Hoi' Polloi: Hoi' Polloi
Family Vineyard and Folk Evaluation proudly present the first authorized LP reissue of Richmond, Indiana's fabled Hoi' Polloi. The band’s lone 1972 self-titled album, recorded over spring break at Earlham College by means of "bouncing" between two stereo tape decks, is a fantastic collection of country twangers, breathtaking singer-songwriter material, and bizarre tape cut-ups. With five songwriters in the band, what could have felt like another grab-bag student compilation instead feels like lost tapes of Emitt Rhodes hanging with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young while Faust producer Uwe Nettlebeck makes a guest appearance in the control room.Remastered from the original ¼” tapes, this deluxe vinyl edition comes jam-packed with extras: Extensive liner notes featuring Patrick ?The Lama’ Lundborg’s 2003 conversation with the band (expanded with newly conducted interviews), a digital download of the album featuring the original stereo mix of “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and a wealth of bonus material from the band members' vaults, including rare cuts from Earlham’s annual student-produced “Crucible” LPs and a collection of never-before-heard live recordings. Edition of 500 copies with reproduction of the original xerox insert
Loren Connors: The Departing of a Dream
Vinyl reissue of master guitarist Loren Connors' modern classic The Departing of a Dream — the first of what would become a three volume series based loosely as tribute to Miles Davis' "He Loved Him Madly." This album finds Connors exploring slowly churned darkened hues — each collapsing onto themselves like echoes of Miles' muted trumpet and Connors' signature ghost melodies.
Since the late 1970s, Connors' use of haunted Delta Blues, minimalism and compositional underpinnings have become an avant-garde style synonymous to him. When The Departing of a Dream was released as a CD in 2002 it signaled a dramatic growth in Connors' sound by combining electric, acoustic and bass guitar with the unsettling menage of subtle percussion and ambient hiss. Remastered from the master tape this 180 gram LP extends the closing two part suite "For NY 9/11/01" with a bonus track. Comes with download code.
Apache Dropout: Magnetic Heads
This is not a “new”?Apache Dropout platter, but an archival sidestep into the Fugs n’ fried view of their early beginnings. Before the Indiana trio cemented their unique red-level, distorto proto-punk they focused on a more obliterated bent on traditional forms. Fiddle, distortion and echo drive most of these songs, as sung by Sonny Blood, that tout distrust of banks, ballot uncertainties and magnetic heads. It's a bleaker vision than the recent Bubblegum Graveyard LP on Trouble in MInd, even with the blownout take on Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" and hints of Holy Modal Rounders to Kim Fowley doused throughout these sides.
Culled from the group’s first two self-released cassettes -- Cha Cha in 2008 and Lysergic Choogle: Not for Pigs issued a year later -- the 10 songs are equally formed by their recording in a grain silo and the group's Magnetic South studio as much as the songwriting. Edition of 700 copies, comes with download code and if you can name all the heads on the cover, will give you prize.
Mad Monk & Apache Dropout: My Wild Life
Mad Monk is John Terrill, original member of the late '70s new/no wave Dancing Cigarettes and veteran of many stripped down Hoosier groups since. As an ace singer/songwriter and eternal student of rock ?n’ roll’s high/gulcher culture, he’s kept a criminally low profile snug in the Midwest despite drawing attention from songwriter Bill Fay and other major/minor music heads.
This platter lines up the Monk’s two newest biographical orchestrations -- and a Velvet Underground bootleg favorite -- with the freakbeat backup of Apache Dropout -- fresh off their Trouble In Mind album. In blasted proto-style the Monk takes on his past (“My Wild Life”), drink of choice (“Double Shot of Brandy”) and a tune that bridges Apache Dropout’s boogie and avant-garde notions (“I'm Not a Young Man Anymore”). Comes in full color sleeve with download code in edition of 500 copies. Recorded in mono by John Dawson and Lord Fyre at Magnetic South on analogue equipment.
Apache Dropout: Apache Dropout
Was your ear to the ground in 2011? If so, you heard Apache Dropout — the lysergic boogie trio from Southern Indiana. Their self-titled vinyl LP was named the best “re-scoring of the garage-rock aesthetic in the 21st century” by Mojo and repressed a couple times due to demand. Now, that platter is finally available in an expanded CD version. With mostly guitar/bass/drums Apache Dropout channel soul melodies, primitive rock thump and blasted solos that are soaked in the dimethyl-trip of teenage visions (see songs “Sam Phillips Rising” and “God Bless You Johan Kugelberg” for that) and a few whifs of Tuli Kupferberg. Sonny Alexander is the enigmatic howler/guitarist whose swagger and melted riffs lead the way.Recorded by the band at their own Magnetic South studio on all analogue equipment and mixed down to mono, they’ve used the studio-as instrument to push these 11 songs into highly textured nuggets of punk art that follow in the wave of The 13th Floor Elevators, The Velvets, and Patti Smith Group. A horn section, synth, backup singers and guest producers help round this album into a stoned cold classic of the American rock ?n’ roll underground. Even in 2012, you’re not going to hear anything else like this. Exclusive to this CD version is a nine song live set by the band, featuring an unreleased song.
Chris Forsyth: Dreams
Dreams is a reissue of Chris Forsyth’s second solo album. In 2009 Forsyth pressed up 100 LPs for a European tour and created quite an uproar of approval by the heads who managed to score a copy. Now available again, Dreams rightfully shows Forsyth at the creme of American guitarists who blend masterful skill of country/blues with sometimes violent aggression or mind-bending arrangements. Dreams was recorded and mixed between 2007 and 2009 and catches Forsyth in the studio layering acoustic and electric guitars and organ with contributions from his guests, creating four pieces which are full of the raw power and intuitive delicacy that characterizes his live shows still. Dreams crosses free-wheeling minimalist rock balladry and anarcho-improv surrealism with a fearless approach to beauty in a deeply psychedelic landscape. It features contributions from his Peeesseye bandmates Jaime Fennelly (synth on one track) and Fritz Welch (drums and vocals on another) as well as the soaring trumpet work of Nate Wooley and organ, saxophone, and snare drum overdubs by another longtime collaborator of Forsyth’s in Phantom Limb & Bison, Shawn Edward Hansen. This is Forsyth’s second solo record, preceding Paranoid Cat, which was released on LP?earlier this year on Family Vineyard.
Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi: Live at Hungry Brain
In 2009 Family Vineyard released the first U.S. album by Japanese saxophone legend Akira Sakata in more than 20 years. That critically heraldedrelease, Friendly Pants, was with Sakata’s long running rhythm crew Chikamorachi — drummer Chris Corsano (Paul Flaherty Duo, Bjork, Jandek, etc.) and acoustic bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Grand Ulena, Brise-Glace, etc.). This LP is their follow-up. Recorded during the ’09 Umbrella Music Festival in Chicago, Live at Hungry Brain is an outrageous document by this brawling avant garde trio. Sakata, on alto/clarinet/ vocals, relentlessly pushes Corsano/Gray into the blackout zone where the body drops out and the spirit takes over. On each piece Sakata seemingly levitates higher into a cosmic zone while blasting out gorgeous melodic shapes — even when he sings. Those who have followed Corsano and Gray’s progression through the American rock, noise & free jazz underground will hear this LP as a pinnacle of their talent. It’s an exhilarating, deeply textured and exhausting listen only matched by the outlandish, yet spot-on, cover art by famed Japan illustrator More Rock All Art. Edition of 700 copies.
Akira Sakata & Jim O'Rourke with Chikamorachi: And that's the Story of Jazz...
And that’s the story of jazz? Get it? Well, maybe you had to be there when legendary saxophonist Akira Sakata, guitarist Jim O’Rourke and bombast rhythm crew of percussionist Chris Corsano and double bassist Darin Gray (aka Chikamorachi) jumped in the van for a Japanese tour. This two CD set documents their 2008 jaunt — not the first and far from last — in blistering detail. Shades of Last Exit, Coltrane’s Live in Seattle and even Kousokuya appear here but this quartet has nailed its own unique ?n’ volatile tension and symmetry during its past six years together. Until now, their albums have only been available as Japanese imports. This is also the third U.S. release by Sakata on Family Vineyard in the past three years.Throughout Sakata charges upper registers on alto sax yet still hooks stunning phrases and harmonic themes. O’Rourke’s radical, electric guitar blasts are massive volleys of pure sound. All the while, Gray relentlessly anchors the torrent with subterranean grooves, scrapes and slaps while Corsano lays waste to his kit, pounding polyrhythms and tones. Together passages transform from blinding, uncompromised brutality to zones where Sakta’s sweetened melodies dance slowly alone and O’Rourke, also on harmonica, adds lonesome country blues. Over-the-top at times, but hey, that’s the story of jazz? If you want Grade-A, blood splattered free music, this is it, but you gotta pay for it.
Alan Licht: YMCA
YMCA is guitarist Alan Licht's first solo release since 2003's A New York Minute double CD (on XI), and his first solo vinyl outing since 1994's long out-of-print Sink the Aging Process (on Siltbreeze). Largely recorded at a 2004 concert at a Cambridge Massachusetts YMCA by Keith Fullerton Whitman, YMCA documents Licht's solo guitar set of the time — a three-part structured improvisation that moves from mournful, layered sustained tones that sound more like a reed organ than a guitar, to a gently plucked middle section, to a final firestorm of loop processing that is a tour de force of "the changing same." Inspired by his friends Oren Ambarchi and Tetuzi Akiyama's then-current albums (Triste and Don't Forget To Boogie), Licht proposed YMCA to Idea Records to form a kind of trilogy with those releases. With Idea's subsequent demise, Family Vineyard has stepped in to bring this peak performance out as a special limited edition vinyl release, exactly as the artist originally conceived it. Limited to 500 copies.
Dow Jones & The Industrials: Can't Stand the Midwest
Family Vineyard reissues an obscure and sought after punk/new wave treasure. Dow Jones and the Industrials’ 1981 debut and sole 7-inch EP, originally issued on the Hardly Music label, is immaculately re-mastered from the original tapes and now available on audiophile vinyl. Dow Jones and the Industrials of West Lafayette, Indiana existed from the late 1970s into the early 80s amongst a stylistically matchless state-wide scene that included The Gizmos, Zero Boys and Dancing Cigarettes. This EP -- of which original copies have swapped hands for more than $400 -- contains the often bootlegged and covered anthem “Can’t Stand the Midwest,” along with “Let’s Go Steady” and “Indeterminism.” The four member DJI combined jagged rock ?n’ roll songwriting with emerging electronic instrumentation and smart-ass collegiate humor into a wild new wave sound that won them immediate popularity among Indiana’s punks and co-eds of the day and has remained in the hearts of record collectors these past 30 years. Includes exact reprints of the two different versions of an insert included with the original record. Family Vineyard will be reissuing the complete recordings of Dow Jones & The Industrials later in 2011.
Loren Connors: Red Mars
Loren Connors has long been heralded as one of the country’s most inimitable guitar voices. Like kindred spirit John Fahey, Connors’ legacy began by quietly self-releasing a series of raw and embryonic LPs. Since the late 1970s, Connors’ use of haunted Delta Blues, minimalism and compositional underpinnings have become an avant-garde style synonymous unto him. Along the way, musicians diverse as Chan Marshall, Jim O’Rourke, Darin Gray, Keiji Haino, Jandek, Alan Licht and others have sought Connors as a musical partner on record and stage.
Red Mars is the first CD of new solo music by the New York City guitarist since 2004. Since that time, Connors' unmistakable electric blues style presented on album has changed somewhat — from multilayer tape-recorded pieces to spontaneous live performances. The five pieces here, a suite to the Red Planet, are filled of the cinematic pacing, lyricism and a palette of phantom tones that hoist Connors to a stunning new peak. Portuguese bassist Margarida Garcia joins Connors on the opening journey, introducing a dialogue unique in its ambience as its entwined mystery and melodies. Features cover artwork by Connors.
Chris Forsyth: Paranoid Cat
Paranoid Cat is Philadelphia guitarist Chris Forsyth’s third solo album and the first for Family Vineyard. It is a sprawling, harmonically-charged side-long suite backed by a clutch of compositions merging raw and delicate American roots traditions. After more than a decade trotting the globe and recording with a mess of today’s avant garde greats, plus co-leading the brazenly absurd Peeesseye, Forsyth has arranged a full-band with dummer Mike Pride and members of D. Charles Speer & the Helix, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Peeesseye, and Mountains to accompany his electric six-string vision of interlocking arpeggios and maximalist peaks. The kaleidoscopic arrangements of Paranoid Cat are a leap from the stripped down attack on Forsyth’s hotly acclaimed 2009 Dreams -- to be reissued by Family Vineyard later this year -- with hints of John Fahey's “America,” Richard Lloyd's work with Television, John Lee Hooker, and Van Dyke Parks all being identifiable somewhere in the swirling mix.