Mirah: Changing Light
On her fifth solo album, Mirah breaks it down and builds it back up again with the street smarts that only years behind the wheel of love can inspire. Ready with the maps and driven to the rhythms on the radio dial, Changing Light's ten songs carry us from heartbreak to wholeness and all the places in between.
The Hive Dwellers: Moanin'
On their second album the Hive Dwellers make with a low, wailing expression of sorrow (or suffering). Moanin' [KLP249] is a collection of field recordings made at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, Washington. It's a noisy pop runaway freight train that stirs the blues soul rockin' of their debut album Hewn from the Wilderness [KLP241] to a new beat music recipe. The Hive Dwellers' Calvin, Gabriel and Evan have toured across the United States and left a wake of frug and shimmy shines that won't be forgotten any time soon. You beat the tambourine to "Streets of Olympia Town" in Knoxville; stomped the floorboards to "Montgomery Hammer" in Buffalo; knocked a heady bongo to "Baby Be Mine" in Oakland. C'mon, join in Moanin' for a while.
Halo Benders: God Don't Make No Junk (Reissue)
Originally released in 1994 The Halo Benders - God Don't Make No Junk (KLP029) is made available again on vinyl.
Out of the basement rock n' rule that is Dub Narcotic Studio comes the angel noise from the comet's tail. Doug Martsch (Built To Spill, Treepeople visted Olympia from his home in Boise, Idaho, bringing a guitar and other battered ideas. Calvin Johnson sang and played along. Other Boisians in exile like Ralf Youtz (ex Built to Spill, Sone) and Wayne Flower (Treepeople, Violent Green) contributed to the melee. Steve Fisk played some keyboards through ancient amplifers and helped sort out the whole mess at the mixing console. This is interstellar punk/pop overdrive. Bending brainwaves and calling it art. Knocking icicles down, melting angels all over town. Heaven sent with halo bent."...rompingly funky bloke-indie stu with a certain irresistible elasticity." - Time Out
" ...an utterly disarming 33-minute mix of basement jamming, attic inspirations, and rec room sound" - The Stranger
The Shivas: You Make Me Wanna Die b/w Whiteout and So Far Out of Control
The Shivas are Portland's premier surf-rockers and back-ealley dance party rollers, lovers of '60s pop and psychedelia, but players of something modern and mischievous. "You Make Me Wanna Die" makes you feel like you're watching hte kids do the monkey on The Corny Collins Show, hair up in beehives and arms goin' wild. It's a song of love gone way too good or way too bad, but either way you spin it, they got passion. Flip it over for "Whiteout", the ttitle track from their last LP (KLP243) that got left on the cutting room floor but remains the most infectious surf riff you'll hear this decade, featuring a cameo by Calvin Johnson at the 15 second mark. Closer, "So Far Out of Control" sees Jared Molyneux going solo in Dub Narcotic Studios and recording everything himself onto a reel to reel eight track. It's catchier than the flu, but feels way better.
Beat Happening: Black Candy
Hey, Gravedigger. Welcome to Black Candy, the fourth Beat Happening album. Bret, Heather, and Calvin explore the more sinister aspects of life, with an eye towards the relief that can be found in its simpler pleasures. “Melancholy” is a word that has been used to describe this approach, though Black Candy does include many optimistic moments. If you like it black, here’s a blast of playhouse on fire, pajama party and haunted shadow to propel your day. Included on here is the original version of “Cast a Shadow”, covered by Yo La Tengo and Adam Green. Black Candy has been out of print on vinyl for near on a decade, and is being reissued now by K.
Girl Trouble: Hit It Or Quit It
This reissue of Girl Trouble's 1988 debut album, Hit It Or Quit It [KLP229], includes eleven original songs, one Northwest classic ("Steppin' Out" by Paul Revere & The Raiders), and two bonus tracks. To keep the energy level up and the over-production level down, these songs were recorded "live" (using the band's plywood speaker cabinets and a drum set purchased for $70 from the Sears surplus store) with only an occasional added guitar or vocal track. With the minimal pounding of Bon's drums, the steady cool of Dale on bass, the buzzsaw scream from Kahuna's Ouija guitar, and the rabid rock 'n' roll stylings of K.P. Kendall, Girl Trouble continues playing throughout the Northwest, 30-plus years on.
Jeremy Jay: Abandoned Apartments
Jeremy Jay's latest, Abandoned Apartments, feels lived in, familiar, but filled with creaking shadows that go deep into the unknown. A product of several years spent in self-inflicted isolation and at various self-produced recording sessions, it is studied and wiser, culling its synthesizer tones from late-80s goth pop and touching on something darker than anything else Jay's ever made.
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.