the james badfellows - curiosity and spite EP

the james badfellows are a virginia based garage/punk/soul band with a dark aesthetic. not unlike if the cramps were more under the influence of stax records. their latest EP is called 'curiosity and spite', and they went full self-produced on this one, putting their heads together to come up with some doomy, swinging tones.

the interplay between the two guitars is kind of like a goth 'some girls' era kieth richards/ron wood situation. the rhythm section and some organ blasts lock the rest of it in for the titular james to deliver his low, swaggering howl over. back-up vocals here and there, especially on the sweet opening track 'warden', give me some 60's girl group vibes. it's a dank stew. recommended.

name your price for it here. i believe a 7" is in the works as well.

gaston urioste - ultimos soles del verano

'ultimos soles del verano' is the latest album by argentinian composer/multi-instumentalist gaston urioste. here is how he describes the sources of the music: 'this music draws equidistantly from diverse experiences and influences: contemporary writing, songs, jazz and south american folklore'.

the album flows together beautifully, combining jazz and latin rhythms with perfect fluidity. the drumming is impeccable. the woodwinds and strings are subtly arranged. the spanish guitar dances in and out of the compositions. there are surprising moments of nashville expressed in an amazing electric guitar solo during 'vals a emilia'. the songs sound experimental and familiar at once. i am having a hard time describing this album but i am giving it my highest recommendation.

get it here.

you're jovian - they were selected and divided

'they were selected and divided' is the latest album from norfolk, virginia based shoegaze/indie band you're jovian. it's available now for pre-order from funny/not funny records (release date 4/6). the single, 'pieces', is a jangling shoegaze/pop jammer, upbeat but hazy with the slow whammy bar warping of the guitars and gauzy distant vocals that are key elements of shoegaze.

for me, YJ hits a middle ground between two sounds of the 80's/90's british underground...gothic post-punk (like the cure and joy division) blended with heavy shoegaze (like my bloody valentine and loop). check out another track from the album, 'revelations', at YJ's bandcamp page.

pre-order the tape here.

adaya - the other side

adaya is a swiss musician. her latest album is called 'the other side'. adaya's music has celtic folk roots and psychedelic ambitions. fiddles, drones, sitar and electric guitars swirl like a storm above the driving rhythms established by the drums, bass and percussive banjo.

the air of mysticism is fully established by adaya's soaring vocals. you could definitely invoke some ancient deities to this music.

get it here.

restaurnaut - and out of the darkness wolves came whispering

'and out of the darkness wolves came whispering' is the latest release from california lofi artist restaurnaut, out now on pittsburgh label unread records and tapes. on this collection, restaurnaut's experimental bedroom folk/pop seems to be becoming even more atmospheric and strange.

various unidentified instruments and noises plunk and wheeze alongside more recognizable guitars and synths as vocals weave in and out, forming a dark but whimsical introspective journey. personal psychedelic confessions are interspersed with instrumental moods and excursions. 'quicksand' is a standout track.

get it here, cassette or digital.

empty stable - s/t

empty stable is a folk/roots music project from philadelphia. they have a subtle approach that i appreciate, going after the material with understated guitar playing and vocals that alternate between tight, high-lonesome harmonies and a deeper, reverb laden drawl.

the sparse production reinforces the restrained, melancholy country vibes of these songs. four leaves me wanting more. i love the closing track, a relaxed country blues jam called 'john henry brown', but the short and sweet opener, 'whiskey & water', is what drew me in to the EP the deepest.

name your price for it here.

brad fielder - vernacular songs

brad fielder is an oklahoman singer/songwriter who works in a down home, old-timey tradition. his latest release 'vernacular songs', finds him fired up over current american politics. from its very inception, folk music like the kind brad plays has been a way for common people to express their dissatisfaction with their leaders...and to unite each other in that dissatisfaction.

with 'vernacular songs', brad welds himself in as a link in that honorable chain. i especially like 'invoke his name', a barn burning topical variation on the blind lemon jefferson song 'see that my grave is kept clean'.

get it here.

c. scott and the beltones - adam raised a clone

c. scott and the belltones is a recording project of pennsylvanian musician christopher s. bell, who is also a member of the prolific collective netlabel my idea of fun (worth looking into what they have going on).

the belltone's latest album 'adam raised a clone' is a vibrant collection of maximalist bedroom pop songs, big ideas made real with a pots and pans aesthetic. it's lofi, clangy, yelpy, noisy and good. like a landfill phil spector, and that is a big compliment. the ambitious songs shine in the clamor. recommended.

name your price for it here.

bradley palermo - deep valley blues

bradley palermo is an LA based singer/songwriter who has followed the classic creative arc from punk/emo/hardcore music to alt-country and americana. his latest song 'deep valley blues', has full on outlaw vibes, with an easy going honky-tonk rhythm section (all bradley), hard luck lyrics and a high-lonesome pedal steel guitar.

the vocals are gritty but i think i can still hear a bit of screamo/hardcore singer in bradley's voice, which works fine. this would be a good song to drink well tequila shots to as the sun goes down in a dive bar deep inside the inland empire.

get it here.

tin boat - s/t

tin boat describes themselves as a 'heavy folk' project, which is a description i have never heard before, but it works well for this band. they have a driving, rhythmic sound, laid down by a deep and eclectic percussion section, an up-front mandolin, metal/grunge type melodies, and gang-style vocals.

they seem to have absorbed global folk influences and combined that with heavy rock to put together the unexpected sounds on their two song self titled debut. check it out below:

nothing available for download at this point, but keep an eye on the soundcloud for more songs.

magichour - all rivers flow to the ocean

magichour is the stage name of UK singer/songwriter ross king. the few songs he has available on his bandcamp page are craftsmanlike, simply produced but beautiful.

clean fingerstyle guitar structures are fleshed out with melodies rendered in lush vocal layers. dreamy folk in the british tradition, with a modern indie edge. 'all rivers flow to the ocean' is his latest release.

check out a few more songs here.

pc worship - buried wish

if you check in to MFOA regularly, you might know that i have been a longtime fan of new york experimental art/punk band pc worship. i have always appreciated band leader justin frye's ability to stretch the bounds of free-form jazz-damaged jamming and noise-destruction within the confines of concise, fully realized rock'n'roll songs. with their latest LP 'buried wish', they have hewn their particular type of blade to a microscopic sharpness, producing an incredible record, my favorite of the year so far, one that sounds timeless but also nails down what it feels like to live right now. the album begins with a bank of dissonant woodwinds and voices going through a woozy melody, 'lifeless rain on an empty moon', a song that feels to me like it could be the intro to a straight jazz record, like a minute snatched out of a chill part of 'black saint and the sinner lady'. this is followed by the pounding sludge of the single 'blank touch', a rocker which includes an insane backwards guitar solo (despite the artsiness of pc worship i often hear references to the most normal of classic rock in some of the guitar solos, projected through a broken lens. pc worship can have fun/a sense of humor with rock, just check the stoner-metalish jam 'back of my $$$'). the next song, 'river running sideways', brings in my favorite mood of the album, a kind of urban-decayed, trashy neil young shuffle with low-pitched slacker vocals, and those twisted classic rock guitars. i have things to say about every song on this record, but you don't really need to hear them, you probably just need to hear the record. the music feels like now, as i said before...the droning tony conrad/VU violins in 'help' couldn't sound more fresh for these sick times, and while i have often found pc worship's lyrics to be interesting, on this record i find some to be *touching*, as in the high-anxiety anthem 'perched on the wall': 'keep teaching the only written language and keep beating the heat/keep getting shit to eat and keep avoiding defeat'...fuck, isn't that the best any of us can try to do?

my favorite section of 'buried wish' is the final two songs, 'torched' and 'tranquil pain'. apparently 'torched' was inspired by the seminal lofi/punk record 'torch of the mystics' by sun city girls, but with the virtuosic drumming of greg fox (who worked with milford graves), the psychedelic guitar journeys sound more like early sonny sharrock to me. this ecstatic, heaven-reaching clamor of guitar and drums bursts and settles into 'tranquil pain', another baked out folk/rock song with a beautiful melody and again, extremely honest words that speak to me and to now: 'i'll sit outside again and wait for it to rain/i'll make it wash away everything that caused you pain/i'm going through the trash trying to find anything you might have thrown away/ because you thought it caused you pain'. shit. the song fades out into more warped violins and washy drones until it slams back in with another explosion of shattered guitar solos and screams. then the final line: 'i'll go outside again and wait for the sun to hit/make all the prayers come true and try to swallow it'. a perfect ending thought to a perfect record. when you think of a new york art rock band maybe you think of irony and detachment, but the lyrics throughout 'buried wish' feel incredibly, refreshingly sincere. if there is any detachment here, it is not a hipster pose but a self conscious defense mechanism against what the world seems to have become. this is way long for an MFOA post, but i can't recommend this album enough.

get it here, vinyl or digital.

jordan perry - s/t

jordan perry is a virginia based musician involved in multiple projects. most recently i have featured him here in his capacity as guitarist and singer for the excellent glam/power pop band new boss. jordan is also accomplished in the realm of classical guitar, and has recently released a self-titled album of his own compositions.

jordan's songs are not as flowery as what you might think of when you think of classical guitar music; they tend towards a starker, more contemporary style, playing with the spaces between the notes, the diminishing sustain, the fluid rumble of a repetitive fingerpicking pattern on nylon strings, the interplay of dissonance and harmony in groups of notes, and perfect execution. most of the songs are short sketches that seem to flow seamlessly into one another, with the exception of the roughly seven minute excursions at the front and back of the album. this is an easy album to get lost in, each time i have listened to the LP i am surprised as if woken from a daydream when the side ends, especially at the end of the lengthy and mesmerizing final track, 'whydah flats'. i highly recommend getting a copy of this limited edition LP.

download it digital here, email goodcryrecords at gmail for the LP (small operation).

ryan clark - nothing to prove

ryan clark is an MC and DJ based in harrisonburg, virginia. he often makes beats for other artists and performs as a DJ, but the self produced 'nothing to prove' marks his debut as a rapper. the album begins with a few a capella bars referencing previous personal struggles overcome. ryan's flow is laid back but has an emotional rawness and seems to draw a lot on classic early conscious hip-hop as well as the 21st century giants like kanye west and jay-z.

production wise, the influences seem to be more completely on the old-school side, with sparse, soul-heavy crate-dug beats that are very reminiscent of a tribe called quest. to quote kanye, i'm guessing ryan clark has 'so many records in his basement'. there is a sense of humble workmanship about this EP that makes me think of that song (kanye's 'spaceship') minus the high levels of ego.

name your price for it here.

peter mitchell james - sacred harpoon

oakland, california based experimental musician peter mitchell james (AKA east oakland athletics) did not send me his music out of the blue, i asked him to send it to me, because he interacts with me on twitter and often seems to grasp what i am trying to say, something that i really value in a space where despite the fact you can put a lot out there, there is no guarantee anyone will care or understand.

peter's music takes the form of ecstatic, psychedelic guitar expressions and industrial laments that seem to reference charismatic spiritual experience and the blur of everyday drudgery as much as lysergic departures. considering that our lived experience might be able to be reduced to a series of chemical and electrical reactions, what is the difference anyway? there are some more staid and standard type songs on peter's lone release 'sacred harpoon', but there is always an intensity and swirling energy ready to burst from between the cracks, as when a heavy textured drone of distortion bursts forth during the chorus of the otherwise ethereal 'merchants opens at 7:00'. i am glad i finally got to hear peter's songs, and i recommend you listen to them too.

get it for free here.

reid karris - divinato exitium

'divinato exitium' is the latest release by prolific chicago noise composer and percussionist reid karris. out now on cassette from chicago label lurker bias, 'divinato exitium' features a longform electroacoustic improvisation on each side, crafted with an array of percussive sounds and manipulated through electronic means.

listening to it causes me to meditate on the nature of destruction and construction, as each composition seems to start as generally a recording of sounds and then shifts into electronic abstraction over it's length. are the manipulations at play creating or destroying the thing we are supposed to be hearing? does it matter? is it possible to one without doing the other? is all creation, in fact, destruction, and all acts of destruction, in essence, acts of creation? maybe if you listen to reid karris' 'divinato exitium' a bunch of times, you will figure this out.

get the hand-dubbed, varying colorway c-32 from lurker bias, or name your price for some digital files.

the transcendents - dirt songs

'dirt songs' is the latest DIY LP from new zealand based post-modern musical collective the transcendents. like their previous releases, it is a home-cooked stew of lofi post-punk 'sprechgesang' cooked up using a wide range of methodologies, from the clean and electronic to the grittiest analog. the eclectic, looping, jagged psychedelic soundscapes provide a backdrop for spoken-word style reflections on the contradictions and injustices of the modern world.

the featured track, 'data entry dadism', with it's accompanying video, kind of reminds me of sleaford mods if they were high on acid and mushrooms instead of cheap cider and beer. i recommend digging into the 'dirt songs' of the transcendents.

get it here.

eli winter - live at silent funny

eli winter is an up and coming american primitive guitar picker who recently relocated from texas to chicago. he has been sending me live recordings for the past few years, and the development of his playing has been very fast.

he sounds polished as hell on this latest live set 'at silent funny', ripping through some towering original compositions and a faithful cover of the epic opening track of daniel bachman's stunning 2015 album 'river', 'won't you cross over to that other shore', a nearly 15 minute opus. eli even got the chance to perform with bachman recently, jamming the shruti box on a few songs for his feburary set at the empty bottle (check that out here). seems like things are going well for eli winter in his quest to play american primitive guitar. i am excited to hear a studio album.

name your price for this and some other live sets here.

growler - water on the moon

'water on the moon' is an epic, 30 track retrospective collection by texas weirdo folk collective/trio growler. it's laid-back, lofi psychedelic folk, referencing tradition and coming from nowhere at the same time. the 30 tracks leave a lot of time for it to unwind its loose charms, and there are plenty of them.

there is a playful, experimental nature about these songs, even when they are sad, like they were recorded in those late night moments where the bottles are mostly empty and things really come together. happy accidents abound and are treated with the utmost respect. i recommend diving into this collection, i think it rewards dives both shallow and deep, depending on how much time you have to give it.

name your price for it here.

stray owls - a series of circles

stray owls are an indie/rock/folk band from north carolina. their latest album 'a series of circles' is a collection of fuzzed-out, woodsy lofi jams that have achieved a fine balance between strange and catchy.

stray owls employ homespun techniques to reference the psych/folk and eccentric auteur pop of the sixties as well as the hermetic bedroom indie rock of the nineties. they fit in well with the independent, experimental musical tradition of the chapel hill, NC area.

get it here.

swamp sounds/uncle pop and the dumbloods

'swamp sounds/uncle pop and the dumbloods' is a split release by the two bands mentioned there in the title for scottish label bearsuit records. uncle pop and the dumbloods is a name for the work of scottish musician douglas wallace.

swamp sounds is the work of japanese electronic artist yuuya kuno. i can't find any outside links to these guys aside from the split, but it sounds pretty good. it begins with five tracks from swamp sounds...maximal, upbeat, breathlessly psychedelic electronica. the work of uncle pop is a little bit darker, with more an industrial edge, but the two artists fit well together on a split.

get it here.

george fetner - some things will change

george fetner is a singer/songwriter from columbia, south carolina. he is involved in a variety of musical projects, but his latest solo album is called 'some things will change'.

george's skillful, new age inflected fingerstyle guitar playing and ear for a unique melody is on display throughout this heartfelt collection. lyrically, these songs seem to be meditations on the emotional and philosophical contradictions we tend to face as we go through life.

get it here.

garrett douglas - i always think of you

garrett douglas is a young singer/songwriter from atlanta. 'i always think of you' is brief collection of songs he has composed since he moved to texas for college. with the exception of the romantic, standard length 'hometown', these songs are each only about a minute long and feature memorable melodies and tight playing and singing that leave you wanting more.

i like the use of a lofi drum machine on a few tracks and the shuffling rhythm section for the brief coda of 'yep'. each of these songs could be three minutes, no problem, but the sketch format is charming in its humbleness. it would take you less than ten minutes to enjoy this collection, i recommend it.

name your price for it here.

the golden chesterfields - old gold: best of the chest vol. 1

the golden chesterfields are a canadian folk/punk band, featuring david ivan neil, an MFOA ultra-regular-contributor as a member. because i feel like we are internet pals and i have written about a ton of his releases, i'm gonna be honest and say that the opening track of this collection 'old gold: best of the chest vol. 1' which uses uncomfortable lines from the movie 'silence of the lambs' as lyrics, is kind of off-putting to me. but punk is supposed to be off-putting, and i really like the rest of the album.

the production touches, such as saxophones here and there, noodly guitar soloing, and plenty of group singing, are well done, and the songs have bones. at it's best, funkiest moments ('my love', 'damn the haircuts'), this sounds a bit like the minutemen doing an acoustic set, and if you know me, you know i don't compare things to the minutemen lightly.

name your price for it here.

no mightier creatures - s/t

no mightier creatures are a peruvian rock band with a political edge. their just released, self-titled album is a tight collection of angular, post-punk inflected jams sung in english with a deep, grungy monotone drawl.

the lyrics, heavy in detail and imagery, tackle systemic injustice with a feeling of boiling frustration that rumbles through the aggressive grooves of the music. recommended.

name your price for it here.

red kite - sunburst 2006-2012

red kite is a spanish avante garde sound artist who positions his work in opposition to the values of the global elite. 'sunburst 2006-2016' is collection of some of his best compositions from the past ten years, selected from his deep catalog.

red kite works mostly in the genre of electronic drone. his soundscapes, composed of hissing tones, mechanical clicks, grinding modular synths, bursts of static and twisted robotic voice samples evoke the feeling of being lost but observed in the late capitalist international digital panopticon/monsoon that life has seemingly become. while red kite's music can replicate this kind of edge, it can also offer relief, the joyous abandon in a soft mist of abstract sound that the best drone accomplishes.

download it for free from pan y rosas discos netlabel.

alex elgier and cecilia quinteros - hiken!

'hiken!' is a long form improvisation for cello and piano by the argentinian duo of alex elgier and cecilia quinteros. it's an abstract and energetic piece of music, starting with a vocal exclamation before diving into the languages and possibilities of the two versatile instruments involved. the textures and moods vary throughout the length of the song from chaotic to meditative, with moments that celebrate the maximum presence of sound and spans that revel in its near absence.

i especially enjoy the passage from roughly 5 to 9 minutes in, a middle-intensity rumble that foreshadows a lull in the piece, as well as the stately, dissonant climax around minute 14, which is followed by a meticulous study in melodic and rhythmic decay. there are tons of beauty to be lifted across the length of this song, with the potential to manifest itself differently with repeated listens. highly recommended for fans of free jazz and contemporary classical music.

you can download it for free from pan y rosas discos netlabel.

zander yates - step one (video)

zander yates is a singer/songwriter from seattle, washington. 'step one' is his debut jam/video.

it's a folk/rap type song with socio-politically activated lyrics and funky, percussive acoustic guitar playing. towards the beginning of the song zander declares that it is 2017, but there are some 90's vibes afoot.

you can download the song at zander's bandcamp site.

scotch hollow - little tortuga

scotch hollow is roots-rock band from kansas city, missouri. the music is centered around bluesy slide guitar and up-front lead vocals, fleshed out with a tight rhythm section.

they make shuffling, danceable up-tempo americana rock with plenty of swing and snarl to it. their latest album is called 'little tortuga', named for a resident turtle on the farm on which they were living when the wrote it.

get it here.


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