Tag Archive for 'Pontiak'

Thrill Jockey Announces 12″ Subscription Club!

Thrill Jockey Records has always been very accommodating to it’s collector fans by providing exclusive limited-edition releases– usually in the form of some vinyl pressing. Releases that come to mind are the super-cool Records Toreism release for Record Store Day 2009, The limited-edition Plum boxset of 7″es, well and every vinyl pressing of their albums are limited to 1000 for the first run!

Thrill Jockey has announced a 12″ Subscription Club! The first series (optimistically keeping my fingers crossed for future ones!) will be for 7 very rare 12″es– some of these you can only get in the subscription, some of them guarantee you to get one before they are generally available. The lineup of acts providing releases is great– a mixture of long-time acts on the label and some new and future acts!

Already the demand has been so great that they have had to substitute a release that ran out. Although this isn’t too surprising because some of these releases are less than 500 pressings! In the case of the Pit Er Pat 12″ there was only 300!

The subscription ships in three packages.

Package #1 (Ships immediately)

Pit er Pat – “High Time Remix(thrill 12.31) Early subscribers got in on the remainder of the 300 hand-numbered pressings of this release which included remixes of tracks off the band’s new album High Time. Cool hand-assembled sleeve with art cards glued to each side.

The Fiery Furnaces – “The End is Near” (thrill 12.32) The rest of the orders will be filled with the remainder of this release– so now this is OOP! One album track, one “radio” edit, an alternate version and an unreleased track make this a great replacement for the Pit er Pat 12.

Tortoise – “Beacons of Ancestorship Remixes – Eye / Mark Ernestus (thrill 12.34) Tortoise’s first new remix 12″ since 1998’s T.N.T. pair of 12″es. This one has a gorgeous cover done by Andrew Paynter who did the cover of Beacons as well as the video for “Prepare Your Coffin.” The Eye remix is the same remix that is available on the Japanese version of Beacons. “Gigantes” remixed by Mark Ernestus. This is a 45 RPM pressing! 1500 copies, so I’m sure this will be available on tour and on the Thrill Jockey store.

Package #2 ( Ships in October)

Thank You – “Pathetic Magic” (thrill 12.35) Limited edition pressing of 300. Two new studio track and three remixes.

Pontiak – “Sea Voids” (thrill 12.33) Limited press of 500 with hand-printed covers. New material recorded before they went on tour with Earthless.

White Hills – “Dead” (thrill 12.36) 1000 copies. Three brand-new songs and a remix of “Oceans of Sound.”

Package #3 (Ships in November)

Javelin – TBA (thrill 12.37) Limited edition of 500. Just found out about Javelin through this club. A pair of guys from NYC who craft J Dilla-influenced electronica (my opinion). Their self-released CD was raved about by Pitchfork. Cool stuff I wouldn’t have expected from Thrill Jockey. 5 song release with covers that are recycled from vintage album jackets they found at thrift stores (hopefully they don’t smell musty!!).

Mi Ami – TBA (thrill 12.38) One of the casualties of the stop of new releases from Quarterstick/Touch and Go was Mi Ami. Their newest album and debut on Quarterstick was released the same day the label announced layoffs and ceasing new releases. It appears that Mi Ami just took their business across town to Thrill Jockey and will have a new release next year.

The price of the subscription is $84 (U.S.–$98 Canadian, $122 International) for the seven 12″es which includes shipping! In addition club member will get one of the Thrill Jockey 15th Anniversary record bags that were sold at the shows in December 2007.

Click Here to Read More about the Thrill Jockey 12″ Subscription Series.

Free Download: Pontiak at Daytrotter

Last week was a good week for show postings at Daytrotter.com– our Internet-music fan-buddy to the Southeast of here. We got the 2008 recording of Nelly McKay, and we got the Pontiak session! Pontiak and Wye Oak were touring together last year on a shared bill and were scheduled to stop at the Mill in Iowa City on June 15th. However, the Floods of 2008 prevented them from performing their show. However, they managed to stop in at Daytrotter on the 16th and record four songs.

Pontiak’s sludgy psychedelia translated well to Daytrotter’s retro facility and in four songs provided a good snapshot of the ride that is Pontiak.

They recorded a song apiece from their previous efforts, “How Tall Are You?” from their debut Valley of Cats, and the waltzing title track from Sun on Sun. They also recorded the title track to their upcoming Thrill Jockey release Maker, due to drop on April 7th. They also dropped a campfire rendition of a recently-learned Warren Zevon cover “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.”

Have a helping of Pontiak at Daytrotter.

Treat yourself to some Wye Oak from the same sessions.

B-Sides in the Bins #29 – Boston – Newbury Comics 7/31/08

My last business trip to Boston was happily full of music between seeing Sheryl Crow and getting to run to Newbury Comics before dinner the next night. Thankfully, the restaurant we were going to was just down the street from Newbury Comics. I had hit their website before we went out and they had listed in their Top 100 Vinyl Records sale that Beck’s new album Modern Guilt was on sale as was Endtroducing by DJ Shadow. I was disappointed to find out that these were apparently on-line only, and not in-store. I still picked up a couple of records, though.

Beck – Modern Guilt (LP, DGC Records B0011630-01, 2008) ($14.99) This album just begged to be released on vinyl– from its retro Blue Note-looking sleeve, to the production by Danger Mouse– so I was happy when they announced its release. The record is a hefty 180g slab, and there is a sheet included with lyrics and credits. In addition there is a code to download 320Kbps mp3’s of the album that were ripped from vinyl! I downloaded them promptly and compared them to my other 320Kbps rip from CD. Before the first track “Orphans” you get a needle drop sound and after the last track of side one “Youthless” sound of the needle lifting again. This is repeated for “Walls” and “Volcano” on side two. Cute. The coupon says “This higher quality sound has been taken directly from the vinyl playback — offering a broader sound spectrum to enhance your audio experience.” Well, I don’t know about that. It’s a pretty good rip, but even 320Kbps is compressed. They should have offered .wav’s if they wanted to maintain the fidelity. I read a lot of reviewers complaining about Modern Guilt dismissing it as Beck fronting Gnarls Barkley and other really clever criticisms. This is probably my favorite Beck album next to Sea Change which was another misunderstood Beck album.

Arbouretum/Pontiak – Kale (LP, Thrill Jockey Thrill 201, 2008) ($12.99) This is an interesting release in that the only physical media will be vinyl. Thrill Jockey, consistant with all of their vinyl releases in the last year also includes a coupon for a free mp3 download which is great. BTW: all of the mp3 downloads from the Thrill Jockey store are 320Kbps, so there is someone there who gets it. This is a split release between Arbouretum and Pontiak. This is the third release for both bands. I saw Arbouretum at the Thrill Jockey 15 shows last December and was floored by their live performance and their 2007 release Rites of Uncovering is in regular rotation for me. Both bands try their hand at covering John Cale songs in amongst original songs. Arobouretum tackles “Buffalo Ballet” from Cales very influential and groundbreaking 1974 album Fear. “Buffalo Ballet” is a beautiful song and Arbouretum’s take on it leaves it pretty much in tact other than adding some sludgy distortion goodness to it. (Note to self: go buy Fear) Pontiak takes on two songs “The Endless Plain of Fortune” from Cale’s brilliant Paris 1919 album from 1973 and “Mr. Wilson” from the 1975 follow up to Fear, Slow Dazzle. The original tracks for both bands are great and stand up well against their recent releases. I especially dig the track “Green Pool” from Pontiak in which the slapback echo vocals ride the wave of a circular guitar line and slinky bass to a crest that fits nicely next to their very delicate take on “Mr. Wilson.” “Green Pool” ends waaaay too soon. I hope they jam a bit more than the 3:27 lets them do in a live setting.

I’m still bummed that Pontiak didn’t make their show in Iowa City due to the floods. I’m hoping they’ll be back soon.

Free Downloads: Some Baltimore-related Live Downloads

As I mentioned earlier, Baltimore’s Arbouretum is releasing a split album with new Thrill Jockey signees Pontiak called Kale. The two bands played one show together in Baltimore on June 4th at The Talking Head. I knew about the show, but I didn’t know that the show was taped and available for download via Aural States which is a blog/site dedicated to happenings in the music scene of Baltimore.

Arbouretum headlined and played a set of mostly tracks from Rites, but also included one of the covers from Kale “Buffalo Ballet.” A great set, in my opinion.” Pontiak’s set was also very good and included “Dome Under Sky” from Kale.

The opening act was another side project of Dave Heumann from Arbouretum called Television Hill. Television Hill is more of a throwback folk/blues outfit, but still very good. This set is available from Beatbots which also covers the Baltimore scene.

Big thanks to Jeff the Taper who made these recordings available.

Click Here to stream or download Arbouretum’s set.

Click Here to stream or download Pontiak’s set.

Click Here to stream or download Television Hill’s set.

Aural States is also hosting a live set from Wye Oak from March along with an interview. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to catch the show next weekend with Pontiak and Wye Oak in Iowa City!

Upcoming Show: Wye Oak & Pontiak at The Mill 6/15/08

While I was out doing some research on the new Thrill Jockey signees Pontiak, I noticed that they are going to be playing at the Mill in Iowa City along with new Merge Records act Wye Oak. I wasn’t familiar with Wye Oak— they looked like a folk act which seemed puzzling to me considering the grungy distortion brought by Pontiak.

Well, a bit more research and listening to the album stream of If Children on Merge’s website revealed a band with its feet in a more shoegazer-y location. At times they sound like Low to me with the layered sounds and the dreamy delivery. Another band from Baltimore– what’s up with the insurgency of Baltimore bands all of a sudden?– Wye Oak is a two piece with Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack playing all instruments on the album and able to deliver this in a live setting.

Pontiak– although NOT from Baltimore– are getting a helpful boost from Baltimore band Arbouretum. Arbouretum and Pontiak are going to release a split LP on 7/22/08 on Thrill Jockey Kale which will be a tribute to John Cale. Vinyl only, thank you! TJ doesn’t have any streaming samples to listen to for Kale, yet, but they do have samples of Pontiak’s 2007 release Sun on Sun, which will be re-released on Thrill Jockey September 9th. You can purchase mp3’s and apparently the 2007 Fireproof Records vinyl before then, though!

Wye Oak and Pontiak will be joined by Ames, Iowa band Poison Control Center, and the surfy good vibrations of The Botticellis for a night of Indie goodness sponsored by Mission Creek— all for a measly $7! I’ve provided enough links below that you should be able to memorize the words to all of these band’s songs so you can sing along.

I’ve included links below to the Daytrotter sessions that both Poison Control Center and The Botticelli’s have done. Not to be upstaged, Wye Oak and Pontiak are scheduled to record a Daytrotter session before the Iowa City show.

Download four songs from If Children by Wye Oak

See a bunch of live videos of Wye Oak on YouTube

Listen to tracks from Sun on Sun and Valley of Cats from Pontiak’s website.

Poison Control Center’s Daytrotter Session

The Botticelli’s Daytrotter Session

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