David Vassalotti (Merchandise) has a new LP/CD, Broken Rope, his first for Wharf Cat – due out on February 12th.  We think you should stand up (or remain seated if that’s yr style, lazybones) and take notice – Stereogum, NME and Impose have all featured the track “Ines de Castro recently, and Pitchfork remarked that the track “sounds more wistful than dejected, more optimistic than resigned – and more memorable than any regret,” while Noisey/Vice interviewed the man himself about the new album, as well as premiering the video for “Bolshoy Kitezh”, aaaaannnnddddd (breath) not to be outdone – Subbacultcha has premiered “Zahir” from Broken Rope. Mark your calendars. Tattoo the insides of your eyelids. Write a note. Write two notes. Broken Rope will be released on February 12th.



Gun Outfit’s upcoming March 18th Wharf Cat LP/CD Two Way Player includes the ultra-cut “Expansion Pact”, and said ultra-cut has received a BEST NEW TRACK MENTION ON PITCHFORK TODAY.  I would not shit a shitter, I promise.

‘Considering the relative chaos of its subject matter, it’s perfect that Gun Outfit wrap “Expansion Pact” in warm, featherlight electric guitar. As is often the case with this L.A. rock band, the song—off the upcoming Two Way Player EP, which follows 2015′s excellent Dream All Over—is gentle but firm. On ‘Expansion Pact,’ guitarist Dylan Sharp uses his melodically dour voice to circle feelings of weakness and discomfort. At a point, he sings about how everyone handles ‘the stranger at the door’ differently. When life becomes uncertain, suddenly everything becomes a scramble to find the right coping mechanism, and maybe there is a reprieve right inside this song. Gun Outfit operate so well in this lane, offering a quietly beautiful backdrop for an emotionally scattered moment.”

Don’t get caught sleeping on this one. March 18th. Bookmark the date. Write it on your bedroom and bathroom wall.  Tattoo the inside of your eyelids.  March 18th.


Occasionally, events at home and abroad, man, they get me down. As in really down. Depressed. Sunken. Lost. I’ve turned to music mostly, I’ve realized, to provide some solace, or “my own space” as a psych would have likely term it, from that world that keeps turning, pressing it’s thumbscrews further and further downward.

There’s a message in a new 7” single out on December 11th, released in time for Christmas, from Yoko Ono and The Flaming Lips (Chimera) called “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”. The cover image is simple, and at least to these eyes, strikingly needed. On a white field, the words “WAR IS OVER” appear, with a parenthetical “If You Want It” below. Man, talk about seven simple words. There’s truth there. Whether or not you appreciate Yoko Ono or The Flaming Lips is immaterial. Whether or not you prefer vinyl to cd is beside the point.

Conflict of all types,  or hatever the problem – violence, discrimination, war – it can all be stopped if we want to stop it. But we have to want it, really, down-in-the-gut-style want it. Can’t-move-or-breathe-unless-this-changes kind of want it. Sure it’s easier said than done, and to that I say if rock n roll were easy, everyone would be doing it. Let’s go forth, & make it count, people. Please.



A word (or three) regarding “Censorship Now!!” by Ian F. Svenonius

Words. What are they good for? Well, for one, they fill those things called “pages” in these other items termed “books”, of which, Ian F. Svenonius (he, of Nation of Ulysses, Make-Up, Weird War, Scene Creamers, Chain & The Gang, et al), has several.  The latest (and naturally, greatest) of his repetoire is Censorship Now!! on Akashic Books (available in plebian paperback edition and hoity-toity hardback edition).  Pitchfork‘s The Pitch currently features our hero, his struggles, his (will to) triumphs, and most importantly a synopsis of Censorship Now!!



Censorship Now!! simultaneously deals in the heated rhetoric of insurgent calls to action, the seductive broad strokes of propaganda, and the clever winking of surrealist humor. Often when I’m really convinced Svenonius has gone off a paranoid deep end, the next sentence hits back with knowingly-hilarious exaggeration or profoundly spot-on analysis, realigning my perspective and making me wonder again.”


(photo of Ian F. Svenonius by Cheryl Dunn)

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