Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

LITA At MondoCon In Austin, TX!

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 11.08.44 AMNeed some spooky jams to carve your pumpkins to this year?

If you’re going be in Austin, TX on Sept. 20-21, stop by the Light In the Attic + One Way Static Records booth at MondoConWe’ll have all of our soundtracks (Surf Nazis Must Die, Street Trash + many more), as well as horror/soundtrack releases from Goblin, Ennio Morricone, and others. 

MondoCon is a convention that brings together film, music, comics, art, toys, and food.

Tickets available here.

All soundtrack available on our site as well!

Moon Block Party

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Moon Block Party

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to slow dance with a ghost during an acid trip in an old Texas mansion in the dead of the night? Seeing The Black Angels live is pretty close.

Turn on, tune in, and drone out at Moon Block Party in Pomona on October 18th. Our very own Black Angels and legendary West African badasses, Tinariwen, will be playing along with loads other awesome bands.

For the first time on vinyl, Tinariwen’s 2001 Radio Tisdas Sessions and 2004 Amassakoul are available for pre-order on our website.

Get tickets to Moon Block Party here.

Debut Album from Sylvie Simmons!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

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We’re happy to announce this sweet album by the great Sylvie Simmons: a NEW recording for us here at Light in the Attic, but it was so beautiful we couldn’t resist. Sylvie is haunting and out-of-time, but it is also a brand-new, original debut album by a singer-writer who has been making music since she was a little girl but just for herself. The raw, delicate, and sensual songs about love and love gone wrong are performed on a ukulele, which here sounds like a broken harp or a heartbroken guitar. Late last year, in a gap between tours, Howe Gelb of Giant Sand lured Sylvie to the desert where they recorded live to tape in Wavelab Studio in Tucson with Thoger Lund playing upright bass and Howe, who produced the album, backing her brilliantly on guitar, synthesizers, and piano.

Born in London, she’d felt the pull of America since childhood and ran away to LA in the late seventies to write about music, convinced she’d never have the nerve to perform it. She became renowned as a rock writer (she’s the subject of a BBC documentary, The Rock Chick) and also as an acclaimed author. Her books include the cult fiction Too Weird For Ziggy and biographies Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes and I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. Following numerous movements across the globe-including three years in a tumbledown French chateau- she now lives in San Francisco.

Pre-order Sylvie, out October 28th, on CD, vinyl, and digital HERE. First 100 pre-orders will receive turquoise colored wax! Stream the single “You Are In My Arms” below.

Big Boys Tees!

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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All your shirts dirty? You could do laundry, or you could just get yourself a brand new shirt instead like our Big Boys tees we did in collaborating with Minor Thread. The shirts feature two different original designs, “Skate for Fun“ and “Lullabies Help the Brain Grow.” Make your mama proud with a clean shirt while also celebrating your favorite funky punks. Or make your mama concerned by wearing it with a tutu, christmas lights, and some sandwiches (like Biscuit). Order your tee today from LightInTheAttic.net.

- Silk-screened tee featuring original designs.
- Official limited edition reissue

Now Distributing Polysom!

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Polysom

We are happy to announce that we are now distributing the Brazilian label Polysom. Hidden in the Rio suburb of Belford Roxo, Polysom not only reissues some amazing classic Brazilian LPs but also runs the only pressing and production plant in all of South America.

Polysom was founded by Nilton Rocha in 1997 with equipment purchased from Brazilian major labels Poly Gram and Continental. When demand for vinyl slowed in the 90s due to the onset of the compact disc era, manufacturers in South America began to slip into extinction. Rocha made it decades before the diminished demand forced him to pulled the plug on Polysom. However, the owners of the Brazilian independent label Deckdisc purchased Polysom in 2009 and reopened it the next year. Since then, Polysom has been full steam ahead, producing top notch vinyl with quality on par with its northern hemispheric counterparts. The future is now bright for Polysom as they plan to begin offering picture discs and colored vinyl.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR ENTIRE DISTRIBUTION CATALOG FOR POLYSOM! 

Michael Chapman & Julie Byrne | Live In Todmorden, England!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

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*Poster by Jess Rotter

We will be hosting our first ever official event outside of North America in Todmorden, England on Sunday August 24th!

The Unitarian Church in the town centre (2 minute walk from Todmorden Station) will play host to an evening with the local folk maverick MICHAEL CHAPMAN. Also on the bill is JULIE BYRNE who will be in the town on her first trip UK tour. Julie’s recent debut album Rooms With Walls and Windows is a stunning slice of front porch psych folk and live she’s even more enchanting.

Our very own Matt Sullivan will also be spinning records throughout the night. Doors will be at 6pm and the live music will be over by 10pm (plenty of time for last trains to Manchester and Leeds).

For those of you who aren’t in a rush to hope a train, the after party (it’s a bank holiday afterall) will be down the road at the 3 Wise Monkeys. Live Dj set from local favorites White Rabbit, aA and Duende.

For additional information and to purchase a ticket visit http://www.wegottickets.com/event/282715.

Friends of LITA | Q&A With Bill Bentley

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

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*Photo courtesy of Houston Chronicle

Bill Bentley, the Texas/LA music journalist, publicist, label executive, and producer, has had an impressive and lengthy career in music. Bill first cut his teeth as the music editor at the Austin Sun and later at the L.A. Weekly. He was also a club promoter, publicist at Slash Records, Senior VP of media relations at Warner Bros., and now A & R director at Vanguard Records. However, Bill is the antithesis of a typical music industry tie. Kind, sensible, and extremely humble, Bill is a beloved figure whose work is a labor of love driven by respect and admiration for the musicians he works with.  We recently caught up with Bill for a short Q&A, in which we discussed his friendship with Lou Reed, The 13th Floor Elevators last show in Houston, telecommunicating with Skip Spence, and lots more. Read the interview in its entirety below.

 

You’ve had a very expansive career, working with tons of great artists such as Lou Reed, Neil Young, Roky Erickson, Skip Spence, Jimmy Scott, and many more. Who’s your most memorable artist?  Maybe the one that you’ll tell the great grandkids about?  

My most memorable artist was Lou Reed. That could be because since 1967 and hearing the first Velvet Underground album, I fell under his spell. Or it could be because in the ’70s in Austin I became close with Velvet guitarist Sterling Morrison, who had an encyclopedic memory of the entire life of the Velvet Underground and had been waiting for someone to tell it to. I joke that I graduated from VU, just listening to Sterling’s stories for three years. But Lou himself was beyond heroic. He was an artist who always thought of his creations first and then let everything else come second. He wanted to be popular, but more importantly he was driven to follow the sound in his head. He was a genius songwriter as well. We met in 1988 and I worked with him for 20 years. We were talking about a new album the summer before he died (October 2013). He remained on fire forever, and I learned so much about being true to yourself from him. He told me once, “Don’t let anyone change your mind,” among so many other valuable things. I still get shivers with what I learned from Lou. He definitely changed my life.

 

I hear you have a funny story about the first time you meet Lou Reed. Care to share it with us?

The first time I met Lou was when I went to New York in fall of 1988 to interview him for a promo CD about the debut Sire album New York. We were going to send that recorded interview to the press. I had written Lou a letter a month before saying how excited I was about working with him and also about my years of friendship with Velvet Underground guitarist Sterling Morrison in Austin during the ’70s. So I walked into the studio to meet Lou, who saw me and said, “Come with me.” We went into a small room and he said, very factually, “Sterling remembers everything and I remember nothing. Do we have that straight?” I said, “Absolutely,” then we went back into the studio and started a 25-year friendship. I think Lou wanted to make the point that this wasn’t going to be about the past and whatever Sterling had related about the ’60s. Boy was he right: Sterling remembered EVERYTHING and wasn’t shy about sharing it.

 

Last year, we reissued Roky Erickson‘s first three solo albums. You’re a longtime Roky and 13th Floor Elevators fan. You produced the 1990 Roky Erickson tribute album Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson, which helped raise funds for him and revamped his career. What is it about Roky’s music that resonates with you? 

During the 1960s when Roky Erickson was the lead singer in the 13th Floor Elevators, I became a rabid fan of the band in Houston, where their label was located. They played there all the time, and we would follow them from gig to gig like total true believers. Roky’s voice had the fervor of Little Richard but also a massive dose of mysticism in it. Maybe that was because the Elevators’ lyricist Tommy Hall was a person who believed in expression, the power of spiritualism in music, and the way LSD could help listeners get there. We joined the cult, and never quit.

 

I also read that you were at the last 13th Floor Elevators show in 1968. Can you tell us about that performance?

I saw the last 13th Floor Elevators show at the Love Street Light Circus and Feel-Good Machine in Houston in 1968. It was a club where you could lay down on the floor with pillows and watch the band. The Elevators were in tatters, and Roky sang with his back to the audience for most of the night. He was also singing a different song than the band was playing, which was accidentally avant-garde, to say the least. Guitarist Stacy Sutherland looked in bad shape, and by the end of the night he wasn’t even onstage. He left. I knew it was over that night.

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*Interior of Love Street, circa 1968

One of our favorite records here at Light In The Attic is Skip Spence’s 1969 solo album Oar. You’re also a big fan of Skip, and, much like with Roky, you produced a tribute album: More Oar: A Tribute to the Skip Spence Album, which helped raise money for Skip’s medical bills and garnered greater attention to his music. What was it like working with Skip?

Working on the Skip Spence tribute album More Oar was a complete trip. Skip was living in a trailer in Santa Cruz and wasn’t really conversant on the phone, but his publisher Lynn Quinlan was speaking with Skip to get all the lyrics so other artists could do his songs. It was like a tag-team affair. After everything was done, I heard Skip was in the hospital, so I took the finished tape and went there to play it for him. He was in a coma, so I had to leave the tape with the nurse. I did get to sit in the room with him for an hour and try to telecommunicate a bit. I heard the next week when he regained consciousness, his family played him More Oar, and Skip listened with a smile and when the last song finished, he closed his eyes and died. Right then. I got chills when I found out, but it sure made me ecstatic that Skip got to hear how much all the artists loved his music.

 

This year for Record Store Day, we reissued Stephen John Kalinich’s 1969 LP A World of Peace Must Come. You’ve been friends with Stevie for a long time. How did you first meet and get turned on to his poetry?

I met Stephen John Kalinich in 1982, shortly after I moved to Los Angeles from Austin. He was friends with an artist named Renee Ciral, who was friends with my then girlfriend and now wife Melissa. So we got to be friends really fast, and he told me about the album Brian Wilson had produced of him in 1969, but the tape had gotten lost for over thirty years. Then one day Stephen found the tape, and then we started our quest to get it released. Luckily, Light in the Attic came to the rescue.

 

The jazz singer Jimmy Scott recently passed. Jimmy had an unquietly beautiful contralto voice, which was the result of a medical condition he had since birth. You co-executive produced his album All The Way in 1992. How did that project come about? 

I read a story about Jimmy Scott by Jimmy McDonough in the Village Voice in 1988. Almost a year later, I saw he was playing a club in New York so I went and fell in love with his voice right then. I began a crusade to get him signed, but no one would go see him. Then Jimmy Scott sang at Doc Pomus’ funeral, and Seymour Stein from Sire Records was there. Seymour immediately said he’d sign Jimmy, and that first album, All the Way, is the end result. It started a long adventure with Jimmy that was second-to-none for me. He did it all, from world tours, documentaries, collaborations with Lou Reed, David Lynch, David Byrne, Bruce Springsteen, and dozens of others and on and on. It never ended with Jimmy. We spoke a week before he died, and he was as hopeful as ever to keep going. Jimmy Scott never said goodbye. When it was time to sign off, he’d always say, “In a minute.” I loved that about him, among so many things. He was a true hero to me.

 

Do you have any unique memories of Jimmy you care to share?

One of my great memories with Jimmy was his first night in L.A. after his comeback. It was a small club, but he had so many fans there, from Jack Nitzsche, Ry Cooder, Joe Pesci, and a dozen others. He took me aside, held my hand, and thanked me from the bottom of his heart. He knew a new life was starting for him, and it almost didn’t happen. It touched me to the core. So many things were to come, but that moment I was so grateful to have met a man like that. Then, years later, there was big Hollywood premiere of his documentary If You Only Knew. 800 people were at the Egyptian Theatre to see it, but the projector didn’t work. So before the audience filed out very disappointed, they rolled a piano out onstage and Jimmy sang two songs. Everyone was so overwhelmed they almost forgot the movie projector didn’t work.That was Jimmy’s strength: to inspire and heal his listeners.

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We recently reissued two Vanguard titles by Bob Frank and Peter Walker as part of our ongoing Vanguard Vault series. As the A & R director of Vanguard, what album do you think we should reissue next from Vanguard?

If I could pick the next Light in the Attic reissue from the Vanguard vaults, it would be Garland Jeffreys and Grinder’s Switch’s only album for the label. It came out in 1970 and is like an intriguing mix of The Band and Velvet Underground, which makes sense, because Jeffreys went to Syracuse University with Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison from the Velvets in the early ’60s, and then his band backed John Cale on Cale’s first solo album Vintage Violence. On that album, they called themselves Penguin, which got to me right away because I’m a big fan of penguins. Jeffreys went on to establish a great career starting with his Atlantic Records album in 1973 that is still one of my favorite releases ever. He produced it with Michael Cuscuna, and has people like Bernard Purdie, Paul Griffin, Dr. John, Fathead Newman, Richard Davis, and even the Persuasions on it. Also, he was one of the first rockers to record in Jamaica, and the song from those sessions, “Bound to Get Ahead Someday, is a classic. Jeffreys writes songs that mix so many influences, but they always have an extremely personal vision which no one else has quite matched. He’s just as good now as he has always been and carries the rock & roll torch proudly. The last time I looked on Amazon, the one copy available of the CD that was briefly out is listed for $566.41. Seriously. It’s time for action, Light in the Attic!

 

Before we let you go, can you share with us what you’ve been listening to lately?

Right now I’m obsessed with a singer-songwriter named John Fullbright. He’s from Oklahoma and is right on the edge of greatness. It reminds me of the time I first heard Townes Van Zandt in 1965. You could tell something serious was up, and it was just a matter of time before the world found out. I think Fullbright has that greatness in him, and while not every song gets there, enough do that you can tell he’s on the list of those who really can make a mark.

Also, lately I’ve been listening to this deep singer-songwriter from Scotland named Richard Macintyre. His band is named Siiga, and he’s from the Isle of Skye there. I can’t stop listening to his debut release. He played in Los Angeles a month ago at Hotel Café, and I got to see him live, then found the album. It hit me right where great music always does: the heart. Hopefully we’ll work together someday. No matter what, the world will definitely discover Macintyre. You can just feel it coming. When I hear his music, it makes me wonder what it must have been like at Warner Bros. Records in 1967 when they first heard Van Morrison’s test pressing of the Astral Weeks album. Coming off the huge Top 40 hit “Brown-Eyed Girl,” I would bet the label thought they’d be getting something different, but hopefully they knew they were in the presence of something timeless with songs like “Madame George” and “Cypress Avenue.” Music is something without rules, and my feeling is always to look for surprises, because today’s surprise could well be tomorrow’s legend. When you really think about it, the cosmos is in control anyway.

Free Basin’ Friday | Summer Edition

Friday, June 27th, 2014

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Summer is here! Time to bust out the BBQ and fill up the kitty pool.  In celebration of the summer solstice, this week for Free Basin’ Friday we’re giving away a copy of Kindred Spirits reissue of L’Orchestre Sidi Yassa De Kayes - L’Orchestre Sidi Yassa De Kayes!

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For a chance to win this week’s prize, tell us what’s your favorite summer record (an album that always gets loving during your 4th of July BBQ) and why. The winner will be notified next Friday via email.

 

Weekly Distro Roundup with Jon Treneff!

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

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Happy Father’s Day week! Here at LITA World HQ (LLC, Inc. ) we feel the mixed emotions you may be going through leading up to this most holy of days. Namely, what to buy for the Dad who has everything, and hates everything he doesn’t have? We feel your pain, my brethren! But no matter who yer daddy is this year, we’ve got something to put the spring back in his Buster Browns! What’s that you say – YOU’RE the Daddy here?! Even better! Treat yourself, Big Papa!

 

Staple Singers – Uncloudy Day / Will The Circle Be Unbroken? / Swing Low
(Mississippi)

Hallelujah! After decades of basically ZERO presence on vinyl, Mississippi brings the Staple Singers back into the 12″ realm. These are exact repros of the famous family’s first three albums, and as important to gospel and American music as Johnny Cash or Loretta Lynn were to country. Though they went on to great Top Ten chart success in the ’70s with the Stax label, these early Vee-Jay recordings are arguably their most enduring legacy. Far from the typical soul-groove recordings still heard on the radio today, these records are basically (barely) electrified Southern spirituals – minimal and haunting songs stripped to the marrow, with only Pops’ Staples heavily reverbed guitar and his offspring’s heavenly voices holding the music aloft. Timeless, transportive hymns that transcend decades, centuries, and tastes. You need this in your life.

 

Guy Skornik – Pour Pauwels
(Lion Productions)

Big SKOR for fans of French pop – and eccentric art-pop in general! Guy Skornik was a mystic explorer, gifted musician, and member of the forward-thinking Popera Cosmic collective. When he wasn’t busy presenting television reports on Eastern mysticism and LSD, he was recording orchestrated prog-pop, culminating in 1970′s Pour Pauwels LP. Inspired by counterculture hero and author Louis Pauwels’ revolutionary bestseller The Morning of the Magicians, Pour Pauwels is a heady concept album that manages to forge all of Skornik’s interests into a classic of French prog-pop. Right up there with Serge Gainsbourg’s Melody Nelson and the trailblazing work of Jean-Claude Vannier. Limited to 500 and going fast!

 

Country Lips – Nothing To My Name
(Country Lips)

After years of road-testing in the West Coast’s top dives and speakeasys, Seattle’s rowdiest sawdust stompers bring forth their debut album. What’s all the ruckus about?! These guys pretty much spell it out for you in the name – COUNTRY music, with a lotta LIP!!! Rolling through nine members deep, this wrecking crew takes the M.O. of ’70′s outlaw country a la Willie, Waylon, and Johnny Paycheck and cranks the foot-stompin’ factor up to 11! Incredibly, Nothing To My Name manages to translate the energy of their raucous live show to wax, while spotlighting the group vocal harmonies that can get lost in the heated moment of a live hootenany. Get your summer off to a proper rip-snortin’ start!

All titles mentioned above are available through our online shop or at our Seattle record shop (913 NW 50th St., Ballard). The shop is open Friday 12-8pm and Saturday 12-4pm.

Weekly Distro Roundup with Jon Treneff!

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

6.5distro

Shadoks vinyl!!!  Shadoks vinyl!!!  Shadoks vinyl!!!  Shadoks vinyl!!!  Shadoks vinyl!!!  We’re over the moon over here!  After all, it’s not every day (or life, for that matter) you get the chance to work with the esteemed and legendary Shadoks label! Shadoks has been at the forefront of amazing boutique psych reissues since boutique psych reissues were just a glimmer in yer pappy’s aviator shades. Every release is a hand-made, painstaking labor of love, with high-quality packaging, sound, and liner notes – in strictly limited editions of 500.

We have stock on the ENTIRE Shadoks vinyl catalog, as well as the fresh slices highlighted below -  all making their debuts on North American shores!  Check the website for the full rundown.

 

Ernan Roch / Lazarus  / Young Flowers 
(Shadoks)

Ernan Roch’s La Onda Pesada is one of the great lost Mexican psych-folk classics.  Sung entirely in English, this has a laid-back West Coast groove that we might incline to call “folk-funk,” a la Relatively Clean Rivers, but with fuzzed-out guitar leads that will ring the bell of Quicksilver Messenger Service freaks.  So good!  Lazarus showed up with far more ambitious plans on their impossibly rare debut.  Imagine Soft Machine or Caravan recording a concept album about Lazarus coming back from the dead as a hell-bent zombie and you’re on the right path.  Killer hard-blues/psych – the sound and playing on this is out of this world!  Any heavy head will tell you - Young Flowers were THEE definitive Danish psych/blues act, and “Blomsterpistolen (flower pistols)” is their masterpiece.  Heavily influenced by Hendrix, Cream, Canned Heat, and the like, this record holds it’s own, with an insane guitarist and heavy musical lifting across the board.  There’s a whole world out there – stop and smell the blomsterpistolens!

 

L’Orchestre Sidi Yassa De Kayes – L’Orchestre Sidi Yassa De Kayes
Le Kene-Star De Sikasso – Hodi Hu Yenyan
Amadou Ballake – Bar Konon Mousso Bar
Woima Collective – Frou Frou Rokko
(Kindered Spirits)

New mother lode of African reissues par excellence from the always reliable Kindred Spirits folks. L’Orchestre Sidi Yassa De Kayes and Le Kene-Star De Sikasso are two peas in a pod, showcasing the movements of some of the scene’s key players. The Mali orchestras worked much as the jazz combo might have worked on this continent – as a revolving door and training ground for young players to cut their teeth in an established group before casting off to form their own combos. Both of these records feature slightly altered combinations of the same players, and follow the same strange, magic thread – sounding as natural as the dirt under foot, and completely unlike anything of the known world. Like catching a phantom satellite signal on your transistor radio, under the sheets.

Amadou Ballake and Woima Collective are the then and now of rambunctious Afro-beat. Mr. Ballake was a James Brown-indebted wailer from Burkina Faso. Bar Konon Mousso Bar was a massive hit in his homeland, for good reason – this whole record is a scorcher that warms up at 360 degreez and just keeps going from there. Top shelf! Woima Collective are an offshoot of German Afro-soul-beat revivalist ground-floorers, Poets of Rhythm (check Daptone’s boss vinyl anthology), and probably one of the more real-deal units doing it, to our Mrs. Dash-seasoned ears. Hotter than a dutch oven in Georgia!

 

The Vampires – The Vampires Underground
Edip Akbayram – Edip Akbayram
(Pharaway Sounds)

Stop us if we’re windbagging – but it’s been awhile! So many new jams, and they’re all worth your time! Both of these new Pharaway platters are gonna blow doors on your next Go-Go shindig – trust! The Vampires Underground is by far one of the most obscure, and strangest, psych-funk exploitation albums ever. A band of Indian guys in East South Africa playing instrumental psych-garage-surf-funk, The Vampires put their unique stamp everything from “Unchain My Heart” to “Funky Broadway,” making it their own with fuzzed-out guitars, bongos, and a killer rhythm section. The best kind of great record – an accidental one. Along with Erkin Koray and Baris Manco, Edip Akbayram is one of the Big Three when it comes to Turkish delights. This is an exact repro of his debut album, and a totally essential psych-fuzz tome for any and all of the above. Woo-hoo!

All titles mentioned above are available through our online shop or at our Seattle record shop (913 NW 50th St., Ballard). The shop is open Friday 12-8pm and Saturday 12-4pm.