the sound of shellac - wayward wind (final installment)

'wayward wind' is the final installment of folk musician and archiver c. strom's audio excavation of the past. he took it upon himself to record playback's of his collection of 78's and compile them in 4 releases on bandcamp. it's more than the transferring of 78 rpm records to a digital format, he recorded them playing from the speaker of an old victrola with a microphone on to tape, adding another layer of interference, another human hand, another level of meaning to the listening experience, another dot on the time-traveling map.

there are patriotic speeches, military bands, scandanavian folk music, traditional american roots jams, novelty songs, all manner of more or less forgotten musical wonders from the first half of the 20th century. this collection asks you to throw aside considerations of genre and let these artifacts flow through you. here's 'wayward wind', but you ought to name your price for all of them.

i can't emphasize enough how cool this collection is, and it's name your price, so there's no excuse not to get it and give it a listen. do that here.

deepest bison - six tiny strokes

deepest bison is the recording name of minneapolis bedroom/lofi artist kyle imes. his latest release is called 'six tiny strokes', a collection of six maximal lofi psych/folk jams. kyle lays down thick, strummy, reverb-heavy foundations upon which to build his loner-pop melodies.

eastern vibes and repeating drones work their way into the fabric of the songs. a shoegazey haze rests on the vocals. check out the final track, 'spookypuss', for an inspired delay-pedal guitar solo. that's a standout number on a generally recommended album.

name your price for it here.

dead professional - you and me both

it's been awhile since there has been any new music from virginia rockers dead professional, but they are back now with their first vinyl, a limited edition, lathe cut single called 'you and me both'. compared to past releases, this new thing is sweet and low, bringing in a truck load of country vibes.

the A-side is a short bakersfield style honky-tonk jam with the clever turns of phrase you can find throughout the band's catalog. the B-side gives the softer, more contemplative aspect of dead pro's songwriting a chance to shine, and proves that it's one of their most comfortable zones. 'dammed up river' is an achingly pretty ballad with close harmonies and a melody that stretches them out, holding back the band until the second chorus for maximum impact.

pre-order the single here.

tapes & tubes - live slumbers

tapes & tubes is the stage name of multi-approach philadelphia artist austin potter. his latest musical release is 'live slumbers'. a live piece, this album sounds more like a poetry reading or even a one man play for which he uses a shimmering electric guitar to create his own atmosphere than an average singer/songwriter show.

the stories/poems/songs flow into one another, some with music, some without. the effect is filmic, and the vibe is post-modern noir that is recognizable as 2016 but also feels timeless and distinctly american. i recommend listening this short performance and checking out austin's fiction and poetry as well.

name your price for it here.

buck curran - new moontide

psychedelic guitarist and songwriter buck curran has new solo album called 'immortal light' out now on the legendary ESP disk label and he sent me a preview track to share on MFOA. 'new moon tide' is an atmospheric, nature worshipping psych/folk jam featuring sparse but wide-angled production that shines a hazy light on buck's cosmic guitar skills and the tones he draws from his hand built guitars (he's a luthier for his day job). his deep, smooth vocals are accompanied on the choruses by harmonies from his arborea bandmate, shanti deschaine.

get the album here.

eriza - arde

eriza is an argentinian improvisational jazz trio featuring cello, bass, piano and vocals. their latest release, 'arde', is a collection of three free improvisations recorded live. the music is visceral, free and aggressive, coming on like a blinding storm with clacking, grinding and pounding, accompanied by screams and shouts.

the wailing gives way over the course of the pieces to brief glimpses of delicate melody and long, breezy, melancholy passages. the composition of the trio, with low registered strings,wide ranging piano and the guttural vocals gives this music a feeling like the weather; profoundly outside of human control. all the more fantastic that it is made in an extremely organic manner by human beings.

get it for free from pan y rosas discos.

elkhorn - s/t

elkhorn is an instrumental guitar duo from new york. they blend american primitive style finger picking with psychedelic wailing and riffing. the interplay between acoustic and electric tones allows them to explore the psychedelic edges of traditional folk styles and melodies.

the music is genre-spanning, improvisational and exploratory. the jams are minimal but they have a huge rock'n'roll edge. 'conference of the birds' is a true mind-bender. their new self-titled album will be out soon in a limited run of cassettes. you can preview a couple of tracks right here:

pre-order the cassette here.

henry black - mine

henry black is a folk singer from new york city. his songs are in a classic troubadour style, sung in a clear voice with some very nice guitar picking for accompaniment.

it's a sound reminiscent of the new york folk scene of the early 60's. check out this album he has made available for streaming on soundcloud:

henry's website is here.

the best of the modern folk music of america - netlabel day compilation

the modern folk music of america and practice records are proud to present 'the best of the modern folk music of america', a compilation of songs by favorite contributors to the site. this name-your-own-price compilation was put together in honor of netlabel day, which is like record store day for free/nearly free digital music. it's a cool thing.

the artists on this comp have all been featured here on MFOA at least once. i have formed friendships with some of them, collaborated on their recordings, released their albums, had my albums released by them, or just shot the shit on twitter. they are all folks making music here in our modern world. i'm proud to be able to bring this collection to you.

get the comp here. check out all the netlabel day special releases and participating labels/artists here.

catalan coast - s/t

catalan coast is an experimental synth project from southern germany. their new self titled cassette is out now on german 'xerox-label' midnight circles in a hand-dubbed, hand-xeroxed, hand-stamped made-to-order edition.

the compositions on this tape are made of synth tones on tape loops of different lengths overdubbed on a tascam 4 track. the varying loop lengths and sounds melt together to create rhythmic and microtonal events. side A has two songs, 'felt 1' and 'felt 2', each of which combines a spectrum of pitches across several loops to create wide, active drones. 'felt 2' especially has an organic pulse and shimmer. side B's longform title track is minimal in contrast to the songs on side A, building it's atmosphere with only two synth loops that work together at a calmer pace. the inconsistencies of the analog process can be heard as this glacial piece of music flows, analogous to the way this release as a physical object is produced. the same thing is copied over and over, but each copy is different than all of the others. a celebration of analog processes.

get the tape here. it can also be purchased as part of a bundle with all of midnight circle's july releases.

the sound of shellac - wayfaring strangers

norwegian folk musician and 78 rpm record archivist c. strom has released another collection of tape recorded 78's on his 'sound of shellac' bandcamp page. i love this eclectic collection of recordings of's old fashioned and post-modern at the same time.

this installment, called 'wayfaring strangers', has music from all over the world, from the turn of the century to the 1950's. there are few names americans might find familiar, such as paul robeson and burl ives, and plenty of surprises too. it's a musical trip through time and space. i really enjoy 'the freight wreck at altoona' and 'the gambler's dying words', both from the 1920's.

name your price for it here.

bishops - dream easy

'dream easy' is the latest full length album from harrisonburg, VA rock band bishops. between bishops and azores, another harrisonburg band i wrote about last week which shares members with bishops, that town seems to have a lock on urgent, emotional punk-inflected power-pop with heavy songwriting skills.

bishops are masters of big choruses, sometimes employing the classic move of stomping on some type of rat or muff pedal to really make it hit home; think weezer's first record. the vocals on 'dream easy' are distorted in such a way as to re-enforce the hungover-before-the-night-ends vibes. listen closely for some sweet and subtle guitar melodies that pop up every once in awhile, and some shreddy solos. the album is out on cassette on valley cat records 7/12. you can preview the single 'think' for now. the title track is my favorite jam, but you'll have to wait.

pre-order the cassette here.

david ivan neil - single black toenail

i've featured a lot of music from prolific canadian outsider/folk artist david ivan neil, and here's some more. 'single black toenail' is the latest entry in his expediently recorded catalog of personal folk testaments. it's classic MFOA stuff, recorded at home on an iphone.

listening to david's music you immediately think of daniel johnston, and this release includes a cover of the daniel johnston tune 'brain wash'. i like the somewhat heartbreaking social commentary of the second track, 'a family in a walmart parking lot'. gotta say i don't like looking at the cover art though.

name your price for it here.

grant earl lavalley - let the light shine in (records)

grant earl lavalley is a desert-dwelling singer/songwriter. 'let the light shine in' is the b-side from his 'dark love' 7" out now on exit stencil records. it's an ominous slab of sun-baked americana, existing in a psychedelic-desert-noir territory that is weird and familiar at once.

the dark atmosphere of the song is made of a lightly pulsing organ, plucked guitar, some washes of distortion, and gloomy singing. the  music video, filmed in grant's hometown of joshua tree, california, has similar vibes.

get the 7" here.

buck gooter - stainless steel mirrors (video)

MFOA is back after a little bit of a break. i had too much to do, but now it's done. what better way to bring it back than a new video from industrial blues road dawgs buck gooter? this one is for the title track from their latest LP on feeding tube tube records, 'stainless steel mirrors'. there isn't much i can write about buck gooter that i haven't already written, but the more i listen, the more similarities i notice to the mystical exhortations and spacey, rhythm-heavy music of dub reggae...

get the LP here.

holy monitor - golden light/aeolus

'golden light/aelous' is the debut tape from greek kraut/psych band holy monitor. this release, out soon on ongakubaka records, represents a compilation of two digital self releases.

the jams within are reasonably concise but they go to spacey places on the wings of motorik-style rhythms, reverby vocals and cosmic, effects-driven guitar interplay.

pre-order the cassette here.

azores - copper beach

harrisonburg, VA rock'n'roll band azores is back with 'copper beach' the full length follow up to their excellent self-titled EP (available on cassette here). heavy, late-nite, remorseful pop/punk vibes run through the album like mixed liquors in a bar mat. the music is wound tight with a desperate tension and emotional energy.

the songwriting is very strong, you end up knowing everything and nothing about the people in the songs, and the choruses are huge and bitter. dark, sad rock at it's best, all tones on point. the LP is out soon but for now you can preview a few songs. 'under pressure man' is a true power-pop jammer.

pre-order the LP from funny/not funny records.

the big drum in the sky religion - more songs about religion and politics

prolific, shamanic noise/folk/punk/world/mystical band the big drum in the sky religion has a new release called 'more songs about politics and religion'.

the big drum in the sky religion produces their brand of ecstatic protest noise in two modes: long drones and short bursts. this happens to be a short burst kind of album, but it's 40 tracks long. excellent song titles, even better noise.

get it for free here.

kirill shirokov - self land's stain's II

'self-land's stains II' is a minimalist piece for one guitar by young russian contemporary composer kirill shirokov. this music is minimalist in every sense. this recording is the only time it has ever been performed, and it consists of a series of widely spaced, round, ringing single notes from an electric guitar.

the effect is unsettling, like the slow, nervous pace of horror movie scores can be, but the tone of the guitar is smooth. the listener is left to contemplate the silence left behind as one note dies away and wonder when the next will toll out.

get it for free from pan y rosas discos netlabel.


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