Thursday, October 29th, 2009
This week I have turned to an expert, the record store owner Heath Byers of Landlocked Records in Bloomington, IN. Landlocked is an incredible independent record store that not only has what you want, but has what you really need! Here is what he had to say about another Indiana institution, Family Vineyard Records:
Family Vineyard label-boss Eric Weddle started his career as one of the founders of indie heavyweight Secretly Canadian, but soon realised that his musical vision would be best realised on his own. So, for the past decade, he has been curating some of the most ear-bending, genre-defying sounds to come from the American and international underground.
The label is perhaps best known as the modern home for the slow-motion “blues” of guitarist Loren Connors, an artist who conjures up a Rothko-glow but still manages to break hearts with the simple spaces between his notes. But the palette of FV is much broader than this. Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano steal the wheel of the free-jazz ship, push the accelerator to the floor – arguing over which cliff to jump. The members of Cold Bleak Heat and Tigersmilk in the backseat egging them on. Legendary Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata surfs on top, fearless.
Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a jazz label. The long awaited release of the Human Skab tapes will make everyone believe their child is the new hero of the avant-garde, and maybe s/he is? There is room for the Vineyard’s skewed take on “pop” music, too. WNYC’s David Garland, the Dancing Cigarettes’ John Terrill and original New England weirdo Dredd Foole have all stretched the boundary lines to a new breaking point.
Every release manages to expand and pummel another genre- Grand Ulena out-battle Battles. Poland’s Rope begin their journey in Swans’ nightmares. Blithe Sons soundtrack our natural world without electricity. Every which way that you can possibly turn, you are led down a path that you didn’t even know you were headed towards. The only rule in this journey seems to be “left turns only”. — Heath Byers
1. Hisato Higuchi “Grow” from Butterfly Horse Street
2. Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi “Yo! Yo! Dime” from Friendly Pants
3. The Blithe Sons “Try to Find a Memory in a Dark Room” from The
Great Orthochromatic Wheel
4. Loren Connors “Chant 8″ from The Curse of Midnight Mary
5. David Garland “Every Bird” from Noise In You
6. John Terrill “The Faces of My Past” from Frowny Frown
7. Alan Licht & Aki Onda “Tick Tock” from Everydays
8. Paul Flaherty & Chris Corsano “The Great Pine Tar Scandal” excerpt from The Beloved Music
9. Rope “Blood Stained Lust” from Heresy, and Then Nothing But Tears
10. Dredd Foole “Above Ground Friend” from Kissing The Contemporary Bliss