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premiere: An Afternoon with Matthew Young

Douglas Mcgowan from Yoga Records directed this piece and wrote me about his experience making it: 

"There’s a shot I would have liked to include where I flipped through his dusty, cat-scratched records and it was Laurie Anderson, Nick Drake, John Cale, John Cage, James Brown, Love, the entire Michael Hurley discography including an original “First Songs” on Folkways… Nothing radical, just uncanny good taste. People like to think taste is subjective, but time has a way of proving otherwise. Matthew was on it as it happened. He was a hipster back when the word still meant something.

A lot of times you visit an artist and look in vain for signs of the person who made the record you fell in love with. With Matthew that person is right there. I hope he gets his third album together, I think he will. 
Obviously the house is kind of the costar of the video. It’s literally he and his wife Valerie's personal space and their refuge from the world. All the time we'd been talking on the phone he never mentioned that he lives in this magical place. I came away from the experience of meeting Matthew with a renewed fascination with his incredibly low key approach to being a rad dude.”

Recurring Dreams LP will be out July 22nd on Drag City / Yoga. Records. To read a longer interview from 2003, read it here by Carson Arnold.

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Sharon van Etten - Our Love

/// by Nikki Volpicelli ///

Simple and scrawled on, the album art for Sharon Van Etten’s newest release Are We There is reminiscent of Elliott Smith’s debut studio album Roman Candle which has meant a lot to me.

Van Etten’s self photograph takes the romantic route, portraying the pseudo-weightlessness felt when hurling your head out of the window of a car moving full speed, feeling only your hair whipping your face, hearing only the trees whizzing past you. Smith’s is a bit less exciting and more deliberate. His subject — an old friend — holds a styrofoam coffee cup through a sea of market day strangers, with nothing but a smile and a wear of ratty clothes. Both free, both careless, both black and white rumpled photographic visions of youth when it feels most alive.

At first, I wanted to draw comparisons to the music that these two artists created, but that was difficult to do. Lyrically, both artists tackle subjects that only a great songwriter can dress up, like loneliness, dependence, fear, and triumph from sorrow. Still, they do so in very different ways, Smith making making mountains from metaphor and Van Etten standing nakedly in the spotlight.

Both are fragile, both are hurt. Their work exists like paintings that have been brushed and smudged and painted over again. A lot of what they write is a built out of mistakes, from their subject matter to beautiful, works-too-well-to-leave-out recording accidents. Smith’s lo-fi recording style provided plenty of room for error, while Van Etten leaves voice bites and joke lyrics in songs like “Every Time the Sun Comes Up.”

Working alongside Stewart Lerman, who’s produced music for St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, Loudon Wainwright lll and more, Van Etten was able to demonstrate her ability to co-produce on this fourth studio album, crafting enigmatic temperature changes from track to track. Take “Afraid Of Nothing,” the first of the 11 tracks that make up the album, which starts like a graduation waltz and is quickly hurled over the other edge into an epic demonstration of modern multi-instrumental composition.

“I need you to be afraid of nothing,” she sings as if she’s coaching a kid through a thunderstorm, though at times she sounds like she needs some convincing herself. Similarly, “I Love You But I’m Lost” takes the same cross-cross route, clean, crisp, quiet and almost completely vocally-driven to start and then shapeshifting into a large-scale symphony by curtain close.

It’s not until “I Know,” the second to last song off of Are We There, that Van Etten shows us what it’s like to be alone with only her voice and piano keys. Undressed. The song creeps in the beginning, like a starched white suit in front of a crowd that’s ready to draw blood.

“Now I turn into a lover on the side/I cannot tell the poet eye apart from mine,” she sings. Here she is, spreading her courage so thick, but as the “lover on the side,” she’s still unable to let go of the feeling that she’s not worthy of harnessing it. “Hold On, Hold On/I want you,” she says, “All I ever wanted was you,” with the pound of piano keys as powerful as Smith’s heartstring-pulling guitar plucking.

For comparison’s sake, both artists have a definite knack for creating music that’s both sterilized and sentimental, clean and spilled all over the floor, but when it comes to actual, real, bare bones songwriting and musicianship, they are worlds apart. Where Van Etten seems more prone to break and bend, Smith stays stiff with pain. In “Drive All Over Town,” he wrote of the “dirty, stepped on” man like it was him. He wrote about a lot of men in a lot of his songs, none of them shiny or clean, none of them identifiable as anyone else but himself.

Worlds apart. Until I look again at those two images again.

Youth can often seem like a Roman Candle — spouting flames of colorfully crafted expressions every which way, witnessing quick glimpses of images that burn away even quicker than they came, experience all of this with a beautiful lack of control.

And in youth, when things don’t seem as fleeting and romantic, it can feel like of a long stretch of road that never seems to end. In youth, when things are bad or just plain boring, it bears the nagging question: Are We There (Yet?)

Both Van Etten with Are We There and Smith with Roman Candle are able to harness this energy in every which way but direct. It’s the little glimpses of the past in ratty clothes and dingy-looking photographs that are worn out on the sides, the self-loathing lyrics, the powerful moments of song construction and visible moments of insecurity that remind us that there’s therapy in taking albums like these and placing them side-by-side in collection and cognizance.

Nikki Volpicelli (@nikkivolp) is a writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She’s contributed stories to the Philadelphia City Paper, WXPN/The Key, Willamette Week and Eleven magazine and rambles daily about new and old/found psych rock on her blog, youngandrested.com.

YVYNYL is looking for contributors. Learn more. 

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EWW YABOO - Stolen Kisses

Not only did I get this letter a few weeks ago, but I got their cassette tape and I’ve listened to it 100 times already in my living room. Here’s why:

Hello Mark,

My name is Nathan from a band called EWW YABOO.  We are about to put out our first full length on Summersteps Records and I’d love to share it with you. We recorded the entire album at our home and named it “Keep Dreamin’”.  

The title serves as way to address the resistance… The things that keep you from finishing what you started.  The guitarist, Drew Carsillo, and myself  have been playing together off and on since our first band at 13 years old.  We’ve lived together for four years now, using Drew’s childhood home to practice and write/record the album. It took us a year to record and mix, and in the meantime I got to watch my friends grow as artists as well as people. I never realized the benefit of finishing something as tedious as a fully self recorded release. When you’re done and listening to the results I imagine it’s similar to an architect doing the first walk through of a structure they’ve designed and watched grow from the foundation up.  

During this year we saw the seasons change out of the windows, in the summer we sweat and cursed, in the winter we froze our asses off (tube amps double as heaters after 45 minutes!) while just trying to get a good take before heading to our jobs. Since Drew and I started the band during a brief stint living in Brooklyn, there was a mental image that formed. We wanted our releases, especially this first one, to sound like a solid mix tape.  Like a perfect boxing combination, my favorite albums are the kind that pummel you song after song, from different perspectives, sounds and angles.

We carved out our 11 song woolly mammoth from a mass that was 20+ songs, some more developed than others. We started with the rhythm section and I got to see Jared grow from an excellent high energy drummer to somewhat of a studio player, analyzing every aspect of what it he was doing within the songs. After finishing tracking and obsessing over the mixing for a awhile, we chose Mark Kramer to master it. Kramer has been an idol of mine since I first started recording my own music and I was pleasantly surprised at how simple and affordable having him work on our record was. The artwork was done by our former roommate and longtime friend Chris Eastwood.  He was here  when we first started tinkering and is an awesome positive artistic force and inspiration as well.  

To us, the end result of “Keep Dreamin’” represents where we have been as friends, individuals and as a band. We wanted to make a record that reflected all that was happening around us. I can’t be the judge on whether we achieved what we set out to do, but isn’t it about using what inspires you to at least make an attempt? Thanks!

Get one of the 100 ltd cassettes from Summerstep Records this week.

Keep Dreamin’ 

Nathan Andre/Eww Yaboo

Read more Letters to YVYNYL (see most popular)

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Goodbye Chanel - Foreva

Drink this sugar water. You’ll get right, thanks from these fellas in the UK.

Hot City Nights EP is up on Bndcmp and available on iTnsVideo edited by Media Cake

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premiere: Glass Random - I Feel Better

"Everything I want, everything I see is waiting for you, waiting for you…" Love this new single from Winnipeg’s Dave Shaw.  

Previously: “Out from the Garden

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infinite bisous - touch 2 much

Sunday morning perfection. 

Catch more of this vibez on the Tasty Morsels Records.

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Life Model - The Best Thing

Sweet candy for your weekend. Related: I heard Cyndi Lauper's “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” on the radio this morning and remembered what hottness. Holy shit, wasn't her hair so fucking awesome?! But I digress.

perfectmidnightworld:

Originally by Electric Youth (2014)

If you’re in the market for something super pretty, shoegaze-y, and vaguely familiar - I’ve got the song for you. The Glasgow based dream pop crew, Life Model, have an achingly beautiful take on the neon-hued, synth pop gem, “The Best Thing” by Electric Youth. The track has been floating around for a few months now, but only recently found it’s way to my ears (thanks to reader’s suggestion) and that is where it’s stayed the past few hours. Life Model has a handful of wonderful originals that you should also be spending time with, but for today - “The Best Thing” is a pretty wonderful place to start. 

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YVYNYL has a sweet new office, y’all. #coworking #westphilly (at The Fire Works)

YVYNYL has a sweet new office, y’all. #coworking #westphilly (at The Fire Works)

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Field Mouse - Everyone But You

I haven’t bumped into them bouncing around town yet, but the word on the street is that half of the members of these dreamgaze artists moved to Philadelphia recently. Where are you guys? 

Listen to the whole album premiering on Hype Machine this week. Hold Still Life LP is out July 22nd on !

fieldmouse:

Have you heard our new track “Everyone But You”?

Have you pre-ordered our LP?

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?

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Yalls - Like a Fool

My currently West Coast boy Dan Casey had this video made in between a 48 hour stop over in his hometown of Philadelphia while he attended a wedding and shot a music video with directors Leveler Media. Not bad for gettin’ shit done.

Look for the Untitled LP out now on Gold Robot Records.

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(Source: thesilentlistener, via spcnvdr)

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There was solid conversation happening in Philadelphia’s creative crowd the last day or two. Hell, it got “notable enough” it was talked about on Pitchfork, Noisy, et al. But the most lucid thoughts pushed into the mediascape was this gem by Philly artist Stephen Powers:

fifteenthandfirst:

Graffiti? Who cares? Everybody, apparently. Some people love it enough to donate time and resources to painting it. Some people hate it enough to donate time and resources to painting over it. Really the graffiti writer and the buffman (and it’s always a man) are more or less the same. They both make a mark on a wall that doesn’t belong to them, they don’t make it better or worse, just different. Writers are winning in that theirs is the mark of humanity that says “I’m here.” The buffers are losing because theirs is the folly of humanity—to try and sweep waves off the beach.

Graffiti in Philadelphia hasn’t changed much in 40 years, but the attitude of the public toward graffiti has changed in several ways since the halcyon days of Cornbread. First everybody loved it, then everybody got tired of it, then Mr. Blint and Razz and the class of 1980 made it cool again. By 1984, it was hated enough to get a guy who promised to get rid of it elected mayor. And that hate persisted all the way until after the National Guard came to Kensington and buffed walls in the run up to the Democratic National Convention—I think the entire city got buffed once and for all. And once graffiti was gone, people got nostalgic for it, and now in 2014 people like it again. The Mural Arts program has gotten fewer and fewer complaints about it over the years, and now my application of a medium to a surface, once hated, is now appreciated. Progress!

Jane Golden has been watching this change in attitudes as long as I have, and we’ve talked it through. In the 30 years since the Anti-Graffiti Network started, people have come to understand that graffiti is no big deal. All the walls got clean and it’s still easy to cop heroin and die in the street, proving the “broken windows” theory is broken.

On saturday a guy named Lee, misguided about graffiti and out of his mind, buffed the wall ICY SIGNS painted for Kurt Vile’s Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze record. Misguided because he thought our commissioned album design was responsible for the graffiti in the neighborhood. Out of his mind because he was using a crappy 1/4 inch nap roller and interior paint. ICY SIGNS recommends 3/4 inch nap and KILZ exterior primer/sealer.

Lee got caught mid-buff, and was washed out by a wave of internet indignation that was hilarious to me and every other writer I know, past and present. None of us can believe anybody gives a care about spraypaint on a wall. As I’ve been telling the buffman since the 80s, graffiti isn’t permanent—the sun is going to take care of it, eventually, and sooner than you think. So, buffman, go solve a real problem, how about shutting down the open air drug market a mile away? Too hard? Tell me about it, you know how long it took me to get a good hand style?

When we first painted the wall, we left the tags that were already on the wall when we started. I thought they were kids from the neighborhood and I wanted to leave them up and make them part of the design. I painted the lower half of the wall as fast and as fun as I could, with the same joy as I painted graffiti when I was 17 and free as I will ever be. Turns out the kids were from Baltimore, but a few Philadelphians snuck prints onto the wall and consequently onto Kurt’s album and in doing so returned graffiti to its rightful place on the Philadelphia cultural landscape, dead center where it doesn’t belong.

We’ll fix the wall, it will be better than it was in the first place (it’s ALWAYS better the second time). Lee the buffman is retired, now he’s Lee Major Crimes Unit. We forgive Lee, we don’t want anybody in trouble for painting a wall. And graffiti will come and go as it has since the caves in Lascaux. Let’s all go back to not caring too much either way.

I spent the weekend finishing the painting for our next print, which of course speaks implicitly and explicitly to the situation at hand, you know how I do. We are taking orders for this 24” x 24” hand pulled screen print on 334 gram Coventry Rag paper. It will be a signed and numbered edition of 50 in black and coral (or Chanel peach, whatever looks better). It’s $200 plus shipping, email espoprints@gmail.com with your location and we’ll send a Paypal invoice. Proceeds go to spray paint and loosies from the corner store on Front Street, buy now, we’ll ship on July 14. Oh the painting is on hold, but thanks for asking.

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TOPS - Sleeptalker

Oh, damn it. I can’t believe I miss some of my favorite bands with a hot new track in public! 

perfectmidnightworld:

Change of Heart/Sleeptalker 7”

(Available 7.14.14 via Arbutus)

I’m never surprised when I hear an amazing song and find that the band is based out of Montreal. It’s as if the whole area is teeming with brilliant musicians. One of the more underrated bands currently producing excellent sounds in Montreal is the dreamy, soft pop four piece, TOPS. The band has been quietly building a pretty stunning catalog of songs over the past couple of years, and with the forthcoming release of the “Change of Heart/Sleeptalker” 7”, they seem primed to catch fire. On “Sleeptalker”, the band crafts a delicate, autumnal sound that makes you long for the cooler days of fall so that you can get lost in the subtle beauty of Jane Penny’s whispered vocals as well as the sweetly melancholic guitars from David Carriere. There’s something special taking place here and hopefully it’s time for TOPS to hit that next level of exposure and recognition that they so deserve. Highest recommendation for fans of The Sundays, Real Estate, and Widowspeak

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Prom Body - Guttuggering

Stunning (and psychedelic) stop motion video work by Nika Kaiser.

prombody:

via NPR “First Watch” Premiere

watch:

(via jalph)

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Who here was born in 1984, hmm?
doomandgloomfromthetomb:

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Indianapolis Sports and Music Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, June 30, 1984 
Let the games begin! In case you missed it, Summer of Dead 2014 is going to feature all kinds of guest contributors. You are welcome to join in. First up, Kevin Titterton takes us back almost exactly 30 years. 
As Orwell predicted, 1984 was a dark year: Reagan came back for an encore, crack showed up to the party, and some of the original tenants of Haight-Ashbury were doing this. It was an equally challenging year for the Dead, with Garcia’s increased substance abuse and ill health leading to numerous Weekend at Bernie’s performances.
But like the Carter Family, one of the Dead’s greatest accomplishments is their longevity, connecting Appalachia and jug bands to early garage, ’60s psych freaks, disco, ’80s acid punks, questionable jazz fusion and ’90s jam crap. (Hey, nobody’s perfect.) People always cite ‘77 NYC and The Ramones as the death knell for the hippies, but things had gotten so screwed up by ‘84 that Black Flag was unironically weeding out and wearing Stealies in concert.
Despite the bummer vibe and general malaise, the Dead of the early ‘80s could cook some soup. With Mickey Hart back in the drum circle, the tribal rhythms that grounded the group throughout the bottom-heavy early ’70s loom large. The band rips through a mess of classics, and, for the most part, Jerry’s voice doesn’t sound like a “scared straight” cigarette commerical. The vocals hardly matter when he’s locked in and playing as well as he does on Deal. Brent Mydland had long replaced the tumultuous husband-and-wife duo of Donna Jean and Keith Godchaux, and his Hammond B-3 is a welcome presence. Bob Weir only punishes listeners with the slide guitar a couple times, and “Shakedown” totally smokes.
It’s a terrific and heartening set, on what was reportedly a stifling afternoon to see the group on an Indianapolis tennis court.
Kevin Titterton sometimes listens to the Grateful Dead and scribbles about it in Richmond, Vermont. He spends most of his free time throwing rocks for his dog. His writing can also be found on napkins, bathroom stalls, and at gilded-spinters.tumblr.com. 

Who here was born in 1984, hmm?

doomandgloomfromthetomb:

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Indianapolis Sports and Music Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, June 30, 1984 

Let the games begin! In case you missed it, Summer of Dead 2014 is going to feature all kinds of guest contributors. You are welcome to join in. First up, Kevin Titterton takes us back almost exactly 30 years. 

As Orwell predicted, 1984 was a dark year: Reagan came back for an encore, crack showed up to the party, and some of the original tenants of Haight-Ashbury were doing this. It was an equally challenging year for the Dead, with Garcia’s increased substance abuse and ill health leading to numerous Weekend at Bernie’s performances.

But like the Carter Family, one of the Dead’s greatest accomplishments is their longevity, connecting Appalachia and jug bands to early garage, ’60s psych freaks, disco, ’80s acid punks, questionable jazz fusion and ’90s jam crap. (Hey, nobody’s perfect.) People always cite ‘77 NYC and The Ramones as the death knell for the hippies, but things had gotten so screwed up by ‘84 that Black Flag was unironically weeding out and wearing Stealies in concert.

Despite the bummer vibe and general malaise, the Dead of the early ‘80s could cook some soup. With Mickey Hart back in the drum circle, the tribal rhythms that grounded the group throughout the bottom-heavy early ’70s loom large. The band rips through a mess of classics, and, for the most part, Jerry’s voice doesn’t sound like a “scared straight” cigarette commerical. The vocals hardly matter when he’s locked in and playing as well as he does on Deal. Brent Mydland had long replaced the tumultuous husband-and-wife duo of Donna Jean and Keith Godchaux, and his Hammond B-3 is a welcome presence. Bob Weir only punishes listeners with the slide guitar a couple times, and “Shakedown” totally smokes.

It’s a terrific and heartening set, on what was reportedly a stifling afternoon to see the group on an Indianapolis tennis court.

Kevin Titterton sometimes listens to the Grateful Dead and scribbles about it in Richmond, Vermont. He spends most of his free time throwing rocks for his dog. His writing can also be found on napkins, bathroom stalls, and at gilded-spinters.tumblr.com

comments (view) | 35 notes
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