Demo’s, Art Rock, Rabbit Holes, Noblemen and Wasps

Various pieces of news for your consideration:

Fugazi’s First Demo release is now streaming in its entirety ahead of the official release date on 18th November via Dischord Records.

Manchester’s beautiful Central library was reopened earlier this year following a four year period of renovation and to celebrate, The Slow Readers Club played a gig in there, the first band to do so following the building’s refurbishment. The event was recorded and an album ‘Live At Central Library’ will be available as a digital download on December 1st. The Slow Readers Club will be playing XFM’s First Friday at Manchester’s Band on the Wall on December 5th.

Tickets are available here: http://bandonthewall.org/events/4583/

Siskiyou returns with Nervous, a majestic album of carefully constructed art rock built around songwriter and lead singer Colin Huebert’s stacked acoustic guitars and intimate, whispery vocals. Siskiyou’s sound has been previously dubbed a sort of ‘Northern Gothic’, conjuring cold winds and the life-saving warmth of temporary shelters and tiny hearth fires. With Nervous, the band continues to push beyond the crisp lo-fi intimacy of its early work, and has forged its most confident and finely-crafted recording to date, moving fully into auteur and chamber-pop territory with a song cycle that brings to mind the meticulousness of mood and sonics found in recent work by PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Tindersticks. Inflected by an anxious, sussurant restraint, Huebert’s voice is supported by the falsetto backing vocal counterpoint and economical instrumentation of bandmates Erik Arnesen, Peter Carruthers and Shaunn Watt. Fans of the understated and underrated 1990s group Swell may also hear a welcome evocation of that group’s acoustic guitar-driven simplicity.

Irreal, the fifth long player from Chicago’s Disappears, is another trip down the rabbit hole. The album plays out as a dream sequence – hazed dub landscapes give way to the groupʼs most experimental and open music yet. If their last album Era confirmed the fact that Disappears are on their own trip, then Irreal is where it kicks in.  Eternalism, roboethics, identity – the album is a Ballardian mix of imperfect melodies, half thoughts and good ol’ dystopian modernity. It is a masterclass in texture, pace and control. Produced by John Congleton at famed Chicago recording institution Electrical Audio, Irreal sits in the negative space where art rock and post punk collapse onto each other. Irreal is the sound of Disappears reporting back from The Void.

Sir Richard Bishop returns with a brand new album, entitled Tangier Sessions, which Drag City are releasing on 16th February 2015. Tangier Sessions tells the oft-told tale: while traveling abroad, nobleman meets guitar. Guitar is too expensive for nobleman and, outraged, he departs. Nobleman quietly returns several days later for guitar but still can’t bring himself to pay the price. Yet nobleman can’t get guitar out of mind (he’s never heard anything like it) – so nobleman buys guitar, then travels the world with it, enchanted, and makes an album while in Tangier.

(photo credit Uwe Faltermeier)
(photo credit Uwe Faltermeier)

28th November sees the latest release by the ubiquitous German Shepherd Records and their fourth offering by West Coast Sick Line. Comprising six tracks the EP is called Wasp In The Car and features the outstanding track from the Road to Billinge Hill album released earlier in the year. The remaining five tracks include two songs that did not make it onto the Billinge album , the beautiful “Johanna” and the up tempo “Bank Quay Moon”,  together with fan favourite, and as yet unreleased “Girls from Del Monte” and a recent Moonan experimental piece “O Jenasse”. The set is completed with a Space Museum  remix of “Johanna” which adds multiple layers of strings and synths.

Wasp Cover Idea One

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Early Fugazi

In early January 1988 and after only ten shows, Fugazi decided to go into Inner Ear Studio to see what their music sounded like on tape. The sessions only lasted a couple of days, but tour dates and indecision about the tape would delay the final mix for another two months. Though the band was at first pleased with the results, it soon became clear that this tape would remain a demo as new songs were being written and the older songs were evolving and changing shape while the band was out on tour. It was decided that the session would be passed out free as cassette copies, with the band actively encouraging people to share the recording. In the spring, Fugazi went out on its first U.S. tour and a few weeks after returning from the road they went back to Inner Ear to record what would become their debut Dischord release, the self-titled 7-song 12″ EP.The only song from the demo session that was formally released was “In Defense of Humans”, which appeared on the State of the Union compilation in 1989. Now, some 26 years later, Dischord is releasing the entire first demo including the one song (“Turn Off Your Guns”) that wasn’t included on the original cassette.
This release also coincides with the completion of the initial round of uploads to the Fugazi Live Series website. Launched in 2011, the site lists and details all of Fugazi’s 1000+ performances and makes available close to 900 concert recordings that were documented by the band and by the public, as well as countless flyers, ticket stubs, posters, and photographs. After two years of work, all of the recordings in the band’s archive are finally posted.

You can preorder it here  http://www.dischord.com/release/181/first-demo