Wei Zhongle Premiere New Track ‘On Its Way’

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by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)

All praise Chicago’s Wei Zhongle, experimental pop polymaths who have been developing and disfiguring their sound the turn of the decade. Set to release their latest album, The Operators, on February 16th via Self Sabotage Records, the quartet’s shape-shifting grooves continue to evolve and expand, forever pushing forward into their own unique landscape of psychedelic exploration and brain-stem dripped art pop. It’s becoming increasingly hard to stand out when seemingly everyone is embracing their weirder side, but there’s only one Wei Zhongle.

“On Its Way,” the record’s first single is a warped and bubbling slice of progressive experimentation, a song that captures a pop sensibility in structure, and stays firmly rooted in the avant-garde on all other fronts. Distorted clarinet and heavily effected guitar create a twitchy melody, zigging and zagging into hypnotic depths and dropped out visions. The band balance rattling static and detached funk rhythms with seesawing melodies and infectious vocals, distorted but welcoming; like a friendly alien come to make new earthling friends. Skronks, blips, and electronic inconsistencies add character to each verse, coloring with rapid textures and vividly sputtering layers of manipulated sound.

Wei Zhongle’s The Operators is out February 16th via Self Sabotage Records.

Big Takeover Magazine Premiere New Little Mazarn Track

Song Premiere: “White Fang” by Little Mazarn

Little Mazarn

27 November 2017

Little Mazarn; Photo Credit: Stephen Pruitt

Little Mazarn, the stage name for Lindsey Verrill, gets her name from what she calls “an unromantic river” in Arkansas. Playing banjo on three original songs, a traditional murder ballad (“Rain And Snow”), and an English sea song, Little Mazarn, in her lilting warble, sings “about precious things, boring things, nature and the garbage that is humanity” (her words) on her upcoming self-titled album. A dreamy pop that would have fit in nicely with the slowcore of the late ’90s and early ’00s, the LP also has unmistakable connections to older forms and genres like country, gospel, and Appalachian folk.

Verrill is joined on the album by live accompanist Jeff Johnston on saw, vocals, and harmonium, as well as several guests contributing strings and vocals throughout. The LP was recorded and mixed by David Boyle at ChurchHouse Studios in east Austin.

Little Mazarn will be available on LP and download on December 15th via Self Sabotage Records, a division of Super Secret Records. Pre-orders are available HERE

Verrill releases a single from the album, the hauntingly and bare “White Fang” that hangs on her dulcet, drawn out vocals.

LITTLE MAZARN LIVE:
11/29 Austin, TX at ATX6 Finale at The Stateside
12/15 Austin, TX at Central Presbyterian Church – Album release show

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World Premiere of New Little Mazarn Track at Tiny Mix Tapes

Banjoist Little Mazarn preps self-titled album, premieres centerpiece “My Love Is All Around You”

Banjoist Little Mazarn preps self-titled album, premieres centerpiece "My Love Is All Around You"

The Little Mazarn river in Arkansas looks like this:

Singer/songwriter/ethereal banjoist Lindsey Verrill borrows her musical name from this body of water, but she describes it in her press notes as an “unromantic river.” Maybe so — we’ve never been there, and Verrill’s music does sorta recall this spare, plain ol’ river bank-ness. But in her vocal ability and in her writing, the artist known as Little Mazarn brings her songs to a place that we suggest might surpass the unromantic qualities she sticks on this humble brook. Verrill’s music, for all its simplicity, makes the heart move, and if you’re in the mood to yearn, she’s got you covered.

Today, we are thrilled to premiere “My Love Is All Around You,” the centerpiece of Little Mazarn’s forthcoming new album. The release is self-titled and will be made available December 15 from Self Sabotage. Go and pre-order it here, and then listen to the love all around you here:

Austin Chronicle Premieres Q&A From The Crack Pipes

The Crack Pipes’ Beautiful Protest

Track premiere from the ATX blues punks’ vinyl reissue

Riding a uniquely punkified take on blues and soul, the Crack Pipes ruled Austin’s garage rock scene at the turn of the millennium. Given the nature of the music, vinyl seems like a natural medium, but none of the band’s four albums came out on wax. Sonic Surgery, the reissue arm of local imprint Super Secret, stepped up to do the honors for 2005’s Beauty School.

Ray Colgan leads the Crack Pipes

Beautifully packaged as a double album, complete with new and improved artwork, Beauty Schoolremains the locals’ most ambitious and varied LP.

“I think we all believe that bands slowly evolve – that it’s good to push and get out of your comfort zone,” says bandleader Ray Colgan about the Crack Pipes’ progression from raw garage rock to the album’s more expansive palette. “We wanted to do an eclectic record but have it flow, not just be all over the place. We didn’t want to do a bunch of garage rock songs.”

At the center of Beauty School sits “Q&A,” spotlighting a semi-political intro and ensuing rave-up blasting the whole tune into orbit. Colgan reveals its debt to the socially-conscious soul music of the Vietnam era.

“The ‘rap’ part is inspired by two different songs that I really like,” explains the singer and harmonica player. “‘Comment’ [1970] by Les McCann and ‘I Can’t Write Left Handed’ [1973] by Bill Withers. In late 2004, when we recorded Beauty School, it was the Bush administration, the Iraq war. At the time we were dropping bombs on Afghanistan, and I found it weird that we’re blowing up these innocent populations and somehow that’s gonna make them want American-style democracy. It’s an homage to those kind of R&B and social commentary songs.”

The second half turns to a louder, more aggressive source: Jimi Hendrix.

“Especially the Isle of Wight concert,” says Colgan. “He’s just going nuts. That’s what I asked of Billy Steve [Korpi, guitar]. I think there’s three guitar tracks.

“So the first part I consider the question: What do we think we’re accomplishing doing all this stuff? Rather than making sure people have enough food and clothing, we’re using violence to try to free them? The answer is the crazy blow-out part.

“What’s so scary is that here we are 12 years later, and it’s still completely relevant.”

The Crack Pipes play a release show for the vinyl reissue of Beauty School this Friday at the Grackle – free, 21-and-up.

Listen to ‘Chain Emailz’ – New Track From More Eaze

HEAR A BRAND NEW MORE EAZE TRACK

Austin’s Self Sabotage Records is here to provide a home for some of the more experimental vibes to come from within the city, such as More Eaze. Today we’ve got a brilliant tune from the project, giving insight into the latest release, bodiezNc0de. The first minute of this tune offers a minimal deconstruction, almost as if you’re hearing static over distant radio waves. But, listen carefully and you’ll hear the building of strings, allowing for the song to experiment with pop structures. What’s interesting is having the song’s natural tendency (especially with the introduction of vocals) towards pop sensibility sit right next to the sterile electronic notes carefully stuttering in the background. The song will capture the ears of casual listeners, and hopefully, as I suspect is the intent, draw them deeper into the constructionist nature of what’s at work. Impressive from start to finish, look for the release to drop on September 29th.

 

Crack Pipes’ ‘Needy Greedy’ Premiered on Punktastic

PREMIERE OF THE CRACK PIPES’ REMASTERED VINYL EDITION OF ‘NEEDY GREEDY’

The Crack Pipes released their critically-acclaimed, and long out-of-print, album ‘Beauty School’ on Emperor Jones in 2005 and for the first time, the record is being issued on vinyl on September 29 via Super Secret Records. The record has been completely remastered for this re-issue and we’re giving you the chance to hear one of the revamped tracks: ‘Needy Greedy’.

Pre-orders for the ‘Beauty School’ vinyl are available here and you can check out ‘Needy Greedy below:


For more on The Crack Pipes, check them out on Facebook.