Numero Group to reissue Bedhead’s entire discography, plus a rarities compilation, in a box set

Numero Group to reissue Bedhead's entire discography, plus a rarities compilation, in a box set

The Numero Group has announced it will reissue Bedhead’s whole discography in a box set, collectively titled Bedhead: 1992-1998. The Dallas slowcore standouts’ three albums, WhatFunLifeWas (1994), Beheaded (1996), and Transaction de Novo (1998), will be included in the box set. A fourth album, collecting the band’s singles, EPs, and outtakes, is being added to the reissue. The box set will be available on vinyl, as a five-LP pack, as well as on CD; both editions are accompanied by a 40-page book with unseen photos, artwork reproductions, lyrics, and a comprehensive essay on the band. The deluxe 5LP edition is limited to 2,000 copies.

The Texas quintet is rightfully remembered as one of the pioneering groups of slowcore. Their first album, WhatFunLifeWas, found them exploring the brooding side of the loud-quiet dynamics, showing they were already capable of writing cathartic crescendos, as “Haywire” and “Powder” attest. By their sophomore effort it was clear that Bedhead would not stick to sluggish rhythms and half-spoken vocals: the title track manages to recall Slint without breaking with Bedhead’s subdued charms. Something similar happens with the slide-guitar-laced “Withdraw” and the Lunafied “Roman Candle”. Their final album is where Bedhead came the closest to perfecting the slowcore ethos: stark soundscapes, dramatic build-ups, desolate lyrics, and undistinguished vocals — though the band also toyed with more complex song structures, shades of melody, and a rather earnest pace at given times. Transaction de Novo was recorded with Steve Albini and, some are willing to argue, is not just Bedhead’s finest work, but one of the best albums of the 90s.

The Bedhead: 1992-1998 box set is out on November 11, via the Numero Group.

• Bedhead:
• Numero Group:

Castle Face sending albums to prisoners free of charge

Thankfully, we’ve progressed in some marginal fashion since the fictional time of The Shawshank Redemption, so that now, prisoners aren’t compelled to look like potential UFO abductees whenever Mozart plays over the loudspeakers. Music isn’t literally unheard of, and prison libraries are certainly more commonplace, but let’s not act like these minor perks make up for the fact that shit is fucked, in due reference to the current state of America’s criminal justice system. Over-incarceration and a negligent approach to mental illness are just two of the issues we’re dealing with here, and god knows it’s going to take some sort of painfully gradual overhaul before we reach anything close to respectability.

John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees), Brian Lee Hughes, and Matt Jones are just three guys running a label, but now they’re doing their part to spread some happiness to those who may have fallen victim to the system. “Castle Face for the Incarcerated” is a new program that pledges the sending of any CD in the Castle Face catalog to an incarcerated person in the United States, free of charge, so long as you do the following: send an e-mail to, put CASTLE FACE FOR THE INCARCERATED in the subject line, and specify all relevant inmate information. Obviously, you’re choosing the inmate here.

Hardcore, thy name is Coachwhips in a prison setting. Check here for full details.

• Castle Face:

Giant Claw plans new Dark Web LP, streams “DARK WEB 002” directly into your brainspace

What what, shout out to that freshest of fresh Giant Claw jam, and additional shout out, if you please, to the upcoming Giant Claw full-length called Dark Web, stuffed to its brim with all sorts of even fresher Giant Claw jams. Disclosure, of course: Giant Claw’s Keith Rankin used to be an editor up in these parts. Additional disclosure: I just ate two cookies when I should’ve only eaten one.

With that out of the way, a quick rundown of the ways in which the game has been killed dead by one Mr. Keith Rankin: Orange Milk, the super-excellent label run by Mr. Rankin in partnership with one Seth Graham, which has shot into upper atmosphere a number of personal favorites of mine this beautiful 2014, including Scammers’ American Winter and EQ Why’s Chitokyo Mixtape (Rankin also makes the thoroughly sick artwork for most of the Orange Milk releases). Then, of course, there is the musical angle of the Graham/Rankin connection via Cream Juice, whose headphone-busting Man Feelings our beloved Birkut both did and did not review last year. And, as the final piece in my abbreviated list, there is Keith Rankin’s solo work as Giant Claw, evinced on releases like last year’s Impossible Chew on Field Hymns. Giant Claw, of course, brings us right back around to where I started this whole post, and as such seems as good a place as any to break paragraphs.

Giant Claw’s newest LP, and Rankin’s first release of 2014, is entitled Dark Web and will be out September 30 via Noumenal Loom. The album’s art is a collaboration between Rankin and the artist Ellen Thomas. The album is a tightly edited MIDI and sample monster, inspired by Rankin’s “late-night hours spent digging through the internet’s infinite crates.” “DARK WEB 002,” which was deftly debuted by FACT, is an off-kilter amalgam of smashed and wooshing beats, with sample stabs, clangy synth patches, and, yeah, a few trap-hats thrown in there for good measure. It’s embedded below. You can also check out “DARK WEB 001” via C Monster’s Chocolate Grinder write-up of the track from last year.

DARK WEB tracklist:

01. DARK WEB 001
02. DARK WEB 002
03. DARK WEB 003
04. DARK WEB 004
05. DARK WEB 005
06. DARK WEB 006
07. DARK WEB 007
08. DARK WEB 008

• Giant Claw:
• Noumenal Loom:

Meatbodies announces LP for In the Red, and it will taste incredible

Meatbodies (formerly Chad and the Meatbodies) is Chad Ubovich, the bassist in Fuzz and guitarist in Mikal Cronin’s touring band. Now, the Los Angeles native has a self-titled album of his own, which will be released via garage and punk emporium In the Red later this year. Working in the same sonic landscape as his psych garage peers from San Francisco, Ubovich’s project harnesses a similar crunch and riffage as Ty Segall’s 2012 LP Twins, my personal favorite from Segall. And meatbodies are my favorite food, especially with some tangy barbeque sauce. Delicious.

Recorded in San Francisco with Eric “King Riff” Bauer — who previously produced records from Segall, Sic Alps, Mikal Cronin, Fuzz, Thee Oh Sees, White Fence, and others — Meatbodies also enlists friends like Cory Hanson from Wand, Erik Jimenez from Together Pangea, and Segall himself, all mixed by Chris Woodhouse. Before this meat-filled album is released on October 14, Ubovich will set out with Hunters and Purling Hiss on a North American tour. Until then, listen to the heavy jangles of lead single “Tremmors,” a blasted garage tune that coats Ubovich’s rousing harmonies in thick swaths of reverb. The full stream, album tracklist, and upcoming tour dates can be found below.

Meatbodies tracklist:

01. The Archer
02. Disorder
03. Mountain
04. HIM
05. Tremmors
06. Plank
07. Gold
08. Wahoo
09. Two
10. Off
11. Dark Road
12. The Master

Tour dates:

08.16.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo Park Rising
08.28.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo %
10.10.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell #
10.11.14 - Las Vegas, NV - The Bunkhouse #
10.12.14 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court #
10.13.14 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive #
10.14.14 - Lincoln, NE - Vega #
10.15.14 - Iowa City, IA - The Mill #
10.16.14 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue and 7th Street Entry #
10.17.14 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle #
10.18.14 - Indianapolis, IN - Debbie’s Palace of Noise and Laundry #
10.19.14 - Detroit, MI - PJ’s Lager House #
10.20.14 - Rochester, NY - The Bug Jar #
10.21.14 - Kingston, NY - BSP Lounge *
10.22.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
10.23.14 - Brooklyn, NY - CMJ
10.24.14 - Brooklyn, NY - CMJ
10.25.14 - Toronto, ON - Silver Dollar *
10.26.14 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore *
10.28.14 - Allston, MA - Great Scott *
11.02.14 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter !
11.03.14 - Durham, NC - Pinhook
11.04.14 - Asheville, NC - Shotgun Club
11.05.14 - Atlanta, GA - 529 *
11.06.14 - Nashville, TN - The End *
11.07.14 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia *
11.08.14 - Austin, TX - FFF Nites

* Purling Hiss
% Ty Segall
# Hunters
! Purling Hiss, Together Pangea, AJ Davila, Mozes and the Firstborn

• Meatbodies:
• In the Red:

[Photo: Alice Baxley]

Grouper announces next album Ruins, out in October on Kranky

Mark your calendars: Grouper (a.k.a. Liz Harris) has a new album coming out on October 31 via Kranky.

Ruins was primarily recorded in Portugal, where Harris completed a 2011 residency set up via the art center Galeria Zé dos Bois, but one song is from 2004 and was recorded at her mother’s house. The tracks were recorded “pretty simply,” Harris said, “with a portable 4-track, Sony stereo mic and an upright piano.”

Harris said she hopes the new album is reminiscent of her time in Portugal, where she spent her spare time hiking to the beach, walking past demolished estates and a small village. The residency provided her with the opportunity to sit still for the first time in a long while, allowing her to work through “a lot of political anger and emotional garbage.”

“This album is a document, a nod to that daily walk,” she said. “Failed structures. Living in the remains of love.”

Ruins tracklist:

01. Made of Metal
02. Clearing
03. Call Across Rooms
04. Labyrinth
05. Lighthouse
06. Holofernes
07. Holding
08. Made of Air

• Grouper:
• Kranky:

Leonard Cohen slated to release new album for 80th birthday; take that Paul McCartney!

Canadian songwriting legend and perennial ladies man Leonard Cohen has a new record out next month to celebrate his 80th birthday. According to some, he may look like a turtle, but I’m sure this future octogenarian is definitely going to have wild bohemian birthday sex in the Chelsea Hotel or someplace, so the joke’s on you. Popular Problems is comprised of entirely new songs, many of which were allegedly finished around the same time as 2012’s Old Ideas. Popular problems and old ideas, these are the dilemmas that have plagued man since the dawn of time.

According to Jarkko Arjatsalo, the official liaison between Cohen and his fans, the album will be released at the end of September (Cohen’s birthday is September 21), and the artist has no plans to tour in the immediate future. Currently, Amazon France has Popular Problems listed with a September 22 release date, so maybe the lucky people that get in on the b-day orgy will be able to drive to Target the following morning and purchase the album. And maybe, just maybe, Cohen’s fabled cover of “99 Problems” will make it onto Popular Problems.

• Leonard Cohen: