A couple weeks ago Lambchop released another fine record. It's called Mr. M, it's dedicated to the band's late friend and collaborator Vic Chestnutt, and it does nothing to shake the well-earned belief that Kurt Wagner is totally some kind of under the radar genius of melancholy country/chamber pop. The band ain't half bad either. They've all been doing it for so long that it's easy to overlook just how wonderful they can be when the songs, the performances, and Wagner's dry lament of a voice all line up and fire on all sad, knowing cylinders. Which happens more often than not, even after so long in the game. We asked the band's jack of many trades Ryan Norris for a brief glimpse behind the heavy curtains and he set us up with a nice little list...
You can stream the whole album here, but you might as well just go buy it right away.
4 packs of Bitburger cans
As Lambchop enjoys a fair amount of its success in the German-speaking world I've been introduced to many a delightful golden pilsner over the last 5+ years and Bitburger is one of my favorites. And because Nashville's Trader Joe's sells 4 packs of Bitburger "tall boys" for $6.99 I can get a taste of the Fatherland at home for a reasonable price. Pour it in a frosty glass for a refreshing treat!
I first saw this clip courtesy of friend and bandmate William Tyler's Sebastian Speaks blog but a customer recently popped into Grimey's where I work back home and mentioned it to me so I pulled it up on our computer and had my mind blown anew. The way the circular guitar riffs work against the drummer's propulsive, motorik-style rhythm bridges the gap between my obsessions with Afrobeat and Krautrock and the female chorus's yipping wails add an element of ecstatic menace.
I came across these creatures recently on a trip to Sydney, Australia with the Kort band. When walking back from a show we were surprised to look up and see the night sky filled with enormous bats. As it turns out these "flying foxes" as the locals call them roost in the trees of the Royal Botanic Garden during the day before coming out at night to fly all over the city. Part of the megabat family (as opposed to the microbats Americans and Europeans are more familiar with) they can weigh up to 1 kilogram with a wingspan up to a meter wide. Unlike the microbats they have excellent eyesight during the day, better night vision than humans, don't use echolocation, are vegetarian (they feed primarily on pollen, nectar and fruit) and some research concludes they could even be classified as primates, making them close cousins of humans. Most of the animals in the Botanic Garden are of the Grey Headed Flying Fox variety, a type found only in Australia, the largest in the family and therefore the largest worldwide.
Excavated Shellac: Strings, Guitar, Oud, Tar, Violin and More from the 78 rpm Era
This is a lovely comp pieced together by Jonathan Ward, released through Dust to Digital's Parlortone arm and culls stringed instrument music from around the world circa 1920-1950. Everything from the modest fiddle to the exotic Persian violin is represented here. A must-have for any fan of "world" music.
This is one of my absolute favorite labels at the moment. They've released stunning reissues from Cluster and Moebius' and Roedelius' solo catalog as well as new efforts from Faust, Roedelius/Schneider (a collaboration between Hans-Joachim and To Rococo Rot's Stefan Schneider) and tons more I've not yet had the pleasure of hearing. It's an absolute treasure for any fan of German experimental music old or new.