Posts Tagged ‘Yep Roc Records’

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The Man Upstairs released back in 2014, made with producer Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention) and was envisioned as “a kind of Judy Collins 1965-era album: half covers, half originals.” Robyn Hitchcock has now shared an album of outtakes from the record, naming it the  “The Man Downstairs Demos & Rarities” it is now available for download and limited edition CD exclusively through Bandcamp.

These songs were recorded by Charlie Francis and Jessica Corcoran in 2013 in the lead up to making “The Man Upstairs” album. These previously unreleased versions of “River Man”, “Arnold Layne” and “I Pray When I’m Drunk”, as well as demos for “All Love And No Peace” and “Cavendish Square” extending the concept of the original album.

“These songs were mostly recorded in 2013 as demos for ‘The Man Upstairs,'” says Robyn. ” in his attic, and in many cases didn’t survive being re-cut with Joe Boyd in London when it came to session time.” Listen to the whole thing below.

Robyn Hitchcock is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist. After leading The Soft Boys in the late 1970s and releasing the influential Underwater Moonlight, Hitchcock launched a prolific solo career. Robyn has also been selling some of his paintings online, and giving a portion of the proceeds to help touring musicians during COVID-19. The five he initially put up on Ebay have all sold but maybe there will be more.

Robyn also recently told us about the music, movies and books he’s been digging during pandemic lockdown.

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In the autumn of 2013 I moved into the upstairs apartment of a house in Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight. It was just along the road from the house in the photo (left). Charles and Emma Darwin had stayed there in 1859 and found it a tad damp and chilly, apparently. 154 years later, central heating had yet to arrive. I’d already been recording demos for the album I was scheduled to make with Joe Boyd producing, back in London, the week that I moved in. So I had a lot of quality time on trains and ferries, which was fun, in a slow, eternal way. By November the whole of “The Man Upstairs” was recorded – and a slew of other recordings too. Hence “The Man Downstairs: Demos & Rarities”, out now on Tiny Ghost Records, which is basically a companion piece to the album released on Yep Roc in 2014. Only one song overlaps, but the mood is pretty continuous, and I’m pleased to be able to share some performances that slipped away when Joe and I tried re-cutting them for the official album. RH.

You can also catch Robyn and his partner Emma Swift on their regular Stageit livestreams. Their next performances are August 12th at 5 PM Eastern and August 14th at 11 AM Eastern. Emma also has an album of Bob Dylan covers out August 14th.

All vocals: Robyn Hitchcock
All instruments: Robyn Hitchcock

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Both “I Wanna Destroy You” and “Near the Soft Boys” were first released on Armageddon Records in 1980.Both have been out of print for nearly 40 years. This release would combine both into one double gatefold 7″.

2020 marks the 40th anniversary of two releases from psychedelic icons The Soft Boys, their Near The Soft Boys EP and the single for their biggest hitI Wanna Destroy You. To commemorate these releases, Yep Roc reissue these ultra-rare releases as a limited edition gatefold double 45. Both titles have never been reissued and fetch tidy sums in collector’s circles. I Wanna Destroy You has become an anthem in today’s political climate and features the rare disco version of I’m an Old Pervert on it’s b-side. Near The Soft Boys features two Robyn Hitchcock-penned originals – Kingdom of Love andStrange – as well as a cover of Syd Barrett’s Vegetable Man.

7” 1: track 1. I Wanna Destroy You / track 2. I’m An Old Pervert (Disco) / track 3. Near The Soft Boys

7” 2: track 1. Kingdom Of Love / track 2. Vegetable Man / track 3. Strange

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Blitzen Trapper shares “Dead Billie Jean,” this is the third track from their Yep Roc Records debut, Holy Smokes Future Jokes, out September 11th.

BrooklynVegan premiered the song and video, noting that the song “works in the title star of Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit — not to mention a few dead rock stars — into the heady psychedelic universe of this album… a groovy, jammy Blitzen Trapper-style folk number.” Led by existential questions about life and death, Holy Smokes Future Jokes finds frontman and lyricist Eric Earley ruminating on the intermediate period between a person’s separate lives on earth, “and what it means to escape the cycle of birth and rebirth.”

Of the track he notes, “Pulling together Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo and MJ’s Billie Jean wherein the real Billie Jean has indeed killed herself as she promised Michael she would and now living in a state of rock and roll immortality kicks it in the Intermediate States with Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Abraham Lincoln(?!) smoking mad dope, though she remains unaware of her death somehow as though her death ultimately was an awakening and reinvention.”

On August 28th, in support of independent record stores, Blitzen Trapper will release Holy Smokes Future Jokes on limited edition red, yellow & blue splatter vinyl EXCLUSIVELY two weeks before the September 11th official street date.

Chuck Prophet The Land That Time Forgot Yep Roc Records

Sultry and smooth, yet sombre before we even start to think about what “Nixonland,” the newest single released from alternative folk artist Chuck Prophet, means on a thematic level, the music alone reignites our excitement for the forthcoming new album it’s featured on, The Land That Time Forgot.

Yet “Nixonland” does have a message to tell, or at least a picture to paint, and it’s brand new video, released yesterday, does that pretty well. The video, which you can watch below, mixes old photographs and video footage of Richard Nixon and company into comic book style graphics and animations, and altogether the piece conjures the gritty, moody atmosphere of Prohpet’s music, as well as the subject it sings. With it’s quiet, folky anger, “Nixonland” brings a vibe really reminiscent to a song like Lou Reed’s “Sword of Damocles.”

Prophet, a Bay Area native since his childhood, has time and again characterized the allure of San Francisco and its surrounding areas across the many albums he’s released throughout his career. Yet The Land That Time Forgot apparently comes as an album about San Fran while being away from San Fran—being that the singer-songwriter recently was forced to move out of his hometown for upstate NY, due to rising housing prices.

This ongoing issue of gentrification is what “Nixonland” decries in part, along with a world of other issues that the rest of the new album hits. The press release for the new song hints at this, saying: ‘“Prophet has described The Land That Time Forgot as a “21st Century Exorcism” from Silicon Valley to the White House.”

The Land That Time Forgot is set to be released on August 21st via Yep Roc Records.

Chuck Prophet Official and the gang land in Nottingham and Birmingham in January 2021 featuring the new album including this damn gem!

Most of the record’s dozen songs were co-written by Prophet and klipschutz, his longtime collaborator. Together, they recall the melancholy wonder of their native Bay Area, a land that, to the acclaimed songwriters, represents the hope and despair that makes rock ‘n’ roll so timeless, even if it’s now full of “robots with ironic haircuts.” It’s a darker, more present take on Americana and all its beautiful losers.

With this announce comes a new single, “Marathon,” which is mutant rock n’ roll at its finest … full of driving motorik bass, Everly Brothers-in-space guitars and vocal harmonies courtesy of Stephanie Finch. As the album reexamines the West Coast, the music video for “Marathon” channels the dance-a-thons of the Great Depression. To Prophet, these were the first reality TV shows, and they’re not too out of place in today’s gig economy. “There’s twisted psychology to the Depression-era dance marathons,” says Prophet. “And like Wrestling or the Kardashians, it’s all rigged. But we don’t want to believe it. The Marathons blurred the line between theatre and reality.”

“Marathon” is from Chuck Prophet’s new album, The Land That Time Forgot.

From the album, The Land That Time Forgot.

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Formed in January 2016. Mapache is a new folk / blues / rock / bluegrass / psychadelic duo born in Los Angeles California. Mapache is interested in spreading good feelings of love as well as raw musical talent to anyone and everyone. Mapache is an experience both live and in the studio presenting a memorable and honest sound.

Produced by longtime collaborator Dan Horne (Circles Around the Sun, Allah Las), Mapache’s new album From Liberty Street promises angelic harmonies weaving somewhere between traditional folk and modern cosmic country music. These songs are inspired by everything from Mexican boleros, to Bakersfield twang, to lonesome cowboy campfire tunes.

Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci, both born and raised in Glendale, California, display their brotherly chemistry and casual Cali attitude in the country tune and video premiering today. Directed by Nicole Hawkins, the visual features the pair wandering around New Orleans, past trees laced with Spanish moss and across green fields, a small dog in a hot pink jacket trotting at their side.

“We chose to shoot the video in New Orleans because we love it there,” Blasucci shares. “Besides the spots in the video, we like to visit many other places: the Made Market uptown (RIP), the music and wine at Bacchanal, Euclid Records, the lovely fountain in Audubon park (great for a dip on a hot day), and lots of other beautiful places.”

Hawkins adds, “We shot the video in and around the greater New Orleans area. It jumps from different times of day and different places within one continuous wandering walk. I wanted the video to feel as familiar and unpretentious as Mapache, without too many distracting elements that might take away from the nuances of the song and from their personalities. The Boston Terrier, Roscoe, is a part of the family, so it only seemed right that he wear his pink sweater and wander with us. “

Clay Finch: vocals, guitar Sam Blasucci: vocals, guitar Dan Horne: bass Austin Beede: drums Dusty Ineman: percussion

“Life On Fire” is from Mapache’s album, From Liberty Street.

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Daily Dose: The Felice Brothers, "Special Announcement"

New York folk-rockers The Felice Brothers recently announced their first album in three years, “Undress”, arriving May 3rd through Yep Roc Records. They’re back with another song “Special Announcement,” the third single from the record, It follows previously released singles “Poor Blind Birds” and “Undress.” Listen to “Special Announcement” below.

The song, which directly and cleverly targets financial corruption, is quick to acknowledge the absurdity of our modern politics and the role money plays in them with the lyric “I’m saving up my money to be president.” Songwriter Ian Felice imagines a world without financial interests, without the “Stock Exchange” and the “Federal Reserve.” His plans include more than a few shake-ups: “I can promise you this: Charlie Parker on the $10 bill.” Felice sings this satire over energetic keys and cheerful chords, but don’t let the song’s upbeat nature fool you—it’s an expressed exasperation with the crookedness at play in American politics.

“This song should feel like you’re reading the Financial Times in a motel at the edge of reality,” Felice says. “You feel very frustrated by the corrupting power of money in politics, and a piano’s cloud-like chords are hovering over a terrace.”

Undress is the band’s seventh album, following 2016’s Life in the Dark. For this record, the band deviated slightly from more personal lyrics and turned their focus to writing about modern mayhems, of which, as we know, there are many.

“Many of the songs on the new album are motivated by a shift from private to public concerns,” Felice says. “It isn’t hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days, there are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives. The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.”

From the new album – Undress

Cut live to tape with very little overdubbing, “Undress” was recorded in the late summer of 2018 in Germantown, New York. Band members Ian Felice, James Felice, Will Lawrence (drums) and Jesske Hume (bass) teamed up with producer Jeremy Backofen to record their most personal and reflective album to date.

“Many of the songs on the new album are motivated by a shift from private to public concerns,” says songwriter Ian Felice. “It isn’t hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days, there are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives. The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.”

Undress follows the band’s 2016 album Life In The Dark, and finds the group in a very different place three years later. Between personnel changes, families growing and the political landscape, the result is a tighter, more-paired down release. “Every song is a story,” said James Felice. “On this album everything was a bit more thoughtful, including the arrangements, the sonic quality and the harmonies.” 

releases May 3rd , 2019 Yep Roc Records

After three long years, an announcement of a new album from the Felice Brothers.

“Undress” was recorded in the late summer of 2018 in Germantown, New York. “Many of the songs on the new album are motivated by a shift from private to public concerns,” says songwriter Ian Felice. “It isn’t hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days, there are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives. The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.”

Undress follows the band’s 2016 album Life In The Dark, and finds the group in a very different place three years later. Between personnel changes, families growing and the political landscape, the result is a tighter, more-paired down release. “Every song is a story,” said James Felice. “On this album everything was a bit more thoughtful, including the arrangements, the sonic quality and the harmonies.”

The Felice Brothers are long standing faves. Their wonderful blend of storytelling, lyrical genius and ramshackle Americana began in 2006, playing subway platforms and sidewalks in NYC and they have gone on to release nine albums of original songs and to tour extensively throughout the world. The new album is out on Yep Roc Records on the 3rd May.

The title track from the upcoming record, Undress, out May 3rd on Yep Roc Records.

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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

The son of Mexican immigrants, Alejandro Escovedo mines his own backstory for “Sonica USA.” Featuring the MC5’s Wayne Kramer on lead guitar, the punky track finds him looking back on his childhood days as a Chicano punk-rocker in the American Southwest. Escovedo covers similar ground on his upcoming album, The Crossing, a concept record revolving around a pair of migrant musicians

Alejandro Escovedo has one of the most fascinating career paths in music and his upcoming album is another example of his singular vision. The Crossingdue out this September, is a suite of songs that chronicle the stories of two young immigrant rock and rollers, Salvo from Italy and Diego from Mexico, as they meet working in a Texas restaurant while each pursuing their vision of the American Dream.

The albums’s version of that dream is soundtracked by punk pioneers The Stooges and MC5 and populated by people who read both Mexican philosopher-poet Octavio Paz and the beat poets of the 1950’s. In fact, that’s very much the story of Alejandro Escovedo and this song cycle is a return to his punk roots as much as it is an exploration of the themes of cultural identity.

“Sonica USA” is the first single off the upcoming album and the track is a loud and boisterous reflection — featuring Wayne Kramer of MC5 on guitar — on Escovedo’s youth growing up in Austin when he and his brother Javier played in a punk-before-it-was-punk band called The Zeros.