CDs + Vinyl:
Ails – The Unraveling CD/LP (The Flenser)
After Bay Area avant-garde cornerstones Ludicra called it quits in 2011, most of the band continued with their other musical endeavors, but former vocalist Laurie Shanaman and guitar player / vocalist Christy Cather haven’t resurfaced in a big way until now—Ails marks the return of both to center stage. “Ails beautifully synthesizes melancholy melodic death metal, stately doom, and atmospheric black metal, teasing every iota of intensity from each individual note and capitalizing on Shanaman’s vocal might.” —Noisey
ANMLPLNET – Fall Asleep CD/LP+MP3 (Ba Da Bing!)
Dream-like soundscapes from the duo comprised of Slothrust leader Leah Wellbaum and drummer/singer Mickey Vershbow. The band was formed originally on a number of rules, including writing lyrics that are antonymic translations (meaning nouns, adjectives and verbs were replaced with their antonyms) and playing songs straight through as one giant piece, no breaks. Epochal in scope and melodic.
The Aquabats – The Fury Of The Aquabats [Reissue/1997] 2xCD (Goopy)
Expanded reissue. One-part punk, one-part ska, one part Devo [Vinyl edition due May 4.]
Marcia Ball – Shine Bright CD (Alligator)
A rollicking array of piano-fueled roadhouse romps seasoned by Ball’s incomparably soulful balladry.
A Big Yes and Small No – Mise En Abyme CD/LP (The Royal Potato Family)
“One of the beautiful things about playing music is the gentle reminder of your own mortality that comes with creating something out of nothing, and knowing that the moment you stop playing, it will cease to exist,” says Kevin Kendrick, frontman and founder of Brooklyn’s A Big Yes and a small no. “A record is so-called because it is, literally, a record of that moment; so it doesn’t cease to exist.” Mise En Abyme, (“placed into abyss”), the project’s third album is, not surprisingly, very existential. Existentialism seems natural for a songwriter whose destiny in a symphony orchestra seemed given until he was kidnapped in Colombia in 1997. Terrifying though it was, it gave him clarity and hastened a move to touring as a hip-hop DJ and a vibraphonist with freak-jazz band Fat Mama. Someone who has survived 7 muggings and only picked up the pen in his late ‘20s after finally winning a protracted “war” with heroin has thought a lot about existence.