Thursday, September 13, 2012

Three New Spooky Town Titles
New Tapes From OSR
New Blanche Blanche Blanche LP

It appears that the task of being Brattleboro, VT's hype man always falls to me, but there are far worse ways I could spend a monday morning than listening to the lulling sounds of Horse Boys II or Chris Weisman's Bentonia.  After moving from the desolate cultural wasteland of the Hudson Valley, Great Valley guitarist and Spooky Town labelhead, Peter Nichols has set up shop in the quaint Connecticut river valley just over Vermont's border with Massachusetts.  It's here that Spooky Town has really begun to blossom as a label. I've enjoyed everything he's put out in the last calendrical year, but these three new ones might just be the best batch yet.  For all thing's Spooky, go here.

First off, before we get to the local jams, Spooky Town just put out a larger run of Guerilla Toss My Real Dad: Live In Nappa. I previously reviewed the band's self-released version here. If you were unable to get one of the original copies, you should have plenty of opportunities to pick up the re-release cause it's in a run of 200 copies. Fantastic stuff.

I'm very happy to announce that BentoniaChris Weisman's new tape on Spooky Town is one of the better entries in his vast catalog. I've only listened to it once through and I'll hopefully be writing more about it soon. Rest assured, it's worth purchasing.

Also out now on Spooky Town is another reissue of sorts, Zach Phillips fantastic Horse Boys II. This was one of my favorites a few years back in it's original run of 20 copies, and while this second release of a mere 50 tapes surely won't spread the good word on this album too much further, you would be foolish not to pick this up.  Now credited to Zach's Nals Goring moniker, it's a charming a delightfully weird collage of modern piano fugue type material (pulled that out of my ass) which also features some nursing home residents singing.  If you can only get just one thing...

Zach is also the keyboardist and co-songwritter/arranger of the duo Blanche Blanche Blanche who continue their warpath through 2012 with their 2nd tape and 4th LP (!!!) released within the confines of this year of our lord.  Papa's Proof, a vinyl LP on the French lable La Station Radar is perhaps the best thing I've heard from them yet, but you'll definitely want to get the Twice Twins 12" on Feeding Tube Records as well.  The BBB sound veers between completely saturated and dry as sand, and the new record really hits a perfect balance between the two. I simply can not get enough of the combination of Sarah Smith's wry voice and Zach's busy keyboard music. Everything you'll need to know about the record is enclosed within the label's website here.  You probably hear about a lot bands on the internet, but you've never heard a band like BBB. Find some youtube videos and you'll know what I mean.

Blanche Blanche Blanche also has a newish tape out on Zach's own OSR Tapes label. It's called Open Session Rock and it maintains the trademark of quality this gang is known for.  It's a bit more stripped down than Papa's Proof, but it's got more burbling sounds than the incredibly stark and bare sounding Our Place LP (also on Feeding Tube).  In trying to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes BBB so special, a few words come to mind: sincerity, craft, reality.  Shit, I don't think there are any words that can convey the secret of why they're so great! There's also a secret-ish BBB CDR that comes in a manilla envelope but you might have to ask nicely for that one. Codeword: #7.  OSR has some really exciting cassette releases planned: one from Howling Hex (Neil Michael Hagerty of Royal Trux fame) and one from Tori Kudo (Maher Shalal Hash Baz). Peep it all here.

Before I sign I'd also like to highlight one more recent Brattleboro endeavor: a compilation cassette of some current residents and alumni.  Standout tracks from King Tuff, Happy Jawbone Family Band, et al here. Not sure how to acquire the hardcopy, but there's digital love here.

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