Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Cherry Blossoms - Live In Amsterdam LP for sale from Violet Times

This LP is now SOLD OUT from VIOLET TIMES but check out the other items for sale above. 

VT is ecstatic to be helping distribute the new album by Nashville's finest in advance of our very own (slowly grinding into production) Hank Tapes LP release. One of America's secret gems of the Underground, John Allingham, Peggy Snow, and company have been sharing their singular vision in Nashville, TN and beyond for nearly 20 years.  This fine new album on Hairy Spider Legs is further proof and we're ecstatic to help distribute copies far and wide.  Great stuff, kinda like if the Shaggs grew up to make an LSD Jesus LP on ESP-Disk while in Amsterdam, like a funhouse mirror version of a Folkways surf group.  One of the NYC shops we frequent asked if we were getting copies and i suppose that's good enough for us when it comes to sharing the music, art, wisdom and wit of John, Peggy and company from down Nashville, Tennessee way.  We're in.  You may recall our great pleasure when Peggy agreed to be part of our Foggy Notion art exhibition awhile back.  We also have a limited number of additional copies to mailorder as well if anyone out there wants/needs direct from us in lieu of ordering direct from our new pals at Hairy Spider Legs, who released this fine piece of American music.  Either way, or even elsewhere, ears should hear.

Hairy Spider Legs sez:

The Cherry Blossoms
"The Cherry Blossoms are to folk music what the Velvet Underground was to rock n’ roll: anti-commercial, rebellious, pure, and unlike anything else. They deconstruct folk into a a very special experimental music, but they insist they’re a front porch band. Specializing in kazoo, 6-gallon bucket, poetry, carefully awry drum rhythms, guitar, and vocals that span octaves, melodies, and time, the Cherry Blossoms are unforgettable.

Lead singer Peggy Snow has said that “No one tries to control what anyone else is doing when we play.” The result is a sound that is ecstatically free, layered, and ranging. While songs like “Amazing Stars” follow a chorus sung together in sweeping, traditional hymn with a few quirks, other songs skip and spaz into a trance awash with unorthodox folkloristic layers. Their sound is at once elusive and timeless (Have I heard this song before?). It’s a sound they’ve been honing for twenty years. The Cherry Blossoms are sure to go down in history as one of the great folk bands of the 21st century.

With a rotating cast of 3-8 performers, their line-up has changed over the years, but most recently consists of: Peggy Snow, John Allingham, Chuck Hatcher, Taylor Martin, Chris Davis, and Allen Lowry. Ever eclectic, members of the band are talented in their own rights. Peggy Snow is a prolific painter, John Allingham is finishing a rock-opera 10 years in the making, Allen Lowry writes amazing unconventional poetry and played drums in Lambchop, Chris Davis is an incredible music curator/contributor to the Nashville music community, Chuck Hatcher can rock any Zepplin song in existence… the list goes on and on and on. They are local legends in Nashville and sure to make music history." - Hairy Spider Legs

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Offset: Spectacles 9th February 2009 live at D-22 and elsewhere video footage

Founded in 2006, The Offset: Spectacles were hitting some serious sonic heights by the time of this early 2009 performance at Beijing's since shuttered D-22.  Despite this, most of the Earth world are only recently finding out about our favorite "Canto Psych" band.  Usually due to hearing their great self-titled November 2011 vinyl debut which even more heads got onto when we distributed copies of the LP earlier this year to the US.  
Wait no longer if you want to purchase tho, because Rose Mansion Analog is down to their last handful of copies and Violet Times has no more copies either, so get it direct from the band/label if you want it.  If ya need more Offsets in the meantime, grab one of the brand new All Gone 'Workers' compilations highlighted by a 9 1/2 min live take from 7th of October 2010 at Xisi of The Offset: Spectacles' viola haunted throb, 'The Meat Grinder' - a cassette-only release, sold out any minute from now, most likely before you read this. 
Here's up-to-now rarely seen February 2009 footage of the Offsets in action, one of the great bands of their era, in full flight.  Free in Sound.  The bulk of the clips are from D-22 w/ additional documentary and other color footage showing the band going thru a few different arrangements of tunes and different set-ups of the three in various combinations of viola / keys / guitar.  Any non-believers are sure to be converted and those of you who're already fans are going to receive the top shelf aural treatment that you deserve until the next releases by The Offset: Spectacles, already in the works.  Close yr eyes, look inward at the stars, see the phantom rhythm. . .

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

THE OFFSET: SPECTACLES debut LP for sale + US distro from Violet Times

Have you guys heard The Offset: Spectacles yet?  They're a Beijing / Hong Kong 3-piece, now splintered for the moment, exiled to parts unknown?  I heard this, the band's debut LP, and got in touch w/ them the very next day.  It's an all-analog affair from the recording start to the vinyl pressing finish w/ the Offsets flying to a UK studio to put their sound on reel-to-reel tape as they weren't able to easily do that in their homeland.  Purists.  Sounds great.  Looks sharp as well, with a printed inner sleeve and spot-on liner notes.  Aesthetically they've got it going on as well.

One of the other things i found out upon contact is that they hadn't had any US distribution since releasing this album themselves on their own Rose Mansion Analog label in China.  Knowing that some of you Americans reading also needed to be turned onto this great band like i was, without paying for the higher costs of international shipping, i decided to get copies to sell for a bit cheaper to the people of the USA.  Who's in?  

Buy The Offset: Spectacles 1st LP via exclusive* US distribution from Violet Times. . . 

The Offset: Spectacles "s/t" LP is now SOLD OUT from VIOLET TIMES but check out the other items for sale in the links at the top of the page for OHIO rarities and more...

. . . If you want crazy Lou '67 guitar freek-outs and mind-split-open leads by a band that use no drummer conjuring a 'phantom rhythm' and cite their fave groups as The Velvet Underground, Silver Apples, and The Monks while managing to sound as timelessly out of step as those avant/garage heroes, this is it.  I'd say there's easily also a wide cross appeal here, something for the stoners, droners, rock n roll boners, and more.  Both hipsters and hip replacement recipients can rap it together.

These sounds The Offset: Spectacles make are wild, sometimes dark, noisy repetition riffing jamming hypnotic, ghostly cinematic.  Lots of banging and clanging end of the world racket amidst the guy seemingly on the verge of losing it much of the time there are vocals.  There's a lotta tension.  At any moment throughout, the songs sound like the whole thing may fly apart as the impending doom and dirge of clatterist sound ultimately does combust into the whole thing blowing apart in a frenzied flailing freek-out by the end of side two.  Cataclysmic.  Metal Machine Music.  Shards of sound stabbing the mass ear like a hand grenade gone.

Random initial notes, intact. . .  Both mellow and raucous guitar parts, head splitting flourishes, banging and clanging, then it sounds like sonic destruction stomping, shrieking, really cool guitars and it's the end/beginning of the world and it's really time cuz the universe is splitting open.  end/shredding/beginning .  Red between the lines.  Super jamming and minimal and epic and then the dude starts barking.  Electron burning.  Buzzing buzz buzz.  It sounds really haunted, ghostly.  Timeless travel.  Unravel. .  Cinematic ominous hypnotic open free sounds like Lou 67 and Cale clash shred your mind()rain goes off the rails du b bu d dub dub it's like that.   Lotsa shredding.  Ripping guitars and sounds electronic all over the minimal.

Play loud, they do. 

If ya don't wanna take my words for the silver and gold they are tonite, check the text and video of others below. . .      

"This is the real deal — completely blown out guitars and organ, frantic breakdowns, hypnotic chord sequences, and some of the best Lou Reed-styled guitar I’ve heard in forever. From building repetition to wide open grooves, this thing is pure energy." - Foxy Digitalis.

"The Offset: Spectacles are probably the most stubborn band in Beijing. Their brand of precisely overblown Cantonese rock n’ roll condenses the urban scream of their native Hong Kong into blasting surrealist bangers that are as captivating as they are uncompromising. In concert, the band dispenses with pleasantries like stage banter or directly facing the audience and challenges the clangor of the Chinese capital with their own cathartic racket. Inspired by the massively influential Chinese band P.K. 14, The Offset: Spectacles moved to Beijing in 2009 in search of like-minded musicians. Within two years, they had started Rose Mansion Analog with three other Beijing bands: Soviet Pop, Hot & Cold, and Golden Driver. The boutique label is dedicated to analog recording and reproduction, documenting Beijing’s thriving scene through the lo-fidelity, one-room-and-a-mic tradition of early blues recordings. On stage, Vince Li and Ah Ki’s guitars strut and snarl against the steady pulse of Ou Jian’s bass, producing a darkly cinematic sound that’s forceful and driving. The group aims for what they call “phantom rhythm”: without a drummer, the roaring percussive clash of pawn-shopped 1960s guitars gives the impression of ghostly snare-hits and echoing cymbals." - Noisey / Vice.

Watch a short documentary snapshot of the Offsets below and listen to the whole album at the bottom of the page via Bandcamp- you'll also find their previous cassette-only debut there. . .

* I said 'exclusive' w/ an asterisk above, because i've also sold copies to Fusetron to re-distribute as well.  In New York, i've sold copies to these real world record shops, please support by nabbing a copy from their bins, instead of mailorder:  Academy East Village, Other Music, In Living Stereo, Kim's Video, Generation, all in Manhattan.  In Brooklyn, Academy Annex, Record Grouch, and Deep Cuts bought copies.  Please- no mailorder from me to NYC, support physical record stores. 

Any and all other shops across the states who want to deal direct, please get in touch- my contact email is in the upper right sidebar above.