PHW's September Mixtape

Thanks for stopping by. Here’s a mix of the month’s best new music:

MP3 :: Little Bird Courage - Old Canes (original post)
MP3 :: Stockholm St. Syndrome - Brook Pridemore (original post)
MP3 :: Lust For Life - Girls (original post)
MP3 :: Funeral Singers - Califone (original post)
MP3 :: I Can See The Pines Are Dancing - A.A. Bondy (original post)
MP3 :: Hunchback - Kurt Vile (original post)
MP3 :: Beach Comber - Real Estate (via)
MP3 :: The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future - Los Campesinos! (original post)
MP3 :: Don’t Lie - The Mantles (via)
MP3 :: The Sound - Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (original post)

See also: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, & of course, August

[stream] Kurt Vile - Childish Prodigy

I’ve already told you about the new Kurt Vile album Childish Prodigy once or twice. It comes out next week via Matador, and now you can stream the whole thing in that fancy media player thing up there.

MP3 :: Hunchback

MP3 :: Overnight Religion
(from Childish Prodigy. Buy here)

[mp3] Old Canes - "Little Bird Courage"

Old Canes is the side project of The Appleseed Cast’s Chris Crisci. His sophomore album under the Old Canes guise is called Feral Harmonic and is a positively raucous batch of indie-folk exuberance. The first single, “Little Bird Courage”, introduces the album’s ramshackle aesthetic - it’s a barreling, Neutral Milk Hotel-influenced burst of hyperactive drums, street-procession horns, buzzing acoustic guitars, and the joyous call-and-response refrain of “And when I’m thirsty / You are the fountain / In the face of danger / I am not afraid” that'll have you shouting along in no time. It’s fantastic. You need to hear it. Feral Harmonic will be released by Saddle Creek on October 20.

MP3 :: Little Bird Courage
(from Feral Harmonic. Pre-order here)

Brook Pridemore - A Brighter Light

A Brighter Light is the 5th release from Michigan-by-way-of-Brooklyn singer-songwriter Brook Pridemore. The new album (released on Crafty Records) once again finds him bashing out his fiery, invective brand of punk/folk/agit-pop at a variety of deserving sources, but it’s also his most personal work to date. Recalling at times The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle or anti-folk legend Ed Hamell, Pridemore sounds, as always, intent on moving your ass and your mind in equal measure. A few of the album’s quieter songs are truly captivating (especially “Endlessly”), but Pridemore’s at his best when his songs show off his punk roots and feature his rapid-fire vocal delivery, as on “Remain Upright” or “The Buckeye State And Russell”. The icing on the cake though for this record are the final 2 songs - “Stockholm St. Syndrome” and “The Year I Get It Right” - which both find Pridemore indulging in a more pop-oriented sound without sacrificing the energy or memorable lyrics (particularly the “I need a girl who fucks like drums, like holds my hand, and I’ll stay right where I am” lines which end the former). Overall there’s not a weak moment on A Brighter Light - it’s a tour de force of a rock & roll record that’s smart, sharp-tongued and fun. As he says himself: “I didn’t come here to proselytize, I came here to bring the noise”. Listen:

MP3 :: The Buckeye State and Russell
MP3 :: Remain Upright
MP3 :: Stockholm St. Syndrome
(from A Brighter Light. Buy here)

[video] Billy Kelly - "People Really Like Milk"

This one’s for the parents out there among you. No, that’s not an actual milk commercial, but tell me it wouldn‘t sell the great white nectar by the gallon if it aired on Nickelodeon or Noggin. Long time PHW fave Earl Pickens shot me an email earlier this week with some info about his latest project - a children‘s album recorded under a silly made up name - Billy Kelly. Now that I think of it, maybe Earl is the made up name. Hmm…anyway, while I‘ve never had a reason to become a fan of the genre, and am actually kind of dreading the inevitable day when my 8 month old twins start asking me to turn off The Replacements and put on The Wiggles or whatever, I had a feeling Earl, er..Billy, would approach the music with the same mix of humor and songcraft that characterizes his primary songwriting outlet (you may recall Earl Pickens & Family just released a country reinterpretation of The Joshua Tree that is really, really good). Thank You For Joining The Happy Club is apparently doing well on the kids radio stations on Sirius, and for good reason - “People Really Like Milk” is catchy, very funny, and may actually be the rare children’s song that won’t annoy the skim milk out of the grown ups. The video was completely hand drawn by Billy. Keep an eye out for a John Fogerty cameo.

Stream :: People Really Like Milk
(from Thank You For Joining the Happy Club. Buy here)

[mp3] Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - "The Sound"

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson has signed with Saddle Creek and will release his sophomore record, Summer of Fear, on October 20. But you can hear it immediately (in 320 kbps!) if you pre-order (CD or 2xLP). Produced by Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio. More to come, for now enjoy the first legally released tune:

MP3 :: The Sound
(from Summer of Fear. Pre-order here)

[video] The Flaming Lips (w/ Karen O) - "I Can Be A Frog"

The Flaming Lips "I Can Be A Frog"

One evening, two semi-risqué music videos for you. The first was about Girls, this one’s really about just 1 girl. The one pretending to be a whole zoo full of animals for about 2 ½ weird/wonderful minutes in the video for “I Can Be A Frog” from The Flaming Lips’ forthcoming double disc set, Embryonic, due October 13. Btw, that’s Karen O on assorted background grunts, roars, squeals and giggles.

Stream :: Convinced Of The Hex / Silver Trembling Hands
(from Embryonic. Pre-order here)

[video/mp3] Girls - "Lust For Life"

I didn’t think a more unimaginative album title would come along this year, but Girls have gone and outdone Wilco and their album-naming nadir. Album officially drops this week from Matador, though between the previously released singles, unbearable hype, and long time leak of the, er, album called album you are probably familiar with at least a few of the songs. So Much Silence had a great write up about Girls that pretty much nails my general feeling - check that out here. Regardless, “Lust For Life” is a skewed, weirdo-pop gem and the obvious first single (it‘s been out there a while. I tacked it onto my February mixtape way back in, you guessed it, February and I was probably late to the game even then). Other than that though I’m just sinking my teeth into the rest of Album tonight for the first time…well, except for “Hellhole Ratrace”. If you haven’t heard that yet

MP3 :: Lust For Life
(from Album. Buy here)

Magnolia Electric Co. release 7" single

You may remember we celebrated “Jason Molina Week” here at PHW last month. You savvy right-clickers of unreleased rarities could have picked up some demos from Magnolia Electric Co., or heard the live North Star Blues Sessions, or even added an entire live radio session to your collection that was recorded over the phone, among several other goodies. It was all a response to the release of Josephine (PHW review), Magnolia Electric Co.’s soulful, country-tinged new album. Today came word that Molina and crew will be releasing a limited 7” single featuring a holdover track from that album. “Rider. Shadow. Wolf.” apparently dabbles in surf rock (hm?) and is available as of 9/22. It comes backed with a demo version of “Josephine” recorded during sessions with Will Johnson of Centro-matic (more on that collab is forthcoming, but it looks like we’re in for a joint LP from those two sometime in November. Woo-hoo). You can pick up “Rider. Shadow. Wolf” right here. Here’s the pair of freebies from Josephine, once again:

MP3 :: Josephine
MP3 :: Little Sad Eyes
(from Josephine. Buy here)

[mp3] Los Campesinos! - "The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future"

Here’s a new one from Los Campesinos!, which was featured this morning on Pitchfork. The song, “The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future”, doesn’t possess the manic indie-rock handbook pilfering energy that oozed from Hold On Now, Stranger or We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed (though perfected on “You! Me! Dancing!” from their 2007 debut EP, Sticking Fingers Into Sockets), instead opting for a nuanced, slow-build arrangement that shows the band are more than one trick campesinos. The forthcoming self-released album will drop sometime in early 2010.

MP3 :: The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future
(from a forthcoming album. Info here, eventually)

J. Tillman - Year In The Kingdom

With the release of Year In The Kingdom J. Tillman has done what few modern recording artists ever still attempt - he’s released 2 full length records in 1 calendar year. Vacilando Territory Blues is barely 9 months old, yet here he is dropping another set of new songs on us that is very nearly as captivating as the first. Vacilando Territory Blues, as I’ve made no secret of, is a true sentimental favorite - I first heard it just days before the birth of my twins back in February and it went on to soundtrack the first few weeks of their lives. It will forever be inextricably linked to the happiest time of my life. Year In The Kingdom sounds a lot like a continuation of that album’s general aesthetic (though there is nothing quite as jarring here as the Crazy Horse-conjuring “New Imperial Grand Blues”). Tillman’s sparse, beautiful songs are just as harrowing as ever, yet more often on Year In The Kingdom receive subtle flourishes (keyboards, dulcimer, etc.) to give them just that little something extra. If you’re a fan of hushed, elegant folk music and you’ve to this point missed out on Tillman’s solo work (he’s now the drummer in Fleet Foxes) be sure to check this out - his songs are truly diamonds in the rough.

MP3 :: Earthly Bodies
Stream :: Crosswinds / Howling Light
(from Year In The Kingdom. Buy here)

MP3 :: James Blues
MP3 :: Steel On Steel
(from Vacilando Territory Blues. Buy here)

[video] Lucero - "Darken My Door"

Darken My Door from Lucero on Vimeo.

The fact that Lucero has signed with a major label for the release of their 6th album, while surely a bit of a surprise, shouldn’t really come as a total shocker to those who have paid attention over the years. Lucero has always been best when dishing out the kind of everyman-anthems that tug at the old heartstrings without sacrificing any of the edge that automatically comes with a voice as gruff as songwriter/vocalist Ben Nichols. Their last album, Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers, even veered towards Bruce Springsteen-territory on the fantastic single “I Can Get You Out Of Here Tonight”. Like The Boss, Lucero’s blue collar songs offer a sense of community for folks ready to get a couple of pitchers and shout along with the jukebox. 1372 Overton Park, the new album being released by Universal Republic, does not go for a slicker sound so much as further the band’s sonic palette with more keys and horns to go along with their ferocious brand of rock & roll. The band has also commissioned fan-made videos for each of the album’s 12 songs - this one for “Darken My Door” - which tells the story of a down-on-his-luck puppet whose lost the girl. Wait for the scene where our hero pees off the bridge…classic.

Stream :: The Devil And Maggie Chascarillo
(from 1372 Overton Park)

[video] The Wooden Sky - "Something Hiding For Us In The Night"

Wooden Sky @ Sonic Boom from NOW Magazine on Vimeo.

Far removed from nonsense such as Kanye West’s calculated bad behavior (yes, Beyonce should have won. No need to be a buttplug about it) is the humble, down-to-Earth folk rock of Toronto’s The Wooden Sky, who have already slipped out a really excellent album this year by the name of If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone (PHW review). Here’s the band performing one of the its highlights, “Something Hiding For Us In The Night”, at a recent in-store.

MP3 :: Something Hiding For Us In The Night
MP3 :: (Bit Part)
(from If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone. Info here)

[video] A.A. Bondy live from Backstage Sessions

Backstage Sessions : AA Bondy - The Mightiest of Guns from Hard to Find a Friend on Vimeo.

Backstage Sessions : AA Bondy - Black Rain, Black Rain from Hard to Find a Friend on Vimeo.

Just came across these 2 live videos of A.A. Bondy recorded last summer by Hard To Find A Friend for their Backstage Sessions (via Burn the Bowery). “Mightiest of Guns” kicks off Bondy’s excellent recently released When The Devil’s Loose (PHW review) and is one of that album’s standout tracks, while “Black Rain, Black Rain” is one of my personal faves from American Hearts. Enjoy.

MP3 :: When The Devil’s Loose
MP3 :: I Can See The Pines Are Dancing
(from When The Devil’s Loose. Buy here)

MP3 :: There’s A Reason
(from American Hearts. Buy here)

Simon Joyner - Out Into The Snow

Since releasing his debut way back in 1993, Simon Joyner has very quietly built quite an impressive canon that features 11 full-length albums and a smattering of EPs and singles recorded for a wide variety of labels. That would be an impressive career output for any recording artist, let alone someone who is, at this point, relatively unknown outside of a few circles. But despite such a generous back catalog the Omaha, NE native has long flown under the radar, no doubt perpetuated by his aversion to both touring and interviews. If you’ve been paying attention to PHW over the past few months than you should be aware that Joyner is releasing album #12 this week - his Team Love debut, Out Into The Snow. I’ve been talking about Out Into The Snow for a while now and have listened to it so much since June that the fact that it’s just now being officially released is, for me, hard to believe. The record has such a dusty, lived-in quality that it already sounds like an old favorite of mine despite its relative youth. Needless to say, it has asserted itself as one of my favorite albums of 2009.

Out Into The Snow is an assured collection of acoustic guitar and piano-driven folk songs that, on the surface, are not dissimilar to some of Joyner’s obvious inspirations - Townes Van Zandt and Tonight’s The Night/On The Beach-era Neil Young. Joyner’s songwriting is continually characterized by the imagistic over the literal - his songs and stories are often non-linear journeys in which words are used like paints on an impressionistic canvas, creating worlds that blur the line between lucid ideas and dream-like narratives. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the album-opening nautical outlaw-tale “The Drunken Boat”. At 9 ½ minutes the song offers a winding, hallucinatory narrative of a man, who may or may not be imagining his sordid past, and his voyage home by way of the sea. Both its length, Joyner’s weary, waterlogged vocals, and the disconnectedness between several of its sections call to mind Lou Reed’s “Street Hassle”, especially when, at the 6-minute mark, everything drops out save Joyner’s voice and a haunting violin courtesy of Laraine Kaizer. In and of itself it’s a stunning song, as well as a brave way to kick off an album full of characters searching for new beginnings. Thankfully the other songs don’t get trapped under the rather intimidating shadow it casts. Other highlights, such as “The Arsonist”, “Ambulances”, and the stark title track (aided by beautiful harmonies from Sarah Gleason), are equally as ambitious and stirring.

At this point I‘ve only just started to scratch the surface of Joyner‘s back catalog - both The Skeleton Blues and Lost With The Lights On, released in 2006 and 2004 respectively, by Jagjaguwar, are available at eMusic and are well worth checking out. But other than those 2 and the free retrospective Team Love released a few weeks ago I‘m still playing catch up. I do feel pretty comfortable saying though that Out Into The Snow is the full blossoming of Joyner’s persistent, undeniable talent. “Roll On”, the album’s most rousing track, closes Out Into The Snow like a blazing, barroom outtake from the Stones' classic Sticky Fingers. It’s the album’s most immediate song and a fine place to get your feet wet, but is far from the only treasure in store. From start to finish Out Into The Snow possesses a quiet grace that rewards repeat listens. With this intricate, challenging, and ultimately beautiful song cycle Joyner should expect to start receiving the attention that is long, long overdue.

MP3 :: Out Into The Snow
MP3 :: Roll On
(from Out Into The Snow. Buy here)

[video] Kurt Vile recorded live by Yours Truly

VILLLLLLLE from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

More from Kurt Vile today - the kind folks over at Yours Truly sent along this live footage recorded at a recent San Francisco house party. It features two more songs from his upcoming Matador debut, Childish Prodigy. So that makes 4 songs from the album (again, due out 10/6) including the 2 that are available as free downloads below that have been previously featured here at PHW. Though these 2 new songs featured above (“He’s Alright” and “Breathin’ Out”) sound promising (I‘m sure we can expect full band arrangements on record), I like this video more for the visuals, which do a nice job of capturing not only the artist and the music but the environment and mood of the show as well.

MP3 :: Overnight Religion
MP3 :: Hunchback
(from Childish Prodigy. Pre-order here, bonus 7”, hell yeah)

[mp3] Kurt Vile - "Hunchback"

“Overnight Religion” was a fine first taste of the folkier (albeit plenty weird and murky) side of Kurt Vile’s upcoming Matador debut, Childish Prodigy. Here’s the lurching, stoner rock side to the War On Drugs sideman’s repertoire. Sounds like someone’s been hanging out at the Fun House.

MP3 :: Hunchback
MP3 :: Overnight Religion
(from Childish Prodigy. Pre-order here and get a bonus 7”)

[video] Page France - "Chariot"

A few weeks ago I did a sort of half-assed addendum to P4K’s Top 500 Songs of the Decade list wherein I mentioned a bunch of my personal favorites that did not make theirs. One song that I forgot (somehow, because it had a huge part on the playlist I made for my wedding last September) is “Chariot” from the now-defunct Page France’s (and current Cotton Jones Basket Ride) excellent 2006 album Hello, Dear Wind. The version above is an extra-urgent take (with bonus Christianity!) recorded live on NYE 06/07 that only makes me love it more. Damn I wish they would come yell about snakes and beasts and happy endings in my basement. Here’s where you can download a more subdued version recorded for Daytrotter way back when:

MP3 :: Chariot (live on Daytrotter)
(Original version from Hello, Dear Wind. Buy here)

[mp3] Califone - "Funeral Singers"

As I mentioned a few weeks back, Califone has a new album coming out October 6. All My Friends Are Funeral Singers is the first new material from the Chicago art-folk contingent since 2006’s splendid Roots & Crowns, and the 14-song set doubles as a sort-of film soundtrack to band leader Tim Rutili's directorial debut of the same name. Stereogum premiered the abbreviated title track, “Funeral Singers”, yesterday morning. It features a familiar bed of rickety, fret-buzzing acoustic guitars and Rutili’s creaky vocals over what sounds like might be, as the song progresses, dialogue from the film. Fans of the band will not be disappointed (by the way, click here for a smattering of band-approved mp3s from throughout their career if you are unfamilair - well worth your time) . Pre-orders come with a download code that can be redeemed starting September 8th and includes the 15-minute, vinyl-only bonus track “Lunar H”. Hear here:

MP3 :: Funeral Singers
(from All My Friends Are Funeral Singers. Pre-order here)

Team Love releases FREE Simon Joyner retrospective

The release of Simon Joyner’s 12th studio album, Out Into The Snow, is just around the corner (9/15), so to prep the general public Joyner himself has put together a free career spanning retrospective covering his early material. The 9 song set is available over at the Team Love Library right now. Also available digitally over at Team Love are re-releases of a bunch of his hard to find early records, many of which have been out of print or were originally released on limited edition vinyl. Since first hearing Out Into The Snow a few months back I’ve been digging through Joyner’s back catalog and I have no idea why he’s been so under the radar for so long - the guy really writes great songs and has been doing it since I was in high school (the early 90s). Perhaps a little on the bleak/sparse/forlorn side for some, but truly excellent stuff. Out Into The Snow is one of my favorites of the year so far. Listen:

MP3 :: Out Into The Snow
MP3 :: Roll On
(from Out Into The Snow. Pre-order here)

MP3 :: Javelin
(from The Cowardly Traveler Pays His Toll. Buy here)

[video] Phosphorescent - "The Last Thing I Needed (First Thing This Morning)"

Phosphorescent live on KEXP at The Cutting Room Studios NYC from KEXP RADIO on Vimeo.

Here’s a few live songs from Phosphorescent recorded for KEXP. The first is an exquisite take on Willie Nelson‘s “The Last Thing I Needed (First Thing This Morning)”, which also appears on the tribute album To Willie from earlier this year. The second is a sinister version of “At Death, A Proclamation” from 2007’s excellent (and one of that year’s best) Pride. Catch Phosphorescent on tour:

09/05/09 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/02/09 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
10/04/09 St. Louis, MO @ Farm Aid, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
10/05/09 Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone Cafe
10/07/09 Nashville, TN @ Exit In
10/08/09 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree Cafe
10/09/09 Atlanta, GA @ The Ear
l10/11/09 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 5
0610/12/09 Charlotteville, VA @ IS Venue
10/13/09 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
10/14/09 Baltimore, MD @ The Ottobar
10/15/09 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
10/16/09 Providence, RI @ Providence Black Repetory Theater

MP3 :: A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise
Video :: At Death, A Proclamation
(from Pride. Buy here)