Posts Tagged ‘The Dream Syndicate’

Expanded version of seminal debut from cult band, includes unheard extras and a bonus 7” by 15 Minutes.

• a reissue of “Days of Wine & Roses” endorsed by the entire band!
• a vinyl reissue of their original 4 song 12-inch EP (long out of print)
• exact facsimile replica of Steve Wynn’s rare “15 Minutes” 7-inch single

Plus: new interviews with Kendra Smith, producer Chris D., & Paul B. Cutler (who recorded the “Down There” EP), ephemera from the Dennis Duck archives – Lovingly curated by Dream Syndicate archivist Pat Thomas.

An exceptional early ‘80s guitar-powered gem, remastered in full and includes the band’s debut indie EP and both tracks from main protagonist Steve Wynn’s earlier combo 15 Minutes.

With few exceptions, the bands that rose from L.A.’s Paisley Underground scene in the ’80s had only one real thing in common — all of them were obsessed with the rock & roll touchstones of the mid- to late ’60s, whether it was psychedelia (the Rain Parade), country rock (the Long Ryders), or AM pop (the Bangles). But while most of these bands looked to the sunny side of ’60s rock, the Dream Syndicate were the Paisley Underground’s juvenile delinquents, smart but cynical and happy to spread bad vibes for the hell of it.

Nearly all of the Paisley bands were audibly Californian, but while they hailed from Davis, Californiathe Dream Syndicate’s key influences were significantly from the East Coast: the Velvet Underground (particularly White Light/White Heat), and mid-’60s Bob Dylan (think Highway 61 Revisited). At the core of their sound was the bracing thrust and parry between Karl Precoda’s lead guitar, noisy and elemental but inspired in its wanderlust, and the sharp report of Steve Wynn’s rhythm guitar, yielding a tougher and more abrasive sound than their peers. Consequently, the Dream Syndicate’s debut album, 1982’s The Days of Wine and Roses, is arguably the finest LP to come out of the Paisley Underground’s salad days, and ultimately atypical of the movement, a blast of beautiful but ominous rock & roll chaos whose speedy guitar-based attack was held in place by the intelligent minimalism of bassist Kendra Smith and drummer Dennis Duck. While the Dream Syndicate’s influences were obvious (the initial vinyl pressing of The Days of Wine and Roses included the helpful run-off groove message “Pre-Motorcyle Accident”), the way they manifested themselves were not; the skronky impact of the guitars recalled the Velvets, but Precoda’s billows of noise had a personality all their own, and though Wynn’s vocal delivery had the bite of both vintage Dylan and Lou Reed, his lyrical voice was his own, offhand but deeply personal at the same time. And Chris D.’s no-frills production captured the Dream Syndicate gloriously, and the greatest pleasure of The Days of Wine and Roses is how well this band plays together, like a miraculously contained explosion that seemed to be going a dozen places at once but confidently and fearlessly rolls forward, and the expressive jams on “Then She Remembers,” “Until Lately,” and the title cut are outstanding. The Dream Syndicate would be a very different band when they cut Medicine Show two years later, but while they would remain an interesting band to the end, The Days of Wine and Roses captures them at their peak, and it’s essential listening for noise guitar fiends and anyone interested in ’80s alternative rock.

The Days Of Wine And Roses’ is as timelessly potent as the records that inspired it.” Uncut
Central to the hugely influential Paisley Underground scene of the early 1980s that spawned Green On Red, The Bangles, Long Ryders and Rain Parade. 

“Arguably the finest LP to come out of the Paisley Underground’s salad days.” AllMusic

With a nod to the Velvet Underground, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Dylan, packed into an incendiary slow-burn punk fuse, ‘The Days Of Wine And Roses’ is a glorious, upbeat sprawl, everything that rock ‘n’ roll should be.

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Robert Crumb

This week we have the superb new LP from Maps, taking this psychedelic atmosphere and injecting it with a healthy dose of percussive heft and placing more of an emphasis on the jagged time signatures and heady vocal reverbs. Moving beyond this heady mix and into more grounded territory, we get the big new indie release everyone’s been waiting for, and the brilliant ‘Here Comes The Cowboy’ certainly doesn’t disappoint. Filled with all of the smooth and sweet vocal flourishes you’d expect from Mac Demarco, a smooth loungey groove into his already super relaxed sound.

Please check out the new A.A. Bondy this new LP guarantees melodic undercurrent of folk and Americana being all but completely disguised by shadowy synths and cavernous reverbed bass, not to mention a plethora of technological flourishes to really ramp the enjoyment up. The new one from Holly Herndon, bolstered with Herndon’s HUGE vocal presence. Coming soon is the new Raconteurs LP ‘Help Us Stranger’ released on the 21st of June.

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Charly Bliss – Young Enough

Charly Bliss have evolved from the bunch of scrappy upstarts behind their brash punk debut Guppy, to the confident, assured artists who have produced the comparatively dynamic and unapologetically pop Young Enough. But, for lead singer Eva Hendricks, the path of this evolution was fraught, as her lyrics inspired by a past abusive relationship show. Songwriting became a source of respite, and, eventually, redemption. “You go through experiences of loss or extreme pain and you just keep moving,” Eva says. “You look around and go, how has the world not stopped? But it is also powerful. It’s like, I’m still here, I’m not a person who is ruled by pain, I still like who I am.”

Chat Room and Young Enough are new sonic lynchpins, as is the soaring, mini epic, Fighting In the Dark. The delicate synth confessional Hurt Me also felt, as Eva puts it, “like something we hadn’t explored yet.” The entire record sounds like a new realm, from the deceptively easeful confessional Capacityto the propulsive, more classic pop of Hard To Believe. In the end, Young Enough feels joyful and celebratory, but also infused with a new sense of depth and maturity. “I want people to feel strong when they listen to this record,” says Eva. “Like you’re working through some shit but you feel really strong and beautiful, even if you’re in a lot of pain. That’s what I want people to feel. The opposite of broken.” For fans of Veruca Salt, Pixies and The Breeders.

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Holly Herndon – Proto

Holly’s third full-length album Proto isn’t about A.I., but much of it was created in collaboration with her own A.I. ‘baby’, Spawn. For the album, she assembled a contemporary ensemble of vocalists, developers and an inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC to create a record that encompasses live vocal processing and timeless folk singing, and places an emphasis on alien song craft and new forms of communion.

Eternal follows the 2018 release of Holly and Jlin’s collaborative song Godmother (feat. Spawn). The skittering track, which was created by Spawn reimagining the artworks of her ‘godmother’ Jlin in a trained model of her mother’s voice with no editing or sample trickery, was praised everywhere from NPR to The Guardian to New York Times, and elsewhere.

You can hear traces of Spawn throughout the album, developed in partnership with long time collaborator Mathew Dryhurst and ensemble developer Jules LaPlace, and even eavesdrop on the live training ceremonies conducted in Berlin, in which hundreds of people were gathered to teach Spawn how to identify and reinterpret unfamiliar sounds in group call-and-response singing sessions; a contemporary update on the religious gathering Holly was raised amongst in her upbringing in East Tennessee.

Just as Platform forewarned of the manipulative personal and political impacts of prying social media platforms long before popular acceptance, Proto is a euphoric and principled statement setting the shape of things to come.

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Songs: Ohia – Love and Work: The Lioness Sessions

The Lionessis the first Jason Molina project to fully turn away from the battlefield folk and deconstructed Americana of earlier Songs: Ohia recordings. At the dawn of the 21st century, the album felt modern. It aligned Molina with a new set of peers – Low, Gastr del Sol, Red House Painters and, most importantly, the influential Scottish band Arab Strap, whose producer and members were crucial in the creation of The Lioness. The avant-garde tones and arrangements of Arab Strap are absorbed here into Molina’s songwriting to create what would become, for many acolytes, the archetypal Songs: Ohia sound. Love and Work: The Lioness Sessions, the box set reissue, will serve as the seminal log of the era, complete with lost songs, photos, drawings, and essays from those who knew Molina best.

We know Molina was diligent in both love and work. He treated songcraft like a job at the mill, and his approach to romance was not so different. We know that when he fell in love with his wife, he was dutiful in his adoration. There were strings of love letters and poetic gesture. Included in this edition are replicated examples of this relentless love – an envelope with a letter from Molina, a photograph of Molina and his to-be wife, a postcard, a Two of Hearts playing card, and a personal check for one million kisses. Some of these items were gifts he would send to his new love from the road; others, like the 2 of Hearts, were totems he’d carry with him around this time as a symbol for his burgeoning love.

And so, the head-over-heels album that is The Lioness has its workman counterpart. Nearly another album’s worth of material was recorded in Scotland during the album sessions. While similar in tone and structure, the songs seem to deal in the grit and dirt of being. These are songs for aching muscles getting soothed in the third-shift pub. But they’re also examples of Molina’s diligence as he constructs what would be the essential elements of The Lioness. In addition to these outtakes, we also have a 4-track session made weeks earlier in London with friend James Tugwell. Comprised of primarily guitar, hand drums and voice, these songs are raw experiments that mostly serve to illustrate Molina’s well of words and ideas. But then, there is the devastating Sacred Harp hymn Wondrous Love. While he may have had his new love in mind, one can’t help but think of Molina’s legacy as he softly warbles “Into eternity I will sing / Into eternity I will sing.” You don’t have to try too hard to mythologize Molina. He did all the work for you.

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The Dream Syndicate – These Times

There are two phases of The Dream Syndicate. There was the band with revolving lineups that existed from 1982 to 1988 and made four albums includingThe Days of Wine and Roses and have influenced bands and delighted fans in the years since. And then there’s the band that reunited in 2012 and is closing in on its seventh year with nary a lineup change. This 21st Century version of the Dream Syndicate releasedHow Did I Find Myself Here in 2017 to universal acclaim, no small feat for a band reuniting after almost three decades. With that reintroduction and a full year of touring behind them, the Dream Syndicate had the freedom to take it all somewhere new, to dig a little deeper, get outside of themselves a little bit. Their new album These Times feels like a late-night radio show that you might have heard as a kid, drifting off into dreams and wondering the next morning if any of it was real.

So, what does it sound like? If How Did I Find Myself Herewas a 10 pm record, all swagger and cathartic explosion, then These Times is the 2 am sibling, moodier and more mercurial, the band acting as DJs of their own overnight radio station, riffing on an idea of what a Dream Syndicate album could be at this moment in time. It is Radio DS19.

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Lydia Ainsworth – Phantom Forest

Lydia Ainsworth’s third album, Phantom Forest, introduces a lush, complex dream world that the singer, composer, and producer created and inhabited largely on her own. She produced all the songs, and wrote and performed everything on the self-released collection outside of a re-imagined cover of Pink Floyd’s Green is the Colour and 2 other tracks (The Time, Give It Back To You), which started as instrumentals written by Survive’s Kyle Dixon (who composed the Stranger Things soundtrack with his bandmate Michael Stein), to which Ainsworth wrote melodies and added lyrics. Phantom Forest is a beautiful, vast collection that mixes the historical and the hands on, with hooks about the apocalypse and people obsessively using face-recognition software to see what paintings their face match with, in search of some kind of connection. It’s a journey that holds up to close listening (and lyric reading) and to dancefloors, but that can also exist on a purely emotional plane. In all cases, it asks that you listen, and take some kind of action.

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The Beths – Warm Blood

The Beths debut EP – available for the first time on (Pink) Vinyl. This EP is the prequel to their debut album Future Me Hates Me which is much loved release. The Beths’ Warm Blood is a strong contender for the catchiest record you’ve never heard. Formed when four jazz students at the University of Auckland bonded over their shared love of the pop-punk sounds of their youth, The Beths bring new energy to the genre. This 5-song debut EP, a deliriously pleasurable statement of purpose, comes crammed with enough blissful hooks to carry through most bands’ careers.

Listeners for whom the tag “New Zealand indie rock” brings to mind the Flying Nun sound of bands like The Clean and The Chills may be surprised to find Warm Blood’s five unstoppable tunes landing closer to artists like Slant 6 and The Breeders. The nimble guitar work here moves from heavy riffing reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney to hazily bending lines that would make Stephen Malkmus and Mary Timony beam, while the joyous vocal harmonies from all four members bubble and swell to ecstaticcrescendos that channel The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle.

With impeccable production from guitarist Jonathan Pearce and stellar musicianship across the board, Warm Blood is a non-stop delight. Tracks like lead off track and first single Whatever, the ridiculously addictive standout Idea / Intent, andRush Hour 3, a playful ode to romance in this era of download-and-chill franchise films, take delight in the challenge of breathing new energy into the limitations of the 3-minute pop song.

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Morrissey – Wedding Bells Blues

Limited Clear Yellow 7″ vinyl from Morrissey’s covers album California Sun featuring Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day on Wedding Bell Blues originally by The Fifth Dimension. Lydia Night of the Regrettes also joins Armstrong and Morrissey on the track. It comes backed by Brow of My Beloved

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Mikal Cronin – Undertow / Breathe

Mikal Cronin is back in the Famous class fold with his beautiful new 7”. This is Mikal’s first new solo material since his excellent album MCIII back in 2015. It’s two tracks of perfect guitar-pop craftsmanship

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Linda Guilala – Estado Natural

Spanish shoegaze trio Linda Guilala’s new single is the third instalment in the Sonic Cathedral Singles Club.

Estado Natural(which translates as ‘natural state’) is the follow-up to last year’s Mucho Mejor and is an indie-pop classic in the making, all driving rhythms and synths swooping and fizzing like Stereolab in a Soda Stream. The flipside, Espacio De Tiempo (‘space of time’), is a much more Lush and laid-back affair. Limited edition of 350 on red vinyl.

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Coming soon is the new Raconteurs LP ‘Help Us Stranger’ released on the 21st of June.

The Dream Syndicate Release Mind-Bending New Album 'These Times'

Los Angeles’s the Dream Syndicate is thrilled to release these times today, their second album of new music since their 2012 reunion nearly thirty years after they first influenced California’s paisely underground scene. if 2017’s how did I find myself here was a 10 pm record, all swagger and cathartic explosion, then these times is the 2 am sibling, moodier and more mercurial with the band acting as djs of their own overnight radio station as the listener drifts off into dreams and wonders the next morning if any of it was real.“when i was writing the songs for the new album I was pretty obsessed with donuts by J-Dilla,” lead singer and songwriter Steve Wynn explained. “I loved the way that he approached record making as a dj, a crate-digger, a music fan wanting to lay out all of his favorite music, twist and turn the results until he made them into his own. i was messing around with step sequencers, drum machines, loops—anything to take me out of my usual way of writing and try to feel as though i was working on a compilation rather than ‘more of the same’. you might not automatically put the Dream Syndicate and j-dilla in the same sentence, but I hear that album when I hear our new one.”.

The Dream Syndicate recorded these times once again at Montrose studios in richmond, virginia. co-produced by John Agnello (Phosphorescent, Waxahatchee, Hold Steady, Dinosaur jr.), Wynn wrote all of the song’s lyrics in the studio after the band finished tracking, so that the words would be dictated by the sound rather than the other way around. this process contributed to the urgency of the album’s title.“not content to deliver ‘the days of wine and roses 2019’ [the Dream Syndicate] have emerged with a vibrant collection of songs that ranks among the best the veteran group has recorded,” popmatters said of these times. “this is not a band competing with its past but instead carving out a bold new future.”

The Dream Syndicate has a long and storied history. but where are they right now? they’re here. right here. in these times.

The Dream Syndicate from the album ‘These Times,’ available now

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Matt Piucci broke the news yesterday; for long-time fans of the Paisley Underground it called for an extended “wow”. The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate, The Rain Parade and The Three O’Clock had all convened (or re-convened) to record a set of each other’s songs. It’s kind of like Rainy Day II. Rainy Day being a compilation from back in the 80s of the same bands covering earlier songs that had influenced them.

At the dawn of the 80s these were new bands in Los Angeles forming the core of the small yet influential Paisley Underground scene. In 2013, the four ensembles got back together to share the bill at L.A.’s Fonda Theatre for a charity concert to benefit the non-profit Education Through Music. The show went so well and everybody had so much fun that Danny Benair (The Three O’Clock), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), and Vicki Peterson(The Bangles) started talking about doing some type of album to celebrate their Paisley Underground beginnings.

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The idea quickly formed that each band would cover one song of the three’s. Plans were discussed but lingered. The project didn’t take off until Benair mentioned it to Yep Roc Records co-owner Glenn Dicker, who loved the idea. The four groups then got to work, resulting in the terrific twelve-song collection succinctly entitled 3 x 4: The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade which Yep Roc will issue on purple swirl vinyl double LP and CD for Black Friday Record Store Day (November 23rd, 2018) with a wider release (including digital formats) coming on January 11th, 2019.

The album’s dozen tracks represent a wonderful melding of the original rendition with the personality of the new interpretation. Rain Parade retain the wild sonic assault of the Dream Syndicate’s ‘When You Smile’ but add a twist by going acoustic on the chorus. The Bangles enlist an Indian percussionist to enhance the dreamy quality of Rain Parade’s ‘Talking In My Sleep’, while swapping guitars for the keyboards that were on The Three O’Clock’s original ‘Jet Pilot’.

Because these bands were, and remain, friends who started off performing together at the same time and places, 3 x 4 holds a more personal quality that most tribute projects don’t have. The tunes that each group chose to cover all had deep connections to them. These were their friends’ songs that they admired, that they saw played originally in tiny clubs, in studios, or at parties.

Michael Quericio (Salvation Army/Three O’Clock/Permanent Green Light) recalls, in the liner notes, of being shocked and awed when he first heard ‘Getting Out Of Hand’ by the then-still-named Bangs and Rain Parade’s ‘What She’s Done to Your Mind’ on the radio. Wynn, similarly, remembers how he was blown away when he listened to the first Salvation Army single after it came into the record store where he worked; he also admits to just how personal the Bangles’ ‘Hero Takes a Fall’ is to him.

Without giving away too many stories, the liner notes are packed with fond, and perhaps not so fond, remembrances from members of the four groups. They reveal the importance of backyard BBQs and KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, as well as offering several different recollections about an ill-planned group trip to Catalina Island. Quercio and Benair both share their memories of being asked during an interview with the L.A. Weekly if there was a name for their collection of bands, and Quercio casually blurting out “Paisley Underground,” although no one had used that term before. British rock mags soon picked up on the phrase, however, and the name “Paisley Underground” got stuck on them, for better or worse.

Paisley Underground, in fact, wasn’t so much a musical genre as a small scene. The bands didn’t share a specific sound but rather similar musical sensibilities. They were all record geeks who were — as Steve Wynn says of the Salvation Army/Three O’Clock in the liner notes — “hip to the grooviest sound of the ’60s but at the same time had been informed by punk rock.” Taking elements of the Velvets’ drone, Sunshine Pop harmonies, British Psychedelia, and choice Nuggets pieces, each group mixed them in varying amounts to create their own distinct sound.

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As Vicki Peterson relates in the liner notes: “We joke about it now, but it really is like we went to school together. Paisley High, Class of ’83. We were each a little different: diligent students and fuck-ups, eager newbies and experienced band veterans … but we all shared an anachronistic fascination for the music and culture of the 1960s. When we eventually found each other, in 1981 and ’82, we bonded together like social outcasts on the Quad”.

These grads of Paisley High, Class of ’83, all went on to enjoy long careers in music, and are still active today. The Three O’Clock released several albums in the 80s for Frontier, I.R.S., and Prince’s Paisley Park labels. They reformed in 2013, with principal members Michael Quercio (vocals/bass),Louis Gutierrez (guitars) and Danny Benair (drums) along with keyboardist recruit Adam Merrin, to perform at the Coachella Music Festival. The Bangles enjoyed wide success on Columbia Records throughout the 80s with hits like ‘Manic Monday’, ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’, and ‘Eternal Flame’. Their 3 x 4 recordings feature a lineup consisting of all four original members, including bassist Annette Zilinskas.

Rain Parade made albums on Zippo and Island during the 80s before splintering.Matt Piucci spent time with Crazy Horse. David Roback formed Opal with Dream Syndicate’s enigmatic, Kendra Smith, before teaming up with Hope Sandoval in Mazzy Star (‘Fade Into You’ fame). Roback’s brother Steven founded Viva Saturn with fellow Rain Parader John Thoman in the 90s. Those two joined Piucci in reviving Rain Parade in 2012. Between 1982-89, Dream Syndicate put out a quartet of acclaimed albums. After years of solo or short-term group projects, Steve Wynn reconstituted Dream Syndicate in 2012 with original drummer Dennis Duck, long-time bassist Mark Walton, and guitarist Jason Victor.

3 x 4: The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade winds up not just celebrating these bands’ shared past but also celebrating how the musicians are today. As Steve Wynn puts it: “I’m glad we’ve kept this thing going. I’ll go on a limb here and say that we all like and respect and admire each other as much as we did back in 1982, maybe even more. We’ve lived lives and learned a few things and know how important and lucky it is when like-minded souls find each other and collide on something really exciting. It’s all still happening!”

CD Track List:

1. Getting Out Of Hand (The Bangles) – The Three O’Clock

2. That’s What You Always Say (The Dream Syndicate) – The Bangles

3. You Are My Friend (Rain Parade) – The Dream Syndicate

4. As Real As Real (The Three O’Clock) – Rain Parade

5. Tell Me When It’s Over (Dream Syndicate) – The Three O’Clock

6. When You Smile (The Dream Syndicate) – Rain Parade

7. Talking In My Sleep (Rain Parade) – The Bangles

8. Hero Takes A Fall (The Bangles) – The Dream Syndicate

9. Jet Fighter (The Three O’Clock) – The Bangles

10. Real World (The Bangles) – Rain Parade

11. What She’s Done To Your Mind (Rain Parade) – The Three O’Clock

12 She Turns To Flowers (The Three O’Clock) – The Dream Syndicate

 

Steve Wynn - Kerosene Man

The first two albums from Dream Syndicate frontman Steve Wynn get the deluxe Omnivore Records treatment!  1990’s Kerosene Man is bolstered by six rare live recordings from a promo EP, while 1992’s Dazzling Display (featuring guest shots by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, The Bangles’ Vicki Peterson, and Flo and Eddie) gains six bonus tracks including covers of Paul Simon and Sonic Youth!  Both titles have been remastered and are released with the participation of Steve Wynn!

The Debut solo album from founding member of The Dream Syndicate, remastered and expanded with 6 live bonus tracks from a rare promotional EP.

Sure, I was nervous. I had spent most of my adult life making music with The Dream Syndicate—a very good, successful band, with musicians I still considered very good friends. Bands break up because the members hate each other, or because nobody cares, or because someone in the band joins The Rolling Stones, or something. That wasn’t the case with us. I just wanted to try something different. I wanted to play different kinds of music, make new sounds, play with new people. I wasn’t running away from anything. I was just running towards something new. —Steve Wynn (from his liner notes)

After nearly a decade fronting The Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn struck out on his own with a debut solo album. With Wynn originals and help from friends including Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), D.J. Bonebrake (X), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), and even Mark Walton from The Dream Syndicate, 1990’s Kerosene Man showed a new side to Steve, while retaining everything that attracted music lovers to him in the first place. “Tears Won’t Help” became a radio staple, and “Carolyn” found its way to MTV.

Kerosene Man returns nearly two decades later, remastered and expanded. The 11 tracks from the original release are now joined by six live recordings from the rare, promo only vinyl Straight To The Swapmeet: Legendary Authorized Bootleg. His second solo album, Dazzling Display, has also been remastered and expanded with 6 bonus tracks. That album was another star-studded affair.

Steve Wynn - Dazzling Display

Second solo album from founding member of The Dream Syndicate, remastered and expanded with 6 bonus tracks.

I’ve had the chance to revisit Dazzling Display in the course of writing these liner notes and putting together this reissue and, as is often the case, time has brought its merits into focus. Here’s the bottom line. It’s a really fun record. It was made with a fan’s enthusiasm as a reflection of the things that made me happy and got me excited in 1991. It may not have been the right record for its time and it may not have been the right record for this particular recording artist. But it sure feels good to listen to it now.

And in 2018, that’s what matters most of all. Enjoy. It truly is a dazzling display. —Steve Wynn (from his liner notes)

How Did I Find Myself Here?

The Dream Syndicate stopped by the studios of Seattle’s KEXP radio station in September while touring in support of the band’s excellent reunion album “How Did I Find Myself Here?”, recording a 35-minute session and interview that is now available for all to see.

The Steve Wynn-led band — which recently reunited on-stage with original bassist Kendra Smith performs four songs off “How Did I Find Myself Here?”, including the spiraling jam of a title track. Those guitar tones are incredible. Especially on How Did I Find Myself Here, it’s just exploding with a wild energy.

Dream Syndicate’s guitar-based indie rock sounds great today, though if you’ve been following Steve Wynn that won’t surprise you. Steve has drafted in his Miracle 3 front man instead and a real bonus is producer Chris Cacavas’s unobtrusive keyboards. Where they are more prominent his touches are deft and support the guitar-based sound which typifies this fine outfit. It’s fine American indie guitar-rock without any bombast or posturing, it’s smart and really well-honed.

The Dream Syndicate performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded September 30th, 2017.

Songs:  Glide, Out Of My Head,  Filter Me Through You , How Did I Find Myself Here?.

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The National return with their much anticipated seventh album, produced by Aaron Dessner, with additional production by Matt Berninger and Bryce Dessner. The album was mixed by Peter Katis and recorded at Aaron’s Long Pond studio in Hudson Valley, NY.

While in some ways it’s typically National-sounding, they’ve definitely added some new elements to their sound. Opening track “Nobody Else Will Be There” is a stripped back ballad with melancholic piano, and Matt’s distinct vocals, but the electronics pulsing away in the background are a sign of what’s to come with the album.

All the usual elements are there, intricate guitars, delicate piano keys, scatter-shot drums and of course Matt’s mumbling/crooning baritone, but a new layer of electronics bubbling away in the mix adds a new dimension to their sound. As with the last couple of albums, it features mostly fairly downtempo ballads but they do ramp things up from time to time: “Day I Die”, “They System Only Dreams In Total” and the big rock-out track of the album, “Turtleneck”. It’s taken a few listens to get into it, but it’s definately their best album yet.

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Although L.A. Witch hail from Los Angeles, they do not partake in any sort of witchcraft. Yet their ability to conjure a specific time and place through their sound does suggest a kind of magic. On their eponymous debut album, L.A. Witch’s reverb-drenched guitar jangle and sultry vocals conjure the analogue sound of a collector’s prized 45 from some short-lived footnote cult band. The melodies forgo the bubblegum pop for a druggy haze that straddles the line between seedy glory and ominous balladry; the production can’t afford Phil Spector’s wall of sound but the instruments’ simple beauty provides an economic grace that renders studio trickery unnecessary; the lyrics seem more descendent of Johnny Cash’s first person morality tales than the vacuous empty gestures of pre-fab pop bands. This isn’t music for the masses; it’s music for miscreants, burnouts, down-and-out dreamers and obsessive historians.

Album opener ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’ is the perfect introduction to the band’s marriage of 60s girls-in-the-garage charm and David Lynch’s surreal exposés of Southern California’s underbelly. Sade Sanchez’s black velvet vocals disguise the malicious intent of this murder ballad, with the thumping pulse of bassist Irita Pai, the slow burn build of drummer Ellie English and Sanchez’s desert guitar twang helping beguile the listener into becoming a willing accomplice to the narrator’s crimes.

‘Brian’ follows the opening track with a similarly graceful, if not somewhat ominous, slow-mo take on a well-worn jukebox 7”. It’s a vibe that permeates the entire album, from the early psychedelic hue of 13th Floor Elevators on tracks like ‘You Love Nothing’, through the motorik beat and fuzzed-out licks of ‘Drive Your Car’, to the grittier permutation of Mazzy Star’s sleepy beauty on ‘Baby In Blue Jeans’.

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The Waterboys release their brand-new studio double album Out Of All This Blue; their first for BMG Records, with whom they recently signed. Out Of All This Blue is The Waterboys most exploratory recording yet, comprising 23 songs with Mike Scott’s trademark sharp lyrics set to pop music with echoes of classic R&B, country, soul and funk and underpinned by modern hiphop production values and rhythms. String and brass sections were arranged and conducted by Trey Pollard of The Spacebomb Collective. Mike Scott says of the record: “Out Of All This Blue is 2/3 love and romance, 1/3 stories and observations. I knew from the beginning I wanted to make a double album, and lucky for me – and I hope the listener – the songs just kept coming, and in pop colours.”

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Following the release of the critically celebrated Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, Margo Price returns with four fresh, gutsy originals that further explore themes of duality, loss and redemption that expand her musical pallet. The four new tracks are being released as a two-piece 7’’ bundle “EP” – a Third Man Records first.

“Paper Cowboy” (written by Matt Gardner) is a whip-smart anthem tailor-made for the blistering summer festival circuit that touches cosmic country territory with a four minute jam that hits a listener like heaven. Meanwhile, “Good Luck” (For Ben Eyestone) is a bittersweet farewell that stands as a perfect fit for when the credits start to roll, the sun takes seat and the world signs off…

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The song Old Heads is a sci-fi space anthem to technology that constantly replaces itself, proving both necessary and unnecessary at the same time. It’s also a jangly pop gem, a trip through the fantastical that is ultimately warm and relatable. This remarkable coexistence is one of many achievements of Chad VanGaalen’s Light Information, his sixth record on Sub Pop. For an album that’s about “not feeling comfortable with really anything,” as VanGaalen says, Light Information is nonetheless a vivid, welcoming journey through future worlds and relentless memories. The rich soundscapes and sometimes jarring imagery could only come from the mind of a creative polymath – an accomplished visual artist, animator, director, and producer, VanGaalen has scored television shows, designed puppet characters for Adult Swim, directed videos for Shabazz Palaces, Strand of Oaks, METZ, Dan Deacon, and The Head and the Heart, and produced records for Women, Alvvays, and others. While alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen’s music, Light Information draws on a new kind of wisdom – and anxiety – gained as he watches his kids growing up. “Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that’s happening through the internet,” he says. Throughout the dark-wave reverb of Light Information are stories of paranoia, disembodiment, and isolation – but there’s also playfulness, empathy, and intimacy. The product of six years’ work, going back even before 2014’s Shrink Dust, Light Information emerged from the experimental instruments that fill VanGaalen’s Calgary garage studio. As always, VanGaalen wrote, played, and produced all of the music on Light Information (save Ryan Bourne’s bass part on Mystery Elementals and vocals on Static Shape from his young daughters Ezzy and Pip), and designed the cover art.

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The second album from Alvvays, Antisocialites, is set for release on Transgressive Records. Across ten tracks and thirty-three minutes, the Toronto-based group dive back into the deep end of reckless romance and altered dates. To write Antisocialites, Rankin traveled to Toronto Island, working in an abandoned schoolroom by day and sleeping a few feet from shore at night. “I carried a small PA on the ferry in a wheelbarrow,” she recalls. “Every morning I would listen to my favourite records on the beach, then I’d write melodies and record demos in the classroom.”

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The Dream Syndicate are at the foundation of contemporary alternative music because back in 1981 at a time when most bands were experimenting with new technology, they choose to bring back the guitar. Their seminal album The Days of Wine and Roses (1984) has been cited as influential by artists from Nirvana to The Black Crowes. The Dream Syndicate are at the foundation of contemporary alternative music because back in 1981 at a time when most bands were experimenting with new technology, they choose to bring back the guitar. Their seminal album The Days of Wine and Roses (1984) has been cited as influential by artists from Nirvana to The Black Crowes. Known for their incredible live performances, the band toured with everyone from R.E.M. to U2, before splitting up in 1988. In 2012 after years apart in solo projects, front man Steve Wynn reunited The Dream Syndicate to perform at a charity festival in Spain. The reunited band took everything in baby steps. A few shows here and there—including a still talked-about set at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival. The shows were exciting—for both the band and the eagerly awaiting fans, many of whom weren’t even alive when the band were around the first time.

The next step was to see if the excitement and newfound chemistry would extend to the studio. From the first day of recording it was apparent that the band was making an album that would live up its history and take their story into the present. Wynn says, “In a way it feels like if The Days of Wine and Roses would have been made in 2017. Which is to say that it’s true to what we did before but it’s also a whole new thing.”

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“Up until 2014 I was an investigator’s assistant in a public law office. I can’t tell you exactly what my job was on account of I signed a shut your mouth agreement around the time I quit for stress related reasons. But what I can say is that I dealt with corruption and badness perpetrated at the highest levels of authority, daily. I clocked all these leads and I made a file. Because these aren’t things you keep in the dark. You shine a light on the badness and you strive to understand it.

“From a dossier on all things delicate and beautiful and sadly human. Crimes of passion and victims of love. All contained in 10 hot songs. Who’s the culprit? I’ve got my inklings and you can get your own. But first you need to listen to the thing, take it all in, stick photos to your walls and connect them with string, measure footprints in the yard, wear a suit made of reeds, track the migration patterns of birds, intercept whispered transmissions, learn to eat spiders with a hunting knife, sleep in air ducts, make the case.

“Here it is, my album: ‘Forced Witness’.” – Alex Cameron

Album features guest appearances by Brandon Flowers (The Killers), Angel Olsen and Weyes Blood.

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Neil Young will open his archive and release Hitchhiker, an unreleased new studio album. The 10-track acoustic solo album was recorded in Malibu, CA at Indigo Studio in 1976. The original session was produced by Young’s long-time studio collaborator David Briggs.

Recorded between Zuma and American Stars and Bars as a solo album in a single session, the resultant performances are truly breathtaking and passionate. The simplicity of a single voice and guitar captured here is as pure and powerful as it gets, with only Young, Briggs and actor Dean Stockwell in the room at the time of recording. A few of the songs would not appear on vinyl until years later. Some have never been heard, included in the original sessions for Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s “Dume” another unreleased record of original sessions that yielded the classic album, Zuma. When the Hitchhiker album was recorded, none of the included songs had ever been released and many of the performances of the songs were the first ever. This is truly an album of original performances

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Experiencing one emotion at a time is a luxury of the past. Think back to that moment at the women’s march or the pro-science rally, when you spied a small child holding a handmade sign that read “I love naps but I stay woke” or “Boys will be boys good humans” or “May the facts be with you.” How adorable! How upsetting! How the hell are they going to make it to adulthood in this toxic environment? Deerhoof is right there with you.

They recognize that we are simultaneously living in two worlds, one a maniacal, mainstream monoculture hell-bent on driving humankind into extinction, the other a churning underground teeming with ideas and dogged optimism and the will to thrive and survive. Mountain Moves refutes the former by ecstatically celebrating the latter. Though Deerhoof have often made albums from start to finish with virtually no input from the outside world, now is not the time for artists to operate in isolation. Mountain Moves throws the doors wide op en. Working quickly, the band invited myriad guests to participate, some of them dear friends, others practically strangers. They are of different ages, different nationalities, different disciplines.

The only common thread was that each and every artist on Mountain Moves doesn’t fit into a single, neatly-defined category – and doesn’t wish to. If Mountain Moves were a movie, it would be a double feature, Journey to the Center of the Deerhoof and Escape from Planet Deerhoof, shown side-by-side simultaneously. The record epitomizes the band at its very best, exploring new realms between the poles of independence and invention. It also serves as a welcoming point of entry for new listeners outside Deerhoof’s traditional orbit, an opportunity to bring even more voices into the communal conversation. We’re all in this together.

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Acclaimed Norwegian singer songwriter and producer Susanne Sundfør releases her highly anticipated new album ‘Music For People In Trouble’ through Bella Union Records.

Sundfør’s most poignant and personal album to date, ‘Music For People In Trouble’ marks her out as one of the most compelling artists in the world.

The album was inspired by a journey Susanne made in a bid to re-connect, travelling across continents to contrary environments and politically contrasting worlds from North Korea to the Amazon jungle.

“We are living in a time of great changes. Everything is moving so rapidly, sometimes violently, sometimes dauntingly. I think a lot of people experience anxiety these days. I wanted to address these emotions on the album.” – Susanne Sundfør

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Third album for all female Melbourne psych-rock icons. Love from Pitchfork, Spin, Stereogum, GvsB. Iconic Australian psych rock quintet Beaches return with epic double LP Second Of Spring – Chapter Music’s first double album by a single artist. Beaches’ much-loved second album She Beats brought the band international acclaim in 2013. Featuring guitar by German motorik hero Michael Rother (Neu, Harmonia), the album earned raves from Pitchfork, Stereogum, Gorilla Vs Bear, Spin and elsewhere.

Second Of Spring takes Beaches even further out, to where the pyramid meets the eye – an enveloping sonic landscape filled with extended instrumentals, overdriven psych-outs and propulsive pop nuggets. The album was recorded in Melbourne with engineer/producer John Lee (Totally Mild, Lost Animal). Artwork is by the band‘s Ali McCann, with design by renowned artist Darren Sylvester. Beaches’ self-titled 2008 debut was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize, and included in glossy coffee table book 100 Best Australian Albums.

The band released a standalone 12″ on New York lab el Mexican Summer in 2010. They have toured the US twice, playing SXSW and Austin Psych Fest, and shared stages with Roky Erickson, Deerhunter, The Cult, Thee Oh Sees, Lightning Bolt, Mogwai, Best Coast and more. Already revered as sprawling, swirling psych overlords, Second Of Spring is Beaches‘ undeniable magnum opus.

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Back in June,  R.E.M members Mike Mills and Peter Buck traveled to Norway for the Sun Station Vadso Festival, featuring performances by a series of intertwined bands including newly reformed The Dream Syndicate , Filthy Friends , The Minus 5 and The Baseball Project.

Peter Buck plays in most of those bands, and Mike Mills has rotated in and out of The Baseball Project, a — as the name suggests — baseball-themed band that also features Steve Wynn of The Dream Syndicate and latter-day R.E.M. sideman and The Minus 5 mainstay Scott McCaughey.

During the Baseball Project’s set at Sun Station on June 23rd, the group performed R.E.M.’s breakout 1987 single “The One I Love,” with Mills taking lead vocals , with Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Taylor who plays with Buck in Filthy Friends — taking on Mills’ usual backing vocals.

During the festival, the band also played the R.E.M Out of Time album track “Texarkana,” which Mills introduced by saying, “Peter and I used to be in a band together a few years ago, and this is a song that we never did.” And, during his own set, Mills, along with Buck on guitar, played the  R.E.M. classic “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville.”

Thanks to Slicing Up Eyeballs

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They began collaborating after meeting at a barbecue held by Green On Red. Rainy Day recorded and released their eponymous, lone compilation album in 1984. It pays tribute to the various psychedelic and folksy rock acts that paved the way for the starting point of their own bands.

This lovely daydream of an album is one of a kind, and like a dream, it’s frustratingly elusive. It came and went in a blur, and the only place you can find it now is in the shadowy alleys of the internet. All of which seems appropriate, because it feels like a rumor, like a secret gig in a small club that you hear about after the fact and takes on a mythic quality: Did you hear that all these musicians got together the other night and played some of their favorite covers? Participants on the LP include members from various bands that made up the Paisley Underground scene in L.A.: The Bangles, the Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade (David Roback from that band is the album’s producer and creative center), the Three O’Clock, Opal.

All of the songs except one (Alex Chilton’s “Holocaust” , a track from the Third Big Star album ) are from the ’60s: there are two Buffalo Springfield songs written by Neil Young, folk songs that were adapted by the Byrds and the Beach Boys, a section of Pete Townshend’s opus “A Quick One While He’s Away”, and songs by Dylan, the Velvet Underground, and Jimi Hendrix, all emerging through a low-fi haze. It starts with Susanna Hoffs purring Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It With Mine” , ends with a psychedelic excursion on Hendrix’s “Rainy Day Dream Away” , and in between the high spots include Kendra Smith of the Dream Syndicate singing “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong”, Hoffs on Lou Reed’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” , and Roback’s solo version of “On The Way Home” . The whole Paisley Underground world was a mixed bag, some of it utterly engaging, some too precious and quirky for quirk’s sake, too much mood-making and too few memorable songs. At its best though, it was beautifully textured, a relief from all the slick bombast of ’80s rock. It makes sense that one of the more purely likable albums to come out of that community was this intimate and relaxed psych-folk session that looked back with affection at inspirational bands like the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, guiding spirits of so much Southern California rock.

The Dream Syndicate performing live from the Bumbershoot Music Lounge. Recorded August 31, 2014.The Dream Syndicate US tour begins this week.with Five cities then over the course of 2 months. Hey, after a 25 year layoff, it’s nice to take your time.First up Portland’s Doug Fir lounge on Friday and Seattle’s Bumbershoot on Sunday with Atlanta, Brooklyn and LA just down the road.
we’ll make it worth your while. We promise. this session recorded for the Radio station KEXP.
Songs:Tell Me When It’s Over, That’s What You Always Say ,John Coltrane Stereo Blues, The Days of Wine and Roses.