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This past Saturday was Record Store Day and one of the more notable releases was a brand new album by The Flaming Lips, King’s Mouth. And while the complete album remains a Record Store Day exclusive for now, one of its songs, “All For the Life of the City,” has been officially released online. Listen to it below, King’s Mouth had a limited gold vinyl pressing of 4,000 copies, but will be getting a wider release in July. It features spoken word vocals by Mick Jones of The Clash.

The lead single, “All For The Life Of The City,” from the King’s Mouth is a concept album based on the band’s art installation of the same name. King’s Mouth launched in 2015 at Oklahoma City’s the Womb. Visitors experienced a seven-minute LED lights and visuals show inside of a giant head.

The album is about a king who dies while trying to save his subjects from an avalanche. “We started out with a half-hour’s worth of abstract musical, dynamic stuff, and that ended up being 10 minutes by the time we got to the first museum opening in Baltimore,” frontman Wayne Coyne says “Then everywhere we’d go people would think, ‘This is going to be an album…’ We didn’t plan it that way, but I think it became more and more apparent that it could be a record.”

King’s Mouth, a concept album about a community mourning the noble death of a benevolent monarch, is part of a larger art installation of the same name, which is currently on display at Rough Trade NYC through May 31st. A press release adds:

Introduced in 2015, the installation has showcased its psychedelic visuals and soundscapes through North America in museums such as Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR and Wayne [Coyne]’s own creative space, The Womb, in Oklahoma City, OK. A true handcrafted marvel, it consists of a giant metallic head that welcomes spectators inside. Once inside of the foam month, an LED lightshow begins in tandem with music from the album. Now, the record doubles as the sonic companion to the exhibit and allows fans to experience the aural side at any time.

Completing the project is a literary tome titled, King’s Mouth: Immerse Heap Trip Fantasy Experience, which tells the story of the King’s Mouth through words and visuals by frontman Wayne Coyne.

In describing his vision of the project, Coyne said: The King’s Mouthimmersive/child-like qualities are born from the same spark and womb as The Flaming Lips live performances. The King’s Mouth adventure was made for humans of all sizes, ages, cultures, and religions.”

4,000 vinyl copies of the album were released last Saturday for Record Store Day. Come July 19th, King’s Mouth will be release worldwide in all formats (digital, CD, vinyl, etc.) through Warner Bros.

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10 years

Ten Years After were an English blues rock band who, between 1968 and 1973, had eight albums in the UK Top 40 albums chart and twelve albums in the US Billboard 200. Vocalist, guitarist and principle songwriter Alvin Lee formed The Jaybirds with bassist Leo Lyons in England in the early 1960s. Joined by Chick Churchill on keyboards and Ric Lee on bass, they switched their name to Ten Years After in 1966; a reference to the birth of rock ‘n’ roll with Elvis Presley a decade earlier.

This limited LP on green vinyl is Exclusive for RSD and the first of a handful of releases to comemorate the 50th Anniversary of the bands legendary appearance at Woodstock in 1969. The Cap Ferrat Sessions took place during the recording of their ‘ Rock & Roll Music To The World’ album and first appeared on the 2017 10CD Box Set ‘ 1969-1974’ . This is the first release outside the box set and first time on vinyl.

Tracklist:
Look At Yourself (2017 Remaster)
Running Around (2017 Remaster)
Holy Shit (2017 Remaster)
There’s A Feeling (2017 Remaster)
I Hear You Calling My Name (2017 Remaster)

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There are some bands that you really should just never try to cover. Cocteau Twins is one such band and tackling “Cherry Coloured Funk” seems like a dangerous move for an up and coming band. That said, Arctic Lake hit a home run with this beautiful rendition. They stay true to the overall sound and Liz Fraser’s vocal style, but there are enough twists to make it their own. I’m especially in love with the last part of the song where the music intensifies, Sigur Ros style.

We’re so happy to be a part of the music for ‘Back to Life’, working alongside Solomon Grey with Clyma – it’s being aired on BBC1 and available to stream via the BBC iplayer.

Artic Lake“Cherry-Coloured Funk “ (Cocteau Twins Cover). Taken from the Soundtrack to BBC’s ‘Back To Life’

The Limited Edition image 1

In celebration of the life and lyrics of Traffic’s drummer, poet and founder – the late Jim Capaldi over 70 of his handwritten lyrics are illustrated with images of Traffic, and illuminated with the recollections of 40 legendary contributors.

Mr Fantasy is a limited edition of only 900 copies. Signed by Steve Winwood, Aninha Capaldi and Robert Plant.

Traffic’s songs and the imagery of Jim Capaldi’s lyrics brought us adventures and characters that vibrated through the psychedelic underground.’ quoted Robert Plant

‘The Sixties to me were the most important years in humankind! Traffic became a reality in 1966. I’d already started writing songs in the previous bands so I naturally took the role of lyricist.’ Jim Capaldi

Read all about the making of this classic album in the limited edition book and record set, Mr Fantasy, which explores the lyrics and music of Jim Capaldi . Jim was the lyricist behind Traffic’s 11 albums, including the hit songs ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’, ‘40,000 Headmen’ and ‘Paper Sun’. Originally inspired by The Beatles, Jim also wrote for the Eagles and played alongside George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix

His handwritten lyrics have been reproduced in facsimile, complete with doodles, typos and alterations to reveal the process behind the words that changed the face of music. ‘As you read these lyrics, ask yourself if anyone in rock ever wrote better. The pirate poet indeed. Jim was a real rough diamond… I loved him.’ Tom Petty

Jim began work on this book before his death in 2005. He provided us with text, giving insight into his inspiration and describing his prolific 40-year song writing partnership with Steve Winwood.

‘I’d had this idea for a lyric and that evening while half asleep I managed to finish it off in my head. I got up, wrote it down and went and woke up Steve; it must have been around 4.30 or 5.00 in the morning. Then we went in to the little living room where there was an old upright piano and finished it. It was the first song we wrote together.’ Jim Capaldi

‘All these bits of paper would be knocking about and while we were jamming, if I could find a way to sing something that was written down I would just sing it. That’s how we created our songs… He was a life-long brother-musician to me and we spent a lot of time together, had a great affection for each other, and understood each other and the way we worked. It’s slightly sad, but, for me, Traffic can never be without Jim.’ Steve Winwood

Jim was one of the most influential songwriters, not only of his generation but in the history of popular music culture. He attacked life with an energy and passion and left a rich legacy. He leaves a benchmark for today’s writers and musicians to emulate.’

This Dynamic broadcast recording from the band Traffic in 1972 featured Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason, and Chris Wood who met at a nightclub the Opposite Lock in Aston, Birmingham in the mid-1960s. At the time Winwood was still performing with The Spencer Davis Group, but when he quit in April 1967, the quartet formed Traffic.

Traffic signed to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records, and their debut single “Paper Sun” became a UK hit in the summer of 1967. Further hit singles followed and their debut album, “Mr. Fantasy”, was successful in the UK. Dave Mason left the group by the time Mr. Fantasy was released, but re-joined for a few months in 1968, long enough to contribute to their second, eponymous album. The band however was discontinued following Winwood’s departure in early 69. He then formed the supergroup Blind Faith, which lasted less than a year, recording one album and undertaking one US tour. After the break-up of Blind Faith, Winwood began working on a solo recording, bringing in Wood and Capaldi to contribute, and the project eventually turned into a new Traffic album, “John Barleycorn Must Die”, their most successful record of all.

In 1971 the group released The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (1971), a Top 10 American album but one which did not chart in the UK. They toured America in early 1972 to promote the LP, during which they performed an extraordinary concert at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on 21st February, which was broadcast across FM radio along the West Coast, and is featured in its entirety . The quite superb performance includes cuts from their two finest albums.

recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in 1972, this concert seems to kick off with a somewhat spacey, mildly exploratory version of the title tune of the band’s then-current LP, “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys”; Steve Winwood and Chris Wood get to stretch out nicely on this one, on piano and electric sax, respectively. “Light Up or Leave Me Alone” comes next, on which former drummer Jim Capaldi gets to do his white Sammy Davis, Jr. thing while Stevie offers up some wicked guitar licks. (Until his recent collaborations with Eric Clapton, many seemed to have forgotten what a fantastic guitarist he’s always been!) A straightforward yet tasty as can be rendition of “John Barleycorn” follows, featuring some terrific work by Chris on flute; “Rainmaker” makes for a perfect segueway after this one, highlighted by more lovely flute work from Chris and a rousing percussion interlude from Reebop Kwakubaah. The classic Traffic diptych of “Glad”/”Freedom Rider” comes next, accompanied by some psychedelic light FX, and then Stevie sings effortlessly and beautifully on “40,000 Headmen.” “Dear Mr. Fantasy” closes out this set in rousing fashion, featuring some more staggering guitar work from Winwood.

In 1967, when the still-teenaged keyboardist Steve Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group (for whom he’d sung lead on hits like “Gimme Some Lovin'” and “I’m a Man”) to start a new band with guitarist Dave Mason, few observers thought their idea of blending pop, rock, and jazz would work. Immediately, though, Traffic scored giant hits with Winwood’s east-meets-west “Paper Sun” and Mason’s acid-jazzy “Hole in My Shoe”. Between those songs, the smoking-guitar driven title track, the swinging instrumental “Giving to You” and the haunting ballad, “No Face, No Name, No Number”, Traffic’s debut established both players as elite members of the new guard of late 60s British rock.

“I knew it wasn’t just a good piece or a good track for a record,” Traffic drummer and lyricist Jim Capaldi once said of their song “Dear Mr. Fantasy” the pseudo-title-cut from the band’s kaleidoscopic debut LP. “I knew it was going to be a real milestone-type piece.” His hunch was spot-on.

The British quartet never cracked the pop charts with the spiraling psych-rock song. (In fact, they never even issued it as a single.) But the six-minute long “Fantasy” was designed more as a deep, mind-expanding bong hit than a quick joint puff: Steve Winwood’s bluesy howl and the group’s live-in-the-room exploration tapped into the same jam-sprung freedom flourishing at that time from America’s West Coast.

Fittingly, since much of Traffic’s early repertoire reveled in whimsy, “Dear Mr. Fantasy” originated from a doodle. “I’d drawn this character playing a guitar, with puppet hands instead of his own hands,” Capaldi recalled in a video interview celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mr. Fantasyin 2017. “I wrote a letter next to it: ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune.'”

At the time, the band Capaldi, Winwood, multi-instrumentalists Dave Mason and Chris Wood were holed up at Sheepcote Farm, a rural cottage in Berkshire, England, owned by baronet Sir William Pigott-Brown, a friend of Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. Experimenting with weed and LSD, and living among the filth of their own dirty dishes and laundry, the young men cooked up much of Mr. Fantasy at this ragged sanctuary.

“There was no running water, there was a well and no electricity,” said WinwoodBlackwell took the gamekeeper’s cottage down the lane so he could make sure we rehearsed and wrote material. It was a place where we could make as much row as we liked – and we certainly did.”

During one ordinary vice-filled afternoon, “Fantasy” emerged.

“I was asleep upstairs in the cottage, and I heard this nice little bass line going and some guitar,” Capaldi said “I woke up, went down — we’d jam all time of the day, and we’d all take breaks, do whatever.”

“[I] found that they’d written a song around the words and drawing I’d done, I was completely knocked out by it. Chris wrote that great bass line. We added some more words later and worked out a bigger arrangement too.”

“Dear Mr. Fantasy” “was done on impulse with practically nothing worked out, because it was almost jammed,” Winwood told Rolling Stone in 1969. “The initial spirit of the whole thing was captured on record — which is very rare. That was one of the things, because it’s not specifically an outstanding melody or an outstanding chord sequence or anything. It’s basically quite simple. They’re very simple lyrics and they’re repeated three times. … It wasn’t half so strong after we’d done it. It was time that gave it a lot of meaning.”

Armed with a batch of songs that sprawled from psych to blues to soul to Beatlesque Indian nods, Traffic eventually moved to London’s Olympic Studios with producer Jimmy Miller, with whom Winwood had collaborated as part of his previous band, the Spencer Davis Group.

Miller was crucial in capturing the song’s free-flowing vibe on tape, which they only achieved after scrapping the traditional recording booths and tracking as a live four-piece: Winwood on electric guitar and vocals, Mason on bass, Wood on organ and Capaldi on drums. A surprise fifth member was Miller, who augmented the groove by rushing from the control room to lay down some extra percussion.

“We were in the middle of a take and there’s a part where the tempo changes it jumps and I look around, and Jimmy Miller’s not in the control room,” by the side of engineer Eddie Kramer. “The next thing I see out of the corner of my eye is Jimmy hauling ass across the room, running full tilt. He jumps up on the riser, picks up a pair of maracas and gets them to double the tempo! That, to me, was the most remarkable piece of production assistance I’d ever seen. They were shocked to see him out there, exhorting them to double the tempo. Their eyes kind of lit up. It was amazing.”

“Fantasy” thrives on that anything-can-happen energy: Capaldi’s thumping kick drum accents and tumbling fills, the double-time grooves, Winwood’s Jimi Hendrix-like solo, that tempo-shifting finale. From 1967 onward, it became a staple of Traffic’s live show performed more than any other song in their catalog.

And kindred spirits followed suit onstage. Grateful Dead introduced a faithful cover in 1984, a showcase for keyboardist-singer Brent Mydland, and continued to perform it up through 1990. (Jerry Garcia even joined Traffic for a version during their 1994 reunion tour, documented on the live set The Last Great Traffic Jam.) Several other rock legends have paid tribute, including Hendrix, Crosby, Stills & Nash, mid-’90s Fleetwood Mac (featuring a briefly tenured Mason), Peter Frampton and Eric Clapton (alongside Winwood).

“Dear Mr. Fantasy” “was done on impulse with practically nothing worked out, because it was almost jammed,” Winwood told Rolling Stone in 1969. “The initial spirit of the whole thing was captured on record — which is very rare. That was one of the things, because it’s not specifically an outstanding melody or an outstanding chord sequence or anything. It’s basically quite simple. They’re very simple lyrics and they’re repeated three times. … It wasn’t half so strong after we’d done it. It was time that gave it a lot of meaning.”

  • Steve Winwood – guitar, lead vocal
  • Dave Mason – bass guitar, harmonica, backing vocal
  • Chris Wood – organ, backing vocal
  • Jim Capaldi – drums, backing vocal
  • Jimmy Miller – maracas

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Shadowgraphs is a neo-psychedelic band from Portland, OR.

On the title track from its latest album, “Another Time”, this Portland-based rock band takes listeners on a soaring psychedelic trip complete with wailing guitars and hazy vocals. Shadowgraphs from Charlotte, NC, comprised of internationally known collage artist Bryan Olson and fellow German cosmonaut Charles Glade (Wils). Both ends met after being introduced through a mutual friend who thought the two shared similar musical interests. Bryan and Wils instantly sparked a connection and songs began to emerge. The two would experiment late nights with tape machines, sharing music and production ideas, and writing songs. After only four months of meeting, an EP titled “Return to Zero” was written and the band was officially born with Ethan Ricks on Bass and Cody Hare on Drums.

“The six-song release is a mesmerizing psychedelic overtaking in the vein of 13th floor Elevators and the golden age of enlightening psychedelic rock. The tracks blend together so stylishly it makes me want to drink spiked strawberry lemonades in the sunshine. “Moonchild” is one of those unattainably perfect nights where the groove is set by smart, steady rhythm and lights fizz around your head even (and especially) when your eyes are closed. “Return to Zero” is straightforward, bluesy and a completely distinctive sound.

Since Return to Zero, Shadowgraphs put out a two song EP titled “Midnight Tea” containing a Syd era Pink Floyd cover of “See Emily Play” along with an unreleased Kinks cover of “This Strange Effect.” The EP was featured on New Zealand music Blog “The Active Listener”.

Venomous Blossoms, Shadowgraphs follow-up 10 song LP, is finished and currently being pressed for Vinyl with an expected release date in April under the label Golden Brown out of Portland, OR. This LP was recorded all to 2” 24 track tape at Bryan’s home studio with the band,

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The musical duo of Shane Butler& Caity Shaffer released their debut album as Olden Yolk last year, an alluring concoction of hypnagogic folk & kosmiche rhythms, expanding & refining Butler’s work in his former band Quilt toward a more focused direction. “Living Theatre” is the follow up to that eponymous debut & more than lives up to its promise.

The songs on “Living Theatre” were written & recorded during a heavy time of transition & upheaval for the duo, with personal tragedies and a big move from their NYC home to a warmer climate in Los Angeles coloring the album’s inception. Thematically “Living Theatre” tunes seem to be about how humans react to the ways life is colored by both fate and the consequences of the conscious & unconscious decisions we make. Musically, the duo’s songwriting has gelled into a unified front, relying more on the subtle shifts of melody & rhythm than a barrage of chord changes; “Living Theatre”s hooks lap at your feet like a babbling brook, rather than bowl you over like violent waves. The refinement in tunes like “Castor & Pollux”, “Grand Palais” & first single “Cotton & Cane” points to a new frontier for the group; soaring skyward toward the emotionally textural plateaus of trailblazers like The Go-Betweens or Yo La Tengo. There’s a discernible romantic feel to tunes like “Violent Days” or “Distant Episode”‘s lush arrangements with Shaffer in particular finding her own voice here; poetic, abstract & expressive. “Living Theatre” showcases a band breaking free from it’s chrysalis, and embracing its next phase of evolution.

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Will be available in all formats May 17th!

The Soft Cavalry - The Soft Cavalry

Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell has lent her talents to a number of projects over the last few years, from the supergroup Minor Victories to collaborations with Mark Kozelek and Beach Fossils. She also, of course, played a large part in Slowdive’s 2017 comeback album. The band’s music is a particularly British brand of intense cinematic drama. Melodic and timeless, the album lands in the atmospheric dimensions between Pink Floyd, Talk Talk and Mansun. A record radiating midlife crisis but equally enormous elation; a helix of fear and hope, aching for resolution. A record Steve emphasises that he “needed” to make.

Today, she’s announcing a new project named the Soft Cavalry, which is a duo with her husband Steve Clarke, who she married last year. In July, they’ll release their self-titled debut album. “I’d always had ideas but never felt that anything I had to say was worthy of anyone’s attention, let alone my own,” Clarke said of the collaboration. “I wish that I could have done this fifteen years ago but, in reality, I simply couldn’t have. But I’m not one to overly wallow. I’d rather plough the various levels of confusion into songs.”

Its lead single, “Dive,” is a contemplative sigh, unknotting thorny emotions with comparative ease.

Taken from the debut album by ‘The Soft Calvary’.

Beck

Beck has announced the upcoming release of his new album “Hyperspace”, accompanied by the release of a brand new single ‘Saw Lightning’.  The track is an eclectic, percussive-heavy alt-pop ditty with some lovely slide guitar, riddled with melancholic harmonica and schizophrenic lyricism – another incredible addition to Beck’s extensive back catalogue of experimental jams.

Co-produced by Pharrell, who also contributed drums and mumbles, the track sets a seriously hyper-energetic tone and will satiate the hunger of any Beck fanatic in the lead up to the album release.

Hyperspace will mark Beck’s 14th album release, following the success of his Grammy-winning 2017 record Colours. No release date is set yet however, you can expect it to arrive at “some point in the space-time continuum”, according to Capitol Records