Neo Boys: Sooner or Later
In Portland, OR, in 1978, a radical form of artistic expression some refer to as ?punk? or ?new wave? was beginning to take shape, and at the heart of this legendary movement was the powerful all-girl punk group the Neo Boys. Though they were an active band for just five years (1978-82), teenage sisters Kt (bass) and Kim Kincaid (vocals), Pat Baum (drums) and guitarists Jennifer Labianco and Megan Hengtes forged a place for women in the growing punk rock scene, and redefined gender roles in the 80?s movement of rock and roll. They regularly shared bills with The Wipers, opened for Nico, and played their first show with Television. Calvin Johnson has been working with the band members to track down the missing tapes of their recordings through a rabbit hole of Northwest basements and closets, and after twenty years of effort, the result is Sooner or Later (KLP247). A comprehensive double LP collection of Neo Boys recordings from 1977-1982, including the long out-of-print 1980 7? EP (released on Greg Sage's Trap Records), and 1982 self-released EP Crumbling Myths. Sooner or Later also contains recordings, early demos and live sessions that have never before been available to the public.
Beat Happening: Jamboree
The second Beat Happening album: it rocks killer. It was produced in Ellensburg, Wa. at Albright Productions by Steve Fisk. It was co-produced by Mark Lanegan and Gary Lee Conners of the Screaming Trees. Gary Lee Conners also plays guitar on the song “Midnight A’ Go-Go”. Hailed by many as one of the founding releases of the Crash-Pop genre. Nail it to your turntable and arch your back to the primitive beat.
Jeremy Jay: Sentimental Expressway b/w Later That Night
Lovers Without Borders: Detective and Eddy b/w The Second Most Beautiful Girl In The World and My Harem Shall All Have Hashbrowns
The idea for Lovers Without Borders started at the wedding of LAKE co-founders Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson, a romantically appropriate beginning. Karl Blau was singing and playing sax in the wedding cover-band, and Alex Parrish was taken with the sight of Karl just holding a sax on stage. "It would be so cool to build a band around that image," he thought to himself. Karl Blau, already a prolific and vetted K artist, was totally on board. With the addition of Jessica Bonin and her baby-drum kit, Lovers Without Borders was born. Their much anticipated entry into the International Pop Underground series of 45 rpm 7? singles, ?Detective? (IPU142) will see its release on October 1st, 2013.
LAKE: The World is Real
LAKE is storied in collaboration, sonic adventure and an allegiance to exploring the limits of crafting pop songs. They have toured, recorded and allied with some of the most pioneering figures in contemporary independent music: R. Stevie Moore, Karl Blau, and Phil Elverum's Mt. Eerie, to name a few. The World Is Real (KLP246) is LAKE's fourth album for K and fifth overall, (excluding a bevvy of beautiful, more casually released underground cassettes and Eps), a collection of songs adorned with meticulous coloring and both analog and digital orchestration. The songwriting partnership of Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson is the locus of LAKE's creative engine, but members and long time friends Andrew Dorsett, Markly Morrison, and Lindsay Schief are just as represented on The World Is Real. LAKE channels a deeply articulated feeling of discontent and loss on this record, but balances them in tandem with the pop music joys they have so deftly honed for many years. As a lake reveals only is smooth, glossy surface to the world, so does LAKE hold its own, stirring universe beneath its pop exterior.
Jeremy Jay: Covered In Ivy b/w Situations Said
Kendl Winter and the Summer Gold: It Can Be Done!
It Can Be Done! (KLP248) is an album of new beginnings. The past year has seen Kendl Winter leave the successful bluegrass group The Blackberry Bushes to tour the country as a solo act, walking her banjo into dark bars, smoky music halls and packed amphitheaters night after night. It?s also full of intimacy. With a voice that is marvelously unique and bold, and songs that are both classically poetic and rooted deep in her own experience, Kendl draws upon an old-time Americana and bluegrass bent that brings to mind the haunting vocal work of Karen Dalton and Gillian Welch. Her banjo work on the album is striking, showcasing a kind of expertise that comes from years of companionship with a beloved instrument. It Can Be Done! [KLP248] is Kendl?s third release on K, the follow up to her beautiful 2012 landmark The Mechanics of Hovering Flight (KLP238). Recorded by Calvin Johnson at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, WA, on It Can Be Done! Kendl is backed by The Summer Gold, Austin Cooper, Joe Capoccia and Derek Johnson. Kendl Winter is teaming up with Red Ants Pants this summer, playing their music festival with Merle Haggard, Greg Brown and friends.
Ashley Eriksson: Colours
Ashley Eriksson (darling to many for her work with LAKE) has achieved a status few artists ever know: her song "Island Song" can be hummed by almost any teenager in the United States (a surprising discovery she made while teaching Portland's Rock Camp for Girls last summer). Used as the closing theme for Cartoon Network's cult sensation Adventure Time, "Island Song" has over a million views on Youtube and has generated dozens of cover videos, making Ashley Eriksson the equivalent of a "household name" to the youth of America. Now Ashley Eriksson has recorded Colours [KLP245], her inspired solo debut to be released on K this spring, and a collection of piano pieces, ballads and songs for her fans around the world.
Eprhyme: Lost Tapes and Found Sounds (2006-2012)
Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa: Open the Crown
You may have experienced Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa as an unexpected live force, pushing up through the earth like daffodils in late winter; or maybe you’re familiar with their previous exploits in the studio, Malaikat dan Singa [KLP215] and Suara Naga [KLP226], which burn clean with fragrant traumas. Open the Crown is similarly passion-filled, with new vistas (channeled hallucinations) exploring English (previously only the Indonesian language was employed) as their stomping ground to expand parallel themes anew. Open the Crown conveys tendrils of raw energy emanating from the head ? dream visions translated directly to audio outrage. Heavy. And sexy. To be expected from Arrington de Dionyso and his molten collection of Malaikat dan Singa who manipulate the “form’d and the formless” to create from within this broken system.
The Shivas: Whiteout!
The Shivas are friends and sweethearts who grew up playing music together, launching Kickstarters for a tour van and then coming of age driving that van around the country. Having played literally hundreds of shows together just after high school, The Shivas? joy and serious performing chops set them apart from other surf-pop bands in the swarming Portland music scene. Like their Burger Record cassette-mates Thee Oh Sees before them, The Shivas? sweet harmonies and sun-baked sound harkens back to the origins of surf rock, and are too compelling for the physical senses to refuse. Jared Molyneux (guitar; vocals), Kristin Leonard (drums, vocals), Eric Shanafelt and Robert Mannering are tight, precise, and deliciously fun Their sweet, reverb-laden LP Whiteout! (KLP243) debuts on K this spring,
Joey Casio: Daybreak b/w Ignite
The Curious Mystery: Be Still b/w Cock of the Rock
Chain and the Gang: In Cool Blood
Chain & the Gang have grown up in the crevices and the cracks of society, not due to the hi-octane nurturing of main-stream media and corporate wizards, but in spite of them. They make their version of call and answer rock'n'roll to fill a yawning chasm in music where fun, personality, charm, and content fit in. With songs like ?Surprise Party,? ?Heavy Breathing? and ?Certain Kinds of Trash? C&tG's punk spirit is as natural as falling off a log, and emits the pure expression of a feral child with finger paint. The Record is called IN COOL BLOOD (KLP240). Dig it?
Chain & the Gang are singers Ian Svenonius, Katie Alice Greer, and other musicians including Brett Lyman (M'Lady's records), Fiona Campbell (Coasting, Vivian Girls), Chris Sutton (Hornet Leg), Madison Farmer (Coasting), and Fred Thomas (Swimsuit, Saturday Looks Good to Me).
The Hive Dwellers: Hewn From The Wilderness
The Hive Dwellers new album is the essence of rock'n'roll moved from the garage to the basement to the rec room and then back out into the wild. Calvin Johnson plays guitar and sings his songs in combination with Gabriel Will on assorted stringed instruments and the contributions of several drummers who have made their mark on The Hive Dwellers.
Tara Jane O'Neil: Sirena b/w Rainbow Connection
Once upon a time Tara Jane ONeil mused that a 7 inch is the perfect venue for pop music, a place for light hearted documentation. After long travels and many collaborations, she banded together a group of friends to record two sweet singles from a vault of songs she?s performed over the years, and she called the album ?Connections? (IPU136). The first solo recordings from ONeil since her critically acclaimed release A Ways Away (KLP207) in 2009, ?Connections? features ?Sirena,? the mesmerizing retelling of the Spanish Folk Tale in which a girl who disobeys her mother is turned into a mermaid, and ?The Rainbow Connection? a tender rendition of the classic children?s song.
Ruby Fray: Pith
Anyone who has seen Emily Beanblossom perform has surely left entirely taken with her. As the lead singer of Christmas, a band whose unique style of psych rock made them a cult marvel, Emily sold out both shows and records, due in no small part to her captivating, cultivated persona and the rare power of her voice. A vagabond for our ilk, she has lived life on the road and in collaborations, drifting down the line until she was called back to her family farm outside Chicago, Ill. Here she paused to lay down the hollowed noise that would become Ruby Fray. Her premier album Pith (KLP239) is a string of musical gems that range from harmonic americana and folk to shadowy psychedelia, united in their spectral chamber arrangements.
Mount Eerie: "Distorted Cymbals" b/w Selector Dub Narcotic "Anglepoise Cymbals"
Phil Elverum, in his many musical incarnations, is a collector of sounds, so his Mount Eerie single ?Distorted Cymbals? (DBN122) fits in perfectly with the Dub Narcotic Disco Plate catalogue. Recorded with Calvin Johnson (Selector Dub Narcotics) in the Dub Narcotic studio, this collectable 7? has been called one of Phil?s more cogent projects by Calvin, and is a wonderful collaboration between two musical savants.
Kendl Winter: The Mechanics of Hovering Flight
Growing out of her previous release, Apple Core, some songs on The Mechanics of Hovering Flight are folk. Some are bluegrass. Some smack a bit more of country, with twangy guitar and foot-stomping rhythm, but somehow Kendl has created an album that is one moving piece, that tells a story between the liner notes. Perhaps it is her voice. Unwavering, at times haunting, Kendl?s song reminds one of the legendary Lucinda Williams. And perhaps it is her dedication to writing the perfect song that serves her so well?to write a song that plays to the seasons, to the harvest, and speaks the truth about life. About love. About the love of a singer and her banjo.
The Maxines: ?Drug Store?, ?Ghost In The Cove? b/w ?(Gotta Talk About My) Heartbeat?, ?Hang Around?
Garage rock/Fuzz Pop. Girl-group heart and surfer-boy swagger. Would that every rock duo could be as coolly balanced as The Maxines. Two former Texans, guitarist Matt Murillo & drummer Kelly Norman rock out, sing together and make the coolest music ever on their new 7? LP, Drugstore (IPU140), out on K this January. Totally accessible and surprisingly PG-13, Drugstore is the kind of album you want to blast in the parking lot after school lets out, or bump while cruisin' the strip in your dad's T-Bird. They make garage rock as it was always meant to be made?fresh, rebellious and effortlessly fun.
Lake: “Gravel” b/w Selector Dub Narcotic “Re-Grade”
The second album LAKE recorded for K, Let’s Build a Roof [KLP213], included a song by drummer/multi-instrumentalist Lindsay Schief many consider one of its highlights, “Gravel”. When the band returned from their U.S. tour following the release of Let’s Build a Roof “Gravel” had a new fluid soulful feel to it that struck resident Dub Narcotic Studio producer Selector Dub Narcotic (aka Calvin Johnson) as a ripe candidate for the Dub Narcotic Disco Plate series of 7” 45 rpm phonograph records. He approached the band about the idea and they agreed to give it a try. The revamped “Gravel” was recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio, comprising the A side of this release. Flip it over and hear the Selector Dub Narcotic version, “Re-Grade”, complete with a new melodica infused melody.
Tender Forever: Where Are We From
There is protectiveness in the fist that holds a bag of wolf teeth. These incisors are each of the songs held inside Tender Forever’s fourth EP. To spend time with this magic while the first of the fall leaves suicide bomb your bare feet, and the cicadas are strangely silent, is like feeling the phantom sting of your own baby wolf fangs where they once bit into your most vulnerable parts.
The Hive Dwellers: Lynch the Swan b/w Selector Dub Narcotic - Dub The Swan
The Hive Dwellers are a small grouping of Pacific Northwest natives, led by the large sound of one Calvin Johnson. On their latest musical effort, [DBN126] ? ?Lynch the Swan? b/w Selector Dub Narcotic ? ?Dub the Swan? ? Johnson and his alternating collection of collaborators fuse baritone vocals with melodica for an awkwardly peppy groove sensation.
The Pine Hill Haints: Tales of Crime (Part 1)? b/w ?Tales of Crime (Part 2)?
?Tales of Crime (Part 1)? b/w ?Tales of Crime (Part 2)? is the Pine Hill Haints? first 7? released by K. ?Tales of Crime (Part 1)? attempts to express the dirty south, the home of the blues, the ancient father to son craft of whiskey and aging gardening in the mountains, and a cynical history, smashed and destroyed by the modern era of green star capitalism . . .