Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Black Friday Record Store Day Titles

As some of you know there is a mini-Record Store Day event slated for Friday November 25th (Black Friday). Below is a rough list of the titles available to us for order. I've split them into ones we plan on getting in and the others we haven't ordered. The latter because the titles might not be of interest or the projected sale price seemed a little (or in some cases waaaay too) steep. If there are any items on the list that you hoped to get contact us by either dropping in, or e-mail us at with your request. In some case we might require a small deposit to reserve you requests. Please get these into us by Saturday November 6th to get best results. Thanks.

Titles we are planning on getting in:

Black Keys  - Lonely Boy/Run Right Back  12"EP   $16.98
Davis, Miles - Miles Davis Quartet (10"blue vinyl)  $10.98
Dr. Dog - Control Yourself  7” $7.98
Finn, Craig - Honolulu Blues  7”   $10.98 
Warren  Haynes - River's Gonna Rise  12"EP   $7.98
Iron & Wine  - Morning Becomes Eclectic (LP& bonus CD)  $27.98
Kings of Leon - Holy Roller Novacaine (10")  $19.98
Nirvana - Nevermind: Singles (4x10" box)  $59.98
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Suger Sex Magik (red 2LP)  $41.98
Rolling Stones - No Spare Parts/Before They Make Me Run 7”  $7.98
Soundgarden - Before The Doors: Live On I-5 soundchecks 10"  $19.98
Townshend, Pete - Quadrophenia: The Directors Cut Vol. 1 10”  $19.98
Wilco - Speak Into The Rose (10"red)  $16.98
Yardbirds - Ten Little Indians  $11.98
Yardbirds - Ha Ha Said The Clown  $11.98 

Titles we can get in but haven't ordered:

Adams, Ryan - Do I Wait/Darkness  7”  $7.98
Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two CD Box  $62.98
Benson, Brendan  - Upstairs At United Vol. 1 (EP)  LP  $17.98
Byrds  - The Times They Are A-Changin'  7” $11.98
Byrds  - Eight Miles High (mono)  7”  $11.98
Chisel, Cory - Upstairs At United Vol. 2 (EP)  LP $17.98
Cornell, Chris - Songbook (180 gram)  LP  $49.98
Doors  - LA Woman (3x7"box)  $58.98
Fear - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas  $11.98
Gorillaz - Singles Collection 2001-2011 (8x7in)  $109.98
Jimi Hendrix - Fire/Touch   $12.98
John Lennon  - Imagine (40th anniversatry ed) BOX  LP +12”  $59.98
Lovin' Spoonful - Alley Oop 7”  $10.98
Petty, Tom - Kiss My Amps Live (7 tracks from Mojo tour)  LP $26.98
Pink Floyd - The Wall (3x7in)  $59.98
Sea Wolf - Song Of The Magpie  7”  $13.98
Silversun Pickups – Seasick  10”  $18.98
Type O Negative Type O Negative Vinyl Box Set (6LP colour)  $141.98

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oh, hello!

Thought we'd check up on you all after an unintentionally long silence on the ol' blog.  Hope your Roctober has proven itself musically fruitful.

The big movers for us over the last while have been the new Wilco and Tom Waits albums.  We are still stocked on both, though we are very low on the lower priced Wilco vinyl.  Only a couple left at $25.98, next batch jumps up to regular retail at $29.98.

Here are a few suggested titles that you may not have been previously aware of:

(1)  Crooked Fingers - Breaks in the Armor

Eric Bachmann has had a good year so far.  Between reuniting with his mid-90s compadres Archers of Loaf for some regional touring and the reissue of that awesome band's debut album he could have rested on those nostalgic laurels.  Instead he's returned to Merge with a new Crooked Fingers album that as solid and upliftingly rifftacular as anything in his catalogue.

(2)  Siskiyou - Keep Away the Dead

Second outing from this Great Lake Swimmers splinter cell has them playing nervy rural folk that rubs up against weekend big city invasions.  Their paranoid cover of Neil Young's "Revolution Blues" best sets the tone, but they excel at early morning confessionals too.

(3)  Dog Day - Deformer

Paring back to a guitar/drum two piece has brought out the best in these Haligonians.  All warm and fuzzy guitars over snare bashing propulsion plus enough sweet melodic hooks to form the chewy center.  It's a great start-to-finisher.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

September 27: Box Mania

There are three notable deluxe releases making their way to stores on Tuesday, September 27th.  Here are the overviews of all the various versions and formats.  Some of these are limited so if you're interested in getting them please let us know either by dropping by the store or emailing us at the addresses in the sidebar.  Deposits may be required for some of the bigger ticket items.

(1) The Smiths

Versions: (prices recently revised)
(1)  8 CDs remastered in vinyl replica sleeves  $76.98
(2)  8 LPs (5 singles, 3 doubles, 180g vinyl)  $297.98
(3)  Deluxe version:  11 vinyl, 8 CD, 25 7" singles, DVD + various art work $664.98

Release Date:  September 27, 2011

(2)  Dark Side of the Moon

(1)  Discovery Version:  2011 CD remaster  $18.98
(2)  Experience Version:  2011 CD remaster, Bonus CD 1974 Live @Wembley  $27.98
(3)  Vinyl Version: 2011 Single LP remaster  $29.98
(4)  Immersion Edition: 2CDs (as "Experience Version"), 1 DVD Audio (5.1 mix, Quadrophonic mix, PCM stereo mix), 1 DVD Audio/Video (Live Brighton 1972 [two non-Dark Side tracks], 2003 Dark Side of the Moon documentary, 3 Concert Screen Films [60 min total], all both stereo and 5.1 mixes) 1 Blu-Ray A/V (more or less the same content as DVD2 with different resolutions) 3rd CD of studio outtakes and different cuts + a variety of artwork and ephemera  $147.98

Release Date:  September 27, 2011

(3)  Nevermind

(1)  Basic 2011 Remaster CD  $11.98
(2)  Deluxe CD Version:  2CD including B-sides,Smart Studios demo sessions, BBC sessions and boombox rehearsals  $28.98
(3)  Deluxe Vinyl Version:  4LP including same tracks as Deluxe CD version  $74.98
(4)  Super Deluxe Version:  4CD + 1DVD including Deluxe version + new album mix by Butch Vig. BBC Live Recordings, DVD of 1991 Seattle live performance, 96 page bound book.  $185.98

Release Date:  September 27, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lou Reed + Metallica = "Lulu"

"borrowed" from Uncut
Lou Reed
Metallica and Lou Reed have spoken about their collaboration album 'Lulu', which is set for release on October 31.

'Lulu' was originally set to be Reed's musical adaptation of German playwright Frank Wedekind's 1913 play about the life of an abused dancer, but has now become a joint project with Metallica.

The San Francisco metal titans have revealed that the original plan for the joint album was to re-record some of the former Velvet Underground man's "lost jewels", before Reed proposed they record music to 'Lulu' instead.

Speaking about the project, Metallica frontman James Hetfield said: "We were very interested in working with Lou. I had these giant question marks: 'What's it going to be like?' 'What's going to happen?' So it was great when he sent us the lyrics for the Lulu body of work. It was something we could sink our teeth into. I could take off my singer and lyricist hat and concentrate on the music part. These were very potent lyrics, with a soundscape behind them for atmosphere. Lars and I sat there with an acoustic and let this blank canvas take us where it needed to go. It was a great gift, to be asked to stamp Metallica on it. And that's what we did."

Reed himself said of the project: "We had to bring Lulu to life in a sophisticated way, using rock and the hardest power rock you could come up with would have to be Metallica. This is the best thing I ever did. And I did it with the best group I could possibly find. By definition, everybody involved was honest. This has come into the world pure. We pushed as far as we possibly could within the realms of reality."

Four titles from the album have also been named, with 'Pumping Blood', 'Little Dog', 'Mistress Dread' and 'Junior Dad' all set to be part of the 10-track LP.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This week's second chances

Twenty titles in our Used CD New Arrivals that should be in your collection. (If they aren't already). 

Arcade Fire - Funeral
Atlas Sound - Logos
The Band - Music from Big Pink
The Beatles - Revolver
Belle & Sebastian  - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Black Sabbath - Master of Reality
Dennis Brown - Live at Montreux
Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
Grateful Dead - Terrapin Station Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Metallica - Kill Em All
Mudhoney - Superfuzz Bigmuff (Deluxe)
Retribution Gospel Choir - S/T
Skinny Puppy - Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse 
Elliott Smith - Roman Candle
Joe Strummer  - Rock Art and the X-Ray Style
Swan Lake - Enemy Mine
Townes Van Zandt - High Low and In Between
Various - The Trojan Story (2CD) 
Yardbirds - Smokestack Lightning (2CD)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10 experiments you can try at home

The Alps - Easy Action
Some of you might remember the San Francisco group Tarentel?  They sprang up in the first wave of post-rock that followed Godspeed, Mogwai and Sigur Ros, and played music that was like a slightly colder and more minimalist Explosions in the Sky.  Jefre Cantu-Ledesma from that group has been active in several concurrent projects and The Alps is one of the more accomplished of these.  Another instrumental trio, they take their cues primarily from 70s Italian western and horror soundtracks with a blend of atmosphere and aggression that's sure to catch your ear.  This particular (vinyl) version is in a specially sleeve that folds out into a pyramid.  How cool is that? Sample track click here.

Black Swan - The Quiet Divide
Boomkat review:  'The Quiet Divide' condenses intimately precious space/time over two sides of uniquely textured ambient drone, recalling the works of The Caretaker, Philip Jeck or Svarte Greiner to a large degree, yet with a misanthropy and mid-winter bleakness unique to its formless silhouette."  Sample track click here.

The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
Most recent alias for Jim Kirby whose previously best know project was V/VM.  As The Caretaker he digs through the dusty pre-WWII sounds of the UK from 78s of time-worn ballroom music and other similar sources.  Rendered even more ghostly, the music he creates engages with the spaces where memory, nostalgia and history overlap and often decay.  Sample track click here.

Emanuele Errante - Time Elapsing Handheld
This Italian artist is one of a growing wave of composers who've been bridging gaps between ambient electronic and classical music.  On his third effort the balance is just about right as the organic themes of piano and strings overlay a wash of sound that effectively helps describe the joys and sadnesses that sometimes chords can't quite touch. Review and sample track click here.

Rene Hell - The Terminal Symphony
Jeff Witscher aka Rene Hell is more restless and complex in his approach to composition, often looking back to cut and paste strategies such as Faust's 70s work combined with hints of Japanese noise and more conservative classical practices.  This second "official" release illustrates what is possible when times collide.  Streaming tracks click here.

Johann Johannsson - Virdulegu Forsetar
This Icelandic composer recently released The Miners' Hymn, a soundtrack for an experimental film by Bill Morrison.  The irony is that these recent compositions are the least "soundtracky" of his output, and his best since Virdulegu Forsetar first was released by Touch in 2004.  This 2011 reissue reminds us of the power of minimalism... simple fanfares that echo and stretch and linger at reappear at irregular intervals to create anticipation and tension.  More info + samples click here.

Marsen Jules - Yara Remastered
More electronic play with acoustic samples.  Martin Juhls (the artist's real name) creates themes that are all about the fluid swell and flow of chamber music as overheard around corners and across distances, or from the dip and rise of a lazy river's surface.  Warm and languid and utterly charming. Streaming tracks click here.

Minamo - Duree
Led by Fourcolor (artist Keiichi Sugimoto), this Japanese quartet is an improvising unit that then brings their recorded guitars, drums, bells, etc. into the studio for polishing and editing.  The results are a deliberate, minimalist text that nonetheless retains the spontaneity and liveliness of the group's interaction.  For those who like their computer music to start somewhere other than the computer.  More info + samples click here.

Pan.American - S/T
Taking a break from Labradford, Mark Nelson began the Pan.American project as a solo exercise in stark keyboard, guitar and drum machine minimalism.  Like a Tangerine Dream born of the dark American night, Nelson's music is a blend of quiet contemplation, somnambulism, and vague wariness of what might be approaching.  Info plus samples click here.

Scott Tuma - Dandelion
A member of the Boxhead Ensemble, Tuma takes a few steps away from that group's home classical leanings and explores the guitar from a very John Fahey vantage point.  Not so much early blues folk Fahey as the latter City of Refuge with its blend of deconstructed acoustic themes and incidental/industrial sounds that creep into the mix.  Like the titular flower it is a sound that blooms brightly then quickly disappears into ghostly propagation. Info plus samples click here.

Available instore:

Alps - Easy Action  vinyl  $25.98 + hst
Black Swan - The Quiet Divide  vinyl  $20.98 + hst
The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World  CD  $16.98 + hst
Emanuele Errante - Time Elapsing Handheld  vinyl  $22.98 + hst
Rene Hell - The Terminal Symphony  CD   $16.98 + hst
Johann Johannsson - Virdelegu Forsetar  vinyl  $25.98 + hst
Marsen Jules - Yara Remastered  CD $17.98 + hst
Minamo - Duree  CD  $16.98 + hst
Pan.American - S/T  vinyl  $16.98 + hst
Scott Tuma - Dandelion  CD  $19.98 + hst

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Polaris Long List

The 2011 Polaris Music Prize Long List:

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Austra - Feel It Break
Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart
Braids - Native Speaker
Buck 65 - 20 Odd Years
Louise Burns - Mellow Drama
D-Sisive - Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye
The Dears - Degeneration Street
Destroyer - Kaputt
Diamond Rings - Special Affections
Dirty Beaches - Badlands
Luke Doucet and The White Falcon - Steel City Trawler
Eternia & MoSS - At Last
Galaxie - Tigre et Diesel
Jenn Grant - Honeymoon Punch
Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
Hey Rosetta! - Seeds
Hooded Fang - Album
Imaginary Cities - Temporary Resident
Land Of Talk - Cloak and Cipher
Little Scream - The Golden Record
The Luyas - Too Beautiful To Work
Malajube - La Caverne
Miracle Fortress - Was I The Wave?
One Hundred Dollars - Songs Of Man
Doug Paisley - Constant Companion
PS I Love You - Meet Me At The Muster Station
Daniel Romano - Sleep Beneath the Willow
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing
Ron Sexsmith - Long Player Late Bloomer
Shotgun Jimmie - Transistor Sister
Sloan - The Double Cross
Frederick Squire - March 12
Stars - The Five Ghosts
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On
The Weeknd - House Of Balloons
Women - Public Strain
Neil Young - Le Noise
Young Galaxy - Shapeshifting

Friday, June 17, 2011

Backstreet Recommends: Barn Owl

It's been a while since we've offered up a new band for consideration so here we are:

Barn Owl is out of San Francisco centered around the duo of guitarists Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras (also of Elm).  They've been recording for about five years, beginning with a CD-R release in 2007 on the UK label Foxglove.  Their instrumental work recalls the creeping unease and isolation of bands like Sunn O))) and Earth. but with a slightly lighter touch and more briefer duration.  Essentially it's great mood music to enjoy walks in the desert or for checking out that sound you heard out in the woodshed.  You know, the one with the burnt out lightbulb you've been meaning to replace for a while now.

Currently we have three of their releases in stock:

From Our Mouths a Perpetual Light (Not Not Fun Records, 2008)  Vinyl $20.98

The Conjurer (Root Strata, 2009)  CD $18.98

Ancestral Star (Thrill Jockey, 2010)  CD $17.98  Vinyl $19.98

Their next album is also on Thrill Jockey, due in September of 2011 and titled Lost in the Glare.  It will be preceded by the e.p. Shadowland, also on Thrill Jockey.

Barn Owl - Light from the Mesa from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This week's second chances

Twenty titles in our Used CD New Arrivals that should be in your collection. (If they aren't already).   

  1. !!! - S/T
  2. Acorn -  Glory Hope Mountain
  3. Arcade Fire - Funeral
  4. Beck - Sea Change
  5. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People
  6. Deadmau5 - For Lack of a Better Name
  7. Ani DiFranco - Dialate
  8. Dave Gahan -  Hourglass
  9. P.J. Harvey - Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  10. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
  11. Islands - Arm's Way
  12. Muzsikas - Blues for Transyvania
  13. My Morning Jacket - Okonokos
  14. National - Boxer
  15. Pearl Jam - Lost Dogs
  16. Radiohead - Com.Lag
  17. Sheep Dogs - Big Stand
  18. Smiths - The Queen is Dead
  19. Tom Fun Orchestra - You Will Land With a Thud
  20. Stevie Wonder - Talking Book

Thursday, June 09, 2011

14 from the front of 2011

Hard to believe the year is approaching it's midway mark already.  It seemed like time to cough up a short list of recommendations of the high points so far.

13 & God - Own Your Ghost
---Members of Themselves and The Notwist reconvene half a decade after their self-titled debut to confront mortality over a hip-hop/electro/acoustic beat that's as captivating as it is edgy and unsetlling.

James Blake - S/T
---UK dubstep producer takes a crack at minimalist RnB.  Like the irradiated skeleton of TV on the Radio.

Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
---third release under his given name for the former Smog leader.  It's another moody and cryptic meditation on America, nature, history and, of course, horses.

Destroyer - Kaputt
---a front runner for this year's Polaris, Destroyer steps up the production and explores an 80s-tinged sound that's long on atmosphere and short on retro-embarrassment.  Bejar is at his lyrical best too.

The Dodos - No Color
---after a fairly lackluster second album this San Francisco outfit comes out hammering all the cylinders with a hyperspeed collection of pop featuring great harmony backup from Neko Case.

Little Scream - The Golden Record
---Laurel Sprengelmeyer is an Iowa-born transplant to Montreal.  After adding her input to that scene's luminary outfits (Bell Orchestre, Arcade Fire, Stars) they return favour by backing her on this debut that rivals their best.

Low - C'Mon
---after experimenting with heavy guitars and electronics this long-running Minnesotan couple has gotten back to basics with an album of slow burning majesty that holds up next to their early best.

J. Mascis - Several Shades of Why
---in the midst of a Dinosaur Jr. rebirth including a Bug tour this summer, J. took a little time to make a solo acoustic album with guestwork from Kurt Vile, Ben Bridwell and others that should please both longtime fans and those looking for a quieter, deeper time.

Thurston Moore - Destroyed Thoughts
---like his buddy Mascis, Sonic Youth's leader seems an unlikely candidate for an acoustic + strings solo album (produced by Beck no less), but it works... and works well.  Like a slightly more nervous Nick Drake masterpiece.

Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
---after the high water mark of Black Sheep Boy Okkervil seemed to be somewhat on autopilot.  Nice to see this rager pull them back on track.  It's the precise storytelling couple with a more angst, energy and production that we've seen before.

The Raveonettes - Raven in the Grave
--- this Danish duo have been on a "not broken / don't fix it" trajectory over their last few albums.  Overshadowed a little by The Kills, perhaps, they still outperform and on this release, out-grunge their competition.

Telekinesis! - 12 Desperate Straight Lines
---Michael Lerner's self-titled debut had a few brilliant moments amidst the ok-to-great flow.  But on this follow-up a livelier crunchy sound props up twelve killer power pop tracks that never ever fail to win.

Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On
---recorded in the gothic depth of his Queen St. Toronto bachelor pad. Taylor Kirk delivers another slab of moody voodoo.  With help on foghorn sax by Colin Stetson Creep On is a horror show that shivers and rattles the bones.

Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
---rather than re-hashing the all-too-excellent Childish Prodigy, Vile comes back with a collection of tracks that are twistier and briefer, but no less driving in their Midwestern weary ways.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Sony's Vinyl Reissue "Sale"

Was putting together an order from our major label distributor and noticed they had a sale on newly reissued vinyl from Sony. Here is a short list of titles plus their projected retail prices. It's a little depressing in places. If anyone is interested in a full list get ahold of me at

AFGHAN WHIGS 1965 (180G) (7 BONUS TRACKS) SON $47.98
BOSTON BOSTON (RM) (180G) R SON $35.98
CLASH CLASH (U.S. VERS) (180G) R SON $37.98

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This week's second chances

Twenty titles in our Used CD New Arrivals that should be in your collection. (If they aren't already).  

  1. Aswad - Roots Revival
  2. The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  3. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Lie Down in the Light
  4. Burning Spear - Resistance
  5. CocoRosie - Grey Oceans
  6. CCR - Green River
  7. Death from Above 1979 - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
  8. Duke Ellington - Carnegie Hall
  9. Ben Harper - White Lies for Dark Times
  10. Mouse on Mars - Iaora Tahiti
  11. New Pornographers - Challengers
  12. NOFX - S&M Airlines
  13. Pink Floyd - The Final Cut
  14. Platinum Blonde - Seven Year Itch
  15. Primus - Fizzle Fry
  16. Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
  17. Sonic Youth - Goo
  18. Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque
  19. Thievery Corp. - Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi
  20. Ween - White Pepper

Monday, April 25, 2011

This week's second chances

Twenty titles in our Used CD New Arrivals that should be in your collection. (If they aren't already).  

  1. Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am...
  2. Clash - Combat Rock
  3. Mikey Dread - African Anthem Dubwise
  4. Peter Gabriel - Security 
  5. Genesis - A Trick of the Tail
  6. Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
  7. Jefferson Airplane - Bless Their Pointed Little Heads
  8. Salif Keita - "Folon" ...The Past
  9. Stephen Malkmus - Pig Lib
  10. Nellie McKay - Get Away From Me
  11. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
  12. Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted
  13. Lou Reed - New York
  14. Patti Smith - Gung Ho
  15. Spirit - The Family That Plays Together
  16. Sunset Rubdown  - Dragonslayer
  17. Richard Thompson - Rumor & Sigh
  18. Ali Farka Toure - Radio Mali
  19. Hawksley Workman - Milk
  20. Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat

Thursday, April 07, 2011

This week's second chances

Twenty titles in our Used CD New Arrivals that should be in your collection. (If they aren't already).

  1. Baronness - Red Album
  2. Black Lips - Let it Bloom
  3. Black Mold - S/T
  4. David Bowie - Stages
  5. Byrds - Younger Than Yesterday
  6. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
  7. Cursed - Two
  8. Ani DiFranco- Imperfectly
  9. Kenny Dorham - Afro-Cuban
  10. Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left
  11. Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
  12. Sarah Harmer - I'm a Mountain
  13. Derrick Harriott - For a Fistful of Dollars
  14. Juliana Hatfield Three - Become What You Are
  15. King Jammy - Roots & Harmony
  16. rachel's - The Sea and the Bells
  17. Slackers - Live at Ernestos
  18. Soundtrack - The Breakfast Club
  19. Tricky - Knowle West Boy
  20. Violent Femmes - Very Best

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

WNYC Soundcheck April 6: Low


RSD warm up [Fredericton]

As hinted at earlier we're having a bit of a pre-Record Store Day sale this Saturday. Below is a list of the vinyl (plus a few CDs) that we are putting out at attractively reduced prices. These prices will be in effect for Saturday April 9th only and revert to their regular prices come Monday the 11th. So ya gotta make it down if ya wants ta save.

As an added bonus we will be playing all Pixies all the time to prep for the show the next day in Moncton. How can you beat that? You can't. Come on down.

Avi Buffalo - S/T  /$12.98

Meg Baird - Dear Company  /$12.98

Bishop Morocco - S/T  /$14.98

Blonde Redhead - Penny Sparkle  /$16.98

CocoRosie - Grey Oceans  /$12.98

Diamond Rings - Special Affections  /$16.98

Fly Pan Am - S/T  /$9.98

Sage Francis - Life  /$16.98

Futureheads - The Chaos  /$10.98

Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back  /$11.98

Gonjasufi - Caliph's Tea Party (remixes)  /$14.98

Happy Birthday - S/T  /$12.98

The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever  /$15.98

Hot Rats - Turn Ons  /$16.98

Kestrels - Primary Colours  /$15.98


Magnetic Fields - Realism  /$18.98

Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts  /$12.98

MIA - Maya  /$19.98

Morning Benders - Big Echo  /$19.98

These New Puritains - Hidden /$16.98

Warpaint - The Fool  /$19.98

Wovenhand - Ten Stones  /$13.98

Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate Myself  /$13.98

Wilco - Kicking Television (4LP Box)  $50.98

And for those more digitally inclined we have these:

Bright Eyes - The People's Key (Ltd Ed packaging)  /$13.98

Gonjasufi - The Caliph's Tea Party  /$12.98

The Extra Lens - Undercard  /$12.98

Monday, April 04, 2011

Dinosaur Jr. Playing 'Bug' In Its Entirety On Summer Tour

"Borrowed" from Prefix magazine
We already know that two members of Dinosaur Jr. are busy with side projects at the moment. J Mascis just released his proper solo debut, Several Shades of Why, and he is touring through the first week of May. And Lou Barlow is wrapping up a jaunt with Sebadoh this week before he begins working on new material for both Sebadoh and Dino Jr.

Amidst all that, they have announced yet another tour. This time, though, the focus is on Dino Jr. and their classic third album, 1988's Bug. The only downside is that the tour is pretty limited as they will only be playing six shows. But hey, maybe it will give some of you a reason to check out the East Coast.

View the dates below.

06.21 Northampton, MA: Calvin Theatre *@$
06.22 Boston, MA: The Paradise *^%
06.23 New York, NY: Terminal 5 *^#%
06.24 Philadelphia, PA: Electric Factory *^%
06.25 Washington, DC: 9:30 Club *^%
07.01 London, England: Alexandra Palace *&

* performing Bug in its entirety
^ with Off!
# with Fucked Up
& with the Flaming Lips and Deerhoof
@ with Thurston Moore
$ with Henry Rollins talking show
% with Henry Rollins interviewing

Monday, March 28, 2011

Record Store Day Gettables [Backstreet Fredericton]

Hey folks,

I've been asked (and asked) what titles we will be getting in for Record Store Day (April 16, 2011), so I've taken the time... on my day off, no less... to compile a somewhat comprehensive list.

It is broken down into the titles we've ordered and then others that are available but not ordered.  If last year was any indication then most but not all of these will be shipped in time for the actual day... but there's obviously no way of knowing that until then.

The "already ordered" titles will be first come first serve that Saturday (that is to say if anyone asks to have something held... that just won't be happening).  On the other hand, for things from the "not ordered but available" list I will try to do special orders, but on these conditions:

(1)  Any and all of these special orders are placed no later than this coming Saturday April 2nd, 2011 either in-store or via e-mail at

(2)  A deposit of half of the sale price must be made at the time of in-store ordering, or in the case of e-mail orders no later than Wednesday April 6th, 2011.  Orders w/o the deposit will not be honoured.

(3)  The deposit will be deducted from the special ordered items on Record Store Day and the balance owed will be paid then.

(4)  Should the special ordered item not be available the deposit may be used as credit against any other items in store, either on RSD or at a later date.

(5) Should the special ordered item arrive and the person not on hand to purchase the title(s) it will be held until Satuday April 23rd.  At this point if the orderer has not picked it up or made some arrangements to do so the item(s) will be put out for sale and the deposit will be forfeit.

These measures are only in place to assure that we aren't stuck with any big ticket items (and some of them are doozies) that we can't return to suppliers for credit.  OK?  OKAY!!

The prices below are based on the current info we have on the titles and are subject to slight changes by the day of.  Thanks for your enthusiasms.

On order

Antony And The Johnsons - Swanlights    10”  $16.98
Architecture In Helsinki - Places Like This  LP  $13.99
Bad Brains – Pay to Cum (gold vinyl)  7”  $10.98
Bad Brains – God of Love LP+7”  $28.98
Syd Barrett – Introduction to Syd Barrett   $28.98
Beach Boys – Good Vibrations   (DBL 10”  78rpm)   $15.98
Black Angels – Another Nice Pair  LP   $25.98
Black Angels - Phosgene Nightmare  10”  $19.98
Blitzen Trapper – Maybe Baybe  7”  $7.98
Broken Bells – Merryn Fields EP  LP  $16.98
Built to Spill – Ripple   7”   $10.98
Busdriver – ATM   7” (blue vinyl)  $8.98
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love EP   10”   $20.98
Caribou – Swim   12” (remixes)   $14.98
Daft Punk – Translucence 10”  $14.98
Death Cab for Cutie – In Living Stereo 7”   $10.98
Deerhoof – Friend Opportunity   LP   $20.98
Deerhoof/Xiu Xiu – Split 7”   $8.98
Deerhunter – Memory Boy   7”  $6.98
Discordance Axis - Inalienable Dreamless   LP   $29.98
Bob Dylan – Live at Brandeis 1963   LP   $24.98
Earth - Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light   LP  $37.98
Roky Erickson & The Black Angels - Night Of The Vampire   DVD  $22.98
Esben and the Witch – Chorea   12”  $13.98
Foo Fighters – Medium Rare   LP  $28.98
Franz Ferdinand – Record Store Day   12”  $12.98
Fucked Up – Town Comp   LP  $25.98
Charlotte Gainsbourg/Villagers – Memoir  7”  $9.98
Gorillaz – The Fall   LP  $22.98
Grateful Dead – S/T    LP (mono)   $28.98
Green Day/Husker Du – Split   7”  $10.98
Grinderman – Palaces of Montezuma   12”  $13.98
Grinderman – Evil   12”  $13.98
Iggy & Stooges – Raw Power Live   $25.98
Jesus Lizard – Lash (3x7”)   $15.98
Joan Jett – I Love Rock n Roll   LP (clear vinyl)   $28.98
Joan On Arc - Presents Don’t Mind Control   LP  $19.98
Glenn Jones /Black Twig Pickers - Even To Win Is To Fail  LP  $22.98
KILLS, THE - Satellite  10"  $15.98
Kings of Leon – Holy Roller Novocaine   10”  $19.98
Kode9/Space Ape – Otherman  12”  $16.98
Ray Lamontagne – Live 2010   LP   $28.98
Mastodon / ZZ Top – Just Got Paid   7”  $10.98
Mates of State – Team Boo   LP (red vinyl)   $19.98
Midlake – Am I Going Insane  12”  $15.98
Mumford & Sons – Dharohar Project   10”   $13.98
Neurosis – Sovereign   LP  $25.98
Nirvana – Hoarmoaning   LP   $19.98
Of Montreal – The Past is a Grotesque Animal   12”  $16.98
Oval/Liturgy – split   LP   $22.98
Owen – Oh, Evelyn  7”  $7.98
Panda Bear – Tomboy   LP + Tshirt (L only)  $31.98
Polvo – Celebrate the New Dark Age   LP (autographed)   $19.98
RHCP/Ramones – Havana Affair   7”   $10.98
Arthur Russell – World of Echo   2LP  $25.98
Seeds – Evil Hoodoo   10”   $15.98
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Broom  LP (white vinyl)  $19.98
Sonic Youth – Whores Moanin’   LP  $19.98
Bruce Springsteen – Gotta Get the Feeling   10”  $14.98
Superchunk – Here’s Where the Strings Come In   LP  $24.98
Therapies Son - Over The Sea  10”  $19.98
Various – GBV Tribute (Sing for your Meat)  2LP  $40.98
Various - Kill Rock Stars  LP  $25.98
Various – A Reckord Reckords Record  10”  $10.98
Vivian Girls – I Heard You Say   7”  $7.98
Warpaint -  Undertow   7”  $7.98
Wavves/Trash Talk – Thorns   7”  $10.98
Hank Williams III – Damn Right Rebel Proud   LP  $28.98
Hank Williams III – Risin Outlaw   LP   $28.98 
Hank Williams III – Straight to Hell   LP   $28.98
Hank Williams III – Rebel Within   LP  $27.98
Hank Williams III – Lovesick Broke & Driftin   LP   $27.98
Yeasayer - End Blood   7”  $8.98

Not ordered

Bouncing Souls – Live   LP   $22.98
City & Colour – Sometimes   LP   $28.98
Eric Clapton – Unplugged (2LP)  LP   $48.98
Clouds - B Chuggas May Be Logging  LP  $25.98
Deftones – Covers   LP   $27.98
William Fitzsimmons – Gold in the Shadow  LP   $19.98
Flaming Lips – Heady Nugz  5LP   $149.98
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors  2LP 45rpm   $61.98
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors  LP   $34.98
Glassjaw – Worship and Tribute   LP  $32.98
Mike Gordon – Inside In   LP   $29.98
Human Egg – S/T   LP  $25.98
International Submarine Band – Safe at Home   LP(mono)+7”   $32.98
Machine Head – Black Procession  10”  $16.98
Mastodon – Live at Aragon   LP+DVD   $52.98
Menzingers – Chamberlain Watts   LP (blue vinyl)  $19.98
Mighty Clouds – S/T   LP   $30.98
Oxbow - King Of The Jews  LP  $35.98
Tom Petty – You’re Gonna Get it   LP (blue)   $27.98
Tom Petty – S/T   LP (white)  $27.98
R.E.M. – Three (3x7”)   $29.99
Rancid – Let the Dominoes Fall   CD/DVD/2LP/Book   $45.98
Rise Against – Endgame  LP (clear vinyl/die cut cover)   $29.98
Omar Rodriguez Lopez – Telesterion  4LP  $83.98
Roll the Dice – Live in Gothenberg   12”   $16.98
Submarines – Love Notes   12”   $19.98
Television – Live at the Old Waldorf   LP  $42.98
Touch Amore – To the Beat of a Dead Horse   LP $20.98
Frank Turner – Rock n Roll  10”   $16.98
Muddy Waters – Rough Guide to…   LP  $28.98
White Mystery – Blood & Venon   LP  $22.98
Wiz Khalifa – Rollin’ Papers   LP   $32.98

Not ordered 7”s

A Day to Remember – All I Want   $7.98
AC/DC – Shoot to Thrill/War Machine   $13.98
Ryan Adams -  Class Mythology Dbl 7”  $25.98
Bad Brains – Pay to Cum   $7.98
Beady Eye – 3x7” Box   $59.98
British Sea Power – This is Control   $6.98
Civil Wars – Dance Me to the Ends of Love   $9.98
Dennis Coffey – Ubiquitous   $11.98
Cults – Abducted/Do Outside   $13.98
Derek & Dominoes – Got to Get Better   $7.98
Dodos – So Cold   $12.98
Doors – Riders on the Storm   $10.98
Fistful of Mercy – S/T   $7.98
Frustrators – Griller   $5.98
Mike Gordon – Moss Remixes   $7.98
Jimi Hendrix – Fire/Touch You   $12.98
Michael Jackson – Hollywood Tonight   $12.98
Freddie King – Wash Out   $9.98
Kort – Please Don’t Touch   $9.98
Fela Kuti – Monday Morning in Lagos   $12.98
Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math   $12.98
John Mayall/Eric Clapton – Lonely Years   $9.98
My Chemical Romance – Na Na Na   $10.98
Opeth – The Throat of Winter   $10.98
Roy Orbison – Only the Lonely   $12.98
Ozzy Osbourne – Flying High Again   $12.98
Pearl Jam – Immortality   $12.98
Peter, Bjorn & John – Dig a Little Deeper   $12.98
Phish – Two Soundchecks   $8.98
Queen – Keep Yourself Alive   $9.98
Right Now – If I Wanted To   $7.98
Rise Against – Join the Ranks   $9.98
Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar   $7.98
Rolling Stones – Plundered My Soul   $7.98
Roxy Music – Virgin Plain   $9.98
Rush – Caravan   $10.98
Raphael Sadiq – Radio   $10.98
Silverstein – Support Your Local Record Store   $9.98
Skysaw – No One Can Tell   $10.98
Smoke Fairies – Strange Moon Rising   $10.98
Regina Spektor – Four From Far   $10.98
Peter Tosh – Legalize it   $11.98
Urge Overkill – Effigy   $10.98
Vivian Girls – I Heard You Say   $8.98
Yardbirds – Goodnight Sweet Josephine   $9.98
Young the Giant – Apartment   $10.98
Zeus – Permanent Scar   $8.98

Friday, March 11, 2011

This week's second chances

Twenty titles in our Used CD New Arrivals that should be in your collection. (If they aren't already).

  1. Adrian Belew - Side One
  2. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
  3. Boris - Akuma No Uta
  4. Various - Channel One "Hit Bound"
  5. CocoRosie - La Maison de mon Reve
  6. Rob Crow - Living Well
  7. Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
  8. Bob Dylan/The Band - Basement Tapes
  9. Figurines - When the Deer Wore Blue
  10. Ghostkeeper - S/T
  11. Hayden - Field & Town
  12. Incredible String Band - I Looked Up
  13. Led Zeppelin - S/T
  14. Bob Marley & Wailers - Survival
  15. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
  16. Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
  17. Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
  18. Various - Trojan Singles Collection
  19. Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat
  20. The Who - The Kids Are Alright

Thurston Moore Announces New Solo Album

Thurston Moore Announces New Solo Album

"Borrowed" from Pitchfork

Sonic Youth frontman's new one produced by Beck

A while back, we reported that Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore was hard at work on a new 
Beck-produced solo album. Demolished Thoughts is due out May 24 on Matador (it'll come out in Europe a day before). That's the hand-drawn-looking cover art above.
According to Matador's announcement, the LP was recorded in Los Angeles and Massachusetts this past autumn and winter; besides Beck, Demolished Thoughts also features contributions from violinist Samara Lubelski, harpist Mary Lattimore, bassist Bram Inscore, and drummer Joey Waronker.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This week's second chances

Twenty titles in our Used CD New Arrivals that should be in your collection. (If they aren't already).

  1. Air - 10 000 Hz Legend
  2. Art Ensemble of Soweto - America/South Africa
  3. Bar-Kays - Best of
  4. The Beatles - Love
  5. Bright Eyes - Lifted
  6. Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left
  7. Girl Talk - Night Ripper
  8. John Holt - Very Best of
  9. I Roy - Touting I Self
  10. The Jayhawks - Tomorrow the Green Grass
  11. Elton John - S/T (deluxe edition)
  12. Ray Lamontagne - Til the Sun Turns Black
  13. The Langley Schools Music Project - Innocence & Despair
  14. Massive Attack - Heligoland
  15. Microphones - Don't Wake Me Up
  16. Sigur Ros - Med Sud i Eyrum vid Spilum Endalaust
  17. Steeleye Span - Original Masters
  18. Sunn O))) - Black One
  19. The Who - Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
  20. Frank Zappa - Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Upcoming Vinyl Releases

A partial list of what's coming up over the next few months.  If anything catches your eye get ahold of us to order it at not everything on this list will be brought in for stock.  Also, however unlikely, prices are subject to change.

Feb22: Nirvana - Incesticide  $42.98
Feb22: James Blake - S/T $29.99
Feb22: Six Organs of Admittance - Asleep on the Floodplain $24.98
Feb22: Toro Y Moi - Underneath the Pine $20.98
Feb22: Cave Singers - No Witch  $21.98
Feb22: Colin Stetson - New History Warfare $27.98
Feb22: Chain and the Gang - Music's Not for... $28.98
Feb22: Books - Lemon of Pink (reissue)  $25.98
Feb22: Baronness - Blue Record (reissue) $39.98
Mar01: Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing $21.98
Mar08: Starfucker - Reptilian  $20.98
Mar08: Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip  $20.98
Mar08: Parts & Labor - Constant Future  $21.98
Mar08: Curious Mystery - We Creeling  $24.98
Mar08: Strippers Union - The Deuce  $25.98
Mar15: Matthew Friedberger - Meet Me in Miramas...  $21.98
Mar15: Rise Against - Endgame  $19.98 or
Mar15: Rise Against - Endgame (Ltd. Clear vinyl) $29.98
Mar15: Funkadelic - Let's Take it to the Stage (reissue) $24.98
Mar15: Funkadelic - Tales of Kidd (reissue)  $24.98
Mar15: Jimmy Scott - Falling in Love is Wonderful (reissue) $28.98
Mar22: Soundgarden - Live on I-5  $29.98
Mar22: Adventure - Lesser Known  $20.98
Mar22: Cheap Trick - In Color (reissue) $32.98
Apr12: Howe Gelb & A Band of Gypsies - Alegrias  $29.98
Apr12: Panda Bear - Tomboy  $22.98
Apr12: Thursday - No Devolucion  $24.98

Tickets @ Backstreet

Ticket Updates (Backstreet Fredericton):

Rich Aucoin  /  Feb 25 / Capital / $11
Arthur Bull + Eric Hill / Feb 26 / Connexion / $7
Jimmy Swift Band / March 4 / Capital / $13
The Creepshow / March 10 / Capital / $13
Amelia Curran + Melissa Ferrick / March 11 / Wilmot / $21
Matt Mays / March 11 / Capital / $26
The Sadies / March 15 / Capital / $16
Yukon Blonde / March 17 / Capital / $11
Born Ruffians / April 5 / Capital / $11
Dan Mangan / April 21 /  Charlotte St. / $21

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Q&A With East River Pipe

"Borrowed" from Magnet

Stoutly refusing to record his passionate songs under anything less than his own terms (in his New Jersey home on a TASCAM MiniStudio), F.M. Cornog, under the name East River Pipe, has released seven albums since 1994 that can stand toe-to-toe with anything by your favorite indie rockers over the past 20 years. Although working full-time at the local Home Depot and raising a daughter with his wife may have curtailed Cornog’s recording time somewhat, the quality of the finished product remains unchanged. ERP’s latest, We Live In Rented Rooms (Merge), is further testimony to a man who refuses to play the rock-star game (form a band, tour, do photo shoots, etc.) and has come out the other side with a brilliant body of work—and with his soul intact. MAGNET recently caught up with Cornog by phone. Cornog will be guest editing all week.
“Cold Ground” (download):

MAGNET: Your daughter was just a baby last time we did this, in 2003 for the Garbageheads On Endless Stun album. She must be old enough now to have developed her own musical tastes.
Cornog: Oh yeah. She’s eight now, and she’s listening to the usual suspects: Katy Perry, the Black Eyed Peas. It’s her music, and I let her indulge herself as long as it’s the relatively clean version.
How is fatherhood treating you?
It’s good. But this is why it’s taken so, so long to put out a record. When you have a kid, you can’t do whatever you used to do. I don’t want to feel guilty or have her harbor any resentment against me. Like, “Dad was always doing music up there in his room with his stupid mini studio. That was always more important than I was.” So I’ve kind of pulled a John Lennon house-husband thing. Although I’m still working at Home Depot, it’s turned the music thing into kinda like a guerilla-war operation. I kinda peck, peck, and then I run away. Then I come back and peck, peck, peck again. Plant a few explosives on the railway, blow ‘em up, then retreat into the woods.
Well, at least the Nazis haven’t found you yet.
I used to have hours and hours and hours of uninterrupted time when I was in Queens and in the early years when I came out here, around the time of Gasoline Age. But ever since then I haven’t had those long, long periods of time. You know, I like to be present for my family, my wife and my daughter, and spend time with them. I still love doing the music, but it really comes, I would say, second or third now. Maybe when she gets older and gets sick of me and doesn’t want me around I can get back into it again.
I don’t want to scare you off, so I won’t bring up the specter of the teenage years with a daughter. I’ve been through that.
I look at it like we’re all caught up in this big river. You can control certain things, but people believe they have more control than they really have. I think you have to let it take you down the stream and see what happens. Maybe paddle furiously when certain things come up, but mostly I just go with it.
What does your daughter think of your music?
It’s funny what appeals to her. You think she’s not really listening. But she hears “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones and says, “Wow, that’s great.” She doesn’t know what it means, at least yet. She also loves the song “Rise” by Public Image Ltd. So, you never know what a kid will like.
My daughter has gotten a lot of mileage with the time I introduced her to Joey Ramone at an instore in San Jose in 1978 when they were signing copies of Ramones Leave Home. The import of shaking Joey’s hand was not lost upon her. He was very nice.
People may not know this about me, but the Ramones still remain the band I saw the most live. People probably think, “OK, East River Pipe, you probably saw … ” I don’t know that they think. Maybe Joy Division or some dreamy group, not too acidic. But the Ramones, they were constantly out there.
I usually think of them as the Beach Boys of their day. Terrific, melodic, rocking, short tunes. If you don’t like that one, try this one two minutes later.
Yeah, and I kinda dug their work ethic. If I was gonna be in a band … I’ve seen the documentaries, and it seems like they didn’t like each other very much. They weren’t the greatest musicians in the world, obviously, but they were very serious about what they were doing. It had a very Andy Kaufman-esque feeling to it. They only did one thing, but you knew you were gonna get it. When you buy a Big Mac in Manhattan, it’s gonna be the same as it is in Brazil.
Do you still have an aversion to playing live? You told me before you tried it a few times, didn’t like it. Even Jandek eventually succumbed to the urge to play live after decades of secrecy.
I was talking to this guy at work at Home Depot. And he’s always like, “Why can’t I meet the right girl?” I don’t know. Life pushes us from side to side. Sometimes, in a way, it’s kinda like roulette. You fire the gun enough, and maybe it’ll go off someday. Maybe it won’t. Maybe you’re shooting blanks. And that’s the way it’s always been with me and collaborators, or band people. I’d get a few practices under my belt, and it was always something like the drummer had a girlfriend and he had to leave practice. I’m like Johnny Ramone in that respect. I mean, you can’t do that. It’s almost like a church to me at that point. This thing has to be more important than your girlfriend.
Sure, the band’s gotta come first.
If it’s serious, I can understand. But if it’s just someone you met the other night at Kenny’s Castaways, that’s a whole another thing. So it’s partly that and it’s partly just my personality. I’ve always liked solitude. I’ve never rushed to be in a crowd or a gang of people. It’s the other way around. Gangs of people always made me walk the other way. My wife used to go to CMJ, and all these musicians seemed to think they’re different. Then you go to CMJ, and everybody looks the same: the same hair and accessories. I guess substance abuse played a role in that, back then. I’ve gotten so used to the way I operate now that I got fed up with waiting around for something to happen. The guitar player can’t practice that week.
You were the perfect customer for TASCAM.
The MiniStudio came about in the early ’80s. I kinda knew my ship had come in. “I’m gonna get one of those damn things and work in my room.” And it’s always been like that. It’s a combination of not really meeting the right person to spark off a nice collaborative thing, then getting used to working for years and years with this MiniStudio.
I really like the new record. Then again, I’ve liked all your records.
Thank you. It’s kind of a quiet little thing. I really can’t expect much from this record. It’s not really a big statement. It was like trying to keep the sharks from devouring all of your soul. Cutting your life clean from the general culture out there.
Do you still have any contact with Kurt Wagner of Lambchop? You guys were a nice fit, I thought.
Yeah, I ran into them when the Merge fest happened, the 20th anniversary of Merge Records. I didn’t play. I almost introduced Lambchop. My daughter actually got up onstage with the band Guv’ner and clapped a little. She has that drive to be out in the spotlight. I don’t know where she got that from. So yeah, I talked to Kurt for a long time down there. And we always have something out there, like, “Let’s maybe do a Lambchop/East River Pipe thing.” I’ll use Lambchop kinda like a backup band, and we’ll go out there. But of course, it’s me that’s backing out of that type of arrangement. Kurt couldn’t be more generous with the way he throws out invitations to me.
If you and Kurt and the boys played live, I would certainly fly out there to see it.
Well, if I was gonna have a backing band—and I hate to even call it a backing band—we’d have to rev it up a notch, I think. They would probably like it, because they’d have to get a little louder and a little more abrasive. They’d have to bring back that thing they had back in ’97, where there was this floating, menacing little rain cloud of dissonance behind everything they did, which I love.
Do you still have the same drive you had 20 years ago?
I’ve always had a drive to write good songs and record them here at home. And not in a way that was half-assed and “lo-fi.” It was not a drive to become famous or bang 17-year-old girls or to be adored. It was just a guy trying to write good songs. That was my drive in the beginning, and it still remains my main drive now. My father always said, “You have no ambition. Sooner or later, life’s gonna kick you in the ass. You’re like a Buddhist monk. You should move to Nepal and sit there and chant all day, bang a gong. Or play one note on a sitar.” He was frustrated by that. But you know the words you say to a kid kind of stay with you. In a way, he was right. These guys at work, they go on the internet and say, “Wow, there’s a lot of stuff here about East River Pipe. Why don’t you don’t you go out on the road and be a rock star?” You know, I’m lugging around tiles, lifting bags of grout and stocking shelves, talking to people about wood floors. I believe we all do the best with what we have. I’ve never had the type of personality that can get up onstage and sell myself from town to town. I’ve always used music as this thing that’s very private, in a way. I like to share it with people, but on my terms.
Jason Lytle of Grandaddy told me about European press-only tours he had to do, where he didn’t play a note, just went from stop to stop to do interviews, where they’d ask the same questions day after day. He said he got so tired of the process, sometimes he would just make stuff up.
Yeah, Kurt had to do that, too. It’s weird because you get into music to write music, to be creative. And talking about music isn’t doing music. My daughter’s always fascinated: “Wow, a guy’s gonna call you up today and you’re gonna talk about your music.” It always depends who’s calling you up. I just talked to a person on BBC4 who was screening me to see if I was worth talking to.
Wow, a pre-interview!
Yeah, and they didn’t know anything about me, not one thing. Not that they should know anything. But you could at least look it up on Wikipedia. I guess she’d read the press release for We Live In Rented Rooms, that Cornog writes about the dark side of American life, the lower rungs of American society, which I do. But that’s all she wanted to talk about. She wanted me to take a big bear-shit on top of American society. She wanted to push me in that direction, corral me into saying something. And I just wasn’t into it. I’m not particularly patriotic, but I’m not one of these anti-government survivalists who’s living in Idaho, either.
Did you have a little family party when the album was finally finished?
No. [Laughs] I was at work that day. This was a really difficult album because I could never get up a head of steam. It was peck, peck, peck, retreat. It was like Chinese water torture, a woodpecker trying to bring down a gigantic oak. It’s a quiet little record. I’m expecting it, in some quarters, to get completely ragged on. It isn’t anything more than a guy recording these little songs without any gigantic themes.
Do you read your own press?
My wife kinda shields me. I try not to, because if it’s good, you go, “Wow, that guy really got it.” But if it’s bad, you go, “Wow, that guy’s really an asshole.” Even though he, too, might have gotten it. If you swallow the good, you have to swallow the bad. I believe you should not seal yourself off from life itself. You should just do your thing and see what happens. In my whole if you want to call it a career, it’s about trying to stay clear of all that crap. For years after I put out my first couple of records, when these major labels were coming at me … and I eventually signed with EMI, however briefly.
Yeah, I recall you got a five-album lump-sum settlement when EMI America went out of business.
Yeah, pretty good, huh? Bought a house. These record people were telling me, “You’ve gotta go into a real studio. You have to tour. And if you’re really going to stay in your TASCAM MiniStudio environment, you’ve gotta get a new mic, and it has to be at least a Shure SM57.” They were always dictating to me what I could do, should do. And I said, “Fuck this.” The only reason I took the EMI deal was because they said, “Do whatever you want to do. Just drop a master recording through our door every year and a half, and we’re cool with that. Here’s this money. You don’t have to tour, you don’t have to do any photo shoots, any interviews. You don’t have to do anything.” I didn’t even have to get a day job. If I had that situation now, I could put out an album every six months, like Elton John in the ’70s.
Since we last talked, one of your songs has been covered by David Byrne. How did that come about, any idea?
Yeah, David Byrne did a tune from my most maligned record, Garbageheads On Endless Stun. He ended up recording a song called “Girls On The Freeway” in a semi-country way. I mean, David Byrne—I listened to this guy’s records all the time! That was amazing. I shook Kurt down, because David Byrne has also covered a Lambchop song. Because Kurt sometimes talks to David Byrne, I asked Kurt if he turned him on to the song. I mean, how could David Byrne find anything that I do? And Kurt said, “Look this is David Byrne. He can do whatever the fuck he wants to. I had nothing to do with it.” When the guys at Home Depot ask if somebody has done one of my songs, and I mention David Byrne, that’s something they understand. I made a best-of list in the New York Times a few years ago, and my father went, “Wow, the New York Times.” Up until then, nothing meant anything. With David Byrne, a lot of Home Depot people have heard of the Talking Heads. “OK, this guy must be half decent if David Byrne covered one of his songs.” Mention Lambchop to somebody at Home Depot, and they’d think it was a sock puppet.
—Jud Cost