Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Costume Competition!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

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* Pumpkin carved by Drew Christie

This Halloween we’re havin’ a little costume competition. Dress up like your favorite LITA character and post a picture on our facebook by Friday (Halloween!) and the best effort gets a $50 LITA gift card!

Here are some ideas to get you going:

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Frost your tips and your lips like Lewis!

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Don a ‘fro like Sly!

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Craft yourself a makeshift Donnie & Joe jumpsuit!

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Find your inner Nasty Gal!

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 Tinariwen group costume, anyone?

Show us what you can do! Sorry it’s a little late notice, we were busy hangin’ out at our event at the Ace in Palm Springs. But hey, this probably just means that fewer people will actually enter the competition, so your chances of winning are pretty dang good!

RIP Val Bent!

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Val Bent

I got to know Jamaican singer-songwriter and guitarist Val Bent (born Rupert Valentine Bent) while producing the Jamaica to Toronto: Soul Funk & Reggae 1967-1974 compilation for Light in the Attic around 2004-5. He was back in Jamaica after living in Canada for many years, where he laid down some of the toughest soul and funk records this country has ever produced. Bent came to Toronto, Ontario, as a musician with the Sheiks in 1964, and decided to stay despite our chilly winters, a far cry the Jamaican sun. He became an important musical member of the city’s growing Caribbean community and a mentor to many young players. The Sheiks became the house band for Club Jamaica on Toronto’s busy Yonge Street, which acted as a second home to Bent. Manager Fitz Riley would cook up curry chicken for the patrons and musicians, which reminded Bent of his Jamaican roots. It was here that he first met another young Jamaican immigrant, Earle Heedram (aka The Mighty Pope), who quickly became the new lead vocalist for the Sheiks. Bent was knocked away by Heedram’s powerful voice and commanding stage presence. Together, they wrote and recorded “Eternal Love,” which was released as a 7” single on the Raymond Records label in 1967 (and subsequently featured on Jamaica to Toronto). Regardless of the record’s deep soul and passionate performances—listen for Bent’s twanging guitar and back up vocals—the record sank fast without radio or media support. Despite a lack of record sales, the Sheiks were trailblazing Jamaican-Canadians who brought their music throughout the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, even in the face of ignorant racism, which the group unfortunately encountered on occasion. After returning to Jamaica in the late 1960s for a series of performances (replete with “psychedelic light show”), both Bent and Heedram (along with Studio One alumni, drummer Joe Isaacs, and organ player Chris Scasserra) linked up with American transplant and rock and roll pioneer Frank Motley as the Hitch-Hikers featuring the Mighty Pope. Motley was active on Toronto’s bustling Yonge Street strip, which was filled with nightclubs, strip bars, and record stores, and where Bob Dylan first heard the Band, then performing as Levon and the Hawks. The Hitch-Hikers not only performed popular funk, soul, and pop covers by the like of Eddie Bo and the Beatles, but a series of Bent originals as well: “A Stranger in your Own World,” “Memory Lane,” “Smile Maria Smile,” “You Got the Green Light,” and his namesake “Hell Bent.” After Motley fell ill, the group gradually went their separate ways. Bent and Heedram picked up a couple of hippie musicians and formed the short-lived Wild Oats, but the unit never recorded. Apart from a series of minor regional recordings, Bent focused on live work and performed in Canada throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. After returning to Jamaica, Bent suffered a stroke and retired from the business. He returned to Toronto in 2006 for the now legendary Jamaica to Toronto reunion concert and once again sang back ups behind his musical brother Heedram on the mighty “Eternal Love.” Bent reportedly passed away in his sleep last week in Jamaica and he will be missed by many the world over. We send our best regards to his family and loved ones and count ourselves very lucky to have met his acquaintance. Val, we will miss your laughter and words over the coming years, but will champion your sound forever!

Eternal love,
Sipreano
Voluntary in Nature

Record Store Day Black Friday 2014!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

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Fall is finally upon us. Leaves have turned from green to gold, the air is thin and crisp, and you can almost smell the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven. However, the best part of the season is not gathering with family and friends for a seasonal feast, but rather the limited edition vinyl available on Black Friday, November 28th! This year we have a beautiful cornucopia of official Record Store Day Black Friday titles. Don’t waste your money on pumpkin spice lattes… head over to your local record store and buy vinyl!

V/A – There’s A Dream I’ve Been Saving

First up is the vinyl edition of There’s A Dream I’ve Been Saving. Seven years in the making, this is the ultimate artifact for Lee Hazlewood heads new and old. Now, for the first time, you can enjoy the entire experience on vinyl. This landmark box set contains an expansive LP-sized hard cover book detailing the label history of Lee Hazlewood Industries, accompanied by 8LPs + 4CDs and the never-before-released film Cowboy in Sweden.

Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Fire b/w Morning High (duet w/ Patti Smith)

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of impassioned poet, painter, actor, and prolific, self-taught musician Lizzy Mercier Descloux‘s death. Instrumental in the late 70s New York underground, yet of Parisian origin, Mercier Descloux, with partner Michel Esteban, established the magazine Rock News and ran in the same circles as Patti Smith and Richard Hell. Lizzy became a genre defying artist, pioneer of worldbeat and avant garde rock, and supreme minimalist of the no wave genre in her own right. Next year, we will release a detailed series showcasing her work. A glimpse of what’s in store for this upcoming archival series, this 7″ presents two key tracks from the Mercier Descloux catalog: the epitomic, 1979 disco-punk classic “Fire” backed with a rare session featuring Lizzy and “Godmother of Punk” Patti Smith reciting a bilingual version of Arthur Rimbaud’s poem, “Matinée d’ivresse/Morning High,” set to music by experimental contemporary Bill Laswell. Remastered from the original tapes, this 33 1/3 RPM 7” single comes pressed on “blue” colored wax.

Wayne McGhie – S/T

Finally back in print and one of the pinnacle releases in our catalog, this 1970 masterpiece is the Holy Grail of Toronto Funk! The first true debut of Studio One veteran and Jackie Mittoo bandmate Wayne McGhie, this self-titled LP is a wicked mix of Caribbean Funk, Soul and Reggae. For this special Black Friday edition we have expanded the album to a deluxe gatefold “tip-on” jacket with rare archival photos and extensive liner notes featuring interviews with McGhie, Alton Ellis, and Lloyd Delpratt. Limited to 1,000 hand numbered copies on gold wax!

LITA Seattle Needs an Intern!

Friday, October 17th, 2014

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Boys and girls of Seattle, hold on to your Hazlewood ‘staches! Light in the Attic Records is currently offering a 3 month internship at our Seattle office. We’re looking for applicants who are interested in learning about the ins and outs of a record label operation, from the operation of a distribution warehouse to digital distribution, as well as press and radio promotional activity. Check out the details below and get in touch.

INTERNSHIP AVAILABILITY: 1 unpaid position, to last four months beginning immediately (school credit might be available)

HOURS: Approx. 4-6 hours per week, preferably broken up between two days – however, a more flexible schedule can be arranged. (The hours would need to fall between 9am and 5pm, Monday thru Friday).

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Team player yet self-motivated, positive attitude
  • Strong organizational ability and attention to detail*** (very important)
  • Must have own laptop
  • Computer skills – Mac OSX and/or Windows PC, Excel/Word. Adobe Photoshop skills would be a bonus but not required
  • Mobile phone media savvy
  • Social media savvy
  • Familiarity, and ideally, active use of various online music services such as Spotify, rDio, Beats Music, etc.
  • 18 years of age or older

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Assist with set up and management of online music service profiles and social media
  • Assistance with bulk promotional mailings
  • General office/administrative duties as needed

CONTACT: Please email resume and a brief message to: jobs@lightintheattic.net

We look forward to hearing from you!

- LITA

Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western Scores

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

 

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Gunslingers, drifters, outlaws… We’ve got three ace-high Ennio Morricone spaghetti western soundtracks out this week from our friends at CineVox Records. Bonus: each LP comes with an inlay poster!

 

Per un pugno di dollari / A Fistful of Dollars

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One of the most influential films in the spaghetti western genre, A Fistful of Dollars (1964) was the breakout film for director Sergio Leone and catapulted Clint Eastwood to fame in Italy. With the unmistakable whistle of Alessandro Alessandroni over ominous Spanish guitar, Morricone crystallizes the ever-cool spaghetti western sound and transforms the visuals of the prairie into music.

 

Milano odia: la polizia non può sparare / Almost Human

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This classic 1974 Italian crime film is unapologetically violent and Morricone’s score is obsessive and pulsating.

 

C’era una volta il West / Once Upon a Time in the West

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Grand and at times romantic, Morricone’s score to this 1968 Leone film, features his orchestra, his choir, The Whistler, and the addition of female singer Edda Dell’Orso.

 

You can order these and other Morricone scores through our online shop.

Manufacturing Delays

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

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Remember your favorite dive bar? The one that you used to go to all the time because you and your friends always had the place to yourself and the two mean ol’ bartenders knew neither of mixology nor small talk?

But then word got out about the place. And now if you ever try to go, for old times’ sake, you have to stand in line for 20 minutes for your beer in a sea of mustaches and tattoos…

That’s kind of what’s happened with vinyl manufacturing over the years. For a long time everybody had forgotten about vinyl and because of that a lot of manufacturers shut down. Now everybody wants vinyl and the few remaining manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand.

This is our roundabout way of announcing a few manufacturing delays for some of our releases.

Below are the affected titles and their new release dates:

Barbara Lynn - Here Is: LP 11/18

Sylvie Simmons - Sylvie: CD 11/11, LP 11/25

Lewis - Romantic Times: LP 12/16

Sincere apologies for the delays and thanks for standing in line with us.

Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985 |Pre-Order!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

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Largely unheard, criminally undocumented, but at their core, utterly revolutionary, the recordings of the diverse North American Aboriginal community will finally take their rightful place in our collective history in the form of Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985. An anthology of music that was once near-extinct and off-the-grid is now available for all to hear, in what is, without a doubt, our most ambitious and historically significant project in the label’s 12-year journey.

Native North America (Vol. 1) features music from the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the northern United States, recorded in the turbulent decades between 1966 to 1985. It represents the fusion of shifting global popular culture and a reawakening of Aboriginal spirituality and expression. The majority of this material has been widely unavailable for decades, hindered by lack of distribution or industry support and by limited mass media coverage, until now. You’ll hear Arctic garage rock from the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, melancholy Yup’ik folk from Alaska, and hushed country blues from the Wagmatcook First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia. You’ll hear echoes of Neil Young, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, and more among the songs, but injected with Native consciousness, storytelling, poetry, history, and ceremony.

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*Willy Mitchell and Desert River Band, photo courtesy of artist

The stories behind the music presented on Native North America (Vol. 1) range from standard rock-and-roll dreams to transcendental epiphanies. They have been collected with love and respect by Vancouver-based record archaeologist and curator Kevin “Sipreano” Howes in a 15-year quest to unearth the history that falls between the notes of this unique music. Tirelessly, Howes scoured obscure, remote areas for the original vinyl recordings and the artists who made them, going so far as to send messages in Inuktitut over community radio airwaves in hopes that these lost cultural heroes would resurface.

With cooperation and guidance from the artists, producers, family members, and behind the scenes players, Native North America (Vol. 1) sheds real light on the painful struggles and deep traditions of the greater Indigenous community and the significance of its music. The songs speak of joy and spirituality, but also tell of real tragedy and strife, like that of Algonquin/Mohawk artist Willy Mitchell, whose music career was sparked by a bullet to the head from the gun of a trigger-happy police officer, or those of Inuk singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher, who was robbed of his family and traditional Inuit culture by the residential school system.

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*Willie Dunn, photo courtesy of artist

Considering the financially motivated destruction of our environment, the conservative political landscape, and corporate bottom-line dominance, it’s bittersweet to report that the revolutionary songs featured on Native North America hold as much meaning today as when they were originally recorded. Dedicated to legendary Métis singer-songwriter and poet Willie Dunn, featured on the anthology but who sadly passed away during its making, Native North America (Vol. 1) is only the beginning. A companion set featuring a crucial selection of folk, rock, and country from the United States’ Lower 48 and Mexico is currently in production.

Deluxe 2xCD set features a hard-cover 120 page book with comprehensive liner notes by Kevin “Sipreano” Howes, artist interviews, unseen archival photos, and lyrics (with translations). Deluxe 3xLP set includes 60 page booklet with all the same goodies as the deluxe CD and is housed in a “Tip-On” slip case with three “Tip-On” jackets. Pre-order now and receive limited edition tan wax, tote bag and sticker!

Sly Stone’s Stone Flower

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

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We are honored to announce our latest release of I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-70. For all of us here at Light In The Attic, it has been surreal to work directly with the legend himself, SLY STONE!

In 1970, The Family Stone were at the peak of their popularity, but the maestro Sly Stone had already moved his head to a completely different space. The first evidence of Sly’s musical about-turn was revealed by the small catalog of his new label, Stone Flower: a pioneering, peculiar, minimal electro-funk sound that unfolded over just four seven-inch singles. Stone Flower’s releases were credited to their individual artists, but each had Sly’s design and musicianship stamped into the grooves-and the words “Written by Sylvester Stewart/Produced and arranged by Sly Stone” on the sticker.

Set up by Stone’s manager David Kapralik with distribution by Atlantic Records, Stone Flower was, predictably, a family affair: the first release was by Little Sister, fronted by Stone’s little sister Vaetta Stewart. It was short lived too-the imprint folded in 1971, but its influence was longer lasting. The sound Stone formulated while working on Stone Flower’s output would shape the next phase in his own career as a recording artist: it was here he began experimenting with the brand new Maestro Rhythm King drum machine. In conjunction with languid, effected organ and guitar sounds and a distinctly lo-fi soundscape, Sly’s productions for Stone Flower would inform the basis of his masterwork There’s A Riot Goin’ On.

Available on 2xLP (November 4th), CD and digitally (September 30th), this long overdue compilation of Sly’s Stone Flower era gathers rare 45s plus ten previously unissued cuts from the label archives, all newly remastered from the original tapes. In these grooves, you’ll find the missing link between the rocky, soulful Sly Stone of Stand! and the dark, drum machine-punctuated, overdubbed sound of There’s A Riot Going On. I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-70 opens up the mysteries of an obscure but monumental phase in Stone’s career. Pre-order now at LightInTheAttic.net and receive lime green wax (while supplies last)! Also available for pre-order, Rotter & Friends x Light In The Attic “Stone Flower” silkscreened t-shirts, as well as limited edition hand-numbered 18” x 24” prints.

FRIENDS OF LITA | Q&A WITH ISAC WALTER AKA MINOR THREAD

Friday, September 26th, 2014
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Image by Stephen Zeigler for Alternative Apparel

Isac Walter is the patron saint of band shirts, a merch evangelist, a cotton crusader. It all began back in July of 2011, when the LA-based music lover started a Tumblr to document his attempt at wearing a different band shirt every day for 1,000 days. He thought maybe he’d make it to day 500, but today marks his 1171st post. Three years and counting. More than just a hobby, Isac’s collection is the fruit of an evangelical attitude toward music–an attitude that is helping to keep music alive and well.

LITA enlisted Isac’s help in remaking some Big Boys tees to go along with the reissues of Lullabies Help the Brain Grow and No Matter How Long The Line At The Cafeteria, There’s Always A Seat. We had the opportunity to talk to Isac… you know, just shootin’ the shirt. (Don’t miss the moment where the man of a thousand and one shirts says he hates clutter…)

By the way, the shirts, vinyl and other Big Boys stuff are available on our site.

What shirt best describes your adolescence? What’s the oldest shirt you have?

I’m not entirely sure. It’s really hard to say, cause I have so many. Some shirts I have replaced that were lost so technically I haven’t had them that long. But if you put a gun to my head I might think it was a Big Drill Car shirt.

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As someone who recently lost her favorite shirt of all time (a custom black Os Mutantes shirt given to me by my boyfriend), what is the most significant shirt that you have lost and why? Any tips for those of us suffering a loss?

I used to have this Fifteen / Green Day shirt that I bought on Valentine’s Day once. It was a show at Gilman St. in Berkeley. I remember really having a great time at that show. The girl I went with took the shirt and 20 years later she facebooked me to say Hi and one of my first questions was, ‘Do you still have that shirt????’ Many years later I recovered it on ebay from a seller who was also at that show. I emailed her and let her know I was at that show too and she felt my pain and sold it to me cheap.

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What shirt (real or not) do you most want to add to your collection?

I don’t know. I mean, I love shirts, but I would think it’s probably a shirt that I don’t even know exists, you know? Like some one-off shirt the Smiths made for a Meat Is Murder one-off show, you know?

What is the most embarrassing shirt you own? Do you get rid of or trade shirts for bands you don’t like any more, or do you keep them as reminders of that confused time in your life, like regrettable tattoos?

Hands down it is a Lily Allen shirt. But in my defense, it was for a show that I put on while working at Myspace. And I only made like 20. So maybe somewhere out there, there is a Lily Allen fan who is jealous of that one. Doubtful, though.

Not only are you a wealth of knowledge regarding vintage band shirts, but you have the artistic ability to recreate such designs for shirt reissues. What’s you favorite shirt that you yourself made? How did you make it? And generally, how do you make custom shirts? You mentioned in a previous interview that redrawing original artwork can take as many as 20-30 hours– what are you doing during that time?

I don’t have a lot of favorites, I mean I do but I’ve only kept like my 500 favorite shirts out of the 3K+ I have made, ya know? I think the ones that are my favorites are the ones I make that friends and people get super excited about, that they always think should have been made but never were. Or the re-makes of shirts that are super rare and cost $500 on ebay and there is no way anyone would ever be able to afford them unless they owned a time machine. Ironically, sometimes I will make a shirt and it will cost me more to make the shirt than it would to buy the original, but at least I can wear it guilt-free and spill pasta sauce on it and not wanna kill myself.

For the most part I will find an original of a shirt, take a picture of it on a copy stand (a camera mounted on a post with lights), then literally blow the image up in PS and redraw the entire image from scratch using a Wacom tablet (here is where I get real nerdy). You can open a picture or a drawing in PS and zoom in to about 700% right before you start to see actual pixels that are square shaped. Then you re-draw that. That is the time consuming part, but it is as accurate as you can possibly be, I think, without having the original artwork file.

When you are redrawing someone’s art, you can start to recreate brush strokes and see how it is that they painted or drew the originals. You figure out if it was pencil, brush, or marker, and try to mimic that look. Then you have to compensate for printing, because when the shirt is printed the lines bleed. You have bad print jobs, offset printing fuck-ups. You also have to make adjustments for the yahoo who printed a shirt in 1980 in their garage and didn’t know what mesh to use. So you have to have some printing knowledge to adjust all this. THEN there are the font issues. In 1985 there was no computer or PS to type out fonts. So you have to try to match fonts that don’t really exist. Back in that era they used a lot of hand drawn fonts or rub-on lettering. I would say the font is by far the most challenging aspect to get accurate. Most people probably don’t even notice it, but it stares back into my face every time I see it. The files are the easy part.

Then I make films and burn screens and try to match inks. I want every shirt to be printed like it might have been in that era–same inks, same thickness. And I will purposefully print on shirts that have the look and feel of an older shirt so they wash and wear out the same way. I like to match the original era as much as possible.

How did you come to be involved in the Big Boys project and what was your process for making the shirts?

Well Pat at LITA asked me, I think he’d read my blog and thought that I would be into the idea. I am a fan of the band and I really love the idea of re-issuing a record with a piece of merch that might have been out at that time. I tried to make something that I thought the band would have made themselves, given the opportunity, to accompany that piece of music.

Looking through your archives, one of the shirts I was most jealous of was your Magnolia Electric Co. shirt. And I loved the entry you wrote to accompany it. I have been a Songs: Ohia/Jason Molina fan for years. I also love that you were not just a fan and a listener, but that you tried to make sure that others knew Songs: Ohia and Molina as well. It seems like you stand up for what you believe to be right within music, fighting for the music you love to get recognition. Did you consciously take on this mission with your Tumblr or did it just happen as your interests deepened?

No, I don’t think I took it on consciously, but I do feel like if you love something, you should tell people about it. They will want to know. That’s how great bands get passed around. If you can tell someone is passionate about something, you will listen. I have discovered many great bands myself that way. Sometimes when I am writing posts I think, why do I do this? No one gives a shit or reads this?!?! But then I think, who cares, and if only one person discovers one great record or band from me doing this then I have done my small part in helping the music that I love. That person will tell people and those people will tell people. I guess it’s the exact definition of organic discovery.

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Since the decline of record sales in recent years, bands are relying more and more on the sale of tickets and merch as a source of income. Do you think the current state of the music industry has affected ancillary markets such as merch? Do you see things changing any time soon? Would you want them to?

I used to love buying albums and CDs. I love packaging. But more and more I find myself asking, why did I buy a physical version? I love artwork and packaging, but I hate clutter. I find that if a band puts up a digital version with a shirt I will always buy that. Kill two birds with one stone. Support the band, get a shirt. And then I can go around advertising that band on my body– a win for us all. Sadly no, I don’t think it will change, but who knows… Twenty years ago if you told me I wouldn’t buy CD’s anymore I would have laughed in your face.

What shirt are you wearing at this very moment? What projects are you currently working on that you wouldn’t mind letting us in on?

Today’s shirt is a King Tuff shirt ironically from the Sub Pop pre-order for Black Moon Spell. It’s an album that I have been listening to a lot and I really love this band. The nerd in me hopes they get giant and make tons more albums with many guitar jams on them… As for other projects, you’d be surprised that I plan about 1 day in advance. Most of the time I am listening to a band and I just start to goof off on the computer and next thing you know I have 5 shirt designs. It sounds cheesy but the music dictates what I’m going to do next.

What shirt design would you most like to reissue and why? What other album/shirt reissues would you love to see happen? What does the future of Minor Thread look like? When’s the coffee table book coming out and will it have ‘sleeves’? (Get it?)

I want every New Order shirt remade. That band now has the worst merch and it makes me sad. Back in the day it used to be so good. Now you see it and it’s just boring. So yeah, the first four New Order albums and shirts would be great.

As for a book, I have no idea. It would have to be so giant and so elaborate… I’d just be happy to see a book of merch that isn’t full of obvious stuff like the Rolling Stones and the Clash and what not. I enjoy the more obscure niche stuff.

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!