.Engineered and mixed by bassist, Shaun Cornell with help from Mark Needham (The Killers), this record proves to be TRANSFER’s most ambitious work that has the potential to get under peoples skins .

MP3 of TRANSFER single "Losing Composure"

Fang Island describes its sound as "everyone high-fiving everyone."

And, the Brooklyn quintet's anthemic and soaring songs make it quite possibly one of few bands befitting such description. Check out MP3s for two new tracks,

"Daisy" (MP3 HERE) and "Life Coach" (MP3 HERE).

Its finger-tapping guitar lines, chanted vocals, triumphant harmonies and overall perky songs hearken to the sort of "Total Music" of the Fucking Champs, Jay Reatard, Ponytail, Kraftwerk, Marnie Stern, Thin Lizzy, et al. But, perhaps more so, its songs are like the music in your head at that moment when everything feels just right: that first kiss, that high score on the video game, buying your first small nation in cash... you know, good stuff.

Nothing embodies the band's sense of optimism and enthusiasm better than this clip of Fang Island performing live for a classroom of kindergartners. Watch HERE.

Fang Island began, oddly enough, as an art school project while the band members were attending the prodigious Rhode Island School of Design (also the foundation for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Les Savvy Fav, Lightning Bolt, Six Finger Satellite and some band called the Talking Heads.) According to guitarist Jason Bartell, the goal was to "make music for people who like music." That is, music without irony that harnesses its uplifting qualities. Just like a classic rock song or classical symphony can stir us emotionally, Fang Island exists to unlock that spirit.
Fang Island is guitarist Jason Bartell, bassist Philip Curcuru, guitarist Chris Georges, guitarist Nicholas Andrew Sadler, and drummer Marc St. Sauveur.

They all share collective group vocal harmonies and the occasional hand claps. While Sadler is also known for his role in the debauched rock band Daughters, it is only his fretboard skill that translates between the two groups.

Fang Island begins appropriately with the sound of erupting fireworks on "Dreams of Dreams" leading into a cascading chorus of ringing guitar notes before the group vocal harmonies chime in with the mantra, "they all are within my reach, they are free." The second song, "Careful Crossers" launches in beneath the vocals with a chorus of gleaming guitar harmonies smeared over the marching, syncopated rhythm section.

Elsewhere, tracks like "Sideswiper" hearken to the metal-laced positivity of Andrew WK. "Daisy" sounds like a unique collaboration between the Fucking Champs and Jay Reatard. Throughout the album, it's like listening to the cool version of classic rock -- the type of anthemic pop -- without the cheesiness -- that you wished Journey and Boston could've made.

Fang Island's debut album, Fang Island

will be released February 23rd, 2010 via Sargent House.

Almanac is the incredible new album from the Brooklyn, NY/Pennsylvania duo Brian Lightbody and Tom Asselin. This is the band's first proper full-length, being released onto the world November 10, 2009 via the La Société Expéditionnaire collective. The recordings began with an M Box and 3 mics in Asselin's Pocono Mountain basement, and over the course of time, acquisition of gear, and massive trial-and-error, the bunker blossomed into One Forest Studio. An empty roller rink was used as a reverb chamber while sampling Brahms' Requiem Mass. Musical recruits were brought in to flesh out ideas with distinct instruments that were affected, layered, chopped and collaged together.Dragon Turtle's Almanac is a heavy trip; a document of transformation, entropy, and causality.

Dragon Turtle evokes Morricone landscapes as if painted by Glenn Branca, where dream atmospheres meet brutal realities of nature and relationships. These forces are both beautiful ("Causality", "Belt of Venus") and destructive ("Moon Fallout", "Burn the Leaves"). The textures and layers move with a sense of urgency and purpose ("Hometime", "Hourglass"). The duality of Tom Asselin and Brian Lightbody's musical relationship is also at play, converging an influence of sound spanning from John Cale and Eno to Post-Punk conglomerates of Folk and Krautrock.“Island of Broken Glass” takes its name from Robert Smithson's sculptural work, recanting destruction and violence inherent in the relationships between nature and man. The lyrics from this song also inspired the cover of the album, a spiraling double helix/DNA strand made of burning books.

"Island of Broken Glass" from Almanac
Dragon Turtle Myspace

Cloud Cult Announce the December 8th Release of a Double-Disc Reissue – They Live on the Sun (2003) and Aurora Borealis (2004) – Remixed, Remastered and with Bonus Tracks!

On December 8th, 2009 Cloud Cult will release a double-disc reissue of They Live on the Sun (2003) and Aurora Borealis (2004) – two of their earliest albums. These two home recorded releases have been re-envisioned, remixed and remastered for the first time by Cloud Cult's Craig Minowa and this special double-disc release will contain previously unreleased bonus tracks. The albums, which are now out of print and could only be purchased at live gigs and select Independent record stores, will be available for the first time nationwide and fans can take advantage of a presale on the band’s web site in late November

Cloud Cult’s lead singer/songwriter Craig Minowa created these albums during 18 months of seclusion at his Northern Minnesota organic farm after his two-year-old son passed away unexpectedly in 2002. Originally released on the band’s own Earthology Records, they were mainly available on a local level due to a shoe-string credit card budget. Despite the limited distribution, They Live on the Sun landed on Pitchfork’s 2004 Year-End “Found Sound column” and was put into rotation at KEXP, while Aurora Borealis climbed to the Top 5 on KEXP. In addition, both albums found fans at college radio across the US and The Live on the Sun even surpassed major label releases on many stations including Radiohead's Hail to the Thief.

All of the attention these early albums received helped this Minneapolis band break out onto the national scene and it only seems fitting that they reissue these releases as the band is gearing up to hit the road in Spring of 2010 after taking their longest break from touring in 6 years. A self -imposed hiatus, the break gave Craig and his wife Connie time to adjust to being parents again as they welcomed a new addition to their family this October.

Cloud Cult has gone on to sell more than 30,000 copies of its follow-up releases, despite turning down major label offers along the way. In addition, they’ve just ended a very busy year where they played Coachella for the first time, made their late night TV debut on Last Call with Carson Daly and co-headlined a nationwide tour with Margot and The Nuclear So and So’s. Following the reissue this Winter and the Spring 2010 tour, the band is gearing up for a new album release in the Fall of 2010 – so please stay tuned for more news in the near future.



DUE JANUARY 26th 2010


San Francisco’s City Light is set to conquer the country with their upcoming sophomore release, BURNED OUT BRIGHT. A riveting combination of indie-pop, electronica and straight up rock-and-roll, City Light’s new release begins where the debut album left off and moves a step further, keeping the listener on his toes the whole way through.

Formed in 2006 by Seattle singer-songwriter Matt Shaw and Bay area producer Nick Andre (Gift of Gab, Lateef, Bicasso), City Light is a collaborative effort between artists from across the country with a variety of histories, sounds, and influences. Musician and producer Denver Daley (Desaparecidos, Statistics, Intramural), Seattle’s Andy Fitts (Airport Cathedral Aqueduct) and Marc Bianchi (Her Space Holiday) joined the group in the years since the debut release, resulting in a project that sounds surprisingly rooted, but uniquely informed. Evoking groups like Explosions In The Sky or The Slip, BURNED OUT BRIGHT finds City Light at a new height of collaborative prowess, expertly fusing several genres to form one strongly united offering.
Blending gritty, earnest vocals (ala Bright Eyes) with sunnier, subdued melodies and driving beats, City Light has struck the perfect balance between tradition and innovation. BURNED OUT BRIGHT is sure to please City Light’s existing fan-base, and will undoubtedly bring the group much deserved attention over the next year.

Alejandro Escovedo

A Man Under The Influence: Deluxe Bourbonitis Edition

BS 170

Limited Edition Double LP with gatefold jacket

Originally released in 2001, A Man Under the Influence cemented Alejandro's place as one of the premier performers and songwriters to call Texas, or anywhere for that matter, home. Alejandro remains the rare artist who can crawl inside themes of love and loss and redemption and explore them both intimately and personally. With unflinching conviction, Alejandro squares his shoulders and through his music faces up to all that life has to offer, for better or worse.Includes the full length Man Under The Influence (never before available on vinyl in the US), and bonus tracks from his EP Bourbonitis Blues and Bloodshot compilation tracks.

Consider this your gift of the week