March Program Titles Released This Week:
Citizen Cope – Heroin And Helicopters CD/LP (Rainwater Recordings)
Comprised of eleven new, original songs all written and produced by Citizen Cope, Heroin And Helicopters serves as his first album in seven years and marks a return to a grassroots approach to musicianship, one that’s colored by hard work, hustle and heart, irrespective of the obstacles he’s encountered throughout 25 years as a career artist. Cope came up with the title after an encounter with Carlos Santana: “stay away from the two H’s – heroin and helicopters,” Santana told him. The LP tackles Cope’s personal struggles with religion, political manipulation, hollowness in the entertainment world, and spiritual enlightenment, as he contends with his own role in those societal institutions. It opens with “Duck Confit”, a poetic spoken word piece backed by 808 kicks and an ominous organ. “The River” is a slow-burning reflection on tyrannical systems that betray and oppress. Quiet stand-out “On My Love” is a stark, heart-wrenching tribute to Cope’s daughter Lula, and an attempt on Cope’s part to pass his life’s lessons on to her.
Criminal Hygiene – Run It Again CD/LP (Dangerbird)
Formed in 2011, Criminal Hygiene is a Los Angeles-based quartet comprised of founding member Michael Fiore (vocals, guitars, keys), Michael Hiller (vocals, bass, guitars) and Sean “Birdman” Erickson (drums, percussion) and bassist Cameron Ward. Their second album, Run It Again is a 10-song set that shines a fresh light on a raw sort of garage rock, full of melody, smart lyrics and hooks for days. When it comes to influences, the band cites everything from Johnny Thunders to The New York Dolls, The Clash and Wire. Television and Richard Hell. Minneapolis stuff like The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, The Suicide Commandos and The Suburbs. Big Star. Guided By Voices. Fleetwood Mac. Fugazi. The Pixies. Nirvana. Pavement. The Shins. Wilco. Marshall Crenshaw. Tommy Keene. Not to mention the classic rock they all heard via their parents.
Delicate Steve – Till I Burn Up CD/LP (ANTI-)
Some of the first people to recognize Delicate Steve’s (aka Steve Marion) unique musical talents were renowned artists such as David Byrne, Dirty Projectors, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Dr. Dog, and elder statesmen like Lee Ranaldo and Built to Spill. Steve is likely the only guitarist who has cut records with Sondre Lerche and Death Grip’s Zach Hill, been handpicked to open a sold out North American tour for Tame Impala and then provided guitar for a Paul Simon record. Now the acclaimed guitarist is back with his fifth solo studio album, Till I Burn Up. “On the (mostly) instrumental albums he’s released as Delicate Steve, Marion’s guitar playing is always in the spotlight, but never hogging it – rather, his luminous leads form the emotional undercurrent around which everything else flows. What makes Marion a guitar hero isn’t just his technical wizardry, but his music’s mission to help you through dark times.” – Pitchfork
Frankie and The Witch Fingers – ZAM CD/2xLP (Greenway)
Frankie and The Witch Fingers’ fifth LP, ZAM, bleeds beyond borders and boundaries. Its opening preternatural sounds bubble up out of the primordial soup, spilling into our world, invading the inner recesses of the listener’s mind. Like a two-headed snake wrapped around the skull, the album pendulates between winding instrumentals and dancey riffs that pop like supernovas out of the black void. Just when a song goes one way, it propels another through long stretches of a cosmic inferno. Bringing glimmers of krautrock and funk, its eleven tracks unleash a versatile and tenacious weight, slithering between the sexy, the aggressive, the vivacious, and the disorienting – until the living invasion is felt – ZAM, a supernatural entity summoned by four madmen obsessed with tearing open a gateway to dark space. After being pulled apart atom-by-atom, the listener is reconfigured on the other side, born unto starry wasteland. [Limited indie store exclusive vinyl edition also available.]