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The Monthly List: March’s Top 15 Albums

coppice_grass2014 continues with more great new music than any one person could possibly keep up with. I managed to cover one or two things in the last month, including Robot Records’ 3CD retrospective of Jacques Lejeune’s work. It’s probably the best GRM-related release I’ve seen since the INA-GRM put out those Luc Ferrari and Bernard Parmegiani sets in 2008 and 2009. I highly recommend it. If you’re looking for a place where you can get a copy, it’s currently available at Other Music.

I also covered Nicholas Szczepanik’s Not Knowing for Dusted in Exile, which is one of the more gorgeous recordings of 2014 so far.  As long as you’re there, you should also check out Jennifer Kelly’s review of Damien Jurado’s new record. Not so much on the experimental side of things, but a great record and worth checking out.

I’ve been catching up with and writing about Coppice and Haptic and I hope to get something together for The Patient as well. Those three recordings have most of my attention at the moment.

But there’s lots of new music coming from Editions Mego that I want to hear too. Along with the Schmickler/Rohrhuber LP below, which I’m slowly digesting, there’s new music from COH, LCC, Mika Vainio, Russell Haswell and Fennesz on the way. You can preview all of that on their website.

There’s also two new releases from Erstwhile, four new records and a 7″ from Kye, a boatload of Alga Marghen reissues, a new Thomas Ankersmit CD on Touch, and several new Sub Rosa projects that are either out now or soon to be available. Nevermind that Record Store Day is just a few days away, there’s more than enough music out there now to keep you record hunting for a good long time.

Links to my favorite sites for reviews and information are found at the bottom of the page. You can always find good info at Brainwashed.comDusted, Just Outside, and All Music Guide, and samples are available virtually everywhere. Forced Exposure and Boomkat are good places to go if you’re looking for the more obscure stuff.

As always, formats posted are the ones I own. Further record-buying resources can be found at the bottom of this page.

  • Coppice, Vantage/Cordoned on CADUC. (CD)
  • Haptic, Abeyance on ENTR’ACTE (CD)
  • Joseph Clayton Mills, The Patient on ENTR’ACTE (CD/BOOK)
  • Donato Dozzy, Plays Bee Mask on SPECTRUM SPOOLS (CD)
  • Voices from the Lake feat. Donato Dozzy & Neel, Voices from the Lake on PROLOGUE (CD)
  • Various Artists, Enjoy the Silence Vol. 2 on MULE ELECTRONIC (CD)
  • Dead Rider, Chills on Glass on DRAG CITY (CD)
  • Marcus Schmickler & Julian Rohrhuber, Politiken der Frequenz on EDITIONS MEGO (DIGITAL)
  • Jacques Lejeune, Parages and Other Electroacoustic Works 1971 – 1985 on ROBOT (3CD)
  • Michael Pisaro/Greg Stuart, Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds on GRAVITY WAVE (CD)
  • Nicholas Szczepanik, Not Knowing on DESIRE PATH/TANGENTS (DIGITAL)
  • Gas, Nah und Fern on KOMPAKT (4CD)
  • Damien Jurado, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun on SECRETLY CANADIAN (CD)
  • Hiss Golden Messenger, Haw on PARADISE OF BACHELORS (LP)
  • David Bowie, Heroes on RYKO (CD)
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Graveface to Release Molina Tribute Album + WZBC Show and More

weary_engine_bluesSavannah’s Graveface Records is preparing a Jason Molina tribute album due out toward the end of April. Called Weary Engine Blues, confirmed contributors to the project include John Vanderslice, Mark Kozelek, Damien Jurado, Alasdair Roberts, Scout Niblett, Will Johnson, Will Oldham, and many more. The cover art is by Jason Molina.

Not sure how limited this will be, but at the moment anyone who buys a CD copy of the album will also receive a 12.5″ x 12.5″ print of this map, originally drawn for Jason Molina by William Schaff, who has made some amazing album covers for Magnolia Electric Co., Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Okkervil River. He’s also responsible for the book in which Autumn Bird Songs appeared. All profits will go to Molina’s family. You may want to hurry and get a copy, but if the CD sells out, you can still get the MP3s for cheap.

Kozelek’s contribution—a cover of “It’s Easier Now” from Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go—is already online at Soundcloud:

On Sunday I visited Brainwashed HQ and recorded an hour-long podcast dedicated to Molina. It features some of my favorite songs from him, including an amazing live performance of “Hard to Love a Man” from 2006. You can listen to it here.

Tomorrow, from 9 PM until 11 PM eastern, I’ll be DJing another tribute show on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Anyone nearby can tune in, and anyone far away can stream the broadcast by pressing the big red play button on the left side of that page. I plan on playing album favorites, a few particularly great live performances, and a good deal of the lesser known stuff from Songs: Ohia. I hope you’ll join me—requests will be welcome.

Last but not least, Jagjaguwar’s posted another excellent tribute to Jason. It includes a photograph that I think must have been taken in 2002, on the courthouse steps in Harrisonburg, Virginia, during the MacRock festival. As one user on Archive.org remembers:

FYI, that previous night’s show was at macrock, in Virginia. The fire marshal ended up kicking people out of the venue due to overcrowding…

…so Jason played the rest of his set on the courthouse steps across the street. ‘Ring the Bell’ was never a more perfect song than that one moment. Especially with Jason smirking while singing ‘they’re always close…’ just as the police were pulling up.