The Panoply Academy formed in mid-1996. All its members came from bands who may someday end up on a Bloodstains Across the Midwest comp -- if anyone is able to uncover those lost records. WHAT WE DEFEND is the six-song follow up to their debut full-length RAH! The EP is a rock album, part MARGIN WALKER and part FLOWERS OF ROMANCE. Call it damaged art-punk, we've used that term before. Past musical comparisons to MX-80 and Smart Went Crazy have fallen short. Instead a holy, distinct and disjointed sound carries Panoply. Singer Darin Glenn's yodel and Marty Sprowles' neurotic guitar playing cut across WHAT WE DEFEND. Keyboardist Bekkah Walker's minimal, Monet-styled samples and beeps follow the ways of Pan Sonic, underlining the taut songs; whereas Nick Q's bass and Ryan Hicks' savage drumming grounds it all into a tight, sweaty basement uber-funk. And Panoply has enough spazz to satisfy the Gravity geeks and angular guitar for all the high-water pants in D.C.
In the keeping with the spirit of Indiana's punk past, the Panoply Academy Glee Club surpass expectations in music and performance. The unaware may scratch their heads and wonder what in Indiana could instigate this musical experimentation. One need only to look at the past to understand the Academy has been infested with the same spirit that flamed Hoosier forefathers MX-80 Sound, Dancing Cigarettes and the Gizmos. Originating in Bloomington during the spring of 1996, the Panoply Academy is composed of Nick Quagliara (bass and vocals), Ryan Hicks (drums) Bekkah Walker (samples, keyboards and vocals), Marty Sprowles (guitar and vocals) and Darin Glenn (vocals, guitar and trombone). Its members hailing from a long line of vital Indiana rock bands including Intro to Airlift, Pretty Pony, Guiseppe, Sway Kiss, Yellow Based Red, and the Yarnmarvins, the Panoply Academy know where it's been and have their sights set on where they want to go. In addition to the nine songs recorded with Mike Krassner at Truckstop in Chicago, RAH! contains twelve pieces of interwoven sound pastiches recorded by various means, individually and collaboratively among the band. Released in July, 1998.
The Panoply Academy Legionnaires -- the latest incarnation of the Panoply Academy -- presents a new full-length album, NO DEAD TIME. In the Panoply Academy's trademark fashion, stability and recklessness go hand in hand in an uncompromising lyrical & musical examination of both sides of the complicated man vs. machine coin. The tension between the two is most apparent, and with a fine balance of careful deliberation and willy nilly abandon, the 21st century man/machine symbiosis is explored carefully. What else could come from a band which harbors not only the deepest of curiosities for, but also an inherent mistrust of the codependency of the modern man and its machines. Even the lines between man and machine begin to blur, as the definition of the latter drifts off to encompass more than just the metallic human-made object, but bleeds into the fleshly arena as our sentient bodies are discovered to bear their own machine-like qualities.The recording process of NO DEAD TIME acts as a testament to the Panoply Academy's assertion that man and machine seem bound by a mutual necessity for one another. Recorded at three different locations throughout the last half of 2000, the process was equally as disjointed as the product. Original tracking began on a horse farm in Southern Indiana, with additional tracking done in a small shoebox-sized Chicago apartment, and finally the overdubbing and mixing was brought back to their hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, and completed at the home of engineer Dan Burton (of Early Day Miners and Ativin). Tied together through soundscapes, NO DEAD TIME intentionally leaves very little room for pause or reflection. And when the rare silence slips in, it only intensifies the drama that plays forth.Pinpointing the Panoply Academy sound has provided difficult recreation for many since their early days in 1996. Having been most consistently compared to the post-punk greats (Pere Ubu, Public Image Ltd., and Gang of Four) and the Washington D.C. art-rock revivalists (Nation of Ulysses, Fugazi and Smart Went Crazy), it seems to us at this juncture that due homage ought to be paid to their under-appreciated Hoosier art rock forefathers who grew up drinking the same PCB-infected Southern Indiana water and rocked the same Bloomington basements and late-afternoon public library shows that the Panoply Academy now enjoys. Bands like MX-80 Sound, Dow Jones & The Industrials, the Gizmos and Dancing Cigarettes, seem to cast ghostly shadows across their music, though how much of a conscious influence they've been on the Panoply Academy may be hard to ascertain.
Two sides: nocturnal & diurnal. Illustrating the duality of man, machine and establishment, the night time and the day time, the dead time and the alive time. It is in such a context that the new era in the Panoply Academy begins. A new era for a new line-up. This 7" is the debut release by the Panoply Academy Legionnaires; a precursor to their full-length NO DEAD TIME. Whereas the Glee Club leaned toward experiments in texture and timbre, and the Corps of Engineers rocked with spastic structures, the Legionnaires synthesize the two extremes into songs that stream with a disjointed flow. This is epic art rock, folks. Like the Sun City Girls reinventing "Layla" in a sleepy midwest village. Yes, the piano has been introduced and it's an unbelievable addition. Recorded at Queensize Studios on a cold day in an industrial park on the west-side of Indianapolis by LonPaul Ellrich (Marmoset, United States 3, Sardina).
The War On Drugs, the Philadelphia-based project of Adam Granduciel, is set to release their third full-length album, the beautifully sweeping Lost In The Dream, on March 18, 2014 via Secretly Canadian. Written and recorded over two-plus years in Philadelphia, North Carolina, New York and New Jersey, following almost two years of nonstop touring in support of 2011's Slave Ambient, Lost In The Dream is the outstanding presentation of Granduciel's progression and growth as a songwriter, performer, and producer. It is an immense listen to be absorbed and discovered now and for decades to come.
The War on Drugs' 2011 breakthrough record, Slave Ambient, is both sprawling and full of bravado. And "Come to the City" is its sprawling, full-of-bravado centerpiece. Yet, for all the bombast contained within the song — the synth-and-sax drones, the searing guitar, the relentless fist-pumping charge — "Come to the City" is a delicate balancing act. Adam Granduciel proves himself a master of texture, tone and momentum — building maximum tension through careful sonic sculpting. Even when its anthemic baseball park finale drops, Granduciel buries it in the ambience just enough so that "Come to the City" never looses that feeling of almost peaking. Its as-yet-unreleased B-Side, "Don't Fear the Ghost," is pure desert-trance American music, Suicide on a southwestern vision quest. This limited-run "Come to the City" 7" is a celebration of a magnificent year for The War on Drugs, as well as a highlight of the band's singular songcraft.
Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs, the vehicle of Adam Granduciel — frontman, rambler, shaman, pied piper guitarist and apparent arranger-extraordinaire, returns with Slave Ambient.
On their debut, the life-affirming Wagonwheel Blues, and the follow-up EP, Future Weather, The War on Drugs seemed obsessed with disparate ideas, with building uncompromised rock monuments from pieces that may have seemed like odd pairs. Folk-rock marathons come damaged by drum machines. Electronic and instrumental reprises precede songs they’ve yet to play, and Dr. Seuss becomes lyrical motivation for bold futuristic visions. Now, Granduciel has done it again, better than before: Slave Ambient, their proper second album, is a brilliant 47-minute sprawl of rock ’n’ roll, conceptualized with a sense of adventure and captured with seasons of bravado.
Slave Ambient features a team of Philadelphia's finest musicians, including multi-instrumentalists Dave Hartley and Robbie Bennett, and drummer Mike Zanghi. Recorded throughout the last four years at Granduciel's home studio in Philly, Jeff Ziegler's Uniform Recording and Echo Mountain in Asheville, NC, the album puts the weirdest influences in just the right places. Synthesizers fall where you might expect more electric guitars (and vice versa); country-rock sidles up to the warped extravagance of ’80s pop. Instant classic "Baby Missiles" is part Spingsteen fever dream, part motorik anthem. “Original Slave” might sound like a hillbilly power drone, but “City Reprise #12” suggests Phil Collins un-retiring to back Harmonia. “I Was There” is Harvest rebuilt by some selection of psychedelic all-stars, while the shuffling, sleepy opener “Best Night” offers a band with too many ideas to be in a hurry. During the mid-album centerpiece “Come to the City,” Granduciel howls and moans, “All roads lead to me/ I’ve been moving/ I’ve been drifting.” Indeed, however unlikely that might seem, all these sounds arrive cohesively in one unmistakable place. Every song on Slave Ambient is instantly identifiable and infinitely intricate, a latticework of ideas and energies building into mile-high rock anthems.
The War On Drugs is once again at the blurred edges of American music: overexposing studio limitations, piling tape upon tape to maximum density, and then — with each song — they pull off the scaffolding to reveal what sticks, keeping only what's absolutely necessary and dig into what sounds like the best kind of fucked up. As on their debut Wagonwheel Blues, they take small moments occurring over multiple tapes and multiple song versions, and put every last drop of trust in their own instinct of momentum.
Future Weather is a provocative — sometimes playful, sometimes weighty — glimpse into The War On Drugs' song-sculpting process, a process that remains a big mystery even to those on the inside. While some bands are content to merely pace the abyss, The War On Drugs coast through it. And along the way, Future Weather sidesteps most every connotation associated with the EP format. There's a true coalescence and symmetry here, one of wash and drone, of momentum and tone, but also of theme. Friendship, loyalty and keeping a group of spiritual brothers together are all themes that songwriter Adam Granduciel focuses in on for Future Weather. "Wondering where my friends are going / Wondering why they didn't take me / Looking out the window of my room / Looking out where something once ran wild," he sings on "Brothers" with a sense of soured peace, leaving out all the right things, leaving room in there for the shared experiences of your own friends. There are cues taken from our best American songwriters, yet The War On Drugs are wise enough to also implode or send themselves into outer space when the moment calls for it. The driving organ riff that pushes "Baby Missiles" may be inspired by a fever dream of Springsteen or Dire Straits more than any particular jam. And the endless layers of guitar melody and atmospherics of "Comin' Through," rather than add weight to the vessel, only work to fill its sails with warmer and warmer winds.
The War On Drugs push the boundaries of a quintessentially American music. Guitars soar and colorful clouds roll past whatever sun or moon you are cruising under, through whatever old bar you are reveling within. The War On Drugs point toward a tireless horizon in the distance that you will never reach but are compelled to chase. It's a tail you've chased your whole life and will continue chasing because your life is more poetic when you are moving toward it - your cinematography is more rich. Wagonwheel Blues is one of those albums that each of us holds onto tightly. They get moved from apartment to apartment through the years; they are songs on the radio that follow us from town to town. They evoke waves of nostalgia and grow more poignant with each new bump along the road.
Perhaps more sonically upbeat than its predecessor, Creaturesque's details are at times painted in both optimistic and sobering tones. Reitherman's scattershot poetics touch on an array of ideas; it's oppressive American machisimo and Suburbanite sexuality. It's soft drugs and convertible cars. It's the struggle for higher expectations within the mess of modern life, and when wrapped up in the structures of TMTS' sure-handed tunes it's an all too delicious combination.
Purpleface is the new EP from Seattle's Throw Me The Statue. The four piece has spent 2008 touring the US and Europe supporting its critically acclaimed debut, Moonbeams. While on the road, TMTS has explored the depths of its sound, recreating its playful mystique, and emerging as a proficient and an even more engaging live act. Purpleface is the direct result of this time, albeit showing a bit of a softer side than its predecessor.
Making waves throughout the latter half of 2007, we're super pleased to deliver Seattle's Throw Me The Statue's debut album, "Moonbeams." Conceived and fronted by Scott Reitherman, "Moonbeams", was constructed with the help of Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens, Pedro The Lion) to create a wondrous concoction of fuzzed out synths, brass ensembles and epic vocal melodies that have been noticeably absent since "In the Aeroplane, Over The Sea" first saw the light of day. At the album's core is a sharp sense of melody, a cutting lyrical honesty, and a bludgeoning beat that brings to mind the whimsy of Magnetic Fields, the lyrical expanse of The Microphones, and the lo-fi bliss of Eric's Trip.
While the front of the album is nothing short of the next evolution of skewed Northwest bombast with "Lolita," "Yucatan Gold" and "About To Walk" , the second half displays an unexpected maturity in young Reitherman. The title track oozes down tempo vulnerability while the closer, "The Happiest Man On This Plane" combines the best of Reitherman's predecessors Phil Elvrum and Dave Bazan.
The title track the "About To Walk" ltd. ed. single is a Neutral Milk Hotel-fueled concoction of fuzzed synths, doubled bedroom beats and epic vocal harmonies. Also present are the upbeat handclapper "Lolita" and Elverum-esque "The Old Believer."
Conceived and fronted by Scott Reitherman, TMTS will release its debut full length, "Moonbeams" February 19th, 2008 on Secretly Canadian.
To be clear, Tig Notaro's second album is titled LIVE [liv, verb].
LIVE [liv, verb] was recorded, uh, live [lÄ«v, adj. or adv.] at Largo on August 3rd, 2012 at her monthly show, "Tig Has Friends." The day before this set, Tig was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts. This news was the bookend to an agonizing year in which Tig spent weeks in the hospital battling an intestinal bacteria infection. A week after being released from the hospital, her mother unexpectedly died. Then, in the middle of it all, her relationship fell apart. Which leads us here. Tig's 30 minute set is not much more than an open-mic set in that it's half scripted, raw and real. It's an insightful detailing of her assessing a horrible set of circumstances in a calm, clever and clear manner.
"Live at The Moth" was recorded on December 5th at The Avalon Hollywood. The story, recorded for the acclaimed storytelling podcast, is a companion piece of sorts to LIVE. In the 16 minute piece, Tig elabroates on the death of her mother and how the untimely passing eventually lead to a reconnection with her step father.
"In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo." -Louis C.K.
On August 2nd, Secretly Canadian is proud to release the debut album by Tig Notaro entitled Good One. She is the first and only comedian we've had the good fortunte to work with. Good One contains well crafted and silly material touching on subjects such as her family tree, Mexican hotel door signs, birthing a dinosaur, and how Taylor Dayne is the easiest person in the world to run into, amongst other things. A deluxe version of the album contains the long anticipated DVD of Have Tig At Your Party, the human equivalent to the “burning log” DVDs.
Love Me is an album that takes Tomas Barfod's spirit of adventurousness and raises the stakes. Utilising a supporting cast that includes a string and brass section, and musicians like Here We Go Magic's Luke Temple and long-term collaborator Nina K. on vocal duties, it's a multi-layered album that effortlessly pushes and pulls dance and electronic music into a myriad of different shapes.
Back in the summer of 2012, Tomas Barfod released his debut album under his own name, the sophisticated mesh of electronics that is Salton Sea. Lauded by the likes of Pitchfork, Dazed & Confused and Gorilla vs Bear, its success took Barfod slightly by surprise. Inspired by a move to LA and mainly written and recorded on the road, often in hotel rooms on his laptop, it was an album that was imbued with a sense of spontaneity and experimentation. Its success has paved the way for the forthcoming follow-up 'Pulsing', a single that continues this spirit of adventurousness but takes it to a whole new level.
With a supporting cast ranging from long-term collaborator Nina Kinert on the lovely electro-squelch of 'Pulsing', former Charles & Eddie legend Eddie Chacon on the twitching mesh of synths that is 'Happy', as well as enigmatic instrumentals like 'Tea Cup', 'Pulsing' effortlessly pushes and pulls dance and electronic music into a myriad different shapes.
A new album is planned for release later this Spring. More news to come soon.
Brother Mick Turner and Brother Jim White have walked from the Timar Sea to the Indian Ocean drudging their instruments through the bush. These two Melbourne, Australia natives have made a name for themselves as 2/3 of the Dirty Three and by our estimates it won't be long til they're known widely as the brothers Tren. This debut single places the familiar guitar and worn harmonica of Turner with the taught and rebounding drums of White. The sounds within were hinted at on Turner's solo album, though at 33 rpm these instrumental ball breakers are given time to flesh out and expand over the Kata Tjuta. At a sum of fourteen minutes a means is provided for the Tren Brothers to stand apart from the D3 apparatus long enough to warrant notice as individual and flourishing musicians.
This is Secretly Canadian’s 100th release, finally stamped and shipped out on its 11-year anniversary. But this isn’t a 11-years-of-Secretly-Canadian-budget-blow-out-back-pat. That will likely happen with SC200, The Johnny Cougar Mellencomp. SC100 is more a suspended, freeze-dried nugget of evolution from those humbled beginnings everyone has. For those with a checklist of Hooiser Rock History, take note that SC is the first Indiana label to issue 100 titles. Daydreams are good when thinking of who came before — BRBQ, 700 West, Lamp, Solid Gold or Gulcher — and what they could’ve done if not for being corn-holed by that cruel economy of scales or packing up and leaving the state for brighter times. A few years past its inception, SC albums were never shrink-wrapped, sleeping space doubled as office space and the website address was garbled syntax of tildes and slashes unable to be translated over the phone.
All artists who issued recordings from SC01 (June Panic, Glory Hole) to SC99 (Swearing at Motorists, Last Night Becomes This Morning) were up for inclusion to cover a song by a label mate via the ol’ names-in-a-hat method. So step back a bit just a few years and settle in or dust off those old SC albums to refresh with the originals. While the pre-SC100 discography is packed with Indiana heavies, there have been extended stays and shack-ups in Bloomington by most of the SC roster, be it a few days, or monthly rates at the College Inn, or even more permanent. No one wants to get hokey here, but this is a communal gathering, a family jamboree where each takes a turn, fugs it up a smidge, and pays homage to tourmates of past, or in some takes, to personal strangers. No need to rumble through each track with my own gander, but it’s a gulp of life and worth every penny on this set to hear the swagger yell as Nikki Sudden tears into June’s “See(ing) Double,” just like an apparition of him strolling down Fourth Street, dressed like a million, and swiggin’ a sack at 2pm. You wouldn’t have seen that from the booth window, though Sudden did make his way down to that corner late one night.
In a world of “slow” movements that rail against mindless consumption, rock survivalists Windsor for the Derby represent “slow” music. For their latest outing, they began with a set of seemingly infinite drones and loops inspired by their early beginnings as a band. As those recordings were passed back and forth, the sounds were further sculpted by Dan Matz and Jason McNeely into their own leftfield brand of pop song. This became Against Love.
Despite the connotation of its title, "How We Lost" is a celebratory album. It's a reflective record and, in its own way, celebrates the Windsor For The Derby continuum that's been created from their first release (Calm Hades Float, 1996) to their last (Giving Up the Ghost, 2005). Each of these recordings is a sequel to the next both in narrative and musically and as the band's first two records (Calm Hades Float and Minnie Greutzfeldt) were re-released last year they found themselves in constant dialogue about their body of work and the paths they'd chosen. Also a part of that ongoing dialogue were the records that the band finds itself consistently re-visiting (Swell Maps, Section 25, Psychic TV and much of the Factory Records catalog) and what makes those recordings timeless and resonate in a personal way with the band. The songs on "How We Lost" are reflections of those records and those conversations. It’s about the band and the ways the band has changed over the years, the things they hold onto and what's been left behind.
Originally released in 1996, Calm Hades Float is a timeless record that sounds like a dream collaboration of Martin Hannett and Brian Eno. Snaps of electronic drums collide with warm hum and reverb-drenched guitars on this ambitious release recorded by Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid. This re-release also contains the ‘+/-’ flexi that came with the first 750 vinyl copies, along with 2 previously unreleased live tracks.
Originally released on the legendary Austin label Trance Syndicate.
Veering from their debut, Minnie Greutzfeldt â€“ the band’s sophomore album - is a study in nothingness. Also engineered by Wiltzie â€“ Minnie came on the heels of a Kramer induced world of rolling bass lines and oceanic reverb. The record is paired with the long lost Metropolitan Then Poland EP, a collection of home experiments with synths, scissors and drum machines.
Originally released on the legendary Austin label Trance Syndicate.