Archive for the ‘Serge’ Category

Free Basin’ Friday | You Choose!

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

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It’s been awhile since we had a Free Basin’ Friday. So for this week we wanted to make it special! The winner will get to choose one of the three albums that have recently come back into print: Morphine – Cure For Pain, Thin Lizzy – S/T and Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson.

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Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, we thought it befitting that this giveaway 
celebrate things we’re thankful for…and our love of haikus. So for your chance to win this week’s Free Basin’ Friday, write a haiku about what you are thankful for. Records, beer, turkey, Pop-Tarts…anything! The most creative/funny submission wins! One submission per person. The winner will be chosen next Tuesday.

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Friends of LITA | Q&A with Artist Drew Christie

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

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This week we’re launching a new series called Friends of LITA where we check-in with our buds and fellow collaborators for a brief Q&A. First up to bat is Seattle artist and our good pal Drew Christie. Drew is both an skilled illustrator and animator whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Drawn, Cartoon Brew, Boooooooom!, Juxtapoz and many more. On top of all that, Drew has done lots of rad illustrations for us, including the Wheedle’s Groove: Seattle’s Finest In Funk & Soul 1965-75 album art, Free Basin’ Friday logo, LITA tote bags, the animation for our Road Trip Series, Serge Gainsbourg shirt design, numerous zine covers, and of course our latest beloved LITA family portrait. Read our interview with Drew below to get a glimpse of the man behind the art and to hear about future project coming down the pike.

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1. So Drew, What are you working on these days? Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects?

Right now I am spending basically every waking hour working on an online animated series for Vanity Fair called Vanity Code: Practical Advice for Impractical Situations. The first episode just premiered and it was about how to behave at a swingers party. Hint: don’t eat the food. I’ve also been contributing animation to a documentary about this interesting guy named Tom Kenyon who sings the songs of aliens and angels and all sorts of weird stuff. It’s called Song of the New Earth.

2. You have lived most of your life in Washington, do you think living in the North West has shaped your art, if so how?

Living in the North West has had a HUGE impact on my art. Although maybe I’ve just heard other people tell me that so often that now I believe it. But I do feel a very strong connection to the landscape and seascape of the PNW. I feel the most inspired and interested when I’m in a small, rainy, coastal town. It’s something that’s very magical to me but I don’t know how to describe it in words. So I shall stop now.

3. As an artist who has been your biggest influence and how has that influence manifested itself in your art?

Man, that’s tough, although I will say for illustration, most definitely Edward Gorey. His style was eery and fascinating, his line work was incredible, his scenes were witty. I think I have taken on certain aspects if his shading and shortened lines, especially in backgrounds like clouds and some other aspects of watercolor work, but hopefully not too much.  You always have to be careful not to emulate too much.

tumblr_m47dmzN8DF1rvsp65o1_5004. You have work with us on a lot of projects, but if you could pick a dream project to work on with Light In The Attic what would it be?

Dream project with LITA…hmm…I would say perhaps an illustrated book (and short animated documentary) about the life and career of Nic Jones along with the re-issues of his first 4 solo albums which are languishing in obscurity right now. Yep, that sounds about right. Or if that project fell through, doing my Illustrated Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments with accompanying comp.  I can keep going…

5. You have been the neighbor of Wheedle’s Groove musician Ron Buford for sometime now, what has that been like?

Ron is a very interesting neighbor to have. My landlords call him Little Ronny. They warned me about him when I moved in. They told me he doesn’t wake up until 3 pm and he only ever wears a silk bathrobe. This all turned out to be true. He has many visitors arriving at all times of the night in various modes of transportation. He doesn’t play as much as he used to though. I used to hear a Casio keyboard set on flute going until about 6 every night, but not anymore.

6. Thank you Drew for taking time to chat with me, but before I go can you tell me what you have been listening to lately?

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of film soundtracks by Phil Glass and stuff without singing. Non-film soundtrack has been: Hala Strana, Vladimir Vysotsky, Bill Fay and Keith Christmas (whom I got from my friend Ben Markus) and the amazing album Bright Phoebus by Lal and Mike Waterson. You guys must try and re-issue that album!

For more information about Drew and to view his additional work head over to www.drewchristie.com. You can also follow Drew via Twitter and Facebook.

Record Store of the Week: Euclid Records (New Orleans, LA)

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

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Sometimes a day turns into a week – sometimes it turns into 2 years.  But wait no longer! After taking a “leisurely” break, we’re re-launching our regular Record Store of the Week feature, con gusto!  Look out for regular installments starting, like, NOW.

First up is Euclid NOLA – a great store embedded in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood – a district with a rich musical history that carries on to this day.  We spoke with Store Manager, James Weber Jr. about punk rock, the Cosimo Code, and the unique joys of record store life in the Big Easy.

Thanks to James Weber Jr. and the Euclid Records staff for doing the interview!

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Tell us a little about Euclid NOLA.  The OG Euclid is in St. Louis – how did you end up moving to New Orleans and opening one there?

After a decade managing a big beast of a record store, Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis, I got the itchy travelin” feet and headed to New Orleans mostly on accident in September of 2009. I arrived with a strong determination to not be “record store guy” anymore and promptly got a job at a record store. Oops. A fellow recent arrival from New York, Brian Bromberg, was also employed at said store. We decided quickly that we had more to offer the city running our own shop. A few conversations with pal and gutsy record store owner Joe Schwab of Euclid Records in St. Louis, and we were on our way. Joe’s heart to take such a blind chance on a couple of young kids who love records cannot be overstated. He had years of history with the city and it’s record world, but we were still a little surprised when he said “Find us a location and we’ll take the best shot.” 7 months later Brian and I were turning the key at the corner of Chartres and Desire.

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2. I imagine the culture is a little different there than St. Louis in terms of the used records you see coming through and what you’re selling regularly.  What are people generally selling and buying?  

One of the beautiful things about record culture is that each city/region/state/country has its own particular flavor profile. Record shoppers who travel tend to become record tourists, aware that they will probably see a slew of wax they’ve seen before and a healthy chunk they haven’t. However, we’re afforded a little more square footage by setting up in the neighborhood we have. This allows us to carry all the niche-y stuff the die-hards love, but also try to be all things to all people. We sell a lot of used wax spectrum-wide: soul, blues, classic rock, jazz, yadda.  We try to load up on as much regional soul, rhythm & blues, swamp-pop, and local stuff of historic/cultural/comedic import. On the niche end, we move a lot of the KBD and power-pop reissues that have cropped up the last 5 years (labels like Sing Sing, Last Laugh, Rerun and BDR Records, etc.). We see a lot of the record store standards, but we’re most excited when a collection walks in with regional recordings that are new to us.

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3. Do good records regularly walk in the door or do you have to go out and find them?

A little of both. We advertise regionally which delivers a steady flow of phone calls within say a 100 mile radius. We’ll be open three years in September. By this point, odds are if you are talking about selling records in the city, someone knows someone who will suggest Euclid Records. We do our best to buy everything we can, stock is the name of the game, but being honest with folks about their collection and its value (or lack of…) has built a lot of good will/good karma. Word of mouth keeps ‘em coming in.

4. Do you have a record that will sell/people will inquire about every time you put it on?

When Rerun Records reissued the Manic Depressives/0:30 Second Flash we immediately sold the heck out of it. It’s an LP of recordings from 1980-81 by New Orleans punk scene-builder Larry the Punk. He published the Final Solution fanzine (copies are often available from the actual Larry the Punk on ebay for something like 18 bucks, all 9 issues!) among other endeavors, and these recordings flat git it. Our customers, as you’d expect, bend toward regional-obsessive, so a combination of “it’s actual local history” and “this dude rocks it like somebody sluggin’ your jaw, who is this?!” = a record that will sell.

It’s awfully easy to sell the classic New Orleans R&B, as well. Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Recording Studio has a strong stake as *the* crucible of American R&B. The records and performances are just undeniable. If you are reading this and curious about the universe of New Orleans (the city and the music both, a double helix), those boxsets are the thread to yank first. In selling records, conversation is always the most important thing. What people want and what they ask for aren’t necessarily the same. When customers ask for “New Orleans Soul” or “New Orleans Blues,” what they’re often trying to say, really, is “I want New Orleans R&B from 1945 through about 1965.” In 18 years worth of record retailin’, I’ve never seen so many different customers’ faces light up at the same songs, so start with Cosimo and you can’t go wrong.

5. What is the coolest/weirdest/most prized record that’s come into the store that you never thought you’d see?

Most prized is probably the test pressing for Big Star’s “Third/Sister Lovers” displayed on the wall on it’s own special, one-record-wide shelf. Coolest/weirdest are the same: Radio commercial on a 45 for Fat Albert’s Chicken outta Lafayette. Must be heard to be believed. There’s loads of oddities down here to discover, seems like every 2nd person was a recording musician who had something to say, often truly amazing even if it isn’t truly good music.

6. What’s the best thing about having a record store in New Orleans?  

We get to spend our days making people happy with music. I do love living in New Orleans, but it’s important to note that the record store experience is vital for the cultural life of any city. In a world of DMV’s, red tape, filling out forms, internet’s-down, fender benders, and much much worse, everybody needs a safe zone. That’s the record store, and it’s humbling that we get the opportunity to provide that happiness to our neighborhood, music community, and city.

 7. Has Dr. John ever come in?  What famous New Orleans-ers? have come through the shop?  

No Dr. John nor Mac Rebennack. We get plenty of “Huey Piano Smith’s my father” and “Lee Dorsey’s my Uncle!” A lot of oral history bounces off our record store walls, and we do our best to remember it, put the pieces together. The threads of music here are very tangled, it’s a fun puzzle. Every week some new connection is made and we giggle like schoolkids. Then someone comes along and does something incredible like cracking the Cosimo Code http://cosimocode.com/ which no one even knew existed, and we get put back in our place. The Cosimo Code website is insane! Through numerical notations on every record made at Cosimo’s J&M, you can piece the order they were recorded. What musicians were in the studio on the same day they made each record, who was coming, who was going. Worth a google!

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8. How’s the scene in NOLA these days?  Turn us on!

Punk-rock wise, Pelican Pow-Wow Records (full disclosure: Pelican Pow-Wow mastermind Sarah is an employee at Euclid Records) has put out some well-received singles. She just got the test press for the new Mac Blackout 45 today – it rips pretty great!  Mario Abney is an exceptional trumpet player on an upswing. Hurray for the Riff Raff on the “indie” side are doing some dates with The Alabama Shakes. They just announced their deal with Shakes’ label ATO Records (My Morning Jacket, Old Crow Medicine Show, etc) and have their first record out with them in 2014.  All our store employees (amateur and schooled musicians both) recently put a sludge-y thing together called Mollock’s Mollusk to back up our neighbor, friend, and metal super-fan Todd. He’d never been in a band, but the guy’s a natural! Eh, It’s the summer, life is slow.

9. What’s your favorite LITA release and why?

Not to be a total homer, but I still can’t put down that Country Funk 1969-1975 2xLP set. It’s New Orleans summer music through and through. Smooth, just enough funk backbone, but not so much ya gotta move a lot. I mean, it’s hot out! Tony Joe White is king, and that record is like hanging out at his palace. Hard to narrow, as keeping things like the Louvin Brothers, Wendy Rene (who last year played the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans, a mostly-annual 2-day festival that seeks to raise awareness of the architects of American music), Michael Hurley, Serge Gainsbourg, and Betty Davis all available to the record-buying public is really important work! The “Hypnotic Cajun / Obscure Zydeco” and Blind Blake Higgs collections you guys distributed for Moi J’Connais are getting a lot of in-store play.

10. When is the Grandpa’s Ghost reissue coming out?

For those who are not in the know, Grandpa’s Ghost out of Pocahontas, IL made the greatest acid/fuzz/prairie-psych/midwest/loner-rock record of the 90′s called “Il Baccio,” and don’t nobody know it! It’s a record that would really benefit from a vinyl listening experience. It’s on the slate of three artists we push on every mover-and-shaker we run into. 1) Beverly Kenney: jazz thrush nonpareil, suicided in 1960, career derailed by the rise of rock-and-roll. Some footage of Beverly finally surfaced on youtube last summer. She sings on the Hugh Hefner “Playboy TV” show. The back-and-forth ‘twixt her and Hef is delicious, her performances just wonderful. There are a handful of interesting stories about her drifting around the blogs. People-vs-drchilledair.blogspot.com is a great place to start looking. 2) Jessie Hill: songwriter of “Ooh Poo Pa Doo” and many other nonsense git-down New Orleans R&B standards, he also put out one classic full-length of deep and funky soul, “Naturally” on Blue Thumb. Recorded in 1972 Los Angeles with a cadre of New Orleans ex-pat’s, it has aged like a fine box-wine. I will say it without hesitation: Jessie Hill’s “Naturally” is the record most deserving of careful reissue and full-on promotional blitz for 2014. 3) Grandpa’s Ghost “Il Baccio” on wax. 

Thanks so much, Light in the Attic!

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Euclid Records
3401 Chartres St.
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 947-4348
Monday through Saturday 11AM to 7PM
Sunday 12AM to 6PM

Find Euclid Records on Facebook and Twitter!

Free Basin’ Friday – Two of the Sexiest Records We’ve Ever Released!

Friday, February 15th, 2013

TGIF! It’s Free Basin’ Friday! You know the drill. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we decided to give away two of the sexiest records Light In The Attic has ever put out – D’Angelo’s Voodoo & Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire De Melody Nelson!

For your chance to win, leave a comment below and tell us a story about your best or worst Valentine’s Day ever! Make sure to leave your name and email address (kept private) in the proper fields so we can contact you if you win! Good luck, and have a great weekend!

Voodoo & Histoire De Melody Nelson available now from LightInTheAttic.net!

Light In The Attic at WFMU’s Record Fair in New York City! ***CANCELLED**

Monday, October 29th, 2012

***WFMU 2012 Record Fair has been cancelled, due to Hurricane Sandy***

Despite hell and high water, Light In The Attic is coming to sling wax at this year’s WFMU record fair in New York City! For those of you who don’t already know, WFMU’s record fair is like heaven for us music junkies, with over 10,000 square feet of LPs, CDs, 45s, DVDs, and much much more. The fair takes place in Manhattan’s own Metropolitan Pavilion ( 125 West 18th Street), November 2nd – 4th. Admission is 7 bucks, or you can shell out a hefty $25 to get in early and have first dibs!

Seek out the Light In The Attic booth for all kinds of exciting tunes. We’ll have lots of great LITA titles available including the first pressing of the Searching For Sugar Man soundtrack by Rodriguez on limited white vinyl, Ray Stinnett‘s previously unreleased masterpiece A Fire Somewhere, the last of our limited edition Donnie & Joe Emerson Dreamin’ Wild hand numbered cassettes, and much much more!

We’ll also have a lot of hot distro titles for sale by Death Waltz Recordings, Dark Entries, Pharaway Sounds, etc!

Not to mention all of the LITA-LTD. merch- Lee Hazlewood, Rodriguez, Louvin Brothers and Light In The Attic Tee’s and totes to name a few. Be sure to mention the code word “rattlesnakes” at check out to receive 20% off your purchase!

We hope to see y’all there. Stay safe until then, we’re thinking of you.

Light In The Attic’s 10 Year Anniversary | Seattle & Los Angeles Concerts | Limited Edition 7″ Series

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Hard to believe ten years have passed since Matt Sullivan and Josh Wright founded Light In The Attic, a label responsible for some of the sharpest looking and sounding reissues and new albums of recent years. To celebrate the tenth anniversary, Light In The Attic has put together some very special events and a series of exclusive singles.

In the ten years since its inception, Light In The Attic has launched The Black Angels to the world and released rare treasures from funk-rock maverick Betty Davis, proto-punk band The Monks, folk singers Karen Dalton, Jim Sullivan, and Michael Chapman, larger-than-life troubadours Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood, Korean rock hero Shin Joong Hyun, and Memphis soul heavyweights Wendy Rene and Charles “Packy” Axton.

Over the years, we also delved deep in to the history of our home town with vintage Seattle soul via the series Wheedle’s Groove, reissued classics from country stalwarts Kris Kristofferson and the Louvin Brothers, brought rock-n-roll farmers Donnie & Joe Emerson to the public, expanded minds with the deeply vibrant Jamaica to Toronto series, and played a key role in the rediscovery of legendary singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, recently celebrated in the Sony Pictures Classics critical smash film, Searching For Sugar Man. The list is long.

It’s only right, then, that we’re not letting an anniversary like this pass unmarked. Headlining two celebratory concerts is Rodriguez, a man for whom rediscovery via Light In The Attic has taken him from obscurity to long-deserved fame. Line-ups for the two shows – to be held in Los Angeles and Seattle – will include the third ever U.S. performance by South Korea’s 75-year old ‘Godfather of Rock’ Shin Joong Hyun, veteran Yorkshire finger-picking wizard Michael Chapman, and a very rare performance from rediscovered darlings of private press, Donnie & Joe Emerson.

In addition to the shows, we will be releasing a series of very special singles as colored vinyl 7”s and digital downloads. The series features contemporary artists covering a track reissued by Light In The Attic on the A-side, plus the original version on the B-side. The series begins with Iggy Pop & Zig Zags covering Betty Davis, and the standard remains equally high.

Sullivan conceived Light In The Attic having worked as an intern for Seattle’s Sub Pop and Loosegroove labels in the ‘90s. Spending a summer in Spain working for reissue label Munster Records, he hit on the idea of launching his own. In the decade in which the world went digital, Light In The Attic bucked the trend, focusing on creating beautiful, covetable, desirable discs. “That’s what gets us up in the morning – finding records, finding new ways to shed light on them and get them the respect they deserve,” says Matt. “The packaging, the album, it all has to be one inspiring experience.”

Light In The Attic 10 Year Anniversary Concert (Los Angeles):
Friday, September 28, El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles
The first 200 people through the door at both shows get a free 45 single, and the merch stall will be a Light In The Attic record store – heaven for label completists. 

RODRIGUEZ (Detroit)
SHIN JOONG HYUN (South Korea)
MICHAEL CHAPMAN (U.K.)
STEPHEN JOHN KALINICH (Los Angeles)
DJ SIPREANO (Vancouver)

Tickets available via this link.

Light In The Attic 10 Year Anniversary Concert (Seattle):
Friday, October 12, The Showbox at The Market, Seattle
The first 200 people through the door at both shows get a free 45 single, and the merch stall will be a Light In The Attic record store – heaven for label completists. 

RODRIGUEZ (Detroit)
MICHAEL CHAPMAN (U.K.)
DONNIE & JOE EMERSON (Fruitland, WA – first Seattle appearance)
DJ SUSPENCE (Seattle)

Tickets available via this link.

Light In The Attic Anniversary 7″ Series:
We’re only at liberty to unveil the first few, which are as follows…

Iggy Pop & Zig Zags – Pre-Order at this link.
“If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” (2012) b/w Betty Davis, “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” (1973)

Sweet Tea featuring Alex Maas (The Black Angels) & Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards)
“After Laughter (Comes Tears)” (2012) b/w Wendy Rene, “After Laughter (Comes Tears)” (1964)

Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band
“I’ll Slip Away” (2012) b/w Rodriguez “I’ll Slip Away (1967)

LITA-LTD: Serge Gainsbourg “Histoire de Melody Nelson” Tees NOW AVAILABLE

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

We gave you sneak peak at our sweet new “Melody Nelson” shirts in last week’s Free Basin’ Fridays but now you can head on over to LITA-LTD to pick your’s up. For the uninitiated, LITA-LTD is our limited edition line of shirts, posters, test pressings (coming soon) and various ephemera.

And what of this shirt?? To celebrate Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson (LITA 040), we asked artist Drew Christie to channel the classic cover art through his vision and voilà: the Light In The Attic “Melody Nelson” tee. The first pressing of this shirt quickly sold out and was only available at the Serge Gainsbourg tribute show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (Summer 2011). We decided to press it up again and offer it for sale on LITA-LTD for the first time. And like everything we do at LITA, these are quality all the way: Six color art screened by hand on super soft American Apparel unisex shirts (S, M, L, XL available). Grab one now before they’re gone, gone, gone.

Free Basin’ Fridays – “Melody Nelson” limited edition shirt/album package!

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Illustration by Drew Christie - http://www.drewchristie.com/

For this week’s Free Basin’ Fridays, we’re celebrating Serge Gainsbourg and his master opus Histoire De Melody Nelson (LITA 040). So, we’re giving away, to one lucky winner, a limited edition “Melody Nelson” t-shirt (American Apparel, sizes S, M, L, XL, available) and a copy of the CD or LP. The tee features a drawing of the album cover by Drew Christie and was originally only available at the Serge Gainsbourg tribute show at the Hollywood Bowl last August. The shirts sold out by the night’s end but now we’ve repressed another limited run, which will be available next Tuesday at LITA-LTD. Of course, how can you go wrong with the CD or LP reissue either?

For your chance to win, enter your name and email address (kept private) along with a comment below. Tell us your favorite Serge song, album, lyric, or moment even. Winner will be picked at random and announced next Friday, 3/30 at 12pm PST. Bon chance!

Party down Seattle – Serge Gainsbourg style!

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

It’s official! Your Sunday night is officially booked! Come on over to the Gainsbourg for a Serge Gainsbourg-inspired celebration of local Seattle artist David Lasky. Full details below…spread the word!

David Lasky’s mini-comic, Soixante-Neuf, inspired by the relationship between Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, will be published in the 2011 Best American Comics. With text composed by former Seattle author and noted music critic Mairead Case, the comic depicts Serge and Jane wandering Paris, looking for each other on the métro, during a film and in a riot.

Soixante-Neuf was originally commissioned by Light in the Attic Records as an insert to their 2010 release of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin’s J’Taime…Moi Non Plus. Also included in the 2011 Best American Comics is Mr. Lasky’s The Ultimate Graphic Novel (in Six Panels).

The evening will feature:

  • David Lasky discussing the creation of Soixante-Neuf, signing 2011 Best American Comics and introducing future projects
  • Julia Gfrorer reading from Flesh & Bone, from the 2011 Best American Comics as well as upcoming project Too Dark to See
  • Light in The Attic Records spinning Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin tracks
  • Wall-sized video projections of Soixante-Neuf, as well as other Gainsbourg-related imagery
  • Serge & Jane inspired absinthe drink specials

The Stranger / LITA: Seattle Serge Gainsbourg Prize Pack!

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Hey Seattle, head on over to The Stranger for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life screening and some sweet Serge swag from Light In The Attic. No sneaky business, this is for Emerald City peeps only!