UP AGAINST THE WALL
As was once so firmly-yet-sweetly intoned (and for so much sweet monetary benefit (we hope!!)), the world is a ghetto - and as one of our great song-and-dance men added in the not-too-very-recent-past, beyond here lies nothing. Now, if you're not too bummed (or fuck, even if you are), we'd like to sprinkle the old adage, ashes to ashes and dust to dust, over the top of our introductory philo-sundae, just to set the tone nice and clear. There. Is the taste coming through? Basically, gang, it's this: our daze here is limited, from cradle to gravy, and there simply isn't any time to fuck around. Any more time, that is - cause aw man, we got fucked up over the last "several" weekends! And "a few" of the weekdays in between. In fact, just consider us as waking up from a long summer's nap. Can we blame the present on the past? That might get us out the tight spot we're in here - now that our figurative feet have come off of our denotative desk, we've got too much today piled up around here to fit into the tight confines of our now! And in the process, we got some of our yesterday in our today. Turns out it's a taste sensation, but who has the time, right? Cradle to ashes, and that?
...OK, you're right - whatever - we've got records to sell, lots of them and not much time, that's all we were trying to say up there. Lots of records to sell and not enuf time to talk about 'em! We started on this all-encompassing newsletter in July. And then everything went black...now it's October, and a wealth of inSANE new music has pulled out of our gates in the interim, bound for parts unknown. Well, we know at least a few locations that the records from OM, Laetitia Sadier, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Six Organs of Admittance, Carol Kleyn, Sic Alps, Rangda, Sun Araw and Ty Segall lodged - places in your heart, we're guessing? Or your equally love-and-hating mind? Friends, each one of these records is like a book unto itself - so if you've got a minute this week, we're gonna lay it all on you, day after madre-putzin' day, shuffling up the months using time travel style, where the future meets the past and DESTROYS THE POTENTIAL IN EVERYTHING! This means we're starting today and going backwards - or sideways - or perhaps we'll start last month and go in two directions at once...but you know, we won't get anywhere without that first step that launches a thousand other feet - so forward, and we figure it out as we go, yeah? Through this door right here and...
It's today! At last! And today is a day that a lot of you (us) rock and roll kids have been simmering rapidly for. It's the day we've deliver Twins! And while these little matching babies are sweet and all, there's something different. Their tattoos don't match. One says "LOVE" and the other one says "FUZZ" - now we don't know which one is all we need! Ty's fucking with our brain again. You know, the last we heard from Ty Segall...well, we never really STOPPED hearing from Ty Segall, actually. He just put out a single a few weeks back after spending all summer touring with the Ty Segall Band in support of their stompingly back-in-black classic Slaughterhouse, and all the while that was happening, we were still combing through Hair sales, his synapse-scrambling Ty collalbum with White Fence, which came out back in May when the garage-cleaning compilation called Singles 2007-2010 was still beating brains out all around the world. And before that - well, it was quiet before that. Kind of. I mean, there was Goodbye Bread last year. And that's what Twins is really following up, not all the rest of this (glorious) noise. And who knows, maybe Twins is actually part of a trilogy that started with Melted. If you'll pardon our French, there are a lot of thematic strands that lead from one record to the other and then the other, but of course we're not gonna discuss all that until you've heard it, right? The thing that We The Label are so thrilled it just makes us wet our charcoal-grey suits about is, if you play Ty's last three records back-to-back, they not only have continuity, but they also track a sound completely on the move! In this fashion, Twins seems clearly distinct from those former hits, and cut completely and cohesively of it's own cloth - and that's the way we fancy it, keep 'em guessing and keep 'em moving. Listening to Twins, there's no way to stop moving, really - the pictures keep shifting and the beats realign and before you know it, you're on your feet again, because your time and Ty's belong together it seems - through the hell and vale of the myriad trips that go down on Twins, you see it all, in nifty little motivic snapshots, each of which brings you up and moves you forward and leaves you with the memory of a metallic melody while telling a story at the same time. It's two much! If you didn't already consider this, twice can be nice. Twins leads you down both garden paths at once.
T.T.T. (TYSHIRTS TIMES TWO)'
PS, nothing says Twins like two Ty tees - check 'em out here! The first one is Goodbye Bread style, back in stock...and naturally, a two-sided type for Twins. These come in all sizes that range from XS to XL, without anything wacky like XLM in there, surprisingly enough. And like albums, cassettes are another way of communicating the two sides to every story. We got Twins cassettes too! So rush off to the store and see what you can see, buy the buy, etc etc.
ACCELERATION OF THE SPECIES
Speaking of twice! We are the world, and we had our first chance for telescoped cultural advancement back in 1997. Royal Trux were returned from the military industrial complex, decked out like they'd hit Fort Knox, reenergized and bearing their most electric sounds yet in the form of Accelerator. From the group that produced the industrial bubble-gum opus Twin Infinitives, this was really saying something! Times had changed and the band was ready as always to not only change but to up the ante on the times. On 1993's Cats and Dogs, they'd draped the standard grungy thift-store purchase of the day in bluesy tones, shaking hands and bones at the crossroads, doing the voodoo that would allow the circle to once again remain unbroken from WC Handy to Kid Cobain. But having done so, they pulled up stakes and left the hallowed underground in their golden dust, determined to twist minds on a major level at Virgin Records (remember them?). The records they made there were superb and chronically underrated. Removed from the petty PC set-tos of that era, they seem utterly without fault; rock and roll records of an almost divine inspiration, rhythmic, melodic and jarring, their subversions intact and to the fore. SO, the Virgin deal called for a buy-out on the third record if the suits there didn't dig it, and the plan was, they wouldn't; make sure and rough mix it so they don't, then come and put it out the way it ought to be with a label that'll back it. And there we were, waiting. All in all, it had been a painless couple years, especially as we'd been able to put Neil's sci-fi freakout hip-pocket paperback Victory Chimp onto some of the bravest bookshelves in the land and then follow that with a triple-LP box set (Singles Live Unreleased, fool!) that truly summed up everything that had happened and hadn't quite happened too. SO, here they came back, and the album Accelerator was looking toward the millennium, like a lot of people were back then. Fuck '98 and '99, it's time for a turn of the century. So Royal Trux brought it on early. They took inspiration from the 80s, but you wouldn't really know it from listening - just like they took inspiration from Bluejeans and Moonbeams for Twin Infinitives; in both cases, the root-source of their fascination manifested itself in wholly original ways in the finished product. In the case of Accelerator, the final mix took into account a number of frequencies they found to be popular on the radio at that time, which they then pursued, achieved and surpassed using massive and irregular amounts of compression. It turned out to be a supreme finishing touch for the minimal, riffed-out arrangements and the set of tunes that might be Royal Trux's most wickedly hook-laden ever - verging on parody! Commercial pastiche, even! It offered a sound so out it seemed ridiculous to some of the eggheads around the counter back then - but come today, it's right in the pocket, representative of a stripe of commercial music that exists and is loved by hundreds of thousands - and it only took fifteen years for the world to catch up! At the time,Accelerator was just the tonic, getting what transpired to be the furious final chapter of Royal Trux off at a fantastic clip. And now it's back! Are you ready?
WOO TO YOU TOO
Speaking of reissues! We're not just back at you with the forward-singing music of Royal Trux on this fine date, we're also here with something barely-remembered from 1990! To have he album Its Cosy Inside by Woo brought to our attention by the weirdos at Yoga has been odd for us, since we recall scouring the bins back in those days and being fond of Independent Project, the label that originally released this record! We must have been high! (no comment - ed.) Ore maybe we were just distracted trying to keep the "Demolition Plot J-9" 7" in print. Whatever, the reason, who cares? This is the beauty of recorded music and the glory of the object - twenty-two years after the release of this record, we're talking about it again. And it sounds very in tune with today's vogue for kraut-inflected, post new-wave ambient music. Woo's muse is realized on It's Cosy Inside via guitars, electronic percussion, clarinet, bass, treatments, voices and violin. Mark and Clive Ives seemed to enjoy working in miniature - there are sixteen pieces on the album, varied in nature, but all of which ripple rhythmically through the speakers. Sometimes the beat is a pulse, sometimes it has a crisp accent. The classic flavors of exotica are filtered and modulated into something newer in the process, something that predicts the moves of Stereolab and High Llamas, but something that sits very comfortably next to Blues Control as well! So, also new on October 9th: something borrowed, something Woo. It's Cosy Inside - get in there!
Also Woo-related on this day is a 7" single that serves as an appeteaser for anyone who is turned on by the description of It's Cosy Inside but isn't sure they want to buy it and they don't know how to pluck it like an apple from the ripe young internet - a split single with a Woo song that didn't make it onto the album and a Nite Jewel piece that doffs her eponymously-encrusted cap in the direction of the Woo sound. Buy that and make up your mind about the album later! Or buy both and ask your local shopkeep for a discount. Woo, we'd like to be there when that deal goes down.
So there! That's what's new! Ty Segall! Royal Trux! Woo + Nite Jewel! Woo! Hoo!
FUCK THIS CITY!
Actually – fuck the whole country! Yeah, you heard us right – we’re proud to be Americans and all, but still we say, fuck America. Screw the Big Lie of 2012. Talk about ashes - here we sit in the ashes of our great capitalist empire, in the midst of an increasingly meaningless election season, like beast that doesn't know it's heart has been pull't out and legs kicking still, still at war with itself and out of step with the world. The rich leading the rich and using the poor as an excuse, a shield, a false purpose, speaking the high-falutin' soapbox patter while operating as pusher to wannabe fiefdoms everywhere, still fanning the flames of the riot going on in the middle east. It's a drag, people. You heard it here first.
The good news is that lotz of Drag City actz are getting out and going on tour in old Europe, where fans can see them in a different political light - not to mention more picturesque surroundings! Yay! Where else for a poor disaffected American rock band to go? All the groups who are giving touring the good old post-collegiate try are gonna be there this fall - CAVE, Rangda, Dope Body, Ty Segall and Six Organs of Admittance.. Plus EU nationals like Laetitia Sadier, Alasdair Roberts and OZ's own Dirty Three can come and play here as rubberneckers, without getting stuck in our ever-sinking quagmire. This helps them to put out the quality new releases that we know and you know Silencio and Toward the Low Sun (respectively) to be.
Shit, did you think this section was a gonna be self-criticizing screed against the DC's "over-bearing" corporate policies? Is that why you would say Fuck this City? Think again, you socialist fucks! It's not a crime to love music, but it's not a sale to give it away. You don't just shit away where you eat - that's something we all have to hang on to. For the next few years anyway. In the meantime, we're still glad to be able to back bands as they slowly work their way into the worldwide consciousness. They need us. We need them. You need them too. And they need you. So you need us. Hand in hand, now - One world, alright?
Tomorrow - how did we get here (there)? Another chapter from the lost history of Drag City, featuring some of the greatest records released THIS YEAR! Tune in...to the same Drag place. Same Drag time? Well, nobody's perfect, man - and we're not even close. To being done with this newsletter, that is. To be continued...Mañana!