Free Basin’ Friday | Wheedle’s Groove II Picture Disc

July 18th, 2014

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It’s been a while since we had a Free Basin’ Friday. So to make up for it, we’re giving way a very special limited edition Wheedle’s Groove Vol.II picture disc 2xLP!

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The Wheedle’s Groove Vol. II liner notes and album art feature several amazing publicity photos of the artists from the 70s and 80s. So to win this week’s prize, we want you to recreate or come up with your own Wheedle’s Groove inspired publicity photo. See examples below. Please post your photos to our Facebook page. The most creative/funniest photo wins. Winners will be chosen next Friday.

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Summer Spectacular Recap

July 16th, 2014

 

The First Annual Summer Spectacular was a great success! Although Donnie & Joe weren’t able to preform, the party was still blast. We want to give a big thanks to everyone who came out, as well as all the vendors and performers.  You can read The Seattle Times’ review of the party HERE. Also check out a few photos of the party below.

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*DJ Suspense Kicking off the party

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*Lee and Matt taking a photo in the Donnie & Joe cut out

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*Wheedle’s Groove artist Robbie Hill and Overton Berry

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*Alex Maas starting his set off with a number on a Chinese Guqin

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*Alex Maas preforming an amazing set

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*Partygoers digging through all the rad records the vendors were selling

litasubpop*The Sub Pop and Light In The Attic family together at last

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*DJ Hunter Lea closing out the party

Country Funk Vol.2 Out Now | LA Release Party

July 15th, 2014

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Various Artists - Country Funk Volume II 1967 – 1974
LITA 116 (CD | 2xLP | Digital)
Out Now!

Volume II of our Country Funk series is now available! Back in 2012, Country Funk 1969-1975 (Volume I) gathered together songs from a genre with no name. It’s a genre created not from geography or shared ideology but a term applied retrospectively based solely on the feel of the songs: hip-swinging rhythms with bourbon on the breath. These were songs to make your cowboy boots itchy, written and performed by the likes of Bobbie Gentry, Johnny Jenkins, and Link Wray. Songs that encompass the elation of gospel with the sexual thrust of the blues; country hoedown harmonies cut with inner city grit. Compiled from tracks dating from the late ‘60s to the mid ’70s, Country Funk is country music blending with the sounds and scenes from coast to coast, white America’s heartland music blending with the melting pot as the nation assessed its identity in advance of its bicentennial year.

The good news for the people who fell in love with the first volume of Country Funk is this: there’s plenty more where that came from. We’re following up that first 16-track disc with Country Funk Volume II 1967 – 1974, a new set of loose-talking, lap steel-twanging tracks. On the single CD / 2xLP volume you’ll find household names like Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Kenny Rogers, Jackie DeShannon, JJ Cale, Bobby Darin, and Dolly Parton. You’ll also find obscure artists like Bill Wilson, whose lost Ever Changing Minstrel album was produced by the feted Dylan producer Bob Johnston, and Thomas Jefferson Kaye, noted producer of Gene Clark’s opus No Other. Gene Clark’s here too, as half of Dillard & Clark, wringing raw emotion from The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down.”

All of the individuals featured have a story to tell, whether it’s that of the sidelined session musician, the fading star, or the country upstart. There’s Donnie Fritts (“Sumpin’ Funky Goin’ On”), whose roots stretch back to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and who has played keyboard for Kris Kristofferson for decades. There’s Canadian group Great Speckled Bird, who joined Janis Joplin and more on 1970’s Festival Express tour. There’s Hoyt Axton, who, along with singing the harmonica-sucking ode to “California Women,” also took a role in Gremlins. There’s Jim Ford, who Sly Stone once described as “the baddest white man on the planet.” And there’s Billy Swan, who kicks proceedings off with a soul-stirring organ, a lazy kick drum, and his rockabilly vocals echoing like a croon into the grand canyon.

Compiled and presented once again by the team behind Volume I (DJ and music supervisor Zach Cowie plus Light In The Attic’s Matt Sullivan and Patrick McCarthy), the release also includes a reunion of writer Jessica Hundley and Jess Rotter (original album/label artwork and illustrations) in the form of a comic book called “The Hot Dawgs.”

It may be the genre that had no name, but there’s plenty of gas in the country funk trunk.

 

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Come hang this Sunday in celebration of Country Funk Vol. II at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s in Hollywood.  Co-producer Zach Cowie (Turquoise Wisdom) and The Mondo Boys will be spinning the funkiest, toe-tapping, hip-swinging, dixie-fried jams. Party starts at 6pm and will run until 9.

Donnie & Joe Emerson – “Big Money” Music Video!

July 10th, 2014

Check out the official music video for Donnie & Joe Emerson‘s “Big Money”, directed by Lydia Hyslop! Keep your eye out for a cameo from Dâm-Funk and Ariel Pink.

FIRST ANNUAL LIGHT IN THE ATTIC SUMMER SPECTACULAR!!!!

July 8th, 2014

LITA_SUMMER_2014_11_17_poster*Post art by Drew Christie

Don’t miss our first annual Summer Spectacular this Saturday, July 12th! The event will be hosted at our Seattle warehouse in Ballard and and co-headlined by rock ‘n’ roll farmers Donnie & Joe Emerson (performing their third show in over thirty years) and a rare solo set from Alex Maas of Austin psych outfit The Black Angels.  Also performing will be legendary Seattle musician Overton Berry (featured on the Wheedle’s Groove series) and DJ Suspence will be spinning in-between sets!

ALL items in our record shop will be 10% off (in store only)!

DJ Suspence spinning in-between sets!

Food Trucks:
- Seattle Cookie Counter
- Wicked Pies
- Jemil’s Big Easy
- People Of The Chubbs

Record Vendors:
- Sub Pop Records
- Mike Samples
- Beats and Bohos
- Karl Zwick

Set Times:
DJ Suspence: 3pm-4pm
Overton Berry: 4pm-4:45pm
DJ Suspence: 4:45pm-5:15pm
Alex Maas: 5:15pm-6pm
DJ Suspence: 6pm-6:30pm
Donnie & Joe: 6:30pm-7:15pm
DJ Suspence: 7:15pm-???
The festivities kickoff at 3pm on Saturday, July 12. This event is FREE, ALL-AGES, and open to the public.

Donnie & Joe will also be performing at Bumbershoot on August 30th.

RSVP!

4th of July 20% Off Sale!

July 2nd, 2014

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4th of July is arguably the best holiday in America. It’s an amalgamation of all things great: fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, lawn actives, swimming, etc… minus all the religious zealousness and hoopla. More importantly, 4th of July marks the independence of our nation, and what better way to celebrate our freedom than to have a sale?! Starting Friday, July 4th, all your favorite Light In The Attic titles will be discounted 20% off! The sale ends Sunday night, and supplies are limited so do not sleep on this!

The sale will also be happening at our Seattle record shop (913 NW 50th St., Ballard). The shop will be closed on Friday, but open Saturday 12-4pm.

Friends of LITA | Q&A With Bill Bentley

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

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.

 

News Titles from Votary Records!

June 26th, 2014

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Based on the novel written by australian actor Roger Ward (Mad Max, Stone, Turkey Shoot), The Set is a cult Australian sexploitation film. Originally released in 1970, The Set was scored by the highly respected and unique jazz original Sven Libaek. Incorporating elements of baroque and sunshine pop as well as moody mod jazz, The Set is an incredible time-piece of Swinging Sydney.

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Scored for vince & Carol Serventy’s 1966 Australian Television series nature Walkabout, Sven Libaek’s pioneering soundtrack has long been considered the landmark recording of the unique genre, eco-jazz. impressionistic modern jazz composed for Television documentaries, library music, educational and travelogue films. Remastered from the original master tapes, this reissue is presented as a deluxe 180 gram Gatefold with rare photos from the Serventy archive, plus extensive liner notes by jazz writer Francis Gooding.

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Considered to be one of the pioneers of Psychoacoustics, Eric Siday is also acknowledged as a key name in the growth of 20th century electronic music. Siday was an important figure in the development of the Moog Synthesizer, his compositions were a testing ground for Bob Moog ideas, in turn shaping the technical advancement of the instrument. Pulling together a clutch of eerie atomic-age miniatures drawn from a series of rare 10” 78rpm library discs, this compilation explores Siday’s scientific study of sound, a concept he branded The Ultra Sonic Perception. The composition featured here were partially used as the soundtrack to the early 1960s Doctor Who TV series and showcases pioneering techniques used by this forward thinking composer.

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Cold Worlds is a collection of Horror-Electronics, supernatural soundscapes and sinister library muzak from Australian composer Don Harper. Centering on a previously unreleased score for the 1968 Doctor Who series The Invasion (a dark otherworldly sci-fi jazz suite), Cold Worlds is also a focus on the electronic music of this largely unsung composer. Harper’s compositions have been famously sampled by hip hop artist MF Doom. The album also includes compositions written by Harper for George Romero’s cult zombie classic Dawn of the Dead

Free Basin’ Friday | Donnie & Joe Emerson – “Still Dreamin’ Wild”

June 20th, 2014

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Welcome to the end of the work week! It couldn’t have come at a better time because today we’re giving away a copy (on the format of your choice) of the brand new Donnie & Joe Emerson album, Still Dreamin’ Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979-81!!!

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For a chance to win this week’s prize, come up with three Donnie & Joe Emerson-esque song titles. The most creative and funny submission wins! The winner will be notified next Friday via email.